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Voice AI company Vernacular.ai has rebranded itself as Skit. The rebranding comes at a time when the company is gearing up for its expansion in international markets. Moreover, it has opened its United States headquarter in New York City bolstering its global presence. Through this brand refresh, the company wants to define its future goals as it propels Skit to its next level of growth and innovation, Sourabh Gupta, co-founder and CEO, Skit, said. ai covered only part of our voice operations, which is extensive language support, Skit will capture and embody our voice platform as a whole, which will allow us to advance in our future vision. Each interaction between a business and its customers is an opportunity to create something remarkable. Using our core technology, we want to introduce the future of customer experiences to the world, The company came up with the new name Skit which means to move lightly and rapidly, with the help of artificial intelligence using a series of keyword filters, it said in a statement. The new name Skit represents the company Moreover, the company is also expanding its focus to make room for increased innovation, along with its voice and language. The transition towards digital-only businesses has affected customer contact centres widely where wait times have increased to 30 to 40 minutes. Hence, many of the enterprises have automated their support operations. Skit wants to address this increased demand by automating upto 80% of repetitive queries that come in or leave the contact center. The company is building a strong customer base in North America by making its product available to US enterprises through its new headquarters, it claimed in a statement. Read Also: Parle Agro signs Varun Dhawan for its dairy offering Smoodh Follow us onTwitter,Instagram,LinkedIn,Facebook
By Ranjit Radhakrishnan Revolutions and tectonic shifts in society have always occurred when the world is faced with unexpected challenges and events With the pandemic forcing school closures and global border shut-downs, there emerged experimentation in remote learning. This experimentation only gave impetus to the already growing global edtech platforms to create better learning models and content to enable more engaging and mindful learning. Blended and flexible learning While the role of schools will remain undisputed, the classrooms of the future will transform the schooling experience by offering a combination of offline and online learning, and more flexibility. We will take a leap from the traditional one-to-many approach to the blended one-on-one learning experiences, providing students the best of both physical and digital worlds. Students will not be limited to streams or curriculums defined by schools and universities, but will instead be able to pick up anything that they wish to learn easily and in a cost-effective manner. Students and lifelong learners will be in control of developing their skills and understanding through online learning that is hyper-personalised, easily accessible, and specific to their individual goals. Democratised upskilling In the next decade or so, the dependency on schools and universities to certify the skills and knowledge acquired by a learner will ebb, with the advent of global edtech platforms democratising upskilling and learning. This will further be boosted by standardised certifications and a proven portfolio of projects and evidence of skill showcased by learners on the platform. Adoption of tech-enabled learning at all stages I foresee edtech to be ubiquitous for everyone at all stages of life in the future. Schools and universities will have adopted technology in the classrooms and beyond, to make both synchronous and asynchronous, always-on Powerful edtech platforms that possess the best learning models and the content will be omnipresent and enable lifelong learning. Deeper insights into students This will be a crucial step in building future classrooms, along with collecting feedback from students. The right feedback will help teachers understand the innate needs of a child and will be able to structure learning journeys for them very easily. Dedicated learning devices As technology evolves, so will the classrooms of the future. One of the transformational trends will be the adoption of dedicated learning devices that will serve as learning companions for students across various stages. These IoT-enabled devices will connect all major stakeholders in the learning community and provide insights into how learning is being received by students. Immersive and interactive content The content in classrooms of the future will be both interactive and immersive and will have a variety of formats and styles to cater to the needs of every kind of learner. Students will be able to immerse themselves in experience-oriented, visual, and real-life simulation using VR, AR and Computer Vision. With such virtual and immersive experiences, students will be able to actively learn a lot more than only reading through books and articles. The writer is chief product officer, Byju\u2019s
The Nifty 50 has rebounded smartly from the lows of the previous week and is now scaling fresh all-time highs. However, the Relative Strength Index (RSI) has still not improved for the index, said Rahul Sharma, Director Head – Research, JM Financial in an interview with Kshitij Bhargava of Financial Express Online. Further, he adds that Nifty could face a strong resistance near all-time highs and believes that the FMCG space remains the best bet for investors, given the elevated levels of Nifty. The benchmark indices had corrected from the highs last week amid a global sell-off. However, RSI has still not improved for Nifty as compared to the August 18 high and we may see supply coming again at higher levels. The good thing about yesterday The confirmation of correction will come if we break 16,400 decisively until then it Since we are in uncharted territory it Nifty may attempt to test the 16,700-16,800 zone on the upside which remains a strong resistance area as per options data. We are looking for signs of follow-up buying while identifying sectors. It is best to stick to quality names in Mid-caps and Small-caps and avoid pre-empting bounce back trades here.
The name Tata is associated with best practices, which includes being ethical and caring. When we talk of professionalism and governance, this name would come to our lips immediately. A book on this group by Mircea Raianu takes one through a historical journey starting from the British days to contemporary times. The 291 pages include references of around 80 pages which indicates the quantum of research that has gone into this rather remarkable book. More importantly, access to the Tata archives was made available to the author, guaranteeing an authoritative volume. Interestingly, this is not a sponsored book by the company, which often happens when we have corporates get celebrity writers who could be journalists to write on them where it is more eulogy than critique. Here it looks like an independent view given by a historian and the tone is set by quotations that give different views about the group. There is one by TR Doongaji where he talks about how all of us can savour the Tata group in various ways in our daily life, starting from morning tea to dinner at one of their hotels. While this sounds good, the interpretation can be that the group is meant for the elites, as all of us cannot walk into the Taj. There is a quotation of Arundhati Roy, which, as can be expected, smirks of sarcasm when she says we are slaves to the corporate group as we eat even their salt! The Tatas started off during the British days and have built an empire across various industries and services. It all started with textiles and opium trading which has evolved over the decades to be a salt-to-software conglomerate. Working with different governments is always a challenge in India as normally politicians expect kickbacks. Interestingly, the Tatas had differentiated between economic and political swadeshi even during the British times to navigate their interests. The difference between how the Tatas have managed and the others is that they have kept political parties in humour without any so-called manipulation. Therefore, while there is evidence to show that Tatas supported Mrs Gandhi during emergency, it was more for business interests. They even managed to ensure that there was no nationalisation of Tata Steel, which was actively on the cards at one point of time. Dealing with politicians in an equitable manner has been the motto for this group, Union minister Piyush Goyal While we all know of how Jamshedpur developed due to the involvement of the Tatas, the author also takes us through some of the controversies. While there is one story that says that one can drink water anywhere in the township, there is another which reveals how only the more privileged have benefited as slum areas have been ignored. There is a section on paternalism in the group, which actually reveals that it is not overly humane as it has been responsible for downsizing labour force across all streams and relying more on casual labour. From 1991 onward, which was the time India went in for liberalisation, the Tatas, too, turned around and stopped most of the benefits for staff, including welfare spending or jobs for family members. Clearly free markets cannot support such freebies. Interestingly the author points out that when the Tatas acquired Corus in England, it was believed the group never downsizes and labour is safe. There was a buy-in for sure, but as the losses mounted, the stance changed. This was also a part of the tussle between Ratan Tata and Cyrus Mistry, where it was felt that the group cannot use domestic resources to sustain inefficient labour force overseas. The platform of nation-building that was associated with the group was used to attack this deal. The author takes us through the rather ugly episode of the open dispute between these two scions without really taking sides. At the same time, the contribution of the Tatas to society is quite overwhelming and institutions like TIFR (research), TISS (social sciences and social work), TMH (cancer care) are some well-known ventures that have made a difference. It started with the Tatas being involved with the Indian Institute of Science. The Tata model from the point of view of pure capitalism is a powerful story. Building such an empire is never easy in India. Even while the group lost out to the Birlas in setting up ventures abroad during the Sixties and Seventies, their long-term collaboration with foreign capital was leveraged in the IT space, with TCS now being a leader. From using experiences of links with the outside world in the pre-independence days to the control of natural resources, the Tatas have carved a niche in the corporate world. So how could one summarise their ideas? Trusteeship, democratic socialism and free markets liberalisation were some of the driving forces that blended into the changing times of the market. The group has moved from nationalism and a development state to globalisation, harnessing all the strengths along the way to create this strong superstructure that spans various sectors ranging from food and steel to financial services. A true supermarket, which also never forgets philanthropy and will be remembered for all the institutions in research that have been set up along the way. Madan Sabnavis is chief economist, CARE Ratings Tata: The Global Corporation That Built Indian Capitalism Mircea Raianu Harvard University Press Pp 291, Rs 699
The United States has the capacity to evacuate the approximately 300 U.S. citizens remaining in Afghanistan who want to leave before President Joe Bidens Tuesday deadline, senior Biden administration officials said, as another U.S. drone strike against suspected Islamic State militants underscored the grave threat in the wars final days. This is the most dangerous time in an already extraordinarily dangerous mission these last couple of days, Americas top diplomat, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said not long before confirmation of that airstrike in Kabul, the capital. The evacuation flow of Americans kept pace even as a new State Department security alert, issued hours before the military action, instructed people to leave the airport area immediately due to a specific, credible threat. Bidens national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said that for those U.S. citizens seeking immediately to leave Afghanistan by the looming deadline, we have the capacity to have 300 Americans, which is roughly the number we think are remaining, come to the airport and get on planes in the time that is remaining. We moved out more than that number just yesterday. So from our point of view, there is an opportunity right now for American citizens to come, to be admitted to the airport and to be evacuated safely and effectively. Sullivan said the U.S. does not currently plan to have an ongoing embassy presence after the final U.S. troop withdrawal. But he pledged the U.S. will make sure there is safe passage for any American citizen, any legal permanent resident after Tuesday, as well as for those Afghans who helped us. But untold numbers of vulnerable Afghans, fearful of a return to the brutality of pre-2001 Taliban rule, are likely to be left behind. Blinken said the U.S. was working with other countries in the region to either keep the Kabul airport open after Tuesday or to reopen it in a timely fashion. He also said that while the airport is critical, there are other ways to leave Afghanistan, including by road and many countries border Afghanistan. The U.S., he said, is ?making sure that we have in place all of the necessary tools and means to facilitate the travel for those who seek to leave Afghanistan after Tuesday. There also are roughly 280 others who have said they are Americans but who have told the State Department they plan to remain in the country or are still undecided. According to the latest totals, about 114,000 people have been evacuated since the Taliban takeover on Aug. 14, including approximately 2,900 on military and coalition flights during the 24 hours ending at 3 a.m. on Sunday. Members of Congress criticized the chaotic and violent evacuation. We didnt have to be in this rush-rush circumstance with terrorists breathing down our neck,? said Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah. But its really the responsibility of the prior administration and this administration that has caused this crisis to be upon us and has led to what is without question a humanitarian and foreign policy tragedy. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said the U.S. policy in Afghanistan, with 2,500 troops on the ground, had been working. We were, in effect, keeping the lid on, keeping terrorists from reconstituting, and having a light footprint in the country, he said. U.S. officials said the American drone strike hit a vehicle carrying multiple Islamic State suicide bombers, causing secondary explosions indicating the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material. A senior U.S. official, said the military drone fired a Hellfire missile at a vehicle in a compound between two buildings after individuals were seen loading explosives into the trunk. The official said there was an initial explosion caused by the missile, followed by a much larger fireball, believed to be the result of the substantial amount of explosives inside the vehicle. The U.S. believes that two Islamic State group individuals who were targeted were killed. In a statement, U.S. Central Command said it is looking into the reports of civlian casualties that may have been caused by the secondary explosions. An Afghan official said three children were killed in the strike. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss military operations. It was the second airstrike in recent days the U.S. has conducted against the militant group, which claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing Thursday at the Kabul airport gate that killed 13 U.S. service members and scores of Afghans struggling to get out of the country and escape the new Taliban rule. The Pentagon said a U.S. drone mission in eastern Afghanistan killed two members of IS Afghanistan affiliate early Saturday local time in retaliation for the airport bombing. In Delaware, Biden met privately with the families of the American troops killed in the suicide attack, and solemnly watched as the remains of the fallen returned to U.S. soil from Afghanistan. First lady Jill Biden and many of the top U.S. defense and military leaders joined him on the tarmac at Dover Air Force Base to grieve with loved ones as the dignified transfer of remains unfolded, a military ritual for those killed in foreign combat. Sullivan said earlier that the U.S. would continue strikes against IS and consider other operations to go after these guys, to get them and to take them off the battlefield. He added: We will continue to bring the fight to the terrorists in Afghanistan to make sure they do not represent a threat to the United States. In a joint statement, the U.S. and about 100 other nations said they are committed to ensuring that their citizens, employees, Afghans and others at risk will be able to travel freely from Afghanistan. The statement said the Taliban have made assurances that all foreign nationals and any Afghan citizen with travel authorization from our countries will be allowed to proceed in a safe and orderly manner to points of departure and travel outside the country. The 13 service members were the first U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan since February 2020, the month the Trump administration struck an agreement with the Taliban in which the militant group halted attacks on Americans in exchange for a U.S. agreement to remove all troops and contractors by May 2021. Biden announced in April that the 2,500 to 3,000 troops who remained would be out by September, ending what he has called Americas forever war. With Bidens approval, the Pentagon this month sent thousands of additional troops to the Kabul airport to provide security and to facilitate the State Departments chaotic effort to evacuate thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of Afghans who had helped the United States during the war. The evacuation was marred by confusion and chaos as the U.S. government was caught by surprise when the Afghan army collapsed and the Taliban swept to power Aug. 15. The White House has rescheduled Bidens meeting with Ukraines president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, from Monday to Wednesday as the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan enters its tense final hours. Sullivan appeared on CBS Face the Nation, CNNs State of the Union and Fox News Sunday. Blinken was interviewed on ABCs This Week and NBCs Meet the Press. McConnell was on Fox and Romney was on CNN.
Asian shares started the week with gains and the dollar was not far off two-week lows after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell struck a more dovish tone than some investors expected in long-awaited speech on Friday. Oil prices rose, meanwhile, after energy firms suspended production as Hurricane Ida slammed into the U.S. southern coast. Japans Nikkei rose 0.9% soon after the bell, and MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.32% in early trading before Chinese markets had opened. Australia climbed 0.39% and Koreas Kopsi gained 0.54%.U.S. stock futures, the SP 500 e-minis, were barely moved, up 0.04%. Investors had been waiting to see whether Powell, who was speaking at a symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, would give a clear indication of his views on timing of the central banks tapering of asset purchases or hiking interest rates to start removing monetary stimulus. However, in his prepared remarks, he offered no indication on cutting asset purchases beyond saying it could be this year, causing the SP 500 and the Nasdaq to close last week at new record highs. The next big event on traders calendars is U.S. nonfarm payroll figures for August due to be published Friday, as Powell has suggested an improvement in the labour market is one major remining prerequisite for action. A strong payrolls print could instigate a debate for a September tapering start, Rodrigo Catril, senior FX strategist at NAB, said in a note.The absence of a timetable for tapering caused U.S. benchmark Treasuries and the dollar to slip, and both trends continued on Monday morning in Asia. The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes was 1.3054% compared with its U.S. close of 1.312%, and the dollar index which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies was around a two week low.Investors in China, in contrast, are watching data this week to see whether they will indicate policymakers are more likely step up easing measures. Purchasing manager surveys for manufacturing and services are both due this week, with traders waiting to see whether a trend towards slowing growth will continue, a shift that has not been helped by recent localised movement restrictions to cope with an increase in cases of the Delta variant of the new coronavirus.We expect both the manufacturing and services PMIs to moderate in August, given the widespread Delta variant and strict lockdown, said Barclays analysts in a note. With slowing growth momentum and dovish signals from the (Peoples Bank of China) meeting this week, we expect more easing, but still at a measured paceOil was also in focus after energy firms suspended 1.74 million barrels per day of oil production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Ida slammed into the Louisiana coast as a Category 4 storm.U.S. crude rose 0.86% to $69.34 a barrel. Brent crude rose 1.25% to $73.38 per barrel.Gold was slightly higher, with the spot price gold was traded at $1,817.7863 per ounce, up 0.07%.
There has been a surge in Covid-19 cases in Kerala after Onam celebrations, and the state accounts for 58.4% of the country The country reported 46,164 new cases on Thursday. The weekly case positivity rate in the country over August 19-25 was 2.22% as against 1.94% in the first week of August. There are 3,33,735 total active cases in the country, with Kerala accounting for 1,70,829 cases followed by Maharashtra with 53,695 cases. At present, 41 districts in the country are reporting more than 100 cases a day. Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the country has seen a spike in cases after every festival. The coming months will be crucial as there are a few festivals in September and October. Celebrations will have to be in compliance with Covid-19 protocols, he said. At a health ministry briefing on Thursday, Bhushan said: The second surge has not concluded. It is not over. Therefore, we have to maintain all necessary precautions. With more than 80% of the positive cases in home isolation, the state has been advised to ensure more effective monitoring so that these patients don The country has administered 61 crore vaccines, with 80 lakh vaccine doses administered on Wednesday and 70.19 lakh doses on Thursday. The average number of doses administered in August is 52.16 lakh.
The market valuation of Reliance Industries Ltd jumped to a record Rs 15 lakh crore on Friday, becoming the first domestic company to attain this historic feat. Helped by gain in its share price, Reliance Industries market capitalisation (m-cap) reached Rs 15,14,017.50 crore at close of trade on the BSE. The market heavyweight stock jumped 4.12 per cent to close at Rs 2,388.25 on the BSE. During the day, it zoomed 4.38 per cent to a record Rs 2,394.30. Reliance Industries, the most valued firm by market valuation, was the biggest gainer in the Sensex pack. On June 3 this year, Reliance Industries market valuation crossed the Rs 14 lakh crore mark. Gain in Reliance Industries also helped rally in the BSE 30-share benchmark index which closed above the 58,000-mark for the first time on Friday. Shares of Reliance Industries have gained over 20 per cent so far this year.
Pharma firm Cipla and Kemwell Biopharma on Wednesday announced the execution of a joint venture agreement to develop, manufacture and commercialise biosimilars for global markets. For this purpose, a joint venture company shall be incorporated with an aim to enter the respiratory biosimilars space, Cipla said in a regulatory filing. Under the terms of the pact, the joint venture will leverage Cipla and Kemwells complementary strengths for end-to-end product development, clinical development, regulatory filings, manufacturing, and commercialisation of biopharmaceutical products, it added. This development reinforces our strength as leaders in respiratory therapy and is in line with our aspiration of global lung leadership, Cipla Managing Director and Global Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Umang Vohra said. On the development, Kemwell Chairman and CEO Anurag Bagaria said, We are very excited about combining the strengths of Ciplas expertise in the development and commercialisation of respiratory products and Kemwells biologics capabilities. Through this JV, we aim to make cost-effective biotherapeutics available to more patients globally. Cipla Limited will hold a 60 percent stake in the JV company on a fully diluted basis, the pharma major said in another regulatory filing. Shares of Cipla closed at Rs 913 per scrip on BSE, down 0.48 percent from its previous close.
No death due to COVID-19 was recorded in Delhi for the third consecutive day on Saturday, while 29 fresh cases of the viral disease were reported with a positivity rate of 0.04 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department. This is the 18th time since the national capital was hit by the second wave of the pandemic that zero fatality due to the disease was logged in a day. No death due to COVID-19 was recorded on July 18, July 24, July 29, August 2, August 4, August 8, August 11, August 12, August 13, August 16, August 20, August 21, August 22, August 23, August 24, August 26 and August 27 too, according to official data. On March 2, the national capital had reported zero death due to the virus. The number of single-day cases was 217 on that day and the positivity rate was 0.33 per cent. The second wave of the pandemic swept through the city in April-May. On Friday, 46 fresh cases were recorded as the positivity rate stood at 0.06 per cent, while no death was reported due to COVID-19, according to official data. The daily cases count and the positivity rate dropped to 29 and 0.04 per cent respectively on Saturday, according to the latest health bulletin. On Thursday, 45 fresh cases were recorded with a positivity rate of 0.06 per cent. On Wednesday, the city registered 35 cases and one fatality due to the disease, while the positivity rate stood at 0.05 per cent.