UNESCO New Delhi newsletter

New Delhi Office
Cluster Office for Bangladesh,
Bhutan, India, Maldives,
Nepal and Sri Lanka
United Nations
Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization
Volume 5, Issue 3, July - Sept. 2014
Dear Readers,
he past few months have been exceptionally busy, as UNESCO and
UNICEF together took the lead in the United Nations Country Team
(UNCT India) Joint Advocacy Campaign for Education organized in the month
of September 2014.
During the Campaign a host of events were jointly organized involving the
United Nations Task Team comprising of UNESCO, UNICEF, UNFPA,
UNDP and ILO, both at local and national level, in cooperation with various
UN networks, partners, stakeholders and the civil society to create a buzz around
the UN Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) that focuses
on three priority areas, namely, put every child in school; improve the quality of
learning; and foster global citizenship.
Feature Articles
Natural Sciences
Social and Human
Communication and
Calendar of Events The Campaign kick-started on 1st September 2014 with the launch of a
dedicated GEFI webpage with the message from the UNESCO DirectorGeneral, Ms Irina Bokova. “This Joint Advocacy for Education Campaign
comes at the right time on the right issue. India has made tremendous advances
to meet the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals as well
as the objectives of Education for All” said the UNESCO Director-General.
She further added “Access for all is essential for social cohesion and inclusive
development, but we must also focus on improving the quality of education, to
nurture the innovation and creativity India and all societies need for the century
Prior to the campaign in August 2014, a creative expression and arts competition
8 on Right to Learn was held among the various UN school networks, including
UNESCO Clubs and ASPnet schools across India. The winning art works were
used in the outreach material published for this campaign such as brochure,
9 posters and invitations. Some of these amazing artworks can be viewed on the
GEFI webpage, as also the video messages from some imminent educationists.
To know more about the Campaign, kindly visit the GEFI homepage at: http://
10 in.one.un.org/task-teams/global-education-first-initiative
Shigeru Aoyagi
Director and UNESCO Representative to
Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka
Volume-5, Issue-3
UNESCO New Delhi
Reconnecting 31 countries in Europe, Arab, Africa
and Asia - Kerala Tourism inks pact with UNESCO to
preserve Spice Route heritage
journeys as well as academic and
cultural exchange across some 31
nations involved in the Spice Route.
To formalize the framework of this
cooperation, a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) was signed
between Kerala Tourism Secretary
Suman Billa and UNESCO Director and
UNESCO Representative Shigeru Aoyagi
in the presence of State Tourism Minister
A P Anil Kumar and K M Chandrasekhar,
Vice-Chairman, Kerala State Planning
Board and Ms Bhaswathi Mukherjee,
former India’s Permanent Representative
to UNESCO and presently a member
of Spice Route Advisory Committee.
erala established itself as a major spice trade
centre in 3000 BC. Across the Arabian Sea, the
state had direct connection with all the major Red Sea
ports, the Mediterranean ports as well as ports in the
Far East. Traders from across the world came to her
shores for precious commodities, such as the pepper,
cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, nutmeg and pearls.
At the heart of the Kerala spice trade was the port
of Muziris described by Pliny the Elder as ‘primum
emporium Indiae’ in his book entitled The Natural History.
Muziris disappeared from the World Trade map in the
14th century following natural calamities. However the
recent archeological research by the Government of Kerala
is slowly uncovering the extent of this legendary port.
Taking this archeological expedition further forward, the
Government of Kerala, in collaboration with UNESCO,
intends to revive communication, trigger voyages and
Contact: [email protected]
UNESCO New Delhi
Volume-5, Issue-3
Felicitation Ceremony for Xiangyi Li (China),
the winner of 2013 UNESCO-Kalinga Prize for
Popularization of Science
UNESCO New Delhi organized a felicitation
ceremony in honour of Prof. Xiangyi Li (China), the
2013 laureate of the prestigious UNESCO Kalinga
Prize for the Popularization of Science on 10
September 2014, at the Indian National Science
Academy (INSA) Auditorium, New Delhi.
The UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization
of Science is an international distinction created by
UNESCO in 1951, following a donation from Mr
Bijoyanand Patnaik, Founder and President of the
Kalinga Foundation Trust in India. The purpose of
the Prize is to reward the efforts of a person who
has had a distinguished career in popularization of
science among the masses.
Prof. K. Vijay Raghavan, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India graced the
occasion as the Chief Guest and Prof R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India and
Chairman, Scientific Advisory Committee to Cabinet was the Guest of Honour at the event.
Mr Shigeru Aoyagi, Director and UNESCO Representative felicitated Prof. Li by presenting him a traditional shawl
as a token of honour. Whilst congratulating Prof. Li on winning the prize, he elaborated on importance of UNESCO
Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science. He pointed out that in the 21st century science must respond to
societal needs and global challenges.
Prof. Raghavan presented Professor Li the Kalinga Chair and Fellowship instituted by DST and hoped that various
cities and organizations in India would immensely benefit from the lectures and interactions with Prof. Li during his
extensive tour of India. He appreciated Prof. Li’s efficiency and productivity, where he still continues his fascination
and tireless work for popularization of science.
Prof. Xiangyi Li, in his address said that it is a great honour not only for him but also for his country to receive the
Kalinga Prize. The award he said has been of tremendous value for science education and science communication
among the schools, colleges and universities in his country. Prof Xiangyi Li concluded his speech by explaining that
the popularization of sciences is a shared responsibility.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Chidambaram explained about the role of Kalinga Awards in spreading science
literacy by honouring eminent scientists and personalities for their significant contribution to the cause of science
popularization. He made special mention of the achievements of Prof. Li in popularization of science among masses
in China. The event concluded with the vote of thanks by Mr Bhikajee Mitrasen, Senior Programme Specialist on
behalf of UNESCO.
Contact: [email protected]
Volume-5, Issue-3
UNESCO New Delhi
2014 International Literacy Day celebrations in New Delhi
he International Literacy Day, 8 September
2014, commenced with the prestigious
celebratory event organized by the National
Literacy Mission Authority, Ministry of Human
Resources Development (MHRD) at the Vigyan
Bhawan, New Delhi. In attendance were Shri.
Pranab Mukherjee, Hon. President of India; Smt.
Smriti Irani, Hon. Union Minister of HRD;
Shri Kalyan Singh, Hon. Governor of Rajasthan;
Mr Shigeru Aoyagi, Director and UNESCO
Representative to Bhutan, India, Maldives and
Sri Lanka; Mr R. Bhattacharya, Secretary of
School Education and Literacy, MHRD; Mr
Y. S. K. Kumar, Director General National
Literacy Mission, ambassadors, representatives of E-9 countries, UN and bilateral organizations. Also present were
representatives from various ministries, Jan Shiksha Sansthans, State Literacy Resources centres (SRC), literacy
volunteers, members of Zila Parishads (village councils) and panchayats.
In his address, the President reaffirmed India’s dedication in spreading adult literacy to marginalized and vulnerable
groups, particularly girls and women. He also illuminated the challenges that India faces in universalizing literacy.
Smt. Smriti Irani, Hon. Union HRD Minister, directed the nation by urging the corporate sector to support the
cause of the eradication of illiteracy. She took this opportunity to discuss the work conducted by MHRD in the areas
of electoral and financial literacy, which she hopes to align with the Hon. Prime Minister of India, Shri. Narenda
Modi’s scheme “Jan Dhan Yojana.”
Director and UNESCO Representative, Mr Shigeru Aoyagi had the honour of conveying UNESCO’s message on
behalf of the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms. Irina Bokova. The message focused on the need for change in
traditional literacy programmes that move beyond narrow definitions of education and focus on development of life
skills, environmental integration as well as civic participation which hold significant transformative potential.
In continuation to the International Day Celebrations and within the framework of UNCT-India Joint Advocacy
Campaign for Education, a Comic’s Exhibit on the “Right to Learn” was held at the KRITI Exhibition at Dilli Haat,
New Delhi. The comic book on the “Right to Learn” was launched by Dr. Ramakrishna Sura, Director, Directorate
of Adult Education, MHRD. On this occasion, Mr. Sharad Sharma, Founder and Director, World Comics India
introduced the collection of stories from children, youth and supporters reflecting their views on literacy and
education, raising issues of access, equity and quality education for life-long learning and sharing their aspirations of
living in sustainable, prosperous and peaceful societies.
For information on other events organized under this campaign, please visit: http://in.one.un.org/task-teams/globaleducation-first-initiative
Contact: [email protected]
UNESCO New Delhi
Volume-5, Issue-3
International Seminar on Higher Education Statistics
and Public Information System
The International Seminar on Higher Education Statistics
and Public Information was inaugurated by Mr T. C. A
Anant, Chief Statistician of India (CSI) and Secretary,
Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation,
on 3 July, 2014 at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
The Seminar was jointly organized by the Ministry of
Human Resource Development (MHRD), Planning
Commission and UNESCO New Delhi.
During the inaugural session the following three reports
were released:
• University Compendium (published by Government
of India, MHRD)
lished by Government of India, MHRD)
• Indian Standard Classification of Education (pub-
Higher Education in Asia: Expanding Out and Expanding Up – The rise of graduate education and university research (published by UNESCO Institute of Statistics)
The inaugural session was addressed by Mr P. Aggarwal, Advisor, Planning Commission; Mr Shigeru Aoyagi, Director and UNESCO Representative; and Mr Rob Kynes, Director, British Council India. Mr Shigeru Aoyagi, said
“it is important to focus on good quality of education and equipping India with a mass of human capital who can
be gainfully employed and can innovate for the development of the country.” The Advisor Planning Commission in
his address briefly outlined the vision and importance of the seminar.
The workshop brought together prominent statisticians and policymakers from the country and abroad who made
presentations on administrative survey (AISHE), household surveys, classification of education institutions, student
portal and classification of education programmes. The main objectives of the seminar were to: (i) share the importance of standardization of concept and definition of education statistics; (ii) share and learn from international
experiences of quality, coverage and use of education statistics; managing student portal; and classification of higher
education institutes; (iii) identify the key issues on the concept, definition between administrative and household
surveys on education statistics and identify the next steps to harmonize it; and (iv) make consensus among the different actors using education statistics on the concept, definition and other methodological issues.
The seminar helped to identify next steps, roles and responsibilities for various stakeholders in harmonizing the
concept, definition, strength, limitations and other methodological aspects of calculating education indicators to
make it nationally and internationally comparable; and understanding of the importance, contents, indicators and
framework of student portal and higher education institutions classification.
Contact: [email protected]
Volume-5, Issue-3
UNESCO New Delhi
UNESCO Category 2 Centre on World Natural
Heritage Management and Training
The Foundation Stone laying ceremony of UNESCO
Category 2 Centre on World Natural Heritage
Management and Training for Asia and the Pacific Region
was held on 30th August 2014 at the Worldlife Institute of
India (WII), Dehradun. The Foundation Stone was laid
by Mr Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Environment,
Forests and Climate Change, Government of India and
subsequent commemorative events were attended by
various dignitaries including Dr S. S. Garbyal, Director
General of Forests & Special Secretary to Govt. of India,
Mr A. K. Srivastava, Additional Director General of
Forests, MoEFCC, Chief Executives and senior officials of
sister organizations in Dehradun, WII faculty members,
and students.
UNESCO Office was represented by Mr Ram Boojh, UNESCO Natural Sciences Sector, who had the opportunity
to talk about UNESCO programmes and the WHBPI project which has strengthened the Natural Heritage
programme in India; the Category 2 Centre is an outcome of that effort and commitment. Mr Ram Boojh also met
with Dr Vinod Mathur, Director of WII, to discuss the future programmes for the Centre.
Harithkram Model United Nations Environment
NESCO New Delhi participated as
a knowledge partner in the Model
United Nations Environment Assembly
(MUNEA); an academic simulation of the
United Nations Environment Assembly
of the United Nations Environmental
Programme. The main objective of the
Assembly was to educate participants about
current events, topics in international
relations, diplomacy and the United Nations
agenda pertaining to the environment. The
MUNEA Assembly provided a discussion
platform to students interested in some
of the pressing issues pertaining to environment, energy and sustainability that confront the world today.
The forum engaged in a lively debate, searching for solutions to the complex issues of the contemporary
international environmental politics.
UNESCO New Delhi
Volume-5, Issue-3
On this occasion Mr Mitrasen Bhikajee, Senior Programme Specialist, UNESCO New Delhi, delivered the keynote
address, where he congratulated the Steering Committee of Harithkram - the Environment Society of Shaheed
Bhagat Singh College, University of Delhi, for organizing the conference and said that the youth of today must be
adequately trained and stay committed to facilitating environmental education for a better world.
Contact: [email protected]
A community dialogue on Kaas Plateau Northern
Cluster of Western Ghats – a World Natural Heritage
The community dialogue on Kaas Plateau - Northern Cluster of
Western Ghats World Natural Heritage Site, was organized at
the Kaas Village on 26th August 2014. The objective was to
review the progress of conservation efforts undertaken for this
World Natural Heritage Site and plan for future activities with
active involvement of communities and organizations working at
the grass-root level, as also at state, national and international
Mr Ram Boojh represented the UNESCO New Delhi Office
as the keynote speaker. He explained that the plateau in
addition to being a biodiversity hotspot is also an important
© S. Thangaraj
cultural site and therefore its development needs to be linked
with conservation. A buffer zone of about five km around the site would restrict unwanted development and
complement conservation. Therefore protecting the fragile plateau had to be at the top of the agenda if unwanted
development, as is the case in some tourist places was to be avoided. The event was attended by around 50
participants including local communities, youth, researchers, academicians, entrepreneurs, eco-tour operators
and guides, government representatives, NGOs and the media. The organizers included the Forest DepartmentMaharashtra, Gram panchayats of Kaas and other villages, MTDC, TERRE Policy Centre, Pune and UNESCO
as the knowledge partner.
Contact: [email protected]
Volume-5, Issue-3
UNESCO New Delhi
Their Own Country: A Profile of Labor Migration
from Rajasthan
policymakers and government officials with fresh
perspective and information on migration trends and
positively influences state policy. This is the first serious
attempt to put numbers and narratives together in order
to make a case for much better attention to the vast and
mostly neglected migrant workforce of Rajasthan. The
research method put to use to arrive at a state level figure
is also ‘a first’ and can guide future course of similar
investigations at the national level.
Strong and urgent actions are needed to bring lasting
changes in the precarious situation of migrant workers.
The report proposes a framework of action to address
migrants’ issues in an impactful manner. The state has to
create an enabling environment with strong regulatory
mechanisms as well as welfare measures that keep
perverse practices in check and ensures stable livelihood
for migrant workers and their families. These provisions
need to be supported by the setting up of Rajasthan
Migrant and Unorganized Labor Protection and Welfare
Authority and an inter-state task force comprising
representatives from both Rajasthan and key labor
receiving states such as Gujarat and Maharashtra
n the International Day for the Eradication of
Poverty, UNESCO, in partnership with Aajeevika
Bureau Udaipur, and the support of UN Women, is
organizing a half day policy dialogue and media launch
of the first ever State report on internal migration in
India titled Their Own Country: A Profile of Labor
Migration from Rajasthan, on 17 October 2014 in
Jaipur, Rajasthan.
The report prepared by Aajeevika Bureau and a group
of civil society organizations, documents the state of
seasonal migration in Rajasthan and aims to provide
For more information: http://www.solutionexchangeun-gen-gym.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/BriefNote+Highlights.pdf
Contact: [email protected]
UNESCO New Delhi
Volume-5, Issue-3
A first step towards participation of persons with
disabilities in Arts and Cultural Life
here are 650 million persons with disabilities in the world and potentially 22 million persons with disabilities in India. The right to enjoy art and cultural is part of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights as
well as UN Convention for the Person with Disabilities, yet it remains perhaps one of the least explored topics
particularly in India and South Asia.
The National Conference on the theme ‘ICTs for Persons with Disabilities: Taking Stock and Identifying Opportunities’ was organized by UNESCO and the Open Knowledge Community (OKC), in collaboration with
the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India) and civil society partners
in New Delhi on 9 and10 September 2014.
Seizing this opportunity, UNESCO New Delhi Culture Sector initiated the first discussion group on the access
to and enjoyment of arts and culture by person with disabilities. The session exchanged ideas and available
technologies to enhance the accessibility to and enjoyment of the museums and heritage site as well as film and
TV programmes by persons with disabilities.
The discussion led to an overwhelming expression of interest by all the participants who, together with UNESCO New Delhi Culture Sector, agreed to form a voluntarily working group to take the issue forward. Among
the key stakeholders are the National Gallery of Modern Art, the National Museum, School of Planning and
Architecture (SPA) Bhopal, National Council for Education, Research and Training (NCERT), Delhi University, Google Cultural Institute, Deakin University (Australia), Saksham Trust and several NGOs working in the
area of art education and with PWDs and ICT assistive technologies.
contact: [email protected]
Volume-5, Issue-3
UNESCO New Delhi
National Conference and Exhibition, ‘ICTs for Persons
with Disabilities: Taking Stock and Identifying
NESCO and the Open Knowledge Community, in
collaboration with the Department of Electronics
and IT (Ministry of Communications and IT, Government of India) and civil society partners, organized the
National Conference and Exhibition on ‘ICTs for Persons
with Disabilities: Taking Stock and Identifying Opportunities’, from 9-10 September, Hans Hotel, New Delhi
The Exhibition, titled the ‘Knowledge Mall for ICTs and
Assistive Technology’, showcased selected ICT innovations, solutions and best practices focused on PWDs. The
exhibition brought together PWDs and technologists
face to face to verify whether existing technologies meet
the needs of the PWDs, and to explore how they can be
refined to do so more efficiently.
The Conference examined India’s achievements and challenges in the space of ICT-related policy formulation and
implementation, innovation, content development, and
provision of access for persons with disabilities (PWDs).
Through a series of roundtable discussions on specific
themes, the Conference identified gaps and opportunities, and encouraged stakeholders to take concrete steps
to empower PWDs through the use of ICTs.
contact: [email protected]
UNESCO New Delhi
Volume-5, Issue-3
International Youth Day
12 August 2014
“In order to unleash potential of
young people, we must consider
them to be key partners in the
formulation and implementation of youth policies.”
Extract from the message by Irina
Bokova, Director-General of
International Literacy
8 September 2014
“International Literacy Day,
devoted this year to the connection between literacy and
sustainable development,
provides us with an opportunity
to remember a simple truth:
literacy not only changes lives,
it saves them.”
Extract from the message by Irina
Bokova, Director-General of
International Day of
21 September 2014
“To build peace, we must open
our eyes also to the reality of the
hidden crisis facing education
in conflicts, with schools being
targeted and education becoming a means of indoctrination
and to sow the seeds of hatred.”
Upcoming International
2 November - International Day to
End Impunity for Crimes against
10 November - World Science Day
for Peace and Development
16 November - Inernational Day
for Tolerance
20 November - World Philosophy
Extract from the message by Irina
World Teachers Day
5 October 2014
“An education system is only
as good as its teachers. Teachers are essential to universal
and quality education for all:
they are central to shaping
the minds and attitudes of
the coming generations to
deal with new global challenges and opportunities.
Innovative, inclusive and
results-focused teaching is
crucial for 2015...”
Extract from the joint message
UNDP and Education International
Bokova, Director-General of
Volume-5, Issue-3
UNESCO New Delhi
5th World Renewable Energy Technology Congress and
“Their Own Country: A Profile of Labor Migration from
Rajasthan” - Policy Dialogue and Media Launch of the
first state report on internal migration in India
Jaipur, India
New Delhi, India
21-23 August 2014
Contact: Ram Boojh ([email protected])
17 October 2014
ICOMOS Upstream Advisory Mission for WH Nomination process in Maldives
Contact: Marina Faetanini ([email protected])
Male, Maldives
Conference on Environment, “Planning Today for Tomorrow” (UNESCO as knowledge partner)
23-30 August 2014
The Leela Palace New Delhi
National Conference and Exhibition on ‘ICTs for Persons with Disabilities: Taking Stock and Identifying Opportunities’
30 October 2014
Contact: Ram Boojh ([email protected])
National Teacher Training Workshop on Introducing
Multiple Perspective Approcachces to Biodiversity
Contact: Moe Chiba ([email protected])
New Delhi, India
9-10 September 2014
WWF Auditorum, New Delhi
Contact: Anirban Sarma ([email protected])
31 October - 1 November 2014
Sub-regional workshop on South-Asia Silk Road
Climate Trails - Policy Dialogue and Media Launch of a
documentary on Migration and Climate Change in India
Kathmandu, Nepal
UN Conference Hall, New Delhi
Contact: Moe Chiba ([email protected])
18 December 2014
UN Public Lecture by Dr Karan Singh
Contact: Marina Faetanini ([email protected])
Teen Murti Auditorium, New Delhi
23 - 24 September 2014
26 September 2014
Contact: Huma Masood ([email protected])
Rekha Beri ([email protected])
International Competition on Cultural Landscape
Thimpu, Bhutan
7 - 20 August 2014
Contact: Moe Chiba ([email protected])
First National Expert Meeting on a draft Bhutanese National law on Intangible Cultural Heritage
Thimpu, Bhutan
22 August 2014
Contact: Moe Chiba ([email protected])
UNESCO New Delhi
Volume-5, Issue-3
Ms. Aleksandra Andelic (July 2014)
Intern, Social and Human Sciences
Mr Mitrasen Bhikajee (August 2014)
Senior Programme Specialist, Natural Sciences
Mr Ajay Kumar Saxena (August 2014)
Project Coordinator, Natural Sciences
Ms Richa Srivastava (August2014)
Project Associate, Natural Sciences
Ms Garima Borwankar (August2014)
UNESCO Volunteer, Natural Sciences
This e-newsletter is published quarterly by UNESCO New Delhi. The document is produced by the Documentation and Public Information Division, and it covers UNESCO news and activities in the New Delhi Cluster countries. All articles are free of copyright restriction, unless otherwise indicated, and may be reproduced subject to an
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