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75,000 crore to be invested in India: Google CEO Sundar Piche

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New Delhi: Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday announced a Google for India Digitisation Fund through which the company will invest Rs 75,000 crore, or approximately $10 billion, over the next five to seven years to drive digital transformation in the country.

“We’ll do this through a mix of equity investments, partnership investments, and operational, infrastructure, and ecosystem investments. This is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy,” Pichai said during the Google for India virtual conference.

The fund will focus on four areas that are important to India’s digitisation.

These include enabling affordable access to the internet and to information for every Indian in their own language and building new products and services that are deeply relevant to India’s unique needs including consumer tech, education, health, and agriculture.

The Google for India Digitisation Fund will also focus on empowering businesses especially small and medium businesses as they continue or embark on their digital transformation.

Another area of focus will be leveraging technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for social good, including digital literacy, outbreak predictions, and support for rural economies, Pichai said.

Giving a special address at the event, India’s Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad expressed hope that with this new fund, Google will also focus on promoting the country’s startups further.

“There is immense scope for Google to deploy artificial intelligence and undertake new initiatives in the field of agriculture, weather prediction, healthcare in the wake of Covid-19 challenges, and most importantly in digital education,” Prasad said.

“Today, India’s app economy is growing very powerfully, but we must not just download apps. It is important also to upload apps from India,” the IT minister noted.

Google also announced new initiatives as part of its ongoing efforts towards the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Now more than ever, to survive and grow, every Indian business must be a digital business. And we are investing in helping Indian businesses go digital and helping Indian workers learn, grow, and find better jobs,” said Caesar Sengupta, GM & VP of Payments and Next Billion Users, Google.

He announced a new initiative with Prasar Bharati, launching an edutainment series on Doordarshan on how small businesses can adopt digital tools and adapt to the current situation, using examples of real-life Indian businesses.

Talking about the “Spot Platform” on Google Pay, he shared that the Google Pay Nearby Stores Spot which was introduced in March this year to improve offline merchant discoverability and to help people find shops near them to see what essential food items are in stock has been used by more than two million users.

To support people who are looking for work, he shared that the Job Spot on Google Pay now allows for remote interviews and remote work listings so that people who are unemployed can secure employment and income more quickly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Google also announced a partnership with CBSE to train over one million teachers in 22,000 schools across India by the end of 2020, to deliver blended learning that combines the classroom approach with online learning, using free tools like G Suite for Education, Google Classroom, YouTube and more.

To support underserved low-income communities, Sapna Chadha, Senior Country Marketing Director, Southeast Asia & India, also announced a new Google.org grant of $1 million to the Kaivalya Education Foundation (KEF) as part of the Global Distance Learning Fund.

Using these funds, the KEF will work with the Central Square Foundation and TeacherApp to train 700,000 teachers to deliver virtual education for students so that they can continue learning at home over mass media such as TV and radio, wherever smartphones or internet access are not available.

“Google’s efforts to bring technology and thereby, knowledge and learning to students in every part of the country is commendable,” Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Union Human Resources Development Minister, said while speaking at the event.

“The Internet has emerged as a lifeline during the pandemic, which needs to be strengthened and we welcome Google’s initiatives like free access to learning resources, as well as their collaboration with CBSE to train 1 million teachers on tech-enabled education,” he said.

At the event, Google also shared updates on the work it has been doing since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak in India.

Google said it has seen over two billion searches on COVID, across different languages on Google platforms in the last two months.

The Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday also interacted with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a wide range of subjects, particularly leveraging the power of technology to transform the lives of India’s farmers, youngsters, and entrepreneurs.

In the virtual meeting with Pichai, the Prime Minister also discussed the new work culture that is emerging during the Covid-19 crisis.

“This morning, I had an extremely fruitful interaction with Sundar Pichai. We spoke on a wide range of subjects, particularly leveraging the power of technology to transform the lives of India’s farmers, youngsters, and entrepreneurs,” Modi said in a series of tweets.

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യോനോ ഉപഭോക്താക്കള്‍ക്ക് യുപിഐ ബോധവല്‍ക്കരണ കാമ്പയിനുമായി എസ്ബിഐ-എന്‍പിസിഐ

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യുപിഐ ഇടപാടുകള്‍ വ്യാപകമാക്കുന്നതിനായി സ്റ്റേറ്റ് ബാങ്ക് ഓഫ് ഇന്ത്യയും (എസ്ബിഐ) നാഷണല്‍ പേമെന്റ്‌സ് കോര്‍പ്പറേഷന്‍ ഓഫ് ഇന്ത്യയും (എന്‍പിസിഐ) സംയുക്തമായി ബോധവത്കരണ പ്രചാരണ പരിപാടികള്‍ ആരംഭിക്കും.

എസ്ബിഐയുടെ ബാങ്കിംഗ്, ലൈഫ്സ്‌റ്റൈല്‍ പ്ലാറ്റ്‌ഫോമായ യോനോയുടെ ഉപഭോക്താക്കളെ യുപിഐ പേമെന്റുകള്‍ തെരഞ്ഞെടുക്കുന്നതിന് പ്രോത്സാഹനം നല്‍കുവാനാണ് ഈ പ്രചാരണപരിപാടി ലക്ഷ്യമിടുന്നത്.

2017ല്‍ ആരംഭിച്ചതിനുശേഷം, യോനോയ്ക്ക് 34 ലക്ഷം യുപിഐ രജിസ്‌ട്രേഷനുകളും 62.5 ലക്ഷത്തിലധികം ഇടപാടുകള്‍ വഴി 2,520 കോടി രൂപയുടെ കൈമാറ്റവും ഉണ്ടായിട്ടുണ്ട്. നിലവില്‍ കഴിഞ്ഞ 30 ദിവസത്തെ പ്രതിദിന ശരാശരി ഇടപാട് 27,000 ആണ്.

കൂടുതല്‍ ഉപഭോക്താക്കളെ യോനോ പ്ലാറ്റ്ഫോമിലേക്ക് ആകര്‍ഷിക്കുന്നതിനും യുപിഐയുടെ പ്രയോജനങ്ങളെക്കുറിച്ച് അവരെ ബോധവത്കരിക്കുന്നതിനും ഈ പ്രചാരണ പരിപാടിയിലൂടെ ലക്ഷ്യമിടുന്നതെന്ന് എന്‍പിസിഐ സിഒഒ പ്രവീണ റായ് പറഞ്ഞു. യുപിഐ ഐഡി അറിഞ്ഞിരുന്നാല്‍ ഉപഭോക്താക്കള്‍ക്ക് അവരുടെ യോനോ ആപ്പില്‍നിന്ന് പണം നല്‍കുവാനോ സ്വീകരിക്കുവാനോ എളുപ്പത്തില്‍ സാധിക്കുമെന്ന് റായ് ചൂണ്ടിക്കാട്ടി.

ഇക്കഴിഞ്ഞ സാമ്പത്തിക വര്‍ഷത്തില്‍ യോനോ പ്ലാറ്റ്‌ഫോംവഴി 53 ലക്ഷം ഇടപാടുകളാണ് നടന്നത്. ഇതിന്റെ മൂല്യം ഏതാണ്ട് 2086 കോടി രൂപയാണ്. രാജ്യത്തെ ഏറ്റവും പ്രിയപ്പെട്ട ഡിജിറ്റല്‍ പേമെന്റ് മാതൃകകളിലൊന്നായി യുപിഐ മാറിയിരിക്കുകയാണ്. യുപിഐ 207 ബാങ്കുകളുമായി ബന്ധിക്കപ്പെട്ടിട്ടുണ്ട്. ഓരോമാസവും യുപിഐ മികച്ച വളര്‍ച്ച നേടുകയും ചെയ്യുന്നു. ഡിജിറ്റല്‍ പേമെന്റുകളുടെ സ്വീകാര്യത വര്‍ധിക്കുന്നതിനുള്ള തെളിവുകൂടിയാണ് ഈ പ്രതിമാസ വളര്‍ച്ച, എസ്ബിഐ ഡിഎംഡി (സ്ട്രാറ്റജി ആന്‍ഡ് ചീഫ് ഡിജിറ്റല്‍ ഓഫീസര്‍) രവീന്ദ്ര പാണ്ഡെ പറഞ്ഞു.
കടപ്പാട് :ആഴ്ച്ച വട്ടം ഓൺലൈൻ

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Leading electronics brand bids farewell to smartphone manufacturing

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South Korea’s LG Electronics said on Monday it will wind down its loss-making mobile division – a move that is set to make it the first major smartphone brand to completely withdraw from the market.

Its decision to pull out will leave its 10 percent share in North America, where it is the No. 3 brand, to be gobbled up by smartphone titans Apple and Samsung Electronics.

The division has logged nearly six years of losses totaling some $ 4.5 billion (roughly Rs. 33,010 crore), and dropping out of the fiercely competitive sector would allow LG to focus on growth areas such as electric vehicle components, connected devices and smart homes, it said in a statement.

In better times, LG was early to market with a number of cell phone innovations including ultra-wide angle cameras and was once in 2013 the world’s third-largest smartphone manufacturer behind Samsung and Apple.

But later, its flagship models suffered from both software and hardware mishaps which combined with slower software updates saw the brand steadily slip in favor. Analysts have also criticized the company for lack of expertise in marketing compared to Chinese rivals.

Currently its global share is only about 2 percent. It shipped 23 million phones last year which compares with 256 million for Samsung, according to research provider Counterpoint.

In addition to North America, it does have a sizeable presence in Latin America, where it ranks as the No. 5 brand.

“In South America, Samsung and Chinese companies such as Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi are expected to benefit in the low to mid-end segment,” said Park Sung-soon, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities.

While other well-known mobile brands such as Nokia, HTC, and Blackberry have also fallen from lofty heights, they have yet to disappear completely.

LG’s smartphone division – the smallest of its five divisions, accounting for about 7 percent of revenue – is expected to be wound down by July 31.

In South Korea, the division’s employees will be moved to other LG Electronics businesses and affiliates while elsewhere decisions on employment will be made at the local level.

LG will provide service support and software updates for customers of existing mobile products for a period of time which will vary by region, it added.

Talks to sell part of the business to Vietnam’s Vingroup fell through due to differences about terms, sources with knowledge of the matter have said.

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