Thursday, 16 February 2017

City Based Start-up ‘Incredible Devices’ Wins at National Level at Prestigious NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum 2017

BY Tricitynews Reporter
Chandigarh 16th February:- NASSCOM Foundation, in collaboration with industry leaders Mphasis, today announced the winners of the ninth edition of the NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum - a platform that fosters innovative use of technology to create sustained social impact. Arguably, the largest Social Innovation Honours in India, NSIF received over 1300 applications this year out of which, 9 winners were chosen after going through a rigorous two level Jury process in the categories of Primary and Secondary Education, Primary Healthcare, Accessibility, Livelihood and Agriculture, Environment and other socially relevant areas.
City based, Incredible Devices was adjudged as a clear winner in the Primary Healthcare category for its innovative Catheter Reprocessing System, a machine that automates the effective cleaning and sterilization of catheters. The machine runs 24 different cycles for cleaning catheters from washing with RO water through to chemical drying. The CRS both monitors and standardizes the process, therefore reducing the health and safety risks along with costs for all patients using catheters.
All the winners including Incredible Devices will be provided with support to scale services and industry led mentoring from Mphasis.
The jury that selected the winners comprised of many renowned industry stalwarts like DebjaniGhosh, Vice President, Sales and Marketing Group, Managing Director, South Asia, Intel Corporation; PadmajaRuparel, President, Indian Angel Network; Sanjay Podder, Managing Director and R&D Head- Accenture Labs India; Sara Chamberlain, Director Digital, at BBC Media Action, India; PuneetBhirani, Executive Vice President - Chief People & Administrative officer, Mphasis; Dr. Ganesh Natarajan, Executive Chairman, Founder, 5F World, Chairman, NASSCOM Foundation.
Commenting on the occasion, PuneetBhirani, Chief People and Administrative Officer, Mphasis, said that digital technologies and disruptive innovation play a pivotal role in solving developmental issues economically and at scale. In this edition of NSIF, the applications stood out for their innovation quotient, contextual use of relevant technologies, sustainable operational models and high impact potential. He would like to congratulate all the winners and wish them the best in their endeavours to positively transform development outcomes.
Sanjay Podder, Managing Director, Accenture Labs, Bengaluru said that technology is playing an increasingly critical role in accelerating social transformation and we are committed to support social entrepreneurs in applying emerging technologies for social reform. Accenture Labs is pleased to facilitate this ‘Tech for Good’ initiative, helping to build digitally-enabled innovative solutions to address the most pervasive social concerns such as health, education and gender equality. We congratulate the winners on their achievement and honour their contributions in changing the way our world works and lives.
Dr. Ganesh Natarajan, Chairman, NASSCOM Foundation said that India is a country on the verge of change; a change being brought about by a unique amalgamation of technology with high intellect and a will to succeed against all odds and complexities. NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum celebrates this change by honouring its true flag bearers and showing them the way to scalability and greater impact through catalytic grants, mentoring and technology assistance. He would like to congratulate the winners and believe that these solutions can fuel the growth of our country towards solving the problems in Primary and Secondary Education, Accessibility for all, Livelihood and Agriculture, Healthcare, environment and other social issues.
As India’s leading “Tech for Good” platform, the Forum receives interest from numerous innovators each year from far corners of the country. Through focused support, the Forum has helped scale some of the most impactful initiatives fostering inclusive development.

Consumer voice Urge Union Finance Minister to Tax All Tobacco Products

BY Tricitynews Reporter
Chandigarh 16th February:- Ahead of a crucial GST Council meeting to be held on February 18, 2016, Consumer VOICE, a leading national consumer organization have reached out to the union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and his key advisers, urging them to ensure that ALL tobacco products especially bidis, are placed in the demerit good category at the 28% GST rate with an additional levy of the highest possible rate of cess. Citizen Awareness Group, a partner organization of Consumer VOICE is actively supporting and working on Tobacco Control Intervention from the state of Punjab. These Consumer Organizations have also strongly recommended that tobacco products including bidis should be taxed at uniformly high rates under the new indirect tax framework expected to kick in from July 1. The move is significant as it comes just days ahead of the GST council meet which is expected to discuss the rate slabs for different goods and services under the GST mechanism.
In Punjab the percentage of tobacco usage is 11.7% of adults;21.6% of males and 0.5% of females.
According to Dr. Rijo John, Assistant Professor, IIT Jodhpur that as against a normally expected 10%-15% increase in taxes on tobacco products, a mere increase of 6% announced in the budget is a boon to the tobacco industry. Unless corrective measures are taken in the impending GST by bringing all tobacco products under the highest demerit rate of 28% + the highest possible cess, it would be a severe blow to the public health in India.
Bidis are the most commonly used tobacco product in India, accounting for 64% of all tobacco consumption and are disproportionately consumed by the poor.  Bidis contribute to the majority of the 10 lakh deaths attributable to tobacco as well as the staggering economic burden caused by tobacco use. Classifying different tobacco products in lower rate GST slabs will be a distortion and will send a wrong message and promote the use of products like bidis.
Ashim Sanyal, COO, Consumer Voice said that Tobacco consumption has reached a dangerous level for consumers which needs immediate attention by the law makers since it is making consumers poorer and leaving their entire family vulnerable to cancers of the mouth, lung, larynx, to name just a few tobacco related illnesses. He added that it is a proven simple economics that demand falls with a rise in price. Hence we need to raise taxes on tobacco, especially on bidis to a higher level, to discourage its consumption and saving millions of lives.
With the total tax burden currently at 53%, 19.5% and 56% for cigarettes, bidis and smokeless, tobacco respectively, taxation in India is much lower than the level recommended by the WHO, according to which the tax burden should represent at least 75% of the retail price. The union budget 2017-18 also did not address this anomaly with an effective tax increase of 6%, lower than atleast the 10% increase witnessed in previous budgets.
Surender Verma, Chairman, Citizen awareness Group, Punjab said that Taxation is clearly the best way to tackle the tobacco threat as reiterated by research all over the world including in India.  We hope that the GST Council will ensure a significant increase in tobacco taxation and decrease in the affordability of tobacco products while finalizing the GST reform.
With 10 lakh tobacco triggered deaths every year, public health advocates believe that the government’s taxation policies in the tobacco sector have left public health concerns unaddressed. Taxation is clearly the best way to tackle the tobacco threat as reiterated by research all over the world including in India. It is critical that the total tax burden on tobacco under the GST regime does not fall below the current tax burden in order to achieve revenue neutrality and maintain the current progress on public health.

Gartner Positions Infosys as ‘Leader’ In Magic Quadrant for SAP® Application Services

BY Tricitynews Reporter
Chandigarh 16th February:- Infosys (NYSE: INFY), a global leader in consulting, technology, outsourcing and next-generation services today announced that Gartner Inc. has positioned Infosys as a ‘Leader’ in its EMEA and North America 2016 Magic Quadrant reports for SAP® Application Services.
Gartner’s ‘Magic Quadrant for SAP® Application Services, EMEA’ report evaluates 19 service providers across multiple SAP® applications and technologies and Gartner’s ‘Magic Quadrant for SAP® Application Services, North America’ report evaluates 20 service providers. These reports assess their ability to deliver a comprehensive set of implementation and management services across the SAP® portfolio of products for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), and North America respectively.
Ravi Kumar, President and Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Infosys said that being named a Leader for SAP® Application Management Services by Gartner is a recognition of the investments we have made in our services capabilities. Infosys is focused on building innovative solutions to help clients reshape their digital landscape. Over time, these investments in new technologies and pre-configured industry solutions have streamlined and accelerated SAP®-enabled transformation programs for our clients.
About Gartner’s Magic Quadrant
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
Magic Quadrant for SAP® Application Services, EMEA, 31 January 2017, Gilbert van der Heiden, Neil Barton, Fabio Di Capua.
Magic Quadrant for SAP® Application Services, North America, 31 January 2017, Frances Karamouzis, Kris Doering, Susan Tan.

PGI Senior Physiotherapist Receives National Award

BY Tricitynews Reporter
Chandigarh 16th February:- Pradip Kumar Sarkar, Senior Physiotherapist and In-charge of  Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, PGI, received   National Award from recently concluded National conference by "Indian Association of Physiotherapists" held at Ranchi, Jharkhand in recognition of the meritorious and outstanding work done to promote the physiotherapy profession. The award was handed over by The Governor of Jharkhand Smt Droupadi Murmu and previous Chief minister Arjune Munda.
Pradip Kumar Sarkar has 23 years extensive experience in the field of women and child health, cardiopulmonary and community based rehabilitations. He has participated in community health services in West Bengal, Punjab and Haryana. He has conducted many camps and awareness programs and arranged several community based rehabilitation sessions. He along with NGOs worked for disability prevention and  conducted many workshops, conferences, and symposia on Physiotherapy.

British Paints’ Launch “ExpaCoolPremium Exterior Emulsion” “With Cool Roof Advantage”

BY Tricitynews Reporter
Chandigarh 16th February:- British Paints, which traces its origins back to 1919,feels proud to bring to you their latest offering “ExpaCoolPremium Exterior Emulsion”. 
Expa Cool is a 100% acrylic high built exterior paint made to international standards that keeps exteriors looking bright and new for many years. Expa Cool is a high performance architectural coating for all types of construction residential building, offices and commercial complexes. Expa Cool is a 100% pure acrylic emulsion, with tough adhesion and flexibility, its lightfast chemical resisting pigments and other special additives, provides protection against alkali, U.V. degradation, fungal and algae growth.
The product safeguards the exterior surface from the extremities of Indian weather and performs exceptionally well to withstand the test of time. It offers excellent resistance to chalking & cracking in comparison to other paints. During development, the product was exhaustively tested in some of the harsh environments of the country, where the product performance in terms of toughness, UV resistance, water resistance and anti - microbial performance was found to be outstanding. The color retention feature resists color fading from ultra violet rays. Not only this, ExpaCoolPremium Exterior Emulsion has low VOC i.e. does not emit air polluting harmful vapours and paint odour that pollutes our environment & hence environment friendly.
Also the product is duly certified for its Cool Roof technology and has received certification from Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), Ahmedabad.
In the quest to meet up the expectation of the customers, Expa Cool Premium Exterior Emulsion gives assurance of performance upto 5 year. This also helps the customer to avoid the hassle of re-painting & save cost.

वीरभद्र के भतीजे की हत्या के मामले में मुख्य आरोपी हरमेहताब को हरिद्वार से गिरफ्तार

BY Tricitynews Reporter
Chandigarh 16th February:- चंडीगढ़ पुलिस के एस एस पी ईश सिंघल ने चंडीगढ़ पुलिस मुख्यालय में की प्रेस वार्ता के दौरान बताया कि उन्हें हरमेहताब को लेकर इनपुट मिली थी जिसके आधार पर इंस्पेक्टर अमनजोत सिंह की अगुवाई वाली सर्च टीम ने आरोपी हरमेहताब को हरिद्वार से गिरफ्तार कर लिया है लेकिन अभी इस मामले का दूसरा आरोपी बलराज रंधावा पुलिस की गिरफ्त से फरार है | साथ ही पुलिस इस घटनाक्रम में इस्तेमाल की गई बी एम् डब्लू कार को भी फिलहाल बरामद नहीं कर पाई है |
एस एस पी ईश सिंघल का कहना है कि इस मामले में अब पुलिस गिरफ्तार किये आरोपी को जिला अदालत चंडीगढ़ में पेश कर रिमांड हासिल करने का प्रयास करेगी | जिसके बाद इस पुरे मामले का खुलासा होने की उम्मीद है | आपको बता दे कि इस घटनाक्रम के बाद से ही हरमेहताब और बलराज रंधावा फरार चल रहे थे | दो दिन पहले हरमेहताब के द्वारा चंडीगढ़ जिला अदालत में अग्रिम जमानत याचिका दायर की थी | जिसे लम्बी बहस एवं चंडीगढ़ पुलिस के एतराज के बाद माननीय न्यायधीश ने ख़ारिज कर दिया था |  
वही एस एस पी ईश सिंघल का कहना है कि घटना की रात करीब 11 युवक और युवतियां चंडीगढ़ सेक्टर 9 में पार्टी कर रहे थे | इस पार्टी में हरमेहताब और शेरा भी मोजूद थे जिनकीं आपस में पुरानी रंजिश थी | दोनों का इस पार्टी में भी झगडा हो गया और सुबह करीब 6 बजे आकांश के उपर गाडी चढाने का मामला सामने आया अब इस दौरान क्या वाक्य घटित हुआ कि आकांश को अपनी जान गवानी पड़ी यह फिलहाल जांच का विषय है | फिलहाल इस मामले में पुलिस पार्टी में मोजूद चार लोगो के ब्यान दर्ज कर चुकी है | पुलिस चारो के बयानों एवं शिकायतकर्ता अधम्य सिंह के बयानों के आधार पर मामला दर्ज करके कार्यवाही कर रही है |  वही एस एस पी सिंघल का यह भी कहना था कि इस मामले में पार्टी कर रहे अधिकतर युवक नशे की हालत में थे |
वही एस एस पी का यह भी कहना था कि आरोपी युवक ने आत्मसमर्पण नहीं किया है बलिक घटनाक्रम के बाद से ही आरोपियों ने मोबाइल फ़ोन, क्रेडिट कार्ड का इस्तेमाल बंद कर दिया था ताकि इनकी लोकेशन सर्च ना हो पाए | मामले में फरार चल रहे दुसरे आरोपी बलराज रंधावा की धरपकड़ की लिये भी चंडीगढ़ पुलिस की 27 टीमे प्रयासरत है | साथ ही इस मामले में पुलिस किसी भी आरोपी को बचाने का प्रयास नहीं कर रही है |

UM Motorcycles opens Dealership in City:First in Punjab

BY Tricitynews Reporter
Chandigarh 16th February:- UM Lohia Two Wheelers Pvt. Ltd the Indian arm of the American motorcycle maker UM International, LLC  along with Lohia Auto opened its first dealership of Punjab here today . The dealership at Jindal Agencies Pvt Ltd, Phase1, Industrial Area was inaugurated by Rajeev Mishra, CEO–UM Lohia Two Wheelers Pvt. Ltd. Shubham Garg, Director, UM Royal Punjab was also presented during occasion.
The state of the art dealership located at Chandigarh is spread over a total of 2200sq. ft; which includes an area of 1500sq. ft for sales & service support. Customers will have access to the entire range of UM merchandise and accessories as well. The company further shared that the recently announced 24x7 Roadside Assistance Programme (RSA) will also be available for all customers of the city immediately.
Speaking at the launch, Rajeev Mishra said that Chandigarh as we all know is India’s best planned city which boasts of well maintained, beautiful roads. Additionally its close proximity to the mountains makes the city an ideal playground for motor heads and nomads alike. Moreover Chandigarh is known for its automobile culture, and we’re confident of getting an excellent response from this city. We have been working very hard to create motorcycles that engage with the rider and offer a balance between ergonomics and performance. We’re hoping this dynamism is something even the customers feel.
Shubham Garg , Director, UM Royal Punjab  said that it’s indeed an honor for us to be a partner with UM Motorcycles. Chandigarh has a rich motorcycling culture and after riding the Renegade siblings, he is sure that all bikers who prefer cruisers will opt for our products without a single doubt.  As representatives of UM Motorcycles we shall ensure all customers are given the complete motorcycling experience that UM is known for. Our investment in the showroom and workshop has already been rewarded by confirming orders which we have received prior to the inauguration.
The Renegade Commando is a low-slung cruiser powered by a high-powered 280 cc engine that delivers a power of 25 BHP at 8,500 rpm and 21.8 Nm of torque at 7,000 rpm. The light weight engine is mated to a six-speed gearbox, and offers the highest ground clearance of 200mm in its class, along with offering an inbuilt USB port as a standard feature. Both the Renegade Commando and the Sports S come with front disc brakes, along with hydraulic telescopic suspensions in front and spring suspensions at the rear; wide handlebars further offer ease of riding especially during long hauls.
An innovative feature called Service Alert Maintenance comes as a standard fitment in both the Renegade Commando and Renegade Sports S, giving customers a heads-up on the service update. The Sport S comes with LED lights as a standard feature which aids in rider visibility during night rides. The siblings have an18 liter fuel tank and bear a kerb weight of 172 Kg. The Renegade Sports S is available at INR 1, 61,835 (ex-showroom, Chandigarh), while the Renegade Commando is available at 1, 68,176 (ex-showroom Chandigarh).

Microfinance Industry Witnessed 53% YoY Growth in Q3 FY17:MFIN Report

BY Tricitynews Reporter
Chandigarh 16th February:- According to the recently released report by Microfinance Institutions Network, a Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) and a premiere industry association, the microfinance industry has grown by 53% year on year for the relevant period. The aggregate GLP of microfinance institutions stood at Rs 56,634 crore in Q3 FY17 as compared to Rs 36,912 crore in Q3 FY15-16. 
According to the report, there was a decline of 26% in the number of loans disbursed and a 16% decrease in loan amounts disbursed as compared to the corresponding quarter of the last year. The decrease on both disbursement and collection is due to the impact on industry post discontinuance of the High Value Currency Notes (HCVNs) of Rs. 500 and Rs.1000. The pulling out of the HCVNs from circulation significantly impacted the microfinance sector which is 99% cash driven. Speaking on the effects of demonetization on the industry, Ms Ratna Vishwanathan, CEO, MFIN said that post the discontinuation of HCVNs with effect from midnight of 8th November, the industry was thrown out of gear initially. This was to be expected in a sector which is 99% cash intensive and has a unique doorstep delivery model specifically for the unbanked and under banked. Ratna Vishwanathan further informed that during the whole two months post discontinuing of High Value Currency Notes, MFIN has had to engage with State Governments at both the ministerial level as well as the bureaucracy, the RBI and extensively with the press to quell the surge of disinformation with reference to microfinance practices. The irony is, however, that over the last 4-5 years, 45 million women have been brought into the framework of a regulated platform from which to access credit. But the fragility of the process is evident in the fact of how quickly misinformation can lead to disrupting their credit histories making them once again vulnerable to the grey market as their primary source of credit. This illustrates the need for further educating clients on how best to take care of their own interests so as not to become victim to misinformation. Going forward, this experience can only lead to further strengthening the sector and making it more resilient in the face of any exigency that may come forth.
Over half of the total disbursements (which accounts for 56%) during the quarter came from 5 states, namely - Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Odisha and Bihar. The loan amount disbursed was INR 14,707cr in Q3 FY15-16, and is at INR12, 424cr in Q3FY 16-17. The employee base of NBFC-MFIs has also grown significantly from 68161 to 102,716, showing an increase of 51% from last year.
GLP distribution is highest in South Indiaat33%, followed by North India contributing to 27%, West India at 24% and East India at 16%. The industry has witnessed a42% growth in the client base from last year, during which MFIs provided microcredit to 3.38 crore borrowers as compared to 2.37 crore to borrowers in Q3 FY 15-16.

Nivedita Creche PGI Celebrates World Read Aloud Day

BY Tricitynews Reporter
Chandigarh 16th February:- World Read Aloud day was celebrated in Nivedita Creche, PGI  by the division of social pediatrics , Advanced Pediatrics Center , PGI Chandigarh  Dr Bhavneet Bharti, Professor Social Pediatrics and her team organized the event with the theme “reading stories aloud to kids promotes early literacy ”. She said that reading aloud to the child is rapidly becoming a forgotten art in our urban culture where parents are too busy to read stories to their kids. Time for reading stories has been replaced by screen time. However, reading aloud to children unmasks many hidden mental and intellectual abilities of young kids and carves out positive behavior in them. Reading stories loudly indeed offers a niche window for kids to view the world around them in a creative and constructive way. She also motivated all parents to make the habit of reading aloud to their children as a daily household ritual
Dr Prahbhjot  Malhi Child Psychologist at Advanced Pediatrics Center  provided the tips to the parents to read aloud to their children . She said that many parents do not know that reading aloud to the child is the most important gift that a parent can give to their children. Reading to children begins their journey of reading and unlocks the child’s world of imagination. Reading is known to improve children’s skills of paying attention, focusing, and acquisition of vocabulary.
Dr Bhavneet Bharti said that the research is clear: if children cannot read proficiently by the end of third grade, they face daunting hurdles to success in school and beyond. Third grade marks a pivot point in reading. In fourth grade, students begin encountering a wider variety of texts. By then, able readers have learned to extract and analyze new information and expand their vocabularies by reading. As per the ASER report 2016, nationally, the proportion of children in Std III who are able to read at least Std I level text  is just  42.5% in 2016 in India .
Struggling readers rarely catch up with their peers academically and are four times more likely to drop out of high school, lowering their earning power as adults and possibly costing society in welfare and other supports. 
Dr Bhavneet Bharti said the most important factor to promote literacy is the Parent Factor. Both the quality and the quantity of verbal interaction between parent and child are major factors in developing literacy skills and reading readiness. Diverse vocabulary and sentence formation are among them, as are initiating conversation, prompting response, and listening actively to the child.  
Anandita Bharti , an avid reader herself narrated loudly a story "The Gruffalo " for children of Nivedita Creche. In addition, Dr Sahul Bharti also organized an impromptu story telling session with kids where kids actively participated and guided the content and tenor of the story. Many children also narrated stories on the occasion. 
Lalit Singh Sarari (Retd. Principal, KV) and his wife, Saroj were chief guests on the occasion. He strongly advocated the imperative need of reading aloud to kids at home even before they are enrolled in schools. This indeed will be a key step for enabling kids for better schooling and empowering their minds for good education in schools.