Live@Edu for 7.5 Million Users–Microsoft’s Biggest Cloud Deployment Ever!

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the governing body for technical education in India as part of India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development, has adopted Microsoft Live@edu as one solution amongst many such initiatives with IT majors and Industries. The cloud adoption with an aim to improve technical education and prepare students for the workforce of tomorrow would see deployment over the next three months to more than 10,000 technical colleges and institutes throughout India.


Live@edu is a hosted communication and collaboration service that offers email, Microsoft Office Web Apps, instant messaging and storage to AICTE’s more than 7 million students and nearly 500,000 faculty members, for a total reach of 7.5 million users. The numbers clearly make AICTE Microsoft’s largest cloud customer ever. The implementation is managed by Microsoft and a set of Live@edu partners. Full deployment is expected to be complete by summer 2012. In 2010, Microsoft rolled out Live@edu to some 700,000 students in Kentucky, United States which was considered the largest cloud deployment in the US at that time.

“India is seeing rapid economic activity and growth. Developing India’s youth and their skills is going to play an important role in the country’s inclusive growth. The PPP model (public-private partnership) is most essential in running and managing training institutions to address the skill gap most efficiently. I congratulate both AICTE and Microsoft on this significant milestone.”

– Mr. Kapil Sibbal, Union Minister for HRD

Live@edu is the first step in cloud computing for AICTE, as it further plans to deploy Microsoft Office 365 for education when it becomes available later this year. AICTE believes that the cloud deployment will expand students’ access to high-quality technical education and collaboration and is a step in supporting broader educational reforms. In India, both the higher education and IT industry are becoming increasingly vital to the economy.

“Microsoft’s cloud platform will make for a truly progressive ecosystem and contribute to the country’s technical education by providing a better communication and collaboration platform for institutes and students.”

– Dr. S. S. Mantha, Chairman, AICTE

Live@edu is the leading cloud suite for education, with more than 22 million people using the service worldwide (Google’s similar offering has around 14 million users) in more than 10,000 schools in over 130 countries. Live@edu is a no-cost hosted platform for student communication and collaboration. It provides students with the professional tools to prepare them for college or work and is easy to set up, administer, and manage.

Indian Government Makes Open-Source Drivers A Requirement For e-Governance Projects

india-open-source The Indian Government has initiated its e-Governance projects to connect the millions of Indians living in villages to the internet and related services. A very important part of this project is the procurement of the required hardware most notably PCs and peripherals – for use by the people.

The Indian Government has announced that open drivers are a requirement for the hardware that will be procured under the e-governance projects. This is what the preamble of the Policy on Device Drivers for Procurement of Hardware for e-Governance says:

Government of India (GOI) endeavours to provide e-Governance services, which are technology-neutral, cost effective, interoperable and vendor-neutral. GOI Policy on open standards is a step towards meeting this objective in the development of e-Governance applications.

Because of this new policy, the OEM and vendors have to guarantee that the computer and peripherals that they are supplying can run all General Purpose Operating Systems and that open source drivers are available for all the components.

The policy allows for certain relaxations in case open source drivers are not available. The OEM or vendor has to first provide a justification as to why open source drivers are not available and give guarantee that the open source drivers will be made available before delivery.

A proper implementation of this policy will ensure that choices are available in case changes need to be made in the future. The availability of an open driver will prevent vendor lock-in and ensure that the vendors cannot take any unfair advantage in the future. It is good to see the government actively promoting Free and Open Source Software.

You can see a PDF version of the Policy on Device Drivers for Procurement of Hardware for e-Governance here.

[via: EFYTimes]

[image credit]


New Indian Cyber Laws Can Be A Threat To Web Content Providers

The IT scene in India is about to take a steep turn in the coming days.

The new Cyber laws issued by the Information technology department of Indian Government (PDF) imposes a lot of restrictions on citizens and content providers which includes companies, institutions, cyber café owners and anyone who is servingobjectionable content to Indian people in one form or the other.

For example: One of the acts states that no organization or an intermediary can servecontent that is harmful, obscene, pornographic, hateful, defamatory, encourages money laundering or gambling, not suitable for minors or otherwise unlawful in any manner. [Ref: sec 3(b) III ]

And as before, Google and other tech companies are not very happy regarding the new IT rules of India.


This is because the new rules require websites to remove objectionable content which might be harmful to minors. Content includes text, images as well as videos and the websites who act as an intermediary between the website and the content also fall under the same umbrella.

So if a site has a pornographic image and an Indian citizen is viewing it on Google Images, both the source website and Google Images are to be blamed. Internet service providers or website owners have to bring some bars on the type of objectionable content via a terms of service act with their users.

If barring the content is not possible (consider the huge collection of blogs, YouTube videos and images), the source websites have to remove the objectionable content within 36 hours when the corresponding authorities notify the company administration.

The option of content barringis a huge task for social networking sites and search engines like Google, Yahoo etc. This is because search engines do not generate the content themselves and they have no control over the type of content that is shared via blogs, social sites, YouTube etc. Almost anyone can post an objectionable image on free blogging platforms and post a link of the image on social sites like Facebook, Twitter etc.

The government officials are already in action. As an example, here is a list of websites that are blocked by order of the Indian Government. The data was received from the department of Information technology in response to the RTI (right to information) act. One of the offending websites is a Facebook fan page about B.R Ambedkar, which we reported a few months back.

India is already one of the booming market for Internet companies. There are already more than 700 million cellphone users in India (and counting) so the number of web savvy users is on the rise. Google among other tech companies are worried whether the new Indian I.T rules will go narrow in coming months or whether there would be strict guidelines on the natureof content which is considered safe for Indian audience as reported at WSJ.

Mumbai Police Blocks “I Hate Ambedkar” Hate Page On Facebook, Following A Court Order

br1After following a series of strong protests and much chaos, Mumbai police has finally blocked the I Hate Ambedkarpage on Facebook. The officials are   now preparing to find the culprit, who created the B.R. Ambedkar hate group on Facebook, Techie Buzz has learned.

Prior to this, protests from Mumbai Civilians erupted on the streets of Bandra and Khar when Mumbai civilians crowded the roads and nearby police stations demanding police action to show their protest on the I Hate Ambedkarhate page on Facebook.

We were able to find a YouTube video of the recent report from a leading Indian news daily, IBN Live.

Video link

When Mumbai Crime branch learned about the B.R Ambedkar Facebook hate page on Tuesday, the cyber crime investigation cell made contact with Facebook authorities in the US. Facebook was unable to take down the fan page immediately, because it needed a court order.

Following the instructions, Mumbai Police obtained an order from Esplanade metropolitan magistrate’s court and emailed a soft copy of the order to Facebook officials. When Facebook officials received the court order, they took down the page immediately.

Himanshu Roy, Joint commissioner of Mumbai Crime branch told Hindustan Times:

Facebook is in the process of identifying the culprit’s IP address from their servers and they are most likely to pass the information to Mumbai Police’s cyber cell division. Once we have obtained the IP address, we would be able to track the location of the place from where the files were uploaded and find the culprit.

Indian Rupee Symbol Decided, Designed by IIT Student

Last month the Union Cabinet had sat down to choose a symbol for the Indian Rupee out of 5 shortlisted candidates. The decision was expected soon, but it has take well over 2 weeks  to finally choose the Indian Rupee Symbol.


The Indian Rupee Symbol was supposed to be chosen from one of the 5 shortlisted candidates in the picture above. However, according to reports from Indian Express IIT Post Graduate student D Udaya Kumar’s symbol was recommended by the cabinet as the Indian Rupee symbol.


The symbol created by Kumar is an amalgam of the Devanagari Ra’ and the Roman capital R’ without the stem, which is what the Finance minister was looking for. What I found funny though is that the selected Indian Rupee Symbol does not even seem to be in the shortlisted candidates. So where did this new symbol come from?

Was it added later on, or did the Union cabinet look at discuss more than 5 candidates for the Indian Rupee Symbol? This is a mystery I am trying to solve currently. If you have an answer, feel free to let me know about it.

Indian Rupee Symbol To Be Decided Today

After years of missing a unique identity, today India will get a unique symbol to represent Rupees or Rs as we have called them for so long. For those who are not in the know, India will finally get a symbol for our currency which is similar to a $, £ or €.

Indian Rupees Symbol Shortlisted

Right now, there are five symbols which have been shortlisted from several which were submitted for the purpose and only one of them can be chose to be the official symbol of the Indian currency.

According to NDTV, the Union Cabinet is expected to clear the design by Thursday and it will be a Hindi letter Ra with two lines in it.

So which of these symbols is your favorite and which one would you choose to become the official symbol of the Indian currency across the world?

Image via NDTV

Kareena Kapoor Is The New Brand Ambassador Of Sony Ericsson

Sony Ericsson has recently signed Kareena Kapoor as its new brand ambassador. The famous bollywood actress unveiled the new portfolio of phones including the most awaited Xperia X10, X10 Mini, X10 Pro, Vivaz and Vivaz Pro. Earlier Hrithik Roshan was the brand ambassador of Sony Ericsson mobile phones in India.

sony ericsson kareena

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Hirokazu Ishizuka, Corporate Vice President & Head of Asia Pacific region said, “Being one of the most widely-followed youth-icons, Kareena matches the level of energy, vibrancy, passion and fun associated with Sony Ericsson, and thereby elevates the aspiration value of the brand. We are also extremely excited about re-energizing the digital space with Kareena, as we debut her social networking that will allow her to engage with the rapidly growing digitally-evolved fan-base over various social networking platforms.”

Kareena Kapoor said, “I am very happy to be associated with Sony Ericsson. I believe that Sony Ericsson truly represents the fusion of communication and entertainment in mobile device. I love my new feature rich Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 that allows me to easily keep in touch with my family and friends, while keeping myself entertained on the go.”

Recently, Spice Mobile signed Sonam Kapoor, LG Electronics signed Abhay Deol, Genelia Dsouza & John Abraham, Nokia signed Adah Sharma & Sharman Joshi and last but not the least Karrbon Mobiles signed Virender Sehwag & Gautam Gambhir to endorse their products in India.

[ Image Credit ]

India 2nd Largest Contributor Towards Internet Spam

India is no doubt a great technology hub, but along with that it also has a dubious distinction of being the second largest contributor towards internet spam.

India Spam Messages Share in Jan and Feb 2010

In a recent report released by Panda Security, which analyzed over 5 million spam messages generated in January and February 2010, Brazil, India, Korea, Vietnam and USA were the 5 biggest culprits for generating the spam messages. Brazil accounted for 13.76% of the spam messages, followed by India with 10.98% spam messages.

The study further said that over 1 million IP addresses were used to send out the email messages, with an average of 5 messages per IP. Almost 86000 Indian IP addresses were used to send out the spam messages.

Among cities Seoul, Korea was the worst offender followed by Hanoi. In India, New Delhi (which was 3rd overall) came before Bombay and Hyderabad. These cities have a large internet penetration.

Being the 2nd largest contributor towards span is definitely a crown India would like to shed, however, curtailing spam is not easy considering that there are any strict cyberlaws in India with regards to email messages and spam.

It would be good if India could implement a CAN-SPAM Act which is widely used in the US, and fine users for sending out unsolicited emails.

PayPal Replaces Export Code With Purpose Code For Indian Users

Let’s be honest, for the past few weeks, PayPal has been playing around with the sentiments of Indian users, who relied on it to send and receive payments online. First of all they stopped personal payments to and from India and failed to notify users about it.

PayPal Logo

In the weeks that passed they came up with a lame explanation, and later said that they would restart bank withdrawals in India, but users would require a Import Export Code. Now, in a new development, which is good news for PayPal India users, PayPal has said that Indian users will no longer require an Export Code and will instead have to use a "Purpose Code".

Purpose Code and More Details

Purpose Code is a code which will allow the banks you withdraw money to, to identify the nature of transaction. There are several different Purpose codes which can be used based on the type of transaction for which you received money in your PayPal account.

For example, if you exported any goods you will have to use the purpose code P0101 or P0104, if you provided services in Information Technology, you will have to use the purpose code P0801 or P0802 or P0803.

So now users will no longer have to use the earlier suggested Import Export Code for which they would have had to apply for a IEC number with the Government of India. You can download a PDF file containing all the purpose codes in the download section below.

New PayPal Withdrawal Process

For any new withdrawals after March 1st 2010, users will have to provide a Purpose Code while withdrawing money to their bank, this purpose code may be different for different transactions.

However, based on the amount of withdrawal, users will also need to furnish additional documents such as invoices or goods receipts. The max ceiling above which these documents will be required has not been made clear by PayPal yet, but in my experience, this amount should be Rs 50,000, based on my dealing with Indian banks who require users to add the PAN number whenever they are making deposits of 50K or more.

Receiving Payments in PayPal

Sadly, PayPal has not yet enabled the Personal Payments option for Indian users, however, users can receive payments in the following ways.

  1. Using the Pay for Purchases (Goods or  Services) tab
  2. Completing PayPal checkout at your website
  3. Responding to PayPal Request Moneyinstructions (invoices)

Download Purpose Code Table

I have created a PDF file which contains all the Purpose codes, their categories, description and when you should use it. You can download the PDF file for easy printing from here. Please do not link directly to the PDF file, if you want to, link back to this post.

More information and FAQ can be found at the PayPal blog.

CAT 2009 Results To Be Declared Online On Feb 28th

According to a recent update on the official CAT website, the CAT exam results held in 2009 and also 2010 because of system malfunction due to malware, will be declared on Sunday, February 28th, this information.


The update on the official CAT IIM site does not display the date of the results, however, it does say that the CAT 2009 results will be declared at the end of February, which is today.

So hoping and wishing that people who appeared for CAT exams in 2009 and 2010 do not face any more delays to view their results. The results will most likely appear online at the official CAT site, so keep visiting it for further updates.

We will keep you updated as and when the results are declared, so keep tuned to us too.