News and Notes from Google India
Empowering women through Information - Internet Saathi program expands to four new states
May 19, 2016
Bujji, an Internet Saathi in Somavaram, Vijayawada, learnt how to use the internet and many ways the internet could be used to enhance and add value to her everyday life. Enthused by the possibility, she became a trainer and trained her neighbour Nagalakshmi on how to use the internet. Nagalakshmi started researching sari blouse designs so she could start stitching more intricate clothing for her tailoring unit. She also researched going rates online and is now selling her handiwork at triple the former price. She is now able to use the extra money she makes to send her daughter to the best school in the area.
Bujji today is not only popular amongst the women in her village but she is also inspiring several other women in her neighbouring villages to learn.
Chetna, who lives in Alwar District of Rajasthan too became an Internet Saathi in December, 2015. She not only learnt about mustard farming techniques to run her farm but her own experience inspired her to train 500+ girls and women in span of four months. Several women, today reach out to her for a range of issues, including quick remedies for day to day health issues to sourcing information on MNREGA and other government schemes.
Divided by geographies but united in their mission to empower other women and their communities to gain from the power of the internet, there are thousands of women like Chetna and Bujji who are becoming the change agents in rural India.
100,000 women across India have learned to use the Internet under the ‘Internet Saathi’ program launched by Google and Tata Trusts in India July 2015. Aimed at bridging the digital gender disparity in rural India and empowering women and their communities by providing basic training on the usage and benefits of the internet - ‘Internet Saathi’ program is driving a meaningful impact in improving the lives of women and their communities in rural India. In the last ten months we have been active in villages across five states in India, namely Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. And now we’re expanding the program to four new states - West Bengal, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Tripura.
‘Internet Saathi’ program focuses on training women in rural India to explore the various uses of Internet, who then impart training to the larger rural community in their own and neighbouring villages. Google helps in training the Saathi’s and provides data enabled devices along with the training material. On ground training classes is conducted by involving self help group federations and local NGO members who are supported by Tata Trusts on-ground network.
Only 1 in 10 Internet users in Rural India is a woman. Working along with our partners, we aim to create an enabling environment that empowers women in rural India. We have seen tremendous success in the Internet Saathi model - having local women trainer ensures continuity in the process of learning and imparting hands on training to women and children in villages - making it a highly scalable and sustainable program. We are committed to our mission of reaching 300,000 villages in India in next few years.
Posted by, Sapna Chadha, Head of Marketing, Google India
An eye for detail — Zoom through 1,000 artworks thanks to the new Art Camera by the Google Cultural Institute
May 18, 2016
So much of
the beauty and power of art lives in the details.
You can only fully appreciate the genius of artists like Monet or Van Gogh when you stand so close to a masterpiece that your nose almost touches it. As you step back from the brush strokes, you wonder how it all comes together. At the Google Cultural Institute, we know that people love experiencing art in close detail. Millions of people spend time exploring our ultra-high resolution “gigapixel” images, inch by inch—spotting something new every time, like a
individual dabs of paint
that give the impression of shimmering, turbulent waters.
Zooming into these images is the closest thing to walking up to the real thing with a magnifying glass. This is why we’re so excited about our new Art Camera—a custom-built camera ready to travel around the world to bring people
e of these ultra-high-resolution images than ever possible before
The Port of Rotterdam by Paul Signac, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
A gigapixel image is made of over one billion pixels, and can bring out details invisible to the naked eye. So creating digital images in such high resolution is a complex technical challenge. You need time, highly specialized and expensive equipment, and only a few people in the world can do the job. In the first five years of the Google Cultural Institute, we’ve been able to share about 200 gigapixel images. But we want to do much more. That’s why we developed the Art Camera.
The Art Camera is a robotic camera, custom-built to create gigapixel images faster and more easily. A robotic system steers the camera automatically from detail to detail, taking hundreds of high resolution close-ups of the painting. To make sure the focus is right on each brush stroke, it’s equipped with a laser and a sonar that—much like a bat—uses high frequency sound to measure the distance of the artwork. Once each detail is captured, our software takes the thousands of close-up shots and, like a jigsaw, stitches the pieces together into one single image.
Many of the works of our greatest artists are fragile and sensitive to light and humidity. With the Art Camera, museums can share these priceless works with the global public while ensuring they're preserved for future generations. We want to give museums the tools they need to do this important work, so we're sending a fleet of these cameras from museum to museum around the world—for free.
The Art Camera will dramatically increase the scale and depth at which museums are able to provide access to our shared cultural heritage to anyone around the world. For example, if you wanted to see Van Gogh’s six famous portraits of the Roulin family up close, you’d need to travel across the Netherlands then over to LA and New York. Now the Art Camera can travel for you. It’s already captured the
Portrait of Armand Roulin
, which you can explore alongside
the rest of the family
, all in one place.
Today, we’re sharing the first thousand ultra-high resolution images of artworks from artists including
and many more from museums across Australia, India, the Netherlands, Brazil and everywhere in between. In India, our partners with Art Camera imagery include
Dastkari Haat Samiti
Academy of Fine Arts and Literature
As we prepare to celebrate
International Museum Day
and welcome more than 25 new museums on the Google Cultural Institute — including the
Nava Nalanda Mahavihara
— we want to thank everyone who worked with us to test the new camera in the recent months. Thanks to their work, today you can start zooming and
explore more art in the details than ever before
Posted by Ben St. John, Engineer, Google Cultural Institute
google cultural institute
International Museum Day
Launch of Google India Code to Learn contest 2016
May 12, 2016
In support of Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan, nurturing the spirit of scientific inquiry and creativity, Google India has been running the Code to Learn competition. The winners of the 2015 edition were announced and felicitated yesterday at Shastri Bhawan by Smt Smriti Zubin Irani, Hon’ble Minister for Human Resource Development, Government of India. The minister also launched the 2016 edition of the contest.
Have you ever wondered while using your Android phone as to how all those fantastic applications get developed? What about seeing cool animations and playing some very engaging games and wondering “how do they do it”? All of that and of course much more is possible with programming and those who are experts at it can truly work wonders with their code. Programming code is everywhere, starting from your computer to your favorite websites to inside your vehicle and it has changed the world in many many different ways.
Traditionally programming has been associated with learning a programming language, writing lines and lines of code and spending a lot of time debugging it. But, at Google, we believe that students can actually be introduced to programming and Computer Science in a much more fun and engaging way. Several tools and methods for introducing programming to school students have been around but two of the most prominent of those are
- both developed at
. By using Scratch or App Inventor, students can create a wide variety of projects that include Games, Animations, Story-telling and even Android apps; all of that
without writing even one line of programming language code!
This summer we invite students in classes 5 to 10 from any school in India to participate in the
Google India Code to Learn contest 2016
. Parents or Legal Guardians of students can register on the students’ behalf on the contest website. Students can create their projects in Scratch or App Inventor and submit them on the contest site.
for the contest is open now
. Project Submission will be open from 20-June-2016
and the last day to submit projects is 31-July-2016. There are links to online tutorials for both Scratch and App Inventor on the contest site and these tools are very easy to learn especially because one does not need to learn a programming language.
This contest has been adopted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India under the
Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan
. We thank the Ministry for their support for the contest and are looking forward to seeing the innovation and creativity that students will present to us via their projects. Who knows which one of the innovative students in India will go ahead to create something as revolutionary as a self-driving car!
Code to Learn is co-organized by
. ACM is the worldwide society for scientific and educational computing with an aim to advance Computer Science both as a science and as a profession. IIIT Delhi is a research-oriented university based in Delhi.
Posted by Vineeta Dixit, Public Policy & Government Relations Manager and Ashwani Sharma, Head of University Relations and Computer Science Outreach
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Google code to learn
300,000 logging in each week from 15 railway stations across India
May 12, 2016
, the gateway to India’s easternmost states, has just became the 15th train station in India to offer our free, high-speed Wi-Fi service. The other stations that have just come online include
, following quickly on the heels of the
nine stations announced last month
As the network has expanded, the number of people logging in has as well – we’re thrilled that more than 300,000 people are now using this high-speed Wi-Fi each week.
But we’re not stopping there. Based on the incredible demand we’ve seen at Mumbai Central, the first station that
came online in January
, we’re now also working with RailTel and Indian Railways to extend the project to cover 17 of the busiest suburban stations across Mumbai, stations that more than 1.5 million people pass through every day, by the end of this year.
For any Mumbaikars out there, these stations will include
Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus
Here’s an updated map of the stations that now have Wi-Fi, and the stations we plan to reach by the end of the year:
Details about how to use the service are
, and keep watching this space as we continue to expand to more and more stations across the country.
Posted by Gulzar Azad, Head of Access Programs, Google India
high speed Wi-Fi
Pay for all the Google Play apps, games, and content you love with your Idea Cellular Account
May 5, 2016
Good news if you’re on Idea Cellular: you can now pay for your favorite apps, games, and books on
— from Candy Crush to World Cricket Championship 2, Chota Bheem, and apps like Nova Launcher—directly with your Idea account, no credit card required. You can purchase any app or in-app feature on the Google Play Store and charge the cost directly to your existing phone credit. No matter if you are on a Prepaid or Postpaid plan, your Google Play purchases are just deducted from your monthly bill or prepaid balance with Idea Cellular.
You won’t need any additional software or a credit card. When you make a purchase, just choose "bill my Idea Cellular Account" on the prompt in the store. Google Play keeps your account information safe, so this is a new, secure way to buy digital content with your phone. If you have chosen a post-paid plan you will see your purchases on your billing statements labelled easily under “Google Play purchases.”
This collaboration with Idea Cellular is the first time Google Play has offered direct carrier billing in India. Like with
lower minimal pricing
, we hope to make it easier for people to pay for the content they want on Google Play. And we also hope that this will help nurture the developer ecosystem in India, so that developers can grow their businesses on Google Play connecting to Indian customers.
You can find out more about Google Play at
Posted by Kunal Soni, Head of Business Development for Google Play, India and Southeast Asia
India’s latest Web Rangers wow us with their tips to stay safe online
May 4, 2016
Last year we
kids from all around India to become Web Rangers—guardians of the Internet galaxy, who help us spread the word about staying safe online. We were blown away by their ideas and the creativity behind all the sketches, videos and apps that we received. Now’s the time to meet the five winners. Drumroll please…
Web Ranger #1
Have you heard of the grandma rule?
explains it like this: If you think your grandma won’t like it, don’t post it! This is just one of her many tips to keep the Internet a friendly place for everyone in the form of a colorful
Web Ranger #2
puts her reason to rhyme with some simple steps to protect each and every one of us on the net:
Never reveal your home address or personal details,
Never share your password and sign out from emails.
Be very careful when you share your photos,
Never allow illegal downloads!!
Web Ranger #3
that teaches you how to spot fake logos. Bogus logos are often a sign of a phishing site. These are websites that try to trick you into giving them your personal details or other confidential information such as credit card numbers.
Did you think “123456” was a good password? Think again. Web Ranger #4 and vlogger
teaches us that this is in fact of the most common passwords used on the Internet and can be hacked instantly. He shares four tips on how to create strong passwords —
show that one of them could take up to 49 quindecillion years to hack!
“Mr. Two Faces” is a catchy tune sung by Web Ranger #5
to remind us to switch on our privacy settings for our online accounts. This helps us stay safe from bad guys on the Internet who try to steal our personal details.
A big thank you to everyone who shared with us their brilliant ideas and campaigns to teach others about online safety. With Web Rangers like you out there in the community, we’re confident the Internet will be a better place for everyone.
Posted by Sunita Mohanty, Director, Trust and Safety at Google
Stay safe online
New Chromecast and Chromecast Audio now available in India
April 20, 2016
Chromecast first launched in India in 2014
, many people have enjoyed the ease of casting movies, shows and music from their phones straight to their TVs. Today, the new Chromecast and Chromecast Audio are ready to enjoy.
has a fresh design and is easier to plug into TVs with crowded HDMI ports. It supports the latest Wi-Fi standards and adapts more easily to changing Wi-Fi conditions in your home, so you get higher quality video with less buffering. We added two new colors so you can cast in style while watching content from your favourite entertainment apps including Netflix, Hooq, Eros Now and YouTube.
The new Chromecast will be available on several marketplaces including Flipkart, Snapdeal, Paytm and retailers like Reliance and Croma for 3,399 INR.
is a small device that plugs into your existing speakers so you can stream your favourite music, radio and podcasts over Wi-Fi. It works with tons of apps, including Saavn and Wynk Music. Just like Chromecast, it works from anywhere in your home with your favourite devices, including Android, iOS, and laptops.
Chromecast Audio will be available from several marketplaces including Flipkart, Snapdeal, Paytm and retailers like Reliance and Croma for 3,399 INR.
We’ve also updated the
to make it easier for you to find great things to watch or listen to—available through the Cast-enabled apps already installed on your phone. We’ll also suggest more Cast-enabled apps and games that you might like to try out. With thousand of Cast-enabled apps to choose from, we’re sure that you’ll find a new favourite TV series to binge on in no time.
Posted by Mickey Kim, Head of Asia Pacific Partnerships, Chromecast and TV
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