Saturday, 31 March 2018

VW to approach each mkt in India differently: Knapp

Steffen Knapp, director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars


PUNE: German carmaker Volkswagen would pursue a multi-pronged strategy, including one to approach each market in India differently, as it sets out to consolidate operations, double market share in five years and increase its manufacturing capacity.

“We want to enlarge our footprint,” said Steffen Knapp, director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, pointing out that the manufacturing facility in Chakan, near Pune, came close to utilising the capacity of 1.55 lakh units last year. With a target to grow the market share from the existing 1.6% to 3% in five years, discussions had been initiated with Skoda, the group lead company for the country, on the expansion.

Though he did not put a time frame or disclose the likely investment, Knapp in a media interaction, sought to underscore the growth potential India offered and thus, the need to grow capacities as well as increase localisation. The plan is to take localisation from about 82% now to more than 90% in next five years, a move that is bound to bring cost benefits and improve competitiveness.

The firm, whose exports in 2017 from the Pune plant comprised 40% of the production, plans to increase domestic sales from 47,500 to about 1.30 lakh units in the next 4-5 years. It proposed to achieve this by approaching each market differently depending on consumer preference and focusing on growing the corporate business.

Extentia sets up development centre in Bengaluru


PUNE (BENGALURU): Pune-based tech company Extentia has opened a development centre as part of its plans to expand in Bengaluru.

According to company executives, increased demand for the company’s offerings related to mobile, cloud, and design services from existing and new clients led to the establishment of the Bengaluru centre.

The company did not specify its hiring plans but said that it employs 430 people overall. Also, many Extentia clients are based in Bengaluru and the new office enables the organisation to move closer to them as well, the executives said.

Umeed Kothavala, CEO, Extentia, said: ‘Extentia looks forward to working even more closely with our partners and customers in Bengaluru, and extending relationships for the long-term."

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Noida techie booked for firm’s data theft


PUNE: The Yerawada police booked a Noida-based techie for allegedly stealing and misusing valuable data of a Kalyaninagar-based software company.

Sahil Survase (33), an officer with the company, lodged a complaint with the police stating that the techie was employed with the company between April and November, 2017, during which time the theft is suspected to have taken place.

The complaint said that the techie allegedly stole data of the company’s individual Indian and international customers. The data was allegedly stolen from the company’s server with the help of data cards and pen drives.

Later, the suspect shifted to Noida and started sending emails to the company’s customers and defamed the company. He offered parallel services using the stolen data and diverted the company’s customers to his own.

He prepared a fake email ID to send misleading information of the products offered by the company, the FIR stated. This created confusion among the customers of the company and resulted in defamation of the company, which ultimately led to loss of customers as well as revenue, the complaint stated.

FTII screenwriting course to boost Indian TV content


PUNE: The Film and Television Institute of India, through its six-month screenwriting course, looks to address problems plaguing Indian television content. A lack of qualified writers for television is causing a dearth of quality and engaging content, FTII officials said.

Noted TV writer Vinod Ranganath is the course director, who will be assisted by FTII alumnus Gaurav Asri. The course was inaugurated in the presence of R N Pathak, dean (TV) and Amit Tyagi, dean (films).

 “There’s a lot of innovation worldwide. Unfortunately, many Indian channels are still dishing out yawn-inducing daily soaps or chasing TRPs. Some Indian broadcasters have introduced dedicated channels, while multinational streaming giants too have produced Indian shows.

But they all face one challenge - a lack of qualified writers. FTII plans to bridge this gap with the ongoing, intensive, six-month course. This is the second batch; the first one graduated last December,” FTII director Bhupendra Kainthola said.

The course covers the fundamentals of television screenwriting, including non-fiction. The programme will be writing-intensive, with constant hand-holding and mentorship by leading television screenwriters.

The focus on new episodic writing, but the essential fundamentals of all TV screenwriting will also be covered. “Most of today’s Indian TV content is not respected by discerning viewers. Internationally, the game changed a while ago - shows like Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Homeland, Narcos and Breaking Bad have changed the culture of episodic writing,” Ranganath said.

He said young Indians are addicted to such shows. “Now most Indian broadcasters have created dedicated streaming channels like Hotstar, Voot, TVF, Y-films, Alt, etc for such episodic series. And multinational giants Netflix and Amazon have set up shop in India, and are already racing to commission such programmes. This generation is hungry for originality and everything that is engaging. However, the problem is that India still doesn’t have enough writers qualified to write such series,” he added.

A mobile tower dream costs woman Rs. 4.37 lakh


PUNE:  A 55-year-old woman from Ganj Peth was duped of Rs4.37 lakh by two persons who offered her Rs 85 lakh as deposit and a monthly rent of Rs 90,000 for providing space at her plot in Daund to install a mobile tower.

The suspects presented themselves as employees of a mobile tower installation firm and collected Rs 4.37 lakh from the complainant, Kumudini Kurapatti, on the pretext of taking processing fee, transport and other charges. The complainant deposited the money in three different bank accounts between December 2017 and February this year.

Kurapatti had purchased a plot in Vasunde village of Daund taluka last year and wanted to utilize the space for business. In December last year, she found an advertisement in a local newspaper about a firm looking to install mobile towers. The firm had promised Rs 85 lakh as deposit for 20 years and rent of Rs 90,000 per month.

“Kurapatti contacted the cell phone number mentioned in the advertisement. One of the suspects, who posed as the employee of the firm, immediately agreed to install the tower at her plot and asked her to deposit Rs 2,500 as the processing fee,” said a Khadak police officer.

After she deposited the amount, Kurapatti received an agreement copy and other documents from the firm by post. Later, one of the suspects again called and told her that the firm had sent a team to Daund. He asked her to deposit Rs 25,000 as transportation and labour charges. “Kurapatti deposited that amount too,” the officer said. Between December 2017 and February 2018, the suspects took Rs 4.37 lakh from Kurapatti giving similar reasons.

When no one turned up for the tower installation even after a month, Kurapatti realized she had been duped. The suspects have been booked under sections 420 (cheating) and 406 (criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Vakrangee Ltd joins hands with Blue Dart Express


PUNE: Vakrangee Limited through its wholly owned subsidiary company “Vakrangee Logistics Private Limited (VLPL) has entered an alliance with Blue Dart Express Limited to offer last mile courier and logistics services on a pan-India basis.

As per the arrangement with Blue Dart, VLPL through Vakrangee Kendras will offer courier pick-up and delivery services to the citizens - more affordably, reliably & efficiently. In the first phase, VLPL in collaboration with Blue Dart plans to roll out last mile delivery services across selected locations in Maharashtra, which will further be extended to cover the entire network of Vakrangee Kendras across the country.

This association will allow Blue Dart to extend their reach to un-served and under-served areas through Vakrangee Kendras. Parallelly, this alliance will benefit Vakrangee Limitedby further expanding their bouquet of services for citizens.

Shailendra Jindal, CEO, Vakangee Logistics, said, “This strategic partnership is a game changer for the e-commerce industry in India that is struggling for delivery of goods to the large rural population of India. Blue Dart is a well-known brand and this tie-up is very important to us as we scale up our logistic services to provide courier booking and last mile delivery services to citizens across the country. This tie-up will also open up additional sources of revenue to our franchisees.”

Anil Khanna, MD, Blue Dart Express Ltd, commented, “At Blue Dart our vision is to establish continuing excellence in delivery capabilities focused on the individual customer and this partnership with VLPL enables us to expand our reach to the hitherto unserved and underserved areas across the country. The 44000 plus Vakrangee Kendras will further expand our reach and delivery capabilities that could give new dimensions to the e-commerce logistics.”

Bharat Bachao yatra to arrive in Pune on March 29th


PUNE: To raise awareness about the ever-increasing population and several issues relating to social, economic and health arising out of it, the Rashtra Nirman Trust has organised Kashmir to Kanyakumari to Delhi ‘Bharat Bachao Yatra’, which will reach Puneon Thursday, March 29.

“Increasing population is a bane especially for India as it leads to shortage of infrastructure, cost inflation and unemployment, and we need to face these issues collectively,” said Sanjay Pardesi, convener of the yatra.

Speaking at a press conference, Pardeshi said that the only way to face the problem was to arrest the growing population without bringing in religion, caste, creed or culture into drafting the new law on population control.

Professor Prakash Joshi, Sudhir Rane and Shrihari Bondar were present at press conference, They will arrive at 5 pm on Thursday at Navale Bridge on Sinhagad Road.The yatra will then follow Shastri Road, Tilak Road, Alka Talkies chowk, Fergusson College Road, Shimla Office before culminating at Shaniwarwada, which there will be a huge gathering wherein speakers will talk on the burning issues that the nation is facing.

“In 1976 China introduced one-child per family law and strictly followed it till 2016 before the law was relaxed,” Pardeshi pointed out. “China had then realized that growing population was affecting country’s growth and once the law was in place China prospered to become world’s number two economy,” he said. “India should also have such strict law if it aspires to match the bigger economies,” Pardeshi added.

Prakash Joshi said that the leaders of different political parties should come together and speak on this issue. In 1977 when emergency was declared in India by the then government, Sanjay Gandhi had led a campaign to population control under which 70 lakh families were forced to undergo sterilization even though there was strong opposition to it.

“We should first change to name of Family Welfare Ministry to Family Control Ministry,” said Joshi and exhorted Puneites to participate in the yatra and help in nation building. People interested in joining the campaign may get in touch with the organisers at 9423014458.

Monday, 26 March 2018

‘तुला पण बाशिंग बांधायचंय’ ३० मार्चला चित्रपटगृहात

मराठी चित्रपटसृष्टीत सध्या वैविध्यपूर्ण विषयांवर भाष्य करणारे सिनेमे प्रेक्षकांच्या पसंतीस उतरत आहेत. मुख्य म्हणजे विविध विषयासोबतच सिनेमांच्या सादरीकरणातही विविधता दिसून येत आहेतुला पण बाशिंग बांधायचंय’ या आगामी मराठी चित्रपटातून स्त्रीचीकथा आणि व्यथा प्रेक्षकांसमोर आणण्याचा प्रयत्न केला जाणार आहे. महिलांचे अनेक प्रश्न आजवर चित्रपटांतून हाताळलेले आहेत.स्वत:शी तडजोड करून संसार करणा-या अनेक महिलांच्या मनातील अस्वस्थता तुला पण बाशिंग बांधायचंय या चित्रपटातून दाखवण्यात आली आहेजयलक्ष्मी वैष्णवी फिल्म प्रोडक्शन’ यांची प्रस्तुती असलेल्या या चित्रपटाची निर्मिती भानुदास व्यवहारे दत्तात्रेय मोहिते यांनी केली असून दिग्दर्शनाची जबाबदारी भानुदास व्यवहारे यांनी सांभाळली आहेतुला पण बाशिंग बांधायचंय’  हा चित्रपट ३० मार्चलाप्रेक्षकांच्या भेटीला येणार आहे.

वयात आलेल्या मुला-मुलीचं लग्न म्हणजे घरच्यांसाठी काळजीचा विषय असतोविशेषतः मुलीचं लग्न हा अंमळ जास्तच महत्त्वाचा असतो. ‘तुला पण बाशिंग बांधायचंय ही कथा आहे वर्षा आणि आकाश या तरुण जोडप्याची. एकमेकांच्या पसंतीने लग्न ठरलेल्या या दोघांच्या आयुष्याला लग्नानंतर अचानक कलाटणी मिळते. या कलाटणी नंतर वर्षा आणि आकाशाचं आयुष्य कोणतं वळण घेत याची हृदयस्पर्शी कथा या चित्रपटातून पहायला मिळणार आहे. वैवाहिक आयुष्यातील समस्यामुला-मुलींच्या अपेक्षात्यांच्या आई-वडिलांचे दृष्टिकोन यासोबत समाजाची मानसिकता या सगळ्यांवर चित्रपटात भाष्य करण्यात आले आहे.  

वेगवेगळ्या धाटणीची पाच गीते या चित्रपटात आहेत. भानुदास व्यवहारे यांच्या लेखणीतून साकारलेल्या या गीतांना संगीतकार एँग्नेल रोमन यांचा संगीतसाज लाभला आहे. वैशाली माडेसुहास सावंतप्रसन्नजित कोसंबी यांनी यातील गीते गायली आहेत. संगीत संयोजन विलास गुरव यांचे आहे.

विक्रम गोखलेसुरेश विश्वकर्मायतिन कार्येकरसुनील गोडबोलेभक्ती चव्हाणश्वेता खरातसुवर्णा काळे, रितेश नगरालेराहूल पाटीलहर्षा शर्माअर्जुन जाधवशंकर सूर्यवंशी हे कलाकार या चित्रपटात आहेतचित्रपटाचे सहनिर्माते अभय भंडारीप्रमोद वेदपाठकसुभाष चव्हाण,औदुंबर व्यवहारे असून सहदिग्दर्शन निशांत आडगळे यांनी केले आहे. कथा,पटकथा,संवाद भानुदास व्यवहारे यांचे आहेत. छायांकन सिद्धेश मोरे यांनी तर संकलन माधव शिरसाट यांचे आहे. ध्वनीमुद्रण कीर्ती पांचाळ यांचे असून ध्वनीआरेखन प्रमोद चांदोरकर यांनी  केले आहे. रंगभूषा- वेशभूषा कुमार मगरे यांची आहे.

तुला पण बाशिंग बांधायचंय’ ३० मार्च ला सर्वत्र प्रदर्शित होणार आहे.

Rash driving make holidays prone to accidents


PUNE: Pune’s strategic location - thanks to the city’s connectivity to major cities, holiday destinations and pilgrimage sites - makes it a magnet for heavy tourist rush. The effect of this rush is most telling on traffic and the increasing number of road accidents in the city and its outskirts.

Experts say most stand-alone destinations in Maharashtra are day-tour destinations, located within 150-200 km from major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Nashik, Kolhapur. This means the tourist flow continues on most days. But the traffic load on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway is immense during holidays.

In December 2017, during the Christmas weekend, the Pune-Mumbai Expressway  experienced day-long traffic snarls - brought on by a major accident and several small vehicles breaking down due to overheating. Many accidents on this expressway are caused by speeding tourist vehicles.

Girish Makhijani, from Harekrishna Comfort Tours, says, “Most tourists heading to nearby destinations are not seasoned drivers, trained to drive on ghat roads. There have also been instances of drunk youngsters driving on the highways. Most of the accidents are reported during the tourist season. There is a spike in the number of road rage cases as well. When drivers are stuck in jams for hours, they often get frustrated.” He said Pune is a transit spot for many travellers from Hyderabad, Delhi, Bangalore and even Rajasthan. “From Pune, these travellers go to destinations like Shirdi, Shani Shingnapur, Mahabaleshwar, Lonavala, Khapoli and Nashik,” he says.

Yatish Devadiga, of PMP Pravasi Manch, says tourist and state transport buses add to the rush. “When there is an increase in congestion, there is an increase in the probability of accidents,” he says. Ranjit Gadgil, programme director at Parisar, says tourist-flow in the highways around Pune is on a rise and is bound to increase further when the Purandar airport comes up. “All vehicles speed at night because the highways are empty. The authorities must enforce speed limits by identifying spots where over-speeding is rampant. Authorities must use speed guns and vehicles violating norms should be stopped and issued ‘chalans’,” he adds.

A state highway police official says action is taken against any vehicle violating norms. “Though there is no specific action on speeding, an action is taken against rash, negligent driving,” he said.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

‘चला साहित्यिकांच्या गावाला’ उपक्रमातून लेखक-वाचक यांच्यातील बंध घट्ट होतील

पुणे : महाराष्ट्रातील वाचकप्रिय साहित्यिकांच्या गावी जाऊन कोकणातील निसर्गसौंदर्य साहित्यिकांच्या नजरेतून, त्यांच्या गावातून अनुभवण्याची संधी आपल्याला मिळणार आहे. ‘चला साहित्यिकांच्या गावालाया अनोख्या उपक्रमातून कोकणची साहित्यसफर साहित्य रसिकांना घडणार आहे. शिवाय लेखक वाचक यांच्यातील बंध आणखी घट्ट होण्यासाठीचला साहित्यिकांच्या गावालाहा उपक्रम उपयुक्त ठरेल,” असे प्रतिपादन अखिल भारतीय मराठी साहित्य संमेलनाचे अध्यक्ष लक्ष्मीकांत देशमुख यांनी केले.

विश्वकर्मा पब्लिकेशन्स आणि ऑफबीट डेस्टिनेशन यांच्या संयुक्त विद्यमाने 2 ते 9 मे 2018 या कालावधीतचला साहित्यिकांच्या गावालाहा सहल उपक्रम आयोजित करण्यात आला आहे. यावेळी महाराष्ट्र साहित्य परिषदेचे कार्याध्यक्ष प्रा. मिलिंद जोशी, कवयित्री आश्लेषा महाजन, डॉ. गणेश राऊत, विश्वकर्मा पब्लिकेशन्सचे मुख्य कार्यकारी अधिकारी विशाल सोनी, संपादक मनोहर सोनवणे, ऑफबिट डेस्टिनेशनचे नितीन शास्त्री उपस्थित होते.

लक्ष्मीकांत देशमुख म्हणाले, “आचार्य विनोबा भावे, साने गुरुजी, लोकमान्य टिळक, मंगेश पाडगावकर, जयवंत दळवी, केशवसुत, आरती प्रभू, स्वातंत्र्यवीर सावरकर यांच्यासारख्या महान साहित्यिकांच्या गावांना भेटी देऊन त्यांनी ज्या स्थितीत साहित्यनिर्मिती केली, ती वास्तू, तिथला परिसर प्रत्यक्षरित्या पाहण्याचा अनुभव या उपक्रमातून मिळणार आहे. कोकणातील अशा महान साहित्यिकांच्या साहित्याचे वाचन, विद्यमान साहित्यिकांच्या मैफली यामुळे लेखक-वाचक यांच्यातील बंध आणखी घट्टा होतील."

प्रा. मिलिंद जोशी म्हणाले, “आधुनिक भारताच्या इतिहासात कोकणच्या सुपुत्रांनी आपल्या कर्तृत्वाने एक अढळ स्थान मिळविले आहे. या साहित्यिकांना भेटण्याचा जणू हा योग आहे.” नितीन शास्त्री म्हणाले, “या विशेष सहलीमध्ये आपल्याला कोकणातील निसर्गसौंदर्य बघायला मिळणार असून, त्यासोबत आपल्या लाडक्या साहित्यिकांची घरे, स्मारके, साहित्यास पूरक असलेले कोकणचे निसर्ग सौंदर्य अनुभवायला मिळणार आहे. या सहलीदरम्यान दिनांक 2 मे 2018 रोजी मुंबई-पुणे येथून प्रस्थान करण्यात येणार आहे

विशाल सोनी म्हणाले, “2013 मध्ये स्थापन झालेल्या विश्वकर्मानेसुजाण वाचकहेच आपले शक्तिस्थान मानून पुस्तकांबरोबर व्ही.पी. बुक क्लब, पुणे इंटरनॅशनल लिटरेचर फेस्टिव्हल राज्यभर विद्यार्थ्यांसाठी प्रेरणादायी व्याख्याने अशा उपक्रमांचे सतत आयोजन करुन आपले साहित्यिक सामाजिक दायित्व पार पाडत आहे.”

अधिक  माहितीसाठी संपर्क  ऑफ बीट डेस्टिनेशन्स्, शॉप नं.1, रामचंद्र अपार्टमेंट्स, 586, शनिवार पेठ, नारायण पेठ पोलीसचौकीजवळ, पुणे-411030 या पत्त्यावर अथवा मोबा : 09422010467 / 09665526054  07276445600 या दूरध्वनीवर संपर्क साधावा, असे आवाहन आयोजकांनी केले आहे.