Let’s start – Meta Platforms Inc CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Wednesday that AI was helping the company boost traffic to Facebook and Instagram and earn more in ad sales, as it forecast quarterly revenue well above analyst expectations. Meta shares surged 12% in after hours trading, adding over $50 billion to its market value and continuing a rally in tech shares that started after Google parent Alphabet Inc and Microsoft Corp posted strong results on Tuesday. Meta narrowed its cost outlook range for the year, saying expenses could be less than the company forecast in March, and also beat expectations for first-quarter profit and revenue, which rose for the first time in nearly a year.
Moving on – Indian students seeking higher education in the United States have been increasingly opting for physical sciences over engineering for their postgraduate and doctorate degrees, a recent report by the Graduate Record Examination reveals. According to the data, physical sciences, which include physics, chemistry, and earth sciences, have become the most popular choice for Indians pursuing Masters and Ph.D. programs in the US. According to the report, Indian students made up 54% of all GRE test-takers in the Physical Sciences category in the 2020-2021 academic year, compared to 41% in the Engineering category. This data only includes test-takers who indicated their intended graduate major at the time of the examination. Over the last decade, the percentage of Indian students interested in studying engineering in the US has decreased significantly, falling from 34% to 17% in the testing year 2021-22. In contrast, during the same period, the percentage of GRE candidates interested in physical sciences increased from 27% to 37%.
In a separate development – Registration of properties in the Mumbai municipal region is set to fall this month as 9,867 units have been registered so far against 11,743 units in April last year, according to Knight Frank India. Till 12 noon on Friday, 9,867 properties have been registered. The registration process will continue till late evening, after that there is a holiday for the next two days. The numbers are expected to rise and may cross 10,000 units this month.
Meanwhile – At the Defence Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting in New Delhi, India has called upon the member states to work together in eliminating terrorism in all its forms. In his address Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh called on his counterparts from SCO to fix responsibility on those who fund or aid such activities and stated that any kind of terrorist act in any form is a crime against humanity. According to the minister peace and prosperity cannot co-exist with the menace of terrorism. From the point of view of security, according to the minister, radicalization of the youth is a cause of concern and is also a major obstacle in the path of socio-economic progress of the society. While asserting that New Delhi is making efforts to strengthen cooperation among the members, and maintaining peace and security based on the charter of the UN, Singh said that India envisages a robust framework of regional cooperation that respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all member states.
Now a tech related news – Google Play is a popular app store for Android devices but it has often been targeted by malicious actors who create fake or malicious apps that can harm users’ devices or steal their personal information. The company has taken several steps in the past to combat this. In its recent effort, Google has prevented 1.43 million policy-violating apps from being published on Google Play. This was made possible in part due to new and improved security features and policy enhancements, as well as continuous investments in machine learning systems and app review processes. The news was announced by the company in a blog post. In addition to preventing policy-violating apps from being published, Google has also been taking steps to combat malicious developers and fraud rings. The company reports having banned 173,000 bad accounts and preventing over $2 billion in fraudulent and abusive transactions.
Lastly – Domestic indices ended Friday’s session in the green territory. The NSE Nifty 50 surged 149.95 points or 0.84% to 18,065 and BSE Sensex skyrocketed 463.06 points or 0.76% to 61,112.44. In sectoral indices, Bank Nifty jumped 233.05 points or 0.54% to 43,233.9 and Nifty IT advanced 352.95 points or 1.29% to 27,708.2. The top gainers on Nifty 50 were Adani Enterprises, Adani Ports, Nestle India, Wipro and Britannia while the losers were Axis Bank, Titan, ONGC, JSW Steel and Cipla.