TN to add 50,000 acres for industrial land bank

CHENNAI: Facing shortage of space to setup industries, the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamilnadu Ltd (SIPCOT) is eyeing on adding 50,000 acres to its land bank including those in the peripheries of Chennai.

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Addressing the gathering on the occasion of a leadership session on “progressive Chennai: advancing success in an evolving market” organised by CREDAI Chennai and JLL here on Saturday, industries department secretary Vikram Kapur said that SIPCOT has allocated 20,000 acres of the available 24,000 acres of land to the industries. “Land has been biggest a constrain and most of the land provided through SIPCOT has already been occupied … We are continuously expanding our land bank and the target is to develop an additional land bank of 50,000 acres some of which will also come in Chennai and peri-urban area because this is where the real industrial activity is happening,” he said.

In a bid to spur industrial growth across the state, the government is developing two major corridors including the Chennai – Kanyakumari corridor. The proposed corridor will comprise of a first-of-its-kind nodes, which will have exclusive planning authorities and Special Purpose Vehicles to provide necessary infrastructure. “It is a new approach, where rather than industries running to various agencies, we will be creating a mechanism for all planning approvals such as masterplans and plan approvals will be given by a dedicated authority,” he said.


Maharashtra government appoints committee to frame guidelines for improving new colleges and courses

In order to bring up new colleges, courses, additional divisions and satellite centres, an eight-member committee has been appointed by the state government.

Guidelines to be framed for improving new colleges and courses

Guidelines to be framed for improving new colleges and courses

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In order to bring up new colleges, courses, additional divisions and satellite centres, an eight-member committee has been appointed by the state government to frame clear and detailed guidelines and norms for the same. The new norms which this panel will form will be followed by the universities and department of higher and technical Education for approving new colleges and courses.


As per an Indian Express report, Dr RS Mali, former Vice Chancellor of North Maharashtra University in Jangan will head the committee. It will study the old norms in detail before framing new guidelines.

It is expected to submit the draft to the state government by February 25.

The norms of sanctioning new colleges, courses, curriculums and additional divisions have been specified under section 81, 82 and 83 of Maharashtra Universities Act 1994. The same has been specified in the amended Maharashtra Public Universities Act 2016.

(Read: ‘Curb corporal punishment in schools’, Menaka Gandhi writes to HRD ministry)

Need for an expert panel:

“Even though norms and guidelines about sanctioning new colleges existed in the old act as well as the new one, the state government wanted an expert panel to study these guidelines and make them stringent to raise the quality of education across the state. Approving new colleges will not be a simple affair anymore,” said principal of a well known college in Mumbai and one of the members of the committee.

Approval of new colleges has been hanging fire for quite a long time. Experts have often alleged that approval of colleges without proper scrutiny has been increasing the burden on universities.


‘Curb corporal punishment in schools’, Menaka Gandhi writes to HRD ministry

After the increasing cases of corporal punishments came into limelight, Maneka Gandhi has written to HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar in order to curb such punishments in schools.

Need to curb corporal punishment in schools

Need to curb corporal punishment in schools

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After the increasing cases of corporal punishments came into limelight, the Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has written to Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar on the requirements to curb such punishment in schools, urging him to direct them to follow the national guidelines on the issue.


Girls punished in a ‘derogatory’ manner:

A recent disturbing incident was reported by the media about a principal of a government school in eastern Uttar Pradesh, who punished girls for not memorising the Sanskrit shlokas and forced them to run on the playground without their skirts.

According to an official statement, Maneka has asked the HRD Ministry for widespread circulation and implementation of the Guidelines for Elimination of Corporal Punishment (GECP) prepared by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

(Read:This 21-year-old Delhi boy got a Rs 1.25 crore placement offer from Uber)

The guidelines:

The guidelines directed by the apex body for child rights in the country recommend formation of “Special Monitoring Cells” in schools to look into cases of physical punishment or harassment of children and prepare annual audit reports on complaints of physical punishment, harassment and discrimination.

As per the Right to Education Act, an act of “physical punishment or mental harassment” inflicted on a child will attract disciplinary action.



Maintaining that the order passed by the single judge was “totally wrong”, “erroneous” and “against the law”, the Delhi government sought a stay on Thursday on the operation of the interim order

Delhi Nursery admissions

Delhi Nursery admissions

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The Delhi High Court today, February 17 allowed 298 private unaided schools to go ahead with the nursery admission process but said that it will be subject to the final outcome of the city government’s appeal on the issue.


A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, which was hearing the Delhi government’s appeal against a single judge’s interim order that had stayed its nursery admission directive on the neighbourhood criterion, said that the entire process to admit children will be subject to the final outcome of the matter.

“Having regard to the fact that the admission process is already been in operation, it would not be proper to stop it.

“We, however, make it clear that whatever steps have been taken by the parties will be subject to the final outcome of the appeal that is pending,” the bench said.

“We will examine the issue. Meanwhile, a copy of the petition be served on the respondents (including two school associations and the parents),” the bench said and fixed the matter for further consideration on February 22.

It also sought the response of the two school associations and the parents on the Delhi government’s appeal in the case.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Directorate of Education (DoE), submitted that in the absence of the neighbourhood criterion, schools will accept admission in an arbitrary and opaque manner, and even justify charging exorbitant fees from the parents.

Maintaining that the order passed by the single judge was “totally wrong”, “erroneous” and “against the law”, the Delhi government sought a stay on the operation of the interim order.

In two directives on December 19, 2016 and January 7, the Delhi government had made it compulsory for the 298 private schools built on Delhi Development Authority land to admit children for nursery who live in that neighbourbood or stay within a certain distance from the school.

Ordering an interim stay of the January 7 notification till the final disposal of the pleas challenging the Delhi government’s order, Justice Manmohan had earlier said that “a student’s educational fate can’t be relegated to only his/her position on a map” and had termed the criterion as “arbitrary and discriminatory”.

The school groups had alleged that the Delhi government had “discriminated” among schools as the neighbourhood criteria had been applied against only 298 schools and not been made mandatory for 1,400 other schools in the city.


Microsoft’s decision to scrap February security updates unnerves patch experts

windows 10 wallpaper logo

Microsoft this week canceled February’s slate of security updates for Windows and its other products, including Office, just a day after saying that the fixes would only be delayed.

Patch experts struggled with the decision, pointing out that known vulnerabilities will go unpatched and that IT planning had been disrupted.

“I was shocked,” said Chris Goettl, product manager at patch management vendor Ivanti, formerly Shavlik. “I was really expecting [the patches to release] next week.”

On Tuesday, just hours before the month’s Patch Tuesday updates were to appear, Microsoft announced a delay. “We discovered a last-minute issue that could impact some customers and was not resolved in time for our planned updates today,” the company said at the time. The implication was that February’s security fixes would ship as soon as that “last-minute issue” was resolved.

But in a Wednesday revision to the original announcement, Microsoft said, “We will deliver updates as part of the planned March Update Tuesday, March 14, 2017.” (Microsoft prefers the label “Update Tuesday” to the more universal “Patch Tuesday.”)

Skipping a month’s update slate was unprecedented. Although Microsoft has not issued updates on four Patch Tuesdays since the 2003 debut of regularly-scheduled updates—most recently in March 2007—those were instances when no patches had been prepared. It has never missed a month when there were clearly fixes prepped and ready to go.

“This isn’t like before when no updates meant nothing was ready,” said Susan Bradley, the moderator of the mailing list, where business IT administrators discuss update tradecraft. “Patches were ready. They just—for whatever unknown reason—couldn’t be delivered.” Bradley also writes about Microsoft’s patching processes for the Windows Secrets newsletter.

Microsoft has not said what prompted the delay, or what triggered the expansion of that into the month’s cancelation.

Without a declaration from the Redmond, Wash. company, speculation about the cause has been rife. Some believed that a single faulty patch had shelved them all, but that made little sense, Goettl said Wednesday when he pointed out that Office patches are delivered separately from those addressing vulnerabilities in Windows. If a single patch for Windows held back the Windows cumulative update, the Office update should have remained viable.

Two days ago, Goettl argued that the extent of the cancelation—all updates—hinted at problems with the company’s update service infrastructure. In an interview today, he stuck by his guns. “This is something bigger than a single patch,” Goettl said, “something with Windows Update or the update replication process.”

Bradley decried the lack of information from Microsoft, which, she said, only fueled conjecture, including her own. “My gut tells me something was up with the [update] publishing engine, [but] again merely speculation,” she said.

The experts agreed that the cancelation of February’s updates will affect Windows customers, but not on the extent of the disruption. “I think there will be minor disruptions, along the lines of needing to re-plan [for deploying the updates] for next month,” said Goettl when asked how the missing month would affect IT administrators.

“Is it [having an impact?] I’d say yes, it is, given the vibe I’m getting from my peers,” Bradley said.

Without February’s patches, security researchers have said, some unprotected systems may be compromised by exploits of now-known vulnerabilities.

Agreeing, Bradley ticked off several obvious ones. “We now have a potentially ticking time bomb on our hands as we’re not expected to get [this month’s Adobe] Flash update on our Windows 8 and Windows 10 [PCs] until March,” she said. “We have a SMB zero-day denial of service [vulnerability] we now need to investigate mediations for.”

The latter Windows vulnerability went public Feb. 2; a patch was anticipated in the now-canceled batch that was to ship Tuesday.

And come March, there’s a chance that the increased size and complexity—two months’ worth of fixes rather than one—could toss a wrench into the works. “The [update], when it arrives, at least for the pre-Windows 10 versions, may have twice as much change in it, and most likely, twice as much a chance of breaking something,” contended Goettl.

For all the complaints from patch professionals like Goettl and Bradley, as well as IT administrators and Windows users in general, the snafu—whatever its cause—will not change Microsoft’s fortunes or in a material way, even its reputation.

“We have no choice to accept [how things are] if we are running Windows,” said Bradley, voicing the reality in business. But that doesn’t mean customers have to like it.

“If they don’t have a Plan B, we don’t have one either,” Bradley said.

This story, “Microsoft’s decision to scrap February security updates unnerves patch experts” was originally published by Computerworld.


TCS plans share buyback as Chandrasekaran moves to Tata HQ

TCS’ outgoing MD N ChandrasekaranTCS’ outgoing MD N Chandrasekaran
MUMBAI: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the most valuable company within the Tata Group, will consider a share buyback, which, if approved by its board on February 20, will be its first since its listing in 2004. Given the headroom allowed by securities laws, the company could do a buyback ranging between Rs 6,536 crore to Rs 16,340 crore.

TCS’ outgoing MD N Chandrasekaran said that investors had suggested that the company should distribute its excess cash either in the form of dividends or through a share repurchase programme. The software giant has cash and investments of Rs 39,219 crore on its books, which is 8% of its market capitalisation. The buyback plan comes days before Chandrasekaran takes charge as the chairman of TCS’ parent Tata Sons.

“A share buyback is a better substitute to dividends especially for large shareholders, if one takes into account the dividend distribution tax and additional surcharge,” said Mehul Savla, director of Ripple Wave Equity. Tata Sons holds 73% in TCS.

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Looking forward value addition.Jag Mohan

Rules allow a company to buy back shares of up to 10% of its total net worth without shareholders’ approval and up to 25% with shareholders nod. If TCS goes for 10% of its total net worth of Rs 65,360 crore, then it will have to spend Rs 6,536 crore on the buyback programme. And in case it opts for 25% of its consolidated net worth, then it will have to shell out Rs 16,340 crore. At Rs 6,536 crore, it can buy 1.35% of its total equity at current market price of Rs 2,447 and at Rs 16,340 crore, it can buy 3.4% of its total equity.

Public shareholders hold 27% in TCS, of which 22% is held by institutions with LIC being the largest (3.44%). The balance is held by non-institutions and retail shareholders with former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry holding over 1.14 crore shares, representing over 13% of TCS’ non-institutional public shareholding.

IT services companies are under pressure to return excess cash to shareholders. Last week, Cognizant announced a $3.4-billion share repurchase and dividend payout programme. There is speculation that Infosys may go for a Rs 12,000-crore share repurchase programme. In 2016, Wipro had announced a Rs 2,500-crore share buyback


Quit notice to Vijay Mallya has not disrupted India operations: Heineken


Heineken, the world’s second-largest brewer, said there had not been any disruption to its Indian business or management after partner United Breweries sent the notice to Mallya.Heineken, the world’s second-largest brewer, said there had not been any disruption to its Indian business or … Read More
MUMBAI: United Breweries merely followed a regulatory order in asking chairman Vijay Mallya to step down, Heineken NV, the Indian brewer’s largest shareholder, said in its first comment on the businessman since he got embroiled in a series of cases related to overdue loans.

Heineken, the world’s second-largest brewer, said also there had not been any disruption to its Indian business or management after partner United Breweries sent the notice to Mallya.

About three weeks ago, the Securities and Exchange Board of India banned Mallya from the securities market as well as holding any board or key managerial positions at listed companies. The order also covered some former executives of United Spirits, a company Mallya previously owned and is now controlled by UK’s Diageo. Mallya, according to legal experts, is expected to challenge the Sebi order.

Sebi issued an executive order to Mallya and it was not the will of the shareholders or board of directors, but just a court order that had to be executed, Jean-Francois van Boxmeer, Heineken’s chairman of the executive board, said on an investors call Wednesday.

“It’s for Dr Mallya to react on that if he wants to have a stay on that position. It is entirely in his hands to go with these procedures,” he said. “And, as to the shareholder, their rapport between the two promoters as they are called in the core shareholding, that’s Heineken and the group of Dr Mallya, we still are in a joint venture agreement.”

In a mail sent to Mallya last week, the company said: “In order to comply with the Sebi order and in the absence of any stay or vacation of the said order, the board is compelled to request you to step down from the board of United Breweries with immediate effect.”

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When you have tons of money you can take on even a nation of a billion people ! How unfortunate !!soarhigh

The regulator had also directed United Spirits to provide information on steps taken to recover Rs 1,880.8 crore from Mallya and the companies to which the money was diverted. The funds were allegedly diverted during the period between 2010 and 2013. As per a PwC-UK report, the amount was Rs 655.55 crore, while an E&Y report estimates it at Rs 1,225.24 crore, according to details cited in the order.

Heineken has been hiking its stake in United Breweries, from 37.5% in 2003 to about 43% now by purchasing shares in block trades from the stock market. The Dutch firm, which has the first right of refusal to buy shares owned by Mallya in United Breweries, is also open to a hostile takeover. In 2016, Heineken purchased United Breweries shares from Yes Bank and ECL Finance, with whom Mallya had pledged the shares.

United Breweries, which controls over half the Indian beer market with brands including Kingfisher, posted an 8% decline in sales during last quarter. “A large part of that decrease was due to demonetisation,” the company told investors.

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Three ways to restrict OneDrive uploads in Windows 10


Sometimes you just don’t want OneDrive to do its job and start uploading and syncing files at will. This can be for any number of reasons, but the top two are usually because you’re doing a resource-intensive operation like gaming or your internet connection isn’t the fastest.

During those moments you have three relatively easy options for dealing with OneDrive in Windows 10: Shut it down until later, pause file syncing for a preset period, or slow down the sync speed to free up bandwidth resources.

For all of these tips we’re going to access the OneDrive app for Windows 10 from the notifications area. Click the upward-facing arrow on the far right of the taskbar and look for the OneDrive icon (a pair of white clouds).

Pause syncing

onedrivepausesyncingIan Paul/PCWorld

Pressing pause on OneDrive is probably the easiest thing to do. Get to the OneDrive icon as described above, right-click it, and select Pause syncing. You’ll then see options to pause OneDrive for 2, 8, or 24 hours.

Choose you’re desired pause time, and you’re done.

Shutdown OneDrive

Option number two is also pretty easy. Right-click the OneDrive icon again and select Exit. A small pop-up window will appear in the middle of your desktop asking if you’re sure you want to shut down OneDrive. Click Close OneDrive.

Just remember that OneDrive is now off and won’t turn on again until you either reboot your PC or manually activate it.



Ian Paul/PCWorld

The last option is to limit the upload speed that OneDrive can hit. By default, OneDrive adjusts its upload rate automatically, but when you need bandwidth for other things, manually limiting the upload speed is a good option.

Access the OneDrive icon once again, right-click it, and then select Settings.

A settings window will open. Click on the Network tab. At the top of this tab is a section called Upload rate with three radio buttons: Adjust automatically, Don’t limit, Limit to.

Select Limit to and then decide on a rate, which is measured in kilobytes per second. The default limit is 125KBps, but if you’d like it to use even less bandwidth, go for 100KBps or even 20KBps. At the latter rate a 2MB file would take around 90 seconds to two minutes to upload.

You can also choose to throttle download speeds, which might be helpful if you have a lot of shared documents on your PC that could be updated at the worst possible moment.


Apple to start manufacturing iPhone SE in India

Last month Apple reportedly selected Wistron as the primary manufacturer for all its iPhones in India. The Taiwanese partner of the Cupertino-based company set up a plant in Bengaluru in order to start the local production.

According to industry sources speaking to Reuters, iPhone SE assembly will begin in the coming months. Apple’s midranger is almost an year old but is still the cheapest devices the company offers in India.

Apple shipped 2.5 million iPhones to India last year which is the most the company has ever sold. It ranks at 10th at India’s smartphone market but last year lead the premium segment with a 62% market share.


Aston Martin targets return to profitability in 2018

Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer peers down the lines of a display model of a AM-RB 001 ahead of the 2017 Canadian International Autoshow. (Reuters)Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer peers down the lines of a display model of a AM-RB 001 ahead of the 2017 Canadian… Read More
TORONTO: Aston MartinHoldings Ltd expects a return to profitability in 2018, as the now money-losing luxury automaker plans to boost revenues with renewed versions of its sports cars, chief executive Andy Palmer said on Wednesday.

The British automaker, whose sports cars were popularized by James Bond films, is investing heavily to update existing models and develop several new vehicles through the end of 2019, including its first SUV, and the 2 million pound ($2.5 million) to 3 million pound ($3.7 million) Formula 1-inspired AM-RB 001, the most expensive new car ever built by Aston Martin.

“You’ve got a complete renewal during the course of 2018 of the sports cars,” Palmer told Reuters on the sidelines of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.

Unlike other luxury sports car brands, which are part of mass-volume auto groups and can benefit from economies of scale,

Aston Martin remains independent, Palmer said.

“We have to amortize the R&D (costs) on a small volume,” he said. “That’s what justifies the car being expensive.”

The carbon fiber AM-RB 001, which is being developed with Red Bull Advanced Technologies for expected delivery in 2019, is using Canadian composite specialist Multimatic as a supplier, Palmer said. All 150 cars have been sold, with another 25 to be manufactured as a separate variant for the track.

Palmer said one of Aston Martin’s highest volume models will be its DBX SUV, which when delivered in late 2019 would compete with the Bentayga produced by Bentley Motors Ltd, a division of the Volkswagen Auto Group.

Pickups and SUVs accounted for 59.5 per cent of U.S. auto sales in 2016, up from 55.8 per cent in 2015, and North American appetite has prompted luxury makers such as Rolls Royce and Lamborghini to come out with new SUV models.

Palmer said Aston Martin expects to build between 4,000 to 5,000 SUVs a year.

“We don’t want to go to big volume,” he said. “It’s basically high price, low volume, exclusivity.”

Aston Martin, which is to publish its 2016 financial figures at the end of February, is held by Kuwait’s Tejara and Italy’s Investindustrial. The private equity firms hold an equal voting stake, he said.

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Daimler has a 5 per cent stake in Aston Martin in return for access to certain technologies for connected and autonomous cars