Sunday, July 30, 2017

‘IS’ influenced Pune teen held in Delhi


PUNE: A teenage girl from Pune, who was allegedly radicalised by online operatives of the Islamic State (IS) and then “de-radicalised” through counselling two years ago, has once again been influenced by the terror propaganda of IS operatives on social media, according to the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS).

The girl had been provided counselling by the ATS in December 2015 after it was revealed that “she had decided to go to Syria” to join the IS. The girl, now 17, was nabbed in Delhi by investigative agencies a couple of days ago. After questioning her, the investigators handed the girl back to her family, but cautioned them that she had been highly ‘radicalised’ and needed counselling by experienced Islamic scholars for ‘de-radicalisation’.

Investigators suspect that the girl travelled to Delhi from Pune without informing her family, and she was planning to meet some persons in Jammu and Kashmir. The probe agencies are now trying to ascertain who the teenager was in touch with on social networking sites and whether any online terror handlers were trying to indoctrinate her, to make her leave India and join the IS.

The agencies are also keeping a watch on the movement of the girl. In 2015, the girl, a resident of Kondhwa, was found to be connected on Facebook with Mohammed Sirajuddin, who had been arrested from Jaipur for his alleged links with the IS, said ATS officials. But she had not made any attempts to contact Sirajuddin directly, they said.

According to sources, the teenager, a bright student from a Pune-based college, used to watch news pertaining to IS and had joined the FB group out of curiosity. That’s how she came in contact with a Sri Lankan national suspected to be an IS operative, said sources. The girl allegedly later came in contact with more Indians and foreigners, who were online terror operatives, on social media. She allegedly started communicating with them through FB, Twitter, WhatsApp and e-mail.

According to the ATS, the online operatives brainwashed her and she started believing in IS propaganda about establishing a Caliphate. She was even prepared to go to Syria to join the IS, said ATS officials The operatives had assured her that she would be given admission to a medical course in Syria, and she was told to be “ready to do anything for IS” in India, said the ATS.

The teenager was ‘radicalised’ to such an extent that she changed her lifestyle, and her fanatical behaviour left her family members worried, said officials. It was then that ATS officials had stepped in to “de-radicalise” her with the help of Islamic scholars, said sources in the squad.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Govt eyes indigenous supercomputers under 3-phase project


PUNE: As part of the Modi government's 'Make in India' initiative, supercomputers will be manufactured in India under a three-phase programme, officials said. In the initial two phases of the National Supercomputers Mission, the focus will be on designing and manufacturing subsystems such as high-speed Internet switches and compute nodes indigenously. The Rs 4,500-crore project was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in March last year. 

A Request for Proposal (RPF) for the project is in its final stages and is being executed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Pune, a research and development institution under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The NSM envisages nearly 50 supercomputers in three phases. The government has plans to make these high-precision computing machines available for scientific researches across the country. Milind Kulkarni, a senior scientist with the Ministry of Science and Technology who is over-looking the project, said the plan is to "have six supercomputers in the first phase". 

In the first phase, three supercomputers will be imported. System assemblies for the remaining three will be manufactured abroad, but assembled in India. C-DAC will responsible for the overall system design. Two supercomputers will have a peak operational capacity of two petaflops and the rest will be of 500 teraflops. Floating point operations per second (FLOPS) is the standard unit to measure computational power. 

A petaflop can be expressed as a thousand trillion floating point operations per second. A teraflop is equal to one million million floating-point operations per second. The six supercomputers will be placed at four IITs - Banaras Hindu University, Kanpur, Kharagpur and Hyderabad - Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune, and Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. 

"The goal is to have them by the end of this year," Ashutosh Sharma, secretary in the Ministry of Science and Technology said. In the second phase, major parts like high-speed Internet switches, compute nodes and network systems will be manufactured in India.  Kulkarni said that almost the entire system will be built in India in the third phase. 

India started its own supercomputing mission in 1988 under which the first series of Param supercomputers were manufactured. The mission lasted 10 years and since 2000, there has been no major push for the project. Currently, countries such as the US, Japan, China and the European Union (EU) make up a major share of the top supercomputing machines in the world. The NSM will enable India to leapfrog to the league of world-class computing power nations. 

There are nearly 25 supercomputers in India in different institutes. These are used for varied purposes, including to deduce complex phenomena like weather, climate change, nuclear reactions etc.

FTII will conduct short-term skill courses


PUNE: The Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) has received approval to conduct skill-oriented short-term courses under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), an official release said. 

The approval from the National Skill Development Council (NSDC), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), will enable the FTII to conduct 11 film and television related skill development courses, it said. 

According to the release, the FTII, to begin with, will conduct these courses in Pune, Guwahati, Jaipur and Visakhapatnam. Gradually, the courses will be conducted at more locations.  "This is a major boost to the FTII's plans to take short courses to smaller towns and cities. The funding under PMKVY will further help lower course fees," said FTII Pune's Director Bhupendra Kainthola. 

PMKVY, the flagship scheme of MSDE, aims to enable a large number of youths to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood. The FTII functions as an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Modi becomes CMDA president


PUNE: The new office bearers of Computer & Media Dealers Association (CMDA) were announced at its 25th AGM held recently.

Narendra Modi was elected as the 26th President of CMDA Pune while Satyan Shah was elected as Secretary. The managing committee includes Vice President Vivek Ashturkar, Treasurer  Vishwanath Hunachagi, Jt. Secretary Rahul Hajare, Jt. Treasurer Deepak Golande, Committee Members Mangesh Bhalerao, Mujaffar Inamdar, Chintamani Kuber,Nitin Kulkarni, Rajesh Parmar, Vishal Kale and Narendra Khandelwal.

The advisory committee includes Yogesh Godbole , Narendra Bheda and Sanjeev Pathare. CMDA organizes 10-12 projects every year including "CMDA IT EXPO" which is an Exclusive Mega IT Show, Signature Event of CMDA.CMDA IT EXPO will be celebrating the 20th year & will be organized in December 2017 or January 2018. This year our major focus of CMDA will be on e-waste collection.

Data give competitive advantage to companies: Experts


PUNE: While telecom industry is going through tough times, Big Data will have a big impact and will give competitive advantage to companies according to experts. MIT School of Telecom Management (MITSOT) as a part of its World Telecommunication Day program had organised a special Conference focusing on “Big Data for Big Impact” at MIT- WPU premises at Kothrud, Pune,

The annual MITSOT Telecom Awards were also given away on the occasion to leading organizations who have performed exceedingly well in their respective sectors like Telecom, ICT etc.

A panel discussion on “Big Data for Big Impact” was held on the occasion. Vinay Gupta, Head - Data Analytics & Business Excellence, Suzlon Group moderated the session while experts including Bhupesh Gahrotra, Vice President – Technology, Accenture Solutions, Kishor Himane, Director - Global Services, PTC India, Sanjay Patwardhan, Head – BI and Data Analytics COE, Cybage Software and Prasad Deore, Regional Head, NASSCOM participated in the discussion.

Mohan Sathe said that while telecom industry was witnessing turbulent times, this challenge should be taken as an opportunity. All the big enterprises today require big data to get more clarity on their operations and therefore students of Telecom should also look at other enterprises for career opportunities other than just Telecom companies.

Dr Sunil Patil said that change in the business dynamics is driving the overall change. Dynamics have shifted to demand side and telecom companies need to be consumer centric. Revenue generation today has to come from data as voice is free. Prashant Pansare said that Telecom today is labelled as Data Centric Business. There is a lot of raw data available but it needs to be analyzed in the right manner for it to give the competitive advantage.

Mohan Sathe, VP – Operations, Global Sourcing Group, Dr. Sunil Patil, MD, Indus Valley Technologies, Prashant Pansare, MD, Inteliment Technologies and Dr Milind Pande, Project Director, MITSOT were present at the Inaugural session.

Rana, Naik won Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare 2017


PUNE: The 9th edition of Maruti Suzuki’s annual southern motorsports rally, Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare concluded in a grand finale in Pune on Saturday with Team Maruti Suzuki’s Suresh Rana and Ashwin Naik winning the Ultimate Cars category and T Nataraj in Ultimate Bikes.

Bringing in more challenges and a new route, the 9th edition of the rally witnessed participants traversing through the undulating terrains of Chitradurga and Belgaum in South India before finally entering West for the first time through Kolhapur and hitting the finish line in Pune. The six-day event which was flagged off from Bengaluru last Sunday, saw over 180 participants competing with each other to win the coveted title covering about 2000 kms.

Commenting on the success, Tarun Garg, Executive Vice President – Marketing, MarutiSuzuki India Ltd. said, “Over the last 9 years, Dakshin Dare has grown tremendously and been able to gain a strong foothold in the motorsports community in South India. The increasing number of participation from across the country along with the longest rally route are testimonial to the claims. The large participationis indicative of our reach and influencing a larger audience through varied locations added to the rally each year.”

The top honours were grabbed by Team Maruti Suzuki’s Suresh Rana and Ashwin Naik in their Grand Vitarafollowed by Samrat Yadav & S N Nizamiand Sandeep Sharma and Karan Arya in the second and third spot respectively.

Speaking on their win, Rana said, “This is our second consecutive win at Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare. With a new route this year, it was important to always keep your mind synced with the vehicle.  The competition was tough with newer participants entering Dakshin Dare.”

In the Ultimate bikes category, T Natarajkept the lead with Abdul Wahid and Sanjay Kumar coming second and third respectively. In the Endurance category, Swift driven by Subir Roy & Nirav Mehta led the category followed by S-Cross driven by Karthick Maruthi&Sankar S Anand and Raghu Nandan & Prakash M by making it to the finishing line.
Final results:

Ultimate Cars:
1.    Suresh Rana & Ashwin Naik - 10:11:26
3.    Sandeep Sharma & Karan Arya - 10:24:17

Ultimate Bikes:
1.    T Nataraj- 06:12:38
2.    Abdul Wahid -06:15:37
3.    Sanjay Kumar -06:26:53

Endurance Cars (TSD):
2.    KarthickMaruthi&Sankar S Anand – 00:12:45

3.    RaghuNandan&Prakash M – 00:12:49

Friday, July 21, 2017

Sahyadri launches Xpress Joints Clinic in Pune


PUNE: Sahyadri Speciality Hospital launched Xpress Joints Clinic, an all-inclusive premium health centre that is all set to offer customized and focused patient care required during pre and post-joint replacement surgery. 

The clinic is conceived with the aim to provide latest surgical technologies, safe and quicker recovery with expert medical support, exclusive convenience features and post-surgical rehabilitative services in the comfort of the patients’ home. With the Xpress Joints Clinic, Sahyadri Hospital will provide hassle free hospitalization with a host of benefits like a dedicated hospital relationship manager for all your needs, right from admission till discharge, home lab sample collection for pre-operative investigations, home pick-up and drop services, exclusive gourmet food amongst others.

Dr. Ketan Apte, Unit Head, Sahyadri Hospitals said, “In today’s fast paced lives, patients expect good quality of medical treatment, at the same time quicker services, so that they can recover faster and get an early discharge. Also, Pune has a large senior citizen population with children staying abroad or separately. In such a scenario, arranging hospital visits as well as post-surgery rehabilitation at home becomes very difficult. Keeping this mind, we have introduced the Xpress Joints Clinic to provide a comprehensive service that would cover every aspect associated with joint replacement surgery and make it a comfortable journey for the patient. With its set of experienced Joint Replacement Surgeons, physiotherapists, and nurses; the clinic will cater to all concerns of patients suffering from joints related disorder.”

Dr. Sushrut Badve, Joint Replacement Surgeon, Sahyadri Hospitals said,“The Xpress Joint Clinic is well equipped and staffed with adept doctors and experts that will help the patient navigate through the entire process of a joint replacement surgery. The clinic will make these experts available to the patients at their convenience which isn’t confined to the four walls of the hospital.”

Dr. Nikhil Likhate, Joint Replacement Surgeon, Sahyadri Hospitals, remarked that the Xpress Joints Clinic is designed with patient centric focus and aims to provide latest advanced surgical techniques with a thrust on faster recovery through a hospital-backed strong rehabilitative support at home.

Dr. Abhijeet Agashe, Joint Replacement Surgeon, Sahyadri Hospitals said, ”Advances in surgical techniques like use of patient specific custom designed instruments (PSI), Computer Navigation, dedicated Joint Replacement OT & experienced team Joint Replacement Surgeons, Physiotherapists and Pain Management team have made it possible to enable quicker & safe recovery.” 

Dr. Abhay Kulkarni, Joint Replacement Surgeon, Sahyadri Hospitals, said that the concept of Xpress Joints is not limited to total knee or hip replacement but would also be extended to arthroscopic surgeries, shoulder & elbow replacements.

Anaesthetist& Pain Management expert Dr. VikasKarne pointed that with newer modalities and drugs, anaesthesia plan is focused on enhancing patient safety during and after surgery, ensuring better pain relief after the surgery.

The Xpress Joint Clinic will be charting out personalized plans for the patients that would entail everything from pre-surgery preparations & checkups, a hassle-free surgery and recovery & rehabilitation support post-surgery. The clinic will offer early recovery, hence shorter hospital stay and dedicated home-care services like physiotherapy, doctor visits, nursing, etc. post-discharge, follow-up consultation with joint replacement surgeon and complimentary rehabilitative aids.

International incubator Nexus graduates group of start-ups


PUNE: The Nexus Incubator, a collaboration between the University of Texas and the U.S. State Department graduated its first group of 10 startups on Friday, informed US Consulate General, Mumbai office by a press release. 

The Startups were chosen from over 113 applications from all over India, underwent an intense 10 week training program that featured workshops led by expert speakers and industry leaders from India and the United States.

These startups represent a broad variety of industry sectors and have the potential to make a great contribution to an already thriving Indian entrepreneur climate. “Nexus is really about demonstrating best practices in incubating startups and guiding entrepreneurs towards ultimate success in the business world” said Nexus director Erik Azulay, who moved to Delhi from Austin, Texas to set up and run the center. 

“We have brought the strongest players in the Indian ecosystem together to support startups on their road to commercialization - companies that we hope will contribute to economic prosperity in India and the United States.  The Indian Angels Network, TiE, FICCI, Indian School of Business, The Department of Science and Technology, USAID and the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) are all coming together to show that a unified ecosystem is stronger and more productive for promoting entrepreneurial success.” he continued.

Several startups in the first group of startups have already been funded, including BigDeals, which is the first company to provide escrow services in the real estate market, and Dhakka Brakes, which invented a new regenerative brake system for rickshaw drivers.

“Nexus really helped us focus on our target customers and rethink our value proposition” says Big Deals CEO Ashwin Chawwla.  “We revamped our pitch deck and got a great response from investors.”

The idea of an innovation hub and incubator originated with Craig Dicker, the Cultural Attache at the U.S. Embassy New Delhi.  “America is known for its best practices in innovation and entrepreneurship and what better place to share that expertise than in India, which is in the midst of an explosion of entrepreneurial growth. Although India ranks 3rd in the world in number of startups, the innovation ecosystem in many cities, Delhi included, is very fragmented. Nexus is our way of bringing the various stakeholders together to work in a concerted way.”

With the success that its graduate companies have already had, Nexus and its partners are well on their way to achieving their goal of promoting a successful entrepreneurial partnership between the U.S. and India that will bring economic growth to both nations.

Himalaya BabyCare launches Total Care baby pants


PUNE: The Himalaya Drug Company, a leading homegrown wellness brand, launched a new product under their BabyCare range - Himalaya Total Care baby pants. It contains Aloe Vera and Yashada Bhasma that offers a protective anti-rash shield to reduce the activity of harmful enzymes and prevent diaper rash.

Himalaya Total Care baby pants is a one-step diaper solution, specially designed for comfort, protection and total care of baby’s skin. Speaking at the launch, N.V Chakravarthi, General Manager Himalaya BabyCare said “The Indian diaper market is growing at a rate of 20% CAGR over the past few years. Pant style diapers are becoming popular as a large segment of Indian parents are looking for convenient diaper solutions. While we already have launched regular diapers, Total Care baby pants offer different comfort options that cater to the necessities of baby.

Baby pants are also infused with power of herbs and come with anti-rash shield to prevent diaper rash, wetness indicator to show when the diaper is wet, and leak-proof silky soft inner layer. We have introduced pack size of 2 diapers which will be handy for parents on the go. Initially, we will be targeting all the key metros,” added Chakravarthi.

Bajaj Auto to form an alliance soon


PUNE: Bajaj Auto is close to forming an alliance but the name of the other party would be announced once the formalities were completed, Chief Financial Officer Kevin D'sa told analysts in Mumbai at a post-earnings call on Friday.

The comment, initially made at Bajaj Auto's annual meeting late on Thursday, sparked speculation in local media that the Indian motorbike manufacturer may be close to a partnership or deal with iconic European motorcycle brand Ducati, which is being sold by Germany's Volkswagen.

Media Thursday reported that beside Italy's Benetton family and US buyout fund Bain Capital, Indian firms Eicher Motors and Bajaj Auto have also bid for Ducati.

When asked on the earnings call whether reports on an alliance were true, D'sa said, "Whatever media statement has come out is factually correct. There is an alliance around the corner. There is a statement we had made in the AGM that the two partners have by and large agreed on everything else."

"The lawyers are drafting the agreement. Hopefully there will be a signature on that," he said, adding "What we're not reporting and commenting on is the name of the other party."
When asked about the product segment that the alliance would be in, D'sa said it would be in motorcycles.

People watch dying accident victim, clicks photos

PUNE: A 25-year-old software engineer, who was bleeding severely after being knocked down by a hit-and-run accident, died because he did not get timely help from passersby at Indrayaninagar corner in Bhosari on Wednesday evening. Shockingly, the onlookers chose to shoot videos and click photos of the accident rather than take the engineer, Satish Prabhakar Mete, to hospital.

Kartikraj Kate, a dentist from Bhosari who stopped to help Mete, took him to Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital in Pimpri where he was declared dead by the doctors. Mete is from Aurangabad and was living in Moshi and working in Bhosari.  Kate told that he was on his way to his clinic in Bhosari around 6.30pm on Wednesday when he noticed a crowd at Indrayaninagar corner. "When I slowed down, I saw a badly injured man lying on the road. He was soaked in blood but was conscious," he said.

Kate said the man was bleeding profusely and his face was covered with a cloth. "He was moving his hands and legs. People had gathered around him. Some clicked photographs of the accident scene, while some one shot a video too. But none of them was ready to help him," he said. Kate then flagged down an autorickshaw. "There were passengers in it, but the driver was helpful. He told them to disembark and put the accident victim in his vehicle," he said.

Mete had sustained severe head injuries and was bleeding from the nose and ears. Kate noticed tyre marks on his stomach. On the way to hospital, Kate tried to save the man's life by giving him cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Kate said, "However, after some time, he stopped responding. The doctors took an electrocardiogram at the hospital and declared him brought dead. His life could have been saved had the onlookers around taken him to the hospital immediately."

Senior inspector Bhimrao Shingade of the Bhosari MIDC police station told that Mete was involved in a hit-and-run accident. He has appealed to people to contact the police station on 020-27130003 if they have noted down the registration number of the vehicle or if they have any information about it.

Honda launches 110cc CLIQ


PUNE: Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. (HMSI) launched CLIQ, it’s all new 110cc scooter specially developed to give maximum utility with an additional value of comfort and convenience.

The new CLIQ marks Honda 2-Wheelers India’s next big step to take scooterization in Maharashtra, which is India’s biggest scooter market, beyond the urban demand centers.

Elaborating on Honda 2Wheelers India, the market leader in Maharashtra (India’s biggest scooter market) is now taking scooterization beyond the metros Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Senior Vice President - Sales and Marketing, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, “In Maharashtra, over 40% contribution to two-wheeler sales comes from scooters. As an early adopter of scooterization, there is an increased demand. Varied customer needs emerging in the state and scooter segment is now ripe for sub segmentation. Honda continues to lead the scooterization of the nation and our new launch CLIQ is Honda’s next step to take scooterization deeper into the hinterlands.

CLIQ is developed for the up-country customers with a progressive mindset, and is a true disruptor in 100-110cc segment. CLIQ challenges the traditional preferences with its perfect blend of Practicality, Versatility and Value for money. Honda with its unparalleled economies of scale in scooters has broken the price gap between automatic transmission and mass motorcycles. We are confident that CLIQ will be the next revolution in daily commute,” he said.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

CEAT introduces new LCV radial


PUNE: Pune, 20 July 2017: Considering the growing trend of radial tyre usage in LCVs, CEAT Limited, a leading tyre manufacturer has launched new sizes under its LCV radial tyres’ platform – ‘Milaze’. These tyres will be suitable for goods and passenger carriers, and will be introduced in major markets across the country.

The new sizes are - 7.00 R16 | 7.50 R16 | 8.25 R16 | 235/75 R17.5. 7.00 R16 Milaze AW is designed with shoulders having deep grooves that lead to reduced heat build-up. Its wider tread gives excellent traction. 7.50 R16 and 8.25 R16 Milaze tyres have special tread design and compound, leading to reduced heat build-up.  The stress relaxation sipes in shoulder ribs offer low rolling resistance, resulting in better fuel efficiency. 235/75 R17.5 Milaze tyres have four longitudinal grooves, leading to excellent water drainage. Its continuous shoulder rib offers excellent cornering stability.

On the successful launch, Mr. Nitish Bajaj, Vice President Marketing, CEAT Tyres Limited, commented, “Radial tyres provide necessary advantages of better vehicle control, longer life and lower fuel consumption. It has always been our constant endeavor to manufacture tyres with great benefits to our customers. And, we are very positive that the new introductions under Milaze platform will garner huge demand across markets.”

Asian Scientist Writing Merit Award to Harshini Tekur


PUNE: Harshini Tekur, PhD student in Physics at IISER Pune, has been selected for a Merit Prize at the Asian Scientist Writing Prize 2017 competition. Open to all across Asia, this science writing competition invites non-fiction articles of ~1500 words covering any scientific discipline. The 2017 competition received 227 entries of which a total of 26 winners were announced.

The Merit Prize category in which Ms. Tekur has been selected comes with a $500 World Scientific Publishing book voucher. Tekur's article titled "That Sync-ing Feeling" was on the concept of synchronization, its occurrence in the natural world and the interest the phenomenon has generated amidst the scientific community cutting across disciplines.

‘Police Kaka’ scheme for students


PUNE: Police commissioner Rashmi Shukla, who received requests from school children to initiate a BuddyCop system for them, has decided to launch a separate scheme called 'Police Kaka' (Police Uncle) for school and college students.

She posted a video on a social networking site and talked about the initiative in details. "The BuddyCop system has received tremendous response from the women and even school children are aware about it," she said.

Shukla told that recently a group of children had approached her about the BuddyCop system. "We worked out a separate plan for the children and came up with Police Kaka scheme," she said.

A police head constable will be assigned to three to four schools or colleges. "He or she will visit these educational premises every week and his or her phone number along with the name will be displayed on educational campuses," she said.

'Police Kaka' will interact with the students who can share their complaints like ragging, bullying, eve-teasing and others, she added.

No more Chennai Open, its now Maharashtra Open


PUNE: India's only ATP World Tour event will now be known as Maharashtra Open with owners of 
the event IMG (Reliance) shifting the tournament to Pune by signing a five-year deal with the MSLTA. Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA) confirmed that IMG (R) have cancelled the contract which was extended till 2019 early this year.

TNTA CEO Hiten Joshi explained that the sponsorship for the tournament indeed became an issue leading up to the cancellation of the ATP 250 event in Chennai.  TNTA informed IMG(R) after this year's edition in January that Aircel will no longer be the title sponsors for the Chennai Open as they will be merging their telecom operations with Anil Ambani's Reliance Company.

IMG (R) is a joint venture between IMG, which owns the ATP sanction for the Chennai Open, and Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Group.  "TNTA had told IMGR that they should find a title sponsor for Chennai Open in 2018 & TNTA would raise the balance funds with the help of the Tamil Nadu Government & other local sponsors and would live up to its obligations under the contract to conduct Chennai Open until 2019.

"TNTA has just received an e-mail from IMGR cancelling the contract to conduct the ATP event in 2018 & 19. TNTA will consult its legal counsel and take appropriate action," Joshi said in a release. However, TNTA said it has sent "best wishes for the conduct of the ATP event in Pune".

The season-opening Maharashtra Open will be a USD 550,000 event, which is USD 44,270 more than the Chennai Open.  The hot conditions in Chennai are similar to Melbourne and high altitude Pune will be slightly on colder side.  Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) Secretary General Sunder Iyer though said it won't be a big factor which players will consider while choosing the event.

"Humidity will be less than Chennai in Pune in January but the surface of our courts will be similar to Australian Open. We will prepare it accordingly," Iyer told. Asked that Pune does not have a direct flight to and from Melbourne and top players may prefer direct flights, Iyer said it will also not be a big factor.  "Mumbai is just two hours drive from here and there are many flights from Europe, Dubai to Pune. Those who want to come and play here, will come," he said.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said,"We welcome the world class ATP tournament to our state. We are happy to host the Maharashtra Open and sure that we will take it to newer heights by bringing in an elite field every year."

IMG thanked Tamil Nadu government and TNTA for making the Chennai Open a "grand success."  "We look forward to similar love from tennis fans in not just in Pune and Maharashtra but in every part of the country. We have created a tennis legacy and have also provided our young players the opportunity to not only play against the best but to also pick up crucial points in world ranking system," an IMG Spokesperson said.

Tournament director Prashant Sutar said, "We have the best tennis infrastructure in the country. We will strive our best to make the world's best players and our own, feel at home.

Infosys at forefront for IoT Services


PUNE: Infosys has been identified as a Leader in Internet of Things (IoT) services in the overall market segment in NelsonHall’s Vendor Evaluation & Assessment Tool (NEAT) report. Infosys was recognized for its ability to meet future client requirements as well as delivering immediate benefits to IoT services clients.

NEAT evaluated 23 vendors across the two parameters of ‘ability to deliver immediate benefits’ and ‘ability to meet future client requirements’. According to the report, with Infosys’ IoT portfolio at the intersection of three core capabilities – IT services, engineering services and analytics, the company helps global clients in their IoT journeys with a wide range of services including consulting, embedded systems, hardware design, prototyping, system integration and managed services.

The report highlights some of the key strengths of Infosys as: 1) Scale, in terms of headcount and revenues, which will enable Infosys to invest in developing its service portfolio and in creating IP and accelerators 2) Executive-led sponsorship to support Infosys in developing new offerings including IoT 3) Broad and deep IoT service portfolio, including its Industry 4.0 Maturity Index, engineering services and analytics use cases.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Giripremi scale peak of humanity; to educate Sherpas children

PUNE: Fighting with all odds of nature, shivering cold, high altitudes, changing climate, Sherpas of Himalaya becomes fighter all the time. They save lives of mountaineers and become back-bone of every Himalayan Expedition. But when they have to lose their lives in extreme avalanches, mountaineering accidents, Sherpas could not assure their children better future, better life opportunities. Considering this, Giripremi-Guardian Institute of Mountaineering of Pune come to their rescue and started to adopt deceased Sherpa’s children for their education.

Elaborating this project Umesh Zirpe, Director of Guardian-Giripremi Institute of Mountaineering, said, “As a mountaineer, we knew the significance of Sherpas in Himalayan Expeditions. They help us in every aspect. We don’t treat them as a porter but we respect them for their honesty, for their company till we achieve our goal. In reality, Sherpas are the real heros.”

Adding further, Zirpe said, “We have also witnessed the perils of their children when Sherpas are not there in this world to take care of their children. Over 500 years of living in high-altitude areas, Sherpas have accumulated a special natural ability to climb high altitudes and sense the weather. Especially in the Himalayas, they are irreplaceable. Without them we cant undertake a single expedition. Now, Its our duty to take care of their children after them.”

Under this initiative, Guardian-Giripremi Mountaineering Institute in cooperation with Assem Foundation of Pune, adopt children of Sherpas who have deceased during mountaineering expeditions and provide them education, accommodation. Going beyond the boundaries of nations, we will adopt children mostly from Nepal.

Giving details, Sachin Gadgil and Sarang Gosavi of Assem Foundation, said, “In 2015, at least 15 Sherpas become victim of nature’s wrath i.e. avalanche. We witnessed their problems at that time and decided to support this unique initiative. This year we have adopted two 16-year-old girls from Solu khumbu area of Nepal for this initiative. They have continued their education also. We are going to provide them food, accommodation, educational books and stationery and everything they needed during their education.”

“We will adopt 5 children in 2018 and educate them here in Pune,” said Umesh Zirpe, adding, “As this is the first year of this initiative, we will find local guardians for these children in future and will assure them best education. This initiative would be the real homage to those Sherpas who have devoted their lives for mountaineering expedition,” said Umesh Zirpe.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ganesh Festival haunts by credit issue


PUNE: Alleging state government for changing history of world famous Ganesh Festival of Pune, Shrimant Bhausaheb Rangari Ganpati Trust today claimed that freedom fighter Bhausaheb Rangari alias Bhau Laxman Jawale has initiated Ganesh Festival to boost freedom movement in 1892 and he should get his credit in history.

Alarming to state government, Suraj Renuse, one of the trustees, said that the history written is one-sided. If government will not change history, the Shrimant Bhausaheb Rangari Ganpati Trust will undertake agitations, rallys. We appreciate the credit of the then national leader, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, making people aware about India’s freedom but in case of credit issue of establishment of Ganesh Festival, Bhausaheb Rangari should get a respectable mention about his work in history.

It is widely accepted that leader Lokmanya Tilak had initiated Ganesh Festival, but this new thought may create ruckus in the social world of the state. 

Grasim divests Grasim Bhiwani Textiles Ltd


PUNE: Grasim Industries Limited (Grasim) today entered into a share transfer agreement for the divestment of its 100% holding of Grasim Bhiwani Textiles Limited (GBTL), a wholly owned subsidiary, to near group of Mumbai.

GBTL has been primarily engaged in the business of manufacturing and marketing of Polyester-Viscose Fabric. GBTL constitutes a very small proportion of Grasim’s consolidated financials with a revenue / EBITDA share of less than 1%.

This divestment is the outcome of the business portfolio review exercise from time to time. It is in the direction of consolidation and greater focus on core businesses of the company. Given the size of Grasim’s total operations, GBTL’s divestment will have a negligible impact on the company’s financials.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Infosys strengthens its partnership with Udacity


PUNE: Infosys, a global leader in consulting, technology, outsourcing and next-generation services, has announced that it has fortified its partnership with Udacity, a global online education company, for the second consecutive year.

The joint endeavour, aimed at accelerating the pace of skill adoption in new technologies and industry skills in the new batch of trainees of Infosys, offers a Nanodegree program online in an innovative curriculum. It also enables the learner to develop unique, in-demand skills through project-based and real-world scenarios.


1)     The training program, called Infosys-Udacity FastTrack Program, gives students an opportunity to complete a Nanodegree program online before joining the Infosys training program in Mysore
2)     The best-in- class courses taught by leading experts, coupled with individual mentoring and detailed feedback, have demonstrated a positive impact on maximizing the learning potential of trainees over the last year
3)     The partnership is aimed at preparing the current talent pool to work on more ambitious projects, and accelerate the deployment of these hires on projects.

Talking about the partnership, Dr. Navin Budhiraja, Chief Technology Officer, Infosys Ltd said, “At Infosys, our focus has evolved from learning specific technology skills to learning to learn. We are consistently investing to bring a culture of lifelong learning early, especially for our young engineers. Through our partnership with Udacity, we are now able to complement this learning, and build a strong foundation with specialized skills training, and I look forward to scaling this partnership further.”

Udacity has been at the forefront of providing the latest, most relevant technology skills to prepare the global workforce for the jobs of today and tomorrow. There is great demand within the IT industry in India to upskill workers and lead the world in software development, and we are excited to take our partnership with Infosys into our second year to further train their talent pool,” said Vish Makhijani, Chief Executive Officer of Udacity.

Asian Granito opens Grestek showroom in Pune


PUNE: Asian Granito India Limited (AGIL), one of India’s largest tiles companies has opened exclusive Grestek series showroom in Pune. The showroom, spread over 900 sq ft area, will feature a unique collection of Glazed Vitrified Tiles ‘Grestek’ that bears quality beyond its time and technology.

The company, in association with Adi Chamunda Stones, has opened this showroom at Sr. No. 29, Pisoli Road, Opp. Anjani Amores Building, Pisoli, Pune. The showroom was inaugurated by Pune’s Renowned Architect Ari Hari Agashe.
The AGIL gallery, with entire range of Grestek series, will showcase its Italian grandeur inform of best in class Premium and rich textures and designs of glazed vitrified tiles in latest digital printing technology.

AGL’s Grestek range is fully covered up with many innovative product in terms of size, finish and thickness like Grestek Splendour, Marvel Slimgress, Hardstone and XXL. Grestek Splendor made of Italian marble and mirror like design patterns is sized 800x1600 mm. It is best for those who are looking to floor their places with grandeur and luxurious space.

Grestek Marvel is premium color tiles with expanded choice of wall and floor applications that transforms spaces to beautiful spaces. It is available in various sizes, textures and designs. Available sizes are 600x1200mm, 300x600mm and 600x600 with High Gloss, Matt, Satin & Sucre and Metallic Finish on tiles surface.

Speaking on this occasion, Shaunak  Patel, Associate Director, AGIL said “We are happy to launch this Grestek exclusive showroom in Pune which is one of the fastest growing cities of India. Interior decorators, architects, and home owners now prefer premium tiles as decorative products with availability of wide range of designs and textures. Printing technology too has transformed dramatically as digital printing has opened new avenues for the tiles industry. 

Photo Caption : Grestek exclusive showroom of Asian Granito India Ltd inaugurated by Pune’s Renowned Architect Ari Hari Agashe and Shaunak Patel, Associate Director, AGIL

Techie held for showing porn clips to minor girls


PUNE: In what may seem like a major blow to the Nationalist Congress Party, municipal commissioner Kunal Kumar disqualified the membership of corporator Kishor Dhankawade for submitting bogus caste certificate.

Meanwhile, Dhankawade said that he had approached the court and challenged the decision of caste validity committee. Municipal commissioner working under BJP's pressure disqualified him without waiting for court's decision. 

Dhankawade contested election in Other Backward Caste (OBC) category and submitted the certificate of Kunbi caste. The Bhor Sub Divisional Office said the caste certificate was bogus and not valid. Even caste validity committee rejected it. 

As per the caste validity committee's report state election commission given directives to the municipal commissioner. Kunal Kumar issued the order on Wednesday to disqualify him as a member. There are 47 members of the NCP in the PMC which will now come down to 46 after this decision.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Trupti Desai booked for assaulting act


PUNE: Women rights activist Trupti Desai was on Thursday booked under the Prevension of Atrocities Act for allegedly assaulting a 33-year-old 'former member' of her organisation on June 27 near Balewadi stadium, the police said.

The complainant, Vijay Makasare, a doctor from neighbouring Ahemadnagar district, had alleged that Desai, who heads the 'Bhumata Ranragini Brigade', her husband Prashant and two other persons thrashed him after he fell out with Desai. Other people named in the complaint lodged with the Hinjewadi police station are identified as Satish Desai, Kantilal Gaware and two unidentified persons.

Makasare stated that he was approached by Desai a few months ago and asked him to join her organisation. "I accepted her request and joined the organisation as I wanted to work for the society. However, later I realised that the functioning of the outfit was not transparent and the intentions to run the organisation was malafied, so I decided to part my ways, which irked Desai," Makasare said in his complaint.

Quoting the complaint, a police official said Desai asked Makasare to take her to Mumbai in his car for some "important work" on June 27. "My car was waylaid by Desai's husband Prashant and four others near Balewadi stadium on Pune-Mumbai Highway. Desai snatched my two phones saying they contained a crucial evidence against her," Makasare stated in his complaint.

He alleged Desai, Prashant and others thrashed him and snatched his gold chain worth Rs 15,000 and Rs 27,000 in cash he was carrying with him. Makasare also accused Desai of passing derogatory remarks regarding his caste and threatening him of dire consequences if he dared to raise his voice against her outfit.

"We have registered a case against Desai, her husband and four others under section 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 394 (robbery), 341 (wrongful restraint), 506 (criminal intimidation) and relevant sections of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989," the Hinjawadi police station official said. He said the Desai couple and others will be summoned for recording their statements.

When contacted, the activist refuted the allegations, saying Makasare was trying to malign her image. "It was Makasare who approached me requesting membership to my outfit. However, we denied him the membership after knowing about his character. He is now trying to malign my image by levelling such baseless allegations. He filed the case out of a grudge over his non-induction into the organisation," she said. Desai was instrumental in leading an agitation of women in November 2015 for gaining the entry to the core area of famous Lord Shani shrine in Ahmednagar district. 

She subsequently led similar protests at the Mahalakshmi temple in Kolhapur and later at Lord Shiva temple in Trimbakeshwar near Nashik. Last year, Desai made an attempt to enter the Haji Ali Durgah in Mumbai, but beat a retreat after an angry mob prevented her from proceeding further. On May 12, 2016, she made a successful second attempt and entered the dargah under tight security but not in the inner sanctum where women are not allowed.