Kerala has become a truly digital state President Mukherjee
Kozhikode: President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday lauded Kerala\\\'s achievements in promoting information technology and declared the state to be the first \\\"digital state\\\" of India.
\\\"With broadband connectivity in every Gram Panchayat, Kerala has emerged as a truly digital state,\\\" Mukherjee said at a function at the Cyber Park near here.
The president noted Kerala\\\'s progress in becoming digitally enabled, right from the launching of a pilot Akshaya e-literacy project in Malappuram district in 2002 to now when the state revenue department alone is issuing about 30,000 digital certificates to the citizens daily.
The Akshaya project, which has since expanded all across the state, was the first district-wide e-literacy project in India.
There are currently about 2500 Akshaya centres across the length and breadth of the state, which also provide internet access and e-service delivery to the people.
Mukherjee also praised the efforts of the IT@school project aimed at providing basic computer knowledge to every high school student.
The state established its first State Data Centre in 2005 to deliver governmental services through e-governance and set up the second centre in 2011, he said.
\\\"It is heartening to note that Kerala has now over 600 e-governance applications covering almost all departments, delivering e-services to its citizens. They are also being made available on the mobile platform now. All districts of the state have been covered under the e-District project,\\\" said Mukherjee.
The president said the growth of internet and smart-phone penetration had rapidly transformed Kerala into a knowledge-powered economy.
He said the state has a mobile tele-density of 95 percent and an internet access covering over 60 percent of the population.
The president also inaugurated the first IT Park in the Malabar region which is spread over of 0.5 million square feet and will provide a base to 5,000 professionals, besides creating indirect employment for over 20,000 people in the region.
\\\"This IT Park has the distinction of being the first in its class to be developed in the country by a labour cooperative society, the Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society (ULCCS),\\\" he noted.
The society, formed in 1925 by social reformer Guru Vagbhadananda, has helped in improving the living standards of the economically-weaker sections by providing them job opportunities, Mukherjee said.
Google Faces Record 3 Billion Euro EU Antitrust Fine
Google faces a record antitrust fine of around 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) from the European Commission in the coming weeks, the British newspaper Sunday Telegraph said.The European Union has accused Google of promoting its shopping service in Internet searches at the expense of rival services in a case that has dragged on since late 2010.Several people familiar with the matter told Reuters last month they believed that after three failed attempts at a compromise in the past six years Google now had no plans to try to settle the allegations unless the EU watchdog changed its stance.
The Telegraph cited sources close to the situation as saying officials planned to announce the fine as early as next month, but that the bill had not yet been finalised.Google will also be banned from continuing to manipulate search results to favor itself and harm rivals, the newspaper said.The Commission can fine firms up to 10 percent of their annual sales, which in Google’s case would be a maximum possible sanction of more than 6 billion euros. The biggest antitrust fine to date was a 1.1 billion euro fine of chip-maker Intel in 2009.The Commission declined to comment, while Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Class-Action Settlement Leaves Some Dissatisfied
Uber’s proposed settlement of a high-profile class-action lawsuit last week has drawn opposition from some drivers and other concerned parties as the ride-hailing service seeks to avoid reclassifying drivers as employees.The settlement, which still must be approved by a San Francisco federal judge, provides for a $100 million payout to drivers, who could get as little $12 apiece or as much as a few thousand dollars, depending on how many miles they drove.
The deal contains a number of caveats and contingencies, however, such as making $16 million of the payout to drivers dependent on Uber Technologies Inc’s [UBER.UL] future valuation increasing by 150 percent.Moreover, the settlement’s non-monetary provisions are set to expire in two years, although Uber may choose to keep them in place after that.
“If there were going to be any teeth to this settlement, (the expiration) wouldn’t be there,” said Christian Perea, an Uber driver and writer for The Rideshare Guy, a popular blog and podcast for drivers.The sunset clause is a way for Uber to protect itself from long-term costs and annoyances, said Jack Schaedel, a labor and employment attorney at the Dykema law firm, who is not involved in the case. If any of the concessions ends up “being totally unwieldy and Uber totally hates it, Uber can get rid of it,” he said.Uber declined to comment.
A Rideshare Guy post explaining the terms of the settlement drew more than 100 comments, many of them blasting the proposed deal. Uber drivers expressed dissatisfaction for a range of reasons, including that the settlement leaves unresolved the central issue of whether the law requires that drivers be qualified as employees.Among the non-monetary provisions of the settlement are a new policy governing driver termination, including an appeals process for drivers terminated by Uber, and an agreement that the privately-held company will clarify that drivers do not automatically receive gratuities from their fares and allow them to solicit tips.The company also agreed to assist with the creation of a drivers’ association.
Lawyers representing Uber drivers in another class-action case have said in court filings they may object to the settlement because drivers covered by it would no longer be able to participate in their case, which challenges Uber’s alleged use of credit reports during driver background checks.
The lawyers also object to Uber’s request to omit details from the settlement that would allow drivers to better evaluate the deal.The company has asked U.S. District Judge Edward Chen to redact key figures in court filings, including an estimate of the total potential value of drivers’ legal claims had they won in a jury trial.The redacted information “is critically important to any analysis of whether the proposed settlement is fundamentally fair, adequate, and reasonable,” the lawyers wrote in a court filing.
Uber has said the figures are trade secrets and would damage the company if made public. In an order on Wednesday, Chen told both sides to further explain their positions, given the importance of the information.In a similar lawsuit against Lyft, Uber’s chief competitor, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria denied that company’s request to keep secret similar information. Chhabria ultimately rejected the proposed $12.25 million settlement offer because it represented only about 9 percent of the potential value of drivers’ claims, a deal that he said “short-changed” drivers.
While he will gladly cash a settlement check if one comes his way, driver Perea said the deal with Uber provides little solace.“We were hoping for a more definitive answer on what the on-demand economy would look like in the future, and a sense that this whole new economy that was taking off would work,” he said.A hearing on the deal is scheduled for June.
Downpour shuts UAE schools disrupts flights
Dubai: Schools were ordered shut, flights suspended and the stock market was closed down in the United Arab Emirates as rare heavy rain hit the desert Gulf state Wednesday.Education authorities said schools will stay closed Thursday as more thundery weather is forecast.Flights at Abu Dhabi airport resumed on Wednesday afternoon after being suspended for several hours, and Dubai International also experienced delays, aviation authorities said.
The rains disrupted the Abu Dhabi Air Expo held at the capital\\\'s Al-Bateen airport.bu Dhabi\\\'s stock market said it suspended trading and cancelled all morning deals after many traders could not reach the bourse.Images posted on social media showed vehicles half-submerged in flooded streets in Abu Dhabi and gusty winds lashing through palm trees lining the city\\\'s streets.
Others showed shades and construction barriers that had collapsed on cars.In Dubai, police registered more than 250 road accidents by midday, local media reported.The weather agency in the UAE, which ranks among the world\\\'s 10 driest countries, said more rain is expected on Thursday.The country\\\'s annual rainfall stands at 78 millimetres (three inches), more than 15 times less than the amount for an average year in Britain.
But the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology said some 240 millimetres of rainfall was recorded Wednesday near Al-Ain. Social media user expressed mixed feelings about the unusual weather.\\\"Not #london or #dublin, this is Dubai today after heavy rain!\\\" wrote Andrea Colonnelli on Twitter posting a video of cars wading through a flooded street.
Another video posted on the micro-blogging site showed a man kayaking through a flooded residential area.
വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായങ്ങള് താഴെ എഴുതാവുന്നതാണ്.
ദയവായി അവഹേളനപരവും വ്യക്തിപരമായ അധിക്ഷേപങ്ങളും അശ്ളീല പദപ്രയോഗങ്ങളും ഒഴിവാക്കുക.
വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായ പ്രകടനങ്ങള്ക്കോ അധിക്ഷേപങ്ങള്ക്കോ അശ്ളീല പദപ്രയോഗങ്ങള്ക്കോ 24ന്യൂസ്ലൈവ്.കോം , അമ്മത്തൊട്ടിൽ.കോം ഉത്തരവാദിയായിരിക്കില്ല.