Friday, March 29, 2019

Honda team up with Pune Police for policing


PUNE: With a view to promote safety by maintaining law & order, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. (HMSI) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Pune Police. Under the MoU, Honda aims to contribute towards community policing initiative of Pune Police.

Fulfilling its corporate social responsibility, Honda will facilitate ‘Beat Marshalls’, the Quick Response Team (QRT) of Pune police department with required resources to strengthen and improve the law & order situation in the city. Under this CSR initiative, Beat Marshalls were presented with 100 Honda Livo motorcycles equipped with additional policing accessories like revolving flashers & blinkers, public announcement system, sirens, flash lights, two Honda safety helmets per motorcycle & cruiser side box.

The motorcycles were presented to the local police in the august presence of K. Venkatesham, Commissioner of Police, Pune and Harbhajan Singh, Director, General & Corporate Affairs, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. and other senior dignitaries from the State Government and Pune Police.

Highlighting on this initiative, Harbhajan Singh, Director, General & Corporate Affairs, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, “As a responsible corporate citizen, Honda 2Wheelers is always committed to bring a positive change in our society. Ensuring safety for all citizens, today we join hands with Pune Police to contribute towards their community policing initiative. Considering the need for immediate rescue, we have presented the Quick Response Team of Pune Police with 100 Honda motorcycles equipped with advanced police accessories helpful in preventing crime.

Honda is consistently expanding CSR initiatives in more cities across India. Prior to Pune, Honda also extended support towards community policing initiatives of Haryana Police and Punjab Police this year. This drive will further reach more about 7 more states in near future.

ISH launches WISH scholarship for girls


PUNE: Indian School of Hospitality (ISH) announced the launch of an exclusive scholarship for girls, WISH. ISH has launched “WISH” with an objective to increase accessibility to an international standard of hospitality education for young women.

Based in Gurugram, the ISH philosophy is to impart lifelong skills to students to help them succeed as the leaders of tomorrow - giving them the tools they need to shape one of the biggest industries across worldwide.

The education structure is aimed at providing the ideal foundation for managerial and leadership development, entrepreneurship, and lifelong learning. The Indian School of Hospitality is proud to have the academic certification of Ecolehôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland.

The genesis behind WISH is to empower women across the country to join one of the leading industries in today’s world. It is available for first-year applicants to any of the undergraduate programmes. The value of the award will vary as per number of awards, standing in the 12th class examination, and review of their SOP. The evaluation of applications is based on past, current and potential academic performance, including promise of leadership qualities.

Speaking on this occasion Dilip Puri, added, “The Indian School of Hospitality (ISH) envisions to showcase a pathway to the students to explore opportunitiesin the world of hospitality and culinary Arts. We aim at creating a momentum towards gender equality by making sure that there is more equitable environment in hospitality education industry.”

Alstom gets 90 mln euro Mumbai, Pune Metro contract


PUNE: French rail transport company Alstom has bagged the contracts for providing the Mumbai and Pune metro projects with the Urbalis 400, which is Alstom's new Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) technology.

The entire contract has been given for a lump sum amount of over €90 million. Awarded by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the Mumbai Metro has received the contract which will provide the CBTC technology, coupled with state-of-the-art telecommunication system for the three elevated lines. The 2A, 2B and 7 metro lines combined together will make one of the most extensive signalling projects in the country. 

It will provide a huge scope of designs, manufacture, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of Urbalis 400. This contract also includes supply and commissioning of on-board equipment for 63 trains. The telecommunication segment will cover areas such as s public address systems, passenger information display systems, fibre optic transmission systems, CCTV, and access control systems.

Meanwhile, the Pune Metro was awarded the contract by the Maha Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL). The contract will provide with Urbalis 400 for Corridors 1 and 2, to control 31 trains on a stretch of 32 kilometers. The metros will run at higher frequencies and speed with utmost safety.

On this recent development, Alain Spohr, Managing Director for India & South Asia said, "We are proud to have been selected by our customers for these prestigious projects. Our cutting-edge technologies will help enhance the quality of life of the citizens of both Mumbai and Pune and will contribute to the overall development of the cities. We are also proud to be a key partner, via these projects, in the growth of sustainable transportation in the region."

Mumbai and Pune are the among the fastest growing cities in the state of Maharashtra and both the cities are heavily infested with vehicular traffic, air quality and road safety. To tackle with the problem, Mumbai will have metro lines in areas where the suburban rail network does not reach. Whereas in Pune, the metro will provide as an alternative mode of transit, and counter air and noise pollution.

Alstom's Urbalis has been a success in over 30 cities across the globe. With constant up gradation and innovation, the system proves to be efficient for heavy ridership metros.

Two Pune-based DRDO labs powered 'Mission Shakti'


PUNE: Two city-based Defence Research and Development (DRDO) laboratories played a significant role in providing key components to Mission Shakti, India’s anti-satellite missile test that was performed successfully at Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha.

PK Mehta, director general of Pune-headquartered Armament Combat Engineering cluster, told that the launcher of the missile was developed by the Dighi-based Research and Development Establishment (Engineers). “Motors, propellants and stage separation system were developed by the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) facilities of Pune and Nashik.”

These laboratories have played a pivotal role in other missiles programmes as well, including Agni and Prithvi. “It is the historic occasion for us. This success will boost the confidence level of our scientists,” Mehta said.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

J&K govt seek help from local travel cos for tourism


PUNE: The Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) government is reaching out to travel agencies operating in Maharashtra, Gujrat, West Bengal, Karnataka and other states to boost tourism in the Himalayan state.

The J&K government officials said that the tourism business has been impacted after the terror attack in February. Nisar A Wani, the J&K tourism director, who held a meeting with 40 private travel agencies in Mumbai earlier this week, said, "We are approaching these agencies to clear misunderstandings about tourism in J&K. This initiative will help us build confidence among tour operators."

"There is no security issue in and around Kargil. We are now travelling to different states and holding meetings with tourist companies there," said the president of All Kargil Trade and Travel Association (AKTTA), Ashraf Wani, who was in Pune this week.

According to the J&K tourism department, 42,000 tourists visited Kargil in 2016, about 67,000 in 2017 and 1.07 lakh in 2018. "Tourism alone raises about Rs16 crore in Kargil. Many tourists have not explored Kargil enough. There are many valleys and historical places in the area. However, the town has turned into an 'one-night-stay' destination for many tourists. We want to change this perception and boost tourism," said Zaheer Bagh, the general secretary of AKTTA.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

कोकणाच्या पार्श्वभूमीवर खुलणार ‘प्रीतम’ ची प्रेमकथा

निसर्गाने सौंदर्याची मुक्तहस्ताने उधळण केलेला प्रदेश म्हणजे कोकण . गेल्या काही वर्षात मराठी चित्रपटांमधून कोकणाची निसर्गरम्य भूमी रुपेरी पडद्यावर दिसली. विस्तीर्ण निळेशार समुद्रकिनारे, कौलारू घरं, नारळ सुपारी, आंब्याची झाडं, सुंदर-शांत असा आसमंत आणि संस्कृती परंपरेचा विलक्षण ठेवा असणाऱ्या या मनोहारी... लोकेशन ची भुरळ निर्मात्यांना दिग्दर्शकांना पडली नसती तर नवल ! आगामी प्रीतम या मराठी चित्रपटाची कथा कोकणच्या भूमीत घडणारी आहे आणि त्या जोडीला एक हळवी प्रेमकथा या निसर्गरम्य सौंदर्याच्या पार्श्वभूमीवर खुलणार आहे. कोकणसारखाच निसर्गाचा वरदहस्त केरळला सुद्धा लाभला आहे. कोकण आणि केरळचा एक अनोखा संगम या चित्रपटाच्या निमित्ताने जुळून आला आहे.  केरळ मधील प्रसिद्ध "विझार्ड प्रोडक्शन" या चित्रसंस्थेच्या माध्यमातून प्रीतम या मराठी चित्रपटाची निर्मिती होत असून मल्याळम दिग्दर्शक सिजो रॉकी या चित्रपटाच्या निमित्ताने मराठी सिनेसृष्टीत पदार्पण करीत आहेत.

चिपळूणकणकवलीकुडाळ या नयनरम्य परिसरात चित्रपटाचे चित्रीकरण सुरु असून प्रणव रावराणे आणि नक्षत्र मेढेकर ही फ्रेश जोडी या चित्रपटातून प्रेक्षकांच्या भेटीला येणार आहेत. त्यांच्यासोबत उपेंद्र लिमयेशिवराज वाळवेकरआनंदा कारेकरअस्मिता खटखटेआबा वेलणकरसमीर खांडेकर, नयन जाधव,  विश्वजित  पालवअजित देवळे, कृतिका या कलाकारांच्या भूमिका आहेत. 

प्रीतम चित्रपटाच्या माध्यमातून कोकणचे सौंदर्य प्रेक्षकांना अनुभवता येणार असून या लोकेशन प्रेमकथेविषयी बोलताना दिग्दर्शक सिजो रॉकी सांगतात किसगळ्यांना प्रेमात पाडणाऱ्या लोकेशनची आवश्यकता होती आणि त्यासाठी आम्हांला कोकणाशिवाय दुसरा पर्यायच नव्हता. एक नितांतसुदर आणि मनाला मस्त फील देणारा अनुभव प्रीतम चित्रपटाच्या माध्यमातून प्रेक्षकांना मिळेल’,असा विश्वास ते व्यक्त करतात.

चित्रपटाची निर्मिती फैझल निथीन, सिजो करीत आहेत. चित्रपटाची  संहिता  सुजित कुरूपपटकथा-संवाद गणेश पंडित यांचे असून चित्रपटाची गीते गुरु ठाकूर यांनी लिहिली आहेत. कला दिग्दर्शन संदीप रावडे करीत असून कास्टिंग डायरेक्टर आणि वेशभूषा चैत्राली डोंगरे करीत आहेत तर संकलन जयंत जठार करणार आहेत. छायांकन ओम प्रकाश, संगीत विश्वजिथ यांचे तर  नृत्य दिग्दर्शन सुजित कुमार यांचे आहेजय कुमार नायररफिक टी. एमआणि चैत्राली डोंगरे हे चित्रपटाचे सहनिर्माते आहेत.

Monday, March 25, 2019

BoM shareholders approved capital infusion by govt


PUNE: Shareholders of Bank of Maharashtra in its Extraordinary General Meeting held today, at Pune approved the proposal for issue of 15,47,16,981 equity shares of Bank at Rs. 13.25 per equity share to Government of India aggregating to Rs. 205 crore. Government of India had infused the capital of Rs. 4498 crore and Rs. 205 crore in Bank in December, 2018 and February, 2019 respectively.

After the allotment of equity shares of Bank to Government of India against this capital infusion, Government of India’s shareholding in Bank will increase from 87.01% to 94.10%. This capital infusion would help to improve the Bank’s capital adequacy ratio and to help for the business growth of Bank. The meeting was attended by all General Managers and shareholders of the Bank. 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

All-women car rally from Mumbai to Aamby Valley


PUNE: JK Tyre and Western India Automobile Association (WIAA) are back with the all-women car rally - Rally to the Valley - for its sixth edition this year. The Rally to the Valley will run from Mumbai to Aamby Valley with about a thousand female participants spreading the message of equality for women in the society and road safety. The all-women rally was started in 2015 when it saw participation from over 250 cars. The registration process is open at WIAA Churchgate office and interested participants can also register online at womensrallytothevalley website.

The rally will begin on 7th April from Omkar 1973, Worli and conclude at Aamby Valley City. This edition of the rally supports the cause of women safety. On the 10th of April, WIAA will hold a prize distribution ceremony. Entries from Pune are also open. The Rally only accepts women drivers aged 18 years or above with a valid driving licence and other documents of the car they're entering with.

Nitin Dossa, Executive Chairman of WIAA says that the goal of the annual women's rally is to advocate legislation and policies regarding women's rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, worker's rights, girl child education, sexual harassment and tolerance.

"Today's woman is no longer a dependent soul. She is independent and self-reliant in every respect and is capable of doing everything. Let's recognise the importance of their existence and motivate them for future achievements. Our experience shows that all such events have become extremely successful and popular and a matter of keen interest for all automobile owners. The event is sponsored by many organizations and individuals who are hardcore automobile lovers," he added.

WIAA is celebrating the centenary year in 2019. It is affiliated to the Federation Internationale De L'Automobile. Dossa further explains that the mission of the rally is to awareness in the society about road safety, reduce life threats caused by road accidents. Apart from its original aims and objectives, the association also undertakes to promote tourism within the country.

WIAA is the largest Automobile Association in South Asia which extends to major cities in Western India through an array of activities. The association's main objectives involve spreading awareness about road safety and educate drivers to be more responsible on the road.

Registrations for the 2019 Women Rally to the Valley are currently open. Download the forms and mail them to WIAA's office or apply online and drive for a cause to support women safety and equality, along with of course road safety.

FY 19 could be the year of Bajaj Auto


PUNE: Apart from one new electric scooter, there was not much of fanfare in the new launch story category. The week was however dominated by some big corporate developments. We have all such main stories listed below in addition to the pick of the week centered on Bajaj Auto, the Pune-based maker of Pulsar, which has set its sights on global dominance.

Ola raises $300 million from Hyundai Motor Group

Cab hailing firm Ola said on March 19 that it has raised $300 million from South Korea's Hyundai 
Motor Group in a strategic deal under which the companies will also collaborate on building India-specific electric vehicles and infrastructure.
The companies will be creating solutions to operate and manage fleet vehicles and the partnership will also offer Ola drivers various financial services, including lease and installment payments. The investment is part of Ola's ongoing Series J round.

Govt sets up panel to monitor, implement FAME-II

The government has constituted an inter-ministerial panel for monitoring, sanctioning and implementation of projects under the Rs 10,000-crore FAME-II programme, aimed at incentivising clean mobility. The Project Implementation and Sanctioning Committee will be chaired by the Secretary of Department of Heavy Industries and will have other members including NITI Aayog CEO, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs Secretary and secretaries in the power and new and renewable energy ministry, among others.

Bajaj-KTM to deepen alliance after proposed share transfer

The proposed realignment of the partnership between Bajaj and KTM is aimed at deepening the 12-year-old alliance by leveraging future mobility opportunities across the world, said a senior Bajaj official. Bajaj has termed the next phase of the alliance as KTM-Bajaj 2.0. However, there were no strategic details shared by either company. Further details are expected to be shared towards the second quarter of this year.

Toyota, Suzuki to deepen partnership

Two years after signing an agreement, Japanese giants Toyota and Suzuki have increased their sphere of partnership to now include joint production, the popularization of electrified vehicles, the sharing of engines and the inclusion of more commonly used car models. In addition to supplying the Brezza and Baleno to Toyota, domestic car market leader Maruti Suzuki will also supply the Ciaz and Ertiga. These will also be sold under the Toyota brand in India as well as in the African markets, which would be served from India.

MG Motor’s electric SUV to be priced below Rs 25 lakh

UK auto brand MG Motors’ first fully electric vehicle eZS, which is set to debut in the October-December quarter, will be priced below Rs 25 lakh in India, making it the cheapest in the segment. India will be one of the first markets to get the all-electric sports utility vehicle, which was showcased by MG Motors at the Guangzhou Motor Show in November last year.

Bajaj shines bright in a dull market

The year of FY19 must go to Rajiv Bajaj’s Bajaj Auto. The Pune-based company which was getting flak from everybody, including its chairman, for abandoning the scooter dream has become the outperformer in the two-wheeler sector. Its domestic sales during the year soared 28 percent even as the rest of the two-wheeler industry grew by just 7 percent.

The industry saw motorcycle sales grow by 10 percent for the same period but minus Bajaj’s contribution the growth stands at a mere 6.6 percent, as per data supplied by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

The twin-pronged attack of Bajaj – cutting the price of its most affordable bike CT100 and of base variant Pulsar, and launch of new variants of Pulsar – helped the company buck the broader trend.

But its success wasn’t limited to two-wheelers. After years of struggle to commercially launch the Qute, Bajaj Auto finally launched the quadricycle at Rs 2.63 lakh. The four-wheeler (not to be referred as a car) was mired in controversy following a series of PILs in the Supreme Court against its launch.

The icing on the cake was the start of the execution of the second phase of the decade-old partnership with Austrian off-road specialist KTM. Both companies are ready to take their alliance to the next level under the ‘KTM-Bajaj 2.0 Programme’.

After making public Bajaj’s intention of rearranging its holding in KTM AG by transferring it to KTM Industries AG, the parent company of the Vienna Stock Exchange-listed maker of RC and Duke range of bikes, Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto clarified that this is done to strengthen and broaden the alliance further.

Rajiv and Stefan (CEO of KTM Industries) have a strong professional relationship. They share a common goal of making Bajaj-KTM the leader in the premium bike category in the world. KTM even moved the production of its entry-level bikes (even that of Husqvarna) from Austria to India.

Though the partnership is going strong (KTM posted best-ever revenues in 2017), the two CEOs have shown their intention to push it further by a notch. Rajiv Bajaj said that the latest move is aimed at "developing strategies and technologies for the future".

Bajaj has not said if it would get any shares in the promoter company KTM Industries AG in lieu of shares (48 percent stake) in KTM AG it intends to transfer to the promoter company. Over the last 12 years, Bajaj has pumped in more than Rs 1200 crore into KTM, too big to be given away for free.

Market watchers see this as a pivotal moment for Bajaj Auto which could be watching out for ‘something bigger’. For some time now, Volkswagen has been looking to sell Ducati (known as Ferrari on two wheels). The KTM Bajaj combine, along with Eicher Motors (Royal Enfield’s parent) had shown interest. Bajaj’s equity move in KTM is being watched in parallel with Volkswagen’s efforts around Ducati.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Greaves foray in to Make-in India CNG engines


PUNE: Greaves Cotton, one of the leading and diversified engineering companies in India is at the forefront of developing new technology for affordable last mile transportation segment and is ready to support the government’s mission of clean mobility solutions through fuel-efficient CNG engines, backed by strong retail network.

With energy efficient power train solutions and water cooled CNG technology, Greaves is empowering millions of CNG auto drivers save significantly every kilometer of their drive, thus reducing the load on fuel cost for the 3W auto rickshaw owners. This higher fuel efficiency from Greaves CNG driven vehicles reduces dent on national exchequer saving the nation’s dependency on fuel import bill.

Today, the declining Air Quality is cause of major health concern & India with 14 out of 20 world’s most polluted cities asks for better substitutes of power train & fuel options which benefits on both fronts of ecology & economy. Greaves CNG driven vehicles meets the regulatory emission norms & remain superior eco-friendly powertrain solution for these problems related to pollution.

Greaves foray in to make-in India CNG engines supports the commitment for users in the affordable clean energy mobility segment. Besides good product, Greaves has ramped up the aftermarket support including CNG service & spares availability through its fast growing retail stores & nationwide spares network. With innovation at the core of the Cleantech drive, Greaves has invested in design & development, training & capability building of channel force to deliver these future-relevant products & services.

Debashis Mitra, President - Engine Business, Greaves Cotton, said “Greaves understands the customers and their needs in last mile segment and over years build strong assurance footprint in form of mechanics, dependable & reliable products that enable non-stop every day operations for these livelihood earners. From the existing portfolio, both 400cc CNG engine, catering to the small passenger carrying market and the 510cc engine, for higher passenger carrying market, have been well received on account of superior cost economics resulting in fast volume growth for Greaves CNG engine business. All products, existing & new offerings, are ready to support India’s move of expanding CNG network, fulfilling the mission of cleaner & greener tomorrow. This addition of CNG engine will serve a superior value upgrade to the 5 million + existing users of Greaves & thus ensure they remain in business with savings friendly vehicle options.”

Greaves Engines division offers a wide range of fuel agnostic power train solutions for wide applications with very low cost and higher reliability. The division manufactures engines in three different segments namely automotive engines, non-automotive engines and industrial engines.