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Tag Archives: talks

#Pact: Could the Modi, Merkel meet pave way for revival of EU-India free trade talks?

The leaders of India and Germany pledged on Monday to revive efforts to reach an Indo-European free trade pact after talks fell apart this year, and struck deals to promote clean energy and make it easier to do business.

Although Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Narendra Modi made no mention in conversations with journalists of resuming talks on a free trade agreement between India and the European Union, it was perhaps the most significant "deliverable" of her trip to New Delhi.

The leaders "committed themselves to bringing about the earliest possible resumption of talks", said a joint statement issued after their three-hour talks.

Asia's third-largest economy has been relatively insulated from a slump in global trade, but Modi still needs to boost exports for his pitch to investors to "Make in India" to create skilled jobs for millions of young Indians.

Germany, Europe's largest economy, is looking to expand its presence in India to compensate for a slowdown in China.

Merkel's delegation was joined by bosses from household names like Siemens, Airbus, E.ON and Thyssenkrupp.

The trade talks have been on ice since earlier this year when India walked out in a row over exports of generic drugs to the European Union.

Germany, a world leader in renewable energy, will also provide more than 2 billion euros (£1.6 billion) in aid for solar projects and green energy corridors - or high-efficiency power grids - as part of a broader push for sustainable development.

The assistance, part of a raft of agreements signed in New Delhi, dovetails with efforts to bind India into a global debate that will culminate in the COP21 climate change summit in December.

"We look forward to a concrete outcome at COP21 in Paris that strengthens the commitment and the ability of the world, especially of poor and vulnerable countries, to transition to a more sustainable growth path," Modi told reporters.

India, the world's third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, was the last major country to submit its energy strategy ahead of the U.N. climate conference.

India's energy plan seeks to boost energy efficiency but makes no commitment to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases - reflecting its view that richer nations bear most responsibility for global warming.

Responding, Merkel said: "We have understood, Prime Minister, that climate protection needs to be embraced by the people - who also have to reap a benefit."

India and Germany also signed an agreement to fast-track business approvals, providing German firms with a single point of contact to help them navigate a web of red tape that often thwarts initiative.

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#AllRounder: Sendhil Ramamurthy talks Fathers, Sons and ‘Brahmin Bulls’

It’s difficult to maintain any kind of objectivity when interviewing someone with as much floppy-haired charm – not to mention that chiselled jaw-line, an extraordinarily husky voice and oodles of humility – as Sendhil Ramamurthy.

Those wonderful attributes however, are merely the icing on a cake that would make Mary Berry envious for Ramamurthy, 41, boasts a CV that is remarkable not only for how prolific it is but also for its sheer variety.

Born in Chicago to physician parents originally from South India, Ramamurthy’s first instinct – unsurprisingly – was to follow his parents into medicine before the acting bug took hold.

Arming himself with a degree in history – and what better way to successfully contextualize any character than having a good grasp of history? – Ramamurthy first lit up London’s West End in plays such as ‘A Servant of Two Masters’ and ‘Indian Ink’ before settling down as a working actor, appearing in everything from ‘Casualty’ and ‘Ellen’ to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and Gurindher Chadha’s ‘It’s a Wonderful Afterlife’.

He is best known however, as Professor Mohinder Suresh in the mind and time-bending sci-fi hit ‘Heroes’.

His latest project is the curiously-named ‘Brahmin Bulls’, a film unlike any Ramamurthy has done before – in scale, characterization and pace.

Written and directed by Mahesh Pailoor, the film follows the fortunes of LA architect Sid Sharma (Ramamurthy), whose life is thrown into turmoil due to multiple simultaneous crises.  His marriage is on the rocks, his job is slightly less parlous and he’s smoking an unhealthy amount of dope.

Adding to his woes is the arrival on the scene is his father Ashok (the outstanding Roshan Seth) who decides a sojourn to sunny California is the cure for his own ailments. 

The highly accomplished Pailoor charts the journey of these two flawed men as they come to terms with life and each other. 

It is a deeply moving film that reminded me very much of Satyajit Ray’s work: slow-paced, beautifully shot, funny, moving and with characters that are utterly compelling.

Ramamurthy is excellent – giving a nuanced performance as a man coming of age.

I caught up with him in London to find out more.

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#MobileAds: Google in talks to buy Bangalore-based start-up

Google is in early talks to buy an Indian tech start-up that specializes in mobile advertising, Reuters reports. Bangalore-based InMobi helps companies target phones and mobile devices in their advertising.  The company was launched in 2007 and claims to have more than a billion users across 200 countries. Its shareholders …

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#InTheAir: Nimrat Kaur talks new ‘Homeland’ series, script challenges and trodding the Middle Path


Actress Nimrat Kaur has revealed that she will play a (rather stunning) baddie in the upcoming fourth series of the hit US TV show 'Homeland'.

'The Lunchbox' star has been cast as Pakistani intelligence agent Tasneem Kureshi who will square up against Claire Danes' troubled CIA agent Carrie Mathison in the hit show which returns to British TV screens this October.

“I play a mysterious person who is her nemesis on the show", Kaur, 32, told the Press Trust of India.

"Of course, it would be lovely to share screen space with her (Danes) but every time I ask the writers they have this sweet smile on their faces, so I am not sure."

Irrespective of screen times, it's a pairing that's sure to whet the appetite of fans around the world.

Danes has already bagged three Emmy and four Golden Globe awards for her role as Mathison, the brilliant CIA agent battling a slew of personal and professional demons while Kaur received widespread acclaim last year for her turn as the lonely housewife Ila in Ritesh Batra's critical and commercial hit 'The Lunchbox'.

Kaur will already be known to audiences in America where 'The Lunchbox' was the highest-grossing foreign film of 2014.

However, the actress says 'Homeland' will be her real introduction to audiences in the west.

“‘Lunchbox’ was an incredible gift for all of us, mostly for Ritesh and me but I feel ‘Homeland’ would be my real introduction to the western audience because it already has a great viewership and fan following. I feel I have a big responsibility to be as true to the story as possible,” Nimrat said.

Filming a hit TV show for a US network has brought with it a whole set of unique challenges for the actress.  Given the CIA levels of secrecy surrounding plot details, actors are only given scripts at the last possible moment before filming begins.

“Everything was up in the air", Kaur tells PTI.

"Normally, I am used to working after doing a lot of rehearsal but we were given the script just before shooting.  It felt like I was doing a workshop.  A lot also depended on the energy of the day and your equation with your co-star.  It was very challenging but I feel it was a good thing to chew on as an actor. They really placed a lot of trust in our ability as performers,” she added.

Whatever the challenges, the actress hasn't been feeling homesick on set in South Africa which is doubling as Pakistan where the fourth series is set.

Apart from Kaur, the new series features a host of South Asian-origin talent, including 'Life of Pi' star and Kaur's fellow Delhi-ite Suraj Sharma, British-Pakistani actor Art Malik, British-Indian 'Spooks' star Raza Jaffrey as well as Sarita Choudhury, the veteran London-born actress who has appeared in a string of Mira Nair films and who has been part of the 'Homeland' cast from the outset.

Kaur reportedly auditioned for her role in Homeland during a flying visit to London and with little preparation.  Initially cast in five episodes, she was later written into four more.

It's a triumph for the former model whose dedication to her craft has meant that she hasn't she hasn't blindly latched on to the fame and fortune that 'The Lunchbox' promised.

She told DNA that she turned down more than two dozen film offers after 'The Lunchbox' but not necessarily because she's a slave to indie cinema.

"It does not work if your movie is seen by only a handful of friends, and travels to a few film festivals.  It is difficult for all the people involved then, especially the actors".

"A movie that releases in 5,000 screens as opposed to the 600 screens that 'The Lunchbox' opened in will invariably give you more exposure, so I'm open to all work, but I'd rather take the middle road: not too experimental or too commercial."

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Etihad buys Jet Airways’ Heathrow slots as talks improve

Etihad Airways has taken over Jet Airways’ slots at London Heathrow airport for $70 million deal as talks continue between the two carriers about a possible take over by the Abu Dhabi-based airlines. The move signals positive developments in the discussions and investors cheered the move after a delayed announcement …

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Priyanka Chopra talks about Don-2

How is your role in DON 2 different from your role in DON 1? Don 2 is a cool role for me. It’s an action film of another level in Bollywood. I am more angrier in this one. I’ve done a lot of fist fighting that I didn’t do too …

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Akshay Kumar talks Life… Cricket and Patiala House

Through the doors of ‘Patiala House’ lies a family drama of a father-son relationship at a cross-cultural dichotomy, releasing Worldwide on 10th February 2011  1. How would you describe the plot of the film? Patiala House is based in Southall London where the Kahlon extended family has lived for four …

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