Wednesday, January 31, 2018

FITTER 2017 released in Pune in Insulin Injection Month

From L-R : Dr. Vandita Gupta, Dr. Unnikrishnan, 
Dr. Vedavati Purandare, Hiroaki Yoshihara 


PUNE: FITTER Insulin Injection Month was observed in Pune, with the release of new recommendations for insulin injection usage and to commemorate the 96th anniversary of first successful insulin administration in January 1921, at Toronto General Hospital, Canada.

Understanding the need to improve diabetes management and insulin therapy, Forum for Injection Technique & Therapy Expert Recommendations (FITTER) India recommendations 2017 were released in Pune with leading clinical expert in diabetes care from Chellaram Diabetes Institute –Dr. Unnikrishnan A.G., CEO & Chief Endocrinologist, Dr. Vedavati Purandare, MD Medicine, Consultant Physician, Hiroaki Yoshihara, Vice President, BD Medical-Diabetes Care and Dr. Vandita Gupta, Associate Director, BD Medical-Diabetes Care.

Commenting on the scenario of diabetes and insulin, Dr. Unnikrishnan A.G., CEO & Chief Endocrinologist, Chellaram Diabetes Institute, said “With only about 3 million people injecting insulin out of 69.2 million who live with diabetes, India has low rates of insulinisation and this is a road block in the optimal management of diabetes. Patients fear initiating insulin because of fear of needles and a sense of life-long dependence on insulin. Also, many clinicians hesitate to put their patients on insulin therapy as they apprehend losing their patient's confidence to this fear. However, awareness on correct insulin administration technique plays a critical role in therapy adoption, adherence and management of diabetes.”

Acknowledging the need for proper guidelines, Hiroaki Yoshihara, Vice President, BD Medical-Diabetes Care said” BD has dedicated itself towards advancing the world of health through innovative products and educational services that bring improved efficacy, comfort and convenience to diabetes drug therapy; and help improve patient compliance and enhance outcomes to manage diabetes. Insulin treatment is the most effective method for people living with diabetes, but inappropriate injection techniques can compromise the effectiveness of insulin therapy.”

Dr. Vedavati Purandare, MD Medicine, Consultant Physician, Chellaram Diabetes Institute, said, “While prescribing insulin therapy, physicians role is not restricted to deciding the dosage and timing of insulin but goes onto counselling the patients around selecting the correct site, deciding the right depth, selecting the right device and appropriate needle length. The key recommendations of FITTER are that the shortest needles are safe, effective and less painful and should be the first line of choice in all patient categories. FITTER recommendations also suggest that regular inspection of injection sites, preventing reuse of needle, correct site rotation, influence the success of insulin injection therapy.” 

Highlighting their role as a partner committed to diabetes care, Dr. Vandita Gupta, Associate Director, BD Medical-Diabetes Care said, “BD introduced the world's first specialised insulin syringe in 1924,and to this day we concentrate our expertise on research and development into insulin delivery that puts us at the forefront of injection technique and makes us trusted partners in diabetes care. By the launch of FITTER recommendations during Insulin Injection Month, we encourage talking about best practices such as using a new needle for every injection, always rotating injection sites and more.”

Centre of Excellence by Altair and DesignTech Systems


PUNE: US based Altair Engineering announces a collaborative effort with its partner in India, DesignTech Systems, and the Science and Technology Park, an institute supported by Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, to support the advancement of the Govt. of India’s Skill India programme.

The objective of this Skill enhancement programme by the Government, is to enable a large number of Indian youth to take up industry-relevant product design skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood. The agreement to establish an Engineering Centre of Excellence (CoE) for research, innovation and skill building, is therefore expected to benefit a large community of students, Academic Institutes and overall Industry.

Speaking on the occasion of this technical collaboration, Dilip Band, President of Science and Technology Park, Pune says, “This COE is expected to complement current courses undertaken by the state institutions, aiming at bridging the gap between quality of vocational engineering skills of students and skill level expected of them by the industry.”

Adding further, Dr. Rajendra Jagdale, Director General and CEO of Science and Tech Park says “This will promote start-ups in the design domain. The Park is collaborating with several prominent education institutions in Maharashtra and other part of India to set up these centres jointly such as Rayat Shikshan Sanstha, Vidya Pratishthan Baramati, Deogiri education institutes in Aurangabad, Chhatrapati Shahu in Pune and similar institutes.”

Pratap Pawar Vice-president of STP says “This initiative will give a major boost for imparting high-end technical skills in youth and make them ready for employment or self-employment. Industries in Maharashtra will get a major support by getting high end skilled manpower.”

 The engineering Centre of Excellence will encompass the following labs: Product Design Lab, Additive Manufacturing Lab, Design Validation Lab, Manufacturing Assessment Lab, Flow and Thermal Lab, Communication lab for IoT, Signal Processing and Communication lab for IoT, Control Systems and Mechatronics lab for IoT

Pavan Kumar, Vice President South Asia & Managing Director, Altair India, says “We are happy to collaborate with the Science and Technology Park in Pune. These initiatives are designed to use technological solutions and resources to better align technical institutes with industry requirements – by getting diploma and graduate students who are industry ready, and boost entrepreneurship in these budding engineers.”

Speaking on the occasion, Vikas Khanvelkar, Chairman and MD – DesignTech Systems says “In a globalized, technology driven, evolving world of product design & innovation, Altair Engineering in collaboration with DesignTech Systems Ltd., intends to propose the Altair Centre of excellence for research, innovation & skill building with focus on enhancing student exposure to best practices of design, engineering & consideration to enhance possibilities of their employment.”

Give clearances for Pune airport expansion: Gadkari


PUNE (NEW DELHI): Union minister Nitin Gadkari today asked defence and civil aviation officials to expedite necessary clearances for expansion of the Pune airport which is witnessing high traffic volumes.

The road transport and highways minister was chairing a Prime Minister-appointed infrastructure group meeting.The expansion project includes construction of a new terminal building at a cost of Rs 500 crore, a multilevel car parking for Rs 120 crore and a new cargo complex at a cost of about Rs 300 crore.

"Air traffic from Pune has grown substantially and there is an urgent need to expand the airport. I have directed the concerned civil aviation and defence officials to immediately provide necessary clearances for its expansion," Gadkari told after the meeting. Traffic at Pune airport has doubled in the last three years to about 8.2 million passengers per annum.

The meeting was attended by Railway and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha, Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan and Power Minister R K Singh, besides airport and defence officials. Gadkari said there is need for expansion of the airport in view of increasing air traffic.

Maharashtra's Food, Civil Supplies and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Girish Bapat, who was also present in the meeting, said if approvals are granted, work on expansion of the airport will be initiated within three months."We will start work on war footing on getting clearances. We will start work within three months," he said.Pune Airport Director Ajay Kumar said, "The present annual traffic at Pune airport has doubled to 8.2 million during the last three years.

"We are going to construct a terminal building of Rs 500 crore. We are also building a multilevel car parking at a cost of about Rs 120 crore and tender has already been floated. Bids will be opened in February end. 1,000 cars can be parked there. This is based on PPP model," Kumar said.Kumar added that a new cargo complex is needed and the authority has requested the Defence Ministry for permission for using additional land.Kumar said the state government has to transfer 15 acres of alternate land to defence and 10 acres to the Airport Authority.Bapat said the matter of land transfer between the Airport Authority of India and defence has already been sent for Cabinet nod.

Go only by meter, AAP Rickshaw union tells drivers


PUNE: The Aam Aadmi Rickshaw Sanghatana, a union for auto-rickshaw drivers formed by the AAP, has asked its members outside the Pune railway station to ply only by the meter to win back customers as auto-rickshaw drivers, notorious for fleecing passengers, face stiff competition from app-based cab services.

The drive, which entered its 12th day Tuesday, has been received well by people and the union plans to launch similar drives outside the Shivajinagar railway station and also in Nagpur. Passengers alighting at the Pune railway station, especially those going to peripheral areas or alighting at odd hours, often find themselves at the mercy of auto-rickshaw drivers, who refuse to go by the meter and overcharge. In recent years, the entry of app-based cab services like Ola and Uber have posed stiff competition to their business as more and more passengers prefer to hail cabs on their smart phones, drawn by their fares, comfort and the ease of hailing them without having to haggle with the drivers.

Shrikant Acharya, of the AAP autorickshaw union, said they decided to take up the drive to gain back customers. “Thanks to the entry of app-based players, autorickshaw drivers have lost significant business. At key locations like the Pune railway station, most of them can be seen idle for hours and when a passenger comes their way, they try to overcharge,” he said. “Our initiative is simple - we are encouraging drivers to ply only by the meter. If they ply by the meter, they would in due course get a steady flow of customers and not run in losses,” he said.

To this effect, the union has put up a banner outside the railway station, pledging to ply only by the meter. Sadanand Patil, an autorickshaw driver and a member of the union, said the response has been positive.

“On an average, we are getting 2,000-3,000 customers now and the numbers are rising,” he said. Office bearers of the union are manning the booth outside the station to help customers and manage the queue. Asked if they had faced any opposition from other auto-rickshaw drivers, Sadanand replied in the negative. “We encourage them to also ply only by the meter,” he said.

This move, he said, will help them win back lost business. Both Acharya and Ankush said the move had caught the fancy of other autorickshaw unions. “An organisation from Shivajinagar has approached us to start a similar drive there. Talks are underway in Nagpur to replicate it there,” Ankush said. The union aims to use technology to leverage customer experience and help autorickshaw drivers get more business. Sadanand said they were in talks with the district collectorate to develop an app for autorickshaws. “Also, we are developing a software to track rides as well as get feedback,” he said.

150 Google Station hotspots go live in Pune


PUNE: After bringing millions of Indians online with its RailTel Wi-Fi project, Google, in partnership with Larsen & Toubro, on Wednesday announced that the company has installed 150 "Google Station" hotspots in Pune.

The development is part of the Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited's "Smart City" project and this is the first time that the company is deploying "Google Station" - a localised captive portal that enables the connection to public Wi-Fi - outside of the railways. "We built Google Station to be both the highest-quality and easiest Wi-Fi service for users and the easiest for partners to deploy.

We think this makes 'Station' a great connectivity partner for the growing number of Indian smart cities," Vinay Goel, Product Management Director of Google Station, said in a statement. The company said the move would potentially bring three million Pune residents online within seconds at locations all around the city, including gardens, hospitals and police stations.

Nearly, 7.7 million users benefited at over 270 railway stations through Google's RailTel Wi-Fi project last year. Google launched its first free Wi-Fi services at Mumbai Central station in January 2016. The company said it would continue to deploy high-speed Wi-Fi at more stations across the country.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Pune hosts the world’s largest culinary competition


PUNE: Pune hosted the first round of 4th Edition of Young Chef Olympiad (YCO), the world’s largest culinary competition, on Tuesday. The international cooking competition, which features over 55 countries competing for the coveted YCO trophy and a cash prize of $10,000, is supported by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

The first round, which was held at International Institute of Hotel Management, Pune, featured 10 of the 55 countries, cooking as per recipe provided in 2 hours (Poached Egg Florentine and Lemon Soufflé)​ YCO was created as a platform by noted hospitality school, IIHM, for young chefs-in-training from around the world to interact and showcase their talent. The previous three editions saw an increasingly positive response from the international hospitality community, making the event benchmark for the industry across the world.

Rupinder Singh Khurana, Director, IIHM Pune, said, “IIHM Pune was delighted to host all the participants of Group E (Philippines, Egypt, South Korea, Kenya, Armenia, Greece, Turkey, Namibia, Mauritius and Malta). It was a great opportunity for all of us to connect, learn and share ideas through this wonderful platform called Young Chef Olympiad. It was extremely enlightening to observe how thee budding talents from across the world came together and formed a camaraderie that transcended the competition. I wish them all the best for the further rounds.

International Culinary Forum: 

YCO also hosted an unique International Culinary Forum on 29th January at The Westin, Pune featuring eminent chefs, mentors and other personalities from across the world and the city. The forum featured two panel discussions, engaging in discourse about the various issues of the industry and potential solutions.

Spark Minda inaugurates new technical centre in Pune

N K Taneja, Ashok Minda and Suresh D

PUNE: Global automotive component manufacturer Spark Minda, Ashok Minda Group today inaugurated its state-of-the-art facility – Spark Minda Technical Centre (SMIT) – at Chakan, Pune.

According to the company, SMIT will foster the technology development journey of the existing Group businesses and enable their initiatives towards electronification and also strengthen and expand the Group’s presence complete automotive system solutions provider.

The Centre will nurture innovation and actively pursue opportunities in the area of new-generation technologies like connected, autonomous, electrified mobility solutions, body control and multi-function controllers, smart security and vehicle access solutions. It would also explore incubation of future technologies like deep learning, artificial intelligence, internet of things, smart vehicles technologies, prognosis and diagnosis.

According to Ashok Minda, chairman and Group CEO, Spark Minda, “The establishment of the Spark Minda Technical Centre is a significant step to propel us towards attaining technology leadership in the automotive sub-systems domain. SMIT will lead the technology journey of our business apart from steering the Group towards generation of new and future technologies. Our Group is committed to further expand this centre in the next 3 to 4 years to further enhance the R&D and to bring the products faster to the market. It is clear from the forecast that the electronics content in every vehicle is going to increase and hence a strong presence of embedded technologies will secure our future.”

N K Taneja, Group chief marketing officer, Spark Minda, Ashok Minda Group, said, “Automotive customers are expecting more and more technology content and advanced features from the vehicles. With establishment of SMIT, the Group is poised to offer technology solutions to our customers. Our traditional offerings will be enriched with new technology to meet the world-class expectations of the market. SMIT will also chart out a technology road-map in line with technology expectations of the future vehicles. It will help us to position our brand image as technology partner of choice for our global customers.”

Suresh D, Group CTO and CEO, Spark Minda Technical Centre said, “It is indeed a proud moment for the Group to establish such a state of the art Centre catering to the vision towards becoming the technology leader and System Supplier. We are bringing focus to our journey by redefining our thought process and strategy with global mega-trends in automotive subsystems like connected, autonomous, shared and electrified mobility. The young and vibrant work-force stimulated by the culture of innovation at our Centre has already started showing results.”

Spark Minda currently has 35 manufacturing facilities world-wide, and provides direct employment to more than 16,000 people and indirect employment to several thousands more. Over the past few years, Spark Minda, Ashok Minda Group has done strategic acquisitions in Germany and Poland along with green-field projects in Indonesia, Vietnam, Uzbekistan and Czech Republic. 

Posers on PMC’s building permission in 24 hours


PUNE: Civic activists and architects cautioned the Pune Municipal Corporation against its new scheme of granting building permission within 24 hours, stressing it should use methods like online submissions for speeding up the process.

They claimed that the civic body should avoid sharing its executive power of building permission with private individuals. Putting the onus on private stakeholders would lead to legal complications and the common buyer would suffer, they stressed.

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) launched a new scheme from January 1 for granting building permission. According to it, the building permission department would issue receipts after getting the self-declaration. The receipt could be considered as a provisional building permission to start the ground work of new constructions.

According to the scheme, a fortnight to a month would be given for furnishing all the documents. The final permission would be given after checking the validity. The associations of architects and structural engineers, including Indian Institute of Architects (Maharashtra chapter), Architects Engineers and Surveyors Association, Pune, and Pune Architectural Consultants Association, raised questions about the scheme. A statement issued by the organizations stated that landowners and developers should also be taken to task in case of any flaw in completing the formalities.

Based on these suggestions, another scheme was launched in which PMC stated that the permission would be granted within 24 hours, provided all the stakeholders submitted an affidavit, saying everything was above board. "Developers will use the commencement certificate to woo the buyers. A provision should be made to make sure that the civic body keeps a constant check on the work," said Vishwas Sahastrabuddhe of Sajag Nagrik Manch.

Civic officials claimed that the move was aimed at providing ease of doing business to citizens. "The new scheme is based on suggestions and issues raised by all stakeholders," said Amar Shinde, a building permission department official. He said the civic administration would do a fact check on the ground within a month after giving the permission. If any problem is found, action against will be taken.

Monday, January 29, 2018

PMC begins to strip oil paint from heritage sites


PUNE: The civic body's heritage cell has awarded contracts to remove the oil paint from the walls of listed heritage structures to improve the life of the stones and restore the original look to the buildings. The work of peeling off the paint from the walls of Omkareshwar temple, one of the oldest Shiva temples in the city, is currently underway. The stone walls of the ancient temple were damaged by coats of oil paint over the years.

Head of the heritage cell Harshada Shinde said the removal of the oil paint is part of the restoration work going on at the site."Omkareshwar temple is a heritage site in the city. Such sites cannot be painted as it damages the old structure. Over the years, people visiting the temple, have painted the walls and we have initiated a process to remove the paint," she said.

Contractor Jagdish Goyal, who is engaged in the removal of paint, said, "Paint on the walls reduces the life of the stones used to construct the structure. Devotees visiting the temple would paint something or the other on the walls which has impacted the stones. We are removing the old paint to retain the original stone facade of the temple."

Vishal Gharat, who works with Goyal, said, "We mainly use only water to remove the paint from the walls of heritage structures. Jets of water dispensed by high pressure machines are used to clean the walls. In extreme cases, we have to use caustic soda to remove the paint. The life of the stones is not affected by this chemical. We have already completed one such job at Nageshwar temple in Pune about a year-and-a-half ago."

Shinde added that the Trishunda Ganapati temple in Pune was restored in the same way. "There is no budgetary provision. So, we have been unable to undertake more such restoration works at other heritage sites in the city. Once we have allocated funds for the project, we will start on the other sites. A proposal for such restoration at Nanawada is ready. Work will start after funds are allotted," he added.

Two Pune kids drown off Devbaug beach in Malvan


PUNE: A trip to the beach took a tragic turn on Saturday, when two children drowned in the sea. The incident occurred near Devbaug beach in Malvan, in the coastal Konkan region.

The deceased have been identified as Nikhileshsingh Jalindharsingh Rajput (10) of Pirangut in Mulshi taluka and Manasi Manoj Chavan (13) of Sai Siddhi Chowk in Ambegaon Pathar, off the Katraj-Dehu road bypass. The police have registered a case of accidental death.

According to police, three families from Pune visited Malvan for the long weekend. The adults and children visited the beach at Devbaug village near Malvan, around 3.30pm. There, the adults and kids waded into the water.

However, the children misjudged the depth and drowned. The adults were busy swimming and did not notice anything amiss at first. An elderly couple on the beach saw the kids drowning and raised an alarm. Local villagers rushed to rescue the children, but by then, it was too late. The Rajput family hails from Dhule, while the Chavans are from Sangli. Both the families had migrated to Pune in search of work.

Western Union Fintech opens Technology Centre


PUNE (MUMBAI): Western Union, a leader in global cross-border, cross-currency money movement, today launched the Western Union Technology Engineering Centre (WUTEC) in India, reinforcing the company's commitment to global innovation and investment in engineering resources.

WUTEC India will focus on building end-to-end products, solutions, and capabilities to deliver innovative digital and retail customer experiences globally. The new world-class, 125,000 square feet facility in Pune, Maharashtra will serve as the company's innovation and engineering hub in the region, employing more than 1,000 skilled individuals.

Hikmet Ersek, President and CEO of Western Union, said, "Innovation is hard wired in our DNA. As the company that invented the concept of digitizing money, Western Union is uniquely positioned at the intersection of money and technology. WUTEC India will join our other key technology centers across the world to expand the reach of our omnichannel platform, integrating our digital efforts with our iconic physical agent network to serve a vast global customer base."

Western Union's investment in India is part of a broader fintech and innovation strategy that is driving the company's digital transformation. Western Union is one of the largest digital money firms, uniquely positioned to connect the cash and digital worlds across platforms, devices, borders, and currencies. and Western Union app digital services are offered in North America, Europe and increasingly across the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Western Union's digital services pay out in cash, account, or mobile wallet, where available, in more than 200 countries and territories.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Maha gets nod from MoD for DPR of Pune intl airport


PUNE: The Maharashtra government has received clearance from the Ministry of Defence for preparing a detailed project report of the proposed international airport near Pune city, a state revenue official has said.

German company Dorsch is preparing the detailed project report (DPR) and will also develop the new airport at Purandar in Pune district, he said."The work was slow as necessary permissions from the defence ministry were pending. The permissions have been received a couple of days back and now the company can complete its DPR," the official said."The primary estimated cost of the airport is Rs 14,000 crore.

Once the report is completed, we will come to know the actual cost," he said. According to Pune district collector Saurabh Rao, the land acquisition cost for the airport will be as high as Rs 2,000 crore.The German company, which had prepared the DPR and developed airports in cities like Berlin, Munich, Kuwait and Frankfurt, had been given the contract for the Pune project in March last year.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced the new airport project, to be named after Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje, in October 2016.The airport, which is expected to take around five years to complete, will be spread across an area of 2,400 hectares. The acquisition of land will take place in seven villages of Purandare tehsil.

Fake calls from European numbers annoy citizens


PUNE: A deluge of fraudulent calls from international numbers has become the latest menace to plague Pune. Citizens are complaining of persistent calls from phone numbers bearing the area code of Switzerland, Belarus and other European nations. One person returned one such missed call, only to lose Rs33 from his prepaid cellphone balance.

Jagjit Mane works for an IT company and has clients across Europe. Also, he has uploaded his resume on job portals, due to which he gets interview calls from various countries. "These international calls started about a month-and-a-half ago and have become very persistent. They called me twice. I generally miss these calls and since I work for international clients, I don't know whether the call is from a client or not, so the temptation to call back is high," Vatsa said. And return the call he did, only to be connected to someone speaking in an unfamiliar language. He disconnected , but lost Rs33.

"International call rates to these places are just Rs10 per minute. So there is some racket," Vatsa said, adding: "I went online and saw that many have complained about such numbers," said Mane, who didn't get in touch with his telecom service provider's customer care helpline. Manasi Patwardhan, who works for an NGO, has been getting such calls since October. "I have got calls from Belarus, Switzerland and Belgium. My cellphone displays the caller's location, so I don't answer the call. But it's scary to receive such calls, with so much fear of hacking," she said.

"These calls come at odd hours and it is a big nuisance," said one citizen."Even when we call back, nobody picks up. I haven't checked if money has been deducted from my balance," the person said. For Sandeep Magar, such calls are a daily occurrence. "I put them on the 'do-not-disturb' mode, but the numbers keep changing and it is a big nuisance. I tried calling back once, got an automated reply and disconnected. It is worrisome to receive such calls, especially when we carry out bank transactions on mobile phones," he said.

Nilesh More, assistance commissioner of police (economic offences wing and cybercrime) said they haven't received a single complaint regarding this, but advised citizens not to answer or return calls from unknown international numbers, as there is chance of a data breach. However, he said such instances have never occurred.

Shweta Chawla, forensic investigator and cybersecurity expert, said it is possible, in theory, for a phone to be hacked through a phone call, but stated that there are no confirmed reports of such an instance. "The probability (of hacking) is higher if it is a WhatsApp or Skype call, as then there is access to data; we share a lot of our data with these apps when we install them," she said.

Soon, draft property papers without middleman


PUNE: The state Inspector General Registration and Controller of Stamps (IGR) will soon introduce a link on its website to help citizens draft property registration document while sitting at their homes, eliminating the role of middlemen.

Once a person clicks on the link (make my registration), it will open a separate portal where all kinds of registrations can be accessed, an IGR official said, adding that people will require Aadhaar to make use of the facility.

The officials said Maharashtra is the first state in the country to introduce such a facility. "The objective here is to eliminate the role of the middlemen. It will allow citizens to prepare their own sale deed document through specific formats uploaded on the portal. The documents can be submitted online to the registration department, provided the individual has Aadhaar card. They can later be submitted to the respective sub-registrar office," they added.

"We are still working on the concept and expect to make the facility available to the citizens soon," IT head of IGR Supriya Karmarkar said. Karmarkar with her colleague, Santosh Hingane, came up with idea on which the service is based. With the department keen on minimum intervention from middlemen, mainly advocates or brokers, the portal will help save money and time of people as well as ensure that there are fewer crowds at the registration office.

The portal is presently being readied in consultation with advocates as the set of documents that will be put up on the portal will be of various types. "The developer or the seller can select any option, can pay stamp duty through online system and even forward the readied document to the sub-divisional office. The printed document of the final registration will have to be submitted later at the registration office. This will help in ease of doing business, save time of citizens as well as weed out middlemen," Karmarkar said.

Presently, citizens take help of advocates to draft their sale deed document or even lease agreement. This way they are completely dependent on the advocate or other persons and end up spending huge amounts. "Once the facility is made available to general public, the prevailing procedure will change. For developers, it will be easy to register the documents of the buyers and for those who want to sell a re-sale property, the seller will be able to do so from the confines of his/her home," the official added.

Explaining the process, officials from the IGR department said the citizens cannot only draft the document, but can also raise their query in case of doubt to the department. "Once the forms are filled, an edit option will enable the citizens to make changes. It will also enable people to pay the stamp duty and registration charge as per the amount entered," she said.

"It will help in bringing down visits to the registration office and also keep a check on corrupt practices at sub-registrar offices," IGR officials said. Citizens, who have paid up to Rs 25,000 for readying their property documents, said it will be a big respite as long as it is user-friendly. "If the IGR introduces the option soon, people like me will benefit the most. This will usher in transparency," Samar Naidu, who recently approached a lawyer for a deed, said.

Docs perform third uterus transplant in six hours


PUNE: After country's seeing success in the first two cases of uterine transplant, doctors attached with Galaxy Care Hospital in the city performed the third uterine transplant on a 23-year-old woman from Karnataka on Friday, January 26.

The patient's mother donated her uterus. According to the doctors, it took them six hours to perform the surgery. Surgeon Shailesh Puntambekar said, "We did the uterus transplant in six hours. For the first transplant, we had taken 11 hours while it took us 10 hours for the second surgery." The removal of uterus was done in two-and-half-hours. The doctors said that the surgery was performed using the laparoscopic technique.

"The woman has been married for five years. She suffers from congenital absence of uterus. Her mother agreed to donate her uterus," Puntambekar explained. The team of doctors also carried out embryo transfer in the first two patients, who underwent uterus transplant at the hospital in May last year. "We will get to know if they can conceive or not over the next 10 days," said gynaecologists Pankaj Kulkarni and Milind Telang, who carried out the embryo transfer.

If everything goes as per plan, the women will deliver either in the last week of September or in the first week of October, which will make them the first women in the country to deliver a child after undergoing a uterus transplant.

Prior to the transplant, doctors had extracted eggs (ovum) from their normal functioning ovaries and fused them with their husbands' sperms in a laboratory set up (in-vitro fertilization) and preserved the embryos for transfer at the right time to enable conception. The hospital administration claimed that they have received as many as 480 inquiries for uterus transplant and they aim to perform 10 uterus transplants within the year.

Detained Pune girl came to Valley to marry Kashmiri boy


PUNE/SRINAGAR: The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Saturday said the Yerawada girl detained in Kashmir following an alert that she could be used as a suicide bomber near or inside the Republic Day parade venue in the Valley was in contact with a Kashmiri boy on a social networking site and had planned to marry him.

A senior ATS officer, requesting anonymity, said, "We were aware of the girl's presence at Bijbehara in Kashmir. The Jammu and Kashmir police detained her for questioning because they had strong inputs that she could cause suicide bomb explosion there. Our investigations have revealed that the girl's mother had dropped her in Kashmir around a fortnight ago and returned to Pune."

An official of the Pune police, however, said, "Our investigations revealed that the girl's mother had dropped her to Delhi and from there she went to Kashmir. We have requested her mother and family members to join us in investigations, but they have refused to share information of the girl for various reasons."

The senior ATS officer said, "We had gathered information that the girl pursuing a nursing course was in touch with the militant organization, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The ATS, along with experts, social NGO, Maulana and her parents, counselled and de-radicalized her and kept her under observation."

On how the girl changed tracks again, the officer said, "She often told ATS that she was keen on joining ISIS in the past for carrying out terrorist activities. Since she was so determined, we had to keep a close watch on her movements to prevent her from joining the radical outfit." On de-radicalization of youths, the ATS officer said, "We have been making conscious efforts on this aspect for the past three years. In this case, the girl was highly influenced and therefore, we could not change her mind set. Second, we did not want to register a case against her. Therefore, it had become difficult for us to restrict her movement or activities over a period of time."

The officer said, "Preventing social media activities was our first challenge and we managed to restrict it by closing over 100 URLs propagating ISIS agenda. The current status of the outfit also helped us." He said, "The girl is yet to be arrested formally. Currently, Kashmir police are interrogating her. Therefore, we cannot comment on the further procedure at this juncture."

Additional-director general of police (Kashmir range) Munir Khan said, "We worked on certain leads and detained the girl. We are interrogating her to find out if she was a suicide bomber or not." When asked if militant outfits were recruiting educated youths, Khan said, "Yes the militant outfits are luring the youth into militancy and they are trying hard to get educated youth. We are countering it the way we have to. Let us see how much we succeed. Today, 99 % of youths are educated and there are exceptional cases (alluding to those who have joined militant ranks). So, we are also looking into it."

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Nupurnaad Festival on February 3 and 4


PUNE: Puneites' love for music, folk dance is well-known and not a single chance they miss to attend such events. Bhairavi Sangit Prasarak Mandal is bringing another treat to them through the Nupurnad Festival. After many years Puneites will be witnessing Bharatnatyam Dancer, Alarmel Valli's performing in Pune during this Festival.

The two day long Festival will be from February 3 at Ideal colony ground, Kothrud, Pune. This is the second year of the Mohotsav and entry will be free for the program informed Dr Dhananjay Daithankar, a well known Santoor player.

While sharing line up of the Festival Dr Dhananjay Daithankar said, "Alarmel Valli's performance will be opening performance of the Festival at 6 pm on February 3. She will be performing after long time at the Festival which will be real treat for the dance and music lovers. Later in program Jugalbandi of Pandit Jayateerth Mevundi (Vocal) and Pandit Pravin Godkhindi (fluet), Charudatta Phadke will accompany them on Tabala and Rahul Gole on Harmonium. On second day February 4 Indian classical musician Pandit Rahul Sharma's Santoor performance will be held. Satyajeet Talwalkar will accompany him on Tabala. Later half will see singing performance of Venktesh Kumar with Prashant Pandav on Tabala and Rahul Gole on Harmonium.

Zensar invests in platforms to boost digital offerings


PUNE: At a time when most Indian technology services companies are rapidly expanding their digital portfolio to offer next generation technologies to global clients, midsize IT services company Zensar Technologies is gearing up for another level, expecting its investments in platforms and solutions to play a major role.

The company, which drives close to 39 per cent of its revenues from digital offerings, aims to pivot its business model, wherein it intends to take the platforms built in-house to global customers and also corner steady source of recurring business.“We have done very well in the digital side of our business, both organic and inorganic, and our objective clearly is to grow it faster. That’s where we are investing in, and we are taking the digital platforms to every single customer of ours,” said Sandeep Kishore, CEO & MD of Zensar Technologies.

“So, by design, we are pivoting the company to where we think we can create more value for our customers and what is relevant to them.”The Pune-headquartered company boasts of building close to 30 different platforms, which have helped it raking in close to $2 million in revenues during the last six months. All these platforms were built by in-house team, the size of which at peak accounted for around 5 per cent of its overall workforce and still continues to remain large.

“We are still in early stages, but it helps to position us differently in the company,” said Kishore.In the quarter ended 31 December, the contribution of digital services to Q3FY18’s revenues of $122.6 million was 38.8 per cent, a sequential growth of 9 per cent. The company said more than half of its recent wins were digital led. Kishore said the company’s digital transformation journey started around two years ago with an intent to completely digitise its internal processes to position itself as a “living digital” company.

One of the key results of that was Zen ROD or Zensar “Return on Digital” platforms, which the company launched in July last year. The almost ready-to-be installed platforms are 80 per cent built, while the rest can be configured depending on requirements of individual clients.

“Traditionally, we were a services company. So the future, we think, will belong to those who offer both platforms as well as services. It will not be about pure-play services anymore,” said Kishore.

Spending on digital technologies is expected to sustain and drive the growth for the IT services industry, which is going through a rapid transformation with the arrival of newer technologies and change in clients’ priorities. According to various estimates, the worldwide spending on digital transformation technologies, including hardware, software and services, is expected to top $1.3 trillion in 2018, an increase of 16.8 per cent over the previous year.

According to Zensar, all the three focus segments for the company - financial services, retail and manufacturing - are now at the forefront of driving the global spending on digital technologies.

13 dead after mini-bus falls into river in Kolhapur


PUNE (KOLHAPUR): At least 13 people were reportedly killed and three others injured after a mini-bus ferrying 17 passengers met with an accident and fell into Panchganga river at Kolhapur in Western Maharashtra, police said. As per reports, all the commuters belonged to Balewadi in Pune.  

The mishap is said to have occurred at around 11.45 pm on Shivaji bridge on Friday after the driver lost control of the vehicle, a Kolhapur police official told The bus was travelling from Ganpatipule to Pune. All the passengers on the vehicle, belonging to a family, were on a temple tour in Maharashtra, reports said.  

Locals reportedly informed police officials and the fire brigade about the incident, following which a search and rescue operations were launched at the site. Out of the seven persons rescued from the river four were declared brought dead at a hospital while three injured are undergoing treatment, the official said. 

The search for other passengers was undertaken by the teams of police, civic authorities and locals, he said, adding senior police officials were on the spot. As per reports, the search and rescue operations went on for four hours.

Pune-based radicalised girl detained in Kashmir

Representative image

PUNE (KASHMIR): A radicalised Pune-based teenage girl was detained by the Jammu and Kashmir Police following an intelligence input that she wanted to join banned ISIS terror group, police said.

The girl identified as Sadiya Anwar Shaikh, who turned 18 in November last year, had come from Pune and was staying in Bijbehara as a paying guest and planning to join the ISIS, the police have claimed. However, during her extensive questioning, the school dropout turned out to be having radical thoughts, who had fallen prey to false propaganda on social networking site about alleged suffering of the Kashmiri people at the hands of security forces, the officials said.

The state police have got in touch with her mother and aunt and she will be handed over to them as there is no case pending against the detained girl either in the Valley or Maharashtra, they said. It was a case of misinterpreting an intelligence input by the Jammu and Kashmir police who were informed by central security agencies that a Pune-based girl, who was detained on various occasions by the ATS Pune, had shifted her base to the Valley and that surveillance needs to be mounted.

However, Additional Director General of Police Munir Khan, who is functioning as Inspector General of Police Kashmir range, issued an alert to all districts naming her and claiming she was a suicide bomber planning to disrupt the Republic Day function. The note signed by Khan said that "there is a strong input" that an 18-year-old non-Kashmiri woman might "cause a suicide bomb explosion" near or inside the Republic Day parade in Kashmir.

"All are directed to please ensure that frisking of ladies at the (venues) is done meticulously and with utmost caution so as to thwart the designs of ANEs (anti-national elements)," the note, circulated on January 23, read. Today, after understanding the gravity of the faux pas, Khan refused to give any details and said, "We will be talking to her and we will be talking to our sister agencies. We will be covering every other lead to know what the facts are. After doing a proper investigation, we will come to any conclusion."

Shaikh had been questioned by the Pune Anti-Terrorism Squad in 2015 when it came to notice that she had been radicalised after coming in contact with ISIS supporters abroad. She was planning to travel to Syria, the ATS had then claimed. The woman, a Class 11 student at a Pune college, was subsequently sent for a de-radicalisation programme by the ATS.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Kashmir: A Pune girl, suspected to be suicide bomber, arrested


PUNE (JAMMU-KASHMIR): Jammu and Kashmir Police, late Thursday night, arrested an 18-year-old girl suspected to be a suicide bomber. Security personnel were on high alert following inputs that a girl from Pune may attempt a suicide attack on January 26, Republic Day.

Police sources confirmed that the girl, along with an accomplice, has been arrested, and that an investigation is underway. “We are trying to obtain details about her plans,” a police official said.

A communication sent by Inspector-General of Police, Kashmir stated that a girl from Maharashtra who is ‘in the Valley may cause a bomb explosion near or inside the Republic Parade venue in the Kashmir Valley.’ Following the input, security was beefed up in Srinagar as well as in other parts of the state and those attending Republic Day celebrations were thoroughly checked.

Earlier, speaking to, a senior police official had said, “Yes, we have received a communication about the possibility of a suicide attack by an 18-year-old girl. After the inputs, precaution is being taken at all sensitive places.”

Helipads now a must in all talukas for VVIP movement


PUNE: Prompted by the several snags in choppers carrying CM Devendra Fadnavis last year and keeping in mind the increased VIP movements in Maharashtra, the government has finalised a helipad policy for helicopters meant to fly VVIPs.

On Thursday, the general administration (civil aviation) department issued the policy that makes construction of a designated helipad mandatory in all 358 talukas of 36 districts in the state. The policy states that the district collectors have to ready the permanent sites for the proposed helipads in accordance with the civil aviation guidelines.

"A helipad in taluka will ensure provision of a safe landing space. This was necessary because of the heavy VIP movement across the state. The district collectors will have to take up construction of the helipads through the PWD," principal secretary (civil aviation) Valsa Nair Singh told

The policy has been outlined in accordance with the Director General of Civil Aviation's guidelines and it ensures that the rules related to the helipads are stringent. It has mandated the size of the helipads and their maintenance in accordance with all protocol and safety measures.

The policy details the specifications for the temporary helipads that can be set up on a school and police ground or in an MIDC area. The policy also puts restrictions on the baggage to be carried and arrangements to be made by the district collector for the VVIPs' road transport. The VVIPs include the governor, chief minister and the state ministers who use state-owned or hired aircraft.

Revenue department (Pune district) officials said their proposal for a helipad near Circuit House was pending with the defence ministry. The CMs chopper had malfunctioned more than five times in 2017, following which he had issued a statement that helipads were constructed on vast stretches of land without the mandatory specifications.