Read about India’s first statewide broadband project, the MoU signed by Railways with ISRO, the first Start up warehouse and more …..
1) Cisco, Andhra Pradesh initiate India’s first statewide broadband project:
- Global IT solutions company Cisco has announced a series of strategic initiatives to help accelerate the digital transformation of Andhra Pradesh.
- The AP Fiber Grid Project has been taken up under the National Optic Fiber Network of the Centre as a pilot. The project has been implemented at a cost of Rs 333 crore and it will be gradually rolled out to other districts of the state by July 2016.
- The state government plans to connect 1.3 crore households through AP FiberNet.
- Cisco will also set up an Internet of Everything (IoE) innovation centre in Visakhapatnam to enable partners and start-ups to build prototypes and solutions around IoE.
- With the fiber optic rollout, Andhra Pradesh becomes the first Indian state to bring all its households online. Under the Digital India initiative launched in July last year, the union government is aiming to connect 250,000 gram panchayats with high speed Internet by 2017.
- As part of the initiative to boost research, Cisco will sponsor and collaborate with Andhra University in Visakhapatnam on a 12-month research program to identify and explore the possibility of developing and customizing digital technologies and solutions for rural Andhra Pradesh.
2) NASSCOM Partners with Tamil Nadu Government to Set Up the First Startup Warehouse:
- In an effort to continuously support the young entrepreneurs, National Association of Software & Services (NASSCOM) has announced the launch of its first startup warehouse in Chennai. The MoU signing took place between Department of Information Technology, State of Tamil Nadu, acting through the Electronics Corporation of Tamilnadu and NASSCOM.
- At the warehouse, startups will get a number of facilities, including a 10 Mbps broadband leased line, infrastructure with AC, chair, tables, tea/coffee, logistics etc. The co-working space allows early-stage technology startups to work for 6-12 months during which startups will get showcased at select NASSCOM events and other events of partner organizations.
- The warehouse which is spread across 8000 sq.ft can house up to 50 startups allowing them to learn, work, and accelerate their companies. The entrepreneurs will have a list of benefits which could help polish their entrepreneurial skills as well as polish their marketing ability including; connect sessions, early stage mentoring, access to resources from Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM cloud, Kotak etc. The selection would be finalized by a selection committee comprising of stakeholders from the government as well as the industry, viz. Government of Tamil Nadu and NASSCOM.
- Chennai is known to be quite popular for its automobile and IT industry. The city is home to more than 20 Indian companies that have a net worth of more than $1 billion. It is often seen as the secondary financial hub following Mumbai.
- The cultural capital of the south is amongst the major upcoming startup locations of the country. The city is emerging as the SaaS Hub as it has a large base of B2B SaaS product companies triggered by the success of few startups supported by right set of domain talent.
3) Indian Army agrees to vacate large portions of land in Kashmir:
- In a significant development, the Indian Army on Thursday decided to vacate huge portions of land held by it close to civilian habitations in Jammu and Kashmir and hand over the possession to the state government.
- An official statement issued here said that “in extensive discussions” with Northern Command chief Lt. Gen. D.S. Hooda at Raj Bhavan on Thursday, Governor N.N. Vohra reviewed the implementation of decisions taken in earlier civil military liaison conferences on all land matters relating to the army.
- It was agreed that the Northern Command would hand over 16.30 acres adjoining the Jammu University campus, 212 acres at Tatoo Grounds in Srinagar, 456.60 kanals at High Grounds in Anantnag, and also land held at lower Khurba Thang in Kargil.
- The governor directed that the committee headed by the chief secretary will visit Jammu University, Kargil and Anantnag to fulfill all formalities on the spot and take over the sites.
- Vohra also arrived at an understanding with the army commander over the location of high altitude warfare school (HAWS) in Gulmarg. He will have a further meeting with Hooda.
- The demand to vacate these lands was high on the list of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti to pave the way for her heading the PDP-BJP coalition government in the state.
4) Railways signs MoU with ISRO to leverage technology to support its operations:
- Ministry of Railways has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) for developing Remote Sensing and geographic information system (GIS) for Remote Sensing at unmanned railway crossing and other uses.
- The MoU, for effective use of space technology in Remote Sensing and GIS based governance application, was signed after the Railway minister’s special mention in his Budget announcement regarding geospatial and enhanced use of space technology in various sectors of governance.
- The MoU aims for developing applications in the field of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) for Remote Sensing at unmanned railway crossing including, all geospatial solutions and customized software solutions for providing reliable, efficient & optimal solutions to Railways in it various areas of operation thereby benefiting the rail user.
- Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu that the signing of this MoU with the Isro is of a great importance, which will solve all the day to day problems of Indian Railways by using best technology provided by the Isro. He added that it is a big challenge for the Indian Railways to keep pace with the latest technology and it is now ready to adopt new technologies. He said that Railways want to keep itself modernised with the new technological innovations and some of the most difficult solutions could be found by using latest technology.
- Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Atomic Energy, Space, Prime Minister Office, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Jitendra Singh that it is a common misperception that Isro works only in the field of Satellite and Space. He said that Department of Space through Isro has been extending its help to various organizations in wide sphere for example recent agreement by Isro with the Ministry of Urban Development in developing smart cities.
- Currently, Indian Railways is using Space technology for providing connectivity to Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counters and Unreserved Ticketing System at remote and non-rail head locations, Emergency Communication using Satellite phones from disaster sites, GPS for various applications like Remote Monitoring of Locomotives, Passenger Information System in Mumbai Sub-urban trains and synchronized clocks & WiFi facility in selected Rajdhani Express trains.
5) N. Korea fires ballistic missile into sea, ignoring UN ban:
- North Korea ignored U.N. resolutions by firing a medium-range ballistic missile into the sea on Friday, Seoul and Washington officials said, days after its leader Kim Jong Un ordered weapons tests linked to its pursuit of a long-range nuclear missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.
- South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the missile fired from a site north of Pyongyang flew about 800 kilometers (500 miles) before crashing off the North’s east coast. It was the first medium-range missile launched by the North since it fired two in April 2014, said a South Korean defense official, requesting anonymity citing department rules.
- A senior U.S. defense official said the missile appeared to be a Rodong type fired from a road-mobile launcher. The test violated multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions that ban North Korea from engaging in any ballistic and nuclear activities, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
- The launch came as North Korea condemned ongoing annual South Korean-U.S. military drills that it sees as an invasion rehearsal. The two sets of drills are the largest ever, in response to the North’s nuclear test and long-range rocket launch earlier this year. One of the drills, computer-simulated war games, was to end later Friday while the other, field training, is to continue late April.
- In recent weeks, North Korea threatened pre-emptive nuclear strikes against Washington and Seoul and fired short-range missiles and artillery into the sea in an apparent anger over the drills and tough U.N. sanctions imposed over its nuclear test and rocket launch.
- No fresh sanctions on the North were expected for Friday’s launch. The U.N. Security Council slapped the country with sanctions each time when it conducted nuclear tests and long-range rocket launches, but it usually responded to short- and medium-range ballistic launches with statements criticizing them.