Wednesday May 23, 2018

Thousands take holy dip in Godavari

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Khammam/Rajahmundry: Tens of thousands thronged the banks of the Godavari in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to take a holy dip on Saturday, the last day of Godavari maha pushkaralu, a de facto Kumbh mela. Amrit Nectar of Immortality

People queued up at the ghats along the river as the 12-day event is set to conclude.

Authorities have taken extra measures for the safety of the pilgrims in view of the massive rush on the last day.

The administration is on high alert in Rajahmundry in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh where 27 pilgrims were killed in a stampede on the first day of the festival on July 14.

Policemen, firefighters and expert divers have been deployed at Pushkar Ghat, where the stampede had occurred and five other ghats in Rajahmundry.

In Telangana, the authorities were on high alert in view of the rise in water level. Additional precautionary measures were taken in temple towns of Bhadrachalam, Dharampuri and Kaleshwaram.

Pilgrims were cautioned against crossing the barricades at the ghats.

Officials claimed that nearly 10 crore people have so far taken the dip.

While 5.12 crore people took a dip in the river in the five districts of Telangana till Friday, this number crossed 4.50 crore in East Godavari and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh on Saturday morning.

More than one crore people are expected to participate in the event in the two states on the last day.

The festival will end on Saturday evening with rituals including ‘pushkar jyothi’ and grand ‘arathi’ at various pilgrim centers.

Though pushkaralu take place once in 12 years, this time it is considered very auspicious. Priests say such an event comes once in 144 years.

People from across the country took the holy dip in the Godavari, known as the southern Ganga. Naga Sadhus had ‘shahi snan’ or royal bath in the temple town of Bhadrachalam in Khammam district of Telangana.

While Telangana constructed 106 bathing ghats in five districts, Andhra made elaborate arrangements for the pilgrims at 280 ghats in the two districts.

The chief ministers of the two states had flagged off the festival by taking the dip along with their family members in their respective states on July 14.

In Rajahmundry, the event began on a tragic note as minutes after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N.Chandrababu Naidu took the dip at Pushkar ghat, a stampede broke out killing two pilgrims.

Shaken by the tragedy, Naidu decided to camp in the town for the entire duration of the festival to monitor the proceedings.

The authorities subsequently improved the crowd management and ensured smooth conduct of the festival.

Telangana Chief Minister K.Chandrasekhar Rao also directed his cabinet colleagues and top officials to stay in the towns assigned to them till the last pilgrim takes the dip.

(IANS)

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Microsoft takes ‘Project Sangam’ to Middle East and Africa

"Project Sangam" was commenced from Andhra Pradesh

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Microsoft. (Wikimedia commons)

In a bid to bridge the widening skill gap, Microsoft on Monday announced expansion of the capabilities of its Cloud-powered “Project Sangam” to the Middle East and Africa.

Launched in India by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella last year, “Project Sangam” is a Cloud-hosted platform that leverages Azure services and professional networking platform LinkedIn to support new entrants to the job market, enabling key stakeholders across the skilling ecosystem find the right talent.

Microsoft to pay $250,000 to help them catch chip bugs. Wikimedia Commons
Microsoft’s Sangam is a cloud-based platform. Wikimedia Commons

“Lack of skilled resources is one of the key issues that governments across the world are facing. There is an enormous scope for technology to come in to address the skill gap that exists in the workforce today,” Anil Bhansali, Corporate Vice President, Cloud & Enterprise, said in a statement.

Nadella launched “Project Sangam” to help the Indian government not only train but also assist people get jobs via LinkedIn that was acquired by the company for $26.2 billion in an all-cash deal in 2016. “Project Sangam” was commenced from Andhra Pradesh.

Also Read: Microsoft brings enhanced security features to Office 365

“‘Sangam’ is the first project that wields the combined strength of LinkedIn and Microsoft to tackle the challenge of how to provide every person the opportunity to skill themselves,” added Bhansali who is also Managing Director of Microsoft India (R&D) Private Limited. As part of the expansion, Microsoft South Africa and the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) have launched “Thint’iMillion”, an online mass learning system.

Microsoft Kaizala
The project was first launched in Andhra Pradesh. VOA

Part of the “Tshepo 1Million Digital Mass” learning programme, the “Thint’iMillion” programme will be deployed on “Project Sangam”, allowing young people to access content via an on-phone app (Android only), tablet mode (Windows and Android) as well as an interactive web portal. IANS