We are yet to see an official render of the Samsung Galaxy S8. But thanks to various accessory makers we already have a pretty good idea of what the device will look like. The latest images come from the Australian brand UAG.
The company listed several Galaxy S8 cases on its website, revealing that the device will have iris scanner, as previously we reported. Along with it and the front camera we see some more sensors and light diods. The lack of physical button/fingerprint sensor on the front is also a confirmation.
There is a button below the volume keys on the left side and another where the Power button usually is. We still don’t know which one will be the Bixby AI dedicated one.
The fingerprint sensor is actually on the right side of the main camera and unlike other manufacturers it actually has vertical rectangular form rather than circular or square shape.
Samsung Galaxy S8 will have 5.8” dual-curved screen with 18:9, Snapdragon 835 chipset, 4 GB or 6 GB RAM and 64 GB or 128 GB internal storage and the price will start from $885.
MANGALURU: The retail inflation may have been hovering at quite a reasonable level of 3.17% for January, 2017 on an all-India basis, but there is no respite for people right in Delhi along with a couple of other states, suffering the price rise at double the national average, with demonetization leaving its possible impact, an ASSOCHAM analysis has noted.
“Against the national average of 3.17%, Delhi had to bear the inflation rate, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) at 6.32%, while it was 7.01% for Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and 5.92% for Himachal Pradesh,” said the ASSOCHAM analysis of the inflation data.
It also noted that in the rural belt of the national capital, the CPI inflation was close to seven per cent at 6.85%. Similarly the rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir and HP which were quite high on the retail inflation chart, witnessed quite a high rate of price rise in January, 2017 year on year.
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In J&K rural and far flung, the CPI inflation was 9.08% and for the similar areas of HP it was 6.17%, adds the ASSOCHAM.
“The CPI inflation for January, 2017 on an all India level is much lower at 3.17% than the one measured on the Wholesale Price Index, at 5.25%. One of the plausible reasons could be the impact of demonetization on the supply chain, “said ASSOCHAM President Sandeep Jajodia.
But, what is more surprising is the huge gap between retail inflation in Delhi and the national average. ” This was not expected at least in Delhi, especially when the phenomenon was not seen even in the neighbouring states of Haryana, UP and Punjab, thought it was slightly over four per cent in these states”, the chamber said, adding the demonetization would have led to supply chain disruption more in the national capital than other states.
More Kickstarter news this week. Can you believe it? Last week I joked about a renaissance but now I’m pretty sure it’s actually happening.
That, plus Overwatch gets a server browser, South Park delays a second time, a bevy of launch trailers and announcement trailers and trailer trailers, and Project Cars 2 talks about supporting 12K resolutions. Mmmm, that’s a lot of pixels.
This is gaming news for February 6 through 10.
Another chance for me to talk about Stasis? Excellent. If you don’t know, Stasis is the best horror game you (probably) didn’t play in 2015. An isometric horror game in the vein of the classic Sanitarium, Stasis is some excellent derelict space ship sci-fi.
And now the developers are working on a follow-up, titled Beautiful Desolation. Like PC Gamer, I apparently missed word on this in January, but there’s a Kickstarter campaign and everything. I’m not a huge fan of the name, but I am a huge fan of the art on display so far, and fervently hope it reaches its funding goal.
Let’s keep on the crowdfunding theme for a second and talk about inXile. The studio released details on both the upcomingTorment: Tides of Numenera and the slightly-less-upcoming Bard’s Tale IV this week, with a look at Torment’s story and Bard’s Tale’s combat. Here’s Torment:
And Bard’s Tale:
Finish the fight
Halo Wars 2 launches next week, at least for Ultimate Edition buyers. Will it be good? No idea, but it sure does have some beautiful cinematics.
Live to serve
It’s not the sexiest update, but Overwatch is getting a server browser to complement its bevy of matchmaking systems. Want to play a custom game with friends? You can finally—nine months after release—do so.
I’d sort-of forgotten that Slightly Mad Studios has been working on Project Cars 2. Hard to forget, given the stink people made when the sequel was originally announced, coming as it did mere months after the release of the original. But regardless, I’d forgotten.
There’s video now though—gorgeous video. Also, support for 12K resolutions (12K!) and more. Time to upgrade your graphics card, sim racers.
Speaking of racing games…well, actually no. The big news this week is that Playground Games, developer of the beloved Forza Horizon series, is working on a new game—and it’s not a racing game. According to GamesIndustry.biz , Playground is opening a second studio and branching out into a new genre, in addition to (presumably) the 2018 Forza Horizon game.
If this mythical second project ends up even half as good as Forza Horizon, we’re in for a treat.
South Park: Still Not Whole
Bad news, South Park fans: Latest game The Fractured But Whole has been delayed yet again, this time to a rather ambiguous “sometime this year.” That’s the second delay for the superhero-themed sequel, which was originally supposed to arrive in December and then was pushed to early 2017. Now? Well, we’ll see.
Cue the Miyamoto quote about a bad game being bad forever, and et cetera.
Ubisoft’s doing just okay with-or-without South Park though, I imagine. Case in point: Rainbow Six Siege is still humming along, still 2015’s best shooter, and just about to start its second season of DLC characters and maps. You’ll get four minutes of that below, with a look at the new “Velvet Shell” operators and Coastline map.
Oh, and Ubisoft also brought back the Rainbow Six Siege Starter Edition. For $15 you get the game and access to four operators, with a whole lot of grinding if you want to unlock the rest—or you try it, enjoy it, and buy the full game (maybe when it goes on sale?) to continue as normal. Your call.
Okay, more Ubisoft news. Ghost Recon: Wildlands is set to release in March. Ubisoft’s continued its tradition of “Silly Live-Action Trailers” for this one—except this time they’ve made a whole live-action movie. There’s a teaser below. Go microwave some popcorn. I’ll wait.
MUMBAI: RBI Governor Urjit Patel on Wednesday said there is further scope for banks to reduce lending rates as the Reserve Bank has already brought down its policy rates by 175 basis points since January 2015.
“There is still scope for the lending rates to come down because our policy rates came down by 175 basis points and weighted average lending rates have come down only by 85-90 basis points. I think there is scope for more transmission,” Patel said in the post-policy press meet.
In the sixth bi-monthly monetary policy on Wednesday, the RBI maintained status quo by keeping repo rate at 6.25 per cent and changed the policy stance neutral after being in accommodative mode for long, citing a slew of headwinds.
This is the second time in a row when the RBI left the policy rate unchanged awaiting more clarity on inflation trend and the impact of demonetisation on growth.
This week we’ve got a bunch of successful Kickstarter campaigns, the first Stellaris expansion, Lego modded into Arma 3, the impending death of Denuvo, and Elder Scrolls Online pulling out the nuclear option: A Morrowindexpansion.
It’s gaming news for January 30 through February 3.
Need something to play this weekend? You’ve got a few free trial options.
First up is Rainbow Six Siege, one of our favorites of 2015 and beyond, which is free-to-try through Steam from now until February 5. The game is also selling for 50 percent off if you want more permanent access.
And on the not-so-finished side of things, there’s Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3. The game releases in April, but it’s hosting an open beta this weekend. Expect two singleplayer missions, as detailed in the trailer below. You can sign up here.
A bit of sunlight
Following our usual tradition, I was going to take this space to write about the Sunless Sky Kickstarter campaign. “Hey, Sunless Sea was great! Get out there and fund a sequel if you want it!”
But like Pillars of Eternity II last week, there’s nothing to even write about. Sunless Sky already hit its goal—four hours after the Kickstarter launched. Give me one or two more successful crowdfunding campaigns and I swear it’ll feel like we’re back in 2013 again. Anyway, the Kickstarter’s still running for another 28 days if you’d like to chip in.
(Oh, and The Banner Saga 3 also hit its Kickstarter goal this week. Congrats, Stoic.)
Stole my heart
Not a week goes by where I don’t wish for more Sea of Thieves footage. Like this week. Here’s eight minutes of in-game footage, including some stellar accordion playing:
Up until this week, I thought the worst part about Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was that it ended on an out-of-nowhere cliffhanger—purportedly because the game (and its story) was split in half late in development.
Maybe that’s still true. Last we heard, Mankind Divided’s follow-up went into production at Eidos in 2015. But there’s a new rumor flying around this week, from the usually reliable Eurogamer, that Eidos is focused primarily on Tomb Raider and Guardians of the Galaxy, with another small team devoted to The Avengers. And Deus Ex? Reportedly on the back burner.
It might be a looooong time before we see a resolution to that cliffhanger.
Well, Bethesda finally got desperate enough and did the one thing it knew might get skeptics to play Elder Scrolls Online: Announced a Morrowindexpansion. Fine Bethesda. You win. I’ll play your stupid MMO.
Stellaris has released a dozen or so tidbits of content since launch, but Paradox is now gearing up for the game’s first “major” expansion, Utopia. Dyson spheres, ringworlds, and a whole new evolution subsystem seem like good reasons to jump back in. Especially the Dyson spheres.
It’s just a teaser for now, but I expect we’ll hear more out of GDC later this month.
The DRM arms race continues. Time was, Denuvo’s anti-piracy software seemed uncrackable. Long-time members of the scene sort of gave up, with cracks often taking months to appear on torrent sites (if they appeared at all).
That seems to be changing though. Last week Resident Evil 7 was cracked within five days of launch—the shortest period yet. If this keeps up, expect to see Denuvo used in fewer games over the next year or so, and inevitably replaced by something else.
For Honor launches in a little over a week, so if you guessed “It’s time for a Season Pass trailer” on this week’s betting sheet, good news. Six new heroes and six new maps are on the way, post-launch. Also mentioned in this trailer: Ranked and tournament play.
Conspicuously not mentioned: Dedicated servers. Yes, this game that relies on split-second timing is still using P2P connections. Ugh.
In other news, if you want a crack at For Honor’s open beta a.k.a. “marketing demo” it will be available February 9.
”I am not a crook”
The Oculus/ZeniMax lawsuit wrapped up this week. You can read about the fallout here, but in short: Oculus was cleared of most charges, but will pay ZeniMax $500 million for violating an NDA. Both companies issued statements afterward, so expect further appeals, injunctions, and yada yada yada.
But one of the most bizarre aspects came in the middle of ZeniMax’s statement, wherein it said John Carmack—maybe one of the smartest engineers on the planet—“intentionally destroyed data on his computer after he got notice of this litigation and right after he researched on Google how to wipe a hard drive.” [Emphasis mine]
If you just laughed out loud, well, so did a lot of people who saw that accusation on Wednesday. Whether because of the laughter or some other factor, Carmack took to Facebook soon after ZeniMax’s statement to unofficially officially comment on the trial. “I never tried to hide or wipe any evidence, and all of my data is accounted for, contrary to some stories being spread. Being sued sucks,” he wrote.
What an ugly lawsuit.
Funcom’s Conan-themed survival game launched this week—a fact you might be aware of because of the buzz around the game’s rather silly genital-size sliders (NSFW). Or you might’ve heard that the servers are a bit of a mess and that the game is a bit “generic survival game” at the moment.
Either way, Funcom’s admittedly got grand ambitions. We’ll see if this one becomes an Early Access success story.
LEGO Arma 3
Great things have come out of the Arma mod scene. DayZ might be the most famous, but there are race courses, an entire role-playing game known as “Altis Life,” and now? Lego.
Posted this week, “Operation Blockhead” adds your favorite blocky soldiers into the game and it looks fantastically stupid. If Lego ever gets tired of churning out licensed games and making millions of dollars, this is absolutely the direction it should go:
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President Donald Trump has been named in more than 50 lawsuits since taking the oath of office, a staggering number compared to the first days of past administrations.
Since being sworn in Jan. 20, Trump has been named in 52 federal cases in 17 different states, according to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Comparatively, Barack Obama was named in three and George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were each named in four cases between Jan. 20 and Feb. 1.
While the president is often named in court cases against the federal government, the Trump administration is facing a wave of legal challenges for its two controversial executive orders that focus on immigrants from Muslim-majority nations or immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally. They also will have to battle a lawsuit over Trump’s possible conflicts related to his business holdings.
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LAWSUITS AGAINST US ENTRY RESTRICTIONS
Civil rights and Muslim advocacy organizations and groups of immigrants filed a wave of legal challenges to Trump’s order on Jan. 27 that saw a number of Muslim immigrants detained at airports across the country and around the world and sparked mass protests nationwide. Attorneys general from New York, Massachusetts and Virginia have joined suits opposing the order. Washington state filed its own suit, which was joined by Minnesota on Thursday.
Each is challenging the order on the grounds that it violates an individual’s Constitutional right to religious freedom. The executive order temporarily bars entry by immigrants from seven nations — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — that are more than 90 percent Muslim. It also bans all refugees for 120 days and Syrian refugees indefinitely. The order also states that the U.S. would provide preferential treatment to religious minorities facing religious persecution in the seven countries.
The Trump administration has pushed back on the claim that the order is a “Muslim ban.”
Apple is about to reveal its financial results for 4Q 2016 and they may contain a surprise – the company sold more iPhone 7 Plus units than any of the previous Plus-sized handsets. The company decided to equip the 7 Plus with more cameras, better battery life and more RAM than iPhone 7 and the result is said to be 24 million devices sold, compared with 15.5M iPhone 6s Plus phones in 4Q 2015. That’s 55% increase solely based on improving the hardware, compared with the flagship device from the same series.
Overall demand for the iPhone 7 has struggled throughout the October-December quarter which is first in Apple’s fiscal year. According to analysts from Cowen & Co, the data Apple is going to release tomorrow will reveal that people are unwilling to upgrade as often as expected. Part of the reason might be rumors about an 10-year Anniversary phone that kept a lot of consumers back when deciding to get the new iPhone.
The financial results show us also that this is the first time users in China preferred the Plus-sized iPhone to the regular one. 52% of the Apple fans decided to go with a iPhone 7 Plus compared with 40% who bought the predecessor iPhone 6s Plus.
I hope you like videos, because we have about a million of them this week. Launch trailers, announcement vids, Planet Coaster rides, the works.
This week: A Dirt 4 teaser, Bossa’s new skateboarding turf war, Square Enix teaming up with Marvel, Ni No Kuni II on PC, the Pillars of Eternity documentary, the end of Star Wars recreated as a roller coaster, and so much more.
This is your gaming news for the busiest week of January, a.k.a. January 23 to 27.
Tony Hawk: American Paintland
Bossa’s Worlds Adrift isn’t even released yet, but apparently the studio’s been working on two games simultaneously. This week the Surgeon Simulator dev announced Decksplash, some sort of skateboarding game that involves painting an arena with sweet tricks. Literally.
I don’t know. It’s hard to explain. There’s video though:
The long tail
There are two releases I’m excited about this week. The surprising part? Both are related to games that launched way back in ye olde 2015. Some of 2015’s best games, actually. First up, Crypt of the Necrodancer, which released its Amplified DLC prequel into Early Access.
And then there’s Cayne, a free (FREE!) prequel chapter to isometric horror game Stasis. I haven’t gotten a chance to play Cayne yet and don’t know how good it is, but Stasis itself was brilliant. Highly recommended.
Another new announcement: Dirt 4, which is set to release a mere four months from now on June 6. Presumably 2015’s Dirt Rally will live on as the sim-oriented half of the series and Dirt 4 will be more arcade-y—a bit of a Forza and Forza Horizon dynamic. We’ll see! For now, there’s just a short teaser.
When’s the last time there was a good Marvel game? Maybe one of the Lego titles? Point being: Marvel may have taken over Netflix and movie theaters, but its video games have been either bad or nonexistent since the PS2 era.
That might change, though. This week Square announced a partnership with Marvel, with both Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal apparently working on an Avengers game. Let’s hope it’s as interesting and innovative as Spider-Man 2 was at the time.
A trailer for every star in the galaxy
BioWare’s certainly making up for the fact we had no Mass Effect news for months and months and months. This week? Two trailers, one cinematic (below) and another focusing on the crew.
When’s the last time Quake was the focus of QuakeCon? Been a while, eh?
But with Bethesda announcing Quake Champions at E3 2016, it’s safe to say it’ll take center stage at this year’s QuakeCon. If that piques your interest, Bethesda announced it’ll return to Dallas from August 24 to 27. And hey, it’s free so…
Pray for release
The star of QuakeCon 2016 will probably not make another appearance this year though, considering it releases on May 5. That’s Prey of course, which nabbed an official release date.
Ni No Kuni on PC
The original Ni No Kuni and its painterly art style may be forever stuck on the PS3, but its sequel is making moves. Bandai Namco announced this week that Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom will be coming to the PC day-and-date with the PS4.
Lamentations of the players
Conan Exiles hits Early Access next week, and if you’re curious what to expect then here’s a trailer featuring a crucifixion, a burly man, and a sabertooth with a scorpion tail.
This post is reaching its trailer capacity, but I somehow missed a Thimbleweed Park trailer last week so I’m going to rectify that now because, well, the game looks great. This one centers on Ransome, the swear-filled clown.
Pillars of Eternity II launched a Fig campaign just yesterday and it’s already blown past its $1.1 million goal. Excellent. If you’re curious what goes into game development though, you might be interested in watching The Road to Eternity, the documentary that chronicled development of the first Pillars of Eternity (originally for backers only). Set aside an hour and a half this weekend and watch.
That’s no moon, it’s a roller coaster
Planet Coaster’s been out for a bit and we’re starting to see some really impressive projects—like “Death Star Strike,” a Star Wars-themed coaster replete with a Millenium Falcon, X-Wings, TIE Fighters, and the trench run from A New Hope. Created by Chuck Maurice and Co., the coaster apparently took over 100 hours of work and all I can say is “Wow.” (Via Rock Paper Shotgun)
Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:
Comcast — The NBCUniversal parent reported adjusted quarterly profit of 89 cents per share, 2 cents above estimates, with revenue also beating forecasts. Comcast also announced a 2-for-1 stock split, a dividend increase of 15 percent, and an increase in its stock buyback program to $12 billion.
Ford Motor — The automaker matched estimates with fourth quarter profit of 30 cents per share, while revenue was above Street forecasts. Ford’s full-year profit for 2016 was its second-best on record, trailing only its 2015 results.
Southwest Airlines — Southwest earned an adjusted 75 cents per share for its fourth quarter, beating estimates by 5 cents, while revenue was also above estimates. Southwest’s beat came despite higher fuel costs and pay increases for its workers.
Caterpillar — The heavy equipment maker reported adjusted quarterly profit of 83 cents per share, beating estimates of 66 cents, but revenue was below forecasts. The company said results continue to be impacted by weak economic conditions around the world.
Pulte — The home builder reported quarterly profit of 67 cents per share, beating estimates of 59 cents. Pulte saw increases in both the number of homes sold and average selling prices.
Biogen — The drug maker earned an adjusted $5.04 per share for its latest quarter, beating estimates by 8 cents. However, revenue missed forecasts, and its 2017 revenue guidance also falls below Street forecasts. Analysts say Biogen is seeing relatively slow growth for its multiple sclerosis drugs.
Northrop Grumman — The defense contractor beat estimates by 17 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of $2.66 per share, with revenue also coming in above forecasts. Northrop saw better sales of in its aerospace systems business, which is involved in F-35 fighter jet production.
Stanley Black & Decker — The tool maker earned $1.71 per share for its latest quarter, 3 cents above estimates, with revenue very slightly below forecasts. Its earnings were lower year over year, hurt by higher restructuring costs.
Whirlpool — The world’s largest appliance maker missed estimates by 11 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of $4.33 per share, though revenue did slightly beat forecasts. Declining sales in the U.K. following the Brexit vote was among the factors hurting its results.
AT&T — AT&T matched estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 66 cents per share, but missing on the top line as it continued to lose phone and video customers.
Johnson & Johnson — J&J struck a deal to buy European biotech company Actelion for $30 billion, after weeks of talks.
Qualcomm — Qualcomm earned $1.19 per share for its latest quarter, 1 cent above estimates, but the chipmaker’s revenue fell below forecasts. Investors, however, remain concerned about lawsuits over its patent licensing practices and a recent South Korean government fine.
Las Vegas Sands — Las Vegas Sands missed estimates by 4 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of 62 cents per share, with the casino operator’s revenue falling slightly short of forecasts as well. Results were impacted by results in Macau, which accounts for the majority of the company’s business.
EBay — EBay posted quarterly results in line with forecasts at an adjusted 54 cents per share, while revenue was also in line with Street forecasts. The company did give a lighter than expected current quarter outlook, but made optimistic comments about its revamped platform.
Kraft Heinz — The food producer struck a joint venture deal with Oprah Winfrey to create a new line of food products.
Mattel — Mattel fell 19 cents shy of estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 52 cents per share, while the toy maker’s revenue missed as well. The company cites significant discounting in the last few shopping days before Christmas.
Royal Bank of Scotland — The bank set aside nearly $4 billion for an expected settlement in the U.S. over the sale of mortgage-backed securities ahead of the 2008 financial crisis.
Diageo — Diageo posted better than expected quarterly sales, as the world’s largest spirits maker saw improvements in its U.S. business.
Wal-Mart — The company escaped a possible $80 million fine when a judge refused to force the retailer to pay in a lawsuit involving California truck drivers. The jury had awarded the drivers more than $54 million in back pay, but the judge turned aside a motion for the extra penalty because he said the retailer had acted in good faith and believed it had been in compliance with California law.
Whole Foods Market — The grocery store operator is shutting down its three commercial kitchens, which manufacture ready-to-eat meals for stores. Whole Foods will outsource food preparation.
MoneyGram International — MoneyGram is near a deal to be bought by Alibaba unit Ant Financial Services, according to the Wall Street Journal. MoneyGram is a U.S. based money-transfer provider.
McKesson — McKesson posted better than expected quarter earnings, and the drug distributor also announced a deal to buy privately held software maker CoverMyMeds for about $1.1 billion.
Giving autonomy to IIMs is a “milestone” Javadekar said adding that while government will continue to provide funds for the development of these institutes but “sans government controls”
In picture, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar (File Photo)
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On the lines of the IIM Bill, more Central institutions could be given autonomy and freed from government’s “micro-management”, said Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar.
He also expressed hope that the proposed legislation would come in the upcoming Budget Session of Parliament and would be passed soon.
A day after the cabinet gave its nod to IIM Bill, 2017 which empowers these institutes to give degrees, Javadekar in an interaction with reporters said that it gives autonomy also in establishing a system of accountability in terms of CAG audits and presenting reports to the Parliament.
Giving autonomy to IIMs is a “milestone” Javadekar said adding that while government will continue to provide funds for development of these institutes but “sans government controls”.
Views of HRD minister Prakash Javadekar:
“It is not necessary that an IIM Director should sit at the table of a ministry Joint Secretary,” Javadekar said. Javadekar had mentioned that he may not be the chairperson for IIM Bill, but someone from among Directors could be.
The IIM Bill has a provision for setting up a coordination forum, the chairperson of which would be an eminent person, chosen by the members, it is learnt.
The HRD minister said that the IIM Bill was an indication that other institutes, which excel in their field, could get more autonomy. He said it was being considered that best institutions are given maximum autonomy, those which are average get some autonomy and some regulation while a different system is there for those which are not performing too well.
Asked if the ministry planned to take the IIM Bill to the Parliament in the upcoming Budget session, Javadekar said that the government would introduce the Bill. “If the House decides they can straight away discuss, or if comes to a Standing Committee, I am still sure it will be passed soon,” he said.
He said that the mentality that government would taking care of the money, control and everything else would not work in education. “India lacks in innovation, and it comes with young minds working free and where there is no fear of failure,” the HRD minister said.
As he emphasised on the importance of giving more autonomy, Javadekar said that Modi government is a very democratic one where decisions are taken on the basis of consultations. “In this government, no letter comes from somewhere,” he said in what appeared a dig at political rivals.
Speaking about the IIM Bill, Javadekar said that there will be periodic reviews of the functioning of these institutes. Responding to question whether the IIMs would be able to set up campuses abroad, Javadekar said that would be subject to the existing norms.
On a question about reservations, he said the law of the land would apply. He also refuted questions that there were differences between the HRD ministry and PMO on the provisions of the Bill.
Asked about when the HRD ministry would announce a new panel to work on the New Education Policy, Javadekar told the reporters that they may have to wait a bit in this regard