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Monday, August 29, 2005

Hero who saved 20 in deluge

“He came as a god in our hour of need, I owe my life to him... For me Kini is the real Mr India,” says visually-impaired Raju Chavan (27). Chavan and Sheela (14), a mentally-challenged girl were rescued by Pandurang Kini (37) on July 26.

Bus stalled

As Kini took the BEST bus (Number 339) from Andheri station to Majas Depot, around 3.30 pm, the water levels were rising everywhere.Sheela, her mother and Chavan were among the 20-odd passengers in the bus. As the bus reached the Veer Savarkar Chowk near Andheri railway subway, it stopped moving.

Water levels rise

“In the beginning, everyone thought that staying in the bus was safer, but when the water rose to the seat level, the passengers started panicking,” says Kini.

Getting out

By 5.30 pm, it became clear that chances of survival inside the bus were slim. “There was 10-foot-deep water outside. I realised that if we could reach the garbage dumper next to the bus entrance, we would make it,” adds Kini.

Makeshift ladder

Kini pulled in some wooden logs that were floating past and with the help of Salim, another passenger, used it like a ladder. All the passengers climbed out this way and reached the garbage dumper. All but Chavan and Sheela.“I had resigned myself to my fate, and asked everyone to leave me alone and save their lives, but Kini refused to leave. He said, “Jab tak tum dono ko nahin bachata, main yahaan se nahin jaoonga,” says Raju. Kini, over six feet tall, carried Raju and Sheela on his shoulders and climbed the ladder and reached the dumper.

Final shelter

However, soon the dumper too started filling with water. Kini then used the same wooden plank and connected it to the roof of the Pink Plaza Restaurant and Bar. “Sheela got hysterical and had to be tied to my back with a rope before I could carry her to the roof,” recalls Kini. Kini, a resident of Sher-e-Punjab, is a financial planner with the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) while Chavan is a specialist in scientific body massage therapy.

Krishna’s message inspired Mahatma: Historian

UDUPI: Lord Krishna was a historic personality. His message of selfless work had inspired great personalities like Swamy Vivekananda and Gandhiji, said noted historian Dr Sooryanath Kamath.

Kamath was delivering a guest lecture on ‘Srikrishna Aithihasikathe’ at Rajangana of Srikrishna Temple on the occasion of honouring special achievers for their remarkable contribution to society.

Kamath said: ‘‘It has been proved that the Mahabharatha wasr occurred only after the Vedic period.

Even the fortnight of 13 days, which began and ended with the eclipses, mentioned in the epic was also proved’’.

In his message Paryaya Adamaru Mutt junior pontiff Sri Vishwapriya Theertha Swamiji said the relationship between God and a devotee was that of a doctor and a patient.

One need to trust God first before expecting anything from God. One who guided somebody on a right path is God, he added.

Swamiji also called upon people to utilise their intelligence in their duties.

On the occasion Swamiji honoured noted astrologer Vedamoorthy Madhwaraya Bhat Belman, renowned historian Dr Sooryanath Kamath, botanist Dr K G Bhat, retired surgeon of District Hospital, Udupi, Dr U M Vaidya, ‘Naati Vaidya’ from Shirva Naranga Poojary, Ayurvedic Pandit from Haleyangadi Hari Bhat, ‘Nagaswara’ artist Obu Sherigar and Srimad Bharatha Mandali (organisation) of Geetha Mandir, Hejamadi. B Krishna Bhat were the chief guests.

Bhaskar Chandavarkar to Conduct Music Workshop under Konkani Academy Auspices

A Konkani music workshop will be organised here, from September 14 to 16 by the Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy.

Nearly 40 artistes can participate in this workshop. Those who wish to take part may send in their details by September 7, to Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy, Lalbagh, Mangalore 575 003. Selected candidates will be intimated by post.

Bhaskar Chandavarkar, eminent sitar artiste and musician, will be directing the workshop. Having trained under Pt Ravi Shankar, Pt Uma Shankar Mishra for Hindustani vocal music and having studied contemporary western music under Ton De Leeuw, Joseph Anton Reidl and Dieter Schoen Bach, Bhaskar Chandavarkar carved a unique name as a composer. He has composed music for 45 Indian and foreign feature films. He is a winner of numerous awards including the Sangeet Natak Akademi award.

Konkani Gaon taking shape

Mangalore, which is home to Konkani language, will soon have "Konkani Gaon" (Konkani village) at Shaktinagar.

Even as the preparations are on to hold the foundation stone laying ceremony for the prestigious centre under the leadership of the Kalsank Kamalaksha Pai (K.K. Pai), Basti Vaman Shenoy said the Konkani Gaon will have facilities for research, conference, cultural meets, Konkani heritage village, traditional and religious structures and amphitheatre and open air theatre.

The highlight of the project will be the setting up of Konkani heritage museum.

Mr. Shenoy told that there is a treasure of knowledge in culture, folk and performing art, literature, music and theatre. But they are now scattered in Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala and some parts of Gujarat. Mangalore was strategically suited to have the World Konkani Centre — Konkani Gaon — as Karnataka has over 25 lakh Konkani-speaking people and most of them are in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts.

Mr. Shenoy said the idea of Konkani Gaon came up at the World Konkani Convention held in Mangalore in 1995. To be built on a sprawling three-acre plot at Shaktinagar, the facility will have an exclusive museum which will have the collection brought from Konkani people throughout the country which will portray the culture and life of Konkans.

The Konkani-speaking people among the Hindus, Christians and Muslims in the region.

There are also Konkani tribal groups that have a number of folk traditions. There were 17 sects of Konkani-speaking people and this centre will bring all of them together and will strive to spread the sense of belongingness, Mr. Shenoy said.

Senior Konkani researchers and scholars have agreed to be advisors for the project. Konkani scholars will make efforts to bring back some of the items that have been taken by the Portuguese from Goa. These works are now at Braga Library in Lisbon.

The Konkani Bhas and Sanskriti Pratistan, which will execute the project, plans to start an e-magazine through its website:

Friday, August 26, 2005

Sankrithika Sangama to organise unique programme

Karnataka Konkani Sahithya Academy, Kodava Sahithya Academy Tulu and Urdu Academy will jointly organise a unique programme at Mangalore on Sunday, said press release from Kodava Sahithya Academy.

Former Chief Minister M Veerappa Moily will be the chief guest.

Presidents of four academies M K Seetharama Kulal of Tulu Academy, U Doti Pooviah, Mem Noon Saeed of Urdu Academy and South Kanara Kannada Sahithya Parishath president Pradeepa Kumar Kalkur and M B Abdul Rahiman of Kendra Byari Parishat will attend the function.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Konkani awareness programme begins

All India Konkani Sahitya Parishad, as part of the Konkani year this year, began a two-day Konkani awareness programme, here on Sunday.

Developing Konkani as a language and literary work were the main points discussed at the convention. Basti Waman Shenoy, J B Moras, Nagesh Harmale, Uday Bendre, former MLA, Goa and Tanaji Haldankar participated.

Speaking at a press conference Basti Shenoy said that the conventions were being conducted in places where Konkani population was more to create linguistic awareness.

Many people were showing interest in the language and participating actively in the conventions. The total population of Konkani speaking people was about 50 lakh of which 14 lakh were staying in Goa.

The parishad was organising the Akhil Bharatiya Konkani Sahitya Sammelana once in two years.

So far it had conducted 24 sammelanas, 9 in Karnataka, 7 in Mumbai, 2 in Kerala and the 25th conference would be held in Panaji, Goa, next year, Shenoy added.

Konkani became an independent language in 1976 and the state language of Goa in 1987. Indian Constitution accepted it as a national language in 1992.

Uday Bendre said the Goa University had started a post-graduate course in Konkani.

V V Shenoy was also present.

Folklorist Keshav Bhat No More

Well-known Kannada folklore litterateur Professor T Keshav Bhat passed away in here on Saturday, August 20 night. He was 85. He is survived by wife Gowramma and three sons.

A native of Kasargod, Bhat was the author of 65 books. He was well known for his work in folklore and gamaka, besides being a grammarian. He was honoured in 2001 by the Karnataka Janapada and Yakshagana Academy for his contribution to folklore. Earlier in 1988 the same Academy presented him an award for his work, “Havyakara Sobane Hadugalu.”

He has served as the editor of Karnataka Lochana, journal of the BM Shri Pratisthana.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Konkani Manyata Divas Celebrated With Pomp And Gaiety

Konkani Manyata Divas was celebrated in Mangalore under the leadership of Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy, in a grand way on the occasion of 13th anniversary of inclusion of Konkani in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.

The Torch of Konkani and 'Divya bovndi' was inaugurated by Ex. Mr.World Raymond D'Souza at Padua high School grounds, Nanthur, at 9-30 am. The rally which included several vehicles went around the Konkani Institutions and organizations including Konkani Bhasha Mandal Karnataka, Mandd Sobhann, Raknno, Konkani Lekhakancho Ekvot (Forum of Konkani Writers'), Konkani Bhaas and Sanskruti Pratishthan, Catholic Sabha-Mangalore area, Canara Association, Amgele Balaga, Sandesha Foundation, Konkani Natak Sabha, Konkani Department - St Aloysius College, Catholic Board of Education, Kudubi Janapada Kala Vedika, Saraswat Education Society, Swarashri Kala Vedik, Kala Sampat, Siddi Samanvaya Samiti, Konkani Sanskrutik Sangh, GSB Mahila Vrinda, GSB Yuvak Vrinda, Sangati Media (Mitr) (Associate Media Partner),Nawayat Muslim Samaj, United Youngsters, Vaishya Vaniya Samaj, Karavali Konkans, Daivajna Brahmin Sabha, Akhil Karnataka Kharvi Mahajan Sangh, Chaptekars Saraswat Brahmin Samaj, Manglur Chitpavni Sangh, RSB Sangh, Karadi Konkani Samaj and YCS etc..

The rally after visiting these places reached its final stage while it entered to Don Bosco Hall at 5-30pm. The program was started with a prayer by Kasturi Kamath, P Dayanand Pai chief guest, of Bangalore, could not be attended the function due to unavioidable circumstances. Madhusudhan D. Kushe, chairman of PVS group was the Chief Guest. Eric Ozario, President of Konkani Sahitya Academy, welcomed the audience and guests. Dr Pratap Naik JS of the Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendr, Goa gave a speech on the influence of Konkani.

Mahet' a booklet which provides information about the facilities available for Konkani langage as minority language, was released by the chief guset, Mr. Madhusudhan D. Kushe, chairman of PVS group, chief guest of the function. Representatives of the organizations who participated in the rally, were present on the stage.

Vote of thanks was proposed by Venkatesh Baliga , Secretary Konkana Basha & sanskruti Partishtana. Joachim Stany Alvares and Mick Max compered todays program.

In the latter part of the programme three playlets were presented on the stage, namely 'Saraswat Sanskrati Vaibhav', 'Konkani bhaas kashiyi' and Aaj Mugeliasdi woli. 10 songs from ten different dialects of Konkani were presented.

A many-splendoured bundle of talent

Call him a storehouse of talent. He is an introvert but this light-eyed, 22-year-old student has many laurels to his credit. Meet Vishwas Kamath, a student of SDM Law College, who stands apart from the rest of the crowd.

Vishwas won the National Award for the ‘best child actor’ in 1995-96 for his outstanding performance in Girish Kasarvalli’s ‘Kraurya’. He got the award from the then President Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma.

Girish has so far acted in seven Kannada films in short roles. He has acted in the movies of Ravichandran, Jaggesh, Shivraj Kumar and others. He has also acted in Santosh Sivan’s Tamil film ‘The Terrorist’ and a Telugu film ‘Mechanic Mavvaya’ by S V Rajendra Singh Babu.

Simha da Mari, Kalavida, Anna andre Nammanna, Bhumi Tayiya Chocchala Maga, Ennondu Mukha, Manamecchida Sose, Raviteja, Putnanja, Jaana, Halunda Tavaru are some of the Kannada films in which Vishwas has shown his acting prowess.

Vishwas’ father who discovered his little son’s passion for acting and art took a transfer to Bangalore, the film industry hub and worked hard to make his son enter the industry. But soon the career of Vishwas came to a standstill as his father was transferred to Meerut.

‘‘Meerut was a different place altogether where nobody knew who I am. But when my film ‘The Terrorist’ was telecast on Zee Cinema, the next day I became a new Vishwas in the School,’’ he recalls.

Vishwas as of now wants to concentrate on his studies but surely would like to hit on the screen again once he finishes his academics. He wants to be an IAS officer and pursue acting as well.

Apart from acting, Vishwas is a proficient Bharatnatyam dancer, which he started learning at the age of four. He is good in academics and has made a mark in college for his debating skills and leadership qualities.

At present this bundle of talent is the host in CAD TV for the Art2Heart programme.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

National Level Konkani Poetry Session and Symposium at Belgaum

A national level symposium on 'Konkani Sahity-Mukhlim Aahwana' (Emerging Challenges in Konkani Literature) and a poetry session of Konkani, Kannada, Marathi, Urdu, English and Hindi languages has been jointly organized by All India Konkani Parishat and Konkani Sahitya Parishat, Belgaum on August 20 and 21 at Kannada Sahitya Bhavan, Belgaum.

This has been organized as part of celebrating 'Konkani Manyata Divas' on Saturday August 20. On August 20, the session will start with the presentations of famous leader of Konkani movement, noted littérateur, critic and advocate Uday Bhembhre and former president of All India Konkani Parishat, editor of Konkani encyclopaedia Dr Tanaji Hallarannakar on 'the struggles that Konkani went through in securing a place in the VII Schedule of the Constitution and the benefits that are available for Konkani language, educational institutes, culture and literature.'

The August 21 symposium on 'Emerging Challenges in Konkani literature' will comprise of paper presentation by noted Konkani writer, winner of Kendra Sahitya Academy award, journalist J B Moraes (Mumbai), Konkani research fellow Dr Sunitha Bai (Kocchi), Konkani novelist, journalist, publisher, editor Dolphy Lobo (Cascia, Mangalore), writer, translator Krishna Rao (Bangalore), Kiran Budakule (Goa) and Konkani Sahitya Sammelan president and noted littérateur Mahabaleshwar Sail, on the given topic.

Thereafter a poetry session of Konkani, Hindi, Marathi, English, Urdu and Kannada languages will be held. This will be presided over by Konkani poet, freedom fighter Nagesh Karamali. The two day long programme will come to a grand conclusion with the colourful cultural programmes by local artists.

The details of the programme were announced in a press release by Belgaum Sahitya Parishat president V V Shenoy.

Kamat Hotels: ‘Buy' vogue buoys it

Kamat Hotels is proving to be a big favourite of investors in the hospitality sector. The stock has been on an upswing and touched its 52-week high of Rs 129 on Wednesday.

Dealers said that several brokerages have recommended the stock to their investors that has led the interest in the stock.

Speculation about the hotel chain's business expansion plans has also added to the optimism in the counter, according to dealers.

The company owns the Orchid Hotel in Mumbai and the chain of Lotus Suites. Indications are that the chain will expand into other cities. The rise in the stock is also attributed to the unlocking of the real estate value. The hotels are located in prime localities of the city.

The stock has appreciated by over 67 per cent in the last month. It closed at Rs 121.45 on Wednesday.

Konkani Akademy to observe Recognition Day

The Goa Konkani Akademi is celebrating August 20 as the “National Recognition Day” in commemoration of the inclusion of Konkani language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution in 1992.

This year Akademi has organised a special book release function to mark the day in the Akademi’s conference hall at Patto colony. Three books published by the Akademi; Laximanrao Sardesai a biography, written by Prof Prakash Thali, Rajratnam and Ganvran (books on folklore) compiled and edited by Ms Jayanti Naik, research assistant will be released at this function.

Dr Jayant Budkuley, Registrar of Goa University will be the chief guest for the function while Prof S S Borges will grace the function as the guest of honour. Mr Pundalik Naik, president of Goa Konkani Akademi will preside. Mr Kamlakar Mhalshi, noted critic will speak on the new books.

Konkani textbooks likely to be ready by next year

The work on Konkani textbooks is under way and as per the guidelines of the Directorate of State Education Research and Training (DSERT). The fifth sitting of the textbook committee, set up by DSERT, will be held in Bangalore for two days from August 23, said chairman of Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy Eric Ozario here on Tuesday.

Speaking to presspersons, Mr. Ozario said that the DSERT hopes to bring out the textbooks in Kannada script by the beginning of the next academic year.


Asked if there is any move to import Konkani textbooks from Goa, Mr. Ozario said DSERT guidelines did not allow that.

He asserted that the contents of the textbooks will reflect the aspirations of the local Konkani-speaking community.

Most of the content, be it prose or poetry, has been sourced from local Konkani writers, he added.

Stating that the Konkani-speaking community in the world recognise August 20 as "Konkani Manyata Divas" (Konkani recognition day), Mr. Ozario said the academy has decided to observe it in a big way this year.


As many as 35 Konkani organisations in and around Mangalore are cooperating with the academy and a day's programme has been chalked out, he said.

Nearly 100 youth will participate in "Divya Bhovnddi" (rally) on Saturday. The rally, which will start at Bajjodi, will be flagged off formally at Padua here. It will culminate at Don Bosco Hall, where a stage function has been arranged.

The Kushe couple, Madhusudan and Sarojini, will inaugurate the function. Pratap Nayak, head of Thomas Stevens Konkani Centre, Goa, will deliver the keynote address.

A cultural programme by various Konkani-speaking communities will follow, he added.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Seminar on globalisation

Is globalisation a perception? Is it about development? Or is it a mere imitation? Ideas on globalisation flew back and forth between three eminent panelists, CFO of Progeon Ramesh Kamath, writer Prof Ananthmurthy and brand specialist Harish Bijoor, at Straight Talk, a discussion organised by Centre of Management Studies, Sri Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain College, on Thursday, moderated by Janaagraha founder Ramesh Ramanathan.

Mr Kamath asserted that “India’s services export has galvanised India globally”, and making the ‘Made in India’ tag as a selling brand name.

Meanwhile, Jnanapeeta Award winner Prof Ananthmurthy took a stand against globalisation, blaming the country for mistaking “Americanisation” as globalisation and Mr Bijoor wanted globalisation to enhance the life of rural Indians.

Tamil Nadu Govt Confers 'Best Private Employer' on Laser Soft

It was on 15th August 2005 that the Tamil Nadu Ggovernment conferred the "Best Private Employer” award on M/s. Laser Soft Infosystems Ltd, Chennai for employing a large number of disabled persons.

At a glittering ceremony held on the Independence Day, TN chief minister Jayalalithaa, Chief Minister of Tamilnadu presented the award to Laser Soft Infosystems Ltd CMD Suresh Kamath.

This award is meant for the "Individuals/ Employers strived for the welfare of Physically Handicapped and especially for providing employment to a number of physically challenged persons. Vijaya Lakshmi Palanisamy and secretary, social welfare and NMP Department L N. Vijayaraghavan and other officials also participated in the function.

Government of Tamil Nadu has again singularly identified chairman Kamath and showered unqualified encomium on him for his yeoman service towards the cause of socially and physically challenged people. What seems to have motivated the government of Tamil Nadu is Kamath's unique experiment to empower the deprived by giving them a gainful employment in his firm and make it a runaway success.

ICICI Bank: Closing in on world's biggest

A privatised bank with long state ties may begin life with a lucrative franchise, but it isn't supposed to scale up like a dot-com. This no one told Kundapur Vaman Kamath and his brain trust at ICICI of India, fast closing in on the world's biggest 200 banks.

But Kamath likely wouldn't have listened anyway. He showed his colors as a greenhorn project officer in 1972 at ICICI, then deep in state hands. He backed an untested entrepreneur, Dhirubhai Ambani, who was aiming to transform something called Reliance Industries by such crazy means as flying in machinery to jump-start a factory.

Kamath admired Ambani's big vision and penchant for quick action. By the time Ambani died three years ago, his $17 billion conglomerate, India's largest, had no trouble getting bankers to listen.

Kamath, now CEOof Mumbai-based ICICI Bank, still bets big at age 57. He has helped transform a staid, midsize corporate lender -- privatised in stages over the last decade -- into a market leader in Indian retail credit. Every third retail dollar -- in an open, competitive $40 billion consumer finance market -- is funded by ICICI Bank.

Last year ICICI Bank earned $460 million on revenues of $1.4 billion and $39 billion in assets -- still small change compared with Citibank, its main rival in India, with a $1.5 trillion global asset base, but large enough to become India's biggest private-sector bank. "Nobody had played the retail game in a big way," says Kamath.

Investors like the bent. ICICI Bank's depositary shares, the first Indian stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange, have doubled in the past year to a recent $24.

"We like ICICI because there is a huge appetite for lending in the retail market," says Sukumar Rajah, chief investment officer for Franklin Templeton Asset Management in Chennai. "Their strength comes from technology and better people," said Rajah. And a winning growth strategy: A Merrill Lynch report estimates retail credit to grow at 35 per cent for the next few years.

The early years

It was a different story a decade ago. Kamath had done stints for others abroad, and when he returned to ICICI as chief executive in 1996, he tried to bulldoze further into corporate lending. But the State Bank of India, the country's behemoth, was tough to dislodge. He turned to consumer finance, which constituted around one per cent of GDP (today it accounts for a still-low 7 per cent).

Kamath wasn't the only one with the idea. With few barriers in the sector, India had earlier attracted foreign banks such as Citi and Standard Chartered. "We introduced modern, air-conditioned branches and friendly staff," says Akhil Maria, head of international consumer banking operations at E-serve International, a Citigroup affiliate.

But such cool comforts were reserved for the affluent. Nearly 30 million bankable households were grossly neglected. They parked savings in local banks and under mattresses, borrowing only to get female relatives married off. "We recognised the changing demographics and growth of a service sector [now constituting more than half of India's output]," says Chanda Kochhar, ICICI's executive director for retail and a rising global star.

A people's bank

The 44-year-old Indian management-school graduate (like her boss, Kamath) went outside for talent and has sought volume with competitive rates. For instance, ICICI shaved one or two percentage points off auto loans -- locking in dealers and carmakers, some of which were its corporate clients -- and gaining a one-third share of this rapidly expanding finance market.

"Low cost, a fresh perspective to risk and an ability to deploy armies, not small battalions, all over the country helped create very favorable cost advantages," says Leo Puri, director of financial services at McKinsey & Co in Mumbai.

But Kamath needed capital and key lieutenants to build a 100,000-customer base up to 14 million in five years. Various domestic and foreign offerings have raised $2 billion (and 70 per cent of ICICI's shares are held abroad). Kamath merged the original corporate lender with the retail bank in 2002, allowing him to better leverage a hefty if murky asset base. "We made all the right calls," he says, including creating an "A team" of top staff to captain initiatives, a concept borrowed from GE and its ex-chief, Jack Welch -- a key influence on Kamath. He also tied pay to performance and cut the deadwood.

ICICI spreads its wings

ICICI bought private Bank of Madura, with 300 branches in key towns, to create a physical platform for loans and deposits. But even offices kept open 12 hours a day -- much longer than the competition -- were inadequate to reach out to what is now 60 million middle-rung (at least $4,500 income) households across the country.

Kochhar enlisted retailers, builders and car companies and hired nearly 30,000 field reps to sell car loans and mortgages at 1,200 locations. "We changed the face of distribution in the country," she says. "We brought loans home (to clients) at low costs."

Technology helps. ICICI's 560 branches account for only 25 per cent of transactions today compared with 95 per cent five years back. Ubiquitous ATMs "speak" Hindi, English and a local language, and even allow the ritual-obsessed to donate to their favorite gods.

How the brand was built

Still, brand visibility was poor. Few knew ICICI; maybe they'd heard of tongue twister Industrial Credit & Investment Corp of India as a corporate lender. Kochhar spent 16 times more on advertising than did the State Bank of India. The percentage of customers showing awareness of the bank shot up to 96 per cent in 2003 from 20 per cent in 1999, says researcher IMRB-Millward Brown.

India until recently lacked credit bureaus and identity cards, so Kochhar hired accounting agencies to investigate customers, many of whom had no pay slips or ID. In contrast, competing banks insisted on documentation and favored the salaried class. But some borrowers buck the plan: One who recently secured a $10,000 ICICI home loan at 7.7 per cent recalls he had to insist on seeing a credit officer and that his rate was shaved to beat offers from three other banks. "ICICI works on thin margins," says a Western investment banker.

In spite of aggressive lending, defaults are low, at around 1.2 per cent of outstanding loans. But ICICI's collection practices have rattled car-loan customers used to more timid state banks. ICICI cases crowd consumer court files. "It is manageable in the short term, but they have to make sure it does not get systemic," says Templeton's Rajah.

ICICI still has plenty of room to grow. It has more customers than Singapore's top three banks put together, yet only a tenth their assets. It won't face immediate outflanking by the likes of Citibank and Stanchart -- a new Communist-backed government has quelled takeover aspirations by the multinationals.

But ICICI will look afield. Kamath counts on garnering a big chunk of $20 billion in remittances from Indians -- coolies and coders -- living abroad; partnering with Lloyds Bank in the UK and Wells Fargo in the US has helped. He has also secured a foothold in Canada, Russia and the Mideast.

Big vision, quick action.

A solid celebration of independence

While Aug. 15, 2005 marked the 58th year of independence in India, it marked the first year SolidWorks, a worldwide technology company with a Concord office, celebrated the holiday with its Indian employees.
After returning from a company retreat, event organizer Gopal Shenoy said, "I suddenly remembered that Aug. 15 was right around the corner."
In his 15 years living in the United States and working at SolidWorks, Shenoy, who lives with his family in North Chelmsford, said there had never been a celebration and this year, the time had come.
Indian Independence day marks the date India shrugged off 350 years of British colonial rule; it is the largest secular holiday in the predominately Hindu nation.
India is a nation of more than 1 billion people living in 28 states. Eighteen languages and some 800 dialects are strewn across the landscape which ranges from the mountainous regions of the north to the tropical areas of the south. Independence Day is one of the few holidays celebrated nation wide.
"It is unique because it is celebrated across all the states," said Vairang Pavarte, an Ayer resident who came to the United States three years ago.
During a celebration at SolidWorks that included Indian food and a slide show presentation by Shenoy, the idea was to round out the public perception of India. Shenoy said that while India has been receiving increased coverage in western media - particularly the burgeoning IT sector - the majority of coverage comes in response to a natural disasters, such as the tsunami last December, or in response to other social problems.
"Today, hopefully, will be a visual journey that takes you through [India's] richness in culture, richness in architecture and richness of artistic splendor," Shenoy said.
Before the presentation began, the national anthems of both the U.S. and India were sung by those in attendance. And while it is a newer song - indeed, some of Frank Sinatra's work predates it - the Indian national anthem penned by Rabindranath Tagore was sung emphatically by SolidWorks' Indian employees and their families.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Konkani Akademy to observe Recognition Day

The Goa Konkani Akademi is celebrating August 20 as the “National Recognition Day” in commemoration of the inclusion of Konkani language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution in 1992.

This year Akademi has organised a special book release function to mark the day in the Akademi’s conference hall at Patto colony. Three books published by the Akademi; Laximanrao Sardesai a biography, written by Prof Prakash Thali, Rajratnam and Ganvran (books on folklore) compiled and edited by Ms Jayanti Naik, research assistant will be released at this function.

Dr Jayant Budkuley, Registrar of Goa University will be the chief guest for the function while Prof S S Borges will grace the function as the guest of honour. Mr Pundalik Naik, president of Goa Konkani Akademi will preside. Mr Kamlakar Mhalshi, noted critic will speak on the new books.

Encourage budding artists: Eswarappa

Contributions of Shimoga district is significant in the field of culture and music. Many musicians and artists have brought laurels to the district, said MLA K S Eswarappa.

Inaugurating Swara Madhurya, a musical programme organised by Vikasa Ranga in association with Shimoga District Working Journalists’ Association (SDWJA), Nanna Kanasina Shimoga and Zilla Sangeeta Kala Academy here on Sunday, he said the organisations should encourage the budding artists by providing platforms to exhibit their talent.

Honorary president of the samiti S V Thimmaiah said many young talented were deprived of suitable opportunities.

There is a need to encourage them and musical organisations should work at it.

General secretary of SDWJA S V Siddappa spoke. On the occasion, A N Vijendrarao and his team, who dared to float on Tunga river recently, were felicitated.

Working president of the samiti K C Prabhakar presided.

Assistant Director of Department of Kannada and Culture N Harikumar, honorary president of the academy H R Prasanna Venkatesh and president Sringeri H Nagaraj were present.

Disciples of Vidwan S Keshavakumar of Natanam Bala Natya Kendra performed Bharata Natyam and dance based on patriotic theme.

Artists Gartikere Raghanna, Bellary M Raghavendrarao, H R Prasanna Venkatesh, Shimoga Venugopal, Humayun Harlapur, K Yuvaraj, U P Sathyanarayana, D S Krishnamurthy, D G Suresh, K R Anantachar, Murulidhar Navuda, K R Subramanya, Vasanti Shenoy, Vijaya Yajnanarayana, Shanta Shetty, Shanta Anand and others sung songs on the occasion.

S S Vageesh proposed a vote of thanks.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

India Creates Semi, EDA Research Consortium

Expanding its efforts in electronics, the India Semiconductor Association (ISA) on Wednesday (Aug. 10) announced plans to create a new semiconductor and electronic design automation (EDA) research consortium.

The ISA will create the so-called Semiconductor Research Consortium for India in an effort to increase industry-oriented research and facilitate EDA software acquisition in some of the nation’s institutes. It will also create and support industry-oriented student projects and increase student placement into semiconductor firms.

The ISA also continued its push to expand engineering education. The organization unveiled its University Gateway Initiative in partnership with the VLSI Society of India (VSI).

The ISA also signed a memorandum of understanding agreement with the regional body for engineering education, the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU).

The VTU oversees Karnataka state’s engineering education, including Bangalore, the state capital, and with 120 institutes. This deal is expected to propel recruitment for the growing design services industry in the country.

“Talent generation is central to the Indian semiconductor industry’s effort to move up the value chain and gain global eminence. In our industry, a clear way for achieving this is through a ground initiative that encompasses every facet and fosters the creation of a supportive ecosystem. With this initiative, ISA has taken the lead in making it happen,” said Rajendra Kumar Khare, chairman of the ISA.

“The initiative encompasses every possible area from research, curriculum, faculty development, and EDA tool support to ecosystem creation. It covers all parties involved right from the industry bodies, companies, and academic institutions,” said Poornima Shenoy, president of the ISA.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Missing President’s banquet: Anguished freedom fighter writes to Kalam

Unable to contain his anguish, veteran freedom fighter Janardhan Prabhu (82) from Moodbidri personally has written a moving letter to President A P J Abdul Kalam explaining the circumstances in which he lost an opportunity to meet the President and attend his banquet hosted for veteran freedom fighters.

This is the second time the State Government has embarrassed the freedom fighter who was jailed for participating in the ‘Quit India’ movement.

“Last year the government contacted me to know whether I would attend the President of India’s dinner and I had readily agreed,” Prabhu told this paper. After a long wait, a mandarin when contacted by Prabhu categorically told him that he had been dropped from the list.

Initially he was skeptical to the second invitation from the government but changed his mind after being assured that last year’s incident would not be repeated. Prabhu in his letter to the President bitterly describes how the railways and the district administration let him down by not informing him about the suspension of the train owing to inclement weather.

“I had a deep desire to meet and see you in person,” Prabhu quotes the letter from memory and adds: “the desire has remained unfulfilled for no fault of yours.”

Prabhu also wrote how he met his MLA and chief whip in the Assembly Abhaychandra Jain and expressed his desire to make it to the event by plane.

Jain contacted Union Minister of State for Planning and Statistics Oscar Fernandes and apprised him of the problem.

“When Jain estimated that Rs 18,000 would be required for Prabhu’s total air travel expenses, Oscar Fernandes did not respond,” rues Prabhu while repeatedly asserting that he was humiliated.

Even after the unsavoury episode, none from the government had made any efforts to contact him. There was no response from the President of India’s office too after local journalists faxed photocopies of reports highlighting his misery in not making it to New Delhi.

“Would the government or these politicians apply the same yardstick if I were from a minority community,” Prabhu asks in pain.

Will Prabu be lucky the third time, next year? That’s a moot question.

Mhan Monis Ek Mulakat organised

The Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy’s decision to adopt the Kannada script to teach Konkani in schools from the next scholastic year has been welcomed by Gangolly S V Educational Institute correspondent Ganesh Kamath.

Speaking as the chief guest at the Mhan Monis Ek Mulakat, an interaction programme organised by the Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy at Gangolly recently, he said, that the decision should be backed by all since it has been taken after taking into consideration the regional situation. “It is a brave decision because it helps students to stay in touch with the local culture,” he added.

Fr Stany Periera was the guest of honour, while Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy president Eric Ozario presided over the function.

Academy registrar K Duggappa Kajekar, local convener Narayan Kharvi, Kharvi Mahajan Sangh president Purushotham and Karnataka Konkani Kharvi Mahajan Sangh secretary Ganapathi S were present. Social worker and retired teacher C G Devrai Kharvi and Konkani writer Vinod Fernandes were felicitated.

Konkani movie ‘Padri’ to hit the screens in September

After a long gap of nine years, a Konkani movie ‘Padri’ (Priest), based on a Goan play by the same title, is all set to hit the screens next month. The last Konkani film ‘Bogsane’ was released in 1995.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, film Director Rajesh Fernandes said the high budget (Rs 60 lakh) film was shot at 58 eye catching locations and webbed by seven scintillating songs with 46 actors performing in it. The entire coastal belt from Kasargod to Goa including Mangalore, Kumta and Honnavar have been kissed by the footprints of the film, he said and added that ‘Padri’ is a well knit story of reality touching the hearts of both old and the young.

It all began when he (Fernandes) along with Raymond Quadros (producer) during one of their visits to Goa watched the play (Padri by Prince Jecob). Soon a idea of making the film flashed.... rest is history. The unique aspect of the movie is that all the actors and actresses faced the camera for the first time. However, all of them are professional stage artists. The whole movie without even a single indoor shot, was shot in one go for 26 days. The story revolves round the life of a Catholic priest and values the true spirit of sacrifice. However, the film has been ingrained with all the daily chores and yores accompanied by dance and tragic scenes. “In all, it is a package to be viewed by the entire family with model clippings and modern anecdotes,” Mr Fernandes said. The censor board has given ‘U’ certificate without even a single cut, he added. To a query, he said the language used in the movie is a mixture of Mangalore and Goa Konkani.

The movie will be released in the second or third week of September in Mangalore, Bangalore, Karwar, Goa and Maharashtra. The director is also planning to send the film for Indian Panorama.

The lead role has been played by Newton D’Souza (from Goa) and Arona Fernandes (from Mangalore) while the lyrics have been scripted by Wilfy Rebimbus, music scored by Papan-Joswin, stunts by Tiger Madhu, cinematography by Elukoti Chandru and story-screenplay-dialogues by Prince Jecob. So far only 20 full script Konkani films have been produced including those from Mumbai, Goa and Mangalore. While 9 each have been produced in Karnataka and Goa, one each have been produced from Chennai and Mumbai.

Audio release tomorrow

The audio cassette and CD of the film will be released during the 228th Wilfy nite, a musical evening, at Don Bosco Hall on August 15 at 6 pm. While industrialist Ronald Colaco will grace the occasion, St Joseph’s Seminary Rector Rev Fr Victor Machado will preside over the programme.

Producer Raymond Quadros, lyricist Wify Rebimbus, actress Arona Fernandes, music director Joswin Pinto, singers Meena Rebimbus, Claud D’Souza, Mohammed Iqbal, Anitha Samson and comedian Dolla were present.

Salman, Katrina party at Mallaya’s Yatch


UB Group Chairman Dr. Vijay Mallaya does everything in style. This time it was the launch of his calendar- Kingfisher 2005. The launch of the calendar was on his yacht, Indian Princess with a foreign crew.

Though the yacht was embarked…yet the party at a yacht feeling was very much there. Vijay Mallaya has always had friends in the film industry and therefore Salman Khan launched the calendar.

“I know Vijay, and when it was his calendar I was more than willing to come. And also partying at his yacht was another bait. As far as the calendar goes, every year I look forward to it,” says Salman.

Accompanying Salman was, of course, girlfriend Katrina Kaif. Another very close friend of Salman, Shilpa Shetty also came to enjoy. “I have my buddies here, so I’ll be definitely enjoying the party. And on an afternoon like this I think the spirits are very high for the calendar", says Shilpa.

Other actors present were Fardeen Khan with sister Laila Khan-Rajpal. “We are both enjoying ourselves. It’s a good way of catching up with other people and also spend some time with my sister. So, it’s a dual enjoyment. Speaking about the calendar “I just love it. It has all the hot women in biknis. What more can I ask for,” says Fardeen.

Sohail Khan and Chunkey Pandey were lounging on the deck of the Indian Princess, whereas, Aftaab Shivdasani was busy chatting. “I love this, it’s a perfect way of spending an idle afternoon. Good company, launch of a calendar and lots of food and drinks,” says Aftaab. The others present were Amrita Arora, Suchitra Pillai, designer Rocky S.

Talking about the calendar now, it was shot in South Africa in 10 days. The theme this time is get one with the wild. It has five models including Pia Trivedi and Yana Gupta who were there in Kingfisher 2004 as well.

We asked Dr. Mallaya, if he has made calendar his business? “Kingfisher calendar is a pure brand exercise. As a brand Kingfisher is about a good lifestyle and therefore a calendar just projects that. This is of course to enhance our business but not a business in its own right,” explains Mallaya. Photographer Atul Kasbekar, has shot all the calendars till now, 2005 being the third one.

“Its my pet project of the year. Every year we think of a different theme, this time we shot in African jungles with all the lovely ladies in swimsuits. Kingfisher calendar is a platform for the fashion industry in India,” says Kasbekar.

The two-time model for the calendar Pia Trivedi thinks that it is the most elite assignment to do. “Once you are a Kingfisher model, then people take you in a different light. They see you differently. I have been very lucky to do it twice. A lot of work happened after the 2004 calendar, I am hoping the same would happen now.” Like all this does, this one was as lavish and extravagant. With all sorts of liquor flowing and food coming from a top restaurant in Mumbai, the people enjoyed themselves thoroughly and throughout the day.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Dr.Belle Shenoi


Dr. Shenoi received his B.Sc. degree in Physics from the University of Madras in 1951, D.I.I.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, in 1955, and the degrees of M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana in 1958 and 1962, respectively. He joined the faculty of electrical engineering at the University of Minnesota in September 1962. After 24 years at the University of Minnesota, he joined the Department of Electrical Engineering at Wright State University as professor and chair in 1986. Dr. Shenoi is internationally known for his research in active and digital filter theory and has published more than 50 papers in professional journals. He was elected an honorary professor of electrical engineering, National Cheng-Kung University, Taiwan, in 1987 and was elected Fellow of IEEE for his contributions to the theory of active filters in 1978 and Fellow of the Institute of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers in 1988. He has served at AT&T Bell Laboratories during the four summers of 1968 to 1971 and has consulted for several industries during 1966 to 1986. In recognition of his many years of service in various capacities, the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society awarded Dr. Shenoi the Meritorious Service Award at its 1992 International Conference. He also serves as a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Systems Engineering. He was elected a Life Fellow of the IEEE in 1995. Dr.Shenoi was awarded the Golden Jubilee Medal by the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society in 1999 and the Third Millenium Gold Medal by the IEEE in 2000, in recognition of his research contributions to IEEE.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

NRIs to Create Consortium for Expansion of Airport

A group of Non-Resident Indians settled in West Asia, Australia, the U.S. and the U.K, who have formed the West Coast NRI Forum, have decided to create a consortium to develop infrastructure connected to the expansion of the Mangalore airport.

The consortium, which will plough in money into the airport project, will seek faster completion and adequate transport facilities from Mangalore airport to various towns on the west coast up to Panaji and some interior areas such as Chikmagalur, Shimoga, Udupi and Kodagu.

A team from the forum, which visited Mangalore under the leadership of its president Mohammed Farooque and senior member of the NRI community in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, Vishwanth Kamath, surveyed the project development at Bajpe and found out that the fund flow needs to be expedited.

Since there is some more land to be acquired (150 acres approximately), the idea of creating a consortium had become inevitable.

Farooque told 'The Hindu' daily that a document on the need for a full-fledged airport at Mangalore and its early completion was handed over to the Prime Minister through Union Minister for Civil Aviation Praful Patel.

The document carries the signatures of over 5,000 NRIs settled in various parts of the world, mainly West Asia.

There are a large number of people from Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts employed in West Asia and they find it difficult to travel from Mumbai to Mangalore and from there to the various parts of the State as there are no direct flights from West Asia to Mangalore.

Farooque said Kerala has four airports and all of them have direct flights to the Gulf, but they all are eight to 10 hours by road from Mangalore.

He welcomed the initiative taken by the Government to expand the facilities, but there were still some of the sectors that need some funding specially the connectivity from city to the airport.

Farooque and Kamath will call a meeting of the forum and will send a proposal to the Union Civil Aviation Ministry about the consortium.

The team also met Union Minister of State for Programme Implementation and Statistics Oscar Fernandes, said Kamath

Friday, August 12, 2005

Kannada Script for Konkani Language Welcomed

The Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy's decision to adopt Kannada script for teaching Konkani in schools from the next scholastic year has been welcomed by Ganesh Kamath, correspondent of S V Educational Institute, Gangolli near here.

He was speaking as the chief guest at the 'Mhan Monis Ek Mulakhat" programme organized by Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy at Gangolli recently. He said, "This decision should be backed by all since it has been taken after taking into consideration the regional situation. It is a brave decision because it helps the students to be in touch with the local culture."

Fr Stany Pereira was the guest of honour while Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy president Eric Ozario presided over the function. The academy registrar K Duggappa Kajekar, local convener Narayan Kharvi, Kharvi Mahajan Sangh president Purushottam was present on the dais.

Noted social worker and retired teacher C G Devrai Kharvi and well-known Konkani literature Vinod Fernandes were felicitated.

Karnataka Konkani Kharvi Mahajan Sangh secretary Ganapati Shipay extended warm welcome to the gathered and academy member Vincent Alva proposed the vote of thanks. Keshav Tandela compered the programme.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bank officers told to overcome deficiencies

K Ananth Kamath, general manager of Corporation Bank, head office, Mangalore, has asked bank officers to overcome the deficiencies to meet the target set for each branch.

He was speaking after inaugurating the quarterly review meeting of branch managers of Hubli zone, organised by Corporation Bank here recently. Officers should work honestly to overcome all deficiencies and should surpass the business targets set for the branch well within the stipulated dates, he said.

Branch managers should convert problems into opportunities. There are no defined instructions for managerial duties. Individual managers should plan their own strategies to ensure effective control over their internal affairs and be successful in business matters, he added.

He stressed the need of taking timely decisions. Majority of the problems arise out of delayed decisions on accounts, knowledge gap, fear in taking a decision, and problems, which cannot be solved at manager’s level and not promptly taken up with higher-ups for solutions.

He advised the managers to overcome the hurdles and become good decision makers. Deposits were not main products of the bank, they were the by-products when we extend all help and assistance to customers, he opined.

Dinesh Rao, chief manager, CB zonal office, Hubli proposed a vote of thanks. Prakash Hebbar, Assistant general manager and zonal officers from six districts of Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Davangere, Chitradurga and Uttar Kannada participated.

Freedom fighter misses President’s banquet

Veteran freedom fighter Janardhan Prabhu (82), from Moodbidri who received an invitation to President APJ Abdul Kalam’s banquet for freedom fighters at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Aug 9, ahead of Independence Day celebrations, was left stranded thanks to the incorrigible co-ordination of the government.

Prabhu had considered himself lucky to receive the invitation.

But today he is bitter for having missed the bus (or train, to be precise) to the prestigious event.

Weeks ago the district administration had received a communication from the government to identify a couple of veteran freedom fighters to represent the state in the presidential banquet.

The district administration had shortlisted three freedom fighters and zeroed in on Prabhu who was found physically fit to make the strenuous journey by train to New Delhi.

A photo copy of his biodata and other documents were faxed to a senior government functionary identified as Vasundhara.

‘‘The government endorsed our recommendation and Vasundhara while directing us to reserve train tickets had obtained the telephone number of Janardhan Prabhu,’’ sources informed. Tickets, including the return ticket, were reserved free of cost by ‘Samparka Kranthi’ train on July 29.

When Prabhu along with an escort Ratnakar .C. Moily, who was familiar with New Delhi, arrived at the Mangalore railway station on Aug 6, they were informed that the train services had been suspended.

‘‘The railways displayed sheer insensitivity by not informing Prabhu earlier,’’ alleges a relative of Prabhu.

A spokesperson for the railways expressing helplessness said it was the decision of the higher-ups.

The veteran freedom fighter returned to Moodbidri and contacted the chief whip in the Assembly and Moodbidri MLA Abhaychandra Jain and the government in the hope of securing an airline ticket to New Delhi.

But his hopes were dashed on learning that Vasundhara without verifying his departure had already flown to New Delhi. Rubbing salt on his wound, a senior officer in DPAR suggested that Prabhu fly to Delhi on his own.

‘‘After exhausting all avenues, Prabhu got in touch with us in the evening of Aug 8,’’ sources in the district administration said and added: ‘‘at this stage we could not do anything.’’

Thus Karnataka was not represented at the President’s banquet for freedom fighters.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

India creates semi, EDA research consortium

Expanding its efforts in electronics, the India Semiconductor Association (ISA) on Wednesday (Aug. 10) announced plans to create a new semiconductor and electronic design automation (EDA) research consortium.

The ISA will create the so-called Semiconductor Research Consortium for India in an effort to increase industry-oriented research and facilitate EDA software acquisition in some of the nation’s institutes. It will also create and support industry-oriented student projects and increase student placement into semiconductor firms.

The ISA also continued its push to expand engineering education. The organization unveiled its University Gateway Initiative in partnership with the VLSI Society of India (VSI).

The ISA also signed a memorandum of understanding agreement with the regional body for engineering education, the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU).

The VTU oversees Karnataka state’s engineering education, including Bangalore, the state capital, and with 120 institutes. This deal is expected to propel recruitment for the growing design services industry in the country.

“Talent generation is central to the Indian semiconductor industry’s effort to move up the value chain and gain global eminence. In our industry, a clear way for achieving this is through a ground initiative that encompasses every facet and fosters the creation of a supportive ecosystem. With this initiative, ISA has taken the lead in making it happen,” said Rajendra Kumar Khare, chairman of the ISA.

“The initiative encompasses every possible area from research, curriculum, faculty development, and EDA tool support to ecosystem creation. It covers all parties involved right from the industry bodies, companies, and academic institutions,” said Poornima Shenoy, president of the ISA.

UB to club spirits biz under one listed entity


The $2 billion UB group, which recently acquired Shaw Wallace, would bring its widespread liquor business under one single entity 'United Spirits' and list the same by March 2006, Group Chief, Mr Vijay Mallya said on Wednesday.

During the process of restructuring, there would be no more acquisitions and takeovers, said Mr Mallaya, who completed financial closure for the Rs 1,300 crore acquisition of Chhabria's stake in Shaw Wallace five weeks ago.

Mr Mallya, whose UB Group emerged as the second-largest spirits producer in the world after Diageo, said that all the listed companies as also the acquired ones would be clubbed together and merged into the proposed United Spirits where the promoters wou ld have 54 per cent equity.

"We will merge all our spirits companies into one legally and will complete the process by March 2006. By this time we will finish everything, restructuring and rationalisation of the group's business and brands," Mr Mallya said.

During the process of restructuring, the UB group would amalgamate operations of its listed companies McDowell and Company, Herbertson besides its private company Triumph Distillers and Vintners.

Asked if he was still in the market for further takeovers, he said, "My hands are full after Shaw Wallace. We just completed financial closure five weeks ago and are under the process of restructuring."

PricewaterhouseCoopers, Haribhakthi & Co. and Accenture have been contracted by the UB group to assist it complete the restructuring.

Significant Resolutions Passed at Conclave of Konkani Writers, Tiatrists

Soeme very significant resolutions were passed during the Roman script Konkani writers, tiatrists, and artistes' meeting held at Margão on August 8, 2005.

More than fifty Konkani writers, tiatrists, and artistes and readers of Roman script Konkani held a meeting at Grace Church hall at Margão, which was convened by Dalgado Konknni Akademi (DKA), to demand equal status for Roman script Konkani with that of Devanagari.

DKA president Tomazinho Cardozo, DKA executive members Wilson Mazarello and F. Pratap Naik SJ and well-known tiatrist Mario Menezes addressed the gathering, and explained the need of including Roman script Konkani in the Language Act.

Ullas Buyãv, Cosma Fernandes, Boniface Dias, Jose Gomes, Michael Gracias, and others took part in the iscussion. DKA secretary Jose Salvadore Fernandes proposed vote of thanks. The following resolutions were passed unanimously:

1. Goa's Konkani community is divided into two groups, namely those who read and write Konkani in Devanagari script, and those who read and write Konkani in Roman script. Therefore Goa Government should give equal and official status to Konkani written in Devanagari and Roman scripts. In this direction, the government should modify the Language Act accordingly. The present Language Act,1987 2. (c) reads "Konkani language" means Konkani language in Devanagari script. We propose the following amendment to 2. (c): "Konkani language" means Konkani language in Devanagari and Roman scripts.

2. Goa Government recognizes Marathi Akademi as the official Akademi for Marathi in Goa and gives grants. Similarly, Goa Government must recognize Dalgado Konknni Akademi (DKA) as the official NGO of Konkani in Roman script and give the same amount of grants which the government gives to Goa Konkani Akademi (GKA) and Marathi Akademi.

3. So far, Goa government has not appointed the president of GKA from the Roman script group. The term of the present GKA president will be completed in the month of November 2005. Hence this time Govt. must appoint the
president of GKA from the minority community. In the future, government could appoint the president by turns from Devanagari script and Roman script groups.

4. GKA is a government institution. At present a nominee of the All India Konkani Parishad is the ex-officio member of GKA. GKA Constitution must be amended to include a nominee of Dalgado Konknni Akademi as the ex-officio member of GKA. Goa government appoints three persons eminent in the field of Konkani language, literature or culture as ex-officio members of GKA. While nominating these three persons Govt. should give equal representation to Devanagari and Roman script groups.

5. In the past Kala Akademi (KA) used to give annual prizes for books published in Devanagari and Roman scripts. For the last many years it has stopped giving awards to books written in Roman script. KA should be ordered to give awards to Roman script Konkani writers, and extend to them all other projects and schemes which are available to Konkani in Devanagari script.

6. Kala Akademi gives Gomantak Sharada Puroskar to Konkani writers in Devanagari script and Marathi writers. In future KA must consider and give this prestigious award to Roman script writers and artists as well.

7. Kala Akademi is established to promote the culture of Goa. Hence it should be asked to hold competitions and to promote non-stop Konkani drama, one-act plays in Konkani in Roman script, Mandos, Dekhnnis, Christmas
carols, Church hymns, Motets, Intruz khells, Kantaram, Kunbi songs and dances, and other folk arts.

8. Govt. must name its new theatre for the performing arts in Margão, in honour of the late João Augustinho Fernandes, who is popularly known as "Pai Tiatrist". By doing this government will honour a great Goan tiatrist and his minority community. If this is not done we are forced to consider it as an insult done by the Govt. to Goans and Goan tiatrists and artists.

9. Tiatr is the most popular form of theatre in Goa. To promote this local art form Goa Govt. should make available its theatres in Panaji, Ponda and elsewhere at subsidized rates for tiatrs. This generous gesture of the government will boost the tiatr industry.

10. Goa Konkani Akdemi, Kala Akademi, directorate of art and culture, and other government departments while publishing Konkani books, should publish them in both Devanagari script and Roman script.

11. In school syllabus, lessons from Roman script Konkani must be given equal representation without changing the language and style. In college and university syllabus Konkani literature written in Roman script should be
taught in Roman script itself. Students who opt for Konkani as a major subject at T.Y. B.A. or at M.A. level must know to read and write Konkani in Devanagari and Roman scripts.

12. Konkani has two representatives in Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. Goa government sends three names to Sahitya Akademi as its nominees. Let the Goa government send names of Devanagari writers and Roman script writers by turns.

13. To promote Konkani films the Govt. must establish a separate board of film experts, and representatives from Devanagari and Roman script writers to check the quality of films and allot them subsidy.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Exclusive website launched for South Asian women's writings

THE British Council, along with editors Mini Krishnan and Rakshanda Jalil, has launched a website for women's writing from South Asia:

The site intends to promote internationally, voices that are less frequently heard and, therefore, focuses only on writing from women who live and work in the region.

The site features a unique, searchable database containing up-to-date profiles and work from some of South Asia's most talented women writers — short excerpts, biographies, bibliographies, prizes and photographs.

The site developed from a conference organised by the British Council India in 2003, UKSAWWC, which brought together women writers from the U.K. and South Asia, many for the first time. The database can be searched by author, genre and nationality.

The site also features information on major literary prizes, literary events taking place in the U.K., in South Asia and across the British Council's international network, literature resources developed by the British Council and details on the best creative writing courses in the U.K.

Each month, a new writer is profiled in detail and, for registered users, a monthly news email is sent out to alert members to upcoming events, online web chats and new features on the site. Women writers can also apply for password-protected access to the site's notice board, which aims to create a network for women writers to share their experiences and concerns.

Currently, the site has work by the following authors: Jayanti Naik, Abburi Chaya Devi, Bulbul Sharma, Indira Varma, Indu K. Mallah, Kunandika Kapadia, Lekshmy Rajeev, Madhu Kishwar, Mamang Dai, Vijaya Lakshmi, Shanta Gokhale, Susie Tharu and Vasantha Surya.

Konkani Parishad denies imposing Devanagiri

The All India Konkani Parishad has charged the Mandd Sobhan and Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academi of casting aspersion against the Parishad and rejected their statements, to a section of the press, against the Parishad as malicious.
The Parishad was referring to the remarks of the Mandd Sobhan and the Academi on the Parishad’s slogan of ‘One language, one script, one samaj’ as fascist, which also alleged that the Parishad was imposing Devanagari script on the Konkanwadis of Karnataka.

Rebutting the charge, the Parishad maintained that it has never tried to impose a dialect/script on any section of Konkani society nor suppress them at any stage of its 66 year-old history, during which it has grown into an all India organisation representing the entire Konkani society, during which it has spearheaded the Konkani movement with an exemplary respect for secularism and pluralistic culture.
Defending its slogan of ‘one language, one script and one samaj’, the Parishad emphasised the commonness and unity in the fields of Konkani language, literature and culture especially because the community speaking the language suffers from fragmentation of various kinds on account of geographical distinctions, political boundaries, scripts, regional cultures etc.
In the context, the Parishad said it is necessary to emphasise on one language, one common script and one community — meaning a culturally united Konkani community, the Parishad said in a press release.
The Parishad ridiculed Mandd Sobhan and the Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy for trying to malign it and distort its objects and said that they had betrayed absolute ignorance of the Parishad’s history and contributions — the basic factors determining the efficient functioning of any language and the complexity of Konkani’s script problem.
The Parishad held that the choice of Devanagari for Konkani was the result of protracted debates which took place during the past six decades on the Parishad’s forum and the convergence of views of scholars and writers from all the states. In these debates, the writers/scholars of Karnataka too had expressed their views in favour of Devanagiri, the Parishad said in the press statement and gave an instance where its founder Madhav Manjunath Shanbhag and V J P Saldanha, were convinced of the utility of Devanagiri.
The statement added that the Parishad encouraged the use of Devanagiri script on voluntary basis towards its ultimate acceptance as a common script for all Konkani regions, to achieve faster development of Konkani language through better communication and wider readership.

Corp Bank organises zonal conference

BELGAUM: The Corporation Bank organised Zonal Conference of Branch Heads of Belgaum in Belgaum on Friday to discuss the role of bankers in the modern society and the need for an interactive banking.

General Manager of the Bank, K A Kamat inaugurated the conference. He spoke on the need of change in bankers approach, strategies, challenges in banking business, need of aggressive marketing, catering the needs of farmers, professionals, businessmen and students community and ensuring maximum utilisation of modern banking facilities.

Kamat stressed on the need of speedy disposal of loans to the farmers and students. As many as 32 branch heads attended the conference and discussed on various topics including planning, strategies, targets and avenues.

K Vasudeva Nayak welcomed and Chief Manager, H Dundiraj Bhat proposed a vote of thanks.

Udupi-Brahmavar: National Conference at Crossland College from Aug 11

The Crossland College will organize a national conference from Thursday to Saturday at the college premises.

The theme of the conference is ‘College to Community-Emerging Trends in Extension and Outreach Activities in Colleges’. The UGC-sponsored conference will be held in the college auditorium, The Annexe, on Thursday.

Former vice-chancellor of MAHE, M S Valiathan will inaugurate and deliver the keynote address. MLA Jaya Prakash Hegde and correspondent Roy Philip will be the guests of honour.

The conference will have seven technical sessions by resource persons. Manasa, Shimoga’s director Dr Ashok Pai, Little Rock Indian School, Brahmavar principal Prof Mathew C Ninan, KMC, Mangalore clinical psychologist Dr Elizabeth Daniel, Sri Devi Education Trust Colleges, Mangalore dean Dr Padmini Pai, MCMT, Kerala Director Dr Rajan Varghese, Bishop Cotton Women's College, Bangalore former principal Dr. Elizabeth Thomas and Ganesh Somayaji of Goa University are the resource persons.
Dr R P Pai, Sudhir Kumar I P, Vijay Ramanan, Prof Sam Daniel, Fr Fred Mascarehnas, Dinesh Kini, Prof K Narayanan, Jayakumar Shetty, and James Varghese will chair the sessions.

A special feature of the conference will be the Interface with the NGOs. The papers on different topics will be presented by the delegates. MAHE, Manipal former vice-chancellor Prof B M Hegde will deliver the valedictory address on Saturday. Managing trustee Prof Mathew C Ninan will be the guest of honour.

About 80 teachers and 20 MSW students from different colleges are expected to participate.

Crossland College has adopted Chanthar village and 17 toilets were constructed for the villagers in addition to running a village library and reading room. Self-employment training, consumer awareness and sanitary programmes are some of the projects undertaken by the college. Syndicate Bank, Apurva Agencies, Bangalore, Manipal Power Press, Vibrant Solutions, Udupi, YMCA, Brahmavar and Abharana Motors, Udupi are the sponsors of the conference.

KIOCL donates Rs 10 lakh to Mudigere Govt Jr College

CHICKMAGALUR: Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd Director, Capt J N Kini recently handed over a cheque for Rs 10 lakhs to the Government Junior College, Mudigere, Principal K S Jaganath to assist in providing enhanced facilities to the students of the college.

The donation marked the first instalment for the construction of additional rooms, laboratory, auditorium, rest room for girl students and to provide other facilities in the college.

Following the request made by Old Students’ Association of the College for the financial assistance, KIOCL has agreed to contribute Rs 20 lakhs to enable college administration to take up necessary development works.

KIOCL Chairman-cum-Managing Director, P Ganesh, Punyamurthy (HP Dealers), K Jayaram Adyanthaya (IOC Dealers), M K Ganesh, Old Students’ Association President and others also witnessed the occassion.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Freedom-fighter Janardhana Prabhu to be Prez Kalam's Pre-Independence Day Guest of Honour

Well-known and highly-respected freedom-fighter from this town, Janardhana Prabhu, has been chosen and invited by president A P J Kalam for a dinner of honour in the Rashtrapati Bhavan on August 9, prior to the celebration of the Independence Day.

It is a fitting recognition of Prabhu's role in the freedom fight. Inspired by the freedom movement, he jumped headlong into it at an early age of 19. Later on he took an active role in the 'Quit India' movement in and around this town. In 1942, he was jailed for a year with rigorous punishment. Prabhu, currently aged 82, had also received the Tamra Patra (Copper Plaque) award from the hands of the late Indira Gandhi, the then prime minister of the country, on August 15, 1972.

Prabhu is one among the five freedom-fighters chosen from the state of Karnataka this year for felicitation. He considers it a great honour for him as a freedom-fighter and he is happy to receive the same.

At the time of his departure for Delhi on August 6, he was seen off and congratulated by state government chief whip and local MLA K Abhayachandra, former minister Amaranath Shetty K, town municipal chairperson Devaki, vice chairperson Suresh Kotian and other dignitaries.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

PNB opens 27th ATM


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Punjab National Bank (PNB) opened its 27th ATM in the state at S K Hospital at Edapazhanji here on Thursday. PNB zonal manager S V Shenoy inaugurated the new ATM.

The bank has achieved 100 percent computerisation of the branches and carries out more than 99 percent of its business through computerised branches, a statement here said.

The bank has so far networked more than 1250 of its branches through the Centralised Banking Solution (CBS) system.

The bank has made arrangements with 19 leading exchange houses for speedy money transfer from abroad.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Post-graduate Diploma in Konkani at St Aloysius College


The Institute of Konkani, St Aloysius College has invited applications for the post-graduate diploma in Konkani correspondence course. The applications for the course will be issued in September.

The two-year course has over 500 students and is the only course of its kind in the entire nation. Those who have a flare for research in Konkani language and are above 18 years of age may apply for the course by paying Rs 800 towards course fee per year.

History of Konkani language, Konkani literature, Konkani plays and poetry are the subjects in the first year while Konkani folk, literary criticism, Konkani language science and literature are for second year. Interested students may have details with Director, Institute of Konkani, St Aloysius College.

ICICI Bank and Kingfisher Airlines Launch Co-branded Credit Card


Kingfisher Airlines, India's first true-value, full-service airline, in its constant attempt to provide enhanced value to its consumers entered into an agreement with ICICI Bank, India’s second largest Bank, to create a co-branded credit card that will allow its members a host of privileges and would also serve as an incentive to become loyal travelers of Kingfisher Airlines.

The target consumer for Kingfisher Airlines is the frequent-flying corporate traveler who seeks delight out of his flying experience. The Airline's offering is in line with the expectations of the globally aligned Indian who has high propensity to spend. This consumer is also the right potential target for ICICI Bank's premium credit card offerings and hence the fit between the two brands is strategically sound.

The ICICI Bank-Kingfisher Airlines credit card, which is being launched on the VISA platform, will be unique as in addition to the standard Gold credit card benefits, it would also carry a host of special, customized features available to every cardholder. The special features include privileged access to lounges & restaurants, with free refreshments, at domestic airports, access to almost 180 golf clubs in India through special tie-ups and special packages for Golf Holidays across the world.

The ICICI Bank- Kingfisher Airlines credit card holders will also be eligible for special invitations for premium lifestyle shows and events like fashion shows, movie premieres etc. Another unique feature that is available for the members of the ICICI Bank-Kingfisher Airlines credit card is a 24x7 Concierge service that gives the card holder personalized assistance across various cities in India with services ranging from car rentals to city guides and more.

Kingfisher Airlines would also recognize and incentivise its loyal consumers through a variety of benefits on the same co-branded credit card.

Adds Dr. Vijay Mallya, Chairman & Managing Director, Kingfisher Airlines Limited- "Kingfisher Airlines is the embodiment of the modern, global Indian. We are out to re-define the air travel industry in India by offering never-before value to the Indian air traveller. Ranging from our brand new aircraft to the unique Kingfisher Class experience, Kingfisher Airlines is committed to provide only the best to its guests. It is in line with this that we have chosen to align with ICICI Bank - the leader in the credit card industry in the country, to create a unique co-branded credit card. This alliance will also further strengthen the corporate relationship that The UB Group has enjoyed with ICICI Bank"

Said Mrs. Chanda Kochhar, Executive Director, ICICI Bank “We are pleased to be associated with Kingfisher Airlines as it gives the Bank an ideal opportunity in the growing co-branded segment to provide customers with a different set of lifestyle features in addition to a better travel and shopping experience. At ICICI Bank, enhancing customer benefits has always been one of our objectives. The Bank has entered into successful partnerships across segments and remains committed to provide such value-added services to our customers”.

Uttam Nayak, Deputy Country Manager – South Asia, Visa International said, “Visa is delighted to partner with ICICI Bank and Kingfisher Airlines to present this exciting co-branded product. As a leader in India, Visa believes in forging relationships that will lead to enhanced value for its end customer. This is a winning partnership - Kingfisher Airlines provides a vibrant and exciting new flying option, ICICI Bank has always developed unique products for customers and this is underlined by the Visa global system, the world’s most robust electronic payment network that links a billion cardholders and 21 million merchants around the world. This relationship is truly ready for take-off! ”

About Kingfisher Airlines

Kingfisher Airlines is India's first private airline to commence operations with a brand new fleet of aircraft. Kingfisher Airlines is a value-based airline and provides an unparalleled experience in the domestic civil aviation market in India. Among other features, Kingfisher Airlines offers world-class in-flight entertainment with personal video screens for every seat. On offer is a wide choice of five video and ten audio channels, extra-wide seats and spacious leg room, delicious hot meals, international class cabin crew and a whole host of joys and delights.

About ICICI Bank

ICICI Bank (NYSE:IBN) is India’s second largest bank with an asset base of Rs 1,676.59 billion as on March 31, 2005. ICICI Bank provides a broad spectrum of financial services to individuals and companies. This includes mortgages, car and personal loans, credit and debit cards, corporate and agricultural finance. The Bank services a growing customer base of more than 13 million customers through a multi-channel access network which includes over 570 branches and extension counters, 2000 ATMs, call centres and Internet banking ( ICICI Bank runs one of the largest credit card programmes in India with over 3.3 million cardholders.

About Visa

Visa connects cardholders, merchants and financial institutions through the world’s largest electronic payments network. Visa products allow buyers and sellers to conduct commerce with ease and confidence in both the physical and virtual worlds. As an association owned by 21,000 member financial institutions, Visa is committed to the sustained growth of electronic payment systems to support the needs of all stakeholders and to drive economic growth. For more information, visit

Visa Asia Pacific

In Asia Pacific, Visa has a greater market share than all other payment card brands combined, with 62 per cent of all card purchases at the point of sale being made using Visa cards. There are currently 238 million Visa-branded cards in the region. In 2004, US$475 billion was spent at point of sale or withdrawn from ATMs in Asia Pacific using Visa cards. Visa Asia Pacific’s Internet address is

Outcome of MATF, MGP meeting with Corpn. Commisioner


While KRS is full to the brim bringingjoy to one and all, the least expected from the citizens is a daily supply of drinking water.

In this backdrop, MATF and MGP members, along with prominent citizens, held a meeting with the Corporation Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim at his chamber here yesterday to discuss the regular supply of drinking water.

In the meeting, the voice of the members in unison was about the failure on the part of the Corporation to facilitate for the supply of drinking water on daily basis when water shortage in KRS reservoir is a thing of the past.

Raising the issue, the Convenor of Water Supply and Sanitation Working Group of MATF, M. Lakshmana, said that the four pumping stations in the city should supply 218 MLD of water but it is not being done as the pumps are old and not functioning properly resulting in a short supply of about 30 per cent.

'However, about 153 MLD of water is being pumped at present while the requirement of drinking water to city is only 135 MLD. While the situation is like this, what is holding the Corporation from not supplying drinking water on daily basis?' Lakshmana argued.

Replying to his question, Ibrahim, however, accepted that the whole system of water supply in the city is not functioning as expected from many years and added that steps would be taken to set-right the problem in stages.

Lakshmana, not happy with the Commissioner's assurance, questioned the behaviour of Corporation engineers saying whatever suggestions the MATF gives to them is falling on deaf ears.

'MATF members are appointed directly by the Government and in spite of this the engineers are neglecting us and the concerned citizens' pleas. It looks as if these officials are compounding the problems instead of solving them,' he alleged and added that Executive Engineer Ranga-swamy is not responding to his frequent calls made in this regard.

He also said, 'when we are spending our time and money to better the services preparing a complete project plan, the concerned officials are showing no interest in solving the problem.'

MATF Chairman R. Guru, Dr. H.A.B. Parpia, MGP members Dr. Bhamy V. Shenoy, Maj. Gen. S.G. Vombatkere (Retd.), journalist Rajashekar Koti, Balasubramaniam, R.S. Venkateshan, M.B. Srinivas, Udaya Kumar, Rajesh, Dr. C.N. Singh and others took part in the meeting.

After the discussions, it was decided to take up the necessary steps and facilitate for the supply of drinking water to city on daily basis from Aug. 16.

Ibrahim promised the members that he would furnish the details of steps taken in the next two days and also to consider the demands and suggestions putforth by the citizens.