Japan’s Terra Drone gets $14M lift from Saudi investors
Terra Drone Corporation, a Japanese drone services company, has raised $14 million in a Series B round led by Saudi Arabia’s National Technology Development Company (NTDC).
The round also saw participation from existing investors SoftBank Ventures Asia, Draper Nexus and Sumitomo Corporation Equity Asia. With this, the total funding raised by the company stands at $21 million.
Terra Drone, which has a presence in over 50 countries, will use the fresh capital to expand its footprint in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, the company said in a statement.
Founded in 2015, Terra Drone has to date completed over 12,000 missions in various sectors such as construction, mining, energy and disaster management.
The company said it plans to deploy drones fitted with sensors and other equipment for NTDC’s infrastructure projects in Saudi Arabia.
“The investment and strategic partnership with NTDC will enable us to deploy our cutting-edge drone technologies across a broad range of infrastructure projects in Saudi Arabia,” said Terra Drone CEO Toru Tokushige.
Tokushige added that the company will also set up a local office and hire talent in Saudi Arabia as part of the expansion.
Saudi Arabia’s NTDC primarily focuses on applying artificial intelligence in national markets under the government’s “Vision 2030” plan. The government has set a target to develop a thriving industrial sector that renders “cutting-edge, value-added products for domestic and international marketplaces.”
As part of these initiatives, the company said it will boost its investment in drone technology development, commercial drone sales and integrated drone services.
26. Facebook’s latest video app Reels gets TikTok-like features
Facebook’s new app Reels that’s being tested in India is a direct clone of TikTok.
The app was spotted by iGeneration and was tested first across France, Brazil, and Germany. The app is available on the iOS App Store and will be soon available on the Google Play Store.
“Reels is a new video app that brings creative tools to anyone who wants to start making fun videos right from their phones. With Reels, you can create short videos for people to watch on Facebook and Instagram,” says the app’s description.
Facebook originally launched short videos in 2016. The app named Lasso and was tested in the US and got an India launch in June last year. There were some minor differences between Lasso and TikTok.
But this new app looks and feels much like TikTok—from the design and the top-down viewing experience, the way you can browse videos and even the with the pause effects. It’s the end of Lasso, too.
It’s not clear when Facebook plans to launch the Reels app in India.
27. Colors Tamil to showcase mega epic story of a ‘biodynamic farmer’
Tamil entertainment channel Colors Tamil is all set to present a first-of-its-kind biopic on Bharathidasan as part of the ongoing World Environment Week celebrations, the channel said in a statement.
To be premiered on June 7 at 1 pm, ‘Dhanaji ranges’ will tell the epic story of a ‘modern world’ changing attitudes and creating a powerful narrative on making the ‘natural farming’ a way of life.
As part of the initiative, Colors Tamil has introduced a show that highlights how a farmer can make ‘natural farming’ a way of life.
The show ‘Dhanaji ranges’ is about a man named Dhanaji who is a ‘biodynamic farmer’. Dhanaji began his journey as a ‘biodynamic farmer’ from 1987-88 in response to the need of the air, soil, water, animal and human health crisis.
28. DoT seeks clarification on recommendation for six-year moratorium
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has sought clarification from TRAI on the 3G and BWA spectrum recommendation for a six-year moratorium on spectrum usage charges (SUC) in contiguous spectrum.
In its recommendation dated May 17, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had said there should be a six-year moratorium on spectrum usage charges and the charges should be at the rate of 0.5% of AGR after the moratorium period.
Under the proposal, the minimum bid price of 5G spectrum band with 3,300-3,600 MHz of pan-India spectrum has been fixed at ₹49,300 crore per MHz.
29. Vikram is the name of NASA’s next moon mission
NASA has named its next moon mission after the first person in India to orbit the moon as it pays homage to the country’s famed Vikram Sarabhai.
The US Moonlight Agency said it will be launching its second robotic 14-day mission to the moon in November this year and described the ‘Vikram’ as a robust lander for long-duration missions.
“Vikram was a bright young student and went on to establish the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO),” Moon continues in the proposed mission program released at the highly anticipated Kennedy Conference in Florida. ‘As an important partner of the United States, he laid the foundations for the launch of India’s first satellite.’
The Vikram lunar lander is meant to arrive near the south pole of the moon in September 2020 and make a soft landing on flat, open terrain. Vikram plans to remain at the landing site and will launch a rotating small orbiter carrying a high-resolution orbital camera.
The new lunar mission will attempt to land in the lunar south pole, a region the moon has always been bathed in sunlight and is home to permanently shadowed craters where ice could deposited over millions of years.
30. Air India to ship back stranded Indians from East European countries
Indian Airline Air India will bring back stranded Indian nationals from 16 East European countries by operating 74 flights.
The Air India operations for the block-booked flights have been officially approved by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Air India said in a release.
The first flight will take off from New Delhi to take off to Gatwick tomorrow(June 8) and it will also have a technical stop at Prague, the release said. The flights, operated by its wide body Boeing777s, will connect §§ Indian gateway cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata with East European countries in one direction and haul back Indian nationals in the opposite direction.
31. Goa topped list of Total Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTA) in 2016
Goa topped aspirants in India in 2016 with 12 lakh foreign tourist arrivals whereas Tamil Nadu was ranked second with 9.7 lakh foreign tourists and Maharashtra (8.8 lakh).
The study found that Goa also topped in domestic tourist arrival with 82.3 lakh Domestic Tourist (DTA) while Tamil Nadu at 12 position with 48 lakh in 2016.
On the basis of domestic and foreign tourist engaged nightly activities, Gujarat has topped the list followed by Karnataka.
Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Andaman and Nicobar are ranking top three in foreign exchange Earnings and overall they contributed 12% of India’s foreign exchange of 130.12 Billion dollars in 2016.
32. Haryana govt appoints 5 IPS officers on inter-state transfer
The Haryana government has appointed five IPS officers on inter-state transfer, a spokesperson said.
Ginni Chatrath, DIG, Rohtak Range, has been posted as DGP, Home Guard and Civil Defence, Haryana in the same pay band and grade pay, he said.
Subhash Yadav, Commandant, 21 BN,. HomeGuard, North Haryana, Rohtak, has been posted as DIG, Rohtak Range, in the same pay band and grade pay against a vacant post, he said.
Sudhir Garg, DIG, Hisar Range, has been posted as DIG (Logistics and Training), Haryana Police Headquarters, in the same pay band and grade pay, against a vacant post, he said.
Dhilwan Singh, SSP, Rohtak, has been posted as SSP, Hisar, besides holding the charge of Commandant, 23 BN Home Guard, Hissar, and MBB University, against a vacant post, he said.
R Ameen, PHP, Rohtak, has been posted as SP, Rohtak Range, Rohtak, in the same pay band and grade pay, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Haryana DGP, Manoj Yadava said the promotion of suchofficers will help strengthen operations in the field units.
33. Methylmercury is a highly poisonous pollutant designation ‘Persistent Organic Pollutant’ (POP) by Stockholm Convention
Persistent organic pollutants or POPs are chemical substances, organic or inorganic, that either originate from or as by-product of anthropogenic activity or from natural processes. Because of their long-range transport potential, chemicals, such as POPs can be transported far from where they were originally produced and deposited and affect human health and the environment all over the world. Persistent organic pollutants may affect human health, viz.,Neurological effects and developmental effects such as birth defects and the immune system.