Audit into UG’s finances to begin in 2 weeks – Auditor General

first_imgIn light of the request recently made by the Education Ministry to have a special audit into the finances of the University of Guyana (UG), the Auditor General’s Office has already commenced the preparation stages to kick-start that process.This is according to Guyana’s Auditor General, Deodat Sharma, who told Guyana Times in an interview on Saturday that the “groundwork” will commence shortly.“We [Audit Office] were contacted and are planning to go in and start the special audit quite soon. I have contracted an auditor, outside of my office, who does work there, contracting an auditor [is] what is usually done by my office. I asked him to complete a Terms of Reference for this, this is in addition to the normal audit that takes place,” Sharma explained.Vice Chancellor of UG, Professor Ivelaw GriffithThe Auditor General noted that the Permanent Secretary of the Education Ministry had officially written to him, requesting this special audit, but before his Office could begin its work, the necessary meeting had to take place.“Meetings were held with the Education Ministry officials, of course, they had to be held first so that we could be briefed.Then there were meetings with the Unions from UG but I am not at liberty to discuss what transpired in those meetings.However, what I can say is that I am hoping to go into UG to start the special audit within two weeks from now.”The request for the special audit came in light of an appeal made to the Ministry by the two workers’ unions at UG.However, the administration of the University on Thursday said such a move is welcomed so as to clear up any misinformation about the present financial state of UG.Auditor General of Guyana, Deodat Sharma“The administration welcomes the opportunity to clear the air on the allegations and assertions by the Unions and other individuals…We have long indicated such, both directly to the UG Unions and in my two recent memoranda to the University Community,” said Vice-Chancellor of UG, Professor Ivelaw Griffith, in the release.The request made by the two Unions to the Education Ministry birthed from the fact that UG’s administration, in January of this year, stated that the institution was not in a position to pay further salary increases for 2018, having paid a four per cent salary increase to academic staff and three per cent to non-academic staff, both tax-free, in December 2018.On February 13, 2019, in an update to the members of the UG Community on the industrial climate at Turkeyen and the call by the Unions for a forensic financial audit, the Vice-Chancellor noted that the administration is willing to have its financial position examined by any competent and independent auditor.Meanwhile, UG’s administration was accused of wanton spending, including hosting several events and standing the expenses of meals and accommodation for guest speakers.last_img read more

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Gauteng, Ford in skills partnership

first_img30 June 2010The Gauteng provincial government and Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa have jointly established a world-class Supplier Incubation Facility outside Pretoria as part of a R100-million investment in skills development in South Africa’s vehicle manufacturing industry.The public-private partnership between Gauteng and Ford serves as a blueprint for future projects, and the provincial government says it will continue to promote such partnerships in the manufacturing sector.Primary growth sectorBlue IQ, the provincial agency responsible for flagship projects such as the Gautrain, Newtown and the Nelson Mandela Bridge, facilitated the new training facility at Ford’s assembly site in Silverton.Blue IQ chief executive Amanda Nair says the agency considers the automotive industry as a primary growth sector in the future of Gauteng.The Supplier Icubation Facility will be attached to the Ford Motor Company’s production facility following its recent R3-billion investment to produce the T6 next-generation compact pick-up truck.An economic impact report recently concluded that Ford’s T6 Model will contribute R79-billion to the Gauteng economy over the next 15 years and create around 700 000 direct and indirect employment opportunities.Skills development and trainingThe Gauteng Government has committed R50-million for the construction of the facility and an additional R15-million for start-up costs for black economic empowerment (BEE) companies. A further R32-million is allocated for training and development programmes at the assembly plant.More than 400 people will be trained during 2010 and a further 50 people will benefit through the incubator programme. A four-year training and development plan is in place to develop skills and ensure the growth of a globally competitive workforce.Government investmentThe Gauteng provincial government has demonstrated its commitment to growth in the automotive industry by including this sector in its industrial policies and future strategies.It has provided the land adjacent to the Ford facility upon which a 7 200 square metre factory will be constructed. At least four new black businesses will be established at this factory to perform value-add sub-assembly work to main suppliers on the vehicle production line.“Our objective is that these [BEE] companies will acquire the skills and experience to eventually become full-fledged suppliers to the South African automotive sector,” said Nair.Supporting economic growth, jobsHuge setup and investment costs have, in the past, limited opportunities for smaller enterprises to participate in the industry, and the new initiative will assist prospective suppliers to overcome these hurdles.A governance board will be established between Ford, its major suppliers and government to evaluate applications, award opportunities to participate and monitor their performance.Blue IQ and its subsidiaries in the automotive sector will provide business training and mentoring while Ford and its suppliers will be responsible for the technical training, quality control and the monitoring of safety standards.At the conclusion of an initial 10-year period, the Supplier Incubation Facility will either be transferred to Ford or continue in its existing form, depending on the requirements of the company at that time.Nair said the project confirmed the value of Blue IQ as a facilitator of strategic infrastructure that supports economic growth and job creation.“The [public-private partnership] model we have put in place is working well. We are delighted that Ford has continued to expand their manufacturing commitments in the province of Gauteng.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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New unit to address HIV, mental illness

first_img17 September 2012 The Lufuno Neuropsychiatric Centre was launched at Tara Hospital in Johannesburg last week to widen the range of care given to patients living with HIV/Aids and mental illness. Patients at Lufuno – which means “love” in TshiVenda – will be given comprehensive care for the management and treatment of HIV and Aids, as well as an integrated outpatient neuropsychiatry service for clients with both mental illness and HIV. Deputy Health Minister Gwen Ramokgopa said that until recently not enough attention had been paid to the issue of the concomitance of mental disorders and HIV. She said the tide was slowly turning as research was being done to understand the phenomenon. Ramokgopa also noted that as the disease load increased, so too did the burden of mental disorders. She was optimistic that the new centre at Tara would go a long way towards helping the country formulate a response to this challenge.‘Centre of excellence’ “We look forward to Tara Hospital as a centre of excellence for mental illnesses and a unit like Lufuno to find solutions for society to not only to deal with clinical matters, but also public outcomes … we need to assure the public that together, we are capable of dealing with things,” Ramokgopa said. Ramokgopa also called on experts to work closely with society to find solutions for the treatment of mental stress. She urged the hospital’s staff to not only work to understand individual patients, but to partner with institutions like the Human Sciences Research Council to broaden the research scope. She also challenged researchers to do more work to understand the impact of the concomitance of HIV and mental disorders. “We need to ensure that research is on-going and knowledge is flowing. We don’t want to base services on situations that are [dated]. We need evidence-based medicine to be practised. “This facility provides us with a possibility of getting to the bottom of the cause of stress and vulnerability to mental illness in South Africa.”Providing an integrated service Tara Hospital chief executive officer, Florence Otiano, said the Lufuno clinic was a unique opportunity to help the hospital become a centre of excellence, providing an integrated service to the very vulnerable population on the one hand, and on the other, training for health professionals and specialists conducting research in the field of neuropsychiatry. “This is an unexplored area in South Africa that will be contributing to evidence based medicine in this field. HIV and Aids has brought a whole suffering to humankind,” Otiano said. “As more people live longer with HIV, the mental illness associated with will increase and this needs to be addressed.” Mafika Mkwanazi, chairperson of Transnet – which is one of the sponsors of the centre – said the centre will play a vital role in the treatment of HIV. “It will go a long way in alleviating the suffering of many patients. One of the motivating factors in supporting this initiative is that it forms an integral part of the governance of the HIV/Aids and STI strategic plan for South Africa. “The primary aim is to reduce the number of new HIV infections. This will go a long way towards achieving these goals,” said Mkwanazi. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

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Hot new options

first_imgDiscover a range of courses in women empowerment, sports psychology, stem cell biology, cosmetology and financial planning.Fashion designingQualification: 10+2 with minimum 45 per centDuration: Four yearsCost of course: Rs 1,30,000 per annumStarting salary: Rs 3 lakh- Rs 4 lakh per annumInstitute: Apeejay Institute of Design, New Delhi (www.apeejay.edu/aid)Fashion brands are no longer alien to the Indian subcontinent. In fact, their increased number is an indication of their increasing demand in the urban markets. According to the Brand Marketing India retail report, the retail industry is expected to be worth $175 to $200 billion by 2016. Adding to the cause is the augmented need among youngsters to endorse fashion brands. All of these factors make it imperative for young entrepreneurs to understand market strategies that go into making of a fashion brand. Apeejay Institute of Design has launched a post graduate diploma course in fashion designing. The course would provide indepth knowledge on market strategies along with aesthetics of fashion designing. Reetu Betala, director, Apeejay Institute of Design says, “Designers need to constantly reinvent themselves and must train accordingly. A unique selling point of the course is the entrepreneurship development programme, which is a part of the curriculum. Students will also undergo activities related to industry Institution interaction.” Admissions will be based on a written test, followed by personal interviews of selected candidates. The admission forms can be collected from the institute or via post on payment of Rs 700 and Rs 750 respectively. They will be available till May 16, 2011 and the last date of form submission is May 16, 2011. Graduates can become garment manufacturers, textile designers, apparel constructors, fashion stylists and costume designers to name a few.Women empowerment and child rightsQualification: Graduate in any streamDuration: One yearCost of course: Yet to be finalisedStarting salary: N/AInstitute: NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad (www.nalsar.ac.in)Women are no longer confined to the four walls of households. Nor are they expected to follow the diktats of the society. Their equal stature in influential roles and active participation in decision making at every level including legislative, executive, judicial and corporate are being ensured. This is further asserted by courses such as the post graduate diploma in women empowerment and child rights.The distance learning programme is on offer for all graduates. “The programme will provide an additional qualification to those interested in the field of women empowerment and child rights,” says M. Sridhar Acharyulu, professor, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. On completion, students can conduct research or join non-governmental organisations.CosmetologyQualification: 10+2 in any streamDuration: One yearCost of course: Rs 1.05- Rs 1.90 lakhStarting salary: Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 per monthInstitute: VLCC Institute of Beauty & Nutrition, Pan India (www.vlccinstitute.com)Beauty is no longer the prerogative of the rich and famous. From students to professionals, home-maker to corporates, everyone is ready to shell out money to get into that perfect shape. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) estimated the size of the beauty and wellness market at Rs 12,500 crore and is stated to be growing at approximately 30 per cent every year. This growth has resulted in an increased need for skilled beauty treatment professionals. VLCC Institute of Beauty and Nutrition has recently launched a post graduate diploma course in cosmetology. Vandana Luthra, founder and mentor, VLCC says, “Cosmetology is one of the hottest career options today as the demand for trained skin care professionals is growing in tandem with the industry’s expansion. This programme is affiliated to the Doncaster University in the UK and is the only institute which provides comprehensive vocational training in beauty and nutrition.” Students who have cleared their senior secondary examinations are eligible to enroll in the course. The one-year course will induct 25 students per institute and the cost of the course ranges from Rs 1.05 lakh to Rs 1.90 lakh depending on the city. Graduates can work as skin experts, esthetician or electrologist and start with anything between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 per month.Stem cell biologyQualification: Bachelor in any branch of life sciencesDuration: Two yearsCost of course: Rs 6,30,000Starting salary: N/AInstitute: International Institute of Information Technology, Pune (www.isquareit.ac.in)The International Institute of Information Technology, Pune, has introduced a two-year Master of Science degree in biotechnology. The program offers a specialisation in stem cell biology and will induct 20 to 25 students. It is slated to commence from August this year and will cost Rs 6,03,500. Students with a bachelor or masters degree in any branch of life sciences, medical sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, chemical sciences, physical sciences, engineering and technology or equivalent with minimum 55 per cent marks are eligible for the course.Prosanto Chowdhury, medical director, Cordlife India says, “With the entry of various private players in the market, the industry has become competitive and brings with itself massive business opportunity and a promising future. Any one joining the industry now is sure to observe robust growth. The industry and the person employed will both grow and prosper together.”Sports psychologyQualification: Graduation in psychologyDuration: One yearCost of course: Rs 43,000 annuallyStarting salary: Rs 22,000 – Rs 28,000 per monthInstitute: Amity School of Physical Education & Sports Sciences, Delhi (www.amity.edu)With sports becoming profitable and major tournaments planned round the year, there is increased need for psychologically fit athletes. Kalpana Sharma, director, Amity School of Physical Education and Sports (ASPES) says, “There is greater need for psychological assessment to ensure positive results and this can only be done with intense training of professionals.” ASPES recently launched a post graduate diploma in sports psychology. “The course will prepare professionals in various aspects of dealing psychologically with the athlete,” says Sharma. Admission to the course will be based on a written test in psychology followed by a personal interview. The programme will begin from August and application dates will be available on university website.Certificate in financial planningQualification: 10+2 with commerceDuration: Six monthsCost of course: Rs 5,000 per semesterStarting salary: Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 per monthInstitute: Gurukul Online Learning Solutions, GOLS, Pan India (www.gurukulonline.co.in)As per the latest estimates released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the real economy grew by 8.9 per cent during the second quarter (July to September) in 2010 to 2011 as compared to 8.7 per cent during the same period in 2009 to 2010. The fluctuation is the tip of the iceberg. The economics of growth and ways to stabilise fluctuations might be an expertise but for those aspiring to get into the field, a first hand understanding of financial planning is necessary. The Gurukul Online Learning Solutions, which provides online learning material has launched a certificate course in financial planning. This course will be certified by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi. “Recession times are challenging. Students must convert this into an opportunity by upgrading themselves and elearning presents a convenient and flexible alternative. It offers quality education at affordable prices,” says Shailesh H. Mehta, founder and chief operating officer, GOLS. Students who have completed their senior secondary with commerce are eligible for the programme. The course is valued at Rs 5,000 per semester. The certificate programme will provide additional information for those planning to do a Bachelor’s degree in commerce or mathematics. It is also beneficial for those interested in the field of chartered accountancy. The course will act as a value addition for students who want to get into the field of financial planning and wealth management. They can start their careers at anything between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 per month. The salary range would increase with increase in academic qualification and experience in the field. Students can download the material from the Gurukul website and prepare themselves for further studies. These students can become financial analysts, share market experts or economists.advertisementadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

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