Global Goals

Press Freedom Day



October 8, 2019

93 Countries in Competition for the 2019 International Feature Film Oscar.

Foreign Oscars

Photo: Indian actress Alia Bhatt at the Press Conference for the film ‘Gully Boy’ presented at the 69th Berlinale film festival on February 9, 2019, in Berlin, Germany. Image provided by Berlinale. “Gully Boy,” directed by Zoya Akhtar, is India’s entry for 2019 International Feature Film Oscar. [File Photo]

Foreign Oscars

Photo: Christian Bale, Oscar nominee, and wife Sibi Blazic arrive on the red carpet of The 91st Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA, on Sunday, February 24, 2019. Image provided by & Copyright © Kyusung Gong / A.M.P.A.S. [File Photo]

Foreign Oscars

Photo: Dionne Lea Williams (left) and Keith David before “The Princess and the Frog” presentation by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as part of the Marc Davis Celebration of Animation, on Thursday, September 5, 2019. Image provided by & Copyright © Troy Harvey / A.M.P.A.S. [File Photo]

LOS ANGELES, CA, October 08, 2019 — Ninety-three countries have submitted films for consideration in the International Feature Film category for the 92nd Academy Awards. The Academy defines an international feature film as a feature-length motion picture (more than 40 minutes) produced outside the United States with a predominantly non-English dialogue track. Ghana, Nigeria, and Uzbekistan are first-time entrants.

Earlier this year, the Academy’s Board of Governors voted to rename the Foreign Language Film category to International Feature Film and expand the shortlist from nine to 10 films.

The 2019 submissions, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:

  • Albania, “The Delegation,” Bujar Alimani, director;
  • Algeria, “Papicha,” Mounia Meddour, director;
  • Argentina, “Heroic Losers,” Sebastián Borensztein, director;
  • Armenia, “Lengthy Night,” Edgar Baghdasaryan, director;
  • Australia, “Buoyancy,” Rodd Rathjen, director;
  • Austria, “Joy,” Sudabeh Mortezai, director;
  • Bangladesh, “Alpha,” Nasiruddin Yousuff, director;
  • Belarus, “Debut,” Anastasiya Miroshnichenko, director;
  • Belgium, “Our Mothers,” César Díaz, director;
  • Bolivia, “I Miss You,” Rodrigo Bellott, director;
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina, “The Son,” Ines Tanovic, director;
  • Brazil, “Invisible Life,” Karim Aïnouz, director;
  • Bulgaria, “Ága,” Milko Lazarov, director;
  • Cambodia, “In the Life of Music,” Caylee So, Sok Visal, directors;
  • Canada, “Antigone,” Sophie Deraspe, director;
  • Chile, “Spider,” Andrés Wood, director;
  • China, “Ne Zha,” Yu Yang, director;
  • Colombia, “Monos,” Alejandro Landes, director;
  • Costa Rica, “The Awakening of the Ants,” Antonella Sudasassi Furniss, director;
  • Croatia, “Mali,” Antonio Nuic, director;
  • Cuba, “A Translator,” Rodrigo Barriuso, Sebastián Barriuso, directors;
  • The Czech Republic, “The Painted Bird,” Václav Marhoul, director;
  • Denmark, “Queen of Hearts,” May el-Toukhy, director;
  • The Dominican Republic, “The Projectionist,” José María Cabral, director;
  • Ecuador, “The Longest Night,” Gabriela Calvache, director;
  • Egypt, “Poisonous Roses,” Ahmed Fawzi Saleh, director;
  • Estonia, “Truth and Justice,” Tanel Toom, director;
  • Ethiopia, “Running against the Wind,” Jan Philipp Weyl, director;
  • Finland, “Stupid Young Heart,” Selma Vilhunen, director;
  • France, “Les Misérables,” Ladj Ly, director;
  • Georgia, “Shindisi,” Dimitri Tsintsadze, director;
  • Germany, “System Crasher,” Nora Fingscheidt, director;
  • Ghana, “Azali,” Kwabena Gyansah, director;
  • Greece, “When Tomatoes Met Wagner,” Marianna Economou, director;
  • Honduras, “Blood, Passion, and Coffee,” Carlos Membreño, director;
  • Hong Kong, “The White Storm 2 Drug Lords,” Herman Yau, director;
  • Hungary, “Those Who Remained,” Barnabás Tóth, director;
  • Iceland, “A White, White Day,” Hlynur Pálmason, director;
  • India, “Gully Boy,” Zoya Akhtar, director;
  • Indonesia, “Memories of My Body,” Garin Nugroho, director;
  • Iran, “Finding Farideh,” Azadeh Moussavi, Kourosh Ataee, directors;
  • Ireland, “Gaza,” Garry Keane, Andrew McConnell, directors;
  • Israel, “Incitement,” Yaron Zilberman, director;
  • Italy, “The Traitor,” Marco Bellocchio, director;
  • Japan, “Weathering with You,” Makoto Shinkai, director;
  • Kazakhstan, “Kazakh Khanate. The Golden Throne,” Rustem Abdrashov, director;
  • Kenya, “Subira,” Ravneet Singh (Sippy) Chadha, director;
  • Kosovo, “Zana,” Antoneta Kastrati, director;
  • Kyrgyzstan, “Aurora,” Bekzat Pirmatov, director;
  • Latvia, “The Mover,” Davis Simanis, director;
  • Lebanon, “1982,” Oualid Mouaness, director;
  • Lithuania, “Bridges of Time,” Audrius Stonys, Kristine Briede, directors;
  • Luxembourg, “Tel Aviv on Fire,” Sameh Zoabi, director;
  • Malaysia, “M for Malaysia,” Dian Lee, Ineza Roussille, directors;
  • Mexico, “The Chambermaid,” Lila Avilés, director;
  • Mongolia, “The Steed,” Erdenebileg Ganbold, director;
  • Montenegro, “Neverending Past,” Andro Martinović, director;
  • Morocco, “Adam,” Maryam Touzani, director;
  • Nepal, “Bulbul,” Binod Paudel, director;
  • The Netherlands, “Instinct,” Halina Reijn, director;
  • Nigeria, “Lionheart,” Genevieve Nnaji, director;
  • North Macedonia, “Honeyland,” Ljubo Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska, directors;
  • Norway, “Out Stealing Horses,” Hans Petter Moland, director;
  • Pakistan, “Laal Kabootar,” Kamal Khan, director;
  • Palestine, “It Must Be Heaven,” Elia Suleiman, director;
  • Panama, “Everybody Changes,” Arturo Montenegro, director;
  • Peru, “Retablo,” Alvaro Delgado Aparicio, director;
  • The Philippines, “Verdict,” Raymund Ribay Gutierrez, director;
  • Poland, “Corpus Christi,” Jan Komasa, director;
  • Portugal, “The Domain,” Tiago Guedes, director;
  • Romania, “The Whistlers,” Corneliu Porumboiu, director;
  • Russia, “Beanpole,” Kantemir Balagov, director;
  • Saudi Arabia, “The Perfect Candidate,” Haifaa Al Mansour, director;
  • Senegal, “Atlantics,” Mati Diop, director;
  • Serbia, “King Petar the First,” Petar Ristovski, director;
  • Singapore, “A Land Imagined,” Yeo Siew Hua, director;
  • Slovakia, “Let There Be Light,” Marko Skop, director;
  • Slovenia, “History of Love,” Sonja Prosenc, director;
  • South Africa, “Knuckle City,” Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, director;
  • South Korea, “Parasite,” Bong Joon Ho, director;
  • Spain, “Pain and Glory,” Pedro Almodóvar, director;
  • Sweden, “And Then We Danced,” Levan Akin, director;
  • Switzerland, “Wolkenbruch’s Wondrous Journey into the Arms of a Shiksa,” Michael Steiner, director;
  • Taiwan, “Dear Ex,” Mag Hsu, Chih-Yen Hsu, directors;
  • Thailand, “Krasue: Inhuman Kiss,” Sitisiri Mongkolsiri, director;
  • Tunisia, “Dear Son,” Mohamed Ben Attia, director;
  • Turkey, “Commitment Asli,” Semih Kaplanoglu, director;
  • Ukraine, “Homeward,” Nariman Aliev, director;
  • The United Kingdom, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” Chiwetel Ejiofor, director;
  • Uruguay, “The Moneychanger,” Federico Veiroj, director;
  • Uzbekistan, “Hot Bread,” Umid Khamdamov, director;
  • Venezuela, “Being Impossible,” Patricia Ortega, director;
  • Vietnam, “Furie,” Le Van Kiet, director.

The Academy will announce the shortlist of 10 films on Monday, December 16, 2019. It would announce the nominations for the 92nd Oscars on Monday, January 13, 2020.

The 92nd Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 9,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers, and executives working in film. It celebrates and recognizes excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars.

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Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 2:11 PM | Link to this Post

October 5, 2019

UNESCO names Mexican Actress of Indigenous Origin, Yalitza Aparicio, as its Goodwill Ambassador

Unesco, Yalitza Aparicio

Photo: UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Yalitza Aparicio. Image provided by & Copyright © UNESCO / Christelle ALIX.

Unesco, Yalitza Aparicio

Photo: Presentation of the Certificate of Goodwill Ambassador to Yalitza Aparicio by the UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. Image provided by & Copyright © UNESCO / Christelle ALIX.

Paris France, 04 October 2019 — The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, has named Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Indigenous Peoples.

Born in Tlaxiaco, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, Ms. Aparicio is committed to the fight against racism and for the rights of women and indigenous peoples. She was chosen to play in Alfonso Cuarón’s film Roma while studying to be a teacher. Her performance in the movie, for which she had to learn the Mixtec language of her father’s family, won her an Oscar nomination for best actress. It made her the first indigenous Mexican woman to be so recognized by the US Academy Awards. TIME magazine (USA) listed her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2019.

Ms. Aparicio is one of the faces of the 2019 International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. She has lent her support to the United Nations campaign, “I say no to racism!”.

She has used her celebrity to promote respect and dignity. Ms. Aparicio has thus contributed to the work of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights. She also works for children’s education, helping raise funds for schools in the city of her birth.

Ms. Aparicio will contribute to UNESCO’s work to ensure the integration of indigenous peoples everywhere and the realization of their rights. She would be helping to safeguard indigenous cultural heritage, the inclusion of indigenous knowledge in environmental management, the preservation of biodiversity, adaptation to climate change, and equal access to education for indigenous peoples.

UNESCO Goodwill ambassadors are personalities who place their reputation at the service of the Organization’s campaigns. They commit to raising public awareness of the Organization’s mission for two years.

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Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 12:51 PM | Link to this Post

October 3, 2019

US-India Trade "Surging" Amid Torrid Times, Global Leaders Tell World Economic Forum's India Economic Summit 2019

World Economic Forum

Photo: Sania Mirza, Sportsperson and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia, India; Cultural Leader, speaking during the Session “Opening Plenary” at the India Economic Summit 2019 in New Delhi, India. 03 October 2019. Image provided by & copyright © World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell.

World Economic Forum

Photo: Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister of Women and Child Development, and Textiles, India, speaking during the Session “Inspiring LeadHers, Aspiring Outcomes” at the India Economic Summit 2019 in New Delhi, India. 03 October 2019. Image provided by & copyright © World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell.

World Economic Forum

Photo: Sarah Zhang Jiachen, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Guangzhishu, speaking during the Session “India’s Tech Leap” at the India Economic Summit 2019 in New Delhi, India. 03 October 2019. Image provided by & copyright © World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell.

World Economic Forum

Photo: Devina Gupta, Anchor, BBC World News, India, speaking during the Session “India’s Tech Leap” at the India Economic Summit 2019 in New Delhi, India. 03 October 2019. Image provided by & copyright © World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell.

World Economic Forum

Photo: Pritika Mehta, Global Shaper, Chandigarh Hub, India, speaking during the Session “India’s Tech Leap” at the India Economic Summit 2019 in New Delhi, India. 03 October 2019. Image provided by & copyright © World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell.

World Economic Forum

Photo: Hindol Sengupta, Editor-at-Large, Fortune India; Young Global Leader, speaking during the Session “Depopularizing Populism” at the India Economic Summit 2019 in New Delhi, India. 03 October 2019. Image provided by & copyright © World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell.

World Economic Forum

Photo: Suhasini Haidar, Diplomatic Editor, and Deputy Resident Editor, The Hindu, India, speaking during the Session “The Infrastructure Enigma” at the India Economic Summit 2019 in New Delhi, India. 03 October 2019. Image provided by & copyright © World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell.

World Economic Forum

Photo: Vani Kola, Founder, and Managing Director, Kalaari Capital, India, speaking during the Session “Bigger, Faster, Better?” at the India Economic Summit 2019 in New Delhi, India. 03 October 2019. Image provided by & copyright © World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell.

World Economic Forum

Photo: Amishi Parasrampuria, Global Shaper, Mumbai Hub, India, speaking during the Session “Maxing Out Consumption” at the India Economic Summit 2019 in New Delhi, India. 04 October 2019. Image provided by & copyright © World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell.

World Economic Forum

Photo: Suvir Saran, Chef, and Author, India; Cultural Leader, speaking during the Session “Connecting Cultures” at the India Economic Summit 2019 in New Delhi, India. 04 October 2019. Image provided by & copyright © World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell.

World Economic Forum

Photo: Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs of India, speaking during the Session “An Insight, An Idea with Subrahmanyam Jaishankar” at the India Economic Summit 2019 in New Delhi, India. 04 October 2019. Image provided by & copyright © World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell.

New Delhi, India, 03 October 2019 - Leaders from the world’s two largest and oldest democracies played down talk of “torrid times” over trade at the opening day of the 2019 India Economic Summit in Delhi. Instead, they noted that relations between the two nations are robust and on the up.

“The torrid times in our relations could also be a torrid love affair,” declared Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister of Railways of India, at the summit. “Relations between the Indian government and the US government, at our level and the people-to-people level, are better than ever before.”

Goyal noted that trade between India and the US is robust and growing. It is happening amid rising trade tensions between China and the United States and the ripple effect of that on the global economy.

Goyal said, in the last year, imports from the US to India have grown 30%, while exports from India to the US have increased by 20%.

Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce of the United States, responded to the criticism that no trade deal resulted from a meeting in September between India and the US. Ross said he saw no reason why we could not reach one soon.

“Neither government said there would a trade deal in five minutes,” he noted. “I think that was just speculation. We do think there is no fundamental reason why there can’t be one pretty quickly.” “Now that the election is over, and Prime Minister Modi has a strong position in the parliament, it should be a lot easier to take decisive action,” he said.

The relationship between India and the US has the potential to be one of the greatest of the 21st century, but global leaders speaking at the summit acknowledged there would be challenges ahead. India has an important role to play in the geopolitics of the region, and that positioning will inevitably lead to a sensitive question as to how to develop its relationship with China.

“India will have to decide for themselves their relationship with China in a larger context. India and China are trading partners, they are neighbors, and they have a huge population,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal. Mittal is Chairman of Bharti Enterprises. “India will take this advice carefully, but a decision will have to be taken critically by India,” he said. “My view is they should be in play.”

With US companies being encouraged to shift manufacturing outside China, there is an opportunity for a fundamental recasting of global supply chains. Indian industry is ready to take on the challenge to increase its competitiveness, said Vikram Kirloskar. Kirloskar is President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Vice-Chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motor.

“Over the last 20 years, we have become part of the global supply chain. To a large extent, a lot of the automotive components we are exporting are fairly competitive now,” said Kirloskar. “I think we are ready to increase capacity more, and we need the domestic market to increase as well as exports. For us, regional cooperation is also crucial.”

The World Economic Forum’s 33rd India Economic Summit is taking place in New Delhi from 3-4 October under the theme “Innovating for India: Strengthening South Asia, Impacting the World.” The two-day meeting will convene more than 800 leaders from the government, the private sector, academia, and civil society. The aim is to accelerate the adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies throughout South Asia and make the most of the region’s distinctive demographic dividends.

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Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 12:25 PM | Link to this Post

September 29, 2019

International Press Institute to celebrate its 70th anniversary at its founding location, Columbia University in the City of New York.

International Press Institute, Columbia University

Vienna, Austria — International Press Institute (IPI), the global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists, will hold its 2020 World Congress in New York City from September 10 to 12, 2020.

The World Congress is IPI’s flagship event and a top international forum for issues related to media freedom and quality journalism.

“On the occasion of the organization’s 70th anniversary, IPI is honored to be hosted by Columbia University and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism,” the Institute announced. IPI was founded at Columbia in 1950 by 34 editors from 15 countries to defend journalistic quality and independence.

“The fact that our network stood the test of time is a testament to the importance of our mission,” IPI Executive Board Chair Markus Spillmann said. Spillmann is the former editor-in-chief of Switzerland’s Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ). “Returning to New York just weeks before the United States presidential election puts us at the right place at the right time,” he added.

IPI got established in the aftermath of World War II on the belief that a free press will contribute to a better world. Today, with members in nearly 100 countries, IPI brings together media representatives from digital, print, and broadcast outlets. They address press freedom challenges and promote independent journalism as a core pillar of democracy.

“Media freedom, journalistic independence, and integrity are the guiding principles of our school. They are the values we aim to teach to all our students,” said Steve Coll, Dean and Henry R. Luce Professor of Journalism, Columbia Journalism School.

“We are proud of our numerous alumni who have joined IPI’s fight for media freedom around the world. We look forward to welcoming the IPI community back to Columbia University,” he added.

In the coming days, IPI will announce the leading news organizations and other institutions that will partner with IPI for the 2020 World Congress and 70th-anniversary celebration.

The 2020 Congress will see IPI members and other leading editors, journalists, media executives, and experts from all over the world gather in New York. There would be two-and-a-half days of engaging discussions, roundtables, workshops, and Q&A sessions addressing critical questions for today’s journalism.

“We would like to thank Columbia University for supporting IPI’s efforts and mission since the very beginning,” said IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi. “We feel so proud and privileged to have been born at an institution that has played such a key role in defining and spreading fundamental journalistic values worldwide.”


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Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 12:00 PM | Link to this Post

September 26, 2019

Prime Minister Modi meets with Global CEOs and Senior Executives of leading American Companies.

Modi, Marriot Hotel

Photo: The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, meeting the CEO of Marriott Hotels, Mr. Arne Sorenson, in New York on 25 September 2019.

Modi, American CEOs


Photo: The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, in a group photograph with the CEOs at a Roundtable, in New York, USA on 25 September 2019.

New York, 26 September 2019 — Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, chaired an exclusive roundtable discussion, at New York, with 42 global captains of industry from across 20 sectors. The companies that participated in the roundtable had a combined net worth of US$ 16.4 trillion, of which their net worth in India is US$ 50 billion.

The gathering included Ms. Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President and CEO of IBM; Mr. Douglas McMillon, President and CEO of Walmart; Mr. James Quincey, Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola; Ms. Marillyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin; Mr. Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan; Mr. James D. Taiclet, CEO of American Tower Corporation and co-chair of the India-US CEO forum; and Senior Executives from Apple, Google, Marriott, VISA, Mastercard, 3M, Warburg Pincus, AECOM, Raytheon, Bank of America, Pepsi to name a few.

The participants appreciated the great strides made by India in striving towards Ease of Doing Business and many reforms which have led to a conducive environment for investors. The business leaders complimented the Prime Minister on taking firm decisions with a focus on Ease of Doing Business and making India more investor-friendly. The leaders mentioned that their companies remained committed to growing their footprint in India.

The CEOs briefly outlined their specific plans in India and also put forth recommendations to aid India’s efforts towards skill development, Digital India, Make in India, inclusive growth, green energy, and financial inclusion.

In response to the CEOs’ comments, the Prime Minister stressed upon continued political stability, predictability of policy, and pro-development and pro-growth policies. He further emphasized the development of tourism, plastic recycling, and waste management initiatives. He urged the companies to leverage the Startup India innovation platforms in partnership with other countries - to make solutions not only for India but for the world, including challenging issues like nutrition and waste management.

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Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 2:48 PM | Link to this Post

September 23, 2019

A Green Roof and Solar Panels gifted by India installed on the Roof of the UN Headquarters in New York

United Nations, New York

Photo: A view of the solar panels, a gift from India, installed on the roof of the United Nations. 21 September 2019. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Cia Pa.

United Nations, New York

Photo: A view of the green roof placed next to the new solar panels, gifts from India, on the roof of the conference building at the United Nations headquarters. 21 September 2019. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Cia Pak.

United Nations, New York

Photo: A view of the green roof placed next to the new solar panels, gifts from India, on the roof of the conference building at the United Nations headquarters. 21 September 2019. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Cia Pak

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Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 3:01 PM | Link to this Post

September 21, 2019

Observance of International Peace Day at the UN Headquarters

United Nations Peace Day

Photo: A view of flags held by students at the annual ceremony at the UN headquarters in observance of the International Day of Peace (21 September).

The theme of the International Day of Peace of 2019 is “Climate Action for Peace” to draw attention to the importance of combatting climate change as a way to protect and promote peace throughout the world. 20 September 2019. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Laura Jarriel.

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Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 10:50 AM | Link to this Post

September 19, 2019

High Court admonishes Panjab University for deceitful conduct; stops short of branding it a Cheat

University, High Court

Chandigarh, 18 September 2019 — The Punjab and Haryana high court today admonished Panjab University for deceitful conduct. It just stopped short of branding it a Cheat.

The Court was giving its observations during the hearing in the “PANJAB UNIVERSITY AND OTHERS VS EMANUAL NAHAR” case.

Nahar, who was removed from his post by the Vice-Chancellor (VC) after an inconclusive senate meeting, joined back after a single-judge order on his plea. Panjab University (PU) had challenged that order before a division bench of the Court.

Senior Advocate Gurminder Singh, who represented Nahar in the case, submitted that it is apparent that the University has tampered with the recorded minutes of the senate meeting.

“Certain things have been omitted and added (in the recorded minutes) to mislead the court,” he submitted. “It is a murder of a democratic institution,” he added.

During the hearing, the Court repeatedly asked PU to show the resolution based on which it removed Nahar and appointed a new DSW. “Where is the resolution recorded? If it is not there, then it is manipulation.”

“If there was no decision (in Senate meet), the university had no business to pass this order,” the Court observed.

“Who has issued this office order? If people running the University are behaving this way, then God save the country.” “Nobody is above the law.”

“If we find this has been created and did not happen in the meeting, it is a very, very serious matter.”

“Has the Registrar done this tampering? We will call him and record his statement on oath,” the Court said during the proceedings.

The judges asked the counsels representing Panjab University to make the PU VC understand the consequences of an order which could be passed by the Court.

However, the Court chose to “save the face of the university.” Accordingly, it merely directed the University to appoint the seniormost PU professor as interim DSW and convene a new Senate meeting to decide the next DSW.



Chandigarh, 03 October 2019 — The Punjab and Haryana High Court today disposed of the original petition without any comments on the merits of the case.

The Court took this decision after the University submitted that it had duly conducted its Senate meeting as ordered by the Court. The University informed the Court that the Senate has resolved that the petitioner, Professor Emanual Nahar, would continue as Dean Student Welfare.

Mr. Sandeep Chopra, Senior Law Officer, Panjab University, Chandigarh, was present in the Court during the proceedings.


• AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi slams Panjab University’s intention to list Urdu as ‘Foreign Language.’

AIMIM (All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen) Chief, and Member of Parliament, Asaduddin Owaisi, has slammed Panjab University’s proposal to club Urdu in its ‘Foreign languages’ category. He said the University could not categorize Urdu as such as the Constitution of India recognizes this language.

“A language recognized by the Constitution of the country isn’t “foreign.” At least five states use Urdu for official purposes, he elaborated. “A language cannot be foreign in its own home. Homework for PU: name the country with the largest population of Urdu speakers,” Owaisi said in a tweet. StumbleUpon reddit Facebook Google Plus Tweet This Seed This on Newsvine

Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 6:34 AM | Link to this Post

September 16, 2019

India's Human Resource Development Minister launches Leadership for Academicians Programme (LEAP) - 2019

Academic Leaders

Photo: India’s Minister for Human Resource Development, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal’ Nishank’, at the launch of the Annual Refresher Programme In Teaching (ARPIT) and Leadership for Academicians (LEAP), in New Delhi on 16 September 2019.

Cornell Campus

Photo: A building in Cornell Campus. Cornell University (Ithaca, New York) is an Ivy League School. Image Credit: Tom Flemming.

New Delhi, 16 September 2019 — Union Human Resource Development Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal’ Nishank’, launched Leadership for Academicians Programme (LEAP) - 2019 and Annual Refresher Programme In Teaching (ARPIT) - 2019 under Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching (PMMMNMTT) in New Delhi today.

The Minister said that teachers are the base of the education system. ARPIT is an excellent platform for teachers to learn about the latest developments in their field and develop their teaching qualities. He said that for better results, we need to increase the participation of teachers in this program.

He said that we have a vision and mission. We need better coordination, such as between the University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

The Minister appreciated the LEAP program and said that we could develop administrative capabilities and leadership for organizations through this program. He further said that the leaders thus produced would have the responsibility of bringing institutions to the world ranking.

• Leadership for Academicians Programme (LEAP) -

The Leadership for Academicians Programme (LEAP) develops leaders for Higher Education Institutions.

LEAP is a three weeks leadership development program (2 weeks domestic and one-week foreign training) for second level academic functionaries in public-funded higher education institutions. Its main objective is to prepare the second tier academic heads that are potentially likely to assume leadership roles in the future. The Government is implementing LEAP through the following 15 institutions:

  1. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
  2. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
  3. Banaras Hindu University
  4. Jamia Milia Islamia
  5. Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
  6. Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata
  7. University of Hyderabad
  8. NIT Trichy
  9. University of Delhi
  10. Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
  11. Jawaharlal Nehru University
  12. Indian Institute of Technology, BHU
  13. TISS, Mumbai (CALEM)
  14. AMU (CALEM)

The mandatory eligibility conditions are a minimum of eight years of experience as Professor, three years of administrative experience, Impeccable Integrity, and high academic standing.

A maximum of Rs. 10 Lakhs per participant (including foreign training) is approved and each training institution signs MoUs with its international counterpart. LEAP training institution prepares information brochures with relevant information, such as the Structure of the Program, Curriculum, Resource Persons, Pedagogical aspects, Assessment and Evaluation, and Scheduled Dates for Indian & Foreign training. Each training module has a batch of 30 trainees. At the end of the training, the program evaluates the trainees on ten critical leadership attributes, namely, visioning & strategizing; communication skills; people management; conflict management & handling stress; decision making; teaching & learning research and innovation; financial planning and management; administrative skills; understanding students; and collaboration. In 2018-19, out of 15 LEAP approved Institutions, 12 have completed LEAP training with 280 participants.

In 2019-20, a centralized online selection process has been put in place and is now open for applying. The last date of registration is 25 September 2019, and the institution-wise selections would be available by 27 September 2019. The tentative LEAP (2019-20) Training Schedule is as follows:

LEAP Training Institution - Tentative Dates - Proposed Foreign University

  • IIT, Roorkee - 29 March to 4 April 2020 - University of Michigan
  • The University of Hyderabad - 28 October to 16 November 2019 - Cornell/Yale/Duke University, USA. Kyoto University, Japan
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Univ. - 2 to 13 December 2019 - NTU Singapore
  • AMU - February 2020 - Monash University
  • TISS - 20-31st Jan 2020 - University of Pennsylvania
  • NIEPA - 6 to 20 November 2020 - Oxford University, UK
  • Banaras Hindu University -16 to 21 March - University of Chicago
  • IIT Bombay - 24 February to 31 March 2020 - Cambridge /Oxford Univ/LSE/Kellogg School of Management
  • NIT Trichy - 2 to 7 March 2020 - NTU Singapore
  • IIT Kanpur - January/February 2020 - NTU Singapore
  • IISER Kolkata - July 2020 - Details awaited
  • IIT (BHU) - Dec 2019 to Jan 2020 - Details awaited
  • Jamia Milia Islamia - February/March 2020 - Oxford University UK/ University of Virginia, USA
  • IIT Kharagpur - 6 to10 Jan 2020 - University of Cambridge, UK
  • University of Delhi - February 2020 - Ross Business School, University of Michigan

• Annual Refresher Programme In Teaching (ARPIT) -

Ministry of Human Resource Development launched the Annual Refresher Programme In Teaching (ARPIT) in November 2018. ARPIT is a unique initiative comprising the online professional development of 1.5 million higher education faculty using the MOOCs platform SWAYAM.

The ARPIT program first identifies the discipline-specific National Resource Centers (NRCs). These NRCs are then tasked to prepare online training material with a focus on the latest developments in the discipline, new & emerging trends, pedagogical improvements, and methodologies for transacting revised curriculum.

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September 12, 2019

Oxford tops Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

Oxford University

Photo: The University of Oxford. Sheldonian Theatre and Bodleian Library from beneath Balliol’s Great Beech. Image Credit: Piers Nye.

London, 11 September 2019 — Times Higher Education today announced its World University Rankings 2020. The rankings include 1,400 universities across 92 countries, standing as the largest and most diverse university rankings ever to date.

The University of Oxford tops the rankings. It is in the first place. The California Institute of Technology is second, while the University of Cambridge is in the third place.

Stanford, Yale, Harvard, UC Berkeley, and Imperial College London all appear in the top fifteen.

Times Higher Education ranks universities on 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators that measure an institution’s performance across teaching, research, knowledge transfer, and international outlook.

Mainland China now provides both of Asia’s top two universities, with Tsinghua and Peking universities finishing at 23rd and 24th place respectively. The country’s universities have continued to expand their influence and presence on the world stage.

Ha Wei, Associate Dean, Graduate School of Education, Peking University, says that China’s excellence initiatives have “poured billions of US dollars” into select groups of universities.” “Talent attraction programs” have also helped the institutions improve, he said.

The latest Double World-Class project, launched in 2015, includes a “monitoring and evaluation system to make it more results-oriented,” Ha Wei added. It means that “those who are deemed less efficient in using the resources will get removed from the list of beneficiaries.”

“I believe the upward trend for Chinese universities will continue,” he said.

• Times Higher Education World University Rankings — Top 30

  1. University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  2. California Institute of Technology, United States
  3. University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  4. Stanford University, United States
  5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States
  6. Princeton University, United States
  7. Harvard University, United States
  8. Yale University, United States
  9. University of Chicago, United States
  10. Imperial College London, United Kingdom
  11. University of Pennsylvania, United States
  12. Johns Hopkins University, United States
  13. University of California, Berkeley, United States
  14. ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  15. UCL, United Kingdom
  16. Columbia University, United States
  17. University of California, Los Angeles, United States
  18. University of Toronto, Canada
  19. Cornell University, United States
  20. Duke University, United States
  21. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, United States
  22. Northwestern University, United States
  23. Tsinghua University, China
  24. Peking University, China
  25. National University of Singapore, Singapore
  26. University of Washington, United States
  27. Carnegie Mellon University, United States
  28. London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom
  29. New York University, United States
  30. University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Source: Times Higher Education

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September 10, 2019

A View of the United Nations Headquarters on 09 September 2019

United Nations, New York


Photo: A view of United Nations Headquarters and parts of Manhattan as seen from Queens. 09 September 2019. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Evan Schneider.

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September 7, 2019

UNESCO Creative Cities Annual Conference: Santos, Brazil, will host it in 2020; Istanbul, Turkey, will host it in 2021.

UNESCO Creative Cities Network, Istanbul

Photo: Istanbul, Turkey. Image Credit: Juan Antonio Segal. The city of Istanbul in Turkey is a UNESCO Creative City of Design.

Paris, France, 07 September 2019 — Istanbul has been selected as the Host City of the XV UNESCO Creative Cities Network’s Annual Conference in 2021 following an online vote by the 180 members of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) present in 72 countries.

Istanbul is a major city in Turkey that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. Istanbul’s Old City reflects the cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here.

“Future Proof Cities” will be the theme of the 2021 conference. This theme refers to the concept of urban future-proofing. It involves monitoring developments in all areas of urban life to ensure an equilibrium between the environment, technology, economic activity, and human needs and aspirations.

The UCCN Annual Conferences bring together mayors, municipal decision-makers, and other stakeholders. They examine ways to place people at the center of sustainable urban development from the economic, environmental, social, and cultural perspectives. The UCCN conferences echo the overarching objective of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - Leaving no one behind.

Fabriano, Italy, hosted this year’s conference.

Santos, Brazil

Photo: Santos, Brazil. Image Credit: Ricardo ATB. The city of Santos in Brazil is a UNESCO Creative City of Film.

The 2020 event will take place in the city of Santos in Brazil, a UNESCO Creative City of Film since 2015. Santos will be the first city of the Latin America and Caribbean Region to host the UCCN Annual Conference and the first Creative City of Film to do so. Under the theme “Creativity, Path to Equality,” the 2020 Annual Conference will demonstrate the power of creativity and culture in advancing sustainable development and reducing social and economic inequalities.

Krakow and Katowice, Poland hosted the Annual Conference in 2018, after Enghien-les-Bains, France (2017), and Östersund, Sweden (2016).

UNESCO established the Creative Cities Programme and Network to promote international cooperation between cities that are committed to investing in culture and creativity to stimulate and drive sustainable development. The Network covers seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts and Music.

Cities in the Network anchor culture and creativity in their development frameworks and policies to advance objectives such as social cohesion, employment, entrepreneurship, and gender balance among others for the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The annual conferences are a unique opportunity for cities to review their results, exchange best practices and ideas, and identify new trends. The cities discuss challenges and opportunities and build connections and partnerships.

Home to over half of the world’s population, the cities play a crucial role in developing and implementing strategies that address the development challenges of the 21st century. In this context, the UNESCO Creative Cities Programme and its Annual Conference have an ever more critical role to play in addressing the contemporary challenges and opportunities facing cities and human settlements.

Source: UNESCO, Paris.

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September 4, 2019

UN Secretary-General Appoints Melissa Fleming of United States Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications

United Nations, New York

Photo: UN Secretary-General António Guterres swears in Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications. 04 September 2019. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

New York, NY — United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Melissa Fleming of the United States as the next Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications.

She succeeds Alison Smale of the United Kingdom.

Ms. Fleming brings to the position more than 25 years of strategic vision, innovative management, and communications expertise. She worked in the UN in the fields of humanitarian action, conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and free media.

Since 2009, Ms. Fleming has been Head of Global Communications and Spokesperson in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva. While there, she led global media outreach campaigns, social media engagement, and a multimedia news service serving audiences ranging from media, public, donors, Governments and refugees themselves.

Ms. Fleming joined UNHCR from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), where she served for eight years as Spokesperson and Head of Media and Outreach. Before IAEA, she headed the Press and Public Information team at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Earlier still, she served as Public Affairs Specialist at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich, Germany.

Having begun her career as a journalist, Ms. Fleming held the position of Senior Advisor and Spokesperson on the transition team of the current Secretary-General from 2016 to 2017.

She holds a Master of Science in journalism from the College of Communication, Boston University, and a Bachelor of Arts in German studies from Oberlin College, Ohio, United States.

Source: United Nations, New York

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September 3, 2019

High Court Censures Panjab University Vice-Chancellor and Registrar for Irresponsibility, Incompetence, and Dishonesty.

Court of Law

Chandigarh, 03 September 2019 — Punjab and Haryana High Court today censured the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar of Panjab University Chandigarh for their irresponsible, incompetent, and dishonest conduct in the administration of the institution.

Panjab University

The Court was delivering the interim order in “Professor Emanual Nahar versus Panjab University, Chandigarh” case. The court will announce the final judgment on 16 September.

The petitioner, Professor Nahar, had contended that the Vice-Chancellor had gone against the rules to remove him from the post of Dean Student Welfare (DSW). Professor Nahar, through his counsel, had claimed that 48 senators had favored his extension during the Senate meeting before providing written information to the Vice-Chancellor.

After hearing the arguments from both sides, the Court observed that the irrefragable position emerges that the Senate is the Supreme Body of the Panjab University. The Syndicate constituted by members of the Senate follows it. The Vice-Chancellor follows the Syndicate. The Vice-Chancellor is also a member of the Syndicate as well as the Senate.

“Record produced by the University before this Court reflects that Senate resolution is merely signed by Vice-Chancellor, as a single vote. It does not bear signatures of any other member of the Senate,” the court said.

“Prima facie, it appears that the Vice-Chancellor was the only one who had expressed dissent on the continuation of the petitioner as DSW although the Syndicate had recommended his extension. The tearing haste in which the Vice-Chancellor passed the impugned order, at first flash, is indicative that the Vice-Chancellor wanted his dissent to prevail,” the Court concluded.

According to the Court, “Another redeeming factor, that weighs in favor of the petitioner, Professor Nahar, is that 15 members constitute the Syndicate, of which Vice-Chancellor is just one vote. The Syndicate recommended the petitioner’s continuation by 14 votes in his favor and only one dissenting vote, that of the Vice-Chancellor.”

“To suggest that Syndicate or Senate can not disregard recommendation or non-recommendation by the Vice-Chancellor for the post of DSW flies in the face of the reasoning the University has itself adopted,” the Court noted.

Commenting on the role of the Registrar, the Court observed, “It is incumbent for the Registrar to record the minutes of the Senate meeting/proceedings for the approval by the Chairman/Vice-Chancellor. The record produced before the Court does not contain any such minutes either draft or approved. Even otherwise, general prudence warrants the Registrar to prepare the minutes of any meeting/proceedings before passing of a resolution conveying the discussion/decision taken therein and not the vice versa. In the present case, while the resolution is on the record, the minutes to be recorded by Registrar are discernibly missing. Further, the video of the Senate proceedings is contrary to what has been produced on record by the University.”

The Court, in its order, directed Panjab University to restore status quo ante as it existed a day before the date of the meeting of Senate. Doing this allows the petitioner, Professor Nahar, to continue as Dean Student Welfare (DSW).

Further, the Court instructed the University to convene a meeting of the Senate within seven days to consider the recommendations of the Syndicate, and put the matter to vote, if need be, per the law.

Source: Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh.

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September 1, 2019

Newly Crowned World Badminton Champion, Ms. P.V. Sindhu, calls on the Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu.

Sindhu, Naidu, Badminton

Sindhu, Naidu, Badminton

Photos: The Newly Crowned World Badminton Champion, Ms. P.V. Sindhu, with the Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu, in Hyderabad on 31 August 2019.

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August 29, 2019

Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Arrives in New York by Sailboat

United Nations, Climate Change

United Nations, Climate Change

United Nations, Climate Change

United Nations, Climate Change

Photos: Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, sailed into New York Harbor today flanked by a fleet of 17 sailboats. Each sailboat represents one of the Sustainable Development Goals on their sails. Greta Thunberg embarked on a trans-Atlantic voyage on 14 August from Plymouth, England to New York City on a solar-powered, zero-emission racing boat, the Malizia II. She would be attending the UN Climate Action Summit in New York in September. 28 August 2019. New York, New York. UN Photos/Mark Garten.

Source: United Nations, New York.

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August 27, 2019



Photo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India with the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G7 Summit, in Biarritz, France, on 25 August 2019.

Following is the Declaration issued by the G7 Leaders after the G7 Summit 2019 in Biarritz, France:

26 AUGUST 2019

The G7 Leaders wish to underline their great unity and the positive spirit of the debates. The G7 Summit, organized by France in Biarritz, has successfully produced agreements by the Heads of State and Government themselves on several points summarized below:

• Trade

The G7 is committed to open and fair world trade and the stability of the global economy.

The G7 requests that the Finance Ministers closely monitor the state of the global economy.

The G7 wishes to overhaul the WTO to improve effectiveness about intellectual property protection, to settle disputes more swiftly and to eliminate unfair trade practices.

The G7 commits to reaching in 2020 an agreement to simplify regulatory barriers and modernize international taxation within the framework of the OECD.

• Iran

We fully share the objective to foster peace and stability in the region.

• Ukraine

France and Germany will organize a Normandy format summit in the coming weeks to achieve tangible results.

• Libya

We support a truce in Libya that will lead to a long-term ceasefire.

We believe that only a political solution can ensure Libya’s stability.

We call for a well-prepared international conference to bring together all the stakeholders and regional actors relevant to this conflict.

We support in this regard the work of the United Nations and the African Union to set up an Inter-Libyan conference.

• Hong Kong

The G7 reaffirms the existence and importance of the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 on Hong Kong and calls for avoidance of violence.

The G7 or ‘Group of Seven’ are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It is an intergovernmental organization that was formed in 1975 by the top economies of the time as an informal forum to discuss pressing world issues.

Prime Minister Modi of India was invited to attend the Summit as a special guest of French President Emmanuel Macron.

Source: G7-2019, Biarritz, France.

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August 23, 2019

Prime Minister Modi reiterates India’s commitment to UNESCO during his visit to the Organization.

UNESCO, Modi, India

UNESCO, Modi, India

Photos: The Director-General of UNESCO, Ms. Audrey Azoulay, with the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, at UNESCO Headquarters, in Paris, France, on 23 August 2019. Images provided by & copyright © UNESCO/Christelle ALIX.

Paris, France, 23 August 2019 — UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, warmly welcomed India’s commitment to the Organization, its work, and the ideals it promotes. She was greeting Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, during his visit to the UNESCO headquarters.

Talks with the Prime Minister focused on UNESCO’s significant initiatives in favor of girls and women’s education.

During the discussion, the Prime Minister urged UNESCO to accelerate efforts to protect cultural diversity in Iraq, as an integral part of the “Revive the spirit of Mosul” initiative.

The New Delhi-based “UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development” is a significant partner in the Organization’s work on the ethics of artificial intelligence, with a particular focus on education. UNESCO recently published “The State of the Education Report for India 2019”, as part of its undertaking to rethink the future of education for the 21st century.

Prime Minister Modi ended his visit to UNESCO with an address to representatives of India’s expatriate community in France.

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August 18, 2019

New York Students to Speak with NASA Astronaut Aboard Space Station.



Photo: Russia’s Progress 73 resupply ship approaches the International Space Station’s Pirs docking compartment packed with almost three tons of food, fuel, and supplies for the Expedition 60 crew. Image provided by NASA.


Photo: International Space Station, a variety of solar arrays criss-cross the view. Image provided by NASA.


Photo: Official portrait of NASA astronaut Christina Koch. Image provided by NASA.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 14, 2019 — SciGirls viewers from New York will have an opportunity on Monday, Aug. 19, to talk live with NASA astronaut Christina Koch aboard the International Space Station. The Earth-to-space call will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Koch will answer questions beginning at 10:55 a.m. EDT from girls ages 8 to 14 participating in the “SciGirls in Space” program. SciGirls is a PBS Kids television show, website and educational outreach program engaging more than 14 million girls in STEM learning and careers. The “SciGirls in Space” program includes partners and girls in six states who will participate in the event. The event will take place at the Challenger Learning Center of Ramapo, 225 Route 59, Airmont, New York.

The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station (habitable artificial satellite) in low Earth orbit. The ISS program is a joint project between five participating space agencies: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).

Linking students directly to astronauts aboard the space station provides unique, authentic experiences designed to enhance student learning, performance, and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Astronauts living in space on the orbiting laboratory communicate with NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston 24 hours a day through the Space Network’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS).

Through NASA’s Artemis program, the agency will send astronauts to the Moon by 2024 and then on to Mars.

Source: NASA

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August 17, 2019

Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations Briefs Press on Jammu and Kashmir.

United Nations, India

Photo: Syed Akbaruddin, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, briefs correspondents following Security Council consultations on the situation in Pakistan and his country. 16 August 2019. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Evan Schneider.

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