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April 30, 2021

World Intellectual Property Day 2021 - "IP and SMEs: Taking Your Ideas to Market"

World Intellectual Property

Geneva, April 29, 2021 — Small and medium-sized enterprises take center stage at this year’s celebration of World Intellectual Property Day. WIPO Director General Daren Tang described them as the “unsung heroes” of the global economy and an engine for growth in a post-pandemic world.

In a video message celebrating World IP Day, which occurs each April 26, Mr. Tang said that SMEs account for 90% of all companies worldwide and 70% of global employment. That’s why World IP Day 2021 is carrying the theme “IP and SMEs: Taking your ideas to market.”

“SMEs are the engines, the unsung heroes of our economy. And yet for many of them, there is still a lack of knowledge about how IP can help them translate their ideas into products, and how IP can be a powerful tool for them not just to survive, but also to compete and grow,” he said.

“SMEs face different challenges in different parts of the world, and how we help them will need to be customized to the needs of your part of the world. But it will be a powerful message for us to send the signal that together we will be supporting them,” said Mr. Tang.

Mr. Tang, who took office as WIPO’s Director-General in October 2020, has made supporting smaller enterprises a priority. In one of his first actions as Director-General, he established the “IP and Innovation Ecosystems Sector” as one of the Organization’s eight sectors, with a remit to support SMEs, entrepreneurs, and researchers in commercializing IP and using it for business growth.

“Whatever help we can render to our SMEs will help that we render to the bedrock of your economy and the backbone of the global economy. Ultimately, it will help our world to build back better,” after the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

WIPO is coordinating a global campaign to highlight the importance of intangible assets to SMEs and the value of IP in supporting SMEs to grow. The Organization has published a series of case studies worldwide telling stories of SMEs that are using IP rights to turn ideas into business opportunities and generate value. WIPO has also provided a wealth of practical information on the best ways for SMEs to protect their intangible assets.

In 2000, WIPO’s member states designated April 26 - the day on which the WIPO Convention came into force in 1970 - as World Intellectual Property Day to increase general understanding of intellectual property (IP). Since then, World IP Day has offered a unique opportunity each year to join with others worldwide to consider how IP contributes to the flourishing of music and the arts and to driving the technological innovation that helps shape our world.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information, and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 193 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society’s evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it offers free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.

Source: WIPO, Geneva


(The Editor is an Alumnus of the World Intellectual Property Organization Academy (WIPO Academy), Geneva, Switzerland.) StumbleUpon reddit Facebook Google Plus Tweet This Seed This on Newsvine

Edited & Posted by the Editor | 2:49 PM | View the original post

April 29, 2021

Carnegie Corporation of New York Announces 26 Andrew Carnegie Fellows.

$5.2 million in philanthropic support for significant scholarly research in the social sciences and humanities

Carnegie Corporation of New York

Carnegie Corporation of New York

Carnegie Corporation of New York

Carnegie Corporation of New York

Carnegie Corporation of New York

Carnegie Corporation of New York

New York, NY, April 28, 2021 — To apply scholarly perspectives to some of society’s most important issues, Carnegie Corporation of New York today announced the 2021 class of Andrew Carnegie Fellows. The philanthropic foundation will grant each fellow $200,000 to fund significant research and writing in the social sciences and humanities that address critical and enduring issues confronting our society.

The Corporation launched the Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program in 2015 as an initiative conceived by the late Vartan Gregorian, who was president of the foundation since 1997. Gregorian, a former professor of history and past president of Brown University, aimed to advance and elevate the fellows’ work to reinforce the importance of the social sciences and humanities in academia and American life.

The most generous stipend of its kind, the Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program has funded a total of 216 scholars, journalists, and authors, representing an investment of $43.2 million. It focuses on subjects such as U.S. democracy, the environment, technological and cultural evolution, and international relations. The criteria prioritize the originality and promise of the research, its potential impact on the field, and the scholar’s plans for communicating the findings to a broad audience.

Among this year’s winning research topics:

Georgetown’s DeGioia, who has been a member of the jury since the start of the program, replaced the founding chair, Susan Hockfield, professor of neuroscience and president emerita of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition, Alondra Nelson, president of the Social Science Research Council, stepped down after three years of service on the fellows’ jury when she joined the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as deputy director for science and society. Today, the jury comprises 14 distinguished scholars and academic and intellectual leaders from some of the USA’s most prominent educational institutions, foundations, and scholarly societies.

Carnegie Corporation selected this year’s class of 26 fellows from 311 nominations. The group comprises 18 women and eight men. The program seeks to include emerging and established scholars from across the country and represents public institutions of higher education and private colleges or universities.

As part of the nomination process, 700 individuals — including heads of independent research institutes, societies, and think tanks; university presidents; directors of major university presses; and editors of leading newspapers and magazines — were invited to recommend up to two individuals. All proposals undergo a preliminary, anonymous evaluation by leading authorities in the relevant fields. The top recommendations are then forwarded to the jury for a final review and selection.

The award is for up to two years, and its expected result is a book or major study.

• Class of 2021

• Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program Jurors

Carnegie Corporation of New York was established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered to be of paramount importance: education, international peace, and a strong democracy.

Source: Carnegie Corporation of New York

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April 28, 2021

International Leadership Association Announces Its 2021-2022 Fellows

International Leadership Association

International Leadership Association

Photo: Responsive and Responsible Leadership. Brian T. Moynihan, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Bank of America Corporation, USA, speaking during the session: Responsive and Responsible Leadership at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 20, 2017. Image provided by & Copyright © World Economic Forum / Greg Beadle. [File Photo]

SILVER SPRING, Md., April 27, 2021 — The International Leadership Association (ILA) work is made possible by the power of its members’ curiosity, creativity, and desire to make an impact. Each year, it recognizes a select group of expert members who desire to give back to the field of leadership as ILA Fellows.

Fellows engage with ILA’s mission across sectors and disciplines to do worthy work at the intersection of leadership research and practice. They contribute to special initiatives that help drive the ILA’s mission to advance leadership knowledge and practice for a better world.

This year’s Fellows include the new Fellow roles of Executive in Residence and Scholar in Residence

ILA Executive in Residence

ILA Scholar in Residence

ILA Fellows

ILA’s 2021-2022 Fellows include thought leaders from around the world. Together they will share their knowledge and expertise, explore today’s challenges in dialogue with other leaders, and apply their practical wisdom to inform and inspire. They are:

Maureen Metcalf, returning for another term as an ILA Fellow, will continue her partnership with ILA to produce a series of 12+ podcasts on global leadership, part of her weekly Innovating Leadership show. The ILA adds another podcaster to its Fellows group with Scott Allen, the host of Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leadership. Scott will work with ILA to produce weekly episodes of Phronesis under the banner of “ILA’s official podcast.” Scott shared his excitement for the partnership, writing: “ILA has played a central role in my growth and development as a leadership educator and scholar. I have moderated the listserv, chaired a member community, and served on the board. As an ILA Fellow, I’ll have the opportunity to engage in a new and exciting way! I am thrilled to partner with ILA to bring inspirational and thought-provoking content to people all over the globe.”

ILA Fellows, Keith Grint, Stella Nkomo, Erwin Schwella, and Katherine Tyler Scott will share their insights via blogs looking at the challenges of today through a leadership lens. Grint, Schwella, and Tyler Scott are experienced bloggers, having contributed several pieces to ILA’s blog in 2020 including, “Leadership in Times of Crisis,” “The Fire Next Time,” and “The Global Pandemic: A Trigger for Deeply Systemic Disruptive Social Innovation? Or an Inevitable Global Apocalypse?” Echoing other fellows, Katherine affirmed that “ILA has been instrumental in my professional development, leadership, and service as a scholar-practitioner. I have been privileged to serve as Chair of Leadership Development, Conference Weaver, Vice-Chair and Chair of the ILA Board.” She added, “The honor of being selected as an ILA Fellow is another opportunity to contribute to this special community of learners.”

“We are thrilled to be working with this year’s group of outstanding Fellows,” noted Cynthia Cherrey, CEO & President of the ILA. “Their commitment to ILA and contributions to the field of leadership are unparalleled and will be appreciated for years to come.”

The International Leadership Association is a worldwide professional association committed to advancing leadership knowledge and practice for a better world. It accomplishes its mission by creating trusted leadership resources. The synergy that occurs by bringing people together in the charged space of its conferences and events produces a multiplier impact on leadership and change. For more than twenty years, the ILA has convened extraordinary talent across sectors, cultures, disciplines, and generations.

Source: International Leadership Association


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April 26, 2021

Oscars 2021: 93rd Academy Awards Winners List

Oscars 2021

Oscars 2021

Photo: Oscar nominee Garrett Bradley arrives on the red carpet of The 93rd Oscars at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA, on Sunday, April 25, 2021. Image provided by & Copyright © Matt Petit / A.M.P.A.S.

Oscars 2021

Photo: On behalf of Denmark, Thomas Vinterberg poses backstage with the Oscar for International Feature Film during the live A.B.C. Telecast of The 93rd Oscars at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA, on Sunday, April 25, 2021. Image provided by & Copyright © Matt Petit / A.M.P.A.S.

Oscars 2021

Photo: James Reed, Pippa Erlich (L), and Marlee Matlin pose backstage with the Oscar for Documentary Feature during the live A.B.C. Telecast of The 93rd Oscars at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA, on Sunday, April 25, 2021. Image provided by & Copyright © Matt Petit / A.M.P.A.S.

Oscars 2021

Photo: Chloé Zhao poses backstage with the Oscar for Directing during the live A.B.C. Telecast of The 93rd Oscars at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA, on Sunday, April 25, 2021. Image provided by & Copyright © Matt Petit / A.M.P.A.S.

Oscars 2021

Photo: Oscar nominee Will Berson and guest arrive on the red carpet of The 93rd Oscars at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA, on Sunday, April 25, 2021. Image provided by & Copyright © Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

LOS ANGELES, CA - The 93rd Oscars were held on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Union Station Los Angeles and the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood. The event was televised live on A.B.C. The Oscars were also televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

Nomadland won big at the Oscars as it won the Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress awards. Anthony Hopkins won the Best Actor for The Father. David Fincher’s Mank, which led the way with ten nominations, took home awards for cinematography and production design.


• Performance by an actor in a leading role

• Performance by an actor in a supporting role

• Performance by an actress in a leading role

• Performance by an actress in a supporting role

• The best animated feature film of the year

• Achievement in cinematography

• Achievement in costume design

• Achievement in directing

• Best documentary feature

• Best documentary short subject

• Achievement in film editing

• The best international feature film of the year

• Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

• Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

• Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

• Best motion picture of the year

• Achievement in production design

• Best animated short film

• Best live-action short film

• Achievement in sound

• Achievement in visual effects

• Adapted screenplay

• Original screenplay

Source: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

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April 25, 2021

U.S. National Security Advisor speaks with his Indian counterpart on the current COVID-19 situation in India.

White House

Photo: Magnolia tree blooms are seen Friday, March 26, 2021, in the Rose Garden of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz).

• Statement by NSC Spokesperson Emily Horne on National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s Call with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval of India.

Source: The White House Briefing Room

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April 24, 2021

Johnson & Johnson Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccinations to Resume in the U.S. for All Adults Aged 18 and Older Following CDC and FDA Decision.

Johnson & Johnson

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., April 23, 2021 — Johnson & Johnson has announced that vaccinations with the Company’s COVID-19 single-shot vaccine would resume for all adults aged 18 years and older in the U.S. under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). It follows a decision from the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The decision was based on a recommendation from the U.S. CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). ACIP had followed a rigorous evaluation of data relating to an infrequent adverse event involving blood clots combined with low platelet counts (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia) observed within approximately one to two weeks following vaccination.

“As the global pandemic continues to devastate communities around the world, we believe a single-shot, easily transportable COVID-19 vaccine with demonstrated protection against multiple variants can help protect the health and safety of people everywhere. We will collaborate with health authorities around the world to educate healthcare professionals and the public to ensure this infrequent event can be identified early and treated effectively,” said Paul Stoffels, Chief Scientific Officer of Johnson & Johnson.

Johnson & Johnson has updated the EUA Fact Sheets for Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine (Vaccination Providers) and Recipients and Caregivers for the Company’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The Company said it continues to work with other healthcare authorities and regulators worldwide to ensure that the product labels for the Company’s COVID-19 vaccine include this information. On April 20, the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) also issued a recommendation, confirming the overall benefit-risk profile of the Company’s COVID-19 vaccine remains positive.

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine, developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, received EUA from the FDA on February 27, 2021, to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 18 years of age and older.

This decision was based in part on the totality of scientific evidence, including data from the Phase 3 ENSEMBLE study. The study had demonstrated that the vaccine was 66.1 percent effective in preventing moderate to severe/acute disease and 85 percent effective in preventing severe/critical illness across all regions studied, 28 days post-vaccination.

The terms of the EUA allow the use of the vaccine while more data are gathered. The Company plans to file for a Biologics License Application (BLA) with the FDA later in 2021.

On April 21, 2021, Johnson & Johnson announced primary data from the Phase 3 ENSEMBLE clinical trial in the New England Journal of Medicine. The preliminary analysis of the Company’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine follows the topline efficacy and safety data announced in January, showing the trial met all primary and critical secondary endpoints and prevented COVID-19 related hospitalization across all study participants 28 days after vaccination. The data also show the vaccine to be consistently effective against symptomatic infection, including in South Africa and Brazil, where there was a high prevalence of rapidly emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.



Tell the vaccination provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

Source: Johnson & Johnson

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April 23, 2021

Honoring Excellence, Electing New Members: Announcement from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

American Academy of Arts & Sciences

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 22, 2021 — The American Academy of Arts & Sciences announced today the election of 252 new members.

The Academy was established in 1780 by the country’s founders to guide a young nation that would face challenges and need expertise and excellence to emerge stronger. While the founders did not anticipate a year with a historic pandemic, overdue racial reckoning, and political strife, the purpose of electing new members is more compelling than ever, the Academy stated.

The 2021 election provides an opportunity to recognize extraordinary people across America and worldwide who help solve the world’s most urgent challenges, create meaning through art, and contribute to the common good from every field, discipline, and profession.

“We are honoring the excellence of these individuals, celebrating what they have achieved so far, and imagining what they will continue to accomplish,” said David Oxtoby, President of the American Academy. “The past year has been replete with evidence of how things can get worse; this is an opportunity to illuminate the importance of art, ideas, knowledge, and leadership that can make a better world.”

The artists, scholars, scientists, and leaders in the public, non-profit, and private sectors elected this year include:

The International Honorary Members, from 17 countries this year, include physician and researcher Peter Carmeliet (KU Leuven, Belgium), writer Duong Thu Huong (Vietnam), and botanist Lúcia Garcez Lohmann (University of São Paulo, Brazil).

“While it is noteworthy that we continue to elect members more than 240 years after the Academy’s founding, this is about more than maintaining traditions,” said Nancy C. Andrews, Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Academy. “We recognize individuals who use their talents and their influence to confront today’s challenges, to lift our spirits through the arts, and to help shape our collective future.”

John Adams, John Hancock, and others founded the Academy. They believed the new republic should honor exceptionally accomplished individuals and engage them in advancing the public good. The Academy’s dual mission remains essentially the same today, with members from increasingly diverse fields working together to share ideas and recommendations in the arts, democracy, education, global affairs, and science.

The new class joins Academy members elected before them, including Benjamin Franklin (elected 1781) and Alexander Hamilton (1791) in the eighteenth century; Ralph Waldo Emerson (1864), Maria Mitchell (1848), and Charles Darwin (1874) in the nineteenth; Albert Einstein (1924), Robert Frost (1931), Margaret Mead (1948), Milton Friedman (1959), Martin Luther King, Jr. (1966), and Anthony Fauci (1991) in the twentieth; and more recently Antonin Scalia (2003), Andrea Ghez (2004), Bryan Stevenson (2014), Nicholas Kristof (2017), John Legend (2017), Viet Thanh Nguyen (2018), and Anna Deavere Smith (2019).

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing the nation and the world. Current Academy research focuses on higher education, the humanities, and the arts; science and technology policy; global security and energy; and American institutions and the public good. The Academy’s work is advanced by its more than 5,000 elected members, who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs from around the world.

Source: American Academy of Arts & Sciences

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April 22, 2021

UNESCO, Herbie Hancock, and a cast of Jazz greats to mark the 10th Anniversary of International Jazz Day on April 30.

Jazz Day 2021, UNESCO

Photos: Jazz Day Posters from different countries.

Paris, France, April 22, 2021 — UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock have announced the program for the 10th-anniversary edition of International Jazz Day, with an inspiring series of performances and educational and community outreach initiatives in more than 190 countries.

Hosted by multi-Academy Award-winning actor Michael Douglas, the 2021 All-Star Global Concert will be streamed live from UNESCO in Paris and the United Nations in New York with a lineup of some of the best international artists performing from cities around the world. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres will speak during the concert. Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock will be the concert’s artistic director, while John Beasley will serve as the concert’s musical director.

“UNESCO created International Jazz Day to share the values of a significant musical genre. Today we need Jazz more than ever. We need its values based on human dignity and the fight against racism and all forms of oppression. It is so much more than music. Jazz is the kind of bridge-builder we need in the world today,” said Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, in her message.

“Our International Jazz Day community has displayed incredible resilience, creativity, ingenuity, and compassion throughout the immense challenges of the past year. While the global pandemic continues to make life difficult for so many around the world, the example of organizers from Nepal to Mexico to Cameroon inspires us to greet this historic 10th-anniversary milestone with joy, courage, and hope for the future of Jazz,” Herbie Hancock stated.

The All-Star Global Concert will mark the culmination of International Jazz Day 2021, starting at 9 pm UTC in New York, with performances by:

In Los Angeles, Herbie Hancock will be joined by:

Leading musicians performing from their home countries will be Igor Butman in Moscow (Russia), Ivan Lins in Rio De Janeiro (Brazil), John McLaughlin in Monaco, James Morrison in Mt. Gambier (Australia), Junko Onishi in Tokyo (Japan), and Jacob Collier in London (United Kingdom) and more.

In parallel, an array of virtual and socially distanced activities will occur across the globe on April 30 and in the days leading up to International Jazz Day. Independent artists, UNESCO Creative Cities of Music, and organizers worldwide have curated thousands of concerts, webinars, radio broadcasts, charity fundraisers, marathon jam sessions, educational workshops, art exhibitions, and more adhering to recommended public health guidelines.

YouTube, Facebook,, U.N. Web T.V., UNESCO, and U.S. State Department outlets would webcast the April 30 program live.

UNESCO established international Jazz Day in 2011 at the initiative of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock. The United Nations General Assembly recognizes it. The day brings together countries and communities worldwide every April 30 to celebrate the international art form of Jazz. Jazz Day highlights Jazz’s essential role in encouraging dialogue, combating discrimination, and promoting human dignity. The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz is UNESCO’s partner in the organization and promotion of International Jazz Day.

Source: UNESCO

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April 21, 2021

Princeton Review releases its Best Value Colleges List & Rankings for 2021.

Princeton Review

Princeton Review

Photo: The Best 386 Colleges: 2021 Edition - The Princeton Review’s 29th Annual “Best Colleges” Guide (August 18, 2020, Penguin Random House).

NEW YORK, April 20, 2021 — The Princeton Review today reported its list of Best Value Colleges for 2021. This project, which the education services company debuted in 2004, annually names the colleges that receive the company’s highest ROI (Return on Investment) ratings.

The ratings are based on analyses that review more than 40 data points. They cover academic offerings, cost/financial aid, career placement services, graduation rates, and student debt, as well as alumni salary levels and job satisfaction.

The Best Value Colleges for 2021 received The Princeton Review’s highest ROI (Return on Investment) ratings.

Of more than 650 schools The Princeton Review surveyed for this year’s project, 209 made the overall Best Value Colleges list for 2021. The list, which is not ranked, includes nine tuition-free schools.

For this project, The Princeton Review also reports seven sub-categories of Best Value Colleges lists. These lists, which are ranked, reveal the top public and the top private schools for each category.

The University of California—Berkeley earned the #1 spot on Top 50 Public Best Value Colleges. Princeton University was #1 on the list of Top 50 Private Best Value Colleges. Both schools are standouts for their stellar academics, career services, and financial aid. The average scholarship grant the University of California—Berkeley awarded to undergrads with need last year was $23,700, bringing the cost of attendance for those students down to $7,700 from the sticker price $31,400. The average grant Princeton University awarded to undergrads with need last year was $53,500, reducing their cost of attendance to $12,300 from the sticker price of $65,800.

“The colleges that we designate as our ‘Best Values’ this year are truly a select group: they comprise only about 1.2% of the four-year undergraduate institutions in the U.S.,” said Rob Franek, editor-in-chief of The Princeton Review. “These exceptional schools differ in many ways, yet they are alike in that all offer outstanding academics and excellent career services. As important to today’s college applicants and their parents: These colleges have a comparatively low sticker price and generous financial aid offerings. We recommend and commend them highly for everything their administrators, faculties, staff, and alumni are doing to educate their students and to guide them to post-college success.”

• Top 50 Best Value Colleges (Public Schools)

  1. University of California—Berkeley — Berkeley, CA
  2. University of Virginia — Charlottesville, VA
  3. Georgia Institute of Technology — Atlanta, GA
  4. University of California—San Diego — La Jolla, CA
  5. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — Chapel Hill, NC
  6. University of California—Los Angeles — Los Angeles, CA
  7. University of California—Santa Barbara — Santa Barbara, CA
  8. University of Michigan—Ann Arbor — Ann Arbor, MI
  9. The University of Texas at Austin — Austin, TX
  10. University of Florida — Gainesville, FL
  11. Florida State University — Tallahassee, FL
  12. William & Mary — Williamsburg, VA
  13. North Carolina State University — Raleigh, NC
  14. Texas A&M University—College Station — College Station, TX
  15. City University of New York—Baruch College — New York, NY
  16. University of California—Davis — Davis, CA
  17. Purdue University, West-Lafayette — West Lafayette, IN
  18. University of Washington — Seattle, WA
  19. State University of New York - Binghamton University — Binghamton, NY
  20. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign — Champaign, IL
  21. Missouri University of Science and Technology — Rolla, MO
  22. State University of New York - Stony Brook University — Stony Brook, NY
  23. Virginia Tech — Blacksburg, VA
  24. University of Wisconsin-Madison — Madison, WI
  25. University of California—Riverside — Riverside, CA
  26. University of Georgia — Athens, GA
  27. New College of Florida — Sarasota, FL
  28. University of California—Santa Cruz — Santa Cruz, CA
  29. Truman State University — Kirksville, MO
  30. Michigan Technological University — Houghton, MI
  31. University of Minnesota—Twin Cities — Minneapolis, MN
  32. Clemson University — Clemson, SC
  33. The Ohio State University, Columbus — Columbus, OH
  34. City University of New York—Hunter College — New York, NY
  35. City University of New York—Brooklyn College — Brooklyn, NY
  36. The University of Utah — Salt Lake City, UT
  37. Miami University. — Oxford, OH
  38. San Diego State University — San Diego, CA
  39. New Jersey Institute of Technology — Newark, NJ
  40. The University of Texas at Dallas — Richardson, TX
  41. The University of South Florida — Tampa, FL
  42. University of Massachusetts-Amherst — Amherst, MA
  43. California State University, Long Beach — Long Beach, CA
  44. University of Houston — Houston, TX
  45. Penn State University Park — University Park, PA
  46. University of Central Florida — Orlando, FL
  47. The College of New Jersey — Ewing, NJ
  48. University of Connecticut — Storrs, CT
  49. University of Colorado—Boulder — Boulder, CO
  50. University of Oklahoma — Norman, OK

• Top 50 Best Value Colleges (Private Schools)

  1. Princeton University — Princeton, NJ
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology — Cambridge, MA
  3. Stanford University — Stanford, CA
  4. California Institute of Technology — Pasadena, CA
  5. Harvey Mudd College — Claremont, CA
  6. Harvard College — Cambridge, MA
  7. Yale University — New Haven, CT
  8. Williams College — Williamstown, MA
  9. Dartmouth College — Hanover, NH
  10. Rice University — Houston, TX
  11. The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art — New York, NY
  12. Duke University — Durham, NC
  13. Vanderbilt University — Nashville, TN
  14. Claremont McKenna College — Claremont, CA
  15. Pomona College — Claremont, CA
  16. Columbia University — New York, NY
  17. Amherst College — Amherst, MA
  18. University of Pennsylvania — Philadelphia, PA
  19. Brown University — Providence, RI
  20. Haverford College — Haverford, PA
  21. Cornell University — Ithaca, NY
  22. Swarthmore College — Swarthmore, PA
  23. Brigham Young University (U.T.) — Provo, UT
  24. Bowdoin College — Brunswick, ME
  25. The University of Chicago — Chicago, IL
  26. Carleton College — Northfield, MN
  27. Johns Hopkins University — Baltimore, MD
  28. Wabash College — Crawfordsville, IN
  29. St. John’s College (M.D.) — Annapolis, MD
  30. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology — Terre Haute, IN
  31. Colgate University — Hamilton, NY
  32. Carnegie Mellon University — Pittsburgh, PA
  33. Emory University — Atlanta, GA
  34. Lehigh University — Bethlehem, PA
  35. Middlebury College — Middlebury, VT
  36. Wellesley College — Wellesley, MA
  37. Worcester Polytechnic Institute — Worcester, MA
  38. Grinnell College — Grinnell, IA
  39. Washington University in St. Louis — St. Louis, MO
  40. University of Notre Dame — Notre Dame, IN
  41. Hamilton College — Clinton, NY
  42. Vassar College — Poughkeepsie, NY
  43. Lafayette College — Easton, PA
  44. Union College (N.Y.) — Schenectady, NY
  45. Babson College — Babson Park, MA
  46. Wesleyan University — Middletown, CT
  47. Rhodes College — Memphis, TN
  48. Smith College — Northampton, MA
  49. Case Western Reserve University — Cleveland, OH
  50. Tufts University — Medford, MA

The Princeton Review is a leading tutoring, test prep, and college admission services company. It helps college and graduate-school-bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in-person courses every year. A network delivers these courses of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors, online resources, and 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House. The Princeton Review further explains that its brand is the largest online tutoring service in the U.S. It comprises a community of tutors who have delivered more than 20 million one-to-one tutoring sessions. The Princeton Review (not affiliated with Princeton University) has its headquarters in New York, NY.

Source: The Princeton Review

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April 19, 2021

Oxford University launches Human Challenge Trial to study immune response to COVID-19.

Oxford University

Oxford, April 19, 2021 — Though the COVID-19 pandemic has been active for a year, it is unknown what happens when people who have already had COVID-19 get infected for a second time.

Researchers at the University of Oxford have launched a human challenge trial to look at what kind of immune response can stop people from becoming re-infected. They also want to see how the immune system reacts the second time around. A human challenge trial in medical research is a carefully controlled study that involves purposefully infecting a subject with a pathogen or bug to study the effects of that infection.

The study will take place in two phases with different participants in each stage. The first phase, which will start in April 2021, will establish the lowest dose of virus in approximately 50% of previously naturally infected people and can take hold and start replicating but produce little or no symptoms. In the second phase of the study, expected to begin in summer 2021, all participants will be infected with the standardized dose of the virus, which was established in phase one.

For phase one, up to 64 healthy participants between the ages of 18 - 30 who previously got naturally infected with COVID-19 will be re-exposed to the virus in carefully controlled conditions. The virus used in the study will be the original strain from Wuhan, China. The participants will be quarantined in a specially designed hospital suite for a minimum of 17 days under the care of the research team. They will undergo numerous medical tests, including CT scans of the lungs and MRI scans of the heart. The team would minimize the risks to participants by ensuring that those who take part are completely fit and well and have completely recovered from their first infection with COVID.

Any participants who develop any symptoms will receive medical treatment with the Regeneron monoclonal antibody. They will only be discharged from the quarantine unit when they are no longer infected and not at risk of infecting others. The entire length of the study will be 12 months, including a minimum of eight follow-up appointments after discharge. Participation in the survey is entirely voluntary.

Helen McShane, Professor of Vaccinology at the Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford and Chief Investigator on the study, said, ‘Challenge studies tell us things that other tasks cannot because, unlike natural infection, they are tightly controlled. When we re-infect these participants, we will know precisely how their immune system has reacted to the first COVID infection, exactly when the second infection occurs, and exactly how much virus they got. As well as enhancing our basic understanding, this may help us design tests that can accurately predict whether people are protected.

‘In phase two, we will explore two different things. First, we will define the baseline immune response in the volunteers very carefully before we infect them. We will then infect them with the dose of virus chosen from the first study and measure how much virus we can detect after infection. We will then be able to understand what kind of immune responses protect against re-infection. Second, we will measure the immune response at several time points after infection to understand the virus’s immune response.

‘A challenge study allows us to make these measurements very precisely because we know exactly when someone is infected. The information from this work will allow us to design better vaccines and treatments and understand if people are protected after having COVID and for how long.’

Wellcome Trust is funding the study. Shobana Balasingam, Vaccines Senior Research Advisor at Wellcome, said, ‘There are still many unknowns surrounding this virus and human infections studies can enable us to learn a lot about Covid-19. This study has the potential to transform our understanding by providing high-quality data on how our immune system responds to a second infection with this virus.

‘The findings could have important implications for how we handle Covid-19 in the future and inform not just vaccine development but also research into the range of effective treatments that are also urgently needed. Keeping up the pace of scientific research and development, through crucial studies such as this, remain the only way we will truly get ahead of this pandemic and bring it under control.’

Source: University of Oxford

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April 17, 2021

OMEGA Counts Down to the Olympic Games with The Seamaster Diver 300M Tokyo 2020.

It may be a little later than planned, but the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is finally on its way. Today marks 100 days until the iconic sporting event begins in Japan. While the athletes make their final preparations, the Official Timekeeper unveils an exceptional timepiece in tribute to the occasion — OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M Tokyo 2020.

OMEGA, Tokyo



Photos: OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M Tokyo 2020. Images provided by OMEGA.

The OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M Tokyo 2020 delivers a unique color scheme inspired by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games emblem, along with the very best in watchmaking technology.

The watch has a 42 mm stainless steel case and a blue ceramic bezel ring filled with a white enamel diving scale. The polished-brushed bracelet seamlessly integrates with the OMEGA Seamaster.

Features include a date window at 6 o’clock and the Seamaster name highlighted in red. Blued hands and indexes, filled with white Super-LumiNova, complete the dial design.

The sapphire crystal case-back is marked with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games emblem. On the inside is the OMEGA Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8800, officially certified by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS).

Those who choose this unique timepiece will receive it inside a special Olympic Games presentation box, along with a Master Chronometer card and a full 5-year warranty, the company said.

Tokyo 2020 will mark the 29th time in history that OMEGA has fulfilled its role as Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games since 1932. Bringing almost 90 years of experience to the occasion, the brand will once again capture every second of the action with innovation, precision, and passion.

Source: OMEGA

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 6:53 AM | View the original post

April 16, 2021

NASA Announces Winners of 2021 Human Exploration Rover Challenge (HERC).


Photo: A family of Osprey outside the NASA Kennedy Space Center Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) in Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Thursday, May 13, 2010. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls).


Photo: Mars 2020 Strategic Mission Manager Pauline Hwang gives remarks during a NASA Perseverance rover initial surface checkout briefing, Friday, February 19, 2021, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Pasadena, California. The Perseverance Mars rover landed on Mars Thursday, February 18, 2021. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls).


Photo: The Northrop Grumman Cygnus space freighter after its release from the Canadarm2 robotic arm completing a 93-day cargo mission at the International Space Station. Image Credit: (NASA Johnson).

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., April 16, 2021 — High school and college students from around the U.S. and world have spent the last eight months designing, building, and testing their creations for NASA’s 27th annual Human Exploration Rover Challenge - one of seven NASA Artemis Student Challenges. The winners were announced during a virtual awards ceremony on April 16.

The Human Exploration Rover Challenge (HERC) tasks the U.S. and international student teams to design, engineer, and test a human-powered rover on a course that simulates the terrain found on rocky bodies in the solar system. The groups also must perform mission tasks while negotiating the course, including sample retrievals and spectrographic analysis.

Despite the cancellation of on-site competition activities at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center near NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the high school and college teams competed in multiple designs, documentation, and presentation categories, and were recognized for their successful efforts.

“The challenges you faced with this competition go beyond anything we’ve seen before, from designing the wheels and mission tools to executing mission requirements like sample retrievals and deploying instruments,” said Marshall Center Director Jody Singer. “To all of the students who took on these tasks and participated in Rover Challenge, we salute you and congratulate you on your accomplishments.”

“The students had to think outside the box to figure out how to develop these robust vehicles during a global pandemic,” said Miranda Fike, activity lead for the challenge at Marshall. “These members of the Artemis Generation rose to the occasion and delivered their reviews, presentations, designs, and videos without fail.”

NASA presented Awards in nine categories:

• Overall Winner

High School Division:

College/University Division:

• Project Review Award

• Task Challenge Award

• Safety Award

• Ingenuity Award

• Phoenix Award

• Videography Award

• STEM Engagement Award

• Social Media Award

For more than 25 years, the annual NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge and its sponsors have encouraged student teams from the United States and around the world to push the limits of innovation and imagine what it will take to explore the Moon, Mars, and other planets.

The Office of STEM Engagement manages Human Exploration Rover Challenge (HERC) at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. The competition reflects the goals of the Artemis program, which seeks to put the first woman and first person of color on the Moon. NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement uses challenges and competitions to further the agency’s goal of encouraging students to pursue degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.


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April 14, 2021

Sputnik V vaccine authorized in India.

India has become the 60th country to approve Sputnik V.

Sputnik V is one of only three vaccines registered in India.

The Russian vaccine has been approved for use in countries with a total population of 3 billion.

Sputnik V vaccine

Sputnik V vaccine


MOSCOW, April 13, 2021 — The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund) announces that India’s Drug Controller General (DCGI) has approved the use of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus in the country. India has become the 60th country to support Sputnik V.

Sputnik V is one of only three coronavirus vaccines registered by India’s regulatory authorities.

India is the most populated country to register the Russian vaccine. The total population of 60 countries where Sputnik V is approved for use is 3 billion people, or about 40% of the global population.

India has registered the vaccine under the emergency use authorization procedure based on clinical trial results in Russia and positive data of additional Phase III local clinical trials in India conducted in partnership with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories.

India is the leading production hub for Sputnik V. RDIF has reached agreements with the top pharmaceutical companies in the country (Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Panacea Biotec, Stelis Biopharma, Virchow Biotech) aimed at the production of more than 850 million doses per year.

Sputnik V ranks second among coronavirus vaccines globally regarding the number of approvals issued by government regulators.

Sputnik V has also been approved in Russia, Belarus, Argentina, Bolivia, Serbia, Algeria, Palestine, Venezuela, Paraguay, Turkmenistan, Hungary, UAE, Iran, Republic of Guinea, Tunisia, Armenia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Republika Srpska (an entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina), Lebanon, Myanmar, Pakistan, Mongolia, Bahrain, Montenegro, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Gabon, San-Marino, Ghana, Syria, Kyrgyzstan, Guyana, Egypt, Honduras, Guatemala, Moldova, Slovakia, Angola, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Sri Lanka, Laos, Iraq, North Macedonia, Kenya, Morocco, Jordan, Namibia, Azerbaijan, Philippines, Cameroon, Seychelles, Mauritius, Vietnam, Antigua and Barbuda, Mali, and Panama.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, said:

“We appreciate the decision of India’s regulatory bodies to grant authorization for Sputnik V. Approval of the vaccine is a significant milestone as Russia and India have been developing extensive cooperation on clinical trials of Sputnik V in India and its local production.

“The Russian vaccine has efficacy of 91.6% and provides complete protection against severe cases of COVID-19 as demonstrated by the data published in one of the leading medical journals, The Lancet.

“India is a vaccine-manufacturing hub and our strategic partner for the production of Sputnik V. We have created partnerships with several Indian leading pharmaceutical companies for Sputnik V production, which will provide for both vaccinations of the population in India and global distribution. Over 850 million doses of Sputnik V are going to be produced in India annually sufficient to vaccinate more than 425 million people around the world.”

• According to RDIF, Sputnik V has many key advantages:

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is Russia’s sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 to make equity co-investments, primarily in Russia, alongside reputable international financial and strategic investors.

Source: Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF)

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 11:13 AM | View the original post

April 13, 2021

Canada is the No. 1 Country in the World, According to the 2021 Best Countries Report

U.S. News & World Report

Canada, U.S. News & World Report

Photo: The National Flag of Canada. Image Credit: Statschew.

WASHINGTON, April 13, 2021 — For the first time, Canada takes the top spot overall in the 2021 Best Countries Report, a ranking and analysis project by U.S. News & World Report; BAV Group, a unit of global marketing communications company VMLY&R; and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Cultural, economic, political, and technological influences remain essential. The report has added two new categories: social purpose and agility. Together, this broad range of types determines how the 78 countries studied are ranked on the world stage.

“Nations are impacted on many critical fronts by how they are perceived globally - from foreign relations to international business to tourism. These perceptions are ever-evolving in a rapidly changing world,” said Kim Castro, editor, and chief content officer at U.S. News. “The 2021 Best Countries analysis combines data and storytelling to explore how countries compare on a host of global issues.”

• Key themes from the 2021 Best Countries Report:

“This year, the model behind the Best Countries report has been updated and evolved in response to 2020, a year like no other,” said John Keaveney, WPP advisor and head of Analytics & Insight, BAV Group. “By combining more traditional measures of a nation’s power and influence with our new dimensions of Social Purpose and Agility, we are now able to more accurately measure the strength and perceptual equity of any country in 2021.”

The 2021 Best Countries rankings methodology gathered from a proprietary survey of more than 17,000 business leaders; college-educated individuals who are middle-class or higher; and general citizens who are nationally representative of their country. “Countries should care about their image - it is not just a beauty contest. The impressions others have of a country affects its economy through tourism, foreign trade, and foreign direct investment,” said David Reibstein, professor of marketing at the Wharton School.

The Best Countries project includes in-depth news articles, an interactive data explorer, photos, and commentary from global experts in government, business, and academia. It is part of the U.S. News’ Government Rankings initiative, which measures government performance at the international, state, and local levels and includes the Best States and Healthiest Communities projects.

• Best Countries Overall Rankings 2021

  1. Canada
  2. Japan
  3. Germany
  4. Switzerland
  5. Australia
  6. United States
  7. New Zealand
  8. United Kingdom
  9. Sweden
  10. Netherlands
  11. France
  12. Denmark
  13. Norway
  14. Singapore
  15. South Korea
  16. Italy
  17. China
  18. Finland
  19. Spain
  20. Belgium
  21. Austria
  22. United Arab Emirates
  23. Ireland
  24. Russia
  25. India
  26. Brazil
  27. Greece
  28. Thailand
  29. Portugal
  30. Israel
  31. Mexico
  32. Qatar
  33. Egypt
  34. Turkey
  35. Saudi Arabia
  36. Malaysia
  37. Indonesia
  38. Morocco
  39. Costa Rica
  40. Vietnam
  41. South Africa
  42. Argentina
  43. Poland
  44. Philippines
  45. Czechia
  46. Croatia
  47. Sri Lanka
  48. Hungary
  49. Chile
  50. Peru
  51. Panama
  52. Dominican Republic
  53. Kenya
  54. Colombia
  55. Cambodia
  56. Jordan
  57. Estonia
  58. Myanmar
  59. Uruguay
  60. Slovenia
  61. Bulgaria
  62. Slovakia
  63. Romania
  64. Latvia
  65. Tunisia
  66. Azerbaijan
  67. Lithuania
  68. Ecuador
  69. Guatemala
  70. Oman
  71. Ukraine
  72. Kazakhstan
  73. Uzbekistan
  74. Lebanon
  75. Belarus
  76. Serbia
  77. El Salvador
  78. Iraq

• 10 Most Powerful Countries 2021

  1. United States
  2. China
  3. Russia
  4. Germany
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Japan
  7. France
  8. South Korea
  9. Saudi Arabia
  10. United Arab Emirates

•10 Most Agile Countries 2021

  1. United States
  2. Australia
  3. Canada
  4. Germany
  5. Singapore
  6. South Korea
  7. Japan
  8. Netherlands
  9. New Zealand
  10. Sweden

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.

BAV Group is a global consultancy with expertise in consumer insights and brand marketing strategy.

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, founded in 1881, was the first collegiate business school. It is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates its economic and social value worldwide.

Source: U.S. News & World Report

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April 12, 2021

Parliament of the World's Religions announces Call for Programs 2021

The world’s premier interfaith convening organization invites program proposals for its 8th global gathering focused on the theme “Opening our Hearts to the World: Compassion in Action.”

Parliament of the World's Religions

Parliament of the World's Religions, Chicago

Photo: Chicago. Image Credit: Cédric Chapuis.

CHICAGO, April 10, 2021 — The Parliament of the World’s Religions, the world’s premier interfaith convening, has invited proposals for programs, presentations, and religious observances at the 2021 Parliament of the World’s Religions, to be held virtually, October 17-18.

Parliament convenings have featured luminaries such as H.H. Dalai Lama, President Nelson Mandela, President Jimmy Carter, Shirin Ebadi, and United Nations Messenger of Peace Dr. Jane Goodall. The 2021 Parliament Call for Programs provides featured presenters the opportunity to join a historical group of select scholars, activists, and religious and spiritual leaders from around the world.

The Call for Programs for the Parliament of the World’s Religions opened on Friday, April 2, inviting people of faith and conscience worldwide to propose a program, presentation, or religious observance for the upcoming 2021 Parliament of the World’s Religions. The program would acknowledge the setbacks and hardships the people around the world are currently facing. It would reflect the critical hope and compassion offered by the world’s faith and spiritual traditions in healing, restoration, and the promise of a just, peaceful and sustainable future.

The theme of the 2021 Parliament is “Opening our Hearts to the World: Compassion in Action.” This theme aims to encompass the global opportunity provided by the virtual nature of the 2021 Parliament and the significant emotional and spiritual needs of people around the world. It acknowledges the critical need for a just and compassionate plan to move the world forward.

The Parliament has invited diverse peoples of faith, conscience, and spirituality to share their hopes and hearts with the global interfaith movement. Interested organizations and individuals can propose panels, lectures, oral presentations, academic papers, seminars, religious & spiritual observances, workshops & training, art, films, virtual tours, music, and performances.

The 2021 Parliament of the World’s Religions provides a cost-effective way to maximize an organization’s exposure to thousands of participants from 80 different countries and over 50 faith and spiritual traditions by serving as a sponsor and exhibitor. Individuals can network with leaders from communities worldwide and connect with thousands of multi-generational, media-savvy, and culturally aware participants, the organization stated.

The Parliament of the World’s Religions’ origins is rooted in the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Its historic first convening created a global platform for the engagement of religions of the east and west. The 1893 World Parliament of Religions marked the first formal gathering of representatives of Eastern and Western spiritual traditions. A variety of spiritual leaders from around the world came to share their perspectives and engage in dialogue. Here, a captivating Hindu monk from India, Swami Vivekananda, addressed 5,000 assembled delegates, greeting them with the words, “Sisters and brothers of America!”


Photo: Vivekananda in Chicago, September 1893. Signed Photograph.

Headquartered in Chicago, Il, USA, the World Religions Parliament is an international NGO affiliated to the United Nations Department of Public Information. It cultivates harmony among the world’s spiritual traditions and fosters their engagement with guiding institutions to achieve a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world.

Source: The Parliament of the World’s Religions, Chicago.

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April 8, 2021

United States India Educational Foundation (USIEF), New Delhi, announces Fulbright Fellowships for Indian citizens for the academic year 2022-2023.

Fulbrightl, India

Fulbright, India

Photo: U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, Stephen E. Biegun, meets with Fulbright Alumni in New Delhi, India, on October 13, 2020. (State Department photo). [File Photo]

New Delhi, April 7, 2021 — United States India Educational Foundation (USIEF), New Delhi, has announced Fulbright Fellowships for Indian citizens for the academic year 2022-2023 in the following categories:

“Selection committees would look to identify talented individuals whose projects are relevant to India and the United States. The committees would seek candidates who demonstrate the potential to be effective cultural ambassadors,” USIEF said.

• 2022-2023 Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships:

• 2022-2023 Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships:

• 2022-2023 Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowships:

• 2022-2023 Fulbright-Nehru International Education Administrators Seminar:

The United States government leads the Fulbright Program in partnership with more than 160 countries worldwide. The program offers international educational and cultural exchange for passionate and accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers, and specialists of all backgrounds to study, teach, or pursue meaningful research and professional projects.

Sources: United States India Educational Foundation (USIEF), New Delhi; U.S. Department of State.

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April 7, 2021

E-commerce, a Covid Lifeline for Retailers with Additional $900 Billion Spent Online Globally, says Mastercard Recovery Insights.


Infographic: Consumers are increasing their e-commerce footprints, buying from up to 30% more online retailers.


Photo: Retail. Garments Shop. Image Credit: Roman K.

As Covid-19 kept consumers worldwide at home, they purchased nearly everything from groceries to gardening supplies online. According to Mastercard’s latest Recovery Insights report, this amounted to an additional $900 billion spending in retail online around the world in 2020.

For retailers, restaurants, and other businesses large and small, selling online provided a much-needed lifeline as in-person consumer purchasing got disrupted.

Roughly 20-30% of the Covid-related shift to digital globally is expected to be permanent, according to “Mastercard’s Recovery Insights: Commerce E-volution.” The report draws on anonymized and aggregated sales activity in the Mastercard network and proprietary analysis by the Mastercard Economics Institute. The research dives into what this means by country, sector, goods & services, within countries, and across borders.

“While consumers got stuck at home, their dollars traveled far and wide thanks to e-commerce,” says Bricklin Dwyer, Mastercard chief economist and head of the Mastercard Economics Institute. “This has significant implications, with the countries and companies that have prioritized digital continuing to reap the benefits. Our analysis shows that even the smallest businesses see gains when they shift to digital.”

While the digital transformation has been neither universal nor consistent due to geographical, economic, and household differences, the report uncovers several critical overarching trends:

Mastercard launched Recovery Insights last year to help businesses and governments better manage the health, safety, and economic risks presented by Covid-19. The initiative utilizes Mastercard’s analytics and experimentation platforms, its longstanding consulting practice, and unique data-driven insights to deliver relevant and timely tools, innovation, and research.

The report draws on anonymized and aggregated sales activity in the Mastercard network and proprietary analysis by the Mastercard Economics Institute.

Source: Mastercard

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April 6, 2021

IMF announces World Economic Outlook April 2021 Forecast

IMF, Gopinath

Photo: Chief Economist Gita Gopinath poses before giving the World Economic Outlook during the 2021 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund. April 6, 2021. Washington, DC, United States. IMF Photo/Joshua Roberts.

Washington, DC, April 6, 2021 — The IMF announced an upgrade to global growth in its World Economic Outlook on Tuesday (April 6) in Washington, DC.

IMF has projected that the global economy would grow at 6 percent in 2021, moderating to 4.4 percent in 2022. A significant turnaround from an estimated contraction of -3.3 percent in 2020 when a pandemic hit the world.

“So relative to our January forecast, we are upgrading growth to 6% for 2021 and 4.4% for 2022. It reflects the additional financial support provided in the United States and the vaccination efforts that will strengthen recovery in the second half of this year. It also reflects the continued resilience of economic activity to the pandemic in many parts of the world,” said IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath.

Gopinath stressed that a high degree of uncertainty surrounds the IMF’s projections as the pandemic is yet to be defeated and virus cases are accelerating in many countries.

That’s leading to diverging recoveries both across and within countries, as economies with slower vaccine rollout, more limited policy support, and more reliant on tourism do less well.

“The biggest risk right now is still the pandemic. If there are new virus variants that evade the vaccine, it could lead to a sharp downgrade. But if, on the other hand, there’s the faster rollout of vaccinations, then that could uplift the outlook,” said Gopinath.

She also added that multispeed recoveries could pose financial risks if interest rates in the United States rise further in unexpected ways. It could cause inflated asset valuations to unwind in a disorderly manner, economic conditions to tighten sharply, and recovery prospects to deteriorate, especially for some highly leveraged emerging markets and developing economies.

“The second big risk is to financial conditions. We see multispeed recoveries, and we have seen interest rates go up. If interest rates go up even further in a more disorderly fashion than that could have negative implications for several countries, especially for some highly vulnerable emerging and developing economies,” said Gopinath.

Policymakers will need to continue supporting their economies while dealing with more limited policy space and higher debt levels than before the pandemic, Gopinath added. It requires better-targeted measures to leave room for prolonged support if needed.

“Given that we are not out of the woods, it is crucial for policy support to be continued in this crisis. Of course, countries are dealing with high debt levels, so they’ll have to make sure this support is better targeted and well-tailored to countries’ specific economic conditions, the stage of the recovery they are in, and the structural characteristics of the economy,” she added.

She also urged central banks to keep access to money open in the current environment.

“Monetary policy should also remain accommodative while proactively addressing financial risks of using macroprudential tools,” Gopinath remarked.


Source: IMF

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 11:25 AM | View the original post

April 5, 2021

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Chintan Vaishnav appointed Director of India's Atal Innovation Mission

MIT Sloan Management


Photo: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Building. Image credit: Ulrick.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 5, 2021— MIT Sloan School of Management recently announced that Senior Lecturer Chintan Vaishnav was appointed to serve as mission director of India’s Atal Innovation Mission. The Mission, housed at NITI Aayog, is the Government of India’s flagship initiative to create and promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Vaishnav says, “At the highest level, the work of building a culture of innovation is one of engaging creativity in the service of humankind. India is a place of limitless creative potential. I am excited for the opportunity to help harness this potential.”

Over the past six years, Vaishnav has worked and lived in rural to very rural India for a total of 18 months, researching challenges related to agriculture, water, and livelihood. His research has produced solutions such as on-farm soil nutrient management and water quality testing and purification that bring world-class science and technology to underserved communities at an affordable price. His water work has turned into an early-stage startup that enables communities to keep their water safe.

“This experience has taught me how to innovate for the developing world with rigor and relevance. I hope to bring this culture to my new position as mission director,” he says.

A member of the MIT Tata Center for Technology and Design founding team, Vaishnav also designed and taught a graduate-level course on Technology, Design, and Entrepreneurship for Emerging Community. The system has trained 200 graduate students from 18 different MIT departments and has guided a total of 200,000 hours of fieldwork in India, Nepal, and Africa. The work has produced 45 patents, 12 commercial licenses, and 11 startups, some of which he advises.

Vaishnav says, “This experience has taught me how to engage young minds in solving some of our most pressing challenges in a hands-on, action-oriented way. I hope to create similar engagement as mission director.”

Before MIT, Vaishnav worked at Bell Labs, designing innovative products for high-speed networks. This work led to his Ph.D. research on how regulators can balance compliance and innovation as new technologies disrupt the traditionally regulated ones in the Internet space. Since then, Vaishnav has advised the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) at the White House, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). He has also worked with several large communications companies that are members of MIT’s Communications Futures Program.

Vaishnav holds a Master’s degree in Technology and Policy and a Ph.D. in Engineering Systems from MIT. He joined the MIT Sloan faculty as a senior lecturer after finishing his Ph.D. In addition to his degrees from MIT, he holds a BA in Indian Classical Music from Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, India.

“My new assignment speaks directly to MIT Sloan’s Mission of developing leaders who make a positive difference in the world. MIT Sloan has been a global leader in innovation and entrepreneurship, and this opportunity helps take this work to a nation of 1.3 billion people via the Atal Innovation Mission,” says Vaishnav, who will be on a two-year leave from MIT to serve as Mission Director.

Source: MIT Sloan School of Management

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 12:35 PM | View the original post

April 4, 2021

Deakin University, Australia, announces six scholarships valued up to INR 36 million for deserving Indian students in 2021

Deakin University, Australia

Deakin University, Australia

Photo: A building at Deakin University Campus, Australia. Image credit: Kirsten Varela.

NEW DELHI, April 4, 2021 — Deakin University, Australia, has announced its Vice-Chancellor’s Meritorious Scholarship program 2021, which offers a 100% tuition fee waiver to six high-achieving Indian students for the entire duration of their studies at the university at any level.

This announcement is one of many that the university has made over the last year to support the international student community during these challenging times, including a large part of Indian students. These scholarships announced by the university are beyond a bursary of 30% to all students enrolling in the online to on-campus pathway program as the travel restrictions are prevalent due to the pandemic.

Deakin University remains committed to fostering engagement with India and ensuring the fulfillment of bright Indian students’ aspirations of an international education experience. The Vice-Chancellor’s Meritorious Scholarship Program is a part of an initiative of Deakin named ‘Changing Lives,’ which recognizes deserving students with consistently high academic performance with a potential to make a leading contribution to the university and their community back in India.

While announcing the scholarships, Professor Iain Martin, President, and Vice-Chancellor, Deakin University, emphasized the importance of international education and said, “International education, particularly in an evolving global economy, is a significant part of a student’s holistic development. The Vice-Chancellor’s Meritorious Scholarships are a wonderful opportunity for those deserving students to earn an international degree that will empower them to become a global talent and expand their horizons.”

Ms. Ravneet Pawha, Deputy Vice President (Global) and CEO (South Asia), Deakin University, said, “Deakin University has a deep history of collaboration with India across the industry, government, and research.”

Applications for the scholarship are open for students applying in July and November intake this year. The Deakin Vice-Chancellor’s Meritorious Scholarship Program selection is a rigorous process consisting of application review, referee recommendations, and interviews/presentations, including a panel interview with neutral representatives from academia and the industry.

“I think it (Vice-Chancellor’s 100% Meritorious Scholarship) is amazing not just because the tuition is paid, but I think the most interesting part of this for me was being a part of the Vice-Chancellor’s Professional Excellence Program, which empowered me to achieve beyond expectations and be ready for the careers of the future,” said Rupa Subramanian, a recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Meritorious Scholar 2017 award at Deakin University.

Shristi Ostwal, CBSE national boxing champion and a recipient of the Deakin University Vice-Chancellor’s Meritorious Scholar 2020 award, shared, “I have always wanted to give back to society by providing psychological aid to underprivileged people across the globe. The Vice-Chancellor’s 100% Meritorious Scholarship allowed me to gain skills and knowledge at par with the global standards. I commenced my studies online last year due to travel restrictions, and the flexibility of online learning has allowed me to balance my passion for psychology and sports.”

Deakin University also offers other academic merit-based bursaries and scholarships for Indian students, including a 25% Merit Scholarship and a 20% Bursary for studies onshore in Australia.

Established in 1974, Deakin University is one of Australia’s leading tertiary education providers.

According to Deakin University, it is celebrating 27 years of engagement in India as it was the first international education provider to set up India’s office in 1994. It is currently the most engaged Australian Provider across education, training, research, capacity building, and consultancy initiatives with academia, industry, and the government. Deakin University has established exclusive partnerships in India to transform education and research into beneficial community outcomes, produce world-class graduates, and contribute to the communities’ growth and sustainability.

Source: Deakin University, Australia


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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 2:46 PM | View the original post

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