quick reads

The big news: Salaries for university, college teachers revised, and nine other top stories

Other headlines: Anupam Kher was appointed the new FTII chairman, and the Supreme Court ruled that sex with minor even after marriage was rape.

A look at the headlines right now:

  1. Cabinet approves revised salaries for university, college teachers under 7th Pay Commission: Around 7.58 lakh academic staff will benefit from this revision.   
  2. Anupam Kher is the new FTII chairman: The Bollywood actor succeeds BJP leader Gajendra Chauhan, whose term at the Pune institute ended in March.   
  3. Sex with a minor is rape even after marriagesays Supreme Court: The court read down an exception to the law that protected a man from having sex with his underage wife.
  4. Centre says it collected 15.8% more direct tax in April-September than corresponding period in 2016: The Finance Ministry said advance tax collection for the same months was Rs 1.77 lakh crore.   
  5. Former Trinamool leader Mukul Roy resigns from Rajya Sabha and all party posts: Speculation has been rife that the former Union minister may join the BJP or start a party of his own.   
  6. At least 17 killed in California wildfires, new outbreaks expected because of dry weather: Cooler temperature, lower wind intensity and fog had allowed firefighters to conduct rescue operations on Tuesday.  
  7. Bombay High Court refuses to lift ban on bullock cart races in Maharashtra: The state government argued that it had made amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to ensure animals participating in the races are not hurt.  
  8. Ahmedabad court adjourns Jay Shah’s case against news portal after his lawyer fails to appear: Yashwant Sinha said the BJP had lost the ‘moral high ground’ since the news report had come to fore. 
  9. Pune’s Kayani Bakery, two other restaurants asked to shut down, The Times of India reported: The cantonment board said all three eateries were running without trade licences since 2006.   
  10. Railways forms panel to investigate delay in issuing tender for new Elphinstone Road foot overbridge: The committee is expected to submit its report within three months.  
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Watch Ruchir's journey: A story that captures the impact of accessible technology

Accessible technology has the potential to change lives.

“Technology can be a great leveller”, affirms Ruchir Falodia, Social Media Manager, TATA CLiQ. Out of the many qualities that define Ruchir as a person, one that stands out is that he is an autodidact – a self-taught coder and lover of technology.

Ruchir’s story is one that humanises technology - it has always played the role of a supportive friend who would look beyond his visual impairment. A top ranker through school and college, Ruchir would scan course books and convert them to a format which could be read out to him (in the absence of e-books for school). He also developed a lot of his work ethos on the philosophy of Open Source software, having contributed to various open source projects. The access provided by Open Source, where users could take a source code, modify it and distribute their own versions of the program, attracted him because of the even footing it gave everyone.

That is why I like being in programming. Nobody cares if you are in a wheelchair. Whatever be your physical disability, you are equal with every other developer. If your code works, good. If it doesn’t, you’ll be told so.

— Ruchir.

Motivated by the objectivity that technology provided, Ruchir made it his career. Despite having earned degree in computer engineering and an MBA, friends and family feared his visual impairment would prove difficult to overcome in a work setting. But Ruchir, who doesn’t like quotas or the ‘special’ tag he is often labelled with, used technology to prove that differently abled persons can work on an equal footing.

As he delved deeper into the tech space, Ruchir realised that he sought to explore the human side of technology. A fan of Agatha Christie and other crime novels, he wanted to express himself through storytelling and steered his career towards branding and marketing – which he sees as another way to tell stories.

Ruchir, then, migrated to Mumbai for the next phase in his career. It was in the Maximum City that his belief in technology being the great leveller was reinforced. “The city’s infrastructure is a challenging one, Uber helped me navigate the city” says Ruchir. By using the VoiceOver features, Ruchir could call an Uber wherever he was and move around easily. He reached out to Uber to see if together they could spread the message of accessible technology. This partnership resulted in a video that captures the essence of Ruchir’s story: The World in Voices.

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It was important for Ruchir to get rid of the sympathetic lens through which others saw him. His story serves as a message of reassurance to other differently abled persons and abolishes some of the fears, doubts and prejudices present in families, friends, employers or colleagues.

To know more about Ruchir’s journey, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Uber and not by the Scroll editorial team.