Maharashtra government appoints committee to frame guidelines for improving new colleges and courses

In order to bring up new colleges, courses, additional divisions and satellite centres, an eight-member committee has been appointed by the state government.

Guidelines to be framed for improving new colleges and courses

Guidelines to be framed for improving new colleges and courses

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In order to bring up new colleges, courses, additional divisions and satellite centres, an eight-member committee has been appointed by the state government to frame clear and detailed guidelines and norms for the same. The new norms which this panel will form will be followed by the universities and department of higher and technical Education for approving new colleges and courses.


As per an Indian Express report, Dr RS Mali, former Vice Chancellor of North Maharashtra University in Jangan will head the committee. It will study the old norms in detail before framing new guidelines.

It is expected to submit the draft to the state government by February 25.

The norms of sanctioning new colleges, courses, curriculums and additional divisions have been specified under section 81, 82 and 83 of Maharashtra Universities Act 1994. The same has been specified in the amended Maharashtra Public Universities Act 2016.

(Read: ‘Curb corporal punishment in schools’, Menaka Gandhi writes to HRD ministry)

Need for an expert panel:

“Even though norms and guidelines about sanctioning new colleges existed in the old act as well as the new one, the state government wanted an expert panel to study these guidelines and make them stringent to raise the quality of education across the state. Approving new colleges will not be a simple affair anymore,” said principal of a well known college in Mumbai and one of the members of the committee.

Approval of new colleges has been hanging fire for quite a long time. Experts have often alleged that approval of colleges without proper scrutiny has been increasing the burden on universities.


New rumor suggests both FullHD and QHD display options for the Xiaomi Mi 6

The Xiaomi Mi 6 has been frequenting the rumor mill for quite a few months now. Frankly, the immense fan interest has made it exceedingly hard to sort through all the alleged info on the device. Thus, you should take this new scoop, courtesy of a source on Weibo with the usual pinch of salt.

The poster claims that the Mi 6 will come in two distinct variants – one with 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a FullHD panel, while the other will ramp storage up to 64GB and offer a QHD display. Different storage options sound perfectly reasonable and were observed on the Mi 5 as well, however, having different panel resolution versions under the same phone moniker is a bit more uncommon, although definitely not unheard of.

Going back to the Mi 5 analogy, Xiaomi might very well opt for a “Standard”, “Prime edition”, “Pro edition” tier system yet again. Only this time, resolution would change, instead of RAM. Speaking of memory, 4GB seems like a good prediction. The highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S8 is said to rely on the same amount, paired with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 chip, which the Mi 6 is believed to use as well.

While on the subject, another recent rumor hinted an a cheaper MediaTek Helio X30 version of the handset, as well. This could potentially put even more variety in the phone’s tier lineup.

Circling back to today’s leak, it also gives out some specifics on the Mi 6 camera setup. The flagship is said to use a Sony IMX386 sensor for its main 12MP shooter and borrow the Sony IMX268 8MP selfies setup from the Mi Note 2.

Speaking on which, the only real glimpse we currently have of the Mi 6 does portray it as a smaller Mi Note 2 in terms of design and general aesthetic. Frankly, the Mi 6 is still shrouded in a lot of mystery. So far, sources haven’t even been able to get its launch date right. As the story goes, it was originally planned for a February 6 unveiling, but was then postponed for April, to wait out Samsung’s alleged monopoly on Snapdragon 835 supplies.

We guess, we just have to wait for Xiaomi to weigh in on the matter with some Mi 6 detail at some point. The Chinese OEM won’t be attending MWC and also appears to be keeping busy with redmi designs and a new Mi Mix, so the wait is on.

Source | Via

New Samsung Galaxy S8 cases reveal even more hardware details

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.

Source | Via

West Bengal: Make changes in new bill, teachers request Education Minister

Several teachers including a former university vice-chancellor were badly beaten by police when they refused to call off their rally, said WBCUTA general secretary Shrutinath Prahara.

In picture, Teachers protesting in Kolkata against the new education bill

In picture, Teachers protesting in Kolkata against the new education bill

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After meeting education minister Partha Chatterjee in the state legislative assembly on Wednesday, a five-member team of various teachers’ organisations submitted a seven page deputation requesting to introduce changes in the new education bill that was passed recently.

However, several teachers’ organisations participated in a march to assembly that was stopped by police at Y-channel in Esplanade, and the teachers alleged police for using force.

Views of WBCUTA general secretary

Several teachers including a former university vice-chancellor were badly beaten by police when they refused to call off their rally, said WBCUTA general secretary Shrutinath Prahara.

“The police used force to stop us from marching towards Assembly. Later a five-member delegation was allowed to meet the education minister. We have requested him to look at our demands and make a few changes in the West Bengal Universities and Colleges (Administration and Regulation) Bill, 2017. He gave us a patient hearing and also condemned the act of the police,” Praharaj said, as reported by Indian Express


Apple bets on cuteness with the new Portrait mode ads

Apple launched two new 15-second video ads on YouTube and we expect to see them soon on TV. They focus on the Portrait mode in the iPhone 7 Plus.

The main protagonists in the two videos are a dog and a little boy. The spots compare normal photo with Portrait photo and go for some cheeky wordplay as a punchline for the mode which we’ll let you see for yourself at the videos below.


Google turns up the integration between Home, Play Music with new personalized playlists

google home playlists

One of the greatest features of having a voice-powered speaker in our homes is the ability to play a song when the moment strikes. Google Home has always included support for Spotify, YouTube Music, Pandora, and TuneIn, letting you fill your house with music just by asking, but now it’s making its own service a whole lot smarter.

Subscribers to Google Play Music can now tap into a new personalized world of music with Google Home. Where you previously had to meticulously create your own playlists for workouts or dinner parties, Google will now let Assistant be your DJ, as the service combines “machine learning and information like weather, activity, and location” to deliver the perfect playlist for whatever you happen to be doing:

“Say you’re making pizza and your hands are covered in flour. Just say, ‘Ok Google, play music for cooking’ and we’ll serve up the perfect tunes, like our R&B Kitchen Dance Party playlist. If you’ve had a long day at work and are too tired to move a muscle, say ‘Ok Google, play music for relaxing’ and get a playlist like Mellow Pop without lifting a finger.”

Music fans who live in New York City can check out the new music features for themselves at Google’s three-day block party at Chelsea Market on Feb. 24-26. To celebrate the new functionality, Google is also offering a six-month subscription to Google Play Music with any new Google Home purchase through Feb. 27. Additionally, if you buy a Chromecast, you’ll automatically save $15. Furthermore, new subscribers to Google Play Music who already own a Google Home speaker can get the first four months for free. All subscriptions also include a subscription to YouTube Red, which has its own music service that works with Google Home, though without the new playlist functionality.

Universal language: While there’s nothing all that revolutionary here—Spotify and Apple Music have long touted curated playlists for quickly capturing or setting the mood—the new Play Music playlists are one more way Google is looking to build a fully connected and integrated ecosystem with Google Assistant at the center. With the Pixel, Android Wear, Android Auto, and Google Home, the day when we’re able to seamless move from one place to next source”cnbc”

New OneDrive for iOS update brings support for animated GIF files

Microsoft has pushed out a new update to the iOS client of its OneDrive app. The update, which bumps the app to version 8.8.9, brings along several changes, including support for animated GIF files.

Aside from animated GIF support, the updated app now also lets you instantly switch accounts by tapping and holding on the Me tab. Those with work or school accounts will now receive notifications when someone shares a file with them.

Moving on, the update also includes support for Instant Preview in the Sites tab. And finally, some usual bug and crash fixes are also there. The updated app is now available for download from the App Store.


Microsoft teases Windows 10’s sleek new look for the future

windows 10

Microsoft’s planning a sleek visual refresh for Windows 10, and the company quietly teased its first official glimpse of what’s coming in the future during the Windows Developer Day keynote on Wednesday.

There aren’t many details being shared about “Project Neon” right now—as the refresh was called in earlier leaks—but the new visual look will focus on animations and transitions. The basic concept is “to add fluidity, animation, and blur to apps and the operating system,” as first reported by Windows Central. The new design language also hopes to make it easier for developers to create attractive apps.

The design refresh should extend to all Windows 10 devices including PCs and tablets, HoloLens, Xbox, and the few surviving Windows Phones, according to Windows Central.


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Tom Hounsell

Microsoft’s first official look at Project Neon. Click to enlarge it.

Twitter user Tom Hounsell shared a clean version of Microsoft’s first look at Windows 10’s forthcoming design tweaks. The image shown on the livestream had large text overlaid on top of the screenshot.

As you can see, this isn’t a huge change, but the visual refresh gives Windows 10 a sleeker, more modern feel. The taskbar icons look a little more dynamic and bolder. Cortana is using the icon instead of the search box, though it’s not clear if this will be the default look. The clock on the taskbar is also bolder, and the usual notification area icons including the Action Center are notably absent. The open Groove Music window itself looks more polished and Aero-esque as well, with no title bar to be seen—just unobtrusive options in the app’s upper-right corner.

The impact on you at home: Windows Central says that some of the code for Project Neon is already available in recent Insider Preview builds of Windows 10; however, it’s unlikely the visual refresh will be ready in time for the massive Creators Update this spring. Microsoft is expected to share more information about Neon during the Build conference in May. The Creators Update is expected to roll out in April, followed by a second major update later in 2017.


US House approves new privacy protections for email and the cloud

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed an email privacy bill.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved on Monday the Email Privacy Act, which would require law enforcement agencies to get court-ordered warrants to search email and other data stored with third parties for longer than six months.

The House approved the bill by voice vote, and it now goes the Senate for consideration.

The Email Privacy Act would update a 31-year-old law called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). Some privacy advocates and tech companies have pushed Congress to update ECPA since 2011. Lax protections for stored data raise doubts about U.S. cloud services among consumers and enterprises, supporters of the bill say.

Under ECPA, the protections are different for older or more recent data. Law enforcement agencies need warrants to search paper files in a suspect’s home or office and to search electronic files stored on the suspect’s computer or in the cloud for less than 180 days. But files stored for longer have less protection. Police agencies need only a subpoena, not reviewed by a judge, to demand files stored in the cloud or with other third-party providers for longer than 180 days.

That difference in the way the law treats stored data is a “glaring loophole in our privacy protection laws,” said Representative Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat and co-sponsor of the bill.

The Email Privacy Act will bring U.S. digital privacy laws into the 21st century, said Representative Kevin Yoder, a Kansas Republican and co-sponsor of the bill.

Supporters of the bill argue internet users’ privacy expectations have changed since ECPA passed in 1986. Storage was expensive back then, and only about 10 million people had email accounts, Yoder said. Now internet users are more likely to store sensitive communications with cloud providers and other internet-based companies.

Under former President Barack Obama, the Department of Justice was cool to the idea of changing ECPA. The changes will make it tougher for law enforcement agencies to investigate crimes and terrorism, some critics say.

A similar bill passed the House by a 419-0 vote in April 2016, but the Senate failed to act and the legislation died after a new Congress was elected in November. The new version of the Email Privacy Act, introduced Jan. 9, has already collected 108 cosponsors, about a quarter of the membership of the House.

The bill would not protect internet companies from searches of their overseas servers by U.S. law enforcement agencies. Microsoft and Google have been fighting warrants for user data located outside the U.S.

Before the vote, the Consumer Technology Association urged the House to pass the bill. ECPA which was “written before Congress could imagine U.S. citizens sharing and storing personal information on third-party servers, is woefully out of date,”  Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CTA, said in a statement.


Gionee F5 is a new 5.3″ mid-ranger

The Gionee F5 has just been unveiled and it’s already available in China. The mid-range smartphone leaked last December courtesy of TENAA, so we knew what to expect, but Gionee still managed to surprise us.

The F5 is now available in gold and rose gold paintjobs in China. The phone packs a 5.3″ IPS display of 720p resolution and runs on the dated MT6750 chipset with an octa-core Cortex-A53 processor, Mali-T860MP2 GPU, and 4GB of RAM.

The Gionee F5 comes with a pretty standard imaging department – there is a 13MP main camera with a LED flash and an 8MP selfie snapper.

Finally, the F5 is powered by a 4,000 mAh battery and comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow pre-installed, as well as the latest Amigo launcher.

You are probably wondering about the surprise we mentioned earlier. It’s the retail price of CNY 1,799 or about $260. That’s pretty much twice the Meizu M5, which has similar specs and is considered as an entry-level smartphone.

The Gionee F5 is currently available in China, and we don’t have any information regarding potential international expansion.