October 11, 2014
12th VOLVO OCEAN RACE Started Today
Photo: October 3, 2014. Team Vestas Wind during the practice Race in Alicante. Photo Credit: David Ramos/Getty Images/Volvo Ocean Race.
Photo: October 3, 2014. Team Alvimedica and Team SCA during the practice Race in Alicante. Photo Credit: David Ramos/Volvo Ocean Race.
Photo: October 11, 2014. Team Brunel and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing leave Alicante during the Start of Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Alicante to Cape Town. Photo Credit: David Ramos/Volvo Ocean Race.
The seven-strong fleet of the 12th Volvo Ocean Race raced out of Alicante, Spain, on Saturday October 11, for the punishing first leg to Cape Town, South Africa, with rains and strong winds forecast to greet them in the opening eight hours.
Team Brunel took the honours after the fleet bade farewell to a memorable Alicante nine-day stopover before heading out to the Mediterranean, through the Straits of Gibraltar and then into the Atlantic Ocean during the first week of a nine-month, 38,739-mile marathon.
The Volvo Ocean Race is the world’s toughest ocean race. Grand Prix sailing by the world’s best sailors, racing day and night for 39,000 miles around the world in nine leg stages.
There are seven teams, 66 sailors and 18 nationalities setting off in identical one design Volvo Ocean 65 racing machines. The first leg will take the fleet out into the North Atlantic, south across the Equator and into the South Atlantic, on into Cape Town 6,500 miles away. It will take them more than three weeks.
Start: Saturday 11th October, 2014; Alicante, Spain.
Leg 1 - Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa: 6,487 miles.
Leg Duration: 23 days approx.
- Team Alvimedica [USA/TUR]: skipper Charlie Enright [USA], crew from United States of America, Australia, France, Italia, New Zealand.
- Team SCA [SWE]: person in charge Samantha Davies [UK], 100% female crew from the United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia and The Netherlands.
- Dongfeng Race team [CHN]: skipper Charles Caudrelier [FRA], crew from China, France and Sweden.
- Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing [UAE]: skipper Ian Walker [UK], crew from New Zealand, Ireland, UAE, Australia, Spain.
- Team Vestas Wind [DEN]: skipper Chris Nicholson [AUS], crew from Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Argentina, the Netherlands.
- Team Brunel [NED]: skipper Bouwe Bekking [NED], crew from the Netherlands, Lithuania, France, Belgium, Spain, Australia, Denmark.
- MAPFRE [ESP]: skipper Iker Martinez [ESP], crew from Spain, France, Brazil, the United Kingdom.
October 10, 2014
83 COUNTRIES IN COMPETITION FOR 2014 FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OSCAR
Photo: Hollywood Costume Private Luncheon presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and hosted by Annette Bening, Crystal Lourd, Gwyneth Paltrow and Elizabeth Wiatt on October 8, 2014 at the Wilshire May Company Building. Sponsored by W Magazine and Bang & Olufsen. Pictured: Cameron Diaz. Photo Credit: Jordan Murph. © Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
LOS ANGELES, CA - A record 83 countries have submitted films for consideration in the Foreign Language Film category for the 87th Academy Awards. Kosovo, Malta, Mauritania and Panama are first-time entrants.
The 2014 submissions are:
- Afghanistan, “A Few Cubic Meters of Love,” Jamshid Mahmoudi, director;
- Argentina, “Wild Tales,” Damián Szifrón, director;
- Australia, “Charlie’s Country,” Rolf de Heer, director;
- Austria, “The Dark Valley,” Andreas Prochaska, director;
- Azerbaijan, “Nabat,” Elchin Musaoglu, director;
- Bangladesh, “Glow of the Firefly,” Khalid Mahmood Mithu, director;
- Belgium, “Two Days, One Night,” Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, directors;
- Bolivia, “Forgotten,” Carlos Bolado, director;
- Bosnia and Herzegovina, “With Mom,” Faruk Lon?arevi?, director;
- Brazil, “The Way He Looks,” Daniel Ribeiro, director;
- Bulgaria, “Bulgarian Rhapsody,” Ivan Nitchev, director;
- Canada, “Mommy,” Xavier Dolan, director;
- Chile, “To Kill a Man,” Alejandro Fernández Almendras, director;
- China, “The Nightingale,” Philippe Muyl, director;
- Colombia, “Mateo,” María Gamboa, director;
- Costa Rica, “Red Princesses,” Laura Astorga Carrera, director;
- Croatia, “Cowboys,” Tomislav Mrši?, director;
- Cuba, “Conducta,” Ernesto Daranas Serrano, director;
- Czech Republic, “Fair Play,” Andrea Sedlakova, director;
- Denmark, “Sorrow and Joy,” Nils Malmros, director;
- Dominican Republic, “Cristo Rey,” Leticia Tonos, director;
- Ecuador, “Silence in Dreamland,” Tito Molina, director;
- Egypt, “Factory Girl,” Mohamed Khan, director;
- Estonia, “Tangerines,” Zaza Urushadze, director;
- Ethiopia, “Difret,” Zeresenay Berhane Mehari, director;
- Finland, “Concrete Night,” Pirjo Honkasalo, director;
- France, “Saint Laurent,” Bertrand Bonello, director;
- Georgia, “Corn Island,” George Ovashvili, director;
- Germany, “Beloved Sisters,” Dominik Graf, director;
- Greece, “Little England,” Pantelis Voulgaris, director;
- Hong Kong, “The Golden Era,” Ann Hui, director;
- Hungary, “White God,” Kornel Mundruczo, director;
- Iceland, “Life in a Fishbowl,” Baldvin Zophoníasson, director;
- India, “Liar’s Dice,” Geetu Mohandas, director;
- Indonesia, “Soekarno,” Hanung Bramantyo, director;
- Iran, “Today,” Reza Mirkarimi, director;
- Iraq, “Mardan,” Batin Ghobadi, director;
- Ireland, “The Gift,” Tom Collins, director;
- Israel, “Gett, the Trial of Viviane Amsalem,” Ronit Elkabetz and Shlomi Elkabetz, directors;
- Italy, “Human Capital,” Paolo Virzì, director;
- Japan, “The Light Shines Only There,” Mipo O, director;
- Kosovo, “Three Windows and a Hanging,” Isa Qosja, director;
- Kyrgyzstan, “Kurmanjan Datka Queen of the Mountains,” Sadyk Sher-Niyaz, director;
- Latvia, “Rocks in My Pockets,” Signe Baumane, director;
- Lebanon, “Ghadi,” Amin Dora, director;
- Lithuania, “The Gambler,” Ignas Jonynas, director;
- Luxembourg, “Never Die Young,” Pol Cruchten, director;
- Macedonia, “To the Hilt,” Stole Popov, director;
- Malta, “Simshar,” Rebecca Cremona, director;
- Mauritania, “Timbuktu,” Abderrahmane Sissako, director;
- Mexico, “Cantinflas,” Sebastián del Amo, director;
- Moldova, “The Unsaved,” Igor Cobileanski, director;
- Montenegro, “The Kids from the Marx and Engels Street,” Nikola Vukcevic, director;
- Morocco, “The Red Moon,” Hassan Benjelloun, director;
- Nepal, “Jhola,” Yadav Kumar Bhattarai, director;
- Netherlands, “Accused,” Paula van der Oest, director;
- New Zealand, “The Dead Lands,” Toa Fraser, director;
- Norway, “1001 Grams,” Bent Hamer, director;
- Pakistan, “Dukhtar,” Afia Nathaniel, director;
- Palestine, “Eyes of a Thief,” Najwa Najjar, director;
- Panama, “Invasion,” Abner Benaim, director;
- Peru, “The Gospel of the Flesh,” Eduardo Mendoza, director;
- Philippines, “Norte, the End of History,” Lav Diaz, director;
- Poland, “Ida,” Pawe Pawlikowski, director;
- Portugal, “What Now? Remind Me,” Joaquim Pinto, director;
- Romania, “The Japanese Dog,” Tudor Cristian Jurgiu, director;
- Russia, “Leviathan,” Andrey Zvyagintsev, director;
- Serbia, “See You in Montevideo,” Dragan Bjelogrli, director;
- Singapore, “Sayang Disayang,” Sanif Olek, director;
- Slovakia, “A Step into the Dark,” Miloslav Luther, director;
- Slovenia, “Seduce Me,” Marko Santic, director;
- South Africa, “Elelwani,” Ntshavheni Wa Luruli, director;
- South Korea, “Haemoo,” Shim Sung-bo, director;
- Spain, “Living Is Easy with Eyes Closed,” David Trueba, director;
- Sweden, “Force Majeure,” Ruben Östlund, director;
- Switzerland, “The Circle,” Stefan Haupt, director;
- Taiwan, “Ice Poison,” Midi Z, director;
- Thailand, “The Teacher’s Diary,” Nithiwat Tharathorn, director;
- Turkey, “Winter Sleep,” Nuri Bilge Ceylan, director;
- Ukraine, “The Guide,” Oles Sanin, director;
- United Kingdom, “Little Happiness,” Nihat Seven, director;
- Uruguay, “Mr. Kaplan,” Álvaro Brechner, director;
- Venezuela, “The Liberator,” Alberto Arvelo, director.
The 87th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 15, 2015 in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
The Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.
October 5, 2014
U.S., India to Collaborate on Mars Exploration, Earth-Observing Mission
Photo: The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission, targeted to launch in 2020, will make global measurements of the causes and consequences of a variety of land surface changes on Earth. Image Credit: NASA.
Photo: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (left) and Chairman K. Radhakrishnan of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) signing documents in Toronto on Sept. 30, 2014 to launch a joint Earth-observing satellite mission and establish a pathway for future joint missions to explore Mars. Image Credit: NASA.
In a meeting Tuesday in Toronto, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), signed two documents to launch a NASA-ISRO satellite mission to observe Earth and establish a pathway for future joint missions to explore Mars.
While attending the International Astronautical Congress, the two space agency leaders met to discuss and sign a charter that establishes a NASA-ISRO Mars Working Group to investigate enhanced cooperation between the two countries in Mars exploration. They also signed an international agreement that defines how the two agencies will work together on the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission, targeted to launch in 2020.
“The signing of these two documents reflects the strong commitment NASA and ISRO have to advancing science and improving life on Earth,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “This partnership will yield tangible benefits to both our countries and the world.”
The joint Mars Working Group will seek to identify and implement scientific, programmatic and technological goals that NASA and ISRO have in common regarding Mars exploration. The group will meet once a year to plan cooperative activities, including potential NASA-ISRO cooperation on future missions to Mars.
Both agencies have newly arrived spacecraft in Mars orbit. NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft arrived at Mars Sept. 21. MAVEN is the first spacecraft dedicated to exploring the tenuous upper atmosphere of Mars. ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), India’s first spacecraft launched to Mars, arrived Sept. 23 to study the Martian surface and atmosphere and demonstrate technologies needed for interplanetary missions.
One of the working group’s objectives will be to explore potential coordinated observations and science analysis between MAVEN and MOM, as well as other current and future Mars missions.
“NASA and Indian scientists have a long history of collaboration in space science,” said John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator for science. “These new agreements between NASA and ISRO in Earth science and Mars exploration will significantly strengthen our ties and the science that we will be able to produce as a result.”
The joint NISAR Earth-observing mission will make global measurements of the causes and consequences of land surface changes. Potential areas of research include ecosystem disturbances, ice sheet collapse and natural hazards. The NISAR mission is optimized to measure subtle changes of the Earth’s surface associated with motions of the crust and ice surfaces. NISAR will improve our understanding of key impacts of climate change and advance our knowledge of natural hazards.
NISAR will be the first satellite mission to use two different radar frequencies (L-band and S-band) to measure changes in our planet’s surface less than a centimeter across. This allows the mission to observe a wide range of changes, from the flow rates of glaciers and ice sheets to the dynamics of earthquakes and volcanoes.
Under the terms of the new agreement, NASA will provide the mission’s L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR), a high-rate communication subsystem for science data, GPS receivers, a solid state recorder, and a payload data subsystem. ISRO will provide the spacecraft bus, an S-band SAR, and the launch vehicle and associated launch services.
NASA had been studying concepts for a SAR mission in response to the National Academy of Science’s decadal survey of the agency’s Earth science program in 2007. The agency developed a partnership with ISRO that led to this joint mission. The partnership with India has been key to enabling many of the mission’s science objectives.
NASA’s contribution to NISAR is being managed and implemented by the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
October 3, 2014
Commemoration of International Day of Non-Violence
Photo: A wide view of the Trusteeship Council Chamber, UN Headquarters, New York, during the special event marking the International Day of Non-Violence, organized by the Permanent Mission of India to the UN. The Day of Non-Violence is observed on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the non-violence philosophy, as an occasion to disseminate the message of non-violence. October 2, 2014. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Cia Pak.
October 2, 2014
Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014-2015 show US strength on the Wane
Photo: Main Quadrangle, University of Chicago, USA. Photo Credit: Luiz Gadelha Jr.
According to Chris Parr of Times Higher Education, despite the California Institute of Technology’s claim on the top spot for the fourth consecutive year, evidence is emerging of a decline in the power of US universities in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014-2015.
And, according to him, despite the fact that Harvard (second), Stanford (fourth), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (sixth), Princeton University (seventh), the University of California, Berkeley (eighth) and Yale University (joint ninth) all make the top 10, there is evidence of an overall decline for US universities, with significant losses further down the league table. This includes the University of Chicago, which slips from ninth to 11th.
The US has 74 universities in the top 200, down from 77 last year. Some 60 per cent of those institutions rank lower than they did 12 months ago, with an average fall of 5.34 places per university.
It is a similar story for Canada. While the University of Toronto retains 20th place and the University of Victoria joins the top 200 in joint 173rd place, all other Canadian top 200 universities have lost ground.
The UK, meanwhile, has lost three universities from the top 200 (the University of Reading, the University of Dundee and Newcastle University), and now has 29 top 200 institutions, down from 31.
Conversely, the leading Asian institutions continue to rise, and the continent now has 24 universities in the world top 200, four more than last year. Two Asian universities make the world top 25 (the University of Tokyo and the National University of Singapore), while six feature among the top 50.
“Western universities, in many cases starved of vital public funding, are losing ground,” said Phil Baty, THE rankings editor, who added that there was “something approaching a crisis” for US state institutions.
Philip Altbach, director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, said that the “serious hit” in funding to the “great American public universities” had major implications for US science and competitiveness.
He added that on average Canada had a better higher education system than the US, without the “peaks nor the valleys” found among the ranking positions of American universities. “[Canada’s] top universities are excellent, but could easily be even better if they had the additional funding - and probably the competitive spirit - needed,” Dr Altbach said.
In Europe, Germany gains two new top 200 representatives (Eberhard Karls Universitat Tubingen and Technische Universitat Dresden), to overtake the Netherlands as the third most represented nation behind the US and the UK.
Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014-15 — Top Twenty:
Rank — Institution — Country
- California Institute of Technology — US
- Harvard University — US
- University of Oxford — UK
- Stanford University — US
- University of Cambridge — UK
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology — US
- Princeton University — US
- University of California, Berkeley — US
- Imperial College London — UK
- Yale University — US
- University of Chicago — US
- University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) — US
- ETH Zurich - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich — Switzerland
- Columbia University — US
- Johns Hopkins University — US
- University of Pennsylvania — US
- University of Michigan — US
- Duke University — US
- Cornell University — US
- University of Toronto — Canada
September 30, 2014
Global Citizen Festival To End Extreme Poverty
Photo: Sesame Street muppets Raya (L) and Elmo attend VIP Lounge at the 2014 Global Citizen Festival to end extreme poverty by 2030 in Central Park on September 27, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Global Citizen Festival. © 2014 Getty Images).
Photo: Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, and Hugh Jackman speak onstage at the 2014 Global Citizen Festival to end extreme poverty by 2030 in Central Park on September 27, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Global Citizen Festival. © 2014 Getty Images).
Photo: Adrian Grenier (L) and Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg attend VIP Lounge at the 2014 Global Citizen Festival to end extreme poverty by 2030 in Central Park on September 27, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Global Citizen Festival. © 2014 Getty Images).
Photo: President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim (L) and UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon attend the 2014 Global Citizen Festival to end extreme poverty by 2030 at Central Park on September 27, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Global Citizen Festival. © 2014 Getty Images).
Photo: Katie Holmes (L) and Connie Britton speak onstage at the 2014 Global Citizen Festival to end extreme poverty by 2030 in Central Park on September 27, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Global Citizen Festival. © 2014 Getty Images).
2014 Global Citizen Festival held In Central Park, New York City, on September 27, 2014 was a part of the Global Citizen movement to end extreme poverty. Musicians and celebrities joined dignitaries and philanthropists on the Great Lawn in Central Park to urge world leaders to make commitments in the issues of vaccines, education and sanitation.
September 29, 2014
Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships 2014 — Yana Kudryavtseva of Russia awarded the Longines Prize for Elegance.
Photos: Yana Kudryavtseva (Russia), winner of the 2014 Longines Prize for Elegance at the 33rd Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Izmir, Turkey.
Yana Kudryavtseva of Russia clinched the World Championships all-around title at Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships 2014 in Izmir, Turkey, on Friday, September 26, 2014.
Yana Kudryavtseva was also awarded the Longines Prize for Elegance. The gymnasts under consideration for this prize are evaluated according to a number of complementary criteria. In addition to technical considerations, each athlete’s performance is judged with respect to emotional appeal, beauty, charm as well as grace and harmony of movement.
September 22, 2014
Massive Architectural Projections on UN Headquarters
Photo: A view from the street of the 30-story architectural show, “illUmiNations: PROTECTING OUR PLANET”, being projected on to the side of the UN Secretariat building in New York. The special audio-visual presentation, organised in partnership with the Oceanic Preservation Society and Obscura Digital to inspire global citizens to take climate action, is part of the lead-up to the Climate Summit, taking place on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, at UN Headquarters. UN Photo/Mark Garten.
September 16, 2014
QS World University Rankings 2014/2015 Announced
Photo: University of Pennsylvania in the fall. Photo Credit: Saikofish Lou.
The global emphasis on high-impact scientific and technological research is the key driver of leadership in the QS World University Rankings 2014 announced today in London.
MIT leads for the third year and increased its year-on-year citations per faculty by 14%. Imperial College also reported a 14% increase in this metric compared to 11% by Cambridge and 2% by Harvard. The average increase amongst the top 10 was 7%.
Caltech remains the world’s top university for research citations.
All the top ten institutions achieve excellence in academic reputation, employer reputation, student faculty ratio or measures of international faculty and students. The performance of Imperial College in citations per faculty has helped it become the biggest climber in the top 10, leapfrogging Harvard, UCL and Oxford to rank second equal in the world, tied with University of Cambridge.
QS World University Rankings 2014 — Top Ten
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] (US)
- University of Cambridge (UK)
- Imperial College London [UCL] (UK)
- Harvard University (US)
- University of Oxford (UK)
- University College London (UK)
- Stanford University (US)
- California Institute of Technology [Caltech] (US)
- Princeton University (US)
- Yale University (US)
31 countries are represented in the top 200; The US is the dominant nation, with 51 institutions, ahead of the UK (29), Germany (13), The Netherlands (11), Canada (10), Japan (10) and Australia (8).
Following institutions from India have found a place among the top 800:
RANK — INSTITUTION
- 222 — Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB)
- 235 — Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD)
- 300 — Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK)
- 322 — Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM)
- 324 — Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IITKGP)
- 421-430 — University of Delhi
- 461-470 — Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IITR)
- 551-600 — Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IITG)
- 551-600 — University of Mumbai
- 601-650 — University of Calcutta
- 701+ — Banaras Hindu University
- 701+ — University of Pune
- NA — Indian Institute of Science
- NA — Jawaharlal Nehru University
According to Ben Sowter, QS head of research, “Tech-focused institutions are the focal point of a global race for innovation. With budgets from public sources coming under strain, institutions seem more focused than ever on potentially lucrative research in science, technology and medicine.”
September 15, 2014
Nail Care Company Exhibits Unique Designs
Photos: CND Spring/Summer 2015 at The Metropolitan Opera House and Milk Studios on September 7 & 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photos by Jennifer Graylock/Getty Images for CND. © 2014 Getty Images).
CND (Creative Nail Design, Inc.), a global leader in professional nail care, showcased dreamy nail designs at a Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Show at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. CND is based in Vista, CA, USA.
The nails presented at the show were a collaborative effort between the elite artists of the CND Design Lab Team and celebrity nail artist Naomi Yasuda.
August 22, 2014
United Nations Security Council Commits to Early Action to Prevent Conflict
Photo: The UN Security Council unanimously adopts a resolution expressing its commitment to take early and effective actions to prevent armed conflict and to that end to employ all appropriate means at its disposal. August 21, 2014. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Loey Felipe.
The United Nations Security Council today expressed its commitment to consider and use the tools of the United Nations system to ensure that warning signals about potential conflicts trigger “early, concrete preventive action”.
Senior UN officials urged the body to take up the challenge of helping move the Organization from a culture of reaction towards one of prevention.
Unanimously adopting a resolution ahead of a day-long meeting on conflict prevention, the Council expressed its determination to enhance the effectiveness of the United Nations “in preventing and ending armed conflicts, their escalation, spread when they occur, and their resurgence once they end,” and underlined the overriding moral, political and humanitarian imperatives as well as the economic advantages of taking such a preventive approach.
“If they want peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks that precede cannon shots.”
— Napoleon Bonaparte.
August 2, 2014
The United States and India Announce Institutional Partnership Grants 2014
Photo: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens to a student engaged in biomass research as he visits the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi, India, before a string of meetings as part of a Strategic Dialogue between the two countries on July 31, 2014. (U.S. State Department Photo).
Photo: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with a student engaged in biomass research as he visits the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi, India, before a string of meetings as part of a Strategic Dialogue between the two countries on July 31, 2014. (U.S. State Department Photo).
Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative has announced Third Round of Awards in a continuation of the educational partnership between India and the United States. The initiative aims to strengthen collaboration and build partnerships between American and Indian institutions of higher education. Each award can be utilized over a three-year period, with the aim of encouraging mutual understanding, educational reform, and economic growth, as well as the development of junior faculty at Indian and American institutions of higher learning.
2014 Grant Recipients
• University of Illinois, College of Nursing, Chicago, IL
Partner Institution: Bel-Air College of Nursing, Panchgani, Maharashtra
Project Title: Building an effective partnership for innovative nursing education and research to advance public health
• Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Partner Institution: Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Project Title: Prevention of Corneal Blindness: Collaboration between IUSO and SN
• University of California, Berkeley (Center for South Asia Studies), CA
Partner Institution: Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, Maharashtra
Project Title: Sustainable Indian Water Infrastructure Project (SIWIP): A Systems Approach
• Tufts University, Boston, MA
Partner Institution: Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
Project Title: Capacity building for Medical Education in Bioethics in India
• Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Partner Institution: Mississippi State University, MS
Project Title: Indo-U.S. Initiatives on Cleaner Energy and Water Research
• Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh, Assam
Partner Institution: University of Louisiana at Lafayette, LA
Project Title: Foam-assisted CO2 Flooding for the Depleted Reservoirs of Upper Assam Basin and in Candidate Reservoirs in Louisiana
• Jawaharlal Technological University, Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh
Partner Institution: Chicago State University, Chicago, IL
Project Title: Promoting University-Industrial Cooperation, Creativity, Diversity and Entrepreneurship in Computer Science
• University of Calcutta, Kolkata, West Bengal
Partner Institution: Claflin University, Orangeburg, SC
Project Title: Promoting Eco-friendly Entrepreneurship Development for Women in West Bengal
July 6, 2014
FIFA World Cup 2014 in Action
Photo: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Quarter Final match between Brazil and Colombia at Castelao on July 4, 2014 in Fortaleza, Brazil. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for Sony. © 2014 Getty Images).
Photo: Mexico fans celebrate the win after the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Mexico and Cameroon at Estadio das Dunas on June 13, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images for Sony. © 2014 Getty Images).
Photo: Joel Campbell (C) of Costa Rica competes for the ball against Jose Cholevas (R) and Konstantinos Manolas (L) of Greece during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Costa Rica and Greece at Arena Pernambuco on June 29, 2014 in Recife, Brazil. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images for Sony. © 2014 Getty Images).
Photo: Jason Davidson of Australia and Arjen Robben of the Netherlands compete for the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Australia and Netherlands at Estadio Beira-Rio on June 18, 2014 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images for Sony. © 2014 Getty Images).
Photo: Claudio Bravo of Chile makes a save during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Spain and Chile at Maracana on June 18, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images for Sony. © 2014 Getty Images).
Photo: A Brazil supporter cheers prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico at Castelao on June 17, 2014 in Fortaleza, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images for Sony. © 2014 Getty Images).
Photo: A France supporter cheers prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Quarter Final match between France and Germany at Maracana on July 4, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images for Sony. © 2014 Getty Images).
Photo: Rais M’Bolhi of Algeria makes a save during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group H match between South Korea and Algeria at Estadio Beira-Rio on June 22, 2014 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images for Sony. © 2014 Getty Images).
Photo: Julio Cesar of Brazil makes a save during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Semi Final match between Brazil and Germany at Estadio Mineirao on July 8, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images for Sony. © 2014 Getty Images).
Photo: Thomas Mueller of Germany celebrates the first goal with his teammate Sami Khedira during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Semi Final match between Brazil and Germany at Estadio Mineirao on July 8, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images for Sony. © 2014 Getty Images).
Photo: Mario Goetze of Germany scores his team’s first goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images for Sony. © 2014 Getty Images).
Photo: A Germany supporter cheers prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images for Sony. © 2014 Getty Images).
Photo: Singer Shakira is seen after performance in the closing ceremony prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images for Sony. © 2014 Getty Images).
Photo: Singer Shakira and her son Milan are seen after performance in the closing ceremony prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images for Sony. © 2014 Getty Images).
June 30, 2014
CERN celebrates its 60th anniversary at UNESCO
Photo: Globe of Science and Innovation, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland. Photo Credit: Nicola.
Photo: Shiva statue at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland, with the following inscription underneath:
(“O Omnipresent, the embodiment of all virtues, the creator of this cosmic universe, the king of dancers, who dances the Ananda Tandava in the twilight, I salute thee.”
Source: Verse No. 56, Sivanandalahari by Sri Adi Sankara.
Presented by: The Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India.)
Photo Credit: Skimaniac.
• Paris, 30 June - The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) is organizing an event together with UNESCO to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the creation of CERN, at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, where the convention was originally signed in 1953, leading to the establishment of the largest research facility in the field of particle physics the following year.
The event, entitled ‘60 Years of Science for Peace’, will be opened by UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova and CERN Director General Rolf Heuer, among other prominent figures. It will bring together the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of several CERN Member States, researchers and members of the international scientific community, as well as representatives of UNESCO, CERN, European Space Agency (ESA) and European Southern Observatory (ESO) Member States.
The opening ceremony will be followed by a round table discussion on ‘Science for Peace’ with Alexei Grinbaum, researcher and philosopher of the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energy Commission ; Fernando Quevedo, Director of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (Triestre, Italy) ; Zehra Sayers, co-president of the scientific advisory committee of SESAME (International Centre for Synchrotron Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East based in Amman, Jordan) and Jan Van Den Biesen, vice-president of Philips Research R&D programmes.
Based in Geneva, CERN was created in the aftermath of World War II, following a 4 year conflict that had turned European research in physics to ashes. The idea of a European scientific laboratory emerged during the European culture conference held in Lausanne (Switzerland) in 1949. The initial idea was to use fundamental research as a means to reach scientific excellence while rebuilding cooperation between states and fostering peace. The Convention establishing CERN was signed on 1 July 1953 in Paris, under the auspices of UNESCO, and came into effect in 1954. Today, sixty years later, it has become one the most striking examples of successful scientific cooperation in the world.
June 29, 2014
Wroclaw, Poland, named World Book Capital for 2016
Photos: Wroclaw, Poland. Photos Credit: Ewelina, Maciek Lulko.
The city of Wroclaw (Poland) has been named World Book Capital for 2016. The decision was made by an international committee of experts on 24 June during a meeting at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris.
The selection committee singled out Wroclaw “in light of the strong assets of its programme in terms of quality and variety” and in particular, “for its special focus on grass-root community involvement, as well as promotion of publishing, book-selling industries and libraries at regional and international levels”.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, extended her congratulations to the city. “Civic leaders in Wroclaw have developed an excellent programme that will promote reading among the wider public all through the year,” she said. The Director-General also thanked the selection committee “for its valuable work in favor of the promotion of books and of reading, through a global initiative that highlights the commitment of cities from different regions of the world.”
Each year, the international organizations that represent the three major sectors of the book industry — the International Publishers Association (IPA), International Booksellers Federation (IBF) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) — select the World Book Capital for a one-year period. The year starts on 23 April, World Book and Copyright Day, and brings together the city’s publishers, writers and literacy industry to promote and celebrate books and reading over the next 12 months.
New Delhi, India, got the honour to be the World Book Capital in 2003.
Wroclaw is the 16th city to be designated World Book Capital, after Madrid (2001), Alexandria (2002), New Delhi (2003), Antwerp (2004), Montreal (2005), Turin (2006), Bogota (2007), Amsterdam (2008), Beirut (2009), Ljubljana (2010), Buenos Aires (2011), Yerevan (2012), Bangkok (2013), Port Harcourt (2014) and Incheon (2015).
The city of Incheon (Republic of Korea) has already been designated World Book Capital 2015.
June 18, 2014
China Dominates the QS BRICS 2014 University Rankings
Photos: Tsinghua University Campus, Beijing, China. Photos Credit: Jens Schott Knudsen.
Photo: The Institute for Art and Design, Tsinghua University Campus, Beijing, China. Photo Credit: David Wiley.
Photo: Graduation Day at Nanjing University, China. Photo Credit: Kevin Dooley.
Photo: Tower Clock, Lomonosov Moscow State University Campus, Moscow, Russia. Photo Credit: Dmitry Kochetov.
Photo: Museum of Contemporary Art, Universidade de Sao Paulo (University of Sao Paulo), Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo Credit: Fernando Stankuns.
QS BRICS 2014 University Rankings were published today in London.
QS BRICS University Rankings compare the Top 200 academic institutions in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The latest rankings have identified China as the most likely of the BRICS nations to achieve its goal of developing world-class universities.
According to Ben Sowter, QS head of research, “The term BRICS has become shorthand for the idea that the world’s economic future is not in the hands of traditional players such as the US, Europe and Japan.” “To compete with the existing developed world, these fast growing economies need world-class university systems.”
China claims six of the top 10 places, ahead of Brazil (2), Russia (1) and South Africa (1). Russia with 53 institutions in the top 200 is second to China (71). While India is the only nation without a university in the top 10, though its five IIT’s make to the top 20.
BRICS - Top 10 - 2014
• TSINGHUA UNIVERSITY — CHINA
• PEKING UNIVERSITY — CHINA
• LOMONOSOV MOSCOW STATE UNIVERSITY — RUSSIA
• UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF CHINA — CHINA
• FUDAN UNIVERSITY — CHINA
• NANJING UNIVERSITY — CHINA
• UNIVERSIDADE DE SAO PAULO — BRAZIL
• SHANGHAI JIAO TONG UNIVERSITY — CHINA
• UNIVERSIDADE ESTADUAL DE CAMPINAS — BRAZIL
• UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN — SOUTH AFRICA
“The development of Chinese higher education over the past 20 years has been nothing short of extraordinary,” adds Sowter. “Universities such as Tsinghua and Peking have now established themselves among the world’s major producers of scientific research.”
China has increased its research and development funding by an average of 18% per year since 2008. Its ‘C9 League’ institutions have been earmarked as challengers to the US ‘Ivy League’, and six of them make to the top 10 in today’s ranking.
Russia, on its part, has announced plans to achieve five universities in the global top 100 by 2020.
Commenting on India, Martin Ince, editor of the QS Higher Education World points out that “China’s big Asian rival, India, has little reason to draw comfort from these rankings. It has only 20 universities and institutions among the 200 we list here, compared to 71 in China, 53 in Russia, 45 in Brazil and 11 in South Africa.” “The Indian university system is strong on a national scale, but our data shows that it holds little attraction for globally mobile students and academics.”
View Here — QS BRICS 2014 University Rankings INDIA
Ben Sowter, head of QS Intelligence Unit, elucidates: “From India’s point of view, there have been notable improvements, too, from Manipal University, from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, and from Amity University, all of which have risen more than ten places since the first BRICS ranking. The biggest fall was at Panjab University (Chandigarh), which was close to the top 100 in 2013 (now in the 141-150 unranked section).”
Meanwhile, Ms. Smriti Irani, India’s new minister responsible for universities, has set a target of raising spending on education to 6% of GDP from less than 4% currently. She expects universities to improve and to align their courses closely with the jobs market. India has ambitions to establish 14 world-class universities under the government’s “brain gain” policy. India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, was today presented the first copy of the QS BRICS 2014 University Rankings by Ms. Irani.
Ben Sowter rightly concludes, “At a time when government spending is stalling in much of the West, the BRICS nations have set their sights on developing world-class universities sooner rather than later.”
June 9, 2014
Nia Sanchez is Miss USA 2014
Photo: Nia Sanchez, Miss Nevada USA 2014, is announced as Miss USA 2014 at the conclusion of the 2014 MISS USA Competition from the Baton Rouge River Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on June 8, 2014. She receives the coveted Miss USA crown and the chance to represent the USA at the 2014 MISS UNIVERSE Competition. Photo © Miss Universe Organization L.P., LLLP. Photographer: Greg Harbaugh.
Photo: Mekayla Diehl, Miss Indiana USA 2014, is photographed by fashion photographer Fadil Berisha in her Kandice Pelletier Swimwear while competing for the title of Miss USA 2014. The final took place on June 8, 2014 at The Baton Rouge River Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Photo © Miss Universe Organization L.P., LLLP. Photographer: Fadil Berisha.
May 28, 2014
The World Heritage Committee to consider the inscription of 40 sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List
Photo: The Taj Mahal, Agra, India. The Taj Mahal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photo Credit: Jean-Pierre Dalbera.
• The World Heritage Committee will consider the inscription of 40 sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List when it meets in Doha (Qatar) from 15 to 25 June, 2014, UNESCO announced today at its headquarters in Paris, France.
More than 1200 delegates, experts and observers from around the world will participate in the meeting.
Sites to be considered include five that are extensions to sites already on the List. The state of conservation of existing World Heritage sites will also be reviewed during the session.
The following nominations by States Parties to the World Heritage List are expected to be examined during the session:
• Okavango Delta (Botswana)
• South China Karst (Phase II) (China)
• Stevns Klint (Denmark)
• Wadden Sea [extension] (Denmark and Germany)
• Tectono-volcanic Ensemble of the Chaine des Puys and Limagne Fault (France)
• Great Himalayan National Park (India)
• Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (Philippines)
• Bialowieza Forest [extension] (Belarus/Poland)
• Cat Ba Archipelago (Viet Nam).
Mixed Natural and Cultural Sites:
• Ancient Maya City and Protected Tropical Forests of Calakmul, Campeche [extension] (Mexico)
• Trang An Landscape Complex (Viet Nam).
• Qhapaq Nan, Andean Road System (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru)
• The Grand Canal (China)
• Precolumbian Chiefdom Settlements with Stone Spheres of the Diquis (Costa Rica)
• Sites of Great Moravia: The Slavonic Fortified Settlement at Mikulcice and the Church of St Margaret of Antioch at Kopcany (Czech Republic, Slovakia)
• Decorated Cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardeche (France)
• Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey (Germany)
• Tongo-Tengzuk Tallensi Cultural Landscape (Ghana)
• Rani-ki-Vav (The Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat (India)
• Sharhr-I Sokhta (Iran)
• Erbil Citadel (Iraq)
• Caves of Maresha and Bet-Guvrin in the Judean Lowlands as a Microcosm of the Land of the Caves (Israel)
• The Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato (Italy)
• Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites (Japan)
• Silk Roads: Initial Section of the Silk Roads, the Routes Network of Tian-shan Corridor (Kyrgyzstan, China and Kazakhstan)
• Mount Mulanje Cultural Landscape (Malawi)
• Pyu Ancient Cities (Myanmar)
• Van Nellefabriek (Netherlands)
• Namhansanseong (Republic of Korea)
• Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex (Russian Federation)
• Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah (Saudi Arabia)
• Cultural Landscape of Valle Salado de Anana (Spain)
• Jaen Cathedral (Extension of the “Renaissance Monumental Ensemble of Ubeda and Baeza”) (Spain)
• Silk Roads: Penjikent-Samarkand-Poykent Corridor, (Tajikistan and Uzbekistan)
• Bursa and Cumalikizik: the Birth of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey)
• Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape (Turkey)
• Khor Dubai (Dubai Creek) (United Arab Emirates)
• Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point (United States of America)
• Barotse Cultural Landscape (Zambia).
The proposed inscription of Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines - Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir, will be reviewed by the Committee under the emergency procedure applied to sites facing serious dangers.
India has 30 properties inscribed on the World Heritage List. These include:
• Ajanta Caves,
• Elephanta Caves,
• Ellora Caves,
• Fatehpur Sikri,
• Mountain Railways of India,
• The Taj Mahal,
• Sun Temple, Konarak, and
• Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (among others).
Properties submitted by India on the Tentative List include:
• Ancient Buddhist Site, Sarnath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh,
• Sri Harimandir Sahib, Amritsar, Punjab,
• Urban and Architectural Work of Le Corbusier in Chandigarh,
• Churchgate - Extension to Mumbai CST,
• Mughal Gardens in Kashmir,
• Chilika Lake,
• Delhi - A Heritage City,
• Historic city of Ahmadabad, and
• The Victorian & Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai (among others).
A “Tentative List” is an inventory of those properties which each State Party intends to consider for nomination.
• UNESCO encourages States Parties to submit their Tentative Lists — properties which they consider to be cultural and/or natural heritage of outstanding universal value and therefore suitable for inscription on the World Heritage List.
• States Parties are encouraged to prepare their Tentative Lists with the participation of a wide variety of stakeholders, including site managers, local and regional governments, local communities, NGOs and other interested parties and partners.
May 21, 2014
Cannes Film Festival 2014: Celebrities Walk the Red Carpet
Photo: Zoe Saldana walks the red carpet on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. Zoe Saldana adorned her Victoria Beckham gown with jewelry created by de GRISOGONO — a pair of rose gold Catene earrings set with white diamonds and a rose gold ring featuring white diamonds. Photo Credit: de GRISOGONO.
Zoe Saldana, 35, is a professional dancer and model who began her career in the theatre and has become a leading actress in Hollywood, having starred in blockbusters like Pirates of the Caribbean, The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Star Trek (2009) and Avatar (2009).
Photo: Natasha Poly walks the red carpet on Saturday, May 17, 2014 wearing a magnificent de GRISOGONO amethyst and ruby composition. Photo Credit: de GRISOGONO.
Natasha Poly, 28, an international Fashion model born in Russia, is face of several advertising campaigns from major Fashion & Luxury brands.
Photo: Freida Pinto walks the red carpet on Saturday, May 17, 2014 wearing de GRISOGONO white diamond earrings. Photo Credit: de GRISOGONO.
Freida Pinto, 30, started modelling in Mumbai for two years before gaining her big break when director Danny Boyle picked her out in the audition process to play the female lead, Latika, for his project Slumdog Millionaire (2008).
Photo: Toni Garrn attends the de GRISOGONO Cannes party on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 during Cannes Film Festival 2014. Toni Garrn is a German model.
Photo: Cheryl Cole walks the red carpet on Monday, May 19, 2014 wearing de GRISOGONO high jewelry earrings set with black and white diamonds. The pop singer is also wearing a white diamond and black quartz ring. Photo Credit: de GRISOGONO.
May 13, 2014
QS University Rankings: Asia — Top Universities 2014
National University of Singapore (NUS) is named as Asia’s top institution for the first time in the QS University Rankings: Asia 2014 published today. The rankings reflect a swing in the balance of power, as Singapore and Korea overtake the traditionally dominant Japan and Hong Kong.
NUS’s success is mirrored by Nanyang Technological University (NTU), which climbs to 7th, its highest ever position. Korea’s KAIST climbs from sixth to second place, while Seoul National University (4th) and Postech (9th) also make the top 10.
Thirteen of the Chinese top 20 institutions have improved their position this year, a surge in research citations. Peking University slips three places to 7th, while Tsinghua University remains 14th.
“Government investment in scientific research is starting to pay dividends, with the majority of Chinese institutions increasing both the volume and impact of their research in recent years,” says QS head of research Ben Sowter. “However, in terms of citations Peking and Tsinghua are still playing catch-up with institutions such as National University of Singapore and University of Hong Kong.”
India’s ranked institutions rise to 17 from just 11 last year yet seven of its top eight institutions drop. IIT Delhi is the top performer at 38th. Growing interest in international rankings is reflected in a sharp increase in the number of Indian institutions featuring in the new Asian Universities Ranking published by QS.
India is still waiting for a breakthrough at the top of the rankings, with the latest table showing a marginal decline in the positions occupied by most of the country’s leading institutions. But an increase of more than 50 per cent in India’s overall representation offers hopeful signs for the future.
As in the previous editions of the ranking, the Indian Institutes of Technology lead the way. IIT Delhi holds on to 38th place, pulling clear of IIT Bombay in 41st. Five other IITs feature in the top 100, led by Kanpur and Madras just outside the top 50.
Amongst traditional universities, University of Delhi takes the lead at 81, having slipped one place since last year. It is ranked in the top 25 in Asia by employers and the top 40 by academics, but is handicapped in some other indicators by its large size and low levels of international faculty and student exchange which brings down its overall ranking. Only the University of Calcutta ranks highly on students’ exchanges, coming second in Asia for outbound exchanges and 52nd for inbound.
In the latest Asian ranking, Banaras Hindu University, Panjab, Manipal and Amity universities, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, and the Indian Institute of Information Technology all appear for the first time.
The Indian Centre for Assessment and Accreditation (ICAA) is hosting the launch of the QS University Rankings: Asia in New Delhi. At the ICAA Rankings & Excellence Dialogue, MHRD Secretary Ashok Thakur said that India must create 40 million university places to meet demand. “We can’t afford to miss out on India’s demographic dividend,” he said. “But it’s not just about numbers, it’s about quality. Indian institutions must no longer hide behind the ‘excuse’ that the global ranking metrics and indicators are not suited to them. We must play the same game that the rest of the world is playing,” he said.