Uber begins talks with Indian government to push for flying taxis

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Ride-hailing firm Uber has begun talks with the government to usher in a regulatory framework for flying taxis in the country, a top company executive told ET.

Uber has begun talks with the Indian government to push for flying taxis. Ride-hailing firm Uber has begun talks with the government to usher in a regulatory framework for flying taxis in the country.

Over the last one year, the San Francisco-based company has held conversations with regulators in India and met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said Nikhil Goel, head of product, aviation at Uber, in an interaction with ET on the sidelines of an Uber Elevate event here.

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How Incubators are Shaping the Indian landscape

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According to the NASSCOM India Startup Ecosystem report, India has retained its position as the third largest Startup Ecosystem in the world. More than 1,200 startups came up in 2018, including eight unicorns, taking the total number to 7,200 startups, NASSCOM reported. Considering the scale of the Indian market, even average startups can find a viable market even with average ideas and poor quality. However, on the flip side, India with its diversity and wide-ranging issues also offers a fantastic test base to develop a robust and innovative product.

In this dynamic and complex landscape, while an increasing number of entrepreneurs are emerging, a report by IBM Institute for Business Value and Oxford Economics found that 90 per cent Indian startups fail within the first five years. The emerging incubator ecosystem in the Indian landscape is a welcome shot in the arm for the starry-eyed startups.

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Chinese brands rule Indian smartphone market with 66% share: Report

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Xiaomi’s India shipments fell by 2% over last year, but the Beijing-based company was still the biggest smartphone brand in the country, followed by Samsung Electronics

Chinese brands rule Indian smartphone market with 66% share: Report Chinese brands controlled a record 66% of Indian smartphone market in the first quarter, led by Xiaomi, a report showed, with volumes rising 20% on the back of popularity for brands like Vivo, RealMe and Oppo.

Xiaomi’s India shipments fell by 2% over last year, but the Beijing-based company was still the biggest smartphone brand in the country, followed by Samsung Electronics, according to Hong-Kong based Counterpoint Research.

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The rise of women entrepreneurship in India

 

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Women have started to realise their power and exploring different ways to pursue their passion

Women who seem to be limited to their home in the old days are now exploring the world of entrepreneurs. They come out as a strong contender with several leadership qualities which make them perfect to rule the entrepreneur’s world. In recent years, there is a rise in the graph of women entrepreneurship in India. And now, Indians can proudly say that women entrepreneurship is not an obscure concept any longer at least in our country.

Well, known leaders such as Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Indra Nooyi, Chanda Kochar paved way for other women to come out and start something of their own and can easily become an independent entity which can not be undermined by gender politics or any kind of partiality. In the last few years, women of India has already comprised almost 30per cent corporate senior management positions. It might seem a small percentage but this number is continually rising.

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India’s first solar-powered, driverless bus has made its maiden journey

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Students of Lovely Professional University (LPU) at Jalandhar has designed this bus with the uses of GPS and Bluetooth for navigation

Jalandhar (Urban Transport News): India’s first solar-powered, driverless bus made its maiden journey at the Indian Science Congress in last week Thursday. A team of students of Lovely Professional University (LPU) at Jalandhar has designed this bus with the uses of GPS and Bluetooth for navigation.

According to the project head Mandeep Singh, the camera installed on top of the bus allows for image processing. It senses the road pattern and the bus moves accordingly.

“We have been working on this project for the last five years. Around 300 students, from departments of electronics, electrical and civil and mechanical engineering, have been part of it. It was a huge project and bringing everyone together itself was a huge challenge,” said Mandeep Singh.

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India bans ecommerce companies from selling their own products

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“An entity having equity participation by e-commerce marketplace entity or its group companies, or having control on its inventory by e-commerce marketplace entity or its group companies, will not be permitted to sell its products on the platform run by such marketplace entity,” the commerce ministry said in a statement.

Ecommerce companies can make bulk purchases through their wholesale units or other group companies that in turn sell the products to select sellers, such as their affiliates or other companies with which they have agreements.

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Battery idea: Hydroelectric pumped storage, but with bricks

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Company called Energy Vault has an agreement to build a pilot tower in India in 2019.

A mock-up of what Energy Vault’s tower looks like.

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A company called Energy Vault has proposed a new utility-scale battery that is both old and new at the same time. The “battery” is mechanical, rather than chemical, and stores energy much like pumped hydro does, but it does it with bricks.

If you’re not familiar with pumped hydro, it works like this. The system pumps water from a lower elevation to a higher elevation when electricity is plentiful and cheap. When electricity becomes more expensive, operators release that water through a hydroelectric turbine to give the grid some extra juice. Similarly, Energy Vault wants to build a system of six cranes, which will electrically stack heavy bricks into a tower when electricity is cheap and plentiful. When electricity becomes more scarce and expensive, the cranes will release each brick and harvest the energy from their fall.

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India’s bodybuilding boom reflects a nation coming of age

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A group of twenty-something guys are crammed into a small room, flexing their muscles and applying thick layers of fake tan on dark brown skin. It’s approaching 40°C outside but, inside this windowless pen, it’s hard to breathe. Sweat is running freely and the air is thick with a tang of muscle spray as guys attempt to accentuate their bulges before stepping out on stage.

Bodybuilding is booming across India. Mr Universe-inspired competitions and gyms are popping up everywhere, from small towns in the middle of nowhere to megacities like Delhi and Mumbai.

In just over a decade, economic prosperity has transformed a struggling nation into a country developing at rapid speed, with smartphones becoming ubiquitous and tech hubs competing with the growth of Silicon Valley

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India wants panic buttons on mobile phones to keep women safe—will it work?

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The Indian government has a hack for women’s safety: a panic button.

Come Jan. 26, a pilot project to test a panic button feature on mobile phones will be launched in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh (UP), Maneka Gandhi, the union minister for women and child development, said on Jan. 02.

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Google debuts Tez, a mobile payments app for India that uses Audio QR to transfer money

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After several weeks of speculation and leaked details, today Google officially unveiled its first big foray into mobile payments in Asia. The Android and search giant has launched Tez, a free mobile wallet in India that will let users link up their phones to their bank accounts to pay for goods securely in physical stores and online, and for person-to-person money transfers with a new twist: Audio QR, which uses ultrasonic sounds to let you exchange money, bypassing any need for NFC.

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