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Ancient India wasn't just economic, cultural leader in world but also of science, tech: Ola founder

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New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) Ola Founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal on Wednesday expressed his joy over the inauguration of the new campus of Nalanda University by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bihar’s Rajgir, saying that ancient India was not just the “economic and cultural leader of the world, but also of science, technology and knowledge”.

He thanked PM Modi for inaugurating the campus envisioning the future of the country’s global thought leadership.

“Thank you PM @narendramodi ji for inaugurating the new Nalanda University campus and envisioning a future of India’s global thought leadership,” Aggarwal wrote on X.

“I had the opportunity to visit the new Nalanda University and the ancient ruins last year,” he added.

The foundation stone of Nalanda University was laid in 2016. It has 24 large buildings constructed for Rs 1,749 crore.

The new campus comprises two academic blocks with a total of 40 classrooms, providing seating for approximately 1,900 students.

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It also includes two auditoriums, each with a capacity of 300 seats, and a student hostel that can accommodate about 550 students.

Additionally, the campus offers various other facilities, including an international centre, an amphitheatre with a capacity of up to 2,000 individuals, a faculty club, and a sports complex.

–IANS

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India needs stronger policy & infra to enable healthier food choices: Expert

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New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) India is ahead of neighbouring countries in the implementation of food environment policies, but needs stronger policies and infrastructure to enable healthier food choices to combat non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like obesity, diabetes, and heart diseases, according to an expert on Sunday.

In a recent study, an international team of researchers, including scientists from The George Institute for Global Health, mapped the food policies and supporting infrastructure in four South Asian countries including Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The team assessed the level of implementation of these policies and identified priority actions for the primary prevention of diet-related NCDs.

Speaking to IANS, Elisa Pineda, Research Fellow at The George Institute for Global Health, UK, said, “India was generally better than neighbouring countries in terms of implementation of food environment policies and infrastructure support related to food and health”.

“But it still needs improvement to prevent the rising incidence of diet-related diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases,” she added.

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The study, published in the journal The Lancet Regional Health – Southeast Asia, showed that NCDs are the leading cause of illness and death worldwide.

South Asians, in particular, face a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases compared to other populations. The prevalence of diabetes in South Asia is projected to be about 151 million by 2045, it noted.

While the causes of NCDs are complex, an unhealthy diet is a leading modifiable risk factor, Dr. Elisa said.

Evidence suggests that improving food environments and implementing effective food-related policies are key to achieving healthier diets and reducing the prevalence of NCDs.

“India showed moderate progress in food labelling and taxation — all packaged foods were labelled in line with Codex recommendations and the government has introduced health taxes and regulations on the content of salt, sugar, and fat in food products, fruits and vegetables are tax-free, and there is a “Fat Tax” on unhealthy foods,” the researcher said.

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“However, other areas like food composition, provision, trade policies, and promotion remained weak.

“Although the promotion of foods high in fat, sugar, and salt was prohibited in schools, regulation of the promotion of unhealthy foods in other settings is required,” Elisa said.

Further, the study showed that in terms of infrastructure support for healthier food environments, India performed relatively well in leadership, governance, monitoring, and funding compared to Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

However, “areas like platforms and integrating health into all policies were still weak, as there were no processes to assess the health impacts during the development of other non-food-related policies and no formal platforms between the government, the commercial sector, and civil society on food policies for improving population health,” Elisa said.

“Overall, while India was ahead in certain aspects, significant efforts are needed to achieve stronger and more comprehensive implementation in both policy and infrastructure support to enable healthier food choices and prevent non-communicable diseases like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases,” she added.

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The study called for urgent action to expand food policies beyond hygiene and food security measures.

Key recommendations include enhancing food labelling to help consumers make healthier choices; introducing taxes on unhealthy foods and subsidies for healthy options to encourage better eating habits; implementing stricter regulations on the marketing of unhealthy foods, especially to children; and ensuring that school meals meet high nutritional standards to promote healthy eating habits from a young age.

–IANS

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Last decade saw Indian homebuyers' wait for possession reduce to 4.9 years: Report

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Mumbai, July 14 (IANS) The last decade has seen homebuyers’ wait for possession in large under-construction projects in the top cities reduce to 4.9 years, from 6.1 years in the 2010-2019 period, a report showed on Sunday.

The average time to complete residential projects of more than 500 units in the top seven cities came down to 4.9 years from the first half of 2014 to the first half of this year.

This can be seen as a combined effect of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), modernisation of construction technology, and the increasing market share of large and listed developers, according to the report by Anarock Group.

“The stringent rules imposed on project delays by the regulatory authorities have also been a key factor in reducing the completion time,” said Anuj Puri, Chairman, Anarock Group.

For all large projects launched and completed between 2014 and H1 2024, the average completion time was lowest in Chennai with 3.6 years, while Hyderabad and Bengaluru clocked in at 4.2 and 4.8 years, respectively.

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For most large projects in Delhi-NCR and Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), developers had purchased land outright, thereby compromising their overall financial health and delivery capability.

“On the other hand, most projects in the main southern cities are joint developments where landowners usually get a certain share of the developed units,” said Puri.

In NCR, extreme weather conditions and the statutory restrictions imposed on construction when the pollution levels rise also affect construction timelines in the region.

In Kolkata, large projects launched and completed between 2014 to H1 2024 took the longest average time to complete, at 5.7 years.

In MMR, it took an average of 4.7 years to complete small projects and around 5.2 years for large projects.

In Delhi-NCR, homebuyers waited an average of 4.7 years for small projects and 5.4 years for large ones, the report noted.

–IANS

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India needs economic growth that is relatable to every individual: Jagdeep Dhankhar

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New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) India has made significant economic growth in the last 10 years, and as per Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, now “we need economic growth that is relatable to every individual.”

Speaking at a cyber security conference organised by the Global Counter Terrorism Council (GCTC) in the national capital, the Vice President said that “from slot number 11, we are at number 5, ahead of the UK, France, Canada, Brazil.”

He noted that in a matter of time, India will also be ahead of Japan and Germany.

However, we now need “economic growth that is relatable to every individual,” he said.

Dhankhar informed about the “banking inclusion of 500 million people” and that the country “accounts for nearly 50 per cent of global transactions.”

Citing that India’s Internet per capita consumption is more than that of the US and China taken together, he also called for ramping up cyber security.

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“What India has achieved in just six years is normally not achievable in four decades. And that being so, we have to be extremely well prepared to sustain our economic growth, to see the trajectories incrementally, so that people are not disheartened by the onslaught of cybercrimes so that they are not cheated,” Dhankhar said.

Further, he noted that the government is focussing on commercialisation of 6G. He also called on educational institutions, and people to brace up to live with and to get training in disruptive technologies like the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and machine learning, which is here to stay.

“We have decided for ourselves that in 2047, when we have the centennial celebration of our Independence, Bharat will be a developed nation,” he said, noting that India is “in a position to handhold other nations” as during the Covid pandemic.

Notably, India helped 100 countries with its Covaxin-Maitri programme.

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“We must build a cyber capacity building in the Global South that will promote a secure and inclusive cyberspace for sustainable development. Development is vital, but sustainable development is soothing, wholesome, relieves the pain of everyone,” said the Vice President.

–IANS

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'I fully endorse President Trump and hope for his rapid recovery': Musk

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New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Sunday confirmed his full support for Donald Trump after an assassination attempt on the former US President during an election rally.

In a post on his X social media platform, the tech billionaire said: “I fully endorse President Trump and hope for his rapid recovery.”

Criticising the US Secret Service, Musk said the head of the Secret Service (SS) Kimberly Cheatle and the “leader of this security detail should resign”.

“Extreme incompetence or it was deliberate. Either way, the SS leadership must resign,” he posted.

After the shooter was shot dead, Trump gathered himself and said “Wait, wait, wait”, before he started pumping his fist.

Trump continued to pump his fist towards the crowd, saying “Fight.”

Musk also said that the last time America had a candidate this tough was Theodore Roosevelt.

Roosevelt served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909.

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On October 14, 1912, former US President Theodore Roosevelt survived an assassination attempt while campaigning for the presidency in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The bullet lodged in Roosevelt’s chest and he declined suggestions to go to the hospital immediately. Instead, he delivered his scheduled speech.

Roosevelt carried the bullet with him for the rest of his life. He lived another seven years, dying in 1919 at age 60.

–IANS

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Apple approves first PC emulator for iOS to run classic games

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New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) Tech giant Apple has approved the first PC emulator for the iOS ecosystem to run classic software and games.

The iPhone maker approved ‘UTM SE’ after initially rejecting and banning it from being notarised for third-party app stores in the European Union (EU).

The app is now available for free for iOS, iPadOS, and visionOS.

It can run run classic software and old-school games for Windows, Mac OS 9, and Linux on your iPhone.

“We are happy to announce that UTM SE is available (for free) on iOS and visionOS App Store (and coming soon to AltStore PAL),” the app posted on X social media platform.

“Shoutouts to AltStore team for their help and to Apple for reconsidering their policy,” it added.

UTM SE is a PC emulator that allows people to run classic software and old-school games.

It supports both VGA mode for graphics and terminal mode for text-only operating systems.

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It emulates x86, PPC, and RISC-V architectures and run pre-built machines or “create your own configuration from scratch”.

The app is built from QEMU, a powerful and widely used emulator.

–IANS

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