Saturday, April 15, 2017

Here’s How New BHIM-Aadhaar App Works - Recently Unveiled By PM Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched BHIM Aadhaar app for retailers and merchants which lets citizens make purchases without their smartphone or even credit/debit cards.

The app authenticates a customer’s biometric details linked to his Aadhaar account through fingerprint scanner. The app can thus does away with the need to remember banking details such as PINs and make cashless transactions simpler and hassle-free. 

How BHIM Aadhaar app works?
The app authenticates a customer’s biometric details linked to his Aadhaar account through fingerprint scanner. The app can thus does away with the need to remember banking details such as PINs and make cashless transactions simpler and hassle-free.

BHIM Aadhaar works on National Payments Council of India’s (NPCI’s) existing product -- Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS).  “This will directly cater to about 40 crore bank account customers spread across the country whose account is linked with Aadhaar. It is a huge opportunity for enabling digital transactions as about 99 percent of adult population is now Aadhaar-enabled,” said AP Hota, Managing Director and Chief Executive, NPCI.

Who can get BHIM Aadhaar app?
BHIM Aadhaar would be applicable for retail merchants (individuals and sole proprietors) only and not for corporate merchants.

At present, over 30 banks are participating on BHIM Aadhaar and more member banks shall be on-boarded, Hota said.

Which banks support the app?
Public sector banks and private banks onboarded on to the BHIM-Aadhaar platform include: Allahabad Bank, Andhra Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India, City Union Bank (Issuer), Corporation Bank, Dena Bank, Federal Bank (ONUS), HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDFC Bank, Indian Bank, IndusInd Bank (Acquirer), Indian Overseas Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Punjab National Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, State Bank of India, South Indian Bank (Issuer), Syndicate Bank,  UCO Bank, Union Bank of India, United Bank of India and Vijaya Bank.

Regional Rural Banks (all issuers)
Kerala Gramin Bank and Pragathi Krishna Gramin Bank sponsored by Canara Bank; Chaitanya Godavari Gramin Bank sponsored by Andhra Bank; Baroda Gujarat Gramin Bank sponsored by Bank of Baroda; and Andhra Pradesh Gramin Vikas Bank sponsored by State Bank of India.  

No Need for ‘Official Peacemaker Role,’ Says New Infosys Co-Chairman Ravi Venkatesan

Infosys Ltd on Thursday appointed independent director Ravi Venkatesan as co-chairman, a move seen as a step taken by the company board to end the public spat with the IT firm’s founders, mainly N.R. Narayana Murthy.
Infosys co-chairman Venkatesan has been on the Infosys board since April 2011.
“Ravi will help me enhance the board engagement in supporting the management in execution of the company’s strategy,” Infosys chairman Seshasayee said, asserting that his name was not mooted by the promoters. “I wanted the bandwidth to be increased and the board said let us get Ravi to take part of your load...and so there we are together on this.”
Seshasayee said the move should not be interpreted as being a response to Infosys founders’ alleging corporate governance lapses and demanding restructuring of the board.
Asked if he would play peacemaker between the two sides, Venkatesan told CNBC TV18 that he did not see the need for an “official peacemaker role”.
“I live in Bangalore and most of the promoters have been friends of longstanding. We regularly and routinely run into each other. So, that sort of friendly relationship will continue. But I don’t see the need for an official peacemaker role,” he said.
Seshasayee said the need for such a role arises only where there is a war.
“I have consistently said there is no war, the Infosys chairman said.
In a statement, Infosys highlighted Venkatesan’s “valuable contribution to the development of strategic direction of the company during his tenure”.
The appointment of Venkatesan as Infosys co-chairman comes against the backdrop of a tussle between Infosys founders and the management over contentious issues such as CEO Vishal Sikka’s salary, severance package to former employees and corporate governance standards.
Sikka, meanwhile, declined to make specific comments on whether the management expected the expansion of the board to address founders’ concerns.
“I have no idea whether it will get worse, get better or remain the same. We (management) have had a very strong relationship with the board. Board’s primary function is governance and our job is strategy execution,” he said.
Emphasizing that he enjoyed a “great working relationship” with Venkatesan, Sikka said “running the company is our responsibility and that is what we focus on”.
Sikka highlighted that “unanticipated execution challenges and distractions” as partly affecting the company’s performance in the March quarter. He, however, declined to elaborate on the statement, merely saying, “I need not tell you what the distractions have been. It is our job to manage the company to lead the company in the times that we are in.”


Thursday, April 13, 2017

‘Non-invasive Blood Sugar Prediction’ Wins Do-It-Yourself Projects Created by Texas Instruments Engineers in Bangalore

Texas Instruments (TI) India, has hosted the “DIY with TI” event designed to recognize and encourage TI hobbyists who innovate in their spare time using TI devices, and showcase their creativity with innovations that help solve real-life problems. More than 40 engineers got together in teams at TI in India and showcased their passion for creating simple and innovative solutions by showcasing 15 interesting demos across home automation, agriculture, education, personal electronics, renewable energy, healthcare, etc.

This year, S KeerthiBala Viswanatha, Priyankar Mathuria, Ankur Patel, Aarti Malgaonkar won the Chief Geek award for their DIY project ‘Non-invasive Blood Sugar Prediction’. The winners were chosen based on the potential of this application for creating future smart cities. Also, Abhijit Ray, Tarunvir Singh, Gaurang Kuchchal were recognized as runners-up for their project on ‘FINDO-track your valuables’. There were other notable projects in the realm of making solar energy harvesting with a smart tracking system, cloud based tracker to measure electrical power consumption in home, a pen that can remember what you scribbled- no paper required.

“We are proud to continue to host the ‘DIY with TI’ in India to encourage TI hobbyists, develop and demonstrate their innovations by collaborating & sharing ideas with other DIY-ers. These innovations are created in their own time. The worldwide program, works as a catalyst to enhance their problem solving skills in the most engaging manner. This helps us to recognize the talented engineers across all TI offices globally,” said Santhosh Kumar, President and Managing Director at Texas Instruments India.

‘DIY with TI’ is a global event held within TI in its U.S., Germany, China and India offices. The event aims to nurture a culture of innovation in TI by providing a platform to TIers that helps them explore alternate and newer ways to solve a problem by doing what they love.

Asia Jewels Fair 2017 to Dazzles Bangalore from April 12-14 at Ritz Carlton

Asia Jewels Fair ’17, one of South India’s most Glamourous Jewellery Exhibition is hosting its 11th edition in Bengaluru city from April 12-14, 2017. The Grand jewellery fair will take place at the Ritz-Carlton situated at 99, Residency Road in Bengaluru from 10.30 a.m to 8 p.m.  This show is a very exclusive one as for the first time the expo will showcase never seen before best jewellery designs from top handpicked jewelers from across India..all under one roof.

His Highness Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, the 27th and present titular Maharaja of Mysore and head of the former ruling Wadiyar dynasty and His wife Trishika Kumari  graced the occasion of Inaugurating "Asia Jewels Fair 2017"

Speaking on the occasion, Harish Sachdev, Director- Introduction Trade Shows Pvt Ltd, ‘ Akshay Tritya festival is most precious day to buy jewellery, Asia Jewels fair expo is one such much platform for all it’s customers to Pre book best jewellery this festive season all under one roof’. On display are best award winning and international jewellery designs from top 40 handpicked jewellers from across India. Avail Best Offers, Witness the Unseen & Feast your eyes with dazziling new concepts in jewellery. Dont Miss it ..Be there its only at The Ritz Carlton,Bangalore from April 12 to 14.

Asia Jewels Fair ‘17 is a niche event exhibiting exclusive and high-end branded gold and diamond Jewellery among others. The event showcased some of the latest collection from, Fine gold Jewellery, Diamond Jewellery, Platinum Jewellery, Traditional Jewellery, Wedding Jewellery, Precious stone Jewellery, Kundan Jewellery to name a few.

“Asia Jewels Fair is one of the finest jewellery exhibitions in the city. Pre book your jewellery for the upcoming Akshay Tritya festival & for all the prospective grooms and brides, a fair like this is a one stop-shop that brings some of the best jewellery, design and precious stones under one roof. It is the perfect destination to buy exquisite and world class jewellery in South India.”

On display were luxury jewellery designs from top leading brands of Bangalore, New Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Surat, Kokata , Hyderabad creating the most glamorous and spectacular platform for all branded jewellery. Adding to the exquisite display was a dazzling array of International jewellery designs, from top most brands all over India like:

Creations Jewellery,AVR Swarna Mahal Jewelry,Sri Ganesh Diamonds and Jewellery, Nikhaar Jewels,Yoube Jewellery (Mumbai),Davanam Jewellers ,Diamond Mantra ,Orra Fine Jewellery, Ananya Jewels,Entice Bengaluru,Design Source By Archana Aggarwal ( Delhi) , Sehgal Jewellers Delhi, Shrians Jewels (Delhi),YS18  (Jaipur ),Enshine  ( Surat ),Bond Forever (Kolkata) ,Manepally Jewellers (Secunderabad), Vummdi Bangaru Kannan and Sons (Chennai) ,Sanghvi Dhanrupji Devaji and Co (Mumbai), K Jewels and More (Delhi)

Manipal & Deakin University Signs MOU to Set Up Centre of Excellence in Data Sciences and Cyber Security

Manipal Global Education Services (MaGE) and Deakin University, Australia has announced a strategic alliance to start education and training programs and establish Data Science and Cyber Security Centre of Excellence. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between Professor Jane den Hollander AO, Vice-Chancellor and President of Deakin University and A P Ramabhadran, Senior Vice President, Manipal Global Education Services.

This MOU marks the coming together of two dominant professional education providers to formulate and derive solutions to valuable corporate and societal problems and construct new machine learning technologies to interrogate relevant data. The scope of this engagement involves solving sector specific big data problems, developing new knowledge and practices in new complex problems and bringing methodological consistency that are particularly relevant to the Indian context.

Expanse of Internet in India has led to a quick adoption of technology by businesses and enterprises. The Digital India initiative by the Government is accelerating the adoption of Digital Technologies by its citizens. Increasing use of technology in the form of Mobile Banking and Payment Wallets, eCommerce and Online Education are opening avenues for cyber-crimes and cyber-attacks on banks, large financial institutions, manufacturing organizations and hacking of personal information from social media sites. These incidents have the potential to cause heavy disruptions in the Digital India initiative designed to transform the country.

Ranked in the top two percent of world universities by Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), Deakin University is a world-class institute with cutting-edge facilities and renowned quality of research and teaching. Backed by a strong cyber security department, Deakin offers various courses, certificates and research offerings in the sector. The Centre for Pattern Recognition and Data Analytics (PRaDA) at Deakin University discover patterns in big and lean data, and use these insights to solve real-world problems. Researchers at PRaDA develop new tools and technologies that harness data for practical use.
The Cyber Security course under this MOU will offer sound knowledge and understanding of threats and challenges, concepts and practices applied in Cyber Security. Curriculum will be industry specific and students picking up the courses will also learn the skill of computer crime and digital forensics, evaluating software for security vulnerabilities, designing secure databases, securing operating systems, performing risk assessments, integrating security requirements into new developments, designing secure network architectures, assessing and reinforcing the security of websites, responding to cyber security incidents.

Students will develop skills that are crucial to the success of the country’s digital future while gaining the expertise required to take on roles as an expert on Cyber Security and Data Sciences in technology companies, government organizations and law enforcement agencies.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr H Vinod Bhat, Vice Chancellor Manipal University said “Manipal University and Deakin have always enjoyed strong collaborative relationship. With the signing of the MOU, the relationship with Deakin deepens by ushering in an era of professional education partnership along with the strong university relationship."

A P Ramabhadran, Senior Vice President, Manipal Global Education services said “The MOU enables Manipal Global’s professional services arm to bring in solutions to industry which can help solve reskilling challenges in the digital and cyber security space. The Centre of Excellence will throw open solutions already existing with the "Pattern Recognition and Data Analytics Centre” at Deakin Australia to solve analytics challenges faced in the healthcare, IT and BFSI sectors. In addition, the COE will also work to solve, through cutting edge Machine Learning and Big Data solutions, the larger societal challenges in India relating to Financial Inclusion, Education and Healthcare" he added.

The COE intends to investigate and discover valuable problems in key technology areas in the Indian ecosystem – health, insurance, banking, security and education. It will add early value into the corporate sector by enabling it to solve problems which have already been tackled globally, hence enabling translation of global learnings with speed into India.

Dr. Yogesh Bhatt, Head and Director of Manipal Global Academy of IT said “It is a very exciting time as the Indian IT industry embarks upon a transformation journey necessitated by a combination of environmental factors that include technologies in digital age, automation and global trend of protectionism and localization. While these factors pose a significant challenge in the short term, if we look at history of Indian IT industry, we have always responded to external challenges, recovered from the setbacks, and benefitted from the same. As I see, there is a great opportunity for Indian IT Industry to focus on skilling current and future IT workforce on new age skills. Manipal Global Academy of IT and Data Science has been working towards this mission with many of our Industry partners. This MOU with Deakin university is a very significant step for us, where we can combine the deep expertise and research capabilities of Deakin University, with the industry focus, industry partners and scalability capabilities of Manipal Global.”

Commenting on the alliance, Professor Jane den Hollander AO, Vice-Chancellor and President of Deakin University said, “We are delighted to partner with a reputed education provider like Manipal Global which has a history of delivering unmatched education and deep rooted corporate connects. The COE intends to develop innovative solutions for relevant societal problems through data and work with corporates to deliver creative solutions. Our courses are specifically designed and tailor made to get hands on experience in sectors like BFSI, IT and Manufacturing which are prone to threats.”

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Capgemini to Reskill its 1 Lakh Indian Employees in Digital Technology

French technology major Capgemini is targeting to train each of its 1 lakh employees in country in digital skills by 2018 as the contours of the outsourcing market undergoes radical changes, a top official has said. 

The company is also ramping up its hiring of freshers and plans to take the number up to 40 per cent of the total hires in a year from the 15-20 per cent now. 

"We will touch each of our employee as part of the training programme with new skills in digital an as part of the training programme with new skills in digital and cloud. The idea is to make them future-ready," Capgemini chief operating officer for India Ashwin Yardi said. 

He said at 1 lakh employees, the India operations account for 54 per cent of Capgemini's global work force, and work on the newer digital technologies constitutes 30 per cent of the revenue at present. 

The company makes an assessment where it tests the aptitude of each employee before making her go through the best-suited training module, Yardi said, adding the minimum training is for 8 hrs which can go up depending on the module. 

The company started the programme in early 2016 and has already finished training nearly 60,000 employees. 

The training is imparted using both the classroom as well as specially-created online modules, Yardi said. 

There is a stress on online modules which helps an employee continue working on the ongoing project while learning newer skills post-work, and ensures the company does not compromise on the utilisation levels, he said. 

The company always had 40 hrs of training which was mandatory per year, Yardi said, adding this was in older "legacy technologies" and the focus now
adding this was in older "legacy technologies" and the focus now is on the newer technologies. 

Identifying the need to change, all IT majors have been investing massively on training in the last three years. The largest software exporter TCS had in 2015 said it would be training 1 lakh of its employees in a similar programme. 

Capgemini's India head Srinivas Kandula had recently pointed out to the deep-rooted deficiencies in the our education system, saying 65 per cent of the employees in the sector are not trainable. 

Asked about Capgemini's assessments, and what happens to those who cannot make it, Yardi said those who are unable to cope with can do legacy IT work which still constitutes for 70 per of the revenue. 

"There would be a very few who don't have the competence to be in the new system. If they are not, they for some reasons don't have the aptitude or the attitude to be in the new. There is enough work for them to do in the old," he said, but warned they will be at "risk" five years down the line as they'll become "less relevant" or even "obsolete". 

Even as many of its peers rethink on outsourcing given rising protectionist tendencies and tepid business outlook, the company is ramping up hiring here and will increase the focus on freshers. 

"Our decision is based on the overall revenue growth. We are still building the offshore story and there is still a huge amount of appetite in Capgemini," he said. 

Without giving the absolute quantum, Yardi said it is looking to up the number of hires from campuses to 40 per cent of the total from 15-20 per cent earlier. 

Yardi said the company has 35 institutes identified as strategic colleges from which it hires, and added that there are 30 others it will be visiting in the new season. 

The idea to get best quality talent is to do visit the campuses in the first five days of placements where up to 70 per cent of students get job offers, he said. 


Shell New Technology Center in Bangalore to House 1,500 Employees

Shell has opened a new major technology hub in Bangalore, India, expanding the company’s R&D activities in Asia. 

The 52-acre, custom built technology center can house up to 1,500 experts working collaboratively on innovative projects worldwide. Shell Technology Center Bangalore (STCB) brings together R&D staff who previously worked at separate locations in Bangalore and also provides additional space for high-tech innovation and demonstration facilities. 

By housing all R&D staff in Bangalore in one center, the technology hub will create new opportunities for multi-disciplinary collaboration, and drive relevant and affordable innovations. The new center houses a variety of technical experts, laboratories and technology demonstration units. Photo: Shell. 

“Innovation and technology are vital to providing more and cleaner energy solutions for a growing world population,” says Harry Brekelmans, Shell’s projects and technology director. “We consider R&D a fundamental part of Shell’s past and future success. Therefore we continue to invest in people, projects and facilities, such as this high-tech hub. 

“Successful innovation, however, is more than just making balanced investments. Collaboration across different disciplines and with other sectors externally is a key enabler of successful innovation. And collaboration is essential to meet our biggest challenge: timely development and deployment of the best and affordable energy solutions, for today and for the future as the world transitions to a low carbon energy system. Our new Bangalore technology hub brings together the right people in a city that buzzes with innovation.” 

The new center houses a variety of technical experts, laboratories and technology demonstration units. It is home to a wide spectrum of technical disciplines and specific expertise in fields such as liquefied natural gas, subsurface modelling, data analysis, engineering design, bitumen, distillation and enhanced computational research. 

The center is also helping to pioneer efforts to turn forestry, agricultural and municipal waste into transportation fuels, with a new demonstration plant being built at the site. Specialists at Shell Technology Center Bangalore work closely with experts from external industrial partners, universities and institutes. 

These collaborations help ensure a healthy influx of new ideas and speed up the deployment of new technology in our operations. Examples include chemistry and catalysis research with the Indian Institutes of Technology and collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the area of advanced computing. Shell Technology Center Bangalore is one of the three main technology hubs in the company’s global network of R&D centres, with the other two located in the Netherlands and the U.S. 

More than 4,000 staff work at these hubs and smaller technical centers on a broad range of projects, such as turning natural gas into more efficient and cleaner fuels, developing affordable technologies to unlock energy thousands of meters below the sea surface, and R&D projects on low carbon technologies.

Zoom & Mahindra to Roll Out Electric Cars on Self Drive Rental Model

Self-drive car rental service Zoomcar is gearing up for a large-scale roll out of electric vehicles on its platform, which will be owned and offered on rent by its associates, in an effort to expand its user base. As part of this initiative, the company on Monday tied up with Mahindra Electric.

Zoomcar believes that over 80% of its fleet will be under ZAP, Zoomcar’s fractional car ownership programme by the end of 2017.“Currently, Zoomcar owns and operates over 3,000 cars that we rent out to customers. Henceforth, the company will not maintain its own fleet but encourage individuals to buy and rent out cars on its platform,” Greg Moran, founder and CEO of Zoomcar told the media.

Till date, the company has raised over $45 million funds. Greg said, “The ZAP programme allows individuals to purchase the e2oPlus on Zoomcar’s self-drive platform, list the vehicle on a dynamic basis whenever idle, get bookings from Zoomcar’s customer base and earn cash to help offset the monthly ownership costs (by sharing in the profit on a daily, weekly and monthly basis).”

Mahindra Electric CEO Mahesh Babu said, “Currently, the cost of acquisition of an electric car is high and makes retail customers think twice before going ahead. With this partnership, we are addressing that issue.”

Railway’s Digital Contract System To Bring Transparency in Procurement of Materials

Aimed at bringing transparency and Ease of Doing Business in procurement of materials in national transporter, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will launch digital contract, a new system of digitisation of its entire supply chain across all zones of Indian Railways on Tuesday.

Digital contract is a seamlessly integrated digital supply chain, involving stakeholders including industries, financial institutions, internal customers of railways and inspecting agencies to create an efficient, responsive and transparent system, said an official in railways.

The system includes digitisation of processes like bill submission, inspection, dispatches, receipt, bill passing and bill payments, warrantee monitoring and enabling use of analytics for increasing supply chain efficiency in real time.

Though the railways already initiated 100% E-tenders and E-auctions in several of its areas, proposed digital contract is another step to ensure transparency and seamless flow of material, finances and information.

Digitisation will enable use of analytics for decision-making, reduce inventories and reduce procurement cycle time leading to reduced cost of products/services, said the official.

At present, the supply chain of Indian Railways is regulated through a single online website, which handles more than Rs 50,000 crore procurement through 100% E-tenders annually.

The supply chain also handles more than Rs 2,500 crore auction sale through 100% E-auctions in a year. This huge supply chain is managed from the zonal headquarters and production unit levels.

Any transformational change in such a huge supply chain requires innovative and out of the box solutions, while being within the public procurement systems, said the official.

Flipkart Acquires eBay India to Take On Global Gaints Amazon Inc

Flipkart has announced the acquisition of eBay India unit in an all-cash deal and decided to keep it as a separate entity as part of its game plan to compete with its Indian ecommerce arch-rival Amazon. Flipkart’s eBay acquisition will give access to C2C ecommerce market globally.

The deal comes as a part of Flipkart’s 11th round of fund raising of $1.4 billion at a post-transaction valuation of $11.6 billion. Besides eBay’s $500 million investment, the funding is led by other blue chip companies like Chinese Tencent and Microsoft.

eBay, which is also a minority investor in Snapdeal, started its ecommerce business in India in 2014. Flipkart’s eBay acquisition will give the company access to consumer-to-consumer (C2C) ecommerce market.

As per the statement issued by Flipkart, the investment by eBay is accompanied by a strategic commercial agreement with it. “In exchange for an equity stake in Flipkart, eBay is making a cash investment in and selling its business to Flipkart. will continue to operate as an independent entity as a part of Flipkart,” states the Indian ecommerce giant.

Flipkart and eBay have also signed an exclusive cross-border trade agreement. As a result of the partnership between Flipkart and eBay, customers of Flipkart will gain access to the wide array of global inventory on eBay, while eBay’s customers will have access to more unique Indian inventory provided by Flipkart sellers. Thus, sellers on Flipkart will now have an opportunity to expand their sales globally.

In a statement issued to DH, eBay President and CEO Devin Wenig said, “The combination of eBay’s position as a leading global ecommerce company and Flipkart’s market stature will allow us to accelerate and maximise the opportunity for both companies in India. Our exclusive global trade partnership will allow eBay and Flipkart to reach even more consumers around the world.”

The ecommerce industry watchers find that the merger decision of eBay marks a significant victory for new Flipkart chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy. Besides helping his turnaround initiatives, Krishnamurthy also plans to go for Flipkart’s much-delayed IPO.

According to a senior official who worked with eBay India, the company made only minimal investment in India compared with other regions and now took the call to go for investments in India. “It is indeed great to hear that eBay decided to invest in the Indian market. Exactly they are replicating the South Korea model where they had a successful investment in Gmarket and Auction platforms,” he said.

eBay reported losses of Rs 262 crore for the year ended March 2016 in comparison with Rs 172 crore in 2015. Also, it recently replaced India head Latif Nathani by Vidmay Naini.

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