Companies & Sectors
Seshasayee appointed non-executive chairman of Infosys
Indian IT bellwether Infosys Ltd on Friday announced Ramaswami Seshasayee has been appointed as its non-executive chairman in place of K.V Kamath, who stepped down from the post following his nomination as president of the $50 billion BRICS' development bank.
 
"The company's board unanimously approved appointment of Seshasayee as non-executive chairman of the board with immediate effect," the global software major said in a statement here.
 
Seshasayee, 67, has been an independent director on the company's board since January 2011 and is chairperson of the audit committee.
 
"The board has made the most appropriate choice in nominating Seshasayee as my successor, given his vast and varied experience in leading large public companies and his strong contribution to Infosys, during the last four years of his association. Infosys will benefit greatly from his sagacity," Kamath said.
 
Seshasayee is also the non-executive vice-chairman of Ashok Leyland Ltd in Chennai and chairman of IndusInd Bank Ltd in Mumbai.
 
"Infosys is an iconic company and I am thankful to Kamath and the board for entrusting me with this privilege," Seshasayee said.
 
To devote requisite time and attention to the new responsibility, the new chairman plans to substantially disengage from his other responsibilities in due course.
 
"I look forward to working closely with the board and management team as we navigate this period of transformation for the company," Seshasayee added.
 
Infosys chief executive Vishal Sikka thanked Kamath for his contribution to the company and wished him best.
 
"Kamath has been a great mentor to me personally and I look forward to his continued guidance as a well-wisher of this company," he said.
 
Welcoming Seshasayee's appointment, Sikka said he was excited to work with him to accelerate the company's plans for the future.

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What prompts us to help others?
Ever wondered why we often help others even without expecting anything in return? That could be thanks to simple biological mechanisms that have evolved to keep a group of individuals cohesive, says a new study.
 
"We would not hesitate about helping an older person trying to cross the road. This type of actions is called pro-social behaviour," said researcher Cristina Marquez from Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Lisbon, Portugal.
 
The researchers studied rats' behaviour to observe pro-social decisions under laboratory conditions.
 
The researchers emphasised that the kind of behaviour they studied was different from altruistic acts, which involve a sacrifice, or a cost, to the helper.
 
"In our experiment, we assigned a pair of rats different roles. One was the Helper and the other was the Partner. The Helper was free to make one of two choices."
 
"The selfish choice: Opening a door where a food reward was given only to itself. Or a pro-social choice: Opening another door, where both rats received a food reward," Marquez said.
 
The Helper received an identical reward regardless of whether it made a pro-social, or a selfish choice.
 
The researchers found that the majority of rats favoured pro-social choices.
 
"The rats in the role of the Helper would make the choice leading to a food reward to the other about 70 percent of the time. Of the 15 rats we tested, only one made selfish choices consistently," Marquez said.
 
Even though the Partner was not able to control the opening of the doors, it was able to demonstrate its preference towards one of them, a factor the researchers revealed to be a crucial one.
 
Do these observations mean that rats share the higher values of humans, or that humans share some basic socio-biological mechanisms with rats?
 
"Pro-sociality is beneficial in many situations, for both humans and rats. Simple biological mechanisms such as a positive feeling when a group member receives a reward, or being sensitive to attempts of others to achieve a goal, may benefit the individual," said study leader Marta Moita.
 
"Humans are extremely social and we are also extremely confabulatory. So it is possible that the stories we construct about the motives to our social actions could also be explained by biological mechanisms that have evolved to keep a group of individuals cohesive," Moita said.

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Withdraw 'unsafe, hazardous' Maggi, stop exports: Food safety watchdog

The Nestle team was led by its global chief executive Paul Bulcke and Etienne Benet, managing director and chief executive of India operations

 

India's food safety watchdog on Friday ordered all the nine Maggi noodle variants to be "withdrawn and recalled" by Nestle and stop its further production and exports as some samples were found to be "unsafe and hazardous" for human consumption.
 
It has also asked the company to show-cause within 15 days as to why the approval to the firm for these nine variants of "instant noodles with tastemaker" given on July 4, 2013 should not be withdrawn.
 
Nestle was also ordered to recall another product "Maggi oats masala noodles with tastemaker" for which the watchdog said neither had a safety-cum-risk assessment been undertaken nor had the authority granted product approval. 
 
The order was issued after the company representatives were given a hearing on Thursday at the office of the authority to seek their responses on what steps Nestle had taken to comply with the safety norms prescribed by the food safety authority.
 
The Nestle team was led by its global chief executive Paul Bulcke and Etienne Benet, managing director and chief executive of India operations. Earlier on Thursday, Nestle had said it had withdrawn Maggi noodles from shelves all over the country.
 
Nestle contended before the authorities that since their product contained two parts -- noodle and the tastemaker -- the samples ought to have been tested together and not separately. The authority rejected the contention.
 
According to the watchdog, the samples taken in Uttar Pradesh and tested in Kolkata had found lead at 17.2 parts per million (ppm), against the permissible level of 2.5 ppm. Similarly, in Delhi, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, too, the tests had confirmed excess levels of the hazardous metal.
 
"Detection of lead in a food product as a heavy metal contaminant beyond permissible levels renders the food product unsafe and hazardous," it said. It also quoted the food safety watchdog of Ireland as saying it can trigger brain damage, paralysis, anemia and gastrointestinal symptoms.
 
The Indian food safety authority also made a comment regarding mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) in Maggi noodles.
 
"It has been noted with concern that the label of the said product specifically mentions thereon 'no added MSG' whereas the product is found to be containing mono-sodium glutamate," it said. "It defies common understanding as to why the company has to make this assertion when it is not required to do so.
 
"The apparent reason for using information on the label is driven by an undue commercial advantage or benefit to create an erroneous impression in the minds of consumers regarding the character of the product," the authority said.
 
In their representation, Nestle said this was done due to "lack of clarity" in the regulations and that it had followed the general industry practice.
 
On the issue of "Maggi oats masala noodles with tastemaker", the authority said while Nestle had applied for its product approval on August 17, 2014, some clarifications were sought for safety and risk assessment.
 
"The company did not respond to the clarifications within the prescribed time, and as such the application already stands ordered to be closed being non-responsive." It said if the firm had resorted to this practice in other products, it must withdra them and intimate the watchdog in 24 hours.
 
The company said the product was launched at a time when the advisory dated May 11, 2013 was under stay granted a court.

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COMMENTS

bhaskar

2 years ago

"Nestle contended before the authorities that since their product contained two parts -- noodle and the tastemaker -- the samples ought to have been tested together and not separately. The authority rejected the contention."

And rightly so. I don't understand why mixing the two will lead to lower detection of lead. Is it that the strong masala will mask the detection of lead.

I was watching this fiasco intently and looking to buy Nestle India if it fell some more but not so confident after reading this article. Will wait and watch now.

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