Thursday, November 26, 2020

GoodWorker, founded by Temasek, joins hands with Sonu Sood and Schoolnet and invests Rs. 250 Cr in technology platform for blue-collar workers

 ● Pravasi Rojgar, an initiative of Sonu Sood and Schoolnet, has already onboarded 10 lakh job seekers and thousands of employers within 4 months

● GoodWorker to expand Pravasi Rojgar’s horizon by leveraging technology to deliver job matching, upskilling, financial and other services for 10 crore blue-collar workers

Mumbai, 26 November 2020 – As India steers through the COVID-19 crisis towards self-reliance and growth, there is an urgent need to address the challenges faced by the blue-collar worker community in the areas of employment and empowerment. To bridge this gap, GoodWorker, a digital job matching platform, has come together with noted actor, Sonu Sood and Schoolnet, a leading education and vocational skills provider, to form a joint venture with an initial investment of Rs. 250 Cr (~US$ 34M).

The technology platform aims to reach 10 crore Indians by providing access to good jobs and career progression through upskilling services, followed by financial, healthcare and social security services.

The initiative will also help employers in recruiting and retaining verified blue-collar workers, which  ill result in productivity gains, improved profitability and sustainable operations.

The platform uses decentralised technology built by Affinidi, also founded by Singapore investment company Temasek, and will provide workers and their families with digital identities and verifiable credentials. They will have greater control of their data, and improved access to employment opportunities and life empowering services.

Pravasi Rojgar was launched by Sonu Sood along with Schoolnet in July 2020 as an employment portal for job-seekers, especially migrants, after millions lost jobs in the pandemic. This initiative has received an overwhelming response from all stakeholders, onboarding over 10 lakh job seekers and thousands of employers within just 4 months of its launch. Pravasi Rojgar’s scope is now being expanded beyond job matching in partnership with GoodWorker, building on the combined strengths in migrant outreach, education, skilling and technology. The strategy centres around a core digital platform supported by Schoolnet’s physical network spread across India. The joint venture will formally launch its product offerings early next year.

Ekam Advisors, an investment banking firm out of Mumbai has been instrumental in bringing all the partners together and advised on the strategy for this initiative.

Announcing the partnership, Pradyumna Agrawal, Board Member of GoodWorker, said, “The cutting-edge technology that GoodWorker brings will allow businesses in India to effectively expand their operations by finding the right talent, and also allow workers to have control over their data while widening access to digital products and services. With digital transformation accelerating against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, GoodWorker’s investment reflects our optimism towards trends in India that are underpinned by technology and digitalisation.”

RCM Reddy & KK Iyer, Board Members of Schoolnet, said “Schoolnet, as a market leader in education and skilling services, reaching more than 1 crore students, youth and enterprises, along with its deep domain knowledge and execution track record, is uniquely positioned to realise this mission of creating a community of an empowered blue-collar workforce.”

Sonu Sood, whose philanthropic services for migrant workers have been widely recognized, said “This partnership will help in realising my dream of providing a better life and securing livelihood for  millions of youth. I am fortunate to partner with this socially relevant technology platform, as it helps institutionalise and scale Pravasi Rojgar's humanitarian efforts.”

This partnership is expected to complement the Government’s initiatives to spur economic growth, create employment opportunities and support inclusive development through the use of technology at scale.

About GoodWorker

‍GoodWorker is a job matching platform that connects blue-collar workers and potential employers in

India with one another. The platform provides blue-collar workers with a digital, verifiable profile to

empower them to more efficiently seek employment. It enables employers to have full confidence in the

authenticity of employment credentials presented by potential employees. GoodWorker is built using

Affinidi, an open and interoperable technology that enables users to have control of their verifiable

data. GoodWorker and Affinidi have been founded by Temasek, a global investment company

headquartered in Singapore. GoodWorker is based in Bengaluru, India, and Affinidi is based in Singapore

with a hub in Berlin, Germany. For more information, please and

About Pravasi Rojgar

Pravasi Rojgar is a job portal launched by Sonu Sood and Schoolnet in July 2020 to support migrant

workers, and has onboarded 10 lakh job seekers. Pravasi Rojgar's primary aim is to provide employment

opportunities to job seekers in the skill-based work sector, linking youth to companies for entry-level

jobs and providing mentor support in helping them through the entire journey. For more information,

please visit

About Schoolnet

Schoolnet India Limited (formerly IL&FS Education and Technology Services Ltd) is one of India’s largest

EdTech and skilling companies, which focuses on leveraging the demographic dividend through

initiatives related to 3Es: Education, Employability and Employment. It provides a wide range of services

and opportunities for lifelong learning and skilling of students, young adults and youth, in alignment

with UN SDG 4. Schoolnet, through its initiatives, has created significant impact at scale, leveraging its

diversified intellectual properties comprising teaching learning devices, digital platforms and content,

and multi-stakeholder partnerships. Having established its presence across 400 districts, in more than

40,000 schools, 200 Institutes of Skills and 100 industry clusters (impacting 10,000 industry units),

Schoolnet directly impacts 15 million people on a daily basis. For more information, please

For media queries, please contact:



Check out this year’s biggest Gujarati romantic song, Mahelo Ni Rani by the popular singer Rakesh Barot!

After delivering the chartbuster heartbreak track Kona Re Bharose, Rakesh Barot has come out with his latest Gujarati single ‘Mahelo Ni Rani’, which features popular model and actress Sweta Sen, along with Rakesh himself.  The video has an interesting storyline, where Rakesh is seen as a film superstar, who falls in love at first sight with a background dancer on the set of his film. Shot in a big scale, the video captures the journey of love between two unlikely people, as they find each other.


Penned by Harjit Panesar and directed by Aannu Patel, this romantic number is sure to enthrall the hearts of many!


Commenting on the same, Rakesh said, “Mahelo Ni Rani is an out and out romantic number, with beautiful and simple lyrics and a very catchy melody. The video is also shot in a big scale, giving it a grand look and feel. My fans have always loved my romantic numbers, and after the heartbreak song of Kona Re Bharose, this song is about admiring a woman’s beauty and finidng love. I hope my fans shower this song with their love.”


You can listen to Rakesh’s new Gujarati single ‘Mahelo Ni Rani’ only on Saregama Gujarati’s YouTube Page:

Link -

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Preparing India for the Covid-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 Vaccine Frenzy and the Long Journey Ahead - TheLeaflet


 COVID-19 spread will continue' - The Hindu

Dr.Krishna Reddy Nallamalla, Country Director, ACCESS Health India.


The world is eagerly awaiting a vaccine against Covid-19. Announcements from lead runners have been encouraging. And yet, unanswered questions remain. These will be known only after full results are published in peer reviewed scientific journals. Moreover, the challenge of administering the vaccine to billions of people across the world is daunting. Each country will have to plan well in advance to finance, procure, and organize population-wide vaccination.


The challenge for India, with a population of over 1.3 billion, is huge. India has, in the past, demonstrated its abilities in meeting challenges of this nature, despite its weak health system. India boasts of one of the largest vaccine manufacturing capacities in the world. India boasts of a widespread network of frontline health workers (ASHA, ANMs, and Anganwadi workers among others) that has been effective in undertaking programs at scale.


A majority of Indian states are witnessing a declining caseload, despite greater unlocking of restrictions. Multiple seroprevalence studies are pointing to a high rate of asymptomatic infections. Studies in a few slum communities have demonstrated very high seroprevalence rate ranging from 30 to 50 percent. These trends point to the phenomenon of natural herd immunity in the setting of continuing preventive measures of using face masks and practicing social distancing and hand hygiene.


The proportion of people required to be evidently immune in order to achieve herd immunity is arrived at by the formula (1-1/R0), where R0 is the reproduction rate of the virus, i.e., number of people one infected person infects. When the desired proportion of the population acquires immunity, the virus fails to spread in the population. It is well established that simple containment measures like face masking, social distancing, and hand hygiene can bring down the R0 value to <1.5 from a high of ~2.5 when no measures are in place. As per the above formula, the proportion of people needed to achieve herd immunity at R0 value of 2.5, 2.0, 1.5, and 1.2 are 60%, 50%, 33.3%, and 16.6% respectively.


Hence, the current decline in numbers should not give rise to a false sense of herd immunity and lead to lowering the guard in terms of containment measures. Until 60 to 70% of the population develops immunity either because of natural infection or because of vaccination, all the containment measures should continue. 


Additional caveats are to be kept in mind while coming up with policies and strategies for effective population level vaccination. It is not clear whether those with evidence of prior infection, that is detectable antibodies against Covid-19 virus, have robust protection against reinfection and if yes, for how long. Recent studies have demonstrated that the antibody levels decrease rapidly in those with no or mild symptoms. The decrease in antibody levels, however, may not equate with a decrease in immune protection against reinfection. This is because the body harbors memory B cells and T cells.  Memory B cells can be recruited to start antibody production at a short notice and T cells mount cell mediated immunity against the invading virus. Whether we need to test people for the presence of protective antibodies prior to vaccination is not clear yet.


Vaccination strategies will have to account for the differences in the various vaccines that are in the advanced stage of development. These are different type of vaccines, namely, mRNA, component proteins, viral vector, inactivated virus, and attenuated virus among others. This means there are differences in various factors such as temperature stability, dosage (single versus two doses), ability to induce both humoral (antibody-based) and cell-mediated immunity, the demonstrated duration for which they provide protection, safety profile, and cost among others.


Financing a massive vaccination program at a time when the country is going through great economic hardship is an important policy decision to be considered. Given the narrow fiscal space, policy makers must exercise priority setting. Any policy needs to ensure that the most vulnerable and the most essential people get equitable access to the vaccine without any financial hardships. There is a great risk of policies being influenced by the exigencies of political capital. These need to be curbed. Since health is a state subject, there should be consensus on formulating a national policy, for adoption by each and every State irrespective of their political dispensation.    


It is hoped that the government is seized of the matter and is developing robust strategies involving experts across the various spectra of health systems. It requires greatest war-like operational planning in mission mode. India has the will to do it and it can.


Dr. Krishna Reddy Nallamalla

Country Director, ACCESS Health International

President, InOrder.

ACMA inaugurates 5th edition of iAutoConnect 2020

New Delhi; November 25, 2020:  ACMA, under the aegis of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India inaugurated the 5th edition of iAutoConnect 2020- International Reverse Buyers Sellers Meet. The event, organised on a virtual platform, will be a seven-day extravaganza, from November 25 until December 01 2020, connecting overseas auto component distributors and buyers with exhibitors from ACMA member companies.


Vinnie Mehta, Director General, ACMA, giving an overview of the event mentioned, “The current edition of iAutoConnect 2020 has witnessed participation from over 65 Auto Component Manufacturers while over 150 buyers from 35 countries have already registered for the event; the number of buyers is expected increase significantly as the event progresses. The event is aimed at promoting aftermarket auto component exports from India.”


Since the lockdown, in wake of the pandemic, ACMA has made concerted efforts to provide its members with opportunities for business development as also platforms to showcase their capabilities. With the Nation’s drive towards Atmanirbharta (self-reliance), ACMA through its initiatives, endeavours to build a robust automotive value chain in India that offers Value-added services to its customers in India and overseas.


Sunjay Kapur, Vice-President, ACMA, while inaugurating the event commented, “There is a swift transformation in the automotive value chains globally due to impact of Covid 19.  Likewise, the industry in India was exposed to severe supply chain disruptions, however, with strong signals of revival, we are hopeful that the buoyancy of the festive season would continue in the coming months as well. It is extremely heartening that the auto component industry in India has handled the situation with great aplomb and has emerged resilient. Going forward, while there are challenges, however, I am confident that our members have the capacity and capability to become quality component suppliers to the world.”



About ACMA: The Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) is the apex body representing the interest of the Indian Auto Component Industry. Its membership of over 850 manufacturers contributes more than 90% of the auto component industry’s turnover in the organized sector. ACMA is an ISO 9001:2015 Certified Association.

The turnover of the Indian auto component industry stood at USD 49.3 billion in 2019-20, with exports of USD 14.5 billion.

Media, content creators should involve adjudicatory mechanisms to remain free and fair: Justice Pratibha M Singh, Delhi High Court

NEW DELHI, 25 November 2020: Justice Pratibha M Singh, Judge, Delhi High Court today said that the convergence of free to air broadcasting; pay television; DTR to OTT, shows that there is a need for the creation of an independent adjudicatory mechanism, which is not consisting of functionaries or broadcasters, in order to reign credibility, transparency and fairness. The same, she said, could be under the aegis of an independent service provider. 


Addressing the Fast Track Digital series, as a part of the FICCI Knowledge Series, on the role of the digital economy to revitalize economic growth organized by FICCI, Justice Singh said, “If media and content creators have to remain free and fair they ought to involve free and fair adjudicatory mechanisms, which are not coercive in nature.”  


Elaborating further, Justice Singh said that apart from the creation of independent regulatory mechanisms, there needs to be a method where broadcasters are a part of the adjudicatory mechanisms to ensure the code of conduct is compulsorily applicable to all broadcasters without exception. “OTT and VoD platforms and other creative content providers should also be a part of this mechanism. Such a system would also protect and preserve the rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India by effectively providing for reasonable restrictions. This would also minimize the need for legislative and judicial interference in issues relating to content,” she added


Commenting on the rise of the OTT and VoD platforms in the country, Justice Singh said that while the pandemic brought everything to a standstill, it proved to be the silver lining for the OTT and VoD platforms that have seen an exponential rise in the last six to eight months.  


The broadcasting industry in India, where creative content has had a large amount of space for itself has been able to generate a large amount of revenues for producers and content creators. The challenges, said Justice Singh, for the OTT and VoD platforms, has just begun. “While there can be no specific solution to the issues currently being faced by the broadcasters in general and digital platforms in particular, I would comment that inspiration should be taken from other self-regulatory or independent redressal mechanisms, which can be used as models for OTT and VoD and broadcaster platforms in general,” she further added. 


Ms Belinda Lui, President & Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Motion Picture Association said that the growth of the OTT and VoD sector in India highlights that audiences are responding well to the content offering. “Audiences across the globe have developed a new appreciation for Indian stories and culture. The incredible dynamic culture led by the VoD industry has helped develop a very high standard of storytelling,” she said.  


“India has been adding 8.6 million new connections on average every month. Our work to protect the copyright that protects all work through every form of distribution channel will not stop,” Ms Lui added.  


Dr Ashish Kulkarni, Founder, Punnaryug Artvision Pvt Ltd, said, “We have seen a huge growth in the digital payment segment, sports, and gaming ecosystem along with a growth in the start-up ecosystem in the space of digital and social media.” 


Mr Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI, said, “We need a proper approach to enable the entire digital ecosystem to set in a manner that all stakeholders are satisfied.”  


Häfele’s global brand, Loox, has become the pioneering brand in furniture lighting across the world, today. In India, the brand enjoys a special position among Architects, Designers and Interior Contractors who are now increasingly using light and light concepts while designing home and interior furniture. The Loox brand is backed by years of technological know-how and expertise; and it offers the widest range of lighting solutions in the Indian Market today. Last year, Häfele launched its 5th generation of lighting solutions at the ACETECH Exhibition in Mumbai, offering customers a new level of light integration in furniture that was never seen before.

The company has recently opened its very first Loox Experience centre in the city of Ahmedabad on 31st October 2020. Located at Loox Experience Centre, 103, Shilp The Address, Shilaj Circle, Thaltej, Ahmedabad or Contact Mobile no. +91 99099 14753/ +91 98250 24753. This state-of-the-art facility has further strengthened the company’s commitment to the Loox Brand in India and offers an ideal environment for patrons, clients and customers to experience functionality and seamless technology of the Loox Furniture Lighting Solutions.

Spread across 800 square feet of floor space, the Loox Experience Centre is an exclusive Häfele showroom that has been opened in collaboration with one of the company’s biggest Lighting Distributors – Luxus Lighting Solutions – in Ahmedabad. Conceptualized to offer a practical and hands-on experience, the showroom showcases a series of product displays that have been designed as real-time application modules, executing latest trends as well as offering real functionality to customers.

Mr. Sunil Punia, Business Head of Häfele’s Lighting Vertical, says – Furniture Lighting concepts can be best understood in real-time set-ups where interior experts can touch, feel, and experience and then visualize their designs effectively. The Loox Experience Centre in Ahmedabad offers just that. Over the years, we have realized that there is a fair bit of educative convincing needed when it comes to furniture lighting concepts, here in India. Although the use of lights in furniture is gaining popularity gradually yet decisively, it is still a concept that doesn’t come organically in the process of designing furniture. We believe that with a state-of-the-art experience centre like ours, we will be able to realistically convey the many benefits (in form, function and design) that lighting offers to the constructive use of different furniture units. We plan to open 2 more experience centres like this one soon – one in Surat and one in Indore.

The Loox Experience centre at Ahmedabad, showcases all types of furniture and linear light applications including Horizontal and Vertical Wardrobe lights; drawer, cabinet and under-cabinet lights in kitchens, Pop-up boxes, TV back panel and showcase lighting in living rooms, bed-board, skirting and ceiling lighting in bedrooms; niche lighting and integrated sound & light vanity mirrors (the Aquasys range) in Bathrooms; together with a complete range of profile collections and other solutions. Customers can also enjoy a host of services at this experience centre like Light planning and designing, try-and-buy (Mock ups) services, free installation guidance or installation services at nominal charges.

So, visit Häfele’s newly opened Loox Experience Centre, located at 103, Shilp The Address, Shilaj Circle, Thaltej, Ahmedabad-380059

Sterlite Power’s Pioneering Robotics Technology Skyrob™ Wins at The Economic Times Innovation Awards 2020


New Delhi, 25th November 2020: Sterlite Power, a leading global power transmission player, has been awarded the prestigious ET Innovation Awards 2020 for Skyrob™, a pioneering semi-autonomous robotics solution which has been developed inhouse. Sterlite Power was the winner in the Process Innovation category where it competed with Tata Power, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, Tata Capital and HSBC Software Development (India).


Skyrob ensures safe Optical Ground Wire (OPGW) stringing under live-line conditions. The technology was deployed for the first time in India in 2019 for the OPGW stringing of the 400 kV Gurgaon-Bhiwadi line. Skyrob™ assisted operations for OPGW stringing when compared with traditional practices, has the potential to reduce project timelines by ~25% while ensuring safety of workforce.


The Economic Times Innovation Awards 2020 showcases the best innovations that are driving growth in the areas of business, products, technology, social impact etc. and rewards out-of-the-box thinking and innovation. The winners were selected by a high-profile jury across nine categories from more than 1,250 nominations made by about 950 companies.


About Sterlite Power

Sterlite Power is a leading global developer of power transmission infrastructure with projects of over 13,700 circuit kms and 26,100 MVA in India and Brazil. With an industry-leading portfolio of power conductors, EHV cables and OPGW, Sterlite Power also offers solutions for upgrading, uprating and strengthening existing networks. The Company has set new benchmarks in the industry by use of cutting-edge technologies and innovative financing. Sterlite Power is the sponsor of IndiGrid, India’s first power sector Infrastructure Investment Trust (“InvIT”), listed on the BSE and NSE. Sterlite Power has been recognised amongst The Economic Times Best Brands 2020 and is a recipient of prestigious global awards from S&P Global Platts and International Project Management Association (IPMA).


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