Solve the cybersecurity riddle to drive deeper engagement

first_img 16SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Your financial institution strives for balance every day between competing consumer expectations: People want security in their banking whenever and however they choose to do it, but they don’t want it to diminish the speed and convenience they expect in a digital world.It’s a complex riddle that grows more difficult to solve with each passing day. You face constantly evolving threats at nearly every digital touchpoint, whether through online, mobile or tablets. Yet consumers rely on their institutions to detect and stop those threats in real-time while maintaining a seamless, positive user experience.That means striking a balance between having strong protections from top to bottom and minimizing friction for consumers. The Point talked to John Horn, director of SecureNow cybersecurity services for the Digital Banking Group at Fiserv, for analysis of the security challenges financial institutions like yours face and sound strategies that can drive deeper engagement. continue reading »last_img read more

DStv and GOtv Entertain Customers with Exciting UCL Matches

first_imgThe night games feature a tough outing for Moroccans Hakim Ziyech and Noussair Mazraoui, as their Ajax team heads to Germany for a battle with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, while Ivorian Maxwel Cornet will look to get on the score sheet against when Olympique Lyon play host to Shakhtar Donetsk.CSKA Moscow against all odds pipped the defendingChampions Real Madrid while Manchester United were unimpressive after a goalless outing at home to Valencia at Old Trafford. Roma came back from 0-3 loss on match day one against Real Madrid to win 5-0 at home to Viktoria Plzen.Today’s early kick-offs see Ghana striker Richmond Boakye leading the line for Red Star in their trip to Paris Saint-Germain, and Brian Idowu’s Lokomotiv Moscow are at home to a Schalke 04 side which can call on Baba Rahman, Hamza Mendyl, Salif Sane, Amine Harit and Nabil Bentaleb.Other Africans set to see action this evening night include Nigerian Emmanuel Dennis in Club Brugge’s tough trip to face Thomas Partey’s Atletico Madrid; Jean Aholou will feature in midfield for Monaco as they take on Borussia Dortmund at Signal-Iduna Park; and Serge Aurier and Victor Wanyama will hope to feature for Tottenham Hotspur in their high-profile clash at Wembley against Barcelona.Kwadwo Asamoah and Keita Balde will look to guide Internazionale to a second win when they face PSV in Eindhoven, and the Porto v Galatasaray clash should see plenty of African stars on show, including the likes of Yacine Brahimi, Vincent Aboukabar, Henry Onyekuru and Badou N’Diaye.UCL RESULTSAEK 2-3 BenficaBayern 1-1 AjaxHoffenheim 1-2 Man CityLyon 2-2 ShakhtarCSKA 1-0 MadridRoma 5-0 PlzenJuventus 3-0 Young BoysMan Utd 0-0 ValenciaTONIGHTAtletico Vs BruggeDortmund Vs MonacoPSV Vs InterTottenham Vs BarcaPSG Vs ZvezdaNapoli Vs LiverpoolLokomotiv Vs SchalkePorto Vs GalatasarayShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram A battle between Senegal teammates Kalidou Koulibaly and Sadio Mane will headline the second Matchday of the UEFA Champions League’s group stage, set to be played on 2-3 October.Napoli will play host to Liverpool in a Group C clash at Stadio San Paolo tonight, with the tussle between Koulibaly and Mane set to be a key factor in deciding the outcome. The game is also likely to feature Egyptian superstar Mohamed Salah, and Guinean midfielders Amadou Diawara and Naby Keita.Matchday Two was underway early yesterday with evening with Hoffenheim lost as host to Manchester City, while Swiss side Young Boys failed to withstand 0-3 loss Juventus who were without suspended Cristiano Ronaldo.last_img read more

Magogo elected as CAF Executive Committee member

first_imgMagogo was voted the CAF Executive Committee member for East & Central Africa Zone on Thursday. (PHOTOS/File)The Federation of Uganda Football Association, Moses Magogo has been elected as the new  Confederation of African Football (CAF)Executive Committee member for East & Central Africa Zone.This was at the 41st CAF Ordinary Assembly that was held on Thursday, July 18-2019, in Zamalek Egypt.Magogo beat off competition from Leodengar Tenga, beating the Tanzanian 33 to 19 in terms of overall votes. Magogo will replace Tenga at the Executive Committee.FUFA’s first vice president Justus Mugisha cast the voted on behalf on Uganda.Speaking after his election, Magogo said that it has always been his dream to become a CAF Executive connittee member.“It has been my dream from 20 years ago that one day I would be a CAF Executive Committee member. Noted Magogo.“I am so happy that I have achieved it now.”Several other committee members were elected and announced at the glamorous ceremony.For the past years, Magogo has been a co-opted CAF Executive Committee member but had no voting powers.Other results:Libya’s Abdulhakim Abraheem Abdulrarazzik Al Shalmani beat Amar Bahloul from Algeria 29-21 to take the Northern Zone seat.For the Southern Zone slot, Mauritius’ Mohamad Ally Samir Sobha beat four other candidates in a one-sided poll.Sobha tallied 38 votes, Kamanga had 10 and Adam Mthetwa from Eswatini had only two votesElvis Raja Chetty (Seychelles) and Felton Kamambo (Zimbabwe) one vote apiece.Un-opposed:Three candidates from the Western Zone A, Western Zone B, and Central Zone were un-opposed.Senegal’s Augustin Senghor (Western Zone A), Sita Sangare (Burkina Faso) for Western Zone B and Central Africa Republic’s Patrice Edouard Ngaissona for Central zone.At the same congress, CAF President Ahmad Ahmad made stunning remarks to personalities he thinks are letting down the interests of Africa as a confederation.“We are lagging behind all confederations. I will not name names of those who have frustrated us. I turned to FIFA for counseling reasons. We know what happened to FIFA some time ago that problems until Gianni Infantino emerged and had turned around FIFA,” Ahmad fumed.Ahmed was furious with those that he claims, keep on letting Africa’s interests down. Meanwhile, the CAF President Ahmad Ahmad will be expected to address the media during a special press conference, at Eugenie Ballroom, Cairo Marriot Hotel.Comments Tags: 41st CAF Ordinary AssemblyCafLeodengar TengaMoses Magogotoplast_img read more

Has Cosmic Inflation Been Discovered?

first_imgClaims of a major breakthrough about the big bang are swirling in the news: is it inflation, or inflating the evidence?In “Stop the presses!” style, the science news are simultaneously announcing that gravitational waves have been discovered that reveal evidence for inflation.  Cosmic inflation stems from Alan Guth’s proposal in the 1980s that the universe underwent an unbelievable expansion (much faster than light) for just a few billionths of a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second immediately after the big bang (see “State of the Cosmos,” 2/21/05).  Despite undergoing numerous overhauls and versions, inflation theory has become somewhat of a “given” among cosmologists, because it neatly dispenses with two falsifications of the big bang, the horizon problem and the lumpiness problem.  Still, some complained that it was (1) untestable and (2) it created as many problems as it solved.  Science Now openly admits the idea sounds crazy:If imagining the big bang makes your head ache, what happened an instant later might make it explode. Cosmologists think the just-born universe—a hot, dense soup of matter and energy—went through a burst of expansion faster than the speed of light. Like a magical balloon, the cosmos doubled its size 60 times in a span of 10-32 seconds. This phase, known as inflation, ended well before the universe was even a second old.So how can they suddenly claim that inflation has been discovered?Major Discovery: ‘Smoking Gun’ for Universe’s Incredible Big Bang Expansion Found (Space.com)First direct evidence of cosmic inflation (PhysOrg)First glimpse of big bang ripples from universe’s birth (New Scientist)Cosmic inflation: ‘Spectacular’ discovery hailed (BBC News)Glimpse of the Universe’s First Split Second Boosts Inflation Theory (Science Magazine)Telescope captures view of gravitational waves:  Images of the infant Universe reveal evidence for rapid inflation after the Big Bang (Nature)What really happened is that a team with a sensitive detector dubbed BICEP2 in Antarctica found (they claim) some signals of B-mode polarization in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) – a very weak signal that leans on various models and the ability to identify noise to subtract out.  They are interpreting swirls on a chart as evidence of gravitational waves (extremely weak and difficult to detect), which they infer were caused by inflation after the big bang, since producing those artifacts would have required very high energy according to theory.  They believe they have ruled out foreground artifacts that might have distorted the signal, but that remains to be confirmed.Science reporters are going nuts with the announcement simultaneously (showing they are all in cahoots with embargoed news, like horses ready to charge out of the racing gates; this BICEP2 study has been going on for years).  Space.com, in particular, is finding creative ways to capitalize on the “spectacular” announcement with advertisement-cluttered video clips, interviews, photo galleries and infographics, obviously prepared in advance for the big publication day.Deeper reading shows it might be appropriate to hold the horses.First of all, the experiments are highly theory-laden.  It’s a bit like reasoning, “Major premise: If space aliens visited Mars, they would have left faces.  Minor premise: a face has been found on Mars.  Conclusion: Space aliens visited Mars.”  Only if cosmologists assume certain things about what inflation might do to the cosmic microwave background can they claim inflation caused what they think they see.  This signal, for instance, would have had to be imprinted on spacetime almost half a billion years before the CMB became visible. Confirmation bias is a common problem in science and in everyday life (that’s why Karl Popper proposed falsification as a criterion for science.)Second, the data are extremely tenuous.  Gravitational waves are notoriously weak.  Additional support may come from data now being crunched by the ESA’s Planck telescope’s team.  But again, interpretations of the reduced data set after signals considered uninformative are tossed out are not free of theory bias.  The team is claiming, nonetheless, that the signal is stronger than expected.Third, even the “discoverers” of the ripples admit it is premature to conclude their favored interpretation (inflation) is correct.  Deep in the Space.com article, team leader John Kovac said he expects a lot of scrutiny to follow the announcement.  “It’s going to be controversial,” he told Space.com. “We can expect that people will try to shoot at it from every direction, and we invite that — that’s the scientific process, and it’ll be fun and interesting.”  The honest reporters are cautioning their claims with the disclaimer, “If it is confirmed…”.  Mr. Inflation himself, Alan Guth, warned in the New Scientist article, “No experiment should be taken too seriously until there’s more than one that can vouch for it.”  Nevertheless, some are seeing John Kovac on track for a Nobel Prize.Fourth, the announcement does not claim to bring understanding of any physical cause for the signal.  Harvard cosmologist Avi Loeb gives this admission at the end of the Space.com article:Still, there is much more to learn about our universe’s first few moments. For example, astronomers still have no idea what the substance that propelled inflation — dubbed the “inflaton” — actually is, Loeb said.“It’s not yet a victory of theoretical physics that we see evidence for a process that took place early on,” he said. “We really need to understand what this substance — this inflaton — is. And until we do that, it’s just like dark matter or dark energy — we give it a name, but we don’t know what it is.“Perhaps it is best to summarize the announcement thus: A very tiny signal of uncertain origin might have been detected from the Earth’s surface in microwaves that might have originated in gravitational waves from deep space, but confirmation is needed.  Some cosmologists have pet theories, but nobody understands what they mean.Update 3/19/14: For Evolution News & Views, Rob Sheldon has analyzed the motivations behind this announcement, as well as its physical claims.Ignoring for a moment the press’s propensity to leap onto bandwagons and toot foghorns in unison, let’s consider what this announcement means for creationists.  If the signal turns out to be real and did come from gravitational waves during the birth of the universe, why should they be surprised?  They believe God stretched out the heavens in the mighty miracle of Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”  Why wouldn’t a supernatural event like that leave footprints in natural signals?  If we are on the frontier of gravitational wave astronomy, praise the Lord!  We can learn some more things about creation.Oh, but naturalists argue, we have science, so we don’t need miracles to explain the universe.  Oh, yes they do.  Consider: they don’t know what inflation is, they don’t know what an inflaton is (it’s just a name to cover ignorance), they don’t know what triggered the big bang, they don’t know what came before it, they invented inflation to avoid falsification of their naturalistic theory.  Inflation creates as many problems as it supposedly solves, because it merely transfers the extreme-low-entropy initial conditions of the big bang to inflation itself.  Moreover, it was a one-time event, with no explanation, that occurred under no known laws of nature – ruling out the principle of uniformity, the basis of science.  Conclusion: inflation is tantamount to a miracle.  Q.E.D.  So: everyone believes in miracles.  Christians have all the reason to believe that intelligently-designed miracles are superior to mindless miracles of chance, especially when they result in human brains capable of asking questions like this.This announcement, therefore, gives no support to naturalism.  All the problems that existed before are still there.  Guth admitted in 2005 that inflation, which he called a “collection of models rather than a unique theory,” does not remove the Anthropic Principle – an idea that he confessed sounds patently religious.  This announcement is just the latest case of philosophical naturalists and their toady reporters inflating a nanometer into a light-year, claiming far more than they can possibly know, using minds that, by attempting to employ laws of logic, refute their own naturalistic premises. 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Opera for and from Africa

first_imgKelebogile Boikanyo and Aubrey Lodewyk play the parts of lovers Musetta the singer and Marcello the painter in Opera Africa’s production of La Bohème. (Image: Opera Africa) RELATED ARTICLES • SA songbird wins top opera prize• South African music• South African Otello wows Met• South African theatre MEDIA CONTACTS • Opera Africa +27 11 883 3503 [email protected] • Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra +27 11 789 2733 [email protected] ThurmanSandra and Hein de Villiers’s passion for opera has led them to mortgage their house to fund a production – not once, but twice.Sandra is the CEO of Opera Africa, the company she started in 1994 “with the vision of fostering new audiences for opera that were previously excluded from enjoying this genre, and to promote talented young soloists and choristers”. Hein has been Opera Africa’s artistic director since 1995. Like his wife, he brought with him a distinguished track record from more than two decades in music education, as both teacher and administrator.Together with a band of similarly committed individuals – and, of course, some extremely talented performers, directors and visual artists – the pair have been the driving force behind staging a host of operas in South Africa over the last 15 years, including such favourites as Carmen, Faust, La Traviata and Aida.The name of the company is usefully ambiguous; inserting different prepositions between the words “Opera” and “Africa” gives you some idea of both its ambitions and successes. For starters, there is the slightly contentious question of opera in Africa – does a Eurocentric high-art form such as opera have a place in post-apartheid South Africa?Well, yes. First, there are musical and aesthetic strong affinities between opera and South Africa’s well-established choral tradition. Second, in an era of unprecedented globalisation and migration of cultures, there is little value in essentialising what it means to be “African” or “European”.A fine example of such hybridisation is, in fact, Opera Africa’s Princess Magogo – the first full opera sung entirely in isiZulu. First staged in 2000, this is an opera about Africa, depicting the life and times of one of the Usuthu-Buthelezi dynasty’s most famous daughters, herself a renowned composer and singer, with a score by Mzilikazi Khumalo and libretto by Themba Msimang.Princess Magogo and the company’s other productions have appeared across South Africa, in major urban centres as well as in more remote rural areas – opera for Africa, one might say. But they have also toured internationally, in cities as far afield as Chicago, Amsterdam and Oslo, demonstrating that there is such a thing as opera from Africa.Opera Africa’s latest enterprise is La Bohème, which will run at the State Theatre in Pretoria in March 2010 before moving to the Joburg Theatre Complex in Johannesburg in April. (The company has established a good working relationship with these two major Gauteng theatres since relocating from Durban six years ago.)La Bohème is, after Madama Butterfly, the most popular work by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini. Based on Henri Murger’s novel, Scenes from Bohemia, the opera is set in 19th-century Paris and centres on the love affair between Mimi, a seamstress, and Rodolfo, a poet.Over the course of its 110-year performance history, La Bohème has contributed substantially to the modern archetype of the poor artist, struggling in a freezing garret to create immortal works of art but also finding ways to indulge in bouts of hedonism. This archetype has had more recent manifestations in, for instance, the Broadway musical Rent or Baz Luhrman’s film Moulin Rouge.The themes of poverty and illness have obvious echoes in contemporary South African society. While previous Opera Africa productions have foregrounded such similarities by presenting “African” settings, however, the artistic team behind La Bohème have chosen not to do so here. Instead, the production will be “an exquisitely imagined period piece” taking for granted that the “universal and timeless themes” of Puccini’s opera will resonate with local audiences.Andrew Verster, who has worked with Opera Africa as set and costume designer on numerous occasions, will again weave his visual magic, and Themi Venturas, whose Opera Africa repertoire includes Princess Magogo and the 2007 Opera Extravaganza, will direct the stage action.Musically, the production promises to be of the highest standard. Conductor Timothy Myers, who has previously worked with orchestras in New York and London, will have the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra under his baton. And the company has recruited a formidable group of divas and divos to give voice to the lead roles.Soprano Hanli Stapela, joining Opera Africa for the first time, brings an international reputation to her reprisal of Mimi’s tragic story. Tenor Stéfan Louw, who has likewise been widely acclaimed for his performances in previous productions of La Bohème, will portray the equally unfortunate Rodolfo.Two rising stars of the South African opera scene, Kelebogile Boikanyo and Aubrey Lodewyk – both products of the Tshwane University of Technology’s vocal arts programme – will sing the parts of Musetta and Marcello, the singer and painter whose tempestuous on-off relationship mirrors that of Mimi and Rodolfo. Otto Maidi completes a quintet of bohemian characters as Colline, the philosopher. Veteran bass Rouel Beukes will contribute his idiosyncratic combination of gravitas and levity to two roles: Benoit, Rodolfo’s landlord, and Alcindoro, the wealthy government minister who fancies Musetta.And it’s worth mentioning that the production is sponsored by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund – so Sandra and Hein won’t need to mortgage their house again.last_img read more

R8.3m boost for sustainable agriculture

first_img19 November 2012 Nedbank has invested R8.3-million in conservation group WWF South Africa’s Sustainable Agriculture Programme, which aims to tackle food security challenges as well as protect natural resources in the country. “A recent United Nations report titled ‘Food and Agriculture: The future of sustainability’ stresses the urgent need for the world’s farmers to be empowered to produce more food per unit of land, water and agrochemicals, while confronting widespread physical resource scarcity, a changing climate, and rapidly increasing input costs,” WWF-SA’s senior manager for sustainable agriculture, Inge Kotze, said at the launch in Cape Town last week. “These challenges overlaid with the degradation of our natural eco-systems and biodiversity make modern day agriculture more precarious than ever.”Collective and collaborative partnerships Collective and collaborative partnerships have an important role to play in enabling sustainable agriculture which contributes to the reduction of environmental and natural resource impacts, said Nedbank Agriculture’s John Hudson. “No single individual or organisation has the capacity to deliver the level of change required to make a real and lasting contribution to the sustainability of our country’s agriculture,’ he said. “[This] is why this partnership with WWF-SA is designed to unlock the full power of collective, public-private partnerships, collaborative investment, and support and recognition for those that demonstrate commitment and innovation in meeting the agricultural challenges facing South Africa and the world in the 21st century.” Only 13% of the South African landscape is suitable for arable or permanent cropland, and two-thirds of the country’s surface freshwater resources are currently utilised for irrigated agriculture, according to WWF-SA.Supporting a vibrant agricultural sector “There is an urgent need to redefine and refocus our vision in terms of the future of food and the role of agriculture in reaching that future,” Kotze said. “This is why the Sustainable Agriculture Programme is aimed at enabling better production, rather than merely focusing on increased output alone. “By promoting and supporting a vibrant and profitable agricultural sector in this way, we can all help to address potential food security challenges, while at the same time protecting the country’s/the planet’s natural resources, and unique biodiversity,” she said. Hudson said Nedbank aimed to promote and reward agricultural best practice and innovation. “By 2050, conservative estimates are that there will be around 9-billion people living on Earth. “If our country is going to overcome the significant environmental, social and economic challenges involved in feeding our population at this time, it is the responsibility of every one of us to start thinking and acting more sustainably right now,” he said. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Celebrities support good causes in South Africa

first_imgPowerhouse celebrities like Jared Leto, Charlize Theron and Victoria Beckham all have an interest in South Africa through their charity work.Charlize Theron shakes hands with one of the patients at a hospital that specializes in treating victims of sexual violence against women. (Image: UN /Marie Frechon)Priya PitamberPowerhouse celebrities like Jared Leto, Charlize Theron and Victoria Beckham all have an interest in South Africa through their charity work. Good causes across the country are reaping rewards under the spotlight that these A-listers are shining on them.Charlize TheronBenoni-born Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron has a soft spot for her home country. In 2007, she set up the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP), which focuses on the youth in Africa and keeping them safe from HIV/Aids.The project provides support in the form of grants and networking for a number of organisations already in the field working with young people between the ages of 10 and 20. “Although the geographic scope of CTAOP is sub-Saharan Africa,” reads the website, “the primary area of focus has been Charlize’s home country of South Africa, which has the highest number of people living with HIV in the world.”Did u know more than two-thirds of all people living with #HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa? That’s approx 24.7mill people. #keepfighting— CTAOP (@CTAOP) January 5, 2015“An entire generation was wiped out because of a disease that nobody wanted to talk about,” Theron said. “But the truth of the matter is certain pockets of people are falling through the cracks and if we don’t go all the way where there are zero infections and zero people dying from this, this is a disease that will come back warring.” The reality of stopping Aids altogether was around the corner; this was her driving force. “We can stop Aids.”“Although there is no cure, treatment is available,” reads the CTAOP website. “Infection rates are dropping and more people are on treatment than ever before. But the fight is not over, and the epidemic is disproportionately affecting specific locations and populations.”Jared LetoThe 30 Seconds to Mars front-man and Academy Award-winning actor, Jared Leto, has been named a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) global ambassador. “In this role, Leto will work with WWF to raise awareness of the most urgent, critical issues facing our planet,” said the fund.He travelled to South Africa in this role to learn more about rhino poaching and what the WWF was doing to help stop it – and he described his adventure in the country as mind-blowing. “Being that close to majestic creatures like rhinos and elephants reminds me of the deep connection and important responsibility we have to protect and shepherd these fragile species and their habitats.”Leto visited And Beyond Phinda Game Reserve in North Uthungulu in KwaZulu-Natal as part of a team sent to tag and collar three rhino in a translocation initiative. Those rhinos, along with others, will eventually be moved to an undisclosed location to boost breeding efforts.“Unless we want our children to learn about rhinos from history books, we need to act now,” Leto said. “That’s one of the reasons why I support WWF for doing incredible work, getting results. So please join me in supporting WWF. Thank you.”“Oh, what is that? The rhino thanks you as well. I’ve been practising speaking rhino. It’s a difficult language. Once you get the knack of it, it’s pretty nice.” – Jared Leto“The world needs to wake up to the fact that we’re losing rhinos, elephants and other critically important species,” said Carter Roberts, the president and chief executive of WWF US. “Their recovery lies in our hands. We need strong voices that can mobilise the efforts of many and I’m grateful to Jared Leto for lending his reputation and passion to the cause.” Rhino poaching has been growing since 2007. (Image: Eco Watch)Victoria BeckhamOnce a Spice Girl and now a world famous designer and UN Goodwill Ambassador, Victoria Beckham has also added her voice to the fight against Aids in South Africa. On behalf of UN Aids and the Elton John Aids Foundation (EJAF) she visited Soweto in Johannesburg to meet women, children and community workers affected by the disease.“Elton is a very dear friend of mine and David’s and we’ve been patrons of the Elton John Aids Foundation for 20 years so I have been working a lot with lots of Aids charities,” she told UK Glamour magazine.She sold over 600 items from her own wardrobe to help raise money to support mothers living with HIV. “As a mother I want nothing but a healthy future for my children and that’s all any mother would wish for,” Beckham said.See Beckham’s tweets about her visit:Inspiring day in Soweto visiting @hivsa with @ejaf x vb pic.twitter.com/YP9wXTTD6S— Victoria Beckham (@victoriabeckham) October 12, 2014In the last 3 years @ejaf have helped over 60,000 mothers give birth to HIV free babies. X vb pic.twitter.com/be70EI9912— Victoria Beckham (@victoriabeckham) October 14, 2014Anne Aslett, the executive director of the EJAF, travelled to South Africa with Beckham. “It was fantastic to see how Victoria connected with young women, young mothers and their children,” Aslett said. “Her energy and commitment to engage and learn from everyone we met was inspiring. I want to personally thank Victoria for the recent trip.”Jenna ColemanBritish actress Jenna Coleman came to the public’s attention in the sci-fi series Doctor Who; she cemented her reputation in her debut feature film role in Captain America: The First Avenger.As one of the ambassadors – the other is actress Naomie Harris – for One to One Children’s Fund, Coleman travelled to the coastal city of Port Elizabeth in late 2014. She came to see the work the fund does to support parents and children affected by HIV, and how it created awareness to help prevent transmission of HIV from mother to child.“Our aim, to build a one-to-one relationship of mutual trust and regard with local communities and to invest the time, skills and careful funding that would make the most positive difference to the quality of children’s lives,” reads the fund’s website.“The first challenge is getting people to attend the clinics and be tested,” said Coleman. “The stigma around the disease prevents people from seeking help and sticking to their treatment.”See more about her visit here:“Working alongside the Department of Health,” adds the One to One website, “52 trained community health workers ensure that members of the community, predominantly pregnant women, access essential treatment and care.” In six months, they undertook 962 home visits to HIV-positive women, where they reinforced the importance of treatment.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Think Inc

first_imgI did my economics honours from Delhi’s St Stephen’s College between 1973 and 1976. I was clear that I would sit for the civil services exam. But those days it was very tough to score well in civil services with economics as the main subject. Students who did well in,I did my economics honours from Delhi’s St Stephen’s College between 1973 and 1976. I was clear that I would sit for the civil services exam. But those days it was very tough to score well in civil services with economics as the main subject. Students who did well in economics from the Delhi School of Economics did very poorly in the civil services examination. Therefore, I decided that I would switch over to international relations. I applied to the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and got admission in the School of International Relations (SIR); I spent two years there.Those two years were a very unique period of my life. It was a great learning experience and actually in those two years I learnt more about the world and evolved more as a person than I did during the three years in St Stephen’s College. It was a fascinating experience at JNU. It was the post-Emergency period. There was a lot of vibrant politics on the campus. Many students from JNU had gone to jail. There was a lively energetic atmosphere on the campus. There were students following Left, Extreme Left and Extreme Extreme Left ideology. There used to be heady debates and discussions in the hostels, which used to start after dinner and continue till dawn. There were different shades of Marxism all over JNU. I recall attending several of those debates and greatly benefitting from them. The university used to host a number of great speakers from divergent schools of thought.There were also several active groups of free thinkers who were fully aware but not politically committed to the Left ideology. I was one among the free thinkers. The SFI was very well entrenched in the campus. I recall how Prakash Karat, Sitaram Yechuri and Jairus Banaji brought in a high level of intellectual discourse during the electioneering process. Issues of ideology, global and national politics dominated these debates. That’s why the learning experience at JNU was vast and varied. The reception area of the main JNU buildingWithin the university, the academic circle was quite vibrant. There were some phenomenal teachers. One of the iconic teachers in the School of International Studies was Professor Ashok Guha who taught me economics. There were other doyens such as Professor Anand who taught international law, Professor S.D. Muni and Dr Pushpesh Pant. There was a whole set of outstanding teachers who helped students to learn and evolve. The quality of teaching was very high.JNU was in the old campus then. After classes, we would go to the library. Next to the library, there was a dhaba where we used to spend time debating and discussing. I used to stay in the Periyar hostel; it had an intellectually stimulating atmosphere. My sensibilities in arts, culture, dance and music evolved in JNU. Inside the JNU libraryJNU, in many ways, was a microcosm of India. There were students from all parts of India. The campus was very compact then. Various departments and schools were not as spread out as they are now. The students from one school used to interact with others. The meeting point was either the dhaba or the library. This is something I don’t see happening now, as the different centres are located far from each other. There is very little interaction between students of different schools. As soon as I finished my masters, I sat for the civil services and I was selected. So I left JNU after two years. If I have to summarise the JNU of my time, a few things stood out — it had outstanding faculty, the students enjoyed a lot of freedom and it had a lively and intellectually vibrant atmosphere. JNU was a great leveller, as it attracted students from a diverse milieu. The kurta-jeans culture, which students wore all the time, brought everyone down to a common denominator, making each appreciative of the others social and economic background. In fact, I made friends from varied backgrounds who have remained my friends till date. That was also a period when a lot of JNU students opted for government services with the commitment of transforming the country and doing something for the downtrodden. In fact, JNU helped students to clear the civil services because of its multidisciplinary approach. That’s where JNU has an edge over others. From the same floor in my hostel one friend, Asif Ibrahim, became the director of Intelligence Bureau (IB), another, Alok Joshi, became chief of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), yet another friend, S. Jaishankar, became the foreign secretary. Several of my classmates made it to the IAS and IFS and have contributed significantly to India’s growth and development. India’s defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman is also a distinguished alumnus of the university.In my time, the vice chancellor, the faculty and students in JNU used to work in cohesion. Quite often, we could see the faculty and students protesting together on some national or international issue. The students used to get arrested regularly. Many of them used to be regularly taken to the Tughlaq Road police station. But the university administration and teachers always supported the students. There was no political vendetta. The VC and the faculty ran the university. It was an epitome of autonomy. I find that the cohesion of my time is missing now. Often, students are on one side, the management on another while the teachers take a different position altogether. The three components must work in close coordination. They must have a common vision on where they want to take JNU in the future.The system of selection of students in JNU has to be improved. The selection system has become very lax over a period of time. The selection must be merit-based. JNU should also start its courses only from the post-graduate level. Only in the School of Languages should they allow undergraduate courses. But the selection process needs a complete overhaul.Whatever be the situation, the university must produce the best students. They have to be best products of the Indian education system. So its very important that the quality of intake is very high and that can happen with a stringent selection process. JNU students must excel in every walk of life. JNU was designed to be a centre of great excellence.To make that happen, the focus must be on high quality research as well. There is a need for focused research and more publications from JNU. There is very little research work being done at present. The number of published research papers is very low.We must ensure that the best teachers from across the world come to JNU. It cannot remain an isolated institution living with its own ideology in its own world. The administration must ensure that students following different ideologies coexist in the university and flourish. JNU must be exposed to the worlds best universities. We must see collaborations with top universities such as Stanford, Harvard and MIT and Oxford.There was a time when BHU was perhaps the best university in India. A Tamilian, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, was appointed the VC of the university only on merit. He went on to become the President of India. Another such university was the Allahabad University, which had several outstanding teachers from South India. This meant that meritorious teachers from across the country were brought into the centres of academic excellence. The selection of teachers was purely on merit. From the mid-seventies, caste, religion and region replaced merit in the selection process. Political intervention started increasing. That resulted in many of these universities losing their old glory and legacy.The rule of merit must be brought back. If JNU has to maintain its legacy, it must improve the quality of its teachers and students. Teachers leave a huge imprint on students. We can build a secure and better future for India by selecting the right kind of teachers.Finally, JNU must work on its strength — a multidisciplinary approach. It cannot be only about politics. We need arts, culture, music and sports to flourish too on the campus. Its many schools must emerge as the finest institutions of higher learning in the world.The writer is an alumnus of JNU and currently CEO of NITI Aayog.last_img read more

Golar LNG Partners Clinches Charter Deal for Golar Grand

first_imgzoom Nasdaq-listed Golar LNG Partners has secured a time charter contract for one of its steam liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, the 145,700m3 Golar Grand.Under the deal, the 84,894 dwt vessel is scheduled to work for a period of up to a maximum of 9 years for an undisclosed oil and gas company.The 2005-built Golar Grand is currently on charter with Golar LNG Limited and will therefore be sub-chartered back from Golar LNG, at the same rate as the new charter, for the initial period of the deal until the current charter ends in October 2017.The LNG carrier will be delivered under the new charter during the second quarter of 2017 for an initial period of 2 years with a series of extension options up to the maximum charter period.The company informed that the Partnership’s operating income before depreciation derived from the Golar Grand will be unchanged until October 2017 when the Golar LNG charter ends.If initial extension options for up to 5 years are exercised, the deal is expected to generate around USD 10 million of operating income per year over the full 5-year term, according to the company.last_img read more