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Global Knowledge Index 2020: Lanka ranks second in South Asia

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Sri Lanka ranked 87th out of 138 countries in the Global Knowledge Index 2020. It has scored 42.1 – the second among South Asian nations. With a score of 44.4, India ranked 75th in the world and was ahead of other South Asian countries

Bangladesh has ranked 112th out of 138 countries in the Global Knowledge Index 2020. It has scored 35.9 — the lowest among South Asian countries.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation jointly released the 2020 Global Knowledge Index (GKI) at a conference in Dubai on Wednesday.

Among other South Asian countries, Bhutan scored 40.9, Nepal 36.2 and Pakistan scored 35.9.

Switzerland topped the Index with a score of 73.6. This is the fourth time in a row that the country has held the top spot. The United States is second with a score of 71.1 and Finland is third with a score of 70.8.

Factors, including education, technology, development and innovation have been considered in creating the index.

The index has been made based on 133 variables under seven sectors. These are: pre-university education; technical and vocational education and training; higher education and research; development and innovation; information and communication technology; economics; and general supportive environment.

The Global Knowledge Index (GKI), produced annually since 2017, is a summary measure for tracking the knowledge performance of countries at the level of seven areas, namely pre-university education, technical and vocational education and training, higher education, research, development and innovation, information and communications technology, economy and the general enabling environment.

It aims to measure the multifaceted concept of knowledge. The concept is a fluid one, often linked to related concepts such as ‘knowledge economy’ or ‘knowledge society’. It is also sometimes restricted to a narrow understanding that limits the focus to education or technology.

Given the variations in its use and meaning, the GKI aims to introduce a more systematic understanding of knowledge by breaking down the concept into its constituent components, thus recognizing the multidimensional nature of knowledge systems in all contexts and applications relating to economic and social structures. This allows a more meaningful and insightful exploration of knowledge policies in relation to different sectors. Additionally, it also enables a more scientific and evidence-based linkage between development and knowledge, in maintaining the notion of human development as applied by UNDP as well as the concept of sustainable development agreed by world leaders in 2015 in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

Covering 138 countries and 199 indicators, the GKI provides a systematic tool for guiding and informing policymakers, researchers, civil society and the private sector to collaborate on different aspects of policies to foster knowledge-based societies and bridge knowledge gaps.



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Death threats won’t deter us – EC Chairman

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Nimal Punchihewa (Chairman ECSL) picture by PRIYAN DE SILVA
Chairman of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka Nimal Punchihewa told The Island that members of  the election commission won’t be deterred by death threats.
He said that members of the commission  M M Mohamed,  K P P Pathirana and S B Diwarathne have been repeatedly threatened and the police have not been able to apprehend the perpetrators.
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Three people dead after torrential rain in New Zealand

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At least three people have died due to flash flodding in Auckland (picture BBC)

BBC reported that at least three people have died and one is missing after New Zealand’s largest city experienced its “wettest day on record” on Friday.

Auckland is said to have received 75% of its usual summer rainfall in just 15 hours.

A local state of emergency was declared as authorities managed evacuations and widespread flooding.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Chris Hipkins thanked emergency services for their swift response to the disaster.The new prime minister travelled to Auckland, where he also expressed his condolences to the loved ones of those who died in the floods.

“The loss of life underscores the sheer scale of this weather event and how quickly it turned tragic”, he said in a news conference on Saturday afternoon.

The downpour flooded the airport, shifted houses and resulted in power cuts to homes for hours.

New Zealand’s defence forces were mobilised to assist with evacuations and emergency shelters were set up across the city.

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Parliament prorogued on Friday night

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President says cabinet agreeable to fully implementing 13 A until party leaders decide whether or not to abolish the Amendment

Parliament was prorogued from midnight Friday (27) by President Ranil Wickremesinghe under powers vested in him by Article 70 of the Constitution, parliamentary sources said on Friday.

The Department of Government Printing was due to issue the relevant notification on Friday night but it was not out as this edition went to print.However the President’ Media Division (PMD) confirmed the prorogation on Friday evening saying that President Wickremesinghe “is expected” to make a policy statement based on the decisions taken after the 75th Independence anniversary when parliament recommences on Feb.8.

A separate bulletin said that the president had informed the party leaders Conference on Reconciliation that the cabinet was agreeable to “fully implementing (the) 13th Amendment until party leaders decide whether or not to abolish the Amendment.”

Parliamentary sources explained that a prorogation which is a temporary recess of parliament, should not extend to a period of more than two months, However, such date for summoning parliament may be advanced by another presidential proclamation provided it is summoned for a date not less than three days from the date of such fresh proclamation.

Political observers believe that the prorogation is related to the president’s effort to secure as wide a consensus as possible on the National Question. They dismissed speculation that it is related to the scheduled local elections. This issue was clarified by the PMD bulletin.

When parliament is prorogued, the proclamation should notify the date of the commencement of the new session of parliament under Article 70 of the Constitution.During the prorogation the speaker continues to function and MPs retain their membership of the legislature even though they do not attend meetings of the House.

The effect of a prorogation is to suspend all current business before the House and all proceedings pending at the time are quashed except impeachments.A Bill, motion or question of the same substance cannot be introduced for a second time during the same session. However, it could be carried forward at a subsequent session after a prorogation.

“All matters which having been duly brought before parliament, have not been disposed of at the time of the prorogation, may be proceeded with during the next session,” states the paragraph (4) of article 70 of the constitution.

In the light of this constitutional provision, a prorogation does not result in an end to pending business. Thus, a pending matter may be proceeded with from that stage onwards after the commencement of the new session.

At the beginning of a new session all items of business which were in the order paper need to be re-listed, if it is desired to continue with them.At the end of a prorogation a new session begins and is ceremonially declared open by the president.

He is empowered under the constitution to make a statement of government policy at the commencement of each session of parliament and to preside at ceremonial sittings of parliament in terms of the provisions of paragraph (2) of article 33 of the constitution.The president is empowered to make a statement of government policy at the commencement of each new session. In the past, it was known as the Throne Speech which was delivered by the Governor-General.

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