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Science and Technology Current Events

Jack Ma calls B2B Model More Suited for India and Regarded B2C Model American

Jack Ma, founder of Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, has said that both Flipkart and Amazon follow B2C model, which is predominantly American in nature. However, he stressed on the fact that for both India and China the best suited model is B2B. The statement comes after Jack Ma met Indian PM Narendra Modi and indicated of expanding his India presence by helping small businesses. Jack Ma’s renewed interest in the Indian market can be gauged from the recently published Asia Pacific Tech Market Outlook report by Forrester Research, forecasting over 10 per cent growth in its tech purchases during 2015-16, the fastest in the region.

ISRO to Help Ministry of Environment and Forest for Detection of Illegal River Mining

As per Hyderabad-based National Remote Sensing Centre’s (NRSC) Director, VK Dadhwal, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to help Ministry of Environment and Forest for detecting illegal mining in rivers  by letting them use satellite images. While talking to media-persons at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Dadhwal said that The Indian Bureau of Mines have been assigned the work of drawing boundary lines for sand mines. The NRSC Director made these statements while responding to a media question on Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar statement on the similar use of ISRO pictures for mapping river for identifying illegal mining of sand.

Xiaomi to sell Mi 4 and Redmi Note 4G via Mobile Store

In order to expand its market in India, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has teamed up with Mobile Store. Earlier the company used to sell smartphones only through Flipkart. For buying a handset one has to register online and above that entire inventory used to be sold within few seconds. This was really frustrated for many buyers. As per media reports Xiaomi’s Mi 4 and Redmi Note 4G are likely to be available through the Mobile Store in Delhi NCR at Rs 19,999 and Rs 9,999, respectively.

TRAI may regulate VoIP and IM apps

The telecom regulatory of India (TRAI) is preparing to regulate VoIP and IM applications. Under this change, services such as WhatsApp, Skype and Viber and many other may have to pay revenue to telecom operators. The final decision may be taken in a few more months. TRAI had earlier refused to regulate OTT (over the top) services.

Bajaj Auto Launches its Fastest Pulsar Bike Yet in India

Bajaj Auto has launched its fastest-ever Pulsar bike yet in India - RS200 - yesterday. While the Non-ABS version will be available at an ex-showroom price of Rs. 1,18500 in Delhi, ABS-version will cost Rs. 1,30,269. Per available information, Bajaj Pulsar RS200 is the fastest bike yet in the Pulsar category, where the top speed is claimed to be 141kmph. Reports say, the new RS200 is the fully-faired version of Pulsar 200NS and both of them run on a 199cc engine. In an official statement, Bajaj has claimed that per litre efficiency of RS200 is 54kmpl.

National Supercomputing Mission Approved by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs; To Cost Rs. 4,500 crore

National Supercomputing Mission has been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs that is chaired by the Prime Minister. The mission is intended to connect national academic as well as Research and Development institutions with 73 high performance computing facilities. The total cost of the project is estimated at Rs. 4,500 crore. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Communications and IT Minister, said that out of the total cost of Rs. 4,500 crore, Ministry of Science and Technology will provide Rs. 2,800 crore and IT Department will invest the rest Rs 1,700 crore.

ISRO Publishes 6 Images Sent by Mangalyaan

With Mangalyaan, India’s celebrated indigenous Mars Orbiter Mission, completing six months yesterday in the red planet’s orbit, Indian Space and Research Organisation has released six pictures of Mars taken by the MOM. Out of the six photos, three are of a large martian canyon called Valles of Marineris. The other three images are of artian Clouds around Arsia Mons, wind streak observed from MOM, and “High Reslution image of Super Imposed Impact Craters on Mars”. The last image give 3D view of Valles of Marineris from MCC images.

Huawei launches Honor 6 Plus at Rs. 26,499 and Honor 4X at Rs. 10,499

Huawei has launched a budget and another mid-range smartphones in India. While official price of the budget phone Honor 4X is Rs. 10,499, the mid-range smartphone, Honor 6 Plus, costs Rs. 26,499. While Huawei has announced that Honor 6 Plus will be available soon, pre-order for Honor 4X started yesterday at 4pm IST at Flipkart. The mid-range Honor 6 Plus comes with 5.5-inch display with 1920x1080 pixels resolution, 32GB internal memory, octa-core processor, 3600mAh battery, and external expandable storage up to 128GB. Honor 4X, on the other hand, is powered by quad-core processor and comes with a 5.5 inch display.  

Samsung Launches Well-Awaited Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6 in India

Samsung has finally launched its well-awaited flagship smartphones - Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6 – in India yesterday. Pre-booking of the concerned smartphones started yesterday. However, from April 10, they will be up for sale. Samsung Galaxy 6 is now available in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB variants with official price points Rs. 49,900, Rs. 55,900, and Rs. 60,900 respectively. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge also comes in three variants and their prices in the Indian market are Rs. 58,900 (32GB), Rs. 64,900 (64GB), and Rs. 70,900 (128GB) respectively. 64-bit 14-nanometer Exynos processors, the new Samsung processors, power both the handsets.

MOM Completes 6 Months Today; To Keep Functioning for Extended Time Period

Mangalyaan, one of the most successful and cost effective missions of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) completed six months today in the orbit of Mars. Reports say that official lifespan of the mission was six months and was expected to end today. However, around 37 kgs of fuel are still left in the Mars Orbiter, which will enable it to go on for extended period of time. Per last available information, the satellite is working fine and all five instruments aboard are in good condition. Minister for Space’s MoS, Dr. Jitendra Singh, called it “shining example” of “Make in India initiative”.

Bharati Airtel Announced Cloud Computing Services by Partnering with Amazon Web Services

Per available information, Indian customers will get cloud computing services from major telecom provider Bharati Airtel as it has forged a partnership with Amazon Web Services. Ajay Chitkara, CEO of Bharti Airtel's Global Business, while making the announcement said that his company has added a new cloud services provider in their expanding list of service providers for helping customers world over in getting benefits of the cloud. One of the most important aspects of cloud computing is that the customers don’t have to buy an entire product as they can use it on a pay as per use basis.    

Samsung to launch Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge in India

The Korean tech giant Samsung is going to launch Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge in India on March 23, but the models will be available to purchase only in the beginning of April. Few weeks ago, the company showcased Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge during the Mobile World Congress 2015. Unlike iPhone 6 the battery is fixed and cannot be taken out. Samsung Galaxy S6 has 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLOED display and 2560 X 1440 resolution. Galaxy S6 Edge has dual edge display.

Xolo Launches New 4G LTE Enabled LT2000 Smartphone in Budget Category

One of the leading Indian smartphone brands Xolo has launched its new budget smartphone that supports 4G LTE connectivity. The new phone is named Xolo LT2000 and will be available to the Indian customers at Rs. 9,999. Though this dual-SIM smartphone runs on Android 4.4 KitKat OS, the company has promised to upgrade it to Android 5.0 Lollipop in the coming days. 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 Quad Core processor clocked at a speed of 1.2GHz powers the device.  Other notable specs of Xolo LT2000 are 400MHz Adreno 306 GPU, 1GB RAM, 5.5-inch HD display having scratch resistant Dragontail Glass, 8MP rear camera, etc.

IAMAI Report Expects eCommerce Sales to Increase by 53 Percent by December 2015 Y-O-Y

Report published by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) says that digital commerce market in India is all set to increase by 53 per cent to cross Rs.1 lakh crore by December 2015 from corresponding period last year. The report also pointed out that the industry is currently increasing at 33 per cent rate. It is learnt that Indian Market Research Bureau helped IAMAI in preparing the report. The top two revenue generators in eCommerce segment, per report, are online travel and e-retail. IAMAI report said that other segments that are pushing eCommerce sales include classifieds, matrimony, and financial services.

Mars Orbiter Mission to Outlive Planned 6-Months Lifespan

Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office, while replying to a question in Lok Sabha, said that planned life span of Indian Space Research Organisation’s celebrated Mars Orbiter Mission will end on 24 March 2015, which entered Mars’ orbit on 24 September 2014. He went on to say that after considering all the parameters of spacecraft’s health, it seems MOM is going to outlive the planned six months lifespan. Report says that the MOM satellite is equipped with 37 kgs of additional propellant. Jitendra Singh also said that increase in MOM’s lifespan will help collecting more scientific data on Mars.   

Sony Xperia E4 Dual Launched in India at Rs. 12,190

Sony launched Xperia E4 Dual, its new budget smartphone, at a price of Rs. 12,190 yesterday in India. It took the Japanese tech giant one month to launch the device in India after its global release. This budget mobile is reported to run for two days at a stretch on normal use, as Sony has packed it with 2300mAh battery. Reports say that Ultra Stamina mode helps core functions of Sony Xperia E4 Dual to run for 1 week. This device runs on Android 4.4 KitKat operating system and is powered by 1.3 GHz quad core processor. 

Path-Breaking Research at NCCS to Develop Vaccine for Preventing Certain Types of Cancer

Researchers at National Centre for Cell Sciences have reportedly found a mechanism, which is in its initial stage of research, which can pave way for development of vaccine for preventing certain kinds of cancers. Available reports show that the researchers at the Pune-based NCCS have recorded promising results while experimenting on animal models. Lalita Limaye, who is leading the group of researchers at NCCS on this project, said that they are using cord blood hematopoietic stem cells (extracted from bone marrow) to generate Dendritic Cells for developing vaccine against certain cancers.

President of India stresses on Importance of Ayurvedic Treatment and Medicinal Practices

While speaking at 58th plenary of All India Ayurvedic Congress (organised at Punjab University) after inaugurating the event, President of India Pranab Mukherjee stressed upon the need of a completely separate ministry for Ayurveda, Yunani, Siddha and Homeopathy or AYUSH. He went on to say that this will help in promotion and development of different ancient Indian systems of medicine including Ayurveda. Mukherjee urged the hospitals to include Ayurvedic treatment facility in whatever manner they can. President, while emphasising efficacy of Ayurveda, said that many people prefer this because of the absence of negative side effects of modern medicinal practices.

Delhi Government Makes Installation of GPS in all Taxis Operating in Delhi-NCR Region Mandatory

All taxi operators, operating in Delhi, have been ordered by the Delhi government to install GPS (Global Positioning System) in their respective vehicles for ensuring safety of women. A senior official said that all taxi operators, whether it is black-and-yellow ones or Radio taxis, will have to comply with this new government decision otherwise they will not get fitness services. This decision will be applicable for more than fifteen thousand taxis that operate in Delhi-NCR region. However, Delhi Taxi Union’s General Secretary Rajendra Soni has threatened the government of hitting the roads if the decision is not withdrawn.   

Pre-Registration facility at Advanced Eye Centre in PGI

PGI, Chandigarh's Advanced Eye Centre has launched Online Pre-registration for patients on a pilot basis that will be extended to other OPDs within couple of weeks. In this online system of registration, first time visitors to PGI can register themselves for visiting the Advanced Eye Centre (AEC) on their chosen date. After filling a small form, the user will receive a Pre-registration number on his or her registered Mobile Number and e-mail ID. Initially the facility is available to 40 patients in a day.