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Sequoia India appoints Shweta Rajpal Kohli as head of public policy

Venture capital firm Sequoia India hired Shweta Rajpal Kohli as the head of public policy, after the VC firm created a new role focused on public policy, managing director of Sequoia Capital, Shailendra J. Singh, announced on Tuesday. Kohli was earlier the director of government affairs and public policy for India and South Asia at Salesforce. Kohli has also been Uber’s policy head for India and South Asia. As part of her role, Kohli will work with industry bodies and associations, and will enab...
Tags: Travel, News, Southeast Asia, India, Salesforce, South Asia, Cto, Sequoia, South East Asia, Kohli, Nikhil, Industry Moves, Star India, Sequoia India, Sequoia Capital India, Shweta Rajpal Kohli


Agenda and Reading List: Discussions on Non Personal Data; Aug 6 and 7 #Ad

We are looking forward to our online sessions on the Governance of Non Personal Data, being held in partnership with the Centre for Communication Governance (NLU-Delhi). We are hosting these sessions on August 6 and 7, a week before the August 13 deadline for submitting comments to the government on the draft Non Personal Data Governance Framework. We are doing this across two days, because we felt that, given the details in the report, it required a more in-depth discussion (and debate), and a ...
Tags: Travel, Facebook, News, India, Un, Bill, Committee, Infosys, NPD, Chatham House, FTI, IPR, DSCI, Sean McDonald, Neil Lawrence, Sameer Nigam


WhatsApp now allows users to search the web to verify claims made in forwards

WhatsApp now allows users in a handful of markets — but not India — to verify claims made in forwarded messages on the platform, the company announced on August 3. The feature, called ‘search the web’, will add a magnifying glass icon next to “messages that have been forwarded many times”. The icon will appear next to messages that have been forwarded at least five times, according to TechCrunch. We have reached out to WhatsApp for more details. The feature was rolled out in Brazil, Italy, Irela...
Tags: Travel, Facebook, News, India, US, Whatsapp, Misinformation, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Fake News, Disinformation, Brazil Italy Ireland Mexico Spain UK


India imposes restrictions on import of TVs

India has imposed restrictions on import of colour televisions (which effectively means all consumer TVs), presumably in a bid to encourage domestic production. In a notification issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade on July 31, imports of colour TVs in certain categories will now require a licence from the government, as the directorate revised the import policy for these items from “free” to “restricted”. The directorate said it will separately issue the procedure for the grant of...
Tags: Travel, News, China, India, Economic Times, Colour TVs


Digitised credits to AI: Tech-related provisions in National Education Policy 2020

The National Education Policy 2020, which was released on July 29, had a number of tech-related proposals, including promoting artificial intelligence, starting from including it in the education curriculum, to making funds available for research in the area. The policy also proposed to create an Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) to digitally store academic credits earned by students from various recognised institutes of higher education, so that these institutes can award degrees to students after ...
Tags: Travel, News, India, Digital, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Ai, Education Ministry, HEI, National Research Foundation, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, National Education Policy 2020, Academic Bank of Credit ABC, National Educational Alliance for Technology, SWAYAM, General Education Council GEC


Amazon targeted sellers, investees, AWS clients with anti-competitive practices: 9 key takeaways from Bezos’s deposition before the antitrust subcommittee

On questioning by Representative Joe Neguse (D-CO), who is also the vice-chair of the subcommittee on antritrust, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos conceded that Amazon accounts for 40% of “online retail sales in the e-commerce market stream”. In his prepared testimony, Bezos had said, “Amazon accounts for less than 1% of the $25 trillion global retail market and less than 4% of retail in the US”, characterising retail as everything — including restaurants, bars, gas stations, Neguse pointed out...
Tags: Travel, Google, Amazon, News, Congress, China, India, US, Competition, Netflix, House, New York Times, Antitrust, Aws, Jeff Bezos, Johnson


Microsoft-TikTok: On Global ambitions, Geopolitics, IPO plans, Big Tech and the splinternet

It’s official: Microsoft is in talks to buy the TikTok business from ByteDance in four countries: the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. This comes a day after US President Donald Trump told reporters on-board Air Force One that “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States”. President Trump was not in favor of a US company buying Tiktok, but and was considering an executive order to ban it. However, as per Microsoft’s statement (reproduced in full belo...
Tags: Travel, Facebook, UK, News, Supreme Court, Microsoft, China, India, Satya Nadella, US, Social Media, Linkedin, Eu, Bloomberg, United States, United Kingdom


Jio data traffic grows 30.2% YoY in Q1 2021, ARPU at Rs 140

In the June quarter, when nationwide lockdowns were at their strictest, Jio’s data traffic grew to 14,200 petabytes, up 10.6% from the March quarter. This is in line with Airtel’s data increase, which grew by 8.6%. The company posted a net profit of Rs 2,520 crore, up 183% YoY and only 8.1% QoQ, on account of the pandemic. Revenue stood at Rs 19,513 crore, a 4.7% QoQ increase and a 33.7% YoY increase. Unlike Airtel and Vodafone Idea, Jio’s AGR dues are paid off, and this gives it a significant a...
Tags: Travel, News, India, Telecom, Earnings, Airtel, Arpu, EBITDA, Reliance Industries, Jio, Mukesh Ambani, AGR, Jio Platforms, Earnings Jun20, Vodafone Idea Jio, Rajan Mathews Google


Facebook signs deals with labels for music videos: Report

In a significant development for Facebook’s music business, the company has just signed music video deals with Warner, Sony and Universal, the three largest labels in the world, Bloomberg reports. Earlier this month, the company wrote to artists saying that their music videos would be automatically added to their pages, and if they chose not to do so, the company would set a page for those videos on its own. The deal with the big three labels seems to pave the way for the social media company to...
Tags: Travel, Facebook, Spotify, Music, News, Instagram, India, Bloomberg, Warner Music Group, Sony Music, Universal Music Group, Saregama, Facebook Watch, In India Facebook, Zee Music, Warner Sony


Delhi High Court issues dynamic John Doe blocking order for Disney pirate sites

The Delhi High Court on Monday issued a dynamic John Doe blocking order for websites that Disney says are distributing their content illegally, India Legal reported. The court ordered ISPs to block websites like KissCartoon, KissAnime, and GoGoAnime, which have been showing Disney shows on their website. The single-judge bench of Rajiv Shakdhar ordered that although there had been a procedural error in not including the Union of India on top of the Department of Telecommunications and the Minist...
Tags: Travel, News, India, Censorship, Disney, Piracy, Bombay, Delhi High Court, John Doe, UTV, Department of Telecommunications, Union of India, John Doe Order, Ministry of Electronics Information Technology, Rajiv Shakdhar, Saikrishna Associates


‘Couple of years’ before 5G has any significance in India, says Airtel’s Gopal Vittal

“ We have always maintained that the price of the spectrum on 5G as has been indicated is very expensive and we won’t be able to afford it at those levels,” Bharti Airtel India & South Asia CEO Gopal Vittal told investors on Thursday, adding that 5G is still a nascent technology and ecosystem, and that it would be quite some time before it has any significance in India. “The fundamental issue really is that at these levels of ARPU — 5G offers higher speeds and lower latency. If you have more spe...
Tags: Travel, Verizon, News, Supreme Court, India, Earnings, Airtel, Arpu, Kohli, Jio, Gopal Vittal, Vittal, AGR, IVRS, Badal Bagri, COVID


The 2006 email that changed India (or, rather, will change India in the coming years)

In 2005 I had completely ended my India political project. Just finishing up a book, later to be called BFN. But then Anil Sharma comes out of the blue – wanting to establish a liberal political party in India.  Meghnad Desai connected him to Gurcharan Das and Gurcharan connected him to me on  7 February […]
Tags: Travel, India, Swarna Bharat Party, Anil Sharma, Gurcharan Das, Gurcharan, Meghnad Desai


Minutes of my first attempt to form a liberal party in India – January 2000

Found this finally in my old emails – the preliminary minutes that I had drafted of a meeting held on 27 January 2000 at Centre for Civil Society in which the idea of a liberal political party for India was discussed.  I had convened this meeeting which Parth Shah had kindly helped organise. I now […]
Tags: Travel, India, About Me, Parth Shah, Centre for Civil Society


Kashmir’s students struggle with online classes, as internet shutdown in region approaches one year mark

This is the first in a series of articles chronicling the impact of the nearly year-long disruption in internet services in the Kashmir region, one of the longest in the world. Part one looks at how education has been affected. Farmann Shabir was engaged in vigorous preparation for his class 10th board examination—supposed to be held in two months—when panic gripped Kashmir after a sudden increase in the deployment of forces on July 27. But Shabir chose to focus on his studies. The 17-year-old...
Tags: Travel, News, India, Kashmir, Mir, Jammu, Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, Shabir, Internet shutdowns, south Kashmir, Awantipora, Article 370, Farmann Shabir, Southern Kashmir, Kashmir Board of School Education


Singapore-based Volopay wants to be the “Brex of Southeast Asia”

Volopay founders Rajith Shaji and Rajesh Raikwar Small- to medium-sized companies that do a lot of international business have to deal with two big headaches: high foreign exchange fees and corporate expense tracking. Volopay, a Singapore-based financial tech startup with offices in Bangalore, wants to help by integrating prepaid multi-currency corporate cards, expense tracking and accounting tools into one free-to-use platform. Volopay is currently taking part in Y Combinator and is also ...
Tags: Travel, Startups, TC, Asia, Hong Kong, Enterprise, Indonesia, Australia, Finance, Southeast Asia, Singapore, India, Fintech, Mastercard, Bangalore, Moneysmart


‘Won’t share Indians’ data with any country even if requested’: TikTok

Popular short video app TikTok has not shared Indian users’ data with any foreign government, nor has it used it to compromise the integrity of India, the company’s India head Nikhil Gandhi said in a blog post on July 29. “Even if we are requested [by a foreign government] to [share Indians’ data] in the future, we would not do so”, he claimed. TikTok was among the 59 ‘Chinese’ apps that were banned in India, in June, over concerns of national security, and privacy. The ban had come amid heighte...
Tags: Travel, News, Congress, China, India, Committee, Ministry of Home Affairs, Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor, MHA, Medianama, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, IT Ministry, Tiktok, Section 69A, Nikhil Gandhi


Event Changes: Governance of Non-Personal Data; Aug 6 AND 7, 2020 #Ad

We’ve expanded our online round table discussion on Non Personal Data to two days – to be held on the 6th AND the 7th of August, 2020. You can apply to attend here. We made this decision in discussion with our partners, the Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University, Delhi. We felt that the report is fairly detailed and each segment deserves a dedicated amount of time to unpack. Since the online format is not conducive to a full day discussion, we decided to split the session...
Tags: Travel, News, India, Ad, NPD, Medianama, NAMA announcements, Non Personal Data Authority


A complete guide to OTT content regulation in India

As the streaming video industry and the government hold discussions on regulation streaming services like Netflix and Hotstar in India, here’s a complete guide to OTT regulation in India. The Digital Content Complaints Committee IAMAI’s new code for online content streaming sets up a self-regulatory body, incorporates penalties [read] Self Regulation for Online Curated Content Providers, IAMAI [ ] Streaming players ask IAMAI to recall streaming content code, question legitimacy; IAMAI resp...
Tags: Travel, Amazon, Asia, Hollywood, News, Supreme Court, John Oliver, India, BJP, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Cbs, Kashmir, Asean, Karnataka, Ji


5 Safest and Best Rated Taxi Services in Kerala During the Lockdown

Known to the rest of the world as God’s Own Country, Kerala boasts of an expansive coastline on the South-western side of the Malabar Coast. Its exotic backwaters and rich heritage undoubtedly make Kerala a dreamy escape for travelers across the world. Its scenic beauty along with the umpteen number of activities to indulge in make it hard to not fall in love with this slice of paradise on earth. With some of the best places in Kerala scattered around, one of the ideal ways to get aroun...
Tags: Travel, Google, India, Avis, Kerala, Kochi, Kottayam, Thrissur, R Niranjan Das, Niranjan Das, Savaari, Kerala Taxis, Avis India AVIS India, Le Cabz Le Cabz, Le Cabz


HT Media acquires business news platform VCCircle

HT Media has acquired Mosaic Media Ventures, the company which operates business news platform VCCircle and tech news platform TechCircle, according to a on Wednesday. HT Media said that this was a “strategic acquisition”. As part of the deal, HT Media will invest upto Rs 6 crore, and an additional “revenue linked milestones payment” of upto Rs 1 Crore on deferred basis, to acquire 100% of paid- up share capital of Mosaic Media. The acquisition will be completed by the end of August, the compa...
Tags: Travel, News, India, Hindustan Times, Acquisitions, Fdi, Sanjiv Goenka, Nikhil, NewsCorp, HT Media, VCCircle, Editorji, Mosaic Media Ventures, America s News Corporation, Mosaic Media


‘The world needs large companies as well’: Jeff Bezos in his prepared congressional testimony

In his first ever appearance before the US Congress, Amazon’s CEO will make a pitch that the world needs big companies like Amazon, as much as it needs smaller ones. “There are things small companies simply can’t do. I don’t care how good an entrepreneur you are, you’re not going to build an all-fiber Boeing 787 in your garage,” Bezos plans to tell a House Judiciary panel Wednesday, according to written testimony. In a prepared testimony, Bezos also argues that Amazon is just another company in ...
Tags: Travel, Apple, Google, Amazon, Mark Zuckerberg, News, China, India, US, Walmart, Eu, Competition, Antitrust, Jeff Bezos, Boeing, Wall Street Journal


Sundar Pichai to downplay competition concerns in US Big Tech antitrust testimony

In an antitrust hearing in the US on Wednesday, Google and its parent company Alphabet’s CEO Sundar Pichai will downplay concerns on the internet giant’s market dominance, his prepared remarks show. “Google operates in highly competitive and dynamic global markets, in which prices are free or falling, and products are constantly improving. Today’s competitive landscape looks nothing like it did 5 years ago, let alone 21 years ago, when Google launched its first product, Google Search,” Pichai wi...
Tags: Travel, Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, News, India, US, Competition, House Of Representatives, Tim Cook, Antitrust, Jeff Bezos, Sundar Pichai, Alexa


Toppr raises $46 million to scale its online learning platform in India

Toppr, one of the largest online learning startups in India, has secured $46 million in a new financing round as it looks to scale its platform including a new product. Dubai-headquartered investment firm Foundation Holdings led the Mumbai-based seven-year-old startup’s Series D round. Kaizen Private Equity, an existing investor, also participated in the new round, which brings Toppr’s to-date raise to over $92 million. Toppr operates four products and services that are aimed at K-12 students. L...
Tags: Travel, Apps, Asia, Education, India, Funding, Dubai, Mumbai, Bond, Mary Meeker, Online Learning, Vedantu, Zishaan Hayath, Byju's, Unacademy, Toppr


COVID-19: Swiggy lays off another 350 employees

Just two months after online food delivery platform Swiggy laid off 1,100 employees owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has now laid off another 350 people, as part of what it called is a “final realignment exercise”. It said that the industry has only recovered to about 50% of its peak, however, this new round of lay offs will also be its final, with no further plans of restructuring, the company said in a statement on July 27. Entrackr first reported the development. Affected employees...
Tags: Travel, News, India, Zomato, Swiggy, Online Food Delivery, Coronavirus, COVID, Ecommerce and COVID-19, July Zomato


Parliamentary Committee focusses on exemptions for govt agency under Data Protection Bill

After a four-month-long pandemic-induced hiatus and a false start, the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Personal Data Protection Bill convened on July 27. The two-and-a-half-hour meeting, that saw attendance from 18 of the 30 MPs, largely focussed on Sections 35 and 36 of the Bill, the ones that allow the central government to exempt any government agency from any or all provisions of the Bill, four sources, on the condition of anonymity, who were present at the meeting told MediaNama. The n...
Tags: Travel, News, Privacy, Congress, India, BJP, US, European Union, Surveillance, European Commission, Npr, Bill, Committee, Bengaluru, Shiv Sena, Rajya Sabha


Emails reveal how the government finalised exemptions for deploying drones for COVID-19

Email conversations and notings between the Civil Aviation Ministry and the DGCA, the civil aviation regulator, obtained from , revealed that rules for exempting drones to be used for COVID-19 surveillance were finalised and published in less than three weeks. A platform to obtain these conditional exemptions, called GARUD, was made ready by NIC following beta testing in less than two weeks, the RTI showed. The emails also revealed that an effort was made to not make the drone operations “too r...
Tags: Travel, News, Privacy, India, NIC, Surveillance, Drones, Delhi, Mumbai, Kerala, Modi, Ministry, Amritsar, Telangana, Varanasi, RTI


Hong Kong-based EMQ raises $20 million for its cross-border financial settlement tech

Cross-border financial transactions are a major headache for individuals and large companies alike, who often have to deal with long wait times and high fees in order to send money to recipients in other countries. EMQ, a Hong Kong-based startup that develops network infrastructure to make international payments faster, announced today that it has raised a $20 million Series B led by WI Harper Group. EMQ’s technology is integrated by clients, including online banks digital wallets, e-commerce...
Tags: Travel, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Asia, SparkLabs, Hong Kong, Japan, China, India, Taiwan, Canada, Fintech, Juniper Research, Liu, Financial Supervisory Commission


Bombay Flying Club becomes India’s first DGCA approved drone training school

In a first, India’s civil aviation regulator, the Director-General of Civil Aviation has the Bombay Flying Club (BFC) as a drone training school. The approval order is dated July 24, and was made public on Monday. According to a letter by the DGCA to BFC, dated July 20, the organisation’s status as a drone training school will be valid for a period of one year from the date of issue of the letter, or until the Digital Sky Platform goes live, whichever is earlier. The Bombay Flying Club is a DG...
Tags: Travel, News, India, Drones, Mumbai, Bfc, Patel, DFI, DGCA, Bombay Flying Club, Civil Aviation, Civil Aviation DGCA, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Digital Sky Platform, Ministry of Civil Aviation MoCA, Drone Federation of India


Year of Living Dangerously Technology key to post-COVID recovery for Indian hotels

Technology will play a key role in the long road to recovery from the COVID crisis for India's hospitality industry, according to a comprehensive new report, Indian Hospitality at Tech Tipping Point, produced by RMS Cloud.The report reveals hotels using cloud-based property and revenue management technology have been out-performing the market for many years - a trend RMS founder Peter Buttigieg believes will accelerate post-COVID."There is no question technology will be key to the rebound...
Tags: Travel, India, Buttigieg, Peter Buttigieg


My next TOI blog post: Explaining India’s extraordinarily low death rate from Covid-19

This. There were a few typos in the original version I sent to TOI. I’ve requested them to fix the typos. The corrected version is available here.
Tags: Travel, India



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