Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A campaign that stresses need of public toilets for women


PUNE: Almost six months ago, Abhivyakti, a city-based group working for women’s rights had conducted a survey of the areas under Ghole Road Regional Office. The survey aimed to identify the number of public toilets for women in the area and the facilities available.

The survey covering areas from Nal Stop to Natawadi and including places like Patil Estate, Shivajinagar, Ghole Road, Kamla Nehru Park, Khilarewadi, FC Road, JM Road, Deccan and others, revealed some startling facts.

Altogether, there are 113 toilets for women, out of which signboards for only 16 are put up. Only 27 toilets have water; 12 have dustbins and 45 have electricity. None of the toilets were found to have hanger facilities.

The findings of the sample survey motivated Abhivyakti to launch a campaign—Right to Pee—that demands more public toilets for women in the city and thereby the right to dignity.

Big slab falls off in Pune’s housing society; builder booked

31/05/PUNE: A huge concrete slab collapsed from the ninth floor of a building in the plush Kumar Kruti housing society in Kalyani Nagar on Sunday evening, damaging four vehicles.

Although no casualties were reported, the incident led to panic among the residents.
The housing society authorities have registered a complaint at the Yerwada police station against Kumar builder and others, who have been booked under section 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Infosys partners with MTDC to open a Tourism Pavilion in Pune


PUNE: The Pavilion was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendraji Fadnavis along with officials from Maharashtra Tourism Department and Infosys.

Infosys announced the inauguration of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation’s (MTDC) Tourism Pavilion at its Pune Development Center (DC). The company has partnered with MTDC with the objective of promoting tourism and cultural understanding of Maharashtra amongst its employees in Pune. The Pavilion was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra,
Devendraji Fadnavis along with officials from Maharashtra Tourism Department and Infosys.

The sprawling pavilion is built over a space of 1, 200 sq. ft in the Hinjewadi campus in Pune. It will serve as a one-stop shop to promote tourism in Maharashtra for the 36,000+ employees of the DC along with clients and other visitors of the campus.

The eye-catching pavilion will house stunning images of various travel destinations in the state including beaches, caves, wildlife sanctuaries among others. This first of a kind partnership between a private and a public organization will enable the visitors to learn about the state's wealth of culture, heritage, history, art and music, and also plan their next holiday by exploring the deals that MTDC has on offer. It will also serve as a stimulating platform to engage the employees of the company and clients alike.

NGT to hold hearing on extending diesel car ban to 11 more cities: Report

Ban include Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad


New Delhi :  In another blow to carmakers, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) is set to consider imposing a ban on the sale of large diesel-powered vehicles in 11 more cities on Monday. 

According to the report, auto makers say that such a move "will be unscientific and uncalled for". A reputed financial daily cited an unnamed source saying that the 11 cities likely to see such a ban include Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad. 

The report added that according to the industry, such a wide spread ban on large diesel cars would make investments made by several manufacturers "useless" and lead to loss of employment. 
Earlier this month, the NGT had ordered the Kerala government to stop registering diesel vehicles with engine capacity of 2,000cc and above, except public transport and local authority vehicles. 

The Kochi Circuit Bench of the NGT also barred all 10-year-old diesel vehicles – light and heavy – from plying on the roads of six cities. TheKerala High Court stayed the NGT order on new vehicles, but did not interfere with that covering old ones.
According to a statement issued by industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) in May this year, the ban on diesel-powered vehicles in Delhi-NCR has impacted about 5,000 jobs in the automobile sector and resulted in production loss of around 11,000 units. 
SIAM's statement had added, "if extended across the country, it (the ban) would lead to a loss of production of one lakh vehicles over the same period (since December 2015) and would have impacted 47,000 jobs."

According to the  report, the NGT, on May 24, had said: "The directions passed in regard to NCT (National Capital Territory) would safely be applied to all these cities." However, the green tribunal, according to the report, did concede that there were three major sources of pollution — burning of waste and other materials, dust emission and vehicular pollution.

The report added that before taking a decision the green tribunal wanted the "Central Pollution Control Board to place 'complete and comprehensive' data before it on population density, car density, pollution area and pollution level of major cities across the country".

An earlier report by the pollution control board in response to an NGT order identified key cities where the ambient air quality didn't meet prescribed standards, the report said. Citing a source, the report added that the list had 15 cities — Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Patna, Lucknow, Allahabad, Kanpur, Varanasi, Pune, Chennai, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar. 
Speaking to the financial daily, the source said: "Of these, air pollution data for 11 cities will be considered in the hearing." 

Carmakers will be awaiting the result of the hearing with fingers crossed.  Speaking on the matter, Vishnu Mathur, director general of SIAM, told that "extending the ban countrywide would basically stop production of all large diesel vehicles". 

Mathur added, "The polluter-pay principle applies in event of violations. Vehicle manufacturers and oil refineries have been investing to upgrade to higher emission norms and address pollution concerns. Banning vehicles that meet laid down norms is against the fundamental right of companies doing business in the country." 

Carmakers had been alarmed when, in December last year, the NGT had issued an interim orderthat new diesel-run vehicles would not be registered in Delhi and that there would be no renewal of registration of such vehicles which are more than 10-year-old.

That same month, the Supreme Court banned the registration of diesel vehicles with an engine capacity of 2,000 cc and above in Delhi-NCR till March 31, 2016, overriding the NGT order. 

In March this year, the apex court extended the ban till further orders.  

DRDO Directors Conclave 2016 Begins in Pune


PUNE: The DRDO Directors Conclave 2016, an annual event of DRDO was inaugurated by Secretary Defence R&D and Director General DRDO Dr. S Christopher today at Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Auditorium, Pashan, Pune.

The objective of the two-day conclave, organized by ARDE, Pune, with the theme Productive DRDO is to evolve innovative methods and procedures to synergize between DRDO Head Quarters, DG (Technology Clusters) and various DRDO laboratories across the country. In his inaugural address, Dr S. Christopher expressed the need of innovative mechanisms for better coordination between the Laboratories, DGs and Corporate headquarters to meet the 21st century challenges of Defence R&D for protecting IPR issues of DRDO. 

He also emphasized the paradigm shift for inclusive User-friendly & collaborative Defence R&D with Industry & Academia to ensure a Productive DRDO. Earlier, Shri PK Mehta, DG (ACE) welcomed the delegates, followed by the theme address by Dr S Guruprasad, CC R&D (PC & SI). It is being attended by over 110 top Officials of DRDO including Directors General of various Technology Clusters, Chief Controllers (R&D), Directors of DRDO Laboratories, Corporate Directors of DRDO headquarters and IFAs.

The event will include deliberations on various issues of DRDO through six technical sessions each followed by a panel discussion. Few prominent topics includes - Simplification of Corporate Procedures, Leveraging Industry, DPP-2016 opportunities for DRDO, Cyber Security and DRDO Knowledge Management. The conclave is scheduled to be concluded on May 30, 2016 with the award ceremony to young scientists.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Pune’s Shubhi Agro Dairy defaults on secured non-convertible debentures

MUMBAI: Pune-based Shubhi Agro Dairy has defaulted on non-convertible debentures (NCD) worth Rs 50 crore it issued in March 2014, according to its investors, joining the fast-growing list of defaulting entities in the country.

Several investors that ET spoke to said the dairy firm has not paid interest since December 2014 and has also defaulted on a part payment of the principal amount.

Shubhi Agro's fully secure NCD were issued through Karvy Capital, with IL&FS "I had invested most of my retirement savings into this issue because the representatives of the debenture issuer (Karvy) told us that it was fully secure," said SD Siva, a 69-year-old retired advertising professional in Chennai, who has investedRs 50 lakh in the NCD. "But even after six months of default, no one is in a position to say when monies will be repaid to the debenture holders," he said.

An IL&FS official acknowledged the default and said it will proceed with a legal action.

An email sent to Shubhi Agro Dairy's official id bounced. Karvy confirmed that Shubhi Agro has delayed interest payment to investors. "The company is evidently in some stress due to global milk and milk-product prices," it said in an email response. "The trustees and Karvy as debenture holder representative are constantly in touch with the borrower company. We are helping the company in all possible ways to tide over the situation. We are confident that the company will clear all arrears soon,"  
 On Sunday, Karvy in an email communication to investors shared IL&FS' various legal options against the company. They included filing criminal proceedings for cheque bounce, winding up petition and invoking the security where the trustees will get custody of promoters' share.

Shubhi Agro Dairy, also known as Vaishno Devi Dairy Products Pvt Ltd, is promoted by Nandkishore Attal who was once profiled as a 'Young Turk' by a business news channel. The company had raised the money through NCDs for capex expansion and brand promotion, according to its prospectus. 
Army man posted in Pune Air Force Station shoots himself, dies

Pune : A Junior Commissioned Officer of Subedar rank from the Army, currently posted at the Fleet Post Office inside the Air Force Station in Pune died after he reportedly shot himself. The incident came to light around Tuesday noon.

As per the primary information from the Air Force sources, the Army man identified as Subedar BM Singh was found dead near the post office inside the Air Force Station located in Lohegaon area in Pune.

Senior inspector Sanjay Kurundkar, of the Vimantal Police station, who visited the spot after the incident said, “At this stage our observations suggest that he shot himself. It is a case of suspected suicide. But we will only be able confirm the details after a thorough primary probe.”

AC superfast train for Pune flagged off

New Delhi : Catering to the growing demand from passengers,railways today launched a new AC superfast weekly service for Pune from Nizamuddin station. 

There was a heavy demand for this train as all the tickets for this inaugural run is already booked, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said after flagging off the train from Mumbaithrough video conferencing facility.

According to the regular schedule, the Nizamuddin - Pune weekly AC superfast express train will depart from Nizamuddin from May 31 on every Tuesday at 9.35 PM to reach at Pune at 9.25 PM the next day. In the return direction, the Pune - Nizamuddin weekly AC Superfast Express train will depart from Pune from June 2 on every Thursday at 5.15 AM to reach at Nizamuddin station at 5.35 AM the next day. 

Prabhu said new coaches will be added in the existing trains to accommodate more passengers.  Currently there are seven pairs of trains including Duronto service are running between Nizamuddin and Pune. Comprising of one AC-1, five AC-2 and eight AC-3 coaches, the new Nizamuddin - Pune - Nizamuddin weekly AC Superfast Express train will stop at Kota, Ratlam, Baroda, Surat, Vapi, Vasai Road, Kalyan and Lonawala stations enroute in both the directions.
Air India connects Bhopal with Pune, Raipur

Mumbai : National carrier Air India  took another step to boost regional connectivity by commencing operations to Pune via Raipur from Bhopal, thrice a week.

The inaugural flight, a 70-seater ATR-72 (AI 9865) took off from the Raja Bhoj airport in Bhopal for Raipur with almost full capacity, the airline said in a statement, adding this is the only direct air link on this route.

The flight will operate three days a week-on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Flight AI 9865 will leave Bhopal at 0845 hrs and land at Raipur at 1015 hrs, will depart from Raipur at 1045 hrs and arrive in to Pune at 1300 hrs.

The return flight AI 9866 will leave Pune at 1330 hrs and reach Raipur at 1545 hrs, depart Raipur at 1615 hrs and will touch down at Bhopal at 1745 hrs.