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Youngest associate professor returns to Vietnam from Japan



Associate Prof Dr Le Van Lich said he had very good conditions to work and carry out scientific research in Japan, but he decided to return to Vietnam to the school where he once attended.

Youngest associate professor returns to Vietnam from Japan

Associate Prof Dr Le Van Lich

He is the youngest candidate for the title of associate professor in 2021. Lich, born in 1988, is a lecturer at the Institute of Material Science and Engineering under the Hanoi University of Science and Technology.

He is an alumnus of the school, and obtained a master’s decree there and then a doctorate at Kyoto University. His recent research focuses on developing and using phase field models to study the mechanical and physical properties of materials.

Making a decision

In 2017, after three years of studying as a doctoral student and one year of study as a postdoc in Japan, Lich decided to return to Vietnam amid the surprise of friends and co-workers.

“Many people asked me about the reason behind my decision. Actually, I thought a lot about the next path I needed to follow during the year before leaving. I thought that if I continued working at an all-too-familiar place after graduation, I would get into a rut when approaching new research themes. I wanted to challenge myself and find an independent research direction,” he said.

At that time, there was information about the recruitment of postdoc candidates in the field related to Lich’s research in the US, UK and Germany. As there were many options, Lich had a talk with his advisor Prof Takayuki Kitamura.

“The teacher told me that everyone should choose a place to devote all his energy and capability. He decided to stay in Japan though he had once worked at NASA in the US because he felt that his contributions in Japan would be more significant,” he said

After hearing that the Hanoi University of Science and Technology was recruiting lecturers, he decided to return to the school where he had once studied.

Finding a research path

Despite thorough preparation for the return, he still faced difficulties. At that time, the Hanoi University of Science and Technology began operating under the autonomy mode and support to new lecturers remained modest. He had to use savings to cover basic needs. Later, he saved his monthly salaries to buy computers to set up a research team.

However, the bigger difficulty was finding a path for independent research.

In fact, it would have been more favorable to continue following the research set by his previous advisor as there were still many research topics. However, he thought that if he continued that way, he would not make considerable progress in research.

In 2018, he spent time to look for new research directions. He also cooperated with other research teams.

One year later, Lucy’s research team began new research projects, cooperating with some businesses and receiving support from the school. He found a specific research direction related to phase field digital simulation, which he is still pursuing.

He realized that this is a strong and useful tool for studying physical phenomena occurring in materials that current experimental methods still cannot observe.

Important factors on research path

Lich wants to join forces with other scientists to build up a ‘phase field community’ instead of carrying out separate research.

Noting that the competition among universities helps them find problems and improve, it also causes localization and lack of cooperation in research. He hopes that scientists in related fields will cooperate to create more valuable products that better serve the benefits of the community.

This will take a lot of time, effort and patience from research teams to understand each other’s abilities and find common interests. At present, the number of specialists in each field is still modest, which creates significant obstacles to the development of science in the country.

In addition to research, Lich also spends time on training, especially allowing university students to joi research projects.

Lich began scientific research when he was a third-year student.

“That excited me and helped me a lot in my research later,” he said.

“I don’t ask students to create new research results. I just hope they can study in a serious research environment so that they have working skills and can promote their abilities, preparing for their future,” he said,

Becoming the youngest associate professor in 2021, Lich said the most important things for a researcher are the effects of their work in the areas of expertise and the positive values contributed to the community and society. 

Thuy Nga



Indian senior executive gets 15 years for embezzling $78,000 in Vietnam



A Vietnamese court has sentenced an Indian man to 15 years in prison for embezzling nearly US$78,000 from a Vietnam-based subsidiary whose parent company is an Indian firm where the man was deputy general director.

Defendant Soumyodiptha Saha, 35, an Indian citizen, received the jail term at his first-instance trial held at the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City on Monday.

The man was found to have appropriated the aforementioned amount from Ho Chi Minh City-based B9 Beverages Co., Ltd., whose parent company is B9 Beverages Pvt. Ltd. headquartered in India, according to the indictment.

In 2019, B9 Beverages Pvt. Ltd. recruited Saha and appointed him deputy general director in charge of finance affairs, whose duties were to control financial transactions related to the  company’s subsidiaries in other countries, including B9 Beverages Co., Ltd. in Vietnam.

The Vietnamese subsidiary opened an account at Standard Chartered Bank (Vietnam) Limited in Ho Chi Minh City, for its payment transactions, in 2009.

As a senior executive in charge of accounting affairs of this subsidiary, Saha was authorized to approve payments of under $10,000 at his discretion using this account.   

Taking advantage of this privilege, from August 30 to October 28, 2019, Saha transferred a total amount of more than VND1.9 billion ($77,930) worth of 27 transactions from the account to an account held by a Vietnamese woman, Nguyen Song An, at Techcombank in Vietnam.

An left Vietnam in March 2020 via Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City after withdrawing the entire amount in her account. 

When Saha’s act of embezzlement was discovered, the man told investigators that An is his wife and they married in India in 2019.

At the trial, Saha declared that he and his wife were quarreling in January 2020 when he went to Vietnam and revealed to An the origin of the money he had transferred to her.

The man added that they have since lived in separation, without his knowing about her whereabouts. 

Saha told the court that he did not intend to appropriate his company’s money but he only “borrowed” it to help his wife to repay her debts, Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper cited the foreigner as saying.

After Saha was prosecuted, Saha’s mother in India repaid all the appropriated money to the aggrieved party, B9 Vietnam Company, which confirmed the repayment and later filed a petition with the court to waive its claim against the Indian man. 

Judging that the foreigner’s act has seriously violated the rights and interests of B9 Beverages Co., Ltd. that is under the protection of the laws of Vietnam, the trial panel finally decided to impose the 15-year jail term.

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Vietnam targets $7,500 GDP per capita by 2030: resolution



Vietnam aims to achieve a gross domestic product (GDP) of US$7,500 per capita while meeting all the criteria of an industrialized country by 2030, as part of its aspiration to become a high-income developed country and one of the leading industrialized countries in Asia by 2045.

According to the latest data from the World Bank, Vietnam’s GDP per capita stood at $3,694.02 in 2021, a 4.76 percent increase from 2020.

These ambitious targets are set forth in a resolution passed at the sixth session of the 13th Party Central Committee that wrapped up last month.

Under the resolution, which was signed by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Vietnam is set to become a developing country with modern industry, high average income per capita, and enhanced living standards by 2030. 

Along with the $7,500 GDP per capita, the other specific targets for 2030 include the average GDP growth of seven percent per year at current prices, and the gross national income (GNI) of over $7,000 per capita at current prices.

The Southeast Asian nation will be built into a high-capacity and self-reliant industry that is highly adaptable and resilient, gradually mastering core and background technologies of the foundational, priority and spearhead industries within seven years, according to the resolution.

By that time, the nation’s total factor productivity (TFP)’s contribution to economic growth will reach over 50 percent, and its global innovation index (GII) will be among those of the group of 40 leading countries in the world.

In the ASEAN area, Vietnam will be among the three countries leading the region in industrial competitiveness, with its industry share in GDP exceeding 30 percent and the rate of hi-tech industrial products in processing and fabrication sectors attaining more than 45 percent.

Meanwhile, the proportion of the service sector will account for over 50 percent of GDP, with tourism alone representing 14-15 percent of GDP.

In addition, the proportion of agricultural laborers in total social labor will be less than 20 percent, while the rate of trained workers with high qualifications will range from 35 to 40 percent.

Notably, the resolution also set an ambitious target to train over 80 percent of the working-age population in basic digital skills while the nation will have about 260 university students per ten thousand inhabitants by 2030.

The country will build up a number of large-scale, multinational domestic industrial corporations and enterprises with global competitiveness in fundamental industries, priority industries, and spearhead industries.

It will build and develop a number of domestic industrial clusters with large-scale and international competitiveness, and own a number of industrial and agricultural value chains.

The country also aims to build a self-reliant, self-strengthening, modern, and dual-use defense industry that meets both defense and military needs and directly participates in socio-economic development and serving the people.

The share of the digital economy is expected to make up 30 percent of GDP and the nation will complete the construction of a digital government, earning a place among the top 50 countries in the world and ranking third in the ASEAN region in terms of e-government and digital economy.

The resolution also sets an urbanization rate of over 50 percent, the environmental performance index (EPI) at over 55, and the human development index (HDI) more than 0.7 by 2030.

It requires building and perfecting institutions and policies to promote the country’s industrialization and modernization process, in which science and technology advances, especially achievements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, should be applied broadly in order to create breakthroughs in productivity, quality, efficiency, and competitiveness of enterprises, industries and the whole economy. 

As projected in the resolution’s long-term vision, Vietnam will strive to become a developed country with high income per capita in the world by 2045.

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Temperatures to plummet as cold spell hits northern Vietnam



A cold front is expected to begin affecting northern Vietnam around Tuesday night, with forecast site i-weather predicting that the temperature will drop to minus three degrees Celsius at the top of Fansipan Mountain.

The cold snap will start influencing the mountainous provinces in northern Vietnam on Tuesday night and the rest of the region on Wednesday morning, the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting reported.

It will later expand its effects to north-central localities.

Temperatures in northern and north-central provinces are expected to drop starting Wednesday.

The lowest mercury in mountainous areas will be 9-12 degrees Celsius and below five degrees Celsius in some high-altitude locations.

The average lows in the Red River Delta will be 12-14 degrees Celsius, and in north-central localities will be 13-16 degrees Celsius.

Temperatures will further drop in the following days, and the frigid weather is expected to last until Saturday.

The temperature at the top of Fansipan Mountain in northern Lao Cai Province may drop to below zero degrees Celsius, while sleet and frost may form, said Luu Minh Hai, former director of the Lao Cai hydro-meteorological station.

Meanwhile, forecast site i-weather predicts that the temperature on the Fansipan peak may plunge to minus three degrees Celsius between Thursday and Saturday.

There will also be a chance of snow, the site added.

According to the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, the cold front will bring winds of 12-38km per hour to northern provinces.

Showers will also dampen the region on Tuesday night and on Wednesday.

Medium to heavy rains are also forecast to lash central and south-central provinces from Wednesday night to Saturday.

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