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    M.S.R. Murty showing the VIP robes ahead of the AU convocation, in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

    M.S.R. Murty showing the VIP robes ahead of the AU convocation, in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

    The octogenarian has been supplying the special garment since 1959

    Year after year, M.S.R. Murty has been an integral part of the jubilation of scores of graduates who pass out on the convocation day wearing black ceremonial robes, flinging their black scholars’ hats into the air.

    Since 1959, the 80-year-old has been supplying the black gowns for the convocation of the Andhra University and 50 other colleges in the districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam.

    Celebrity customers

    From former President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to actors like ANR and Bhanumathi to former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, several important personalities have worn the gowns made by Mr. Murty, a known name in the university and college circles of the city.

    Ahead of the 83rd and 84th combined convocation of the University, the octogenarian is filled with nostalgia as he goes down the memory lane to share some priceless moments.

    “In those days, AU convocation used to be a big affair and meticulously held every year on the second Saturday of December. We had a tailoring unit at our book store in the One Town area, where the black gown with golden border used to be stitched,” says Mr. Murty, who took over his father’s business in 1959. Till about a decade ago, the gowns used to be stitched at the tailoring unit in the city. However, a dwindling interest in tailoring business made it difficult for him to get the work done by local tailors.

    He now gets the gowns made from a Chennai-based unit. This year, he is supplying as many as 1,100 gowns for the convocation.

    The first film celebrity to don his gown was ANR when he was conferred the honorary doctorate degree of ‘Kalaprapoorna’ by the AU in the 70s. Later, it was during Indira Gandhi’s visit the tradition of the ceremonial gown was changed to silk scarves.

    “That particular year, I was ready with gowns when hardly 20 days ahead of the convocation I was informed about the change. I had to rush to Mumbai to get the silk cloth for the scarves and managed to make 100 scarves in a span of a week’s time. Ms. Gandhi was very particular about protocol and there were elaborate arrangements and practice done to avoid any chance of even minor goof-ups. I made a special velvet scarf for Ms. Gandhi for the convocation where she was conferred D. Litt. ,” recollects Mr. Murty.

    Age has certainly not withered him as he gets ready for Saturday’s convocation with two separate sets of gowns – the black ones for the graduates and the coloured ones for VIPs.

    “The gowns are given on rent for ₹150 and I charge a caution deposit of ₹1,000 from each student, which is refunded once the gowns are returned,” says Mr. Murty, who also supplies gowns for convocation of other colleges and universities like GITAM University and Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University.

    With his children settled in their respective careers, Mr. Murty continues his family business with diligence in his twilight years.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Andhra Pradesh / by Nivedita Ganguly  / Visakhapatnam – July 27th, 2017

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    July 28th, 2017adminBusiness & Economy
    IT Advisor J.A. Chowdary (second from left) and CEO of Capgemini K . Srinivas (third from left) releasing a book. | Photo Credit: Special Arangement

    IT Advisor J.A. Chowdary (second from left) and CEO of Capgemini K . Srinivas (third from left) releasing a book. | Photo Credit: Special Arangement

    $1 billion challenge contest soon

    Special Chief Secretary and IT Adviser to the Chief Minister J.A. Chowdary on Thursday said the State government was keen on developing Visakhapatnam as a hub for blockchain technology, in its bid to overcome challenges posed by reverse globalisation and disruptive technologies.

    He was addressing a conference on ‘Skill India – the way forward: Challenges and imperatives’ organised by GITAM University.

    Mr. Chowdary said AP Electronics and IT Agency (APEITA), an autonomous institute formed by the government, had tied up with GITAM University and Broadridge of the United States to introduce job-ready courses in blockchain technology.

    He said J.C. Bose Institute of Cryptology would set up a centre in Visakhapatnam.

    Stating that Visakhapatnam was being promoted as a Fintech Valley, he said they would organise a $1 billion blockchain challenge contest in the city sometime in October, to bring companies specialising in blockchain here and the best selected would be provided with the space to start their operations.

    He said the spectre of jobless growth was haunting the country and therefore the Andhra Pradesh Government was promoting IT technologies, such as blockchain tech, cyber security and analytics to tap huge job potential.

    Capgemini India CEO Srinivas Kandula complimented the State government for its bold initiative in promoting new age technologies.

    Skill gap

    Calling for recasting the curriculum by the educational institutes to roll out industry-ready professionals Mr. Srinivas pointed out that most of the engineering graduates in the country did not have the requisite skills and the companieswere being forced to impart training on them.

    GITAM University Pro Vice-Chancellor K. Siva Rama Krishna and principal of GITAM Institute of Management P. Sheela spoke.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Andhra Pradesh / by Special Correspondent / Visakhapatnam – July 28th, 2017

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    It is a first of its kind in the world, says CMFRI scientist

    Redefining mariculture: Seed of Indian pompano at the CMFRI nursery in Visakhapatnam. | Photo Credit: arranged

    Redefining mariculture: Seed of Indian pompano at the CMFRI nursery in Visakhapatnam. | Photo Credit: arranged

    The regional centre of ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute here has made a major breakthrough by undertaking mass scale seed production of Indian pompano for the first time in the world.

    Indian pompano (trachinotus mookalee) is a marine fish belonging to the family Carangidae. It is low in landing from the wild. It contains Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. It is sold in the domestic market at ₹200 to ₹300 per kg.

    The species is distributed in the Indo-West Pacific region and present in 15 countries of the Asian continent. In India, it is reported from both the west and east coasts.

    It has sporadic occurrences in bays and lagoons, and the adult fish prefers shallow coastal waters with rocky areas.

    Senior scientist in charge of the regional centre Subhadeep Ghosh told The Hindu that the fish was considered to be a good candidate species for aquaculture due to its fast growth rate, easy adaptability to culture conditions, quick acceptance of artificial feed, pleasant appearance, good meat quality, and high consumer preference. In addition, it can be successfully cultured in tanks, ponds and cages.

    Broodstock collection

    In a bid to diversify Indian mariculture, breeding and seed production of the species was initiated at the regional centre with broodstock collection in 2011.

    Initial success in seed production on a small scale was achieved in early 2014. However, seed could not be produced consistently due to loss of broodstock maintained in the cage by the effect of the catastrophic Hudhud cyclone that hit the Visakhapatnam coast that year.

    Broodstock collection was initiated again in 2015 and the fishes were stocked in the land-based Re-circulating Aquaculture System (RAS) for development and maturation.

    “With manipulation of water quality and feeding protocols, fishes were induced to spawn in the RAS and mass scale seed production was achieved in early 2017,” Dr. Ghosh said.

    Metamorphosis from larvae to fry started on the 17th day post-hatch and was completed by the 22nd day. After 30 days of rearing, the survival rate was around 17.2% and the fry reached an average size of 2.9 cm in length and 1.27 gm in weight. A few thousand fry were transferred to the Veraval Regional Centre of CMFRI in Gujarat and are being nursery-reared for stocking in cages.

    Another few thousand fry were transferred to Nagayalanka in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh and are being nursed prior to release in the pond. The remaining fry, again a few thousands, are being nursery-reared at the Visakhapatnam Regional Centre of CMFRI.

    He said the seed would be stocked in open sea floating cages for grow-out very soon.

    This was the first case of successful mass scale seed production of Indian pompano under confinement anywhere in the world.

    The success raised hopes for culture of the fish using hatchery produced seed in India and will present enormous scope for aquaculture business opportunity in the near future for Indian fish farmers through species diversification.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Visakhapatnam / by Santosh Patnaik / Visakhapatnam – July 04th, 2017

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    The Andhra Pradesh government is the registered proprietor of the GI tag for mangoes, often hailed as “the king of fruits.” Photo: | Photo Credit: C.V. Subrahmanyam.

    The Andhra Pradesh government is the registered proprietor of the GI tag for mangoes, often hailed as “the king of fruits.” Photo: | Photo Credit: C.V. Subrahmanyam.

    Banganapalle mangoes have been grown for over 100 years in Andhra Pradesh.

    The succulent Banganapalle mango has received a Geographical Indication (GI) tag, making Andhra Pradesh the proprietor of the variety known for its sweetness.

    The Registrar of Geographical Indications Registry, Chennai, O.P. Gupta has accorded the registration following an application from the Horticulture Commissioner, Andhra Pradesh.

    The Andhra Pradesh government is the registered proprietor of the GI tag for mangoes, often hailed as “the king of fruits.”

    A GI tag indicates that the product comes from a specific region.

    Banganapalle mangoes have been grown for over 100 years in the State. It also known as Beneshan, Baneshan, Benishan, Chappatai and Safeda.

    Besides, they are also called Banaganapalli, Banginapalli, Banaganapalle.

    The fruits can retain their quality under cold storage even up to three months, Andhra Pradesh government said in documents seeking GI.

    “The prominent characteristic of Banganapalle mangoes is that their skin has very light spots, stone is oblong in shape and has very thin seed with sparse and soft fibre all over,” it said.

    The primary centre of origin of the fruit is Kurnool district comprising Banaganapalle, Paanyam and Nandyal mandals, according to the Andhra Pradesh government which mentioned Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra as secondary centres of origin.

    The government has also listed Khammam, Mahabubnagar, Rangareddy, Medak and Adilabad districts in Telangana as secondary centres of origin.

    Submitting documents for proof of origin, it also cited historical records like a “war fund seal (Banganapally-State Madras War Fund Seal).”

    A logo too is in place — featuring a bright yellow fruit around which the tagline says “Banganappalle Mangoes of Andhra Pradesh,” with images of a man and a woman appearing to be farmers.

    According to an affidavit furnished in 2011 by the then Andhra Pradesh Commissioner of Horticulture, I. Rani Kumudini, nearly 7.68 lakh families were involved in the production of Banaganapalle mangoes.

    About 5,500 tonnes of Banganappalle mangoes were being exported annually to countries like the U.S. and U.K.

    While the annual turnover of Banaganapalle mangoes was approximately ₹461 crore, exports were to the tune of ₹20.68 crore, she had said.

    GI is covered under the Intellectual Property Rights and the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

    A GI tag certifies the origin of a product or produce from a particular region as the quality or other features of the product is attributable only to the place of its origin.

    The tag helps farmers or manufacturers, as the case may be, to get a better price in the market.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Sci-Tech> Agriculture / PTI / Chennai – May 04th, 2017

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    Sizzling: Actor Pranita walking the ramp showcasing the collections designed by students at a fashion show in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK;K_R_DEEPAK -

    Sizzling: Actor Pranita walking the ramp showcasing the collections designed by students at a fashion show in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK;K_R_DEEPAK –

    Students showcase their collections at fashion show

    The mood was electrifying at the AU Convocation Hall as models, with smouldering eyes and sensuous smiles, sashayed onto the ramp. The evening was filled with creativity, artistic talent and fashion extravaganza on Saturday as students of Queenz Institute of Fashion displayed their work in the annual designer show. Organised in association with Kanchi Kamakshi, some 32 students of the advanced diploma and diploma courses in fashion design offered by the institute showcased their collections which were uniquely themed to reflect the rich handloom and handicraft tradition of AP.

    Creating a line that caught everybody’s eye the young designers added the much needed oomph factor to city’s fashion calendar. The event created a platform for aspiring fashion designers to think out of the box, come up with their own label and make a smart entry in the fashion circuit.

    This year, the students had their fashion pulse on exploring different traditional weaves and crafts of the State. Right from spending time with the weavers and craftsmen of villages like Mangalari, Machilipatnam, Dharmavaram and Chirala to creating a fusion of styles that brings out freshness in the fashion scene, the young designers have gone a step further in their pursuit of capturing a different fashion essence.

    “The students have spent more than six months in designing the creations. The main purpose of the show is to provide them a platform to innovate and tell the story of a rich textile and craft tradition of AP through the creations. Showcasing their work in the public domain gives them exposure,” said D. Satyaveni, faculty of the institute. The collection was showcased in groups which included cocktail wear, street wear, western party wear, indo-western, traditional drapes and saris. The Indo western collection designed by Sandhya, Padma and Deepti Patnaik was an ode to Dharmavaram silk. Draped in a bright orange and maroon ensemble, actor Pranita was the show-stopper of the sequence.

    The team of young designers Sravani, Nilima, Nirisha and Anisha brought out a cocktail wear designing dresses with the traditional Uppada fabric and crochet. Designers Manisha, Sirisha, Jai and Shanti Priya took the Kalamkari prints of Machilipatnam and designed it in Khadi. Street wear got a fresh look with a fusion of Khadi and Venkatgiri. The collections were fused with Kondapalli toys in handbags and footwear, which are worth a mention.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Visakhapatnam / Nivedita Ganguly / Visakhapatnam – February 25th, 2017

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    February 26th, 2017adminBusiness & Economy, Records, All

    Visakhapatnam  :

    The state’s first multi modal logistics park (MMLP) being promoted by Container Corporation of India Ltd (Concor) started its operations here on Saturday.

    The Union government had committed Rs 500 crore to set up an MMLP in the port city after bifurcation to enhance the container cargo handling capacity.

    Situated close to Vizag Airport along the national highway, the MMLP was inaugurated by East Coast Railway’s Waltair divisional railway manager Chandralekha Mukherjee on Saturday.

    The DRM said the railways would extend all support to the MMLP for hassle-free movement of containers on railway lines to various destinations across the country from here.

    “Two container cargo trains were operated on a trial basis in the past three weeks. Now, a train carrying empty containers has successfully left for Vedanta Alumina plant at Brundamal in Odisha from the MMLP here on Saturday. The railways is committed to promoting container traffic. I urge the industries to use the railways from the MMLP to reduce their logistics and inventory costs,” Chandralekha Mukherjee said.

    “Also, travelling by rail is six times energy efficient and two to three times economical than road transport,” Chandralekha Mukherjee said.

    Speaking to TOI, MM Yelvender Yadav, general manager (engineering) of Concor and head of the MMLP Visakhapatnam, said Concor earlier used the Vizag Port and Visakha Container Terminal Pvt Ltd with their available warehouse space of nearly 20,000 square feet. Now, Concor has developed the MMLP on 105 acres of land for Rs 500 crore.

    “We have so far invested Rs 300 crore to develop the MMLP and we will invest the balance Rs 200 crore in the next phase. We have so far built a container freight station and a warehouse with 50,000 square feet space. We are planning to handle 50 to 60 rakes (trains) in a month to various parts of the country from here. It will be of great use to the small, medium and large scale industrial units in the city and its neighbouring districts,” Yadav said. The administrative office of Concor is currently located near the Sea Horse Junction close to Vizag Port and it will be shifted to the MMLP soon, Yadav said.

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Visakhapatnam News / by V. Kamalakara Rao / TNN / February 26th, 2017

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    February 26th, 2017adminBusiness & Economy, Science & Technology

    They will operate from a plug-and-play facility in Autonagar

    The building in Vijayawada from where IT companies will start functioning shortly.

    The building in Vijayawada from where IT companies will start functioning shortly.


    The capital city of Amaravati is all set to take its baby steps in attracting IT industry with eight small and midsize software companies deciding to kick-start their operations from a four-storeyed plug and play building at Autonagar in Vijayawada shortly.

    The building will be inaugurated by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu soon. The companies are MSRCosmos, Adept IT Solutions, Horizon IT, Advance Software, Intellisoft, Intelli Asia, Timesquare IT and Accel IT. They could hire about 500 IT professionals and some of them could be fresh engineering graduates.

    “Öur relentless efforts in creating a proper IT ecosystem through innovative policy initiatives and providing best of accommodation is bearing fruits now,” Dr. Ravi Kumar Vemuru, Advisor to AP Government, Non-Resident Telugu Affairs and Investments and CEO, AP Non-Resident Telugus Society (APNRT), told The Hindu on Tuesday. Ït could be treated as a prelude to the arrival of more such companies to Amaravati where space has been earmarked for a 27-storeyed IT Tower. Not just small and medium companies but big ones like Microsoft and HCL have shown interest, thanks to some aggressive promotion by the Chief Minister. “The head count when more companies are set up could go upto 5000 and this could happen by this year-end.”

    The Andhra Pradesh Government’s two initiatives have been well received by the NRTs — 50% of rent for three years and subsidy of ₹1 lakh for every job created till 2020, he said. “We want to develop Visakhapatnam, Amaravati and Tirupati as IT hubs. It is not an easy task getting these companies to a place that is starting from the scratch unlike the well-established Hyderabad or Bengaluru.”

    With more and more NRT and other companies willing to set up shop here, “we are now concentrating on making more and more engineering students employable by honing the right kind of skills and developing communication abilities in them,” Dr. Ravi said.

    A Bengaluru-based training institute has been roped in to develop the communication abilities of the final year students.

    As part of these efforts, the APNRT has taken up a massive awareness programme along with the engineering colleges in each district, where representatives of the IT and other companies spell out their requirements to help the colleges inculcate the right skills among the students. “The need for personnel is not just IT but the health and automobile sectors.” The awareness programme held at Ibahrimpatnam for Krishna district on Tuesday is among the first where 3000 students have attended.

    The APNRT has been set up by the government to bring global investments and companies into the State and enthuse NRTs to be part of Andhra Pradesh’s growth story. The organisation is facilitating village development under the Smart Village Smart Ward programme while developing partnerships with foreign universities. It also provides services for NRTs like facilitating temple visits and assisting them in government documentations or procedures, legal help and migration issues.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Vijayawada / K. Venkateshwarlu / February 15th, 2017

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    The Kancharas or metal smiths of Visakhapatnam, who were once known across the world for their ability to manufacture custom made metal objects, no longer gets business.

    During the colonial era, the Kancharas thrived and made regular and fancy objects from gun metal, copper, brass and bronze. However, this thriving industry soon went into a recession after the introduction of machine manufactured metal ware in independent India. Within a span of three decades, the metal smiths of Vizag gave up their traditional trade.

    “Vizag was a thriving trade centre and the British, having recognised the skill and abilities of the worksmiths, set up a fort in Visakhapatnam in the late 17th century. The Europeans used them in manufacturing ships, metal ware and ivory-inlaid works. Much of the trade from Vizag was for metal, alloy ware and ivory crafts. This fact was mentioned in the 1907 Vizagapatam District Gazateer,” observed history buff BS Mahesh, adding that zamindars of the region along with the British establishment and the local traders patronised these craftsmen.

    However, post estate abolishment and rapid industrialisation in India, many of these Kancharas who had an entire settlement to themselves (Kancharapalem), were forced to seek new ways to earn a living. “The zamindari and Estate Abolition Act 1948 along with the introduction of land reforms sounded the death knell to these craftsmen as their traditional customer base such as the zamindars, inamdars, and big landowners died out,” said old timer DN Sinha.

    Sinha further added that the post-independence era coincided with a huge boost to modern industry in Visakhapatnam, which eventually resulted in many of the younger generation of Kancharas taking to modern skills more suitable for employment in the heavy industry.

    Sinha said earlier, Vizag had several karkhanas (factories) as well. “Many of my family members picked up metal and ivory art objects from Vizag as souvenirs to take to Europe and America.” He, however, pointed out that many of the accomplished smiths and artisans also failed to pass on their skills to the next generation as a result of which the karkhanas shut shop.

    A noted interior designer in Vizag said, “Metal workers and ivory-artisans of that calibre do not exist in Vizag any more. Most of them are either not alive or have left the place for good. Kancharapalem is only a colony in Visakhapatnam today and the metal workers are history.”

    Those still continuing with metal work at Kancharapalem are either associated with some manufacturing and heavy industry or are skilled mechanics running garages. “The fact that the industrial estate is right next to this colony is proof of the fact that the legendary skills of these kancharas are still being used, albeit in modern industry.

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Visakhapatnam News / Venkatesh Bayya / TNN / January 04th, 2017

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    October 31st, 2016adminBusiness & Economy

    Visakhapatnam :

    The central government’s programme for port-led development – Sagarmala – is all set to optimise India’s logistics services in coming years, said Visakhapatnam Port Trust  deputy chairman PL Haranadh.

    Participating in a conference on ‘Cost, Finance, Taxation and Accounting: Issues and Challenges in Logistics and Supply Chain Management’ organised by Gitam School of International Business on Saturday, Haranadh said logistics play an important role in economy of a country particularly if we reduce logistics cost that ultimately lead to positive impact on GDP growth.

    He pointed out that the present thermal power plants are procuring coal through railways which is increasing the logistics cost. If the power sector depends on coastal shipping for coal supply, then it would reduce the logistics cost and also impact power tariff. This is applicable to the steel industry as well, he added.

    He further said the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill would be of immense benefit to the logistic sector as it would reduce all costs.

    IIM-Ahmedabad Public Systems Group professor and noted logistic expert G Raghuram said the GST Bill is a big advantage to e-commerce growth in the country. He suggested that the checkpoints could have been avoided irrespective of the GST through a proper IT-based tracking system.
    “There is need to re-evaluate manufacturing and sourcing locations due to uniform taxation,” he added.

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City News> Visakhpatnam / TNN / October 30th, 2016

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    September 27th, 2016adminAgriculture, Business & Economy, World Opinion


    Visakhapatnam :

    Innovative seafood products like fish popcorn, frozen masala mackerel, imitation crab stick, fish pakoda and Crab Claw Amritsari fetched top prizes for their manufacturers while a company from Maharashtra walked away with a string of awards at the products and stall awards of the three-day 20th edition of India International Seafood Show (IISS), which concluded here on Sunday.

    Maharashtra-based Gadra Marine Exports Private Limited got six awards, including both best retail product (frozen masala mackerel) and runner up for best retail product (imitation crab stick). The four other awards for the company were in the categories of best retail packaging (Crab Claw Amritsari), best innovative product (fish popcorn), best convenience product (frozen masala mackerel) and also the runner up for the best convenience product (frozen masala prawn).

    The AP Food Processing Society was awarded for the best Indian stall while the second best award went to Nilkamal Limited.

    In the category of Best Stall (Overseas), Ishida India Private Limited, based in Japan, got the first prize while Glory Company Limited, a Vietnamese company, was adjudged the runner up.

    In all, there were 14 prizes that were up for grabs at the IISS 2016, an international showpiece event in seafood sector, organised by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA).

    Of these prizes, eight were in the category of product awards and six for stalls.

    Awards were presented by MPEDA chairman A Jayathilak in the presence of Seafood Exporters Association of India president V Padmanabham (SEAI).

    Overall, there were 300 stalls, including 71 from abroad, spread over 7,000 square metre. The total number of exhibitors was 144 drawn from 117 Indian and 27 foreign companies.

    source: / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Andhra Pradesh / by Express News Service / September 26th, 2016

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