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India could become new Hub for F-16 Fighter Jets

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OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM -- An F-16 Fighting Falcon flies a mission in the skies near Iraq on March 22. The F-16s are from the 35th Fighter Wing "Wild Weasels", Misawa Air Base, Japan.

OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM — An F-16 Fighting Falcon flies a mission in the skies near Iraq on March 22. The F-16s are from the 35th Fighter Wing “Wild Weasels”, Misawa Air Base, Japan.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Lockheed Martin Co. have offered to shift all manufacturing of the F-16 fighter jet to India, it’s something that comes with an added advantage for Prime Minister Narendra Modi: a strategic win against Pakistan, a formidable nuclear rival to the country.

The proposal would additionally give India partial control along with the U.S. of which countries would be allowed to purchase the jet, according to a report from BloombergShould that be the case, Modi would be able to choke key supplies to Pakistan, which has relied on F-16s as its main aerial defense for decades, if the U.S. allows it do so.

“Some components may be produced only in India,” Abhay Paranjape, director of business development at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, said in an interview.

Attempts to clear up direction on what powers Modi may or may not have if the deal was completed ran into the regular bureaucratic red tape, but regardless, the strategic selling point remains a key element of the deal. Especially as Lockheed pushes to win an order that may exceed 100 fighter jets, part of Modi’s plan to spend $150 billion on the armed forces and create jobs under his “Make-in-India” policy. A deal would breathe new life into the F-16, an older model than the stealth F-35 warplane, and further boost U.S.-India defense ties at the expense of Pakistan.

“What we are doing is putting India as the center of the supply base,” Randall Howard, Lockheed Martin’s aeronautics business development director, said. “Today, there is no potential Pakistan sale.”

India and Pakistan have remained enemies ever since Britain’s exit from the region in 1947. Nuclear-armed neighbors, they have fought three wars over disputed territory, and have few economic ties.

Relations between the U.S. and Pakistan have soured throughout the years, as well — In May, Congress refused to provide Pakistan with subsidies which would have allowed them to purchase a fleet of new F-16s, which then prompted the nation to consider making their purchases from Jordan. This month, the U.S. withheld another $300 million in military aid money over its failure to take action against terrorists carrying out attacks on American troops in neighboring Afghanistan.

Nafees Zakaria, a spokesman for Pakistan’s foreign ministry, declined to provide comment on the apparent Lockheed tiff, as did Nungsanglemba Ao, a spokesman for India’s defense ministry.

The lack of support from the U.S. has lead many to believe Pakistan will turn to China and Russia for help in acquiring military hardware, according to Najam Rafique, director at Islamabad’s Institute of Strategic Studies.

“Pakistan is diversifying its options,” he said.

Meanwhile, the competition for the India jet order is fierce — main rivals to Lockheed, such as Boeing and Saab, are all offering to shift their production facilities to the nation as well. The moves are being made in a bid to replenish the country’s aging fleet of military jets, about a third of the nation’s 650 planes are more than 40 years old and set to retire in the next decade.

Last year, Modi scaled back negotiations with Dassault Aviation SA, opting to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets off the shelf instead of building 126 in India after negotiations hit repeated delays.

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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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Ford Mahindra

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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