Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Pune finally enters the smart city bid


PUNE: Corporators took an unanimous decision of approving the smart city proposal in late hours of Monday, December 14, after five changes to the proposal were suggested. The meeting, called urgently after the state sent orders on December 11, went on for more than 12 hours, final outcome being a positive decision.

Although the smart city plan has been approved by the corporators, the decision was taken with a pinch of salt. "We are not completely in agreement with the proposal that has been presented to us. We have doubts on why Aundh Baner Balewadi area was selected when they could have opted for an area which is underdeveloped and turned into smart city," said Congress leader Abhay Chhajed at the meet.

Majority of the corporators questioned the selection of the area Aundh Baner Balewadi which is already strong in terms of infrastructure. "We want that every project in this area should have a detailed report which would be passed by the general body before it is implemented," the corporators demand this in unison. 

Taking digs at Municipal Commissioner Kunal Kumar for having invoked BBMP act section 448 and calling for an urgent meet under directives of the state government, corporators applauded the fact that the meeting which was postponed on 9 December resulted in a reduction of the budget from 3,400 crore to 2,900 crore in the revised proposal. "No justification or explanation was provided as to how are these changes have been made. We want the budgets in the new projects to be brought to PMC for approval," added MNS's Kishor Shinde. 

The main issue of the corporators remained the special purpose vehicle, the head of which is an authority like the municipal commissioner, deputy commissioner, collector; but corporators demand the mayor to be the head. "The SPV should not overrun the PMC and the existing powers of corporators should not reduce. In fact, if the state government decides on letting the corporation of a city to decide if they need a SPV, we must dissolve it and continue with the smart city project," said Congress Corporator Arvind Shinde.

Standing committee head, Ashwini Kadam specifically mentioned that if the private body SPV does not work satisfactorily in two years it should be dissolved. "Our smart mayor and smart commissioner should have thought of all possibilities before making comments, they have made a mistake by giving us less time to study the proposal," she added. Deputy mayor Aba Bagul also added, "The smart city decision will either make this day written in gold in history or black, depends on how it is taken from here."

It was the Bhartiya Janata Party which supported the commissioner and mayor thoroughly, Corporator Ganesh Bidkar said, "There would have been a higher loss if we had lost the chance of smart city contest."

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Film on Osho Rajneesh to release in January


PUNE: A film on life of spiritual guru Osho Rajneesh will hit the screen in January 2016 in India.
The film is backed by the Osho Foundation, Pune.

The film's director Krishan Hooda hopes the film garners a positive response from the audience. "Indian audiences never got the see the journey of one of the most important spiritual figures of our times, Osho Rajneesh, on celluloid. I am delighted that I got to tell the story through my vision and sensibility. We are sure the audience will connect with this universally inspiring story," Hooda said.

Talking about the film, producer and writer Jagdish Bharti added: "We are happy to present 'Rebellious Flower' to the Indian audience and it's a fitting coincidence that the film will be releasing close to the death anniversary of Osho Rajneesh guru. Rajneesh died on January 19 in 1990."

"Rebellious Flower" shows the story of a young boy, Raja, living in a remote village of central India with his maternal grandmother and grandfather, with an inborn fire for asking questions and is gifted with deep underlying clarity to accept only the right answers.

The film will trace his life after the demise of his grandfather and how he passed through all the turns and twists of a normal life. "Rebellious Flower" was shot in Madhya Pradesh where Osho grew up and spent time with his maternal grandparents. It also won a Special Mention Jury Award at Salento International Film Festival held in Tricase, Italy this year.

Aamir Khan shooting for `Dangal` in Pune

Aamir Khan is currently shooting for Nitesh Tiwari's 'Dangal' in Pune. Earlier the team had shot in Ludhiana, Punjab.

Recently the actor was spotted on the sets of 'Dangal' there. Aamir was filming his scenes at a college in Pune. Buzz is that he was shooting in the canteen areas, classrooms and the college hall.

Aamir plays a wrestler in this film which is reportedly based on the life of legendary wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and his daughters who are wrestlers too. Vivian Bhatena has been roped in to play the baddie. Sakshi Tanwar essays the role of Aamir's wife.

'Dangal' is slated to hit the silver screens on Christmas 2016.


Farmer’s leader Sharad Joshi passes away in Pune


PUNE: Veteran farmer’s leader and founder of Shetkari Sanghatana Sharad Joshi (81) passed away on today. Joshi who was ailing for some days was discharged from a city hospital earlier this month. He breathed his last at his residence in Pune.

Born in Satara, Joshi completed his education in Mumbai and had worked as a lecturer in Economics in Pune University. He had also worked with the Indian Postal Services and United Nations before starting the pan Maharashtra farmer’s organisation called Shetkari Sanghatana. Between 2004 and 2010 he was a Rajya Sabha member also.

At a time when the political dialogue was pro-middle class Joshi started his farmer’s movement to ensure proper pricing of farm goods. His movement took up the cause of onion farmers, cotton farmers and the cause of cane farmers across the state. Joshi was the first one to link production cost to the price of agricultural produce and agitate for better price.

His movement during the initial days was met with stiff resistance from the ruling elite who have been controlling the economics of farmland in Maharasthra. Swambhimani Paksha MP Raju Shetti, farmer leader Raghunath Patil were originally from Joshi’s outfit. He was also invited by the then prime minister VP Singh to frame a farmer’s policy which was not accepted. Well before the acceptance of BT Cotton and other modern technologies, Joshi has been a strong supporter of such techniques.

Speaking about the demise of Joshi, Shetti said the present day farmer’s in the state owe their socio-political awakening to him. “All of us have been taught to fight and ask for our rights by him. His death is a big loss to the farmer’s movements,” he said. Joshi is survived by a son and a daughter.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Auto driver rapes Pune woman, held


PUNE : An NGO worker was allegedly raped by the driver of an auto-rickshaw she had hired to go to New Sangvi police station to lodge a complaint against her live-in partner.

The incident took place on Sunday night after the staff at the Sangvi police station asked the woman to return home and approach the New Sangvi police chowki the next day as she was reportedly under the influence of alcohol. But the 40-year-old asked the auto-rickshaw driver to take her to the New Sangvi police chowki instead. However, he allegedly drove her to a secluded place and raped her.

Later, a rape case was registered with the Sangvi police station and the accused nabbed. Police identified the auto driver as Umesh Ravindra Sarkariya (28), a resident of New Sangvi. A local court remanded Sarkariya to police custody.

“The victim remembered that the driver was a tall person with wheatish complexion. Our teams zeroed down on auto-rickshaw drivers operating in Sangvi area during night and nabbed Sarkaraiya,” said senior police inspector Dilip Naukudkar of the Sangvi police station.

An inquiry has also been ordered against the staff at the Sangvi police station. “…They should have ensured she reached home safely,” said an officer.

Pune to host mega superbike congregation


PUNE : The fifth edition of India Superbike Festival (ISF), one of the largest superbike gatherings, is set to take place at Amanora Park Town on December 5 and 6. A brainchild of city-based biker Amol Talpade, ISF began in 2012 with 200 bikes, progressing to nearly 3,000 bikes this year.
As it only allows bikes of 600 cc and above, the festival attracts bike lovers from different parts of the world. In its first edition, it had pulled a crowd of one lakh people; in 2013, the number of bikes increased by 300 and the number of visitors by one lakh. Last year, five lakh people gathered to see 900 bikes, Talpade said.

As many as 20 biking groups from India are going to participate in the festival and 15 of them are from Maharashtra alone. “India’s first superbike club was started in Delhi, followed by one in Pune. Today, the city has nearly 12 different biker groups and has become the capital of premium bikes in India,” Talpade further said.

 “This year, ISF will display the bikes of renowned manufacturers like Suzuki, Triumph, Indian Motorcycles, Harley Davidson, Benelli, Hyosung, Aprillia, Motoguzzi, Vespa, TVS and Mahindra. In addition, there will also be brands like Cafe Racer, Adventure Moto, Biking Superstore and Atmosphere India. There are many bikers who spend 20 lakh on a bike and another 20 lakh on accessories. So we’re emphasizing on that aspect as well,” Talpade added.

Competitions like the best accessorised motorcycle, king of burnouts, loudest motorcycle in different categories such as 600 cc to 800 cc, 800 cc to 1000 cc and more than 1000cc will also be held at the venue. “The response to the festival is immense from Tamil Nadu to Punjab and from Gujarat to West Bengal. We even have participants from UK and Dubai,” Talpade said. There will also be a vintage bikes arena where over 100 classic bikes will be exhibited. Until 2014, ISF was being held inside the town centre. However, due to the expansions, it has been shifted to Amanora Park Town.

Asked about RTO’s recent directives to fine bikers who contribute to noise pollution, Talpade said that neither ISF nor the participating members promote noise pollution and they’re limited to only competitions at the arena. “Also, evidence shows that due to the sound of super bikes, there are less accidents as people get aware about the bike’s presence when it is far. This is also a good opportunity to make bike lovers aware about safety precautions taken by professional stunt groups,” Talpade added.

Pune court admits petition seeking ban on Bajirao Mastani


PUNE : A city-based resident has filed a case against Bajirao Mastani’s creators on grounds of gross distortion of history.

Firoze Mohammad Shaikh has filed a case against Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the film’s director-producer as well cast members including, actresses Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone who essay the roles of Kashibai, the Peshwa’s first wife and that of Mastani, respectively.

The petition takes particularly strong objection to the recently released song ‘Pingaa’, which it alleges incorrectly portrays the characters of Kashibai and Mastani. It further demands a complete ban on the release of the film, scheduled for December 18, in Pune and across Maharashtra.

It claims that the song was offensive to Marathi culture and degrading to a Marathi lady.
The case was admitted in a local court which claimed that the filmmakers had tweaked ‘facts’ under the pretext of artistic licence.

“The film is an insult to the glorious history of Bajirao Peshwa and a total misrepresentation of his person,” claimed the petition. According to criminal lawyer Wajed Khan-Bidkar, who filed the complaint on behalf of Mr. Shaikh, the complaint was not to garner publicity, but to prevent such filmmakers from making imaginary, fictitious films, by which the emotions of lakhs of people may be hurt.

“We will be submitting historical evidence as well as several letters from the successors of the Peshwas to prove misrepresentation in the name of creativity,” said Mr. Bidkar.

IIT boy Abishek Pant from Pune lands Rs 2-crore dream job in Google

PUNE: City youth Abhishek Pant, a final-year computer science student of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, has bagged a job with a whopping Rs 2-crore annual package, including stock option, at Google Inc.

The 22-year-old, who finished a three-month internship at Google California earlier this year, went through another rigorous round of interviews before being absorbed into the design solutions cell. A city topper in the CBSE Std X exams, Pant was born and brought up in the US before his family shifted to Pune in 2006. He will now return to the US to pursue his career. 

When the family moved to Pune, his parents were quite worried about how he would adapt to the Indian education system. Their main challenge was to convince Pant about the need to sit through three-hour exams. Pant, however, responded well to his parents' efforts and focused on his studies. The result was evident when he secured 97.6% marks in Std X to make his parents and his teachers at Delhi Public School proud. Pant said, "The journey from Pune to Kharagpur and Kharagpur to Google Mount View in California has been quite exciting. I had a great experience working there as an intern. A job offer is the icing on the cake." 

He had to initially clear two rounds of technical interviews over the phone for the internship. "As part of the process, I had to do coding in a Google document. I was further interviewed by the project manager. I cleared the third interview as well, and my internship began in May." At the end of the internship, Pant was offered the job, for which he had to go through another set of interviews. He will join the company in September next year. 

He has not been assigned any project as yet, but will work with the design solutions team on the best way to solve problems raised by users. "I am looking forward to working on new and interesting engineering challenges, and to working with a smart and talented team," he said.

Besides work, Pant is also looking forward to the great variety of food on offer on the company's premises. He said, "Google offers employees tasty, healthy and free breakfast, lunch and dinner from a wide variety of cuisines such as American, Mexican, South American, Japanese and Italian. They even have a dedicated Indian cafeteria. One of my activities during the internship was to try out all of these cuisines."

Shantanu Das, assistant registrar at the career development centre, IIT-Kharagpur, said this pre-placement offer was a great opportunity for Pant. "We have had placements from Google and Microsoft this year, besides other placements in Amazon, Deutsche Bank and AdHoc, among others. There have been offers in the range of Rs 19 lakh to Rs 30 lakh per annum," Das added. 

Sources in IIT-Kharagpur said that it would not be possible to say whether the package offered to Pant was among the highest offered to their students. They said the institute has stopped looking at the annual package amounts students receive, as it tends to shift students' focus from education to the remuneration instead.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Bus mows down four motorcyclists

PUNE, November 15: By his rash driving a bus driver mowed down four motorcyclists today early morning on Pune-Bengaluru highway near Dukkar Khind.

Giving details of the incident, Warje police said, a bus driver Sahdev Dnyanoba Shinde (30, Kargil Society, near SBI Bank, Warje Malwadi) killed at least four persons by his careless driving. The deceased were identified as Sarang Tanaji Kale (22, Waghjainagar, Jain Temple, Katraj), Shankar Tanaji Didkar (25, Ichalkaranji, Dist.  Kolhapur), Vinod Kuber Bharathi (25, Pashan), Chandrakant Balasaheb Jadhav (22, Ichalkaranji, Dist. Kolhapur). We have arrested the accused Sahdev Shinde and filed a case against him under IPC 279, 304 (A), 427 and section 184, 119/177 under Motor Vehicle Act  We are investigating the case further, added Warje Police.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Piaggio Motoplex in Pune

Piaggio Motoplex multibrand concept store opens in Pune

PUNE: The first of its kind in South East Asia, the Piaggio Motoplex store brings Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, and Vespa two-wheelers under one roof.

Piaggio, the Italian automotive conglomerate, has formally opened its Motoplex concept store in Pune, Maharashtra. Pegged to offer customers more than just a dealership experience, the flagship store will offer three of Piaggio’s flagship brands, viz. Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, and Vespa. Piaggio has also opened Motoplex stores in major metropolises around the world like Milan, New York City, Shanghai and Beijing.

Unveiled by Stefano Pelle, Managing Director, Piaggio India, the two floor showroom in the posh Pune locality of Yerawda had an array of delectable Italian machines on display for the press and public. The cynosure of all eyes was the Aprilia RSV4 RF superbike, a track-honed machine with 200 PS on tap and the latest electronic gadgetry to keep things rubber side down. Its semi-faired sibling, the Tuono, was also on display, as was the SRV 850 maxi-scooter. Missing in action but also offered in India is the Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally, a 125 adventure touring machine.

Moto Guzzi may not be as popular a name in the country as its other siblings, but it nevertheless is a marquee with a chequered history as revered as any other European manufacturer. It was represented at the Motoplex store by the California and Eldorado, two stylish cruisers, and the Audace, a power cruiser, all powered by the unique longitudinally-mounted V-Twin engines that have become a signature feature of Moto Guzzis.

The last of the trio, Vespa, is a brand that already has a presence in the country, firstly having tied-up with LML, and later having gone it alone. It was represented at the launch by the Vespa VXL and SXL duo. 

Speaking at the launch, Stefano Pelle, Managing Director of Piaggio India said, “We are very happy to launch South Asia’s first Motoplex store in India. The Motoplex store is a futuristic concept that enables a dealer to leverage more brands and products within the same retail space. The Motoplex formula is the realization of the broader vision of the Piaggio Group in the field of offering its vehicles and developing a closer relationship with its customers and potential customers. Not only is this a showroom for Vespa, Moto Guzzi, Aprilia and Piaggio motorcycles and scooters, but it is also a fascinating experience of the renowned style, technology and heritage of two-wheeled vehicles which are proudly 'Made in Italy'. We'll launch more of these stores in the future, all over the subcontinent".

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Jail inmates to make automobile parts

Jail inmates to make automobile parts

PUNE: An automobile component manufacturing unit has been set up at Yerawada Central Jail to provide employment to inmates, besides imparting skills Automobile component manufacturer Spark Minda of Ashok Minda group has set up the plant through a public-private partnership.

Spread across 2,000 sq ft, the facility will see 30 inmates working to produce wire harness units, which are key automotive components. The harnesses will be supplied to Mahindra & Mahindra for further assembly in utility vehicles. The facility aims to empower inmates so that they can pick up employment skills to improve their employability, earn wages, and use their experience to lead a better life after their sentence ends, explained BK Upadhyay, additional director general (prisons). "Until now, traditional small-scale manufacturing units for carpentry, baking, laundry, washing, handloom work and metal products were set up at Yerawada jail. This is a great step forward and the initiative is in line with contemporary manufacturing industry.”

“We are looking to set up similar manufacturing units to aid inmates in jails across the state," Upadhyay added. Another facility will be set up at Nagpur Central Jail by December. Each inmate, working with the manufacturing unit, will get a certificate that is expected to help him or her land a job once the prisoner finishes the sentence and is out of the jail. The wire harness product will fetch Rs 200, per unit, of which each inmate will get Rs 55, per piece and Rs 10 will go towards the welfare fund. The rest of the money will go to the state exchequer. As of now, the manufacturing facility has the capacity to make 80 units, per day. Upadhyay said that the inmates will be selected to be employed by the unit on the basis of their track record, the number of years they have served their sentence as well as their educational background.

"An essential criterion for selection is a minimum seven-year conviction. All selected inmates will be provided training. As per norms laid out for operators working in the wire harness manufacturing units, and in addition to preliminary tests, a test for colour blindness will also be conducted," said NK Taneja, group chief marketing officer, Spark Minda, Ashok Minda group. For the next two months, a supervisor from the company will help the team at the prison settle into their job profile. To ensure quality check, a checker board has been put up in the unit and a visual inspection will be done before dispatch. Spark Minda will oversee raw material entry and dispatch, whose employees have been deputed at the jail. This is expected to ensure security and discipline.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Man kills wife, son and commit suicide

Man kills wife, son and commit suicide

PUNE, October 27 : Alleging of suspicious character, a person killed his wife and son brutally by an axe during last night to today morning. Few days before a man beheaded his wife and walked in to the crowded street of Pune attracted the nation’s attention and it become the talk of the social media.

Giving details of the incident, Chatushringi police said, “Raju Laxman Gaikwad (40, Anjanibai Nimhan Chawl, Pashan) who has suspicion about his wife Arati’s character, killed her and his son Vishal (19) in the feat of rage by an axe during the yesterday night till today morning. After killing the two Raju hanged himself by a nylon rope to the ceiling and died.

Assistant Police Inspector V. R. Gaud is investigating the case further.

MARUTI SUZUKI Launches hatchback Baleno in Pune

MARUTI SUZUKI Launches hatchback Baleno in Pune

PUNE : India’s passenger vehicle company, Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) announced the global launch of its premium hatchback, Baleno here.

The car comes with two engine options, both offering best-in-class fuel efficiency: the acclaimed DDiS 190 diesel engine (1.3 litre) with a fuel efficiency of 27.39 Km/litre and the proven VVT Petrol (1.2 litre) with a fuel efficiency of 21.4 Km/litre. Baleno also comes with a CVT option (Continuously Variable Transmission) in the petrol variant.

Dynamic, energetic and premium, Baleno is packed with features (refer to box), many of them being offered for the first time in the premium hatchback segment.

Baleno has won praise from experts for its superior ride and handling, safety, fuel efficiency and low vehicle noise and harshness. It is built on a brand new Suzuki platform which is lighter (by 100 Kg), stronger (by 10%) and more rigid compared to existing platforms in the industry.
At the introductory price announced by MSIL today, Baleno offers substantially more value to customers and is set to redefine the premium hatchback segment in the country. Baleno will be sold through NEXA, the new chain of premium exclusive automotive retail outlets recently launched by Maruti Suzuki.

To be manufactured exclusively in India, Baleno will be sold in over 100 countries. Baleno comes with a sophisticated design and advanced technology. A lighter but stronger platform has helped Maruti Suzuki engineers to offer best in class fuel efficiency in petrol as well as diesel options. Further, ABS and dual airbags are offered as standard in all variants of Baleno.

Features of Baleno: Liquid Flow Design, Chrome accentuated front grill with signature “S” logo, Bold shoulder line, low & wide stance, Projector Headlamps (HID) with DRL (LED), Stylish Chrome Garnishes on the rear & doors, Premium LED Rear Combination Lamps, Aerodynamic Outside Rear View Mirrors. Chrome Door Scalps running from front to rear, 16” Dynamic Alloys, Chrome door handles, A, B, C Pillar blackout film etc.

From L to R: Thomas Cheriyan, Commercial Business Head (West and South) New Channel, MSIL and Mohit Jindal, Regional Manager-West,New Channel, MSIL while launching Baleno in Pune

TVS registers a growth of 23% in Profit

TVS registers a growth of 23% in Profit

BANGALORE: TVS Motor Company announced a revenue growth of 8% for the quarter ended September 2015 with total revenue growing from Rs.2667 crores in the quarter ended September 2014 to Rs.2881 crores in the quarter ended September 2015.

According to a press release of TVS Motor Company, profit before tax during the quarter under review, grew by 23% from Rs.131 crores recorded in the quarter ended September 2014 to Rs.161 crores in the quarter ended September 2015. Profit after tax for the quarter ended September 2015 grew by 23%. PAT increased from Rs. 95 crore reported in quarter ended September 2014 to Rs 116 crore in the quarter ended September 2015, 

Total two-wheeler sales of the company for the quarter ended September 2015 stood at 6.46 lakh units against 6.48 lakh units recorded in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Scooter sales grew by 12% in the quarter ended September 2015 increasing from 1.95 lakh units recorded in the quarter ended September 2014 to 2.18 lakh units in the quarter ended September 2015.  The company’s motorcycle sales during the quarter ended September 2015 stood at 2.55 lakh units, same as recorded in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

Two and three wheeler exports of the company registered a growth of 23% with sales increasing from 1.03 lakh units in the quarter ended September 2014 to 1.27 lakh units in the quarter ended September 2015.

Total three wheeler sales for the quarter ended September 2015 grew by 18% increasing from 27,946 units in the quarter ended September 2014 to 32,922 units in the quarter ended September 2015. The festival season has begun very well and we are confident of a robust growth in TVS two-wheelers sale during this period.