What is the Pandemic Accord

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: When the world was shaken by Covul-19 which shredded economies. Overturned societies, crippled health systems, and killed millions of people-many countries came together and decided to build a framework of binding commitments to stop such such trauma from ever happening again. This happened in 2021

Since then, countries have been holding talks to make this happen but the talks have been caught in many issues. The final round of talks is happening this week, but countries are not even close to maching a deal that is acceptable to all parties.

World Health Organization [3:50 pm, 8/4/2024] IIFL: chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has repeatedly warned nations that "everyone will have to give something, or no one will get anything."


Who wants what?

European countries - who led calls for a pandemic treaty want more money invested in pandemic prevention, while African nations want the knowledge and financing to make that work, plus proper access to pandemic "counter-measures" like vaccines and treatments.

The United States wants to ensure all countries share data and samples from emerging outbreaks quickly and transparently, while developing countries are holding out firm for guaranteed equity to stop them getting left behind.

According to the roadmap, a finalised accord on pandemic preparedness, prevention and response would be adopted at the May 27 to June 1 World Health Assembly of the WHO'S 194 member states

Issues at hand

The main topics still in play include access to emerging pathogens, better prevention and monitoring of disease outbreaks, reliable financing and transferring technology to poorer countries. The talks are being conducted by an Intergovemmental Negotiating Body.

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What are the benefits of puzzles in early childhood education?

Puzzles offer a wide array of cognitive educational, and personal benefits. They also help children develop patience persistence, and the ability to approach challenges methodically.

By solving puzzles, children enhance their critical thinking. problem-solving skills, creativity, and analytical abilities. Additionally, beyond their educational and cognitive advantages, mathematical puzzles have practical applications in various fields like cryptography, computer programming. engineering, and scientific research. Give yourself a challenge today and solve the two puzzles provided.

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How stars like the Sun generate energy through nuclear fusion?

Stars like our Sun radiate huge quantities of energy because of the nuclear fusion reaction taking place inside their core. Can we use the same idea to generate power that is clean and cheap? Where are scientists around the world working on such projects.

The energy scenario in the world is changing as natural sources conventionally used for generating energy like fossil fuels, oil and coal are fast depleting.

But there are abundant energy sources that cause minimal climate change. Nuclear energy is one such option being used worldwide. In this process, energy is released from the nucleus of an atom either by splitting the heavy atom into two (nuclear fission) or by combining two light atoms into a heavier one (nuclear fusion).

For more than 50 years, energy has been generated in nuclear power plants through fission, a process in which heavy elements such as uranium are bombarded by neutrons, resulting in the splitting of the nuclei and the release of huge amounts of energy in the form of heat.

Nuclear fusion is the opposite process. In fusion reactors, light atomic nuclei are compressed under intense pressure and heat, forcing them to combine together to form heavier nuclei. Fusion also results in the release of huge quantities of energy.

Special conditions Normally, atomic nuclei repel each other if we try to bring them closer; to force them to come close and ultimately fuse together, special conditions have to be generated in the form of very high pressure and extremely high temperatures.

Stars like our Sun radiate huge quantities of energy because of the nuclear fusion reaction taking place inside their core- hydrogen is continuously changing to helium.

The core experiences extremely high pressure because of the gravitational force exerted by the mass of the gigantic star itself, this pressure also leads to the generation of very high temperature inside the star. So, the basic requirement for a fusion reaction is to create a star-like situation inside the reactor in terms of temperature and pressure. To generate such conditions, a lot of energy is needed.

The process must be optimised to generate more energy than it consumes. Fusion could be utilised to generate electricity commercially. The main fuels used in nuclear fusion are deuterium and tritium, both heavy isotopes of hydrogen. Deuterium constitutes a tiny fraction of natural hydrogen, only 0.0153 per cent, and can be extracted inexpensively from seawater. The amount of deuterium present in one litre of water can in theory produce as much energy as the combustion of 300 litres of oil! This means that there is enough deuterium in the oceans to meet human energy needs for millions of years.

Building a fusion power plant that can withstand the immense temperature and pressures produced by this process is one of the century's greatest engineering challenges. The fuel must be heated to about 100 million degrees Celsius. At that hotter-than-the-sun temperature, a fully ionised gas-plasma is formed. The plasma will then be ignited to create fusion.

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What is the significance of radio in today's world?

Over 2 billion radio receivers and over 20,000 radio stations exist worldwide. There is no truth about the notion that radio will be replaced by TV or other modern communication technologies, as it continues to expand Being the most economical electronic medium to broadcast and receive in, it breaks down barriers of illiteracy and isolation, making it the preferred electronic medium of the underprivileged. In radio broadcasting, community radio is a significant third tier that is different from commercial and public service radio.

What is a Community Radio?


Community Radio Stations (CRSs) are low-power radio stations designed for local communities to own and run. Local perspectives on topics related to health, nutrition, education, agriculture, and other topics are provided in a forum by Community Radio. People may immediately relate to the Community Radio broadcast because it is in their native language. A source of regional folk music and cultural legacy, the radio is especially important in a country like India where each state has its own language and unique cultural flavour. Community radio stations have grown significantly in popularity and number in the last 20 years. The social and economic advantages that arise from providing regular people with access to relevant information are now becoming more widely recognized.

The history of community radio

It was in Latin America, around 50 years ago, that the groundbreaking experiences that have given rise to community radio. The initial experiences-known the Miners' Radios in Bolivia in 1947 and Radio as Sutatenza in Colombia that same year were sparked by poverty and social injustice. Community radio emerged as a significant phenomenon in Europe, serving as an opponent or substitute for mainstream broadcast media, despite the breakthrough work being done in Latin America. Following the fall of the colonial government in South Africa, community radio stations across the continent were established and eventually evolved into a social movement.

The Indian government published the first set of community radio guidelines and the necessary equipment in early 2003, but limited the eligibility to educational institutions alone. The goal of establishing community radio stations that would involve local communities in the content production process has just recently expanded to include non-profit organizations, agricultural research institutes, and educational institutions.

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Do board games improve math skills?

We've intuitively known that most board games have a positive effect on us. Be it mental well-being, some form of learning, or even strategizing, board games contribute immensely. Given that they also help us stay away from our devices during the duration when we are playing the game, they are bound to become more popular in the future.

A new study has now validated part of what we've known intuitively, stating that board games based on numbers enhance mathematical ability among children. Their results, which is based on a comprehensive review of research published on this topic over the last 23 years, are published in the peer-reviewed journal Early Years in July.

19 studies from 2000

In order to investigate the effects of physical board games in promoting leaning, the researchers reviewed 19 studies published from 2000 onwards. These studies involved children under the age of 10 and all except one focused on the relationship between the board games and the mathematical skills of the players.

Children participating in these studies received special board game sessions led by teachers, therapists, or parents. While some of these board games were numbers-based like Snakes and Ladders and Monopoly, others did not focus on numeracy skills. These sessions were on average held twice a week for 20 minutes over two-and-a-half months.

Based on assessments on their mathematics performance before and after the intervention sessions, the studies came to their conclusions. Right from basic numeric competency like naming numbers and understanding their relationship with each other, to more complex tasks including addition and subtraction, mathematical ability received a boost in more than half the cases.

Beneficial for all learners?

 While the review established the positive effect of numbers-based board games for children, especially those young, it would be interesting to find out if such an approach would also be beneficial for all learners, including first-generation learners. By improving their fundamental understanding of numbers. children stand to gain as it helps ward off their fear of mathematics and numbers.

The study, meanwhile, also highlighted the lack of scientific evaluation to determine the impact of board games on the language and literacy areas of children. This research group plans to investigate this in their next project.

There is a need to design board games for educational purposes, both in terms of quantity and quality. The researchers believe that this is an interesting space that would open up in the coming years.

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No exams, no pressure, entering within the walls of schools with a smile, it's okay if you wanna relax, you learn human values, where building one's character is the main aim, and competing with each other is a bygone story. It is an education system that is surrounded by inspiration and motivation, and not the pressure of securing the first position. An education system that proves that racing against each other is not the aim but developing one's character is the new definition of the game.

It may sound like a dream school but Finland has made it happen and paved its own way towards becoming one of the best education systems in the world. Finland has proved that education must keep pace with time, thus providing a healthy environment for both learners and teachers.

Cheers to no exams!

While students over the world fear exams, students in Finland only have to worry about their overall growth, as they are graded on an individualized basis and a grading system set by their teachers. The Ministry of Education tracks the overall progress of an individual student. They have a voluntary test for students at the end of the upper secondary (high school) term known as the National Matriculation Exam.

Cooperation is the need

When you compete with others you reach nowhere, but when you compete with yourself you leave your footprints. This attitude has put Finland at the head of the international education race. Finland's educational system does not worry about standard merit-based systems. Their prime focus is on teaching students how to cooperate rather than training them to compete. They develop an environment of happiness, and harmonious and healthy learning.

School at an older age

Finnish students start their formal education only when they turn 7. They are given the scope for developing during childhood years by not being restricted to any compulsory education. It's simply just a way to let a kid be a kid. Finland prepares its children for the real world.

Finland's upper secondary school is a three-year programme that prepares students for the Matriculation Test that determines their acceptance into a university. This is usually based on specialities  that they have acquired during their time in high school. This is followed by a vocational education, which is a three-year programme that trains students for various careers.

A relaxed mind is the home of creativity

Finland's trend of teaching follows less stress and more care. Students usually have a couple of classes a day. Therefore, they get more time to eat their food, enjoy recreational activities and generally just relax. They can stretch out, grab some fresh air and decompress and beat the exhaustion of learning.

Teachers get the same relaxation hours. They have separate rooms and lounges to prepare for the day or just simply socialize. Teachers are humans, too, and need to be functional so they can perform to the best of their abilities.

More care

Finland's out-of-the-box thinking created the idea of keeping the same teacher for upto six years of their education. During this period of time, teachers get enough time to play the role of a mentor and a family member.

No compromise is made with an individual's distinctive needs. The Finnish education system believes that every child has different needs and is inculcated with different learning styles. They can accurately formulate their chart and progressive growth and as such, they nourish them and take good care to help them reach their goals.

Morning yawns welcome lazy minds

A calm mind brings inner strength to wake up early and get ready for school. Participating in a whole day of school and extra-curriculars are huge time sinks for a student.

For the holistic development of the child, you need them to be more energetic, and their sleep hours play a vital role. Keeping that in mind, schools in Finland start anywhere from 9:00 am and end by 2:00 or 3:00 pm. Research has shown that early start times are detrimental to students' success and prosperity, healthy minds and maturation. Providing them with proper relaxation and a longer break from learning is their priority. The comprehensive system is not there to ram and cram information into the students, but to create an environment of holistic learning.

Learning from Finland, we must not forget that we are building citizens for tomorrow. We have the grave responsibility of character-building to build a nation geared towards development. Generally, we are merely directing our energy towards training students for jobs not for a career. If they develop one here, they serve their talents to another country. Our young students are highly gifted, and it is time for us to point them in the right direction and optimize their talents with the right systems of education in these modern times.

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The U.K. will offer a new GCSE (General Certificate for Secondary Education) from September 2025 that will "offer young people a chance to develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of this amazing planet, its environment and how to conserve it," said education secretary Nadhim Zahawi.

The qualification will allow students to learn about organisms and their environments, as well as environmental and sustainability issues. Students will also develop skills for future careers in conservation, "from understanding how to conserve local wildlife to conducting the fieldwork needed to identify species"

Students learn about environmental issues already; this course will teach them about the history and evolution of species and the impact of life on natural environments.

Teen conservationist and wildlife writer Kabir Kaul, 15, said the course "will give my generation the knowledge and practical skills they need to value and protect the environment around them".

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