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Australian minister awards AU$1.1 million scholarship to Indian scholars

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Gurugram, April 12: Australian minister Simon Birmingham on Tuesday awarded a three-year scholarship worth AU$1.1 million (Rs. 53,315,968.06) to 11 Indian students while leading a high-level delegation visit to the TERI-Deakin Nanobiotechnology Centre (TDNBC) here.

The visit marked the celebration of the Indo-Australian academic and research alliance. The TERI Deakin Nanobiotechnology Centre, the most advanced in the world, was inaugurated by the Indian and Australian Prime Ministers on Monday.

The scholarships are awarded to Ph.D students engaged in research programmes at the TERI-Deakin Nanobiotechnology Centre. These students are currently enrolled at Deakin University under the Deakin India Research Initiative (DIRI), which was launched in India in 2009. DIRI builds on Deakin University’s world-leading expertise in material sciences, nanotechnology and biotechnology.

While addressing the gathering, Education and Training Minister Birmingham said: “The TERI Deakin Nanobiotechnology Centre facility is not incredible because we are commissioning bricks and mortar, it’s incredible because of the brains, the students, the knowledge that is embedded within the facility, and the potential that they (students) are going to realise in so many different ways.”

Under the program, each student is provided with a full tuition fee waiver from Deakin University up to an amount of approximately AU$100,000 for a period of three years. During the program, the students travel to Deakin University in Australia for a period of six to eight months during their Ph.D to work closely with their Deakin supervisor.

Elaborating on the scholarship programme, Vice Chancellor of Deakin University Jane den Hollander AO said, “The three-year scholarship programme is predominantly designed to equip the best of the talent with advanced research facilities. Under this programme, Deakin University and TERI will provide joint supervision to the students. TDNBC envisions meeting the demand for a global, skilled workforce in nanobiotechnology.”

TERI Director General Ajay Mathur further added, “Within five years, the Centre aims to have a number of researchers, including Ph.D students, enrolled at Deakin. With its cutting edge technology at the disposal of these bright minds, this Centre will help India make a mark on the global map for building new capabilities and bringing new innovations in the field of science and technology.”

Besides this, researcher’s residences at TDNBC with an accommodation for 50 residents, was also inaugurated by the minister on Tuesday.

IANS

 

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Idea offers Rs 2k cashback on 4G smartphones

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Mumbai, Feb 22: Telecom operator Idea Cellular on Thursday said it has offered a cashback of Rs 2,000 on the purchase of a new 4G smartphone of any brand with effect from February 23.

The cellular operator said the offer is applicable to both prepaid and postpaid customers.

“The focus is on upgrading the customer to 4G by making 4G handsets more affordable. We are targeting this communication to all customers intending to buy a new 4G smartphone,” Sashi Shankar, Chief Marketing Officer, Idea Cellular, said in a statement.

IANS

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Former engineer sues Google over discrimination

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San Francisco, Feb 22: A former employee has sued Google for “discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination”, alleging that the company fired him over writing pro-diversity internal posts.

According to a report in Gizmodo late Wednesday, Tim Chevalier, a software developer and former site-reliability engineer at Google, was fired in November 2017 after he made several internal posts against racism and sexism.

Chevalier had responded to the anti-diversity memo written by James Damore, another employee who was ousted from the company last year for criticising the tech giant for its diversity policy.

“Chevalier, who is transgender, queer and disabled, alleges that Google failed to protect its female, minority, and LGBTQ employees from harassment on internal forums… but was quick to crack down on those employees when they spoke out about their experiences with racism, sexism, and homophobia at work,” Gizmodo reported.

In a statement to The Verge, Chevalier said: “It is a cruel irony that Google attempted to justify firing me by claiming that my social networking posts showed bias against my harassers.”

In a recent ruling, the US National Labour Relations Board (NLRB) shot down Damorea¿s complaint, saying that Google did not violate labour laws when it fired him.

An NLRB lawyer said Google fired the computer engineer not for expressing dissenting views or criticism, but over “unprotected discriminatory statements” in his memo, which he had posted to internal discussion forums at the tech giant.

In his lawsuit filed in a California court, Damore said that Google “ostracised, belittled and punished” him and a fellow plaintiff.

Chevalier’s posts were also quoted in Damore’s lawsuit against Google.

According to Google, the company was enforcing its policy against the promotion of harmful stereotypes.

“An important part of our culture is lively debate. But like any workplace, that doesn’t mean anything goes. All employees acknowledge our code of conduct and other workplace policies, under which promoting harmful stereotypes based on race or gender is prohibited,” Google spokesperson Gina Scigliano said in a statement.

IANS

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India 7th most targeted nation for Web Application Attacks: Report

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Bengaluru, Feb 21: Nearly 40 per cent of over 53,000 cyber attacks in India occurred in the financial services sector during 2017, placing it at the seventh spot in the list of targeted countries for Web Application Attacks (WAA), a new report said on Wednesday.

Security incidents like phishing, website intrusions and defacements, virus and ransomware targeted the rapidly growing of the Banking, Financial services and Insurance (BFSI) sector in India, warranting a robust infrastructure and planned roadmap for cybersecurity, said the report from content delivery network services Akamai Technologies.

“A key motive of attackers has always been financial profit. In the past few years, we have seen adversaries move to more direct methods to achieve that goal such as ransomware,” noted Martin McKeay, Senior Security Advocate at Akamai.

“Crypto-mining offers attackers the most direct avenue to monetise efforts by putting money immediately into their cryptowallets,” McKeay added.

The report, titled “Akamai State of the Internet Security Q4 2017,” also stated that the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack frequency in the BFSI sector increased by 50 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2017 over the last quarter.

It also placed India seventh in the list of the top source countries for WAA.

“While India maintained the same position in the third quarter last year, it is interesting to note that the attacks sourced have seen a drop of approximately four million in number as compared to last quarter,” the report said.

The newly-released data that analysed more than 7.3 trillion bot requests per month found a sharp increase in the threat of credential abuse, with more than 40 per cent of login attempts being malicious.

This indicates that DDoS attacks remain a consistent threat and the Mirai botnet is still capable of strong bursts of activity.

Akamai’s findings also confirmed that the total number of DDoS attacks last quarter increased 14 per cent from the same time last year.

“The hospitality industry suffered as the biggest target of fraudulent credential attacks, with 82 per cent of their login attempts being from malicious botnets, the report said.

The financial industry saw a sharp increase in the number of DDoS attacks, experiencing 298 DDoS attacks against 37 distinct organisations last quarter.

There was a 31 per cent increase in DDoS attacks sourcing from the US last quarter compared to the same timeframe in 2017, the report said.

With Inputs from IANS

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