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Monday, January 12, 2009

Commemorative Coins from Indian Mint


On the occasion of birth centenary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and the Birth Anniversary of Louis Braille, Indian Government Mint is issuing commemorative coin sets

The coin set will have 2 coins of Rs 100 & Rs 5 (or 2). Price will be in the range of Rs 1100 to 1400.

Interested people can apply for these coins online at

Last date to apply for these coins is 31-Oct-2009


Indian Government Mint is issuing commemorative coin sets on the occasion of Ter Centenary of Gur-Ta-Gaddi of Shri Guru Granth Sahib. Each Set of these commemorative coins contains two coins in denominations of Rs 100/- and Rs 10

These coins are available on payment of cash at Mumbai mint, on Monday to Saturday between 10AM to 12AM

Alternatively, the coins can be booked online at These coins will be available till 31-Mar-2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

ICC Centenary Hall of Fame

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is Celebrating its Centenary by honoring the past legends of the game. With the support of the Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA), ICC established the Cricket Hall of Fame last week.

The Hall of Fame has 55 cricketers of the game. India has three of its legends in this list. Yester years’ ace spinner Bishen Singh Bedi, Batting Maestro Little Master Sunil Gavaskar, Haryana Hurricane Kapil Dev are in this Hall of Fame.

As part of its centenary celebrations, ICC created a website This website carries all the details of the centenary celebrations. The website lists all the details of the 55 cricketers who are in the Hall of Fame.

For starters, see this page for the complete list of ICC Cricket Hall of Fame:

Friday, January 9, 2009

Satyam MD Ramalinga Raju Arrested

The disgraced promoter and managing director of Indian blue chip Satyam Computer Services surrendered to the law enforcement authorities, late on Friday evening in Hyderabad. The Director General of Police in Hyderabad has said that Rama Linga Raju accepted his role in the Rs 7000 Cr ($1.25 bn) fraud that jolted the corporate India on 7th Jan 2009. So, the cops arrested Rama Linga Raju and his brother Rama Raju under sections 120-B, 409, 420, 468, 471 of Indian Penal Code. The CFO of the company Vadlamani Srinivas may be arrested on Saturday morning.

Rama Linga Raju, the promoter of the 4th largest Indian IT Service Company, Satyam Computer Services, has been trying to cover up the financial irregularities at the organization for the past few months. Earlier in Dec 2008, he attempted to merge his other enterprises Mayatas group into Satyam Computer Services, so as to cover up the irregularities. However the investors and the market regulator has prevented his plans. Finally, Raju announced on 7th Jan that a sum of 7000 Cr in the account books of Satyam indeed is non existent.

Considering the magnitude of the fraud, Ramalinga Raju may not get a bail in the case.

The cops are currently enquiring whether the 7000Cr is non existent or has been siphoned off by the Raju brothers. The local political parties and media is abuzz with conspiracy theories that Raju brothers have used the money to bribe the ruling congress government in procuring various infrastructure & real estate contracts for their Mayatas Group. They claim that Raju’s Mayatas has funded the Sakshi news paper, which is run by the son of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajashekhar Reddy.

We will have to wait for Raju’ confession which is currently underway at the DGP office in Hyderabad.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Infosys Should Take Over Satyam To Restore India Inc. Image

Satyam Computer Services Ltd, India’s leading software services company disclosed today that its balance sheets were inflated to the tune of Rs 7000 Cr (Approx $ 1.25 bn). The revelations were shocking, as the company serves one third of the Global Fortune 500 companies across the world, including General Electric, General Motors and others. Satyam is regarded as a top IT company in India and is one of the big 4 Indian companies alongside of Infosys, Wipro and TCS. The company operates in 66 countries, employing 55,000 across its software development centers.

The revelations are the culmination of a series of murky steps that the management has been desperately attempting over the past few days. It tried to cover up the non existent assets by acquiring Mayatas Infrastructure, an entity promoted by the same management team. The stock started sliding from Rs 400 (Approx $10) on these attempts. The stock has been beaten badly in the market as the news about the happenings started to come out. Finally, Chairman & CEO Ramalinga Raju , made a statement that the account books have been cooked over the past few quarters. Satyam’s stock was plummeted on the bourses. It ended the day at Rs 41 (Less than a $1)

The National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) has removed Satyam from its Index NIFTY. The Bombay Stick Exchange may follow the suit. NYSE has stopped trading the stock today.

As the news is coming out, most of the institutional investors exited the stock. Aberdeen has quit the counter, Morgan Stanely sold off its holdings. As the bigger fool theory of stock markets say, the greedy retail investors (the fools) bought the scrip from these institutional investors, with a hope that there will be a bigger fool who will buy the stock from them. While we can not rule out the theory that some PE or Indian fund house might be accruing the stock on lows, I tend to believe that the retail investors have put in their hard earned money in this counter today. 90% of the people that I spoke to today have entered the counter from Rs 85 to Rs 32.

Now, nobody will compensate the fools for their greed. But the regulator has to step in to ensure that there will not be any more fraud for the retail investor. I suggest some measures for the same.

Firstly, as the markets open day after tomorrow, the retail investors may flock to sell off their exposure and that may lead to more pain to all. The trading in this counter must be stopped till some clarity is brought in.

Next, Satyam is not an isolated event. The erosion of investors’ wealth in counters like Unitech and other companies have to be probed by the regulator. There should be stricter laws to prevent major loss to retail investor

Then there is the need to strengthen the focus on corporate governance. Readers may be shocked to know that the Satyam fraud has happened under the supervision of great Board of Directors that has names like Rama Mohan Rao (Dean of Indian School of Business – ISB) and Krishna Palepu (Ross Graham Walker Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for International Development, at the Harvard Business School). It is a shame that these independent directors are not aware of what happened there.

Finally, it’s the responsibility of the Indian Government to make sure that this one off incident does not damage its image. IT exports have been fueling the growth in this country and the government and the regulator/NASSCOM has to take all the steps to keep the India Inc image intact. As a step towards that, the Ministry of Company Affairs can merge Satyam with companies like Infosys, which have impeccable record of corporate governance. Or another option could be to break the failed company into multiple entities that can be merged with the Top 3 IT companies of India – Infosys, Wipro, TCS. The merge can be done based on capabilities or geography or customer base. This will save the 55,000 employees of Satyam.

Till such a move happens, my heart felt condolences to all those who lost their hard earned money in this counter today.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Jobs Galore At

APPSC’s election time Bonanza!!

The ruling congress government in Andhra Pradesh is making all attempts to attract voters in the state. Over the past few months, it has already played to the gallery with various schemes on housing and health. Now, it is doling out jobs to attract the unemployed & educated youth. While the governments conviction in creating jobs will be clear only after the long process of recruitment completes, for now all the job hopefuls are delighted to see so many job notifications on a single day.

The APPSC ( has published the following notifications yesterday (Around 3000 jobs!!):

1. Group 1 Services
2. Group 2 Services
3. Group 4 Services (Notification 40/2008 & 41/2008)
4. Town Planning Building Overseers in AP Municipal Town Planning Sub Srvice
5. Assistant Executive Engineers in Various Departments
6. Assistant Motor Vehicle Inspectors in AP Transport Subordinate Service
7. Assistant Chemists in AP Ground Water Service
8. Royalty Inspectors in AP Mining Service
9. Assistant Hydrologists in AP Ground Water Service (Notification 51/2008 & 53/2008)

For detailed information on each of these posts and the last date to apply, please visit APPSC’s website at

In addition to these, the AP State Police ( has published a notification to fill the following posts (Around 16,000 jobs!!)

Stipendiary Cadet Trainee (SCT) Police Constables (Civil)
Stipendiary Cadet Trainee Police Constables (AR)
Stipendiary Cadet Trainee Police Constables (SAR CPL)
Stipendiary Cadet Trainee Police Constables (APSP)
Constables (Men) in Special Protection Force (SPF)
Firemen in A.P. Fire & Emergency Services
Warders (Male) in Prisons and Correctional Services

For details on application procedure, visit: