Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Says Excited to Keep Investing in India After Meeting PM Modi

American online retail giant Amazon, which has committed investments to the tune of $5 billion in India, will “keep investing and growing in India”, its chief Jeff Bezos has said.

After his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bezos tweeted: “Terrific meeting with @narendramodi. Always impressed, energized by optimism and invention in India. Excited to keep investing and growing.”

Bezos was among the 20 US business leaders who interacted with Modi as part of a roundtable interaction. Others in the group included Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google’s Sunder Pichai, John Chambers from Cisco, Shantanu Narayen from Adobe and Ajay Banga from MasterCard.

Amazon, which has recently completed four years of operations in India, is locked in an intense battle for leadership with homegrown e-tailer Flipkart.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Says Excited to Keep Investing in India After Meeting PM Modi
The company has been aggressively investing in setting up fulfilment centres across India to ensure speedy delivery to consumers. It has 41 such warehouses across 13 states.

Its seller base in the country has also increased to 2 lakh currently, from 100 in 2013.

Previously, Bezos has said the company will keep investing in the Indian market to strengthen technology and infrastructure.

“Our India team is moving fast and delivering for customers and sellers… It’s still Day 1 for e-commerce in India, and I assure you that we’ll keep investing in technology and infrastructure,” Bezos had said.

 

DU admissions: Keep your documents handy, get the best of four calculation right

Gear up to grab a seat at their dream college as Delhi University (DU) released its first cutoff list on Friday evening.

The admission process for the first cutoff list will be on from June 24 to June 28, following which the university will release its second list on July 1.

HT spoke to a few DU students who shared their experience of struggling to find the way to offices in colleges, losing their original certificates to hiring e-rickshaw drivers as guardians to get rooms in hostels.

Many students recounted the first day of admission to be full of struggle. “The first day of admissions was such a blur. I kept getting lost in the college campus and had to try really hard to find my way back to the admin office each time,” said Divya Ahuja from Shri Ram College of Commerce.

Akshay Mehta from Hans Raj College said that many out-station students, who did not go through the dates and guidelines, faced many issues. “I am from Kolkata and I didn’t know that the day the cutoff list is out, it is also the first day of admissions. So, one day I’m sitting at home and the next, I’m boarding a flight to Delhi because I am already a day late for admissions,” he said.

On a lighter note, an outstation student further said, “I have friends who have had to hire e-rickshaw drivers as local guardians to get admission into the hostel as that is a requirement.”

The best four calculations can leave the best of applicants stumped, so you may want to pay close attention to the norms to avoid mistakes.

“After confirming my admission in a college after the first cutoff by four teachers in the panel, getting my documents attested for BSc (H) Statistics, waiting for four hours and completing the whole procedure, the last teacher in the panel says ‘Sorry, you are 0.25% short’,” said Anjali Sharma, a student of College of Vocational Studies.

Many students also reported losing original documents during the admission process.

Nikita Gupta from Lady Shri Ram Collegeg said, “When the second list of cut offs was released, I had gone to a DU college to withdraw my admission so that I could migrate to LSR. It turned out that the college had lost my original documents and I had to search for them all by myself.”

Unfortunately, Gupta is not alone; students like Vaishnavi Gosain from Atma Ram Sanatan Dharam College have also had similar experiences.

“I cried for an hour in front of the administration staff of the college because after standing in a queue for three hours to get myself admitted, I found out that they had misplaced my original certificates. They found them later but till then I had made up my mind to not to take admission in this college,” she said.

DU

There were some who faced issues as they had uploaded incorrect documents, while others had to prove that they were aspirants and not parents to enter the college.

“In my DU form I uploaded my original birth certificate as proof of birth and completed the process, only to realise a day before the deadline that it was the Class 10 marksheet which was required as date of birth proof. I had to redo the form all over again,” he said.

Sanket Aggarwal from CVS was stopped at the gate just because of his appearance. “I have a very tall and muscular build and I like to keep a well groomed beard. So, when I went to Maharaja Agrasen College, the guard stopped me and asked ‘Aapka bacha kahan hai? Parents are not allowed inside.’ I was stunned and had to show him all my documents to prove that I was a student,” said Aggarwal.

 

 

DU admissions: Keep your documents handy, get the best of four calculation right

Gear up to grab a seat at their dream college as Delhi University (DU) released its first cutoff list on Friday evening.

The admission process for the first cutoff list will be on from June 24 to June 28, following which the university will release its second list on July 1.

HT spoke to a few DU students who shared their experience of struggling to find the way to offices in colleges, losing their original certificates to hiring e-rickshaw drivers as guardians to get rooms in hostels.

Many students recounted the first day of admission to be full of struggle. “The first day of admissions was such a blur. I kept getting lost in the college campus and had to try really hard to find my way back to the admin office each time,” said Divya Ahuja from Shri Ram College of Commerce.

Akshay Mehta from Hans Raj College said that many out-station students, who did not go through the dates and guidelines, faced many issues. “I am from Kolkata and I didn’t know that the day the cutoff list is out, it is also the first day of admissions. So, one day I’m sitting at home and the next, I’m boarding a flight to Delhi because I am already a day late for admissions,” he said.

On a lighter note, an outstation student further said, “I have friends who have had to hire e-rickshaw drivers as local guardians to get admission into the hostel as that is a requirement.”

The best four calculations can leave the best of applicants stumped, so you may want to pay close attention to the norms to avoid mistakes.

“After confirming my admission in a college after the first cutoff by four teachers in the panel, getting my documents attested for BSc (H) Statistics, waiting for four hours and completing the whole procedure, the last teacher in the panel says ‘Sorry, you are 0.25% short’,” said Anjali Sharma, a student of College of Vocational Studies.

Many students also reported losing original documents during the admission process.

DU

Nikita Gupta from Lady Shri Ram Collegeg said, “When the second list of cut offs was released, I had gone to a DU college to withdraw my admission so that I could migrate to LSR. It turned out that the college had lost my original documents and I had to search for them all by myself.”

Unfortunately, Gupta is not alone; students like Vaishnavi Gosain from Atma Ram Sanatan Dharam College have also had similar experiences.

“I cried for an hour in front of the administration staff of the college because after standing in a queue for three hours to get myself admitted, I found out that they had misplaced my original certificates. They found them later but till then I had made up my mind to not to take admission in this college,” she said.

There were some who faced issues as they had uploaded incorrect documents, while others had to prove that they were aspirants and not parents to enter the college.

“In my DU form I uploaded my original birth certificate as proof of birth and completed the process, only to realise a day before the deadline that it was the Class 10 marksheet which was required as date of birth proof. I had to redo the form all over again,” he said.

Sanket Aggarwal from CVS was stopped at the gate just because of his appearance. “I have a very tall and muscular build and I like to keep a well groomed beard. So, when I went to Maharaja Agrasen College, the guard stopped me and asked ‘Aapka bacha kahan hai? Parents are not allowed inside.’ I was stunned and had to show him all my documents to prove that I was a student,” said Aggarwal.

 

Facebook to Keep Wraps on Political Ads Data Despite Researchers’ Demands

Facebook said it would not disclose information about political campaign advertising or related data such as how many users click on ads and if advertising messages are consistent across demographics, despite arguments from political scientists who want the data for research.

Details such as the frequency of ads, how much money was spent on them, where they were seen, what the messages were and how many people were reached would remain confidential under the company’s corporate policy, which is the same for political advertising as for commercial customers.

“Advertisers consider their ad creatives and their ad targeting strategy to be competitively sensitive and confidential,” Rob Sherman, Facebook’s deputy chief privacy officer, said in an interview on Wednesday, when asked about political ads.

“In many cases, they’ll ask us, as a condition of running ads on Facebook, not to disclose those details about how they’re running campaigns on our service,” he said. “From our perspective, it’s confidential information of these advertisers.”

Sherman said it would not make an exception for political advertising. “We try to have consistent policies across the board, so that we’re imposing similar requirements on everybody.”

Academics who study political campaigns worldwide said this kind of information fosters accountability by analyzing how candidates compete for votes and whether election systems live up to expectations of fairness. Transparency can also deter fraudulent ads, they said.

Facebook to Keep Wraps on Political Ads Data Despite Researchers' Demands

“We don’t have the capacity right now to track it, and nobody does, as far as we can tell,” said Bowdoin College professor Michael Franz, a co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, which catalogs political ads on traditional television but has no means of doing so on Facebook.

Television has been the backbone of political advertising for decades, and local US broadcasters are required to disclose a wealth of details about the cost and schedules of ads. The ads can be seen by anyone with a television provided they are aired in their markets.

Online advertising, though, often targets narrow, more carefully constructed audiences, so for example an ad could be directed only to Democrats under 25 years of age.

Thousands of variations of online ads can be directed at select groups and the targeting can be extreme. Academics argue this is where the process can become very opaque.

“Candidates can speak out of both sides of their mouths,” said Daniel Kreiss, a communications professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Having some kind of digital repository of ads that are purchased during a particular cycle and linked to a particular source is a good, democratic thing for the public.”

No such repository exists, and the quandary for researchers is expected to worsen as more politicians use digital advertising because of its relatively low cost and opportunities for target marketing.

According to US President Donald Trump’s campaign, $70 million was spent for its ads on Facebook, more than on any other digital platform including Google, and Trump has credited Facebook with helping him defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton last November.

Advertising on Facebook also figured prominently in recent elections in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, researchers said.

Britain is investigating how candidates use data to target voters.

Facebook ads generally disappear with the scroll of a thumb on a smartphone, and they have no permanent links. Advocates for transparency call them “dark ads.” Facebook calls them “unpublished posts.”

Researchers said that disclosure reports from the US Federal Election Commission are unhelpful because they show what campaigns pay to intermediaries, not to internet platforms.

The role of advertising online is as important to study as the effect of so-called “fake news,” which has received more attention than ads, scholars said.

“The holy grail, I think, of political analysis for the 2016 election is to figure out which communications from which entities had an effect on which jurisdictions in the United States,” said Nathan Persily, a Stanford University professor who writes about elections.

Facebook has such information and should make it available for study, Persily said.

Facebook’s Sherman said the company was open to hearing research proposals, but he doubted much could be achieved.

“Even if we were able to be more transparent in this area, it would only be a very small piece of an overall story,” he said.

Online classes, new text help keep Cherokee language alive

Keeping alive a language and culture that were on the verge of dying is critical, and making Cherokee language classes available online has successfully contributed to the effort, said B.J. Foreman, multi-media director for the Cherokee Nation.

The online classes are available to the public free of charge, Foreman said; an internet connection and free online registration at www.cherokee.org is all that is needed to access the classes. The classes can be located by clicking “Language Classes” under “Quick Links” on the left side of the website.

As part of the revitalization effort, three classes are offered online, Foreman said. Cherokee I, II and III get progressively harder. Cherokee I is for beginners while Cherokee III is for more advanced students, according to a recent news release from the tribe about the Cherokee Nation Cherokee Language program. The beginning classes are more phonetics based, Foreman said, while the more advanced courses rely more on the Cherokee syllabary, the set of written symbols created by Sequoyah to represent the Cherokee language.

Students receive a certificate of completion once they complete all three language courses and take the post test, Foreman said. The classes are not accredited.

The online instructor, Ed Fields, teaches two live classes which each meet for one hour twice weekly during the fall and spring semesters, Foreman said. The classes are not offered during the summer months. Fields is quoted in the news release as saying that he wants the students to learn. The class is not a prerequisite for any other course, so participants “are taking the class because they have a genuine desire to learn” the language, he said, according to the release.

Fields uses video and audio so students can both see and hear him, Foreman explained. The audio is beneficial, as it allows students to hear the language being spoken as Fields teaches, he said. Students in the virtual classroom interact using only their keyboards, Foreman said, however the class is “pretty interactive.”

Image result for Online classes, new text help keep Cherokee language alive

Fields “uses his own curriculum and life experiences to teach” the Cherokee language classes, according to the news release.

The Cherokee Nation Cherokee Language program has also introduced a new textbook, according to the release. “We Are Learning Cherokee” uses newer methods of teaching the language and replaces “See, Say, Write,” which has been in use since 1991, the release said. The new textbook was introduced in response to a “lot more research and studies … on the teaching methods of Native American languages,” said Roy Boney, manager of the language program, according to the news release. The new textbook, he said, “will help students learn how to create their own sentences and express their own thoughts” as opposed to using rote memorization.

A growing community of students takes the Cherokee language classes each year, Foreman said. If you do not speak the language and engage with it, it is hard to maintain, he said. Also, the curriculum is updated regularly. So, many students refresh occasionally to “brush up” on the language and benefit from new curriculum that may have been updated, Foreman said. New students take the class as well, he said.

Freeman said statistics regarding class participation are not available; however, he did acknowledge that quite a few of the language students are retired, while the younger population is also well represented.

Students are comprised of people from all over world, he added. Although they do not advertise the classes, Foreman said, students from as far away as Australia have discovered and taken the online classes. A lot of students have enrolled from North Carolina, where a band of Cherokees resides. Europe also is well-represented, he said.

Students are scattered along the coastline and all over the world, suggestive of how the Cherokee language has spread, Foreman said.

The actual online classes are archived, and only the most recent classes are available online, Foreman said. The former classes are made available online for those who cannot attend the live classes or want to refresh, he said. Current classes, as they are recorded, are only available for current students and are designed for those who have to miss a session of the class, he said. The archived classes available are usually not more than a year old, Foreman said. They do not require registration, as live class participation does, he said. The textbook is noted in the release as being available only to those enrolled in the online course.

People take the Cherokee language classes for the purpose of communication within the tribe, Foreman said. Many take the class, Fields is quoted as saying in the release, to “honor their ancestors who spoke the language.”