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‘I’m not a sexist’: Fired Google engineer James Damore stands behind controversial memo

Washington Post | | 10 August 2017  |

The controversial memo written by James Damore, a 28-year-old former Google engineer, rattled Silicon Valley last weekend when it became public and stirred a fierce debate about diversity in the workplace. Google leaders billed the memo as “offensive” and “harmful.” The memo said that “genetic differences” may explain “why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership.”This week the company fired the author for “perpetuating gender stereotypes,” he said. Until now, little has been known about Damore. But since his firing, he’s given at least two lengthy interviews with the hosts of right-wing YouTube channels and a significantly shorter interview with Bloomberg TV. “I’m not saying that any of the female engineers at Google are in any way worse than the average male engineer,” Damore told Stefan Molyneux, a vocal supporter of President Trump and the host of Freedomain Radio. “I’m just saying that this may explain some of the disparity in representation in the population.” Damore filed a complaint Monday with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging he was subjected to “coercive statements” by Google, according to the Associated Press. Damore told the AP that he filed the complaint before being fired later that day, and that he’s also weighing other legal options. “It’s illegal to retaliate against a NLRB charge,” he said. A Google spokesman told the AP on Tuesday that the company could not have retaliated because it was unaware of his labor complaint until reading about it in the media after his dismissal. Both YouTube interviews with conservative hosts lasted more than 45 minutes. Damore appeared reserved and composed, his words carefully chosen and interlaced with nervous laughs. He told Molyneux he decided to write the memo after attending a Google diversity program, where he heard things he “definitely disagreed with.” “There was a lot of just shaming and ‘no, you can’t say that, that’s sexist,’ Damore told Molyneux.

“There’s just so much hypocrisy in a lot of things they are saying,” he added. Molyneux is unabashed in his views against feminism and has generated a large YouTube following, with more than 654,000 subscribers. Damore told him he wrote the document on a 12-hour flight to China for a work trip, and shared the document internally multiple times a month ago. Initially, the reactions weren’t “explosive,” he said. But once it leaked outside of Google, he said he “couldn’t really get ahead of it at all.” “People got offended because it goes against the left’s ideology,” Damore said, adding that those on the right in Silicon Valley often feel the need to “stay in the closet” in a workplace culture he defined as a “progressive echo chamber.” Since his firing, Damore said he has received an outpouring of support in personal messages from individuals within and outside of Google, as well as a number of job openings. He told Molyneux that Google should attempt to become a more “female-friendly environment” by capitalizing on his viewpoint that women tend to be “more people-oriented” while men are “more things-oriented.” He suggested promoting more collaboration among coders, skills in which he says women tend to excel. Molyneux criticized the mainstream media’s portrayal of Damore’s memo and praised him for writing it. The host also said he believed critics targeted Damore in large part because he is a white man, and claimed white privilege is “the opposite of privilege.” In another interview, Damore spoke with Jordan B. Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, a critic of “political correctness,” feminist postmodernists and the concept of white privilege. He said that Damore’s memo was well-supported by scientific facts and is “certainly not an anti-diversity screed.” Damore told Peterson he has mostly declined to speak to the mainstream news outlets because they will “twist whatever I say towards their agenda.” Peterson, however, encouraged him to rethink that position.

Do Watch Bloomberg TV          /             Google Memo: Fired Employee Speaks Out! | James Damore and Stefan Molyneux

On Wednesday night, Damore told Bloomberg TV: “The whole point of my memo was to improve Google and Google’s culture and they just punished me and shamed me for doing it,” he said. “I’m not a sexist.” A number of Google leaders have spoken out about the memo in the days since it circulated. The most personal response came from one of the company’s highest-ranking women, Susan Wojcicki, the chief executive of YouTube, which is owned by Google. In an essay published by Fortune on Wednesday, Wojcicki wrote that her daughter asked her about the memo. “Mom,” her daughter asked her, “is it true that there are biological reasons why there are fewer women in tech and leadership?” After some thought, her mother responded, “No, it’s not true,” she wrote. “I thought about the women at Google who are now facing a very public discussion about their abilities, sparked by one of their own co-workers,” she wrote. “And as my child asked me the question I’d long sought to overcome in my own life, I thought about how tragic it was that this unfounded bias was now being exposed to a new generation.” In response to Wojcicki’s essay, Damore told Bloomberg TV “there are simply fewer women” wanting to get into tech. “But if you’re a girl and you’re interested in technology, then that’s great,” he added. – Courtesy

A Google Engineer Writes That Women May Be Genetically Unsuited For Tech Jobs

ND TV | World | Cleve R. Wootson Jr.| The Washington Post | August 07, 2017 |

The essay, reported by Motherboard and posted by Gizmodo, was posted on an internal Google forum by a male software engineer and titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.”

  1. The engineer criticised the number of women working in Google
  2. Google is being investigated over allegations of gender pay inequality
  3. The engineer has faced harsh criticism and backlash

In a screed that rocketed around Silicon Valley this weekend, a software engineer at Google blasted the company’s efforts to increase the number of minorities and women in its ranks and leadership positions. The essay, reported by Motherboard and posted by Gizmodo, was posted on an internal Google forum by a male software engineer and titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.” The author has not been publicly identified, but his words have sparked a backlash. Critics say his sentiments reflect a tech company culture that’s unwelcoming or even hostile to women and minorities. Another fear: The engineer’s words reflect the unspoken thoughts of many others in an industry dominated by white men. Google, which has announced efforts to increase diversity and is being investigated over allegations of gender pay inequality, did not respond to a message from The Washington Post seeking comment Sunday. The company did address the essay in an internal letter to employees.

The essay argues that Google should stop its campaigns to increase gender and racial diversity and focus instead on “ideological diversity.” It says the reason women don’t make up half of the company’s technological and leadership positions is because of “genetic differences” in their preferences and abilities. “These differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership,” the engineer wrote. “We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism.” The author says the company’s diversity efforts have “created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence” and makes it easier for “extremist and authoritarian policies” to take root. He says Google’s efforts to achieve more equal gender and race representation – special programs for HBCUs for example, or coding camps for girls – have led to “discriminatory practices,” specifically against conservatives. In the essay, the author says he has received support from others in the company for “bringing up these very important issues,” which others “would never have the courage to say or defend because of our shaming culture and the possibility of being fired.”

The essay comes as the Mountain View, California, company has been trying to increase the stubbornly unbudging percentage of women and minorities in its ranks and is being investigated by the Labor Department for a disparity in pay between men and women. Responding to the essay in a message to Google employees, Danielle Brown, the company’s new vice president of diversity, integrity and governance, said the essay “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender.” “Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate,” Brown said. “We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul.” As The Washington Post’s Jena McGregor wrote in March, just 1 percent of Google’s technology employees are black – a percentage that hasn’t moved since 2014. To become more diverse, McGregor wrote, “the company has expanded its recruiting to a broader range of schools, trains its workers on ‘implicit biases’ and re-examines resumes to make sure recruiters don’t overlook diverse talent.”

Slack engineer Erica Baker, whom CNBC called an “outspoken critic of systematic bias in the tech industry,” said the engineer’s diatribe was shocking but not surprising. “Google has seen hints of this in the past, with employees sharing blog posts about their racist beliefs and the occasional internal mailing list question, ‘innocently’ asking if Black people aren’t more likely to be violent,” she wrote on her blog Saturday. “The most important question we should be asking of leaders at Google and that they should be asking of themselves is this: Why is the environment at Google such that racists and sexists feel supported and safe in sharing these views in the company?” Yonatan Zunger, a former senior Google employee, also took issue with the software engineer’s post. He wrote on Medium that the essay shows a misunderstanding of the way Google tries to address the world’s problems: “Essentially, engineering is all about cooperation, collaboration, and empathy for both your colleagues and your customers. If someone told you that engineering was a field where you could get away with not dealing with people or feelings, then I’m very sorry to tell you that you have been lied to.”- Courtesy

Google Fires Employee Behind Anti-Diversity Memo : ND TV, | Reuters |  August 08, 2017 |

James Damore, the engineer who wrote the memo, confirmed his dismissal, saying in an email to Reuters on Monday that he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes” …Read More …

Sunder Pichai condemns anti-diversity memo, Google sacks engineer, The New Indian Express, Read More…

Sci-Hub – A pirating service for academic journal articles could bring down the whole establishment

Quartz | Keith Collins | July 28, 2017 |

 

The subscription fees charged by academic publishers have risen so high in recent years that even wealthy American universities have said they can’t afford them. When Harvard Library reported its subscription costs had reached $3.5 million per year in a 2012 memo, for example, it said the fees were “fiscally unsustainable,” and the university asked its faculty to stop publishing research in journals that keep articles behind paywalls. But regardless of where Harvard researchers have published their work since then, it’s likely that all of it is currently available for free on Sci-Hub, a rogue pirating service for academic research. According to a new study, Sci-Hub contains 68.9% of all academic research. More to the point: 85.2% of all papers originally published behind paywalls are available on the website for free. And even if a given article isn’t already available in Sci-Hub’s repository, the site can quickly fetch it using donated credentials for services like JSTOR, Elsevier, and Sage.

Sci-Hub was founded in 2011 by Alexandra Elbakyan, a Kazakh national who lives in Russia. The website, originally at sci-hub.org, has been forced by court orders and law enforcement to change its domain address several times, and is now available on the dark web and over the encrypted messaging app Telegram. The operation is primarily funded through bitcoin donations. Data scientist Daniel Himmelstein of the University of Pennsylvania, who conducted the new study, concluded that Sci-Hub’s extensive catalogue is making the subscription publishing model “unsustainable.” “For the first time, the overwhelming majority of scholarly literature is available gratis to anyone with an Internet connection,” he writes. That’s as it should be, advocates of open research say. They argue, among other things, that a substantial portion of the research that publishers attempt to lock behind paywalls was funded with grants paid for by taxpayers, and that the public should therefore have unfettered access to it. Meanwhile, the publishers aren’t going down without a fight. The publisher Elsevier sued Sci-Hub, claiming copyright infringement, in 2011—and a New York district court ruled last month that Elsevier is owed $15 million in damages. – Courtesy  /

Sci-Hub’s cache of pirated papers is so big, subscription journals are doomed, data analyst suggests

There is no doubt that Sci-Hub, the infamous—and, according to a U.S. court, illegal—online repository of pirated research papers, is enormously popular. (See Science’s investigation last year of who is downloading papers from Sci-Hub.) But just how enormous is its repository? That is the question biodata scientist Daniel Himmelstein at the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues recently set out to answer, after an assist from Sci-Hub. Their findings, published in a preprint on the PeerJ journal site on 20 July, indicate that Sci-Hub can instantly provide access to more than two-thirds of all scholarly articles, an amount that Himmelstein says is “even higher” than he anticipated. For research papers protected by a paywall, the study found Sci-Hub’s reach is greater still, with instant access to 85% of all papers published in subscription journals. For some major publishers, such as Elsevier, more than 97% of their catalog of journal articles is being stored on Sci-Hub’s servers—meaning they can be accessed there for free. Given that Sci-Hub has access to almost every paper a scientist would ever want to read, and can quickly obtain requested papers it doesn’t have, could the website truly topple traditional publishing? In a chat with ScienceInsider, Himmelstein concludes that the results of his study could mark “the beginning of the end” for paywalled research. This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Q: What made you want to look at the size of Sci-Hub’s coverage?

A: It all started when Sci-Hub tweeted the list of all the articles that they had stored in their repositories on March 19. I thought: “Wow, we can learn so much about their operations and coverage that we couldn’t before.” Most people knew that Sci-Hub provided access to some of the scholarly literature, but the question was how much.

Q: How did you approach this calculation?

A: The main step was figuring out how many scholarly articles existed. For that we used data from Crossref, which has a database of journal identifiers or DOIs [digital object identifiers]. It’s not the only one, but it’s by far the most common one for scholarly publishing. After making some exclusions, we compiled a list of 81.6 million articles. This step was important because it gave us the denominator for the equation. Previous people who’ve looked at Sci-Hub coverage didn’t really get this step right—to see what percent of the literature Sci-Hub has, you need to know the total amount.

Q: What were the main findings of your study? 

A: The most simple result was that Sci-Hub contains 69% of all scholarly articles. We also found that the site preferentially covers articles from closed-access publishers and high-impact journals. [Editor’s Note: A breakdown can be found here.] I think it’s interesting that Elsevier and the American Chemical Society had some of the highest coverage and those are the publishers that have sued Sci-Hub. Maybe they realized that basically their entire corpus was in Sci-Hub. There were a lot of journals where Sci-Hub has every single article.

Q: What about the other 31%?

A: Just because an article isn’t in Sci-Hub’s database, that doesn’t mean it can’t get it for you. We estimated that Sci-Hub was able to fulfill requests 99% of the time—that suggests the 31% of articles that aren’t covered by Sci-Hub are things that people really aren’t requesting.

Q: Did you look at how coverage varied by academic discipline?

A: Yes. There was some variation between fields, but I think it’s probably less than people have speculated in the past. The top was chemistry with 93% coverage, and at the low end was computer science at 76%. The results could be linked to publishing practices in those fields—we found closed-access journals had more coverage than open access.

Q: Sci-Hub has faced a number of legal challenges—do you think these will stop it?

A: In our paper we have a graph plotting the history of Sci-Hub against Google Trends—each legal challenge resulted in a spike in Google searches [for the site], which suggests the challenges are basically generating free advertising for Sci-Hub. I think the suits are not going to stop Sci-Hub.

Q: How do you think Sci-Hub will evolve in future?

A: In the paper we mentioned that there are technologies coming that would allow you to host files without any central point of failure, so going forward Sci-Hub, or a service like it, could still provide access to all these papers, but there wouldn’t be any domain or one person behind it. Right now, if the servers for Sci-Hub were found they could be seized and destroyed.

Q: Do you really foresee a time when librarians would endorse Sci-Hub over paying for journal access?

A: I don’t think librarians would ever endorse it, given the legal issues of instructing someone to do something illegal. But in a way they already do. There are many libraries nowadays that can’t provide 100% access to the scholarly literature. Globally, it’s a pretty small percentage of universities that offer full access.

Q: Is there anything publishers could do to stop new papers being added to Sci-Hub’s repository?

A: There are things they could do but they can really backfire terribly. The issue is the more protective the publishers are, the more difficult they make legitimate access, and that could drive people to use Sci-Hub.

Q: What do you hope the impact of this study will be?

A: I think the larger picture of this study is that this is the beginning of the end for subscription scholarly publishing. I think it is at this point inevitable that the subscription model is going to fail and more open models will be necessitated. One motivation for doing the study is that I want to bring that eventuality into reality more quickly. Courtesy  /    Click here to Take a Loot at  Sci-Hub    /     https://sci-hub.cc/

Sci-Hub Stat Browser : This webapp provides coverage and usage statistics for Sci-Hub  – Click here…. https://greenelab.github.io/scihub/#/

NIIT to deliver Next Gen courses in Digital Transformation within Indian Universities

New Delhi, 18th July 2017To introduce proprietary NIC (NIIT Inside Campus) model in India, after successful implementation in China and Emerging markets.

To make college curriculum future-ready by embedding cutting-edge programs like Java Enterprise with DevOps, MEAN Stack & Big Data and more.

NIIT Limited, a global leader in skills and talent development, now offers Next Gen courses in Digital Transformation to the Universities in India. To this end NIIT will introduce its globally acclaimed proprietary NIC (NIIT Inside Campus) model in universities and colleges across India.  Through strategic tie-ups with premier institutions, NIIT will offer futuristic programs in MEAN Stack, Big Data & Data Sciences Stack, Design Thinking, Cloud Stack, Internet of Things (IOT) Stack, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Robotics and Virtual Reality and Cyber-Security. These programs will be embedded in the college curriculum thus offering students an opportunity to acquire skills aligned to the fast-evolving digital economy. The NIIT Inside model has already been introduced in select colleges in India.

India holds an important place in the global education industry with more than 1.4 million schools, over 227 million students enrolled and more than 36,000 higher education institutes. The sector is currently pegged at US$ 2-3 billion, and is expected to touch US$ 40 billion by 2017. However, the education sector in the country is afflicted with the issues of quality, consistency and employability. According to All India Council for Technical Education more than 60% of the engineers graduating from technical institutes across India remain unemployed. There is a huge variation in standards of technical colleges in the country, a majority of whom churn out graduates who are not employable. While the higher education institutes are grappling with these issues, the skill sets required by the industry has undergone a change. IT now requires higher levels of leading-edge skills like cloud analytics, robotics, process automation, and so on, and engineering graduates of today do not always come qualified.

‘NIIT Inside’, a globally successful on-campus, customized education delivery model that is integrated with the institution’s bachelor degree programs, aims to bridge this gap. Through this model, NIIT provides its content, methodology, platform, technical know-how, pedagogy and also support university professors and lecturers by providing necessary training to deliver the latest curriculum. NIIT Inside is an effective solution that helps universities and higher education institutions to keep pace with changes in the global and local IT industry, and equip its students with the latest, in-demand skills that make them relevant in today’s work scenario. ‘NIIT Inside’ solutions will be delivered through Instructor-Led Training by subject matter expert / faculties at every college campus. Programs offered under the model will vary from modular courses like Java 8, Oracle 12C to skill enhancement courses to NIIT’s flagship GNIIT program. After the completion of the course, the students will get a degree from the University/Government and also receive a certificate from NIIT. This model has been implemented successfully in more than 200 Universities and colleges across China, Vietnam and Nigeria.

Elaborating on the strategic move, Rahul Patwardhan, Chief Executive Officer, NIIT Ltd., said “The Digital Transformation wave is upon the world and ‘go Digital’ has become the chant for those keen to survive and thrive in the emerging Digital age. The skills needed for professionals in the new Digital world, will be multi-dimensional and cross-disciplinary, across subjects and disciplines. To build these skills, India will require an innovative education agenda that will also encompass a revamp of the educational models, curricula and teaching-learning methodologies at all levels. Through our ‘NIIT Inside’ model we will work with educational institutes across India to help them modernize their curriculum and offer futuristic career programs to their students.”

According to a recent release by NASSCOM, the skills of the future would be Big Data Analytics, Cloud & Cybersecurity Services, IoT, Artificial Intelligence and many other Digital Technologies. A huge demand is foreseen for roles such as mobile app development, social media, data scientists & platform engineering. According to a McKinsey report on ‘Technology Jobs & the Future of Work’, digital technologies could contribute $550 billion to $ 1 trillion of economic impact per year in India by the year 2025. According to another renowned survey, 69% of IT leaders expect huge surge in the job market in the next 3 to 5 years due to digital technologies.

Prakash Menon, President, Global Retail Business, NIIT Ltd., said, “Over the years we have been offering job-ready training to students through NIIT centres across the country. Focus on NIIT Inside model in India reiterates our commitment to make futuristic career programs available and accessible to the students by working closely with colleges and universities.”

Sanjay Tickoo, Head, Emerging Markets & NIIT Inside Business in India, NIIT Ltd, said, “This is indeed a very significant initiative in India wherein we will work closely with the higher education institutions to promote the industry-academia interface by offering cutting-edge programs in Big Data, Java Enterprise Apps with DevOps and more to help create a talent pool aligned to the industry needs. We have successfully implemented this model in countries like China, Indonesia and Vietnam by partnering with 200 premier education institutions in these countries. We look forward to further strengthening this initiative in India by establishing partnership with Universities & colleges across the country to make India a digitally empowered nation. “

Keeping in view the way IT industry has evolved and is expected to grow in the future, NIIT has developed its own Digital Transformation programs under the DigiNxt series, offering futuristic programs to create an IT workforce aligned to the needs of the digital economy. These programs will be available to students under the NIIT Inside model. NIIT provides student courseware material to all its partners, spanning 200+ universities and higher education institutions. The courses are delivered as per the academic guidelines and discussion with its partners.

About NIIT

NIIT is a leading Skills and Talent Development Corporation that is building a manpower pool for global industry requirements. The company, which was set up in 1981 to help the nascent IT industry overcome its human resource challenges, today ranks among the world’s leading training companies owing to its vast and comprehensive array of talent development programs. With a footprint across 40 nations, NIIT offers training and development solutions to Individuals, Enterprises and Institutions. NIIT has three main lines of business across the globe – Global Corporate Business, Global Retail Business Skills and MindChampion Learning Systems Limited. – Courtesy     /       http://www.niit.com/india/training

27 Civil engineering students found re-writing exam at Aurangabad Shiv Sena Corporator’s house

DNA Correpondent | Wed, 17 May 2017 | DNA webdesk |
The Aurangabad city police raided the residence of Shiv Sena corporator and found 27 students rewriting the exams and arrested four other persons for providing the question and answer sheets to the second year students.

Representational Image

On Wednesday, Aurangabad city police busted a copying racket in the house of a Shiv Sena Corporator. The Harsul police arrested 27 students including girls while writing the exam and have also arrested four other persons for providing the answer and question sheets. The students are second year students from the Sai Institute of Engineering and Technology. According to police, the Shiv Sena Corporator Sitaram Sure had provided his residence in Surewadi of Harsul area in Aurangabad, where students were found re-writing the Building construction and design exam which was held on Tuesday. The police have seized cellphones, answer sheets, question papers, copying materials from the venue.

“The college Prinicpal and institutes who provided students have been arrested and they took Rs 5000 to Rs 10000 for providing the answer sheets”, said a Harsul police officer. Yashasvi Yadav, Commissioner of Police, Aurangabad police, said, ” After specific information we raided the residence and found the students copying and so we have registered a case at Harsul police station under sections 420(cheating),107(Abetment of a thing.),109(Punishment of abetment ),114(Abettor present when offence is committed),120(b)(criminal conspiracy) and 34(common intent) of the Indian Penal Code and under relevant sections of the The Maharashtra Prevention of Malpractices at University, Board and Other Specified Examinations Act, 1982.” “We suspect role of officials from the university involved in the racket. Moreover we are investigating if they are involved in cheating of such exams”, said Yadav. – Courtesy  /   Read more …Business Standard

Soon, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University to collect answersheets on same day – Times of India

Scamsters under radar for 2 years  – Times of India

Prevention of WannaCry Ransomware Threat – YouTube Video by CERT-In

It has been reported that a new ransomware named as “Wannacry” is spreading widely. Wannacry encrypts the files on infected Windows systems. This ransomware spreads by exploiting vulnerable Windows Systems. The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team has issued advisory regarding prevention of this threat.  In view of high damage potential of the ransomware a video has been arranged to create awareness among users/organisations.

The YouTube  video on the topic “Prevention of WannaCry Ransomware Threat – session by CERT-In”

https://youtu.be/cuS69fT6caA

Please watch  to learn more and protect yourself.

The webcast on the topic “Prevention of WannaCry Ransomware Threat – session by CERT-In” broadcasted on http://webcast.gov.in/cert-in/ on 15th May 2017 at 11 AM  –    Team MyGov  –  http://www.cert-in.org.in/

GEDC Airbus Diversity Award 2017 : Airbus, GEDC and UNESCO encourage engineering diversity

ADS Advance | 19 April 2017 |

Airbus and the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC), have launched the call for nominations for the 2017 edition of the GEDC Airbus Diversity Award.

This award aims to shine a light on successful projects which have encouraged more young people of all profiles and backgrounds to study and succeed in engineering. The award was developed and funded by Airbus in partnership with the GEDC, the leading international organisation leaders of schools and colleges of engineering.  For this fifth anniversary edition, the award will be placed under UNESCO patronage.  The long term goal is to increase diversity among the global community of engineers so that the engineering industry reflects the diversity of the communities it supports, with diversity recognised as a driver for innovation and growth.   “At Airbus we know that a diverse and inclusive culture is an asset”, said Jean Brice Dumont, Executive Vice President Engineering Airbus Helicopters and patron of the award. “It boosts the innovative mind-set that underpins the vast technological advances happening in aviation and aerospace today. We are committed to developing the next generation of engineering talent and are proud to partner with UNESCO and engineering schools around the world to achieve that.”

“We need more young people from every background and of every profile to acquire the skills the world needs to solve our greatest global challenges, as well as realise the potential of new opportunities”, said Flavia Schlegel, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences. “So I am excited to bring UNESCO’s support to this valuable partnership”.   Last November, the Airbus Diversity Award went to Dr Yacob Astatke, from Morgan State University in the USA, for his impressive introduction of technology and training initiatives across universities in Ethiopia to improve the delivery of engineering education in Africa.  “In 2017 we invite everyone working to improve diversity in engineering education around the world to put their successful projects forward, to share their good ideas and innovative approaches and to inspire others to do more on this critical issue”, said Peter Kilpatrick, McCloskey Dean of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, USA, and GEDC Chair.  Entries for this new award will close on 10th July with the winning project to be announced at the GEDC Annual Conference in Niagara Falls, Canada in October 2017.  Entries can be made online by any individual or team working with or in an engineering college/faculty, whose project has demonstrated tangible results in bringing more diversity among engineering students and/or graduates. –     Courtesy   /       http://anws.co/bnvZR/%7B529da410-9761-4658-96d4-b46348576c07%7D

Delhi University photocopy case: Three publishers withdraw copyright suit against shop

Hindustan Times | Mar 09, 2017  |  Soibam Rocky Singh  |

Representational Image

Representational Image

Three international publishers on Thursday announced that they were withdrawing from the Delhi High Court a copyright suit against the sale of photocopied pages of their books in Delhi University. The decision is likely to come as a relief to thousands of students who try to save by not buying all books prescribed as suggested reading for their courses. Putting to an abrupt end a protracted legal battle which started four-and-half-year ago, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Taylor & Francis – in a joint statement said, “We have taken a considered decision not to pursue the Delhi University photocopy shop case further in the courts”.   In addition to withdrawing the case from the Delhi High Court, the publishers assured that it was not going to take up the issue before any other higher court, such as the Supreme Court of India.  “We support and seek to enable equitable access to knowledge for students and we understand and endorse the important role that course packs play in the education of students,” the statement reads.

In December last year, the high court had restored the copyright suit by the publishers, after it was briefly dismissed by a single bench judge of the same court, but limited its scope to the issue of the contents of the photocopied course packs and its relevance to the curriculum.  The court had shifted the focus back to the content of the photocopied course packs — which it said will have to be tested by experts — if they were in line with the objective of the course and ‘justified for the purpose of education’.  However, it had allowed Rameshwari Photocopy Service — located near the Delhi School for Economics in north campus — to continue selling copies of chapters from textbooks of the three international publishers to students till the time the issues are settled in court.  The publishers had alleged that the photocopy kiosk was causing huge financial losses as students had stopped buying their text books.  The University of Delhi had argued that the Copyright Act, 1957 permits students and educational institutions to copy portions from any work for research and educational purpose.  The photocopy shop had argued that its activity does not affect the market for the publishers’ since it charges a nominal rate for its services. It had argued that the students cannot afford to buy all the books, extracts of which were mentioned in the syllabi prepared by the Delhi School of Economics. –  Courtesy

Publishers Withdraw Copyright Suit Against Delhi University And Rameshwari Photocopy Centre… Live Law, Read more at: http://www.livelaw.in/publishers-withdraw-copyright-suit-delhi-university-rameshwari-photocopy-centre/

International Women’s Day: Meet Anita Dandekar, a woman with many firsts to her credit

The Indian Express |  Priyanka Sahoo | Mumbai | March 8, 2017  |

Eldest among four siblings, Anita remembers having a knack for mathematics and hence deciding to pursue engineering much to the dislike of her conservative grandmother.

Dandekar was the first woman teacher at Sardar Patel College of Engineering, Andheri, and Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, Matunga. After her retirement, Anita took to social work and groomed girls to beat gender bias. Prashant Nadkar

Dandekar was the first woman teacher at Sardar Patel College of Engineering, Andheri, and Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, Matunga. After her retirement, Anita took to social work and groomed girls to beat gender bias. Prashant Nadkar

IT WAS an unusual sight for everyone on the campus when a 22-year-old woman walked into the illustrious campus of the Government Engineering College, Jabalpur, on a warm July day in 1961. The first female student of the college and the only woman in the batch drew gazes not only from her colleagues but also her teachers. “I was overwhelmed that I made it to the college but at the same time I was confused,” remembers Anita Dandekar, a telecommunication engineer. “It was a time when boys were not comfortable talking to girls and vice versa. I didn’t even know where my class was and didn’t know who to ask,” she says. Anita, who went on to become the first woman lecturer at her alma mater, has many such firsts to her credit. She was the first woman teacher at Sardar Patel College of Engineering, Andheri, and Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, Matunga. In 1973, Anita — then married to an architect — became the first female student to pursue an MTech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.  It has been a long and lonely journey for the 78-year-old teacher and philanthropist. “Anywhere I went, I was the only woman,” remembers Anita, who was born in 1939 in a middle-class family. Eldest among four siblings, Anita remembers having a knack for mathematics and hence deciding to pursue engineering much to the dislike of her conservative grandmother. Anita’s father Manohar Sheorey, worker in an ordnance factory, fully supported her. “At that time, engineering courses were traditionally opted for by men. Women rarely pursued higher studies and if they did they would choose medical over engineering,” says Anita.

Many professional avenues opened for Anita once she completed engineering but she decided to become a teacher — a profession she stuck with even after retiring from VJTI in 1999. The only time she applied for a ‘corporate’ job, she never received an interview call. “I later found that I was rejected because I am a woman,” says Anita, who taught at VJTI’s electronics department between January 1967 and September 1999. After her retirement, Anita took to social work and groomed girls to beat gender bias. Anita’s love for teaching introduced her to Vigyan Ashram, an education centre in Pune, in the mid-eighties and she financed the basic technology programme there. Through her association with the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers (IETE) for over 20 years, Anita has instituted three awards worth Rs 1.65 lakh each. One of the awards is for girls who excel in the field of electronics and telecommunication engineering. Anita’s lifestyle mirrors her philanthropic work. Yogesh Kulkarni, the director of Vigyan Ashram, remembers Anita as a simple woman who lives frugally. “She saves every penny and donates it to students,” says Kulkarni, adding that Anita still prefers a state transport bus over a taxi despite her age. For the 78-year-old, Women’s Day is an ‘auspicious’ day. “It is important that women’s contribution to the society is recognised,” she says. – Courtesy

4-year-old Daliyah Marie Arana becomes librarian for a day in world’s largest library in the US

The Times of India | PTI |  Jan 15, 2017 |

(Image courtesy: Twitter/@LibnOfCongress)

(Image courtesy: Twitter/@LibnOfCongress)

WASHINGTON: A four-year-old girl, who has read more than 1,000 books, has become the “librarian for a day” at the world’s largest library in the US.  Daliyah Arana, who is from Gainesville, Georgia, joined Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden — who made history in 2016 when she became the first female and the first African-American to hold the position.  Arana became the first-ever librarian for the day at the US Library of Congress on January 11, the ABC reported. Hayden and Arana sat in on meetings, met with library staff and roamed the many halls of the library. Arana also suggested the library to add whiteboards to the walls so children could practice their writing, which library officials said they were considering.  Hayden tweeted photos of herself and Arana, saying “It was fun to have 4-year-old Daliyah Marie Arana of Gainesville, GA as ‘Librarian For The Day.’ She’s already read more than a 1,000 books.”
It was fun to have 4-year-old Daliyah Marie Arana of Gainesville, GA as “Librarian For The Day.” She’s already read more than a 1,000 books. pic.twitter.com/MQfwlUrakO

Carla Hayden (@LibnOfCongress) January 11, 2017

Arana read her first book, a picture book called Ann’s Big Muffin, on her own at the age of two years. Around that time, her mother Haleema signed Arana up for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Programme – a programme that promotes reading for young kids – to keep track of just how many books her daughter managed to finish.  Haleema decided to write to the Library of Congress to tell them about her daughter’s book-reading brilliance. They responded by inviting the entire family down to the library, and let Arana act as a librarian for the day.  “She just kept saying how the Library of Congress is her most favourite, favourite, favourite library in the whole wide world,” Haleema said.  The Library of Congress now plans to invite other young book-lovers as ‘Librarians For The Day’ in the future. –  Courtesy