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Falcons TTC beat Shaze Challengers to win Ceat Ultimate Table Tennis

Falcons TTC emerged champions won the inaugural Ceat Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT), the country’s newest franchise sports league, after beating Shazé Challengers 14-9 in the final at the NSCI here on Sunday.
 
According to the tournament rules, in the knockout stage the team that secures 14 points first is declared winner. 
 
Li Ping put Shazé Challengers ahead with a 2-1 win over Sanil Shetty in the men’s singles, the opening match of the tie.
 
However, in-form Wu Yang swept aside Mouma Das (Shazé Challengers) 3-0 in the women’s singles to hand the lead to Falcons TTC 4-2.
 
Next up was mixed doubles (Foreign/Indian) and Falcons TTC’s pair of Sanil Shetty and Lee Ho Ching brushed aside Soumyajit Ghosh and Petrissa Solja 3-0 to extend their team’s lead to 7-2.
 
Croatian Andrej Gacina of Shazé Challengers beat Briton  Liam Pitchford 2-1 in the men’s singles (Foreign player category).  Falcons TTC led 8-4 at this stage.
 
Wu Yang then recorded her second 3-0 win of the day to take Falcons TTC closer to victory at 11-4, as she beat China-born German world No 9 Han Ying 3-0 in the women’s singles (Foreign player category).
 
Liam Pitchford rallied to beat Soumyajit Ghosh (Shazé Challengers) 2-1 in men’s singles to place Falcons TTC at the doorstep of victory at 13-5.
 
However, Han Ying put it across Sutirtha Mukherjee 3-0 to lift Shazé Challengers to 8-13 before Par Gerell rallied to seal the title at 14-9 for Falcons after losing the opening game to Li Ping.
 
While the Mumbai audience turned up in huge numbers to cheer their favourite table tennis stars, the evening also saw an assemblage of celebrities, including Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan and his actor-son Abhishek Bachchan, Union Minister Piyush Goyal, Maharashtra Director General of Police Satish Mathur, industrialist Harsh Goenka, former India cricketer Farokh Engineer, actor Rahul Bose and Indian hockey player Yuvraj Walmiki.
 
Awards:
MVP Male - Liam Pitchford - Rs. 1 lakh
MVP Female - Wu Yang - Rs. 1 lakh
Ultimate One - Wu Yang (456 Points) - Rs. 1.5 lakh
 
Results:
Shaze Challengers 9-14 Falcons TTC
 
MS - Li Ping beat Sanil Shetty 2-1 (11-9, 11-10, 7-11)
WS - Mouma Das lost to Wu Yang 3-0 (6-11, 2-11, 3-11)
MD - Soumyajit Ghosh/ Petrissa Solja lost to Sanil Shetty/ Lee Ho Ching 0-3 (9-11, 3-11, 8-11)
MS - Andrej Gacina beat Liam Pitchford 2-1 (11-3, 10-11, 11-7)
WS - Han Ying lost to Wu Yang 0-3 (10-11, 4-11, 8-11)
MS - Soumyajit Ghosh lost to Liam Pitchford 1-2 (11-5, 10-11, 7-11)
WS - Han Ying beat Sutirtha Mukherjee 3-0 (11-4, 11-8, 11-7)
MS - Li Ping - Par Gerell 1-1 (11-8, 9-11)
 
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Naqvi launches “Jiyo Parsi Publicity Phase-2” in Mumbai

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Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has lauded the Parsi community for its immense contribution to nation building and for being a role model for others.
 
Launching the second phase of Jiyo Parsi publicity campaign, initiated by the Ministry of Minority Affairs (MOMA), to reverse the decline in the Parsi population by adopting scientific medical protocols and structured interventions here yesterday, Mr Naqvi said even though the Parsi community is a very small minority, it is one of the most liberal and education oriented section of the population.
 
Be it industry, military service, legal service, architecture or civil services, the Parsi community has always shown its talent.
 
Jamshetji Tata had played a crucial role in industrial development of India Dadabhai Naoroji and Madam Bhikaji Cama played an important role in India’s freedom struggle, he added.
 
Homi J Bhabha is the father of the Indian nuclear program. Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw’s service to the nation will be remembered always, he added.
 
Mr Naqvi said the declining population of the Parsi community in India is a matter of concern. Jiyo Parsi Publicity Phase-1 was initiated in 2013 for containing the declining trend of the population of the Parsi community and reversing it to bring their population above the threshold level.
 
The scheme has two components: Medical Assistance and Advocacy/Counselling. It has met with success with the birth of 101 babies.
 
Mr Naqvi said the Parzor Foundation was an important link between the Parsi community and the government in the success of “Jiyo Parsi” scheme. The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai; the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) and Federation of Zoroastrian Anjumans of India have also played a key role in this regard.
 
These organisations have been publicising the scheme through outreach programmes like seminars, workshops, publicity, brochures, Parsi journals and other advocacy programmes and awareness campaign.
 
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Table Tennis: It will be Shazé Challengers v Falcons TTC in Ceat UTT final

Han Ying won both her matches and Li Ping held his nerves when it mattered most as Shazé Challengers beat Dabang Smashers TTC 14-9 in the second semi-final of the inaugural Ceat Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT), the country’s newest franchise sports league, at the NSCI here yesterday evening.
 
Shazé Challengers will lock horns with Falcons TTC in the final of the tournament this evening.
 
The team that secures 14 points first is declared winner in the knockouts. Shazé Challengers had edged out Dabang Smashers 15-12 in the League phase.
 
Portuguese world No 14 Marcos Freitas, a southpaw, put Dabang Smashers ahead with a 2-1 win over attacking 85-ranked Soumyajit Ghosh, who pulled back the third game in the men’s singles (Foreign v Indian) to hand Shazé Challengers one point.
 
In-form China-born German world No 9 Han Ying made it 4-2 for Shazé Challengers as she brushed aside Madhurika Patkar 3-0 in the women’s singles (Foreign v Indian).
 
Next up was mixed doubles (Foreign/Indian pair) and the clash saw Soumyajit Ghosh and his partner Petrissa Solja rally to beat A Amalraj and Tetyana Bilenko 2-1 to extend Shazé Challengers’ lead to 6-3.
 
Croatian Andrej Gacina then edged past China-born Ukraine Kou Lei 2-1 in a closely-fought men’s singles (Foreign player category) clash to further Shazé Challengers lead to 8-4.
 
The experienced Han Ying followed up it up by winning her second match of the day to strengthen Shazé Challengers’ grip on the tie at 10-5, as she rallied to beat North Korean world No 19 Kim Song I 2-1 in the women’s singles (Foreign player category).
 
G Sathiyan pulled off a surprise win over China-born Qatar Li Ping 2-1 in the men’s singles (Foreign v Indian) to hand Dabang Smashers their second win of the day. Shazé Challengers, however, continued to lead at 11-7.
 
Kim Song I (Dabang Smashers) returned to table to thump Mouma Das 2-1 in the women’s singles (Foreign v Indian), but the 135-ranked Indian won the close third game to help Shazé Challengers take a step closer to victory at 12-9.
 
Li Ping closed it for Shazé Challengers 14-9 by winning the first two games against Freitas in the men’s singles (Foreign player category), the eighth and penultimate match.
 
Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi, Bajaj Group chairman Rahul Bajaj and former Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi were amongst those who attended the occasion.
 
Results: Dabang Smashers lost to Shaze Challengers 9-14
MS – Marcos Freitas beat Soumyajit Ghosh 2-1 (11-7, 11-6, 9-11)
WS – Madhurika Patkar lost to Han Ying 0-3 (4-11, 6-11, 7-11)
MD – Amalraj Anthony/ Tetyana Bilenko lost to Soumyajit Ghosh/ Petrissa Solja 1-2 (11-8, 7-11, 5-11), 
MS – Kou Lei lost to Andrej Gacina 2-1 (9-11, 11-6, 7-11)
WS  – Kim Song I lost to Han Ying 1-2 (11-6, 9-11, 10-11)
MS – Sathiyan Gnanasekaran beat Li Ping 2-1 (11-9, 5-11, 11-4)
WS – Kim Song I beat Mouma Das 2-1 (11-4, 11-4, 10-11)
MS  – Marcos Freitas lost to Li Ping 0-2 (9-11, 7-11)
 
 
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Tata Housing, Thane Municipal Corporation begin work on India's largest gymnastics centre

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Real estate developers Tata Housing and Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) launched the construction India's largest independent gymnastics centre in a ground-breaking ceremony in Thane near here today.
 
Situated on Pokhran Road II, the 1.2 lakh sq. ft. facility with international standards will share its address with Tata Housing's homes project Serein.
 
Those who attended the ceremony included Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackery and Maharashtra Public Works Minister Eknath Shinde.
 
A press release from Tata Housing said the gymnastics centre will be the largest such facility in India accommodating six disciplines of gymnastics designed on par with international standards. This will also be the country’s first and only centre dedicated to rhythmic gymnastics and is expected to nurture and propel the sport and young talented gymnasts in India into the international arena.
 
The ground-plus-two storey structure will comprise two team rooms with separate areas for players and coaches, a physiotherapy room, a music room, VIP rooms, a jury room, an administration area, a gymnasium, and a yoga room. It will also have a viewers' gallery that will seat up to 300 people.
 
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Renowned poet, educator Eunice de Souza passes away

Eunice de Souza
Eunice de Souza
Renowned poet, educator, novelist and columnist Eunice de Souza, who inspired generations of students as a teacher, passed away at her residence here today. She was 77.
 
Ms. de Souza served as Professor of English and later as the Head of the Department of English at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai and was closely involved with its theatre activities as an actor and director and its literary festival before retiring from there some years ago.
 
Born in Pune in 1940, Ms. de Souza did her Master's in English literature from the Marquette University, Wisconsin in the United States and then completed her Ph. D. from the University of Mumbai.
 
She came to be widely recognized as one of the best Indian poets writing in English. She also used to write columns for newspapers and was involved in theatre as an actor and director.
 
She published her first collection of poems, Fix, in 1979 and the latest, Learn from the Almond Leaf, came out a year ago. She also wrote two novels, Dangerlok (2001) and Dev and Simran (2003). She also edited several anthologies of poems and essays. Several of her works have been translated into Portuguese, Italian, Finnish and Swedish. She also wrote four books for children.
 
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Table Tennis: Wu Yang and Liam Pitchford lead Falcons TTC into final

Wu Yang and Liam Pitchford won both their matches to help Falcons TTC beat DHFL Maharashtra United 14-5 in the first semi-final of the inaugural Ceat Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT), the country’s newest franchise sports league, at the NSCI in Mumbai last night.
 
The team that secures 14 points first is declared winner in the knockouts. Falcons had won the League meeting between the two teams by 17-10. 
 
Shazé Challengers will meet Dabang Smashers TTC in the second semi-final on Saturday, with the final to be played on Sunday.
 
Hong Kong world No 8 Wong Chun Ting put Maharashtra United ahead with a 2-1 win over southpaw Sanil Shetty, ranked 201 in the world, in the men’s singles (Foreign v Indian), the opening match of the tie.
 
However, Chinese world No 13 Wu Yang brushed aside 279-ranked Pooja Sahasrabudhe Koparkar (Maharashtra United) 3-0 in the women’s singles (Foreign v Indian) for Falcons TTC to move 4-2 ahead on points.
 
Up next was mixed doubles (Foreign/Indian pair) and DHFL Maharashtra United’s pair of Harmeet Desai  and the experienced Fu Yu edged out Sanil Shetty and his partner  Lee Ho Ching 2-1 to reduce their margin of deficit to 4-5.
 
Briton Pitchford pulled off an upset win over Wong Chun Ting 2-1 in the men’s singles (Foreign player category) to extend Falcons’ lead to 7-5.
 
Chinese ace Wu won her second outing of the day as she put it past China-born Austrian world No 22 Liu Jia 3-0 in the women’s singles (Foreign player category) to take Falcons a step closer to victory, at 10-5.
 
Pitchford then won his second match of the day, beating Harmeet Desai 3-0 in the men’s singles (Foreign v Indian) to move Falcons to 13-5, one point way from victory.
 
Sutirtha Mukherjee won the opening game against Liu Jia in the women’s singles (Foreign v Indian) 11-10 to seal the tie for Falcons TTC.
 
Earlier in the evening, Mrs Nita Mukesh Ambani, Founder and Chairperson of Reliance Foundation and India’s only woman member in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) graced the semi-final.
 
Apart from watching the matches in the 1st Semi-Final, Mrs. Ambani also interacted with some of the Indian paddlers. She met with India's Olympian Sharath Kamal, four-time Paralympic Gold Medalist Natalia Partyka, Olympian Kim Song I and India's young sensation Archana Kamath. 
 
Results:
Falcons TTC lead DHFL Maharashtra United 14-5
 
MS – Sanil Shetty lost to Wong Chun Ting 1-2 (8-11, 11-5, 3-11)
WS – Wu Yang beat Pooja Sahasrabudhe Koparkar 3-0 (11-2, 11-4, 11-2)
MD – Sanil Shetty/ Lee Ho Ching lost to Harmeet Desai/ Fu Yu 1-2 (6-11, 11-5, 5-11), 
MS – Liam Pitchford beat Wong Chun Ting 2-1 (11-8, 9-11, 11-4)
WS – Wu Yang beat bt Liu Jia 3-0 (11-5, 11-5, 11-6)
MS - Liam Pitchford beat Harmeet Desai 3-0 (11-6, 11-10, 11-7)
WS - Sutirtha Mukherjee beat Liu Jia 1-0 (11-10)
 
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India's forex reserves rise by $ 2.272 billion to new high of $ 391.331 billion

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India's foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 2.272 billion to a new high of $ 391.331 billion during the week ended July 21, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country's forex reserves had gone up by $ 2.681 billion to $ 389.059 billion during the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that  foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone up by $ 2.240 billion to $ 367.149 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves increased by $ 0.8 million to $ 20.349 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) went up by $ 12.1 million to $ 1.4917 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) increased by $ 19 million to $ 2.341 billion during the week, the bulletin added.
 
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TT: It’s Falcons v Maharashtra United, Shazé Challengers v Dabang Smashers in the semis

Shazé Challengers rallied to beat RP-SG Mavericks 15-12 in the concluding league tie of the inaugural Ceat Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) at the NSCI in Mumbai on Thursday to qualify for the knockouts of the country’s newest franchise sports league.
 
Falcons TTC finished on top of the six-team League table with 78 points, followed by Shazé Challengers (73), Dabang Smashers TTC (69), DHFL Maharashtra United (64), Oilmax Stag Yoddhas (61) and RP-SG Mavericks (60).
 
Falcons TTC will take on DHFL Maharashtra United in the first semi-final on Friday and Shazé Challengers will meet Dabang Smashers TTC in the second semi-final on Saturday. The final will be held on Sunday. 
 
In the knockouts, teams will play only up to such time that one team is winner, having secured 14 points.
 
RP-SG Mavericks opened with a 2-1 win after Indian ace A Sharath Kamal put it past Croatian world No 46 Andrej Gacina (Shazé Challengers) 11-7, 1-11, 11-7 in the men’s singles (Foreign v Indian). 
 
German Sabine Winter made it 4-2 for RP-SG Mavericks by winning the first two games in the women’s singles (Foreign v Indian) against Mouma Das but the 135-ranked Bengal lass pulled one back to score Shazé Challengers’ second point.
 
Next up was mixed doubles (Foreign/Indian pair) which RP-SG Mavericks’ pair of Sharath Kamal/ Sofia Polcanova won 2-1 (11-7, 11-5, 9-11) but Li Ping and Mouma Das picked a crucial point for Shazé Challengers by winning the third game, even as RP-SG Mavericks led 6-3.
 
Austrian Stefan Fegerl extended RP-SG Mavericks’ lead to 8-4 with a 2-1 (2-11, 11-7, 11-8) win over Gacina in the men’s singles (Foreign player category).
 
Winter won her second outing of the day when she beat fellow German Petrissa Solja 2-1 (11-10, 4-11, 11-6) in the women’s singles (Foreign player category) as RP-SG Mavericks moved to a commanding 10-5 lead.
 
Soumyajit Ghosh then recorded Shazé Challengers’ first win of the day when he rallied to beat Fegerl 2-1 (9-11, 11-10, 11-8) in the men’s singles (Foreign v Indian) to reduce his team’s margin of deficit to 7-11. China-born German world No 9 Han Ying brushed aside 17-year-old Archana Girish Kamath, ranked 217 in the world, 3-0 (11-5, 11-6, 11-4) to help narrow down Shazé Challengers’ deficit down to one point (10-11).
 
China-born Qatar world No 42 Li Ping beat Portuguese world No 31 Tiago Apolonia 3-0 (11-4, 11-9, 11-10) in the men’s singles (Foreign player category) as Shazé Challengers took the lead for the first time in the tie, at 13-11. Han Ying then won her second match of the day when she beat Austrian Sofia Polcanova in the women’s singles (Foreign player category) 2-1 (11-3, 11-7, 10-11) to seal the tie for Shazé Challengers.
 
Results:
RP-SG Mavericks lost to Shazé Challengers 12-15 
 
MS – A Sharath Kamal beat Andrej Gacina 2-1 (11-7, 1-11, 11-7)
WS – Sabine Winter beat Mouma Das  2-1 (11-8, 11-9, 8-11)
MD – Sharath Kamal/ Sofia Polcanova beat Li Ping/ Mouma Das  2-1 (11-7, 11-5, 9-11),
MS – Stefan Fegerl beat Andrej Gacina 2-1 (2-11, 11-7, 11-8)
WS  – Petrissa Solja lost to Sabine Winter 1-2 (10-11, 11-4, 11-6)
MS – Stefan Fegerl lost to Soumyajit Ghosh 1-2 (11-9, 10-11, 8-11)
WS – Archana Kamath lost to Han Ying 0-3 (5-11, 6-11, 4-11)
MS – Tiago Apolonia lost to Li Ping 0-3 (4-11, 9-11, 10-11)
WS – Sofia Polcanova Han Ying 1-2 (3-11, 8-11, 11-10)
 
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Falcons TTC lead DHFL Maharashtra United in key tie for knockout spots

Falcons TTC held a slender 7-5 lead over DHFL Maharashtra United after four matches in the ongoing tie as the race for knockout spots heated up in the Ceat Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) at the NSCI in Mumbai on Wednesday.
 
Briton Liam Pitchford put Falcons ahead with a 3-0 (11-6, 11-4, 11-9) win over Harmeet Desai (Maharashtra United) in the men’s singles, the tie’s opening clash.
 
Sutirtha Mukherjee rallied strongly to pull off a surprise 2-1 (7-11, 11-5, 11-9) win over China-born Portuguese international Fu Yu (Maharashtra United) in the women’s singles to extend Falcons’ lead to 5-1.
 
Next up was mixed doubles where Harmeet Desai and his China-born Austrian partner Liu Jia of DHFL Maharashtra United won the opening two games before Sanil Shetty and Lee Ho Ching pulled one back for Falcons TTC, who led 6-3.
 
Portuguese Joao Monteiro of DHFL Maharashtra United won the first two games convincingly but Sweden’s Par Gerell clinched the third in the men’s singles to help Falcons TTC stay ahead at 7-5. Five more matches remain in the ongoing tie.
 
With the final leg of India's first ever professional league CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis moving to Mumbai -- the city where the league was conceptualized, the event kicked off in grandeur with batting legend Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood icon Abhishek Bachchan gracing the match between Falcons TTC and DHFL Maharashtra United here at the NSCI Stadium on Wednesday. On Thursday, Shazé Challengers will lock horns with RP-SG Mavericks in the final tie of the league stage.
 
Results:
After four matches - Falcons TTC 7-5 DHFL Maharashtra United 
 
MS – Liam Pitchford beat Harmeet Desai  3-0 (11-6, 11-4, 11-9)
WS – Sutirtha Mukherjee beat Fu Yu 2-1 (7-11, 11-5, 11-9) 
MD – Sanil Shetty/ Lee Ho Ching lost to Harmeet Desai/ Liu Jia 1-2 (10-11, 10-11, 11-5)
MS – Par Gerell lost to Joao Monteiro 1-2 (5-11, 10-11, 11-8)
 
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Mumbai building collapse toll rises to 17, rescue operations continue

 
Mumbai building collapse: toll rises to 17
The death toll in the collapse of a four-storeyed residential building in the suburban area of Ghatkopar in Mumbai yesterday has risen to 17 as rescue operations continued today, official sources said.
 
Those killed in the tragedy include seven women and an infant, the sources said.
 
At least 11 others were admitted to various hospitals for treatment of injuries, they said.
 
Apart from fire  brigade, police and civic officials, personnel of various other emergency services, including the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), were engaged in the rescue efforts.
 
Residents of the ill-fated Siddhi Sai Cooperative Housing Society building alleged that its pillars had been weakened due to renovation works being carried out in a nursing home being run on its ground floor.
 
Police have detained the owner of the nursing home for questioning, the sources said.
 
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the scene of the tragedy and took stock of the situation. He expressed grief over the loss of lives and ordered an in-depth inquiry into the incident. He asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner to submit its report within 15 days.
 
Mr. Fadnavis promised strict action against those responsible for the tragedy.
 
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Eurofins Scientific to acquire Advinus Therapeutics

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Tata Sons, Tata Industries and Rallis India announced today that they, along with individual shareholders of Advinus Therapeutics, have signed a definitive agreement with Eurofins Scientific for Eurofins to acquire Advinus. 
 
The transaction is expected to close in the next several weeks, subject to the fulfilment of customary closing conditions, a press release from the Tatas said.
 
Eurofins is a leading international group of laboratories providing a range of analytical testing services to the pharmaceutical, food, environmental and consumer prdoucts industries and to governments. It has Euro 2.54 billion in annual revenues and more than 30,000 employees in around 375 sites in 41 countries.
 
Advinus is a leading pre-clinical contract research company for Safety Assessment, CMC Services, DMPK and Analytical R&D Services. Its expertise complements Eurofins contract research, development and manufacturing (CDMO) capabilities, the release said.
 
With over 10 years of GLP compliance and certification, Advinus serves diverse industries such as Biotech, Pharmaceuticals, Biologics, Agrochemicals, Nutraceuticals and Cosmetics. Advinus has submitted over 50 end-to-end investigational new drug applications (INDs) to global regulators such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in the UK (MHRA) and Health Canada among others.
 
Located in Bangalore, India, Advinus operates a state-of-the art 20,000 square metre facility, the release said.
 
Mr. K R S Jamwal, chairman of Advinus and executive director of Tata Industries, said, “Advinus has developed significant promise under Tata parenting, and will now realise its full potential joining the Eurofins family of laboratories. We are confident that with access to Eurofins’ global network and technical competencies, Advinus will be able to rapidly expand its analytical portfolio and services to benefit all its existing and future clients.”
 
Mr. Rajiv Malik, chief executive officer of Advinus, said, “Advinus has substantial capabilities that are in synergy with Eurofins and provide us with additional opportunities to grow the Company. We are very excited about becoming a part of the Eurofins family.”
 
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India's forex reserves rise by $ 2.681 billion to new high of $ 389.059 billion

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India's foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 2.681 billion to a new high of $ 389.059 billion during the week ended July 14, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country's forex reserves had dipped by $ 161.9 million to $ 386.377 billion during the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that  foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone up by $ 2.677 billion to $ 364.909 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at  $ 20.348 billion during the week, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) went up by $ 1.8 million to $ 1.4796 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) increased by $ 2.7 million to $ 2.322 billion during the week, the bulletin added.
 
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JioPhone to be effectively free, with free voice calls, unlimited data: Ambani

Reliance Jio on Friday unveiled its feature phone, called JioPhone, that will be available effectively free to all customers with free voice calling and unlimited data in yet another move that could disrupt the hihgly competitive telecom sector in India.

 
Ambani unveils JioPhone at RIL AGM
Telecom services provider Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, a subsidiary of energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), today unveiled its feature phone, called JioPhone, that will be available effectively free to all customers with free voice calling and unlimited data in yet another move that could disrupt the highly competitive telecom sector in India.
 
"Today, I am delighted to announce that JioPhone will be available to all Indians for an effective price of 0. Yes, you have heard it right …for an effective price of 0! JioPhone is effectively free for Jio customers," RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh D. Ambani told the company's 40th annual general meeting (AGM) here today.
 
Mr. Ambani said that, to protect against misuse of the free offer, the company planned to collect a fully refundable one-stime security deposit of Rs. 1500 with every JioPhone.
 
"A JioPhone user can use the JioPhone for 36 months, and can get a full refund of the security deposit of Rs. 1,500 by returning the used JioPhone. Net-net, you pay nothing for the JioPhone," he said.
 
"All Indians – without exception – will not only be free from voice charges, from SMS charges, from extortionist data charges. From 15th August, 2017, they will have access to the highest quality, highest quantity, most affordable and unlimited data. This is how Jio will end the digital exclusion in India. And this is what I call true digital freedom.
 
"Reliance dedicates JioPhone to the nation on the joyous occasion of India@70 - the 70th anniversary of India's Freedom and offers it to over 50 crore data-deprived mobile feature phone users in India. Digital Life will no longer be the privilege of the affluent few. This is the most powerful digital tool ever created in India to empower every Indian," he said.
 
Mr. Ambani said there are 78 crore mobile phones in India, but more than 50 crore feature phone users had been left out of the digital revolution.
 
"They cannot avail any benefits of a smart phone, much less the benefits of a 4G LTE smartphone. They can neither afford the cheapest 4G LTE smartphone, nor the exorbitant cost of data charged by existing 2G operators," he said.
 
Mr. Ambani recalled that, at last year's AGM, he had said that data was the oxygen of digital life and no Indian should suffer because of data scarcity and unaffordability.
 
"Sadly, a vast majority of mobile users in India are starved of data. This digital disempowerment and unfairness must end. Jio is committing to end it today. We shall achieve this in three ways – Connectivity, Data Affordability and Device Affordability," he said.
 
He said the TRAI Speed Test portal, which officially monitors the quality of telecom networks in India, had consistently ranked Jio as the clear 4G network leader in coverage, usage and data speeds. He said that, in the next 12 months, Jio services would cover 99% of the country's population.
 
"Because of Jio, India's 4G coverage will be more than its 2G coverage. It took 25 years for our competitors to build their 2G network. Jio will have created a larger 4G network in just three years. To support the enhanced coverage, we are also expanding our physical distribution network across India. We will soon have over 10,000 Jio offices, across every city and tehsil town of India. These offices will service our sales channel partners and over ten lakh physical retail outlets that sell Jio services. In addition we will integrate with all major e-commerce platforms," he said.
 
Mr. Ambani said it was both unjust and ironic and 50 crore Indians who have feature phones pay more for voice calls and SMS than those with smartphones.
 
"They end up spending their entire month's telecom budget of Rs 150 – Rs 200 only to get 150 minutes of voice - while their smartphone counterparts on Jio network get voice for free. Even today, they have to pay between Rs. 4,000 to 8,000 for every GB of data - while their smartphone counterparts on Jio get data for Rs. 10 to 20 per GB. If these feature phone users were to consume a similar quantity of data as smartphone users, they would spend over Rs. 4000 per month at the prevailing 2G data rates. This makes it impossible for them to even think of using data, let alone avail advanced data services like video calling, mobile video and mobile applications," he said.
 
Mr. Ambani said that, on the JioPhone, voice would always be free. "Currently, the 50 crore feature phone users are charged Rs. 1.2 to Rs. 1.5 per minute for basic voice calling," he said.
 
"With Jio's network coverage reaching 99% of India's population, and by making voice calls free, this potentially empowers each and every Indian to make free voice calls to any operator anywhere in India.
 
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He said the 50 crore feature phone users did not even have access to basic internet and apps. He said Jio would give them access to unlimited data on the JioPhone.
 
"If these feature phone users were to consume a similar quantity of data on other operator's network, they would spend over Rs. 4,000 – Rs. 5,000 per month at prevailing 2G data rates. Jio will provide this at only Rs. 153 per month..that is one-thirtieth the price," he said.
 
He said there would be a fair usage policy of half a GB per day, to ensure that bandwidth is fairly apportioned for every user.
 
"Many JioPhone users might like to view their favorite content such as live TV, movies, education on the big screen of their television sets. This is especially true in many remote parts of India where even cable TV and high speed internet have not reached. Our young Jio engineers have created an innovation to help them -- a special and affordable JioPhone TV cable that connects JioPhone with any TV, not just a smart TV, so that all JioPhone users can enjoy viewing on the big screen of their existing television sets.
 
"Along with this accessory, users can opt for the existing Jio Dhan Dhan Dhan Rs. 309 pack that would allow users to watch almost 3-4 hours of videos daily, of their choice, on a large screen," he said.
 
Recognising that many users would find it difficult to commit Rs. 153 upfront, the company is also introducing two sachets - a weekly plan for Rs 54 and a 2-day plan for Rs. 24, that provide similar value.
 
"This breakthrough and revolutionary device named JioPhone along with Jio's disruptive tariff will unleash the power of Digital Life in the hands of 1.3 billion citizens of the largest democracy in the world," he said.
 
"Jio will democratize the digital culture in India. Jio will be the greatest accelerator of the Bharat-India connectivity. Indians even in the remotest villages will now have the same access to digital entertainment, digital learning, eHealthcare, e-banking, e-Governance and real-time information that is enjoyed by those in cities like Mumbai or Delhi," he said.
 
He said the launch of the JioPhone would fulfill the dream of the company's founder Dhirubhai Ambani and the Digital India vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
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Mr. Ambani said the JioPhone would be available for user testing in beta from August 15 and for pre-booking from August 24. The phone will be physically available to those who have pre-booked, on a first come first served basis from September onwards.
 
He also said that, from the last quarter of this year, all JioPhones will be made in India and that the company is targeting to have 5 million JioPhones available every week.
 
"Today, I am mandating the Jio Team to help a majority of feature phone users in India to migrate to JioPhone. JioPhone will make the 2G feature phone obsolete," he said.
 
He said creating fixed-line high-speed broadband services was the next leap forward for the country. "Jio remains well on track to bring world-class optic-fiber connectivity to enterprises, small businesses, homes and public spaces. Most of Jio's infrastructure for providing these services is already in place. This is the next big monetization opportunity for Jio," he said.
 
Mr. Ambani began by noting that this year marked the 40th anniversary of the company's IPO and said that in just four decades Reliance had grown from a small start-up to one of the largest and most admired companies in the world.
 
"From a textiles company, we have created multiple growth engines in energy, materials, consumer and digital businesses. Each one is global scale and world class," he said, giving details of the company's achievements on various fronts.
 
He also dwelt at length on the achievements of Reliance Jio in the ten months since its commercial launch in September last year. Today, Jio has over 125 million customers, he said.
 
He said Jio had converted the majority of its free customers to paid customers and had more than 100 million paying Jio Prime customers. Most of them have recharged on Jio's Rs. 309 or higher plans, he said.
 
Mr. Ambani also provided details of the company's financial performance during the past year.
 
"The net profit of Rs. 29,901 crore is the highest in the Indian corporate sector. Reliance continuous to be India's largest exporter accounting for 8% of India's total merchandise exports with a value of Rs. 147,755 crore and access to markets in 108 countries. Reliance paid Rs. 29,637 crore of customs and excise duty during the year, which is almost 5% of India's total revenues from customs and excise duty.
 
"Reliance is also the highest Income tax payer in the private sector in India and paid Rs. 8,880 crore as income tax during the year," he said.
 
"Over the last five years, we have made capital investment of Rs. 330,000 crore, the largest capital expenditure program by any Indian corporate. We have invested over Rs. 2 lakh crore in our digital services and we are the largest contributor to the 'Digital India' vision of our Honourable Prime Minister. We have invested over Rs. 1.3 lakh crore in our energy and material businesses thereby strengthening the 'Make in India' initiative of our Honourable Prime Minister. All of these investments will start generating operating revenues in the coming months," he said.
 
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RIL reports 28% rise in consolidated net profit to a record Rs. 9,108 crore in Q1

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Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today reported a 28 percent rise in consolidated net profit to a record Rs. 9,108 crore in the first quarter (Q1) of fiscal year 2017-18, as compared with Rs. 7,113 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.
 
Announcing its unaudited financial results for the quarter here, the company  said that its consolidted net profit, excluding exceptional item, was 12.8% higher at Rs. 8,021 crore in the quarter.
 
A press release from the company said its consolidated revenue had gone up 26.7% to Rs. 90,537 crore from Rs. 71,451 crore in the same quarter of the previous year.
 
On a standalone basis, RIL reported a record quarterly net profit of Rs. 8,196 crore, up 8.6% from Rs. 7,548 crore it had posted in the same quarter of the previous year.
 
The company said its standalone revenue had increased by 18.4% to Rs. 70,434 crore, while exports had gone up by 11.5% to Rs. 37,111 crore.
 
The company said its gross refining margin (GRM) for the quarter was $ 11.9/bbl.
 
“Our company recorded yet another strong quarterly performance with net profit of Rs. 9,108 crore, up 28% Y-o-Y. Our industry leading portfolio of assets in the refining and petrochemicals business contributed to considerable improvement in our earnings for the quarter," RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh D. Ambani said.
 
"Retail business also witnessed accelerated growth momentum with YoY revenue growth of 74%. Jio has revolutionised the Indian telecom and data consumption landscape. This digital services business has been built to address the entire value chain across the digital services domain with smart applications to make life simple, beautiful and secure.
 
"Over the last four decades, Reliance has continued to grow and evolve by creating value through building competitive global scale businesses and delivering increasing shareholder returns. Over the past 3-4 years, we made significant investments in new plants, thus creating organic growth platforms for our energy and materials businesses. Full commissioning of new PX facility at Jamnagar during the quarter will strengthen the integration within our polyester chain. Ramp-up of ethane import project has helped in diversifying feedstock sources and mitigating risks for our existing crackers at Dahej and Hazira. It is our constant endeavor to deliver world-class product and experience to Indian consumers through our retail and digital services businesses, which we believe are game changing initiatives," he added.
 
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The release said the increase in the company's revenue was primarily on account of increase in prices and volumes of refining and petrochemical products, partially offset by lower prices and volumes from the exploration and production (E&P) business. Revenue was also boosted by robust growth in retail business which recorded a 73.6% increase in revenue to Rs. 11,571 crore. 
 
Brent crude oil price averaged $ 49.9/bbl in 1Q FY18 as compared to $ 45.6/bbl in the corresponding period of the previous year, it said.
 
"Strong refining and petrochemicals margin environment contributed to higher operating profits for the quarter. Gross refining margins recorded nine-year-high of $ 11.9/bbl whereas petrochemicals EBIT margin were at all-time high of 15.8%," it said.
 
The company said its other income was lower at Rs. 2,124 crore as against Rs. 2,378 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year due to lower investible surplus.
 
The exceptional item during the quarter was Rs. 1,087 crore ($ 168 million), representing profit from divestment of the company's stake in Gulf Africa Petroleum Corporation (GAPCO).
 
Outstanding debt as on 30th June 2017 was Rs. 200,674 crore as compared to Rs. 196,601 crore as on 31st March 2017.
 
Cash and cash equivalents as on 30th June 2017 were at Rs. 72,107 crore  compared to Rs. 77,226 crore as on 31st March 2017. These were in bank deposits, mutual funds, CDs and Government Bonds and other marketable securities, the release said.
 
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India's forex reserves dip by $ 161.9 million to $ 386.377 billion

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India's foreign exchange reserves dipped by $ 161.9 million to $ 386.377 billion during the week ended July 7, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country's forex reserves had soared by a whopping $ 4.007 billion to a new high of $ 386.539 billion during the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that  foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone down by $ 157 million to $ 362.232 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at  $ 20.348 billion during the week, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) went down by $ 1.9 million to $ 1.4778 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) declined by $ 3 million to $ 2.3194 billion during the week, the bulletin added.
 
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Tata Sons appoints Aarthi Subramanian as Tata Group's Chief Digital Officer

Aarthi Subramanian
Aarthi Subramanian
Tata Sons today announced the appointment of Ms. Aarthi Subramanian as the Tata Group’s chief digital officer with effect from August. 
 
Ms Subramanian will report to Mr. N Chandrasekaran, Executive Chairman of Tata Sons, in her new role, a press release from the company said.
 
A professional with over 26 years of experience in the global technology sector, Ms Subramanian started her career with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and worked in diverse roles in India, Sweden, the US and Canada, thereby gaining rich experience in consulting engagements and executing large-scale technology projects as well as in operations and programme management. 
 
She is currently executive director at TCS, responsible for driving the company’s digital foray, excellence in customer engagement and delivery governance. She has also been responsible for leading key initiatives such as digital, agile and operational excellence in TCS. 
 
Ms Subramanian will continue to serve on the Board of TCS as a non-executive director, the release said.
 
Mr Chandrasekaran said, “Aarthi has a great track record of successfully leading large teams to achieve excellence in customer service delivery and she has been a strong advocate of proactive value addition for customers. As the group chief digital officer, she will play a key role in driving digital adoption across group companies as well as the group’s digital initiatives. Having worked with Aarthi for many years, I know that her experience and commitment will be very valuable in building a Tata group that is ready to rise in the digital economy”.
 
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to work under Chandra’s leadership again. The Tata group is a unique institution with great strengths and it will be my endeavour to help the group capture many new economic opportunities that are emerging from the digital economy,” said Ms Subramanian.
 
Ms Subramanian is a graduate of computer science from the National Institute of Technology, Warangal, India, and holds a master’s degree in Engineering Management from University of Kansas, US.
 
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Reliance Jio's Prime members can enjoy unlimited services for three months with Rs. 309 plan

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Telecom services provider Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. (Jio) today announced that its Jio Prime Members can enjoy unlimited services for three months with the Rs. 399 plan. 
 
The earlier launched Rs 309 plan will provide two months of unlimited Jio services, a press release from the company said.
 
The new set of plan benefits will be available from today and will be applicable for all new as well as existing subscribers, the release said. 
 
As part of these unlimited benefits, customers can enjoy 1GB Data per day at 4G speed followed by unlimited at 128 kbps, unlimited local, STD and national roaming voice calls and unlimited national SMS.
 
Over and above the Prime exclusive plans, Jio is introducing new Every Day More Value (EDMV) plans. These plans provide 20% more value than competitors’ best plans. "It’s Jio’s solemn promise to always offer better value for the best price," the release said.
 
In March, Jio, a subsidiary of the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), had introduced the Prime membership programme, in which millions of customers have enrolled. "These founding members of Jio will also be special and they will continue to get industry-leading tariffs. With the introduction of EDMV plans, Jio customers no longer have to worry if they are getting the best value with Jio," the release added.
 
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India's forex reserves soar by $ 4 billion to record $ 386.539 billion

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India's foreign exchange reserves soared by a whopping $ 4.007 billion to a new high of $ 386.539 billion during the week ended June 30, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country's forex reserves had risen by $ 576.4 million to $ 382.531 billion in the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that  foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone up by $ 3.724 billion to $ 358.664 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves increased by $ 252.8 million to $ 20.348 billion during the week, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) went up by $ 11.8 million to $ 1.479 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) went up by $ 18.9 million to $ 2.322 billion during the week, the bulletin added.
 
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Sun Pharma, Samsung BioLogics announce strategic manufacturing tie-up for Tildrakizumab

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Pharmaceuticals major Sun Pharma and Samsung BioLogics today announced a strategic long-term manufacturing agreement for Tildrakizumab. 
 
A press release from Sun Pharma said the agreement was entered into by its wholly-owned subsidiary and Samsung BioLogics at the latter's  headquarters in Incheon, South Korea. 
 
The approximate value of the contract will be $ 55.5 million, while other financial details of the agreement are confidential, it said.
 
According to the agreement, Sun Pharma has appointed Samsung BioLogics to manufacture Tildrakizumab, an investigational IL-23p19 inhibitor being evaluated for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. 
 
Filings for this novel investigational biologic has been accepted for review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (May 2017) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) (March 2017). 
 
Dr. T. H. Kim, President and CEO of Samsung BioLogics said, “Samsung BioLogics is pleased to join hands with Sun Pharma and is looking forward to delivering best-in-class manufacturing services with global quality standards. Our collaboration with Sun Pharma is an important milestone for Samsung as it is a testament of our ability to provide reliable supply through its GMP-certified manufacturing facility to pharmaceutical companies, which aim to expand their global market.”
 
Mr Kirti Ganorkar, Global Head – Portfolio Management & Business Development, Sun Pharma said, “Samsung BioLogics is a globally renowned CMO. Through this partnership we will leverage Samsung’s manufacturing knowledge and world class quality systems to provide high quality products for the Tildrakizumab pipeline.”
 
The release said Tildrakizumab is an investigational humanized, anti-IL-23p19 monoclonal antibody designed to selectively block the cytokine IL-23. With this precise targeting, tildrakizumab has the potential to help control the pathogenic cells responsible for the inflammatory process of psoriasis with limited impact on the rest of the immune system. 
 
"Phase-3 tildrakizumab data provide further evidence for the role of the IL-23 pathway in helping to control the inflammatory process of psoriasis. The regulatory filings associated with tildrakizumab have been accepted for review by the FDA and EMA," it added.
 
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.’s wholly owned subsidiary received worldwide rights to tildrakizumab from Merck (through a Merck subsidiary), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, in 2014. Funded by a Sun Pharma subsidiary, Merck is responsible for the completion of Phase- 3 trials in patients with mild-to-moderate plaque psoriasis and, as appropriate, submission of a Biologics License Application to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 
 
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Merck is also responsible for manufacturing finished goods to support Sun Pharma’s initial product launch. Post-approval in the U.S., Sun Pharma will be responsible for all other regulatory activities, including subsequent submissions, pharmacovigilance, post approval studies, manufacturing and commercialization of the approved product. Sun Pharma will also be responsible for all regulatory, pharmacovigilance, post approval studies, manufacturing and commercialization of approved products for all non-U.S. markets. Merck is eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties on sales of tildrakizumab. 
 
Sun Pharma and its wholly owned subsidiary and Almirall closed on July 2016 a licensing agreement on the development and commercialization of tildrakizumab for psoriasis in Europe. Under terms of the license agreement, Almirall is able to lead European studies, and participate in larger global clinical studies for psoriasis indication subject to the terms of the Sun Pharma – Merck agreements, as well as certain cost sharing agreements. Sun Pharma will be eligible to receive development and regulatory milestone payments and, additionally, sales milestone payments and royalties on net sales.
 
Sun Pharma will continue to lead development of tildrakizumab for other indications, where Almirall will have right of first negotiation for certain indications in Europe. The agreement between Sun Pharma and Almirall remains subject to the exclusive license agreement between Sun Pharma and Merck, the release added.
 
Samsung BioLogics is a global full-service provider of quality-driven contract process development and cGMP manufacturing to the global biopharmaceutical industry. 
 
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Godrej Properties announces new residential project in Gurgaon

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Mumbai-based real estate developer Godrej Properties Ltd. (GPL) today  announced the addition of a new group housing project in Gurgaon, near Delhi.
 
The project will offer approximately 98,000 square meters (approximately 1.05 million sq. ft.) of saleable area and will be developed as a modern group housing development, a press release from the company said.
 
The project is located just 5 kms from NH 8 and is easily accessible via a network of main sector roads, it said.
 
"This is GPL’s eleventh project within the National Capital Region (NCR).  Within five years of entering the NCR market, Godrej Properties has established itself as one of the market leaders in Gurgaon and hopes to build on this success with this project," the release said.
 
Mr. Pirojsha Godrej, Executive Chairman, Godrej Properties said, “We are happy to add this new project in Gurgaon. This fits with our strategy of building our presence in the country's leading real estate markets.  We look forward to delivering an outstanding project."
 
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India's forex reserves rise by $ 576.4 million to $ 382.531 billion

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India's foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 576.4 million to a new high of $ 382.531 billion during the week ended June 23, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country's forex reserves had risen by $ 799 million to $ 381.955 billion during the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that  foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone up by $ 580.2 million to $ 358.664 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 20.096 billion during the week, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) went down by $ 1.5 million to $ 1.468 billion.  
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) decreased by $ 2.3 million to $ 2.303 billion during the week, the bulletin added.
 
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S.N. Subrahmanyan to assume office as CEO and MD of L&T from July 1

S.N. Subrahmanyan
S.N. Subrahmanyan
Mr. S.N. Subrahmanyan will assume office as CEO and Managing Director of infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) with effect from tomorrow.
 
This follows his appointment to the role by the Board of Directors of Larsen & Toubro at its meeting held on April 7. Mr. Subrahmanyan is currently the Deputy Managing Director and President of the $ 17 billion company.
 
At the meeting on April 7, the Board had also requested Mr. A.M. Naik, Group Executive Chairman, L&T, to provide guidance and mentorship to the company’s leadership subsequent to his current term. Consequently Mr. Naik will continue as Non-Executive Chairman of the company for a period of three years effective October 1, 2017, a press release from the company said.
 
Mr. Naik said: “Mr. Subrahmanyan is the finest among the many top executives I have mentored over the last few years. Three years ago he was identified as the most likely leader to take on the role of CEO and Managing Director. Since then I have worked closely with him and engaged him in all aspects of L&T’s operations, going beyond his core domains of infrastructure and construction. Mr. Subrahmanyan has a great work ethic and business acumen to take L&T to greater heights in the future. I have full confidence that under him L&T will remain steadfast to its core values, fulfill the expectations of our stakeholders and continue to play a key role in building a stronger India.”
 
Mr. Subrahmanyan said: “This is indeed high honour and immense responsibility. I am truly blessed and count myself very fortunate. Larsen & Toubro is a flag bearer for Indian industry and is the builder of the India of tomorrow. I am very grateful to Mr. Naik for his guidance and will try my best to live up to his expectations in taking this great company forward into the future. I look forward to jointly writing a new chapter for L&T along with our high caliber employees while ensuring that we continue to deliver value to our stakeholders. I am humbled and at the same time excited and confident to be at this role in L&T.”
 
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Mr. Subrahmanyan joined the construction business of L&T in 1984 as a project planning engineer after completing a degree in civil engineering and post-graduation in business management. His ability to develop innovative solutions in the construction and infrastructure space has seen him rise rapidly up the leadership rungs of the company. He successfully helmed L&T’s largest infrastructure projects including new airports in major cities, metro, and freight corridor projects across India and expansion of operations abroad. 
 
The L&T Construction business has grown multifold under his leadership to rank among the top 25 global contractors and by far the largest EPC player in the country. In 2011, Mr. Subrahmanyan was inducted into the L&T Board.
 
Under Mr. Naik’s guidance, Mr. Subrahmanyan also demonstrated his leadership credentials by assuming apex-level responsibility for other businesses of the Group, including LTI (erstwhile L&T Infotech), L&T Technology Services, Smart World & Communication and Digital initiatives. He was also appointed Chairman of L&T Metro Rail and L&T Shipbuilding to provide guidance and strategic inputs to these businesses.
 
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Reliance Jio launches new submarine cable system

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Telecom services provider Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. (Jio) today announced the launch of the of the Asia-Africa-Europe (AAE-1) submarine cable system that will bring upto 40 terabits of new capacity to the region.
 
A press release from the company, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), said AAE-1, the longest 100Gbps technology based submarine system, will stretch over 25,000 km from Marseille, France to Hong Kong, with 21 cable landings across Asia and Europe. 
 
This large scale project is the combined work of leading telecom service providers from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, it said.
 
With diversified Points of Presence (PoP) in Asia (Hong Kong and Singapore) and three onward connectivity options in Europe (via France, Italy and Greece), AAE-1 will provide the requisite flexibility and diversity for carriers and their customers, it said.
 
The release said AAE-1 will pass through the critical hubs, serving the increasing demand for video centric data bandwidth supporting all types of communications, applications, and content within India and beyond. 
 
"AAE-1 links seamlessly with other cable systems and fiber networks to deliver direct access to all global markets," it said.
 
“The new terabit capacity and 100Gbps direct connectivity to global content hubs and interconnection points ensure that Jio will continue to offer its customers the most exceptional high speed internet and digital service experience,” said Mathew Oommen, President-Jio. “We are excited to participate in the launch and deliver the cable landing in Mumbai at the time when India’s data traffic continues its accelerated data consumption and growth.”
 
Due to its advanced design and route, AAE-1 provides one of the lowest latency routes between Hong Kong, India, Middle East and Europe with the fewest hops, the release said.
 
Jio provides the Network Operations & Management for AAE-1 Cable System. The AAE-1 NOC, managed by Jio, leverages the state of the art facility in Navi Mumbai along with its advanced tools and automation, the release added.
 
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Cricket: India ‘A’ teams for South Africa tour announced

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Manish Pandey will captain the India "A" one-day side and Karun Nair the team in four-day games in the India "A" tour of South Africa beginning later this month, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced here today.
 
A BCCI press release said its All-India Senior Selection Committee met earlier today to select the India ‘A’ teams for the tour.
 
India ‘A’ will play a one-day tri-series involving Australia ‘A’ and South Africa ‘A’ followed by two four-day matches against the hosts.
 
The teams are as follows:
 
One-day Team:
 
Mandeep Singh, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Manish Pandey (Captain), Deepak Hooda, Karun Nair, Krunal Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Vijay Shankar, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jayant Yadav, Basil Thampi, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Siddarth Kaul.
 
Test Team:
 
PK Panchal, Abhinav Mukund, Shreyas Iyer, Ankit Bawne, Karun Nair (Captain), Sudip Chatterjee, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hanuma Vihari, Jayant Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Aniket Choudhary, Ankit Rajpoot.
 
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APM Maersk's operations at JNPT disrupted by cyber attack

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The operations of APM Maersk, one of the private terminal operators at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) here, have been disrupted as a consequence of a worldwide disruption faced by it and several other organisations because of a cyber attack in Europe.
 
A press release from the Ministry of Shippinng said that the company had informed the authorities about the unforeseen situation.
 
"While the terminal operator is taking steps to address the issues disrupting the operations, it is anticipated that there could be bunching of in-bound and out-bound container cargo.  Ministry of Shipping and JNPT are alive to the situation and are taking steps to ensure minimum disturbance to trade, transporters and more importantly local citizens.  
 
"Since the congestion could create difficulties in traffic management, JNPT has opened up its parking lots for cargo destined to this private terminal.  Further, CFSs (container freight stations) have been advised to hold the cargo in their yards.  JNPT is also working with local authority CIDCO, to identify more parking areas.  Traffic control teams are being deployed to address potential road congestion," the release said.
 
The Ministry said the situation was being closely monitored and further steps to deal with the traffic situation would be initiated based on an assessment during the course of the next few days.   
 
Dr. Gulshan Rai, National Cyber Security Coordinator, is proceeding to JNPT to further deal with the situation, the release added.
 
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