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Omar Abdullah meet Prez, says Pak is not only responsible for Kashmir unrest

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Delegations of Jammu and Kashmir opposition parties led by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah meet President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday, requesting him to urge upon the ruling government to find a solution to the current Kashmir unrest politically rather than administratively.

After an hour-long meeting with the President, Omar Abdullah told media that the failure of the central government to acknowledge that the issue in Kashmir is largely of a political nature has worsened the already volatile situation.

“From last 25 years Pakistan was behind the clashes in Jammu and Kashmir but if you ask me that after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani the unrest arose in state was because of Pakistan than i have to say no but it is a result of our own mistakes, former J&K CM said.

He added that Pakistan may have incited the fire lit by the Indian government’s faulty handling of the situation but the fault primarily lies with the Jammu and Kashmir government.”

The former Chief Minister, who was flanked by Congress MLAs led by state PCC Chief G A Mir, CPM MLA M Y Tarigami and Independent legislator Hakim Yaseen, said, “The fire that has been raging in Kashmir Valley for last 42 days has already started spreading across Peer Panjal and Chenab Valley in Jammu region and Kargil area.”

“I wonder when would they wake up as the situation is grave,” he said, alleging that the state and central governments were trying to “crush the agitation by using administrative measures” like stopping sale of petrol and other essential commodities.

Launching an attack on Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti, he said “total administrative failure” and a state of complete “anarchy” is what is responsible for the situation in the valley. He compared the present crisis and the situation in 2010 violence during his tenure. He said that the crisis did not spiral out of control back then because the political leadership accepted its fault and took fire-fighting measures. The Mufti government, he said is denying responsibility.

“This is a political problem and that is about it. We cannot escape the fact by blaming Pakistan,” he said.

Accusing the BJP-PDP coalition of inaction, Abdullah also said that it is the first time in history that initiatives that should have been taken up by the government,are being taken by opposition parties.

He also bemoaned the lack of political will to resume dialogue stating, “It’s sad that the statements expected from political leadership are coming from the Army leadership. The Army had said that dialogue is the way forward.”

“It was opposition parties which pressurised the government for holding a debate in Parliament and it is again the opposition parties which are pushing the state government to find a political solution to the problem,” he said.

Omar warned that a “continued delay to engage with the people of the state through a comprehensive and sustained political initiative will further deepen the sense of alienation in the Valley and cast a shadow of uncertainty on its future generation”.

Wefornews Bureau

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Google ‘Launchpad Accelerator’ India chapter to nurture desi startups

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New Delhi, July 10: In a bid to nurture Indian startups working in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), Google on Tuesday announced to open the India chapter of its global “Launchpad Accelerator” mentorship programme.

The three-month “Launchpad Accelerator” India programme has been designed to grow the AI/ML ecosystem by helping desi startups build scalable solutions for the country’s unique problems.

The programme, based out of Bengaluru, will provide a cohort of 8-10 Indian startups mentorship and support from the best of Google in AI/ML, Cloud, UX, Android, web, product strategy and marketing, along with up to $100K of Google Cloud credits, the company said in a statement.

“India has the appetite to build entrepreneurs of the future and we are proud to announce a focused programme for the next wave of Indian entrepreneurs, who are using new technologies to solve the country’s needs,” said Roy Glasberg, Global Launchpad Founder.

Over the years, Google has worked with some incredible startups across India who are using advanced technologies such as AI/ML to tackle everything from agri-tech to language web, healthcare and transportation.

“With the dedicated India-only Launchpad Accelerator programme, we will be able to build a bridge between startups and the industry ecosystem and support them to drive innovation in the India market,” Glasberg added.

Applications for the first class is open till July 31 and the first class will start in September 2018.

In an effort to mentor emerging start-ups, Google India hosted a four-day boot camp for the first 10 Indian startups as part of its ‘Solve for India’ programme.

The India-focused accelerator programme is building on Google’s “Solve for India” roadshow from last year.

Ten Indian startups were shortlisted from across India which underwent four days in one-on-one consults with experts from Google and mentors from the industry to solve critical product and growth challenges.

“We shortlisted 10 startups from 160 home-grown start-ups by travelling across 15 cities in India, and are now ready to scale this pilot as a dedicated programme for India,” Karthik Padmanabhan, Developer Relations Lead, Google India, said at that time.

The participants were the founders of startups including Nebulaa, Slang Labs, PregBuddy, LegalDesk, PaySack, Vokal, FarMart, Meesho, Pratilipi and M-Indicator.

“Launchpad” regional accelerators are tailored specifically to their local markets, helping startups build great products, Google said.

IANS

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Fuel prices hiked for fifth consecutive day

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New Delhi July 9: Petrol and diesel prices on Monday hiked for the fifth consecutive day, according to the Indian Oil Corporation data.

Petrol is being sold in Delhi at Rs.76.36 per litre, as against Rs.76.13 on Sunday, while diesel is being sold at Rs.68.07 per litre, as against Rs. 67.86 on the previous day.

While in Mumbai, petrol prices increased from Rs. 83.52 on Sunday, to Rs. 83.75 per litre on Monday, and diesel prices from Rs.72 to Rs. 72.23 per litre.

Members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) last month, agreed to jointly increase oil production, which was estimated to be about one million barrels a day.

The deal, which came after days of negotiation, was reportedly aimed at easing fears of a global supply crunch.

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China’s cross-border e-commerce players value India, Middle East markets

The Indian market enjoys a huge population and high potential for economic growth, thus attracting many e-commerce players to expand their presence.

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Beijing, July 8 (IANS) :China’s major cross-border e-commerce players put much focus on the Indian and Middle Eastern markets, a report revealed on Sunday.

According to app data provider App Annie, the Indian market enjoys a huge population and high potential for economic growth, thus attracting many e-commerce players to expand their presence, reports Xinhua news agency.

Smartphones are popular in Arab countries and local consumers have strong purchasing power.

But the oil-rich countries lack textiles and other light sectors, offering cross-border e-commerce opportunities for products like apparel.

Alibaba’s AliExpress tops the list, which mainly reviews the performances of third-party business-to-consumer e-commerce platforms targeting overseas consumers.

The report also showed that South American markets pose rising growth potential while developed markets in Europe and the US remain attractive to Chinese e-commerce players.

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