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Science and Technology Current Events Archive


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.

Nasscom vouches for Full Flexibility for Apps and Websites on Giving Free Data to Customers

In response to TRAI’s consultation paper, Nasscom has opined that the telecom operators shouldn’t have any control (neither direct nor indirect) on the content that the customers view online. The IT body said that they are not in favour of any kind of discrimination between websites and apps that may arise from any kind of conditions attached to rewards by the platform. Nasscom has not only invoked net neutrality issue but also pressed for giving complete flexibility to websites and apps for rewarding free data.

India achieves New height with ISRO's 20 Satellite Launch in 26 Minutes

ISRO achieved new heights of success by launching 20 satellites into orbit in one go on June 22. This not only made India better its previous best of launching 10 satellites in one go but also close its gap with Russia’s 33 satellite (2014) and NASA’s 29 satellite (2013) launches in one go. Out of the 20 satellites launched, 13 were from companies and organisations belonging to the USA. While one satellite (Cartosat-2 for earth observation) was from India, other 6 satellites were from Indonesia, Canada, and Germany.

ISRO to launch 727.5 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite with 19 Co-Passengers on June 22

ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) is all set to launch 20 satellites in a single mission on India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle from Sriharikota’s (in Andhra Pradesh) second launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre on June 22 at 09:25 hrs IST. PSLV-C34, which will be making its 36th flight, will carry a Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation (weighing 727.5 kg) along with 19 other satellites (weighing around 560 kg at lift off). With solid strap-on motors, it’s going to be 14th flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration.

Reliance Retail Launches Lyf Flame 6 Smartphone at Rs. 3,999

Reliance Retail's Lyf brand has launched the new Flame 6 smartphone. Priced at Rs. 3,999, the product is now listed on the company site. It will be available through offline stores such as Reliance Digital and Digital Xpress in the black colour variant. 

Kaspersky Lab puts India among Top 5 Countries to be Attacked by Ransomware

Kaspersky Lab, software security group based in Russia, has found out in its research that India is among the most vulnerable countries of being attacked by Ransomware.  Kaspersky Lab’s Head of APAC Global Research and Analysis Team, Vitaly Kamluk, has said that India is among top 5 countries that is mostly attacked by Ransomware. Per Kamlum’s “Security Threat landscape” statistical report, India is the top most country that has been attacked by Teslacrypt ransomware (11,674 users) during March-May 2016.

Govt. eyes mobile app offering access to 1,000 services

Government is planning to come up with a mobile application that is capable of offering access to over 1,000 services from the Centre and state governments. There are chances of launching this app by December 2016. The sectors that would be initially covered by this mobile app include National student scholarships, health care and women safety. Named as Umang (Unified Mobile App for New Age Governance) will be available in English and 12 Indian languages.   

Delhi Metro equipped with earthquake warning system

A Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratory has developed a unique warning system for the Delhi Metro that would alert the train about an earthquake so that the services could be halted. This earthquake warning system can sense, record the event and generate SMS to the concerned action points, all in real time.

ISRO to Scale New Heights by Launching 22 Satellites in Single Mission

ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) Chairman Kiran Kumar, while speaking at the sidelines of FKCCI (Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry) organised event, has said that after the successful testing of reusable launch vehicle, they will launch a record 22 satellites in a single mission during June-end. Out of 22 satellites, 3 will be Indian and the rest commercial ones (from USA, Germany, Indonesia, and Canada). Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre Director K Sivan said PSLV C34 will be used by ISRO for the launch.