Young techies find solutions to problems

first_imgThe group IT Solutions presents the Township Economic App allowing small businesses to interact and connect with consumers. (Image: Ray Maota)Science and technology are being used to solve everyday problems and in so doing improve society in the #Hack.Jozi Challenge. Winners will receive a financial boost to help bring their ideas to fruition.The #Hack.Jozi Challenge is a boot camp for start-up digital entrepreneurs and its aim is to contribute towards fostering skills, innovation and entrepreneurship in the broad area of digital technology. It was established by the City of Johannesburg and its partners, Seed Academy and Joburg Centre for Software Engineering, to support capacity development, job creation and enterprise development.Joburg has made R5-million available for #Hack.Jozi to support those start-ups who present the best ideas.The challenge began in January with a call for proposals from tech-savvy people. These proposals were screened and the finalists were selected. They were mentored and assisted at Joburg’s digital hub in the heart of Braamfontein during a month of intense business training and technical hackathons. It all culminated in demo day at Sci-Bono in Newton, Johannesburg, on 18 June.On the day, the 10 remaining teams pitched their ideas to the judges assigned with picking the best three.Speaking at the launch earlier this year, Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau said: “#Hack.Jozi is for those people who want to make a difference in their respective communities by developing digital solutions to everyday problems.“This programme is all about innovation with a heart. It is about smart business ideas that make a difference in communities across Johannesburg. It is also about driving digital business growth which forms a big part of our economic plans for the city.”The winners will be announced on 30 June.TECH-SAVVY ENTREPRENEURSOn the demo day, the room was filled with people who had ideas that would improve society.Finalist Rendani Ramabulana, founder and developer at Tirisan Tech from Midrand, said his invention, the MuniCom app was about addressing people’s day-to-day struggles.“I live in Midrand and we have a community Whatsapp group where we complain about issues the municipality isn’t addressing in the area. This is where the idea for MuniCom came about,” he said.Using the app, residents will be able to report grievances to the ward councillor, posted in real time. They will be able to post photographs, with GPS co-ordinates, for example of burst water pipes.Ramabulana said this would help to cut the time it takes the municipality to deal with such issues.HEALTH CARE IMPROVEMENTSJessey Nkale from Diepsloot Kasi Hive demonstrated Phila, meaning “live”, a health care app.Kasi Hive is a co-operative formed in November 2013 and established in March 2014 to offer value oriented services to youth in Diepsloot, a township in northern Johannesburg.Through Phila, it hopes to lighten the load in government clinics by helping patients to book their appointments easily. This would mean they would not arrive at a clinic hoping for an appointment, but then get turned away because of over-crowding.“Our creation will bring work to eight youngsters immediately who will have to administrate a call centre for the bookings,” said Nkale.Out of the turnover over three years, the developers hoped to take 5% and subsidise youngsters who were interested in careers in the ICT and IT sector.MOVING MADE EASYPercy Lawrence of Move My Stuff presented an app for removal services. “Our app will immediately be able to give you a removal van or truck with your co-ordinates at the ease of your fingertips,” said Lawrence.The app would target businesses and individuals, but would also cater for the informal sector.“That guy in the ‘hood who uses his van for removals will also be in our database along with bigger companies like Stuttafords Van Lines to cater for all demographics,” explained Lawrence.Key features of the app are a tracking number for the client’s items, meaning the client could monitor their movements. Also, for insurance, photographs of the items will be loaded on the system and their value determined.last_img read more

Violence-hit Dalits accuse police of one-sided action

first_imgWeeks after Narendra, a Dalit resident of Fatehpur village in Saharanpur, celebrated Ambedkar’s birth anniversary last year, he was shot dead at point blank range on April 23 by members of the dominant Thakur community when he was found relieving himself on a Thakur land. The incident led to huge protests by the Dalit community, which constitute at least a quarter of the population of the district. But before the situation could go out of hand, the State Police arrested all the five accused on charges of murder. Mahendar, a Dalit and also former village head of Chandrapur, where fresh violence occurred on May 23 in which one Dalit was killed and 11 were seriously injured, told The Hindu that there were reasons why the Shabbirpur violence refused to die down.“Never before in the history of Saharanpur did Dalits have to face violent atrocities to this extent and never before has the administration acted so one-sided. First of all, the completely one-sided action of police only acted as a stimulant. For instance, police refused to register FIRs of Dalits for almost a week after the violence,” he said. “We have no confidence in the State government and the police investigation,” said Shaggu, a Dalit man in his late seventies. He alleged that police did not file FIRs on his complaint.Ram Kumar, an ex-headmaster and a resident of Chandrapur village, told The Hindu that old enmities and hostilities between the two communities were playing out when the mob attacked the Dalits on May 5.‘Bad sign’“The fight had started the very moment when Shiv Kumar, a Dalit won as the village head of Shabbirpur from a non-reserved seat. It was a bad sign for the dominant Thakurs,” said Ram Kumar. The State Home Secretary Mani Prasad Mishra speaking to the media on Thursday, accepted the failure of the administration, though in toned down words. “From what I could gather so far while talking to the victims, there was a delayed response to the violence, rioting by outsider elements. Also, the impression of one-sided action of the police worsened the matter.” Additional Director General Aditya Mishra, who has been camping in Shabbirpur for last three days, said, “It is quite a unique district where one of the highest of the upper caste stays with the highest of the Scheduled Caste and both form a major chunk of population where they are almost equal in numbers. These are clashes of competing assertions.”While making sense of the violence, a senior officer of the Local Intelligence Unit posted in Saharanpur, noted that the violence in Shabbirpur happened against the background of increasing assertion of Thakur pride.last_img read more

Female IT engineer jumps to death in Pune

first_imgPune: A female IT engineer in the city jumped to her death on Friday evening in Pune’s Wakad area.Pallavi Majumdar (27), worked at an IT company in Hinjewadi IT Park area and stayed in Wakad’s upmarket Park Street Society, according to the police. Her husband also works in an IT firm and was said to be at work at the time of the incident. The motive remains unknown, said the police. “The incident occurred sometime between 4.30 p.m. and 5 p.m. She left her child with her mother-in-law and jumped off the 11thfloor,” police said.He said that further details would be known after investigations.Last month, in a similar incident, a 22-year-old IT engineer jumped off the seventh floor of a building in the city’s Mundhwa area.last_img read more

Couldn’t take the insult anymore: Chertkov

first_imgVladimir Chertkov is back in India and he has nothing complimentary to say about the way the sport is run in the country.The foreign expert consultant with the Indian gymnastics team flew back in a huff after he was barred from participating in the opening ceremony of the Guangzhou Asian Games. The bone of contention apparently was the ceremonial dress code of the Indian contingent.Chertkov said the blazer and trousers provided to him did not fit him at all but the higher-ups in the delegation insisted that he had to wear the given attire if he wished to be a part of the ceremony. The tone and tenor of the officials also played a big role in the matter. “I couldn’t take it anymore.It feels very childish to talk about something like this, but I felt humiliated and insulted,” Chertkov told Mail Today after landing in the Capital on Saturday night.”The issue is much deeper. It is about the way athletes and coaches are treated in India by officials who know nothing about sports. Obviously, the Indian coaches cannot take the sort of step I took as they have much more to lose.”The American of Russian origin said there was no professionalism in the way issues were handled.”Our measurements are taken a week before our departure and the uniform arrives at the last moment. But the arms of my blazer reached just about my elbow while the trousers finished little below my knees.”I told the contingent officials about the problem but they said ‘take it or leave it.’ I have a blazer in a colour similar to the official dress and was ready to wear it with the Indian Olympic Association tie. But they would have none of it. The team manager told me in front of all the athletes and coaches that I could not attend. This is no way to treat someone who has brought the first medals in international competition.advertisement”Had I attended the ceremony in what was provided to me, I would have looked like a clown. It would have been an embarrassment and a joke. They would not even let me watch the ceremony from the stands. If they did not want me there, it was best that I came back,” Chertkov said.”It is a case of personal discrimination and the chef-demission is responsible for the situation.” The players knew about his decision to return. “I talked to the players before returning to India. I told them it is a personal matter which has upset me and I cannot stay. But they have to focus on their job and perform well.”And they did as for the first time in Asian Games history, we have an Indian in the final of an event (Ashish Kumar in the floor exercises). Who knows what can happen in the final?” Ashish had earlier done the country proud by winning the first medals in a major event with a silver and bronze at the Commonwealth Games.Nobody from the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) has got in touch with Chertkov since he touched down in Delhi.Like other foreign coaches in various sports, Chertkov’s contract expires on November 30 and whether it will be extended after his walkout from Guangzhou is anybody’s guess.”Nobody has talked to me about it. I have certain ambitions. If the sports ministry agrees to my suggestions and the terms of contracts are favourable, I can stay back. “I get several phone calls daily asking me to not to leave. Otherwise, I have no reason to stay. I have offers from elsewhere.”The huge team of officials that goes to major sporting events also drew a sarcastic response from Chertkov.”It looks like a tourist group. Most of them know nothing about sports but still dictate what athletes and coaches should do. The whole system is outdated and needs to be changed. But I am a foreigner and can only provide my observations.”When contacted, GFI general secretary Kan Singh Rathore said they were waiting for an official report. “We came to know that he has come back. But we need the report from team manager Satpal Kaur before deciding on a course of action. It should arrive in one or two days,” Rathore told Mail Today from Jodhpur.last_img read more

a month agoKlopp loving competition within Liverpool squad

first_imgKlopp loving competition within Liverpool squadby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is loving the competition within his squad.The German says his players are fighting tooth and nail in training in order to impress him.Speaking before Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Napoli, Klopp said he had plenty of players available for selection.He said: “And the competition in this team is really big, yes. If that line-up is not performing, they are really there. As an example, Shaq [Xherdan Shaqiri] is brought in in that position where he has been training for a couple of weeks now. He is so creative. He is a real option.”If you have one good game and another good game, the dynamic changes. Dejan Lovren is not in the squad and I have no explanation for that other than two centre-halves on the bench is probably not necessary. Naby Keita is coming, everyone knows that. “When Ox [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] played really well at Southampton, for the all others it was ‘ooh’, but you should see training. They all want to make sure, ‘I am ready, you can use me’. “This is a really big club with competition between friends. It is not I have to kill him to play, it is really for the team. That is what the boys did so far and as long as we have that we will go for everything. Then we have to see what we get because we have really good opponents and that is the problem.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Alberta communities trying to put a halt to clearcutting on hunting ground

first_imgAPTN National NewsResidents of two communities in Alberta say they’re concerned about clearcutting on their traditional hunting ground.APTN’s Chris Stewart has the story.last_img