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    June 30th, 2012adminBusiness & Economy, Leaders


    1976 batch IAS officer Minnie Mathew was on Saturday named as the chief secretary to succeed Pankaj Dwivedi upon the latter’s superannuation. Mathew is currently chief commissioner of land administration, a post by convention considered as the CS-in-waiting, and will be head of the AP bureaucracy till her superannuation in February 2013.

    Until Friday, there was much speculation that Dwivedi may be given a three-month extension and that Mathew could become the chief secretary even after that. However, for a change, the state government headed by chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy struck to the seniority principle and appointed Mathew.

    During Dwivedi’s tenure of over a year-and-half as the chief secretary, the AP bureaucracy has seen its worse phase in the state’s history. While two officers were jailed on various charges including criminal conspiracy, two others were booked in various cases being probed by the CBI. And at least a dozen other IAS officers were questioned with regard to various land allotments and other decisions of the YS Rajasekhara Reddy government.

    And after the Supreme Court issued notices to 8 IAS officers in the Jagan disproportionate assets case along with six ministers of the YSR cabinet, the state bureaucracy saw for the first time a major confrontation between the political leaders and the officers on the issue of who should be held accountable for the decisions of the state government.

    Mathew, who will have about 8 months of tenure as the chief secretary, will inherit all the problems being faced by the bureaucracy from Dwivedi. While two of the officers, B P Acharya and Y Srilakshmi, are still in Chanchalguda Jail, the process of questioning several other officers by the CBI in the various cases being probed by the investigative agency will continue.

    And there is the spectre of some more IAS officers being booked by the CBI. Governance and ensuring that the revenue-earning departments continue to perform well would be other important tasks ahead of Mathew. “These are testing times for the bureaucrats, especially in Andhra Pradesh, and babudom would require their head to lead from the front. The coming months will unveil whether Mathew is upto the task,” said an officer.

    source: / Home> City> Hyderabad / by Ganesh S. Lakshman, TNN / June 30th, 2012

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    June 30th, 2012adminBusiness & Economy

    An enthusiastic audience greeted presenters at SME Mentor Growth Series seminar in Hyderabad. The event, which attracted, the top SME CEOs, from the Hyderabad belt, saw presentations by Vodafone, Religare Finvest and Dell.

    The session was opened by George D’Souza, vice president – Content solutions,, who talked about the various hurdles that owners of small and medium enterprises have to cross in taking their companies from good to great companies.

    Srinath Nalluri, GM – enterprise business, of Vodafone, discussed enterprise solutions, launched by Vodafone. He clearly and patiently answered queries from the audience on even simple issues of whether a toll-free number was independent of a Web site.

    On the finance front, Religare Finvest’s Sameer Nanda, zonal business head – Andhra Pradesh, was served a volley of questions from the audience on issues of SME balance sheet evaluation, specific business financing, as well as regulatory affairs. Nanda deftly explained the various benefits of finance from Religare.

    The event was attended by over 60 CEOs of SMEs from Hyderabad and represented key industry segments of IT, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and education.

    source: / Home> News> Events /  by SME Mentor / June 25th, 2012


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    June 30th, 2012adminEducation, Records, All


    City students bagged the top ranks in both medical and engineering streams in Eamcet-2012, results of which were released here on Friday. The first rank in medical stream was secured by Vijay Ketan Reddy, a resident of Dilsukhnagar and in engineering stream the first rank was bagged by Chinta Nitish Chandra, a resident of Madhapur. Unlike the previous year where most of the top ranks were bagged by girl students, this year in both the streams just two girl students each secured top ranks.

    Out of a total of 2.83 lakh students who wrote the engineering stream of the examination about 2.07 lakh had secured ranks. Out of a total of 90,917 students who wrote the medical examination just about 77,800 students secured ranks.

    Counselling for admissions to engineering colleges is expected to start in the third week of July and classes are expected to start by the end of August. Since about 2.34 lakh seats are available in engineering colleges in the state each of the students who secured rank in Eamcet will get a tech seat for sure. However, in medicine with just about 4,500 seats available for 77,800 students the competition for seats will be tough, officials said.

    The toppers said that they had secured the best ranks as they had spent 18 hours a day preparing for the test. Medicine topper Vijay Ketan said he decided to opt for the stream against his father’s wish and hence he had to prove his mettle. Ketan’s father, Raghuveer Reddy is an ophthalmologist who runs a private clinic in the city. “He did not want me to become a doctor as my elder sister had opted for the same profession. My family wanted me to be an engineer but my interest was in medical sciences and I followed my dream,” said Ketan who is planning to join Gandhi Medical College. The topper in engineering, Chinta Nitish Chandra said he is interested in computer engineering.

    “I have still not decided which college to choose from as I have cleared national entrance examinations as well,” Chandra said.

    Interestingly, a majority of the rank holders in engineering stream might not take admissions in city’s engineering colleges and they would opt for IITs or IIITs. Region wise and category wise ranks will be indicated to enable students to know their position in the region’s rank list this year. Damodar Raja Narasimha, minister for higher and technical education released the results here on Friday. With Eamcet going online this year officials had saved much time, said M V Ramana Rao, convener, Eamcet.

    source: / Home> City> Hyderabad / TNN / June 30th, 2012

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    June 30th, 2012adminBusiness & Economy
    Mr J.P. Dua , Chairman and Managing Director, Allahabad Bank, addresing a press meet after the inauguration of the Nellore and Anantapur branches of the bank in Hyderabad on Saturday. / Photo: P.V. Sivakumar / The Hindu Business Line
    Hyderabad, JUNE 30:

    Allahabad Bank is planning to increase its focus on southern states, according to its Chairman and Managing Director, Mr J.P. Dua.

    Speaking to newspersons after inaugurating Nellore and Anantapur branches from here on Saturday, Mr Dua said in the next couple of years, the number of branches in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala would be increased.

    The southern presence of the Kolkata-based bank is low as it has only 148 branches in the South out of a total of 2,536 branches. In Andhra Pradesh alone, 20 new branches would be opened in the next one year, he said.

    The southern states have recorded Rs 18,778-crore business during 2011-12.

    source: / Home> Industry & Economy> Banking / by G. Naga Sridhar / Hyderabad, June 3oth, 2012

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    June 30th, 2012adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Sports

    After winning back-to-back tournaments, badminton star Saina Nehwal talks about Padukone, Aamir Khan, marriage, Olympics and comparisons with Sania Mirza

    She may not be a stunner but she surely knows how to stun her opponents with her court play. Saina Nehwal is our edgy beauty.

    Congratulations on winning the Thailand Open and Indonesian Open. How does it feel?
    It feels wonderful. And I hope it promotes badminton as a sport in India. It’s all because of the skills of Gopichandji (former Indian player and her coach, Pullela Gopichand) who helped me train and achieve success.

    Do these wins boost your confidence before the Olympics?
    I’m elated; and the next target — an Olympics medal — now seems achievable.

    How are the preparations going?
    Our four-week-long training did wonders for me. But I still have to put in some five more weeks.

    Is there any pressure given that people have their hopes pinned on you to bring home an Olympic medal?
    Not really. In fact, I’m happy to be in the medal hunt for my country.

    Chinese players will be a big challenge for you…
    Yes, the training that’s being given (to me) is to counter-attack the best performers in the world (the Chinese).

    Have you set a deadline for yourself to reach the World No 1 ranking?
    No, but I’m trying hard to win as many tournaments as possible. I don’t really think about rankings and ratings.

    Apparently, Aamir Khan keeps a tab on your tournaments and usually offers words of encouragement. Is he still doing that with the Olympics coming up?
    Yes, Aamir constantly sends congratulatory messages and encouraging words.

    Any special message from him (Aamir) for the Olympics?
    Yes, a few days ago, he sent a message across, “Congratulations and keep it up!” Actor Bikram Saluja also wished me after my recent wins.

    You know Deepika Padukone through her father, Prakash. Are you also in touch with her, given that she too has played badminton at state level?
    Deepika is now a famous film actor. So, she is busy and may not find time for such things (keeping tab on badminton tournaments). She may not even remember me.

    Does it bother you that Sania Mirza garners more attention than you, though you’ve been more successful in your sport?
    Not at all. She is a famous tennis player. And I am proud of her achievements in the sport.

    On a lighter note, of late, people have apparently been asking you about your marriage plans. Anything on the cards?
    I do not know what will happen if I say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ (laughs). As for marriage, I have no idea and also nobody in sight. So let me concentrate on my beloved game for some more years. It’s still too early to tie the knot.

    Acting offers have come your way. Any plans to give it a shot in the future?
    No such plans. Right now, I’m only concerned about my game and nothing else matters

    source: / Home> Entertainment> Tabloid / by Prashant Singh, Hindustan Times / Mumbai, June 30th, 2012

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    School  students, college-goers, young professionals and environmental activists came together on Friday morning to clean up the contaminated Kapra Lake in Secunderabad

    The road to the Kapral Lake at Sainikpuri usually wears a deserted look. The surroundings, peppered by high rises is the perfect residential address — quiet, calm, clean and luxurious. Amidst this sea of tranquillity, the lake stands out as a sore thumb. And this is mainly because the water body has been constantly used and abused by the multitude. The surroundings of the serene lake are jarring, with garbage strewn around and the pungent smell of decaying waste. But on Friday morning, a group of environment conscious citizens descended upon the lake, to do their bit to save the water body and restore its former glory.

    Spearheaded by The Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI), a wildlife conservation and habitat restoration group, the drive to clean up the Kapral Lake saw volunteers from six schools, a corporate giant, the Indian Army and GHMC participate with gusto. “We are cleaningup the Kapral Lake of physical garbage today because several other life forms depend on the lake for survival, including aquatic, birds and other terrestrial life forms,” says Arun Krishnamurthy, founder, EFI.

    What lies beneath?
    The clean up drive which began at 8 am in the morning, saw volunteers fish out harmful waste from the bottom and surroundings of the lake. “We fished out huge amounts of Plaster of Parisdeposits which are the result of the idol immersion from Ganesh Chaturthi,” says Krishnamurthy, adding, “In the name of God, we have been dumping garbage in the lake and harming aquatic life.” Putting a number to the amount of garbage collected, he says, “In an hour we have collected 2.3 tons. After this four hour drive, we expect to collect 4 tons of waste.”

    Hyderabad not the worst
    The EFL, based in five cities, first began their lake restoration programme in Hyderabad in the year 2006. “We have identified around four lakes in and around the city that needs to be cleaned and restored to ensure a cleaner water body on it,” says an EFL volunteer.
    As part of their programme, the foundation has held clean-up drives in cities like Delhi, Chennai and Lucknow as well. “During our work, we have discovered that the maximum amount of toxic waste lies in water bodies in Delhi. Cleaning them is quite a task.

    Hyderabad, on the other hand, is not so bad,” says the volunteer. But that does not give us city folks the leverage to gloat at being ‘most environment friendly’. For according to the EFL, the Miyapur Lake spewed out 12 tons of toxic waste in the year 2008 alone!

    No marathon men
    With the environment being on everyone’s mind these days, the city’s youngsters have joined forces to battle this issue. “School kids are the most enthusiastic. They give it their best. Corporate giants too have joined us,” Arun adds.

    But when it comes to ‘doing your bit’, the organisation prefers to see the results than just doing a token job in the name of environment — you’ve got to get your hands dirty. In fact, the volunteers for a city corporate house, planted 20 Neem saplings on the Lake bunds. Meanwhile, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation too has lent its full support by sending in a garbage disposable truck along with volunteers to help out in the initiative. They took the garbage collected from the lake to the dumping grounds.

    The road ahead
    While hours of labour and sweat have been put into cleaning up the lake, the primary concern could be the reversal of the results, what with citizens using the water body as dumping grounds once again. But a prevention module has been put in place by the foundation. “We are in the process of installing bird nests and feeders with the GHMC. A detailed study on the flora and fauna life around the lake will follow too. Our aim is to convert the lakes into biodiversity hotspots, housing all life forms. There are two more lakes to be restored by end of the year,” says Arun.

    source: / Home> Life & Style> People / by Sarah Salvadore, TNN / June 30th, 2012

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    June 30th, 2012adminBusiness & Economy

    Spring Air, USA’s leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor of premium mattresses and pillows worldwide, in association with Protect-A-Bed, U.S.A., celebrated the Joint South India launch of the latest bedding products by Spring Air and latest technology in luxury mattress protection and comfort by Protect-A-Bed at Taj Deccan, Banjara Hills, on May 25.

    Gracing the occasion were Ashok Sharma, Director and CEO Middle East and India, Spring Air, James Bell, CEO of Protect-A-Bed, and other dignitaries.

    Partnering with Protect-A-Bed, global leader in mattress protection, Spring Air India, for the first time has ushered in a breakthrough technology that revolutionizes the sleeping experience ensuring ultimate luxury and therapeutic sleep experience.

    Carrying forward the legacy of parity in quality, comfort and values, the new collection will offer the luxurious sleep experience of Spring Air with the protection properties of Protect a Bed.

    The unique technology featured in Protect-A-Bed’s mattress and pillow protection products will create a healthy sleep zone offering a dry, bed bug free, and anti-allergy sleep environment thereby meeting the need of the entire family. Having been rated as the most preferred bed in America, Spring Air together with Protect-A-Bed now aim to help people in India sleep better.

    Speaking on the occasion, Ashok Sharma, C.E.O. of Spring Air India and Middle East said, “Spring Air is one of the worldwide leaders in the spring mattress, premium mattress and pillow category and at the same time we are one of the largest brands of mattress in the world.

    “Having developed and successfully launched the Europedic mattress Collection – a breakthrough in sleep technology, widely acclaimed for its pressure relieving comfort and comfort ability features we are now delighted to launch the latest Protect-A-Bed products.”

    “Designed exclusively for Spring Air mattresses the newly launched products are effective in protecting mattress and pillows from bugs, water spills and household allergens and other things that can harm bed mattresses. Regular mattress pads can barely inhibit the body-conforming benefits of our mattresses, but this specially designed Protect-A-Bed protector stretches to work with the mattress,” he added.

    The newly unveiled collection of mattress protection offers protectors for mattresses, pillow, quilts and box springs in beautiful fabrics laced with latest technology. The original Protect-A-Bed premium fitted sheet style mattress protector is constructed using a cotton terry toweling sleeping surface, laminated to a Miracle Membrane.

    The range of Protect-A-Bed mattress and pillow protectors are available in many styles and a luxurious appearance that lends a high fashion appeal, extra comfort and firmness to Spring Air mattress.

    “Our experience within the luxury industry in the U.S. and India has revealed an immense appetite for high quality, high-end and ultra-luxury Protect-A-Bed products among residents, which represents a substantially large niche market for our products.

    source: / Home> News / June 29th, 2012 (India)

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    June 29th, 2012adminBusiness & Economy

    It symbolises “kode mokku” (ox) of  Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Devasthanam in Vemulawada

    The Karimnagar District Mutually Aided Milk Producers Union, popularly known as Karimnagar Dairy, which was converted into the Producers Company according to the Companies Act of 1956 from June 1 onwards, has changed its logo to “Nandi” symbolising the “kode mokku” (ox) of Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Devasthanam in Vemulawada temple town.

    Earlier, when the Dairy was in mutually aided cooperative society (MACS) it used the logo of “Vijaya” of the Andhra Pradesh Dairy Development Cooperative Federation of Hyderabad. After converting it into producers company, the Karimnagar Dairy had decided to use its own brand logo of “Nandi” (ox) on all its products including milk, ghee, flavoured milk, doodh peda, paneer, buttermilk, curd etc.

    The Managing Director of Karimnagar Dairy, V Hanumanth Reddy told ‘The Hindu’ on Wednesday that they would be using the “Nandi” symbol on their products. He said that they had also secured the trade mark permission for using the Nandi symbol. He said that they decided to use the logo of Nandi as it resembles the importance and traditions of historic Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Devasthanam in Vemulawada. Giving details about the dairy performance, he said that the Karimnagar Dairy made strides in milk procurement and sales over a decade. In 1999, the dairy milk sales were only 4,978 litres per day and procurement was 17,570 litres per day. Now in June 2012, the sales have crossed 1.07 lakh litres per day and procurement 82,495 litres per day. The dairy turnover had reached Rs. 130 crore in 2012 against Rs 3.5 crore in 1999.

    He said that the Karimnagar Dairy topped in milk procurement and sales in the Telangana region and was providing highest procurement price to the milk producers. Besides, the Dairy had also initiated several welfare measures for the milk producers including distribution of scholarships to their children, Janashree Bheema Yajana, Kalyanamasthu, conduct of veterinary camps and artificial insemination.

  • Karimnagar Dairy is the largest milk procurement and sales centre in the Telangana region: MD
  • ‘It also initiated several welfare measures for milk producers including scholarships to their children’
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  • source: / Home> National> Andhra Pradesh / by Staff Reporter / Karminagar, June 28th, 2012
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    The David Brown Children’s Eye Care Centre at the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) in Tadigadapa conducted free eye examination and treatment for 63 HIV positive children of Tulip Garden at Buthimillipadu, Gannavaram mandal.

    Netherlands-based philanthropist Margaret said the David Brown Children’s Eye Care Centre was catering to the needs of children from Vijayawada and five other neighbouring districts.

    “The eye care centre is so clean, sand everybody was so kind . It was so different from other hospitals in Vijayawada. I felt I was in a hospital in The Netherlands,” she said.

    Eye specialists Niranjan examined the eyes of the children and prescribed medication when required.

    source: / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Special Correspondent / June 28th, 2012

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    Bustling classrooms, children flipping through text books — at first sight this school in Begumpet looks like any ordinary school. A closer look reveals a different picture.

    The Devnar School for the Blind is tucked away in a corner of Begumpet in Mayuri Marg. About 500 students study here. Aided by corporates and individuals, the school is free for all the students. Unfortunately, this is also the only English medium school for the visually challenged, as well as one of the three such schools in the City.

    According to a WHO report, 39 million people in the world are blind. About 90 per cent of the world’s visually challenged live in developing countries.

    There are a staggering 15 million blind people in India, two million of whom are children. In fact, one out of every three visually challenged people in the world live in India alone.

    Hyderabad has an estimated 2 lakh children who are visually challenged. For a number that high, there are only three schools — Devnar School for the Blind, Darus Safa School for the Blind for Boys, and Malakpet School for the Blind for Girls. The number of students studying in these schools is a meager 740. The State has just eight schools.

    “Many parents whose children are visually challenged, aren’t aware of how the potential of such children can be tapped. Unfortunately, there aren’t many schools in the City that cater to them. Visually impaired children are focused on what they want. Their IQ is high and the mental capacity is as high as other children. If you expose them to different topics, they can learn well. Education and a job can give them a secure future,” pointed out Lily Egbert, principal, Devnar School.

    Take for example Zubair and Amir, who studied at Devnar. Zubair is now a lecturer in Jawaharlal Nehru University, while Amir works as an HR with an MNC.

    “Visually challenged people are now working successfully and even paying taxes to the government. They can do any job. However, the bigger problem is enrolment. Parents should have the courage to send their children to such schools. There is a lot of demand for blind schools, and NGOs are working towards it. The facilities for the visually challenged should improve. Enrolment and opening schools go hand in hand,” opined Dr A Saibabab Goud, founder and

    chairman of Devnar.

    Teachers in such schools need to complete a B.Ed in Visual Impairment and learn braille (a form of written language for the visually challenged), have immense patience, and love what they do. In Devnar, many teachers are also parents of visually challenged children.

    The government is doing their bit, or so they claim. “We are opening Kasturba Gandhi School for the Blind and Hearing Impaired in all the districts. It has opened in some of the districts and will soon be open in all as well. The Anganwadi workers and Indira Kranthi Pathakam workers, along with the education department, is roaming door-to-door and counselling the parents,” said Sunitha Laxma Reddy, minister for juvenile welfare.

    “We are sanctioning free metric and post-metric scholarships to students, as well as providing MP3 players, laptops, apart from training them in computers. The government is also sanctioning grants to NGOs. The Central minister for social justice said that if we can propose a plan by August, he will sanction more grants. We even requested the CM for more sanctions. He suggested inclusive education where mainstream schools can have separate sections for them,” she added.

    The fact remains that there is an urgent need for more schools that cater to them. As the tag line of the Devnar reads ‘The blind need opportunity not sympathy’.

    source: / Home> City> by Osama Salman / June 28th, 2012

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