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y y Posted by maneet on October 16, 2010 at 3:05pm Send Message View Discussions
NEW DELHI: Mumbai·s iconic Taj Mahal hotel , which was targeted by Lashkar jihadis in 2008, will host US president Barack Obama during his visit to the city on November 5. President Obama will also visit locations of 26/11 terror attacks to express solidarity with the victims of the carnage, according to government sources.
Lashkar terrorists had targeted Mumbai·s opulent hotel, its prestigious landmark CST terminal and a Jewish community centre in attacks that were aimed at crippling the country·s financial capital. President Obama·s visit to these locations will send out a clear message that India·s battle against terror has the complete backing of the US.
External affairs minister S M Krishna on Friday told reporters here that the leadership will raise concerns expressed by its IT industry over the US curbs on outsourcing during the US president·s maiden visit to India. ´There are some serious reservations being expressed in India·s IT industry about outsourcing and the tightening of visa rules. These are the kind of issues that will be discussed,µ said Mr Krishna in response to a question on the areas on which India expected to see positive improvement during President Obama·s visit.
Mr Krishna, however, stressed that the commonalties between India and the US are so strong that the problems in perception on some issues will not mar the relationship.
When asked whether India discuss China with the US president, Mr Krishna said: ´When India and US take into account global issues, China is important regional power, therefore we will exchange notes with US on what is there approach and what is India·s approach.µ
Mr S M Krishna also said the nuclear issue also figures in the wide-ranging discussions that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would have with president Obama during his five-day visit.
J&K interlocutors to get a year tenure
y y Posted by maneet on October 16, 2010 at 3:10pm Send Message View Discussions
NEW DELHI: The three-member interlocutor·s panel constituted by the government to hold a sustained dialogue with the people of Jammu & Kashmir is likely to have a one-year tenure , according to sources in the government.
Members, who have been told to devote 7-8 days in a month to holding deliberations with all interested parties in J&K, are likely to finalise the terms of reference in consultation with the government after one of the panellists, Ms Radha Kumar, returns from her foreign visit next week.
Ministry of home affairs, on its part, has compiled three separate sets of all agreements and papers relating to J&K, including the Instrument of Accession, 1952 Delhi Agreement, the 1975 accord. ´It will be handed over to the three members for reference before they start deliberations with all shades of opinion in J&K,µ said a senior official.
The government had announced a three-member interlocutor panel for J&K earlier this week. Members include senior journalist Dileep Padgaonkar , information commissioner M M Ansari and academician Radha Kumar.
The much-awaited panel has already come under severe criticism from political and separatist groups in the state with JKLF calling it a joke while Hurriyat Conference also flaying it. A senior MHA official on Friday dismissed the criticism as ´routine and on expected lines,µ saying that it was just part of the separatists· trick to ´put the panel on the backfoot right at the start.µ
Commonwealth Games probe begins; PM orders action against guilty
Posted by maneet on October 16, 2010 at 3:02pm Send Message View Discussions
NEW DELHI: With the Commonwealth Games behind it, the government on Friday night ordered a probe into allegations of corruption in the organising of the mega event. A PMO communique said the Prime Minister has asked a panel headed by former CAG V K Shunglu to hold the inquiry.
A clear indication that the government would walk the talk on identifying those guilty of wrongdoing came when the sports secretary shot off a letter to the Organising Committee, on Thursday, asking it not to relieve its officials till further orders. This, sources said, was to ensure that they are available for questioning by agencies that would be probing specific corruption charges.
That the top government leadership was unhappy with the Organising Committee (OC) was evident when chairman Suresh Kalmadi was not invited for a felicitation ceremony that the Prime Minister held for Indian athletes who won medals at the Games this evening.
Since the event had attracted adverse media attention not only within the country but also outside, the government leadership was against taking a lenient view of the OC·s misdemeanours in the run up to the Games.
It be recalled that Congress president Sonia Gandhi had told a meeting of Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) that those found guilty would not be spared. ´I trust that as soon as the Games are over, the government will look into allegations of malpractice and spare no one found to be involved in them,µ Ms Gandhi had said.
On Friday morning, external affairs minister SM Krishna, who was interacting with a group of reporters, reiterated the point. ´Whatever has been said, I think the government will follow it up. That is government·s function,µ he said when asked whether he felt that there should be a probe into allegations of corruption as they marred India·s image.
That the Opposition would keep up pressure on the government to act was evident when BJP said that it was now time to probe the cases of corruption. With Parliament session barely three weeks away, the Opposition can be expected to raise the issue once again.
Trouble is already brewing for the government as the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, headed by Mr Murli Manohar Joshi, is ready with a report indicting government agencies involved in the execution of projects.
The panel had wanted to present its report before the commencement of the event but Congress members prevailed upon the chairman to hold till the event·s completion.
LIC set to hire transgenders as agents
Posted by maneet on October 16, 2010 at 12:54pm Send Message View Discussions
'Transgender' means involving a partial or full reversal of gender.
CHENNAI: In the first initiative of its kind in the country, transgenders will soon be working as agents for the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC).
This progressive move was an attempt to integrate them into the social mainstream , said R Vasuki, state director of social welfare. "We're trying to ensure that transgenders don't resort to begging and extortion to make ends meet," said Vasuki. The programme will soon be expanded to other districts of Tamil Nadu.
B Preethi (23), a transgender, said, "We've no means of employment. And contrary to what people think, we do not like begging. We want people to trust us and help us lead normal lives." Responding to this, Vasuki said, "Such people deserve our respect. This is possible only if transgenders are given salaried jobs."
Thirty transgenders will undergo training for a week, after which a test will be conducted before they become LIC agents . "Certain qualifications are necessary. In urban areas, we're employing those who have passed class XII and in rural areas we'll employ class X pass," said A Udayakumar, development officer at a LIC branch here.
"This will hopefully stop the violence, abuse and insults that we constantly suffer," said P Tanisha, another transgender.
S M Jayalalitha, head of the Thiruvallur group of transgenders, said employment would help erase the stigma associated with them. "Since most transgenders have many contacts among shopkeepers and policemen, it will help them sell insurance policies," she said.
Reshma Sharma, an advocate who runs an NGO to help transgenders get employment, said, "I've been working to integrate them into society for long, but it is good to see the government take steps too."
"Thanks to Reshma's efforts, I am now employed at HCL as a security guard. I hope others like me, also benefit from this scheme," said M Venilla, a transgender who works at the Greames Road office.
R Vasuki, state director of social welfare, said self-help groups for transgenders, modelled along those meant for women, were functional in some districts. Loans were being given to them to make a respectable living. "We hope this awareness will help parents of transgenders accept them as they are. Instead of living in independent groups, they should live at home and lead normal lives. We're doing our best to achieve this. The collaboration with LIC is our first step," she said.
Indian Economy is RISING
Posted by Ashok on October 17, 2010 at 1:50pm Send Message View Ashok's blog
India is doing well. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has come out to state that the economy will grow by 9.7 percent in 2010 and 8.4 percent in 2011. That India has well and truly recovered from the recession is now wellestablished and it is currently undergoing a transition from the public stimulus to private sector-led growth.
The economy is on the fulcrum of an increasing growth curve. India is growing faster than just about every other country with China being the only exception. Given this backdrop, one can say the economy is back on track and the major drivers for further growth are in place.
According to a leading consultancy house, the economy will grow fivefold in the next 20 years. This is probably why the foreign institutional investor (FII) investments in India are continuing unabated despite the rising valuations.
India is probably one of the first countries to recover from the recession. Watched like a hawk by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India could avoid excessive leverage and mortgage defaults, and hence went into recession with lesser burden. This also helped it recover faster.
The government's focus on growth has helped in the recovery process.
Calibrated and periodic stimulus programmes were undertaken by the government to stimulate growth. Slowly, stimulus-led growth has moved forward due to the private sector participation . Going by the macroeconomic numbers, this growth curve has just started and may lead to exponential private sector growth.
Factors supporting growth
Some economists think India will grow faster than any other large country over the next 25 years. They feel two factors will be major contributors to this growth. The first factor is the information technology revolution that is taking place in the country.
This is led by mobile connectivity. The rapid penetration of mobile services to the hinterland has brought about a connectivity that is about to bridge the difference between 'urban India' and 'rural India·. For the rural parts that suffered severely due to very poor infrastructure, like lack of roads and electricity, mobile connectivity is a means to overcome deficiencies of physical infrastructure.
Mobile is no longer a talking device to connect to family and friends. It is now a business tool to conduct various operations like banking, gathering information and trading. This technological revolution could prove to be the game changer for the country.
The second advantage India has is that of its dependence ratio - the proportion of children and senior citizens to working-age adults - is one of the best in the world and will remain so for a generation, in the opinion of many economists. They say that India's economy will benefit from this 'demographic dividend', which has powered many of Asia's economic miracles in the past.
Demographers say the emerging world will stay young while the rich world ages. In 2020 the median age in India will be 28, compared with 38 in America, 45 in Western Europe and 49 in Japan. These factors will come into play in the shift of power from West to East in the next 40 years in the world.
Infosys cash rises by 25 per cent to Rs 17,388 cr in Q2
Posted by Dinesh koul on October 16, 2010 at 9:00pm Send Message View Dinesh koul's blog
MUMBAI: IT giant Infosys Technologies
on Friday said its cash and cash equivalents rose by 25.58 per cent to Rs 17,388 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2010.
As on September 30, cash and cash equivalents, including investments in available-for-sale financial assets and certificates of deposits was Rs 17,388 crore, as against Rs 13,846 crore on September 30, 2009, the software exporter said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
"Our operating margins improved during the quarter while our liquidity position was further strengthened with cash and cash equivalents reaching USD 3.9 billion," Infosys Technologies CFO V Balakrishnan said.
The company today announced a growth of 13.15 per cent in its consolidated net profit at Rs 1,737 crore for the second quarter ended September 30, 2010.
Total revenues rose to Rs 6,947 crore during the quarter, against Rs 5,585 crore in the same period previous fiscal.
"However, the continued global economic uncertainty, coupled with extreme currency volatility is a concern for the industry," Balakrishnan added. The company made a net
addition of 7,646 employees, taking its total headcount to 1,22,468 employees as on September 30, 2010.
"There are significant drivers for investment in Information Technology since any transformation program to build tomorrow's enterprises' requires these investments to be made," Infosys Technologies CEO and MD S Gopalakrishnan said added. Shares of Infosys Technologies were trading at Rs 3,137.55 on the BSE, down 1.47 per cent from previous close.
World class business school will be setup by LSE(London School of Commerce) and Reliance
Posted by Janesh Grover on October 16, 2010 at 7:54pm Send Message View Janesh Grover's blog
the LSE is one of the finest B-school in the world but LSE is collaborating with Reliance to set up a World class university in South-Asia nation. Nita Ambani, Reliance Foundation's Chairperson and Mukesh Ambani's wife. has taken an responsibility to bring a world class university in India to put India on the global education map.
Cell Phones Are the New Paper
y y Posted by RAVI RAJ on October 15, 2010 at 2:32pm Send Message View RAVI RAJ's blog
Cell Phones Are the New Paper
Check in. Print out your boarding pass. Hope you don't lose it. Hand the crumpled pass to a TSA security agent and pray you don't get pulled aside for a pat-down search. When you're ready to fly home, wait in line at the airport because you lacked access to a printer in your hotel room. Can't we come up with a better way?
What is it? The idea of the paperless office has been with us since Bill Gates was in short pants, but no matter how sophisticated your OS or your use of digital files in lieu of printouts might be, they're of no help once you leave your desk. People need printouts of maps, receipts, and instructions when a computer just isn't convenient. PDAs failed to fill that need, so coming to the rescue are their replacements: cell phones. Applications to eliminate the need for a printout in nearly any situation are flooding the market.Cellfire offers mobile coupons you can pull up on your phone and show to a clerk; Tickets.com now makes digital concert passes available via cell phone through its Tickets@Phone service. The final frontier, though, remains the airline boarding pass, which has resisted this next paperless step since the advent of Webbased check-in. When is it coming? Some cell-phone apps that replace paper are here now (just look at the ones for the iPhone), and even paperless boarding passes are creeping forward. Continental has been experimenting with a cell-phone check-in system that lets you show an encrypted, 2D bar code on your phone to a TSA agent in lieu of a paper boarding pass. The agent scans the bar code with an ordinary scanner, and you're on your way. Introduced at the Houston Intercontinental Airport, the pilot project became permanent earlier this year, and Continental rolled it out in three other airports in 2008. The company promises more airports to come. (Quantas will be doing something similar early next year.)
Your Fingers Do Even More Walking
Posted by RAVI RAJ on October 15, 2010 at 2:28pm Send Message View RAVI RAJ's blog
Last year Microsoft introduced Surface, a table with a built-in monitor and touch screen; many industry watchers have seen it as a bellwether for touch-sensitive computing embedded into every device imaginable. Surface is a neat trick, but the reality of touch devices may be driven by something entirely different and more accessible: the Apple iPhone. What is it? With the iPhone, "multitouch" technology (which lets you use more than one finger to perform specific actions) reinvented what we knew about the humble touchpad. Tracing a single finger on most touchpads looks positively simian next to some of the tricks you can do
with two or more digits. Since the iPhone's launch, multitouch has found its way into numerous mainstream devices, including the Asus Eee PC 900 and a Dell Latitude tablet PC. Now all eyes are turned back to Apple, to see how it will further adapt multitouch (which it has already brought to its laptops' touchpads). Patents that Apple has filed for a multitouch tablet PC have many people expecting the company to dive into this neglected market, finally bringing tablets into the mainstream and possibly sparking explosive growth in the category. When is it coming? It's not a question of when Multitouch will arrive, but how quickly the trend will grow. Fewer than 200,000 touch-screen devices were shipped in 2006. iSuppli analysts have estimated that a whopping 833 million will be sold in 2013. The real guessing game is figuring out when the old "single-touch" pads become obsolete, possibly taking physical keyboards along with them in many devices.
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