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India International Science Fest (IISF) in Delhi to focus on PM Narendra Modi’s call for a “Cashless Society”

The minister informed that over 3,000 students from the villages adopted by MPs will also participate in the fest

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A museum will come up in Chanakyapuri to ceebrate Indian diaspora
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrating Indian diversity via museum. VOA
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New Delhi, Dec 2, 2016: Union Science and Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Friday announced that the upcoming India International Science Fest (IISF) will focus on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a “Cashless Society”.

“All transactions at the fest will be cashless,” the minister said.

The IISF will be held here December 7-11 December here. Israeli Science, Technology and Space Minister Ofir Akunis will pay special visit to the fest, which will be inaugurated by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on December 8.

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Harsh Vardhan added that beside a cashless economy, the theme of this year’s fest would be “science for masses”.

“Emphasis would be to take science to the rural areas,” he saide.The budget of the festival has been increased to Rs 12 crore this year compared to last year’s Rs 4 crore.

The minister informed that over 3,000 students from the villages adopted by MPs will also participate in the fest.

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The fest also sees to break its own world record of maximum number of students performing a scientific experiment. Total 2,500 children will be perform a scientific experiment to break its previous record of 2,000 students. The record was first held by Northern Ireland, with 1300 students performing a scientific experiment.

“We are a government that believes and supports scientific research, including an appropriate balance between fundamental research to support new discoveries and the commercialization of ideas, will lead to provide an ample employment opportunities for India’s sustainable economic growth,” said Harsh Vardhan. (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 not to offer controversial face recognition technology. 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?