Science and Technology

Facebook, Reliance Communication tie up to provide free access to Internet

India’s Reliance Communications Limited (RCOM) has partnered with social networking giant Facebook to offer free internet access.

Both companies have launched Internet.org, a Facebook-led initiative to bring internet to everyone in the world.

Key facts 

  • Under this initiative both companies aim to bring the power of Internet to a billion people in India in order to increase internet inclusion and encourage more Indians to go online.
  • As part of this initiative, RCOM will offer free data access to 33 popular websites for all its customers under the umbrella of Internet.org.
  • Most of the services of 33 popular websites will be available in several Indian languages including English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Gujarati and Marathi.
  • All the subscriber of RCOM who have internet enabled hand set (mobile phones) will get access to this free service.
  • Android based app of Internet.org on smartphones will be also provided for accessing free internet. It should be noted that India will be the first country in Asia to get this app.
  • It is estimated that 70 per cent of RCOM’s customers who have such phones will benefit from this service that are now off line i.e. don’t have internet connection.

In the first phase this service has gone live in RCOM’s 7 circles which include Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chennai and Kerala. While in second phase, this service will be launched in pan India by May 2015.

Both companies by launching this initiative are opening new socioeconomic opportunities to users in fields like education, information and commerce. It will in turn create more jobs and opportunities in India which is world’s second-biggest mobile market with Internet.

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World’s first humanoid robot staffed hotel set to open in Japan

World’s first  humanoid robot-staffed hotel is set to open in Nagasaki, Japan in July 2015.

The Henn-na Hotel which means Strange Hotel will be employing Robots as its staff and other advanced technologies in order to significantly reduce operating costs.

The hotel will come up with a Huis Ten Bosch theme park which is named after a town of Netherlands.

Some facts

  • The hotel has been developed by Japan’s Osaka University and its robots are manufactured by the Japanese robotics company Kokoro.
  • This hotel will implement in two phases. In the first phase, the two-story of hotel with 72 rooms will begin its operation in July 2015. While, the second phase will be completed in 2016 with an additional 72 rooms.

Robot employees

  • The hotel will be staffed with actroid androids – which are human-like robots.
  • These robots will function as humans to greet, carry luggage to rooms, make cups of coffee and even smile like. These robots will speak Japanese, Chinese, Korean and English.
  • The hotel will have three robots that will act as receptionists, four service and porter robots, and robots engaged in menial tasks such as cleaning.

Other advanced technologies

  • The hotel has facial-recognition technology to access the Guestroom doors of the hotels. While, Guests will request items through a tablet when needed.
  • It will be not having air-conditioning, instead of it a radiation panel will be used. This panel will detect body heat in rooms and adjust the temperature.
  • Advance solar power and other energy-saving features will be used in order to reduce operating costs.

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Dr. M.O. Garg takes charge as Director General of CSIR

Dr M.O. Garg has taken charge as Director General (DG) of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR).

He will replace PS Ahuja who had held this post since May 2014.

About M.O. Garg

M.O. Garg is a gold medalist in Chemical Engineering from Nagpur University and has M.Tech degree from IIT Kanpur. He also has completed PhD from University of Melbourne.

Prior to this appointment, he was Director of CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR-IIP), Dehradun for the past 11 years.

As of now, Garg is the author for at least 245 papers published in high impact scientific journals and also he has 33 national and international patents to his credit.

He has received two CSIR Technology Awards as well as a CSIR Shield for his commercialization efforts.

About Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)

CSIR is government’s autonomous research agency, established in 1942.

Presently, CSIR has over 4,500 scientists working across 38 laboratories and employs over 9000 scientific and technical personnel.

The research bodies under CSIR cover science and technology focus areas ranging from aeronautics, instrumentation, mining, environmental engineering and to oceanography, geophysics, chemicals, drugs, genomics and biotechnology.

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