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Meet Shiksha the robot teacher

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Meet Shiksha the robot teacher

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Team YS ( )

Hello,

‘Tis the season of depreciation.

US-based investment management firm has slashed cab-hailing company Ola’s valuation by 35%, from $7.4 billion to $4.8 billion. This is the third valuation deprecation of the company by the same investor. The cutback has come at a time when the company is expecting to go public next year.

Several unicorns have faced an adjustment in their valuations—BlackRock downsized BYJU’S to $11.5 billion from $22 billion, and SoftBank sliced Oyo’s internal valuation to $2.7 billion last September. Most recently, Invesco, which led Swiggy’s latest round at a valuation of $10.7 billion, reduced its valuation to $5.5 billion.

In other news, Cisco will start manufacturing in India, as the company aims to expand its presence in the country, targeting over $1 billion in combined exports and domestic production in the coming years. It expects to have the first products off the line from its proposed manufacturing plant in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, in about 12 months.

Elsewhere, researchers in Australia have developed a new blood test that can detect sleepiness in drivers.

Lastly, a chart tracing the history of failed crypto coins by the year.

Who is still on team WAGMI?

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Meet teaching robot Shiksha
  • Walmart’s India commitment
  • Stories of women in the wild

Here’s your trivia for today: What was the code name of India’s first successful nuclear bomb test, which took place on May 18, 1974?


Education

Meet teaching robot Shiksha

Shiksha

Dressed in a blue school uniform, hair tied in two plaits, and an ID card hanging around the neck, Shiksha, the humanoid robot, gives the impression of a school kid as she teaches the students in a rural government school in Sirsi, Karnataka. Shiksha engages and teaches varied subjects to the class. 

A for effort:

  • She is the brainchild of Akshay Mashelkar, a lecturer at the Chaitanya MES PU College in Sirsi. 
  • Shiksha can teach various subjects such as rhymes, days of the week, names of shapes, and much more until class 4.
  • After eight months of extensive research, Mashelkar designed Shiksha at the beginning of 2022.

Funding Alert

Startup: Ripplr 

Amount: $40M

Round: Series B

Startup: SquareX

Amount: $6M

Round: Seed

Startup: Castler

Amount: $5M

Round: Pre-Series A


Corporate

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon

Walmart’s India commitment

Walmart’s CEO, Doug McMillon, during a visit to Bengaluru to meet sellers, said India has been a sourcing market for the company over the last two decades, although it has worked with a limited number of sellers. Now, it seeks to expand this supplier/seller network.

Priority market:

  • Walmart has reiterated its commitment to source goods worth $10 billion from India annually by 2027.
  • McMillon, along with Judith McKenna, President and CEO of Walmart International, met sellers from medium-sized enterprises, young companies, and NGOs.
  • He was also keen to understand the businesses of the sellers and remarked that environmental sustainability was an important consideration for Walmart.

Inspiration

Stories of women in the wild

In March, Women of the Wild India, an Instagram page by Akanksha Sood Singh, featured harrowing accounts of women leading to a #MeToo movement in the wildlife conservation sector. The page called for an institutional review of Turtle Survival Alliance–India, and messages of harassment, abuse, misogyny, and patriarchy in the organisation began pouring in.

Amplifying voices:

  • After more than 300 comments on the page, TSA announced the replacement of its director Shailendra Singh against whom many allegations were raised.
  • Twenty-one years ago, Sood became a woman of the wild herself when she started assisting wildlife filmmaker Praveen Singh, whom she later married.
  • Her directorial debut was a human interest documentary on Padman Arunachalam Muruganantham, which went on to win a National Award.

News & updates

  • Global rules: A “fire hose” of different regulatory approaches to crypto assets lacks the global consensus needed to attract established investors for a more mature market. While the EU has finalised the world’s first comprehensive rules for crypto asset markets, others like Britain and the US are further behind.
  • Feature-rich: Twitter could launch encrypted direct messages, said Elon Musk, as the CEO outlined plans to boost communication features on the social media service. Encryption in messages means that only the sender and receiver are able to see a message.
  • Beauty sleep: Air New Zealand is installing bunk beds on its ultra-long Auckland-New York and Auckland-Chicago routes in 2024. Four-hour sessions, only available for travellers in coach, will probably cost between NZ$400 and NZ$600.

What was the code name of India’s first successful nuclear bomb test, which took place on May 18, 1974?

Answer: Operation Smiling Buddha or Operation Happy Krishna.


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