Tag Archives: Pune City

6 events in next 4 days: science, maths, cleantech, IP and open source

The events in Pune in the next four days are a great example of the diversity of Pune in the “science and technology” sector. Far too often, we assume that technology means software technology, but Pune does have much more. NCL is one of the top institutes in the country for chemical technology, and has a history of coming up with chemical science breakthroughs that make it into commercial products. Today, a scientist from NCL will give a talk on the patent and other intellectual property issues that scientists and small businesses should know about. The Bhaskaracharya Pratishthana is a great institute of Mathematics, and it regularly schedules very interesting talks for people interested in Mathematics. (And if you’re a software engineer who is not interested in Mathematics, you should be ashamed of yourself.) Monday will have a talk on probiotics – the use of bacteria and other micro-organisms in industrial waste treatements and other cleantech. And by the way, if you’re interested in finding out what other world-class institutions Pune has, (and it’s a huge number!), check out PuneTech’s top ranked websites of Pune page.

Click on the logo to get all PuneTech articles about events in Pune
Click on the logo to get all PuneTech articles about events in Pune

And all of this is in addition to our usual talks on open source (the Pune Linux Users Group), issues for small startups (the Pune Open Coffee Club), and Microsoft Technologies (the Pune User Group).

This weekend – try to get exposure to a different science & technology community than the one you normally hang out with.

Here are the details:

Jul 3, 2010: Ancient Indian Combinatorial Methods – by Prof Sridharan CMI at Bhaskaracharya Pratisthan

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 11:08 PM PDT

Professor Sridharan, Chennai Mathematical Institute, Chennai, will
give a lecture at Bhaskaracharya Pratishthana.

Topic: Differences in Style but not in Substance: Ancient Indian
Combinatorial Methods

This lecture is free for all to attend. No registration required.

Jul 5, 2010: PuneCleanTech event: Probiotic applications in CleanTech at Venture Center, NCL Innovation Park

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 09:21 PM PDT

PuneCleanTech is proud to present an enlightening talk on ‘Probiotics in CleanTech’ on July 5th, 2010 at 4:00pm at the NCL Innovation Center. The talk will be presented by Dr. Pillai, a renowned authority on the subject. This event is supported by Fusiontech Ventures and NCL Venture Center.

As you know, Probiotics is the use of beneficial micro-organisms to increase the health, vitality and efficiency of various animal processes. The same techniques can be applied to Industrial activity in areas such as soil remediation, effluent treatment, waste management etc. The talk will focus on such applications of Probiotics.

The talk will be suitable for all entities that are actively dealing with such technologies (such as Praj) or might benefit from their applications to industrial and municipal waste management. As a result, institutions such as MCCIA and Pune Municipal Corporation might benefit from this talk. If you agree, please canvass it within your or affiliated organizations.

This broad-ranging talk should be interesting also for concerned citizenry (such as ecological society) and the scientific/technological elites (such as NCL), as well as, educational and research institutes.

As always, the talk is free but the seating is limited to first 60 people. There is no RSVP and the seating will be on a ‘first at the door gets the first chair’ basis 🙂

Jul 2, 2010: Venture Center’s IP Center Event: IP overview by Dr. Tiwari of NCL IP Gropu at Venture Center, NCL Innovation Park

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 09:18 PM PDT

Dr. Nitin Tiwari, a scientist with NCL and part of the NCL IP Group will talk about Intellectual Property. The focus will be general awareness of IP for small and medium enterprises.

This is a free event . It is open to all

Jul 3, 2010: POCC Meet: “Contracts and Intellectual Property” at GrubShup

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 09:15 PM PDT

Are the following significant problem areas for your startup?
* Non-payment from clients who have already taken delivery (ITES, other domains)
* Intellectual Property (trademark violations, copyright enforcement)
* Industry Ethics, price cutting by competitors (who then don’t deliver quality)

Our next meetup is focused on how entrepreneurs deal with these issues.

Attending Counsels:
Kaushik Kute http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kaushik-kute/8/b26/1bb

This is a free event. Anybody can attend. Register here: http://punestartups.ning.com/events/event/show?id=1988582%3AEvent%3A35767&xg_source=msg_invite_event

Jul 3, 2010: Pune Linux Users Group – Monthly Meeting at Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 09:11 PM PDT

PLUG meeting for July is scheduled on Saturday 3rd July, 4 pm @ SICSR

These are the details:
Location: SICSR, Atur Centre, Model Colony.
Room No 704. 7th floor ( room no. may change )
Time: 4 pm

Agenda:

1. We will have a talk on distributed version control and TeamGit by
Abhijit Bhopatkar. Abhijit Bhopatkar is the author of TeamGit
(http://www.devslashzero.com/teamgit).
Audience: Anyone interested in version control
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revision_control), TeamGit, and/or
contributing to an interesting Qt project.
2. Open discussion and QA session

This event is free for all to attend. No registration required.

Jul 3, 2010: Microsoft Community Tech Day at Shekhar Natu Hall

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 07:24 PM PDT

Agenda:
9:00am – 9:30am Registration
9.30am – 9.45am Tea Break
09.45am – 10.00am Keynote
10:00am – 11:00am What’s new in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP 1 – Aviraj Ajgekar
11.00am – 12.00pm Setting Up Remote Access Service on Windows Server 2008 R2 for VPN – Dev Chaudhari
12.00pm – 01.00pm Lunch
01.00pm – 02.00pm Introduction to Forefront Identity Manager 2010 – Mayur Deshpande
02.00pm – 03.00pm Deploying application using Application Virtualization (App-V) – Ninad Doshi
03:00pm – 04:00pm Tea Break & Networking

This event is free for all to attend. Register here: http://www.communitytechdays.com/Registration1.aspx?Status=NotFound&login=offline

Research Institutions in Pune

(This article by Amit was first published on his blog and is being reproduced here with permission.)
Pune is well-known in India and internationally for being a hub of education and research. It has a wide range of academic & research institutions spanning various domains in science, technology, medicine, agriculture, arts, humanities, law, finance, etc. This blog article is an attempt to list out these various institutions. If you find any missing, please add a comment.

Science & Technology

The University of Pune (photo credit: Shreesh Kawthekar, via Wikipedia)

Arts, Humanities, Management & Law

Defense Related

Comments on this article are closed. Please comment at the original article.

Will foursquare be the next big thing after Twitter in Pune Social Media?

There is absolutely no question that first Facebook, and then Twitter had a huge impact on the Pune Tech community. Thousands of Pune techies use these on a daily (in fact, hourly) basis to stay in touch with each other, and with the world at large. I’m sure you’re all on Facebook. And, if you’re not on twitter, you should join now. See the PuneTech Why Twitter? presentation for reasons. And follow @punetech on twitter

foursquare is a new location-based social networking site.

Now, it appears that location-based social networking site foursquare is generating similar levels of excitement amongst a section of the community.

If you want to feel that enthusiasm first-hand, then you should head over to the Pune foursquare day meeting (or “swarm” in 4sq terminilogy) which is happening today (Friday, 16 April), at “1 – The Lounge”, Koregaon Park, from 7:30pm until 10pm. One Lounge is a little ahead of ABC farms on North Main Road annex. The event is technically free, but there’s a Rs. 300 cover charge (which can be redeemed for food or drinks, and there’s a complimentary shot for foursquare users).

Check out the Pune 2010 foursquare day event page on Facebook. And RSVP there.

So… what is foursquare?

foursquare makes a game out of exploring your city, and while at it helps you make friends with other like-minded, super-cool people! You can use it to find the new interesting places in the city, like restaurants, or museums, or whatever else your friends are interested in; and you can use it to get reviews of any place that you want to know more about.

Doesn’t seem very exciting? Well, that’s the same reaction Twitter used to get from people when it was new, and yet, Twitter has now taken over the world, including Bollywood, Indian politics, and IPL too. So, I’m predicting, foursquare will be similarly big. And this time, you can get in on the ground floor. Join now.

What makes it most intersting, is that foursquare is primarily a technology to be used on your mobile phone. The exploding use of mobile internet in India is another reason to think that foursquare can be big in India.

And… why is today important?

Because it allows Pune another chance to point out to the world that we are always at the cutting edge of anything new.

In consumer marketing circles, it is well established that Pune is one of the first cities where companies try out their new products, or new campaigns, or pilot programs. This is because Pune has a young, hip crowd that is willing to experiment.

Today, 16 April is International foursquare day, and cities all over the world hare having foursquare parties. But the point really is this – this event gives Pune a chance to cement its early adopter reputation by being the first city in India to get a foursquare swarm badge. A swarm badge is given when 50 or more foursquare users are check into the same location at the same time. This is a coveted badge, and signals to the world that this location has a very active and social online/offline community.

Just to make things more interesting, the city of Bellefontaine, in Ohio, USA has challenged Pune to a competition on the number of party attendees on the 16th. As of now, Pune has a lead on the number of attendees, but we’re still short of the 50 mark needed to officially make a swarm.

See http://pune4sqday.teemac.in/ for details.

But… isn’t this all silly kidstuff & not for serious people like me?

That’s what they said about Facebook, initially. And that’s what they said about Twitter, initially. But nobody is saying that about either now. Same story with foursquare.

I think you’re maybe confusing this with Orkut. Feel free to stay away from Orkut. But ignore Facebook/Twitter/foursquare at your own risk.

And those of you who are too busy to be on twitter, let me tell you this – if Anand Mahindra has time to be on twitter, you can stop your self-important whining.

Uh… What do I have to do, again?

Simple.

Start using foursquare.

RSVP at the Pune foursquare day facebook page.

Show up at One Lounge tonight and check-in.

And end up meeting a whole lot of people who are more interesting than your colleagues at work, and in some cases, more intersting than your existing friends.

Really.

Pune Corporator uses SMS to stay in touch with constituents

This is an example of effective use of technology in public life in Pune. Sakaal Times reports that first-time corporator Rajendra Gorde, is using SMS to not only stay in touch with his constituents but also to provide them with useful information.

Excerpt:

Rajabhau, as he is popularly known, has created a personal data-bank of nearly 80 percent of the electorate in his ward. Not only does he know people by name, where exactly they reside and the number of people in their families, but he also knows their birth dates, anniversaries and other important dates. Most importantly, he has the cellphone numbers of each of these people.

So, it is possible for him to send out personalised greetings, good wishes, condolences and other messages to each and every individual in his database. While this kind of SMSes help Rajabhau to establish a personal connect with his voters, what makes him stand out as a corporator are the public service and informational messaging that he sends out to hundreds of people every day.

For instance, he secured the names of all secondary and higher secondary students of municipal schools in the city who had secured 80 percent and above marks. It was a pleasant surprise for 83 such students when their parents received individual SMSes from Rajabhau informing them that they were eligible for grants of Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000, respectively, under a PMC scheme for meritorious students.

And apparently, residents are finding this service useful.

The most popular messages are the ones informing people about water cuts and power shutdowns. It enables people to prepare for exigencies and not get caught unawares.

PuneTech readers will note that this is very similar to what SMSOne has been doing in over 500+ villages and urban localities in Maharashtra and a couple of other stages. Unlike Rajendra Gorde, who is using this “SMS newsletter” concept as part of public service, SMSOne has been running this as a for-profit business, and it appears to be doing rather well. SMSOne appears to have shown that this is indeed a sustainable business model.

Given the really low cost and low technology requirements for setting up an SMS Gateway, this idea is something that many others can and should implement. I see few “web-2.0” businesses/services that are using SMS as an add-on to their website/service. And I see fewer still who are fully SMS based ideas. But, considering that India probably has 50 million internet users, and 500 million SMS users, I think more and more people should be looking at SMS as a primary enabling technology.

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IEEE Innovation Symposium: Engineering Pune’s future via Education, Employability, Entrepreneurship, and Environment: 5 Dec

What: IEEE Pune subsection presents an Innovation Symposium with a Panel discussion & an open house on “Innovation: A perspective for engineering Pune’s future via Education, Employability, Entrepreneurship and Environment
When: Saturday, 5th December, 9:30am to 4:30pm
Where: Hotel Deccan Rendezvous, Apte Road, Shivajinagar
Registration and Fees: Rs. 250 per person (includes lunch). To register send mail to ieee125.pune.symposium@gmail.com

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Click the logo For all PuneTech articles about IEEE Pune

Details

The session aims to bring together people from academia, industry and the NGO fraternity to share their perspectives. The whole day is spread over 4 sessions on each topic viz. education, employability, entrepreneurship and environment.

The panelists are Padmashree Dr.Vijay Bhatkar – Scientist & Fellow of IEEE, Mr. R G Deshpande – MD, Vishay components, Dr. Anupam Bhide – President and CEO, Calsoft Inc., and Dr. Anand Karve – President ARTI. The Sessions are an hour each. First half an hour will be for views sharing by each speaker and the next half hour will be for open house discussion.

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Participatory Budgeting in Pune – Propose your additions to your local ward’s budget

(This is a guest post by Sanskriti Menon, who is a Programme Diretor, at the Center for Environment Education, Pune. PMC is now not only allowing citizens to suggest additions to the local budgets, but the form can be filled online (and that is why this item does belong to PuneTech.) The what, why and how are covered below, but if you do decide to submit an entry, please note the following: go to PuneCorporation.org, click on the “Participatory Budget 2010-11” link around the middle of the page, and then on the next page you get a page with instructions in Marathi. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and click “Accept”. That will give you the actual form.)

What is Participatory Budgeting?

The Participatory Budget of the PMC provides an opportunity for citizens to give suggestions for works to be taken up in the next financial year. Citizens can make suggestions for streetlights, footpaths, public toilets, waste sorting shed/ biogas plant/ bulk compost unit, drainage etc, in spaces where such works are permissible and needed. Participatory Budget has been carried out in Pune over the last three years. It is a mechanism for citizens to give inputs for works to be carried out through the ward offices. The final decision regarding the budget of our city government is of course taken by our elected representatives with inputs from the administration.

What is the process citizens are to follow?

Citizens can make their suggestions online in the E-Budgeting application available on the PMC website from 26th October to 09 November 2009. The form is available at www.punecorporation.org

Suggestions can also be made in the prescribed forms available at ward offices.  All ward offices are also making arrangements for online entry. When submitting the paper form, citizens must ensure that it is duly in-warded at the ward office and the tear-off receipt with inward entry number is given. This number will be needed to the unique id number after computerization. Those submitting suggestions online will directly get the unique ID number on completion of the entry. This number will be needed to track the suggestion and what decision is taken about it.

Of course, citizens have to be clear that submission of suggestions does not necessarily mean that the work will be accepted. The PMC has to check the feasibility and the Prabhag Samiti will be making their decision too.

What is the benefit of Participatory Budgeting?

Participatory Budget is a refinement in the ‘institutional design’ of the democratic process to make it more responsive to citizens’ needs. Our democratic process is that we citizens elect our representatives to take decisions that are well thought out, in keeping with societal and environmental concerns, and responding to our needs. However, a necessary condition for representative democracy to function well is that citizens actively provide inputs to elected representatives. This happens in many ways through RTI, the media, NGOs etc. Draft master plans and new policy drafts are kept open for a specified period for public input. The most direct method is of course discussions with corporators. However, in a city where the ratio of representation is about 15000 citizens to one corporator this may pose some problems.

The participatory budget process helps to deepen our existing democratic framework. It is an evolving mechanism to enable the democratic process to function better. The underlying idea is that citizens get a formal opportunity to deliberate upon the needs of their areas and submit requests to the respective administrative ward offices.

What are the achievements so far?

A few thousand people have participated in the exercise over the years. Last year over 1300 suggestions for works were received. Over 35 crore worth of projects were incorporated into the main budget.  There is recognition that some project ideas are mundane (fix a pavement); but the fact that citizens have to ask for these is a telling comment on how these very aspects may be ignored in conventional budgeting processes. There are the not-so-usual ideas as well – sorting sheds, composting units, benches, hawking zone platforms, etc.

Is PB happening anywhere else?

In many parts of the world! Participatory Budgeting started in Latin American countries struggling to build or rebuild their democratic institutions and to eliminate corruption, improve transparency and accountability of government. The innovation of ‘participatory budgeting’ has been praised internationally as an example of “good” governance.

In Brazil, citizens deliberate on five thematic areas: transport and traffic circulation; education, leisure and culture; health and social welfare; economic development and taxation; city organization and urban development. Meetings are held in each neighbourhood, where residents draw up their list of priorities for investment in infrastructure. These inputs are provided to the municipal budget council who determines the distribution of funds for each priority among districts. The municipal budget council and the district budget fora also monitor spending year-round.

In UK, talking about participatory budgeting, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Hazel Blear said “councilors must not feel their democratic mandate is bypassed, and instead recognize that it will strengthen their relationship with their local community”.  Also, that, “I think the world has changed. I think voting every four years and basically handing over responsibility and power to other people and then doing nothing again for four years, I think our democracy is not like that any more.”  Ms Blear may well be talking about our city!

Intructions for Participatory Budgeting

PMC’s Citizen Suggestion Form is available online at www.punecorporation.org

(scroll down to ‘What would you like to do’ (above Swine Flu)

General instructions for suggesting works

  1. Please fill in all columns
  2. Citizens should note that suggesting a work does not necessarily mean its inclusion in the budget; the projects inclusion/ exclusion will be determined on technical and legal considerations
  3. All suggested works should be specific (location, description, quantity, category etc) (attach maps, photos where needed – fill a physical form in this case)
  4. Only projects that pertain to neighbourhood or locality level works are to be suggested, not city level infrastructure
  5. The cost of suggested works should preferably be below Rs 5 lakh
  6. Projects of the following type are admissible: pavements, water supply, drainage, bus stop (in consultation with PMT), parks and gardens (only repair works), bhawan (only repair works), public toilets, lights (roads and traffic), roads (only resurfacing)
  7. Projects of following type are not admissible: pedestrian bridges, speed breakers (prohibited by Supreme Court), garden (new provision), construction on land not owned by PMC
  8. Non budgetable projects should be avoided – For e.g. appointment of staff, minor repairs, clean up etc
  9. Deadline for submission is 09 Nov 2009
  10. When submitting the paper form, citizens must ensure that it is duly in-warded at the ward office and the tear-off receipt with inward entry number is given. This number will be needed to the unique id number after computerization. Those submitting suggestions online will directly get the unique ID number on completion of the entry. This number will be needed to track the suggestion and what decision is taken about it.
  11. Suggestions can also be made in the prescribed forms available at ward offices.  All ward offices are also making arrangements for online entry.

For more information, visit

www.janwani.org

http://government.wikia.com/wiki/Participatory_Budgeting_in_Pune

http://www.desd.org/efc/Participatory%20Budgeting.htm

About the Author – Sanskriti Menon

Sanskriti Menon is a Programme Director for the CEE Urban Programmes and Central Regional Cell of the Centre for Environment Education. CEE is an organization that works towards improving the awareness of environmental issues in our education system. It is supported by the Ministry of Envirnoment and Forests. Sanskriti also runs greenteacher.org, and she is also one of the primary driving forces behind the huge success of the Pune governance wiki.

Can we use technology to solve some of Pune’s problems?

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A few weeks ago, we had asked our readers, “How to increase community participation in the Pune tech scene?”, and we received a huge number of very interesting suggestions. Please read the comments on that article for the full list of suggestions. We have decided that over the next few weeks, we will put up individual posts highlighting some of those suggestions, and asking for feedback on how best to take this forward.

Unmesh Mayekar, of SadakMap, made this suggestion:

Start a series on PuneTech where everyday problems (plaguing Pune) are taken and an attempt is made to address them using technology.

Essentially, someone poses a problem (e.g. uncoordinated traffic lights) and puts forward an attempt at solving this problem. PuneTech community debates the feasibility and if it stands the test interested folks come together to take it further. A sponsor willing to put their name (and some moolah) behind the approved initiatives would round this off well.

We are techies. Technology is our strength. So it makes sense that we try to find ways in which we can use technology to solve issues. Granted that technology isn’t always a solution to problems, but it can be a part of the solution, especially if we team up with others (non-techies) who are domain experts. Often, domain experts who are working on a problem at the grassroots are not technologically savvy, and hence are not able to leverage technology well, and a little technology boost can significantly improve the impact of their efforts. This is where we can help.

What is the best method of taking this idea forward? As Unmesh indicated, we can start a series on PuneTech itself where the problems and proposed tech solutions are posed and voted upon. Or we could create a separate, more specialized package that is better at keeping track of votes (if you have good experiences with any such open source package, then let us know in the comments).

What other things do we need to take care of to ensure that this is successful? One thing I strongly feel is that every idea needs an “owner” who is willing to give non-trivial amounts of time for that idea for the first few months. I believe that the number of people intersted in an idea looks like this:

After the initial hype, where a number of people show interest, there comes “the dip” when people back out for various reasons (or just stop responding), and then only a few people are left (in some cases, just the “owner”). It is necessary that the idea owner continues working on the idea and making progress during this time, so that they can come out of the dip towards success. For that, you need to be passionate about the idea, and you should be clear that there will be a chunk of time when you are working on the idea alone. Basically, what I am saying is that you cannot depend upon “community participation”, especially in the early months.

So, every project needs a passionate “owner”.

What else?

Please give all your ideas, suggestions, feedback in the comments below.

Event packed weekend in Pune: Proto volunteers, tweetup, Android, much more – 6th June

PuneTech logoThis weekend promises to be very hectic for techies in Pune with at least 6 events planned. If you did not know about at least 4 of them, you have not been paying attention – PuneTech has already written about the tweet-up (6:30pm), the Marathi localization meeting (6pm), the presentation on Google Android, and the IBM Tivoli User Group Meeting. If you count today (Thursday) as part of the weekend, then there’s the PuneChips event for the semiconductor/EDA design/apps professionals in Pune, bringing the total up to 7. And also, Lakshminarasimhan Sundararajan is looking to meet Pune entrepreneurs for an informal coffee in Koregaon park, so if you’re interested, let him know.

In addition there is a free CRM workshop by iWare Logic, from 10am to 5pm, at their Baner Road office. “Know CRM” is an intensive short duration workshop where we don’t just talk about CRM concepts but how they can be implemented usefully in your day to day operations. CRM consultants will share their knowledge and experience with you and help you understand the components of an effective CRM solution through guided demonstrations of Oracle CRM On Demand.

There’s a meeting for all those interested in volunteering for Proto.in. Proto is India’s premier startup conference, and it is coming to Pune in July. There is a lot of work to be done, and for this to become successful, a lot of volunteers are needed. This is your chance to get involved in the startup community in India – interact with the who’s who of the startup community, see the best startups in India at close quarters. And make Pune proud by making this the best proto. No registration required. Just show up.

And there also the monthly Pune Linux Users Group meeting from 4pm to 6pm. This meeting happens on the first Saturday of every month at 4pm in SICSR, and is definitely the place you want to be if you are interested in Linux in particular, or free/open source software in general.

Did we miss anything? If you are aware of any tech events in Pune (this weekend, or anytime in the future) please add them to the Pune tech events calendar at upcoming. This is an open calendar – anybody can add events to it. Please do so for the benefit of the tech community at Pune. Any event added there automatically gets added to the calendar at PuneTech.com.

By the way, don’t forget about the inaugural event of PuneChips today (Thursday, 4 June, 6:30pm: details). PuneChips is a forum for semiconductor industry (chip design, EDA, applications, VLSI, embedded systems) professionals in Pune. Please come today to meet and network with others in Pune working in this area, and to help us figure out what the activities of this forum. And in case you need more incentive to attend, Abhijit Abhyankar, head of Rambus India will talk about the emerging opportunities in the semiconductor industry. Please forward this info to your friends who might be interested.

As always, keep checking the PuneTech calendar on a regular basis. And follow PuneTech on twitter.

Pune’s Tech Mahindra wins Satyam bid

According to news reports today, Pune based Tech Mahindra has won the Satyam bid. Here is the coverage in The Economic Times “Tech Mahindra wins bid for Satyam Computers

Satyam Computer Services Ltd.
Image via Wikipedia

The other rivals in the race were L&T InfoTech and the American billionaire Wilbur Ross. This news is already being covered in great detail in all the national business media and I doubt if I can add anything new.

My thought would be from a Pune angle. Pune has been amongst the leading IT cities in India for a while now. Infosys and Wipro have plans underway to expand their Pune centers into their single biggest facilities. Yet, a ‘Pune-based company’ has never been in the big league!

It’s worth noting how Infosys started in Pune in the early 1980s and then moved on to Bangalore. In some sense this void can be filled today! Tech Mahindra has its roots in Pune for many years. Here are a couple of links that provide more information about the company profile:

Tech Mahindra Wikipedia Link

Tech Mahindra Official Website (About Us Link)

(This article is cross-posted from Amit Paranjape’s Blog.)

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PuneTech’s April Fools Prank – Pune handling recession better than Bangalore

Following in the footsteps of such respected media houses as the BBC and the Guardian, PuneTech yesterday played an April Fools’ Day prank on its readers.


Click here if you cannot see the video above. It’s different from yesterday’s news clip.

We claimed that Pune is expecting growth in revenues in spite of the recession, whereas the other cities, including Bangalore, would see a decline. If you missed all the excitement yesterday, check out our report yesterday. Unfortunately, the entire report was a hoax. There is no company by the name of INHR Associates, the links to the “extended abstract” and the “full (paid) report” are both non-existent, and the the news clip by a “certain TV channel (that will remain unnamed)” was actually created for PuneTech by some of our over-enthusiastic friends.

We have shown above a different, more over-the-top version of the same “news video“. It some out-takes and has credits of the cast and crew who made the film. As with the original video, the “reactions” of the average techie-in-the-street are the most hilarious – definitely worth checking out.

The hints you should have seen

As with any good April Fools’ Prank, we tried to liberally sprinkle it with giveaways – hints that people should have caught on to:

  • The original source report did not exist. Only two brave souls complained to us that the links were broken. Everybody else seems to have taken our report at face value
  • INHR Associates, the company which is supposed to have done the survey, had a website called http://inhumanresources.com – very few people picked up on that
  • Needless to say, the video is completely ridiculous. The fact that many people actually believed it to be real, is a very sad commentary on the state of the real news being put out by our TV channels. We have come to expect trash like this from our TV.
  • Check out the ticker at the bottom of the news video. It has ridiculous items like “Mallika Sherawat enters politics” and a bunch of other such things.

The believers

PunetechGraphAprilFool
Image by ngkabra via Flickr

@asutosh has the distinction of being the first person to fall for the joke and retweet it

This was just the first in the long line of people believers. We had a few accomplices (@aparanjape, @d7y, and @amitsomani, and @meetumeetu) who re-tweeted it, after which I believe about 15 to 20 believers retweeted.

@logic loved the “marathi manoos” reaction in the video and wrote:

http://is.gd/pVGh 3:10 I knew recession wont affect pune coz marati dictionary doesnt have it.. ROFLMAO #EKSI. no this tweet is not #april1

Oh, the irony! Sorry, @logic, it was #april1.

@beastoftraal and @milliblog were were ridiculing PuneTech thusly:

Pune handling recession better than Bangalore? They couldn’t afford to buy a report for Rs. 7.5K, but! http://tr.im/i4jD

Another person who did not like the Pune chest-thumping was @kiranspillai who chastised us:

Junta in Pune maha excited about thier recession being not so bad as bangalore. Chest deep or neck deep – You still have sh*t sticking on u

I think the best exchange happened on facebook. Chief evangelist of PuneTech, Amit Paranjape, who was in on the joke, posted this to facebook:

Amit Paranjape: Why Pune is handling recession better than Bangalore. http://tinyurl.com/czl3w8

This resulted in the following conversation thread over there:

Rohit Joshi at 3:06pm April 1
It’s a bit like comparing France with the US. The French don’t have boom-bust cycles like anglo-saxon economies because the French don’t innovate and take risks as much. France is still a lovely place.

Navin Kabra at 3:09pm April 1
@Rohit, I doubt that the software/IT/ITES economics of Bangalore and Pune are very different from each other in terms of innovation, risk taking, and boom-bust cycles. I’m sure the explanation for this phenomenon lies elsewhere.

Abhijit Athavale at 4:22pm April 1
Maybe, the Puneites have not realized how serious this thing is going to be. Seriously, the reason might be that Pune has a ton of local industry that the IT/ITES companies are catering to. Bangalore has none.

Amit Paranjape at 5:30pm April 1
I agree Pune does have other local industry. Also, many other non-IT ‘tech’ companies.

After seeing all these reactions, I almost wished that the news item was true.

Of course, there were also some believers in the comments on the original post.

The making of the video

A few months back when we first got the idea, I casually asked meetu of wogma whether her film-industry friends would be willing to help us out by making a short film for PuneTech as an April Fools’ Prank. She and her friends went nuts with the idea and produced this clip. At that time, I had absolutely no idea of the huge amount of effort that goes into making even a short film like that. But, meetu and her friends, really took to the idea, and worked nights and weekends for almost 20 days to make this clip. I would probably not even have suggested the idea if I knew this beforehand, but anyway, they seem to have enjoyed the process, and we at PuneTech are absolutely thrilled with the final product. We would like to thank them all for the efforts, and for the superb result.

The director (Nitin Gaikwad, nitindgaikwad[at]gmail[dot]com, +91 98193 74727), the editor (Shreyas Beltangdy, shreyasbeltangdy[at]gmail[dot]com, +91 98922 12953) and the main news anchor (Raj Kumar Yadav, raj.deniro[at]gmail[dot]com, +91 99677 82869) are actual professionals in their field, and friends of meetu, who did this for us, free. The rest of the cast and crew are friends, relatives and neighbors. Here are the full credits:

Cast
News reader: Raj Kumar Yadav (raj.deniro[at]gmail[dot]com, +91 99677 82869)
Statistical analyst: Subramanyam Pisupati
Pune expert: Navin Kabra
Field Reporter: Shweta Karwa
IT employee #1: Mudit Singhal
IT employee #2: Nitin Gaikwad
IT employee #3: Subur Khan
IT employee #4: Amit Rajput

A billion thanks to: Pushpa and Badri Baldawa

Special thanks to: Mudit Singhal, Ravi Iyer, Agasti, Amit Rajput
Lighting: Agasti, Chandu dada
Production Assistants: Siddhu, Shiva, Sriram, Hemant, Saraswati
Make-up: Suman Baldawa
Camera and sound equipment: Rudra Communications
Editing Studio: Rudra Vision
Concept: Navin Kabra
Editor: Shreyas Beltangdy (shreyasbeltangdy[at]gmail[dot]com, +91 98922 12953)
Dialogue: meetu, Shreyas Beltangdy, Navin Kabra

Director of Photography: Shreyas Beltangdy (shreyasbeltangdy[at]gmail[dot]com, +91 98922 12953)
Director: Nitin Gaikwad (nitindgaikwad [at] gmail [dot] com, +91 98193 74737)

Final thoughts

Gautam Morey, a PuneTech reader, said yesterday: “You are spending too much time setting up an April Fool’s Joke!”

And our answer was: “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy :-). We spend so much time being serious that spending some time on frivolous things is OK once in a while.”

At the very least, I think we should be able to say that Pune handled April Fools’ day much better than Bangalore!

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