December 6, 2013: South Africa's anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela has passed away early this morning, at the age of 95. In a statement on national television, South Africa's President, Jacob Zuma informed about the demise of the Nobel laureate. He said that their nation had lost its greatest son.
Tributes for Mandela began pouring in from around the world immediately after the announcement. US President Barack Obama said the world has lost one of the most courageous and profoundly good human beings. UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon hailed Mandela as a giant for justice who had inspired freedom movements the world over.
India’s Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has expressed his condolences over Mandela's death. He said, a giant among men has passed away. Dr Singh said, this is as much India's loss as South Africa's and he was a true Gandhian. (UN photo)
December 5, 2013: Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, has launched Big Bird’s Words, a new app where children are guided to search for and find new words in their environment, making vocabulary building a fun and interactive experience.
Big Bird’s ‘Word-o-Scope’ enables children to use a smartphone as a digital eye into their real-world environments to find, identify, and learn about words, bringing a deeper understanding of what these words mean by exposing children to them in familiar contexts.
The app recognizes 1,500 words, and verbally recognizes 500 of those by name and is available in India on both iOS and Android.
December 2, 2013: The rule of law, governance, profits and livelihoods all suffer from corruption's corrosive effects, a senior United Nations official said at the conclusion of the world's largest biennial anti-corruption gathering, which this year took place in Panama City.
“We all have a stake in ending corruption," a declared John Sandage, Director of the Division for Treaty Affairs of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), underscoring that the resolutions passed during the Fifth Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption would help lay the groundwork for strengthening partnerships to prevent and combat the scourge.
Six resolutions and three decisions were passed during the conference, which wrapped up late yesterday in the Panamanian capital, including on the private sector, education, and enhancing international cooperation.
Highlighting the role of young people in this effort, saying they were a "valuable resource and potential source for change," he added: "The importance of the next generation in fostering a change of values, and ensuring that respect for the rule of law and integrity can flourish, was acknowledged by the resolution on promoting the participation of young people and children in efforts to prevent corruption." (Photo: UN)
November 26, 2013: SPACE, an organisation working towards the development of science and astronomy in India, conducted an Evening Observation for underprivileged children under ‘Quality support programme’ of Bharti Foundation, a philanthropic arm of Bharti Enterprises, with more than 300 students for Government school children, at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Bhojawas, Haryana.
SPACE educators Rishabh Jain, Vibhav Goyal, Abhishek Sarangi and Aanchal Tandon helped the students to get an experience on ‘Hands on Telescope’, under which the students controlled a telescope in real time and understood how to identify stars, planets, moon etc. by using Stellarium software (planetarium software provide a realistic projection of the night sky in real time), this helped the students to watch & learn about celestial objects such as galaxies, planets, moon etc.
The students also got an exposure to know more about the functions, types, set-up of telescope and techniques to observe the night skies.
November 21, 2013: The nutritional challenges of the billion plus population in the Indian subcontinent could be met with the marriage of agriculture and nutrition, said Professor Dr M S Swaminathan, India’s father of the green revolution. The renowned agriculture scientist was speaking during a round table conference called, ‘Partnering for Prosperity: Small Farmers of Big Stakeholders’ in New Delhi. Lise Grande, the UN Resident Coordinator in India, talking the importance of small farmers in terms of food security said that the United Nations General Assembly is all set to declare the year 2014 as the ‘International Year of Family Farming’. Pushpesh Pant, former professor of international relations at Jawarharlal Nehru University, said that emigration of people from Uttarakhand in search of jobs could be checked by promoting small farming. (Photo: OneWorld South Asia)