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India-US to sign a high-level Defence Framework Agreement for 10 years

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New Delhi/ Visakhapatnam: India and the US are set to sign a high-level Defence Framework Agreement today, as US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter arrived in India on a three-day visit on Tuesday.

The 10-year agreement that will steer bilateral ties in the defence sector, which was renewed during the visit of US President Barack Obama in January, is set to be signed as Carter is scheduled to meet Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday.

Carter arrived in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday, where he visited the Eastern Naval Command, tasked to maintain Indian presence in the South China sea region and the Strait of Malacca.

A statement from the US embassy said the trip to the Eastern Naval Command showcases the commitment to maritime security, a major component of the defence agreement.

“Carter’s trip to India is part of his focus on the U.S. rebalance to Asia. Specifically, his trip to Visakhapatnam showcased his commitment to maritime security and the need for a regional security architecture that creates transparency and trust among regional partners,” the US embassy statement said.

“In India, this positive momentum is especially tangible as Carter will sign the 2015 U.S.-India Defence Framework Agreement with his counterpart Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, which will help expand the defence relationship between the two countries,” the statement said.

The agreement among other things focuses on intelligence-sharing, maritime security, jet engine technology cooperation among other things. It is expected to have a reference to the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) which focuses on co-developing defence technology.

Carter will also call upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi and meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

At the Eastern Naval Command, the secretary visited INS Sahyadri, the indigenously built stealth frigate.

Carter also interacted with Vice Admiral B.K. Verma, chief of staff, Eastern Naval Command and held discussions on “issues of common interest”, said defence ministry officials.

Carter arrived in Delhi later in the day. This is his first visit to India as defence secretary.

Carter earlier visited India in September 2013 and July 2012 as deputy secretary of defence. He was the main architect of the DTTI and advocated treating India at par with the closest partners of the US in terms of technology transfer, collaborative ventures and expedited approval process for licences. (IANS)

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Google Maps: India Based ‘Two-Wheeler’ Feature Launched to Whole Asia

The new travel mode in Google Maps is seen alongside Drive, Train or Bus and Walk alternatives.

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Google, while announcing this at an event in Thailand, did not elaborate when this option would be available on iOS devices as well as reach Western markets. Pixabay

The “two-wheeler mode” in Google Maps that first arrived in India last December has been extended to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

To be first available for Android users, the motorcycle-specific navigation will help bikers find the most suitable routes in these countries, The Verge reported late on Thursday.

“The goal is for drivers to read through the directions first to help memorise the path before they start navigating, especially since these countries tend to contain roads and alleyways without actual names,” the report said, quoting Krish Vitaldevara, Google Maps’ Head of Product.

Google, while announcing this at an event in Thailand, did not elaborate when this option would be available on iOS devices as well as reach Western markets.

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In December, Google incorporated navigation routes for two-wheelers with Voice Assistant capabilities in its Maps feature in India.

In December, Google incorporated navigation routes for two-wheelers with Voice Assistant capabilities in its Maps feature in India.

The new travel mode in Google Maps is seen alongside Drive, Train or Bus and Walk alternatives.

“The India-first feature is the new “two-wheeler mode” in Google Maps. India is the largest two-wheeler market in the world, and the millions of motorcycle and scooter riders have different navigation needs than drivers of automobiles,” Caesar Sengupta, Vice President, Next Billion Users Team at Google, had said during the launch.

Also Read-Google Rolls out ‘Maps’ Updates Globally

Two-wheeler mode in Maps shows trip routes that use “shortcuts” not accessible to cars and trucks.

It also provides customized traffic and arrival time estimations. (IANS)

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