Wednesday, 27 June 2018

UNMA, to Select Next Director General on Friday

Geneva – On Friday, 29 June 2018, the Council of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Migration Agency, will convene in Geneva to hold a vote for the election of its next Director General.
IOM’s current Director General, William Lacy Swing, will be stepping down after completing the second of two five-year terms.
Voting member states – of which there will be 171 – will select from among three candidates, each nominated by their home governments. The three candidates are Mr. Ken Isaacs, nominated by the United States, Ms. Laura Thompson, nominated by Costa Rica, and Mr. Antonio Vitorino, nominated by Portugal.
Voting is by secret ballot and will begin Friday morning. Under the rules of procedure, the winning candidate must receive at least two-thirds of all voting states’ ballots.
If no single candidate receives at least a two-thirds majority after the first round of ballots cast, new rounds will follow, with the candidate with the lowest of the three totals being eliminated after the third session. Member states will vote as many times as necessary to declare a winner – that is, when one of the two remaining candidates secures a two-thirds majority.
Established in 1951, IOM has over 10,000 staff and over 400 offices in more than 150 countries. IOM is the UN Migration Agency and is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration. It is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.
IOM works with its partners in the international community to assist in meeting operational challenges of migration, advance understanding of migration issues, to encourage social and economic development through migration and to uphold the well-being and human rights of all migrants.
IOM provides services and advice to governments and migrants to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.
IOM was granted permanent observer status to the UN General Assembly in 1992. A cooperation agreement between IOM and the UN was signed in 1996. IOM joined the UN system as a related organization in September 2016, when the agreement outlined in GA res.70/296 (2016) was signed during the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants.
For further information please contact Leonard Doyle at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 792857123, Email: 

New immunotherapy technology to India

India-Based APAC Biotech and US-Based Diakonos Research sign a first-of-its-kind technology transfer and licensing agreement to bring new immunotherapy technology to India as an advancement of immuno-oncology therapeutics for solid tumors.
This new path breaking technology effectively targets and activates the tumor antigen specific CTL-response and is differentiated from peer technologies in its ability to generate durable immunological memory.
On the basis of pre-clinical animal data shared by Dr. William Decker and his research team at Baylor College of Medicine, APAC Biotech plans to launch phase II clinical trials in India for advanced brain and pancreatic cancers that have limited treatment options.
“We are committed to accelerating the availability of novel immuno-oncology treatments to patients with high unmet medical needs in India and around the globe,” said Mr. Arun K. Mehra, CEO, APAC Biotech Pvt. Ltd, the new long-term memory potentiation technology is a highly promising, best-in-class cancer immunotherapy anticipated to improve outcomes even further.
APAC management is in talks with large investors for production scale-up of currently approved products and future clinical development trials.

Tour event at the Rambagh Golf Club day one

Arjun Sharma, Bikramjit Singh Sandhu and Gulfam among leading quintet on day one in Jaipur 
Jaipur, June 26, 2018: The first round of the PGTI Feeder Tour event at the Rambagh Golf Club in Jaipur turned out to be a highly competitive one as the lead was shared between five golfers at four-under-66.
The leading quintet consisted of Greater Noida’s Arjun Sharma, Delhi golfers Bikramjit Singh Sandhu and Gulfam, Lucknow’s Amardeep Rawat and Victor Hans of Jalandhar.
Arjun Sharma produced one of the best rounds of his career as he sank an eagle and six birdies at the cost of four bogeys. The highlights of his round were the 20-feet eagle conversion on the 17th and the hat-trick of birdies on the fifth, sixth and seventh which also featured some long putts.
Sharma said, “I haven’t had a great season on the main tour this year but I drew confidence from my top-10 finish at the Feeder Tour event in Karnal last week. My putting was outstanding today.”
Bikramjit Singh Sandhu, the runner-up at the second event of the Feeder Tour season in Faridabad, recovered well after his bogey on the fifth. Sandhu picked up strokes on the sixth and eighth to make the turn at one-under. He then drained three birdie putts from a range of 10 to 30 feet on the back-nine.
Sandhu said, “I created a lot of chances for myself by hitting 15 greens in regulation and landing it close on several occasions. I felt I was rushing through my rounds last week but today I planned it much better and as a result improved on my ball-striking.”
Gulfam, the 2014 Feeder Tour Order of Merit champion, was also in the mix thanks to a round which featured five birdies and a bogey.
Victor Hans produced the only bogey-free round among the leaders while Amardeep Rawat had six birdies and two bogeys.
Sandeep Singh, Chandarjeet Yadav and Hemendra Choudhary were joint sixth with scores of three-under-67.
Gurugram-based Dhruv Sheoran, the Feeder Tour Order of Merit leader, came up with a two-under-68 to be tied ninth.

Annual pilgrimage, ‘Largest-ever security cover’ for Amarnath Yatra’

When the Amarnath pilgrimage  begin, the  vehicles are tagged with electromagnetic chips, bike and bullet-proof SUV police convoys and scores of bullet-proof bunkers have been deployed as part of the “biggest-ever” security blanket thrown to secure pilgrims undertaking the Amarnath Yatra that begins in Jammu and Kashmir from tomorrow.
Over two lakh pilgrims have registered for the annual pilgrimage to the 3,880 metre high cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas till now.
A posse of over 40,000 armed CRPF and state police personnel have virtually dotted the yatra routes from Jammu — via Pahalgam and Baltal — with their overwhelming presence in armoured vehicles.
Forces have deployed a huge assortment of CCTV cameras and drones, assisted by mounted Army columns, to ensure that the yatra route is not breached by terrorists and in case of a possible attack reinforcements reach as fast as possible.
“Each vehicle that has pilgrims and is part of the yatra is being tagged using RFID (radio frequency identification) tags and they will be monitored at a control room made operational here.
“Security forces have been given specific responsibility to sanitise routes and secure a select number of pilgrim vehicles by sandwiching them between bullet proof troop carriers,” a senior security official told PTI.
The CRPF road clearing parties will keep sweeping yatra roads against possible improvised explosive device threats to yatra convoys from early morning till late evening, he said.
The top official added that these arrangements are the “biggest-ever deployment of the security paraphernalia to ensure protection to the annual yatra that comes in the backdrop of a long and turbulent time of violence in the Kashmir Valley.”
The RFID tagging of vehicles concept has been introduced for the first time after taking a lesson from last year’s militant attack on a civil vehicle in Anantnag district that left eight pilgrims dead and several injured.
“Thousands of such tags have been purchased and are being stuck on vehicles. They cost about Rs 72 a piece and they will help give a clear picture to security forces in case a yatra vehicle is lost in the way or takes a wrong route. QRTs will immediately be scarmbled to track such a four-wheeler,” a CRPF officer said. P P Pauly, Commandant of the 73rd battalion of the force, said a control room has been created at his camp in Bemina to track all the RFID-bearing vehicles even as a 100 personnel strong squad has been kept on standby to respond to any untoward incident.
A special desk has been set up at the Srinagar International Airport by the CRPF to register pilgrims and to tag their vehicles from there, in an extension to the exercise that is taking place at the land borders that leads to Jammu and Kashmir. S K Todkar, a devotee from Maharashtra who arrived in the state yesterday, said he and his 10 other family members are “undettered by the fact that a pilgrims’ bus was attacked last year.”
“We are here for the yatra for the third time and we are sure we will finish it successfully. Risk to life by possible terror threats is just one part of the entire Amarnath journey,” Todkar’s father Rambhau said.  — PT

Hostility to religion rising globally

Hostility to religion rising globally, Christians targeted in 144 nations: Pew study

June 26, 2018 by 
U.S., June 22, 2018: New research reveals that religious hostility is on the rise globally, as government-sponsored restrictions and non-state actor assaults on religious practice have grown for the second year in a row.
The Pew Research Center’s ninth annual study, which was released Thursday, on restrictions on religion around the world charted the direction of religious freedom in 198 countries in 2016, and found a notable overall increase from 2015. Whether from government decrees hostile to religious faith or terror groups committing atrocities against religious minorities in their societies, antagonism toward people because of their religion is trending upward.
“More than a quarter (28%) of countries had ‘high’ or ‘very high’ levels of government restrictions on religion in 2016, an increase from 25% the year before. This is the largest share of countries in these categories since 2013,” the report reads.
Nations in these categories scored at least a 4.5 on the Government Restrictions Index, a 10-point scale based on 20 indicators of state policies against religious expression ranging from everything like bans on evangelism to outright physical assaults on religious communities. The landlocked Southeast Asian nation of Laos moved into the “very high” ranking in 2016, for example, because of a new policy that allows the government to halt any religious activity it deems as a threat to its customs or laws.
The percentage of nations who had “high” or “very high” social hostilities involving religion stayed about the same at 27 percent, according to the study. Like the Government Restrictions Index, the Social Hostilities Index the researchers used is a 10-point scale measuring over a dozen social hostilities like inter-religious tension and religion-related terrorism. Countries who scored at least a 3.6 on this scale were classified as “high” or “very high” depending on how they ranked in the other categories measured.
In approximately 10 percent of countries where growing religious hostility and restrictions could be found, the sponsors of it employed overtly nationalist rhetoric, where one’s religion was regarded as somehow detrimental to the nation as a whole.
“[Sixteen percent] of countries in the report had organized social groups that used nationalist rhetoric against religious minorities in the country, an increase from 14% in 2015,” Pew’s Katayoung Kishi noted.
The most targeted religious groups for harassment by government or social groups were Christians and Muslims, the two largest religious groups in the world. Christians faced an uptick in overall social hostility and governemt restrictions in 144 nations in 2016, Muslims in 142 countries.
Egypt, Russia, India, Indonesia and Turkey had the highest overall levels of religious restrictions among the 25 most populous nations on earth. China, which as of 2016 is home to approximately 1.38 billion people, had the highest levels of government restrictions on religion. India, which has a population of 1.32 billion, had the highest levels of social hostilities involving religion.
“Both countries had the highest levels of restrictions in these respective categories, not only among the 25 most populous countries but also in the world at large.”
– christian post

Dalit Question and Understanding Communalism in Uttar Pradesh

CPR is pleased to invite you to a talk on
Dalit Question and Understanding Communalism in Uttar Pradesh
Prof Sudha Pai, Former Professor of Political Science, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Wednesday, 27 June 2018, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Conference Hall, Centre for Policy Research
Image Source
About the Topic
Uttar Pradesh is the state where the most important social and political developments during the past three decades have taken place; the cumulative impact of mobilisation over the implementation of Mandal Commission recommendations, the Ram Janma Bhoomi Babri Masjid (RJBBM) dispute and the Dalit assertion has had all-India implications. Social Change in the state is not only rapid, destabilising power relations, but salient to our understanding of communalism. The importance of Caste and particularly the Dalit Question cannot be overestimated for politics in the State as well as the nation. Prof Pai will anchor her talk in her latest book, Everyday Communalism (2018).
About the Speaker
Prof Sudha Pai is a well-known political scientist, author and columnist. She retired as Professor of Political Science and as Rector (Pro-Vice Chancellor) of the Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2016. Pai has over 35 years of teaching and research experience at Gargi College, Delhi University and at the Jawaharlal Nehru University. At JNU she has taught courses and guided research in the field of Indian Politics and Comparative Politics. Her research interests include Dalit Politics, State Politics in India, Agrarian Politics, Globalisation and Legislative Governance. Pai has students who hold faculty positions in many reputed Universities, the Civil Services, Journalism and NGOs. Everyday Communalism: Riots in Contemporary Uttar Pradesh, OUP, 2018 (co-authored with Sajjan Kumar) is the latest of her many influential books. Her website can be accessed at
Please RSVP at
Join us.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court upheld Donald Trump’s Muslim ban in a 5-4 decision decided by the Court’s conservative majority.
First, let’s call this ban what it is, Naresh: It is an outright attack on the Muslim community that violates our nation’s commitment to liberty and justice. Not only does the ban violate our values — it also makes us less safe and threatens our position as a beacon of freedom for the world.
This isn’t the only terrible Supreme Court ruling that has come down recently. In June alone, this conservative court allowed Ohio to suppress votes by purging its voter rolls, upheld gerrymandering in Texas, and allowed anti-choice “crisis pregnancy centers” to continue lying to women in California.
Let’s not forget: All of these 5-4 decisions are happening because, in 2016, Republicans used their Senate majority to block President Obama from appointing Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. They stole a Supreme Court seat from President Obama — and if we let them win this November, Republicans could seal a conservative majority on the Supreme Court for decades. We need to do everything we can to regain a Democratic majority in the Senate, and we need to do it NOW. So I’m asking:
Will you fight back now and chip in $3 to elect Democrats nationwide? Taking back the Senate in 2018 and the White House in 2020 is the only way to take back our judiciary from conservative extremists.


On behalf of
Dr. K N Raghavan, Commissioner Mumbai Central CGST Commissionerate
Cordially seek your gracious presence
At the book launch of
Contours of the India- China Discord
Author- Dr. K N Raghavan, Commissioner Mumbai Central CGST Commissionerate
Chief Guest- Sh. S M Krishna – Ex. Minister of External Affairs and a Bollywood A lister
On the panel would be – Jabin Jacob – Senior China Analyst, Uday Bhaskar – Retd. Comodore, Indian Navy, Srikanth Kondapalli – Prof. Chinese Studies, JNU, Swarup Nanda – CEO Leadstart Publishing 
We seek the pleasure of your presence
Date & Time- 27th June, 2018 on Wednesday from  6:00- 8:30 pm.
Venue- The Leela, Andheri Kurla Road, Sahar, Andheri East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400059

Khoj International Artists’

Join us this Friday for Voice from the Margins + ongoing open calls


  • Friday, 29 June: Voices from the Margins
  • Open call: the first Artists for Artists Grant, supported by Subodh Gupta and Bharti Kher
  • Call for Applications: Khoj Fellow 2018


Friday 29 June 2018, 6:00 pm at Khoj Studios
Khoj is pleased to present the display of Voices from the Margins. Voices from the Margins is a community arts initiative by Khoj and Global One to One (USA), supported by World Learning (USA) as a part of their ongoing global project Communities Connecting Heritage. The project aims to foster learning through mutual appreciation of cultural heritage by creating a network of youth representatives from diverse communities.
Join us for performances, videos, food and artwork created collaboratively by the groups from Khirkee and New Mexico over four months of virtual exchanges and two weeks of in-person exchanges.
This programme is made possible by the support of World Learning and the US Department of State.


Application deadline: 31 July 2018Khoj is pleased to announce the open call for the inaugural edition of the Artists for Artists grant, to be awarded to a young artist working with material practice. This edition of the grant will be supported by Subodh Gupta and Bharti Kher, founding and current board members of Khoj.
For more details and to apply


Application deadline: 31 July 2018Khoj International Artists’ Association invites applications for a Fellow working in the Programme & Curatorial team for a period of 6 months, beginning in August 2018. The Fellowship at Khoj is a full – time position (5 days a week) and is a serious opportunity for aspiring art managers and curators to work with the Khoj programme team.
For more details and to apply


Khoj International Artists’ Association is a not- for-profit, contemporary art organisation based in New Delhi, which provides physical, intellectual and financial support for artists and creative practitioners

Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan “I Pledge for 9” Achievers Award”

Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan “I Pledge for 9” Achievers Award
Friday 29 July The Oval, Hyatt Regency,New Delhi  4.30 pm
India has made impressive progress in reducing maternal deaths, achieving the targets of MDG 5. The government’s efforts at improving access to maternal health services leading to increase in institutional births has significantly contributed to groundbreaking reduction in Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) by 22 percent from 2013 levels. Furthering the gain, Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) launched in 2016 with the highest level of political commitment is a mission in advancing India’s course of achieving Sustainable Development Goals for MMR below 70 by 2030.
In this context, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India is organizing PMSMA “I Pledge for 9”Achievers Award to felicitate the exemplary services of individuals & teams, outstanding support of institutions and highest commitment from partners in achieving the mission’s objectives of safe motherhood to every woman in the country in the presence of Hon’ble Minster of Healhhth and Family Welfare, Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda and other senior Government representatives.
You are cordially invited to attend the awards function and interact with the awardees

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