Babu gives tips on GHMC Elections

The Telugu Desam president, Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu, is insisting on high standards for the party’s would-be corporators’ in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation.

“You should be out by 6 am and preferably walk and visit your respective divisions to ensure that they are clean and green,” Mr Naidu advised the TD candidates.

The TD chief was talking to them when they called on him. He asked them to strive hard for their victory and assured to support them.

He is also arranging a five-day spiritual discourse by Swami Chidatmananda for party leaders, GHMC candidates and other activists at the NTR Trust Bhavan from Wednesday.

“The swamiji will unravel the secrets of power on how to achieve success,” said Mr P. Raghurama Rao, CEO of NTR Trust Bhavan.

The TD president further told them that they should ensure that their surroundings were clean and sanitation was up to the mark. “If you find the surroundings unclean, take it to the notice of officials immediately. You should be available to the people at their beck and call. The TD is known for keeping the city clean and green,” he added.

Mr Naidu, who is busy with the party’s election manifesto, is also trying to involve the residents of Hyderabad in the mega task.

The party sent thousands of SMSes to people seeking their suggestions on the problems in their respective divisions. “The TD invites you to highlight your division’s problems for the manifesto. Take photographs of problem areas and upload them at http://www.ghmc.in. Also register to serve the TD,” the SMS said.

Before finalising the party nominees, Mr Naidu also asked people to name their choice of candidates in their respective municipal divisions.

However, it is unclear if the party had received the names and if it had taken the suggestions before finalising the candidates’ names.

Mr Naidu maintained that he has complete details of every candidate and he had taken all aspects into consideration including their status in their respective divisions and their character before finalising the names.

Sources said the TD president has discussed the manifesto issue with the senior party leaders, particularly city leaders and promised to bring back the past glory of Hyderabad in the international arena

US official woos city students

HYDERABAD: The US government is making the visa process smoother for students by giving them priority and adding staff and resources at the Consulate here, Janice L Jacobs, assistant secretary of consular affairs, US department of state, said on Monday.

Jacobs, who was interacting with students of St Mary’s College, said the US Consulate in Hyderbad had issued more than 4,000 student visas so far this year and hoped that this number would considerably increase over the following years.

Speaking about the benefits of studying in the US, Jacobs said: “The United States has more than 4,000 educational institutions with immense variety in size, location, type and programmes. There is something for everyone.” She also spoke about the several scholarships on offer for international students that students could avail of in order to apply to the various American universities.

PCC chief post likely for Jagan

The Congress high command is planning to appoint the Kadapa MP, Mr Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, as the president of the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee.

Sources said that a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party will be called only after the son of the late YSR is elevated as the PCC chief. The Central leadership wants the young MP to work in the organisation like his late father, who had brought the Congress back to power after 10 years.

It is believed that the post of PCC chief will give Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy the proper profile as a leader and will prepare the way for his ascension to the top post. As of now, the high command does not want to disturb the current administrative setup put in place after the tragic death of YSR.

The party has become stronger in the state after the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections of April-May and the high command wants it to remain so. “Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy has a future if he waits for some time and emerges as a leader in his own right,” said a source.(DC)

All new Google search ready to roll out

Codename ‘Caffeine’

As you already know, search giant Google is working on a super secret project called ‘Google Caffeine’, which was revealed to be a new version of the Google search engine.

It was revealed today that Google Caffeine will go live in its first datacenter soon. The new Caffeine splash page says it all. Here’s the full text: ‘Based on the success we’ve seen, we believe Caffeine is ready for a larger audience. Soon we will activate Caffeine more widely, beginning with one data center. This sandbox is no longer necessary and has been retired, but we appreciate the testing and positive input that webmasters and publishers have given.’

So there you have it, Caffeine is ready to go live on google.com soon, starting with one datacenter. But you don’t need to worry since Caffeine would not change the look and the user interface of google’s homepage. Caffeine basically provides an overhaul of the architecture of Google’s web search that would improve its indexing speed, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. One thing is for sure, we will see important changes to search results coming soon.

Last month Google rolled out the social search features which combines results from your friends’ blogs, Flickr, Twitter, FriendFeed, and a heck of a lot of other social media sites with Google’s regular search results. Will Caffeine lean towards social media as well? Google also announced the $750 million-worth purchase of AdMob, the company whose profile will significantly help Google in establishing itself as a mobile advertising giant. The next generation of Google Search is easily the most anticipated change on the web. According to some testers, the search engine in the new Google is not only faster, but in some instances seems more capable of producing real-time results.

Here’s what Google had written on its blog a few weeks ago, ‘For the last several months, a large team of Googlers has been working on a secret project: a next-generation architecture for Google’s web search. It’s the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions. The new infrastructure sits “under the hood” of Google’s search engine, which means that most users won’t notice a difference in search results. But web developers and power searchers might notice a few differences, so we’re opening up a web developer preview to collect feedback.’

6 months jail for driving while talking on mobile

If you’re in the habit of talking endlessly on your mobile phone while driving your vehicle, you’re in for a rough time thanks to to a new rule by the government.

As per the new rule, if you’re caught while talking on your cell phone you could be charged Rs 2,000 as fine or even sent to prison for 6 months, and both if you tick off the cop enough. Also your driving licence would effectively be suspended for a total of six months.

And for those smart Alecs looking for a loophole in the rule, reading or sending text messages is forbidden as well, so is the use of mobile hands-free headsets. “A high-powered committee has already accepted these measures to curb dangerous driving on roads,” a senior transport ministry official said.

The ministry is expected to come out with a notification for the same in the next few days, so you can expect the traffic police to enforce the provisions soon. According to the ministry, a sub section, titled 183A will be included in the Motor Vehicle Act. The joint secretary in the ministry S K Dash had said at a recent meeting on road safety, “Section 183 of MVA will define the mobile phone and also specify penalties for talking on phone while driving.”

There is already a fine for using mobile phones while driving, and Delhi Traffic Police’s website has already included using mobile phone while driving as an offence and the penalty is Rs 1,000. Also, according to BJP MP Venkaiah Naidu and the Committee of Petition those caught using mobiles while driving be fined for the first three offences. For the next two transgressions, they could be fined with `negative remarks’ and finally, the licence could be suspended for six months if caught for a sixth time.

FBI gets 60 days to file charges against headley

FBI gets 60 days to file charges against headley
Washington, Nov 11: A court has given 60 days to FBI to complete its probe and file an indictment into the foiled terror plot in India and Denmark by Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba.

 

Chief Judge James F Holderman has extended till Jan 1, 2010, to file indictment for US national David Coleman Headley, arrested along with Canadian citizen of Pakistani-origin Tahawwur Hussain Rana by FBI on charges of plotting terror attack in India.

“This court finds that the ends of justice served by extension weigh the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial, because the failure to grant such an extension would deny the government the reasonable time necessary for effective preparation of the evidence for presentation to the Grand Jury, taking into account the exercise of due diligence,” Judge Holderman said in his order.

Earlier, FBI had requested the court to give it more time to complete the investigation and file the indictment.

80 trawlers missing in cyclone-hit Arabian Sea

80 trawlers missing in cyclone-hit Arabian Sea

Ahmedabad, Nov 11: Around 80 fishing trawlers are missing in cyclone-hit Arabian Sea, organisations of fisherman along India’s west coast said on Wednesday, Nov 11.

“Fifty fishing boats with a total estimated complement of about 500 fishermen are still out at sea and are on the path of the cyclone headed this way,” Gopal Tandel, president of the Daman Machimar Sangh (fishermen’s association) said.

Daman is a small coastal enclave on the Gujarat coast.

“There were about 80 boats out fishing but about 30 of them have either returned or are on their way back,” Tandel added.

According to Administrator of the union territory of Daman, Satya Gopal, the Coast Guard authorities had sent out a Dornier aircraft to warn fishing boats to return.

He said that over the last three days, special warnings were being put out by the administration advising fishermen against venturing out to sea.

Goa Coast Guard Commandant N Saxena said, “Our patrol vessels are already on the lookout for the trawlers. We have also pressed a lookout aircraft into the operation, which will scan the sea off Goa in search of the missing trawlers.”

Doctors’ strike kills a dozen lives in Bihar

Patna, Nov 11: More than a dozen patients who were admitted to the Patna Medical College and Hosiptal (PMCH) died following strike by junior doctors which entered its second day on Wednesday, Nov 11, officials said.

The doctors are demanding a hike in payment of salary that was promised to them earlier.

“More than 500 junior doctors went on an indefinite strike late Monday night Nov 9, demanding payment of the increased stipend they were promised after a round of agitations this Aug 2009,” official said.

“All the patients died during the first 24 hours of the ongoing strike,” an official said

The strike has badly hit the emergency services and dozens of surgeries have been postponed.

“Junior doctors were forced to go on strike as the government was not sticking to its promise,” Naqui Imam, a leader of the junior doctors’ association was quoted by news agency saying.

“In August after an assurance from the Bihar government of a hike in stipend, we withdrew our five-day-long strike. But we were not paid,” a doctor said.

Cyclone skips Mumbai, heads to south Guj

Cyclone skips Mumbai, heads to south Guj

Mumbai, Nov 11: Cyclone Phyan has spared Mumbai but heavy rains are expected later in the evening, the weather department said on Wednesday, Nov 11.

Phyan is now heading south Gujarat and north Maharashtra coast, but the authorities are not taking any chances in Mumbai.

The civic authorities have kept pumps in readiness at several coastal areas of Mumbai like Worli, Bandra, Juhu, Versova and Malad which could get flooded during the impending storm.

All government offices schools, colleges in Mumbai and Thane have been asked to shut early on Wednesday, Nov 11.

The Phyan is right now positioned about 180 km south-southwest of Mumbai and 430 km south-southwest of Surat.

The IMD expects that maximum sustained surface wind speed under the influence of Cyclone Phyan will be 70-80 kmph between 05:30 pm and 11:30 pm on Wednesday, Nov 11.

Sea condition will be high to very high over along and off Maharashtra and south Gujarat coasts.

Fishermen in Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat, besides the Lakshadweep Islands, have been advised not to go out to sea.

Four killed, 10 injured in a bus-lorry collision

Four passengers of an RTC bus were killed and nine others injured when the bus rammed into a parked lorry from behind at around 5.30 a.m. at Yacharam on the outskirts of the city.

The bus was on its way to Hyderabad from Ongole, the Yacharam Inspector, Sanjeeva Rao, said.

The lorry driver had parked the vehicle on roadside as some repairs were to be done. The bus driver failed to notice the lorry and crashed into it.

Srinivas (28), Valuramma (24), Saraswathi (65) and venkateswarlu (35) and another person believed to be the spare driver died instantly.

Ten other injured passengers were rushed to nearby hospitals. The condition of one injured passenger, Narayanamma, 65, is critical.

She is from Edomani village of Tanguturu mandal in Prakasam district. The deceased were from Gundemul village of Ongole district.

Chiranjeevi rules out PRP merger with Congress

Praja Rajyam Party chief K. Chiranjeevi addresses a press conference in Vijayawada on October 11, 2009. Photo: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar

 

The Hindu Praja Rajyam Party chief K. Chiranjeevi addresses a press conference in Vijayawada on October 11, 2009. Photo: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar
Praja Rajyam Party president K. Chiranjeevi has totally ruled out the question of merging his 15-month-old outfit with the ruling Congress in Andhra Pradsh.

 

“We shall not even entertain such thoughts,” Mr. Chiranjeevi told a press conference here on Wednesday. Mr. Chiranjeevi reacted rather angrily to the suggestion made by some Congress leaders, including Agriculture Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy, that it would be better if the PRP merged with the national party.

“Such suggestions only indicate that the Congress has weakened. But we shall never entertain such thoughts,” Mr. Chiranjeevi added.

Questioned on what basis the PRP sought to align with the Congress for the elections to Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, he said it was only to ensure total development of the city. “Not that our philosophies are same but our focus is on the total development of the State capital. Hence we wanted to come together for the GHMC polls,” Mr. Chiranjeevi observed.

He, however, was highly critical of the Congress for neglecting the development of Hyderabad in the last five years. “Hyderabad has become out of bounds for common people and it has become a haven only for the rich. The situation has so worsened that the common man cannot even afford to buy even a square yard of land,” the PRP chief pointed out.

Young writer and intrepid traveller dies in China

Arun Veembur

Arun Veembur
A young writer hailing from Kerala and raised in Bangalore has tragically died while trekking in southwest China. He was working on a book here.Arun Veembur, 28, sustained serious injuries from a fall on Monday while hiking in the remote mountains near Dali, a city in the Yunnan province where he lived. It took a rescue team until Tuesday night to locate him. When the team arrived on the scene after a day-long search, it was too late, his friends and officials said.

Arun was the only son of V.K. Godan, a Scientist with DRDO in Bangalore, and Usha Godan. Mr. Godan is from Veembur Mana near Thrissur and Ms. Godan is from Polpakkara Mana, also near Thrissur. He was born and raised in Bangalore.

Arun came to China in 2006. He was in Bangalore prior to this and worked as a journalist with an English newspaper, and moved to Yunnan, a hilly province in China’s far southwest, to follow an unlikely passion – an obsession with the history of a little-known road.

While on holiday in Assam, Arun happened to hear the story of the Stilwell Road built by the Allies during the Second World War to ship supplies from India to China. It runs from Ledo in Assam through Myanmar to Kunming, Yunnan’s capital.

The inquisitive and impulsive journalist decided at once to traverse every inch of the road and write a first-of-its-kind travel book based on its rich history.

In an interview with The Hindu in July 2009, he had recalled how he came here “on a whim,” to get away from the humdrum routines of Indian journalism which he said, had left him disenchanted. He landed up in Kunming with little idea of how long he would stay, limited resources and unsure of how to go about his project.

He never expected to stay as long as he did. In the three years here, Arun became something of an institution in Kunming. He was a familiar face for visiting journalists and diplomats and a valuable guide for the regular trickle of Indian businessmen who frequent China’s southwest.

He was deeply knowledgeable about an often-ignored part of the continent. He travelled wherever his research — and the Road — took him, even to the remote interiors of Myanmar to the heart of its ethnic strife.

He spent the last year helping promote tourism in the ancient city of Dali, where he wrote vivid portrayals of the region’s little-known minority cultures on his blog.

But the Road was his passion. He would sign off on all his e-mails quoting from a poem from a British officer who was stationed in Assam. It read: “Did our job, though, like God willed. We had the Ledo Road to build.”

Arrangements are being made to bring the body home with the aid of a designated Chinese agency.

IIMB gets 180 slot zero offers, highest across IIMs

BANGALORE: The Indian Institute of Management Bangalore has bagged 180 “slot zero” (the first two days) offers for the batch of 348 students for

year 2010, the highest across all IIMs for summer placements.

“The entire batch of 348 students, the biggest ever batch at IIMB, was placed within a span of five days by over 150 companies, with as many 180 slot zero offers being made, the highest across all IIMs”, Prof P D Jose, chairperson of the placement committee, told reporters.

More than 50% of the batch was placed by the end of Slot Zero (the first two days of placement offers).

The major recruiters included Goldman Sachs, Citi, HSBC, ABG, Nomura, Bain & Co, Standard Chartered, A T Kearney, Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey & Co, Credit Suisse, Macquarie, Merril Lynch, Morgan Stanley, J P Morgan and Barclay’s Capital.

Recruiters from Sales & Marketing formed the major chunk (21 per cent) as a result of more number of FMCG companies this time, followed by Investment Banking (19 per cent), finance (16 per cent), consulting (15 per cent), general management (12 per cent), IT (9 per cent) and private equity (three per cent).

“There was a welcome jump in Investment Banking this time compared to last year (14 per cent). It was Investment Banking which occupied the top slot last time as far as recruiters were concerned”, Jose said.

Eighty-nine major offers were made with the highest from Goldman Sachs (13), closely followed by Citi and HSBC (nine each).

Cyclone Phyan weakens as it crosses west coast

A satellite image shows the eye of the cyclonic storm Phyan as seen over Maharashtra on Wednesday morning.

 

IMD A satellite image shows the eye of the cyclonic storm Phyan as seen over Maharashtra on Wednesday morning.
Cyclone Phyan crossed the west coast just north of this metropolis on Wednesday evening and weakened into a tropical storm, but still dumped a huge amount of rain over the area and rode on winds gusting up to 85 km per hour. No damage was reported in the initial hours.

 

The storm is now likely to move further north by northeast and weaken into a deep depression overnight, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said on its cyclone alert Website.

On Wednesday evening, the weather office predicted more rainfall under the influence of the storm, “with heavy to very heavy fall at a few places over Konkan, central Maharashtra, Marathwada and south Gujarat. There will be rainfall at many places over Madhya Pradesh during the next 24 hours, with isolated heavy falls likely.”

It said gales with winds at a speed of 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph are likely along and off north Maharashtra and adjoining south Gujarat coasts till midnight. “Sea condition will be high to very high.”

The authorities warned that the winds were still strong enough to damage huts and break tree branches, causing damage to power and communications lines in coastal areas of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Before Phyan weakened, people scurried home in pelting rain as schools, colleges and offices shut here in the early afternoon.

Maharashtra Chief Secretary Johny Joseph said: “All disaster control agencies like the district administration, police, civic and traffic authorities, fire brigade, Home Guards, Coast Guard, and the Indian Navy have been put on high alert to tackle any eventuality arising out of the weather conditions.”

Authorities have also advised citizens to keep away from popular coastal haunts like Churchgate, Nariman Point, Colaba, Worli, Bandra, Juhu, Versova, Marve, Bhayander and Vasai as huge waves could lash the shore by the evening.

Non-stop rain and heavy cloud cover led to a number of flight delays in and out of Mumbai. According to an official of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, incoming flights were getting delayed by an hour and departures were around 15 minutes behind schedule.

Though there were traffic jams on the main roads in the city, suburban train services were operating normally. Central Railway and Western Railway ran special services to clear the rush of passengers, especially those bound for far-flung suburbs.

Fishermen in Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat, besides the Lakshadweep Islands, have been advised not to go out to sea. But about 60 fishing boats remained missing at sea, with the Indian Navy and Coast Guard planes and ships searching for them.

Civic authorities kept pumps in readiness at several coastal areas of Mumbai like Worli, Bandra, Juhu, Versova and Malad.

In Gujarat, the State government stood down its cyclone alert in the evening.

China set to take on Obama by selling advanced jets to Pakistan

BEIJING: China has sent out an interesting signal ahead of US president Barack Obama’s scheduled visit to Beijing by offering a set of advanced

fighter jets to Pakistan. It has agreed to sell $1.4 billion worth of jets to Islamabad days ahead of the planned visit of the US president Barack Obama to Shanghai and Beijing on November 15-18.

The move is expected to jolt the US administration as it works on notes and talking points for Obama’s meetings with Chinese leaders. He is expected to discuss Beijing’s relationship with India and its role in internal conflicts in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Beijing is keen to reduce US influence on Pakistan, which will make it easier for it to deal with India, sources said. Washington’s recent decision to extend massive financial assistance to Islamabad is seen in some quarters as a policy setback for China.
It is now trying to get back its influence over Pakistan by selling two squadrons of advanced jets, sources said. Even more significant is Beijing’s eagerness to share advanced technology with Pakistan, which is something US suppliers are usually reluctant to do.

A report from Pakistan said it wants to buy a larger number of war planes from China besides the two squadrons of J-10 fighter planes it is buying at the moment. A Pakistani official described the plane sales deal as a “landmark” in Pak-China relations.

“The agreement should not simply be seen in the narrow context of Pakistan’s relations with China. There is a wider dimension. By sharing its advanced technology with Pakistan, China is … also saying to the world that its defense capability is growing rapidly,” Abdul Qayyum, a retired Pakistani general, was quoted in the Pakistani media as saying.

What Social Networking Sites Do

The line between what is and isn’t a social networking site isn’t always a clear one. Internet message boards, for instance, facilitate the creation of online communities, but they typically don’t have the robust “friends list” features of a true social networking site. Some sites don’t have social networking as their primary goal, but accomplish that function. Last.fm, for instance, is a way for users to track their music listening habits, rate songs and create their own custom stations of streaming music to listen to. Because users can also compare their tastes to those of other users, and create profiles and friends lists, it also acts as a social networking site.

There are two things that a website must have to be defined as a social networking site:

1). The ability for users to create their own personal profile pages, containing whatever information they want to share about themselves.

2). The ability for users to link to each other and create a list of “friends” or “contacts” who can view each other’s profiles and share social networking information.

Many social networking sites offer capabilities far beyond the basics, often based on the specific type of networking the site caters to. For example, a business networking site might allow users to post resumes or references. A photo sharing site would most likely have advanced image galleries built in, plus ways to rate or discuss other people’s photos. A music-focused site could allow users to automatically upload lists of songs they listen to on their media players. New applications are expanding the capabilities of social networking sites every day, giving us more opportunities to interact with them (and, some might argue, fewer opportunities to get away from them).

Why are some sites more popular than others, and why do some sites fade in popularity after a while? Anyone who can give you a definite answer to that question is well on the way to becoming a millionaire. Actually, site popularity is defined by many complex factors. It also varies among different populations — some sites are more popular with younger users, while some that are not well-known in the United States are popular in other countries.

Sometimes a fade in popularity can be attributed to a new site with more or more useful features. Sometimes it revolves around social networks themselves. For instance, a single user or group of users with a lot of connections can make a switch to a new site and bring all their contacts with them. Since every “friend” has his or her own friends, the ripple effect can eventually become enormous. For example, while Friendster has experienced a decline in American users, it has become enormously popular in the Philippines. Friendster traced the shift to one west coast American user who had many contacts in the Philippines

Twitter Doesn’t Make any Money

Twitter co-founder and CEO Evan Williams is hanging onto the company for now.
David Paul MorrisTwitter co-founder and CEO Evan Williams is hanging on to the company for now.

Well, yes, this is actually true, though it’s not such a bad thing. How and when will it actually earn any money? Twitter’s venture capitalists aren’t worried about it yet. To hear the co-founders and investors tell it, Twitter’s emphasis right now is on building an audience and the revenue streams will come second to that — an “if you build it they will come” (or “pay” in this case) sort of scenario.

 

And that myth that Twitter will be acquired? Twitter has had courting parties. In 2008, Facebook expressed interest in acquiring Twitter for $500 million of its stock plus a cash component but was turned down. In 2009, rumors swirled that Google would acquire Twitter. Co-founder Biz Stone, however, posted on the Twitter blog that the “goal is to build a profitable, independent company and we’re just getting started” .

BHEL bags Rs. 91 crore contract from UK firm

 

BHELGas turbine rotor on assembly bed at BHEL, Hyderabad

State-run BHEL on Wednesday said it has bagged a Rs 91 crore order from UK-based Power Engineers Contracting company to supply gas turbine generating unit for its Nasiryah power project in Iraq.

“BHEL has received an order from Power Engineers Contracting Company, UK for supplying 42 MW Gas Turbine generating unit for Nasiryah power project in Iraq,” the company said in a statement.

BHEL has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Power Engineers for supplying gas turbine generators and steam turbine generators for future projects in Iraq, it said.

The gas turbines and associated equipment will be made and supplied by BHEL’s Hyderabad plant and the control system will be manufactured and supplied by its electronics division, Bangalore

Healthy ice cream? Scientists set out to create it

 icecream_01

Probiotics, antioxidants to be added to the fat- and calorie-filled treat

In what might seem to defy the laws of comfort foods, researchers are setting out to concoct a healthy, yes healthy, ice cream.

If the food scientists are successful, ice cream would become another so-called functional food, alongside whole oat products and foods made with soy protein, which have scientifically established health benefits beyond basic nutrition. (The United States doesn’t currently have a formal definition for functional foods.)

ice_cream_sundae

In addition to ice-cream’s fat- and calorie-filled ingredients, the researchers hope to add dietary fiber, antioxidants and probiotics (gut bacteria that support a healthy digestive system) to your delectable dessert. Antioxidants could protect cells from damage caused by molecules called free radicals and are suspected of helping to prevent a slew of diseases.

The scientists expect to have a prototype, meaning a product ready for tasting but not yet ready for market, within six months and a marketable product in perhaps two years.

 

 

ice-cream-ck-

If and when it does hit store shelves, the researchers don’t advocate replacing your fruits and veggies with the functional ice cream.

“The intent is that instead of feeling guilty because you are eating this ice cream, which has received a bad rap because it is so high-fat, to really say that ‘Yeah I treated myself to a full-fat ice cream, but I did contribute to my nutritional needs in regard to my gut health, my antioxidant needs and my dietary fiber,'” said ice-cream researcher Ingolf Gruen, a professor of food chemistry at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

ice-cream-cones

Gruen and his colleagues chose the added ingredients because they have been shown to contribute to a person’s health and also because they are familiar to consumers.

Gruen said people buy a food for two reasons: either because they really enjoy the food or because it’s good for them. If the researchers were to add foreign, albeit beneficial, ingredients, consumers might pass right by the treat. “We’re trying to hit the big three, so to speak, of what consumers know about,” Gruen told LiveScience.

OK, so it won’t taste great

The researchers foresee a healthy ice cream that tastes good but likely wouldn’t be the ultra-delicious stuff that makes you gain weight just thinking about it.

They also foresee consumers saying, “Oh it’s not as good as the full-fact heavy ice cream, but because it is good for me, and it still tastes good, I will purchase it,” Gruen said.

Challenges abound, however.

“Our major challenges are texture, flavor and psychological acceptance,” Gruen said. “The nutrients we add often have bitter tastes and affect the texture of ice cream that we have to mask.”

He added, “Flavors like chocolate are easier to work with because the flavor is so strong that it can overcome other flavors from the nutrients.”

For instance, they could just add a dash of dietary fiber to avoid too gritty a texture, but Gruen said that’s not the point.

“We want to make sure if you consume it there is a significant contribution to health benefits from these ingredients,” Gruen said. He said the final product could contain between 10 and 15 percent of your daily fiber requirements.

To inject the ice cream with antioxidants, the team is trying out different amounts of the açai berry. The berry has an unpleasant flavor, Gruen noted, so the researchers are figuring out how to balance a good antioxidant punch with the least açai flavor.

Wipro to hire sacked employees

BANGALORE: If you are a pink slip recipient from Wipro, here’s a piece of good news. Wipro plans to rehire some of the employees it fired a year ago.

“Non-performance was the reason for these separations. However, we are open to rehire some of these people who were fired by us a year ago, if they come back to us with additional skill sets. A one-year window would have been enough for them to acquire some additional skills,” said Joseph John, vice-president (HR) in Wipro Infotech, the business that looks at the India and Middle-East markets.

The tech major’s involuntary attrition rate has gone up by 2 percentage points in the last 16 months. Wipro Infotech said it would also resume campus hiring from January. “We are looking at hiring over 1,000 laterals during the fiscal and 1,000 freshers from campuses in January,” said John.

The division, which recruited 1,000 people in the first six months of the fiscal, expects hiring numbers in the second half of the year to be more than double of that.

The additional people requirement comes with Wipro winning a slew of large projects in India and the Middle-East, and also to cater to the growing requirements of existing accounts. The company hired 200 people in Saudi Arabia and Egypt recently.

Wipro is also hiring for its Global Service Management Centre in Mysore with almost 5% jobs earmarked for differently-abled people.

Wipro Infotech is planning to raise the ratio of its women employees from 13% now to 20% in the next two years. On salary hikes, John said the company had not budgeted a hike at the start of the fiscal. “But we have decided to raise salaries in the fourth quarter across the board.”