Johannesburg: So the human race has a new creature in the family now! On Thursday, an international team of more than 60 scientists led by Lee R Berger in Johannesburg announced the new species found in the caves of South Africa. The name Homo Naledi refers to the cave where the bones lay undisturbed for so long; “naledi” means “star” in the local Sesotho language.
The species measured about 5-feet tall and had the brain size of chimpanzees. There is evidence of a powerful thumb and a complex wrist that are distinctly human-like—clear signs of regular tool use. But the fingers are strongly curved, suggesting hands that were also regularly used for climbing. The bones, they argue, look strikingly similar to those of early Homo Erectus, a forerunner of modern humans who wandered southern Africa 1.5m years ago.
Dr Berger said, “With almost every bone in the body represented multiple times, Homo Naledi is already the best-known fossil member of our lineage.”
Christoph Zollikofer, an anthropologist at the University of Zurich, said many of the bone characteristics indicated that the creature as a new species is seen in more primitive animals, and by definition it cannot be used to define a new species.
“If this is an ancient species, like a coelacanth, that has come down through time and is only tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of years old, it means that during that time we had a complex species wandering around Africa, perhaps making tools. That would make archaeology very difficult, because we are not going to know who made what,” Berger said.
Dr Berger is an American paleoanthropologist who is a professor of human evolution studies at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Access to education is one of the most basic rights of people across the world. However, when it comes to pursuing higher education from international universities, it seems like there are only a few who can afford to study at a destination of your choice.
While the thought of moving abroad and living in a new place with people from different faiths and nationalities can be extremely exciting, there are a few things you must responsibly think about before you take a final decision. The cost of tuition fees, food bills, rent are some of the important aspects to think about and plan before making a call.
Still, living abroad doesn’t come cheap. Wondering about affordable destinations to study abroad? We have got you covered!
With more than 350 universities and institutions offering over 800 courses to make a choice from, Germany makes one of the better and affordable destinations to study abroad. As an emerging education destination, Germany has witnessed an increasing trend of international students with as much as a 14 per cent increase between 2013 and 2015.
Germany is believed to have some of the best academic infrastructures in the world that focus not only on education, but holistic development of the student. The country is also considered to be the one of the top countries to attain specialization in disciplines relating to engineering and technology.
While knowing a new language is always a benefit, students need not know German for courses opted in English.
Despite being a nation in central-Europe, the cost of living in Germany is surprisingly low when compared to other European countries. According to data available on the internet, Germany has a lower cost of living than Denmark, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
As per information by the German Academic Exchange Service, international students are believed to spend about 725 Euros as part of their daily expenses while local students spend about 864 for their expenses.
Apart from low sustenance costs, German universities have little to no tuition fees which make them an attractive choice as one of the affordable destinations to study abroad.
The Finnish education system has been ranked as one of the best in the world. The country offers a wide variety of courses to choose from and a student can go to Finland as a student for a complete academic degree, an exchange student or as a trainee.
Regardless of your nationality, students are exempted from paying tuition fees at Finnish Universities which makes the country a good choice for one of the most affordable destinations to study abroad. However, there are some exceptions in case of a few master’s degrees and programmes.
Since all education costs are born by the Finnish government, students going to the country for Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees do not have any scholarship. However, students joining Finnish universities for doctoral studies and research can avail certain scholarships.
The country has a reputation for a high cost of living in comparison to other countries but Helsinki is suggested as the most affordable city in the region.
3. NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand has a lot to offer to international students. With cheaper cost of living than nearby places like Australia and reasonable tuition fees, New Zealand has emerged as one of the most affordable destinations to study abroad.
There are 8 universities in New Zealand that comprise a safe and welcoming community and offer high quality of education.
The country has an extremely flexible education system that can comfortably match the budget of students and offers great value for money. International students can further avail several scholarships that are provided by the New Zealand government, foreign governments, educational institutions, and private sources.
There is no stipulated figure for the annual living expenses incurred by international students as that can vary depending upon the university chosen by every individual student. However, the New Zealand government suggests having up to 15,000 dollars to comfortably cover expenses during the first year of study.
4. SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa is next on our list of most affordable destinations to study abroad.
Tuition fees in South Africa depend upon your choice of university and the education programme.
Nearly all higher education institutes in South Africa comprise of student support offices that help student find and settle into their chosen programmes and accommodations which are available both, on campus and within close proximity to the university campus.
The cost of living in South Africa is relatively low. As per data on the internet, students can estimate an expense of about 980 USD per month, which will include student’s accommodation, food expenses, bills and travel.
These lower costs mean students need not spend exorbitant prices during their student years, in comparison to expenses in other developed countries.
Canada has long been one of the preferred countries by people from all parts of the world, courtesy its warm and welcoming society. The country has fast emerged as a preferred location for international students too.
Apart from being extremely peaceful, safe and welcoming, Canada is known worldwide for its high standard of living and low cost of living for students.
Canada is known to have some of the cheapest tuition fees for international students when compared to other English-speaking universities. As per data available on the internet, international students bear an annual expense within the bracket of 20,000 to 30,000 Canadian dollars, which includes their tuition and living expenses.
Students enrolled in any Canadian university and aged between 18 and 25 can avail discounts when purchasing their monthly transport pass. Students need not spend much on food bills, either.
All these factors when combined together make Canada one of the most sought after and affordable destinations to study abroad.
Choosing to study abroad can be a tough call, and you must consider all factors before you make a decision. We wish you all the best!
– prepared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala
An overwhelming majority of Indians in South Africa are children of indentured laborers
Brahmins never accepted indenture
Ranji, the very “English” cricketer, had a very Indian sister he was fond of
Aug 06, 2017: When he completed his hat-trick by trapping South Africa’s Morne Morkel leg before wicket in the third Test match at the Oval with his orthodox off-spin, Moeen Ali entered the record books on three counts.
This was the first hat-trick in history at Surrey’s famous cricket ground. The hat-trick also gave England victory, a record-breaking coincidence. Also, Moeen is the first cricketer of South Asia origin to have posted such a record — at least since the princely order faded out. Not since Ranji, Duleep Singh ji and the Nawab of Pataudi has a subcontinental cricketer inserted himself in British history books.
Asked if he would ever play cricket in India, Ranji is reported to have grandly asserted: “Duleep and I are English cricketers.” For that classy disdain, Ranji Trophy cricket was instituted in India in 1934. The year Ranji died, 1933, was, by a coincidence, historic for Indian cricket in another way: The first Test match was played at the Bombay Gymkhana. C.K. Nayudu captained India. The English captain happened to be D.R. Jardine, notorious for his bodyline series against Bradman’s Australia.
I find it difficult to resist a non-cricketing story about Ranji which I picked up during my travels across Ireland. After his cricketing days, Ranji took to hunting as a sport. A grouse shooting accident injured him in one eye.
Scouts scoured the British Isles for the finest spot for angling, which was to be Ranji’s next hobby. He was informed that there was no better spot for river salmon than the bend in the river facing Ballynahinch Castle on Ireland’s Connemara coast.
Other than being a magnificent castle facing a hillock on one side and a river on the other, Ballynahinch suited Ranji for another little-known reason.
Ranji, the very “English” cricketer, had a very Indian sister he was fond of. In the male dominated feudal world, she had to be accommodated within hailing distance. Negotiations were started with a convent in the vicinity. The convent would receive endowments. Ranji’s sister would live with the nuns with two non-negotiable conditions: She would not be converted and she would wear a sari, not a habit. To this day Ballynahinch has a photograph of Ranji’s sister in the convent, wearing a white sari, rather like Mother Teresa’s Sisters of Charity.
Had I not strayed into the Ranji saga, the narrative after the Moeen Ali performance would have been the obvious one: A few months ago there were as many as four Muslims in the English cricket team — Moeen, Adil Rashid, Haseeb Hameed and Zafar Ansari. Why is there no Hindu in the list? Lest I be misunderstood, my curiosity is mostly sociological. My guess is that Hindus overseas involve themselves in matters more serious than cricket.
The phenomenon continues in other cricket playing countries — Usman Khawaja in Australia; Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir in South Africa; Sikandar Raza who helped Zimbabwe beat Sri Lanka.
Most of these players do not lend themselves to significant sociological analysis. They are immigrants from Pakistan. Hashim Amla is the only one who reflects South Africa’s social hierarchies going back to Mahatma Gandhi’s 21 years in that country.
An overwhelming majority of Indians in South Africa, mostly around Durban, are children of indentured labourers, a device colonialism invented to circumvent the abolition of slavery. This class, along with the blacks, was too depressed to be playing a “gentleman’s” game. But a wave of Muslim Gujarati Merchants, who turned up to cater to the British and Indian clients, were financially sound. One of them was Baba Abdullah, who invited Gandhi to be his barrister.
Since apartheid South Africa barred non-white students from the better schools, this elite group helped set up English-style public schools in neighbouring countries like Malawi under the supervision of such arch British toadies as President Hastings Banda.
It is the progeny of these Muslim merchants from Gujarat who developed a taste for Marxism, as well as cricket, later in British universities. Yusuf Dadoo, Ahmed Kathrada, Essop Pahad, Kamal Asmal, Dullah Omar, Ahmed and Yusuf Cachalia, Fatima Meer — they formed the backbone of the ANC resistance against apartheid.
Once apartheid was lifted, their children joined the all-white Rand club in Johannesburg and sundry cricket clubs. That is the kind of background Hashim Amla would come from.
How does one explain the fine off-spinner, Keshav Maharaj, to my knowledge the first Hindu in the South African team currently touring England? Maharaj is actually a contrived title among Indians with a background in indenture.
Brahmins never accepted indenture. For them, to cross the black waters (Kala pani) was a sin because useless action was a sin. But the Brahmin was sorely missed for religious rituals during birth, death, marriage. To make up for this shortfall, the community conferred the title of “Maharaj” on the most educated and one of “Light skin”. The most famous of this genre was one of Nelson Mandela’s closest friends, Mac Maharaj. It was he who smuggled out the manuscript of the Long March to Freedom from the Robben Island across a stretch of the ocean from Cape Town. Keshav Maharaj is presumably from this stock.
West Indian cricket, uninhibited by the class stratifications of South Africa, gave full vent to a mixture of slavery and indenture to produce the world’s most scintillating cricketers.
Of Indian origin were brilliant batsmen like Rohan Kanhai, Shivnaraine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan — all from Guyana.
It has remained something of a puzzle why Fiji, most loyal to be British crown, never took to cricket in a big way. An average native Fijian is taller than a professional basketball player in America. He is also stronger of built. This oversized human machine hurtling the ball from palm tree height would have led to bloodshed in days when helmets were not known. Is this why the Anglo Saxon never encouraged cricket in Fiji?
(Saeed Naqvi is a commentator on political and diplomatic affairs. The views expressed are personal. He can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org)
A new book by a former South African military doctor that documents Nelson Mandela’s medical treatments violates doctor-patient confidentiality
But according to the retired doctor, Vejay Ramlakan, the Mandela family had requested that the book be written
Mandela’s widow, Graca Machel, is considering legal action and will consult with the executors of Mandela’s will
JOHANNESBURG, July 24, 2017: A new book by a former South African military doctor that documents Nelson Mandela’s medical treatments before his 2013 death violates doctor-patient confidentiality, according to some relatives of the anti-apartheid leader and Nobel laureate.
But the retired doctor, Vejay Ramlakan, said in an interview this weekend on the eNCA news channel that the Mandela family had requested that the book be written. While Ramlakan declined to say which family members had given permission for the book, his remarks could indicate continuing rifts in a family whose members have feuded over the years on issues such as inheritance.
The book, “Mandela’s Last Years,” covers Mandela’s health while he was imprisoned during white minority rule, during his tenure as South Africa’s first black president and in retirement. It also focuses on the dramatic final months of Mandela’s life, when he was suffering a lung infection and other ailments before dying at age 95.
“It documents the complex medical decisions; disputes between family members and staff; military, political, financial and security demands; constant scrutiny from the press; and the wishes of Mandela himself, all of which contributed to what he and those closest to him would experience in his final days,” according to Penguin Random House, the publisher.
Mandela’s widow, Graca Machel, said she is considering legal action and will consult with the executors of Mandela’s will, South African media reported.
“We are deeply disappointed that the doctor appears to have compromised himself and the man whom he had the privilege to serve,” Nkosi Mandela, a grandson of the anti-apartheid leader, said in a statement. He said the book might contain ethical violations.
In the eNCA interview, Ramlakan said he had permission to write the book and that “all parties who needed to be consulted were consulted.”
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Mandela’s ex-wife and a prominent figure in the anti-apartheid movement, was with her former husband when he died, according to Ramlakan, a former surgeon general of South Africa who headed Mandela’s medical team.
“She’s the one who was there when he passed on,” he said. “I think Mrs. Machel was in the house or busy with other issues. But I have no idea because I was focusing on my patient.” (VOA)
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