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Hike Bets Big on AI, Collaborates with Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology

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Hike announced its research collaboration with Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi (IIIT-D). This collaboration is in line with the company’s goal to facilitate research collaboration with Indian universities & research institutions. The goal of the research collaboration initiative is to work with stakeholders and academia to help enable more deep-rooted research in AI & ML in the country. As part of this initiative, Hike is looking to collaborate with Indian institutions to help boost the AI & ML ecosystem in India.

Research & innovation is at the core of what Hike does. The company believes that multiple collaborations across academic disciplines can best leverage the bright minds of the country. Building on each other’s work also solves many fundamental challenges of the country. This first-of-its-kind initiative by Hike is also aimed at enabling an ecosystem of research within the country that will help advance technological competence and know-how in the field of AI & ML. This will include new age research-led innovation in the field of Natural Language Processing (NLP), Speech, Link Prediction, Deep Learning and Computer Vision.

“We are extremely excited about the talent & innovation present in this country, through our research collaborations we aim to help nourish this talent further. By facilitating this research opportunity, we want to help enable the Indian academia to connect to early-stage research and support the translation of that research to fuel advancement in the AI & ML ecosystem,” added Anshuman Misra, VP Operations, Hike.

“Hike has created India’s only local, homegrown messaging platform that is working towards helping solve India’s input problem and reduce dependency on the keyboard. This puts us in a unique position to not only improve the communication experience for millions of users but also provide Indian academics great opportunities to apply their research on hard real-world problems,” added Anshuman.

“We are extremely proud to be beginning this partnership with Hike. A project of this depth is one of the first in the AI & ML ecosystems, and we hope this encourages more Indian academia to partner with Hike. We believe this will play a huge role in facilitating our students to help create a future shaped by open research,” said Tanmoy Chakraborty, Director, Laboratory for Computational Social Systems (LCS2), Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi.

Hike has put AI & ML at the heart of innovation. The company is currently building one of the largest repositories of AI & ML enabled stickers for its recently announced local messaging platform, Hike Sticker Chat. The platform already has over 30,000 stickers across 40 + languages & dialects and aims to have almost 100,000 stickers by the end of the year covering a large chunk of popular local languages & dialects. The company is currently working on a range of White papers, projects, and initiatives. It is also looking to collaborate with more academia, details of which can be attained on its recently launched website – https://ai.hike.in/

Some of Hike’s other initiatives to encourage the AI & ML ecosystem in India include — one of the biggest ML hackathons in the country, White Papers & internship opportunities for students.

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Paytm Offering Payment Gateway Services at Zero Transaction Fees to NGOs

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Paytm announced that it is offering its Payment Gateway services at 0% transaction fees to all registered NGOs across the country, in an effort to help them secure maximum resources for swift, seamless, and smooth Covid Relief work. This service would be applicable on donations of up to Rs. 10 lakh. This move will help NGOs save lakhs of rupees in transaction fees, which they would be able to use for providing more aid and relief to those affected by the pandemic.
 
To help NGOs immediately start accepting all forms of digital payments, the company is offering instant account activation and same-day settlement facility along with zero charges on setup and maintenance. During these unprecedented times, the company wants to ensure that NGOs that are tirelessly working to help those affected by the pandemic by providing food, medicines, oxygen cylinders do not have to wait for 2-3 days to receive contributions made to them by aware citizens and companies. With the Paytm Payment Gateway NGOs are able to get the funds the same day so that they can immediately put the resources to good use.
 
The company is already offering its payment gateway services to few of the largest NGOs in the country who are doing commendable work in helping people during the pandemic. It is aiding several small NGOs in tier-II, tier-III and beyond cities to start accepting contributions digitally so that they have adequate funds. Over the last several weeks, the Paytm Payment Gateway has seen a 400% increase in donations to NGOs via its payment gateway.
 
Paytm Spokesperson said, “NGOs have always been an integral part of social welfare in India. During this ongoing pandemic, they have played an important role in helping millions of citizens get access to food, healthcare, monetary support among other things. We want to do our part in helping them perform their services better by ensuring that they are able to seamlessly, smoothly and immediately get access to funds. Our aim is to help NGOs serve millions of more people and contribute in saving many more lives.”

Paytm recently announced that Paytm Foundation will be setting up oxygen plants in 12-13 cities as hospitals across pan-India face oxygen shortage amid the tumultuous second Covid-19 wave.  These oxygen plants would be directly installed at hospitals, which would serve the oxygen needs for the entire hospital. Paytm Foundation, in association with AIF, Act foundation and Elevation Capital  is sourcing Oxygen Concentrators that would be sent to government hospitals, COVID care facilities, private hospitals, nursing homes among others.

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Top Google Play Store Alternatives for Android Users

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World over individuals, institutions, and Governments are more aware of the role that technology plays in their lives. One aspect that we tend to overlook with our smartphone usage is our choice of store for apps. Here are the best options for Android users for other stores that ought to explore. 

Google Play Store

One of the first mobile app stores, Google Play Store was introduced in 2008 with a vision to target the Android market. We all know how successful and popular this app store is across the globe. On average, this store comprises 2,714,499 apps, with 3739 new apps being added regularly.  

Samsung Galaxy Store

Available to Samsung app users, the Galaxy Store comes with a minimalistic interface with two tabs on the home screen: games and apps. The store which previously contained themes, wallpapers, games, etc. has recently reshaped itself with more focus on app and content delivery in local languages. As a result, it now also provides a curated list of app, game recommendations, better gaming perks, and app-exclusive features and offers.

Indus App Bazaar 

Designed to help users discover new and trending apps in their preferred language, Indus App Bazaar houses over 400,000 apps in English as well as 12 Indian languages, including Hindi, Marathi, Gujrati, Tamil and Bengali. Driven to support ‘Made in India’ and ‘Vocal for Local’ initiatives, this app store aims to address the needs of Indian consumers using local and linguistic content. Indus App Bazaar has delivered 1 billion installs+ updates to over 100 million users.

Amazon App Store

Available on all Amazon Fire devices, the Amazon App Store is not just limited to these devices but is accessible to more. To make it more rewarding, Amazon has recently redesigned the store by introducing Amazon Coins, which is a virtual currency to buy apps on discount or for free. This is what sets this store apart from others.

OPPO App Market

Created for ColorOS devices, the OPPO App Market enables users to download all types of Android apps and games for free. The app market offers a wide array of apps that span across categories such as music, social, office, books, photography, health, etc. Both Oppo and Vivo, top Chinese players joined forces to launch this app store to allow developers to market their creations in overseas markets.

Xiaomi GetApps

Started as an online marketplace of apps for Xiaomi smartphone users, Xiaomi GetApps now supports devices from other manufacturers as well. The best part about this app store is that it offers all popular applications, including PUBG, VSCO, and more than that, it also has a section called ‘Today’, which comprises various useful and interesting apps that are updated regularly. 

Huawei App Gallery 

A perfect place to discover your next favorite apps and games, Huawei App Gallery offers a wide array of exclusive content, coupled with free welcome gifts, special in-game events, competitions, and prize draws to make app shopping more rewarding for users. Although it doesn’t have common apps like Zoom, Netflix, Facebook, and even WhatsApp, users don’t have to fret because the store has these apps in APK formats. So, nothing can stop you from using these apps anyway. 

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Times Music Signs Global Licensing Deal with Video Sharing App Triller

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Times Music and viral music video sharing app, Triller – announce their global licensing partnership. Times Music is a dominant market shareholder in Punjabi, Bollywood, regional and independent music and this deal would result in making Times Music’s diverse repertoire being available for users of the Triller app, across the world. 

All of Times Music’s catalog, with over 56,000 songs is now available on the Triller app, for its massive user base to use the music to create short-form content. 

“Times Music’s diverse catalog and its dominating position in the Punjabi and regional marketplaces, gives Triller a significant advantage to navigate the length and breadth of the country. We are very thrilled to have our entire library on Triller,” said Mandar Thakur, COO, Times Music.

“Times Music, one of India’s leading record music labels represents cultural diversity of Indian Music covering prime languages, among many others. As always our goal is to ease creations and move forward to offer our users with an even larger pannier of music to create and share content with freedom” said Raj Mishra, GM, Triller India

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