US ambassador visits Startup Village, offers support
Kochi, April 18 ( IANS) US Ambassador Richard R. Verma visited the Startup Village here and interacted with the young entrepreneurs and officials and offered his country's possible long-term cooperation in the development of startup ecosystem in India.
Responding positively to the Startup Village officials' request for facilitating young entrepreneurs' visit to Silicon Valley in the US, Verma said he will examine the possibility of supporting a Landing Pad, which is getting ready in the Silicon Valley in the US.
The Landing Pad is a platform for start-ups from India to get a first-hand knowledge of the Silicon Valley culture.
Verma was briefed by the village officials of the abundance of talent available here and also of the challenges faced by startup companies.
Verma offered to actively support the demand for bringing in the members of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) to the Startup Village.
Established by the US Department of Commerce, PAGE is a group of successful American business people eager to share their knowledge and experience to help develop the next generation of entrepreneurs at home and abroad.
Terming Verma's visit as a hugely positive one, senior Kerala bureaucrat P.H. Kurian said the evolving entrepreneurial culture and the rising number of young business aspirants in the state need world-class infrastructure, funding ecosystem and a change in the mindset of the people here.
"While the state government is extending all possible support for encouraging entrepreneurship, we hope to address some of these challenges in a more effective way if we have the support and guidance of investors and mentors from countries like the US," said Kurian.
The US envoy's visit is part of the Startup Villages' efforts to maintain strong bonds with the Silicon Valley.
"By building a strong tie-up with the Silicon Valley, Startup Village hopes to reach out to mentors and angel investors who are willing to invest in Indian start-ups," said Startup Village chairman Sanjay Vijayakumar.
Startup Village is the country's first public-private partnership technology business incubator jointly promoted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of the government of India, Technopark and MobME Wireless.
French film shot in India to compete at Cannes
Chennai, April 18 (IANS) French film "Dheepan", parts of which have been shot in Tamil Nadu, will vie at the competition section of the 68th Cannes International Film Festival.
The last Indian film to compete for coveted Palm D'Or at the prestigious gala was Shaji N. Karun's "Swaham" in 1994. It turns out that "Dheepan" is a movie with an Indian connect at the gala after 21 years.
India's Wide Angle Creations, led by Suresh Balaje and George Pius collaborated with Paris' Why Not Productions' "Dheepan", directed by Jacques Audiard, for shooting in India.
Balaje, who will be walking the Cannes red carpet with the film's crew, said: "It feels good to have worked with Jacques Audiar's 'Dheepan'. We have a great production talent in India and some of the finest film shooting locations. I'm very confident that India can make a global footprint with its production strengths."
Portions of "Dheepan", which is about the immigrant experience in France with a Sri Lankan Tamil warrior getting a job as a caretaker in Paris, were shot in Rameshwaram, Mandapam and Ooty.
One of the 19 films in the Cannes competition section selected from all over the world, "Dheepan" also stars Chennai-based theatre artiste Kalieaswari Srinivasan in a pivotal role. The hero's part is essayed by Sri Lankan Antonythasan Jesuthasan, who is settled in France.
Over a dozen Indian artistes, including assistant directors have contributed to the making of "Dheepan".
Apart from this Indian connect, the Cannes International Film Festival will screen Punjabi film "Chauthi Koot", directed by Gurvinder Singh; and "Masaan" helmed by debut director Neeraj Ghaywan in the Un Certain Regard Section.
Wide Angle Creations has also worked executive production on shooting in India for French film "Son Epouse", directed by Michel Spinosa.
The 68th Cannes film gala will be held May 13-24.
NMDC slashes iron ore prices
New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) State-owned mineral producer National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) on Saturday slashed its lump iron ore and fine iron prices by 6.15 and 20.32 percent respectively.
Post the cut, effective for the rest of the month, prices of fine iron were reduced by Rs.500 per tonne to Rs.1,960 per tonne while iron ore prices were reduced by Rs.200 per tonne to Rs.3,050 per tonne.
Last month, the mineral producer fixed the price of iron ore at Rs.3,250 a tonne for lump and Rs.2,460 a tonne for the fine variant.
This is the first time the company, which revises the prices in the beginning of every month has announced the price cut in the middle of the month.
The price cut follows a global price reduction of iron ore at $47 per tonne with a demand reduction from China, which is the largest iron ore consumer.
Subsequently, the Indian industry also asked the Centre for a price revision to keep up with the trend.
New treatment holds best option for stroke patient
Toronto, April 18 (IANS) For its ability to reduce the incidence of disability, a procedure called endovascular therapy (ET) could be the best option for many stroke sufferers, says a study co-authored by an Indian-origin doctor.
"Endovascular treatment using stent retrievers will become the standard of care for patients with acute ischemic stroke," said Mayank Goyal from University of Calgary in Canada.
The clinical trial randomised 196 patients to receive either t-PA, a clot busting drug, or tPA plus ET.
ET is performed by inserting a thin tube into the artery in the groin, through the body and into the brain vessels to the clot. This is done under image-guided care using an X-ray.
The clot is then removed by a retrievable stent and pulled out, restoring blood flow to the brain. Overall, positive outcomes for patients increased from 35 percent to 60 percent, the researchers noted.
The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Squirming actually helps hyperactive kids learn
New York, April 18 (IANS) Think twice before you slam a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to sit still and concentrate. Researchers have found that the foot-tapping, leg-swinging and chair-scooting movements are vital to how such children remember information and work out complex tasks.
The findings show the longtime prevailing methods for helping children with ADHD may be misguided.
"The typical interventions target reducing hyperactivity. It is exactly the opposite of what, we should be doing for a majority of children with ADHD," said one of the study's authors, Mark Rapport from University of Central Florida.
"The message isn't 'Let them run around the room,' but you need to be able to facilitate their movement, so they can maintain the level of alertness necessary for cognitive activities," Rapport explained.
The findings suggests that a majority of students with ADHD could perform better on classroom work, tests and homework if they are sitting on activity balls or exercise bikes, for instance.
The study included 52 boys aged eight to 12. Twenty-nine of the children were diagnosed with ADHD and the other 23 had no clinical disorders and showed normal development.
Each child was asked to perform a series of standardised tasks designed to gauge "working memory," the system for temporarily storing and managing information required to carry out complex cognitive tasks such as learning, reasoning and comprehension.
"What we have found is that when they are moving the most, the majority of them perform better," Rapport said.
By contrast, the children in the study without ADHD also moved more during the cognitive tests, but it had the opposite effect: They performed worse.
The study appeared online in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.
'Terrorists are common enemies of Pakistan, Afghanistan'
Islamabad, April 18 (IANS) Visiting Afghanistan army chief General Sher Muhammad Karimi on Saturday praised the Pakistan Army by labelling it as one of the "world's best armies".
General Karimi was the chief guest of 132nd passing out parade of the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) in Kakul, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, ARY News reported.
"Pakistan Army is ranked amongst the world's best armies and I feel proud to attend the passing-out ceremony of Pakistan Army cadets," he said.
This is the first time in the history of the Pakistan Military Academy that any foreign military chief has attended its passing out parade as the chief guest.
During his address, Gen. Karimi emphasised the need for close cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan to combat terrorism in the region.
"Terrorists are the common enemies of Pakistan and Afghanistan and we must ensure backing and support of our peoples in order to win the war against these non-state actors," he said.
Karimi said the region faces the greatest threat from terrorists and militants, "who do not recognise any boundaries and have no religious or moral values".
"Our region has suffered from war of four decades but the objective of peace is very much attainable," he added.
The Afghan army chief arrived in Pakistan on Friday on a two-day official visit for talks on bilateral security issues.
It is his second visit to Pakistan in nearly four months. He last visited Pakistan in December just days after the Taliban attacked an army-run school in Peshawar and killed over 140 students and staff.
Gen. Karimi met his Pakistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif on Friday and discussed border management and defence cooperation amid growing military-to-military contacts, the military said.
Kochi nursing job scam runs into Rs.200 crore: CBI
Kochi, April 18 (IANS) The CBI has estimated that the Kochi nursing employment scam runs into nearly Rs.200 crore.
A Central Bureau of Investigation source told IANS that a Kochi-based agency, for some time recruiting nurses for Kuwait, was collecting from them Rs.19.5 lakh each instead of the service charge of Rs.19,500.
"We have served a notice to the owner of the agency who is in the Middle East to join the probe on Monday," said the CBI source.
Additional District and Sessions Judge B. Kalam Pasha, after going through the case diary, expressed shock over its contents and denied anticipatory bail to Protector of Emigrants (PoE) L. Adolfus.
The central agency took up probe into this case last month after an Income Tax raid at the private recruitment agency based here revealed that it was collecting huge sums as recruitment fees from nurses selected for employment in Kuwait.
The CBI stepped in after a nurse who was recruited and paid the fees to the agency, decided not to take up the job. When she approached the PoE for help to get her money back from the recruitment agency, she got a cold response.
"Let us see, if the agency owner appears before us on Monday...," added the CBI source who did not wish to be identified.
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Revathi likes Zoya Akhtar's kind of films
Mumbai, April 18 (IANS) Known for helming issue-based movies, filmmaker-actress Revathi says she'd love to direct a project on the lines of Zoya Akhtar's brand of cinema -- like a "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara".
Revathi told IANS: "I would love to make the kind of films Zoya makes. 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara' was an exceptional film. It also did well at the box office."
"I think it's a talent to write such a film. I don't know if I have the talent to write something like that, but let's see. I think it will take some time for me."
Revathi has directed films like "Phir Milenge" and "Mumbai Cutting".
She says she hopes to start her new directorial, a Malayalam film, next year.
"The story that I have written fits the Malayalam scenario. I am a lucky once who can make a Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam film as I connect with all the three languages," said Revathi, who is being lauded for her role in "Margarita With A Straw".
Suman Talwar enjoyed action scenes with Akshay Kumar
Mumbai, April 18 (IANS) Actor Suman Talwar, who has featured in over 150 films in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam, will be making his Bollywood debut as a villain in "Gabbar Is Back". He says the fight sequences with Akshay Kumar in the film weren't tough.
"Akshay recommended my name for this film. I had a great time shooting for this film. I had no difficulty in shooting with Akshay as he is also trained in martial arts, and the action in this film is very real," Suman told IANS.
"Gabbar Is Back" is directed by Krish and produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Viacom 18 Motion Pictures. Featuring Akshay and Shruti Haasan in the lead, the film, which is a remake of the 2002 Tamil film "Ramanaa", is slated to release on May 1.Suman looks back at his 37-year-journey in the southern film industry, he said: "It has been a learning experience. It's my dream to work with Amitabh Bachchan I have met him once and his dedication towards his work inspires me a lot."
In "Gabbar Is Back", Akshay will be seen as a vigilante, a righteous man and an enemy of the corrupt.