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Science and Technology Current Events Archive


Truecaller Enters Lucrative Mobile Payment Market in India

As per reports, Truecaller partnering up with ICICI bank launched a service called Truecaller Pay which lets Android users transfer money securely using mobile phones.

Truecaller is a popular call monitoring and spam call identification app based in Stockholm. At an event on Tuesday in New Delhi, they announced a refreshed design of their mobile app Truecaller 8, introducing two new features for flagging spam SMS and make mobile payments.

Xiaomi Redmi 4A to be Launched on Monday, To Cost Around Rs. 6,000

Xiaomi is all set to launch its newest budget phone – Xiaomi Redmi 4A - in India on March 20 at an estimated cost of around Rs. 6,000.

Reports say that Redmi 4A will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor. Other important features include 2GB RAM, 16GB internal support, microSD card storage compatibility, 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera, and 3,120mAh battery.

Redmi 4A will come with MIUI 8 interface (based on older Android Marshmallow).

The well awaited smartphone is expected to be Reliance Jio compatible (4G VoLTE support) and will be exclusively available on Amazon.in.

Rolls Royce to Make Combat Aircrafts in India

Kishore Jayaraman, President of Rolls Royce (India and South Asia), while delivering a lecture at National Institute of Technology (Trichy) during their annual techno-managerial festival Pragyan-2017, has said that his company will build combat aircraft engines in India soon. While stressing on his company’s commitment towards technological innovations, Jayaraman said that Rolls Royce is the only company to produce white body aircraft engines. While charting out his company’s future plans in India, he said that they are all set to make Bangalore their next generation technology hub in India.

Xiomi promotes India head Manu Jain as Global VP

Xiaomi's India operations head Manu Kumar Jain has been promoted to the post of Vice President of the company. Jain will replace Hugo Barra, Xiaomi's Global VP, who had announced his decision to leave the company last month.

The news was confirmed in a tweet from the official Twitter handle of Xiaomi India - Mi India.

Along with being the Vice President at the company, Jain will also be Managing Director of Xiaomi India. He had joined Xiaomi back in June 2014.

Hugo Barra, Xiaomi's former Global Vice President, decided to part ways with the smartphone-maker last month only to return to Silicon Valley. Barra was with the company from last three and a half year and will now join Facebook to lead the Oculus team's VR efforts within the social network.

Prior to joining the smartphone maker, Barra was the Vice President of Product Development for Android at Google.

Barra has been the face of the company at various events, and his exit was seen as a major blow to the company's strategies for international markets like India.

Jain's promotion has strengthen the fact that India will continue to be an important market for Xiaomi and that Jain will have a key role in maintaining Xiaomi's momentum in the country. Currently India is Xiaomi's biggest market outside of China with over $1 billion in sales last year.

BHIM App: Registration Crosses 140 Lakh

Reports say that more than 140 lakh registration have been done for the recently launched Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app. According to IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, two new schemes -Referral Bonus Scheme for individuals and a Cashback Scheme for merchants, will be launched. These will help in promoting the usage of this app.

Aadhaar Enabled Payment System's merchant version, Aadhaar Pay is also going to be launched, which will be helpful for those without debit cards, mobile wallets and mobile phones.

Xiaomi plans to launch products in three new categories in India

Chinese handset maker Xiaomi is looking to launch products in three to four new categories in India this year, Xiaomi India head Manu Jain told to media. The brand has crossed the $ 1 billion revenue mark in India in 2016

However, the company is yet to confirm on the new product categories to be rolled out. The brand entered India in 2014 and along with smartphones, the China based player sells air purifiers, wearables, bluetooth speakers and power banks in India.

Apart from phone and routers, all other products of Xiaomi are developed by its ecosystem companies in which Xiaomi holds majority stake. The company has 77 such ecosystem companies, and 20 of them have launched products till now.

Divulging the details Jain said that the new product categories will be customised for the Indian market. Jain was in Hyderabad to unveil the company's latest smartphone, Redmi Note 4.

Apart from Redmi Note 4, Xiaomi also displayed an installation of Mi Home sufficed with Mi Air Purifier 2, Mi Bluetooth Speaker, Mi Powerbanks, Mi Robot, Mi Notebook Air apart.

Commenting on expectation from sales of Redmi Note 4, Jain said that the count is expected to be double the sale figure of Redmi Note 3. Noticeably, Xiomi had sold 3.6 million Redmi Note 3 handsets in 2016.

ASUS plans Zenfone 3S Max India launch on February 7

Adding yet another model to its ZenFone 3 Series, Taiwan based mobile phone manufacturer ASUS has planned to launch its first smartphone of this year on February 7 via web streaming in India.

The smartphone operates on the newly launched Android Nougat 7.0 (with ZenUI 3.0) for the Indian users and boasts of Octa-core 64-bit processor together with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage that can be expanded up to 2TB.

Enclosed in a metallic body, the smartphone is packed with a 5,000mAh battery, 13MP primary camera and 8MP selfie-shooter.

Oppo A57 'selfie-centric' smartphone' Soon to be Launched in India

As per reports, Oppo is going to launch its A57 ‘selfie-centric’ smartphone' in India on 3 February. As the design is concerned, this phone has many of its characteristics of its F1 series.

This smartphone was launched in China last year in November. The phone comes with a 5.2-inch HD LCD display (1280×720 pixel) with 2.5D curved glass design and powered by a 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor along with an Adreno 505 GPU. It runs on Android6 Marshmallow based Color 3.0 OS. Oppo A57 weighs only 147 grams. Its latest price in China is 1,599 Yuan (approx Rs 16,000).

Jaipur Literature Festival: Amitabh Kant predicts death of ATMs in India

Speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2017, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has asserted that soon the nation will become a significantly cashless economy and even cash dispensing machines will become irrelevant in years to come, given the exponential growth of mobile phones based transactions.

Kant was a panelist for session on the virtual economy and beyond, during the thirds day of Jaipur Literature Festival. However, other co-panelists were dubious of the timeframe and the availability of the required infrastructure.

Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strategy of demopnetisation, Kant said that this step was necessary to enable the push towards a digital economy in a quicker manner.

In words of Kant, the nation is in the middle of a major disruption. At present, 85 percent of the transactions are in cash, thereby creating space for ‘black money’. But given the extraordinary growth in mobile phones, has set the base for a cashless economy.

Those from academia and business were skeptical of this possibility. Columnist and author Mihir Sharma said that mobile phone usage has grown as landlines didn’t work.

In words of Sharma, it all happened naturally, without the government pushing for it. Ambit Holdings CEO Ashok Wadhwa also has similar concerns. According to him, the transition from a cash major economy to a cashless one will take far more time.

Similar were the reactions of John Elliott who has authored several books on India.

Xiaomi to Bring Flagship Phone One per Year in India

As per reports, though Xiaomi has indicated that they want to add more ecosystem products to the market in India, they will keep the limit of flagship smartphones one per year in the country, at least for 2017.

The global director of product management of the company, Donovan Sung said that as of now the company is focussing on the Redmi Note 4 and they will also have an upgrade to the Redmi series very soon.

The flagship devices are Xiaomi Mi 5s and Mi Note 2.

Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro Launched in Bhubaneswar

Samsung India has launched its new smartphone ‘Galaxy C9 Pro’ in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday. The price of the smartphone is Rs 36,900. Customers will be able to pre-book the phone from selected stores and online platforms from 27 January onwards. Customers can find the phone at offline retail stores by February.

On pre-booking, customers will be able to get one-time screen replacement for a period of 12 months. The phone is going to be available in two colours, black and gold.

The other cities where this smartphone will be available are Jaipur, Chandigarh and Pune.

Jharkhand: Tata Steel's mines to have 1st drone application monitoring

Steel giant Tata Steel's Noamundi Iron-ore Mine in West Singhbhum, Jharkhand/ is soon going to become the first mine of the nation which will launch 'Drone Application in Mine Monitoring' (DAMM).

Noamundi Iron Mine will become the first Mine to launch DAMM on January 16, revealed a press release by Tata Steel. Balvinder Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Mines will launch the DAMM.

Under the 'Make in India' by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there has been an emphasis on role of Space Science in order to achieve good governance. Based on the Prime Minister's vision, Ministry of Mines has conceptualized and launched Mine Surveillance System on October 15, 2016.

MSS is a satellite-based monitoring system through automatic remote sensing detection technology to have responsive mineral administration by curbing illegal mining and public participation. Other dignitaries to mark their presence at the event are R K Sinha, Controller General, Indian Bureau of Mines, A B Panigrahi, Controller of Mines (CZ), Indian Bureau of Mines, Rajeev Singhal, Vice President, Raw Materials, Tata Steel, Pankaj Kumar Satija, General Manager (OMQ), Tata Steel and Manish Mishra, Chief (Regulatory Affairs), Tata Steel.

Maruti launches compact premium Ignis in New Delhi

Expanding its compact car portfolio, Maruti Suzuki drove in the Ignis premium hatchback in New Delhi. Being the second small car from Nexa, after the Baleno, the car is comes at ex-showroom price of Rs 4.6 lakh for the petrol variant and Rs 6.4 lakh for the diesel version(both in Delhi).

The Ignis has joined the league of compact cars in the company's line-up that includes Alto at the entry-level, and goes up to the Baleno including other models as WagonR, Celerio, Ritz and old warhorse Swift. Seventh one among compact cars, this model has been launched at a time when the company is already working to substantially upgrades some of its key models like Alto, Swift and WagonR.

In words of Maruti, the new car was developed with an investment of around Rs 950 crore. Also, the model is targeted at the ‘millennial youth’ or those less than 28 years of age. Asked whether this car will create cannibalisation within the company's existing portfolio, the Sales and marketing Director RS Kalsi shrugged off the possibilities by saying, Ignis is a unique car.

However, the market believes that Maruti is aiming to take on competition from some of the new models through this car in its critically-important compact segment.

Mumbai Twitter User Informs Sushma Swaraj about Indian Flag Doormat on Amazon

A Twitter user from Mumbai brought it to the notice of India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj that Amazon.com is selling doormats that resemble Indian tri-colour flag from its Canadian website. Upon this, the Indian government threatened to rescind visas of the employees of the company if they continued selling the product.

However, the doormat appeared to be taken down on Wednesday, as it is not found in the search results anymore, though Amazon.com has not confirmed yet about removing it.

Mumbai gets 500 Public Wi-Fi Hotspots

According to reports, 500 public wi-fi hotpots went live across the city of Mumbai on Monday. This is the biggest public Wi-Fi network in India and one of the largest in the world. Reportedly, 700 more hotspots are going to be activated in the city by 1 May.

During the trial period of six days, near about 23,000 users signed up and also downloaded over 2TB (TetraByte) data. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis mentioned it digital empowerment in the state.

BHIM e-wallet App: 10 Million Downloads in 10 Ten Days

As per reports, BHIM, an e-wallet unveiled by PM Modi for Android users has crossed 10 million downloads in just 10 days of its launch. The app has topped the charts with a rating of 4.1 on the Google's Play Store in India.

The app can work on simple feature phones without any internet connection.

Made in India Apple iPhone 8 to go cheaper

With Apple planning on setting up its manufacturing facility in Bengaluru, the market is expecting comparatively cheaper price for iPhone 8 devices made in India.

As per the reports, the Taiwan based OEM maker - Wistron is setting up a facility in Peenya, the industrial hub of Bengaluru to manufacture the updated version of iPhones.

Wistron has recently validated the commencement of manufacturing in Bengaluru by April. Therefore, it is being assumed that the much contemplated iPhone 8 smartphone is likely to be manufactured in India.

However, if rumours are to be believed, the multinational technology company will initially restrict itself to specific gadgets before increasing the production.

The Cupertino based brand has to pay import taxes and duties in India that are around 12 per cent of the manufacturing and production costs on Apple devices. It is these costs that add to the final price of Apple devices and make the gadgets expensive when compared to other markets.

OnePlus in India: First Store in Bengaluru

After selling its phones through online portals for sometime, OnePlus has inaugurated its 'Experience Store' on Friday in Bengaluru. The Chinese manufacturer has taken the initiative to provide the customers a first hand opportunity of testing the device before they finalise and buy and purchase it from the brand's official site or through its online sales partner Amazon.

As per reports, a slew of unique engagement ideas are going to be added by OnePlus at the store. This will be done to offer a different and unique experience to the customers.

 

Google CEO Hosts Technology Event for SMEs in Delhi

Google Ceo Sundar Pichai has hosted a technology event in New Delhi and launched Digital Unlocked programme to train SMEs. As per reports, he said that more than 5,000 workshops have been planned and any small business can sign up to this programme. Digital Unlocked will run in partnership with FICCI. A digital training programme has also been announced by him for the Indian SMBs.

The event is attended by IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and many other senior executives from Google.

PM Modi asks Road Transport ministry to explore Transit Elevated Bus

With China making the first successful trial run of world’s first Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) or "straddling bus" on August 3 in north China’s Qinhuangdao, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked road transport ministry to get maximum details on the project and explore possibilities to implement the same  on highly congested Indian roads. The electricity driven TEB is environment friendly and can carry 300 to 1200 passengers. 22-metre-long TEBs are similar to light-rail train running over two lanes and cars could move beneath them.