Monday October 22, 2018
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Climate change accord could make India world leader

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Paris: The successful conclusion of the Climate Change Summit here will offer India an opportunity to position itself as the leader of the developing world. If, however, India does not agree with the rest of the world to consider the outcome to be worthwhile, the possibility of a global deal will quickly collapse.

This was observed at a conference here on the sidelines of COP 21 on Monday evening.

Three NGOS based in Brussels – South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF), Europe India Chamber of Commerce (EICC), and Eurochambres – brought together in the French capital thinkers and policy-makers for the one-day meeting entitled “Reinventing Rio”.

Paul Casaca, executive director of SADF, said the objective of the meeting was to lobby for increased EU-India cooperation and collaboration on a financial, environment and technological level.

“As we are witnessing the 21 Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, we think it is necessary to take this opportunity to assess the strategy intended to guide us through this process and come up with the adjustments that are necessary,” he said.

In particular, the debate addressed a more energy-efficient form of industrialisation and urbanisation and consequently promote renewable energies and green technologies therein.

A speaker said as the energy needs of India continued to grow, it was important that India invested in efficient energy infrastructure in ways that minimised environmental impacts.

Technological and business innovation, scientific cooperation, research, development and deployment of environmentally-friendly technologies and products, open trade, and sound regulatory frameworks were needed to deliver solutions for sustainable growth, said Dr. Rajendra Shende, chairman of TERRE Policy Centre and former director at the UN Environment Programme.

“India needs to see that historic emitters are going to make large contributions and see that they can still continue to emit on the track that they are on in order to sign the agreement,” he said.

Another speaker said India needed financing support, not money per se, but cheaper financing. One reason India’s renewable energy (RE) appeared more expensive than of some other countries is the high cost of capital. Funding for RE projects in the EU was often at half the rate.

It was observed that India was not opposed to signing a legally binding agreement for all countries, but it would only consider the agreement if differential responsibilities played a strong role in the text.

The conclusions and recommendations of the meeting would be highlighted in the COP21 Conference through various channels, noted Sunil Prasad, Secretary General of the Europe India Chamber of Commerce.(ians)

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Amazon To Roll Out 4 New Alexa Built-in Devices Next Month

Echo Dot and Echo Plus will start shipping this month while Echo Sub will be available later this year

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The logo of Amazon, online retailer is seen at the company logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, France. VOA

Four Indian manufacturers on Monday announced to launch new products like portable headsets, smart speakers and set-top boxes with the Amazon Alexa built-in.

The hardware manufacturers are iBall, Sirena Technologies, boAt and MyBox who have integrated Alexa into their products with the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) which enables developers to integrate Alexa directly into their products, bringing the convenience of voice control to any connected device.

All four devices will be available beginning next month, enabling customers to ask questions, play music, control smart home devices and more, the AVS said in a statement.

“Breathe-M” from iBall is a wireless Bluetooth over-ear headset with built-in Mic for just Rs 2,225 while “Vood” by Sirena Technologies is touted as one of the world’s smallest portable smart speakers for Rs 2,699.

“boAt Stone 700A” is a shock and water proof smart speaker for Rs 7,999 and “MyBox” Alexa Kit for the set-top box (STB), paired with a voice remote, costs just Rs 1,999.

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The Alexa Echo Dot devices include the official Saint Louis University logo and are equipped with specific skills to provide information on local events and campus life. VOA

Earlier Alexa built-in devices that were launched in India were Pulse 3 and Plus 3 Max headphones from Motorola for Rs 1,599 and Rs 2,599, respectively and Bose Home Speaker 500, Bose Soundbar 500, and Soundbar 700 for Rs 39,000, Rs 59,000 and Rs 79,000, respectively.

Amazon last month launched a new line-up of Echo devices and an Echo companion device in India.

At Rs 4,499, Echo Dot comes with a new speaker for crisper sound and an updated fabric design.

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Echo Plus with a built-in Zigbee hub, an upgraded speaker and a new design will cost Rs 14,999.

With Echo Sub, you can add rich bass to music playback on Echo devices for Rs 12,999.

Echo Dot and Echo Plus will start shipping this month while Echo Sub will be available later this year. (IANS)

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