International Goa News
Goa college shines in world commercial mediation event
MARGAO: Five students of V M Salgaocar College of Law, Miramar won the hearts of amateur and expert mediators at the first-ever Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition (CDRC) in Vienna, Austria, earlier this month.
Competing with 16 colleges from across the world at this international commercial mediation event, the four-member negotiating team made it to the quarterfinals, while the mediator broke into the top four.
While it missed out on the finals, VMS was declared the second best team as its entire group of negotiators and the mediators made it past the CDRC preliminaries. Only one other college achieved the feat, while from the remaining colleges, only individual members made it through and not the whole team.
John Samuel, Elton Furtado, Shannon de Almeida and Tammana Aurora had to face four intense negotiation rounds against
colleges from Lebanon, Istanbul, Georgia and Vienna to storm into the quarters, where they lost to Sáo Paulo, Brazil. The judges commended the four negotiators for their teamwork at every session, planning their strategies in cohesion and always looking in command through their role plays, which left top law universities in anxiety.
Mediator Jonathan Rodrigues, a third-year LLB student, did everything he could – from using an orange to playing a Beatles track – to crack into the top four mediators. Mediating between two parties from different cultural backgrounds requires special skills, and Jonathan went beyond the textbook tricks.
The competition problem, borrowed from the Willem C Vis arbitration moot, was based on a fictional commercial business dispute between two companies.
Negotiator Shannon, a third-year LLB (Hons) student, stated, “I was very apprehensive when I saw all the teams gather at the inaugural function. The sight of some teams with not one, but two coaches was intimidating. Being among the youngest participants and with very little negotiation background, we had to rely on our greatest strength – our teamwork. We were five smart brains and we had to work together to reap something out of all the time and energy we invested during our summer vacations. It paid off; we inspired each other and impressed everyone out there.”
Negotiator Elton Furtado echoed her views, “We held our own against some of the best colleges and it felt really awesome to be the only college besides the overall winners (Bonn University, Germany) to get past the preliminary rounds in both categories (negotiation and mediation). People started noticing us and recognized our feat, knowing that we had come there without any professional coach or expert. I am proud to have been part of the CDRC Vienna team.”
“It was a tremendous experience to be a part of such a vast global community of amateur and expert mediators from Australia, USA, England, Ireland, Singapore, Poland, Ukraine, Austria, Germany, Brazil, France, Turkey, and Lebanon. Importantly, we were not the only ones representing India/Asia in Europe; there was National Law University (Delhi), which didn’t make it past the preliminaries. We as a team believe that, on a given day, we are as smart, skilled and talented as national law schools, if not better. With a little support and encouragement, Salgaocar College can shine in India and abroad,” said Jonathan.
Negotiator Tammana, a fourth-year LLB (Hons) student, said, “We believe that ADR or out-of-court settlement is picking up in the world. The little brush with the global community of negotiators and mediators has broadened our minds and inspired us to be ambassadors of the concept here in India. We would love to share our experience, advise and guide any company/enterprise/association/institution that takes a fancy to the concept of mediation. We shall also strive to spread awareness and create a vibe in Goa. There is a lot to do and we are raring to go.”
“Getting out there gives you a different perspective. It’s more than the competition; it’s about the give and take of ideas and cultures. We got to tell them about Goa and learn so much more about life itself. On behalf of my team, I acknowledge the support and confidence from our principal Dr K S Rao, ADR Board Chairperson Prof M R K Prasad, Professor B S Patil and other faculty members. We also appreciate the audience granted to us by Dattaraj Salgaocar and his effort to help us financially. There were others who came forward to help us out monetarily and believed in us, and we remain eternally indebted for securing us on our first trip abroad,” concluded negotiator John, a third-year LLB (Hons) student.[H]
Mushtifund’s Panjim boys to represent India in Japan
PANJIM: Two local lads, Sumukh Pinge and Rishikesh Kalghatkar, will do Goa proud (yet again) by travelling to Japan as a part of a study tour to Japan, having recently been crowned the National Champions of the Fuel Saving League Quiz 2015.
Students of Mushtifund High School, the duo is set to depart to Tokyo, Japan on Friday to participate in the study tour organised by Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India.
Pinge, the more outspoken of the unassuming duo is excited about the opportunity he has been provided with, saying, “It took us three rounds to get here, but the hard work has paid off.”
PCRA’s endeavour, ‘Fuel Saving League Quiz’ was conducted in 35 cities across the country. An extremely competitive event, the turnout exceeded five lakh students in sheer numbers of participants.
The Panjim round alone saw 20 teams make an appearance at the table, with Mushtifund High School eventually being declared winners. Having reached thus far, the boys were selected to participate in the western finals along with teams of other schools from the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. These included the likes of Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Ahmedabad and Surat, with the western finals being held at St Stanislaus School, Bandra-Mumbai.
The team from Goa coasted through this segment with a comfortable margin, earning itself the title of ‘Western Vigilants’ of India and booking a place in the National finals. The participants in the National Finals were Mushtifund High School-Panjim, Delhi Public School-Noida, Delhi Public School-Ranchi, Oxford International School-Gwalior and Presidency School-Bengaluru.
After being declared national champions, Mushtifund High School’s participants earned more than just a study trip to Japan and a title they can be extremely proud of. Rishikesh Kalghatkar, the quieter member of the squad says, “We have won a Scholarship of Rs 1 lakh per year until graduation. For those who missed the telecast of the quiz on the Doordarshan network, a video of the same is now available on PCRA’s YouTube channel.”
Scheduled to be held from June 14 to 19, the aim of the study tour is observational in nature, with a focus on the environment and fuel conservation practises and policies of Japan. The students will visit the Urban Waste Generation Plant in Tokyo, as well as the Yokohama Smart city to experience the latest technology in the world. PCRA has also arranged a visit to Suzuki Plaza, Hamamatsu and the famous Miraikan – National Museum of Emerging Sciences.
Android maps 3 Goan techies
PANAJI: Scarcity of employment opportunities has often prompted Goans to leave the state in search of better opportunities. Bucking this gloomy brain drain are Prajyot Mainkar, Mangirish Salelkar and Nigel Quadros who put Goa on the global technology map from their sunny home, which anybody would agree, is not known to feature very high on the information technology map.
Bound by their love for technology, the three entrepreneurs have represented their passion and Goa at international events such as the Google I/O developer conference, android developers' meet, CeBIT, AnDevCon among many others.
The chief executive officer of Androcid Media, Mainkar designs mobile applications for a living and in his free time masquerades as the manager of the Goa android users group, which is a part of Google's developer group. Incidentally, the Goa android users group is one of the oldest android developer community in India.
The BITS Pilani and Mushtifund high school student was one of the key speakers, and the only Indian, at the android developers' meet in Ankara, Turkey, on May 25 before he flew to San Francisco to join the Google's I/O developer conference on May 28 and 29.
In recognition of his caliber, Google itself sponsored Mainkar's trip to San Francisco for the I/O developer conference. Google's I/O developer conference is an exclusive event for developers where Google showcases its latest technology and future projects that the internet behemoth is working on.
In recognition of his immense skill and hold over the android platform, Mainkar has also been called to speak at Droidcon India, GDG DevFest, Silicon India Mobile Conference and many more in the past.
Joining Mainkar in putting Goa on the global tech map, Salelkar, the chief executive office of Umang Software Technologies went all the way to Hannover in March to showcase his company's work. Umang was the only Goan company among 3,300 global companies that featured at CeBIT. CeBIT, the largest computer trade fair, was spread over 4.5 lakh sq metres and is considered a barometer for state-of-the-art technology.
The latest and also the youngest to come onto the international scene is android guru, Quadros who has been selected as a media sponsor for AnDevCon (Android Developers Conference), one of the largest international android conference. AnDevCon will be held in Boston in July. The 22-year old Divar resident, is the editor in chief of Androguru, a portal for exclusive android app reviews and gadget reviews.
Despite Goa not being known for its IT industry, the tiny state shelters a lot of big IT companies under her wing, which is evident in the recognition that these three entrepreneurs have received.
Portuguese consulate to celebrate its national day
PANAJI: In a bid to celebrate Indo-Portuguese ties and culture, the Portuguese consulate will organize an art exhibition at the consul general's residence. Themed 'Balcao', the exhibition will be organized to commemorate Portugal's National Day or Dia de Portugal, de Camoes e das Comunidades Portuguesas', the consulate said.
"The best way to promote relationships between Portugal and India is to promote culture, promote art. Culture exists without borders," consul general Rui Carvalho Baceira said at a press conference.
The art exhibition will feature 30 paintings from 18 artists expressed through oil paint, water colours and acrylic paints. Three sculptures and one video installation will also feature in the exhibition. Some of the artists whose work will be featured include Aadhi Vishal, Diptej Vernekar, Francis D'Souza, Harshada Kerkar, John Pereira, Kalidas Mhamal, Kedar Dhondu, Ramdas Gadekar, Shilpa Naik, Subodh Kerkar, Vitesh Naik etc. The exhibition has been curated by Subodh Kerkar.
"We want to promote and highlight the influence of Portuguese culture and art on Goan life," Baceira said.
A balcao is unique characteristic of Indo-Portuguese architecture, especially houses in Goa. This balcony of sorts became a place for the residents and guests to gather, talk and watch the world go by.
With this metaphor in mind, the consulate has decided to title the exhibition 'Balcao', providing people a chance to come together and watch how traditional Indian architecture and Portuguese architectural language came together to become a symbol of modernity and liberation, Baceira said.
The exhibition will be inaugurated on June 10 and will be open to the public from June 11 to June 14, from 5pm to 7pm. The Portuguese consulate celebrates its national day every year and invites noted dignitaries and luminaries across fields to join in the celebrations.
Vaz appointed Labour party vice-chairman
LONDON: One of Britain's longest-serving Indian-origin member of parliament, Keith Vaz, has been appointed as vice-chairman of the Labour party.
The Party does not have a leader at present with Ed Miliband resigning after the recent election debacle.
This effectively makes 58-year-old Vaz the top man in the party at the moment.
Vaz has been an MP since 1987 was re-elected from his Leicester East stronghold at the May 7 general election.
He received 61% of the votes. Vaz was first elected MP in June 1987 and has been re-elected as a MP six times.
Born to Goan parents in Aden, Yemen, Vaz who also serves as the chair of the influential home affairs select committee in the House of Commons was educated at Cambridge University where he studied law and then became a solicitor.
Vaz has his roots in Anjuna. His sister Valerie Vaz is also a Labour MP.
Vaz said "I am delighted to have been appointed as vice-chairman of the Labour Party. After coming through a difficult election, it is time for the party to regroup and bring fresh new ideas to the table. Playing a part in that process is a source of great pride for me".
Vaz has been appointed by acting leader of the opposition Harriet Harman.
His appointment clearly follows Labour's interest in garnering the all-important Indian origin support in the future.
The Indian community has been growing in prominence year by year. In 1987, there were only two members of Indian origin in both the houses of parliament. Today, there are over 25 - over 10 times.
Recent data showed that up to a million ethnic minority votes helped put David Cameron back into Downing Street.[H]