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New Delhi, 6th Jan (IANS): The Narendra Modi government's plans for Digital India initiatives are refreshing and exciting and Google is ready to help it out in this project, its Chief Internet Evangelist Vinton G. Cerf said Tuesday.

"The aspirations of the new Indian government and its initiatives of Digital India are very refreshing and exciting," he said in his address at a seminar organised by FICCI here.

Asked whether he has any suggestions for the government on this project, Cerf said: "I don't need to prescribe anything, the reason for this is they are already building the network to extend it out to the villages."

"My impression after two days discussions is you (the government) already have a well laid out plan. Now you have to execute. The passion is clearly there, the energy is clearly there," he told reporters on the sidelines of the seminar.

Cerf said he met Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad as well as some officials of the department of electronics and IT. "They convinced me about absolutely making this happen."

"Basically we said Google is interested in being helpful. We have some ideas, we share with them. It is very clear that private sector is going to play a major role in making this happen," he added.

Prime Minister Modi in his Independence Day address to the nation Aug 15, 2014 envisaged a Rs.1 lakh crore ($16 billion) Digital India project to transform the country into a digitally empowered and connected knowledge economy.

Talking about the challenges in the education system, Cerf said in the IT industry in 21st century, one needs to upgrade himself/herself on a regular basis to retain usefulness in the industry.

He also mentioned that the rate of change of jobs are taking place very fast. "Some jobs are five years old or even less. One should have suitable education to anticipate or adapt to new jobs."
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Toronto, 4th Jan (IANS/EFE): Canada started the year 2015 with the launch of a new immigration system that will ease the entry of young migrants with high professional qualifications, a substitute for the highly criticised immigration system that was in effect throughout 2014.

The "Express Entry" system was established on Jan 1, giving priority to those people who already have job offers in the country.

Express Entry is the direct consequence of the failed Temporary Foreign Worker Program created by the government of Canada's Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper to satisfy the demands of the Canadian labour market.

According to official figures, while in 2002 ,Canada accepted some 100,000 temporary foreign workers, mostly to work in agriculture or in remote areas, in 2012, the figure tripled to more than 330,000 workers, many for jobs in fast-food chains.

In comparison, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced several weeks ago that Canada will accept between 260,000 and 285,000 immigrants in 2015, some 20,000 more than in 2014.

The Harper government justified the entry of more temporary foreign workers, who cannot apply for permanent residence in Canada and who have fewer rights and benefits than residents in the country, with the fact that Canadians largely refuse to work in fast-food chains.

Tripling temporary foreign workers coincides with the Harper government's policy to allow companies to pay up to 15 percent less to workers from areas like Latin America and the Philippines.

But Canadian labour unions say that many employers just fire Canadian employees to hire cheaper immigrant labour.

After repeatedly defending that program, the Harper government admitted last year that some employers were abusing it, even in some cases frightening foreign workers with death threats. Under intense pressure, Ottawa decide to suspend part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

The launch of Express Entry could silence critics who believe that Harper transformed Canada's immigration system for no other reason than to satisfy the immediate needs of the most powerful economic sectors of the nation.

The Canadian government said that candidates for Express Entry will be considered for acceptance based on such factors as age, education, professional qualifications, language and experience.

Chris Alexander said recently that beginning Jan 1, the Canadian government will be capable of choosing the immigrants that will contribute most to its economy, labour market and communities.
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New York, 27th Dec (IANS): From job creation and development of intellectual property to the formation of new industries, economic clusters of almost all kinds help drive overall growth in multiple ways, according to new research.

Each cluster is composed of multiple related industries that offer complementary activities that give rise to increasing returns, the researchers noted.

"We see more innovation in strong clusters, and strong innovation clusters are also associated with stronger employment," said study co-author Scott Stern, professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management.

The study examined 41 industrial clusters, 589 subfields of industry, and 177 regions in the US spanning the years 1990 to 2005.

Increase in industry specialisation led to employment growth in the regions, the findings showed.

"To me, jobs are a really important outcome, and we have tied that back to economic structure," Stern said.

The study suggests that a region can improve its economic performance by improving its existing assets, rather than attempting a transformation by chasing industries situated elsewhere.

"Very often, regions are given advice that they should become the next Silicon Valley, or be like some other region," he said.

"They are told that they are in a global war for talent, or they should try to put out very expensive incentives to attract a single plant.

"What our research suggests is that regions succeed by investing in and extending their comparative advantage," Stern added.

The findings appeared in the journal Research Policy.
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Varanasi, 25th Dec (IANS): Describing dignity of labour as "very important", Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday said his government was working for the betterment of the "shramyogis" (working class).

"Dignity of labour is very important," he said while addressing the 'Shramyogi Kalyan Mela' in 20 locations across Gujarat through a video conference from his Lok Sabha constituency.

Drawing inspiration from the 'Shramev Jayate' vision of the central government, the Gujarat government launched several welfare schemes for workers of the unorganised sector as part of its activities on Good Governance Day, said an official statement.

Among the initiatives was U-WIN - Unorganised Sector Identification Number - that would enable workers to avail the benefits of such schemes, said the statement.

Congratulating the Gujarat government for these initiatives, Modi said other states could follow suit.

"(My) government is going to the 'Shramyogi' and working for them. I congratulate the Gujarat government for this initiative," Modi said.

"Only when the states are strong will the nation become strong."

Rural Labour Commissionerates and Rural Labour Welfare Boards were two other initiatives of the state government that earned Modi's appreciation.

The prime minister also praised the workers, saying the state had zero man-days as all stakeholders had followed the Gandhian spirit of working as a family.

He said this was one of the reasons that the state was receiving large amounts of foreign investment.
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Umsaw Khwan (Meghalaya), 20th Dec (IANS): Youths from the northeastern states will be recruited in police forces in metropolitan cities as part of the national integration policy of the BJP-led government, union minister Kiren Rijiju said here Saturday.

"As part of national integration, from next season, police in Delhi and other metros would take steps to recruit youth from the northeast. Those from other states should also come and serve in the region," Rijiju, minister of state for home affairs, said in his address during the passing out parade at the North Eastern Police Academy here, 25 km from Meghalaya capital Shillong.

Rijiju also said the Narendra Modi government would soon announce major steps on national integration to bridge the gap between the region and other parts of the country.

He appealed to the people from the region not to be cowed down by a few incidents and adversities faced in some metropolitan cities.

"We should not allow such hardships to affect one's careers or image. We need to grow according to our potential and increase the level of efficiency," he said.

He said NEPA was emerging as a premier training institute for police officers, and announced that Rs.2 crore will be allocated to the institute in the next fiscal year (2015-2016).

"I want NEPA to be at par with other police training institutions in the country," Rijiju said.

Altogether, 169 trainees including 30 women completed training as part of the 40th basic course batch which commenced Jan 30.
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