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Proposed Jio institute gets eminence status with IITs and IISc

The Indian Express | Express News Service | New Delhi | July 10, 2018 |

The Institutions of Eminence are proposed to have greater autonomy compared to other higher education institutions. For instance, they will be free to decide their fee for domestic and foreign students and have a flexible course duration and structure.

Reliance Foundation’s proposed Jio Institute has found a place among IIT-Delhi (in pic), IIT-Bombay, IISc among others. (File photo from IE)

The government Monday awarded Institution of Eminence (IoE) status to three public and three private institutions — IIT-Delhi, IIT-Bombay, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), BITS-Pilani, Manipal Academy of High Education, and Reliance Foundation’s proposed Jio Institute near Navi Mumbai. The University Grants Commission (UGC) approved six names against the promised 20 slots. The government’s formal notification is expected soon. The Union Cabinet had approved UGC’s ‘Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities Regulations 2017’, in August, 2017. The regulations are aimed at creating an enabling architecture for 10 public and 10 private institutions to emerge as world-class institutions, since the country has little representation in the international ranking of educational institutions. Only higher education institutions currently placed in the top 500 of global rankings or top 50 of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) are eligible to apply for the eminence tag. The private IoEs can also come up as greenfield ventures, provided the sponsoring organisation submits a convincing perspective plan for 15 years.

The IoEs are proposed to have greater autonomy compared to other higher education institutions. For instance, they will be free to decide their fee for domestic and foreign students, and have a flexible course duration and structure. Their academic collaborations with foreign institutions will be exempt from approvals of government or UGC except institutions based on a list of negative countries prepared by the External Affairs and Home ministries. Once identified, the target for the IoEs would be to break into the top 500 in at least one internationally reputed ranking framework in 10 years and come up in the top 100 over time. The 10 government institutions, in addition to autonomy, will also get Rs 1,000 crore each from the HRD Ministry to achieve world-class status. The government will offer no financial assistance to the private institutions.

A total of 114 institutions and universities – 74 from public sector and 40 from private sector – had applied for IoE status. Out of these, 11 are central universities, 27 are state universities, 10 are state private universities and the remaining are institutes of national importance (INIs), deemed universities, stand-alone institutions and organisations that intend to establish universities. The Empowered Expert Committee (EEC), which was entrusted to find 20 institutions out of 114 applicants, could only identify 11, of which six have been awarded the eminence tag, for now. The four-member EEC is headed by former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami and has Renu Khator, president of University of Houston, R Pritam Singh from the Management Development Institute and Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at the Harvard Business School, as its other members. The committee had each of the 114 applicants submit their presentations in advance. The members then met each applicant for about half an hour, of which 15 minutes were earmarked for a presentation and the remaining time spent on questions regarding the proposal.  Asked why the committee couldn’t finalise names of 20 IoEs, Gopalaswami told The Indian Express, “That was maximum. Is there a rule that if the government prescribes a maximum, we should suggest the maximum even if the institution is not suitable? The basic criterion is not the number. The basic criterion is whether the institution has the capability (to break into the top 100 global rankings).”

The Indian Express has learnt that IIT-Kharagpur, IIT-Madras, Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jadavpur University were among 11 names suggested by EEC, but were not awarded the status. “Out of the 11 names suggested by the EEC, only three were private. So, a decision was taken to announce equal number of institutes from public and private sector, which, consequently, limited the announcement of public institutions to three for now,” government sources said. Out of the three private IoEs announced Monday, Reliance Foundation’s Jio Institute which, at this moment, is just a proposal on paper, was selected under the greenfield category. According to sources, there were 10 other applicants under this category, namely Vedanta’s proposed university in Odisha, Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad, Satya Bharti Foundation, Indian Institute of Human Settlement in Benguluru, Indian Institute of Public Health in Gandhinagar, Maharashtra Institute of Technology in Pune, KREA University in Chennai, DICE Knowledge Foundation, Acharya Institutes in Bengaluru and Indus Tech University in Delhi.

According to the proposal submitted by the Reliance Foundation, the Jio Institute is proposed to have 10 schools offering over 50 disciplines, including humanities, engineering, medical sciences, sports, law, performing arts, sciences and urban planning.  The Foundation has promised to hire faculty from the top 500 global universities, a residential university city for its teachers, set up inter-disciplinary research centres to provide solutions for real-world challenges and commit Rs 9,500 crore towards the institute’s funding, among other things. Justifying Reliance Foundation’s selection over other 10 applicants, the HRD Ministry said in a statement issued on Monday that the Jio Institute proposal satisfied four parameters – availability of land, a core team with high qualifications and experience, funding and a strategic vision plan.

Gopalaswami said, “The applicant has to prove and demonstrate that it has a plan of action ready, that they are prepared in every which way and it is a doable plan. You cannot say that you have identified land, but don’t have possession of the said land or that it is under legal dispute. In each case, we questioned them about their plan and then we made our assessment, whether it is a feasible one or not. The committee then decided that the most feasible of all was only this (Reliance Foundation) proposal.” The Jio Institute doesn’t get the IoE status right away, but a Letter of Intent, instead, for three years. In this time, it has to achieve all the milestones that it has promised to the EEC and the latter, after a review, will finally award the status to the institute. As for the existing institutions that were named as IoEs on Monday, they will formally get the tag as soon as they sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the government. Asked why an applicant with a good track record — ISB-Hyderabad, for instance — lost out to a proposed institute, Gopalaswami said, “Firstly, what came before us was not ISB, but a new institution they were also proposing to set up. Secondly, we haven’t selected any management institution, not even IIM-Ahmedabad, because they don’t figure in the international rankings. You have to be a comprehensive university, not a sectoral one.” The EEC has recommended that the government should start a special programme for sectoral institutions like IIMs, TISS, TIFR and invest in them with a different set of defined goals.

Asked why the government decided to even consider greenfield projects, when there are already many good institutes existing in the private sector, higher education secretary R Subrahmanyam told The Indian Express, “Why not greenfield? The idea is to invite the best to set up world-class institutions. If a new player has the wherewithal to do it, then there is no reason that they should not be encouraged.” The UGC has requested the expert group to continue their selection process to suggest nine more institutions it deems fit for the eminence tag, so that announcements for the remaining IOEs (seven public and seven private) can be made at the earliest. “We have identified the shortcomings (of the applicants who have not been selected) and asked them to come back after making amends,” Gopalaswami said. “This decision is a landmark decision for following reasons – This was never thought of & tried; it is more than a graded autonomy, it is really a full autonomy to the institutes; the institutes can take their own decisions,” HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted. “While today’s decision gives virtually full autonomy, it will also ensure that no student will be denied opportunity of education with various measures like scholarships, interest waiver, fee waiver and ensure all equity principles,” he posted. – Courtesy

Jio Institute only has ‘Letter of Intent’ not ‘IOE’ status: Higher Education Secretary  –    Jul 10, 2018, Deccan Chronicle

New Delhi, Jul 10 (ANI): As the Jio Institute, an education venture by Reliance Foundations, is yet to be set …

New Delhi, Jul 10 (ANI): As the Jio Institute, an education venture by Reliance Foundations, is yet to be set up, it is already embroiled in rumors that it has got an institute of eminence tag. On the issue of its status as ‘eminent institute’ R Subrahmanyam, Secretary, Higher Education said, “Regulation of Institutes of Eminence has given 3 categories, 1st- public institutions in which IITs were considered, 2nd category- private institutions in which BITS Pilani and Manipal are there. The third category is Greenfield private institutions which are not there right now but where well meaning responsible private investment wants to bring global standards to the country, they should be welcomed. As Jio institute is starting on a greenfield mode, they will only get ‘Letter of Intent’ which states they must set-up in 3 years. If they setup, then they get ‘IOE’ status, right now they don’t have the tag, they only have letter of intent”. These institutions will also receive funding from the government to help make them world-class institutions..  Courtesy

UGC Circular : Published on 11-07-2018 :  Institutions of Eminence – Report of the Empowered Expert Committee and Resolution of the Commission (UGC)


Indian software engineering manager charged with insider trading in US

The Economic Times | PTI Jun 29, 2018 |

NEW YORK: An Indian software engineering manager in the US has been charged with trading on confidential information he received while creating a website for consumers impacted by a data breach. Sudhakar Reddy Bonthu, 44, is a citizen of India and a permanent resident of the US state of Georgia.  The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Bonthu committed securities fraud by engaging in illegal insider trading in the securities of information solutions and human resources company Equifax. Bonthu was an Equifax employee from September 2003 until March 2018. The SEC charged him with insider trading in advance of the company’s September 2017 announcement of a massive data breach that exposed Social Security numbers and other personal information of approximately 148 million US customers.

This is the second case the SEC has filed arising from the Equifax data breach. In March, SEC had charged former chief information officer of a US business unit of Equifax Jun Ying with insider trading. Beginning in September 2013, Bonthu was a Production Development Manager of Software Engineering in Equifax’s Global Consumer Solutions business unit. On March 12, 2018, his employment was terminated by Equifax and is currently unemployed. In a complaint filed in federal court in Atlanta yesterday, the SEC charged that Bonthu traded on confidential information he received while creating a website for consumers impacted by a data breach. According to the complaint, Bonthu was told the work was being done for an unnamed potential client, but based on information he received, he concluded that Equifax itself was the victim of the breach. The SEC alleges that Bonthu violated company policy when he traded on the non-public information by purchasing Equifax put options.

Less than a week later, after Equifax publicly announced the data breach and its stock declined nearly 14 per cent, Bonthu sold the put options and netted more than USD 75,000, a return of more than 3,500 per cent on his initial investment. Bonthu was terminated from Equifax in March after refusing to cooperate with an internal investigation into whether he had violated the company’s insider trading policy. “As we allege, Bonthu, who was entrusted with confidential information by his employer, misused that information to conclude that his company had suffered a massive data breach and then sought to illegally profit,” said Richard R Best, Director of the SEC’s Atlanta Regional Office. “Corporate insiders simply cannot abuse their access to sensitive information and illegally enrich themselves,” Best said. In a parallel proceeding, the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia filed criminal charges against Bonthu. To settle the SEC’s civil charges, Bonthu has agreed to a permanent injunction and to return his allegedly ill-gotten gains plus interest. This settlement is subject to court approval. – Courtesy

Nissan sets up first global digital hub in Kerala, India, to hire 500 this fiscal

The Economic Times |  PTI |   Jun 29, 2018 |

It will focus on digitisation of Nissan’s current manufacturing and engineering capabilities and enhancing customer experience to take it to the next level

Japanese auto major Nissan Motor Co today said it is establishing its first global centre for digital operations in India and will hire around 500 people for the same by the end of this fiscal.  The Nissan Digital Hub, to be set up in Kerala, will be followed by a number of software and information technology development centres in Asia, Europe and North America, the company said.  The Kerala centre will focus on building new-age digital capability to enhance user experiences, product development capabilities, security and connectivity in line with the advent of autonomous, connected and electric vehicle technologies. “We are building our team up for this new-age digital capability. We thought that India would be a great market for us from a technology and talent perspective,” Nissan Motor Corporation Chief Information Officer Tony Thomas told PTI.

He said developing such new-age capability has been necessitated by the transformation happening in the automotive industry across the globe with respect to manufacturing, automation, engineering design and how cars are sold. It has become even more important with the the advent of autonomous and connected cars along with emergence of electric vehicle technology, he added. Commenting on the role of the new centre, for which the company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Kerala government today, Thomas said,”This is for the global market. The talent that we are building here will be serving all over the globe for Nissan”.  The centre, which will be initially located at Technopark – owned by the state government in Thiruvananthapuram before moving to a permanent location in the city, will focus on two key aspects, he said.  “The first is to take the current IT capability that we have and evolve it to the next generation,” Thomas added.

It will focus on digitisation of Nissan’s current manufacturing and engineering capabilities and enhancing customer experience to take it to the next level.  The second part, he said, would be on development of security and data analysis to cater to the needs of modern cars, which have become “computer on wheels”.  “Connected, electric and autonomous cars, a lot of technologies go into these cars. (There is a) need for security and analysis of data…We will be focusing on building some of those capabilities here to serve our company,” Thomas said.  When asked how big the centre would be in terms of manpower, he said,”Our assumption is that we will have about 500-odd employees here driving outcomes for Nissan across the globe”.  The centre will start with around 20-odd people.  “We have almost 100 offers ready to go as soon as we finalise with the government. Before the end of the fiscal we will hit 500 or more,” he said.   Thomas said Nissan will also work with its partners to build an ecosystem for future technology at the centre.  “We will be building it up. From thereon, based on our performance we will build up and the number (head count) will grow up,” he added.  Nissan Chairman (Africa, Middle East and India region) Peyman Kargar said, “The creation of Nissan’s first global Digital Hub in India reflects our commitment to this growing market and our belief in investing in India for the long term”.  Harnessing the skills and talents of the workforce in India is another way that Nissan is working to capture the full potential of the region, Kargar added. Nissan, along with its alliance partner Renault, has a manufacturing facility near Chennai with a potential annual capacity of 4.8 lakh vehicles.  The alliance also has a global R&D centre in Chennai, employing 7,000 engineers engaged on several projects, including vehicle and technology development. – Courtesy

\       Apply Now….Nissan Digital Hub Jobs through LinkedIn

Students say Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) question paper leaked just before exam

The New Indian Express | 16th June 2018 | Express News Service | BENGALURU |

WhatsApp messages containing the paper had been in circulation since 9 am on Thursday but the whole fiasco came to light only 24 hours later

BENGALURU: Despite Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), Belagavi, having an online question paper delivery system, concerns about safety of the papers have been raised again. On Friday, students who took an exam on Thursday alleged that its question paper had been leaked earlier that day. According to them, half an hour before the exams, the question paper was allegedly circulated on social media and many came to know of this only a day after the exams!  “On Friday, some of my friends said that they got the question paper of Thursday’s exam on WhatsApp and when compared the two after the exams, they matched,” said a student who attempted the paper.

According to students, at 9.04 am, the paper was circulated on WhatsApp. The examination was scheduled to be held at 10 am.  The 2015 scheme paper of Mathematics II (repeaters paper) was handed out on Thursday at 10 am at all the engineering colleges in the State. The WhatsApp messages containing the leaked paper allegedly had been in circulation since 9 am, and this whole fiasco came to light only 24 hours later. A student said, “As soon as we came to know of this, we cross-checked both the papers and were shocked to see that they matched. The allegedly leaked paper shows the download time as one hour before the exams. But as per rules, download of the question paper should be done only half an hour before the exams”. Even the university authorities were shocked to hear of this and have taken this complaint seriously. Dr Karisiddappa, vice chancellor of VTU, said, “Even we got to know about this only a day after the exams were conducted. We have asked all colleges to submit a detailed report along with CCTV and videographed footage recorded during the question paper downloading, packing and distributing procedure.”  “The IT team of the university is already working on it and suspect miscreants’ hand in it. If the allegations are proven to be true, we will do justice to students by conducting a re-examination for that particular subject,” said the VC. Meanwhile, this is not new for VTU. Recently, there were several examination-related notices that had been forged and circulated. The VTU officials have even lodged a cyber  complaint about these issues but the paper leak has college managements concerned because it has an online question paper delivery system, which was introduced to  ensure safety of question papers and avoid such malpractices. – Courtesy

VTU denies question paper leak  – Deccan Herald , 15 June 2018
VTU) has denied the charges that question papers of Mathematics-2 (CBCS system) were leaked due to negligence on the part of the varsity. The examination for the subject was held on Thursday. Vice Chancellor Dr Karisiddappa told DH on Friday that VTU delivers question papers online to the colleges 30 minutes prior to the commencement of the examination. They have to be decoded after which printouts could be taken for distributing them to the students. Therefore, leak of question paper is not possible, he added. There were allegations from a section of students that the question paper was being circulated on WhatsApp on Thursday morning in Bengaluru and Chikkamagaluru. However, no student has come forward to reveal the source. We will launch an investigation, he said. VTU Visvesvaraya Technological University Belagavi CBCS system VTU VC Dr Karisiddappa. – Courtesy

Engineering graduates tricked by fake ONGC job offers

People Matters | Drishti Pant | 21 May 2018 |

Several engineering graduates from across India arrived at ONGC’s Delhi office with fake appointment letters for which each candidate had given Rs 10 lakh.

Representational Image

On March 7, 2018, two men from Hyderabad came to the Delhi office of ONGC and showed their appointment letters for the post of graduate engineer trainees at Eastern Offshore Asset, ONGC at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. After conducting an internal inquiry, the officials concluded that the letters were fake and informed the candidate that their selection was not registered.  Later, the vigilance department of ONGC contacted the two aspirants for more details where they were informed that a job consultancy firm in Hyderabad promised them the job. In fact, each candidate had given Rs 10 lakh for the job under the ministry quota to the crooks, who contacted them through a placement agency in Hyderabad. Reportedly, the accused even conducted interviews inside Krishi Bhavan. Now, the Delhi Police is examining this multilevel job racket after ONGC informed them and brought this scandal to light.

One of the candidates shared that they met an agent based in Delhi in April 2017 who promised the job under the ministry quota. He told them that his brother-in-law is working with ONGC and asked them to send their documents to the agent. Later they also received a mail from ‘ONGC HR department’ through the email id ‘hrd.ministry@ongc.co.in.’ After a few days, the candidate received another email that confirmed his interview for the post of assistant executive engineer and asked him to report at ‘Recruitment Cell, ONGC, Krishi Bhavan’ on August 24. He shares that there were six more candidates from Hyderabad at the location. Four days after the interview, he got a mail confirming his selection and a pay grade of Rs 24,000-50,500 with a 3 percent increment per year. While investigating the matter the company’s vigilance inquiry found that the signature on the offer letter had some resemblance to the officials from HR department. While the standard format was not followed, the examination of the email ID indicated their origin from ONGC domain thus indicating the involvement of an insider. In the preliminary investigation, the police have found that the consultancy firm has shut down and the phone numbers used by the crooks are not functional. They are further looking into the matter and searching for the cons that pulled off this job racket. – Courtesy

IIT-Kanpur graduate Karttikeya Mangalam creates insulin pen mid-air to save a life

News Bytes | 09 May 2018 |  Pallabi Chatterjee |

Using basic engineering skills, this IIT-Kanpur student saved a man’s life, who was slowly dying due to lack of his medicines. The 30-year-old Dutch, a Type-I diabetes patient, was aboard the same flight as Karttikeya Mangalam, the student. Mangalam was returning from Switzerland after appearing his final semester exam at EPFL, where he was an exchange student, on a Geneva-Delhi flight.

BeginningMangalam’s slumber was disturbed due to an emergency doctor call

Mangalam, also a Stanford-graduate, said the flight was half-empty and he used the two vacant seats in his row to slip into a comfortable siesta. Suddenly after 3-hours, he was disturbed by a commotion: an air-hostess was running up and down asking for a doctor. After sometime, a doctor rushed to two rows behind Mangalam’s, who then found out the passenger needed insulin.

Details After no insulin for 5hrs, Thomas’ body had almost given-up

30-year-old Thomas had diabetes since past 19-years and used to carry a kit comprising his insulin shots, said Mangalam in his memoir that was later shared by his alma mater. But at Sheremetyevo International Airport, he forgot to collect it from the security-check. While Thomas was flying at 30,000ft, his body was already bereft of medicines for 5-hours, a dangerous situation for a diabetic.

Riveting When first insulin shot didn’t work, air-hostess announced emergency landing

The attending doctor, himself a diabetic, had short-term fast working insulin with him, different from what Thomas needed. But given the emergency, he took the risk and shot the dose using the insulin-pen. It didn’t work. After an hour, an air-hostess announced that they would make an emergency landing in the war-torn Afghanistan-Kazakhstan region. Thomas was foaming at the mouth, she said.

Finding solution Using flight’s Wi-Fi, Mangalam read up pen’s mechanism online

The doctor explained that Thomas’ blood sugar had touched an alarming level and that his medicine might not work due to a resistance Thomas had developed gradually. Still, he attempted to push, but this time, the insulin-pen didn’t work, though it did the first time. It then struck a suspicious Mangalam to use the flight’s Wi-Fi and read the insulin-pen’s mechanism online.

SolutionUsing a simple ball-pen’s spring, Mangalam repaired the insulin-pen

“I found a large engineering drawing style diagram in the manual showing how every part works,” said Mangalam. He disbanded the pen and realized it was the absence of a spring that caused the malfunction. He asked for ball pens and found a perfect-fit spring from one pen. He reassembled the insulin-pen, returned it to the doctor, who injected the readjusted dosage to Thomas.

Gesture returned Mangalam assisted Thomas to a check-up, arranged for insulin-pump

In 15-minutes, Thomas’ blood-sugar levels started normalizing and emergency landing was called off. He was shifted to business class, along with Mangalam. Upon landing at Delhi Airport, Mangalam assisted Thomas to a check-up at Medanta hospital and also arranged for an insulin pump. As a return gesture, Thomas invited Mangalam to his Amsterdam restaurant and gorge his way to glory without paying a penny!

‘I am grateful to IIT-K for making me this capable’

“This incident has made me realize the importance of the basic engineering skills we are taught in our freshman year. I am grateful to IIT-K for making me this capable to actually matter in such a critical situation,” wrote Mangalam in his memoir. –  Courtesy

Sarat Chandra Patnaik : Open University student, 81 years young

The Telegraph | Subhas Panigrahi | Feb 07, 2018 |

Sarat Chandra Patnaik

Sambalpur: An 81-year-old retired officer of the rural development department has taken admission in the Odisha Open University’s Bhubaneswar centre. The varsity’s vice-chancellor Srikant Mohapatra, while interacting with the learners, said: “There is no age limit for acquiring knowledge. The old man, Sarat Chandra Patnaik, a retired class I officer of the rural development department, has enrolled himself to study the rural development course.” Patnaik had secured his BA degree from Berhampur University in 1973. “See for yourself the interest of the old man. At this age, Patnaik wants to study and acquire more knowledge. He is sincere in his studies. He told me that as he was writing fast, the teachers were not able to read his handwriting,” the VC said, while narrating his experience of meeting Patnaik. He has successfully served 40 years in his department.

Mohapatra said he had gone through his answer papers. He added so many extra pages in his answer sheets, but due to age problem and fast writing, his hand writing was not clear for the teachers to evaluate. “I am proud of such a student. At this age, he is attending classes,” Mohapatra said. He said the Open University would start a master’s degree in cyber security from the next academic session. “We have applied to the UGC for allowing us to open the cyber security course in our university,” he said, adding: “I am not in favour of opening courses without the approval of the UGC. I do not want to provide unrecognised certificate to students.” He said the students enrolled in the Open University were taking keen interest in their studies. For the first time, the VC had organised the interaction session to get feedback from the learners in the presence of teachers. Most of the students took part in the interactive session, praised the courses and requested the VC to open more job-oriented courses. Teachers Lakshmi Meher, Subhas Panigrahi, Satyanarayan Bhoi, Pruthibiraj Mishra and course co-ordinator Mahendra Behera spoke on various aspects of teachings and its impact on students. Students requested the VC to include more practical classes and field study programmes. Pratap Kumar Das, a journalism student, said the course was so much interesting that his wife had also taken admission in it from this session. – Courtesy

Sci-Hub Loses Domain Names, But Remains Resilient

Torrent Freak.com | Ernesto | 


Sci-Hub, often referred to as the “Pirate Bay of Science,” lost three of its domain names this week. The suspensions are likely the result of the lost court case against the American Chemical Society. Despite the setback, Sci-Hub remains resilient, pointing out that there are other ways to access the site including its own custom DNS servers. While Sci-Hub is praised by thousands of researchers and academics around the world, copyright holders are doing everything in their power to wipe the site from the web.

Following a $15 million defeat against Elsevier in June, the American Chemical Society won a default judgment of $4.8 million in copyright damages earlier this month. The publisher was further granted a broad injunction, requiring various third-party services to stop providing access to the site. This includes domain registries, which have the power to suspend domains worldwide if needed. Yesterday, several of Sci-Hub’s domain names became unreachable. While the site had some issues in recent weeks, several people noticed that the present problems are more permanent. Sci-hub.io, sci-hub.cc, and sci-hub.ac now have the infamous “serverhold” status which suggests that the responsible registries intervened. The status, which has been used previously when domain names are flagged for copyright issues, strips domains of their DNS entries.


This effectively means that the domain names in question have been rendered useless. However, history has also shown that Sci-Hub’s operator Alexandra Elbakyan doesn’t easily back down. Quite the contrary. In a message posted on the site’s VK page and Twitter, the operator points out that users can update their DNS servers to the IP-addresses and, to access it freely again. This rigorous measure will direct all domain name lookups through Sci-Hub’s servers.

Sci-Hub’s tweet

In addition, the Sci-Hub.bz domain and the .onion address on the Tor network still appear to work just fine for most people. It’s clear that Ukraine-born Elbakyan has no intention of throwing in the towel. By providing free access to published research, she sees it as simply helping millions of less privileged academics to do their work properly. Authorized or not, among researchers there is still plenty of demand and support for Sci-Hub’s service. The site hosts dozens of millions of academic papers and receives millions of visitors per month. Many visits come from countries where access to academic journals is limited, such as Iran, Russia and China. But even in countries where access is more common, a lot of researchers visit the site. While the domain problems may temporarily make the site harder to find for some, it’s not likely to be the end for Sch-Hub. – Courtesy

Sci-hub domains go down as American court order that included web-blocking comes into effect

Andy Malt | Published on Friday 24 November 2017

The website that has often been dubbed the ‘Pirate Bay of science’ has seemingly lost three of its domains, presumably as a result of the recent legal action by the American Chemical Society, whose academic papers Sci-Hub had distributed without licence. Although not a music case, the ACS v Sci-Hub legal battle in the US courts was of interest to the wider copyright industries, because – as well as awarding the plaintiff’s damages – the judgement in favour of ACS provided a pretty wide-ranging injunction ordering third party internet companies to stop facilitating access to the file-sharing site. One reading of that injunction suggests that the ruling is, among other things, ordering internet service providers to instigate web-blocks to stop their users from accessing Sci-Hub. That is significant because to date web-blocking has not been available to copyright owners as an anti-piracy tactic in America, even though music and movie companies have secured web-blocks aplenty against piracy sites in an assortment of other countries, not least the UK.

However, after the ruling, legal reps for ACS said they felt the injunction wasn’t as ground-breaking as some were suggesting, adding that they only planned to use the court order to target companies and organisations that directly provide services to Sci-Hub, such as domain registries, server hosting companies and outfits like CloudFlare. It is assumed that – as Sci-hub.io, sci-hub.cc and sci-hub.ac all went offline this week – that is a sign of ACS putting its court order into effect and demanding that registries that administrate web addresses used by Sci-Hub cancel those domains. Though the person behind Sci-Hub, Alexandra Elbakyan, is playing down the significance of those domains going offline. According to Torrentfreak, she posted an update to social media offering alternative ways for people to access her site. When copyright owners go after the domain names of piracy sites, said sites often subsequently register alternative domains in countries where American court orders have less sway. Plus there are other ways for people to access sites when domain names go down. Of course, most anti-piracy tactics – beyond pressuring piracy platform operators to voluntarily shut down their sites under the threat of mega-damages or prison time – only work to an extent, in that web savvy file-sharers can usually find a way around any sanctions. And the same is true of web-blocks, where ISPs are told to block their customers from accessing copyright infringing websites. However, once ACS has enforced its court order against amenable domain registries and server hosting companies – and assuming Sci-Hub continues to happily distribute its papers without licence – it will be interesting to see if the society then chooses to adopt a wider interpretation of its injunction in order to force more internet companies to help limit access to the piracy platform. Including possible web-blocks. Not that any one of those tactics would be a panacea by any means, but some copyright owners take the view that the more hurdles you can put in the way as people try to access piracy websites the better.  – Courtesy

Sci-Hub’s Domain Inactive Following Court’s Order  –   Nov 24, 2017   Enago Academy

Following a recent ruling by a district court in Virginia in favor of the American Chemical Society (ACS), several domains of the controversial pirate website, Sci-Hub, have become inactive. In addition to slapping $4.8 million in damages, the ruling also stated that internet search engines and web-hosting services should refrain from providing access to such websites that engage in copyright infringement.  As of now, the domains for sci-hub.io, sci-hub.ac, and sci-hub.cc have now been made inactive and set to the status of “serverHold,” which indicates that the domain is deactivated in the DNS. With this change, users are not able to easily access Sci-Hub; however, the domain sci-hub.bz is still functional. Although the court order has resulted in the inactivation of several domains for Sci-Hub, Elbakyan reports that she intends to keep Sci-Hub functional and is currently working on a fix for the DNS issues.

For those unaware of Sci-Hub, Alexandra Elbakyan started it in 2011 with the aim to make research papers free by bypassing paywall barriers in academic publishing. In fact, earlier this year, Sci-Hub had faced a similar lawsuit from Elsevier, which it lost and the ruling awarded ~$15 million in damages to Elsevier. Martin Eve, a Literature, Technology, and Publishing professor at the University of London, Birkbeck, stated that such DNS takedowns might prove sufficient for academic publishers but it will not lead to the complete shutdown of Sci-Hub. Academics will find other means to continue accessing the website. He also added that publishers should instead develop better models for scholarly communication that involve open access to research studies thereby reducing the need for portals like Sci-Hub. – Courtesy

Click here…https://sci-hub.cc/      http://sci-hub.bz/    http://www.sci-hub.onion/ 

Amazon announces new Kindle application

DECCAN CHRONICLE | Oct 24, 2017  | Technology |

The new Kindle app is available now in the App Store and Google Play, and will be delivered as an over-the-air update starting this week.


The Kindle app features a new look and feel inspired by books. Details include larger book covers, new fonts, a new app icon, and new light and dark background themes to choose from

Amazon has announced a new Kindle app that is designed for book lovers and provides easy access to popular Kindle features—users can now move between the pages of their book, their library, personalised bookstore and more. The new Kindle app is available now in the App Store and Google Play, and will be delivered as part of a free, over-the-air update starting this week.

Key updates include:

 The Kindle app features a new look and feel inspired by books. Details include larger book covers, new fonts, a new app icon, and new light and dark background themes to choose from.  New bottom bar navigation automatically shows an icon of the book you’re currently reading, making it easier to get back to reading at any time. The bottom bar also provides quick access to Kindle’s features. The search bar is now always available throughout the app, so whether a book is in your library or among the titles in the Kindle Store, it’s easier than to find it. – Courtesy  /   Click here to download the andriod app from Google Play Store     /        App Store

Amazon Kindle app gets new look, easier search & more –  Androidos.in

If you love reading on the Amazon Kindle Android app, there is good news for you. The company has released an updated version of the Kindle app, which includes a revamped look, better search and a lot more. According to Amazon, the updated Kindle app will be available in the Google Play Store beginning today. “We’ve built the new Kindle app from the ground up for book lovers, giving readers easy access to everything they might want to do with their books, all in one place. It’s now easier than ever to turn your phone or tablet into a book and immerse yourself in an author’s world at any time,” said Chuck Moore, Vice President, Kindle.

New look

The most important addition in terms of the visual changes in the Kindle app is the new light and dark background themes. You can now choose which background theme you want while browsing the app. Additionally, the Kindle is also getting new fonts including Amazon’s custom Bookerly font, larger book covers, and a brand new app icon.

One Tap Access

Apart from the fresh look, Amazon is adding a new One Tap Access feature in the Kindle app. The company notes that the new bottom bar navigation in the app will now automatically show an icon of the book you’re currently reading, making it easier than ever to get back to what you were reading.

This bottom bar also provides quick access to other Kindle features allowing you to switch between the pages of your book, your library, your personal bookstore, and more.

Easy Search

The Kindle is getting an always present search bar. So, no matter where you are in the app, you can always look for what you want.

Goodreads Integration

While the Android version of Kindle is getting all the goodies mentioned above, it will have to wait for something which is debuting the iOS version today itself – the Goodreads integration. The Android version will get the integration in a future update.

So, what is this all about?

According to Amazon ,Goodreads is now built right into the Kindle app, unlike previously, when there were only bits and pieces of it here and there. The app will allow users to discuss books, get recommendations, share your views on books and other key Goodreads features.

Global Cyber Challenge – Peace-a-thon

With the objective of enablement and empowerment of cyber security, Cyber Peace Foundation (CPF) and Policy Perspectives Foundation (PPF) in collaboration with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY) and National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Center (NCIIPC), are organizing the Global Cyber Challenge at the Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS), 2017.

Protection of Navigation Technology Infrastructure

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Mitigating Public Sector Cyber Cascades

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Security of Internet of Things

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Security of CII and Digital Payments

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Customer Empowerment for Digital Banking Security

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Fake News

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Integrated Recourse for Digital Fraud Victims

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Mobile Security

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Digital Awareness

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Click here for more details :  https://innovate.mygov.in/cyber-challenge/

Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) 2017 in New Delhi to host over 3500 cyber experts

NEW DELHI: Over three dozen events have been held in leading institutions in India and abroad over the last seven months, involving the participation of more than 3000 experts as a run up to the Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) 2017. The fifth edition of the conference is being hosted by India and will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 23, 2017. Over 3500 participants will take part in the weeklong event directly and millions virtually from India and abroad through video conference, webinars and webcast, the ministry said in a press release. Ravi Shankar Prasad , minister for electronics & IT and Law & Justice, said As we approach November, I look forward to warmly welcome 3000+ delegates at GCCS 2017, New Delhi. Cyber4All will be the main theme of the event with four sub-themes – Cyber4InclusiveGrowth , Cyber4Digitalinclusion , Cyber4Security and Cyber4Diplomacy and will provide an opportunity for discussion on topics such as Blockchain technology, Internet of Things, Proliferation of Indic languages and Smart Cities etc. GCCS will also host a global cyber challenge called Peace-a-thon. The open challenge to computer wizards will be hosted by top Universities worldwide for competing in a Hackathon and an Appathon. The 15 top winning teams and the CTF winners will then compete further in a 36-hour challenge in the Grand Finale being held in New Delhi on November 20 & 21.