Monthly Archives: March 2009

Stay in the Real India


With participating homes in 28 villages across the country, the Indian tourism ministry runs an ambitious homestay project. Some private agencies also offer homestays in places like Samthar, left, in West Bengal. “I think visitors like going under and getting to know the people,” said Leena Nandan, joint secretary at the tourism ministry. “People are at the heart of this.”

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Nano Lives Up To The Hype

Despite its bargain-basement price, the Tata Motors vehicle is every inch a proper car.

Even before reaching showrooms, the Tata Nano has achieved superstar prominence in India matched only by cricketers and Bollywood stars.

If there were any doubts about the Nano’s celebrity status, they were quickly dispelled after a drive through the streets of Pune, India, a week before its launch. The car was mobbed wherever I parked. People wanted to touch it, jump into it; they pressed their faces to the glass and even posed for pictures next to it. Mobile phones were whipped out to take pictures, bikers gave it the thumbs up and passengers in autorickshaws stopped to get out for a closer look.

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Nano: Ratan Tata on Congestion and Nano


Q:There has been widespread apprehension that this car would create congestion because of its sheer numbers…

 A: All the question of congestion implies that we will seek the global market with millions of these vehicles. We don’t have the resources to do that. But we are
country of a billion people. Most Indians are denied connectivity and this is a way.   Continue reading

Sari’s elegant drapes inspire a fine line for all time


By Suzy Menkes
Monday, March 23, 2009
NEW DELHI: Just as elegant Indian women are looking for dressy clothes that edge away from the traditional sari, European designers have turned to draping for inspiration. Swathes of fabric, in silk, satin or jersey, are designed to caress the body in a way more familiar to Asian cultures than the cut and sew of the West.

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Namrata Joshipura: Fashion Designer

namrata_joshipura1Namrata’s vision is that of a global sensibility. Her clothing easily translates across geographies and other artificial constructs such as age, race and point of view. The strong use of colour and modern interpretations of artisanal embellishments are at the core of her aesthetic. Joshipura line elegantly fuses modern silhouettes with rich detailing, resulting in contemporary clothing for a complex and confident woman. Namrata, a NIFT graduate, launched her clothing line in India in 1996 under the “Namrata Joshipura” label. She splits her time between New York and New Delhi.

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Dr.Venu Govindaraju defines a smile

drvenu_govindaraju_university_at_buffalo1Venu Govindaraju, a computer scientist at the University of Buffalo in New York is designing software that helps determine the authenticity of expressions. He found that expressions that take as much time to form as to fade away are more likely to be genuine than those with unequal “onset” and “offset’ durations.

Excerpt from article, “Machines that can see” published in The Economist, March 7 – 13th 2009.

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Kosmix: Google’s Future Rival?

kosmix_co-founder_anand_rajaramKosmix, a well-financed Silicon Valley start-up, is often described on blogs and news sites as a search engine that may someday rival Google.

As flattering as that notion may sound, it rankles Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman, the co-founders of Kosmix. And that is not because other start-ups making similar assertions have fallen laughably short of the mark. It is because Kosmix is trying to do something that is quite different from traditional Web search.

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Reader’s Digest outsourcing deal with HCL

HCL Technologies, an Indian IT services company, signed a contract worth $350m with Reader’s Digest Association. The deal is being seen as a shot in the arm for outsourcing in India, which has suffered from revelations of fraud in Satyam, one of the industry’s largest companies.

Source: The Economist

Coming soon, a curry college in UK

16 Mar 2009, 0317 hrs IST, IANS
LONDON: Squeezed by tighter immigration rules, caterers and restaurants serving Indian food in Britain say they need a specialized curry college to save an industry facing “catastrophe”.

A London School of Curry is being proposed by leaders of a 3.5 billion-pound industry who say a new points-based immigration system is making it hard to source qualified chefs who can cook an Indian meal.

Under the points-based system, chefs imported from South Asia not only have to know their cooking skills but also be high earners and possess formal qualification besides a good knowledge of English. Restaurants found flouting rules face stiff fines and immigration department has raided many eating places in Britain recently. Continue reading