Saturday, June 20, 2020

Airtel Declares War on Service Failure and Targets Resolution of Every Customer Query

Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), India’s largest integrated telco, is further raising the bar as part of its mission to deliver best-in-class services to customers.

Keeping consumer obsession at the core of its DNA, Airtel today said that it has set itself a target of answering and resolving every single customer query, learn quickly from failures and ensure they don’t get repeated. And the company is taking this message to customers across India through a bold multi-channel marketing campaign [‘watch it here].

The current times have put telecom services and reliable connectivity at the core of the daily lives of customers. Be it Work from Home, Virtual Classrooms, Online shopping, or Digital Entertainment, telecom networks have become the backbone for accomplishing most things from within the safety of our homes.

Consumer centricity has always been at the heart of everything that Airtel does, but during these testing times, the brand has realized that a network provider’s responsibility towards its customers has never been greater. Airtel acknowledges that it not only has the responsibility to provide access to high-quality telecom services but also to give answers to all their service related queries by responding and resolving them in a quick and transparent manner.

Says Shashwat Sharma, Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti Airtel, “The relationship between Airtel and its customers has never been more important, and to serve them even better we have decided to take our customer obsession to the next level. We know that "ZERO questions" is an IMPOSSIBLE utopian thought especially for a telecom brand, but that won’t stop us from trying because we know that the closer we get to ZERO, the happier our customers will be. We promise to be humble, learn every time we fail and be relentless in our approach. For us, this is not just a campaign, we are now re-engineering the entire organization towards this goal and are obsessed with building a culture of consumer centricity.”

The company has already taken big strides in this journey and these are some of its key recent initiatives to make sure that customers get the best possible service experience:

Network Technology: In the last three years, Airtel has invested over Rs 70,000 crores in high-speed network rollouts. Airtel has led the introduction of new technologies such as pre-5G Massive MIMO and Carrier Aggregation. The result is Airtel being consistently rated as India’s top mobile network by multiple experts.

More recently, Airtel became the first mobile operator in India to launch Voice over Wi-Fi to solve the indoor coverage issues faced by its customers. Today, millions of happy customers enjoy seamless indoor coverage over Airtel Vo-Wi-Fi.

For its busy postpaid consumers, Airtel’s launched Platinum Network. This gives its premium users priority in both network as well as services across their touch-points, so that network and telecom related issues don’t disrupt their hectic schedules.

Digital Gateways: To help customers recharge during COVID-19 lockdown, Airtel launched ‘Superhero’ - a first of its kind program that allowed Airtel customers to recharge the prepaid accounts of fellow Airtel customers through Airtel Thanks app. For every recharge, the Super-hero makes a 4% retail commission. This helped millions of customers who don’t have access to online recharge options or are not digitally savvy. Over a million Airtel customers are registered as Superheroes.

Culture of Customer Obsession: The Airtel Management Board meets every day in the morning to review customer queries, resolution mechanisms and timelines, and the learnings from customer feedback.           

Airtel’s new campaign will run across TV, Digital and Print to communicate the company’s promise to customers. The campaign has been conceived by Dentsu-Taproot, led by Pallavi Chakravarti and team. To watch the TVC click here

#MyLifeMyYoga: Twitter Celebrates #InternationalYogaDay with emoji

Ahead of International Yoga Day 2020, Twitter has launched a custom emoji to celebrate the much-loved physical, mental and spiritual practice on the service. People can trigger this emoji by using #InternationalYogaDay2020, #InternationalYogaDay, #YogaDay2020, #YogaDay, #MyLifeMyYoga, #योगदिवस, #अंतर्राष्ट्रीययोगदिवस in their Tweets.

The health benefits of yoga have led to its worldwide acceptance and popularity, embellishing Twitter Home timelines with pictures and videos of sun salutations and other popular yoga stretches, poses and asanas. 

Well-known voices from the world of entertainment and sports have been Tweeting to share their yoga sessions, from basic wellness moves to rigorous physical exercises, they have it all covered. Here’s a look at people practising yoga to relax, rejuvenate and find their inner calm:

Embeddable Tweet:

Kansai Nerolac Celebrates “Father’s Day and International Yoga Day” with #NerolacYogawithDad

Kansai Nerolac Paints Ltd. has constantly engaged with its audience to underline the importance of being careful in the current Covid-19 situation. With Father’s Day and International Yoga Day around the corner, Nerolac has launched an engaging contest, #NerolacYogawithDad, as an extension of its latest brand campaign #AajCarefulTohKalColourful. Through the initiative, Nerolac urges citizens to encourage their fathers to kickstart their fitness journey for a healthy and bright future! This is the fourth extension in the campaign’s ongoing series.

The initiative encourages participants to post a picture practicing Yoga with their father across social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #NerolacYogaWithDad.The winning entries will feature on Nerolac’s social media page.

The contest #NerolacYogawithDad is being promoted across Kansai Nerolac’s social media platforms.

About Kansai Nerolac Paints Limited:

With a rich heritage of 100 years in the paint industry, Kansai Nerolac Paints is one of the largest paint companies in India and the leader in industrial segment. A wholly owned subsidiary of Kansai Paint Co. Ltd., Japan, which is among the Top 10 companies worldwide, Kansai Nerolac manufactures a diversified range of products ranging from decorative paint coatings for homes, offices, hospitals and hotels to sophisticated industrial coatings for industries. Kansai Nerolac has established itself as a leader in product innovation with its initiatives including no added lead, Low VOC and HD finishes with brands like Excel. Its product portfolio and customer awareness campaigns promote environmental sensitivity.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Rostec Made the First Civilian Mi-8AMT Arctic Helicopter

Russian Helicopters holding company (part of Rostec State Corporation) started serial production of Mi-8AMT Arctic helicopters for civilian customers. Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant made the first rotorcraft which is ready to start operation.

Mi-8AMT helicopter in its Arctic version completed the flight-test program and the procedure of acceptance by an independent commission of the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya). The rotorcraft's main features include a unique system for heating transmission parts, designed by JSC «National helicopter center Мil&Kamov». The system provides for quick start of engines in extremely low temperatures, even if the helicopter is deployed without a hangar for a long time. The system for heating transmission parts is complemented by an improved system for thermal protection of the cargo cabin and special thermal insulation shutters in sliding doors and cockpit doors. Special cover protects the helicopter from low temperatures, high humidity and strong wind, if it is deployed without a hangar for a long time. The helicopter systems have teflon hose, which is resistant to freezing temperatures, instead of rubber hose.

"New Mi-8AMT helicopter will be sought after by many Russian companies and government agencies implementing projects and tasks in the Arctic. The first rotorcraft is ready to start operation, and negotiations with several potential Russian customers are underway," stated Director General of Russian Helicopters Andrey Boginsky. "The holding company is making every effort to provide operators with reliable and modern helicopters, which is irreplaceable when many important tasks related to work in the region are carried out."

The helicopter is equipped with two additional fuel tanks, which allow it to fly long distances. This in very important for northern districts with low population density. The Arctic version of Mi-8AMT can fly up to 1,400 km. An emergency floatation system can also be installed on the helicopter to fly over a vast area of waters in the Arctic.

"This helicopter is necessary for air medical services, maintenance of facilities of the fuel and energy complex, and for meeting the needs of polar expeditions. It may also help organize transportation in northern regions," emphasized Managing Director of Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant Leonid Belykh.

When the helicopter was designed, great attention was given to ensuring that it is capable of flying over the Arctic terrain with few features, in the conditions of polar night, harsh weather, and when satellite and radio signals are lost. For that purpose the rotorcraft is equipped with a special navigation complex.

The complex includes several navigation systems for locating the helicopter, a radar with horizontal and vertical sweep of information on the weather, a digital autopilot, and radio stations with a wide range of frequencies. The helicopter is capable of automated hovering, flying a planned hovering route, and landing. The navigation system considerably reduces the load on the crew, and ensures greater safety of the flight.

JSC “Russian Helicopters”, a part of Rostec State Corporation, is a leading player in the global helicopter industry, the sole Russian designer and manufacturer of helicopters. The Holding Company was established in 2007 and is headquartered in Moscow. We operate five helicopter assembly plants, two design bureaus, component production and maintenance enterprises, aircraft repair plants and one helicopter service company providing after-sales support in Russia and abroad. The customers of the Holding Company are the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Home Affairs, EMERCOM of Russia, and other state customers, Gazpromavia, UTair Aviation company, large Russian and foreign companies.

State Corporation Rostec is one of the largest industrial companies in Russia. It unites more than 800 scientific and industrial organizations in 60 regions of the country. Its key areas of activity are transport engineering, electronics, medical technology, chemistry and innovative materials. Rostec holdings form three clusters: electronics, weapons and aviation. The corporation’s portfolio includes such well-known brands as AvtoVAZ, KAMAZ, Kalashnikov, Russian Helicopters, Uralvagonzavod and others. Rostec is active in the implementation of all 12 national projects. The company is a key provider of Smart City technology, it is engaged in the digitalization of public administration, industry and social sectors, and it is developing plans for the development of 5G wireless technologies, an Industrial Internet of Things, big data and blockchain systems. Rostec partners with leading world manufacturers such as Boeing, Airbus, Daimler, Pirelli and Renault. The corporation’s products are delivered to more than 100 countries worldwide. Almost a third of the company's revenue comes from the export of high-tech products.

Only 11% Truckers and Farmers in India Prioritise Healthy Lifestyle: Castrol India Study

Study Report 

* As per a recent study by Castrol India, 65% truckers and farmers do not indulge in any form of fitness due to a lack of interest and time

* On the occasion of International Yoga Day, Castrol India, in partnership with The Yoga Institute of Mumbai, refreshes the Castrol CRB Turbomax Truck Aasana and CRB Plus Khet Aasana programme to support a healthier lifestyle and to build immunity among truckers and farmers

* Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, endorses the initiative and actor Randeep Hooda joins the campaign to amplify the importance of healthy living

* Castrol India will launch an exclusive helpline to assist truckers and farmers know more about these specially curated Truck Aasana and Khet Aasana

The trucker and farmer communities have served as the backbone of India for generations. While they work tirelessly even through the current testing times, these communities continue to lead sedentary lifestyles, neglecting their health and immunity. A recent study by Castrol India reveals that while 1 in 3 truckers and farmers admitted to having health related issues including back pain, lack of sleep, tiredness and joint pain; only 11% of them were inclined towards building a healthier lifestyle and immunity, which features as one of the lowest priorities among these communities.

The study also brings to light that over two-thirds (68%) of the respondents were concerned about the health of their families as well as themselves. However, the research underlines a lukewarm approach towards healthy lifestyle and wellbeing as nearly two-thirds (65%) of the respondents admitted to not indulging in any form of fitness due to a lack of interest and time. Despite the aforementioned health concerns, 1 in 3 truckers and farmers also admitted to not making any efforts to lead healthier lives.

Reiterating the importance of Yoga for a healthier lifestyle and wellbeing, on International Yoga Day, Castrol India has partnered with the Yoga Institute of Mumbai, as in the past two years, refreshing its health programme for truckers and farmers to strengthen their wellbeing and introduce ethos of healthy lifestyle in their daily routine through a curated set of aasanas.

Talking about the initiative, Sandeep Sangwan, Managing Director, Castrol India Limited said, “Our truckers and farmers have been working relentlessly to ensure our lives remain undeterred during these extraordinary times. We salute them for keeping India moving. Castrol continues to play its part of being a responsible brand and supporting communities by facilitating a culture of fitness through Castrol CRB Truck Aasana and Khet Aasana programmes for our truckers and farmers.”   

As part of the health program, Castrol India will additionally launch an exclusive helpline to assist these communities know more about these specially curated aasanas.

The initiative will feature Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda paying tribute to the communities for their selfless service and persuading them to prioritize their health. 

“It’s critical we change the outlook of these communities and help them lead a healthier life. It’s important considering the tough times we are living in. This International Yoga Day, Castrol CRB and I hope to encourage truckers and farmers across the country to adopt the practice of yoga, work towards leading a healthy lifestyle and make themselves strong from within,” said Randeep Hooda.

"This programme is in line with the Government of India and our Hon'ble Prime Minister's vision of yoga being a way of life and reaching every household. Congratulations to Castrol India on initiating this programme that ensures our truck drivers and farmers are healthy so they can continuously support our country,” said Shripad Naik, Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India.

Over the past two years, Castrol India has touched the lives of over 3,25,000 truckers and farmers with Castrol CRB Turbomax Truck Aasana and CRB Plus Khet Aasana, reaching over 50 cities and 2,000 villages, advocating the role of these aasanas to improve their lifestyle. 

About Castrol India: Castrol, is one of the world’s leading lubricant brands and has a proud heritage of innovation and fuelling the dreams of pioneers. Castrol India Limited is one of India’s leading lubricants company and has established itself as a pioneer and innovator in the Indian lubricants industry. Its iconic brands such as Castrol CRB, Castrol GTX, and in more recent times power brands like Castrol Activ, Castrol MAGNATEC and Castrol VECTON, are used by millions of consumers and customers across the country. The company also has a presence in select segments like High Performance Lubricants and metalworking fluids in industries as varied as automotive manufacturing to mining to machinery and wind & energy.

Castrol India has a large manufacturing and distribution network in India with three manufacturing plants and a distribution network of 350 distributors who sell to consumers and customers through over 100,000 retail outlets. Castrol sub-distributors also reach additional outlets in rural markets whilst Castrol India also directly services over 3,000 key institutional accounts.

Besides providing world class products and services, Castrol India is focused on safety, compliance and quality as its number one priority.

Hyundai Partners with HDFC Bank Offering Customised Online Car Financing Solutions on ‘Click to Buy’

Finance Solutions 

* First OEM to offer retail financing solutions on online car buying platform
* Eliminates customer need to visit HDFC Bank/ Branch to avail car financing solutions
* Customised retail financing solutions available at the click of a button

Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL), country’s first smart mobility solutions provider and largest exporter since inception, announced its partnership with HDFC Bank, offering industry first online auto retail financing solutions to the customers on India’s only end-to-end online automotive retail platform ‘Click to Buy’.  

Under the ambit of this partnership, Hyundai will offer its customers customised car financing solutions from HDFC Bank directly on the ‘Click to Buy’ online car buying platform. Through this partnership, customer can opt for loans and get the requisite funding to complete life goals of buying their Favourite Hyundai car. The integration of HDFC Bank’s car finance solutions on ‘Click to Buy’ adds further comfort to customers as it eliminates the need for customers to visit HDFC Bank/ Branch to avail loans.

Commenting on the partnership, Mr W S Oh, Executive Director – Corporate Planning, Hyundai Motor India said “Keeping our promise of providing a holistic digital car buying experience to our customers, our partnership with HDFC bank will forge a new beginning for the customer purchase journey from any virtual location with the most lucrative finance deals. Since the launch of Click to Buy, we have received over 9 lakh visitors on the platform and have recorded over 17 000 Registrations in two months. 

Speaking on the alliance Mr. Arvind Kapil, Country Head for Retail Lending at HDFC Bank, "The partnership with Hyundai Motor India is in line with our belief that a digital eco-system needs to be created to enhance customer experience, particularly in the current environment. An eco-system that brings OEMs, dealerships and financiers together and enables a customer to purchase a new car sitting in the comfort of their homes. At the core of our digital strategy is Analytics and APIs .Analytics helps us understand our customers better and give them customized product offerings and services. While APIs enables us to create a seamless connect between various stake-holders keeping the customer at the centre. We are happy to say the association with Hyundai Motor India is a win-win not just for customers but all players in the auto industry”

‘Click to Buy’ is designed to facilitate end-to-end retail of Hyundai cars online making owning a new car – contactless, safer, convenient and hassle free. With ‘Click to Buy’ Hyundai is offering access to its complete range of car models and is the only platform that covers all stages of customer purchase journey in an even more seamless and convenient manner. Through this online car buying platform, Hyundai is offering customer delight with features such as on-road prices, dedicated sales consultants, online finance options, fastest loan approval for pre-approved customers, unique deal codes for customer discounts, estimated time of delivery, special online promotions, online booking for test drive cars (Fully Sanitized) and home delivery of completely sanitized cars. 

Need of the Hour: How Robots will Change the Approach of Travel and Hospitality Sector

Robots have started to impact our lives and are the need of the hour, with respect to the current pandemic situation. From cleaning floors, swimming pools, to serving at restaurants and greeting at airports, they are everywhere. These little technological wonders are fast invading our world to make it an easier place to live in. Infact, a study has revealed that service robots in hotels could help boost the hospitality and travel industry, which had somewhere taken a backseat during this Covid-19 outbreak.

With shopping malls, airports, railway stations, offices, restaurants opening up, deployment of these non–human devices is need of the hour. These tiny robots can be the "New Normal" for maintaining proper social distancing, hygiene and constant monitoring. In the days to come, these contactless technologies will revolutionise the way travel and hospitality sector approach for the post COVID world.

Many of the commercial establishments like Hotels, Hospitals have already started to deploy them to limit human interventions. For instance -Hotel chains like Hyatt, Dr Reddy’s, and ITC are already taking help of floor cleaning robots from Milagrow Humantech, to disinfect and maintain hygiene as they started operations, FabHotels, one of the leading budget hotel chains in India has also been taking various initiatives and implementing a host of measures for its guests and employees.

These floor disinfecting robots can navigate and sanitize the floors without any human intervention. It can destroy COVID spores on floor surfaces (if any)using sodium hypochlorite solution, as recommended by ICMR. As commercial establishments started opening for the public again but following these numerous measures, it would be interesting to witness how these devices will shift the approach to a contactless world.

Mamaearth to Bring Back Smiles and Distribute More than 20,000 Face Masks through its Goodness Ambassador Program

After distributing more than 50,000 hand sanitizers to people in need, Mamaearth, a toxin-free personal care start-up has launched yet another campaign that demonstrates the brand’s resolution for responsible marketing.  

With the brand promise of ‘Goodness Inside’, the idea of goodness in action is integral to the brand. When the pandemic struck and brought with it some unprecedented challenges, Mamaearth decided to appoint “Goodness Ambassadors” in a bid to help the community. These influencers not only spread awareness about the WHO guidelines for precautions against the infection but also distributed free sanitizers to people like security personnel, healthcare workers, delivery agents, domestic help, and others who needed it the most.

Now, as the lockdown eases, more people will venture out of their houses to this new normal. While people take all the precautions to stay safe, their smiles will be hidden behind the face masks. So, Mamaearth decided to find a way to spread smiles through the face masks themselves. They’ve created face masks with a simple smile printed on them, and are sending it across to all their Goodness Ambassadors. 

Being an environmentally conscious organization that believes in the conservation of Mother Earth for future generations, their masks are of cotton cloth that won’t add to the plastic in oceanic waste. These cloth masks are washable and reusable as well.

“Smiles have been the universal way to greet people for ages. It’s an expression of happiness at seeing the other person. It’s how you let someone know you’re pleased to see them. It’s also a way to show gratitude. It’s an amalgamation of many positive emotions. Our face masks are an important layer of precaution, but our smiles will be lost behind it to everyone we meet. The ‘Let your Smile Show’ Campaign is an initiative to put a smile on the face of the mask wearer, and remind others looking at them to smile too.” Said Ghazal Alagh, Co-founder and Chief Mum at Mamaearth. 

In its bid to spread more smiles, Mamaearth has reached out to all their goodness ambassadors including employees, consumers, partners, agencies, bloggers, and influencers. The goal is to distribute more than 20,000 masks through 2500+ Goodness Ambassadors. 

World Yoga Day: Give the Gift of Yoga to Your Body and Soul Through 5 Must-Have Fitness Apps

Yoga has infinite benefits - When practiced regularly it can do wonders to one's health. For some, it might be just a form of exercise or meditation, for others, it is a form of relaxation which reduces stress. Incorporating yoga in our daily lives can help us in many ways - like sleeping habits, depression, heart problems, etc.  As the world is all geared to celebrate International Yoga Day on 21st June, this time the situation is different. The pandemic has changed everyone’s life upside down because of which people won't be able to celebrate the day in the usual ways.

Practicing Yoga is not an easy task - one has to know about the right pose, right posture, and time to hold that posture. Hence we bring a list of 5 must-have apps for you to practice yoga with safety and at the comfort of your home. 

Fittr - Pune-based fitness startup, Fittr (formerly known as SQUATS Fitness Pvt. Ltd.). The largest online fitness company that provides professional assistance for all fitness and health goals. Launched in January 2016,  FITTR has been serving millions of customers with the right knowledge and tools and helping them live a healthy lifestyle. Today, FITTR has 200+ consultants on board and recorded 1,00,000 fitness transformation stories that are increasing every day. The first milestone of the brand was the launch of their app - FITTR in 2018, which empowers people to provide the right knowledge in order to attain fitness & health goals. The app offers smooth experience at a free subscription and is an effective choice people can make to get fit on a budget. The app witnessed 6,20,000 downloads to date and today its a community of more than 8,00,000 members. 

Daily Yoga App: The Yoga Daily app is for all people, whether you are a beginner or advanced. This yoga app has more than 200 yoga classes and 500+ poses with detailed voice instructions. The app has scheduled plans for boot camp, body toning, weight loss, strength, flexibility, relaxation, balance, menstruation, body detox, meditation, etc. Here you will get step by step instructions for all yoga asanas. The app is available worldwide in 7 languages that are English, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Chinese, German, and French. The app offers in-app purchase but some classes are available for free.

Yoga Studio: The yoga studio app is for all; beginner, intermediate, and advanced. It has more than 80 Ready-made yoga & meditation classes in full HD video. You can create your own list of yoga and track your fitness growth with daily, weekly class scheduling. With this app, you can focus on your strength, flexibility, relaxation, balance, or a combination of all four. The app offers in-app purchase. some videos are available for free but you have to pay for full access.

Curefit: Curefit is an app-based service provider that aims to address preventive healthcare through a combination of engagement, coaching, and delivery using a mix of online and offline channels. Currently, live offers live fitness classes across formats such as strength, dance, boxing, HIIT, HRX, S&C, and yoga on all days of the week. These live classes are also amenable to users across different fitness levels and do not require any equipment. also offers live guided meditation, sessions, cooking sessions, podcasts as well as talks with experts on various topics related to health and fitness. After an initial 14-day free trial, customers will be given access to limited videos for free, and the rest will be charged. Users will also be given the option to choose between three-month, six-month, and 12-month packages. 

5-minute Yoga: The yoga tools from Sadhguru app for Android and iOS will make sure you no longer give the excuse of not having enough time to dedicate to practicing yoga. Designed by Sadhguru, this app is based on the science of Upa-Yoga which is focused on physical and psychological benefits derived from the discipline. All you have to do is take out only five minutes every day to practice from a set of seven five-minute Upa-Yoga practices. The app also offers guidelines and explanatory videos to help you do the asanas right. The app includes guided instruction videos with demos and explanations for each of the seven practices. The videos are available offline too, so once downloaded, the app needs no internet connection.

VMware Gets Industry Support for VMinclusion Taara, as Unique Return to Work Program Reaches a New Milestone

Up-Skilling Program

* 6,000+ women now registered for the free VMware certification courses in digital transformation technologies 
* NTT Ltd. pledges support for the program

VMinclusion Taara, one of India’s largest up-skilling programs, that aims to help women restart their careers after a break has recently reached a new milestone of 6,000+ registrations. The program that trains women in latest digital transformation technologies which include Cloud Management & Automation, Data Center Virtualization, Networking and Digital Workplaces is now supported by more industry partners with the latest addition of NTT Ltd.

As the program is now more than a year old, several women have reached advanced stage of the curriculum and have received employment. Stories of women from the program can be found here.

NTT Ltd., one of VMware’s leading partners in Asia Pacifc and Japan has come forward to support the program in India, and create greater awareness for improving female representation for women in tech. The company will also consider evaluating talent coming from VMinclusion Taara program to help more women return to work.

“India has one of the highest number of STEM graduates globally and yet the number of women dropping out of work is staggering. I am thrilled that industry leaders such as NTT Ltd. are coming forth to help us in supporting these women. The fact that the program has had such a great response in India, reinforces our belief about how most women on career breaks are looking for the training and the right opportunity to rejoin work.” said Duncan Hewett, senior vice president & GM, APJ, VMware.

“We believe that diversity in the technology sector is key to our success. We consider it our responsibility to encourage and ensure women who have had to leave the industry, are given every opportunity to return. We are delighted to be a part of the VMinclusion Taara journey, to help women build skills in the latest technology trends. VMinclusion Taara provides the training for free with flexible timelines. NTT Ltd’s partnership with VMware will reinforce this vision and support more women to return to our industry.” said John Lombard, CEO, Asia Pacific at NTT Ltd.

In October 2018, VMware announced VMinclusion Taara to address the increasing gender gap in the technology sector. The courses listed in this program are free of cost. Keeping in mind that the women participating in Taara may have other life commitments to attend to, all the training is delivered online. Any woman, who is a citizen of India and residing in the territorial jurisdiction of India can join the VMinclusion Taara program to retrain in the latest digital transformation technologies and become a VMware certified professional. Some experience or education in the field of Information Technology (IT) is preferred. However, this is not a limiting criteria for a woman who wants to learn and build a new career in IT. VMinclusion Taara equips women with foundation-level training courses on digital business transformation. Candidates can expect to cover cutting-edge cloud technologies like networking, virtualization, data center, storage and security. Any female citizen of India who has taken a career break of 6 months or more is eligible to apply for this program.  Any woman who has completed her graduation at least 6 months ago, and not found employment yet can also enroll for the VMinclusion Taara program to become a VMware Certified Professional. NTT Ltd. Partners is the latest organisation to offer support to VMware’s VMinclusion Taara.  Several key organizations like State Bank of India, Bharti Airtel and Cognizant have supported this program and will be open to considering women being certified on VMware’s digital transformation solutions for relevant openings within their organisations.

Women who want to register for this program can do so at – VMinclusion Taara page -  or drop an email to

Manipal Hospitals Performs Rare Surgery and Saves the Life of Patient Suffering with Severe Kyphoscoliosis with Respiratory Insufficiency

The doctors at Manipal hospital, Old Airport Road, performed a very complicated and miraculous lifesaving surgery on a 36-year-old patient suffering with severe Kyphoscoliosis with respiratory insufficiency in Jan 2012. Dr S Vidyadhara, HOD & Consultant Spine & Scoliosis Surgeon, Manipal Spine Care Centre at Manipal Hospitals, Old Airport Road, Bangalore and his team worked with great commitment and vigor to give Faisal a new lease of life. Kyphoscoliosis, which means, abnormal lateral and forward curvature of the spine, is a serious and life-threatening condition due to its ill-effects on the lungs and heart. The patient, Mohammad Faisal Nawaz, underwent the extremely risky surgery here at Manipal hospitals Old Airport Road and survived it through sheer determination and grit. The dedicated team of doctors was successful in performing the 8-hour long surgery, carrying a death risk of 50% and a ventilator dependence risk of 90%, giving the gallant Faisal a new lease of life.

Faisal had been battling severe health related problems since a long time. In his early childhood, he started having trouble in breathing due to severe Kyphoscoliosis problem and chest wall restriction. He also suffered from post-polio residual paralysis. These conditions worsened as he grew up resulting in over 50-degree-curvature in his spine. The only way to cure this was through surgery. Therefore, at the very young age of 13 years, Faisal underwent Spinal Fusion Surgery at St. Stephens Hospital, Delhi.

However, the problems did not stop there; he was again admitted at the age of 17-years for a Polio shoulder surgery. He had to undergo a procedure called Arthrodesis where fusing of bones is done with the use of screws. Within a year he underwent a screw removal surgery, as some of the screws had loosened. The complications never seemed to end for Faisal. In the year 2011, he discovered that there was a failure of childhood spine fusion surgery. The only way to save his life was through another surgery, but it was too risky as his oxygen saturation was only 65%. If he hoped to survive another surgery, he had to somehow increase this level of oxygen saturation.

The recurring problems and complications could have broken the faith of any person. However, Faisal was determined not to let the disease win. Through the entirety of this extremely difficult journey Faisal decided to fight his battles with determination, hope and a positive outlook. Through various exercise regimens and self-determination, Faisal was able to increase his oxygen saturation to 85% which was an amazing achievement. After consulting with various spine surgeons, Faisal decided to undergo surgery at Manipal Hospitals, Old Airport Road, Bangalore.

Dr S Vidyadhara, HOD & Consultant Spine Surgeon, Manipal Spine Care Centre at Manipal Hospitals, Old Airport Road, Bangalore said, “A comprehensive analysis of his condition was done at Manipal Hospitals. The scoliosis curve measured was 105-degree while the kyphosis was nearly 165-degree and there was pseudarthrosis as revealed through CT & MRI scans. All the possible surgical and anaesthetic risks such as peri-operative death, paraplegia, ICU care, and ventilator were explained to Faisal”

Speaking on the procedure performed to treat Faisal, Dr Vidyadhara said, “Posterior Spinal Scoliosis Correction & Instrumented fusion T1-L4 with costoplasty T3-8 was successfully performed. Post-surgery Faisal was breathing well and within two days was able to walk independently. He was discharged five days post-surgery and the X-rays done revealed that the scoliosis curve was corrected to 50-degree and the kyphosis was corrected to 60-degree. A month and a half after his surgery, Faisal’s chest constriction has eased, and his quality of life has improved significantly”. It is now 8+ years since surgery and Faisal is happily married since Dec 2019. He has undertaken and completed four marathons (4-kms) as a champion with disability with support of oxygen cylinder to raise awareness for scoliosis. He has to his credit to be involved as disability rights activist for discussions on oxygen supply to people with respiratory insufficiency during air and train travel.

“The unique combination of the expertise of the surgeons and the determination of the patient were key factors in making this challenging surgery a success” said Dr Vidyadhara S. “The experience of the doctors, the state of the art technology and the dedicated medical staff at Manipal Hospitals ensured that Faisal made a nothing short of miraculous recovery”

Since his survival, Faisal has voluntarily dedicated his life to spreading awareness about Scoliosis. He founded ‘SCOLIOSIS INDIA’, a first of its kind interactive platform on Kyphoscoliosis. This platform comprises of members that impart counselling, motivation, guidance and mentoring to people who are suffering with the disease. It provides detailed insights about the various surgical and non-surgical options to manage Kyphoscoliosis, the case studies of people who fight and win this extremely debilitating condition to provide hope to many people who are battling this disease. ‘SCOLIOSIS INDIA’ provides advanced research and treatment available for spine disorders throughout the world.

The platform has also submitted a plea at the Delhi High Court to initiate early screening for scoliosis among school going children this will ensure early diagnosis of the condition. Even during the recent lockdown, he has taken the initiative to run “Unlock Curve” – India’s first virtual campaign successfully. He believes in the following about Kyphoscoliosis

My pain is mine,
My love is divine,
I can roam,
I can run,
Doesn’t matter,
If I have a bent spine.

Manipal Hospitals has decided to join and help Faisal in his noble cause of spreading awareness about Kyphoscoliosis. Speaking about this collaboration a spokesperson at the Manipal Hospitals said, “We wholeheartedly support Faisal in his vision of creating a Scoliosis free society. We wanted to do our part in helping him achieve his dream, so we have joined hands with Faisal and ‘SCOLIOSIS INDIA’ to spread awareness and help people suffering from this disease. The spine specialists at Manipal are advising patients to visit ‘SCOLIOSIS INDIA’ ( for counseling and motivation. The Spine Surgeons at Manipal Hospitals also provide their valuable inputs to the platform regarding scoliosis, diagnosis and management of the condition.”

Dr. Majeed Foundation Contributes Rs 10 Crore Towards PM CARES Fund to Combat COVID-19

Dr. Majeed Foundation, a non-profit institution founded by Dr. Muhammed Majeed, Founder and Chairman of Sami-Sabinsa Group, contributed ₹ 10 crore to PM CARES Fund, to help combat the widespread outbreak of COVID-19.

The Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund was created on 28 March 2020, following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in India. The fund will be used for combating, containment and relief efforts against the coronavirus outbreak and similar pandemic like situations in the future.

Dr. Muhammed Majeed, Founder and Chairman of Sami-Sabinsa Group said, “We have always believed in supporting the less fortunate while also giving back to the society and the nation. Today, as Covid-19 pandemic poses an unprecedented challenge for the country, the contribution of ₹ 10 crore towards PM CARES Fund is a step towards helping combat the virus.”

In addition, Dr. Majeed Foundation, also recently contributed ₹2 crores to Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority.

Dr. Majeed Foundation has been actively supporting people in distress, by ramping up its community outreach programs to reach out to the poor and vulnerable communities. Especially to those who have been most affected by the pandemic in Bengaluru and Hyderabad and provided them with essential food items, protective equipment, hand sanitizers and health supplements.

Recently in Chokkasandra, Peenya, Bengaluru, Dr. Majeed Foundation distributed a total of 2,000 food kits - each food kit containing essential grocery items with 5 kgs of rice, 1 kg toor dal, 1 kg atta, 1 kg sugar, 1 kg salt, I ltr oil, one bath soap and a reusable face mask.

In Hyderabad, Dr. Majeed Foundation distributed a total of 1600 food kits to the residents of Turkapally village, an old age home, and various slum-dwelling units.

Coders Turn COVID-19 Fighters at the World’s Largest Coding Contest TechGig Code Gladiators 2020

Code Gladiators

* TechGig Code Gladiators has 15,617+ registrations at two hackathons focussed on limiting COVID-19 pandemic impact
* Guinness book record holder event, Code Gladiators is hosting its seventh edition this year with more than 2lakh+ registrations 
* Code Gladiators 2020 is hosting five hackathons in total, all focussed on new-age technologies like Machine Learning, RPA, Cloud 

Will a computer programme ease the COVID-19 crisis? Going by the heaps of ideas suggested at TechGig Code Gladiators 2020, the answer could very well be - a ‘yes’. 

With the world gripped in the COVID-19 crisis for more than 100 days now, it’s the right time for the coders to join hands with the frontline health staff and pharma researchers to keep the indomitable Coronavirus at bay. 

TechGig Code Gladiators 2020 has recorded more than 15,617+ registrations in two hackathons focussed on finding tech-based solutions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. They are IBM- 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge and Microsoft HackOnAzure. Microsoft HackOnAzure is solely focussed on finding COVID-19 solutions, while IBM- 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge has two tracks – COVID-19 & Climate Change. The other hackathons at Code Gladiators 2020 include UiPath RPA Hackathon, Automated Multi-Label Classification by Times Internet and the Open Coding Round where the participants can submit codes in any of the 50 programming languages offered.

Participation is free at 

Code Gladiators - the Guinness world record holder programming event - is hosting its seventh edition this year. Code Gladiators 2020 edition kicked off on March 23, 2020, and has recorded 2,35,375+ registrations till now. This edition is particularly interesting because the COVID-19 lockdown has forced most professionals to work from home, giving them more time to participate in this globally acclaimed hackathon.  

TechGig surveyed to understand the participants’ experience at the present hackathon, where more than 68% coders affirmed that they could concentrate well on the hackathons owing to the lockdown. About 62% of participants also said that they were excited about the event’s upcoming online mega grand finale since this is the first time that the event will conclude with a virtual finale. 
Elaborating on the Code Gladiators 2020 hackathons, Sanjay Goyal, Business Head, TimesJobs and TechGig said, “Every year TechGig Code Gladiators resolves to find solutions to the real-world business problems posed by the participating IT companies. This year, we found an opportunity amid the despair. Presently when most countries are battling the COVID-19 outbreak, Code Gladiators presents a unique opportunity to coders to find a tech-based solution to limit the virus impact. The other hackathons at the contest are equally interesting where coders are challenged to solve complex business problems using a trending technology such as RPA (Robotic Process Automation).”

Citing some of the solutions as ‘very promising’, Sanjay Goyal added that TechGig’s team and the entire IT industry is keenly waiting for some of these solutions to take shape. The first round of registrations at Code Gladiators 2020 is presently on and will conclude on June 22, 2020. to celebrate International Yoga Day with Ten Million Surya Namaskar Challenge

With International Yoga Day right around the corner,, India’s leading integrated holistic healthcare services provider, will embark on an endeavour to achieve ten million Surya Namaskars being done on the day. The challenge, which will be launched on the app on Yoga Day, 21st June, hopes to see participation from one million people doing Surya Namaskars, a movement that is at the very core of Yoga.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has led to all and classes being conducted digitally, 170+ live Yoga classes will be held all day to mark the occasion. Surya Namaskar will also be a part of the warm up and cool down regimen on that day for non-Yoga formats too to encourage more participation. A live counter will keep track of the number of Surya Namaskars being done and we will also be hosting quizzes on the app for our users.

The day-long event will have Q&A , information sessions with experts,star trainers and see participation from all of’s employees.

“This challenge is part of our initiative to keep people moving and healthy in their homes in a safe manner. Yoga is one of the best ways to increase strength, improve mental health and build immunity—the key requirements for all of us today. We want to use this challenge as a way to encourage everyone to embrace all the health benefits that this practice can provide,” said Ankit Nagori, Co-founder,

Thursday, June 18, 2020

IBM Launches Watson Works to Address the Challenges of Returning to the Workplace


IBM has announced Watson Works, a curated set of products that embeds Watson artificial intelligence (AI) models and applications to help companies navigate many aspects of the return-to-workplace challenge following lockdowns put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Returning people to the workplace during the continuing global pandemic demands new approaches to promote the health, safety and productivity of workers in a privacy-preserving way. Watson Works provides data-driven insights to help employers make informed decisions on workplace re-entry, facilities management, space allocation and other COVID-related priorities.

“We’ve designed Watson Works to help businesses navigate the workplace with the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis as effectively as possible,” said Bob Lord, Senior Vice President, Cognitive Applications, Blockchain and Ecosystems, IBM. “Applying AI models and applications is especially useful in this context, where there are so many different sources of information businesses must consider, and every aspect of the situation is in flux.”

Subram Natarajan, Chief Technology Officer, IBM India, said "It cannot be overstated just how disruptive the COVID-19 pandemic has been to businesses worldwide. As most of the global economies and businesses reopen, organizations are facing the complex challenge of returning people to workplaces in a way that prioritizes the health, safety and productivity of employees. Watson Works has been made available to enable companies to leverage AI for reinventing themselves to adapt to the new normal and emerge smarter."

Watson Works is designed to help companies with these elements of returning to the workplace as they respond to COVID-19 related challenges:

* Manage facilities and optimize space allocation by using real-time data provided by the employer including WiFi, cameras, Bluetooth beacons and mobile phones. This data, collected in a way that is designed to preserve employees’ privacy, enables managers to quickly reallocate spaces, designate no-go zones, arrange for cleaning and monitor crowding, social distancing and mask-wearing.

* Prioritize employee health by enabling employers to make evidence-based decisions about when to have employees return to the workplace and when certain offices or worksites should be closed. Facilitate the collection and analysis of real-time data from multiple sources, including local infection rates and trends, voluntarily shared employee symptoms and test results, employee and household health risks, and state and local regulations. Additionally, managers can be swiftly alerted to relevant updates.

* Communicate with employees, vendors and other stakeholders. Through virtual agents and apps that use Watson’s Natural Language Processing capabilities, employees can get answers from employers to COVID-19 and HR questions, self-report symptoms, or learn whether or not they should report to work that day. Employees can also find out what time the employer thinks is the best time to arrive at the office, to avoid overcrowding.

* Maximize the effectiveness of contact tracing by assisting organizations with support for care agents and contact tracers. When employees voluntarily notify their employers of a positive test result and give consent, contact tracers can conduct interviews and use information from multiple sources to help identify individuals who should be notified of potential exposure, document all case-related information in a secured, privacy-preserving system, and trigger employer designed case management workflows to support employees while they recover.

IBM has long been a leader in the responsible stewardship of technology and clients’ most valuable data. Watson Works will conform to the company's high ethical standards, long-established Principles for Trust and Transparency and guidelines for deployment of technologies in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

Watson Works is a curated set of products based on capabilities in IBM Return-to-Workplace Advisor, IBM TRIRIGA, IBM Watson Care Manager and IBM Maximo Worker Insights.

Join the Millions of Meditating Hearts on "International Day" of Yoga to Make Compassion Contagious #YogaforCompassion

Compassion takes centre stage on International Day of Yoga 2020. This year, it also happens to be World Music Day. Heartfulness Institute, in partnership with the Ministry of AYUSH and the United Nations Department of Public Information, will be hosting a global Yogathon, with a call to make compassion contagious, music, conversations on Yoga, and an opportunity to meditate together. This event has the overwhelming support of more than 500 social, professional and cultural organizations in North America and India. 

As we continue to figure out how to face the challenges caused by the pandemic, and the personal, financial and social challenges of our times, the need to live a life of compassion is paramount. Compassion will help soothe hearts laden with fear and insecurity about the future. This event will showcase the need for compassion and will inspire people how to live a life of compassion. The transformative powers of compassion have been chronicled extensively in all the great world scriptures, and it is time for us to remind ourselves of them.

The following luminaries will be taking part in the Yogathon: Kamlesh Patel (Daaji), Guide of Heartfulness; YogRishi Baba Ramdev; AYUSH Minister, Shripad Naik; The Indian PM’s Sherpa, Shri Suresh Prabhu; UNIC India Officer-in-Charge, Rajeev Chandran; musicians Padma Vibhushan Pandit Jasraj, Padma Vibhushan, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and Padma Shri Shankar Mahadevan; wellness experts Shaina NC and Mickey Mehta; sports stars PV Sindhu, VVS Laxman, Navdeep Saini; actors Omi Vaidya, Sudhanshu Pandey, and others.

Commenting on the theme of the event, Daaji said, “Compassion is contagious and can transmit faster than any virus, while making us stronger. International Day of Yoga is a very apt platform to spread the message of compassion, and celebrities from all walks of life have readily agreed to lend their voice to this cause. This international Yogathon will help bring consciousness to the need for more elevated acts of compassion, allowing all our lives to be more peaceful and meaningful.

The event will go live on 20 June 2020 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time in the US and on 21 June 2020 at 7 a.m. in India.

Commenting on the Yogathon as a co-host Mr.Shripad Naik said, “ This International yoga day 2020 will be a significant milestone in the journey of bringing yoga practices to the world. This vision inspired by our Honorable Prime Minister is now adopted by the United Nations and is a global movement. The tradition of yoga is time immemorial and is another contribution to the heritage of the world, a fact that should make all Indians proud wherever there are. It is our responsibility to nurture and share the benefit of this phenomenal practice so that the future generations are also able to enjoy this gift to mankind.”  

100 Pipers ‘The Legacy Project’ Wins Bronze Pencil at The One Show Awards

As a stamp of recognition, 100 Pipers ‘The Legacy Project’ has been awarded the coveted Bronze Pencil and a Merit at The One Show Awards in New York, the world’s most prestigious award show in advertising, design & digital marketing. The One Show awards are regarded as the top-level global recognition in the creative industry.

Seagram’s 100 Pipers has consistently lived its brand philosophy of ‘Be Remembered For Good’ with various endeavours that lead a positive change. In 2019, the brand embarked on yet another journey of goodness with The Legacy Project; to keep the legacy of endangered Indian art forms alive and help these communities thrive.

2019 saw the first chapter of 100 Pipers Legacy Project where the brand curated designs from six Indian art forms across India - Gond, Bhil, Pattua, Pachedi, Cheriyal and Kalighat. It engaged with local artists from these art communities to present a reflection of their version of ‘goodness’. To take these 6 unique designs to a larger audience, they embellished the new Seagram’s 100 Pipers Limited Edition Pack for 2019 with them.

To further give these artforms a well-deserved platform for exposure, this was amplified via large-scale digital & on-ground campaigns.

Speaking about the award, Kartik Mohindra, Chief Marketing Officer, Pernod Ricard India said, “Seagram’s 100 Pipers has always stayed true to its promise of “Be Remembered For Good”. The Legacy Project was an initiative that displays the brand ethos of leading a positive change in the society by supporting revival of India’s endangered art forms. Winning the Pencil at One Show Awards only strengthens our resolve of boldly marching forward on this chosen path. It’s heartening to make a difference and be globally recognised for it – it only serves to take the dying arts to a larger audience”.

Sharing his enthusiasm about the legendary win, Nitin Srivastava, Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy, Gurgaon said, “The Legacy Project brings to the forefront folk artists of India. It's wonderful to see their work being recognised on a global platform as it gives such artists the hope and inspiration to continue on their path of creating beautiful artworks. Ogilvy and PRI have had a long association of over a decade during which we've built the brand together. This project is an example of how we've created something for a greater good and ensures the legacy of India's art forms continue to thrive.”

The brand 100 Pipers is positioned on the platform of ‘TRUE LEGENDS’, personified by successful people who rise above materialistic markers of success and work towards leading a positive change for the society. And hence, the brand’s expression of ‘Be Remembered For Good’. Over the years, 100 Pipers has consistently translated this positioning into actual consumer experiences through interventions like The Legacy Project and the ‘Play For A Cause’ music events. With Play For A Cause, the brand brings together celebrated musicians & organizes performances to generate awareness & contribution for various causes that impact our society like Clean Drinking Water, Meals for the underprivileged, Kerala floods, to name a few.

Seagram's 100 Pipers is the largest Scotch Whisky brand in India; market leader in Standard Scotch segment with twice the size of nearest competition. It is the first & only scotch brand in India to achieve the milestone of selling 1 million+ cases in a year in 2018.

AI-Powered Diagnostic Solution from QuEST Global to Accelerate Covid-19 Screening

QuEST Global, a global product engineering and lifecycle services company, today announced that it has developed a robust AI-powered solution that will enable healthcare professionals to accelerate the screening of COVID-19 patients with pneumonia symptoms. Using advanced deep learning models, the AI-powered diagnostic solution can sort and identify chest X-rays of patients with COVID-19. With an accuracy of more than 95%, the solution can be deployed on the cloud as a service, making it easily accessible on edge for healthcare professionals and end-users. The solution is backed by Microsoft Azure Machine Learning, which helps accelerate the development and deployment on machine learning models in a highly secure and trusted fashion.

The Medical Devices engineering team at QuEST developed this technology demonstrator using chest X-rays of healthy individuals, patients with symptoms of pneumonia and COVID-19. These X-rays were used to train and build a deep neural network model that could discriminate the radiological patterns of pneumonia related to COVID-19 and highlight the suspicious ones, thus leading to a faster screening of the disease.

Elaborating further on QuEST’s AI solution, Krish Kupathil, Global Head, Hi-Tech and Digital, QuEST Global said, “As the pandemic continues to rage, our focus has been to deliver a solution that can support the healthcare professionals effectively. Since the fight against COVID-19 is all about faster screening and immediate isolation of maximum number of people, we aim to accelerate the screening time as much as possible. The AI-based solution will make radiography examinations much faster by leveraging modern image diagnostic systems. As we continue to add more features, we aim to reduce the screening time to less than a minute”.

Michael Kuptz, General Manager – Americas IoT & Mixed Reality Sales, Microsoft, said, “In these unprecedented times, saving human lives is the ultimate goal, and technology can help. Microsoft’s collaborations with product engineering leaders like QuEST can go a long way to driving a more positive outcome. For example, QuEST’s AI-driven diagnostic solution, built on Microsoft Azure, empowers healthcare personnel in the fight against COVID-19 by reducing screening time, thereby enabling more testing capacity.”

Over the years, QuEST has been working as a trusted thinking partner with the world’s most recognized companies in the medical devices industry. The company is committed to enabling its customers Create The Frontier by enhancing healthcare experience to improve the lives of millions of people around the world. With its expertise in new-age technologies like deep learning, AI, IoT and machine learning, the company has been developing comprehensive engineering solutions by using Azure IoT and Azure AI solutions. These solutions have been helping OEMs, and tier-one suppliers seamlessly take a giant leap in their digital transformation journey and make products safer and more reliable.

Signify, Boston University Validate Effectiveness of Signify’s UV-C Light Sources on Inactivating the Virus that Causes COVID-19


* Test results show that the virus could no longer be detected after seconds of exposure
* Signify to make its UV-C lighting technology widely available to other lighting companies
* Signify has been at the forefront of UV technology for more than 35 years

Eindhoven, the Netherlands – Signify (Euronext: LIGHT), the world leader in lighting, together with the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL)[1] at Boston University in the US have conducted research that validates the effectiveness of Signify’s UV-C light sources on the inactivation of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Since the start of the SARS CoV-2 pandemic, Dr. Anthony Griffiths, Associate Professor of Microbiology at Boston University School of Medicine and his team have been working on developing tools to support scientific advancement in this field.[2] During their research they have treated inoculated material with different doses of UV-C radiation coming from a Signify light source and assessed the inactivation capacity under various conditions. The team applied a dose of 5mJ/cm2, resulting in a reduction of the SARS-CoV-2 virus of 99% in 6 seconds. Based on the data, it was determined that a dose of 22mJ/cm2 will result in a reduction of 99.9999% in 25 seconds.[3]

“Our test results show that above a specific dose of UV-C radiation, viruses were completely inactivated: in a matter of seconds we could no longer detect any virus,” said Dr. Anthony Griffiths. “We’re very excited about these findings and hope that this will accelerate the development of products that can help limit the spread of COVID-19.”

Signify is the leader in UV-C light sources and has been at the forefront of UV technology for more than 35 years. It has a proven track record of innovation in UV-C lighting, which is designed, manufactured and installed in line with the highest safety standards.

“I’m very happy about the fruitful cooperation with Boston University in the fight against the coronavirus. Boston University has validated the effectiveness of our light sources as a preventive measure for companies and institutions as they seek ways to provide virus-free environments,” said Eric Rondolat, CEO of Signify. “Given the potential of the technology to aid the fight against the coronavirus, Signify will not keep the technology for its exclusive use but make it available to other lighting companies. To service the growing need for disinfection we will increase our production capacity multifold in the coming months.”

Tata Motors Releases its Annual CSR Report FY 2019-20 Over 8.3 Lakh People Benefitted from Community Programmes

Key Highlights:

* Health (Aarogya): 3.9 lakh people benefitted and over 74% of malnourished children were treated
* Education (Vidyadhanam): 1.5 lakh students engaged, more than 44% students scored above 60% in FY20 in their 10th standard pre-board exams
* Employability (Kaushalya): 1.17 lakh youth skilled, out of which 63% have been employed
* Environment (Vasudhara): Planted 1.17 lakh saplings (of indigenous varieties) and educated over 91,025 people on eco-friendly practices
* Volunteering: Over 50% of the 28000 employees participated and invested over 1.1 lakh volunteering hours for social causes, a 67% increase over previous year

Tata Motors – India’s leading automobile brand, today released its FY 2019-20 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report. In line with the Tata Group’s vision of promoting community well-being, Tata Motors has actively implemented initiatives under its key thrust areas of Health (Aarogya), Education (Vidyadhanam), Employability (Kaushalya) and Environment (Vasundhara) and the Rural Development. The scope and the depth of the CSR programmes of the company have consistently increased and has positively touched 8.3 lakh lives in FY19-20, out of which nearly 41% belong to the SC and ST communities.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD, Tata Motors said, “As we enter the 75th year of Tata Motors, I share with immense pride that our collective CSR efforts over the last decade have made a positive difference to the lives of 5 million people across India.  Our role has progressively grown from being just a resource provider to a facilitator and now an enabler for driving positive change. This is a true testament to ‘innovating mobility solutions with passion to enhance quality of life’ philosophy rooted in our mission statement. We will continue our endeavor towards uplifting the unprivileged communities and improve their quality of life by making them aware and self-reliant.”

Below is a snapshot of the company’s CSR initiatives across key pillars:

1. Building and Strengthening Healthcare Facilities ‘AROGYA’

In FY20, 3.9 lakh people benefitted from the health initiative ‘Aarogya’, which aims to curb malnutrition through facilitation of clean drinking water to remote communities and by provision of preventive/ curative health services. Over 74% of the acute undernourished children treated by Tata Motors are now in a healthy status. Water security ensured for around 21,666 individuals through company’s National Drinking Water Programme titled ‘Amrutdhara’.

The company has also laid down a strategy to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to assist those who have been impacted most by the lockdown. The company is achieving this by provision of essentials, equipping the heroes on frontline with protective gear and education masses on ways to prevent transmission. This direct assistance benefitted 1.5 lakh people including migrants, daily wage earners who lost livelihood, and those who were left stranded or forced to seek shelter in transit camps.

2. Augmenting Education System ‘VIDYADHANAM’

Over 1.5 lakh students were engaged through the education initiative ‘Vidyadhanam’, which focuses on improving the academic performance of secondary/college going students through targeted approach by instituting need-based financial support, special coaching classes, etc. These initiatives have led to an improvement in pass percentage from 55% in 2015 to 80% in FY20.  More than 44% students scored above 60% in their 10th standard pre-board exams in FY20. During the year, the company also collaborated with Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNVs), to coach over 400 students for JEE and NEET entrance exams. Tata Motors is the first corporate in India to support IIT Bombay under Affirmative Action (AA) for Financial Aid Programme (FAP).

3. Enhancing programmes on Employability ‘KAUSHALYA’

Over 1 lakh people were trained through under employability initiative ‘Kaushalya’, which focuses on training unemployed youth in three segments viz. auto trades, non-auto trades and agriculture & allied activities. 63% of the people have found employment (or are self-employed) resulting in an annual increase in family income by ₹1 lakh.

The company also engages with community based groups of women and farmers and helps them earn supplementary income through agriculture and allied programmes.

4. Nurturing sustainability through environmental programmes ‘VASUNDHARA’

Close to 1.2 lakh new saplings were planted across Tata Motors plant locations through and ensured their survival rate remained significantly high (i.e. 71%) despite prolonged rains last Monsoon. Through the environmental awareness programmes, over 91,000 people (mostly young children) were sensitized about this cause. The company also encourage communities to adopt alternate sources of energy.

5. Integrated Village Development

With a focus on holistic development of a tribal village/hamlet, Tata Motor collaborated with Sahabhag (the CSR Cell of Government of Maharashtra) to run a pilot project that improved the quality of 3000 tribal lives of Pathardi gram panchayat in Jawhar block of Palghar district. 70% of the resources for village development came from the government.

6. Volunteering Programme:

The Tata Motors Employee Volunteering Programme also saw a surge in volunteering hours with more employee participation and deeper engagement in various community welfare initiatives. More than 50% of the 28000 employees participated and invested over 1.1 lakh volunteering hours for social causes, a 67% increase over the previous year. 

Two exceptional natural occurrences during the year necessitated extraordinary interventions. Ferocious floods in Maharashtra caused extensive damage to life and livelihoods, demanding a substantial relief effort to support the ones impacted. Tata Motors complimented Maharashtra State Government Flood Response Programme and provided aid to over 45,000 people.

During the year, the company received several prestigious accolades from a diverse set of stakeholders - (1) 5th Tata Affirmative Action Programme (TAAP) Jury  Award, (2) Creating Shared Values Initiative for Inclusive Business and (3) SIAM’s CSR Award. The CSR work done in and around Sanand Plant was also recognized by the Ahmedabad Collectorate.

Vedantu Assists the Government of Karnataka to Train Doctors Online on COVID-19

Train Doctors

* Karnataka Ministry of Health reinvents its training and communication channel
* Goes online using Vedantu’s W.A.V.E platform to train the doctors to battle COVID 19

Vedantu, a pioneer in LIVE online learning platform in India, is assisting the Ministry of Health (Govt of Karnataka) to impart COVID  training and communication to doctors across  the State. 

To assist the Karnataka State Government & Doctors in the ongoing battle against Covid-19, Vedantu has volunteered to offer its WAVE platform. This initiative is helping the ministry to reach out to 250+ doctors across Karnataka and train them LIVE using Vedantu’s platform to improve their understanding on the following - 

* How to diagnose a Covid-19 patient
* What precautions are to be taken while treating a Covid-19 patient
* Which are the nearest hospitals that are available for testing
* How to attend to numerous queries of individuals about Covid-19 
* Daily preventive measures to be taken to prevent the Covid-19 
* This training is led by senior officials - Dr. Ravi Kumar, Senior Regional Director at Ministry of Health & FW, Govt of India and Dr Mahamood Shariff, Research officer, NVBDCP, Directorate of H&FW, Govt of Karnataka.

Speaking on the partnership, Dr. PC Jaffer (IAS), Secretary to Govt (Expenditure), Finance Department, Karnataka Govt Secretariat, said, “In the current times, taking the risk of face to face training was out of question for us. It was imperative to find a solution that mirrors, but also has the same impact as the face to face training. Hence, we decided to choose Vedantu’s platform, given its rich and interactive platform capabilities, to train and converse online with our COVID warriors across the state. We are glad as our training sessions are happening smoothly now and we continue our fight against COVID.

“It is Vedantu’s great honour to support doctors who are in the front line of the fight against the pandemic. We are happy to extend our support to the Government of Karnataka through our W.A.V.E platform to deliver their training sessions to doctors LIVE and Online " said Shivani Suri, Chief Marketing Officer, Vedantu.

Livinguard Technologies Introduces Face Mask that Inactivates 99.9% of COVID-19 Virus

With the development of medication to combat the novel coronavirus still in the works, it has become imperative to find an immediate solution for this global pandemic. After conducting more than 65,000 experiments and filing more than 100 patents, Swiss hygiene company Livinguard, with operations also in India, as well as Germany, USA, Singapore, Japan, and South Africa, has come up with a revolutionary and first of its kind face mask, that can directly inactivate bacteria and viruses, including 99.9% of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. While most masks available across counters or open markets are preventive in nature, Livinguard face masks are protective and prevent bacteria and viruses from spreading, benefiting both self and others in close proximity. The globally patented technology was invented by Mr. Sanjeev Swamy, an entrepreneur of Indian origin, who also heads the company.

Researchers from the Free University of Berlin at the Institute for Animal Hygiene and Environmental Health have been able to demonstrate that textiles treated with Livinguard Technology can reduce very high amounts of SARS-CoV-2 particles by more than 99.9% within a few hours. "The textiles in these masks can thus continuously inactivate the exhaled viruses and can make handling these masks even safer overall," says Professor Uwe Rösler. "In addition, such textiles could also help to reduce hygienic issues in other general and medical areas, even beyond COVID-19." The masks were launched today in India through a virtual press conference where the founder joined from their Swiss headquarters.

Mr. Sanjeev Swamy, Founder, Inventor & CEO, Livinguard Technologies said, “The World Health Organization estimates 89 million medical masks will be required every month throughout the pandemic. Providing superior quality of daily life has always been our aim. Our mission is to provide hygiene suited for the modern world, hence the reason that we chose to conduct our tests at the FU Berlin, who is renowned for their highest standards; and we are honored to be able to introduce Livinguard masks in India. With the number of cases rising in the country daily, it has become crucial to find an answer to the problem. The unique characteristics of Livinguard masks will provide users with an unprecedented level of security. Fine Hygienic Holding in the Middle East is one of our biggest users, as well as millions more across Singapore, Japan, Germany and China. I am confident that we will have similar success in India too.”

He further added, “Livinguard’s current focus is to apply this Technology to solutions that lessen the health risk and economic impact of the crisis by enabling people to protect themselves, return to work, and take back their lives. Since our product is washable and reusable, and mostly made from cotton, the mask is eco-friendly and sustainable. Our research shows that if a million people use one reusable Livinguard mask 210 times, we can save 36,000 tonnes of waste. It is also cheaper than a regular mask because one will need 210 masks to compare with one of ours.”

One of the most respected science leaders of India, Dr Raghunath Mashelkar, said “This scientific breakthrough of deactivating SARS-COV-2 virus on contact with the mask, authenticated fully by world’s top universities, is a global game changer. Every effort should be made so that every Indian benefits from this unprecedented paradigm shift in this provision of safety, security & sustainability, going far beyond the current pandemic.”

The principle underlying the Livinguard Technology is empowering the textile surface with a strong positive charge. When microbes come in contact with fabric, the microbial cell which is negatively charged, is destroyed leading to permanent destruction of the microorganism. Unlike heavy metal-based solutions, such as silver, zinc and copper, this novel technology has been found to be safe for both skin and lungs. Moreover, Livinguard Technology destroys continuously and allows users to reuse the mask up to 210 times with no compromise on safety or efficacy. Livinguard AG believes that the future is tied to sustainable solutions that treat our world kindly. The Livinguard Face Mask not only harnesses powerful coronavirus killing technology but also minimizes waste and uses resources efficiently, thereby offering a unique solution for an overheated supply chain.

The Livinguard mask comprises 3 layers that give 5 levels of protection. The unique patented Tripellent Technology on the Outer layer offers 3 levels of protection - Livinguard Antiviral and repellent coating on the outside of the fabric, Livinguard Antiviral Technology bonded into the fabric itself and Livinguard Antiviral and repellent coating on the inside of the fabric. Non-woven industry-standard filters in the middle layer channels viruses for destruction to the outer or inner layers. Sandwiched between disinfecting fabrics, it is protected from biological contamination, allowing the mask to be safely washed and reused. Denser than the outer layer, and also treated with Livinguard Antiviral Technology, the fabric of the inner layer provides powerful inactivation of coronavirus. Odour free and quick drying with low humidity, the soft and stretchy fabric gives a comfortable fit for the mouth and nose. This specially treated fabric has 36 billion positive charges per cm2.

The Livinguard mask can be washed up to 30 times with undiminished efficacy of its protective properties. If used daily and washed weekly under normal usage conditions, the mask can be used for 6 months, effectively replacing the need for single-use masks. The mask can be used for extended periods and reused before washing because the fabric covering the filter media continuously destroys microorganisms upon contact. This significantly diminishes the risk of transferring them to the user and to other surfaces. The mask is proven to be non-toxic and safe for use. The masks are being used by frontline COVID warriors across the world. Depending on the type of mask required, the cost is INR 1490-1990 only.

Livinguard is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Innovators Community. Arnaud Bernaert, Head of Health and Healthcare, World Economic Forum commented, “The World Economic Forum is happy to have Livinguard join our Global Innovators community. We are delighted to work with Livinguard as their innovation holds the potential to greatly advance the world's response toolkit in the fight against COVID".

Castrol India Announces Second Interim Dividend for FY 2019; Recalls Final Dividend for FY 2019

The Board of Directors of Castrol India Limited, at a meeting held today, declared a second interim dividend of INR 3/- per equity share for the financial year ended 31 December 2019. Simultaneously, the Board recalled the earlier recommended final dividend of INR 3/- per equity share for the same period (2018: final dividend INR 2.75/- per equity share).

The delay of the 42nd Annual General Meeting of the Company from April to July due to the national lockdown on account of the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted many shareholders, small and institutional.

The Board took this decision to pay an interim dividend during these unprecedented times to help release payment earlier to the shareholders.     

“Castrol India has always valued the enduring relationship it has with its investors. These are extraordinary times which require organizations to take extraordinary measures in order to support various stakeholders,” said Mr. R Gopalakrishnan, Chairman of Board of Directors after the meeting.  

This second interim dividend, is in addition to the previously declared interim dividend of INR 2.50/- per equity share (2018: interim dividend INR 2.25/- per equity share) for the financial year 2019. 

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