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India: Government Aims to Increase Present $2.7 Trillion Economy to $5 Trillion by 2025

The middle class literally wailed when the petrol prices shot up by Rs 2.50 per litre, diesel prices hiked up by Rs 2.30 per litre

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India, Government, Economy
Instead of making US dollar a bench mark of aspirational currency, why not work on making Indian Rupee stronger? PIxabay

The moment after the “bahikhaata” Union Budget was presented on Friday, people took to social media platforms that erupted with angry and perplexed reactions.

“Your folder is sanskaari, symbolising ‘departure from slavery of western thought’, but your aspirations are 3 trillion ‘US DOLLARS’ economy, huh hypocrite!” tweeted a user.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government aims to increase the present $2.7 trillion economy to $5 trillion by 2025.

“Instead of making US dollar a bench mark of aspirational currency, why not work on making Indian Rupee stronger?” another user posted.

India, Government, Economy
The moment after the “bahikhaata” Union Budget was presented on Friday, people took to social media platforms. Pixabay

Another social media user shared the lines from an old song: “Achcha sila diya tune mere pyar ka”.

The middle class literally wailed when the petrol prices shot up by Rs 2.50 per litre, diesel prices hiked up by Rs 2.30 per litre just hours after the union budget was presented.

“This has been one of the poorest budgets for common honest tax payer and middle class. You are bound to lose many supporters,” a user wrote in reply to former finance minister Arun Jaitley’s tweet on the budget.

“Petrol prices, diesel prices higher. What are the benefits for honest tax payers? What is the tax benefit, pension benefit, gratuity amount holding by corporate companies?? You really care for honest people (Salaried)?” another person tweeted.

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The budget also announced that for I-T returns, PAN and Aadhaar cards would be made interchangeable to help tax payers file their returns.

“So ‘PAN and Aadhaar will become interchangeable’ is somehow a tax benefit to middle-class Indians? So, you first introduce a problem, and then increase the problem, make it more complicated, and then reduce it again (but still keep it confusing) – that somehow becomes a benefit?” a user questioned the decision.

“PAN and Aadhaar interchangeable will not help middle class,” another user tweeted.

People also criticised that the issue of unemployment was not addressed seriously.

India, Government, Economy
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government aims to increase the present $2.7 trillion economy to $5 trillion. Pixabay

“Hopeless budget 2019… no help or news for unemployment,” a tweet said.

The millennials, however, had some fun with the budget.

“So, the budget has been declared, still there is no announcement on subsidy for annual subscription of Netflix, Prime and Hotstar. Is this the India we want to live in?” posted a Twitter user.

The funny memes also kept circulating.

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Depicting the “before budget” and “after budget” feelings, a meme showed Prime Minister Narendra Modi first sitting on a rock, and then lying down flat on the rock.

The images and videos of former Congress President Rahul Gandhi looking blank and later dozing off went viral. (IANS)

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Developers Can Now Start Building Hindi Skills for Alexa in India

Right now, Alexa can understand some Hinglish commands but these are few and far between

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Alexa, Amazon, Virtual Assistant
Amazon Echo led the Indian smart speakers market with 59 per cent share in 2018 (Representational image). Pixabay

Amazon on Tuesday announced that developers can now start building Alexa skills for customers in India with the new Hindi voice model available in Alexa Skills Kit (ASK).

Developers would get a headstart and submit skills for certification as the company prepare to offer engaging experiences for Alexa users in one of the most spoken languages in the country, the company said in a statement.

Commercial hardware manufacturers who want to develop Alexa Built-in products for Hindi-speaking customers in India can request early access to the invite-only Alexa Voice Service (AVS) developer preview.

The Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) is a collection of free, self-service APIs and tools that make it fast and easy for developers to create skills, or capabilities, for Alexa.

Amazon last year launched a new category of skill called “Cleo” that enables customers in India help Alexa learn Hindi and other languages. The idea was to improve Alexa’s language model and help her gradually speak in local languages.

Lawsuit, Amazon, Alexa
The lawsuit alleges Amazon of saving ‘voice prints’ of millions of children by unlawfully recording their conversations around Alexa-enabled smart devices. Pixabay

Apart from Hindi, users can respond to Alexa’s English statements in Tamil, Marathi, Kannada, Bengali, Telugu, Gujarati and other regional languages.

Alexa is currently available in over 80 countries and speaks more than 14 language variants.

One can sign up for the first webinar on Hindi skill building scheduled on July 24. Developers in India who have their Hindi-language skill certified for publication in India before July 31 would receive exclusive early bird Alexa merchandise.

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Rohit Prasad, Vice President and Head Scientist for Alexa, told IANS recently that the company is working on infusing regional languages capabilities in Alexa for the Indian market but these are early days.

Right now, Alexa can understand some Hinglish commands but these are few and far between. (IANS)