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World Sparrow Day: one of human’s oldest companions, the little bird’s survival is threatened



World Sparrow Day

The little bird that used to be a common sight till a few years ago is dwindling in numbers. It is a welcome surprise to see it flitting about, chirping merrily away: that is no longer a commonplace occurrence now.

Believed to be one of the oldest companions of human beings, the sparrow (Passer domesticus) is disappearing from much of its natural range, both in the urban and rural habitats both as a result of and leading to degradation of the environment. Due to a decrease in numbers, a bird as common as the sparrow was included by the IUCN in its Red List of threatened species in 2002 alongside the glamorous snow leopard, tiger, and red panda.

This day, March 20, is observed as the World Sparrow Day, to draw attention to the need to remove threats to the bird and its habitat and conserve urban biodiversity. World Sparrow Day was first celebrated in 2010 when members of the Nature Forever Society started communicating the need to save these birds with the help of national and international organisations.

The theme for this World Sparrow Day is I LOVE Sparrows. It has been inspired by the hope that more and more of us will celebrate the relationship between People and Sparrows.World Sparrow Day

In Delhi, the sparrow was adopted as the State bird in 2012.

We need to know the detrimental effects of pollution which have caused the slow death of this avian that once co-existed with us. A media report said the population of house sparrows has seen a slight increase in the slums of Delhi, according to a survey by ecologists who also found that the birds’ numbers have increased in some pockets of slums of the city as against the planned areas.

The study said sparrows were rarely sighted in the planned areas because they have lost their natural habitat for nesting. Other factors behind the decline in their numbers include non-availability of food, use of pesticides in farmlands, electro-magnetic radiation from mobile towers, noise and air pollution.

Big birds like pigeons that multiply fast and occupy the small number of places and holes for building nests also edge out the much smaller sparrows. The blue rock pigeon is the main culprit in taking over the sparrows’ nesting areas.

A report in The Hindu, quoting ecologist and ornithologist MB Krishna, said urbanisation and loss of agricultural fields was an important factor. He said the chicks of sparrows are very tiny and feed on insects. But, the insect populations itself is going down either because there are fewer plants which attract insects or the over use of pesticides, which kills them.

“Another problem is the lack of nesting and roosting sites. What we need is incorporating greenery in modern planning,” he said.

The sparrows have adopted new sites for nesting in Delhi, according to ecologist TK Roy, as quoted by The Asian Age. “As per the study, house sparrow population has partially increased in some pockets of slum areas of the capital because of adoption of alternative nesting sites — shop shutter tops, inverted lamp sheds, ventilators, modern flyover wall holes and used hard paper board open boxes on the roof rooftops,” he said.

Most sparrows have shifted to the outskirts of Delhi, said a report in TOI, quoting birder Nikhil Devasar. “The sparrow concentration has shifted to forests and urban villages outside Delhi. The fact is urban areas now have fewer trees and greenery where the sparrows can nest. Of course, the blue rock pigeons have also colonised places where sparrows can make nests.”

Faiyaz Khudsar, scientist in charge at the Yamuna Biodiversity Park, said that non-availability of nesting space was one of the biggest reasons for the flight to the outskirts. “Today’s urban constructions are not sparrow-friendly — the bird cannot find resting space and finding food is also difficult because availability of insects and worms has reduced due to the use of insecticides and pesticides,” said Khudsar.

Experts agree that the birds could be brought back to the city if feeders and nest-boxes were provided in large numbers.

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WhatsApp to introduce Native File Sharing feature similar to Apple’s AirDrop

Users can choose to be visible to others without disclosing their phone numbers to people who are not their contacts.



A Meta-owned messaging platform, WhatsApp is all set to introduce a new feature that allows Android users to share files with another user nearby. According to reports, the feature will be developed similar to Apple’s AirDrop.

The file sharing feature nearby is not currently available for beta testers. However, according to a report from WhatsApp feature tracker WABetaInfo, it seems that the feature will soon be introduced. The report reveals a screenshot that shows an option within the app stating, to share files with people nearby, along with a list of nearby users.

It is interesting to note that users can choose to be visible to others without disclosing their phone numbers to people who are not their contacts. In order to share files with other users, one needs to wait for nearby users to accept their request. The process involves a unique interaction, where nearby users can shake their device to receive incoming share requests. It is important to note that this feature is designed with end-to-end encryption to ensure user privacy.

In the upcoming update, WhatsApp is expected to introduce a nearby file-sharing feature. However, the current beta version for Android, which is, has addressed a camera issue. Some Android beta testers have reported difficulties in launching the camera within the app after the update. Upon launching, users were presented with an error message that said, can’t start camera, please restart your device. This issue persisted even after restarting the device or relaunching the app.

The latest beta update of WhatsApp, located at, has fixed the camera bug. This allows users to launch the camera within the app and share photos and videos with their contacts without any interruptions. As WhatsApp continues its efforts to improve its features and address bugs, users can expect a better messaging experience on the platform.

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Meesho mega blockbuster sale: E-commerce platform to offer 80 percent discount on electronics

The e-commerce platform’s first mega blockbuster sale will sell more than 400 brands directly with the help of authorised partners on its digital store called Meesho Mall.



Meesho online shopping app

Ahead of the festive season, e-commerce platform Meesho’s mega blockbuster sale is starting on Friday, October 6, 2023. The platform will provide a massive discount of up to 80 percent on different categories such as essentials, accessories, electronics, footwear, etc.

The blockbuster sale is scheduled to conclude on October 13, 2023. Notably, the Softbank backed e-commerce platform is starting its festive sale a day before Flipkart or Amazon’s festive sale goes live.  The e-commerce platform’s first mega blockbuster sale will sell more than 400 brands directly with the help of authorised partners on its digital store called Meesho Mall.

Reportedly, the platform also added over 50 lakh new customers during these sales. More than 75 percent of the demand was received from Tier-II cities, including Amravati, Aurangabad, Dehradun, Nellore, Solapur, and Warangal. The platform further claimed that they have added more than 2 lakh sellers in the past two years.

Recently, Meesho affirmed that  they have received over 10 million (approx) from its pre-festive sales during Onam, Raksha Bandhan, and Ganesh Chaturthi. The platform has more than 14 lakh sellers, selling approx 12 crore products in 30 different categories. 

In an effort to increase the seller base, the company announced the onboarding of non-GST sellers on the platform earlier this week. The GST council announced to permit the e-commerce platform to onboard sellers with turnover of up to Rs 40 lakh.

Prior to Meesho’s Mega Blockbuster Sale, the company introduced a loyalty programme during which eligible users will earn Smart Coins, which the user can redeem every time they make the purchase of any products on the platform. 

As per Redseer, over 140 million shoppers are likely to make purchases during the festive season. This will enhance the Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of the Indian e-commerce sector by 18 to 20 per cent and may touch Rs 90,000 crore as compared to Rs 76,000 crore last year.

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Phones & gadgets

Apple launches iPhone 15 series, India price, features, availability  

The iPhone 15 series will be available in India from September 22 but iPhone lovers can also pre-order, starting from September 15 onwards.



Apple launched its most anticipated iPhone 15 series, including the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max during the Wonderlust event globally on September 12 night.

The iPhone 15 series will be available in India from September 22 but iPhone lovers can also pre-order, starting from September 15 onwards.

People can buy a new iPhone 15 or upgrade it to the old one. There are five colours available for the people.  

According to reports, Apple has been manufacturing the iPhone 15 series in India and China. Apple has moved 7% of its iPhone production to India. Previously, India was not making the newest models. The Centre’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for smartphones played a part in Apple moving its production to India.

The new iPhone 15 has been launched with the same starting price as its prototype, the iPhone 14. The 128GB variant is priced at Rs 79,900, while the 256GB variant costs Rs 89,900. For people who need more storage, the 512GB variant is available for Rs 1,09,900.

This latest iPhone series puffs a 6.1-inch display and comes in five different colours which are pink, yellow, green, blue, and black. While the design remains the same as the previous models, the iPhone 15 features a dynamic island notch instead of the usual notch, which was highly popular among the iPhone 14 Pro phones.

The camera part of the iPhone series has undergone significant upgrades, the new iPhone 15, with an enhanced 48-megapixel primary sensor replaces the 12-megapixel dual camera system which was available in the previous iPhone 14. This significant improvement promises better low-light photography and portrait shots.

The tech giant announced that the iPhone 15 has an all-day battery life, making it more convenient for users to go about their daily activities without worrying about their phone’s battery.

The iPhone 15 Pro models feature a lighter body and thinner bezels. The new AirPods Pro with USB-C charging case will support Lossless Audio with Apple Vision Pro.

Additionally, the iPhone 15 is powered by Apple’s A16 bionic processor, an upgrade from the A15 bionic chipset used in the previous iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus models. The Pro models had the faster and better A16 chip, but now this feature is available in all iPhone 15 models.

The USB-C port on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus remain limited to lightning speeds up to 480 Mbps. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max support USB 3 speeds up to 10 Gbps. People will need to buy a separate 1-meter Thunderbolt 4 Pro cable for Rs 5,724 or Rs 10,701 for the 1.8-meter cable to support faster speeds.

The dynamic island notch feature, which can adjust its size according to notifications, was widely discussed before the launch of the iPhone 15. This unique feature can now be available in all models of the phone.

Another important feature of the iPhone 15 is the shift to the USB Type C charging port. Apple has abandoned the lightning port in favour of the more commonly used USB Type C charging port. This means, there is no longer a need for a special iPhone charging cable to be carried around everywhere you go.

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