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Microsoft Imagine Cup Junior 2023 is now open for applications for school students aged 13 – 18. In its fourth year, Imagine Cup Junior 2023 is an exciting platform that enables children to learn about technology and how it can be used to solve some of the bigger challenges in the world.
Students compete in one of five categories —AI for Earth, AI for Health, AI for Accessibility, AI for Humanitarian Action and AI for Cultural Heritage – and are mentored by Microsoft experts to bring their ideas to life. The deadline for applications is May 10, 2023.
Microsoft recently hosted the principals of several schools to brief them on the competition. The session was attended by the Minister for Education Dr. Susil Premajayantha, as well as the Secretary and officials of the Ministry of Education.
Imagine Cup Junior is the junior segment of Microsoft Imagine Cup, the premier global student technology competition which has been on for over two decades. Both offer students an opportunity to tap into their entrepreneurial skills and develop technology solutions for pressing local and global issues. Imagine Cup Junior is a great introduction to technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and is designed to be suitable for students at any level of technical proficiency.
“We need to act efficiently to keep up with the changing world that creates new knowledge and information at a rapid speed. It is important that we provide the right education, technology and skills for our future generation to keep up with this dynamic environment,” said Hon. Minister of Education Dr. Premajayantha. “We are bringing programs together to educate and upskill our teachers and create more opportunities for our students. In this journey, exposing and educating our educators and students to emerging technologies such as AI is of paramount importance. Competitions such as Imagine Cup Junior 2023 launched by Microsoft creates a global platform for our teachers and students to acquire new knowledge and test their skills to make them future ready citizens.”
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By Dr. Hemasiri Kuruppu
Schoolchildren in the age range of years 14 to 18 at the rate of two males and a female from each administrative district and 10 participants representing all communities, including marginalized groups in Sri Lanka, graced the grand occasion of the second session of the United Nations-assisted first Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Children’s Parliament in the world, 2023 – 2024. It was ceremonially held at Lanka Ashok Leyland Factory Complex at Panagoda, Homagama on February 16 at 2 pm with the participation of several local and foreign delegates.
It was a very colourful vibrant gathering of youngsters full of vigour and spirit which was a feast to the eyes.
The ceremonial opening of the SDG Children’s Parliament 2023-2024 commenced by observing all the protocols generally followed by the Sri Lankan parliament, including solemnly swearing in of the Speaker, Prime Minister, Alternative Leader, elected with a highly commutative voting system. Parliamentarians were supposed to be of 60 political parties and all were very good speakers, spoke to the point and the majority female participants were very active and behaved very well, giving a good example to our senior parliamentarians.
Manjil Liyanaarachchi from Matara District, student of Rahula College Matara, was elected Speaker of the SDG Children’s Parliament.
He admonished the all parliamentarians to behave in a befitting manner without being an insult to parliamentary democracy, because the entire world is watching, their performance since they cannot afford to emulate their seniors in the Sri Lankan parliament.
Those senior most politicians in parliament did not get an opportunity in their day to study and enlighten themselves on the protocol, behavioural pattern and duties, since there was no mechanism whatsoever or training programs of any nature for them up to update themselves.
Speaker Manjil further said that he proposed to organize an online training school for all members.
Master Kavindu Kanishka was elected the Alternative Leader to give leadership to all parliamentarians having different views on policy matters.Minister of Quality Education Miss Elisha Frazer said that she endorsed the views expressed by the prime minister on universities and would not permit universities to be run like Montessori (Nursery schools).
She said that some teachers in government schools have become a pawn in the hands of politically motivated trade union leaders who don’t have an iota of love for children or humanity and who have a secret agenda of destroying everything that has been built at tremendous sacrifice by honourable teachers who taught in schools two decades ago.
The ACCA Sustainability Reporting Awards 2022 recognized Dialog Axiata PLC as the Overall Winner and the Winner of the General Services category for its exceptional commitment to sustainability and transparency in reporting.
The awards for this year had received an impressive range of entries from various industries, with Dialog being recognised for its comprehensive and well-structured sustainability report. The Company was commended by the judging panel for its country-first strategy, clear understanding of the materiality of sustainability issues and its resolute dedication to addressing them. Moreover, the panel recognised Dialog’s transparent and informative disclosure of its sustainability performance, which showcased its unwavering commitment to continuous improvement.
“We are honoured to receive this recognition from ACCA, which endorses our commitment to sustainability,” said Supun Weerasinghe, Group Chief Executive of Dialog Axiata PLC. “Sustainability is at the core of our business model and is embedded in everything we do. We are committed to continuously improving our impact to society and the standard of sustainability reporting. We will continue to work towards a sustainable future for all our stakeholders.”
The ACCA Sustainability Reporting Awards, presented annually since 2004, recognise and celebrate organisations that have demonstrated excellence in sustainability reporting, highlighting the strong link between business strategy, corporate governance, and sustainability. The awards aim to encourage and recognize organizations that have made a commitment to sustainability in their reporting and practices.
Singer Sri Lanka, a pioneer in the consumer electronics industry, has introduced a range of cutting-edge technological innovations to its line of eco-friendly refrigerators. These innovations are setting a new standard in the market and helping consumers save both money and energy. This coincides with the pilot refrigerator replacement project initiated by the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA) on February 17th, 2023. The project introduced a Minimum Energy Performance (MEP) label to 15 models of refrigerators offered by three major appliance vendors in the country, out of which Sisil brand under SINGER comprises of 9 models. This enables customers to identify energy-efficient products at the point of sale by display of energy usage information. The objective of the program is to progressively reduce energy consumption by encouraging energy-efficient products and discouraging energy-wasting products in the market, thereby forcing out obsolete refrigerators from the grid.
Singer Sri Lanka has been at the forefront of technological innovations in refrigeration. One of the key features of Singer/Sisil refrigerators is the use of R600a refrigerant, which was introduced by Singer Sri Lanka approximately ten years ago. This environmentally friendly refrigerant has since become the standard in the South Asian region, with other vendors & brands following suit. Singer/Sisil refrigerators are also among the most efficient and energy-saving on the market, boasting an impressive A+++ rating.
Kelum Kospelawatte, the Factory Director of Singer Sri Lanka, stated that the company has always been ahead of the game when it comes to technological innovations in refrigeration. Kospelawatte stated, “To my knowledge, there were no special modifications required. We had the required technology in our refrigerators all along. Singer/Sisil refrigerators have always conformed to the standards set by the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority. In fact, Singer and Sisil refrigerators don’t just conform to high standards, we often exceed them.”
Singer/Sisil refrigerators also come with several other features that set them apart from the competition. For example, they are designed with specialties such as “Inverters”, “No Frost” and “Direct Cool” and are available in single-door and two-door models with a wide range of designs and capacities. The coolant used in Singer/Sisil refrigerators is Hydrocarbon – R600a, the best refrigerant available in the market. Additionally, these refrigerators are equipped with an environmental temperature sensor that adjusts the temperature simultaneously with the temperature of the room, further conserving energy.
The trend among consumers towards purchasing refrigerators that use natural coolants such as R600a is growing. Thus, consumers who are currently using refrigerators with old refrigerants, and models older than ten years, should consider upgrading to a new Singer/Sisil refrigerator to save on their electricity bill and help save the environment. Overall, Singer Sri Lanka’s commitment to eco-friendly refrigeration technology is making a significant impact in the industry. Their Singer/Sisil refrigerators not only conform to high standards but often exceed them, making them the top choice for consumers looking for an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly option. With Singer Sri Lanka leading the way, consumers can expect even more eco-friendly innovations in the future.
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