Published: Thursday 15 May 1997

HERBAL REMEDY:A sore throat reliever, the first of a new range of herbal oral care products, has been launched by the Mumbai-based Kopran Pharmaceuticals. The company will also introduce a mouth ulcer gel, a mouth deodoriser a destaining toothpaste and a cracked voice healer under the Smyle range of products. Kopran has tied up with Diarin Co Ltd of Japan for technical know-how for manufacturing the mouth deodoriser. The company will initially focus on oral healthcare, but gradually explore other healthcare segments.

HANDY PURIFIER: The latest entrant in the water purifier market in India is a pocket-sized electronic purifier called Aqua-Pen. It has been launched by Aquatech International Ltd in northern India. Developed by Aqua Pure Technologies Inc of the US, the purifier generates silver ions which destroy all germs present in the water in 39-50 seconds. Priced at Rs 594, Aqua-Pen can purify up to 5,000 glasses of water with one cell. The product adheres to World Health Organization standards for dean water.

DIAL-IN DIVIDENDS: The Internet is all set to revolutionise the international telephony market. An Iowa (US)-based company, Global Link Inc, has introduced the first global phone-to-phone Internet service called Global Internetwork which will allow users to make calls via the Internet to any part of the world. The users at both ends will not need a computer and neither will they have to pay subscription rates. The quality of the call will be better than regular calls made through satellite. The company claims that it will be able to offer 80 to 90 per cent discounts over traditional international telephony rates.

EXPANDING LINKS:DDI Corp and Nippo Ido Tsushin Corp, both of Japan, have tied up to form a nationwide cellular-phone network based on next-generation digital technology to be adopted in 1998. DDI, a long-distance telecommunications firm, and Nippon Ido, a cellular phone company, will join forces to build a digital network using "advanced code division multiple access". The sound quality of this system is as good as that of a standard telephone. The two firms will invest around US $2.43 billion in the new venture.

FUTURISTIC AUTOS: The race to develop economical and eco-friendly cars is hotting up with Ford Motors planning to unveil the first of a series of diesel-powered cars later this year. The P2000, as the vehicle is known, will feature a 1.2 litre, four-cylinder, direct injection diesel engine made entirely from aluminium. The engine can run on diesel or methanol. The P2000 will be the forerunner of future vehicles which will weigh only 60 per cent of what they do today and will be potentially able to travel three times as far on every litre of fuel.

GREEN WEAPON: Farmers in India will now have access to 'Caldan,' an eco-friendly pesticide which has been launched by the Haryana-based company Dhanuka Pesticides. Caldan has been developed by Takeda Chemicals of Japan and it can control more than 30 different species of pests. The pesticide is practically effective against insects at both larvae and adult stage. It is non-toxic to mammals. Pests like the adult rice stem-borer disappear in an hour after direct spray of Caldan.

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