Monday, November 23, 2015

Dear Media Partners,

We are pleased to invite you to the launch of the 6th edition of the UNESCO Science Report: Towards 2030, at 5.30 pm on 23rd November 2015, at the CSIR Science Centre, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi – 110003, being organized by UNESCO New Delhi Cluster Office in collaboration with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and Indian National Science Academy (INSA).

What is the UNESCO Science Report?
The UNESCO Science Report series was launched in 1993 under the name of World Science Report on the occasion of World Science Day (10th November) for peace and development. Since 1993, five reports have been published. A 6th edition is currently in production. Each of the reports monitor the evolution of the support system for science, technology and innovation worldwide over time, through the eyes of an independent team of experts who are each writing about the country or region, where they hail from.
All the reports in the series can be consulted online and purchased in various languages.

What does the UNESCO Science Report 2015 contain?
The UNESCO Science Report 2015 will cover trends and developments in the support system for STI over the period 2010−2015. It is one of the benchmarks for the global monitoring of STI policies, systems and emerging trends. The report will innovate in 2015 to reflect four emerging trends:

·         The growing focus on innovation, including in poor countries

·         The growing emphasis on monitoring STI governance

·         The growing role of STI in sub-Saharan Africa

·         The growing need to monitor the extent to which STI are fostering sustainable development

Launch Event Details
Time:  5.30pm – 7.00pm
Venue: CSIR Science Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi

For further information please contact:

Dr. Mitrasen Bhikajee
Head of Science Sector

Ms. Rekha Beri
Documentalist and Public Information Officer

UNESCO New Delhi Office
B 5/29 Safdarjung Enclave
New Delhi – 110029


Research at the forefront of the global race for sustainable development, says UNESCO report

New Delhi, 23 November – UNESCO New Delhi in collaboration with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India is launching the 6th edition of theUNESCO Science Report: Towards 2030 on 23rd of November 2015, at 5:30 pm at the CSIR Science Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi.  The Report will be released by the Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science Technology.

Most countries, regardless of their level of income, now see research and innovation as key to fostering sustainable economic growth and furthering their development. This is one of the conclusions of the UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030, to be launched today at CSIR Science Centre, New Delhi.

“In the wake of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals to 2030 by the United Nations General Assembly, the UNESCO Science Report clearly shows that research is both a motor for economic development and a cornerstone in the construction of societies that are more sustainable and more respectful of the planet,” said the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova during the international launch of the report in Paris on 10th November 2015.

The UNESCO Science Report draws a comprehensive picture of the many facets of science in an increasingly complex world.   “The Report calls for a stronger science-policy interface as achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals will depend not only on the dissemination of technology, but also on how well the countries partner with one another in the pursuit of science,” said Mr Aoyagi, Director and UNESCO Representative to Bhutan, India, Maldives and Nepal.

The Report’s first lesson is that, despite the economic crisis that hit industrialized countries in 2008, gross domestic expenditure on research and development (GERD) increased globally by 31% between 2007 and 2013, rising from USD 1,132 billion in 2007 to USD 1,478 billion in 2013. This increase was more rapid than that of global gross domestic product (GDP) during the same period (20%).

The USA still leads, with 28% of global investment in R&D, followed by China (20%) – now ahead of the European Union (19%) – and Japan (10%). The rest of the world represents 67% of the global population but just 23% of global investment in R&D.Nevertheless, research investment by countries such as Brazil, India and Turkey is increasing rapidly.

More scientists, greater mobility
The investment in research also translates into an increase in the number of scientists, estimated at 7.8 million worldwide, which is up by more than 20% since 2007. The European Union has the most (22% of the world share), followed by China (19%) and USA (16.7%).

There has also been a parallel explosion in the number of scientific publications, which have increased by 23% since 2008. In 2014 there were around 1.27 million per month. Europe also leads in this field (34% of world share), followed by the USA (25%), although their respective shares have seen a slight decrease. The number of publications coming out of China has almost doubled in five years, achieving nearly 20% of the world total, compared to 5% ten years ago. This demonstrates the maturity of the Chinese research system in terms of investments, number of researchers and publications.

As well as being more numerous, scientists are also more mobile. Despite the development of the Internet and the multiplication of online networks, doctoral-level researchers still feel the need to travel. The increasing mobility of PhD students in turn influences the mobility of researchers. “This is perhaps one of the most important trends of recent times,” say the authors of the Report.

Students from the Arab States, Central Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Western Europe are the most likely to study abroad. Europe and North America are still the preferred destinations for students. The USA alone receives almost half (49%) of international students enrolled in doctoral science or engineering courses. The United Kingdom comes second (9%), followed by France (7%) and Australia (4.6%).

Since the economic crisis of 2008, Europe and North America have lost some of their attraction. Meanwhile, students who wish to study abroad now have a wider choice. South Africa hosted about 60,000 international students in 2009. Cuba is one of the most popular destinations for students from Latin America, attracting 17,000 from the continent, compared to 5,000 who study in Brazil and 2000 in Chile. Another example is Malaysia, which expects to become the sixth most popular destination for international students by 2020. From 2007 to 2012, the number of international students in Malaysia almost doubled to 56,000.

Research is still a very male world
While, globally, women have achieved parity at Master’s level, their share diminishes at PhD level to 43% of all doctoral graduates. The gap continues to widen after this, as women only represent 28.4% of the world’s researchers. They also have more limited access to funding than men and are less well represented in prestigious universities. They remain a minority in senior positions, whether on faculty boards or at the higher levels of decision-making in universities.

The regions with the greatest number of women researchers are Southeast Europe (49%), the Caribbean, Central Asia and Latin America (44%). Interestingly, in the Arab States 37% of researchers are women, which is a higher proportion than in the European Union (33%).

A number of countries have put in place policies to reverse this trend. In 2013 Germany, for example, introduced a 30% quota for women on corporate boards of directors. Japan’s selection criteria for large university grants also seek to increase the representation of women among teaching staff and researchers.

Investing in research and development – some difficult choices
“Formulating a successful national science and innovation policy remains a very difficult task”, conclude the authors of the report. This will require simultaneous action on several fronts, whether it is education, basic research, technological development or indeed private investment in R&D. The 2008 economic crisis, which made many industrialized countries tighten their budgets, has rendered this task even more difficult.

While most R&D takes place in high-income countries, innovation is now occurring in a large number of countries, whatever their income level. Some innovation is occurring without any R&D activity at all. The authors of the report therefore encourage policy makers not to focus exclusively on designing corporate incentives for R&D, but also to target innovation, in the form of technology transfer and the acquisition of machinery, equipment and software, which are all key elements in the innovation process.

While most science policies advocate stronger links between the private sector, universities and public research institutions, these commitments often come to nothing, the report observes, quoting a 2013 survey carried out by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics in 65 countries. The report encourages policy makers to draft strategies to try to reverse this trend.

The UNESCO Science Report also emphasises the importance of good governance for innovation-driven development. Corruption in the university system is an obstacle to the education of qualified graduates. It is also a disincentive for the private sector. Companies will have little interest in investing in R&D if they cannot rely on the justice system to defend their intellectual property.
The UNESCO Science Report is prepared by a team of international experts. It presents a picture of the trends in global research and development, based on a wealth of qualitative and quantitative data. The report is divided into chapters focusing on different regions,* presenting new insights into some countries** and essays on specific themes, such as the role of indigenous knowledge. The UNESCO Science Report is published every five years.
For further information, contact:
Mitrasen Bhikajee, Chief of Section and Senior Programme Specialist in Natural Sciences (011-2671300 ext. 230;
Rekha Beri, Documentalist and Public Information Officer (011-26713000 ext.105;
More on the UNESCO Science Report:

*Arab States, Central Africa, Central Asia, countries bordering the Black Sea, European Union, Latin America, Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Southern Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania, West Africa.

**Brazil, Canada, China, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United States of America.

PM Modi to meet investors & CEOs in Singapore
Nov 23,Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet investors and CEOs in Singapore tomorrow focusing on the investment opportunities in India. Official sources told AIR Correspondent covering the Prime Minister visit that, 14 CEOs and Heads of business organizations will meet Mr. Modi. Among others, Group CEO of PSA International Limited Tan Chong Meng, President of Sembcorp Industries Limited Tang Kin Fei and Piyush Gupta, Chief Executive Officer of DBS Group Holdings Limited will hold meeting with the Prime Minister.
The PSA group has investment at several ports in India including Mumbai while the Sembcorp invested in thermal power and renewal energy in Southern India. Official sources said that the bilateral trade with Singapore in 2014-2015 was about 17 billion US dollar.
Meanwhile, NRI’s in Singapore said that they are interested to support the Make in India, Swachh Bharat and Digital India campaign. Talking to AIR Correspondent in Singapaore, Atul Temurnikar who is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Global Schools Foundation expressed hope that the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will create an immense positive mood for future investment in India.

India Promotes Low Carbon Transport Ahead of Climate Change Meeting

The transport sector consumes 25 per cent of world energy sources –  90 per cent of which are fossil fuels – globally and produces 23 per cent of global CO2 emissions projected to rise at 2.5 per cent yearly until 2020.
Road and rail transport account for 74 per cent of transport emissions mainly from private vehicles for personal use. Road transport sector contributes to the highest growth rate in terms of energy use and emissions.
India is the world’s fourth largest emitter of Green House Gases (GHGs) with its transport sector accounting for 13 per cent of its energy-related CO2 emissions.
In preparation for the pivotal climate change meeting in Paris later this month, policy makers, transport specialists and other participants from India and the region are meeting in New Delhi to take stock of efforts taken to promote low carbon transport in India.
Members of press are invited to a media briefing on low carbon transport in India and the plenary session of the workshop which is part of the Urban Mobility India 2015 Conference.
Thursday, 26 November at 3:30 pm
Ashoka Hall of the Manekshaw Centre in Dhaula Kuan, New Delhi.
Manekshaw Centre,
Khyber Lines, Delhi Cantonment, New Delhi, Haryana 110010, India
Panel of Experts:
Professor P.R. Shukla – Co-Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Shri Dipak Dasgupta – Chair, Global Climate Fund Investment Committee
Mrs Annette Baessler – Counsellor of Economics and Environmental Affairs, German Embassy, New Delhi
Kamala Ernest – Manager, UNEP’s Low Carbon Transport Project in India

To confirm participation and for enquiries:
Please e-mail Rajiv Chandran, UN Information Centre, New Delhi
 Phone: 4653 2242
Workshop programme and more information available at:

National Information Officer
United Nations Information Centre
for India and Bhutan
55, Lodi Estate, New Delhi 110003
Tel: 91 11 4653 2237

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits Afghanistan, Pakistan and India
Nov 23,  7:40 AMA 5.9 magnitude earthquake jolted parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India last night. The epicenter of the quake was located in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan.
The US Geological Survey said, the quake struck 22 kilometres southwest of Ashkasham, 300 kilometres northeast of Kabul. So far, there has been no reports of any damage or casualty.
In India, tremors were felt in parts of the North-West, including Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi. Last month, a powerful earthquake, measuring 7.5 on the richter scale, had jolted Afghanistan leaving 115 people dead.

India, Malaysia sign 2 pacts on cyber security & governance issues; PM to reach Singapore later today

India and Malaysia today resolved to work with renewed vigour to give further momentum to their strategic partnership. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Malaysia counterpart Mohd Najib Tun Andul Razak led the bilateral talks held between the two countries. In a Joint Statement, the two leaders expressed desire to take their Strategic Partnership to the next level by deepening existing areas and exploring new areas of cooperation especially in defence and security.
The two countries have signed two Memoranda of Understanding, on cooperation in cyber security and in area of public administration and governance on the lines of Niti Aayog of India. An agreement on cultural exchange programme was also signed by the two sides.
Malaysia agreed to work on a mechanism to recognize more number of IT and Engineering colleges of India. The two countries expressed concern over the growing terrorism in the world and the two incidents involving Malaysian civil airliners.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today assured the Malaysia Business community that India has emerged as Policy driven state by almost ending regulatory uncertainties which provides right environment for investments. He interacted with the Corporate Malaysia a short while ago. Officials in the close circles said he told the business big wigs of Malaysia that India wants progress and have the requirement. Stating that India is the fastest growing state in the world, he said ample scope existed in India for investments. He invited them to personally see the change and expertise it has.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak today jointly inaugurated the over USD 1.1 million ‘Torana Gate’ built by India. Mr. Modi said, it was not merely a piece of art on stone but connecting of two nations. Mr. Modi, who held talks with Mr. Najib earlier in the day, inaugurated the gate at the Little India enclave in Brickfields in Kuala Lumpur.
The gateway, which is a gift from India to mark the launch of Kuala Lumpur’s Litte India project, is an exact replica of the Sanchi gate built by Emperor Ashok. Dedicating it to the people of Malaysia, Mr Modi hailed the universal brotherhood and equality propagated by Buddhism. He thanked Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak for his farsightedness and love shown to India, and hoped that India-Malaysian relations would become ”better, deeper, and stronger” under Mr Razak.
The gate, he said, would prove to be a new tourist destination for the hordes of Indian tourists visiting Malaysia. He urged that the two countries should go beyond their shared history and chart a new course. Mr.Najib said the gateway is symbolic and substantive, adding that it is a clear signal of closer cooperation and people to people interaction. The intricately carved Torana Gate, inspired by the Toranas of the great Buddhist sculpture of Sanchi, has carvings and relief work representing ancient Indian art as well as the Islamic art form.
Kshitij Jain, the chief designer and architect of the Torana, said, “Toranas, built by the great Mauryan dynasty ruler, Ashoka, in first century BC, essentially depict symbols related to Buddhism.
In the evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Singapore in a 2-day visit. Mr. Modi along with his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsein Loong will sign the India-Singapore Strategic Partnership tomorrow to elevate bilateral relations. Official sources said that the Strategic Partnership will broaden and deepen ties in various sectors including defence relations, economic and cultural cooperation, skills development and capacity building. Tomorrow he will be engaged in a series of events including meeting with President and Prime Minister of Singapore.
Both the Prime Ministers will also release a joint stamp to mark the 50 years of diplomatic relation of India and Singapore. Mr. Modi’s others engagement will include meeting with CEOs, addressing India- Singapore Economic Convention and to take part in community event, among others.
Meanwhile, stage has been set for the 37th prestigious Singapore Lecture to be delivered by Mr. Modi this evening. The Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong along with policy makers, academicians and businessmen are expected to attend the program. AIR Correspondent reports that the Singapore Lecture will provide a broad platform to Mr. Modi to put his views on numerous issues including trade.

Chopper crash in Katra

Chopper Carrying Vaishno Devi Pilgrims Crashes in Katra, 7 Dead
Seven dead After Chopper Carrying Vaishno Devi Pilgrims Crashes in Jammu. Inclement  weather Wee hrs of  Monday morning. In this regards  flights were cancelled in Srinagar too as hazy visibility and fog round.
A helicopter carrying a group of pilgrims bound for Vaishno Devi has crashed in Jammu’s Katra, killing six pilgrims and a woman pilot.
The chopper belonged to a private operator Himalayan Heli Service, reports said.
The chopper took off for Vaishno Devi from Katra when it crashed near White Hotel in Katra, killing all the persons onboard the ill-fated helicopter including the woman pilot. According to sources, the chopper developed technical snag immediately after taking off and before it crashed in an open filed, it turned into a ball of fire.

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