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Showing posts from October 11, 2020

CHINA: MoST wants input on sci-tech innovation Five-Year Plan

Source: TRIVIUM CHINA The Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) is hard at work drafting a National Science and Technology Innovation Five-Year Plan (FYP).   Some context:  After the upcoming 14th FYP is published, many agencies will issue detailed plans for their own work during the same period.   Now MoST is asking for research contributions from universities, think tanks, companies and industry associations on a laundry list of “major issues” to inform the sci-tech innovation plan. What major innovation issues does MoST want input on?   The catalogue includes requests for policy research on how to: Address the international trends sci-tech innovation will face until 2025 Support domestic innovation through policy, and by better linking the technology, education, industrial, and financial sectors Boost investment into basic research Address the broader development and security aspects of sci-tech Build an internationalized research environment and an international cooperation str

CHINESE WORKERS IN AFRICA- WHAT’S THE REAL STORY?

By  developmentreimagined    Posted  October 8, 2020    In  analysis ,  infographic In order to mitigate the ongoing impact of COVID-19, it will be essential to reignite growth – in particular trade, finance and people flows to, from and between African countries. Much of these flows rely on increased infrastructure and connectivity, as well as local manufacturing, which is often provided by Chinese partners, either in the form of government loans or foreign direct investment (FDI – i.e. private sector finance). Yet, with both forms of finance can come an increase in Chinese workers, which can negate local benefits, especially in the context of high unemployment in many African countries. According to the  China-Africa Research Initiative , the number of Chinese workers that went to Africa by the end of 2018 was 201,057, a decline by 1,632 from 2017. Critics have argued that Chinese companies prefer to employee Chinese workers, depriving locals of jobs and for those they do hire, train

Multiple crises may unravel Ethiopia’s transition

Thursday, October 15, 2020 An ambitious reform agenda is faltering amid interrelated national and regional crises and brinkmanship on all sides Source: IOM; Oxford Analytica Outlook On October 6, Ethiopia’s parliament entered its sixth year (despite having a five-year mandate) after the House of Federation authorised an election delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The elections were once seen as a potential milestone in Ethiopia’s transformation from an authoritarian, one-party state into a functioning multi-party democracy. Even before the election delay, this narrative had started to crumble. Now, accusations of unconstitutional and anti-democratic behaviour are being traded across the political spectrum. Rising political polarisation and competing visions for Ethiopia’s future will make finding a path out of the crisis extremely difficult, while multiple, overlapping flashpoints across the country threaten to destabilise the situation further. Impacts Elections may ultimately prove

Vaccine vicissitudes

As economies, governments and individuals wait with varying degrees of desperation, a dozen COVID-19 vaccines are in advanced trials across different countries, and with results due to be released by the end of the year, a vaccine is likely to be ready for distribution by early 2021.  This week we  examined  some aspects of what this means in practical terms. The more effective a vaccine, the faster evidence that it works becomes clear. With tens of thousands of participants in Phase III trials and a full-blown pandemic under way, these data points are likely to accrue quickly.  Beyond the scientific hurdle of developing a good vaccine, fast and efficient distribution on a global scale now requires unprecedented cooperation among manufacturers, governments, cargo operators and ground workers.  It is estimated that 2-4 billion doses of a COVID-19 vaccine could be supplied by the end of 2021 (catering for 20% of the world population).  However, other factors that can affect the distribu

What Greece has learned (and Brussels should too) from the EastMed crisis

New Atlanticist   by   Leon Levy European Council President Charles Michel listens as Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis speaks ahead of the second face-to-face European Union summit since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brussels, Belgium October 1, 2020. John Thys/Pool via REUTERS Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is known for taking gambles when his back is against the political wall. As the coronavirus pandemic puts pressure on  Turkey’s economy and society , Turkey’s summer deployment of research and naval ships to contest exclusive economic zones claimed by Greece and Cyprus under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (which Turkey never signed) fits neatly into the pattern. And while there was hope in recent weeks that diplomacy would prevail,  Turkey announced on October 12 that it would redeploy the Oruc Reis research vessel  back into contested waters. These last few months have taught Athens some critical lessons about the way geopolit

India: NSO time-use survey

NSO time-use survey: Context : The  National Statistical Office (NSO),  which is a wing of Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, has conducted  the first Time Use Survey (TUS) in India  during January to December 2019. About the Survey: The primary objective is to measure participation of men and women in paid and unpaid activities. It is an important source of information on the time spent in unpaid caregiving activities, volunteer work, unpaid domestic service producing activities of the household members. It also provides information on time spent on learning, socializing, leisure activities, self-care activities, etc., by the household members. Average time spent: Average Indian woman spends 243 minutes, a little over four hours, on these , which is almost ten times the 25 minutes the average man does. An average Indian woman spends 19.5% of her time engaged in either unpaid domestic work or unpaid care-giving services. Men spend just 2.5% of a 24-hour period on thes

How Indians spend time: Women do the unpaid work; lots of socialising; almost zero volunteering

A time use survey measures the amount of time people spend doing various activities, such as paid work, childcare, volunteering, and socialising. The primary objective of a time use survey (TUS) is to measure participation of men and women in paid and unpaid activities. Written By  ZEESHAN SHAIKH  , Edited By Explained Desk | Mumbai | Updated: October 5, 2020 10:07:44 am The data point to the fact that while the large chunk of paid work is done by men, unpaid work is largely done by women. (File Photo) India’s first Pan  India time use survey  was released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on Tuesday. What is a time use survey, and what is the purpose behind conducting such a study? What are time use surveys? A time use survey measures the amount of time people spend doing various activities, such as paid work, childcare, volunteering, and socialising. The primary objective of a time use survey (TUS) is to measure participation of men and women in paid and unpa

Just so: Crimes against dalits

National Crime Records Bureau data show a 7 per cent increase in these crimes from 2018 to 2019, part of an upward curve from 2014 A poster held aloft in Thane during a protest against Hathras atrocity. PTI The Editorial Board Published 16.10.20, 12:34 AM Institutional complicity in efforts to protect upper-caste criminals when the crimes are against Dalits was laid bare in the Hathras case in Uttar Pradesh. But that is just a blatant example among numberless incidents which validate the findings of a study showing that cases of atrocities against Dalits are sought to be diluted throughout — from registration of the complaint through charge-sheet filing to the trial . This allows 75 per cent of cases to end in acquittal while suggesting that upper-caste perpetrators can get away with anti-Dalit crimes. National Crime Records Bureau data show a 7 per cent increase in these crimes from 2018 to 2019, part of an upward curve from 2014. Yet the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Pre

We are the most propagandized population in history

🔴 We are probably the most propagandized population in history 🔴 They mostly want you weak and controllable.  🔴 If their aim is to hijack your thinking, it only stands to reason that they want you more persuadable 🔴 You are swimming in a veritable sea of persuasion, and most of it is invisible to you.   Have you heard of the Four Minute Men? During the run up to World War 1, most Americans were isolationist and had no desire to go to war. So Woodrow Wilson hired an army of orators to give speeches in the 4 minutes it took to change reels in a movie theater.   Millions across the US heard these speeches.  The campaign effectively whipped up our collective bloodlust.   Enough so it convinced heretofore isolationist parents to support shipping their boys off to die in a far away land across the sea. We didn't call it "brainwashing" back then, but that's what it was.   And it's hardly new.   How else are you going to get folks to leave the comfort of their homes t

The Four-Minute Men — How an Army of Spin Doctors Sold WW1 to the American Public

by  MilitaryHistoryNow.com  •  10 December, 2014  •  2 Comments President Woodrow Wilson urges a joint session of Congress to declare war on the German Empire. Four days later, legislators passed the resolution. (Image courtesy the Library of Congress) “In the era before electronic mass media, it would take face-to-face sales pitches (and lots of ‘em) to fully drive the pro-war message home.” THE FIRST WORLD WAR WAS WELL INTO ITS THIRD YEAR  on April 6, 1917 when  the U.S. Congress finally voted to enter the conflict . But even before the first  doughboy  marched off to fight, Washington found itself embroiled in an even more crucial battle: The campaign for public opinion. Despite a litany of provocations on the part of Imperial Germany, including the  sinking of the Lusitania  and the  Zimmerman Telegram , isolationism still ran deep in America. Songs like  I Didn’t Raise My Boy to be a Soldier  sat atop the hit parade and even  President Woodrow Wilson , who famously characterized t

Why make even murder of a Dalit girl into a national Tamasha

Amar Bhushan Updated: Mon, Oct 12, 2020, 16:29 [IST] A Dalit girl in Hathras district, UP suffered grievous injuries on September 14 and died two weeks later. She was just 19, she was a Dalit and allegedly involved with a local Rajput boy. Her rape and murder thus appeared to be an explosive stuff to capitalize on. What made it more tempting was the fact that the incident took place in a state where BJP is in power and the chief minister himself is a Thakur. Unscrupulous journalists, liberal social activists, partisan columnists and non-BJP party leaders were not prepared to let go this opportunity to trash the state leadership, its administration and police, in the run-up to the state elections which are due in less than 18 months. As of now, no one knows for sure whether the girl was raped or murdered by one or many persons, whether she was indeed killed by Thakur boys or she was beaten to death by her family members to protect their family and caste honour. Only an investigation can

Why Facebook Can’t Fix Itself

Animation by Javier Jaén; photograph from Getty The New Yorker The platform is overrun with hate speech and disinformation. Does it actually want to solve the problem? By  Andrew Marant z October 12, 2020 When  Facebook  was founded, in 2004, the company had few codified rules about what was allowed on the platform and what was not. Charlotte Willner joined three years later, as one of the company’s first employees to moderate content on the site. At the time, she said, the written guidelines were about a page long; around the office, they were often summarized as, “If something makes you feel bad in your gut, take it down.” Her husband, Dave, was hired the following year, becoming one of twelve full-time content moderators. He later became the company’s head of content policy. The guidelines, he told me, “were just a bunch of examples, with no one articulating the reasoning behind them. ‘We delete nudity.’ ‘People aren’t allowed to say nice things about Hitler.’ It was a list, not a f