DCT- Abu Dhabi organises a live demonstration featuring a mural painting of Sheikh Zayed at Central Park in New York

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The live demonstration of the painting of the late Sheikh Zayed’s mural on glass witnessed a huge turnout at the 14th Zayed International Charity Marathon, ‘UAE Healthy Kidney 10K’, which was held on Sunday, 29 April, at Central Park in New York. The painting was also decorated with the timeless words, “My wealth is the happiness of my people”, a saying of the late Sheikh Zayed.
The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) held this event as part of a stellar series of events to commemorate the noble humanitarian values of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and to introduce Abu Dhabi’s rich heritage, tourism and cultural programmes and the warm hospitality it offers.

Spectators had the chance to enjoy an authentic Emirati experience at DCT Abu Dhabi’s pavilion, which offered them the opportunity to explore Arabic calligraphy, henna inscriptions and other heritage activities. Visitors to the Pavilion were greeted with Arabic coffee and delectable dates as well as many souvenirs and tourist and cultural publications.

Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director of Promotions and Overseas Offices, DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “This edition of the Zayed International Charity Marathon witnessed remarkable participation from contestants. The event was also widely covered in American and international media, which enabled us to achieve our goals of commemorating the late founding leader, Sheikh Zayed, while raising awareness of kidney diseases. In addition, the marathon gave us a platform to convey our message built around tolerance, peace and giving.”
The marathon attracted a wide audience from diverse segments of the American society, who came to watch the race, support its noble goals, and enjoy live musical performances, events and activities, held at the pavilions of sponsors, as well as prize draws, offering various prizes, including free plane tickets.


Credit deployment stays negative in several key sectors; ASSOCHAM calls for urgent fixing of twin balance sheet problem

Inability of the banks, reeling under the mammoth problem of non-performing assets (NPA) to lend, coupled with lack of appetite for fresh investment by highly indebted India Inc has resulted in most of the industry sectors reporting negative growth in deployment of gross bank credit, the ASSOCHAM has said.
Dissecting the RBI data, the ASSOCHAM noted with concern how sectors after sectors , including sugar, petroleum, coal products, petro-chemicals, cement and cement products , basic metals and metal products ,have  shown drop in deployment of gross bank credit between minus two per cent and 19 per cent in the financial year of 2017-18. .
Even the fertiliser sector which holds better prospects due to expectations of normal Monsoon, has shown a huge degrowth in credit  deployment to the extent of 19.3 per cent  up to February 16, in the financial year 2017-18, on  sequential basis.
Likewise, petro-chemicals firms also showed a huge negative growth of over 19 per cent in credit deployment up to February 16. Besides the industry sectors, the key infrastructure like road, power and telecommunication, also showed a negative trend between 1.6 per cent and six per cent.
“The problem of twin balance sheets is very much reflected in the RBI data of credit deployment. While the banks are struggling with their rising NPAs and huge requirements of provisioning that goes with the same, the corporate India is still reeling under high leverage in sectors like roads, power, telecommunication and others,” said ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat.
However, things seem to be improving for some sectors like mining and quarrying, tea, manmade textiles, rubber, plastic and glassware etc.  “But a large part of the industy is still not out of the woods, if the credit deployment is any indication,” the chamber said, adding that it would still take a few more quarters before things look up brighter.
Mr Rawat said, there needs to be a sense of urgency in repairing the balance sheets of the PSU banks. The Rs 2 lakh crore capial infusion, as announced by the government must be speeded up, even as the lenders wait impatiently from some cash accruing back as a result of successful resolution plans under the Insolvency process. Tough RBI guidelines on provisioning for the NPAs, are also adding to the pressure, he said.

Govt. to recreate 20 monuments using 3D technology in 2 years: DST secy

With a view to facilitate tourists visiting India, the Centre would be using 3D technology to digitally reconstruct 20 historic monuments in the next two years and put them in Delhi, a top government official said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today.
“By 3D printing we can create Taj Mahal, Ghats of Benares, Buddhist circuit and any heritage or any monument. So tourists coming in can see and decide what they like and where they want to go,” said Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, Department of Science & Technology (DST) while inaugurating an ASSOCHAM International Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI).
He said that using the 3D technology one can track/decide own path with the help of a laser light and it would seem as if one was visiting that monument and could see exactly what one would have seen if one was actually walking there and it would give information like a tourist guide.
“You can stop, climb up, can change the perspective, or the sky be it morning or night sky as it depends on how you are going to view it,” said Prof. Sharma.
He also informed that Government is going to launch a huge mission on cyber physical systems which is three layered and has 25 centers of excellence focussed on each sector with basic knowledge layers, algorithms of AI and a fusion layer in between which is the physical layer i.e. the machine, robots, actuators, sensors in different contexts.
“This mission will cover from basic fundamental knowledge generation R&D to technology development, translational aspects, incubators, start-ups in this particular area thereby commercialising the technology which comes out of there,” added the DST secretary.
Explaining about the same he said, “When we started thinking about AI in the DST about two and a half years ago, we started in a modest way by putting in couple of hundred crores and now we are going to scale up those efforts on several thousand crores level in a very holistic way in the entire spectrum of AI that covers everything from theme knowledge generation in AI areas of deep learning, machine learning, contextual learning and all varieties of AI that one can think about.”
He further said that it would basically be an end-to-end system which is integrated from discovery science to solution science.
Prof. Sharma also urged the industry for robust participation and partnership in this mission. “There would be huge opportunities for industry to leverage infrastructure and human resources that will be developed through this mission.”
He also informed that DST along with Intel had started a Rs 35 crore worth project on intelligent sensors for air and water quality under the public-private partnership (PPP) mode. “So scientists here and in the US are working on cutting edge to make smart pebbles, which are small miniaturised censors having on-board power, communication and sensing of whatever you want in air or water.”
Talking about another big project supported by the DST, he said it was about having infrared (IR) sensing to get hyper spectrum analysis of soil, and vegetation, crop. “You get a map based on this and with AI you can actually tell the quality of soil, moisture in soil, (see) if it needs more nitrogen fertiliser, look at the quality of crop, and see if it ready for harvesting.”
The DST secretary also informed that government is committed to get all the digital data compiled by the Survey of India (a 250 year old organisation under DST) would be made available to every  citizen in the country which would help in comparing information about things like climate, environmental changes and others.
“So every Panchayat level, every local governance body can actually access and use this data for their developmental and governance related activities,” added Prof. Sharma.
In his address at the ASSOCHAM conference, Mr R. Ramanan, head, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog allayed fears that AI would not lead to loss of jobs, instead it would generate various employment opportunities in different domains.

Mobile manufacturing industry to mark Rs 132,000 cr by 2018: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Indian mobile manufacturing industry is expected to touch Rs 1,32,000 crore by end of 2018, said Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister, of Electronics & Information Technology said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today.
India manufactured about 110 million mobile phones in 2015-16 as compared to 60 million in 2014-15 showing a growth of over 90%. In value terms India’s mobile manufacturing industry produced mobile phones worth Rs 54,000 crore in FY15-16 compared to Rs 18,900 crore in FY14-15. The same reached Rs 94,000 crore by end of 2017, said Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister, of Electronics & Information Technology at MeitY – ASSOCHAM–Ericsson Joint ICT Start-Ups Awards–2018.
In terms of volume, in 2014 India produced 5 core mobile phone made locally in India which reached to 15 crore in 2015-16. In 2017 the Indian mobile manufacturing industry produced 22 million mobile phones. ‘The industry would produce 50 million mobile phones by 2020,’ said the minister.
In terms of electronics manufacturing units, the minister said within three years, the industry added 120 such units. Two-third of these are mobile manufacturing units and there 54 such units in Noida alone. On top of that these industries employ 5 lakh people,” he added.
Mr Prasad further said that India has the world’s third largest start-up community after US and England. He said that his ministry is working in mission mode to make India’s digital sector $1 trillion economy in next five years and has potential to create 50 lakh to 70 lakh new jobs.
‘We would like India to become a center of small product cyber security and we must look at how IT can help India become a big center of data analysis’, said Mr Prasad. 
Union Electronic and IT Minister said BPO industry should move to small towns where overhead costs are less compared to big cities. About 48,000 seats have been planned with distribution across states and UTs based on population percentage.
It excluded metro cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, National Capital Region, Pune and North Eastern states. He further said, about 86 new BPOs operating in 27 states excluding digitally rich areas.  BPO centres have already come up in Patna and Muzaffarpur, while such centres would soon be opened in smaller cities like Ghazipur, Jahanabad and Gaya etc, he said.
‘The government will give grant of Rs. 5 crore to start-ups doing innovation in the field of cyber security and healthcare”, said Mr. Prasad.
Mr. Prasad said today 250 hospitals across the country have been turned into e-hospitals and more than 2 crore of patients are taking benefits of the e-hospitals.
eNAM has linked more than 500 market mandis with 70 lakhs of farmers negotiating their price, Union Electronic and IT Minister said. 
The Minister also mentioned the increasing adoption of the Umang (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) app, Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app that enables secure cashless payments through mobile phones.
Ms. Monica Magnusson, Vice President, IPR Policy and Communication at IPR & Licensing, Ericsson, said, “It is heartening to see the growing interest among Indian start-ups in adding value to ICT innovation. Ericsson is committed to encouraging innovation in the country and as a first step we will mentor the winners by making them a part of Ericsson Garage. Ericsson Garage is our open innovation platform that will allow the winners to showcase their technology before a global network of partners, including investors. I want to thank the Hon’ble Minister for his push to encourage platforms that foster the spirit of innovation.”
Mr Sandeep Jajodia, President, ASSOCHAM said, the growth is the necessity but consistency and sustainability are the key for real growth. We need to look way ahead while setting up a business to counter the ever-changing market demand. A successful business creates jobs for many. So, it is the responsibility of the entrepreneur to look forward for a long term business potential by working towards innovation, development, deployment or commercialisation of new products & services driven technology for a sustainable impact on economic growth.
Mr Manguirish Pai Raikar, Chairman, ASSOCHAM MSME Council, Start-up India is a vision and mission of our Hon’ble Prime Minister to encourage young Indians to opt for entrepreneurship and ensure future economic growth of the country. This mission will not only create entrepreneurs but will also play an important role in job creation, which is one of the major challenges we facing today.

La Trobe University Australia signs MOU with Leading Indian Universities

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La Trobe University Australia offering distinctive and high-quality degrees that equip students to understand and engage with the global issues of today, providing graduates with the skills to embark on rewarding careers.

La Trobe University has jumped over 200 places in the last year’s Academic Ranking of World Universities. It is placed within the top 301 in the world and it means that the University is placed in the top 400 in the world in all three recognized international rankings of universities.

Professor John Dewar, Vice-Chancellor & President, La Trobe University said, “Our visit to India this time is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, one among the premier institutions not only in India but also in the world. This collaboration will open up new opportunity for joint PhDs and collaborative research projects in areas including,

  1. Synthetic and Medicinal Chemistry with applications in drug discovery and delivery.
  2. Materials science, including polymers and new battery technology.
  3. Biological sciences and bioengineering: personalised healthcare and gene editing technology etc.

Reiterating La Trobe’s commitment to India, last year Professor Dewar announced 14 PhD scholarships worth over AUD$500,000 (over 25 million Indian rupees) for students in India to undertake PhD studies with La Trobe’s partner University, JSS University in Mysore. The scholarship will cover the tuition fees and a living allowance of around 25,000 Indian rupees a month for the duration of their studies.  Students will also be spending up to six months at the Melbourne campus fully funded by La Trobe during their candidature. At the completion of the program, students will be awarded with a La Trobe doctoral degree.

The joint PhD with IIT Kanpur will be a different model to the JSS one. Students are expected to spend 70% of their candidature in India and 30% in Australia and at the end receive a joint degree awarded by both La Trobe and IIT, Kanpur. La Trobe will be contributing significant funding to students’ bursary as living allowance during their candidature.  La Trobe and JSS University are currently recruiting students into this collaborative PhD program. We have received some high quality applications from all over India and currently in the process of selecting students into various projects.

New Scholarships

Once again La Trobe University, Australia is offering Scholarships to the value of 15% to 25% of the Total Tuition Fee for Undergraduate as well as Postgraduate International Students commencing mid 2018. These Scholarships are merit based and will be offered to the Students based on their prior academic performance and would be offered to students on a first come first serve basis.

His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Visits Abu Dhabi Pavilion at Arabian Travel Market 2018


UAE: His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and First Deputy Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, visited the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) stand at the Arabian Travel Market 2018 (ATM) earlier today. For its participation at ATM, the Abu Dhabi delegation is putting the spotlight on the Emirate’s culturally-enriching experiences and unique natural landmarks while bringing to life elements of the Emirati heritage and tradition.

During the tour, HH Sheikh Maktoum was accompanied by HE Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi and HE Sultan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri, Executive Director, Tourism Sector at DCT Abu Dhabi, and saw Abu Dhabi’s growing tourism offerings as the delegation of 77 partners and stakeholders showcased more than 95 products and services.
ATM is the leading global business event for the Middle East’s inbound and outbound travel industry and experiences the largest gathering of the hospitality and tourism sectors in the region. Held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, the exhibition will run till April 25th and see DCT Abu Dhabi reaffirm the Emirate’s position as a world-class tourist destination.