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Austria visit historic, productive, added vigour to ties, says PM Modi after packed Vienna schedule

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Vienna, July 11 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday termed his Austria visit “historic” and “immensely productive” and said it has added “vigour” to the two countries’ friendship.

Wrapping up his visit to Austria – the first by an Indian Prime Minister in 41 years, PM Modi, in a post on X, said he was happy to have attended diverse programmes in Vienna and thanked Chancellor Karl Nehammer, the Austrian government, and the people for their hospitality and affection.

PM Modi, who reached Vienna on Tuesday evening from Moscow, was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Federal Chancery on Wednesday morning.

He was warmly received by Chancellor Nehammer who had last week called the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Vienna as a “special honour” as it came at a time when the two countries are marking 75 years of diplomatic relations.

Following their talks on Wednesday, PM Modi said that India and Austria have identified “new possibilities” to further strengthen mutual cooperation besides also deciding to give a strategic direction to their bilateral ties.

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In a joint statement along with the Austrian Chancellor, he said that he also held detailed discussions on the current geopolitical situation in the world, including the conflict in Ukraine or the situation in West Asia.

He mentioned that mutual trust and shared interests have strengthened India-Austria relations.

The Prime Minister also said that India and Austria will work together in areas such as infrastructure development, innovation, renewable energy, hydrogen, water and waste management, artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum technology and a blueprint for cooperation over the coming decades has been prepared.

He said that the startup bridge will be accelerated to connect the youth and ideas of both countries, and an agreement on mobility and migration partnership has already been reached, as well as on promoting exchanges between cultural and educational institutions will be promoted.

The PM also said that Austria had been invited to join the International Solar Alliance, Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, and the Biofuel Alliance.

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Addressing a group of leading Austrian and Indian CEOs from diverse sectors including infrastructure, automobile, energy, engineering and start-ups along with Chancellor Nehammer, Prime Minister Modi called on the Austrian business stakeholders to look at the fast-unfolding opportunities in India, as the country moves to become the third-largest economy in the world over the next few years.

He urged Austrian majors to leverage the Indian economic landscape for high-quality and cost-effective manufacturing under the Make in Inda programme both for the domestic and international market, and as a global supply chain destination, and utilise the investment opportunities in India.

PM Modi also met Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen who noted that his country needs India as a partner in a structurally sustainable transformation towards climate neutrality.

Thanking the Indian Prime Minister for visiting Austria, Van der Bellen stated that both countries can work in several areas, including the fight against climate change.

Prime Minister Modi also met Nobel physics laureate Anton Zeilinger and explored the possibilities around quantum technologies, along with a discussion over spirituality. After the meeting, the Austrian scientist said he experienced that PM Modi is a very spiritual person.

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The PM also met distinguished Austrian Indologists Professor Birgit Kellner, Dr Martin Gaenszle, Dr Borayin Larios, and Dr Karin Preisendanz and discussed the rich tapestry of Indian history, philosophy, art, and culture, along with the origins of Indology in Austria.

Concluding his visit with an address to the Indian diaspora in Vienna, he said that the world sees India with great hope and everyone across the globe wants to learn more about India.

He also said that India and Austria, though geographically distant, have many similarities.

“Democracy connects both countries (India and Austria). Our shared values are liberty, equality, pluralism, and respect for the rule of law. Our societies are multicultural and multilingual. Both countries, celebrate diversity, and a big medium to reflect these values are elections,” the PM said to loud cheers.

–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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Four children die in Gujarat from suspected Chandipura virus infection

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Sabarkantha (Gujarat), July 13 (IANS) Four children have succumbed to suspected Chandipura virus infection in Gujarat’s Sabarkantha district, while two others are receiving treatment at the Himmatnagar civil hospital, an official statement said on Saturday.

In the wake of the outbreak, district authorities have initiated preventive measures, including dusting to eliminate sandflies in the affected areas to curb the spread of the infection.

The deaths occurred on July 10 and one of the deceased was from Sabarkantha, two were from the neighbouring Aravalli district, and the fourth was from Rajasthan. The two children undergoing treatment also hail from Rajasthan.

Rajasthan authorities have been notified about the death due to the suspected viral infection.

The Chandipura virus, a member of the Rhabdoviridae family, leads to symptoms akin to flu and can cause acute encephalitis, a severe inflammation of the brain. It was first identified in 1965 in Maharashtra and has been linked to various outbreaks of encephalitic illness in the country. A significant outbreak occurred in 2003 in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, resulting in 183 deaths among 329 affected children. Sporadic cases and fatalities were also noted in Gujarat in 2004.

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Transmission of the virus occurs through vectors like mosquitoes, ticks, and sandflies.

Sabarkantha Chief District Health Officer, Raj Sutariya, said that blood samples from the six affected children have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune for confirmation.

“Paediatricians at the Himmatnagar Civil Hospital suspected the Chandipura virus following the deaths of four children on July 10. The two other children currently hospitalised are displaying similar symptoms, indicating a likely infection by the same virus,” an official said.

–IANS

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Urgent need to provide legal aid to cyber crime victims: Vice President

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New Delhi, July 13 (IANS) Underscoring the importance of data protection awareness even in the remotest corner of the country, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Saturday emphasised the need of providing legal aid to cybercrime victims, especially in rural areas.

Taking cognisance of increasing cyber crime incidents with increasing digital penetration in the country, he said this was a new area of concern for agencies, investigators, regulators and the legal fraternity, and called for developing technical and human expertise to tackle it.

Addressing the valedictory session of the third cyber security conference organised by the Global Counter Terrorism Council (GCTC) at Vigyan Bhavan here, the Vice President said innocent people are being duped by fraudulent elements.

India now has over 820 million active internet users and has achieved banking inclusion for over 500 million individuals.

Dhankhar said a secure digital environment fosters innovation, attracts investment, and facilitates seamless economic activities.

Highlighting the changing nature of contemporary warfare, the Vice President emphasised that war has transcended conventional boundaries, extending beyond land, space, and sea into new technological realms.

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“A nation’s preparedness in terms of advanced technologies will be crucial in defining its global promise and strategic strength,” he noted.

The implementation of key initiatives, including the National Cyber Security Policy, the establishment of the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, and updates to the Information Technology Act 2000, signify a significant advancement in safeguarding the country’s digital infrastructure, the Vice President noted.

–IANS

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Hyundai Motor union secures wage deal without strike for 6th consecutive year

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Seoul, July 13 (IANS) Hyundai Motor’s labour and management have concluded their wage negotiations without a strike for the sixth year in a row, agreeing on the highest wage increase in the company’s history.

The union said on Saturday its members have voted to accept a tentative wage deal reached earlier in the week.

Under the agreement, Hyundai will increase workers’ basic monthly pay by 4.65 percent, or 111,200 won ($81), and give a one-off performance-based bonus equivalent to 500 percent of the basic monthly salary, plus 18 million won, to each worker.

In addition, each employee will receive 25 shares in the company, reports Yonhap news agency.

The company also agreed to extend the maximum period for retired skilled workers to be reemployed as contract-based workers from the current one year to two years.

The agreed-upon wage increase is the highest in the company’s history.

With the unionised workers voting in favour of the deal, the carmaker has concluded wage bargaining without a strike since 2019.

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The deal was reached just two days ahead of the union’s planned strike. It reportedly withdrew the strike plan after management agreed on the highest-ever wage raise and the two-year reemployment programme for skilled retired workers.

“The union and the management will faithfully carry out their social roles as members of the global community and prepare together for a better future,” the automaker said in a statement.

Both sides will hold a signing ceremony for this year’s wage deal on Monday.

–IANS

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Mutual funds raise Rs 14,370 crore via new fund offers in June

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Mumbai, July 13 (IANS) Mutual fund industry witnessed strong inflow via new fund offers (NFOs) in June as 11 NFOs of different fund houses collected Rs 14,370 crore last month.

It is the highest-ever inflow in new offerings. The previous high was recorded in July 2021 when four NFOs had raised Rs 13,709 crore.

Thirty active equity schemes have been launched by mutual funds in the first half of 2024, compared to 51 in the entire 2023.

An investment of Rs 37,885 crore has been made in NFOs from the beginning of this year till June, which was Rs 36,657 crore in the entire last year. A total of 27 NFOs were launched in 2022 and a total investment of Rs 29,586 crore was made in them.

The Indian stock market continues to rise after the results of the Lok Sabha elections. Due to an ongoing rally, a large number of mutual fund houses are coming up with NFOs.

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Currently, around seven active and passive equity NFOs are open for subscription. Active NFOs include ICICI Prudential MF’s Energy Opportunities Fund, Franklin Templeton MF’s Multicap NFO, and Edelweiss MF’s Business Cycle Fund.

Most of the NFOs are coming in high-risk categories like thematic. Expressing concern over this, Neil Parekh, CEO and Chairman of Parag Parekh Financial Advisory Services Limited (PPFAS), said on social media, “Wow!, the number of new NFOs, especially thematic funds, has increased. This is quite scary… everyone needs to be careful.”

Investment in the mutual fund industry is continuously increasing. In June, inflow figures stood at Rs 40,608 crore. There was an inflow of Rs 34,697 crore in May with NFOs investment of Rs 9,563 crore.

In 2024, so far both Sensex and Nifty have given returns of more than 10 per cent to investors.

–IANS

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