7 Start-Ups To Join Google's 'Launchpad Accelerator'
- Seven Indian startups will join the third batch of "Launchpad Accelerator" along with startups from other countries, Google announced on Wednesday. Google will mentor these startups for six months which will also include a two-week, all-expenses paid bootcamp set to kick off at "Launchpad Space" in San Francisco on January 30, the company said in a statement. "Launchpad Space" is a physical platform for developers and startups to engage with Google experts to "learn how to build and grow successful companies."
- "We are delighted to help Indian startups in their journey and help them scale and find success in their endeavours," said Paul Ravindranath G, Programme Manager, Launchpad Accelerator. Apart from being guided by Google engineers, product managers and other mentors from top technology companies and Venture Capitals (VC) in Silicon Valley, each startup will get $50,000 in equity-free funding and work closely with Google for six months in their home countries.
- Over the last one year, 13 Indian startups have participated in the programme and some of them have successfully raised funding, Ravindranath added. Shortlisted startups include an on-demand wardrobe rentals service Flyrobe; furniture and appliances rental service Rentomojo; top tutor help service HashLearn; Curofy, a platform for doctors to discuss medical cases with peers from across the country; Indian word games for adults and kids Happy Adda Studios; Playment, a service that allows you to earn money for playing games; and Customer Relationship Management software KaptureCRM.
Indian Journo Honoured With International Press Freedom Award
- Indian journalist Malini Subramaniam has been conferred with the International Press Freedom Award for her reporting from the Naxal-infested Bastar area, one of the four journalists felicitated by the annual award for their commitment to a free press. She was honoured by the Committee to Protect Journalists along with El Salvador's Oscar Martinez and Turkey's Can Dundar. Jailed Egyptian photographer Abou Zeid, known as Shawkan, was given an award in absentia. Subramaniam, a contributor to the news website Scroll, has reported on abuses by police and security forces, sexual violence against women, the jailing of minors, the shutdown of schools, extrajudicial killings, and threats against journalists in the Bastar region in Chattisgarh, the CPJ said in a statement.
- "She has been interrogated, surveilled, and harassed by police and members of a pro-police vigilante group in connection with her critical coverage of human rights abuses and politics. Police have attempted to malign her and label her as a Maoist agent," it said. Martinez was forced to flee El Salvador for three weeks after receiving death threats over an investigation into the killings of eight gang suspects by police. Dundar was another honoree.
- He was arrested on November 26, 2015, after publishing an article alleging the government intelligence service sought to send weapons to Syrian rebel groups. He was charged with disclosing state secrets, espionage and aiding a terrorist group and was sentenced to five years in prison. Zeid has been jailed since August 14, 2013, on charges of weapons possession, illegal assembly, murder and attempted murder, the charges levied against hundreds of protesters in the clashes between Egyptian security forces and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.
BCCI Furious As ICC Docks Eves For Not Playing Pak
- The Indian women's team is scheduled to play Pakistan in the Asia Cup in Bangkok on November 29 but there is no clarity as to whether BCCI would allow its players to participate in the ACC-hosted tournament in the current environment. The six-nation Women's Asia Cup will be held from November 26 to December 4. India has been forfeited six points for not playing Pakistan in three scheduled matches as a part of ICC World Championship and it has not gone down well with the BCCI. The BCCI has maintained that resuming cricketing ties with Pakistan is not possible owing to cross-border terrorism and the upcoming match will certainly be a sensitive issue as India did not play Pakistan between August 1 to October 31.
- The ACC website has put out the entire schedule of the tournament in which India's match against the arch-rivals has been scheduled as an "International T20" unlike some of the other matches in the same event. The Indian Cricket Board's relations with the ICC, headed by Shashank Manohar, hit a new low after Indian women's cricket team was docked six points for not playing bilateral series with Pakistan between August 1 to October 31 as per agreement. There are possibilities that men's team might not play Champions Trophy in protest against the women cricketers being made "soft targets" in the name of rules and regulations. A furious BCCI has lodged a protest with the global body who are well aware that any bilateral series against Pakistan needs government permission under current political scenario, which ICC's Indian chairman is well aware.
- "ICC is well aware that in prevailing situation where Indian soldiers are being martyred, the sentiment is dead against playing Pakistan. The chairman is well aware that we need government permission," a furious senior BCCI official told PTI today. "This is a move with ulterior motive trying to play into the hands of Pakistan. They would say if women can play so can men. But that won't happen. If ICC does not backtrack, the men's team in solidarity with our women's team won't play in Champions Trophy," he added. An ICC release today stated: "Following consideration of written submissions from both PCB and BCCI, the ICC Technical Committee has ruled that the India Women's team is deemed to have forfeited each of the three matches it was due to play against Pakistan in Round 6 of the ICC Women's Championship, and that the associated points should be awarded to Pakistan. "The matches, which were due to be played between August 1 & October 31, 2016, were not formally scheduled and did not ultimately take place, and the Technical Committee has ruled that Pakistan will be awarded two points for each of the three games and, in accordance with the ICC Women's Championship playing conditions, India shall be considered to have scored 0 runs in each of the 50 overs in each of the three matches and that its net run rate shall be adjusted accordingly."
- The Technical Committee said while it was sensitive to the current state of relations between the nations of India and Pakistan, but concluded that the BCCI had not been able to establish "acceptable reasons" for not participating in the series. The ICC's relationship with BCCI has soured on a number of issues since Shashank Manohar became independent chairman. From changes proposed in revenue sharing to not having India in the working group, Manohar's stance has been perceived by many as anti-India despite BCCI members having full faith in his leadership.A top ranking office bearer of the BCCI commented: "It seems as if Manohar's anti-BCCI stand is becoming an anti-India stance. As a former BCCI president he is well aware why the men's team could not play a bilateral series with Pakistan last year.
Music lovers bid tearful adieu to Balamuralikrishna
- A large number of people bid a tearful adieu to Carnatic music legend M Balamuralikrishna, whose mortal remains were cremated here today. The body of 86-year-old Balamuralikrishna, who passed away 23 November 2016 after a brief illness, was taken in a decorated vehicle and cremated at the Besant Nagar electric crematorium. Earlier, music lovers and celebrities made a beeline to pay their last respects to the exponent, who started his musical journey as a child prodigy and later strode classical and cinema worlds effortlessly across generations.
- He was not keeping well for some time and breathed his last here 23 November 2016, leaving the "rasikas" (fans) and fellow musicians in a state of shock, with political leaders and celebrities condoling his death. Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, J Jayalalithaa and N Chandrababu Naidu, respectively, Union Minister M Venkiah Naidu and Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi among others had condoled his death yesterday. Earlier today, singers K J Yesudoss and Mano, actors Kamal Haasan and Sivakumar, musician Ilayaraja, Director Vasanth and vocalist Sudha Raghunathan were among those who paid tributes to Balamuralikrishna at his residence where his body was kept. DMK President M Karunanidhi also condoled the death of the veteran musician.