Monster Energy welcomes cricketer Hardik Pandya to the team

Hardik Pandya joins Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton and MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi as part of the Monster Energy Drink family

Global energy drinks brand Monster Energy has partnered with its first cricketer globally, Indian all-rounder, Hardik Pandya. Hardik will be the new face of the brand in India. He is not only known for his aggression on the cricket field, but also for his unabashed confidence and irreverent attitude off the field. With this association, Monster Energy aims to further inspire the youth of India to become fierce, powerful and self – confident. Hardik will be the first Indian athlete to be signed by the brand.

The brand has teamed up with some of the world’s most accomplished sports personalities to inspire the rising passion for action sports and motorsports across disciplines. These include Ultimate Fighting Championship Superstar, Conor McGregor, MotoGP Legend, Valentino Rossi, 6x Formula One World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, and 6x X-Games gold medalist Jackson Strong, the recent feature in a major video campaign with Monster Energy in India. The brand has also on-boarded a classic mix of sporting heroes pushing boundaries and testing limits in their chosen disciplines.

Hardik Pandya commented, “I’m delighted to be a part of the Monster Energy family. I have always believed in living my passion and following my dream, which is what motivates me to approach every day with the same zeal, energy and fearlessness.”

“I’m glad that Monster Energy also stands for the same philosophy through their collaboration with other sportspersons, which I admire. I look forward to this exciting and cool association,” added Pandya, who is managed exclusively by IMG-Reliance.

John Ludeke, Senior Director of Marketing, Asia said, “Hardik’s supercharged personality and athleticism embody the Monster Energy ethos. With his fearless attitude and aggressive style, he is pushing the boundaries of world cricket which makes him a great fit for the Monster Energy brand.”

For more information please visit

Business India

ASICS & HASBRO team up to present Asics X Transformers

Celebrating the success of two brands that both share Japanese heritage, ASICS brings its lifestyle wear and combines it with Hasbro’s wildly popular TRANSFORMERS franchise.

Having both evolved from their Japanese origins, ASICS x TRANSFORMERS present a capsule collection that features apparel, sneakers and accessories.

The footwear offering comprises of both the GEL-LYTE™ V and GEL-LYTE™ V GS (KIDS model) silhouettes which are “3-in-1” models. These sneakers have detachable character components on both the tongue and back counter allowing the wearer to customize the look of the model. Each of the components feature one of three main characters from the TRANSFORMERS franchise; Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Megatron. The customization element allows both sneaker and TRANSFORMERS fans to play around with the silhouette – inviting wearers to don their favorite characters, adding their own styling spin, as well as reflecting the fun of the original toys.

The apparel also plays on the conversion element, with patches on the T-shirts, hoodies, cap and gym bag in which the components can be attached. Graphics from the original comics have been emblazoned on the shoe box and insole for a heartfelt retro and nostalgic effect.

All the items in the capsule will be released on November 15 at selected 10 stores in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Goa, Chandigarh, New Delhi, and Kochi.


Kashmiri Pandits team meets Bharatiya Janta Party leader Ram Madhav

Senior Bharatiya Janta Party General Secretary and in-charge of party’s Kashmir affairs Ram Madhav assured a delegation of senior Kashmiri Pandit activists on Tuesday that the government will not implement any rehabilitation policy for the displaced community without consulting a wider group of Kashmiri Pandit leadership.

Kashmiri Pandit activists Uttpal Kaul, Kamal Hak, Renuka Bazaz, Manoj Bhan and Amit Raina met Madhav on Tuesday.

During the meeting, he sought to assuage the apprehensions of a larger section of the displaced community by assuring the delegation that the government is open to discussion on the final modalities of their return and that there is no final decision on multiple resettlement locations.

“The government is committed to addressing the concerns of the displaced community and will discuss with them whether they wanted to return to three different clusters or one single concentrated area,” said Madhav, adding that the present government is determined to make all separatists and their cronies irrelevant and redundant and is even willing to explore the possibility of setting up a tribunal to address the reasons of migration.



Indian cricket team enjoys Salman Khan starrer ‘Bharat’ in England

Despite having a busy schedule for the 2019 World Cup in England, the Indian cricket team took out time to watch superstar Salman Khan starrer “Bharat”.

Cricketer Kedar Jadhav shared a photograph of the “Bharat team” — M.S. Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan and K.L. Rahul.

Jadhav captioned the image: “‘Bharat ki team. ‘Bharat’ movie ke baad.”

Following the thumbs up from the Indian cricket team, an overwhelmed Salman took to Twitter and thanked them for watching the movie.

“Thank you ‘Bharat’ team for liking ‘Bharat’… shukriya bhaiyon for watching ‘Bharat’ in England… Best wishes for the upcoming matches. Pura ‘Bharat’ apke sath hai (The entire country is with you),” Salman tweeted.

“Bharat” is an adaptation of the Korean film “An Ode To My Father”. Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, it also features actresses Katrina Kaif and Disha Patani. The film surpassed the Rs 100 crore mark at the Indian box office on the fourth day of release itself.



Seattle, Indian team comes 2nd at Microsoft world contest

May 6  A team of Indian students was declared second runners-up at the Microsoft Imagine Cup world finals here on May 6.

The three-member team from Faridabad-based Manav Rachna Institute of Research and Studies developed “Caeli” (which means air in Latin) – a smart automated anti-pollution and drug delivery mask specifically designed for asthmatic and chronic respiratory patients.

The world championship was organised on the first day of the annual Microsoft Build conference here.

“Caeli” implements breakthrough features to improve the quality of life for respiratory patients living in polluted areas like in north India and especially in the Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR).

“At a time when air pollution is a big concern in various countries including India, we are collecting the real-time air pollution data that can be used by relevant stakeholders and the Indian government. They can integrate our application programme interfaces (APIs) into their projects and gain more insights,” Aakash Bhadana from the “Caeli” team had earlier told IANS.

Bhadana with Vasu Kaushik and Bharat Sundal developed the product under the guidance of Umesh Dutta and team at Manav Rachna Research Innovation and Incubation Centre (MRIIC).

Considered the “Olympics of Technology”, Imagine Cup is a global annual competition sponsored and hosted by Microsoft.

Over the past 10 years, more than 1.65 million students from over 190 countries have participated in the “Imagine Cup”.



Aam Aadmi Party strengthens social media team for LS polls

To gear up for the Lok Sabha polls and “expose” the reality of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs from the national capital, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday strengthened its social media team.

Under the leadership of Gopal Rai, responsibilities were delegated to different social media teams. “The teams will ensure that the failure and reality of the BJP MPs reach maximum number of people in the city. To achieve this, we are strengthening the social media team,” Rai said.

They will tell the people performance of the BJP MPs in the last five years.

At present, 28,000 volunteers are working with the WhatsApp team. The party was working to strengthen the other social media teams as well, he said.

Rai also finalised teams for poster making, video editing, and content & communication.



Election Commission team in Jammu and Kashmir

The Election Commission team headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora will meet key political party representatives, besides senior police and district chiefs on Tuesday to assess the Jammu and Kashmir situation ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Arora and the two poll commissioners, Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra, will meet representatives from seven national and three regional parties here and understand their views on the situation in the state.

On the first day of the two-day assessment on Monday, almost all national and regional party leaders who met the panel in Srinagar have favoured simultaneous conduct of assembly and general elections.

Arora and the poll team will also meet 10 district commissioners (DCs) and senior superintendents of police (SSPs) of Jammu division, besides various nodal officers to obtain their views on elections to be held.

Ahead of a press conference scheduled before they leave for Delhi, the Commission will also meet Chief Secretary, B.V.R. Subrahmanyam and Director General of Police Dilbag Singh to get an overall on the security and deployments of additional Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) personnel needed for smooth conduct of the elections.




Election Commission team on two-day visit to J&K

A team from the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday embarked on a visit to Jammu and Kashmir to review the preparedness for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and the security situation in the state.

“The team headed by Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Sharma will hold meetings with leaders of seven national and three regional parties in Srinagar on Monday,” official sources said.

They will also hold detailed discussions with top administration officials including Deputy Commissioners and Senior Superintendents of Police of 10 districts in the Kashmir Valley and two in the Ladakh division.

According to the sources, the team will also be briefed about the security situation in the state following cross-border tensions in the past one week.

“Before flying back to Delhi tomorrow (Tuesday), the team will hold a press conference here tomorrow,” the sources added.

The ECI visit is taking place amid intense speculation whether the state Assembly polls will also be held simultaneously with the general elections or be deferred to a later date.




World Cup team will be sorted out before IPL, says Kohli

India captain Virat Kohli on Friday said the World Cup team will be decided before the Indian Premier League (IPL) starts and performances in the cash-rich domestic T20 tournament will have no bearing on team selection.

“No, I don’t see the IPL having any influence on World Cup selection. I think that will be very, very radical sort of analysis,” Kohli said on the eve of the first ODI against Australia.

“We need to have a solid team. Before we head into the IPL, we need to be absolutely clear of what team we want for the World Cup. I don’t see anything changing on how the IPL goes for any of the players.

“If one or two players do not have a good IPL season, it doesn’t mean that they are out of the picture for the World Cup. Those things are not going to matter,” Kohli set the record straight.

Young Rishabh Pant has been in poor form of late but Kohli said he will be given more opportunities but not at the cost of playing a bowler less.

“We will have to think about the combinations. I don’t think playing a bowler less is a good idea because with the extra fielder in till the 40th over, it becomes very difficult to sort of get a few guys to chip in with a few overs here and there.

“We will have to work out the batting combination to try and give game-time to the guys we want to. But, I don’t see the bowling combination changing,” the skipper said.

Kohli also lavished praise on KL Rahul and hinted that he did impress the team management with his good shows in the T20s

“It augurs really well. KL, when he plays well, is operating at a different level I feel. We have seen him do that in the IPL last year and in patches over the last season we played as a team.”

Kohli explained what makes Rahul special.

“It’s very difficult to find a consistent player, who can play good cricketing shots and still win you games at a strike-rate of over 140 or 150. He has all the shots and has a solid game as well.

“…it will be interesting to see what happens in the final World Cup squad. Definitely, he has made a strong case for himself. It’s good he’s in great nick and hopefully he can carry it forward.”

Australia head coach Justin Langer meanwhile, backed top-order batsman Aaron Finch to rediscover his form during the ODI series.

Australia’s limited overs captain is going through a prolonged lean patch and has failed to register a single half-century in his last 19 innings in ODIs and T20Is.

“He’s such a good player, such a good person, captain of the team, we know he’ll come good. We just got to keep giving him plenty of care and support. We know he’ll come good. There’s no more destructive player in the world,” Langer told reporters.

“We talk about ‘Maxi’ (Glenn Maxwell), Marcus Stoinis, a number of our players who can be so destructive. But when he’s going, he is as destructive as a player as there is in white-ball cricket. We know he’ll come good and we’ll be patient with him,” he added.

Langer revealed that Finch has not let his form affect his composure and performance as captain.

“Another important part about leadership is that he’s really consistent. We haven’t see any real change in his personality or his attitude around the group, so that’s a real credit to him. That’s why he is the captain of the team,” the coach said.

“My experience of every captain, the most important thing is they’re playing really good cricket. He’s got to keep his attention on that. He’s got lots of support around him. Like I say, he’s such a good person, he’s got to be Aaron Finch, be himself. He’s doing that. He’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. We’ll just keep encouraging him to be himself. His runs will come, keep encouraging him to be himself and I’m sure he’ll come good soon,” he added.



Working ‘hard’ to expand team to fight misinformation

With Twitter finding itself in the midst of a controversy for not sending its CEO to appear before a parliamentary panel on Monday, the microblogging site has said that it is “working hard” to expand its team and resources to help tackle the spread of misinformation on its platform.

The response, which does not provide any clue about the team size it was expanding, comes in the backdrop of apprehensions that during the upcoming 2019 general elections bad actors could use social media platforms to spread propaganda and misinformation to influence voters.

Twitter was earlier accused by the government of being “slow” in removing “objectionable content” from its platform.

The Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology (IT) wants to question the Twitter CEO over measures taken to ensure the safety and security of the users and allegations that the social media site is discriminating against “nationalist” posts on its platform.

With the Twitter CEO not showing up for the meeting on Monday, the committee has again summoned Twitter’s CEO to appear before it on February 25.

“Attempts to deliberately undermine the public conversation by spreading misinformation at scale, is something we care deeply about at Twitter,” Twitter India said in a blog post on Monday.

“And while we are working hard to expand our team and resources to help tackle this issue, it is important that everyone builds their capacity in order to protect and enhance the public conversation,” it added.

Twitter said it entered into a partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on media literacy to help its users spot false information, and also reached out to 100,000 youth across the Asia Pacific region to engage them in a series of digital citizenship workshops, safety roundtables and panel discussions.

“In India, we launched the #EduTweet initiative in partnership with the School Leaders Network where we engaged 865 school leaders, educators and influencers from 2,700 schools across India on issues such as media literacy and the digital classroom,” Twitter India said.

“We also partnered with Responsible Netism (a non-profit start up) on their Cyber Psychology Conference which engaged schools across Maharashtra on online safety for children,” it added.




Faridabad-based student team wins Microsoft’s Asia talent hunt contest

It was the moment for the Indian Tricolour to fly high as the student team from Faridabad-based Manav Rachna Institute of Research and Studies won the Microsoft Imagine Cup Asia Regional Semifinals here on Tuesday and moved one step closer to win the grand prize of $100,000 at the world championship in the US.

The team developed “Caeli” (meaning air) which is a smart automated anti-pollution and drug delivery mask specifically designed for asthmatic and chronic respiratory patients.

“Caeli” implements breakthrough features to improve the quality of life for respiratory patients living in polluted areas like in north India and especially in the Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR).

“At a time when air pollution is a big concern in various countries including India, we are collecting the real-time air pollution data that can be used by relevant stakeholders and the Indian government. They can integrate our APIs into their projects and gain more insights,” Aakash Bhadana from the “Caeli” team told IANS.

The winner at the Asia competition received $15,000 and secured a spot in the world championship to be able to win the grand price of $100,000 at Microsoft’s Redmond-based headquarters in May, while the first runners-up received $5,000 and the second runners-up $1,000.

The first runner-up was the “Rail Nova China” team that built a Rail Component Inspection Robot (AI+IoT) which operates through automatic positioning and identifies various defects through multi-sensor fusion in order to realize the replacement of workers in a rail inspection project.

The second runner-up was from Philippines “USCAid” who build the Aqua Check app that utilises Microsoft Azure’s Custom Vision to empower anyone to analyse for contamination by taking a photo of a water sample through a microscope.

There were three Indian teams among the 12 Asia finalists.

The other two teams were from the Tamil Nadu-based Vellore Institute of Technology and Bengaluru-based R.V. College of Engineering.

Considered as the “Olympics of Technology”, Imagine Cup is a global annual competition sponsored and hosted by Microsoft.

Over the past 10 years, more than 1.65 million students from more than 190 countries have participated in the “Imagine Cup”.

(Nishant Arora is in Sydney at an invitation from Microsoft. He can be contacted at [email protected])





Rohit Shetty, Farah Khan team up for action-comedy

Filmmaker Rohit Shetty has signed Farah Khan to direct an action-comedy film for his production house, Rohit Shetty Picturez.

“Sometimes the universe just conspires to give you what you didn’t even imagine. Together with Rohit, who I genuinely love as a brother and whose work ethic I respect and share, I can only promise ‘Mother of all Entertainers’! Cant wait to say ‘roll camera’ for this one,” Farah said in a statement.

The film is presented by Reliance Entertainment and produced by Rohit Shetty Picturez.

Fresh off the success of “Simmba”, Rohit said it’s a privilege for his production company to have Farah on board to direct a film for them as she is “extremely talented and hard working”.

“It will definitely be a wonderful association. I can’t wait to start working with this extremely talented powerhouse,” he added.

After giving a decade of hits as a director, Rohit has proved himself to be a successful producer as well after doing films like “Golmaal Again” and “Simmba” under his production house.

In addition to Hindi films, Rohit Shetty Picturez has plans to address the digital content consuming audience with original web series and cater to Rohit’s younger fans with animated content like “Little Singham”.




We came together well as a team and we did that says Rohit Sharma

Stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma showered praise on his team after India defeated New Zealand by 35 runs to clinch the five-match ODI rubber 4-1 here on Sunday.

After a top-order collapse in the fifth and final contest, Ambati Rayudu (90), Vijay Shankar (45) and all-rounder Hardik Pandya (45) rose to the occasion to help India reach a fighting 252 before the Indian bowlers came into the picture to dismiss the Kiwis for 217.

“At the toss, I said we needed to come together as a team and we did that. Four down, we needed someone to apply, and Rayudu and Vijay Shankar did that. The way Hardik and Kedar played was magnificent,” Rohit said after the match.

“We showed a lot of character. With the ball as well. Bowlers got crucial breakthroughs at critical times. When you want to win games, you’ve got to find the right balance. Coming here and beating them at home wasn’t going to be easy,” the skipper added.

Meanwhile, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson also acknowledged the role of the Indian bowling attack and said losing wickets at regular intervals hurt his team’s chances.

“Scoring rate never got away from us but it was just that we lost wickets at the wrong time. They did it pretty well through Rayudu with 90,” Williamson said.

“We know how well India bowl on any surface. They’ve taught us a few lessons in our own conditions. They’re a world class outfit, they deserve the series win,” added the Kiwi captain.

With the ODI series over, the two sides will now face-off in a three-match Twenty20 rubber, starting February 6 here.