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A joint production: Harvard combines forces with IIT Delhi

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (DIYA TV) — Harvard’s South Asia Institute (SAI) has joined forces with one of India’s most prestigious institutions, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and Tata Trusts, in a concerted effort to mentor 25 social entrepreneurship startups in science and technology.

The announcement comes on the heels of Harvard’s annual India conference — this year’s edition of the conference was held at the school’s Kennedy School of Government and led by a star-studded cast which included the likes of Kamal Hassan, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Karan Johar, Anita Dongre and many others.

The new project, led by Harvard South Asia Institute director Tarun Khanna, hopes the mentoring provided to the startup companies will be proactive in the creation of more jobs. Companies selected to participate in the project will additionally be provided with spending grants and workshops for extra guidance. Harvard’s institute requested and was granted funding from Tata Trusts to experiment with ways to translate knowledge that was generated in the university setting into livelihood creation.

“India needs 100 million net new jobs in the next decade to absorb the demographic dividend,” Khanna said. “I don’t know of any system in the world that has generated that many jobs in a short period of time without a significant dose of new enterprise creation and entrepreneurship,” he added. Some of Khanna’s previous work includes chairing the Government of India Niti Aayog Commission on Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

R. Venkataramanan, an executive of Tata Trusts, concurs. He opined how paramount the need for collaboration is for further development and growth.

“Under this collaboration with Harvard University’s South Asia Institute, we will develop entrepreneurship opportunities that will help provide sustainable prosperity to the local communities. “

The Tata grant will last 18 months, and Khanna recognizes that might be a bit of a tight window to make true progress. But he’s prepared to face the challenge. The program’s greatest obstacle is likely one few consider, he added: the life and work of an entrepreneur can be a very lonely one.

“The challenge and plan is to demonstrate using research and knowledge assets to work with these social enterprises to point them in the right direction and create a system of peer support. This will be done through workshops, on an ongoing basis,” he said.

The learning will happen on both sides, Khanna said — this is a new program for IIT as well, and the participants of the program will not be limited to IIT’s student body. Some of them will have already been graduated for as much as a year, professor Ambuj Sagar said.

“There is an explosion in learning, including social entrepreneurship. We can take some of these experiences to our workshops,” Sagar said. “Many of these people were students about a year ago. These are young startups and not all are IITians. They are people from Delhi, Kanpur, Utkal University, small colleges in Punjab.”

Fostering what’s learned and developed during the program is of the utmost importance — sustaining that growth after the expiration of the 18-month grant, and continuing the program with the involvement of other institutions is the ultimate goal, Khanna said.

“One of the tasks that we have is to think of ways to continue with this programme, with our partners, the Trusts, IIT-D and other institutions, including the government machinery. The more people talk about it, the better,” he said.

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New Zealand eliminates India in cricket World Cup

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New Zealand wins Cricket

MANCHESTER, England (Diya TV) — After a rain delay stopped play between New Zealand and India, when play resumed, the Kiwis held on to win by 18 runs, knocking India out of the Cricket World Cup. It’s on to the championship round for New Zealand.

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided an Indian restaurant in Washington DC, detaining several employees.

Airbnb, the Silicon Valley couchsurfing startup turned hospitality behemoth, says they made a direct economic impact of around $150 million in India in 2018.

Indian Airbnb hosts collectively made almost $28 million and welcomed nearly 800,000 guests last year. 

Chennai-based speech recognition startup, Uniphore Software Systems, raised $38 million as part of its Series C round. They’ve received funding from California venture capital firm March Capital Partners and former Cisco CEO John Chambers. 

And Indo-Australian Priya Serrao was crowned Miss Universe Australia 2019.

The 26-year-old policy advisor from the state of Victoria said she will use her new platform to promote multiculturalism. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Trump says tariffs by India are ‘No longer acceptable’

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Tariffs no longer acceptable

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — In a tweet, President Trump targeted India once again, saying “India has long had a field day putting Tariffs on American products. No longer acceptable.”

Yet earlier this year, the Trump administration stripped India of a preferential status that exempted billions of dollars worth of products from U.S. levies.

One of the most unique characters ever to run for President has died. Billionaire businessman Ross Perot was 89. Many give his independent campaign in 1992 credit for helping Bill Clinton beat incumbent George H.W. Bush.

A day after Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell got out of the race, another billionaire businessman, Tom Steyer, jumped into the Presidential fray.

India’s OlaCabs recently launched its ride-sharing services in London. And now Ola Electric, their electric vehicle spinoff, just raised a $250 million Series B round at a $1 billion valuation. It plans to bring 10,000 vehicles to the road this year.

And the world will have to wait another day to find out who will play for the Cricket World Cup, after a rain delay stopped play between New Zealand and India.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Trump meets Modi & Abe in Japan

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OSAKA, Japan (Diya TV) — President Donald Trump held a trilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. According to Ivanka Trump, the conversation encompassed 5G technology, working through details on trade and ongoing national security interests for each party.

From Japan, President Trump went to South Korea and entered the demilitarized zone between South Korea and North Korea. He then walked into North Korea to meet with Chairman Kim Jong Un, becoming the first sitting President to ever to enter North Korea.

Silicon Valley startup Fungible announced they’ve raised $200 million from a group of investors including Softbank, taking their total raise to $300 million. A leader in data-centric computing, Fungible is led by CEO Pradeep Sindhu, who previously founded Juniper Networks.

The NBA free agency signing period kicked off with a bombshell: Kevin Durant is leaving behind the team he won two championships with, The Golden State Warriors, for the upstart Brooklyn Nets. Kyrie Irving will join him there. The Warriors traded for the Nets player most impacted by those deals, D’Angelo Russell.

And England beat India by 31 runs in the Cricket World Cup, giving Team India its first loss of the Cup. India will face Bangladesh next.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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