TeachNext : An Educational Set-Top-Box from India

TeachNext is a Set-Top-Box solution focusing on the Indian Education sector. It is an end-to-end solution providing the complete package right from a STB, it’s remote and state-of-the-art software and content comprising of the most updated syllabus.

TeachNext STB and RemoteThe TeachNext STB is a custom-built STB with capabilities of delivering content to either the Projector or a LCD television. The software contains chapter-wise “Lesson Plans” created by experienced teachers and educationalists. Apart from adhering to India’s CBSE board syllabus, the content follows the NCERT guidelines. The courses are so designed as to cater for Teacher-led classrooms as well as for self-learning.

Some other features of this unique solution are :

  • 2D & 3D Audio-Visual lessons for K12
  • An evaluation system that covers all aspects of a student’s development.
  • An innovative tools called “NextStudio” which comes with an image library of   over 13000 images.
  • Content partnerships with various international content developers to provide quality e-learning experience.
  • Question Paper software for frequent student evaluations.

To get a taste of TeachNext’s software, head to their demo page and watch the demos various subjects like Biology, Physics, Chemistry , Math, etc.

TeachNext is not just a startup product. TeachNext has started advertising on mainstream Indian television channels during prime-time programs.Watch some of their Ads here.

TeachNext STB Remote TV

They already have a list of schools who are using their product in their classrooms. In fact, they claim to have more than 1000 clients already. If the likes of Panbai International School, one of the premier schools in Mumbai, India , have already embraced this solution, one can image that other International schools may have followed the trend.

Is this the future of education ? Will digitizing the classroom boost productivity while retaining the short attention spans and providing valuable education, all at the same time ?

BCCI To Stream Live Cricket Matches On It’s Website

With the web taking over our lives day after day, users now want better internet experiences. Take for instance online streaming of events especially sports. We have already told you about the online streaming of Commonwealth Games. Now it’s the turn of The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) which has revamped its official website, BCCI.tv. The new website supports live streaming of cricket matches that are played between India and other countries.

The live stream can be accessed at: bcci.tv/bcci/bccitv/index/livestream

As of now, Internet users across India will be able to see all matches in the series against New Zealand online. However, there will be a five-minute delay between the live action and the streaming’ which is quite acceptable. Not only this, the website will also have a plethora of other useful features such as an online ball-by-ball commentary and scoresheets of domestic matches. The website is being maintained by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

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.

Dell Moving China Operations To India, Following The Google Bandwagon

In a severe jolt to China, Dell has announced that it will be moving almost $25 billion of operations from China to India, following Google and GoDaddy, who recently quit China this week.

Dell India

According to reports from Indian newspaper Hindustan Times, the Chairman of Dell, Michael Dell has assured Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh that Dell will be moving its $25 billion operation out of China to India.

Dell reportedly told the India Prime Minister that they were looking for a safer environment with [a] climate conducive to enterprise. However, Dell will not be a new entrant into India as they already have an office there and moving there would just bring more business India’s way.

This is definitely bad for China since this is the third big company to have already walked out or are planning a walk out of an industry which is notorious for its sanctions and censoring.

I would definitely not be surprised if several more companies start to walk out of China after having enough of the monopolistic nature of the government. The coming weeks will be pretty crucial on how things pan out. However, all we can do is keep an eye to see how many companies have the itch to start packing their bags and moving onto more liberal shores.

[via Nexus404 and Gizmodo]

Microsoft To Launch Office 2010 For India In June

Microsoft will be launching for individuals and businesses in Indian markets in June 2010. The release date for the Office 2010 suite in India is similar to the worldwide launch of Office 2010, which is somewhere around the second week of June.

Microsoft Office 2010

Microsoft Corp’s India Chairman Ravi Venkatesan told reporters:

The Office 2010 will be available for both businesses and consumers in June.

This is in stark contrast to the delay of in India, due to budgetary and other considerations. Most likely Indian users will be able to buy a copy of Office 2010 through retail stores, however, if you are planning to purchase a copy of Office 2010 online through downloads, you may have to pay an additional service tax of 10.3%.

Users can currently download a beta version of Office 2010, however, the version is set to expire in October 2010, after which people will have to purchase a license from Microsoft.

If you have purchased a copy of Office 2007, you will get a free upgrade to Office 2010 too. Pricing details for Office 2010 in India has not been revealed yet, however, you can see the Office 2010 pricing for US right now.

PayPal India Withdrawals Back on Track

After more than a month of problems, Indian users will finally be able to withdraw money to their banks from PayPal India.

paypal_purpose_code

The new withdrawals will require users to use a Purpose Code while withdrawing money to their bank accounts. If you received payments for your website or blog, you need to use Freelance Journalism as your purpose code.

Please choose your purpose code accordingly, so that you do not get into any trouble later. Also, as said earlier, there will be a limit on the amount you can withdraw before which you will require to produce receipts or invoices and your PAN card. Though PayPal has not explicitly said how much the upper limit is before you would require additional documents, however, this would more likely than not be Rs 50,000, as bank deposits above this require users to produce their PAN cards.

Phew, that was a tough month for publishers, but all’s well that ends well, go ahead and get your money out right away.

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.

Import Export Code (IEC) For PayPal India Payment Withdrawals

Earlier today, we told you about how PayPal had restarted bank withdrawals for Indian users, however, that announcement came with a catch. Indian users had to fill a field called "Export Code" to initiate the withdrawal.

paypal_logo

Now, PayPal has not really clarified much about the "Export Code", but it is basically a Importer Exporter Code (IEC) which is issued by the Government of India, for people who Import or Export goods or services outside India.

Now, PayPal by themselves will not provide users with an "Export Code" and users who require to withdraw payments to their banks will have to apply for it themselves and the process in itself might take several weeks.

So now designers, freelances and website payments will come under the prerogative of Import/Export laws, and taxes for the same will be applicable. This is definitely going to complicate the process of receiving and sending payments for PayPal India users and is 90% PayPal’s fault as they did not follow the rules laid down by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the first place.

Users who want to get the IEC will have to fill out a form and submit it to the respective department along with required documents to get it approved.

So get ready to face a lot of delays in getting both the IEC and your money out in the future. Getting the IEC is not a straightforward task and you will have to go through several processes and forms before you can get one.

Useful Links for Applying and Learning More About IEC In India

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.

cat_results_2009

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.

IRCTC Launches User Friendly Beta Site

IRCTC one of the biggest ecommerce site in Asia has been hugely criticized for the cumbersome user interface and lousy experience. However, it looks like they are finally going in for that much needed change.

IRCTC has rolled out a new beta design which is much more user friendly and has some nice graphics used. In addition to that, they have also revamped the site to focus on the core features of the site, rather than filling it up with unwanted things.

irctc_beta

As you can see from the screenshot above, the new design is much more cleaner and appealing to the eye and puts focus on important things. Of course, for an ecommerce site it is very important to have the booking system working properly at all times too.

Hopefully, this should bring a much better experience to the users of IRCTC. You can access the beta version of IRCTC by visiting this URL. What do you think of the new design?

Thanks archonline