4th Tom Bass Seminar on Diversity in Equestrian Sports to Stream Worldwide via YouTube and SQITV

 The 4th Tom Bass Seminar on Diversity in Equestrian Sports will be held as an online webinar on Saturday, February 25th from 12:00 noon (UTC 17.00.00) to 2:30 p.m. (UTC 19.30.00) Eastern Standard Time. The virtual meeting will examine issues relating to diversity in domestic and international sport.

A live feed of the meeting will be available worldwide via YouTube and SQITV.

First launched in 2019, as part of the annual Day of the African Equestrian (DOTAE) celebrations, the seminar takes place in a climate of political, commercial and societal disruption highlighted by questions over migration, police brutality, reparations, cultural and economic imperialism, “wokeness” and a widening gap between “the haves” and the “have nots” in the United States and other countries.

The first portion of the seminar will honor recent achievements of note. Victories celebrated will include (but are certainly not be limited to) those of:

– Mimi Gochman – USA representative in the 2022 FEI Youth Equestrian Games (Team Gold Medalist and Individual Bronze Medalist) – selected to the U.S. Nations Cup Team (Jumping) for Vejer de la Frontera CSIO3* (Spain) and Vilamoura CSIO3* (Portugal)

– Jefferson “Tot” Goodwin, MFH – Champion – 2022 MFHA National Foxhound Performance Trials Championship

– Jad Guerraoui (Morocco) – Silver Medalist – 2022 FEI Youth Equestrian Games Individual Competition

– Muthoni Kimani (Kenya) – Winner, 2022 FEI Against All Odds Award

– Mia Rodier-Dawallo – Champion – 2022 U.S. Para Dressage Championship

– Pape Seck (Senegal) – Chef d’ Equipe – Team Africa – 2022 FEI Youth Equestrian Games

– Mavis Spencer – selected to the U.S. Nations Cup Team (Jumping) for the 2022 Vejer de la Frontera CSIO3* (Spain) and Vilamoura CSIO3* (Portugal)

– Thomas van Rijckevorsel (South Africa) – Gold Medalist – 2022 FEI Youth Equestrian Games Individual Competition

– Dressage South Africa Solidarity Stars Project – Winners of the 2022 FEI Solidarity Award

– Team Africa – Bronze Medalists in 2022 FEI Youth Equestrian Games Team Competition

The webinar will also highlight several significant initiatives towards diversity.

Nonprofit organizations and equestrian sports federations from throughout the world are invited to submit a short (3 – 5 minute) video or PowerPoint presentation outlining highlights of their efforts towards Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). No commercial messages please!

All materials should be submitted to: marketing@SportsQuestInternational.com and must be received by Thursday, February 23rd.

A legendary American Saddlebred trainer, Tom Bass (1859 – 1934) was born enslaved in Columbia, Missouri. He played a prominent role both in the establishment of the American Royal Horse Show in Kansas City and in the promotion of the city of Mexico, Missouri as the “Saddle Horse Capital of the World.”

Highlights of his extraordinary career include championships at two World’s Fairs and more than 2,000 blue ribbons. For many years he was the only African-American permitted to compete at the American Royal.

The Tom Bass bit, developed to give the rider control without causing pain to the horse, is still in use today.

Melvin Cox, Managing Director of SportsQuest International, LLC and a Lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz will serve as moderator of the seminar.

The 4th Tom Bass Seminar will be powered by JitsiMeet – a fully encrypted, 100% open source video conferencing solution.

Topics to be explored during the 4th Tom Bass Seminar on Diversity in Equestrian Sport include:

– Demystifying horse sport – not for rich kids only… Reviving equestrian heritage in lower and middle income communities

– Developing broad-based community support for equestrian activities at all levels

– Building sustainable programs that support diversity in the horse industry

– Incorporating the lessons gleaned from social activism into the ways in which we do business

– Leveraging (new and traditional) media in horse focused education and promotion

– Developing stories that more accurately reflect the life experiences of equestrians of color

– Incorporating the rich equestrian heritages of non-white, non-European communities (including African, African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Native-American, Romani, South Asian and others) into our shared equestrian narrative

– Supporting entrepreneurship within the equestrian marketplace

SQITV (SportsQuest International tv) – powered by YouTube, is the digital content delivery service of SportsQuest International, LLC.

YouTube is a global online video sharing and social media platform headquartered in San Bruno, California. A subsidiary of Google LLC, YouTube has more than 2.5 billion monthly users who (as per the company’s official blog) collectively watch more than one billion hours of videos each day.

The Tom Bass Seminar series is presented by The AFRICAN CONNECTIONS Research and Education Fund, Inc. in association with SportsQuest International, LLC.

SportsQuest International, LLC
Leslie De Bique



  • Society

17th National seminar on the subjects covered under 76th and 77th round of National Sample Survey (NSS)

The Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation organizes National Seminars at regular intervals, usually after the release of survey reports based on data collected during National Sample Survey (NSS) Rounds, where experts/authors from different disciplines viz. Academia / Researchers/Central & State Govt. officers and other institutions/Universities are invited to present research papers. Till date sixteen (16) National Seminars have been organized by the Ministry in reputed Institutes/Universities across the country.

In the series, the 17th National Seminar covering NSS Survey Results taken up during 76th round (July – December, 2018) and 77th round (January – December, 2019) of NSS, is being organized by National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI), Government of India at Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), Kochi during 1st & 2nd September, 2022.

The Seminar will be attended by the Chief Statistician of India & Secretary, Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI), Government of India and other high dignitaries including Vice Chancellor, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professors and the Research Scholars of Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kochi, Officers of MoSPI and Other Central Ministries/ Departments/Institutions. The Seminar will also be attended by the officials of Directorate of Economics & Statistics (DES), State Govt. of Kerala.

In the aforementioned seminar, various research papers would be presented and deliberated upon. The research papers will cover areas concerning the drinking water, sanitation, hygiene and housing condition in India, persons with disabilities in India as also the land and livestock holdings of households and situation assessment of agricultural household & debt & investment. The deliberation during the seminar are likely to bring to the fore various issues and concerns regarding aforestated aspects of the socio-economic parameters. These papers are also likely to throw some insights on the subjects under reference.



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PM addresses NIIO Seminar ‘Swavlamban’

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi addressed the NIIO (Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation) Seminar ‘Swavlamban’ today.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that the goal of self-reliance in the Indian defence forces is very important for the India of the 21st century. Organizing the first ‘Swavlamban’ (self-reliance) seminar for a self-reliant Navy is an important step in this direction.

The Prime Minister said that the resolution of creating 75 indigenous technologies in this period of making new resolutions for India is inspiring in itself and he expressed the confidence that it will be fulfilled very soon. Still, he said that this is kind of the first step. “We have to work to continuously increase the number of indigenous technologies. Your goal should be that when India celebrates 100 years of its independence, at that time our Navy should be at an unprecedented height”, he added.

Referring to the importance of oceans and coasts in India’s economy, the Prime Minister said that the role of the Indian Navy is continuously increasing and therefore self-reliance of the Navy is of critical importance.

Recalling the glorious maritime tradition of the country, the Prime Minister said that the defence sector of India used to be very strong even before independence. At the time of independence, there were 18 ordnance factories in the country, where many types of military equipment including artillery guns, were made in the country. India was an important supplier of defence equipment in World War II. “Our howitzers, machine guns made at the Ishapur Rifle Factory, were considered the best. We used to export a lot. But then what happened that at one point in time we became the world’s biggest importer in this field?”, he asked. He said like the countries who capitalized on the challenge of the World War to emerge as the big arms exporters, India too turned adversity into opportunity during the Corona period and made strides in economy, manufacturing and science. He lamented the fact that during the initial decades of the Independence, there was no focus on the development of defence production and research and development was severely limited due it being restricted to the government sector. “Innovation is critical and it has to be indigenous. Imported goods can’t be a source of innovation”, he said. He also stressed the need for a change in mindset of attraction for imported goods.

The Prime  Minister said that the self-reliant defence system is critical for the economy and also from the strategic point of view. He said that the country has worked in mission mode to reduce this dependence after 2014.The Prime Minister remarked that the Government has given new strength to our public sector defence companies by organizing them in different sectors. Today we are making sure that we connect our premier institutions like IITs with defence research and innovation. “Learning from the approach of the past decades, today we are developing a new defence ecosystem with the strength of everyone’s efforts. Today defence R&D has been opened for the private sector, academia, MSMEs and start-ups”, he added. This has led to a new speed in long pending defence projects and the Prime Minister expressed the confidence that the wait for commissioning of the first indigenous aircraft carrier will be over soon.

In the last 8 years, the Prime Minister noted that the Government has not only increased the defence budget, “we have also ensured that this budget is useful in the development of the defence manufacturing ecosystem in the country itself. Today, a large part of the budget earmarked for the purchase of defence equipment is being spent on procurement from Indian companies.” He also complemented the defence forces for preparing a list of 300 items that will not be imported.

In the last 4-5 years, the Prime Minister said that the defence imports have come down by about 21 per cent. Today we are moving fast from the biggest defence importer to a big exporter. Last year 13 thousand crore rupees worth of defence export was done with more than 70 percent of which being from the private sector, he pointed out

The Prime Minister noted that now the threats to national security have also become widespread, the methods of warfare are also changing. Earlier we used to imagine our defence only till land, sea and sky. Now the circle is moving towards space, moving towards cyberspace, moving towards economic, social space. In such a scenario, the Prime Minister said that we have to move anticipating the future challenges and change ourselves accordingly. Self-reliance will help the country a great deal in this regard, he said.

The Prime Minister warned against the new danger. He said “we also have to intensify our war against forces challenging India’s self-confidence, our self-reliance. As India is establishing itself on the global stage, there are constant attacks through misinformation, disinformation and false publicity, etc. Keeping faith, the forces that are harming India’s interests, whether in the country or abroad, have to be thwarted in  their every effort. National defence is no longer limited to borders, but is much broader. Therefore it is equally necessary to make every citizen aware about it.” Therefore, he continued “as we are moving forward with the ‘whole of the government’ approach for a self-reliant India, Similarly, the ‘whole of the Nation’ approach is the need of the hour for the defence of the nation.” “This collective national consciousness of various people of India is the strong basis of security and prosperity”, the Prime Minister concluded.

NIIO Seminar ‘Swavlamban’

A key pillar of Aatmanirbhar Bharat is attaining self-reliance in the Defence Sector. To further this endeavour, during the programme, the Prime Minister unveiled ‘SPRINT Challenges’, which are aimed at giving a boost to the usage of indigenous technology in the Indian Navy.  As a part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, NIIO, in conjunction with the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO), aims at inducting at least 75 new indigenous technologies/products into the Indian Navy. This collaborative project is named SPRINT (Supporting Pole-Vaulting in R&D through iDEX, NIIO and TDAC).

The Seminar aims to engage Indian industry and academia towards achieving self-reliance in the Defence sector. The two-day Seminar (18-19 July) will provide a platform for leaders from Industry, Academia, Services and Government to come together on a common platform to ideate and come up with recommendations for the Defence Sector. Sessions dedicated to Innovation, Indigenisation, Armament and Aviation will be held. The second day of the Seminar will witness outreach to the Indian Ocean Region, in line with the government’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region).

Making India self-reliant in defence sector! Addressing the Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation Seminar ‘Swavlamban’. https://t.co/PNVYyGnYsu

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 18, 2022

भारतीय सेनाओं में आत्मनिर्भरता का लक्ष्य, 21वीं सदी के भारत के लिए बहुत जरूरी है।

आत्मनिर्भर नौसेना के लिए पहले स्वावलंबन सेमिनार का आयोजन होना, इस दिशा में अहम कदम है: PM @narendramodi

— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 18, 2022

75 indigenous technologies का निर्माण एक तरह से पहला कदम है।

हमें इनकी संख्या को लगातार बढ़ाने के लिए काम करना है।

आपका लक्ष्य होना चाहिए कि भारत जब अपनी आजादी के 100 वर्ष का पर्व मनाए, उस समय हमारी नौसेना एक अभूतपूर्व ऊंचाई पर हो: PM @narendramodi

— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 18, 2022

भारत का defence sector, आज़ादी से पहले भी काफी मजबूत हुआ करता था।

आज़ादी के समय देश में 18 ordnance factories थीं, जहां artillery guns समेत कई तरह के सैनिक साजो-सामान हमारे देश में बना करते थे।

दूसरे विश्व युद्ध में रक्षा उपकरणों के हम एक अहम सप्लायर थे: PM @narendramodi

— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 18, 2022

हमारी होवित्जर तोपों, इशापुर राइफल फैक्ट्री में बनी मशीनगनों को श्रेष्ठ माना जाता था।

हम बहुत बड़ी संख्या में एक्सपोर्ट किया करते थे।

लेकिन फिर ऐसा क्या हुआ कि एक समय में हम इस क्षेत्र में दुनिया के सबसे बड़े importer बन गए? – PM @narendramodi

— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 18, 2022

अपनी पब्लिक सेक्टर डिफेंस कंपनियों को हमने अलग-अलग सेक्टर में संगठित कर उन्हें नई ताकत दी है।

आज हम ये सुनिश्चित कर रहे हैं कि IIT जैसे अपने premier institutions को भी हम defence research और innovation से कैसे जोड़ें: PM @narendramodi

— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 18, 2022

बीते दशकों की अप्रोच से सीखते हुए आज हम सबका प्रयास की ताकत से नए defence ecosystem का विकास कर रहे हैं।

आज defence R&D को private sector, academia, MSMEs और start-ups के लिए खोल दिया गया है: PM @narendramodi

— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 18, 2022

बीते 8 वर्षों में हमने सिर्फ defence का बजट ही नहीं बढ़ाया है, ये बजट देश में ही defence manufacturing ecosystem के विकास में भी काम आए, ये भी सुनिश्चित किया है।

रक्षा उपकरणों की खरीद के लिए तय बजट का बहुत बड़ा हिस्सा आज भारतीय कंपनियों से खरीद में ही लग रहा है: PM @narendramodi

— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 18, 2022

बीते 4-5 सालों में हमारा defence import लगभग 21 प्रतिशत कम हुआ है।

आज हम सबसे बड़े defence Importer के बजाय एक बड़े exporter की तरफ तेज़ी से आगे बढ़ रहे हैं: PM @narendramodi

— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 18, 2022

अब राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षा के लिए खतरे भी व्यापक हो गए हैं, युद्ध के तौर-तरीके भी बदल रहे हैं।

पहले हम सिर्फ land, sea, sky तक ही अपने डिफेंस की कल्पना करते थे।

अब दायरा space यानि अंतरिक्ष की तरफ बढ़ रहा है, cyberspace की तरफ बढ़ रहा है, आर्थिक, सामाजिक स्पेस की तरफ बढ़ रहा है: PM

— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 18, 2022

जैसे-जैसे भारत ग्लोबल स्टेज पर खुद को स्थापित कर रहा है, वैसे-वैसे Misinformation, disinformation, अपप्रचार के माध्यम से लगातार हमले हो रहे हैं।

खुद पर भरोसा रखते हुए भारत के हितों को हानि पहुंचाने वाली ताकतें चाहे देश में हों या फिर विदेश में, उनकी हर कोशिश को नाकाम करना है: PM

— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 18, 2022

राष्ट्ररक्षा अब सिर्फ सीमाओं तक सीमित नहीं है, बल्कि बहुत व्यापक है।

इसलिए हर नागरिक को इसके लिए जागरूक करना, भी उतना ही आवश्यक है: PM @narendramodi

— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 18, 2022



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Seminar on Data for Sustainable Development: India’s Environmental Accounts and its Role in Policy and Decision-Making

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) is celebrating ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) week starting from 27th June 2022 by organizing a series of activities. As a part of the celebration, the Ministry organized a half-day seminar today on 28th June 2022 in hybrid mode on the topic “Data for Sustainable Development: India’s Environmental Accounts and its role in Policy and Decision Making’.

The seminar intends to provide an accelerated push towards ‘valuing nature’ and using these values in the global and national statistics aligning with the International Statistical Standard “System of Environment Economic Accounts (SEEA) framework”. With the global commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the use of the SEEA in the assessment of natural resources has increased manifolds. The SEEA framework is aligned with the SDGs and around 40 global indicators for nine Sustainable Development Goals can be evaluated using SEEA data. These accounts provide a consistent monitoring framework that produces actionable indicators on ecosystem extent and condition, as well as the supply and use of ecosystem services. It can also be used to inform a wide range of climate change related policy questions related to climate impacts and adaptation strategies.

The Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation has adopted the SEEA framework in 2018 and has been regularly compiling accounts on various ecosystems. In order to showcase the work done by India in the domain of Environment Accounting and to pave the way for future endeavours toward expanding the coverage of the Environment Accounts in India, the Ministry organised this seminar.

The seminar was held at the India International Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi. However, being hybrid in nature, participants also joined the event through other media modes.  The seminar was also live streamed on YouTube and Facebook. The seminar started with the opening session followed by two technical sessions. The event witnessed remarkable participation from all over the nation and international organisations. The recordings of the seminar will be made available in the Ministry’s website.

Dr.  G. P. Samanta, Chief Statistician of India and Secretary, MoSPI in his welcome address talked briefly about the initiatives of the ministry in the area of environment accounts including adoption of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA). This was followed by key note address by Shri Suman K. Bery, Vice Chairman, NITI AAYOG who was the Chief Guest of the Seminar. He appreciated MoSPI embracing environment accounts at an early stage and its continuing efforts in this direction. He emphasized the importance of ocean accounts considering the vast coast line the country has and its role in the economy. He suggested that NITI AAYOG and MoSPI should continue its partnership. Other eminent dignitaries included Shri Ashish Chaturvedi, Head Environment, Energy and Resilience, UNDP, India, and Shri Arun Kumar, Senior Economic Advisor, MoEFCC. The central idea that surfaced during the seminar was that environmental concerns do not respect any border and affect all the lives of the current and future generations. It was duly acknowledged that environment and sustainability are the road towards prosperity and policies need to be framed mainstreaming the ‘environment’ into decision making.  

The first technical session of the event on the theme SEEA perspective and its inter-linkages with SDGs was dedicated to the discussions on the efforts made by India in the realm of Environment Accounting, the linkages of the SEEA and the SDGs and applications of the SEEA at the sub-national level. Since the ‘Ocean Account’ is one of the priority areas identified in Ministry’s Five-Year Strategy Document for Environmental Economic Accounts (2022-2026), the second technical session of the seminar was a panel discussion dedicated to the subject of ‘Ocean Accounting’ recognizing the significant contribution of ocean and coastal resources to India’s economy. The session discussed on various approaches and challenges faced towards development of ocean accounts thereby suggesting the roadmap for ocean accounting in India.    

The seminar underscored the importance of using a conceptual framework that integrates scientific and economic data with traditional accounting principles emphasizing the fact that SEEA can help in framing evidence-based policies which ensures having a sustainable future. It was also stressed that it had become imminent, especially for developing countries like India, to ensure that mechanisms are set up for systematic considerations of the environment in all economic decisions. The seminar was an attempt by NSO, MoSPI to make environment a key dimension in the policy paradigm. NSO, India looks forward towards support and cooperation from all the national and international agencies.



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Hong Kong – GBA Judicial Case Seminar to advance building of rule of law in GBA (with photos)

GBA Judicial Case Seminar to advance building of rule of law in GBA (with photos)


     The Department of Justice (DoJ) together with the High People’s Court of Guangdong Province, the Judiciary and the Macao Court of Final Appeal jointly organised the 2nd Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) Judicial Case Seminar today (April 23), with a view to enhancing judicial exchanges amongst the three places and contributing to the building of a law-based business environment in the GBA.


     The Secretary for Justice, Ms Teresa Cheng, SC, said in her opening remarks that the GBA is one of the most open and economically vibrant regions in China. While maintaining the unique advantages of “one country, two systems and three jurisdictions” in the GBA, Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao need to continuously explore through legal and judicial co-operation the further removal of regional conflicts of laws.

     In 2019, the High People’s Court of Guangdong Province and the DoJ signed a framework arrangement on exchange and mutual learning in legal aspects in the GBA to facilitate the courts in Guangdong and the legal sector in Hong Kong to launch projects on legal aspects for mutual exchanges and collaboration and to jointly build and enhance the judicial services and safeguards in the GBA. In July last year, the Supreme People’s Court and the DoJ also signed a record of meeting on further enhancement of exchanges and co-operation which supports the better integration of Hong Kong into the country’s overall development. Both parties agreed to study ways to improve the legal regulatory interface and connectivity within the GBA.


     The seminar brought together judges, lawyers and scholars from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao to share their insights. Mock trials were conducted according to the different modes of trial in the three places but based on the same set of case facts. Through discussions and exchanges, participants gained a better understanding of the similarities and differences amongst the three places in relation to the resolution of cross-boundary commercial disputes. This is beneficial to the three places in jointly resolving practical legal issues which arise in the course of the development of the GBA and in facilitating the building of the rule of law in the GBA.


     The seminar today was held in hybrid mode with venues set up in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao respectively. In addition to mock trials, it also comprised thematic sessions on various topics.