CURRENT GLOBAL POLITICAL SCENARIO

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Globally we face a multiple crisis of the economy, energy, food, and of the ecology of the planet. The world is slowly and gradually changing from a unipolar world to a multipolar world, where there are numerous centres of power. Even though it is a subtle process and the USA still holds a superior status, yet the process of change has already taken the first step.

Alternate centres of power have been developed in the world. The European Union, ASEAN- Association of South East Asian countries, SAARC- South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, BRICS- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, are the organizations, which are slowly and gradually gaining more and more political influence in the international scenario. Even US President Barack Obama said that, “The country he inherits will no longer be able to call the shots alone, as its power over an increasingly Multi-polar world begins to wane”.

Common international problems like environment issues, economic downfalls and terrorism also add to the fact of reducing gaps between the international issues thus giving them a common ground. Global governance and multilateralism would also strengthen the concept of a multipolar world. Hence it can be concluded that even though the world today is not completely multi polar, it is not completely unipolar either.

Natural resources, particularly in the form of clean water and food are ranking candidates to end up fighting over. The First World War was about land grabs. World War Two was about the hearts and minds of different ideologies. The Global security is a delicate balance and it may not take much for it to descend into a global war in a world of 7.5 billion human beings.

The important role that international peacekeeping forces play is maintaining international peace and stability. UN and regional peacekeeping is a strategic priority for the United States. These efforts made by the U.S. with the international community, is helping to save lives and prevent the escalation of conflict. Not only do the UN and regional peacekeeping operations help prevent countries and regions from sliding into chaos, but their very presence reduces the likelihood that military will be called upon

Education Development in Pakistan

The article 25-A of Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan says,

“The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such a manner as may be determined by law”.

Pakistan achieved independence from British colonial rule on August 14, 1947. At independence 85% of the population was illeterate , and the condition of women and backward areas was even worse.

National Education Conference (1947)

One of the first steps towards education development in Pakistan was the National Education Conference in 1947. The Quaid-e-Azam, in his message to the Conferences said,

“There is no doubt that the future of our State will and must greatly depend upon the type of education we give to our children, and the way in which we bring them up as future citizens of Pakistan ….. We should not forget that we have to compete with the world which is moving very fast in this direction.”

National Plan of Educational Development
(1951-57)

In 1951, a conference for Educational Development was held to adopt six-year plan for the period 1951-57. Towards the Educational Development the principal constraint identified was that of lack of trained teachers. It was studied that about 50% of the teachers in primary schools were untrained.

The plan proposed to establish over 24,000 new primary schools, and the expansion of primary schools would require over 86,000 additional teachers.

However, the efforts were failed to produce the desired results.

 

First Five Year Plan (1955-60)

The recommendations and programmes of the six year national plan of educational development were taken into consideration by the planning board of the government.

It proclaimed that “a system of universal primary education is imperative”. A system of free and compulsory primary education for both, boys and girls, was expected to be in place in about twenty years, i.e. by about 1975 to 1980. The Plan proposed to add 4000 new schools.

In order to achieve various targets set during the plan period, a sum of Rs.580,70 million was allocated for the education sector of the plan.

 

National Education Commission 1959

On 30th December 1958, led by the Chief Secretary, Mr. S. M. Sharif, National Education Commission was established.

On 5th January 1959 the Commission started to prepared education policy. On Aug 26, 1959, the Commission submitted its report covers 350 pages. The Commission reports had the following key points:-

Commission emphasized the importance on higher education, vocational education, primary education, secondary education, adult education, education, physical education, religious education, the arts, education of children with disabilities, educational institutions, and of military training.

Training of teachers and their prosperity measures were suggested.

Duration of BA / BSc courses increased from two years to three years was recommended. For passing exam percentage as a whole 50% and for pass in individual 40% marks were suggested. Fifty percent of the total number of higher education appointed exam pass forty percent of the recommended numbers. Quran-e-Pak education was compulsory. Urdu declared as a compulsory subject from six classes to degree level. Duration of initial education suggested as eight year.

The National Education Commission recommendations were useful but due to the conditions of country and the situation of resources they were not applied well.

 

Second Five Year Plan (1960-65)

Th second five-year plan was developed by the planning commission. It was recommended that compulsory schooling for the age group six to eleven should be provided within a period of ten years and within another five years for the eleven to fourteen years age groups. Intermediate classes were suggested to transfer from the jurisdiction of the universities to the board of secondary education. The course of study for the B.A/Bsc extended from two to three years. In engineering and medical colleges the duration of the degree course was suggested four years. At higher secondary stage, teaching of science subjects was given much emphasis. The financial outlay for this plan was Rs 463 million. For Federal and Provinces, the Public service commission was suggested separated.

 

Third Five Year Plan (1965-70)

It recognized “the concept of education as a vital national investment and a major determination of the nation’s economic growth.”

The Third Plan aimed at widening the base of primary education and proposed to increase the primary enrolment rate from 45 to 70 per cent in 1970. This implied additional enrolment of 2.8 million children in primary schools by 1970. To this end, 42,500 new schools were proposed to be set up in West Pakistan.

UFO Entering Interdimensional Portal Above CERN – HOAX

On 7 December 2015, the YouTube Channel “Section 51” published a video purportedly showing a UFO entering an inter-dimensional portal. An accompanying article claimed that the event was filmed in Geneva, Switzerland, near the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.Geneva, Switzerland. US tourists filmed UFO/strange orb entering Interdimensional Portal in the sky of Geneva, just over CERN area.

The video soon became fodder for publications such as Yahoo News, The Mirror, and The Daily Mail, all of whom reported that the clip had stirred online debate about the authenticity of the video.
While it’s true that some internet commentators are claiming that a UFO really did enter an inter-dimensional portal over the Large Hadron Collider, that simply isn’t the case. This is a fake video created by a YouTube channel that specializes in hoax videos.
Section 51 has previously published fake videos purportedly showing “ancient pyramids in Antarctica,” a “giant UFO over parliament”. Section 51 is so prolific that it even promises to provide “new UFO sightings every Monday & Thursday.”cern-hoax-ufo-portal.png

Brief Facebook outage prompts complaints on Twitter

 

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WASHINGTON: A brief Facebook outage on Friday prompted a flurry of complaints and comments on Twitter less than two months after a similar incident affected users worldwide.

 

According to the website downdetector.com, the disruption began around 1600 GMT and appeared to last less than an hour.

 

“Earlier this morning, some people had trouble accessing Facebook for a short time,” the California-based Internet titan said in reply to an AFP inquiry.

 

“We quickly investigated and are currently restoring service for everyone. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.”

 

Facebook has yet to pinpoint a cause, but the trouble appeared to be a technical issue.

 

During the outage, thousands of users complained they could not access the world’s biggest social network.

 

Similar to the brief June service interruption, Facebook users took to Twitter to vent or post comments, many using the hashtag #facebookdown.

 

“Facebook is Down?! Oh God! Now How the Hell Am I Going to Find Out How My Friends Feel About Facebook Being Down?!” one user tweeted.

 

Another wrote: “Facebook going down for 15 minutes is proof that today’s generation would’ve survived approximately 8 seconds in the 80s.“

 

A Twitter user with the handle @TheTweetofGod wrote, “#facebookdown. Please remain calm and do not attempt to interact with human beings“.

 

Some panicked users even called police for help, according to Twitter posts by a sergeant from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

 

Calls to the sheriff’s office came in on both the emergency and non-emergency numbers, the sergeant said.

 

“#Facebook is not a Law Enforcement issue, please don’t call us about it being down,” he urged in a post fired off from the @LASDBrink account.

 

Microsoft’s Xbox One console to go on sale in China in September

— Reuters Photo

SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft Corp will begin selling its Xbox One video game console in China in September through its partnership with Chinese Internet TV company BesTV New Media Co.

The partners will also kickstart a program to help developers create, publish and sell Xbox One games in China and other markets where the console is sold, Microsoft said in a statement.

In September last year, Microsoft and BesTV, a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group, formed a joint venture and invested $237 million in “family games and related services.”

Last week, Shanghai’s government said console makers such as Microsoft, Sony Corp and Nintendo Co will be able to manufacture and sell consoles in China through “foreign-invested enterprises” in Shanghai’s free trade zone.

China had banned game consoles in 2000, citing their negative effect on the mental health of its youth. It temporarily lifted the ban in January.

Pirated and smuggled consoles have been available in China during the ban, but they sold poorly as Chinese gamers predominantly play PC and mobile games.

Microsoft has sold more than 5 million Xbox One video game consoles to retailers since its launch in November.

 

Pakistan joins the 3G club

- File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The four cellular service providers bidding on licences for next generation mobile technology emerged the winners of Wednesday’s bidding war, with Mobilink, Telenor and Ufone picking up licences for 3G services while Zong being the only bidder to acquire a licence for both 3G and 4G services.

Mobilink and Zong bid for the ‘superior’ 10MHz band, while Telenor and Ufone preferred to bid on the cheaper 5MHz band. Although Mobilink, having acquired the 10MHz band, qualified for a 4G licence too, they opted not to go all the way.

This means one 4G licence is still up for grabs. Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rehman said that the licence would soon go under the hammer again.

Bidding began at 10am and continued until a little after 7pm at the Marriott Hotel. Bidders competed in eight rounds of 45 minutes each. A total of four 3G licences were auctioned and both Telenor and Ufone got the ‘shorter end’ of the spectrum.

“It was a strategic decision. We want to provide internet services for all our customers but at low costs. The 5MHz frequency is all that is required at the moment,” said Telenor Pakistan Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Muhammad Aslam Hayat.

Ufone had also shown an interest in acquiring both 3G and 4G licences, but on the day, they did not qualify. Under PTA rules, Ufone has to purchase the 10MHz band to be eligible for a 4G licence.

According to a Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) spokesperson, cellular companies with weaker frequencies would have to install more booster towers in their coverage areas, depending on how many cities they wanted to cover.

A taste of things to come

Visitors to the auction got a taste of next-generation mobile speeds at the stalls of various cellular vendors. Telecom reps showed off the astonishing speeds boasted by 3G services and demonstrated the power of high speed internet services on compatible mobile handsets.

Cellular companies will have to offer a minimum download speed of 256 kilobytes per second (kbps) under the stipulations of the 3G licence, which is four to eight times faster than current download speeds of 30-100 kbps that are currently on offer.

PTA Chairman Dr Ismail Shah said: “Meeting the budgetary targets is just one small aspect of this sale. We are looking at bigger benefits such as the creation of nearly 900,000 jobs and the development of newer, faster applications that will contribute to the improvement of educational, health and financial standards.”

Faster Wi-Fi on flights leads to battle in the sky

NEW YORK: Wi-Fi in the sky is taking off, promising much better connections for travelers and a bonanza for the companies that sell the systems.

With satellite-based Wi-Fi, Internet speeds on jetliners are getting lightning fast. And airlines are finding that travelers expect connections in the air to rival those on the ground – and at lower cost.

But the fast evolution of rival systems and standards, such as Ku band and Ka band, pose a big question for airlines: which one to choose?

Equipping fleets can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and airlines don’t want to see their investment quickly become outdated due to newer technology. That’s made some cautious about signing up.

“We don’t want to end up with a Betamax,” said Peter Ingram, chieffinancial officer of Hawaiian Airlines, referring to the Sony video format that eventually lost out to the VHS standard, leaving many consumers with obsolete systems.

Hawaiian is still considering which system to use.

The drive for in-flight connectivity also has intensified after the disappearance on March 8 of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 with 239 people aboard. Search teams are scouring parts of the Indian Ocean for the missing aircraft, and it might have been better tracked if a satellite system capable of streaming cockpit data had been on board.

Global market

The US market for airborne Internet got a big boost last November after the US Federal Aviation Administration allowed passengers to use smartphones, tablets and e-readers throughout a flight, ending a long-standing ban on their use during takeoff and landing.

While the change hasn’t been adopted worldwide, the FAA’s move is expected to lead to greater use of devices, and bandwidth, on planes.

About 40 percent of US jetliners already have some Wi-Fi, but the race is on to wire the rest of a growing global fleet, and to make the existing connections better.

The number of commercial planes worldwide with Wi-Fi, cell service or both is expected to more than triple over the next 10 years, to 14,000 from about 4,000 currently, with much of that growth in Asia, according to research firm IHS.

Even with a tripling, only half of the worldwide fleet will be wired in 2022, suggesting demand for new systems will last longer.

Much of the US fleet will need upgrades to access satellites, since many planes currently are equipped for ground-based transmission, which is typically slower than satellite.

“Passengers of the future want to be connected when they want,” Chris Emerson, senior vice president of marketing at Airbus, told Reuters during the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.

“Everyone wants Internet the way they have it on the ground, so it has to be cheap or free.”

Greater speed

Satellite technology will speed up onboard connections sevenfold, to about 70 megabits per second next year, fast enough to download a two-hour high-definition movie in about four minutes. Of course, that bandwidth will be shared among all of the users on the flight, which could number 200 or more.

Satellites also will allow service to reach developing markets in Asia and Latin America, and to offer expanded service in the U.S. and European markets.

Investors expect the global expansion and faster speeds will fuel greater use of services, with revenue split between the providers and the airlines.

It also will drive hardware sales, as airlines outfit aircraft with antennas, radios and routers. Honeywell, for example, makes fuselage-top antennas that link to the Global Xpress network provided by Inmarsat PLC, which operates on the Ka band.

In demonstrating the GX system at the Hamburg show, Honeywell said the system can deliver up to 50 megabits per second consistently around most of the globe, and it plans to test it on its own plane this summer, while Air China is expected to start trials with it in late 2014 or early 2015.

“GX is going to be a real game changer for airlines and their passengers from 2015 when the service comes online,” John Broughton, director of product marketing for GX at Honeywell, said in an interview.

A rival standard, Ku band, operates in a lower frequency band. While it may be able to achieve higher bandwidth than Ka band in certain areas, its overall connectivity is not as consistent, especially on long-haul flights over oceans, experts said.

Gogo used the Hamburg show to announce its 2Ku system, that will use a special dual antenna made by ThinKom Solutions Inc to raise the capacity of the Ku band system to 70 mbps, a leap from its current systems that operated at 3 to 10 mbps. Gogo also offers Ka band satellite connectivity and built its business on ground-based cell-tower technology in the United States.

“Betamax” risk

The improving systems mean customers will demand better connections. Some frequent fliers with status on several airlines say they choose flights based on Wi-Fi availability.

“It becomes an ante at the table,” said Jonathan Schildkraut, an analyst at Evercore Partners, which co-managed Gogo’s IPO last June.

But the variety of systems poses tough decisions for airlines, which risk choosing a technology that could become outdated.

Ingram, the CFO of Hawaiian Airlines, said the choice and cost of a system is especially important for his fleet since it mostly carries people on vacation – people who don’t want to be tethered to the office.

“The technology in the Wi-Fi space for trans-Pacific flying is still evolving,” he said, “so we haven’t made any final decisions yet.”

German airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG knows the perils. It originally worked with Connexion, a Boeing unit developing in-flight Wi-Fi that operated a decade ago but failed to attract enough customers.

“We were a little bit unfortunate,” CEO Christoph Franz said in an interview. “We had spent millions to equip our aircraft.”

Lufthansa has since outfitted more than 90 percent of its long-haul planes with satellite connectivity.

But it is taking a step-by-step approach for other planes, outfitting about 30 Airbus A321 aircraft with a system that can stream content from an onboard server to handheld devices, but doesn’t connect to the internet.

“We need a decent provider for that, but we didn’t want our customers to wait,” Franz said. He expects a “triple-digit-million” euro investment to outfit the full fleet.

“We are ready to do this,” he said. “But we have to look at the bill. We will see which system at the end of the day turns out to be the most affordable and the fastest.”