Friday, January 29, 2010

Supriya Sakamuri bags UGC award

HYDERABAD: Supriya Sakamuri of Osmania University has bagged the Best Education Programme award of the University Grants Commission for producing a video on gobal warming.

Supriya, who works with the Educational Multimedia Research Centre (EMMRC) of Osmania University, will receive the award along with a cash prize of Rs 50,000 at a function to be held in New Delhi in February or March in connection with the 20th UGC-CEC Educational Video Competition.

The Consortium for Educational Communication, UGC gives awards for the best programmes under various categories every year. OU Vice-Chancellor T Tirupati Rao complimented the Director, Producer and the staff of the Centre for bringing laurels to the university.

A postgraduate in communication from the University of Hyderabad, Supriya has been a television film producer (director) for the past 18 years. For 11 years, she has been working with the Educational Multimedia Research Centre of OU and has produced (directed) more than 160 educational television programmes for the UGC countrywide classroom series.

The film on global warming (with the same title) projects the reasons behind global warming and its impact on the surface of earth and human civilisation and how human activity is enhancing global warming.

Elgi Equipments acquires compressor unit in Europe

COIMBATORE: As part of its " going global" strategy, Elgi Equipments (Dr. Jairam Varadaraj Managing director), City based compressor manufacturer, has announced the acquisition of a company

in Europe engaged in the manufacture, sales and service of compressors. Elgi informed stock exchanges on Wednesday it has signed an agreement to buy 100% shares of the company. It expects to close the transaction by February end subject to customary regulatory approvals and other negotiated conditions of closing.

While company sources declined to identify the company, industry players said Europe has a number of small and medium sized compressor firms.

As part of the strategy to mark its imprints globally offering products and services to a number of export markets, the Rs 500 crore Elgi has established three subsidiaries one each in Gulf, China and Brazil.

Today, nearly 30% of its products are exported to countries like US, Europe, Australia, South-East Asia and the Middle East.

Jr NTR's engagement with 18-year-old Narne Lakshmi

Junior NTR (27) will get engaged with one Narne Lakshmi Pranathi. Narne Lakshmi Pranathi is daughter of TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu's niece Narne Mallika and Narne Srinivasa Rao owner of 'Studio N' TV channel.

The engagement will be held in last of Feb 2010, sources said. Interestingly, Narne is just 18-year-old and class 12th student of Nazar Junior College of Hyderabad.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Young achievers to be feted

VIJAYAWADA Jan 28: City-based Shaft Animation Studio will felicitate three youngsters who have done Vijayawada proud by bringing in laurels on the international platform.

Gullapalli Phaneendra, a member of the Oscar award winning team for Hollywood flick The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Femina Miss India World 2005 Gadde Sindhura and the first Asian archery champion from the city Cherukuri Lenin, will be feted at a function to be organised at The Gateway Hotel on Friday.

A resident of Moghalrajpuram, Phaneendra completed his schooling in NSM Public School and pursued an engineering course in Gowtham College. On the sidelines, he joined Shaft Animation Studio to learn the nitty-gritty of visual effects. He later moved to the US and pursued a Masters in the field.

“Mummy-3 was my first project in Hollywood. The past eight years have been a learning experience for me. I want to share part of my experiences at a workshop slated for Friday here with students interested in pursuing a career in animation, aspiring professionals and others,” said Phaneendra.

Senior journalist Turlapaty Kutumba Rao said
the boy, at a very young age of 24, had done the city proud. “We wish him good luck in his future endeavours. He must go around the world, learn new things and master tricks of the trade but he must come back and serve his motherland,” he advised.

Rana Daggubati to make Bollywood debut with Abhishek

Rohan Sippy’s gritty hard-hitting Traffic-inspired film on the drug racket in Goa has finally found a second hero. After being offered to Farhan Akhtar and Emran Hashmi the role has finally gone to the Telugu star-on-the-rise Rana Daggubati who made his acting debut in Telugu with the hard-hitting political thriller Leader

Rana isn’t just a johnny-come-lately in tinsel town. He comes from an extremely illustrious film family. Rana’s grandfather is illustrious Andhra-based actor-turned-producer D Rama Naidu (who has produced 110 films including superhits in Hindi like Premnagar and Tohfa). His father is another distinguished producer Suresh Babu. And Rana’s uncle is the popular Telugu actor Venkatesh.

Rana was chosen to play Abhishek Bachchan’s co-star apparently for his correct looks and talent. Says a source, “It’s a character of a Goan musician. That’s why they wanted Farhan Akhtar. When Rohan saw Rana’s picture he was stuck by how Goan the Telugu actor looked. The Sippys saw Rana’s film Leader and knew he was right. The role is as powerful as Abhishek’s.

”The formalities were completed last week. Rana would now be another South Indian actor trying his luck in Hindi films after the likes of Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, Chiranjeevi and Rana’s uncle Venkatesh (who was launched opposite Karisma Kapoor in Anari by his father D Rama Naidu in 1993).

When contacted, Rohan Sippy confirmed the casting. “Yes I’ve signed Rana for the film I’m directing.”

Vinay Ramineni: Topper in Australian Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT) , 2010

VINAY Ramineni is the second in his family to be accepted directly into medicine at the University of Queensland.

The Indooroopilly resident received an offer from the university following an Overall Position of No-1 and an excellent result on the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT) that placed him in the 97th percentile.

The University of Queensland later awarded Vinay with a UQ Excellence scholarship worth $6000, in recognition of his outstanding achievement.

Vinay, who managed to complete his grade six piano exam while studying, said he had been preparing for the UMAT exam for more than a year.

He dedicated more than two hours a week to the program on top of his regular academic demands.

The Brisbane Grammar School graduate has received a number of accolades in the past, including high distinctions in the Australian National Chemistry and English quizzes.

Mayor Mallory Endorses Democrat Yalamanchili

CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory is endorsing Surya Yalamanchili (Democrat) for the 2nd District Congressional seat.

David Krikorian, who ran as an independent in 2008 and lost, is also running for the Democratic nod. Republican incumbent Jean Schmidt is seeking another term.

On Monday, Mallory cited Yalamanchili's focus on Southern Ohio's middle-class and passion for the details of public policy that will be needed to get our nation's economy back on track.

"I am supporting Surya because he will stand up for the hard-working families of the Ohio 2nd District," Mayor Mallory said. "In these challenging economic times, his passion for and understanding of public policy is exactly what is required to create the economic opportunities and jobs that Southern Ohio requires.

"Yalamanchili is advocating a platform focused on economic policies to spur growth in private sector jobs, and returning responsibility and accountability to government spending and services.

"The 2nd district deserves a representative willing to roll-up their sleeves to craft solutions that will move Ohio forward," Mallory continued. "Surya represents the best of the Democratic party's values and is exactly the energetic, dynamic leader who will work tirelessly to get the job done.

"Since Yalamanchili is a newcomer in the Ohio Congressional elections, the endorsement will help his exposure.

“I am honored to have Mayor Mallory’s support," Yalamanchili said. "He is a respected leader in both the Democratic party and Ohio government. I will fight for real jobs for the hard-working families in the second district and throughout our great nation.”

Veteran actor Gummadi passes away

Veteran actor Gummadi, popularly known as Gummadi Venkateswara Rao passed away. The 83 year old actor was admitted to the hospital due to chest pain. Gummadi was already suffering from paralysis and also both his kidneys were in failure.

Born in Ravikampadu near Tenali of Andhra Pradesh on July 9, 1927, Gummadi started his career in Telugu cinema with Adrushta Deepudu in 1950 and worked in around 500 Telugu films in a acting period of around 60 years. His last was Dharma Chakram (1995). Some of his hits are Dharma Chakram (1995), Maya Bazaar (1995), Govindha Govindha (1993), Mutamestri (1993) and Gaayam (1993).

Narain Karthikeyan gets awarded the Padma Shri!

Kakarla Kumar Ram Narain Karthikeyan has been awarded the Padma Shri Award in recognition of his contribution to the field of Indian motorsports. Karthikeyan, known by the sobriquet 'the fastest Indian in the world' is the only Indian driver so far to have raced in Formula 1. Karthikeyan's stint in the sport was with the Jordan team in 2005. Narain has also raced in A1 GP and the Le Mans Series, among other international championships.

Upon learning of his award, Narain said, “I am deeply honoured and humbled by the Government of India in receiving this award. It is truly a great day, not only in my life, but also in the life of Indian Motorsport. I have countless people to thank and credit for this achievement – first and foremost of which is my family, without whose unrelenting support, my career would not have taken the path it has. My sponsors, the Tata Group, Bharat Petroleum, JK Tyres and Amaron, who have supported me for so many years, as well as MRF Tyres, with whom I have recently entered into a partnership, have also been crucial to my success as a racing driver. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person at all of these companies who have supported and believed in me for so many years. Last, but not least, I owe a huge debt of thanks to all of my fans, who have cheered me on through all of my successes. I dedicate this award to all of them.”

Monday, January 25, 2010

SMOTEC Plus biodiesel catalyst plant opens in Saudi Arabia

In December, Germany-based SMOTEC Plus (Prasad Devineni, Partner & Director) opened its new 60,000 ton per year sodium methylate manufacturing facility in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. SMOTEC Plus, which is short for sodium methoxide technology plus other related chemical products, is targeting biodiesel producers and other customers in the U.S., Canada and Brazil for the marketing of product from its newly added catalyst production capacity. Prior to the opening of the Dammam plant, the company was marketing its then-existing sodium methylate production volume to customers in Europe, India, Argentina and Brazil.

“Our sodium methylate manufacturing process uses raw materials such as caustic soda and methanol, unlike other manufacturers whose processes are based on mercury cell-based chlorine and sodium metal,” said Prasad Devineni, SMOTEC Plus director. “In addition to sodium methylate solution, our new plant produces sodium methylate powder, which is used in the transesterification of oils for the food industry. To comply with food industry standards, all production processes and operations adhere to strict quality requirements mandated by the food industry certifications.”

By utilizing caustic soda and methanol rather than mercury-cell based chlorine and sodium metal, Devineni said SMOTEC Plus’ sodium methylate is much more desirable for the food industry and biodiesel producers seeking to sell their refined glycerin into the food, beverage, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical markets.

“The food industry and glycerin markets do not like catalyst that comes into contact with mercury,” Devineni said. “The sodium metal process is used in the production of sodium methylate in the U.S. Because of our caustic-based process, we can locate our future sodium methylate production facilities close to the consuming markets so that we have shipping cost advantages.”

Rishika Sunkara keeps Indian flag flying at Oz Open

Rishika Sunkara made it to the second round of the Australian Open junior girls singles beating Japanese qualifier Miyu Kato 6-4, 6-2 in Melbourne on Sunday.

Sunkara, 16, is now up against a very strong contender, the third seeded Russian Daria Gavrilova on Tuesday while in doubles, she will be seen in action with Japanese Yuki Ito on Monday. Munshaw is partnering Chinese Chuhan Wang in boys doubles. "I was pretty confident because I had seen her (Kato) play during the qualifiers. Both of us were equally capable," Rishika was quoted as saying by her mother, Sucheta Sunkara.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lanco signs MOU for 1980 MW coal fired power plants

Lanco Infratech (Lagadapati Madhusudhan Chairman and MD) has entered into a MOU with Government of Uttar Pradesh to set up a 2 X 660 MW coal fired power plant at Fatehpur.

Lanco Anpara, a group company of Lanco Infratech has also entered into an MOU with the Government of Uttar Pradesh to enhance its existing capacity by 660 MW. From its earlier capacity of 1200 MW, Lanco Anpara will now have a total capacity of 1860 MW, which it will be developing in two phases .

Harikrishna wins second game in row

Wijk Aan Zee, Jan 21 (IANS) Pentala Harikrishna was the lone Indian winner in the fourth round of the Corus Grandmasters under way here. Harikrishna’s second successive win in Group B carried him to tied third place, half a point behind the leading duo, Anish Giri of Netherlands and China’s Ni Hua.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Kamma MLCs in Karnataka

Kamma MLCs in Karnataka Legislative Council

1) R V Venkatesh – Bangalore (Cong – I)
2) M R Doreiswamy Naidu – Bangalore (BJP)
3) G H ThippaReddy – Chitradurga (BJP)

Edpuganti Vani Rao: Mayor, Bilaspur Municipal Corporation

Raipur: Congress nominee for Bilaspur Municipal Corporation (Chhatisgarh) Mayor post Mrs. Edpuganti Vani Rao was declared elected defeating her nearest BJP rival Mandakini Pingle on 23rd Dec 2009.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Surya Yalamanchi Now Sees Value of Party Label

Ohio marketing executive Surya Yalamanchili is ending his two-month stint as an independent candidate in the 2nd district and will instead seek the Democratic nomination.

"I entered this race as an Independent because of my deep frustration with the current state of our political system and its inability to address our serious national challenges," Yalamanchili said in a statement. "As I've made my way across the 2nd district, it has become clear to me that I can do the most good from within the Democratic party."

"My focus on jobs and economic issues are exactly what this district cares about," he said, describing a platform that dovetails with Democratic principles and has "resonated very well" in Ohio's 2nd, which includes part of Cincinnati and territory east of that city.

Yalamanchili, who once appeared on the reality television program "The Apprentice," is the third Democrat to challenge Rep. Jean Schmidt (R). David Krikorian, who was an independent candidate in the 2008 election, and Jim Parker also are running. Other Democrats could enter the race before the Feb. 18 filing deadline.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jwala Gutta did Andhra Pradesh proud winning two of the five titles at the Senior Nationals

Gutta Jwala grabbed the women's doubles title for the ninth time, this being the first with Ashwini Ponnappa. Jwala then went on to seize the mixed doubles crown too, with Valiyaveetil Diju.

Jwala and Diju, who missed the Syed Modi International Grand Prix last month, made it up by winning the mixed doubles title on Sunday. They packed off Aparna Balan and Arun Vishnu in straight games 21-12, 21-7.

Jwala then paired with Ashwini to outplay former partner Shruti Kurien and Aparna Balan 21-15, 22-20.

Jwala and Ashwini had it easy in the first game. Shruti and Aparna gave a tough fight in the second, but could not stop their opponents from taking the game and title.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Aliens Group to launch affordable housing projects

Hyderabad-based developer Aliens Group (Hari Challa, Managing Director) is diversifying into new verticals to expand its presence. To start with, the company that till now focused on medium and premium segment integrated township projects in Hyderabad is pl­anning to launch affordable housing projects. It is also looking at selling plots at affordable prices.

The affordable housing project under the name O2 is going to be developed as part of the company’s integrated township-Aliens Space Station 2. Coming up near the GMR International Hyderabad airport at Shamshabad, which is about 30 km from the central business district, the project is awaiting government appro­vals. O2 will offer flats priced between Rs 20 and Rs 30 lakh, against Space Station 2 that will offer flats in the range of Rs 30-45 lakh.

Hari Challa, MD and Co-founder of Aliens Group, said, “Ideally, we want to come up with projects targeted at the masses. Originally, our plan was to offer 400 units under O2 but now with changed market conditions, we will have to assess the demand-supply situation. The number of units could go up in O2. Even our plotting venture will be targeted at masses as we will sell land under Rs 10 lakh bracket as well.” Aliens Group is looking at acquiring land near the international airport.

At present, the company has five completed residential projects in Hyderabad. Besides, the company is working on an integrated township project - Aliens Space Station 1 - that boasts of being the first residential project in the state with 30 floors. Space Station 1 saw an investment of Rs 700-800 crore and is expected to be ready by 2011. Space state 1 is coming up in Gachibowli, which is the IT hub of the city.

Ongoing projects include Space Station 2 and Aliens Hub. Aliens Hub is a long-term integrated township project with a timeline of 10-15 years. Aliens Hub will comprise high-rise apartments, 18 hole golf resort, airstrip, helipad, SEZs and corporate office blocks. Till date, the company has funded all its projects through internal accruals, promoter equity and debt.

Further Aliens Group is planning to get aggressive with its infrastructure division. The company entered into infrastructure business in 2008-end that operates under the name Aliens Infratech. The latter has bagged an order worth Rs 20 crore from Railways to build embankments at Cuddapah district in Andhra Pradesh. “We are bidding for more railway contracts in Gujarat and Maharashtra among other states. Under infrastructure segment, railways is going to be an area of thrust for us,” said Challa.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Navayuga - KPCL Consortium chosen for 674 crores four-laning project

MANGALORE Jan 4: Navayuga - Krishnapatnam Port Company Limited (KPCL) (Chinta Visveswara Rao, Chairman) Consortium, has bagged the contract for widening the 90-km stretch between Kundapur and Surathkal and Nanthoor and Talapady on the National Highway 17 into four-lane.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has chosen this company for the project on build-operate and transfer (BoT) basis. The project is estimated to cost Rs. 674 crore.

However, this may not mean that the work will commence immediately. The NHAI, some time ago, adopted a policy under which it will take up any project only after the State Government completes issuance of final land acquisition notification to 80 per cent of the properties to be taken over. It also expects the State Government to complete the issuance of preliminary notifications to the remaining 20 per cent of properties. Considering this, the commencement of work on this particular project may be delayed, even as the Karnataka Government is lagging behind in acquiring land.

Sources said that of the properties to be acquired in the 65 villages in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts, the Government had issued final notifications only in six villages between Surathkal and Mulky in Dakshina Kannada. The preliminary notification had been published in 35 villages between Mulky and Kundapur in Udupi district. The process of publishing the preliminary notifications on land acquisition in nine villages between Nanthoor and Talapady in Dakshina Kannada is under way. In what is termed a lapse on the part of Dakshina Kannada administration, the Government had published preliminary notifications in eight villages between Surathkal and Mulky. But, when the final notification was published, the lands notified in Karnad and Mulky had been dropped. As a result, the preliminary notification issued for acquiring land in the two villages lost its value. This is because the law specifies that the final notification should be issued within one year of the preliminary notification. The Government will have to issue fresh preliminary notification for acquiring land in the two villages. In all, properties have to be acquired in 48 villages between Mulky and Kundapur. Sources said that the Union Government was likely to sign a State Support Agreement with the Karnataka Government before taking up Kundapur-Talapady project. Once the agreement is signed, it will make the State Government legally bound to extend all support for the smooth completion of the project. The distance between Surathkal and Kundapur is 74 km and it is 16 km between Nanthoor and Talpady.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cethar Vessels bags Rs 850-cr order from Meenakshi Power

Chennai Jan,2: Cethar Vessels Ltd (K.Subburaj, Chairman), the Tiruchi-based power equipment manufacturer, has bagged an order worth Rs 850 crore from Meenakshi Power Pvt Ltd, an Independent Power Producer that is putting up a 2x300-MW coal-fired thermal power project at Krishnapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

Cethar will supply the boilers for the power station in 30 months. The contract was formally signed a few days ago.

Earlier, the company had bagged an EPC contract worth Rs 750 crore from Shree Cement which wants to put up two units of 150 MW in Rajasthan.

With the Meenakshi order, Cethar Vessels' order book has swelled to Rs 5,500 crore, the company's Chairman, Mr K. Subburaj, told.

Cethar ended 2008-09 with a turnover of Rs 735 crore. Mr Subburaj expects the current year's turnover to touch Rs 1,250 crore.

Tie-up for supercritical technology
Cethar Vessels has a technology tie-up with Riley Power of the US for sub-critical boilers. Mr Subburaj said Cethar and Riley would sign another collaboration agreement, perhaps this month itself, for technology for supercritical boilers also. Riley Power is a subsidiary of Babcock Power of the US and will have its own arrangements for acquisition of supercritical technology.

Meanwhile, Cethar is also in talks with a few overseas companies for know-how for the manufacture of turbines. Mr Subburaj expects some progress on this front in February

India's Karthikeyan eyes US switch

Kakarka Kumar Ram Narain Karthikeyan is eyeing to join the US NASCAR series. The former Formula One driver has already tested with a new team. Karthikeyan is the first Formula One driver for India. He made his F1 debut with the Jordan team in 2005.He had driven in the European Le Mans Series in the second half of 2009.

Karthikeyan said,"I tested for Starbeast Motorsports just three days ago at Daytona (international speedway)”.Starbeast Motorsports is a new team in the ARCA racing series for stock cars.

The 32-year Karthikeyan said,"It's all open now and I have lots of options. By the end of January, something should be finalised.”

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy and Peaceful New Year 2010