Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Saturday that nearly $3 billion in pledges has been raised to help fund the education of vulnerable girls and women around the world.
Canada will contribute $300 million to the campaign. Germany, Japan, Britain and the World Bank are among the additional supporters.
The prime minister made the announcement on the last day of the G-7 summit which was held in Quebec.
Women’s groups that had met with Trudeau on the sidelines of the summit welcomed the news of the generous pledges that exceeded the groups’ expectations.
“It gives young women in developing countries the opportunity to pursue careers instead of early marriage and child labor,” said Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head in Pakistan because of her campaign for the right of girls to receive an education.
Yousafzai, currently a student at Oxford University, said the pledges give “all of us the chance to create a safer, healthier and wealthier world.”
According to a government statement, the funds will be used to equip girls and women, including refugees, with the skills needed for the jobs of the future.
David Morley, president of UNICEF Canada, said “UNICEF believes that the right to education is as fundamental as the right to food or shelter, and provides girls with the skills they need to break the cycle of crisis and poverty.” (VOA)
About 50 per cent of people with higher education and income have started spending more time on hobbies including Fashion Trends amid the Covid-19 induced lockdown, according to the latest IANS-CVoter Economy Battery survey.
The nationwide survey indicated that about 55.7 per cent of people with higher education and about 49.6 per cent of those from the higher income group have been spending more time on hobbies during the lockdown.
Also, in terms of gender, 35 per cent male have started spending more time on hobbies, while 38.5 per cent female have started doing the same. However, 50 per cent of female respondents and 49.5 per cent of male respondents have opted for ‘no’ in the survey.
In terms of age group, 42 per cent of people below the age of 25 years have started spending more time on hobbies during the lockdown, while 39 per cent of those between the age of 25 and 45 years have been doing the same since the lockdown was imposed.
As many as 32 per cent of those between 45 and 60 years of age have been indulging their time in pursuing their hobbies, while only 26.8 per cent of those above 60 years of age have been doing the same.
In terms of educational qualification, 30 per cent of those having lower education have started spending more time on hobbies, while about 45 per cent of those in the middle education group have started doing the same.
A similar pattern was visible in the income category. About 32 per cent of those from the lower income groups have been spending more time on hobbies, while about 39 per cent of those from the middle income groups have been doing the same.
The 21-day nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25. While it was to end on April 14, it was extended till May 3 and later to May 17. However, certain relaxations were given after May 4. (IANS)
After several studies revealed that men are more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection, evidence from a new larger research of several thousand patients shows that men have higher concentrations of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in their blood than women, a molecule that enables the novel coronavirus to infect healthy cells in men. This may help to explain why men are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than women, according to the researchers.
The study, published in the European Heart Journal, also found that heart failure patients taking drugs targeting the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), did not have higher concentrations of ACE2 in their blood.
“Our findings do not support the discontinuation of these drugs in COVID-19 patients as has been suggested by earlier reports,” said study co-author Adriaan Voors from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.
Some recent research suggested that RAAS inhibitors might increase concentrations of ACE2 in plasma — the liquid part of blood — thereby increasing the risk of COVID-19 for cardiovascular patients taking these drugs.
The current study indicates that this is not the case, although it looked only at ACE2 concentrations in plasma, not in tissues such as lung tissue.
“ACE2 is a receptor on the surface of cells. It binds to the coronavirus and allows it to enter and infect healthy cells after it is has been modified by another protein on the surface of the cell, called TMPRSS2,” Voors said.
“High levels of ACE2 are present in the lungs and, therefore, it is thought to play a crucial role in the progression of lung disorders related to COVID-19,” he added.
For the findings, the researchers measured ACE2 concentrations in blood samples taken from two groups of heart failure patients from 11 European countries.
There were 1,485 men and 537 women in the first group, the index cohort, which was designed to test the researchers’ hypotheses and research questions. Then the researchers validated their findings in the second group of 1,123 men and 575 women, the validation cohort.
The research team assessed the number of clinical factors that could play a role in ACE2 concentrations, including the use of ACE inhibitors, a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and coronary artery by-pass graft.
They found that male sex was the strongest predictor of elevated ACE2 concentrations. ACE2 is found not only in the lungs, but also the heart, kidneys and the tissues lining blood vessels, and there are particularly high levels in the testes.
The researchers speculate that its regulation in the testes might partially explain higher ACE2 concentrations in men, and why men are more vulnerable to COVID-19.
Last month, the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Public Health, found that men are more than twice as likely to die from the disease as compared to women.
Another study from the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine showed that males over 50 with non-communicable chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and coronary heart disease are at greater risk of death from coronavirus. (IANS)
As millions of kids take online school classes from home globally including in India, government along private education sector have a great responsibility to offer online education to more than 60 million college students and 1.5 billion school students worldwide, experts said on Thursday.
Private colleges in India that were already offering online education for last two decades now have a massive surge in e-Learning demand to meet.
“e-Learning or online education is the new normal. In future, we will see the proliferation of information technology tools and gadgets, post-COVID-19. But internet and broadband will remain an issue,” said Professor NK Goyal, Vice Chairman, ITU APT India and former adviser of Gujarat Technological University.
If e-Learning apps like BYJU’s and Khan academy are targeting schools, others like Adda24x7 are offering specialised coaching for entrance exams like IIT and JEE.
Robust connectivity is undoubtedly critical for the success of e-Learning.
According to Rajan S Mathews, DG, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), post COVID-19, there will be a surge in online education by schools and colleges in the country.
“The telecom industry is fully prepared with 99.9 per cent network capacity. The telecom companies have taken appropriate measures to meet the surge in traffic due to online education and other online activities using telecom infrastructure,” said Mathews.
Union Human Resources and Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank recently said that the government is offering a slew of educational applications and platforms for both school and higher education institutes.
In addition to teachers, Nishank urged parents and students to make maximum use of online education to ensure their academic continuity is maintained.
The World University of Design (WUD) claims that it has collected materials for online learning across its courses during the last one year.
“WUD is using technology-enabled AI, supervision technologies and video conferencing and other tools to enable virtual learning. This includes a mix of online platforms for sharing files, conducting meetings and lectures in association with online services & resource providers like Coursera, Bloomsbury, EBSCO etc. as partners in its strategy,” said Dr Sanjay Gupta, Vice-Chancellor, World University of Design (WUD). (IANS)