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New Delhi: There is a sea of people at Jantar Mantar sleeping on the roads and the pavements – an unusual scene, especially at this time of the year with blankets and shawls being the only protection shielding them from the chilling Delhi winter. What makes their condition pitiable is that these people (over 5000 in number) from the Cooch Bihar region of West Bengal have been on hunger strike – without food and water – for the past three days demanding a separate state.
Trains filled with these ethnic bonafide Rajbanshi people flocked to the national capital to press their demand for Cooch Behar within the Union of India, carved out of the 10 districts of West Bengal and Assam. In the past two days, as many as 80 protesters have been claimed to be hospitalized due to weakness resulting from the Bhookh Hartal (hunger strike). One person, in fact, swooned in front of this author, who was at once rushed to the hospital.
Rishikesh, a 20-year-old young farmer, has not eaten since December 8. However, he shows an indomitable spirit towards their “legitimate agitation”.
NewsGram spoke to Nirmal Roy, the President of The Greater Cooch Behar People’s Association, to understand the issue.
Roy tells us that like other princely states, His Highness of Maharaja-ruled Cooch Behar joined the Union of India by signing the instrument of accession with the latter on August 28, 1949. Later, Cooch Behar was placed as ‘C’ Camp State in the Indian Constitution adopted on November 26, 1949.
“But on January 1, 1950, our constitutional Cooch Behar state was amalgamated with the ‘A’ Category state of West Bengal by dint of ‘290 A’ British provincial Act of 1935 by Governor General. But this Act was fully abandoned in 1939 during the World War II by the British and was not in existence in 1950. Therefore, the merger of Cooch Behar ‘C’ camp state with the ‘A’ category state of West Bengal was completely illegal and unconstitutional.
“Since that time we have been forced to live in extreme poverty and denied basic necessities as we have no Constitutional identity,” Roy tells NewsGram.
Roy claims five districts of Cooch Behar, namely South Dinajpur, North Dinajpur, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Bihar were merged with West Bengal while other five districts – Kokrajhar, Chirang, Bongaigaon, Dhubri, and Goalpara – went with Assam.
Roy’s organization was formed in 1998 and the agitation has been going on since 2000 in this regard. It is, therefore, not their first hunger strike at Jantar Mantar, the officially designated place for protests in the national capital. They first dug their heels in here on August 28, 2006. However, the then UPA government did not pay heed to their demands. Therefore, they decided to step up the agitation in 2011, at Jantar Mantar, where after 20 days of hunger strike by thousands of people, as claimed by Roy, the government opened their doors for dialogue.
Despite repeated assurances by the then Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Cooch Behar did not become a reality. On the other hand, the UPA yielded to incessant pressure exerted on them and formed the state of Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh.
There had been a series of communication between the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s office and the group. However, the demand remained unfulfilled.
They were back at Jantar Mantar again on March 10 this year demanding special attention in regard to Cooch Behar’s developmental needs as promised by the then Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. After two days of protest, the strike was called off following Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s assurances to “look into the matter”.
“After three months when we communicated with the Home Minister, he informed us that a letter was dispatched to Prime Minister Modi in reference to the formation of Cooch Behar, adding that the final decision in this regard will be taken by the Union Cabinet.”
However, their repeated attempts to secure a meeting with PM Modi have been to no avail thus far, Roy rues.
As robots evolve to do more work around us, the UK-based humanoid robot manufacturer Engineered Arts has infused more human-like facial expressions into one of its robots, which may leave you with an eerie feeling.
In a video posted on YouTube, the robot called 'Ameca' displays various human expressions, like appearing to "wake up" from sleep, as its face shows confusion and frustration when it opens its eyes.
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Once awake, 'Ameca' starts looking at its hands and arms, opens its mouth and raises its eyebrows, just like a human does.
At the end of the video, Ameca smiles and holds a welcoming hand out towards the viewer.
According to Engineered Arts, the humanoid bot is currently unable to walk and it is working towards giving it the ability in the near future.
"Designed specifically as a platform for development into future robotics technologies, 'Ameca' is the perfect humanoid robot platform for human-robot interaction," says the company.
The 'Ameca' hardware is a development based on its own research into humanoid robotics and built on its advanced 'Mesmer' technology.
Ameca' on display at the CES 2022 conference in Las Vegas in the US in January.Unsplash
Also read: NASA humanoid robot dances to technology
Engineered Arts is slated to put 'Ameca' on display at the CES 2022 conference in Las Vegas in the US in January.
"Human-like Artificial Intelligence needs a human-like artificial body. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning systems can be tested and developed on Ameca alongside our powerful 'Tritium' robot operating system," the company posted on its website. (IANS/PR)
(Keywords: Humanoid Robot, Ameca, Technology)
Microsoft has disrupted the activities of a China-based hacking group, gaining control of the malicious websites the group used to attack organisations in the US and 28 other countries around the world.
The Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) said in a statement that a federal court in Virginia granted its request to seize websites of the hacking group called 'Nickel', enabling the company to cut off Nickel's access to its victims and prevent the websites from being used to execute attacks.
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"We believe these attacks were largely being used for intelligence gathering from government agencies, think tanks and human rights organisations," said Tom Burt, Corporate Vice President, Customer Security and Trust at Microsoft.
Obtaining control of the malicious websites and redirecting traffic from those sites to Microsoft's secure servers will help the company protect existing and future victims while learning more about Nickel's activities.
Also Read : Fortnite : A Gold Mine for Hackers
"Our disruption will not prevent Nickel from continuing other hacking activities, but we do believe we have removed a key piece of the infrastructure the group has been relying on for this latest wave of attacks," Burt said late on Monday.
To date, in 24 lawsuits - five against nation-state actors -- Microsoft has taken down more than 10,000 malicious websites used by cybercriminals and nearly 600 sites used by nation-state actors.
"We have also successfully blocked the registration of 600,000 sites to get ahead of criminal actors that planned to use them maliciously in the future," the tech giant informed.
"We believe these attacks were largely being used for intelligence gathering from government agencies, think tanks and human rights organisations."Unsplash
In some observed activity, Nickel malware used exploits targeting unpatched on-premises Exchange Server and SharePoint systems.
"However, we have not observed any new vulnerabilities in Microsoft products as part of these attacks. Microsoft has created unique signatures to detect and protect from known Nickel activity through our security products, like Microsoft 365 Defender," the company noted.
Nickel has targeted organisations in both the private and public sectors, including diplomatic organisations and ministries of foreign affairs in North America, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : hacking, China, Microsoft, website, victim, intelligence, attack, malicious, traffic, server, company, disruption, lawsuits, cybercriminals, vulnerability.)
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Chip manufacturer MediaTek on Monday announced that it is focused on making 2022 a year aimed at rapid growth, business success, substantial expansion in Research and Development capabilities.
MediaTek's plans to boost technology democratisation and enable access to disruptive connectivity with its range of mainstream to flagship 5G chips.
"We at MediaTek are focused on making 2022 a year aimed at rapid growth, business success, and substantial expansion in our R&D capabilities. For 2022, we are focused on further strengthening our presence in India, offering incredible experiences to customers, and supporting the country's technology initiatives with our expertise and collaboration with leading OEMs," Anku Jain, Managing Director, MediaTek India said in a statement.
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In the flagship segment, MediaTek recently announced the Dimensity 9000 chip, which is a milestone of innovation and a rise to the incredible, built-to-power flagship 5G smartphones in the world, the company claims.
MediaTek Dimensity 9000 features a single Cortex-X2 performance core clocked at 3.05GHz, three Cortex-A710 cores at 2.85GHz and four Cortex-A510 efficiency cores at 1.8GHz.
It packs a 10-core Arm Mali-G710 that takes care of graphics processing, the report said.
The chipset also comes packed with MediaTek's fifth-generation APU with six total cores for AI processing.Unsplash
Also read: Realme Unveils First 5G Smartphone
The chipset also comes packed with MediaTek's fifth-generation APU with six total cores for AI processing.
The chipset can handle screens with up to a 180Hz refresh rate at Full HD+ resolutions. It is also the first chipset to have an 18-bit image signal processor, offering the ability to capture 4K HDR video using up to three cameras at the same time, or still photos using up to a massive 320MP sensor. (IANS/PR)
(Keywords: 5G, smartphones, Mediatek)