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Hyderabad

Tech Mahindra acquires Bio Agency of UK

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IT service major Tech Mahindra Limited today announced the acquisition of The Bio Agency, headquartered in the United Kingdom, which specialises in digital transformation and innovation, helping organisations change the way they engage with their customers.
  
Ranked as leaders in their field, The Bio Agency Team helps businesses change in the new customer centric digital world, a press release from the company said.
 
"Their 'innovation and strategy first' approach, plus experienced frameworks and delivery processes create true differentiation for their clients," it said.
 
According to the release, The Bio Agency services brands across Financial Services, Retail, Property, Travel, and Technology sectors and the acquisition will help them make sizeable inroads into the Fortune 100 / 500 telecommunications and enterprise clients of Tech Mahindra.
 
"Tech Mahindra has embraced the future with its focus on digital and sees this as an important strategic move. The acquisition will further strengthen and enable the company to engage with its clients at the start of the journey and more importantly, help design the customer experience for their businesses," itsaid.
 
Mr. C. P. Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra said, “The Bio Agency and Tech Mahindra will create one of the world’s leading innovation practices. A combination of Bio’s visionary thinking and delivery with Tech Mahindra’s IT to DT (Digital Transformation) strategy will enable and create digital services, that get industries ready beyond just technology transformation, but a larger integrated customer experience”.
 
The release said the acquisition would open up more clients for BIO globally (especially in Europe and the US), scaling their offerings and enabling new services and deeper Digital Change. This will significantly help enhance Bio’s offering both in people, turnover and market impact. Bio will continue to further invest into its people and its propriety thinking, it said.
 
Peter Veash, CEO, The Bio Agency said, “We are looking forward to the next stage of Bio’s journey. With a partner like Tech Mahindra, we plan to further scale our offering continuing to help clients change the way they engage with their customers. I am thrilled by the new possibilities of what our two companies will do together”.
 
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India remains polio-free, strain detected in Hyderabad is vaccine-derived poliovirus: Govt.

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The Government today asserted that India continued to be polio-free and stressed that the strain detected in Hyderabad recently was a vaccine derived poliovirus (VDPV) in a sewage sample collected near the Secunderabad railway station.
 
In a statement made in response to media reports that polio virus (P2 strain) had resurfaced in India for the first time in five years, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare said that the country had eradicated wild polio virus and the last case was seen on January 13, 2011.
 
In more than five years, no wild polio virus had been detected in the country, it said.
 
Referring to the VDPV detected in the sewage sample in Hyderabad, the statement said that no children had been found to be affected by the isolate in the nearby areas. 
 
"Last case of Wild Polio Virus Type 2 in country was reported 17 years back in 1999. The detection of vaccine derived polio virus (VPDV) does not change the polio free status. It only indicates the robustness of the surveillance system and willingness of the country to detect any kind of polio virus even from the environment (sewage). Vaccine derived polioviruses are rare strain of the polioviruses that have genetically mutated from the strain contained in the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV)," the Ministry said.
 
The statement said a rapid surveillance review of the area revealed that the population immunity against polio type 2 was high as trivalent oral polio vaccine (tOPV) was in use in the state until 24th April, 2016 and two mass vaccination campaign were conducted in January and February, 2016. 
 
"As per recent sample survey in the area, 94% children were found to have received at least 3 doses of OPV. Therefore, chances of its transmission in concerned area is unlikely," it said.
 
"However, as a precautionary measure against polio, a special immunization drive is being held, covering high-risk areas of Hyderabad and Rangareddy districts, starting from 20th June, where an estimated 300,000 children will be protected against polio using Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV). The special immunisation campaign will ensure all vulnerable children living in high-risk areas are given protection against polio. 
 
"As part of the special campaign being organised now, children between the age group of six weeks to three years will be given an additional dose of the injectable polio vaccine (IPV). Vaccination booths will be set up in the areas being covered in these campaigns. However, there will be no door-to-door vaccination campaign. Parents of children living in these areas will be encouraged to ensure that their children get the IPV dose from the nearest vaccination booth which will provide additional protection against all types of polio," the statement said.
 
"The special campaign covering Hyderabad and Rangareddy districts is yet another evidence of India’s strong commitment to remain polio-free. The last case due to wild poliovirus in India was detected on 13 January 2011 and the country was certified polio-free by WHO in March 2014. The polio-free certification pertains to the absence of wild poliovirus and thus country remains polio-free. 
 
"India continues to maintain a highly sensitive surveillance system for polio. All cases of paralysis with sudden onset in children up to 15 years (which is called Acute Flaccid Paralysis or AFP) are picked up by the polio surveillance network. Each of these cases is followed up and their stool samples tested for poliovirus in WHO accredited laboratories. In addition, sewage samples are collected from over 30 sites spread across the country for poliovirus detection at regular intervals," it said.
 
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The statement said that, between January 2015 and May 2015, a total of 14 sewage samples collected from different parts of the country tested positive for VDPVs. All of these have been responded to urgently and appropriately with polio vaccination campaigns. None of these VDPVs detected in the sewage infected any children, so far, it said.
 
"The response by the health authorities to the VDPV in Hyderabad is in accordance with World Health Organization protocols to mitigate any risk of spreading of the virus. WHO, UNICEF and Rotary are supporting Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in rolling out the polio campaign. 
 
"Strong measures have been put in place in India to mitigate the risk of an importation and spread of poliovirus from countries with continued circulation of poliovirus. The country has done two nationwide polio campaigns this year. Polio vaccination is being carried out at international borders and is a must for people travelling to polio affected countries. 
 
"The polio eradication programme in India continues to protect children from the crippling disease by conducting two nationwide mass polio vaccination campaigns and two to three sub-national campaigns each year. Intensive efforts are also being undertaken in India to improve routine immunization coverage that involves administering polio vaccines, in addition to other vaccines, to infants under the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP)," the statement added.
 
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15 dead as truck hits autorickshaw in Telangana

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Fifteen people died and three others suffered injuries when an auto-rickshaw they were travelling in was it by a truck in Adilabad district of Telangana late last night, police said.
 
The mishap occurred around 11 pm yesterday at Bagam village in Bhainsa mandal, about 120 km from the district headquarters, when the autorickshaw was on its way from Bakar to the Pochamma temple in Adilabad district.
 
Police officials in Bhainsa told NetIndian that the deceased included five men, three women and seven children. The driver of the autorickshaw was among those killed.
 
The three injured passengers were rushed to the Nizamabad government hospital for treatment, they said.
 
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Land to be transferred for establishment of Agriculture College at Rajahmundry

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The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for transfer of 21.93 acre of land belonging to the Central Tobacco Research Institute (CTRI), Rajahmundry to the Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad on a long lease basis for a period of 50 years for establishment of an Agriculture College at Rajahmundry. 
 
The Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University had established a new agriculture college at Rajahmundry in East Godavari district during the academic year 2008-09 to train agricultural graduates for acquiring advanced agricultural knowledge associated with Godavari Delta.
 
At present, the college is temporarily running from rented accommodation of local Arts and Science College (SKVT College). 
 
An official press release said that, after transfer of the land, the college would be able to develop its own permanent campus. 
 
"Establishment of a new agriculture college at Rajahmundry would certainly go a long way in development of agricultural research and education in Godavari delta and also help the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to fulfill one of its mandates including education research and extension," the release added.
 
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Sunrisers Hyderabad players Yuvraj, Williamson, Nehra nursing injuries

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Indian Premier League (IPL) franchisee Sunrisers Hyderabad today said three of its players -- Yuvraj Singh, Kane Williamson and Ashish Nehra -- are currently nursing injuries but expected to be back in the near future to compete in the tournament.
 
Yuvraj Singh suffered a fracture in his ankle against Australia during the ICC World T20. His condition will be reviewed by the specialist within the next 10 days, a press release from the tea said.
 
Nehra suffered a minor groin strain in the team's first match against Royal Challengers Bangalore. "We are hopeful that he will commence full training within the next week and soon after be available for selection," the release said.
 
Williamson suffered a hamstring strain during the ICC World T20 and is making good progress; he is expected to be fully fit and available for selection by early next week, it added.
 
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Krishnapatnam Port ties up with Mearsk for new service from Salalah, Oman

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Krishnapatnam Port, an all-weather; deep water port on the east coast has tied up with Mearsk Line India for starting a new service from Salalah, Oman to Krishnapatnam Port. 
 
It will be a weekly service, starting from April 17, a press release from the company said.
 
The release said the new service would connect customers in the surrounding area of Andhra Pradesh, northern Tamil Nadu and eastern Karnataka directly to Oman and neighboring region. It will offer fast transit time between the eastern coast of India, Sri Lanka and Oman.
 
The ports of rotation for the services are: Salalah -- Colombo  --Krishnapatnam Port -- Kattupalli -- Salalah.
 
Mr. Chinta Sasidhar, Managing Director, Krishnapatnam Port Company Ltd (KPCL), said, “We are very pleased to welcome Mearsk Line and look forward to a rewarding professional relationship. The new service will substantially reduce transit time in these areas and will also minimise the cost, which will be of a huge benefit to our customers."
 
The shipping lines service coupled with the Chennai Express which has been calling at Krishnapatnam Port for almost two years will benefit a large number of exporters and importers. Faster transit time and weekly fixed cut-off will benefit ensure a smooth supply chain for customers, the release said.
 
The privately built and owned Krishnapatnam Port has been promoted by the Hyderabad-based C.V.R. Group and is located in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.
 
With a transit storage area of 6800 acres, the has the country’s largest waterfront area of 161 sq. km, and a depth of 20.5 metres. Its current draft of 18.5 metres can accommodate full-sized cape vessel of 200,000-tonne capacity, the release.
 
Krishnapatnam Port Company Ltd. (KPCL), which was formed by winning the mandate from the Government of Andhra Pradesh on BOST (Build–Operate-Share-Transfer) concession basis for 50 years, is being built in three phases and currently the second phase is underway, the release added.
 
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Royal Challengers Bangalore trounce Sunrisers Hyderabad by 45 runs

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) trounced Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by an emphatic 45 runs in a high-scoring match in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the M. Channaswamy Stadium here tonight.
 
Asked to bat first, RCB put up a imposing 227 for four from their 20 overs, powered by electrifying knocks of 82 by A B de Villiers and 75 by skipper Virat Kohli.
 
Chasing 228 for a win, Sunrisers could only manage 182 for six from their quota of 20 overs, with contributions of 58 from skipper David Warner and 32 from Ashish Reddy.
 
RCB's 227 for four was the first 200-plus total in this edition of the tournament.
 
Once again, RCB lost big-hitting opener Chris Gayle rather early in the second over with the total at just 6. But Kohli was then joined by de Villiers and the two added 157 for the second wicket before the skipper finally fell in the 16th over. Kohli's 75 came off just 51 balls and included seven fours and three sixes.
 
de Villiers left in the 18th over at 183. His 82 was made off only 42 balls and was studded with seven fours and six sixes.
 
Shane Watson (19), who had hit Karn Sharma for three successive sixes, made his exit off the next ball before Sarfaraz Khan (35 not out) and Kedar Jadhav (8) added 44 in their unfinished partnership for the fifth wicket, off just 15 balls, to set a target of 228 for SRH.
 
For RCB, Mustafizur Rahman picked up two for 26, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar got two while giving away 55 runs.
 
Sunrisers began the chase on a positive note, with openers Warner and Shikhar Dhawan (8) putting on 35 for the first wicket in 3.1 overs before the latter was bowled by Parvez Rasool.
 
Warner and Moises Henriques (19) added 51 for the second wicket. At 86, Warner left and was followed two runs later, in the next over, by Naman Ojha (0). Warner's 58 was made off just 25 balls and included four fours and five sixes.
 
The next two overs saw the departure of Henriques and Deepak Hooda (6) to leave SRH struggling at 101 for five in 11.3 overs.
 
Eoin Morgan (22 not out) and Reddy added 46 for the sixth wicket but their efforts fell far short of their requirement. When Reddy left in the 16th over at 147, they were still 81 runs away.
 
Karn Sharma (26 not out) and Morgan added 45 in their unfinished partnership for the seventh wicket, but they never really had much of a chance.
 
Watson picked up two wickets for 30 while Yuzvendra Chahal got two for 43 and Rasool and Adam Milne bagged one each.
 
Scorecard
Royal Challengers Bangalore 
CH Gayle b Kumar 1
V Kohli b Kumar 75
AB de Villiers c Morgan b Mustafizur Rahman 82
SR Watson c Ojha b Mustafizur Rahman 19
SN Khan not out 35
KM Jadhav not out 8
Extras (lb 2, w 4, nb 1) 7
Total (4 wickets; 20 overs) 227 (11.35 runs per over)
Did not bat: STR Binny, Parvez Rasool, HV Patel, AF Milne, YS Chahal
Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Gayle, 1.2 ov), 2-163 (Kohli, 15.5 ov), 3-183 (de Villiers, 17.2 ov), 4-183 (Watson, 17.3 ov)
Bowling
A Nehra 2.1 0 21 0
B Kumar 4 0 55 2
Mustafizur Rahman 4 0 26 2
MC Henriques 4 0 41 0
KV Sharma 4 0 57 0
A Ashish Reddy 1.5 0 25 0
 
Sunrisers Hyderabad 
DA Warner c Milne b Watson 58
S Dhawan b Parvez Rasool            8
MC Henriques c Parvez Rasool b Milne 19
NV Ojha c de Villiers b Chahal 0
DJ Hooda c de Villiers b Chahal 6
EJG Morgan not out 22
A Ashish Reddy b Watson 32
KV Sharma not out 26
Extras (b 1, lb 1, w 9) 11
Total (6 wickets; 20 overs) 182 (9.10 runs per over)
Did not bat: A Nehra, B Kumar, Mustafizur Rahman
Fall of wickets: 1-35 (Dhawan, 3.1 ov), 2-86 (Warner, 8.4 ov), 3-88 (Ojha, 9.3 ov), 4-93 (Henriques, 10.3 ov), 5-101 (Hooda, 11.3 ov), 6-147 (Ashish Reddy, 15.6 ov)
Bowling
AF Milne 4 0 43 1
SR Watson 4 0 30 2
Parvez Rasool 4 0 31 1
HV Patel 4 0 33 0
YS Chahal 4 0 43 2
 
Player of the Match: A B de Villiers (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
 
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CRPF officer injured in March 11 blast in Chhattisgarh dies in Hyderabad

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B K Shyam Niwas, Deputy Commandant of 217 Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), who was seriously injured in an improved explosive device (IED) blast on March 11 near Konta in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, succumbed to his injuries in a hospital in Hyderabad this morning.
 
A press release from CRPF said Mr. Shyam Niwas breathed his last at the Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, where he was undergoing treatment for his injuries.
 
CRPF is deployed in the severely left-wing extremism (LWE)- affected district of Sukma . While facilitating road construction between Konta and Golapalli, falling under Konta block of Chhattisgarh district, the officer along with his troops detected some IEDs planted by Maoists.
 
While the bomb disposal squad was trying to diffuse an IED under his supervision, it exploded suddenly, causing serious injuries to Mr. Shyam Niwas, another deputy commandant Prabhakar Tripathi and head constable Ranga Raghavan.
 
All the three were immediately airlifted to Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad. The head constable succumbed to injuries en route to Hyderabad. 
 
Mr. Shyam Niwas, who had suffered severe splinter injuries in his head, had slipped into a coma ever since. After showing signs of recovery, he eventually succumbed to his injuries today morning at around 8.30 with his family by his side. 
 
The 45 year old officer is survived by his wife and a teenaged daughter and son. His last rites will be performed in his native village of Keshogiri in Ranga Reddy district of Andhra Pradesh.
 
“His martyrdom is an irreparable loss to to the family and the Force. The Force stands by the aggrieved family in their hour of grief," Mr. Durga Prasad, Director General, CRPF, said.
 
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GVK divests 33% stake in Bangalore airport to Fairfax Group for Rs. 2,149 crore

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GVK Power & Infrastructure Limited today said it would divest 33% stake in Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) to Fairfax India Holdings Corporation and Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, through their wholly-owned subsidiaries in Mauritius, for an aggregate investment of Rs. 2149 crore (approximately $ 321 million).
 
Upon completion of this transaction, there would be a reduction of debt burden of around Rs. 2,000 crore and would also result in saving of interest cost to the extent of approximately Rs. 300 crore per annum, a press release from the company said.
 
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and third party consents, including lender consents, and is expected to be completed by the middle of 2016, it said.
 
GVK Airport Developers, a wholly owned subsidiary of GVK Power & Infrastructure, had initiated a financing process last year to reduce its debt obligations to its lenders. The infrastructure major received multiple offers, from which the Fairfax Group was selected, the release said.
 
Dr. GVK Reddy, founder Chairman and Managing Director, GVK said, “This is an important and successful milestone in deleveraging our balance sheet, and all proceeds from this stake sale shall be used to bring down our debt obligations to our lenders. We chose Fairfax as a partner in BIAL as we have a long standing relationship with its Chairman, Mr. Prem Watsa and we would look forward to partnering with them in developing Kempegowda International Airport through its next stage of expansion as we develop a new world-class Terminal 2 and a new runway.”
 
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"We have great admiration for GVK, led by Dr. GVK Reddy and G V Sanjay Reddy, in the outstanding work that they have done to develop Kempegowda International Airport to its current stature. This is a partnership between Fairfax and GVK. We will work closely with all stakeholders to manage our stake in BIAL going forward, and will support G V Sanjay Reddy to continue to lead the management team as Managing Director (MD) of BIAL and Dr GVK Reddy will continue as Co Chairman of BIAL,” said Mr. Watsa, Chairman of Fairfax India, and Chairman and CEO of Fairfax.
 
Bangalore International Airport Limited owns and operates the Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru (KIAB), under a 30+30 year concession agreement from the Government of India. KIAB has the distinction of being the first greenfield airport in India that was built to the highest international standards by the private sector under a public-private partnership. The airport began operations in May 2008 and has been adjudged as the ‘Best Regional Airport in Central Asia’ by Skytrax in 2015. 
 
"GVK shall remain a long term investor and pioneer in airport assets in India. GVK is bullish on the airport sector in India and shall continue to build iconic assets for the country," the release said.
 
Goldman Sachs and DSP Merrill Lynch are the financial advisers to GVK and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas is theirr legal adviser, it added.
 
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‘India Aviation’ 2016 resonates well with ‘Make in India’: Mukherjee

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President Pranab Mukherjee has said that India was on the threshold of a maor leap in the aviation sector and urged global giants to seize the opportunity and take the lead to forge long-term partnerships.
 
Inaugurating the fifth edition of ‘India Aviation’ here yesterday, he said the event was well-timed and resonated well with the Government's latest policy initiatives of ‘Make in India’, ‘Stand up India’ and ‘Start Up India’. 
 
He expressed hope that th platform would usher in a new era in strategic partnerships and collaboration in the Indian civil aviation sector enabling India to become a hub of world class aerospace technology and services. 
 
The President said the Indian civil aviation market was growing at a rapid pace and now ranked ninth in the world. It is estimated that by 2020, India would be the third largest civil aviation market. 
 
He said that, with a network of domestic and international airlines connecting 40 countries, Indian airports handled passenger traffic of 190 million persons in 2015.
 
"Yet India is one of the least penetrated air-markets in the world with 0.04 trips per capita per annum as compared to 0.3 of China and more than 2 in the USA. The development of tourism, trade and travel has contributed to increased passenger traffic in India. By 2020, total passenger traffic in India is likely to touch 421 million. It is time for the government and all stakeholders of the civil aviation industry to leverage this tremendous business opportunity," he said.
 
Mr. Mukherjee said the civil aviation sector of India was poised for a faster and sustainable growth with the development of 100 smart cities; new economic corridors; more than 50 new airports and expansion of existing airports. 
 
He said the government was planning to invest over $ 120 billion in the development of airport infrastructure and aviation Navigation Services over the next decade. 
 
The deeper air penetration to smaller cities; better connectivity to the North Eastern part of India and higher disposable incomes of the middle class of India is expected to further propel the growth of Indian civil aviation industry, he added.
 
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Justice R. Subhash Reddy named Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court

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Mr. Justice Ramayyagari Subhash Reddy, Judge of the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for the State of Telangana and the State of Andhra Pradesh, has been appointed as the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court.
 
An official press release said here today that the appointment would be with effect from the date he assumed charge of his office. 
 
Born in 1957 in Medak district, Mr. Justice Reddy graduated from the Andhra Vidyalaya College (AV College), Hyderabad and obtained a degree in law from the University College of Law, Osmania University, Hyderabad. 
 
He enrolled as an advocate on the rolls of the Bar Council of Andhra Pradesh on October 30, 1980.
 
He actively practised in civil, criminal, Constitutional and almost a other branchesof law. He was Standing Counsel for institutions like S.V.University and Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University. 
 
He was elevated as Additional Judge of High Court of Andhra Pradesh on December 2, 2002 and sworn in as Judge in that court on June 24, 2004.
 
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Malayalam actress Kalpana passes away in Hyderabad

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Well-known actress Kalpana Ranjani, who was better known by her screen name Kalpana and was known for her comic roles in Malayalam and other South Indian language films, passed away this morning at the Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad.
 
She was 50. She is survived by a daughter.
 
Kalpana, who was in Hyderabad for the shooting of a film, was found in an unresponsive state in her hotel room around 6 am after she failed to respond to calls by the hotel staff.
 
She was rushed to the hospital, but died on the way. She is learnt to have had a history of heart and other problems. Film personalities who rushed to the hospital were told by the doctors that she had died after suffering a heart attack.
 
Born on October 5, 1965 to theatre artistes Chavara V. P. Nair and Vijayalakshmi, Kalpana was the sister of well-known Malayalam actresses Kalaranjini and Urvashi. 
 
She made her debut in 1980 in "Pokkuveyil" directed by G. Aravindan and went on to appear in scores of films, winning special praise for her roles as a comedienne.
 
Her Tamil debut was in Chinna Veedu opposite K. Bhagyaraj in 1985. In all, she acted in more than 300 films in Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada in both comic and character roles. Her last film was the Malayalam movie Charlie.
 
She had won the award for the Best Supporting Actress for the Malayalam film Thanichalla Njan at the National Film Awards in 2012.
 
In recent years, she also appeared in several reality shows on television. She had also recorded a music album and published her memoirs, Njan Kalpana.
 
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Ph. D. scholar's suicide: Govt. to set up Judicial Commission to establish facts

The Ministry of Human Resource Development said on Friday it had decided to constitute a Judicial Commission to review the entire sequence of events and circumstances leading to the suicide of a Dalit research scholar in the University of Hyderabad last Sunday.

Rohith Vemula
Rohith Vemula
The Ministry of Human Resource Development today said it had decided to constitute a Judicial Commission to review the entire sequence of events and circumstances leading to the suicide of a Dalit research scholar in the University of Hyderabad last Sunday.
 
The Commission, which will also establish the facts and recommend correctives in the context of the University will submit its report within three months, an official press release said here.
 
The decision to set up the Commission was based on the observations and findings of the two-member Fact Finding Committee constituted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in the wake of the chain of unfortunate events at the Central University. The committee submitted its report to the Ministry today, the release said.
 
The release said Union Minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Irani spoke to the mother of Rohith Vemula, the 26-year-old Ph. D. student, who was found hanging in a room of a hostel on the university campus.
 
The release said that the Ministry had also decided on a course of action in order to address the issues faced by students from disadvantaged social, economic and educational backgrounds in higher educational institutions comprehensively and to prevent such unfortunate incidents in the future.
 
It said a programme would be launched for sensitising academic administrators about understanding and handling problems faced by socially, educationally and economically disadvantaged students. All wardens, administrative staff and registrars would be compulsorily put through this orientation programme, for which a special module will be prepared.
 
A special mechanism would be set up at the Ministry for receiving and taking expeditious action on the grievances from such  students. 
 
All Vice-Chancellors and senior administrators would be sensitised to reach out to socially, economically and educationally disadvantaged students. 
 
"There should be zero tolerance for any acts of discrimination on campus. A special charter would be issued to all the higher education insitutions (HEIs) in this regard. 
 
"The Peer-group Assisted Learning (PAL) of IIT Gandhinagar would be extended to all the HEIs, under which Mentors would be arranged for the socially, economically and educationally disadvantaged students not only to assist them in education, but to support them with regards to challenges being faced by them within their institutions," the release added.
 
Yesterday, amid continuing protests against Rohith's suicide, the Executive Council of the University of Hyderabad had decided to revoke the suspension orders issued against four other Dalit Ph. D. students who had been expelled along with him.
 
The five students, including Rohith, were barred from staying in the university hostels or gather in the administrative building and other common places in groups till the complete their courses and programmes at the institution.
 
Rohith was one of the persons accused of assaulting a leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
 
Rohith, who was staying in a tent set up on the campus and was on a relay hunger strike for a few days  with his suspended fellow students, hanged himself in a room in the hostel on Sunday and his death sparked off protests by groups of students not only in the University of Hyderabad but also in places such as Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai.
 
His fellow students alleged that Rohith had taken the extreme step because of the discrimination against Dalit students following a letter written by Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, who hails from Hyderabad, to Ms. Irani seeking action against the students for their "anti-national" activities. The Ministry, in turn, forwarded the letter to the University authorities and then followed it up with five letters, seeking an update in the matter.
 
In a suicide note he left behind in the room where he killed himself, he spoke of, among other things, the social ostracisation that he and his friends faced and the fact that he had not received his stipend of Rs. 25,000 per month for the past seven months.
 
Ms. Irani denied her Ministry had intervened in the matter and said it was routine for it to follow-up on representations sent by Members of Parliament.
 
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi met Rohith's mother and other members of his family on the university campus on Tuesday and addressed the students and since then other political leaders have also visited the campus, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal yesterday.
 
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Also yesterday, a group of Dalit faculty members of the University of Hyderabad took serious objection to the statement on Rohith's suicide and subsequent developments made by Ms. Irani in Delhi on Wednesday.
 
"In response to the Minister's fabricated statements, we the Dalit (SC/ST) faculty and officers will lay down our administrative positions," they said in a statement.
 
"It is unfortunate that the Minister misrepresented the facts of the case and said that the senior most Dalit professor actually headed the Executive Council sub-committee which took the decision to suspend the students. It was headed by an upper caste Professor Vipin Srivastava and there are no Dalit faculty in the sub-committee of the Executive Council. Incidentally, the Dean Student Welfare who happens to be a Dalit was notionally coopted as an ex-officio member of the sub-committee.
 
"It is unfortunate that since its inception no Dalit representation has been given in the Executive Council of University of Hyderabad," the statement said.
 
The statement accused Ms. Irani of misleading the nation by observing that Hostel Wardens had suo motu powers to expel the students.
 
"It is just a coincidence that the Chief Warden happens to be a Dalit and he only implemented the orders of the higher authorities. 
Such a baseless and misleading statement coming from the Minister of HRD amounts to bringing down the morale of the Dalits holding administrative positions in this university as well as other universities," it said.
 
The statement said that, by deflecting the issue, Ms. Irani was absolving herself and Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya from responsibilit for the death of Rohith.
 
"We express our solidarity with the students who are protesting against the death of Rohith Vemula and demand the immediate revocation of suspension and removal of all police cases filed against our students," the statement added.
 
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Scholar's sucide: University of Hyderabad revokes suspension of four Ph.D. students

As protests continued against the suicide of a Dalit research scholar of the University of Hyderabad last Sunday, the Executive Council of the institution on Thursday decided to revoke the supension orders issued against four other Dalit Ph. D. students who had been expelled along with him.

Rohith Vemula
Rohith Vemula
As protests continued against the suicide of a Dalit research scholar of the University of Hyderabad last Sunday, the Executive Council of the institution today decided to revoke the supension orders issued against four other Dalit Ph. D. students who had been expelled along with him.
 
At a special meeting here today, the Executive Council, chaired by Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao Podile, decided to end the punishment meted out to the five students vide its resolution at a meeting held on November 27, 2015.
 
At that meeting, the five students, including deceased research scholar Rohith Vemula, were barred from staying in the university hostels or gather in the administrative building and other common places in groups till the complete their courses and programmes at the institution.
 
Rohith was one of the persons accused of assaulting a leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
 
Rohith, 26, who was staying in a tent set up on the campus and was on a relay hunger strikefor the past few days  with his suspended fellow students, hanged himself in a room in the hostel on Sunday and his death sparked off protests by groups of students not only in the University of Hyderabad but also in places such as Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai.
 
His fellow students alleged that Rohith had taken the extreme step because of the discrimination against Dalit students following a letter written by Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, who hails from Hyderabad, to Union Minister for Human Resource Development Smriti Irani seeking action against the students for their "anti-national" activities. The Ministry, in turn, forwarded the letter to the University authorities and then followed it up with five letters, seeking an update in the matter.
 
In a suicide note he left behind in the room where he killed himself, he spoke of, among other things, the social ostracisation that he and his friends faced and the fact that he had not received his stipend of Rs. 25,000 per month for the past seven months.
 
Ms. Irani denied her Ministry had intervened in the matter and said it was routine for it to follow-up on representations sent by Members of Parliament.
 
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi met Rohith's mother and other members of his family on the university campus on Tuesday and addressed the students and since then other political leaders have also visited the campus, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today.
 
"Taking into account the extraordinary situation prevailing in the university, and after discussing the issue in detail, the council resolved to terminate the punishment imposed on the students concerned with immediate effect," the Executive Council resolution said.
 
The council made it clear that the decision was subject to the verdict in the cases in the matter filed in the High Court as well as the complaint filed at the Gachibowli Police Station here in connection with Rohith's suicide.
 
Separately, Prof Podile issued a fervent appeal to all in the university to contribute to resuming regular class work, research activities and administrative work without further delay. He urged all teachers, students, officers and other staffof the university to rise to the occasion.
 
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"The past three days have been highly disturbing to an otherwise academically peaceful campus with the series of events that occurred. Our university cannot afford to miss out on academic and research work. We all know that it would affect the career of several of our students, including research scholars, who have important deadlines to meet with regard to their work progress," he said.
 
"The special efforts of the University of Hyderabad Teachers' Association (UHTA) and the SC/ST Teachers' Forum and the suggestions made thereof to resolve the most urgent issue to resume class work have been considered by the Executive Council of the University of Hyderabad at its meeting held this morning. The decision of the Executive Council is put up separately on the website. Several individuals/groups of the teachers have expressed their concern and offered their services to resolve the matter. I profusely thank the UHTA, members of the SC/ST Teachers' Forum and all other individuals who have reached out to resolve the matter.
 
"Other observations/suggestions from all the teachers will be taken forward using internal mechanisms and within the limits of the university, after the agitation is called off completely and complete peace is restored on the campus. I request the students, faculty and staff to maintain calmness and harmony under the extraordinary circumstance prevailing on the campus and repose faith in the internal mechanisms to resolve the issue," he added.
 
Earlier in the day, a group of Dalit faculty members of the University of Hyderabad took serious objection to the statement on Rohith's suicide and subsequent developments made by Ms. Irani in Delhi yesterday.
 
"In response to the Minister's fabricated statements, we the Dalit (SC/ST) faculty and officers will lay down our administrative positions," they said in a statement.
 
"It is unfortunate that the Minister misrepresented the facts of the case and said that the senior most Dalit professor actually headed the Executive Council sub-committee which took the decision to suspend the students. It was headed by an upper caste Professor Vipin Srivastava and there are no Dalit faculty in the sub-committee of the Executive Council. Incidentally, the Dean Student Welfare who happens to be a Dalit was notionally coopted as an ex-officio member of the sub-committee.
 
"It is unfortunate that since its inception no Dalit representation has been given in the Executive Council of University of Hyderabad," the statement said.
 
The statement accused Ms. Irani of misleading the nation by observing that Hostel Wardens had suo motu powers to expel the students.
 
"It is just a coincidence that the Chief Warden happens to be a Dalit and he only implemented the orders of the higher authorities. 
Such a baseless and misleading statement coming from the Minister of HRD amounts to bringing down the morale of the Dalits holding administrative positions in this university as well as other universities," it said.
 
The statement said that, by deflecting the issue, Ms. Irani was absolving herself and Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya from responsibilit for the death of Rohith.
 
"We express our solidarity with the students who are protesting against the death of Rohith Vemula and demand the immediate revocation of suspension and removal of all police cases filed against our students," the statement added.
 
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Hyderabad student's suicide: Rahul Gandhi says those responsible must be punished

As student protests continued in several cities over the alleged suicide of a Dalit research scholar of the University of Hyderabad on Sunday, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi visited the campus on Tuesday and called for the strictest punishment possible for those who had pushed him to take the extreme step.

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi with the family of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula, who committed suicide on Sunday, at the University of Hyderabad on January 19, 2016.
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi with the family of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula, who committed suicide on Sunday, at the University of Hyderabad on January 19, 2016.
As student protests continued in different cities for the second day over the alleged suicide of a Dalit research scholar of the University of Hyderabad on Sunday, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi visited the campus today and called for the strictest punishment possible for those who had pushed him to take the extreme step.
 
"Whoever is responsible for this outcome has to be punished in the strictest manner possible," Mr. Gandhi said in an address to the protesting students of the Central university after meeting the mother and other family members of the deceased student, Rohith Vemula.
 
He said the idea of a university is that young people from all over the country could come and express whatever was in their hearts.
 
"This is like a stage. They can come, whether their ideas are interesting, not interesting, smart, not smart, every student must feel that when I go to university, regardless of who I am, how much money I have, what community I come from, what religion I come from, what type of hairstyle I have, what type of shirt I wear, he must feel that this is an institution that I can say whatever I want without punishment, without pain," he said.
 
Mr. Gandhi said a university was also about knowledge. "And when you try to impose on youngsters like yourselves one idea and you try to tell them that, sorry, only this idea is acceptable, you cause tremendous pain to the passion that that person has. And you would all have felt this," he said.
 
He said there were students in the university who wanted to express some ideas and the institution, "instead of operating fairly, instead of letting them speak...., has used its power to crush them."
 
"And the vice-chancellor and the Minister in Delhi, have not acted fairly. What is the result, the result that this youngster who came here to improve this country, who came here to learn, who came here to express himself, was put in so much pain that he had no other option but to kill himself," he said.
 
Mr. Gandhi said that the 26-year-old student had certainly committed suicide but "the conditions for his suicide have been created by the vice-chancellor and the Minister and the institution."
 
"And that means that there is no question, absolutely no question, on merits, for the vice-chancellor to remain here," he said.
 
He aso took strong exception to the fact that the vice-chancellor, Prof. Appa Rao Podile, had not "had the decency and the dignity to meet the mother" of the deceased student. He said this was an insult to the country, the institution and all its students and teachers.
 
Mr. Gandhi sid he agreed with the students' demand that Rohith's family must be paid financial compensation and provided a job. "This boy was going to give them a future. They have removed this boy. If they have removed this boy, now they must give them the future that he would have given to them," he said.
 
"There are certain people who are responsible for this boy's death. The vice-chancellor is among them, the Minister is among them, and the people that have applied pressure on this boy for expressing his ideas, his thoughts are among them. Whoever is responsible for this outcome has to be punished in the strictest manner possible," he said.
 
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Mr. Gandhi told the students that they were not alone, because this was happening in every university in India.
 
He said it was important to create a legislation that guarantes certain minimum rights to all Indian students, maintains the autonomy of the institutions and does not allow the Central government to impose its will on them. He said such a law would give students minimum rights with regard to the freedom of ideas and the expression of those ideas, "regardless of who they are, what caste they are, where they come from, what religion they come from".
 
"I have come here not as a politician. I have come here as a young person who feels what you are going through. I do not appreciate that so many years after our independence, we do not have the courage to allow every one of our students to express what they believe, to express what they want to say and allow them to say it. And I am going to make sure that we fight for that and that we build an India where every single person, regardless of where he comes from, what social group he comes from, what religion he comes from, he can proudly stand up and say this is what I think, this is what I believe," he said.
 
Meanwhile, apart from Hyderabad, student groups held protests in places such as Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai against the suicide of the student.
 
Rohith had committed suicide by hanging himself in a room in one of the hostels on the campus on Sunday. He was among five research scholars who were placed under suspension by the university in August last year. He was one of the persons accused of assaulting a student leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.
 
His fellow students alleged that Rohith had taken the extreme step because of the discrimination against Dalit students following a letter written by Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, who hails from Hyderabad, to Union Minister for Human Resource Development Smriti Irani seeking action against the students for their "anti-national" activities.
 
Among other things, Rohith was denied access to the hostel, the mess and other facilities. 
 
Ms. Irani said yesterday the Ministry had appointed a two-member fact-finding committee. She also said the Central government did not intervene in the functioning of the university and had no administrative control over it. She also conveyed her condolences to the family of the dead student.
 
Mr. Dattatreya denied he had any role in the university's decision to suspend Rohith and the others. He said he had only forwarded a representation from the ABVP to Ms. Irani and was unaware if they Ministry had taken any action on it or not.
 
Media reports said today that the Ministry of Human Resource Development had sent as many as four letters to the university seeking to know what action had been taken on Mr. Dattatreya's letter. Students and activists today staged a protest outside his home in Hyderabad.
 
The Trinamool Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party have announced that they would send teams to meet the agitating students.
 
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Exim Bank signs MoU with Andhra Pradesh to facilitate State’s exports

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Export-Import Bank of India has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Government of Andhra Pradesh for promotion of exports from the State.
 
The MoU was signed by Exim Bank Chairman and Managing Director Yaduvendra Mathur, and Mr. Shamsher Singh Rawat, Secretary and Commissioner for Industrial Promotion, Government of Andhra Pradesh.
 
A press release from the bank said it sought to support exporters having operations in Andhra Pradesh in achieving higher exports by facilitation of market linkages through its market advisory services, which will assist in identifying suitable partners. Besides, the bank would help develop skills through capacity building workshops, help the exporters’ participation in select trade fairs and exhibitions, and through research activities.
 
Exim Bank will also use its strong institutional linkages that it has developed over the years with institutions in advanced markets like the United States, Singapore, Japan, Australia and European Union, and facilitate technology transfer to the technology-seeking enterprises in Andhra Pradesh. 
 
"With its presence through a Regional Office in Hyderabad, the bank is desirous of further extending funding facilities to exporters from the State so as to provide them opportunity to access the global market," the release added.
 
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Students protest in Delhi, Mumbai over research scholar's suicide in Hyderabad

 
Students protest in Delhi against Hyderabad research scholar's suicide
 
Students staged marches today in New Delhi and Mumbai to register their anger over the alleged suicide of a Dalit research scholar of the Central University in Hyderabad on Sunday and around 70 of them were detained by the police in the national capital.
 
The detentions were made after the protest outside the Ministry of Human Resource Development turned violent as students forced their way past barricades set up by the police.
 
Police said some policemen, including two officers, suffered injuries in stoning by the students. The police used water cannons to try and disperse the crowd and later picked up several of the protesters and bundled them into waiting buses.
 
The protests were staged by student organisations affiliated to the Left, including the All India Students Association and the Students Federation of India (SFI).
 
Rohit Vemula, 26, who was a Ph.D. scholar at the university, committed suicide by hanging himself in a room in one of the hostels on the campus.
 
He was among five research scholars who were placed under suspension by the university in August last year. He was one of the persons accused of assaulting a student leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.
 
There were protests on the campus of the Hyderabad Central University also, with demonstrators demanding action against Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and the Vice-Chancellor of the university.
 
They alleged that Rohit had taken the extreme step because of the discrimination against the Dalit students following a letter written by Mr. Dattatreya to Union Minister for Human Resource Development Smriti Irani seeking action against the students for their "anti-national" activities.
 
Among other things, Rohit was denied access to the hostel, the mess and other facilities. 
 
Ms. Irani said the Ministry had appointed a two-member fact-finding committee. She said the Central government did not intervene in the functioning of the university and had no administrative control over it. She also conveyed her condolences to the family of the dead student.
 
Mr. Dattatreya denied he had any role in the university's decision to suspend Rohit and the others. He said he had only forwarded a representation from the ABVP to Ms. Irani and was unaware if they Ministry had taken any action on it or not.
 
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The polit bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said in a statement that, following last year's altercation between the ABVP and members of the Ambedkar Students Association, an inquiry was conducted by the university and the incident appeared to have been settled.
 
"The newly-appointed Vice Chancellor, allegedly, under pressure from the Minister of the Union Cabinet belonging to Hyderabad and the consequent direction by the Human Resources Development Ministry, had taken this action of suspension from the hostels," it said.
 
The statement said Rohit and other students were on a hunger strike against this action by the Vice-Chancellor. 
 
"Under these circumstances, the Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) condemns the Vice Chancellor’s motivated decision that led to this suicide  and demands that the Vice Chancellor be booked under the SC Prevention of Atrocities Act immediately. 
 
"The Central government must conduct a thorough enquiry into this incident in this prestigious Central University that was established by law by the Parliament of India," the statement added.
 
Congress spokesperson R. P. N. Singh said Rohit had died "under circumstances that were deliberately orchestrated by BJP Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya".
 
"States like Rajasthan, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh have witnessed gross atrocities on Dalit citizens even as the State and Central Governments have looked away. Indian National Congress notes with concern the fact that an atmosphere is being created by the BJP-RSS against Dalits and backward classes of India," he said.
 
Mr. Singh said a first information report (FIR) had been registered against Mr. Dattatreya and the letter written by him, prima facie, amounted to abetment of suicide. The party demanded that Mr. Dattatreya should resign with immediate effect, failing which the Prime Minister should sack him.
 
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Krishnapatnam Power Corporation to build thermal power projects worth Rs. 16,680 crore in AP

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The Hyderabad-based CVR group-led Krishnapatnam Power Corporation today said it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Government of Andhra Pradesh to build 2780 MW capacity of thermal power projects with an estimated investment of Rs. 16,680 crore.
 
The project, consisting of three 660 MW units and one 800 MW unit, is located in the coastal region at Taminapatnam Mommidi village, close to Krishnapatnam Port in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.
 
A press release from the company said the project was expected to create direct and indirect employment opportunities for approximately 1500 people.
 
Mr. Chinta Sasidhar – Director, Krishnapatnam Power Corporation said, “The recent agreement has tremendously fortified our commitment and contribution towards the macro scheme of ‘Infrastructure Mission’ of Andhra Pradesh which envisions the creation of world class infrastructure for excellent connectivity and augmenting power generation capacity”.
 
“With the commissioning of these projects, we expect the huge demand of the state to be dealt actively, apart from creating immense job opportunities,” he added.
 
The CVR Group has interests in engineering, construction, ports and software development.
 
Krishnapatnam Power Corporation Ltd. (KPPCL) is the special purpose vehicle (SPV) implementing the coal-fired thermal power project promoted by Navayuga Power Corporation Ltd (NPCL), a part of the Navayuga Group.
 
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Former Sikkim Governor V. Rama Rao passes away

V. Rama Rao
V. Rama Rao
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Sikkim Governor V. Rama Rao passed away at a hospital here today after a prolonged illness. 
 
He was 80. He is survived by wife Vasantha Kumari and a son, V Srinivas.
 
Mr. Rama Rao had served as Governor of Sikkim from October 25, 2002 to October 24, 2007.
 
Born on December 12, 1935, he started his political career in 1956 when he joined the Jana Sangh, the precursor of the BJP, and went on to become a senior leader of the BJP.
 
A lawyer by profession, he had practised law at the Andhra Pradesh High Court and was also involved in the trade union movement.
 
He was elected to the Andhra Pradesh State Legislative Council from Hyderabad Graduates' Constituency for four consecutive terms in 1966, 1972, 1978 and 1984. He served as the party's floor leader in the council during his last term.
 
He served as the president of the state unit of the BJP between 1993 and 2001 and later as a national vice-president of the party.
 
President Pranab Mukherjee condoled the passing away of Mr. Rama Rao, saying he had served the nation in different capacities during his public life.
 
"He worked for the welfare of the State of Andhra Pradesh and its people, including as a Member of the Andhra Pradesh State Legislative Council for four consecutive terms from 1966 - 1990.   The nation will always remember him for his contributions and pursuit of excellence in public life," he added.
 
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SpiceJet introduces new flights to Dubai from Jaipur, Hyderabad

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Low-cost carrier SpiceJet today announced the launch of new flights to Dubai from Jaipur and Hyderabad from February 16.
 
With these, the airline will connect ten Indian cities with Dubai everyday, a press release from the company said.
 
The airline is offering an introductory one-way offer of Rs. 6499 (all-inclusive) between Jaipur and Dubai. The Hyderabad-Dubai fares start at Rs. 7999 (all-inclusive) while the Dubai-Hyderabad fares are available at Rs. 7199 (all-inclusive) on a first-come-first-served basis.
 
SpiceJet is the first airline to operate a direct flight on the Jaipur-Dubai route. It will fly five times a week on this route.
 
Ms. Shilpa Bhatia, Senior VP Commercial, SpiceJet, said, “We see huge potential, especially from non-metro cities such as Jaipur, waiting to be unlocked and over the years we have also witnessed a resurgence in demand on the Hyderabad-Dubai route from business and leisure travellers alike. Dubai is a key market in increasing our footprint across the Middle East and with these flight launches we aim to provide our customers with better and more convenient travel options.”
 
The airline will deploy its Boeing 737- 800 aircraft on these routes, the release added.
 
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SABIC, CIPET expand collaboration for skill development CSR programme in plastics processing

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SABIC, the Saudi Arabia-headquartered chemical company, has announced the expansion of its skill development corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme aimed at developing capacity in the plastics processing industry in India.
 
The programme, run in collaboration with the Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET), under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, trained 50 youth from less privileged backgrounds in Chennai in its first phase and is now aimed at training 90 more from Hyderabad and Ahmedabad in the next phase.
 
This collaboration is a part of SABIC’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitment to create lasting value across the economic, social, human and environmental dimensions, a press release from the company said.
 
The programme entails a six month residential skill development course including a full scholarship that covers course fee, boarding and lodging costs. The students were selected through a comprehensive screening process undertaken independently by CIPET. Based on a special curriculum developed by CIPET with inputs from SABIC, students in CIPET, Hyderabad will be trained on plastics extrusion while students in CIPET, Ahmedabad will be trained to operate Injection Moulding Machines. 
 
Upon successful completion of the course, the students will be certified by CIPET and SABIC. These students will be equipped with skills to gain employment in various plastics processing hubs, the release said.
 
Speaking at the launch of the programme here yesterday, Janardhanan Ramanujalu, Vice President, SABIC South Asia & ANZ, said, “We are delighted to take our partnership with CIPET to the next level with the second phase of this skill development programme. After the overwhelming success of the first phase of the programme in Chennai, in which all graduates received employment offers, we look forward to enabling such high-potential youth in Ahmedabad and Hyderabad to access similar opportunities in the industry."
 
"Given the potential of the plastics processing industry in India, we believe that this programme will add more skilled frontline workers to the industry and contribute to Government of India’s vision of making India a global manufacturing hub," he said.
 
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Dr. Pradeep Upadhyaya, Professor and Head, High Learning Centres, CIPET Ahmedabad said, “As the leading academic and research institute in the field of plastics, CIPET conducts programmes to equip people with skills that are in line with the latest requirements in the plastics industry. We believe that the success of such programmes rests heavily on collaboration with industry leaders such as SABIC, which help bring in industry orientation to the curriculum and greatly benefit students. We are confident that the skills acquired by the participants of this programme will help them capitalize on the opportunities presented by the growth in the plastics processing industry.”
 
The release said that, in alignment with SABIC’s global CSR policy, SABIC in India focuses its CSR efforts on the promotion of education, with special attention to less-privileged children and youth. Other SABIC CSR activities in the area of education include reconstruction of schools in Bengaluru and Vadodara and an eye-care campaign targeting 50,000 less-privileged students in government schools in Bengaluru, Delhi, Gurgaon and Vadodara, to facilitate their education and empowering underprivileged women by undertaking skill development programme to develop useful articles using plastic waste, teaching children responsible ways to dispose plastic waste. 
 
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Kerala artist’s unorthodox ways regale crowd at Krishnakriti fest in Hyderabad

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Kerala sculptor Valsan Koorma Kollery used wisecracks and simple tips on broad aesthetics about painting to entertain students as much as educate them at the Krishnakriti Festival of Arts and Culture here.
 
The sexagenarian, known for his jovially rebellious approach to almost everything around, gave a brief introductory lecture ahead of choosing a 13-year-old girl as his muse for a charcoal sketch that won loud appreciation from 100-odd young enthusiasts who gathered at Centre for Cultural Resources and Training in Madhapur.
 
“Take all your shyness away. Inhibition is what blocks creativity. Just sketch or paint or whatever. It may be bad art, but then there is no short cut to excelling oneself in any field,” he said during a 75-minute workshop on Friday evening as part of the January 7-10 Krishnakriti 2016 featuring a range of cultural events.
 
North Malabar-born Valsan, 62, who joined Government College of Fine Arts in Chennai way back in 1971, said one could be initiated into art at any age.
 
“You can start it even after retirement from your job. It can be a very good second nursery,” he said, minutes before randomly asking a girl from the crowd to pose for a portrait. “Well, a small work is also a big work,” he added.
 
Valsan, who misses no chance to ridicule set notions and methodical training in art, said it is the blind who often sense art better than those with eyesight.
 
“Years ago, I brought visually-challenged people to an art exhibition of mine in Madras University. In a 3,000-square feet area, they stood in rapt attention, feeling each of the 35 artworks in their own way,” he said.
 
Valsan, from Patiam in Kannur district, had completed his advanced art studies at ENSBA, Paris and M S University of Baroda.
 
Open-mindedness is what is essential to art and relevant to any area of culture. “For instance, you need no music to dance. You can dance to the colour around, to the fall of the rains, to an inspiring object you come across....”
 
While sketching on paper the picture of 13-year-old K. Bhavya Manasa, he leisurely asked the class-8 student of Jubilee Hill Public School to store small little artworks one does on and off.
 
“You know why? When you feel like crying sometimes—as well all do—just go back and take a look at them. It can make you happy, isn’t it?”
 
As he sketched,  Valsan said “I can trace the face of your mother, grandma and great-grandmother if you give me time.”  He finally presented it to the gathering deliberately holding the paper upside down.
 
Arti Nagpal, a housewife who occasionally paints, told Valsan that his workshop had now inspired her to return to her habit of sketching.
 
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“Suddenly, I realise I miss it a lot,” she said, clicking a selfie with the guest artist—the only one to figure in both editions of Kochi-Muziris Biennale (held in 2012 and ’14) by far.
 
Bengali Priyanka Das, who is doing masters in fine arts from University of Hyderabad, simultaneously sketched Valsan and showed her work to the artist. An appreciative Valsan drew another sketch of his on the left page of the book in return.
 
Later, at an interaction with art scholar Dhritabrata Bhattacharjya Tato, Valsan spoke about his mid-career shift from bronze to stone as the medium of sculpting.
 
“We can make any place beautiful with right use of art,” he said, sharing his experience of building butterfly parks off Thrissur town and close to Nilambur forests in Kerala.
 
The artist also had his second tryst at India’s only biennale—in Kochi, where he virtually churned out a quiet island of creative space that retained the site’s rustic greenery, thus tacitly asking the new-age visitor to return to nature.
 
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Rajendra Srivastava takes over as new Dean of ISB

Rajendra Srivastava
Rajendra Srivastava
Professor Rajendra Srivastava has taken charge as the new Dean of the Indian School of Business (ISB) here with effect from January 1.
 
He has succeeded Prof. Ajit Rangnekar, who served as Dean of the school since January 2009 and retired on December 31, 2015. 
 
Prof. Srivastava, who is the fifth Dean of ISB, is also the Full Professor of Business in Marketing and the Novartis Chair Professor of Marketing Strategy and Innovation.
 
Prior to joining ISB, he was the Provost and Deputy President (Academic Affairs) and LKC Distinguished Chair Professor of Marketing Strategy and International Business at the Singapore Management University (SMU).
 
A press release from ISB, which also has a campus at Mohali, said Prof. Srivastava's experience as an academic and administrator spanned over 30 years and North America, Europe and Asia. He has held distinguished research chairs and senior management positions at the University of Texas at Austin and Emory University in Atlanta in the past. 
 
An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, he holds a master’s degree and a doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh and an MS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Rhode Island.
 
“Professor Rajendra Srivastava’s appointment as the new Dean of ISB marks a significant step towards ISB’s mission of consolidating and strengthening its position as a world-class business school. I wish him success with the confidence that ISB will achieve new heights of success in the years to come," Mr. Adi Godrej, Chairman of the ISB Board said.
 
"I also take this opportunity to thank Ajit Rangnekar for his contributions to ISB over the last decade, first as the Deputy Dean and then as the Dean. Under his guidance, the school made great progress to become one of the most sought after global business schools," he said.
 
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Prof. Srivastava said, "It is indeed with a sense of immense anticipation and confidence that I take up this very prestigious role as Dean of the Indian School of Business (ISB). ISB has made a mark for itself as a premier B-school in a short span. It has the advantage of having the best of insights from India and Asia that are valued the world over and is in a position of advantage to place itself as a leading Indian B-School in Asia and the world. I look forward to a fruitful association with ISB that will also give me a sense of purpose and fulfilment.”
 
Outgoing Dean Rangnekar said, “It has been a great personal and professional privilege to have been associated with this wonderful institution. We have been ranked consistently among the top global B-schools; we are the first in India to be globally top ranked for research, first to get the AACSB accreditation in South Asia, and the first to innovate with industry specific institutes to address issues of national importance. I am delighted that ISB will be led by a renowned academician and an able administrator like Raj Srivastava. I am sure he will take ISB to even greater heights.”
 
Professor Srivastava’s research interests are in the area of Marketing and Brand Strategy, the release added.
 
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Infosys says its Hyderabad campus to meet 100% electricity needs from renewables

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IT services major Infosys Ltd has launched a solar PV power plant of 6.6 MW capacity at its Pocharam campus near here in Telangana.
 
Combined with the existing 0.6 MW rooftop solar plant, this will make the Infosys campus at Pocharam one of the first corporate campuses in India that will be run completely by renewable energy, a press release from the company said.
 
The plant, with a total capacity of 7.2 MW, has been successfully synchronized with the grid and is expected to generate 12 million kWh per annum. This initiative is expected to reduce the company’s CO2 emissions by 9,200 tons, it said.
 
Currently, the company has installed 12 MW solar power plants (onsite) across its campuses and another 3 MW is expected to be completed within the next two months.
 
“Our company's commitment to our broader purpose and to our communities, has always brought us great pride. The Infosys founders set this standard from the beginning, and we see this in the contributions of our employees to their communities and in times of crisis, such as the recent Chennai floods; we see this in the work of the Infosys Foundations; and we see this perhaps most clearly in our work in our facilities. Our team, led by Ramadas Kamath, continues to set new standards in our commitments to reduce electricity consumption. Our beautiful Hyderabad campus is another great example of this commitment," Dr. Vishal Sikka, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Infosys said.
 
According to the release, this year Infosys became the first Indian company to join the global RE100 campaign. By the end of fiscal 2015, the company reduced its per capita consumption of electricity by 46%. About 30% of its energy requirements are now being met through renewable sources.
 
The company has 14 LEED Platinum rated buildings and four buildings with the Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment ( GRIHA) 5 star rating, making it a total of about 5.3 million sq.ft  of buildings having the highest level of green certification
 
Mr. Ramadas Kamath, Executive Vice President and Head - Infrastructure, Facilities, Administration, Security and Sustainability, Infosys, said, “Companies have a responsibility to the communities in which they are present and sustainable development and climate change are issues that businesses need to get actively involved in. We hope other companies will emulate us, aligning to the goals committed by India at COP21, Paris, with an overall objective of creating a sustainable future.”
 
The Infosys IT SEZ at Pocharam is a 450-acre campus. The Phase-1 of this campus has a built-up area of 30 lakh sq. ft. with 16,000 seats, software development blocks, residential training facilities, food courts, recreational facilities, multi-level car park, water treatment plant, sewage treatment plant, and utility blocks.
 
"The campus has been recognized globally as one of the greenest campuses with world-class innovation in sustainability. The campus was the first to adopt radiant cooling technology in India. Several other features of the campus such as the high performance façade, naturally-lit office spaces, efficient water management with smart metering, super-efficient chiller plants, lakes for rainwater harvesting, and a biogas plant for waste treatment have been exemplary for the industry. The building Energy Performance Index (EPI) of 75 kWh/sq. m per annum is among the lowest in the industry globally and is a benchmark for others to achieve," it said.
 
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Mukherjee presents copy of book on Rashtrapati Nilayam to Governor Narasimhan

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President Pranab Mukherjee presented a copy of a book on  Rashtrapati Nilayam, Secunderabad to Mr. E S L Narasimhan, Governor of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh at Secunderabad here yesterday.
 
Ms. Anuradha Naik, conservation architect from Hyderabad,who has authored the chapters on Bolarum and the Rashtrapati Nilayam in the book, was also present on the occasion.
 
The book titled ‘The Presidential Retreats of India’, which features the Rashtrapati Nilayam and The Retreat at Mashobra, Shimla, was commissioned by the President’s Secretariat and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA). It has been published by Publications Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and will be available soon for public in its outlets. 
 
The book was formally released here by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on December 11, the birthday of the President. 
 
The book has been edited by eminent author Gillian Wright, who has also contributed a chapter on life in the Rashtrapati Nilayam. 
 
Award winning photographer Andre Jeanpierre Fanthome has taken the photographs.
 
The chapters on Rashtrapati Nilayam are titled “The Supreme Commander’s Southern Retreat: Bolarum”, “Of Presidents, Residents and their Residence: The Story of the Rashtrapati Nilayam” and “The Southern Sojourn”.
 
According to an official press release, some of the important findings contained in the book are:
 
·     The Residency House, Bolarum was constructed in 1833. Until then, the British Residency in Koti, which was constructed in 1803, was the principal home of the Resident. The one in Bolarum was built so the Resident could remain closer to his troops and away from the Nizam’s court and the bazaars.
 
·     The location of the Residency House was carefully chosen. It is protected by the Secunderabad cantonment to the south and the Bolarum cantonment to the north.
 
·     Despite the tensions that existed between the British and the Nizam during the entire 19th century, the Resident and the ruler lived side by side as neighbours at Bolarum.
 
·     Although colonial in appearance, the building was constructed using local materials and labour provided by the Nizam’s Government.
 
·     A quotation for the electrification of the Residency House given in 1914 has been discovered which provides the original layout of the building and organization of rooms. The arrangement of rooms is distinctive of the British colonial style of architecture, indicating that although the building was built and supervised by local masons and contractors, it was designed by a British engineer.
 
·     Another element of colonial design was the separation of the kitchen from the main house. At the Residency House, the two are connected by a vaulted tunnel with submarine-like skylights, creating a fantastic and quirky route for a wholly domestic purpose.
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·     The simplicity of the bungalow’s exterior was made up for by the grandeur of its interiors. Remarkably, lying unseen for a century or more, records still survive that make it possible to reconstruct a detailed picture of how the Residency House would have looked.
 
·     The Residents’ wives aspired to standards nothing short of the Nizam’s.In a letter to Sir Faridoon Jung, following the electrification of the Residency and the replacement of lamps, Lady Violet Pinhey wrote, “…the present lighting are those old chandeliers, very fine in themselves but, not having candles now in their empty brackets, look very ugly. I want them made with lamps like H.H. has at King Kothi”.
 
·     In the last decade leading up to Independence, the Resident gave up the use of the Hyderabad Residency altogether and moved to Bolarum due to the activity at the cantonment during the Second World War.
 
·     Research has revealed that the first mention of troops in this area comes from November 1782. Bolarum itself first became a military base when the Russell Brigade was formed in 1812. It is not correct that Bolarum was an extension of Secunderabad and developed in the mid 19th century.
 
·     Bolarum was always a small military cantonment, and was given the epithet, Chinna Lashkar or small encampment (chinna meaning small in Telugu), by the locals. Permanent construction in Bolarum began in 1841 (unlike Secunderabad where it began after 1860).
 
·     The most prominent of the houses in Bolarum were the Residency, the house of his First Assistant to the Resident, and the houses of the Nizam and Salar Jung. The Holy Trinity Church in Bolarum dating from 1846 was constructed on land donated by the Nizam, the cost of construction being borne by Queen Victoria. Nearly a century and a half later, Queen Elizabeth II visited the church with her husband Prince Phillip.
 
·     From records in the British Library, it has been possible to trace the visits of Viceroys to the Bolarum Residency. For example, in 1884 Lord Ripon stayed here when he came to formally invest the young Nizam Mahboob Ali Khan with administrative powers.  In 1919, after the First World War in which over 74,000 Indian soldiers laid down their lives, Lord Chelmsford held a reception here for British and Indian officers, and in 1944, in a crucial period of in modern India’s history, Lord Wavell chose to meet the Resident one-to-one as they played a round of golf on the neighbouring and historic course.
 
·     In 1947, the Residency House was transferred to the Nizam’s government, along with the Hyderabad Residency and other political buildings that were used by the British.
 
·     There were several proposals for the use of the Residency House in the eventful year between August 1947 and September 1948. The Department of Health of the Nizam’s government wished to make it a tuberculosis sanatorium and the Director of Education to use it as a public school that would have both Princes as students.
 
·     KM Munshi, India’s Agent General (5thJanuary – 21st September 1948) used it briefly as his residence on the recommendation of Lord Mountbatten from the 5th to the 15th of January 1949.
 
·     Following the merger of Hyderabad State with the Indian Union, the Military Governor, General J.N. Chaudhari, used it as his official residence. He entertained and met members of Hyderabad society at the Residency House.
 
·     The first chief minister of Hyderabad State, M K Vellodi (1949-1952) was sworn-in on the 1st of December 1949 in the grounds of the Residency House and used the building as his Secretariat.
 
·     In 1955, a decision was taken by the Government of India to make the Residency House the President’s “permanent seasonal residence in the south” and to rename the estate “Rashtrapati Nilayam.”
 
·     Interestingly, the suite of rooms in the east wing originally occupied by the Resident is today allocated to the President’s staff. The western suite of rooms that comprised the ballroom and rooms for guests of the Resident are today the President of India’s private rooms.
 
·     The focus of the Residency House has shifted from the inside to the outside. Beautifully maintained gardens and orchards now welcome visitors each winter, much to the delight of the Hyderabadi citizen. The magnificent granite boulders and grand old Tamarind, Mango, Banyan, Neem and Frangipani trees continue to charm each guest. Groves of mango, pomegranate, guava, custard-apple and coconut have been planted. A herbal garden and the Nakshatra garden, designed to represent the nine constellations, are meaningful additions to the landscape of the Nilayam.
 
·     The Presidents of India have placed importance on the Nilayam as a potent symbol of national integration as well as base to tour the south. The President’s visits to the Nilayam have come to be called the ‘Southern Sojourn’. 
 
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