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British Council and Mumbai First Join Hands to transform Mumbai into a World-Class City

Other than cultural and educational reforms, there will be musical exchanges between the UK and Indian artistes, organisations and public through collaborative projects designed to nurture talent and promote wider cultural dialogues

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  • Projects and activities will be initiated for an all-round achievement in the two key areas- education and culture
  • In education, initiatives will be taken up aimed at enrichment of teaching skills and quality improvement of low-cost private English medium schools
  • On the culture front, initiatives will focus on taking the diverse range of music of Mumbai to a global audience through Mix The City Mumbai Project

Mumbai, July 10, 2017: The British Council and Mumbai First will collaborate in education, tourism, arts, and culture to transform Mumbai into a world-class city, an official said here on Monday.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed to initiate projects and activities in these sectors for an all-around achievement in the two key areas — education and culture — that would positively impact Mumbaikars.

In education, initiatives will be taken up aimed at enrichment of teaching skills and quality improvement of low-cost private English medium schools in and around Mumbai besides professional development and language proficiency programmes.

These programs will be conducted face to face and digitally with government (municipal) primary and secondary schools involving around 10,000 teachers across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

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The new schools would focus on developing the school leadership, 21st-century core skills of learners and quality in classrooms with plans to set up joint awards for those (schools) that meet the set quality standards.

On the culture front, initiatives will focus on taking the diverse range of music of Mumbai to a global audience through Mix The City Mumbai Project, featuring recordings of performances by local musicians curated online.

The collaboration will seek art installations in public places across Mumbai, creating multiple sites to involve people to become part of the city’s rich musical heritage.

Besides, there will be musical exchanges between the UK and Indian artists, organizations and public through collaborative projects designed to nurture talent and promote wider cultural dialogues.

“For almost 70 years, we have helped put education and culture at the heart of the UK’s relationship with Mumbai. We are delighted that in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘UK-India Year of Culture’, we can deepen our connections with the city through a new partnership with Mumbai First,” said British Council’s Director-India Alan Gemmell.

“The collaboration is in line with our vision to transform Mumbai and MMR into a world-class safe city, one of the best places to live and do business,” said Shishir Joshi, CEO, Mumbai First think tank.

It was set up as a model of public-private-participation by India’s corporate leaders almost two decades ago with the Tatas, Mahindras, Godrejs, and others being the original patrons. (IANS)

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World’s Anti-Corruption Day

The U.S. Statement Department said in its Friday statement that it pledges "to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide."

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Anti-Corruption
Bulgarian anti-corruption protesters march during a demonstration in downtown Sofia, VOA

Corruption costs the world economy $2.6 trillion each year, according to the United Nations, which is marking International Anti-Corruption Day on Sunday.

“Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune,” the United Nations said.

The cost of $2.6 trillion represents more than 5 percent of global GDP.

The world body said that $1 trillion of the money stolen annually through corruption is in the form of bribes.

Patricia Moreira, the managing director of Transparency International, told VOA that about a quarter of the world’s population has paid a bribe when trying to access a public service over the past year, according to data from the Global Corruption Barometer.

Moreira said it is important to have such a day as International Anti-Corruption Day because it provides “a really tremendous opportunity to focus attention precisely on the challenge that is posed by corruption around the world.”

Journalist, Anti-Corruption
An activist places candles and flowers on the Great Siege monument, after rebuilding a makeshift memorial to assassinated anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, in Valletta, Malta. VOA

Anti-corruption commitments

To mark the day, the United States called on all countries to implement their international anti-corruption commitments including through the U.N. Convention against Corruption.

In a statement Friday, the U.S. State Department said that corruption facilitates crime and terrorism, as well as undermines economic growth, the rule of law and democracy.

“Ultimately, it endangers our national security. That is why, as we look ahead to International Anticorruption Day on Dec. 9, we pledge to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide,” the statement said.

Moreira said that data about worldwide corruption can make the phenomena understandable but still not necessarily “close to our lives.” For that, we need to hear everyday stories about people impacted by corruption and understand that it “is about our daily lives,” she added.

She said those most impacted by corruption are “the most vulnerable people — so it’s usually women, it’s usually poor people, the most marginalized people in the world.”

Anti-Corruption
Anna Hazare raised his voice against corruption and went ahead with his hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons

The United Nations Development Program notes that in developing countries, funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance.

What can be done to fight corruption?

The United Nations designated Dec. 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day in 2003, coinciding with the adoption of the United Nations Convention against Corruption by the U.N. General Assembly.

The purpose of the day is to raise awareness about corruption and put pressure on governments to take action against it.

Tackling the issue

Moreira said to fight corruption effectively it must be tackled from different angles. For example, she said that while it is important to have the right legislation in place to curb corruption, governments must also have mechanisms to enforce that legislation. She said those who engage in corruption must be held accountable.

“Fighting corruption is about providing people with a more sustainable world, with a world where social justice is something more of our reality than what it has been until today,” she said.

Anti-Corruption
It is important to have the right legislation in place to curb corruption

Moreira said change must come from a joint effort from governments, public institutions, the private sector and civil society.

The U.S. Statement Department said in its Friday statement that it pledges “to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide.”

It noted that the United States, through the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development, helps partner nations “build transparent, accountable institutions and strengthen criminal justice systems that hold the corrupt accountable.”

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Moreira said that it is important for the world to see that there are results to the fight against corruption.

“Then we are showing the world with specific examples that we can fight against corruption, [that] yes there are results. And if we work together, then it is something not just that we would wish for, but actually something that can be translated into specific results and changes to the world,” she said. (VOA)