Saturday, October 15, 2016

A Road named after Vejandla Venkateswara Rao in Mumbai

V V Rao Marg, Nariman Point, 400021 street is located in the Mumbai City, Mumbai District, Maharashtra state, India was named after Late. Vegendla Venkateswara Rao.  

Venkateshwara Rao Vajendla also known as "V V Rao"  (October 12, 1941 - October 21, 1999) was born in  Pamulapadu Village, Guntur District. He served as Chief Fire Officer Mumbai Fire Brigade was awarded President’s Fire Service Medal for Distinguished Service in 26th January, 1997. V V Rao has worked in the fire brigade for 42 years.  

For the first time a chief fire officer was given the guard of honour after his death was in 1999, when the chief fire officer was V V Rao. His body was taken in a truck to Shivaji Park crematorium. In October 1999, then CFO VV Rao had died following a cardiac arrest in the civic headquarters.

His son Ananda Rao Vegendla married BJP leader Late.Pramod Mahajan's daughter Poonam Mahajan alias Poonam Vajendla Rao (MP from Mumbai North Central) 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Sreekanth Chalasani granted $1 million to harness sound to control brain cells

LA JOLLA--Salk Institute for Biological Studies Associate Professor Sreekanth Chalasani has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative for developing a way to selectively activate brain, heart, muscle and other cells using ultrasonic waves, which could be a boon to neuroscience research as well as medicine.

Chalasani will receive over $1 million for the first year of the award to expand his groundbreaking technology into mammalian cells. If it works in humans, such a technology could be used for deep brain stimulation--a common treatment in Parkinson's and depression. It could also be used outside of the brain to act as a pacemaker for a heart or to produce insulin from pancreatic cells.

"The Chalasani lab developed a revolutionary way to precisely target specific cells in a living organism using sound waves," says Salk President Elizabeth Blackburn. "With support from the BRAIN Initiative, Sreekanth will be able to expand his trailblazing science which could lead to many exciting applications in research and medicine."

Chalasani's new technique, which he calls sonogenetics, has some similarities to the burgeoning use of light (optogenetics) to activate cells in order to better understand the brain, but is less invasive. This method-which uses the same type of waves used in medical sonograms-may have additional advantages over optogenetics particularly when it comes to adapting the technology to human therapeutics. Chalasani first demonstrated the technique on nematodes in 2015, showing that low-intensity ultrasound waves propagating into the worms caused a membrane ion channel called TRP-4 to open and activate cells. His team also added the TRP-4 channel and successfully activated neurons that don't usually react to ultrasound. With the new grant, Chalsani is developing technology to deliver focused ultrasonic waves to particular regions of the mammalian brain and is also exploring additional ion channels that could be targeted with ultrasound.

"I am very grateful for the support to pursue this research and see whether this technique can work in mammals and translate to humans for medical benefits," says Chalasani, who is collaborating with additional Salk labs as well as with the University of California, San Diego on the effort.

"In only three years we've already seen exciting new advances in neuroscience research come out of the BRAIN Initiative," says Walter J. Koroshetz, MD, director of NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. "There are very few effective cures for neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. By pushing the boundaries of fundamental neuroscience research, NIH BRAIN Initiative scientists are providing the insights researchers will need to develop 21st century treatments."

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Australia-based Venkat Suhas Atluri donates gold crown to Saibaba shrine

Shirdi: An Australia-based Saibaba devotee, Venkat Suhas Atluri, today donated a gold crown, weighing 748 grams, to the Shirdi shrine here, officials said. The crown, adorned with multi-coloured gems, is estimated to be worth over Rs 21.77 lakhs, officials of Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust said.

Atluri visited the shrine in the morning on the occasion of Dussehra and took part in the 'aarti', they added. "I am visiting Shirdi since I was one-year-old. I hail from Andhra Pradesh and due to Saibaba's blessings, I have settled in Australia," he said.

Tech CEO acquires 2nd firm

Avani Technology Solutions Inc.’s founder President and CEO Sameer Penakalapati has agreed to acquire Poughkeepsie-based Indotronix International Corp.—a $22 million IT company provider—adding some 250 employees and dozens of Fortune 500 clients to his portfolio, officials said. 

The acquisition is a major step in President and CEO Penakalapati’s goal of reaching $100 million in revenue by 2020. Penakalapati predicts combined sales for the two firms of $50 million this year.

The deal has taken roughly four months to come together, and it is expected to close in late October.

The acquisition is slated to bring the two firms’ total employment to over 700 staffers spanning all 50 states and in India. The two companies employ some 150 people in New York. The deal also includes the addition of 50 people in Avani’s India office. 

The addition of Indotronix will give Penakalapati’s pair of firms government clients and prime contractors who have been customers for 30 years, a huge benefit for a company with eight years of operating history, Penakalapati said 

Indotronix clients include Lockheed Martin Corp., Verizon Wireless Inc. and Deloitte LLP.

“I think the biggest advantage that we have with the firm is the history and the clientele they have today,” Penakalapati said. “That’s hard for any business like us; really starting off it’s tough to win (top clients). With this firm we have now a foot in the door with those big class customers.”

“This makes perfect sense to me. It’s a close-knit family. It’s run by one person who we can trust; it’s an easy transaction,” he added.

The software development firm, which has its headquarters at 687 Lee Road, already had planned to add five local staffers by the close of 2016. Next year Avani plans to add another 10 people to Rochester’s workforce and reach $65 million to $70 million in revenues.

“I think (the acquisition) is a great fit,” said Mitch Meller, vice president of IT services for Avani. “I think there’s a lot of synergy between our two companies. We focus a lot on applications; they do that as well as some infrastructure, and I think our philosophies in general are very similar.”

Indotronix was founded by Babu Rao Mandava in 1986. He worked for IBM Corp. for 20 years before taking early retirement in 1985. 

At its peak, Indotronix grew to an $80 million firm around 2006-07, which included multiple other business lines of the Mandava family that spanned the food production, security and real estate industries. Mandava passed away in December, prompting his family to reconsider the company’s future. 

There was no plan to sell the business until its leaders came into contact with Penakalapati, said Aneel Potluri, grandson of Mandava and president and chief operating officer of Indotronix.

“I know in the normal sense when people are looking to sell they go through a very structured sale process with a broker and things like that, and this was very unique because there was no broker,” he said. “It was just an arrangement between two people, and my comfort with him is what really got the deal going forward because he reminds me so much of my own grandfather.”

Potluri and his cousin Ashok Mandava have led Indotronix in recent years. Mandava serves as executive vice president and chairman of the firm’s India branch.

Potluri will transition from president to an adviser role for the combined company when the deal closes. Mandava will shift his focus to the family’s other companies that used to be housed under the Indotronix name. Surrendering the Indotronix name is part of the deal with Avani.

“We’re looking forward to it. We’re very happy that our firm is going to be part of the Avani family,” Potluri said. “There will be a firm in Rochester now that will have dozens upon dozens of Fortune 500 clients.

“Avani already had some too, but the combination of both will be a very world class organization (and) (Penakalapati’s) ability to service that caliber of clientele will be very well-cemented with this merger,” Potluri said.

The deal calls for the two firms to be under the holding company of Indotronix Avani Inc. The headquarters of the combined companies will be in Rochester, although a few employees will remain in the Poughkeepsie office. Penakalapati will run the companies as two separate entities, he said.

“It’s going to add more jobs here,” Penakalapati said. “This is our corporate headquarters. This is where we run, we make money and spend money here; it’s good for Rochester. I’m very confident that we can bring a lot more jobs to Rochester.”

Indotronix is given new life under Penkalapati’s vision.

“The reason why I was so confident (with the acquisition)—it’s the people that you’re dealing with—you get this comfort,” he said. “I think that from the day talking to Aneel and some of his family shareholders I always had a comfort. His grandfather worked very hard to build the company. Your business builds a reputation based on the clients that you have. Now we have these clients (and the) new technology skills—I think it’s a perfect combination for us.”

Monday, October 10, 2016

Ruthvika Shivani Gadde clinches Russian Open title

Ruthvika Shivani Gadde comprehensively beat Russia's Evegeniya Kosetskaya 21-10, 21-13 to win the Russian Open Grand Prix on Sunday.

It took only 26 minutes for Gadde, seeded fourth, to win her second final in 2016 after upsetting Olympic silver medalist PV Sindhu to win the gold medal at the South Asian Games. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Indian American Actor-filmmaker Anisha Adusumilli’s First Film Premiered at South Asian Film Fest

Los Angeles-based Indian American actor-director Anisha Adusumilli’s debut short, “First Date,” is among six short films from across the globe screened at the 22nd annual South Asian Film Festival held in Florida Oct. 1 to Oct. 3.

The premise of this hilarious short, which will see its Southeast premiere at the prestigious film fest is: Deepak meets his future bride, Rashmi, for the first time. She’s not exactly what he expected but everything he’s ever wanted.

“First Date” is a passion project stemming from pressure from Adusumilli’s mom to find a man and get married, and a direct result of her putting Adusumilli on an Indian dating site without her knowledge, she said in a statement.

The comedic short is a fantasy (literally and figuratively) she had as she wondered what it would be like to be arranged in marriage as a first-generation South Asian in this app-driven, millennial dating world.

An artist from a young age, Adusumilli began studying classical piano at the age of five and cultivated her passion for the arts through the Trinity College of London.

Continuing her creative expression through dancing and singing, she eventually discovered her love for acting. “First Date” is her first foray into directing her own creation.

Studying both business and theater at the University of California, Los Angeles, she immediately began her career in film and television upon graduation. Some of her recent credits include Fox’s “New Girl,” CBS’ “How I Met Your Mother,” “NCIS: Los Angeles” and NBC’s “Heartbeat,” among others.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sai Krishna Dandamudi placed 2nd at the Godan Summit 2016 in New York

The challenge aimed to uncover new, innovative ways to unleash the power of open data and solve specific challenges in agriculture and nutrition, to enable policy makers, farmers and the open data community to make significant steps forward in the release, management and use of open data.

Sai Krishna Dandamudi was awarded second place for his inputs on ‘Creating an online marketplace for farmers to secure better prices for crops, in coordination with government data’ under the Policy Challenge. 

The Open Data Challenge received worldwide involvement from over 100 next generation innovators, such as coders, students, designers, marketers, young entrepreneurs, open data enthusiasts, forward-thinkers, and curious minds, the summit received inputs for its Policy Challenge and Open Data Maker's Challenge.

The Policy challenge required entrants to design a policy or program for their country or organisation that would incentivise government and nongovernmental agencies to better utilize, collect, and/or make more accessible open data that will positively impact agriculture and nutrition.

VARI were recognised for their work at enabling intelligent open data channels using government data - for farmers to interact online with the market, helping them obtain better prices for their crops. They are currently at the summit, exhibiting their project. Speaking of their work, Sai Krishna Dandamudi said “VARI is founded on the premise that providing better market information to farmers will improve farmers’ incomes and deliver better prices to consumers for agricultural produce.

Our goal is to provide channels for direct communication between buyers and sellers using an online platform/mobile platform (SMS & Android App) supported by local field representatives.”

Mannava Sri Kanth Prasad named BCCI selection panel Chairman

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) appointed Mannava Sri Kanth Prasad  as the new chairman of the national selection committee. BCCI’s decision of appointing Prasad and the rest of the selection committee was in complete defiance of the Lodha Committee recommendations, which had called for a three-member committee as opposed to the five-member one that the Board has stuck to.

Mannava Sri Kanth Prasad, during his playing days, was a wicketkeeper batsman. He made his international debut in an ODI against Bangladesh in Mohali in 1998. His first Test cap came the following year against New Zealand at the same venue. Prasad was brought into the setup in place of Nayan Mongia who was nursing an injury. This opportunity allowed MSK to play six Tests until 2000.

In 2000, Mongia was called back to the India squad which led to Prasad getting dropped. He didn’t find a way back to the national setup since then.

After being dropped from the Test squad in 2000, Prasad continued his first-class career for seven more years. In all he played 96 first-class matches and scored 4021 runs. He also captained the Andhra Pradesh team for the 2007-08 Ranji Trophy season after which he announced his retirement.

Prasad was the director of Andhra Cricket Association for six years. In 2012, ACA Vice President DVSS Somayajulu offered Prasad to become member of its executive committee, which the former cricketer accepted.

MSK Prasad’s lack of experience at the international stage – with a total of six Tests and 17 ODIs under his belt – has been a big point of criticism for the BCCI to appoint someone at such a high profile.

Prof. Prasad Yarlagadda awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia

Prof. Prasad Yarlagadda awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to engineering and the Indian community.

When the Queen’s Birthday Honours were announced, Prof Prasad Yarlagadda was travelling in the US as part of the Queensland Premier’s trade mission.

“I’ve just attended the BIO 2016 Convention, an important part of this mission, and sought out opportunities in the broad field of biotechnology, biomedical instrumentation and similar fields,” he told Indian Link from the US. “I am taking advantage of this trip to visit high quality research institutes and universities to strengthen my research partnerships.”

His commitment to his lifelong passion for engineering, for which he was awarded the OAM this year (along with services to Queensland’s Indian community), was immediately apparent.

Prof. Yarlagadda has been Professor in Smart Systems at the Queensland University of Technology’s Science and Engineering Faculty since 2005, and Project Director, Airports of the Future. He has also held positions at the Centre for Built Environment Engineering and Research, and at the Manufacturing Systems Engineering Research Concentration.

As a scientist, he has been passionate about increasing the stature of STEM in this country.

“Over the past decade a number of universities and research organisations across Australia are putting in much effort in STEM.  There have been good outcomes in encouraging students to take up science and mathematics at school, leading to increase in enrolments in STEM related programs. A classic example has been my own university. QUT has invested substantial resources; the establishment of a state-of-the-art Engineering Precinct, an Institute for Future Environments, and a huge digital displace facility (CUBE) are some of the initiatives that are advancing STEM considerably.”

Prof. Yarlagadda’s career is decorated with many awards and recognitions from global organisations of manufacturing and material engineering.

Within Queensland’s Indian community, Prof Yarlagadda is well known as a leading member of the Federation of Indian Communities of Queensland (FICQ), of which he was President (2013-2015) and Vice President (2010-2013).

He was involved in the establishment of the Tri Sister City Relationship between Brisbane, Hyderabad and Ipswich, in 2010.

He has served on executive positions with GOPIO Queensland, Vedanta Centre and India Australia Society of Queensland. Currently, he is a member of the Queensland Government’s Interim Multicultural Community Reference Group.

He is indebted to his employer for encouraging his community-related activities.

“It is absolutely important for me to acknowledge the support and encouragement that I receive from QUT and its senior management to engage in various community service and leadership activities,” he said.

Prof. Yarlagadda came to Australia in 1996, having worked in India, Hong Kong, Singapore and Papua New Guinea before.

His daughter Tejasri was only one when he and his wife Ragamayi moved to Brisbane.

“Brisbane is a wonderful place to raise a family,” Prof Yarlagadda reflected on his twenty years in the city. “Australia is a great country with wonderful opportunities and welcoming nature with great acceptance for people of different cultural backgrounds.  Indeed, it is a great multicultural nation – I myself have friends from more than 60 countries who now call Australia home!”

About his OAM honour, Prof Yarlagadda said, “I am thrilled to note that my years of service are recognised at both professional and community level.”

He added, “It motivates me to work harder for the wider benefit of the community. I believe this will motivate other community leaders and leaders in science and technology too.”

He hopes to continue doing his best both at professional and community levels.

“At a professional level, I am aspiring to establish a National Centre of Excellence for Digital Manufacturing, which will meet the future needs of the Australian manufacturing industry, biomedical industry and also the defence sector.  I’ve already had some initial success very recently in receiving funding of $5 million from the Australian Research Council and other related industries, with a strong team of researchers from various universities. At the community level, I am working with the wider Indian diaspora to establish a significant infrastructure namely India House. I have taken a leadership role here and am working with other Indian community organisations under the leadership of the FICQ. We are about to establish the Queensland India Community Charitable Trust, which will host Indian art and culture events, and also provide opportunity to Queenslanders and Australians to learn about India.”

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Bodepudi Hari Babu elevated as Global COO at Mylan, Inc

Currently, he heads Mylan's Indian arm and OSD and API verticals; he has 25 years' experience in global generic pharma industry

Mylan Laboratories Limited managing director and chief executive officer Bodepudi Hari Babu has been appointed as the global chief operating officer (COO) of the American generics pharmaceutical giant Mylan in his expanded role at the company's global operations.

Currently, he is heading Mylan's Indian subsidiary as well as the oral solid dose (OSD) and active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) verticals. He has around 25 years of experience in global generic pharmaceutical industry.

In his new role, Hari Babu will oversee operations of Mylan's all global verticals including supply chain, sourcing, third-party finished dosage form (FDF) launch management and operational processes, environmental health and safety and regional operations.

After completing PhD in Organic Chemistry from Andhra University Hari Babu started his career at Veera Labs before joining the Matrix Laboratories in the year 2000. He continued to held various leadership positions at Mylan since January 2007, when the company had acquired a controlling stake in Matrix Laboratories, which was later renamed as Mylan Laboratories Limited.

Hari Babu served as the chief operating officer of Mylan Laboratories Limited since January 1, 2009 and also served as its executive vice president of API Technical Operations. He had also served as a senior vice president of API Tech Operations at Matrix Laboratories, responsible for API manufacturing and related manufacturing services. He hasbeen an executive director of Mylan Laboratories since October, 2007, which is considered to be one of the world's largest suppliers of APIs.

Hari Babu is second person to be elevated to global role at Mylan while heading Mylan's India operations. His predecessor Rajiv Malik was appointed as global president in 2011 and was later nominated to the Mylan board in 2013. Later he was appointed as the global CEO. With a strong generics pharmaceutical industry base, India has been able to produce people capable of taking  leadership positions in global pharmaceutical companies, say industry observers.

One of the largest generics and speciality pharmaceutical players in the world, Mylan had entered India on the back of acquisition of Matrix Laboratories founded by Nimmagadda Prasad. The deal transformed Mylan overnight into one of the world's largest manufactures of APIs and allowed it to vertically integrate the production of the company's finished dosage medicines, according to the company.

Today Mylan's manufacturing platform includes more than 52 facilities, 25 of which are located in India. The Indian facilities include 9 API and 15 FDF facilities, which manufacture medicines for both regulated and emerging markets.