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Infosys, Cornell University’s Center of Hospitality Research to collaborate on industry research

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IT services major Infosys today said it had entered into a research agreement with Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration in the United States.
 
As part of this one-year partnership, Infosys will join the School of Hotel Administration’s Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) advisory board. 
 
"With its deep domain knowledge and an understanding of the problems that clients in hospitality industry face, Infosys will be able to play a significant role in shaping high quality research," a press release from Infosys said.
 
According to it, Infoss will actively participate in the research process at CHR and work with leading hospitality researchers and CHR partners to make the research agenda more relevant to the industry’s current needs.
 
Infosys will also participate in judging the annual Industry Relevance Awards. These awards recognize faculty research at Cornell School of Hotel Administration.
 
Mr Michael C. Sturman, Associate Dean and Academic Director, Cornell Center for Hospitality Research, said, "Infosys is a tremendous addition to CHR’s partner group. Their business solutions operate at the nexus of the hospitality and leisure industry’s transformational efforts to blend technology with personal service, which is a particular focus of CHR’s research efforts. I greatly appreciate the addition of Infosys to our Advisory Board.”
 
Mr Manish Tandon, Executive Vice President and Global Head, Life Sciences and Services, Infosys, said: “Today, the hospitality industry is experiencing technology-driven disruptions, forcing providers to find new ways to engage with customers and at the same time reinvent their core business. The scale of this challenge requires industry and academia to partner to find the best solutions. By combining our track record of providing cutting-edge technology solutions in the hospitality industry and the best-in-class talent at the Center for Hospitality Research, we hope to identify the right problems and define solutions that can reinvigorate the industry.”
 
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Google Maps to provide Indian drivers with lane recommendations

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Internet search and advertising giant Google today said it had introduced a new lane guidance feature for Google Maps on Android and iOS in India. 
 
With the Google Maps app for iPhone/iPad and Android, users will now be able to see and hear voice-guided instructions signaling which lane they should stay in or move to while in navigation mode, a press release from the company said.
 
It said lane guidance within Google Maps for mobile will be available for major roads across 20 Indian cities: Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Mysore, Nagpur, Pune, Surat, Thiruvananthapuram, Vadodara and Visakhapatnam. 
 
Drivers will also be able to receive lane guidance on major Indian expressways, including the Mumbai-Pune expressway, it said.
 
"Starting today, drivers in India can enjoy the turn-by-turn, voice-guided instructions in English as well as Hindi. Hindi speakers can choose to set Hindi as their preferred language by selecting the Hindi option within the 'Language and input' menu found in their phone’s Settings menu. In addition to the English and Hindi voice guidance, users can also opt into the English (India) language preference on their phones to hear the voice-guided instructions spoken back to them in English in the Indian accent.
 
Suren Ruhela, Director Product and Program Management, Google said, “Our goal is to continue making Google Maps for mobile into a handy travel companion for your daily commutes and trips around India, and we hope the new lane guidance will help make road travels easier to navigate for English and Hindi speaker across the country.”
 
Today’s launch of lane guidance within Google Maps for mobile is the latest effort in a series of initiatives to make Google Maps more useful for users in India.
 
In July 2014, Google launched Google Maps in Hindi so that people could see Hindi names for cities, localities, important roads, as well as popular points of interest such as public parks and schools, on Google Maps.
 
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BHEL wins Rs 1202 crore order for 370 MW power project in Karnataka

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The public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) today said it had  bagged a contract for setting up a Combined Cycle Power Plant (CCPP) in Karnataka on EPC (engineering, procurement & construction) basis, involving supply and commissioning of a fuel-efficient state-of-the-art advanced-class gas turbine.  
 
Valued at Rs.1,202 crore, the order for the 370 MW Gas Turbine-based CCPP to be installed at Yelahanka on the outskirts of Bengaluru city, has been placed on BHEL by Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL). 
 
Significantly, this will also be the first gas-based utility power project of KPCL, a press release from BHEL said.
 
The plant will replace the old diesel generator-based power plant of 128 Mw, which has not been operating for some time due to environmental issues. The  Yelahanka CCPP will not only address environmental concerns but also improve the power supply in Karnataka and specifically Bengaluru city, it said.
 
BHEL supplied sets account for 74% of KPCL's installed capacity. Another 3,100 MW of projects are presently under construction by BHEL at Bellary, Yeramarus and Edlapur. Significantly, BHEL is the JV partner of KPCL in Raichur Power Corporation Limited (RPCL) and is constructing the 2x800 MW Yeramarus TPS and 1x800 MW Edlapur power projects of RPCL.
 
BHEL’s scope of work in the project includes design, engineering, manufacture, supply, construction, erection, testing & commissioning of the EPC package comprising an advanced-class gas turbine-based combined cycle power plant. The key equipment for the contract will be manufactured at BHEL’s Hyderabad, Tiruchirapalli, Haridwar, Bhopal and Jhansi plants, while the company's Power Sector - Southern Region shall execute the civil works and erection and commissioning of the equipment, the release added.
 
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Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister to visit Bengaluru, Chennai

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Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander will visit Bengaluru on January 13 and Chennai on January 14 as part of an ongoing tour of India during which he had attended the Vibrant Gujarat summit at Gandhinagar.
 
In Bengaluru, Mr Alexander will officially inaugurate the visa office at the Consulate General of Canada. He will be accompanied by the High Commissioner for Canada to India, Mr. Nadir Patel.
 
“Canada has welcomed generations of newcomers from India who have helped to build a pluralistic and prosperous Canada. In 2013, we issued more than 130,000 visas to Indian citizens, an increase of 14 percent since 2008. Canada’s network of visa offices is fundamental to these achievements, and in providing valuable services to Indians who wish to visit, study or do business with Canada. I’m delighted to be here to highlight the expansion of that network to South India," Mr Alexander said.
 
Mr Alexander will meet with high level government officials, business leaders and academicians in both Bengaluru and Chennai, while highlighting Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s programs in India, such as the Start-up Visa, Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program the newly-launched Express Entry. 
 
Express Entry will result in faster processing and will allow the Government of Canada to be more flexible and respond better to Canada’s changing labour market needs, a press release from the Canadian High Commission said.
 
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New generation electronic warfare equipment integrated on Tejas LCA

File photo of India's indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas.
File photo of India's indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas.
An advanced electronic warfare (EW) suite developed by Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE), a DRDO laboratory specializing in avionics and electronic warfare systems for combat aircrafts, flew for the first time onboard the Tejas-PV1 light combat aircraft (LCA) at Bangalore today.
 
In addition to the radar warner, the EW suite tested today is also equipped with jammer.  It gives to the pilot an additional capability of nullifying the effect of detected radar threat by appropriate mode of jamming. 
 
Existing EW systems fitted on various combat aircrafts are basic EW equipment known as radar warner receiver to provide warning to the aircraft pilot in case of detection of a radar threat. 
 
After obtaining due flight clearances and certification, the first flight sortie of LCA PV1 with the EW equipment operational, took place today. The equipment was noted to be detecting radar signals operating in and around the flight path. 
 
Dr Avinash Chander, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and head of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), congratulated the team on the achievement. “This warfare suite adds an important capability to our LCA," he said.
 
Mr SS Sundaram, Distinguished Scientist and DG (ECS) called it a “new generation electronic warfare equipment integrated on Tejas aircraft".
 
Ms J Manjula, Director, DARE said, “LCA is the first fighter aircraft of India fitted with a radar warner and jammer equipment. It has capability for both radar warning and jamming using a Unified EW Technology. Over the coming few months, ADA and DARE will be scheduling further sorties to evaluate the system in various signal scenarios."
 
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Infosys reports 13% y-o-y rise in net profit to Rs 3250 crore in Q3 of FY15

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IT services major Infosys Limited beat market forecasts today by reporting a 13 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in net profit at Rs 3,250 crore for the third quarter (Q3) ended December 31, 2014 of the current fiscal year.
 
A press release from the company said the quarter-on-quarter(q-o-q) growth in net profit was 5 per cent.
 
The company said it had achieved a q-o-q volume growth of 4.2 per cent, the best in three years, while the y-o-y growth was 11 per cent.
 
The company maintained its FY15 revenue guidance at 7%-9% at September 30 exchange rates.
 
It said its revenues were Rs 13,796 crore for the quarter, for a q--o-q growth of 3.4% and y-o-y growth of 5.9%.
 
The company said liquid assets including cash and cash equivalents, available-for-sale financial assets, certificates of deposits and government bonds were Rs 34,873 crore as on December 31, 2014 as compared to Rs 33,616 crore as on September 30, 2014.
 
The company has expanded its Innovation Fund from the current $ 100 million to $ 500 million to support the creation of a global eco-system of strategic partners.
 
Infosys has pledged Rs 254 crore for FY 15, towards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which is primarily being carried out through the Infosys Foundation, its philanthropic arm. 
 
The company and its subsidiaries added 59 clients (gross) during the quarter. There was a gross addition of 13,154 employees during the quarter, taking the total number of employees at Infosys and its subsidiaries as on December 31, 2014 to 169,638 employees.
 
The company said it had made a 100 per cent variable payout for the third quarter.
 
“We are excited by several breakthrough results in Q3. Our 'renew and new'  strategy, is being received well by our clients and our ecosystem and we are already seeing its early adoption," Infosys CEO and Managing Director Vishal Sikka said.
 
“Based on our strong performance, we are intensifying our efforts to deepen
employee engagement, client ecosystem and strengthen our foundation of education as we build a nextgeneration services company that innovates for consistent profitable growth," he said.
 
“During the quarter, we saw broad-based volume growth, increased utilization and strong client additions," said U. B. Pravin Rao, Chief Operating Officer. “We have made 100% variable payout for Q3 and have seen a further decline in attrition as a result of multiple initiatives taken over the last few quarters.”
 
“Our sequential revenue growth in Q3 was adversely impacted to the extent of 1.8% due to USD appreciation against other major currencies," said Rajiv Bansal, Chief Financial Officer. “We made required investments keeping in mind short-term priorities and long-term aspirations."
 
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Broadband speed in India lowest at 2.0 Mbps against 4.5 Mbps global average: Report

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Average broadband speed in India continued at 2.0 Mbps in the third quarter (Q3) of 2014 while the global average connnection speed remained for the second consecutive quarter above the 4 Mbps "broadband" threshold, according to latest State of the Internet Report from Akamai.
 
India's average speed compared poorly with Korea's 25.3 Mbps, Hong Kong's 16.3 Mbps, Japan's 15 Mbps, Singapore's 12.2 Mbps, Taiwan's 9.5 Mbps, China's 3.8 Mbps, Indonesia's 3.7 Mbps and 2.5 Mbps in the Philippines and Vietnam.
 
Akamai’s Third Quarter, 2014 State of the Internet Report: said global avrage connection speed saw a slight decline in Q3 of 2014, dropping by 2.8% to 4.5 Mbps.
 
The report is published every quarter by Akamai, a leading provider of cloud services for delivering, optimizing and securing online content and business applications.
 
According to it, six of the top 10 countries saw increases in global average connection speeds, and all of the top 10 remained well above the 10 Mbps “high broadband” threshold. 
 
Among those increasing in average connection speed quarter-over-quarter, Singapore experienced the largest rise (12.2 Mbps), an 18% improvement. The smallest growth was in Japan (15 Mbps), which was only up 0.8% from the second quarter. In addition, Ireland (13.9 Mbps) joined Singapore in seeing an increase of 10% or more from the previous quarter. 
 
Yearly increases were seen in 129 qualifying countries/regions, with rates ranging from 150% in Jersey (9.7 Mbps) down to a modest 0.2% in Ecuador (3.6 Mbps).
 
Similar to the average connection speed metric, the global average peak connection speed also saw a slight decline in the third quarter, dropping 2.3% to 24.8 Mbps. Hong Kong once again had the highest average peak connection speed at 84.6 Mbps, followed closely by Singapore (83 Mbps). All 10 countries/regions saw significant increases in average peak connection speeds compared to the previous year. 
 
Uruguay (58.6 Mbps) led the group with a year-over-year change of 334%, and Luxembourg (54.4 Mbps) saw speeds more than double, up 130%. A total of 135 qualifying countries/regions saw average peak connection speeds increase from the third quarter of 2013.
 
India had the lowest peak connection speed in the Asia Pacific region during the quarter at 13.9 Mbps, it said.
 
Global high broadband (>10 Mbps) adoption rates fell 0.5% in the third quarter, after seeing strong quarterly growth earlier in the year, the report said.
 
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In contrast to previous quarters, changes among the top 10 countries/regions were limited, with increases ranging from a half a percent in Japan (55% adoption) to 8.4% in Sweden (44% adoption). Among the 63 qualifying countries/regions for this metric, just 28 saw quarter-over-quarter increases. The global high broadband adoption rate was up 22%, which was lower than the 65% increases seen in both the first and second quarters of this year. Among the top 10 countries/regions, Japan was the only one to see a year-over-year change below 10%, while both Romania (49% adoption) and Israel (44% adoption) saw adoption rates more than double. Across the other 62 geographies, yearly increases ranged from 6.3% in Japan to a massive 3,015% in Uruguay (7.3% adoption).
 
The global broadband (>4 Mbps) adoption rate reached 60%, an increase of 1% quarter-over-quarter. Ninety-nine countries/regions qualified for inclusion for this metric, 55 of which saw quarterly growth in broadband adoption rates. Israel (92% adoption) was the only country in the top 10 country/regions to see its adoption rate increase more than 1%. South Korea remained the country with the highest level of broadband adoption at 96%, with Bulgaria following at 95%. 
 
The global broadband adoption rate increased 12% from the third quarter of 2013. While still positive, the yearly growth rate has continued to decline over the last several quarters. Broadband adoption rates were also up-year-over-year across all of the top 10 countries/regions, with increases ranging from 1.3% in Curacao to 18% in Bulgaria. All but nine qualifying countries saw broadband adoption levels increase over the past year with growth rates ranging from 0.7% in the Czech Republic (83% adoption) to 1,884% in Indonesia (35% adoption).
 
In Q3 2014, India had broadband adoption rate at 1.1 percent.
 
4K Readiness
 
Following the introduction of “4K Readiness” in the First Quarter, 2014 State of the Internet Report, Akamai has again identified candidate geographies that are most likely to sustain connection speeds above 15 Mbps, as Ultra HD adaptive bitrate streams typically require bandwidth between 10 and 20 Mbps. The findings do not account for other “readiness” factors, including availability of 4K-encoded content or 4K-capable televisions and media players.
 
In total, 52 countries/regions qualified for inclusion this quarter, and 12% of the global connections were at or above the 15 Mbps threshold. While down 2.8% quarter-over-quarter, readiness increased 32% year-over-year. South Korea remained the country with the highest level of 4K readiness, with two-thirds of its connections to Akamai at or above 15 Mbps.
 
Attack Traffic and Security
 
In the third quarter of 2014, Akamai observed attack traffic originating from 201 unique countries/regions, which was up significantly from 161 in the second quarter, and more in line with the 194 seen in the first quarter. As demonstrated in past reports, the highest concentration of attacks (50%) came from China, nearly three times more than the United States, which saw observed traffic grow by approximately 25% quarter-over-quarter. China and the United States were the only two countries to originate more than 10% of observed global attack traffic. Indonesia was the only country among the top 10 to see observed attack traffic decline, dropping from 15% of global attack traffic in the second quarter to 1.9% in the third. The overall concentration of observed attack traffic decreased slightly in the third quarter, with the top 10 countries/regions originating 82% of observed attacks, down from 84% last quarter. Furthermore, 64% of attack traffic originated from the Asia Pacific region, down from 70% last quarter, while the lowest volume (1%) originated from Africa.
 
The volume of observed traffic targeting Ports 80 (HTTP/WWW), 443 (HTTPS/SSL) and 880 (HTTP Alternate) dropped significantly in the third quarter, with all three ports seeing a fraction of the attack volume seen in previous quarters. Port 23 remained the most popular target of attacks observed to be originating in China, accounting for more than three times more volume than Port 80, the second-most attacked port within the country.
 
Reported Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attack Traffic
 
In addition to observations on attack traffic, the report includes insight into DDoS attacks based on reports from Akamai’s customers. Akamai customers reported 270 DDoS attacks for the second quarter in a row. Overall, this represents a 4.5% reduction in attacks since the beginning of 2014 and a 4% decrease in comparison to the third quarter of 2013.
 
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In contrast to the second quarter’s report, the number of attacks fell in both of the Americas, with 142 attacks, and in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, with 44 attacks. However, the number of attacks in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region rose by 25% from the previous quarter to 84. The distribution of industries did not change in comparison to the previous quarter; commerce, enterprise, high tech, media and entertainment, and the public sector all saw the same number of attacks as the previous quarter, even though the actual targets of these attacks changed. Compared with the same quarter of 2013, enterprise attacks have fallen by more than a third from 127 to 80. At the same time, attacks against high tech companies have tripled from 14 to 42.
 
Akamai saw an increase in the number of repeated attacks against the same target in the third quarter, returning to the 25% chance of a subsequent attack targeting the same organization. This represents a drop in unique targets from 184 in the second quarter to 174 in the third.
 
IPv4 and IPv6
 
In the third quarter of 2014, more than 790 million IPv4 addresses connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform from more than 246 unique countries/regions. The global number of unique IPv4 addresses making requests to Akamai grew by nearly two million quarter-over-quarter, a nominal increase after a loss of seven million in the second quarter. Looking at the top 10 countries in the third quarter, the unique IP count in the United States saw a small gain of approximately 20,000 addresses. In addition to the United States, Brazil, France and Russia saw nominal increases in unique IPv4 address counts, while the remaining six countries saw unique IPv4 address counts slightly decline from the second quarter. Fifty-eight percent of countries saw a quarter-over-quarter increase in unique IPv4 address counts, with 28 countries/regions growing by 10% or more.
 
Cable and wireless providers continued to drive the number of IPv6 requests made to Akamai, many of which are leading the way for IPv6 adoption in their respective countries. Verizon Wireless and Brutele saw more than half of their requests to Akamai made over IPv6, with Telenet close behind.
 
Mobile Connectivity
 
In the Third Quarter, 2014 State of the Internet Report, 54 countries/regions qualified in the mobile section. South Korea continued to have the highest average mobile connection speed, growing from 15.2 Mbps to 18.2 Mbps in the third quarter. Iran had the lowest average mobile connection speed at 0.9 Mbps, and was the only qualifying country with an average speed below 1 Mbps. Slovakia joined South Korea above the 10 Mbps “high broadband” threshold at 10.9 Mbps.
 
Average peak mobile connection speeds again spanned an extremely broad range in the third quarter, from 98 Mbps in Singapore down to 3.3 Mbps in Iran. Nine countries/regions had average peak mobile connection speeds above 50 Mbps, while another 40 saw speeds above 10 Mbps.
 
China and India had among the highest average page load times of above six seconds.
 
The report also examines the percentage of connections to Akamai from mobile network providers at “broadband” speeds (more than 4 Mbps). In the third quarter, Sweden moved ahead of Denmark for the top position at an adoption rate of 94%, whereas Iran, Paraguay, Croatia, and Vietnam all had mobile broadband adoption rates below 1% in the third quarter.
 
“One need only look to the sheer number of connected device- and smart home-related announcements that came out of the 2015 International CES to see that consumers are continuing to adopt and expect more from connected technology and services,” said David Belson, editor of the report. “The strong year-over-year growth trends illustrated in this quarter’s report show that the Internet is evolving and expanding to meet the growing demands of our increasingly connected lifestyles.”
 
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Infosys Prize conferred on six eminent scientists

The six winners of the Infosys Prize 2014 -- Prof. Jayant Haritsa, Prof. Shamnad Basheer, Prof. Shubha Tole, Prof. Madhu Sudan, Prof. Srivari Chandrasekhar and Prof. Esther Duflo -- with trustees of the Infosys Science Foundation in Bengaluru on January 5, 2015.
The six winners of the Infosys Prize 2014 -- Prof. Jayant Haritsa, Prof. Shamnad Basheer, Prof. Shubha Tole, Prof. Madhu Sudan, Prof. Srivari Chandrasekhar and Prof. Esther Duflo -- with trustees of the Infosys Science Foundation in Bengaluru on January 5, 2015.
Six eminent scientists, including Prof Jayant Haritsa of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and Prof Shubha Tole of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai received the prestigious Infosys Prize 2014 at a ceremony here today.
 
Prof Haritsa is Professor, Supercomputer Education and Research Centre (SERC) and Chair, Department of Computer Science and Automation (CSA) at IISc. He has been awarded the prize for his contributions to the design and optimization of database engines.
 
Prof Tole is Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, TIFR. She has been chosen for her significant contributions to studying the hippocampus and amygdala – centres of learning and memory in the brain. Her work can lead to a better understanding of human behavior, cognition and emotions.
 
Mr Shamnad Basheer, founder and Managing Trustee, Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA), Bangalore and Founder – SpicyIP, India was awarded the prize in Humanities for contributions to the analysis of a range of legal issues, including pharmaceutical patent injunctions and enforcement.
 
In the area of Life Sciences, the prize was presented to Prof Madhu Sudan, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research New England and Adjunct Professor, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS) department and Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was awarded for his seminal contributions to probabilistically checkable proofs and error-correcting codes.
 
Dr Srivari Chandrasekhar, Scientist G, Organic Chemistry Division, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT), Hyderabad, received the prize for his contributions in the general area of synthetic organic chemistry with a special focus on the synthesis of complex molecules from natural sources.
 
In the category of Social Sciences, Prof Esther Duflo, Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics, Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Founder & Director, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), United States, has been chosen for the prize for her pioneering contributions to development economics, especially work related to countries such as India and Africa.
 
Nobel Laureate and renowned economist Amartya Sen, the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor at Harvard University, felicitated the winners, who received a purse of Rs 65 lakh (over $ 100,000) each, a 22 karat gold medallion and a citation certificate describing their winning work. 
 
The prize purse was increased from Rs 55 lakhs to Rs 65 lakhs this year.
 
The members of the jury, Prof. Pradeep K. Khosla ? Engineering and Computer Science, Justice. Leila Seth – Humanities, Prof. Inder Verma – Life Sciences, Prof. Srinivasa S. R. Varadhan – Mathematical Sciences, Prof. Shrinivas Kulkarni – Physical Sciences, and Prof. Kaushik Basu – Social Sciences, cited the work done by the winners.
 
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The prizes are given every year by the Infosys Science Foundation (ISF) in the six categories: Engineering and Computer Science, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences. 
 
The prize honours high-calibre researchers for impactful contributions to their fields. In a span of six years, the prize has recognized and awarded 38 researchers and scientists for their outstanding contribution to their fields of expertise.
 
The ceremony was attended by eminent scientists and leaders from different industries. Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy, President of the Board of Trustees, Infosys Science Foundation (ISF) and other trustees of the ISF - Mr. Mohandas Pai, Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan, Mr. S. D. Shibulal, Mr. Srinath Batni, Mr. K. Dinesh and Dr. Vishal Sikka, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Infosys were also present.
 
Congratulating the winners via a video recording, President Pranab Mukherjee thanked them for the contributions to the world of knowledge. "I am confident that their achievements will inspire our youth to dedicate themselves to the service of science and society," he said.
 
“A scientific culture must determine the choices and decisions made by individual societies and nation. Research endeavors must advance the realm of knowledge and improve the lives of the common man. It must bring about social, environmental and economic betterment of our people. I am convinced that India’s future is inexplicably linked to the progress we can make in establishing strong foundation for scientific research within our country," he said.
 
Prof Sen, who has been associated with the award since its inception, said it had both a celebratory and facilitating role.
 
“In a historic year for our country, the successful launch of the Mangalyaan in 2014 made India the first nation to reach the Mars orbit on its first attempt. This is an example of engineering excellence under constraints and challenges. Through the Infosys Prize, the Infosys Science Foundation celebrates the incredible talent of researchers who overcome and solve various challenges – scientific, social and economic. I hope the younger generation will take note of their accomplishments and be inspired by their work and its recognition," Mr Narayana Murthy said.
 
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Omkar Goswami to retire from the Infosys Board of Directors

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IT services major Infosys Ltd today said that economist Omkar Goswami would retire as an Independent Director on its Board effective today.
 
A press release from the company said that this was in accordance with the retirement policy of its Board of Directors. Dr Goswami had joined the Infosys Board in November 2000.
 
Mr K. V. Kamath, non-executive Chairman of the Board, said, “Dr. Goswami has been a part of the Infosys journey for more than a decade and the company has benefitted from his rich experience as a professional economist. The Board is sincerely thankful to Dr. Goswami for his contribution to the company’s growth and wishes him the best for his future endeavors.”
 
Dr Goswami said, “It has been a great honor and privilege to serve on the Board of Infosys. I joined the Board in November 2000, when the company's annual revenues had just crossed the $ 200 million mark. I am demitting office at a time when revenues are exceeding $ 8 billion. Throughout the progress of this iconic company, some things have not changed: its commitment to transparency, to strong corporate values and to integrity. These are what make me proud of Infosys, and confident of its future."
 
Dr. Goswami is the founder and chairman of Corporate & Economic Research Group (CERG) Advisory Private Limited. He has served on committees of several organizations as well as of the government, including the CII Committee on Corporate Governance and the Vijay Kelkar Committee on Direct Tax Reforms. He has also been a consultant to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Asian Development Bank and the Organization for Economic Co-operation Development.
 
A professional economist, Dr. Goswami obtained aMaster’s degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics in 1978 and a D. Phil (Ph.D) from the University of Oxford in 1982. He taught and researched economics for 18 years at various universities in India and abroad. In March 1997, Dr. Goswami became the editor of Business India.
 
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Infosys to expand CSR activities in Americas through Infosys Foundation, USA

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IT services major Infosys Limited has announced it would expand its corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in the Americas through its philanthropic arm, the Infosys Foundation, USA.
 
The initial outlay for Infosys Foundation, USA, would be $ 5 million per annum, a press release from the company said.
 
The release said the company would focus on making quality computer science education widely and easily accessible across communities in the Americas. 
 
The company also announced the appointment of Mrs. Sudha Murty, Mrs. Vandana Sikka and Mr. Sandeep Dadlani as the trustees of Infosys Foundation, USA.
 
Mrs. Murty, Chairperson of Infosys Foundation, said, “I am delighted at the expansion of our CSR initiatives in the Americas. Infosys Foundation has always supported the cause of promoting quality education and empowering individuals. I am confident that we will leverage Infosys Foundation’s experience in India of imparting technical education to enhance employability.”
 
Mrs. Sikka, Chairperson of Infosys Foundation, USA, said, “Every day we see how computing technology is reshaping the world around us. Computing literacy is becoming increasingly important for an average person to be more productive and valuable to the economy, while purposefully contributing to our future. Through Infosys Foundation, USA, we want to ensure that lack of resources, prior skills and STEM proficiency are no longer barriers for individuals, in the Americas, seeking to advance their computing skills. From enabling computer education in K-12, to supporting research in computer science and empowering adults with IT training that enhances their employability, we will help bring computing literacy to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.”
 
In India, Infosys Foundation supports several programs aimed at alleviating hunger, promoting education, improving health, assisting rural development, supporting arts and helping the destitute.
 
For the fiscal year 2015, Infosys Foundation plans to deploy approximately $ 40 million towards these initiatives in India, the release added.
 
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GMR-Megawide achieves financial closure for Mactan-Cebu International Airport

GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC), a joint venture between GMR Infrastructure Ltd (40% shareholding) and Megawide Construction Corporation (60% shareholding), has signed financing documents of its Mactan Cebu International Airport located in Cebu, Philippines. 
 
The financing will fund 70% of its total project cost of Php 33 billion (approximately $ 750 million), a press release from GMR said.
 
BDO Capital & Investment Corporation acted as Lead Arranger to the transaction. The loan is being financed by a consortium of six banks.
 
The total equity contribution of GMR to GMCAC will be approximately $ 90 million, out of which GMR has already invested $ 48 million and do not envisage any further investment in the near future, the release said.
 
GMCAC shall be responsible for construction, development, renovation, expansion and operation of the Mactan Cebu International Airport for a period of 25 years as provided in the Concession Agreement. 
 
"This marks a key milestone for GMCAC in its journey to transform MCIA into a world class airport. MCIA is the first airport in Philippines to be privatized under the administration’s ambitious PPP programme aimed at modernizing key infrastructure assets," the release said.
 
In the international competitive bidding process GMR-Megawide Consortium had emerged as the highest bidder after offering a bid premium of 14.4 billion Philippine Pesos (approximately $ 305 million). The formal award of the project in April was followed by a six-month transition period to complete project formalities leading to the transfer of operations to GMCAC on November 1, 2014.
 
Mr. G.M. Rao, Chairman, GMR Infrastructure Ltd said: “The financial closure of the project signifies the confidence of the banks in the abilities of GMR and our partner Megawide. GMR Group has proven credentials in airport operations and modernization and we are confident that we will undertake this prestigious project in a timely manner and deliver an airport that Cebuanos and Filipinos will be proud of.”
 
According to the release, the Cebu airport project is an excellent addition to GMR Group’s portfolio with cash inflows from day one and is expected to make profits from the first year itself. 
 
"With existing connections to tourist spots in the Central and Southern Philippines and with direct flights from Asian cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul and Tokyo, it has huge untapped growth potential. The underdeveloped commercial business and a decisive, stable regulatory regime provide an opportunity to convert the traffic potential into bottom-line growth," it said.
 
As part of the overall master plan, GMCAC will build a brand new terminal building within three years to cater to the growing traffic. At the same time, the immediate priority will be to upgrade the existing terminal and enhance operating systems and processes to improve service quality and efficiency. Alongside, GMCAC will lay adequate emphasis on corporate social responsibility and work towards socio-economic development in the surrounding region.
 
GMR-Megawide Consortium plans to develop the Mactan-Cebu International Airport into a regional hub in the Philippines, creating passenger and cargo traffic growth, jobs for local community, giving a boost to the tourism traffic and creating multiplier economic benefits for the region.
 
"Airports operated by GMR have been consistently rated amongst the best run airports in the world as per Airport Service Quality surveys conducted by Airports Council International. GMR has demonstrated its capability and expertise by transforming the Delhi airport. When GMR took over the airport in 2006 it was ranked 101st amongst 150 airports around the world. Today the Delhi airport is the 5th best airport overall amongst 285 airports in the world. Similarly the Hyderabad airport has been rated the 2nd best airport in the world in the 5 to 15 million passenger category," the release said.
 
GMR had bid for the Mactan-Cebu airport project with Megawide Construction Corporation, one of Philippine’s leading construction firms.
 
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Rajnath says Biswas’ activities seem limited to posting pro-ISIS material on Twitter

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said that interrogation so far by the police of Mehdi Masroor Biswas, the Bengaluru-based ITC executive, who was arrested on December 13 for allegedly running a pro-ISIS Twitter handle, had indicated that his activities were limited to posting and reposting of pro-ISIS material on his account on the micro-blogging site and other social media sites.
 
"He has denied having recruited any person for ISIS. Further investigation is in progress," Mr Singh told Parliament in a suo motu statement.
 
He said Biswas, 24, was arrested on December 13 by the Bangalore Police under sections 3, 13 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967;  Section 66 F of the Information Technology Act and Section 125 of the Indian Penal Code. 
 
"The accused had come to prominence in the electronic media in the U.K regarding his role in circulating ISIS material through a Twitter account. The central agencies worked in close collaboration with the Karnataka Police to develop information leading to his arrest. Mehdi had a Twitter account under the username 'Shami Witness'. He used to visit prominent ISIS related sites, mostly in Arabic language and then translate the contents into English and repost the material on his Twitter account," he said.
 
Mr Singh said that, during interrogation, Biswas had disclosed that more than 60 percent of his Twitter account followers were non-Muslims from Western countries and a majority of his Muslim followers were from Western countries, particularly the United Kingdom.
 
"Mehdi started closely following the developments in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan through internet during his college days and has been active in the social networking sites since 2009 . Over a period of time Mehdi started interacting with people in the social networking sites on matters related to 'Jihad'," he said.
 
The Minister said Biswas belonged to a middle class family from Kolkata and had done his electrical engineering from Guru Nanak Dev Institute of Technology in 2012. He joined ITC following a campus recruitment drive and is currently employed there.
 
Details about Biswas first emerged after Britain's Channel 4 telecast a report on him, saying that he had the most popular ISIS Twitter account with about 17,000 followers.
 
A manufacturing executive with ITC Foods, he was picked up by the police from his one-room rented apartment in Bengaluru.
 
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ISRO successfully completes first apogee manoeuvre firing on GSAT-16

Scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation on Monday successfully completed the first apogee manoeuvre firing on its communication satellite GSAT-16, which was launched in the early hours of Sunday from the spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana.

Ariane 5 lifts from the spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana with India's communication satellite GSAT-16 on December 7, 2014. Photo Courtesy: ArianeSpace
Ariane 5 lifts from the spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana with India's communication satellite GSAT-16 on December 7, 2014.Photo Courtesy: ArianeSpace
Scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today successfully completed the first apogee manoeuvre firing on its communication satellite GSAT-16, which was launched in the early hours of Sunday from the spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana.
 
"First Apogee Maneuver Firing has been successfully completed. The Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) fired for a duration of 6081 seconds. propellant consumed is 877.6 kg. Initial ranging shows perigee achieved is 16,005 km," ISRO said in a post on its Facebook page.
 
The firing had commenced as planned at 0351 hours IST today and the performance was normal, it said.
 
The manoeuvre was amed at raising the perigee from 256 km to 16271 km as well as to reduce the orbital inclination from 5.98 degrees to 1.35 degrees. With this, the orbital period will be raised from 10.5 hours to 16.1 hours, it said.
 
GSAT-16 was successfully plaed in a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) by heavy-lift vehicle Ariane 5 VA221, 32 minutes after it lifted off from Arianespace's spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana at 0210 hours IST on Sunday.
 
ISRO's Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan started acquiring the signal from the satellite at 0241 hours IST and took over its command. 
 
ISRO plans to raise the orbit of the satellite to geostationary orbit of about 36,000 km altitude through three orbit raising manoeuvres by the firing of its LAM engine.
 
The satellite will be placed in the geostationary orbit by December 12, 2014 and subsequently the satellite's communication transponders will be switched on for in-orbit testing, ISRO had said yesterday.
 
GSAT-16 will be positioned at 55 deg East longitude in the geostationary orbit and co-located with GSAT-8, IRNSS-1A and IRNSS-1B satellites.
 
Developed by ISRO, GSAT-16 had a lift-off mass of 3181.6 kg and is carrying  Ku- and C-band transponders to further augment communication services across India. Directv is a 20-kilowatt-class Ka-band and reverse-band digital broadcast satellite, to be used in delivering Ultra HD and other new consumer services for Directv.
 
GSAT-16 is meant to deliver telecommunications services that include very small aperture terminal (VSAT) transmissions, television broadcasting and emergency communications.
 
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According to ISRO, GSAT-16 is configured around I-3K extended bus with a 6500 W power generation capacity and mission life of more than 12 years. 
 
The Indian National Satellite (INSAT) system, established in 1983, is one of the largest domestic communication satellite systems in the Asia-Pacific region. It presently comprises ten satellites, providing transponders in S, C, extended C and Ku bands.
 
GSAT-16, which will be inducted into the INSAT/GSAT system, is carrying a total of 48 communication transponders, the largest number of transponders carried by a communication satellite developed by ISRO so far, in normal C-band, upper extended C-band and Ku-band. 
 
They include 12 Ku-band transponders each with 36 MHz usable bandwidth with footprint covering Indian mainland and Andaman & Nicobar islands. It will also have 24 C-band transponders each with 36 MHz usable bandwidth and 12 Upper Extended C-band transponders each with 36 MHz usable bandwidth, with footprints covering Indian mainland and island territories, the sources added.
 
GSAT-16 carries a Ku-band beacon as well to help accurately point ground antennae towards the satellite, the sources said.
 
They said the transponders together will ensure continuity of various services currently provided by the INSAT/GSAT system and serve as on-orbit spares to meet contingency requirements or for the augmentation of such services.
 
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Anant Kumar flags off new trains from Bengaluru

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Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers Ananth Kumar flaged off two new trains from Bengaluru today --  22695/22696 Jaipur-Yesvantpur-Jaipur Premium Superfast Weekly Express and 16587/16588 Yesvantpur-Bikaner Yesvantpur Bi-Weekly Express. 
 
Karnataka Transport Minister Rama Linga Reddy and senior Railway officials were present at the ceremony at Yesvantpur railway station here.
 
The Yesvantpur – Jaipur Weekly Premium Express will leave Yesvantpur at 11.30 hrs on Thursdays and arrive at Jaipur at 06.35 hrs on Saturdays. In the return direction, it will Jaipur at 22.15 hrs on Saturdays and arrive at Yesvantpur at17.55 hrs on Mondays. 
 
The regular services of the train from Yesvantpur will commence on 18.12.2014 and, from Jaipur on 20.12.2014. 
 
The Yesvantpur-Bikaner bi-weekly Express will leave Yesvantpur at 05.00 hrs on Sundays and Fridays and arrive at Bikaner at 07.10 hrs on Tuesdays and Sundays. In return direction, it will leave Bikaner at 22.00 hrs on Tuesdays and Sundays and arrive at Yesvantpur at 03.15 hrs on Fridays and Wednesdays. 
 
The regular services from Yesvantpur will commence on 12.12.2014 and from Bikaner on 09.12.2014, an official press release added.
 
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Infosys inducts Prof John Etchemendy as Independent Member on its Board

John W. Etchemendy
John W. Etchemendy
IT services major Infosys Ltd today announced the appointment of John W. Etchemendy, Provost of Stanford University and Patrick Suppes Family Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, as an Independent Member of its Board of Directors.
 
Prof. Etchemendy is also a faculty member of the Symbolic Systems Program and a senior researcher at the Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI). 
 
He has received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (1988), and the Bing Award for Excellence in Teaching (1992). In addition, he is also the recipient of the Educom Medal for leadership in the application of technology to teaching.
 
Prof. Etchemendy received his B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Nevada, Reno.  He earned his doctorate in Philosophy at Stanford University.  He served on the faculty at Princeton University for two years before joining the Department of Philosophy at Stanford as a faculty member.
 
He is the author of numerous books and articles on logic, some co-authored with several close collaborators. He has been co-editor of the Journal of Symbolic Logic and is on the editorial board of several other journals.
 
Speaking about this appointment Mr. K. V. Kamath, Chairman of the Board, Infosys said, “I am pleased to welcome Professor Etchemendy to the Infosys Board. We will benefit immensely from the global experience and insight he brings to the Board as we work towards building a next-generation services company.”
 
Dr. Vishal Sikka, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Infosys said, “Professor Etchemendy is an extraordinary teacher to me and countless other students. His joining our Board will help us strengthen, and indeed reinvent, our core foundation of learning and education. As we work towards a future where computing technologies greatly amplify human potential, and enable us to create purposeful solutions for businesses around the world, I am very excited that Infosys will have the guidance of this tireless researcher of the human-computer relationship.”
 
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India software market grows by 10.7% in H1 of 2014

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Political stability and economic revival helped the India software market register an improved first half (H1) in 2014 as compared to a slow first half in 2013, International Data Corporation (IDC) said today.
 
IDC said in a press release that the India software market registered a 10.7 per cent year-on-year (YOY) growth in H1 of 2014.
 
"The sweeping win of the BJP Government in the 2014 elections resulted in some amount of positivity in the market which reflected in the IT investments by major verticals like BFSI, Manufacturing, Retail and Ecommerce," it said.
 
According to it, a few big vendors closed major deals which were in the pipeline since early 2013, but did not materialize owing to economic and political uncertainties. This led to overall growth of the market during 1H 2014, it said.
 
"IDC expects the software market to grow at a stable pace in the next five years (2014-2018) with a healthy CAGR of 10.5%. Some of the areas which are expected to witness software uptake are mobile application development and mobile device management, security software (related to 3rd Platform), system software, analytics and engineering applications," it said.
 
Virtualization and cloud players such as VMware, Salesforce and Red Hat generated good business owing to greater market awareness while database and analytics players such as Teradata, Informatica, Oracle, Qlik and others registered strong double digit growth due to widespread demand for customer insights and analytics, it said.
 
The release said Banking, Finance, Securities & Investment Services (BFSI), Manufacturing and Communication & Media were the top verticals which invested in upgrades and new licenses. 
 
"Some of the sectors to watch out for in the future includes Entertainment, Retail & Ecommerce, Education, Hospitality etc. There has been a shift in the mindset of users across these industries. IT investments are now made not only for process improvements but also for growing business opportunities and improving customer experience," it said.
 
The release said the software market started to revive since the second quarter (Q2) 2014 post the elections to the Lok Sabha. Some of the solutions which were readily accepted across verticals included customer analytics, mobile solutions, cloud solutions, customer management solutions, omni-channel management systems and data loss prevention.
 
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Government initiatives such as Mobile Seva, Digital India, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and so on will be instrumental in triggering adoption of software solutions in the coming years. Launch of various schemes and policies is expected to catalyze software uptake by Manufacturing, Retail, Travel & Tourism and BFSI in the coming 2-3 years, it said.
 
“Large as well as SMB customers are looking at ways to curb their capital expenditure and are keen to embark on the cloud journey. This has led the vendors to make their licensing policies more flexible and easier so that existing customers could smoothly transition to a cloud environment,” Shweta Baidya,  Senior Market Analyst, Software, IDC India said.
 
“Some vendors are offering exchange schemes to their customers to buy back their hardware in exchange of a cloud setup which is resonating very well with the SMB market,” Baidya added.
 
The release said there had also been a rise in adoption of open source software especially among the SMB segment which is shying away from blocking its capital on expensive proprietary software. Small and Co-operative banks, Retail and Telecommunication sectors are looking at customized solutions based on open source platform for greater flexibility and cost reduction. The evolution of 3rd platform is expected to fuel the uptake of open source solutions further in the times ahead, it added.
 
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Communication satellite GSAT-16 to be launched on December 5 morning

GSAT-16 in clean room, undergoing pre-launch tests, at Arianespace's spaceport at Korou in French Guiana. Photo courtesy ISRO
GSAT-16 in clean room, undergoing pre-launch tests, at Arianespace's spaceport at Korou in French Guiana. Photo courtesy ISRO
India's communication satellite GSAT-16 is scheduled to be launched at 0208 hours IST on December 5 as a co-passenger on the sixth Ariane 5 mission from Arianespace's spaceport at Korou in French Guiana, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has said.
 
The satellite, which had reached Korou last month by a chartered cargo aircraft, has been put through its paces at the European commercial satellite launch company's facilities since then. It has undergone detailed checks ahead of the launch and has been fuelled, Arianespace had said earlier this month.
 
GSAT-16 will be a co-passenger on the Ariane 5 mission along with Directv-14, built by Space Systems/Loral (SSL) for operator Directv.
 
Developed by ISRO, GSAT-16 will have a lift-off mass of 3181.6 kg and will carry Ku- and C-band transponders to further augment communication services across India.
 
Directv is a 20-kilowatt-class Ka-band and reverse-band digital broadcast satellite, to be used in delivering Ultra HD and other new consumer services for Directv.
 
The December 5 flight with Ariane 5 is designated VA221 in Arianespace’s numbering system for its family of launchers, which also includes the medium-lift Soyuz and light-lift Vega. 
 
GSAT-16 is meant to deliver telecommunications services that include very small aperture terminal (VSAT) transmissions, television broadcasting and emergency communications.
 
According to ISRO, GSAT-16 is configured around I-3K extended bus with a 6500 W power generation capacity and mission life of more than 12 years. 
 
In November last year, Arianespace had said ISRO had chosen it to launch its GSAT-15 and GSAT-16 telecommunication satellites. GSAT-15 will also have lift-off weight of around 3150 kg and 6500 W power generation capacity. Its commercial payload will include Ku-Band transponders and a two-channel GAGAN payload. 
 
On August 30 last year, Arianespace's Ariane 5-VA 215 launch vehicle had launched India's first dedicated maritime communications satellite, GSAT-7, which will have defence applications also.
 
ISRO has a long history of launching payloads with Arianespace – dating back to the third mission of an Ariane-series vehicle in 1981. Arianespace has so far launched 17 satellites for ISRO, including INSAT-3D, which was a co-passenger on Ariane Flight VA214 in July last year.
 
According to ISRO sources, the Indian National Satellite (INSAT) system, established in 1983, is one of the largest domestic communication satellite systems in the Asia-Pacific region. It presently comprises ten satellites, providing transponders in S, C, extended C and Ku bands.
 
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GSAT-16, which will be inducted into the INSAT/GSAT system, is configured to carry a total of 48 communication transponders, the largest number of transponders carried by a communication satellite developed by ISRO so far, in normal C-band, upper extended C-band and Ku-band. GSAT-16 carries a Ku-band beacon as well to help accurately point ground antennae towards the satellite, the sources said.
 
They said the transponders together will ensure continuity of various services currently provided by the INSAT/GSAT system and serve as on-orbit spares to meet contingency requirements or for the augmentation of such services.
 
Ariane 5 VA-221 will launch GSAT-16 into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO), after which ISRO's Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan will take control and perform the initial orbit raising manoeuvres using the satellite’s on-board liquid apogee motor (LAM), finally placing it in the vicinity of circular geostationary orbit. 
 
After this, the deployment of appendages such as the solar panels, antennae and three axis stabilisation of the satellite will be performed.
 
GSAT-16 will be positioned at 55 deg East longitude in the geostationary orbit and co-located with GSAT-8, IRNSS-1A and IRNSS-1B satellites.
 
The satellite will have 12 Ku-band transponders each with 36 MHz usable bandwidth with footprint covering Indian mainland and Andaman & Nicobar islands. It will also have 24 C-band transponders each with 36 MHz usable bandwidth and 12 Upper Extended C-band transponders each with 36 MHz usable bandwidth, with footprints covering Indian mainland and island territories, the sources added.
 
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Mukherjee to visit Karnataka, Maharashtra on Nov 25, 26

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President Pranab Mukherjee will pay a two-day visit to Karnataka and Maharashtra from tomorrow, an official press release said here today.
 
Mr Mukherjee will inaugurate the First Commonwealth Science Conference at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, tomorrow, it said.
 
On Wednesday, he will address the 11th Convocation of Symbiosis International University at Pune. 
 
On the same day, he will visit Bajajwadi and an Innovation Exhibition at Bajaj Science Centre, Wardha.  He will also attend the Centenary Celebrations of Shiksha Mandal and visit Sewagram Ashram at Wardha before returning to New Delhi, the release added.
 
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Infosys partners Stanford Graduate School of Business for education, training

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IT services major Infosys Limited today said it would collaborate with Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) to create a comprehensive executive education program for its executives, clients and partners.
 
As part of the agreement, Stanford GSB will team with senior Infosys executives to design and deliver a customized strategic leadership development program, a press release from Infosys said.  
 
The executive education program will include a suite of business management skills, as well as courses in corporate innovation processes to help Infosys balance business discipline and entrepreneurial spirit. 
 
The office of Executive Education at Stanford GSB and Infosys will deliver the leadership program through in-person and online instruction, as well as live sessions enabled by distance-learning technology.
 
The initiative will include 200 executives who will each participate in a part-time, year-long program in groups of 40 over three years. Executives will be able to test and apply their learning to real business challenges in parallel.
 
Stanford has leveraged Infosys’ facilities in Bangalore to offer its world renowned Stanford Ignite Program to participants across India. Stanford Ignite is a certificate program that teaches innovators to formulate, develop, and commercialize their ideas. The part-time program is delivered in-person and through live, high-definition video conference technology, which seamlessly connects Stanford GSB with participants in seven global markets. 
 
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Infosys has twice hosted the program through its high-definition video teleconference facility at Infosys headquarters in Bangalore. Infosys will now host and support Stanford Ignite at its teleconference facility in London in 2015.
 
Dr. Vishal Sikka, Chief Executive Officer, Infosys said, “We want to empower our people to help our clients lead the way in finding the great opportunities of our times, and to uncover new solutions in exemplary new ways. This mandates a step change in our thinking. We are excited to be working with Stanford to build and nurture a workforce that is fully equipped to deliver the next-generation services that our clients are looking for."
 
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Infosys BPO names Anup Uppadhayay as new CEO after Gautam Thakkar quits

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The Board of Infosys BPO Limited has announced the appointment of Mr Anup Uppadhayay as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director of the company.
 
The company also announced that it had removed Mr Abraham Mathews, its Chief Financial Officer (CFO) from the services of the company for not complying with its code of conduct.
 
"This departure is in keeping with the company’s goal of setting the highest standards of corporate governance and adhering to the letter and spirit of the company’s code of conduct," a press release from the company said.
 
Mr. Gautam Thakkar, the current CEO has submitted his resignation to the company effective November 30, 2014, taking responsibility on moral grounds and will be assisting Mr. Uppadhayay in this transition, it said.
 
Mr. Uppadhayay joined Infosys Limited in 1993 and has held various senior management positions within the company. He most recently served as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Delivery for Financial Services.
 
Mr. Deepak Bhalla has been appointed as the new CFO of the company. He  joined Infosys Limited in 1998 and most recently served as Associate Vice President and Head of Corporate Accounting Group.
 
Dr. Vishal Sikka, CEO and Managing Director of Infosys Limited said, “BPO is of fundamental and strategic importance to our company. Our endeavor is to transform BPO with process innovation, automation and artificial intelligence to deliver exceptional efficiency and business value to our clients. I am very confident that under the leadership of Anup and Deepak, our BPO practice will become an exemplar on how business processes should be run.”
 
While the Infosys press release did not mention the reasons for the changes, media reports suggested that the issue was related to overbilling in some contracts.
 
Infosys BPO Ltd is the business process outsourcing subsidiary of IT services major Infosys Ltd and was set up in April 2002.
 
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Infosys Science Foundation announces winners of Infosys Prize 2014

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Prof Jayant Haritsa of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and Prof Shubha Tole of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai are among the winners of the Infosys Prize 2014 across six cateogries announced here yesterday.
 
The prizes are given every year by the Infosys Science Foundation (ISF) in the six categories: Engineering and Computer Science, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences. 
 
The prize honours high-calibre researchers for impactful contributions to their fields. 
 
"This year’s winners have been recognized for research in fields as diverse as database design and optimization, interpretation of patent laws, understanding emotion and cognition in the brain, probabilistically checkable proofs, green chemistry and affordable health care. The prize consists of a purse of Rs. 55 lakhs, a 22 karat gold medallion and a citation certificate for each category," a press release from ISF said.
 
Prof Haritsa is Professor, Supercomputer Education and Research Centre (SERC) and Chair, Department of Computer Science and Automation (CSA) at IISc. He has been awarded theprize for his contributions to the design and optimization of database engines.
 
Prof Tole is Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, TIFR. She has been chosen for her significant contributions to studying the hippocampus and amygdala – centres of learning and memory in the brain. Her work can lead to a better understanding of human behavior, cognition and emotions, the release said.
 
Mr Shamnad Basheer, founder and Managing Trustee, Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA), Bangalore and Founder – SpicyIP, India has been awarded the prize for contributions to the analysis of a range of legal issues, including pharmaceutical patent injunctions and enforcement.
 
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In the area of Life Sciences, the prize has gone to Prof Madhu Sudan, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research New England and Adjunct Professor, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS) department and Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has been awarded for his seminal contributions to probabilistically checkable proofs and error-correcting codes.
 
Dr Srivari Chandrasekhar, Scientist G, Organic Chemistry Division, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT), Hyderabad, has been chosen for the prize for his contributions in the general area of synthetic organic chemistry with a special focus on the synthesis of complex molecules from natural sources.
 
In the category of Social Sciences, Prof Esther Duflo, Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics, Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Founder & Director, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), United States, has been chosen for the prize for her pioneering contributions to development economics, especially work related to countries such as India and Africa.
 
The winners of the Infosys Prize 2014 were evaluated by a panel of jurors comprising esteemed scientists and professors from around the world. The jury chairs are Prof. Pradeep K. Khosla -- Engineering and Computer Science, Prof. Amartya Sen – Humanities, Prof. Inder Verma – Life Sciences, Prof. Srinivasa S. R. Varadhan – Mathematical Sciences, Prof. Shrinivas Kulkarni – Physical Sciences, and Prof. Kaushik Basu – Social Sciences.
 
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Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy, President, Board of Trustees, Infosys Science Foundation said, “The Infosys Science Foundation has been able to recognize some of the best researchers of our time through the Infosys Prize. The past laureates have established themselves further and each year there is palpable excitement as we await the announcement of the winners. Their contributions will be an inspiration to students and professionals and have the potential for real-time impact on individuals and society. The ISF continues to focus on its paramount agenda of fostering a culture of scientific thinking through initiatives such as public lectures, workshops for science teachers from rural areas, and science oriented events for school students.”
 
The award ceremony for the Infosys Prize 2014 will be held on January 5, 2015, in Kolkata, by President Pranab Mukherjee.
 
The Infosys Science Foundation is a not-for-profit trust instituted in February 2009. It is funded by a corpus which today stands at over Rs 00 crore ($ 16 million), contributed by the trustees and Infosys.
 
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Infosys to hire over 2100 in United States, including 600 graduates

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IT services major Infosys Limited today said it would undertake a major recruitment drive in the United States to support te growth of its business and enhance its capabilities.
 
The company plans to hire 1,500 professionals for consulting, sales and delivery during the current financial year. In addition, it will hire close to 600 Bachelors and Masters graduates from US Universities over the next twelve months, a press release from the company said.
 
"With this program, Infosys will bolster its expertise in client relationship management, consulting and technical delivery. The addition of these employees will help Infosys provide its clients local market insights, industry-leading technology expertise, and timely responsiveness to critical issues," it said.
 
According to the release, Infosys will recruit up to 300 management and technology graduates from leading US universities. They will work across multiple technology domains including digital, big data, analytics and cloud. 
 
Upto 180 graduates will be recruited into the Infosys consulting practice in the US. They will join existing teams advising clients on business and technology transformation strategies. Infosys will also continue its global recruitment program of hiring MBA graduates from leading business schools, and will recruit 100 Masters graduates for its sales teams under this initiative, it said.
 
Peggy Tayloe, Head of Human Resources in Americas, Infosys said, “We believe in hiring professionals who will help us build a next-generation services company. Technology is truly reshaping the world around us today. At Infosys, we offer the best opportunities to learn while working on exciting projects, pioneering the latest technologies for some of the world’s best corporations.”
 
Sandeep Dadlani, Executive Vice President, Head of Infosys Americas, Infosys added, “We are particularly looking forward to bringing a large group of graduates into Infosys in the US. This is a terrific time for young, smart and talented leaders to be graduating from the best American schools and choosing a career in the technology industry.”
 
The release said the recruitment drive would leverage the wide range of relationships between Infosys and academic institutions across the US. These relationships have been cultivated through programs such as the global InStep Internship Program and the recently announced collaboration with the Institute for Computational & Mathematical Engineering at Stanford University.
 
Candidates who wish to apply or learn more about this initiative can click here.
 
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Biocon Academy records 100% placement for third batch of life sciences program

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Biocon Academy, a Centre of Excellence for Advanced Learning in Applied Biosciences set up by biopharmaceuticals major Biocon Ltd, today said that the second batch of the ‘Biocon-KGI Certificate Program in Biosciences’ has successfully completed the course and the batch had recorded 100 per cent placement.
 
All 30 students scored above 2.75 CGPA on a scale of 4, a press release from the academy said.
 
The program is a 16-week, full-time certificate course being offered by Biocon Academy in collaboration with the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) of Claremont, California in the United States.
 
Leading companies from the Indian pharmaceuticals industry, including Intas Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi India Ltd, Richcore Lifesciences, Zydus Biologics, GlaxoSmithkline India, and Theramyt Novobiologics participated in the campus recruitment process. The job offers covered a wide variety of profiles including Production, Quality Assurance, Regulatory Affairs, Research & Development and Marketing, the release said.
 
Biocon CMD and Biocon Academy Chief Mentor Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said: “We are happy to develop high-end talent for the life sciences sector at Biocon Academy who are being picked up by leading firms in the sector. Our aim is to address the huge skill deficit of the biopharma sector through Biocon Academy students who have been educated on the ‘business of science’ through experiential learning by experts from KGI and Biocon.” 
 
Dr. Shelly Schuster, President, Keck Graduate Institute, said: “These students have had profound learning experiences on various aspects of the pharmaceuticals industry. They have had a multitude of opportunities to engage in the processes that would find applications in producing Biomolecules, Pharmaceuticals & Diagnostics. I am sure that each one of them will be a major contributor in their area of interest in the Life Sciences Industry and continue to learn and be passionate about their profession.” 
 
The third batch of the Biocon Academy commenced on November 3 with a group of 30 students.
 
The online application process for the fourth batch will commence from November 10, the release added.
 
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Bangalore is Bengaluru, Mysore is Mysuru as Karnataka notifies changes in names of 12 cities

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Bangalore will henceforth be officially known as Bengaluru and Mysore as Mysuru with the Karnataka government notifying changes in the names of 12 cities of the state with effect from today. 
 
This followed the clearance received from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs 
to a proposal made by the state government way back in 2006, a notification issued by the Revenue Secretariat said here yesterday.
 
The announcement has come on the 69th anniversary of the formation of the state of Karnataka. 
 
According to the notification, Mangalore will now be known as Mangaluru, Bellary as Ballari, Bijapur as Vijayapura, Belgaum as Belagavi, Chikmagalur as Chikkamagaluru, Gulbarga as Kalaburagi, Hospet as Hosapete, Shimoga as Shivamogga, Hubli as Hubballi and Tumkur as Tumakuru.
 
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Ganapathy Subramaniam appointed as chairman of Tata Elxsi

Ganapathy Subramaniam
Ganapathy Subramaniam
Mr N Ganapathy Subramaniam, Executive Vice-President at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and head of TCS Financial Solutions, has been appointed as an aditional director and chairman of the board of Tata Elxsi, a design company with effect from November 1.
 
He will succeed Mr S Ramadorai, who stepped down from the Board of Directors of the copany on attaining the age of 70 years as per its policy.
 
Part of TCS and the Indian IT Industry for over 30 years, Mr Subramaniam has served in a multitude of roles in delivering solutions to TCS customers globally. As a part of his current role, he is responsible for steering the financial products business, under the brand name, TCS BaNCS, globally. 
 
TCS BaNCS is a suite of products covering the banking, capital markets, and insurance domains. 
 
Earlier, as Global Head of the Banking Industry Practice for TCS, he was entrusted with the responsibility of creating new opportunities, knowledge/ asset management, consulting, third-party alliances, and the overall management of product-related initiatives.
 
"Mr. Subramaniam brings in-depth knowledge about technology trends, systems and policies of leading global corporations, and international business. He actively participates in banking, technology and business forums in addition to specific knowledge streams in risk management and Six Sigma orientation," a press release from the company said.
 
 
Established in 1989, Tata Elxsi is part of the Tata group and a listed company that addresses the communications, consumer products, defence, health care, media and entertainment, semiconductor and transportation sectors. 
 
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