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‘Technology is an agent of inclusion for India’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised the importance of talent and technology in India’s growth…reports Asian Lite News

Technology is an agent of inclusion rather than exclusion in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.

Delivering a video message to the United Nations World Geospatial International Congress, he highlighted that India’s prosperity depends on two pillars: talent and technology.

Prime Minister Modi asserted that technology brings about transformation, mentioning the JAM trinity, which has successfully provided welfare benefits to 800 million people, and the technological platform that drove the largest vaccination campaign in history as examples.

He also added that India is one of the top startup hotspots in the world, mentioning that a nearly two-fold increase in unicorn businesses since 2021 is “a testimony to India’s young talent.”

Additionally, PM Modi underlined that India’s recent actions are consistent with the conference’s subject, which was ‘Geo-enabling the Global Village: No one should be left behind’. “We have been working on a vision of Antyodaya which means empowering the last person at the last mile, in a mission mode” he said.

Prime Minister Modi stated that 450 million unbanked people, a population greater than that of USA, were brought under banking net and 135 million people, about twice the population of France, were given insurance. Sanitation facilities were taken to 110 million families and tap water connections to over 60 million families, he added.

He added, “India is ensuring no one is left behind.”

He also emphasised the significance of geospatial technology in various major schemes, including the SVAMITVA and housing programs; the UN Sustainable Development Goals for eliminating poverty and achieving gender equality; and the PM GatiShakti Master Plan, in promoting inclusion and advancement.

Additionally, Prime Minister Modi stated that India has previously demonstrated how to share the advantages of geospatial technology by using the South Asia Satellite as an example of how it facilitated communication in India’s neighborhood.

According to Prime Minister Modi, the COVID-19 pandemic should have been a wake-up call for the call in taking everyone along. There is a need for an institutional approach by the international community to help each other during a crisis, he emphasized.

“Global organisations like the United Nations can lead the way in taking resources to the last mile in every region,” he highlighted. Hand-holding and technology transfer are also crucial in fighting climate change, the Prime Minister added, suggesting that best practices may be shared for saving our planet.

The UN committee of experts on global geospatial information management has scheduled the five-day UNGWIC conference, which is slated to run from 10 October to 14 October. It is being hosted by the Department of Science and Technology in Hyderabad.

Over 2000 people will attend the conference, including attendees from over 120 different nations and at least 700 foreign delegates.

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Google warns employees about layoffs

As Big Tech companies begin to lay off employees in the global economic downturn, Google executives have reportedly warned workers to either boost performance or prepare to leave as “there will be blood on the streets” if the next quarterly earnings are not good.

In a company message viewed by Insider, Google Cloud sales leadership has threatened employees with an “overall examination of sales productivity and productivity in general” and that if next quarter results “don’t look up, there will be blood on the streets.”

If third quarter results “don’t look up, [then] there will be blood on the streets,” according to a message conveyed to the sales team. The warning was first reported by Insider.

Google employees are “fearful of layoffs” after the company quietly extended its hiring freeze this month without making an announcement, reports The New York Post.

The company has now reportedly warned employees with layoffs if they don’t produce results.

Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees late last month that they must improve productivity due to fierce economic headwinds.

Pichai said that he wanted to solicit ideas from his employees on how to get “better results faster.”

“There are real concerns that our productivity as a whole is not where it needs to be for the head count we have,” he was quoted as saying.

Google in July put a freeze on hiring for two weeks to review its headcount needs and decide on future course of action. The company earlier announced to slow down hirings for the rest of the year.

According to Pichai, “it’s clear we are facing a challenging macro environment with more uncertainty ahead”.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, reported weaker-than-expected earnings and revenue for the April-June period (Q2).

Revenue growth slowed to 13 per cent from 62 per cent in the same quarter last year.

Other tech companies that have either laid off employees or slowed hiring in the current economic downturn include LinkedIn, Meta, Oracle, Twitter, Nvidia, Snap, Uber, Spotify, Intel and Salesforce, among others.

ALSO READ: Tech layoffs hit US harder than India

Business Tech Lite Technology

‘95% of digi-workloads will be on Cloud by 2025’

“It’s the only way to navigate the headwinds we are confronting today. This is not some abstract concept,” said Nadella…reports Asian Lite News

Nearly 95 per cent of all new digital workloads will be deployed on the Cloud by 2025, Microsoft’s Executive Chairman CEO Satya Nadella has said.

Addressing the company’s annual conference ‘Microsoft Inspire 2022′, Nadella said that Cloud is foundational to how organisations will be competitive going forward.

“Every customer I speak with is clear-eyed about aligning their IT investments to scale with demand. Moving to the cloud allows them to just do that – converting their spending from CapEx to OpEx”, Nadella told the partner community.

“It’s the only way to navigate the headwinds we are confronting today. This is not some abstract concept,” he added.

Microsoft is set to add 10 new data centres in 10 global markets to deliver faster access to services and help address data residency needs, Nadella informed.

The demand for cloud solutions is estimated to exceed $1 trillion by 2025.

Microsoft announced new benefits with the �ISV Success Programme’, to help independent software vendors (ISVs) innovate rapidly, build well-architected applications, publish them to our commercial marketplace and grow their sales.

“Currently in private preview, and broadly available in fall 2022, the program is intended to be the pathway to ISV success in the Microsoft Cloud Partner Programme,” said the company.

Participants can get access to nearly $128,000 in benefits to utilise productive, modern and innovative developer tools to accelerate software production.

The company also announced Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty, designed specifically for the government sector.

This new solution enables public sector customers to build and digitally transform workloads in the Microsoft Cloud while meeting their compliance, security and policy requirements.

“Public sector customers can harness the full power of the cloud including broad platform capabilities, resiliency, security, and scale, while having greater control over their data, residency, and transparency to its operational and governance processes,” said the tech giant.

On Artificial Intelligence, Nadella said that by 2025, 10 per cent of all data will be produced by generative AI models.

“Analytics is moving from backend processes to being critical part of the product experience,” he said.

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Ex-Indian diplomat appointed UN chief’s Envoy on Technology

Amandeep Singh Gill was India’s permanent representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, reports Arul Louis

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday appointed former Indian diplomat Amandeep Singh Gill as his envoy on technology to coordinate programmes for international digital cooperation.

Guterres’ spokesperson Stephane Dujarric announced the appointment calling Gill a “thought leader on digital technology”.

In other high-level appointments from South Asia at the UN, Pakistani diplomat Navid Hanif was named the assistant secretary-general for economic development, while Bangladesh’s permanent representative to UN, Rabab Fatima, was appointed as the high representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS).

Gill, who joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1992, has been India’s permanent representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

He is now the chief executive officer of the International Digital Health and Artificial Intelligence Research Collaborative (I-DAIR) project at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

He has also served at the UN as the executive director and co-lead of the Secretary-General’s high-level panel on digital cooperation.

Dujarric said that Gill “helped secure high-impact international consensus recommendations on regulating artificial intelligence (Al) in lethal autonomous weapon systems in 2017 and 2018, the draft Al ethics recommendation of UNESCO in 2020, and a new international platform on digital health and Al”.

“He brings to the position a deep knowledge of digital technologies coupled with a solid understanding of how to leverage the digital transformation responsibly and inclusively for progress on the Sustainable Development Goals,” Dujarric added.

Gill, who graduated from the Panjab University in Chandigarh in BTech in electronics, has a doctorate in nuclear learning in multilateral forums from the King’s College in London.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

According to the UN, the envoy on technology “coordinates the implementation of the Secretary-General’s roadmap on digital cooperation and will advance work towards the global digital compact proposed in the common agenda, in close consultation with the member states, technology industry, private companies, civil society, and other stakeholders”.

Hanif, who has served at Pakistan’s UN mission, is a veteran official of the UN. He is now the director of the Financing for Sustainable Development Office.

He has worked as the director of the Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination and as the head of the Strategic Planning Unit and did a stint in the executive office of the Secretary-General as a member of the team for the 2005 World Summit.

He succeeds Elliot Harris of Trinidad and Tobago.

A former director-general of the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry, Fatima has been the ambassador to Japan and served in diplomatic missions in Kolkata, Geneva, New York and Beijing.

She has been the head of human rights at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London and the regional advisor for climate change and migration at the International Organisation for Migration.

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e& Joins NFT Bandwagon

The launch batch of NFTs highlights e&’s commitment to advancing tech capabilities as the company’s blockchain arm crossed AED10 billion worth in transactions last year

e& (formerly known as Etisalat Group) announced launching its first set of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), marking a significant milestone for e& as the first technology and investment conglomerate in the Middle East to launch NFTs.

The inaugural set of NFTs will be distributed selectively, and the Group will be providing further updates as their plans for the NFTs progress. The launch batch of NFTs highlights e&’s commitment to advancing tech capabilities as the company’s blockchain arm crossed AED10 billion worth in transactions last year. It underpins the company’s vision to make a difference at every touchpoint by ideating and deploying best-in-class innovative solutions, harnessing advanced technologies, and maintaining its cutting-edge infrastructure.

Mr Hatem Dowidar, Group CEO

Mr Hatem Dowidar, Group CEO, e&, said: “The digital transformation that we are experiencing on all fronts will accelerate our quest to innovate. The metaverse is opening up several avenues for us to investigate the digital realm in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago. At this defining moment in our journey, we are proud to leverage our legacy in blockchain-enabled tech to launch pioneering NFTs that allow us and our customers to explore the limitless potential that the metaverse holds.

“The NFTs designs were sourced in the UAE, where we are keen to support the local development of new products, technologies and solutions. This is a unique opportunity to celebrate how far we’ve come as a company and to continue exploring what’s next on the horizon. We live in the renaissance of connectivity where we must capitalise on every opportunity that strengthens our continued leadership as the champion digital telco in a hyper-connected world.”

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This milestone is one of the more recent successes that e& has seen in its current transformation journey as a global technology and investment conglomerate. e& has been instrumental in developing and bolstering the UAE’s strong telecoms infrastructure since its foundation 46 years ago. As e& transforms into a technology conglomerate and keeping in line with UAE’s digitalisation ambitions, it has combined its scalable technological competencies with its robust telecoms expertise, enriching the lives of customers and adding value to enterprises.

Etisalat Group has changed its brand identity to e&, effective from 23 February 2022. Its strategy aims to accelerate growth through the creation of a resilient business model representing the Group’s main business pillars. The Telecoms business currently continues to operate led by Etisalat UAE in e&’s home market and by existing subsidiaries for international operations, upholding the Group’s rich telecoms heritage, bolstering the strong telecoms network and maximising value for the Group’s various customer segments.

To enable the digital transformation of governments, large-scale enterprises and corporates, e& enterprise focuses on maximising value through its end-to-end solutions in, Cloud, Cybersecurity, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). e& capital allows the Group to focus its efforts on driving new mergers and acquisitions while maximising shareholder value and strengthening global presence.

China Motoring Technology

Audi unveils plans for ‘Audi urbansphere’

Audi urbansphere concept offers a radical vision for the future of urban travel…reports Asian Lite News

Systematically designed from the inside out, Audi has unveiled plans for the Audi urbansphere concept car. Designers and engineers initially created the Audi urbansphere for use in traffic-dense Chinese megacities, although the concept is also suitable for any other metropolitan centre in the world. In these urban areas, where personal space is in particularly short supply, the concept car offers the largest interior space of any Audi to date. It intelligently coordinates this with technologies and digital services that appeal to all the senses and offer a whole new level of experience.

Markus Duesmann, Chairman of the Board Management at AUDI AG: “In order to meet the demands of our Chinese customers, Audi’s design studios in Beijing and Ingolstadt worked together closely to jointly develop the Audi urbansphere concept car. For the first time, potential customers in China could also take part in the development process, contributing their own desires and perspectives as part of a process known as ‘co-creation’.”

The result can be seen in the Audi urbansphere concept and its particularly striking interior. The spacious automobile acts as a lounge on wheels and a mobile office, serving as a living space during the time spent in traffic. To this end, the Audi urbansphere combines the luxury of complete privacy with a comprehensive range of high-tech features on board, even during the daily rush hour. Automated driving technology transforms the interior, in which a steering wheel, pedals, or displays are notably absent, into a mobile interactive space that provides a gateway to a wider digital ecosystem.

Audi urbansphere Front

Audi sphere – first class to the power of three

Audi skysphere, Audi grandsphere, and Audi urbansphere are the three concept cars that the brand with the four rings has developed to showcase its vision for the world of premium mobility of tomorrow. In the process, Audi is creating a vehicle experience that goes far beyond the purpose of merely spending time in a car to get from point A to point B.

Sphere number 1: The electrically driven roadster Audi skysphere concept debuted in August 2021. It presented a spectacular vision of a self-driving GT that transforms into a self-driving sports car with a variable wheelbase.

Just a few weeks later, Audi unveiled the second model in the sphere series, the Audi grandsphere concept, at the IAA 2021. This large four-seater sedan exemplified the brand’s ambition to define the future of progressive luxury.

What both concept cars have in common with the Audi urbansphere is that the entire concept is based on level 4 autonomous vehicle technology. Audi is currently working with CARIAD, Volkswagen Group’s software business, to introduce this technology within the second half of the decade.

Audi urbansphere Interior

Fast charging, high range

The heart of the drive system is the 800-volt charging technology. It ensures that the battery can be charged with up to 270 kilowatts at fast-charging stations in the shortest possible time. As such, charging times approach those of a conventional stop to refuel a car powered by an internal combustion engine: just 10 minutes are enough to charge the battery to a level sufficient to power the car to travel more than 300 kilometres (186 miles). In addition, the battery, which holds more than 120 kilowatt hours, can be charged from 5 to 80 percent in less than 25 minutes. This means that a range of up to 750 kilometres (466 miles) can be expected, according to the WLTP standard – and even when used for more energy-intensive city and short-distance trips, it is generally possible to avoid making unexpected stops to charge.


Drive system

The Audi urbansphere concept’s two electric motors are capable of delivering a total output of 295 kilowatts and a system torque of 690 newton metres. These are impressive figures that are often not fully utilised when driving in dense urban traffic. Nevertheless, the Audi urbansphere is still equipped with permanent quattro four-wheel drive – an essential feature for the brand’s high-performance models.

As part of Audi’s vision of progress and plans for future mobility, one of these new concept cars, the Audi urbansphere, is currently on display at the Museum of the Future this Ramadan as part of a new partnership.

Business Tech Lite Technology

India’s public cloud spending to touch $7.5bn in 2022

Global end-user spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow 20.4% in 2022 to total $494.7 billion, up from $410.9 billion in 2021…reports Asian Lite News

The end-user spending on public cloud in India is likely to reach $7.5 billion in 2022 — growing 29.3 per cent from 2021, a Gartner report said on Tuesday.

Cloud system infrastructure services (IaaS) is forecast to record the highest growth this year (39.4 per cent), followed by cloud application infrastructure services (PaaS).

IaaS will also be the highest spending vertical for end-users in India in 2022.

“Driven by maturation of core cloud services, the focus of differentiation is gradually shifting to capabilities that can disrupt digital businesses and operations in enterprises directly,” said Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner.

“Public cloud services have become so integral that providers are now forced to address social and political challenges, such as sustainability and data sovereignty,” he added.

Global end-user spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow 20.4% in 2022 to total $494.7 billion, up from $410.9 billion in 2021.

In 2023, end-user spending is expected to reach nearly $600 billion.

Global IaaS is forecast to experience the highest end-user spending growth in 2022 at 30.6 per cent, followed by desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) at 26.6 per cent and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) at 26.1 per cent.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) remains the largest public cloud services market segment, forecasted to reach $176.6 billion in end-user spending in 2022.

“IT leaders who view the cloud as an enabler rather than an end state will be most successful in their digital transformational journeys,” said Nag. “The organisations combining cloud with other adjacent, emerging technologies will fare even better.”

ALSO READ-Global cloud infrastructure spending set to reach $90 bn

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No. 10 Hacked

However, they were not able to identify the specific individuals within No. 10 and the Foreign Office who are suspected of having been hacked…reports Asian Lite News

Boris Johnson has been told that his Downing Street office was targeted with “multiple” suspected infections using Pegasus, the sophisticated hacking software that can turn a phone into a remote listening device, The Guardian reported.

A report released by Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto said the UAE was suspected of orchestrating spyware attacks on No. 10 in 2020 and 2021.

Pegasus is the hacking software — or spyware — developed, marketed and licensed to governments around the world by the Israeli firm NSO Group. It has the capability to infect phones running either iOS or Android operating systems.

Citizen Lab added there had also been suspected attacks on the Foreign Office over the same two years that were also associated with Pegasus operators linked to the UAE — as well as India, Cyprus and Jordan, The Guardian reported.

The researchers, considered among the world’s leading experts in detecting digital attacks, announced they had taken the rare step of notifying Whitehall of the attack as it “believes that our actions can reduce harm”.

However, they were not able to identify the specific individuals within No. 10 and the Foreign Office who are suspected of having been hacked.

Cyber attack

In a statement, Citizen Lab said: “We confirm that in 2020 and 2021 we observed and notified the government of the United Kingdom of multiple suspected instances of Pegasus spyware infections within official UK networks. These included: the prime minister’s office (10 Downing Street) (and) the Foreign and Commonwealth Office…

“The suspected infections relating to the FCO were associated with Pegasus operators that we link to the UAE, India, Cyprus and Jordan. The suspected infection at the UK prime minister’s office was associated with a Pegasus operator we link to the UAE.”

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Report: Quantum computing technology advancing rapidly

Spending on quantum computing will surge from US$260 million in 2020, to US$9.1 billion by 2030…reports Asian Lite News

According to a report during the Investopia summit, quantum computing technology is advancing rapidly and is on track to enable solving more complex business problems through enhanced optimisation, machine learning, and simulation.

This is bringing transformation potential to multiple industries, making it possible to discover new remedies in life sciences, improve wealth management scenarios in financial services, reroute supply chains in real-time and more.

According to Tractica LLC, a market intelligence firm, spending on quantum computing will surge from US$260 million in 2020, to US$9.1 billion by 2030.

In order to solve real-world business problems at scale, the management of quantum computing must shift toward information technology (IT) services that are integrated into the enterprise infrastructure.

Ideally, this business-centric, IT-driven approach will use a modern consumption model that is abstracted from the underlying hardware and fully integrates with enterprise services and data sources.

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Designating quantum leads from both the business and IT departments, and extending the availability of quantum methods across the organisation, will encourage engagement, increase understanding and create more opportunities for innovative sparks.

In the future, this approach could also use quantum architecture stacks that automatically select the most appropriate computing power to solve a given problem. Taking this top-down and industrialised approach to quantum computing is the pathway to innovating at speed and scale.

90 percent of organisations will partner with consulting companies or full-stack providers to accelerate quantum computing innovation through 2023, according to Gartner.

The first Investopia investment summit, which held during WGS2022 last week, convened decision-makers, private sector leaders, social institutions, and investment companies from all around the world to explore new economic models for the post-pandemic era. (WAM)

Business Tech Lite Technology

‘Nokia C01 Plus’ in Indian markets

Customers who choose to avail the JioExclusive offer will get an instant price support of Rs 600 on the best buy price, and will have to pay Rs 5,699 and Rs 6,199, respectively…reports Asian Lite News

HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, on Monday launched the 32 GB internal storage variant of ‘Nokia C01 Plus’ smartphone in the Indian market.

The Nokia C01 Plus is available in 2/16GB and 2/32 GB, configurations starting at Rs 6,299 and Rs 6,799 respectively, across leading offline retail stores, e-commerce platforms, and

Customers who choose to avail the JioExclusive offer will get an instant price support of Rs 600 on the best buy price, and will have to pay Rs 5,699 and Rs 6,199, respectively.

“Over the past couple of years, we have built a robust portfolio of Nokia smartphones to provide a wide array of choices to the consumers. The popular Nokia C-series has been our answer to the rising demand for low-budget smartphone with uncompromising quality, durability and of course, the Trust of Nokia Devices. Nokia C01 Aplus (2+16GB Variant) has been very well received by our users when it was launched last year,” Sanmeet Singh Kochhar, Vice President, HMD Global said in a statement.

In terms of specifications, the Nokia C01 Plus comes with a 5.45-inch HD+ screen with thick bezels on the top and the bottom.

The smartphone houses a 2MP front facing camera. At the rear, it packs a 5MP HDR camera. Both cameras have dedicated LED flash.

The smartphone is powered by an octa-core 1.6GHz Unisoc SC9863A processor, paired with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.

The storage can be expanded using a microSD card. The Nokia C01 Plus comes with a 3000mAh battery that is said to last up to a day.

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