What is African Union?
The African Union (AU) is a continental organization consisting of 55 member states from across Africa. It was officially launched on July 26, 2001, in Durban, South Africa, and is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The African Union was established to promote unity and cooperation among African nations, foster economic and political integration, and work towards the development and peace of the African continent.
Key objectives and functions of the African Union include:
Promoting Peace and Security: The AU seeks to prevent conflicts and resolve existing conflicts within Africa through diplomatic means. It deploys peacekeeping missions and mediation efforts to address conflicts and crises on the continent.
Economic Integration: The African Union aims to enhance economic cooperation and integration among member states. This includes the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which seeks to create a single market for goods and services across Africa, promoting intra-African trade and economic growth.
Political Cooperation: The AU works to promote good governance, democracy, and the rule of law in member states. It also monitors and responds to political crises and developments across the continent.
Socioeconomic Development: The AU is committed to advancing the social and economic development of Africa. It focuses on areas such as healthcare, education, infrastructure development, and poverty reduction.
Human Rights and Social Justice: The AU promotes human rights and social justice across the continent, working to address issues such as discrimination, inequality, and gender-based violence.
Continental Integration: The AU aims to enhance African unity and identity by fostering cultural and social integration among African nations. It supports initiatives that celebrate African heritage and culture.
The African Union is governed by various organs, including the Assembly of the African Union (comprising heads of state and government), the Executive Council (comprising foreign ministers), and the African Union Commission (the AU’s secretariat). Additionally, there are specialized agencies and bodies within the AU dedicated to specific issues, such as the African Union Peace and Security Council and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD).
Dennis Austin, software developer who created PowerPoint, passes away at 76
Dennis Austin, one of the two creators of Microsoft PowerPoint, passed away at the age of 76. Austin created PowerPoint with Robert Gaskins and released it in 1987. The pair of software developers were part of software company Forethought, which was acquired by Microsoft for $14m months after PowerPoint, then called Presenter was launched.
Initially only available for the Macintosh, PowerPoint soon gained popularity as an alternative to overhead projectors for presentations after it was bundled with other tools in the Microsoft Office suite, including Word and Excel.
Today, 33 years after it was first launched on Windows, the Silicon Valley software has become ubiquitous in meetings, classrooms and online collaborations with a near-monopoly over the global presentation software market.
Before PowerPoint, creating individual slides or transparencies to show colleagues in meetings could take hours. Digitising the process so that people could properly demonstrate their ideas in a fraction of the time became a gamechanger.
Career of Dennis R. Austin
Dennis R. Austin was the principal software developer for PowerPoint from 1985 to 1996, particularly its versions for Apple Macintosh computers. Austin first encountered computers in high school at a summer program at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. His interest in programming languages and compilers deepened during his undergraduate engineering studies at the University of Virginia in the late 1960s.
Austin’s career in software began at General Electric’s computer division in Arizona, followed by positions with Honeywell in Massachusetts and Burroughs in California. Following exposure to the graphical user interface and broader graphical approach to computing at Xerox PARC, he became a software developer for Gavilan Computer, before joining Forethought, Inc. in late 1984.
At Forethought, Robert Gaskins launched an effort to develop graphical presentation software which became PowerPoint, for which Gaskins worked as architect. Austin served as the principal developer for PowerPoint, contributing to its design and implementation. Tom Rudkin joined the PowerPoint project and made significant contributions to the programming with Austin. After Microsoft acquired Forethought in 1987, Austin continued as a principal developer for PowerPoint to 1996. This oral history of Austin focuses on his experiences in creating software, most especially PowerPoint.
World EV Day 2023: Date, History and Significance
On September 9, as the global community and India celebrate ‘World EV Day’. The year 2023 has established a powerful message for India and the world, it is a message of sustainable transportation and a cleaner future, free of carbon emissions. Starting with the most definitive government policy, the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme, which has been instrumental in promoting EV adoption among the masses.
Here are some of the benefits of EVs:
They produce zero emissions, which helps to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
They are quiet, which can help to reduce noise pollution.
They are energy-efficient, which can save money on fuel costs.
They are becoming more affordable, making them more accessible to a wider range of people.
World EV Day is significant because it raises awareness about the benefits of electric vehicles (EVs) and promotes their adoption. EVs are a key part of the solution to climate change and air pollution, and World EV Day is a great opportunity to learn more about them and to take action to make the world a cleaner and healthier place.
Here are some of the reasons why World EV Day is significant
It raises awareness about the benefits of EVs. Many people are not aware of the many benefits of EVs, such as their zero emissions, quiet operation, and energy efficiency. World EV Day helps to educate people about these benefits and to encourage them to consider switching to an EV.
It promotes the adoption of EVs. World EV Day is a time for governments, businesses, and individuals to come together and take action to promote the adoption of EVs. This can be done through initiatives such as providing incentives for EV buyers, investing in charging infrastructure, and raising awareness about the benefits of EVs.
It builds momentum for the EV movement. World EV Day helps to build momentum for the EV movement by bringing together people from all over the world who are committed to making the switch to EVs. This momentum is essential to driving the adoption of EVs and making a real difference in the fight against climate change and air pollution.
World EV Day 2023, History
World EV Day is an annual event celebrated on September 9 to raise awareness about the benefits of electric vehicles (EVs) and to promote their adoption. The first World EV Day was held in 2020, and it has been growing in popularity ever since.
SAFF U16 Championship Final: India Crowned Champions After Beating Bangladesh In Final
India secured the championship title by triumphing over Bangladesh with a 2-0 victory in the final match of the SAFF U-16 Championship 2023, which took place on September 10 at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu, Bhutan.
Blue Colts Clinch Top Spot in Group A
Under the guidance of head coach Ishfaq Ahmed, the Blue Colts claimed the top position in Group A. They secured hard-fought 1-0 victories against Bangladesh and Nepal, followed by a commanding performance that saw them net eight goals against the Maldives in the semifinals. Remarkably, the team achieved this remarkable feat without allowing a single goal against them throughout the entire tournament.
The Early Breakthrough
India’s initial breakthrough came early, just eight minutes into the match. Levis Zangminlun provided an incisive through ball to forward Bharat Lairenjam, who swiftly invaded the space ahead and slotted the ball between the legs of Bangladesh goalkeeper Mohammad Nahidul Islam to score.
Bangladesh’s Response and Missed Opportunity
Bangladesh responded to India’s goal and got a chance to equalise but Mohammed Mursed Ali made an unfortunate mistake. The forward beat the offside trap and took control of a through ball from Bangladesh captain Nazmul Huda Faysal. However, India goalkeeper Suraj Singh swiftly charged forward to cut down the angle, causing Ali to miss the target.
India’s Dominance in the First Half
Throughout the first half, Levis Lairenjam and India’s captain, Mate Ngamgouhou, consistently pressured the Bangladeshi defence, creating multiple scoring opportunities. In the 34th minute, a particularly promising chance materialised. A long ball was lofted towards the Bangladesh penalty area, prompting Indian forward Mohammad Arbash to give chase. Recognising that Bangladeshi goalkeeper Nahidul Islam had ventured off his line to attempt a clearance, Arbash seized the moment. He skillfully attempted to head the ball over the onrushing keeper. However, Islam was quick to react, successfully punching the ball out of harm’s way and preserving the 1-0 scoreline as the teams entered halftime.
Sealing the Victory with Style
India started the second half with the same intensity. Their relentless search for another goal bore fruit in the 74th minute with a sublime strike. Samson Ahongshangbam initiated a promising move down the left wing before expertly switching play to send the ball to Levis Zangminlun on the opposite flank. Engaging in a swift one-two pass with Vishal Yadav, Zangminlun outsmarted his defender to find himself in open space. Taking a moment to set himself, he then unleashed a devastating left-footed strike that sailed into the back of the net, doubling India’s advantage.
IIM Indore and NSDC Partner to Transform Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in India
In a significant stride towards advancing skill development and entrepreneurship in India, the prestigious Indian Institute of Management Indore (IIM Indore) has forged a strategic partnership with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). This collaborative effort represents a shared commitment to fostering excellence and innovation in these crucial domains.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
The MoU, signed online solidified this partnership. It was signed by Prof Himanshu Rai, Director of IIM Indore, and Ved Mani Tiwari, CEO of NSDC. This alliance seeks to redefine skill development, entrepreneurship, and research in India, aligning the visions of both institutions and leveraging their collective strengths to reshape the nation’s skilling ecosystem.
A Vision Beyond Academics
IIM Indore’s vision extends beyond academic excellence; it aims to elevate livelihood opportunities and increase income levels for families and households across the nation.
Creating a Unique Social Impact Model
Rai emphasized that this collaboration will create a unique social impact model supported by pioneering projects that employ innovative approaches. These initiatives will offer professional support to underserved regions, communities, individuals, and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), thereby nurturing a skilled ecosystem poised for market success.
A key element of this transformative MoU is its focus on robust research endeavors. Joint research activities, including surveys and qualitative research methods, will provide profound insights into industry dynamics and stakeholder needs.
Identifying Industry Trends and Bridging Gaps
This synergy between IIM Indore and NSDC will identify industry trends, bridge gaps, and gather invaluable data to guide strategic decision-making.
Fostering Social and Rural Entrepreneurship
The partnership places a strong emphasis on nurturing social and rural entrepreneurship. This is exemplified by the establishment of a social/rural entrepreneurship incubator. This incubator aims to expand access to affordable credit, with a specific focus on skill-based credit scoring for nano-entrepreneurs.
Tailored Skilling Programs and Mentorship
“We will design dynamic skilling programs tailored to market demand, while mentorship and incubation support systems will be extended to social enterprises, cooperatives, and SMEs,” said Prof. Rai. This initiative will also provide IIM Indore students with opportunities to engage in social internships, actively participating in rural marketing, promoting Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and cooperatives, and catalyzing social change.
Inspiring Grassroots Innovations and Social Entrepreneurship
The ultimate goal is to inspire others and attract support from investors and partners, thereby creating a sustainable ecosystem that nurtures grassroots innovations and social entrepreneurship, leading to positive societal and economic transformation.
Strengthening the Rural Economy
Additionally, this collaboration strongly emphasizes strengthening the rural economy through training programs covering market linkages, marketing, export promotion, leadership, and entrepreneurial orientation, especially for tribal women.
Government To Celebrate Sixth Rashtriya Poshan Maah 2023 In September
The Ministry of Women and Child Development is celebrating the 6th Rashtriya Poshan Maah throughout September 2023. This year, the objective is to comprehensively tackle malnutrition through a life-cycle approach.
The focal point of Poshan Maah 2023 is to cultivate widespread awareness concerning critical human life stages: pregnancy, infancy, childhood, and adolescence. The aim is to foster nutritional understanding across India through a theme centered on “Suposhit Bharat, Sakshar Bharat, Sashakt Bharat” (Nutrition-rich India, Educated India, Empowered India).
Transforming Nutritional Outcomes: The Government of India’s Poshan Abhiyaan
The Government of India’s flagship initiative, POSHAN Abhiyaan, has been instrumental in advancing nutritional outcomes for pregnant women, lactating mothers, adolescent girls, and children under 6 years of age in a comprehensive manner.
Launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister, POSHAN (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition) Abhiyaan operates in mission mode to combat the challenge of malnutrition.
During the 15th Financial Commission period, Poshan Abhiyaan, the Anganwadi Services Scheme, and the Scheme for Adolescent Girls were aligned under Mission Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 to launch an integrated nutrition support programme aimed at strengthening content, delivery, outreach, and outcomes.
The focus remains on cultivating practices that foster health, wellness, and immunity against diseases and malnutrition.
Empowering Communities: The Heart of Rashtriya Poshan Maah
This month-long event will witness concentrated efforts nationwide to enhance ground-level nutritional awareness through campaigns focusing on key themes around Exclusive Breastfeeding and Complementary Feeding.
Activities like Swasth Balak Spardha (Healthy Child Competition) aim to instill a spirit of healthy competition for nutrition and overall well-being. Other initiatives would include Poshan Bhi Padhai Bhi (Nutrition as well as Education), Improving Nutrition through Mission LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment), Tribal-Focused Nutrition Sensitization, and addressing Anemia through Test, Treat, Talk.
Additionally, the Jan Andolan movement under Poshan Maah will serve as an extended platform for united celebration under the ‘Meri Mati Mera Desh‘ campaign, commemorating the nation’s journey of freedom and progress.
Grassroots Engagement: The Key to Success
Outreach programs, identification drives, camps, and home visits will be conducted at the village, block, and district levels, engaging diverse segments of the community to spread awareness about holistic nutrition. Encouraging nutrition-seeking behavior at both the individual and community levels stands as a pivotal component in realizing the goals of the Abhiyaan. This objective continues to be pursued through Mission Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0.
A Collaborative Effort: Celebrating Rashtriya Poshan Maah
To achieve this objective, Rashtriya Poshan Maah will be celebrated in collaboration with all stakeholders from the 1st to the 30th of September. Since the inception of the Abhiyaan, five successful Poshan Maah events have been held across the country, with enthusiastic participation from States/UTs as well as convergent Ministries and Departments. During the last Poshan Maah in 2022, more than 170 million sensitization activities were reported across key themes. To date, over 600 million activities have been carried out as part of Jan Andolan under Poshan Pakhwadas (March) and Poshan Maahs (September) each year.
‘Moon Man Of India’ Mylswamy Annadurai Joins The Board Of SS Innovations
SS Innovations, India’s renowned surgical robotic firm, has made a groundbreaking announcement by appointing Padmashri Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai, famously known as the Moon Man of India, as a Director on its Board of Directors. This appointment encompasses both the Indian entity, SS Innovations Private Limited, and the global entity, SS Innovations International. This strategic move aims to further strengthen the company’s position in the field of surgical robotics and cutting-edge technologies.
Guiding SS Innovations to New Horizons
In his capacity as a Director on the Board of SS Innovations, Padmashri Dr. Annadurai, renowned for leading multiple space missions, brings invaluable leadership and guidance. Notably, he is poised to lead not just a team of scientists but, more significantly, guide a team of engineers responsible for the creation of the world-class surgical robotic system incorporating the latest technologies and products.
Dr. Annadurai’s role extends beyond steering SS Innovations internally; he is well-positioned to guide the company towards potential collaborations with indigenous Indian companies. These collaborations could lead to the development and production of components currently used in the SSI MANTRA System. Such partnerships would not only reduce technology costs but also promote high-tech Indian companies on a global stage.
SSI MANTRA: The Pride of SS Innovations
At the heart of SS Innovations lies SSI MANTRA, a pioneering surgical robotic system. This indigenously developed system has garnered acclaim for its unrivaled features, usability, and cutting-edge technology. It proudly stands shoulder to shoulder with international surgical robotic systems, as affirmed by the company’s official statement.
The Remarkable Legacy of Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai
Padmashri Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai, often hailed as the Moon Man of India, is an esteemed Indian scientist with a remarkable career. He is credited with overseeing two major missions of ISRO – Chandrayaan 1 & 2 and Mangalyaan. One of his most highly publicized roles was serving as the Program Director of the Mars Orbiter Mission.
Following his retirement from ISRO in 2019, Dr. Annadurai assumed the role of Vice President for the Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology. Additionally, he was nominated as the Chairman of the Board of Governors for the National Design and Research Forum. Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Annadurai has been a tireless advocate for encouraging young Indians to pursue careers in science.
Recognizing his exceptional contributions, Dr. Annadurai was bestowed with the Padmashri award in 2016 for Science and Technology, India’s fourth-highest civilian honor. He has also received the Rajyotsava Prashasti award for Science in 2008 from the Government of Karnataka, as well as the IEI-IEEE (USA) Engineering Excellence Award in 2016, among more than 100 national and international awards.