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Gender in journalism awards in Pakistan gets support from UNESCO
The Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) seeks applications for the 2005 Gender in Journalism Awards, which honour excellence in gender sensitive reporting in the country. United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) supports the two awards, each carrying a cash prize of US$ 400 that will be given to Pakistani journalists.

One award will recognise models for excellence and best practices in coverage of gender related issues. The second award honours outstanding coverage of any issue by a female journalist. Its aim is to promote role models for women entering or planning to enter the journalism field. Applications should be sent to the Pakistan Press Foundation, Press Centre, Shahrah Kamal Ataturk, Pakistan.

For more information, contact: or


Tunis agenda at WSIS sidelined gender issues: Say gender activists
In Geneva, gender activists at the preparatory conference for the Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information society (WSIS) are bitterly disappointed because their recommendations being ignored.

A statement from the WSIS gender caucus says that mentions about the empowerment of women and gender equality in the text have been cut back. The Tunis Agenda for Action is completely silent on gender in all aspects of implementation and they find this silence unacceptable and something that must be corrected. As WSIS moves from Geneva to Tunis, the gender caucus expects that financing ICT for development must include women’s development priorities as well as their information and communication rights.


Give voice to the African rural women
The African regional preparatory conference for the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) has called on people to give more consideration and a voice to the rural women of Africa.

African women continue to face uphill battles to get their voices and concerns heard in development matters, the workshop on ICTs and poverty reduction revealed when Salamatu Garba, national coordinator for the Women Farmers Advanced Network (WOFAN) presented a case study of women farmers of Kano in Nigeria. Her presentation showcased Africa as one of the most important, yet challenging areas for those who aim to achieve gender equality while using information technology as a tool in poverty reduction.



Digital links goes for digitisation of primary schools in Rwanda
Digital Links, a London-based charity, in partnership with World Links to digitise primary schools in Rwanda. This collaboration brings together the two themes of delivering renewable energy powered education and communication to one of the most disadvantaged countries in Africa.

Especially in rural areas, 94% of the schools have no electricity supply. To answer this challenge, Digital Links has developed a product consisting of a refurbished laptop powered by a solar PV (photovoltaic) panel, used in conjunction with a car battery, which provides a reservoir of power for the computer.


UNESCO publishes studies on ICT education
The Asia-Pacific Programme on ICT in Education managed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Bangkok has just published two studies on ICT in education christened as ‘School Networking.’

‘School Networking’ analyses the experiences of five Asian countries in networking schools, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. This publication provides specific lessons learned in the use of SchoolNets to revolutionise education and highlights best practices, along with recommendations for further improvements.


‘Easylearning’ launched in India
Unleashing of a new era in the field of education, information and skills development in India, Asad U Shah, Director Strategic Alliances of ICWFD (International Commission on Workforce Development (ICWFD.ORG) has launched ‘Easylearning’ in Bangalore. ‘Easylearning’ is a unique initiative to provide self-sustainable IT and Professional Development skills training to the masses.

He has said that this distribution programme will be a unique opportunity for all key players to develop a shared vision of ways to bridge the digital divide.


34 AP villages of India to be covered by the ‘Knowledge Corridor’

The Government of Andhra Pradesh has decided to create a ‘Knowledge Corridor’ that would be spread across 20,000 acres in 34 revenue villages. The ‘Knowledge Corridor’ would encompass industries and services in the areas of information technology, biotechnology and financial services. The corridor would spread from Khanamet village near Hyderabad to Kollur village.

While speaking at a meeting organised by the Hyderabad Software Exporters Association, the Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy said that a unique ‘Knowledge Corridor’ aimed at further strengthening and consolidating on the advantages of technology sector in the state. He also said that the IT policy, to be put up before the Cabinet slated to meet on March 4, would provide support to the technology sector with new set of guidelines and norms.

“While the government will continue to focus on sectors such as agriculture and irrigation, we will continue to provide the much necessary support and infrastructure for technology sector as well”, he said. The `Knowledge Corridor’ will be complemented by an eight-lane 160-km ring road along with 12 satellite towns dotting the network.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology to bridge the digital divide in developing countries
In United States, the researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has planned to provide laptops costing US$100 to 100-200 million students in the developing world by 2006.

But bridging the digital divide between rich and poor countries is not just about making a cheap product; it is also about making it usable in areas that have unstable electricity supplies, poor transport systems, and few trained computer technicians. The scientists of Massachusetts Institute of Technology aim to overcome these problems. They are developing innovative ways of powering the machines, such as through the action of typing. The laptops are also being designed to be as robust as military equipment to prevent them being damaged in transit on poor roads.


Community Radio

Delhi to avail its first community radio to fight against natural disasters
The Indian national capital of New Delhi, will soon be availing its first community radio positioned at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC).

The community radio will initially cover a radius of 8-10 kilometres in and around IIMC. After the tsunami disaster, the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry has decided to set up community radio stations to broadcast news and alerts about imminent natural calamities.



ICT to enhance the agricultural productivity of Philippines
The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), a sectoral council of the Department of Science and Technology, is providing an overall coordination and administration of knowledge-based products, services and systems in attempt to boost up the applications of ICTs in the farming sector.

DOST-PCARRD, Department of Land Reform (DLR), Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) and Department of Agriculture

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