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    India's rural poor give up on power grid, go solar

    <p>In this May 24, 2011 photograph, Pushpa Gowda, center, laughs with her family and neighbors on the evening after they installed solar-powered light in her house in Nada village on the outskirts of Mangalore, India. Across India, thousands of homes are receiving their first light through small companies and aid programs that are bypassing the central electricity grid to deliver solar panels to the rural poor. Those customers could provide the human energy that advocates of solar power have been looking for to fuel a boom in the next decade. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)</p>

    source: / by Rariq Maqbool / Home >News> Science > Science>  Image / Sunday , Jul 03rd, 2011

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    best job Anjaan Hamilton Island Australia Balgalore Island caretaker tourism queensland

    India’s Anjaan is another step closer to securing “the best job in the world” in Australia.

    The 28-year-old programme manager / radio DJ fromBangalore has again made the cut to remain in the running for the “Island Caretaker” job for Hamilton Islandin sunny Queensland, Australia.

    From an initial shortlist of 50 (out of 34,000), Anjaan is now one of 16 people from around the world shortlisted for final interviews on Hamilton Island early May.

    The job requires the successful applicant to look after the island (explore and write a daily blog, clean the pool, feed the fish) for a period of six months – all for a staggering $188,000 (A$150,000).

    The high publicity campaign is part of Tourism Queensland’s bid to promote the region. Anjaan RJ likes to swim – a lot, which is a useful skill to have as a shortlisted finalist for the Best Job in the World.

    Anjaan 28, describes himself as an entertainer, storyteller and beach bum who is also skilled in Bollywood dancing. His love for connecting to people led him to radio more than a decade ago and in his current role, Anjaan sells creative ideas and concepts every day.

    “I paint pictures with my words daily on radio, and have transported people to different worlds with my blogs, photographs and articles,” says Anjaan.

    If selected as Island Caretaker, Anjaan plans to bring along his motivation and soul-mate – wife Amrita.

    “We were impressed with Anjaan’s exuberant and quirky nature which came across in his many media interviews and well established (and well read) blog,” Tourisn Queensland said.

    Kim Jagtiani, from Maharashtra, who was also among the shortlisted 50, did not make the top 16 list.

    Other candidates are from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Britain, United States, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, and Taiwan.

    The final 16 will be brought to Hamilton Island May 3-6 for more interviews in the final selection process. The successful candidate will be announced on May 6, and the Island Caretaker starts his/her job on July 1.

    Stretching the Queensland coastline, the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef offer visitors a unique chance to live among the single largest living thing in the world. The surface of the Coral Sea divides the Great Barrier Reef into two completely different universes – explore the reefs below the water and experience the life above on the stunning islands.

    You, the public, can view the final 16 at

    source: / by Arvind Kumar / Friday Apr 03rd, 2009
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    Manasvi Mamgai neha hinge nicole faria miss india international world earth. indiansMiss India World Manasvi Mamgai and Miss India International Neha Hinge in Nadi last week.

    Three Indian beauty queens graced the shores of Fiji last week as part of Tourism Fiji’s bid to host next year’s Miss India pageant in the South Pacific nation.

    The beauty queens included 22-year-old Manasvi Mamgai, a well-known Indian model from Delhi who took out the Miss India World title, software engineer Neha Hinge, 23, who was crowned Miss India International, and Nicole Faria, 20, the Bangalore beauty who won Miss Earth Environmental.

    The three winners of the Ms India Pageant 2010 flew Air Pacific from Hong Kong along with a supporting film crew.

    They were in Fiji as part of Tourism Fiji’s bid to host Miss India 2011. Their first day was spent at the Shangri-La Fijian Resort and Spa in Sigatoka.

    Tourism Fiji chief executive Joe Tuamoto said the industry wanted to showcase Fiji’s products and excursions where arrangements were made with properties in the tourism belt.

    The trip was offered as part of their prizes and the group was invited by Air Pacific, Tourism Fiji and Tours Managers. The Miss India pageant has a worldwide television audience.

    source: / Online / Fiji Times / Sunday, Jun 13th, 2010

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    car indian Reva electric cars christchurch

    The Reva ……….  could soon be built in Christchurch
    An Indian company is eyeing up Christchurch as a manufacturing base for 30,000 electric cars, spurred on by New Zealand’s new free trade agreement with China.
    But the deal – understood to be under negotiation – is partially contingent on securing $US20 million private capital from New Zealand investors.
    The company, Reva, is a joint venture with a New York based fund, but based in Bangalore. It has the largest deployed fleet of electric cars in 24 countries worldwide, with 3000 EVs (electric vehicles) on the road.
    A New Zealand manufacturing base could provide up to 400 jobs and earn the country $100 million in exports.
    Investment New Zealand’s manager of clean technology Chris Mulcare said New Zealand’s brand positioning, renewable energy, research and development and FTA with China made the country an attractive option.
    “New Zealand is a nexus between India and China,” he said at this week’s New Zealand Private Equity Venture Capital Association conference.
    New Zealand had potential to become the nexus between the two countries in other areas of clean technology, Mr Mulcare said.
    Christchurch was a good fit, as it already had a manufacturing hub, with many companies already servicing the automotive industry, including hybrid city bus company, Designline, he said.
    “It’s a good opportunity to develop a bridge with India and capitalising on the high level of skill we have in engineering and technology services, along with our boutique manufacturing businesses.”
    Reva’s NXR and NXG cars are designed to use about 80% fewer parts than a conventional or hybrid car, and are manufactured in different markets using solar power, cleaned with rainwater and in Europe, their lithium ion batteries are recycled.
    At the conference, Mr Mulcare was asked about a conflict between EV’s and biofuel. “Biofuels will be challenged by the availability of biomass, until you get marine algae into the play, but you’re not going to have electric airplanes either.
    “There are multiple options and they can both sit alongside each other.”
    Retaining ownership?
    New Zealand does not have the capital needed to develop clean-tech plants and a licensing play is a better model, according to The Warehouse founder Stephen Tindall.
    Speaking at the conference, Mr Tindall endorsed biofuel company LanzaTech, one of the most promising clean-tech investments for his K1W1 angel investor company.
    LanzaTech is targeting China’s steel mill industry, using its proprietary microbe to produce ethanol and high value chemicals from industry off-gas, reformed methane and syngas.
    Ethanol had potential to grow to a $113 billion industry by 2020, he said.
    Asked how to retain ownership and a dividend flow for New Zealand investors, Mr Tindall said the goal was to have as much ownership as possible, while following a licensing model that took a percentage per litre.
    “Let the steel companies put in plants and we take as much as we can.”
    In the last week, Mr Tindall said two other technologies with even bigger potential had approached the company.
    After the meeting, he said he was bound by non-disclosure agreements and K1W1 was undertaking due diligence.
    This would include taking New Zealand based technology and IP and licensing it around the world, he said.

    “There is nowhere near enough New Zealand capital to fund these [manufacturing and production plants] in different countries.”

    * National Business Review

    source: / Andrea Deuchrass* / Friday Nov 09h, 2009 / National Business Review


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    A childhood in India and a book of family recipes lie behind Christopher Smith’s range of homemade chutneys and sauces. Rose Prince watches him whip up a batch of brinjal pickle.

    Christopher Smith in his kitchen 

    Christopher Smith in his kitchen Photo: CHRIS SCOTT

    Christopher Smith spent his 13th birthday on a ship. The boat, which docked at Tilbury, Essex, on December 17 1964, had sailed from India. ‘My mum gave me a pair of long johns,’ Smith remembers. It was his first sight of England. ‘As we came up the Thames, I saw a frost on the ground. It looked like snow.’

    Somewhere in the ship’s hold, buried deep in the family’s luggage, was a notebook filled with recipes, belonging to Dolly, Christopher’s mother. The gold words on its cloth cover read: indu indexed diary. compliments of the india united mills. Inside the feint-lined pages are a record of the family’s Anglo-Indian meals, handwritten in pen and ink. Next to the recipes for rock cakes, lemon curd and cheese straws is a recipe for mysoor pak, a crumbly sweet made with sugar, ghee and nutmeg. After the roly-poly, roast beef and cheese soufflé is a recipe for ‘stick curry’. ‘That was a family favourite,’ Smith says. ‘Like a curry with kebabs in it; meat alternating with ginger and onion on the skewers.’

    Mulligatawny soup, ginger pop and instructions for ‘Mrs Reddy’s vegetable curry’ hint more clearly at the Smiths’ former life among India’s post-war Anglo-Indian community; a family who, like the characters in a Paul Scott novel, ‘stayed on’ after independence. ‘Mrs Reddy was the mother of one of the boys in the boarding school where my dad was a teacher,’ Smith says. His paternal grandmother and both his father and mother were born in India, but in 1964 his father took the decision to leave, with his wife and four sons. ‘Dad said we should back out, so we left, and came to live in west London.’

    Even before putting a foot on the steps of the Smith family home in Ealing, you can smell spices in the street outside. When Christopher Smith opens the front door, the aroma becomes stronger still. On the gas cooker is a huge pan, three-quarters full of brinjal (aubergine) pickle. Smith has been making it all morning. In 2002 he launched a range of Indian condiments named after his parents, St John and Dolly, using recipes from Dolly’s book.

    I had contacted Smith, intrigued, having discovered his brinjal pickle in Trinity Stores, a south London deli. Inside the jar was a rich, non-oily mix of spices, hand-cut aubergines and onions, and no stinting on the chilli. I had also found other wonderful sauces: a chilli sauce that was fiery, but which retained the lovely fruity flavour of scotch bonnet chillies; a piquant sweet pickle made from chopped lime zest; and a cinnamon-tinted, hot apple chutney. The colours of each sauce are startling, the textures perfect. Smith’s pickles outclass the competition.

    ‘My pickle business arose from an odd coincidence,’ Smith says. His mother died in 1993, then his father in 1998. Smith continued to live in the family house, surrounded by their possessions. In 1999, having given up running a photography shop in Ealing, he was visiting a friend in a kitchen shop in Southall. ‘A woman came in, asking for a chattie for making appam,’ Smith says, explaining that appam are breakfast pancakes and chatties the pans you make them in. ‘I called out, “I know appam, I was born in Bangalore,” and the woman said, “So was I.”

    ‘When I told her my name, she said, “You’re not Dolly Smith’s son, are you?” It turned out she was the daughter-in-law of my mother’s best friend in India, and she then said, “Your mother made wonderful pickles.”’

    Smith vaguely remembered the pickles; after their arrival in England his mother would occasionally make a few jars for school sales. Smith went home and dug out the cloth-covered book. He had promised the friend he had met in the shop that he would have a go at making them, so he did. Another friend of his parents tasted the pickles, and reported that they were just as good as Dolly’s originals. Once word got around, orders came in. Two years later Smith started the business properly. He put the name of his parents on the jars, on impulse, with faded photos of their faces. ‘It was a tribute, to the parents I love and to whom I owe so much.

    ‘All kids should have a childhood like mine,’ Smith says. St John Smith taught at a boarding school in the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu. Most of the children at the school were from Indian families and Smith recalls one tale of adventure when not in classes. ‘The railway station near the school had horse-drawn carts; you could rent the ponies for a few pence. We rode them through the hills, playing cowboys and Indians,’ he says with an ironic grin. ‘There were people sitting on the side of the road, selling sweets; when we told them we had no pocket money, they gave them to us.’

    Along with trapping quails, digging caves and climbing trees, there was mischief: he tells of how his brother Stan, caught stealing fruit from a man’s garden, was held prisoner in his captor’s shed. ‘The man was sitting outside, with a gun. My father had to come and negotiate his release. The next day the man sent a large amount of fruit to the school. That’s how it was – no malice.’

    At home his mother had help in the kitchen and rarely cooked. ‘When we were in India I could count the times I saw either of my parents cooking,’ he says. ‘I was weaned on lentils and rice, and we mostly ate curries. I have loved chillies ever since I ate my first.’ Brought up in a poor country, Smith was taught never to waste. ‘When we ate lunch at my school in England, I would ask other boys if I could eat their fat; I also like marrow, and will still crunch on a chicken bone.’

    When the family returned to Britain St John sold everything. ‘He arrived here with £300. He went to the local education authority asking for work, but because he obtained his degree in India they would only allow him to teach juniors.’

    On the day of my visit Smith had been up before dawn, buying special aubergines for the brinjal pickle from the Western International Market in Southall. ‘I buy chillies from an east London supplier who has a farm in the Dominican Republic. He chooses the reddest ones for me; they make the sauce look good.’

    We decide it is time for lunch, and Smith chooses a favourite curry house, the Rajdoot in Ruislip. Smith loves it here, and brings his own pickles to complement the food. ‘The chef, Zak Rahman, never uses ready-made spice mixes or curry pastes, and makes his own chicken stock,’ he says approvingly, as we plough through a fragrant chicken chilli masala and a side dish of sautéed okra, firing it up nicely with a little of Dolly and St John’s chilli pickle, flavoured with tamarind, ginger, garlic and curry leaves. We dip poppadoms into the juicy lime pickle and mop up a spiced dal with hot flatbreads. Smith could be back in the country of his birth. He has not been there since 1998. ‘I tried to find the house in Bangalore where I was brought up, but it had gone,’ he says wistfully. Part of his upbringing is not lost, however. When Dolly Smith packed her cloth-bound notebook in 1964, she was at least taking memories of her kitchen to her new home.

    • St John and Dolly Smith’s pickles: 0797-368 7376; Rajdoot, 59 Windmill Hill, Ruislip, west London (01895-634656)


    source: / Food and Drink / by Rose Prince / Apr 15th, 2010