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Through the League of Developers Initiative (LODI), a collaborative project of the Science Education Institute (SEI) and the Planning and Evaluation Service (PES), the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) IT students will soon have access to government internship opportunities.
“It’s an opportunity to provide a challenging environment to further develop the skills of our science scholars and encourage them to join the government workforce,” says Dr Josette Biyo, Director, DOST-SEI.
The department asserts that the agreement is mutually beneficial as the internship programme promises to give the youth scholars unique IT internship experiences while also bolstering DOST’s digital transformation efforts.
The project is scheduled for long-term implementation and will address more complicated aspects of the transition, such as culture and system education, adding to the automation of various DOST data and operations.
The programming, testing, copywriting, design, and implementation will all be part of the development process. The DOST-SEI is the driving force behind the country’s leading science scholarship programmes. It also works on teacher training programmes, educational innovations, and youth science promotion. Project LODI is an addition to the Institute’s programmes to foster professional excellence and social responsibility among scholars.
According to Dr Biyo, an increasing number of DOST scholars are participating in beneficial projects. Many people have begun to volunteer in their communities. DOST students from across the country can participate because this is a “bring your own device” (BYOD) arrangement on a virtual or work-from-home configuration. Around 1,000 DOST scholars-graduating IT students are anticipated to participate in the project’s pilot run.
To create a list of scholars suitable for the internship, the DOST-SEI will work with state universities and colleges (SUCs) that deliver DOST learning programmes. The DOST-PES Information Technology Division has already developed the DOST’s Programming Conventions and Standards with an IT Library of components and assets, and the Standard Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) as a foundation for the project.
Meanwhile, despite global health issues and societal concerns, young Filipino innovators remain beacons of hope for the country. With this, the DOST-SEI recently presented the coveted Youth Innovation Prize (YIP) Award to three school teams for their innovative solutions -for eye illness detection, Haribon or Philippine Eagle monitoring and conservation, and aerial emergency relief for isolated locations.
These initiatives were chosen as winners due to the innovation, functionality, patentability, extensibility, and practicability of their technology. DOST-SEI agreed that more important than announcing scientific award winners is the department’s ability to successfully bring together aspiring innovators with exceptional mentors, advisors, and, of course, government and private sector stakeholders in the innovation process.
Furthermore, the customisation and deployment of the first and only Filipino-made Electronic Purchase Requisition Form (e-PRF) using power apps is planned to be rolled out in foreign schools in the region.
The e-PRF project, which is already in the pre-production phase of development is intended for use in official transactions at many international schools in Asia. This is in line with the programmes of the DOST and Trade and Industry to enhance the Philippines’ IT sector. Production using the implementation is planned to begin in three international schools in Singapore, followed by schools in Vietnam, and finally throughout the Southeast Asian Region.
In Vietnam, as citizens gradually grow accustomed to using smart devices for most daily activities like online shopping, distance working and learning, and accessing public services, the identification and prevention of cyber-attacks have become a top priority for the government.
Smartphones have been an essential equipment piece for Vietnamese people to participate in digital transformation, the Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Information Security Association (VNISA), Tran Minh Triet, recently stated. It is, therefore, necessary to closely monitor different cyber-attack methods on smartphones and be more cautious when launching applications on them.
Triet noted that every province and municipality should develop its own strategic plan for information security, corresponding with its actual digital transformation status and capacity. More piloting schemes should be carried out to check whether important information systems can survive major incidents. A safe and secured digital economy must be established, he added.
A press release by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) quoted an official as saying that unless information security is effectively guaranteed, there will be trouble achieving comprehensive digital transformation as citizens will encounter information leaks (loose confidentiality) or unworking applications (application unavailability).
Because of a sharp increase in computer and mobile device use in Vietnam, the country has become a lucrative target of cyber criminals. In addition, a large number of the population unwittingly installs cracked software, a consequence of a lack of awareness about cyber criminals and cybercrime tactics.
Statistics from the Authority of Information Security, under MIC, reveal that among over 7,600 cyber-attacks in Vietnam in the first 7 months of this year, there were 4,703 malicious code attacks, 4.3 times as many as interface change attacks. Each month, more than 760,000 Vietnamese IP addresses are in botnets, many of which are official IPs of state agencies and organisations.
These figures have shown the essence of information security maintenance when the government is carrying out digital transformation nationwide so that citizens can see the reliability of a digital environment that is honest, civilized, and healthy. When the digital government is formed, any telecoms or information technology failures (data loss, information leak) might lead to disasters and an operation stall in state units, further resulting in social disorders. There must be new thinking in the strategy to ensure cyber security at all levels from the government to state units, businesses, and individuals, the release added.
Currently, the total number of domestic cybersecurity specialists available is only 50,000 against the demand of 700,000, meaning a severe shortage of manpower in the country’s data security sector. As per MIC, cybersecurity specialists are now the most sought-after in the labour market.
The government issued a decision last month approving the Strategy on National Cyber Security and Safety. It is a legal document to detail necessary tasks and responsibilities to ensure information security for the national digital transformation process. Through the strategy, the country will foster digital trust and build an honest, civilized, and healthy network environment. It will prevent and combat law violations in cyberspace and enhance technological mastery and autonomy to actively cope with cyberspace challenges.
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) recently signed a three-year agreement with an international airline – the flag carrier of Hong Kong – to collaborate on a new integrated course for the airline’s Cadet Pilot training programme that will cultivate local aviation industry talent and develop Hong Kong as a hub for aviation training.
The new 55-60 week integrated course comprises three stages: theory, simulator training and flight training. Under the newly signed agreement, PolyU will provide a 150-working-day Theoretical Ground Training course that includes a minimum of 750 hours of instruction and examination in areas including principles of flight, meteorology, human performance, general navigation, instrumentation, radio navigation, air law and more. Successful candidates will then commence flight training overseas before returning to the airline’s hub for multi-crew simulator technology training.
The first batch of 24 candidates have already started the integrated course at PolyU in March and are scheduled to commence flight training in October 2022 after they have completed the ground theory portion of the programme. In parallel with the new integrated course, the airline is also conducting cadet pilot training courses based on the original programme module in Adelaide.
Conducting most of the cadet-training activities in Hong Kong will ensure that the training regime is specifically suited to meet the needs of the airline. Cadet pilots will be familiarised with aviation facilities and relevant organisations in Hong Kong as well as maintenance providers.
The Chief Executive Officer of the airline and PolyU’s Council Chairman welcomed Hong Kong’s Secretary for Transport and Logistics as the guest of honour at the signing ceremony. The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) Assistant Director-General (Flight Standards) was also in attendance.
The Secretary for Transport and Logistics noted that the signing ceremony served as a milestone in Hong Kong’s aviation industry. The Cadet Pilot training programme would not only groom more pilots for Hong Kong, but it also marked the first time that aviation theory courses would be taught by a local institution, writing a new chapter in Hong Kong’s aviation history and enriching the variety of aviation professional training in the city.
The Chief Executive Officer of the airline stated that as Hong Kong’s home airline, the company is committed to continuing to invest in young local talent and the long-term development of the Hong Kong international aviation hub. He noted that Hong Kong has huge potential to become a leading centre for aviation training in the world, and this new integrated course will provide world-class instruction and training for prospective pilots.
The PolyU Deputy President stated that the civil aviation industry has been the backbone of Hong Kong’s development. PolyU and an American aerospace company co-founded the first Aviation Services Research Centre (ASRC) in Hong Kong ten years ago and the centre has since become a successful exemplar of research and innovation collaboration between academia and industry.
Moving forward, the University will continue to actively collaborate with industry partners to develop more professional qualifications and training programmes in support of the National 14th Five-Year Plan, to contribute to the healthy and sustainable development of the civil aviation industry in Hong Kong and the Nation.
In the Civil Aviation Department’s Annual Report (2020-2021), despite the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aviation industry, the Government is working to ensure that the region is in optimal condition to enable Hong Kong to become an aviation hub.
For example, the Department is preparing to commission a new runway at HKIA this year and the completion of the Three-Runway System (3RS) in 2024 as planned. These included recruiting and training more air traffic controllers to meet the future demand for air traffic services and support the future 3RS; managing various 3RS-related air traffic improvement projects, and working closely with the Airport Authority Hong Kong on the 3RS- related projects and other airport facility development projects to ensure their compliance with aviation safety and security requirements.
As part of the series of training sessions on cloud computing, the National e-Governance Division (NeGD) recently organised a second-batch capacity-building programme in cloud computing. It set out to train government officers of central line ministries, states and union territory departments, mission mode project officers, e-governance project heads, and state e-mission teams.
The two-day residential training was held at the Administrative Training Institute (ATI) in Mysuru. 24 participants attended the event. At the opening ceremony, an official outlined the significance of being adept at cloud computing and highlighted aspects that are effective for governance. This technology has the power to transform how the government deals with natural disasters, power failures, and other crises. Having data stored in the cloud ensures it is always backed up and protected securely. Being able to retrieve the data quickly allows for government operations and public service delivery to resume business as usual, minimising any downtime and loss of productivity. The workshop brought together an array of subject matter experts from the industry, academia, and the government to discuss:
Participants experience a live demonstration of how cloud computing requirements can be calculated by government departments. They also discussed popular cloud-based government initiatives like CoWIN, Poshan Tracker, and DigiLocker.
This workshop was the second in the series of cloud computing training for government officers. Officers of the state governments of Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Manipur, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Telangana, as well as central line ministries. The third workshop on the same thematic domain will be held from 15-16 September.
The government is investing in infrastructure and training human resources in cloud technology, which is a major emerging technology in the digital world. NeGD organised the first batch of the capacity-building programme for cloud computing in August. Participants talked about challenges associated with cloud implementation and the future of cloud in digital transformation while using engaging presentations on successful cloud use cases, as OpenGov Asia reported.
Session discussions also featured essential training on various components of cloud computing such as custom bidding for cloud services and the establishment of pay-per-use and billing frequency with cloud service providers. Participants explored negotiation instruments for dynamic services under cloud, best practices in cloud procurement, and computing requirements. The event was attended by officers from central line ministries and the state governments of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Goa, Mizoram, and Uttarakhand.
The large-scale adoption of cloud has the potential to contribute US$ 380 billion to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), creating 14 million direct and indirect jobs by 2026, according to a report by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM). It stated that a concerted all-around effort could result in the sustained growth of 25%-30% of cloud spending in the next five years to reach US$ 18.5 billion.
A leading IT infrastructure and services company and the first company to receive the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) status back in 1997 recently announced the commencement of its sixth data centre construction in Cyberjaya, shortly after the completion of its fifth data centre (CBJ5) in 2021.
The company is working to initially invest over US$ 50 million for the new data centre known as Cyberjaya 6 (CBJ6). It complements CBJ5 which covers just under 20,000 square metres with a total facility load of 22MW when combined with CBJ6.
The facility will cater to hyperscalers and high-end enterprises to accelerate digital transformation across industries in Malaysia as the nation ushers in the new digital era. With both global reach and local operational expertise, the company’s data centres provide businesses in Malaysia with access to a wide portfolio of ICT solutions to support digital growth and needs.
The firm will support Malaysia’s digitalisation during the meeting with the Trade and Investment Mission (TIM) delegation led by the Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) to Tokyo, Japan.
The Senior Minister noted that MITI fully supports the company’s investment plans in Malaysia and welcomes this latest move to develop a new data centre and network infrastructure in Cyberjaya. He also commended the company’s aims of achieving carbon neutrality for its data centres by FY2030 and for the whole Group by FY2040.
This is certainly in tandem with Malaysia’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. This strategic investment will further support and drive Malaysia’s commitment toward ESG values and advancing green growth as outlined in the Twelfth Malaysian Plan, he added.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) noted modern-day companies realise how important harnessing the power of digital technology is. He said that MIDA is honoured that Malaysia is the location of choice for industry leaders to site their data centres.
The establishment of CBJ6 as part of NTT’s expansion plan is a strong testament to the company’s confidence in Malaysia’s capability as a regional data centre hub. It is expected that the centre’s efforts will contribute to the country’s goal of becoming a digital nation, helping it achieve a 22.6% GDP boost from the digital economy by 2025.
The Executive Vice President, Data Center Service at the firm noted that the Asia Pacific is a key growth region for the company and Malaysia has a prime position in its strategic investment plans. With this expansion through a new data centre launch, the company will drive business opportunities domestically and across APAC. The investment will support Malaysia’s digitalisation and accelerate the growth of the firm’s domestic and APAC digital ecosystem.
The optical submarine cable MIST1 between Malaysia, Singapore, and India which is currently under construction, will enable connectivity between CBJ5 and CBJ6 to further enhance Malaysia’s network connectivity globally and build sustainable socio-economic impact. NTT will continue to expand its cable capacity.
The company has been growing its presence in Malaysia over the last three decades, making the nation’s vision a reality through public-private partnerships. Moving forward, the company will remain steadfast in its support for building Malaysia’s technological infrastructure, contributing to the nation’s digital ecosystem and continually improving Malaysia’s position as a digitally-driven nation.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), under the National e-Governance Division (NeGD), has an online post-graduation diploma in cyber law, crime investigation, and digital forensics. The 9-month programme will be conducted in collaboration with a consortium of the National Law Institute University (NLIU) in Bhopal.
At an inauguration event for the diploma, the CEO of NeGD, Abhishek Singh, outlined the objectives of the programme, which includes equipping police officers, state cyber cells, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and judicial officers with the latest digital forensics skills to handle cybercrime investigations in compliance with Indian laws.
The programme will include over a hundred hours of immersive and self-paced e-learning content. Enrolled trainees will undergo training at a state-of-the-art cyber forensics lab established at NLU Delhi for “continuous training in a hybrid mode”, the press release stated. The programme facilitates continuous, systematic learning in a blended format and there will be learner-learner and learner-expert interaction.
Singh also provided details regarding batch two participants. For this batch, NeGD has received more than 1,600 nominations from judiciary and defence personnel as well as various government departments including the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), the Indian Police Service (IPS), and the Ministry of Finance, among others.
The Vice Chancellor of the NLU Bhopal emphasised the need to establish a research centre to promote multidisciplinary research and to expand the programme to benefit people residing in remote areas. At the event, the Director General of Police, Goa apprised the participants about the growing number of cybercrime cases in the country and why diplomas like these are required to develop the requisite technical skills of government officers that deal with cybercrimes.
The Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw, inaugurated the second batch of the diploma, and digitally distribute certificates to the 258 qualified participants of batch one. He said that programme was a part of the Prime Minister’s Mission Karmayogi, which seeks to bolster the competency-based capacity building of government officers. He also suggested that ten more similar institutes be set up across the country to train and equip officers with the requisite skills needed to deal with cybercrime.
Upskilling officials in digital technologies has been a top priority for the government over the past two years. In July, the Department of Posts launched an e-learning portal to enhance the competencies of about 400,000 rural postal service and departmental employees.
The portal provided employees access to standardised training content online or in a blended campus mode. This will enable them to effectively deliver several government-to-citizen (G2C) services for enhanced customer satisfaction, as OpenGov Asia reported. The training videos and quizzes on the portal are available in 12 Indian languages.
Like the diploma in cyber law, crime investigation, and digital forensics, the portal was developed in-house under Mission Karmayogi. After completing the final summative assessment, a system-generated course completion certificate will be sent to the trainee’s registered email ID automatically. Trainees can also submit feedback, ratings, and suggestions for all learning content.
Monash University Malaysia and The United Nations University Institute in Macau (UNU-IIST) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate the deliberative and participative deployment of critical technologies in Malaysia.
Initiated and led by Lecturer and Coordinator of the Masters in Communications and Media Studies (MCMS), Dr Preeti Raghunath from the School of Arts and Social Sciences, the MoU will focus on cooperation and collaboration in research, and multi-stakeholder consultations and participation in Southeast Asia. It will also focus on capacity-sharing in critical technologies in Southeast Asia, focusing on Malaysia.
As part of the MoU, Dr Preeti is currently engaged in a research consultancy on Gender and AI in Malaysia. She is currently in the process of interviewing multiple stakeholders for the project, including government officials, non-governmental entities, academics, and those from the private sector. The researcher expressed gratitude to the university’s President and Pro Vice-Chancellor the School leadership and the Monash University Malaysia Quality and Governance team.
The Director of UNU, Macau noted that the organisation is thrilled to collaborate with Monash University Malaysia on gender-sensitive AI policy in Southeast Asia, as part of the Institute’s research programme on international AI ethics and policy. There is much work to be done in this field and we are looking forward to tackling this in future research projects together.
The partnership will also focus on co-supervision in research, training and capacity-sharing with policymakers. It will lead to joint research, workshops, conferences and other modalities. Dr Preeti is the point of contact for the MoU and welcomes being contacted for collaborative efforts at Monash University Malaysia.
The MoU was signed virtually, in June 2022, by Professor Stephanie Hemelryk Donald, former Head of the School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash University Malaysia, and Dr Jingbo Huang, Director of UNU, Macau.
The United Nations University Institute in Macau is a UN global think tank on Digital Technology and Sustainability. UNU Macau conducts UN policy-relevant research and generates solutions, addressing key issues expressed in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through high-impact innovations and frontier technologies. Through its research, UNU Macau encourages data-driven and evidence-based actions and policies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
According to the Defense Acquisition University’s Glossary of Defense Acquisition Acronyms and Terms, critical technologies are those technologies that may pose a major technological risk during development, particularly during the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of acquisition.
Another definition states that a Critical Technology Element (CTE) is a new or novel technology that a platform or system depends on to achieve successful development or production or to successfully meet a system operational threshold requirement.
Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) are a method of estimating the technology maturity of the CTE of a program during the Acquisition Process. They are determined during a Technology Readiness Assessment (TRA) that examines program concepts, technology requirements, and demonstrated technology capabilities.
In an acquisition timeline, CTE identification should occur during Materiel Solution Analysis (MSA). The Technology Development Strategy (TDS), then, will reflect the result of a process sufficiently thorough and disciplined to identify those technologies (including CTEs) that have a realistic potential to be improved in the Technology Development (TD) phase and exploited in the Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development (EMD) phase.
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR) are working together on cooperative research initiatives in education that aim to transform research into future classroom teaching design and intelligent technologies. The National Institute of Education (NIE) and the School of Computer Science and Engineering (SCSE) are leading NTU’s efforts in this collaboration.
“The collaboration between A*STAR and NTU, spearheaded by the university’s NIE and SCSE, will further strengthen and facilitate the interdisciplinary research collaboration among the partners, and bring talented people from different disciplines and organisations together to solve impactful and authentic problems of practice in education,” says Professor Louis Phee, NTU Vice President (Innovation & Entrepreneurship) and Dean, College of Engineering.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with the aim of improving student learning and teacher effectiveness. The cooperation also brings together the academics and researchers from NTU and A*STAR to cooperate on education research projects focusing on the science of learning in education, AI, machine learning, and human-artificial cognition.
To better engage students, researchers, for instance, will reimagine a classroom where human teachers and AI interact. They will also investigate how information and skills may be taught to students more successfully using technology.
The cooperation intends to develop educational techniques and ideas for tomorrow’s classrooms that can contribute to teaching and learning across a person’s entire lifetime. It builds on NIE NTU’s mission to construct and grow hubs of excellence in early childhood, pedagogy, and practice.
With its multidisciplinary research prowess in education technology and AI, which encompasses fields like teacher-machine augmented intelligence and interactive and personalised learning systems, NTU’s SCSE will help the initiative.
Additionally, the collaboration will facilitate the streamlined submission of joint research grant applications and promote stronger inter-institutional relationships.
Building on NIE’s mission of Leading the Future of Education, the cooperation will advance research in learning science and the application of technologies such as AI in education, helping to imagine the classroom of the future.
The collaboration will use A*STAR’s research skills in AI, data analytics, and the integration of social and behavioural science with technology to solve practical problems for the future of education.
According to A*STAR, they are looking more closely at creative ways to assist students to learn and educators to educate. By combining AI technologies with social and behavioural sciences, they can collaboratively address issues in present teaching and learning systems.
The agency is looking forward to a stronger collaboration with NIE and NTU, where they will be able to harness one another’s diverse strengths to develop real-world solutions that will result in better educational outcomes for students at all levels.
NTU and A*STAR will share data and laboratory resources, as well as provide opportunities for researchers and graduate students to exchange expertise through short-term attachments in research labs and schools. Examples of ongoing collaborations are:
AI-based performance and behavioural assessments for teaching and classroom management. The project’s goal is to create a proof-of-concept training tool for teacher development, as well as to investigate the use of audio-visual sensors combined with AI inference to discover and comprehend important classroom behaviours.
Improving student participation in virtual learning environments is another example. With the rise of virtual classroom teaching, the research intends to investigate the efficacy of deploying engagement detection techniques to assist teachers in predicting student involvement levels in virtual classrooms.
EVA (Education via AI) is an adaptive learning companion. This project aims to create a conversational AI engine powered by neural language production, representation learning, and dialogue modelling algorithms. This will be a virtual tutoring system that will assist students in learning and practising reading aloud abilities in English.
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