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Google Doodle Celebrates Jnanpith Award-Winning Poet Mahadevi Varma

Google celebrates Jnanpith awardee Mahadevi Varma

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The new feature is expected to reach to Android and iOS devices in a week's time in all the languages supported by the Google Assistant.
The new feature is expected to reach to Android and iOS devices in a week's time in all the languages supported by the Google Assistant. Pixabay
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Google on Friday celebrated freedom fighter, women’s rights activist, Hindi poet and Jnanpith awardee Mahadevi Varma with a doodle.

On this date, in 1982, the Bharatiya Jnanpith honoured her with the prestigious award for her “outstanding contribution towards literature”.

Guest artist Sonali Zohra has designed the doodle that shows the transformative poet busy penning her thoughts into beautiful verses under a tree by the field on a breezy afternoon.

Often referred to as ‘modern Meera’ for ushering in the era of romanticism in Hindi literature, Varma was born on March 26, 1907, in Farukhabad in Uttar Pradesh into an orthodox family.

Married at the tender age of nine in 1916, Varma remained at her parental home to continue her education at Crossthwaite Girls’ School in Allahabad.

Mahadevi Varma
Mahadevi Varma (Wikimedia Commons)

The spirit of a writer was kindled by Varma’s mother who inspired her daughter to write in Sanskrit and Hindi, according to Google.

She penned her first verses in secret, while pursuing a master degree in Sanskrit. However, her roommate and friend, Subhadra Kumari Chauhan (a well-known poet) discovered her talent soon.

Varma is revered as one of the foundational poets of the Chhayavad movement in Hindi literature, the Google blog said. Her poignant poetry and essays, mostly centred around her feminist outlook.

In her biography “Mere Bachpan Ke Din” (My Childhood Days), Varma wrote that at a time when a girl child was considered a burden upon the family, she was very fortunate to be born into a liberal family.

Also Read: Google’s ‘Chat’ service a gift to cybercriminals: Amnesty

Her works appeared in magazines and books. Her collection of short stories “Sketches from My Past” portrays those women whom she encountered as the principal of an all-girls school.

Though a firm supporter of women’s rights, Varma also explored the topics of tradition and the past with great fondness, it added.

Varma was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 1956, Sahitya Akademi Fellowship in 1979, and Padma Vibhushan in 1988. She passed away on September 11, 1987.  IANS

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Tech Giants to join Data Transfer Project (DTP) To Help Users Manage Data

The Data Transfer Project uses services' existing APIs and authorisation mechanisms to access data. It then uses service specific adapters to transfer that data into a common format, and then back into the new service's API.

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According to Google, the project will let users "transfer data directly from one service to another, without needing to download and re-upload it". (Wikimedia Commons)

To help billions of users manage their data and help them transfer that into and out of online services without privacy issues, four tech giants — Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter — on Friday announced to join the open source initiative called Data Transfer Project (DTP).

In the early stages at the moment, the Data Transfer Project will help users of one service to use their data to sign up for another service with encryption.

“Using your data from one service when you sign up for another still isn’t as easy as it should be. Today we’re excited to announce that we’re participating in the Data Transfer Project,” said Steve Satterfield, Privacy and Public Policy Director at Facebook in a statement.

The initiative comes at a time when data-sharing is making headlines — be it the massive Cambridge Analytica data scandal or third-party apps accessing users’ data at various platforms — amid countries announcing new data-protection laws like the European General Data Regulation Protection (GDPR).

Moving data between any two services can be complicated because every service is built differently and uses different types of data that may require unique privacy controls and settings.

“For example, you might use an app where you share photos publicly, a social networking app where you share updates with friends, and a fitness app for tracking your workouts,” said Satterfield.

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Moving data between any two services can be complicated because every service is built differently. Pixabay

“These are the kinds of issues the Data Transfer Project will tackle. The Project is in its early stages, and we hope more organisations and experts will get involved,” he added.

The Data Transfer Project uses services’ existing APIs and authorisation mechanisms to access data. It then uses service specific adapters to transfer that data into a common format, and then back into the new service’s API.

According to Google, the project will let users “transfer data directly from one service to another, without needing to download and re-upload it”.

The tech giants also released a white paper on this project.

“The future of portability will need to be more inclusive, flexible, and open. Our hope for this project is that it will enable a connection between any two public-facing product interfaces for importing and exporting data directly,” read the white paper.

According to Damien Kieran, Data Protection Officer at Twitter, right now, much of the online products and services we use do not interact with each other in a coherent and intuitive fashion.

“Information that is housed on one platform cannot be easily and securely transferred to other services. This is not a positive collective experience for the people who use our services and we are keen to work through some of the challenges as an industry,” Twitter said.

Also Read-Google, Facebook Have Been Using “Dark Patterns”: Report

The Data Transfer Project was formed in 2017 to create an open-source, service-to-service data portability platform so that all individuals across the web could easily move their data between online service providers whenever they want. (IANS)