Friday, February 8, 2019

'How to Build A Successful Start-Up', a Talk Show with CII and NASSCOM at Samsung Opera House on Feb 8, 2019


Samsung Opera House Bengaluru is hosting a talk show on ‘Today's Start-Ups, Tomorrow's Unicorn’, in association with CII and NASSCOM. Themed around 'How to build a successful start-up', the session will serve as a platform for budding entrepreneurs, venturing into different industries, to come and share their experiences.

The Talk Show will host six prominent speakers from the Start-up capital of India, who would come and drive conversations around establishing a booming startup, while sharing their ideas on the theme. The speakers who will be part of the show at Bengaluru’s Samsung Opera House – the largest mobile experience centre in the world, are:

·        Arvind Eashwar, Co-Founder & CEO of Altsoul
·        Anuradha Agarwal, ( Founder & CEO, Multibhashi
·        Sudeep Sabat, Co-Founder at Mukunda Foods Pvt. Ltd.
·        Shekar Naik, Captain of Indian Blind Cricket team (Key note Speaker)
·        Nidhi Mathur, Co founder of Niramai Health Analytix Pvt. Ltd.
·        Varun Agarwal, Founder & CEO at Grades Don't Matter

Grab a chance to connect and be a part of an informative session on Start-ups, and learn the best industry practices, techniques and ideas towards making a difference as an entrepreneur.

Entry Fee: INR 200 per person (Redeemable at the Opera House in-house café)

NetApp Powers Ducati’s Data-Driven Team for the 2019 MotoGP Championship


NetApp, the data authority for hybrid cloud, today announced that the company will renew its official sponsorship of the Ducati Team in the 2019 MotoGP World Championship, enabling the digital transformation of motorcycle racing.

The new Ducati MotoGP team was presented officially on Friday, January 18, in Neuchâtel (Switzerland). Data-driven technological developments on the racing bikes will boost the performance of factory riders Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci, supported by test rider Michele Pirro.

Ducati, founded in 1926, is a leading manufacturer of specially designed motorcycles that are characterized by their high-performance Desmodromic engines, innovative design and cutting-edge technology. Ducati’s dynamic range of models aims to provide an exciting sports-riding experience to its customers. In 2012, it became part of Volkswagen Group.

As a data-driven company, Ducati began its partnership with NetApp last year to take advantage of the full potential of data in racing within the Ducati Corse division. It recently expanded the partnership to analyze vast amounts of data throughout its business, including in logistics, marketing and customer relationship management.

Through the partnership, NetApp’s engineers are working closely with Ducati’s IT team to optimize their data fabric and meet the motorcycle manufacturer’s unique, rapidly expanding data storage and data management needs:

With the NetApp cloud-connected AFF solution, Ducati can now easily manage approximately 200 applications and more than 300TB of data to grant reliable real-time access to the world’s fastest enterprise all-flash storage. This storage can be accessed from anywhere in the world, across multiple clouds, with full GDPR compliance, and with the quick implementation of a disaster recovery strategy.

With the NetApp HCI solution, the power of an entire data center is delivered directly to the Ducati MotoGP team at the race track. This enables faster data-driven decisions to create winning strategies for the racing team through the powerful hybrid cloud infrastructure.

New Opportunities for Businesses to Deliver Personalized Realities and Experiences: Accenture Tech Vision 2019


The enterprise is entering a new “post-digital” era, where success will be based on an organization’s ability to master a set of new technologies that can deliver personalized realities and experiences for customers, employees and business partners, according to Accenture Technology Vision 2019, the annual report from Accenture that predicts key technology trends that will redefine businesses over the next three years.

According to this year’s report, “The Post-Digital Era is Upon Us – Are You Ready for What’s Next?,” the enterprise is at a turning point. Digital technologies enable companies to understand their customers with a new depth of granularity; give them more channels with which to reach those consumers; and enable them to expand ecosystems with new potential partners. But digital is no longer a differentiating advantage ― it’s now the price of admission.

In fact, nearly four in five (79 percent) of the more than 6,600 business and IT executives worldwide that Accenture surveyed for the report believe that digital technologies ― specifically social, mobile, analytics and cloud ― have moved beyond adoption silos to become part of the core technology foundation for their organization.

“A post-digital world doesn’t mean that digital is over,” said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology & innovation officer. “On the contrary ― we’re posing a new question: As all organizations develop their digital competency, what will set YOU apart?  In this era, simply doing digital isn’t enough. Our Technology Vision highlights the ways in which organizations must use powerful new technologies to innovate in their business models and personalize experiences for their customers. At the same time, leaders must recognize that human values, such as trust and responsibility, are not just buzzwords but critical enablers of their success.”

The Technology Vision identifies five emerging technology trends that companies must address if they are to succeed in today’s rapidly evolving landscape:

·         DARQ Power: Understanding the DNA of DARQ. The technologies of distributed ledgers, artificial intelligence, extended reality and quantum computing (DARQ) are catalysts for change, offering extraordinary new capabilities and enabling businesses to reimagine entire industries. When asked to rank which of these will have the greatest impact on their organization over the next three years, 41 percent of executives ranked AI number one — more than twice the number of any other DARQ technology.

·         Get to Know Me: Unlock unique consumers and unique opportunities. Technology-driven interactions are creating an expanding technology identity for every consumer. This living foundation of knowledge will be key to understanding the next generation of consumers and for delivering rich, individualized, experience-based relationships. More than four in five executives (83 percent) said that digital demographics give their organizations a new way to identify market opportunities for unmet customer needs.

·         Human+ Worker: Change your workplace or hinder your workforce. As workforces become “human+” — with each individual worker empowered by their skillsets and knowledge plus a new, growing set of capabilities made possible through technology — companies must support a new way of working in the post-digital age. More than two-thirds (71 percent) of executives believe that their employees are more digitally mature than their organization, resulting in a workforce “waiting” for the organization to catch up.

·         Secure Us to Secure Me: Enterprises are not victims, they’re vectors. While ecosystem-driven business depends on interconnectedness, those connections increase companies’ exposures to risks. Leading businesses recognize that security must play a key role in their efforts as they collaborate with entire ecosystems to deliver best-in-class products, services and experiences. Only 29 percent of executives said they know their ecosystem partners are working diligently to be compliant and resilient with regard to security.

·         MyMarkets: Meet consumers at the speed of now. Technology is creating a world of intensely customized and on-demand experiences, and companies must reinvent their organizations to find and capture those opportunities. That means viewing each opportunity as if it’s an individual market—a momentary market. Six in seven executives (85 percent) said that the integration of customization and real-time delivery is the next big wave of competitive advantage.

According to the report, innovation for organizations in the post-digital era involves figuring out how to shape the world around people and pick the right time to offer their products and services. They’re taking their first steps in a world that tailors itself to fit every moment — where products, services and even people’s surroundings are customized and where businesses cater to the individual in every aspect of their lives and jobs, shaping their realities.

One company taking individualization and customization to a new level is Zozotown, Japan’s biggest e-commerce company. Its skintight spandex Zozosuits pair with the Zozotown app to take customers’ exact measurements; custom-tailored pieces from the company’s in-house clothing line arrive in as few as 10 days. And it’s not just in the fashion industry where technology is enabling customization previously not possible. U.S. retailer Sam’s Club developed an app that uses machine learning and data about customers’ past purchases to auto-fill their shopping lists; the company plans to add a navigation feature to show optimized routes through the store to each item on that list.

The report notes that companies still completing their digital transformations are looking for a specific edge, whether it’s innovative service, higher efficiency or more personalization. But post-digital companies are out to surpass the competition by combining these forces to change the way the market itself works — from one market to many custom markets — on-demand and in the moment, just as Chinese e-retail platform JD.com is doing with its “Toplife” platform. The service helps third parties sell through JD by setting up customized stores, providing access to its supply chain with cutting-edge robotics and drone delivery. In partnership with Walmart, a physical store in Shenzhen will offer more than 8,000 products available in person or delivered from the store in under 30 minutes. By offering unprecedented customization and speed, JD is empowering other companies while creating a new market for itself.

Simplifying Conference Calls, grptalk will Assist the Revenue Department in Reaching Every Village Jurisdiction


Built for enterprise communication, Telebu deployed its marquee audio conferencing product, “grptalk” for the revenue department of Karnataka in Shivamogga. Deputy Commissioner K A Dayanand kickstarted the first grptalk call in Shivamogga by calling a reporter present at the event and wishing him a “Happy New Year.” This conference call facility, grptalk, is expected to enable the administration to communicate with over 5,000 officers from different departments on a single call, simply through the phone.

Commenting on the launch, K A Dayanand, DC of Shivamogga said, “The enterprises today are innovating and building products that are transforming the way we have worked over the years. To this effect, we are pleased to launch grptalk in Shivamogga. The conference call facility offers a great experience, making it easier for me to connect to my team and oversee daily activities. Furthermore, the application enables us to check member participation, mute or unmute participants easily to streamline and better manage the conference call, collect feedback and understand the pulse of the participants. Along with me, the conference call also features ADC, Tehsildar, Managers, village accountants, helping nearly 400 participants connect easily at a single time, simply with our phones.”

Taking grptalk to Shivamogga, Satya Kalyan Yerramsetti, CEO of Telebu said, “We are glad to join hands with Deputy Commissioner K A Dayanand and together launch grptalk for the revenue department in Shivamogga. Our audio conferencing solution lets the host talk to a large group of people, often more than 10,000 participants, from any smartphone. The calls are connected via PSTN lines, enabling participants to conference call instantly, without needing to connect to the internet or download grptalk. The app works on a dial-out capability, thus eliminating any delays in starting the conference call. With such superior quality and industry-first capabilities packed into a single product, we are certain that grptalk will help the officials of Shivamogga better oversee the important and everyday activities.”

Commenting on its utility, District Commissioner Karigowda said, “grptalk is going to immensely help the revenue department in effortlessly reaching all village jurisdictions.” Presently, Zilladhikari, Asst. Zilladhikari, Tehsildar, "Shirasthedar" and all officials of the Zilla revenue department are part of the conference calls.

grptalk is going to transform the way in which the officials have been working. The application utilises PSTN or regular phone lines to offer effortless and enhanced connectivity. Other available solutions, such as video calling, are limited in reach due to network strength. Officials needed to travel to urban areas or hotspots with good network strength, in order to communicate. However, utilising PSTN or regular mobile networks, grptalk connects calls even in low network settings, letting people conference call from anywhere, and eliminate travel time.

Post the deployment of grptalk, any queries or concerns for the Tehsildars, Managers, Village accountants (more than 200-300 participants) can be resolved on the call in a matter of minutes. Furthermore, as every accountant will be on the call, it will also eliminate the need to answer the same query multiple times, saving hours that can be invested in more productive activities. Everyday management and weekly calls can also be done via grptalk, thus streamlining work and making operations transparent and effective.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

KIA Installs 3.35 MW Rooftop Solar; To Be Power-Sufficient by 2020


In a big energy saving move, the Kempegowda International Airport installed a 3.35 MW rooftop solar power plant  to  cater to its needs on Wednesday. With an annual solar generation of around 4.7 million units, the plant could see the airport  become self- sustaining in power by 2020.

Installed across eight rooftops at Menzies Bobba, Air India SATS, Coolport and several BIAL office buildings, the solar power plant is expected to reduce 3,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually. The contemporary design of the solar panels ensures that the glare of the sun is not reflected for the safety of aircraft operations. The solar structure is also lightweight, leak-proof, corrosion-free and can withstand high winds.

Commissioned across two phases, the project in its first phase in 2017 saw installation of a 503 KW  rooftop solar structure, a 2.5 MW ground mounted solar panel and a 425 KW car parking solar power installations.

Lakshminarayanan S., vice-president, engineering and maintenance, BIAL, said, “As a role model for sustainable progress, the Bengaluru airport is well on course towards achieving its goal of becoming 100 per cent powered by renewable energy by 2020. To that end, these solar projects will help BIAL reduce  carbon footprint and achieve energy neutrality.”

Speaking at the event, Lakshminarayanan S, vice president, engineering and maintenance, BIAL, said, “As a role model for sustainable progress, the Bengaluru airport is well on course to achieving its goal of becoming 100 per cent powered by renewable energy by 2020. These solar projects will help BIAL reduce  carbon footprint and achieve energy neutrality. The airport’s consumption from solar power stands at 50 million units through on-site and off-site solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) to meet 67 per cent of its annual energy requirements.” 

Rahul Dasari, MD and CEO, Sunshot, which has installed the plant, said the company was proud to be a part of BIAL’s sustainable energy initiative.  The multiple roof types, and high security zone made it a challenging project, but his  team had executed it in line with world class quality, safety standards and within the stipulated timeline, he added. “ We have used high efficiency Mono PERC Modules, which provide around 14 per cent higher electricity generation in the given space. High performance multi- MPPT inverters, quality structures from PVFix and Sunshot’s state-of-the-art, cloud-based energy management (IoT) system for real time performance monitoring of the plant, are some of the salient features,” he said.

The BIAL authorities say they aims to ensure that the airport environment is fed by sustainable energy. Already, the street lights, perimeter lighting and airfield lights have been converted to LEDs, thereby reducing dependency on non-renewable energy,they note. Also, the projected energy generation from the solid waste management plant (to be launched in 2019) at BLR Airport has the potential to power 5,000 households / year and produce 1.5 million kgs of compost annually. BIAL has achieved 3+ Carbon Neutrality - the highest level of environmental impact achievement for airports.

With a clearly-defined Sustainability Policy in place, BIAL is focused on making substantial contributions to sustainable development, asserts Hari Marar, its MD and CEO.

 “Being responsible in our actions and ensuring sustainability of the BLR Airport as we grow and expand is right at the heart of our mission and we consider ourselves pioneers in this area. At BIAL we are committed to achieving excellence in environment sustainability,” Marar added. 

Tesco Collaborates with NASSCOM Foundation to Set Up its First Nook in Bengaluru


Tesco Bengaluru in partnership with NASSCOM Foundation inaugurated its first Nook, a self-learning centre at St. Joseph’s Convent School, Whitefield today as a part of its commitment to enhance the learning opportunities for the underprivileged. The Centre was inaugurated today by Dr. Sumit Mitra, CEO – Tesco Business Services & Tesco Bengaluru along with his leadership team and Mr. Ashok Pamidi – CEO, NASSCOM Foundation.

Tesco’s Nook aims to benefit people from disadvantaged communities and across age groups. Unlike the curriculum based programmes, the centre will offer a unique learning environment where learners design their own programmes based on their personal interest by using internet. The programmes vary from learning of computers or a language to acquiring skills or any talent based knowledge that can help them achieve their personal objectives. The learners work with centre managers to create goals every quarter and build projects in order to achieve those goals.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Sumit Mitra, CEO – Tesco Business Services & Tesco Bengaluru said, “At Tesco, our CSR strategy focuses on making a significant social impact for communities we serve, by investing in initiatives that make a lasting impact. Education is one of the focus areas for us and our endeavour is to create programmes that support young students and people from disadvantaged communities. With this commitment, we are proud to have partnered with NASSCOM Foundation and are happy to launch Nooks, one of its kind programme that encourages communities to learn without teachers by using internet. As part of this partnership, in January 2019, we also launched a Career Development Centre in the city that aims to enhance opportunities for employability of youth from underprivileged background.”

“We look forward to launch more initiatives to expand the impact of our efforts in the years to come, he added. Mr. Ashok Pamidi, CEO – NASSCOM Foundation said, "We are thankful to Tesco for their collaboration. Tesco Nook Centre is an innovative platform to self-learn and builds stronger local communities. It is an initiative to promote science, creativity and design thinking. We are looking forward to at least 30% of female enrolment in the centre. This is our pilot with Tesco on the Nook project and we are looking forward to more such collaborations to encourage out of the box, creative and innovative forms of learning”.

Nooks are self-learning spaces created within marginalized communities where learners design their own education through internet and experimentation without teachers. The centres are equipped with computers, internet and tools in order to build projects based on the learners’ needs and interests.

Project Defy (Design Education yourself) has established more than 10 Nooks since 2014 across Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and a refugee camp in Uganda. NASSCOM Foundation will ensure the smooth running of the Tesco Nook centre by monitoring and evaluating the growth and development of the individuals and the programme, and its effect on the community.

AISATS Partners with National Skill Development Corporation for Recognition of Prior Learning


Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt. Ltd (AISATS), India’s premier airport services company today in partnership with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Aerospace and Aviation Sector Skill Council (AASSC) launched Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) certification program for its employees.

AISATS is the first ground handling company in India to launch the RPL program, under which, employees will be assessed for their knowledge, skills & aptitude acquired while on the job as AISATS’ employees. On successful completion of the assessment, applicants will receive a certificate from NSDC and AASSC. The RPL platform will facilitate AISATS to provide additional recognition to its employees.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a flagship program under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE). The scheme plans to impart skill based training to one crore people.

Commenting on the association, Ramanathan Rajamani, CEO, AISATS said, “The airport services business forms the backbone of the aviation industry, ensuring safe and secure travel and delivery of goods. With air passenger traffic in India expected to cross the 1 billion mark by 2040, sustainable and skilled manpower is a key focus for AISATS. We are delighted to have partnered with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Aerospace & Aviation Sector Skill Council (AASSC) to serve the purpose of recognizing and providing the industry with this much needed expertise. At AISATS, our employees are our most valuable assets and we remain keen to facilitate their professional development.”

Speaking on the partnership, Peter Immanuel, CEO, Aerospace and Aviation Sector Skill Council (AASSC) said, “Air India SATS is the first company in the aviation sector to launch the RPL program under the Skill India initiative of the Government of India. This program will directly enhance the productivity of the company and increase the motivational level of the employees. Such planned skill development programs will promote a culture of continuous learning in the organization.”

The pilot batch of RPL certification will commence in Bengaluru with an aim to certify 1700 staff. In the next six months, AISATS will roll out this program at its other locations in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Trivandrum and Mangaluru with a target of certifying 4000 employees.

Facebook’s Plans to Merge Messaging Platforms: What this Means for Online Safety

Integration: it seems to be all the rage. As technology becomes more sophisticated, we sprint to incorporate these new innovations into our everyday lives. But as we celebrate Safer Internet Day, one can’t help but wonder, is all integration good when it comes to information shared online? Major privacy concerns have been raised surrounding Facebook’s recent plans to merge Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. This integration will allow cross-messaging between the three platforms (which will all still operate as standalone apps), so users could talk to their Messenger-only friends without leaving WhatsApp.

While Facebook’s plans to merge the messaging platforms are not yet finalized, the company is in the process of rebuilding the underlying infrastructure so that users who might utilize only one of the apps will be able to communicate with others within the company’s ecosystem. Facebook plans to include end-to-end encryption for the apps, ensuring that only the participants of a conversation can view the messages being sent. By allowing each app to speak to one another across platforms, Facebook hopes users become more engaged and use this as their primary messaging service.

But Facebook’s messaging changes have greater implications for online safety as consumers become more protective of their data. For example, WhatsApp only requires a phone number to sign up for the app while Facebook asks users to verify their identities. Will this force more data to be shared with WhatsApp, or will its encryption become less secure? While nothing has been finalized, it’s important for users to think about how the information they share online could be affected by this merge.

Although the internet has paved the way for advancements in social media and technology in general, users need to make sure they’re aware of the potential risks involved. And while this merge hasn’t happened yet, Safer Internet Day helps remind us to make good choices when it comes to browsing online. Following these tips can help keep you and your data safe and secure:

Get selective about what you share. Although social media is a great way to keep your friends and family in the loop on your daily life, be conservative about the information you put on the internet. Additionally, be cautious of what you send through messaging platforms, especially when it comes to your personally identifiable information.
Update your privacy settings. To make sure that you’re sharing your status with just your intended audience, check your privacy settings. Choose which apps you wish to share your location with and turn your profiles to private if you don’t want all users to have access to your information.
Keep your apps up-to-date. Keeping your social media apps updated can prevent exposure to threats brought on by software bugs. Turn on automatic updates so you always have the latest security patches, and make sure that your security software is set to run regular scans.
Click with caution. Cybercriminals can leverage social media messaging to spread phishing links. Don’t interact with users or messages that seem suspicious and keep your guard up by blocking unfamiliar users who try to send you sketchy content.
Stay secure while you browse online. Security solutions like McAfee WebAdvisor can help block malware and phishing sites if you accidentally click on a malicious link. This can help protect you from potential threats when you access your social channels from a desktop or laptop.

Karnataka Auditions for fbb Colors Femina Miss India 2019 on February 10 in Bangalore


With the legacy of transforming lives of young talented women who have become icons in the glamour and fashion industry, fbb Colors Femina Miss India 2019 co-powered by Sephora & Rajnigandha Pearls vows to continue its tradition with an aim to extend whole-hearted support to the new generation women who have the potential to lead and represent the country in the future.

The Karnataka Auditions will be held at the fbb/Big Bazaar, LG-29, Phoenix Market City, Opp To BBMP Office, Mahadevapura, Bengaluru, Karnataka.

With Six Miss Worlds who have made India proud by marking their presence on the global map- Reita Faria (1966), Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (1994), Diana Hayden (1997), Yukta Mookhey (1999), Priyanka Chopra (2000) and more recently Manushi Chhillar Miss World (2017), who brought the coveted crown back home after 17 years - the hunt for the new crown bearer has now begun.

This time too, the pageant is conducting a nationwide hunt in all the 30 states (including the National Capital, Delhi) to crown 30 state representatives who will then compete for the coveted Miss India crown.

The top 3 of Karnatak will go to South Zonal Crowning ceremony to be held at The Oterra Hotel in Bangalore on 24th February; which has come on board as the Hospitality and Venue partner.

The most deserving candidate from each of the 5 states of the South Zone i.e.  Miss India Tamil Nadu, Miss India Telangana, Miss India Andhra Pradesh, Miss India Kerala and Miss India Karnataka will represent their state at the grand finale which is going to be held in Mumbai in June.

To take charge of the proceedings for the South Zone, Dia Mirza will be mentoring the girls. She enthusiastically quoted, “Miss India created a paradigm shift in my life and I hope the same for these girls, too. I’ll give my best to help these girls achieve their dreams and discover themselves”.

The new format will permit you to audition ONLY if you belong to the audition states as mentioned above with a valid document to verify the same:

Criteria’s of the state auditions as stated below:

Birth state: The State mentioned on her Birth certificate
Current state: The State where she is currently studying or is employed in or is a resident of.
Native State: The State where both or at least one of her parent is residing /studying/ employed or born in.
Please note the participation criteria for any girl includes:

Height criteria - 5’5” and above.
Age - 18 – 25 (25 as per 31st Dec 2019).
Age 26 & 27 are eligible for the runner up position only
OCI card holders are also eligible for runner up positions.

The finalists of fbb Colors Femina Miss India 2019 will undergo rigorous training and grooming sessions from the best experts in the industry before the Grand Finale in June which will be aired on Colors. With a dynamic and holistic approach towards coaching all the finalists, apart from the fame & glory the winners stand to chance to win prize in cash & kind to a crore and above.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Need for a Through and Transparent Inquiry into the Crash of HAL Upgraded IAF Fighter in Bengaluru: MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar


“Today, 05 February 2019, I had submitted a Zero Hour Mention on the “Need for a thorough and transparent inquiry into the crash of a HAL upgraded IAF Fighter in Bengaluru and consequent loss of life of two brave Air Warriors of the IAF”.

Unfortunately, it could not be taken up today due to the TMC’s disruption of Parliament and hopefully I will take it up tomorrow.”

Here’s the link to my Zero Hour Mention:   http://bit.ly/2GbeI4M

The three operative paras in the Zero Hour are:

“ The Aircraft was not being flown by ordinary pilots, they were specialists and trained Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) pilots - The Top Guns of Indian Air Force's Air Warriors. It is, therefore, extremely necessary to conduct a thorough and transparent inquiry into this.”

“..Regardless of the outcome of the Court of Inquiry, we owe it to the families of the many IAF air warriors who have lost their lives in these test air crashes to take measures that put the prime focus on ensuring that HAL is strengthened to be more technologically capable, accountable and responsive for its products and services to men and women of the Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and Indian Army who fly them.”

“I also appeal to those in the political class who have dithered in the modernization of our combat fleets for over a decade whilst they bought helicopters for VIPs - to not obstruct the modernization anymore to score political points. Doing so would be to put our brave young aviators at risk unrelated to the enemy or combat mission”.

“Many brave air-warriors have lost their lives in such similar test flights, and while a Court of Inquiry has been announced by HAL, the Government must make it perfectly clear that accountability for these mishaps must be fixed.  It is our collective political duty to ensure that our brave combat aviators fly the latest aircraft and not continue to fly 35 and 40-year old aircraft to fulfil their missions in peace and war for our Nation”

Students of IIT Madras - UAVs for Disaster Management Project Win Microsoft Academia Accelerator Program in Bengaluru




Microsoft India hosted AXLE, a Microsoft Academia Accelerator an annual showcase of collaboration between Microsoft and academia. This year’s AI for Good theme packed in a rich agenda of keynotes, tech talks and student projects that showcased innovative ways of using technology to solve real world challenges. Students from IIT Madras, IIT Guwahati and IIT Jodhpur bagged the top 3 Prizes at the event.

The event brought together Computer Science faculty, Microsoft leaders and employees, several industry influencers and students from top engineering colleges of India who showcased innovative ways of building state of the art technology to predict or manage natural disasters better.

Academia Accelerator is one of Microsoft’s most comprehensive campus engagement programs aimed at building a deep, long-term association between industry and academia in India and reiterates the company’s mission to enable people to realize their full potential.

From just ideas at the campus level, Academia Accelerator Showcase builds on the best through mentor support, publishing support and pitch support provided and eventually provides the opportunity for the best among India’s student developers to hone their CS skills further.

Microsoft believes that among the new technologies that offer huge potential to ensure build richer, cleaner, healthier societies, AI could be considered the foremost. It can transform the output of people and organizations across every sector including better management of catastrophes and disasters and delivering relief materials where required. Keeping in line with this, the theme for Codefundo++ National Challenge under Academia Accelerator was “Build state of the art technology to predict or manage natural disasters better”. The challenge received great response with 5000+ participating students across 21 colleges, and 350 + new projects as Academia Accelerator program celebrated its seventh year of collaboration with students and faculty in India. Top 21 teams showcased their solutions today at the new Microsoft Campus in Bengaluru.

To further explore more possibilities around the same, topics such as AI for Earth: Solutions for Global Environmental Challenges, Health Data Collaborative Enabling AI Network and AI on the Edge and for the Edge to Design Smarter Cities were amongst the favored themes which were discussed during the keynote sessions at the Showcase today.

“Academia Accelerator aims to provide insights to students about important technology trends and practices and adding industry know-how to the existing Computer Science curriculum. At Microsoft, we see unique ways of how AI can be used to improve products, services and how fostering the dialogue on the beneficial use of AI can help in enabling long term sustainable solutions to large scale challenges.” said Chitra Sood, Director Business Management, Microsoft India (R&D) Private Ltd. “India has immense potential to be a hub of development for AI driven solutions. Microsoft’s engagement with the Academia reiterates our commitment to engage and enrich the innovation journey of students in Engineering schools. It makes AI and its benefits accessible and drive digital transformation at the grassroot level. We are excited by the enthusiasm shown by students using AI and anticipate that they will apply their learnings from this challenge through their career,” she added.

Academia Accelerator highlights the concepts of teamwork and collaboration as well as multi-disciplinary focus that took students beyond pure technology or code into other equally important determinants of success, such as user experience, design, customer value propositions.

Microsoft is committed to fostering innovation and creating a real impact on communities. In line with this, the key focus is on empowering students to think innovatively to craft solutions for real time challenges. Initiatives such as the Microsoft Academia Accelerator represent a tremendous learning opportunity for students. In addition to skills and training that launch incredible careers, students receive unparalleled hands-on experience, guidance and mentorship from industry luminaries, potentially opening doors to a future as an entrepreneur, innovator or technologist. Through these programs, students are empowered to dream big, build creatively, learn through competition and boldly bring their ideas to life as they gain lifelong career skills throughout their journey.

Winning Team Projects:

IIT Madras: UAVs for Disaster Management (WINNER)

Whenever disaster strikes, access to accurate information and the capacity to respond with life-saving assistance is critical. The project aims to solve this exact issue by creating an end-to-end autonomous system, to provide precise information about where exactly the people are stuck, with the use of UAVs which are powered with AI and Computer Vision. The system can efficiently distribute the drones to cover maximum area, and perform intelligent tasks such as detecting people (both visible and partially visible), whether they are able to move or not and activity recognition to help in optimizing the resources available.

IIT Guwahati: DUBG (First Runner up)

DUBG is a mixed reality app for efficient post disaster management. Rescuers are busy during operation, which is why this app is based on Mixed Reality so that rescuers don’t waste time on pre-planning their routes and operating any device for communication. DUBG makes basic tasks like communication, navigation and current status monitoring easy for rescuers. The team’s vision is to create an Augmented Reality based navigation system enhanced by voice assistant to make the rescue drives hassle free. Using the current technology of Microsoft such as Mixed Reality and Azure Speech Recognition, the IIT Guwahati team has reimagined current disaster management system.

IIT Jodhpur: Disaster Chain (Second Runner up)

The project is a distributed IoT-based solution, deployed in different sections / rooms of the building with the target as home / building automation solution, which acts as an early warning system and takes precautionary measures on detection of disasters, offloading crucial immediate steps from the cloud to edge, while staying connected to the cloud for data storage and further analytics. It works with an Android app (skinapp), using an exported tensor flow model trained on Microsoft's custom vision service (cognitive services) to predict skin diseases offline (for survivors rescued from the disaster zone).

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Russia to Exhibit Naval Pantsir Abroad for the First Time Ever at IDEX EXPO 2019


JSC Rosoboronexport (part of the Rostec State Corporation) and JSC NPO High Precision Systems will arrange the first demonstration within a foreign defence show of the Pantsir-ME shipborne air-defence missile and artillery system developed and produced by the Instrument Design Bureau JSC KBP named after Academician A.Shipunov.

The presentations of the Pantsir-ME air-defence missile and artillery system will be held at the IDEX 2019 exhibition on February 18-19, 2019. There will be a full-scale specimen to be demonstrated in the middle of the combined Russian exposition organized by Rosoboronexport, i.e. at the exhibit of the High Precision Systems (09-C20).

“The current trends in the development of the navies force the maritime powers to equip their ships with reliable assets to counteract air threats, i.e. cruise missiles, unmanned aerial systems, helicopters and planes. A sophisticated system of countering practically all the possible aerial kill assets has been developed in Russia, and it will be represented at one of the largest world defence exhibitions in Abu Dhabi. Pantsir-ME can be installed on most Russian warships and is very well fit for ships manufactured by other countries. I am confident that it has very good export prospects in the Arab countries, South-East Asia and Latin America,” said Rosoboronexport’s Director General Alexander Mikheev.

The Pantsir-ME air-defence missile and artillery system can be set up on ships with water displacement of more than 300 tons. The system provides a reliable protection of vessels from all the existing and prospective air assault weapons in the whole spectrum of their combat capabilities with an unconditional probability of kill, which is practically equivalent to one, including low-flying anti-ship missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.

“Currently the Pantsir-ME air-defence missile and artillery system has no direct countertypes in the world market in the segment of shipborne air defence systems, and such will hardly pop up in the near future,” noted Sergey Abramov, the industrial director of the Armaments cluster in the Rostec State Corporation, “Demonstration of a full-scale specimen at the IDEX exhibition is a perfect opportunity to present this new state-of-the-art Russian weapon to our partners from the Middle East and Northern Africa – the strategic region of Rostec’s presence.”

The high effectiveness of intercepting anti-ship missiles is explained by high performance tactical and technical characteristics of the Pantsir-ME air-defence missile and artillery system. The system is capable of simultaneous firing at four targets attacking the ship while the kill zone for guided anti-aircraft missiles reaches 20 kilometers in distance and up to 15 kilometers in height. Besides, Pantsir-ME can first utilize its missile weapons, and then, in case of a miss, the target will be hit by the artillery fire with a 100 percent guarantee. 

The system includes a high-intelligent multimode adaptive radio-optical control system. All the stages of operator work - from the target acquisition to the firing - are completely automated. A combined use of the radio and optical control system provides for the all-weather and round-the-clock operability of the system. All this permits a guaranteed elimination of targets at long distances and in close proximity.

New Range Rover Vellar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition Introduced


Land Rover has given the world’s most beautiful mid-size SUV more performance, luxury and exclusivity with the introduction of the limited run Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition.

Designed as the pinnacle of the Velar line-up, the new model has been developed by Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations and is powered by a 404 kW 5.0 l V8 supercharged engine with a range of unique design enhancements. Adding to its exclusivity, this distinctive model will be available to purchase for one year only.

Velar was named World Car Design of the Year at the 2018 World Car Awards and is the second model in the Range Rover family to wear the coveted badge, after the introduction of the Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic in 2017.

With a supercharged V8 engine, the most powerful Velar accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 4.5 s (0-96 km/h in 4.3 s) and is capable of 274 km/h, while cosseting customers with traditional Range Rover refinement and comfort.

Uprated brakes and suspension components, plus bespoke settings for everything from the powertrain to the safety systems, ensure the SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition mixes the personality of a performance car with the go-anywhere capability of a luxury mid-size SUV.

Michael van der Sande, Managing Director, Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, said: “Developing the Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition is the kind of task Special Vehicle Operations was made for. The challenge here was to increase performance without compromising the composure, capability and refinement inherent in Range Rover Velar. We’ve done this and, in the process, created an SUV that strikes a brilliant balance between go-anywhere practicality, dynamic performance and relaxing comfort – it truly is an SUV for any occasion.”

The powerful new model is distinguished by a range of visual enhancements and unique trim finishes, delivering a more purposeful appearance and heightened attention to detail while maintaining Velar’s perfectly optimised proportions and distinctive silhouette.

On the outside, the award-winning mid-size SUV features include a new front bumper with larger air intakes to feed the V8 Supercharged engine and cool the uprated braking system. A new grille and lower side mouldings combine with a revised rear bumper featuring integrated quad exhaust finishers.

The exterior changes combine with a transmission tunnel undertray to ensure the fastest Velar in the range cuts through the air more efficiently.

Even the Range Rover lettering on the bonnet and tailgate has been enhanced, with a knurled finish on the metal element of the two-piece letters adding a fresh degree of sophistication to the exterior. The SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition is also the only Velar available in Satin Byron Blue – a metallic paint finish from Special Vehicle Operations’ Premium Palette range – and all models feature a contrast Narvik Black roof as standard.

Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover, said: “Our continued evolution is driven by a relentless focus on creating highly desirable vehicles our customers will love for life.  The new Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition amplifies the highly desirable nature of the 2018 World Car Design winner by introducing a compelling combination of heightened performance and luxury.”

Distinctive forged aluminium wheels provide another clue to the enhanced performance. The lightweight 53.34 cm (21) design weighs the same as the 50.8 cm (20) wheels on the core model and customers can also specify optional 55.88 cm (22) rims with a unique Silver Sparkle finish and diamond-turned edging, providing a further degree of personalisation.

The larger wheels support the performance focus of the SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition, helping to generate more grip and accommodating larger brakes. Its 395 mm front and 396 mm diameter rear brake discs feature a two-piece construction to optimise weight. The innovative designs also dissipate heat more effectively to cope with the higher braking forces generated during high performance driving.

The extra stopping power is highlighted by red brake calipers (four-piston at the front, sliding at the rear) which feature Land Rover lettering. Gloss Black calipers are also available for a more discreet appearance.

The purposeful exterior is matched by a heightened sense of luxury inside with a carefully curated combination of trim finishes and upholstery. The twin-stitched, perforated and quilted Windsor leather is unique to the SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition and adds to the sense of luxury inside. Customers can choose from four colour combinations (Ebony, Cirrus, Vintage Tan and Pimento) and the SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition features 20-way adjustable heated and cooled front seats with memory and massage functions as standard.

The special touches inside extend to the unique sports steering wheel, which features a specially contoured rim and tactile aluminium gear shift paddles. Lower down, the rotary gear selector and circular control dials for the seamlessly integrated Touch Pro Duo infotainment system all feature a sophisticated knurled finish. An optional carbon fibre pack for the interior adds a more contemporary feel to the cabin, with a distinctive steel weave, while sports pedals and illuminated metal treadplates with Range Rover script complete the look.

The individual SV elements extend to the 31.24 cm (12.3) Interactive Driver Display featuring unique ‘digitally knurled’ dials which deliver an expertly handcrafted sense and finish to the digital experience inside the mid-size SUV and a bespoke SVAutobiography Dynamic start-up screen. This digital detailing continues with the electronics that underpin the driving characteristics of the new flagship Velar model.

Calibrations for the AWD system, Active Rear Locking Differential, eight-speed transmission, steering and air suspension have all been honed and are bespoke to the SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition; delivering a more focused driving experience. Engineers at Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations spent 63 900 hours fine-tuning the unique calibration to optimise the ride, handling and responsiveness.

Stuart Adlard, SV Senior Vehicle Engineering Manager, Land Rover, said: “The Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition retains the all-terrain capability and comfort customers expect from a Range Rover, with an even more rewarding and engaging driving experience. The result is a composed and luxurious SUV that looks, sounds and feels unique.”

The work of Special Vehicle Operations focused on delivering increased breath of capability, maintaining Land Rover’s renowned all-terrain expertise while providing new levels of dynamic control and performance. Aside from far-reaching electronic tuning, upgraded anti-roll bars reduce body roll during hard cornering and the revised set-up for the Continuously Variable Dampers works in combination with firmer air springs for the air suspension to deliver the ultimate balance of composure and comfort.

The AWD system has been uprated too with a transfer box capable of withstanding the higher loads generated by the 5.0 l supercharged V8 engine. The advanced Intelligent Driveline Dynamics system precisely and imperceptibly distributes engine torque to suit the conditions. The set-up can direct as much as 100% to the rear depending on the conditions. 

Speed-sensitive Electric Power Assisted Steering is fitted as standard, minimising effort at parking speeds but delivering precise and direct control at higher speeds, while the Velar’s Dynamic mode has been enhanced, optimising the steering, suspension and transmission settings to suit more enthusiastic on-road driving.

The unique character of the Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition is also reflected by its bespoke exhaust set-up, which provides a soundtrack to match its performance. SV’s Variable Active Exhaust System features valve technology to optimise the exhaust note, depending upon the driving conditions, and provides Velar with an unmistakable V8 rumble. The active set-up is 7.1 kg lighter than the standard design and its increased gas flow helps to unlock some of the flagship model’s increased performance.

The Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition sounds like no other SUV, but the most driver-focused model in the range is as practical as ever. The generous boot capacity is unaffected, while the flexible 40:20:40-split rear seats allow customers to vary the loadspace depending on their requirements. The 82 l fuel tank also promises a genuine range in excess of 483 km.

The new Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition is available in six exterior colours: Firenze Red; Santorini Black; Corris Grey; Fuji White; Indus Silver and, by special order, Satin Byron Blue.

Over 800 Delegates Take Part at ‘INCAL 2019’ Conference Inaugurated in Bhubaneswar


Anil Mukim, IAS, Secretary to Govt of India inaugurated the much-awaited mega aluminium conference – International Conference on Aluminium (INCAL 2019) in the presence of a galaxy of business leaders and delegates from across the globe and different parts of India descending in Bhubaneswar for the 3-day Exhibition and Conference being held from Jan 31-Feb,3. 

With bullet trains, aerospace, electric vehicles and smart cities set to dominate the next phase of development in emerging economies like India, the spotlight on making Aluminium as the Metal of choice will be a key focus area in INCAL 2019. Billed as one of the biggest events in the Aluminium calendar in Asia, INCAL 2019 will showcase the latest technologies and advancements in the sector. 

Anil Mukim, IAS, praised the Indian Aluminium industry for showcasing India’s strength in front of a global audience and urged the stakeholders to work towards increasing the domestic consumption of aluminium in a sustainable manner and make Aluminium as the metal of choice for the future. 

More than 850 delegates, including 300 foreign delegates from 20 countries with Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Consul Generals is participating in the mega Global Summit, where aluminium producers, technologists, equipment suppliers, raw material suppliers from across the globe are participating for developing a roadmap for sustainable aluminium industry vis-à-vis other metals and contributing for green development.

Dr. Tapan Kumar Chand, Chairman, Aluminium Association of India (AAI) and CMD, NALCO said, ‘’This is a huge moment for India and Odisha to showcase the country as an attractive investment-friendly destination across the globe. For INCAL 2019, we have a three-pronged strategy to send across a strong message to the stakeholders in the Metal and Aluminium industry. At the international level, we are aiming to project Aluminium as the futuristic metal, at the national level, we are committed to take steps to increase domestic consumption as there is tremendous scope and at the state level, project mineral-rich Odisha as the Aluminium Capital of India.’’   

INCAL is being held in Bhubaneswar for the first time, under the aegis of Ministry of Mines and organized by Aluminium Association of India (AAI).

Speaking on the occasion, Ajay Dixit, CEO, Aluminium and Power, Vedanta Ltd. said, "India can evolve as the nation of choice for the global aluminium industry. While the aluminium sector contributes 1.9 per cent to our manufacturing GDP currently, it can contribute almost 10% to the GDP in the next 3-5 years.  With government support, this metal of national importance can propel the next wave of development and job creation in the country."

The Conference, besides having a world class program with the theme “MAKING ALUMINIUM - DRIVING GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT”, will deliberate on several key topics and issues of Aluminium industry with a special session on Downstream Prospects and Emerging Applications of Aluminium. This conference is being attended by top executives of global aluminium industries like ALCAN of Canada, ALCOA of USA, CHALIECO & CHINALCO of China, EMAL of Emirates, DUBAL of Dubai, Rio Tinto, London, RUSAL of Russia, Norsk Hydro of Norway etc. and equipment suppliers like FL Smidth of Denmark, SMS of Germany, Danielle, ALMEX & Properzi of Italy, Carbone Savoie of France etc.   

Apart from attracting investment, the Meet is also providing a global trade and knowledge-sharing platform, open business talks between countries, states, and corporations.

QuEST Appoints Arun Pai as President of New Business Development


QuEST Global, the pioneering engineering services provider, has appointed Arun Pai as President of New Business Development. In this role, he will be responsible for fuelling the company’s next phase of growth across diverse industries – Aerospace & Defense, Aero Engines, Automotive, Rail, Medical Devices, Power, Oil & Gas, Industrial and Hi-Tech. Prior to joining QuEST, Arun was Corporate Vice President at HCL Technologies, where his charter was to grow the Commercial Industries Portfolio that includes Hi-Tech, Automotive, Manufacturing, Aerospace & Defense, Transportation, Energy & Utilities, Oil & Gas and Industrial.

Arun joins QuEST with more than 30 years of progressive experience in Engineering and IT services industry. During his three decades of service in the industry, Arun was instrumental in providing strategic and transformational benefits to various customers by delivering tangible business value across different outsourcing services including Product Development, Production and Aftermarket Services along with Digital and Enterprise Solutions. He has deep experience of heading businesses ranging from USD 500 million to 1 billion and has led global sales in various markets across North America, Europe, Taiwan and India.

Robert Harvey, President, Sales, QuEST Global said, “Arun brings invaluable experience and an excellent track record of building and scaling businesses globally. His deep experience in serving global customers, understanding of engineering operations and enterprise challenges across diverse industries will help us to further accelerate our growth plans and growing investments in new business development.  Arun is also a great fit to our empowered, entrepreneurial, humble and hungry culture.”

Commenting on his appointment, Arun Pai said, “The engineering, product lifecycle and enterprise ecosystems are undergoing significant shifts due to digital disruptions and ever changing consumer needs. QuEST being a pioneer in the engineering services space is leading some of these disruptions. I am excited to be part of this successful team and look forward to contributing towards QuEST’s next phase of growth.”

Simplilearn’s #NewYearNewOpportunity Contest Results Reveal Technology Skills in Highest Demand


Simplilearn, a global e-learning provider, released today the results of a New Year’s resolution-themed contest they recently conducted, results that shed light on the technology skills most sought after by high-tech professionals, career seekers and other learners in 2019.  Courses in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, Data Science and Business Intelligence (BI), and Project Management topped the list of the most-desired skills participants selected as their preferred focus of future training. The complete results, ranked in order of preference of technology categories, are shown below.

Using the hashtag  #NewYearNewOpportunity, Simplilearn hosted the contest on its Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram social media channels for 24 days. The contest invited participants to indicate which courses they thought would be most beneficial to their careers. More than 500 people participated in the contest. 55.4 percent of entries were from India, followed by the U.S. and other geographies with 6.8 percent and 37.8 percent respectively.

In addition to selecting their preferred category of training, participants were asked to submit entries in the form of an essay, video, photo collage, song or other creative project.. The best four entries won a free Simplilearn online training course of their choice. Winners were selected based on the quality and creativity of their entries.

Listed in order of preference, the results below show the technology categories selected by the contestants and by what percentage they were chosen:

Technology Category Selected          Percentage Chosen                                                                         
AI & Machine Learning                 22.4%
Data Science & BI                     17.2%
Project Management                    10.6%
Cyber Security                        8.5%
Cloud Computing                       7.1%
Digital Marketing                     6.8%
DevOps                                6.4%
Agile/Scrum                           6.2%
Big Data                              5.6%
IT Service and Architecture           4.4%
Salesforce                            2.7%
Quality Management                    2.1%

Unity Technologies Unveils 2019 Developer Conference Lineup

Unity Technologies (https://unity3d.com/), creator of the world’s most widely used real-time 3D development platform, announced recently the lineup of global Unite conferences and Developer Days. The 2019 Unite conferences will be hosted in locations that house thriving ecosystems of development and creativity. Smaller, more focused Developer Days will provide creators with tangible skills to launch, market, and monetize successful careers. Attendees of this year’s events will get an in-depth look at the Unity 2019 development cycle: an ever-evolving platform featuring a suite of services and collaboration tools to enable teams in delivering performant, beautiful experiences coupled with monetization solutions to maximize success.

Unite conferences serve as a weekend-long celebration of Unity developers, providing them with exclusive access to brainstorm with Unity experts and industry leaders, get a sneak peek at what Unity will bring creators in the future, and unlock the full creative potential of the Unity platform. Developer Days are curated events dedicated to ensuring the Unity developer community makes the most of Unity’s technology and learns new skills to take development to the next level.

“Every year I look forward to announcing our Unite conferences and Developer Days because it means developers are one step closer to interacting with our newest technologies and innovations,” said Brett Bibby, Vice President of Engineering, Unity Technologies. “This year, between the two different formats, we’re rolling out more locations than ever before, giving us the opportunity to meet and interact with developers from every corner of the world.”

2019 Unite conferences dates and locations:

Unite Shanghai, May 10-12; Shanghai International Convention Center
Unite Sydney, May 14; Hyatt Regency Sydney
Unite Seoul, May 21-22; Coex Convention
Unite Europe, September 24-26; The Bella Center, Copenhagen
Unite Tokyo, September 25-26; Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba
Unite Singapore, October 1-2; Sheraton Towers
Unite India, November 14-15; Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty

2019 Developer Days dates and locations:

New York, February 9
Montreal, April 6
Moscow, May 15
Hamburg, June 6
Brighton, July 7-8
Bogota, July 13
Paris, August 2
Brasilia, August 10
Indonesia, September 28
Vancouver, October 19
Haifa, October 24
Los Angeles, November 9
Helsinki, November 20

Unity Technologies is the creator of the world’s most widely used real-time development platform, reaching 3 billion devices worldwide. Developers working in Unity are building projects across multiple industries, including video games, film, automotive, and AEC. For more information about attending and registering, visit the Unite website.

ASEAN Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Meet from February 25-27, 2019


The first edition of ASEAN Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Meet 2019 will be held here from February 25 to 27, Karnataka Minister for large and medium scale industries K J George.

Speaking at the curtain raiser of the event, George said, "The event will showcase Karnataka to the ASEAN and special invitee countries.

It will also make trade and industry of Karnataka aware of the opportunities for trade and investment in ASEAN and special invitee countries." 

George said the government's endeavour will be to bring together the chambers of commerce, business persons, exporters and importers of ASEAN countries along with some special invitee countries on one platform to promote trade, business and investment.

The event will be hosted by the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industries.

The FKCCI said in a statement that the three-day summit will be the first of its kind as there has not been any meet of the major chambers of commerce of ASEAN and that too in Bengaluru.

It will create a high-level networking ground for people to explore new collaborations and showcase new products to stakeholders, it said.

The business body was optimistic that the event would raise over Rs 2,000 crore investments and attract industry bodies from over 23 countries.

Monday, February 4, 2019

JNCASR Scientists to Conduct 40-Months Study on Radiation Fog at the Kempegowda International Airport

Fog disruptions could soon be a thing of the past at the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB). Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) – operator of the BLR Airport – has entered into an agreement with Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) to conduct a collaborative study on atmospheric conditions in the vicinity of the Airport. This study will develop a Numerical Simulation Tool capable of predicting onset, intensity and dissipation of fog. The outcomes of this study will come as a huge relief for passengers, flying in and out of Bengaluru during the winter months, when fog is at its peak. The Agreement was signed at a function held at the JNCASR campus, in the presence of Bharat Ratna Professor CNR Rao.

The JNCASR Team – led by Prof. Sreenivas – will conduct extensive Research & Development on the microphysics of radiation fog and transport processes in the nocturnal atmospheric boundary layer over the next 40 months, leading to improved weather forecasting at BLR Airport. Factors influencing the occurrence of fog, such as atmospheric variability, ground temperature, atmospheric aerosol loading, radiative fluxes, water vapour and energy transport in the surface layer will be monitored during the fog season and the preceding months. To ensure accuracy of the study, specific instruments, including a Wind Cube, Humidity Temperature Profiler, Net Radiation Meters, Total Sky Scanner, Data Acquisition Switches and Velocity and Temperature Probes would be set up at designated areas in the vicinity of the Runway at the BLR Airport.

Speaking at the event, Prof. Nagaraja, President, JNCASR said “JNCASR is pursuing and promoting world-class scientific research and we possess necessary ingredients and capabilities to support BIAL in this exercise that will not only benefit air travelers & airlines, but also data from this research would have several other uses over the long term. I am optimistic that JNCASR team led by Prof. Sreenivas along with BIAL will succeed in this endeavor.”

"Fog-related flight delays in Bengaluru have caused delays and diversions, inconveniencing our passengers during this season, as well as resulted in huge financial losses for the aviation industry. As the second fastest growing Airport in the world, BIAL’s aim is to provide facilities and amenities to make the travel experience both efficient and seamless. We believe that BIAL’s agreement with Professors V Nagaraja and Sreenivas and the team from JNCASR will enable the availability of data that would facilitate flight planning and scheduling, directly bringing in relief to our passengers," said Mr. Hari Marar, MD & CEO, BIAL.

"In about eight months from today, we will open our second runway for operations. It will be CAT III B-compliant, with an advanced navigation system that empowers aircraft to land and take off under conditions of heavy fog. However, fog can still significantly affect operations, and, hence, the prediction of fog is very important to adequately support enabled aircraft to operate under low visibility conditions. With this in mind, we have approached Technical Research Centre (TRC) of JNCASR to undertake this collaborative research with joint funding," Mr. Marar added.

Controlled laboratory experiments will be conducted to help in developing parametrisation of energy transport in the nocturnal atmospheric surface layer. Based on analysis of such data- sets, a Numerical Simulation Tool will be developed capable of predicting onset of radiation- fog over the airport region. The effort would also include indigenisation of critical hardware components required for weather forecasting. Once the Numerical Simulation Tool is developed, the Airport will be able to receive visibility information well in advance. This will further enhance the operational efficiency of the BLR Airport. The prediction mechanism will hugely benefit airline operators, who incur additional financial losses owing to diversions and lengthy delays.

Acer Cloud Technology Launches Being Device Management Platform


Acer Cloud Technology announced the debut of Being Device Management (BDM), a device management platform for system integrators and managed service providers. BDM looks to address the device management needs of a growing number of IoT-integrated devices for business.

Acer Cloud Technology has joined forces with smart system suppliers Axiomtek, NEXCOM, IBASE, Shuttle, and AOPEN to provide an all-in-one device management platform across a variety of industries, such as retail, health, and transportation. Together, Acer Cloud Technology and its partners plans to offer an integrated hardware and software device management solution to help system integrators save costs and improve their operational efficiency through features such as automatic software provisioning, remote troubleshooting, and more.

"Acer develops cloud solutions with service-oriented, cloud-based technology to solve device management problems that arise in this new, highly integrated era," said Maverick Shih, Chairman of Acer Cloud Technology. “In launching Being Device Management, we are providing a centralized management portal for better operational efficiency and control of devices. As such, we are excited to partner with these vendors to preload Being Device Management onto more devices for complete and fully integrated solutions.”

A Comprehensive Device Management Platform

With BDM, system integrators and service providers will be able to remotely manage and control any number of devices through a centralized management portal. Businesses will further be able to deploy, organize, monitor, update, and troubleshoot their connected devices at any scale, whether they are a small, local retail shop or an international chain of department stores. BDM’s wide breadth of centralized cloud device management services saves businesses the hassles and costs of having to deal with multiple operating systems (i.e. Windows, Android, or Linux) across their devices.

Initial Rollout to Focus on Digital Signage Applications

BDM was developed as a combination of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT), for a flexible management platform. It’s adaptable in different device implementation scenarios such as digital signage, point-of-sales systems, airport kiosks, and more.

Initial rollout of BDM-preloaded devices will be focused on digital signage applications to meet the growing demand by retail owners and system integrators for more comprehensive signage management solutions. Acer Cloud Technology will be directly supporting partners at industry events such as ISE (Integrated Systems Europe), EuroCIS, and Embedded World all happening this February to promote mutual growth.

Toyota Sets-Up Centre of Excellence at Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering, Bengaluru


Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) in continuation to its long standing commitment towards Skill Development, inaugurated the Toyota Centre of Excellence at Dayanand Sagar College of Engineering, Bengaluru. The concept of establishing Toyota Centre of Excellence at various colleges and institutes is in line with Toyota’s commitment to scale-up the skill sets and offer well expertized workforce to the automotive industry.

To aid in depth knowledge-base of engine composition at the grass-root level, Toyota handed over one cut section of the vehicle engine and an assembled engine. The key focus is to provide comprehensive learning opportunities for the students, offering them a first-hand experience of the vehicle engine. The engine cut section will showcase the component set-up in an engine and its related functioning. While the engine assembly section enables the students to gain an insight of the real orientation of the assembled engine including the dismantling and re-assembling techniques, thus achieving high quality skill sets in engine operating mechanism as part of the Skill Enhancement program.

This initiative is basically incorporated to pursue Toyota’s main objectives to promote, setup, monitor, govern and regulate institutions and academies for skill excellence through development of core employability skills, competency standards and to train on advanced technologies to meet the industry demands globally.

The event was graced by Dr. D. Hemachandra Sagar, Chairman - Dayanand Sagar Institutions [DSI], along with Sri. Galiswamy, Secretary, DSI, Dr. C P S Prakash, Principal - DSCE, Vice Principals - Dr. H Ramakrishna and Dr. D. R. Ramesh Babu, All Head of Departments, Staffs and Students. Also, present were the senior management representatives from Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Mr. Naveen Soni - Vice President and Mr. Sailesh Shetty - Vice President.

Commenting on this initiative, Dr. D. Hemachandra Sagar, Chairman, Dayananda Sagar Institutions said, “Toyota has led by example being a responsible corporate citizen through its various initiatives to cover broader societal issues.  With Quality and Excellence as the basic DNA, over the years Toyota has pioneered in manufacturing cars of global standards. It is our absolute privilege to partner with Toyota through this corporate social initiative which aims to impart high quality of education amongst engineering students. Through this program, we are confident that the students would gain a better insight into the complexity associated with the engine, which is an essential part of a vehicle, while enriching their learning experience and making it more practical and interactive.”

Expressing his views on the occasion, Mr. Naveen Soni - Vice President - Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said, “Skill Development is one of the key pillars of our core CSR [Corporate Social Responsibility] and we are committed to offer the industry more skilled workforce with advanced technical expertise, developing future ready manpower. Toyota’s scalable and sustainable skill approach focuses to bridge the gap underlying India’s rapidly growing industrial sector with evolving technologies and availability of skilled workforce. Through these concerted skill efforts, we provide more comprehensive learning opportunities for the students at the grass-root level. Our objective at Toyota is to enable the students to be industry ready with desired skill sets and competencies, while contributing to the nations’ growth and Industry’s employability ratio.

We are confident that such practical exposure would enable the students to cope with different levels of operations associated with automotive functional mechanisms, while making classroom learning more interesting and exciting.” He added.

The company has been tirelessly working towards enhancing the employability quotient in the automobile manufacturing industry across India, by promoting unique skill sets.

As a part of its commitment towards developing world class skilled workforce for the emerging Indian Auto Industry, Toyota in 2007 established the Toyota Technical Training Institute (TTTI) which offers a three-year rigorous full-time training in – Automobile Assembly, Automobile Paint, Automobile Weld and Mechatronics (a combination of mechanical and industrial electronics) to financially challenged students hailing from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families from across Karnataka. This institute exclusively emphasizes on over all development of the trainees as per industry requirements & towards “Perfecting people” and there by contributing young multi skilled, energetic, ideal students to the nation. Training Curriculum is a unique blend which focuses on the holistic development of Knowledge (16%), Skill (34%), Body and Mind (50%) of the students. Last year Toyota’s TTTI institute accomplished the key milestone of being selected for “Manufacturing Skill Transfer Promotion Programme” under the MoU signed by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Government of Japan (METI) and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Government of India (MSDE).

Some of the key highlights of TKM’s other skill initiatives follows:

·         Gurukul is a well-equipped learning center at TKM imparts diverse training to employees at all levels which helps them to improve their abilities and thoroughly fulfill their roles. Everyone who works in Toyota experiences 70% of their development through the job itself; and the experience serves as a driving force in developing the next generation.

·         Toyota Technical Education Program (T-TEP) provides technical know-how training to ITI students across India along with providing hands-on real-time experience within Toyota dealerships

·         Toyota Apprentice Scheme (TAS) – Under TAS, TKM has trained over 12,000 Apprentice Members (ITI, Diploma and Engineer) since 2002, which makes it one of the largest sources of providing such manpower to the industry.

·         National Skill Contest– Launched in 2014, National Sales & Service Skill Contest is an initiative that provides Toyota’s dealer sales & service personnel to showcase their skill levels with a view to identify gaps and improvise. Held at three levels – across dealership, regional and national levels, the contestants are evaluated on various parameters such as knowledge, process demonstration, soft skills and role plays among others. Continuous training skills are imparted to hone the dealer personnel skill sets to meet the growing expectations and deliver Toyota’s best-of-all Quality, Durability & Reliability for ultimate customer delight.

Manipal Hospitals Bengaluru Pledges For A ‘Cancer Less Future’


In an attempt to raise awareness and build cancer care capacity for a future without cancer, Manipal Hospitals Bengaluru today launched “Centre of Excellence for Immunotherapy, Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) and Pressurized Intraperitoneal Aerosol Chemotherapy (PIPAC)” at its premises today.

Aimed at educating people on early screening to detect and defect cancer, the hospital also unveiled a Dream Catcher, which is a positive element to signify Good Health on World Cancer Day. The Centre of Excellence for Immunotherapy and the campaign were launched by Ms. Manisha Koirala, Actress, Model and Cancer Survivor in the presence of Dr. H. Sudarshan Ballal, Chairman Manipal Hospitals, Dr. Somashekhar S.P, Chairman & HOD Surgical Oncology, Manipal Hospitals Bengaluru & Dr. Amit Rauthan, Medical Oncologist, Manipal Hospitals Bengaluru.

Cancer is a disease caused primarily due to environmental and genetic factors. It can affect almost any part of the body. According to National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR), an estimated number of around 2.25 million people are living with cancer.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. H. Sudarshan Ballal, Chairman Manipal Hospitals said, “The reason behind the alarming statistics of cancer is the ignorance and denial of people, which often leads to delayed diagnosis and treatment. Nevertheless, problem lies in management of cancer and not the disease. In order to resolve the issue, Manipal Hospitals aim is to invest in best of technology in terms of treatment and create opportunities to make them accessible to public thereby reducing the burden of transportation. In fact, we have been supporting the cause of cancer awareness for years now with various initiatives. This year in order to take control of one’s health with the latest in cancer care; Manipal Comprehensive Cancer Centre has launched the Centre of Excellence for Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) and Pressurized Intraperitoneal Aerosol Chemotherapy (PIPAC) as well as Centre of Excellence for Immunotherapy which are game changers in management of cancer.”

Speaking on the occasion renowned Model, Actress and Cancer Survivor Ms. Manisha Koirala said, “Cancer is deadly and very traumatizing. However, we can overcome it by adapting a positive attitude and healthy lifestyle. Being a cancer survivor myself, I learnt that having a positive mind and attitude towards could help us overcome our fears. However, there is need for creating awareness on cancer, early detection and working towards preventing the disease. I am glad to be a part of this initiative by Manipal Hospitals where I can encourage people and contribute towards the cause to some extent.”

Though cancer is a major cause of mortality, it can be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle. Consumption of tobacco, alcohol and junk food can also enhance risk of cancer. It is important to follow a regular fitness regime. Significant proportion of cancers can be cured by surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy and immunotherapy, especially if they are detected early.

Elaborating on Immunotherapy and HIPEC & PIPEC, Dr. Somashekhar S.P, Chairman & HOD Surgical Oncology, Manipal Hospitals Bengaluru said, “Ensuring the availability of and access to, early detection programs for cancer can significantly reduce the cancer burden in all countries. For many low- and middle-income countries, the provision of a skilled cancer workforce to diagnose and manage cancer is a key barrier to the delivery of early detection. However, with advancements in cancer treatments like Immunotherapy and Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) and Pressurized Intraperitoneal Aerosol Chemotherapy (PIPAC), the burden of cancer care has reduced. In fact, Manipal Comprehensive Cancer Center at Manipal Hospital is the referral Center for HIPEC and PIPAC across Asia for advanced ovarian cancer and GI peritoneal cancers and highest number of HIPEC and PIPAC in entire Asia are done here”.

Considering this year’s theme for World Cancer Day, “I am and I will”, Manipal Hospitals have also launched a campaign called ‘Cancer Can Be Defeated’ as a personal positive commitment. The rationale behind this campaign is to raise awareness about cancer and encourage public to lead a healthy lifestyle, which is signified by unveiling a Dream Catcher in the premises of Hospital & other public places across the city.

In addition, a cancer troop created by Manipal Hospitals has been initiated with NGOs across 31 districts in Karnataka in order to promote the fight against cancer. The hospital even plans to organize a series of events for the next 6-7 months.

Present at the event Dr. Amit Rauthan, Medical Oncologist, Manipal Hospitals Bengaluru said, “Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that helps body’s immune system to fight cancer which now is expanding in many kinds of cancers. It not only helps cancer patients survive longer with good quality of life but also potentially cures some advanced cancer patients. On the other hand, while Pressurized IntraPeritoneal Aerosol Chemotherapy (PIPAC) is a minimally invasive therapy, Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a treatment option for people who have advanced surface spread of cancer within the abdomen, without disease involvement outside of the abdomen. Both of which have lot of advantages like reducing chemotherapy side effects, improving chemotherapy absorption and susceptibility of cancer cells and so on.”

“Immunotherapy is the most recent advance in cancer management and is now being used in the treatment of many cancers. It works by allowing the body’s own immune system to fight the cancer cells. The major advantage is that it does not have the side effects of chemotherapy; and in patients who respond, the response can last for very long. Thus it not only helps cancer patients survive longer with good quality of life, but can also potentially cure some advanced cancer patients. “ Dr. Amit added.

Manipal Hospitals has always been on the forefront in providing world-class oncology treatment. Be it Digital Mammography with Tomosynthesis technology used in breast cancer care or Linear Accelerator (LINAC) used in general cancer management or robotic minimal invasive cancer surgeries, its endeavor to make a difference in cancer treatments has enabled the hospital to emerge as one of the prominent healthcare providers in the country. Now with Immunotherapy in unleashing the power of the immune system against cancer, Manipal Hospitals has added one more feather in cap of Manipal Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

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