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Taiwan Agricultural Ambassadors To Visit India To Strengthen Ties

By Deepak Arora

NEW DELHI, Aug 15: A young delegation of agricultural expertise from Taiwan will be visiting India from August 18 to 25 to explore and fortify bilateral ties in the areas of agriculture, horticulture, forestry and animal husbandry between the two countries under the former's New Southbound Policy and the later's Act East Policy.

The 15-member group, aged between 18 and 40, will be led by Lin Chih-Hung, Deputy Director General of Taiwan's Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture (COA) and Huang Yi-Lung, Section Chief of Public Diplomacy Coordination Council under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The delegates are of various background and some of the more experienced have made significant achievements in their career. These include Wei, Hsiao-En, Founder of Travel Taberu in Taiwan, an agriculture-focus educational magazine; Chang Jen-Tsung, Owner of The Chang's Food Company and four-time winner of the COA's annual Top Hundred Outstanding Young Farmers awards; Hsieh Cheng-Tso, an aqua-culturist of abalone, white shrimp and grouper, who was commissioned to Palau, Taiwan's diplomatic ally in the Pacific; and Chiu, Chang-Huang, an organic vegetable expert representing Taiwan to the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements Asia 2019.

With the assistance of Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India, the young delegation will visit New Delhi and other States for eight days and seven nights to understand the South Asian country's current economic outlook, business opportunities in the related fields, and gain an understanding of local wholesale operations and marketing patterns.

They will also visit producers, factories and institutions of common interest as well as engage with local people. It is expected that the trip will stimulate their ability to innovate in their enterprises while helping establish strong links in Taiwan-India agricultural cooperation.

Aruna Vasudev presented one of France’s highest cultural awards

NEW DELHI, Aug 13: Aruna Vasudev, leading film scholar, editor and painter, was on Tuesday presented the Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters), one of France’s highest cultural honours, for her contribution to cinema and arts.

French ambassador Alexandre Ziegler conferred the award on Vasudev at a ceremony. He said, “Aruna Vasudev’s lifetime of achievements as film critic, scholar, jury, filmmaker, administrator and painter is near impossible to sum up.

“She has created so many events, forged so many partnerships, established so many platforms to promote Asian films across the world that she has carved a path that continues to guide the young generation today.”

Vasudev has had a long connection with France. After enrolling at the Institut des hautes études cinématographiques (IDHEC or Institute for Advanced Film Studies), she obtained a PhD in cinema from the University of Paris, Sorbonne. She has worked alongside New Wave masters such as Alain Resnais and Claude Chabrol.

She launched the Asian film quarterly Cinemaya in 1988 and founded the internationally renowned Netpac, a worldwide organisation to popularise Asian films, 29 years ago. She has directed or produced around 20 documentaries and edited many books.

The Order of Arts and Letters is a French government honour conferred on those who have distinguished themselves by their creativity in art, culture and literature or for their contributions to the influence of arts in France and across the world.

Other Indian recipients of this honour are Shahrukh Khan, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Aishwarya Rai, Raghu Rai, Ebrahim Alkazi, Habib Tanveer and Upamanyu Chatterjee.

Woman whose rendition of Lata Mangeshkar song went viral gets a makeover

Aug 9: A woman went viral a couple of days ago thanks to her wonderful rendition of an iconic Lata Mangeshkar song. The woman, later identified as Ranu Mondal, was captured singing Ek Pyar Ka Nagma Hai from the 1972 film Shor at Ranaghat station in West Bengal.

Social media was completely moved by her voice and many posted about offering her a better platform to showcase her talent. And now, in what clearly shows the positive influence of social media, the woman has been given a complete makeover. Pictures of her transformation are going viral too.

Mondal’s video was shared on a Facebook page called ‘BarpetaTown The place of peace’. Her video, posted on July 28, has collected over 4 million views and still counting.

Now, the page has shared pictures of her getting a makeover along with one of her complete transformation.

Both posts have collected a ton of reactions.

According to another post shared on the page, Mondal has been receiving requests to participate in a reality TV show in Mumbai.

The posts on her makeover have collected a lot of reactions on Facebook.

“Kya baat hai… social media is really helpful for such talents,” says one Facebook user. “Very well deserved… Best wishes,” says another.

Take a look at the video that made her viral.

Indo-Taiwan Joint Research Center inaugurated

By Deepak Arora

RUPNAGAR, Aug 2: The Indo-Taiwan Joint Research Center on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning was inaugurated on July 27 in Rupnagar, India, underscoring government efforts to deepen academic ties with the New Southbound Policy target country.

Supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the facility is a joint initiative among National Chung Cheng University in southern Taiwan’s Chiayi County, Indian Institute of Technology Ropar, and Chitkara University. It will serve as a hub for academic-industrial cooperation, faculty-student exchanges and R&D.

At the inauguration ceremony, MOST Deputy Minister Hsu Yu-chin said the center is the first AI collaborative venture between tertiary institutions in Taiwan and India. Going forward, joint projects are expected to encompass a wide range of areas like microelectronics and space technology, he added.

Prior to the inauguration, the MOST and Indian Council of Social Science Research signed a memorandum of understanding on boosting cooperation in the field of social sciences. The pact was inked on behalf of their respective sides by Hsu and ICSSR Member Secretary Virendra Kumar Malhotra.

Taiwan Ambassador Tien Chung-kwang said at the signing that the subcontinent is a region of diverse customs, languages and religions. Given Taiwan’s rich culture, expanded collaboration in this discipline will offer significant benefits to both sides, he added.

A key plank in the government’s national development strategy, the NSP is enhancing Taiwan’s agricultural, business, cultural, education, tourism and trade ties with the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.

Ontario invites 1,773 Express Entry candidates with tech experience and CRS scores as low as 435

TORONTO, Aug 1: A new Ontario Tech Draw held Thursday, August 1, issued 1,773 invitations to Express Entry candidates with work experience in one of six tech occupations and Comprehensive Ranking System scores as low as 435.

This was Ontario’s second Tech Draw since their introduction in early July and a total of 3,396 Express Entry candidates have now received invitations, or Notifications of Interest (NOIs).

Ontario is home to several of Canada’s major tech hubs, notably those in the cities of Toronto, Ottawa and Waterloo, and Tech Draws are designed to meet growing labour needs in the sector.

More than 80,000 tech jobs have been created in Ontario’s capital city, Toronto, alone in the last five years, according to the 2019 CBRE Scoring Tech Talent Report.

Tech Draws allow Ontario to search the federal Express Entry pool and invite eligible candidates to apply for provincial nomination.

The Express Entry system is Canada’s main source of skilled foreign workers and candidates with a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 points toward their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, effectively guaranteeing an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

The Express Entry system allows candidates to pursue Canadian permanent resident if they are eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class or Canadian Experience Class. A job offer is not required in order to participate in the Express Entry system.

All candidates in the Express Entry pool are assigned a score under the CRS and the highest-scoring candidates are invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence through regular draws from the pool.

In order to be considered for an invitation from Ontario, candidates must first submit an Express Entry profile.

While many candidates with IT backgrounds and high ranking scores have had success through Express Entry, several provincial immigration streams give candidates with lower CRS scores a chance to improve their rank and obtain an Invitation to Apply for Canadian permanent residence.

Whereas the minimum score to be drawn from the Express Entry pool during the most federal recent draw was 459, this OINP Tech Draw selected candidates with scores as low as 435.

This score was also three points lower than the lowest score drawn through a federal Express Entry invitation round so far this year (438).

Tech Draws target Express Entry candidates with work experience in one of six tech occupations:

Software engineers and designers (NOC 2173)
Computer programmers and interactive media developers (NOC 2174)
Computer engineers (NOC 2147)
Web designers and developers (NOC 2175)
Database analysts and data administrators (NOC 2172)
Computer and information systems managers (NOC 0213)

NOC stands for National Occupational Classification, which determines an occupation’s skill level and skill type.

Tech Draws are conducted through Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities Stream. The stream is one of three managed by the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) that allow Ontario to select eligible Express Entry candidates.

Those who received invitations to apply for a provincial nomination for Canadian permanent residence in the August 1 Tech Draw created their Express Entry profile between August 1, 2018, and August 1, 2019.

Here is a hypothetical example of an Express Entry candidate who could have been selected in the OINP’s August 1 Tech Draw.

Ravi is 30 years old, holds a bachelor’s degree, and has been working as a database analyst for three years. Ravi has an advanced English language proficiency and has never worked or studied in Canada. Ravi entered the Express Entry pool with a CRS score of 436.

On August 1, 2019, Ravi was invited by the province of Ontario to apply for provincial nomination. After receiving a nomination from Ontario, Ravi’s CRS score will increase to 1036 and he will be prioritized to receive an Invitation to Apply for Canadian permanent residence during the next draw from the Express Entry pool.

“Canada’s tech sector is booming and needs innovation like Ontario’s new Tech Draws to fill its needs,” said David Cohen, senior partner with the Campbell, Cohen Canadian immigration law firm.

“From a candidate’s perspective, this draw is also welcome news in that highly talented candidates with slightly lower CRS scores now have a way to bring their talents to Canada permanently.”



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