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Maharashtra to get 50 smart villages by 2016-end

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Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday said that he was looking to build 50 smart villages starting with Arinsal by the end of 2016.

We are not only looking at building smart cities but smart villages. Our first such project is the Arinsal village where Microsoft will help us. We are looking to build 50 smart villages by the end of 2016,” Fadnavis told Microsoft India chairman Bhaskar Pramanik in reply to a question during the first of its kind technology conference here.

The Redmond-based technology major is hosting the conference on the ocassion of its 25th anniversary and it aims at bringing together business decision makers and entrepreneurs to envision how technology will empower the lives of a billion plus Indians.

“Arinsal is also called the capital of malnutrition but with an ICT-based smart project we can change this. We are looking to integrate ICT into healthcare, education, energy and other areas,” the chief minister said.

“We want to empower people and we will look for support from Microsoft to enable digitisation of processes, with everything talking to each other at the backend,” he added.

The chief minister also spoke about making Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) smart to provide industrial areas with better efficiency.

Asked by Microsoft India chairman about future plans of easing rules to do business in the state, Fadnavis said he wanted to make Maharashtra the preferred location for investments.

“We are trying to free up more rules. Earlier, nearly 76 permissions were required to set up a new business, and it would take a maximum of three years to get those permissions. But now we have brought down the number of permissions to 37,” Fadnavis said.

“We are trying to bring it down to 25 and bring down the time period to three months. We are also empowering citizens with the newly launched Right to Services Act and are giving new businessmen the right to legal recourse,” Fadnavis added.

Interestingly, Microsoft recently launched three cloud data centres in India and two of them are in the state of Maharashtra.

(IANS)

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WhatsApp and NASSCOM To Come Up With Digital Literacy Training To Curb Fake News

"This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding,"

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The first training will be on March 27 in Delhi and will be followed by more planned interventions like hosting training workshops for representatives from rural and urban areas along with roadshows across numerous colleges. Pixabay

As part of the partnership, WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation will train nearly 1,00,000 Indians to spot false information and provide tips and tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.

The co-created curriculum, which includes real-world anecdote tools that can be used to verify a forwarded message and actions that users can take like reporting problematic content to fact checkers and other law enforcement agencies, will be disseminated in multiple regional languages.

“We are excited to expand our partnerships with civil society to advance crucial digital literacy skills that can help combat misinformation share on WhatsApp,” Abhijit Bose, Head of India, WhatsApp, said in a statement.

“This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding,” he added.

The training will be imparted by volunteers from NASSCOM Foundation who will launch the “each one teach three” campaign that mandates every volunteer to share their learnings with three more persons leading to a network effect.

These volunteers will post their takeaways from the workshops on their social media handles to increase the reach of these safety messages.

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As part of the partnership, WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation will train nearly 1,00,000 Indians to spot false information and provide tips and tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.
Pixabay

The first training will be on March 27 in Delhi and will be followed by more planned interventions like hosting training workshops for representatives from rural and urban areas along with roadshows across numerous colleges.

“The use of technology platforms like WhatsApp are inherently meant to foster social good, harmony, and collaboration, but are sadly being used by a small number of miscreants to entice anger and hatred by spreading false and doctored information,” Ashok Pamidi, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said.

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“This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding,” he added. Pixabay

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“I would like to urge all the connected citizens who want to join this fight against the spread of fake information, to come and help volunteer towards the cause,” Pamidi added.

Aspiring volunteers can register at www.mykartavya.nasscomfoundation.org

NASSCOM Foundation is the social arm of the industry body, National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM). (IANS)