To solve gender bender, IIMA sets up centre

With gender-related issues proliferating at every level of society, be it in domestic set-up, public sector, NGOs or the corporate world, the matter is of growing concern among policy makers as much as it is among researchers. An emerging need to address the issues has The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, set up a Gender Resource Centre that aims to use its research findings and interactions to help government organisations, NGOs and corporates create a healthy, gender-sensitive work environment for all its employees.

* Sensitising the government and non-government organisations and corporates to gender issues. * Working with the government in analysis and review of existing policies and suggesting modifications, if needed, to incorporate a gender perspective.

* Advocating the relevance of gender equality and equity to the government and organisations.

* Strategising in sync with the government for implementation of a gender-based policy in governance.

* Facilitating adoption and implementation of measures, by the corporate community and government, that help in overall development across genders.

These aims and objectives will be achieved through various seminars, surveys, Management Development Programmes and workshops to be conducted across the country. ‘‘Gender has become such a key issue in today’s life, that one needs to look at it in a more holistic fashion. We’ve gathered so much experience owing to consultancy and research on gender issues, we decided to get together and form a centre that’ll help organisations find solutions for the same. The issues could range from language usage, behaviour patterns, sexual harassment or even salary structures,’’ says Kaul. The first meeting of the centre is scheduled to be held on Friday. The centre would also recommend a gender auditing in organisations so that they can check whether internal practices, work environment and related support systems for gender mainstreaming are being followed.

‘‘Each organisation has a culture specific to it. People need to be introduced to it. And then programmes can be devised to break existing barriers so that the employees become organisationally fit. When one talks of gender, one only talks about empowering women. It should be in favour of both genders,’’ she says.

Talking about the existing gender policies, she says, ‘‘These were constituted at a time when women were moving from houses to workplaces. The policies have definitely favoured them, which is the reason they have grown. But there is so much of influx in every sector, that one needs to look at these policies and bring about amends if needed.’’

‘‘Our plan of action includes facilitating gender sensitisation, organising capacity building programmes, enhancing learning through research, consultancy and interventions, dissemination of knowledge and information, participating in review and documentation of government policies and working in close quarters with key decision makers for gender neutral governance in key result areas. We are in the process of sending mails to Department of Women and Child Welfare, the State, the Centre and various organisations across the country. Corporates with good women ratio will be of great interest to us,’’ she says.

The faculty members who are also members of the centre, have been actively involved in conducting gender related workshops and contributing for research journals focussing on gender-related issues. Says Prof. Anil Gupta, member of the centre, ‘‘I will be focussing on women as knowledge providers rather than victims of injustice. It is the informal sector that is of interest to me.’’

‘‘Gender discrimination is rampant in all social spheres. My area of interest is health, particularly maternal and child health. I shall contribute towards issues pertaining to gender and health,’’ he says.

Source: Expressindia.com


India will beat China: Forbes

India, whose high economic growth is driven mostly by the private sector, will witness a rise in the number of billionaires as compared to China in 2006, an official with the Forbes Asian Rich List said here on Thursday.

"This year there were 15 billionaire in China but last year in India, we had 20 billionaire," Contributing Editor of Forbes, Mr Justin Doebele, told PTI here on the sidelines of the release of the Forbes’ 2006 China Rich List.

"So there are more billionaires in India than in China," he said without divulging the details of the India Rich List which will be published later this month.

"We expect the numbers to go up as the markets in India have done pretty well this year," Mr Doebele said noting that the Forbes Rich List in India will be mostly based on public listing.

He noted that India had better accounting systems than China, more transparent markets and liquidity. "You can trust the numbers in India, again relative to China."

Tine Wee, Executive Director of Forbes Asia, said that Forbes will release the India Rich List, the third annual list, on November 27. In China, a 37-year-old appliance merchant Wong Kwong-yu, founder of Gome Appliances, topped the list of richest business people released by Forbes.



Winamp a hot favourite on the PC audio circuit

Have you tried a nifty little music player called Winamp, a skinnable, multi-format, freeware audio player made by Nullsoft, which is part of Time Warner. Winamp was first released by Justin Frankel in 1997. You should. But before doing that, you should first check out Winamp’s website. It’s fun because it’s so irreverent, despite being part of the suits at Time Warner.

First a little background. Winamp was originally an MP3 playback, and was based on the AMP decoding engine by PlayMedia Systems, Inc.’s Tomislav Uzelac et al. Subsequent versions were based on Nitrane, an allegedly "proprietary" decoder fabricated by Nullsoft and disputed by PlayMedia. A lawsuit was filed by PlayMedia and after an out-of-court settlement and licensing agreement, Nullsoft switched to an ISO decoder from Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, the developers of the MP3 format.

The current freely downloadable version is 5.13. The "bundled" version takes up nearly 11 MB of space, and if you have broadband, about 18 minutes to be transferred to your PC. There is also the Winamp "Pro" version, but you will need to pay $19.95 for it. So stick to the free version. I have played music, and video, on Microsoft’s Windows Media Player and Real Player V10. The latter can be used to listen to radio online, from the BBC to CNN to the hate messages on radio stations proudly peddling so-called "conservative" views.

But Winamp is something else. The quality of the audio and the video is good, comparatively speaking, and it has a plethora of fundoo skins. One thing which many make take issue with is the heavy dependence on AOL content, but hey, they own the shop, so they get first shot at the content you see and hear. I checked ou Alanis Morisette’s video in a section called "Sessions at AOL", and it was cool. You can do a whole bunch of stuff on Winamp, from listening and watching videos on SHOUTcast radio and TV, or playing MP3 files, except rip and burn CDs, a feature restricted to the "Pro" version.

The music player has its disadvantages though, suffering from a zero-day vulnerability, which means that an an attack takes place immediately after a security vulnerability is announced. Attackers have been this, but Winamp said on Tuesday that the critical flaw in the MP3 player had been fixed. Secunia, a Danish security company, had warned that the bug in Winamp 5.12 could take complete control of a PC by getting a user to download a malicious audio playlist that uses a filename larger than about 1,040 bytes. Because Winamp begins playing a playlist once it’s download, hackers could attack PCs equipped it.



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