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According to UNESCO, in 2020, one billion students, two-thirds of the global student population, faced either school closures or uncertainty. The most vulnerable populations, particularly girls, remained especially at risk. 2020 brought remote, virtual learning to the horizon at a pace and scale never before. Is this to be carried forward into 2021?
As per Antonius Raghubansie, Director of Learning Services, British Council India. The year 2020 saw people turning to online resources to pursue their love for reading in the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic, this was fuelled by the need for safety and reduced access to physical libraries and stores.
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“The British Council online library content witnessed a 67 percent increase in subscription over the last year (as of November ’20). We are also seeing users above the age of 18 show an increased preference for audiobooks – evident through a 192 percent increase in checkouts over 2019 for our online library members. E-resources available through online library memberships gained popularity, especially among young readers, owing to the convenience of accessing them safely from personal devices at home. We foresee this trend continuing in 2021, as readers including families, professionals, and young kids, would continue to prefer online resources for infotainment. In view of the current situation, we anticipate both E-books and audiobooks to continue gaining favor among learners in a digital-first world,” Raghubansie told IANSlife.
“One thing that will remain in 2021 is blended pedagogy. We have seen the flexibility that the online mode has provided and there is no denying its advantages. Entire industries have shifted to the virtual platform and the education sector will also have to continue in a blended format. Institutes must develop their digital infrastructures to match up in this post-digital era. Meetings, seminars, and such activities will remain online. However, in terms of some experiential, campuses will have to be opened up for these activities, but a blended pedagogy is here to stay. This will also have a long-term impact, especially on valuable programs. The institutions that adopt the new method, new mode, and new model will flourish while the others may perish. The quality of educational institutions will get enhanced and the number of students enrolled will only increase in the digital mode,” said Prof. Mahadeo Jaiswal, Director of IIM Sambalpur.
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“COVID-19 has taught our teachers and the education sector to use technology to seamlessly impart education to all students. This trend will continue in the coming year and more smart campuses and digital libraries will be implemented to cater to the new-age learner. This digitization of the education sector will have a long-term impact, democratizing education globally. We will also continue to see a hybrid learning model, which will pave the way for the future of education with access to both classroom teaching and online education, catering to each student’s unique needs while giving them the best of both worlds,” said Rahul V Karad, the Visionary Educationist, and the Managing Trustee & Executive President, MAEER’s MIT Group of Institutions & Executive President, MIT World Peace University (MIT-WPU), Pune. (IANS)
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