UK: Indian academics in demand, cross 5,000 mark

first_imgThe number of Indian students coming to British higher education institutions has dwindled since 2010, but the number of academics categorised as “British Indian” has crossed the 5,000 mark for the first time, reflecting their expertise across disciplines.The category includes Indian citizens and British citizens of Indian-origin. During 2016-17, the 5,245 academics in this group included 2,185 Indian citizens, according to new figures provided by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).Indians have long taught various subjects in British universities, including economist Amartya Sen, educationist Sugata Mitra and engineer Kumar Bhattacharyya, but this is the first time their figure has crossed 5,000 across the United Kingdom.Read it at Hindustan Times Related Itemslast_img read more

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Mid-sized Firms Stick To The Middle

first_imgFor several years now, analysts have been predicting that the Indian information technology industry is set for a period of consolidation. It hasn’t happened yet. Four large companies  –  Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, Wipro and Satyam  –  have established themselves at the top. At the other end of the spectrum are scores of “mom-and-pop shops” subsisting on cut-price offerings and established business relationships. They may survive, but industry analysts don’t see much of a future for them.According to a study by research firm IDC, while the market will continue to be dominated by large services firms that have the size and scale to deliver both raw infrastructure and business process expertise, smaller companies that build specific expertise in select vertical markets and even within specific business processes will also remain competitive.Apart from the CrowdThe textbook prescription for a market like the current one is an intense phase of mergers and acquisitions that would result in one or more majors emerging. “A lot of people are talking about consolidation in the industry, but I don’t see it happening in a big way,” says Infosys head of global branding, Aditya Nath Jha. It is entirely possible that global companies will acquire Indian companies to gain scale in India, he adds, “But there is a lot of headroom for growth. There is space for everyone.”That is “a dangerous view of the world” for Indian mid-tier IT companies, says Ravi Aron, senior fellow at Wharton’s Mack Center for Technological Innovation. “Yes, there is room to grow, but it is a great challenge to grow while preserving the revenue-per-employee metric”  –  or the money firms charge for man-hours spent on client projects.In the current environment, Aron says that mid-tier IT firms need to build a “strategic differentiation” platform to retain their competitive edge over rivals. “As the company expands, and if it lacks a well-defined basis for strategic differentiation, you will increasingly see that it is forced to deliver more  –  quality, features and client-specific calibrations of project delivery  –  for less. This is what the company ‘pays’ to win over a client. The revenue-per-employee metric will at best remain flat and will usually decline as the company begins to scale up.”It is dangerous for an IT company to let this metric slip, especially in an industry that is “expert labor intensive,” Aron notes. “In a downturn, or when faced with more competition as the IBMs and the Accentures scale up in India, companies will take severe hits to the bottom line. Mid-tier firms do not have the deep pockets of the big Indian IT majors to recalibrate and bounce back with new offerings. Room to grow exists for large companies like Wipro, Infosys and TCS, but that path requires very careful navigation for the middle tier.”Atul Nishar, chairman of Hexaware, a typical mid-tier company which had revenues of $187 million in 2006, says that his company is working to create niche specialties for itself. “We have no ambition to be among the full-service big companies. We realize that the only way we can compete is by developing areas of excellence.” In the mid-1990s, IT firms focused on “body-shopping,” or placing their engineers at client sites, but Nishar says that is no longer a sustainable niche. He points out that despite a big rush for U.S. H1B visas, or work permits, the bigger demand these days is for “virtual software engineers” who can work for clients remotely from India.“IT companies must move with the times,” says Nishar, who was chairman of Nasscom (National Association of Software and Service Companies) in 2000. At Hexaware, he has worked to develop a sharp focus on delivering IT solutions for clients in the airline industry, human resources, health care and the so-called “BFSI” space  –  banking, financial services and insurance. Aron says Hexaware’s emphasis on its BFSI offerings may not be sufficient to differentiate it from others. “Wipro, Infosys and TCS all get significant revenues from BFSI,” he says. “For some of these companies, BFSI is the single largest industry segment.” An additional problem is that “banking” is too broadly defined. “It is important to define segments within banking, such as ‘testing of retail banking products’ or ‘business intelligence for high-volume retail transactions,’” Aron notes.Meanwhile, competition is intensifying for mid-tier firms in the BFSI space. TCS has set up a strategic business unit called TCS Financial Solutions, to pitch its suite of financial products. “BFSI is TCS’s largest vertical, contributing 42% of our revenues of $4.3 billion in 2006-07,” says N.G. Subramaniam, president of TCS Financial Solutions. He adds that business volume in this segment is growing at an accelerated pace  –  66% in the last fiscal year, compared with 50% in the prior year.But according to Jha of Infosys, mid-tier companies like Hexaware that build niche specialties “may have a better chance of winning business.” Aron points to i-flex Solutions as one example. “i-flex is able to sell not just its products but also a host of value-added services as a result of its standing in its business segments,” he says. “They are not forced to make costly concessions to win deals.”Hexaware’s plan  –  building niche excellence and specialization  –  “is the right way to go,” Aron says. “Access to larger deals characterized by greater complexity and risk  –  but also greater potential payoff for the software firm  –  is greatly diminished in the absence of strategic differentiation.”Hexaware has relevant experience in managing large IT applications and providing high-value services around packaged enterprise applications such as SAP and PeopleSoft, but growing that plate of offerings is not easy. “It is a Herculean task to add a service line,” says Nishar. “In many [large] companies the management may not even know that a service line has been added.”Aron agrees. “Sometimes, it is best not to add a service line. For some companies what may seem to be an inviting business target is actually a hidden opportunity cost.” A new service line that calls for senior management attention and marketing expenditure could distract the company from acquiring greater depth and excellence within an area, he says.Small’s VirtuesSome mid-tier companies attempt to play up the virtues of being small. P. K. Sridharan, executive director at Hexaware, likens his firm’s strategy to the “We try harder” approach of car rental company Avis, with its emphasis on personal attention. “Would you rather be a company’s third client or its three-hundredth?” he asks.Aron agrees that smaller firms could find a sweet spot for themselves with the Avis approach. “However, that test does not hold up quite so gracefully with larger deals,” he says. “In deals where the size exceeds $20 million or so, larger companies will be reluctant to go with a middle-tier firm over the short run,” because the smaller size of the firm will act as a “risk amplifier.” To bridge that gap, mid-tier companies should focus on gaining access to the CXO suites at prospective client companies, according to Aron. The big deals are not negotiated by those reporting to chief technology officers or chief information officers at prospective client companies, but CXO-level officers, or heads of strategic business, he says. “Without such access, it is difficult to get in as a principal on big deals. The middle-tier firm might well be in on a deal, but somebody else  –  a large IT player or consulting firm  –  would end up being the mid-wife, thus forcing the middle-tier firm toward the less revenue-laden projects within the deal.” Visibility is not the only key with senior executives, he adds: Mid-tier firms must also be able to stake out a strength that is of business relevance.Some mid-tier companies have adopted partnering as a strategic route to enhance their credibility and bring in more business. Ashank Desai, chairman and co-founder of Mastek, says his firm markets itself through alliances. “Partnerships are key to our approach,” he says. The company has alliances with Capita (the largest BPO in the U.K.), British Telecom and French energy major Areva, among others. More than half of the company’s business comes from partnership-driven projects.Other mid-tier companies have extended their global network by setting up overseas offices, especially in locations where they have clients. “The key is to have global reach,” says Chennai-based Chandra Sekaran, managing director and executive vice president of Cognizant. Expanding the company’s “footprint in other areas makes good business sense.”Smaller firms have also taken a cue from their larger counterparts and are increasing their global reach through acquisitions. For instance, i-flex has taken over Mantas, a software company based in Herndon, Va., and BPO firm Equinox of Irvine, Calif., among others. Last November, Hexaware acquired FocusFrame, a Mountain View, Calif.-based firm that specializes in automated testing of ERP (enterprise resource planning) and custom applications. The firm’s Mexico center is being developed as Hexaware’s sixth global delivery center.Aron has studied i-flex’s Equinox acquisition in detail. “That takeover is an example of a very savvy triple-play,” he says. “One, Equinox offers a natural extension to i-flex competencies; two, Equinox has well-defined competencies in combining technology and expert human intervention in ‘predictive analytics’; and three, the combined service solves several closely related business needs for clients, especially in retail financial services.”Targeting ClientsUnlike IBM or Microsoft, India’s big IT companies maintain fairly low profiles when it comes to mass media or even niche market advertising. For Jessie Paul, chief marketing officer at Wipro, that makes perfect sense. “At Wipro, our marketing would best be described as lean and zero-waste. It is important to target your clients, so we put our efforts into identifying the decision-makers and influencers in our eco-system. If we broadly define Fortune 1000 companies as our audience and assume that we need to reach 5-10 people per company, it narrows down our target audience to 10,000.”Srikant Sastri, managing director of Solutions, a marketing services firm that helps technology companies enter South Asian markets, says it is “a level playing field” where “even the bigger IT firms are weak on marketing.” He says that larger firms might do “one big marketing initiative  –  such as a sponsorship  –  and some customer seminars, but very little genuine mainline marketing” compared to U.S. firms like Accenture. “The big firms are still riding the India wave, and are backing it with strong sales efforts,” he says. “So, for a smaller firm like Hexaware, some smart marketing can actually provide a cutting edge and brand equity.”Jha points to another reason for the industry’s preference for narrowly focused marketing: “For Indian IT companies, 90% of revenues come from existing clients,” he says. “So, our principal task is to market into and mine existing clients.”Media stories on Indian IT companies also help, says Jha. “For every cover story in BusinessWeek or Fortune, there will be a CEO asking: ‘Where is our India strategy?’” The major IT firms also nurture relationships with analysts at research firms like Gartner or IDC. Jha adds that Infosys also participates in major business events including the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos, the Microsoft CEO summit and the Fortune CEO Strategy Summit.Aron sees all those marketing strategies as critical for targeting the CXO suite in client companies. “This is what the management consulting firms  –  McKinsey, Bain and BCG  –  excel at,” he says. “Participating in forums like the WEF is a powerful way of reaching the C-suite decision makers. The attention and credibility that participating in these forums brings is priceless.”To enhance their client networks, both large and middle-tier firms have begun sponsoring events that combine work with pleasure. Hexaware, for instance, throws a three-day, all-expenses-paid party in the U.S., inviting its customers from all over the world. “We bring our clients together so that they can share notes,” says Nishar. “If we have goofed in one case, everybody will come to know of it. If we have done well, they will know that too.” Besides golf and other activities, Hexaware’s events also feature speakers such as management pundit Tom Peters and technology thought leader Nicholas Negroponte.The format varies by company: Jha notes that Infosys stopped paying all client expenses for its annual event a couple of years ago. “The reason why we asked clients to pay is that it is a measure of their commitment,” he says. It had to change one other feature of the event, too  –  its name. Infosys used to call it “Milan,” which in Hindi means “getting together,” before it realized that people confused the name with the Italian city. It is now more appropriately called “Confluence.”   Related Itemslast_img read more

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This is how New York Post covered Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding

first_imgWhen the whole world (read virtual world) was talking and discussing about Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding, the New York Post took a different route.Collage of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding picturesWhen media was going gaga over what Kim wore or Kanye wore, the guest list and every minute details, the New York Post didn’t find the wedding worthy enough to be mentioned in more than 55 words and the title to the article was: ALERT (yawn): Kimye weds. Yes, you read it right but that is not it. The article further reads:”Two jackasses got married in Italy Saturday.Sex-tape star Kim Kardashian, 33, wed egotist Kanye West, 36, in a wedding opulent enough for Florence’s Medici dynasty and tacky enough for reality TV.They were betrothed at Florence’s 16th-century Fort di Belvedere castle. Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner walked Kim down the aisle.The republic still stands.”Don’t believe us? Take a look:The article on Kimywe wedding in The New York PostThe couple was also mocked by an ad from the New York Sports Clubs. The New York Sports Clubs ad mocking Kim and Kanye.last_img read more

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Xiaomi may launch Mi Note 2 with bezel-less display on Oct 25

first_imgXiaomi is hosting an event in China on October 25 where it is expected to take the wraps off its next flagship phone, the alleged Mi Note 2. A couple of images , said to be of the Mi Note 2, however contradict previous reports that said the phone is likely to come with a dual-curved screen. As per the newly leaked images, the Mi Note 2 is seen sporting a completely bezel-less display. In fact, the edge-to-edge display is such that even the front camera seems to be missing in the pictures.Moreover, since the images leaked show the device from the front alone, these do not exactly confirm if the phone in question would come with a dual camera setup on the back.The Mi Note 2 is rumoured to come in two versions: standard and pro.While one version will come with a 5.7-inch 1080p screen, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory, the Pro version will reportedly come with a QHD screen and 6GB RAM along with 128GB of internal memory. The Mi Note 2 will reportedly be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor. It will reportedly sport a 16-megapixel dual-camera setup on the rear and a 5-megapixel camera on the front.The Mi Note 2 Pro on the other hand will reportedly sport a 12-megapixel camera on the back with f/2.0 aperture and OIS. It is said to be backed by a 3,700mAh battery and will likely carry a fingerprint scanner embedded on the home button. The phone is said to run on Android 7.0 Nougat based MIUI 8 6.9.8.advertisementAlso Read: Xiaomi Mi Note 2 and Mi Note 2 Pro may launch in Novemberlast_img read more

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Vector: recording synchronous ADMA measurement data via Ethernet

first_img Continue Reading Previous Cervoz: industrial wide temperature memory & storage solutions for harsh environmentsNext Renesas: RX23E-A group integrates MCUs and high-precision AFE on a single chip For the ADAS testing, Vector’s measurement and calibration tool CANape now supports the inertial system ADMA from GeneSys. This will enable users by way of the Ethernet interface to record all ADMA measurement data of several networked vehicles and set it off one to the other – completely synchronously and in real-time. The GNSS-aided inertial system ADMA from GeneSys is used world-wide as a reference system in testing Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and automated driving functions.The implementation of the ADMA driver in CANape version 16.0 Service Pack 5 or higher, enables users to record the synchronous ADMA measurement data of several vehicles in CANape via Ethernet / WLAN.Thanks to the GNSS-aided inertial system ADMA all states of movement, such as acceleration, speed, position, turning rate, position and side slip of the moving vehicle, are recordable to a high degree of precision. Moreover, the ADMA DELTA function permits centimetre-precision measurements between several vehicles, such as distance, relative speed and relative angle – done in rea-time and only via wireless connection between two ADMAs. No additional hardware is needed. Calculation is done directly in the ADMA. This makes the validation and tests of all types of distance sensors (e.g. Radar or LIDAR) and driver assistance systems (e.g. Adaptive Cruise Control ACC, Forward Collision Warning FCW and Autonomous Emergency Braking AEB) easier and more reliable.CANape records measurement data from many common high-resolution radar, video and LIDAR sensor components, such as IBEO HAD, Quanergy, Velodyne or µEye cameras as well as others with a DirectX driver. Thanks to the Vector-implemented ADMA driver, the GNSS-aided inertial system from GeneSys can now be used as a reference system – representative for all high-precision inertial measuring units specially deployed for ADAS development and autonomous driving. The measurement data of the GNSS-aided inertial system ADMA is based on the GPS time. The same time master allows all ADMAs to be synchronised with each other.There are two possibilities: online in real time or offline for measurement data evaluation. Real-time synchronisation is possible, for instance, even during the test run by way of using a WLAN connection between the vehicles used in the test. Benefit: the ADMA data is evaluated in real time simultaneously to the data being recorded. Offline synchronisation allows measurement data from non-networked vehicles to be brought together using the GPS time-stamp.Along with evaluation of advanced driver assistance systems, such as ACC, FCW, AEB and LDW, the ADMA reference system is also first choice when it comes to driving dynamic analyses and autonomous driving. It meets the requirements exacted by the international test standards.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Tools & Software last_img read more

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E-commerce firms cash in on FIFA frenzy in India

first_imgNew Delhi, Jun 24 (PTI) Indians usually ‘bleed blue’ with cricket fever, but the ongoing FIFA World Cup has the nation donning yellow, green, red and white as Indian supporters cheer for their favourite teams in the team jerseys.Sale of team jerseys, as well as that of footballs and other gear, have seen strong growth on various e-commerce platforms in India over the last two weeks with Argentina, Germany and Brazil emerging as the top favourites.And it is no surprise that customers are keen on getting their hands on jerseys of football stars like Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Lionel Messi (Argentina) and Neymar Jr (Brazil).”We have witnessed a sharp spike in football-related products which includes footballs, jerseys, shorts and tracks. The football world cup is a big revenue driver for the Sports Business with Football contribution to business increasing by 40 per cent over April-June,” Myntra VP and Head (Sports, Footwear and Accessories) Puspen Maity told PTI.Maity added that merchandise associated with players like Neymar, Messi and Ronaldo are particularly in demand and the company expects the trend to strengthen as the tournament progresses.ShopClues said its platform has seen an average sale of around 4,000 footballs per day for the last 16 days. “Other merchandise like jerseys etc have also seen a spike. We are selling about 300-350 fan jerseys every day,” the spokesperson said.According to Snapdeal, there have been a big jump in demand for football-related merchandise on their platform from Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Goa, Chennai, Kolkata and the North-eastern markets.advertisementInterestingly, Snapdeal has also seen a spike in the sales of bean bags, recliners and home theatre systems, indicating that viewers are looking at cheering for their favourite team from the comforts of their homes.And its not just the men who are hooked on. According to Flipkart VP (Fashion) Rishi Vasudev, about a third of its football-related merchandise is coming from women.”Clothing and jerseys have seen close to 20x jump in sales with 95 per cent of sales in jerseys and fan t-shirts alone… Flipkart this year saw an opportunity and stocked official merchandise for men, women and kids. This has paid off with a third of the sales coming from women’s merchandise,” he noted.Rival Amazon has seen similar trends with shoppers looking for not just jerseys but also training equipment, shin guards, nets, football video games, collectibles like bobbleheads and even referees’ whistles.To cash in on the frenzy, it has gone a step ahead and trained its Alexa-powered ‘Echo’ smart speakers to not only offer match updates but also provide interesting tidbits so users can ask “Alexa, what country has won the most World Cups?”. PTI SR SR BALBALlast_img read more

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Chris Robshaw and Mike Brown recover to give England a lift for Six Nations

first_imgShare on WhatsApp Six Nations squads are decimated by injury: rugby must heed the warnings Share on Twitter Topics Physically and mentally England are suddenly in a better place than they were a few days ago. Eddie Jones, 58 on Tuesday, has certainly had worse birthdays with Chris Robshaw, Mike Brown and Jack Nowell all back training ahead of schedule and available for this weekend’s Six Nations kick-off.Jones even used the word “miracles” to describe the return of Robshaw (back), Brown (shoulder) and Nowell (ankle), all of whom he had previously classified as doubtful starters against Italy in Rome on Sunday. Only Zach Mercer, who has a viral infection, was unable to train in Bagshot, a testament to the hard work of England’s medical and strength and conditioning staff. England’s starting XV to face the Azzurri will not be unveiled until Friday but the availability of Robshaw and Brown in particular will be a sizeable relief to the management. Robshaw can now slot into a back row also potentially containing Maro Itoje and Sam Simmonds while the experienced Brown is free to resume at full-back. If that frees up Anthony Watson and Jonny May to start on the wings with Denny Solomona or Nowell on the bench, England will have all their back-three bases covered.It might yet prove fractionally too early for Nowell but Jones is continuing to talk up the Cornish winger as a possible option at outside-centre: “He reminds me a bit of Conrad Smith. The idea came into my head two years ago when Exeter played Clermont. They had some injuries and he went to 13 and played quite well. The more positions he plays the more chance he has of playing for England.”Out in the Portuguese sunshine last Friday, meanwhile, the entire squad trained so fluently that Jones was still purring about it four days later. “It was probably the best training week we’ve had as a team. I felt a real resurgence in energy and focus, we’ve got everyone ready to train and we’re ready to go.” Read more … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Rugby union Support The Guardian Share via Email Andy Bull England rugby union team Read morecenter_img Share on Facebook Since you’re here… Share on Messenger news Six Nations The next challenge, according to the Australian, will be mental, specifically the ability to ignore all the historians reminding him that no country has ever won three successive outright Six Nations titles. “The home and away element of the Six Nations is shoved down your throat consistently. It’s like the team is being brainwashed into thinking that way,” said Jones.“People come up and say: ‘Goodness me it’s going to be a hard Six Nations for you, You’ve got three away games, how are you going to cope?’ I think there’s so much premeditation of what’s going to happen that it becomes the belief. As soon as that happens it can become reality. How come great teams win virtually every game but don’t win the grand slam? That’s happened consistently in the history of Six Nations. Is their skill level less? Are they less fit? No, it’s all in the mind. Our job is to create a team good enough to think it doesn’t matter where we play.” Six Nations 2018 Six Nations 2018: six tournament newcomers to watch out for Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Eddie Jones Reuse this contentlast_img read more

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11 days agoCraddock urges Wolves to keep Arsenal target Boly

first_imgCraddock urges Wolves to keep Arsenal target Bolyby Paul Vegas11 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Wolves skipper Jody Craddock is a fan of Willy Boly.Arsenal have been linked with Boly, who Wolves signed for £10m from Porto in the summer of 2018.“We definitely want him to stay at Wolves as he’s been doing so well, but he probably could walk into another team higher up the table,” Craddock told the Express & Star.“Hopefully, he doesn’t. But when you’ve got these players and they’re playing well, there’s always going to be clubs sniffing around them.”Then, it’s down to Wolves to do the job and keep hold of him if we want to step up to the table ourselves.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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Hundreds of Jobs to Be Created from Seven Upcoming Projects

first_imgStory Highlights Opening the 2018/19 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 8, Mr. Shaw said the seven projects will consist of investment and reform initiatives intended to accelerate Jamaica’s economic growth and job creation agenda. Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, has announced seven upcoming projects that will result in the creation of hundreds of jobs for Jamaicans during the fiscal year 2018/2019.They are Jiuquan Iron and Steel (JISCO), North-South Highway Development Projects, South Coast Highway Improvement Project, Montego Bay Perimeter Road Project, Naggo Head Technology Park, Morant Bay Town Revitalisation, and Public Bodies Investment Programme.Opening the 2018/19 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 8, Mr. Shaw said the seven projects will consist of investment and reform initiatives intended to accelerate Jamaica’s economic growth and job creation agenda.“JISCO has already resumed production at the Alpart alumina plant following an eight-year shutdown. JISCO plans further investment that could amount to as much as US$6 billion, the largest investment made by a single private-sector company in Jamaican history. These investments include substantial linkages with the agricultural sector. The investment programme also includes construction of a new 230MW power plant using liquefied natural gas (LNG). Currently, 960 persons are employed at the JISCO/Alpart plant,” Mr. Shaw said.He also spoke about the projected benefits from the North-South Highway Development Projects.“The North-South Highway Development Projects are expected to exceed US$2 billion. These are commercial investments by China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC). It is important to note that no Government of Jamaica counterpart resources are required for these investments. This is a model that must be replicated,” he said.Regarding the South Coast Highway Improvement Project, Mr. Shaw told the House that the venture is expected to represent an investment of approximately US$385 million.“The project will upgrade the highway from Harbour View to Port Antonio, repair access roads in St. Thomas and construct the next leg of the East West toll road to Manchester. The completed roadworks are expected to boost our productivity and create new investment opportunities,” Mr. Shaw said.The Montego Bay Perimeter Road Project will include the construction of a US$220-million perimeter road to relieve the extreme congestion in the heart of Jamaica’s second city.The Naggo Head Technology Park will consist of a state-of-the-art business process outsourcing (BPO) complex, which will be the first major BPO Technology Park in the Caribbean with special economic zone status comprising over 800,000 square feet.For the Morant Bay town revitalisation project, the Factories Corporation of Jamaica has been mandated to establish the Morant Bay Urban Centre at the site of the former Goodyear Tyre Factory.The Morant Bay Urban Centre will be a 500,000-sq.ft. integrated business centre, housing both public- and private-sector entities.“In relation to the public bodies investment programme, total capital expenditure is projected at $68.4 billion, with three public bodies accounting for almost 80 per cent of the planned expenditure. This is focused on meeting the people’s test by providing increased access to housing, water, investment and job opportunities,” the Minister explained. Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, has announced seven upcoming projects that will result in the creation of hundreds of jobs for Jamaicans during the fiscal year 2018/2019. “The North-South Highway Development Projects are expected to exceed US$2 billion. These are commercial investments by China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC). It is important to note that no Government of Jamaica counterpart resources are required for these investments. This is a model that must be replicated,” he said.last_img read more

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Sealing semis spot at my home ground a career high Wood

first_imgChester-le-Street: England fast bowler Mark Wood believes his side’s crucial 119-run win over New Zealand on his home ground in Durham is one of the proudest days of his career. On Wednesday, Wood took 3/34 as England booked a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time since 1992. The 29-year-old hails from the north-eastern village of Ashington around 50km north of the Riverside. “It was a pretty special day. Apart from maybe my debut, that was the proudest game I’ve had,” Wood was quoted as saying by the ICC. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football together “Singing the national anthem with my whole family in the crowd was pretty special. The ground looked great and the result was even better.” Wood, who will make his 50th ODI appearance if selected in the semi-final, praised the team’s comeback from back-to-back defeats to beat India and New Zealand, saying: “It’s taken a lot of courage from the team to maintain our values even when we’ve had our backs up against the wall. “Now we’re going on to another huge game but one we’ll be pretty confident about. Maybe at the end of the World Cup if everything goes to plan we might look back at the Sri Lanka and Australia games and say they built the character of the team,” he added.last_img read more

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Picard Coon Come and Vivane Michel to lead off Québecs relationship with

first_imgAPTN National NewsGhislain Picard, Matthew Coon Come and Viviane Michel will be the lead witnesses in Québec’s inquiry into the province’s relationship with Indigenous peoples.The inquiry was called after news surfaced of alleged abuse of Indigenous women at the hands of the province’s police force, the Sûreté du Québec.The hearings will start June 5, according to a schedule released by the commission.Picard, the regional Quebec chief for the Assembly of First Nations, has been pushing for the inquiry after the allegations were uncovered.Coon Come is the grand chief of the grand council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and Michel is president of the Quebec Native Women’s Association.The hearings will begin in Val D’Or.The complete calendar of hearings for the month of June is as follows:Monday June 5: Opening ceremony, Commissioner’s declaration of opening and Viviane Michel, President (Quebec Native Women)Tuesday June 6: Chief Ghislain Picard (AFNQL) and Grand Chief Verna Polson (Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council)Wednesday June 7: Chief Adrienne Jérôme (Anishinabe Nation of Lac Simon)Thursday June 8: Édith Cloutier, Executive Director (Centre d’amitié Autochtone de Val-d’Or) and Tanya Sirois, Executive Director (Regroupement des centres d’amitié autochtones du Québec)Monday June 12: Widia Larivière, Education and Cooperation Officer (Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission) and Daniel Salée (Concordia University)Tuesday June 13: Representatives from Quebec Public ServicesWednesday June 14: Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come (Grand Council of the Crees Eeyou Istchee) and representatives from Quebec Public ServicesThursday June 15: Pierre Lepage (Anthropologist), Me Marie-Chantale Brassard and Me Patrick Michel (Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions)Monday June 19: Grand Chief Constant Awashish (Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw) and Carole Lévesque (Institut national de la recherche scientifique)Tuesday June 20: Me Maryse Picard (Expert witness), Pierre Corbeil (Mayor of Val-d’Or) and Paul-Antoine Martel (City of Val-d’Or)Anyone wishing to participate in the inquiry by clicking here – or calling toll free 1 844 580-0113.news@aptn.calast_img read more

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Amnesty International honours Indigenous movers and shakers in Montreal

first_imgTom FennarioAPTN National NewsAmnesty International handed out its Ambassador of Conscience Award in Montreal Saturday night.It was a night of celebration to honour human rights.It recognized the Indigenous rights movement in Canada – and one of the world’s most celebrated singers.tfennario@aptn.calast_img

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Pipeline company to pay 122K for environmental violations

first_imgCHARLESTON, W.Va. — A company building a natural gas pipeline in West Virginia has agreed to pay $122,350 for environmental violations.The Charleston Gazette-Mail cited a consent order made public Monday in reporting that Columbia Gas Transmission agreed to pay the amount to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection for 16 violations while building the Mountaineer Xpress Pipeline.Columbia Gas Transmission is a subsidiary of TransCanada and will operate the Mountaineer Xpress Pipeline when it’s completed.TransCanada spokesman Scott Castleman said the company implemented measures to address each environmental issue as it arose and has accepted the draft consent order.The pipeline is one of many being built in the region and would run 170 miles (274 kilometres) from Marshall County to Wayne County.___Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Singlewindow system for edu loans if voted to power Rahul

first_imgNew Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi Sunday said if voted to power, his party will introduce a single-window system for education loans and bring a law that will “list the rights and duties of students”.In a Facebook post, Gandhi asserted that a Congress government will ensure free education to all students from Class 1 to 12 in government schools in the country. He said the Congress will restore the independence and autonomy of colleges and universities and will open new state-run varsities in backward areas of the country to ensure the expansion of the education sector. “The Congress will restore the independence and autonomy of colleges and universities and will open new state-run varsities in backward areas of the country to ensure expansion of education. “The Congress will also bring ‘Student Rights Law’ that will list the rights and duties of students,” he said in a Facebook post. “We feel that education empowers a child and it should be made available to all children. “The Congress promises to ensure free and compulsory education to all in government schools from Class 1 to 12. We will raise the budget on education to 6 per cent of GDP,” he said in another post. Gandhi said a Congress government will waive outstanding interest on old education loans prior to March 31, 2019. “We will also introduce a single-window system for grant of education loans. The banks will not charge any interest on loans till the time the student gets a job and starts earning or becomes self-employed,” he added.last_img read more

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US Presidents Wishes Muslims Happy Eid al Fitr

Rabat – U.S President, Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, extended their Eid al Fitr greetings on Thursday to the Muslim community in the U.S and all around the world. Eid al Fitr, marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting.The U.S President offered his “warm wishes” to all Muslims in a statement released on Thursday, wishing them “joy, prosperity and well-being [in the year to come]. Eid Mubarak.”“The American people join Michelle and me as we extend our best wishes to you and the people of your country as you celebrate Eid al Fitr,” Obama added. On this occasion, Obama hailed New York City’s decision to add Eid al Fitr and Eid al-Adha as official public school holidays. Reminding his citizens of the importance of Ramadan to Muslims all over the world, the President said that “it has also been a time during which the rituals of fasting and prayer remind us of the values we all share and of our common humanity.”The following is Obama’s full Eid message:“Michelle and I would like to extend our warmest wishes to Muslims in the United States and around the world celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr. As Muslims mark the end of the month, they are reminded that Ramadan is a time to reflect spiritually, build communally, and aid those in need. While Eid marks the end of Ramadan, it marks a new beginning for each individual – a reason to celebrate and express gratitude on this holiday.For millions of Muslims, the morning of Eid is marked with the call to prayer echoing through cities and towns across the globe. Millions of people head to local mosques for special Eid prayers followed by festive gatherings, gift exchanges, and feasts among friends, neighbors and families. The diversity of traditions paint the vibrant images we see from around the world capturing the spirit and excitement of Eid – colorful dresses or white garments decorating the masses of people standing in lines for prayer, lanterns and ornaments lighting up bazaars and neighborhoods, intricate henna designs painted on hands of young girls and women, and an abundance of delectable foods and aromatic cuisines.As Muslim Americans celebrate Eid across America, the holiday is a reminder to every American of the importance of respecting those of all faiths and beliefs. This past year New York City Public Schools announced adding Eid to their official school calendars alongside Christmas, Hanukkah and other holidays – an acknowledgement of the great diversity and inclusiveness that adds to the richness of our nation. During this year’s White House Iftar, I had the opportunity to meet inspiring young Muslim Americans who are leading efforts for greater understanding and unity across diverse communities. Following the Iftar, one of the young attendees helped spearhead an effort that raised more than $75,000 for the churches burned in the wake of the shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.Americans of all faiths and beliefs must stand together to protect our democracy and strengthen our country as a whole.Michelle and I hope today brings joy to all of your homes, both here in the U.S. and around the world. From my family to yours, Eid Mubarak!”© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission. read more

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Kosovo UN official stresses broad international support for status proposal

The senior United Nations official in Kosovo, which the world body has administered since NATO forces responded to ethnic strife there in 1999, today stressed the broad international support enjoyed by a UN status proposal, saying it comes “at an ideal moment in history.”UN Special Representative Joachim Rücker urged participants at a townhall meeting in Klinë/Klina municipality to remain open to proposals put forward by the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Envoy for the status process, Martti Ahtisaari.“Even if some things don’t feel ideal to you, I would appeal to you to have a positive attitude towards the status package,” Mr. Rücker said. “Now we have the green light also from the European Union for Mr. Ahtisaari to go ahead to the next step,” he added.The Special Representative called on those wishing to express their opinion through demonstrations to do so peacefully. “At this point in time, we should not make any mistakes,” he said. “It would be very detrimental if developments in Kosovo would come in the way of the status process.” Earlier this month, Mr. Ahtisaari presented a provisional plan under which Kosovo would have the right to govern itself and conclude international agreements, including membership in international bodies, with an international civilian and military presence supervising the new arrangements and helping to ensure peace and stability.But the plan, which was presented to Serbia and to the ethnic Albanian Kosovo authorities, does not specifically mention independence for the province, which the UN has run since Western forces drove out Yugoslav troops in 1999 amid brutal ethnic fighting.Serbia rejects independence, a goal sought by many of Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians, who outnumber Serbs and others by 9 to 1. 17 February 2007The senior United Nations official in Kosovo, which the world body has administered since NATO forces responded to ethnic strife there in 1999, today stressed the broad international support enjoyed by a UN status proposal, saying it comes “at an ideal moment in history.” read more

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UN agency calls on Iran to halt work on recentlydisclosed facility

The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today called on Iran to immediately suspend the construction of a recently-disclosed uranium enrichment facility, and cooperate more fully to resolve all outstanding issues related to its nuclear programme.In a resolution adopted today in Vienna by the Agency’s Board of Governors, the IAEA also urged Iran to clarify the purpose of the enrichment plant at Qom. UN inspectors visited the plant late last month after Iran disclosed its existence in September. In addition, the IAEA “calls on Iran to confirm, as requested by the Agency, that Iran has not taken a decision to construct, or authorize construction of, any other nuclear facility which has as yet not been declared to the Agency.” The resolution comes a day after the Agency’s outgoing Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei, told the 35-member policymaking body that the IAEA had reached a “dead end” with Iran, noting that there had been no movement in over a year in resolving outstanding issues related to its nuclear programme. While Iran has stated that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes, some countries contend it is driven by military ambitions. The Agency today urged Iran to engage with it on the resolution of all outstanding issues concerning the country’s nuclear programme and to cooperate fully in terms of providing access and information requested by the IAEA. 27 November 2009The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today called on Iran to immediately suspend the construction of a recently-disclosed uranium enrichment facility, and cooperate more fully to resolve all outstanding issues related to its nuclear programme. read more

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More needs to be done quickly to achieve Millennium Goals UN official

While the international community has taken important steps to increase its official development assistance, much more needs to be done, and done quickly, to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a senior United Nations official said today.The Goals are a set of eight, time-bound targets that seek to restructure the world’s social fabric, from slashing extreme poverty and hunger to curbing infant mortality and major diseases to improving access to education and health care for all – all by 2015.Speaking at the annual meeting of the Bretton Woods institutions in Washington, D.C., Jose Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, also called for “a bold and innovative approach to…improving the voice and representation of developing countries in the governance structures of the multilateral financial institutions.”Mr. Ocampo’s remarks came at the meeting of the Group of 24 (G-24), a chapter of the G-77 coalition established in 1971 to coordinate the positions of developing countries on international monetary and development finance issues and to ensure that their interests are adequately represented in negotiations on international monetary matters.The Washington-based Bretton Woods institutions, founded in July 1944 at the UN Monetary and Financial Conference held in the New Hampshire town for which they are named, comprise the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.Mr. Ocampo is scheduled to address the Development Committee tomorrow. read more

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Michael Jordan Hires Unknown Mike Dunlap To Coach Bobcats

Mike Dunlap, a little known but highly respected assistant coach with St. John’s, was hired Monday by Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Bobcats,   the school said in a statement released early Tuesday morning.Dunlap is a surprise hire because he has spent most of his career at the collegiate level, and was not mentioned as one of the leading candidates by Bobcat executives, who said the search was narrowed down to Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan, Indiana assistant Brian Shaw and Lakers assistant Quin Snyder.After initial interviews with Charlotte executives Rod Higgins and Rich Cho, Shaw and Snyder were brought in last week to interview with Bobcats owner Michael Jordan.Sloan pulled himself out of the running last week, and after meeting with Shaw and Snyder, Jordan decided to re-open the field and brought Dunlap back in for an interview on Monday, sources say. Impressed, Jordan offered Dunlap the job.Cho told ESPN.com’s Andy Katz on Monday night that “a strong emphasis in player development was extremely high on our priority list,” in response to the Dunlap hire. Dunlap is known as a teacher of the game amid his peers in college and in the NBA.Dunlap, who is known to favor an up-tempo style of play, will replace Paul Silas, whose contract was not renewed after Charlotte finished with the worst winning percentage in NBA history this past season. The Bobcats were 7-59. read more

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