Hero XPulse 200, XPulse 200T Launch Date Revealed

The Hero XPulse 200 was first revealed at the EICMA Motorcycle Show in 2017 in Italy and the bike is finally ready to hit the Indian market very soon. India’s largest two-wheeler maker, Hero MotoCorp will be introducing the XPulse 200 adventure motorcycle in the country on May 1, 2019 along with the XPulse 200T touring motorcycle. The XPulse 200 will be the country’s most affordable adventure motorcycle yet and shares its underpinnings with the Xtreme 200R that was launched last year. The XPulse 200T is a touring motorcycle based on the same 200 cc platform which also underpins the Xtreme 200 R and of course, the XPulse 200.

hero xpulse 200 adventure tourer auto expo 2018(Hero XPulse 200 will get a digital instrument console with smartphone connectivity)

The production-spec Hero XPulse will get the same 200 cc single-cylinder engine from the Xtreme 200R. The motor is tuned to produce 18 bhp and 17.1 Nm of peak torque, whilst paired with a 5-speed gearbox. However, the gear ratios are expected to be different on the adventure motorcycle. The same unit will also power the Hero XPulse 200T, which is a touring variant based on the XPulse 200 and was revealed at EICMA last year. The bike gets relaxed ergonomics and over the adventure version.  It is likely that Hero will launch the XPulse 200 and the 200T together in the market. The XPulse 200T has been designed keeping in mind the practical requirements of a touring motorcycle, with focus on ergonomics, and loading capability with its large luggage plate.

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Compared to the run-of-the-mill 200 cc motorcycles on sale currently, the Hero XPulse does get a host of changes including the long travel telescopic forks up front with 190 mm of travel and a monoshock unit at the rear with 170 mm of travel. The seat height measures 825 mm, which is a function of higher ground clearance as well.

hero xpulse 200 adventure tourer auto expo 2018

(The Hero XPulse 200 is expected to be priced between ₹ 1.-1.2 lakh (ex-showroom)

Braking power will come from disc at both ends on the Hero XPulse 200, while switchable ABS will also make it to the production version. A spiritual successor to the Impuls, the bike gets 21-inch spoked wheel up front and an 18-inch tyre at the rear. The adventure tourer will also get a full LED headlamp setup, luggage rack, knuckle guards, and an all-digital instrument console. The latter will also get smartphone connectivity to offer turn-by-turn navigation.

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(Along with the XPulse 200, Hero will also launch the XPulse 200T on May 1, 2019)

Prices for the Hero XPulse 200 are expected to be in the vicinity of ₹ 1-1.20 lakh (ex-showroom). This will make the XPulse one of the more affordable adventure bikes on sale, substantially more affordable than the Royal Enfield Himalayan. Complete details on the motorcycle will be available closer to launch. Keep watching this space.

[“source=ndtv”]

Future of Creative India lies in its past

Reviving Indian cultural goods and making them commercially viable will boost jobs and entrepreneurship

India has thrived on its creative economy since time immemorial, only to lose it all, in a space of the last 150 years. If we take an example of just the textile industry, we had a share of about 30 per cent in the global trade until late 19th century. This is now down to less than 5 per cent. The place of pride we once held is now just visible in museums, whether it is the 3,500 years old terracotta handspine at Lothal in Gujarat or the legendary transparency of the Indian muslin housed at London’s V&A museum.

The question facing us as Indians today is will we continue to play the cost game with generic products? Will we remain a factory to the world? Or can we hope to make a significant difference in the lives of our citizens, especially the most creative at the bottom of the pyramid. If that hope is real, we would need to restore and leverage our unique creative advantages and build value added business propositions.

In order to do that, we need to look into and learn from our past, trace back the journey and take the faster, more sustainable route to the future. Let us take examples of two plants that Indian textile trade rested on, Cotton and Indigo.

The cotton example

At the time of independence, 98 per cent of the cotton grown in India was the desi variety. Today, it is less than 2 per cent. As the industrial spinning mills in India emerged to help meet the needs of a large population, they needed more production-friendly cotton with longer staple lengths that desi varieties could not provide.

However, this transition happened without paying attention to our unique local semi-industrial ecosystem and we lost our ability to produce yarns and fabrics that nobody else in the world could or can. Up until the late 19th century, we were producing very fine hand spun and hand woven fabrics from the same short staple desicotton varieties. But instead of simultaneously developing technology to support desi cotton, our industry and research institutes (even post-independence) chose to abandon that direction to focus entirely on hybrid and BT cotton.

The indigo story

The second example is of the Indigo dye. Such was our claim to its provenance, that even the term ‘Indigo’ itself is derived from its Indian roots that meant “Indian” or “Indian Ink”. No surprise then that we had near monopoly in the world. We, however, lost our place to the German chemical version, which was much cheaper and the natural medicinal properties of Indigo that permitted miners to live in their jeans for days, was lost to the world.

While these are references from the past, clues on how we could turn these two crops back into a strong and scalable competitive advantage, also reside in our economic history. History has a habit of repeating itself. But only the bad things repeat themselves on their own. Good things, if relevant to current times, need to be cajoled back.

It is in our interest to think of ways how we can revive and accelerate the creative economy, more for commercial reasons than patriotic ones. A strong creative economy will not only provide a strong sense of identity to the future generations, but also generate employment at the grassroots level. But such a revival requires young entrepreneurs to come forward and reclaim the lost traditions and re-establish some of these missing links. There are multiple ways this can be achieved.

For example, we need to invest in finding innovative ways to mechanise post-harvest processes to enable spinning of the very short staple desi cotton. Once the link between the farmer growing desi cotton and the handloom weaver is re-established, the economic value chain will be active again. The small and marginal farmers have natural proclivity towards desi cotton due to their hardiness and low cost.

An assured market would be the only incentive they would need. Such incentives will lead to production of desi cotton on large scale, resulting in yarns that are uniquely Indian and can only be woven on the gentleness of a handloom. This would also render redundant, the questions around the relevance of handlooms in current times.

Likewise, natural indigo is like wine. Production of indigo relies on the characteristics of the soil, micro-climate in the region, skills of the farmer to extract dye, the local water quality and the dyeing techniques. No two lots dye the same, no two regions or tracts of land produce same quality, depth or shades of the colour. Just how wines from different regions have different “tastes”. So while dyers using synthetic indigo will produce a standard product, natural indigo users could produce fine wine like Chateau Margaux!

A combination of fabric made from desi cotton and dyed with natural indigo can recreate the magic of Indianness that is lost in time. Imagine a beautifully textured canvas in the hands of skillful and creative indigo artists. Where else in the world could this happen?

It is time that the current generation of creative entrepreneurs, many with the finest of design education in the world, exposure to global markets and a strong desire to work with Indian artisanal heritage find their own expressions with these two magic crops, to drive not just ‘Make in India’ but also ‘Create in India’.

Some brands like ‘Pero’, ‘11.11’ and ‘Maku’ have made exciting beginnings. Likes of Probiotics in Auroville, who have even created a unique anti-septic, anti-oxidant bath bar from the indigo plant provide an inspiration for many others to follow in their steps. We also have numerous organisations spearheading efforts in support. Malkha, Selco Foundation, Asal and Khamir are coming forward to finding real solutions to building the broken desi cotton value chain.

A beginning has been made, but there are miles to go. This requires a collective effort not only from the ecosystem partners and government, but also from customers. A first step could be recognising the beauty and relevance of Indian cultural goods in contemporary times. Ask not just what the world has to bring to us but what we have to bring to the world.

Anchal is an advisor, teacher and mentor specialising in creative and cultural industries, and an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad. Amit Karna is Associate Professor of Strategy and Innovation at IIM Ahmedabad. They together offer the creative and cultural businesses programme for entrepreneurs and industry at IIM-A.

[“source=thehindubusinessline”]

India needs a world class higher education system: Vice President

Bengaluru: The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that a world-class higher education system was the need of the hour. Addressing students and faculty members of REVA University after inaugurating the State-of-the-art Architecture Block in the campus at Bengaluru today, he said that India’s quest for development would remain unfulfilled if we fail to create opportunities for quality higher education till the last mile.

Pointing out that concerns have been raised over the imbalance between excellence and inclusion, the Vice President called for revamping of higher education system to make more equitable and inclusive.

Shri Naidu said that we have tremendous talent amongst us and we cannot afford to let this talent lie dormant due to lack of avenues for quality education, especially higher education and skill training. He called for putting vulnerable sections of our population, the women, the differently-abled and the economically weak at the center of our strategy to expand higher education.

Observing that rapid industrialization and economic growth would create opportunities for around 250 million skilled workforces by 2030, Shri Naidu asserted that India would emerge as the global supplier of skilled manpower in the coming years.

The Vice President said that despite the progress made from the time of Independence, higher education system in India still suffers from a number of lacunae ranging from inadequate enrolment to quality issues to lack of equity and insufficient infrastructure. Observing that research was the cornerstone of higher education systems world over, the Vice President called upon institutions of high learning to create an environment for students to be innovative and creative.

Saying that advanced research was the way forward for India’s higher education, Shri Naidu called upon colleges and universities to equip their institutions with latest technologies and re-invent the teaching methodology.

The Vice President wanted institutions of higher education to focus on nurturing students with employable skills. He also suggested them to actively promote linkages between academic institutions, the industry, and the government to prepare students to suit the demands of the industry and train them to perform new age jobs.

The Chancellor of REVA University, Dr. P. Shyama Raju, the Vice Chancellor of REVA University, Dr. S.Y. Kulakarni, the Registrar of the University, Dr. M. Dhanamjaya, the Trustees of the University, Shri Bhasker Raju and Umesh Raju and other dignitaries were present at the event.

Following is the text of Vice President’s address:

” I am delighted to be here at REVA today, a campus that is a nucleus of brimming activity, amidst some of the brightest minds of the country.

Your campus is a true manifestation of the strong surge of energy and vigor of a young India.

Let me congratulate Dr Shyama Raju for his dedicated service to the nation in the field of education.

One of the most effective ways to cement a nation’s pathway towards growth and development is through a robust framework for quality professional education, an endeavour that is being taken to fruition by Dr Shyama Raju and his dedicated team.

I am glad to hear that REVA educates a large number of students from rural background. I am sure that REVA and its team of dedicated faculty will offer nothing but the best to every single one of its students.

My dear friends,

I am delighted to inaugurate the Architecture block of REVA University today.

I am told that this campus of REVA is home to 15000 talented students studying in diverse disciplines such as Engineering, Architecture, Management, Commerce, Humanities, Legal Studies and Performing Arts.

I firmly believe that students from varying disciplines should study together and interact with one another as frequently as possible to develop wider perspectives and accommodate contrarian view points.

This is, after all, the era of interdisciplinary studies. Aristotle once said, ‘It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it’.

My dear sisters and brothers,

In ancient India, the ‘Gurukula’ system of education thrived, where students resided in the ashrams or the homes of the Gurus.

The very word ‘Gurukula’ is a combination of two words, ‘Guru’, the master and the ‘kula’, the home. Students were not discriminated against on the basis of caste or creed and every student was involved in the activities of the ashrama.

The Gurukula was a place of acceptance, of harmony and of brotherhood and camaraderie, a safe haven for all those who pursued wisdom.

Your ‘Kula’ or home has been built well, it is now upto the Gurus and the shishyas to ensure that they make the best use of the facilities available here.

Let this abode of wisdom and scholarship become the modern day Gurukula where there is no place for prejudices and where the light of learning will dispel the darkness of all human vices.

My dear young friends,

Today India needs a world class higher education system, a mission that is of paramount importance, especially in the light of the burgeoning youth population in the country.

India has one of the youngest populations in the world and the window of demographic dividend opportunity is available for five decades from 2005-06 to 2055-56, longer than any other country in the world.

India will have the second largest graduate talent pipeline globally by the end of the year 2020. India’s economy is also expected to grow at a fast pace. Rapid industrialization would require a workforce of around 250 million by 2030.

India will certainly emerge as a global supplier of skilled manpower.

We have tremendous talent amongst us. We cannot afford to let this talent lie dormant due to lack of avenues for quality education, especially higher education and skill training.

According to World Bank estimates, India’s higher education system is the world’s third largest in terms of students, next to China and the United States.

Very soon, India will be one of the largest education hubs and learning destinations in the world.

India’s Higher Education sector has witnessed a tremendous growth in the number of Universities, University level Institutions and Colleges since Independence.

But we have a long way to go. Our higher education system still suffers from a number of lacunae ranging from inadequate enrolment to quality issues to lack of equity and insufficient infrastructure.

While it is true that access to quality higher education has improved in the last decade with more IITs, IIMs and Central and State-level universities being established, concerns have been raised about the imbalance between excellence and inclusion.

Let me remind you that our quest for development will remain unfulfilled if we fail to create opportunities for quality higher education till the last mile. Vulnerable sections of our population, the women, the differently-abled and the economically weak should be at the centre of our strategy to expand higher education.

Today, we are in the middle of Industry 4.0. There is widespread disruption due to technology and automation that are changing the nature of jobs and learning and we have to adapt fast to the changing scenario.

We need to create campuses that are integrated with latest technologies, which empower students to innovate and create. India should be a technology leader and not a follower.

New fields such as cyber security, robotics, digital technology, artificial intelligence, data-science, block chain and internet of things have the potential to transform the world. In this context, India must be innovative in approach and work out policies to boost research and optimally tap the demographic potential.

Statistics reveal that there were only 216 researchers per million in 2015. India’s investment in research is 0.62 per cent of its GDP. These numbers are well below global standards.

Research is the cornerstone of higher education systems world over. Advancing research should be the way forward for India’s higher education.

There is also a need to re-invent the teaching methodology in our centers of higher education.

The world is now experimenting with several effective teaching methodologies such as e-learning, simulation and role-playing, problem based learning and blended learning. India must also adopt best practices from all over the world to improve instruction.

There is also a need to train our teachers and equip them with better skill-sets and latest tools to effectively educate students in this era of digital technologies.

Institutions of higher education must also focus on nurturing employable skills.

The new Annual Employability Survey 2019 report by Aspiring Minds reveals that 80% of Indian engineers are unsuited for any job in the knowledge economy and only 2.5% of them possess tech skills in Artificial Intelligence (AI) that industry requires.

This is a matter of great concern.

Ad-hoc changes and quick fix solutions will not remedy the problem of employability. We have to actively promote linkages between academic institutions, the industry and the government so that we succeed in preparing our graduates to suit the demands of the industry and perform new age jobs.

Students must also be encouraged to undertake internships, live projects and corporate interactions which provide practical insights into how the industry operates and expose them to workplace realities. Current estimates say that less than 40% of our engineering graduates opt for internships.

I am very happy to know that REVA University has its own Industry Interaction Centre.

Quality education in India is still very expensive. Education should not be a business, but must be looked upon as a mission to build a better world.

Institutions of higher education have the potential to become the most crucial change agents in the society. Education is a powerful tool to reduce or eliminate income and wealth disparities.

I would also urge the Indian universities to continually engage and collaborate with world class academic institutions in different parts of the world.

The world is a global village and we have to ensure that we mould global, cosmopolitan citizens who are at ease in any part of the world.

My dear young friends,

I do not, for a second, believe that education is meant solely for employment. Education has a much higher purpose.

Education teaches us values, stimulates our intellect, develops tolerance and encourages us to question the absurd and equips us to contribute to the growth of the human society. True education opens up your mind and trains you to think critically, practically and creatively. It fosters empathy, kindness and humility.

I understand that the School of Architecture at REVA is participating in the Smart City Project. I am sure that your contribution in planning of cities, ensuring sustainability and energy conservation will bring about a paradigm shift in urban planning.

I hope this University continues to provide quality education and remains committed to the pursuit of excellence.

I wish you all the best in all your future endeavors!

[“source=indiaeducationdiary”]

‘The Division 2’ Restarts Its ‘PvE Dark Zone’ Debate With The Arrival Of 515 Gear

The Division 2

I thought we would be having this conversation again at some point after The Division 2’s launch, but I didn’t think it would be this soon, or for this reason.

Massive recently introduced 515 Gearscore gear, over the current cap of 500, to drop in the Dark Zone. While 515 gear will join it when the raid arrives, many players are upset that they are being forced to travel to the DZ as the only place to farm this gear as it’s something that doesn’t interest them, at least not in its current form.

This has resparked a very old debate, one from the early days of The Division 1, where there’s an idea that there should be a PvE version of the Dark Zone free from Rogues and gank squads, so people can explore and farm these areas without being bothered by other players when they have no interest in PvP.

The counterpoint to this is that removing PvP and Rogue would destroy the entire concept of the mode, and people just need to “get good” if they want to survive in what is supposed to be the most harrowing zone on the map. This is roughly the position that Massive has taken as well, as despite all the requests for a PvE Dark Zone in The Division 1, that never happened.

The Division 2

The Division 2

MASSIVE

Instead, what we saw was kind of alternative for PvP-focused players rather than the thing PvE players wanted. That’s how we have Conflict, a dedicated PvP experience which improves PvP play for those who were tired of trying to kill enemies in the Dark Zone who didn’t want to fight at all and just wanted to run and be left alone. But the PvPvE element of the Dark Zone remains, and now some people are getting annoyed by it once more.

It may not surprise you to learn that I am on the side of “yes, the Dark Zone would benefit from a PvE option.” I don’t think you need to remove the PvPvE mode that currently exists for the game. Those that like that aspect can still play it, but offering a PvE version has too many upsides to ignore. I know plenty of players that have not even done so much as the intro quest for the Dark Zone because they remembered how much they disliked it in The Division 1. I did the intro quest and got up to level 10 or 15 or so in the DZ, but I haven’t been back since for the same reasons. I have no real interest in fighting other players, be it well-geared adversaries or easily killable noobs. I have no interest in farming for loot only to end up losing it because of ganks or other mishaps. And so I farm activities that are more reliable, won’t pit me against other players and don’t have the risk of losing anything. But I would love to explore an additional 25-30% of the map in the Dark Zone areas with a PvE version of the DZ, because otherwise it’s just wasted space to me. This was also true of the first game where the DZ was even larger and kept getting larger with future updates.

There is always a hardcore contingent of Dark Zone players who push back on all this, but I am genuinely unsure of what they’d lose if PvE was just an option for the Dark Zone. Players who like the current Dark Zone could still queue up for that version. To me, this is more about denying players zones and loot they haven’t “earned” because they can’t stand the heat of the “real” Dark Zone which is stupid gatekeeping I don’t respect or appreciate.

The Division 2

The Division 2

MASSIVE

I have no way of checking this, so far as I can tell, but I am willing to bet that as vocal as the hardcore Dark Zone community is, the DZ has a fraction of the players of the larger PvE world, and probably only a fraction of those actively want to be there and would care if there was a PvP option. I think there’s a reason that Massive put 515 gear in the Dark Zone, because they’re trying to lure people to actually play it. Right now, tons and tons of people are avoiding it completely because it’s much easier to queue up for missions or bounties or strongholds with a more straightforward path to loot, working with other players rather than against them. And if they do want to fight other people? That’s what Conflict is for, and that too comes with no risk of surprise attacks and lost loot.

The Dark Zone has always been Massive’s pet project, the concept that was supposed to make The Division stand out compared to its competition. And yet it has always remained my least favorite aspect of the game, and that has not changed in the sequel. If we didn’t see a PvE Dark Zone in all the years of The Division 1 doubt we’ll see one now, but I think it’s a bad path forward for Massive to try and simply bribe people to play the DZ when clearly something is gone wrong if they have to do that in the first place.

[“source=forbes”]