The Indian government suggested that Indians need to aggressively work on homegrown technologies and develop them so that they are on par with technologies developed by global giants. This push comes on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic which forced the government to enforce a strict lockdown which has exceeded two months. The economic struggles are slowly becoming apparent as the shutdown has impacted millions of businesses across the country. In order to stabilize the economy the Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi suggested Indians should focus on locally sourced products as a first priority.
During the lockdown chances of hearing about online video calling applications like Zoom, Google Meets and Microsoft Teams are very high as a lot of businesses which went remote have used one of these softwares as part of team communications. The Indian government has identified and shortlisted ten Indian companies to develop a Made In India video conferencing solution. These companies include Zoho, HCL, PeopleLink, Aria Telecom, CyberHorizon Corp, Instrive Softlabs, PeopleLink Unified Communications Sarv Webs, Soulpage IT Solutions, Techgentsia Software Technologies and Data Ingenious.
Each of these companies would receive 5 Lakh INR to develop a prototype similar to Zoom or Google Meets. The government would then shortlist three companies out of the ten and grant them 20 Lakh INR, to develop the video conferencing platform. The government would finally select one of the three companies to provide the final build which would be used by Central and state governments as an alternative to Zoom and Google Meets.
After the third round, the government would select the best solution which will get the final contract. The contract is said to be for a period of four years. In the first year, the government is expected to pay INR 1 Crore to the selected startup while additional INR 10 Lakh would be given to the company in the next three years for operations and maintenance of the solution.
The Project was undertaken by the Ministry of Information Technology and as a part of the push to promote Indian software products. The video conferencing solution should be able to work in low bandwidth areas without any glitches.
Silicon Valley Is Flocking To The Next Big Thing In Tech Called Clubhouse
While the world is caught up in its daily routine, there is one startup which is silently taking over Silicon Valley by storm. Named as Clubhouse, the startup has nothing to do with parties but is instead the next big thing in social networking technology. Clubhouse is slowly growing in leaps and bounds and is attracting a slew of some big names in technology onto their platform. Since the last couple of weeks, Twitter is abuzz with this new player in town and how amazing its user interface and experience is, and the most unique but important thing is Clubhouse provides direct access to the who’s who of the startup world.
So what is Clubhouse and why is it being hailed as the next big player in the social networking scene? Read along to find out more about this incredible app.
What is Clubhouse?
Clubhouse is a new type of social networking platform which is an audio only platform. This means every conversation takes place through audio where users speak to let their thoughts known. Users can create and host rooms where speakers will talk about a particular topic. Depending on the topic being discussed in a room, a user can join the room as a participant and take part in the conversation. Clubhouse believes audio is a special medium and users need not worry about being judged because there are no cameras.
How to use clubhouse
Clubhouse is currently only in its beta phase and the app is not open to the public at large. The app is also available only to iOS users at the moment. The only way to join the community as a user is through an invitation from an existing user. This is one of the reasons why Clubhouse is such a rage at the moment. The team behind Clubhouse say they do not want to scale up very rapidly because they feel it is important to take things slowly. Therefore the invite only/iOS only is the current offering in beta, but experts and pundits believe it is a genius marketing strategy to get people to talk about the app.
Upon registering, users can choose a variety of interesting topics based on which rooms are displayed. A user can then join one of these rooms and take part in the discussion.
Clubhouse currently has a user base of 600,000 users and it is still in its beta mode. Getting an invite to Clubhouse is a badge of honour at the moment. Indian Twitter feeds exploded in early January 2021, when AngelList founder Naval Ravikant and Entrepreneur Balaji Srinivasan hosted a room called Startup Bharat, where they spoke about the Indian startup scene on Clubhouse. Since then Indians have been scrambling to acquire the highly sought after Clubhouse invite.
Evan Williams, Reddit co founder Alexis Ohanian, former Y Combinator President Sam Altman, AngelList co founder Naval Ravikant, Ashton Kuthcer, Oprah Winfrey, Drake, Kevin Hart and many others are some of the influential personalities who are on Clubhouse.
Kevin Harrington, a host on Shark Tank hosted a room in Clubhouse where he listened to pitches from entrepreneurs. The room had more than 3000 participants and some of the pitches even received funding by the end of the session. This fast paced and the in-the-moment nature of the app is why Clubhouse is such a rage.
As Clubhouse slowly expands and finally makes itself available for everyone, it would be interesting to see how it will position itself among the likes of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. But right now, in its nascent stages, Clubhouse is the place to be and a place of deep learning.
Elon Musk’s Tesla Makes Inroads Into India By Registering Company In Bengaluru
Commonly known as the Nikola Tesla of our generation, Elon Musk is a technology entrepreneur, engineer and investor. The self made billionaire managed to convert his scientific imaginations into reality and tried his hands at various fields, spread across technology, science and exploration. Automaker Tesla has been in the news for the last few months for breaking records and creating new milestones. In the first week of January 2021, Tesla surpassed Facebook, in terms of market cap and is currently the fifth most valuable company in the United States of America.
There have been calls of bringing Tesla to the Indian market since a couple of years ago and now the dream finally turned into reality. In what can be termed as a momentous occasion, Tesla makes inroads into the Indian market as Elon Musk registers a new company in Bengaluru, India. On January 8, Tesla Motors India and Energy Private Limited was established with its registered office in Bengaluru, also known as the IT capital and the Silicon Valley of India.
Reportedly, Tesla would launch their Model 3 first in the Indian market for an estimated price of INR 60 lakhs. Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways confirmed in December, Tesla is coming to India in early 2021 and will first start off with sales, and then look at assembly and manufacturing based on the response it receives. According to Republic TV, other than Karnataka, Tesla is in talks with the governments of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to establish offices.
If you own a smartphone, there is a very high chance that you are a WhatsApp user. The simple and lightweight online messaging application has embedded itself into our lives and has become indispensable. Family groups, friend groups, office groups, play groups and many other groups like these see millions of conversations happening on a daily basis. Millions of people across the world use Whatsapp for multiple purposes. Beginning from a simple user to user online text messaging app, over the years Whatsapp has grown exponentially by adding a lot of features like payments, location sharing, pictures and video sharing, document sharing, group chats and calls.
Signal in particular saw a huge spurt in registrations following Tesla founder Elon Musk’s tweet which said Signal in response to a user asking Musk what is a good alternative to Whatsapp.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2021
On January 12th, 2021, nearly 800,000 users installed Signal globally. Signal could not handle the influx and their SMS verification failed to function properly. Signal has since then added more servers to cope with the surge in app downloads. Signal said the only information it collects is the phone number and they do not assign a name to the number. Whatsapp on the other hand collects a slew of data as shown in the picture below.
We want to address some rumors and be 100% clear we continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encryption. pic.twitter.com/6qDnzQ98MP
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) January 12, 2021
ALSO READ: How Does WhatsApp Generate Revenue
Whatsapp data is instead used to improve Facebook user experience. Facebook is benefiting from Whatsapp by generating a huge wealth of consumer behavior data which inturn is being used to improve the ads on Facebook.
In this day and age when the internet is making its way to every nook and corner of the world, companies are increasingly developing an internet ecosystem in order to make lives easier. These ecosystems learn from gathering continuous data. While it is hard to pinpoint how much data should be collected and kept private and how much could be used to improve quality of lives, the choice ultimately lies with the individual.
Let us know if you are going to continue using Whatsapp or will move to SIgnal in the comments below.
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