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— March 2020 —

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March 31, 2020

Importance of Masks for Curbing the Spread of Coronavirus: Government of India issues a Manual on Home-made Masks.



New Delhi, March 31, 2020 — The Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India has issued a detailed manual on home-made masks: “Masks for Curbing the Spread of SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus”.

Quoting the World Health Organization, the manual states that “Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.”

• “Analyses show that if 50% of the population were to wear masks, only 50% of the people would get infected by the virus. Once 80% of the population wears a mask, the outbreak can stop immediately.”

On Why Wear a Mask?, it says that the “COVID-19 virus spreads easily from person to person contact. Virus carrying droplets dry fast enough to form droplet nuclei and remain airborne, eventually landing on different surfaces. The SARS-CoV-2 virus causing COVID-19 has been detected in aerosols for up to three hours and on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for three days.”

The guidebook says that Masks lower the chances of coronavirus entering the respiratory system through droplets still in the air from an infected person. According to the manual, reducing the chances of inhaling the virus by wearing a disposable mask, or a home-made protective cover cleaned thoroughly using a combination of heat, UV light, water, soap, and alcohol, will be vital to stopping its spread.

The manual provides a simple outline of best practices to make, use, and reuse masks. Wearing of masks is especially recommended for people living in densely populated areas across India.

• View or Download the Manual.

Meanwhile, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), USA, has issued the following statement on the use of face coverings by the general public to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Potential spread of COVID-19 by pre- and asymptomatic individuals is a significant concern as we look to prevent COVID-19 infections and reduce transmissions. Policies to adopt the widespread use of face coverings by the general public are a potential intervention to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“State and territorial health officials’ primary goal in the COVID-19 response is to mitigate and suppress the spread of COVID-19 so that communities may re-open, recover, and rebound. Despite insufficient evidence on the use of face coverings by the general public to reduce transmission of COVID-19, the widespread use of face coverings by the public as a tactic may help achieve these goals. The use of face coverings should be a complementary strategy for existing or new mitigation efforts. Covers should not be seen as a replacement for physical distancing measures and self-isolation when sick. Also, officials should ensure that the widespread use of face coverings does not adversely or unintentionally impact mask supply for healthcare, public health workers, and others on the front lines of the COVID-19 response.

“Finally, clear instructions should be provided to the public in appropriate literacy levels and multiple languages on face-covering use, as well as recommendations for cleaning and disposal.”

ASTHO is the US national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States. It also represents more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ.


Editor's Opinion

Various local administrations worldwide may contemplate making wearing a mask mandatory during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reducing the chances of exhaling or inhaling the virus by wearing a mask is crucial to arrest its spread. StumbleUpon reddit Facebook Google Plus Tweet This Seed This on Newsvine

Edited & Posted by the Editor | 2:37 PM | View the original post

Researchers at Three Institutions receive COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator Grants to Study Drugs for Treating and Preventing COVID-19.

Mastercard, Oxford University

PURCHASE, NY - March 30, 2020 - Today, the partners in the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator announced grants of $20 million to three institutions—the University of Washington, University of Oxford, and La Jolla Institute for Immunology—to fund clinical trials to identify highly potent immunotherapies for the COVID-19 pandemic.

These grants mark the first investments to come from the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, a large-scale initiative launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard to speed the development of and access to therapies for COVID-19. Currently, there are no broad-spectrum antivirals or immunotherapies available to prevent or treat COVID-19.

“These grants to leading institutions in their fields will advance our understanding of how existing drugs and antibodies can contribute to addressing the pandemic we’re facing around the world,” said Mark Suzman, chief executive officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “These initial investments through the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will bring rigor to the study of these potential solutions. The way forward will be informed by sound science and shared data.”

Also, newly announced funding from government and philanthropic donors has added to the Accelerator’s initial funding. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative committed $25 million, and the U.K. government invested £40 million last week. The additional funds will allow the Accelerator to continue making grants to study repurposed drugs and investigate biological compounds for activity against COVID-19.

The researchers will investigate two well-established drugs, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine. Both these drugs have known antiviral properties. These drugs treat malaria and a variety of rheumatological conditions. The trials aim to determine whether the drugs are effective as pre- and post-exposure preventive therapy for COVID-19. While these drugs both show initial promise, rigorous scientific evidence is needed to make decisions on how, where, and within which populations to use them in this pandemic.

The University of Washington will conduct a multi-site clinical trial in Western Washington and the New York City area, in collaboration with New York University’s School of Medicine, investigating whether hydroxychloroquine can effectively prevent COVID-19 in people already exposed to the infection. The trial will enroll up to 2,000 asymptomatic men and women who are close contacts of persons with confirmed or pending COVID-19 diagnoses. Participants will be randomly assigned to take hydroxychloroquine or a placebo over two weeks, and samples will be collected and tested daily to confirm new COVID-19 infections across the two groups. Sandoz, a Novartis division, has donated the hydroxychloroquine doses needed to conduct the study. Participant enrollment will begin in April.

The University of Oxford will lead a study of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in preventing COVID-19 in at-risk health care workers, frontline staff, and other high-risk groups. More than 40,000 participants in Asia and Europe would receive the drugs as daily prophylaxis for three months. The project, known as COPCOV, aims to determine definitively whether these drugs can prevent COVID-19 and thus protect the vital health care workforce. Participant enrollment will begin in April.

Nick Cammack, COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator Lead at Wellcome, said: “Investment in research is the world’s only exit strategy from COVID-19. Drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics are vital for saving lives, ending this pandemic, and preventing it from happening again. Now is the time to evaluate whether existing drugs will prove to be safe and effective. We urge others to join us in this collective global effort. Investing now in the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator is necessary if we are to change the course of this pandemic.”

In addition to funding drug trials, the Accelerator will provide $1.73 million to the La Jolla Institute for Immunology to establish a Coronavirus Immunotherapy Consortium, known as CoVIC. The effort will bring together scientists from around the world and enable them to share and evaluate candidate antibodies side by side in a blinded, multidisciplinary analysis to identify ideal therapeutic combinations. Antibody therapies protect frontline health care workers, contacts, and others who are exposed, as well as treat those who have already become sick.

“Today’s grants are an important next step in the Therapeutic Accelerator’s commitment to identifying and scaling treatments to combat COVID-19,” said Mike Froman, vice chairman of Mastercard. “To provide therapeutic solutions to this global pandemic, particularly for those most vulnerable, we need to speed up the research and development process through a collaborative funding effort by the private sector, philanthropic organizations, and governments. We welcome the participation of new organizations that can contribute the resources needed to help bring an end to this crisis.”

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 2:55 AM | View the original post

March 30, 2020

Chandigarh University Distributes Food to Neighbouring Villages During the Nationwide Lockdown to Fight the Global Pandemic

Chandigarh University

Chandigarh University

Photo: Team Chandigarh University at Gharuan village, distributing meals to poor and needy people.

Chandigarh, India, March 30, 2020 — Amid 21 days lockdown announced in India, the daily wagers working in factories and construction labor are braving the heat as they are confronting challenges to earn and find food for themselves and their families. Rising to the situation with the spirit of gesture in times of crisis, Chandigarh University is distributing cooked meals two times a day to poor & needy in the six neighborhood villages — Gharuan, Batta, Mankheri, Mamupur, Roorkee Pukta, and Madauli.

The distribution drive started from the first day of the lockdown and will continue throughout the 21 days, the University said. The meals are cooked in the University Mess and then transported to different locations using the institution’s transportation. Jai Vardhan, one of the volunteers participating in the drive, said, “We are currently catering to feed about 500 persons daily, but we can increase our capacity if more demand arises in the coming days.”

“Although the Government of Punjab is ensuring the distribution of food to the poor and needy community throughout the state, yet as an institution, it is our social responsibility to help the lower sections of the society in whatever manner we can,” said Satnam Singh Sandhu, Chancellor, Chandigarh University (CU).

“CU is also running an awareness campaign to educate the people and residents of villages about the safety precautions from the dreaded pandemic,” Mr. Sandhu added.

The University said that its team is also distributing free hand sanitizers prepared by its Department of Applied Health Sciences.

Chandigarh University (CU) is an autonomous educational institution approved by the University Grants Commission. It is the youngest University in India to be certified with A+ Grade by NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council). CU offers more than 109 undergraduate and postgraduate programs in the field of engineering, management, pharmacy, law, architecture, journalism, animation, hotel management, commerce, and other disciplines.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 1:09 PM | View the original post

March 28, 2020

G20 Leaders hold Extraordinary Virtual Summit

G20 Summit, United Nations

Photo: A view of the joint virtual briefing for the Member States on the COVID-19 Pandemic held by Secretary-General António Guterres; Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the seventy-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly; Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations and President of the Security Council for March, and Mona Juul, seventy-fifth President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations. Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, moderated the briefing. March 27, 2020. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

G20 Summit, United Nations

Photo: A view of the eyeglasses of Secretary-General António Guterres as he takes part in the extraordinary Virtual Leaders’ Summit of the Group of Twenty (G-20) on the Covid-19 Pandemic. March 26, 2020. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Evan Schneider.

G20 Summit, United Nations


Photo: A view of the screen in the Secretary-General António Guterres’ conference room as he takes part in the extraordinary Virtual Leaders’ Summit of the Group of Twenty (G-20) on the Covid-19 Pandemic. March 26, 2020. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Evan Schneider.

G20 Summit, United Nations


Photo: The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, participating in the G20 Virtual Summit to discuss the global response to COVID 19, on March 26, 2020.

G20 Summit, United Nations

Photo: A woman is wearing a mask as she walks to her destination during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in New York City. March 18, 2020. New York, United States. UN Photo/Evan Schneider.

G20 Summit, United Nations

Photo: A woman wears a mask as she walks to her destination during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in New York City. March 18, 2020. New York, United States. UN Photo/Evan Schneider.

An Extraordinary Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit was convened on March 26, 2020, to discuss the challenges posed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic and to forge a globally coordinated response. The extraordinary G20 Summit was a culmination of the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting and G20 Sherpas Meeting on the COVID-19 Pandemic.

At the meeting, G20 Leaders agreed to take all necessary measures to contain the Pandemic and protect people. They also supported the strengthening of the WHO’s mandate in the fight against epidemics, including the delivery of medical supplies, diagnostic tools, treatments, medicines, and vaccines.

Leaders also committed to using all available policy tools to minimize the economic and social cost of the Pandemic and to restore global growth and market stability. G20 countries pledged to inject over USD 5 trillion into the global economy to counter the social and economic impact of COVID-19. Leaders also agreed to contribute to the WHO-led COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund voluntarily.

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, called on the G20 to come out with a concrete action plan to fight the global Pandemic. He called on the Leaders to help usher in new globalization for the collective well-being of humankind, and have multilateral fora focus on promoting the shared interests of humanity.

At the end of the Summit, the G20 Leaders’ issued a statement that called for a coordinated global response to fight the Pandemic by adopting measures to safeguard the global economy, minimize trade disruption, and enhance global cooperation.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 7:51 AM | View the original post

March 26, 2020




Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar, the latest generation T-Touch, is packed with Tissot’s unique watchmaking expertise. This Swiss-Made timepiece is connected, securely private, interactive, autonomous, contemporary, and long-lasting.

The T-Touch Connect Solar has a perpetual calendar and countdown. It has various timekeeping, meteorological, and altimeter functions, and alarms. To these, it adds an activity tracker and a smartphone with app notifications and updates.

“The T-Touch Connect Solar is a Swiss-Made connected watch,” Tissot stated. “This certification of component origin and quality is a guarantee of manufacturing excellence and security. No provider can access data via a component, or the operating system. And neither the watch nor its app sends data to a third party,” the company declared.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 2:17 PM | View the original post

March 24, 2020

Prime Minister of India calls for Social Distancing and Complete Lockdown of Entire Nation for 21 Days.

Narendra Modi

Photo: The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, addressing at the centenary celebrations of Shri Jagadguru Vishwaradhya Gurukul, at Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh on February 16, 2020. [File Photo]

New Delhi, March 24, 2020 — Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, called for a complete lockdown of the entire nation for the next 21 days beginning at midnight tonight to contain the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In an unusual televised address to the nation, the Prime Minister said that even those nations with the best of the medical facilities could not contain the virus and that the Social Distancing is the only option to mitigate it.

“You are witnessing how the most advanced countries of the world have been rendered helpless by this Pandemic. It is not that these countries are not putting in enough effort, or they lack resources. The Coronavirus is spreading at such a pace that they are finding it hard to manage the crisis.”

“The analysis of happenings in all these countries since the last two months and the opinion of experts have demonstrated that there is only one way to deal with Coronavirus effectively — Social Distancing,” Prime Minister Modi said.

Cautioning those who are careless, the Prime Minister added, “carelessness of a few, ill-conceived notions of a few, can put you, your children, your parents, your family, your friends, the entire country in grave jeopardy. It will be impossible to estimate the price India will have to pay if this carelessness continues.”

He urged the people to take with utmost sincerity the lockdown imposed by the State Governments in several parts of the country.

The Prime Minister announced that from midnight tonight onwards, the entire country shall go under complete lockdown. The Government has decided to ban people from stepping out of their homes for 21 days.

He said the experiences of health sector experts and that of other countries produced this decision. Twenty-one days are essential to break the chain of infection, he added.

He said this decision is vital to protect the country and each of its citizens against the Corona Pandemic.

Discussing the economic impact owing to the Pandemic, the Prime Minister said, “The nation will have to pay an economic cost because of this lockdown certainly. However, to save the life of every Indian is our topmost priority. Hence, It is my plea to you to continue staying wherever you are right now in the country.”

The Prime Minister explained that if we do not bring the situation under control in the next three weeks, the country could go back 21 years, and several families would be devastated forever. Hence, he urged the people to do just one thing in the next 21 days - to stay inside their homes.

The Prime Minister said the experiences of those countries that have been able to contain Corona offer some ray of hope. He said that those countries that observed lockdown and where people adhered to the rules were able to surmount the Pandemic.

The Prime Minister said, “India is at a stage where our current actions will determine how much we can minimize the impact of this disaster. It’s time to keep strengthening our resolve consistently and exercise caution, patience, and discipline at every step. Until the lockdown situation remains, we must keep our resolve. We must keep our promise.”

The Prime Minister said the Central and State Governments countrywide are working swiftly to ensure that citizens do not face inconveniences in their daily life. He said that the Government is making provisions to ensure that the supplies of all essential items continue smoothly. He added that along with the Central and State Governments, individuals, civil societies and institutions are continually striving to reduce the problems of the poor during this period of crisis.

The Prime Minister concluded that though 21 days of lockdown is a long time, it is equally essential for “your safety and that of your family.” He expressed confidence that every Indian will not only successfully fight this difficult situation but also emerge from it victoriously.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 4:47 PM | View the original post

March 22, 2020

College Consensus Ranks Public Universities in the USA.

College Consensus

Universities, USA


Photo: A scene from the UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) Campus. Image Credit: Corey Seeman.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., — College Consensus has published its ranking of the Best Public Colleges and Universities in the USA. College Consensus is a college rating website that aggregates publisher rankings and student reviews.

To identify the Best Public Colleges and Universities in 2019, College Consensus combined the latest results from the most respected college rankings with thousands of real student reviews to produce an individual consensus score for each school. According to Consensus editors, “College Consensus gathers the publisher rankings and student reviews from around the web and distills the results into simple, easy to understand scores so students can quickly and easily compare schools.”

“The College Consensus methodology pulls together rankings from U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, and Wallethub, averaging all of a given school’s numbers to get the Publisher Rating. Then we average student reviews from sites like Cappex, Niche, Student Review, and more, to get the full picture of how students see their colleges, which we call the Student Review Rating. Put them together, and we have the College Consensus,” the Consensus editors explained.

To help prospective college students and their families evaluate the educational options open to them, College Consensus has identified the best public colleges and universities.

• Top 30 Public Universities in the USA (According to College Consensus)

  1. University of California, Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA
  2. The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI
  3. University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley, CA
  4. University of Virginia - Charlottesville, VA
  5. University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, NC
  6. University of California, Santa Barbara - Santa Barbara, CA
  7. University of Texas - Austin, TX
  8. University of Wisconsin - Madison, WI
  9. University of California, Davis - Davis, CA
  10. University of Florida - Gainesville, FL
  11. Purdue University, Main Campus - West Lafayette, IN
  12. Georgia Institute of Technology, Main Campus - Atlanta, GA
  13. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Champaign, IL
  14. University of California, Irvine — Irvine, CA
  15. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University - Blacksburg, VA
  16. College of William and Mary — Williamsburg, VA
  17. James Madison University - Harrisonburg, VA
  18. Ohio State University, Main Campus - Columbus, OH
  19. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis - Obispo, CA
  20. University of Washington - Seattle, WA
  21. The College of New Jersey - Ewing, NJ
  22. Citadel Military College of South Carolina - Charleston, SC
  23. University of Georgia - Athens, GA
  24. Texas A & M University-College Station - College Station, TX
  25. Michigan State University - East Lansing, MI
  26. Pennsylvania State University - University Park, PA
  27. University of California, San Diego - La Jolla, CA
  28. University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA
  29. Appalachian State University - Boone, NC
  30. Clemson University - Clemson, SC

“Public schools often get ignored in rankings, despite their critical mission,” Consensus editors explained, “While the Ivy League and the wealthy, elite private research universities may get the most press attention and dominating rankings, public colleges and universities are a vital part of higher education in America.”

• Public schools generally provide a more affordable and accessible option for students than private colleges, helping to democratize higher education and build a more broadly educated citizenship.

“College Consensus gets the broadest ranking of the best public schools in the U.S. by bringing together a full selection of data from publishers and student reviews. National publishers use surveys, investigation, and statistics to rank colleges, while students writing their reviews use their own experience,” the Consensus editors elaborated. “College Consensus is a new approach to college rankings. We combine the latest results from the most respected college ranking systems with thousands of real student review scores.”

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 12:26 PM | View the original post

March 20, 2020

Mastercard, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Wellcome Launch Initiative to Speed Development and Access to Therapies for COVID-19.


Bill Gates


SEATTLE, March 20, 2020 - Mastercard, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Wellcome have committed up to $125 million in seed funding to speed-up the response to the COVID-19 epidemic by identifying, assessing, developing, and scaling-up treatments.

Their announcement said that the three partners are committed to equitable access, including making products available and affordable in low-resource settings. The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will play a catalytic role by accelerating and evaluating new and repurposed drugs and biologics to treat patients with COVID-19 in the immediate term, and other viral pathogens in the longer-term. Currently, there are no broad-spectrum antivirals or immunotherapies available for the fight against emerging pathogens, and none approved for use on COVID-19.

The Gates Foundation and Wellcome are each contributing up to $50 million, and the Mastercard Impact Fund has committed up to $25 million to catalyze the initial work of the Accelerator. The Gates Foundation’s funding is part of its $100 million commitment to the COVID-19 response announced last month.

“Viruses like COVID-19 spread rapidly, but the development of vaccines and treatments to stop them moves slowly,” said Mark Suzman, chief executive officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “If we want to make the world safe from outbreaks like COVID-19, particularly for those most vulnerable, then we need to find a way to make research and development move faster. That requires governments, private enterprise, and philanthropic organizations to act quickly to fund R&D.”

The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will work with the World Health Organization, governments, and private sector funders and organizations, as well as the global regulatory and policy-setting institutions. The Accelerator will have an end-to-end focus, from drug pipeline development through manufacturing and scale-up. By sharing research, coordinating investments, and pooling resources, these efforts can help to accelerate research.

The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will operate jointly as an initiative of the funders, drawing on expertise from inside and outside their organizations. The Accelerator will pursue several aspects of the development cycle to streamline the pathway from candidate product to clinical assessment, use, and manufacturing. To identify candidate compounds, the Accelerator will take a three-pronged approach. In essence, testing approved drugs for activity against COVID-19, screening libraries of thousands of compounds with confirmed safety data, and considering new investigational compounds and monoclonal antibodies.

Dr. Jeremy Farrar, director of Wellcome, said, “This virus is an unprecedented global threat and one for which we must propel international partnerships to develop treatments, rapid diagnostics, and vaccines. Science is moving at a phenomenal pace against COVID-19. But to get ahead of this epidemic, we need greater investment and research co-ordination. The Therapeutics Accelerator will allow us to do this for potential treatments with support for research, development, assessment, and manufacturing. COVID-19 is an extremely challenging virus, but we’ve proved that through collaborating across borders, we can tackle emerging infectious diseases. We must strive to strengthen efforts in the face of COVID-19, and in doing so, continue to make sure that advances are accessible and affordable to all. Investing now, at scale, at-risk, and as a collective global effort is vital if we are to change the course of this epidemic. We welcome others to join us in this effort.”

While antiviral drugs are approved to lessen the severity of seasonal flu and treat HIV, among other viral diseases, none have demonstrated efficacy against the current epidemic. One reason for the lack of effective treatments is that products may not have an immediate market, which can slow or prevent their research and commercial development. The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator would help by bringing together resources and expertise to lower the financial and technical risk for academia, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies while ensuring that these products are accessible and affordable to people in low-resource settings. The expertise of pharmaceutical companies will be critical in identifying, researching, and commercializing successful drugs.

“We’re proud to join this crucial effort to combat COVID-19 in furtherance of our commitment to inclusive growth,” said Mike Froman, vice chairman of Mastercard. “This global challenge not only represents a risk to the health and safety of populations all over the world, but also poses a potential disruption to the economic vitality of millions of people, businesses, and organizations worldwide. Our experience with financial inclusion shows us the importance of building a network of parties who bring not only their capital, but complementary assets and skillsets to the table, and we welcome other partners concerned about inclusive growth to join this effort.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, based in Seattle, Washington, USA, works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives.

The Wellcome Trust is a research-charity based in London, in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1936 with legacies from the pharmaceutical magnate Sir Henry Wellcome to fund research to improve human and animal health.

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Its mission is to “Connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart, and accessible.” Using secure data and networks, Mastercard’s innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments, and businesses realize their highest potential.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 10:52 AM | View the original post

March 19, 2020

Orlando Software Company Offering Complimentary Accounts to Colleges and Universities


Colleges, Universities

ORLANDO, Florida, March 18, 2020 — To aid colleges and universities who must move to an online-only operation, Engineerica Systems is offering complimentary accounts of “Accudemia,” their award-winning center management and cloud-based software. These accounts are available free of charge through the rest of the academic semester.

Wanting to help as many people as possible during this time, Engineerica, Inc., will assist higher education institutions by providing a complimentary “Accudemia” account to academic student service centers such as tutoring, advising, or counseling. It would aid higher institutions as they transition to virtual offerings and services.

“Accudemia” allows center staff and students to arrange appointments and meet virtually, even from their homes. The platform also automates confirmation and reminder emails with a customized message so college staff can provide students detailed instructions for their meetings. Staff, advisors, or tutors can also log meeting notes and schedule future meetings. Administrators will be able to track and report these meetings.

“The Coronavirus disrupted everyone’s lives on a global scale and is forcing colleges to move their operations online on short notice,” says Engineerica’s president Mon Nasser. “We wanted to help in this transition by offering our academic center management technology to any educational institution that can benefit from it. This technology will help students get the assistance they need from college staff without risking exposure to the virus. To provide the fastest possible assistance, we decided to offer the service to new users at no charge from now until the end of the semester. Since this is a cloud-based system, setup is quick and easy, and users can access it from anywhere at any time. Our Orlando-based tech support department will help in the setup and usage of the system. There are no strings attached to this offer. We are only looking to do what we can to combat the negative effects of this pandemic and help our community.”

Engineerica, Inc., of Orlando, Florida, USA, is a technology firm founded in 1995.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 3:01 PM | View the original post

March 18, 2020

International Press Institute (IPI) urges governments worldwide to recognize the crucial role of independent news media in the coronavirus pandemic.

International Press Institute

International Press Institute, Press Conference

Photo: Members of the Press on the South Lawn of the White House during a recent Press Conference. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour). [File Photo]

Vienna, Austria, March 17, 2020 — The International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists, today urged governments worldwide to recognize the crucial role of independent news media in the coronavirus pandemic. It asked them to ensure that they do not use the emergency measures to tackle the disease as a pretext to censor news and information on and offline.

“First and foremost, we recognize that the COVID-19 coronavirus poses a major threat to global public health and that governments around the world need to implement emergency measures to protect the health of their citizens,” IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi said.

“The free flow of independent news is essential than ever in informing the public on vital measures to contain the virus as well as in maintaining an open dialogue on the adequacy of those measures. Also, it is necessary for winning public trust.”

“In this age of disinformation, the public needs news that it can trust. It is critical at this stage that governments support the work of independent media, which are crucial allies in the fight against COVID-19,” Barbara Trionfi added.

At the same time, Trionfi expressed concern about the potential for the authorities to use the crisis to introduce new curbs on rights, including free expression, that could outlive the current situation.

“This pandemic is seeing some of the most wide-ranging restrictions on individual freedoms in peacetime. We, therefore, urge all states to ensure that any measures to tackle COVID-19 that infringe on fundamental rights are necessary, proportionate, temporary, and limited to solving the immediate health crisis,” she said.

“As the death toll mounts, economic hardship spreads, and the public grow restive about restrictions on their rights, the governments’ temptation to control media scrutiny will be, in some cases, overwhelming. It is imperative that the health crisis not be used as an excuse to rush through regressive regulations that could affect independent media coverage of the crisis and its consequences.”

IPI has called on all governments to work with media and ensure that journalists are enabled to do the best job they can in reporting the health crisis. IPI has asked the governments to:

Guarantee fair and equal access to journalists and media to all information related to the health crisis. Where health measures preclude physical access such as to press conferences, alternative access must be made available.

Protect freedom of movement for media and access to decision-makers, health care professionals, and others combatting the pandemic.

“IPI remains as committed as ever to ensuring that any act to suppress the free flow of news and information will pass neither unnoticed nor unquestioned,” Trionfi added. “In the coming weeks and for the entire length of the ongoing crisis, IPI will systematically monitor restrictions on media freedom imposed as a consequence of the crisis and share that information on various media platforms.”

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 5:31 AM | View the original post

March 16, 2020

Hyundai Motor India launches All-New CRETA.

Hyundai Motor India


Hyundai Motor India


New Delhi, March 16, 2020 — Hyundai Motor India Ltd. today launched the much-awaited All-New CRETA.

Building on the success of the 1st Generation CRETA, the 2nd Generation All-New CRETA would define the new Benchmark in its segment with its futuristic design, power-packed performance, and an extensive array of comfort & convenience features, the company said.

Speaking at the launch event, Mr. S S Kim, MD & CEO, Hyundai Motor India Ltd., said, “All New CRETA is the result of Hyundai’s Ultimate Science of Human Engineering to create the Ultimate SUV for Indian customers. It is built on a SUPERSTRUCTURE and promises a perfect Driving Experience. I am confident that All-New CRETA will continue to lead the segment.”

All New CRETA has been crafted along the lines of Hyundai Global Design Philosophy of ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ to offer customers the Ultimate SUV, the company said.

According to Hyundai, “All-New CRETA” is based on 6 Key Pillars for the Indian market:

• Masculine & Futuristic Design

Based on Hyundai’s Global Design Language of Sensuous Sportiness, All-New CRETA sports a bold and dynamic design that amplifies its unique & Futuristic appeal. Hyundai says it has designed it for urban and tech-savvy aficionados & the experimental yet flamboyant generation. The façade of All-New CRETA showcases Hyundai’s new signature face with Cascading Grille. At the same time, the side profile reflects a confident and sporty look with a dynamic rear design that compliments the overall Futuristic & Muscular Stance of All-New CRETA.

• Intuitive Experience & Comfort

All New CRETA projects a Sportier, Futuristic, and Progressive image with Premium Interiors, Spacious Cabin with comfortable seating.

• Advanced Connectivity

All New CRETA comes with Advanced Blue Link that offers over 50 Connectivity features and adds a new dimension to the in-car connectivity with enhanced convenience and comfort. Customers can now experience heightened voice-enabled functions by just saying ‘Hello Blue Link’ to control essential vehicle features such as Sunroof Open/Close, Seat Ventilation Control, Climate Control -Temperature, Fan Speed control, Wind Direction and Air-intake type control (Fresh/ Circulation). Along with in-vehicle assistance like Dial by Number, India’s public holidays’ information, now you can Track Live Cricket Scores, all at the ease of a voice command.

• Smart Technology

All New CRETA has a host of Smart Technology features ranging from Electronic Parking Brake with Auto Hold to Paddle Shifters that offer a sporty and fun-to-drive experience. With 8-Way Power Driver Seat and Tilt steering, All-New CRETA provides an optimal driving position to suit all its drivers.

• Powerful and Efficient Next Gen Powertrain

New BS6 engines - 1.5L MPi Petrol (6MT/ IVT), 1.5L U2 CRDi Diesel (6MT/ 6AT), and 1.4L Kappa Turbo GDi Petrol (7DCT) power All-New CRETA. To enhance the Driving Experience, All-New CRETA comes with three drive modes (Eco, Comfort & Sport) and Traction Control Modes (Snow, Sand & Mud) that optimizes driving comfort across different terrains.

The company stated that All-New CRETA makes the ride more comfortable & stable with reliable steering handling performance and improved suspension that suits the Indian road conditions.

• Hyundai Assurance

Hyundai said it had constructed All-New CRETA on a Superstructure that features an application of 74.3% Advanced & High Strength Steel. It provides Hyundai assurance of safety with enhanced crash performance through the expanded utilization of AHSS and hot-stamping parts.

• Colors

Hyundai will offer the ‘All-New CRETA’ with 10 Colour Options — Polar White, Typhoon Silver, Phantom Black, Lava Orange, Titan Grey, Deep Forest (Turbo Only), Galaxy Blue, and Mulberry Red. That includes 2 Dual Tone (Polar White with Phantom Black and Lava Orange with Phantom Black) options.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 2:51 PM | View the original post

March 15, 2020

Jeep Brand Announces Worldwide Partnership with Groundbreaking Pop Team 'Now United'








Photos: Jeep Brand Announces Worldwide Partnership with Groundbreaking Pop Team ‘Now United.’

The Jeep brand has revealed an innovative partnership with the world’s first global pop team Now United. They will promote the fashionable ‘Jeep Renegade’ through a series of brand integrations across digital and social media with music videos and live performances around the theme of “Come Together.”

The Jeep brand’s announcement as a global auto partner for ‘Now United’ will unite its global fan base with Now United’s 40 million-plus fans and followers around the world. Following a series of branded teasers on Now United’s social media channels through the current week, the campaign launched Saturday, March 7, 2020, with the official release of the new Now United song “Come Together.” The new music video has made an immediate impact, with 1.8 million views in the first 24 hours of posting.

The ‘Now United’ partnership will cater to first-time auto buyers through a dedicated digital and social media campaign with 15 group members. The campaign includes new music, daily and weekly YouTube shows, real-time social engagement on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, as well as branded onstage uniforms for the band members.

Now United is the world’s first global pop team, comprised of 15 different singers and dancers from 15 different countries: India, Brazil, United Kingdom, Mexico, Philippines, Finland, South Korea, Australia, Senegal, China, Japan, Germany, Russia, Canada and the United States of America. Created by music industry icon Simon Fuller in 2017, Now United has quickly amassed a passionate following of 40 million fans worldwide.

“The Jeep brand is unique in that it is truly a global automotive brand, one that is instantly recognizable across every continent,” said Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer, FCA. “Our fans and followers around the world understand that passion, authenticity, and freedom drive the Jeep brand. Now United shares these same core attributes with us. As the band undertakes its summer tour with the first stop in Brazil, we look forward to a partnership with Simon Fuller that both represents and unites our fans in a way that the only Jeep and Now United could make possible.”

Simon Fuller added, “I am excited to be collaborating with Olivier Francois, a branding genius with an extraordinary innovative mind, and welcoming Jeep as a global partner of Now United. Jeep is such an iconic brand, and we share their powerful spirit and sense of adventure. Jeep’s involvement in our Come Together video is the first of many pioneering things we plan to do together, which will empower new ways to collaborate and engage our fans around the world”.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 11:53 AM | View the original post

March 14, 2020

The All-New Hyundai i10 features a new dynamic design that illustrates its agile and active nature.





Hyundai Motor recently unveiled the All-New i10 at the 2019 Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA). The newest model in the company’s i-range features a new dynamic design, as well as comprehensive connectivity and advanced safety package.

Since its introduction in 2008, the i10 has been a success story for Hyundai in Europe. Its exterior body reflects its young spirit while ensuring uncompromised accessibility and comfort to support its diversified users in their everyday activities.

“The i10 has consistently been one of our sales drivers in Europe,” said says Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, Vice President Marketing and Product at Hyundai Motor Europe HQ. “The All-New Hyundai i10 is the latest example of our democratization of new technologies for our customers. We are launching it with the tagline “Go Big.” to emphasize the feeling that customers will get from this uncompromised city car. It might seem like a small car, but it makes a big statement!”

Customers can choose from 10 exterior base colors, including three new ones: Dragon Red, Brass, and Aqua Turquoise. The other exterior color choices are Phantom Black, Polar White, Star Dust, Sleek Silver, Champion Blue, Tomato Red, and Slate Blue. The option of a two-tone roof - in either Black or Red - further increases customers’ customization options and brings out the All-New i10’s playful side. Overall, 22 exterior color combinations are available.

The All-New i10 has one of the most comprehensive safety packages in its class and is equipped with the latest Hyundai SmartSense active safety and driving assistance features to comply with the highest European safety standards.

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) utilizes a multi-function camera to detect not just cars but also pedestrians in front of the vehicle. Meanwhile, High Beam Assist (HBA) automatically switches between high and low beams. It provides optimal illumination of the road ahead to help drivers detect lights from oncoming vehicles at night.

Other safety features available in the All-New i10 include the Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), and the Intelligent Speed Limit Warning (ISLW).

The All-New i10 is available with a rear-view camera to assist drivers while parking. When reverse is selected, drivers can see where they are going on the screen in the center dashboard.

Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Company has an extensive range of world-class vehicles and mobility services available in more than 200 countries. Hyundai sold more than 4.5 million vehicles globally in 2018 and is currently employing more than 110,000 employees worldwide. Hyundai Motor continues to enhance its product line-up with vehicles that are helping to build solutions for a more sustainable future.

Hyundai Motor Company is going to launch its all-new 2021 Hyundai Elantra at a World Premiere Event in Hollywood. The world premiere press conference will take place on March 17, 2020, at The Lot Studios in West Hollywood, California. The event will be live-streamed around the world.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 9:40 AM | View the original post

March 11, 2020

New TAG HEUER FORMULA 1 Timepiece celebrates Long-Standing Partnership with ASTON MARTIN RED BULL Racing Team.

TAG Heue

Tag Heuer

For the second time in the history of its partnership with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, TAG Heuer has unveiled a special edition timepiece that commemorates its on-going alliance with the championship-winning racing team. The vibrant blue and striking red and yellow colors found on the newly revealed 2020 Aston Martin Red Bull Racing car inspire this unique edition Formula 1 Chronograph from TAG Heuer.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 12:54 PM | View the original post

March 8, 2020

World Intellectual Property Report 2019 - Local Hotspots, Global Networks: Innovative Activity Is Increasingly Collaborative and International


GENEVA — The 2019 edition of WIPO’s World Intellectual Property Report analyzed millions of patent and scientific publication records across several decades to conclude that innovative activity has grown increasingly collaborative and transnational.

Some 30 metropolitan hotspots alone accounted for 69 percent of patents and 48 percent of scientific activity during the 2015-2017 period. Those hotspots are mostly in five countries - China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States of America.

The report finds that innovation has become more collaborative. In the early 2000s, teams of scientists produced 64 percent of all scientific papers, and groups of inventors were behind 54 percent of all patents. By the second half of the 2010s, these figures had grown to almost 88 and 68 percent, respectively.

Collaboration has also become more international. The share of scientific collaborations with two or more researchers located in different countries grew from 15 percent in 1998 to 26 percent in 2017. For patents, the percentage of international co-invention increased to 11 percent until 2009 but has since slightly fallen, partly because of rapid growth in domestic collaborations in certain countries. Most international cooperation takes place among the top metropolitan hotspots. The most significant ten of them - San Francisco, New York, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Boston, Shanghai, London, Beijing, Bengaluru, and Paris - account for 26 percent of all international co-inventions. The U.S. hotspots emerge as the most connected ones in the world.

“Today’s innovation landscape is highly globally interlinked,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “Increasingly complex technological solutions for shared global challenges need ever larger and more-specialized teams of researchers, which rely on international collaboration.” “Economies must remain open in the pursuit of innovation,” he remarked.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information, and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 193 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society’s evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it offers free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.


— The Editor is an Alumnus of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Academy, Geneva, Switzerland. StumbleUpon reddit Facebook Google Plus Tweet This Seed This on Newsvine

Edited & Posted by the Editor | 4:23 AM | View the original post

March 7, 2020

Commemoration of International Women's Day at the United Nations

United Nations, Women

Photo: Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of the Republic of Finland, addresses an event marking International Women’s Day (March 08), on the theme, “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights.” March 06, 2020. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

United Nations, Women

Photo: Alexandria Villasenor, a climate justice activist, addresses an event marking International Women’s Day (March 08), on the theme, “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights.” March 06, 2020. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 1:36 PM | View the original post

March 6, 2020

India's Human Resource Development Minister felicitates Vice-Chancellors of Women Universities and Women Principals of Delhi Colleges as part of International Women's Day Celebrations organized by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

International Womens Day India


Photo: The Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, with the Vice Chancellors of Women Universities and Women Principals of Delhi Colleges, at an event to mark the International Women’s Day, in New Delhi on March 06, 2020.

New Delhi, March 6, 2020 — To mark the International Women’s Day 2020, Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, felicitated the Vice Chancellors of Women Universities and Women Principals of Delhi Colleges in New Delhi today. The University Grants Commission (UGC) had organized the celebrations.

The Minister also launched the SAKSHAM portal, developed by UGC, that aims to empower women on campuses through creating awareness on the current opportunities and initiatives, support, and redressal mechanism. The web resources (Government and United Nations policy documents) are made available to women students and employees of Higher Education Institutions through the portal.

• The Minister explained that the UGC’s SAKSHAM portal brings together information on all women-oriented initiatives and provides a platform for registering complaints related to violence and harassment against women in Higher Education Institutions. He further informed that an ‘Upload your Complaint’ option under Grievance Redressal is available on the portal.

Mr. Pokhriyal said that a healthy academic environment is a necessary prerequisite for ensuring the empowerment of women. The Minister informed that the New Education Policy is in the final stage, and it would have special provisions, funding, and scholarships for girl students.

• The University Grants Commission of India (UGC) is a statutory body set up by the Indian Union government per the UGC Act 1956 under the Ministry of Human Resource Development. UGC is responsible for the coordination, determination, and maintenance of standards of higher education in India. It provides recognition to universities and disburses funds to such recognized universities. UGC has its headquarters in New Delhi.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 12:12 PM | View the original post

March 4, 2020

QS announces World University Rankings by Subject 2020 — MIT is the World Leader.

QS World University Rankings

MIT Campus

Photo: A building at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Campus, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

LONDON, March 4, 2020 — QS Quacquarelli Symonds, a global higher education think-tank, today released the tenth edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject. This ranking is an extensive guide to the performance of more than 13,000 individual university programs, taken by students at 1368 universities, in 83 locations worldwide, across 48 academic disciplines, and in five broad Faculty Areas.

• Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the world-leader in 12 subject tables - more than any other institution. Harvard University leads in 11 subjects, while the University of Oxford leads eight tables.

Key trends include:

• The United Kingdom’s university programs have recorded an overall year-on-year improvement, with more rises (306) than drops (238);

• The number of top-50 programs - those ranking in the top 50 for their subject - offered by American universities has decreased from 806 in 2018 to 769 in 2020;

• Mainland China records 100 top-50 programs for the first time, though its universities’ rate of improvement is slowing;

• The National University of Singapore is Asia’s best-performing institution: 8 of its programs rank among the global top-10;

• India’s universities begin recording moderate improvements, with 53 programs improving and only 29 declining: there is also an increase in the number of top-50 and top-100 programs provided by Indian higher education;

• Russia’s higher education system has continued to improve, with an increase in top-50 and top-100 programs;

• Latin America’s best-performing overall system is Colombia, while the continent’s leading individual institutions are Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (12 top-50 programs) and Brazil’s Universidade de São Paulo (11 top-50 programs).

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 3:12 PM | View the original post

Alpine A110 Color Edition 2020 — Sunflower Yellow.

Renault Alpine 2020


Renault Alpine 2020


Renault Alpine2020


Photos: Alpine A110 Color Edition 2020 - Sunflower Yellow. Photographer © Lionel KORETZKY. Images provided by Alpine/Renault.

Alpine, the premium sports car manufacturer from France, has announced the Alpine A110 Color Edition 2020.

Like seasonal collections in the world of fashion, Alpine would annually refresh the color of this model.

For 2020, the A110 Color Edition comes finished exclusively in intense and thrilling — Sunflower Yellow.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 5:01 AM | View the original post

March 2, 2020

Godrej L'Affaire Concludes its Fourth Season With a Grand Celebration of Lifestyle.




Photo: More than 1300 people, including several prominent personalities, attended Godrej L’Affaire.

MUMBAI, March 1, 2020 — Godrej L’Affaire, a curated experiential lifestyle platform by the Godrej Group, concluded its fourth season in Mumbai. More than 1300 people, including several prominent personalities, attended it.

Godrej L’Affaire was kicked-off by actress Bhumi Pednekar with her debut as a chef. Bhumi and Chef Varun Inamdar engaged in a live cook-off and a conversation on how to bake a blockbuster. Celebrity couple Karanvir Bohra & Teejay Sidhu was in an interview with anchor Sonam Chhabra on inculcating spirituality in children through travel. They also unveiled the trailer of their upcoming web series ‘Baby Yatra.’

Music director Shantanu Moitra did a standalone talk on his 100-day fascinating adventure across the Himalayas that changed his music forever. India’s leading designers Alan Abraham, Madhav Raman, Swarup Dutta, and Asha Sairam, were involved in an insightful conversation on sustainable designs for homes. The session was moderated by Preeti Singh, Editor of Houzz India, and powered by HR Johnson.

The highlight of the evening soirée was ace fashion-designers Monisha Jaising & Shweta Bachchan Nanda’s luxury fashion label MxS’s first-ever fashion show. The presentation was street-inspired and had sportive elements and fabric mash-ups, giving the collection a jolt of energy. Models Carol Gracias, Deepti Gujral, Aanchal Kumar, and Sucheta Sharma walked the ramp while Shie Lobo choreographed the show. BBLUNT did hair for the models while Asha Hariharan did the make-up. All models wore accessories and jewelry by Isharya and watches by Guess Watches.

Sushant Divgikr’s musical performance with his band Top Storey left the audience mesmerized.

The Godrej Group unveiled its “Food Trends Report 2020” at the event. The Food Trends Report 2020 is a compendium of insights, views, and predictions collated from conversations with 150 experts that include chefs, thought-leaders, and food influencers across significant cities.

Commenting on the fourth season’s success, Tanya Dubash, Executive Director and Chief Brand Officer, Godrej Group, said, “Godrej L’Affaire has redefined lifestyle trends with every new season. Be it personalities, experiences, footfalls, and brand partnerships, the event’s fourth season has raised the bar and turned out to be the most successful edition to date. Godrej L’Affaire has delivered on its promise of showcasing future lifestyle trends that people can adopt for modern-day living.”

Godrej L’Affaire’s fourth season presenting partner was MX Player, while Krsnaa Mehta of India Circus styled the on-ground event. The soirée offered experiences of top lifestyle brands such as Harley-Davidson, Guess Watches, BBLUNT, Esprit, Godrej Security Solutions, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Cinthol, Godrej Bambusa, Myntra, Script, Godrej Properties, and Goodknight Naturals.

Established in 1897, the Godrej Group has its roots in India’s Independence and Swadeshi movement. Its founder, Ardeshir Godrej, lawyer-turned-serial entrepreneur, failed with a few ventures before he struck gold with a locks business. Today, the Godrej Group enjoys the patronage of 1.1 billion consumers globally across consumer goods, food products, real estate, and appliances.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 7:40 AM | View the original post

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