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News in Brief

 

CAT 2018 registration
CAT 2018 registration has started and will go on till 19 September, 2018. MBA aspirants who are dreaming of getting into the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other top B-schools in India, should check details on eligibility criteria, schedule, exam dates, test centres, admit card and results on the website. The broad pattern of CAT exam remains the same this year, there will be more subtle changes in the type of questions being asked. CAT exam will be conducted on 25 November in two sessions across 147 centres in India.

 

Kerala flood woes continue!
An incessant downpour since the first week of August has taken the death toll to at least 370 people and has left more than 800,000 people displaced in Kerala. The torrential monsoon rains have triggered landslides and flash floods that have swept away entire villages. Thousands of army, air force and navy troops, along with the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), are undertaking the search and rescue operations. Local fishermen from across Kerala have come together to help in relief efforts. Losses to infrastructure pegged at almost 3 billion dollars.

Tribute by the Indian Industry to Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Indian industry paid rich tributes to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee following his demise on 16th August 2018. The iconic leader and statesman ushered in the second generation of economic reforms that promoted India’s rapid growth and he is remembered for various policy actions that led to rapid growth in telecom, power, financial sector, insurance, agriculture, education and national highways that contributed hugely to unlocking the nation’s economic potential.

NASA’s mission to the Sun
The Parker Solar Probe is all set to take off as NASA gears up for mankind’s first mission to the Sun. The spacecraft will study the dynamic and magnetically active star up close as it will be placed in orbit within four million miles of the sun’s surface. It will face heat and radiation unlike any spacecraft in history. This venture will help us to understand the physics of how the Sun works.

Hyundai to launch first electric SUV in India
South Korean auto major, Hyundai is planning to launch its first electric SUV in India. The e-SUV will be launched in limited cities in the second-half of 2019. The carmaker is confident that the after sales team will be able to take care of the after-sales servicing of the e-SUV. However, Hyundai is anticipating some anxiety among first-time electric car owners. But they are also very optimistic that they are bringing one of the most relevant technologies to India. Initially, the sales and service channel for the electric vehicle might be limited.

Indian space mission: Gaganyaan
ISRO is all set for an Indian space odyssey set to take place in or before 2022. A man or a woman will be sent into the space on board the spacecraft known as the Gaganyaan. ISRO scientists cited that the biggest challenges would be the need for a bigger rocket and training of astronauts. With this space mission, India will become the fourth nation in the world after United States, Russia and China to undertake a manned space mission.

Harley becomes affordable?
US-based motorcycle-manufacturing giants, Harley Davidson is planning to expand their consumer base by launching motorcycles in the small and mid-sized segment as it aims on targeting young buyers in emerging Asian countries, such as India and China. Harley-Davidson’s entry might intensify the competition for Eicher Motors Ltd’s Royal Enfield, which continues to have a strong hold in the Indian domestic market.

RIL the most valued firm in India
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has surpassed India’s biggest software services firm Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) to become the country’s most valued firm in terms of market capitalisation—a first since April. Data from the BSE showed RIL has a market cap of ` 7.46 trillion, after its shares rose 2.4% on the BSE to record high of ` 1177.80. TCS, at ` 1930 per share, was valued at ` 7.39 trillion.

Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve has been added in the UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves
The World Network of Biosphere Reserves has included Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve located in Sikkim in their list making it the 11th such entry from India in the list of 686 biosphere reserves from 122 countries. The Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve is one of the highest ecosystems in the world and is a biodiversity hotspot. The listing aims as an unique tool for international co-operation through sharing knowledge, exchanging experiences, building capacity and promoting best practices for conserving the biosphere reserves which are areas comprising territorial, marine and coastal ecosystems. The decision to include Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve, located in Sikkim, was taken in the International Coordination Council meeting of the UNESCO in Indonesia late last month. The other Indian biosphere reserves in the list include Nilgiri, Gulf of Mannar, Sunderban, Nanda Devi, Nokrek, Pachmarhi, Simlipal, Achanakmar-Amarkantak, Great Nicobar and Agasthyamala.

Three bidders for Complan
Kraft Heinz India’s popular nutritional drink brand, Complan gets three bidders as Heinz plans to sell it.
ITC Ltd, Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting Ltd and Cadila Healthcare Ltd are readying to submit binding offers to buy. Malt drinks have been seeing a steady loss in the market share, but Complan is measured in a separate category of supplement nutrition drinks, which includes products such as Ensure. This segment’s growth is higher than that of malt-based drinks. However, even this segment has seen slowing of growth from 21.3% in 2014 to 11.5% in 2017.

Alexa gets smarter
Users of Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa can now teach the app local Indian languages such as, Hindi, Bengali and Marathi.  The e-commerce giant announced this new skill aimed at improving Alexa’s speech recognition. At present, Alexa engages with users in English like its competitors such as Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant. Amazon said the process of creating new languages for Alexa benefits from advances in data availability, computing power, and a subset of artificial intelligence called machine learning. Cleo has been built by a team of linguists and data scientists and has already helped improve Alexa’s understanding of languages such as French.

J.P Morgan join hands with IIM-A
J.P. Morgan, the Global financial services player recently joined hands with the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A) to start a financial inclusion lab to help early stage fin-tech start ups to achieve scale. The $9.5 million dollar initiative will be part of the IIM-A’s incubation and entrepreneurship centre and aims at identifying and bringing to scale early-stage fin-tech startups that are focused on helping people in the lower and middle income (LMI) segment.