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March 20, 2019

Social Media Platforms present “Voluntary Code of Ethics for the 2019 General Election” to Election Commission of India

Elections, Social Media, India

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Photo: The Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora, and the Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra with the representatives of the primary Social Media Platforms, in New Delhi on March 20, 2019.

New Delhi, 20 March 2019 — The Social Media Platforms, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google, ShareChat and TikTok, and Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), today presented a “Voluntary Code of Ethics for the General Election 2019” to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra.

Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora, while appreciating the steps taken, said that formulation of the Code augurs a good beginning. He told the Participants to follow in letter and spirit the commitments made in the Code of Ethics. The Platforms have committed to processing any violations reported within three hours.

The Platforms have also agreed to create a high priority dedicated reporting mechanism for the ECI and appoint dedicated teams during the period of General Elections for taking prompt action on any reported violations. Participants have also agreed to provide a mechanism for political advertisers to submit pre-certified advertisements issued by the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee. The Code of Ethics also promises to facilitate transparency in paid political ads. IAMAI has agreed to coordinate with participants various steps mentioned in this code. Participants have also committed to undertake voter awareness campaigns voluntarily.

The ‘Code of Ethics” has been developed to ensure free, fair & ethical usage of Social Media Platforms to maintain the integrity of the electoral process for the General Elections 2019. It aims to monitor those indulging in disinformation, fake news, hate-mongering, gossiping, and backbiting. The Code voluntarily agreed upon by the Participants comes into operation with immediate effect.

Source: Election Commission of India

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India’s first F1 driver beats his record as Porsche 911 GT2 RS breaks the lap record at Buddh International Circuit near New Delhi

Porsche, Sportscar

Porsche, Sportscar

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Photos: Porsche cars. Images provided by Porsche.

Porsche, Sportscar

ENLARGE

Photo: Narain Karthikeyan, India’s first F1 Driver, sets a new lap record for street legal cars at the Buddh International Circuit in the 911 GT2 RS.

New Delhi, March 20, 2019 — Organised by Porsche India, Narain Karthikeyan set a new lap record for street-legal cars at the Buddh International Circuit in Noida, a suburban city of Delhi. India’s first ever F1 driver beat his own fastest lap time when he claimed the honor in a 911 GT3 on the track last year November. Yesterday, Narain went even faster in a Porsche 911 GT2 RS, taking the racer just 2 minutes 00.266 seconds to complete the 5.14km of India’s only FIA certified track.

This new record lap time beat Narian’s previous best of 2 minutes 07.629 seconds by 7.363 seconds. The Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI), a long-standing member of the FIA, has certified the time.

Discussing Narain’s achievement, Pavan Shetty, Director at Porsche India, said: “This record establishes Porsche as the fastest automobile brand in India. In a matter of months, Porsche 911s have now broken the lap record twice at the Buddh International Circuit. With its incredible 700 hp and maximum torque of 750 Nm from 2,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm, the 911 GT2 RS has underlined again that it is the fastest 911 on the market. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Narain on a job well done as this was a true showcase of Porsche’s ability to manufacture highly moving sports cars that are at home on the race track.”

The 3.8-liter bi-turbo flat engine can catapult the two-seater vehicle - which weighs 1,470 kilograms - from zero to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds under optimal circumstances. While setting the record, Narain took advantage of the Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK), an innovation from motorsport featured in the 911 GT2 RS for the first time. The high-performance engine transmits its power via an automatically switching seven-speed gearbox on the rear axle, without interrupting traction. Cornering speeds were also on a par with those achieved by super sports cars. The 911 GT2 RS conquered the 16 turns of the Hermann Tilke designed track using its flawless racing chassis.

The 911 GT2 RS is a concentration of Porsche’s motorsport expertise in one high-performance sports car that offers superior dynamics on the racetrack while being a versatile road car like any other Porsche model.

Source: Porsche India

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March 18, 2019

Longines Ambassador of Elegance, Mikaela Shiffrin, claims her third straight FIS (Fédération Internationale de Ski) Alpine World Cup Overall Title

Longines, Skiing

Longines, Skiing

Photos: Longines Ambassador of Elegance, Mikaela Shiffrin, claimed her third straight FIS (Fédération Internationale de Ski / International Ski Federation) Alpine World cup overall title. Images provided by & copyright © Longines.

Source: Longines

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March 15, 2019

Sony Pictures Networks India and Olympic Channel to Broadcast Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

International Olympic Committee, Sony India

Photo: Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), attends the opening of the new FINA Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. Image provided by and copyright © IOC / Greg Martin, photographer.

Lausanne, Switzerland, March 14, 2019 — The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today announced that it has awarded the broadcast rights in India and the Subcontinent for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, as well as the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 to Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN). The Olympic Channel and other IOC digital platforms will also feature highlights and replays of crucial events.

Sony Pictures Networks, an established pay-television network in India, has acquired the rights across all media platforms in India and the Subcontinent, except the free-to-air rights in Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. SPN will provide comprehensive coverage across its multiple platforms.

In addition to the coverage on Sony’s digital platform, SonyLIV, the Olympic Channel and other IOC digital platforms will feature highlights and replays of crucial events to supplement SPN’s coverage of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 across India and the Subcontinent.

Further, the IOC and SPN will collaborate on creating a permanent Olympic Channel home within the SonyLIV service. Programming will feature year-round coverage of Olympic athletes and sports, highlighting locally relevant original content produced by SPN and Olympic Channel.

IOC President Thomas Bach said, “As a dynamic sports and media market, India and the Subcontinent is an important strategic region for Olympic broadcasting. The IOC is pleased to be working with Sony Pictures Networks India to collaborate to bring the best coverage of Tokyo 2020 and the Youth Olympic Games to fans across the region, on their platform of choice, with the aim of inspiring young people to engage with Olympic sports and the Olympic values.”

MD & CEO SPN, N.P. Singh said, “As an organization, we continue to play a leading role in shaping and meeting the entertainment needs of the evolving consumer base across television & digital platforms in India. The Olympic Games is the largest and most prestigious international sports competition in the world with over 200 countries participating. The addition of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 broadcast and digital rights complements our portfolio of International sports events and properties.”

Source: International Olympic Committee (IOC)

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March 14, 2019

United Nations: Press Briefing on High-Level Event on ‘Women in Power’

United Nations, New York

Photo: María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés (left), President of the seventy-third session of the General Assembly, poses for a photo with (from left to right): Kersti Kaljulaid, President of the Republic of Estonia; Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland; and Paula-Mae Weekes, President of Trinidad and Tobago, after a press briefing on the high-Level event on ‘Women in Power’. 12 March 2019. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Mark Garten.

United Nations, New York

Photo: Kersti Kaljulaid (left), President of the Republic of Estonia, and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, President of Croatia, brief the press on the high-level event on ‘Women in Power’ hosted by María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the seventy-third session of the General Assembly. 12 March 2019. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Mark Garten.

United Nations, New York

Photo: Paula-Mae Weekes, President of Trinidad and Tobago, briefs press on the high-level event on ‘Women in Power’ hosted by María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the seventy-third session of the General Assembly. At right is Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland. 12 March 2019. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Mark Garten.

United Nations, New York

Photo: Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland, briefs press on the high-level event on ‘Women in Power’ hosted by María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the seventy-third session of the General Assembly. 12 March 2019. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Mark Garten.

United Nations, New York

Photo: Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, President of Croatia, briefs press on the high-level event on ‘Women in Power’ hosted by María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the seventy-third session of the General Assembly. 12 March 2019. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Mark Garten.

United Nations, New York

Photo: María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the seventy-third session of the General Assembly, briefs press on the high-level event on ‘Women in Power’ hosted by María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the seventy-third session of the General Assembly. 12 March 2019. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Mark Garten.

Source: United Nations, New York

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March 13, 2019

Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu to be the President of the Jury of the 72nd Festival de Cannes taking place in May 2019

Cannes Film Festival

Photo: Alejandro G. Iñárritu poses backstage with the Oscar for Achievement in directing, for work on “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” during the live ABC Telecast of The 87th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Sunday, February 22, 2015. Image provided by & copyright © Todd Wawrychuk / Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Cannes Film Festival

Photo: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Oscar nominee for Best Picture, for work on “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance),” arrives with Maria Eladia Hagerman for the live ABC Telecast of The 87th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Sunday, February 22, 2015. Image provided by & copyright © Matt Petit / Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Cannes, France — “Cannes is a festival that has been important to me since the beginning of my career. I am humbled and thrilled to return this year with the immense honor of presiding over the Jury,” Alejandro González Iñárritu said on being appointed the Jury President. “Cinema runs through the veins of the planet, and this festival has been its heart. We on the jury will have the privilege to witness the new and excellent work of fellow filmmakers from all over the planet.”

Pierre Lescure, President of the Festival de Cannes, expressed his delight that the filmmaker has accepted their invitation. “It is very rare for Alejandro G. Iñárritu to agree to take part in a jury, and this is the first time that the Festival de Cannes Jury is to be chaired by a Latin American filmmaker. Cannes embraces all types of cinema, and through the presence of the Babel’s director, it is Mexican cinema that the Festival will be celebrating,” Mr. Lescure stated. “Not only is he a daring filmmaker and a director who is full of surprises, but Alejandro is also a man of conviction, an artist of his time.”

Iñárritu is the first Mexican filmmaker to be nominated for either director or producer in the history of the Academy Awards and the first Mexican filmmaker to receive the Best Director award at the Festival de Cannes.

Iñárritu took home the prize for Best Director, Best Picture as well as Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography at the 87th Academy Awards for the dark comedy, Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).

The following year, Iñárritu won his second consecutive Academy Award for Best Director for The Revenant, a meditation on revenge and brutal colonization of the west through the extinction of the natives, mixed blood prejudices and nature exploitation starring Best Actor Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio.

The Festival de Cannes 2019 will take place from Tuesday 14 to Saturday 25 May.

Source: Festival de Cannes

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March 10, 2019

U.S. News Unveils Speakers for Workforce of Tomorrow Conference

U.S. News, National Press Club

USNewsConfer-001.jpg

Photo: A scene from the 2018 U.S. News conference. Image provided by & copyright © U.S. News & World Report / Brett Ziegler, photographer. [File Photo]

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2019 — U.S. News & World Report, publisher of Best Universities and Best Colleges, will host the eighth annual U.S. News STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Solutions Workforce of Tomorrow forum on May 22, 2019, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Leaders from government, education, industry, nonprofits and more will come together to share ideas and best practices for developing a modern workforce with the skills needed for a shifting jobs landscape. This year’s one-day summit will examine the future of work, the impact of automation and artificial intelligence, diversity in the workplace, education innovation, lifelong learning and reskilling, and more.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Byron G. Auguste, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Opportunity@Work
  • Christine Bastian, Senior Vice President, Engineering Human Resources, Cisco Systems
  • Earl Buford, Chief Executive Officer, Partner4Work
  • Oren Cass, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute; author of “The Once and Future Worker: A Vision for the Renewal of Work in America.”
  • Martin Dahinden, Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States
  • Rosanna Durruthy, Head of Global Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, LinkedIn
  • Molly Elgin-Cossart, Director, Rework America Task Force, Markle Foundation
  • Lorraine Hariton, President and Chief Executive Officer, Catalyst
  • Gregory H. Johnson, National Innovation and Strategy Advisor, Boy Scouts of America
  • Laurie Leshin, President, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Michael P. Morris, Chief Executive Officer, Topcoder; Global Head of Crowdsourcing, Wipro
  • Michelle Murphy, Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion and Global Talent Acquisition, Ingersoll Rand
  • Eloy Ortiz Oakley, Chancellor, California Community Colleges
  • Julia Pollak, Labor Economist, ZipRecruiter
  • Barbara R. Snyder, President, Case Western Reserve University

“As we enter a new industrial revolution, it’s crucial that workers possess the proper skills to utilize developing technologies like artificial intelligence,” said Brian Kelly, Editor and Chief Content Officer of U.S. News & World Report. “The Workforce of Tomorrow forum brings together the leading voices in STEM education and workforce development to explore the evolving labor needs of today’s - and tomorrow’s - employers.”

U.S. News & World Report is a global leader in quality rankings that empower people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. Founded in 1933, U.S. News has its headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The venue of the conference, National Press Club, is located on the 13th Floor of the National Press Building at 529 14th St., NW, Washington, D.C.

Source: U.S. News & World Report

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March 9, 2019

Combat War Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth to deliver major foreign policy speech ahead of 16th anniversary of US-led invasion of Iraq at National Press Club Headliners event March 13

National Press Club

National Press Club

Photo: U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth to deliver major foreign policy speech ahead of 16th anniversary of US-led invasion of Iraq at National Press Club Headliners event March 13.

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2019 — As America approaches the 16th anniversary of the war in Iraq, combat Veteran, and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth will speak at a National Press Club Headliners Newsmaker on Wednesday, March 13 at 12:30 p.m. She will talk about how she feels the U.S. Congress is failing in its duty to provide the U.S. troops with the moral and legal backing they need and deserve to most effectively wage war.

In her remarks, Duckworth will lay out her vision for how Americans can ensure their military remains the strongest in the world. She will argue that America can no longer view its national security interests as separate and distinct from its domestic policies. She will make a case for investing in progressive priorities like healthcare, education and green energy as a means to bolster America’s national strength and better serve its military readiness.

This news conference will take place in the Club’s Holeman Lounge, and is open to credentialed media and members of the National Press Club.

The National Press Club is located on the 13th Floor of the National Press Building at 529 14th St., NW, Washington, D.C.

• Club member Waterfield plans to publish history about London at War.

National Press Club

Larry Waterfield, a member of the National Press Club, is looking forward to seeing his book, Metropolis at War: London, published in New York and London.

“There was terror on a grand scale,” Waterfield wrote, explaining that we may live in the “age of terror” but in World War II, London, the biggest city in the world at the time, faced five years of terror bombing, terror rockets, the threat of invasion, occupation, starvation and a submarine blockade that cut off food and supplies.

The city struggled on, the large newspapers printed, the movie studios made films, the BBC broadcast worldwide in dozens of languages, he said.

Waterfield notes there is new information because key bits were kept secret until recently: a plan to invade Ireland, and a plan to control India.

The publisher is Austin Macauley Publishers.

Source: National Press Club, Washington, D.C.

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Director of U.S. National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, to speak at National Press Club Headliners Luncheon April 23

National Press Club

WASHINGTON, March 9, 2019 — The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke the record in 2018 for the most significant daily point gain with investors’ spirits buoyed by low unemployment rates, high GDP growth, rising corporate profits, and a significant roll-back on banking regulations and the corporate tax rate. The Dow also broke records last year for the largest daily point loss as Trump’s ongoing trade war with China and fears of interest rate hikes tested investors’ nerves.

On Tuesday, April 23, Larry Kudlow, the Director of the National Economic Council under President Trump, will speak on the recent trend in market volatility and what other factors may affect the US and the Global Economy at a National Press Club Headliners Luncheon.

Lunch will be served in the Club’s Holeman Lounge at 12:30 p.m. with remarks beginning at 1 p.m. followed by a question-and-answer session ending at 2 p.m.

The National Press Club is located on the 13th Floor of the National Press Building at 529 14th St., NW, Washington, D.C.

• Former Attorney General Eric Holder and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to discuss their battle against gerrymandering at National Press Club Headliners event, March 26

National Press Club

Photos: Former Attorney General Eric Holder and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2019 — Two of America’s most prominent voices against gerrymandering will share the stage for the first time on March 26 immediately following oral arguments in two anti-gerrymandering cases at the U.S. Supreme Court. Eric H. Holder, Jr., the 82nd Attorney General, and Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will discuss why they believe redistricting reform is crucial to the future of US democracy at a National Press Club Headliners event on March 26 at 12:30 p.m.

This bipartisan dialogue comes as the Court considers whether the Republican gerrymandering in Rucho v. Common Cause and the Democratic gerrymandering in Lamone v. Benisek are unconstitutional. A decision by the court could accelerate the state-by-state movement to draw good maps in the 2021 redistricting process.

This event will take place in the Club’s Holeman Lounge, and is open to credentialed media and members of the National Press Club.

The National Press Club is located on the 13th Floor of the National Press Building at 529 14th St., NW, Washington, D.C.

Source: National Press Club, Washington, D.C.

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Prime Minister Modi launches modern infrastructure projects in Ghaziabad

Ghaziabad

Photo: Shopprix Mall, Vaishali, Ghaziabad.

Ghaziabad, March 08, 2019 — The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, today, visited Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh and launched various development projects. He unveiled the plaque to mark the inauguration of Civil Terminal of Hindon Airport. He then laid the foundation stone of Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System.

The Prime Minister also visited the Metro Station in Ghaziabad and flagged off the metro rail from Shaheed Sthal Station to Dilshad Garden Station. He also took a ride in the metro.

Addressing a huge gathering, the Prime Minister said that Ghaziabad is today know by three C’s; Connectivity, Cleanliness, and Capital. He mentioned the elevated road and metro connectivity in Ghaziabad, its 13th rank in Swachh Survekshan rankings, and its stature as a business hub of Uttar Pradesh.

The Prime Minister said that with the new Civil Terminal in Hindon Airport, people of Ghaziabad could take air travel to other cities from Ghaziabad itself, instead of going to Delhi.

The Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System, built at the cost of Rs. 30000 crore, is the first of such transport system in India, Prime Minister Modi said. He stated that the modern infrastructure in Ghaziabad would ensure Ease of Living for the people in the city and nearby areas.

Source: Prime Minister’s Office

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March 7, 2019

President of India presents Swachh Survekshan (Clean City Survey) Awards

Clean City India

Clean City Ghaziabad

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Clean City India

Photo: The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, presenting the Swachh Survekshan Awards 2019 at a function in New Delhi on March 06, 2019.

New Delhi, March 06, 2019 — The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, presented the Swachh Survekshan (Clean City Survey) Awards 2019, an initiative of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, at a function held in New Delhi on March 6, 2019.

The President said that India has made remarkable progress towards achieving the goals of rural and urban sanitation. Today, a city or village is identified by its emphasis on cleanliness. By winning the first prize in all the four surveys so far, Indore has set an example for other urban centers.

The President said that cleanliness should be integral to the behavior of every citizen to make it practical and sustainable. Many people pay attention to personal hygiene but remain apathetic to public and community cleanliness. Change in this mentality is essential for achieving the goals of Swachh Bharat. He urged educational institutions to include cleanliness in their curriculum and spread awareness about the importance of sanitation.

Swachh Survekshan (Clean City Survey) 2019 National Ranking

Top 25

  1. Indore
  2. Ambikapur
  3. Mysore
  4. Ujjain
  5. New Delhi (NDMC)
  6. Ahmedabad
  7. Navi Mumbai
  8. Tirupati
  9. Rajkot
  10. Dewas
  11. Bhilai Nagar
  12. Vijayawada
  13. Ghaziabad
  14. Surat
  15. Jamshedpur
  16. Kolhapur
  17. Khargone
  18. Nagda
  19. Bhopal
  20. Chandigarh
  21. Singrauli
  22. Gandhinagar
  23. GVMC Visakhapatnam
  24. Karnal
  25. Jabalpur

Source: Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, India

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March 6, 2019

India's Minister of Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, felicitates 'Web Wonder Women'

Web Wonder Women, India

ENLARGE

Photo: The Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, felicitated the winners of the ‘Web Wonder Women’ contest organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in New Delhi on March 06, 2019.

New Delhi, 06 March 2019 — The Ministry of Women and Child Development hosted a felicitation event for Web Wonder Women, a campaign organized to celebrate the exceptional achievements of women, who have been driving social reforms via social media. As many as 30 women, who were selected after an extensive research process, were honored by the Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, in New Delhi, today.

Organized in collaboration with Twitter India and Breakthrough India, the event aimed to recognize the courage of Indian women stalwarts from across the globe who have used the power of social media to run positive campaigns to steer a change in society.

“Women online, though niche, are a compelling voice. #WebWonderWomen was a campaign to recognize, honor and encourage such voices that have in their capacity driven a positive impact on social media platforms,” said Maneka Gandhi.

The WCD Minister, along with a panel of 10 judges, finalized the names of 30 women who have impacted and influenced society through social media. The women were selected from over 240 nominations received under the categories media, awareness, legal, health, governmental, food, environment, development, business and art.

WEB WONDER WOMEN AWARDEES

  1. Adhunika Prakash
  2. Afreen Siddiqui Sherwani
  3. Ankita Anand
  4. Archana KR
  5. Chavi Vohra
  6. Dr. Angela Chaudhuri
  7. Dr. Saundarya Rajesh
  8. Dr Anubhuti Yadav
  9. Dr. Debarati Halder
  10. Dr Laxmi Gautam
  11. Japleen Pasricha
  12. Madhulika Choudhary
  13. Nmami Agarwal
  14. Paromita Bardoloi
  15. Parul Mathur
  16. Sagina Walyat
  17. Dr Shruti Kapoor
  18. Shweta Pathak
  19. Smt. Sonal Goel
  20. Sonal Kapoor
  21. Srilekha Chakraborty
  22. Supreet K. Singh
  23. Vinita Deshmukh
  24. Ritu Maheshwari
  25. Kirthi Jayakumar
  26. Urvashi Sarkar
  27. Sohini Chattopadhyay
  28. Manu Khajuria
  29. Rishika Sharma
  30. Rakshita Dwivedi

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March 2, 2019

The University of California terminates subscriptions with the World’s Largest Scientific Publisher Elsevier: Pushes for Open Access to Publicly Funded Research

University of California

University of California

Photo: Sather Tower, University of California, Berkeley. Sather Tower is the third-tallest bell-and-clock-tower in the world. One can hear its 61-bell carillon many miles away. Image credit: Christian Ortiz.

UC Office of the President, Friday, March 01, 2019 — As a leader in the global movement toward open access to publicly funded research, the University of California (UC) is taking a firm stand by deciding not to renew its subscriptions with Elsevier. Despite months of contract negotiations, Elsevier was unwilling to meet UC’s fundamental goal: securing universal open access to UC research while containing the rapidly escalating costs associated with for-profit journals.

In negotiating with Elsevier, UC aimed to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery by ensuring that research produced by UC’s ten campuses — which accounts for nearly 10 percent of all U.S. publishing output — would be immediately available to the world, without cost to the reader. Under Elsevier’s proposed terms, the publisher would have charged UC authors large publishing fees on top of the university’s multi-million dollar subscription, resulting in a much greater cost to the university and much higher profits for Elsevier.

“Knowledge should not be accessible only to those who can pay,” said Robert May, chair of UC’s faculty Academic Senate. “The quest for full open access is essential if we are to uphold the mission of this university truly.” The Academic Senate issued a statement today endorsing UC’s position.

Open access publishing, which makes research freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world, fulfills UC’s mission by transmitting knowledge more broadly and facilitating discoveries that build on the university’s research and scholarly work.

“I fully support our faculty, staff, and students in breaking down paywalls that hinder the sharing of groundbreaking research,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “This issue does not just impact UC, but also countless scholars, researchers and scientists across the globe — and we stand with them in their push for full, unfettered access.”

Elsevier is the most significant scholarly publisher in the world, disseminating about 18 percent of journal articles produced by UC faculty. The transformative model that UC faculty and libraries are championing would make it easier and more affordable for UC authors to publish in an open access environment.

“Make no mistake: The prices of scientific journals now are so high that not a single university — not the University of California, not Harvard, no institution — can afford to subscribe to them all,” said Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, university librarian and economics professor at UC Berkeley, and co-chair of UC’s negotiation team. “Publishing our scholarship behind a paywall deprives people of the access to and benefits of publicly funded research. That is terrible for society.”

Elsevier was unwilling to meet UC’s reasonable contract terms, which would integrate subscription charges and open access publishing fees, making public access the default for an article by a UC scholar and stabilizing journal costs for the university.

“The university’s, and the world’s move toward open access has been a long time in the making. Many institutions and countries agree that the current system is both financially unsustainable and ill-suited to the needs of today’s global research enterprise,” said Ivy Anderson, associate executive director of UC’s California Digital Library and co-chair of UC’s negotiation team. “Open access will spur faster and better research — and greater global equity of access to new knowledge.”

Source: University of California

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February 28, 2019

India Textiles Minister launches Short Term Courses at NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology) Panchkula

Fashion Technology

Fashion Technology

Photo: India’s Minister for Textiles, Smriti Irani, launched short term courses at NIFT Panchkula via video link from New Delhi on February 28, 2019.

New Delhi / Panchkula, February 28, 2019 — India’s Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani, launched five short term courses at NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology) Panchkula, Haryana, through a video link from New Delhi today.

The NIFT Panchkula permanent campus building is under construction and is expected to be completed by June 2020. Till the completion of the permanent campus, the Institute will function from a temporary school in Polytechnic-cum-Multi Skill Training Centre in Sector 26 Panchkula. The school is being set up with the support of the Department of Technical Education, Government of Haryana.

The Textiles Minister, Smriti Zubin Irani, expressed the hope that the students joining the new campus will not only be able to learn technology but also understand the process of entrepreneurship. The Textile Minister thanked the Haryana Government for providing land and infrastructure support. The Minister also released the brochure of the courses offered at NIFT Panchkula.

The proposed one-year Certificate Programmes are:

  • Fashion Clothing & Technology
  • Design Development for Indian Ethnic Wear
  • Fashion & Media Communication
  • Textile for Interiors & Fashion
  • Fashion Knitwear Production and Technology

• Fashion Clothing & Technology

The programme is tailor-made for professionals from the areas of fashion, apparel design, construction, and technology. The curriculum has been designed to help the aspirants who would like to join the fashion industry.

• Design Development for Indian Ethnic Wear

The programme focuses on dressmaking, value addition, pattern making and surface techniques for Indian ethnic wear. It aims to develop entrepreneurial skills for seizing the golden business opportunity created by the booming bridal and groom wear market in the Chandigarh region.

India Fashion

• Fashion & Media Communication

The course aims at providing knowledge of the fashion industry, fashion editing, styling, fashion ethics, and computer-aided designing and animation techniques and will benefit the existing and upcoming business in the vicinity.

• Textile for Interiors & Fashion

The programme aims to train professionals and young enthusiasts to pursue careers in interiors and the apparel industry.

• Fashion Knitwear Production and Technology

The programme aims to impart intensive training to prepare professionals for the knitwear garment industry, especially in the area of knitwear fashion coordination, merchandising and production.

The Continuing Education Programme will enroll students of any age group. A pre-requisite of 10+2 years of schooling is mandatory. The students will be selected based on their performance in the entrance examination and interview conducted by NIFT. The total numbers of students proposed in each programme will be 30.

NIFT Panchkula would expose the students to experiential learning through laboratory and projects. It would also arrange visits to nearby industries to make the students more prepared to take up jobs locally.

National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) is a group of fashion colleges in India established in 1986 under the aegis of the Ministry of Textiles. It is an institution of design, management, and technology for the international fashion business.

With its main campus (headquarter and university head office) in New Delhi, NIFT currently has 16 colleges: NIFT Bangalore, NIFT Bhopal, NIFT Bhubaneswar, NIFT Chennai, NIFT Gandhinagar, NIFT Hyderabad, NIFT Jodhpur, NIFT Kangra, NIFT Kannur, NIFT Kolkata, NIFT Mumbai, NIFT Patna, NIFT Raebareli, NIFT Shillong, and NIFT Srinagar. The Ministry of Textiles is setting up the new 17th NIFT Campus at Panchkula, Haryana.

NIFT’s notable alumni include Nikita Anand, Manish Arora, Ritu Beri, Gulshan Devaiah, Shivaji Dutta, Shantanu Goenka, Prabal Gurung, Tanya Gyani, and Sabyasachi Mukherjee.

Source: Ministry of Textiles, India

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February 25, 2019

The Academy Awards: Oscars 2019 Winners

Oscars 2019

Photo: Ashley Graham arrives on the red carpet of The 91st Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Sunday, February 24, 2019. Image provided by & copyright © Kyusung Gong / Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Oscars 2019

Photo: Andrew Wyatt and Anthony Rossomando, Oscar nominees, arrive on the red carpet of The 91st Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Sunday, February 24, 2019. Image provided by & copyright © Kyusung Gong / Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Oscars 2019

Photo: Nina Hartstone and John Warhurst pose backstage with the Oscar for achievement in sound editing during the live ABC Telecast of The 91st Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Sunday, February 24, 2019. Image provided by & copyright © Mike Baker / Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Oscars 2019

Photo: Melissa Berton and Rayka Zehtabchi pose backstage with the Oscar for the best documentary short subject during the live ABC Telecast of The 91st Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Sunday, February 24, 2019. Image provided by & copyright © Nick Agro / Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Oscars 2019

Photo: Amy Adams, Oscar nominee, arrives on the red carpet of The 91st Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Sunday, February 24, 2019. Image provided by & copyright © Kyusung Gong / Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Oscars 2019

Photo: Olivia Colman poses backstage with the Oscar for performance by an actress in a leading role during the live ABC Telecast of The 91st Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Sunday, February 24, 2019. Image provided by & copyright © Mike Baker / Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Oscars 2019

Photo: Rami Malek poses backstage with the Oscar for performance by an actor in a leading role during the live ABC Telecast of The 91st Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Sunday, February 24, 2019. Image provided by & copyright © Mike Baker / Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Oscars 2019

Photo: Ruth Carter poses backstage with the Oscar for achievement in costume design during the live ABC Telecast of The 91st Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Sunday, February 24, 2019. Image provided by & copyright © Mike Baker / Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Oscars 2019

Photo: Sean McKittrick, Oscar nominee, and guest arrive on the red carpet of The 91st Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Sunday, February 24, 2019. Image provided by & copyright © Phil McCarten / Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The 91st Oscars were held on Sunday, February 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and were televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscars were also televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

WINNERS & NOMINEES

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

WINNER
RAMI MALEK
Bohemian Rhapsody

NOMINEES
CHRISTIAN BALE
Vice

BRADLEY COOPER
A Star Is Born

WILLEM DAFOE
At Eternity’s Gate

VIGGO MORTENSEN
Green Book

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

WINNER
MAHERSHALA ALI
Green Book

NOMINEES
ADAM DRIVER
BlacKkKlansman

SAM ELLIOTT
A Star Is Born

RICHARD E. GRANT
Can You Ever Forgive Me?

SAM ROCKWELL
Vice

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

WINNER
OLIVIA COLMAN
The Favourite

NOMINEES
YALITZA APARICIO
Roma

GLENN CLOSE
The Wife

LADY GAGA
A Star Is Born

MELISSA MCCARTHY
Can You Ever Forgive Me?

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

WINNER
REGINA KING
If Beale Street Could Talk

NOMINEES
AMY ADAMS
Vice

MARINA DE TAVIRA
Roma

EMMA STONE
The Favourite

RACHEL WEISZ
The Favourite

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

WINNER
SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE
Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, Phil Lord, and Christopher Miller

NOMINEES
INCREDIBLES 2
Brad Bird, John Walker, and Nicole Paradis Grindle

ISLE OF DOGS
Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson

MIRAI
Mamoru Hosoda and Yuichiro Saito

RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET
Rich Moore, Phil Johnston, and Clark Spencer

CINEMATOGRAPHY

WINNER
ROMA
Alfonso Cuarón

NOMINEES
COLD WAR
Łukasz Żal

THE FAVOURITE
Robbie Ryan

NEVER LOOK AWAY
Caleb Deschanel

A STAR IS BORN
Matthew Libatique

COSTUME DESIGN

WINNER
BLACK PANTHER
Ruth Carter

NOMINEES
THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS
Mary Zophres

THE FAVOURITE
Sandy Powell

MARY POPPINS RETURNS
Sandy Powell

MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS
Alexandra Byrne

DIRECTING

WINNER
ROMA
Alfonso Cuarón

NOMINEES
BLACKKKLANSMAN
Spike Lee

COLD WAR
Paweł Pawlikowski

THE FAVOURITE
Yorgos Lanthimos

VICE
Adam McKay

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)

WINNER
FREE SOLO
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Evan Hayes, and Shannon Dill

NOMINEES
HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING
RaMell Ross, Joslyn Barnes and Su Kim

MINDING THE GAP
Bing Liu and Diane Quon

OF FATHERS AND SONS
Talal Derki, Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme, and Tobias N. Siebert

RBG
Betsy West and Julie Cohen

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)

WINNER
PERIOD. END OF SENTENCE.
Rayka Zehtabchi and Melissa Berton

NOMINEES
BLACK SHEEP
Ed Perkins and Jonathan Chinn

END GAME
Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman

LIFEBOAT
Skye Fitzgerald and Bryn Mooser

A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN
Marshall Curry

FILM EDITING

WINNER
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
John Ottman

NOMINEES
BLACKKKLANSMAN
Barry Alexander Brown

THE FAVOURITE
Yorgos Mavropsaridis

GREEN BOOK
Patrick J. Don Vito

VICE
Hank Corwin

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

WINNER
ROMA
Mexico

NOMINEES
CAPERNAUM
Lebanon

COLD WAR
Poland

NEVER LOOK AWAY
Germany

SHOPLIFTERS
Japan

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

WINNER
VICE
Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia Dehaney

NOMINEES
BORDER
Göran Lundström and Pamela Goldammer

MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS
Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher and Jessica Brooks

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

WINNER
BLACK PANTHER
Ludwig Goransson

NOMINEES
BLACKKKLANSMAN
Terence Blanchard

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
Nicholas Britell

ISLE OF DOGS
Alexandre Desplat

MARY POPPINS RETURNS
Marc Shaiman

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

WINNER
SHALLOW
from A Star Is Born; Music and Lyric by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt

NOMINEES
ALL THE STARS
from Black Panther; Music by Kendrick Lamar, Mark “Sounwave” Spears and Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith; Lyric by Kendrick Lamar, SZA and Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith

I’LL FIGHT
from RBG; Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

THE PLACE WHERE LOST THINGS GO
from Mary Poppins Returns; Music by Marc Shaiman; Lyric by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman

WHEN A COWBOY TRADES HIS SPURS FOR WINGS
from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs; Music and Lyric by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings

BEST PICTURE

WINNER
GREEN BOOK
Jim Burke, Charles B. Wessler, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly, and Nick Vallelonga, Producers

NOMINEES
BLACK PANTHER
Kevin Feige, Producer

BLACKKKLANSMAN
Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Raymond Mansfield, Jordan Peele, and Spike Lee, Producers

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
Graham King, Producer

THE FAVOURITE
Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday and Yorgos Lanthimos, Producers

ROMA
Gabriela Rodríguez and Alfonso Cuarón, Producers

A STAR IS BORN
Bill Gerber, Bradley Cooper, and Lynette Howell Taylor, Producers

VICE
Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adam McKay, and Kevin Messick, Producers

PRODUCTION DESIGN

WINNER
BLACK PANTHER
Production Design: Hannah Beachler; Set Decoration: Jay Hart

NOMINEES
THE FAVOURITE
Production Design: Fiona Crombie; Set Decoration: Alice Felton

FIRST MAN
Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Kathy Lucas

MARY POPPINS RETURNS
Production Design: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim

ROMA
Production Design: Eugenio Caballero; Set Decoration: Bárbara Enríquez

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

WINNER
BAO
Domee Shi and Becky Neiman-Cobb

NOMINEES
ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR
Alison Snowden and David Fine

LATE AFTERNOON
Louise Bagnall and Nuria González Blanco

ONE SMALL STEP
Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas

WEEKENDS
Trevor Jimenez

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

WINNER
SKIN
Guy Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman

NOMINEES
DETAINMENT
Vincent Lambe and Darren Mahon

FAUVE
Jeremy Comte and Maria Gracia Turgeon

MARGUERITE
Marianne Farley and Marie-Hélène Panisset

MOTHER
Rodrigo Sorogoyen and María del Puy Alvarado

SOUND EDITING

WINNER
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone

NOMINEES
BLACK PANTHER
Benjamin A. Burtt and Steve Boeddeker

FIRST MAN
Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan

A QUIET PLACE
Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl

ROMA
Sergio Díaz and Skip Lievsay

SOUND MIXING

WINNER
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali

NOMINEES
BLACK PANTHER
Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor and Peter Devlin

FIRST MAN
Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Ai-Ling Lee and Mary H. Ellis

ROMA
Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan and José Antonio García

A STAR IS BORN
Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, Jason Ruder, and Steve Morrow

VISUAL EFFECTS

WINNER
FIRST MAN
Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles, and J.D. Schwalm

NOMINEES
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl, and Dan Sudick

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN
Christopher Lawrence, Michael Eames, Theo Jones, and Chris Corbould

READY PLAYER ONE
Roger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Matthew E. Butler, and David Shirk

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY
Rob Bredow, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Dominic Tuohy

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

WINNER
BLACKKKLANSMAN
Written by Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee

NOMINEES
THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS
Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
Screenplay by Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
Written for the screen by Barry Jenkins

A STAR IS BORN
Screenplay by Eric Roth and Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

WINNER
GREEN BOOK
Written by Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly

NOMINEES
THE FAVOURITE
Written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara

FIRST REFORMED
Written by Paul Schrader

ROMA
Written by Alfonso Cuarón

VICE
Written by Adam McKay

Source: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

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February 23, 2019

Oval Diamond to lead Sotheby's HK Sale of Magnificent Jewels

Oval Diamond

Oval Diamond

Hong Kong, 19 February 2019 - Prized by kings and queens for centuries and across civilizations, coveted by tycoons and moguls of the 20th century, rare large diamonds have become the ultimate collectibles for modern day connoisseurs. This spring, a spectacular 88.22-carat, D Colour, Flawless, Type Ila, brilliant oval diamond, perfect according to every critical criterion, will lead Sotheby’s Hong Kong Sale of Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite on 2 April 2019.

Describing the stone, David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman, International Jewellery Division, said: “For those who have had the chance to see the diamond, one adjective comes back: “breathtaking.” Barely any diamonds of this weight are known to possess the same exceptional qualities of purity and perfection as this remarkable stone which is so full of fire and blinding brilliance.”

Source: Sotheby’s

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February 21, 2019

Indian Educators visit the University of Michigan for Leadership Training

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan — About 30 Indian educators spent a week at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business as part of a new Leadership for Academicians program.

The LEAP program, launched by the India Ministry of Human Resource Development, provides a three-week training program for upcoming academic leaders. The collaboration between the University of Michigan Ross Business School and the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, is the first one in a series.

The educators, who come from 15 states across India, spent the first two weeks in India as part of the new executive education program. They attended the final week at University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus to cover areas critical for the development of academic leadership in India.

“Hearing how a higher education institution works in the U.S. has been eye-opening,” said Bhupendra Gandhi, a professor at IIT-Roorkee. “We are looking forward to adapting them in the Indian context.”

At the University of Michigan, the Indian educators participated in several workshops and lectures about best practices in academic governance, technology disruption, student engagement, and innovation in teaching techniques.

“We are pleased to be selected as a partner in this crucial leadership development program in higher education in India,” said M.S. Krishnan, associate dean for executive programs at the Ross School. “We look forward to collaborating and shaping the academic leadership across institutions in India.”

As part of the training, the participants met with several senior University of Michigan leaders, including President Mark Schlissel, Provost Martin Philbert, Ross School Dean Scott DeRue and Dean of the College of Engineering, Alec Gallimore.

“I teach C.K Prahalad’s work to my students,” said Lalitha Ramakrishnan, a professor at Pondicherry University. “To walk the halls where he once taught is awe-inspiring.”

India Ministry of Human Resource Development’s Leadership for Academicians Programme (LEAP) is a three weeks Flagship leadership development training programme (2 weeks domestic and one-week foreign training) for second level academic functionaries in publicly funded higher education institutions in India. The primary objective is to prepare second-tier academic heads who are potentially likely to assume leadership roles in the future. The programme would provide senior faculty, with high academic credentials, the necessary leadership and managerial skills including skills of problem-solving, handling stress, team building work, conflict management, developing communication skills, understanding and coping with the complexity and challenges of governance in higher education institutions, and financial & general administration.

In short, this Leadership Development Program aims to equip second level functionaries in Public Funded Institutions such as Deans, Heads of Departments, and Directors of Divisions/Schools with the leadership skills necessary for governance roles in higher education institutions.

Alumni Reception: The University of Michigan Alumni Association is organizing a gathering of its members and friends on 26 March 2019. Time: 7.00 P.M. Location: Qutub Hotel, New Delhi, India.

Sources: The University of Michigan and India Ministry of Human Resource Development

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February 20, 2019

India launches Operation Digital Board

India Universities

Photo: The Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar, addressing a press conference on Operation Digital Board, in New Delhi on February 20, 2019.

New Delhi, February 20, 12019 — The Minister of Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar, today launched Operation Digital Board (ODB) to leverage technology to boost quality education in the country.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, the Minister said that Operation Digital Board is a revolutionary step which will make the learning as well as the teaching process interactive.

Mr. Prakash Javadekar disclosed that the digital board would be introduced all over the country in government and government-aided schools from class 9th onwards as well as in higher education institutions. The process will begin from the coming session of 2019 itself, the Minister explained. He further said that ODB aims at converting a classroom into a digital class with the availability of e-resources at any time and any place to students. It will also help in Intelligent Tutoring by exploiting emerging technologies like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence & Data Analytics. An expert committee has worked out the optimum configuration of the Digital Class Rooms under ODB, he said.

The Union Minister explained that the biggest challenge facing the education sector in the country is maintaining acceptable quality standards across the country. Although we have a good number of premier institutions, which compete with the best in the world, a large number of higher education institutions and schools need improvement in quality teaching-learning, as the students coming out of these institutions find themselves unsuitable for the requirements of the society and the market.

Implementation of ODB in Higher Education Institutions

The University Grants Commission (UGC) will be the implementing agency for ODB in Higher Education Institutions. UGC has passed a resolution for extending digital education to every classroom in the country by 2022. UGC proposes to take up 300 universities and 10,000 colleges in the first phase, covering 2 lakh classrooms.

Source: Ministry of Human Resource Development, India

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February 19, 2019

Re-Inventing Delhi — Delhi Master Plan 2041

New Delhi

New Delhi

New Delhi

Photo: Le Meridien, Connaught Place, New Delhi. Image Credit: Maciej Janiec.

New Delhi

Photo: The Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, delivering the inaugural address at an International Conference on “Re-Inventing Delhi,” organized for preparation of “Master Plan of Delhi 2041,” in New Delhi on February 19, 2019.

New Delhi, February 19, 2019 — Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State of Housing and Urban Affairs, India, said that in the last few years a more holistic view of urban development has emerged. It focuses on replacing regulatory ‘control’ based environments with a more enabling ‘strategic’ planning framework, active citizen engagement, sustainable green growth principles, compact mixed-use planning of cities, and data-linked governance.

Mr. Puri was addressing a two-day International Conference on ‘Re-Inventing Delhi’ here today. He said the policies of the Government now focus on creating an environment that harnesses not just growth but ‘good growth.’

Mr. Puri said engagements in the preparation of the next planning blueprint for the city of Delhi would help in furthering a process of transformation that has already been initiated by the Government through several progressive policies and projects.

Mr, Puri pointed out that Delhi is symptomatic of the issues that plague metropolitan cities across India — unsustainable development, extreme traffic congestion, air pollution, the general degradation of the quality of urban space, and lack of adequate essential services like water supply.

He said the government policy is expected to create a large number of housing units that will cater to Delhi’s unmet housing demand in addition to becoming centers for new institutions, city level green spaces, commercial areas, cultural centers, and entertainment areas for citizens.

Mr. Puri stated that the government is incorporating conservation and judicious use of resources such as water as an integral part of all its new policies and projects. “This is not just a response to water scarcity in Delhi but symbolic of the original ethos of sustainable and environmentally responsible development we are teaching in the city,” he said.

Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Durga Shanker Mishra, in his address highlighted the importance of ensuring a quality life for the citizens in any future planning. He said the Master Plan for Delhi 2041 must take into account the need for public spaces, a cleaner environment, water and biodiversity conservation, slum re-development, safety, and maximizing the potential of Delhi heritage and history. Mr. Mishra emphasized on the need to de-congest the city.

Lt. Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal, said Delhi Master Plan 2041 must take into account sustainable environment, citizen engagement in planning at local level, universal accessibility, zero waste mechanism, efficient energy use, and constant monitoring and review.

Source: Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, India

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February 16, 2019

International Press Institute welcomes new Czech National Committee to the global network

 International Press Institute

 International Press Institute

 International Press Institute

Photo: Walking to the office building. Prague, Czech Republic. Image Credit: Black Tea.

Vienna, Austria, February 15, 2019 — The International Press Institute (IPI), the global network of editors, media executives, and journalists, has welcomed the IPI Czech National Committee into its fold.

Amid the growing threat to independent journalism in Central Europe, the newly formed Czech National Committee aims to defend press freedom and safety of journalists and support independent media in the country.

The Committee’s founding members are Robert Břešťan, Robert Čásenský, Michal Klíma, Veronika Sedláčková, and the institutional member Nadační fond nezávislé žurnalistiky (Endowment for Independent Journalism). Klima, a noted Czech journalist, and senior media manager was elected as the Committee’s first chairperson.

“It is vital that we operate as a representative organization that derives its authority based on national media personalities as well as international prestige,” Klíma explained. “We want to defend freedom of the press, and we will comment on situations when this freedom is restricted or violated.”

IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi added: “The founding of the Czech National Committee comes at a critical moment for press freedom and independent journalism in the Czech Republic and Central Europe more broadly, as political and business interests increasingly seek to silence, control or manipulate the news. We look forward to working closely with our members in the Czech Republic to defend quality, independent journalism and the free flow of news and information.”

The IPI Executive Board had approved the formation of the Czech National Committee at a Board meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia, in November 2018.

• INDIA

In India, IPI India National Committee represents the International Press Institute (IPI).

IPI India instituted an annual award in 2003 to recognize and honor the best work by an Indian media organization done in furtherance of the public interest.

International Press Institute, Indian Express

The first IPI India award was given to The Indian Express for its reporting on riots in Gujarat in 2002 and their aftermath.

International Press Institute, Tribune

The International Press Institute’s Indian National Committee had named Chandigarh based, English language newspaper, The Tribune as the 2012 recipient of its prestigious IPI India Award for Excellence in Journalism.

IPI India had noted the newspaper’s “outstanding journalistic work during 2011,” specifically “on the looting of Punjab’s public transport by powerful politicians and bureaucrats, leading to a huge burden on the people of Punjab.”

A distinguished jury of editors and publishers chose The Tribune from a list of nominations forwarded to IPI India and commended the newspaper’s investigation, published in five parts, as an example of “crusading journalism in the cause of larger public interest.”

Former chief justice of India, Dr. A.S. Anand, headed the jury, which included Mr. N. Ravi, chairman of IPI India and director of The Hindu; Mr. M.K. Razdan, editor-in-chief of the Press Trust of India (PTI); Mr. T.N. Ninan, chairman and chief editor of the Business Standard; and Mr. Riyad Mathew, senior assistant editor of Malayala Manorama, publishers of The Week.

Source: International Press Institute, Vienna, Austria

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