Thursday, March 30, 2017

CfPs: International Conference on Engaging Canada and India: Perspectives on Sustainability | 11-12 May 2017 | IHC, New Delhi, India

International Conference on Engaging Canada and India: Perspectives on Sustainability
11-12 May 2017
Organized by Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, New Delhi
Venue: India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India



The Institute
The Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute is a bi-national organization that promotes understanding between India and Canada through academic activities and exchanges. Its broad-based initiatives support the creation of bi-national links between academia, government, the business community and civil society organizations by funding research, faculty and student exchange, conferences, workshops and seminars. With a membership of over ninety leading Indian and Canadian universities and research institutions, the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute has facilitated greater collaboration between Indian and Canadian institutions in the humanities, social sciences, arts, science & technology, legal education, and management studies. The Institute, as part of its mandate, has also supported research on sustainable development and other United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

THE CONFERENCE
Sustainability is a multifaceted concept. It is only with a deep understanding of the nuances of our social fabric can we internalize and put it to practice. The most commonly quoted definition of sustainability is from the United Nations Bruntland Commission Report, which says "sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." In a broader sense, sustainability can be conceived as the physical development and institutional operating practices that meet the needs of present users without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, particularly with regard to use and waste of natural resources. Sustainable practices support ecological, human, and economic health and vitality. Sustainability presumes that resources are finite, and should be used conservatively and wisely with an understanding of long-term priorities. The discourses today about sustainability also addresses the consequences of the ways in which resources are used. Simply put, sustainability can be viewed as sustainable development which intertwines the four disciplines of ecology, economics, politics and culture. The bedrock of these is entrenched in education. The role of institutes of higher learning is, thus, very critical in developing an understanding as to the way it impacts sustainable practices. With an aim of creating a global culture of sustainable development, the United Nations has been setting an agenda for achieving the desired end goals through the drafting of measurable targets. Referred to as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, it aims to bring in governments, businesses and civil society together on one platform. In addition to that, even the Paris agreement on climate change has changed the dynamics of global affairs. Some of the prominent goals include provision of quality education, incorporating better practices in infrastructure, innovation and industry, making positive climate change impacts, focusing on clean energy and achieving targets on good & general well-being. Through this conference, it is intended to invoke debate and conduct deliberations in the area of contributions that institutes of higher learning have made or are making through continuous change and adaptation of these goals into the curricula. The conference also aims of to bring out the latest pedagogical as well as practical aspects that are being introduced in India and Canada towards fulfilling our commitments for the creation and sustenance of a sustainable global society.

OBJECTIVES
The broad areas identified for deliberations in the Conference will focus on how perspectives in 'Sustainability' have been shaped in India and Canada in the areas of humanities and social sciences, business and management, law and also in science and technology. Through this intersection of several fields of knowledge, the conference shall endeavor to explore the development of our understanding of sustainability through the varied yet connected lenses. 

FOCUS AREAS OF THE CONFERENCE 
Theme 1: Sustainable Societies
Theme 2: Economic Sustainability and Business & Management
Theme 3: Social Sustainability and Law
Theme 4: Sustainable Technologies
Theme 5: Environment, Climate Change and Sustainability
Theme 6: Public Health
Theme 7: Indigenous Practices
Theme 8: Gender

CALL FOR PAPERS
Papers are invited from faculty, post-doctoral researchers, and doctoral students from Shastri member institutions, as well as faculty/researchers from non-member institutions that discuss the result of their research and the impact it has in developing partnerships, linkages, learning methodologies, and socio-cultural narratives that empower interdisciplinary research. The papers could be the outcome of research funded by the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute or by other agencies/universities/research institutions/Independent research. We particularly encourage submissions that develop inter-disciplinary themes.

IMPORTANT DATES:
Abstracts of the proposed paper in about 400 words should be sent to Ms. Anju Taneja by email at anjut@sici.org.in. The last date to receive the abstracts is 02-04-2017. Authors must indicate the focus area for which they would like their paper to be considered. The abstracts will be reviewed and a selection will be made by SICI. Scholars whose abstracts are selected will be intimated by 10-04-2017. The full original papers (unpublished till date) should be submitted by 05-05-2017. Papers presented at the Conference would be considered for a publication on a blind external review.

Travel and Accommodation: Economy class air-fare within India, and local accommodation in New Delhi, will be provided to outstation scholars whose papers have been selected for presentation at the Conference. Travel and accommodation arrangements/reimbursements will be done according to the travel and accommodation policy of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute. We encourage and allow virtual presentations as well.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

New Book | Reverse Glass Painting in India | by Anna L Dallapiccola, Niyogi Books

Reverse Glass Painting in India
by Anna L Dallapiccola; Niyogi Books, 2017, Hardback, ISBN: 9789385285349, INR 1495.00.

About the Book
Reverse glass painting is a fascinating yet comparatively unknown facet of Indian art that flourished in the mid-19th century. Painted by Chinese and Indian artists, these 'exotic' paintings in luminous colours were much favoured by royal patrons, and also by prosperous landowners and city merchants in colonial India. The themes ranged from portraits of rulers, their families, nobles, dancers and courtesans, to landscapes and a wide variety of religious subjects drawn from the Puranas and the Epics. Many of the portraits are set in western style settings and offer a charming insight into tastes and lifestyle of the western educated urban elite in mid-nineteenth and early twentieth century India.
Over a 100 colour images highlight the rare gems of reverse glass painting from numerous private collections in India.

About the Author
Anna L. Dallapiccola, Professor of Indian Art at the South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University (1971–1995) was appointed Honorary Professor at Edinburgh University, and regularly lectured at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. She was Visiting Professor at  De Montfort University, Leicester until 2004. She was closely involved in the Vijayanagara Research Project (1984–2001)

New Book | Demonetisation Decoded: A Critique of India's Currency Experiment | by Ghosh, Chandrasekhar, & Patnaik

Demonetisation Decoded: A Critique of India's Currency Experiment
by Jayati Ghosh, C. P. Chandrasekhar, Prabhat Patnaik. Routledge India, 2017, Hardback, ISBN: 9781138080713, INR 350.00. 

About the Book
On the night of 8 November 2016, at 8:15 pm, India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, announced in a televised broadcast to the nation that with effect from midnight, currency notes of denominations Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 would no longer be legal tender. In one stroke, this involved the de-recognition of over 86 per cent of the value of Indian currency in circulation with only four hours' notice.
This important book provides a quick and concise explanation of the goals, implications, initial effects and the political economy of this major demonetisation move by the Government of India. It clarifies key concepts and offers astute economic analysis to guide the reader through the various claims, arguments and critiques that have been made; highlights the complexities of the processes that have been unleashed; and examines the likely outcomes in the long term as well as those that are immediately evident.
Timely and lucid, this book will interest students and researchers in the fields of economics, finance, management, law, politics and governance as well as policy makers, legislators, civil society activists and the media.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction 
2. The Purported Logic of Demonetisation 
3. Design and Implementation of Demonetisation 
4. Initial Outcomes 
5. Macroeconomic Consequences 
6. Inventing a New Utopia 
7. Conclusion

About the Authors
  • Jayati Ghosh is Professor at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.
  • C. P. Chandrasekhar is Dean, School of Social Sciences, and Professor at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.
  • Prabhat Patnaik is Emeritus Professor at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.

CfPs: 15th Globelics Conference 2017 | 11-13 October | Athens, Greece


15th Globelics Conference
11-13 October 2017
National Technical University of Athens, Greece 

The Globelics International Conference 2017
The 15th Globelics Conference will be held in Athens, Greece. It will be hosted by the Laboratory of Industrial and Energy Economics (LIEE) at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), the oldest (established in 1837) and most prestigious Greek academic institution in the field of Technology and Engineering. Athens will be the first European city to host the Globelics Annual Conference. This was considered as an opportunity to highlight the challenges for a country hit by the recent economic crisis. Innovation and competence building in the context of industrial and institutional change can be of great importance when envisaging a strategy out of the crisis. The conference will combine plenary sessions, presentations of research papers in parallel tracks, thematic panel sessions or special sessions, poster presentations, a book presentation session and debate,exhibition on industrial research in Greece, innovative start-ups presentations, sightseeing and cultural events, as well as artistic and culinary exhibitions.

Background
Globelics is a worldwide network of more than 2000 scholars engaged in research on how innovation and competence building contribute to economic and sustainable development. The network is open and diverse in terms of disciplines, perspectives and research tools. Globelics is a platform for cooperation and interactive learning. It was conceived at the very beginning of the new millennium. Inspired by the work of Christopher Freeman and Richard Nelson, the network was initially built on conversations among scholars in the South and in the North and developed by economists and experts on innovation systems. Over time the network has integrated expertise from a wider social science background and experts on broader aspects of development.
One of its main activities is the Annual Globelics Conference, which brings together over 400 leading and young scholars from all over the world. The Conference also aims at building research capacity and orienting research toward the local challenges of the host country. 

Conference Theme
The main conference theme for Globlelics 2017 is Innovation and Capacity Building in the context of financialisation and uneven development of the global economy: new roles for the state, productive sector, and social actors.
The conference invites papers addressing the role of different types of actors such as the State, local authorities, continental entities, knowledge institutions, productive political and social actors in shaping innovation and capacity building so as to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth. In particular, it aims to explore whether we need new approaches to study inequality in the age of globalization as there are widening disparities within countries, regions and social classes. The conference will also consider the need to tackle new challenges related to innovation and capacity building in addition to our systems of innovation approach. The conference also welcomes papers studying how systems of policies can be implemented at different levels and across different countries to innovate out of the crisis.

Conference Tracks
Accepted papers will be organized around parallel paper tracks encompassing:
1. University relationships with industry and society: the developmental university
2. Indigenous knowledge, informal sector, innovation and development
3. Gender, innovation and development
4. Science, technology, innovation policy and development
5. Intellectual property rights, open innovation and development
6. National, continental and regional innovation system
7. Technological infrastructure and technological capabilities
8. Sectoral innovation system, systemic industrial policy and development
9. Innovation systems, networks, global value chains and foreign direct investments
10. Entrepreneurship and innovation management in companies, organizations, government and local authorities
11. Agricultural innovation system
12. Science, technology, innovation and the sustainable development goals
13. Creative industries, smart cities and economic development
14. Innovation, financialization and the global crisis: what kind of policies and strategies are needed?
15. Innovation studies: Empirical methodologies, data requirements, indicators, different approaches and methodologies

Paper submission: We encourage scholars at scientific institutions, universities, enterprises and public sector institutions to take this opportunity to present their work to leading scholars in the field of innovation and development. We especially encourage young researchers to submit papers. Papers for oral presentations and poster presentation must be written in English, and the selected ones must be presented at the conference in English. Submission of full paper (in PDF) not exceeding 12,000 words (including notes, tables, appendices, list of references, etc.) should be made from 1st until 30th April 2017 via the online submission form available at the Conference website: www.liee.ntua.gr/globelics2017.
Papers must be submitted no later than April 30, 2017. The selection of papers is based on a peer review process that focuses on relevance, academic quality and originality. Globelics reserves the right to use available software to control for plagiarism and to take appropriate action in such cases.

Travel support: Faculty members and PhD students from developing countries with accepted papers to the conference can apply for travel support. Application for travel support must be submitted at the same time as submission of paper. Further information on procedure for application of travel support will be available on the conference website.

Contact Details: For further information on the conference organization please consult our website. If you have any questions that cannot be answered using the website, please send an e-mail to: athens.2017@globelics.org


Call for Papers: 4th INDIALICS Conference 2017: Innovation for Sustainable Development: Perspectives, Policies and Practices in South Asia | 2-4 November 2017 | JNU, New Delhi, India


The 4th INDIALICS Conference 2017

Innovation for Sustainable Development: Perspectives, Policies and Practices in South Asia

 

Dates: 2nd to 4th November 2017

 

Venue: Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

Call for Papers & Research Proposals

In the last few decades, technological and organizational innovations have played a pivotal role in transforming the economies and societies of the South-Asian countries, setting them at the frontiers of science and technology advancement. Various policies and institutional arrangements have been restructured and created to achieve global competitiveness and faster economic growth. However, along with high economic growth, there is increasing inequality and exclusion as well as over-exploitation of natural resources. The emerging challenge, therefore, is to accomplish equilibrium between economic growth and social justice, through innovative and sustainable practices.

Drawing inspiration from the existing narratives and discourses, the 4th Indialics conference is thematised as "Innovation for Sustainable Development: Perspectives, Policies and Practices in South Asia". This conference will explore the nature, determinants and direction of innovation and new pathways for meeting future challenges in the context of sustainable development with specific reference to South Asia. We posit that the challenges cannot be seen as isolated from each other but interconnected and require social, institutional and policy innovations, political processes and the interconnections between these. The conference will reflect on challenges and opportunities in fostering innovation for socio-economic development and sustainability.

Key Conference Themes will include:

  • Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture/ (including Food Security, Farmers' Innovation)
  • Global Value Chains and Innovation Systems
  • Sanitation and Waste Management
  • Climate Change Adaption, Mitigation, and Resilience
  • Gender, Technology and Innovation
  • Innovation in the Informal Economy
  • Indicators for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI)
  • R&D and Technology Transfer; University-Industry Linkages
  • Innovations in Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals
  • IPR, Standards & Regulations in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI)
  • Foresights and Futures for Technology
  • Responsible Innovation

 Important Dates:

·         Deadline for Extended Abstract: 20th April 2017

·         Notification of Acceptance of Extended Abstracts: 20th June 2017

·         Last Date for Submission of Full Papers: 20th September 2017 (for Selected Abstracts).              

Format for Extended Abstract/Research Proposal (around 1200 words): Paper proposal should preferably include following subsections (a) Purpose (b) Design/Methodology/Approach (c) Findings (d) Implications (e) Originality/Value (f) Keywords (maximum 5). The extended abstract should not have been published earlier in any form. Authors of the accepted abstract will be invited to present their work at the conference. Papers by young scholars are particularly encouraged. The author(s) are expected to follow above format for submission. All submissions should be submitted online.


Form for Submission of Extended Abstract:  http://bit.ly/2lmF9tO


Organizer:

This conference is being organized by the Centre for Studies in Science Policy (CSSP), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi.

Convener of the Conference: Saradindu Bhaduri, Chairperson, CSSP.

Coordinators: Sujit Bhattacharya (CSIR-NISTADS) and Dinesh Abrol (ISID)

All communications regarding the INDIALICS2017 should be addressed to:

Email: indialics2017@gmail.com.

Dr Anup Kumar Das, CSSP, Room #228, SSS-I, JNU, New Delhi 110067. Tel. +91-11-26738906.

Hashtag for Social Media: #INDIALICS2017

Further Details

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Letter .. Mrs. Sophie

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Is wastewater the new black gold?

UNESCO and UN-Water Press release N°2017-25

Is wastewater the new black gold?

Launch of the United Nations World Water Development Report on 22 March

Durban, South Africa, 22 March – What if we were to consider the vast quantities of domestic, agricultural and industrial wastewater discharged into the environment everyday as a valuable resource rather than costly problem? This is the paradigm shift advocated in the United Nations World Water Development Report, Wastewater: the Untapped Resource, launched today in Durban on the occasion of World Water Day..

The United Nations World Water Development Report is a UN-Water Report coordinated by the UN World Water Assessment Programme of UNESCO. It argues that once treated, wastewater could prove invaluable in meeting the growing demand for freshwater and other raw materials.

"Wastewater is a valuable resource in a world where water is finite and demand is growing," says Guy Ryder, Chair of UN-Water and Director-General of the International Labour Organization. "Everyone can do their bit to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal target to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase safe water reuse by 2030. It's all about carefully managing and recycling the water that runs through our homes, factories, farms and cities. Let's all reduce and safely reuse more wastewater so that this precious resource serves the needs of increasing populations and a fragile ecosystem."

"The 2017 World Water Development Report shows that improved wastewater management is as much about reducing pollution at the source, as removing contaminants from wastewater flows, reusing reclaimed water and recovering useful by-products. […] Raising social acceptance of the use of wastewater is essential to moving forward", argues UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in her foreword to the Report.

A health and environmental concern

A large proportion of wastewater is still released into the environment without being either collected or treated. This is particularly true in low-income countries, which on average only treat 8 % of domestic and industrial wastewater, compared to 70% in high-income countries. As a result, in many regions of the world, water contaminated by bacteria, nitrates, phosphates and solvents is discharged into rivers and lakes ending up in the oceans, with negative consequences for the environment and public health.

The volume of wastewater to be treated will rise considerably in the near future especially in cities in developing countries with rapidly growing populations. "Wastewater generation is one of the biggest challenges associated with the growth of informal settlements (slums) in the developing world," say the report's authors. A city like Lagos (Nigeria) generates 1.5 million m3 of wastewater every day, most of which ends up untreated in the Lagos Lagoon. Unless action is taken now, this situation is likely to deteriorate further as the city's population rises to over 23 million by 2020.

Pollution from pathogens from human and animal excreta affects almost one third of rivers in Latin America, Asia and Africa, endangering the lives of millions of people. In 2012, 842,000 deaths in low- and middle-income countries were linked to contaminated water and inadequate sanitation services. The lack of treatment also contributes to the spread of some  tropical diseases such as dengue and cholera.

Solvents and hydrocarbons produced by industrial and mining activities, as well as the discharge of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) from intensive farming accelerate the eutrophication of freshwater and coastal marine ecosystems. An estimated 245,000 km2 of marine ecosystems—roughly the size of the United Kingdom—are currently affected by this phenomenon. The discharge of untreated wastewater also stimulates the proliferation of toxic algae blooms and contributes to the decline in biodiversity.

Growing awareness of the presence of pollutants such as hormones, antibiotics, steroids and endocrine disruptors in wastewater poses a new set of challenges as their impact on the environment and health have yet to be fully understood.

Pollution reduces the availability of freshwater supplies, which are already under stress not least because of climate change. Nevertheless, most governments and decision-makers have been primarily concerned by the challenges of water supply, notably when it is scarce, while overlooking the need to manage water after it has been used. Yet these two issues are intrinsically related. The collection, treatment and safe use of wastewater are at the very foundation of a circular economy, balancing economic development with the sustainable use of resources. Reclaimed water is a largely underexploited resource, which can be reused many times.

From sewer to tap

Wastewater is most commonly used for agricultural irrigation and at least 50 countries worldwide are known to use wastewater for this purpose, accounting for an estimated 10 % of all irrigated land. However, data remains incomplete for many regions, notably Africa.

But this practice raises health concerns when the water contains pathogens that can contaminate crops. The challenge, then, is to move from informal irrigation towards planned and safe use, as Jordan, where 90% of treated wastewater is used for irrigation, has been doing since 1977. In Israel, treated wastewater already accounts for nearly half of all water used for irrigation.

In industry, large quantities of water can be reused, for example for heating and cooling, instead of being discharged into the environment. By 2020, the market for industrial wastewater treatment is expected to increase by 50 %.

Treated wastewater can also serve to augment drinking water supplies, although this is still a marginal practice. Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, has been doing this since 1969.  To counter recurrent freshwater shortages, the city has installed infrastructure to treat up to 35% of wastewater, which is then used to supplement drinking water reserves. Residents of Singapore and San Diego (USA) also safely drink water that has been recycled.

This practice can meet with resistance from the public, who may be uncomfortable with the idea of drinking or using water they consider to have once been dirty. Lack of public support led to the failure of a project to reuse water for irrigation and fish farming in Egypt in the 1990s. Awareness-raising campaigns can help gain public acceptance for this type of practice by referring to successful examples, such as that of the astronauts on the International Space Station who have been reusing the same recycled water for over 16 years.

Wastewater and sludge as a source of raw materials

As well as providing a safe alternative source for freshwater, wastewater can also be seen as a potential source of raw materials. Thanks to developments in treatment techniques, certain nutrients, like phosphorus and nitrates, can now be recovered from sewage and sludge and turned into fertilizer. An estimated 22% of global demand for phosphorus, a finite and depleting mineral resource, could be met by treating human urine and excrement. Some countries, like Switzerland, have already passed legislation calling for the mandatory recovery of certain nutrients such as phosphorus.

The organic substances contained in wastewater could be used to produce biogas, which could help power wastewater treatment facilities, helping them transition from major consumers to becoming energy neutral or even net energy producers. In Japan, the government has set itself the target of recovering 30% of the biomass energy in wastewater by 2020. Every year, the city of Osaka produces 6,500 tonnes of biosolid fuels from 43,000 tonnes of sewage sludge.

Such technologies need not be out of reach for developing countries as low-cost treatment solutions already allow for the extraction of energy and nutrients. They may not yet allow for the direct recovery of potable water, but they can produce viable and safe water for other uses, such as irrigation. And sales of raw materials derived from wastewater can provide additional revenue to help cover the investment and operational costs of wastewater treatment.

Today, 2.4 billion people still do not have access to improved sanitation facilities. Reducing this figure, in keeping with Sustainable Development Goal 6 on water and sanitation of the UN 2030 Agenda, will mean discharging even more wastewater, which will then need to be treated affordably.

Some progress has already been made. In Latin America, for example, the treatment of wastewater has almost doubled since the late 1990s and covers between 20% and 30% of wastewater collected in urban sewer networks. But that also means that between 70% and 80% is released without treatment, so there is still a long way to go. An essential step on that road will have been taken with the widespread recognition of the value of safely using treated wastewater and its valuable by-products as an alternative to raw freshwater.

***

Note to the editors

The United Nations World Water Development Report is a UN-Water Report produced by the UN World Water Assessment Programme of UNESCO. The Report is the result of the collaboration between the 31 entities of the United Nations System and the 38 international partners that comprise UN-Water. The Report presents an exhaustive review of the state of global water resources and, up until 2012, was published every three years. Since 2014, the WWDR is published annually, with each edition focused on a given theme. It is launched every year on World Water Day, 22 March, which shares the same theme as the report.

Download the WWDR Report

Facts and Figures

Read the Executive Summary

Watch the video

 

 

Media contact: Agnès Bardon, UNESCO Media Service. Tel: +33 (0)14568 1764, a.bardon@unesco.org

 

 



If you would rather not receive future communications from UNESCO, let us know by clicking here.
UNESCO, 7, place de Fontenoy, PARIS, NA FRANCE France

Monday, March 20, 2017

Call for Expression of Interest

Sir/Madam,

 

UNESCO is looking for a higher educational institution delivering the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in order to pilot and localize its document “Learning for All: Guidelines on the Inclusion of Learner with Disabilities in Open and Distance Learning”. The guidelines should be piloted in the higher educational institution delivering ODL or which provides open and distance learning programmes, as well as considers making changes at institutional level.

The detailed Plan of Action should include: (i) assessment and analysis of current situation using the matrix of actions and technical annexes; (ii) identification of key challenges and opportunities, as well as (iii) concrete actions and recommendations for different educational stakeholders in order to make ODL inclusive for all learners.

The final delivery date is 15 November 2017.

Call for Expression of Interest is available at: https://en.unesco.org/sites/default/files/expression_interest_odl.pdf

http://en.unesco.org/news/call-piloting-guidelines-inclusion-learners-disabilities-open-and-distance-learning

[apeid.higher_education.bgk] Call for Expression of Interest

Sir/Madam,

 

UNESCO is looking for a higher educational institution delivering the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in order to pilot and localize its document "Learning for All: Guidelines on the Inclusion of Learner with Disabilities in Open and Distance Learning". The guidelines should be piloted in the higher educational institution delivering ODL or which provides open and distance learning programmes, as well as considers making changes at institutional level.

The detailed Plan of Action should include: (i) assessment and analysis of current situation using the matrix of actions and technical annexes; (ii) identification of key challenges and opportunities, as well as (iii) concrete actions and recommendations for different educational stakeholders in order to make ODL inclusive for all learners.

The final delivery date is 15 November 2017.

Call for Expression of Interest is available : https://en.unesco.org/sites/default/files/expression_interest_odl.pdf

http://en.unesco.org/news/call-piloting-guidelines-inclusion-learners-disabilities-open-and-distance-learning

 

 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Is wastewater the new black gold?

EMBARGO UNTIL 22 MARCH, 00h00 GMT

UNESCO and UN-Water Press release N°2017-25

Is wastewater the new black gold?

Launch of the United Nations World Water Development Report on 22 March

Durban, South Africa, 22 March – What if we were to consider the vast quantities of domestic, agricultural and industrial wastewater discharged into the environment everyday as a valuable resource rather than costly problem? This is the paradigm shift advocated in the United Nations World Water Development Report, Wastewater: the Untapped Resource, launched today in Durban on the occasion of World Water Day..

The United Nations World Water Development Report is a UN-Water Report coordinated by the UN World Water Assessment Programme of UNESCO. It argues that once treated, wastewater could prove invaluable in meeting the growing demand for freshwater and other raw materials.

"Wastewater is a valuable resource in a world where water is finite and demand is growing," says Guy Ryder, Chair of UN-Water and Director-General of the International Labour Organization. "Everyone can do their bit to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal target to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase safe water reuse by 2030. It's all about carefully managing and recycling the water that runs through our homes, factories, farms and cities. Let's all reduce and safely reuse more wastewater so that this precious resource serves the needs of increasing populations and a fragile ecosystem."

"The 2017 World Water Development Report shows that improved wastewater management is as much about reducing pollution at the source, as removing contaminants from wastewater flows, reusing reclaimed water and recovering useful by-products. […] Raising social acceptance of the use of wastewater is essential to moving forward", argues UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in her foreword to the Report.

A health and environmental concern

A large proportion of wastewater is still released into the environment without being either collected or treated. This is particularly true in low-income countries, which on average only treat 8 % of domestic and industrial wastewater, compared to 70% in high-income countries. As a result, in many regions of the world, water contaminated by bacteria, nitrates, phosphates and solvents is discharged into rivers and lakes ending up in the oceans, with negative consequences for the environment and public health.

The volume of wastewater to be treated will rise considerably in the near future especially in cities in developing countries with rapidly growing populations. "Wastewater generation is one of the biggest challenges associated with the growth of informal settlements (slums) in the developing world," say the report's authors. A city like Lagos (Nigeria) generates 1.5 million m3 of wastewater every day, most of which ends up untreated in the Lagos Lagoon. Unless action is taken now, this situation is likely to deteriorate further as the city's population rises to over 23 million by 2020.

Pollution from pathogens from human and animal excreta affects almost one third of rivers in Latin America, Asia and Africa, endangering the lives of millions of people. In 2012, 842,000 deaths in low- and middle-income countries were linked to contaminated water and inadequate sanitation services. The lack of treatment also contributes to the spread of some  tropical diseases such as dengue and cholera.

Solvents and hydrocarbons produced by industrial and mining activities, as well as the discharge of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) from intensive farming accelerate the eutrophication of freshwater and coastal marine ecosystems. An estimated 245,000 km2 of marine ecosystems—roughly the size of the United Kingdom—are currently affected by this phenomenon. The discharge of untreated wastewater also stimulates the proliferation of toxic algae blooms and contributes to the decline in biodiversity.

Growing awareness of the presence of pollutants such as hormones, antibiotics, steroids and endocrine disruptors in wastewater poses a new set of challenges as their impact on the environment and health have yet to be fully understood.

Pollution reduces the availability of freshwater supplies, which are already under stress not least because of climate change. Nevertheless, most governments and decision-makers have been primarily concerned by the challenges of water supply, notably when it is scarce, while overlooking the need to manage water after it has been used. Yet these two issues are intrinsically related. The collection, treatment and safe use of wastewater are at the very foundation of a circular economy, balancing economic development with the sustainable use of resources. Reclaimed water is a largely underexploited resource, which can be reused many times.

From sewer to tap

Wastewater is most commonly used for agricultural irrigation and at least 50 countries worldwide are known to use wastewater for this purpose, accounting for an estimated 10 % of all irrigated land. However, data remains incomplete for many regions, notably Africa.

But this practice raises health concerns when the water contains pathogens that can contaminate crops. The challenge, then, is to move from informal irrigation towards planned and safe use, as Jordan, where 90% of treated wastewater is used for irrigation, has been doing since 1977. In Israel, treated wastewater already accounts for nearly half of all water used for irrigation.

In industry, large quantities of water can be reused, for example for heating and cooling, instead of being discharged into the environment. By 2020, the market for industrial wastewater treatment is expected to increase by 50 %.

Treated wastewater can also serve to augment drinking water supplies, although this is still a marginal practice. Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, has been doing this since 1969.  To counter recurrent freshwater shortages, the city has installed infrastructure to treat up to 35% of wastewater, which is then used to supplement drinking water reserves. Residents of Singapore and San Diego (USA) also safely drink water that has been recycled.

This practice can meet with resistance from the public, who may be uncomfortable with the idea of drinking or using water they consider to have once been dirty. Lack of public support led to the failure of a project to reuse water for irrigation and fish farming in Egypt in the 1990s. Awareness-raising campaigns can help gain public acceptance for this type of practice by referring to successful examples, such as that of the astronauts on the International Space Station who have been reusing the same recycled water for over 16 years.

Wastewater and sludge as a source of raw materials

As well as providing a safe alternative source for freshwater, wastewater can also be seen as a potential source of raw materials. Thanks to developments in treatment techniques, certain nutrients, like phosphorus and nitrates, can now be recovered from sewage and sludge and turned into fertilizer. An estimated 22% of global demand for phosphorus, a finite and depleting mineral resource, could be met by treating human urine and excrement. Some countries, like Switzerland, have already passed legislation calling for the mandatory recovery of certain nutrients such as phosphorus.

The organic substances contained in wastewater could be used to produce biogas, which could help power wastewater treatment facilities, helping them transition from major consumers to becoming energy neutral or even net energy producers. In Japan, the government has set itself the target of recovering 30% of the biomass energy in wastewater by 2020. Every year, the city of Osaka produces 6,500 tonnes of biosolid fuels from 43,000 tonnes of sewage sludge.

Such technologies need not be out of reach for developing countries as low-cost treatment solutions already allow for the extraction of energy and nutrients. They may not yet allow for the direct recovery of potable water, but they can produce viable and safe water for other uses, such as irrigation. And sales of raw materials derived from wastewater can provide additional revenue to help cover the investment and operational costs of wastewater treatment.

Today, 2.4 billion people still do not have access to improved sanitation facilities. Reducing this figure, in keeping with Sustainable Development Goal 6 on water and sanitation of the UN 2030 Agenda, will mean discharging even more wastewater, which will then need to be treated affordably.

Some progress has already been made. In Latin America, for example, the treatment of wastewater has almost doubled since the late 1990s and covers between 20% and 30% of wastewater collected in urban sewer networks. But that also means that between 70% and 80% is released without treatment, so there is still a long way to go. An essential step on that road will have been taken with the widespread recognition of the value of safely using treated wastewater and its valuable by-products as an alternative to raw freshwater.

***

Note to the editors

The United Nations World Water Development Report is a UN-Water Report produced by the UN World Water Assessment Programme of UNESCO. The Report is the result of the collaboration between the 31 entities of the United Nations System and the 38 international partners that comprise UN-Water. The Report presents an exhaustive review of the state of global water resources and, up until 2012, was published every three years. Since 2014, the WWDR is published annually, with each edition focused on a given theme. It is launched every year on World Water Day, 22 March, which shares the same theme as the report.

To download the WWDR Report:

http://www.unesco.org/new/wwdr-media

user: media-wwdr2017
password: DurbanSDG_6

 

Media contact: Agnès Bardon, UNESCO Media Service. Tel: +33 (0)14568 1764, a.bardon@unesco.org

 

 



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UNESCO, 7, place de Fontenoy, PARIS, NA FRANCE France

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

CSSP Open Workshop - Indo-French Perspectives on Digital Studies | 15th March, at JNU Convention Centre

Open Workshop

Indo-French Perspectives on Digital Studies

 

An IFRIS – JNU Initiative

Organised by the Digital Studies Group, New Delhi

 

Wednesday, 15th March, 2017

Committee Room No. 108, Convention Centre

Jawaharlal Nehru University

New Delhi-110067

 


Introductory Session 9:00am – 9:30am

Introductory Remarks: Saradindu Bhaduri, Chairperson, CSSP, JNU.

Introduction to Indo-French Partnership: Madhav Govind, CSSP, JNU.

Marine Al Dahdah, Paris Descartes University, CEPED, Paris - CSH-Delhi.


Session 1: Open Access 9:30am 11:00am

Chairperson/Discussant: Rajiv Mishra, CSSP (JNU)

Speaker 1: Marianne Noël, CNRS-LISIS, Paris               

Speaker 2: Anubha Sinha, Centre for Internet & Society, New Delhi


Tea Break 11:00 am- 11:30 am


Session 2: Materiality of the Digital: People, Spaces, Infrastructures 11.30 am – 1:00pm

Chairperson/Discussant: Vidya Subramanian, HT, New Delhi.

Speaker 1: Ravi Sundaram, CSDS-Sarai, Delhi.

Speaker 2:  Rajarshi Dasgupta, Centre for Political Studies, SSS, JNU  

Speaker 3: Aurélie Varrel, French Institute of Pondicherry, CNRS-CEIAS.


Lunch Break 1:00 am to 2:00 pm


Session 3: Digital Governance and Databases 2:00pm-3.30 pm

Chairperson/Discussant: Khetrimayum Monish, CIS Delhi,.

Speaker 1: Eric Dagiral, Paris Descartes University , CERLIS, Paris.

Speaker 2: Ravi Shukla Head, India-SDC, Netvision Corporation Singapore
and Independent Researcher on IT and society. 


Tea Break  3.30 pm to 4:00 pm


Concluding Session: Synthesis  4:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Speaker: Mathieu Quet, CSSP (JNU), IRD-Paris


Friday, March 10, 2017

Governance of maritime space, conference organized by UNESCO and the European Commission

UNESCO Media Advisiory No.2017-06

Governance of maritime space, conference organized by UNESCO and the European Commission

Paris, 10 March- UNESCO and the European Commission are hosting an international conference on marine spatial planning, a process that seeks to regulate human activities in the waters bordering coastal areas so as to preserve marine ecosystems, avoid conflicts between sectors of commercial and industrial activity, and promote international cooperation. (UNESCO Headquarters, 15 to 17 March).

Organized by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) and the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission, the conference will bring together more than 350 experts from all over the world. It will provide an opportunity to take stock of existing marine spatial planning (MSP) to date, exchange best practices, encourage cooperation among countries sharing coastal and marine waters, and establish priorities for the coming years.

On the sidelines of the conference, participants will be invited to take part in a role- game, the MSP Challenge. It is designed to improve the players' understanding of the marine spatial planning process by getting them to take on the parts of environmental activist, industrialist and decision-maker.

Marine spatial planning has become increasingly important due to the intensification of activities beside traditional fishing and shipping. Recent decades have seen the development of marine aggregates extraction, offshore aquaculture, renewable marine energy generation and more. MSP aims to bring together all users to help them coordinate decision-making, avoid inter sectoral conflicts and resource overexploitation.

Marine spatial plans today cover almost 10% of the world's exclusive economic zones (marine areas stretching over 200 nautical miles from the coastline on which States exercise sovereign rights, notably with regard to the exploitation of resources)

Since 2006, IOC has been assisting countries in implementing this type of ecosystem-based management through its Marine Spatial Planning initiative. In 2009, IOC published Marine spatial planning: a step-by-step approach to ecosystem-based management a guide to support  countries implementing management plans for their marine regions [available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese].

In 2014, the European Union adopted legislation to create a common framework for maritime spatial planning in Europe. Since then, the European Commission has funded cross-border planning projects worth €18 million.

The conference is expected to pave the way for the adoption of a road map by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission to encourage marine spatial planning in all seas and oceans of the globe. The objective is to triple the surface of marine areas benefiting from spatial planning by 2025 to cover one third of total waters under national jurisdictions.

****

More information about the conference


More information on the European directive on MSP


More information on the MSP Challenge
(An event open to journalists accredited by UNESCO and invited experts only)

Media contact: Agnès Bardon, UNESCO Press Service. Tel: +33 (0) 1 45 68 17 64, a.bardon@unesco.org

 



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UNESCO, 7, place de Fontenoy, PARIS, NA FRANCE France

CSSP Talk "Technological Roots of Structural Imbalance in the Indian Economy" by Prof Vinod Vyasulu | 15th March 2017, 11:00 a.m.

Centre for Studies in Science Policy

School of Social Sciences, JNU

Invites you to

                                                               

A Talk on

Technological Roots of Structural Imbalance in the Indian Economy

 by

Professor Vinod Vyasulu

O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India

 

Venue:  Room No. 227, 2nd Floor, SSS-1

Date:    Wednesday, 15th March 2017

Time:   11:00 a.m.

 

Abstract: Over the years, there has been a growing imbalance in the structure of the Indian economy. While the share of agriculture in the economy has dropped from around 66% fifty years ago, to about 15% today, the share of people dependent on this sector has still remained at around 60%. This is one indicator of poverty. I propose to look at the technological roots of this imbalance in this presentation.

About the Speaker: Professor Vinod Vyasulu earned a PhD from the School of Business Administration in the University of Florida. He has taught in the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, and XLRI, Jamshedpur. He was Director of the Institute of Public Enterprise, Hyderabad, and held the RBI Chair in the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore. He also had a stint as Economic Adviser for Small Scale Industries in the National Small Industries Corporation, Delhi. He was Director of the Centre for Budget and Policy Studies in Bangalore. Currently he is Professor and Vice Dean, Jindal School of Government and Policy in Sonipat. He can be contacted at vvyasulu@jgu.edu.in.

 

All are welcome to attend the lecture.

Coordinators, CSSP Lecture Series