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    Bangalore, JAN 30:

    Wipro Technologies has been granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for its Statistics Operations Research Matrix (StORM) methodology.

    StORM, a system and method for software test suite optimisation, increases the effectiveness of the testing process while reducing the number of test cases.

    The company said that StORM can reduce the software test suite by around 30 per cent.

    source: / Industry & Economy> Info-Tech / Our Bureau / January 30th, 2012

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    January 31st, 2012adminBusiness & Economy


    In February 2008, Bjets had said that it aims to become Asia’s largest business jet operator with Tata Group as a significant investor

    Tata Global Beverages Ltd said on Tuesday that an overseas unit of the company has invested in Bjets Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based company engaged in the business of owing and operating private jets.

    Tata Global did not disclose details of the investment or the size of the stake that the company owns. In February 2008, Bjets had said that it aims to become Asia’s largest business jet operator with Tata Group as a significant investor.



    An alliance was announced in February last year involving G.R. Gopinath’s aviation services company Deccan Charters Ltd, Taj Air, the airplane charter company of the Tata group’s Indian Hotels Co. Ltd, and Bjets.

    Besides the marketing alliance, Deccan Charters will provide maintenance and operational support for Bjets’ planes.

    source: / Corporate News / by P R Sanjai / Tuesday, January 31st, 2012


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    WHAT AN ORCHESTRA! Rahman’s collaboration with the Babelsberg group had its evocative moments. Photo: Sampath Kumar.G.P.  / The Hindu

    The Babelsberg German Film Orchestra playing A.R. Rahman’s compositions was a rich experience. The 100-odd musicians and the audience gathered in thousands were engaged in finding home in each other’s musical ideas, says Deepa Ganesh

    Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Daniel Barenboim said this in one of his interviews. “Where are you at home?” his interviewer asked. Barenboim said, “Wherever I make music.” He further explained: “My feeling of being at home somewhere is really a feeling of transition. Music is transition, too. I am happiest when I can be at peace with the idea of fluidity.”

    The air was thick with curiosity at the “Classic Incantations” concert in the city on Sunday evening — the Babelsberg German Film Orchestra performing our own A.R. Rahman’s compositions. As the phenomenal hundred-odd orchestral group presented a rich aural and visual treat, I, perhaps like several others, was trying to catch glimpses of ragas Charukeshi and Patdeep in the Soprano, and when I found shades of Yaman emanating from the absolutely grand cello portions, I was truly elated.

    An audience who is witness to a synthesis of such nature, is anxiously awaiting its entry point – most in the audience found it when the theme music of Rahman’s first film “Roja” (Cry of the Rose) was played. The piece was a melange of all the musical ideas that crisscross in “Roja” – from the soft romantic tones of “Kadal Rojave” to the more forceful mood of patriotism in “Tamilah Tamilah”. Navin Iyer, Rahman’s flautist, worked his own little details, and stole the show.

    The opening piece, “Warriors of Heaven and Earth suite”, was subtle and serene. It gave you a complete sense of listening to a live, full blown orchestra with a lush violin section – complete with cellos, violas, sax, cymbals and harp. The piece reminded one of many earlier musical experiences, for instance, the luxuriant violin passages were reminiscent of Ilaiyaraja, and did the overall texture of tones bring Beethoven to mind?

    The challenge in most such cross cultural collaborations is the articulation of the “other”. Matt Dunkley, the conductor, orchestrator and composer of Babelsberg executed this daunting task with remarkable elan and perfection. So much so that in the piece that was a tribute to the great maestros — which the audience loved — evergreen numbers like Madan Mohan’s “Aap ki nazarone samjha”, Ilaiyaraja’s “Sindhoora Poove”, Lakshmikant Pyarelaal’s “Suhana Safar” and Rahman’s “Kehna Hai Kya” sparkled with a refreshing emotive quality.

    The compositions chosen were in themselves largely “Western” in idea – “Lord of the Rings suite”, “127 hours suite”, “Elizabeth: The Golden Age Suite” and several others. Nevertheless, it needs to be said to the credit of the conductor and his remarkably-talented orchestra, that the journey was constantly outward, seeing it in Rahman’s way and never an affirmation of one’s own identity. It would have perhaps been more interesting to see what new meanings would have emerged if the orchestra had played some of Rahman’s stunning compositions in the typical Indian repertoire, like his compositions in Vasanta or Natakuranji.

    The outstanding soprano singer Kavitha Baliga and Bangalore’s vibrant Arun H.K., the audience favourite Asad Ali Khan on sitar, and the perfectly co-ordinated choir group, made the concert extremely lively and also provided some of the most intense moments.

    It was a perfect orchestral experience. However, I am more an admirer of Rahman’s compositions of pan-Indian feel, than those of global sounds. It could have perhaps been richer if Rahman had built some artistic tension into the Babelsberg orchestra that was so immensely accomplished.

    If your passion becomes your way of life, then geographical location is less important. Daniel Barenboim, who brought together Arab and Israeli musicians to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Goethe years ago, did agree that it was impossible to have “multiple identities” but remained emphatic that the sense of belonging to different cultures can only be enriching.

    At the end of all, one didn’t feel a sense of belonging.

    source: / Arts> Music / Bangalore / by Deepa Ganesh/ January 30th, 2012

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    Lucrative trade

    The glitter will just does not fade away, it seems. No wonder, a career in the jewellery industry is being seen as an increasingly lucrative option for students.

    The burgeoning gold market in India is beckoning students and there was more proof of this when close to thousand students and working professionals thronged Vijaya College for the career fair organised recently by the Gemological Institute of India and Jewellers’ Association, Bangalore.

    India is the leading consumer of gold in the world with about 800 million (80 crore) tonnes – 20 per cent of the global consumption. More than 50 per cent of this is used for making gold jewellery.

    According to industry sources it is estimated that the size of the Indian jewellery market is Rs 1,25,000 crore annually.

    The Indian Diamond Industry has established itself as the world’s largest manufacturing hub of cut and polished diamond in the last many years, contributing 60 per cent of the world’s supply in terms of value, 85 per cent and 92 per cent in terms of volume and pieces respectively. Eleven out of 12 diamonds set in jewellery worldwide are processed in India.

    Participating in the panel discussion at the career fair, Vinod Hayagriv, Managing Director of C Krishniah Chetty & Sons, said: “Gems and Jewellery (G&J) is one of the fastest growing sectors in Indian economy, with significant employment opportunities. We at the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation are looking at targeting a 40-lakh strong skilled workforce demand in the next 10 to 15 years.”

    Mahesh Rao, Managing Director of Peakok Jewellery Ltd, said: “With the jewellery industry getting professional, there are several openings for designers at the manufacturing level in factories and also at retail jewellery stores.”

    Rao said: “They can become entrepreneurs themselves by setting up boutique catering to a niche market.”

    Agrees Pratap Kamath, CEO of Abaran Jewellers. He said: “The working atmosphere has changed compared to the past 10 to 15 years. The industry is structured and very well organised with the entry of many retailers.”

    Pallavi Foley, designer, opined that one must have a passion for design and fashion to make a mark in the profession. The designers are the link between jewellery houses and fashion, she said.

    Says Hayagriv: “Jewellery designers start with preparing design sketches by hand or on the computer. With time, they have options to become merchandisers and heads who manage profitability of companies.”

    He said: “They can become consultants for the customers or the manufacturing team. They create detailed drawings, a structural model, computer simulations or full-scale prototyping. Increasingly, computer aided design programmes and tools are being used to create and better visualise the final product.”

    Pratap Kamath said: “At the manufacturing level, it involves understanding current trends and developing collections based on the brief provided. At the retail level, designers have opportunities to interact with customers and help them choose the design of their choice,” Kamath said.

    A fresher trainee in jewellery designing starts with Rs 10,000 and upwards per month. The salary can go up to between Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000. With an experience of five years, one can earn about Rs 50,000 per month. Designers can rise to the top management if they possess business acumen.

    Says Kamath: “The demand is huge and supply short, therefore the opportunities available are huge. Also, we see the entry of many retail jewellers into the market. This is an indication of the great opportunity for designers. “A five per cent increase from the current figures will really help the industry. Over 5,000 is our estimate of the requirement of specialised professionals,” Kamath added.

    source: / Home> State / Bangalore/ DHNS / by Umesh M Awannavar

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    January 24th, 2012adminBusiness & Economy, Science & Technology

    Strides Arcolab Limited has sold 94 per cent shareholding in Ascent Pharmahealth Limited, its subsidiary with operations in Australia and Southeast Asia, to Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  As part of the transaction, Watson also acquired the remaining 6 per cent shareholding associated with Dennis Bastas, CEO of Ascent.  The transaction was signed and closed simultaneously.  The cash offer from Watson values Ascent at an enterprise value of AU$ 375 million which amounts to around Rs. 1970 crore.  After this announcement Strides’ scrip jumped by nearly 16 per cent on BSE and reached at its 52-week high of Rs. 488.80.

    Ascent is a top five generic pharmaceutical company in Australia and is present across several countries in Southeast Asia, including Singapore where it is the leading generic pharmaceutical company.

    Watson is an integrated global specialty pharmaceutical company engaged in the development, manufacturing, marketing and distribution of generic pharmaceuticals and specialized branded pharmaceutical products focused on Urology and Women’s Health.  Watson has operations in many of the world’s established and growing international markets.

    Commenting on the transaction, Arun Kumar, Executive Vice Chairman and Group CEO of Strides Arcolab, said:  “The sale of Ascent is a value enhancing and forward-looking initiative for Strides.  We have been clear about our intention to focus on our highly attractive steriles segment, which we expect to be our growth engine going forward.  The transaction further facilitates the execution of this strategy and unlocks significant value for the Group.  Furthermore, the proceeds from the transaction considerably strengthens our balance sheet.”

    Over the last six months, the Strides–Ascent partnership generated significant economic benefit through the transformation of the latter into a vertically integrated generics business with a robust portfolio of marketed and newly developed pipeline products.  In addition, we further expanded the business from its home market in Australia to establish a scalable platform across high-growth emerging markets in Southeast Asia, said the  Strides chief.

    “Combining the product portfolios and commercial infrastructures of Ascent, Watson creates a substantial generics business in the region and provides Ascent with a number of new growth opportunities.  We believe that Ascent, its partners, customer and employees across all of its markets will benefit from the continued development under its new owners,”  he added

    Paul Bisaro, president and CEO of Watson, said:  “The acquisition of Ascent provides Watson with a successful commercial structure in both Australia and Southeast Asia and a broader pipeline of products to support continued growth.  We are excited to welcome the Ascent employees in Australia and Southeast Asia to our growing global team and anticipate a seamless and rapid integration of the Ascent businesses.”

    Jefferies International Limited acted as sole financial advisor to Strides Arcolab.  Middletons, Herbert Smith LLP and DSK Legal acted as legal counsel.

    Strides Arcolab, has 13 manufacturing facilities across 5 countries with presence in more than 75 countries in developed and emerging markets.  It is supported  by a 350-scientist team operating out of its global R&D Centre in Bengaluru .

    Agila Specialties Private Limited is the specialties unit of Strides Arcolab which was spun off as a separate division post the company’s restructuring in 2009.  It is engaged in the production of oncolytics, penems, pencillins, cephalosporins, ophthalmics, peptides and biosimilars. It  operates from 8 world class global manufacturing facilities, including one of the largest steriles capacity in India and amongst the largest lyophilization (freeze drying) capacities in the world.  Its  marketing network covered 70 countries and it has partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies globally.

    source: /  Home> News> Corporate / Our Bureau, Bangalore / Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

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    The world probably first took notice of the underprivileged when a princess got her hands and feet dirty while working towards aiding those who required her help, almost three decades ago. The ripple effect of which is felt when 57 students from the Richard Ivey School of Business recently donated $47,000 to the Dream School Foundation (DSF), a NGO that works in the improving the educational facilities for the underprivileged students.

    The batch of 2012 of Ivey Executive MBA (EMBA) raised the funds through numerous fundraising events, including sporting tournaments, silent auctions and raffles, marathons, etc.

    Brigit Rameseder, one of the students who took part in the initiative said that though she and her batch-mates had regularly worked for such causes in Canada, this was the first time they have raised funds to help someone from another country all together. “We have never done something like this on such a large scale. When we got this opportunity, we decided to make the most of it. We wanted to set an example and leave a legacy behind for other students who came to the school,” informed Rameseder.

    She also said that apart from the ‘feel good factor’, the exercises also taught them a lot. “When we visited the government school here I was surprised to see that education here is imparted in so many different languages. I had no idea that the curriculum in India inculcated the use of different languages,” she said.

    Though the batch would finish their school within a week’s time, most of them hope to keep in touch with the organisation in some way or the other, she added.

    Maitreyee Kumar from DSF said that the money will ensure that 80 students can pursue dreams. “We want to fund education for these children beyond their tenth standard and the aid we have received from the School will greatly help. The first batch of students have already been enrolled in vocational and professional colleges,” said Kumar. She also informed that while professional courses were usually taken in Government colleges, a few students have performed exceedingly well in their academics and have landed themselves in private institutions as well. “Depending on the child’s aptitude and scores, a professional career counsellor suggest options that might interest the students. Once the choice was made by the students, we help them get into their respective colleges,” she said

    Kumar also mentioned that the funds provided by the school will see the students through their education for the next two years.

    source: / South> Bangalore / Express News Service/ The New Indian Express / January 24th, 2012

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    January 22nd, 2012adminSports
    Bangalore, Jan 21, 2012/  DHNS:

    The Karnataka State Hockey Association has upgraded the floodlights at its stadium here to FIH  standards, paving the way for the conduct of international matches at night

    “The KSHA has spent one crore rupees to get this done,” said KSHA secretary K Krishnamurthy. “For a long time, the biggest setback for us was the lack of proper lights. If one wants to host international matches under lights, they must be at least 1200 lux.

    “After a lot of discussions, we decided to go ahead with the plan. It did cost us a lot, but we should be in a position to host international matches. With the World Series Hockey coming up, the fans have a lot to look forward to.”

    A total of 10 towers have been erected — five on each side with each boasting of ten 200KW bulbs, taking the total capacity to 1300 lux. Most of the work has been completed with just light fittings on one tower left. While the light bulbs are manufactured by GE, the installation work has been done by Saptharishi, Hyderabad.

    “We switched on just half of the lights today on a trial basis. The entire work will be complete in a week’s time. A complete check will be done during the Kodava Samaj hockey tournament next month.”

    source: Home> Sports / DHNS / January 21st, 2012

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    People take up art for various reasons. For some it is a life-long passion, for others it is just a hobby and for yet others, it is the only way to express their views, feelings and ideas to transform the world.

    Tala Afshin, a young artist from Iran, has been a resident of Mysore city since six years. Hailing from Mashhad city in Iran, the 30-year-old bubbling Tala is fond of painting in sombre colours.

    With a passion for painting since teenage, Tala took up Graphic Design in high school itself, followed by an Advanced Diploma in Painting from the University of Applied Science and Technology in Iran.

    Tala came to Mysore in 2006 and joined Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) course in Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts (CAVA). She later completed MFA in Sri Allamaprabhu Lalithakala Academy.

    She has displayed her paintings in various exhibitions including a group show in Mashhad city (2004), a group show in Whitefield, Bangalore (2007) and in Sublime Gallery of UB City in Bangalore (November, 2011).

    Apart from painting, Tala’s hobbies include interior designing, which she learnt while working with her brothers and father who are architects.

    She says when she came to Mysore in 2006, she immediately fell in love with the city and this country. Hence she joined CAVA to continue her fine art course as she wanted to stay here and enjoy the hospitality and culture of the people.

    Tala says nature is her best teacher in painting which reveals itself to her in its myriad forms. She loves to draw abstract art as abstraction differs greatly than most traditional styles of art because it is more focused on the use of imagination or ideas expressed through emotion.

    When asked how she defines art, Tala opines that art is a creative way of expressing a modified view of the world and its objects by simplifying or complicating the use of colour, shape and form.

    She says there is a real power in terms of making a connection with people, if the artist applies discipline and works from an authentic form of creativity and expression, whether it be through the use of colour, a mixed media form, figure or shape manipulation…

    Art, she adds, is creativity; therefore no single form of art could really be more creative than another form of art.

    Tala Afshin has a wonderful imagination, diving into colours to signify her innermost feelings and the moods of life. Her passion to paint is immensely inspired by a person’s adaptation to the changing circumstances in one’s journey of life.

    Her paintings portraying women are seductive, revealing the inner thoughts of the character with an alluring body language and facial expression.

    Tala, meaning ‘Gold’ in Persian, has been embodied into her art with vibrant hues of colour adding glimmer and richness like gold.

    Tala Afshin is not the only person in her family who loves Mysore. Her sister Mona is studying BDS in JSS Dental College in the city.

    source: / Feature Articles / by Shwetha Halambi  / January 22nd, 2012

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    January 22nd, 2012adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    Caption: Srilatha, Sharma, Vinay, Pranesh, Shubha, Ramaa

    Shruthimanjari Foundation was established in 1998 by Dr. R.N. Srilatha, Professor of Music, Mysore University and reputed violinist Veena Suresh. M.K. Seetharam, K.S. Suresh, Dr. R. Vasudeva and Subhadra, lovers of music, are closely associated.

    Two of its aims are worth noting — to provide concert experience to young and promising artistes and to conduct mikless chamber music concerts. Every year Shurthimanjari conducts two festivals — Sharavana festival for young artistes during August/September and Annual classical music festival with Purandara and Tyagaraja Aradhana in January.

    The 14th Karnatak Classical Music fest will be held from Jan. 18 to Jan. 22 at 6 pm at Rotary West Auditorium. On Jan. 18, Dr. S.C. Sharma and S.R. Vinay (vocal); on Jan. 19, Dr. R.N. Srilatha (vocal); on Jan. 20, M.K. Pranesh (flute); on Jan. 21, Shubha Santhosh (veena); on Jan. 22, T.S. Ramaa (vocal) will be performing.

    Dr. S.C. Sharma, a reputed academician and Vice-Chancellor of Tumkur University, holds several Doctorates and has presented numerous research papers on technical subjects. He is passionate about classical music.

    Dr. R.N. Srilatha, being a reputed artiste of Mysore, need no introduction. M.K. Pranesh of Bangalore is a ‘B’ grade artiste of AIR and DD. He has performed at prestigious organisations both in India and abroad.

    Shubha Santhosh of Bangalore is a ‘B’ high artiste. She has received several scholarships and numerous awards, latest being ‘Ananya Nadajyothi Yuva Prathibha Puraskar’ for the year 2012. Prof. T.S. Ramaa is a ‘A’ grade artiste and was the HOD of Music. She has also performed both in India and abroad. All these artistes will be accompanied by popular accompanists of Mysore.

    The festival is being held jointly with Rotary Club of Mysore West. C.V. Nagaraj Memorial Trust, Karnataka Bank Ltd. and State Bank of Mysore are also associated with the festival, which will be inaugurated today at 6 pm by Dr. S.C. Sharma under he presidentship of Rtn. Sam Cherian.

    There will be two notable features of the festival. Veteran violist and Sangeetha Kalanidhi M. Chandrashekaran will accompany Dr. Sharma . On Jan. 22 at 10. 30 am, Purandara Tyagaraja Aradhana is organised wherein renowned artistes will join in the goshti gayana.


    source: / Feature Articles / January 18th, 2012


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    Nageen Taj with her mother Zaithoon Bi.

    “I was once scared to go out and face people… I was scared how they will treat me. But today, I fear none. I earn my living and take care of my mother on my own.”

    These are the words of Nageen Taj, a Second Division Clerk at the University of Mysore, whose legs were stunted in childhood. Speaking to Star of Mysore, Nageen shared her story, which may not be extraordinary to normal people but is surely a morale booster to many like her.

    “I was born normally. But an attack of chicken pox got worse and there was excessive pus collection in my legs. My condition became very serious and was operated three times. I would attend school for six months and rest six months would be on bed rest. Whenever I would get pain in the leg my father would rush me to Bangalore and they operated my legs. They would bind the legs with wooden slabs so that the bones would get set.

    “My father, C.M. Abdul Wahab, was a manager at a private chit fund company in Chennapatna. When I was around 7 or 8 years old we shifted to Mysore and I studied till 9th at Mathrumandali School. We later went to Gargeshwari but my father passed away soon after. We were very well off till he was alive. But after his death we faced a lot of difficulty. None of our relatives came to our help. My mother Zaithoon Bi, who was a home maker, my elder sister Mubeen Taj and younger sister Ghousia Jabeen later came back to Mysore. At that time, my uncles helped us financially.”

    “My dad struggled hard to improve my condition. He would ask me to accompany him everywhere so that I got the courage to face the world. His death came as a shock to me. When my elder sister got married, I was studying PU in Maharani’s College and later had to disconti- nue as I got a job at the Mysore University.”

    “Life was not easy as I had to travel by bus from Naidu Nagar to the University. It was then that my younger sister started to boost my confidence and asked me to learn riding. I learnt to drive a two-wheeler on my own in around four days.”

    “But when I decided to drive a car people advised me against it due to my height and also since I cannot bend my left hand. The driving instructors refused to teach me saying it was not possible. This made me more determined to learn driving a car. With the guidance of a driver I finally did learn and now I drive to work.”

    “Earlier, I used to be very depressed at my condition. While some people would support me, others would look down. One day, my sister told there were people who were more unfortunate than me but were leading a good life. She is the reason why I became so strong. Today, I don’t care for what others think about me and I face the world boldly.”

    On request, the University has allotted a quarters in front of SJCE to Nageen where she has been residing with her mother since April. Stunted growth and an unbendable hand did not stop Nageen from being what she is today — a strong and confident woman who has answered all those who looked down upon her with her courage.

    When asked Nageen what message she had for others like her, she said, “Even though we say that society is kind and helpful towards the differently-abled, with my personal experience, I can say that life is not very easy. But we should not let disability discourage us. We should have the determination to achieve and prove that we are in no way less than others.”

    source: / Feature Articles / by M.S. Apuurva / January 16th, 2012

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