Friday, January 20, 2017

Education & Career


The 10 year anniversary of Sciences Po

20.01.2017 11:18:44 - Sciences Po, Paris a leading university in social sciences is currently ranked number 4 in QS world rankings 2016 for politics and international relations. 

( - 16 JAN 2017: New Delhi :

The 10 year anniversary of Sciences Po was celebrated at the Embassy of France Delhi on 16th January, 2017. Sciences Po, Paris a leading university in social sciences is currently ranked number 4 in QS world rankings 2016 for politics and international relations.

On this occasion, Ms Laurence Souloumiac, Director of the Centre for Asia
at Sciences Po had flown down to meet with the alumni of the university in India. Former Union Minister Dr. Ashwani Kumar also addressed the crowd. The alumni and the delegation of Sciences Po were welcomed by Ms Claire THUAUDET, Minister Counsellor at the Embassy who invited the alumni of Sciences Po to strengthen the relations between India and France and help the Embassy in sending 10,000 students to France by 2020.
Sciences Po has 13,000 students on campus and half of them are international. No other university on the European continent boasts of such a mix. India has played a key role in adding the international dimension to Sciences Po.

Over the last decade, the top Parisian university has developed a significant cooperation with India, having inked MoUs with thirteen top universities and colleges and opened two offices, in Delhi and Mumbai. Since 5 years, the number of Indian students at Sciences Po have multiplied by three, and the university is already counting on a dynamic community of over 150 Alumni in India.

Ms Souloumiac stressed on the contribution from India to reaffirm the image of Sciences Po as a world class university. “We are very proud of you, dear Alumni in India. You are working in a wide range of sectors accompanying India’s many transformations: social, economic and environmental and promoting its innovations in the world, the famous jugaad way of thinking and acting. You are our Ambassadors in India as well as Ambassadors of India at SciencesPo,” she added.

SciencesPo has also made a mark worldwide. Five French presidents including the current President Mr. François Hollande were among the many eminent SciencesPo alumni, added Dr. Bertrand de Hartingh, Institut français India Country Director, and also Counsellor for Cooperation and Cultural Action at the French Embassy in India.

Institut français India, the cultural wing of the Embassy of France in India, is honored to invite celebrated French writers Maylis de Kerangal and Franck Thilliez to participate in the 10th ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF). H.E. Mr Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, will also attend the world’s largest literary festival.
20th January: Maylis de Kerangal in conversation with Amrita Tripathi

The Heart
What makes up the heart, beyond its mass and volume?

Prix Medicis award winner Maylis de Kerangal’s novel, The Heart, takes place over twenty-four hours surrounding a fatal accident and a resulting heart transplant, as life is taken from a young man and given to a woman close to death. In conversation with Amrita Tripathi, Maylis de Kerangal discusses the essential questions her novel raises about the wide, gray line between life and death.

20th January: Franck Thilliez and Vikram Chandra in conversation with Ravi Shankar Etteth

Dark Night of the Soul: Crime and Literature

Franck Thilliez is France’s hugely popular crime fiction writer, famous for his “hammering hard-science” thrillers. Vikram Chandra is the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed detective thriller Sacred Games, soon to be the first original television series from India on Netflix. In conversation with Ravi Shankar Etteth, they speak of the demanding discipline of the crime genre, and its ability to depict complex social narratives and the human condition.
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Malaysian Prime Minister Wants Myanmar to Stop Violence Discrimination Against Rohingya
Malaysia prime minister urged the Myanmar government on Thursday to end reported violence and discrimination against the stateless Rohingya Muslims in…
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Demonetization dissected: SBI Chairperson
January20, 2017 (C) Ravinder Singh

I don’t know why have to ‘Compulsorily Go DAVOS’ every year. They all shame India when they don’t honestly reply to questions and MISLEAD foreign leaders and businessmen.

Arunbhati Bhattacharya ‘She was unable to give a precise estimate amid uncertainty about how much of that money came from Indian businesses as opposed to individuals’ – World Can’t Digest Such Incompetence of India’s Biggest Banker ranked among Fortune500 Companies.

She is talking as if People’s Deposits with SBI are all idiots.

Savings Accounts of Persons and Current Accounts are RECORDED separately.

ET reported much before Demonetization on November08 – April-September2016 half year recorded 34% SLUMP in Mortgaged Based securitization to Rs.20,000 Cr against Rs.70,000 Cr annual figures a year ago. 

It is scandalous to assume Arundhati Bhattacharya can do anything with Peoples Deposits.

People keep ‘Money in Homes’ because of CORRUPT Banks who FUND SCAMSTERS and don’t FINANCE 95% of MSMEs – Only 5% Farmers get LONG TERM Loans when Value Additions is over 70%.   

Next > Gross NPA of AXIS BANK had Gone Up 6 Times in Less Than 3 Yrs of NDA rule.

Ravinder Singh, Inventor & Consultant, INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND PROJECTS
Y-77, Hauz Khas, ND -110016, India. Ph: 091- 9871056471, 9718280435, 9650421857
Ravinder Singh* is a WIPO awarded inventor specializing in Power, Transportation,

SBI May Retain Up to 40% of Deposits: Chief Bhattacharya
DAVOS: Analysts scratching their heads over the impact on India's banks of the country's move to ban high-value notes have every right to be puzzled, as estimates offered by the chairman of State Bank of India indicate.

The bank could retain anything from 15% to 40% of the deposit boost it received after the government withdrew about four-fifths of the banknotes in circulation in November, Arundhati Bhattacharya said in an interview on Wednesday with Bloomberg Television's Erik Schatzker. She was unable to give a precise estimate amid uncertainty about how much of that money came from Indian businesses as opposed to individuals.

If much of the money that came was being used in business, “then much of it will get taken out because people will want to use it in their business again,” Bhattacharya, 60, said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“But if much of this money is from savings of people, which was sitting in their cupboards or wherever, then obviously it won't go out,” she said. “Once it's in the bank, it'll stay in the bank and therefore that's why we have a very wide kind of range.”

For weeks, investors have speculated over whether the surging bank deposits caused by the November 9 ban on high-value notes will ultimately benefit lenders. The S&P Bankex Index, which tracks 10 lenders, rose almost 4% following the move, before slumping 13% and has since clawed back much of that slump.

“Retaining more deposits means low cost funds that can be lend out to improve bottom line at banks,” Payal Pandya, a Mumbai-based analyst at Centrum Wealth Management Ltd., said by phone. “Lenders focus should shift to deploying the money as loans as soon as they can.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi stunned the nation by banning old Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes, a move that dragged cash-intensive businesses to a standstill and had millions of Indians lining up at banks to deposit their now invalidated currencies or exchange them for new notes. The resulting liquidity surge brought funding costs down for lenders including State Bank of India, giving them scope to cut interest rates.

SBI's low-cost deposits had surged by 1.4 trillion rupees after the cash ban and the lender is seeing “unprecedented liquidity,” Bhattacharya told reporters on Jan. 2 after unveiling a rate cut. While the company's loan book had contracted after the ban, advances in the year to March 31 are expected to expand as much as 9%, compared with about 6.7% as of December 31, she said the same day.

Mortgage-based Securitisation Slows
SPEED BREAKERS: Housing fin cos slowed issue of securitised debt; banks were busy with cash management

Mortgage-backed securitisation, which accounts for almost half the entire deals where loans are bundled together and sold to investors, slowed after demonetisation, ratings firm Crisil said.

But a surge in such deals in the first half of 2016-17 means the year-end numbers would not be much different from last year, experts said. Housing finance companies slowed issuance of securitised debt, while banks, which invest in such products, were busy with cash management post demonetisation, affecting the securitisation market.

Mortgage-backed securitisation, or MBS, surged in the April-September period, or the first half of the fiscal year, to Rs.19,000-20,000 crore, after the government removed distribution tax on such deals for investors and as banks moved to quarterly assessment of the priority sector.

Small-ticket housing loans are considered priority lending. Investment in such pools allows banks to meet their priority lending requirement.

Crisil's senior director Krishnan Sitaraman told ET that housing finance companies were expected to be back in this market again in the fourth quarter. “Some slowdown was seen in mortgage-backed securitisation deals after demonetisation. But the volume for FY2017 may still be close to last year's level,” he said.

Volume of MBS, which includes residential loans and loans against property, was Rs.29,000-30,000 crore last fiscal year, capturing 42% of the market. The securitisation market as a whole was at an eight-year high in 2015-16, with volume touching Rs.70,000 crore.

The size of India's housing finance sector is Rs.5 lakh crore and just about 5-6% of the loans are being securitised. In contrast, about half of housing loans in the US is securitised.

Securitisation of loan pool can be done in two ways: direct assignment of loans by originators and via pass through certificates which are issued by trusts or special purpose vehicles. Around one-fifth of MBS was executed through the pass-through certificates route. MBS issuances in India have demonstrated high stability across economic cycles. According to Crisil, mortgage-backed pass-through certificates - due to their longer tenures and low delinquency - can attract long-term investors such as insurers and pension funds.

South Asia positioned to remain the fastest-growing region

Global slow growth

19.01.2017 15:17:48 – South Asia positioned to remain the fastest-growing region amid a prolonged episode of slow global growth:
UN report Growth to benefit from robust domestic demand and a supportive macroeconomic environment.
( – World economic situation and prospects report was launched in UN India office in New Delhi as media launch.Media asked questions ranging from Indian econonomy to Chinese and other regional economies such as Pakistan Bangladesh. On question to media about the innovative and higher education being injected by the nation if make any sense in visualising the future growth of the 
nations .On question about latin American countries and other which mostly rely on their natural resources would they follow the slow growth pattern or their is an urgent growth of higher education and rich immigration policy in question. With exxcellent panels the media questions were fervently taken and answered.
South Asia is exhibiting the fastest growth among all regions, even as the global economy continues to be trapped in a prolonged period of slow economic growth, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2017 Report released today. The report shows that world gross product grew by just 2.2 per cent in 2016, marking its slowest pace of expansion since the Great Recession of 2009.
Global growth is projected to see a moderate improvement to 2.7 per cent in 2017 and 2.9 per cent in 2018, but this is more an indication of economic stabilization than a signal of a robust revival of global demand.Against this backdrop, South Asia will continue to grow more rapidly than other regions. Regional GDP is estimated to have expanded by 6.7 per cent in 2016.
Supported by robust consumption, a moderate pickup in investment and a supportive macroeconomic environment, growth is projected to accelerate to 6.9 per cent in 2017 and 2018.
While monetary policy stances are generally accommodative across the region, fiscal policy remains moderately tight but with some degree of flexibility.
Growth prospects for the larger economies India has positioned itself as one of the most dynamic emerging economies.
Growth is projected to reach 7.7 per cent in 2017 and 7.6 per cent in 2018 amid strong private consumption.
Investment demand is expected to pick up slightly, supported by monetary easing, government efforts towards infrastructure investments and public-private partnerships, and domestic reforms.
The outlook for the Islamic Republic of Iran has strengthened considerably.
This can be attributed to the expansion of oil exports, increasing business confidence and a surge in foreign investments.
GDP growth is estimated to have accelerated to 4.3 per cent in 2016, with a further pickup expected in 2017 and 2018.
In Pakistan, growth is projected to remain robust, above 5.0 per cent.
Economic activity will be driven by strong consumption, a supportive monetary policy stance and rising investment. Similarly, the Bangladesh economy continues to expand at a vigorous pace, driven by strong domestic demand and a more proactive fiscal stance. Growth is projected to remain robust at 6.8 and 6.6 per cent in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Downside risks and policy challenges The report cautions that there are significant downside risks to the global and the regional outlook. Among other issues, the report highlights the high degree of uncertainty in the international policy environment and elevated foreign currency-denominated debt levels as key downside risks that may derail global growth.
Brexit and Donald Trump’s election as the U.S. president added to uncertainty as Trump has railed against existing free-trade agreements and threatened to impose punitive tariffs on some imports.
The co-authors of the report however say South Asia is the world’s fastest-growing region, with 6.7 percent growth in 2016 projected to reach 6.9 percent in 2017 and 2018. It says despite a slowdown in China, Asia remains a “bright spot.
The report said Most economies in East Asia and South Asia, led by China and India, saw robust growth driven by strong expansion of domestic demand.
Issued by the UN Department of Public Information For South Asia, potential renewed episodes of high financial volatility, including a sudden surge in external borrowing costs and large capital outflows, could significantly increase the difficulties to roll over debt. The ongoing economic reform agenda might also experience some setbacks, while political instabilities could dampen investment prospects.
From a medium-term perspective, a key fiscal challenge for the region involves improving tax revenues and promoting a supportive environment for the private sector, which together can enhance the capacity to implement counter-cyclical policies.
Given the close linkages between demand, investment, trade and productivity, the extended episode of weak global growth may prove self-perpetuating, especially in the absence of concerted policy efforts to revive investment and foster a recovery in productivity.
Under those circumstances, the report calls for a more balanced policy approach – one that goes beyond over-reliance on monetary policy- to not only restore robust growth in the medium term, but also to achieve greater progress on sustainable development. About the report:
The World Economic Situation and Prospects report is the UN’s flagship publication on expected trends in the global economy.
WESP is produced annually by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the five UN regional commissions and the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)
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India to sign MoU for MSME Cooperation With IORA Member Countries

 India to sign MoU for MSME Cooperation with IORA Member Countries today ,Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Shri Kalraj Mishra to be the Chief Guest at the occasion of signing ceremony of MoU between India and Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) member states for the Cooperation in MSME Sector.
Minister of State for MSME Shri Girraj Singh and Shri Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary, representatives from IORA member countries, IORA Secretary to be present on the occasion.
The objectives are the Parties will cooperate in listed areas on mutually agreed terms and conditions on said topics, but not limited to the list.
Promote a conducive business environment to expand the SME sector:
Enhance the competitiveness of SME sectors.
Devise and implement development program for SMEs;
Provide market access and business opportunities in IORA region.
Provide and develop entrepreneurship for SME sector.
Facilitate cooperate between SME institutions in IORA Member states.
Create a IORA database of equipments,technology and services.
Conduct studies and analysis for SME sector development strategist.
Facilitation of SMEs in securing financing from IORA special fund.
Organise capacity building workshops and training programs.
Encourage synergies with IORBF.
Promote women’s empowerment programms:
Union Minister of MSME, Shri Kalraj Mishra Thursday inaugurated Workshop on MSME Cooperation amongst Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Member countries. Speaking on the occasion, he said that this workshop will strengthen economic relationship amongst the member countries in the field of trade and investment facilitation especially in MSME sector. He also stated that India has  Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with 18 countries for cooperation in MSME sector. The National Small Industries Corporation of India, Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of MSME has 34 MoUs with its counterpart organizations of foreign countries for cooperation in MSME sector.
Shri Kalraj Mishra Union Minister for MSME inaugurating the Workshop on MSME Cooperation amongst IORA member countries
Shri Mishra also stated that this Workshop on SME cooperation will facilitate exchange of ideas, concerns and experiences of IORA member states and would help evolve a common MoU to address the emerging challenges in the region in MSME sector. He emphasized that the resilience in IORA over the last 20 years has been its innate strength. IORA’s evolution and growth have consistently seen an upward trajectory. He said that this strength must be reinforced by ensuring independence of strategy and priority. The onus of strengthening the regionalism in a composite manner must rest first on the shoulders of IORA members themselves.
Representatives of IORA member countries
Minister of State for MSME Shri Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary has emphasized that the IORA region has emerged as a strong one with the highest growth prospects in the world. He also stated that India and IORA together represent a huge market in which suppliers can build scale and efficiency and investors can allocate capital most productively.
IORA Secretary General, Shri Bhagirath spoke about the IORA secretariat’s efforts in enhancing cooperation between the IORA member countries in terms of industrial and cultural cooperation. He also spoke about how the MSMEs in the IORA member countries help in alleviating poverty by creating more job opportunities.
Shri Kalraj Mishra Union Minister for MSME addressing the representatives of IORA member countries
Secretary MSME, Shri KK Jalan said that with the combined population of over 2 billion, IORA and India represent a vast market for goods and services and it is highly attractive due to large segment of high consuming middle class of about 600 million persons in India. He also expressed that this workshop will inspire the member countries to further cooperation and seek opportunities to support the progress towards mutual goals.
Workshop on MSME Cooperation amongst IORA member countries was organized in pursuance of the commitment made by India in the Economic Business Conference – II (EBC- II) held in Dubai in April, 2016. The Ministry of MSME, Government of India in consultation with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and IORA Secretariat organized this Workshop, wherein 23 representatives from 13 member countries, viz., Mozambique, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Comoros, Kenya, Seychelles, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore, Australia, UAE and Yemen participated.
The areas of cooperation will be chalked out and the Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in these sectors will be signed tomorrow. The workshop was also attended by senior officials from the Ministry of MSME and IORA Secretariat.

International Symposium on Medicinal and Aromatic plants of India

At the two-day International Symposium on Medicinal and Aromatic plants of India here today, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that lifestyle diseases like Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 require holistic management and with more than 65% to 70% of India’s population today being less than 40 years of age, Diabetes and heart attack in young are going to be the main challenges ahead, because these tend to affect the youth potential which is imperative in the task of nation building.
Dr Jitendra Singh referred to the change of disease spectrum of India over the last few decades and said that India today has evolved from an era of communicable diseases into an era of non-communicable diseases like Diabetes Mellitus, heart attack, lipid disorders, hypertension and other metabolic diseases. Even though a number of new remedies and medicinal options are available for the treatment of these diseases, he said, the basic Mantra is still based on lifestyle modifications and natural methods, and for this purpose, the various Indian medicine regimens incorporated in Naturopathy, Yoga and other indigenous therapies find a contributory role, he added.
Under the leadership of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Dr Jitendra Singh said, in the last two years, not only the holistic medicine and the indigenous therapies have been accorded priority but have also been given a place of respectability. He said that the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi decided to establish the first ever independent Ministry of AYUSH in the Government of India after nearly 70 years of independence. Similarly, it was again Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on whose proposal the United Nations unanimously accepted to observe International Yoga Day on 21st June, he added.
India is the fountain- head and original birth-place of all the aromatic and medicinal plants, said Dr Jitendra Singh and regretted that in the last few decades, most of the research on the Indian medicinal plants was conducted in other countries and not in India. To that extent, he said, the Central Government has tried to vindicate the lapse of the earlier decades.
While emphasizing on indigenous research based on Indian conditions, Dr Jitendra Singh also called for change of mindset, so that those who choose to become practitioners of Indian medicine, should do so by aptitude and interest.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that the North East region of India has huge potential for the organic products which have huge health benefits. This unexplored potential needs to be explored, he added. He also said that Government is giving priority to tap this potential of the North East region as well as placing high priority on the health status of the citizens. This will be helpful in tapping the natural organic resources for the health benefit of the citizens, he added.
MoS Agriculture Shri Parshottam Rupala, while speaking on the occasion said that the Ministry of Agriculture will evolve a more comprehensive plan to promote medicinal plants and herbs and will also try to take the experts on board.

‘ShaGun’ – a web-portal for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan

Union HRD Minister launches ‘ShaGun’ – a web-portal for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
The Union HRD Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar launched a dedicated web portal ‘ShaGun’ for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan at New Delhi today. ‘ShaGun’ aims to capture and showcase innovations and progress in Elementary Education sector of India by continuous monitoring of the flagship scheme – Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). The Union HRD Minister also unveiled the ‘Toolkit for Master Trainers in Preparing Teachers for Inclusive Education for Children with Special Needs’, which has been prepared by World Bank in collaboration with Ministry of Human Resource Development.
On this occasion, the Union Minister also reiterated government’s commitment for improving the ‘Quality’ of Education. He said that in this direction Ministry of HRD will be codifying the learning outcome to set assessment standards for abilities with regards to comprehension, mathematics, language etc. and thus ensuring that “all children acquire at least the minimum levels of learning” from Class I to Class VIII under Right to Education Act, 2009.

CMS VATAVARAN film festival

9th CMS VATAVARAN International Competitive Film Festival and Forum scheduled on November 2-6, 2017
We wanted to share our accomplishments in the year gone by with our partners, supporters, well-wishers and friends. Please see attached CMS VATAVARAN highlights of 2016 or visit link : .
We are grateful to your encouragement in making all these initiatives possible and hope to count on your continued support for our cause in making people informed & committed towards values of conservation.
We are developing plans for the 9th CMS VATAVARAN International Competitive Film Festival and Forum scheduled on November 2-6, 2017 (please mark your calendars) in New Delhi and the 8th travelling festival in 2018 across various cities.
Also, request you to please spread the word for film submissions to this competitive edition of this unique green film festival, as the last date for the same is February 2, 2017.
We would be delighted to get your suggestions or comments on making our endeavours more efficient and effective.
Thank you for your cooperation and looking forward your support in 2017.

Mozilla’s ‘Equal Rating Innovation Challenge’

Indian Project for Affordable Rural Broadband Among Semi-Finalists in Mozilla’s ‘Equal Rating Innovation Challenge’
  • Global non-profit organisation Mozilla releases the list of five semi-finalists for its ‘Equal Rating Innovation Challenge’ 2017
  • Mumbai-based Gram Marg Solution concept for affordable broadband access in the race for global honour.
New Delhi, January 20, 2017: The Indian Gram Marg Solution project is one of the five semi-finalists of the Mozilla ‘Equal Rating Innovation Challenge’. The Mumbai-based team led by Prof. Abhay Karandikar, has successfully developed an open source low-cost prototype to provide affordable broadband access to the Internet in rural communities utilizing Television White Space Spectrum.
Other projects in the reckoning for the top honour include Freemium Mobile Internet (FMI) of Canada, Afri-Fi: Free Public Wi-Fi of South Africa, Free Networks P2P Cooperative of Brazil and Zenzeleni ‘Do it for yourselves’ Networks (ZN) of South Africa.
Mozilla, the non-profit organisation behind the open source browser Firefox, launched the ‘Equal Rating Innovation Challenge’ in October 2016 as part of its endeavour to help catalyze new thinking and innovation for providing open Internet access to communities living without it. It called out to entrepreneurs, designers, researchers and innovators from all over the world to propose creative and scalable ideas that can cultivate digital literacy and provide affordable access to the Internet’s full diversity. Mozilla offered an award of US$250,000 in funding and expert mentorship to bring these solutions to the market.
The challenge received a total of 98 submissions from 27 countries. The final shortlist was prepared after benchmarking submissions againstcriteria of compliance with Equal Rating, affordability and accessibility, empathy, technical feasibility, as well as scalability, user experience, differentiation, potential for quick deployment, and team potential.
Katharina Borchert, Chief Innovation Officer at Mozilla, said in a blog post: “While we did have almost a hundred teams submit solutions, we also had thousands of people meeting and engaging in this content through our events, webinars, and website. With this in mind, Mozilla aims to further engage with more teams who sent us their concepts, connect them to our network, and continue to grow the community of people working on this important topic.”
Nikhil Pahwa, Founder and Editor of MediaNama and member of the Challenge’s esteemed panel of judges, added: “To ensure that governments are not pressurized into allowing projects which violate net neutrality, we need initiatives that help bring down the cost of access to the open Internet. This means reduced cost of hardware, community Internet access models, and innovations that help use unlicensed spectrum. It’s heartening to see such a wide variety of submissions from across the globe for this challenge. I am confident that, with time, initiatives like the Equal Rating Innovation Challenge will lead to many more diverse ideas, which will shape the landscape for affordable internet access in the future.”
Following eight weeks of mentorship for the semi-finalists, on March 9, Mozilla will host a day-long event in New York City on the topic of affordable access and innovation. Speakers and researchers from around the world will provide their valuable insights on the global debate, various initiatives, and the latest approaches to affordable access. The main feature of this event will be presentations by semi-finalists, with a thorough Q&A from the Challenge’s judges. This will be followed by a week of open public voting on to help determine the winners of the Challenge. The winners will then be announced at RightsCon on March 29 in Brussels, Belgium.
Additionally, the evaluation process for submission has thrown up a set of four interesting observations.
One, cooperatives were a popular mechanism to grow buy-in and share responsibility and benefit across communities. This is in contrast to a more typical and transactional producer-consumer relationship. Digital literacy was naturally integrated into solutions, but was rarely the lead idea. Instead it was the de facto addition. This signals that digital literacy in and of itself is not perceived as a full solution or service, but rather an essential part of enabling access to the Internet.
Two, several teams took into account the unbanked and undocumented in their solutions. There seemed to be a feeling that solutions for the people would come from the people, not governments or corporations.
Three, there was a strong trend for service solutions to disintermediate traditional commercial relationships and directly connect buyers and sellers.
Four, in media-centric solutions, the voice of the people was as important as authoritative sources. User generated content in the areas of local news was popular, as was enabling a distribution of voices to be heard.
Mozilla will disclose further information about the semi-finalist teams and projects in the coming weeks on


Competitiveness, climate, security Finn’s priorities Ministry of Finance release Finnish road map of EU presidency. Finland i...