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AGENTS OF CHANGE

The Final Peak? Google CEO Sundar Pichai Named CEO Of Google’s Parent Company Alphabet

An alumnus of Wharton, Stanford and IIT Kharagpur, Pichai was born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.

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SAN FRANSISCO (United States): Google’s India-born Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai will assume the leadership role at its parent firm Alphabet after the internet giant’s co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped down from its active management, making him one of the most powerful corporate leaders of the world.

Page and Brin stepped down as CEO and president, respectively, of Alphabet, the company announced on Tuesday. Pichai, 47, the current CEO of Google and a longtime executive at the company, will take over as CEO of Alphabet in addition to his current role.

Considered as a significant shakeup in the Silicon Valley company, the shuffle comes at a time when Google is facing mounting scrutiny over its size, data privacy practices and potential impact on society.


With Alphabet now well-established, and Google and ‘Other Bets’ operating effectively as independent companies, it’s the natural time to simplify our management structure, the two Google co-founders wrote in a public letter.

We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company,” they said. “And Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President. Going forward, Sundar will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet. He will be the executive responsible and accountable for leading Google, and managing Alphabet’s investment in our portfolio of Other Bets,” said Page and Brin.

The co-founders will continue to serve on Alphabet’s board of directors. “We are deeply committed to Google and Alphabet for the long term, and will remain actively involved as Board members, shareholders and co-founders. In addition, we plan to continue talking with Sundar regularly, especially on topics we’re passionate about!” they wrote.


Page and Brin, who founded the internet giant over two decades ago, took lesser roles in day-to-day operations in the company in 2015 when they turned Google into Alphabet.

In his statement, Pichai made it clear that the transition will not affect the Alphabet structure or the work they do day-to-day.

I will continue to be very focused on Google and the deep work we’re doing to push the boundaries of computing and build a more helpful Google for everyone,” he wrote. “At the same time, I’m excited about Alphabet and its long term focus on tackling big challenges through technology,” he said in his email.

Pichai took over as CEO of Google in 2015 as part of the company’s broader corporate restructuring to create Alphabet.

Prior that, Pichai had held a variety of roles at the company, including overseeing Chrome, product chief of Google and head of the Android operating system. Endorsing the leadership role played by Pichai ever since he was made Google CEO, Page and Sergey said the Indian-American brings humility and a deep passion for technology to their users, partners, and employees every day. “He’s worked closely with us for 15 years, through the formation of Alphabet, as CEO of Google, and a member of the Alphabet Board of Directors.


He shares our confidence in the value of the Alphabet structure, and the ability it provides us to tackle big challenges through technology,” they wrote. “There is no one that we have relied on more since Alphabet was founded, and no better person to lead Google and Alphabet into the future,” they said.

Pichai was born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. He is an alumnus of Wharton business school, Stanford University and Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur.

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AGENTS OF CHANGE

COVID-19: Pune-Based Startup Develops New Tech To Disinfect Maharashtra Hospitals

One hour of operation of the machine reduces viral load within a room by 99.7% depending on room size.

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PUNE (Maharashtra): A technology has been developed by an incubatee company of Scitech Park, Pune which offers an effective solution for India’s fight against Covid 19 by reducing the viral load of infected areas within a room significantly within an hour.

The negative ion generator titled Scitech Airon, which helps to control the virus, bacteria, and fungal infections in a closed environment, could clean up the air and disinfect areas which are exposed to the infection through Covid 19 positive cases and suspects.

Hence it could ensure the wellbeing of the staff, doctors, and nurses who are working round the clock in the quarantine facilities by enhancing their disease resistance power and ability to fight the virus.


Its usefulness in killing disease-causing viruses and bacteria has been scientifically tested by various globally renowned labs in different types of closed environments like houses, hospitals, schools, farms, industries, and so on.

One hour of operation of Ion generator machine reduces viral load within a room by 99.7% depending on room size.

The Scitech Airon ionizer machine generates negatively charged ions at approx hundred million per 8 seconds (10 ions per sec).


The negative ions generated by the ionizer form clusters around microparticles such as airborne mold, corona or influenza viruses, mite allergens, bacteria, pollens, dust and so on and render them inactive through a chemical reaction by creating highly reactive OH groups called hydroxyl radicals and H O which are highly reactive and known as atmospheric detergents.

The detergent property generated by the ion generator helps in the breakdown of the outer protein of the allergens, viruses, and bacteria, which helps in controlling airborne diseases.

It increases the body’s resistance to infections and harmful environmental factors. This resistance could be helpful for the next 20-30 days outside the ion atmosphere. It also decomposes gaseous pollutants like Carbon Monoxide (1000 times more harmful than Carbon dioxide), Nitrogen dioxide, and Volatile Organic Compounds.

The efficacy of the Ion generator has also been observed on different types of pathogens like the Influenza virus, Coxsackie virus, Poliovirus, Human Coronavirus, a range of allergens, bacteria, and fungi.

It could also be useful against floating viruses in the air on public transport, train stations, or airports, or especially within a confined space like a plane cabin, house, hospital ward, and so on.

The technology has been developed under the NIDHI PRAYAS program initiated by the Department of Science and Technology (DST).


DST has released Rs 1 crore to manufacture and scale up the product, and 1000 of them will soon be ready for installation in various hospitals in Maharashtra. JCLEAN WEATHER TECHNOLOGIES, a Pune based company, is manufacturing the product.

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AGENTS OF CHANGE

COVID-19: PM Modi Calls Upon G20 Countries To Devise A Concrete Action Plan

The Summit was convened to forge a globally coordinated response to Coronavirus.

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NEW DELHI/20 WORLD CAPITALS: The G-20 leaders under the chairmanship of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman held an extraordinary video conference in which they resolved to use all available policy tools to minimise the economic and social damage from the pandemic that has killed over 21,000 people and infected more than 470,000 globally.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called on G20 countries to come out with a concrete action plan to fight coronavirus, saying that 90 per cent of COVID-19 cases and 88 per cent deaths from the global pandemic were from the member countries even as they share 80 per cent of world GDP and 60 per cent of the global population.

In his address at Virtual G-20 Leaders’ Summit last night, PM Modi underscored the need to put human beings at the centre of vision of global prosperity and cooperation.


He also stressed the importance of freely and openly sharing the benefits of medical research and development, developing adaptive, responsive and humane health care systems, and promoting new crisis management protocols.

The Summit was convened to discuss the challenges posed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and to forge a globally coordinated response.

At the meeting, G20 Leaders also agreed to take all necessary measures to contain the pandemic and protect people.


They also supported the strengthening of the WHO’s mandate in the fight against pandemics, including the delivery of medical supplies, diagnostic tools, treatments, medicines and vaccines.

G-20 countries also committed to inject over 5 trillion dollars into the global economy to counter the social and economic impact of COVID-19. Leaders also agreed to contribute to the WHO-led COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund on a voluntary basis.

Leaders also committed to using all available policy tools to minimise the economic and social cost of the pandemic and to restore global growth, market stability and strengthening resilience.

A G20 Leaders’ Statement was issued at the end of the Summit which called for a coordinated global response to fight the pandemic, adopting measures to safeguard the global economy, minimising trade disruption and steps to enhance global cooperation.

The extraordinary G20 summit was a culmination of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting and G20 Sherpas Meeting on the COVID-19 pandemic.


At the meeting, G20 leaders agreed to take all necessary measures to contain the pandemic and protect people. They also supported the strengthening of the WHO’s mandate in the fight against pandemics, including the delivery of medical supplies, diagnostic tools, treatments, medicines and vaccines.

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AGENTS OF CHANGE

HISTORIC: The Entire Nation Stays Back Home To Observe Janta Curfew

Never mind India, the world has never seen anything like this. Ever.

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BHARAT: In an unprecedented, historic, inspirational show of collective resolve, the entire nation observed Janata Curfew today in response to the clarion call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to voluntarily stay indoors to curb the spread of Coronavirus.

In his address to the nation on March 19 of this month, he urged the public to avoid stepping out of their homes. Prime Minister said the steps we take now will help in the times to come. People’s restraint and determination will defeat the epidemic.

PM Modi asked everyone to express gratitude towards doctors, nurses, hospital staff, sanitation workers, airlines employees, government staff, police personnel, media people, people associated with train-bus-auto rickshaw services and home delivery agents.


This appeal too was responded to fantastically, almost unbelievably, by the society at large:

PM Modi has appealed to the migrants to stay put wherever they are and not undertake train and bus journeys to their home due to the fear of coronavirus. He cautioned people against any kind of travel, saying they are playing with their health and also putting their families at risk.

Prime Minister’s appeal on Twitter came amid reports of migrants leaving for their homes from big cities, where several cases of coronavirus have been reported.


Public transport has been suspended or curtailed and all markets and shops except those dealing in essential items are closed in wake of Janta curfew. It is a self-regulated drive which will come into force at 7 this morning and will continue till 9 PM.

Snapshot From Across India:

In Uttar Pradesh, the self-imposed lockdown is seen highly successful in the entire state. Most of the people are inside indoors and the road and streets bore a deserted look.

All markets shops and other establishments barring some essentials like Hospitals and medicine shop, are totally closed. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has appealed people to remain inside their home. Yogi Adityanath also thanked the people for their support to the Prime Minister’s call for Janta Curfew.

In Maharashtra, following the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal for a day-long Janata curfew, citizens of Nagpur observed the self-imposed curfew from 7 a.m onwards today. Most of the streets and market places in Nagpur are remaining closed. The vehicular movement on the streets is also minuscule due to outbreak of Covid-19. The city has registered 4 positive cases so far.


Check-posts by police in the city are monitoring the unnecessary movement of citizens and imposing a penalty under the law those who are violating the sections under Epidemic Law. Nagpur is among the four metropolis town in Maharashtra which are being locked down by the district administration till March 31 wherein all private and corporate establishment are shut down except essential services.

However due to the closure of public transports in the city, some passengers were stranded in Ajni railway station after they deboarded from Vidarbha Express and Garib Rath Express in Nagpur today.

Janata Curfew in Andhra Pradesh is going on successfully as public enthusiastically responded to the call of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Road in cities, towns and villages across the state wore a deserted look since 7 am.

Almost all the main cities in the State, like, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Tirupathi, Guntur, Kadapa, Kurnool, Nellore Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, Rajamahendravaram and Eluru fell silent. People from all walks of life and all sections of the society voluntarily kept themselves indoors.

Extending support to Prime Minister’s call for Janata Curfew, Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy time and again appealed the people of the State to make it a success. Bus services were also suspended. The buses in Pandit Nehru Bus Station in Vijayawada are confined to depot. Essential services are seen.

Though police were deployed, largely it was the people who voluntarily and actively participated in Janata Curfew. All commercial establishments have been closed. The situation is the same in Visakhapatnam and other cities as well.

As called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with the rest of the nation Arunachal Pradesh is also observing the Janata Curfew today to check the spread of COVID-19. In the Capital City Itanagar, people are not coming out of their homes, roads are empty, markets shut down and shops are closed.

AIR correspondent reports that people in Madhya Pradesh have remained indoors and roads wore a deserted look in view of the ‘Janata curfew’ call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make the fight against coronavirus a success. Gardens, stadiums and other public grounds, that usually witness crowds on Sundays, are also empty. Roadside shops and eateries are also remained closed across the state. Eight districts including Jabalpur, Rewa, Seoni and Narsinghpur- have already been placed under lockdown since Saturday.

Madhya Pradesh recorded its first cases of coronavirus on Friday with four persons testing positive in Jabalpur city. To check the spread of coronavirus, authorities in several districts of the state have taken various measures, like shutting schools, cinema halls, restaurants, markets and museums. The administration has also made elaborate security arrangements in view of Janata curfew, but due to the full support of common people, security personnel are also able to remain in isolation.


Punjab Chief Minister today announced a shutdown of all non-essential services and businesses with immediate effect till March 31 to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The essential services and shops, business establishments selling essential items will remain open. The essential services include police, health, power, emergency transport, the supply of milk, food items, medicines, etc. A top government functionary told media that all Deputy Commissioners and SSPs have been directed to issue relevant orders and implement lockdown immediately.

After reviewing the situation, the Chief Minister has ordered has shutdown till March 31 all across the state.

People across Chattisgarh remained indoors in response to the Janata curfew call given by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In Raipur, all the main roads and public places, including usually busy Jai Stambh Chowk, Malviya road and Sadar Bazar, wore a deserted look. The entire city comes to a halt as the people observes ‘Janata Curfew’ joining hands in the fight against Coronovirus’s spread.

In other cities of the state also, all the shops and establishments have been completely closed.

In Kolkata, most of the shops and establishments are closed. Public vehicles are off the road. However, train services under Metro Railways are playing after half an hour gap. Long-distance trains services have been cancelled, but few local trains are playing. Inter-State bus services and International flight operations from Kolkata have been kept on hold as precautionary measures. People from all sections of society are spending the day at their homes.

In Gujarat, people are enthusiastically responding to the call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and participating in the Janata curfew today.

Shops, markets, temples and other institutions are closed and roads are deserted since morning. All towns and cities have witnessed no movement of people since morning. The buzzy textile and diamond markets in Surat wore a deserted look since morning.

The civic bodies in many cities including Ahmedabad municipal corporation have taken fumigation drive to disinfect roads and other public places.

Local and state transport services have already been suspended in the state.

However, essential services are open for people all over the state. Police are seen on the roads to keep check on the unnecessary movement of people.

In Tamil Nadu, the call for a self-imposed Janata Curfew in the war against Covid-19 has witnessed an enthusiastic responsne. People barring those who carry essential commodities and those who require emergency medical attention are keeping themselves indoor.

In Chennai, arterial roads and iconic Beaches are wearing a deserted look. Famous tourism spots like Kanyakumari, Ooty and Mamallapuram that normally brim with people are totally free from any footfalls. The wholehearted support to the people conveys the public cooperation to the Government efforts to contain Covid-19.

The Janata Curfew, has evoked an all out response from the people of Mizoram today with people confining themselves to indoors

Police sources said, no vehicular traffic, private and public transport, is plying on the roads while shops and business premises are totally shut down, barring essential servicrs. The Church services and prayers at Churches have also been suspended since morning, while people are holding the prayers today at their homes. All cities wear a deserted look in the state. In the fight against Corona Virus and in support of Janata curfew, a key role is being played by media through their contents and broadcast programs from yesterday.

In Meghalaya, people stayed home responding to the clarion call of the Prime Minister to observe ‘Public Curfew or Janta Curfew’ to check the spread of COVID-19 across the country.

Residents in Shillong stayed indoors except for essential and emergency service providers. All shops and business establishments based in the city remained shut and all vehicular movements were restricted to only the emergency services.

In other districts people stayed off the road and all business establishments remained closed.

Effect of Janata Curfew is visible in Pune since morning. Roads are empty in several areas of the city. All shops and Markets are closed today. Only Medical, grocery, milk shops were seen open in early Morning. Business establishments and private companies’ offices are closed. Very few people were seen on railway station. Pune-Mumbai Expressway is almost empty with only a few vehicles are seen on the road. An additional 2800 home guards have been deployed in Pune.

In Telangana, and all sections of people are voluntarily taking part in the Janata curfew. Except emergency services like medical and water and power supply almost all sectors and services have been closed. Public transport services besides business and other services have been totally closed.

The roads passing through the capital city, Hyderabad wore a deserted look while the public places otherwise crowded were also empty. The state government authorities’ including police have also encouraged people to remain indoors. Meanwhile, the total number of COVID – 19 Positive cases rose to 21 in the state.

The people of Kerala had extended complete solidarity towards the JanataCurfew today.All the roads, public places, railway stations, bus stands etc across the State is totally deserted. Train, bus service and metro is not functioning in the State. Only essential services like medical store, hospitals, media units etc is operational . The call of the PM to express gratitude and to encourage the essential service providers at 5 in the evening is also been widely communicated and is expected to have complete support from the people for the same.

The Union territory Ladakh wore deserted look in response to Janata Curfew today. Region spread in over sixty thousand square kilometres is stalled as and where it is, since this morning. Including villages on two International borders with China and Pakistan, entire region participating in the Curfew.

Ladakh has reported 13 COVID – 19 positive cases sofar. General public have determined to co-operate with the authorities and join the fight against the pandemic.

Chuchul village representative Konchok Ishey told media persons at ‘Zero Point’ on Indo-China border, the district administration has taken all precautions to create awareness about Coronavirus. He said people are participating in the janata Curfew to put a stop to the virus spread.

In Shey village of Leh Ladakh, farmers deferred Dulo festival to celebrate the beginning of Agriculture works and preferred to stay home in response to Janata curfew.

Similarly, in Kargil people responded positively to the Curfew call by the Prime Minister. Kargil police are also doing Corona awareness campaign since morning.

In Trichy, people voluntarily took part in the 14-hour Janatha Curfew, which commenced at 7.00 am today. Temples and other religious centres have also been closed and only rituals are being conducted. he main arterial roads like the Dindugul, Chennai, Madurai and Kovai highways fell silent, with only very few vehicles including public transport as well as trains are not plying. Milk supply has been maintained as usual. Restaurants and hotels have also not been open.

In the meantime, 385 passengers who landed in three international flights in Trichy early today morning were subjected to a protocol-based medical examination. Of these, 10 male and 12 female passengers have been taken to quarantine centre in Kallikudi, near Trichy, as a precautionary measure.

Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call for ‘Janta Curfew’ and lockdown imposed by the Odisha government to contain the spread of Coronavirus, all the commercial shops, and business establishments baring essential services are closed in the State today. Along with the people, all the public transport vehicles, including buses, taxis, auto-rickshaws have also stayed off the roads since this morning. Roads and streets wore a deserted look while police at main junctions were seen urging people not to move on roads unless they had important works.

The State government has imposed seven days lockdown in Khordha, Cuttack, Ganjam, Kendrapara and Angul districts and eight major towns Puri, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Balasore, Jajpur Road, Jajpur town and Bhadrak from 0700 today until 2100 hrs next Sunday, March 29. In these five districts and eight towns, all distribution of benefits such as pension and PDS is postponed for the time being, and private companies are advised to encourage work from home. The State government has declared all service providers, including the private sector, engaged in tackling the COVID-19 crisis as Emergency Workers.

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