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Women Drivers on the go : Dantewada’s Tribal Women to now drive E-rickshaws for a living!

The project has been designed keeping in view the safety measures obligatory in the Naxal-prone district

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e rickshaws
51 eco friendly e-rickshaws have begun operations that are run by women (representational image) Pixabay

Chhattisgarh, October 3, 2017: On October 2, Dantewada saw women take to the roads in 51 eco-friendly rickshaws, a new initiative by the Raman Singh-led government to bring power back to the people.

Named Dantewada Advanced Network of Transport Empowered SHG, the initiative seeks support from about 200 self-help groups (SHG) and aims to introduce affordable public transport facility in the interiors of one of the worst hit Naxal regions of the country.

At present, 51 eco-friendly e-rickshaws have begun operations that are run by women from the tribal communities of the region.

Almost brought to shambles under the grip of
the Naxalite activity, the initiative is a first of its kind,
designed by the Dantewada district administration to
revive the crumbling region by providing employment to
women from remote villages in the district.

Apart from empowering women, the move is also aimed at eliminating the physical distances between villages that are cut off from the mainland, thereby allowing quick movement for the villagers.

Additionally, the e-rickshaws will also provide services to aid pregnant women if an ambulance fails to reach on time.

“I am happy and excited to operate an e-rickshaw. Instead of sitting at home, we will also earn some money by operating the service in the village.”
                      – Pushpa Lata, presently learning to drive an e-rickshaw told Times of India

The project has been designed keeping in view the safety measures obligatory in the Naxal-prone district. The e-rickshaws have been equipped with smartphones for communication during emergencies.

The district administration is also undertaking all necessary measures to sustain a smooth functioning of the project. For the same, the selected women from the tribal communities were made to undergo driving lessons and road safety training.

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These women, who are expected to earn Rs. 200-300 on an average daily, belong to the extreme Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in an attempt for income to reach where it is most required.

We’ve started earning slowly and haven’t faced any problem in driving. This is encouraging; things will hopefully be good now.”
                                                               – Driver Sukmati told ANI

The project is estimated to incur a cost of over Rs. 1.70 lakh; 20 per cent of the funding for each rickshaw is to be borne by the SHGs while the rest of the 80 per cent will be upheld by the District Mineral Fund (DMF).

Additionally, ten charging stations have also been planned to set up for easy charging of the vehicles.

The district administration plans to expand the service to other villages in a phased manner.

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Will Robots Take Your Job? 70 Per cent of Americans Say No

A report issued by the education company Pearson, Oxford University, and the Nesta Foundation found that just one in five workers are in occupations that will shrink by 2030

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robots
A robot carries boxes at the Amazon Fulfillment center in Robbinsville Township, N.J (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (VOA)

Washington, October 8, 2017 : Most Americans believe their jobs are safe from the spread of robots and automation, at least during their lifetimes, and only a handful says automation has cost them a job or loss of income.

Still, a survey by the Pew Research Center also found widespread anxiety about the general impact of technological change. Three-quarters of Americans say it is at least “somewhat realistic” that robots and computers will eventually perform most of the jobs currently done by people. Roughly the same proportion worry that such an outcome will have negative consequences, such as worsening inequality.

“The public expects a number of different jobs and occupations to be replaced by technology in the coming decades, but few think their own job is heading in that direction,” Aaron Smith, associate director at the Pew Research Center, said.

The Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. on July 6, 2005, is the author of a 2017 study looking at the spread of automation and robotics in the workplace.
ROBOTS
The Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. on July 6, 2005, is the author of a 2017 study looking at the spread of automation and robotics in the workplace (VOA)

More than half of respondents expect that fast food workers, insurance claims processors and legal clerks will be mostly replaced by robots and computers during their lifetimes. Nearly two-thirds think that most retailers will be fully automated in 20 years, with little or no human interaction between customers and employers.

Americans’ relative optimism about their own jobs might be the more accurate assessment. Many recent expert analyses are finding less dramatic impacts from automation than studies from several years ago that suggested up to half of jobs could be automated.

Skills will need to be updated

A report issued by the education company Pearson, Oxford University, and the Nesta Foundation found that just one in five workers are in occupations that will shrink by 2030.

Many analysts increasingly focus on the impact of automation on specific tasks, rather than entire jobs. A report in January from the consulting firm McKinsey concluded that less than 5 percent of occupations were likely to be entirely automated. But it also found that in 60 percent of occupations, workers could see roughly one-third of their tasks automated.

That suggests workers will need to continually upgrade their skills as existing jobs evolve with new technologies.

Few have lost jobs to automation

Just 6 percent of the respondents to the Pew survey said that they themselves have either lost a job or seen their hours or incomes cut because of automation. Perhaps not surprisingly, they have a much more negative view of technology’s impact on work. Nearly half of those respondents say that technology has actually made it harder for them to advance in their careers.

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Contrary to the stereotype of older workers unable to keep up with new technology, younger workers — aged 18 through 24 — were the most likely to say that the coming of robots and automation had cost them a job or income. Eleven percent of workers in that group said automation had cut their pay or work hours. That’s double the proportion of workers aged 50 through 64 who said the same.

The Pew survey also found widespread skepticism about the benefits of many emerging technologies, with most Americans saying they would not ride in a driverless car. A majority are also not interested in using robots as caregiver for elderly relatives.

Self-driving cars

Thirty percent of respondents said they think self-driving cars would actually cause traffic accidents to increase, and 31 percent said they would stay roughly the same. Just 39 percent said they thought accidents would decline.

More than 80 percent support the idea of requiring self-driving cars to stay in specific lanes.

The survey was conducted in May and had 4,135 respondents, Pew said. (VOA)

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Video creators will not be able to make money until channel reaches 10,000 views: Youtube

he streaming service opened "YouTube Partner Programme" (YPP) to everyone in 2007 that allows anyone to sign up for the service

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Youtube, Pixabay

New York, April 8, 2017: For millions of creators, making videos on YouTube is not just a creative outlet, it is a source of income. Announcing a change to its “YouTube Partner Programme”, video creators will not be able to make money until channel reaches 10,000 views.

The streaming service opened “YouTube Partner Programme” (YPP) to everyone in 2007 that allows anyone to sign up for the service, start uploading videos and immediately begin making money.

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“We will no longer serve ads on YPP videos until the channel reaches 10k lifetime views. This new threshold gives us enough information to determine the validity of a channel.It also allows us to confirm if a channel is following our community guidelines and advertiser policies,” said YouTube in a blog post.

By keeping the threshold to 10k views, we also ensure that there will be minimal impact on our aspiring creators. And, of course, any revenue earned on channels with under 10k views up until today will not be impacted, the post added.

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After a creator hits 10k lifetime views on their channel, the company will review their activity against YouTube policies and if everything looks good, channel will be added to YPP and will begin serving ads against their content.

“We want creators of all sizes to find opportunity on YouTube, and we believe this new application process will help ensure creator revenue continues to grow and end up in the right hands,” the post read. (IANS)

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Let’s go Globetrotting! A decade of strong growth has put more money in pockets of middle-class India

However many Indians chafe about cumbersome visa procedures, particularly for European countries where applying for the Schengen visa requires elaborate documentation

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South Africa. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

New Delhi, August 31, 2016: Indian tourist, Manasi Chadha, 35, spent ten days holidaying in Spain along with six family members this summer. It is the third year in a row that she took an overseas vacation – Portugal and Italy were the earlier stops.

“Travel kind of opens up your thinking as well. You see a lot more instances of people actually venturing out, they share their experiences, so you tend to travel and try them out,” said Chadha, a senior executive with consultancy Accenture in New Delhi.

Richer tourists

A decade of strong growth has put more money in the pockets of middle-class India while the growing numbers of working women like Chadha have added to disposable family incomes. And as budget airlines open up more routes from India, travel has become more affordable leading to a massive spurt in the number of Indians trawling the globe.

By 2020, the United Nations World Tourism Organization estimates the number of Indians heading overseas will grow to 50 million for both business and leisure travel.

To tap the potential of those numbers, foreign tourist boards are ramping up their presence in the country.

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Indian favorites

Spain for example witnessed a three-fold rise in the number of Indian visitors in the last five years, while travelers to Australia and New Zealand nearly doubled.

As it sets out to woo more travelers, the Director of Spain’s Tourism Office in India, Ignacio Ducasse Gutirrez said, “India is positioned as one of our top emerging markets globally.” The European country witnessed a surge of Indian visitors after a blockbuster Bollywood movie “Zindagi Naa Milegi Dobara” was shot in the country showcasing its locales and festivals.

Bollywood has always had a strong influence on Indian travelers, prompting many countries such as Singapore, Ireland, and Australia to woo film producers to shoot films and television soaps in their countries.

Indian tourist tastes are changing

Travel industry professionals say that with higher incomes, travel preferences are also changing from group tours to more luxurious holidays. In New Zealand for example, experiences ranging from helicopter tours to lodge stays are now on the plate of Indian travelers, says Steven Dixon from South and South East Asia Tourism, New Zealand. That includes “adrenaline pumping activities such as jet boating and skydiving, or more luxurious activities such as scenic flights and cruises,” according to Dixon.

And although East Asia still remains a top favorite, time-tested destinations such as Singapore and Thailand or Britain and France in Europe have become passé, as Iîdians with higher incomes head out to more off-beat places. That includes places where few Indians visited earlier, such as Iceland, South America, Uzbekistan, and Croatia.

Wanting a different experience, Mumbai-based management consultant Ajai Mittal and a group of over 50 college alumni chose to go on a cruise of Baltic countries last summer. “It is not as predictable as going to the same places as Paris. There is enough written about them, enough heard about them, these are places which are small and relatively obscure,” said Mittal. He said he would like to explore more such destinations in the future.

However, many Indians chafe about cumbersome visa procedures, particularly for European countries where applying for the Schengen visa requires elaborate documentation. On the other hand, many East Asian countries have liberalized visa rules, allowing Indians to get a visa on arrival, which has helped boost tourism numbers.

Management consultant Ajai Mittal visits St. Petersburg during a cruise of Baltic countries along with more than 50 college alumni. Image source: VOP

Management consultant Ajai Mittal visits St. Petersburg during a cruise of Baltic countries along with more than 50 college alumni.

Indian women love to travel

Still, such woes are not curbing the enthusiasm of travelers, young or old. They include growing numbers of Indian women.

Sumitra Senapaty’s travel club “Women on Wanderlust” organizes all-women holidays to cater to women who want to strike out on their own. From just five trips a decade ago, she now organizes nearly 100 trips a year, with more than half headed overseas.

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She said Indian women travelers have become more evolved and travel for many of them is no longer just a matter of ticking off a destination on one’s passport or visiting the usual hot spots.

In November, she is taking a group of 18 women to Peru, Chile, Argentina and the Galapagos in South America for a holiday that will cost upwards of $12,000. “There is an excitement about it. They look at traveling as not just a holiday, and not just as having fun, but as a way of life. They want to explore new cultures, they want to learn about it,” said Senapaty.

Other travel professionals agree that the Indian middle class is on the move, helping fuel the global travel boom from Asia. (VOA)

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