Old IIMs have ‘limited role’ in mentoring new ones

New Delhi, Sep 9, Unlike the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), existing Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) won’t have much of a role in adopting and nurturing upcoming IIMs as they don’t have “much resources”.

“They will have limited role in mentoring,” Higher Education Secretary in the Ministry of Human Resource Development R.P. Agarwal told IANS.

“Unlike the IITs, the existing IIMs will not have that much of a role. They do not have much resources too to take care of new IIMs,” Agarwal said.

Last month, the central government approved setting up seven new IIMs in addition to the existing seven. While four of them will start classes from the 2010-11 academic year, the other three will become functional the year after.

Of the proposed IIMs, four will be set up in Trichy (Tamil Nadu), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and Rohtak (Haryana). They will start classes in the 2010-11 academic year.

As part of limited hand holding, Agarwal said, Trichy will be taken care by IIM-Bangalore, Raipur by IIM-Indore, Ranchi will get the assistance of Kolkata, Rohtak will get support from IIM-Lucknow.

“Let me make it clear, IITs are a close knit group but IIMs are not. They are working more as autonomous units. Each one of them is an independent institution. They too have their limitations but yes, they will have a role to play.

“They will help in curricula and send their faculties too. I don’t think the new IIMs will start out of their mentor IIMs’ campuses. The new IIMs will have their buildings,” the higher education secretary elaborated.

The old IITs had literally adopted the new ones. For example, IIT Punjab started its operation from IIT Delhi campus. Its students also stayed in IIT Delhi hostels for a year before the institute moved to a makeshift campus in Punjab.

Agarwal, however, said that the Human Resource Development ministry believes that the setting up and functioning of new IIMs will be a “smooth process”.

“Don’t think negative. All the IIMs including the new ones will have a smooth ride,” he added.

Each new IIM will start with 140 students and the number will go up to 560 eventually. The central government has already sanctioned Rs.451 crore (Rs.4.51 billion) as non-recurring expenditure and Rs.118 crore (Rs.1.18 billion) as recurring expenditure for the first phase of setting up IIMs.

The existing IIMs are in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Lucknow, Indore, Kozhikode and Shillong.

DGCA cover-up on YSR chopper’s airworthiness?

YSR chopper details

New Delhi, Sep 8, To go by contradictory postings on its website, India’s civil aviation regulator seems to be engaged in a cover-up operation on the airworthiness of a helicopter that crashed last week, killing Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

The upper page is the current posting on the DGCA website on the airworthiness certificate of the Bell 430 helicopter that crashed killing Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and four others. The lower page is the posting on the DGCA website Sep 3, when the remains of the chopper were found. The upper page shows the chopper had an airworthiness certificate till Dec 5, 2010, while the lower page shows its airworthiness certificate had expired on July 4, 2007The upper page is the current posting on the DGCA website on the airworthiness certificate of the Bell 430 helicopter that crashed killing Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and four others. The lower page is the posting on the DGCA website Sep 3, when the remains of the chopper were found. The upper page shows the chopper had an airworthiness certificate till Dec 5, 2010, while the lower page shows its airworthiness certificate had expired on July 4, 2007

On Tuesday, the posting on the website of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on the Bell-430 helicopter, call sign VT-APG, stated its certificate of airworthiness was valid from Dec 5, 2006, to Dec 5, 2010.

However, the posting on Sep 3, the day after the helicopter crashed, had stated that the certificate was valid from July 5, 2006 to July 4, 2007.

The upper page is the current posting on the DGCA website on the airworthiness certificate of the Bell 430 helicopter that crashed killing Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and four others. The lower page is the posting on the DGCA website Sep 3, when the remains of the chopper were found. The upper page shows the chopper had an airworthiness certificate till Dec 5, 2010, while the lower page shows its airworthiness certificate had expired on July 4, 2007The upper page is the current posting on the DGCA website on the airworthiness certificate of the Bell 430 helicopter that crashed killing Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and four others. The lower page is the posting on the DGCA website Sep 3, when the remains of the chopper were found. The upper page shows the chopper had an airworthiness certificate till Dec 5, 2010, while the lower page shows its airworthiness certificate had expired on July 4, 2007

Moreover, the latest posting says the certificate was issued on Jan 14, 1999, while the previous Sep 3 posting states it was issued on July 6, 2006.

On Sep 2, when the helicopter was officially listed as “missing”, the DGCA had issued a statement saying: “The helicopter was in possession with a valid Certificate of Airworthiness No. 2390 with its validity up to 05.12.2010. It had flown for 2,812.20 Hrs since new and 325.10 Hrs from last C of A (certificate of airworthiness).”

This ties in with the latest posting on the DGCA website but contradicts the Sep 3 posting.

On Sep 3, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel asserted that despite what was posted on the DGCA website, the helicopter was airworthy.

It would be pertinent to point out here that airworthiness certificates are issued for a year and in some cases for two years – but certainly not for four years as the latest posting on the DGCA website makes out.

DGCA refused to comment on the discrepancies.

“Our protocol says that we are not authorised to speak to the media,” A.K. Chopra, its joint director general (Investigations), told IANS.

The helicopter carrying YSR, as the late chief minister was popularly called, went missing at 9.35 a.m. on Sep 2, an hour after it had taken off from Hyderabad on a flight to Chittoor, 588 km away.

Its mangled remains were found at around 8.30 a.m. the next day on a hillock 40 nautical miles east of Kurnool, 200 km from Hyderabad. Four others were also killed in the crash.

The helicopter was registered on Jan 1, 1999, under file number 4-2/99-AI(I) and certificate number 2981 in the name of the general administration department of the Andhra Pradesh government, the DGCA website said.

Powered by two Allison 250B 40C turboprop engines, the helicopter had a seating capacity of nine, including the crew.

Maiden Swiss foray into India’s hospitality sector

Kolkata, Sep 9,Swissotel Hotels Wednesday became the first Swiss hospitality chain to enter India as it announced a management contract with the Ambuja Realty group for setting up a five-star hotel at Rajarhat New town on the city’s north eastern fringes.

Swissotel Hotels, owned by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International – a leading global hospitality company with 91 hotels and resorts worldwide – has inked the 10-year deal with the Kolkata-based real estate company for managing the five-star property spread over 160,000 feet.

“We won’t make any investment. We will be paid a fee for running the hotel,” Swissotel president Meinhard Huck told reporters here.

Ambuja is investing Rs.100 crore ($20 million) for the hotel, which would use the Swissotel brandname, said the company chairman Harshavardhan Neotia.

Huck said the Fairmont group would come up with two hotels with Indian partners in Hyderabad and Jaipur under the Fairmont brand next year.

Hectic lobbying on for Andhra chief minister’s post

New Delhi/Hyderabad, Sep 9, Hectic lobbying is on for the post of Andhra Pradesh chief minister as the Congress leadership continued its consultations with party MPs and senior leaders Wednesday to find a successor to Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy who was killed in a helicopter crash last week.

Y.S. Rajasekhara ReddyY.S. Rajasekhara Reddy

The late chief minister’s close friend and advisor K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi Wednesday and stated that the leadership would take an appropriate decision at an appropriate time.

A day after meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Rao met party general secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh M. Veerappa Moily and later called on the prime minister while several MPs met Gandhi to press their demand that YSR’s son Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy be made chief minister.

Continuing its pressure on the central leadership, the ‘pro-Jagan’ lobby in the ruling party is holding demonstrations and hunger strikes in parts of the state.

“The prime minister and the high command are well informed. I need not inform them,” was all Ramachandra Rao said when asked if he brought to the knowledge of Manmohan Singh and other leaders that a majority of party legislators want Jagan, an MP, as chief minister.

“I have full confidence that the high command will take an appropriate decision at an appropriate time,” said the Rajya Sabha member.

Gandhi continued the process of consultations with party MPs and senior leaders. Former central minister Renuka Chowdary and about a dozen MPs called on her Wednesday and held separate meetings.

K. Sambasiva Rao and R. Sambasiva Rao, who were among the MPs who met Gandhi, told reporters that they conveyed to the party president that Jagan alone could carry forward the vision of YSR. They hoped that the party would take a decision in a couple of days.

YSR and four others with him were killed when a helicopter carrying them from Hyderabad to Chittoor district Sep 2 crashed in the dense Nallamalla forests in Kurnool district.

3 more swine flu deaths take India’s toll to 138

3 more swine flu deaths take India’s toll to 138

Three more people – all in Maharashtra – died of swine flu Tuesday, taking the country’s toll to 138, health officials said here.

With the three deaths, the total number of people who have died in the state due to the contagious influenza has gone up to 65.

Meanwhile, 245 fresh cases were reported in the country, taking the number of people affected with the flu to 5,221.

‘Till date, samples from 26,037 people have been tested for influenza A (H1N1) in various government and private laboratories across the country, and 5,221 of them have been found positive,’ said a statement issued here.

In Delhi, a total of 84 people, including 38 children, tested positive for the flu, taking the total number of those affected with the influenza A(H1N1) virus to 994.

Four people have died so far in the Indian capital due to swine flu.

Delhi Health Minister Kiran Walia said the ‘situation is under control and the government is doing its best in providing treatment to H1N1 patients in government hospitals’.

She also advised people to visit a doctor at the earliest if any symptom of swine flu appears.

‘Of the total cases (in Delhi), 846 people have been treated and discharged. At the moment, 147 people are under treatment – 16 of them are undergoing treatment at different hospitals, while rest of them are being home quarantined.’

She said 84 cases tested positive for the flu Tuesday. Of these, 36 have been advised to quarantine themselves at home, she said.

Walia said it has been made mandatory for four private empanelled laboratories testing H1N1 virus to report all the positive swine flu cases to the state nodal officers, to enable the government have full details about the total number of patients affected by H1N1 virus as well to ensure their full treatment and trace all those they came in contact with.

Apart from Delhi, some of the other states from where fresh cases were reported were Tamil Nadu (38), Haryana (27), Uttar Pradesh (22) and Karnataka (17).

Maharashtra, which has reported the maximum number of deaths and cases in the country, had two fresh cases. This has taken the total number of people in the state infected by the virus to 1,857.

Daily soaps are fine, but highlight health issues too: Unicef

There are a few serials highlighting women’s issues, one on child marriage and lots of family dramas. Now producers should touch upon topics related to health like hygiene, AIDS awareness and immunisation, says the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), which has launched a series called ‘Kyunki…Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai’ on Doordarshan(DD) .

‘We can’t imagine producers of commercial theme-based TV shows spending a lot of time in dealing with issues like HIV-AIDS and polio, but I’m quite sure they can do it in a little way to help society,’ Alka Malhotra, programme communication specialist of Unicef India, told IANS in an interview.

‘Basic issues like washing one’s hands properly and general cleanliness can surely be highlighted in a subtle way. More critical issues can be interspersed in the script or if possible they can even build a separate track in their shows about health-related issues like diarrhoea immunisation for children, etc,’ she said.

‘Kyunki…Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai’ tries to promote pro-social attitudes and practices that contribute directly to the reduction of infant and maternal mortality rates.

Unicef identifies critical child-related problems through extensive research and works with a creative team to highlight the ways to avoid or overcome those issues in a wise way on the show, Malhotra said.

‘Our research for the show is based on Indian data. Basically, we try and take up issues around the survival, development and protection of children. Issues like breastfeeding the child within half an hour of birth, etc., are the kinds of things we would like to create awareness for in society,’ she explained.

Popular TV actress Tina Parekh, who has been a part of successful commercial shows like ‘Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki’ and ‘Kasauti Zindagi Kay’, is also acting in ‘Kyunki…’ and feels ‘social messaging in entertainment is a must’.

‘The fact is those who are aware of social issues mostly belong to the educated class, while the masses still don’t have access to that kind of information. At the same time, the masses can be reached through the medium of entertainment, be it movies or serials…

‘So it is essential that India has a serial like ‘Kyunki…’ that takes up social issues and tries to simplify things in a way that makes it easier for everyone to understand,’ said Tina.

‘What ‘Kyunki…’ is trying to do is put HIV-AIDS awareness into a story that anyone can relate to, even those who don’t know anything about it. By doing this, the common man can understand that an HIV positive person is not someone to be scared of or to be avoided. At the same time there is a message about preventive measures to be taken,’ she said.

‘So, as educated people, it is our responsibility to share what we know with those who don’t and in this situation using a serial to do it is an excellent method,’ the actress added.

According to Malhotra, it makes more sense to broadcast a show like ‘Kyunki…’ on DD because of its wide reach.

‘The kind of issues that we handpick to be showcased through the show are mostly aimed at creating awareness in our core constituency, which is rural women in the age group of 16-35. That is also why we chose DD to broadcast it. It has maximum impact across the country – more than any other general entertainment channel nowadays,’ she said.

Unicef, meanwhile, says it is open to helping a producer or channel if they wish to work around any of these social issues.

Ramalinga Raju stable in intensive care unit

Ramalinga Raju stable in intensive care unit

Disgraced founder of Satyam Computer Services Ltd B. Ramalinga Raju remained in the intensive care unit of a government-run hospital Tuesday after he suffered a cardiac arrest in a jail here. His condition is said to be stable.

Raju, who was in Chanchalguda Jail along with seven other accused in connection with the Rs.78 billion ($1.43 billion) accounting fraud in Satyam, was given first aid by the jail authorities after he complained of chest pain Monday evening. He was then shifted to the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS).

Doctors conducted various tests on him and some of the reports are expected later Tuesday, hospital officials said.

Resident Medical Officer of NIMS M. Srinivas told reporters that the cause of the pain would be known after the reports of all the tests were fully evaluated.

Srinivas said the former Satyam boss was undergoing treatment in the intensive care unit and his condition was stable.

Raju’s lawyer Bharat Kumar, however, claimed that Raju suffered a heart attack. According to him, Raju has a block in his arteries but the same could not be removed as he is also suffering from Hepatitis C.

Raju, who will turn 55 Sep 15, has been lodged in jail since Jan 9, two days after he shocked the corporate world by admitting to a Rs.78 billion accounting fraud in the IT major.

Raju’s brother B. Rama Raju, chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas, three other employees of Satyam and two auditors are also in jail.

They have been charged with cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy and are being tried for the same.

Following Rajus’s confession, the government appointed a board to run Satyam, one of India’s leading IT companies. The company was bought by Tech Mahindra in April and renamed Mahindra Satyam.

Sehwag not interested in being the captain

Virender Sehwag stated that he is not willing to be the captain of the Indian team.

Sehwag said, “I don’t want to be a captain, I have already told the selectors that. I have said a new player should be made vice-captain and be groomed to be a captain. I want to continue scoring runs and keep winning matches for the team,”.

The current captain and vice-captain is Dhoni and Yuvraj respectively.
Sehwag, who plays for the Delhi DareDevils, also said he will be fully fit before the Champions League which starts from October 10. Sehwag considers Sourav as the best captain. “Sourav has been the best captain India has ever had,” he said.

“Sourav took over as captain when the team was passing through a very bad patch. The team was struggling to come out of the match-fixing scandal. He had a responsibility to put together a new team and he did a splendid job,” Sehwag said.

India’s Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi into the quarterfinals of the men’s doubles of the US Open

New Delhi: India’s Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi got through and secured their spots into the quarterfinals of the men’s doubles of the US Open with their partners.

Paes-Lukas Dlouhy beat Julian Knowle and Jurgen Melzer

The duo Paes and Lukas Dlouhy beat the Austrian duo Julian Knowle and Jurgen Melzer 7-5, 6-4.

They will now play against South Africa’s Wesley Moodie and Belgium’s Dick Norman to set their place for semi-finals.

Bhupathi and Mark Knowles of Bahamas beat Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei and Dudi Sela of Israel 6-4, 6-4. They will now meet Croatia’s Ivan Ljubicic and France’s Michael Llodra.

Swine flu claims 135 deaths so far!

New Delhi: With the death of 4 more people, India’s Swine Flu death toll have reached 135 mark this Monday.

Swine flu claims 135 deaths so far!

147 new cases have also been reported with the count touching as high as 4885 for the total number of people affected by H1N1 virus.

Out of the recent 4 deaths, 2 death were from Goa, one death each was reported from Delhi and Karnataka. In New Delhi, 69-year-old Durga Prasad Sharma died due to the swine flu.

Sharma, who was on ventilator and undergoing dialysis had first gone to a private hospital before being shifted to the RML Hospital. ‘His x-ray report had confirmed pneumonia. He had tested positive for the virus,’ Chaturvedi said.

In Bangalore, a 29-year-old woman succumbed to H1N1 virus. She was 20 weeks into her pregnancy.

Samaraweera powers Sri Lanka to a 97-run win over Kiwis in Tri-Series


Colombo: Thilan Samaraweera smashed a century to power Sri Lanka to a 97-run victory over New Zealand in a tri-series match in Colombo today. Lasith Malinga also did the trick with ball, as he bagged 4 wickets to help the Lankans to bowl out New Zealand for a paltry 119, while the victory target was 217.
Thilan Samaraweera hit his maiden century to help Sri Lanka reach 216/7 in 50 overs after winning the toss and elected to bat. Samaraweera was the top scorer with 104. Angelo Mathews made 51. For New Zealand, Shane Bond took 3 wickets, while Ian Butler took 2 wickets.

Chasing a victory target of 217, New Zealand lost wickets at regular intervals and were reeling at 41/6 at one stage. They finally bowled out for 119 in 36.1 0vers. Grant Elliott was the top scorer with 44, while Ian Butler made 25. For Sri Lanka, Malinga took 4 wickets, while Kulasekara and Jayasuriya took 2 wickets each.

Thilan Samaraweera was adjudged “Man of the Match” by virtue of his maiden century. India is the other team in the tri-series tournament.

Twitter makes you dumb – Facebook makes you smart

According to a new research, microblogging site Twitter turns you into a dodo while social networking giant Facebook makes Einsteins out of you.

Dr Tracy Alloway from the University of Stirling in Scotland has stated that using Facebook increases your IQ and makes you sharper and smarter, while Twitter will in all probability weaken your ”working memory’. A working memory is basically the ability both to remember information and to use it. this will be used most effectively at instances like a job interview.

Dr Alloway has been studying working memory and considers it as something that people need more than happiness and IQ. She has developed a working memory training programme that effectively increases the performance of slow learning kids between 10 to 15 years of age. Eight weeks into the training programme, the children exhibited 10 point improvements in IQ, literacy and numeracy tests. The kid who initially started off at the bottom of the class ended up at the top.

According to Dr Alloway war games that involve strategy and planning will only improve the working memory of children. “Of course they are not that great for socialisation skills but they make you use your working memory,” she said. So in a way, playing games like ‘Total war’ will only make you smarter! Other exercises like playing Sudoku, and networking on Facebook also stretche the working memory.

However, the ‘instant’ nature of smsing, using Twitter and watching Youtube video is apparently not healthy for a working memory. “On Twitter you receive an endless stream of information, but it’s also very succinct and does not need to be processed. This reduces your attention span is being reduced and you’re not engaging your brain and improving nerve connections.” she said.