Saturday, January 20, 2018

Centre to Declare 2018 as ‘National Year of Millets’: Karnataka Government

Nutrient-rich millets have got a boost with the Union government deciding to declare 2018 as the ‘national year of millets’. This decision has been taken following a request by Karnataka, which is the country’s leader in the millet sector.

At the inauguration of the three-day international trade fair of organics and millets, Union Statistics and Programme Implementation Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda said the Union Agriculture Ministry had already completed the formalities in this regard. Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda has been campaigning for declaring 2018 as national year of millets.

Good health, good business

According to experts, dedicating a year for millets will not only increase awareness about its health benefits, but also result in higher demand for these drought-resistant varieties, resulting in remunerative prices for poor and marginal farmers.

Addressing the gathering, Mr. Gowda said that Karnataka is trying to promote millet cultivation ‘as we move towards climate-smart agriculture in the wake of frequent droughts’. He pointed out that the State had witnessed only three normal rainfall years from 2000 to 2017.

The State government had spent ?200 crore in the last four years publicising the health benefits of millets among consumers in a bid to trigger an increase in demand. The State had also appealed to the Centre to include millets in the mid-day meal scheme for school children and in the Public Distribution System, he said.

Meanwhile, 250 companies have set up stalls at the exhibition at the trade fair, which is said to be the biggest such event in the country that has brought stake-holders in organics and millets under one roof. About 150 companies are participating as buyers, besides various research organisations.

After inaugurating the event, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah remarked that he had bajra roti for breakfast, as he had switched over to millets in the interest of health.

The main attraction at the Fest

The main attraction for consumers was Khanavali (the food court), which serves a wide range of dishes made from millets. It also hosts the Food and Nutrition Forum, which is an international conference and exposition being held throughout the trade fair.

ONE Co.Work’s BlockLabs is India’s First Dedicated Co-Working Space for Blockchain Startups at Koramangala

Unlocking the doorway for blockchain-based collaborative R&D expeditions, ONE Co.Work, an innovation-driven co-working space provider in India, has announced the launch of BlockLabs, India’s first dedicated co-working space for blockchain-related startups. Himanshu Bindal, the Founder and CEO of ONE Co.Work, is one of the most ardent proponents of blockchain technology in the country and a founding member of Blockchain Foundation of India (BFI). With this move, Himanshu and ONE Co.Work aim to further bolster the thriving eco-system and allow blockchain-based startups to access a conducive environment ripe for innovation, collaboration and networking.

ONE Co.Work has earmarked twenty percent of its seats for blockchain-related start-ups at its state-of-the-art co-working space in Koramangala. The facilityhas several ultramodern features such as sleeping pods and gaming lounges in addition to essential services needed by today’s emerging startups. ONE Co.Workwill also be organising an event “Setting the Roots of Blockchain Technology in India: Launch of BlockLabs” in association with BFI (Blockchain Foundation of India) and Kryptomoney to mark the launch of the first dedicated co-working space for blockchain-related startups in India.

Setting the Roots of Blockchain Technology in India: Launch of BlockLabs” has witnessed engaging panel discussions, networking sessions, and knowledge sharing sessions by keynote speakers on diverse topics associated with the bourgeoning space of blockchain technology. The event alsoobserved, participation of renowned authors, entrepreneurs, and other prominent personalities that are a part of the blockchain community of India, including the couple who has accepted Kryptocurrency in their wedding gifts.

Himanshu Bindal, Founder and CEO, ONE Co.Work said, “Blockchain is a promising technology that has the potential to completely revolutionize the current business ecosystem. The technology, which virtually is still in its embryonic state, has helped yield proof of concepts for across-the-board applications that range from the financial world to logistics and even public policies, and its use cases are increasing with every day that passes. With BlockLabs acting as a catalyst, our aim is to drive more innovation towards blockchain and enable budding entrepreneurs of India to become leaders inthe emergent technology on a global level.”

Bangalore is one of the hottest international hubs of innovation and is hailed as the world's second-fastest growing startup ecosystem. The city is home tobudding entrepreneurs and tech start-ups well-versed with the most advanced technologies. As a matter of fact, the cityis home to the largest section of IT professionals acquainted with blockchain technology. Through the launch of its dedicated space in Bangalore, ONE Co.Work aims to spur blockchain development in the region, and later carry it forward to other tech hubs in India.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Paytm QR Now Allows Merchants for Paytm, UPI, Cards Payments at 0% Charge; Targets 7 Lakh Kirana Stores in Bangalore

Paytm, India’s leading mobile-first financial services company has announced that its QR now allows offline merchants to accept unlimited payments directly into their bank accounts at 0% charge. Now, consumers can scan and pay at merchant outlets using their preferred payment methods such as Paytm, UPI, Cards and net-banking. The company also announced that it plans major foray in Karnataka and will add 3 lakh more merchants in Bangalore alone in 2018.
This new development is part of the company’s efforts to democratize mobile payments for both merchants and consumers by offering them more choices and convenience.
Paytm aims at extending its support to all major payments instruments so that both small and large merchants alike get the flexibility of accepting payments from a wider set of consumers, and help them grow their businesses. The company’s 10,000 strong sales team across the country is working closely with in-store merchants and helping them gain understanding on the added benefits and convenience of using Paytm QR. It will invest Rs. 500 crore in the upcoming calendar year to conduct merchant training and awareness initiatives to expand the reach and acceptance.
Paytm QR has eliminated the need for additional spends on POS machines for merchants and it has been supporting them in their day-to-day business. Currently, Paytm offers customers the widest range of offline and in-store payment use-cases including parking, tolls, kirana stores, utility, temples, local transport, railway & metros, school & college fee and challan among others. With the company’s clear focus on payments expansion, it expects to grow Paytm’s 5 million merchant base and targets 6X growth in offline payments by mid next year.
KiranVasireddy, COO – Paytm said, “We have been at the forefront of mobile payments in India. Today, Paytm is accepted at millions of large retail chains as well as small stores across the country, and we are committed to building the best payments infrastructure for our merchant partners. With Paytm QR, our merchant partners can now accept payments at 0% charge, directly in their bank accounts through multiple payment instruments including UPI and cards. And there is no monthly limit on collecting payments from their customers. We will continue to invest in expanding our payments network till the time every small and large merchant gets the power of mobile payments with Paytm.”
Foray into Tier 1, Tier 2 cities for expansion in Karnataka
The company will foray into smaller cities and towns in Karnataka and esp will add 3 lakh more merchants to its existing number of 4 lakh in and around Bangalore alone.
Speaking to the media, Amit Veer, Vice President of Paytm says, “Over the years we focused mostly on the metro but off late are looking at tier 1, tier 2 cities across the country. Especially in Karnataka, Bangalore has been a top market for Paytm and technologies like QR are easily accepted here.  About 48% of our merchants are from the mom and pop stores or kirana’s and these will help us achieve our targets soon.”
The other users where Paytm has witnessed a major acceptance in the city are Food; Gas and Petrol; Dairy Booths; Entertainment, Parking and Tools among others.  
Paytm QR offers these benefits to merchants:
– Accept payments directly into bank account
– 0% charge on receiving payments
– Real-time fund transfer
Posts related to Paytm QR now allows merchants to accept Paytm, UPI and Card payments directly into bank account at 0% charge.

ESC’s IndiaSoft to Bring Over 400 ICT Foreign Buyers from Jan 24-25 to Bengaluru

Experience a world of innovations and explore the avenue of sourcing the best of IT products & solutions for the growth of your enterprise including Mobile Application Services, Cloud Computing, SAAS, Big Data Management, KPO, BPO, LPO, e-security, Banking, Finance, Insurance, Telecommunications, Media & Entertainment, Bio Informatics,Engineering Design, Travel, Hotel, Hospitality, Logistics, Transportation, Educational, Pharma, e Governance, and much more under one roof.
The exclusive bazaar will have over 150 Indian IT companies catering a host of solutions with value additions, three dimensional growth in skills, technology and expertise.
The organizers, Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council, (ESC) India’s apex ICT export promotion organisation will host around 400 IT buyers from plus 75 countries converging for business networking and creating a WIN WIN situation by providing a unique business opportunity to both global buyers and Indian exhibitors to interact and forge business alliances, strategic networking, joint ventures, business tie ups. 

Indiasoft 2018 will facilitate building of competencies by providing Indian participants an in-depth understanding about technology, market development and demand dynamics which assists in strengthening their foothold globally. The 16th high tech edition of Indiasoft will be visited by global IT fraternity including Latin America, Africa, CIS, ASEAN, SAARC, North America, Europe, Japan, Middle East, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, etc. A truly B2B landmark event which will delight the participants, exhibitors and delegates with its persona and character.

The Indian software industry has brought a paradigm change in the global information technology (IT) landscape in recent years. Among the IT segments, software and services have emerged as the fastest growing sector of India’s exports. India has been instrumental in sharply shifting the fundamentals of the digital economy away from commodities to technology and value added services. Software exports from India have of late drawn significant attention around the world. Many countries are realising that they could considerably reduce their overall project costs by sourcing software from India, which is capable of providing total solutions in a host of sectors of the economy.
To meet the global aspirations of Indian software industry, the Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) has created a brand INDIASOFT, a unique global networking international IT event comprising of both exhibition and conference. INDIASOFT is meant to create awareness about the capabilities and core competencies of Indian Software and Services Industry and to facilitate joint ventures, collaboration and strategic alliances for outsourcing with overseas buyers.
INDIASOFT would sharply focus on major industry segments that require software and services such as Business Services, Communications, Entertainment & IT, Finance, Banking & Insurance, Government & Public Services, Logistics & Distribution, Manufacturing, Oil, Gas & Mining, Retail Businesses, Educational & Scientific Institutions, Travel & Transport, IT Training etc. Therefore, the horizon of doing business at INDIASOFT is fairly well-spread and wide.
Till now, ESC has organized 16 editions successfully in various IT hubs of India. The Council is organizing the 16th edition of INDIASOFT series called INDIASOFT 2018 . Around 250 Indian IT companies will be displaying a world of innovations and plus 400. IT buyers from over 70 countries are expected to visit INDIASOFT 2018 to forge business alliances, market tie –ups, etc. More details are available at the exclusive website

Amazon Pay Launches Cash-Load for the Convenience at Your Doorstep

Amazon Pay has launched cash load, enabling customers to add cash to their Amazon Pay balance account from the convenience of their doorstep. This feature is in addition to the existing facility of adding money to their accounts using their bank accounts and credit/debit cards.

When paying cash for their cash on delivery order, Amazon customers can now simply ask the delivery associate to add the leftover change or provide additional amount up to INR 10,000 to be added to their Amazon Pay balance. Amazon Pay balance offer customers a faster and more convenient way to pay, without sacrificing on the safety and assurance that they expect of Amazon.

With this industry first innovation Amazon is continuing to extend the convenience of Amazon Pay by making it possible for millions of customers to start making digital transactions and support the Government’s vision of encouraging electronic payment leading to a less-cash society in India. The services enable customers who are comfortable with only cash to purchase from digital product categories which they could not buy from earlier. For the Amazon marketplace where these digital categories are sold and for merchants who accept Amazon Pay, this service significantly expands the addressable customer segment.

The cash-load service is available across India at all pin-codes where Amazon logistic services delivers. Amazon Pay cash load, has been launched in line with Amazon’s commitment to enhancing customer payment experience and increasing their preference for digital payments.

Commenting on the launch, Mahendra Nerurkar, Director Amazon Pay said: “We continuously seek to enhance our customers’ payment experience and increase their preference for digital payments. With Amazon Pay cash load, customers across India can now easily load cash at their doorstep once and pay digitally henceforth.  1 in every 3 of our cash paying customer has already begun using the service and getting its benefits.”

With Amazon Pay balance, customers can go cashless and enjoy fast and easy checkouts, quicker refunds coupled with a secured shopping experience only on Customers get the benefit of ‘one-click’ payments with a faster and smoother check out process. Additionally, through Amazon Pay balance, customers can receive refunds faster than refunds to their bank accounts or credit cards. They can also view the details of balance transactions using an online statement. This statement provides a consolidated summary of all gift card credits and debits transactions such as balance added, promotional credits, balance expiry and redemption.

Canon India Expands Ink Tank Printers Range by Introducing Six New PIXMA G Series in India

Canon India Pvt. Ltd, India’s leading digital imaging company,  expands its portfolio with 6 new models, namely G 1010, G 2010, G 2012, G 3010, G 3012, and G 4010, under its popular PIXMA G series.

PIXMA G-series printers feature a front-facing, built-in refillable ink tank system, by making it convenient to monitor ink levels and refill when required. Paired with the ink bottle's spill-resistant tops, the system is designed to provide seamless and clean usability at home and office. Printer durability is also improved, allowing high volume printing businesses to enjoy reduced downtime.

With Canon’s Hybrid ink system the new printers are engineered to achieve high resolution images with incredible photo-quality resulting in vibrant photographs and sharp text documents. The new range of multi-function devices deliver outstanding professional documents, enhancing home and workplace productivity.

Speaking of the latest addition to the organizations’ product portfolio, Kazutada Kobayashi, President  & CEO, Canon India said, “Owing to continuous innovation and enhancement across our product propositions, we have been able to win our customer’s trust over the last two decades. We are glad to announce that we have closed 2017 with a double digit growth, and this success is credited to the constant support of our key stakeholders; including our customers, partners, employees and the community we operate in. Keeping customer delight at the forefront of all our innovations, this launch of the new PIXMA G series printers is another endeavor to provide superior quality printing experience, complimented with low cost, high performance printing with improved durability. We are optimistic that this new line up of products will become an eminent contributor in supporting our vision of doubling our growth this year.”

He further added, “We are proud to have representatives from our head office present amidst us at the launch of the new series. Their presence further amplifies the technological strength of the new models along with testifying the increasing prominence of Canon India in the global map of our organization.”

Eddie Udagawa, Vice President, Consumer Imaging and Information Centre, Canon India said, “As leaders in the imaging industry, we are always focused to enable the growth of the imaging culture in the country.  With its improved features, providing high productivity at an effective cost, the new G series is a perfect solution for the student, home and small office set ups to explore their creative self’s. For truly creative photo printing, we offer our customers the world of ‘Canon Creative Park’, an elaborate bank of creative art work and downloadable 3D paper craft materials that enables the users to print a variety of personalized creations. Further enhancing creativity, this launch is being accompanied with a software called Poster Artist Lite, comprising of over 100 free-to-access templates, photos and clip art. This is an optimal tool for home office and small business customers, enabling them to print professional looking creative posters and flyers. Adding to the existing two models from the G series family; G2000, G3000, we now have eight cutting edge PIXMA G series products to address our customers’ printing requirements.”

C Sukumaran, Director, Consumer System Products, Canon India, said “Launched in 2015, our PIXMA G series has succeeded in creating a benchmark for itself. Today’s launch is a step ahead in the direction of customer delight and innovation. In today’s constant ‘on the run’ world, it is imperative to empower our customers with the best mobile technology, our new G series among several other features, enables ‘Direct Mobile Printing’, that enables access to printing on the go. Feeding the appetites of businesses with high print volume demands, the new PIXMA G series is enabled to deliver up to 6,000 black-and-white document pages and 7,000 colour document pages on the bundled set of 4 ink bottles. With improved color image quality and high yield and low cost of printing, we are optimistic that the new G series would be significant contributor to our existing growth, in the CISS category.”

Accompanying this launch, Canon India is also announcing interesting consumer promotions on G2000 and G2010 to make this further attractive to home consumers. The G series will be accompanied with new range of Canon photo papers available in several variants.

The new G Series printers will be available between the price range of Rs 8,195 to Rs 17,425.

Product Annexure-

PIXMA G4010: The powerhouse of the G series. This wireless multifunction machine combines print, copy, scan and fax functions in a compact body. A 20-sheet Auto Document Feeder automates batch scan jobs easily, while a two-line LCD display simplifies common copy and scan functions. The printer supports Wi-Fi and can also be operated easily using the Canon Print Inkjet/SELPHY print and scan application.

PIXMA G3010, PIXMA G3012 (With additional ink bottles): The G3010 is the ideal printer for homes and small businesses. This multifunction printer copies, prints from, and scans easily to mobile phones, tablets and laptops over Wi-Fi. A 1.2 inch segment LCD display delivers on the basics such as making multiple document copies easy, and also enhances ease of use for a variety of printer configuration options without a PC, including Wi-Fi Setup. The printer also supports direct wireless connection to mobile devices and tablets without a router.

PIXMA G2010, PIXMA G2012 (With additional ink bottles): The G2010 delivers on high volume printing needs for users of connected PCs. A 1.2 inch segment LCD panel, similar to that on the G3010, makes it easy to execute multiple copy or scan jobs.

PIXMA G1010: For users and businesses with high volume printing needs, the G1010 is the ultimate low-cost solution. Crisp text and solid colors show up in every document printout, and photos printed with the G1010 display bright and vivid colors every time.

Bentley Advances the Power, Accessibility, and Pervasiveness of Visualization and Virtual Reality for Infrastructure Projects

Bentley Systems announces the availability of new capabilities for MicroStation CONNECT Edition that significantly advance the visualization and enhanced reality workflows for anyone involved in infrastructure modeling workflows. Key among the new enhancements is the incorporation of Bentley LumenRT Designer as a no-cost companion install, enabling every user of any Bentley CONNECT Edition design modeling application, such as MicroStation, AECOsim Building Designer, OpenRoads, and OpenPlant, to take advantage of real-time visualization capabilities to complement their existing extensive rendering and animation capabilities. Bentley LumenRT Designer offers a subset of Bentley LumenRT’s extensive environmental content library of vegetation, vehicles, and characters.
For more advanced visualization workflows, users can leverage Bentley LumenRT CONNECT Edition. Additional capabilities enable users to output even higher resolution images and Ultra HD videos as well as produce models for use on virtual reality devices such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Samsung Gear VR to provide both phone-based static VR and dazzling immersive VR environments. It also includes API integration with Bentley design modeling applications, Revit 2017, Archicad 20, Sketchup 2017, and City Engine 2016.1. Using immersive VR, users can:
·  Navigate and explore models in immersive 3D
·  Teleport to any point of view
·  Touch objects to view BIM information
·  Create immersive walk-thru training videos
MicroStation and Bentley LumenRT also provide native support for scalable meshes. Users can leverage Bentley’s ProjectWise ContextShare service to share and stream reality meshes for use in design and visualization workflows.
Speaking about the value of Bentley LumenRT in virtual reality workflows, Terry Walters of H.W. Lochner said, “Having tested numerous gaming platforms and other products, I can say with certainty that Bentley LumenRT’s ability to drive the VR environment right from our desktop cannot be matched in our industry at this time.”

Santanu Das, SVP, design modeling with Bentley Systems, said, “Bentley believes that enabling more users to leverage their design models to easily and quickly produce stunning and clear project visualizations, including for use with virtual reality devices, is another way to help ensure that users can realize a greater return on their investment in BIM workflows.”

SABIC Demonstrates its Innovations at the 23rd National Symposium on Catalysis at Bengaluru

SABIC, a global leader in diversified chemicals, displayed its commitment to innovation through participation and sponsorship at the 23rd National symposium on ‘Applied Catalysis in Emerging Technology in Chemicals’ held in Bengaluru from January 17-19. Janardhanan Ramanujalu, Vice President & Regional Head, SABIC South Asia & ANZ was the Guest of Honor and delivered the keynote address at the conference along with distinguished scientists of the country including Padma Vibhushan Dr. M.M. Sharma, Padma Shri Dr. G.D. Yadav and Dr. Anand. B. Halgeri, President, Catalysis Society of India.

Janardhanan Ramanujalu, in his keynote speech, shared his insights on sustainable development through catalysis, emphasizing on the need for cutting-edge research to find and create new catalysts. He highlighted the role of catalysis and catalyst’s role in developing, supporting the newer model of circular economy as well as SABIC’s strategic partnerships in India in the area of research. He remarked, “At SABIC, our goal is to collaborate with companies, as well as government and academia, to develop advanced materials and product solutions that can address regional and global challenges. In India, we have built strong relationships between industry and academia with various strategic collaborations including our collaboration with Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology (CIPET) and with premier technology institutes in India to jointly work and support academic research done by PHD students in the chemical industry.”

Over 50 senior scientists from across SABIC including India, KSA and USA participated in the event, presented research papers, delivered plenary sessions on catalysis and newer technologies and participated in panel discussions on the future research in applied catalysis. Discussions included initiatives, progress and the path forward for development of catalysts and catalytic processes. Dr. Kishan Gurram, Director, T&I, SABIC South Asia and Dr. Rajeshwar Dongara, Sr. Manager, SABIC were also the key committee member for the symposium.

Dr. Fahad Al-Sherehy, Vice President, SABIC Corporate Technology and Innovation said,” At SABIC, we believe technology and innovation play a significant role in creating new solutions for the pressing issues in the world. Catalysis forms a major component of our research, contributing to our ongoing efforts to meet regional and global needs. We are pleased to participate in conferences like CATSYMP-23, which have provided a great platform for scientists, industry and academia to pool expertise to facilitate research in applied catalysis.”

Eminent scientists from leading chemical companies including SABIC, Reliance Industries, Shell, UOP, Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum, BPCL, ONGC, Tata Chemicals, KAUST- KSA, top Indian research institutes such as Indian Institutes of Technology, CSIR labs (NCL, IICT, IIP), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, ICT, Indian Institute of Science, international universities including Cardiff University, United Kingdom, Monash University, Australia, Universitat Leipzig, Germany and Inha University, South Korea participated in the symposium. Over 500 research students in the field of catalysis also participated in the symposium.

Catalysis Society of India organizes the national symposium on catalysis once in every two years and the present symposium was the 23rd in the series (CATSYMP-23) held in Bengaluru.

mycity4kids Re-Brands to ‘Momspresso’, Plans to Grow Revenue to Rs. 150 Crore by 2021

mycity4kids, India’s largest multi-lingual content platform for mothers in India today announced the re-branding of its platform to ‘Momspresso’. The new brand with the tagline #MoreToMe will expand the content on the platform so as to cater to both facets of the Mother – as a parent and also as a woman. Momspresso will see the addition of new content categories such as health and fitness, beauty and fashion, travel and living, careers and recipes to enhance its relevance to the modern, multi-faceted mother of today. The company plans to exponentially grow its revenue from an estimated Rs. 15 crores in FY18 to Rs. 150 crores by FY21 on the back of growing online ad spends and targeting a larger pool of women-centric brands.

The Company estimates that there are 150 million mothers in India and by expanding the number of languages from the current 6 to 10 in 2018 and the increased scope and relevance of the content with Momspresso, it aims to grow its user base from 7.5million monthly visits to 75 million monthly visits in 3 years.

Commenting on the development, Vishal Gupta, Co-Founder & CEO, Momspresso said, “We realised that we should offer moms support on not just their parenting journey, but also celebrate their journey as a mother, a wife, a daughter and most importantly, as a woman. Apart from the content we have always been known for - children and parenting, Momspresso will also focus on content important to mothers as women. There’s more to every mother, beyond the obvious, and it’s about time we recognize and appreciate it”.

In keeping with its tag line #MoreToMe, ‘Momspresso’ has planned a series of campaigns to celebrate that side of mothers that the world does not necessarily get to appreciate – their  interests, profession, talents, dreams and achievements.  

Mothers form an extremely valuable demographic as they are primary buyers for products related to children, the household and themselves. It is estimated that 40% of the Rs. 60,000 crores annual advertising spends are targeted at this demographic. The Momspresso platform enables brands to create authentic content through Mommy bloggers and also a safe environment in which to engage with the sharply segmented audience of mothers.     

P3 Academy Boosts Skill India Program, Establishes CoE for Aerospace Design Training in Whitefield

P3 Engineering and Consulting today launched a Center of Excellence (CoE) for Aerospace Design Training in association with NSDC and AASSC (Aerospace & Aviation Sector Skill Council) at Whitefield, Bengaluru. The center was inaugurated by Anantkumar Hegde, Hon'ble Union Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Government of India.

P3 along with NSDC will be investing more than $ 5 million to train and skill over 10,000 fresh & experienced engineers over 7 years. The courses covering topics like Aerostructures, Systems Integration, Avionics, Aerodynamics and Technical Publication will be aligned with the knowledge and performance criteria defined as per the NOS (National Occupational Standards) developed by AASSC.

Speaking on launch of the Center of Excellence (CoE) for Aerospace Design Training, Anantkumar Hegde, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship said, “Through the right skilling, you could change the world. If you go through our historical pages you can ask who invented airplanes. History says Wright brothers invented the airplane in 1905. But much before that, in 1895, Shivkar Talpade, tried and flew his own created plane for one and half an hour at Chowpatty, Mumbai. Unfortunately, we have forgotten that.”
He added, “Government of India is entirely with you for providing any sort of assistance. Aerospace and aviation is a budding and one of the most aspirational industries in India and we will have to work together to capitalize it to its full potential in the country. I can assure you on behalf of Indian Government that we will be supportive of any such initiative in aviation sector. So that in future, in your life, you can do anything you dream of doing.”

This CoE will provide an end to end solution for aerospace companies, from the mobilization of students, training, evaluation to the induction/ placement. This will facilitate availability of industry ready workforce for aerospace design and manufacturing sector. In addition, the CoE will be used for upskilling and reskilling of existing employees. Equipped with latest training aids, design software, specific labs for practical exposure and best practices, it will be a world class skill development center. The trainers will include experts from universities, subject matter experts and professionals from large aerospace OEM’s and suppliers.

Industry reports indicates that India produces over 1.5 million engineers every year, of which only 20% are employable by the industry and further only 7% are capable of handling core engineering task. This is the biggest challenge and could limit the growth that India is aiming to achieve. P3 which has its Academy in Europe mainly focus on upgrading skills or cross skilling of workforce in Europe. In 2016, they launched P3 Academy in India to skill fresh graduates in  Aerospace Design and over last 12 months P3 Academy has trained close to 500 fresh engineering graduates and made them industry ready.

Speaking on the occasion Ashish Mishra, CEO P3 India said “Aerospace sector is poised for exponential growth in India. This growth will be in the areas of Aerospace Manufacturing, Airlines operation, MRO and Engineering. Close to 1.5 million jobs will be created in aviation sector over the next 10 years. This CoE will address the huge gap in the skill required by engineering graduates to perform the technical jobs. P3 has identified India as a major contributor to Aerospace sector, we are fully committed to contribute towards Skill India program and drive the change”

The Center will be accredited to AASSC and compliant with the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF). D. Peter Immanuel, CEO, AASSC said “The CoE will run higher level skill development programs in Aerospace Design & Development sub-sector. The skill initiative by P3 Group will provide an ideal platform to aid Design in India and Make in India efforts. Our vision is to ensure that there is supply of adequately skilled workforce to meet the high standards and expectations of aerospace industry. Availability of large skilled manpower could also attract more investments in this space.”

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Cornell University’s Singature Course Celebrates its 50th Anniversary in Hyderabad

Students and faculty of International Agriculture and Rural Development 6020 (IARD6020), Cornell University’s signature course in global engagement, escaped the snowy U.S. and arrived in Hyderabad recently. They are here spending the next few days(until 22nd Jan, 2018) visiting entrepreneurs, cooperatives, watersheds, vegetable markets, weavers and livestock enterprises in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Dharwadto better understand India’s agricultural systems, rural infrastructure, value-added and fiber industries.

It is a golden year for IARD6020, which turns 50 this year. Since 1968, the lives of more than 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students and hundreds of faculty, from Cornell and partner institutions abroad, have been influenced by IARD602 — the first international experiential learning course offered at Cornell, and the oldest such course in the U.S. The course has been coming to India from 2001.

Sathguru Management Consultants, Hyderabad, hosted a 50th anniversary celebrationat Taj Deccan in Hyderabadrecently to commemorate the gala occasion. More than 125 people attended the celebration, including Jeanie Borlaug, daughter of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Borlaug, Cornell trustee Girish V. Reddy, UsheBarwale of Mahyco, Dr. D.P. Biradar, VC of UAS-Dharwad, Sushendru Mukherjee, Sanjay Sacheti of Olam International and a few more.The event was marked by two panel discussions: one on training students for the 21st century, and the second on the implications of climate change for agriculture, animal and human health.

To cap off the evening, the Cornell students and faculty, who had been detained for more than 24 hours by the snowstorm on the East Coast of the U.S., arrived after much anticipation to cheers and a cultural performance by Indian dancers.

During the gala, many Indian participants expressed their appreciation for their association with Cornell. ArunVishwanathan who now runs Ganache Chocolates in Coimbatore-India, attributes his career as a chocolatier to his participation in the Cornell Food &Agri Management Course where he first visited the Hershey Chocolate Factory in the U.S. 

“If my father were here tonight, he would urge us to continue to train future generations of scientists, both women and men, all around the world,” said Jeanie Borlaug, in her remarks at the gala. “This is happening with IARD602 and will happen with the new Norman Borlaug International Centre for Agriculture Development at UAS-Dharwad which we inaugurated this week. Students are the next generation — the ones who will solve the challenges of hunger and poverty in a world constrained by climate change, population, and resource limitations.”

Ronnie Coffman, professor of plant breeding and director of International Programs at Cornell, also spoke to the gathering. "In the beginning, IARD602 focused mostly on production agriculture in the tropics. It broadened to include socio-economic and development issues, and then expanded to provide insights into issues of globalization and transnational communities. The consistent thing about the course is that it often represents a life-altering experience for the students," said Coffman, who was first associated with the course as a student in 1969 and is now the course’s director.

Many industries and agricultural institutions in India will host the students. Among them are: Tirumala Dairy, ICRISAT, CRIDA, NIRD, UAS-Dharwad, Bowenpally Market, AkshayaPatra Kitchen & School, the Suryavanshi Cotton Mills, Shravan Studios, Hafix Designs, and Kothapaly Watershed, to name a few.

“IARD6020 adds an important leadership dimension to the education of undergraduate and graduate students from Cornell and agricultural universities in India who are interested in international careers,” said KV Raman, adjunct professor of plant breeding and genetics at Cornell University, who has been involved with the course since 2001, and who moderated the panel discussion on training. “Students from agricultural universities in India are exposed to a wide range of agricultural and value-added issues that, in the end, will make them much more valuable in the areas of industry, public policy and government.”

Students learn in ways they can never read in a book or be exposed to in a class lecture. “The experiential learning is highly appreciated by all,” said Raman.

This year, 39 Cornell students from the U.S.have met up with 12 Indian counterparts, accompanied by 12 Cornell and two Indian faculty. The course — which has a fall semester pre-quel requirement and a spring semester reflection — is taught through a combination of on-site, distance-educationand experiential learning. In October, the Indian students spent two weeks with their peers in Ithaca, NY, at Cornell.

“Student engagement with development practitioners, field researchers and rural people in the countries visited brings to life the issues and ideas that otherwise are classroom abstractions,” said Raman. He also added, “Students and faculty in India and the U.S. benefit from the involvement of their peers who help each other navigate the context-specific cross-cultural dimensions of development studies.”

SOTC Announces Special Packages on Jan 21 at Holiday Bazaar in Bangalore

In a focused initiative to capture high potential leisure markets in metros and non-metros, SOTC has announced its unique customer outreach program, right to its customer’s doorstep- SOTC Holiday Bazaar which is scheduled for January 21, 2018 at Bangalore from 9 AM – 6 PM.

Internal data at SOTC has indicated interesting holiday booking trends about Bangalore, which includes a delightful blend of preferences for destinations in terms of beach landscape, cruise and adventure. This one-of-a-kind unique proposition will encourage the value seeking Indian customers to be able to avail unique holiday experiences with assistance from the qualified sales personnel at the venue.

Speaking about the offer Daniel D'souza, Head Sales, India and NRI Markets, SOTC Travel said“The concept of Holiday Bazaar is associated with great offers at the most affordable price. Given the unprecedented customer demand to the SOTC Holiday Bazaar conducted last year that saw an overwhelming response, we are hopeful that this initiative seeks to provide an exceptional vacation experience to travelers at the best rates and is extremely popular with our customer base. Through the Holiday Bazaar customers can avail Cash Discounts, Upgrades, Add on Free holidays.”
Venue: Vivanta by Taj, 41/3 M. G. Road, Bangalore.


1.    On our 15-Day Grand Tour of Europe Visit: United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy & Vatican

(Get  a 4-Nights  Mediterranean Cruise Free This Cruise offer is also valid on 13-Day Magical Europe & 15-Day All of Europe)

2.    On Our 17-Day All of USA with Orlando Visit: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Niagara, Hershey, Philadelphia, Washington DO, New York & Orlando

(Get a 3-Nights Bahamas Cruise Free This Cruise offer is also valid on 16-Day American Explorer)

1.    15-Day  Splendid Europe Visit:
United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy & Vatican - Special Launch Price 2,01,625

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Sweden, Norway & Denmark Get 5-Nights Russia & Finland Free
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San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Niagara, Hershey, Washington DC & New York Get 3-Nights Bahamas Cruise OR 4-Nights Eastern Canada Free
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Buenos Aires, Lima, Cuzco, Iguassu& Rio De Janeiro Get Cash Discount of 70,000

5.    10-Day  European Splendors Visit:
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Get 3-Nights Mediterranean Cruise Plus 1-Nt. Barcelona Free

6.    9-Day Amazing Europe with Zermatt visit:
Paris, Lausanne, Monteux & Zermatt Special Launch Price - 1,68,625

7.    15-Day West Coast of USA & Canada Visit:
San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Calgary, Banff, Jasper, Jasper, Victoria, Whistler, and Get Case Discount of 60,000   

8.    9-Day Canadian Rockies Visit:
Calgary, Banff, and Visit: Paris, Victoria, Whistler & Vancouver & Vancouver Get 7-Nights Alaska Cruise Free

1.    15-Day Enchanting Europe Visit:
France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia & Austria Special Launch Price - 1,62,750

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Vienna, Zell Am See, Hallstatt, Innsbruck & Salzburg Special Launch Price - 1,12,500

3.    10-Day Highlights of USA Visit:
New York, Washington DC, Niagara, Las Vegas, Los Angeles & San Francisco Special Launch Price 1,88,300

4.    13-Day All  of Canada Visit:
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1.    6-Day Glimpses of West Coast @ 1,11,350

2.    5-Day Glimpses of East Coast @ 1,01,400

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4.    7-Day Best of Switzerland @ 1,06,900

5.    8-Day European Dreams @ 1,05,500

1.    7-day easy Mauritius visit: Mauritius

2.    5-Day Sheraton Maldives Visit: Maldives

3.    5-Day Thailand Visit: Bangkok & Pattya

4.    4-Day Kuala Lumpur Visit:  Kuala Lumpur

5.    5-Day  Switzerland Visit: Interlaken & Lucerne

6.    8-Day Classic Egypt Visit: Cairo, Nile Cruise & Sharm eI-Sheikh

7.    8-Day  Beautiful South Africa Visit: Cape Town, Garden Route, Sun City & Johannesburg

8.    6-Day Kenyan Delight Visit: Mt. Kenya, Lake Naivasha , Masai Mara & Nairobi
9.    11-Day Explore New Zealand Visit: Auckland, Rotorua, Oueenstown, Christchurch

10. 16-Day American Dream Visit: New York, Washington DC, Niagara Falls, Glacier Region & Orlando, San Francisco, Las Vegas & Los Angeles

1.    6 day Enchanting Kashmir Visit:
Srinagar, Gulmarg & Pahalgam - 7 30,600 (Ex-Delhi)

2.    7-Day Highlights of Kashmir Visit:
Srinagar, Gulmarg, Pahalgam & Sonamarg - 7 39,800 (Ex-Delhi)

3.    6-Day  Enchanting Andaman Visit:
Port Blair, Havelock & Neil Island - 7 33,700 (Ex-Mumbai/Chennai)

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Leh, Sham Valley, Khardung La & Pangong Tso - 7 36,900 (Ex-Delhi)

5.    8-Day Highlights of Eastern Himalaya Visit:
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Leh, Alchi, Nubra Valley & Pangong TSO - 7 50,700 (Ex-Delhi)

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