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Friday, September 30, 2005

Konkani Bhasha Mandal announces literary awards

Konkani Bhasha Mandal (KBM), premier institution promoting the cause of Konkani language, today announced its literary awards which will be presented on its 43rd anniversary on September 30. Besides this, educational awards and Konkani journalism award will be given.

This was announced by the KBM president, Mr Bhiku Naik in presence of other executive committee members in city this evening. He said the KBM since last 42 years gives awards to promote Konkani literature and recognise the merits of the students opting Konkani at the SSC, graduation and post-graduation level.

The anniversary function will be held at the Konkani Bhavan, Margao. The Power Minister, Mr Digamber Kamat will be the chief guest while the Rajya Sabha MP, Mr Shantaram Naik will be the guest of honour.

In literary category, the late Narcinva Damodar Nayak award consisting of a cash prize of Rs 1,001 will be awarded to Mr Prakash Vajrikar for his play Ani Ek Buto Fullo. While the late Rock Barretto award carrying a cash prize of Rs 1,001 will be awarded to Mr Paresh Kamat for his collection of poems Garbakhol.

The KBM’s literary award of Rs 1,000 will be awarded to Mr Fausto B D’Costa for his tiatr entitled Futt, while the Ligorio Furtado Trust award for Konkani journalism will be presented to Mr Chandrakant Keni.

Besides, a special award for the services of promoting the cause of Konkani language and culture will be given to Mr Suhas Dalal.

The Late Felixbab Cardoz award, instituted by Serafin Cotta for Konkani teaching carring a cash prize of Rs 1,000 will be awarded to Mr Curcinho R Pinho of Mapusa.

The educational awards will be given to Ms Apurva Dev for scoring 93 per cent marks in Konkani subject at the SSC examination, Ms Sonali Gosavi for scoring 91 per cent marks in Konkani in South Goa, Ms Teja Sinai Nagarsenkar for scoring 91 per cent marks in Konkani in HSSC exams, Ms Monali Phadte for topping MA (Konkani) and Ms Meghana Arsekar for topping in Konkani subject at the BA examination.

Mr Naik said the selection committee were comprising of Mr Madhav Borkar, Ms Meena Kakodkar and Mr Bhalchandra Gaonkar. In all 15 books were received of which 13 were in Devnagri script and two in Roman scripts, he informed. The others present at the press briefings were Mr Sanjay Talwadkar and Mr Nityanand Naik.

S N Bhat of BJP wins the election

KASARGOD: The LDF and the UDF won seven seats each and the BJP two in the 16-member Kasargod district panchayat.

In the initial counting the UDF emerged the winner in the Madhur division with a majority of 150 votes. But on recounting BJP was declared the winner with a majority of 12 votes, taking its seats to two, giving the party a crucial role in the number game.

Though, the UDF workers besieged the District Collector Minhaj Alam, who is also the chief electoral officer, demanding recounting for a second time, the electoral officers declared Sarada S N Bhat of the BJP the winner.

The poll officers also rejected the LDF demand to order a recounting for Padanna and Chemnad divisions of the district panchayat.

Here the IUML candidates won the divisions with a margin of 44 and 47 votes respectively.

The LDF, which had 10 seats last time, suffered a setback as it could bag only seven seats this time, while the BJP which had only a seat last time managed to bag two seats now.

With both LDF and UDF tied at seven seats each, it’s the BJP, with two seats, who will be the king-maker in the district.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Kala Mahotsava at KA from Oct 1

A two-day Kala Mahotsava will be held at Kala Academy on October 1 and 2, in observance of the 75th birth anniversary of the legendary Goan vocalist, late Pt Jitendra Abhisheki.

Mr Shaunak Abhisheki, the noted vocalist and son of late Pt Abhisheki, addressing a press conference today, said that altogether 18 artists - Goan as well as those of national and international repute - will participate in the musical concert.

The participating artists are Aarti Ankalikar, Pt Upendra Bhat, Shubha Mudgal, Sameer Dubley, Pt D K Datar, Shruti Sadolikar Katkar, Raghunath Phadke, Bhuvanesh Komkali, Ustad Usman Khan, Makarand Hingne, Pt Suhas Vyas, Vinod Digrajkar, Dr Ram Deshpande, Dr Vidya Damle, Gauri Godsay Kulkarni and Mahadev Pednekar.

Those who will accompany on tabla are Mangesh Muley, Subhash Kamat, Aneesh Pradhan, Mukesh Jadhav, Tulshidas Navalkar and Dayesh Kossambe, while the harmonium accompanists are Sudhir Nayak, Sudhaunshu Kulkarni, Uday Kulkarni and Raya Korgaonkar. The programme will be compered by Ms Shaila Mukund and Dr Ajay Vaidya.

The programme jointly organised by Tarangini Sanskritik Pratishthan, Department of Information and Publicity, Directorate of Art and Culture and Kala Academy will be open for public.

Speaking further, Mr Abhisheki said that the expected expenditure for the programme is around Rs 15 lakh.

“Tarangini, a cultural trust formed by Pt Abhisheki way back in 1981, is also carrying out a number of beneficial schemes such as Gurudakshina which provides lifelong pension to the senior veteran artists who have fallen on bad times and Shishyavritti wherein deserving students of Indian classical music are given scholarships,” he added.

Mr Abhisheki also said that he would hold similar Kala Mahotsavas in Pune and Mumbai with the participation of Goan artists.

The Minister for Art and Culture, Mr Digambar Kamat and the director of the Directorate of Art and Culture, Mr M V Naik were also present on the occasion.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Air Canada Centre facelift for 10th anniversary

It might soon get a little easier to take the kids to Leafs and Raptors games.

In a move to mark the Air Canada Centre's 10th year in operation, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., the parent company of the Leafs and Raptors, is planning a $40 million renovation in three years that could see the arena add a children's playground and food court.Construction is set to begin in the summer of 2008 and Maple Leaf Sports hasn't yet hired an architect to design the improvements.In an interview with the Sports Business Journal, a sports industry trade publication that first reported the planned renovation, MLSE executive vice-president Bob Hunter said that the changes would "be similar to what Portland, Detroit and Phoenix are doing, but it will focus as much on public amenities as premium."The Pistons' most recent upgrades of The Palace at Auburn Hills include a food court built as part of a 60,000-square-foot addition to the arena, while the Suns recently revamped America West Arena to create a children's playground in the arena's upper deck.Phoenix also recently opened an indoor/outdoor bar that features a broadcast studio that doubles as a stage.MLSE spokesperson Rajani Kamath said yesterday that most of the changes to the arena would be focused on its west side and would come as a result of plans to develop a new $350 million complex, to be called Maple Leaf Square.Five months ago, Maple Leaf Sports announced the new facility, which will feature a sports bar and a 2,000-seat music club. Maple Leaf Square is to be located on a parking lot just west of the arena and will be connected to the arena by a glass-covered bridge.
Kamath said much of the renovation would focus on giving people arriving at the Air Canada Centre from Maple Leaf Square direct access to the arena's private-suite levels.A shopping mall included in Maple Leaf Square is also set to have a 171-room, sports-themed boutique hotel and an upscale restaurant.The Air Canada Centre, which cost $265 million to build, opened in February 1999 and was designed by Toronto architect Brisbin Brook Beynon, which this year has also worked on renovations for Madison Square Garden in New York and the Rose Garden arena in Portland, Ore.

A Konkani Girl in Kannada Filmdom - Maria Ashitha Crasta of Taccode

Acting is a talent, and among the Mangaloreans there are number of artistes who shine from stageplay to Bollywood. But it is very rare to see talents of Konkani origin shining in higher level. In theatre, we have outstanding artistes, many of them having won awards either at state level or at national level. But a Konkani girl is in the Sandalwood news for quite a few time. Born in Taccode near Moodibidri, Maria Ashitha Crasta is now heroine in Kannada movies.

"There is almost no encouragement or very less encouragement for a girl in our community to exhibit her talents in movies. That is the basic reason why Konkani girls are not among the Bollywood stars. But my parents have given me full support. At the age of 11 they identified my talent in dancing and that has helped to develop my talent," says Commerce graduate now pursuing private MBA Ashitha Crasta. She lives with her parents in Bangalore, which she says ideal place to develop her talents in Kannda movies.

Right from the age of 15, she started participating in dance and modelling shows at the regional level and has won several laurels for her talents. When she was 16, she won her first beauty contest and that gave her a real break. Immediately she was selected for modelling for the promotion of a detergent soap in Chennai. Thereafter she never looked back, almost bagging every available opportunity.

'Miss Blossom 1998' and 'Miss Exotica 1999' were two major events that gave her real confidence in competing in state level contests. But 'Miss Millennium - 2000' title was the event which took her to Kannada filmdom.

Well-known cameraman and TV serial director Venugopal identified her potential and gave his full commendation to be an actress in Kannada. She got the first break in a movie based on South Kanara's known personality Sadhu Shetty. She has been offered an important role in the Kannada movie 'Hats off India' which has seen good success.

Her next movie 'Heartbeat' was which gave her own identity in Sandalwood. She was chosen as heroine to pair with Vijayaraghavendra. 'This movie gave me good boost and helped me to get my own identity, ' she says. 'Leading lady's roles are not my priority. I am longing for such roles as would remain in the minds of the audience for a long time,' says Ashitha confidently.

She is being seen in a key role as heroine in the just-released 'Green Signal' with Vishal Hegde of Udupi. The movie has already been released in North Kanara and Bangalore. The movie is expected to be released in Mangalore in the first week of October.

This initial success has brought her two more new movies 'Road Romeo' being directed by famous director Sai Prakash and yet to be named movie with Shivarajkumar, son of Kannada legend Dr Rajkumar.

'Acting is not only a talent, it is a full -pledged profession. No one should feel ashamed to join the movie industry if they really have the talents. Of course there is discouragement to become an actress in our community, but as long as you keep a clean image, you need not worry about anything. I feel proud to be a Konkani girl and proud to be Mnagalorean,' a fluent Konkani-speaker Ashitha says.

Ashitha is daughter of Louis and Jennifer Crasta of Taccode. Their elder daughter Anitha is working for BESCOM, son Ashish has finished his degree and working for an MNC, and the youngest is the girl who is going to bring fame to the family and community - Ashitha.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Kingfisher to fly Goa-Agra from Oct

With a view to strengthening its presence in tourist circuits, Kingfisher Airlines is all set to introduce direct non-stop flights from Goa to Agra next month, thus becoming the first domestic airline to serve these cities.

According to the airline's chief Vijay Mallaya, this move would stimulate air traffic between the two points.

He was speaking on the sidelines of 'Open Skies 2005: Powering aviation growth', a symposium organised by Confederation of Indian Industries in Mumbai.

Mallya also revealed that the airline would start services from Pune to Ahmedabad and Goa from the coming winter schedule.

Disagreeing with a theory that Kingfisher airline's decision to outsource its ground handling to Indian Airlines was not a sound decision, he said on the contrary it has led cost savings, besides better utilisation of national resources.

Kingfisher is paying Indian Airlines an annual fee of Rs 60 crore (Rs 600 million) for ground handling services, he said, pointing out that this was substantially more than the operating profit of Rs 44 crore (Rs 440 million) earned by Indian Airlines last year.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Mangalore to host Konkani meet in Dec

Despite the variety of scripts, dialects, castes and creed, Konkanis spread all over the world have forged unity on the principle: Unity in diversity.

For years members of the Konkani community have been discussing ways and means to strengthen this unity and give leadership at the global level to all Konkani issues.The issue was again revived at the meeting of Konkani representatives of different regions held in the city on September 11.

However, unlike in the previous meetings, the representatives elected an ad hoc committee to explore initiatives in realising their objective.The ad hoc committee met on September 18 in Goa and elected Eric Ozario as president and Tomazinho Cardozo from Goa as executive secretary. The other office-bearers are:Pratap Naik (Goa), Udaykant Anvekar (Karwar), Ancy Paladka (Mumbai), Hemacharya (Dubai), Gladys Rego (Mangalore), Prabhakar Tendulkar (Goa), Lilly Miranda (Mangalore),Narayan Kharvi (Kundapur), Vally Vogga (Mysore), Raju Kumble (Kerala), Dr L Edward Nazareth (Mangalore) and Premanand Lotlikar (Goa).The ad hoc committee in the same committee decided to name the proposed world body as ‘Vishva Konkani Parishad’ (World Konkani Council).
It was also decided to circulate the objectives and the draft Constitution among all Konkani organisations in different parts of the world and invite them to the first meeting of the World Konkani Council to be held in Mangalore on December 4, 2005.Committee president Eric Ozario and secretary Tomazinho Cardozo jointly appealed all Konkani organisations to register their names with the executive secretary at the executive office (Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendr, Alto Porvorim, Goa 403521) of the World Konkani Council before October 15 (Phone 0832-2415857).

Lecture on 'Arthashastra - Birth of Strategy' by Dr. Anil Naik at SCMHRD, Pune

Peter Drucker, Peter Senge, Tom Peters, Michael Porter... If we were to ask B-school students of the greatest Strategy Guru, one of these would be their favourite choice. But if one were to ask this to SCMHRD students, the overwhelming answer would be Kautilya. Dr. Anil Naik's mesmerizing lecture on Kautilya's Arthashastra at SCMHRD on 13th September changed the way management students looked at Indian Management Philosophy and every student felt pride in belonging to the country that gave birth to Strategic Management.

If students of the 1st batch of IIMA are known as 'Classmates of C. K. Prahalad', their counterparts at IIMC proudly call themselves 'Batchmates of Dr. Anil Naik'. He joined Tata Administrative Services and worked for 17 years before completing his Ph.D. in Strategic Management from JBIMS, Mumbai. He has been teaching for the past 23 years at Management Institutes in Mumbai. He is himself a turnaround Strategist and has helped many companies to come out of so the called 'Valley of Death'.

Dr. Naik's session encapsulated the complete treatise of Arthashastra along with analogies drawn from the corporate world. The originality and vision of Kautilya's Principles kept the audience hooked on to their seats. Few management students would dare to pick up 'Arthashastra' for some learning but a snapshot of Arthashastra's 15 chapters has lead to a heavy demand of the book in our library. It was an eye-opener for the principles behind corporate strategies of HLL, Asian Paints, Parle Industries and Tata Motors.

The audience was amazed by the accuracy of data with which Dr. Naik presented the historical and corporate examples. Some of his inferences drawn from Bhagavad Geeta and Ramayana struck our innermost cords, as we had never looked at theses epics from the view of business management. His anecdotes, especially some of his acronyms, have become 'Talk of the Campus'. When it comes to Strategy, people speak about MNCs but Dr. Naik believes that one can find some of the most successful strategies if we look deep into Indian companies.

He did express his anger at some of the Indian Business Houses that have perished over the years because of the whimsical and lethargic attitude of their CEOs. He drew lessons from leadership of Minoo Masani (TAS), Ramesh Chauhan (Parle) and Champaklal Chowksi (Asian Paints). He laid out in simple words the qualities that make a good leader. Though he gave various corporate examples for every quality that he mentioned, the audience could see the embodiment of all the qualities in the speaker himself. The lecture was summarized by him by giving 'Pearls of Wisdom' on Leadership, Knowledge, Planning and Success.

The opportunity to interact with the likes of Dr. Naik does not come often and hence it was much expected that the session would be followed by an extended Question-Answer session. To the question about Kuta Yuddha by Gaurav Sharma, PGDM II student, he replied that it should be taken not before the Dharam Yuddha. He advised students to be like Lord Krishna as it is difficult to succeed with principles of Lord Rama in Kalyug. According to him, the success mantra for a B-school student is 'Don't forget to look at your milestones while you are busy focusing on your Speedometer'.

Mr. G. D. Apte of SCMHRD, who is considered a moving encyclopedia, expressed his thanks to Dr. Naik for changing his viewpoint of Arthashastra that he thought is mainly to do with Political Science. It reminded him of his years at IIMA when the strategies taught were mainly of Indian companies. For the audience, it was an investment of time from which they would earn exponential returns.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Innovation is imperative for Indian Cos: ICICI Bank chief

The best of the best not only seek to adapt to change but to drive it and create new opportunities for themselves, said K V Kamath, MD&CEO, ICICI Bank Ltd.

Talking at the 32nd national management convention organised by All India Management Association (AIMA) here on Friday, he said challenges of change can be met by innovations of the future.

‘‘Innovation is imperative for companies from India, which need to compete against large players in today’s globalised world,’’ he said.

According to him innovation need not always be in the form of products. ‘‘Prices, process and organisation structures can be areas of innovation,’’ he averred.

‘‘Winning innovations create customer value and achieve scale quickly leading to profit,’’ he pointed out. Giving ICICI’s successful innovations in retail finance, online trading, technology, rural banking and international business, he said, for building an innovative platform, a firm needs to have strong and committed leadership.

‘‘Innovations in retail finance helped us to increase our customer base from less than 1 million to over 14 million in five years. We have the largest online trading site in India with 670,000 customers and about 25 percent of NSE’s online trading volume,’’ he said.

B Ramalinga Raju, chairman, Satyam Computers said to be in the company of winners one needs to have focus. ‘‘There should be a drive to constantly improve and want to learn continuously. Excellence can be formed in detail. However, nothing is more important than setting a goal and pursuing it,’’ he explained.

Nokia is planning to introduce rich media—handsets that make it possible to broadcast TV into the devices. Talking on the sidelines of AIMA convention Jawahar Kanjilal, director-rich media & MBP, Nokia, Asia Pacific, Singapore said the company is developing rich media on a pilot basis.

‘‘These are devices that enable mobile TV into the handsets and will be available on a commercial basis by early next year,’’ he said.

He said though Nokia’s market share witnessed a dip last year, it had picked up gradually. ‘‘India is one of our biggest markets,’’ he said. Talking about trends in mobile display, he said now different colours are used for perfection.

Pride for Konkani language missing

A majority of the population residing along the coastal area from Kerala to Belgaum speaks Konkani. In most parts of Belgaum and Uttara Karnataka Konkani has been adopted as the mother tongue.

“But the pride on the language, which should have forged unity is missing,” Teachers Training Institute (TTI) principal A A Cutinho regretted.

Cutinho was inaugurating an orientation workshop on Konkani textbook organised for teachers at TTI building here recently.

The workshop was organised by Konkani Sahitya Academy.

Presiding over the workshop academy president Eric Ozarion said many languages have had their influence on Konkani.

“The cleansing of the language of all its impurities must begin and teachers have a big role to play,” he stressed.

TTI Registrar Dr Shankarappa was also present on the dais. Academy registrar Dr Duggappa Kajekar proposed a vote of thanks and Aloysius D’Souza compered the programme.

Kaup Government First Grade College lecturer Steevan Quadras and Permannut High School headmaster Aloysius D’Souza were the resource persons in the workshop.

Over 50 teachers from Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Karnataka participated in the workshop.


Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy’s three-day workshop on Konkani music ended here recently. An expert on music and the workshops director Bhaskar Chandavrkar was felicitated on the occasion.

In his felicitation acceptance address, he said contribution from each Konkani singer was important in enriching Konkani music.

Sandesha Prathisthan director Fr Denis D’Sa said there were attempts to scout talent in the three-day workshop.

There was need for many such workshops, he stressed. Participants like Sheela Pinto, Nelson D’Souza, Gurudut Shenoy, explained the experiences in the workshop.

Mandd Shobhann president Louis J pinto was also present.

Academy president Eric Ozario regretted that such camps were not attracting the deserving talents.

Academy Registrar Dr Duggappa Kajekar proposed a vote of thanks.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Konkani Organizations Requested to Register at Vishwa Konkani Parishad

Konkani Organizations all over the world working for the cause of Konkani and believe in the principle of Unity in Diversity are hereby requested to register their names at the executive office of the Vishwa Konkani Parishad (World Konkani Council) by October 15, 2005.

The first meeting of the VKP will be held in Mangalore in the month of December 2005 and the Konkani organisations world over will be invited to this meeting.

The Ad hoc Committee of VKP was formed on September 11, 2005 at Mangalore. The committe met on September 18, 2005 in Goa and elected -

Eric Ozario, Karnataka (President)

Tomazinho Cardozo, Goa (Secretary)

The other members of the Ad hoc Committee are -
Dr. Pratap Naik, Goa
Udayakant Anvekar, Karwar
Ancy Paladka, Mumbai
Hemacharya, Dubai
Gladys Rego, Mangalore
Mohammed Hussain, Bhatkal
Ullas Buyão, Goa
Stephen Quadras, Mangalore
Prabhakar Tendulkar, Goa
Lilly Miranda, Mangalore
Narayan Kharvi, Kundapur
Vally Vogga, Mysore
Raju Kumble, Kerala
Dr. Edward L. Nazareth, Mangalore
Premanand Lotlikar, Goa

The contact details of VKP are:
Vishwa Konkani Parishad
TSKK, Alto Porvorim , Goa - 403 521, INDIA.
Tel: 0832-2415857, 2415864

For more details please log on to website:

Friday, September 23, 2005

Herbertsons approves purchase by McDowell

Herbertsons Ltd., India’s third-largest liquor company, said its board approved the company’s purchase by market leader McDowell & Co.

Herbertsons investors will get two shares of McDowell for every three shares held, the Mumbai-based company said in a statement to the Mumbai stock exchange.
Herbertsons, 49.06 per cent held by Kishore Chhabria, in March agreed to be bought over by UB Group’s McDowell as part of the Vijay Mallaya group’s plan to consolidate its liquor business against the entry of overseas companies.
Mallya is also chairman of McDowell.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

INDIA: UB to invest in new breweries

India’s United Breweries Limited is looking to build three new green-field breweries and to expand some of its existing plants.
UB has set aside around Rs 1 billion (US$22.8m) for the project, which will see new plants in Orissa, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Chairman Vijay Mallya said on Monday that the markets were growing well for the business. Speaking to reporters, Mallaya added that in the first five months (April-August 2005) of the current financial year, UBL had seen a 19% growth compared to the same period in the previous year.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Gandhiji's efforts alone did not bring freedom: Vidyanand Shenoy

The movement led by Gandhiji no doubt was the main thrust for our country in achieving independence, but there were also movements led by others that hastened the dawn of freedom, said B.V. Vidyanand Shenoy, Executive Director, Rashtrothana Parishat, Bangalore, here on Sunday.

He was speaking at a lecture programme on Vanga-Bhanga Movement and Vande Mataram organised under the auspices of Rotary Clubs of City at Sarada Vilas Centenary Hall here.

Country's valiant leaders like Jhansi Laxmibai, Baba Saheb of Naragund and Thathy Tope along with spiritual leaders like Vivekananda, Shradhananda and Bankim Chandra Chatterji inspired the people for the freedom movement. Ahimsa Sathyagraha and similar peaceful movements did not originate for the first time from Gandhiji but it is the nation's heritage. As an example, he mentioned Prahlada from Hindu mythology who was the first to launch a non-violant movement against his cruel father King Hiranyakashyap who denied the power of God.

Vanga-Bhanga movement which played a key role in the nation's freedom struggle was also known as Vande Mataram movement. The song Vande Mataram written by Bankim Chandra Chatterji that evoked patriotic feelings among the masses, is still the best one ever composed during the freedom movement. Sadly as the country, this song too is now truncated, regretted Shenoy.

Foreigners used to look down upon us as from a slave country and were viewing our national leaders and Maharajas with contempt. When a Maharaja from Rajasthan went to buy the prestigious Rolls Royce car, the company refused to sell him the car. He used his influence and somehow bought the car. But as a retaliation, he used it to transport garbage! Humiliated by this, the company executives fell at his feet and took back the car, paying a hefty price, Shenoy said.

Presidents of Rotary Clubs, K.N. Jagadeesh Kumar, Vijayshankar, Sundarraj, Dr. P. Haridas Rao, S.N. Raghavendra and others were present.

The Complex Issue of University Autonomy

by Nandkumar Kamat

Last week the vice-chancellors from western zone converged in Goa under the aegis of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), a vibrant organisation, for a conference hosted by the Goa University under the dynamic leadership of the Vice-Chancellor Prof Prakash Zacharias. A large part of the technical sessions of the three day conference were devoted to the discussion and deliberations on “university autonomy”. It is common knowledge that in India, illiterate, semi-literate, less educated or even some educated politicians are scared of the intellectuals and they view the universities as a threat to their political careers. Those who patronise the universities may do so for fulfillment of their own agenda, on a “pick and choose” basis. Every politician knows that state and central funded universities do not have any “nuisance value” and none can influence the way people vote. Universities may teach tomes of political economy and sociology but when it comes to calling “spade a spade” these institutions develop cold feet. It is the constitution of India which mandates every lawfully established university.

No government does any favour by sanctioning grants to any university duly established by the state or central acts and subjected to the highest level of audit — that is by the office of the Comptroller and auditor general of India. Governments show double standards when they demand accountability from the universities, which are never profit-making or revenue generating bodies. Anyone can compare the loss making public sector undertakings which lock huge unproductive investments and assets without being run professionally, with the Indian Universities. Is there any accountability on part of these corporations? At least the Universities can be subjected to evaluation using the instruments of welfare economics. A professor of economics with absolutely impeccable intellectual credentials, Dr Manmohan Singh who never hid his love for teaching, is the Prime Minister and the captain of our country’s destiny. A missile technologist, another accomplished intellectual, Bharat Ratna Dr Abdul Kalam is the President of our country. He is fond of teaching. A visionary and a man of action, Dr Sam Pitroda heads the ambitious and highly powered Knowledge commission. None of these personalities ever had any love of politics. They are highly educated, university educated professionals. Circumstances have launched them on a stage where they have to play their roles in the company of the politicians. But we know that such people bring a certain degree of dignity in politics and decision making. How many personalities like these run our states? How many of our state level politicians can spell out their own clear vision of the future without any aid or crutches from the civil servants or advisors?

Public funded Universities are suffering because there is an uniform famine of vision in politics. Autonomous universities are bound to be a great challenge to the power politics based establishment because these would not depend on the state or central funding. But the current discourse in India is not so much about autonomous universities as it is about “university autonomy”. The Goa conference at least made a gentle but determined beginning to define this area. But the debate is not yet over. A lot of demoralisation has crept in. Gone are the days when kings were philosophers and philosophers were the kings. Gone are the days when a dictator like Joseph Stalin used to bend before a visiting scholar president like Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan. Gone are the days to recite Tagore’s “where the mind is without fear and the head is held high” or to quote the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi who advised the countrymen to be absolutely fearless to defend truth.

Unless the Indian universities build a pro-active political constituency and spread their tentacles intelligently in the socio-economic matrix by bridging up the great knowledge divide, it would be impossible to command autonomy. It is easy to compromise and demand autonomy. But it is difficult to stand up solidly on the grounds of merit and performance and command autonomy. Universities need to establish durable, productive linkages with all the economically active sections of the society in a professional, planned manner. Once the common people begin to relate and identify with a particular university, the first brick of a new identity would be laid down. Has anyone heard in India that farmers’ or the workers’ unions went on a strike because public funding for a particular university was slashed? This is virtually impossible because India adopted the British, the western model of the university system. The context was an oriental multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, socially stratified civilisation. A rich civilisation inherited by poor people. The reason why issues like “university autonomy” or political interference within the universities do not become sensitive and volatile public issues, is the deep and ever widening alienation between the Indian universities and the vast masses of the people hopelessly entrapped in the web of poverty, deprivation, ignorance, power politics, intrigues, superstitions, casteism and communalism. Where and when the political process fails the universities have to emerge as factories of ideas, healers of the society and engineers of social opinion.

Time and again the European universities have played such roles, especially in France, England, Germany, Norway and Sweden. The best of the American senators are the best of the products of the best of the American universities. Indian university system needs a radical paradigm shift. But despite the universal declaration of university autonomy subscribed in 1965 by the International Association of Universities, in Tokyo, the magna carta signed by the rectors of European universities on the occasion of the 11th Century of the University of Bologna, September 18, 1988 and the lead taken by AIU in India not much progress has been made in “liberating” and “empowering” the public funded Indian universities. To quote Prof Snyder (2002): “Total autonomy, total independence and separation from society, is simply impossible. The degree of an institution’s autonomy varies according to the nature of its relationships. Perhaps, then, it is most useful to think of multiple autonomies or degrees of autonomy. The issue of college or university autonomy inevitably raises the question of the purpose of autonomy and the purpose or purposes of colleges and universities themselves. Institutions of higher learning have always served their societies; they have never been the isolated “ivory towers” of popular imagination. Since their inception, they have engaged the issues of their day, discovered and distributed whatever was at the time deemed “useful knowledge”, and established various, often idiosyncratic, financial relationships with patrons, donors, and governments.” Snyder may be right or wrong but the question is whether the present day Indian society at all cares for such an issue or the culture of intellectualism itself?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

President's Probe into Janardhan Prabhu's Absence at Independence Dinner

The sad story of veteran freedom fighter Janardhana Prabhu (82, might not have gone from the minds of a few readers. The way he was treated was a classic example of the lethargy and loopholes prevailing in the administration. These very columns had carried the news, first about his being handppicked to dine with president Abdul Kalam, and then another heart-breaking news that he could not reach Delhi due to the negligence by the administration. But as known, public memory is proverbially short-lived. So most of the people have forgotten this episode, and some have even forgotten who Janardhana Prabhu is.

But this entire episode has taken a new twist now. The latest news from the President's Secretariat said that it has taken up the enquiry about the entire fiasco which landed only an escort and hospitality-related IAS officer from Bangalore in Delhi with Prabhu being left in the cold at Moodbidri itself.

Prabhu had sent an appeal to the President about the episode which was received by the Public 1 division of president's office on Tuesday August 16. President Abdul Kalam's under secretary Ashish Khalia had written a reply about initiating an enquiry into the matter. Janardhana Prabhu has received this letter dated August 26 recently.

The letter informed that the secretary of the Railway Secretariat has already been directed to hold an enquiry into the said matter.

This letter has brought smile on the face of the veteran freedom fighter. Though he could not meet the president in August, he still has the burning desire to meet and talk to the president of India. He is waiting for the next opportunity, which is highly deserved on all counts.

Read the earlier articles :
  1. Freedom-fighter Janardhana Prabhu to be Prez Kalam's Pre ...
  2. Freedom fighter misses President’s banquet

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

Monday, September 19, 2005

Yellow, Corporate pages released

The Getit Infomediary Ltd, Belgaum released 2005-06 edition of Yellow Pages and Corporate Pages here on Thursday.

District Additional Superintendent of Police, S K Hegde released the book, while Shashi Chandgadkar, president, Belgaum Chamber of Commerce and Industries received the first copy.

Earlier, addressing in a press meet K D Kini, General Manager- South, Getit said Getit had 20 million users and 70,000 advertisers across the country.

It offered its services in print, voice through the 24 x 7 tele-information service on 5200000, web on,, CD Rom and on Reliance India Mobile Network through its R World services.

Kini said the 2005-06 Getit Yellow Pages and Corporate Pages on its cover page had published the painting ‘Nagarpanchami’, by Prachi Chandrashekhar Gurjar, a student of Divine Providence Convent Higher Secondary School, Belgaum, who drew the painting at the ‘Getit On the Spot Painting Competition’ organised in March 2005.

Kini said over 60,000 printed copies and CD Rom’s of this edition would be distributed across Belgaum, Gokak, Athani, Sankeshwar, Cikkodi, Nippani and Bailhongal. The copies were totally free and would be distributed door-to-door by Getit, he added.

Binu Mathew, Regional Manager of Belgaum, Getit was present at the press meet.

Konkani basic course

Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendr (TSKK) will conduct the Konkani Basic Course from October 3, 2005 to January 9, 2006 (both days inclusive) at TSKK premises at Alto Porvorim.
According to a press release, classes will be held from Monday to Friday in the evening from 6 p.m. to 7.30 p. m. The TSKK will conduct this course mainly for the working people who wish to learn basic Konkani. This course uses a modern linguistic approach to teach Konkani to beginners.
Though spoken Konkani will get primary stress, reading Konkani in Devanagari script will also get the importance. Hence this course is open to those who have a sufficient knowledge of Devanagari script. This would mean that the student must know either Hindi or Marathi or Sanskrit to read and write sufficiently well.
Admissions are based on first come first serve basis only for 25 students. Application forms are available at TSKK office during office hours.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

'Mahisha Mardhani' Konkani Yakshagana

In the history of UAE a Yakshagana Play "Mahisha Mardhani" was presented in Konkani for the first time, in the Emirates English Speaking School, Dubai and it was presented on the occasion of Anant Chaturdashi, a very auspicious day in the Hindu calendar.

Amchigele Samaj UAE, an association of Gowda Saraswat Brahmana Sangha (GSB) in the UAE celebrated Ananta Chaturdashi in Dubai on September 16. The celebration started in the morning with Satyanarayan Pooja followed by traditional lunch.

After the pooja, in the afternoon a yakshagana play was presented in Konkani with the support of Yaksha Mitraru, Dubai, in the presence of around 600 cheering audience.It was a successful experiment. Karkala Prabhakar Shenoy and Ravi Uchil were the bhagavats, which factor was an added attraction in the play, as they were sounded really professional and supported the artistes well during the play. Bhavanishankar Sharma and Ramesh Bhatt, Venkatesh Shastri, Dinesh, Harish Shettigar helped with raga, Tala, Chende etc.

The costume, make up and the back stage support was provided by Chidananda, Kishore, Ravi Uchchil and the group of Yakshmitraru. Under their able direction Mahesh Prabhu Moodabidre, Prabhakar S Kamath, Hemanth Joshi, Ananth V Kamath, Raghavendra Nayak gave a superlative performance alongside Giridhar Nayak and Veena Pai.

President Subhash Shanbhogue spoke words of appreciation to the artistes and the members as well, and wished to present more and more events like this. He added that the crowd was the virtual judge of the success of any function and by the expressions of that day's crowd he was sure that the Yakshagaana was a hit.

At the end, vote of thanks followed by raffle draw to the members.


Saturday, September 17, 2005

Nittin Keni quits Zee

Producer Nittin Keni, who had earlier produced GADAR-EK PREM KATHA for Zee and later headed the distribution wing of Zee, has floated his own company, Nittin Keni Creations Pvt Ltd. The company, which independently handles the overseas business and exports of films for producers, began operations with the release of DUS. Nittin had earlier initiated the overseas business wing for Zee, with the distribution of MUJHSE SHAADI KAROGI. Subsequently, he was looking at Zee to fund his next production. However with Zee taking a decision to call off all its production and distribution plans, he decided to float his own company.

Incidentally, Zee's last two production suffered massive losses at the box-office. While its ONE DOLLAR CURRY was a washout, BHAGMATI, took off with a disastrous start, with the film opening to a less than 10 percent response. "It was definitely a very big setback for Zee," Nittin points out.

Meanwhile, Nittin's new business venture seems to be heading for big time. After having successfully negotiated the release of DUS in the overseas territory (with 100 theatres across the globe), he also facilitated the overseas release of RAMJI LONDONWALEY and is now set to release Neha Arts' next film, TATHASTU.

Prior to this, Nittin Keni had also handled the exports in N.F.D.C. when he had successfully exploited the business of several artistic films the world over. "I released some of the most artistic cinema during those days from Satyajit Ray's films to Mira Nair's SALAAM BOMBAY," Nittin reveals.

Jyotsna Kamath: The voice behind voices

Those who are addicted to Mysore Akashavani can never forget Dr. Jyotsna Kamath's voice. Not that she was a vocalist, or a musician. She was Akshavani's Director for quite some years and had become a part of Mysore. She was the voice behind voices, a publicist of publicists. She was a very good administrator, one who could draw the best out of every member of her organisation, and made the radio station throb in all directions. Her head was a beehive of activity, always engaged in some innovation or the other.

The station was woefully lacking even in basic facilities, having no infrastructure. The once most dynamic broadcasting station was reduced to the state of disrepute because our State administrators who wanted to reduce the royal city of Mysore to the status of a semi-urban centre, shifted the radio station to Bangalore and Mysore's voice was throttled.

The beautiful building specially designed and got constructed by the visionary ruler of Mysore was converted into a godown.

A clever ploy

The people of Mysore are good talkers and not achievers. Though some of the zealous officers of the All India Radio came forward to secure again for Mysore a powerful station, our so-called leaders never raised their voice against the injustice perpetrated against the city. At last one of the engineers, who was a lover of Mysore, devised a clever ploy and got a station. But it was so weak that its voice could hardly be heard beyond the boundaries of the then city.

Any way, something was better than nothing. The repeated requests by lesser men who were more concerned about it, were of no avail. The higher authorities were frequently threatening that even the weak station would be closed down!

The building which was being used as a godown, was poorly equipped. The doors were rattling. Those who participated in the programmes had to press the door close with one hand and hold the script with the other hand!

Some of the Directors (they were called Assistant Directors!) tried hard to improve the situation and were partially successful. The apathy of the authorities came in the way. It was feared that the station might be closed any day.

One of the directors of the station was Dr. Jyotsna Kamath. She was aware of all the hurdles against which she had to struggle, but never minded them. Not once did she mention them. Kriyasiddhi (achievement) comes to those who have sattva (ability). They do not grumble about the non-availability of facilities (upakarana).

Dr. Jyotsna Kamath (1937) belongs to Kumta town of Uttara Kannada district. Her father was Ganesha Rao and mother Sharadabai. Ganesha Rao was a Post Master and Jyotsna had her early education at the village schools. Her father was a lover of books and possessed a rich library. Jyotsna pored over the books with great avidity. She found great pleasure like Robert Southey, in the company of great authors who were not living. When she got the BA degree from the Kumta college, she was brimming with great thoughts imbibed from the best books that were available then. She was a student of Dr. Krishna Murthy, a great Sanskrit scholar. She was interested in history also. She studied for one year and got a diploma in education. This helped her become a high-school teacher.

Academic achievements

She had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and this led her to the MA Degree in history. The professors who impressed her were Dr. B.A. Saletore, Dr. P.B. Desai and Dr. G.S. Dixit. She took up research which continued even after she was well in the service of the All India Radio and was married and had a child. She got the Ph.D. degree for her thesis on 'The social life in medieval Karnataka,' which was later published by a Delhi publisher.

She took the UPSC examination and was selected and appointed as the Programme Executive of Akashavani. She took her profession so seriously that she never hesitated to go to any place to which she was transferred. It was a blessing in disguise. She acquired a wealth of experience and got an insight into the ways of living, culture and languages of the people of the different regions. In addition to Kannada and English, she knew Konkani, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali and Sanskrit.

When Dr. Jyotsna Kamath was the director of Akashavani centres in Mysore and Bangalore, she introduced many novel programmes, tried her best to reach out to the people and chalked out novel pro-grammes which were both entertaining and instructive. Folk arts, classical music, dramas, talks and discussions were encouraged and were made attractive.

Innovative methods

She enlisted the co-operation of all sections of the people and drew the best out of them. The running commentary of the famous Dasara procession reached the heights of excellence, thanks to her zeal and enthusiasm and innovative methods. With the skeleton staff and poor equipment, she produced excellent results. She arranged a series of talks by eminent persons on important topics and held Kavi Goshtis (recitals of poems by the authors).

A collection of poems read at the time of Ugadi (New Year) and a series of talks on the relevance of Gandhi today were brought out in the form of collections. Such work continued in Bangalore also when she became the Station Director there. The papers presented at the workshop on 'writing for the radio' were also published in book form (Banuli Baravanige).

Dr. Jyotsna Kamath is a writer also. 'The charms of family life,' 'See how we are' and a few other books are to her credit. She evinced much interest in education and her book on the educational tradition of Karnataka (in Kannada) has won the Academy Award as the best book on the subject. She has written numerous articles on diverse subjects. Her husband Dr. Krishnananda Kamath was a natural scientist, photographer, artist and writer. Theirs was a happy and contented family with one son.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Happy Onam!!


Treating the whole patient

Shalini Shenoy does much more than perform stem-cell transplants

PHOTO 1: Shalini Shenoy, husband Surendra Shenoy, son Ashish and daughter Neeti at Ashish's high-school graduation last year.

PHOTO 2: Shalini Shenoy gives patient Austin Beck, 5, a playful jab. "Her approach is very individualized and addresses the specific needs of each child. I think the best thing about working for her is seeing her go the extra mile for each patient," says Yvonne Barnes, nurse practitioner for bone marrow transplant at St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Shalini Shenoy

Family: husband, Surendra Shenoy, M.D.; son, Ashish, 19; daughter, Neeti, 10
Hometown: Manipal, India: "My parents live there, and my husband's family comes from the region. I keep in touch with all of them. We just went there for a visit. It's right next to the ocean, which I sorely miss."
Outside activities: Travel: The family likes to go to wildlife viewing areas and national parks and to camp. Listening to Indian music: "I learned to sing, but that was a long time ago."

"A large part of my work involves caring for pediatric patients who are undergoing stem-cell transplants," says Shalini Shenoy, M.D. "I like what I do, because even though a transplant is a fairly rigorous intervention, the end result can be so gratifying — we can reverse a lot of very serious disorders with it."
Shenoy is assistant professor of pediatrics and associate director of the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Program at St. Louis Children's Hospital, which uses bone marrow transplantation — also called hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation — to cure potentially fatal blood, immune, metabolic or malignant diseases in infants and children.

This demanding area of medicine draws on hematology, oncology, immunology and pediatrics. And while Shenoy comes across as soft-spoken and compassionate, it is also clear that she has intellectual steel backing her warm personality.

This unique combination of traits seems perfectly suited for dealing with the complexity of the field while at the same time reassuring both patients and their parents during the challenging procedure.

Exploring options

The stem cells used in transplantation are found in the bone marrow and blood and have the ability to differentiate into any of several types of blood cells.

Allogeneic stem-cell transplants replace a patient's bone marrow with stem cells obtained from donor blood, bone marrow or umbilical cord blood.

The donor stem cells lodge in the patient's bone marrow, reconstitute the marrow and supply the patient with the healthy blood, enzymes or immune factors he or she needs.

A stem-cell transplant is often the treatment of choice for certain immune or metabolic diseases where transplant is the only option for a cure. For some cancers, stem-cell transplant is usually used only if other treatments fail or if the condition can only be cured with a transplant.

While potentially life-saving, a stem-cell transplant can be arduous. Before donor cells are given, the patients' own bone marrow or immune systems are wiped out by chemotherapy, radiation or other alternatives, leaving them exhausted and vulnerable to infection.

After the transplant, it may take months for patients' immune systems to return — and they must stay relatively isolated until then.

Stem-cell transplants are also highly involved procedures. Timing, choice of medications, dosage and other elements of pre- and post-transplant protocols can have a great effect on the course of treatment, the body's acceptance of the donor cells and the ability to cure disease.

"There are many ways to transplant," Shenoy says, "many kinds of interventions, many subtle variations on a theme. I have to decide what would be the best approach for each patient." Standard protocols for stem-cell transplants can have adverse side effects.

"The transplants offer hope for children suffering from chronic or terminal diseases, but their side effects can be debilitating and often include sterility," Shenoy says. "We are researching ways to spare children from the harsh side effects of stem-cell transplantation."

"Dr. Shenoy's work is having a major impact on how we approach bone-marrow transplantation in patients with non-malignant diseases," says Robert J. Hayashi, M.D., director of the Bone Marrow Transplantation Program at St. Louis Children's Hospital, and associate professor of pediatrics. "By providing strategies that allow us to perform these procedures with relatively little toxicity, we can now offer this treatment modality to cure many patients who were not considered before because the risks previously were too high."

Common team goal

Shenoy sees the medical aspect as just a fraction of what she does. Even more of her time is spent managing follow-up and social and psychological aspects of treatment. She works closely with patients and their families and with a large team of professionals devoted to supporting the patients from the time of transplant to long after. This team includes nurse practitioners and nurse coordinators, social workers, school liaisons, physical therapists, dieticians, chaplains and child life therapists, among others.

Their mutual goal is to make sure the children they treat and their families understand the procedures, goals and risks and that the patients are supported throughout the transition back to a normal life after their lengthy convalescence. "It's a multi-disciplinary team," says Yvonne Barnes, nurse practitioner for bone marrow transplant at St. Louis Children's Hospital. "Each person has a vital role in caring for patients. Dr. Shenoy oversees the team. Her approach is very individualized and addresses the specific needs of each child.

I think the best thing about working for her is seeing her go the extra mile for each patient." "I like the global aspect of my practice," Shenoy says. "In this field you care for the patient in many ways. It's not as if I just fix them and they go home and that's it. That's just the start. We monitor them for many months to make sure there are no late complications and to follow their progress. "And we do all we can to get them back into their pre-transplant routines and lifestyles once their immune systems are reestablished."

A natural consequence of spending so much time with patients and their families is that strong relationships develop. Shenoy gets invited to patients' graduation parties and receives pictures of teenagers on first dates and learning to drive. She relishes hearing about the ordinary milestones reached in her young patients' lives, because they are often so hard-won.

Importance of family

Shenoy earned a medical degree in pediatrics from Mangalore University in Manipal, India, and practiced pediatrics in India. At that time, India offered no opportunities to branch into a subspecialty, so Shenoy decided to move to New Orleans for training in hematology/oncology.

Two years later she came to the School of Medicine. "I think it was after I started my fellowship here that I realized I was interested in transplant, because you needed to have such comprehensive knowledge," Shenoy says.

"I was introduced to the intricacies of human immunology and transplantation in the laboratory of Thalachallour Mohanakumar and was hooked." Mohanakumar, Ph.D., is the Jacqueline G. and William E. Maritz Chair in Immunology and Oncology and professor of surgery and of pathology and immunology.

Shenoy is married to Surendra Shenoy, M.D., associate professor of surgery, director of the Living Donation Program and a transplant surgeon at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He comes from a town near where Shenoy grew up, and they wed in India. "Our interests match well," Shenoy says. "He works in liver and kidney transplantation, and the fields overlap just enough that we can share ideas. But we try not to bring specific problems home with us." The couple has one son and one daughter. Their son, Ashish, was born in India before the Shenoys left for the States. Ashish is a sophomore at Stanford, but Shenoy doesn't think he'll pursue medicine. "He's interested in things like economics," she says. "He told us in sixth grade that we could essentially stop trying to teach him, because biology was not his thing. He liked math. He liked numbers. And he was fine on his own, thank you very much." Their daughter, Neeti, is 10 and in the fourth grade.

In contrast to Ashish, Neeti has expressed an interest in biology, but according to Shenoy, Neeti thinks she would rather take care of animals than people. Family is definitely a central theme in Shenoy's life. Her approach to her practice entails building a caring network of people around her patients. And she also feels that as part of the University, she is part of a family. "I have a lot of friends in practice out in the community," she says. "Talking with them, makes me realize how much being at the University is like being in a family. I like the feeling of having this group I can work with. I really like that interaction."

Trinity Health's Adoption of Health Care IT Shown to Improve Savings and Quality

The U.S. health care system could save lives as well as $162 billion annually with widespread use of health care information technology (HIT), according to a two-year study by the RAND Corporation released September 14, 2005. The study is the first of its kind to project both the savings and health benefits that could result from nation-wide adoption of HIT.

Savings are already being seen at Trinity Health, Novi, Mich., which is currently engaged in implementing Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and other clinical systems at 23 member hospitals across the country.

"We saw variable pharmacy costs drop by $6 million in an electronic environment versus a paper environment," said Narendra Kini, MD, Executive Vice President, Clinical Operations Improvement, Trinity Health. "If you translate that figure across our 23 hospitals, the total pharmacy savings are estimated to be $18 million annually. But the biggest benefits we've seen are the reduction of adverse drug events, quality improvements in clinical indicators, and more efficient work patterns by our physicians and nurses."

Trinity Health's computer-generated system of reporting adverse drug events (ADE) has resulted in physicians modifying medication orders 25,000 times over a four-year period. According to the RAND study, each avoided ADE could save $1,000 to $2,000 in unnecessary health care costs while improving the quality of patient care.

ADE adoption is one element of Trinity Health's $280-million initiative known as Project Genesis that will create a common platform for not only clinical information systems but also revenue-cycle and supply-chain management by 2008. All Trinity Health hospitals have ADE alert systems in place, and seven hospitals in Michigan and Iowa have launched computerized physician order entry (CPOE), with a new pharmacy system, online nursing documentation and EMR, and a new revenue management system.

A primary goal of Project Genesis is to leverage changes in people, process and technology to increase patient safety and quality care. Project Genesis is fundamentally changing the way Trinity Health's physicians look at drug orders, clinical quality indicators and error reporting.

Big pay may make directors dependent

Even as companies are looking for independent directors, Sebi chief Damodaran has said that companies should not over-compensate or pay too little to these directors. Independent directors must constitute up to 50% of the board seats by the end of the year.

According to Damodaran, companies will have to take a call on how to compensate independent directors. “Too little compensation will not attract the right people but with too much compensation the director will not be independent. Each company will have to ask itself how much is too much. Companies should not over-compensate directors because along the way directors will lose their independence,” he said.

Damodaran was speaking at a conference on corporate governance. The Sebi chief did not agree with the contention that there are not enough people to become independent directors. “In a country as populated as ours is, and as well-informed, it is not difficult to find a few thousand such people.”

All listed companies are required to comply with the listing agreement by December 31, which mandates that 50% of the board must comprise independent directors. There are around 9,000 listed companies and estimates put the requirement for independent directors at over 30,000.

Damodaran also said that the time gap between two board meetings will now be increased to a maximum of four months. Earlier, the maximum time between two board meetings was three months and the minimum number of meetings to be held was four a year.

KV Kamath, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank, raised the issue of companies concentrating on quarterly numbers. “Companies will have to look at the long-term future in a sustainable way. Are quarterly numbers disturbing us from the long-term view? With enormous pressures on each quarter are you losing long-term focus?” he asked.
Companies have to invest in the future. These investments would impact their current standing. A decision has to be taken whether one will articulate this and talk about it. This will be a challenge which companies will face as one goes along.”

Kamath also added that the board of directors is central to the governance framework. The role of the board has grown enormously. There should be constructive tension between independent and management directors. The board needs to support and challenge the management.

He also pointed out that corporate governance cannot be done through a ‘tick-box’ approach.

Kamath said that there has been an increased focus on governance because of corporate scandals which have been wake-up calls to the companies, government, regulators and others. However, even as the government and the regulators have taken the lead, the response by companies has not been up to the mark. Companies, by and large, would be happy with the check-box type approach. Companies must understand the benefits of corporate governance.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Borrowers’ Welfare Assn launched in district

SHIMOGA: Borrowers’ Welfare Association, a registered body operating in Bangalore, has come into existence in Shimoga too, claimed its founder president M M Kini. It will be formally inaugurated at a simple programme to be held in Shimoga on October 2, he added.

Borrowers’ Welfare Association, formed by former executives of different banking institutions, has so far helped over 25,000 borrowers in Karnataka and three other States, he added.

Talking to reporters in the District on Tuesday, he said the organisation would extend all support and cooperation apart from giving guidance to the borrowers who were in genuinely in distress or trouble due to harassment by bankers.

Citing an example he said in a case filed against State Government and the Union Government in Karnataka High Court.

He said the Court had directed the Debt Recovery Tribunal not to collect any fee from the borrowers when they file a case to the Tribunal under the Securitisation and Reconstruction Act.

He said the interested borrowers, who were in need of any help from the Association, might contact him or others over telephones: 080-51533362 / 51533366 / 94483-81395; 93412-26631 / 93431-62087; 94484-38013 / 93411-55956.

`Governance will nip systemic risks`

K V Kamath, managing director and CEO, ICICI Bank, today said domestic banks need to take special care to imbibe the best corporate governance practices to avoid risks of systemic crisis and to enhance shareholders’ value.
The challenge of corporate governance for banking entities gets multiplied as they are highly leveraged financial intermediaries and bad governance could lead to systemic crisis, he said.
Banks channel public savings into productive investments. They are in the business of risk taking as there is time lag in credit decisions and their results, Kamath said. He was addressing a corporate governance summit orgainsed by the Confederation of Indian Industries.
They have to also consider objectives of different stakeholders such as customers, shareholders and regulators. It is clear that the effect of bad governance could be harsh leading to a systemic crisis, he warned.
Referring to compliance with provisions of Clause 49 of the listing agreement of stock exchanges, he said domestic companies need to gear up and the avoid tick-box approach which indicates preference for formal compliance. They should ensure that the spirit of governance is not lost.
Kamath said a constructive tension is necessary between independent directors and management directors for the success of a company. Boards have now become a power centre in the company and play a strategic role, he added.
Their approach should not be just to meet regulatory norms for governance but also imbibe ethics and enhance value for stakeholders. Comapnies need to balance conflicting needs of various stakeholders in competitive environment.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A Srinivas Rao Re-elected President of KCCI

A Srinivas Rao, vice president of Srinivas Educational Institutions was re-elected president of Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry for a second successive term on Monday September 12.

Rao has earned special appreciation from the business community as well as the general public for taking up several issues like upgradation of the airport, Skybus and for espousing worthy causes.

The members of the KCCI at their 64th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Monday at its office at 'Chamber Building' at Bunder here unanimously elected him president for the year 2005-06.

The AGM also elected office-bearers and members of the committee for the year 2005-06. Following are the office bearers and members of the committee for the year 2005-06.

Capt. John Prasad Menezes was elected as vice president and Santhosh D'Souza was unanimously elected as honorary treasurer. M Padmanabh Kamath and M Shekhar Pujari were chosen as honorary secretaries. K Surendra Prabhu, G Vishwanath Kamath, Kalbavi Prakash Rao, Kumble Narasimha Prabhu, H Ashok Shenoy, M Ahmad Bava, M Aziz Ahmed, Vishwanath Kadri, Latha R Kini, K Jayraj Pai, Harish Kumar V B Patel and Srinivas S Kamath were chosen as members of the committee.

KCCI honorary secretary M Padmanabh Kamath announced this in a press release on Tuesday September 13.

Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry is affiliated to Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, New Delhi, Indian Merchants' Chamber, Mumbai, Confederation of Indian Industry, (Southern Region), Chennai / Bangalore, Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Bangalore and The Greater Mysore Chamber of Industry, Bangalore.

Monday, September 12, 2005

`Konkani village` in Mangalore

The foundation stone for the Rs 5 crore ‘Konkani Gaon’ (Konkani village) at Shaktinagar here was laid by P Dayanand Pai, president, P Sathish Pai Trust, recently.

The Konkani Gaon will be spread over three acres which would mainly comprise of the Konkani Kendra (Konkani Centre) and Rs 2.5 crore would be spent on the first stage.

The Gaon is being established by the Konkani Bhas Ani Sanskriti Prathishtan (Konkani Language and Culture Foundation).

The Konkani Kendra would include a World Konkani Museum (7,050 sq ft), World Konkani Library (2,000 sq ft), World Konkani Research Centre (3,500 sq ft), a conference hall (2,050 sq ft), administrative block, two seminar halls, hostels and four heritage homes. The first stage of the project will comprise the administrative block and hostels and they will be completed in two years.

According to Basti Vaman Shenoy, President of the Foundation, the activities of the Kendra would not only be focussed on the preservation of the Konkani heritage but also on its active promotion among the Konkani speaking people spread over the world through the use of modern technology.

It would be a home for all Konkani speaking people, be they Christians, Hindus or Muslims. A unique feature of the Kendra would be the on-line Konkani language training in collaboration with the Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore. This will benefit the children of NRIs and others who are not well-versed with the language.

Shenoy said in order to promote talent academies and committees like the World Konkani Sahitya Academy, World Konkani Sangeet Nritya Academy, World Konkani Natak Academy, World Konkani Lokaveda Academy, World Konkani Research Committee, World Konkani Library Committee, World Konkani Museum Committee, and World Konkani Education Committee would be formed soon.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


The GSB Mandal's idol at Matunga is a legend, visit it before it is immersed tomorrow.

he South Indians of Mumbai will bid a tearful farewell tomorrow to their Ganpati idol that is installed at the G.S.B. Sport's Club in King's Circle. This Ganpati, 18-feet-tall, is a legend for its miraculous healing powers. Created by Avinash Patankar, and decorated with 50 kg of gold and 200 kg of silver valued at Rs. 6 crore, the G.S.B. Seva Mandal's Ganpati is said to have cured devotees of ailments ranging from diabetes to cancer. It has been attracting the faithful ever since 1954, when it was first installed here by Gowd Saraswat Brahmins from South Kanara who were grateful to the city for offering them livelihoods.Heavy rains will not deter devotees from getting last darshans of the deity. Shri Krishna Bhatt, high priest of the community, yesterday said a special prayer for the pujas not to be disrupted by the rains. Sixty priests from Karnataka perform the pujas here after which devotees are served the mahaprasad on a banana leaf. There is no recorded music at this Ganpati mandal. Traditional Indian musical instruments that are used in Karnataka temples accompany the pujas. When a devotee's wish is fulfilled, he offers jewellery or coconuts worth his weight to the Ganpati in thanksgiving.

Dinesh Pai, G.S.B. Seva Mandal spokesperson, said: "This Ganpati draws members from all
society. Our culture is different. We maintain the traditionalism of Ganeshostav. Our last puja is conducted by 10 p.m. Personalities like Sachin Tendulkar and Uddhav Thackeray are among those who visit the mandal every year." NRI devotee Shankarnarayanan Balu said that his son was cured of stomach cancer after he prayed to this Ganpati. "I had lost hope. Then I heard of this Ganpati on a US news channel and rushed to Mumbai. Even while I was praying here, my son was getting better. Today he is normal. Since then, I try to visit the mandal or send my offering through mail," he said.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Wish you and your family very happy Ganesh Chatuthi

Ganpati Bappa Morya

Mangalore: Musician Muralidhar Kamath at Mandd Sobhann's 'Muynyalli Manchi'

Mangalore, Sep 9: Mandd Sobhann presented its 45th Muynyalli Manchi programme on Sunday, September 4 wherein veteran musician from Mangalore, Muralidhar Kamath and his ‘Raag Dhwani’ team performed with a 10-piece orchestra.

‘Amma Mhaka Volddik Jaavka’, ‘Rim Jhim’, ‘Chinta Sadaam’ and ‘Haason’ were a few of the hits that went well with the audience.

Poetess Shakuntala R. Kini compered the programme.

'Muynyalli Manchi' is the monthly theatre programme presented by Mandd Sobhann on the first Sunday of every month at 6-30 pm, wherein tasteful programmes of different categories like plays, concerts and harikathas are presented.

Ganesh Chathurti/Krishna Janamashtami to be celebrated by Michigan Konkani Association, U.S.A

Ganesh Chathurti/Krishna Janamashtami

Where :Michigan Konkani Association Michigan,MI
Location Map : Click Here

When :Saturday, Sep 10, 2005 @ 12:00 AM
Hosted By : Michigan Konkani Association
Visit :

Friday, September 09, 2005

Time to claim glory for Kannada, says Kambar

Noted Kannada poet and folklorist Dr Chandrashekhar Kambar pointed out that writers in Indian languages have lost their originality influenced by the rampant use of English. The only way out of this deadlock is to turn our critical eye towards the West and become powerful enough to tempt others to take the knowledge from us. Only then can we preserve over identity and originality, he explained.

He was speaking after inaugurating the 17th All India Konkani Sahitya Sammelan at Madhav Manjunathnagar (Gibbs High school premises) at Kumta, recently.

We have been always recepients of western literature, but not givers, he said and added that our poets have been influenced by the western poets and playwrights, but no western writer was influenced by our rich literature.

He felt that our literature would become powerful only when our writers could influence westerners.

Dr Kambar said though our literature is one of the oldest literatures in the world, we have failed to introduce it to the westerners. It is time to make efforts to display them to the whole world, he added.

He pointed out that Konkani and Kannada speaking people had good relation in Karnataka and said that Konkani language must not be neglected.

Dr Chandrashekar Kambar said that Konkani language and literature has a fascinating history and Konkani language received recognition only after Goa became independent in 1961. But within 40 years the language got national status and it is not a small achievement, he pointed out.

Mahabaleshwar speaks

Kendra Sahitya Academy awardee and Konkani novelist Mr Mahableshwar presided over the sammelan. He expressed concern over the growing tendency of imposing language and culture of majority over the minority. He opined that the problem was more dangerous than political slackness.

Minister for Co-operation R V Deshapande, who released a souvenir to commemorate the occasion, said that Konkani was a secular language and irrespective of religion and caste, all people spoke Konkani in the coastal Karnataka region.

Mr Deshpande also announced Rs 7 lakh grant to the All India Konkani Sammelan from Government of Karnataka.

Mr R H Bhaskar, Mr Dayanand Shanbhog, Ms Jotsna Kamat, Mr Ramesh Keshav Raikar, Mr Venu Madhav Borkar were felicitated for their contributions to Konkani literature and other fields. Books of many Konkani writers were also released.

T M A Pai Foundation Manipal President K K Pai inaugurated a book exhibition. Kumta MLA Mohan Shetty, Karwar MLA Gangadhar Bhat, Konkani Sahitya Academy President Basti Vaman Shenai, Goa Konkani Sahitya Parishad President Pundalik Nayak were present.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Konkani Kavya Sandhya Programme Held at Kochi

The Central Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi organized 'Kavya Sandhya' programme at Kochi in collaboration with Kerala Konkani Akademy on September 4, 2005.

Photo 1 : Kochi University Vice-Chancellor Dr P K Abdul Asees inaugurated the programme. Kerala Konkani Akademy president Prof K R Vasanta Mani and Central Sahitya Akademi regional secretary Prakash Bhatambrekar were also present.

Photo 2 : Noted poet R. S. Bhaskaran coordinated the programme.

Photo 3: Konkani poets J. B. Moraes and Ancy Paladka along with six other poets recited their poetry in the programme.

Konkani cultural kendra - Foundation stone laid

Co-op minister R V Deshpande, Union Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation Oscar Fernandes, Dayananda Pai, president, P Dayananda Pai and P Satish Pai Trust Bangalore, Basti Vaman Shenoy, MLA N Yogish Bhat at the foundation laying ceremony.

Konkani Academy programme

MANGALORE: Konkani Academy has invited Konkani teams and troupes to participate in ‘Suvarna Karnataka’ and ‘Konkani Kala Mela.’

As part of ‘Suvarna Karnataka’ celebration the government has organised state wide ‘Cultural Jata’ from October 1 to 30. Various cultural and literary programmes will also be organised by different academies throughout the state. Konkani Sahithya Academy will also organise Konkani Folk art exhibition at various places. Academy has also planned for ‘Konkani Kala Mela’ for a day at Karwar in November.

Heads or representatives of the interested troupes can personally visit the academy before September 20 to discuss about the participation.

For details, contact Ph: 2453167.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Foundation stone for Konkani centre laid in Mangalore

MANGALORE: ‘‘Konkani is a secular language and Konkanis have made remarkable achievements in the fields of education, health and many other sectors, setting examples for others in society. They are intelligent people but many a time their economic background acts as a hindrance to their intelligence. This intelligence can be safeguarded with assistance and help,’’ said Co-operation Minister R.V. Deshpande.

Addressing a gathering at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the World Konkani Centre at Shakthinagar, Mangalore, Deshpande said in the past people had built and developed the community all by themselves, without depending on the government.

‘‘Even on Monday the community should not depend on government aid for community development works. If relying on the government is unavoidable, then let the dependence be minimum,’’ he advised.

‘‘In this age, countries like India and China have wider scope for development owing to their manpower. This manpower must be encouraged, utilised and preserved through education and health,’’ he added.

Bangalore-based entrepreneur P. Dayananda Pai laid the foundation stone for the project and promised to donate Rs 25 lakh for the first phase of the project. He said Konkani was a language of three communities.

‘‘This great language must grow and research and development of the language is needed,’’ he said.

Konkani Bhas Ani Samsriti Pratistan president Basti Vaman Shenoy said the Vishwa Konkani Kendra had an estimated outlay of Rs 5 crore, to be built on three acres.

‘‘Considering the noble objectives of the Kendra, the government has given 50 per cent concession on the registration/stamp duties, 100 per cent waiver of land conversion charges and concession in development charges and lice fees which comes to nearly Rs 10 lakh,’’ Shenoy said.

Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation Oscar Fernandes, Corporation Bank head office Mangalore exceutive director Gopalkrishna, Mangalore MLA Yogish Bhat, MLC Blasius M. D’Souza, Konkani Bhasha Mandal president Father Eric Crasta, construction committee chairman M. Raghunath Shet and others were present on the occasion.