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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

UConn Musicians With A Mission

Before you come to the conclusion that UConn students waste all their time take a closer look, or rather take a listen.

Ajay Shenoy, a 4th semester math and political science major, Vanessa Kafka, an 8th semester operations and information management major, and several other UConn musicians have come together to release a compilation album promoting the local music scene at UConn. Their efforts materialize in "Insense."

Insense is not only the name of the compilation, but also the organization. According to the Insense web site
( their mission is, "To nurture and support musical artists among the UConn student body through active promotion and the offer of production tools and connections to services. The main thrust of the organization's activities will be:

a. release a compilation album every semester of our clients' best tracks and b. to create a web site that will help centralize local music at UConn."

So far they are doing just that. Shenoy, who is also president of the Insense organization, said he and other UConn musicians came up with the idea.

"We knew we wanted something to help artists," he said. "There is basically no support for us on campus, and no music scene."

According to Shenoy, Insense is designed to get local artists names out there, and this is something he has experience with, he has two songs of his own on the album under the pseudonym Kautilya. Shenoy sings, plays keyboard and also produces all the sound on his songs and the finished product has a style similar to The Killers, yet very unique.

Ben Toscano, a 4th semester ecology and evolutionary biology major, is also featured on the album with his band Nap LaJoy. Toscano saw a poster asking for musicians to submit for the compilation and saw it as an opportunity.

"We just hope to get our music out to a new audience," Toscano said. "Hopefully people will like what they hear and come down to one of our shows."

ICICI Bank opens in Russia

ICICI Bank Limited, India’s second largest Bank, has announced the inauguration of the corporate office of its subsidiary, ICICI Bank Eurasia LLC and a new branch in Moscow, Russia. With more than 15 million satisfied customers in India, the Bank brings with it over 50 years of financial services experience through its subsidiary, ICICI Bank Eurasia LLC.

ICICI Bank Eurasia’s Moscow branch will offer a wide range of retail, trade and other corporate banking services. The corporate office and the branch are located at 4, 4th Lesnaya Lane.

Mr. K.V.Kamath, Managing Director & CEO, ICICI Bank, Mrs. Lalita D Gupte, Joint Managing Director, ICICI Bank and Mr. Bhargav Dasgupta, Head - International Banking Group, ICICI Bank, were present at the launch.

ICICI Bank had acquired InvestitsionnoKreditny Bank (IKB) in May 2005. The acquisition is now formalized and IKB would operate as ICICI Bank subsidiary, ICICI Bank Eurasia LLC.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. K.V.Kamath, Managing Director and CEO, ICICI Bank Limited, said, ”We are delighted to announce the opening of our corporate office and a new branch in Moscow. ICICI Bank has made an impressive progress in the other geographies with subsidiaries in the UK and Canada. Russia is another key-step towards embarking on the next phase of the bank’s international expansion. ICICI Bank is India’s foremost technology bank with a wide array of products and services and we are now happy to extend the same benefits to our Russian consumers.”

Mr. Sanjay Kumar Maheshka, President & CEO, ICICI Bank Eurasia LLC, said, “The Russian subsidiary represents an important platform in ICICI Bank’s strategy of global expansion. It would enable us to capitalize on opportunities to offer a range of products to cater to the corporate and retail segments. We look forward to long-lasting cultural and economical ties between India and Russia.”


The national-level annual technical fete CYBERIA '06 will be held in Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering from March 31 to April 3 under the joint auspices of IEEE-SJCE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) student branch.

CYBERIA had a humble beginning in 1994 and has evolved into one of the best national-level technical fests. After celebrating a decade of excellence in creating a technical forum and also rendering an excellent service to technicality, CYBERIA has, over the years, attracted exuberant participation from all over the country.

An avant-garde series of events has been introduced to bring out the innnovative and intellectual talents of the participants. The fiesta of technicality will commence on Mar. 31 at 5 pm in the college auditorium. The inaugural function will be presided over by Ramananda Baliga, Vice-President, IBM Global Services, India. This will be followed by the panel discussion, where eminent personalities from the industry and the academia will deliberate on the topic — "Indian engineers are good at what they do but still need to be told what to do". The sponsors include leading firms like Tektronix, IBM, Perot Systems, Larsen and Toubro, Hewlett-Packard, Siemens and Broadcom.

IEEE is known globally as the world's leading professional association for the advancement of technology. The IEEE is a non-profit organisation with a vision to advance global prosperity by fostering technical innovations and contributing to the advancement of community worldwide. IEEE society and its council of publications are the most respected sources in the world for accurate, up-to-date information in electrical engineering, electronics, computer science, biotechnology, applied physics and related technologies.

The events include X86 — microprocessor related contest, Erradicate — on the spot software debugging contest, ExQUIZite — A general quiz, Impedance — Hardware design contest, Pragmata — The management game, Neuroglea — A bio Quiz, The quest — An online software designing contest, Abacus — A mathematical modeling contest, Innovata — A creative modeling contest, Eldorado — A physical and virtual technical treasure hunt, Gene Hunt — A virtual molecular bio-genetic engineering contest and Papyrus — Paper presentation contest on the topics like Signal Processing, Networking and Communication, Biotechnology and Bioinformatics and Electrical Engineering and Embedded Systems.

Kingfisher to be associate sponsor of IFW

'Kingfisher' will be the associate sponsor for the 'Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week' (WIFW), Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and percept d mark has announced.

The Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) will be held at the grand, New Delhi from April 5-9.

United breweries group chairman Dr Vijay Mallaya told reporters yesterday, ''over the next few years, as we continue our partnership with FDCI for the WIFW, we hope to celebrate and promote India as we make a mark in the global fashion industry.''

At least 80 designers will participate in the event including India's most eminent names in the world of fashion, accessory and textile as well as ten young and upcoming designers called 'new faces going places'.

The collections at the fashion week will be season specific, that is, autumn-winter and spring-summer, in line with international formats.

This year the fashion trade event goes bi-annual, five days of fashion twice a year. There will be two ramps for greater participation. The designers will showcase their pret (ready to wear) and diffusion (between ready-to-wear and couture) lines in Indian, indo- western and western categories on the ramp and at the trade centre.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Goa says ‘no’ to 21 Konkani & Marathi schools

318 students currently study in the 21 Konkani and Marathi medium schools
BJP alleges it’s a ‘conspiracy’ by the Education Minister to promote English
The Goa government has decided to cancel permissions of 21 Konkani and Marathi primary schools from the next academic year. This has drawn strong criticism from the Goa BJP, as these schools were handed over to the private institutions running them currently during BJP’s rule in the state.“This is a meticulous move by Education Minister Luizinho Faleiro to promote English education in the state by discontinuing Konkani and Marathi primary schools,” BJP Goa chief Rajendra Arlekar said. “With no other options left, parents will have to admit their children in English medium schools, thereby debarring them from getting education in the local languages.”He adds, “If you go through their records, it is clear that these schools were performing well.” “When they were handed over to private institutions, all the schools combined together had 164 students and currently 318 students are studying in them.”

Friday, March 24, 2006

Tata Elxsi to open R&D centre in Pune-Nitin Pai

Tata Elxsi has announced the setting up of a development centre in Pune. The "centre of excellence" will work in the lines of Tata Elxsi's existing global design centers in India and will assist global customers in product designing, development of networks and communications technologies, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Wireless LAN, routing and embedded networking.
Elaborating on Tata Elxsi's business activities, Nitin Pai, head of marketing for product design services said, "Apart from networking and communications Tata Elxsi offers its services that include automotive, consumer and office products, semiconductors, storage, scientific instrumentation and media."
"Digitisation, special effects and animation are gaining importance in the media, thus creating newer avenues for us. We cater to this sector with our visual computing lab and with increasing demand for special effects and 3D animation in movies, we are exploring a huge business opportunity in this field," Pai said.
The centre will be initially manned by 100 engineers and this capacity will be increased over the next six to eight months, Satyanarayan added.
"The centre will have full fledged infrastructure including a specialised lab for networking and work as multiple offshore competency centre to deliver long term value to our customers," said Prakash Satyanarayan, general manager, Tata Elxsi.
Reacting to a query on the prospects of the company's merger with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) or Tata Technologies Ltd (TTL), Pai said the three companies are engaged in different areas: "Tata Elxsi is a zero debt, cash-positive public company. Though the work structure is similar, we do styling whereas TTL focuses more on technology. We can't comment when and whether the merger will happen."
Unlike us TTL does not do embedded software development, thus, we can't comment when and whether the merger will happen."
Tata Elxsi's revenue last year was Rs 185 crore. The company has reached a turnover of Rs165 crorr in the nine months ended December 2005 and hopes to cross the mark of Rs. 200 crore by March 2006.

Fluid State


He is an artist of his own, a man who paints for himself. Quite the reason why Laxman Pai refuses to cast his work into any genre or style, or speak of his influences.

‘‘I have evolved my own style. For me, styles like abstract or realism are difficult to define,’’ says the 80-year-old artist. Though not a retrospective, the exhibition lends a glimpse of some of Pai’s earliest works — from the self-portrait done in Van Gogh style (1950) to Spring (1969) and Aakash in Goa (1971), based on his son Aakash’s profile. Then are figurative works like Sikkim (1980), a portrait of a north easterner and Durga (1992).

‘My style comes from the aesthetics of Indian miniatures. I was never in favour of infusing western style of perspective or realism,’’ says the Padmashree awardee.

Born in Goa, Pai graduated from Mumbai’s J J School of Art, and is a trained musician. Like his peers F N Souza and S H Raza, he spent nearly a decade in Paris in search of a modern idiom of artistic expression. ‘‘I did stay there, but I have retained my Indian roots.’’

From then on, one could see a lot of fluidity and movement in the works of this reclusive painter. ‘‘Art can never be static. It is a product of different moods,’’ he says.

While the female form still dominates the later works at the gallery — Human forms series, and We two in 2000s — they have become more decorative. He also retains his love of musings on family scenes. Abstract influences are evident in Unrest (2004), his take on the global situation done in the US.

‘‘My works are indicative of traditional growth and self-realisation. The learning process, of course, continues till the end.’’

The exhibition is on at Dhoomimal Gallery till March 31.

The Upheaval (Acchev) by Pundalik N. Naik

The Upheaval (Acchev) by Pundalik N. Naik. Translated from Konkani by Vidya Pai. Oxford University Press, New Delhi. Pages 144, Price Rs 295

TRUTH is stranger than fiction they say. In Pundalik Naik’s The Upheaval, it is difficult to say which is which. Published originally in Konkani in 1977 Acchev is the first Konkani novel to be translated into English. It fills a major lacuna in Goan literature. The novel, by virtue of its felicitous translation by Vidya Pai, also succeeds in bridging the gap of 25 years to infuse in its central themes an immediacy which is deeply disturbing, if not horrifying, in its reality. A reality which continues to be lived out in Goa even today.

In the microcosm of Kolamba village, "which nestled in the curve of the river Mandovi as snugly as a water pot fits against a woman’s hip", Pundalik Naik sets out his characters on their paths of destiny cataloguing their fall from grace from a composite rural society to one ravaged by the modernity of mining and industrialisation. The idea of the microcosm—a defined space in Goa where characters play out their lives—to depict Goan society has earlier been seen memorably in Victor Rangel Rebeiroro’s Tivolem set in the village Tivolem and more recently Remigo Bothelo’s Elsa’s Joint set in Panjim. However these two have been written originally in English and not Konkani.

As Naik writes: "The protest in my novel Acchev (Upheaval) against the destruction of humanity and nature is a cry from the heart. It therefore had to be written in my mother tongue Konkani." Upheaval’s richness lies in the ability of the translation to capture the nuances, the smell of the original Konkani in English without appearing affected. The novel, set in Ponda district in north Goa, pulsates with Naik’s rich descriptions of the cyclic rhythms of village life and the sacred ceremonies entwining the sowing and reaping of paddy with the growing-up years of the village children and the shy onset of their adult needs. The scene between Kesar and Narshinv at Malni Punav, the full moon night in the month of Poush at the dhalo, where married women and unmarried girls join in a highly stylised dance is replete with Lorcaesque (Bloodwedding) overtones of the rites of initiation. The verses of the phugadi—the ritualistic dances of women—heighten the effect. It is also what gives the first part of the novel its sense of eternity and timelessness akin to peasants going about their simple lives in a Breughel painting.

This canvas of characters moves beyond the confines of a medieval/feudal morality play yet retaining the archetypal qualities of the characters which transcend time and space. Babuso the lecher, for example, recalls Gor-gor in Margaret Mascarenhas’ novel Skin and Pandhari and Rukmini could well be the parents in Damodar Mauzo’s short story Mingueliliche Ghorchim (Minguel’s Kin) on the breakdown of a Goan family. And when the centre cannot hold Abu the wise old man of the village, Tiresies-like uses the metaphors of the wasted land on his deathbed, "This isn’t an eclipse that will pass… leaving everything as pure as it was before. Everything has been defiled. Our food is impure…the work we do…who knows whose seed grows in whose field these days…only the Spirit of the lake sees everything". The breakdown of the Goan family in Mauzo is pushed to its savage conclusion where Nanu discovers, through the mediation of Manuel, his sister catering to the needs of the mining workers—-an indulgence which was once his own.

In its raw energy the book is unputdownable. And if read at one go, one emerges caked in the soot of the mines of Shenori, the dust on the begrimed leaves on the route of the tipper trucks, and the blood red waters of the once blue river. Upheaval churns you in a way that only a good translation can.

The introduction by Maria Aurora Couto reflecting Naik’s deep anguish and a useful glossary accentuate its deep significances for us all, wherever we are, whatever we do—-"These were two villages. Mine was Volvoi and across the river was Maina where mining took over the life of my friends. To my child’s eye it was incomprehensible, the sea changes that transformed a dream into a nightmare, the river where we fished and played, the countryside we roamed and the life we once shared but which Maina had irretrievably lost."

K R Kamath to take over as BOI Executive Director

Mr K R Kamath, General Manager-in charge of Information Technology, Corporation Bank, would replace Gairola in Bank of India.

Bank of India Executive Director P L Gairola will take over as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Dena Bank from April 1, sources said on Thursday.

Mr Gairola has already received a letter from the Union Finance Ministry on his new assignment, they told PTI.

Mr Gairola would take over from M V Nair, who was joining Union Bank of India as its CMD, sources said.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Special scheme for Goan film makers

The Goa Government has notified special scheme for providing financial assistance to Goan film-makers, who produce films in the state.

"This scheme shall be called the Goa Scheme of Financial Assistance for Films 2006 and it will be covering feature film in Konkani and Marathi and non-feature films including tele-films, short films and documentaries in Konkani, Marathi, English and Hindi," a government notification said.

According to the notification, the scheme will apply to films originating and produced in Goa by Goan producers and shall be operative annually and remain in force till March 2010, after which it may be reviewed or redesigned as per the need.

The scheme aims to give financial assistance to Goan film makers with a view of encouraging production of quality celluloid as well as tele films, short films, documentaries and others to boost the image of the state in the film world, it said.

It envisages grant of financial assistance upto 50 per cent of the cost of the production of a film. A producer can claim financial assistance for only one film, notification states.

The State Government has clarified that dubbed version of pre-produced film will not be eligible to claim benefit of this scheme.

In yet another condition, the producer shall have to do at least 50 per cent of the shooting within Goa and films should have relevance to Goa, the notification said.

Goa BJP condemns Govt move to ban Konkani,Marathi schools

The Goa BJP has strongly condemned government's decision to cancel permission of 21 Konkani and Marathi primary schools from next academic year dubbing it as an attempt to encourage English education in the state.
"This is a meticulous move by Education Minister, Luizinho Faleiro, to promote English education in the state by discontinuing Konkani and Marathi primary schools," BJP Goa chief Rajendra Arlekar told reporters here today.
The State Government has cancelled permissions of 21 primary schools run by private educational institutions. These schools were handed over to these institutions during erstwhile BJP rule in the state.
"If you go through the record, it is clear that these schools were performing well. When they were handed over to private institutions all schools combined together had 164 students an currently 318 students are studying in it," Arlekar stated.
The BJP has termed Government's move as "conspiracy to encourage English education in the State."
"With no other options left, the parents will have to admit their students in English medium schools debarring them from getting education in local languages," Arlekar stated.

Kannada script must be used to teach Konkani

MANGALORE: Kannada is the right script for Konkani in Karnataka, President of the Kannada Sahitya Parishat Chandrashekar Patil has said. Most Konkani literature in the State is written in the Kannada script and children of Konkani-speaking communities across the State are accustomed to the script, he said.
According to a press release from Dugappa Kajekar, registrar, Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy, Mr. Patil, who was presiding over a meeting held in Bangalore recently by pro-Kannada organisations to discuss the script to be adopted to teach Konkani as an optional language in schools in the State, said that given the facts, Kannada script is most suitable to teach Konkani. The meeting decided to submit a memorandum to the Government to make it mandatory for schools in coastal districts of the State, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada, to use Konkani text books in Kannada script for students of both primary and high school. The organisations also lauded the Konkani Sahitya Academy for adopting a decision to this effect.
Leaders of the organisations were pleased that the academy has decided to use Kannada script to promote Konkani in the State. The meeting also decided that both the parishat and the academy will organise various programmes. The meeting also resolved to avail the services of the Konkani Sahitya Academy during future Kannada Sahitya Sammelanas.
Eric Ozario, chairman of the academy, B.T. Lalita Nayak and Leeladevi R. Prasad, former Ministers, B.S. Lohithashwa, actor and writer, H. Jayamma and Jaraganhalli Shivshanker, secretaries of the parishat, and members of the academy were present.
The academy wants the Government to introduce Konkani as an optional language in schools.

Kamath Group plans 5-star hotel in Nagpur

The Kamat Group of Hotels is planning to set up a hospitality management institute in the next three to four months, a hotel management and tourism
training institute over the next two months, and an Enviroscope museum
that will feature products made out of waste. This is, of course, besides
plans to construct a budget hotel and a five-star hotel (under the Orchid
brand name) over the next 16 months.

Vithal Kamat, chairman and managing director of Kamat group of hotels, said the group is planning an investment of Rs 30 crore in the city. The five-star property will come up near the airport, he added.

Both the budget hotel and the five-star property will operate, like other
Kamat Hotels, on the unique "zero-garbage" concept. "This is a process
with the objective of reduce-reuse-recycle so that nothing goes waste,"
Kamat said.

Some waste that cannot be further decomposed will be transformed through vermiculture into compost. This fertiliser will then be used instead of pesticides for the cultivation of fruits and vegetables, which will be utilised in the hotels. "This is the whole concept behind organic farming," Kamat said.

The Orchid in Mumbai was the first hotel in Asia to bag the coveted Ecotel certification in 1997 for conserving natural resources.

Kamat will also be launching TEAM or Tree Environment And Me in Nagpur with the objective of encouraging people to plant saplings and look after trees. "We have a target of one lakh trees over the next two years," he said.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Vittal Sports, Gavane Club top Konkani one act play

Vittal Sports and Cultural Club of Gavane-Ponda bagged the first prize in the Goa Konkani one act play contest organized by Shigao–Collem Sports and Cultural Club at Shigao to mark the anniversary day of Rangii Devi temple recently. Surashi Kesarbai Kerkar High School, Keri- Ponda bagged the second prize while the third prize was won by Snehmachi Mandal, Mardol.
Consolation prizes were awarded to Government High School, Shigao, and awarded to Government High School, Shigao, and Mahila Group of Mala-Sancorda.
Best play writer prize was awarded to Nilesh Kawalekar of Government H S - Shigao while best director prize was awarded to P. K Naik, Abhinav Vidyamadir high school of Mollem. Best setting prize was won by Krishna S. Naik of Surashri Kesarbai H S Keri-Ponda.
In the individual prizes best actress prize wad awarded to Arati Satarkar of Shirashri Kesarkar HS while best child actress and best actor prizes awarded to Khushbu Gawade and Suray Gavanekar of Vittal SC and Snehmache club respectively. The judges for the contests were Ramnath Gawade stage artist and play writer and Amrut Naik, stage artist. Govind Sawant, Dharbandora, ZP member was the chief guest on the occasion.
Dattatraya Vaze, manager, Fomento Mine was the president for the inaugural Programme while Raju Salgaonkar and Krishna Gauns was the guests of honour.
Others present on the occasion were Naresh Shigoankar, ex-sarpanch of Collem Village Panchayat, Shandaram Velip, Rajashri Mardolkar, deputy sarpanch of Collem V.P. Yadendra Kawalekar, ex-sarpanch of Collem V.P and Savita Dessai, panch of collem V. P. Besides Eknath Khedekar, president of Shigao Sports Club and retired teacher Subrao Sutar were also present.

Canara Bank tops in credit ratio

The regional office of the Canara Bank celebrated its centenary here on Saturday. The bank felicitated Rajyotsava award winners from the district on the occasion.

Inaugurating the celebration, Gulbarga University Acting Vice-Chancellor P K Tiwari said the Bank had immensely contributed to the socio-economic development of the country.

Assistant General Manager P K Bhat said the Bank had several achievements in Gulbarga region. Having jurisdiction over Gulbarga, Bidar, Raichur, Koppal, Bijapur and Bagalkot districts and with a network of 34 branches, Gulbarga region has a credit deposit ratio of 133 per cent, which is the highest among banks in the region.

Bhat said the bank has achieved another milestone in the centenary year by crossing Rs 1000 crore business. It is also the first bank in the region to finance construction of rural godown and cold storage.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

GKA completes 20 years

Goa Konkani Akademi celebrated its 20th anniversary recently. The main function was celebrated in the evening. The GKA's four publication were released on this occasion at the hands of chief guest Fr Moren da Souza. The four books released are Aghall-Paghal -- collection of essay by Ravindra Kelekar, Pavllam Kankanim, second edition of the book by late Shankar Bhandari, Bhuim-Khamp a tiatro by Mark de Araujo and Adann - collection of short stories by late Durgadas Gawade.

Prakash Vazarikar introduced the books to the audience. Sandeep Bhandari was felicitated at the hands of V. B Prabhu Verlekar, renowned chartered accountant. Also gifts were presented to the staff of Goa Konkani Akademi by Fr Moren da Souza, V. B Prabhu Verlekar, Sandeep Bhandari. Pundalik Naik, president of GKA delivered his speech on this occasion. Gopalkrishna padgaonkar Secretary, Goa Konkani Akademi delivered the vote of thanks and Priyadarshini Tadkodkar compared the function.
After the main function, there was a reception and Konkani writers, artists, printers and well wishers of the Akademi were present for the function in large nos.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Students told to study systematically - Dr Ashok Pai

“Our education system is exam based, particularly outcomes of universities will have goal-less degrees”, felt famous psychiatrist Dr Ashok Pai.

He was speaking in a function at First Grade College of NR Pura.Manasa Education Foundation along with Kuvempu University Social Welfare Department and NR Pura First Grade College NSS unit had organized this Manasa Chintana Programme.

He said amnesia is an old age phenomenon. At younger age one gets it only when there is an accidental damage to brain cells.

Students compliant against forgetting in exam hall are a myth.

Concentration, meditation and systematic study helps in achieving aims. Cultural events, sports, yoga would bring mental peace. Instead of mugging, night outing at the time of exams, students should start reading from the beginning of academic year.

This enables students to be confident and to face exams with much ease and joy, he said. Social and family background would influence youths and need of the hour is to educate the children on a moral basis, he expressed.

Principal Thara presided over the function.

Co-ordinate councilor of ShimogaManasa Education Foundation Dr Sandhya Kumari, Medical officer of Hariharapura Dr Eldose Vergees, NR Pura Rotary president Vargeese were present.

Kashinath introduced the guests. Ashwini invocated, Gurushantappa compeered and proposed vote of thanks.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Symmetricom Network Synchronization Expert Featured Speaker at TelecomNEXT 2006

Chief technologist Dr. Kishan Shenoi Will Present on the Need for Network Time Synchronization on Monday, March 20, 2006 at TelecomNEXT in Las Vegas SAN JOSE, Calif., March 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Symmetricom, Inc. (Nasdaq: SYMM ), a worldwide leader in precise time and frequency products and services, today announced that Dr. Kishan Shenoi, Symmetricom chief technologist, R&D, will be presenting "The Fundamental Need for Synchronization at the Analog-Digital Boundary" as part of the Network Test & Monitoring Track at TelecomNEXT 2006, on Monday, March 20, 2006 at 11:00 a.m. in Las Vegas. TelecomNEXT replaces SUPERCOMM® as the U.S. Telecommunication's annual industry show.
     WHO:      Dr. Kishan Shenoi, Symmetricom chief technologist, R&D
WHAT: Presentation: "The Fundamental Need for Synchronization at the
Analog-Digital Boundary" at TelecomNEXT 2006
WHEN: Monday, March 20, 2006 at 11:00 a.m.
WHERE: The Mandalay Bay Resort and Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV

Dr. Shenoi has extensive experience in digital signal processing, telecommunications systems and network synchronization. Prior to joining Symmetricom in 1992, he worked for DSC Communications Corp. and ITT Advanced Technology Center, where he was responsible for innovations in several product areas, including transmultiplexers, voice compression devices and echo cancellers. Dr. Shenoi has more than 20 patents and has written for more than 20 different technical publications. He holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, an M.S. from Columbia University and a B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India.

Dr. Shenoi will discuss the fact that the primary information transferred between human beings over a telecommunication network is inherently analog in nature, and, in order to carry this information over a digital network, analog-to-digital conversion and digital-to-analog conversion techniques are required. The legacy telephone network is also adept at transporting voice- band (analog) communication that may actually be between machines (modems). There is a fundamental need for synchronizing the conversion clocks in order to maintain a high level of perceptual and actual quality. A frequency offset manifests itself as a phenomena that is given many names; pitch modification effect, Doppler and cranking are three (similar) phenomena that are the result of, or can be modeled as, a frequency offset between source and destination. The presentation provides a theoretical basis for analyzing this frequency offset and describes the potential impact on service quality in three areas -- wireless communications, reliable voice-band data transmission, and seamless delivery of high-quality video services.

Symmetricom will be represented at TelecomNEXT by Walker and Associates, Inc., a premier distributor of Symmetricom precise timing and synchronization network products, in booth #1739. Recognizing the dramatic changes in today's integrated communications market, TelecomNEXT, taking place March 19-23, 2006, fully reflects the industry's continuing evolution and will bring together the most dynamic, talented and innovative players of the digital age. For more information, visit .

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Interview with Sunil Shanbag

Sunil Shanbag, theatre producer/director, television writer/producer, born October 7, 1956, graduated from the Elphinstone College, Mumbai. He worked as an actor/designer/ assistant director with Satyadev Dubey from 1974 to 1984 on about twenty-five productions. In 1985, he along with his group of friends became one of the founding members and artistic director of Arpana, a repertory company. This theatre company has been working consistently since its inception, doing an average of fifty performances a year. Plays directed by Sunil include Vijay Tendulkar’s CYCLEWALLAH, Mahesh Elkunchwar’s PRATIBIMB, Shafat Khan’s KISSE, Sayaji Shinde’s TUMBURA, Ramu Ramanathan’s COTTON 56, POLYESTER 84, etc.

Sunil has also been involved in training actors for many years as part of Arpana’s regular activity. This has often involved the use of workshop techniques to create performance pieces, including the live adaptation of literary texts into performances. Theatre-In-Education projects have been conceptualized by him. For one such project, he worked intensively with students of the Sahaydri school, situated near Pune and which comes under the aegis of the Krishnamurti foundation. Not only has Sunil conducted several workshops on theatre techniques but he has also dwelt on the question of performance spaces. One of his papers on alternative theatre spaces in Mumbai was presented at the Prithvi Theatre conference on Theatre and Space 2002.

Besides his continuous interest in the theatre, Sunil has worked extensively since 1985 for television , developing programme concepts, researching, writing fiction and non-fiction material, and producing programmes, films, and series. Some of his notable works include ‘Yatra’, directed and produced by Shyam Benegal, ‘Surabhi’ produced by Cinema Vision India and ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ directed by Shyam Benegal. For ‘Yatra’, he developed and wrote, with Shama Zaidi, original scripts for a 14-part series dealing with two fictional railway journeys through the length and breadth of India. For the record-breaking, culture magazine program, ‘Surabhi’, he developed the core concept and saw its production for the first 72 weeks. And for the 54-part historical series, ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’, he was selected as the core group writer.

In 1993 Sunil turned independent producer with Setu films. His ‘Maihar Raag’ won him the National Award in 1994 for the best non-fiction film. The film, a 65-minute feature is on the legacy of Baba Allaudin Khan, one of India’s greatest teachers of music. Directed by Arunabh Bhattacherjee, the film also won an award for the best use of sound. As an independent producer, Sunil has quite a few films to his credit. In 2000 he set up Chrysalis Films, an independent film company. Already he has completed around eight projects with his company.

Sunil has even worked closely with Astad Deboo, a contemporary Indian dancer who has made his mark on the International stage and who is known for his eclectic style. He has not only created dance and design concepts for several of Astad’s major projects but has also done a 40-minute film titled ‘The Sword and the Spear’ which picks up Astad on a tour of Taiwan with his group of martial arts’ performers. The film as such explores the nature of a creative collaboration.

Sunil Shanbag’s work be it in the realm of theatre, film or television, speaks very well of not only his technical skills and his creative instinct but also of his acute awareness of socio-political issues. Here is a man whose body of work (not all of it is listed here) has continued to reflect the varaying concerns and ethos of our times.

In which year did your theatre company, 'Arpana' come into being? What drove you to find your own company?

Arpana came into being in 1985 I think … Shishir Sharma, Akash Khurana, Utkarsh Majumdar, Reetha Balsavar, and Lata Sharma … we were the founders of the group. All of us had been working consistently with Satyadev Dubey … I had by then worked with him for over ten years and had also started directing independently for Theatre Unit, which was Dubey's group at that time. So around 1985 Dubey gently, and firmly pushed us out of the comfort of Theatre Unit to forge our own identity.

Shishir's father gave us ten thousand rupees and Arpana was born ! Utkarsh directed our first play, OOLJULOOL, written by Adyarangacharya. Its interesting … I was quite out of it for a few years … I was going through one of my patches of keeping away from theatre … but I lit the plays, and occasionally stepped in as an actor.

I directed my first play for Arpana a couple of years later … by which time Akash had already done Mat Yaad Dila, which was like our flagship production for several years. Why did we found Arpana ? Well, Dubey forced us out, to begin with, but also because we needed to find our own voice, and the 80s was an exciting time for Hindi theatre in Mumbai … yes, believe it or not !

To date we have been able to see only three of the plays that have been directed by you- BADE BHAISAHAB and GARAM KAMRA, BANSURI and now Ramu Ramanathan's COTTON 56, POLYESTER 84. The one common quality that we found in all the three has been your ability to respect the text at hand and to therefore not impinge any form on it other than that is necessary. There is a certain kind of austerity that marks these plays. The actors' movements for instance are almost defined and limited. Lights again are judiciously used. Can you therefore offer us any insights into your creative process as a director? You can use any of your plays, perhaps the ones mentioned above as points of reference.
I believe that the form of a play already exists in the text. My job is to find it and reveal it. I respect the text … I am not reverential to it … that sums up my approach. For me the text is fundamental to the play. Sometimes the text speaks loud and clear, sometimes one has to listen very carefully.

Usually I hear the text speak in the voices of the actors. Which is why I begin thinking only when the actors start reading. I am happiest when all I have to do is to merely set up the conditions for a scene to work … no more than that. An actor placed in the right position, speaking at the right pitch … coming in at a particular moment, standing in a particular way.

Some scenes need just this much to work wonderfully. It all looks very simple eventually, but I strive very hard for that simplicity. Maybe that's what you refer to as being austere, and some people call minimalist.

The painted mural that forms the backdrop of COTTON 56…Was that your idea?
Yes, I think it was my idea … but it emerged out of discussions with the people who were involved in the design. I wanted a bare stage … but I also wanted a continuing presence through the play of the core idea. Vivek Jadhav who created the backdrop, and the painters who actually painted it, brought tremendous depth to the very basic idea I had come up with.

You are also a documentary filmmaker. Can any parallels be drawn between the art of making a film and the art of directing a play?
It's an interesting question … both documentary films and theatre require a sharp sense of observation of people. I enjoy doing that … in film and in theatre.

How were you initiated to the theatre? What were your early experiences like? Did you ever act in a play/s?
I was very into theatre in school … and we had some greats come and work with us – Roshan Seth, Dina Pathak (Ratna's mother) so I was hooked very early. But a chance encounter with Dubey in 1974 gave me the opportunity to work in the theatre in Mumbai. I was seventeen … still not in college. For the next ten years or more I worked with him … acting, helping with direction, lights, sets, the works. That was my training. It was very intense. We were a busy company, doing several plays simultaneously, sometimes doing as many as 70 performances a year in Mumbai and outside. During this period I finished college, and began working as a feature writer for magazines. I began in the theatre as an actor, and acted right up to 1986 or so.

So you can well be regarded as one of Satyadev Dubey’s protégés. Was the learning under him influential in guiding your director's ideology?
I like to think of myself as being from Dubey's gharana in the theatre ! I can tell you what I learnt from him … sure … the importance of text, of craft, of complete honesty to the work even if you stand the risk of being considered non arty ! The ability to deal with actors and get them to surprise not just others, but also themselves with their own performances ! What I didn't learn is perhaps more significant … I regret not being as much a person of ideas as he is … not being able to wrestle with text as well as he can … not having his all consuming passion for the work. But ideologically our journeys have been very different.

What do you have to say about the use of screens, projectors and other things related to the multimedia in the theatre?
I think everything is valid when it helps communicate the ideas. But sometimes all the tech can be very seductive and work against the play. I saw Measure for Measure recently and was disappointed that the fundamental ideas of the play did not come through. It was a very clever production but lacked soul. And the tech did that I think. It forced them to become too literal. Tech has a way of doing that.

What would be your advice to aspiring young directors for the stage?
I am not in a position to advice anyone, really. But I do know that too much theatre is notional … that is, the director has a notion about something, or an idea, and believes that having the notion is enough ! You know what I mean ? I think the challenge is how to realize that notion … to make it real for everyone not just for yourself. Secondly, I think directors need to learn to work with actors. They can be your strongest allies, or your worst enemies !

Observers of the Indian theatre scene lament over the lack of the playwright. They say that our theatre is largely guided by the director. What do you think about the same? How important or unimportant is the playwright to you when you are directing his/her play?
I think my approach to text reveals that for me the playwright's work is very important. But I don't like having the playwright around when I am doing the play, and I have been fortunate that no playwright has ever hassled me. I don't like having the playwright around because for me the process of rehearsal is the process of making the play belong to the people who are making the play – everyone, from the director to the actors, the design people and so on. This is for the good of the play, not because of some flatulent notion of superiority.

Theatre can be collaborative work at its finest … ! As far as original writing goes, more people are writing today in different languages than before. In the last twenty odd years most of the plays I have done have been original writing in some Indian language or the other.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Infosys pill for Orissa

Software major Infosys today prescribed a slew of suggestions to transform Bhubaneswar into the intellectual, cultural and business capital of eastern India.

In his hour-long presentation before Naveen Patnaik this afternoon, Infosys chief financial officer T.V. Mohandas Pai laid out the company’s blueprint for Mission Bhubaneswar.

As the chief minister, principal secretary Bijoy Patnaik and a host of bureaucrats listened with rapt attention, Pai read out his prescription: “Bhubaneswar should become the educational centre of the country. Invite India’s 20 best private schools to open (centres)… to offer quality education.”

The Infosys official also advised Patnaik to invite the country’s top engineering and medical colleges to set up shop in Bhubaneswar and the districts. “Aim to have at least 1 lakh students in centres of higher education, 60,000 children in high-quality schools and 25,000 foreign students in the next 3-8 years,” Pai said, suggesting that the state should ask the foreign embassies to set up their own schools in the city.

For excellence in business, Pai held that Singapore should be Bhubaneswar’s role model. His advice: the state should rope in builders from Singapore, Japan, Korea and other countries to set up business parks here.

“Target high-value industries like asset management companies, brokerages and investment banks to create a financial district,” the Infosys board member suggested, urging hoteliers to open restaurants serving Japanese, French, Thai, Mexican, Spanish and Moroccon cuisine.

On the culture front, Pai recommended Broadway and West End for the capital. “The government’s role would be to provide infrastructure and land at a reasonable cost to cultural bodies of national importance,” he advised the chief minister.

Sports, too, was on Pai’s agenda. “Get the Sports Authority of India to have a regional headquarters in Bhubaneswar so that the best of sports facilities are created,” he said.

In the evening, Patnaik assigned the job of working on Pai’s prescription to three IAS officers — special secretary in the urban development department A.K. Panda, women and child development secretary Mona Sharma and information technology director Vishal Dev.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Mallaya’ kingfisher heading for American base

With the Vijay Mallaya owned Kingfisher Airlines relishing the good times in the airlines business the beer king is now planning to surge ahead . The company ‘ flying venture getting a start in may last year is now scheduling to land up at the international airline business with the introduction of its’ IPO in coming five to five months.

Kingfisher has already marked its presence in the domestic air market by grabbing at around 7 pc total market share. Meanwhile the company’ plans have been balked by the Centre’ aviation policy which only entitles companies owing five year air flying experience for the international venture.

Talking on the issue Mallaya revealed his intentions to head for an American base in case of facing strife with the Indian policies. The company has put forward the proposal to the centre authorities and waiting for an affirmative nod.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Innovative Advertisement Revenue Sharing Model by

Using a simple and clean interface, offers an opportunity for users of this site to make money by posting their own affiliate links and ads without requiring hosting a website and providing content. This has been made possible by implementing a unique and innovating democratic advertising model by which started out as a simple online bookmark organizer has recently introduced a completely new advertising concept. Users of who originally discover and bookmark a link on get credit for the bookmarked link. This creates an opportunity for users to be the first one to discover links and bookmark on

At the time of registration a new user account on, the user can enter the link to an advertised link and the image link. The image link will be displayed as a banner and the advertised link URL will be assigned as click through banner link. Here, users can place links and images of affiliate advertisements which earn them money when other users search on and click on the ads. Which ad is displayed on the search results page of is determined by a democratic concept. i.e. the advertisement placed by the user who has the maximum number of links in the search results is displayed.

For example, Angelica has bookmarked the maximum number of links on for the Tag keyword “music” and also inserted an affiliate advertisement of Amazon in her profile. When other users of search for “music”, the search result pages will display Angelica’s Amazon affiliate ad on the top. When others click on the ad, Amazon credits Angelicas affiliate account. You can see here Angelica has neither hosted a website nor required to provide content. The only content she has provided is links on the Tag Keyword “Music” on Users can also place commercial ads directly in their profile and earn direct money from advertisements.

"This new advertising model enables to attract users and offers users an avenue to make money." - Gurudatt Shenoy, Founder

Friday, March 10, 2006

Mallaya asks govt to provide level playing field

Claimimg that the Jet-Sahara deal had not changed the aviation industry in the country too much, Kingfisher Airlines Chief Vijay Mallaya has asked the Government to ensure a level playing field to all the airlines by giving them equal infrastructural benefits.

"I do not see a palpable difference as such in the industry so far but the government would have to ensure that all airlines are given the same infrastructural facilities to keep a level playing field," the UB group Chairman told PTI on the sidelines of the international tourism fair here.

When asked if he regretted not taking over Sahara, Mallaya said "not at all. I will get the same results if I put a quarter of the same investment in my own airlines." Mallaya also denied that Kingfisher was looking to acquire other players, saying "there is no need to accquire right now. Also we have the IPO coming out now and we are looking to concentrate on that." "Even in the long term the question is who else is there to accquire?," Mallay said.

First Nevada State College building design approved

Nevada State College's first new building - late and smaller than originally expected - finally will get off the drawing board.

The state Public Works Board has approved a design by the firm of Carpenter-Sellers Architects that calls for a two-story building with six classrooms and five labs plus staff offices.

"We're finally ready to go," said Gus Nunez, deputy manager of the board. "We're on budget and slightly ahead of schedule."

Sunny Kamath, project architect for the board, said bids will probably be sought next January and construction at the Henderson campus would take about a year.

Originally designed for 100,000 square feet, the structure has been downsized to 42,000 square feet because of rising construction costs and supporters' failure to raise money.

The 2001 Legislature approved $23.4 million for an academic and student services building with $10 million to be collected from private donations. Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins, D-Henderson, and others agreed to raise $10 million. But the school collected only $1 million. After delays, the 2005 Legislature gave the school $9 million to make up for the lack of private money.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Dr R H N Shenoy, the doyen of medical profession

It was in 1975. Dr Hari Narayana Shenoy was promoted and posted as Principal of Government Medical College, Bellary.

After putting up 15 years as Head of Surgery in KMC Hubli, he reluctantly came to Bellary. When he took charge, the condition of college was precarious and gloomy.

College was yet to gain recognition from MCI. Staff and infrastructure was far from satisfactory. Funds release was also meagre. Government was interested in developing Bangalore and Mysore Medical Colleges.

It was Dr Shenoy who took it as a challenge and prepared a detailed project on staff requirement and infrastructure and submitted it to Government. It paid dividends. Vacant posts filled and funds were released for developing infrastructure as per MCI requirements.

The College was recognised by MCI in 1976 and permitted intake of students to 100 per year. Former Principal of Bellary Medical College Dr Tekur Ramanath speaking to this website’s newspaper said Dr Shenoy was an academician and an excellent teacher.

He revived the then defunct college academic society and Dr Tekur Ramanath was appointed as its secretary. Shenoy conducted several CME programmes. Dr Shenoy was good clinician and a meticulous surgeon.

He was well-known for his line diagrams and writing detailed notes. He used to sit in Out patient department from 9 AM to 3 PM and many times he foregone his lunch.

He was well-known for his bedside teaching and didactic lectures. Dr Shenoy was proficient in Sanskrit and was a good speaker. He was recipient of several state and national awards including Rajyotsava and Dr B C Roy award.

He was given civic reception by Bellary Municipality in 1980. When he was transferred to Bangalore in 1980, several organisations appealed Government to cancel his transfer. Students went on strike against his transfer.

Shenoy showed lot of interest in updating knowledge and learning newer techniques in surgery even after his retirement. When he was in his 70s, he started learning laparoscopic surgery. He has left a rich legacy worthy of emulation for young doctors.

Kamath First MSU Idol Winner

Just as in the hit television show American Idol, audience members at the MSU Idol finals in the CSU Ballroom Thursday had a chance to vote for their favorite contestant, Namrata Kamath.

Eleven Idol hopefuls, who were selected for the Feb. 28 semifinal competition, competed once again for five prize-winning spots. The contestants were Kyle Struck, Amanda Puckett, Mary Borrell, Johnais Muse, Megan Munneke, Chelsea Larro, Katie Kelley, Patrick Kelleher, Kamath, Liz Dowd and Michael Rivers.

In the first round of the competition, each contestant sang a song of their choice in front of a panel of three judges, who critiqued them and offered suggestions. The judges were seasoned opera singer and MSU music professor Kimm Julian, Director of Student Development Kelly Meier and Joelle Maggert, president of IMPACT.

Online votes from after the semifinals accounted for 60 percent of each contestant’s score. Judges’ scores made up the other 40 percent. The total determined the top five singers: Borrell, Dowd, Kamath, Munneke and Rivers.

The finalists sang one more song, after which audience members were asked to vote for their favorite performance at one of the ballot booths set up in the ballroom. The final tally revealed the ranking of the top five.

Kamath received the first place prize of $400 and a chance to sing the national anthem at Saturday’s MSU men’s basketball playoff game.

She won with her rendition of LeeAnn Rimes’ “How Do I Live.” Kamath said her musical inspiration comes from her father, who lives in her home country of Dubai.

“It’s really, really nice,” Kamath said about becoming MSU’s first Idol.

The second place prize of $200 went to Borrell, who was accompanied on stage by two acoustic guitar players.

“It feels great,” she said. “I didn’t think I was going to get second place.”

Borrell said she was sick last week and was relieved to feel better in time for the competition. She said her singing inspirations are Stevie Wonder, Billie Holiday, Judy Garland and Aretha Franklin.

Rivers took third place and a prize of $100. The fourth-place prize of $50 and the fifth-place prize of two tickets to this spring’s Switchfoot concert went to Dowd and Munneke, respectively.

Dowd had laryngitis for the semifinals and was not able to sing, but said she may have won sympathy votes from the audience when she said on stage that her condition was “better than having an STD.”

Kelleher, a competitor in the original 11, said he loved performing in front of the audience.

“It’s one of the things that I enjoy doing,” he said, “getting up on stage and ‘rocking out.’”

Although Kelleher said he liked being part of the first MSU Idol, he said the event could use some improvements for next year.

“It seemed kind of thrown together,” he said. “It seemed rushed for the people involved in it.”

Audience member Christopher Frederick said the voting process was confusing.

“It was unclear how people would be selected,” he said.

Flipside committee chair Priyanka Nepal, who helped coordinate MSU Idol, said she feels the finals, which drew in 600-650 spectators, was a success.

Stevie Ray was the “Ryan Seacrest” of the event, introducing singers and entertaining the audience in between acts. In comparison to the real Idol host, Ray said, “I’m funnier, but not as good looking.”

“[The] audience loved our emcee,” she said. “And we got a lot of positive feedback and suggestions. The event went very smoothly.”

Nepal is gathering feedback from people involved in the program, which will help determine what changes, if any, need to be made in the future.

Junior Angie VanEman, who attended the show, said it was better than she expected, although she would have liked to see more male contestants. VanEman said the host helped keep the program flowing.

“He did a great job of filling some of the dead time,” she said.

In love with fusion and classical music

Balakrishna Kamath, a young mridangist from the city, just received the Palani Subramania Pillai Award from the Madras Music Academy

t was Ustad Amjad Ali Khan's first performance with his sons Ayaan and Amaan in the city. For this special occasion he decided to play a Carnatic piece and wanted someone to play the mridangam. The choice fell on young Balakrishna Kamath. It was a big moment for this city musician and quite naturally he was nervous. For the first two pieces he listened intently as the Ustad wove magic on the sarod with the tabla matching him at every turn. Then came his turn with Ayaan and Amaan joining their illustrious father. The raga was Keeravani and Balakrishna Kamath followed the Ustad keeping pace with the tala set by the tabla. The thundering ovation at the end of it said it all. Balakrishna Kamath's career had taken flight.

And this year's Palani Subramania Pillai Award from the Madras Music Academy, was a much-deserved recognition for this talented mridangist. "It was only from last year onwards that I have been performing at the famed Chennai music season. This year I had four programmes, all with Sreevalsan Menon. The award announcement came after we had returned. It surely is encouraging and a huge honour," says this soft-spoken musician.

Balakrishna Kamath began learning to play the mridangam when he was 12 years old. He studied the basics from N. G. Sharma who conducted classes near his home in Mattancherry. He later trained under Palakkad T. R. Rajamani, the son of the legendary Mani Iyer. His progress was steady occasionally accompanying local artistes, winning the second prize at the State School Festival and improving to bag the first prize twice in succession at the Mahatma Gandhi University Youth festival.

"By this time I had decided that music was to be my career. I could not pursue studies beyond pre-degree as I had by then become busy with recordings and concerts. It was T. S. Radhakrishnan who first introduced me to recording. In the beginning it was only for classical and devotional cassettes. Then, with more and more studios coming up in Kochi and a lot of films being made here, new doors were opened."

Fusion music

Balakrishna Kamath did not confine himself only to classical music. He quickly adapted himself to film recordings and even fusion music. "I was part of a musical ensemble called `Laya Lahiri.' It was basically Indian instruments and most of what we played was classical kirtans. Recently, I was part of nine Indian musicians who performed in Reunion island. The group that call themselves `Hamsa,' conducted two stage shows and a couple of radio programmes in the two weeks that we were there. It was a fine fusion of their instruments like the guitar, metallic keyflute, saxophone and our own mridangam, tabla, flute, sitar, edakka etc. My first recording for a film was for `Thiruvithankoor Thirumanas,' following which I must have played the mridangam for numerous films, most of them for Ravindran Master's music."

When Balakrishna Kamath plays the mridangam it turns out into a superb percussive experience. One tends to realise there are so many overtones, `gamakas' and grace that this instrument is able to create. With every stroke he makes the mridangam resonate with pristine clarity. Most importantly he is one of those who realises the importance of the main artiste or instrument and can play with utmost control.

Now, Balakrishna Kamath is a much sought after teacher who has students coming to his house regularly and even has a flow of very keen foreign disciples. "This foreign connection began when two French ladies came to study the mridangam at the Kerala Kathakali Centre in Fort Kochi. They were there only for two classes and then went on learn the other traditional art forms. They happened to be associated with a French organisation called `Bheeshma.' Since then we have been getting regular batches of students who come here for a 15-day course. One person, Romeo, was so dedicated that he stayed back for six months and picked up four talas. He conducted a programme here, even learned to play the thavil and chenda."

Balakrishna Kamath is also thinking seriously about accepting a long-standing invitation to teach in France. "The only time I can go is June and July. This year I hope to go for about a month. Let's see if it will work out."

A Wednesday for Women

Interesting things can happen when women get together to chat over lunch.

About three years ago, Maria Ortega, an international relations graduate student from Bogata, Columbia, brought up the topic of International Women's Day while dining with some ladies from the Women's Center. Ortega explained that March 8 was International Women's Day and in her hometown women were given flowers on the streets and at night the women would go out and the men would stay home. This sparked interest for celebrating this international holiday at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

This year's celebration will begin at 10 a.m. on Wednesday in CSU 284. A panel will take place featuring women from all over the world speaking about influential women in their lives. Namrata Kamath, winner of IMPACT's MSU Idol singing contest, will showcase her talent by performing sometime during the panel session. A dance presentation featuring three international MSU students from Mexico, Egypt and India will follow the panel. After the presentation, the Intercultural Center will hold a free lunch across the hall from CSU 284. All students are invited to come and eat and experience coffees from around the world.

The event, sponsored by the International Student's Office and the Women's Center, entertained and enlightened about 150-200 participants last year, said Lorrie Bortuzzo graduate assistant in the International Student Office.

International Women's Day started in the United States in 1909 and quickly spread throughout the world. Recognized by countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Nations, women's day is a day for all people to celebrate the struggles and triumphs of the female population.

“It's free and it's not just for women. It is for everyone to come and celebrate…a special day for promoting women's rights” said Bortuzzo, an international student from Canada.

Academy invites entries

The Karnataka Konkani Sahithya Academy has invited entries for Konkani Academy Book Award and Konkani Academy Honourary Award for 2005.

According to a press release, those who have contributed for the the development of Konkani language, literature, drama, music are eligible for Konkani Academy Honourary Award.

Kannada-Konkani, translation works, collection of Konkani poems are eligible for the Konkani Book award. Four copies of the published works should sent to Karnataka Konkani Sahithya Academy, MCC Building, Lalbagh, Mangalore-3 before March 5. For details contact: 2453167.

Udupi-based software firm riding high

This is an example of how a software company is riding high on success, even though it is located far from the country’s IT hub, Bangalore. It has little support from the state government.

Udupi-based Robosoft Technologies, a provider of outsourced product development services, has announced a Rs 10 crore expansion plan, backed by strong client demand.

This announcement comes at a time when the government is hardselling smaller cities in the state in the wake of growing infrastructure woes that have been plaguing IT companies located in the state capital.

The company, whose clientele includes biggies like Apple Computer, Hewlett Packard, Canon and UMAX, is celebrating its 10th year of its existence by setting up its own global corporate campus at Santhekatte on NH 17, near Udupi.

The funds to be invested in this project had been arranged through internal accruals and bank loans, Robosoft’s top officials informed the media here on Monday.

The new corporate office will have three circular shaped structures consisting of a basement, ground floor and five upper floors with a total area of about 1 lakh sq ft.

Each of these buildings will be capable of accommodating 800 employees and one of these structures was expected to be completed by May this year, said Rohith Bhat, managing director and CEO of Robosoft Technologies.

He said the initial investment in the project had been pegged at Rs 10 crore. The new campus among others would have facilities like gymnasium, tennis court, jogging track, cafeteria, ATM kiosk, conference hall, auditorium, video conferencing and a guesthouse, he said.

About the infrastructure facilities in Udupi, he said since it was a small place, traffic was not a big issue although the condition of roads was bad since a lot of repair works are going on.

However, he said, “We seriously need an international quality airport with night landing facility since global clients visiting our campus are facing lot of difficulty to reach us. Most of them presently preferred to stay in Bangalore and it took at least two days for them to reach Udupi by road.”

Robosoft, which had clocked a turnover of Rs 12 crore last fiscal, currently employs 250 professionals having strong domain expertise. Purushotham R Bhat, director (facilities & infrastructure), Robosoft said by the end of the fiscal, the company was planning to recruit at least another 500 engineers, mostly through campus interviews.

About the availability of manpower, he said Udupi was one among the few places in the state having a high literacy rate and high concentration of technical institutions. “It’s our commitment to give preference to local talents although merit is the main criteria for their selection. This is evident from the fact that most of our engineers are from Dakshina Kannada district,” he added.

He said that apart from product development and services, the company also offers testing and quality assurance and enterprise applications services to its clients. Bhat said “our vision is made in Udupi and made for the world”.

Corporation Bank to focus on education as thrust area

Corporation Bank has targeted a business of Rs 55,000 crore for the current year - its centenary year - according to B R Bhat, general manager of the bank.

Until the end of December 31, 2005, the bank had recorded a total business of Rs 51,691 crore including deposits of Rs 29,634 crore and advances of Rs 22,057 crore, Bhat said.

As part of the centenary celebrations, the bank has identified education as a thrust area. It will be providing scholarships to 100 meritorious students in 25 villages identified by the bank during the year. It will set up libraries in these villages.

In addition, the bank will construct a modern library and numismatic museum at its headquarters in Mangalore. The building, which has been designed to give easy access to physically challenged people will be dedicated to the people of Mangalore on March 12.

The bank has been focussing on micro-finance as a thrust area and already has financed many projects through reputed NGOs. A sum of Rs 56 crore has been lent under micro-finance so far. The bank has financed 17,068 self-help groups including 8858 groups through NGOs.

On the bank’s activities, he said the bank’s 549 branches are under core banking solutions covering roughly 86 percent of the business of the bank. It has an 856-strong ATM network in the country, the second largest among public sector banks.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Infosys team arrives- Kolkata

After waiting for more than five months Infosys is finally sending its team to Kolkata for conducting an evaluation study that will decide on setting up a development centre here.
Headed by the chief financial officer Mr Mohandas Pai the team will make a two-day stay in the city on 6 and 7 March. The chairman and chief mentor of Infosys Technologies, Mr NR Narayana Murthy, had met chief minister Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, earlier on 27 September and expressed his desire to come to Kolkata in a “big way”. He had said that Infosys is weighing options to set up software operations in the city. However a feasibility-cum-evaluation study was to be made first. A series of meetings with the state IT department and Infosys had ensued after this but nothing could be heard of the issue. It was being doubted whether the company had backtracked from its stand.
Finally the team has decided to pay the much awaited visit. Whether any proposal for land will be made or not is yet not known. But an evaluation would be made based upon the pros and cons behind setting up of a software development centre here. Bhubaneshwar is the last software development centre set up by Infosys. Nonetheless, the IT department will take the teams to the IT hubs here. The department will project Bantala leather complex as the first option. Whether its the land cost that is the main reason behind this is not known. While per acre land cost is Rs 86 lakh for Bantala it is Rs 2.16 crore in Rajarhat.
Mr Pai will meet the chief minister and the state IT minister later. Mr GD Gautama, state IT secretary said: “Infosys will add another number to the group of major players like Wipro, Satyam, ITC infotech, Tata Consultancy Services, Congnizant Technology Solutions and HSBC”. However it is too early to draw any conclusion. The company will consider all the options before finalising the deal, Mr Gautama said. After drawing the report the team will discuss it with the bigwigs of the company and only then will the information be conveyed to the state. Things will be clear only at the end of the second day, Mr Gautama added.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Call to preserve Konkani culture

BELGAUM: Rev Father J B D’silva, chairman, Rural Welfare Trust, Santibastwad and journalist Louis Rodrigues were felicitated by Goa Konkani Academy in Goa for their outstanding contribution in preserving Konkani language and culture in Karnataka and Maharashatra.

The academy in association with Raitur Seminary, Rachol, Goa had orgnaised a one-day Konkano programme ‘Amche Daiz’ (our tradition). Tamazino Cardozo, popular Konkani writer and former Speaker of Goa Assembly inaugurated the programme

J B D’silva and Rodrigues explained the significance of Konkani language and culture. They said Konkani has remained ‘strong’ enough in these states .

Father J B D’silva appealed Goans to identify and honour Siddi’s in Yellupur and other parts of Karwar district who have strongly preserved the Konkani language and culture.Pundalik Nayak, president of Goa Konkani Academy also spoke.

Konkani Syllabus in Kannada Script Urged to be Made Compulsory

The Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy and Kannada Sahitya Parishat have appealed to the state government to make it compulsory to study Konkani books prepared in Kannada script.

This decision was taken at a meeting convene to gather information about the use of a particular script in Konkani subject here. It was unanimously decided to adopt Kannada script for Konkani lessons to be taught in the schools as optional subject from the next scholastic year.

As known, the government has consented to introduce Konkani as optional subject in the schools from the coming academic year. Though there has been a wide debate over the use of script, most of them feel that Kannada script should be adopted.

Accordingly, the textbooks have already been prepared under the guidance of Bharatiya Bhasha Samsthan. Though it has been decided to introduce Konkani as optional subject, many of the persons who attended the meet felt that it should be made a compulsory for the primary and high school students of Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts where Konkani-speaking people live in majority.

Taking into consideration the opinions expressed by various leaders who attended the meeting, Kannada Sahitya Parishat president Patil Puttappa and Konkani Sahitya Academy president Eric Ozario decided to submit an appeal to the government to make Konkani compulsory for the students of class VI to class X in the three districts of Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi.