This means that both teams get a point each and South Africa progresses to the finals to meet world champions India, who have remained unbeaten in the tournament so far, on T
This means that both teams get a point each and South Africa progresses to the finals to meet world champions India, who have remained unbeaten in the tournament so far, on T
To commemorate the occasion of World Disability Day, Café Coffee Day, India’s premier and largest chain of coffee cafés today hosted a special in-house coffee making competition called “Coffee Alchemist” for its Silent Brew Masters in the city today. The objective of the competition is to let give these ‘differently enabled’ Silent Brew Masters a unique platform to stretch their creativity and showcase their talent by placing them in a friendly competitive environment.
The “Coffee Alchemist” saw 7 Silent Brew Masters from Hyderabad show their skills in making various coffee beverages and present them as they would to café customers. Prizes were given for various criteria, and to further motivate and cheer them, Café Coffee Day also invited the parents of the Brew Masters to witness the event.
A total of seven deaf and dumb ‘Silent Brew Masters’ from Hyderabad participated in the contest. A two-member Judges panel comprising of Mr. Chandra Shekhar, F&B Manager – Cafe Coffee Day and Mr. Suraj Nair, Area Manager (Operations) – Cafe Coffee Day judged the winners. The participants showcased their skills in making coffee beverages and also their creativity by creating their own beverage concoctions. Ms. Kola Manjula was adjudged the winner; she created ‘Banana & Caramel on the rocks’ beverage. The second prize was won by Mr. Chandraiah, who made ‘Spicy Choco’ and Mr. Mahesh stood third with ‘Atoqauto,’ a coffee and ice-cream drink. The winners were presented with Prizes and certificates.
Café Coffee Day employs about 75 Silent Brew Masters in cities like Bangalore , Chennai, Hyderabad , Kolkata, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi . Like all other Café Coffee Day Brew Masters, they go through a thorough induction program on how to make classic Café Coffee Day Coffees, beverages and food. The programs are designed to help them use their strong sense of smell , vision and taste very effectively.
Says Shyamala Deshpande, President, HR & Training, “What truly sets the Silent Brew Masters apart is that they value the position that they have been given and do not take things for granted. These employees are seen specializing is this field because they have shown aptitude for ‘brewing’ and not because they can’t work in the direct servicing section. They have a heightened sense of smell , taste and vision and hence deliver the most visually appealing presentation of our coffees. They are excellent quality controllers who can ensure that coffees served are excellent in every way.”
Adds Alok Gupta, Director, Café Coffee Day, “The Silent Brew Master is an integral part of the café environment and we value their talent immensely. We treat them like all other staff members and want to give them several opportunities to hone their skills which is why we have instituted a contest like the Coffee Alchemist. Silent Brew Masters are also very good team players and they quickly adapt and communicate with the staff through sign language. We are happy to see the enthusiasm with which they contribute to bring satisfaction to our customers with their coffee making skills.”
Uninor today announced the launch of its global GSM service in India. The launch will happen simultaneously in 7 circles. These include Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, UP East, UP West and Bihar (including Jharkhand). In terms of GSM footprint in a single day, this is the largest Greenfield launch operation in telecom history. On launch day, the network will cover a national footprint of close to 600 million – providing a global connection and pan-India access to the world’s largest population on day one. This is well over the population of the US, Russia and UK combined and roughly equals every 10th citizen of the world.
“With launch in 7 circles and roaming agreements in place for the rest, we have started our service in India on day one as a pan-Indian national operator – the first GSM service to have done so. This is a proud achievement of a committed and talented organisation. While our launch today is indeed a milestone in longer journey to become a significant operator in India, we are delighted to have made such a strong start,” said Stein-Erik Vellan, Managing Director, Unitech Wireless.
This is also the widest coverage any operator has ever launched with in India. For Uninor customers this means their service will be accessible much beyond a handful of cities in these states. With national roaming already tied up, the Uninor customer will be truly mobile on day one.
Uninor’s national footprint is one of several record breaking achievements of this launch. In terms of operational roll-out, this is also probably one of the fastest ever, from commencement of operations to service launch.
“It has been highly satisfying to witness today’s launch of Uninor services across India. By providing quality mobile services, I strongly believe that Uninor will bring about a significant and positive impact in the daily lives of its customers in India”, said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, CEO and President of the Telenor Group. “Establishing a mobile operation of this scale in record time is truly an impressive achievement. I am confident that Uninor will keep the same high momentum going forward to become a preferred provider of mobile services to the Indian population and a significant mobile operator in the Indian market. The Telenor Group is committed to this operation, and will back Uninor with our capabilities and vast experience from other markets to support a successful entry in India”
“The launch of Uninor mobile services marks a significant milestone for the Unitech Group – mobile services being a major diversification for the Group beyond real estate. I am confident that our long term ambitions from the business will be realized. I have full faith in the Uninor team and will like to assure them of continued support from Unitech in whichever way required,” said Sanjay Chandra, Managing Director, Unitech Ltd.
“Our model isn’t really based on outsourcing. It is based on trust. We sought core competence where it existed, brought it together and empowered it. I would like to credit this record breaking launch to the Uninor employees and the Uninor partners who have delivered on that trust,” added Vellan.
People more than numbers
“Ab mera number hai” or “My time is now” is the voice of the Uninor customer – a young individual eager to succeed. Our tagline isn’t our directive to the customer. We will not sell dreams or tell our customers what to do. They know what they want, and we are here to help them fulfil these ambitions.
”We’re breaking records in terms of footprint, speed and distribution. But more than numbers and statistics, this launch is first and foremost about individuals. Our business is about people – real life young, aspiring people whose dreams and aspirations our services will be tools to help fulfill,” said Vellan.
Uninor will not employ big celebrity brand ambassadors, but do this differently from others. The Uninor hero will be every single young achiever making it on their own grit.
“To succeed in today’s India; a brand must understand what is driving today’s India. I believe Uninor has – in recognizing its audience as the young impatient Indian in the path of success,” said Sanjay Chandra, Managing Director, Unitech Ltd.
Network – fresh and brand new
Uninor’s network is brand new with the most modern equipment and the very latest IT systems. It’s a congestion free network powered by the latest technology anyone can deploy today. For customers, this will mean superior voice quality, lower call drops, maximum first attempt dials and a much better experience overall on our network.
Over 210,000 retail points
On launch day, Uninor will be retailed at over 210,000 points of sale through close to 1000 exclusive distributors in the 7 circles. Again, the largest ever launch distribution achieved by any GSM operator in India.
This means a Uninor connection is available to customers right next door. At a supermarket, a kirana shop, a chemist, a corner mobile outlet or a full service exclusive Uninor shop; definitely at many more places and much closer than that of any other operator on launch day.
Value for money
Uninor is launching its service with two price plans – a base plan called talkmore@29p and a subscription plan called callmore@29p
Talkmore@29p is designed for customers who talk longer on their calls. The plan offers customers local calls at 29 paise per minute and STD calls at 49 paise per minute, with a call set up fee of 39 paise. Customers can now make calls at the lowest per minute local call rates in the market only on talkmore@29.
Callmore@29p, is designed for customers who call more often by offering the lowest per minute local call rates in the market. The plan offers local calls at 29 paise per minute and STD calls at 49 paise per minute, with a daily rental of Rs. 2.00.
“If you make more than 4 calls a day, you will get the best value on Uninor. If your calls are around 100 seconds or more, you will get the best value on Uninor,” said Vellan. ”One size cannot fit all. For a large number of users, current prices, including per second pricing, are in reality much more expensive than they appear. We have created plans that bring supreme value to customers based on our research on specific usage patterns,” he added.
As a long term player, Uninor’s proposition to the customer will go well beyond pricing. The quality of service, quality of customer support, easier access to our service and an overall experience that is better than what a customer experiences today will create long lasting differentiation.
“While we will certainly be competitive on delivering value for money, we believe competition must not only be on pricing. While listening closely to our customer’s wishes, our long term focus will be on quality. And we’re in this business for the long haul,” added Vellan.
Launching from the streets
In terms of the launch too, Uninor will stand out as a different kind of player, launching its service from the street, from where the customers are. Starting Friday, across the 7 circles, close to 30,000 people from within Uninor, from the Managing Director onwards to the last employee and its extended resources will celebrate the launch in the streets.
“I believe we will be reaching more people directly at our launch than any other operator in the country. Tomorrow, we are hoping to set another record in the streets”, said Vellan.
Malta should treat all religions and denominations equally in front of the law to become attractive to global businesses, including filmmakers looking for exotic locations, acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, stated in Nevada (USA) today.
Malta Criminal Code reportedly makes one liable to imprisonment up to six months for publicly vilifying “Roman Catholic Apostolic Religion”, while committing such act against “any cult tolerated by law” makes one liable to imprisonment only up to three months.
Commissioner of Malta Film Commission Luisa Bonello was reportedly at the 40th International Film Festival of India (November 23 to December three) in Goa (India) to market Malta as a low expensive and diverse film shooting destination which offered cash incentives. Parts of Tamil film “Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya” directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon and scored by Oscar winner A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire) were reportedly shot in Valletta, Mdina, Gozo and Comino in Malta earlier this year.
Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged Malta to replace the subject of “religion” with “comparative religion” in its public primary and secondary schools, teaching basics of all major world religions, including the viewpoint of non-believers. According to Constitution of Malta (Chapter I, Article 2, Item 3): “Religious teaching of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Faith shall be provided in all State schools as part of compulsory education.”
More than 50 feature films have been reportedly shot in Malta, including Alec Guinness starrer 1954 “Malta Story” and The Da Vinci Code, The Spy Who Loved Me, Gladiator, Casino Royale, Clash of the Titans, David Copperfield, Never Say Never Again, The Count of Monte Cristo, etc.
Malta Film Commission based in Vittoriosa is a government body for promotion, development and support of the audiovisual and film servicing industry. The Film Commissioner has the responsibility to market the locations, facilities, skills, talent and expertise available in Malta in order to attract inward investment in the form of international audiovisual productions shooting on the island. Elizabeth Lowell is the Commission Coordinator.
Maltese islands were first settled reportedly in 5,200 BCE. Few European countries have such concentrated architecture, history, and beaches in so small an area as Malta.
TBWA\ Group today announced the nomination of Nirmalya Sen as Managing Director of TBWA\ India from January 1, 2010.
Making the announcement, Shiv Sethuraman, CEO, TBWA\ India Group said, “Nirmalya is one of our most capable leaders. He has done a fantastic job in Delhi in terms of building the TBWA\ brand as well as partnering Anirban Sen to create a body of very, very good work. He is one of the rare people in the business who develop existing clients with as much facility as hunting for new business. In his new role, he will oversee the advertising agency nationally as well as drive our Disruption and Media Arts effort”.
Added Keith Smith, President TBWA\ International “Nirmalya has been one of our key agents of growth over the past four years and we are glad that he is stepping up to this larger role to work alongside Shiv on national development.
It is great to nurture our own best talent and see them grow as we develop in India”
Nirmalya had this to say on his nomination ““It is a great honour to be asked to lead an advertising brand like TBWA\ in India. It is an equally significant challenge. In an industry that has largely got commoditized, TBWA\ is a brand acknowledged by its clients the world over for using disruptive thinking and creativity to create truly exciting brands that consumers want to connect with and be a part of. My priority will be to bring that brand alive for all our clients in India with Disruption, Media Arts, the unique TBWA\ creative culture and our fantastic talent pool.”
“We have made some impressive gains with brands such as Dabur, Maruti Suzuki, Visa, Nissan, Style Spa, Mail Today, V Guard etc. in 2009. The challenge is to convert these and other existing clients into clients besotted with us for what we can do for their brands, while continuing to win new brands.”
The second day of 2nd Global Festival of documentary Films 2009 proved very lucky for the children when a forum was launched before the august audience consisting of film, TV, Media persons from all over India and other parts of the World jointly by H.E. Voroshilov Enkhbold the Ambassador of Mangolia in India, renowned film makers Basu Chatterjee, Karl Bardosh, Pankaj Parashar Gurbir Garewal and music director Wajid Khan.
“It is my honor that I could associate my self with this International organization which is going to work for children” said Mongolian Ambassador. ”I will give my full support to this cause.” said Basu Chatterjee. ”I am in the game,I can send you films from U.S.A. with good themes” said Karl Bardosh. ”I have already done ample work for children all that can be used by the forum without any further notice,” said Pankaj Parashar. “I am available for this venture and accept the vice president ship of this forum, and will maintain the trust shown in me” said Gurbir Garewal. “It’s a wonderful cause I stand for it with the organizer” said Wajid Khan.
International Children’s Film Forum (ICFF) is the first ever Forum of its kind in the private sector of India. ICFF has been established by Sandeep Marwah, President of Marwah Studios and Founder of Noida Film City to support the govt. funded Children’s Film Society of India’s noble task of producing, distributing and exhibiting film for children. “This Forum believes that moving picture could play significant role in shaping the mind, body and character of younger children and that films for children should be informational, educational as well as entertaining” said Sandeep Marwah, president of the forum.
The organization will get their support from Asian Academy Of Film and Television, Asian School of Media Studies, International Film and Television Club and International Film and Television Research Centre.[ANA]
Shri Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, while addressing the media persons in Geneva last evening, emphasised that there was no change in India’s negotiating position in Agriculture and NAMA. When asked for his views on the success of the Ministerial Conference, Shri Sharma informed that this was the first full Ministerial in the aftermath of the global economic meltdown and the Conference had provided Members with an opportunity to collectively discuss the world economic scenario, challenges faced by the multilateral trading system and to review the working of the WTO. “While the Conference was not intended as a negotiating forum, it had provided a useful opportunity for different groups and caucuses to assess the direction of the negotiations. India and its coalition partners were steadfast and united in their commitment to uphold the development dimension, the centrality of the multilateral process and the need to safeguard livelihood concerns, particularly of the poor, subsistence farmers in their countries”.
While addressing the Working Session of the Seventh Ministerial Conference of the WTO on “The WTO’s Contribution to Recovery, Growth and Development”, Shri Sharma stated that the first priority should be to conclude the Doha Round as quickly as possible. Banking the progress that has been achieved in reducing tariffs, cutting distorting subsidies, opening markets and removing non-trade barriers would go a long way to increasing world trade and welfare, he said and stressed the importance of inclusive global development to shore up demand. Referring to the collapse of trade finance from September 2008 onwards, Shri Sharma emphasized the importance of the WTO initiatives for aid for trade and trade financing and underlined the need to rebalance factor movements and flows of capital and investment and for liberalisation across other factor markets including greater mobility of labour. Appreciating the WTO’s role in monitoring protectionist trends, the Minister observed that for the WTO to contribute to recovery growth and development, it must be made a more effective institution.
Shri Sharma also addressed a Ministerial Session of the Negotiating Committee of the GSTP, which adopted the Draft Ministerial Decision on Modalities for the Third Round of Global System of Trade Preferences negotiations. “India attaches a great deal of importance to the GSTP process for optimizing South-South synergies and expanding trade among developing countries. GSTP has contributed to an expansion of trade and has also fostered special and differential treatment to the exports of the Least Developed Countries. India participated actively and exchanged tariff concessions with 14 countries in the First GSTP Round in 1989. India believes that timely implementation of the agreement would assist developing countries in coping with the debilitating effects of the global economic crisis”, the Minister said.
Shri Sharma also met his counterparts from Argentina, Malaysia and Australia, during which a range of issues including the Doha Round were discussed.
Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India has signed a Grant of Permission Agreement for establishing, maintaining and operating a Community Radio Station at Sambhav Social Service Organization, Shivpuri, M.P. Letter of Intent had been issued to the Institute after recommendations of Inter Ministerial Committee for seeking requisite clearances from various Ministries. The Community Radio Station is expected to be operational within three months as per the agreement. With this, the number of CRS will increase to 61in the country.
The aim of the organization is to empower community members to create and access information relevant to their local development needs. Literacy and overall educational attainment are far lower among women than men in this area. The focus community is the Sahariya tribe which is traditionally a hunting and gathering society. As a result of political, economic and social marginalization, Sahariya community face enormous challenges to development. The Sahariya tribe has been an important constituent in Sambhav’s development initiatives since its founding in 1988. The CRS programs will be based on developmental, agricultural, health, educational, environmental, social welfare, community development and other cultural programmes.
The Ministry encourages setting up the Community Radio Stations as it promises to provide an opportunity to the local communities to express themselves, share their views and particularly empower the women, youth and the marginalized groups to take part in local self governance and overall socio, economic and cultural development in the area.
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, addressed the National Conferene on the Jawaharal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission in New Delhi today. He also gave away the JNNURM awards to best cities in various categories and best Mass Transit Projects.
Following is the text of the Prime Minister’s address on the occasion:
“I am very happy indeed to be present here on the fourth anniversary of the launch of the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission. I compliment my Cabinet colleagues, Shri Jaipal Reddy and Kumari Selja j for organising this event and for providing leadership which spearheaded the success of this very important National Mission of our Government. I would like to congratulate the awardees of the Best Performing Cities, in different categories, that have contributed so much to the success of this programme. I hope their example will emulate many other cities to take on to this path of reforms and development.
For most developing countries, the 21st century will mark the transition from a primarily rural to a mainly urban economy. In many of these countries, more than half the population already lives in cities and towns. The transition has been somewhat slower in India but in the next 20 years, our urban population might well double. This is both a challenge and a unique opportunity, and will require concerted action across all tiers of our federal system of governance if we are to meet this challenge head on and effectively.
In the four years since its launch, the JNNURM has fulfilled many of the expectations that we had of this historic initiative. The programme has succeeded in focussing the attention of our policy makers on issues of urban renewal as never before. The problems of urban areas and their sustained development are no longer accepted stoically; they are being tackled and beginning to be tackled effectively.
The Central Government has committed substantial funds for urban renewal, and I am happy to note, so have the States and urban local bodies. The two Ministries of Urban Development and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation have approved projects and buses for urban transport worth Rs.1,03,462 crore for which the Central Government has committed assistance of Rs 55,625 crore. It is good that the focus of projects approved under the Mission has been on basic services like water supply, sewerage, drainage, solid waste management, improvement of slums and construction of houses for the urban poor.
City governments have prepared City Development Plans which have helped them – for the first time in many cases – to lay out a fresh vision and capital investment plans for their cities. Many of these cities are beginning to think big about the prospect of sustained development and modernization of their cities.
Key reform victories have been wrought, including repeal of bottlenecks like urban land ceiling and reform of rent control acts in many states. The passage of community participation laws and public disclosure laws are helping to create new air of transparency and accountability in the governance of our cities.
There is recognition today that the JNNURM has created a paradigm shift in how the urban sector is to be viewed, both at the state and city levels. In this sense, our government can take great pride in having launched a Mission that is a game changer for urban India.
Today, as we celebrate the fourth anniversary of JNNURM, I wish to reiterate our government’s firm commitment to the development of urban sector. This commitment stems from the recognition that the balanced development of the urban sector is an integral part of our strategy of inclusive growth. It is for this reason that we cannot rest on the laurels of JNNURM and what has been achieved in the last four years even as we acknowledge its successes. We must plan big, think big and have a new vision for the future of urban India. There are a certain number of issues which require priority attention.
First, the process of municipal reform under the Mission needs to be deepened and to be more even across cities. Our urban local bodies have to develop the capacity to provide efficient, equitable and transparent governance. They have to have the ability to conceive, design and implement large projects. They have to be sensitive to the needs and well being of the urban poor.
Improving the financial health of our municipalities is another important priority. The States should fulfill their obligation to devolve both functions and finances to the municipal bodies. State Finance Commissions have to be set up periodically and their recommendations implemented in both letter and spirit. Urban bodies, on their part, should review and rationalize their taxation structure and augment their resources through other sources of income.
Only urban local bodies in good financial shape will be able to attract private investment or assistance from multilateral financial institutions. Both of these sources are indispensable for effective financing of the development of our cities. Although some leveraging of JNNURM funds has taken place, the potential, particularly for our mega cities, to do so is much more. Public Private Partnerships (PPP) also need to be explored and encouraged wherever possible.
A second area of focus will be affordable urban housing. Even though JNNURM has a significant component of support for affordable housing for the urban poor, we know that much more needs to be done in this vital area. We will therefore need to address this challenge through a combination of public financing and policies that will encourage public-private-partnerships.
We hope to launch the ambitious Rajiv Awas Yojana that will strive to create a formal space for slum dwellers within our cities and transform and redevelop these cities to make them slum-free.
The challenges of urbanization need to be met through provision of better urban infrastructure. Detailed analytical work on estimating the cost of urban infrastructure in India is currently being done but already it is clear that the numbers will not be small. Urban infrastructure financing and development will therefore be an area that will require significant additional attention in the years to come. Further, we will need to address issues such as asset management and weak market linkages in urban infrastructure projects.
No vision of urban development can ever be complete without an effective, clean and sustainable urban transportation system. Bus Rapid Transport System projects have been approved under JNNURM. For the first time, the Government of India funded 15,260 modern and intelligent transport systems enabled buses for city transport for 61 mission cities as a part of the economic stimulus package. These initiatives will need to be subsumed under a holistic and comprehensive policy towards urban transport system.
Institutional reform, infrastructure, housing and transport are thus some of the key action areas that have emerged as we have implemented the JNNURM across urban India. The Government of India will need to provide sustained and imaginative leadership in the urban sector to cement the early successes of JNNURM. The Government of India will explore the possibility of more resources for the Mission in years to come.
We will also work to widen and deepen urban renewal policies and reforms based on the experience of JNNURM. Some of the issues we need to concentrate on are the need for rural-urban integration; the centrality of master plans for urban development, with special focus on the needs of the urban poor; the challenges of financing urban infrastructure; the detailed implementation of critical reforms like Property Title Certification, and importantly, resolving the governance and institutional challenges facing the development of our urban system.
The Ministry of Urban Development I suggest should set up a mechanism involving relevant ministries, city officials, planners and other stakeholders to study these issues and come up with imaginative solutions. I hope that as we consolidate the successes of JNNURM, we would be ready in the future with other innovative schemes and policies that create opportunities from the challenges of modernization and urbanization.
The success of JNNURM is critical to tackling the problems that go with rapid urbanization. As infrastructure struggles to keep pace with the demand, urban chaos is becoming a way of life. Our cities and towns are not an acceptable face of a rapidly modernizing and developing economy. This must clearly change and change for the better. Therefore, your deliberations today are of critical importance to the future of our economy, our potential for growth and for harmonious and inclusive development of urban India.
With these words, I wish your conference all success.
Ecron Acunova, a full service clinical development CRO, announced receiving Series B financing from OrbiMed’s Caduceus Asia Mauritius Ltd. Ecron Acunova conducts clinical trials for pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies in Europe, Asia and the US. To accelerate market entry of new products, the Company provides dedicated local experience in select emerging markets in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in India. Direct presence in key countries and investment in client-focused service delivery in both the East and West has enabled Ecron Acunova to be a clinical development partner of choice. Ecron Acunova is owned by the India based Manipal Acunova Ltd.
Dr. Sunny Sharma has joined the Board of Directors of Manipal Acunova Limited. Dr Sharma has more than 10 years of life sciences experience spanning venture capital, investment banking and clinical practice.
”We are very excited about the investment in Ecron Acunova. The Company is uniquely positioned with talented scientists, excellent network and a broad service portfolio, said Dr. Sunny Sharma MD, Senior Managing Director of OrbiMed Advisors India. We look forward to working with Ecron Acunova towards its continued success”.
We have built a solid reputation as a CRO in Europe and India. We are expanding our geographic offering and strengthening our depth and scale in functional outsourcing. OrbiMed’s two-decade experience with life science companies will be very helpful in shaping our strategy. We look forward to a strategic partnership in our journey ahead” said, D A Prasanna, CEO and Founder of Ecron Acunova.
SBI Capital Markets was the exclusive financial advisor for the transaction.
About OrbiMed Advisors LLC
OrbiMed is the worlds largest healthcare-dedicated investment firm, with approximately $5 billion in assets under management. OrbiMeds investment advisory business was founded in 1989 with a vision to invest across the spectrum of healthcare companies: from private start-ups to large multinational companies. OrbiMed manages a series of venture capital funds and public equity investment funds. OrbiMeds investment team includes over 30 experienced professionals with backgrounds in science, medicine, industry, finance and law. The firms diverse team of professionals has a unique understanding of industry dynamics through active participation in both public and private companies. OrbiMed’s professionals work together in a collaborative, team-oriented approach which seamlessly integrates public and private equity platforms. OrbiMed seeks to be the capital provider of choice for life sciences companies pursuing growth and new opportunities. Where appropriate, particularly within its venture capital funds, OrbiMed supports its portfolio companies in achieving strategic, financial and operational objectives via participation at the Board of Directors level. OrbiMed professionals currently serve on the Board of Directors of dozens of different life sciences companies.
About Ecron Acunova
Ecron Acunova is headquartered in Bangalore, India with European HQ in Frankfurt, Germany and US HQ in Princeton, NJ. Ecron Acunova provides services for Phase I-IV clinical research, including clinical trial management, clinical data management, PK/PD services and central lab with its research centers in Europe and India. Ecron Acunova provides clinical development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, nutritional, device and medical diagnostics industries. High service quality, wide therapeutic expertise and continuously expanding global reach are central to Ecron Acunova’s long lasting commitment. Together we provide an attractive package of services to rapidly conduct clinical trials utilizing a world class delivery platform. With 300 employees Ecron Acunova offers a culturally diverse and a well established network of dedicated clinical research professionals. Ecron Acunova is committed to deliver speed-to-market cost effectively with no compromise on quality.
Bengaluru, Karnataka, December 1, 2009 /India PRwire/ — The Microfinance Focus, a global microfinance news portal with a monthly magazine, announced today that it has signed a media partnership with the Global Microcredit Summit Campaign for its forthcoming Africa/Middle East Regional Microcredit Summit (AMERMS) to be held in Nairobi, Kenya from April 7 to 10, 2010.
Microfinance Focus is a global knowledge centre for Microfinance, serving 60,000 microfinance professionals worldwide. It publishes a monthly magazine, daily news stories, articles and write-ups written by experts who are practitioners in the field.
The Global Micro Credit Summit Campaign, based in Washington DC, is an annual conference and event that brings together a wide range of financial and development experts from all over the world to learn and share developments in the micro credit sector. It is a project of the RESULTS Educational Fund, a U.S.-based grassroots advocacy organization.
Microfinance gained world-wide prominence when Dr. Muhammed Yunus and The Grameen Bank won the Nobel Prize for peace in 2006.
Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Vikash Kumar, publisher of Microfinance Focus, said, This is an important alliance for us as it recognizes the contribution our magazine has made to the field. To be selected as a partner with The Global Micro Credit Summit Campaign demonstrates the importance of the magazine as a key communication channel within the financial sector.
Jerome Peloquin, Managing Editor in the US, negotiated the relationship and is working closely with the Global Microcredit Summit Campaign and Sam Daley Harris, founder and principal spokesperson. Peloquin further explained, This is the fifteenth year the Global Summit has been held. It has become the premier annual meeting of micro credit development. This years theme will be microUP as a means to create sustainable lives free from poverty for every person on the planet.
The conference host in Nairobi, Kenya will be Jamii Bora, a proponent of microUP and the most successful urban based program in Kenya.
Notes to Editor
About Microfinance Focus:
Microfinance Focus is a global knowledge centre for Microfinance, focused on serving the international microfinance sector. It publishes a monthly magazine, daily news stories, articles and write-ups written by experts who are practitioners in the field. Microfinance Focus is also accessible from Google News and other prominent search engines. Its reach in the microfinance sector is vast and truly global. Its endeavor is to make it better and brighter for the microfinance community all over the world. To know more visit www.microfinancefocus.com
About The Microcredit Summit Campaign
The Microcredit Summit Campaign is a project of the RESULTS Educational Fund, a U.S.-based grassroots advocacy organization committed to ending hunger and poverty. The Campaign brings together microcredit practitioners, advocates, educational institutions, donor agencies, international financial institutions, non-governmental organizations and others involved with microcredit to promote best practices in the field, to stimulate the interchanging of knowledge, and to work towards reaching bold measurable goals. For more information please visit: http://www.microcreditsummit.org
Source: India PR Wire
The 15th Technology Summit & Technology Platform organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) on November 26-27, 2009, in New Delhi came to a grand conclusion with Indian and Finnish Organizations signing 13 partnership deals worth millions of dollars of investment. The details of the partnership deals are as follows.
A Finnish weather service company Forcea and Spice Digital, a leading value added services company in the Telecom area in India, signed a MOU on offering mobile weather services in India
A Finnish company Sanako providing language education technology and HCL, India’s premier IT company signed another agreement.
A consortium of National Institutes of Technology of India signed a MOU with five Finnish Universities: Helsinki University of Technology,
University of Oulu, Tampere University of Technology, the University of Tampere and Laurea University.
There were also 10 Expression of Interest which includes
Yashraj Biotechnology Limited an Indian Company with ATP Communications
Key Innovations Incorporation, India with European Batteries Oy
Key Innovations Incorporation, India with LINDSTROM GROUP
BLS Group of Institutions, India with Tampere University of Technology
BLS Group of Institutions, India with SANAKO Corporation
Vega Medicare Ltd, India with ANI Biotech Oy
Key Innovations Incorporation, India with SANAKO Corporation
Vinyl Tubes Pvt Ltd, India with European Batteries Oy
BLS Group of Institutions, India with OCTOPUS
BLS Group of Institutions, India with TEMA Networks
Earlier 3 bilateral agreements were signed in the presence of Mr. Mauri Pekkarinen, Hon’ble Minister for Economic Affairs, Government of Finland and Dr. Prithviraj Chavan, Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, India
Guidelines of Cooperation between Department of Science & Technology, Government of India and Academy of Finland
Signing of MoU between Department of Science & Technology, Government of India and Tekes, Finland
Signing of MoU between Department of Biotechnology, Government of India and Tekes, Finland
The Technology Summit hosted more than 100 participants from Finland exhibiting products and technologies on areas of Nanotechnology, Clean Technology, ICT and Medical Diagnostics. The summit saw more than 400 B2B meetings happening between Indian and Finnish Organisations. The summit attracted more than 400 participants from India making it one of the biggest Technology Partnership platforms. The Finland delegation also visits various Industry and research organizations including Moser Baer and HCL to further deepen the ties.
In celebration of the global sales achievement of 100 million cells, SANYO Energy (S) Corporation, a subsidiary of SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. (SANYO), is pleased to announce that it is launching a new ‘eneloopy’ battery checker this month.
After, Singapore, India is the first country outside Japan to launch the ‘eneloopy’ battery checker and enjoys the eco-benefits of these additions.
First launched in November 2005, the remarkable global sales achievement of 100 million cells attests to the popularity of the rechargeable ‘eneloop’ batteries and the successful promotion of a lifestyle that encourages reducing, reusing and recycling.
Sharing his thoughts on the new product offering, Mr. Takehiro Matsui, Senior Manager of SANYO Energy said, “We are very happy to have come this far after years of investment and dedication to promote an eco-friendly lifestyle. It is rewarding to know that our efforts have paid off with us hitting our target of one million cells earlier than what we expected. We hope to share this joy with consumers with more new product offerings in the near future.”
Fun way to check your battery’s power
The new ‘eneloopy’ battery checker takes the form of the ‘eneloop’ mascot – ‘eneloopy’ – which bears a dog character. In 2006, a dog-shaped battery checker was created to be used as a campaign gift in Japan and has been popular in various sales campaigns ever since. In response to consumers’ demand, SANYO has decided to make this product commercially available in commemoration of the global sales achievement of ‘eneloop’ reaching 100 million cells.
Green: Fully charged
Orange: Partially charged
Red: Needs to be recharged
No remaining power
The battery checker boasts an LED indicator on the eneloopy’s nose to show the power status. By inserting an AA-size ‘eneloop’ in the dog’s body and pressing the switch on the chest, the LED on the nose indicates the remaining battery level using four different colours. Two functional items in the form of food dishes and two bones are also bundled with the dog. By using a food dish as a spacer, an AAA-size ‘eneloop’ can be inserted into the “eneloopy” for battery-level checking. The bone serves as a tool for taking out a battery from the dog’s body.
SANYO will continue to spread its company vision, ‘Think Gaia’, by expanding the ‘eneloop’ series throughout the world so as to encourage adoption of a way of life that conserves our resources and protects our environment.
The ‘eneloopy’ battery checker will be available at a recommended retail price of Rs.1060 (including GST) from JSK Marketing, Mumbai from mid-December 2009.
PALO ALTO, Calif., HP Enterprise Services today announced that Ahold, an international group of leading supermarket companies based in the United States and Europe, has extended its existing relationship with HP by signing a new seven-year infrastructure and applications services agreement.
The contract extension is designed to reduce the complexity and improve the efficiency of Ahold’s technology environment.
“Success in today’s global retailing market requires more than retailing knowledge – it requires a flexible technology foundation to optimize operations, innovate, serve customers and support company growth,” said Mike Klaus, vice president and general manager, Consumer and Transportation Industries, HP Enterprise Services. “Extending our relationship will help Ahold further improve the technology services that support its continued business success
Under the terms of the agreement, HP will continue to provide management and support services for Ahold’s global data center environment, which includes mainframes, servers and storage. In addition, HP will implement HP Business Service Automation to make server and storage capabilities more robust and more highly available. Ahold will use HP ProLiant rack servers, HP StorageWorks XP Disk Arrays as well as HP ProCurve 2610 and 5412 switches.
HP also will provide network services for Ahold’s extensive network that connects its supply chain and distribution with its 3,000 stores, warehouses and office locations across Europe and the United States.
Ahold’s workplace computing environment for more than 200,000 Ahold associates in Europe and the United States will continue to be managed by HP. The services include a full suite of workplace services across its store and office environments including service desk and site support services. HP also will migrate Ahold employees to HP hardware including HP EliteBook 2500, 6900 and 8500 series notebooks and HP dx2400, dc5800, dc7900 series Business Desktops.
In the United States, HP will provide applications management for a wide range of Ahold’s critical business and administrative applications.
HP will deliver these services to Ahold primarily from sites in Argentina, Belgium, Germany, India, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Spain and the United States that are part of the HP Best Shore® global delivery network.
HP Enterprise Services is the recently announced brand name for Electronic Data Systems, LLC.
Ahold is an international group of leading supermarket companies based in the United States and Europe. The company is committed to being a leader in each of the markets in which it operates and has powerful local brands that set it apart from the competition. As a group, Ahold leverages knowledge, consumer insight and scale across its businesses to operate in a simple, responsible and efficient way. The company continuously innovates products, services and store formats to build customer loyalty and to achieve sustainable, profitable growth. More information about Ahold is available at ahold.com.
HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world’s largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com/.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of HP and its consolidated subsidiaries could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to statements of the plans, strategies and objectives of management for future operations; any statements concerning expected development, performance or market share relating to products and services; any statements regarding anticipated operational and financial results; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include macroeconomic and geopolitical trends and events; the execution and performance of contracts by HP and its customers, suppliers and partners; the achievement of expected operational and financial results; and other risks that are described in HP’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended July 31, 2009 and HP’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to HP’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2008. HP assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.
The duo, under the watchful eyes of coach Gary Kirsten, spent nearly two hours at the nets.
Vijay, not selected for the first two Tests in the ongoing series against Lanka, is likely to replace opener Gautam Gambir in the squad for the third Test, after the latter opted out due to his sisters upcoming wedding.
Meanwhile, the visitors preferred to have a day off.
India is leading the three Test series 1-0, after defeating the visitors by an innings and 144 runs in the second Test at Kanpur. The Ahmedabad Test ended in
On the eve of World AIDS Day, which is held annually on 1 December, some of the worlds best-known cricketers have called for the international cricket community to continue to support calls for greater awareness to help continue the fight against HIV.
Nathan Bracken, Isa Guha, Kumar Sangakkara, Graeme Smith and Virender Sehwag champion the THINK WISE campaign which helps to raise awareness about HIV amongst the cricket community to make a positive impact on the lives of young people across the world and help to prevent new HIV infections.
Sri Lanka captain and THINK WISE champion Kumar Sangakkara said: What cricket does well is bring people together in common spirit. We are doing our bit on World AIDS Day to help raise awareness, reduce discrimination and ultimately help to prevent HIV infections.
It is fantastic to see cricket being used as a force for social good and I hope the THINK WISE initiative will continue to gather momentum throughout the cricket community.
South African captain and THINK WISE champion Graeme Smith said: Ive seen firsthand the devastating effect that HIV as had in my country. It is now a global issue and one which everyone has responsibility to address.
I hope that current and former cricketers around the world at every level of the game act as leaders within their communities to think about important life skills and necessary steps toward HIV prevention.
Around 10 million people living with HIV are from Test-playing countries. This accounts for more than a quarter of all the people across the world that are HIV-positive. At major international matches (listed below) around World AIDS Day players will be wearing red ribbons as a show of support for people living with HIV and the THINK WISE public service announcements will be played on big screens by host venues and broadcasters.
Australian bowler and THINK WISE champion Nathan Bracken said: It is fantastic to see my team mates and other international teams around the world wearing the red ribbon in show of support for people living with HIV.
Everyone has a right to be treated fairly and that includes people living with HIV. By raising awareness and addressing the stigma sometimes associated with HIV we all hope that young people protect themselves against the virus.
THINK WISE champion Isa Guha, the England womens team fast bowler, said: HIV is not just someone elses problem; we all have a role to play in helping to raise awareness and encourage prevention.
I hope that the THINK WISE campaign can help youngsters to make informed decisions as they grow up. I also hope that as the profile of the womens game rises we can act as role models and have a positive impact on the lives on young women.
Finally, India batsman and THINK WISE champion Virender Sehwag said: Cricketers use protection when playing the game and its the same in life as well. Everyone should take the necessary steps to protect themselves from HIV. Through my work with THINK WISE I hope we can take this message further to help reduce HIV infection levels across the world.
Dates and matches where ribbons will be worn by all international players:
29 Nov – South Africa v England, fourth ODI, Port Elizabeth
2 Dec â€“ India v Sri Lanka, second Test, Mumbai
3 Dec â€“ Pakistan v New Zealand, second Test, Wellington
4 Dec â€“ Australia v West Indies, second Test, Adelaide
About THINK WISE:
The THINK WISE initiative builds on a long-term partnership between the ICC, the joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), UNICEF and the Global Media AIDS Initiative (GMAI) that for more than six years has reached out to the cricketing community to work together to respond to global AIDS crisis.
By working with some of the games top players, the THINK WISE partnership aims to:
* Raise awareness about the AIDS epidemic within the cricket community
* Address stigma and discrimination surrounding the disease and experienced by people living with and affected by HIV
* Encourage informed decision making and safe behaviours to continue to prevent new infections through targeted information and outreach.
The THINK WISE partnership seeks to educate cricket players, coaches, commentators, broadcasters, volunteers and spectators about the AIDS epidemic, particularly around prevention, and deliver these messages at major ICC events and international matches around World AIDS Day.
To find out more details about the THINK WISE partnership and to view the public service announcements go to: http://www.thinkwisecricket.
TAN, the digital video arm of the Times Group, today announced the launch of the live stream for Times Now, India TV and Zoom. Starting today, web users can watch the television feed of India’s leading English, Hindi and Entertainment news channels on Live.Indiatimes.com.
In phase 1 of the launch, users will be able to watch the webcast with their facebook friends while getting real-time updates on the latest headlines from the TimesofIndia and EconomicTimes. The live-stream will be powered using Microsoft Silverlight 3.0.
Rishi Khiani, CEO, Times Internet Limited said “TAN is today the only video platform that allows for best-of-breed cross platform syndication and monetization. With this partnership between TAN and Microsoft, we continue to be at the bleeding edge of digital video. This offering opens up more innovative ad-formats for advertisers, with on-demand, mobile and now live video.”"
Moorthy Uppaluri, General Manager-DPE, Microsoft India, said “We are delighted that Microsoft’s technology will now bring users the access to live video steaming and webcasts of television feeds for their leading news channel on real-time basis. With Silverlight 3.0 Microsoft is enabling easy development of rich internet applications for the web. Powered by Silverlight 3.0, http://live.indiatimes.com will also be able to provide picture-in-picture overlays for ad support and provide interactive tools for web customers. We believe that the consumers will be excited by features such as deep zoom, animation, 3D effects, smooth streaming and vector graphics on the web.”
The webcast of the news feeds will be ad-supported, with in-video formats such as pre-rolls, rich media companion banner ads, overlays and player skin branding.
Users can watch Times Now, India TV and Zoom at http://live.indiatimes.com starting today.
Riding high on the success of the popular Chevrolet brand, General Motors India has registered a record growth of 65% in sales in November 2009, compared to the corresponding period last year. It sold 7,118 units in November against 4,307 units in November last year, making this the highest-ever sales figure achieved in the November month by GM India since its inception. The November 2009 sales comprise of 4,202 units of the Chevrolet Spark, 1,264 units of the Chevrolet Tavera, 524 units of Aveo U-Va, 412 Units of Aveo, 518 units of Chevrolet Cruze, 114 Units of Chevrolet Optra and 84 units of the Chevrolet Captiva.
Commenting on this impressive performance, Mr. P. Balendran, Vice President, GM India said “achieving these levels of growth month after month clearly reflects the customers’ confidence in our products. We are pleased to see such robust growth for all our car lines and we believe these world class products will further propel the Chevrolet brand in the market. As like other car lines, the response to the recently launched Chevrolet Cruze has also been found overwhelming.
Gearing up for a major drive to further consolidate its position in the automobile Market, General Motors India is now appointing more dealers and authorized service outlets in urban, semi-urban and other cities to widen its network and reach out to its valued customers across the nation. GM India’s rapidly growing network of Chevrolet dealerships and service centres includes 195 authorized sales points and 198 service outlets. More are in the pipeline to support the increasing demand for GM products. It has also entered into financing arrangements with some of the public and private sectors banks to offer low EMI schemes to its valued customers.
General Motors India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors Company, USA, has completed over 12 years of operation in India. GM India started its journey in 1996 and now offers products under the Chevrolet brand, which was introduced in India in 2003. Chevrolet had already emerged as one of the fastest growing automotive nameplates in India. GM India produces the Chevrolet Captiva, Chevrole Cruze, Chevrolet Optra, Chevrolet Aveo, Chevrolet SR-V, Chevrolet Aveo U-VA, Chevrolet Spark and Chevrolet Tavera for sale in India and operates state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Halol, Gujarat and in Talegaon, Maharashtra.
Popularity of the Oscar winner Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman) starring “Eat, Pray, Love”, which is yet to hit theaters, seems to have resulted in a Las Vegas (USA) travel company offering “Eat, Pray and Love” tour.
The company is offering experience through which Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love”, went through by providing a week-long tour of Bali (Indonesia) from May 20-27 next. It includes palm readings by Ketut Liyer (87) featured in Gilbert’s book, vitamin lunch at Wayan’s tiny restaurant, visit to Hindu temples and learning how the local Hindus pray, meditation or yoga practice each morning, open air shower. One can pose for a picture with Ketut and get his autograph on the book at no charge.
The tour description says: “A family of monkeys may wander over to sit on your balcony or walk down to lunch with you”. It further mentions: Think of this as either of the “India” portion of the trip, and fully participate in the yoga classes, or like the “Italy” portion of the trip, and sleep in! But praying is reportedly an integral part of the tour.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged the tour company that while showcasing Hindu prayers-traditions-concepts-meditation to the groups, stick to the authentic version. Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, offered to help if asked.
Roberts was in Italy, India, and Bali in the recent past shooting for “Eat, Pray, Love” based on Pushcart Prize winner Elizabeth Gilbert’s spirituality/travel memoir (played by Roberts). Directed by Emmy nominated Ryan Murphy (Nip/Tuck) and aiming at a release next year, it also stars Oscar winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men), Oscar nominated Richard Jenkins (The Visitor), Oscar nominated Viola Davis (Doubt), Golden Globe winner James Franco (Pineapple Express).
Gilbert’s bestseller memoir “Eat, Pray, Love” is about her self-discovery and soul-searching after her nasty divorce, exploring through India, Italy, and Indonesia, a journey which is pleasurable as well as enlightening. It was number one on New York Times Paperback Nonfiction List for over a year and its over five million copies were reportedly now in print. “Eat, Pray, Love” T-shirts, baseball caps, throw pillows, and mugs are already on sale.
This week, IOC President Jacques Rogge has been in Madrid for the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Spanish Olympic Academy, an occasion attended also by the Prince of Asturias, Felipe de Borbón, and IOC members Lambis V. Nikolaou and Guy Drut. He took advantage of his time in Madrid to meet the Spanish NOC President and Secretary General, Alejandro Blanco and Victor Sánchez, and to visit the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) office, accompanied by OBS CEO Manolo Romero and IOC honorary member Hein Verbruggen.
From Madrid, President Rogge travelled to Porto (Portugal), where he received an honorary doctorate on 26 November from Porto University’s Faculty of Science and Physical Education.
He then went to Lisbon on 27 November to address the General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), whose President is IOC member Patrick Hickey. Before attending the Portuguese NOC’s centenary gala in the evening, the IOC President had a meeting with the Portuguese President, Anibal Cavaco Silva, and the Prime Minister, José Socrates, accompanied by the Minister of the Presidency, Pedro Silva Pereira, and the Secretary of State for Youth and Sport, Laurentino Dias.
Philip Craven has been re-elected as President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), at the IPC General Assembly held in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). See also under “Recognised Organisations”.
Carlos Arthur Nuzman has received the “Eagle Award” of the United States Sports Academy (USSA), in recognition of his leadership of the Brazilian NOC; his role in developing sport in Brazil and securing the 2016 Games for Rio; and the successful organisation of the Pan-American Games in 2007. He was presented with the award by Peter Tichansky, President and CEO of the Business Council for International Understanding, representing the USSA. More details on www.cob.org.br.
For the second time this year, the Coordination Commission for the 2012 Games in London, whose Chairman is Denis Oswald, has met in the British capital. During this fifth visit, on 25 and 26 November, the Commission was updated by the Organising Committee (LOCOG) and its local government partners on progress in areas including sport, the Olympic Villages, venues and infrastructures, city operations, marketing, NOC services, press operations, technology and the Paralympic Games. Full report on www.olympic.org.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
On 22 November, at the International Athletics Foundation (IAF) gala in Monaco, the top athletes of the year were honoured, in the presence of the IAF and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President, Lamine Diack, and IAF Honorary President Prince Albert II. For the second time in a row, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt was named “Athlete of the Year”. Among the women, America’s Sanya Richards won her second title, after the first in 2006. See the names of all the winners and photos on www.iaaf.org.
The International Rowing Federation (FISA) has announced that the 2010 World Rowing Coaches Conference will be held from 21 to 24 January 2010 in Copenhagen (Denmark). Organised by the Danish Rowing Federation at the House of Sport, the theme of the Conference will be “Duration, Optimisation of Rowing Performance and Training”. The Conference will end with a gala dinner, at which the 2009 World Rowing Awards will be presented. More details on www.worldrowing.com.
In a press release, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has announced that, with the women’s World Championships less than a year away, the event web site has been launched. Find out more by visiting www.czechrepublic2010.fiba.com. These Championships will be held in the cities of Karlovy Vary, Ostrava and Brno between 23 September and 3 October 2010. The draw to decide in which of the four groups the 16 teams taking part will play was held this week. Details on www.fiba.com.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has launched its “Tennis…Play and Stay” campaign in India, to attract more of the 1.1 billion population to the sport. In collaboration with the All-India Tennis Association, the ITF has held Play Tennis courses to train coaches, tutors and volunteers on how to work with starter players. Seven of the top coaches in India also attended a specific training session to enable them to lead the Play Tennis coaches’ course themselves. Details on www.tennisplayandstay.com. The ITF has also announced the death of American Randy Snow, a legend in the world of wheelchair tennis. In 1984, he won a silver medal in what was then a demonstration event at the Paralympic Games in Los Angeles. Over the course of his career, he was world number one in 1992, and won singles and doubles gold medals at the Paralympic Games in Barcelona. Four years later, at the Paralympic Games in Atlanta, he was a member of the bronze medal-winning basketball team. More information on www.itftennis.com/wheelchair.
At its meeting in Rome (Italy) at the beginning of November, the International Archery Federation (FITA) Council took a number of important decisions. These included the election of the host cities for the World Archery Championships in 2011, 2012 and 2013; the Olympic and Paralympic qualification system; the calendar and rounds of the Archery World Cup from 2010 to 2012; the new rule book; the budget for 2010-2012 and financial policies; and the World Archery Indoor Challenge. More details can be found at www.archery.org.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
The Costa Rican NOC recently awarded the prizes in its first Olympic sports photography competition. The 90 photographs entered are displayed on the walls of the NOC headquarters. The winners are Alexander Otárola Rojas, in the professional category, and Walter Salazar Rojas in the amateur category. The ceremony was held in the presence of the NOC Executive Committee members, including NOC President Henry Núñez Nájera, the participants and the jury members. The competition was organised by the Costa Rican Olympic academies department, which is headed by Luis Cruz Meléndez.
On 18 November at the Lithuanian NOC headquarters, the NOC President, Arturas Poviliunas, was decorated with Lithuania’s Thousand Year Star by Foreign Affairs Minister Vygaudas Usackas, in recognition of his valuable services to Lithuanian sport over many years. He was also named Sports Ambassador for his successful establishment of solid cooperation with the political and governmental forces as well as international organisations. Numerous personalities from the worlds of sport, politics and the media were present on this occasion. Two days later, the Lithuanian Olympic Academy, whose President is Povilas Karoblis, celebrated its 20th anniversary and 15 years of its “Sports Science” journal. The personalities present included Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus; the NOC President; the Director General of the State Department for Physical Education and Sports, Ritas Vaiginas; and the leaders of the Olympic academies of Belarus, Latvia and the Czech Republic.
On 21 November, the Singapore 2010 Organising Committee unveiled the mascots of the first Youth Olympic Games: Lyo and Merly. Lyo is short for “Lion of the Youth Olympics”. Merly gets her name from “mer” (French for “sea”) and “ly”, derived from the words “liveliness” and “youthfulness”. Between 14 August and 6 September this year, the public was asked to find names for these two mascots. Almost 375 suggestions were received from 20 countries. Sean Pang Yi Wei suggested the name Lyo, and Merly came from Tung Chi Jun, both from Singapore. More details on www.olympic.org/yog.
Held last week in Kuala Lumpur, the IPC General Assembly brought together more than 350 participants representing 100 National Paralympic Committees, five regions, four international disabled sports organisations and 22 sports. The decisions taken included to elect a new Governing Board, chaired by Philip Craven, and the reinclusion of athletes with an intellectual disability in competitions, including the Paralympic Games. The Paralympic Awards for 2009 were also presented to the winners in the categories of sport, the media and science. Read the full list on www.paralympic.org.
In last week’s issue, please note the following corrections in the “IOC Activities” section:
* In the first paragraph, the text should read: “3rd edition of the International Federations Forum, organised in Lausanne by SportAccord Convention” (rather than Sport Accord). The link should also be www.sportaccordconvention.com rather than www.agfisonline.com.
* In the list of the President’s meetings, please note that Amar Addadi is President of the International Mediterranean Games Committee (CIJM), not the Algerian NOC Vice-President.