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Sunday, August 31, 2008

SAARC Youth Award 2008 ( For Women)

SAARC announced SAARC Youth Award 2008 for extraordinary talent of the youth in SAARC region.

The theme of the award this year is “From Himalayan Glaciers to Verdant Plains to Coral Reefs – Protecting the Environment in South Asia”

Woman Citizen of SAARC member nations
+ Age group of 25-30 yrs

Last Date to Apply:

How to Apply:
Use the proforma Application form published in all leading news papers on 31-Aug-2008


This is the new word that I came across today

Stagflation is an economic condition where the economy faces stagnation and inflation simultaneously. In macro economics, Inflation and Recession are considered to be mutually exclusive. However, during 1970s, the worlds economy and thus India's too; went into a simultaneous Recession and Inflation.

Economists consider Stagflation is a rare scenario and thus is difficult to get out of. If we attempt to treat the inflation, then the recession worsens and vice versa.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Companies Bill 2008

The companies act of 1956 will soon go to attic as the cabinet approved the decision to introduce the new companies bill of 2008 in the parliament. The bill was the result of 4 years effort by a committee headed by JJ Irani.

If passed, the companies bill of 2008 will ease the formation and functioning of corporates in India. It promises to bring lots of liberal changes that encourage entrepreneurship in India.

Some of the salient features of the proposed bill are:

1. OPC - A one person company which can be operated by a single entrepreneur
2. relaxed provisions in
- remuneration to directors,
- related party transactions,
- attachment of data of subsidiary companies etc
3. the number of independent directors on the board is reduced to 1/3 from 1/2
4. done away with promoters buying shares on discount
5. introduction of stringent penalties to corporate frauds
6. special courts for corporate offences
7. relaxed upper limit on partners in a firm - new proposal allows up to 100
8. board meetings can be held over video conference and approvals over e-mails
9. single forum for M&A
10. provision to claim dividend even after 7 years

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra - The new celebrity couple

So, finally Shilpa Shetty is plannig to marry Raj Kundra. The actress has been in news for quite sometime starting with her appearance in Big Brother, the UK reality show. She faced racial discrimination in the show and eventually emerged as the winner of the show.

It was followed by her aids awareness campaign in India where the hollywood actor Richard Gere kissed her in public on the dias. It created outrage among sections of moral police which resulted in an un conditional apology from the hollywood actor.

Next she was accused of breaking marriage of Kavita, the wife of young UK millionaire Raj Kundra. 27 year Raj Kundra heads the UK Trade Corp and introduced a perfume in Shilpa's name last year. He separated from his wife Kavita sometime back.

Now, Shilpa is all set to marry Raj Kundra soon.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tata, Nano, Singur & Mamata

It happens only in India!

Yeah, that cliché is an apt description of what’s happening at Singur.

For the uninitiated, Singur is the place in West Bengal where the Indian conglomerate Tata group's Tata Motors planned its next automobile factory. The proposed factory is supposed to build the new model Nano, the cheapest four wheeler in the Indian market. Nano is tentatively priced around 1 Lakh and scheduled to be released by Oct 2008.

The Nano project is an investment of Rs. 2000 Cr by Tatas, the first of its kind in communist dominated West Bengal. The project initiated in May 2006, has a requirement of around 1000 Acres of Land for the Car factory, Utilities, facilities and a vendor park. The communist government headed by Buddhdeb Battacharya has agreed to the proposal and acquired the required land at Singur and gave a green signal to the Tatas.

As with any Land acquisition in this country, and as it is the first time in West Bengal, there was enough resistance from the local community to give up their land at the government prescribed rates. However, the government could convince the people and started the acquisition process in Sep 2006. And Tatas started their work in Jan 2007 in the acquired & fenced land and by now have invested close to Rs 1500 Cr of the proposed 2000 Cr investment.

With the investment and the resulting development, the land prices have gone up tremendously and thus the aspirations of the land owners who have reluctantly agreed to the land acquisition. These farmers, adding upto 400 acres of land have refused accept the money for their land, from the government. Here entered the messiah of masses, Mamata Benerjeee, the Trinamool Congress Party leader. Mamta took the cause of the farmers who are reluctant and started agitation at Singur, repeatedly. These repeated agitations, the latest one being on 24th Aug 2008, have disturbed the production plans to Singur.

Having won the local body elections at Singur, Trinamool Congress and Mamta are with renewed energy in opposing to Nano project. The current compromise formula that Mamta & party suggests is that 400 acres of land should be returned to Farmers. They suggest Tata’s to drop the Vendor Park from the proposed project and set it up at a different place. Incidentally, the Vendor Park is planned to set up in around 300 acres.

However, what Mamta and other ordinary citizens don’t understand is the very purpose of such a vendor park. In lean manufacturing and just in time approach, a vendor park will bring down the cost of manufacturing and the savings can be passed on to end customer. The basic idea behind the low priced model of Nano is solely based on the 60 ancillary units that will be co-existing with the car manufacturing unit.

While we have to see how this first episode of West Bengal’s romance with corporate India turns out, I felt sad to read Ratan Tata’s statement that “We came to West Bengal at a time when many people considered us to be mad...If anybody is under the impression that because we made this large investment, we will not move, they are wrong”

I’d say that Tatas don’t need to worry. There are three states which have already sent a red carpet welcome message to them today (23rd Aug 2008).

Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Orissa; Vilas Rao Deshmukh, Chief Minister of Maharashtra (Bombay) and Y.S. Rajashekhara Reddy, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad) have sent a welcome message to Tatas and promised to give whatever they need to relocate the project to their states.

Incidentally, two of the above states are ruled by Congress Party, which is teaming up with Mamta Benarjee’s Trinamool Congress in West Bengal in toppling Tata’s plant!!

Now, I cant help saying: It happens only in India

Friday, August 22, 2008

Phoonk - RGV's new movie - Story Review

I was watching Ram Gopal Varma's interview on some channel yesterday. He was talking about the inspiration for Phoonk story. As I wrote earlier at
RGV was referring to the famous Telugu novel of 1980s, Tulasi Dalam, written by Yandamuri.

Tulasi Dalam created history those days by attracting by far the highest readership for a telugu novel.

The story is about a civil engineer Sridhar who lives with his wife and Kid Tulsi. A back magician invokes evil spirits to attack Tulsi. Sridhar doesnt believe in superstitions and witchcraft and so tries to identify the root cause of Tulsi's illness. The story takes twists and turns, where another angle of a scientist Srinivasa Pillai taking revenge on Sridhar by injecting venom to Tulsi. The writer runs the two streams of rational sceintific angle and irrational witchcraft till the end. Towards the end, Sridhar, along with his friend Abraka Dabra, will solve the problem from both the scientific way and the superstitious way.

The story is a perfect one for RGV like director. Let us see how it will work on the screen.

Vijender lost Olymic Boxing Semifinal at Beijing

Indian boxer Vijender Kumar Singh lost the Semifinal of Olymic Boxing event in the 75Kg category. 22 year old Vijender was beaten by his Cuban opponent Emilio Correa Bayeaux by 8-5.

The boxing event will have two bronze medals for each of the lost semifinalists. So, Vijendar will get a bronze at the event.

This will make India's medal tally to all time high of 3 :)
(one gold for Abhinav Bindra in Shooting, One bronze for Sushil Kumar in wrestling and another bronze for Vijendar in Boxing)

Lets take pride in our achievement of 3 medals at Olympics. After all, we are atleast making up to quarterfinals in most events. Till now, it used to be a return at the qualifying rounds itself!!

Lets hope to emulate this success at next Olymipcs and Thank all our representatives at the current games.

Three Cheers to all our players

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

BigTV - Reliance DTH in India - Product Review

I took this Big Tv ( ) connection. Over all it's been a decent experience so far.

Their customer care is prompt in handling the installation process. I was surprised to receive their call within minutes of signing up. Then the installation folks promptly called me and took an appointment of my convenience.

Installation was perfect, as they came with all the necessary kit and did an exceptionally clean job of installing. However, they took almost an hour or so to identify the right direction for the antenna. So, they ended up drilling at three locations on my balcony walls. So, warn them to check the direction/signal, before they drill a hole in your walls.

The cabling was perfect and the folks were friendly enough to leave as much cable as you want, if you have a habit of moving TV around the rooms as I do.

Then, they have a big drilling machine with them to drill through your walls, if you have concealed cabling and have no ventilator from your balcony into your home.

Next, the signal is good enough. I am getting 190+ TV channels and 10+ radio channels. I get all the regional channels that my parents need. The remote is user friendly.

The movies are boring. They have a little collection of movies playing on multiple channels repeatedly. Hope to see some improvement on movie channels, going forward.

On the flip side, the channel browsing is pathetic. It takes a couple of seconds to switch from one channel to the other. Next, with all these rains, we see occasional breakdowns in the streaming.

Overall, the first impression is OK. Lets see how it will be in the coming days.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Musharraf resigns

Pakistani President Pervex Musharraf graciously quit today in the face of an impending impeachment in the national assembly. While Musharraf was still keen to fight the impeachment, he decided not to display his bravado, as that would put the country into turmoil.

Finally, good sense prevailed. Mush realized that displaying his bravado is not in the best interest of his country.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Rains in Hyderabad & AP

The weekend has been rather damp with heavy downpour over the last two days across all the towns in AP. It indeed was pathetic Friday evening for most of us in Hyderabad, who got struck in long traffic jams all over the city. The rains were so heavy that one third of the annual rains fell in just five hours resulting in water pools of 3-4 feet deep at most of the traffic junctions.

While the authorities are absolutely caught unaware of the flash rains and are inefficient in handling the situation as usual, I was more appalled at the callous nature of the citizens. There were instances of people falling into open manholes at many places in the city. Apparently residents of the localities are removing the covers of manholes so that the rain water flows away & leaves their low lying homes safe from the floods.

Similarly, lack of discipline and patience at traffic junctions has added to the pain of all those who got struck in traffic & rain water on Friday.

Hope good sense prevails and we start seeing our fellow citizens will live & let live others.

As the rains are expected to continue for more days, here are some help line numbers

1. Central control, Hyderabad Collectorate: 23202813, 9440815860.
2. Water Board Control Room: 99480-80129.
3. Health emergency: 040-23221823.
4. GHMC central emergency control: 23394566 / 23314289; South zone: 24525941; East zone: 24045519; West zone: 23010250; North zone: 27803321, 27804022; Central: 99899 30620, 97046 78122.