Thursday, 30 October 2008

Price to book value numbers could help you in crisis

Price to book value numbers could help you in crisis
28 Oct, 2008,Amriteshwar Mathur, ET Bureau

MUMBAI: What is a good yardstick for an undervalued stocks in times of crisis such as the current one? The answer to that, many market watchers say, is price to book value(P/BV). Book value is the measure that each shareholder stands to get, were the company to be liquidated.

Conventional wisdom suggests that there is very little chance of going wrong if an investor were to put his money in a stock with a P/BV of less than one. Already 21 stocks in the BSE-100 index have seen their price to book value fall below one, as a result of the unprecedented erosion in their stock prices.

Stocks that fall into this category include PSU oil marketing companies like HPCL and IOC, and metal stocks like Tata Steel, Hindalco and JSW Steel.

In the case of oil marketing companies, the recent softening of crude oil prices has not helped much. For one, they are still holding inventory purchased at very high prices. Also, these companies also have refining divisions, which are the major contributors to their profitability. Gross refining margins have fallen sharply in line with the slide in regional refining margins, and is likely to weigh on earnings.

In the case of metal stocks, investors are concerned that a global economic slowdown over the next few quarters could adversely hit demand for commodities in general.

Similarly, investor concerns for the growth prospects of the real estate, cement and construction sector over the medium term has resulted in scrips like Grasim Industries and IVRCL Infrastructure & Projects quoting at a price to book value of less than one. At Monday’s close of 4343.2, the broader BSE-100 index trades at a P/BV of 2.06 times.

Says Ramdeo Aggrawal, managing director, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, “Investors would need to look at the fundamentals of each sector over the medium term where stocks are trading at a price to book value of less than one, and decide if there are growth possibilities at the current stock prices.”

Adds Anuj Choksey, co-head, institutional equities, KR Choksey Shares and Securities, “Valuations of metals shares and those connected to the construction sector are trading at ridiculously low levels as investors are assigning pessimistic valuations at the first signs of a slowdown.”

Meanwhile, the Sensex went below 8,000 intra-day on Monday, as there was no let-up in the selling fury that has gripped Dalal Street over the last couple of weeks. This has been a hallmark of emerging markets in general. So how does India compare with them? At Monday's close, the Sensex is trading about 9.5 times trailing 12-month earnings.

In contrast, other indices like the Shanghai Composite Index ended at 1,723 on Monday trade at a P/E of 13.35 times, while the Brazilian Bovespa at Friday's close of 31,481 is trading about 7.5 times. Of course, the Russian stock market index, the Russian RTS Index which has lost nearly 70% since its peak over the last few weeks, trades at an abysmal P/E of 3 times.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Temptations On The Move - Green UAE - Flowers

Temptations On The Move - Green UAE - Flowers

Elephant Beauty & Elephant Walk Policy

Elephant Beauty & Elephant Walk Policy

Elephants - Temple elephants are an integral part in the life of Keralites. Especially, if you are from Trichur area. The attachment towards the animal and interaction are very emotional and sensitive that they even address them by names and from ancient times there are several stories propagating the love and affection between man and elephant.

An Elephant's walk is a beauty to watch. However, imagine a situation if it get's wild. You just have to do a small search on youtube, you will see several videos of attacks by wild and angry elephant's killing it's mahout or others who come across.

Out of love and passion for the animal, I too have developed a very important Management Principle based on Elephant, closely following it's gentle and beautiful walking style which is a beauty to watch and it's actions terrorising all when it is wild. I have termed it as ELEPHANT WALK POLICY. It is somewhat related to our Gandhian and Hitler's philosphies and principles. Ist part of this principle follows Gandhi. Be mild - as mild as you can till you cannot tolerate any more when you may change over and follow Hitler and be wild and aggressive - as aggressive as you can. Create a wild impact and then let this impact force the results. It may be harmful, but till you shift the gear to Hitler, be a Gandhian.

Enjoy the photos of a beautiful temple elephant taking bath at the Shiva Temple Ernakulam before the festival.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Mind Speaks - Sensex touches 8000

Capital adds new bus routes

Capital adds new bus routes
Matthew Chung for THE NATIONAL

Three routes have been added to the city’s bus network, bringing the total number criss-crossing the island each day to seven.

Routes eight, nine and 44 join routes five, seven, 32 and 54, which have undergone several changes.

Route eight begins in Al Khubeirah district, running from a stop by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the intersection of Zayed the 1st Street (7th) Street and Bainuna Street (34th) Street to the Tourist Club area at the City Terminal on 12th Street. Buses will run along Bainuna Street, up Al Falah Street to Airport Road, then up Zayed the 1st Street and Hamdan (5th) Street.

Route Nine departs from the same stops, but travels up Hazza bin Zayed (11th) to Karama (24th) Street before carrying on up Al Falah Street. Route 44 runs from the Tourist Club at the intersection of 10th Street and Al Falah Street to Zayed Grand Mosque.

Unlike routes 54 and 32, this new route diverts from Airport Road to make stops along Karama (24th) Street, Khaleej Al Arabi (30) Road and near the Abu Dhabi Police college on Fourth Street.

Buses on the new routes will run 20 minutes apart. The first of about 60 buses in operation starts running at 6.20am, on route 54, while the last buses leave on routes seven and eight at 11.35pm.

Bus network maps have been posted at the Department of Transport’s 400 bus stops, while staff are in the process of posting individual route maps at every stop.

The service is free until the end of the year; the Government has not yet announced its upcoming fare scheme. By 2010, there will be 1,360 air-conditioned buses operating in the emirate. There are also plans for air-conditioned bus shelters and bus stations featuring a mix of retail, food and beverage, and banking outlets.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Mind Speaks - ADORE yourself

Mind Speaks - ADORE yourself

Dear Friends,

Life within the 24 hours of each day is moving extremely fast. With the development works happening around and the increase in number of vehicles, it takes more time to move around. These are temporary obstacles and it will change for something new the next time we wake up. Happier as ever with each of the obstacles on my way as it evolve around surprisingly and as I convert them to a wonderful opportunity, I am taking you all today to a wonderful journey of thoughts named ADORE yourself.

What’s ADORE? It’s simple Addiction, Distraction, Opportunities, Routine and Energizing yourself.

Addiction: We are all prone to certain type of addictions, some of which are developed gradually. Smoking, drinking, are common and I am not touching them here as these are destructive addictions which one promotes knowing it’s dangers to our life. There are many other addictions or obsessions in our daily life. In my thesaurus of addictions there are many new additions recently – photography, pencil sketching, creative writing, and the list goes on.

There are many other addictions too, like calling friends and admirers daily or weekly. It may be a small thing when you look at it, but a casual call to regular contact to ask casually and check whether everything alright may help him to reach an entirely different world of comfort. It is an obsession which I am deliberately developing. May be some day, some where, I am able to help a friend when he is in need.

Another deliberate cultivation of addiction is developing my photographic skills. This obsession developed initially to promote positive thinking opportunities have now become a full time creative pursuit for me. To the extent, if I go without one of my camera, I feel like a solider without his gun. The transformation of moods to positive elements due to the utilisation of this creative activity is something which you have to try and experience.

Distractions: I think of my childhood days when I had to wait for a newsmagazine or an additional newspaper to read. Gone are those days. As THE NATIONAL newspaper here rightly advertise, some distractions are pleasant. For example, for a person like me who is always interested to read, there are many newspapers available. Starting with Gulf News, Khaleej Times, The National, Gulf Today, 7 Days, then the weekly news magazines from each one of them and then all the above and the regional news available online. All these caters to a variety of subjects and topics and it is just the question of a useful distraction which generates a healthy competition amongst the scribes directly to raise the level of contents and indirectly to the readers to improve their standards of reading and living.

Opportunities: I have been asked in the recent times by those who communicate with me about how do I find time for all these. It is very simple. Split all the activities into short and long term objectives. Utilise a small note and pen to list the things and thoughts you come across and have to do and then develop from there when you actually attempt your 5 or 10 minutes on any such task. You will find yourself with plenty of time to do several more things than you have been doing now.

Routine: Good upbringing is one value which I always promote amongst the future generation. Gone are the days when everyone has plenty of free time to work around his or her way out. It is therefore important for us to create an effective routine so that we tend to gain competency from each activity we attempt. It then becomes a stepping stone towards our progress. To all those who conveys the routine excuse of “No Time”, I have to say that you have plenty of time with you if you split your day into hours and minutes and tasks and attempt each one of them within a specified time frame. Use necessary common tools of reminder systems like paper and pencil and at every opportunity you improvise it with modern technology available and you will not be saddened by the result. Of course, it takes time to reach this stage. As you see yourself, all those achievers have done lot of efforts to enjoy their moment of glory. Examples are plenty. Amir Khan’s new look in Gajini movie, Madhavan Nair and his dedicated team members five years of hard work for the successful launch of Chandrayaan – 1 are some of them.

Energize yourself: Once a routine is set it is easier to energize yourself. Each day arrives with a new opportunity for us to live in this world. Why to waste this opportunity? Distracted you are in the morning with tie-knot not coming rightly, or with your son crying to pamper him or with your wife taking too much time with her make up? Divert your focus to a few minutes of different activity during this delay and refresh yourself and come back and see the result. A speed reading of the headlines or just setting up your table or even your suitcase or purse may help you to explore something new or a thing you may have forgotten to do. On the road, traffic is slow, someone is trying to push through, relax and listen to the radio and avoid getting in to confrontations. May be you can observe the world around – a new sign board or a new landmark coming up, the construction, the activities, the workers moods, there are so many to read through.

Or at work you have many distractions – a colleague or a manager’s bullying attitude, a non-paying customer or a difficult project to finalise. Work around it from a different angle and allow yourself of another distraction like a walk around to a different department or even to the walkway near your office. Play those unsolved puzzles in your mind and try reaching a solution. May be your ideas may take you through an easier route towards it.

Keep your short term and long term goals firm. Do not leave them but switch between them.

Refresh yourself by creative pursuits and revert back to your set goals and work on them.

ADORE yourself, and whatever you do. Once you start doing this you will realise how easy it is and how on earth you missed it all this time.

Happy Diwali and ADORE yourself and have a great week ahead.

Ramesh Menon

Astronaut training centre for manned mission on anvil

Astronaut training centre for manned mission on anvil

Bangalore, Oct 25 : India will set up an astronaut training facility here as part of plans to undertake a manned mission to the moon by 2015, chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation G Madhavan Nair said today.

At the proposed facility, astronauts would be trained for "surviving under the Zero G conditions, radiation environment, long journey in the space and so on," Nair, also secretary in the Department of Space, said.

He said Bangalore-based Institute of Aerospace Medicine of Indian Air Force, would contribute significantly in this regard. Nair said a centrifuge was required where acceleration can be simulated while going up in the space. Also featuring in the training centre would be a swimming pool-like facility where trainee astronauts would undergo zero-gravity simulation.

In addition, various types of thermal cycling and radiation simulation chambers would also be built, he told reporters at Byalalu on the city outskirts, where Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa honoured key ISRO scientists on the successful launch of Chandrayaan-1 to explore the moon.

"We have got 40 acres (for astronaut training facility) beyond the new (Bangalore) airport. We may require another 100 acre. Just now, I talked to the CM and he was very positive," Nair said. He also said ISRO would build a new launch pad (at an investment of around Rs 600 crore) for the manned mission at the spaceport of Sriharikota. Development activity for rocket and capsule for the manned mission would be taken up at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, supported by ISRO satellite centres here and in Ahmedabad, Nair added.

Fellow Programme in Management

Fellow Programme in Management

Oct 25 : The Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal has invited application for admission to Fellow Programme in Management. Masters degree holders in relevant disciplines with at least 60% marks and having good academic record are eligible to apply. Age should not exceed 45 years as on 30th June 2009. Admission is based on IIM-CAT Score or UGC- CSIR / NET. Short listed applicants will be called for Group Discussion and Interview.

Selected students will get attractive Fellowship ie Rs. 12,000/- per month during 1st & 2nd years and Rs 14,000/- per month during 3rd & 4th years, besides this they will also get contingency grant Rs. 20,000/- per years.

Application form & prospectus can be downloaded from the website

Last date for receipt of completed application is 15th February 2009.

For more details visit

PGDM - Communication

PGDM - Communication

Oct 25 : The Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA) has invited applications for admission to the PGDIM Communications. Graduates in any discipline are eligible to apply. Screening of applicants will be made on the basis of IIM-CAT Score- 2008. Final selection will be on the basis of MICA Test, Group Discussion and Interview.

Apply online at For offline application form and Information Bulletin contact – MICA Admissions Office, Shela, Ahmedabad- 380058, Phone +91- 2717- 308250. Application forms are also available at AXIS Bank branches. Issue of forms end on 15th January and last date for receipt of duly filled in application is 20th January 2009.

This programme aims at developing students into high Caliber professionals for careers in Brand Management, Marketing, Advertising, Media and Market Research Companies.

For more details visit

PG Diploma in Child Rights Law

PG Diploma in Child Rights Law

Oct 25 : The National Law School of India University (NLSIU) has invited applications for admission to one year PG Diploma in Child Right Law on distance education mode. Graduates in any discipline are eligible to apply.

Application forms and other details can be downloaded from the website

Last date for receipt of duly filled in application is 15th November 2008.

For more details visit

PhD Programmes at IIT Roorkee

PhD Programmes at IIT Roorkee

Oct 25 : The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee has invited application for admission to PhD programmes in spring semester session. Application form and other details can be downloaded from the website

Last date for receipt of completed application is 14th November 2008.

For more details visit

Creative leaders need of the hour: Kalam

Creative leaders need of the hour: Kalam

Ahmedabad, Oct 25 : Former president Dr A P J Abdul Kalam today underlined the need for creative leaders for development of the country.

Delivering a lecture on Nation, Challenges and Leadership at Indian Institute of Management (IIM) here this evening, Dr Kalam said '' Creative leadership is the need of the hour, as it means exercising the vision to change the traditional role from the commander to the coach and manager to mentor, and from one who demands respect to one who facilitates self-respect.

The country needs such leaders for participating in our national development mission.'' On India's moon mission, he said he had visualised an Earth-Moon-Mars complex to become an economic entity of strategic importance to many nations. In this situation, India's Moon mission will give a boost to space research. Young scientists will look towards studying the physical geological structure, mineral potential and availability of helium-3 in large quantities on the lunar surface.

Chandrayaan-1 speeds up reverse brain drain

Chandrayaan-1 speeds up reverse brain drain

Bangalore, Oct 25: Taking a cue from the successful IT sector, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which successfully launched its Lunar mission early this week, has succeeded in speeding up the 'reverse brain drain' by attracting the Indian scientists who had left in search of 'greener pastures' back to homeland.

Chandrayaan-1 Project Director M Anna Dorai said India was now attracting ''those bright minds'' that went to work in space agencies like NASA and European Space Agency. They were now looking at ISRO after its successful moon mission. The Chandrayaan-1 had put the country in with select group of moon exploring countries.

Speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of a function where Karnataka Government today honoured the top ISRO scientists for successful launch of Chandrayan I, at Indian Deep Space Network(DSN) about 35 km from the city, he said already some of his friends in NASA were personally in touch with him and want to come back to India.

''Some six or seven Indian scientists have approached me saying they were looking for opportunities in ISRO. A good number of foreign scientists are also asking whether ISRO could provide them an opportunity to work with it. I have seen so many Indians go and work in NASA. Thanks to Chandrayaan-1 now I am getting inquiries from them,'' he said.

He said apart from NASA, scientists from European Space Agency were also interested in coming to India.

''Earlier, ISRO was getting 50 per cent of its instruments done abroad. Now you can see the reverse in this trend. Developed countries in the West now want to become co-passengers in our missions. Instead of us asking for opportunity there (West), they are now coming to us. Is this not a reverse brain drain?'' he asked.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Temptations On The Move - Talent Share 2008

Temptations On The Move - Talent Share 2008

Entries of children who participated in the Talent Share 2008 Online competiton held in September 2008

Friday, 24 October 2008

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Temptations On The Move - Abu Dhabi City View

Temptations on the Move - Abu Dhabi City View

Life is extremely busy but that doesn't stop me from enjoying the activities happening around and sharing some of the good ones with friends and well wishers. With this view, I am presenting to you short videos titled "Temptations On The Move" showing life around as it happens.

Enjoy watching them, share it with your friends and families and express your comments.

Ramesh Menon

Chandrayan - 1 Launched

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

HSE - Protection against stray cats

Jobs Abu Dhabi

Now, Pay Your Electricity and Water Bills Even from
Outside the UAE Through Mobile Phone

Now, Pay Your Electricity and Water Bills Even from
Outside the UAE Through Mobile Phone
Mary Nammour for KHALEEJ TIMES

DUBAI - Dubai residents will be able to pay their electricity and water bills through their mobile phones within a month.

This follows the signing on Sunday of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Dubai eGovernment and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). The service, which comes under the mPay service and was initially launched to provide recharge of Salik, has now been extended for the payment of bills by Dewa customers.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of DEWA, said the service would help save time and efforts of customers. “This will make it a lot easier to pay DEWA bills. Even if the customers are not in the UAE, they can still pay the bills by the mPay service,” he said. Salem Al Shair, eServices director of Dubai eGovernment, said: “This will certainly benefit a large number of DEWA customers who can now pay their utility bills through mobile phones.” Registration for the mPay service is free and clients can sign up on the mPay’s web portal. Meanwhile, DEWA and Emirates NBD have also signed an MoU to offer direct debit payment facility to ENBD account-holders.

Dubai Immigration Offers Value-added Online Services for Customers

Dubai Immigration Offers Value-added Online Services for Customers
Staff reporter KHALEEJ TIMES 21 October 2008

DUBAI - The Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) unveiled a number of value-added customer care automated services at the ongoing Gitex-2008 which aims at offering customers the opportunity to make best use of the new technologies to process their various applications, according to a Press release on Sunday.

Following on the success of its highly acclaimed service ‘Amer’ which provides customers with prompt answers to all their DNRD related enquiries, the department will now receive enquiries and requests through a variety of initiatives including online chatting through the web site, and video calling through 3G technology on mobile phones, in addition to the Toll-free (8005111), fax number (04- 3981177) and the email (

Customers can also follow up on the processing of their transactions through self-service kiosks that will be set in various locations to simplify procedures and provide convenient services for customers.

The kiosk allows customers to perform a variety of operations without the need to visit DNRD’s counters including applying for and enquiring about visa status as well as printing your own residence visa and other types of visas.

Nationals will also have the facility to renew their passports instantly through this system.

Another initiative, which was introduced, is called the Mobile visa service ‘M-Visa’. Upon issuance of entry visa permits (all types included), customers receive instant notifications via email and text messages in a form of a barcode.

Upon arrival at any of UAE entry points through Dubai, the barcode scanner set up at the DNRD checkpoints will read the details of the entry permit directly from the mobile devices of the visitors.

Delhi Private School to Distribute Books, Uniforms in Jute Bags from March

Delhi Private School to Distribute Books, Uniforms in Jute Bags from March
Preeti Kannan for KHALEEJ TIMES

DUBAI - In an attempt to make the school premises a ‘no plastics zone’ by next year, Delhi Private School (DPS), Dubai plans to distribute books and uniforms in jute bags to its students.

Students will pick up their text books and uniforms in March, in colourful jute bags.

School authorities say the move is expected to stop the use of at least 5,000 plastic bags, which is now being used to hand out the school kit. “We intend to make the school a ‘no plastic zone’.

“We have been creating an awareness among the students on the need to stop using plastics,” Rashmi Nandkeolyar, principal of DPS, Dubai said.

“The bags can be re-used by the students to bring their books and also may be for shopping.”

The school will bear the cost of making the bags.

The initiative will cover over 5,000 children and parents. “Awareness of the environment needs to start at the grassroot level,” added Nandkeolyar.

The school is also planning to distribute its annual Year Book in newspaper jackets, collected year-round by students.

The students say they can help make a change in the environment by advocating the use of jute bags and hope the other schools would follow the pattern.

“We can make a lot of difference and ensure that our parents use them more frequently,” Shresht Prakash, a Grade VIII student from DPS, Dubai said.

“We have made T-shirts, created banners and put up skits on the need to protect the environment. My parents make sure that we use only paper bags back home.”

“All schools should try and phase out plastics as a first step,” Nikita Arora, a Grade XII of DPS, Dubai said.
Speed Over 60pc Mark and Your Vehicle Will be Impounded
Amira Agarib for KHALEEJ TIMES 21 October 2008

DUBAI - The Dubai Police will impound on the spot vehicles of motorists driving at 60 per cent more than the fixed speed limits, Brigadier Mohammed Saif Al Zafin, Director of the General Department of Traffic, said on Monday.

The decision is part of a two-week campaign launched by the police on Shaikh Zayed Road on Monday.

The campaign will be extended to other roads in Dubai to catch and fine motorists who speed, he added.

Al Zafin said the two-week campaign was launched against reckless motorists who speed, not leave safe distances between vehicles and overtake other vehicles dangerously, which are the major causes of accidents and deaths.

Traffic patrols would first be deployed between Dubai World Trade Centre roundabout and Mall of the Emirates on Shaikh Zayed Road, and later on other highways.

He said cops will stop the driver, ask for his driving licence and car registration papers and issue him a ticket and if he/she is found speeding by 60 per cent or more of the specified limit, the vehicle will be impounded on the spot.

Al Zafin said he himself had to face a speeding driver recently on Shaikh Zayed Road. The driver followed him without leaving enough space between the cars and kept honking. “I moved to the next lane and the driver of the other car pointed angrily with both hands as if I am the one who is at fault. The motorist did the same with other drivers, so I called the police patrol to catch the man before any accident occurred.

“The police impounded the car of the elderly man who was accompanied by a woman who said he was in a hurry. As many as 19,260 fine tickets were issued for not leaving enough space between vehicles during the last nine months, while 17,625 tickets were issued for reckless driving and 714 tickets for risky driving. Al Zafin said UAE nationals aged between 18 and 28 commit most of the major traffic offences. As many as 211 people died in the first nine months of the current year.

Dubai Litterbugs Face the ‘VPD’Joy Sengupta

Dubai Litterbugs Face the ‘VPD’Joy Sengupta
Joy Sengupta for KHALEEJ TIMES 21 October 2008

dubai - A new ‘Voice Portal Device’ (VPD) would enable Dubai Municipality inspectors to record fines against people who are caught spitting on the roads or littering.

The device was launched on Monday at the municipality’s stall at the ongoing Gitex Dubai 2008.

According to Hussain Nasser Lootah, Acting Director-General of Dubai Municipality, by using the device municipality inspectors would be able to issue fines on the spot by simply dialling a dedicated telephone number and reporting the offence.

The system would recognise the voice, dialect and accent in both English and Arabic of the inspectors.

“The device will be handed over to all the inspectors soon. It would be used to record fines of all kinds in the near future,” said Lootah.

“There’s no need to use the telephone’s keypad to report offences. Nor do the inspectors need to note down the details of the offender.

“Officers are required to simply speak. The rest is handled automatically by the system. The solution uses voice biometrics to verify a Dubai Municipality officer’s identity and authenticates it to issue fines and instantly report violations across the city,” Lootah said.

Municipality officials explained that once a violator is caught, the inspector would take his name and mobile number and speak into the gadget, mentioning the person’s name, his mobile number and the nature of violation.

“Once this is done, an SMS is sent to the offender informing him of the fine,” they said.

They stated that the municipality was planning to intensify steps against litterbugs.

“In an effort to make social responsibility towards cleanliness more concrete, the Waste Management Department will give the law-enforcement powers to both the municipality officials as well as those from outside,” Lootah added.

Monday, 20 October 2008

HSE Poster - Wear Seat Belts

HSE Poster - Wear Seat Belts

Dear Friends,

Continuing my efforts to promote the importance of HSE values, I submit a poster created to highlight the usage of Seat Belts. Many times, we forget to request and force our children or fellow passengers sitting at the back to wear the seat belts. The days of slow traffic are gone and now life is at break-neck speed as do accidents break your neck and spine in case of a collision. Although all of us are aware of the use and importance, kindly and without inhibition, use this poster to remind it's significance as a safety equipment in your car.

All the best and have a great day ahead.

Ramesh Menon

Honey can help heal burns faster

Honey can help heal burns faster

ANI First Published : 11 Oct 2008 WASHINGTON:
Honey can help heal burn wounds more quickly than some standard dressing treatments, a new study has found.

The systematic review by Cochrane Researchers concluded that honey can help speed up healing in some burns.

"We're treating these results with caution, but it looks like honey can help speed up healing in some burns," says lead researcher Dr Andrew Jull, of the Clinical Trials Research Unit at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Honey has been used in wound treatment since ancient times. The mechanism of action is unclear. While honey may help the body remove dead tissue and provide a favorable environment for the growth of new, healthy tissue, current interest in medicinal honey focuses largely on its antibacterial effects.

The review brings together data from 19 clinical trials involving 2554 patients with a range of different wounds. Honey was more effective in reducing healing time compared to some gauze and film dressings that are often used to treat moderate burns.

However, the researchers were unable to show any clear benefits for the healing of grazes, lacerations, surgical wounds and leg ulcers.

The researchers don't advise using honey to treat other types of wounds.

"Health services should invest in treatments that have been shown to work," says Dr Jull.

"But, we will keep monitoring new research to try and establish the effect of honey," the expert added.

Laurels for nightingale

Laurels for nightingale

T S Preetha for Expressbuzz First Published : 18 Oct 2008

Who is the UK’s best nurse in 2008? Who got the certificate of recognition for having completed the personal development programme? And who is part of the best perioperative team? The UK now knows the answer.

Keralite Minija Joseph is the first nurse (perioperative practitioner is their term) in England to win the three awards in the same year.

Minija is working as the in-charge of the cardiac and thoracic theatres in King’s College Hospital, the first Malayali and the youngest to occupy the post. And it is one year after assuming this position that the awards, instituted by the Association for Perioperative Practitioners, came in search of her.

“Someone from the hospital has to recommend your name for the award. And the jury considers your work and credentials. It is a great honour,” says Minija who started her career at Holy Cross Hospital, Kottiyam. She took up training in cardiac surgery in Madras Medical Mission and later joined Fr Muller’s College of Nursing for her degree.

“I was interested in cardiology because I wanted to be involved in all aspects of the speciality.

There were so many things I could do in cardiac care.” After securing the first rank in BSc Nursing Minija came to Medical Trust Hospital in 1997 and worked along with Dr Jose Chacko Periappuram and it further fired her interest in this speciality.

After one year she went to Bangladesh as part of the team which set up cardiac units there for the first time. It was the work there that gave Minija an exposure to the world outside.

Soon she took a flight to the UK and joined the King’s College Hospital which is considered the best in the whole of Europe.

Unlike the majority of Malayali nurses who are content with a high-paying job, Minija did not remain stuck with her first job. When an offer of a senior position came from Freeman Hospital, Newcastle, she took it and it was a major move for her career.

“The hospital was doing all major cardiac surgeries, including transplantation. And I learned a lot,” says Minija who often flew to Germany, France or Ireland to collect hearts for transplantation. And in June last year she came back to King’s as the head of the cardiac nursing unit of 11 professionals.

“The work atmosphere is very different there. Nurses are more powerful. Here they are demoralised and doctors often treat them as low-level workers. In our hospital I am authorised to tell a doctor that he cannot do a surgery on a particular day. Can you imagine such a scene here?’ Though the UK has a shortage of nurses the country has stopped recruiting nurses from other countries. Kerala nurses have an advantage over others as they are very hard working and committed, says Minija.

“But they need to express themselves well and be more ambitious. And committed too,” she says. Minija is married to Augustine Antony and the couple has a son, Amal, studying in Ooty.

Kerala to create 25,000 IT jobs in next 2 years

Kerala to create 25,000 IT jobs in next 2 years

Dubai, Oct 20 : Kerala will generate upto 25,000 jobs in IT and related sectors in the next two years as it seeks to make the state a preferred destination for the industry, a top official said.

Dr Ajay Kumar, Secretary, Information Technology, Kerala government, who is here heading a high level delegation to participate in Gitex 2008, the region's premier IT show, told UNI that the Kerala government would like see the current global financial downturn as an opportunity to create viable IT infrastructure with a future perspective. He said that though the perception is that the state is plagued by labour disputes, the IT sector's growth was many times more than that of the national average.

Apart from IT companies, Dr Kumar said, ''we are also inviting real estate firms to build and operate facilities for IT industry in Kerala.'' The state is setting up ten IT parks with an investment of about five billion dollars in the next ten years, he said. The GITEX Technology Week is being held from October 19, 2008 to Oct 23, 2008.

The Secretary said the new IT parks will be standalone townships with restaurants, housing and all social networking facilities like bars so that the software employees will have the right ambience to work. The recent NASSCOM survey on leading IT/ITES destinations covering a range of parameters including land costs, power and communication infrastructure ranked Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram as a top notch ITES destinations with potential of challenging metros like Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi.

Kerala LL.M Entrance on Nov 16

Kerala LL.M Entrance on Nov 16

Sept 30 : Commissioner for Entrance Examinations, Kerala has invited applications for the Entrance Examination for admission to LL.M Course, 2008-09 in the Government Law Colleges at Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kozhikode. The Entrance Examination will be conducted at Thiruvananthapuram, on 16.11.2008 .

The Questions of the Entrance Examination will be of objective type. There shall be two papers, each of 90 minutes duration. Paper I will be from 9.30 am to 11 am and Paper II from 11.30 am to 1 pm. The questions will be of the standard of LL.B Examination. The syllabus of each paper is given in the Prospectus available at

Applicant should be an Indian citizen of Kerala origin and should have passed the L.L.B. examination (5 year / 3 year course) of any of the Universities in Kerala or from other Universities recognized by the Universities in Kerala as equivalent thereto. Those appearing / appeared for the regular Final year LL.B. examination of 2008 can also apply for the Entrance Examination. Such candidates become eligible for admission only if they produce the Provisional Degree / Degree Certificate of the qualifying examination and the mark lists of all parts of the qualifying examination at the time of allotment of seats. There is no upper age limit for admission to the Course.

Application form and Prospectus can be downloaded from

Completed applications with all the documents and a Demand Draft for Rs.800/- for all category candidates, drawn on a Nationalized Bank, in favour of Commissioner for Entrance Examinations, payable at Thiruvananthapuram, should reach ‘The Commissioner for Entrance Examinations, Housing Board Buildings, 5th Floor, Santhinagar, Thiruvananthapuram – 695 001’ either by Registered post or by hand before 5.00 pm on 31.10.08.

The Allotment of seats to the course will be announced after the publication of the results of the Entrance examination. Individual memos will not be sent to candidates in this regard. All certificates in support of various claims preferred in the application form will have to be submitted at the time of Allotment. The Entrance Examination and subsequent allotments will be based on the various provisions laid down in the prospectus, approved by Government.

Admissions at NIMHANS

Admissions at NIMHANS

Oct 12 : The National Institute of Mental Health And Neuro Sciences, a Deemed University, has invited applications for Admission to the following courses for the Academic Year 2009 - 2010.

Ph.D (with Institute Fellowship) in (i) Mental Health & Social Psychology (ii) Neurophysiology (iii) Speech Pathology & Audiology

Ph.D (with External Fellowship): Candidates with Sponsorship from Government of India/State Govt. Institutions, Deputed or Sponsored from a recognized University, Fellowships from Government Agencies like UGC/ICMR/CSIR etc., and Permanent Employees and tenured employees of NIMHANS can also apply for Ph.D. in the various departments of this Institute which will be considered at the discretion of the competent authority for Entrance Test to be held during the month of February.

(i) Biophysics (ii) Biostatistics (iii) Mental Health & Social Psychology (iv) Epidemiology (v) Mental Health Education (vi) Human Genetics (vii) Neuroanaesthesia (viii) Neurochemistry (ix) Neuroimaging and Interventional Radiology (x) Neurology (xi) Neuromicrobiology (xii) Neurophysiology (xiii) Neurosurgery (xiv) Neurovirology (xv) Nursing (xvi) Psychiatric Social Work (xvii) Psychiatry (xiii) Psychopharmacology (xix) Speech Pathology & Audiology.


(i) MD Degree in Psychiatry (ii) Diploma in Psychiatry
(iii) M.Phil. in Mental Health & Social Psychology (iv) M.Phil. in Psychiatric Social Work
(v) M.Phil. in Neurophysiology (vi) M.Phil. in Biophysics
(vii) M.Phil. in Neurosciences (viii) M.Sc. in Psychiatric Nursing


(i) Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing (DPN) (ii) Diploma in Neurological and Neurosurgical Nursing

Details of qualifications, reservations etc are available in detail in the Prospectus

Application forms and Prospectus can be downloaded from and can also be obtained from the Director, NIMHANS, Hosur Road, Bangalore - 560 029 on request by mentioning the course and enclosing a Demand Draft towards application fee drawn in favour of the Director, NIMHANS, Bangalore – 560 029 along with a self addressed envelope (25 cm X 18 cm) with stamps worth Rs.20/- affixed.

The last date for issue of application through post will be 25th October 2008 and in person, it will be 31st October 2008

Application fee for Medical Courses will be Rs.1000/- per course (Rs.750/- in case of SC/ST candidates) and for Non-Medical Courses, it will be Rs.700/- per course (Rs.500/- in case of SC/ST candidates).

Candidates may apply for more than one course provided they are eligible. Candidates can apply in the same application form for MD and Diploma in Psychiatry courses. Candidates applying for Non Medical courses should apply on separate application for each course. In case of Candidates applying for both Medical and Non Medical courses, (provided they are eligible) they should apply in separate application forms.

Sponsored candidates should submit their application through proper channel and they should also appear for the Common Entrance Test. The candidates should produce the sponsorship certificate in the prescribed format. For MD & DPM Courses the age should not be more than 32 years (relaxable in case of SC/ST candidates by a maximum of 5 years as on 2.5.2009). For sponsored candidates age should not be more than 40 years as on 2.5.2009.

Duly filled in application should reach The Director, NIMHANS, Hosur Road, Bangalore – 560 029 along with the requisite Demand Draft drawn in favour of Director, NIMHANS by super scribing the name of the course applied for on the envelope, latest by 5th November, 2008. Applications downloaded from the website should be accompanied by a Demand Draft towards Application fee.

Entrance Test will be held at Bangalore on 22nd February 2009.

For details, visit

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Save Water Painting Competition for children

Your Direct Connection to Abu Dhabi Government

Dubai Water Bus

Photo Speaks - Animal Kingdom

Photo Speaks - Animal Kingdom

Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek

Long way to go

Good and tasty food is a problem everywhere!

Good water too - getting it is getting difficult each day.

Photos and thoughts by Ramesh Menon

Significance of reading habit to promote learning of a language.

Significance of reading habit to promote learning of a language.

There is no easy way to learning and executing a language other than reading, Reading and READING. The more you read, the more you understand the nuances of presenting a language in paper and person. Self interest and efforts are two basic requirements to start this process. Then comes SUSTAINED INTEREST. Today, your interest may be to learn how to present what you studied. Tomorrow, it differs. This is quite natural. It is therefore very important to have a clear objective connected with sustained learning and then work on it every day a few minutes. The subject you plan to learn may be literary, scientific or artistic. 5 to 10 minutes of concentrated effort per day will be more than enough. You will realise it as your self learning exercise progress.

How to do this? It’s very easy. Get as many newspapers or magazines in English or any other language you want to master. Read them with interest. Keep a dictionary aside to clear your doubt. It is always good to keep a dictionary, however knowledgeable you are. Read through the main pages and come to the letters to the editors section. Never leave it. This is where you get to see different personalities, their way of presenting a problem, an applause, and most important of all how their mind analyse that particular idea and how they present it to public. One week into this exercise, you will realise, how your language skills are improving – to understand the thought process and to present it in a better way. You will also learn to identify the different presentation styles, punch and will be able to choose the one which you want to follow yourself.

In order to assist further in case if you are learning to improve your English language skills, I suggest you to follow regularly the following newspapers and their websites:


I suggest you also the following dictionary website for onsite assistance:

Another very important site which is extremely beneficial in leaning several useful languages as well as other topics is to visit and select the topic of your choice.

Wish you all the very best in your self and sustained efforts to progress in life.

Ramesh Menon

Friday, 17 October 2008

Photo Speaks - Sheikh Zayed Road Dubai on a Friday morning

Photo Speaks - Sheikh Zayed Road Dubai on a Friday morning

Life in Dubai is getting busier and busier each day. A drive along the Sheikh Zayed Road towards Dubai City on a normal working morning takes at least 1 hour of slow and impatient traffic. However, on a Friday morning the case is entirely different. Especially, if you are an early bird and would love to see around and enjoy the city and it's developments. My love for this beautiful country and it's fast developing cities makes me do such drives every Friday and the destination was Dubai this morning. I thoroughly enjoyed the drive this morning and I hope you will be tempted too.

Have a great working week ahead,

Ramesh Menon

Write it right

Write it right
By Daniel Ough for GULF NEWS Published: October 10, 2008

In Part 1 of this series we dealt with the importance of having well-written correspondence. We looked at the format, the content, the length and the appropriate way of writing letters to enhance your job search and help you become the preferred candidate.

In Part 2 we looked at some specific examples of letters to understand the rationale behind not only how we write but what we say, including letters responding to an advertisement, speculative letters and letters seeking to register with a recruitment company.

This week we will be looking at other types of letters that you may need to write during your job search. It may be helpful to first review a few tips on letters, generally.


All letters should be crisp and to the point, clearly explain their purpose, and convey information in a professional way. Letters should be ideally one page, but no more than two, and printed only on one side. Sentences should be no more than 15 to 20 words and there should be no more than three sentences per paragraph.

Make sure that your letterhead provides your name, mailing address, telephone number (including voice mail) and e-mail address. The content of the letter should only include what the reader "needs to know", avoiding embellishments, flowery language and trite or cute wording.

Good quality plain white paper is fine. Coloured paper is not a good idea as, if it is faxed or photocopied, it can come out grey or even blurred. The paper used should be A4 size, the same as that used for your CV. Always have letters typed. Use white space and bullets in formating your letter to help make your points stand out. Use a business-like font like Arial or Times New Roman, in font size 12. No copperplate writing or clip art or
fancy borders should be used.

Always address letters to specific individuals with both name and title, and always check that you have the correct information about the recipient of the letter.

Spelling and punctuation
Check for spelling and punctuation mistakes. Don't rely on spell-check.

Follow-up letters
Many jobseekers find it a challenge to know what to do when they have heard nothing following an interview. There is a fine line between being persistent and being a pest. Being persistent very often pays off; being a pest turns people off.

Follow-up letters should be timed correctly.
The timing of a follow-up letter is generally governed by what was said or understood at the interview. If it was mentioned that the company would let you know their decision in, say, two weeks and you do not hear anything, it is professional to send a letter a few days after the end of the two-week period. Sending it before the end of the two weeks can be interpreted as being a pest or being desperate. You don't want to be seen as someone who is impatient.

When you are sending a follow-up letter because you have not heard the outcome of the interview, be polite. Don't show your annoyance or be too demanding. The tone of the letter needs to be such that the reader feels that you are still interested without putting them on the spot or "putting them right" for not responding in the time stated.

Always give companies the benefit of the doubt; even though you were told two weeks, people (even interviewers) get sick and have crises in their lives they must cope with. Although to you the job is a top priority, the employer's priorities may have changed.

Sometimes you don't get a follow-up letter after an interview simply because you have not been selected for the position. Sometimes companies overlook the fact that they need to write to you promptly, advising you that you have been unsuccessful. Sometimes e-mails and letters get lost and a well-worded follow-up letter may bring that to light, or may bring up a genuine oversight in advising you of the current status of your application. You should still write a follow-up letter, and even if you don't get the response you are looking for (ie, a job offer) it does help you to close the chapter and move on in your job search.

Letters asking for clarification or consideration after receiving a job offer

You may have received a job offer that is not clear and you feel you need additional information in order to make a decision or you need clarification about some detail of the offer.

It may be that the offer is not what you are expecting, in particular relating to the remuneration or conditions of employment. Letters asking for clarification or consideration need to be very carefully worded. A badly-worded letter could result in your actually losing the job.

Letters of clarification or asking for consideration are "safe" provided no part of the letter can be construed as a counter-offer. An example of a counter-offer is a response to a company saying that you would not accept a salary of X, but would if it were Y; or that you would only accept the post if the leave stated in the offer were increased from four weeks to six weeks.

Another example would be where the company offers one return air ticket per year back to your home country, and you state that you must have two tickets in order to accept the offer. By sending a letter making a counter-offer, from a legal standpoint, you are turning down the employer's offer. The employer is then free to offer the position to another candidate.

A letter asking for clarification or consideration does not put the job offer at risk. During the period of correspondence being exchanged the offer is still on the table. Typically you could write, "Thank you for the offer of employment. I am writing to seek clarification whether the medical cover stated in the contract extends to my family and also whether there is an excess to be paid for each claim."

A letter of consideration could be as follows, "I note that you have offered a salary of X. This is lower than I expected and I am writing to ask whether you could give consideration to including the provision of a performance bonus at the end of each 12-month period completed with the company."

Although it may not be specified in the offer letter, the period that the offer is available to you is time limited and an extended period of correspondence seeking clarification or consideration could also result in your losing the offer.

Letter withdrawing from consideration for a post.

If you are withdrawing from a selection process, while it is important that you phone the company and advise them, it is always best to follow up with a letter.

Some jobseekers don't feel there is a need to send a letter to a company if they are withdrawing from a position, perhaps because they have been offered another job. However, in the future you may want to be considered for another post in that company and you want to be remembered as someone who acted professionally and who showed respect for the company.

Write a letter expressing your thanks for having the opportunity to attend an interview, but explaining that as you have been offered another position you wish to
be taken off the company's short list. Doing this professionally and with tact will not damage your relationship with the company, which may be important in the future.

Letter resigning from your present company

Although you may have a face-to-face meeting to tell your boss that you are resigning from the company, legally you must always put your resignation in writing. Any notice period will start from the date your company receives the letter (not the date you are sending it).

Keep your resignation letter factual and short. You do not need to disclose why you are leaving the company or details about your new position. Typically your letter should say, "I am writing to inform you that I am resigning my position from (date). In accordance with my contract I am giving X months notice and my last day will be (date). Thank you for the opportunity of working in your company."Never use a letter of resignation to tell the company what you think of them or to criticise the company.

Some jobseekers are tempted to "tell them a few home truths" in their resignation letter, or to get things off their chest, saying things they have wanted to say for a long time.

Don't be tempted to do this. Remember, you will still need to work out your notice period and receive your last salary, and those are sufficient reasons in themselves. But you may also need to have a reference from your last job for your new employer.

Letter accepting an offer

When you have been offered a job, legally you have to respond in writing to accept the job. Keep it brief and professional and don't go overboard with flowery language. It will be sufficient to say, "Thank you for your offer of employment dated (date) which I am pleased to accept. I am looking forward to joining your company on (date)."

Letter rejecting an offer

This letter should be professional. Don't be drawn into making any emotive comments. Keep it brief. It is not necessary to explain why you are not accepting the offer. Your letter might say, "I regret that I am unable to accept the position you have offered.

I am very impressed with your company and would be grateful if you would keep me in your database in the event that other positions related to my skills and experience might arise."

Letter advising friends and colleagues of your new position
During your job search it is quite likely that you have benefited from talking with friends, colleagues and people
in your network.

It is important to show appreciation to those who have assisted you. A personal letter to your friends and colleagues advising them of your new position provides
an ideal opportunity for you to thank them for the part they have played in your success.

And finally, remember that well-written correspondence can enhance your job search, and poorly-written letters dramatically reduce your chances of success.

Schools to Send SMS to Parents
if Children Bunk Classes

Schools to Send SMS to Parents
if Children Bunk Classes
Ahmed Abdul Aziz KHALEEJ TIMES 17 October 2008

ABU DHABI — Truant students will not be able to get away with bunking classes anymore. For, their parents will receive SMSes on their mobile phones from the school asking, “Where is your child today?”

The SMS information project to cover all public and private schools is part of a plan to set up a call centre being studied by the Ministry of Education (MoE).

According to the plan, the SMS service will be used by the schools to inform parents about all details about their children’s schooling, including exam results, attendance, bus delays, detailed evaluation reports, due dates for fees, holidays and anniversary celebrations as well as events such as sports and cultural competitions.

Rashid Al Nuaimi, General Manager of the MoE, had earlier said the ministry’s officials were studying a project to set up a call centre that would facilitate communication among the ministry, schools and parents.

K. Rajiv, general manager of Sharjah-based Good Luck Systems Co., which has developed the project, said the new system would monitor the students and update the parents with the news, whether good or bad.

“We offer a new software featured with facilities for back-to-back communication between a parent and school to ensure that every child is disciplined,” Rajiv said.

The company will provide the system for free to the ministry. After the ministry endorses it, the schools can register with the new service. “We will provide training to teachers and administrative staff of schools without charging any fees,” Rajiv said.

The parents will have to pay Dh10 for 10 SMSes and Dh100 for a one-year membership.

New mothers unable to leave hospital without child car seat

New mothers unable to leave hospital without child car seat
By Nina Muslim, Staff Reporter GULF NEWS Published: October 16, 2008

Dubai: New mothers in Dubai will soon be unable to leave hospital without receiving a child car seat and the guidance to use it, under a new proposal to lower child injuries and death as a result of traffic accidents.

According to the Department of Health and Medical Services (dohms), 6,146 children were injured in accidents between 2001 to 2007 in the UAE.

Abu Dhabi police found that the majority of child deaths and injuries were traffic-related, which they blamed on negligence and lack of proper supervision.

Dubai does not have child-safety laws for vehicles, such as mandating the use of car seats for young children, not putting children in the front seat or restraining them while the vehicle is in motion.

Radar to detect wanted vehicles installed in Dubai

Radar to detect wanted vehicles installed in Dubai Staff Report GULF NEWS Published: October 16, 2008

Dubai: A new radar that can detect wanted vehicles has been installed on Shaikh Zayed Road.

Brigadier Mohammad Saif Al Zafein, Director of Dubai Police Traffic Department, inspected the radar on Dubai Police Academy Bridge, which can detect vehicles wanted for traffic or criminal offences.

The radar also traces the wanted vehicles and can detect the speed and the direction of the wanted vehicle, whether it was a stolen vehicle or wanted for accumulated fines.

Brigadier Al Zafein said the radar also can detect offences such as wrong overtaking, not using indicators and speeding. The radar is able to tolerate changing weather conditions and high temperatures.

He said the goal of installing radars is to deter offenders from committing offences and protect the lives of road users.

Radar to detect wanted vehicles installed in Dubai

Radar to detect wanted vehicles installed in Dubai Staff Report GULF NEWS Published: October 16, 2008

Dubai: A new radar that can detect wanted vehicles has been installed on Shaikh Zayed Road.

Brigadier Mohammad Saif Al Zafein, Director of Dubai Police Traffic Department, inspected the radar on Dubai Police Academy Bridge, which can detect vehicles wanted for traffic or criminal offences.

The radar also traces the wanted vehicles and can detect the speed and the direction of the wanted vehicle, whether it was a stolen vehicle or wanted for accumulated fines.

Brigadier Al Zafein said the radar also can detect offences such as wrong overtaking, not using indicators and speeding. The radar is able to tolerate changing weather conditions and high temperatures.

He said the goal of installing radars is to deter offenders from committing offences and protect the lives of road users.

Thousands join Pink Walkathon in Dubai

Thousands join Pink Walkathon in Dubai
By Sunita Menon, Staff Reporter GULF NEWS published: October 17, 2008

Dubai: Over 5,000 people from all walks of life were up at dawn on Friday to take part in the 5th BurJuman Pink 3.6km Walkathon to raise funds and awareness of the fight against breast cancer

BurJuman and its surroundings were dressed in pink, with happy people dancing to the rhythmic beat of Dubai drums.

The mood was upbeat as participants posed for photographs and rushed inside the mall to get registered for the walk. Some of them even brought along their pet dogs. Almost everyone sported pink ribbons. Thousands of pink balloons went up the air as the walk began at 8am.

Some of the participants said they lost friends and family members to breast cancer. “I am taking part for the first time in this walkathon. Last year I lost my beautiful wife Laura. She had breast cancer. We were together for 17 years. By taking part I wanted to do something for her. I am sure she will be very happy,” said Jim Collins, a Dubai resident.

Sabina Khandwani, Head of PR and Marketing of BurJuman, said the walkathon also serves to keep people updated on how to protect women from breast cancer.

“Breast cancer has evolved from a family-centric issue to one which affects businesses and the larger economy,” Khandwani said.

This year's Pink Walkathon was supported by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dubai Healthcare City, Barclays Bank, , MD Anderson Cancer Center, Johnson & Johnson, and Microsoft.

The green team

The green team
By Suchitra Bajpai Chaudhary, Senior Feature Writer GULF NEWS Published: October 16, 2008

Did you know that a tonne of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 1,132 litres of oil, 4,000 kilowatts of energy and 26,600 litres of water?

Masafi – UAE's beverage company – knows and believes in these facts and has recently introduced hundred per cent recycled cartons for packaging its bottles. Considering that the UAE has the largest consumption of natural mineral water and that Masafi manufactures about 8.6 million boxes
to deliver about 320 million bottles each year, you can very well imagine the massive impact this step will have in ecological conservation.

In the past three decades, the company has diversified from bottling mineral water to creating flavoured water, juices and also paper tissues.

This is not the only thing the company is doing. Recycling is part of a larger comprehensive action plan that it announced recently.

The plan is to implement it as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy to reduce its eco footprint in the campaign for sustainable living.

Masafi in Arabic means 'pure water'. In a hilly village at the foot of the Hajar mountains between Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, are a lot of fresh water springs with high mineral content. So when bottled water from those springs was to be marketed 30 years ago, the company decided to go by the name of the village that stood for purity of water.

Over the last three decades, purity of water has come to mean a lot to Masafi. It has taken it upon itself to work with the highest standards of quality and professionalism.

After receiving several awards from the International Bottling Water Association (IBWA) and being granted the toughest standard for environmental management – the ISO 14001-2004 certification – Masafi has decided to go for the carbon action plan.

By doing so, Masafi has become the only beverage company in the UAE to actually take action in saving the environment.

Elaborating on the strategy in an exclusive interview with Friday, Natascha Edelmann, head of marketing on the Masafi Carbon Action Plan – unveiled on July 6 and due to
commence by the end of the year – says:
"Our focus has three strands:
education, collection and disposal."
"We're committed to educating society and so we try to initiate schoolchildren into recycling. We have collaborated with the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) to create 18 fun recycling centres in schools and about 10 in public places.

The next step concerns collection. We have appointed environmental executives who oversee the collection of everything collected from these centres. Last year we collected about 280 metric tons of plastic.

With heightened awareness this year we hope to collect about 500 metric tons at least."This year the company has joined hands with a Fujairah-based company, Horizon Technologies. They recycle all the plastic from these bottles to be used in non-food industries. Until last year, Masafi sold this waste to municipality approved collectors who in turn sold it to dealers abroad, especially in China, who then used the plastic in non-food industries. But this involved shipping and transportation, which in turn meant fuel consumption and therefore a substantial carbon footprint. So, by taking care of the plastic at a local factory, Masafi has successfully reduced the carbon footprint.

These strategies are interactive and require participation. Masafi believes in practising what it preaches so the eco conservation begins right from production.

Edelmann informs: "We've installed energy-efficient non-CFC chillers at our manufacturing unit to avoid depletion of the ozone layer and also to conserve energy." Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are halogenated substances that, once released, deplete the ozone layer, the earth's natural shield against UV radiation. The non-CFC chillers will
go a long way in conserving the ozone layer and they also require less energy. The old chillers used 0.85 kilowatts
of energy per ton of refrigeration while the non-CFC chillers use 0.6kilowatts of energy.

Masafi's four-gallon one-way bottles use less resin (18g per litre) than the regular 1.5L bottle (32g per litre) to package the same amount of water. Moreover, the 4G bottles do not utilise water, electricity, chemicals for cleaning purposes compared to returnable bottles. Once empty, the one-time-use bottles are sent for recycling.

The company is doing all it can to redeem these bottles. "We plan to go online soon and address general managers and CEOs of companies with 500 or more employees. Whatever brand of mineral water they might use, we are willing to install recycling cages in their premises free of charge and collect those bottles regularly at no extra cost to them.

The campaign aims to get top management advisers who feel a responsibility to the environment to sign up for it. Anyone can call us to come and collect these bottles
for recycling."

The company has also revealed that the redemption rate for the 4G bottles has gone up by 30 per cent, indicating that consumers are becoming more environmentally aware and are disposing responsibly by giving it back to the Masafi sales team so that they can send it back to the factory for recycling purposes.

With these and many more strategies in place, Masafi plans to launch their Carbon Action Plan in a big way and make sure of performing the role of an environmentally conscious and socially responsible organisation in the UAE.

Call the toll free number 8005455 for more information.

– Suchitra Bajpai Chaudhary is Senior Feature Writer, Friday

Bangalore Realty Expo at Dubai from 16th October to 18th October 2008

Bangalore Realty Expo at Dubai from 16th October to 18th October 2008

For realty sector, business always happens. Whether financial market is down or up is not a problem for the cautious investor. Bangalore is one such place where market is holding steady even at this time. If the builder is reliable and papers are legal, then no fear and holds. It will be always the right time and decision.

Here is an exmaple of brisk customer activities happening at the ongoing Bangalore Realty Expo at Dubai from 16th October to 18th October 2008 at HOTEL RENAISSANCE, DUBAI.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Meet the Star - an opportunity to meet Aamir Khan for children who likes to paint

Meet the Star - an opportunity to meet Aamir Khan for children who likes to paint



According to research done by a University of California , the car
dashboard, seats, air freshener will emit Benzene, a cancer-causing
toxin (carcinogen). In addition to causing cancer, it poisons your
bones, causes, anemia, and reduces white blood cells.

Prolonged exposure will cause Leukemia, increasing the risk of cancer.
It may also cause miscarriage. Acceptable Benzene level indoors is
50 mg per sq. ft. A car parked indoors with the windows closed will
contain 400-800 mg of Benzene. If parked outdoors under the sun at a
temperature above 60 degrees F, the Benzene level goes up to
2,000-4,000 mg, 40 times the acceptable level. The people inside the
car will inevitably inhale an excessive amount of toxins.

It is recommended that you open the windows and doors to give time for
the interior to air out before you enter. Benzene is a toxin that
affects your kidney and liver, and is difficult for your body to

Foggy Mornings, Low Visibility Forecast

Foggy Mornings, Low Visibility Forecast

15 October 2008

ABU DHABI - As the winter season approaches, foggy conditions are likely to prevail in the mornings, which will result in low visibility, the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology forecast Monday.

According to the forecast, October will see up to 3-5 degree Celsius fall in temperature as compared to September, bringing much-needed respite from the hot and humid weather.

Meanwhile, early morning office-goers have been urged to drive with caution and maintain lower speeds.

The nights are expected to be cooler throughout the country in the coming days. The maximum temperature is predicted at 38-40 degrees and minimum at 24-26 in Abu Dhabi. In Dubai, the maximum temperature is expected to be 36-38 and minimum at 26-28. Sharjah is likely to witness the maximum temperature of 38-40 degrees and a minimum of 23-24 degrees.

On-the-Spot Fines for Flouting Traffic Rules from Next Week

On-the-Spot Fines for Flouting Traffic Rules from Next Week
Amira Agarib KHALEEJ TIMES 15 October 2008

DUBAI - From next week, motorists not maintaining safe distances between vehicles on highways, obstructing traffic and hiding number plates with posters will be fined on the spot, Mohammed Saif Al Zafin, Director of the General Department of Traffic, Dubai Police, told Khaleej Times on Tuesday.

He said all traffic police in the emirate have been alerted to fine motorists violating these traffic rules and issue them fines on the spot.

A driver who obstructs traffic by driving slowly on the fast lane would also be fined. The motorist who hides the vehicle number plates with posters or stickers will be fined Dh200 and one black point will be recorded against him, said Al Zafin, refusing to give details about the fines for other violations.

He said a campaign to raise awareness among both light and heavy vehicle drivers will be launched next week.

He said this when this reporter contacted him for comments on Tuesday’s traffic accident on Emirates Road which held up traffic in the morning for several hours. Several office-goers complained that they reached their workplaces late due to the traffic jam after a truck overturned around 7.30am on Emirates Road. The driver lost control over the truck which deviated from the lane suddenly and overturned.

The driver suffered moderate injuries and was rushed to the hospital.

Al Zafin said the Traffic Department would hold a meeting with drivers of heavy trucks in November to brief them on the strict measures that would be taken by the police against them who cause traffic obstruction and endanger people’s lives.

He said the department is monitoring the movement of heavy trucks and has increased the number of radars on highways.

He said during a campaign organised to control heavy trucks early this month, the police observed that drivers of such trucks commit a large number of violations, especially regarding tyre specifications.

The police impounded 50 heavy trucks in a month and fined each driver Dh500 in a month.

He said drivers of heavy trucks are using counterfeit and cheap tyres which may lead to accidents like overturning that could be fatal even for other road users.

Trucks also do not abide by the specified load limit. Al Zafin said overloading would invite a fine of Dh3,000 and 12 black points against the driver.

Some owners of heavy trucks have contacted the department, saying they would incur heavy losses if their trucks are impounded or drivers fined.

The department would hold a meeting with truck owners to explain the department’s strategy to reduce traffic rule violations and accidents.

The importance of using good tyres would be highlighted. He called on the truck owners to instruct the drivers to comply with the speed limit and not overtake dangerously.

‘Your Decision’ Campaign by Dewa

‘Your Decision’ Campaign by Dewa
Staff reporter KHALEEJ TIMES 16 October 2008

DUBAI - The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has launched an extensive campaign to spread awareness on the need to rationalise electricity and water consumption in the emirate, as a follow-up of the ‘Your Decision’ campaign, conveying simple but powerful messages through cartoons.

According to Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, CEO and Managing Director of Dewa: “This campaign is a crucial part of the authority’s strategy designed to conserve electricity and water resources. It is an interactive campaign focused on increasing consumers’ responsibility and accountability to society.

“We have adopted an innovative approach to demonstrate simple steps to be taken for rationalising water and electricity consumption at the individual level. The message is conveyed through lively and themed visuals,” he said.

The campaign focuses on cartoons to introduce best practices in a fun way. It also entails distribution of posters, leaflets and educational brochures to target audiences.

“The UAE is among the world’s top three consumers of electricity and water at the individual level. Our aim is to put Dubai in the forefront of water and electricity rationalisation movement. This is a challenging process that needs focused measures and consumer education. We hope these campaigns will make consumers realise the benefits of rationalising consumption of water and electricity,” Al Tayer said.‘

'I used Gulf News to further my career'

'I used Gulf News to further my career'
By Anupa Kurian, Readers Editor GULF NEWS
Published: September 30, 2008

Dubai: As the mist rolled in Cumulus puffs across the acres of parrot green paddy fields of Thanjavur, the 16-year-old boy gripping the metal handle bar of the train coach door dreamed of belching mills, curving roads and fame. He was running away to Mumbai, where women wore beehives on their heads and men swaggered in fancy prints.

His home was "the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu", his destination "the money capital of India".

It was 1977, everybody he knew was trying hard to find a job in the "Gulf", specifically Dubai. His friends were doing the same, although an agent had already cheated them once.

Abdul Jabbar had failed six subjects in his final higher secondary exam. His family wanted him to try again, but he was tired of waiting and made the decision to drop out of school.

One of the Gulf News readers for the longest time - 30 years to be precise - Jabbar has lived and prospered with the newspaper. A dream that a teenager left home with has been realised among the golden desert sands of the UAE.

His family had a wholesale vegetable business and he was the second eldest child of 11. Once in Mumbai, Jabbar struggled to make ends meet. Finally he wrote to his family for some money to help him get to Dubai.

His father sold a patch of land and sent him Rs6,500 (Dh650). Within months he made it to the land of his dreams - the UAE. It was April 11, 1977. The only hitch was that the job was that of a construction labourer.

"The villa I helped build with my hands still stands in Jumeirah 3. I was paid Dh25 a day. After three weeks I quit," Jabbar said.

"I went to stay with family friends and started work at a motel in Sharjah. While I was there, I met a very kind Mexican couple.

"The wife would insist I eat some food before cleaning the room. One of the subjects that I had failed in at high school was English. I could read the letters, understood to some extent but spoke very little of it."

One day, the couple called him to the room and the husband offered him a job at his company Dresser Rand, a multinational firm in the field of oil and gas.

"I couldn't understand what he was saying. He advised me to call the Indian receptionist to help translate. But, I refused, as I feared that the receptionist might take up the offer," Jabbar said.

Finally an understanding was reached and Jabbar realised the need to be able to communicate in English. He had a job at the man's company to assist in administrative duties for a salary of Dh800 per month and a daily taxi allowance of Dh4.

He accepted. but there was a hitch.

Jabbar's passport was with the first company, who were reluctant to release the document.

On the first day that Jabbar joined the new company, August 1, 1977, the government declared that every person working for any organisation had to be sponsored by it. Deadline after deadline expired but Jabbar failed to convince his first employer. When all looked lost, a UAE national from the Ministry of Labour stepped in to help. The employer relented and Jabbar had a permanent job.

Thirty-one years later at the same company, Jabbar looks back and feels that it was like a "new beginning".

He said: "All my problems vanished. Since then, I have not looked back. I am now an office administrator and handle the spare parts segment of the business."

The climb up the corporate ladder was not easy.

Jabbar worked hard at it, with the help of a dictionary and Gulf News.

"In my office there are mainly Americans. It was important that I could speak and understand English," he said.

Jabbar got his hands on a Tamil-English dictionary and set to work. "Every morning I would read Gulf News and refer to the meaning of the words in the dictionary," he said. Today he is a fluent speaker.

"I can talk well now, but I am still learning. Every day I come to work by 6.40am, even though my shift starts at 8am. I read the paper from cover to cover.

"The paper stays with me the whole day and whenever I get the time, I read," Jabbar said.

The father of three has inculcated the same love of language in his children, as it has helped him turn his life around.

"Gulf News helped further my career, along with my company that has been extremely supportive. Gulf News helped me learn and improve my English - knowledge is power."

While he would never dream of criticising Gulf News, he does have a few observations.

"I miss debates among people on issues in the letter to editor section. Nowadays, people only seem to be complaining about traffic and rents. I don't blame them, life has become tough," he said.

Every day he reaches office at 6.40am so he can read Gulf News before his shift starts at 8am.

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