Monday, December 10, 2018

Blockchain Jobs Witness 50-100% Salary Hike, 200% in Growth Rate

With a 200% increase in job growth rates and salary hikes at 50-100%, Blockchain Developer is the fastest growing skill set and most in demand by employers. There are a significant number of job openings for roles such as Blockchain developer, Blockchain system architect, Blockchain software engineer, among others in top tier organisations like TCS, IBM and Infosys.

According to data from leading global job site, Bengaluru is the leading city for those seeking job opportunities in the Blockchain sector, with over 36 per cent of all the Blockchain job postings in India. It is followed by Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai, making up the top five destinations for Blockchain careers in the country.

UpGrad and IIIT Bangalore have introduced two online programs to ensure high quality upskilling in Blockchain. For existing software developers, IIIT Bangalore provides a 6 month PG Certificate Program in Blockchain Technology priced at Rs 1,00,000 only. For those who are new to coding, IIIT Bangalore & UpGrad have created another program -  PG Program in Software Development - Specialization in Blockchain which teaches students the fundamentals of programming along with Blockchain development priced at Rs 2,25,000 for 11 months.

Speaking at the launch, Ronnie Screwvala, Co-founder and Mayank Kumar, Co- founder & MD – UpGrad said, “The IIIT Bangalore & UpGrad Programs are best positioned to kick start the learner’s career in Blockchain, especially with career assistance and industry relevant projects integrated into the program. The comprehensive programs provide extensive knowledge of Blockchain concepts as well as hands-on projects in developing smart contracts and Hyperledger applications, which is unlike any other course provider in the industry at present. The course is taught by IIIT Bangalore faculty and leading experts from IBM, DCB Bank, BankChain, Elemential, SpringRole, SquadX.”

ThoughtWorks Concludes Fourth Edition of Vapasi – an Initiative that Brings Technical Women Back to Work

ThoughtWorks, a global software consultancy recently concluded its fourth edition of the Vapasi program – a ThoughtWorks India initiative. The program encourages women developers who are currently on a career break, to re-enter the world of programming. Bengaluru’s Vapasi 2018 edition was an intensive 3-week boot camp on Java and object-oriented programming. This particular edition saw 22 participants enroll and complete the program, with 9 of the participants being shortlisted for a 2-month internship program with ThoughtWorks. Post the internship, candidates are eligible to apply for full-time positions at ThoughtWorks.

Commenting on Vapasi, Savita Hortikar, Head of Recruitment, ThoughtWorks India said, “ThoughtWorks has always been passionate about diversity. We recognize that an inclusive work environment built around driven professionals is the answer to sustainable organizational growth. We are happy that the Vapasi program is empowering women technologists to re-enter the workforce and continue their careers.” She further added. “Vapasi is also a platform for women technologists to network, connect with role models and become active members of the tech community.”

This year, ThoughtWorks successfully completed two editions of the program for a total of 44 participants - 22 in Bengaluru and 22 in Pune (conducted in early 2018). Both programs had zero dropouts. Also, the Pune edition saw 5 participants being offered an internship program with ThoughtWorks out of which, 3 are now full-time technologists at the company.

Elizabeth Nisha James, a technologist for more than 6 years, and returning from a 4-year career break had this to say about her experience at Vapasi, "The program has been a life-changing experience. I rediscovered the ‘coder in me’ and was given both, the opportunity and guidance to get back on track with my career.”

Sethuraman Ramasubramanian, Lead Consultant at ThoughtWorks and Vapasi Trainer shared his thoughts on the program, “We recognized that every candidate had excellent problem-solving skills and confidence was the issue only because they had been away from work for a few years. Vapasi has been designed to bolster candidates’ confidence within the first week, and the following 2 weeks are dedicated to hands-on experience of working with new technologies.”

Vapasi is part of #TalkTechToHer, a ThoughtWorks campaign directed towards women in technology who have more than 6 years of work experience. The campaign aims to elevate conversations around inclusivity and drive an important message that women can achieve as much as men, or more, when they are presented with the opportunities, without biases.

Industry 4.0, HealthTech and FinTech Startups Display Innovative Solutions at ITC Infotech’s iTech 2018

ITC Infotech, a specialized global technology services provider and a fully-owned subsidiary of ITC Ltd, successfully concluded the fourth edition of its flagship annual co-creation and technology innovation platform ‘iTech 2018’. As part of iTech 2018, ITC Infotech organized a Startup Showcase and a programing Codeathon on December 8-9, 2018, at its Bangalore headquarters.

The Startup ‘Showcase’ has been designed with the objective of providing innovative technology startups a platform to present their solutions directly to businesses. Shortlisted startups pitched business solutions powered by new age technologies including Artificial Intelligence, Augment Virtual & Mixed Reality, Blockchain and IoT across three industry verticals - Industry 4.0, HealthTech and FinTech. The potential clients for these startups included C level executives from ITC Infotech’s global client base, senior business decision makers, including CIOs from various ITC Ltd., businesses, technology leaders from ITC Infotech’s leading ISV and technology platform partners, and leaders from across ITC Infotech’s various technology LoBs and industry verticals. Two startups, JioVio and Ethereal Machines won a cash prize of Rs. 2 Lakhs each, and the chance to co-develop their solution with ITC Infotech as a part of its go-to-market strategy. JioVio is a med-tech company focused on providing a positive pregnancy, infant care and parenting experience with its innovation in healthcare technology. Ethereal Machines solves manufacturing problems faced by industries by equipping them with affordable machines. Additionally, this year two startups - Detect Technology and NeoEyed won the special jury award for presenting exemplary solutions.

The iTech programing Codeathon, an open forum for students, professional developers and early stage technology startups, witnessed some of the sharpest technology minds compete and created code for complex business applications. Participants addressed various challenges included applications to enable labor matching for farmers & farm owners, interactive mobile UI component using platform specific SDKs, offline analytics for mobile applications, offline app sync and process automation. The codeathon also had an open innovation category to explore Blockchain solution across Industry 4.0, HealthTech and Fintech. Pulse (formerly known as DocTalk) won the Codeathon challenge and was awarded a cash prize of Rs. 2 Lacs. The first runner-up was a team from Institute of Technical Education & Research Bhubaneshwar who won a cash prize of Rs 1 Lacs and the second runner-up was a team from RR Donnelley who won a cash prize of Rs. 50,000. Team from CMR Institute of Technology and Mangalore Institute of Technology & Engineering won special jury awards. Select codeathon participants were also offered internship opportunities with ITC Infotech.

The iTech 2018 jury panel consisted of business leaders from ITC Infotech’s clients and platform & ISV partners, along with senior leaders from various divisions of ITC Ltd.

Commenting on the success of iTech 2018, Sushma Rajagopalan, CEO & MD, ITC Infotech, said, “As a technology company in the digital era, it is important for us to create an effective eco-system in order to develop innovative and disruptive solutions. Our objective is to collaborate with our employees, with our clients and ISV partners, and the world of startups, to work at the cutting edge of technology and make innovation a way of life at ITC Infotech. iTech is an extension of our philosophy to foster startups in a non-threating environment through partnership with our clients, and the larger ecosystem. Through iTech, we are also creating a platform to enhance the learning experiences of the next generation of technologists.”

The fourth edition of iTech 2018 received over 3500 entries for the Codeathon challenge and 32 teams were shortlisted for the final round of development. For Startup Showcase, 15 shortlisted startups were invited to showcase their solutions at the event as a part of the start-up showcase from the 200+ entries that were received.

CSR Initiative by RBL Bank’s Umeed 1000 Cyclothon Culminates in Bengaluru

Umeed 1000 Cycothon, a CSR initiative by RBL Bank, which was flagged off in Mumbai on November 30, 2018, has culminated at Manipal Global Academy of BFSI campus in Thanisandra. The closing ceremony was attended by DGP of Karnataka Police – Neelamani Raju along with India Cricketer Gautam Gambhir in the presence of Rajeev Ahuja, Executive Director – RBL Bank and Ravi Panchanadan, MD & CEO – Manipal Global Education Services.

Jasmeet S. Gandhi, a cycling enthusiast passionate towards contributing for girl child education, along with RBL Bank employees, led the Cyclothon to garner funds for Udbhav School in Hyderabad. Cyclothon, which was flagged off in Mumbai rallied across varied cities of Pune, Satara, Kolhapur, Belagavi, Hubballi, Ranibennuru, Tumkur and Bengaluru. 50 participants from Karnataka Special Reserve Police also joined from Belagavi to extend their support.

Speaking on the occasion, Neelamani Raju, DGP of Karnataka Police said, “We are proud to be associated with such a noble cause. I congratulate RBL Bank and Manipal Global Education for taking up this cause and making a difference in the lives of the underprivileged young girls. I wish them all the very best and I am sure this will bring the much needed change in our society.”

Addressing the gathering, Gautam Gambhir said, “This is indeed an initiative which will bring in a huge wave of change. Children are the future of our nation and thus it is imperative to educate every child for a better India. RBL Bank employees have showcased phenomenal grit and determination by cycling 1000 kms to raise awareness and funds for girl child education. My good wishes to Umeed 1000.” 

Umeed 1000 was launched by RBL Bank as a CSR initiative in 2014. This year RBL Bank is supporting the IIMAAA Hyderabad Chapter Charitable trust to build and support another underprivileged school in Fatehnagar that has been catering to the education needs of students coming from urban slums in the vicinity.

Rajeev Ahuja, Executive Director – RBL Bank said, “Promoting education has always been a significant CSR pillar of the Bank. Umeed 1000 which started as a vision in 2014 has now culminated into a movement aimed towards providing access to quality education to the girl child of our nation. As an organisation, we stand united to support this noble cause and spread awareness of the plight of girl children. The entire time at RBL Bank is extremely proud of the cyclists who have braved this 1000 kms journey from Mumbai to Bengaluru to sponsor the education of the students at Udbhav School.”

Shanta Vallury Gandhi, Head - HR, CSR and Internal Branding, RBL Bank said, “Manipal Global Academy has always partnered with RBL Bank to encourage and advocate education for the development of the nation. Umeed 1000 is another such step to lift the social and economic plight of girls from the weaker sections by providing them with a holistic education and opportunities for personal growth. We would like to thank and extend our appreciation to Manipal Global Academy of BFSI for hosting the closing ceremony of this event. We congratulate the cyclists from RBL Bank along with lead cyclist Jasmeet Gandhi who have tested their endurance and overcome challenges to raise funds for these students and help them lead their lives with freedom, dignity and equality.”

Speaking on this occasion Ravi Panchanandan, MD & CEO of Manipal Global Education Services said, “We are priviledged to host the closing ceremony of Umeed 1000 which has brought new hope and a wave of change in the lives of underprivileged girls who are deprived of basic education. Manipal Global Education Services has been providing education by nurturing talent and providing the right platform for students to give them the ability to realise their career dreams. We constantly strive towards excellence in bringing nothing but the best on table for all our students. Though urban education has grown rapidly, underprivileged children are denied basic education. We must strive to provide education in order to make them productive members of the society and I think this is the perfect way to do it. My heartiest congratulations to RBL Bank for putting up brilliant efforts.”

S.Viswanathan, President IIMA AA, Bangalore Chapter said “ Education of the girl child should be one of the highest priorities in our education system. The literacy levels as with several other social measures are heavily skewed in favour of males - 81 %  against 65 % at the last count - and corrective measures are urgently needed to set right these injustices in our predominantly patriarchal society. I'm privileged to be associated with Udbhav who are doing their bit to restore this anomaly. I and the  IIMA AA Bangalore Chapter will be glad to participate  in events like Umeed and assist Udbhav in any other manner  in their endeavours now and in the future. I wish them all the best in their plans for spreading this initiative to other cities and in increasing  the number of beneficiaries to 10000 from the current level of 800 over the next few years. “

Kerala First Indian State to have Four International Airports

Kerala has become the first state in the country to have four international airports with the inauguration of the Kannur airport on Sunday.

Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan jointly flagged off the inaugural Air India Express flight, carrying 186 passengers to Abu Dhabi, at the airport near Mattannur town in the morning.

With the commissioning of the airport, the state has become the first in the country to have four international airports, with Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode being the other three. The airport depicts not only cultural traditions of Malabar and Kannur but also of Kodagu in neighbouring Karnataka. Virajpet in Kodagu is just only 58-km away from the airport, while district headquarters Madikeri is around 90-km away. Mural paintings depicting the heritage of Malabar and Indian dance forms, including Theyyam of north Kerala, Kathakali and Yakshagana, the traditional theatre art form of Karnataka, are among the artworks that vie for attention at the airport.

The Kannur airport, built on a public-private partnership mode, will become a new benchmark of how airports will be constructed in India.

The airport will help the non-resident Keralites, especially in the Gulf region, besides boosting tourism and exports, which will result in several job opportunities, Prabhu said.

New Swarovski Lighting Store Adds Sparkle to High Street Bengaluru

Swarovski Lighting is proud to announce the opening of the new luxury lighting partner store in Bengaluru, Karnataka. This is the third mono-brand Swarovski Lighting showroom to be launched in India with a footprint of 2,300 square feet, located in the upscale area of Bengaluru just opposite India’s first most luxury retail mall ‘UB City Mall’.

Swarovski Lighting is part of the Swarovski Group, a world-renowned leader in the cut crystal business.

In 1895, in Tyrol, Austria the visionary Daniel Swarovski invented a machine to cut crystal perfectly and precisely. Swarovski today is the world leader in cut crystal for jewelry, decorative pieces, lighting, architecture and interiors.

In 2011 the Swarovski company formally established Swarovski Lighting which includes two distinct premium lighting brands: Swarovski with its contemporary aesthetic and Schonbek with its classic designs.

The Swarovski brand marvels spaces and amazes with its emotional aura of inspiration. Its contemporary and fresh design unites expertise in cut crystal with state-of-the-art lighting technology as well as ideas from the most renowned designers of today.

Since 1870 the Schonbek brand has been synonymous with authentic, handcrafted crystal chandeliers of the highest heirloom quality, which can be found in the Palace of Versailles and even the White House. The height of bespoke luxury, each chandelier is delicately handcrafted and made to order.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Now Almost Half the World's Population is on the Internet

By the end of 2018 a full 51.2 per cent of people around the world will be using the Internet. Some 3.9 billion people are now using the internet, meaning that for the first time more than half of the global population is online, the United Nations said on Friday.

The UN agency for information and communication technologies, ITU, said that by the end of 2018 a full 51.2 per cent of people around the world will be using the Internet.

"By the end of 2018, we will surpass the 50/50 milestone for internet use," ITU chief Houlin Zhou said in a statement.

"This represents an important step towards a more inclusive global information society," he said, adding though that "far too many people around the world are still waiting to reap the benefits of the digital economy." He called for more support to "technology and business innovation so that the digital revolution leaves no one offline." According to ITU, the world's richest countries have been showing slow and steady growth in Internet use, which has risen from 51.3 per cent of their populations in 2005 to 80.9 per cent now.

The gains have meanwhile been more dramatic in developing countries, where 45.3 per cent of people are currently online, compared to just 7.7 per cent 13 years ago.

Africa has experienced the strongest growth, with a more than 10-fold hike in the number of Internet users over the same period, from 2.1 per cent to 24.4 per cent, the ITU report showed.

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