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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

400 French Scholarships for Indian Students

Our CorrespondentKolkata: The French embassy in India has offered nearly 400 scholarships under its flagship Charpak programme for students pursuing master’s degrees, exchange semesters and research internships in France. 

During prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France last April, both countries had agreed to allow Indian students to stay in France for two years, one for the period of studies and one after completion of the course to acquire professional experience, with a reciprocal arrangement for French students in India.

France, which ranks third among the world’s most innovative countries, is also among the top three most popular destinations in the world among international students.

Every year a pre-departure orientation session, along with a scholarship award ceremony, is organised for students about to visit France.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Bengal Chamber Kicks Off Cyber Insurance Campaign

Our CorrespondentKolkata: With internet security threats burgeoning each passing day, cyber insurance has emerged as an important measure to mitigate the risks and is being increasingly adopted globally.  The Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCC&I), launched a cyber security campaign for citizens of the city recently, in this regard.

Ambarish Dasgupta, president, BCC&I, said: “Experts are still carrying out research on cyber insurance, which has already been adopted by many organisations.” 

BCC&I has published ‘A Thought Paper on Cyber Security’, to reach simple strategies on being more secure in the digital space, to the masses,

Arnab Basu, chairperson, emerging technologies committee, said: “Cyber security is a multidimensional problem that transcends the risk management and response capabilities of various communities like technology, law enforcement, defence, public policy and business.”

 “Cyber security is a burning issue not just in India, but globally as well. Digital threats are abundant, and individuals and corporations alike need to be careful with confidential information to make sure it is not hacked into, or misused,” Dasgupta added.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Bourne & Shepherd Downs Shutters

Aritra SinghaKolkata: One of the world’s oldest running photographic studios, Bourne & Shepherd, has shut shop because of acute financial crisis. The imposing four-storied Gothic structure on SN Banerjee Road stood almost unnoticed even though it was on the verge of closure for over the past decade. There was no one around to notice or even say goodbye on 16 June when the store quietly called it a day after 176 years in operation.

Bourne & Shepherd was established in central Kolkata's Esplanade area in 1840 by famous British photographers William Howard, Samuel Bourne and Charles Shepherd. It went on to become one of the most revered photographic institutions of the world, preserving some defining moments of the British Empire and Kolkata’s history. 

Prem Shankar Prasad, who worked at the store for more than three decades, said that business was very poor and it became financially unviable for the owners. “I left the studio in March,” he told WPC.

"How can you expect a studio to operate when everyone is clicking photos on their mobile phones and digital cameras? People do not even want to take a printout. They just post it on social media," said another former employee of the studio. “None from the administration cared to bother that we are dying slowly,” he rued.

A landmark on the heritage map of Raj-era Kolkata, the Bourne & Shepherd building will be deserted from now on. The store was once frequented by people like film director Satyajit Ray and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, among others.

Jayant Gandhi, the current owner of the studio, said: “It is not possible for us to run the store anymore. A heritage establishment like this needs a lot of time and devotion. It is no longer possible for me to carry on due to my advanced age.” 

Bourne & Shepherd was known for its portrait images, even that of well-known religious leaders like Ramakrishna Paramhansa, clicked by them, besides many British photographers.

"I had bought by first DSLR from there. It's a great loss to the city's heritage," said photography enthusiast Dipankar Mitra.

"Things are not the same anymore. Technology has changed and we could not adapt to it," said Gandhi.  




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