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Hyderabad

Andhra techie strangled to death in "honour killing", parents held

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In an apparent case of "honour killing", a 26-year-old software engineer who got married three days to a colleague belonging to another caste was found strangled to death at her residence in Guntur yesterday morning, and police today arrested her parents as suspects in the case.
 
The girl was found dead in the house, strangled to death with a "chunni" (stole), police said.
 
Her parents, who were missing yesterday, were arrested from a nearby village today, they said.
 
The girl had got married herenon March 21 to her colleague, also a software engineer with a local firm.
 
According to her husband, her parents, on learning about the marriage, came here and persuaded the two of them to go with them to Guntur, along with his parents.
 
The youth and his parents checked into a hotel there, while the girl went with her parents.
 
When there was no answer to his calls to her mobile telephone, the youth got worried and informed the police, who went to her house and found her dead in one of the rooms.The girl's parents were not there.
 
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Shikhar Dhawan to lead SunRisers Hyderabad in IPL

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan
Batsman Shikhar Dhawan has been named the captain of SunRisers Hyderabad and Darren Sammy the vice-captain for the seventh season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) beginning April 16.
 
"Shikhar Dhawan, with his significant contribution as a batsman in the previous season, has retained his position in the team not just as a crucial opener in the batting order but as the appropriate choice to extend his captaincy role in Champions League to the upcoming IPL as well," a press release from the team said.
 
"Shikhar Dhawan with his reputation for a mesmerising stroke-maker, who mixes power and panache in equal measure, is sure to lead the pack with his team-building leadership streak," it said.
 
The release said Sammy was an integral part of the team’s success in the last season and will now support Dhawan "with his impressive contribution with both the bat and the ball".
 
"In top form as a right-handed batsman and a fast-medium bowler, Darren Sammy’s experience in the sport as an all-rounder, as West Indies Captain of the ongoing T20 World cricket and his consecutive association with the franchise promises to lead the players as a team all the way up to the playoffs as in the previous season," the release added.
 
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SpiceJet places $4.4 billion order for 42 B737 MAX 8s

Boeing B737 Max. Image: Boeing
Boeing B737 Max. Image: Boeing
Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet announced it had placed an order valued at $ 4.4 billion for 42 Boeing B737 MAX 8 aircraft.
 
The announcement was made jointly by SpiceJet and aircraft manufacturer Boeing at the India Aviation 2014 air show here. 
 
The order, previously listed as unidentified on the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website, is valued at $4.4 billion at list prices, a press release from Boeing said.
 
"SpiceJet greatly values the ties we have built over the years with Boeing. The Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft, the mainstay of the fleet ever since SpiceJet started operations, have vindicated our choice by their endurance, reliability and cost effectiveness," said Mr S.L. Narayanan, Group CFO for The Sun Group, which owns SpiceJet.
 
"The induction of Boeing 737 MAX will further modernize our fleet, improve customer experience, and ensure that we operate the most efficient fleet well into the future," he said.
 
According to the release, the 737 MAX brings the most advanced engine technologies to the world's best-selling airplane, building on the strengths of today's Next-Generation 737. 
 
"The 737 MAX incorporates the latest-technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market," it said.
 
"The order is a tremendous endorsement of the 737 MAX's unsurpassed fuel efficiency," said Mr Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president of Asia Pacific and India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The capabilities of the 737 MAX supports SpiceJet's mission to become India's preferred low-cost airline. We are very proud to be partners with SpiceJet and a part of the airline's continued success with the addition of the 737 MAX."
 
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The release said development of the 737 MAX was on schedule with firm configuration of the airplane achieved in July 2013. First flight is scheduled in 2016 with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017. 
 
"Already a market success, the 737 MAX has accumulated more than 1,800 orders to date and will have 8 percent lower per-seat operating costs than the future competition," it said.
 
With today's announcement, SpiceJet has ordered 90 airplanes directly from Boeing, which includes the 737-800, 737-900ER and now the 737 MAX. To date, SpiceJet has taken delivery of 31 of the airplanes, the release added.
 
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India Aviation 2014 to begin in Hyderabad on Wednesday

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The 4th International Exhibition and Conference on Civil Aviation, India Aviation 2014, will be organised jointly by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) at Begumpet Airport, Hyderabad for from tomorrow.
 
This year, the theme of the five-day event, the country’s largest civil aviation exhibition, will be ‘Enhancing Air Connectivity’. 
 
Minister for Civil Aviation Ajit Singh will formally inaugurate the show tomorrow and Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L Narasimhan will be the chief guest at the opening ceremony. 
 
Karnataka will be the state in focus at India Aviation, while the United States will be the partner country. France will be the guest country.
 
More than 250 exhibitors including Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Dassault and Rolls Royce are participating in the event. 
 
The biggest aircraft in the world, Airbus A-380 and Dreamliner Boeing 787, will be special attractions at the air show. 
 
The show will be open for general public on March 15 and 16. The initial three days are reserved exclusively for business community in which big deals are expected to be signed. At present, India ranks ninth with nearly 400 functional aircrafts and by 2020 the country will be in third position, with the number of aircrafts expected to go up to 1000. 
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To mark the occasion, aerobatics flying display will be presented by two teams from London. There will be two shows every day.
 
The Ambassador of France, Mr Francois Richier, Director of US Trade and Development Agency, Ms Leocadia I. Zak and Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Mr Ashok Lavasa are among those who will attend the exhibition.
 
CEOs Forum Conference, static displays and demonstration flights will be the other highlights of the event, an official press release added.
 
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Former Union Minister D Purandeswari joins BJP

D Purandeswari decided to join BJP over AP bifurcation
Former Union Minister Daggubati Purandeswari, who had quit the Congress last month in protest against the move to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh to carve out a new state of Telangana, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here yesterday.
 
Ms Purandeswari, 54, is the daughter of late Telugu film star and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N T Rama Rao.
 
Before formally joining the BJP in the presence of its president Rajnath Singh, she had called on party leaders L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley here yesterday.
 
Talking to newspersons, she said that she had been hurt by the manner in which the Telangana Bill had been pushed through Parliament
 
She said that the Bill, when introduced in the Lok Sabha, did not contain the many assurances that had been given by the Congress earlier to take care of the concerns expressed by people of the Seemandhra region.
 
Talking to mediapersons in the presence of senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu here yesterday, Ms Purandeswari recalled that she had sent in her resignation from the party to Congress President Sonia Gandhi as soon as the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha.
 
She said she had decided to join the BJP because she had been assured by it that the promises made by it to protect the interests of the Seemandhra region would be kept.
 
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Kiran Kumar Reddy announces plans for new party

Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who had quit office and the Congress on February 19 to protest against the decision to bifurcate the state to carve out a new state of Telangana, has announced his decision to form a new party ahead of the coming elections.

Kiran Kumar Reddy announces plans to float new political party
Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who had quit office and the Congress on February 19 to protest against the decision to bifurcate the state to carve out a new state of Telangana, has announced his decision to form a new party ahead of the coming elections to the Lok Sabha as well as the state legislative assembly.
 
"We are starting a new party to uphold the dignity and prestige of the Telugu people, not only in the state but wherever they are living," he told newspersons here yesterday.
 
Mr Reddy had resigned from office a day after, amid noisy schenes, the Lok Sabha passed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganizatin Bill, which sought to bifurcate the state to create Telangana as the 29th state of the Union.
 
He said the Government had violated rules, conventions and procedures while getting the Bill passed hastily and the manner in which it was done was insulting to the Telugu people.
 
He said the name, symbol, polices and programmes of the new party would be announced at a public meeting at Rajahmundry in coastal Andhra Pradesh on March 12.
 
He was flanked by some of the members of Parliament (MPs) who were expelled by the Congress for disrupting proceedings in the House on the Telangana issue.
 
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Former BJP President Bangaru Laxman passes away in Hyderabad

Bangaru Laxman
Bangaru Laxman
Former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Bangaru Laxman, who was caught on camera, in a sting operation by investigative news website Tehelka, accepting money in his room at the party's headquarters in 2001, passed away in a private hospital here this evening after a prolonged illness.
 
He would have turned 75 on March 17. He is survived by his wife, three daughters and a son. His wife Sushila was a member of the 14th Lok Sabha, representing Jalore in Rajasthan.
 
Mr Laxman, who was a former Union Minister, had been under treatment for a kidney ailment for some time and had been admitted to the Yashodha Hospital in Secunderabad on February 3. He breathed his last around 5.45 pm today after suffering a cardio-pulmonary arrest, hospital sources said.
 
Laxman was born on March 17, 1939. He joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at the age of 12. He completed his B.A. and LL.B. and worked for some time in the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Department, the Railways and the Accountant General's Office before resigning in 1969 to join the Jana Sangh, the predecessor of the BJP, to begin a full-time career in politics.
 
He was associated with several trade unions and was detained during the Emergency for more than 16 months.
 
He was the president of the Andhra Pradesh unit of the BJP between 1986 and 1988. He was a member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council from 1985 until it was abolished in 1986. 
 
He was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat in April 1996 and in October 1999 was inducted into the Union Council of Ministers as Minister of State in the Ministry of Planning and Programme Implementation. In November 1999, he was made Minister of State in the Ministry of Railways.
 
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Delhi Airport ranked 2nd, Mumbai 5th in 25-40 million category in ACI's ASQ Awards

A view of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi
A view of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi
Two Indian airports - Delhi and Mumbai - figure in the top five in the 25-40 million passengers per annum (MPPA) category in the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards for 2013 announced earlier this week in Montreal by the Airports Council International (ACI).
 
While the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in Delhi has been ranked second in the category for the third year in a row, the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) in Mumbai has been placed fifth.
 
Seoul's Incheon airport topped the category, while Taipei's Taoyuan and Shanghai's Hongqiao airports were placed third and fourth.
 
Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport was placed second in the 5-16 million passengers category.
 
IGIA was placed fifth among the Best Airports in the Asia Pacific Region, while Kolkata was chosen as the Best Improved airport in the region. 
 
IGIA scored 4.84 on the ASQ scale out of 5 points, a vast improvement over its ASQ score of 3.02 in 2007, ranking last in an universe of 101 airports.
 
“IGIA has come a long way in the last seven years since we took over. We have ensured that quality has become a way of life not just with DIAL employees but with all stakeholders of the IGI Airport family. We are confident that all 30,000 plus members of the IGI Airport family will continue to strive for excellence and we hope to improve our position even further in the coming years," Mr I Prabhakara Rao, CEO of Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) said.
 
IGIA now boasts of an annual passenger capacity of over 60 million, including the state of the art Terminal-3 (T3) which can handle 34 million passengers. 
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As many as 36.71 million passengers passed through IGIA in 2013 CY. The airport also handled almost 586 thousand metric tonnes of cargo and 309074 aircraft movements during the same period.
 
Since its creation in 2006, the ASQ Awards have become the world's leading airport passenger satisfaction benchmark with over 235 airports participating. The ASQ Awards recognize and reward the best airports in the world based on ACI's ASQ passenger satisfaction survey.
 
ACI is the only global trade representative of airports. The 573 members operate 1751 airports in 174 countries and territories. It is a non-profit organisation whose prime purpose is to represent the interests of airports and to promote professional excellence in airport management and operations.
 
The ASQ Awards are presented in four categories that include: Best Airport by Region, Best Airport by Size, Best Small Airport and Best Improvement.
 
The following is the list of awards:
 
Best Airport by Region (first place): Cape Town (Africa), Seoul Incheon (Asia-Pacific), Moscow Sheremetyevo (Europe), Guayaquil (Latin America-Caribbean), Abu Dhabi (Middle East), Indianapolis (North America).
 
Best Airport by Size* (first place): Changchun (2-5m), Haikou (5-15m), Seoul Gimpo (15-25m), Seoul Incheon (25-40m), Singapore (over 40m).
* Millions of Passengers Per year
 
Best Small* Airport by Region (first place): Upington (Africa), Skopje (Europe), Quebec City (North America), Mazatlan (Latin America-Caribbean), Langkawi (Asia-Pacific).
* Fewer than 2 million passengers per year
 
Best Improvement by Region (first place): East London (Africa), Kolkata (Asia-Pacific), Gothenburg (Europe), Nassau (Latin America-Caribbean), Amman (Middle East), San Antonio (North America).
 
ASQ 2013 Top Performers
BEST AIRPORT BY REGION
Africa: 1. Cape Town 2. Durban 3. Mauritius 4. Cairo 5. Johannesburg 
Asia-Pacific: 1. Seoul Incheon 2. Singapore 3. Beijing 4. Shanghai Pudong 
5. New Delhi
Europe: 1. Moscow Sheremetyevo 2. Zurich 3. Porto 4. Keflavik 5. Malta
Latin America-Caribbean: 1. Guayaquil 2. Cancun 3. Montego Bay 4. Nassau 
5. Puerto Vallarta 
Middle East: 1. Abu Dhabi 2. Dubai 3. Doha 4. Tel Aviv 5. Amman
North America: 1. Indianapolis 2. Ottawa 3. Tampa 4. Sacramento 
5. Jacksonville
BEST AIRPORT BY REGION: FEWER THAN 2 MILLION PASSENGERS PER YEAR
Latin America-Caribbean: Mazatlan 
Asia-Pacific: Langkawi
Africa: Upington 
Europe: Skopje
North America: Quebec City
BEST AIRPORT BY SIZE 
2-5 million passengers: 1. Changchun 2. Guayaquil 3. Ottawa 4. Halifax 5. Grand Rapids 
5-15 million passengers:1. Haikou 2. Hyderabad 3. Tianjin 4. Wuhan 5. Harbin
15-25 million passengers: 1. Seoul Gimpo 2. Chongqing 3. Tampa 4. Salt Lake City 5. Zurich
25-40 million passengers: 1. Seoul Incheon 2. New Delhi 3. Taipei Taoyuan 4. Shanghai Hongqiao 5. Mumbai 
Over 40 million passengers: 1. Singapore 2. Beijing 3. Shanghai Pudong 4. Hong Kong 5. Guangzhou
BEST IMPROVEMENT
Africa: East London 
Asia-Pacific: Kolkata
Europe: Gothenburg
Latin America-Caribbean: Nassau
Middle East: Amman
North America: San Antonio
 
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Site clearance given for greenfield airport at Ongole in Andhra Pradesh

 
Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation K C Venugupal told informed Parliament that the Government had granted "site clearance" to Prakasham Airport Pvt Ltd for setting up of a greenfield airport at Ongole in Prakasham district of Andhra Pradesh.
 
In written replies to questions in the Rajya Sabha, he also said that the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad was among the airports identified for development as an international hub.
 
An `international airport` is an airport designated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Contracting State in whose territory it is situated as an airport of entry and departure for international air traffic. 
 
At such airports, formalities relating to Customs, immigration, public health, agricultural quarantine and similar procedures are carried out. On the other hand, a hub is an `international airport’ where facilities are planned to handle large volume of transfer/connecting passengers along with one or more carriers having a base at the airport with ability to provide wide network on domestic to domestic, domestic to international, international to domestic and international to international sectors. 
 
Besides Hyderabad Airport, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai International Airports have been identified for development as international hubs. 
 
As per the decision of the Union Cabinet in its meeting held on 9th May, 2013, a standing Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) has been constituted to remove the bottlenecks and to provide the right coordination mechanism for the development of aviation hubs in India. 
 
Mr Venugopal said that, in the last three years, the Government had granted `in principle` approval to three greenfield airport projects: Karaikal in Pudducherry (2011), Shirdi in Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra (2011) and Aranmula in Kerala (2012). 
 
The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad is a greenfield that has already been made functional, he added.
 
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LS passes Telangana Bill amid noisy scenes; Jagan calls for Andhra strike

The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill, which seeks to carve out a new state of Telangana out of the existing state of Andhra Pradesh, by a voice vote amid noisy scenes.

Telangana Bill passed in Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha today passed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill, which seeks to carve out a new state of Telangana out of the existing state of Andhra Pradesh, by a voice vote amid noisy scenes.
 
The brief debate on the Bill was marked by a blackout of the live telecast of the proceedings and a walkout by members of the Janata Dal (United) and Trinamool Congress (TMC).
 
The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was amongst the parties which supported the Bill.
 
While the JD (U) objected to the manner in which the discussion was rushed through in the House, the TMC members were angered by the fact that there was no telecast of the debate.
 
Government sources said the blackout was caused by a technical hitch, but its detractors said it was a tactical move.
 
An amendment moved by Hyderabad MP Asauddin Owaisi, seeking to make the city the capital of only Telangana and not of both states for ten years as proposed in the Bill, was defeated.
 
YSR Congress president Jaganmohan Reddy, who was among the Seemandhra members suspended from the House on February 13 for unruly behaviour during the introduction of the Bill, said today was a "black day" in the history of the country and called for a general strike in Andhra Pradesh tomorrow.
 
"We saw democracy being killed in broad daylight. The issue was taken up undemocratically against the will of the people of Andhra,” he told journalists.
 
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who moved the Bill for consideration amid the din the House, said the Seemandhra region, consisting of the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh, would get a special financial package.
 
The Bill is now expected to be taken up for consideration by the Rajya Sabha tomorrow.
 
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There was some commotion when some of the suspended members attempted to enter the House while the Bill was being debated and were stopped by marshals.
 
There was unusually tight security in the Parliament House complex today after last week's incident in which expelled Congress member from Vijayawada used pepper spray in the House to disrupt the proceedings. Ambulances and fire tenders were on standby. Barricades were set up on the roads leading to Parliament.
 
Before the Bill was taken up for consideration and passage, the Speaker informed the House that she had received notices of a lack of confidence in the Governent and requested for order so that she could ascertain if they were backed by 50 MPs. The notices were given by Seemandhra MPs.
 
When the din continued, with some members in the well of the House, she allowed Mr Shinde to move the Telangana Bil for consideration.
 
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Aditya Rao redesignated as VC and MD of Pennar Industries

 
Pennar Industries today said its Board of Directors had redesignated Its Vice-Chairman Aditya Rao as Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of the company.
 
A press release from the company said he would be responsible for managing its operations and implementation of its strategic growth plans.
 
Mr Rao has previously established two of the fastest growing subsidiaries of Pennar Industries -- Pennar Engineered Building Systems and Pennar Enviro, the release added.
 
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SKS Microfinance completes securitisation deal of Rs 55.56 crore

 
SKS Microfinance Limited, India's only listed micro-lender, has said that it has completed a securitisation deal of Rs 55.56 crore -- its fifth  -- with a private sector bank.
 
The company said in a press release here yesterday that, with this, the total sum of securitizations completed during FY14 is Rs. 727.37 crore. 
 
The first four substantial securitizations were: Rs. 321 crore (on September 30),   Rs. 80.81 crore (on December 11), Rs. 215 crore (on December 19) and Rs. 55 crore (on December 30).
 
"SKS Microfinance Limited has downloaded the receivables from micro loans extended to more than 60,000 rural women entrepreneurs to a Special Purpose Vehicle, and Pass Through Certificates (PTCs) have been purchased by a private sector bank. The entire pool qualifies for priority sector treatment as per RBI's priority sector lending guidelines," the release said.
 
"The pool is rated A1 + (SO) by a leading rating agency signifying ‘a very strong degree of safety regarding timely servicing of financial obligation’.  Such instruments carry the lowest credit risk," the release added.
 
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GVK Biosciences to acquire US-based Aragen Bioscience

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Small-molecule contract research organization (CRO) GVK Biosciences today said it would acquire the capital stock of the United States-based privately-held pre-clinical CRO Aragen Bioscience, which specialises in high-value biologics services.
 
The acquisition will provide GVK Bio with world-class expertise in large molecule R&D services and a unique and extensive set of high-content biological services, a press release from the company said.
 
"Combined with GVK Bio’s established small molecule discovery and development capabilities, this expansion will uniquely position GVK Bio as a leading provider of integrated R&D services across both large and small molecule platforms and provides a base for further expansion," it said.
 
The release said the deal would enable GVK Bio to expand its service offering to a broader base of organizations and gives it expertise in biologics services and a significant US presence.  
 
The acquisition provides Aragen with the ability to expand its service offerings, access to GVK Bio's global sales force and access to new markets.   
 
"As an increasing number of biotech and pharmaceutical companies focus on protein based therapeutics and bio-similars, the acquisition of Aragen Bioscience will strategically enhance GVK Bio’s ability to offer high quality R&D services to the industry from a seamless integrated platform," Mr D. S. Brar, Chairman, GVK Bio, said.
 
"Aragen’s scientific excellence and expertise in large-molecule R&D services combined with GVK Bio's scale, resources, and global reach will create significant synergies for both companies," Mr Rick Srigley, President & CEO, Aragen Bioscience, said.
 
This is GVK Bio’s first international acquisition; the financial details were not disclosed. 
 
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High performance computing system Dhruva-3 inaugurated

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Dhruva-3, the latest in a series of indigenous high-performance computing systems, designed and set up by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), was inaugurated in Hyderabad yesterday by DRDO Director General Avinash Chander, who is also the Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister.
 
The new system was inaugurated at the Advanced Numerical Research and Analysis Group (ANURAG) in Hyderabad.
 
Mr Chander said Dhruva-3 is a high-end facility and very useful for the design of aircraft, particularly Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) and other such aircraft where analysis of aerodynamics at high speed and under different conditions is required.
 
“It is one of the fastest computing facilities in the country and will also play a very good role in cyber security and information processing," he said.
 
Mr Chander appreciated the multi-dimensional capabilities acquired by ANURAG while retaining its core strength. He also visited various Work Centres in ANURAG and saw the indigenous microprocessors, System-on-Chips and Trusted Computing Systems developed by ANURAG. 
 
Dr K D Nayak, Distinguished Scientist & DG (Microelectronic Devices and Computational Systems), Mr C  VS Sastry, Outstanding Scientist & Director ANURAG and other senior DRDO officials were present during the event.
 
Mr Sastry said Dhruva-3 would be used for designing aero-frame structures, stress analysis of materials and simulation of complex systems. 
 
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Legendary Telugu film actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao passes away

Legendary Telugu film actor, producer and writer Akkineni Nageswara Rao, popularly known as ANR, passed away at a private hospital in Hyderabad on Wednesay morning.

Akkineni Nageswara Rao
Akkineni Nageswara Rao
Legendary Telugu film actor, producer and writer Akkineni Nageswara Rao, popularly known as ANR, passed away at a private hospital here this morning.
 
He was 90. He is survived by three daughters and two sons, one of whom is actor Nagarjuna. His wife Annapurna had predeceased him in 2011.
 
The actor, who was suffering from cancer, was rushed to the Care Hospital here around 2 am today after his condition worsened.
 
Sources at the hospital told NetIndian that he breathed his last at 2.45 am today.
 
His body was shifted to his residence and will be later kept at his Annapurna Studio here for his fans and admirers to pay their last respects.
 
Nageswara Rao had acted in 256 films during a long and distinguished career that lasted nearly 75 years. He had also appeared in several Tamil films.
 
Nageswara Rao was honoured by the Government with the Padma Vibhushan, the nation's second highest civilian honour, in 2011 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the top honour in Indian cinema, in 1990.
 
Born on September 20, 1923, Nageswara Rao was the youngest of five brothers in a poor farming family. His formal education was limited to primary schooling because of his parents' poor economic condition.
 
He started out as a stage actor, specialising in playing female characters because women, at that time, were not allowed to act.
 
Akkineni Nageswara Rao Passes Away
He had acquired quite a bit of fame as a stage artiste when a chance meeting with well-known producer Ghantasala Balaramaiah at the Vijayawada railway station led to a role in Dharmapatni, his first film, at the age of 17.
 
Over the next seven decades, he built an unparalleled career, winning three Filmfare Best Telugu Actor Awards along the way and travelling all over the world.
 
He is also credited with helping Telugu films move out of Chennai by building a base for them in Hyderabad. He established his own 22 acre production house, named Annapurna Studios after his wife, to facilitate this process.
 
During his career, Nageswara Rao played  a variety of roles, from a charming prince to a frustrated alcoholic lover, from a brave soldier to a saint, and from a college student to a government official. He did many mythological roles, including as Abhimanyu, Lord Vishnu, Narada and Arjuna. He also appeared in several comic roles as he emerged as the first Telugu superstar.
 
Some of the films in which he appeared are Maya Bazaar, Chenchu Lakshmi,  Bhookailash, Sri Krishnarjuna Yuddham, Balaraju, Rojulu Maraayi, Namminabantu, Missamma, Chakrapani, Preminchi Choodu, Laila Majnu, Anarkali, Batasari, Prem Nagar, Premabhishekam and Meghasandesham.
 
Premabhishekam, directed by Dasari Narayana Rao, is one of the biggest hits in Tollywood with an amazing 533-day run in Hyderabad.
 
Nageswara Rao was the first to do a double role in Telugu films and also played nine roles in Navarathri. He won acclaim for his portrayal of an alcoholic jilted lover in Devadasu, based on Sarat Chandra's famous Bengali character Devadas.
 
Other notable films done by him included Samsaram, Bratuku Teruvu, Aradhana, Donga Ramudu, Dr. Chakravarthi, Ardhaangi, Mangalya Balam, Illarikam, Shantinivasam, Velugu Needalu, Dasara Bullodu, Bharya Bhartalu, Dharmadata, Batasari, and College Bullodu.
 
Sitaramayyagari Manavaralu was released in 1991, 50 years after his debut, and was a huge success at the box office, though newer and younger stars had arrived on the scene.
 
ANR had enacted the roles of literary and cultural icons of different regions in India such as the great Sanskrit poet Mahakavi Kalidas of Ujjain; the celebrated musician saint  Bhakta Jayadeva of Odisha; the temple sculptor, Amarasilpi Jakkanna of Karnataka; the devotee saint Vipranarayana of Tamil Nadu; and the singer Bhakta Tukaram.
 
In October 2013, Nageswara Rao had held a press conference at which he announed that he had been diagnosed with intestinal cancer. He had recently undergone surgery and was reported to be recovering well.
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Nageswara Rao had plans to appear in a Telugu family drama, Manam, with his son Nagarjuna and grandson Naga Chaitanya.
 
He was also a prolific writer and his books include an autobiogaphical work,  Nenu Na Jeevitham, an account of his first visit to the United States, Nenu Choosina America, and the recent Manasuloni Maata, a reflective work.
 
He established the ANR National Award in 2005, which is given annually to a person for his or her lifetime achievement in the Indian film industry.
 
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Dr. Reddy’s, Galena Biopharma announce partnership for NeuVax in India

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Pharmaceutical major Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. today said it had entered into a strategic partnership with Galena Biopharma of the United States to develop and commercialize NeuVax (nelipepimut-S) in India. 
 
NeuVax is a vaccine aimed at preventing the recurrence of breast cancer in patients under remission, a press release from the company said.
 
According to it, under the terms of the agreement, Galena, which is based in Portland, Oregon, will license commercial rights of NeuVax to Dr. Reddy’s for breast and gastric cancers. 
 
Dr. Reddy’s will lead the development of NeuVax in gastric cancer, and help significantly expand the scope of therapy by addressing a new patient population. 
 
"Galena will receive development and sales milestones, as well as double-digit royalties on net sales. The licensing and development terms are conditioned to an agreement on ancillary activities," the release said.
 
“NeuVax promises to meet significant unmet need in breast cancer and gastric cancer patients especially due to late diagnosis for majority of the patients in India and therefore may have high probability of relapse of the disease," Mr Alok Sonig, Senior Vice President and Head of India Business (Generics), said.
 
“NeuVax potentially will reduce the risk of relapse significantly as demonstrated in successful phase 2 trials” he added.
 
“This partnership with Dr. Reddy’s is consistent with our strategy to expand the clinical utility of NeuVax in unmet medical needs while simultaneously increasing the commercial footprint of this innovative cancer immunotherapy,” said Mr Mark J. Ahn, Ph.D., President and CEO of Galena Biopharma.  
 
“Dr. Reddy’s is a global pharmaceutical company with significant commercialization and development expertise. The gastric cancer trial will add a significant indication to our pipeline for NeuVax, while doubling our potential patient population if approved," he added.
 
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Volvo bus fire: AP police arrest 4 employees of Bangalore travel firm

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The Andhra Padesh Police's Crime Investigation Department (CID) today said it had arrested four employees of Jabbar Travels, a private firm in Bangalore, in connection with the fire on one of its Volvo buses which killed 45 people, including an infant, on October 30 last year.
 
Additional Director General of Police (CID) T Krishna Prasad said that, during the course of investigations, a CID team had visited Bangaloe and arrested the four employees -- Syed Akram Ahmad, Shabbir Khan, Amanulah Khan and Mohammed Rafeeq -- who are being forwarded to judicial custody.
 
The bus was on a journey from Bangalore to Hyderabad when it hit a culvert in the median near Palem village in Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh around 5 am on October 30 and burst into flames when its diesel tank was ruptured in the impact of the crash.
 
The bus, which belonged to Jabbar Travels, was said to be carrying about 52 people, including its driver and cleaner. There were six survivors, including the driver and the cleaner.
 
On the next day, the driver of the bus, Fairoz Basha, and Shakeen Jabbar, owner of the firm, were arrested and sent to judicial custody.
 
Mr Prasad said the CID investigation was based on a multi-disciplinary approach to examine the criminal culpability of, among others, Volvo, the manufacturers of the bus, and its distributors, the owners of the bus, the RTA authorities in Bangalore who gave the permit, the RTA authorities in Hyderabad, the bus operator, the National Highway authorities, and the National Highway contractors.
 
From the available evidence, the CID will slap relevant sections of the Motor Vehicle Act and the Indian Penal Code against the accused, he added.
 
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Dr. Reddy’s to launch Optidoz for treatment of hypertension

Pharmaceuticals major Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories today said that its Optidoz, a drug for the treatment of hypertension had been approved and woud be made available in the Indian market.
 
A press release from the company said Optidoz is a single pill combination of three anti-hypertensive drugs (Amlodipine 2.5mg, Telmisartan 20mg and Hydrochlorothiazide 6.25mg) with optimal (half of standard) dose of individual drugs.
 
It said the efficacy and safety of Optidoz had been established through a clinical study approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). 
 
The release said Optidoz would simplify the traditional, complicated step-care treatment approach for hypertension management. The prolonged blood pressure control with minimal adverse effects is expected to improve efficacy response in normalizing the blood pressure due to good tolerability with Optidoz and enhanced compliance in patients.
 
According to it, hypertension is the most prevalent chronic disease in India. Approximately 32% of the adult Indian population suffers from high blood pressure. Over the last six decades, the prevalence has increased twelve-fold in urban areas and seven-fold in rural areas. 
 
"While over 125 anti-hypertensive drugs are available in the Indian market, 76% cases of blood pressure still remain uncontrolled. Such a paradox is attributed to ineffective drug doses and non-adherence to therapy, which may lead to disease progression of co-morbid conditions like heart disease, heart failure, stroke and kidney diseases," the release added.
 
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Telugu film actor Uday Kiran commits suicide: police

Telugu actor Uday Kiran allegedly commits suicide
Young Telugu film actor Uday Kiran allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself with a rope from the ceiling of his his house in the posh Banjara Hills area here last night, police said today.
 
He was 33.
 
Police said the actor's wife Vishita had gone out to attend a function and he was alone in the house when he allegedly killed himself.
 
His wife and some neighbours rushed him to the Jubilee Hills Apollo Hospital where doctors declared him dead on arrival.
 
Police are investigating the reasons for the extreme step, but they said he appeared to have been in financial difficulties, with not many acting assignments in hand. He had returned recently from a visit to Chennai, they said.

No suicide note was found in the room, but police have recovered his mobile telephone, they said.
 
Police have registered a case of death under mysterious circumstances. Investigators conducted a preliminary examination in the room where Uday Kiran took the extreme step.
 
Born on June 26, 1980, Uday Kiran Vajapeyajula was a graduate in commerce from Wesley College in Secunderabad. He began his career with a stint in modeling before taking up acting.
 
He made his Tollywood debut under director Teja in Chitram in 2000, in which he played the lead character of a 17-year-old. That and his next two films -- Nuvvu Nenu and Manasantha Nuvve -- were big successes at the box office and earned him the title "Hat-trick Hero".
 
He later did romantic roles in films like Nee Sneham and Kalusukovalani. In 2001, he won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor - Telugu for his role as a hot-blooded youngster in the film Nuvvu Nenu. In the process, he became the youngest winner of the Filmfare best actor award after Kamal Haasan.
 
In 2006, He made his Tamil debut with the film Poi, directed by veteran K. Balachander. 
 
Some of his other movies include Sreeram, Avunanna Kaadanna, Nuvvekaddunte Nenakkadunta and Jai Sriram. In all, he had acted in 19 Telugu and Tamil films and won several awards.
 
He was engaged to actor Chiranjeevi's daughter Sushmitha in 2003, but it was called off later. Media reports of that time quoted Chiranjeevi as saying in a statement that the decision to call off the proposed wedding was taken by the two families due to "lack of compatibility" between the couple and "variation between their hopes and aspirations for the future".
 
Uday Kiran married Vishitha on October 24, 2012.
 
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Rashtrapati Nilayam Gardens in Secunderabad to open for public viewing from Jan 6-12

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The gardens at Rashtrapati Nilayam, Bolarum, Secunderabad, one of the two Presidential retreats in the country, will open for public viewing for a week from tomorrow from 1000 hours to 1700 hours.
 
The gardens of Rashtrapati Nilayam include landscaped gardens, seasonal flowering plants and display of potted plants around the main building, ‘Jai Hind Ramp’ with cascading water, gardens of mango, sapota, pomegranate, guava, amla, coconut and cheeku and a herbal garden.
 
The herbal garden has 116 species of medicinal and aromatic plants like Sarpgandha, Kalabandha, Citronella, Lemon grass, Khus, Geranium, Coriander, Sandalwood, Tuber rose, Jasmine, Kalmegh andTulsi in an area of about 7000 sq. mtrs.
 
Rain harvesting measures undertaken to improve ground water sustainability can also be seen, an official press release added.
 
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Silver refining plant set up at India Government Mint in Hyderabad

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A state-of-the-art silver refining plant has been set up at the India Government Mint in Hyderabad to cater to the needs of jewellers, temples and other organizations in the region.
 
The plant was inaugurated by Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL) Chairman and Managing Director M S Rana on December 19.
 
The plant has been supplied by Balestri Impianti, Italy, at a total cost of Rs.3.50 crores. It has got a melting capacity of 30 MTs of silver per annum. Its process is based on electrolytic refining for more than 70% purity input and acid process for low touch silver.
 
An official press release said the plant can produce refined silver to the purity of 999.0 to 999.9. The plant consists of medium frequency converter which works on a power output of 35 KW. The melting furnace has got a crucible of 45 kg of silver and the melting time is 20 to 30 minutes at a temperature of 1250°C (max). 
 
The release said India Government Mint, Hyderabad, follows IS 2113:2002 (reaffirmed 2010) for Assaying Silver in Silver and Silver Alloys for assaying of silver. This plant conforms to the European Standard C€ 2006/42/EC for pollution and environmental compliance. 
 
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Mukherjee to visit UP, Maharashtra on December 27-28

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President Pranab Mukherjee, who is currently on his winter sojourn at Rashtrapati Nilayam in Secunderabad, will undertake a two-day visit to Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra from tomorrow.
 
In Uttar Pradesh, Mr Mukherjee will inaugurate the 37th Indian Social Science Congress-2013 at Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh tomorrow.
 
In Maharashtra, also tomorrow, he will inaugurate the 66th annual session of Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers (IIChE), CHEMCON 2013 at Institute of Chemical Technology at Mumbai. 
 
He will also inaugurate the 10th World Zoroastrian Congress at National Sports Club of India, Worli, Mumbai on the same day. 
 
On Saturday, the President will unveil the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at Thane. 
 
On the same day, he will inaugurate the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Tribal Research & Training Institute at Pune and also unveil the statue of Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj at All India Shri Shivaji Memorial Society, Pune. 
 
The President will return to Secunderabad on Saturday, an official press release added.
 
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Venkatraman Ramakrishnan calls for rational use of antibiotics

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Nobel laureate and structural biologist Prof. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has underscored the need for rational use of antibiotics to counter antibiotic resistance.
 
Delivering a lecture after presenting the prestigious B. M. Birla science prizes here yesterday evening, Prof. Ramakrishnan said that to check bacteria's antibiotic resistance, there should be constant surveillance and programmes by authorities to check infection.
 
He also suggested good public healthcare and preventive medicine in this regard. Besides, preventive healthcare was more cost-effective than treating a person after he or she acquired a disease, he said.
 
It was the government's job to ensure proper medicare to the people, he said, citing the example of how the cleaner of the building where he stays in the United Kingdom went to the same doctor as he goes, thanks to the government's healthcare schemes in that country.
 
Prof Ramakrishnan said that, in India, poor people who could not afford to go to a doctor prefer to go to the chemists who gave them antibiotics to treat their ailments which is not good. He said such over the counter sale of antibiotics without doctor's prescriptions should be stopped.
 
He pointed out that the people taking antibiotics also tend to stop them once they feel better which was also not good, adding that unless the full course of antibiotics was taken, the people who stopped antibiotics would develop resistance.
 
Prof. Ramakrishnan suggested that, instead of private companies, governments and non-profit organisations should fund antibiotic research.
 
The Nobel laureate presented awards to Dr G. Vaitheeswaran of the University of Hyderabad for physics, Dr Vikas Kumar Dubey of the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, and Dr. Ganesh Naggaraju of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, both for biology.
 
The award carries Rs.one lakh cash prize per subject besides a plaque and a citation.
 
B. M. Birla Science Centre Director B.G.Sidharth, who welcomed the gathering, said that  the awards, instituted at the instance of Nobel laureate Prof. Abdus Salam, were given each year since 1990 for oustanding contributions by young Indian scientists not more than 40 years of age for work done in India in the four fields of mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology.
 
Many past awardees had gone on to win national and international acclaim, Dr. Sidharth added. 
 
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Kiran Reddy leads all party delegation from AP to PM on award on Krishna waters

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N.Kiran Kumar Reddy led an all-party delegation that met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the latter's residence in Delhi yesterday and presented a memorandum to him on on the "injustice" done to the state due to the award of the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal on Krishna waters.
 
Later, the delegation members claimed that the Prime Minister had assured them that no injustice would be done to the state and that the Union Minister concerned would be asked to look into it.
 
The delegation reached Delhi late on Thursday night and met Dr Singh on Friday.
 
The team consisted of two representatives each from the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Communist Party of India (CPI), the CPI (Marxist), the Loksatta, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the YSR Congress and the Majlis.
 
The memorandum said the report of the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-II (KWDT-II), headed by Justice Brijesh Kumar Tribunal, would have immense negative impact on the agrarian scenario and the economy of Andhra Pradesh.
 
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18 kgs of gold seized at Hyderabad airport from three passengers from Singapore

 
Customs officials seized 18 kgs of gold from three passengers who arrived at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamsabad here today on a flight from Singapore.
 
The market value of the gold seized was Rs.20 crores, official sources said.
 
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