Saturday, March 11, 2023

Air India Boosts Services To Destinations In 5 East Asian Cities

* Air India & Air India Express now offer 67 weekly flights to 5 East Asian cities

Air India, India’s leading carrier and a Star Alliance member, has added frequency on popular eastbound routes in its 2023 Summer Schedule, bringing more options for travellers to fly to and from Bangkok (Thailand), Hong Kong, and Seoul (South Korea). 

Effective 26th March 2023, Air India will add a total of eight new weekly flights: six to Bangkok (three each from Delhi and Mumbai), as well as additional weekly flights from Delhi to Seoul (Incheon) and Hong Kong. 

All flights will be operated by Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft, featuring a two-class cabin configuration, comprising 18 Business Class and 236 Economy Class seats. 

With these additions, Air India and Air India Express will collectively offer 67 weekly services to Bangkok, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Trichy and Madurai.

Mr Nipun Aggarwal, Chief Commercial and Transformation Officer, Air India, said, “Building a more robust network is a key element of Air India’s Vihaan.AI 5-year transformation plan, and having boosted services on multiple routes to North America and Europe in quick succession, we are now pleased to step up services to the East. We recognise the importance of providing our customers with convenient and reliable travel options, and this increase in frequency demonstrates our commitment to meeting those needs.”

Air India’s route network also includes non-stop flights from Delhi to Sydney and Melbourne in Australia. The increase in flights to these East Asian destinations will further strengthen Air India’s foothold in the East as well as globally, especially after the recently resumed non-stop flights to Vienna (Austria), Milan (Italy), and Copenhagen (Denmark). 

Passengers can now conveniently and comfortably fly to these destinations that are a popular choice not only for tourism but also as hubs of business, trade, and education. With Air India's renewed focus and vigour on expanding its international network, the airline is well positioned to capture a larger share of the global aviation market. 

The newly added Air India flights are now available for booking on the Air India website, mobile apps, as well as through travel agents and other booking channels. 

About Air India:

Founded by the legendary JRD Tata, Air India pioneered India’s aviation sector. Since its first flight on October 15, 1932, Air India has an extensive domestic network and has spread its wings beyond to become a major international airline with a network across USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Far-East, South-East Asia, Australia and the Gulf. Air India is a member of Star Alliance, the largest global airline consortium. After 69 years as a Government-owned enterprise, Air India and Air India Express were welcomed back into the Tata group in January 2022. The present management at Air India is driving the five year transformation roadmap under the aegis of Vihaan.AI to establish itself as a world-class global airline with an Indian heart.

Vihaan.AI is Air India’s transformational roadmap over five years with clear milestones.  It will be focussing on dramatically growing both its network and fleet, developing a completely revamped customer proposition, improving reliability and on-time performance. The airline will also be taking a leadership position in technology, sustainability, and innovation, while aggressively investing in the best industry talent. Vihaan.AI is aimed at putting Air India on a path to sustained growth, profitability and market leadership.

About the Tata Group:

Founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, the Tata group is a global enterprise, headquartered in India, comprising 30 companies across ten verticals. The group operates in more than 100 countries across six continents, with a mission 'To improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally, through long-term stakeholder value creation based on Leadership with Trust’.

Tata Sons is the principal investment holding company and promoter of Tata companies. Sixty-six percent of the equity share capital of Tata Sons is held by philanthropic trusts, which support education, health, livelihood generation, and art and culture. In 2020-21, the revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $103 billion (INR 7.7 trillion). These companies collectively employ over 800,000 people. Each Tata company or enterprise operates independently under the guidance and supervision of its own board of directors. There are 29 publicly-listed Tata enterprises with a combined market capitalisation of $314 billion (INR 23.4 trillion) as on December 31, 2021. Companies include Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals, Tata Consumer Products, Titan, Tata Capital, Tata Power, Tata Communications, Indian Hotels, Tata Digital and Tata Electronics.

Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited Signs PPA For 510MW Hybrid Project With Tata Power Delhi Distribution

* It is one of the largest hybrid projects in the country with the capacity bifurcation of 170 MW solar & 340 MW wind power

Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited (TPREL), a subsidiary of Tata Power and one of the major renewable energy players in the country, signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (Tata Power-DDL), for 510MW hybrid project.

The project will save on an average of 1540 MUs of CO2 emissions annually for Tata Power-DDL, a joint venture between Tata Power and Govt. of Delhi, that supplies electricity to a populace of over 7 million in North Delhi.

The PPA has the capacity bifurcation of 170 MW solar and 340 MW wind power. Located in Karnataka, it is one of the largest hybrid projects in the country and will be commissioned within 24 months from the PPA execution date.

Speaking on the signing, Mr. Ashish Khanna, CEO, Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited, said, “Tata Power Renewable has signed one of the largest PPAs in the country for a 510MW hybrid project, via competitive bidding, showcasing our future readiness and expertise in project execution skills. This partnership is significant in our quest to continue our journey as one of the torchbearers of the green and clean energy transition."

TPREL won this project through a competitive bidding process, followed by the release of LOA by Tata Power-DDL. This win is an extension of the earlier LOA of 255MW received in Dec. 2022

Mr. Ganesh Srinivasan, CEO, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited, added, “Aligned with the nation’s renewable energy mission, we are pleased to join hands with Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited for our biggest hybrid energy tie-up. We are confident that this association will strengthen our commitment towards significantly enhancing the portion of sustainable energy in the overall supply mix."

With this win, the total renewables capacity of TPREL reaches 6,303MW with an installed capacity of 3,909 MW (Solar - 2,981 MW & Wind - 928 MW) and 2,394MW under various stages of implementation. 

SIDBI – SIDBI Celebrates International Women’s Day With Women Entrepreneurs of SKDRDP At Shri Kshetra, Dharamsthala

Reaffirming its commitment towards women empowerment, SIDBI celebrated the International Women’s Day with the women entrepreneurs assisted under its PRAYAAS initiative through its partnership with SKDRDP at Shri Kshetra, Dharamsthala. On the occasion, Shri Sivasubramanian Ramann, Chairman & Managing Director, SIDBI, formally released a book “Amrutha Jeevana Prayaas Sinchana” in the presence of Dr. Veerendra Heggade, Dharmadhikari, SKDRDP, Smt Hemavathi Heggade, President, Jnanavikasa Program, Dharmasthala, Shri Ravi Tyagi, CGM, SIDBI andDr. L. H. Manjunath, Executive Director, SKDRDP.

CMD Shri S. Ramann, during his inaugural address mentioned “SIDBI’s mission through PRAYAAS is to connect the micro segment entrepreneurs digitally and serve the ‘missing middle’ segment by making available affordable credit. The program has a focus on women who we believe are the key pillars in the development of economy and in instilling entrepreneurship in the future generations.  Under PRAYAAS, SIDBI looks for development centric partnerships in unserved and under-served segments for fostering the spirit of self-reliance and augmenting enterprise promotion.

I salute the beneficiaries featured in the book who are the true representatives of grit, determination, and embodiment of independence of entrepreneurship.  I am sure that their success will inspire many more women to dream and set up more ambitious ventures.”   

Earlier during the day, Shri S. Ramann handed over sanction letter of Rs.1000 crore to Dr. L. H. Manjunath, Executive Director, SKDRDP, under SIDBI’s PRAYAAS Scheme for Direct Credit to Micro Enterprises under partnership arrangements. The PRAYAAS Scheme has been formulated to help microfinance clients who look forward to upscale / diversify their business and need assistance in the range of `50,000 to `5 lakh, commonly known as “Missing Middle Segment”. The scheme aims to significantly improve access to finance as well as reduce interest rate to aspiring borrowers and help in enterprise promotion.


Shri Kshethra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project, popularly known as SKDRDP, is a charitable trust promoted by Dr. Veerendra Heggade. SKDRDP concentrates on the empowerment of people by organizing Self-help Groups (SHGs) on the lines of Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) and provides infrastructure and finance through micro credit for the rural people. SKDRDP works as Banking Business Correspondent and Business Facilitator (BC and BF) in all the areas of its operation.

About SIDBI:

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) as the Principal Development Finance Institution for MSME sector has played a significant role in developing the financial services for MSME sector through various interventions including Refinance to Banks, Credit Guarantee programs, Development of the MFI sector, Contribution to Venture capital/AIF funds, MSME ratings, promoting digital lending ecosystem, etc. The Bank has proactively been working toward Energy Efficiency (EE) in MSMEs since 2005-06 as part of Direct Finance business using support of multilateral institutions like   World Bank, ADB, GiZ, FCDO, JICA, AFD, KfW etc. for energy efficient projects. SIDBI has taken steps to promote Energy Efficiency and Cleaner production in the MSME sector and propose to accelerate its efforts for MSME sector for their survival, growth, and competitiveness in long run during prevailing climate related challenges.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Bank of Baroda Slashes Home Loan Interest Rates By 40bps To 8.50%

* Reduces MSME loan interest rates to 8.40%  

- Year-end limited period offer valid up to 31st March 2023 –  

- 100% waiver on processing charges on home loans; 50% waiver on processing charges on MSME loans - 

Bank of Baroda (Bank), one of India’s leading public sector banks announced the reduction in its home loan interest rates by 40 basis points (bps) to 8.50%* p.a. Further, the Bank has also reduced its MSME loan interest rates starting at 8.40%* p.a. Both offers are valid for a limited period till 31st March 2023. This is one of the lowest and most competitive interest rates in the industry.  

In addition to reducing its interest rates, the Bank is also offering 100% waiver on processing charges on home loans and 50% processing charges waiver on MSME loans.  

The new home loan rate beginning at 8.50%* p.a. is available for borrowers applying for fresh home loans, balance transfers as well as for home improvement loans. The rate is linked to a borrower’s credit score. 

Shri Ajay K Khurana, Executive Director, Bank of Baroda said, “The Bank is pleased to drop its home loan interest rates and introduce a very special limited period offer of 8.50%. The offer will make home purchases more affordable for home buyers in the current scenario where interest rates have risen considerably. The reduction in interest rates for the MSME sector will further support aspiring entrepreneurs and finance their growth ambitions.” 

Bank of Baroda has also simplified the process of applying for a Home Loan. Customers can digitally apply for and get approval for a home loan within 30-minutes* by logging in to the bob World mobile banking app or visiting the Bank’s website. Applicants can also apply for a loan by visiting any of Bank of Baroda’s branches across India. 

Key features of Bank of Baroda Home Loans 

Interest rates starting at 8.50%* p.a. for a limited period 

Zero processing charges 

Takeover of home loans with minimum documentation 

Flexible tenure up to 360 months 

No Pre-payment/Part-payment charges 

Avail Digital Home Loans with quick approval in just a few steps in just 30-minutes 

Door step service at major centres 

IndianOil, Kotak Launch Co-Branded Fuel Credit Card Across India

Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (“KMBL”/Kotak) and IndianOil today launched a highly rewarding, co-branded fuel credit card. The IndianOil Kotak Credit Card is available on the RuPay network.

IndianOil is the largest oil marketing company, with a network of over 34,000 fuel stations in the country. IndianOil Kotak Credit Card customers can earn reward points on refueling at any of the IndianOil fuel station in the country. These reward points can be redeemed to get free fuel at IndianOil fuel stations.

At an event organized in the city, the card was launched by Mr. Ambuj Chandna, President – Consumer Assets, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd; Mr. Frederick Dsouza, Business Head – Credit Cards, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd; Mr. Vigyan Kumar, Executive Director (Retail Sales- North & East), IndianOil and Ms. Praveena Rai, Chief Operating Officer, National Payments Corporation of India.

Key features of IndianOil Kotak Credit Card:

Earn 4% back as reward points on refueling at IndianOil fuel stations – up to Rs 300 per month

Earn 2% back as rewards points on dining, grocery and other payments – up to Rs 200 per month

Earn 1% fuel surcharge waiver – up to Rs 100 per month

Interest – free credit period up to 48 days


Zero lost card liability

Contactless card - Tap and pay

“We are very excited to have a fuel proposition in our product offering. The product has been designed to encourage customers to put all their purchases on this card. The strong brand and distribution network of IndianOil is a great strength of this partnership. The Rupay platform will help us extend innovative payment solutions to customers and drive wider adoption of digital payments,” says Mr Frederick Dsouza, Business Head – Credit Cards, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.

Speaking about the collaboration, Mr. Vigyan Kumar, Executive Director (Retail Sales- North & East), IndianOil, said, “IndianOil is committed to a Digital India, as envisioned by our Hon’ble Prime Minister and with this partnership, IndianOil is taking yet another concrete step towards ensuring digital interactions at all our fuel stations. Bettering our customer value propositions and experiences has always been a priority for us at IndianOil, and I am confident that this collaboration with Kotak Mahindra is a perfect addition to our bouquet of seamless and enhanced offerings to our customers. I am also happy to share that the IndianOil Kotak Credit Card will be exclusively launched on RuPay platform, strengthening the AatmaNirbhar Bharat vision of the Government of India.”

“NPCI is always committed to deliver customer-first experiences. For us, innovation and technology are the key instruments to drive towards a better and greater consumer experience and we are constantly working towards bringing in simplified and best-in-class offerings for our customers. The IndianOil Kotak RuPay Credit Card will give the cardholders a host of privileges on fuel, grocery and dining spends, creating a seamless payment experience with RuPay Contactless technology,” says Mr. Rajeeth Pillai, Chief – Relationship Management and Marketing, National Payments Corporation of India.

About Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited

Established in 1985, Kotak Mahindra Group is one of India's leading financial services conglomerates. In February 2003, Kotak Mahindra Finance Ltd. (KMFL), the Group's flagship company, received banking license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), becoming the first non-banking finance company in India to convert into a bank - Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.

The Bank has four Strategic Business Units – Consumer Banking, Corporate Banking, Commercial Banking and Treasury, which cater to retail and corporate customers across urban and rural India. The premise of Kotak Mahindra Group’s business model is concentrated India, diversified financial services. The bold vision that underscores the Group’s growth is an inclusive one, with a host of products and services designed to address the needs of the unbanked and insufficiently banked. As on 31st December, 2022, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd has a national footprint of 1,752 branches and 2,814 ATMs, and branches in GIFT City and DIFC (Dubai). For more information, please visit the company’s website at

About Indian Oil Corporation Limited

IndianOil is a diversified, integrated energy major with presence in almost all the streams of oil, gas, petrochemicals, and alternative energy sources. With a net profit of Rs. 24,184 crores for the fiscal 2021-22, IndianOil is one the largest and most trusted corporates in the country, touching the lives of over a billion Indians.  With a 33,500-plus workforce, extensive refining, distribution & marketing infrastructure, and advanced R&D facilities, IndianOil has provided energy access to millions of people across the length and breadth of the country through its ever-expanding network of customer touchpoints, currently numbering over 50,000.

Visit to know more.

About National Payments Corporation of India

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) was incorporated in 2008 as an umbrella organization for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India. NPCI has created a robust payment and settlement infrastructure in the country. It has changed the way payments are made in India through a bouquet of retail payment products such as RuPay card, Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), BHIM Aadhaar, National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC FasTag) and Bharat BillPay.

NPCI is focused on bringing innovations in the retail payment systems through the use of technology and is relentlessly working to transform India into a digital economy. It is facilitating secure payment solutions with nationwide accessibility at minimal cost in furtherance of India’s aspiration to be a fully digital society.

FADA Releases February’23 Vehicle Retail Data For The State of Karnataka

The Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) released Vehicle Retail Data for February’23 for the State of Karnataka.  

February’23 Retails 

Commenting on how February’23 performed, FADA Karnataka State Chairperson, Mr Dharma Teja G said, “The month of February has continued the good start Karnataka has had to the calendar year 2023 for Auto retail. All the categories have seen a strong growth with 2 W at 16%, PV at 21% , 3W at 115% , CV at 31% and tractors are 13%. With the recent push to investments in Infra by the GoI, We are hoping that the momentum will continue for the rest of the year.”  

HCLTech Receives Top Global Recognitions For Its “ESG Performance”

* MSCI Rates HCLTech As ESG ‘Leader’ In The Software And Services Industry 

HCLTech, a leading global technology company, announced it has been recognized by globally-renowned research and ratings agencies for its strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. These recognitions underscore the significant progress made by HCLTech in implementing its corporate sustainability vision.   

MSCI has rated HCLTech as an ESG ‘Leader’ in the software and services industry. The MSCI ESG ratings evaluated 8,500 companies on their exposure to industry-material ESG risks and their ability to manage those risks relative to peers. The ratings range from ‘leader’ (AAA, AA), ‘average’ (A, BBB, BB) to ‘laggard’ (B, CCC). This year, HCLTech has been recognized as a leader with an “AA” rating, a significant move up from last year’s “A” rating.  

The coveted S&P Global Sustainability Yearbook 2023 has recognized HCLTech as an ‘Industry Mover’. The Yearbook lists leading companies that have demonstrated sustainable business practices in their operations. The assessment is based on S&P’s rigorous Corporate Sustainability Assessment framework. For the 2023 edition, over 7,800 companies across 61 industries were analyzed by S&P.  

HCLTech has also been included in Sustainalytics’ 2023 Top-Rated ESG Companies list in the Software and Services Industry segment and in the Asia Pacific Region. HCLTech has been placed in the ‘low-risk’ category by Sustainalytics in an assessment of 15,000+ companies globally based on their ESG performance.  

“Sustainability is at the core of HCLTech’s business strategy and we are committed to supercharging progress for clients, our people, communities and the planet. These recognitions are a strong endorsement of our sustainability agenda and the execution strategy of our teams,” said C Vijayakumar, CEO & Managing Director, HCLTech.  

HCLTech’s sustainability strategy is based on three guiding principles: 

ACT: Act in the most responsible and sustainable manner and ensure every resource is used efficiently to maximize value  

PACT: Work for a sustainable future, in collaboration with our clients, partners, communities, and all stakeholders 

IMPACT: Focus on creating sustainable impact through all initiatives and activities 

HCLTech aims to achieve net-zero emission target by 2040 and a reduction of 50% on absolute scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030. The company also targets to transition 80% of its electricity through renewable energy by 2030. Last year, the company launched its sustainability school, delivering a learning series on climate change for its 222,000+ employees. 

The company has made demonstrable progress on its sustainability commitments and continues to create and deliver technology-led sustainable solutions to clients and purposefully contribute to the communities to make a positive impact on people and planet. 

Manipal Academy of Higher Education Expands Global Education Offerings With New Partnership In Nursing Education

Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), one of India's premier higher education institutions & Institution of Eminence conferred by GOI , has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Dalhousie. The MOU was signed during the visit of a ten-member delegation from University of Dalhousie and Nova Scotia Health/Government Canada to the MAHE campus.

The main objective of the MOU is to explore collaboration opportunities in the field of nursing at MAHE. This partnership marks a significant milestone for MAHE as it seeks to expand its global education offerings and strengthen its international partnerships to achieve a fruitful collaboration. Key officials from both MAHE and the visiting delegation attended the MOU signing ceremony.

Lt. Gen. (Dr.) M. D. Venkatesh, Vice-Chancellor of MAHE expressed his delight saying:  "We are thrilled to welcome the delegation from the University of Dalhousie and Nova Scotia Health/Government Canada to our campus. This partnership will create new opportunities for our students and faculty and enable us to exchange knowledge and best practices in nursing education and research."

This collaboration demonstrates MAHE's commitment to providing world-class education and preparing its students for success in a Globalized world. The partnership is expected to enhance MAHE's nursing program and enable students to gain a deeper understanding of international healthcare practices.

The purpose of this collaboration is to encourage students and faculty to engage in knowledge-sharing and collaborative initiatives, creating new opportunities for growth and development for all parties involved.

ISRO Scientist Urges Use Of Space Technology, Other Experts Inspire Students At The 10th Edition Of TEDxNMIMSBangalore

TEDxNMIMS Bangalore celebrated its tenth anniversary with its annual premiere conference held recently. After the success of the past two virtual events, this year saw the return of an offline event at the NMIMS Bengaluru campus. The event brought  together people from the University, the local community, and beyond in an engaging day of talks and performances.

While delivering a lecture on “Unfolding the Manifold” at the tenth anniversary of TEDxNMIMS, Dr P G Diwakar, Scientific Secretary, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), has called upon the experts to use space technology for preparing an action plan for sustained water resource development in India and also to take help of multi-season data in order to study crop production estimation.

Stressing that "we all are connected to the space in some way or the other”, Dr Diwakar was of the view that “Multi-season data determines how we Indians use the land for crop production estimation.”

The Senior ISRO Scientist said "Use of Geo-Spatial technology puts into the system the ground knowledge for better plans for sustainable development.” Bhuvan Geo portal- a unique platform, provides layers of data for integration and  extraction of unique information regarding the action plan of sustained water  resource development,” he opined.

Dr Diwakar was of the view that "Multilayered GIS data helps to  map out minute details of a given area for the on-ground perspective.”

Dr Bindu Hari, Vice Chairperson, National Public School Chain, said "Teachers lead the learning of their students by empowering and enabling them to become future-ready. Every child is on a learning continuum. Well-being and successful education of children are the ultimate goals. It is the teacher who is the key to a successful and enjoyable journey of the student. All teachers need to know out-of-the-box ways to connect with their students. Teachers build a sense of community, paving the way for socio-emotional well-being through connection,” she said.

Dr Zulfia Shaikh,Founder, Bangalore School of Speech and Drama called upon the student community to listen to their “inner voice” to achieve their goals while Madhurima Agarwal, Country Head India, Microsoft for Startups called upon the students to rewrite their success story in terms of what makes them happy.

Dr John Ebenezer,Renowned Orthopedic Surgeon was of the view that personal success, professional success, and material success are the factors which make one happy in life”. As an Orthopedic surgeon, he stressed on maintaining a bone-healthy life to seek happiness in life.

On the other hand, Dr Jayasankaran Ayyar,Director General BIM,  was of the view that ”Art of learning focuses on how to learn rather than what to learn. Liberal education encompasses the essence of the process of learning. One must learn vocabulary to master one's speech. The ultimate goal of teachers is to develop intellect to the sharpest level.

Suparna Ganguly,Co-founder CUPA Foundation opined "Information is power. Without information, you can’t change anything,” while Pallavi Pareek, CEO of UNGENDER was of the view  that "Law is not justice. When it comes to the intersection of understanding of the law, business, on-ground issues, behaviour, you need an expert. The expertise in the ecosystem has to exist or else you will end up doing more damage”.

Introducing the speakers, Dr Narayani Ramachandran, Deputy Director of NMIMS Bangalore said the Institution was ranked first among the private business schools in India and had achieved 100 per cent success in job placements this academic year.

The event focused on unravelling the stratified levels in the library of life's experiences, encouraging attendees to dig deeper through layers and keep the flames of their curiosity alive. The conference sought to inspire the audience to look beyond surface-level appearances and discover the multiple layers of depth and complexity in everything.

The event emphasized learning and featured interesting speakers, which sparked many discussions and had a ripple effect. The personalities, through their work, showed the true meaning of stepping out of one’s comfort zone, personally and professionally, and achieving new heights.

TEDxNMIMS Bangalore believes in creating a powerful and informed community dedicated to lifelong learning. The organization helps world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their brilliant ideas. By conducting TEDx events, TEDxNMIMSBangalore aims to push its community towards a brighter future.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor Enables Scaling-Up of Bidadi Industrial Area

* Commits continued support to the State Government, community, and industry towards holistic development of the local business ecosystem 

In its constant endeavour to enhance local infrastructure and foster a positive ecosystem in Bidadi, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) has been extending strong support to the Bidadi Industries Association (BIA) through several infrastructural projects and community interventions, to ensure a harmonious business environment for all stakeholders.

Over the years, the local Government and authorities have undertaken various socio-economic interventions in Bidadi in pursing the region’s development agenda. This along with the unique collaborative approach from corporates like TKM and others have further enhanced BIA to develop Bidadi as an important manufacturing hub in Karnataka. Specific efforts have been made to improve safety, health, infrastructure, etc., for the workers, businesses, and surrounding communities under its five operating pillars of Industry Connect, Government Connect, Estate Management, Community Connect & Environment, Health & Safety (EHS).

Speaking about  the emergence of BIA Mr. Mr. Sudeep Dalvi, Senior Vice President & Chief Communication Officer, TKM, said, "The Bidadi Industries Association (BIA) has grown stronger over the years and we at Toyota Kirloskar Motor have been a proud partner in this collaborative journey, having achieved many milestones together. Be it the numerous community development programs or safety initiatives, we will continue to support BIA in creating a safer and more secure environment for our employees and the community at large. With growing synergies between the industries and the local authorities in the region, the unified efforts are to make Bidadi a shining example of being an enabler for the manufacturing and auto industries in Karnataka and India."

As a unique collaboration between TKM and other industries from Bidadi, BIA has acted as a common platform, to implement critical need-based economic and social interventions for the larger good of the businesses and the communities alike. Guided by the concept of FOR THE COMMUNITY, BY THE COMMUNITY, BIA continues to work together in partnership with the KIADB, to create a safe and sustainable industrial area for opportunities and industries to flourish in Karnataka.

Under the leadership of safety experts from TKM and other companies, BIA has formed a safety expert committee which endeavours towards achieving the goal of minimizing accidents in the region. The committee recently conducted a detailed study of accident locations to understand the root cause of accidents and identified critical locations, subsequently remedial measures have been suggested, including local police surveillance, road safety infrastructure enhancement, and road safety awareness programs for industry and communities.

Furthermore, several other safety initiatives in the industrial area including the rectification of all potholes, installing Closed-Circuit TV (CCTV) cameras, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, rumble strips, retroreflectors, studs, and safety signage boards at crucial spots have also been installed through this partnership. Pedestrian marking, radar vehicle speed monitoring devices, and kerbstone painting have also been carried out, and 24 x 7 patrolling by BIA security personnel has been initiated.

Spearheaded by TKM and other industries, BIA has also undertaken several community development activities which include the installation of RO drinking water plants benefitting around 1000 households with fresh drinking water. This critical support has also enabled the Association to construct five classrooms, benefiting over 500 students of Government Lower Primary & Higher Primary Schools. During the COVID-19 pandemic, BIA was also guided to sponsor more than INR 2.5 million in relief material and equipment to the local community through the Ramanagara district administration. 

BIA has also ensured strong actions to reduce environmental impact and align with sustainability goals. In 2020, with leadership from TKM and support by other industries, BIA set-up the Centralized Solid Waste Management Facility (CSWMF) with a capacity to process 10 tons per day of municipal waste. Today, in addition to collecting segregated waste from designated pickup points from 11 villages adjoining the Industrial area,121 member industries of BIA have been on-boarded, who subscribe to CSWMF for disposal of their non-industrial, non- hazardous municipal solid waste, in compliance with KSPCB norms, thereby ensuring no waste is sent to landfills and keeping the Industrial area clean and garbage free.

The Bidadi Industries Association (BIA) is an independent body, registered under the ‘Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960,’ formed by the industries of the Bidadi industrial area. This has been done under the eminent leadership of Toyota & Bosch, with the support of other large, medium, and small industries. 

Climate Change And Disaster Risk Reduction - Event On March 7 At Christ University

Young India is full of energy. Whether it is business, governance, sports, or social enterprises, innovative Indians are coming up with ever newer ways to create value and set new benchmarks of achievement. The Youth20 engagement group is exploring ways to help channel this energy to overcome obstacles, transform society, and build a better world. As a Part of India’s Youth 20 initiative, The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, in collaboration with the Indus Entrepreneurship (TiE) Bangalore and Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), organized a brainstorming session on ‘Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction’ on 7th March 2023 at Christ University conference room, Bengaluru. The session was attended by more than 70 young thinkers, entrepreneurs, professionals, and scholars. Dr. Pankaj Vashisht, Associate professor, RIS also attended the event. In his opening remarks, he talked about the importance of India’s G20 presidency and briefed the participants about the Youth 20 engagement group and the purpose of the brainstorming exercise. He exuded confidence that brainstorming sessions will bring out policy recommendations to mitigate the challenge of climate change.

Dr. Vashsiht’s opening remarks were followed by a panel discussion involving young achievers and eminent industry leaders. Mr. Ganesh Shankar, Founder FluxGen moderated the session. Participating in the discussion, Mr. Narayan Subramaniam, Chief Technology Officer, AI for Sustainability and Carbon Emission Reduction, pointed out that global temperature is set to increase by more than 2 degrees. Therefore, adaptation is essential to mitigate the risk associated with it. He pointed out that technology can help but in the absence of financing, investment in climate-smart tech solutions has remained inadequate. Vouching for the same sentiments, Lakshmi Santhanam, Founder, of Renkube pointed out that India has more than 80 thousand start-ups but only 2 percent of them focus on climate-smart solutions. Mr. Narayanan and Lakshmi lamented that venture capitalists are not keen to finance climate tech startups due to the long gestation period and urged the government to nudge venture capital funds to invest in start-ups focusing on climate-smart solutions.

Participating in the discussion, Mr. Abhishek Ranjan, Director Brillio, pointed out that a change of mindset is pertinent for addressing climate change-related issues. Dr. Indu Murthy, Sector Head for Climate Environment and sustainability, argued that the impact of climate change is not gender neutral as women are going to be more adversely affected and therefore a woman-centric approach is required. Ms. Shizia Usman, CEO, and Founder of Upciclo, pointed out that promoting a circular economy is key to mitigating risks associated with climate change. She argued that Government should subsidize inputs going into the production of climate-friendly products. The brainstorming was followed by a Q&A session where participants asked questions regarding India’s strategy for green transition and the challenges associated with it.  

Experts Discuss Innovative Advances Driving Healthcare Transformation At 'Future of Medicine 2023'

* The Summit offered insights from research experts and thought leaders on five fundamental pillars shaping the Future of Medicine: Gut Microbiome, Technology & Bioinformatics, Stem Cell Research, Ayurveda & Genetics.

Health and wellness knowledge platform, Happiest Health, hosted the 'Future of Medicine 2023', the first annual summit that shared insights from leading minds in medicine, research, and technology, to foster innovation in the healthcare industry. Happiest Health brought together expert speakers who discussed emerging trends in healthcare such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), human gut microbiome theories, stem cell genomics, bioinformatics and other fundamental pillars of healthcare on the cusp of shaping the future of health and medicine.

Speaking at the inaugural event, Ashok Soota, Chairman, of Happiest Health said, “Our vision with 'Future of Medicine' is to create an interactive experience that encourages industry leaders to explore the potential at the intersection of cutting-edge science and technology to improve human health. If we are to work towards a healthier tomorrow, the healthcare industry needs to collaborate to redefine the notion of wellness and medicine, the healthcare delivery model and the way various fields align to improve health outcomes and save more lives.”

“Healthcare and medicine are entering a completely new sphere. Technology like AI/ML and the availability of data from medical devices will create a paradigm shift in healthcare from disease-focused to a health-care-centric model,” said Dr. Paul Salins, Managing Director, Narayana Hrudayalaya Multispecialty Hospital & Mazumdar Shaw Medical Foundation, and Vice Chairman, Skan Research Trust in his keynote address. “AI, ML, and data will now do the heavy lifting of diagnosis, taking much of the burden off doctors. This shift will enable doctors to focus on giving patients the level of compassion and care they need over long term. The model of wellness and healthcare will transform from treating illnesses to managing wellness. Hospitals will rely more on physicians than specialists, and holistic modes of treatment will play a stronger role, over symptomatic treatment.”

Dr Jyoti Nangalia, Clinician Scientist and Consultant Haematologist, Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, UK explained, “The mutations in blood cells make each blood cell unique, leaving us with a clear way to study age-related markers. This can help to detect onset of cancer or possibly find undetected cancer. Understanding the breadth of trajectories to adult blood cancers is still unknown, so studies like this can help improve the outcomes for blood cancers and blood disorders.”

With the paradigm shift of healthcare, as more universal data is available through AI/ ML and medical devices, there will also be a shift in health seeking behaviour–people will look more towards managing their own health as compared to how to treat their illnesses. This increases the relevance of India's Ayurveda medicine as a new modern healthcare ecosystem.

Dr Narendra Pendse, Member BOG, Trans-disciplinary University, Bangalore, Medical Advisor, Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative medicine (I-AIM), Bangalore called for synergy and dialogue to break silos between all fields of medicine to explore whether the emerging field of Ayurveda biology can contribute to the advancement of Indian health science. “In the current world, where we can factor in macro-environment into health using technology and tools, Ayurveda can deliver personalised care at a mass scale, accounting for variations in geography and unique genetic make-up of each person. We need to build bridges between pure science, allopathy, naturopathy and Ayurveda to give everyone a sense of health and balance,” he said.

AI and ML capabilities are already shaping the future of medicine and are at the centre of many innovative offerings that will soon become a mainstay in the not-so-distant future. The summit concluded with an interactive panel discussion on the usage of AI and medical devices for smart healthcare. Among the speakers were Mr Graeme Brown, (Chief Business Officer, Quadram Institute Bioscience), Prof. Arjan Narbad (Transactional Microbiome Group Leader, Quadram Institute Bioscience, Norwich, England), Dr Yogesh Schouche (Principal Investigator of National Centre for Microbial Resource, National Centre for Cell Science), Dr Jyoti Nangalia (Clinician Scientist and Consultant Haematologist, Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, UK), Dr Narendra Pendse (Rheumatologist, Ayurveda, /Member BOG, Trans-disciplinary University, Bangalore, Medical Advisor, Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative medicine (I-AIM), Bangalore), Prof. Sanjeev Jain (Principal Investigator, SKAN projects at NIMHANS) and Mr Vishal Bali, (Executive Chairman, Asia Healthcare Holdings)

The discussions focused on how advancements in various fields of research are pointing to a new future for medicine, such as how next-gen sequencing is providing a better understanding of psychiatry and mental wellness, how mutations in blood can help predict diseases such as blood cancer, and how the human microbiome is emerging as a new dimension to understand the role of gut health for both body and mind. Another point of emphasis was on how inter-disciplinary collaboration across the globe and across sectors and fields will be crucial for the future of medicine. While the medical sector is familiar with collaboration, but there are issues such as intellectual property rights, which are contentious.

In line with the intent to become the leading forum for the public to hear first-hand from leading healthcare experts, The Future of Medicine will be an annual Summit.

“To make a tangible difference to the healthcare industry, industry leaders must keep a pulse on emerging trends. Collaboration and conversation around offering integrated solutions spanning modern science and traditional therapies drive path-breaking advancements. Our hope is for 'Future of Medicine' to become an avenue for industry leaders to regularly connect and share new knowledge that enhances the healthcare ecosystem for a healthier tomorrow.” said Anindya Chowdhury, President & CEO, of Happiest Health.

About Happiest Health

Happiest Health is a global health & wellness knowledge enterprise promoted by Ashok Soota. Happiest Health provides credible and trustworthy health and wellness knowledge with views from globally renowned experts and doctors. The primary knowledge platforms are the daily newsletter, knowledge website, and newly launched monthly print magazine, and knowledge app.

Happiest Health embraces scientific knowledge with a keen focus on medical breakthroughs providing kinder, gentler therapies including cell-based treatments. It also has deep coverage of integrated medicine including Ayurveda, homeopathy and naturopathy. Happiest Health’s focus on wellness is holistic and energizing. They live by their Mission Statement: “Better Knowledge. Better Health.” and convey its benefits to all.

Photo Caption -1 Happiest Health hosted the 'Future of Medicine 2023', the first flagship summit that shared insights on leading minds in medicine, research, and technology to foster innovation in the healthcare industry..

Photo Caption-2 Mr. Ashok Soota Chairman of Happiest Health the Health and wellness knowledge enterprise unveiled the Future of Medicine summit today for better knowledge and better health.

Manchester Museum Reopens With First Permanent Gallery To Celebrate The Experiences And Contributions Of South Asian Diaspora

* Manchester Museum’s new South Asia Gallery, a British Museum partnership, is the ?rst permanent gallery in the UK dedicated to the experiences and histories of South Asian diaspora communities.

Manchester Museum, part  of  the  University  of  Manchester,  reopens  to  the  public  on  18 February 2023 following a major capital redevelopment and this new multilingual gallery explores the connection between South Asia and Britain’s legacy of Empire, presenting fresh perspectives on British Asian and South Asian culture and creativity.

The gallery has been uniquely co-curated by the South Asia Gallery Collective, a group of 30 inspiring individuals including community leaders, educators, artists, historians, journalists and musicians.  Showcasing  over  140  historic  artefacts  from  the  collections  of  the  Manchester Museum and British Museum, alongside new contemporary commissions and personal objects provided by the Collective, the gallery presents a range of personal stories that provide visitors with a window into South Asia. The gallery’s story-led design re?ects multiple voices and perspectives   on   South   Asia   through   six   overarching   themes:   Past   &   Present,   Lived Environments,  Science  &  Innovation,,  Sound,  Music  &  Dance,  British  Asian,  and  Movement  & Empire.

In  Past  &  Present,  the  public  can  explore  the  ancient  Indus  Valley  Civilisation  through  a contemporary lens, which shares perspectives beyond  archaeologists' perceptions of that time. It also presents powerful female ?gures of the Mughal Empire such as Nur Jahan, to re?ect on the role of women and reveal the impact of Gandhi’s visit to the cotton mill town of Darwen,  Lancashire  in  1931;  exploring  the  connection  of  Manchester’s  cotton  industry  to  the Indian independence movement.

Lived Environments illustrates the importance of care within South Asian life, and the impact of the British Empire on the region’s environments. Items on display include postcards of tea plantations,   tea   tokens   from   the   18th   century,  an  opium  pipe  and  a  ?lm  showing  the Bangladeshi environmental resistance through ?oating gardens.

Science & Innovation looks at South Asian innovation through the contribution of three iconic individuals that have often been overlooked, including Satyendra Nath Bose, one of the seminal founders of modern quantum science. Collective member, Fal Sarker, grandson of Bose will share the story of his impact on the scienti?c professions, including correspondence between Bose and Einstein as “a labour of love to my famous ancestry and his impact on quantum physics”.

Another  anthology,  Sound,  Music & Dance, features various forms of musical expression from ancient instruments such as the hakgediya, a Sri-Lankan conch shell, to the secret South Asian Daytimers raves of the 80s and 90s. Work by Aziz Ibrahim features as part of a listening station - a musician in the Collective, recognised for playing with the Stone Roses and Simply Red, as well as developing South Asian blues which mixes English and Punjabi, whose album describes a family journey from Lahore to Manchester.

British  Asian  explores  identity  through  a  range  of  expressions  from  pop  music  to  art,  and celebrating stories not usually represented by mainstream British Asian culture including women and queer communities. A powerful contemporary painting by female painter Azraa Motala,  explores  what  it  means  to  be  British  Asian  today,  whilst  Taslima  Ahmad,  a Collective member, discusses garment manufacture and South Asian working lives in Manchester.

Finally, Movement & Empire looks at South Asian identity in relation to voluntary and involuntary migration, including the impact of war and the trauma of Partition, which was one of the largest migrations in human history. An NHS display celebrates the importance of the South Asian community  to  UK  medicine,  from  the  1950s  movement  of  medics  to  the  UK  as  well  as   the signi?cant contribution of the community during the Covid pandemic.

New commissions also populate the space, celebrating contemporary South Asian creativity and innovation, including a rickshaw imported from Bangladesh and decorated by communities in  Manchester  and  a  17-metre-long  newly commissioned mural from British artists, The Singh Twins, illustrating an emotional map of South Asian diaspora experience.

A dedicated space at the centre of the gallery will be shaped by ideas and contributions from the Collective and events will be programmed in collaboration with both local and international artists and performers.

Nusrat Ahmed, South Asia Gallery Curator at Manchester Museum, says: “As a ?rst-generation British-born South Asian person, it is really exciting to be part of such a groundbreaking project.  The  co-curated South Asia Gallery envisages a collaborative, iterative space that will generate new perspectives and connections. We hope to engage further  diaspora communities on its opening and support its continual evolution. This personalised approach humanises the gallery, telling stories about real people and their objects.”

Hartwig Fischer, Director of The British Museum says, “The British Museum is delighted to be collaborating with Manchester Museum on the new permanent South Asia Gallery, a British Museum  Partnership.  We  have  learnt,  and  will  continue  to  learn,  a  great  deal  from  the communities and colleagues in Manchester on this innovative project. Creating partnership gallery spaces like these is a vital part of our national programmes work to share our collections with audiences across the UK.”

Bharti backed OneWeb Confirms Successful Deployment of 40 Satellites Launched With SpaceX

* Launch 17 brings the total OneWeb constellation to 582 satellites

* OneWeb’s third launch with SpaceX is its penultimate mission to achieving global coverage

Bharti backed OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, today confirmed the successful deployment and contact of 40 satellites launched by SpaceX from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

Lift-off took place on Thursday, March 9, 2023, at 2:13pm ET (local). OneWeb’s satellites separated successfully from the rocket and were dispensed using 3 separation groups over a period of 40 minutes, with the last separation occurring 1 hour and 35 minutes after launch. Signal acquisition on all 40 satellites have been confirmed.

This launch is OneWeb’s 17th to-date and the penultimate mission as the company is set to complete its first-generation (Gen 1) LEO satellite constellation and enable global coverage in 2023. With 582 satellites now in orbit, OneWeb will complete global footprint of its Gen 1 constellation with a launch set to take place later this month with ISRO/NSIL.

Today’s launch enables OneWeb to continue expanding its connectivity capabilities as it grows its fleet of satellites and seeks to initiate services for more partners around the world. OneWeb already has connectivity solutions active today in key geographies across the globe and is bringing new areas online by partnering with leading providers including VEON, Orange, Galaxy Broadband, Paratus, Telespazio, and more. OneWeb and its partners are relentlessly focused on the mission to bridge the digital divide and provide internet connectivity to a greater number of unconnected and underserved rural and remote communities and businesses.

Neil Masterson, Chief Executive Officer of OneWeb, commented: “Today’s launch is an exciting milestone as we are now just one mission away from completing our Gen 1 constellation, which will activate global service in 2023. Now more than ever, OneWeb is dedicated to continuing the momentum we have garnered from the past 17 successful launches, to innovate alongside our trusted partners and deliver connectivity solutions at scale. Each launch is a group effort, and today’s success would not have been possible without the dedication of the entire launch team and our partners here in Florida.”

TVS Emerald Expands Footprint In Bengaluru, Acquires Third Land Parcel With A Revenue Potential of Approximately Rs. 250 Crore

Emerald Haven Realty Ltd (TVS Emerald) has announced the purchase of 3 acres of land (approx) in Rachenahalli, an emerging suburb in Northern Bengaluru, for the development of an apartment housing project. The project is of key interest to the residential segment as the region is supported by robust infrastructure development.

Mr. Sriram Iyer, President & CEO, TVS Emerald, said, “We are proud to announce our third acquisition in Bengaluru, after TVS Emerald Jardin, Singasandra and in Mission Road, CBD, Bengaluru. This acquisition in a high-growth area will help us expand our footprint in Bengaluru. The connectivity to major business destinations and other developing social infrastructure makes this locality a lucrative investment option for home buyers.

The Metro Rail Phase-2B is also expected to spur the much-needed connectivity of northern suburbs to their counterparts. The micro market is also close to business and retail hubs like the Manyata Tech Park, Brigade Opus Tech Park, Kirloskar Business Park, RMZ Galleria Mall, Esteem Mall and many more.

The land parcel is located close to the pristine Rachenahalli Lake.

About Emerald Haven Realty Limited (TVS Emerald):

TVS Emerald, an associate of TVS Motor is engaged in the business of developing residential projects and self-sustaining communities with presence in Chennai and Bengaluru.

TVS Emerald brings the foundation of Trust, Value and Service and has delivered about 2.4 million sq.ft of residential developments in Chennai and has over 6.25 million sq.ft of under development projects.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Tata Power Adjudged ‘Best Performing Transmission Utility’ At Central Board Of Irrigation And Power (CBIP) Award 2023

* Award was presented by Shri R.K. Singh, Hon’ble Union Minister for Power, New and Renewable Energy, Government of India

Tata Power, one of India’s largest integrated power utilities with a presence across the entire power value chain - Generation, Transmission, Distribution, and Trading was honoured with the prestigious award for ‘Best Performing Transmission (System) Utility’ attributed to its Mumbai Transmission division at the recently held Central Board of Irrigation and Power (CBIP) Awards 2023.

Shri R.K. Singh, Hon’ble Minister for Power, New and Renewable Energy, Government of India presented the award to Tata Power during an award ceremony in New Delhi.

Tata Power’s Mumbai Transmission network operates in the city of Mumbai & MMR (Mumbai Metropolitan Region), extending up to hydro-generating stations in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. The utility has 30 receiving stations with a transmission capacity of more than 10,000 MVA and a network spanning over 1,200 ckt. kms. The transmission network comprising of 220kV/110kV overhead lines, underground cables & hybrid lines caters to 70% of Mumbai's power requirement.

Tata Power Mumbai Transmission works at a record supply availability of  99.99% using various Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics-based tech interventions.

Commenting on the achievement, Mr. Sanjay Banga, President T&D, Tata Power said, “We are committed to the Indian power sector's overall development by bringing in efficiencies and tech advancements across the value chain. This award bestowed on Tata Power Mumbai Transmission bears testimony to our efforts towards ensuring the availability of reliable and uninterrupted power supply along with strengthening of the supply infrastructure. We are thankful to the CBIP for recognizing our efforts and this prestigious recognition will further motive us to create new industry benchmarks."

Founded in 1927, the Central Board of Irrigation and Power (CBIP) is a Government of India organization that promotes excellence in the Water, Power, and Renewable Energy sectors that also recognizes the outstanding contribution of various organizations, stakeholders & professionals. CBIP is a premier central government-backed institution, which has been recognizing the outstanding contribution of various organizations, stakeholders & professionals since its inception in 1927 and promoting excellence in the Water, Power and Renewable Energy sectors. 

Axis Asset Management Company Limited Announces Key Management Appointments

•                    B. Gopkumar appointed as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

•                    Ashish Gupta to join as the Chief Investment Officer

Mr. Chandresh Nigam, Managing Director & CEO, after leading Axis Asset Management Company Ltd. (AMC) successfully over the last 10 years has requested not to be considered for reappointment for another term, in order to pursue other personal and professional interests.

Mr. Nigam had joined Axis AMC on July 01, 2009 as Head of Equities and assumed the role of MD & CEO on May 01, 2013 and led Axis AMC for two terms spanning 10 years through its extremely strong journey of growth and scale up.

The Board of Directors (the Board) of Axis AMC at its meeting held today deliberated upon the same, and considering the aspirations of Mr. Nigam accepted his decision to be at the helm till the expiry of his current term which ends on Sunday, April 30, 2023.  The Board unanimously placed on record, their appreciation for his invaluable contributions and his leadership during his tenure with Axis AMC.  The Board wished him the very best as he begins a new phase in his professional journey.

As part of the internal succession plan, Mr. B. Gopkumar who is currently the MD & CEO of Axis Securities has been approved by the Board to be the MD & CEO of Axis AMC from May 1, 2023 till April 30, 2026, subject to receipt of requisite approvals as necessary. Pursuant to this movement, internal succession process at Axis Securities has been initiated.

Mr. Gopkumar had joined Axis Securities as the Managing Director & CEO in October 2019, and has over 28 years of professional experience in financial services industry in areas of sales and distribution, managing large teams, marketing & branding & building of digital eco-system. Mr. Gopkumar is a postgraduate in Business Management and is an avid reader, a fitness enthusiast, and a passionate marathoner.

To further strengthen the leadership, Mr. Ashish Gupta has joined Axis AMC as its Chief Investment Officer of the Mutual Fund. Most recently Mr. Gupta was the Head of India equity research at Credit Suisse. Having tracked the Indian markets for over 25 years across 15 varied industries, actively covering 130 stocks with aggregate market cap of over $2 trillion, Mr. Gupta has a strong understanding of global & regional macroeconomics as Head of APAC Banks research at Credit Suisse covering banking sector in 13 Asian economies. Ashish was one of the earliest to identify the asset quality cycle in Indian Banks in 2011 and authored several marquee reports including the “House of Debt” series.

Commenting on the appointments, Mr. Amitabh Chaudhry, Chairman of Axis Asset Management Company Ltd. said, “With these appointments, Axis Mutual Fund will look forward to capitalizing on Gopkumar’s experience and leadership in building large distribution businesses, and Ashish’s deep understanding of capital markets and its constituents. We thank Chandresh for his leadership and contribution to Axis Asset Management Company Ltd.”

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About Axis AMC: Axis AMC is one of India`s fastest growing assets managers offering a comprehensive bouquet of asset management products across mutual funds (, portfolio management services and alternative investments (

Microfinance: The crusaders For Women’s Economic Empowerment

The future of humanity rests on the successful implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in 2015. It is a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 everyone enjoys peace and prosperity. However, such diverse goals are unlikely to be realised unless the world can achieve higher gender parity through greater financial empowerment of women.

Even the SDG (Goal 5) speaks about achieving gender equality and economic empowerment of women to create a more equitable and sustainable society. Empowerment of women is possible through financial inclusion, which has long been denied to them for various reasons.

Studies have shown that access to savings and credit facilities increases women participation in decision making. It also enables women to increase expenditure on their own well-being as well as that of their children. It prevents the leakage of household income into unproductive and harmful activities. Other welfare interventions are better nutrition, health and literacy campaigns and enhancement of skills.

Additionally, the status of women within the community is also enhanced. Group formation among women further reinforces these changes, leading to more significant socio-political transformation. Financial inclusion also helps improve the creditworthiness of women by providing them access to bank accounts and access to formal financial services such as credit and insurance.

Microfinance institutions, the Government, other institutions such as NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development), and self-help groups (SHGs) have played a critical role in helping marginalized women achieve financial empowerment. They have addressed and continue to meet the unique challenges and barriers women face in accessing financial services and products, such as lower levels of financial literacy and limited access to collateral.

Researchers argue in their paper that microfinance has given rural women an excellent opportunity to attain reasonable economic, social, and cultural empowerment, leading to better living standards and quality of life for participating households. Other experts have highlighted the various benefits of microfinance by arguing how microcredit has played valuable roles in reducing the vulnerability of the poor through asset creation, income and consumption smoothing, provision of emergency assistance, and empowering and emboldening women by giving them control over assets and increased self-esteem and knowledge.

Moreover, microfinance entities focus more on women borrowers as they have a better track record of making timely repayments, thereby reducing the credit risk of these companies. They also contribute a significant portion of their income to household consumption, thus creating a solid business and public policy case for targeting female borrowers.

Sharing his thoughts, Dr. Alok Misra, CEO & Director, MFIN, said, Microfinance services are primarily extended to women through JLG (joint liability group) lending, where women are at the core of its delivery model.  And in doing so, not only does the industry position her centre stage in her household but empowers her to run it. The industry enables poor women to engage in income-generating activities that help them become financially independent, strengthen their decision-making power within the household and society. Besides equal rights to economic resources, and financial services, the industry also promotes empowerment of women through technology. Credit and digital literacy go hand in glove in today’s technology-driven world.

The phenomenal growth in its business and impact on the country is best exemplified through numbers. As of September 30, 2022, the Microfinance loan portfolio stood at INR 3,00,974 crores serving 6.2 crore unique borrowers, according to a report by MFIN - MFIN Micrometer Q2 FY 22-23.

Today, the microfinance industry has been accepted as a critical part of the national financial architecture, playing a pivotal player in meeting the needs of low-income aspirational below-the-pyramid households by providing doorstep financial services like credit, insurance, and other non-financial services as well.

BMW India Appoints Varsha Autohaus As Its Dealer Partner In Mangaluru

Latest BMW Lifestyle and Accessories.

Fast-Charging service for all Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV).

#BMWIndia #SheerDrivingPleasure

BMW India announced the opening of Varsha Autohaus dealership in Mangaluru, Karnataka. The dealership offers immersive sales, service and brand experience along with access to BMW Premium Selection (BPS) – the used car division of BMW Group India. The fully-fledged facility is located at Survey No.27/-16P4, Near Kannur Old Check Post, Mangaluru, Karnataka 575007. The dealership is headed by Mr. Kapil Kanuri, Dealer Principal, Varsha Autohaus.

Mr. Vikram Pawah, President, BMW Group India, said, “As part of our vision for sustainable growth, BMW India is committed towards the development of a robust BMW dealer network of international standards at all important commercial centers across the country. Mangaluru is one of the fastest growing non-metro cities in South India and will play an important role in BMW’s market offensive in India. With the launch of Varsha Autohaus, we will continue to set new standards in the luxury car market in the region and provide high quality services to our customers and prospects in Mangaluru and the Karnataka region.”

Mr. Kapil Kanuri, Dealer Principal, Varsha Autohaus said, “We are delighted to represent BMW India in Mangaluru. Varsha Autohaus reflects our commitment to offer ultimate luxury experience to our clientele and further tap the growing luxury automobile market in the region. Situated at a prime location and equipped with the latest technologies, this facility will play an instrumental role in creating an unrivalled sales and service experience for our discerning customers.”

Strategically located, the new ‘Fully Fledged’ facility is spread over 33,400 sq ft, the new dealership has an ultra-modern showroom integrated with an after-sales service facility featuring service bays and a spare parts inventory. The showroom can display four cars and the workshop is equipped with eight service bays that can service up to 20 cars per day. The latest range of BMW Lifestyle Collection is showcased for automotive enthusiasts. The facility also has installed a 24 kw DC Charger for charging of BEV Vehicles in its parking area.

An interactive Emotional Virtual Experience (EVE) - A seamless journey integrating online and offline touchpoints along with a car configurator helps customers to evaluate and select their dream car as per their choice. Further, the lounge offers a relaxed ambience to enjoy a cup of the finest brewed coffee and discuss various aspects of owing a BMW vehicle with sales consultants.

A range of individual and attractive financing options are through BMW India Financial Services available for new and used cars. A dedicated team of finance and insurance consultants offer personalised advice and provide suitable financing options as per customers’ needs and future plans. Customers can choose a trade-in offer for a fair exchange value, hassle free documentation and evaluation of vehicle at their doorsteps.

As with every other BMW dealership, Varsha Autohaus has provided its staff intense training to ensure customers receive best-in-class pre and post sales ownership experience. A team of sales and service engineers have also been trained at the state-of-the-art BMW Group India Training Center in Gurugram, Haryana. The facility diligently follows comprehensive sanitisation process of its premises, display vehicles and workstations.

Kinara Capital Allocates INR 400 Crores In FY24 For HerVikas; Program Of Discounted Business Loans For Women Entrepreneurs

* HerVikas Program Marks 4th Year Anniversary with Continued Advancement of

* Financial Inclusion of MSME Women Entrepreneurs across 100+ Cities

·           With the latest allocation, HerVikas total commitment tops INR 700 crores to date

·           INR 414 crores disbursed across 4,305+ collateral-free business loans for women-owned MSMEs since FY20

·           HerVikas Women Entrepreneurs generated INR 125+ crores in incremental income and supported 32,680+ jobs in local economies across 6 States

Kinara Capital, a fast-growing fintech driving financial inclusion of small business entrepreneurs, marks 4th year anniversary of its HerVikas program by allocating an additional INR 400 crores disbursement in FY24 in discounted business loans for women entrepreneurs. The latest allocation brings the total commitment to date to INR 700 crores solely dedicated to driving financial inclusion of women entrepreneurs from the micro-small-medium enterprise (MSME) sector. Kinara Capital exceeded its previous disbursement goal of INR 300 crores from FY20-23, with 38% higher disbursement of INR 414 crores across 4,305+ HerVikas business loans for women-owned MSMEs.

Hardika Shah, Founder & CEO of Kinara Capital, said, “HerVikas has firmly established the importance and the viability of women-centric financial services in India. With approximately 100 crores disbursed each year, we are now doubling down and pledging INR 400 crores disbursement in FY24 solely for MSME women entrepreneurs. This will lead to reaching 10,000 HerVikas discounted business loans by next year. Entrepreneurship is a powerful way to aim for gender parity. Financial independence of women immediately gives them agency and leads to betterment of families and communities. Women Entrepreneurs can rapidly drive economic and social change and are critical to India’s ambition of becoming a $5 trillion economy. ”

Since the program was initiated in FY20, the impact of the HerVikas business loans has led to over INR 125+ crores in Incremental Income Generation for the women entrepreneurs and over 32,680+ jobs supported in local economies. Of these, 2,535+ are New Jobs created with 20% of these new jobs going to women workers and 61% of the new jobs to first-time wage earners. About 70% of the jobs created are from MSME sub-sectors of Food Products, Textiles and Fashion/Clothing. The highest number of HerVikas business owners are from Tamil Nadu and the top sub-sector is Fashion/Clothing businesses in the Trading sector.

Impact of HerVikas -

Update of HerVikas by Hardika Shah -

Kinara Capital is furthering its mission of financial inclusion with a Gender Lens Investing (GLI) approach. The HerVikas program was initiated to empower women entrepreneurs and the automatic discount is just one part of the solution. Kinara has addressed the topmost hurdle for women entrepreneurs by providing collateral-free business credit available from INR 1 lakh to INR 30 lakhs within 24-hours. With its multilingual myKinara App, the effective deployment of AI/ML removes human bias from credit-decisioning largely benefiting women entrepreneurs. This is important because while only 20% of MSMEs in India are women-owned, they make up nearly 40% of the USD $400 billion MSME credit gap, clearly indicating there are systemic challenges for women entrepreneurs.

Among others, these challenges include fewer women owning land or property to offer as collateral, inherent bias on part of the lenders against women as business owners, difficulty physically visiting a branch multiple times for loan applications, and a persistent digital and knowledge gap that limits access to information for women. Kinara Capital also offers omnichannel support with doorstep customer service, Whatsapp chat, email, missed call and toll-free phone number access to customer care. And lastly, the free Grow with Kinara workshop series offered in vernacular languages aims to bridge the knowledge gap by bringing forth trusted information to business owners.

The HerVikas program from Kinara Capital is available for MSME women entrepreneurs in 100+ cities across Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and UT Puducherry.

MathMagic Show By Prof Dr. Arthur T. Benjamin Organised At MIT Draws Large Crowd

MIT Ab1 Quadrangle hosted the much-awaited MathMagic Show that drew in about 1000 students from 30 schools in and around Manipal, along with 500 students from various MAHE units. The one-hour show was a spectacular success, leaving the audience awestruck with its intriguing magic tricks and mathematical feat which was hosted by Dr. Arthur T. Benjamin.

The MathMagic Show, which was designed to showcase the beauty of mathematics in a fun and interactive way, was a unique experience for students of all ages. The show featured several performances by renowned mathemagicians, who blended mathematics and magic to create a fascinating show that kept the audience engaged from start to finish.

Speaking about the show Lt Gen (Dr) MD Venkatesh, Vice-Chancellor of MAHE said, "We are thrilled to host Dr. Arthur T. Benjamin's Mathemagics show at MAHE. As an institution of higher learning, we recognise the importance of promoting STEM education and inspiring students to pursue careers in these fields. Dr. Benjamin's show is an innovative way to engage young minds and spark their interest in mathematics."

Dr. Arthur T. Benjamin, Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College said, "Mathematics is not just about numbers, equations, and formulas; it is also about creativity, logic, and problem-solving. That's what I hope to convey through my Mathemagics show. I want to show people that math can be fun and magical, and that everyone has the potential to be a mathmagician. My message to young people is that don't be afraid of math. Embrace it, engage with it, and use it to explore the world around you. Whether you want to be an engineer, a scientist, an entrepreneur, or anything else, math will be a powerful ally in your journey. So don't let math intimidate you – let it inspire you to greatness."

The show was not only entertaining but also educational, as it helped students appreciate the beauty of mathematics and understand its practical applications. The MathMagic Show aimed to inspire students to pursue mathematics and other STEM fields and to promote an interest in these fields among the youth.

The event was a collaborative effort between MIT Ab1 and several local schools and MAHE units. The success of the MathMagic Show is a testament to the power of collaboration and the importance of promoting mathematics and STEM education in the community.

Godrej Agrovet Signs MoU With State Government Of Andhra Pradesh

~ To set up a manufacturing facility for Edible Oil Refinery & Solvent Extraction Plant with an estimated investment of INR 100 Crores

Godrej Agrovet Limited. (GAVL), one of India’s largest diversified agribusiness company, today announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the State Government of Andhra Pradesh (AP) on the side lines of Andhra Pradesh Global Investors Summit (APGIS) 2023. As a part of MoU, GAVL’s Oil Palm business will be making an estimated investment of INR 100 Crores to set up a manufacturing facility for Edible Oil Refinery & Solvent Extraction Plant.

GAVL is the largest oil palm processor in India and works directly with the farmers for the entire lifecycle of their crop. With company already having 45,000 h.a of oil palm plantation area in AP, the proposed new plant will have a projected refining capacity of 400 tonnes per day and will be set up in Seethanagaram, Eluru District in AP. This is GAVL’s first downstream project for value-added products in oil and fats.

Balram Singh Yadav, Managing Director, GAVL said, “The MoU is in line with Godrej Agrovet’s long-term strategy to be the catalyst in India’s oil mission through sustainable growth of oil palm production. This new investment is built up on the INR 1000 Crores investment in the state by the Oil Palm, Aqua Feed and Dairy businesses.”

Present on the occasion of signing of MoU were Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Sri. Kakani Goverdhan Reddy, Secretary – Food Processing, AP, Sri Chiranjiv Choudhary, I.F.S., Sri L. Sridhar Reddy – CEO, AP Food Processing Society, Sougata Niyogi, CEO – Oil Palm, GAVL and Rakesh Swami, Group President Corporate Affairs, Godrej Industries Ltd.

Commenting on signing off MoU, Sougata Niyogi, CEO – Oil Palm, GAVL said,“ Having pioneered innovation in developing oil palm sector under irrigated conditions, the state of AP continues to lead country’s fresh fruit bunch volume and oil production. With bulk of GAVL’s oil palm plantation in the state, the facility near to our Crude Palm Oil Mills will help cater captive need originating from oil palm work in the southern states along with demand from other crude palm oil players in the region. This in sync with National Mission on Edible Oil - Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) will aid reduce nation’s dependence on imports.”

“AP has a unique geographic and climatic advantage which will propel businesses to partake in the growth story of the state. As a Group, we are keen to explore the business-friendly policies, emerging cities, and aspiring demographic dividend for the growth of our consumer products, real estate, and finance businesses. With impeccable support from the state government and our strong legacy of people and planet first business ethics, we are committed to expanding the business footprint in the state,” added Rakesh Swami, Group President Corporate Affairs, Godrej Industries Ltd.

India is a net importer of palm oil. The lack of domestic production not only puts a pressure on the industry and the allied sectors but also on India’s economy. Hence since the launch of National Mission on Edible Oil - Oil Palm (NMEO-OP), in August 2021, GAVL had established a goal to add 60,000 hectares of additional oil palm plantations over the course of the next five years to support the long-term sustainable development of oil palm in India. To achieve this goal, the company recently announced the launch of Samadhan, a one stop solution centre that would provide a comprehensive package of knowledge, tools, services and solutions to oil palm farmers. With company’s oil palm business currently operating in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Odisha and North - East, the plans to establish 50 Samadhan centres by 2027.

About Godrej Agrovet:

Godrej Agrovet Limited (GAVL) is a diversified, Research & Development focused food and agri-business conglomerate, dedicated to improving the productivity of Indian farmers by innovating products and services that sustainably increase crop and livestock yields. GAVL holds leading market positions in the different businesses it operates - Animal Feed, Crop Protection, Oil Palm, Dairy, Poultry and Processed Foods. GAVL has a pan India presence with sales of over a million tons annually of high-quality animal feed. Our teams have worked closely with Indian farmers to develop large Oil Palm Plantations which is helping in bridging the demand and supply gap of edible oil in India. In the crop protection segment, the Company has strong presence in the B2B segment through its subsidiary Astec Lifesciences and through its extensive distribution network pan-India delivers innovative agrochemical offerings catering to the entire crop life cycles. In Dairy and Poultry and Processed Foods, the company operates through its subsidiaries Creamline Dairy Products Limited and Godrej Tyson Foods Limited. Apart from this, GAVL also has a joint venture with the ACI group of Bangladesh for animal feed business in Bangladesh.

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