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Airing of Indian TV channels resumes in Nepal

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NewsGram Staff Writer

Kathmandu: At a time when India welcomed the move initiated by the three political majors in Nepal to hold talks with Madhesi and Tharu parties, the Nepal government on Tuesday show caused the cable operators for blacking out Indian channels. The Nepal government has directed the operators to continue airing Indian TV channels.  The Madhesi and Tharu parties are protesting against the country’s new constitution.

“We welcome the recent steps that have been taken to begin a dialogue, because that is the only way (to find a solution),” Indian ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae told at a program held in Kathmandu on Tuesday.

India has maintained that that protests against demarcation of states in the statute by Madhesis and Tharus in Nepal’s southern plains bordering India is a political crisis that can be sorted out through talks.

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The month-long protest in Nepal claimed forty four lives. The protest affected supply of goods to the neighbouring country with Indian transporters expressing reluctance to ply amidst intensified demonstration on highways and custom points in the Indo-Nepal border. Irked with the situation, cable operators blacked out India channels as a mark of protest. India has clamped an ‘economic blockade’, they alleged. However, a minor Maoist faction in the Himalayan nation had threatened to ban Indian films, TV channels and Indian vehicles in Nepal because of India’s ‘unofficial embargo’ on entry of goods.

(With inputs from HT)

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Nepal Restaurant Replaces Its Waiters With Robots

Paaila Technology has spent around 15 million Nepali rupees ($134,568) on research and development in the last few years.

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A newly-launched restaurant in the capital of Nepal is using robots as waiters under the slogan, “where food meets technology”.

The Naulo Restaurant (“naulo” means new in Nepali) operates with the help of five robots, three named Ginger and two named Ferry, designed and manufactured by Paaila Technology, a Nepali company established by six young engineers, specializing in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) technology, Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

“Naulo is the first digitalized robotic restaurant not just in Nepal, but also in South Asia. We believe that our robot is one of the most advanced service robots in the world which is user friendly and very easy to operate,” Binay Raut, CEO of Paaila Technology and Naulo Restaurant, told Xinhua.

The restaurant has a menu implanted in digital screens on tables from where orders can be placed directly to the kitchen. After the dishes are ready, the robots collect them from the kitchen counter and serve the customers.

This is the first time in the Himalayan country that a restaurant has used “Made in Nepal” robots as servers.

Robot waiter
The restaurant has a menu implanted in digital screens on tables. Flickr

Raut, 27, who completed engineering studies in India and the UK, said: “We travelled to different countries including China and Japan to learn about the design, framework and operation of robots before launching it in Nepal. Now, our target is to introduce this Nepali innovation in the international market.”

Robot Ginger is powered with swarm intelligence, speech recognition, natural language processing, auto-dock ability, among others. The robot also cracks jokes and answers basic IQ questions in both English and Nepali.

Paaila Technology entered the hospitality sector after the operation of its first humanoid robot named Pari stationed in a branch of Nepal SBI Bank.

Also Read: Children Get a New Reading Companion in This New Robot

Pari has been deployed in the digital branch of the bank known as inTouch branch, which functions as a source of information and guides customers. The robot started work by greeting customers with “Good afternoon. Welcome to Nepal SBI InTouch”.

Paaila Technology has spent around 15 million Nepali rupees ($134,568) on research and development in the last few years.

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