Wednesday, November 30, 2016
The Vice President of India released Festschrift on Prof Ashok Parthasarathi "A Lifetime of Moulding Technology and Science Policy in India", edited by Dr Sachin Chaturvedi
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
New Report | Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2016: Recent Trends and Developments | by UN-ESCAP
Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2016: Recent Trends and Developments
by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, UN-ESCAP, November 2016, ISBN: 9789211207323.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes international trade as a generator of inclusive economic growth. It adds value to economies, provides foreign exchange earnings to help finance development and enables job creation, all of which contribute to poverty reduction. Taking advantage of its dynamism, diversity and labor markets has enabled Asia and the Pacific to be competitive in international markets. This is evidenced by the rise in the region's share of global trade and participation in associated value chains.
Like elsewhere, however, the Asia and Pacific region has faced protracted global headwinds since 2007, which has impacted the trade sector and its prospects. This latest Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2016 highlights that the region's trade flows are wavering amid continued sluggish global economic and trade growth, downward movement of world commodity prices and an uncertain policy environment. These outcomes come at a time when the need for trade growth to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is critical.
Even though regional trade did gain some momentum during 2010-2014, the nominal value of Asia and Pacific exports and imports in 2015 experienced a major slump of 9.7 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively. Sluggish growth in trade is expected to continue through to the end of 2016. Forecasts, presented in this Report, do offer hope for a rebound in trade, more so in value, but growth in exports and imports in volume terms will be around 2.2 per cent and 3.8 per cent, respectively.
To its credit, most of Asia's exporting economies have decoupled from the economic cycles in traditional exports markets, like the United States and the European Union, by not only diversifying their export markets but also through boosting domestic consumption and the services sector. Notwithstanding, the region has the potential to lead by example and revitalize its trade momentum, which will be critical to ensuring our future is sustainable and that our societies are more equal.
Concurrent to trade, foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to developing countries have also slowed. FDI flows and regional integration policies have been adversely affected by populist sentiments which have been growing globally. In Asia and the Pacific, growing discontentment with liberalization has to a certain extent been influenced by the inequitable distribution of the benefits of liberalization and rising inequalities. In this context, it is of little surprise that a number of new restrictive trade measures, particularly in G20 countries, were implemented in 2016.
This year's edition of the Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR) does, however, reveal positive news. With a share of 40%, the Asia-Pacific region is still the largest goods exporting region globally. The region's share in commercial services trade continues to strengthen and restrictiveness of services trade has not increased in the region's economies. Furthermore, the region's active actions towards international investment liberalization helped greenfield FDI inflows grow much faster than the global average. Significant progress was also witnessed in the region's efforts to decrease trade costs, illustrated by the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific. A significant number of economies in our region have also already ratified the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, with the 12 remaining Asia-Pacific economies on track to ratify the Agreement soon.
In addition to these developments, Asia and the Pacific also witnessed the first signs of some consolidation among the preferential trade activities in the region. Nevertheless, after the results of the recent United States election, it appears that at least one of the mega-regional agreements signed in 2016, has an uncertain future. This is disappointing, and represents a considerable loss in terms of time and costs for the countries that were involved in negotiating this agreement. Moving forward, these developments may, however, allow the region's economies to focus more on South-South integration and enable them to promote trade and investment linkages suited to their development aspirations.
I recommend the Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2016: Recent Trends and Developments to all Governments, development partners and other stakeholders. Together with 5 sub-regional and almost 30 country trade briefs, this Report offers comprehensive evidence that will help in the introduction of well-informed trade and investment trends and policies across the region. Given that the short-term prospects for international trade are not promising, the changing patterns and prospects outlined in this Report highlight that achieving the 2030 Agenda will require the continued and dedicated efforts of our region's economies to create a strong, vibrant and enabling environment for international trade and investment.
Shamshad Akhtar | Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations | Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Merchandise Trade Still in Trouble?
Chapter 2. Trade in Commercial Services Sliding Downhill
Chapter 3. Foreign Direct Investment Makes a Modest Come-Back
Chapter 4. Trade Facilitation in Asia and the Pacific: An Update
Chapter 5. Regional Trends in Trade Policies: Building Taller Fences?
Chapter 6. Preferential Trade and Agreements: An UpdateChapter 7. International Trade in a Digital Age
Monday, November 28, 2016
JNU organizes 2nd Dr KR Narayanan Memorial Lecture "Global Order in Flux: Challenges & Options for India" by Lalit Mansingh 30 Nov | 4pm
CfPs: International Conference on "Knowing Nature: The Changing Foundations of Environmental Knowledge"| 25-27 May 2017 | Renmin University of China, Beijing
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Audio Recording of CSSP Talk "Scientometrics as a Viable Method for STS Research" by Dr Sujit Bhattacharya
- Introduction of Renewable Energy Technologies | Prof. Dr. Tara Chandra Kandpal
- Economics of Renewable Energy Technologies | Prof. Dr. Tara Chandra Kandpal
- Financing of Renewable Energy Technologies | Prof. Dr. Tara Chandra Kandpal
- Innovation Management | Prof. Dr. Gordon Müller-Seitz, Markus Kowalski
- The End of Management | Dr Patrick O'Leary
- Professional Presentation Techniques | Thorsten Ohler
- Management in Far-East Asia | Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Sonnenborn
- Optimization of Logistics Systems | Prof. Dr. Daniele Vigo
- Introduction to Computational Intelligence | prof. Dr. Oliver Wendt
Foreword: TWAS, Past and Future (Bai Chunli)Introduction: The Vision of Abdus Salam (Daniel Schaffer)Present in the World (José I Vargas)A Centre for Excellence (C N R Rao)Fulfilling the Promise (Jacob Palis)Making It Happen (Mohamed H A Hassan)Minding the Gaps (Ana María Cetto Kramis)Opening Doors (Adnan Badran)Full Engagement (Zakri Abdul Hamid)The Odds of Success (Keto Mshigeni)A Life of Change (Yu Lu)Moving Ahead Together (Roseanne Diab)For Generations to Come (Maria Corazon A De Ungria)
Key TWAS leaders reflect on the history of science in the developing world – and the history and future of TWAS – in a new book. In 11 inspiring essays, TWAS leaders detail the Academy's triumphs and challenges in advancing science for the developing world.Thirty years after the first TWAS General Meeting, a new book explores the Academy's past and future in a series of essays by TWAS leaders and prominent Fellows from the developing world. "A Voice for Science in the South" serves as window into one of the most significant changes of our era: how nations once trapped in poverty have invested in science, technology and education to drive development and improve human conditions. The book "will serve as a lasting reminder of the commitment that motivated Abdus Salam, Paolo Budinich and the others who founded the Academy and guided its work for the first 30 years," writes TWAS President Bai Chunli in the Foreword. "Though the world may change, their ideals remain constant. At the same time, this volume reminds us of the hard work and creativity that will be required to build on their legacy, so that TWAS remains an effective leader and advocate for science in the service of human progress.""A Voice for Science in the South" was edited by Daniel Schaffer, the former TWAS public information officer, and published by Singapore-based World Scientific. In an introductory essay, Schaffer reflects on the vision and commitment of Salam, the Pakistani physicist who founded the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in 1964 and won the Nobel Prize in 1979. Following that reflection are essays by four pioneering TWAS leaders: former Presidents José I. Vargas of Brazil; C.N.R. Rao of India; and Jacob Palis of Brazil; and longtime Executive Director Mohamed H.A. Hassan of Sudan. "A Voice for Science in the South" also features essays by:
- TWAS Fellow Ana María Cetto Kramis of Mexico, who has played a globally influential role in supporting women in science;
- TWAS Fellow Adnan Badran, who served as prime minister of Jordan during a distinguished career of scholarship, political engagement and diplomacy;
- Zakri Abdul Hamid, a TWAS Fellow who serves as science adviser to the government of Malaysia, a member of the UN Secretary-General's Science Advisory Board, and founding chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services;
- Keto Mshigeni, a TWAS Council vice president and one of Africa's preeminent natural scientists, known for his research into seaweed and mushrooms as food sources;
- TWAS Fellow Yu Lu, a renowned Chinese physicist who served as the first permanent member of the ICTP scientific staff;
- Roseanne Diab, a TWAS Fellow and executive director of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa; and
- TWAS Young Affiliate Maria Corazon A. De Ungria of the Philippines, head of the DNA Analysis Laboratory at the University of the Philippines.
Friday, November 25, 2016
UNESCO Communication and Information Weekly Newsletter
Statistics collected by UNESCO show that a recent awareness-raising campaign on the safety of journalists has reached millions of people worldwide. The campaign marked the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI, 2 November). Titled My Killers Are Still Free, the aim of the advocacy initiative was to draw attention to the high level of journalists' killings and the prevailing impunity for these crimes committed against them.
UNESCO's concept of Internet Universality was featured prominently during a conference at the University of Salerno, Italy on 10 and 11 November. Titled "Internet Governance: theories, models and research perspectives", the event drew prominent Internet scholars, including Mauro Santaniello, Laura DeNardis, Jeannette Hoffman, Claudia Padovani and Meryem Marzouki.
A round table and a high-level meeting on Russia's language policy and the situation of the multilingualism in the world was held in Moscow on 17 and 18 November at the ITAR-TASS News Agency, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, the Russian Committee of the UNESCO Information for All Programme, and the Interregional Library Cooperation Centre.
Bringing a pop-up banner with them to UNESCO Headquarters, a delegation travelled from Jakarta to Paris last week to discuss next year's global World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) commemoration to be held in Indonesia.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the murder of radio presenter Hernán Choquepata Ordoñez in Camaná, Peru, on 20 November.
According to the World Trends on Freedom of Expression and Media Development report, the weak economic position of the media industry in Africa continues to exacerbate the problems of self-censorship, widespread bribery and unprofessional journalism, as well as negatively impacting the sustainability and independence of media outlets.
It is in this regard that UNESCO participated in the 45th International Forum of the Union Internationale de la presse francophone to discuss Media Economics in developing countries from 20 to 24 November 2016 in Ansirabe, Madagscar. The event attracted the participation of more than 300 journalists including representatives from Reporters without Borders, the Moroccan High Authority of Audiovisual Communication (Haute autorité de la communication audiovisuelle), the president of the Niger Union de la Presse Francophone, media owners and representatives of international organizations.
At the opening of the forum, the President of the Republic of Madagascar, Mr. Hery Rajaonari...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today urged measures to improve the safety of journalists in Yemen following the killing of photojournalist Awab Al-Zubairi on 18 November in Taiz, in Yemen.
The 30th session of the Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), which took place in UNESCO Headquarters on 17-18 November 2016, re-elected Ms. Albana Shala as Chair of the Programme for the 2016-2018 period.
During the second day of the 30th IPDC Council session, the importance of gender equality and women's empowerment in the media was discussed, with the presence of a panel of experts.
On 18 November 2016, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information Frank La Rue met with EU First Vice-President Frans Timmermans.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of television journalist Marcel Lubala on the night of 14 to 15 November in the city of Mbuji-Mayi, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Kasai-Oriental province.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
New Book | Modi Doctrine: The Foreign Policy of India's Prime Minister | by Sreeram Chaulia, Bloomsbury, 2016
- 'Why is he investing so much time and energy into promoting India's international relations and global image?
- What are his vision and goals for India's role in the world'?
- What kind of distinct techniques define his approach to foreign policy?
- How is he changing India's self-understanding and preparing it for world affairs?'
- Ganguly, Anirban; Chauthaiwale, Vijay; Sinha, Uttam Kumar (2016). The Modi Doctrine: New Paradigms in India's Foreign Policy. Wisdom Tree India, Hardback, ISBN: 9788183284837.
- Chaturvedi, Sachin & Mulakala, Anthea (2016). India's Approach to Development Cooperation. Routledge, 2016, ISBN: 9781138947733.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Monday, November 21, 2016
Bill Gates on "Technology and Transformation"
NITI Aayog aims to build strong States that will come together to build a strong India. As the government's premier think-tank, we view knowledge building & transfer as the enabler of real transformation in the States. To build knowledge systems for the States and the Centre, NITI is pleased to announce the launch of "NITI Lectures: Transforming India".
The second lecture in the high-powered NITI Lecture series was delivered by Bill Gates, Co-Founder, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on the November 16th, 2016. The theme of the lecture was 'Technology and Transformation'. Outlining the global shifts that impact the nation's development, the lecture discusses India's many advantages, its potential to address existing challenges and the opportunities that lay ahead by using technology and innovation as levers for transformation.
Through this lecture series, NITI Aayog aims to bring policy makers, academics, experts and administrators of global repute to India, for the benefit of policy makers in States and the Centre. This is aimed at learning from global experience in development and good governance. The Transforming India Lecture Series was inaugurated on August 26th, 2016 by the Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The first keynote address - India and the Global Economy - was delivered by the Hon'ble Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Shri Tharman Shanmugaratnam.