India, UAE discuss possible cooperation in space technologies

DUBAI: India and the UAE have discussed possible cooperation in the field of space and related areas to strengthen and diversify their existing strong bilateral relations.

The UAE’s Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST)’s top executives led by Director General Yousuf Al Shaibani recently met Indian delegates headed by Anurag Bhushan, Consul General of India in Dubai, according to EIAST statement.

They discussed possible cooperation between EIAST and India’s space agency Indian Space Research Organisation in the field of space and related areas.

“India is in the midst of a massive national development campaign and one of the areas of focus is harnessing space technology for more diversified growth. ISRO, the national space agency of India has formal cooperative agreements with more than 35 countries.

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‘Digital India to Prepare Nation for Tech-Based Transformation’

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said Digital India programme would prepare the country for technology-based transformation.

“My government has envisioned an ambitious umbrella programme — Digital India– to prepare the country for technology-based transformation and citizen-centric transparent governance with service orientation,” he said, addressing a joint session of both the houses of parliament on the first day of budget session.

“Aadhar-based attendance system and Jeevan Praman, Aadhar-based Digital Life Certificate Portal, have shown that innovative use of technology can make enormous difference,” he said.

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Google Glass to be redesigned from scratch

If you thought the eye-wearable device Google Glass is dead, think again! The new team at Google Glass wants to “redesign the product from scratch and not release it until it is complete”, says a New York Times report.

Glass is now overseen by Ivy Ross, a jewellery designer who runs Google’s smart-eyewear division and Tony Fadell, a former Apple product executive.

“Early Glass efforts have broken ground and allowed us to learn what’s important to consumers and enterprises alike,” Fadell said in a statement.

“I am excited to be working with Ivy to provide direction and support as she leads the team and we work together to integrate those learnings into future products,” the statement read.

The report quotes an adviser to Fadell as saying: “There will be no public experimentation. Tony is a product guy and he’s not going to release something until it’s perfect.”

Google Glass was unveiled as a prototype in 2012.

It was distributed to a select group of people as part of Explorer programme who paid $1,500 to be early adopters.

On Jan 19 this year, Google quietly suspended selling Google Glass to consumers while continuing to support Glass as an enterprise product.

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In a first, Micromax unveils ‘pouch’ packaging; launches Joy phones priced at Rs 699

JOY NEW DELHI: It looks like we’ve reached a stage where phones are being sold as  everyday commodity. Micromax has launched ‘Joy’ series of feature phones,  that come in candy packs-like pouch packaging.

The company introduces its first two handsets in the series – the X1800 and  X1850 priced at Rs 699 and Rs 749, respectively.

Both of the phones feature a coloured screen, expandable storage up to 4GB,  Bluetooth, a 0.08MP camera and other essentials like FM radio, alarm clock, and flashlight, among others.

Micromax Joy X1800 is equipped with a 1.77-inch coloured screen, durable body and a camera. The device also packs a 750mAh battery to give consumers up to 235 hours of standby time, as claimed by Micromax. The device will be available in retail stores starting February 5, 2015.

The Micromax Joy X1850 also comes with 1.77-inch coloured screen. With and 1800mAh battery, the device delivers 25 days of back up as claimed by Micromax. The device will be available in the retail stores by next week.

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Samsung loses pole position in India smartphone market to Micromax

Mumbai: Indian budget smartphone maker Micromax leapfrogged South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd to become the leading supplier in India’s booming smartphone market for the first time in the fourth quarter, research firm Canalys said.

In a report issued on 3 February, Canalys said Micromax, based near New Delhi, accounted for 22% of smartphone sales in India in the October-December quarter, ahead of Samsung’s 20%. In total, 21.6 million smartphones were sold in India in the period, a 90% surge from a year earlier.

India, which has the world’s second-highest number of mobile phone accounts after China, is the third-biggest market by number of smartphones sold. Low-priced smartphones are the top sellers in a country where many buyers are upgrading from feature phones

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Snapdeal to hire Silicon Valley’s tech guns

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BENGALURU: Ratan Tata and Azim Premji-backed e-commerce player Snapdeal is looking to poach technology talent from Silicon Valley to build a formidable product and engineering leadership team that would oversee over 1,500 engineers.

The e-tailer is looking to get senior executives from top consumer internet and technology companies in the Valley such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Salesforce. The company says it wants talent from companies that have demonstrated the ability to scale and grow at a rapid pace. And it expects that this talent will come at pay packages — including stock options — of about $1 million each.

Speaking to TOI, Rohit Bansal, co-founder and COO of Snapdeal, said, “We are at a point where we are running out of experienced talent in India. We have seen scale with respect to consumer internet products, but those products didn’t get built in India.”

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Now, book train ticket online, pay on delivery

NEW DELHI: Just like your shoes or hair dryer, you can now order your train ticket to be sent home on “cash-on-delivery” mode.

For the first time, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is offering the cash-on-delivery option for railway tickets bought online.

The service is aimed at targeting customers who are reluctant to use their bank credit card or those who don’t have net-banking enabled bank account or cards.

“A customer has to book the ticket online and can make payments at the time of delivery of tickets,” said an official.

The scheme has been launched on pilot basis and the service will be available in more than 200 cities initially.

Train travelers can book a ticket five days prior to commencement of journey.
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