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Over one tenth of German companies using AI

The institute’s industry expert Anna Wolf said that a majority of all companies in Germany are looking into AI…reports Asian Lite News

A survey published on Wednesday showed that over ten percent of German companies are using artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to their advantage.

Up to 13.3 percent of the 9,000-odd companies involved in the survey by the Munich-based research institute ifo are using AI and another 9.2 percent are planning to use the technology which make decisions quicker through automated data analysis.

The institute’s industry expert Anna Wolf said that a majority of all companies in Germany are looking into AI.

Although AI is gaining popularity among German companies, applications vary in different industries, the survey indicated.

The manufacturing industry has emerged as the quickest to embrace the AI with around 30 percent of all the companies using or planning to use it. On the other hand, there is not even discussion of AI so far in as much as 60 percent of the construction companies in Germany.

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-Top News UK News

100 UK firms to move to permanent 4-day working week

Speaking to The Guardian, Awin’s chief executive Adam Ross said that switching to the new working pattern was “one of the most transformative initiatives we’ve seen in the history of the campaign”…reports Asian Lite News

A hundred companies in the United Kingdom have signed up for a permanent four-day working week for all employees without cutting any pay. The 100 companies employ around 2,600 staff in total, but the 4 Day Week Campaign is hoping that they will be able to bring a transformative change in the country.

The supporters of the four-day week have said that the five-day pattern is a hangover from an earlier economic age. As per The Guardian, they have argued that a four-day week would drive firms to improve their productivity and get the same work done in fewer hours. Early adopters of this policy have also found it a great way of attracting and retaining employees.

Out of the 100 companies, the two biggest firms in the UK which have signed up to adopt the four-day working week are Atom Bank and global marketing company Awin, who each have around 450 employees in the UK. They have reportedly been accredited by the 4 Day Week Campaign, meaning they have proved that they have genuinely reduced working hours for staff rather than just condensing the same number of hours into fewer days.

Speaking to The Guardian, Awin’s chief executive Adam Ross said that switching to the new working pattern was “one of the most transformative initiatives we’ve seen in the history of the campaign”.

“Over the course of the last year and a half, we have not only seen a tremendous increase in employee wellness and wellbeing but concurrently, our customer service and relations, as well as talent relations and retention also have benefited,” Ross added.

Meanwhile, as per the outlet, the 4 Day Week Campaign is also running the world’s biggest pilot for the working pattern for around 70 companies employing 3,300 workers. It is a trial with researchers at the University of Cambridge and Oxford as well as Boston University and thinktank Autonomy.

When asked in September – in the middle of the trial – how it was going, 88 percent of those companies said that the four-day week was working “well” for their business and around 95 percent said productivity had either stayed the same or improved since the introduction.

Most of the companies that have officially adopted the new working pattern are in the service sector such as technology, events or marketing companies. But the campaign also added that some manufacturing and construction employers have also signed up.

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-Top News UK News

Companies to trial four-day workweek

The Royal Society of Biology, another participant in the trial, says it wants to give employees “more autonomy over their time and working patterns”…reports Asian Lite News

Joining the four-day workweek party, UK companies are participating in the initiative that gives an extra day off every week. Employees at the Pressure Drop Brewery in London are taking part in a six-month trial of a four-day working week, with 3,000 others from 60 UK companies.

The pilot — established as the world’s biggest so far — aims to help companies shorten their working hours without cutting salaries or sacrificing revenues. Similar trials have also taken place in Spain, Iceland, the United States and Canada. Australia and New Zealand are scheduled to start theirs in August.

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, a programme manager at 4 Day Week Global, the campaign group behind the trial, said it will give firms “more time” to work through challenges, experiment with new practices and gather data.

According to AFP, he said smaller organisations should find it easier to adapt, since they can make changes and imply them more readily. Pressure Drop, based in Tottenham Hale, is hoping the experiment will not only improve their employees’ productivity but also their well-being. At the same time, it will reduce their carbon footprint.

The Royal Society of Biology, another participant in the trial, says it wants to give employees “more autonomy over their time and working patterns”.

Both hope a shorter working week could help them retain employees. Presently, UK businesses are confronted with severe staff shortages, and job vacancies have hit a record 1.3 million. Pressure Drop brewery’s co-founder Sam Smith said the new way of working would be a learning process.

“It will be difficult for a company like us which needs to be kept running all the time, but that’s what we will experiment with in this trial,” he said.

Smith is thinking of proposing different days off in the week to his employees and deploying them into two teams to keep the brewery functioning throughout.

The service industry plays a huge role in the UK economy, contributing 80 percent to the country’s GDP. A shorter working week is therefore easier to adopt, said Jonathan Boys, a labour economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. But for sectors such as retail, food and beverage, healthcare and education, it’s more problematic.

The biggest challenge will be how to measure productivity, especially in an economy where a lot of work is qualitative, as opposed to that in a factory. Salaries will stay the same in this trial, and employees will have to be as productive in four days as they are five. Yet Aidan Harper, author of “The Case for a Four Day Week”, said countries working fewer hours tend to have higher productivity.

“Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands work fewer hours than the UK, yet have higher levels of productivity,” he told AFP.

“Within Europe, Greece works more hours than anyone, and yet have the lowest levels of productivity.”

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India News Politics

BJP urges EC to deploy 90 companies of central forces

The BJP claimed that the Trinamool, its office-bearers, ministers and other senior functionaries are now preparing to abuse the state’s resources in support of Banerjee…reports Asian Lite News.

The BJP on Wednesday urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to deploy a minimum of 90 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) for the bypolls to three Assembly constituencies in West Bengal scheduled on September 30.

A BJP delegation submitted a memorandum to the poll panel demanding the deployment of at least 40 companies of CAPF in Bhabanipur from where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting, and at least 25 companies in each of the other two Assembly constituencies in Samserganj and Jangipur.


BJP national General Secretary Arun Singh, MPs Swapan Dasgupta and Locket Chatterjee, and party leaders Sanjay Mayukh, Om Pathak, Shishir Bajoria and Neeraj signed the memorandum.

“A CAPF deployment of only 15 companies per Assembly constituency has been sent, which is grossly inadequate, especially in Bhabanipur where unelected Chief Minister Banerjee is contesting for survival. The Trinamool Congress has deployed its entire strength of hooligans,” the BJP memorandum said.

The BJP claimed that the Trinamool, its office-bearers, ministers and other senior functionaries are now preparing to abuse the state’s resources in support of Banerjee.

The BJP also alleged that the officials who were shifted out by the Commission, either for completing three years in a post or for being found unfit for conducting free and fair polls, have been brought back in the three Constituencies by the Trinamool, demanding that they should be immediately transferred out of the Kolkata district.

“Hoardings, posters and banners with photos of Chief Minister Banerjee should immediately be removed from all government and municipal sites from the KMC area,” the BJP demanded.

Citing Covid, the BJP urged the ECI that the presence of the agents of the candidates inside the polling booths should be restricted only to the national parties, while all other polling agents should be seated outside the booths.

“Firhad Hakim, a state minister and administrator of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), who is a close confidante and an undeclared election agent of Banerjee, should be debarred from participating in the poll process in any form and be relieved from his charge of KMC until the conclusion of the elections in Bhabanipur, an area falling within the limits of KMC,” the BJP further demanded.

EC sends notice to BJP candidate Priyanka Tibrewal

The Election Commission has issued a show-cause notice to the BJP candidate for Bhabanipur bypolls, Priyanka Tibrewal, for alleged violation of Covid protocols by gathering a large number of supporters while filing her nomination paper.

On Tuesday, the BJP had objected to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nomination for the same bypolls, on the ground that she suppressed information in her affidavit.

The Trinamool Congress in its complaint alleged that Tibrewal violated the Model Code of Conduct and the Covid-related guidelines by gathering “an unruly mob” of not less than 500 without any prior permission.

She even performed a ‘Dhunuchi Nach’ (traditional Bengali dance, generally performed during Durga Puja) at places on the way to file her nomination, the Trinamool claimed.

The notice issued by the returning officer also referred to a report submitted by the officer-in-charge of the Bhabanipur police station where he mentioned traffic congestion following a big assembly of BJP supporters on Sambhunath Pandit Street and other places.

Tibrewal, however, denied the allegation and said, “The Election Commission has sent me a letter after the Trinamool filed a complaint alleging that I had taken a huge number of people when I had gone to file my nomination and thus violated the Model Code of Conduct as well as the Covid-19 protocols. I will reply with whatever will be my answer,” she said.

“I would also like to say that Suvendu Adhikari was alone in my vehicle. There was no one else. Arjun Singh and Dinesh Trivedi came in their own vehicle. So how did I violate the poll code? There was no flag in my vehicle either,” Tibrewal added.

On the allegation of carrying supporters along with her, the BJP leader said, “I had not led any crowd. It’s not my duty to see who was on the roads on bikes and four-wheelers. It’s the job of the police and the local administration,” she added.

Tibrewal is up against Banerjee and CPI(M)’s Srijib Biswas in the bypoll scheduled to be held on September 30. The votes will be counted on October 3.

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