Monday, 30 November 2009

Goettingen Municipality, Germany

Municipality is called as RATHAUS in German language. This is the example of successful devolution of power to local government. The office have all the right that within its territory as the government has upon the country! What a good example of decentralisation! Nepal could learn from it.

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Sunday, 29 November 2009

Children Playing on Weinnachtmann Festival at Goettingen

This is the short movie clip of children playing in Ganzeliesel, goettingen, germany two years ago...

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Saturday, 28 November 2009

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

'Father of the Poor' Has Triggered Economic Miracle: Brazils President Lula

Brazil is seen as an economic success story and its people revere President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva like a star. He is on a mission to turn the country into one of the world's five biggest economies through reforms, giant infrastructure projects and by tapping vast oil reserves. But he faces hurdles.

Elizete Piauí has been waiting patiently for hours in the shade of a mango tree. She is wearing plastic sandals and baggy shorts over her thin legs. At 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), the air is shimmering on this unusually hot day in Barra, a small city in the Sertão, the heart of northeastern Brazil. But Piauí isn't complaining, because today is her big day, the day she meets the president, who is working to provide her hut with running water.

The rattle of a helicopter signals his arrival. The white aircraft circles once over the crowd before landing. A motorcycle escort accompanies the Brazilian president to the ceremony.

Lula gets out of the limousine wearing a white linen shirt and a green military hat. Ignoring the local dignitaries in their dark suits, Lula heads straight for the crowd behind a security barrier. "Lula, Papai! (Papa Lula!)" Elizete calls out. He pulls her to his chest and shakes the hands of others in the crowd, allowing them to touch, stroke and embrace him. Beads of sweat are running down his flushed face, and people are tugging at his shirt, but Lula soaks in the attention. He feels at home here, in one of Brazil's poorest regions.

The president spends three days traveling through the Sertão. He knows the route. He came to the region 15 years ago for the first time on a campaign tour, traveling by bus and staying in inexpensive guesthouses. He made stops in every village square, seven or eight times a day, and usually held his speeches from the back of a truck. His voice was usually hoarse and weak by the evening, and he had to change his sweat-soaked shirt up to 10 times a day.

"He is Still One of us"

Now he travels in helicopters and armored cars, while police cars, their blue lights flashing, lead the way along country roads. Volunteers have set up air-conditioners and buffet meals at Lula's lodgings, and sometimes they even roll out a red carpet. The press criticizes the expense, but it doesn't trouble most Brazilians because they're proud of their president. He has made it to the top, they argue, so why shouldn't he enjoy his success? "He is still one of us," says Elizete, "because he is the father of the poor."

Lula is familiar with the fate of the Nordestinos, as the people in Brazil's poor Northeast Region are called. He was born in the Sertão, but his mother eventually put the children on the back of a truck and took them to São Paulo, 2,000 kilometers to the south. Lula's eventual rise to power began in São Paulo's industrial suburbs. His mother was one of the hundreds of thousands of have-nots who left the drought-plagued Sertão with its dried-up fields and livestock dying of thirst, and migrated to the wealthy south to work as doormen, waiters, construction workers or domestic servants.

In a plan to turn this arid region green, Lula is tapping into the waters of the 2,700-kilometer Rio São Francisco, the lifeline for large parts of Brazil. The river provides water to five states, but it makes a wide loop around the Sertão. Under Lula's plan, two canals will bring water from the river across 600 kilometers (375 miles) into the drought-ridden areas. "It's the least I can do for you," Lula calls out to the people in Barra.

Controversial Project

The mega-project, which requires bridging a 200-meter (656-foot) altitude difference, is slated to cost 6.6 billion Real, or about €2.6 billion ($3.9 billion). Lula has deployed soldiers to the region to excavate the canals. Eight thousand workers toil away at the construction sites as earthmoving equipment digs through the steppe. If all goes well, 12 million Brazilians will benefit from the diversion project, which is scheduled for completion in 2025. It is Lula's biggest and costliest project, and probably also his most controversial.

His supporters liken him to US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who dammed the Tennessee River in the 1930s to provide electricity to the region and who launched the New Deal, a massive investment program to overcome the Great Depression. But critics see the undertaking as a massive money pit. It has also drawn the ire of environmentalists, and even the Bishop of Barra has already gone on two hunger strikes against it. He fears that the diversion project will only cause the river to silt up even further, and claims that the irrigation would mainly benefit the agricultural sector.

The bishop is nowhere to be found, and we are told he is attending meetings outside the city. In truth, however, the cleric is keeping a low profile. Criticism of the president is frowned upon in his congregation. Lula speaks the language of ordinary people, telling his supporters stories of his youth, of the days when his mother would send him to fetch water and he would return home balancing the heavy bucket on his head. He was five at the time.

Brazil was once called "Belindia," a term coined by a businessman who saw the vast country as a cross between Belgium and India, a place of European wealth and Asian poverty, where the chasm between rich and poor seemed insurmountable. Lula was the first to build a bridge a between the two Brazils.

Now he is both the darling of bankers and the idol of the poor. With the so-called worker-president at its helm, Brazil is attracting investors from around the world. Jim O'Neill, the chief economist at Goldman Sachs, invented the acronym BRIC, for the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, and predicted a bright future for the South American giant. But his colleagues derided him. China and India certainly had prospects, but Brazil? For decades, the country was seen as a shackled giant, plagued by never-ending crises and inflation.

Rising Economic Power

But today "B" is the star among the BRIC nations, with experts predicting up to five percent growth for the Brazilian economy in 2010. Brazil is currently growing faster than Russia and, unlike India, does not suffer from ethnic conflicts or border disputes. The country of 192 million has a stable domestic market, with exports -- cars and aircraft, soybeans and iron ore, oil and cellulose, sugar, coffee and beef -- making up only 13 percent the gross domestic product.

And because China replaced the United States as Brazil's biggest trading partner at the beginning of this year, the country is not as severely affected by the slump in the US market as it might have been. Brazil's banks are strong and stable, and hardly encountered any difficulties at all during the crisis. Most important, however, is the fact that Brazil is a stable, Western-style democracy.

The country has repaid its foreign debt, and it has even become a lender to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The government has accumulated more than $200 billion in reserves, and the Real is considered one of the world's strongest currencies. International experts foresee a decade of prosperity and growth for the country. Lula predicts that Brazil will be one of the five biggest economies on Earth by 2016, the year Rio de Janeiro hosts the Olympic Games. It will host the soccer World Cup in 2014.

And then there are Brazil's seemingly unlimited natural resources, vast fresh water reserves and oil. Brazil exports more meat than the United States, and China would be in a tight spot without Brazilian soybeans. At aircraft manufacturer Embraer's hangars near São Paulo, Brazilian engineers build airplanes for airlines around the world, including short-range aircraft for Lufthansa.

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Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Friday, 20 November 2009

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Two PhD-student positions in plant ecology at the University of Bern, Switzerland

We are seeking two PhD students highly motivated to work on the relationship of land use, plant biodiversity, and plant-related ecosystem processes. The studies will form part of the plant diversity team of the Biodiversity Exploratory project(http://www.biodiversity-exploratories.de) funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG). The work will involve field work in three diverse regions in Germany, experimental studies in the field, and multi-species experiments in greenhouse and common garden.
The PhD projects will focus on (i) the analysis of land use effects on vegetation and production in grassland and forests, including experimental manipulation of diversity, and (ii) the analysis of functional plant diversity in response to land use.
The positions will be with Prof. Dr Markus Fischer and Dr. Daniel Prati in the Plant Ecology section of the Institute of Plant Sciences of the University of Bern, Switzerland, (http://www.botany.unibe.ch/planteco/). The institute offers a stimulating international research environment and excellent facilities. In addition to projects on plant biodiversity, our group is involved in projects on evolutionary and molecular plant ecology, plant population biology, Alpine ecology and invasion biology. Bern is a beautiful city situated in a beautiful landscape.
The ideal start date is not later than 1 February 2010. The positions are funded by the German Science Foundation for an initial period of 20 months, and we do of course intend to prolong the projects for another 16 months.
Requirements for the positions include a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in biology or a related discipline, a driver’s license, fluency in English and team spirit. Working knowledge in German is advantageous. Ideally, the candidates for these positions should complement each other and have a strong background in population and community ecology, vegetation science, and experimental ecology, and sound knowledge of statistical methods.
Applicants should include a letter of motivation, a curriculum vitae and contact details of two references into one pdf-file and email it to Markus Fischer and Daniel Prati (see email addresses below). In the motivation letter the applicant should outline why she or he wants to go for a PhD degree and why she or he wants to work on biodiversity. The applicant should also present details on her or his experimental and statistical skills. The application deadline is December 15, 2009. For more information on this position, the project and research in our lab contact Markus Fischer (Markus.Fischer@ips.unibe.ch) or Daniel Prati (daniel.prati@ips.unibe.ch).
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Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Wonderful and Sobre Carnival at Angermünde, Germany

I have recorded this movie clip during my recent field trip. Please enjoy the rich culture and sobre dance by little girls.

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Differences between abroad and Motherland !

An American Professor asked us a very crucial question about the differences between motherland and abroad. We donot know whether we could satisfy him with our answer or not, but the small movie clip about it is here.

Professor Dr. Tom Hammett, a senior professor at world famous Virginia Tech University the USA, has lots of love and faith upon Nepal and Nepalese. We were highly impressed with his fluency in speaking and understanding Nepalese language and culture. He has already worked for the forestry education in Nepal through the USAID project at Institute of Forestry, Pokhara Nepal. He has already visited more than 50 times to our country Nepal.

I have not seen yet any scholar who once visited nepal, doesnot love the country. They always talk about the natural beauty and friendliness of nepalese people. They say that we have tremendous opportunities and possibilities to develop our country, only the problem is that hard work, dedication from political parties and leaders and peaceful environment.

Please enjoy the movie clip and provide your valuable feedbacks...

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Sunday, 15 November 2009

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Congratulation to Dr. Babita Paudel

On behalf of nepali society in Gottingen, I would like to congratulate to Dr. Babita Paudel for her success to get a prestigious Alexender von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellowship (http://www.humboldt-foundation.de/web/home.html). How prestigious and well known is the awards, could be guessed through the fact that the two noble prize winners of this year (Economics) and 43 noble laureates upto now were once the Humboldt Fellow like her.

On the basis of my knowledge, Dr. Paudel completed her MSc in Botany from TU, Kirtipur on 2005. Then, on 2009, she did her Ph.D. in Biology from Soonchunhyang University, South Korea. During her Ph.D. she studied the medicinal importance of lichens from the Antarctica. She has discovered several medicinally important compounds from the lichens and published several scientific papers in the international Journals. To continue her such research using Nepali resources, she applied for the postdoct research fellowship to the Alexender von Humboldt Foundation. The foundation accepted her proposal and awarded the scholarship for one year term. She will investigate the medicinal importance of mountainous lichens from Nepal especially from Srinagar, Palpa Tansen; Sarankot, Pokhara; Nagarjun, Kathmandu. She will conduct this research in the Institute of Organic Chemistry, Gottingen University, Germany. The scholarship is one of the best in Germany as well as in the world. It is highly competitive and prestigious. Eventhough she has lots of academic achievements and published her results in international journals of high impact factors, she has simple lifestyle. As rightly said, the action works stronger than the words, she has never shown any pomposity. As She is always been inspiring to all of us, always eager to help and encourage others.
We are proud of this outstanding achievement of Dr. Paudel and we wish her success in future research career.
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Greater Nepal

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Greater Nepal " In Quest of Boundary" www.mastinepal.com

This is the sensational video clip about our motherland

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Friday, 6 November 2009

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Very attractive Ph.D. scholarship for Nepalese and other nationals

International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD): Graduate Schoold of Socio-Ecological Researcg for Development has announces attractive Ph.D. scholarships for underdeveloped countries. Any Nepalese and other people from least developed could apply for the different ph.d. programe. Further details are as follows:
Call for Applications:

20 PhD Scholarship Positions for Students from DAC Countries* at the International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD)
Starting March 1st, 2010
Deadline for applications: November 15th, 2009


ICDD is an interdisciplinary and international scientific network of excellence with the head office located at the University of Kassel, Germany and partner universities in Latin America, Africa and Asia. ICDD is funded under the programme “ex)/(ceed - Higher Education Excellence in Development Co-operation” launched by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Under its Graduate School of Socio-Ecological Research for Development, ICDD invites applications for 20 PhD scholarship positions for studnets from DAC countries at the following internationally renowned universities:

8 at the University of Kassel, Germany in the fields of political and agricultural science,
2 at the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), India in the field of sociology,
2 at the Universidade Estaduale de Campinas (Unicamp), Brazil in the field of economics,
2 at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits), South Africa in the field of sociology,
2 at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF), Pakistan in agricultural science,
2 at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatan (UADY), Mexico in agricultural science, and
2 at Egerton University (EGU), Kenya in agricultural science.

Background

ICDD's objective is to create and transfer knowledge on how to create and improve work and income opportunities in rural and urban regions of developing countries in light of globalization, climate change and urbanization. ICDD encompasses various disciplines such as agricultural science, political science, sociology, economics, and has a network of partner universities in Asia, Africa and Latin America. ICDD closely co-operates with International Labour Organisation and NGOs.

One of ICDD's core structures for the inter-disciplinary generation of knowledge is the Graduate School of Socio-Ecological Research for Development. PhD projects within this school may be rooted in either the natural or social sciences and should be focused on actor and problem oriented research on sustainable human-environmental relationships and decent livelihoods. ICDD promotes three research clusters as a common framework for the design of prospective PhD projects:

  • 1) Sustainable Value Creation for Decent Work

This cluster focuses on strategies to increase value creation by developing technologies for more efficient and sustainable use of resources and by improving human skills, preferably along agricultural commodity chains. PhD applicants should be interested in analysing spatially and sectorally detailed urban-rural linkages to address the mobility of people, goods, services, money transfers, information, and associated flows of nutrients, energy and water.

  • 2) Instruments for Promoting Decent Work

This cluster focuses on the effectiveness of existing instruments in enforcing minimum standards for labour as formulated by the International Labour Organization (ILO) such as public procurement, supply chain governance, and national minimum wages. PhD applicants should be interested in analysing such instruments and their effective implementation in different state contexts. A special focus should be directed towards their impact on or relevance for informal labour relations and particularly on the working conditions and lives of temporary labour migrants.

  • 3) Strategies of Empowerment for Decent Work

This cluster focuses on the advocacy of good working conditions within economic and political decision-making processes against the background of eroding capacities of workers to engage in collective action due to the growing informal nature of work. Thereby special Attention is directed towards particularly vulnerable groups, such as domestic workers. PhD applicants should be interested in exploring possible sources and forms of organisations to foster empowerment strategies within informal labour relations.

Scholarships:

PhD students of the Graduate School will be based either at the University of Kassel or at one of ICDD's international partner universities (see above), and will be enrolled in the respective university's PhD training programmes. Please indicate in your application at which university you wish to be located. A joint international workshop programme on subjects of the ICDD, research methods, the linkage between theory and empirical research and for the presentation of the prospective PhD projects will take place every year within the Graduate School.

Scholarships will be awarded for four years under the precondition of a successful extension after one year. The scholarships will cover a country-specific monthly allowance according to DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) standards. All scholarships will include travel expenses for south-north and south-south mobility if necessary and funding for field research and the participation in Graduate School and ICDD activities.
Application Requirements:

  • Cover Sheet (cf. attachment)
  • above average MA/MSc degree in a disciplines related to the above topics / fields
  • proof of English language proficiency
  • academic or vocational experience in one of the disciplines related to the thematic field of development and decent work
  • letter of recommendation from a professor of the ICDD network
  • summary of master thesis (1500 words), if applicable
  • preliminary PhD project proposal including topic, research question, short overview of the relevant literature, theoretical approach, research design and methodology (2.000 words)

Please submit your detailed curriculum vitae and scanned copies of the following documents with your application:

  • certificate and transcript of records of your recognised bachelor and master degrees in the original language, listing all subjects and grades (If you have not yet completed a Masters program, please include a letter from the person responsible for the program testifying the likelihood of successful completion of the program);
  • certificates / proof of English language proficiency;
  • university entrance examination certificate listing all subjects and grades (in the original language);
  • certificates of additional studies and completion of studies listing all subjects and grades (in the original language);
  • translations of all of the above-mentioned documents, if the language of the mentioned certificates is not German, English, French, Spanish or Portuguese.
  • certificates of previous professional/vocational experience (if applicable).

Applications with all necessary documents must be submitted electronically as a single pdf** no later than the 15th of November 2009 to:

gradschool(at)icdd.uni-kassel.de

Officially authenticated photocopies of all documents and translations will have to be presented, if selected for admission.

or contact: Mrs. Simone Buckel, phone + 49(0)5618047395, buckel(at)icdd.uni-kassel.de

* Countries eligible for Official Development Assistance of the OECD as approved by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in August 2009.
** Please assemble all items for your application in one single pdf document with the completed cover sheet as the front page and preferably with a list of contents as the second page. Applications consisting of multiple files will not be accepted.

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Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Ph.D. position in Soil Science: Gotttingen University Announces

At the Büsgen-Institute of Soil Science of Tropical and Subtropical Ecosystems, Georg-August University of Goettingen we offer a position of:
PhD Student / DoktorandIn (TV-L E 13/2)

beginning January 2010 for 3 years. The successful candidate will work on the BMZ funded project “Developing carbon and biodiversity assets for multifunctional landscapes in the Upper Mekong” with case studies in China, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. The specific task of the PhD student will be the ‘Quantification and modeling of carbon stock changes by land-use management systems and the development of a respective landscape based baseline and carbon monitoring methodology’. Five sites were selected: Two sites in China, Xishuangbanna province, and one site in Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand each of which one site (probably Thailand) will be the main study site. The aim of the project is to support the development of carbon and biodiversity assets for multifunctional landscapes in the upper Mekong region.
Project description: The landscape is undergoing a rapid change due to agricultural intensification and regional trade markets with the consequence of above- and belowground C stock changes. The objectives of this research project are: 1) to determine the soil C stock changes of chronosequences from secondary forests, to agroforestry (rubber, tea), mono-species plantations to agriculture, 2) modeling these changes with models like RothC or Century model, 3) development of landscape based carbon baseline and monitoring methodology considering existing standards.
Applicants should hold a M.Sc. or diploma degree in ecology, soil science, environmental sciences, geosciences, forestry, biology or related disciplines. The successful candidate is expected to be in Asia for prolonged periods to carry out research works with regular visits to the home institution for discussions/data analysis/writing. Excellent knowledge of English is essential. Basic knowledge of an Asian language or willingness to learn it is necessary.
Please send your application at soon as possible to:

Dr. R. Brumme
Buesgen Institute -Soil Science of Tropical and Subtropical Ecosystems
Buesgenweg 2
37077 Goettingen, Germany
Email: rbrumme@gwdg.de

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Monday, 2 November 2009

Wish you a very successful Journey !


Mr. Dev Raj GautamMr. Bharat Budthapa

Two of our friends, Mr. Dev Raj Gautam and Mr. Bharat Budthapa are flying to the Philippines tomorrow (3rd November) morning for their research projects. They will be involved in the research project in Leyte, the Philippines. The Visyas state univesity and Georg August University are jointly implementing this research project.

Dev Raj Gautam will be engaged in assessing the Soil Carbon whereas Bharat will work on forest inventory. With this project work, they will acquire modern technologies and skills for their professional career.
They will return Goettingen on 3rd December, 2009. We would like to extend our best wishes for their nice, pleasant and successful journey!
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Sunday, 1 November 2009

International PhD Program Tuebingen, Spring 2010

The Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology and the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory in Tuebingen, Germany, invite applications for PhD positions in: Evolutionary Biology, Ecological Genomics, Developmental Genetics, Animal Development , Plant Development, Quantitative Genetics, Molecular & Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Structural Biology and Bioinformatics

Highly qualified applicants from all countries are invited to apply. All applicants must hold or anticipate receiving a Diploma or Masters degree by the time of their start as a PhD student at our institutes. Candidates have to be fluent in written and spoken English. The positions are funded by Max Planck Fellowships.

Application form, evaluation forms (2 needed) and all details about our online registration are available by clicking the title of this announcement.

Application deadline is November 25, 2009.

After the review of completed applications selected candidates will be invited for personal interviews in Tuebingen during February 10-12, 2010. Read more...