Thursday, 29 January 2009

Innovative and creative marriage invitation

I came across this innovative invitation the other day. Impressive.
I sincerely wish the couple a happy and blissful married life with the prayers and saying "the decision you make today are your tomorrow's destiny".

Monday, 26 January 2009

Motivation man sets 37th record

Motivation man sets 37th record

Express News Service First Published : 26 Jan 2009 02:56:00 AM Last Updated : 26 Jan 2009 BANGALORE:

Adding another feather to his cap, Guinness and Limca Book of Records holder S Ramesh Babu has set his 37th world record by motivating 1,00,154 Indians.

Babu told reporters here on Saturday that it took nine-and-a-half years through his 715 lecture programmes that were conducted in 220 institutions in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to establish the record.

Ramesh Babu, founder director of ‘Top of the World Centre for Excellence’, said that the main objective of the centre was to motivate people to excel in their chosen fields of interest by making them realise their potentials through 31 tailormade workshop modules developed by him.

The motivational programmes were held for students, teachers, parents, corporate employees and general public. Babu, who has received over 50,000 written feedback from his workshop participants, also delivered motivational lectures to people in rural areas and economically weaker sections. On January 7, Babu crossed the target of motivating one lakh people, achieving the unique record feat in just nine-and-a-half years, six months ahead of his set time target.

With this 37th world record, the total tally of his records now stand at 44, which include seven national records.

The Limca Book of Records has recognised Babu as the highest world records holder in India.

“The record set now will be sent to both Guinness and Limca Book of Records later this month and will become official in the coming edition of the Limca Book of Records,” Babu said.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Invitation to Participate in Talent Share initiatives for January 2009

Act now and SHARE your child's creative talent to the world around. Send their works with the following details to at your convenience:

Date of Birth:
Parents Name:
Contact Telephone No(s):
Contact address : e-mail
Contact Address by Post:

Age group is from 04 to 15 years. However, all the others including Arts & Craft Teachers are welcome to submit their creative contribution.

All participating children will get suitably rewards courtesy goodwill of some corporates who appreciate this initiative.

More parties who are interested to support the Talent Share initiatives may write to me at

Please note this is an initiative created to promote the creative talents of children and has no commercial motives.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Invitation to Participate in Talent Share initiatives for January 2009

Invitation to Participate in Talent Share initiatives for January 2009

Act now and SHARE your child's creative talent to the world around. Send their works with the following details to at your convenience:

Date of Birth:
Parents Name:
Contact Telephone No(s):
Contact address : e-mail
Contact Address by Post:

Age group is from 04 to 15 years. However, all the others including Arts & Teachers are welcome to submit their creative contribution.

All participating children will get suitably rewards courtesy goodwill of some corporates who appreciate this initiative.

More parties who are interested to support the Talent Share initiatives may write to me at

Please note this is an initiative created to promote the creative talents of children and has no commercial motives.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Keep track of Abu Dhabi Bus routes and it's progresss

Dear all,

The link below is the best suitable for keeping track of the progress of Abu Dhabi Bus.
The National Newspaper


What an interesting progress by THE NATIONAL. From today onwards, they have a Careers page on Tuesday and Thursday. With the network and reach I am sure job seekers will have plenty of potential and real job openings in the region listed. Good going and keep coming out with more specials

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Urgent Call for Action to Help the Children of Gaza

Dear Volunteer,

Dubai Cares is joining a united front of UAE-based relief and charitable organizations to pledge humanitarian assistance and mobilize the UAE community to help alleviate the suffering of children in Gaza. There are approximately 275,000 students of primary school age in Gaza and Dubai Cares is asking for your help to support them in this time of need.

Here’s how you can help. Dubai Cares is currently recruiting volunteers to help package 50,000 basic school kits and 50,000 hygiene kits for the Children of Gaza. Approximately 150 participants are needed each day for this event as we are aiming to assemble approximately 10,000 kits a day. We would be honored if you could join us.

Dubai Cares will supply all of the items required for the kits and we need your help to pack and prepare them for shipping to the children of Gaza.

Date: Wednesday, January 14 through January 20, 2009

Venue: DIFC (Emperor Hall)


· Weekdays: 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

· Friday January 16, 2009: 2:00 -6:00 p.m.

· Saturday January 17, 2009: 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

You are welcome to join us anytime. Please bring your friends and family to the venue during our working hours and we will put you to work. You can also help us spread the word by forwarding this email to others who you believe may want to help. We will have snacks and beverages available.

Should you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at .

We hope you will be able to join with us to show solidarity for the children of Gaza.


The Dubai Cares Team

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Dubai Ruler promotes Lootah as director general of municipality

Dubai Ruler promotes Lootah as director general of municipality
By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter GULF NEWS Published: January 07, 2009, 12:30

Dubai: The Quran Park, shaded walkways and rooftop greenery are some of the new projects approved by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Shaikh Mohammad approved the projects after his visit to Dubai Municipality where he was given a presentation on the projects by the civic body's chief engineer Hussain Nasser Lootah.

Shaikh Mohammad also promoted Lootah, Acting Director-General of Dubai Municipality, to Director-General.

Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, was present on the occasion.

Lootah explained the components and targets of the vital projects including the Quran Park in Khawaneej. Shaikh Mohammad issued instructions to commence the implementation of the projects. He also approved the development of markets in remote areas.

Shaikh Mohammad expressed satisfaction with the efforts of the municipality and its capable Emirati employees.

The promotion came as a reward for the sincere efforts and constructive ideas of Lootah, who contributed to enhance the standard of civic services and oversaw the implementation of several ambitious projects.

Lootah expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the trust placed in him by Shaikh Mohammad.

He vowed that he would spare no effort to serve the nation and people. He noted that the municipality would go ahead and implement its development and service projects in the best interests of the nation.

As acting director-general of the Municipality, Lootah unveiled a strategic plan for the civic body (2007-2011) which was coordinated with the Dubai Strategic Plan for 2015.

His accomplishments during this period also included signing of twinning or partnership agreements with several cities worldwide including Barcelona (Spain), Busan (South Korea), Qingdao (China), and Lyon (France). He also signed strategic deals with local and federal agencies.

Works of impact

- Quran Park: The park to be built in the Khawaneej area will be the first educational cultural park of its kind. The 65-hectare park will be designed in a traditional way with pedestrian and cycling paths.

- Al Nahda and Al Mamzar Corniche developments: A pedestrian bridge will connect Al Nahda and Mamzar parks.

- Shaded pedestrian walks: The project aims to provide cool walkways for pedestrians on a number of open roads and markets.

Able administrator

Engineer Hussain Lootah has been appointed Director-General of Dubai Municipality.

As Acting Director General, Lootah managed the civic body, helped by a team of six assistants, who heads sectors consisting of 20 departments. Three departments and an independent office and section reported to him directly.

A civil engineering graduate from the US, Lootah began his career as an engineer with the Federal Ministry for Electricity and Water. He joined the municipality in 1985 as assistant head of a section, and was later promoted Drainage Department head.

He was appointed assistant director-general for Environment and Public Health Affairs with the departments of Public Health, Environment, Public Parks and Horticulture and Drainage and Irrigation reporting to him. In 2004, he was made the assistant director-general for Planning and Building Affairs to look after departments of the Planning and Survey, Building and Government Housing, Geographical Information Systems Centre and Statistics Centre.

Personal Note:
As a person who regularly participate in the HAVE YOUR SAY programme of Dubai Municipality and having been selected for the award from them for the last two years consecutively, I personally have very high regards for the efficient Administrative style and Innovative approach of Mr. Lootah. I wish him achieve many maure laurels in the coming years.

Ramesh Menon
08 01 2009

Visa medical centres witness big rush

Visa medical centres witness big rush
By Dina El Shammaa, Staff Reporter GULF NEWS Published: January 07, 2009

Abu Dhabi: Disease Prevention and Screening Centres in Abu Dhabi and Musafah under the Abu Dhabi Health Services (SEHA) are experiencing long queues of applicants after announcing that medical checkups for visas will be done by them only.

They will offer extra services to keep up with an average of 3,000 people a day since they opened on January 5, Gulf News was told.

The first day witnessed a long queue of approximately 3,000 visa seekers and the number increased the next day to 3,200.

Dr Zainab Khazaal, the centres' manager, said that new and important steps are underway to ensure a smooth and fast experience for applicants.

One step is an express line for an extra Dh100 which will enable applicants to move rapidly through the process and this is due to begin in a few weeks.

Mobile clinics

"The procedure of taking the blood test, an X-ray and a general examination shouldn't take more than half an hour in the express line," she said.

Mobile clinics will also be introduced between June and September which will perform medical tests at a person's doorstep.

The long queues in the last few days were due to the time of the year, said Zainab. "It's the beginning of January, the beginning of the week and after a long vacation when both private and public companies were off, the large volume numbers were expected."


Before introducing medical checkup options for visa applicants, the centre operated from 7am to 3pm five days a week.

The timings increased from 7am to 6pm by November and again an extra hour was introduced in January (from 7am to 7pm six days a week, and on Saturdays by appointment only).

Ramesh Menon, who works in his company's paperwork legalisation process, said one of his co-workers arrived at the centre at 9am on Monday and waited in line without success.

"The next day she made it a point to reach the centre at 6.30am...she managed to finish everything by 11am, which given the pressure the centre is undergoing, is perfectly understandable," Menon said.


List of personnel

Staff members in the Abu Dhabi and Musafah Disease Prevention and Screening Centres:

- 15 screening physicians

- 13 X-ray technicians

-32 blood collection and laboratory staff

-30 clerks

UK scholarship for maid’s daughter

UK scholarship for maid’s daughter
Kiran Wadhwa, Hindustan Times Mumbai, January 08, 2009

Varalaxmi Pillai can probably be the best brand ambassador for Mumbai as the city of dreams. This 21-year-old’s luggage occupies quite a bit of her tiny Kanjurmarg house.

She is preparing for her first trip abroad. She will be flying to London to start her one-year masters programme in international management, something that no one in her family had ever dreamed of. Her father, a factory worker, passed
away when she was five and her mother worked as a domestic help.

Two months ago she filled out an application for the University of Westminster with her qualifications and wrote out an essay with her goals. “All through my study years I had to depend on others for my textbooks and occasionally even clothes but now I my dreams have been realised,” she said.

After her father’s death, Meher Moos, India’s intrepid traveller now a consultant with Thomas Cook, became her guardian and helped get her funds for her education. They were borne largely by the Thodumal Shahani Trust and other beneficiaries.

She is also one of the first to receive the Sheriff’s Scholarship, which was instituted by Sheriff Indu Shahani in collaboration with universities in the UK and US.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Amrita TV Forum - TOP 10 Posters Award for 2008

Gulf News bags environment award

Gulf News bags environment award
By Emmanuelle Landais, Staff Reporter 06 January 2009

Dubai: The "Go Green" campaign has earned Gulf News a prestigious award for its coverage of environmental pollution, events and initiatives in the UAE.

The Outstanding Environmental Publication award will be presented to Gulf News next week as part of the Environment, Health and Safety Awards 2008 organised by the Ports, Customs and Freezone.

The newspaper has been recognised for its continuous efforts to create awareness about environmental issues. It carried articles on the environment and engaged in public outreach and dialogue with readers.

Gulf News Editor-in- Chief Abdul Hamid Ahmad said the award was appreciated and environmental issues here and internationally will continue to be reported on.

Gulf News initiated the "Go Green" campaign on the heels of its "Say No To Plastic Bag" drive, which supported the reduction in use of plastic in daily life.

During eight months of awareness-building within the community, jute bags were distributed to its readers.

Congratulations GULF NEWS

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Now, 'Naga chilly' to scare away wild elephants

Now, 'Naga chilly' to scare away wild elephants
5 Jan 2009,PTI

SHILLONG: The world's hottest chilly, 'Naga chilly', or 'bhoot jolokia' in Assamese dialect, could be the latest weapon against marauding wild elephants who have wrecked havoc in many parts of Northeast.

'Bhoot jolokia', a chilly pepper that grows mostly in Assam, has shot to limelight after the DRDO developed a non-lethal grenade from it that could be used in anti-terrorist operations.

The DRDO and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are now working on developing the 'chilly' into a powder that could be coated on fences and ropes to scare away wild pachyderms.

"Two months back, a WWF experiment observed that the chilly could be a good scaring material. Its' powder when coated on fences and ropes that are erected on routes of the elephants can scare away the giants," RP Srivastava, director of the Tezpur laboratory of DRDO said.

He said trials are being proposed on the experiment soon, and the DRDO and WWF are working to come up with an effective substance that can help in mitigating man-elephant conflict.

The 'bhoot jolokia' has been branded as the world's hottest chilly with the pungency of 855000 scoville units, that is nearly double the scale of Mexican chilly.

It is used as a cure for stomach ailments and as a remedy to summer heat, presumably by inducing perspiration.

The DRDO says that the chilly also has qualities that can give physiological impetus, especially to security forces deployed in high altitude areas.

Monday, 5 January 2009

A recent discussion on recession and it's affects

A recent discussion I came across on recession. Thought of sharing it with you.


A reply to it:

Thank you for the mail on actionable insights to prepare for the
recession. I wish to differ on certain points mentioned by the
"financial consultant"

First of all, Recession means different things to each person as a
Businessman, Investor or employee

To the Investors, it is the best time to buy (or invest). During
recession precious land becomes affordable, cost of construction
becomes less. So if you, as an investor is planning to invest in a new
project that involves construction works, this is the best time. This
is becuase, a typical construction of mall, factory or a resort takes
about 1.5 to 2 years in India. The recession will be over in say 1-2
years. So your new business will be opening up at a time when the
economy is recovering. And if you are planning to invest in already
established businesses (instead of new ventures), this is still a good
time. This is because, in good times the promoters of this business
will ask you for a heavy goodwill amount. In recession, even the best
companies may have cash flow problems and may be willing to bring in
equity at investors terms. And once the recession is over, these
companies will get back to form. (Recession has happened many times,
infact it is a cycle, so dont think of recession as a Tsunami that
wipes out everything).

To the businessmen, recession can be a bad time or a good time, based
on what thier position is. To begin with there are some industries
that do good when others do badly. You just have to search out for
those sectors. Recession can be bad to a business that has heavy
overheads and its business is dependant on other businesses which
might get a bad kick from recession. Businesses with good cash
reserves should hold on to thier cash, as they can expect red figures
in the profit loss account for few months to come. It is a good time,
for them to eliminate fat (both in terms of bad staff and unproductive
assets). When the times are good, businesses seldom care about best
practices and efficiency. I was involved with a factory during a
downturn period, and in order to survive, we had to take extreme
measures with regards staff management, implementation of new
machineries and all kind of best practices (much aganist our will) to
survive. To finance these we had to merge with a competitor as well.
Bad times made that business so strong, that in 2008 (when the global
economy calls it a bad year), they made a record profit and became
market leader in thier sector. So if we take the recession properly,
it is a good time, to make a business strong.

To the Employees, recession can be good and bad, again. Lazy and
unproductive employees will have a hard time holding on to thier jobs
and in case they lose thier jobs, it will be difficult to get a new
one. One good thing about employment market during recession,
especially in India, is that I am hoping to see "job hopping" slow
down. But recession is a good time, for loyal, hardworking staff to
show thier worth to the company. By working more than others, by
accepting mangement decisions, by perhaps sacrificing bit of thier
salaries, these employees can show to management, they are soldiers
they can count on. And they will be most visible. These employees,
have a better chance to get promotions and upgradation in salaries
during the good times.

My comments where I disagree to the previous mail, are ;

1. Dont sell your stocks, if you can afford to keep them for 1- 2
years. Most of the stocks are now trading below thier intrinsic value.
By selling them at loss now, you will buy them at even higher cost
later on. So hold on to them. Put your shares in locker and go to
sleep. Wake up after 2 years, to see its price. On a different note, I
dont recommend day trading to anyone, its almost like gambling. With
stocks you should buy and sell, with long term view.

2. I dont agree to not investing, for reasons I have mentioned above.

3. Dont sell your assets now, the price is Below its real value. Wait
for 2 years for boom to start again.

This are my views. About me, I am the CEO of a Venture Consulting firm
based in Calicut (Kerala). I did my masters in Finance and Investment
from Exeter University, UK. I have been in Gulf for many years. I had
worked at german strategy advisory firm (Dubai), as consultant.
At Capella, we advice investors on investing in various of projects,
by conducting business research, preparing project reports, business
plans, business counselling and venture project management.

Forwarded e-mail
As forwarded by a financial consultant, in Dubai.

>> *Recession is coming... make your own judgment, don't panic! Do
what is wise.
The recession looks very eminent. It is really time to take pro active
steps to avoid a painful time in the next two years which is how long the
recession is expected to last.

> Suggestions:

> 1. Don't take any loans; buy homes, properties with loans, or even cash. Keep as much cash as possible.

> 2. Pay off as much of personal loans, private loans, as debt collection
will be hastened.

> 3. Sell any stocks you can even at lower prices.

> 4. Take money off from Trust Funds.

> 5. Don't believe in huge sales forecast from customers, be extremely
prudent, lowest inventories, reduce liabilities.

> 6. Don't invest in new capital.

> 7. If you are selling homes/ properties/ cars, do it now, when you can get good prices, they are going to fall.

> 8. Don't invest in new business proposals.

> 9. Cancel holiday plans using credit cards.

> 10. Don't change jobs, as companies will retrench based on 'last in first

Stay cool, wait, and if you took all of the above actions and more, you
probably will be better off then many. This is not a rumor.
Bear Stearns is the first of many banking and financial institutions that
will start falling in the not too future. If Bear Stearns can fall, so can
JP Morgan, Citibank, HSBC, and the whole world. US economy falls, the rest will crumble.

India and all those self economies will be the most protected, but not

Europe may be a little stronger, but not China, another giant place!
Malaysia will see significant impact.

> Be alert and pass this to your friends!!!*

Bangalore IT pros take survival training

Bangalore IT pros take survival training
BR Srikanth, Hindustan Times

Software professionals like Anoop Ramakrishnan, 24, and many others in the tech industry in Bangalore are picking up new survival skills — not to endure the economic gloom, but to survive a terror attack or a hostage crisis.

Following the recent terror attacks, techies are queuing up to be trained in anti-terror and hostage survival techniques being imparted as part of Krav Maga, an Israeli school of self-defence and combat tactics.

They are being taught how to hold their nerve during a terror attack, ensure minimum injury, how to escape a fire, and avoid being trapped in a stampede during evacuation.

Said Anoop, software professional at Sasken Communications: “We are here to learn to minimise casualties through the concept of muscle memory — that is how not to panic but train our muscles to move quickly and save ourselves during an attack.” He has been urging colleagues and friends to take these lessons too.

Ditto with Ashish Puri, of Cisco Systems, who is also taking the training. “I have persuaded seven-eight colleagues to join these workshops,” he said.

Frank JW, the instructor and in-charge of Bangalore chapter of International Krav Maga Federation, said: “I am currently training 75 people in Bangalore. Most are from the IT industry.”

Frank said the training sessions are not intended to make “everyone a Superman” but to teach techniques that can come handy — like lying flat on the floor to escape bullets. At Rs 250 a person for two hours, the anti-terror survival model is certainly worth trying.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Things You Should Know

Things You Should Know

4 January 2009 KHALEEJ TIMES

RTA statistics show that the number of students in government schools is 28,108 in 92schools. Out of this, 63 per cent (17,651) of the students use school buses.

In private schools, 1,36,738 students study in 123 schools. Out of this, only 61 per cent (83, 798) students use school buses. Also, the number of buses in private schools is 1,934, while the number for government schools stand at 235.

The alarming fact is that 1,350 school bus drivers and 1,700 male and female attendants have not received any special training regarding transportation of students. Again, 613 school buses do not have safety belts in them. Around 27 per cent of Dubai schools do not have separate entries and exits for buses. There have been 81 mishaps involving school buses this year causing one death and six injuries.

Important School Bus Regulations

* All school buses have to be yellow in colour with the term ‘School Bus’ written in Arabic and English languages between the bus headlights, uppermost part of the bus, the rear sides and on middle of both sides of the bus. The name of the school or name of the operating company should also be mentioned.
* All buses should have an electronic ‘Stop’ arm on the external side just beneath the drivers’ door. Such an ‘arm’ comes out electronically and includes two red flashers which flash when the bus stops.
* The bus windows should open towards the upper side only and should not consist of any iron or steel bars. The windows should be tinted at 50 per cent.
* There should not be any foldable seats in the buses. The bus passageway should be empty without any obstacles. There should not be hand rests, ashtrays in or behind the seats.
* There should be adequate space for storing the bags. The spaces should be safe and in no way, should bags fall down in case of an emergency. The bus passageways must be covered by a layer of uninflammable and anti-slippery rubber. There must be electronic doors which can be open or closed only by the drivers.
* The maximum speed of the buses must not exceed 80km per hour. There must be a speed controlling system in the same connection.
* Seat belts must be available for all the seats. The buses should have fire extinguishers and first aid kit. The buses must have emergency exits according to the bus capacity with indicators and without any obstacles.
* Who Can be a School Bus Driver
The person should be a holder of a heavy bus driving licence and has to register and attend the training and test. He should be at least 25 years old with no criminal records. He must also submit a health certificate.
* The driver must speak either English or Arabic to pass the theory test conducted by the authority.
* The permit issued to a driver will be valid for one year after which needs to be renewed again. For this, he again has to undertake training and a test.
* The driver must wear a clean uniform and should not be eat or drink during trips.
All schools have to provide transportation for the students. Adequate transportation must also be provided to the handicapped students.
* Schools have to appoint an officer responsible for school buses. His contract details must be with the authority and the parents. Schools must also designate the student’s seat in each bus. The rear seats of the bus must be only for the female students. The front seats will be for males. • Schools must ensure that there is a maintenance schedule for each bus. The schools must also ensure that drivers are send to the training courses.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Too much TV can be risky for kids

Too much TV can be risky for kids
1 Jan 2009, ANI

MELBOURNE: A new study has found that too much television during school holidays can put children at greater health risks.

In the study over 4500 Australian school children, the researchers found that they were spending 70 pct of their time sitting in front of TV screens during holidays.
Moreover, 10 per cent of boys are "extreme screeners" - glued to a screen for 7.5 hours a day.

Study author and University of South Australia Professor Tim Olds has warned parents to keep their children away from screens these holidays.

"Don't put a TV in their room, switch it off when it's not being used and make rules around watching TV, using computers and playing games," the Courier Mail quoted Professor Olds as saying.

"It seems (from the health data collected in the study) to be more important to get kids away from the screen than getting them to run around," he added.

The study also found that obese or poor children generally spent more time watching screens than their thinner or wealthier peers.

It also showed that girls spent 30 to 60 minutes less a day watching a TV or computer, but their health became poorer as they moved through their teens and became less active than boys.

Professor Olds said fewer students now walked or cycled to school.

"This research highlights how important it is that parents encourage children to be active during the holiday periods," he added.

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