Mahindra eyes US car market with South Korean subsidiary

first_imgBy Lalit K JhaWashington, Nov 26 (PTI) Indian automobile giant Mahindra & Mahindra is eyeing the American car market with its South Korean subsidiary exploring possibilities in the sports utility vehicle (SUV) segment.The company this week opened a new USD 230 million plant in Detroit, the worlds car capital, which got its first automotive production facility in 25 years.The entry into the US car market is likely to be through the South Korean SsangYong Motor Company, which is a subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra, indicated its group chairman Anand Mahindra.He, however, told reporters in Detroit that no date of entering the American car market has been determined yet.The board of SsangYong, which was acquired by Mahindra in 2011, is deliberating the issue and would announce when a decision is made.”In automotive, as you know, we own Ssangyong motors and the advantage of possibly exploring an American entry through them is that the American consumer by now has developed great respect for the Korean automotive brand thanks to Hyundai and Kia,” Mahindra said.”So, they have done all the hard work, now when a third Korean brand comes in here, there will be not be resistance and skepticism. It will simply be tested out as yet another Korean product. So, there is a strong logic for Ssangyong to look in. So that could be another point of entry for the on- road piece,” said Mahindra.The Indian business tycoon was in the US early this week to open Mahindras automotive plant in Detroit.advertisementThe automotive plant plans to manufacture off-loaders, the first lot of which is expected by early next year.Mahindra, a well-known brand of tractors in the US, has emerged over the years as the third largest seller of tractors in America.Asked about making cars in the US, Mahindra said: “I hope so but I dont have a plan right now, nothing I can tell you. And whether it will be Ssangyong or whether it will be an electric, or whether it will be some other brand… we own Pininfarina, as you know… I have been on record saying that we will want to make Pininfarina electric. Which of these brands will come near I dont know.”We dont, thats the honest answer. But do we have the aspiration to be on road as well as off road, yes,” Mahindra told a group of Indian reporters in response to a question.Asked about the roll out plans for Ssangyong in the US, he said: “Nothing yet, the board is still deliberating it in Korea. But they are definitely exploring”.A Korean brand should be an obvious one and the world is moving to SUVs, he said.”Ssangyong like Mahindra in Korea is a specialist SUV maker. So it is seen as niche. As you know now more and more of the worlds cars are becoming SUVs.”The move to SUVs is a very, very strong shift everywhere. Biggest profit makers in America for large companies here are SUVs. So this (US) is a very, very important market to come into if we can,” Mahindra added.The USD 19-billion group, which is present in more than 100 countries and operates in as many as 11 sectors, employs over two lakh people. PTI LKJ CPSlast_img read more

Details Emerge From Urban Meyer’s Meeting With Ohio State Players

first_imgA closeup of Urban Meyer on Ohio State's sideline.INDIANAPOLIS, IN – DECEMBER 02: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on as they play the Wisconsin Badgers during the first half of the the Big Ten Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)This morning, Ohio State announced that Urban Meyer will be officially retiring as the team’s head coach in a press conference this afternoon.Meyer has been the head coach of the Buckeyes since 2012. He will coach in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, but then offensive coordinator Ryan Day will take over as the head man.There were rumors for a while that this might be Meyer’s final season in Columbus. He was suspended earlier this season for three games in the wake of the Zach Smith fiasco and has been dealing with health problems as well.Before Ohio State went public with this news, Meyer addressed his team. ESPN’s Marty Smith has some details on how this happened.According to Meyer, the room was “quiet and collectively shocked.” More importantly, several staff members were told they will be retained by Day.Urban Meyer addressed Ohio State team this morning.I’m told room was quiet and collectively shocked.Some key staff members were told they will be retained under new HC Ryan Day.Guys like strength coach Mickey Marotti & Asst AD Player Personnel Mark Pantoni are vital to program— Marty Smith (@MartySmithESPN) December 4, 2018The part about staff members being retained is a key one, as Pantoni and Mariotti are well-established at OSU.It will be interesting to see what happens with defensive coordinator Greg Schiano. Schiano’s defenses have been much maligned over the last two seasons, and he could look for a new job elsewhere.Stay tuned for more info on Meyer’s retirement throughout the day.last_img read more

Scorpio Bulkers Eyes Fleet Expansion as It Sells Shares

first_imgzoom Monaco-based dry bulk shipping company Scorpio Bulkers is planning to offer, issue and sell 10 million shares of its common stock, par value USD 0.01 per share.The net proceeds of the sale, to be undertaken through an underwritten public offering, are expected to be used for general corporate purposes, “which may include the expansion of the company’s fleet,” Scorpio Bulkers said.Furthermore, the underwriters would be granted a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1.5 million common shares.Morgan Stanley is acting as sole book-running manager in the Offering, Clarksons Platou Securities is acting as lead manager, and Seaport Global Securities is acting as co-manager.On the back of an improvement in dry bulk rates, Scorpio Bulkers managed to cut its net loss for the period ended September 30. For the third quarter of 2017 the company’s GAAP net loss was USD 10.7 million, compared to a GAAP net loss of USD 21.3 million reported in the same period a year earlier.For the nine months ended September 30, 2017, the company’s GAAP net loss stood at USD 58.7 million, against a GAAP net loss of USD 104.3 million for the prior year period.The company’s Board of Directors has also declared a quarterly cash dividend of USD 0.02 per share.last_img read more

Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association to appeal ruling on funding

first_imgSASKATOON – The Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association says it will appeal a judge’s decision to ban funding non-Catholic students in Catholic schools.The ruling released last week said the province can’t provide Catholic schools funding for students who aren’t Catholic.Association spokesman Tom Fortosky says there have been a lot of concerns from parents and adds funding will not be received for non-Catholics if the appeal is lost in court.The association plans to file its appeal within one month.It could not provide an exact number of non-Catholic students attending Catholic schools.Justice Donald Layh ruled that provincial government funding of non-minority faith students attending separate schools infringes on religious neutrality and equality rights.The dispute started in 2003 when the Yorkdale School Division, now Good Spirit School Division, closed down its kindergarten-to-Grade 8 school in the town of Theodore because of declining enrolment.The division planned to bus its 42 students to the community of Springside, 17 kilometres away.In response, a local group created its own Catholic school division and opened St. Theodore Roman Catholic School.That prompted Good Spirit School Division to launch a lawsuit claiming the creation of the new school division was not to serve Catholics in the community, but rather to prevent the students from being bused to a neighbouring town.Fortosky said the Constitution gives Catholics the right to operate a school system with accordance of Catholic values and beliefs.“We believe that this includes the right to have an inclusive and welcoming admittance policy consistent with the church’s ecumenical efforts since the Second Vatican Council.”Premier Brad Wall said this week that the ruling cannot stand and the province will see what can be done to successfully manoeuvre around it.The premier raised concerns that the ruling means thousands of students could be forced to switch schools and that the viability of some community schools could be at risk.But Public Schools of Saskatchewan called Wall’s comments disappointing, saying any disruption caused by students moving from separate schools “is a product of the unilateral decision of Catholic schools to admit those students.”(CTV Saskatoon, The Canadian Press)last_img read more

Sri Lankan fishermen detained in the Maldives

The Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) has detained 24 Sri Lankan fishermen who entered Maldivian waters illegally.The Maldivian media reported that the fishermen and their boats were discovered 103 nautical miles south-east of Kelaa island, Ha. atoll. The Department of Fisheries said that the boats had reached Maldivian waters from Chilaw.The Sri Lankan Embassy in the Maldives is now working on securing the release of the fishermen. (Colombo Gazette)

One less crane in the Brock skyline

University Road East was closed for 12 hours today as work crews took down a tower crane.The road was closed on Thursday, Dec. 23 from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. between the J block entrance to Parking Lot A and Meter Road. The closure accommodated the disassembling of the crane at the northeast corner of the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex.The university will be closed from 12 noon from Friday, Dec. 24 to Tuesday, Jan. 4. For more information, read Services over the holiday season.

UN rights expert deplores conviction of tax whistleblowers in LuxLeaks trial

“Whistleblowers are heroes of our time and serve society and human rights,” said Alfred de Zayas, the UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order. “We seem to live in an upside-down world in which whistleblowers are convicted and those who loot society are not.”Mr. de Zayas warned that so long as there are widespread tax avoidance, tax evasion and tax havens, States will not have the financial capacity to meet their human rights treaty obligations.His comments follow the sentencing of two former PricewaterhouseCoopers employees to 12 and nine-month suspended sentences, respectively, for leaking documents revealing how Luxembourg granted lucrative tax breaks that saved firms including Apple, Ikea and Pepsi billions of dollars in taxes. The journalist who reported on the leaks was acquitted.Parliaments should adopt robust legislation not only to protect whistleblowers but also to reward them for contributing to ethics and integrity, especially in a sector where professional secrecy is at a peak, the expert said, highlighting how the trial decision in the so-called LuxLeaks scandal may discourage individuals from reporting abuses.In his upcoming report to the UN General Assembly to be presented in October 2016, the independent expert will address the adverse human rights impact of tax havens and tax evasion. read more

Villanova Had The Most Impressive Tournament Win In More Than 53 Years

12/18/1971IndianaNotre DameREG94-29+64 12/29/1972New MexicoDartmouthREG107-36+65 2/27/1994MinnesotaIndianaREG106-56+65 Source: Sports Reference Best men’s basketball wins relative to average expectation 12/9/1955UtahArizonaREG119-45+64 12/23/1998MarylandNorth TexasREG132-57+63 3/3/2008KansasTexas TechREG109-51+67 12/10/1994Southern UtahSouth AlabamaREG140-72+71 DATEWINNEROPPONENTGAME TYPESCOREELO-ADJUSTED POINT MARGIN 12/27/1985North CarolinaManhattanREG129-45+73 Ahead of Saturday’s Final Four matchup between Villanova and Oklahoma, our prediction model had the Wildcats only slightly favored, with a 54 percent chance of winning, and nearly a quarter of the game was as tight as that probability suggests. When Oklahoma led 17-16 after eight minutes, our in-game win probabilities listed the odds as essentially the same as they’d been before tipoff. Fans across the country settled in for an exciting game, perhaps like the one Villanova had played against Kansas in the South Regional final.But from that point on, things were anything but close. ’Nova rattled off a 12-0 run, touching off an eight-minute sequence in which it outscored Oklahoma 21 to 4. By halftime, the Wildcats led by 14 — but they weren’t done yet. After the Sooners briefly cut Villanova’s lead to single-digits with 16 minutes left in the game, the Wildcats scored 49 of the game’s next 63 points, including a 25-0 run that lasted approximately five and a half minutes on the scoreboard (but must have felt like an eternity to Sooner fans).The result was a 44-point landslide win for Villanova, the most lopsided victory in Final Four history. That is a matter of historical fact. But using our Elo ratings (which estimate a team’s strength at a given moment), we can also say that it was probably the most impressive NCAA Tournament win in more than 53 years — and the 10th-most-impressive D-I basketball victory, period, since the 1949-50 season: 1/27/1993OklahomaFlorida A&MREG146-65+63 4/2/2016VillanovaOklahomaNCAA95-51+65 1/12/1952Holy CrossBrownREG100-31+64 3/11/1963Loyola (IL)Tennessee TechNCAA111-42+70 3/12/1993KentuckyTennesseeCTOURN101-40+66 12/17/1986ClemsonArmstrongREG112-39+65 11/17/2009TennesseeUNC-AshevilleREG124-49+64 1/5/1974UCLAWashingtonREG100-48+64 2/27/1956KentuckyGeorgiaREG143-66+65 12/17/1995TulsaPrairie ViewREG141-50+72 12/11/1954DaytonBowling GreenREG109-39+69 11/25/1989DukeHarvardREG130-54+63 Because Elo measures the difference in relative quality between teams going into a game, it can be used (in conjunction with information about the location of the game) to create a predictive point spread. It can also be used to generate a hypothetical point spread that would have been expected from an average Division I team1With an Elo rating of exactly 1500. against the same opponent in a given game. So against Oklahoma on a neutral court Saturday, for instance, Villanova was expected to win by about 2.5 points; an average team would have been expected to lose by 21. That Villanova won by 44 implies that the Wildcats outperformed their own expectations by 41.5 points and those of an “average” team by about 65 points.Suffice it to say that 65 points is an extraordinarily wide margin for a team to beat the D-I average by in a single game. The record since 1949-50 in any game between two D-I schools is 73, set by North Carolina when it trounced Manhattan College by 84 points in 1985. (Elo estimates that an average team, playing at home, would have beaten the 1200-rated Jaspers by about 11 points.) But that also took place in a forgettable non-conference game two days after Christmas.To find an NCAA Tournament win more impressive than Villanova’s romp, you’d have to go back to 1963, when Loyola of Chicago exceeded average by 70 points with a 111-42 opening-round triumph over Tennessee Tech. And before the Wildcats’ win Saturday, no team had beaten average by 60 or more points in an NCAA Tournament game since 1971, when a previous incarnation of Villanova beat Penn 90-47. read more

Police hunting Devon murder suspect find a body in a car seven

Police who launched a major manhunt after a pensioner was stabbed to death on the doorstep of his Devon home have found a body in a car at a nearby beauty spot.A murder investigation was launched on Sunday evening after a man in his 70s was killed at his home in Kingsteignton close to Torquay.In a statement issued on Monday morning, detectives said they were urgently hunting the suspect who was still at large.But a short time later Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed that they had discovered a man’s body in a car around seven miles away near Labrador Bay, Sheldon.Police said they were treating the death as suspected suicide and were exploring links between the two cases. He said: “We were awake and we saw all the blue lights, then a big police Range Rover pulled up outside, armed police got out with their guns and a police officer came and knocked on our door and asked if we had seen or heard anything. It’s all a bit close to home, you don’t expect it to happen in Kingsteignton.”Neighbours said the couple who live in the cordoned off house were a “sweet couple who walk their two little white dogs”. The suspected murder took place at a property on a private road in Kingsteignton on Sunday night.There were claims that the attack took place on the pensioner’s doorstep and was witnessed by a member of his family.One neighbour, Wendy Roberts, said: “My house backs on to the house where the incident took place as it was right at the back of our garden.”You never expect anything like that around here, it’s very quiet at that time of night as everyone is in, watching TV.”We didn’t like to look because at first we thought it was someone who was ill, then we saw the police van.”I do know some of the people who live down there but not at the house where police were coming and going.”Resident Martin Alford said he heard a woman outside screaming after the incident took place. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “At this time we are appealing for witnesses and we would like to hear from anyone who was in the vicinity of Chockland Road between midday Sunday 9 June and midnight. “We are also keen to hear from anyone who was in the vicinity of Labrador Bay in Shaldon and saw a Blue Skoda Fabia between midday Sunday 9 June and 11am today, Monday 10 June.” Detective Superintendent Mike West, Head of Major Crime and Serious and Organised Crime said: “We have launched a major investigation following last night’s murder. “Late this morning we were also made aware of a body of a man found deceased within a car near Labrador Bay, Shaldon. This death is not currently being treated as suspicious and we are responding to the incident as a suspected suicide.  The police are currently investigating the link between this and the incident in Chockland Road, Kingsteignton read more

Verbatim USB Drive Also a Paperclip

first_imgHere’s a clever little combo that has nabbed Verbatim a few design awards. As someone who tends to lose USB drives by the boatload, there’s a lot to like in the Clip-it. These 4GB drive fold over, forming a paper clip, keeping documents together, until the time comes to plug them in.The drive are water and dust resistant (your documents, however, probably aren’t), and the come in a number of colors–for the time being, however, they only appear to be available in 4GB capacities.They run you around $15. AdChoices广告last_img

Worlds first Galaxy Nexus owner finds developer ROM on his phone

first_imgThe Galaxy Nexus smartphone went on sale today in the UK. Samsung was on hand at a London Phones4U store to take a photo of the first person to buy one, his name is Alex Ioannou.Alex happily posed for the picture with Galaxy Nexus in hand at around 7am this morning before running home to unpack and start playing with the device. But a few hours later and he had to return to the store for an exchange.On trying to sync the Nexus with Gmail he found the account setup options were missing. There also seemed to be a number of developer options and features available to play with. It turns out that the handset he was sold was inexplicably loaded with an older developer ROM of the Android OS.This could be a bit embarrassing for Samsung and Google depending on what has happened. Either Alex has been sold a rogue developer phone that made it into the first batch that shipped to the UK, or Samsung has somehow managed to load this old developer Android ROM on to a number of their Galaxy Nexus phones.Alex has since switched his phone for another, and it has the expected latest non-developer version of Android on-board. That suggests either a one off mistake by Samsung, or at most a box full of developer phones have made it into circulation this morning.Let’s hope Alex’s second attempt to start using the phone goes more smoothly.More at Engadget and Samsung’s Twitter accountlast_img read more

The Big Android BBQ 2013 in pictures

first_imgThis past weekend in Dallas, the largest independently organized Android event in the US wrapped up its fourth annual get together, complete with developer sessions, more than 30 Glass users, and of course some tasty tasty smoked meat.The Big Android BBQ is a unique combination of developer conference and enthusiast get-together, all wrapped up in a general celebration of the Android operating system. Attendees come from all over the world to share ideas, best practices, or just to hang out with friends. This year the conference saw more than 40 sessions ranging from Glass development to hardware hacking, with more than a few things in between.I was fortunate enough to host the closing keynote for the BABBQ, which included a fireside chat between members of the Cyanogen Inc and AOKP projects. As two of the largest third party ROMs for Android, Steve Kondik and Roman Birg were joined by Koushik Dutta and Josh Ciesla to discuss the future of the platform as a whole. (Check out our Hangout with Kondik and Dutta.)Sponsors for this year’s event included Oppo, nVidia, Sony, and many others. Some sponsors come to give presentations of their own, while others filled the main gallery with their products in order to encourage users to check out what is new from that company. Oppo was on hand to show off their new N1 phone, though there was not yet a place to show off the limited edition CyanogenMod version of the device. Meanwhile, nVidia was bust showing off what their Shield console was capable of and giving users a look at what the original prototypes looked like.The two and a half day event concludes with a huge party with BBQ that was prepared right on the premises through the entire event, with the help of an all volunteer staff that helps put it all together each year. The focus of the closing event is typically a charity of some description, in which sponsors and attendees alike donate to the charity through a series of giveaways and raffles.This year the event raised over $8000 for Rapha House, an organization that focuses on helping victims of human trafficking and sex slavery. By the time the event is over, there’s no shortage of emotional goodbyes and newly forged personal and professional relationships. [Photography by Chris Sewell, Asher Simonds, and Corey Eacret] VIEW PHOTO GALLERY Big Android BBQ 2013Big Android BBQ 2013Opening DayBig Android BBQ 2013nVidia Shield and an AR DroneBig Android BBQ 2013Collectible Android pinsBig Android BBQ 2013Robots, hackers, and AndroidBig Android BBQ 2013Cyanogen Inc PanelBig Android BBQ 2013Ollie Oppo and Koushik DuttaBig Android BBQ 2013Custom DBY SpheroBig Android BBQ 2013Custom Android figurinesBig Android BBQ 2013“Adult” trikes for the evening partyBig Android BBQ 2013Day Two in the main hallBig Android BBQ 2013Cyanogen and AOKP closing keynoteBig Android BBQ 2013Preparing the meat!Big Android BBQ 2013Aaron Kasten and Ray Walters at the closing partyBig Android BBQ 2013Rapha House charity raffleOpening Daylast_img read more

As Expected New Record Set on 2012 Indemnities

first_imgFederal crop insurance indemnities paid to farmers for last year’s losses have risen to a record $17 billion for the 2012 crop year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced. Indemnities for 2012, largely the result of the severe drought in the Plains and Midwest, are now $16.99 billion.The previous record of $10.8 billion paid in indemnities was set in 2011. The 2012 number is not unexpected: the Congressional Budget Office had previously forecast $16 billion in expected indemnities.The RMA website shows indemnities from crop years 2012 by county atwww.rma.usda.gov/data/indemnity/.last_img

Walstra to leave Port of CamasWashougal post

first_imgScot Walstra, director of planning and development for the Port of Camas-Washougal, will leave his post at the end of today under a plan by the port to consolidate its economic-development efforts into a new partnership with the cities of Camas and Washougal.His salary will be routed to a new nonprofit, tentatively named the Camas Washougal Economic Development Association, which will also receive funding from both of those cities.David Ripp, executive director of the Port of Camas-Washougal, said the new group will neither overlap nor conflict with Clark County’s chief economic development agency, the nonprofit Columbia River Economic Development Council.“We’re not taking anything away from CREDC,” Ripp said. “We’re going to continue to support that group as well.”The Camas Washougal Economic Development Association will be expected to promote the east Clark County to employers, recruit companies to the area, create jobs and diversify the region’s economy, Ripp said. A priority will include attracting new industries to Washougal, which has traditionally been dependent on timber.“Our big picture is to create and jobs and have diversification,” Ripp said. One key will be to get a handle on which industries are up-and-coming and should be focused on as soon as possible. “What’s next in line?” Ripp said. “You don’t want to jump in after it’s started.”last_img read more

Indonesia shuts internet in Papua over unrest fears

first_imgJAKARTA: Indonesia has blocked internet access in unrest-hit Papua over fears that a stream of offensive and racists posts online will spark more violent protests in the region, the government said Thursday. Riots and demonstrations brought several Papuan cities to a standstill this week, as buildings were torched and street battles broke out between police and protesters in Indonesia’s easternmost territory. Also Read – Pakistan test-fires 290-km range missile Advertise With Us A rebel insurgency against Jakarta’s rule has simmered for decades in the island region, which shares a border with Papua New Guinea. But the riots appear to have been triggered by the arrest of dozens of Papuan students — who were also pelted with racist abuse — in Java at the weekend. Indonesia slowed internet service in recent days to clamp down on hoaxes, provocative comments and racist abuse targeting Papua’s ethnic Melanesian population. Also Read – Imran calls on Pakistanis to take part in ‘Kashmir Hour’ Advertise With Us But it shut down service completely late Wednesday. “As of this morning, there is still a full block on internet access,” communications ministry spokesman Ferdinandus Setu said. “The amount of racist and provocative content online was very high…and it went viral.” The region’s three internet providers cooperated with the shutdown, but many users managed to get around the block, Setu said. Advertise With Us “The restrictions have not been that effective,” he added. “We’re still evaluating the situation…and will probably lift the block by this afternoon if possible.” Calm appeared to have been mostly restored Thursday after Indonesia sent in 1,200 extra police and military to Papua, with some 45 protesters reportedly arrested. Indonesia’s chief security minister Wiranto, who goes by one name, flew to the island late Wednesday with the head of the military and Indonesia’s national police chief. They were expected to hold a press briefing Thursday in riot-hit Manokwari city. In Jakarta, more than 100 demonstrators calling for Papuan independence scuffled with police near the presidential palace, while dozens of placard-holding demonstrators protested in Bali’s capital Denpasar. The unrest was sparked by reports that authorities tear-gassed and briefly detained some 43 Papuan university students in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-biggest city, on Saturday — the country’s independence day. Police in riot gear stormed a dormitory to force out students who allegedly destroyed an Indonesian flag, as a group of protesters shouted racial slurs at them, calling them “monkeys” and “dogs”. Papua has been the scene of a decades-old rebel insurgency aimed at gaining independence from Indonesia, which took control of the former Dutch colony in the 1960s. Security forces have long been accused of committing rights abuses against Papuans who say they have not shared in the region’s vast mineral wealth.last_img read more

How CEO Vishal Sikka Gave Infosys a Dressing Down and Trimmed Attrition

first_imgInfosys CEO Vishal Sikka may have just completed one year at the Indian technology behemoth, but he already has ‘Infoscions’ eating out of his hands thanks to the changes he brought in. In his first year as the chief of India’s second largest IT firm, Sikka was able to turn the company to “look much like a new-age, youthful, agile company, very different from the traditional Indian IT services firms.””Vishal’s arrival brought hope that Infosys could make the transition into the digital age and move from a ‘has been’ to a ‘relevant’ player,” Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research, told The Economic Times.However, Sikka’s challenge is to inspire the company to regain the IT bellwether status once again, a position it lost due to the lack of innovation and growing competition in the sector.One of the first moves taken by Sikka was doing away with the formal dress code for its employees. The employees are now free to wear jeans and T-shirts instead of attending the office in formals with ties.”Infosys needed a dressing down,” said an Infosys employee, referring to a change in dressing policy.Many internal processes related to employees have also been made simple. A woman employee seeking extension of maternity leave can just inform the manager through mail, without giving any “verbal explanations.”Also, the complex procedure an employee has to undergo while applying for a transfer to other location has been simplified. The company also “institutionalized family events of its employees including carnivals for their children.”The company motivates its employees to take part in decision-making process at “many levels.” And the CEO constantly communicates with employees through blogs, town halls, InfyRadio and InfyTV, besides giving prompt replies to employee issues posted on Yammer, the company’s  communication platform.”He participates in conversations, and joins groups of his interest. And we are encouraged to learn from each other,” said Shruthi Bopaiah, an Infosys employee, according to the ET.Owing partly to the initiatives taken by Sikka, the company has been able to reduce its attrition rate, once the highest in the industry, to 14.2% in the June quarter from 23.4% in the same period last year.One of the key changes brought in by Sikka is seeking more “employee engagement” in generating ideas for the company. He rolled out a programme called Murmuration, targeted at “crowd-sourcing ideas from employees.”About 26,000 employees took part in the initiative, sharing 2,650 ideas. The company had shortlisted ten ideas for execution based on employee voting.”Vishal has shared a simple template that anyone — from any function, however junior or senior — can use to bring in innovation to anything he/she does. Suddenly, innovation is no big deal. It feels great to know that we are in some way part of a great renaissance at Infosys. From being simple 9-to-5ers, we’ve become people on a mission,” said Infosys employee Harini Babu.last_img read more

Transgender Survey Reveals Discrimination And Economic Hardships

first_img 00:00 /01:12 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: The survey of some 1500 Texans comes just weeks after Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick announced his plans to circumvent city laws protecting transgender access to public restrooms. The survey reveals a high rate of transgender people dropping out of school because of bullying and economic hardship caused by employment problems. Lou Weaver is with Equality Texas. “The data shows that trans people are fired from jobs once their employer finds out that they are transgender, or they’re denied jobs. Thirty percent of respondents have experienced homelessness in the past year. Twenty-two percent experience some form of housing discrimination. They can’t rent an apartment or they’re kicked out.”  Weaver says the transgender community feels threatened by state leadership making the bathroom issue such a priority. “We’re seeing our elected officials be bullies through SB6, saying that everybody uses a bathroom based on a birth certificate. Transgender people are afraid to navigate society. If you’re out in public and you’re not allowed to use public accommodations, how are you going to navigate being away from home? How are you going to navigate an eight-hour job?” Lieutenant Governor Patrick says the bathroom bill is a public safety issue. Weaver says a lot of people know a transgender person — they just don’t know they do. X Listen Sharelast_img read more

Halting Human Trafficking Requires Public to See the Unseen

first_imgWALDORF, Maryland – Bringing a halt to human trafficking needs help from the public, which must learn to “see the unseen,” an anti-trafficking advocate recently told church members here.Civilian training is the first step, said Rebecca McDonald, founder and president of Women at Risk, International (WAR), a Michigan-based non-profit organization that works to provide protection to those at risk, for the event.“Until you take this personally, nothing is going to change,” McDonald told members of the First Baptist Church in Waldorf.The First Baptist Church here hosted a seminar on human trafficking. Pictured are trafficking survivor Jill short, Women at Risk, International President Rebecca Mcdonald, ,and seminar organizers Jen Warnack, Charlotte Vass and Megan Ray (Photo courtesy of First Baptist Church, Waldorf)The church partnered with WAR for a seven-hour Civilian First Responder program for 250 attending members, teaching them about what human trafficking is, the horrors of victims’ experience, how they can detect signs of the crime in their community and resources they can contact to get help.Human trafficking, often considered a forgotten crime, is modern day slavery. An umbrella term, human trafficking encompasses a number of crimes like sex trafficking, forced labor and debt bondage.The International Labour Organization estimates that 40.3 million people are trafficked globally, according to Polaris, an organization dedicated to eradicating modern slavery.In 2014, 396 survivors of human trafficking were identified and provided assistance in Maryland according to the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force. As most victims are not identified or reported to an agency, this number is only a fraction of the actual number of people being trafficked in the state.WAR provided pamphlets and documents that had further information about human trafficking and ways to see its signs. In a booklet specifically aimed at the general public, the organization lists 15 demographic characteristics that make an area more prone to human trafficking.Tourism, for example, invites people to come in and out of an area for short periods of time. These tourists, primarily men, are more likely to partake in human trafficking activities, like sex trafficking, and leave the area before there are any repercussions. Sex tourism “treats sex as just another visitor attraction,” according the WAR’s website.Because of Maryland’s close proximity to cities like Washington and Baltimore, the state is vulnerable to sex tourism.Six men, including two from Anne Arundel County, were arrested by county police in a prostitution sting operation at the Extended Stay America hotel in Linthicum, only a 10-minute drive from the Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, according to an article by the Annapolis Capital.Maryland has about 12 or 13 of these 15 demographic characteristics, according to McDonald.McDonald said the real problem of human trafficking is that it is “good business.” Traffickers can sell a human over and over again and still have deniability, according to McDonald.The church event also had separate break-out sessions for parents and educators, hospitality workers, teens and young adults and homeland security and local law enforcement to learn how to detect human trafficking in these specific groups.Speakers for these sessions included representatives of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s office, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office and an advocate for Human Security Investigations.Two human trafficking victims, Jill Short and Wendy Schoonmaker, spoke about their experiences during the lunch break. Short, a mother of 10 and grandmother of six, uses beauty pageants to talk about her personal story and won the position of 2019 Mrs. Downtown DC America, the official Washington preliminary pageants to Miss for America and Mrs. America.Schoonmaker said people are sometimes taught to mistrust themselves and ignore or shutdown their own feelings, which can be passed on to children, creating a major source of vulnerability.“If you don’t acknowledge someone else’s feelings, someone else will,” she said. “And often times it’s someone who will exploit them.”Schoonmaker said she was able to walk away from the first 16 years of her life by having people, either mentors or volunteers, who spoke about positive things in her life.Both survivors urged attendees to be vigilant about signs of trafficking.Church member Charlotte Vass organized the training session with help from other members. Having previously worked with domestic violence victims and then with WAR, Vass said the sinfulness of human trafficking “struck her” and made her want to make a difference.A group of women at the church have been praying about this problem for years and started planning the event about eight months ago, according to Vass.“It just became apparent that people are really uninformed about the human trafficking situation in general,” Vass said. “Most people seem to think it’s over there, they don’t realize it’s in your own backyard.” By SANCHALI SINGH, Capital News Servicelast_img read more

Japanese artist Obata introduces Aritayaki in India

first_imgYuji Obata is one of the few Japanese artists who presented his work to the Emperor of Japan. Obata’s work in Arita-yaki porcelain carries with it over 400 years of history and tradition yet expresses a fresh originality that signals a future for this ancient art. And now, he has come to India to present a glimpse of the soul of Japan through this exhibition of Arita-Yaki paintings.’Yuji Obata Exhibition-The world of Modern Arita from Japan’ started on August 25 and will last until August 31 at Open Palm Court Gallery, India Habitat Center. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSelf-taught along each step of his creative process, from turning the potter’s wheel and kiln firing to decorating the surfaces of his pieces with delicate drawings, Obata departs from common practice in the Arita-yaki industry to carve out a special place for himself in this traditional porcelain art world. Not like typical Arita Yaki porcelain production, Yuji Obata takes his time, creates the shape, fires, and paints each product all by himself. He uses flowers, fish, and animals as motives. His favorite theme is cherry blossoms for which he uses a special Japanese pigment in pink. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveFrom the decorative blocks to the intricate designer vases and decorative plates, he tried his best to present the Arita-Yaki form of painting in its most pristine form. As an artist of the Arita – Yaki style of paintings, Obata has devoted himself to the ethereal beauty of the Sakura tree. His creations captured the world of Sakura tree in all its stages – from full blossoms to the fall of the last leaf.Born in 1961, the artist has kept the traditional purity of the Jin Gama Pottery Klin established by his father. He Graduated from Ayoma Gakuin University in 1984, completed his training from Arita College of Ceramics in 1987 and became the member of the prestigious Japan Kaigi Association and Arita Ceramic Art Association. Obata does not believe in the use of modern machines in the creation of his artwork. He had prepared by his own hands the porcelain on which he composed his Arita-Yaki pieces for the exhibition. “The idea is to give new reach to the traditional style in Arita, especially the distinctive style that is Sakura. Aritayaki which is the oldest form of craft has always had a unique pull for art lovers”, said Obata.last_img read more

How to get a seat on the tube when you have an

first_imgIt was understandably concerning when I was semi-regularly almost passing out on the way to work. I have previously been diagnosed as anemic so assumed it was that.After a blood test came back as fine however, that was when I started to worry.Another Doctor’s meeting later, and they were still baffled about what was the issue.The Doctor did clarify however that the issue seemed to occur when I had been standing for a period of time.This made sense. It was always while stood on a busy train commuting to work that I would become faint.My blood pressure was checked while sitting down and then after standing. There was a very evident and drastic difference.It was then the Doctor said to me: ‘You should probably get one of those “please offer me a seat” badges because we really can’t have you standing for long periods of time.”This should be rolled out nationwide… | Photo: thea_602 InstagramTransport Accessibility SchemeTfL trialled their ‘Please Offer Me a Seat’ in 2016. The scheme was officially launched in early 2017.78% of users during the trial found it easier to get a seat. 95% of them said were likely to recommend getting the badge to someone else who may need it!Getting an actual badge is super easy.You simply head to the TfL website, order one and it arrives at your door a few days later.You don’t need to provide any medical evidence of your condition, or even tell TfL what your condition is.Along with the badge, you get a small card.This can be used in case you don’t want to constantly wear the badge, and just want to alert people on select incidences when you need a seat.The first day I received my badge, I didn’t wear it. In fact, I didn’t for a few days. And this was out of pure anxiety.I was scared of drawing unnecessary attention to myself, and if people cornered me to question me about whether I really need a seat.These fears were all blown completely out of the water however when I finally did wear the badge. Reactions and responsesReactions usually go one of two ways.A minority of people will briefly catch a glimpse of the badge and then actively avoid looking properly so they can feign ignorance.The badge isn’t subtle. It’s bright blue, and I usually wear a white coat.They probably think I don’t notice their eyes dart away from me as soon as they clock the badge.I do.Most people react extremely positively however.I’m usually offered a seat the moment people see my badge.My anxiety means can never bring myself to actively ask someone for their seat, so sometimes I’m stood for a little while.As soon as I turn and someone sitting down see’s my badge however, they usually apologize immediately for not having noticed my ‘little blue badge’ sooner.Charlie traveling on a TfL bus | Photo: SuppliedCould the badge help you?While I had originally been overwhelmed with anxiety at the idea of wearing a bright blue badge, I’m so glad I do now.It has certainly saved me on days where I’ve felt particularly faint.I have since been diagnosed with a condition called vasovagal presyncope.My natural blood pressure is on the lower end of the scale anyway, and this drops even more when I’ve been standing up for a while.The low blood pressure triggers my nervous system and is what causes my body to overreact, and almost faint.Thankfully, I always get a seat in time now – Or, I already have a seat and don’t have to worry about this happening!Since talking about the badge openly to friends and how useful it has been for me, there are already one or two who also have an invisible conditions who are looking into getting the badge too.And I’d suggest the same to everyone else!It can be scary at first but is so important and good for your health. Don’t be scared to take care of yourself. You’ll be surprised to find that most people are actually quite understanding.To order your badge head to: tfl.gov.uk/transport-accessibility/please-offer-me-a-seatFor more information about Transport for London’s accessibility scheme’s head here: tfl.gov.uk/transport-accessibility/Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Pride Month: How is LGBTQ tourism doing these days?Gay Bermuda tourism CEO: LGBTI boycott ‘counter-intuitive’ after marriage equality reversalUganda LGBT Pride Week Marred by ArrestsRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/tfl-offer-seat-badge/center_img GAYSTARNEWS- The badge helps me find a seat so I don’t faint on the way to work | Photo: GSN Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading…last_img read more