Thursday, 29 September 2016

World University Rankings 2016-2017 by subject: results announced

Eight subject rankings reveal elite group of 14 US and European universities thriving across disciplines.

Expertise across a broad range of disciplines – rather than exceptional performance in just a few – is key to success in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, THE's latest subject rankings suggest.
Just 14 different universities make the top five of the eight subject rankings published this week, which cover arts and humanities; business and economics; clinical, pre-clinical and health; computer science; engineering and technology; life sciences; physical sciences; and social sciences. Both computer science and business and economics are new subject rankings for 2016-17.
Only one of the universities in this eminent group is outside the US and the UK: Switzerland’s ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich.
The other institutions are Stanford University,Yale University, the University of Chicago,Harvard UniversityPrinceton University,Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCalifornia Institute of TechnologyGeorgia Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley in the US, and the University of Oxford,University of CambridgeImperial College London and University College London in the UK.
All these universities appear in the top 33 places of the THE World University Rankings 2016-2017published last week. The University of Oxford, which became the first UK university to top the table, makes the top five in seven of the subject rankings – more than any other institution – but is number one in only the clinical, pre-clinical and health list.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

World Tourism Day 2016 --- “Tourism for all”

Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization has recognized September 27 as World Tourism Day. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide. This year, the world is celebrating World Tourism Day with the theme:

“Tourism for all – promoting universal accessibility”

Tourism today is believed to be one of the largest industries in the world. The unmatched potential of tourism in a country’s economy, contribution on lasting peace and facilitating in international brotherhood and environmental awareness have already attracted many government and nations to welcome it.

Tourism industry is also a source of generation of employment. As a service industry, tourism requires an efficient and professional service-minded people. Thus, to be a part of this industry and to be a successful professional, it requires adequate knowledge, skills and expertise about the tourism system and its mechanism.

PHI Learning’s books in the area of tourism provides practical know-how about the travel and tourism management, while equal emphasis is laid on the theoretical aspects to cater to the needs of the students. 

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Monday, 26 September 2016

On the right to photocopy

The DU photocopy judgment is a victory for access to education. But is it successful in balancing the competing interests of the academic community and the copyright holders?
On September 16, the Delhi High Court dismissed the copyright infringement petition filed by three international publishers against a photocopy shop located in the Delhi University premises (The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford v. Rameshwari Photocopy Services). The court ruled that making course packs for suggested reading for students by photocopying portions of various prescribed reference books does not violate the copyright of the publishers.
Right to reproduction 
Section 14 of the Copyright Act, 1957, grants a bundle of exclusive rights such as the right to reproduction on copyright owners for commercial exploitation of the work. Making photocopies amounts to reproduction. Photocopies made in violation of Section 14 thus constitute infringement unless it is listed under Section 52 as an act not constituting infringement. The judgment holds that if any provision of the Act permits any person other than the owner to reproduce any work or substantial part thereof, such reproduction will not amount to infringement (Para 27).
The Copyright Act, to prevent stagnation of the growth of creativity, seeks to maintain a balance between the competing interests of the copyright owners on the one hand and the interests of the public to have access to works on the other. Copyright’s basic rationale is that there should be promotion of creativity through sufficient protection; and at the same time it also caters for dissemination of knowledge and access to copyright material through the doctrine of fair dealing. This doctrine, which is essential for research and academic purposes, is an exception to copyright holders’ exclusive rights. The Indian copyright law uses the term ‘fair deal’ (where listed purposes are statutorily embedded) whereas the U.S.’s copyright law adopts ‘fair use’ (which is merely illustrative). As per Article 13 of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement, these exceptions must confine to “special cases which do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holder”. Since the term ‘fair dealing’ is not defined in the Act, the judiciary determines its scope on a case by case basis.
Fair dealing 
Section 52(1)(i) of the Copyright Act treats as fair dealing “the reproduction of any work (i) by a teacher or a pupil in the course of instruction; or (ii) as part of the questions to be answered in an exam; or (iii) in answers to such question. Section 52(1)(j) uses terms such as “staff and students of an educational institution” whereas Section 52(1)(i) uses “teacher or a pupil in the course of instruction.” On analysing this difference, the judgment holds that “there is no reason to interpret Section 52 (1)(i) as providing for an individual teacher and an individual pupil.” The word ‘instruction’ is not defined in the Act. According to Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, the words “in the course of instruction” would include “reproduction of any work while the process of imparting instruction by the teacher and receiving instruction by the pupil continues during the entire academic session... imparting and receiving of instruction is not limited to personal interface between teacher and pupil but is a process commencing from the teacher readying herself/himself for imparting instruction, setting syllabus, prescribing text books, readings and ensuring, whether by interface in classroom/tutorials or otherwise...” Hence it would be fair dealing if the students click photographs of each page of portions of the prescribed book.

Copyright must increase and not impede the harvest of knowledge. When the judgment reads, “Copyright is to motivate the creative activity of authors in order to benefit the public”, what is left for the copyright owners? The judgment places no limitation on photocopy if the material is prescribed in the course of instruction. Copyright holders invest considerably in creating works. Can this be ignored while interpreting Section 52(1)(i) as a license for reproducing unlimitedly everything prescribed in the suggested reading? If the legislature had intended to give such a wide interpretation to the words “in the course of instruction”, why does it add, “as part of the questions to be answered in an exam or in answers to such question” which should also be covered automatically? If the suggested reading provides for the whole book, does Section 52(1)(i) permit reproduction of the whole book or only reasonable excerpts? The judgment has conveniently avoided any direct reference to this aspect. The Court Commissioner had reported that “8 books were found being photocopied cover to cover”. Was the court successful in balancing the competing interests of the academic community and the copyright holders? When the university is entitled to free photocopy of 3,000 pages every month(Para 4), can the possibility of commercial interest be overruled? In that context, does it comply with Article 13 of TRIPS? Is it justified to cover the private photocopy shop in the university premises within the expression “in the course of instruction”? Doesn’t the judgment provide blanket immunity to the university to meet the demands of all the students by purchasing a single book?
Undoubtedly, the judgment, which is a breakthrough in the Indian copyright jurisprudence, is a major victory to access to education in a developing country like India. It will certainly have a far-reaching impact in academic circles as well as on the copyright industry. When access to education itself is a challenge, none of the students can be expected to purchase expensive textbooks, especially when syllabi prescribe certain portions from various books. Universities are expected to cater to students’ reading requirement without prejudicing copyright holders’ legitimate economic interests. Are the Indian universities honestly utilising funds earmarked for libraries for that purpose? The students’ demands can be met reasonably by permitting reproduction of reasonable excerpts.

Friday, 23 September 2016

World University Rankings 2016-2017: results announced

World University Rankings 2016-2017: results announced

University of Oxford snatches top spot from Caltech in this year’s World University Rankings as Asia’s rise continues..

The University of Oxford has become the first UK university to top the Times Higher Education World University Rankings in the 12-year history of the table. It knocks the five-time leader, the California Institute of Technology, into second place in the World University Rankings 2016-2017.

Oxford’s success can be attributed to improved performances across the four main indicators underlying the methodology of the ranking – teaching, research, citations and international outlook. More specifically the institution’s total income and research income is rising faster than its staff numbers, its research is more influential, and it has been more successful at drawing in international talent.
But when looking at country level, nations in Asia stand out. Two new Asian universities make the top 100 (Chinese University of Hong Kong and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)), while another four join the top 200: City University of Hong Kong, University of Science and Technology of China, Fudan University and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Furthermore, China’s two flagship universities have both made gains – Peking University joins the top 30 at 29th (up from 42nd last year), while Tsinghua University joins the top 40 at 35th (up from joint 47th). Asia’s leading institution, the National University of Singapore, is at 24th – its highest ever rank.
Meanwhile, India’s leading university – the Indian Institute of Science – is edging closer to the top 200, claiming a spot in the 201-250 band, its highest ever position.
Overall, 289 Asian universities from 24 countries make the overall list of 980 institutions and an elite group of 19 are in the top 200, up from 15 last year.
When analysing which countries achieve the highest average scores, Singapore comes top on all five of the pillars underlying the ranking – teaching, research, citations, industry income and international outlook. Hong Kong is second for teaching, third for research and fourth for citations.
Rajika Bhandari, deputy vice-president of research and evaluation at the Institute of International Education and co-editor of the book Asia: The Next Higher Education Superpower?, said that the “sharp rise” of Asia’s universities is due to three main factors: rapidly growing populations and demand for higher education in the region; governments making “significant investments” in universities; and improvements by individual institutions.
On advances at university level, she said that many Asian scholars who studied at Western universities are now academics in their home countries and have “really begun to transform their own higher education sectors”.
They have “brought back to [their] home campuses some of the teaching values of critical thinking and liberal education, as well as the idea of promotion based on merit and research outputs”, she said.
2016-17 rank2015-16 rankInstitutionCountry
12University of OxfordUnited Kingdom
21California Institute of TechnologyUnited States
33Stanford UniversityUnited States
44University of CambridgeUnited Kingdom
55Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUnited States
66Harvard UniversityUnited States
77Princeton UniversityUnited States
88Imperial College LondonUnited Kingdom
99ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ZurichSwitzerland
=1013University of California, BerkeleyUnited States
=1010University of ChicagoUnited States
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Thursday, 22 September 2016

The Difference Between Data Analysis and Data Modeling

The Difference Between Data Analysis and Data Modeling

In today’s information rich world, we are seeing more and more data-related analysis skills in business analysis jobs. Some data skills are critical for business analysts while others are better suited to other job functions, such as data analyst, financial analyst, reporting analyst, marketing analyst, and product management.
In this article, we’ll look at the set of skills required for both data analysis and data modeling, describe how data modeling can require some data analysis, and explain how skilled business analysts complete this level of analysis without technical data analysis skills.

Data Analysis Evaluates the Data Itself

Data analysis is a set of tools and techniques to gain insight from an organization’s data. A data analyst might hold the following job responsibilities:
  • Create and analyze meaningful reports (possibly using a third-party reporting, data warehousing, or business intelligence system) to help the business make better decisions.
  • Merge data from multiple data sources together, as part of data mining, so it can be analyzed and reported on.
  • Run queries on existing data sources to evaluate analytics and analyze trends.
Data analysts can be expected to have hands-on access to the organization’s data repositories and use technical skills to query and manipulate the data. They may also be skilled in statistical analysis and probably pursued some math classes in higher education.
Common alternative job titles for this type of role include Report Analyst, Data Warehousing Analyst, Business Intelligence Analyst, or even Product/Marketing Analyst. The common thread among this diverse set of job titles is that each role is responsible for analyzing a specific type of data or using a specific type of tool to analyze data.

Data Modeling Evaluates How an Organization Manages Data

In contrast, data modeling is a set of tools and techniques to understand and analyze how an organization should collect, update, and store data. Data modeling is a critical skill for a business analyst that is involved with discovering, analyzing, and specifying changes to how software systems create and maintain information.
A data modeler might:
  • Create an entity relationship diagram to visualize relationships between key business concepts.
  • Create a conceptual-level data dictionary to communicate data requirements that are important to business stakeholders.
  • Create a data map to resolve potential data issues for a data migration or integration project.
A data modeler would not necessarily query or manipulate data or be involved in designing or implementing databases or data repositories.

Data Modeling Can Require Some Data Analysis

You often need to analyze data as part of making data modeling decisions, and this means that data modeling can include an element of data analysis. You can accomplish a lot here with very basic technical skills, such as the ability to run simple database queries. This is one reason that you can see a technical skill like SQL in a business analyst job description.

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Microsoft Excel 2013

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

GATE 2017

GATE 2017 --- What’s New in Exam?

Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is a national level examination which is conducted jointly every year by the GATE Committee comprising IISc, Bangalore and  the seven IITs (Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras and Roorkee) on behalf of the National Coordinating Board, Department of Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development. Next year, It will be conducted by IIT Roorkee in February.

It is an online Computer Based Test. The GATE score is used for the admissions to various postgraduate programmes such as M.Tech and PhD. It is also used by several Indian public sector undertakings and Private Sector Undertakings for employment processes in India. Presently GATE is conducted in 23 disciplines of engineering and science.

Changes in GATE 2017

New Section in XE:
The XE (Engineering Sciences) paper now has a new section on Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (section H). With this the number of sections in the XE paper has increased to eight (A-H).

GATE International:
GATE examinations shall be conducted in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates.

New GATE Centers:
Burdwan (IIT Guwahati Zone), Dibrugarh (IIT Guwahati Zone) and Gorakhpur (IIT Kanpur Zone) have been added as new GATE centers..

Important Dates

GATE 2017 Preparatory Books
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Highlights of the Series
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  •   Comprises Engineering Mathematics, Technical Section and General Aptitude
  •  Solved GATE questions asked in examination
  •  Emphasis on fundamentals to crack the tricky problem during the examination
  •  Step-by-step and simple problem solving technique enables the students to sharpen their problem solving skills for GATE examinations

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Renewable energy now cheaper than some fossil fuels

Renewable energy now cheaper than some fossil fuels

Assessment suggests renewables costs will plummet by 2020
Renewable energy is now cheaper than some fossil fuels, according to a financial thinktank. The firm also suggests running costs for wind farms may be less than half that of gas or coal-powered plants by 2020.
Last year, there was an upsurge in renewable energy capacity, with around 147GW added to the grid globally – the largest single increase in one year. The Carbon Tracker Initiative, a non-profit thinktank, has now calculated the average power generation costs for solar, wind, coal and gas using levelised cost of electricity (LCOE). This value represents the lifetime cost of building and running a plant per the total amount of electricity produced. The firm admits in its analysis, however, that a LCOE figure should only be taken as a guide.
As of 2016, gas-powered plants have a LCOE of nearly $80/MWh (£61/MWh), with solar and coal costing about $70/MWh. But wind power’s costs are lower at just over $60/MWh.
Carbon Tracker has also estimated the costs of power generation in 2020. It predicts that with governments introducing new decarbonisation targets, coal and gas plant costs are set to rise, with coal reaching over $100/MWh. It appears the reverse will be true for solar and wind, with costs projected to dip below $50/MWh.
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Books on Renewable Energy Resources

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Amicable solution to the Delhi University photocopy row

Amicable solution to the Delhi University photocopy row

The recent case filed by premier publishing houses against Delhi University and a photocopy shop in its near vicinity, Rameshwari Photocopy Services, has sparked off a debate across the country regarding  the interests protected under the Indian Copyright Act. The Indian Reprographic Rights Organization (IRRO) is a copyright society that grants licenses to various organizations in order to enable them to copy and share information efficiently across the organization while minimizing the risk of copyright infringement. It actively supports a wide array of publishers, authors, artists and visual creators and international rights holders to protect their creative content. It grants licenses for a period of 1 year as per law.

The society has come in rescue of the Delhi University and claims that there is a legal way to photocopy course material which will protect students' interest without violating Indian Copyright Act. The plaintiffs in this case include big publishing houses such as Oxford University Press, Press of the Cambridge University, Cambridge University Press India Pvt. Ltd and Informa UK Ltd. Their contention being that the DU-licensed photocopy shop has infringed their copyrights by selling photocopied course package of various books as a result of which their business is being negatively affected. A student of DU has the option of either buying the expensive books published by these houses or can get them at a rate far below the original price of the book from the photocopy shop. This the publishers hold amounts to copyright infringement.

The publishers claim that the photocopy shop has been indulging in creating pirated version of books and selling them away to the student at very cheap prices. The esteemed faculty of the University has written to these publishing houses requesting them to take a more lenient stand in order to protect the interests of the students. It’s a known fact that a large percentage of the student community in India are from economically backward sections and  are not well off to buy expensive course books. However that does not grant anyone any right to sell off intellectual works of highly acclaimed academia in any unbecoming manner. But the interests of the students can be rightly protected under the Indian Copyright Act which allows for fair dealing practice. The students are not using these copied material for gaining any monetary benefit, but only for academic purposes.

There has to be balance drawn such that the rights of the publishing houses as well as the interests of the students are protected in a such a manner that it wouldn’t amount to any legal violations. Photocopying shops must be prevented from creating course package of books without licenses being granted to them by IRRO. This would ensure that there’s no commercial exploitation and that the interests of the publishers are not kept at bay. Further all such photocopy shops wanting to sell photocopied content to the students at cheaper options must mandatorily apply for licenses from the IRRO by paying an annual fee of Rs. 12000. This also entitles  the publisher to have a share of 50 paise for each content taken by the student. And hence better education can be made available to poor students who cannot afford to buy books at exorbitant prices.

Monday, 19 September 2016

A blow for the right to knowledge

A blow for the right to knowledge

In its much awaited judgment in the Delhi University photocopying case (The Chancellor Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford v. Rameshwari Photocopy Services), the Delhi High Court has dismissed the copyright infringement petition initiated in August 2012 by three publishers (Oxford, Cambridge and Taylor & Francis) against a photocopy shop located in the premises of Delhi University. This case, which was being closely tracked by students, teachers and the publishing industry alike, was seen as one with immense significance for questions of access to knowledge. While initially involving only the publishers, the photocopier and the university, the case also saw intervention petitions being filed by a student group (Association of Students for Equitable Access to Knowledge) as well as by teachers and academics (Society for Promoting Educational Access and Knowledge). While the publishers made the argument that the creation of course packs and the photocopying of academic material for the same amounted to an infringement of the exclusive copyright of the authors and publishers, the defendants argued that the reproduction of materials for educational purposes fell within the exceptions to copyright under Section 52(1)(i) of the Copyright Act.

Not a moral right

In his considered and sharply reasoned judgment, Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw examines the gamut of arguments made by both sides and arrives at the conclusion that copyright is a statutory right and not a natural right, and hence any right that is granted to owners is also limited by exceptions carved out by law. The nature of Section 52 of the Copyright Act is such that any act falling within its scope will not constitute infringement. Section 52(1)(i) allows for the reproduction of any work i) by a teacher or a pupil in the course of instruction; or ii) as part of the questions to be answered in an examination; or iii) in answers to such questions.
The crux of the dispute was about whether course packs fall within this exception. The petitioners tried to provide a narrow reading of the section, claiming that at best what the section allows for is the provision of materials in the course of a lecture and spatially restricted to a classroom. The court, while rejecting this claim, argues that “instruction” cannot be narrowly understood and, through a historically informed reading of the phrase “in the course of”, concludes that instruction includes the entire ambit of pedagogy from the creation of syllabus to teaching and provision of reading materials.
It then locates the question of education within a changing technological environment, and argues that “when an action, if onerously done, is not an offence, it cannot become an offence when, owing to advancement in technology doing thereof has been simplified” (paragraph 75). To make this point, Justice Endlaw contrasts his own experiences as a law student where photocopying was very limited and studying entailed students copying by hand, scribe like, pages after pages of books. Photocopiers have just made the task simpler and faster, but if the act of copying for a particular purpose is itself not illegal, and “the effect of the action is the same, the difference in the mode of action cannot make a difference so as to make one an offence”.

For progress

In a clear statement of the philosophical basis of copyright law, Justice Endlaw rejects the populist and unidimensional assumption that copyright is about the protection of the property rights of owners. He notes instead: “Copyright, specially in literary works, is thus not an inevitable, divine, or natural right that confers on authors the absolute ownership of their creations. It is designed rather to stimulate activity and progress in the arts for the intellectual enrichment of the public. Copyright is intended to increase and not to impede the harvest of knowledge. It is intended to motivate the creative activity of authors and inventors in order to benefit the public.”

If copyright was always about maintaining a balance between competing ideas of private and public interest, the Delhi High Court has restored to copyright jurisprudence a clear mandate for the future, one which is cognisant that the end goal of technology is the improvement of our lives (material and intellectual) and “no law can be interpreted so as to result in any regression of the evolvement of the human being for the better” (paragraph 87).

Beijing International Book Fair 2016

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Saturday, 17 September 2016

Professional Learner’s Dictionary Of Spoken English

Learn Lead and Succeed with PHI Learning's Professional Learner’s Dictionary Of Spoken English by Rajendra Kumar Dash
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Parallel Computers : Architecture and Programming

Parallel Computers : Architecture and Programming

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Friday, 16 September 2016

Information Technology : Theory And Practice

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Books on Education and Psychology

Books on Education and Psychology

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People Management Skills Every Manager Needs To Succeed

Success as a manager will primarily depend on Soft Skills. What is this talent that means more than experience and technical prowess ...