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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 Launching New Photo Back up Options For Users in India

Launched in May 2015, Google Photos is a photo sharing and storage service developed by the search-engine giant that gives users free, unlimited storage for their photos

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The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

Google Photos on Monday launched its “Express” back-up feature for users in India. The feature will be available to a small percentage of Google Photos users on Android.

It allows faster back up at reduced resolutions, making it easier to store pictures even with poor or infrequent Wi-Fi availability, the company wrote in a blog post.

“We learned that over a third of the people using Google Photos in India have some photos that hadn’t been backed up in over a month. We want to make sure that our app meets the unique needs of people wherever they are,” the post said.

Google on an Android device. Pixabay

“You will still have the option to choose from the existing back-up options: Original Quality and High Quality,” the post said.

In addition to “Express”, Google will also introduce a new “Data Cap” option for back up to give users more granular daily controls for using cellular data to back up.

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The company is slowly releasing the “Express” back-up feature for Google Photos in others countries as well, the post added.

Launched in May 2015, Google Photos is a photo sharing and storage service developed by the search-engine giant that gives users free, unlimited storage for their photos. (IANS)