1. Govt. of India shortlists 10 companies for made-in-India video conferencing
The government in its first attempt to develop a made-in-India video conferencing solution in India has selected ten companies. This was the first shortlisting round in which 10 companies like SaaS major Zoho and tech giant HCL Technologies have been shortlisted. These companies will be receiving INR 5 Lakh from the government to develop a prototype of a product similar to foreign video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Microsoft Teams. In its second round of shortlisting, three startups out of 10 will be selected to build the product further. The other selected companies besides Zoho and HCL Technologies are PeopleLink, Aria Telecom, CyberHorizon Corp, Instrive Softlabs, PeopleLink Unified Communications Sarv Webs, Soulpage IT Solutions, Techgentsia Software Technologies and Data Ingenious.
2. ‘Rare’ type of doughnut-shaped ‘cosmic ring of fire’ galaxy found
Astronomers have spotted an “extremely rare” type of galaxy, known as the “cosmic ring of fire”, as it was 11 billion years ago. They released an animated video that shows the violent collision between two galaxies that caused the formation of doughnut-shaped “R5519”. The diameter of its hole is two-billion times longer than the distance between Sun and Earth. Tiantian Yuan, lead author of the study published in Nature Astronomy has said that “It’s a very curious object that we’ve never seen before. Most of that activity is taking place on its ring — so it truly is a ring of fire”
3. Apple starts mass producing its over-ear headphones: Reports
Apple recently started mass-producing its over-the-ear headphones named as ‘AirPods Studio’, which are most probably said to be launched later this year. These noise-canceling AirPods are likely to be shipped in a matter of weeks. The headphones may cost about $349 (approximately Rs. 26,465) and will be available in different designs which include premium leather and breathable fabrics which can b used even during exercise.
4. Billionaire Richard Branson’s 1st rocket launch attempt failed
Billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit, a small satellite company, had to abort its 1st attempt of launching a rocket into space from the belly of a 747 airplane on Monday. As reported by Reuters, in a test of the company to launch satellites into space, the 70-foot (21.34 m) rocket, LauncherOne was to blast into orbit at about 6.5 miles altitude from a modified airplane named Cosmic Girl.
5. Akshay Kumar resumes outdoor shooting amid lockdown
Padman actor Akshay Kumar has resumed shooting and has already shot on an outdoor location amid the coronavirus lockdown. Kumar along with filmmaker R. Balki the director of Pad Man, stepped out of their home to shoot an ad campaign for the Indian government. As per the media reports, the shoot happened at the Kamalistan studio, Mumbai. Providing more insights on this ad film, the filmmaker said, “Akshay and I have shot this ad-campaign for the Government of India to make people aware of their responsibilities post lockdown. Things might seem difficult but through this ad, we now know what all precautions need to be taken to shoot in the post-lockdown era. Our producer Anil Naidu made everything seem effortless and we all maintained social distancing. The shoot happened smoothly following hygiene protocols, ensuring minimum crew with maximum efficiency and safety.”
6. Bihar declares class 10 board results with the highest score being 96.20%
The three-month-long wait of the Bihar 10th standard students who had appeared for their board examinations is over. BSEB declared the Bihar Board class 10th result 2020 on its official websites. The education minister of Bihar, Krishna Nandan Prasad Verma announced the result in the presence of RK Mahajan, an additional chief secretary, education department, Bihar. Candidates who appeared for their exam can check their results online at onlinebseb.in, biharboardonline.com, biharboardonline.bihar.gov.in, biharboard.online or biharboard.ac.in. Himanshu Raj, son of a vegetable vendor has topped the board examinations scoring 96.20%.
7. IIT Kanpur to promote students without exams
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur has decided to end the ongoing semester and promote all students to higher class based on a special marking system. The institute will not be conducting any examinations and will not even fail any student. Further, final semester students are to be given special credit relaxations. “Ending some uncertainty for students, IIT-Kanpur has decided to close the current semester (2019-20-II). As a one-time exception, all the students will be awarded grades for their courses based on mid-semester exam/quizzes/assignments/projects etc such other performance indicators obtained through online instruction during the suspension of the semester and as decided by the instructors. In the special grading scheme adopted specifically for these extraordinary times only A, B, C and S grades will be awarded and no student will fail,” the director of the institute, Abhay Karandhikar informed through his Twitter handle.
8. Coin DCX, Indian Cryptocurrency exchange raises $2.5 million funding
Cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX has raised USD 2.5 million (around Rs 18.92 crore) in the second funding round held by crypto investment platform Polychain Capital, since the beginning of the lockdown. Coinbase Ventures, the investment arm of San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, is a new investor too participated. This also marks Coinbase’s first investment in an Indian blockchain company.
9. Rajiv Joshi, Indian American scientist wins the ‘Inventor of the year’ award in NY
Indian-American inventor Rajiv Joshi has been awarded the prestigious ‘Inventor of the Year’ award for his exceptional work in advancing the electronic industry and improving artificial intelligence capabilities. Dr Joshi, has more than 250 patented inventions in the US, and he works at the IBM Thomson Watson Research Center in New York. He received the award by the New York Intellectual Property Law Association during a virtual awards ceremony. Dr Joshi is an IIT Mumbai alumnus, has an MS degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a PhD in mechanical/electrical engineering from Columbia University, New York.
10. TVS motor to cut salaries of its employees by 20% for the next six months
Motor Company TVS has decided to cut employees’ salaries by up to 20 percent for a period of the next six months, beginning May, due to the coronavirus pandemic. This has happened due to a sharp fall in the sale of two-wheelers. The spokesperson of the company told PTI, “In the wake of the unprecedented crisis, the company has rolled out a temporary salary reduction across different levels for a period of six months (May to Oct 2020)”. The salaries of workmen, however, will not be reduced.
11. Karan Johar’s two house helps test positive for COVID-19
Director and producer Karan Johar has revealed that two of his house helps have tested positive for COVID-19. He also said that all members of the family too were tested for the virus, however, their results came out negative. He has informed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation so that appropriate measures could be taken. He further added, “The rest of us in the family and staff are all safe and display no symptoms. We have all taken the swab test this morning and tested negative but will remain in self-isolation for the next 14 days for the safety of everyone around us. We will also ensure that the best treatment and care is provided to them during the illness, and we are sure they will be fit very soon. These are difficult times but by staying in our homes and taking the right precautions, there is no doubt in my mind that we can defeat this virus. Stay home everyone and stay safe”.