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Audio-bridge technology to help Modi talk to supporters worldwide
Report dated 24/02/2014 @ 2:52 PM
In the run up to the parliamentary polls, prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has introduced a blitzkrieg that will involve audio conferencing enabling him to interact with thousands at a time - live!
Last July Modi tested the system in Bihar when he hooked up with over 1500 party workers using the technology. Now, he will use the web-based audio bridge to connect with thousands of mobile handsets simultaneously, while a team of experts will moderate conference calls where up to a dozen people will get to pose questions to him.
Given his busy schedule, Modi will make the most of the technology platform when he is not travelling. Last November US president Barack Obama used a similar platform to connect with thousands of supporters to elicit support for 'Obamacare'.
Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi joins Aam Aadmi Party
Report dated 22/02/2014 @ 6:27 PM
Rajmohan Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi has joined the Aam Aadmi Party.
Gandhi, 78, who is the son of Devdas Gandhi and maternal grandson of C Rajagopalchari said he likes that the party is vehemently opposed to corruption. He had contested against former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi from Amethi, and has expressed his willingness to contest on a party ticket.
Google introduces online imagery of Indian heritage sites
Report dated 21/02/2014 @ 2:30 PM
Google, in association with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has introduced Google Street View, the first 360-degree online imagery of 30 iconic Indian heritage sites, including the Taj Mahal, Humayun's Tomb, Red Fort and Agra Fort, on Google Maps and the Google Cultural Institute.
According to Rajan Anandan, Vice President and Managing Director, Google India, Google is committed to helping preserve and showcase cultural heritage across the world, and with India's unique wealth of heritage and iconic historical monuments they have been privileged to work with the ASI to collect and produce the imagery that will help make India's heritage and culture more accessible to people at home and abroad.
Google says it will shortly announce the launch of more Street View imagery for other Indian heritage sites as well.
20,000 people killed on Indian railway tracks in 2013
Report dated 21/02/2014 @ 2:17 PM
Minister of state for railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury confirmed that 19,997 persons died on railway tracks across India in 2013, and 163,645 people were prosecuted for trespassing last year.
Chowdhury said the railways have decided to eliminate all unmanned level crossings gradually, by closing some of the crossings and by constructing road over-bridges and road under-bridges. Passenger awareness programmes are also being organised about the fatalities of crossing railway tracks, and regular announcements are made through public address systems at important railway stations, urging passengers to use the bridges and avoid crossing the railway tracks.
The Railways realised Rs.3.64 crore in fines from people trespassing on railway lines.
Indian team for Google Lunar X prize to land spacecraft on Moon
Report dated 20/02/2014 @ 6:26 PM
Team Indus, co-founded by IITians Rahul Narayan and Indranil Chakraborty, have been named among the five finalists for the Google Lunar XPrize, the grand global competition to land a robotic spacecraft on the moon by December next year. The contest carries a $40 million prize.
The reality show in space, was announced in 2007 by Google and the XPrize Foundation, an education non-profit. The contest had 33 teams contending when registrations closed in 2011, since when a number of teams have withdrawn or merged, leaving 18 teams, some of which are led by world-renowned robotics and space researchers and wealthy folk.
Teams have to develop a rover that will dismount from the landing craft and travel 500 metres on the lunar surface. They also have to develop an imaging system on the rover that will capture high quality images and video of the lunar surface and transmit them to Earth.
Team Indus is among 3 named for the landing system and among 4 named for the imaging system.
Chakraborty and Narayan, both now 40, grew up in Delhi, were classmates at a Delhi Public school, then briefly parted ways for their graduation. Narayan went to IIT, Delhi for computer engineering and Chakraborty to IIT, Kharagpur for aerospace engineering. Both graduated in 1995 and got together again to do start ups, including one in software services. When they heard about the Google competition they decided to focus on the space venture. They put together $50,000 from friends and family, that the registration required. Among their supporters were Sam Pitroda, Kiran Karnik, Arun Seth and Saurabh Srivastava. People from around the world also helped including an Indian in the US banking industry who left his jobs to join Team Indus.
The teams will receive 'milestone' prize money only if they demonstrate by September this year that their designs work.Team Indus also needs $34 million to build and launch the spacecraft. The team is hoping their accomplishment will generate national fervour that will get them the money they need. As Chakraborty said, they hope the entire country will chip in and take pride in having a bit of their effort land on the Moon next year.