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17 teams emerge as winners in 'Build for Bharat' initiative by ONDC, others

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Bengaluru, May 29 (IANS) Seventeen teams emerged as winners in the ‘Build for Bharat’ initiative, launched by the government’s Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), in collaboration with Startup India, Google Cloud India, Antler in India, Protean and Paytm, it was announced on Wednesday.

Launched on December 4, 2023 across more than 50 cities, the ‘Build for Bharat’ initiative saw over 27,000 participants representing startups, companies and colleges from across the country.

The initiative was structured around three distinct categories.

The ‘NextGen Ventures’ category aimed at accelerating venture creation on the ONDC Network, specifically for early-stage and aspiring founders.

Six teams – Shopeg, OmniFlo, Zepic, Upaz, DPI corp and Zceppa – emerged as winners, securing non-equity grants of up to $40,000 each.

The eligible teams will also receive Google Cloud credits along with an opportunity to be inducted into the Antler India Residency Programme, with an equity funding of up to $250,000.

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“The diverse array of solutions developed by participants from across the country showcases India’s immense potential to revolutionise the growing digital commerce ecosystem,” said T Koshy, MD and CEO at ONDC.

The ‘Scalable Solutions’ category saw four teams – Progmatic, Cyborg, Cydra Tech and oof — won the first prize of $7,500 each, while Harentortoise and Indexvoyagers won the second prize of $3,500 each. Eligible teams will also receive Google Cloud credits.

In the ‘Foundation Solutions’ category, five teams – Checkfirst, Faszen Tech, Pokleaniket927248, Phoenix, and The Sentient Squad — received $3000 (each winning team), while three teams – Morin, Pinpoint and Decap — received the second prize of $1,000 (each winning team). Eligible teams will also receive Google Cloud credits.

“The ‘Build for Bharat’ initiative has been a resounding success, serving as a testament to the power of collaboration and the collective genius of the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Anil Bhansali, VP Engineering and Head of India Development Centre at Google Cloud.

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–IANS

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India set to be 6th nation with its own deep sea mission: Dr Jitendra Singh

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) India is set to be the sixth country to have its own deep sea mission, which has the potential to contribute greatly to the overall growth of the economy, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, said on Sunday.

Chairing a meeting to discuss the 100-day action plan of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Dr Singh expressed happiness on the progress of the deep sea mission and India being among the very few nations to achieve this feat.

“Mission is not limited to mineral exploration but development of ocean sciences and exploration of flora and fauna and conservation of marine biodiversity, etc,” he said.

The Minister highlighted the multi-fold impact this mission will have on flora and fauna, deep sea exploration, rare earth metals commercial exploitation, exploration and discovery of metals and poly-metallic nodules in the Indian sea-bed. He also directed and motivated scientists and officials to develop indigenous technology and capability and reduce India’s dependence.

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He asked institutes to focus on achieving a resilient blue economy to empower people dependent on the ocean and its energy for livelihood.

The minister also hailed the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT)’s efforts for the development of ‘Matsyayaan 6000’ which could go 6,000 metres deep into the ocean. Dr Singh directed officials to complete the first stage of harbour trials by September 2024 and finish subsequent trials by 2026.

–IANS

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Solid export growth to lead recovery of domestic consumption: S. Korean PM

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Seoul, June 16 (IANS) Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said on Sunday that exports continue to stably remain in positive territory, leading to expectations domestic consumption will recover over time.

Han made the remark during a meeting involving senior officials of the government, the ruling People Power Party and the presidential office, noting disparities remain in the pace of the recovery between sectors, reports Yonhap news agency.

“In line with the increase in exports, companies’ profits will expand, and through wages and dividend payments, household incomes will improve and purchasing power will rise, contributing to an internal recovery, including in consumption,” he said, adding the government will focus on maintaining the positive export trend.

Exports, a key economic growth engine, rose 11.7 percent on-year to $58.1 billion in May, the eighth consecutive monthly gain on the back of strong global demand for semiconductors, among other items, according to government data.

–IANS

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Musk's X banned over 2 lakh accounts for policy violations in India in May

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) Elon Musk-run X Corp has banned 2,29,925 accounts in India between April 26 and May 25, mostly for promoting child sexual exploitation and non-consensual nudity.

The microblogging platform, going through churning under Musk, also took down 967 accounts for promoting terrorism on its platform in the country.

In total, X banned 230,892 accounts in the reporting period.

The microblogging platform, in its monthly report in compliance with the new IT Rules, 2021, said that it received 17,580 complaints from users in India in the same time frame through its grievance redressal mechanisms.

In addition, the company processed 76 grievances which were appealing account suspensions.

“We overturned 0 of these account suspensions after reviewing the specifics of the situation. The remaining reported accounts remain suspended,” said the company.

“We received 31 requests related to general questions about accounts during this reporting period,” it added.

Most complaints from India were about ban evasion (6,881), followed by hateful conduct (3,763), sensitive adult content (3,205), and abuse/harassment (2,815).

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Between March 26 and April 25, X banned 1,84,241 accounts in the country.

The microblogging platform also took down 1,303 accounts for promoting terrorism on its platform.

–IANS

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Indian cyber agency finds multiple bugs in Google Chrome, SAP Products

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), which comes under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, has warned users of vulnerabilities in Google Chrome for desktop and SAP Products, which could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service condition on the targeted system.

The affected software in Google Chrome for desktop includes Chrome versions prior to 126.0.6478.54 for Linux and Chrome versions before 126.0.6478.56/57 for Windows and Mac.

On the other hand, the affected SAP products include SAP Financial Consolidation, NetWeaver AS Java (Meta Model Repository), NetWeaver AS Java (Guided Procedures), NetWeaver and ABAP platform, Document Builder (HTTP service), Bank Account Management, and others.

“Multiple vulnerabilities have been reported in Google Chrome which could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the targeted system,” said the CERT-In advisory.

As per the cyber agency, these vulnerabilities exist in Google Chrome due to Type Confusion in V8; Use after free in Dawn, V8, BrowserUI, Audio; Inappropriate implementation in Dawn, DevTools, Memory Allocator, Downloads; Heap buffer overflow in Tab Groups, Tab Strip and Policy Bypass in CORS.

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A remote attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities by persuading a victim to visit a specially crafted web page. The vulnerabilities reported in SAP Products could allow an attacker to perform Cross-site scripting (XSS), Missing authorisation checks, File upload, obtain sensitive information, or cause denial of service conditions on the targeted system, according to the cyber agency.

CERT-In has suggested users apply appropriate security updates as recommended by the companies to stay away from phishing attacks.

–IANS

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Debate on EVMs heats up between Elon Musk, Rajeev Chandrasekhar on X (Lead)

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) The debate on whether electronic voting machines (EVMs) can be hacked further heated up between Elon Musk and Rajeev Chandrasekhar on X social media platform on Sunday, with the former Union Minister saying that we both can finally “agree to disagree”.

When Chandrasekhar told the tech billionaire that Indian EVMs are custom-designed, secure and isolated from any network or media, the Tesla CEO replied: “Anything can be hacked”.

Chandrasekhar replied, saying anything is possible with quantum compute and “I can decrypt any level of encryption”.

“With lab level tech and plenty of resources, I can hack any digital hardware/system including flight controls of a glass cockpit of a jet etc. But that’s a different type of a conversation from EVMs being secure and reliable vis a vis paper voting. And we can agree to disagree,” the former minister argued.

Earlier in the day, Chandrasekhar debunked Musk’s take on eliminating EVMs from voting as a “huge sweeping generalisation statement”.

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“Electronic voting machines can be architected and built right as India has done. We would be happy to run a tutorial, Elon,” Chandrasekhar told the tech billionaire. Musk had alleged that EVMs should be eliminated as the “risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high”.

“This is a huge sweeping generalisation statement that implies no one can build secure digital hardware. Wrong,” replied the former minister.

According to Chandrasekhar, Musk’s view may apply to the US and other places where they use regular computing platforms to build “Internet-connected Voting machines.”

Musk had reacted to Puerto Rico’s primary elections which allegedly experienced voting irregularities.

Chandrasekhar further rejected Musk’s statement, saying that Indian EVMs are custom-designed, secure and isolated from any network or media.

“No connectivity, no bluetooth, wifi, Internet; there is no way in. Factory-programmed controllers that cannot be reprogrammed”, informed the former minister.

–IANS

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