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After China, Belgium to have “text walking lines”

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'Text walking lane' in Antwerp (June 2015)

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Temporary “text walking lanes” have been allotted to people using their phones in the center of the Belgian city of Antwerp, as a step to avoid accidents due to collision.

The initiative which is being looked upon as a publicity stunt is the brainchild of a smartphone store based in the city. It says that a significant number of mobile phone breakages happen because of “text walking” collisions.

“You probably walk through the streets while texting or sending WhatsApp messages to your friends and don’t really pay attention to your surroundings – only to whatever is happening on your screen,” a spokesman for Mlab, a smartphone laboratory based in Antwerp, was quoted by Yahoo News as saying.

“This causes collisions with poles or other pedestrians. You could, unknowingly, even be endangering your own life while you ‘textwalk’ when you cross the street without looking up.”

As of now, the concept of these lanes has been applied on a temporary basis. Officials, however, say that they’re most likely to be made permanent.

Belgium isn’t the first place to have adopted this idea. Before this, the city authorities of  Chongqing, China, had designated a 30 meter (100 foot) “cellphone lane” in 2014 to tackle the problem of distracted walking.

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Big reforms Led to India becoming the fastest growing major Economy globally: Garg

It also has enormous implications for emerging markets and developing countries

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The RBI building in Mumbai.
The RBI building in Mumbai. Photo credit: AFP/Sajjad Hussain

The major reforms undertaken by the Indian government for raising economic growth and maintaining macroeconomic stability have made the country one of the fastest growing major economies in the world, said Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).

Garg was addressing the Special Event hosted by US-India Strategic Partnership Forum on ‘Indian Economy: Prospect and Challenges’ in Washington D.C on Friday.

Indian economy needs more reforms.
Indian economy needs more reforms.

He said the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) represented an “historic economic and political achievement, unprecedented in Indian tax and economic reforms, which has rekindled optimism on structural reforms.” He further emphasized that India carried-out such major reforms when the global economy was slow.

“With the cyclical recovery in global growth amid supportive monetary conditions and the transient impact of the major structural reforms over, India will continue to perform robustly,” Garg said.

During his meetings, Garg highlighted that the digital age technologies have profound implications for policies concerning every aspects of the economy. It also has enormous implications for emerging markets and developing countries.

Also Read: Biggest Bank Frauds Which Shook The Indian Economy

He expressed that the response to such a transformation will have to shift from ‘catch up’ growth to adoption/adaption of digital technologies for development and growth.

Garg also informed that India has started adopting policies and programmes for transforming systems of delivery of services using digital technologies and connecting every Indian with digital technologies and access through Aadhaar and other such means.

Indian economy should be on rise.
Indian economy should be on rise. Image: Mapsofindia

While citing the example of expanding mobile data access, he mentioned that India is now the largest consumer of mobile data in the world with 11 gigabytes mobile data consumption per month. He informed that India is investing in digital technologies, encouraging private sector to adapt these technologies and also addressing the taxation related issues by introducing equalisation levy.

Garg is currently on an official tour to Washington D.C. to attend the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and other associated meetings. He is accompanied by Urjit Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India and other senior officials. IANS

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