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.
May 1, 2014
2014 Cannes Film Festival Poster
The 67th annual Cannes Film Festival is scheduled to be held from 14 to 25 May 2014.
The poster design for the 67th Festival de Cannes is based on a photogram taken from Federico Fellini’s 8½, which was presented in the Official Selection in 1963.
The actor in the poster is Marcello Mastroianni.
“The way he looks at us above his black glasses draws us right in to a promise of global cinematographic happiness,” explains the poster’s designer. “The happiness of experiencing the Festival de Cannes together.”
“I am very proud and touched that Cannes has chosen to pay tribute to my father with this poster,” said Chiara Mastroianni, the actor’s daughter.
Marcello Mastroianni, Knight Grand Cross, was an Italian film actor. His prominent films include La Dolce Vita; 8½; La Notte; Divorce, Italian Style; Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow; Marriage Italian-Style; A Special Day; City of Women; Henry IV; Dark Eyes; and Stanno tutti bene. His honours included British Film Academy Awards, Best Actor awards at the Cannes Film Festival and two Golden Globe Awards.