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August 1, 2007

India Now festival inaugurated in London

In an unusual move, the Taj Mahal is floating down the river Thames, past many of London's iconic landmarks, a visual spectacle kicking off India Now, a three-month series of events and exhibitions, backed by the Mayor of London, to Indian art, film, theatre, music, fashion, food and business. The event was officially launched by High Commissioner of India to the U.K., Kamalesh Sharma and the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, on board the Silver Sturgeon beneath the London Eye on Tuesday, July 17.

The Taj Mahal replica made a striking image as it travelled past London landmarks such as the London Eye, St. Paul's, the Tate Modern and Tower Bridge before coming to rest at London Bridge.

London Mayor Livingstone said: "India is an emerging economic superpower and also has one of the world's most important cultures. The India Now season will be an opportunity to experience the richness of Indian culture and offers something for everyone. It will truly showcase the very best of modern Indian culture for to Londoners and visitors alike." By the end of the day, the Taj Mahal replica was moored by the London Eye. It would then be relocated across London as the India Now season continues.

Standing at approximately six metres high and eight metres long, the replica has received a contemporary artistic treatment by Indian film set designer Bijon Das Gupta and modern Indianartiste Suchi Chidambaram. It is supported by a one-metre high plinth.

India Now includes a series of events and exhibitions dedicated to Indian art, film, theatre, music, fashion, food and business. It will see over 200 cultural organisations contribute to the season, including a selection of London's most well known museums and galleries such as the British Museum and V&A. Over 1,500 events will take place during teh festival, with well over one million Londoners expected to participate in events.

Key events

A three-week Indian themed Trafalgar Square Festival commencing on August 2. In the final week of the festival, on August 16, a specially commissioned Indian film display will see a giant canvas painted live by Mumbai poster painters who will reimagine London as an Indian city at the foot of Nelson's Column. A spectacular vertical dance extravaganza performed by a team of fearless aerialists will then be played out against the background of this extraordinary vividly painted giant poster.

As part of the Film 4 Summer Screen and in celebration of the India Now season, on August 9 the Indian film 'Chak De India' will premiere worldwide at Somerset House. It will be attended by actor Shah Rukh Khan. A spectacular finale to the season on September 2 will be the Regent Street Festival which will see Regent Street transformed into an Indian streetscape, complete with music, spectacular sculptures, food and artisans.

IAF wins 'Spirit Of The Meet' trophy at RIAT

Winning ways come easily to the young 'Rhinos' of No. 30 Squadron. It was not just friends they were winning over from air arms around the world at the 'Royal International Air Tattoo' (RIAT), held over the weekend at Fairford. They also won the challenging BAE Systems 'The Graviner Spirit of the Meet Trophy'.

Wing Commander A.K. Bharti, Commanding Officer of the Squadron received the trophy at a special gala dinner hosted at RIAT. It was presented by Nigel Whitehead, Group Managing Director, Military Air Solutions, BAE Systems.

The glittering trophy comes close on the heels of the 'Best Static Display' award, won by the IAF contingent at the Waddington International Air Show, held a fortnight earlier in the U.K.

The youthful quartet of Squadron Leader P.K. Garg (Team Leader) and Flight Lieutenants S. Mishra, M. Gera and R. Panwar, Su-30 MKI pilots all from the Pune-based, No. 30 Squadron, were winners of the trophy awarded to the crew making the most outstanding contribution to the success of the meet, according to the citation emblazoned on the silver trophy.

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Tata Tea number one in sales

Tata Tea Limited has attained the number one slot in terms of sales volume during June 2007 in the packet tea segment.

During June, Tata Tea's share in the total market stood at 19.2 percent, as compared to 18.6 percent of its nearest competitor.

Tata Tea Executive Director (Marketing) Sangeeta Talwar said this was possible due to creation of a relevant brand differentiator and building a strong franchise with customers and consumers.

She said the company had witnessed strong growth on Tata Tea Premium and Tata Tea Gold as well as re-positioning of Tata Tea Agni brand.

35 more greenfield airports

India will have 35 greenfield airports by 2010 to keep up with the growth of the civil aviation sector, a senior official said in New Delhi on July 25. "We expect 35 greenfield airports in the country to be operational by 2010," Civil Aviation Secretary Ashok Chawla told reporters.

"We expect 35 greenfield airports in the country to be operational by 2010," Civil Aviation Secretary Ashok Chawla told reporters.

"We are investing over $35 billion in developing airports across the country given the fast growing civil aviation market in the country," he said.

Earlier, inaugurating a seminar on 'Developing World Class Airport Infrastructure: Challenges and Opportunities', organised by the Foundation for Aviation and Sustainable Tourism (FAST), Chawla said that renovating and upgrading existing airports and developing greenfield airports were the only solution to meeting the current demand arising out of the fast growing aviation market.

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Mittal invests in Poland

L.N. Mittal, who acquired 69 percent of the shares of Polskie Huty Stali in 2004, has signed an agreement with the Polish Government to buy the remaining share holdings for $2.3 billion. With this agreement, Mittal Steel will capture 90 percent of the steel production in Poland. Till recently, it had a share of 70 percent, reported news agency INEPNEXT.

Mittal Steel has also started a modernising drive to bring state-of-the-art technologies and steel making facilities in its four steel plants in Poland.

It has re-built and done extensive upgrading of the furnace in Dabrowa Gornicza and modernised the wire-rod mill in Sosnowicw. The company has already pumped in more than $1 billion in the plants since last year.

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