I may have resigned if note ban was thrust: Rajan

Sep 7, 2017 0

New Delhi–Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said on Thursday that he would have resigned if the demonetisation decision was thrust on him but made it clear that the government can bypass the central bank if it wants to push ahead with such a decision.

“It (demonetisation) happened in 1978. Government brought in demonetisation through an ordinance. The government can completely bypass the RBI,” he told the media ahead of the launch of his book “I do what I do – On Reform, Rhetoric and Resolve” in the capital.

Asked what he would have done if the government wanted to bring in demonetisation and whether he would have said “No, only over his dead body”, Rajan replied the government does not need the RBI’s nod and if it still wanted to go ahead with it, “then the only option is – take my resignation”.

Raghuram Ranjan

“It is not fair to answer this question unless you are in that position. Any civil servant, regulator or a central banker…to the extent they have to implement a policy they don’t believe in, basically (they) should not be sabotaging the policy because it is for the elected government to do what it wants. The only option is opting out.”

Rajan said during his tenure in the RBI, which ended in the first week of September last year, “absolutely there was no date fixed for implementing demonetisation”.

In his book, Rajan has talked of an informal verbal discussion with the government on demonetisation that was announced on November 8 last year.

Rajan said if the government wanted to implement demonetisation without disruption, then it should have all the currency it wanted to replace from day one.

Asked about his views on the impact of demonetisation on the economy, he prefaced his reply with a caveat that he would be extremely careful about what he would say because the country still did not have all the data.

But he did concede that the note ban did affect the economy and eat into investment and threw out a lot of business on the margins.

“We don’t knock the economy for a six. We don’t do that,” he said.

He said while the intent of the government in doing demonetisation was to bring a lot of people not paying taxes into the tax net, the Rs three to Rs four lakh crore extra that has come into the formal banking system would cost the RBI because interest has to be paid on that sum. While tax compliance was welcome, the short term impact of the note ban decision was it could have cost the GDP growth by 1 or 1.5 per cent.

While successive finance ministers have tried to go after tax dodgers, the government could find some way of doing it better but “avoid a shock like demonetisation”, he said.

While the unaccounted money was serving the economy, by now coming into the banking system it would involve an interest outgo of Rs 20,000–Rs 22,000 crore a year. Also the dividend payment of RBI has come down from Rs 65,000 crore by half.

The former RBI Governor said the move to link Aadhaar with bank accounts was welcome subject to concerns expressed by the Supreme Court judgement in the privacy case, which he described as “splendid”.

To questions about what was discussed between him and the government before he exited from the RBI and whether he would have liked to continue for another term, Rajan said as his tenure was nearing an end he wanted to know from the government about their plans for him as he would have to tell the University of Chicago from which he had taken leave.

He said it would be inappropriate for him to give the details of the discussion, but did acknowledge that there was no agreement between the two sides.

In fact, he said, he wanted to continue at the helm of the RBI to work on two things — banks clean up and the Monetary Policy Committee. “I was open.”

He dismissed a report by a noted columnist recently that the Modi government was open to giving a fresh term but leave considerations in the University made him hesitant. “False,” he said on the report, adding that the University would have given him leave if he had wanted. (IANS)

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Vasant Narasimhan appointed CEO of pharmaceutical giant Novartis

Sep 6, 2017 0

Basel, Switzerland – Vasant Narasimhan has been appointed CEO of pharmaceutical giant Novartis. He will replace current CEO Joseph Jimenez, who has informed the Board of Directors of his desire to step down as CEO in 2018, after eight years in position.

The Board of Directors has appointed Narasimhan, M.D., Global Head of Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer, as CEO of Novartis, effective February 1, 2018. Dr. Narasimhan is a member of the Executive Committee and joined Novartis in 2005.

Mr. Jimenez, who has been CEO since 2010, joined the company in 2007. He first led the Consumer Health Division, and then held the position of Division Head, Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Jimenez will step down as CEO, effective January 31, 2018, and will be available for advice and support at the request of the Chairman of the Board of Directors or the CEO until he retires from Novartis on August 31, 2018.

Joerg Reinhardt, Chairman of the Novartis Board of Directors, commented, “I would like to express my sincere appreciation for Joe’s achievements as CEO. During his tenure, Joe focused Novartis on leading global businesses, while divesting non-core divisions. Under his leadership the innovation pipeline was rejuvenated, and we successfully navigated the patent expirations of our two largest products. We anticipate a smooth transition as Joe built a strong leadership team and mentored his successor. Novartis will be well positioned to continue its momentum.”

Vasant Narasimhan

Mr. Jimenez said, “Both from a professional and a personal perspective, this is the right moment to hand the leadership reins of the company to Vas. Our strong pipeline and the strategic moves we have taken to focus the company have put Novartis on a strong path for the future. On the personal side, after 10 wonderful years in Switzerland, my family is ready to return to Silicon Valley and the US. I’m confident that Vas will be an excellent successor.”

Dr. Narasimhan has held numerous leadership positions across Novartis in commercial, drug development and strategy roles. Prior to his current role he served as Head of Development for Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Before joining Novartis in 2005, he worked at McKinsey & Company. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in the US and obtained a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In addition, he holds a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Chicago, also in the US. During and after his medical studies, he worked extensively on a range of health issues in developing countries. Dr. Narasimhan is an elected member of the US National Academy of Medicine. He is a US citizen born in 1976, married with 2 children, and lives in Basel, Switzerland.

Mr. Reinhardt added, “The strength of Novartis is our ability to drive science-based innovation. Vas is deeply anchored in medical science, has significant experience in managing the interfaces between Research and Development and commercial units and has strong business acumen with a track record of outstanding achievements. As a physician, he has a strong patient focus and a genuine humane perspective and care for the mission and values of Novartis. As a result, the Board of Directors is confident that Vas is the right choice to lead Novartis on our expected next growth phase, driving innovation and further strengthening our competitive position.”

Dr. Narasimhan said, “I would like to congratulate Joe and express my gratitude to Joe, Joerg, and the Board of Directors. I feel honored and humbled to be asked to lead Novartis. We will continue our legacy of bringing leading innovation to patients around the world. With our recent launches, our strong pipeline, broad capabilities, world-class leadership team, and committed people, I am very confident about our future.”

Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic and biosimilar pharmaceuticals and eye care. Novartis has leading positions globally in each of these areas. In 2016, the Group achieved net sales of USD 48.5 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.0 billion. Novartis Group companies employ approximately 119,000 full-time-equivalent associates.

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Modi, Putin discuss trade, bilateral ties BRICS summit

Sep 4, 2017 0

By Gaurav Sharma

Xiamen, China–Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a bilateral meeting here on Monday with trade and investment, natural gas, tourism and youth exchanges featuring in their discussions.

The two leaders, who met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit here, “basically touched upon several aspects of the bilateral relationship”, Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, briefing reporters here.

“President Putin recalled the Prime Minister’s visit to Russia earlier this year,” he added.

He said that Putin thanked Modi for India’s high-level participation at the Eastern Economic Forum, being held in Russia’s eastern port city of Vladivostok.

Both leaders discussed several aspects of bilateral issues in sectors like cooperation in the natural gas and oil sector, Kumar added.

Both sides also discussed how to promote bilateral trade and investment.

The meeting comes three months after the two leaders met, in St Petersburg for the annual India-Russia summit, and later at the SCO meeting in Astana in the same month where India was made a permanent member of the organisation.

At the St Petersburg summit, the two nations had signed an agreement on setting up Units 5 and 6 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu and decided to give a new direction to their defence cooperation.

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GST India’s biggest economic reform measure ever: Modi

Sep 4, 2017 0

Xiamen, China– Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) introduced in July this year is the biggest economic reform ever in India.

“India is changing fast into one of the most open economies in the world today,” Modi said while addressing the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Business Council meet here as part of the 9th BRICS Summit.

“Foreign direct investment inflows are at an all-time high, rising by 40 per cent,” he said.

Stating that India has moved up in the World Bank index of ease of doing business and up 32 spots in last two years in the Global Competitiveness Index, Modi said: “The Goods and Services Tax that was introduced in July is India’s biggest economic reform measure ever. In one stroke, a unified market of 1.3 billion people has been created.”

He said that programmes like Digital India, Start-up India and Make in India were changing the economic landscape of the country.

“They are assisting India turn into a knowledge based, skill supported and technology driven society,” Modi stated.

He said that the BRICS Business Council played a vital role in giving practical shape to the vision of the bloc’s partnership.

“The partnerships you have forged and the networks you have created are energising the economic growth stories in each BRICS country,” he said, while praising the council for entering into a memorandum of understanding with the New Development Bank (NDB), the multilateral development bank established by the BRICS member states.

Modi also voiced his appreciation that the BRICS Business Council has matching priorities of trade and investment facilitation, promoting skills development, infrastructure development, small and medium enterprises (SME) development, e-commerce and digital economy.

He said that the council’s work towards establishment of a BRICS Rating Agency, energy cooperation, green finance, and digital economy was noteworthy.

“Let me conclude by saying that as governments, we will offer full support to your endeavours. And we also count on the BRICS Business Council to take us closer to our common objective of improving business and investment cooperation,” the Indian Prime Minister.

The council’s meeting was also attended by host Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Michel Temer, and South African President Jacob Zuma.

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Finance to Freedom: A businesswoman finds salvation in Buddhism

Sep 1, 2017 0

By Saket Suman

Thimphu, Bhutan– Twenty years ago she was a chartered financial accountant in a fund management company in Hong Kong — and before that in New York and London — smoking cigarettes and dressing fancy. Today she wears maroon monastic clothes, her head shaven, asking people to buy her book, whose royalties go to the welfare of disabled children in Bhutan.

Emma Slade, 51, is an unusual Buddhist nun in Bhutan. The course of her life changed drastically after a visit to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, in 1997.

“I was on a business trip to Indonesia. I was staying in a lovely five-star hotel and I opened the door, only to see a man with a gun! He pushed it to my chest, I saw the door close and yes, there I was in the room with him. It was a very shattering experience which has now turned into something very useful.

“You don’t expect something like that to happen to you, especially in a five-star hotel. I was there for about three hours. It doesn’t sound a very long period of time perhaps, but I think what happened was a really very odd situation. He was there to rob me but in the end he was quite confused. We ended up being trapped in the room together. I was being held hostage by somebody who himself was trapped in many ways,” Slade told IANS in an interview on the sidelines of the just-concluded Mountain Echoes Literary Festival here.

Emma Slade, 51, is an unusual Buddhist nun in Bhutan.

This incident left a profound impact on her. Only a few days later she was shown a picture of the hostage taker, surrounded by a pool of blood. This photograph, shown to her by Indonesian police, is firmly etched in her memory.

“I escaped alive, that was a great deal. I had terrible flashbacks, experienced lots of traumatic visions. His smell lingered in my head for many, many months. The feeling of him being very near to me was hard for a long time and I had to recover from that. It did shatter my trust in the world entirely.

“I felt as if I had been very lucky to survive and that I could not go on with finance any longer. I didn’t want to go on thinking about dresses and money because I had been given, gifted and granted my life back. I sold my place, all my possessions and I just travelled around the world,” recalled Slade.

She describes this realisation — that she was gifted her life — as an important moment in her spiritual journey, one that led her to abandoning her trouser-suits and high heels to become a Buddhist nun in Bhutan.

So for the next two to three years, she was travelling around the world in quest of answers to questions that she herself didn’t know. “Probably I was just looking for myself,” she added.

“I discovered yoga, discovered this very profound feeling of being connected to the natural world, and that’s what I did for about two years around the world. Then I realised that it was time I should go into retreat and meditate. Since then most of my life has been in and around meditation and yoga,” she elaborated.

Her book, “Set Free”, narrates the tale of her extraordinary life and its changed course.

“Buddhism was of great interest to me since a very young age. Any picture of the Buddha or even the prayer flags sort of pulled me towards them. They seem to express such peacefulness. Gradually, my interest and understanding grew with time — and also my efforts. I came to Bhutan in 2011 to be in Buddhist culture, not as a separate entity with boundaries but to experience it in a natural habitat where that is the way of life,” she recalled.

Slade now splits her time between her hometown of Whistable in Kent and Bhutan. She is also learning Tibetan and has founded a charity for disabled children in Bhutan. The royalties from her book will go to this charity and she hopes to reside permanently in Bhutan soon.

She is currently the only Western woman to have been ordained as a nun in Bhutan. “Now things make a lot more sense to me,” she concluded. (IANS)

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India’s Q1 GDP growth slows down to 5.7 percent

Aug 31, 2017 0

New Delhi–Pulled down by sluggish manufacturing, growth in the Indian economy during the first quarter of this fiscal fell to 5.7 per cent, clocking the lowest GDP growth rate under the Narendra Modi dispensation, official data showed on Thursday. Industry expressed disappointment at the numbers, saying it anticipated a rebound from the ongoing quarter.

The previous low of 4.6 per cent was recorded in January-March 2014.

According to data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), India’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter at Rs 31.10 lakh crore grew 5.7 per cent over the same quarter last year. During the previous quarter the GDP had grown by 6.1 per cent.

The country’s GDP had grown at 7.9 per cent in the same period a year ago.

“GDP at constant (2011-12) prices in Q1 of 2017-18 is estimated at Rs 31.10 lakh crore, as against Rs 29.42 lakh crore in Q1 of 2016-17, showing a growth rate of 5.7 per cent,” a CSO release here said.

Pankaj Patel, President, FICCI

In terms of Gross Value Added (GVA), which excludes indirect taxes and subsidies, the growth was even lower at 5.6 per cent over the GVA for the corresponding quarter of last year.

The principal reason for the decline in growth is a fall in manufacturing sector, where GVA fell sharply to 1.2 per cent, from 10.7 per cent a year ago, Chief Statistician T.C.A. Anant told reporters here after the release of the numbers.

“Principally, the major sector that has seen a sharp decline in industry,” he said.

“The major reason for slowdown in growth at 5.7 per cent is on account of manufacturing, where GVA is largely contributed by the private sector. In all, 74 per cent of the GVA comes from corporate sector. Its performance has been poor, though the sales growth is good,” he added.

Anant said the slowdown in the first quarter to 5.7 per cent was due to de-stocking by firms as caution ahead of the GST roll-out on July 1.

He said there was a likely revival from the second quarter onwards as subsequently stocks would be restored to normal levels as the GST regime progressed.

The GVA in manufacturing was showing a declining trend from Q2 of the last fiscal, which has continued, he added.

Anant noted that another reason for the fall in growth rate was rise in costs on account of prices in intermediate inputs, which has been much higher than last year.

He said services and crop production have seen an increase in the first quarter.

The financial, insurance, real estate and professional services sectors also slowed to 6.4 percent in the April-June quarter from 9.4 per cent a year ago.

Activities that registered growth of over 7 per cent in the first quarter were trade, hotels, transport and communication and services related to broadcasting, public administration, defence and other services and electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services.

Growth in agriculture, forestry and fishing, mining and quarrying, manufacturing, construction and financial, insurance, real estate and professional services is estimated to be 2.3 per cent, (-)0.7 per cent, 1.2 per cent, 2 per cent and 6.4 per cent, respectively, during this period.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also blamed the fall in growth on the de-stocking of inventories by industry in anticipation of the GST and said this process is ending and manufacturing is expected to pick up from the current quarter.

“That manufacturing has fallen is essentially due to the anticipatory impact of GST (Goods and Services Tax). Since it came in July, most manufacturers were de-stocking,” Jaitley told reporters here, noting that services growth had, however, improved during the quarter in question.

“De-stocking of the manufacturing sector seems to have been completed, so the dip in manufacturing could be bottoming out from this quarter,” he said.

“Gross fixed capital ratio turned positive, investment improved… services improved,” during the first quarter, he added.

India Inc on Thursday expressed disappointment over slowing down of India’s GDP growth to 5.7 per cent in the June-ended first quarter of the current fiscal, as the industry was anticipating a rebound from low growth numbers.

“Growth numbers indicate a moderation in agriculture and industrial sectors. The uncertainty surrounding implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) did impact industrial production in the first quarter. However, we are confident that this effect will wane off in coming months,” said Pankaj Patel, President, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).

Industry lobby Assocham suggested the policymakers to take urgent steps to revive private investments following the recent push to accelerate infrastructure spending, to improve the business climate and (eventually) less leveraged corporates’ and banks’ balance sheets.

“Continuous fall in fixed investments, unsolved problem of banks’ NPAs (non-performing assets) in India, global policy and political risks and tightening financial conditions on account of deleveraging financial institutions and slowdown in real estate could weigh negatively,” the industry lobby said in a statement.

According to Anis Chakravarty, Lead Economist, Deloitte, the fall in the latest growth number was possibly on account of the temporary shocks in combination with an overall slowing of the economy.

“Financial services show a worsening trend, while government-led services have done well with front loading of expenditure,” said Chakravarty. (IANS)

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India, Switzerland to enhance cooperation in fight against tax fraud

Aug 31, 2017 0

New Delhi–India and Switzerland on Thursday agreed to enhance cooperation in the fight against tax fraud while acknowledging the need for a global level playing field for implementation of the international standards on tax transparency.

A joint statement issued following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Swiss President Doris Leuthard said that “both leaders emphasised their willingness to further enhance cooperation in the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion”.

“They acknowledged the importance of a global level playing field for effective implementation of the international standards on tax transparency,” the statement said.

“They noted with satisfaction the signing of the Joint Declaration in November 2016 on the implementation of Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) and, in this context, President Leuthard briefed Prime Minister Modi about the ongoing parliamentary procedure in Switzerland,” it said.

Addressing the media with the visiting dignitary after the delegation-level talks, Modi said India will continue to work with Switzerland to combat black money while the Swiss President stressed that her country has one of the strongest laws against money laundering.

“Transparency in financial transactions is an issue of concern in today’s world, whether it be black money, dirty money, hawala or arms and drugs financing,” Modi said.

“To combat this global problem, we will continue to cooperate with Switzerland,” he said.

Modi said that with two countries signing a joint declaration for automatic exchange of tax information last year, India will get such information on an automatic basis once it is internally ratified in Switzerland.

On her part, Leuthard said that the law was now with the Swiss Parliament for ratification and hoped that such information can be shared with India from 2019 onwards.

“This is important because Switzerland is, and will be, an important financial place and we have all interest to be transparent, cooperative, and a good reliable partner,” she said, adding that both her country and India can go hand in hand on this.

Leuthard said Switzerland had one of the strongest laws against money laundering and hoped other countries will follow suit.

According to the joint statement, Modi also expressed his expectation that Switzerland will implement the recommendations of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information in Tax Matters with the view to further improve mutual administrative assistance in tax matters, the statement said.

In his address to the media, the Prime Minister said foreign direct investment is an important pillar of economic cooperation between India and Switzerland. “We specially welcome Swiss investors in India.

“We agreed to continue discussions on a bilateral investment agreement. Swiss companies have a lot of expertise to partner India in its road to development.”

Modi said that in a meeting of business leaders of the two countries he attended along with Leuthard, it was clear that both sides were eager to have business-to-business collaborations.

The Swiss President said she discussed with Modi the issue of an investor protection agreement on which negotiations were underway.

Switzerland is the seventh largest trading partner for India with a total bilateral trade, including merchandise exports, bullion and IT services and software exports, of $18.2 billion in 2016-17.

From April 2000 to September 2016, Switzerland invested approximately $3.57 billion in India, thus becoming the 11th largest investor and accounting for about 1.2 per cent of total foreign direct investment (FDI) in India.

Stating that the proposed free trade agreement between the European Union and India also came up for discussion, Modi said that both sides were committed to an early conclusion of this.

He also said that both countries have agreed to work together for the full implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Following Thursday’s talks, the two countries signed two agreements on cooperation in the railway sector.

Leuthard arrived here on Wednesday on a four-day visit to India. Swiss Presidents have earlier visited India in 1998, 2003, and 2007.

Modi visited Switzerland in June 2016 in what was the first prime ministerial visit from India to that country in several decades. (IANS)

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VMware seeks government push to increase its footprint in India

Aug 30, 2017 0

By Nishant Arora

Las Vegas– With businesses in India aiming to embrace modern data centres and extend the benefits of mobility to employees, Cloud infrastructure and business mobility leader VMware has intensified efforts to engage with top-level government officials.

After establishing its presence in the country in 2005, VMware India has grown to become a strategic contributor to the company’s global innovation engine.

The R&D team in India plays a critical role in product development in all of VMware’s strategic imperatives — the software-defined data centre (SDDC), Hybrid Cloud and end-user computing.

“We make it a point to meet senior Indian leaders and officials whenever they are in the US. We met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitely and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu recently and offered to increase investment in India to enhance our footprint in the country,” Sanjay Poonen, Chief Operating Officer, Customer Operations at VMware, told IANS in an interview here.

Sanjay Poonen

“Going forward, we are set to meet senior government officials like Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant to extend support (for initiatives such as Digital India and Make in India) from our most strategic location globally, which is India,” India-born Poonen noted on the sidelines of the ongoing “VMWorld 2017” conference here.

The company’s research and development and support operations in India are second in size and scale only to those at its headquarters in Palo Alto, California.

Developers in Bengaluru and Pune contribute crucial components of VMware’s key technologies. The main technology areas are software-defined networking, virtualisation, virtual desktops, digital workspace, enterprise mobility management, cloud automation and operations monitoring.

In line with its commitment to invest $500 million in India by the end of this year, VMware in 2015 announced the inauguration of its state-of-the-art campus in Bengaluru — set up with an investment of $120 million.

The Dell-owned firm’s presence in India has now expanded to six locations, including R&D centres in Bengaluru and Pune.

“Mobility is fast changing India and the lifestyle of the next generation. The challenge ahead is to modernise data centres to meet the growing demand. VMware and its parent company Dell are looking at modernising the data centres — be it for enterprise, commercial or government,” said Poonen who will be visiting India in November.

Poonen joined VMware in August 2013 and is responsible for worldwide sales, services, ecosystems and alliances, global marketing and communications and cross-portfolio product marketing.

As enterprises the world over are moving from data centres to Cloud and desktop to mobile, said Poonen, the time is ripe for VMware to unleash its full potential in India.

“The Indian enterprises and small and medium businesses (SMBs) are looking at embracing mobile Cloud. We are capable of handling millions of devices and find no better place in the world than India to push for innovation that is at the cusp of digital transformation,” Poonen told IANS.

In July, VMware announced the opening of its first “AirWatch” data centre in India. The new data centre will deliver industry-leading AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) technology to businesses.

The AirWatch technology lays the foundation for delivering digital workspaces through “Workspace ONE”.

“Our AirWatch business is rapidly growing in India. We are looking at sectors like banking and finance, telcos and manufacturing which want efficient and modern data centres with secure end points,” said Poonen, an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Powered by AirWatch technology, Workspace ONE is an enterprise platform that empowers all employees to easily and securely use the IT tools, applications and devices they need to be successful at their jobs.

“We have a very good team in India. The Dell teams work very closely with us. We also have a credible set of partners and a robust local network that is being empowered by us. I look forward to a great India journey ahead,” the top VMware executive added. (IANS)

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Seven-eight eastern states holding India back: NITI Aayog CEO

Aug 30, 2017 0

New Delhi–Seven to eight states in eastern India are responsible for “holding back” the nation and there is a need to name and shame them, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said on Wednesday.

Kant said analysis showed that there are close to 200 districts where there was a failure in terms of education, health and nutrition.

“When we break them down, the southern and western parts of India do reasonably well, but it’s the eastern part which is totally in the red,” the NITI Aayog CEO said at the Impact Conclave here.

“So failure of India is accounted for by these states. Until you radically reform them and the 200 odd districts, it will be very difficult for India to grow,” he added.

Amitabh Kant

Without naming the states, Kant said there had been a huge failure of governance in these places. Unless they were transformed, India would “fail Sustainable Development Goals as we miserably failed Millenium Development Goals.

“We need to create a baseline survey and monitor these states and districts on a regular basis and put it all in the public domain. We need to name and shame these states and districts. We must bring it out that these are the states which are holding India back,” he said.

Kant was speaking at a two-day conclave that focuses on “Transformation after two years of Sustainable Development Goals”.

He said that with 33 per cent of stunted children in the world coming from India, there seemed to be something “seriously wrong with governance”.

“It is not about financial resources. There are schemes for women and child development, Health Department, anganwadis and Asha workers. All these schemes have been running for around 45 years and the leakage levels are so enormous that something seems to be wrong with the governance,” he added.

Kant said Indians like to work in silos unlike the Japanese “who work as a team”.

“It’s not possible to achieve nutrition goals unless Women and Child Welfare Department, Education, Health and Sanitation Departments work together.

“But at district levels, they are not speaking to each other. So you need a very high level of convergence at the field level,” he said.

Kant added that even at district level, naming and shaming was the key to force improvement at the ground level.

“We must monitor and rank everything and put them out in the public domain. We should rank district hospitals and put them out. People must know why a district hospital is performing badly.

“Shame it and shame the politicians of that district. And they must be voted out of power if they don’t turn it around,” he said.

Kant said while the Sustainable Development Goals are critical for India, even more critical was India’s ambition to grow.

“And it cannot grow without education, health and nutrition. This has to be the fulcrum around which our policies need to evolve,” the NITI Aayog CEO said.

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VMware joins Pivotal, Google Cloud for new container service

Aug 30, 2017 0

Las Vegas– Cloud infrastructure and business mobility leader VMware on Tuesday announced a partnership with Pivotal and Google for a new product that enables enterprises to deliver enterprise-grade ‘Kubernetes’ on premise with ‘vSphere’ and Google Cloud Platform.

Called Pivotal Container Service (PKS), the new offering is expected to become available in the fourth quarter this year as a stand-alone product.

Kubernetes is an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerised applications.

“VMware has partnered with Pivotal and Google to deliver an enterprise-ready Kubernetes solution integrated with VMware’s software-defined data center infrastructure,” Sanjay Poonen, Chief Operating Officer, Customer Operations, VMware, told reporters here.

Sanjay Poonen

“Pivotal Container Service is purpose-built to deliver Kubernetes that is easy to deploy and operate, ready for developer consumption, while addressing the operational needs of IT. This new solution is unique in its ability to enable developers and IT to work as one,” Poonen added.

PKS will help operations teams deliver a hardened, maintainable container platform, while giving developers on-demand access to a production-ready environment featuring high availability, security, and multi-tenancy across private and public clouds.

A critical benefit for enterprise customers will be PKS’ constant compatibility to Google Container Engine (GKE), which is continuously powered by the latest Kubernetes release.

PKS will be best suited for large- to mid-sized enterprises as well as service providers.

“Pivotal and VMware, in partnership with Google Cloud, bring you Pivotal Container Service, a powerful new way to deploy and operate Kubernetes,” said Rob Mee, CEO at Pivotal.

“We see an open hybrid cloud ecosystem forming based on many technologists and providers coming together on Kubernetes, and Pivotal Container Service is a great way to run containers and Kubernetes on premises,” added Sam Ramji, Vice President Product Management, Developer Platforms, Google Cloud.

Vmware also unveiled ‘Workspace ONE Intelligence’ — the industry’s first unified end user experience, management and security solution for all endpoint platforms.

Workspace ONE’ is an integrated digital workspace platform, powered by the VMware ‘AirWatch Unified Endpoint Management’ (UEM) technology, that simply and securely delivers and manages any app on any device.

It provides a user-centric approach to managing all endpoints in an organisation — from mobile and desktop to Internet of Things (IoT).

Customers will now have the ability to use ‘Workspace ONE’ as a single solution to enable unified endpoint management (UEM) and unify the end user experience across all endpoint platforms including Windows, macOS, ChromeOS, iOS, and Android.

“Workspace ONE Intelligence will give businesses the agility and security that is critical to digital transformation initiatives,” said Sumit Dhawan, Senior Vice President and General Manager, End-User Computing, VMware.

‘Workspace ONE Intelligence’ is expected in be available in the fourth quarter this year. (IANS)

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