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BJP Impressing Lingayats Before Polls with Inaugural Events


The BJP has been keen to attract the Lingayat vote bank ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls and has been on a spree of inaugurating statues to project their agenda. Over the past few weeks, Chief Minister, Basavaraj Bommai has made several announcements regarding newly erected statues in various parts of the state. From the northern tip of Belagavi to the southern tip of Chamarajanagar districts, statue politics has become the central focus for the BJP.

One of the most spectacular inaugurations by the CM was the massive 108-foot tall Basavanna statue on the banks of the Ghataprabha River in Belagavi. This project is seen as a potential move to capture the Lingayat vote bank that holds substantial power in 18 Assembly seats of Belagavi district. In addition, another 36-foot tall statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji was erected atop the historical Rajahansgadh fort located thirty kilometers from Belagavi.

CM Bommai also launched a 15-ft tall Basavanna statue in Belagavi South constituency. This was followed by another monumental inauguration of the 65-ft tall Akkamahadevi statue at Udutadi in Shivamogga district. Akkamahadevi is revered by the Lingayat community and was an early female poet of the 12th century. CM Bommai is also planning to inaugurate the 108-foot tall statue of Male Mahadeshwara on March 18th at the famous pilgrimage spot Male Mahadeshwara Hills in Chamarajanagar.

The BJP is increasingly making an effort to appeal to the Lingayat community, as the election season approaches. The hastily organized events have been harshly criticized by the opposition, who see this as an attempt by the ruling party to use statue politics for gaining electoral advantage. BJP’s strategy to target the Lingayat vote bank is likely to come under closer scrutiny in the weeks leading to the declaration of the results.

The BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) is the ruling party in India, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The party was founded in 1980 by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and a group of other senior political leaders and has since become one of the most influential political parties in India. BJP has also been credited for its focus on developing infrastructure, alleviating poverty and withdrawing archaic laws.

Basavaraj Bommai is the Chief Minister of Karnataka, elected in 2019. He has come to be known for his commitment to public service and for his clean image. His policies of providing power, water and education have been highly appreciated by the people of Karnataka. He is also the first CM from Karnataka to take part in the United Nations General Assembly session. Bommai has tries to connect with the citizens of Karnataka through numerous initiatives such as the CM Helpline and has now focussed his attention on appealing to the Lingayat vote bank.

Congress Member Vijaylaxmi Sadho Walks Out in Tears Following Tribal Deaths in Mhow; Question Hour Disrupted


On Friday, the entire Madhya Pradesh Assembly was thrown into chaos during the Question Hour over the death of two tribal persons in Mhow. Congress leader Vijaylaxmi Sadho walked out of the assembly in tears, as she tried to raise the matter. Home Minister Narottam Mishra accused the Opposition of playing politics over the dead bodies.

The tribal woman and the man died due to police firing during a protest. The woman had died earlier this week after which members of her community held a protest outside a police station. It was during this protest, police opened fire killing the tribal man.

After the Question Hour got disrupted, Speaker Gaurish Gautam asked the Home Minister to address the issue. Narottam Mishra said the post-mortem report of the woman suggested that she died of electrocution. He further added that the police had registered a FIR against 13-17 people in the same case.

The opposition wasn’t happy with the minister’s response, but the speaker started conducting the listed business. This made Congress leader Vijaylaxmi Sadho, along with other women members, walk out of the House in tears. Later, she interacted with the media expressing grief over the matter.

This is not the first case of its kind. Many times in the past, Madhya Pradesh Assembly was disrupted on account of deaths of tribal people. It is important to ensure that justice is served in such cases and the guilty parties are brought to book for their crimes. Madhya Pradesh government must take stricter measures to prevent such incidents in future.

Akhilesh Yadav Hits Out at BJP During Kolkata Speech, Promises Samajwadi Party Will Preserve Constitution


Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav made a major attack against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during a Kolkata meeting on Friday, asserting that his party would do everything to protect the constitution. Yadav talked about the ruling party’s failure in creating employment opportunities and controlling price rise. He further alleged that the BJP was not taking action against those who join their party at the Centre.

Yadav congratulating the people of Kolkata for defeating BJP in the West Bengal Assembly elections recently, expressed his support in protecting the constitutional value. He said that while BJP has been blaming Congress for defaming the nation, they have remained silent on the UP CM’s act of disrespecting the constitutional values. Moreover, he also brought attention to the increase in the unemployment rate and price rise, pointing out that the investigative agencies have been quiet on those who have joined BJP.

The former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh also brought up the BJP’s promise to double farmers income, which he said had not been fulfilled.Futhermore,He also talked about how the promise of free cylinders to Ujjawala beneficiaries on Holi was not kept.Tying in the failure to perform these duties, he cautioned the people of Bengal against being cheated by their accounts as the same had been done in Uttar Pradesh.

Yadav also expressed concern over the destruction of institutions and handing them over to the private sector. He raised the issue of Hindenburger-Adani controversy and mentioned about the investments of public sector companies in the Adani group, whose valuations have dropped considerably. To improve the situation, he spoke of the need to make efforts to clean the Ganga river in states such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. He also accused the ruling party of polarizing citizens on the basis of religion.

The third-generation leader of Samajwadi party assured that his party will make all the necessary sacrifices to protect the nation’s constitution. He mentioned the better circumstances during his last visit to Kolkata and said that the same outcome would be seen in the upcoming days.

Adani Group is a multinational conglomerate of companies owned by the Indian billionaire Gautam Adani. The group operates across many sectors like Energy, Infrastructure, Logistics, Mining, and Upstream Oil and Gas. The group has an annual turnover of over 10 billion dollars and has a portfolio of more than 4,000 Megawatts of power generation capacity.

Akhilesh Yadav is an Indian Politician and the National President of the Indian political party, Samajwadi Party. He was the 22nd Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh from 2012-2017 and has played an active role in Indian politics winning multiple elections from 2002 onward. Yadav is known for taking initiatives like the UP Public-Private Partnership Act and the creation of higher technical education facilities for youth. He has been vocal about the declining unemployment and inflation rate and holds a strong stand on the failing government policies.

Samsung All Set to Establish World’s Biggest Semiconductor Manufacturing Base in South Korea with US$230 Billion Investment


Samsung Electronics, the giant South Korean technology giant, recently announced their plans to invest 300 trillion won (US$230 billion) in building the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturing base near Seoul in the Gyeonggi province. This initiative is expected to be completed by 2042 and will focus on the development of five new semiconductor plants, as well as the bringing together of 150 companies – including component and material producers, and chip design houses. The intent of this project is to further Samsung’s presence in the advanced semiconductor market, hoping to capitalize on the increasing demand for 5G wireless networks, artificial intelligence, and self-driving cars.

President Yoon Suk-yeol has stated that technology has become the “key economic growth engine and security and strategic asset”, deemed to be important for export-dependent economies such as South Korea. The government is hoping to draw in 550 trillion won from corporate investment by 2026, with the other big industries being electric vehicle battery production, robotics, displays and biotechnology.

This ambition may have been sparked by other technology powerhouses with protectionist measures and hefty subsidies further making the local chip manufacturing sectors more attractive to investors. South Korea, however, is fighting an uphill battle against giants like the United States and Japan.

The news of Samsung’s investment comes in wake of the company’s lower earnings forecasts for the three months spanning October to December, caused in part by the weak global economy, and declining prices of chips. Local competitor SK Hynix also recorded an operating loss of 1.7 trillion won for the same period, its first since 2012.

For more than a century, the South China Morning Post has been the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia, providing information and insights for readers from all countries. With the SCMP App and SCMP’s website, one can access news and analysis in an easy and convenient way.

Gmail and Docs Get AI-Powered Boost from Google


Google is one of the most popular search engines in the world, with a presence in almost every country and market. The company is renowned for its search engine and its widely used products such as Google Docs and Gmail. Keeping in line with its mission to provide convenient and useful experiences for users, Google has announced the launch of AI-powered features in its Workspaces.

The new features will be available for trusted testers on a rolling basis throughout the year, with plans to launch them for everyone in the U.S. this month. AI-powered features in Google Workspaces will enable users to draft, reply, summarise and prioritise their Gmail, as well as brainstorm, proofread, write and rewrite in Google Docs. It will also allow for more natural interactions with Google Meet and the ability to auto-generate background images and capture notes.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, commented on the launch of these AI-powered writing features, saying, “We’re thrilled to be introducing these new, AI-powered features that make it easier and quicker to create, collaborate and communicate. Our team has worked tirelessly to develop AI-powered writing capabilities that provide users with an intuitive and efficient experience that helps people get their ideas down, even when they don’t have all the answers.”

This isn’t the first time Google has worked on an AI product — the tech giant launched anthropic, an AI start-up, in February 2021 that is a rival of Microsoft’s OpenAI. With the help of Anthropic, Google was able to develop a ChatGPT that rivals OpenAI’s.

The new AI-powered features developed by Google in its Workspaces are indicative of the company’s commitment to providing the best experience to its users. It is also a testament to the advancements in technology, particularly those related to Artificial Intelligence, with more capabilities becoming available to help make our lives easier.

Foxconn Wins AirPod Order, Plans $200M Factory in India: Report


Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn has won an order from Apple Inc to make AirPods, and plans to build a new $200 million factory in the Indian state of Telangana to produce the wireless earphones, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics maker, which assembles around 70% of all iPhones, will mark the first time they are making AirPods. This move signals Foxconn’s efforts to diversify their production away from China, where the company had experienced significant disruption to the biggest iPhone factory last year due to COVID-19 related restrictions.

This decision to set up production in India was requested by Apple, according to a source. Foxconn is in competition with other Taiwanese suppliers like Wistron Corp and Pegatron Corp to get more orders from Apple – the world’s most valuable company. The subsidiary of Foxconn, Foxconn Interconnect Technology Ltd., aims to initiate construction of the manufacturing plant in Telangana during the next half of 2021, and begin production by the year 2024.

The person with direct knowledge of the matter, who opted to remain anonymous, stated that the decision to go ahead with the project was made to “reinforce engagement” with Apple, hoping that it will yield more orders for their new products. While the actual monetary value of the AirPod order remains undisclosed, the source did mention that other suppliers such as Luxshare Precision Industry and Goertek Inc may be affected by the production plans of Foxconn.

The person also mentioned in the article is the source who requested to remain anonymous due to the fact the matter was not yet made public.

Finally, Foxconn is a Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturing company with its headquarters based in New Taipei City, Taiwan. It is the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer and the fourth-largest information technology company by revenue, and is taking steps with Apple Inc to diversify their production away from China. Foxconn produces products and services for many prominent tech firms around the world, including Amazon, Apple Inc, Cisco, Google, Dell, Microsoft, and Nintendo.

Claude Challenges ChatGPT as a New Competitor


Anthropic, a San Francisco-based AI company backed by Alphabet Inc., recently released a powerful new language processing model named Claude which is poised to challenge Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Built to generate human-like text, Claude is used in tasks such as code creation and editing legal contracts.

OpenAI’s ChatGPT has done amazing work in this area of tech, but Anthropic has set out to make their AI product different by focusing on specific safety issues. It is at the core of their Claude model to produce AI systems that are less likely to generate dangerous content such as instructions to make weapons or hack computer systems.

Therefore, Anthropic has designed Claude to explain objections and have certain principles in place while it is being trained. This way, users will be less likely to use prompt engineering – talking their way around restrictions – to generate illegal or harmful content.

This approach has been well-received, as Robin AI, a London-based startup, saw when they were given the opportunity to test out Claude’s capabilities. Rich Robinson, the CEO of Robin AI noted that the challenge was to loosen the restrictions of Claude sufficiently for allowed uses.

At a time when dangerous content is a major concern, Anthropic offers a promising solution with Claude. With its ability to understand dense legal language and offer explanations for its objections, Claude is certainly a viable competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT in the artificial intelligence space.

Anthropic is a San Francisco-based AI company backed by Alphabet Inc. It was co-founded by siblings Dario and Daniela Amodei who both have backgrounds as former OpenAI executives. Their mission is to create AI systems that are less likely to generate content that is offensive or unlawful.

Richard Robinson is the CEO of Robin AI, a London-based startup which uses AI to analyze legal contracts. The company was granted early access to Claude and was lucky enough to test out the capabilities. Robinson noted that the challenge was to loosen the restrictions of Claude for acceptable uses.

Overall, the introduction of Claude is a key milestone in ensuring AI safety and preventing the creation of dangerous and unlawful content. With its ability to explain objections and its focus on safety, Anthropic’s new model is certainly a formidable competitor in the language model space.

CM Pramod Sawant Launches AI-Powered Traffic Signal Pilot Project in Goa


Goa has taken a major step towards a smart and connected future with the launch of an Artificial Intelligence-driven traffic signal and an e-challan system in partnership with Bengaluru-based Beltech AI on March 15 at the Merces Junction. The PWD has funded the Rs 40 lakh pilot project, which will have the vendor receive 70% of the fines obtained from violators through the e-challans, while the government will receive the remaining 30%. The e-challan issuance will begin on March 20.

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant dedicated the system and mentioned its multiple benefits like monitoring the traffic in real-time, issuing e-challans, and providing assistance in security purposes. The Goa traffic department plans to replicate this project in 16 locations in the state, primarily for traffic control.

Beltech AI is a Bengaluru-based private venture that works with data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to help optimise traffic flow and junction operations for cities across India. Some of the features of their Artificial Intelligence-driven systems are automated detection and notification of traffic violations, automatic greening for emergency and VIP vehicles, automated anomaly detection for traffic and parking, adaptive traffic control system, traffic turning control and much more.

CM Pramod Sawant showed his commitment to the cause and urged people to cooperate with the government in achieving its goal. He also mentioned that if the success of this project is replicated in other locations, then it will help the government in their mission to have all intersections in the state become AI-enabled.

The launch of this project indicates a promising future for Goa in terms of smart city development and shows the government’s commitment towards modernizing infrastructure. If this project is successfully implemented and expanded to other locations, it could be a great step forward in achieving a connected and smart city.

How to Use ChatGPT 4 for Free


With that being said, OpenAI has recently unveiled GPT-4, a large multimodal language model that has surpassed prior-generation language models in its performance on various professional and academic benchmarks. GPT-4 is more accurate and sophisticated compared to GPT-3 and GPT-3.5, and it even has the capability to understand other languages and objects in images.

To test GPT-4 out, many users have sought out ChatGPT Plus, a subscription that costs $20 per month. Though, luckily, GPT-4 and ChatGPT-4 can be used for free. OpenAI has granted exclusive access to Microsoft to incorporate GPT-4 into their Bing AI and Bing Chat systems, allowing users to try out GPT-4 without subscribing to a service. Microsoft corporate VP and consumer chief marketing officer Yusuf Mehdi has released a statement confirming this development, offering current users of their service a chance to receive the latest version of their Bing search capabilities.

To use Bing AI or the Bing Chat app, users can download the Bing app, or use Bing Search via the Microsoft Edge Browser. With GPT-4 being implemented into Bing, Microsoft services such as Skype can also support its capabilities. Microsoft may add image analysis capabilities in the near future as well, currently OpenAI is testing this feature with Be My Eyes. Though, some users may need to join a waitlist to access Bing AI, with access possibly coming in a week’s time.

Known to have its beginnings in 1990s, Microsoft is an American technology company that specializes in providing a wide variety of software, hardware, consumer electronics, and services. The company has iconic products such as Windows operating system, Office Suite, and Xbox that can be found in almost any home. The company has been a leader in technology for several decades, with its trend setting products, and continues to be a major force in pushing forward technological breakthroughs with the recent addition of GPT-4 to its Bing AI service.

Yusuf Mehdi is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from Syracuse University and has followed a career path in the Technology industry. Yusuf was appointed Chief Marketing Officer of Microsoft’s Consumer and Devices division in 2015, and holds the corporate vice president role within the company. Apart from his role as CMO he also sits on Microsoft’s senior leadership team and is responsible for many of the company’s key product launches such as Bing AI, its taskbar, Xbox, and Skype messaging services. He was also the one to officially announce the transition of Bing to GPT-4, taking the search engine to great heights.

Bengaluru Astronomers Create Low-Cost Star Sensors for Satellites


Astronomers from Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) have developed a new low-cost star sensor, which is ready for launch on the PSLV’s stage-4 orbital platform to be used for CubeSats and other small satellite missions. This instrument, called Starberry-Sense, is built using off-the-shelf components, making it easy to customize for multiple requirements.

The sensor utilizes a raspberry Pi as its brain, making it much cheaper than commercially available star sensors, which can cost up to 10 times more than Starberry-Sense. The device also successfully underwent vibration and thermal vacuum tests that prove its suitability for space launch and operations. Furthermore, the team coupled some extremely optimized algorithms with a raspberry Pi to create a potent star sensor.

The collaboration between the IIA, other collaborators, and their use of commercially available components made an instrument that is affordable for CubeSats and other small satellites, greatly increasing their capabilities. Bharat Chandra, a PhD student at the IIA and author of the research published in the Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems said, “We could demonstrate that instruments built from easily available components can be qualified for space.”

Other collaborators include Mayuresh Sarpotdar, former IIA PhD working with Dhruva Space; Richa Rai, a post- doctoral fellow at the National Institute for Nuclear Physics, Trieste, Italy; Rekhesh Mohan, Scientist D, IIA; Joice Mathew, instrumentation scientist at Australian National University (ANU); Margarita Safonova, IIA; and Jayant Murthy, retired senior professor, IIA.

The Indian Institute of Astrophysics is an autonomous institution of the Department of Science and Technology, located in Hoskote, Bengaluru. The IAI provides research and teaching in astronomy and astrophysics and works with Indian universities, other institutions of higher learning, research laboratories and related industries. The Institute also fosters national and international collaborations in astronomical research, instrumentation and development of space-related technology.

Bharat Chandra has been an integral part of the team that designed Starberry-Sense. He is an M.Tech-PhD student in Astronomical Instrumentation at IIA and currently pursues his research in the laser guide star wavefront sensing techniques. His research is aimed at exploring the use of adaptive optics methods to enhance the imaging capabilities of ground-based telescopes.

The invention of Starberry-Sense is a testament to the collaborative effort between IIA, collaborators and the Indian space industry. There is tremendous potential for CubeSats and small satellite missions with the invention of this low-cost and efficient star sensor. This device not only makes space missions more affordable and accessible but also sets an encouraging precedent for innovation in astronomy and astrophysics.