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Jameel Jaffer of ACLU named founding director of Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute

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Jameel Jaffer

Jameel Jaffer

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Columbia University president Lee C. Bollinger announced last month his appointment of Jameel Jaffer, deputy director at the ACLU, as the founding director of the school’s Knight First Amendment Institute, a new institute created in collaboration with the university and John S. and James L. Knight, which will work to preserve and expand the freedoms of expression and the press in the digital age through litigation, research and public advocacy.

“We’re at a moment in our history when freedom of expression, access to information and high quality journalism have never been more important, yet are facing unprecedented challenges,” said Bollinger. “No one understands that better than Jameel Jaffer. Throughout his accomplished career, Jameel has proven himself to be among the First Amendment’s most effective defenders and we could hardly have a more ideal founding director of the Knight Institute at Columbia.”

Since joining the staff of the ACLU in 2002, Jaffer has served as litigator on some of the most significant post-9/11 cases related to national security and civil liberties. In his role as director of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, Jaffer created the organization’s project on speech, privacy, and technology and oversaw a major expansion of the ACLU’s work on issues relating to civil liberties in the digital age. Additionally, he was instrumental in the ACLU’s decision to take on the representation of whistleblower Edward Snowden.

He argued constitutional challenges to gag orders imposed under the Patriot Act, the declassification of sealed judiciary opinions issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and has argued cases at every level of the federal court system, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He has additionally testified before Congress about a variety of topics relating to national security and civil liberties.

Jaffer is also one of the nation’s leading Freedom of Information Act attorneys, having litigated landmark cases that resulted in the publication of crucial documents about the U.S. government’s counter-terrorism policies.

“The digital age has brought us a wealth of new ways to communicate, but digital technology is also vulnerable to surveillance and control. At the same time, news organizations have fewer resources to fight for access to government records and defend free expression,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president of Knight Foundation. “Jameel Jaffer’s integrity, intellect and collaborative nature make him the right leader for a new organization. His experience at the intersection of law and technology make him the forward-looking legal strategist the Institute needs to select—and win—precedent-setting battles.”

The Knight First Amendment Institute will seek to address a range of significant and emerging First Amendment issues, all of which Jaffer has the most astute authority on. Some of the matters include electronic surveillance by government; privacy rights on digital platforms; the overall freedom of internet platforms, and the rights and responsibilities of the corporate actors who own those platforms.

“Columbia and Knight Foundation have made an extraordinary commitment to protecting and expanding freedom of expression and of the press in a constantly changing digital environment,” said Jaffer. “I am excited about this opportunity to build an organization dedicated to a mission that’s so essential in a free society.”

A graduate of Harvard Law School, where he served as editor of the school’s law review journal, he clerked under Hon. Amalya L. Kearse on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and then to Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada. His writing has been published in The New York TimesThe Los Angeles TimesThe Guardian, and other publications. His new book, The Drone Memos, will be published by The New Press in November.

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Google launches mobile payment App Tez tailored to Indian users

Google launches mobile payment App Tez tailored to Indian users

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Tez

Following vast speculation, Google officially launched a mobile payment platform for the Indian market, called Tez.
Available for Android and iOS users in India, Tez initiates Google’s entry into the mobile payment industry in India.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (Diya TV) — Following vast speculation, Google officially launched a mobile payment platform for the Indian market, called Tez.

Available for Android and iOS users in India, Tez initiates Google’s entry into the mobile payment industry in India. The app allow users to link their smartphones with their bank accounts and pay for goods and services online and at traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

Users can also make person-to-person instant money transfers, similar to PayPal.

With Tez, users pay directly from their bank account, using a Unified Payments Interface. Currently, the app works with all major banks, including Google partners Axis, HDFC Bank, ICICI and State Bank of India.

Tez is not a mobile wallet like PayTM and MobiKwik. Rather, instead of users storing money, it works more like Apple Wallet, linking the bank account, allowing payments to be deducted from the account.

According to Tez, it’s Tez Shield built-in security “helps to detect fraud, prevent hacking, and verify your identity.” Each transaction is secured with the user’s UPI PIN. Additionally, the app is secured with a Google PIN or a screen lock method such as fingerprint.

Tez says the app has partnered with a myriad of apps and vendors, including RedBus, PVR, Domino’s, Dish TV and Jet Airways. The app supports multiple languages: English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.

Business owners can use the Tez with their current account to start accepting digital payments. Payments will go directly to their bank accounts “without any additional cost incurred for the transaction.”

During a launch event in Delhi, Caesar Sengupta, the head of Google’s Next Billion program said the app “works with the vast majority of Android smartphones in the country.”

The app launch took place on Sept. 18 with India Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying, “Tez by Google is perhaps the simplest form of monetary transactions.”

Since launching on Google Play and iTunes store, the app has received positive reviews by users. On the Android platform, of nearly 15,000 reviews and over 100,000 users, the app has a 3.8 star rating, with over half of the reviews being 5-star. On the Apple platform, Tez has a 4.5-star rating with 15 reviews.

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Mahindra and Ford Announce Strategic Cooperation

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Designed at leveraging the benefits of Ford’s global reach and Mahindra’s scale in India and successful operating model, Mahindra Group and Ford Motor Company announced a strategic alliance.

DEARBORN, Mich. (Diya TV) — Designed at leveraging the benefits of Ford and Mahindra’s strengths, Mahindra Group and Ford Motor Company announced a strategic alliance.

A Sept. 18 announcement by Ford says the “agreement between the two companies will allow each to leverage their mutual strengths during a period of unprecedented transformation in the global automotive industry.”

Areas of cooperation include:mobility programs; connected vehicle projects; electrification; product development; sourcing and commercial efficiencies; distribution within India; improving Ford’s reach within India; and improving Mahindra’s reach beyond India.

“Ford is committed to India and this alliance can help us deliver the best vehicles and services to customers while profitably growing in the world’s fifth largest vehicle market,” stated Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president of Global Markets.

Ford and Mahindra will work together for a period of up to three years. Following that the period may be extended.

“The changes facing the automotive industry globally are triggered by the accelerated rise of new technologies, sustainability policies and new models of urban shared mobility. Given these changes we see the need to anticipate new market trends, explore alternatives and look for ways to collaborate even as we compete and build powerful synergies that will allow rapid exploitation of the exciting new opportunities …,” said Dr. Pawan Goenka, managing director, Mahindra and Mahindra.

Mahindra is one of the leading utility vehicle manufacturers in India for over 70 years.

Mahindra owns a majority stake in Ssangyong Motor Company in Korea and is developing products like the GenZe – the world’s first electric connected scooter.

Ford is one of the largest exporters of cars from the U.S., manufacturing and exporting vehicles and engines from its manufacturing facilities in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Sanand, Gujarat. India is also the second-largest Ford employee base globally, with more than 14,000 people working across the Ford India and Global Business Services operations in New Delhi, Chennai, and Coimbatore.

The Mahindra Group is a $19 billion federation of companies focused on “innovative mobility solutions, driving rural prosperity, enhancing urban living, nurturing new businesses and fostering communities.”

It is the world’s largest tractor company, by volume. It also enjoys a strong presence in agribusiness, components, commercial vehicles, consulting services, energy, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, steel, aerospace, defense and motorcycles. Mahindra employs over 200,000 people across 100 countries.

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles. Ford employs approximately 203,000 people worldwide.

The two companies had a brief 1995 partnership for manufacturing the Ford Escort. However, after three years, the partnership ceased.

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Duke University Opens India office in Bengaluru

Duke University Opens India office in Bengaluru

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Duke University India

North Carolina-based private research university Duke University recently opened an India office in Bengaluru to foster its collaborations with Indian universities and organizations.

DURHAM, N.C. (Diya TV) — North Carolina-based private research university Duke University recently opened an India office in Bengaluru to foster its collaborations with Indian universities and organizations.

Duke University India “aims to expand the existing Duke-India partnerships, which include academic exchange programs and research collaborations,” Duke Today reported.

https://youtu.be/SLGE2vf-hTo

According to the report, the University’s current partners in India include NITI-Aayog, the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology University in Ahmedabad, Narayana Health City, IIM – Udaipur, IIM – Ahmedabad, and IIT- Gandhinagar.

Duke hosted a launch event on Sept. 18, celebrating the commencement of operations, featuring a conversation between Dr. Michael Merson, vice president and vice provost for global affairs at Duke and Dr. Devi Shetty, chairman and founder of Narayana Health.

“I think we cannot think of education if we don’t think of global education,” Namrata Jha, executive director of Duke University India said in a video posted by Duke Global. “Duke University has opened a new office in India, based in Bangalore to create more partnerships – research collaborations, university partnerships, more student exchange, faculty exchange, going to India and understanding about Indian culture, more student exchange, faculty exchange, going to India and understanding about Indian culture, learning from the community, giving back to the community. And my team at Duke University’s office in India will be working with faculty at Duke to make that happen.”

“India is unique. While it has lots of challenges, it is also a hub of intellect, of forward-looking thinking, young minds. It’s a fertile ground for doing something groundbreaking in this world. If the technological innovation and great minds of Duke University could tap into the young minds of India, I think we can create wonders,” she added.

Duke University is located in Durham, North Carolina.  More than 430 Indian students are currently enrolled there and nearly 700 Duke Alumni live in India.

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