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India has Great Potential to become most Digitised Economy Globally in 7 years, says Bill Gates

Bill Gates, who co-chairs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said automation, cloud services and AI are poised to eliminate manufacturing jobs

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Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Flickr
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New Delhi, November 17, 2016: Noting that India has great potential to become the most digitised economy globally in mere seven years, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has dubbed the government’s demonetisation measure as a “bold move” that will help in deflating the Indian shadow economy.

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“The Prime Minister’s bold move to demonetise high-denomination notes and replace these with new ones with high-security features is an important step to deflate India’s shadow economy,” Gates said while delivering the Niti (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog lecture on ‘Transforming India’ here on Wednesday.

Lauding the Aadhar Card scheme and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna for helping the disadvantaged sections in India to connect to the banking system, Gates said: “India has all the pieces in place for a compelling vision for digital financial inclusion. Aadhar will convert a cumbersome, paper-based account opening process into a 30-second all- digital system.”

The Aadhaar Unique ID system will also create a centralised data repository, he added.

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Speaking of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Gates, who co-chairs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said automation, cloud services and AI are poised to eliminate manufacturing jobs.

Describing this as an opportunity for the Indian Information Technology sector, the Microsoft leader called for India to embrace these new technologies, despite the fears provoked by such rapid transformation.

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Aiming to work with the government on various issues including e-payments, digital health, digital literacy and e-agriculture in India, Gates held a meeting here with IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons
Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?