January 18, 2017
IWC SCHAFFHAUSEN LAUNCHES NEW DA VINCI WATCHES
Photo: Supermodel Adriana Lima visits the IWC booth during the launch of the Da Vinci Novelties from the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) 2017 on January 17, 2017 in Geneva,Switzerland. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for IWC. © 2017 Getty Images).
Photo: Model Monika Radulovic visits the IWC booth during the launch of the Da Vinci Novelties from the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) 2017 on January 17, 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for IWC. © 2017 Getty Images).
Photo: Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor attends the IWC Schaffhausen “Decoding the Beauty of Time” Gala Dinner during the launch of the Da Vinci Novelties from the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) on January 17, 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for IWC. © 2017 Getty Images).
Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen revisits the iconic design of the 1980s and presents the 2017 Da Vinci collection, once again with its classic round case. The Da Vinci Automatic 36 and the Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36 are tailored to women, while the Da Vinci Automatic is a unisex model. Two Da Vinci timepieces feature newly developed IWC-manufactured calibres that innovatively combine and integrate complications.
January 16, 2017
THE 65TH MISS UNIVERSE COMPETITION
Photo: Miss Universe Chile, Catalina Paz Caceres, a contestant participating at the 65th Miss Universe Competition being held in Manila, Philippines. Image provided by & copyright © The Miss Universe Organization, New York.
Photo: Miss Universe Ecuador, Connie Jimenez, a contestant participating at the 65th Miss Universe Competition being held in Manila, Philippines. Image provided by & copyright © The Miss Universe Organization, New York.
Photo: Miss Universe Russia, Yuliana Korolkova, a contestant participating at the 65th Miss Universe Competition being held in Manila, Philippines. Image provided by & copyright © The Miss Universe Organization, New York.
Photo: Miss Universe Spain, Noelia Freire, a contestant participating at the 65th Miss Universe Competition being held in Manila, Philippines. Image provided by & copyright © The Miss Universe Organization, New York.
Photo: Miss Universe Turkey, Tansu Sila Cakir, a contestant participating at the 65th Miss Universe Competition being held in Manila, Philippines. Image provided by & copyright © The Miss Universe Organization, New York.
Photo: Miss Universe India, Roshmitha Harimurthy, a contestant participating at the 65th Miss Universe Competition being held in Manila, Philippines. Image provided by & copyright © The Miss Universe Organization, New York.
Photo: Miss Universe Argentina, Estefania Bernal, a contestant participating at the 65th Miss Universe Competition being held in Manila, Philippines. Image provided by & copyright © The Miss Universe Organization, New York.
Photo: Miss Universe Bolivia, Antonella Moscatelli, a contestant participating at the 65th Miss Universe Competition being held in Manila, Philippines. Image provided by & copyright © The Miss Universe Organization, New York.
Photo: Miss Universe Colombia, Andrea Tovar, a contestant participating at the 65th Miss Universe Competition being held in Manila, Philippines. Image provided by & copyright © The Miss Universe Organization, New York.
Photo: Miss Universe Hungary, Veronika Bodizs, a contestant participating at the 65th Miss Universe Competition being held in Manila, Philippines. Image provided by & copyright © The Miss Universe Organization, New York.
Photo: Miss Universe Georgia, Nuka Karalashvili, at the photoshoot for the 65th Miss Universe Competition held at Chinatown, Philippines, on January 15, 2017. (Photo by Benjamin Askinas/Miss Universe Organization via WME IMG Collection).
Photo: Miss Universe Iceland, Hildur Maria Leifsdottir, poses with a teddy bear at the Conrad Hotel in Manila, Philippines, on January 14, 2017. The Miss Universe contestants are touring, filming, rehearsing and preparing to compete for the Miss Universe crown. Tune in to the FOX telecast at 7:00 PM ET on Sunday, January 29, live from the Philippines to see who will become Miss Universe. (Photo by Mark Sullivan/Miss Universe Organization via WME IMG Collection).
Photo: Miss Universe Nicaragua, Marina Jacoby, walks the runway during a swimsuit fashion show at Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark in Cebu, Philippines, on Tuesday, January 17. The Miss Universe contestants are touring, filming, rehearsing and preparing to compete for the Miss Universe crown in the Philippines. Tune in to the FOX telecast at 7:00 PM ET on Sunday, January 29, live from the Philippines to see who will become Miss Universe. (Photo by Mark Sullivan/Miss Universe Organization via WME IMG Collection).
Photo: Miss Universe Spain, Noelia Freire, walks the runway during a swimsuit fashion show at Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark in Cebu, Philippines, on Tuesday, January 17. The Miss Universe contestants are touring, filming, rehearsing and preparing to compete for the Miss Universe crown in the Philippines. Tune in to the FOX telecast at 7:00 PM ET on Sunday, January 29, live from the Philippines to see who will become Miss Universe. (Photo by Mark Sullivan/Miss Universe Organization via WME IMG Collection).
Photo: Miss Universe Netherlands, Zoey Ivory, walks the runway during a swimsuit fashion show at Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark in Cebu, Philippines, on Tuesday, January 17. The Miss Universe contestants are touring, filming, rehearsing and preparing to compete for the Miss Universe crown in the Philippines. Tune in to the FOX telecast at 7:00 PM ET on Sunday, January 29, live from the Philippines to see who will become Miss Universe. (Photo by Mark Sullivan/Miss Universe Organization via WME IMG Collection).
Photo: Miss Universe India, Roshmitha Harimurthy, arrives for the Governor’s Ball in Manila, Philippines, on January 16, 2017. The Miss Universe contestants are touring, filming, rehearsing and preparing to compete for the Miss Universe crown in the Philippines. Tune in to the FOX telecast at 7:00 PM ET on Sunday, January 29, live from the Philippines to see who will become Miss Universe. Image provided by & copyright © The Miss Universe Organization, New York. (Photo by Mark Sullivan/Miss Universe Organization via WME IMG Collection).
MISS UNIVERSE CONTESTANTS
COUNTRY Name Age
- ALBANIA Lindita Idrizi 20
- ANGOLA Luísa Baptista 21
- ARGENTINA Estefania Bernal 21
- ARUBA Charlene Leslie 24
- AUSTRALIA Caris Tiivel 23
- AUSTRIA Dajana Dzinic 21
- BAHAMAS Cherell Williamson 24
- BARBADOS Shannon Harris 22
- BELGIUM Stephanie Geldof 19
- BELIZE Rebecca Kathleen Rath 23
- BOLIVIA Fabiana Antonella Moscatelli Saucedo 21
- BRAZIL Raissa Santana 21
- BRITISH V.I. Erika Renae Creque 22
- BULGARIA Violina Ancheva 21
- CANADA Siera Bearchell 23
- CAYMAN ILS Monyque Brooks 25
- CHILE Catalina Paz Caceres 26
- CHINA Li ZhenYing 23
- COLOMBIA Andrea Tovar 23
- COSTA RICA Carolina Rodriguez Duran 27
- CROATIA Barbara Filipovic 19
- CURACAO Chanelle de Lau 21
- CZECH REP. Andrea Bezdekova 21
- DENMARK Christina Mikkelsen 24
- DOMINICAN REP. Rosalba Abreu Garcia 24
- ECUADOR Connie Jimenez 21
- FINLAND Shirly Karvinen 24
- FRANCE Iris Mittenaere 24
- GEORGIA Nuka Karalashvili 25
- GERMANY Johanna Acs 24
- GREAT BRITAIN Jaime-Lee Faulkner 27
- GUAM Muñeka Joy Cruz Taisipic 19
- GUATEMALA Virginia Argueta 22
- GUYANA Soyini Asanti Fraser 26
- HAITI Raquel Pelissier 25
- HONDURAS Sirey Moran 26
- HUNGARY Veronika Bodizs 24
- ICELAND Hildur Maria Leifsdottir 24
- INDIA Roshmitha Harimurthy 22
- INDONESIA Kezia Warouw 25
- ISRAEL Yam Kaspers Anshel 18
- ITALY Sophia Sergio 24
- JAMAICA Isabel Dalley 20
- JAPAN Sari Nakazawa 23
- KAZAKHSTAN Darina Kulsitova 19
- KENYA Mary Esther Were 27
- KOREA Jenny Kim 23
- KOSOVO Camila Barraza 23
- MALAYSIA Kiran Jassal 20
- MALTA Martha Fenech 26
- MAURITIUS Kushboo Ramnawaj 26
- MEXICO Kristal Silva 25
- MYANMAR Htet Htet Htun 24
- NAMIBIA Lizelle Esterhuizen 20
- NETHERLANDS Zoey Ivory 23
- NEW ZEALAND Tania Dawson 24
- NICARAGUA Marina Jacoby 21
- NIGERIA Unoaku Anyadike 22
- NORWAY Christina Waage 21
- PANAMA Keity Drennan 26
- PARAGUAY Andrea Melgarejo 22
- PERU Valeria Piazza 27
- PHILIPINES Maxine Medina 26
- POLAND Izabella Krzan 21
- PORTUGAL Flavia Joana Brito 23
- PUERTO RICO Brenda Azaria Jimenez 22
- ROMANIA Teodora Dan 27
- RUSSIA Yuliana Korolkova 22
- SIERRA LEONE Hawa Kamara 26
- SINGAPORE Cheryl Chou Zhi Hui 20
- SLOVAK REP. Zuzana Kollarova 25
- SLOVENIA Lucija Potoc nik 25
- SOUTH AFRICA Ntandoyenkosi Kunene 24
- SPAIN Noelia Freire 24
- SRI LANKA Jayathi De Silva 26
- SWEDEN Ida Ovmar 21
- SWITZERLAND Dijana Cvijetic 23
- TANZANIA Jihan Dimack 20
- THAILAND Chalita Suansane 22
- TURKEY Tansu Sila Cakir 21
- UKRAINE Alena Spodynyuk 19
- URUGUAY Magdalena Cohendet 19
- USA Deshauna Barber 27
- US VIRGIN ISLANDS Carolyn Carter 27
- VENEZUELA Mariam Habach 21
- VIETNAM Le Hang 23
January 14, 2017
Nearly 50 Automobile Mobility Startups from Around the World Showcase Mobility Innovations at Detroit Auto Show
Photos: Some latest car models being exhibited at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.
DETROIT — Nearly 50 startups from around the world are participating and showcasing their innovative mobility platforms as part of “AutoMobili-D” at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
“Through our ground-breaking “AutoMobili-D” showcase, the North American International Auto Show is the first auto show to feature a dedicated startup expo featuring companies from around the world that are tackling every aspect of future automotive mobility,” said Sam Slaughter, 2017 NAIAS Chairman. “Of the startups featured in “AutoMobili-D”, close to 90 percent of them are currently working with global automakers and suppliers to bring their technologies and concepts to production, a truly remarkable achievement.”
Auto Mobility Startup Companies include:
• Civil Maps - cognition for cars, enabling autonomous vehicles to crowdsource a comprehensive map for safe, smooth driving.
• Donut Media - digital media central for the next generation of automotive and motorsports enthusiasts.
• LISNR - ultrasonic inaudible technology; a communication protocol that sends data over audio.
• Mapbox - platform used by developers to power maps and location for hundreds of millions of users. Mapbox Drive is a full solution for mobility, from open source libraries for Android and Qt to telemetry-based road topology data to enable self-driving cars.
• PolySync - products and services that simplify and accelerate the development, testing, and deployment of self-driving cars.
• Spatial - artificial intelligence location platform and API that enables vehicles to answer location questions only a local would know using real time social data.
• SPLT - focused on moving people efficiently and sustainably in urban and suburban areas.
Now in its 29th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, technologies, people and ideas that matter most - up close and in one place.
January 13, 2017
Times Higher Education Academic Reputation Survey 2017
Leading academics from across the world are being invited to help Times Higher Education (THE) develop unique new insights into the global teaching and research landscape by highlighting the most prestigious institutions in their field.
THE has launched its 2017 Academic Reputation Survey, which asks published scholars to outline which universities they perceive to be the best for teaching and research in their specialist discipline.
Each respondent is asked to identify institutions worldwide and in their own country and will be representing many of their peers from their fields and their nation.
The survey results will make up two of the 13 performance indicators used to create the THE World University Rankings 2017-18, and related regional rankings, and will form the basis of the “THE World Reputation Rankings”.
The survey, run in partnership with Elsevier, is invitation-only to ensure a representative statistical sample. It is available in 15 languages, and to ensure a fair and balanced response, it is distributed using United Nations data on the geographical distribution of researchers globally. Universities cannot nominate respondents and individuals are not able to volunteer to take part.
January 10, 2017
UN Security Council Debates Conflict Prevention, Sustaining Peace
Photo: A view of the Security Council ministerial-level open debate on conflict prevention and sustaining peace. 10 January 2017. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Evan Schneider.
Photo: A view of the UN Security Council ministerial-level open debate on conflict prevention and sustaining peace. 10 January 2017. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Manuel Elias.
Photo: Nobuo Kishi, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, addresses the UN Security Council ministerial-level open debate on conflict prevention and sustaining peace. 10 January 2017. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Evan Schneider.
Photo: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (right) addresses journalists with Margot Wallstrom, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden and President of the Security Council for January, on the Council’s open debate on conflict prevention and sustaining peace. 10 January 2017. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.
“If they want peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks that precede cannon shots.”
— Napoleon Bonaparte.
“You do not get peace by shouting: Peace. Peace is a meaningless word; what we need is a glorious peace.”
December 31, 2016
New York Times Square 2017 New Year Eve Celebrations: One Billion People Expected to Watch the Countdown Extravaganza on TOSHIBA VISION
Photo: New Delhi New Year’s Countdown at Times Square on December 31, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by TOSHIBA CORPORATION/Getty Images for TOSHIBA CORPORATION. © 2016 Getty Images.)
Photo: New Delhi New Year’s Countdown at Times Square on December 31, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by TOSHIBA CORPORATION/Getty Images for TOSHIBA CORPORATION. © 2016 Getty Images.)
Photo: Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment, co-organizers of Times Square New Year’s Eve, along with presenting sponsor, Planet Fitness, throw handfuls of confetti from the Hard Rock Cafe marquee as part of the annual confetti test. The colorful event is held in preparation for the release of one ton of confetti at midnight on New Year Eve.
As the clock strikes one minute before midnight on December 31st, all eyes will be on TOSHIBA VISION as it screens the 60-second light and sound countdown extravaganza. One billion viewers are expected to watch the countdown from all around the globe via television and online broadcast.
The countdown party itself will include live music performances by superstar celebrities, such as Mariah Carey, Thomas Rhett, DNCE and Rachel Platten. Also, Bill Nye “the Science Guy” will take to the stage to commemorate the 25th anniversary of ExploraVision, an educational science and technology competition held in North America by Toshiba Corp. and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).
During the day, TOSHIBA VISION will showcase international countdowns for major cities in different time zones as follows (all times in EST):
• 10.00am: Tokyo, Japan
• 11.00am: Beijing, China / Singapore / Manila, Philippines
• 12.00pm: Jakarta, Indonesia / Hanoi, Vietnam / Bangkok, Thailand
• 1.00pm: Dhaka, Bangladesh
• 1.30pm: New Delhi, India
• 3.00pm: Dubai, UAE
• 4.00pm: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia / Moscow, Russia
• 5.00pm: Cairo, Egypt / Athens, Greece / Istanbul, Turkey
The hourly countdown for New York will begin at 5.59pm.
Toshiba has been the sponsor for the New York Times Square’s New Year’s Eve celebrations since the 2010 countdown.
December 24, 2016
Season's Greetings from GlobalGiants.Com
Dear GlobalGiants.Com Viewer,
Season’s Greetings and Best Wishes for the Coming Year!
December 22, 2016
Airbus Shortlists 50 University Teams for Fifth Fly Your Ideas Global Student Competition
Photo: The first A350-900 for Lufthansa, which performed its maiden flight in November 2016, is part of a 25-aircraft order placed by the German flag carrier. Image provided by & copyright © AIRBUS.
Photo: Team Retrolley from University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Runners-up of Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2015. From left: Fausto Mascia, Academic mentor University of Sao Paulo, Denise Ikuno, Lucas Otsuka, Tadeu Omae, Maki Shintate, Lucas Neumann. Image provided by & copyright © AIRBUS.
TOULOUSE, France, Dec. 20, 2016 — A record 5,499 students from around the world registered to participate in the fifth edition of Airbus’ Fly Your Ideas, the global student challenge organised in partnership with UNESCO.
A group of 60 Airbus experts and innovators assessed the ideas submitted by 356 teams from 89 countries. The rigorous evaluation process took place at four different Airbus locations in France, Germany, Spain and the UK, with 50 student teams selected to reach Round Two of the competition, starting in January 2017.
The competition is led by teams registered in the Asia-Pacific region. The 50 teams comprise 202 students representing 38 different nationalities. With 52% of teams mixing male and female students, two thirds of all teams are diverse in some way, for example with members coming from different countries or studying different subjects.
Innovative ideas from the 50 chosen teams include robotic luggage trolleys, passenger seats which can be boarded outside the aircraft, new solutions for energy harvesting and virtual reality applications.
“Fly Your Ideas is unique and we are proud of the company-wide engagement of Airbus employees who support the competition, either as assessors, mentors or experts”, says Charles Champion, Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering. “We are offering students the rare opportunity to interact directly with senior specialists from across the business. In turn, these experts will benefit from their direct interaction with talents from across the globe, all sharing the same passion for one of the world’s most exciting industries.”
Each of the teams has 100 days to refine and develop their ideas. The top five teams to make it through to Round Three will spend a week at the “ProtoSpace” based at the Airbus HQ in Toulouse to prototype, test and visualise their ideas using state-of-the art equipment with personalised guidance from Airbus. The winning team will receive a €30,000 prize and the runner up team will receive €15,000 at a live prize giving event in May 2017.
Key figures Fly Your Ideas 2017:
• Number of ideas submitted: 356
- Number of countries involved: 89
- Number of universities involved: 348
- Top 5 countries: India - 64 teams, China & HK - 44 teams, Spain - 29 teams, Indonesia - 24 teams, United Kingdom - 20 teams
• Number of ideas chosen: 50
- Number of countries involved: 41
- Number of universities involved: 57
- Top 5 countries: China & HK - 9 teams, Singapore - 5 teams, United Kingdon - 4 teams, Australia - 3 teams, Indonesia - 3 teams
December 16, 2016
India Minister updates Parliament on Universities in the Country
Photo: A Section of Parliament House, New Delhi. Image Credit: Ankur Gallery.
New Delhi, India - December 15, 2016 — India Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, today, in separate written statements, gave the following information to Rajya Sabha (upper house) about universities in the country.
• “As per All India Survey on Higher Education 2015-16, the number of universities in the country is 799, and out of them 386 Universities came into existence since 2001. The number of students and teachers in the institutions of higher education in the country during academic year 2015-16 are 3.46 Crore (one crore= ten million) and 15.19 Lakh (one lakh= one hundred thousand) respectively.”
• “The University Grants Commission (UGC),” the Minister explained, “is responsible for promotion and co-ordination of University Education, determination and maintenance of standards of teaching, examination, and research in Universities. To ensure adequate quality teaching faculties in Universities/Colleges, the UGC has notified rules and procedures containing Academic Performance Indicators (APIs). API scores are mandatory qualifying benchmarks for Career Advancement Scheme and for direct recruitment of teachers and other academic staff in Universities and Colleges.”
• The Minister gave the following information on Central Universities.
“Central Universities,” the Minister stated “are statutory autonomous bodies which are established under their respective Acts of Parliament. Subordinate legislation in respect of Central Universities includes Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations framed under the respective Acts by the Universities from time to time.”
“Along with the Act, the First Statutes of the Central Universities are passed by the Parliament. The Central Universities can amend, add or repeal any Statute with the approval of the Visitor. Ordinances and Regulations are also made by the Universities which should be consistent with the Act and Statutes of the university concerned,” the Minister explained.
The Minister said that at present there are 41 Central Universities in the country.
“In a meeting held with the Vice Chancellors of Central Universities,” the Minister elaborated, “the issues relating to improvement of quality of education, promoting research and innovation, faculty development, collaboration with the industry and research laboratories, effective use of technology in teaching learning process, and mandatory accreditation were discussed at length.”
The Minister elucidated that the University Grants Commission (UGC) has introduced the following schemes/regulations/guidelines/programmes for the improvement of quality and standards in the Central Universities:
- Mandatory accreditation of Universities with National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).
- Periodic updation of curriculum.
- Prescription of minimum qualification for appointment of teachers and other academic staff.
- Establishment of Internal Quality Assurance Cell.
- Introduction of Semester System.
- Introduction of choice-based credit system.
- Introduction of Faculty Recharge programme to augment research and teaching resources.
- Liberal financial support under the schemes of University with Potential for Excellence.
• Cashless Society - Digital Financial Literacy Campaign
Photo: The Union Minister for Human Resource Development of India, Mr. Prakash Javadekar, launching the Digital Financial Literacy Campaign, called Vittiya Saksharta Abhiyan - VISAKA, at a press conference, in New Delhi, on December 15, 2016. Image provided by the Press Information Bureau, Government of India.
Meanwhile, the Union Minister for Human Resource Development of India, Mr. Prakash Javadekar, today launched Digital Financial Literacy Campaign at a Press Conference in New Delhi. Mr. Javadekar said that about 25,00,000 students of higher educational institutions are expected to volunteer to be associated with the campaign.
Mentioning this campaign as biggest digital transformation of country after Independence, Minister said that Government officers, Bankers and administrators will be roped in to impart training to students. Students, in turn, will educate their family members and other families in their neighbourhood, motivating them to go in for digital payment.
December 13, 2016
Mastercard and Pine Labs Collaborate on Safe, Secure and Speedy Contactless Payments in India
Photo: Transport for London: Commuter paying with a MasterCard contactless card. Touching a reader using a MasterCard contactless card as a safe, simple and smart way to pay. Image provided by & copyright © MasterCard News.
New Delhi, India - Mastercard has announced its partnership with Pine Labs, the largest payment facilitator for electronic Point of Sale (PoS) solutions in India to roll out more than 26,000 contactless terminals across the key merchant stores in the country over the next 12 months.
Powered by Mastercard contactless technology, the merchants across Quick Service Restaurants (QSR), retail stores, cinemas and super markets will now be able to offer contactless terminals as an alternative method of payment to customers, allowing them greater ease and convenience of payments. The contactless payments solution will also help merchants build greater efficiency in managing their costs and time by way of reducing check-out time at the counters and costs related to handling of cash.
Cashless transactions are on the rise, driven by increasing availability of contactless cards and introduction of new forms of payment technology in the country.
“Mastercard’s contactless technology offers cardholders multi-level protection coupled with speed and convenience. Mastercard contactless payments are accepted at more than 3 million merchant locations in 77 countries worldwide. Our partnership with Pine Labs will help us build a safe and secure contactless payments ecosystem in the country. This is aligned with Mastercard’s vision of a world beyond cash and using technology to make payments safer, simpler and smarter for the consumers.” said Murali Nair, Senior Vice President, Market Development, South Asia, Mastercard.
Mastercard has been at the forefront of driving contactless payments globally. Contactless payments allow customers to make everyday purchases by simply tapping their contactless-enabled card or device on a contactless-enabled reader. Contactless acceptance is an excellent choice for any merchant, especially in environments where speed and convenience are valued and cash is currently the dominant payment method, such as fast food outlets, supermarkets, quick-service restaurants, convenience stores, and vending machines.
More than 60,000 Retailers across India depend on Pine Labs to securely and reliably manage their Payment Acceptance. Pine Labs payment solutions simplify acceptance of all kinds of payments at PoS terminals, be it Credit/Debit Cards, EMI, Reward Points, Gift Vouchers, or e-Wallet.
December 12, 2016
Incoming United Nations Secretary-General Takes Oath of Office
Photo: António Guterres, Secretary-General-designate of the United Nations, takes the oath of office for his five-year term which begins on 1 January 2017. The oath was administered by Peter Thomson, President of the seventy-first session of the General Assembly, on the Charter of the United Nations. 12 December 2016. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.
Photo: António Guterres, Secretary-General-designate of the United Nations, took the oath of office for his five-year term, which begins on 1 January 2017. The oath was administered by Peter Thomson, President of the seventy-first session of the General Assembly, on the Charter of the United Nations.
Mr. Guterres (foreground right) with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after taking the oath.
12 December 2016. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Evan Schneider.
Photo: The New York Philharmonic, conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert, paid special tribute in the General Assembly Hall to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki moon as he prepares to conclude his 10-year term. The concert was also an opportunity for a musical welcome to his successor, António Guterres.
The programme included Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, with Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill as soloist; and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.
A view of a banner of the concert at the side of the UN seal in the General Assembly Hall during the performance. 14 December 2016. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Manuel Elias.
December 10, 2016
City Traffic: Audi networks with Traffic Lights in the USA
Photos: “Time-to-Green”: In the Audi virtual cockpit or head-up display, drivers see whether they will reach the next light on green while traveling within the permitted speed limit. Image provided by & copyright © AUDI AG.
If you know in advance when a traffic light will switch from red to green, your driving is more relaxed and efficient. Audi is the first automobile brand to connect the car to the city infrastructure - an important step towards autonomous driving. In Las Vegas, starting immediately, the Audi A4 and Q7 models can display traffic-light phases directly in the car. Further U.S. cities will follow, and introduction of the system is planned in Europe. Traffic Light Information optimizes traffic flow, saves valuable time and reduces environmental impact.
Audi of America is cooperating with several cities in North America to upgrade the infrastructure for V2I technology. “For the first time, our cars are exchanging data with traffic infrastructure in real time. Drivers can adapt their behavior to the situation and move through city traffic in a much more relaxed and controlled way,” says Andreas Reich, head of Electronics Pre-Development at AUDI AG. “We increase energy efficiency when we connect our Audi models to smart cities. Further V2I services will follow, making the car into an interactive mobile device. We see autonomous driving as the end of this development.”
As a first step, all Audi A4 and Q7 models produced for the U.S. market since June 2016 and equipped with Audi connect will have this function on board. In the USA, municipal traffic management centers will communicate the traffic-light data to Audi’s project partner Traffic Technology Services TTS. Here the data are prepared and sent to the on-board computer in the Audi via a fast Internet connection, for example 4G/LTE, in real time.
The first function of the Traffic Light Information V2I component is called Time-to-Green. In the Audi virtual cockpit or head-up display, drivers see whether they will reach the next light on green while traveling within the permitted speed limit. If not, a countdown is provided of the time remaining until the next green phase - and drivers can take their foot off the gas pedal in good time. Pilot projects in Europe have shown that drivers exercise more foresight thanks to this information about traffic lights. This has a beneficial overall effect on traffic flow. “In our tests the the number of cars that had to brake to a standstill in traffic fell by around 20 percent. This saved time for the driver and also made fuel savings of about 15 percent in the pilot project,” says Michael Zweck, project manager for Audi Traffic Light Information.
First of all, Audi customers will use this service. The development work that Audi is investing in traffic-light systems will also benefit customers of other brands in future. The increasing spread of the technology will help city traffic planners to understand the causes of hold-ups and optimize the phasing of traffic lights.
In future Traffic Light Information could be linked up to smart navigation and used for new powering concepts. For example, “green waves” in traffic-light sequences could be incorporated in route planning. It is also conceivable that Audi e-tron models could make greater use of braking energy by charging the battery as they decelerate at a red light.
Audi also intends to introduce the technology in Europe. In Berlin, Ingolstadt, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Verona there have already been extensive pilot projects. In Berlin alone, some 700 traffic lights in the inner city have been connected to the service. Across Europe, however, unified data standards and digital infrastructure do not exist: “In Europe highly diverse traffic technology is in use, as the infrastructure has developed locally and decentrally. We are working on harmonization of the data that have been prepared. After that has been done, we can provide Traffic Light Information in Europe too,” Michael Zweck announced.
December 7, 2016
IWC PORTUGIESER CHRONOGRAPH RATTRAPANTE
Photo: Portugieser Chronograph Rattrapante (Ref. 3712) from IWC Schaffhausen.
Photo: Italian actress Anna Ferzetti and Italian actor Pierfrancesco Favino attend the IWC “Come Fly with us” Gala Dinner during the launch of the Pilot’s Watches Novelties from the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) 2016 on January 19, 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. (PHOTOPRESS/IWC/Chris Jackson).
Photo: Turkish actress and IWC brand ambassador, Tuba Buyukustun, attends the fifth IWC Filmmaker Award gala dinner at the 13th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), during which Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen celebrated its long-standing passion for filmmaking at One And Only Royal Mirage on December 8, 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Image provided by IWC Schaffhausen. Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images.)
Photo: Tunisian Actress, Lawyer, and UN World Food Programme Ambassador, Hend Sabry, attends the fifth IWC Filmmaker Award gala dinner at the 13th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), during which Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen celebrated its long-standing passion for filmmaking at One And Only Royal Mirage on December 8, 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. ((Image provided by IWC Schaffhausen. Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images.)
December 5, 2016
Circular Economy Principles could help India realise $624bn
Photo: UNCTAD 10th Debt Management Conference. Over 350 participants from over 100 countries, regional institutions and from the civil society participated in the 10th UNCTAD Debt Management Conference. Image provided by & copyright © UNCTAD.
Photo: UNCTAD 14 - 1st hearing with civil society. The hearing with civil society, held on 6 April 2016, provided a platform for organizations to contribute to discussions on what UNCTAD’s work priorities should be for the next four years. Image provided by & copyright © UNCTAD.
Geneva, Switzerland — 5 December 2016 - India could save $624 billion a year by 2050 if it adopts circular economy principles rather than following a conventional but more wasteful development path, according to a new report on India produced by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in association with UNCTAD.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an economic research and innovation think tank, promotes the concept of a “circular economy”, which is restorative and regenerative by design, and which aims to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value at all times.
“Today’s linear ‘take, make, dispose’ economic model which relies on large quantities of cheap, easily accessible materials and energy, is increasingly challenged in the long term. A circular economy is an attractive and viable alternative that businesses are already exploring,” the Ellen MacArthur Foundation said.
Pilot projects have already shown these practices contributing towards cost savings of hundreds of millions dollars per year.
“Increasing circularity can help unlock efficiencies, opening up urgent investment opportunities and delivering environmental, economic and social gains,” Guillermo Valles, Director for International Trade in Goods, Services and Commodities, UNCTAD said. “Lessons from this work in India serve as an important example for other developing countries seeking to meet both the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and commitments in the Paris Agreement.”
India’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Ajit Kumar, said: “India is earnestly working towards finding ways to improve the living standards of its citizens, compatible with its resources. Sectors such as mobility, agriculture and construction will play a crucial role in the future growth of India. The suggestions contained in the report are therefore, noteworthy and timely.”
Dame Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said: “This report builds on the Foundation’s previous analysis of the circular economy opportunity for Europe, by exploring for the first time the potential of applying the circular framework in a fast-growing market context. With its existing circular mindset and strong digital backbone, India can reap significant economic and societal benefits, embarking on a positive development path as it focuses on regenerative practices.”
The report says that better product design and innovative business models could generate cost savings and increase profits for businesses, in parallel with the shift to digitally enabled platforms for asset sharing, such as Zipcar, in which procuring services replaces owning goods.
A shift from selling cars to providing vehicles as a service could create new revenue streams for India’s car industry. Only about 2% of the Indian population currently owns a car, but the demand for mobility is increasing, the report says.
Using data from UNCTAD, the report estimates that India could save costs amounting 11% of its current GDP in 2030 and 30% of GDP in 2050 if proven circular approaches were adopted by the public and private sectors. Greenhouse gas emissions could be cut by 44%.
The report was launched in New Delhi, India, on 5 December, and an international briefing will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 12 December.
December 4, 2016
Carrera y Carrera presents Invierno (Winter) "Iceberg" Collection
Photos: Carrera y Carrera’s Invierno (Winter) Iceberg collection. To create the futuristic-looking jewelry pieces with unusual geometry of this new line named Iceberg, Carrera y Carrera designers have drawn inspiration from the Palacio de Cristal rising above Retiro pond in Madrid, Spain. (Images provided by & copyright © Carrera y Carrera.)
December 2, 2016
China and India Lead in the Times Higher Education BRICS & Emerging Economies University Rankings 2017
Photo: Entrance to the Science Building, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. Image Credit: Milan Tvrdy.
London — India has increased its share of the top universities in the Times Higher Education BRICS & Emerging Economies University Rankings 2017, but China still has the highest density of leading institutions in the developing world.
The Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, breaks into the top 15 for the first time this year, in 14th place, thanks to an improved teaching environment and greater research influence.
Panjab University, Chandigarh, which had topped in India at No. 13 in 2014, and had later slipped to No. 39 in 2015 and to No. 121 in 2016, has, however, further slipped and is now placed at No. 135.
Meanwhile, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay has reached its highest position after climbing three places to 26th, boosted by improved scores across all the five pillars underlying the methodology.
Overall, the country has 27 universities in the top 300 ranking, 19 of which make the top 200 (up from 16 last year), making it the second most-represented nation in the table.
Anurag Kumar, director of the Indian Institute of Science, said that increased government science funding in recent years has enabled the university to enhance grants for new hires, invest in state-of-the-art infrastructure and encourage interdisciplinary research. The institution is working hard to attract more scientists from other countries, he added.
“This growing talent pool augurs well for the country,” he said. “The government is doing its part by enhancing its education and research budget across the board.”
However, Richard Everitt, director of education at British Council India, warns that “reform is slow in India”, and although the country has one of the biggest higher education systems in the world and “some good institutions”, it still “doesn’t perform well on a global platform”.
Despite India’s gains, however, China still dominates the list, taking 52 - or more than one in six - places in the top 300. Six of these make the elite top 10, including Fudan University, which rose 11 places to reach sixth place this year, and Peking and Tsinghua universities, which hold on to the top two spots for the fourth year running.
While the two Asian giants have improved their showing, the performance of the other BRICS nations is waning, largely because of increased competition as a result of expanding the list to rank 300 universities from 41 countries, up from 200 institutions in 35 nations last year.
Brazil no longer has a university in the top 10, as the University of Sao Paulo slips four places to 13th, its lowest ever position, while half of South Africa’s eight universities have fallen.
Russia’s performance is more mixed; while 10 of its 24 universities have dropped places, Lomonosov Moscow State University holds on to third place amid increasing competition from China, and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology climbs 81 places to 12th, thanks to an improved performance across teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
The THE BRICS & Emerging Economies University Rankings use the same 13 performance indicators as the flagship World University Rankings but are re-calibrated to reflect the development priorities of universities in emerging economies.
BRICS & Emerging Economies University Rankings 2017
- Peking University — China
- Tsinghua University — China
- Lomonosov Moscow State University — Russian Federation
- University of Cape Town — South Africa
- University of Science and Technology of China — China
- Fudan University — China
- Shanghai Jiao Tong University — China
- University of the Witwatersrand — South Africa
- Zhejiang University — China
- National Taiwan University — Taiwan
BRICS & Emerging Economies University Rankings 2017
BRICS RANK — UNIVERSITY
- 14 — Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
- 26 — Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
- =32 — Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
- =32 — Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
- 35 — Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
- =62 Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
- 71 — Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
- 99 — Jadavpur University
- 106 — Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati
- =107 — Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
- =109 — University of Delhi
- 135 — Panjab University, Chandigarh
- 140 — Tezpur University
- =143 — Savitribai Phule Pune University
- =157 — Aligarh Muslim University
- 179 — University of Calcutta
- =186 — Sri Venkateswara University
- 195 — National Institute of Technology Rourkela
- =196 — Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani
- 201-250 — Acharya Nagarjuna University
- 201-250 — Amrita University
- 201-250 — Andhra University
- 201-250 — Osmania University
- 251-300 — Amity University
- 251-300 — Cochin University of Science and Technology
- 251-300 — Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda
- 251-300 — Manipal University
December 1, 2016
United Nations Secretary-General at New York Society for Ethical Culture
Photo: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (at podium) speaks at Ethics in Action: “The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals” at New York Society for Ethical Culture. 29 November 2016. New York, USA. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.
Photo: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks at Ethics in Action: “The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals” at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. 29 November 2016. New York, USA. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.
Photo: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) attends Ethics in Action: “The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals” at New York Society for Ethical Culture. On the left is Jeffrey Sachs, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). 29 November 2016. New York, USA. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.
“There are many statues of men slaying lions, but if only the lions were sculptors there might be quite a different set of statues.”
― Aesop (621 - 564 BC).
“He’s mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse’s health, a boy’s love, or a whore’s oath.”
― William Shakespeare, King Lear (III, vi, 19-21).
November 24, 2016
UN Secretary-General Addresses Disarmament Event at NYU
Photo: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivers a keynote address on “The Future of Multilateral Disarmament” at an event hosted by the Centre for Global Affairs (CGA) of New York University (NYU). The UN Secretary-General also took part in a Q&A session moderated by Edith Lederer, chief UN correspondent for the Associated Press. 22 November 2016. New York, United States. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas.
Photo: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote address on “The Future of Multilateral Disarmament” at an event hosted by the Centre for Global Affairs (CGA) of New York University (NYU). The UN Secretary-General (right) with NYU President Andrew Hamilton on the occasion. 22 November 2016. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas.
“There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time as come.”
— Victor Hugo.
“Victory belongs to the most persevering.”
— Napoleon Bonaparte.
“If they want peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks that precede cannon shots.”
— Napoleon Bonaparte.
November 19, 2016
UNESCO names filmmaker & music producer Deeyah Khan as its Goodwill Ambassador for Artistic Freedom and Creativity
Photo: Music producer, composer, documentary film director, and human rights activist, Deeyah Khan, at Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland. Photo by Violaine Martin. Image provided by & copyright © United Nations Office at Geneva.
Paris, France - November 18, 2016 — UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova will designate the Norwegian film director of Punjabi (Pakistani) and Pashtun (Afghan) origin Deeyah Khan a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Artistic Freedom and Creativity. The ceremony will take place on Monday, 21 November at 1:00 pm at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
According to UNESCO, Deeyah Khan is being appointed in recognition of her commitment to promote art as a universal language and a force for development, dialogue and social cohesion, for her contribution to the improvement of fairer and freer societies through her work as a film director, and for her commitment in favour of the Organization’s ideals.
As a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Deeyah Khan will promote freedom of creation for artists and the creative industries in developing countries in line with the principles of UNESCO’s 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
The UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors are an outstanding group of celebrity advocates who spread its ideals.
November 15, 2016
Porsche India celebrates arrival of the turbocharged four-cylinder Macan
Photos: Porsche Macan arrives in Mumbai. Images provided by Porsche India.
Mumbai, India - November 15, 2016 — Boasting a specially developed four-cylinder engine, the new Porsche Macan made its highly anticipated national debut at a press conference at the Taj Lands End in Mumbai today. The arrival marks the latest addition to the sports car manufacturer’s model range now available in the country, following the recent introduction of the new 911.
Under the bonnet, the Macan features a turbocharged two-litre engine. With 252 hp (185 kW) from 5,000 to 6,800 rpm and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds (when equipped with the optional Sport Chrono Package), the model demonstrates its true sports car capabilities. With an unladen weight of 1,770 kilograms, the Macan is the lightest SUV made by Porsche, which translates into agile handling.
The high standards of the Macan are raised further in the new model thanks to the seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission, latest generation Porsche Communication Management (PCM) and variety of distinctive interior and exterior features delivered as standard.
Commenting on the arrival of the new model, Pavan Shetty, Director of Porsche India, said: “The new addition to the Macan range further evolves an already exceptional sports car line-up in the compact SUV range to new heights, at an attractive price. With a specially tailored engine, sporty design accents and cutting edge technology, the Macan is the definition of a five-door sports car, remaining true to its concept as a car built for a life of adventure. This compact SUV packs just as much punch, and the same outstanding drive comfort, as you would expect from any Porsche.”
The company explained that the four-cylinder turbocharged engine of the entry-level Macan was specifically tailored to the model, ensuring sporty and efficient performance. Its powerful 370 Nm of torque, available between 1,600 rpm and 4,500 rpm, allows for fast overtaking manoeuvres. This is made possible by the engine’s two bar of boost pressure, charge-air cooling, petrol direct injection and variable valve timing.
Delivering characteristically sporty driving dynamics in the new model is the standard Porsche Traction Management (PTM) active all-wheel drive system. It comprises of an electronic and map-controlled multi-plate clutch, automatic brake differential (ABD) and anti-slip regulation (ASR). The electronically controlled multi-plate clutch regulates the distribution of drive force between the rear axle and the front axle. Driving conditions are constantly monitored to enable a precise and lightning-quick response to a variety of situations.
The Macan also features the electronically controlled Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). The PASM shock absorber adjustment system increases driving pleasure, safety and comfort. It automatically regulates the damper force on the front and rear axles. Depending on the road condition and driving style, PASM optimally reduces body movements - on gentle stretches, when driving off-road and even when adopting a more dynamic driving style with strong acceleration and braking phases such as on race tracks.
According to Porsche, distinguishing design characteristics and an extensive list of standard equipment make the new Macan an attractive offer for customers in India. Accentuating design elements include side window trim strips and brake callipers in black, the latter shielded behind 18-inch wheels, alongside an exhaust system with two single tailpipes made of brushed stainless steel. In line with many of the S models, the Macan has comfort seats with electric eight-way adjustment on the driver’s side, Alcantara middle seat panels, a lane-departure warning system and a powered tailgate.
The new turbocharged four-cylinder Porsche Macan is now available for sale at Porsche Centres across India.
Porsche in Bella Italia!— Porsche India (@Porsche_India) December 11, 2016
Here’s a glimpse of Porsche 718 Boxster S touring Italy with the photographer Macrus Hoffmann. pic.twitter.com/hHa2OGlSWm