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Twitter to now sport gold & grey ticks, besides blue

Twitter CEO Elon Musk has announced that the account verification programme will be launched in the beginning of December. Twitter had to put its $7.99 verification service on hold after users were found impersonating brands and other people on the pretext of parody. As part of the platform’s premium service, users were allowed to get a verification label, which is now being exploited by imposters. The microblogging site will now have gold and grey ticks, apart from the blue ticks. It will be gold for companies, grey for the government and blue for individuals, for both celebrities and individuals. All verified accounts will be manually authenticated before the check is activated, Musk has clarified in his tweet.

Financial services sector is undergoing a sea change with 75 digital banking units in 75 districts

Technology-based digital platforms have gained popularity among various sections of society including the educated semi-urban and rural classes equally in the last decade. 75 digital banking units have been launched in 75 districts across the country. Over the last few years, India has turned a corner and placed a renewed emphasis on ensuring that the new era requires a new mechanism. This novel mechanism shares immense benefits of technology for humanity as was seen with the hugely successful Digital India campaign. In what has become a huge catalyst towards promoting as many transactions that can take place through digital means, the Digital India campaign has empowered the common citizen with the widespread use of technology on that front. Technology-based digital platforms have gained popularity among various sections of society including the educated semi-urban and rural classes equally in the last decade. Though the shift to these online platforms was a foregone conclusion, the fact that the same would happen so swiftly took everyone  by surprise. Notwithstanding the presence of private Indian nonbanking financial players like PhonePe or PayTM as well as international giants like GPay, the most successful and user-friendly interface among all of them has been that of BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) launched by the Government of India. Continuing on this trend of promoting ease of living within the nation, the Government of India has been able to add new services to it. Adding a new dimension to the push towards digital finances, an even more advanced, effective, transparent and reliable way has been found through 75 digital banking units. As of now, 11 public sector banks as well as 12 private banks would be participating in this initiative. In the last half a decade particularly, banks have been able to reach out to a record number of poor.

With staggering growth, UPI becomes the flag-bearer of Indian FinTech revolution

Demonetisation in 2016 and the Covid 19 Pandemic in 2019, has pushed India by many folds to adapt UPI for digital transactions. What started with 21 banks in 2016 is now an empire of 365 banks and thousands of merchants.  UPI recorded an all time high transactional volume and value in October, with over 7 trillion transactions worth over Rs 12 trillion. Unified Payments Interface, a real time payments system was developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and launched in 2016. UPI has successfully changed the digital payments landscape of India, over the span of 6 years. Consumers all over the world have been using UPI for real time payments and the Pandemic has aided its growth. Globally India has the highest real-time transaction volume which is threefold of the closest challenger China. Minimalist interface and user-friendly experience are the two key pillars of UPI which makes it not just limited to urban India but also successfully spread across Rural Bharat where even small merchants and kirana stores prefer accepting UPI payments. Global investment banking firm, Jefferies reportedly said, in the financial year 2022 (FY22), India will see a total of $2.16 trillion worth of digital payments. UPI is expected to make up close to 50 percent of that. NPCI has also recently launched UPI 123 Pay and credit card linked UPI taking the digital payments a notch higher. A report by CLSA highlights that UPI comprises 60% of total payments by volume and digital payments have risen from $61bn in FY16 to $300bn as of FY21. “Given increasing online purchases and digital adoption, we expect this to grow to US$0.9 – 1 trillion by FY26, or 30% of Indian consumption”, the report said.

UX and UI trends for 2023

GIPSI, the HI+AI insights division of Tonic Worldwide launched the  X-Factor report on UI/UX to conquer the next digital frontier. UI/UX is one of the top skills in demand because, for the consumer to love your website or App it requires both, UI and UX. In the last two years with the pandemic pushing the digitization agenda, e-commerce and digital presence has taken the center stage. Key insights in the report are:- Personalization, Verisimilitude Experience: UI/UX is the missing ingredient in the success of web 3.0. Passive engagement to mere active engagement is not enough for the consumers to accept metaverse. They are seeking verisimilitude experience. 538K+ are excited for an immersive experience in Web3.0.  Experiential UI/UX: Indulge and assure with virtual try-on. Trials are deal breakers for many brands in the offline world as they indulge and assure the consumers before buying. The virtual try-on is a great way to simulate the experience. Interface Delight : In the race of going digital with your business, don’t forget to invest in interface delight. Just turning your offline offering into an app is not enough. Pay close attention to the app and the website reviews to keep a check on the delight. Voice Experience: Brands are on mute and there’s a huge opportunity in unmuting. 16K+ conversations on only 4 voice assistants in the last three months! More than 50% of all smartphone users are engaging with voice search technology. Inclusive Experience: UI/UX has the potential to make brands more inclusive and be more humane. Design for all should be the mantra as over 15% (>1 Bn) of the world’s population have disabilities and this number will increase to double by the year 2050. Make it happen with UI/UX for the specially abled consumers by optimizing font sizes, improving color contrast, supporting with screen readers (audio assistants), keeping adequate line spacing and large tap target, adding longer timeout. Diversity Experience: Diversity is the new hygiene which can be offered with design. Authentic representation of language, skin, gender and more can increase the EQ points for your brand.  58% of Gen Z shoppers have purchased a fashion item outside of their gender identity. 79% of men and women are looking to purchase more gender-fluid clothing in the future.Be multilingual, be mindful to preferred pronouns, be sensitive to skin tone and sizes.

How can AI, robotics and blockchain technology transform digital education

Artificial intelligence(AI) and robotics and blockchain technology, when used in a coordinated and combined manner, can potentially revolutionize the education system. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD) report of 2021 brought to the fore the growing importance of robotics, AI and blockchain technology in the education field ranging from schools to universities. The report highlighted the need for advancement or digital education in recent times citing the following conditions of the present scenario: With the Covid-19 pandemic, many schools transitioned to digital learning to continue the education of the children.  However, screen fatigue and stress in adapting to digital devices for a prolonged time created problems in gearing up the learning process. Technological preparedness and the use of innovative technology can better prepare schools around the world to carry out effective digital education. A look at each of them : AI and its growing relevance in education:  It can help teachers gauge the varying attentiveness and focus of different students and the areas where they get bored and the areas where they pace up AI can enable amateur teachers to perceive and get an idea of the classroom in a better way like when to slow down, speed up, and ask questions to stimulate a passive class AI technology can help in reintegrating learning and assessment, using real time data and feedback to help students. The role of Robotics in digital education: The effective usage of robotics will require reinventing the role of teachers to a good extent. Robots can easily perform some routine actions of the teacher. The growing importance of blockchain:  Blockchain has been claimed to be the most mature technology through applications among the three technologies covered in the report. The blockchain can unburden the education system of the task of maintaining decades of data of certificates and degrees. Blockchain-verified qualifications can make the entire process of providing certificates, and maintaining humongous amounts of data and records extremely fluid, easy and manageable.

Zomato now in Hindi, does 150,000 orders a month

Food aggregator Zomato has announced that its app is now available in Hindi, along with some regional languages such as Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. Zomato is delivering more than 150,000 orders a month via the regional language versions of the Zomato app. Hindi accounts for 54 per cent and Tamil, for 11 per cent of these orders currently. The rest are growing rapidly, the firm said in a statement. “While we are grateful for the positive sentiment, we recognise that we’re just getting started. We will continuously work on improving the quality of our regional apps to make them more accurate and contextual,” the statement said.

Luxury’s foray into digital commerce: future or fad?

Luxury sales in India are expected to grow to $7.74 billion in FY23 due to a strong recovery from the pandemic and growing demand from tier 2 cities and gen Z consumers. Most of it is from offline retail but the contribution of online sales grew from 3.5 % in 2017 to 6.5% in 2021. Estimates suggest that online sales will grow further to 10% in a few years.

CCI’s Twin Orders May Hurt Google India Developer Base

Google has flagged as “priority” the verdict by India’s antitrust regulator that its Android Operating System had abused its dominant position, as the country is one of the largest markets for the US-based search giant. Google is currently working on a strategy which may include challenging the two orders by the Competition Commission ofIndia (CCI). The verdicts may hurt the developer base in the country since it would have to develop apps with different specifications for different app stores. “The CCI ruling is very concerning, not just for the security risks that come with sideloading (of apps) but also the risk that the order makes vis-à-vis forked versions of Android,” the report said. Sideloading refers to downloading of apps outside of app stores using the APK file. Google has put in place a structure where the open-source ecosystem has a baseline level of compatibility which lowers costs for developers to get their apps out on Google Play Store. “If it now has to enable forked version of Android, we’re actually going back to the early 2000s world where the ecosystem was super fragmented and developers are priced out of building apps for the ecosystem because there are so many different versions that they have to build for.”. This kind of ecosystem will end up like what is currently seen in China, wherein there are various Android forks, and the ecosystem is vastly fragmented, with several “tons of user vulnerabilities with security” because there is no central place where users are protected. “There’s no compatibility (in China).” “There’s no security to ensure that when users are downloading and engaging with apps, there’s  some baseline security. That’s what Google is worried about when it comes to what has been asked of them to do in the CCI ruling and is trying to figure out how best to respond to that.” On October 20, CCI imposed a fine of ₹1,337.76 crore on the search giant for abuse of its dominant position in multiple markets through the Android OS. Five days later, it imposed a further penalty of ₹936.44 crore for flouting multiple provisions of the Competition Act, such as making its in-house payment and billing system mandatory for paid apps and in-app purchases on its Play Store.

Fake reviews may land online vendors in consumer courts

E-commerce companies and eateries will have to ensure that the online reviews of their products and services are genuine, and their authors verifiable, under a new government framework to counter fake reviews. The new guidelines were outlined by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). Under the framework, the e-commerce company or restaurant will have to develop a code of practice, necessary terms and conditions for accessibility, and ensure that the content does not contain financial information. The organization will have to monitor online reviews.

Amazon to shut down its edtech platform in India, refund customers

Amazon said it will shut down its edtech offering in India from August 2023 and refund the full fees to those enrolled in the current academic batch. The e-commerce giant launched Amazon Academy in January 2021 to cater to students preparing for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) to engineering colleges. The move enabled it to take on top edtech companies such as Byju’s, Unacademy, Vedantu and traditional education institutes and tap the country’s $180-billion education sector which has gone online to adapt to the new reality. “Following an assessment, we have made the decision to discontinue Amazon Academy,” said an Amazon spokesperson. “We are winding down this program in a phased manner to take care of current customers.”

Indian gamers keen in turning professional, see career growth

Around two-third of “serious gamers” want to have a full- or a part-time career, according to the HP India Gaming Landscape Study 2022 that had more than 2000 respondents in 14 Indian cities. Serious gamers are those who spend more than eight hours a week playing and participating in online competitions. As many as 33 percent of respondents saw gaming as a viable main career and the same number looked at it as a good part-time career. As many as 27 percent believed that gaming could not be a career. The industry’s growth is prompting Indian gamers to try their hand at various career options, the report said. As many as 20 percent of respondents wanted to be influencers, 18 percent preferred to be gaming software developers, 8 percent chose to be gaming streamers, and 2 percent chose the role of animator.

E-clinics facilitate comprehensive healthcare to remote areas

Today, healthcare has taken the lead in shaping global economic growth paradigms. According to Statista, the worldwide cost of pharmaceuticals in 2017 has already surpassed US$ 1.14 trillion. The last ten years have seen the birth of E-Clinics and EHealth, thanks to the ongoing advancements and inventions in the medical industry. With the aid of ever-evolving technologies, the growth of E-Clinics is spanning the entire healthcare process. The modern era’s expansion of health technology has turned information and communication technology (ICT) into its foundation. The most recent phase of healthcare evolution worldwide is the delivery of mobile healthcare services integrated with ICT. India Brand Equity Foundation predicts that by 2022, the Indian hospital sector would generate USD 132.84 billion, with e-clinics accounting for a larger portion of the growth. Through the notion of “E-clinics,” regular medical practice and doctor consultation have expanded to the most remote regions of the world. Specialist doctors are now accessible to patients traveling from remote rural areas to tier-II and tier-III cities. With more people having access to the internet and more networks being covered, contact between doctors and patients through E-clinics has not only facilitated high-quality healthcare but also resulted in a decrease in healthcare costs. People throughout the country are living better lives because of the idea of Industries. In addition to the ambitious government initiative “Ayushman Bharat,” many private firms have also entered the healthcare sector and are offering teleconsultations for patients in the convenience of their homes. Electronic Health Records are used to record health data for precision medicine. The most effective technologies for recording health vitals on EHRs for precision medicine are e-clinics and mobile health units. Through the telemedicine service offered by E-clinics, patients in rural locations can access the greatest medical advice from multi-specialty hospitals or the best doctors in metro areas. For those searching for high-quality medical care, this might save their lives.






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