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Jaipur: Outlining several steps to forge closer cooperation with the Pacific Island nations, India on Friday proposed to create a network of marine biology research stations on them, hold a conference on ocean economy in New Delhi next year and have good will visits by its navy. In his remarks at the second Forum for India-Pacific Island Countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed climate change “a pressing concern for all” and proposed that India will work with the 14 countries “and others for a comprehensive, balanced and fair outcome at COP 21 in Paris”. On the proposed reforms of the UN Security Council, he asked the 14 countries to “help conclude negotiations at the UN General Assembly” that could see “long awaited reforms come to fruition”, said Anil Wadhwa, secretary (east) in the MEA, briefing reporters later. Modi also proposed setting up an Institute for Sustainable Coastal and Ocean Research in the region and a network of marine biology research stations on many island nations. He suggested that both sides could begin with research collaboration and capacity building with institutions in India.
He also offered holding an International Conference on “Ocean economy and Pacific Island Countries” in New Delhi in 2016, and for the Indian Navy to provide “direct support and capacity building to island states”, especially for coastal surveillance and hydro graphic surveys, like it has done with some Indian Ocean islands. During goodwill visits, Indian Navy ships could also extend support in areas like healthcare through medical camps on the islands.
India also pitched for cooperation in the sphere of space, to help in making an inventory of land and water resources; fish zoning; forest resources management; coastal and ocean studies; weather and climate change; and, disaster management support. Modi said India could assist in establishing a Space Technology Applications Center in any one of the countries and enhance support for training in space applications. Referring to Fiji’s support for India’s Mars Mission, Modi said he hoped to continue receiving support for telemetry, tracking and command for India’s future missions. He said India would be pleased to create capacity in the Pacific Island States to deal with natural disasters, including through human resource development and application of space technology for early warning system and incident response. Referring to India’s help in capacity building through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) scholarships, he said Fiji will get 110 slots, and the number of slots for the other 13 countries will be doubled from 119 to 238.
India would also offer two scholarships for college education in India to each of the 13 countries that do not receive them yet, while continuing with the 33 scholarships presently offered to Fiji. India will also expand training courses for Pacific Island diplomats and offer a two-week business management course at the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore. Noting India has trained 43 rural women from eight island countries as solar engineers in the last three years, he now committed to training 70 more women and to provide solar electrification to 2,800 houses – 200 houses in each country. Modi also announced the setting up of one information technology laboratory in each Pacific Island country to help improve local IT infrastructure as well as enable India to fulfill its commitment of tele-medicine and tele-education. In the sphere of trade, Modi said that in addition to the FIPIC (Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation) Trade Office in New Delhi, India would support the development of micro, small and medium enterprises and also extend support for purchase of machinery for coconut processing and enhancing rice and sugarcane yields.
On the supply of generic drugs presently routed through third countries and thus very expensive, he offered setting up a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant and distribution center in the Pacific Island region. He also said India would offer a Line of Credit for this. During his visit last November to Fiji, Modi had announced electronic visas for Pacific Island countries and on Friday announced the visas would be gratis. He said Prasar Bharti, India’s national broadcaster, would gift television and radio programs on culture, entertainment, news, education, in English and Hindi as well as organised a specialized training programs over the next few months for local broadcasters. India would also support the creation of India Centers through e-libraries and supply books to university libraries. Modi said the partnership “demonstrates that geography is no barrier to productive partnerships of convergent interests and shared challenges. This partnership will be of great relevance to all of us in the 21st century”. “We see this as a partnership of equals, driven by similar aspirations, in which we will all be more successful by being together.”
Facebook must pay a $4.75 million fine and up to $9.5 million in back pay to eligible victims who say the company discriminated against U.S. workers in favor of foreign ones, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
The discrimination took place from at least January 1, 2018, until at least September 18, 2019.
The Justice Department said Facebook "routinely refused" to recruit or consider U.S. workers, including U.S. citizens and nationals, asylees, refugees and lawful permanent residents, in favor of temporary visa holders. Facebook also helped the visa holders get their green cards, which allowed them to work permanently
In a separate settlement, the company also agreed to train its employees in anti-discrimination rules and conduct wider searches to fill jobs.
The fines and back pay are the largest civil awards ever given by the DOJ's civil rights division in its 35-year history.
"Facebook is not above the law and must comply with our nation's civil rights laws," Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke told reporters in a telephone conference.
"While we strongly believe we met the federal government's standards in our permanent labor certification [PERM] practices, we've reached agreements to end the ongoing litigation and move forward with our PERM program, which is an important part of our overall immigration program," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "These resolutions will enable us to continue our focus on hiring the best builders from both the U.S. and around the world and supporting our internal community of highly skilled visa holders who are seeking permanent residence." (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Facebook, Employment, Justice Dept., Recruitment
Tomatoes are a staple in the Indian diet, be it a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian dish. It has to be a part of each meal in some form. As puree, paste, flavour, or diced into the dal. This tangy, sweet, and juicy ingredient was not always Indian. In fact, it did not even grow in India until the British sanctioned it. It is a product of colonization and has come a long way to become part of our everyday meals.
Originally, the tomato was considered poison. Its actual native is debatable. Some say it is European while others argue that is came from indigenous parts of Spain and Portugal. Either way, it is a plant species that is associated with the legendary Nightshade. It looks very similar to this poisonous plant that tomatoes were not even harvested for a long time, for fear of picking Nightshade instead. It was believed that Nightshade caused the blood to turn to acid and that tomatoes had the same property. Later research proved that the plant itself may be poisonous but the fruit is not.
The fruit if the woody nightshade plant Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Tomato is considered a fruit instead of a vegetable because it is cooked. But this theory has an interesting tale behind it. in the United States, in 1887, a tax was levied on the transport of vegetables, but not on fruits. By then, tomatoes had become a huge part of the American diet and traders could not afford to pay the ten percent duty. So, they began to call the large loads they transported fruits, just to avoid the tax due. In time, this is how the tomato came to be regarded. Some scientists went even further and stated that it is a berry. Botanists claim that since it is a part that grows from the flower's ovary and contains seeds, it is a fruit and not a vegetable. But this is a debate that will never end.
Incorporating tomatoes into the Indian diet must have happened so long ago that people do not remember a time without tomatoes, considering how it is the fundamental ingredient of most cuisines. The tomato has a name in every language as well, so the trading between nations, the voyages that brought them to India, and the decoding of the fruit-vegetable must have taken place far earlier than our ancestors remember. Or, perhaps we liked it so much that we decided to use it everywhere and make it our own. Nonetheless, it has been a delightful addition.
Keywords: Tomato, Fruit, Vegetable, Nightshade, Voyage, Staple
Every child who grew up in the 90s and the early 00s has certainly grown up around Tom and Jerry, the adorable, infamous cat-chases-mouse cartoon. The idea of naughtiness and playing mischief had the standards that this particular series set for children and defined how much wreckage was funny enough.
The show's creators, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera initially named their characters Jasper and Jinx. They did not plan for the fame that Tom and Jerry brought them when they released a movie by the name of "Puss Gets the Boot". This movie featured a certain cat and mouse who were a notorious pair, named Jasper and Jinx. When the movie became a hit, the names of the characters were changed and the show shot to fame.
Tom and Jerry became a go-to cartoon for children in the early 00s, and it was one of those shows with a firm foundation, that had already been in the running for decades. The original template had been planned nearly 80 years ago, and the makers did not change it. The music that was played in the many episodes, made a breakthrough in its own way. It is the most easily recognizable melody with utterly nostalgic associations.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons Image credit: wikimedia commons
A set of supporting characters were defined for the show, to occasionally take the focus off the original pair. There was a large, black woman named Mammy Two Shoes and a bulldog who took Jerry's side. Mammy Two Shoes was discontinued because her character portrayed racist tendencies. A tall white woman replaced her, who was kinder and loved mice. Either of the women's faces was never revealed.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons. There are a host of other shows besides this that aim to replicate the same aspects of the cartoon but do not come close at all. Despite the immense amount of violence in the show, it is a beloved pastime of parents and children alike.
Keywords: Tom and Jerry, Cartoon, Hanna and Barbera, Television