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‘G20 nations praise India’s digital public goods infra’

The Finance Minister said that easy to use for people belonging to all walks of life, “the digital public goods are all government-owned and there is no private profiteering on this”…reports Asian Lite News

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that G20 nations look up to India and praise the achievements in its digital public goods infrastructure.

“Today, when I address the G20 nations, we are proud to highlight that all of them admire India for its prolific use of technology and its leadership in utilising digital public goods. A significant portion of our Indian youth are making remarkable contributions in these areas,” she said in a video address.

The Finance Minister said that easy to use for people belonging to all walks of life, “the digital public goods are all government-owned and there is no private profiteering on this”.

“For making India a developed nation during the next 25 years, we’re making sure that our policies reach each and every citizen of the nation,” Sitharaman said in the message.

India is working with multilateral forums, including the UN and the G20, to create collaborations that would certify, register, test and benchmark Indian digital public infrastructure (DPIs) and public goods (DPGs).

The success of some of the government’s popular DPI programmes like CoWin, UPI, Digilocker and Diksha (national digital infrastructure for teachers) has prompted New Delhi to seek its own rating and testing mechanism for DPIs and DPGs, the people mentioned above said.

At present, an agency called the Digital Public Goods Alliance is the only multilateral organization that provides guidance, and benchmarks, rates, and judges DPIs. The UN-endorsed initiative facilitates the deployment and discovery of open-source technologies. The government’s plan to form a certification, testing and registration process for DPIs and DPGs will not only allow India to cater to local DPIs and DPGs but also for such platforms developed elsewhere.

As things stand, DPIs and DPGs developed by India have been deployed in other countries too. For instance, CoWin (for tracking Covid-19 vaccination) has been deployed in Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Jamaica.

The export of payment platform UPI has also grown significantly, with the international arm of NPCI partnering with countries such as the UK, the UAE, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Bhutan and Nepal.

The move will help India export some of its DPIs and DPGs to other countries with relative ease, the second person said, who too requested anonymity.

UPI has over 350 banks on its network with over 260 million unique users, while CoWin has more than 1.1 billion registered users. More than 500 million learning sessions have been conducted using the Diksha app, which was a key tool for teachers to impart education during the pandemic-induced lockdown period.

ALSO READ-Finance Minister Sitharaman highlights India’s digital success at G20

Arts & Culture Lite Blogs

Token of remembrance and reflection

The fusion of the arts and culture with tourism aids in creating a distinctive identity for a city to attract tourists, establishing a token of remembrance and reflection on a place’s legacy, which plays a significant part in people’s imagination…reports N. LOTHUNGBENI HUMTSOE

Tourism fosters long-term partnerships with the local community, bringing happiness and job opportunities to a region. With art and cultural heritage substantially affecting a traveller’s choice of destination, it becomes critical to invest in the arts in order to favourably benefit tourism in a city or country. The marriage of arts and culture with tourism gives economic growth prospects in any part of the world.

“Digital advancements have surely created an interest in art and cultural tourism by making it more accessible and inclusive. Additionally, festivals such as MAP’s Art is Life, which brings together artists, curators and collaborative initiatives, are built around garnering interest in the art and culture that Bengaluru has to offer. The idea is to create a platform for artists to express themselves through the rich history that our country offers which also makes for a good avenue for the development of tourist interests,” says Abhishek Poddar, Founder, MAP, or Kamini Sawhney, Director of MAP

The fusion of the arts and culture with tourism aids in creating a distinctive identity for a city to attract tourists, establishing a token of remembrance and reflection on a place’s legacy, which plays a significant part in people’s imagination.

The fusion of arts and culture with tourism…(Photo: IANSLIFE)

In its latest opening the museum in Bengaluru, the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) hopes to create a space for artistic expressions and conversations in the city. Through its initiatives and programs, MAP seeks to be at the forefront of cultural conversations in the country. The vision is to create a space that is digitally savvy and sustainable in keeping up with the changing landscape of art.

A platform for discussions, collaborations, and ideas surrounding art and culture, MAP is scheduled to debut in December 2022. It will serve as a venue for the promotion of South Asian visual culture to a wider audience. With its extensive collection of South Asian art and emphasis on the cultural legacy of the subcontinent, MAP’s collaborative attitude not only fosters these contacts but also aids in the development of cultural identity for the residents of Bangalore.

ALSO READ-Celebration of Banaras tradition

Africa News Travel & Tourism

Digital technology to shore up tourism in Africa

African executives say technology key to hasten tourism recovery

The recovery of Africa’s travel and hospitality sectors after pandemic-related slump will be dependent on greater adoption of digital tools to ensure key operations like bookings were seamless, executives said.

Speaking at a forum in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, convened by Pesapal, a pan African payment solutions provider, the officials stressed that technology was key to hastening post-pandemic recovery of the continent’s tourism industry.

Agosta Liko, the executive director of Pesapal said that by investing in digital tools, tourism players will place their enterprises on a recovery trajectory, besides strengthening their resilience and agility in the face of unpredictable shocks.

The Nairobi forum themed “Adapt & Thrive: Harnessing technology in travel and hospitality”, convened by Pesapal in partnership with Oracle Hospitality, a technology solutions firm, brought together hoteliers, tour operators, restaurant and bar owners to discuss integration of digital tools in their recovery agenda.

Liko said that a partnership between Pesapal and Oracle Hospitality has facilitated seamless deployment of digital infrastructure to revolutionize travel and hospitality sectors in Africa, ensuring they were profitable and resilient.

He added that these technology solutions have enabled hotels in the continent to accept real-time payment, online sales and virtual booking, in a post-pandemic era.

Oliver Menzel, Oracle Hospitality Alliances & Channels Manager for Middle East and Africa said that if hotels and tour operators integrate modern technology and innovations in key operations, they are likely to reap profits and withstand shocks like pandemics, geopolitical tensions and climate change.

ALSO READ: Digital technology to shore up tourism in Africa

According to Menzel, digital payment solutions and virtual tours have improved the revenue base for investors in the hospitality sector besides providing a satisfactory experience to local and foreign tourists.

Felix Musa, the revenue manager at Kenya’s Sarova Hotel Group said that adoption of smart technologies that accelerated at the peak of the pandemic ensured that travel and hospitality sectors remained profitable and responsive to emerging needs of their clients like enhanced

Tourists in Tanzania

At least 922,692 foreign tourists visited Tanzania in 2021 amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Damas Ndumbaro said.

Addressing a press conference in the capital Dodoma, Ndumbaro said 620,867 foreign tourists visited the east African nation in 2020, reports Xinhua news agency.

Ndumbaro said the number of domestic tourists visiting the country’s attractions increased to 788,933 tourists in 2021 from 562,549 recorded the previous year.

He said revenue collected from foreign tourists increased from $714.59 million in 2020 to about $1.3 billion in 2021.

Tanzania is a country with many tourist attractions.  Approximately 38 per cent of Tanzania’s land area is set aside in protected areas for conservation.  There are 17 national parks, 29 game reserves, 40 controlled conservation areas and marine parks. Tanzania is also home to Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa.

Arab News Events UAE News

Mastercard, NBS Bank to adopt digital payments in Malawi

The partnership will deliver a seamless experience and drive greater adoption and utilization of digital payments for NBS Bank’s customers…reports Asian Lite News

Mastercard and Network International today re-affirmed their shared commitment to drive the adoption of digital payments and support emerging markets’ transition to a cashless economy by announcing a strategic partnership with NBS Bank plc in Malawi. This will be the first implementation of an innovative digital payment’s platform launched by Mastercard and Network International last year.

NBS Bank will launch a Mastercard virtual (non-plastic, non-physical) payment solution that will enable its customers to make a wide range of e-commerce payments to merchants that accept Mastercard locally and internationally. For instance, virtual cardholders can pay for subscription streaming services, advertising on social media platforms, online shopping as well as travel and bills. It will also allow small business owners to purchase from international suppliers.

To pay for purchases using the virtual payment solution, NBS Bank customers will receive a 16-digit card number, security code, and expiry date, which they will use to complete an online purchase much like they would with a physical card. The payment solution also features multiple layers of security to ensure that the customer’s financial data is always secure and private.

Governments and NGOs across Africa are publicly supporting digital payments and less reliance on hard cash to secure the financial inclusion of more people. With the growth of the digital world, millions of people and businesses are gaining access to financial services and digital payments on their gadgets.

Kwanele Ngwenya, CEO, NBS Bank: “As a caring bank and in line with NBS Bank’s philosophy of ‘taking banking to the people’, we are excited to partner with Mastercard and Network International to offer our customers enhanced payment capabilities that will enable them to make a wide range of payments all from the devices in their pockets. This partnership will also help to accelerate financial inclusion and empower the most vulnerable in society.”

According to Gabriel Swanepoel, Country Manager for Mastercard, Southern Africa, people and business are increasingly turning to digital and remote payments, a shift that has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

ALSO READ: Mastercard partners with Lulu Exchange

“Utilizing the innovative capabilities of both Mastercard and Network International, we can support NBS Bank in their digital transformation efforts so that they can provide an enhanced payment experience to their customers. This in turn will enable more people and businesses to benefit from a growing digital economy and world beyond cash,” says Swanepoel.

Mastercard and Network International have a long-standing partnership, including Mastercard’s strategic investment in Network International and a shared commitment to develop innovative payment solutions that will grow electronic transactions across the MEA region.

”Our partnership with Mastercard is focused on rapidly growing electronic payment usage across our region, and this agreement with NBS Bank is a major step towards meeting that goal,” added Chris Wood, Regional Managing Director, Processing- Southern Africa and PALOPS, Network International. “We look forward to working with NBS Bank to accelerate the move from cash to digital solutions.”

Africa News Arab News News

Africa urged to join digital market place

Dr Monique Nsanzabaganwa, deputy chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, says Africa should seize fast-developing digital market space

 Africa should seize the fast-developing digital market space so as to boost access to goods and services across the continent, Dr Monique Nsanzabaganwa, deputy chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, said.

The AU Commission deputy chief made the remarks as the African continent joined the global community in commemorating the 39th World Consumer Rights Day annually marked on March 15 under the theme “Fair Digital Finance.”

“Seizing the fast-developing digital market space is particularly important in our African context where access to countless goods and services remains restricted for the vast majority,” Nsanzabaganwa said in her statement concerning the World Consumer Rights Day, Xinhua reported.

Noting that the African continent has an internet penetration rate of 43 percent, the deputy chief said innovation is transforming how people conduct financial transactions and live their lives throughout the continent, emphasizing that digital finance and its implication on financial inclusion and financial stability is crucial for development in Africa.

Nsanzabaganwa noted that the African continent is home to a growing number of digital financial services deployments.

The deputy chairperson warned that digital finance consumers are increasingly exposed to scams, frauds, phishing and data malpractices, which is further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is necessary to explore solutions that will mitigate these threats while still making digital finance attractive, as governments seek to expand access to digital banking services,” said Nsanzabaganwa, stressing it is vital to acknowledge the risks and enact strict consumer protections, especially for the most vulnerable people, such as those with limited educational attainment or financial experience.

She said Africa’s burgeoning youth population is integrating with the ever-changing digital world and it is necessary for the continent’s decision-makers to harness this exposure in a way that is optimal for the continent’s youth.

Nsanzabaganwa, however, stressed that African women are still less likely than men to have basic formal financial services.

ALSO READ: South Africa Firm on Fight Against Graft

“Mobile money and the ability to easily and safely receive money from social networks has been found to be a drawing factor for them and thus helping to shrink the gender differences across the continent,” she said.

Last week, the AU launched the Women and Youth Financial and Economic Inclusion (WYFEI 2030) initiative, which is a collective impact approach that seeks to achieve social change in respect of the financial and economic status and participation of women and youth in Africa.

According to Nsanzabaganwa, the success of the initiative relies largely on the strength of digital financial services as well as the importance of making them fair and safe.

Covid Situation

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Africa reached 11,284,902 as of Tuesday evening, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.

The specialised healthcare agency of the African Union said the Covid-19 death toll across the continent stands at 250,403, and some 10,560,754 patients have recovered from the disease, so far.

South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya are among the countries with the most cases on the continent, said the Africa CDC, Xinhua news agency reported.

South Africa has recorded the most Covid-19 cases in Africa with 3,695,175 cases, followed by the two northern African countries of Morocco and Tunisia with 1,162,125 and 1,029,762 cases, respectively, it said.

In terms of regional caseload, southern Africa is the most affected region in Africa, followed by the northern and eastern parts of the continent, while central Africa is the least affected, said the Africa CDC.

Arts & Culture

‘Digital is an alternative’: Rakhi Sarkar

This Founder Managing Trustee of the Kolkata Museum of Modern Art (KMOMA) for a decade laments that curation is yet to get its place in the Indian art scene and says it is not practised seriously here…writes Sukant Deepak

“Our aim has been to provide an all India platform for young artists, especially to those coming from smaller towns and semi-rural areas of the country. We are happy by the way the project has impacted the lives and career graphs of young artists. Galleries, universities and institutions have imbibed much of the talents that have emerged from CIMA Awards,” says Rakhi Sarkar, the founder of CIMA (Centre of International Modern Art), one of India’s premier art centres.

The recently concluded fourth edition of CIMA awards for visual arts witnessed 183 artworks from across the country shortlisted for the final round by the preliminary jury and 13 winners and their works selected by the final one (jury).

Widely known for setting up the ‘Affordable Art Mela’ that aims to bring art back into the public domain by offering an opportunity to buy art at affordable prices, Sarkar who brought the ‘mela’ to Delhi(2018) and Mumbai (2020) after a positive reception in Kolkata for over a decade, says, “To appreciate beauty, excellence and talent remains every individual’s right. If you accept this, then art cannot remain the purview of the wealthy and elite alone. We hope to extend it to non-metropolitan towns as well,” she adds.

Interesting several major artists offer their works for the mela at much lower costs. “They are supportive in order to provide young professionals and intellectuals with an opportunity to collect serious art at affordable prices. The ‘mela’ aspires to promote young collectors,” says Sarkar.

This Founder Managing Trustee of the Kolkata Museum of Modern Art (KMOMA) for a decade laments that curation is yet to get its place in the Indian art scene and says it is not practised seriously here.

“There is no scope whatsoever for getting training from art institutions and museums. Curation has a practical angle. One learns first-hand through ground experience. It involves imagination and creative flair. The investigative side involves research and erudition, but the final narrative and presentation need creativity and flair. We need seamless integration of the two elements.”

Talking about how most galleries have adopted a hybrid model in face of the Pandemic, she feels that digital is an alternative and certainly better than not showing at all, and to an extent bridging gaps between destinations.

ALSO READ-Galaxy Tab S8 trio launched in India

“However, this virtual mode cannot be a replacement for physical exhibitions without which the scale and actual visual impact is lost completely,” she says.

Adding that what most artists have gone through in the past two years necessitate a kind of an umbrella organisation boasting of public and private partnership that extends help in such dire times, she elaborates, “The recent past has witnessed so many artists from across the spectrum going through immense financial insecurity. An organisation on such lines can ensure some kind of support during a huge crisis like the one we witnessed in the form of Pandemic.”

A decade back, in her capacity as the Chairperson of FICCI Art Council for Ministry of Culture, GOI, Sarkar had recommended through a detailed policy framework document a total overhaul of the syllabus of art schools, in partnership with major visual art faculties from across the world, but sadly nothing has been implemented as yet.

‘The of art schools’ curriculum is dismally outdated, and the 19th-century model is still in use. The conceptual side of art making is totally overlooked and the theoretical framework is very sketchy and inadequate. Until the standard of education improves the quality and depth of art practice will remain severely hampered, says Sarkar.

Talking about the multiple private art foundations that have come up in the country, especially Kolkata, she says, “It is excellent that several art institutions are coming up in the private sector. There is room for more across the country, given how vast and varied India is. These art institutions are fulfilling a paramount role in promoting and nurturing art.”

READ MORE-TN plans to regulate power subsidies via Aadhaar linking

-Top News Asia News

Infowar against India meets a digital check

Through Digital India, the quality of education is capable of being equalised across city and village, or the well-off and the poor, writes Prof. Madhav Nalapat

Leaders are often judged after their time by just a single action of theirs. Abraham Lincoln entered history for his role in keeping the US united, thereby ensuring the emancipation of the Black population. Indira Gandhi is remembered principally for the Emergency she declared in 1975. Lal Bahadur Shastri will be remembered for initiating the Green Revolution and for his wisdom in ensuring that a conflict over language was avoided in India in a manner absent in Sri Lanka.

Even the short-lived Chandra Shekhar government is remembered for the break with Nehruvian non-alignment caused by permitting US military aircraft to land in India en route to Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. Narendra Modi has been the most transformational Prime Minister of India since Nehru. Ensuring maximum governance through minimum government may still be a work in progress, but that objective is steadily getting actualised through the growth of the digital space in India. Already, usage of telecom services and products is among the largest in the world, which is why the Modi ban on PRC apps has cost the Chinese companies involved billions of dollars in market capitalisation. Should Facebook or Twitter get blocked in India even for a few weeks, their market cap would fall steeply as well.

The US is not China, so such a ban is unlikely, despite the India-phobic policy of some media platforms. The NYT is reported to have advertised for a business correspondent in India. The job description was explicit, that the “newspaper of record” was looking for a journalist who would do a hatchet job on a democracy that is on track to emerge as the third largest economy in the world by 2029. The CCP must be pleased at such dampening of the investment climate in India at a time when several businesses are trying to move out of the PRC. Even during the 1990s, the line taken by the NYT was very similar to that followed by the Clinton White House, which sought technology to India while lavishing it on China, and sought to “cap, reduce and eliminate” nuclear weapons and delivery systems in India, this while ignoring the manner in which Pakistan was being helped by Beijing to develop both.

ALSO READ: China’sJ-10C fighter jets to boost Pak defence

Rather, the Clinton White House continuously pressured India to surrender Kashmir to elements that were working closely with the Pakistan army. Assisted by sometimes clumsy messaging from India, and by the international attention given to fringe groups within the Hindu community, large swathes of opinion within the Atlantic alliance and elsewhere accept the false narrative of India being at the tip of religion-based genocide. Such coverage is reminiscent of the 1960s or the 1970s, when much of the “informed” commentary within the Atlantic alliance centred on the “imminence of a meltdown” in India. Unfortunately for such forecasters of doom, the economy did not collapse in the years ahead, but did better.

Through digital pathways, bypasses avoiding the blockages caused by control freaks and corrupt elements within the bureaucracy are multiplying in a variety of fields of activity. All this is happening in Modi’s India. The security and foreign exchange problems caused by excessive reliance on PRC-manufactured mobile handsets are lessening as a consequence of steps being taken to ramp up mobile handset manufacture in India. While in the past, handset manufacturers and telecom service providers were shutting shop in parts of India, these days such units are being set up. Attention is being given to countries such as Taiwan in the manufacture of essential items such as silicon chips. It helps that India is poised to become among the top markets in the world in many such items.

The unfortunate-at-times propensity for even public enterprises of quality to take decisions solely based on their financial interests was demonstrated in the ISRO-Oppo agreement. In the coming years, given the rising security risks associated with the PRC under Xi, sales of PRC-sourced mobile handsets may need to get stopped altogether in India, as in several other countries that have an interest in preventing the hegemony of any single power over the Indo-Pacific. Given the importance to the future of the systems being developed by ISRO (an institution that has proved its value to the country many times over), trusting entities from a country known for siphoning off technology and data for military uses may not be the wisest course.

The PRC has derived substantial benefit from collaborations in India, and in the process, has hollowed out several industries, not just the larger entities but medium, small and even cottage industries as well. Stoppage is needed of substantial smuggling of items into India. Those responsible must be prevented from doing further damage to the country’s interests. Until the changes that have become visible during Modi 2.0, bureaucratic hurdles and outright sabotage through use of various facets of the governance system were the norm for foreign players and their Indian agents. Assisted by the greater transparency that is a feature of the digital age, such sabotage of promising start-ups is becoming much less common.

By 2024, it is anticipated that as much as 900 million citizens of India will have access to the internet. Just as the NHAI is working assiduously towards the creation of a much improved road network across India, there needed to be similar attention getting paid to improving the information highway network in the country, through making fast and reliable broadband services available even in the most neglected corners of India. Through Digital India, the quality of education is capable of being equalised across city and village, or the well-off and the poor. Increasingly, healthcare and access to the job market are getting accessible to formerly ignored section. Substantial attention is being paid to the election speeches of Prime Minister Modi. The 21st century is coming to India through digital technology in hundreds of millions of homes, creating changes that become irreversible before 2029. Who knows, even the NYT may have a change of heart then about the future of India.

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-Top News Dubai UAE News

Dubai Chambers outline priorities under new 3-year strategy

The Board of Directors of Dubai Chambers has approved the organisation’s strategy for the next three years (2022-2024), which is based on four main pillars…reports Asian Lite News

The Board of Directors of Dubai Chambers has approved the organisation’s strategy for the next three years (2022-2024), which is based on four main pillars, namely improving the business environment in Dubai, attracting foreign investments and international companies to the emirate, supporting member companies with global expansion and growing Dubai’s digital economy.

The priorities, listed under the newly-adopted strategy, were announced during the board’s first official meeting in 2022, which was hosted at Dubai Chambers’ headquarters and chaired by Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chambers.

The meeting was joined by Omar Sultan Al Olama, Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, Sultan bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai International Chamber, and board members Khalid Juma Al Majid; Dr. Raja Easa Saleh Al Gurg; Buti Saeed Mohammad Al Ghandi; Patrick Chalhoub; Faisal Juma Kalfan Belhoul; Tariq Hussain Khansaheb; Dr. Amina Alrostamani; Helal Saeed Al Marri; and Gassan Al Kibsi; in the presence of Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of Dubai Chamber.

During the meeting, the board approved the organisation’s 2022 budget and established new committees that will be tasked with overseeing matters related to investment, auditing, risks, nominations and remunerations.

Board members discussed potential plans to be implemented under the new strategy, which are aligned with Dubai’s strategic vision and support plans announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to boost Dubai’s trade to AED 2 trillion in five years.

The Chairman and members of the board congratulated His Highness Sheikh Mohammed on the 16th anniversary of his ascension to power, and expressed their gratitude for his wise leadership, which has put Dubai and the UAE on a stable path of prosperity and progress.

ALSO READ: Dubai’s Real Estate Boom

Al Ghurair said that the adoption of the Chambers’ strategy for the next three years reflects the Chambers’ commitment to achieving the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and expands the role of Dubai Chambers as the important organisation supporting the growth of Dubai’s economy. He described the strategy as a blueprint for a competitive economy with bolder ambitions that can adapt to future challenges.

He added, “Today we adopted an integrated strategy for the next phase that enhances the partnership of the public and private sectors, and reflects the new role that Dubai Chambers will play in shaping the future of Dubai’s economy and achieving the goals and vision of our wise leadership.”

He noted that ensuring a business-friendly regulatory environment and fostering public-private sector cooperation and partnerships, policy advocacy and raising standards of customer service will also remain top priorities for Dubai Chambers as works towards achieving its new ambitions.

Dubai Chambers was established under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as part of a recent government restructuring that aims to drive a comprehensive economic development in Dubai. The organisation operates under a three-chamber model comprises Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai International Chamber and Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy.

-Top News Dubai UAE News

Nanosatellites to support digitalisation of Dubai’s power, water networks

Space-D supports DEWA’s grid digitalisation programme by using IoT and remote sensing technologies…reports Asian Lite News

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has selected NanoAvionics to design, build, test, and manage the launching of two nanosatellites 3U and 6U. The services supplied by Nanoavionics also include operation, knowledge transfer and training.

Nanosatellites to support digitalisation of Dubai’s power, water networks

This is part of DEWA’s space-D programme that seeks to enhance operational efficiency and reliability, and promote preventive maintenance for the planning, generation, transmission and distribution of electricity and water networks. Space-D supports DEWA’s grid digitalisation programme by using IoT and remote sensing technologies.

Through this programme and the expertise of NanoAvionics, DEWA intends to enhance its flexibility and agility in monitoring and managing its electrical and water networks. With Space-D, DEWA expects to reduce costs, improve its asset utilisation and provide sustainable, efficient and reliable power and water services to its customers.

“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched DEWA’s space programme, Space-D. The programme aims to build DEWA’s capabilities and train Emirati professionals to use space technologies to enhance its electricity and water networks. The programme will take advantage of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and blockchain to exchange information with the help of satellite communications and earth observation technologies,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

In line with its digital transformation, DEWA will use a 3U satellite with an Internet of Things (IoT) payload as well as a 6U satellite with an Earth Observation (EO) payload from Nanoavionics. Using satellite network connectivity, IoT terminals, satellite imagery and applying AI to the captured data will bring greater efficiency and effectiveness to DEWA’s operations, maintenance and planning. The agreement with NanoAvionics also includes launch management, construction of the ground station, and an extensive training programme for Emirati professionals to facilitate know-how transfer and support in expanding DEWA’s future space capabilities.

ALSO READ: DEWA sets Guinness record for first 3D-printed lab

Vytenis J Buzas, co-founder and CEO of NanoAvionics, said, “This is a fantastic project for NanoAvionics to be involved in and a great example of how satellite technology improves our lives and helps us to become more sustainable. The knowledge transfer, in addition to satellite integration and mission operations for DEWA, also shows the capabilities and value that our expert team can bring to our customers. Our team has been part of more than 90 missions, including four successfully launched missions this year, and has previous experience in sharing its skills and knowledge through programmes with other international customers.”

-Top News UAE News World

UAE, UK ink deal for cultural cooperation

The two countries will also work together to support youth and talented individuals in the cultural fields…reports Asian Lite News

The UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) to reinforce cooperation in cultural fields related to tangible and intangible cultural heritage, literature, visual and performing arts, audio-visual media, design, cultural and creative industries.

The two countries will also work together to support youth and talented individuals in the cultural fields.

UAE, UK ink deal for cultural cooperation

The MoU underlines the importance of cultural dialogue and exchanges in strengthening the ties between the UAE and the UK, while also expanding on knowledge of each other’s civilisation, culture and arts.

The MoU was signed by Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State; and Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Civil Society of United Kingdom. The two ministers highlighted the importance of culture and its role in establishing social cohesion, promoting dialogue between communities and peoples, and building stronger human to human relations.

They explored means of fostering partnerships to advance the cultural and creative sector and keep pace with the current developments and tackle challenges. They also agreed on exchanging experiences in the field to make the cultural and creative industries a significant contributor to the national GDP. This would also lead to new opportunities for creative talents to work in the sector, which is currently one of the fastest growing sectors globally.

The ministers said that the UAE and Britain have very deep ties that stem from shared social and cultural values. The new agreement is built on a commitment to promoting the values of tolerance and coexistence, reflected in the creative cultural movements in the two countries.

The MoU aims to foster cooperation in the field of cultural heritage protection and the study of culture, languages, literature, arts and heritage in the two countries. It will also promote translation of published materials in both English and Arabic to give a boost to the publishing sector.

ALSO READ: UAE, WEF call for global action to secure better future

The two countries also seek to ensure the protection of intellectual property rights in accordance with national legislation and international conventions; to host mutual cultural events and facilitate opportunities for public participation in cultural events; and prop up the cultural and creative industries affected by the pandemic.

The MoU enables the exchange of experiences to facilitate the implementation of international agreements, such as those signed with UNESCO and other agreements related to the cultural sector. It also calls on professionals, scholars, experts and researchers in the field of culture to draw on each others’ experiences in implementing international agreements, and benefit from international conventions.