Monthly Archive: June 2015

SBL celebrates Environment Protection milestone.

10th

At SBL, we are proud to be celebrating the tenth anniversary of our involvement in India’s Environment Protection Initiative. Originally set up in support of national projects, it has since grown into the starting point for all our international project standards. This journey has been recognised and audited on numerous occasions, through our multiple ISO and Six Sigma Accreditations and our Associations with major international Partners and Organisations.

As a direct result of this initiative we now lead on state-wide government projects that have environment protection at their heart. In the last few months alone these have included:

Digitization & Archival Management

  • Digitizing the State of Kerala’s Legislative Assembly proceedings since 1888.
  • Digitizing and archiving old newspapers for Kerala Media Academy.

E-Governance

  • e-Vidhan project for the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly. Environmental considerations included:
    • Drastically reduce paper used to almost zero
    • Save over 6,000 trees supplying oxygen to over 12,000 people
    • Saving over Rs.10-15 Cr. on paper and printing costs
    • Deliver an online app for remote attendance dramatically reducing travel expenses and carbon emissions
    • Deliver a sustainable online portal which not only makes the process more efficient, with better decision making and outcomes, but which also dramatically reduces duplicated work and waste.
  •  
    Geospatial Services

    • BIM for Smart Cities
    • Environment and forestry planning and suatainability.
    • Groundwater analysis and flood modelling.
    • Agriculture management and productivity.
    • Mining and Corporate Responsibility.
    • Site suitability analysis for solar, wind and thermal.

    This anniversary coincides with the re-launch of our Group Mission, Vision and Values. Much has changed in ten years and we have updated our company policies to reflect the increased opportunities to forge global partnerships. Our core values of integrity, trust, accountability, innovation, teamwork and leadership underpin our commitment to operate in a sustainable, transparent and collaborative manner at all times. The inspiration for our Mission and Vision encapsulates this corporate responsibility:

    “Our worth is not measured by our look, popularity and money we amass. Our true worth would be measured by the benefits others gain out of our success and the positive impact we create to human life”. – Lord Shirdi Sai

    Over the next ten years we hope to expand significantly the number of clients for whom we operate a dedicated team throughout the year. This creates efficiencies and economies of scale while also allowing for more effective forward planning, project standardisation and teamwork based on collaborative innovation. These benefits in turn lead to less waste, greater productivity, an engaged and fulfilled work force on both sides of the partnership and a shared vision of how to develop and deliver a sustainable future together.

    If you would like to explore how an association with SBL can benefit your business practices please contact info@sblcorp.com

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eVidhan Attracting Interest from Other States

eVidhan system was implemented in August 2014 in Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha and the system played a key role in successfully facilitating all the sessions of 2014-15, including the monsoon and the budget sessions.

eVidhan has supported Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha through better time management during the sessions, improving the efficiency of processes and by reducing the operational cost. According to Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha implementation of e-Vidhan has reduced the usage of paper and printing and helped to save nearly 10-15 crores of operational expenses in addition to its contribution to environment.

eVidhan offers mobile application solution for the Legislative assembly members enabling them to access the days’s business 45 minutes before the start of the session. This application allows Legislative assembly members to access the information of the entire proceedings of the House in the digital form on their mobile phones and tablets immediately after the end of the day’s work.

Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha’s successful implementation of e-Vidhan is getting attention from all other states. Madhya Pradesh assembly speaker has visited Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha, to know more about the system and its benefits. The delegation led by the MP speaker was keen to explore the possibility of implementation of the project in their state.

eVidhan project is first of its kind in India and was developed as a joint venture between the Himachal Pradesh State Legislative Assembly, National Informatics Centre, National Informatics Centre Services Incorporated (NICSI), Government of Himachal Pradesh along with SBL.

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IMPORTANCE/SIGNIFICANCE OF DATA SECURITY CERTIFICATION FOR THE VIDEO POST PRODUCTION BUSINESS

One of the main challenges facing the entertainment industry is data security. This is evident from the recent American television series Game of Thrones episodes leak. HBO had mailed out DVD copies of screeners to the press for upcoming episodes and the first four episodes of season five of Game of Thrones leaked online before the first’s broadcast. Researches have shown that pre- release privacy significantly reduces a movie’s market potential and thereby revenue.

Sony Pictures Entertainment hack was another such incident where confidential data such as personal information about their employees and their families, e-mails between employees, copies of (previously) unreleased films and other information were released by hackers on November 14, 2014.

To prevent such security breaches, it is essential to manage confidential data so that it remains secure. Most organizations have a lot of information security controls. They are often implemented as solutions to some specific situations. But without an Information Security Management System these controls are disorganized.

SBL offers video post production services like Rotoscopy, Stereo Roto, Digital Paint and Rotomation and has been working with the production and corporate houses, international designers and creative directors for several years. Being an integral part of entertainment industry, SBL understands the importance of data security which is an important issue for filmmakers. So, at SBL, we have adopted ISO 27001 Information Security Management System (ISMS), which is the international best practice standard for information security.

An ISMS is a systematic approach to managing confidential or sensitive corporate information so that it remains secure and retains data integrity. ISO 27001 is a security management standard to guide the development and implementation of an ISMS. The standard was published jointly by International Security Office (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

By adopting this globally accepted control framework to underpin our approach to client projects, we deliver effective analysis of the key project risk areas, identify and document the controls needed and monitor and measure compliance. The benefit for our clients is that we can be proactive in managing and mitigating any risks from information systems and can ensure that professional standards are deployed across our design, development and testing processes.

Certification ensures that:

Valuable data and Information assets are identified.
Risk of these data and assets is analyzed in relation to threats and vulnerabilities.
Where the level of risk is identified as high, the controls are implemented to reduce the risk.
These controls are frequently audited to ensure security and best practice.
Action is taken to address any non conformances identified.
By adhering to ISO 27001 standard, we show to our global clients that we are highly committed to securing and maintaining the privacy of film makers and companies who are associated with the entertainment industry.

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Why Select a Tier 3 city for Video Post Production?

video post production
Indian cities are fast catching up with the changing technology trends. The Global Entertainment industry is actively sourcing talent and is considering these small urban cities to tap the potential and avail services for the industry. Amongst the most prominent and sort-after service is video post-production. Advanced techniques of Rotoscopy, Stereo Roto, Digital Paint, keying & Rotomation have become widely used tools in Tier 3 cities. The Indian cities including Tier 3 cities are fast becoming centres for grooming professionals having exposure and expertise in video post-production services. 
 
Video post-production forms an important part of activities pursued by Production houses to make Commercials, TV Series and feature films. The intricacies, associated with post production activity, are well defined, structured and understood by specialist service providers that are blossoming in Indian cities. Professionals in Tier 3 cities, unlike earlier times, are well aware of different aspects of video post-production which includes Rotoscopy, knowledge of Stereo Roto, Digital Paint, and Rotomation technique.   
 
Tier 3 cities are fast becoming preferred choice of destination for international production houses who rely on superior quality, precision and accuracy of output and timely deliverable of services offered by providers in Indian cities. Service providers in Tier 3 cities are hiring well trained digital experts who are capable of creating better live action, CG composites and amazing visual effects with the help of rotoscoping. Service providers in Tier 3 cities are braced up with highly advanced tools and equipment that offers not just precision and accuracy to video post-production but also address specific needs and requirement of production houses across the world.
 
Indian cities especially Tier 3 cities have a distinct advantage of having economical talent pool, are well equipped with resources as well as offer a professional environment that promotes and propagate the essence of video post-production. People residing in cities, who are chasing their dreams for success, are actively taking up specialized academic courses to gear up for entertainment industry. Tier 3 cities in India offer great scope of professional growth and are becoming low cost centres for entertainment industry to avail video post-production. Besides low cost, tier 3 cities offer pool of talented people with VFX expertise and knowledge of subject that offer complete commitment and expertise of subject with deep insight and understanding of finer intricate detailing, which is a prerequisite for video post-production. Moreover, service providers related to video post-production are increasing their portfolio of services to offer an entire basket that encapsulate every specific need and requirement of entertainment sector. 
 
At a time, when metro and non-metro cities have highly paid video post-production providers, there is a greater shift in focus to Tier 3 cities that are emerging hub and hunting ground for video post production services. The development of video post-production in Tier 3 cities are ably supported by academic institutions that promote talent from Tier 3 cities to take up specialized training in video post-production. Having an eye on precision and accuracy, service providers in Tier 3 cities have enhanced quality output with timely submissions of deliverables that are matching international standards of delivering services. Production houses across the globe depending and relying for their video post-production should work with Tier 3 cities in India.

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GROUND WATER REGIME MONITORING AND ROLE OF GIS IN ITS ANALYSIS

Ground water is a hidden and precious resource. Its availability in quantitative and qualitative means is difficult to ascertain. The behaviors of water present underground and its properties such as transmissivity and storitivity can be obtained only through measurement of water levels present in the ground water extraction structures. As water level is the manifestation of the stress undergone by the aquifers, its measurement and monitoring is essential for knowing about this resource.

Why ground water monitoring is required?

The nature and present situation of the any water bearing underground formations can be obtained only through water level measurements. Ground water is an extensive resource, concealed underground and in most of the area it is inaccessible for any physical measurement. So it is very essential to measure its levels which are indicative of hydrostatic balanced plane of underground gradient for water flow and over ground pressure on it. The changes in quantity and quality of the ground water occur through slow process. In order to understand this slow changes long term measurement and monitoring is very essential. Other than water level measurements, quick monitoring of this resource is not possible by any other means. As water levels are indicatives of hydrologic stresses undergone by the aquifer which is having impacts on ground water recharge, storage and discharge, its monitoring in short as well in long terms are very essential. Groundwater regime monitoring will also help in design, implementation and monitoring the effectiveness of the ground water management, protection and conservation programs.

What is ground water regime monitoring?

In its simplest definition ground water regime monitoring is water level measurements from a network of observation wells. It is a collection of data, generally at set locations and depths and a at regular time intervals in order to provide information which may be used to determine the state of groundwater both in quantitative and qualitative sense, provide the basis for detecting trends in space and time, and enable the establishment of cause-effect relationships. Objective of any ground water regime monitoring is to record information on ground water level and quality through representative sampling in space and time.

When can it be measured?

Hydrologically India is a monsoon centric country with heavy precipitation during few months and long span of lean period. This pattern is having an impact in ground water monitoring phases as well. In general ground water will be monitored four time of the year.

January – 1st to 10th of the month- represents the recession stage of ground water level
April\May – 20th to 30th of the month – represents water level of Pre-monsoon period. April is for southern portion of the country where monsoon arrives in first week of June and May for northern stages where monsoon arrives around middle of July
August – 20th to 30th of the month – represents peak monsoon water level
November – 1st to 10th of the month- represents water level of Post-monsoon period

How can we do ground water regime monitoring?

Ground water regime monitoring is part of the ground water management process. It is a cyclic process which starts with ground water management and end up with the same. The first activity in any ground water management program is to define the objectives of the program. Then the regime monitoring strategy will be defined. This will be followed by network design and data collection. Data collection will be for quantitative measurements as well as qualitative data collection. Then followed by data processing, analyses and report generations. This information will be later utilized in the ground water management programs. The steps involved in ground water regime monitoring are

Establishment of monitoring stations: A groundwater monitoring network is a system of dedicated ground water monitoring wells in a geo hydrological unit at which ground water levels and water quality are measured at pre-determined frequency.

Criteria:
It should be representative for hydro geological set up
There should be optimum number of stations based on management criteria
There should not be any immediate abstraction or drawdown effect
Station should be accessible
Station should be permanent and is representative of local area
There should be replacement possibilities
Due consideration of hydrological process in the unit

Monitoring stations can be:
A key hole to aquifer
An abstraction well (tube well, bore well, or dug well)
Observation well
Piezo meters

Base line data collection: During the stage of construction of the monitoring wells information such as various logs, like litho logs and first struck water levels etc were recorded as base information to compare the rest of the year’s data.

Done at the time of development of a well
A static water level will be recorded as m bgl
Estimate altitude of the location with respect to mean sea level in a msl
A well log will also be prepared
Water samples will be collected for individual aquifers
The analysis results will be recorded and retained for further comparison

Data collection: Ground water levels can be measured both manually and automatically. Frequency of measurement will be varied based on the purpose. For a pumping test water levels will be measured in minutes or less than a minute duration, but for long term analysis measurement will be done four times in a year. Various instruments used to measure water levels commonly are:

For Non-flowing wells
-Steel tape and chalk
-Electric tape
-Pressure transducers
-Acoustic probe
-Ultrasonic
-Floats
-Poppers
-Air Lines

For flowing wells
-Transducers

Data storage: The collected data will be first stored in a firm field book and later entered into firm registers as well as in digital format which later will be transferred to a central data repository after necessary quality controls

Role of GIS in data analysis: Once the data is in digital form various analysis can be done on the data for deriving useful information for the effective ground water management. The data can be plotted in GIS platforms both in 3D and 2D forms. Contour maps which are the basis for further flow net and related analysis and modeling can be performed on the data. The collected data with the help of GIS software can be plotted in space and time. When the data is of multiple year’s duration, time series analysis and trend analysis can also be performed on the data along with numeric and statistical analysis.

Interpretation: The analysis results can be brought out in the form of reports where long term and shot term trends can be established. The results will be implemented in further ground water management processes.

How regime monitoring will influence ground water management?

Ground water regime monitoring results can influence ground water management in following ways:

Monitor impacts of abstraction on ground water system on a regional and local scale
Ground water balancing and budgeting
Calibration of numeric aquifer models
Determining pump usage and horse power
Determining the usage of water (potable, irrigable, industrial etc)
Early warning of potential threats in quantity and quality of ground water
Monitoring and managing of salt water intrusions
Monitoring of health hazards
To establish legal liabilities for pollution incidents and quantity issues
Monitoring droughts and floods
Monitoring water logging

What are the challenges in ground water regime monitoring?

Data loss during and after measurement
Inefficient use of man power and machinery
Expensive instruments and logistics
No visible return of investment
Difficulty in vertical variation in quantity and quality
Accuracy of the data
Monitoring of deeper and confined aquifers is difficult

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