Goa declared best honeymoon destination by Travel & Leisure India magazine

Yet another time, Goa Tourism has won honours at an awards function recently hosted by leading travel magazine Travel & Leisure India and South Asia edition, where the Western Indian state was declared as the Best Honeymoon Destination, Best Family Destination, Best Leisure Destination and the Best Party Destination for India and South East Asia.

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Valsala Vijayan Deputy Resident commissioner Goa Sadan receiving these awards on behalf of Goa Government from the hands of Ambassador of Portugal, Jorge Roza de Oliviera at a function held on March 31,2014 in New Delhi.

According to a statement issued by GTDC, Goa had not only bagged four awards in various categories but also emerged as Runner Up for Best Wedding Destination. The awards were conferred on March 31, 2014 at a function held in New Delhi. The T&L Awards are considered to be one of the most prestigious awards in the Travel, Hospitality and Leisure sector and winning five awards at this is a great achievement for the state, especially so following so close on the PATWA award.

While speaking about Goa’s achievement, Dilip Parulekar, Tourism Minister, Goa said: “I am very happy to note that Goa has won prestigious awards in so many categories. This matches with our aim of promoting the state as an all-round, 365-day destination and is a recognition to several steps taken by tourism department. In 2013 our tourist arrival figures went up by 12% compared to the previous year and we are optimistic that with all the initiatives taken by Goa Tourism, the number will increase further this year around”.

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Goa Tourism bags PATWA award at ITB Berlin, Germany

Goa Tourism repeated its winning streak when it bagged the PATWA Award for the ‘Best Destination in Relaxation, Watersports and Entertainment.’ in a glittering function held at Saal 9, ICC building Berlin held on the sidelines of  ITB Berlin, Germany on March 6, 2014.  The award was accepted on behalf of Goa Tourism by Brijesh Manerkar, OSD, Department of Tourism, Goa, according to a statement issued by GTDC.
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Speaking on the award, Dilip Parulekar, Minister for Tourism  said: “I am delighted to receive this award for the second time in a row. The award is recognition of path-breaking initiatives undertaken by Goa Tourism, such as introduction of Single Window System for Watersports activities on Beaches, Single Window System for according permission for Music festivals and Tourism events, as a result of which Goa managed to attract high profile Music festivals, weddings, etc. thereby cementing its place as India’s No.1 destination for Relaxation, Entertainment and Watersports.

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Goa Tourism has been laying stress on World Class infrastructure Tourism and several Tourism projects have been initiated which will revolutionise Goa Tourism in the years to come. What is more, it is a matter of great pride that an International Body like PATWA has recognised the excellent work carried out by Goa Tourism”.
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PATWA was established during the PATA Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The aim of PATWA is to promote professional development of travel writing and travel communication which makes invaluable contribution in the promotion of tourism. PATWA will support the fundamental objectives of PATA efforts for tourism and at the same time it will maintain adherence to the fundamental principles of the UNESCO, United Nations and of the World Tourism Organisation.
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The members of the Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA), adhere to the Fundamental Principles of the United Nations, UNESCO and the World Tourism Organisation (WTO).

INSPIRED BY

– The wish to get acquainted with all human beings, to get to know countries and people, their habits, customs, history and civilization.
– The aspiration that commands people to live in good benevolence, co-operation and peace.
– The evolution of social living standards and the ceaseless development and process of communication to an extent when tourism becomes an essential need for the people.

Nirbhaya, the award winning play based on Delhi rape begins its India tour on March 17, 2014

NIRBHAYA (Fearless in Hindi), the award-winning play based on the Delhi rape and the true life experiences of its performers, is beginning its India tour on March 17, 2014. The play took the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013 by storm, garnering unprecedented media attention and sweeping up prestigious awards such as the 2013 Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award, a prestigious Scotsman Fringe First and a coveted Herald Angel Award.
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Directed by the globally acclaimed Yael Farber, the play is a thought-provoking theatre production. Seven actors (Ankur Vikal, Japjit Kaur, Poorna Jagannathan, Priyanka Bose, Sapna Bhavnani, Sneha Jawale and Rukshar Kabir) comprise the extraordinary ensemble cast of NIRBHAYA. Five of these artists share their own true testimonies, the remaining two performers evoke the key people, while the events of the night of December 16 and what followed in its wake.
NIRBHAYA is a blistering evocation of the events that changed countless lives and a nation. The India tour, made possible through crowd funding and some key partners coming together, comes fresh on the heels of its sold-out London run at Southbank Centre, as part of the Women of the World festival. The India tour of NIRBHAYA is presented by Teamwork Arts. It would not have been possible to bring this show to India if it were not for our Kickstarter donors and our partners: British Council, UN Women, Oxfam, Ford Foundation, South African Airways, GAIL and UNESCO. Time: 7:30 pm (18th-20th March). Where: NCPA, Mumbai. Tickets can be booked at kyazoonga.com/TheatreAndArts/nirbhaya/909/6.

LabourNet plans to empower one million Indian labourers in the informal sector by 2020

LabourNet, India’s leading Social Enterprise focusing on ‘Real Income Increase’ and ‘productivity’ of the unorganised sector workforce, today announced it plans to provide vocational training to about a million unorganised workers across the country, in a span of next six years.

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Despite India making remarkable progress in IT and establishing world-class institutions like, IITs, IISc and IIMs majority of the 500+ million workforce in India continue to exist in the unorganised or the informal sector, with poor work conditions, no or few work contracts and social security benefits, says a company statement.  
In an interview, Gayathri Vasudevan, CEO of LabourNet talks about her firm’s inception, vision and going forward, the plans and more to Jayashankar Menon. Excerpts:
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JM: How can you fix the existing gap in the system?
GV: Having impacted close to 80,000 workers in the unorganised sector, we already have the required expertise to positively influence over 100,000 lives every year through education, training and decent work services. What is more, the existing gap in the system can be fixed only by holistically creating an ecosystem which will address every aspect for workers in the informal sector and we at LabourNet are striving to achieve this.
JM: What is the plan of action you had chalked out to address this situation?
GV: LabourNet, India’s top Social Enterprise, has identified this grave situation and has chalked out a plan to impart one million workers with necessary education, skill sets, financial and social empowerment.  The identified three verticals in which training will be provided by us include Services, Construction and Manufacturing. In addition to this, we provide skill development training in areas that encourage micro-entrepreneurship.  
JM: What are the various trades you provide training to the workers?
GV: The various trades we provide training include leather, rubber, jewellery carpentry, masonry, shuttering carpentry, electrical wiring, plumbing, painting, crane operator training, fork lift operator, general machine maintenance, bar bending, Press operators, Fitters, beauty & hair care, safety training and more. We are actively exploring at Agriculture sector as it employs in excess of 50 percent of the informal sector workforce.
JM: Unlike in the past, employers are looking for valid certifications from applicants before hiring, besides the relevant functional and industry skills. Will LabourNet offer that cover to the workers?
GV: LabourNet offers services that cover, counselling and assessment, based on which relevant work integrated vocational training and education is provided.  Upon completion, certificates are issued, followed by providing of WORK- Self, work contracts and full time employment. We have established partnerships with close to 100 corporates across the country.
JM: Can you talk about LabourNet, its inception and achievements?
GV: LabourNet was set up in 2006 as an initiative of Movement for Alternatives for Youth Awareness (MAYA), a non-governmental organisation based in Bangalore. It began largely as an effort to provide a one-stop platform for unorganised sector workers to obtain services which are currently available and accessible by formal sector workers. Today, LabourNet has revamped itself into a Social Enterprise to make it more sustainable and provides required benefits for workers in the informal sector through a holistic platform.  
Furthermore, its sustainable model is an end-to-end solution through a built-in 4E – Empowerment by blending Education, Employability and Employment.  It is structured and in synchronisation with the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) and the mandate set up by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). LabourNet’s solution won ‘Sankalp’ Award for ‘highly scalable social models’, ‘Best Upcoming Partner’ by NSDC for 2012-13, Best Practice Recognition for ‘Assessment Tools’ 2013 by NSDC.

PRCI – 8th Global Communication Conclave Mumbai, TAFE bags ten awards

India’s second largest tractor manufacturer and the Aon Hewitt – Best Employer in India (2013), Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited (TAFE) group bagged ten awards at the PRCI – 8th Global Communication Conclave held at Mumbai on February 14 and 15, 2014, according to a company statement.

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Sunitha Subramaniyan – DGM, Corporate Communications and Vijayakumar Browning – GM, Corporate Communications, TAFE, receiving an award from Sanjeeb Patjoshi – IPS IG, Director – VAMNICOM, Pune, at the PRCI – 8th Global Communication Conclave, held at Mumbai, on the theme ‘Responsible Communication’.
The Public Relations Council of India (PRCI) in association with The Press Club, Mumbai, hosted the two-day conclave on ‘Responsible Communication’ recognizing various professionals, corporates and organizations for their outstanding communication efforts, including CSR initiatives, corporate events, corporate collateral and advertisements for the year 2013. TAFE group emerged as the runner-up in the ‘Champion of Champions’ category with the second highest number of awards and rating, including one gold, six silver and three bronze awards.
Mr. Vijayakumar Browning, GM Corporate Communications, TAFE, an eminent communications professional with an experience of over two decades in the communications field, was inducted into the ‘PR Hall of Fame’; top ten ranking professionals across India are chosen every year for this recognition.

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TAFE Corporate Communications Team (front row L-R) represented by Kishore CS – AM, Sunitha Subramaniyan – DGM, Shivam Rai – AM and Vijayakumar Browning – GM, Corporate Communications, TAFE, receiving the ‘Champion of Champions – Runner up’ Award  from Dr SN Pathan – VP, ICCR, Ministry of External Affairs and Sanjeeb Patjoshi – IPS IG, Director – VAMNICOM, Pune, at the PRCI – 8th Global Communication Conclave, held at Mumbai, on the theme ‘Responsible Communication’.
The recent public service campaign of TAFE, ‘Voice Against Noise’ – an initiative held at Chennai against unnecessary honking and to promote responsible use of horn in motor vehicles, was awarded gold in the category Public Service Campaign. TAFE’s popular online news portal TAFECAFE.org – one of the first real-time online corporate news-sites in the tractor industry received the silver award.
Further, TAFE received silver awards for categories like Corporate Publication, Wall Calendar, Diary (small); and bronze awards for Tabloid Newsletter, Corporate Advertisement (single language), and TAFE Motors and Tractors Limited (TMTL), the wholly owned subsidiary of TAFE, won the silver award for Television Commercial and a bronze for Table Calendar.  PRCI, a pan-India organization of PR, advertising and media professionals, academicians, forums, institutions, and corporates, organised its 8th Annual Global Communications Conclave, which was attended by communication professionals from various parts of the world.

The $ 1.6 billion company is the world’s third largest tractor manufacturer, the second largest in India by volumes, with an annual sale of about 150,000 tractors, and the Aon Hewitt Best Employer in India 2013. It manufactures a range of tractors in the sub 100 HP segment in both the air-cooled and water-cooled platforms and markets them under its three iconic brands – Massey Ferguson, TAFE and Eicher. Its over 1,000 strong distribution network covers the entire length and breadth of India. Apart from India, its products have found excellent acceptance in over 80 countries across the world, including developed countries in Europe and the Americas.

TAFE is committed to the total quality movement and three of its tractor plants are certified under both, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. It has been the recipient of a number of accolades and awards. Apart from tractors and farm machinery, TAFE manufactures diesel engines, batteries, hydraulic pumps and cylinders, panel instruments, gears and transmission components.

MSOSA’s Hinglish play: The Good, The Bad and The Bolly (Wood) in Delhi from February 21-23, 2014

A Hinglish play, The Good, The Bad and The Bolly (Wood) by “Free Parking Entertainment”, an initiative of MSOSA (Modern School Old Students Association). This is MSOSA’s 50th Annual Production being held at Kamani Auditorium, Copernicus Marg, from February 21-23, 2014 from 7:00 PM. According to a media statement, entry is free and the nearest Metro Station is Mandi House.
Cast
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The cast comprises of old Modernites and some well known theatre personalities including Ashok Dhawan, Pradip Kukreja, Geeta Sudan, Roopak Kathpalia and Vidushi Mehra. With the aim of sustaining and strengthening the spirit of their old school, MSOSA takes great pride in the history the school shares with the Nationalist Movement of the country and also the fact that the school was set up in 1920 as an experiment in education with the belief that growth is inherent in all dynamic ideas.
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A product of visionary heads, the school is secular in nature and believes in the close interconnection of the physical, moral and intellectual as its axiom of a sound system of education. Even today it continues to produce and nurture builders of a modern India. It is MSOSA’s consistent aim to bring together all Modernites amid events that are akin in nature to the ethos of their Alma Mater, while providing them a Platform to contribute their best collectively as a fraternity.
Ensemble
Free Parking Entertainment is an ensemble of Actors, Directors, Writers, Film Makers, Musicians and other creative personnel working toward a common goal of creating and spreading thought provoking and captivating entertainment. It’s a team of young thespians namely, Arnav Nanduri,  Pranay Manchanda and Kabir Nath, known for their award winning, fast paced and highly energetic productions. The Good, The Bad and The Bolly (wood) has been adapted from a Woody Allen classic and promises to entertain people with its eccentric characters and brisk pace.
Sponsorships will be used for Scholarships for the education of meritorious and needy children from the underprivileged sections of society in Modern School, Barakhamba Road from class VI to XII. For further details, visit freeparkingentertainment.co.in.

GIIS Global Citizenship Scholarship shaping the dreams of Indian students

Global Schools Foundation, a non-profit organisation based out of Singapore creates an opportunity for aspiring students from India to study in the flagship campus of Global Indian International School, Queenstown, Singapore by offering merit based scholarship, according to a statement.
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Nishi Anand receiving her IB Diploma certificate from GOH Singhania.
The GIIS Global Citizen scholarship was instituted in 2008 for Indian students to complete junior college (Year 1 and 2) in International Baccalaureate (IB) and (Class XI and XII)  Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) at GIIS Queenstown, a campus that has carved its name in the South Asian countries for outstanding academic results. Coupled with commendable placements in leading universities of the US, Australia, the UK and Singapore GIIS has won 30 national and international awards of academic excellence in school education.
Global toppers
GIIS is perhaps the only Indian school to have produced IB toppers globally. Apoorva Sachdeva bagged a perfect score of 45/ 45 in IB in 2008 from GIIS Queenstown and secured admission in the University of Berkley.  She is now working with IBM Singapore.  Another IB topper, Nishi Anand scored 45/ 45 in 2011 is a scholarship holder from Jamshedpur, a city in Jharkhand. Her world opened up as she moved to Singapore and her exposure through project based learning, entrepreneurial workshops and leadership lecture series helped her to hone the practical and life skills along with superior academics. Career counselling being an important aspect of junior college, Nishi was slowly moulded to achieve her dreams. She went on to receive scholarship from Georgia Institute of Technology in engineering.
“My teachers have always motivated me to do my best. Today I can proudly call myself a GIIS alumnus because of the numerous opportunities that have been provided to me which has prepared me for the challenges of life.” Said Nishi. Currently, the young lady is a Business Technology Analyst Summer Scholar at Deloitte. Other scholarship holders like Subir Roy and Sudip Roy with brilliant scores in IB and SAT are now studying in the prestigious School of Social Sciences, Singapore Management University. Another story is that of Mayank Kumar from Purniya, a small village in Bihar, who stood second in GIIS Singapore with exceptional results in CBSE and is now preparing for scholarship to universities in USA. The scholarship has not only been his passport to study in one of the fastest growing economies of the world but a stepping stone to pursue excellence in the global arena.
“We believe that students in India have a lot of potential and being a school of excellence at the global level, I feel that it is our moral responsibility to offer education at our flagship school at GIIS Queenstown to deserving students to shape their future. We have been offering scholarship to students for the last 6 years and with great pride and satisfaction I can say that all of them have done well for themselves. There is no secret recipe to winning. The success of the students lies in meticulous planning, intense academic rigour, and expertise of teachers”, says  Atul Temurnikar, Chairman and Co-founder of Global Schools Foundation.
The GIIS Global Citizen Scholarship for the Academic Year 2014-16 will soon be announced and it is open to the whole nation and written exams are held in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Noida, Ahmedabad, Indore, Surat, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai. The scholarship includes an  amount of S $ 90,000, onetime return airfare + visa fees, tuition fee, boarding and lodging at the hostel, one time settling allowance of S $500 and S $ 200 per month for pocket expenses.
Global Indian International School (GIIS) – established under the aegis of Global Schools Foundation (2002) is an international network of award-winning institutions, with 20 campuses in seven countries. Global Schools Foundation has been delivering world-class education and has produced world toppers in International Baccalaureate (IB) and the 5th world ranker in Central Board of Secondary Education (India). GIIS chain offers holistic learning and personality development opportunities for students. GIIS India campuses are currently spread across Noida, Bangalore, Indore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune and Surat with plans of expanding in five more cities. GIIS has been honoured with 30 international and national awards over a span of five years for achieving excellence in school education. Today, GIIS boasts a strong multicultural student body, comprising 52 nationalities

Rahul Bajaj receives Rotary Life Time Achievement Award in Leadership Excellence

Leading industrialist, Rahul Bajaj, Chairman of Bajaj Auto Limited is the proud winner of Lifetime Achievement Award, conferred by Rotary International at the Rotary District 3131 Conference 2014. According to the statement issued by Rotary International, the ‘Rotary Life-Time Achievement Award in Leadership Excellence’ is a coveted recognition from Rotary International, which is given to extra-ordinary achievers from across the globe.
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(L-R) PDG Rotarian Mukesh Arneja, Rotary International President’s Representative, Padma Vibhushan Dr Ragunath Mashelkar, DG Dr Deepak Shikarpur, District Governor.
Rahul was presented with the award by Padmavibhushan Dr RA Mashelkar in the presence of District Governor, Dr Deepak Shikarpur and Rotary International President Representative, Mukesh Arneja from Delhi. On accepting the honour, Rahul said: ‘It is indeed a great honour to be bestowed with this prestigious award by the Rotary International’. On the occasion, Rahul addressed the Rotarians on ‘The Way Forward for the Indian economy’ and presented many of his insights on the subject.
Rahul was the only person felicitated with the Life-time Achievement Award in the year 2013-14 Conference, in recognition of his distinguished business, philanthropic and academic contributions in India over the years, noted the statement. Rahul is recognised as one of the most successful business leaders of India. He heads the Bajaj Group of companies, which is a leader in a variety of manufactured products and financial services in India and abroad.
CSR efforts
The industrialist has also  been  instrumental  in spear-heading  the CSR initiatives  of the Bajaj  Group which include the Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation, Shiksha Mandal and a number of social organisations including the Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust and Ruby Hall Clinic, a large hospital in Pune as their Chairman.
What is more, Rahul has received many prestigious awards and recognitions, notable being the award of ‘Padma Bhushan’ by the Government of India in 2001, Alumni Achievement Award by the Harvard Business School and Life Time Achievement Awards from Economic Times, Ernst & Young and CNBC TV18. In fact, Rahul was appointed Knight in the Order of the Legion of Honour by the President of the French Republic. Rotary International is a world-wide organisation of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world.   An estimated 1.2 million  Rotarians  belonging  to more  than  31,000  Rotary  clubs are  located  in over  167  countries.  Rotary International District 3131 is spread over two revenue districts of Maharashtra, Pune and Raigad. There are 100 Rotary Clubs in this region with a membership of more than 4,000 Rotarians.

IITM 2014 Kochi: Goa Tourism bags best creative stall award held in Kerala from January 31 to February 2

At the IITM 2014 Exhibition held in Kochi, Kerala from January 31 to February 2, Goa Tourism won the best creative stall award.

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Dilip Biswas, Vice President, Sphere Travelmedia & Exhibitions Private Limited presented the award to Goa Tourism officials, Ramachandra Phadte, Francis Pereira, Assis Sacrafamilia and Gokuldas Naik.

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Volkswagen Polo receives 4-Star Global NCAP safety endorsement for Indian market

According to test results released by Global NCAP, the Volkswagen Polo is the safest hatchback its segment (the ‘A2 Compact’ segment, as per Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers classification) in India.
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Volkswagen recently announced the fitment of dual front airbags as standard equipment on all versions of the Polo, in India. With dual front airbags, the Volkswagen Polo secured a 4-Star safety rating for adult occupant protection, in crash tests conducted by Latin NCAP. This is the highest safety rating for any car in the premium hatchback segment in the country.
Keeping in mind the increasing speeds on Indian roads, longer driving times, traffic complexities and therefore the need for more active and passive safety systems as standard on a car, Volkswagen now provides dual front airbags as standard across all variants of the Polo. An anti-lock brake (ABS), another significant safety feature, is also available as standard equipment on the Polo Comfortline and Polo Highline variants, a company statement said.
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During a Road Safety Conference in Delhi, David Ward, Secretary General of Global NCAP said: “We welcome Volkswagen’s decision to include airbags in each version of the Polo in India. It is encouraging to see that, fitted with two airbags as standard, the Polo offers adults four-star protection. The result shows how important it is for cars to meet international safety standards and for consumers to choose vehicles that offer good levels of protection as standard”.
With Global NCAP’s endorsement of its car’s safety, Volkswagen would like to reiterate its commitment to the Indian consumer and continue with its resolve to offer products that boast outstanding build quality, high levels of technology, and best-in-class safety features. Volkswagen, a leading carmaker in Europe, sells its broad model range, from the up! to the Phaeton, in more than 150 countries worldwide. The German auto maker also offers the Polo, Vento, Jetta and Passat in India.