The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) headquarters is going to be named after its first black female engineer Mary Jackson.
Jim Bridenstine, an administrator of the Nasa, said Jackson contributed in breaking down the barriers for the African Americans and women in engineering and technology, reports BBC.
Mary Jackson and her tale were featured in the film Hidden Figures.
Nasa had earlier named the street in front of its headquarters after its first black female engineer’s name.
In his statement, Bridenstine also said they will keep recognising the contributions of women, African Americans and those who contributed in the glorious journey of Nasa without coming in limelight.
“Mary W Jackson was part of a group of very important women who helped Nasa succeed in getting American astronauts into space,” Bridenstine said.
He said Mary never accepted the status quo, she helped break barriers and open opportunities for African Americans and women in the field of engineering and technology.
The move comes at a time of introspection across the US about historical injustices suffered by African Americans.
The recent death in police custody of George Floyd triggered protests around the world and renewed demands for an end to institutional racism.
Nasa began recruiting some college-educated African American women in the 1940s as ‘human computers’, but they experienced both racial and gender discrimination at work.
Mary Jackson was recruited in 1951 by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics which was succeeded by Nasa in 1958. She worked under Dorothy Vaughan - whose story was also told in Hidden Figures - in the segregated West Area Computing Unit at Langley, Virginia.
Jackson died in 2005 and in 2019 she was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.
Global leading ICT provider Huawei launched its Asia Pacific Partner Ascend Program in a virtual summit on Thursday.
“Ascend Partner Program has been launched to build an innovative and sustainable AI ecosystem that enables digitalization and intelligent transformation in the region,” said a press release.
Government officials, business leaders, industry experts, and academic scholars attended the summit with the theme “Ascend to Pervasive Intelligence.”
The APAC Ascend Partner Program consists of three sub-programs of Independent Software Vendor AI Collaboration, Institute of Higher Learning (IHL) AI Talent Cultivation, and Government AI Industry Development.
Huawei and its partners will support Asia Pacific countries with their strength in AI development, knowledge transfer, go-to-market, and strategic resources through the programmes.
“In the new AI era, a strategic partnership between the National University of Singapore and Huawei in research and talent development will make a great impact on society,” said Huang Zhiyong, Deputy Director at the National University of Singapore’s Business Analytics Centre.
“Indonesia National AI strategy empowered by BPPT, is the most important milestone toward Innovation-driven nation, the golden vision of Indonesia 2045.” said Dr Ir Hammam Riza, M.Sc, head of Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT).
Banglalink and Teach it, a community-driven e-learning platform, have jointly introduced online live classes for Primary Education Certificate (PEC) examinees during general holiday of educational institutions amid the coronavirus. outbreak.
Banglalink is supporting Teach it to launch live classes as part of its efforts to develop the startup ecosystem in the country. The initiative also aims at facilitating remote learning of students affected by Covid-19 outbreak.
Teach it is one of the participants of IT Incubator, a digital entrepreneurship programme run by Banglalink and Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority (a wing of the ICT Division of the government), said a press release.
Conducted by qualified teachers, the online live classes will be broadcast from Sunday to Thursday every week on the Facebook page of Teach it (https://www.facebook.com/teachitonline/).
Starting from June 21, the classes will run from 6pm to 9:30pm on each of the mentioned days.
Along with following the classes online, the students can engage themselves with the sessions by asking questions and working on the assignments suggested by the teachers.
All the recorded versions of the online classes will be available on the digital platforms of Banglalink Toffee and Teach it afterwards. Banglalink users can browse the content free of charge at www.teachit.online, said the release.
State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak, said: "I'm really delighted to see Banglalink and Teach it take this great initiative for helping the students keep their studies uninterrupted amid the pandemic. We have witnessed how digital initiatives can benefit people during such a critical time by giving them access to essential facilities.
Also read: Banglalink, TutorsInc team up for free study materials
"I hope Banglalink continues to take such digital initiatives addressing the needs of different sections of our society."
Banglalink has taken several initiatives to provide customers with additional facilities during the Covid-19 crisis.
Amid the growing concern of coronavirus cases and fatalities, all the educational institutions will remain closed until August 6.
On March 16, the government closed all educational institutes to prevent the spread of coronavirus. No classes have been held since that day.
The Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (AMTOB) on Tuesday called upon the government for revision of supplementary duty on mobile services in the proposed budget and reform of telecom tax policy.
The association came up with the call in an online briefing on the impact of proposed budget on the Mobile Telecom Sector. The speakers placed demands to reconsider some specific points for the sake of realising Digital Bangladesh.
AMTOB Secretary General Brig Gen SM Farhad (retd) along with the high officials of the mobile operators were present at the session including, Taimur Rahman, Chief Corporate and Regulatory Affairs Officer, Banglalink, Shahed Alam, Chief Corporate and Regulatory Officer, Robi Axiata, Hossain Sadat, Head of Public and Regulatory Affairs, Grameenphone.
AMTOB President Mahtab Uddin Ahmed said its matter of sorrow that the telecom taxation has once again moved further away from the spirit of Digital Bangladesh vision in the proposed budget for 2020-21.
“When we are frantically trying to close the digital divide, we see SD being raised yet again taking access to mobile connectivity beyond the reach of people with limited purchasing power. This very much flies in the face of the glorious vision of Digital Bangladesh,” he added.
Amtob president also alleged that the proposed budget doesn’t even attempt to address the long standing issues with the investment climate engineered by the taxation regime.
Drawing attention to the economic contribution of the telecom sector, Mahtab said the industry currently contributes 7 percent of the GDP which could easily hit double digital figure provided we fully appreciate the impact this industry can have on the economy.
“We can always explore innovative ways to increase revenue contribution from this industry to the Government exchequer without burdening the customers, and our shareholders; we are happy to collaborate with the Government to strike that winning formula,” he added.
AMTOB pleaded the Government to reconsider the following points for the sake of realising Digital Bangladesh:
Additional SD on mobile services
Imposition of additional 5 percent SD on the mobile services will not only increase the cost of services for the customers but also will contradict the Digital vision of the Government to ensure affordable digital services for all.
50 percent payment before VAT appeal
The requirement to make 50 percent upfront payment even before telecom operators could file for appeal against the VAT claims potentially empowers the authority concerned to make claims arbitrarily. This creates the backdrop of miscarriage of justice that will only further tarnish the country’s image in the global market.
Minimum tax rate
Sector-specific taxes lacks sound rationale. While mobile connectivity provides demonstrable socio-economic benefits, the rate of minimum tax faced by mobile operators is double that of an industry with well-established adverse consequences.
At the same time, this type of taxation imposes an asymmetric burden on operators that are struggling to make a profit, thereby reducing competitive forces in the market, creating a barrier to business expansion and to attracting foreign investment.
Corporate Tax rate remains unchanged
The corporate income tax rate for listed mobile operators is 40% and for non-listed mobile operators 45% of their profit.
The latter is the highest level imposed in Bangladesh, at par with the rate for the tobacco industry, and significantly higher than the general corporate tax rate for non-publicly traded and publicly traded companies.
Moreover, in this budget, the Government reduce the tax rate of publicly non traded company but no change for the Mobile Operators.
Leading mobile operators Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink say the increase of supplementary duty in the new proposed budget will be an additional burden to customers.
Therefore, they urged the authorities to reconsider the issue.
Hossain Satad, director and head of Public and Regulatory Affairs of GP, said the decision to increase supplementary duty will be a burden for the customers and unfavourable to unlocking possibilities of Digital Bangladesh.
“We urge the government to reconsider this decision before implementing in the attribution of our valued customer interest,” he added.
Meanwhile, another mobile operator Robi said it is very unfortunate that the 2 percent minimum tax on its revenue imposed in last year’s budget remained unchanged.
Shahed Alam, chief corporate and regulatory officer of Robi Axiata Limited, said there is still a chance to review the self-defeating tax and hoped the government will take positive decision in this regard.
Apart from these, increasing supplementary duty (SD) by 5 percent on all telecom related services is highly regrettable, he said, adding that the decision would bring further misery to the customers.
In an immediate budget reaction, Banglalink's CEO Erik Aas also came up with same remark. He said an additional 5 percent SD on telecom services will especially affect the less privileged consumers.
Erik Aas urged the government to withdraw the VAT on internet in view of the impact of coronavirus-induced economic crises on internet users.
He also requested the government to reconsider the minimum tax imposed on mobile operators.