Thursday, April 23, 2009

55 pc voting in the second phase

About 55 percent turnout was recorded in the second phase of the 2009 general elections, the Election Commission said here on Thursday.With nearly half the ballots cast, the likely result of India's month-long national elections is becoming muddier rather than clearer.
Thursday marked the second of five days slated for voting in India between April 16 and May 13. All the votes will be counted May 16 and a government will be formed June 2. Exit polls aren't permitted so predictions of voting patterns so far aren't available.
BJP is closely following trends in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh where Congress is perceived to be on the backfoot.BJP sources maintained they were reasonably confident that projections of the party getting around 160 seats were holding, though this is linked to a good performance in UP -- an untested proposition so far. But party managers seem to feel that if there is no space for a "third front", parties like TDP are very much approachable.

Freida Pinto in the top ten world's sexiest women

Slumdog Millionaire" star Freida Pinto appeared in the chart of world's sexiest women for the first time in the British men's lifestyle FHM.The 24-year-old Mumbai native had also featured in the vanity Fair&aposs most beautiful women&aposs list recently.
Cole, 25, became the first british to come on top in the last three years. She knocked last year&aposs winner, actress Megan Fox, 22, into second place, Sun online reported.
The others in the top-10 list were actress Jessica Alba, who came third, pop singer Britney Spearssecured fourth position while fifth spot went to Keeley Hazell.Other additions to the chart included French President Nicolas Sarkozy's wife Carla Bruni, who was voted 40th sexiest woman in the world. Almost 10 million votes were cast by FHM readers worldwide for the poll.

Inflation inches to 0.26%;food prices increase

Dearer food items and textile products pushed inflation for the week ended April 11 away from the brink of negative inflation.RBI in its monetary policy review announced earlier this week pointed out that with inflationary concerns abating WPI inflation is expected to enter negative for a short patch though it will move up to 4.0% by end of current fiscal.

During the week, prices of raw food rose by 0.5% as tea prices increase by 5%, Bajara by 3%, fruit and vegetables by 2%, and mutton and maize by one per cent each. Even though annual Inflation no longer remains a concern increase in prices of vegetables (2.6%),fruits (0.8%) and cereals (0.3%) is emerging as a major work for policy makers. Prices of vegetables had moved up by almost 25% in the week before, and the spike in prices of essential commodities is expected to play spoilsport for ruling coalition during elections. Prices of manufactured items has also been moving up for the last one and a half months. Textile products like synthetic yarn and sacking bags, chemicals and basic metals became costlier over the week.

Voting begins in 141 Lok sabha seats in phase 2

Polling stations in 140 constituencies across 12 states opened for the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections.
Voters started queueing up at many of the 2,22,350 polling stations where approximately 19.4 crore people are eligible to exercise their franchise.However, polling was held in Manipur yesterday due to a Holiday today. The states going to polls today are Andhra Pradesh (20), Bihar (13), Orissa (11), Assam (11), Karnataka (17), Madhya Pradesh (13), Jharkhand (8), Maharashtra (25), Uttar Pradesh (17), Goa (2), Jammu & Kashmir (1), Manipur (1), and Tripura (2).Voting also began for the last of the two-phase assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.
The first phase of polling was conducted April 16.Tight security arrangements have been put in place, especially in naxal-infested states, to thwart any attempt by the ultras to disrupt the elections.A total number of 2.041 candidates are in the fray for 141 Lok Sabha seats. During the first phase elections, 58-62% polling reported .

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Economy to grow at 6% in 2009-10:RBI

Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has announced its credit policy for the fiscal year 2009-10. Credit policy is the estimation of the overall economic growth and various other sectorial growth for the impending fiscal year. The economic growth is expected to be 6% in 2009-10 and inflation could go to negative levels in the first half of the year and then gradually limp back to positive WPI infaltion levels. Consumer Price Index(CPI) which is the price levels of essential commodities like food grains,vegetables are likely to come down further and moderate through the year.
The RBI has also cut repo rate by 25 bps to 4.75% and reverse repo rate by 25 bps to 3.25%. Repo rate is the interest rate at which the RBI lends money to other banks and Reverse repo rate is the interest that the banks will get when they deposit the money in RBI. The RBI has also said that banks dont need to get license from government to open new ATM's across India.
These measures will pump lot more liquidity into the system and encourage banks to lend money to both industries and common citizen. The RBI has come down heavily on banks for not decreasing the interest rates and encoursgung money spending. The credit growth is seen to increase by another 20% and money supply by 17% in the financial year 2010.

No layoffs;restructuring in variable pay:TCS

India's largest IT services provider, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS),now a $6 billion company, registered a consolidated net profit (Indian GAAP) of Rs 1,333 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2008. While its net profit was up only 7 per cent up as compared to the same period last financial year (YoY), sequentially (QoQ), the growth declined by 2.1 per cent. The company's revenue at Rs 7,172 crore was up 18.5 per cent YoY but declined 1.5 per cent QoQ. TCS added 36 new clients (41 in the trailing quarter) in the current quarter, and closed 7 large deals. The company has also announced a bonus of 1 share for every share(1:1) held by the investors.

The top management said that there wont be any salary increments or promotions definitely in the first half of the 2009-10 fiscal year. Also, the board members said that they are not looking at layoffs as a cost-cutting measures. The current variable pay maybe restructured in terms of the ratio that was paid each month to the combined variable pay at the end of each quarter. The deal pipelines seemed to be on track and there are some semblance of recovery in US. There are certain pricing pressures in the environment with about a negative 44 bps in Q4 2008-09.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Prabhakaran is my friend:Karunanidhi

DMK supremo and Tamil Nadu CM, M.Karunanidhi has said that leader of the terrorist organisation Prabhakaran is his friend. LTTE is a banned terrorist organisation across the world. LTTE cadres are demanding separate tamil nation called "Eelam" from the SriLankan government. It is also the organisation which assasinated former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi when he was attending a political meeting in Sriperumbedur near Chennai,Tamil Nadu.

After nearly a three decade long war with the SriLankan government, the LTTE is now cornered in a 20 sq KM "no fire zone" in SriLanka. Karunanidhi, a tamil CM, whose was always kept silent about LTTE fearing backlash among tamils in TamilNadu recently has said that Prabhakaran is his friend.

Also, he has said that he will deeply regret if Prabhakaran is killed in the war.Karunanidhi also said that the LTTE’s goals were “legitimate,” but faulted it when he said they had adopted “wrong methods.”Karunanidhi said he differed with Prabhakaran on his policy of delivering a dictator-type rule if he came to power, as stated by the LTTE chief.

Enjoy DTH services even when you are mobile

How would you like your favorite television channels to be available to you when on-the-go?After launching its direct-to-home (DTH) services across India last year, now Bharti Airtel is in talks with companies to launch its DTH mobile services for luxury cars, buses, and trainsWith the start of general elections as a source of revenue Bharti Airtel’s direct-to-home (DTH) arm is ready to launch its mobile DTH units for cars.
The company that launched its DTH operations in October last year is in talks with various automobile companies to install their mobile DTH units.
DTH in cars works with the help of a special auto-tracking antenna that is mounted on the roof of the car. The antenna tracks the company’s satellite placed in orbit at 36,000 km, from where signals will be fed to the set top box placed near the television set inside the car. This will enable seamless transmission of satellite channels in the vehicle.

Dish TV is also ready to launch its smaller version of the mobile unit with smaller antennae and set top box that can be mounted on any kind of vehicle.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pakistan loses right to host World cup 2011

Pakistan has been stripped of hosting rights for the 2011 World Cup because of the 'uncertain security situation' in the country.Pakistan cricket officials and former team captains were shocked on Friday.

Pakistan had been scheduled to stage the event with subcontinent neighbours India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh but the International Cricket Council (ICC) said it had decided to ditch them as hosts to "deliver a safe, secure and successful event".The decision comes after terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore and killed six police officers and a driver on March 3. The World Cup Secretariat will now be shifted from Lahore and the World Cup matches will now be hosted by Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh.

According to sources, Pakistan was hopeful of support from India in this regard but it failed to extend the same.

Infy trainee commits suicide in its Mysore campus

Infosys trainee Abhijit Mukherjee(22) has allegedly committed suicide in the Mysore campus. Infosys Mysore is a specially built technology centre for the freshers who join the company just after finishing their graduation. Many in the IT sector know that training in Infosys is the most toughest and highly challenging.
Abhijith Mukherjee was found hanging in his room on the campus.His suicide note said: "I am dejected in life and nobody is responsible for my death."A case has been registered.
According to police, Abhijith, a native of West Bengal, had come to Mysore in February for training at the Mysore campus. He was given a separate room. Police suspect he committed suicide on Tuesday night.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

124 Lok Sabha seats goes to polls today in the first phase

The world’s biggest democratic exercise got under way this morning as India began voting in a marathon month-long general election that looks certain to produce a fragile coalition government. The vote is the first of five phases in which some 714 million people — more than twice the population of the United States — will be eligible to cast ballots. More than 140 million were eligible to vote on Thursday.The outcome of the five-stage election will be known on May 16.

Up to 2.1 million security personnel have been deployed to prevent another terrorist attack like the one on Mumbai in November.Unlike in many Western democracies, the number of Indians voting has increased with every general election. And poorer people are more likely to vote than the rich.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

No wage hike,lay offs: Infosys

Infosys Technologies has reported a 29% year-on-year increase in its Q4 net profit on improved operating margins, but forecast a decline in its revenue and earnings as many of its clients have been hit by the global financial crisis.
Net profit after tax (PAT) surged to Rs1,613 crore in the recently concluded quarter, up 29.1 per cent from the year-ago period. The revenue rose 24.1 per cent to Rs5,635 crore on year-on-year basis.

The cash and cash equivalents, including investments in liquid mutual funds and certificate of deposits, as on March 31, 2009 were Rs 10,993 crore," a company statement said.

Infosys HR head, Mr. Mohandas Pai also told that there wont be any increments or promotions for this fiscal year. Also, there wont be any layoffs apart from poor performers who will be outplaced. Earlier in the year the IT behemoth laid off 2100 employees. Mohandas Pai also said that all campus offerings of about 20,000 will be honoured.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tech Mahindra wins bid for Satyam Computers

Tech Mahindra wins bid for the scam-rotten Satyam Computer Services. The 4th largest Software firm in India nosedived after its former Chairman Ramalinga Raju revealed about his decade long fraud of about Rs.7000 crore. Tech Mahindra will pay Rs.1757 crore for 31% stake in Satyam. Satyam will now have a market cap of Rs.5800 crores with its expanded equity. There is a likely acceptance ratio of 34% in Satyam open offer. The price quoted by Tech Mahindra Rs.58/share. A total of Rs.2889 crore will be paid for the whole 51% share in Satyam.

Industry sources say there is a lot of synergies between Tech Mahindra and Satyam. The clients of Satyam can also be relieved that the take over process has come to a happy ending. The Company Law Board has said that Satyam will file an affidavit quoting the winning bidder.

L&T has a 12% stake and Fidelity has some 4 crore shares in Satyam. Its likely that Tech Mahindra might buyout those shares too.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Scents and smell

Scents and perfumes have perhaps become the most household nemes these days.People
tend to get attracted to certain kinds of smells.Scent of the perfumes which is full of fragrance is about a certain perfume called Axe. Its my favourite perfume and the wholesome smell is something breathtaking. The different types with which they come out everytime is also amazing. The "Axe affect" as they call it one of the best marketed brands anywhere in the world. The brand name has a special place for all perfume lovers. It perhaps can do away with some dull perfume types and concentrate on its niche customers.The price is another important criteria for its everlasting glory. Its priced at a reasonably and its at its best modest pricing.So, everything goes well for this brand and also has a niche customers. That is why many like the author himself is very much attracted to the brand.

Post-Economic crisis more challenging

World is now at an undefinable stage of the economic crisis. The more we analyse the current economic crisis, the more frightening it becomes. World economies including United States, European nations and developing nations like Brazil,Russia,India and China (famously known as BRIC) have no clue when this economic crisis will end. The other day, G20 nations met and agreed for a stronger regulatory actions on so called "Bad debt or Badly behaving banks". They yelled out for financial reforms across the board and a lot more stimulus packages.
Personally, i dont think this in any way addresses the main aim of bailing out countries from the present financial crisis mainly because regulating banks and financial reforms are steps that should be taken by countries to prevent another such crisis from taking place. So its more of a prevention of the disease occuring again rather than a cure of the current disease. I would suggest to first cure the present crisis and then we can think about its reoccurance. Secondly, the stimulus packages that the countries have promised. With the present scenario, countries have very little or no liquidity(read as "money") left with them for yet another stimulus packages which is essentially giving money to people through banks as loans or by any other means and encouraging them to spend more money. The interest rates in US and many European nations have virtually come to zero and thus they have no more room for any kind of monetary policy.
This leaves the US with no other way than to just wait for the economic crisis to end by itself and then hope for some economic growth. Also, the growing unemployment rate(now at 8.5% in US) is a cause of big worry. Less jobs means less spending and that forces less industrial production and which in turn leads to more layoffs. Developing nations like China and India are better placed to face the crisis but with time running out, they will also be affected badly.
One of the reasons for this crisis not ending quickly is the relatively low consumer spending in US as many of them are saving for an uncertain future.In January, the savings rate climbed to 4.4%. In February, it dipped slightly to 4.2%. Both were well above the negative 1% rate for 2006 and the negative 0.5% rate for 2005.In a $14.2 trillion U.S. economy, a 5-percentage-point increase in the savings rate -- and therefore a 5-point decline in consumption -- amounts to $500 billion.So, one way for the crisis to end is by other developing nations like India compensate for this $500 billion gap in US spending. That is people in India,China need to spend more so that the whole world can get out of this mess, else everyone will suffer. But countries like India and China are traditionally inclined to saving more.
That is why, even if economic crisis ends this year, the Americans and Europeans will want to save more to prevent themselves from such a scenario again. This in turn would lead to low economic growth around the world. This may increase dramatically only when some other country takes over from US as the leading economy in the world. That is why, many say the future of the world depends on how well India and China grow. With their population, even if a small fraction(about 30% of total American population) leads life like a average American, the world will grow much faster than what it was did in the past 2 decaded prior to the economic crisis.
So, the post economic crisis seems very challenging and would slow going till hopefully China and India take over. Future of the world lies in the hands of the Indian and Chinese citizen!!!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

TCS enters IPL; signs deal with Rajasthan Royals

Rajasthan Royals have tied-up with Tata Consultancy Services as their technology partners for a period of three years.This marks a historic moment for the IPL as it is the first time that an IPL team has inducted a Technology Partner into the organization to help the team stay on the championship track.

TCS's Global Marketing Head, Jayant Pendharkar, told a media conference today that Rajasthan Royals' champions status as well as the importance they give to technology were some of the reasons they were preferred from among the eight IPL teams in fray for season 2 of the IPL commencing on April 18.
"Over the years TCS have partnered sports events. We are connected with the Ferrari team, NBA and the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon," he said.

Shane Warne, Captain-Coach, Rajasthan Royals says, “Rajasthan Royals represents an ideal combination of skill and experience. It’s good to be associated with a winning and trustworthy brand like TCS as their contribution will be an added advantage.”
TCS works with other sports organizations like racing major Ferrari in formula one and Ducati, the leader in bike racing. In the past few years, TCS has also consulted with the Indian national cricket team on lateral thinking and communication strategies and with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on its organizational structure.

Journalist attacks Chidambaram with a shoe

A Sikh reporter threw a shoe at the Indian home minister during a news conference after he was angered over the minister's reply to a question. P Chidambaram ducked as the trainer flew past him, and smiled broadly as the man was escorted out of the event in New Delhi. The Sikh journalist appeared to have acted after the minister refused to answer a question he had raised at the press conference.

Jarnail Singh of a Hindi daily hurled a shoe at Chidambaram protesting against CBI's clean chit to senior Congress leader Jagdish Tytler accused in 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. Soon afterwards, Mr Singh told TV news reporters that he regretted throwing the shoe but he felt that Mr Chidambaram was dodging the question.
"I just wanted to ask him how justice will be done, but he was not interested in answering the questions," he told . BJP on Tuesday condemned hurling of a shoe at Home Minister P Chidambaram."We condemn the incident," BJP spokesperson Balbir Punj said in Delhi.

The Iraqi journalist who threw a shoe at Mr Bush won worldwide fame but was jailed for three years earlier this month.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Download a movie in an hour-Airtel launches 16 Mbps broadband

Bharti Airtel has announced 16 Mbps broadband – which the company claims to be the fastest wireline broadband on DSL in the country.Telecom consumers in India can experience broadband in the true sense, withconnections which offer speeds of 16 Mega Bits Per Second (Mbps) — that’s twice that of the current highest speeds available for the retail segment anywhere in the country.
With 16 Mbps speed, consumers can download a 4 GB high-definition movie within 30 minutes compared with more than 12 hours that a 256 Kbps connection takes.Powered by Airtel’s Carrier Ethernet Network the service will be available in Delhi NCR, Chennai and Bangalore with phased roll-out to additional cities of Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai and Kolkata. Airtel delivers its broadband service to customers through a fibre backbone of Carrier Ethernet Network with last mile delivery on copper using ADSL2+ technology.

Customers can gain access to 16 Mbps broadband by choosing from 2 Tariff Plans – Speed Combo 2999 (20GB transfer limit) and Speed Combo 4999 (50GB transfer limit). The press release claimed Airtel offers its broadband services across 95 cities in the country with approximately 9.92 lakh broadband customers as on December 31, 2008.

Rahul Dravid breaks the world record for most catches

Rahul Dravid scaled another lofty peak in his illustrious career when he created the world record for the most number of Test catches by a fielder.When Dravid helped to dismiss the New Zealand batsman, Tim McIntosh, in Wellington, it was his 182nd catch in a Test career going back to 1996.

Rahul Dravid has always been regarded as one of the finest fielders, especially in the slip region in the cricketing world, for most of his 13 years as an international cricketer. Therefore, it is only fitting that the former Indian captain has taken over the mantle of the maximum Test catches from Australia's Mark Waugh.Having snared Nasser Hussain off Javagal Srinath to open his 'catch' account in his debut Test at Lord's, Dravid is now clearly ahead of Ricky Ponting (148 in 131 Tests), Jacques Kallis (147 in 131) and Mahela Jayawardene (142 in 102) among current players.

Dravid has taken 88 catches in 59 Tests played at home, while 94 of his catches, including the 182nd of his career, have been taken in 75 matches played on overseas grounds.He has also scored over 10,000 runs in both Test cricket and one-day internationals.

11 digit mobile numbers soon

If remembering 10-digit mobile phone numbers is hard task for you, soon you'll have an addition to the problem. The Department of Telecom, or DoT, is considering making mobile phone numbers to contain 11 digits.With phone operators expected to run out of 10-digit mobile numbers soon, the Department of Telecom (DoT) is now considering this proposal.

According to industry, given the current rate of growth of subscribers in the country, another 150-200 million can be added before the 10-digit quota is consumed.In India, the first numbering plan was announced in 1993 when mobile telephony had not yet begun.
In 2003, the DoT had come out with a 30-year numbering plan. However, the rapidly growing subscriber base has forced it to review the plan in six years.
The current growth rate in telecom is expected to continue as firms extend their reach to rural India and new technologies such as high-speed 3G enter the country.

So, get ready for your 11 digit mobile number....