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IN ASSOCIATION WITH ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA, RUSSIA THE ECONOMIC TIMES WEDNESDAY_MARCH 31_2010

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IN BRIEF

Brain-gain in demand ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Russian “Silicon Valley” will be constructed on 370 hectares near the Skolkovo business school near Moscow

Mikhail Gorbachev during a meeting with citizens of the city of Tolyatti in 1985.

ANNIVERSARY RUSSIAN DEMOCRACY TURNS 20

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President Dmitry Medvedev has appointed Viktor Vekselberg, chairman of the board of directors of the Renova Group, as the manager of Skolkovo, a high-tech research and production hub project. The business tycoon will coordinate the creation of“the Russian SiliconValley”in Skolkovo, near Moscow. Medvedev wants the private sector to actively develop the research center, which will focus on energy, information technology, communication, biomedical research and nuclear technology. The president announced the project in February as part of his policy of the country’s mod-

ernisation. The legal status of the Skolkovo project will be defined shortly. It is expected to attract prominent Russian and foreign scientists and businessmen. Vekselberg, who is estimated to be Russia’s 23rd richest man, believes that this ambitious project will be successful if international companies participate in it. The task to create a self-sufficient hi-tech research and production center “will take us 5-7 years,”he stressed. The Renova head will be the main coordinator of the Russian part of the project,Vedomosti daily said. One of the main tasks forVekselberg as the chief of the Russian version of the SiliconValley will be choos-

ing a foreign co-chairman. It should be a man who “shares the ideas of creating the valley, a like-minded person,” the paper quotedVekselberg as saying. He personally wants the foreign candidate to be “a successful businessman.”In any case, the final decision will be taken by the government and the presidential administration. The Russian “Silicon Valley” will be constructed on 370 hectares near the Skolkovo business school. It is expected that the volume of the state’s financing of the project will be announced in April at a meeting of the presidential commission on modernisation. As the state allocates money,

private companies should step in, and not only Russian ones. According to Dmitry Abzalov, analyst of the Center for Political Conjuncture, Vekselberg will be responsible for finding such companies. Then the chief of the Skolkovo project will have to build an effective mechanism for selecting and working with innovation projects and link the research with the production, the analyst told the paper. “IfVekselberg manages to solve these tasks effectively, Skolkovo may start working as an autonomous body without the participation of the state,”Abzalov said.“We will see the first results of his work by the summer or autumn 2010.”

Time matters: two time zones out On 28 March, Russia will shed two of its eleven time zones as the Samara and Udmurtia regions in European Russia switch to Moscow time, while Chukotka and Kamchatka in the northern Far East will join the adjacent Magadan zone. The optimisation recently proposed by the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will leave Russia with nine time zones. A hundred years ago, Russia had no uniform time system and each city lived according to its own local solar time. In 1919, Russia’s huge territory was divided into 11 time zones (see the map) that have been used ever since, with some revisions of their borders. The current system, however, has its inconsistencies. The time difference between European Russia and the neighbouring region across the Urals is two hours instead of one: when it is noon in Moscow, it is 2 pm in Yekaterinburg and Chelyab-

This March Russian democracy celebrated its 20th birthday. Changes proposed by General Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev to Article 6 of the Soviet Constitution on March 14, 1990, opened the door to political pluralism in Russia.

The fight for a multi-party political system, however, began even earlier – back in May 1989 at the Congress of People's Deputies. The idea quickly gained widespread national support – with 200,000 people taking to the streets of Moscow to call for changes to the constitution. RIR ANDREY STENIN_RIA NOVOSTI

LEGISLATION PUBLIC OFFERED A SAY IN POLICE REFORMS Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev called on the public to help draft legislation to replace a 1991 law on the police, which he blamed in part for the corruption surrounding his agency. Nurgaliyev said that the new legislation would "carry a new spirit" and "its

main principle will be to protect the rights and freedoms of our citizens." President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered Nurgaliyev to reform the country's police force, whose reputation has been ravaged by a series of scandals involving corruption and violence. RIR

SCIENCE MATHEMATICIAN WINS MILLENNIUM PRIZE

insk. At the same point in time, it is 5 pm in Irkutsk, but only 4 pm in the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago, which is located on the same longitude. The time zones generally follow the administrative boundaries, sometimes creating cu-

rious situations. For instance, in one corner of the Samara region, you can actually go back one hour by travelling east. President Medvedev believes that “the example of other countries, such as the United

States and China, show that it is possible to make do with a lesser time difference", though it is clearly impossible to adopt a single time zone as was done in China, given the enormous distance between Kaliningrad and Kamchatka. RIR

A Russian mathematician Grigori Perelman has won the Millennium Prize for solving the Poincare conjecture, one of the seven unresolved problems in mathematics. The Clay Mathematics Institute of Cambridge designated a $7 mn prize fund for the solution to these problems, with $1 mn allocated to each. James Carlson, President of CMI, said: "The resolution of the Poincaré conjecture by Perelman

brings to a close the centurylong quest for the solution. It is a major advance in the history of mathematics that will long be remembered." Yet, it is not known whether Perelman has accepted the prize. In 2006, he was awarded a Fields Medal for his work on the Poincare conjecture but he did not accept the prize. Perelman stubbornly refuses to meet the press and make public appearances. RIR

Mar 2010, Russia&India Report  

“We should learn to earn money with our brains” Dr. Leo Bokeria performs four to five operations a day. He has to his credit some two thousa...

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