Month: September 2015

Supermoon Eclipse! – Total Lunar Eclipse – 28 September, 2015

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Supermoon Eclipse! – Total Lunar Eclipse – 28 September, 2015

For LinkedIn - Total lunar eclipse 28 September 2015

In the early hours of Monday, September 28, a Total Lunar Eclipse will be visible from North and South America, Europe, Africa and parts of Western Asia. This eclipse coincides with a Perigee Moon. This is when the moons elliptical orbit brings it to its closest point to Earth making the moon look slightly larger in the sky.
Observers in Western America will witness the eclipse at moonrise. With the moon rising with already half of the umbra shadow across it, the low altitude of the moon will enhance the ‘supermoon effect’ even further. The moon will be low enough for some fantastic photographs of the eclipse as a backdrop to buildings and trees or anything else on the ground that you might want to image alongside the eclipse!
Timings:
UT+4.5 (Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi)
Partial Eclipse Begins 05:37
Partial Eclipse Ends 06:27
Do not miss out. Capture it and share it with us at

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Team1PassionatePhotographers/

This is a photo of moon taken this evening using Sony HX400V camera.

Mind Speaks – Mmmm… To write or not to write

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For LinkedIn - mind speaks - mmm to write or not to writeWelcome to read a new edition of Mind Speaks titled Mmm….To write or not to write.

Although, I have been coming out to you through various forms, “Mind Speaks” through “No News” is one special section of my creativity that I cherish doing periodically. It is similar to asking anyone interested in cricket about the beauty and enjoyment of playing and following a Test match. This gives me sufficiently large space to promote what I am promoting all the time in a detailed way than what I do every day. Of course, it all comes to certain small and mundane things of creativity, safety, social values or “whatever”, as someone could leisurely write and read off.

Inspire: No matter if the world stand still, continue with what you are doing. This is what I am trying to do these days. I do it from within, for my own enjoyment. As you see it, I do not do what I don’t enjoy and here is another edition of No News detailing those simple efforts in my own way.

I always believe that an individual’s life must benefit society. There should be some social purpose along with personal. Otherwise, according to me it remains meaningless. We are all in some way or another, blessed with worldly fortunes of different kind. Do not remain contended at that point.

I am in a hibernation mode during the last few days. There are some life realities which are disturbing me. Those are the current financial situation that is happening to some of my friends and known contacts. They may not be the only one in that situation in this current times of difficulties. Everyone is suffering. My humble suggestion to all those who are in that state, is to communicate with friends and family. It can bring out solutions. Do not wait till you run out of options and dig deep yourself in to tougher times with no possible escape route. Especially to young boys and girls. These days, the advantage of easy communication is turning out to be a real disadvantage. Whatsapp, Snapchat…. you name it and you have it as many as you wish! It is just because the conversation is very short and it may not convey the triviality of the situation you are in. At times, due to the large quantities of messages, the receiver may tend to ignore it totally or quick read it and reply in short. This is dangerous. If ever you feel you are not comfortable with your life situation, take time to meet those whom you trust, talk to them in person and try and find solutions how you can come out of it as a winner.

Eid holidays, a bit of travel here and there, and rest of the time working on a dream project. As usual and as I say, I am playing it in my mind, fine tuning it. A musical fusion programme to be presented to a large audience in the 1st week of October. The invocation has already been done to the lord and I am sure it will materialise well.

In my life, I have faced several obstacles. However, I did not deter from life goals. What inspired me were some simple steps of encouragement or support from those whom I regularly interact with in several community issues. Like, the words of one of my friend, who calls me at the middle of the night and tells me, there is a problem with the check-in system at the airport. I have identified corrective solutions for it, and have taken pictures of the present conditions. Please help me to submit it to the right authorities, so that the conditions could be improved in future. Or my friend, who write to me with photos saying that in his area, there are no playgrounds for children. But there is an open space which could be converted to a small playground. How do we go about it? Or another one more interesting sms from a friend – “I am seeing a series of unwarranted activities happening in my area and feel ashamed to remain quiet. What do we do to resolve it? Or even the more pressing and timely pathetic conditions of the roads in Banglore! Driving on those road, even during my short visits and short duration, I pity those who have to commute daily to work on those roads!

Why we as a community tend to live with such situations and do not raise our voice  collectively to have the responsible authorities create a commutable road network? Our time is money and time has come to stop ignoring it forever and live with it. One relief is that not all are keeping their eyes, ears and mouth closed to such situations.

There are inspiring gestures that shows that people silently acknowledge me for the constructive social efforts that are being diligently carried out for the last few years.

In any case, small action leads to bigger joyous happening. Yes, the journey began in a small and singular way is gaining momentum and reaching bigger and wider regions and masses.

Create an attitude at heart with intentions of welfare and selflessness added to it. This is the prime thought when there is some action happening from my side. In our epics, stories indicate how man’s mind reacts to others’ happiness and sorrows. Instead of feeling jealous about others’ prosperity one should feel happy and join him in his success. Similarly, one should show concern when encountering others in distress and try to give them solace. While noticing someone drowning in a river one rushes to save him spontaneously without deliberating whether he is one’s friend or enemy. Likewise our heart must automatically sympathise with the distressed. Good fortune and happiness in this life is due to God’s grace and meant for sharing with others not for one’s edification only. Broadmindedness, concern for others and selflessness are virtues which should be inculcated in children from an early age. Man’s intellect has its limitations and he cannot know everything on his own or learn only from his experience. So, it is always good to look at elders or experienced for guidance and inspirations to mould one’s life to a suitable format. One should not have reservation about learning from others and in the realm of learning, age should not be a deterrent. History has shown several examples of elderly person seeking knowledge from young and mastering important values and virtues in the process.

Utilise your talent or knowledge without inhibition and if you have a good or bad experience, taking cue from this note, do take a few minutes of your time to share it so that it becomes an added learning example for many.

God bless you all and have a great journey ahead.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

@rameshmenonauh

Fill it, Dig it, Forget it! – Kadugodi Whitefield Road that WORKS

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In an year how many times this small stretch of road at Kadugodi Whitefiled has been filled, digged again and then left like that! Pathetic! Even the tractor guys are finding it difficult to drive. So you can imagine how difficult it is for cars and two wheelers. The way the work for pipeline is being carried out at one point here, I feel, very soon, they will find oil here! No one can drive. Not to forget the speed at which the two wheelers ride on these roads. So, imagine the plight of those elderly or children who walk through this stretch to the Volvo Bus stand or Whitefield Railway station. Authorities – please open your eyes and do a neat job, once and for all.

IMG_20150924_090649 IMG_20150924_090700 IMG_20150924_090718 IMG_20150924_090721 IMG_20150924_090746 IMG_20150924_090759 IMG_20150924_090853 IMG_20150924_090954 IMG_20150924_091007 IMG_20150924_091034 IMG_20150924_091039 IMG_20150924_093922 IMG_20150924_093932 IMG_20150924_093943

News U Wish to Read – 20th September 2015

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News U Wish to read  - 20 September 2015

Sunday, 20th September 2015

Note: News U Wish to Read is a press review compilation and only covers articles published in the press, in the UAE and India. Its purpose is to keep us informed of important news items which we all wish to not miss. Enjoy reading the below news items and links. More sections will come as it takes shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Energy


UAE oil and gas jobs on the wane amid price rout and regional security concerns

The National

Recruitment is waning in the UAE’s oil and gas sector amid the oil price rout and regional security concerns, a new report says. According to the Monster Employment Index report for last month, the index reading for online listings of oil and gas jobs in the UAE fell about 30 per cent to 73 from 103 in August last year. In the Middle East, hydrocarbons industry job postings declined 21 per cent. Monster, a New York-listed recruitment company, said the employment slowdown was not surprising given the global ramifications and the sector’s current hiring freeze. “While the UAE is putting firm actions in place to manage the global crunch, I do expect that hiring recovery in this sector will require some time,” said Sanjay Modi, the regional managing director of Monster.com. Oil prices continue to trade below US$50 per barrel, down from peaks of more than $110 last year. This has led to several companies cutting their capital expenditure, including downsizing their workforces.

Published: 17th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/uae-oil-and-gas-jobs-on-the-wane-amid-price-rout-and-regional-security-concerns


Saudi Aramco names new chief executive

Bloomberg

Appointment made at initial meeting of supreme council. Amin Al Nasser was named president and chief executive of Saudi Arabian Oil Company, known as Saudi Aramco, at the first meeting of the newly created supreme council, the executive board managing the world’s biggest oil producer. The council also approved a five-year business plan at the meeting held overnight in Jeddah, the company said in a statement yesterday. Mr Al Nasser in May was named interim chief executive, replacing Khalid Al Falih who became chairman and health minister. The supreme council is restructuring the Dhahran-based company, which is no longer under the oil ministry. Mr Al Nasser is also on the board, below the supreme council. “More appointments are expected,” Mohamed Ramady, a London-based independent analyst and former professor of economics at King Fahd University for Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran, said. “Many senior vice presidents retired lately and no replacements have been announced so far.” Saudi Aramco has the ability to pump 12 million barrels of crude per day, and is steering Opec to record production to keep market share amid a global glut. Brent crude was little changed at $49.79 per barrel yesterday

Published: 17th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/saudi-aramco-names-new-chief-executive


Prepare for 15 years of weak oil prices, says Goldman Sachs

The National

A glut of crude may keep oil prices low for the next 15 years, according to Goldman Sachs.

There’s less than a 50 per cent chance that prices will drop to $20 a barrel, most likely when refineries shut in October or March for maintenance, Jeffrey Currie, head of commodities research at the bank, said in an interview in Lake Louise, Alberta. Goldman’s long-term forecast for crude is at $50 a barrel, he said. Goldman cut its crude forecasts earlier this month, saying the global surplus of oil is bigger than it previously thought and that failure to reduce production fast enough may require prices to fall near $20 a barrel to clear the glut. Prices may touch that level when stockpiles are filled to capacity, forcing producers in some areas to cut output, Mr Currie said on Wednesday. “When we think of the longer term oil price, yes we put it at $50 a barrel,” he said. “However the risks are to the downside given what’s happening in the other commodity markets and the macro markets more broadly.”

Published: 17th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/prepare-for-15-years-of-weak-oil-prices-says-goldman-sachs


Abu Dhabi a symbol of the future, says Solar Impulse co-founder

The National

The capital of the UAE is a symbol of the future, the co-founder of a project to circumnavigate the world in a solar-powered aircraft told an audience on Monday. “Abu Dhabi is an oil producer that is diversifying to clean energy technologies and I think it is the perfect symbol,” said Bertrand Piccard, who was in the capital after being named the first Middle East Solar Industry Association Ambassador. Solar Impulse 2, the plane onboard which Dr Piccard and his co-pilot and co-founder, Andre Borschberg, are attempting the world first, took off from Abu Dhabi last March. Next year, the plan is for the plane to finish its journey where it started. As the team waits to resume the flight, Dr Piccard commended Abu Dhabi for looking ahead. “The goal is not to attack what exists. The goal is to support new ways of doing in diversification, and I like this approach.”

Published: 14th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/abu-dhabi-a-symbol-of-the-future-says-solar-

impulse-co-founder


Deregulation of fuel prices a key moment for UAE energy policy

Gulf News

The introduction of the deregulation of fuel prices in the UAE is a key moment for energy policy in the UAE and has made the nation a pioneer in energy exporting nations in the area of energy subsidy reform, a top official from the Ministry of Energy said in Fujairah on Thursday. “While energy subsidies can generate short term benefits, they lead to greater adverse consequences, impeding market functions, creating artificial prices, decreasing sustainability and limiting the growth of clean energy,” said Matar Al Neyadi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Energy and Chairman of the Gasoline and Diesel Prices Committee. Speaking at the 5th Gulf Intelligence Energy Markets Forum in Fujairah, Al Neyadi said that the decision to deregulate fuel prices aligns the nation with its strategic vision to preserve natural resources and increase long term sustainability. “This step places the UAE on par with countries that follow sound economic methodologies, promote a responsible energy market and provide a sustainable future for generations ahead.”

Published: 17th September 2015

Read more: http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/deregulation-of-fuel-prices-a-key-moment-for-uae-energy-policy-1.1585904


Abu Dhabi bio jet fuel project nears test stage

Gulf News

Washington: An initiative to produce environmentally friendly aviation jet fuel in Abu Dhabi is progressing. Construction on a one-acre trial farm located in Abu Dhabi that will grow the fuel producing plant, will be finished in the next three to four months, a Boeing executive said on Tuesday. Boeing, together with Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s Takreer, the Masdar Insitute and Total, has been working since January 2014 to develop biofuel in the emirate. Julie Felgar, Managing Director, Environmental Strategy and Integration at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, told reporters on a video call “a small pilot project” will start when construction on the test farm is completed in three to four months. “We’ll take one year to 18 months to run through a couple of harvest rotations and see what the opportunities are in being able to scale that up,” she said. The Abu Dhabi project is one of 19 biofuel ventures Boeing is involved in around the world, developing jet aviation fuel based on biological processes like agriculture or waste as a means to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. In Abu Dhabi, a halophyte plant called salicornia bigelovii, that generates oil that can be used to make the biofuel, will be planted in the test farm.

Published: 16th September 2015

Read more: http://gulfnews.com/business/aviation/abu-dhabi-bio-jet-fuel-project-nears-test-stage-1.1585301


Other Sectors


UAE financial markets to observe Eid Al Adha holiday during Sept 23-26

Khaleej Times

The Eid Al Adha holiday for UAE financial markets will begin on Wednesday, September 23, 2015, and trading will resume on Sunday, September 27.  This was announced by the Securities and Commodities Authority based on circular No. 38 of 2015, issued by the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, FAHR, on the holidays of Eid Al Adha.

Published: 16th September 2015

Follow: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/markets/uae-financial-markets-to-observe-eid-al-adha-holiday-during-sept-23-26


Air travel may become affordable for aam aadmi as Modi government proposes cap on fares

Economic Times

The Narendra Modi government plans to cap airfares between small towns and cities in an ambitious proposal to throw open the chance of air travel to millions of Indians dependant on crowded ground transport. A proposal under consideration by civil aviation ministry will allow airlines to bid for the right to operate flights between hundreds of small towns and cities located within one hour of flying distance from each other.  Airfares between these cities will be capped at Rs 2,000 or Rs 2,500 per passenger. The balance will be paid back to these companies by the government through the levy of a cess on national and international flights. A senior civil aviation ministry official said that India can become the third-largest aviation market in the world, if it makes its 300 million middle class Indians fly at least once a year through these initiatives.  The plan is part of the new civil aviation policy that is likely to be out for public consultation by the end of this month and has the in-principle approval of

Prime Minister Narendra Modi..

Published: 19th September 2015

Follow: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/transportation/airlines-/-aviation/air-travel-may-become-affordable-for-aam-aadmi-as-modi-government-proposes-cap-on-fares/articleshow/49019234.cms


Politics & Economy


Intra-regional capital inflows help UAE

Khaleej Times

Increased capital inflows from Middle East and North Africa and GCC markets help the UAE offset a decline in funds coming from emerging markets, particularly Russia,  while the country remains the only net importer of private capital in the Gulf, a leading investment management company said on Monday. Despite a drop in Russian capital inflows, the UAE, with its safe-haven status and strategic position as a hub between Asia and Africa, continues to be the main beneficiary of inflows of private capital into the GCC region, Invesco said in its Middle East Asset Management Study. “An example of a rapid year-on-year reversal in sources of capital inflows is the decline in private capital coming into the UAE from emerging markets, including Russia. Last year’s study showed inflows from emerging markets at 58 per cent, dropping down to 41 per cent this year. Flows from Russia in particular are thought to have been affected by the decline in the rouble reducing the buying power of affluent Russians in the UAE real estate and tourism sectors,” said Nick Tolchard, head of Invesco Middle East. “This decline in Russian capital inflows may be cyclical given the strong and ongoing ties between Russia and the GCC,” Tolchard said at a media roundtable.

Published: 15th September 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/intra-regional-capital-inflows-help-uae


Global Economy: A recession is around the corner

Khaleej Times

The united States of America is often referred to as the Big Brother due to its economic impact on both developed and developing countries every time there is a recession or fear of recession hitting it. Being one of the world’s dominating economies, many factors contribute towards setting a trend for either bulls or bears to walk on Wall Street. Even though recession is not new to the Big Brother, it is bad news both for it and countries that depend on a bullish US economy. So, will history repeat itself soon? Is it time for bears to take over Wall Street? The crash of the world’s major stock markets (Black Monday) on August 24 pushed indices to the year’s lowest point. Experts are citing many reasons. Some blame China’s economic downturn and its falling stock market for kick starting global recession as it is one of the largest economies.

Published: 15th September 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/a-recession-is-around-the-corner


India escapes the worst of emerging markets misery

Khaleej Times

Three years ago India was the weakling of the emerging markets clan, politically stagnant and struggling to grow – but as gloom engulfs other developing economies, the subcontinent is enjoying a moment in the sun. Brazil and Russia lie deep in recession and South Africa is teetering on the brink after demand for raw materials collapsed, while alarm bells have sounded over fears the China juggernaut may be faltering. Enter India, once dubbed the Broken Bric, as the core group is known, now poised to become the fastest-growing G20 economy, expanding at a respectable seven percent, with its finances nourished by cheap oil. “If you look at the growth numbers, India is definitely doing better than these other economies,” Kunal Kundu, an economist at Societe Generale in Bangalore, told AFP. “China is in slowdown mode and Brazil and Russia are in trouble because they are commodities-dependent. We are seeing India as the standout.”

Published: 15th September 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/india-escapes-the-worst-of-emerging-markets-misery


India insulated from economic fallout, Arun Jaitley says

Economic Times

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said despite a global slowdown and its impact on countries, India remains insulated from the economic fallout and stands out as a “brighter spot”.  “India is not a part of the Chinese production chain, significantly. In fact, the two segments – commodities and oil – that been adversely affected certainly don’t adversely impact India (which is) a net importer,” Jaitley said last night at The Singapore Summit 2015 here.  “Therefore, the more we see a low price regime, the more India continues to benefit. Not withstanding the slowdown globally, we do stand out as one of the brighter spots,” he was quoted as saying by The Straits Times.

Published: 19th September 2015

Read more: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/India-insulated-from-economic-fallout-Arun-Jaitley-says/articleshow/49022331.cms


Community, Environment & Society

A look at marine animals in the UAE: sea turtles

The National

The Arabian Gulf is blessed with amazing marine life, including dugongs, dolphins, turtles and sharks, not to mention 500 species of fish. In a five-part poster series launching this week, Oasis takes a closer look at a different marine animal, starting with sea turtles. With the help of a local marine biologist, we will provide some surprising facts about these creatures, highlight identifying features and give tips on how UAE residents can help protect them. Next week we feature dolphins.

Published: 17 September 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/arts-lifestyle/a-look-at-marine-animals-in-the-uae-sea-turtles

Technology

Facebook launches newsgathering tool Signal

The Hindu

In a move to take on micro-blogging site Twitter, which is the biggest source of breaking news for journalists, Facebook has launched an innovative  newsgathering tool that will help reporters scan and file stories from the ocean of information on Facebook and its photo-sharing site Instagram. Called Signal, the free tool will help journalists track relevant trends, photos, videos, and posts from nearly 1.5 billion Facebook users and Instagram’s 300 million users for storytelling and reporting.

Published: 18th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/internet/facebook-launches-first-newsgathering-tool-for-journalists/article7664559.ece


Education+


GoodReader is just what a bookworm needs

The Hindu

GoodReader is a text and PDF file reader that saves you the bother of scrolling for text, but its not without problems. Every person who loves reading books has, at some point or the other, wanted to read books while on the go. Unfortunately, the screens on these smartphones have all been way too small to make reading comfortable for anything more than a screenful or two. Even reading long email messages can be a strain on the eyes. It doesn’t help that many e-books are formatted for a full screen, so they require vertical and horizontal scrolling to read. Thankfully, GoodReader exists, and only costs about a dollar.

Published: 15th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/goodreader-is-just-what-a-bookworm-needs/article7655396.ece


Sports – Campaign PASS


Campaign PASS (Promote All Sports Simultaneously) is an initiative started through my blog to promote all sports(other than cricket – which gets lot of attention) and sports personnel associated to give them more exposure.


PM’s knowledge on sports leaves Saina surprised

The Hindu

Saina briefed the Prime Minister about her silver medal winning feat at the World Championship and becoming world number one. Star shuttler Saina Nehwal was left mighty impressed with Narendra Modi’s knowledge on sports and said the Prime Minister made her feel like a family member when they met ahead of his 65th birthday. “The meeting lasted for about half an hour and I was surprised that he knew about my family and my game so comprehensively as if he was a family member,” Saina told PTI a day after gifting the Prime Minister one of her racquet’s on the eve of his birthday.

Published: 17th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/prime-minister-narendra-modis-knowledge-on-sports-leaves-saina-nehwal-surprised/article7662306.ece

Hope you enjoyed reading the above news items and links. More sections will come as it take shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Regards,

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

@rameshmenonauh

www.clicksandwrites.com

News udpate – UAE mourns the death of Shaikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Posted on Updated on

UAE Mourn the death Shaikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al MaktoumShaikh Rashid, son of Shaikh Mohammed, dies of heart attack

Khaleej Times

UAE President mourns the death of Shaikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and expresses his sincere condolences and sympathy to Shaikh Mohammed and Maktoum family.  Shaikh Rashid Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the eldest son of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, died of heart attack on Saturday. He was 34. Dubai Media Office has tweeted that funeral prayers will be held after Maghrib Prayers at Zabeel Mosque in Dubai. Burial will take place at the cemetery in Umm Hurair, Dubai. The government has declared three days of mourning and flags at half mast.

Published: 19th September 2015.

To know more about him: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashid_bin_Mohammed_Al_Maktoum

Photo Speaks – Delegate & Relax

Posted on

Are you working under pressure? Then Delegate & Relax!    RM

I love photography and I believe

Every photo clicked is a history. One will never be able to re-create that precious moment.

Let these photos and quotes make your day inspiring.

Like it and share it.

Photo Speaks – Discipline

Posted on

The discipline you learn and character you build from setting and achieving a goal can be more valuable than the achievement of the goal itself                                                                                       Bo Bennett

I love photography and I believe

Every photo clicked is a history. One will never be able to re-create that precious moment.

Let these photos and quotes make your day inspiring.

Like it and share it.

News U Wish to Read – 6th September 2015

Posted on Updated on

Sunday, 6th September 2015

Note: News U Wish to Read is a press review compilation and only covers articles published in the press, in the UAE and India. Its purpose is to keep us informed of important news items which we all wish to not miss. Enjoy reading the below news items and links. More sections will come as it takes shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Energy

Saudi Arabia said to be studying gasoline subsidy cut

The National

Saudi Arabia’s government is studying whether to cut state subsidies that keep domestic gasoline prices at some of the lowest levels in the world, a major Saudi newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying. Al Watan’s Saturday edition quoted the sources as saying Saudi authorities had been considering the issue for several years, but the matter had taken on additional importance after the UAE reduced subsidies and allowed gasoline prices to rise last month. Saudi Arabia cannot leave gasoline prices at their current ultra-low level indefinitely, because that would hurt the economy, the sources added. The newspaper did not elaborate on when the government might reach a conclusion on the issue, and it did not give details of the possible reform. But it quoted Fahad al-Anazi, deputy chairman of the economic and energy committee in the Shura Council, a top state advisory body, as saying any changes to subsidies would have to be accompanied by other measures to preserve public welfare, such as the provision of cheap public transport. Because higher gasoline prices could lead to inflation in other goods, Mr Anazi suggested the government might introduce new subsidies for some food and other consumer items, or distribute cards allowing some people to purchase fuel at subsidised prices. Such subsidies would be provided to Saudi citizens rather than the large number of foreigners in the country. Economists estimate that removing subsidies on gasoline would save the kingdom nearly 30 billion riyals (Dh29.38bn) annually, Al Watan reported.

Published: 6th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/saudi-arabia-said-to-be-studying-gasoline-subsidy-cut

UAE, India energy ties to reach new level

Gulf News

Energy cooperation between India and the UAE is set to reach new heights with both countries deciding to set up a joint working group on hydrocarbons, petrochemicals and fertilisers. The new development comes after the visit of UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to India on Thursday. During his visit, Shaikh Abdullah met a number of senior officials and co-chaired the Meeting of the Joint Commission with Sushma Swaraj, India’s External Affairs Minister. Speaking to reporters in New Delhi during a press conference which was streamed live, Anil Wadhwa, secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India said both the countries will look for investment opportunities in the hydrocarbon sector. “There was discussion on the investment opportunities in the upstream and downstream projects in the UAE by the Indian companies and third countries of mutual interest. The UAE has also expressed interest to participate in India’s strategic petroleum reserves,” Wadhwa said. India is a major importer of crude oil from the UAE. It imports about 270,000 of crude oil per day from the UAE with the country being the sixth largest supplier of the commodity to India.

Published: 3rd September 2015

Read more: http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/uae-india-energy-ties-to-reach-new-level-1.1578124

Other Sectors

Big opportunity in small & payment banks for IT cos: Nasscom

Economic Times

Industry lobby Nasscom sees a “massive opportunity” for the domestic tech companies in payments banks and small finance banks, but warned the industry that they need to find out innovative solutions to help these lenders ensure cost-effective delivery of services.  “It is a massive opportunity in a country like ours. It is not only a massive opportunity, it is also one with incredible scope for innovation and creation of new kinds of products which are relevant for our development,” Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar told PTI here over the weekend.

Published: 6th September 2015

Follow: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/ites/big-opportunity-in-small-payment-banks-for-it-cos-nasscom/articleshow/48844421.cms

Politics & Economy

 

G20 pledges to keep economic recovery on track

Khaleej Times

The G20 group of top world economies on Saturday said that global economic expansion was slower than had been expected but expressed confidence that a recovery would gain momentum. “Global growth falls short of our expectations. We have pledged to take decisive action to keep the economic recovery on track and we are confident the global economic recovery will gain speed,” finance ministers and central bank chiefs said in a draft communique after their two-day meeting in Ankara. The group vowed to “carefully calibrate and clearly communicate our actions to minimise negative spillovers, mitigate uncertainty and promote transparency” as key global economies search for robust growth. The economic supremos also vowed to “refrain from competitive devaluations and resist all forms of protectionism”, following controversy over China’s unexpected devaluation of the yuan last month. China’s move had rattled financial markets and also amplified concerns about its own economic slowdown and drastic loss in value of its stock market. “We reiterate our commitment to move toward more market-determined exchange rate systems and exchange rate flexibility… and avoid persistent exchange rate misalignments,” it said. The statement called on governments and central banks not to over use interest rates as a tool for boosting economic activity and instead implement fiscal policies to support growth and job creation. “Overreliance on monetary policy will not lead to balanced growth,” said a copy of the communique obtained by AFP which still needs to be formally approved by the ministers.

Published: 6th September 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/g20-pledges-to-keep-economic-recovery-on-track

Etihad Airways Becomes Founding Member Of UAE Business Council In India

The National

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has been announced as one of the Founding members of the UAE-India Business Council. The airline was represented by Hareb Al Muhairy, Senior Vice President Corporate and International Affairs; Abdul Qader Hussein Ahmed, Vice President Government and International Affairs, and Neerja Bhatia, Vice President India and the Indian Subcontinent. James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “India is a crucial market not only for Etihad Airways but the UAE itself and therefore we welcomed the opportunity to become a founding member of the UAE Business Council in India.

Published: 4th September 2015

Read more: http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395285017054.html

Saudi Arabia to cut public spending

The Hindu

Saudi Arabia’s finance minister Ibrahim Alassaf yesterday confirmed for the first time that the kingdom will cut public spending, as the country attempts to weather the low oil price that has blown a US$120 billion hole in its finances. “We have built reserves, cut public debt to near-zero levels and we are now working on cutting unnecessary expenses while focusing on main development projects and on building human resources in the kingdom,” Mr Alassaf said n an interview with CNBC Arabia. “There are some projects like the ones that have been approved a few years ago and haven’t been carried out until now – that means such projects are not currently necessary and can be delayed,” he said. Not all projects would be cut at the same pace, Mr Alassaf said. “Projects in sectors such as education, health and infrastructure are not only important for the private sector but also for the long-term growth of the Saudi economy.” This marks the first time since last year’s oil price collapse that a high-ranking government minister has publicly said that the government will reduce infrastructure spending. The oil price fell to $42 per barrel last month, down from about $110 per barrel in mid- 2014. The kingdom needs an oil price of about $100 to cover its spending.

Published: 6th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/saudi-arabia-to-cut-public-spending

 Community, Environment & Society

 

45 UAE servicemen die in Yemen

The National

The Government last night declared a three-day period of mourning, for the 45 servicemen killed in Yemen on Friday.  The General Command of the UAE Armed Forces said the personnel died while performing their national duty as part of the Saudi-led Arab coalition in support of the legitimate Yemeni government.  It is understood the men died when a rocket attack at dawn on Friday on an ammunition store for the 107th Brigade caused several explosions that resulted in the deaths of Emirati and Yemeni soldiers.  President Sheikh Khalifa mourned the brave Emirati soldiers who were killed in Marib in Yemen in defence of truth and justice, stae news agency Wam reported. The President said the men were defending the oppressed during the performance of sacred duty within the Arab coalition forces.  Hours after the attack, UAE Air Force fighter jets launched strikes on Houthi targets.

Published: 4th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/government/20150904/45-uae-servicemen-die-in-yemen

The UAE’s wildlife app Charles Darwin would have wanted

The National

If Charles Darwin had a smartphone he would probably have downloaded the Collector for ArcGIS, a free app being used by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) to help record species of wildlife in the UAE. The app is created by Esri, a US-based supplier of geographic information system (GIS) software and geodatabase management applications. It’s a tools that people can use to make the EAD’s work easier. “There is definitely the possibility of one of the users discovering a new species, or an observation of a species that we thought was extinct,” said Anil Kumar, director of information management at the EAD. “That’s the idea behind the app, for people to help us in science.” The EAD hopes that people use the app for the possibility of discovering new species and to get the public to help in conservation efforts in the UAE. The app allows users to record an animal or plant seen, in real time, record whatever information they know about it and then upload it to the EAD for analysis. The app is available for download for Android and Apple devices.

Published: 28th August 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/502c-and-its-getting-stickier

The UAE’s wildlife app Charles Darwin would have wanted – graphic

The National

If Charles Darwin had a smartphone it is likely that he would have downloaded the Collector for GIS, an app being used by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi to help discover new species of wildlife in the UAE.

Published: 6th September 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/the-uaes-wildlife-app-charles-darwin-would-have-wanted—graphic

Go green

The Hindu

Interested in saving the environment? The Centre for Science and Environment can provide the training and information you’ll need.

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), which was established in 1980, focuses on advocacy by spreading awareness on issues concerning the environment. The CSE primarily conducts research with the intent to simplify facts relating to the environment for laymen. “Our advocacy is why we do the training. We disseminate information gathered at our research unit,” says Sharmila Sinha, Deputy Programme Manager, Environment Education, CSE. The CSE periodically conducts training sessions for the industry, NGOs, government officials and students. Summer schools are organised annually for Indian and international students as well as young professionals. Students aged 18 years and above, with a background in environment are generally preferred. The screening process includes a telephonic interview and a review of the statement of purpose. The intake of students for the courses is typically 20 to 25. The summer school, Agenda for Survival, is held every year in June. It focuses on the politics and policies of environment and development in India today. The CSE has various units that conduct research across different segments, including water. General training courses for consultants, students, professors and NGOs are conducted in areas of rainwater harvesting and decentralised waste water treatment. The CSE also conducts webinars. The CSE also has an online portal, http://csestore.cse.org.in, where a wide range of books on the environment can be purchased. For example, it has specific material and books on the Ganga and mining. Interesting titles on diverse topics include Environment History Reader (understanding environment concerns from a historical perspective), Heat on Power (green rating of coal-based power plants) and Building Sense: beyond the green facade of sustainable habitat.

Published: 5th September 2015.

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/features/education/college-and-university/go-green-cse-shows-the-way/article7619400.ece

Technology

Microsoft to buy startup focused on worker efficiency called VoloMetrix

Economic Times

Microsoft on Thursday said it was buying a startup that specializes in analyzing email, meeting schedules and other work data to increase people’s efficiency on the job.  Microsoft did not disclose financial details regarding its acquisition of Seattle-based VoloMetrix.  “I am excited about this big step forward in our company ambition to reinvent productivity and business process, and how it will deliver new value to our customers with organizational analytics,” Microsoft Outlook and Office 365 corporate vice president Rajesh Jha said in a blog post.

Published: 3rd September 2015

Read more: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/software/microsoft-to-buy-startup-focused-on-worker-efficiency-called-volometrix/articleshow/48794449.cms

 Education+

Great students make great teachers

The Hindu

Will your students look back and remember you as the person who shaped their lives? A great teacher is one a student cherishes forever. Teachers have a longlasting impact on the lives of their students, and the best students inspire their teachers, too. Years ago, as a young, eager student, I would have told you that a great teacher was someone who provided classroom entertainment and focused very little on discipline and assignments. Now, after working for 35 years in education including 26 years of heading institutions and related administrative experience and having been involved in hundreds of teacher evaluations, my perspective has changed. My current position as a professor of higher education gives me the opportunity to share what I have learnt with current and future college faculty administrators and through friendly banter with my postgraduate students about what it means to be a great teacher.

Published: 6th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/features/education/great-students-make-great-teachers/article7619381.ece

 Sports – Campaign PASS

 

Campaign PASS (Promote All Sports Simultaneously) is an initiative started through my blog to promote all sports(other than cricket – which gets lot of attention) and sports personnel associated to give them more exposure.

India crushes DPR Korea in 7th Women’s Junior Asia Cup

The Hindu

The Indians continued in the same vein in the second half and pumped in as many as seven more goals. India started their campaign at the seventh women’s Junior Asia Cup on a resounding note by humiliating DPR Korea by 13-0 in Changzhou on Saturday. Without wasting much time, India’s Preeti Dubey opened the scoring in the 11th minute before Jaspreet Kaur successfully converted a penalty corner in the 20th minute to take a 2—0 lead. India kept up the pressure and scored the third goal through a field effort from Navneet Kaur in the 24th minute. Captain Rani Rampal then scored a field goal in the 28th to make the scoreline 4-0 in favour of the Indians. Lily penetrated the opponents defence and smacked the fifth goal for India in the 31st minute followed by another field goal by Punam Barla as India went into halftime with a comfortable 6-0 lead. The Indians continued in the same vein in the second half and pumped in as many as seven more goals.

Published: 5th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/7th-womens-junior-asia-cup-hockey-championship-india-crushes-dpr-korea-130/article7619603.ece

Hope you enjoyed reading the above news items and links. More sections will come as it take shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Regards,

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

@rameshmenonauh

Teachers Day Wishes – a tribute to all teachers in my life

Posted on Updated on

Presentation1 - LinkedIn - Teachers Day

5th September – birthday of Dr S Radhakrishnan (2nd President of India) is celebrated as Teachers Day in India. Sincere pranams to all teachers. I consider myself as blessed to have many eminent teachers within my family and close friends circle. Presenting them here. If you know them, welcome to write a thank you note to them.

In this photo are:

First line from left to right:

Late Komalavalli teacher, National High School Irinjalakuda, my father’s elder brothers wife. Very affectionate to all of us.

Late Vijayalakshmi Menon, teacher Oxford School Bangalore, Our Own English High School Abu Dhabi, my mother in law, if you ask me who was one person who read me best, I will name her. And if I tell you, who took her emotions, actions an attitude the best, it was me! I consider myself to be the luckiest person in the world, when I was able to be with her during the last 7 days of her life in this world!

Late Ashtamichira P A Narayana Menon, Head Master, Ashtamichira school, an eminent educationist, who gave his land to build the school, my wife’s grand father.

Late Korambu Subramanian Nampoothiri, Priest Peruvanam Temple, and a visionary Mridangam teacher, who conceived the concept of Mridanga Meala, he was my mridangam master, who, during those days, walked 14 kms to come to our home and teach Mridangam to me and other students. The basis of my love for Music is indebted to him.

2nd line from left to right

Radha Teacher – as everyone calls her affectionately – National High School Irinjalakuda, my father’s elder sister, a task master and strict disciplinarian, with lots of love for students as well as family members.

Kallyanikutty Teacher – Thankamani teacher – CNN Boys High School Cherpu – my mother, who used to travel changing 3 buses to go to her school to teach. I remember those days during strikes, she used to walk about 14 kms to reach home!. Never ever came home empty handed during any festival, bringing gifts to all of us, including all the relatives. Affection personified.

Devi Teacher – Teacher LBSMHS Avittathur – my father’s younger sister, an adorable person with lots of love for family and students, always leave her mark with her polished interactions. Incidentally, my late mother in law and her used to be roommates in the college hostel during their days!.

Geetha Teacher – Teacher National High School Irinjalakuda, my all time favorite, from our childhood days had a very close bond with her and by gods grace it remains like that and forever.

Shyam Kumar and Soudhamini Shyamkumar – Husband and wife team, Mini works for Sandeepani Vidhyanikethan in English department and Shyam Communicative English Faculty at ST.Joseph Public School ICSE Aloor, Kodakara, who are so gentle and natural, always affectionate and willing to devote their time for students, cousins from my wife’s side.

Lakshmikutty Shivadas – Head of Department English Department Vimala College Thrissur, English is not our mother tongue, but no one can beat her and her mastery over the language, my wifes aunty.

Rema Vijayamohan – Teacher in Sharjah, a very close family friend.

Parvathy Mam, Teacher Our Own English High School Abu Dhabi, my son’s teacher, my mother in laws colleague, more than that a great, humble and simple human being.

Meena Jayaraman – Head Teacher Kendriya Vidyalaya Bangalore, again a person whom I respect a lot since the time I met her, and her loving husband Jayaraman, the connection continues strong forever.

Ammu Menon – Teacher Bangalore, my wifes aunt – she is beauty personified with brilliance, you ask how many students successfully pass through her personal coaching, no count, and by now, I think it must be more than thousand or more! She and her trademark bindi is famous.

Bhanu Teacher – Teacher – from my father’s side, a person who is simple and remembered by her students.

Fr Fancis Kurissery – Head of Department Christ College English Department and currently responsible for Amala Medical college and institutions, if you ask me who I will remember till and after my death among teachers, he is one of them. There is lot of wavelength and inspiration from his action to all his students including me. He used to be the hostel warden during our days and lucky are those batch!

God bless all of them with good health, peace and prosperity. For all those departed, they are always in my mind as those many other students whom they taught and left a life long mark.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Saturday, 5th September 2015

Financial planning – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 05 September 2015

Posted on

It was Onam, the harvest festival of Keralites on Friday. I attended a traditional Onam lunch. It is always a great feeling taking part in such cultural activities.

The main attraction of the celebration was the traditional Onam feast, ie. Sadhya. A sumptuous lunch with a long list of curries served on a plantain leaf. All in traditional style.

As we were having the lunch, one of the dignitaries was addressing the crowd. He mentioned the value of money. These days we are hearing of several people affected by huge financial problems. Rich and ordinary alike are suffering because of poor financial planning.

His speech reminded me of KV Shamsudheen’s untiring community effort to teach the general public about the perils of bad money management and the importance of systematic financial planning in life.

Money is precious. Handle it carefully. It is hard to earn and easy to lose.

Ramesh Menon

To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today Online