Saturday, April 4, 2020

Xiaomi Announces ‘Redmi Creator Academy’ in India Aimed at Promoting High Quality Content Creation Practices

Xiaomi, India’s number one smartphone and smart TV brand today announced Redmi Creator Academy (RCA) for millions of aspiring content creators. RCA is Xiaomi’s first series of virtual masterclasses aimed at providing industry’s best learning practices to aspiring content creators.

Redmi Creator Academy kick starts its first phase with virtual YouTube Video masterclasses with several media, YouTube and in-house experts from Xiaomi India. All sessions start from Monday, 6th April 2020 across Redmi India YouTube channel and will be conducted daily throughout the week absolutely free of cost.

One week of virtual masterclasses will be spread across the entire journey of building high quality YouTube videos and all experts will cover all important aspects of creating content along with marketing it. Here are the details of each session which can be attended

Monday, 6th April 2020
Creative Writing
Tuesday, 7th April 2020
Legal Aspects
Wednesday, 8th April 2020
Production Workflow
Thursday, 9th April 2020
Publishing & SEO Best Practices
Friday, 10th April 2020
Social Media Marketing

List of Speakers and moderator:

Sandeep Sarma, RevAtlas
Megha Vishwanath, CNBC TV 18
Bharat Nagpal, iGyaan
Ruhez Amrelia, Techno Ruhez
Ershad Kalebullah, Mr. Phone
Harshitha Thammaiah, Xiaomi India
Sandeep Kumar Raju, Xiaomi India
Shree Das, Xiaomi India
Sumit Sonal, Xiaomi India
Sivakumar Ramamoorthy, Xiaomi India
Moderator: Ankit Vengurlekar, Xiaomi India

Anuj Sharma, Chief Marketing Officer, Xiaomi India commented, “India has one of the world’s biggest and most vibrant content creator communities. Redmi has always stood strong as an enabler of the creator community. With so many different aspects that go into becoming a successful creator and the lack of a credible platform to share all the dos and don’ts, we feel this gap needs to be addressed. Redmi Creator Academy aims to change that by providing a platform for all the budding creators across various disciplines and thus enabling their creativity. We are extremely excited for the launch of the first series of RCA and hope that it helps millions of creators to achieve their dreams.”

The Best of Entertainment by the NCPA Starts from April 3 to April 9, 2020 at 6:00 pm

Don’t let the lockdown dull you spirits. While we get used to the new normal, India’s premier cultural institution, the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), will showcase the best of events from its archives on YouTube to lift your spirits in these challenging times. The showcase will include exclusive videos specially curated from NCPA's extensive library. Starting from Friday, 3rd April, you can log on to NCPA's YouTube channel and watch performances across genres from the archives. Here is the list of top 8 shows, so you can block your calendar.

Enjoy the best of the arts from from the comfort of your home!

YouTube link:

Speaking about this initiative, Mr. K N Suntook, Chairman and SOI founder NCPA,said“The NCPA is a repository of great artistic treasures. Our genre heads and the NCPA team have worked hard to put this together. As a cultural organisation, we felt this treasure must be shared in these difficult times in the safest way possible. The best of concerts, lecture-demonstrations and workshops presented at the NCPA can now be viewed online on our YouTube channel. We are grateful for the support that we have received from the artistes”. 

Sportz Village Launches ‘Play At Home’ Program During the COVID-19 Quarantine

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is dominating headlines and has drastically changed our daily lives. Keeping the children engaged and away from devices is the primary concern for parents, especially during this time of the national lockdown. All schools in India have closed and at present, both parents and children have time that could be fruitfully utilized by doing a few physical activities to stay fit. Keeping this in mind, Sportz Village Schools, India's No. 1 sports education organization, has launched the ‘Play At Home’ program.

The ‘Play At Home’ program is designed in a manner that will help the children to be active, healthy and happy while they are at home. The program contains age-appropriate activities and tasks that are helpful to maintain the physical, emotional as well as mental well-being of the children.

The program, which is accessible on the Sportz Village website, is a 30-day long calendar of activities with fitness charts and instructional videos that the children can follow to remain fit and more importantly have fun. The parents can also be a part of this program by observing/monitoring their child during the activities as well as performing a few of the activities along with them. Additionally, the program also includes activities to keep the children mentally active with sports quizzes (SLAM), puzzles (Brain Games) as well as provides recommendations for sports-specific inspirational movies that the children can watch and enjoy.

Commenting on this initiative, Saumil Majmudar, Co-founder, CEO and Managing Director of Sportz Village said “It is extremely important to keep our children fit and happy during this trying time. Through the ‘Play At Home’ program, children will not only be fit, active, healthy and happy but also would get an opportunity to do fun activities along with their parents.” 

Sportz Village’s ‘Play At Home’ initiative has also been applauded and supported by many of its partner schools as well.

About Sportz Village Schools:  Sportz Village Schools, formerly known as EduSports, is India's No. 1 sports education organization working with over 1,200 schools across 250 locations impacting 7,00,000 children. The organization believes in making sports an integral part of the education of a child and is working towards developing a healthier and fitter generation by using a Structured Sports and Physical Education (P.E) curriculum. The curriculum has been developed based on NASPE (National Association for Sports and Physical Education, USA) standards.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Neighbourhood Supply: An App that Helps Locate Essentials Supplies with Your Locality

Amidst the CoVID-19 lockdown in the country and subsequent failure of supply chain management, a Bangalore based techie, Kiran Anto, has come up with an app that can help your neighborhood get supplies in a safe and efficient way. The app, Neighbourhood Supply, alerts the locality on available essentials in the neighborhood, thus, helping people reach the exact location and minimizing the impulse to panic buy.

The Neighbourhood Supply app works as a platform where citizens can sign up as contributors and list the shops, vendors or individuals in their locality who have a supply of essentials such as food, medicines and healthcare supplies like masks, sanitizers etc. Once they are listed, the contributors can give an update on a daily basis regarding their status of supplies. The app helps to form a network in the locality and lets people know exactly where essentials are available.

“Since the beginning of March, we have been noticing trends of panic buying and hoarding in the markets. The situation only became worse as the month progressed, and when the lockdown was announced, people went into a panic buying spree. I believe the only way to face these fears is with knowledge. If people are aware of where they can get supplies, I feel they will be a little calmer during this period. We came up with this initiative to help ease people’s lives and help them locate essentials within their localities and neighborhoods. As the country stands united during this time, contributors on the app are doing a great job serving their community in this time.” said Kiran Anto, founder of Neighbourhood Supply.

Kiran Anto is an employee of Esper who works out of the Bangalore office. Esper is a cloud platform that automates application deployment and management for the entire Android device and application lifecycle. Shiv Sundar, Co-founder and COO of Esper said, “We are very proud of Kiran for coming up with this novel initiative. Neighbourhood Supply is an effective and efficient way to locate essentials within one’s own locality. This initiative is also a reflection of Esper’s values of “Leadership is Ownership”. Esper believes in long-term thinking and does not sacrifice future value for short-term results. People working together toward a shared goal is a powerful force for good. Esper was founded to streamline Android innovation with the hope of serving a greater purpose.”

Neighbourhood Supply is active across 100 locations in India, including Karnataka, Kerala and New Delhi. So far the app has over 3000 unique users. The app can be accessed on

Edtech Pioneer Vedantu Throws Open #21DayLearningChallenge During the Lockdown

Vedantu, a pioneer in LIVE online tutoring in India has unveiled the #21DayLearningChallenge involving social media influencers from various walks of life including Hrithik Roshan, Shikhar Dhawan, Sania Mirza, Jannat Zubair to convey a message of learning should never stop & that it can be continued from the safety of the home. While India braces itself towards the second week of lockdown, these personalities are trying to learn a new skill and make the most of the self-isolation period. While Hrithik’s Instagram post where he is learning the piano is trending, Sania is attempting to bounce the tennis ball on the frame of her tennis racket and Shikhar Dhawan is mastering the art of juggling three balls. Inspired by Vedantu’s 21 Day Learning Challenge, these influencers are throwing open the challenge for others to learn something new and post their experience on social media.

With this unique initiative, Vedantu is encouraging everyone to keep themselves engaged and motivated while learning a new skill right at their homes. While Vedantu is offering free LIVE classes for students belonging to standards 1-12, JEET and NEET from the safety of their home, it is taking learning to a new level by encouraging people to challenge themselves and acquire a new skill.  Anyone can take up this challenge by learning any soft skill be it painting, play a musical instrument, learning a new sport, cooking or even a new trick.

Vamsi Krishna, CEO and Co-Founder, Vedantu said, “Vedantu has always envisaged to transform the face of learning in India through LIVE online classes. We are constantly striving to create new consumer experiences and build intangible value. With this #21DayLearningChallenge, we want to make Vedantu synonyms for overall learning and not just academic learning. As the pioneer in LIVE, online learning we are committed to ensure that India’s learning won’t stop. There's always a silver lining to any situation and here’s an opportunity to make the most of our free time by engaging in something meaningful that inspires others.”

Shivani Suri, Chief Marketing Officer, Vedantu said, “We are delighted to collaborate with inspiring individuals from all walks of life for our 21-day learning challenge. This initiative is an echo of Vedantu’s conviction that India’s learning won’t stop, and we are extending this to everyday life. In times as such it’s important we stay positive, stay home & keep on learning! So, go ahead and challenge yourself as well as others to learn something fun all from the safety of your home!”

To participate in the 21-day learning challenge, take a picture or make a video of what you’ve learnt new today. Share it with us on our Instagram handle @vedantulearns with the hashtags #21DayLearningchallenge #LearningWontStop

Vedantu is offering support to students, parents and schools across to provide Free access to its complete learning platform. Vedantu is providing Free access to all LIVE classes & Premium Courses  with Vedantu Master Teachers, Study Material, Tests & Assignments, LIVE Doubts feature during this outbreak, where students & parents can be rest assured as they can continue their learning from the safety of their homes. Vedantu’s vision is to make the best quality education accessible to everyone and is committed to help students have uninterrupted learning. Vedantu's LIVE classes can be easily accessed at home from your Mobile, Desktop & Tabs.

NSDC Approved Imarticus Learning Launches Free Courses for Professionals Across Tech, Data Analytics...

With some of India’s largest corporations, a swathe of startups and  multinationals asking employees to work from home, considering the number of Covid-19 cases have risen to well over 100 in the past few days across the country, there is a rise in the number of people who want to make optimal use of their time at home. Observing this trend, National Skill Development Corporation approved education platform, Imarticus Learning is all geared up to launch a series of certification courses across technology, data analytics and finance. These online courses are free of cost and allows professionals to upgrade themselves with relevant industry knowledge to fast-track their proficiency in the field.

Imarticus has experienced a tremendous initial response from learners across the globe and has geared to train over 1000 aspirants through their free training programs. Imarticus Learning is one such platform that has comprehensive training capsules in an array of courses like finance, data analytics and data science. The first batch goes live from March 30th, 2020 and the course subscription is on till the situation dies down. This leading edtech firm is set to transform online learning experience bringing together the best in industry and academia, dedicated mentorship, strong-holding and intensive career upskilling.

Since its inception, Imarticus Learning has transformed over 35,000 careers by enabling aspirants to acquire in-demand skills using an #IndustryFirst approach. Through these courses, Imarticus Learning has designed strategic solutions keeping in mind the need of corporates along with that of aspirants, hence bridging the industry-academia gap.
Nikhil Barshikar, Co-founder, Imarticus Learning adds “Upskilling is not an option, it is a necessity and what better time than this. With the Covid-19 outbreak, professionals are working from home and are investing quite a bit of their time in upgrading their existing skills. We have therefore launched a series of free online course that aim to enhance individuals' skills and proficiency with the most engaging learning environment.”

He further adds “Our world today is undeniably digital. With new disruptive technologies replacing old archaic systems, people realise the significance of online learning and quite a significant number of people are opting for online courses. Those who have a desire to learn, to excel find their way to the top, for them barriers cease to exist. COVID-19 is an eye opener and has educated people about switching to online learning. This sudden, but smooth shift has raised awareness on the benefits of online learning and pursuing courses online.”

With new innovations in the finance and data analytics industry, there is a dire need for skilled professionals to stay updated. It is important for professionals to identify opportunities, analyse the risks, predict market behaviour, forecast purchase trends, and conduct other such essential tasks. Innovation driven technology, changing customer demands are pushing professionals to stay informed and thus this course plays a pivotal role in upgrading their skills.

Get, Set, Elevate with these free online certification courses by Imarticus Learning.

About Imarticus Learning:
Imarticus Learning is India’s leading professional education firm that offers training in Financial Services and Analytics. Its mission is to improve the quality of human skill capital to meet the skillset requirements of the country.  It is the only institute in India that today incorporates a variety of delivery methodologies such as classroom based, online and combined. These are managed by a fully integrated state-of-the-art learning management and governance system. Founded in 2012, Imarticus is known for its industry-first approach to bridging the gap between industry and academia. Through its professional qualifications built in collaboration with industry experts and global companies, Imarticus seeks to build the workforce of the future. 

Counter COVID-19: TKM Extends Support to Healthcare Professional and Daily Wage Workers

In light of the overwhelming consequences being faced by the medical staff at hospitals and daily wage earners due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) today announced to provide Personal Protective Equipment kits to the medical staff and public health workforce in the state of Karnataka. Further, the company will also distribute daily food rations and essential kits to daily wage workers through Government of Karnataka’s local district administration in Ramanagara near Bangalore. These initiatives are in continuation of TKM’s relentless efforts to counter the epidemic, making a key contribution to the Government’s fight against the epidemic.

The nation is facing an unprecedented public health emergency with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting several parts of the country. The doctors, paramedics and other hospital staff who are at the frontlines of the fight against Covid 19 are susceptible and require Personal Protective Equipment Kits to carry out their duties effectively. In this situation, in order to support the efforts of the Government, TKM is providing Personal Protective Equipment kits to Government Health Volunteers based on the requirement of the Government. The distribution of the Hazmat Suits will be executed in a phased manner wherein 1000 sets of the suits will be provided in Phase I followed by distribution of 2000 sets in Phase II. The 21-day lockdown announced by the Government to contain the spread of the virus has also had an impact on the lives of the daily earners across the country. In such uncertain circumstances and juncture of social distress, the company will also provide 1000 essential kits and food supplies to the daily wage workers, benefitting over 5000 members in the community. Each kit consists of 20 food items and essential.  TKM is in constant touch with the Karnataka Government and will continue to evaluate, adequately supplement existing initiatives as also suitably enhance the scope of its support in the fight against Covid 19. Additionally, to support the cause ICARE [TKM’s employee volunteerism platform] volunteers provided 27 boxes of food kits that supports around 30 families.

Sharing his thoughts on the initiative, Mr. Vikram Gulati, Country Head & Senior Vice President, External Affairs, Public Relations, Corporate Social Responsibility & Corporate Governance, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said, “In these challenging times, the central and state Governments have put forth exceptional efforts to counter the COVID-19 crisis. At this hour of need, TKM as a committed corporate, is joining hands with the Government of Karnataka and persistently working with them to support the healthcare employees and daily wage earners in every possible manner. We truly appreciate the measures taken by the Government and encourage everyone to adhere to the guidelines given by them. We will continue to monitor the situation and extend support wherever needed to safeguard well-bring of the society.”

TKM has undertaken preventive several measures to safeguard the physical and mental health of its employees and their families by providing them with video consultation services. Earlier this week, TKM also announced unique sustenance packages for its dealer network, providing necessary assistance to the dealer partners to overcome the lockdown phase.

TKM has been intently observing the evolving situation and responding appropriately in accordance with guidance issued by the Government. The company will keep on watching the situation and take appropriate countermeasures in order to support the Government to the required extend and deal with contingencies that may arise in the future.

In Wake of Pandemic, Snapchat has Launched Range of Creative Tools, Features and Content for its Indian Community


Self-isolating workers around the world have been turning to Snap Camera to add some fun to their video meetings.

Fresh from Zoom background changes, office workers around the world are going a step further to add levity during this tough time and arrive in a new digital wardrobe every day, by using Snap Camera with Google Hangouts, Zoom and Teams. Furthermore, Snap has created a new 'Win From Home' section to the desktop application. Some examples shared by our community (1, 2, 3, 4).

As of Thursday 19 March, Snap Camera app downloads are up over 10X since the beginning of the month compared to the norm.

How to use Snap Camera in your favourite third party video chat applications:

●  First, download Snap Camera for PC or Mac at:
●  Then, launch Snap Camera
●  Choose your Lens
●  Then simply select Snap Camera as your webcam device in your video chat application. (You may need to restart your application if Snap Camera doesn’t appear as an option)


Snap has introduced two new experiences that give Snapchatters more easily-digestible information on how to stay safe using augmented reality. The information shared are aligned with recommendations from the World Health Organisation

A new Snappable AR game lets you and your friends myth-bust some of the most common inaccuracies around Coronavirus and learn more about the facts.
A special lens which allows users to show that they are staying at home


Today we also have launched two new Snapchat lenses we worked on with the World Health organization that allow Snapchatters to share facts on how to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe that Snapchatters play a critical role in stopping the spread of the virus, and reliable information shared amongst friends is more important now than ever. They will be live in the carousel for 24 hours on 1 April and following will be live in Search on Snapchat and Lens Explorer.


Starting this week, Snapchatters in India will find stickers and filters they can use to encourage themselves and each other to stay home, stay safe, practice social distancing, wash their hands and work from home.


Bitmoji has always always been a fun and fast way to communicate visually with friends and loved ones, and new stickers help raise awareness about COVID-19 in a lighthearted, personal way in your messages. Bitmoji has released 6 stickers with friendly health reminders like “Keep Your Distance,” “Wash Your Hands!,”and “Stay Healthy, Helpful, and Calm -- with more on the way.


Snap has always taken a proactive approach to ensuring Snapchatters have access to credible, fact-based information on their platform.

With an aim to highlight the most relevant and informative local Coronavirus content for the Snap community, Snap’s editorial and Strategic Partner Management teams are partnering with the local teams to curate, onboard and highlight the best in local language Coronavirus content.

To ensure every Snapchatter all over the world has access to credible information, Snap’s editorial team selected the partners and these partners adhere to guidelines that forbid spread of misinformation. Furthermore, each tile is checked by a moderation team.

Snap’s own news team is also regularly producing coverage and continuously updating it with tips and information about COVID-19, including Q&As with expert doctors, along with Stories reflecting how Snapchatters are faring as they work from home, learn from home, and are coping with closures of schools, restaurants, gyms and more.

Snap is working closely with the World Health Organization to ensure Snapchatters have all the latest information from the experts themselves. WHO publishes regular updates from their Official Account and Snap has collaborated with their team to develop custom content to answer questions from the Snapchat community.

Some examples of Indian partners who have been covering COVID related news over the past week include:

●      Brut India (Profile here) - who took a humorous look at the difference in how introverts versus extroverts are handling isolation, published a character-driven, short-form documentary on a patient in Italy who described what it was like to have COVID-19 and spoke with an Indian doctor about his experience working at a hospital in China battling COVID-19

●      NEWJ (Profile here) - who have reported on the World Health Organization praising India for the country’s efforts to help stop the spread of the virus

●      Pluc TV (Profile here) - who covered the story of a waste picker community in Delhi that was not getting water due to the lockdown and how they eventually got what they needed, travelled to Delhi to capture how people, especially daily wage earners and rickshaw pullers are affected by coronavirus, reported on the phenomenon of of fake news at this time, took a look at why it’s important for us to stay home and what it’s like to work from home and covered a personal experience from a member of their team who lives in Italy, insight into how things unfolded and what India can learn.

Punjab National Bank Now India’s Second Largest Public Sector Bank


* United Bank of India and Oriental Bank of Commerce merged with Punjab National Bank to create second largest Public Sector bank in terms of business
* The synergy from the amalgamation creates a globally competitive, next-gen bank, PNB 2.0
* Customer can now access specified inter-operable banking services

As notified by the Reserve Bank of India, the amalgamation of Punjab National Bank, United Bank of India and Oriental Bank of Commerce has come into effect today, 1st April 2020, to create the second largest nationalized bank of the country - both in terms of business and branch network. The synergy from the amalgamation will create a globally competitive, next generation bank, PNB 2.0.

All nation-wide branches of United Bank of India and Oriental Bank of Commerce will now function as Punjab National bank (PNB) branches while all customers, including depositors, will be treated as PNB customers. The amalgamated bank will have a wider geographical reach through 11,000 plus branches, more than 13,000 ATMs, one lakh employees and a business mix of over INR 18 lakh crore.

In the initial phase itself, PNB 2.0 will be offering specified inter-operable services through all branches and all platforms including Mobile and Internet Banking. To smoothen the customer transition, the Bank has appointed Bank Sathi at all branches/zones/head office (of all three banks) who will address customer concerns and assist them in choosing the right products and services. A robust Risk Governance mechanism has been set up to mitigate risks and make the banking experience secure and safe.

In terms of customer experience, PNB 2.0 will endeavour to be a true next-generation bank with state-of-art products and services, created and delivered by the most modern technology.

Commenting on the occasion, Shri CH. S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao, MD& CEO of Punjab National Bank said “We are honoured to be a part of this historic moment. The new amalgamated entity - built on the illustrious tradition of legacy, ethos and trust – will also be an advanced new generation bank offering diversified products and highly personalized services to our customers. The bigger geographical footprint will help us serve our customers more effectively and efficiently.”

About Punjab National Bank

Punjab National Bank, India’s first Swadeshi Bank, commenced its operations on April 12, 1895, from Lahore, with an authorised capital of Rs 2 lac and working capital of Rs 20,000. The Bank was established by the spirit of nationalism and was the first bank purely managed by Indians with Indian Capital. During the long history of the Bank, 7 banks have merged with PNB.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Bione Unveils India’s First Rapid COVID-19 At-Home Screening Test Kit

Bione has recently launched a rapid COVID-19 at-home Screening test kit and has established itself as the first healthcare company in India to achieve the feat. The easy-to-use kit displays accurate results within minutes, instrumental in the timely screening of the deadly virus. The at-home screening kit is available for sale on their platform after approval from the requisite medical regulatory authorities.

In a breakthrough development, the Biotech company has devised the screening kit for coronavirus which can provide respite from the impending fear of the contagion. The simple point-of-care home screening kit renders quick results, without having to step out in the wake of lockdown. It will foster timely detection of the disease while acting as a preventive tool for others in proximity to the user, by isolating the carrier immediately. The kit is priced between INR 2000-3000/- depending upon the global supply, to increase its affordability for the masses. Under normal circumstances, the ready-to-use kits can be received within 2-3 days of placing the order at their platform. An effective screening tool for mass screening, the organisation is also in talks to provide bulk orders for early detection.

COVID-19 Screening test kit is an IgG & IgM based tool which takes 5-10 minutes to deliver the results. Upon receiving the kit, the user is required to clean their finger with an alcohol swab and use the lancet provided to finger-prick. The cartridge provided reads the results from the blood sample thus obtained, within 5-10 minutes.

The products have been sourced from our worldwide CE and FDA approved partners and are brought to market after stringent quality controls have been ensured. The kits are approved by ICMR and will be deployed in the market after proper quality checks and assurance. The company is in the process of getting approval for more USFDA partners.

The organisation is well-equipped to supply 20,000 kits per week and intends to build its manufacturing facilities in the coming months to sufficiently cater to the high demand. Currently, the kits are experiencing a worldwide upsurge in demand especially from the US, Italy, Spain etc. due to lack of coronavirus testing solutions in the market. It is noteworthy that the screening is done at the patient's end, eliminating the need for a physical laboratory which helps minimise the contraction of COVID-19.

Bione was founded in 2019 in Bengaluru by Dr Surendra K Chikara, who is a world-renowned genomicist, and the first person to bring NGS sequencing in India. It is India’s first-and-only organisation offering personalised Genetic and Microbiome testing services. The organisation has the laurel of being India's first direct-to-consumer genetic and microbiome testing service and is actively working towards boosting preventive healthcare and increasing life expectancy in India. The company had earlier developed a Microbiome test kit to check gut dysbiosis and also genetic tests to predict susceptibility to contagious diseases such as COVID-19, based on their genetic makeup. The data analysed by proprietary Bioinformatics Bione Platform and results combined with tailored recommendations, are helpful in taking preventive measures and in fighting off coronavirus. The stand-alone COVID-19 Rapid At-Home Screening test kit is a reliable screening tool against coronavirus.

Irrespective of the results of COVID-19 Screening kit, Bione urges people to undergo a laboratory test if someone shows the symptoms of coronavirus. An immediate and thorough follow-up on the positive test results is required.

Speaking on the launch, Dr Surendra Chikara, CEO, Bione said, “We had been tracking the pandemic and pooled in a lot of time, resources and attention in our mission to develop a tool effective in curbing the outbreak. COVID-19 Home Screening test kit has emerged as a breakthrough product in such unprecedented times. By bringing down the result time, we are looking to make an impact and help India fight COVID-19. We strongly believe that the government's support is pivotal in leading a revolution against coronavirus.” 

OYO's Ritesh Agarwal to Forego 100% of His Annual Salary and Executive Leadership Team to Take Voluntary Salary Cuts


* CEO of OYO, Ritesh Agarwal, to forego 100% of his salary for rest of the year effective Apr’2020
* With   Travel,   Hospitality   &   Tourism   sectors among the worst affected by COVID-19, OYOs entire executive leadership (CXOs) team takes a voluntary pay cut, starting at 25%, with many opting for an  additional  uncapped amount, and some going up to 50% to enable building the runway for the company

COVID-19 has impacted the global hospitality industry significantly with occupancies of various hotel chains being affected drastically. In this unprecedented and difficult period, Ritesh Agarwal, the Founder & Group CEO, OYO Hotels & Homes, has decided to forego 100% of his salary for the rest of the year. The company’s entire executive leadership team has taken a voluntary pay cut starting at 25%, with many opting for an additional uncapped amount, and some going up to 50% to enable building the runway for the company. This would be effective April 2020 and the entire company is standing together to tide over these times.

It has been a matter of pride for OYO Hotels & Homes that it has retained each and every single leader in the CXO group in the history of the company, and in a difficult time like this, the executive leadership has come together as one strong entity as true partners of the company.

The company management has also taken several other measures to ensure business continuity and is committed to the well-being of its OYOpreneurs. The company has assured that all employees in India, including ten thousand plus OYOpreneurs on payrolls and tens of thousands of OYO managed assets staff including lots of hotels which will open post lockdown will continue to receive their salaries and benefits without any interruptions during this unprecedented period of a countrywide 21-days lockdown.

Commenting on the development, Ritesh Agarwal,   Founder   &   Group   CEO  said,   “The current situation the world over is deeply concerning to each and every one of us. OYO is doing everything to support the world with its limited resources in this pandemic from making isolation centres to finding a safe place for first responders. Given the current business situation, which is unprecedented for our industry globally, I am foregoing 100% of my salary for the rest of the year. I am grateful to my leadership team, that have also taken pay cuts and support the company during these tough times. We at OYO stand committed towards the fight against COVID-19 and will try to do everything in our control to reach out and help people while also ensuring long term success of the company, and our ability to continue delivering on our mission to bring better living spaces for all, at the right prices, globally. ”

In line with the Government’s direction, OYO has taken a series of measures to accommodate frontline medical staff, aircrew, corporates, tourists, PGs as well as foreign nationals stranded in the nationwide lockdown.

The company is focusing on a two-pronged strategy to minimise the possibility of infection and maximise social distancing and hygiene. Certain hotels are being identified to partner with hospitals for setting up safe, pay per use quarantine facilities. Certain others are focused on providing safe shelter to local and foreign tourists and travellers who are stranded in cities owing to the lockdown.

OYO is in touch with various state governments as well as authorities to understand how some of its properties can be of assistance during this crucial period. Recently, OYO also partnered with Apollo Hospitals to offer sanitized beds and facilities in certain COVID-19  exclusive hotels it identified within its network in the proximity of Apollo Hospitals. The partnership will be activated in 6 cities namely, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata for the purposes of self-quarantine and isolation for suspected COVID-19  patients that require medical observation and supervision.

Additionally, the company has also reached out to corporates and is keen to support the lodging requirements of individuals who are at the frontline of India’s fight against Coronavirus through a combination of OYO Hotels or OYO LIFE offerings.

Airtel Announces Measures to Shield Over 80 Million Low-Income Mobile Customers from Impact of COVID-19 Crisis

Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), India’s largest integrated telecommunications company announced special measures to assist low income group customers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

• Airtel has extended the pre-paid pack validity for over 80 million customers till April 17th, 2020. All these customers will continue to get incoming calls on their Airtel mobile numbers even after the validity of their plan is exhausted.
• Airtel will also credit an additional Rs 10 of talk time in the pre-paid accounts of all these 80 million customers to enable them to make calls or send SMS and therefore stay connected with their loved ones.

The program has been kicked off, and these benefits will be available to users in the next 48 hours.

These 80 million customers effectively cover all under-privileged households on the Airtel Network. These special measures will particularly benefit migrant workers and daily wage earners who may have been impacted due to the nationwide lockdown to combat COVID-19. All other customers on Airtel’s network are already recharging their accounts using online platforms.

With these initiatives all Airtel customers will have unrestricted access to vital information from local authorities as also be able to connect with whoever they choose to.

Airtel’s network teams continue to work 24X7 to ensure that India’s digital backbone operates seamlessly.

Shashwat Sharma, Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti Airtel said “In this difficult hour of fighting off the threat of Covid-19, Airtel is committed to ensuring that all people remain connected without any disruptions. And for this objective, it is critical to take care of the under-privileged daily wage earners of our country, whose lives have been disrupted due to the lock-down”.

Columbia Pacific Communities Initiates Digital Campaign #PositiveLockdown to Help Seniors

With the nation observing a lockdown of 21 days to curb the spread of Covid-19, Columbia Pacific Communities has launched their two-week long digital campaign titled #PositiveLockdown to help seniors make the most of their time indoors by engaging in enriching experiences and thus steering clear of the sense of paranoia that is currently prevailing in the country.

They brand has championed the cause of positive ageing and shattered age-related stereotypes through many of its previous campaigns.  Columbia Pacific Communities believes that it is particularly important to keep seniors active during this lockdown period. The idea behind the #PositiveLockdown series is to help seniors stay physically and mentally active and healthy, so that they can glide over this rough patch.

Image may contain: textWith a fresh new idea every day, the campaign urges seniors to do everything that they haven’t found the time to do all this while. Whether it’s reading some of the most popular classics, discovering exotic spices, trying out Yoga or learning a new tune on their guitar, the campaign presents them the best ways to make these 21 days productive even while practising social distancing.

The aged are among the most vulnerable sections of the population as far as COVID-19 is concerned. Hence it’s No photo description available.not only important for them stay home to stay safe, but also ensure that they are positively engaged while they spend their time indoors. The campaign also showcases the benefits of living in a senior living community in these times of distress, with a robust support system taking care of every need of seniors.

Commenting on the campaign, Piali Dasgupta, Vice President – Marketing, Columbia Pacific Communities, said, “We understand that these are extraordinarily anxious times particularly for the senior members of our society who live alone. We believe that positive affirmations of any kind will help them get through this period.”

Heartfulness Institute Unveils Initiatives to Help Citizens to “Deal with Stress Due to Lock Down”

As the pandemic coronavirus spread across the world, Governments, Corporations and Individuals are all trying hard to grapple with the situation and having no parallel before are baffled by how to deal with the same. Uncertainty, Panic, Fear, Isolation are few of the constant feelings and emotions that one is being overwhelmed with not having enough insight to deal with the situation.

While the governments and medical community are working around the clock with those infected, doing their best to help them recover, prayers and wishes from are with them. For the rest, there may be a feeling of living in unnavigable times, that have been forced upon them due to isolation measures.

Heartfulness Institute has set up a Helpline to help talk the affected though the times and there will be global LIFECAST by Daaji, the guide of Heartfulness who will enunciate his thoughts on the situation and how to deal with it.The global LIFECAST By Daaji is scheduled on 2nd April 2020 at 5:30 pm IST. Significantly, Daaji will follow up his talk with a meditation session through the transmission process that makes Heartfulness Meditation unique and effective. Pranahuti ( life force ), centric to Heartfulness Meditation practice will be transmitted by Daaji as part of the meditation and those who wish to take part in the session should simply keep their eyes closed, sit in a comfortable posture silently without any external disturbance, focus on their heart and bring their attention to the divinity that exists in their heart.

Commenting on the initiatives Daaji said, “There is clear need for all of us to understand the situation as it stands today, demystify it and see it as it should be seen. There is too much information and too many changes in a very short time. How does one see it in a larger context of one’s life and what steps are needed to strengthen one’s ability to handle their feelings and emotions and thereby creating a contagion of positive emotions to deal with the situation together – The Theme of the LIFECAST”.

The LIFECAST can be accessed at -

The 24*7 Helpline ‘Voice That Cares’ launched today by Heartfulness Institute can be accessed by anyone by dialing the toll-free number 1 800 121 DHYANA (3492). Several hundred Heartfulness Trainers all specifically trained by Daaji for this purpose will be available round the clock to respond to the calls and help alleviate the emotional or mental distress the caller may be facing due to the uncertainty. Empathy is known to be one of the strongest healers and the trainers are well versed to navigate the callers through the distress they may be facing due to the ongoing lock down in the country.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Tata Motors Registered Domestic Sales of 11,012 Units in March 2020 and BS IV Inventory Near Zero

Tata Motors Limited today announced its sales in the domestic & international market, for the month of March 2020, which stood at 12,924 vehicles, compared to 74,679 units during March 2019.

Domestic - Commercial Vehicles:

Mr. Girish Wagh, President, Commercial Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors Ltd. said, “Cumulatively, commercial vehicle domestic sale for FY20 at 3,10,855 units was -34% lower than FY19. Retail was 16% higher than offtake for the entire year.  Domestic sales in March 2020 was 5,336 units, deeply impacted by the COVID 19 lockdown as well as the planned transition to BSVI. Retail sales was significantly ahead of wholesales (>300%). Almost all BSIV vehicles in the ecosystem have been retailed, however, some await registration which was halted due to the lockdown. This will be cleared in the window provided. Productionization of BSVI vehicles was on track and we have wholesaled the initial few BSVI vehicles.

Our focus is to secure the extensive business continuity plan including ensuring full support to all our customers in need, particularly those who are transporting the essential goods during this challenging period”

Total M&HCVs sales in FY20 including M&HCV Truck, Buses and International Business stood at 98,579 units compared to 1,86161 units in FY19.

Domestic - Passenger Vehicles:

Mr. Mayank Pareek, President, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors Ltd. said, “Vehicle sales was affected by the COVID 19 outbreak and the subsequent nationwide lockdown. However, the customer response to our newly launched models – the Altroz and the refreshed BSVI range is encouraging. Our BSIV vehicle stock is near zero in the entire network.

I would be handing over to Mr. Shailesh Chandra who I am sure will take the PV team and the business to the next level, by delivering an exciting customer experience and building on the strength of the NEW FOREVER product portfolio.”

IMPORTANT NOTE: In continuation of our drive to focus on retails and drive ecosystem viability, Tata Motors will henceforth stop reporting monthly wholesale numbers from next month (ie April 2020) and instead report quarterly wholesale and retail numbers. In the current volatile scenario, we believe this helps us take the right long-term decisions for the business, helps our dealers to focus on serving customers and helps our investors to focus on the long term drivers of the business and avoid needless short term volatility. Joins the Fight Against COVID 19 with Contribution of Rs 4 Cr

As the fight against the novel coronavirus continues globally, integrated health care startup, its management team and founders, have pledged to contribute Rs 4 Crore towards this cause. will contribute  Rs 2 Cr , the management team of company will donate Rs 1 Cr and founders Mukesh Bansal and Ankit  Nagori will contribute Rs 1CR  collectively in their personal capacity for the fight against COVID 19. 

These contributions will be given across PM Care Fund, ACT Grant Fund and other relevant charities who are fighting this in India .

These are unprecedented times and we all need to do our bit and join hands in this fight together. This is just a start. As a health and wellness company will look at areas where they can support and have significant impact to society.

Salarpuria Sattva Group Takes Up Community Outreach Initiative for Needy During Lockdown

Salarpuria Sattva Group, India’s leading Property Development, Management and Consulting organization, has always been responsible in making a significant social impact to the communities it serves. Amidst the growing criticality due to COVID19 crisis, where the most affected are from the marginalized sections of the society, Salarpuria Sattva Group has extended its boundaries and taken the initiative of feeding the needy everyday till the end of lock down to help them survive in this challenging situation.

The group is taking the onus of cooking by themselves while adhering to hygienic precautions and distributing it in a systematic manner following the Govt. directives of social distancing. Amongst selected areas across the city, Old Airport Road (near Rajeshwari Theater), Royal Orchid Road (near Manipal Centre), Challaghatta, Nagasandra, Murugeshpalya, Jyothi Nivas College at Koramangala are the primary locations where the group has initiated food distribution. Police Stations at Jeevan Beema Nagar and Electronic City have extended help to the company officials to successfully implement this initiative.

In addition to this, the group has organized ration packets consisting of essentials like rice, wheat flour, oil, lentils, salt and other necessities for the next 10 days, aiming to touch the lives of 2500 migrant workers near Electronic City.

Greenwood High School, the educational entity of the group has also come forward to provide cooked food to more than 600 people at Varthur and other nearby localities.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Bijay Agarwal, MD, Salarpuria Sattva Group said, “With the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 and announcement of 21 day lockdown by the Govt., income opportunities for people below the poverty line have stalled. As a responsible entity, we at Salarpuria Sattva Group pledge to help the marginalized section and provide them food till the situation demands. This is our humble effort to help the people in distress.”

Salarpuria Sattva Group wishes safety for everyone and hope the country comes out of the present crisis as soon as possible. 

TKM Sells 8022 Units in March 2020 As It Bids Farewell to Etios and Corolla Altis in India

Having successfully liquidated all its BS4 stocks even at the dealership level, TKM sold a total of 7023 units of BS6 vehicles to its dealers (wholesales) in the month of March 2020. To lessen the burden on its dealers, TKM withheld sales by 50% for the month of March 2020, just ahead of the 21 days national lockdown called upon by the Government of India.  The company also exported its last batch of 999 units of the Etios series last month thus clocking a total of 8022 units.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor had sold a total of 12,818 units in the domestic market in the month of March 2019. The company had exported 844 units of the Etios series in March 2019, thus clocking a total of 13,662 units in the same month last year.

Moreover, last month also witnessed the last batch of the Etios series as well as the Corolla Altis being manufactured at TKM’s plant in Bidadi, bringing an end to the iconic journeys both the models have enjoyed in India. This transition is a part of Toyota’s global product strategy to continue to service the ever-evolving needs of the customer through enhanced technologies and product offerings. However, the company will continue to cater to all Etios series & Corolla Altis customers’ needs through Toyota service outlets across the country along with the promise of availability of Toyota genuine spare parts for the discontinued models.

Commenting on the monthly sales, Mr. Naveen Soni, Senior Vice President, Sales and Service, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said, “Even though the company has been long successful in liquidating all BS4 stock and transitioning into a 100% BS6 manufacturing facility, last month has been very challenging for us, both in terms of sales as well as production. With the spread of COVID-19 threat in various parts of the country followed by the 21 days national lockdown, the company’s priority was to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all its stakeholders and most importantly our dealers and their staff who are in the frontline. To bring this to immediate effect, our dealerships across the country were shut down beginning March 23rd along with a temporary halt of production at our plant in Bidadi.

We would like to reassure our dealer partners that they are the most important asset for us and we have been thinking about their sustainability. This pandemic has financially impacted all our dealerships across India. While the Government has announced several relief measures including moratoriums, we have also studied the fixed cost expenses of dealerships and have come up with a relief package called the COVID package to assist in maintaining liquidity to improve cash flow. The company is also planning towards ensuring proper sanitization of the dealerships once the national lockdown is over so as to ensure the safety of all our dealer staff as well as the customers who visit the outlets.

TKM wholeheartedly appreciates the measures taken by the Government and will continue to support them by implementing impactful initiatives to deal with this crisis.”

Five Tech Platforms that Offers Support During Coronavirus Outbreak

The country has been exploring every step in their capacity to combat and contain the rapid spread of COVID -19. While it has set a good example in terms of dealing with crisis at initial stage itself, To fight the pandemic, several medtech companies have come forward and developed solutions, which can help in identifying the disease and take preventive measures on time to cure it.

These companies are using a range of technologies in their fight against the pandemic. Here is a list of some of the medtech platforms and solution being deployed in India to curb the virus :

Bione Microbiome Test

Bione has developed a COVID-19 focussed Microbiome test, which combined with its AI, predictive analysis tools can provide tailored recommendations to individuals to strengthen their particular microbiome and thus be more immune to Coronavirus and be able to fight off COVID-19. Bione is working towards boosting preventive healthcare and increasing life expectancy in India. With the vision of leapfrogging genetic testing and microbiome services in India, they have founded Bione Ventures which envisions to empower people to unlock their health and fitness through personalised genetics and microbiome. The genetic programme uncovers the disease predispositions and microbiome, and decode the secret to a healthy gut. It also leads to a healthy family genomic journey with Bione.

Abbott Laboratories Molecular point-of-care test

Abbott Laboratories on Friday announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued the Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for the fastest available “molecular point-of-care” test to check for Covid-19.The test can detect positive results in five minutes, while negative results take about 13 minutes. It will run on Abbott’s ID Now platform, which is small, lightweight and portable. It employs molecular technology, which is highly valued by the scientific community for its accuracy. Apart from quick test results, a selling point of the ID NOW platform is that it can be used in urgent care clinics, not just traditional hospitals.

Mylab Discovery Coronavirus testing kit

Mylab Discovery, in the western city of Pune, became the first Indian firm to get full approval to make and sell testing kits. It shipped the first batch of 150 to diagnostic labs in Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Goa and Bengaluru (Bangalore) this week. The molecular diagnostic company, which also makes testing kits for HIV and Hepatitis B and C, and other diseases, says it can supply up to 100,000 Covid-19 testing kits a week and can produce up to 200,000 if needed.

Whatsapp Chatbot for Coronavirus

India is turning to WhatsApp,  to create awareness about the coronavirus pandemic and has urged social media services to tackle the spread of misinformation on their platforms. Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister, said on Saturday that citizens in the country can text a WhatsApp bot — called MyGov Corona Helpdesk — to get instant authoritative answers to their coronavirus queries such as the symptoms of the viral disease and how they could seek help.

Corona Kavach tracking app

The Government has launched a coronavirus risk-tracking app called ‘Corona Kavach.’ Jointly developed by the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the app uses a person’s location to assess whether they are in the high risk geographical zone or not. The app is now available for download — in beta — for Android phones on the Google Play Store. Corona Kavach is designed to provide information about COVID-19 and capture information. It will track the data of the users every one hour to alert them of whether they have crossed paths with any person who has tested positive for the infection.

Takeda Appoints Koki Sato AS New Country Head for Indian Market


* Koki Sato to lead Takeda’s business in India, ensuring patient access to highly innovative medicines
* Seasoned biopharmaceutical leader with over 17 years of experience across geographies

Takeda India announced today the appointment of Koki Sato as the Country Head for the Company’s India business. In his current capacity, he will lead the company’s operations with a focus on the expansion of patient access to Takeda’s highly innovative portfolio in the country.

Koki joined Takeda in 2003 and, since then, grew within the company to hold various senior international roles across multiple functions, including Commercial Operations, Finance, and HR. Prior to this role, Koki was the General Manager of Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova (UBM) Cluster in Takeda’s ICMEA* Area.

Commenting on his new role, Koki Sato said, “India is of significant importance for Takeda and we endeavor to develop initiatives which will lead to enhanced patient access to our highly innovative medicines locally. We remain committed to serving India’s patients, and aim to bring newer therapies for rare diseases, gastroenterology, and oncology to them in the coming years, along with hopefully, our Dengue vaccine candidate.”

Across its ICMEA* Area, and more broadly across the countries that span its Growth & Emerging Markets Business Unit, Takeda collaborates with healthcare providers, governments and regulators, to ensure that its portfolio of innovative medicines is made available to patients as quickly and safely as possible.

Koki will be officially assuming his position from April 1, 2020. He is a Japanese national and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Economics from Waseda University, Japan.

An Update on Twitter’s Efforts to Help You Find Credible Information About #coronavirus

A Message from Mahima Kaul, Director, Public Policy, India and South Asia, Twitter: “We understand our role as an essential service for both the government to communicate with citizens and for the public to stay connected with each other. We are ensuring that everyone on the service has access to the latest and credible updates as we all navigate the COVID-19 crisis. Online communities and conversations have never been more important and we are committed to protect and serve the public conversation and support the authorities as they navigate this unprecedented moment.”

For India specifically, we wanted to provide you with recent top-level updates around the work Twitter is doing. We’ll link to our blogs below so you can read more updates in detail.

Working closely with the Government of India and relevant stakeholders

We have open lines of communication with the relevant authorities in the central and state governments and public health officials, to ensure they can troubleshoot account issues, and seek strategic counsel as they use the power of Twitter to mitigate harm and connect with the public at large. We're working with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, various State Governments to upskill various departments on COVID response management. We have also supported and enabled the Govt of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh to  set-up dedicated COVID-Response accounts. Govt. of karnataka, Maharashtra; Follow them here: DIPR Karnataka, Maharashtra  Control room, Jharkhand COVID Helpline, UP Covid helpline.  We have also published a Twitter List of key police accounts on Twitter for latest and credible information on #Lockdown21. People can Tweet to them for any queries. A strong example of this was @DelhiPolice using the service to host a Tweet Chat, addressing public queries and concerns related to the Lockdown.

COVID-19 Search Prompt

Twitter is dedicated to ensure people have uninterrupted and real-time access to the conversations that matter. To this end, Twitter offers a dedicated COVID-19 search prompt. When people come to the service to search for related COVID-19 conversation, the search prompt offers content from credible sources such as national health agencies and the World Health Organisation (@WHO). To make the search prompt as useful as possible, Twitter has partnered with local agencies in countries across the world. In India, the search prompt directs people to the official Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (@MoHFW) and @WHO websites.

The feature is being constantly monitored by the Twitter team to ensure that all related keywords, including common misspellings, generate the proactive search prompt.

Dedicated Bilingual Events Page

Twitter has launched an events page dedicated to COVID-19 information. The page, called “Coronavirus Tweets from Indian authorities”, is essentially a timeline of Tweets from verified Indian officials such as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi (@narendramodi), Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) and other state and central ministers, as well as public health agencies. Launched in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (@MoHFW), this page is an attempt to share the latest facts from verified sources. Every account holder in India can see this page on the top of their home timeline. If someone has their settings set to Hindi, then they will see the same page with Hindi Tweets. The timeline also let’s people track developments around the latest social distancing and healthcare information.

WHO’s #SafeHands / #Handwashing Emoji and #SafeHandsChallenge

In partnership with the World Health Organisation (@WHO), Twitter launched a #handwashing emoji to create awareness around the importance of cleaning hands in the current time and emphasize the importance of 'washing hands frequently' to curb spreading of the virus. People can unlock the emoji using any of the following hashtags #handwashing, #SafeHands, #HandWashChallenge, #WashYourHands, #हाथधोलेना, #हाथकीसफाईमेंभलाई, #हाथधोयाक्या.

Twitter’s Public Policy team is connected directly to the WHO team to offer advice on how best to use the service to connect their critical updates with the world.

Fight against misinformation around COVID-19

We are committed to working with the Government of India and focused on protecting the public conversation. We have expanded our safety rules and broadened our definition of harm to address content that goes directly against guidance from authoritative sources of global and local public health information. In addition to reports, we will enforce this in close coordination with trusted partners, including public health authorities and governments, and continue to use and consult with information from those sources when reviewing content. More information here.

An update on our continuity strategy during COVID-19
Our working guidance to our employees and partners to keep them safe
Our partnerships and public engagement strategies

Thank you for your continued support and do let us know if we can assist in any way for your stories/queries.  #StaySafeStayHome as #IndiaFightsCorona and #FlattenTheCurve

This message contains information which may be confidential and privileged. Unless you are the intended recipient (or authorized to receive this message for the intended recipient), you may not use, copy, disseminate or disclose to anyone the message or any information contained in the message. If you have received the message in error, please advise the sender by reply e-mail, and delete the message. Thank you very much.

Covid19 - ITC to Help Produce Additional 1,25,000 Litres of Savlon Hand Sanitisers

ITC's newly commissioned state of the art Perfume manufacturing Facility in Himachal Pradesh commences production of Savlon sanitisers -Addresses a larger societal purpose during this pandemic

To serve a larger national priority during these challenging times, ITC’s state-of-the-art Perfume manufacturing facility in Himachal Pradesh has commenced production of Savlon Sanitisers to cater to the soaring demand due to the outbreak of the Corona virus pandemic. Commissioned recently in November 2019, the factory at Manpura in Himachal Pradesh is a world class facility designed to produce premium fine fragrances.

Amidst the global health crisis and the unprecedented surge in demand for hand hygiene products like sanitisers, ITC, on a war footing, repurposed this world class perfume facility to help produce an additional 1,25,000 litres of Savlon Hand Sanitisers .

During these challenging times, ITC has redoubled its efforts to ensure enhanced supply and availability of Savlon range of products in the market. This intervention will enable ITC to meet the demand surge for sanitisers in the market.  In line with the Government order and in public interest, ITC has also reduced prices of Savlon sanitisers and is working overnight to reach the new stocks with the revised prices to the market. ITC has also reinforced its efforts to enhance awareness about the importance of hand hygiene through campaigns across digital, print and other communication platforms. 

Quote from Mr Sameer Satpathy, Chief Executive, Personal Care Products, ITC Ltd
Addressing a larger national requirement during the Coronavirus pandemic, ITC has repurposed its recently commissioned perfume manufacturing facility in Manpura, Himachal Pradesh to manufacture Savlon Hand Sanitizers. This initiative reinforces our efforts to enable enhanced production and supply of Savlon range of hygiene products in the market which is the need of the hour to help fight the virus and contain its spread.

SEEDS Joins Fights Against COVID-19, Activates Action in 7 States

SEEDS in partnership with Government of India and state governments of Bihar, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha and Uttarakhand in India is reaching out to the most economically vulnerable people. The humanitarian organisation specialising in building resilience among communities is actively working in close coordination with the administration at various levels in each region to respond to the physical health, mental health and economic impacts of the pandemic.

The global outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected more than 195 countries. India with confirmed 562 cases and 9 deaths as of yesterday according to the data reported by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is facing spike in the situation too. Daily wage earners with marginal savings have temporarily lost their jobs and are unable to access food and essential items to sustain themselves. Evidence shows that adults aged 60 years and older or those with chronic medical conditions seem to be at highest risk of complications and fatality rates. The elderly in old-age homes or living by themselves without adequate support systems face acute challenges.

SEEDS is committed in reaching out and supporting these invisible individuals – the elderly, children, and frontline health workers of the communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of the outbreak in their time of need. The response appeal has been launched towards rapid de-escalation of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 with focus on:

Financial and essential services support to the daily wage earners
Support to district administration for complementing and supplementing public health systems
Supply of hygiene kits and food rations to marginalised families, old age homes and orphanages
Support to Government for establishment of temporary quarantine facilities, where needed

Join hands with SEEDS as your contribution can help save lives and help contain the spread on this critical and potentially fatal disease. Donate now and spread the word at

Together, this pandemic can be fought by making sure the most vulnerable among us are protected.

About SEEDS:

SEEDS (Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society) is a not-for-profit organisation that enables community resilience through practical solutions in the areas of disaster readiness, response and rehabilitation. Since 1994, the organization has worked extensively on every major disaster in the Indian subcontinent – grafting innovative technology on to traditional wisdom. It has reached out to families affected by disasters and climate stresses; strengthened and rebuilt schools and homes; and has invariably put its faith in skill-building, planning and communications to foster long-term resilience. SEEDS is also India’s first agency to be certified for the global Core Humanitarian Standards – an international certification system for quality and accountability in humanitarian response. SEEDS completed 25 years of outstanding service to humanity in 2019 and is re-anchoring its approach to building resilience through innovation. It continues to empower the most vulnerable across Asia to build a better future.

Five Students of LISAA Design Celine Dion's Red Carpet Dress Replica

5 Final Year Fashion Students of LISAA School of Design, a premier fashion school have designed Red Carpet dress worn by Canadian Pop Singer , Celine Dion .

The name of the design students are Parnika, Vidushi, Athira, Smriti and Kritika . These students were given a certificate of appreciation by the institute and the cost of the fabric was covered by the institute itself.

“Being teamed up with classmates made it both fun and efficient. We were able to strategically use each one's refined skill and accomplish the task.” says Parnika.

“The brains of some, the patience, sensibility and neatness of the others had enabled the division of work to be very simple.  Everyone knew their part and there was no need to worry about the outcome,” adds Vidushi, Final Year Student.

Athira further adds, “Moreover, all of us adored the design and hence put wholesome effort to ensure that our version of it would be just as elegant and charming as the original.”

“Right from figuring the construction and patterns multiple times, to choosing the fabric, to dealing with the length and bulk of the garment, which although seemed simple, had been quite challenging,” recounts Smriti, Final Year Student.

“This task also enabled us to learn the intricacies of haute couture, which is essential with our upcoming individual couture collections. We managed to do our job, whilst having an overwhelming experience, making it an endeavor we shall all always remember,” says Kritika , Final Year Student .

The teachers of the Pattern Making Department who helped out the students in re-creating the dress said,
'Through our years of experience ,each time re-creation project brings in new surprise and challenges to out do the past work.
Huge volume requires meterage from 30 to 250 meters , manipulating such scale is not only cumbersome but to validate a new beginning.'

Avi Keswani, Founder & Director, LISAA School of Design says, “It was an assignment part of the curriculum known as the Re-creation project to understand the importance of Haute Couture and how to replicate phenomenal couture designs of iconic designers. It took our students  about 1.5 months to complete this entire garment as a group project .The materials used were satin and  the technique of boning was used for corset.”

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Electronics Production has Potential to Reach Upto US$260 Billion and Generate 1 Crore Jobs to IT Sector: EMD Report

India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA), the premier Industry Body committed to the development of a vibrant Indian Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) ecosystem and evangelizing the dream of ‘Make in India’ a reality has released the ESDM report today in collaboration with Frost & Sullivan. The report aims to provide definitive strategic direction to the ESDM ecosystem by assessing the current trends and providing strategic advice to accelerate growth and local value addition.

As a voice of the industry, IESA has been at the forefront in highlighting the heavy import bill in the ESDM sector and need to building strength in the domestic manufacturing value chain – with the focus to develop scale of domestic design and manufacturing companies. India’s dependency on imports for its electronic product needs, from smart phones to super computers has seen an exponential rise. IESA presented the ESDM report today, to capture the current status, map the trends and create opportunities to work closely with the industry, government and research institutes to promote electronics products & manufacturing in India.

The current COVID-19 crisis has again highlighted the need to have a strong and robust electronics research and manufacturing ecosystem in the country as intelligent electronics forms the backbone of all strategic sectors like healthcare, security, defence, transportation, financial inclusion and agriculture etc.

The key sectors covered in the report include Electronics Product Market, Electronics Component Market, Electronics Design Market, Electronic Systems Market and Electronics Manufacturing Services Market. The product segments that were looked at are Mobile Phones, Notebooks, CCTVs, FPD TVs, Led Lighting, Engine Control Unit, Gigabit Passive Optical Networks (GPON) & Energy Meters/ Smart Meters.

The key findings of the report:

Electronics Market is a sunshine market. Indian market has grown at a CAGR of 14% from 2016-19 and is expected to accelerate at a CAGR of 16.6% between 2020-25.
Electronics production currently contributes 3.3% to the economy. It will grow to US$320 Bn by 2025. With additional measures, It has potential to reach US$410 Bn, which will be 8.2% of US$ 5Tn India’s GDP target by 2025
Boost in ESDM manufacturing as a result of the massive capacity expansion can generate 1cr jobs providing an alternate source of employment to IT sector
Currently 50% of US$134 Bn of total Electronics products Demand is imported. By 2025, the total product Demand will reach to US$368 Bn, however, import can reduce to 29%, saving US$76 Bn of foreign exchange
IESA has set an ambitious target to play a catalyst in incubating 1000 Electronics Product and Fabless start-ups which will create 1,000 IPRs, generate business worth INR 1,000 crore and create 10 lakh jobs over next five years.
Jitendra Chaddah (JC), Chairman, IESA & Senior Director, Strategy & Operations, Intel India added, “With the goal of making India a hub for Electronics Design and Manufacturing, IESA has been working with the government, academia and industry players to suggest, influence and execute multiple strategies for the electronics and semiconductor industry. The IESA ESDM 2020 report is an attempt to project the needs of the electronics market and the steps to be taken to meet the demand and growth of the industry. The demand for electronics products is fast growing in the country and this sector will contribute significantly to the country’s GDP and the digital economy. The report underlines the importance of strengthening the design capabilities through research and IP development, promoting innovation in electronics product development across states in India, and enhancing value addition in the electronics manufacturing, through incentives.”

While presenting the ESDM report, Dr. Satya Gupta, Vice Chairman, IESA & CEO, Seedeyas Innovation said, “A strong partnership between industry and government is vital, in creating an ecosystem for the fabless start-ups and electronics products companies. This should not just focus on the indigenous market and substitute imports but focus on driving exports by the next five years. We are proposing the creation of $1Bn billion ESDM Innovation fund, move to high-value manufacturing through global partnerships and creation of the National Institute for Semiconductor & Electronics Research (NISER). We are envisaging the creation of National Electronics Mission on the similar lines of ISRO for spearheading all these activities and for making India a design led manufacturing hub for the world.”

Key Strategic Recommendations

The Industry has the potential to
Increase GDP contribution from present 3.4% to 8.2% in 2025
Create 1Cr Job Opportunities (Direct & Indirect)
$60B - $100B Reduction of imports
Creation of Electronics Products for New Use Cases
Medical, Agriculture, Defense, 5G or 6G, AI-ML, Automation, EV
Convert Semiconductor Design Talent to Fabless Product Companies

Incentivize Training, Internship, IP Creation by Design Companies
Create $1B seed fund for 1K-10K-100K Start-up Program
100 Fabless companies; 900 Electronics Product Companies
Geographic Inclusion of all States & UTs for Innovation in Electronics
Incentivize Setting up ATMP, Display, LED & Power Electronics Fab
Make PLI Incentives link to Percentage of Domestic Value add
Setup National Institute of Semiconductor & Electronics Research (NISER)
On the Lines of IMEC, Belgium
Creation of National Electronics Mission: On the lines of ISRO

About India Electronics and Semiconductor Association: India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) is the premier industry body committed to the development of a vibrant Indian Semiconductor and Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) ecosystem representing both domestic and multinational enterprises. IESA has been actively involved in evangelizing the dream of establishing ‘Brand India’ that is recognized worldwide as a go-to destination for Intelligent Electronics. The vision of IESA is to Make India the global hub for design-led manufacturing in Intelligent Electronics through continued partnership with the Industry, Government and Academia in

the Country and Global markets. IESA is working towards promoting Make-in-India & Designed in India products for the global markets, through publishing credible data, networking events and nurturing alliances. IESA works closely with the Government as a knowledge partner on the sector, both at the centre and state level. For more details, visit

Medtronic Shares Ventilation Design Specs to Accelerate Efforts to Increase Ventilator Production

Medtronic plc, the global leader in medical technology, has announced it is publicly sharing the design specifications for the Puritan Bennett 560 (PB 560) to enable participants across industries to evaluate options for rapid ventilator manufacturing to help doctors and patients dealing with COVID-19. This decision is consistent with the recent FDA Guidance and in accordance with the public health and medical response of governmental agencies globally.

Introduced in 2010, the PB 560 is sold in 35 countries around the world. This ventilator’s ability to be used in a range of care settings, as well as its technology and design, make it a solid ventilation solution for manufacturers, inventors, start-ups, and academic institutions seeking to quickly ramp up ventilator design and production. PB 560 product and service manuals, design requirement documents, manufacturing documents, and schematics are now available at The PB 560 design specifications are available today, software code and other information will follow shortly.

The PB 560 ventilator is a compact, lightweight, and portable ventilator that provides airway support for both adults and children. It can be used in clinical settings and at home and provides mobile respiratory support.

“Medtronic recognizes the acute need for ventilators as life-saving devices in the management of COVID-19 infections. We know this global crisis needs a global response. Over the past few weeks, we have ramped up production of our Puritan Bennett™ 980 ventilators. But we also know we can do more, and we are,” said Bob White, executive vice president and president of the Minimally Invasive Therapies Group at Medtronic. “By openly sharing the PB 560 design information, we hope to increase global production of ventilator solutions for the fight against COVID-19.”

Ventilators play a critical role in the management of patients with severe respiratory illness, such as COVID-19, who require assistance because they cannot breathe effectively. By placing a patient on a ventilator, the patient’s lungs are permitted to rest and recover while the ventilator performs the functions of supplying oxygen and simulating the actions of breathing. Without ventilation support, some patients with severe respiratory disease might not survive.

About Medtronic

Medtronic plc (, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is among the world's largest medical technology, services and solutions companies – alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life for millions of people around the world. Medtronic employs more than 90,000 people worldwide, serving physicians, hospitals and patients in more than 150 countries. The company is focused on collaborating with stakeholders around the world to take healthcare Further, Together.

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