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HCL Technologies to host ScienIT competition for Sri Lankan students

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Corporate Vice President, HCL Technologies - Srimathi Shivashankar

HCL Technologies (HCL), a leading global technology company, announced a collaborative program for students – “ScienIT – Science in Information Technology” – to crowdsource technology and innovation in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) in Sri Lanka.

HCL Technologies Corporate Vice President Srimathi Shivashankar launched the program at the Cinnamon Lakeside in Colombo with representatives of higher education, vice chancellors and deans from leading private and public institutions.

The program has two central tenets – annual innovation competitions and monthly discussion forums led by teachers, subject matter experts and sustainability enthusiasts.

The innovation competitions aim to attract, identify and nurture ideas from bright students across Sri Lanka. HCL will select, nurture and seed-fund the best ideas from students from ideation to execution and invite colleges across Sri Lanka to register their students online to submit their ideas. Each of the ideas submitted will be evaluated based on originality, innovation and application of technology, impact and sustainability.

The winning team in the innovation contests will receive LKR 600,000 and will be invited to join a dedicated webinar as panelists while the runner-up team will receive LKR 400,000. Members of both teams will be offered internship opportunities at HCL Sri Lanka. Applications for the first innovation competition will open Dec. 15, 2021.

The monthly discussion forums will provide participants with a regular exchange of thoughts, ideas and deliberations on the latest developments in science and technology. They will also offer youth opportunities for mentoring, networking and collaborating with students, academicians and industry veterans.

“ScienIT is a collaborative program that encourages the youth of Sri Lanka to seek impactful solutions in ESG,” Srimathi said. “We urge students to participate to resolve issues that matter to their communities and to envision sustainable steps for a better tomorrow. We are committed to providing programs and platforms that encourage youth to take on leadership opportunities that contribute to the greater ecosystem. We believe ScienIT will unleash the potential of many aspiring thinkers and leaders among the youth of Sri Lanka today.”

HCL Technologies began business operations in Sri Lanka in June 2020. A key part of HCL’s business and development strategy is to provide the right skilling and platforms to train the local talent, including school graduates, for career opportunities in high-tech domains and provide them with the requisite exposure of working on global assignments.



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Business

Elon Musk launches profane attack on X advertisers

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In a profanity-laced outburst, Elon Musk has slammed advertisers that have left X, warning they will kill the social media platform.

At an event in New York, he accused companies that have joined an ad boycott of the site formerly known as Twitter of trying to blackmail him.Some firms have paused advertising on X amid concerns over antisemitism, including a post from Musk himself.

“Go [expletive] yourself,” the billionaire said in an interview.

The Tesla and SpaceX boss apologised on Wednesday for that post, saying it might be the “dumbest” thing he has ever shared online.

But it was his response to a question about an advertising boycott by companies including Disney, Apple and Comcast that caused a stir at the gathering of leaders from the worlds of business, politics and culture. “I don’t want them to advertise,”  Musk said at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit. “If someone is going to blackmail me with advertising or money go [expletive] yourself.

Go. [Expletive]. Yourself. Is that clear? Hey Bob, if you’re in the audience, that’s how I feel.”

He was apparently referring to Disney chief executive Bob Iger, who spoke at the summit earlier in the day.

In the room with Musk was Linda Yaccarino, X’s chief executive, who has been charged with trying to bring back advertisers to the platform.Musk also said that advertisers could kill X. “What this advertising boycott is going to do is it’s going to kill the company,” he said. “The whole world will know those advertisers killed the company, and we will document it in great detail,” he added.

Ms Yaccarino has since reposted what she called his “candid interview”, adding her perspective on advertising that “X is standing at a unique and amazing intersection of Free Speech and Main Street — and the X community is powerful and is here to welcome you”.

Musk has been on a visit to Israel after he last month appeared to personally back an antisemitic conspiracy theory. “I’m sorry for that tweet… it might be literally the worst and dumbest post that I’ve ever done,” he said on Wednesday. The boycott isn’t just to do with that post, though.

Many advertisers had already decided to spend their dollars elsewhere.

(BBC)

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ILO together with EFC launches pilot project to address employee grievances at the workplace

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EFC's team of trainers visited the selected companies and engaged in discussions with their management

Five companies volunteer to participate in the project

By Sanath Nanayakkare

Grievance handling in Human Resource Management (HRM) refers to the process by which employee complaints, concerns, or disputes are formally addressed and resolved. The goal is to provide a structured channel for employees to express their concerns or report issues they are facing in the workplace for the benefit of the company, the management and the employees.

True to those values, the International Labour Organization (ILO) recently invited the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) to initiate a pilot project to launch Grievance Handling Guidelines that were formulated through several workshops conducted in 2019 in consultation with ILO constituents.

Giriulla Mills Ltd, HNB Assurance Ltd, HNB General Insurance Ltd, Cambio Software Engineering and Taj Bentota Resort and Spa, volunteered to participate in this project. They represented the manufacturing, finance, IT, and hospitality sectors respectively. The pilot project was formally launched on 20th September 2022.

EFC’s team of trainers visited these selected companies and engaged in discussions with their management to gain insights into their existing employee grievance handling systems.

They also gathered feedback from employees to assess their satisfaction with present grievance mechanisms. Based on the findings, EFC team developed customised grievance handling policies aligned with each organisation’s culture and specific requirements of each company to ensure practical implementation of the same.

All these grievance policies were designed in adherence to the Guidelines on Grievance Handling which were established for Sri Lanka in 2019 through workshops conducted by the ILO.

Following the development of these policies, four training sessions were conducted for the management teams of the participating companies. During these training sessions, the policies were presented in detail. The sessions also aimed to provide a comprehensive understanding of what constitutes employee grievances, the importance of addressing them promptly and the potential consequences if grievances are left unattended.

In addition to policy dissemination, the training sessions also focused on equipping managers with the necessary skills to effectively handle employee grievances. This included discussions on communication strategies, conflict resolution techniques, and the importance of empathy and active listening when addressing employee concerns.

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Business

NSB Nawala branch relocated at spacious new premises

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The new premises is poised to deliver a supreme customer service catering to all the financial requirements of the public.

NSB Nawala Branch which was relocated recently, was first established in the year 2003 and had been renowned for its customer service over a span of two decades.

Anoma Gomes, Deputy General Manager of National Savings Bank graced the occasion of the opening of the newly relocated Nawala Branch at the new address No. 221, Nawala Road, Nugegoda.

Furthermore, the former General Manager / CEO of NSB, Eastman Narangoda, Dr. Anura Wickramasinghe of the Open University of Sri Lanka, Dr. Hector Jayawardane graced the occasion as special invitees.

Higher Management of NSB and invited guests including Asst. General Manager – Nalika Wijesinghe, Regional Manager – Charini Ekanayake, Branch Manager of Nawala Branch – Chaminda Piyathilake also attended this event.

Equipped with ATM facilities and state-of-the-art banking facilities the relocated NSB Nawala Branch is housed in a spacious premises to deliver a supreme customer service catering to all the financial requirements of the public.

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