Credits: India Today

According to a report by Oxford University Press (OUP), India switched from offline education to online education during the COVID-19 lockdown. However, the report, titled “Education: The Path to a Digital Revolution,” also said the government must act quickly to ensure that the progress made over the past year is not lost. The coronavirus pandemic has paved the way for blended and hybrid learning models in education that combine technology-based or digital education with traditional teaching.

In addition to extensive secondary research, the report gathered information from experts in seven markets – India, UK, Brazil, South Africa, Pakistan, Spain and Turkey, as well as hundreds of educators around the world.

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected more than 1.7 billion students worldwide in the past 12 months. The Oxford report examined how students, parents and teachers have adapted to new ways of learning and teaching and how they would continue to use digital learning tools and resources to shape educational practices.

In India, compared to other countries, respondents rated the transition to e-learning to be quite good at 3.3 / 5.

However, a major problem identified by respondents was uneven access to digital learning devices, as well as lack of internet connectivity and ignorance of the tools needed to facilitate online learning.

The majority of respondents in India (71%) also felt that the transition to the Internet affected their well-being. The government’s priority is to provide more funding and address connectivity issues, especially in rural areas.

According to the report, the top three issues that negatively impacted digital education were: socio-economic barriers, lack of professional development opportunities for teachers and disruption or insecurity in daily life caused by the pandemic.

When asked what steps the government should take to support digital learning, respondents asked for help to improve connectivity, increase funding for technology, and improve professional development opportunities for teachers.

OUP CEO Nigel Portwood said, unsurprisingly, the pandemic has led to a rapid increase in digital learning adoption.

In rethinking what education might look like in the future, it is imperative that governments learn from those who have been on the front lines and provide and receive learning.

We have a great opportunity to learn from all our experiences to develop education systems that work for both local and global society.

Credits: greaterkashmir.com

The year 2020 has cast a dark shadow over the country’s entire education system and left the fate of millions of students on the line. What we all thought was a pandemic phase to go through until better days come are turning into more difficult times now. During the winters there was a short break which allowed for offline exams. After the second growing wave of the pandemic, COVID-19 cases reached record levels across the country, schools and colleges were once again closed. The students are now at home with their cell phones, laptops and computers. After a year of trial and error, reforms and innovative e-learning experiences have been carried out for students and teachers. This year it looks better with 4G speed which can guarantee better learning quality. Online education, already the norm in many countries around the world, offers immense potential for the overall growth of students.

The Covid-19 pandemic has helped teachers familiarize themselves with e-learning techniques. However, in the modern world of technology, teachers need to know more about technology for students to maximize their learning. I have been connected with academics and tech experts for over 2.5 decades. In my experience, the best and easiest way to teach online is to conduct synchronous live lessons using a whiteboard or presentation and share those conferences in the WhatsApp group. This is because we have infrastructure problems in our institutions. Live lectures are not that different from offline lectures and students can ask questions to satisfy themselves. A 15 minute video conference in MP4 format is converted to just 20MB, which can be further reduced by using online video compressors. I don’t support teachers who share notes or other pre-prepared material in the Google classroom and drop a few lines for students who expect them to read it and throw up again. You should design short lectures of 10 to 15 minutes and students should write down the key points for study later. In addition to the regular online courses, there are high quality lectures and other material that a student can use on the internet that in my opinion are far superior to the electronic content we are talking about. Taking online courses is serious business and it is the responsibility of teachers to ensure that the majority of students take these courses.
Every natural calamity has always struck those most in need and Covid-19 is no exception. We simply forget the invisible: the poor and the marginalized. While interacting with students over the past few months, many of them have asked me how we can take online classes if we don’t allow ourselves to have cell phones. In fact, there are a large number of less well-known disadvantaged students in our school system. This inaccessibility of digital infrastructure and the loss of academic learning worsen the learning gap. Even viewing online courses as an emergency measure and claiming that ‘something is better than nothing’ when it violates the principle of equal opportunity will place a large proportion of students at a greater disadvantage. Students from disadvantaged families who do not have access to technology to study online may drop out of school, violating the fundamental right to education. At the institutional level, state-level mechanisms will be put in place through government agencies, NGOs, civil society, etc., and devices such as cell phones will be available for those who cannot pay them through donations, grants and other programs. Setting up a board-based communication link as a TV channel for online courses only would be a more practical idea to help these disadvantaged students on a large scale.
While online education is helpful in situations like the pandemic, it does not provide a healthy educational experience. Education is not just about providing information or content to students through screens and all tests and grades. It is a holistic experience to grow up in a system of camaraderie and learn things that the virtual medium cannot offer. An old African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” shows the importance of social and community interaction for a child’s growth. The assimilation of technology to the system has revolutionized education around the world. To cope with a situation like the pandemic, full online education needs massive, ubiquitous and revolutionary infrastructure development, including changing the hearts, souls and minds of students and teachers. It is also time for us to talk about resuming studies in our facilities by making campus safe places. We need to prepare action plans to create a safe environment for students so that we do not have to close schools. It’s not just about online learning, it’s also about students who have lost their education due to the pandemic. Education is the pillar of building a society. We cannot survive without education and so we cannot ignore its importance.

Finally, I advise students to learn by themselves too. The nice thing about self-paced study is that once you start a task, you think outside the box and learn things out of natural curiosity. It will improve your understanding and equip you with invaluable skills. This is perhaps the main reason self-taught people succeed in real-world situations. Discover the biographies of great people. They learned from books and never stopped learning. In today’s digital world, there is an enormous amount of information around us and it is very easy to learn it on your own. Instead of complaining and doing nothing, students should get out of their comfort zone, focus on studying, do the exercises themselves and then review their progress. It is also important not to become dependent on screens, watch out for physical exercises and games to avoid depression.

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Credits: thehindu.com

Flipkart would acquire a 100% stake in Cleartrip to further strengthen its digital commerce offerings for customers, the company said in a statement.
The online retailer did not provide any financial details about the acquisition. Cleartrip’s sales were between $50 million and $60 million in 2019, and the size of the business could be multiples of 2 or 2.5, according to e-com sources.

CEO of the Flipkart Group said that the group is committed to transforming the customer experience through digital commerce. For many customers, Cleartrip means traveling. As we diversify and explore new growth areas.

Cleartrip was founded in 2006 by Stuart Crighton and co-founders Matthew Spacie and Hrush Bhatt as an online travel booking company with offices in Mumbai and Dubai.

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Credits: thebetterindia.com

Coronavirus cases are on the rise, which could put the labor industry at risk again. Working from home is not a viable option for those who work in industries such as retail and hospitality. In the past year, companies have laid off people who were younger workers or whose absence would make no difference. Unfortunately, they included people with disabilities.

Even before the pandemic, people with disabilities had difficulty integrating into a work culture that was still developing. Then they had to work to find that they were more than just a charity recruit. However, with the layoffs caused by the pandemic, they have returned to where they started looking to find the right job.

In this scenario in particular, it is not easy to return to the labor market or switch fields to find work. This can have serious consequences, like loss of confidence, uncertainty about your own abilities and of course financial suffering.

Although there are no national data on the unemployment rate for people with disabilities, a study by the National Center for the Promotion of Employment of People with Disabilities, “Locked Up and Left Behind” of 1,067 people with disabilities, shows that 57% experience financial difficulties due to loss of jobs.

When Vineet Saraiwala from Jamshedpur realized this, he launched the online job portal Atypical in December 2020 to help recruiters find applicants with disabilities based solely on their merit. There is also an area that sells products made by people with disabilities. Vineet fully understands the profound implications of disability as he himself suffers from retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a rare genetic disorder that causes vision loss due to breakdown or loss of cells in the retina.

“When the pandemic broke out, several people from the disabled community turned to social media platforms and WhatsApp groups for help. I can help 4-5 people on my own, but the extent of these people was so high that I would need support at an institutional level. The concept of working from home exacerbated the problem and the training or aftercare of the disabled became a growing problem. Thanks to Atypical, job seekers can post their profile instead of relying solely on someone’s goodwill” – Vineet told The Better India.

Vineet was ready for it, he said. His goal was to uncover each person’s stories in detail while focusing on their references. Finding talent wasn’t as difficult as living up to their profiles. He then used social media and a strong network of NGOs operating in the arena across India to spread the word. The tedious process took almost nine months.

Vineet said we did everything from taking a decent photo to translating written bio-data into native languages to bridging the communication gap over the phone. At the time of our launch, there were 200 applicants listed on our website and that number has grown to 400. There are 20 categories or industries listed on the portal, including singing, dancing, photography, sign language interpreting, physiotherapy and magic, etc.

Meanwhile, recruiters arrived in decent numbers too, and Biswajeet, a masseur with visual impairment, was deployed on the first day of launch. He organized an independent therapy session in Mumbai.

Recruiters need to fill in their information. If the person is nervous or uncomfortable talking to the recruiters, Vineet and his team act as the go-between. Sometimes they even help job seekers find a better salary package, as in the case of Sheetal, a hearing impaired person in Nagpur. She wrapped up a magic show for Tokyo Edelweiss.

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Credits: economictimes.indiatimes.com

ZipRecruiter an Online job market applied to go public via a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
Founded in 2010, the company is developing an online marketplace for employers and job seekers and competes with LinkedIn.

The listing plan is expected to capitalize on the booming market as proven by the solid beginnings of games company Roblox and South Korean e-commerce company Coupang.

ZipRecruiter hired Goldman Sachs Group and JPMorgan Chase in December to lead preparations for an IPO.

The Santa Monica based company will trade under the symbol “ZIP” when it goes public, the company said in an approval document.

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Credits: theverge.com

It seems almost every big tech company is working on a clubhouse-style social audio feature – Twitter’s Spaces feature is rolling out, Facebook would create one, Spotify would create one, Mark Cuban had one, even Slack is getting started. But now the idea of a shared audio room has come full circle, which began in the clubhouse largely as an exclusive club for tech venture capitalists and elites.

LinkedIn said in a statement to TechCrunch that they are doing some initial testing to create a unique audio experience tied to our professional identity and they are exploring how they can bring audio to other areas of LinkedIn, such as events and groups, to give their members even more opportunities to connect with their community.

LinkedIn has already worked to become a target for creators with tools like a new Creator Mode that marks you as a LinkedIn content creator on your profile. One clubhouse-like feature actually seems to fit the bill perfectly.

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Credits: freightwaves.com

Amazon is expanding its garage grocery delivery service to more than 5,000 cities in the US. The service began in 5 cities in November.

Pete Gerstberger, said that customers who have tried Key In-Garage grocery delivery have loved the service, so they are expanding it to all areas where Amazon delivers groceries. As customers seek more convenience in their daily lives, Amazon is pleased to be able to offer another service that not only saves them time, but also gives them the peace of mind that today’s dinner is safe in their garage and in bad weather.

Key garage grocery delivery is available when Amazon Prime members offer grocery delivery at no additional cost, the company said. Customers must have a smart garage door opener connected to myQ to participate. Amazon added that customers can view shipments through a Ring smart home camera and Ring Protect plan, or through a LiftMaster Smart Garage camera with myQ with a myQ video storage subscription.

Vice president of Amazon’s Stephenie Landry said, Amazon has worked hard to give more Prime members the convenience of receiving food from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market and reaching customers in more than 5,000 cities. He is very pleased to be able to offer customers key garage deliveries and he believes this expansion illustrates our commitment to continued innovation to make the online grocery ordering experience for customers even better.

Amazon has offered garage item delivery since 2019 and is expanding the service to more than 4,000 US cities in November.

Shopping for groceries online is becoming a highly competitive service, with Amazon and Walmart (NYSE: WMT) vying for supremacy, even as other retailers expand their services. Karen Bomber, Honeywell’s director of retail information, said the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting stay-at-home orders across the country in 2020 led to an increase in online grocery orders. Bomber has already spoken at this year’s National Retail Federation Chapter One conference, online grocery orders have gone from 4% of sales in 2019 to 30% in 2020.

That’s a trend that you won’t see disappearing in the future, and while many of those orders are picked up at the store, a good chunk of door-to-door delivery remains.

Walmart first offered a grocery delivery service in 2018. This year, a pilot project will take place with HomeValet, in which a temperature-controlled Smart Box will be installed outside the home. The Walmart delivery man places the grocery delivery in the Smart Box.

Senior vice president of customer product for Walmart USA Tom Ward, said when they launched their grocery delivery service in 2018, they did it for a reason: their customers wanted it.

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Credits; livemint.com

Ticketing website BookMyShow, which launched a pay-per-view vertical streaming BookMyShow feed, is set to add several new titles to its library this month. Films on offer include the Icelandic horror thriller I Remember You, the English horror film The Power, the mysterious drama Midsommar, the family adventure comedy The Witches, and the romantic comedy Superintelligence.

Launched in February with 600 movie titles and is expected to serve 2,000 movies over the next 9-12 months, BookMyShow’s Transaction Video-on-Demand (TVoD) service offers a range of independent Hollywood, Hindi and abroad. American studios like Sony Pictures, Warner Bros and Universal Pictures, Indian production companies like Viacom18, Shemaroo and Rajshri Productions and regional content providers like Divo and Sillymonks.

It can be viewed on the BookMyShow mobile app and website, as well as Apple TV, Android TV, Firestick, Chromecast, and Desktop browsers. With BookMyShow Stream, users can enjoy features like offline viewing and downloading.

BookMyShow was founded in 2007 and is owned by Big Tree Entertainment Pvt Ltd. Historically, the Network18 media and entertainment group’s investments have been made by Mukesh Ambanis Reliance Industries, as well as global investors such as Accel Partners and SAIF Partners. Network18 currently owns a 39% stake in BookMyShow.

“TVoD, which sits somewhere between theater and subscription platforms, is a legitimate window of opportunity that exists in India. Ashish Saksena had described the latest move as an extension of the company’s movie ticketing business, rather than a compromise or win-win solution.

After a few sporadic attempts, TVoD or the pay-per-view model that allows users to pay for individual offers rather than a full library of content, saw its first big hit in the Indian market last year. Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd launched Zee Plex in October, while Shemaroo Entertainment launched a TVoD box office service ShemarooMe in July.

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Credits: getpocket.com

Online retailers have seen a boon in the country since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. While people were reluctant to buy large products online, home appliances, laptops and furniture are now seeing high sales on major e-commerce platforms.

An online survey conducted by Smart Home Guide found that more than 50% of respondents buy their appliances through an online platform rather than a physical store. In fact, the main e-commerce portals have seen that the demand for appliances has increased by 200%.

It has profoundly changed the way people consume information. People used to make a purchase decision with one or two visits to the mall, but now consumers take much longer and do more research before buying.

According to the Smart Home Guide survey, 49% of respondents said it took about a week to make a purchase decision. While the younger generation will shop faster, it took most of those over 45 two to three weeks to complete the purchase.

Branded websites, YouTube videos and reviews on ecommerce platforms have replaced marketer wisdom. 67% of those surveyed said they relied on one of these three sources of information. Of these, YouTube was the source of information for 22% of the respondents. This should come as no surprise, as YouTube saw a 13% year-over-year audience increase in the first quarter of 2020.
Additionally, the millennials’ buying habit of prioritizing value for money can be seen in the fact that 38% of respondents rated brand credibility and 33% rated price as the most important factor in their purchase decision.

However, it was also found that they did not mind worrying about the new features, as most of those under 35 bought a new device to replace the old ones. In contrast, most people over 35 year bought a new appliance because the old one broke.

Although there has been a decline in sales in the real estate market, moving to a new home motivated around 18% of those surveyed to buy a new device. This is especially true for large appliances and electronics, such as refrigerators, televisions and washing machines.

With the second wave of Covid-19, consumers are unlikely to return to physical stores anytime soon.

Surveys have previously revealed that consumer safety is one of the main reasons why consumers depend on e-commerce portals. It remains to be seen whether Covid-19 will forever change the shopping habits of Indian consumers.

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credits: analyticsinsight.net

During the 2020 global COVID-19 outbreak, the benefits of online grocery delivery (FD) became apparent as it facilitated consumer access to ready-made meals and helped grocery suppliers to continue doing business.

Online platforms for the delivery of groceries offer choice and convenience so that consumers can order from a variety of stores with just a few clicks on their smartphone. Services range from table reservations to local promotions, pre-orders for food and refreshments, and delivery to another location.

With the advancing use of technology in the provision of services and the massive adoption of mobile applications, this industry is now experiencing significant development and expansion worldwide.

Online grocery delivery ideas are becoming increasingly popular with consumers and restaurants. What would you do if you were hungry and wanted to eat something that wasn’t homemade? Just pick up the phone and order food online at your favorite restaurant and voila. Your food is delivered to your doorstep.

95% of restaurateurs agree that using technology improves business efficiency. Food technology organizations are gradually turning to machine learning (ML) technology and artificial intelligence (AI).

The success of a company depends on the customers who offer the greatest added value. However, it can be very difficult to rate your high quality customers. Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies for online grocery delivery enable entrepreneurs to solve these problems by providing rich information about target customers, ideal shoppers, and heaven. Likewise, potential customers are predicted taking into account their behavior and the analysis of the current customer attributes.

Additionally, in online delivery, artificial intelligence has enabled aggregators to provide greater functionality to their platforms. For example, loyalty programs, business intelligence tools, and point-of-sale connections so that orders can be fulfilled without manual mediation and remarketing campaigns are delivered to locations that depend on customer data stored in their data set.

On the contrary, the new services are building their own logistics networks and delivering to cafes that do not have their own drivers. These transactions are paid for by the restaurant with a fixed margin from the order and a small fee from the customer.

Many are eagerly awaiting mobile delivery orders, as this means more sales, more customer loyalty and better competition. With mobile delivery, your location needs to meet the expectations of your customers. First and foremost, this is the most important factor, then item quality, followed by convenience and then only cost is taken into account.

Manually managing food supplies is a time consuming task. Poor inventory management leads to inventory, wasted items and pricing errors. However, if you leave inventory management to AI technology, you save time and wasted items by delivering accurate returns.

Artificial intelligence uses machine learning and visual recognition technologies in the online food delivery industry to indicate food that is unavailable, expired, damaged or expired and unavailable. Send real-time notifications to the right people to understand and act quickly.

Plated is a subscription service that was launched in 2012. An online food delivery platform enables customers to select recipes and have up to 16 meals a week delivered to their doorstep. The app allows customers to choose recipes and delivery days, and offers step-by-step cooking instructions with built-in clocks.

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