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Google Doodle Celebrates Jnanpith Award-Winning Poet Mahadevi Varma

Google celebrates Jnanpith awardee Mahadevi Varma

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Google's new Search feature gives single result to certain queries. Pixabay

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.

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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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EU Fines Google $1.7 bn for Unfair Online Ad Rules

This meant that publishers were prohibited from placing any search adverts from competitors on their search results pages

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The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

The European Union’s antitrust regulators on Wednesday fined Google 1.49 billion euros ($1.7 billion) for abusing its dominance in the online search market by blocking rivals.

Google has abused its market dominance by imposing a number of restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites which prevented Google’s rivals from placing their search adverts on these websites, the European Commission (EC) said in a statement.

“Today the Commission has fined Google 1.49 billion euros for illegal misuse of its dominant position in the market for the brokering of online search adverts,” EC Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

It is the third EU fine for Google in just two years.

“Google has cemented its dominance in online search adverts and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party websites. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules,” Vestager said.

The Commission said the fine which is equivalent to 1.29 per cent of Google’s turnover in 2018 takes account of the duration and gravity of the infringement.

“The misconduct lasted over 10 years and denied other companies the possibility to compete on the merits and to innovate – and consumers the benefits of competition,” Vestager said.

Websites such as newspaper websites, blogs or travel sites aggregators often have a search function embedded.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, California.

When a user searches using this search function, the website delivers both search results and search adverts, which appear alongside the search result.

Through AdSense for Search, Google provides these search adverts to owners of “publisher” websites.

Google is an intermediary, like an advertising broker, between advertisers and website owners that want to profit from the space around their search results pages.

Therefore, AdSense for Search works as an online search advertising intermediation platform.

Also Read- Samsung to Launch its First 5G Smartphone in Market in April

Google was by far the strongest player in online search advertising intermediation in the European Economic Area (EEA), with a market share above 70 per cent from 2006 to 2016.

Google’s provision of online search advertising intermediation services to the most commercially important publishers took place via agreements that were individually negotiated.

The Commission reviewed hundreds of such agreements in the course of its investigation and found that starting in 2006, Google included exclusivity clauses in its contracts.

This meant that publishers were prohibited from placing any search adverts from competitors on their search results pages, the European Commission said. (IANS)