A D V E R T I S E M E N T
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A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Organisations of political nature
and those involved in religious conversions will henceforth be barred from
accepting foreign funds. Also, persons holding political positions like MPs and
MLAs can no longer enjoy foreign hospitality and must intimate the government of
their visits abroad, personal or official.
After letting private organisations bring in unaccounted foreign remittances for
34 years, the government has brought to the Lok Sabha the Foreign Contribution
Regulation Bill, 2010, to regulate the acceptance and utilisation of foreign
contribution of hospitality by certain individuals or associations and to
prohibit such acceptances for activities detrimental to national interest. The
Lower House passed the Bill, which the Rajya Sabha had already cleared.
At the root of the law is the concern that out of 40,173 NGOs (in 1993 there
were just 1,500) accepting foreign funding, only 18,796 have submitted their
audited accounts. For the rest, the government doesn’t know the source of
So far, Rs 12,000 crore has “officially” come through the foreign route, of
which 60 per cent has come from religious organisations, some from countries as
small in population as Canada, Mauritius and Luxembourg.
The government’s data shows that in 2005 and 2006, there were over 32,144
organisations taking foreign funds in India. Only 18,000 declared their funding.
In 2005-2006, of the Rs 7,000 crore that came from foreign sources, Rs 3,075
crore came for religious organisations. This explains why the new law (which
replaces the 1976 legislation) bans foreign funds for conversion purposes.
Significant amounts (to the tune of Rs 7,229 crore) have also come in for
education, with no monitoring. In the run-up to the new FCR Bill 2010, the
government banned 41 outfits from taking foreign remittances; sealed accounts of
11 and asked 45 to take permission first.
With the new law, the government has also capped administrative expenses at 50
per cent of all inflows to NGOs (India has about 20 lakh).
On August 25, 2001, the UPA government successfully shepherded the Civil
Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010, through the Lok Sabha, with active
support from the BJP and strategic absence of some fence-sitters such as the
Quashing opposition from the Left Bloc and other critics, Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh denied that the Bill was railroaded through the House to serve US
interests. “This Bill is a completion of a journey to end the nuclear apartheid,
which the world had imposed on India in the year 1974,” he said.”
The government managed to bring the BJP on board in return for accepting
amendments to the controversial Clause 17(b) and dropping the word “intent”. The
new formulation of 17(b), now states that suppliers would be liable where “the
accident has resulted as a consequence of an act of a supplier or his employees,
done to cause nuclear damage, and such act includes supply of equipment or
material with patent or latent defects or sub-standard services”.
While his government achieved what appeared even a few months ago to be an
impossible task—getting the Lok Sabha to pass the Bill— Manmohan Singh announced
that the government would give safety issues top priority. “Concern about
nuclear safety is one, which I fully share. I assure (you) we will do everything
to strengthen the Nuclear Regulatory Board to ensure that safety concerns
receive the attention that they must, if we are to use nuclear power as a major
source for generating and meeting India’s need for energy,” he said.
The key points of the Bill are:
—Controversial Clause 17(b) amended by dropping the word ‘intent’.
—Compensation cap to be paid by the operator at Rs 1500 crore provided in the
Bill is not the ‘limit’.
—Compensation will be decided by the Claims Commissioner and the operator will
have to pay.
—Government assumes full liability for even a plant not operated by it.
—The Bill is necessary for full implementation of civil nuclear deal signed with
the USA in 2006.
Bill to provide women
equal guardianship rights
A Bill paving way for the women to get equal rights in guardianship and adoption
of children has been passed by the Rajya Sabha.
The Personal Laws Amendment Bill seeks to amend the Guardians and Wards Act,
1890 and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956. It also seeks to allow
the mother, along with the father, to be appointed as a guardian, making the
Besides, it aims at removing hurdles in the way of a married woman to adopt. She
can give a son or daughter for adoption.
For adoption and guardianship, under the existing Act, only the father is
considered to be the natural guardian of the child in a Hindu family and only
unmarried, divorced women and widows are allowed to adopt a child. Women
separated from their husbands and engaged in lengthy divorce battles cannot
adopt a child.
Annual Supplement to
Foreign Trade Policy 2009-14
The government has extended sops worth Rs 1,052 crore to exporters, particularly
for the labour-intensive textile, handicrafts and leather sectors, to help them
see through the fragile economic recovery globally. The revenue implication of
these measures would be Rs 1,052 crore. The government also made it clear that
the popular Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB) scheme, which has been in vogue
for over a decade, is being extended for the last time.
Experts said drawing the curtains on the DEPB scheme was inevitable as it was
considered incompatible with the global trade rules under WTO.
A number of additional products from sectors like engineering, leather, textiles
and jute have also been added to the existing two per cent interest subvention
scheme. Handloom, handicrafts, carpet and the SMEs have been getting this
facility, which will now be available till March 31, 2011.
The government also extended the zero-duty Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG)
scheme by one year to March 31, 2012. The scheme, which was announced in August
2009, was to expire on March 31, 2011. Steps to reduce transaction cost of
exports too were announced in the policy.
On August 21, 2010, visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada held the
fourth round of strategic dialogue with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna.
The two sides discussed the nuclear pact, comprehensive economic partnership
agreement (CEPA), other bilateral and international issues, including UN reforms
and the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
However, the focus was clearly on the nuke deal, the discussions on which the
two countries propose to conclude as quickly as possible without setting any
Addressing a joint press conference with Krishna after the three-hour talks
between the two sides, Okada candidly admitted that initiating negotiations with
India on the nuclear pact was the toughest decision he had taken during his
stewardship of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, given the fact that India was not
a signatory to the NPT. He also acknowledged that the proposal for a nuclear
agreement with India was facing sharp criticism back home, since Japan is the
only country to have experienced a nuclear attack.
He also told the Indian side that the philosophy of nuclear disarmament and
non-proliferation must be incorporated in the proposed accord on nuclear
Asked if Japan had advised India against detonating another nuclear device,
Okada said: “I don’t think we can suggest to India to refrain from conducting a
test…but if such a thing were to happen, we shall have no option but to suspend
our cooperation with India (in the field).”
The two countries will continue and enhance consultations within the G-4 process
for reforms of the UN, including the Security Council. They also welcomed the
inclusion of the US and Russia in the East Asia Summit (EAS).
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has approved the setting up of a National
Innovation Council to prepare a road map for the 'Decade of Innovation
2011-2020'. Sam Pitroda, adviser to the Prime Minister on public information
infrastructure and innovations, will head the National Innovation Council.
The Council has been given the mandate to evolve an Indian model of innovation
focussing on inclusive growth and creating an appropriate eco-system conducive
to fostering inclusive innovation.
It will delineate appropriate policy initiatives within the government required
to spur innovation. It will also promote the setting up of sectoral innovation
councils and state innovation councils.
While encouraging all important sectors of the economy to innovate, the NIC will
take special efforts to facilitate innovation by micro, small and medium
Innovation in public services delivery and encouraging multi-disciplinary and
globally competitive approaches for innovations would be focused on by the
Nuclear liability bill
which was adopted by Rajya Sabha has now been approved by the process of Voice
vote. The session of the Parliament lasted 48 hours extra than the scheduled
time so that the legislation can be easily passed and approved. A total of 18
amendments were introduced in this bill by Lok Sabha before processing it
further. Soon the bill was selected for a considerable hike in the liability of
operator. This liability has now become 3 times then what it was in the past and
now holds a value of rupees 1500 crore’s in total. By virtue of progression of
this bill and significant increase in the liability many overseas companies have
shown their interests in setting up reactors in India. Special accidental care
will now be provided for the employees operating in the various sections of the
nuclear plants. The decision and the passing of the bill had been strongly
opposed by the BJP leaders as they found it insignificant.
Swiss Bank Access
Swiss Authorities will
provide information to India on cases of tax fraud and tax evasion from January
1,2011under the reworked double tax agreement (DTA) signed by India and
Switzerland. The Indian Authorities can now seek information about the account
holders in Swiss banks who have a case filed against them for tax evasion.
Intervention for CWG
PM and his select team of
ministers takeover as CWG supervisors. Indian Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh
took over the reigns of the forthcoming games in the wake of scandals and
unfinished work surrounding the event. Committee of Secretaries, headed by a
Cabinet Secretary, will now supervise the mega event to be held in October
overtaking Organizing Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi.
The Supreme court of
India has reopened the Bhopal Gas leak case in response to Government’s petition
for harsher punishment to the guilty for the worst tragedy of its kind in which
at least 7,000 people perished within days of the release of the toxic methyl
isocyanate gas at the Union Carbide pesticide plant on 3 December 1984, and a
further 15,000 died later from exposure to the gas. The tragedy left countless
others with lifelong damage to their health.
CSAT to replace
the civil services prelims
The new Civil Services
Aptitude Test (CSAT) will replace the existing civil services (preliminary)
examination from 2011. The new scheme will test the candidates for their
aptitude for civil services as well as their ethical and moral dimension of
decision-making. There will now be two common papers with equal weightage in
place of one common paper (general awareness) and one optional paper (any
particular subject of choice). The civil services main exam and the interview
will remain the same as of now.
Wherein one place Mamta
Banerjee is speaking in the favour of naxals and now Rahul Gandhi is sharing a
dias with a suspected Maoist , this is the approach of the government in the
fight against naxals.
Parliament recently in
Delhi has made a decision to increase the salaries of MPs. A hike of about
rupees 35000 will be introduced in the salary of each MPs thus taking it from
figures like 20,000 to 55,000 or so. Because daily allowance has an important
role to play hence parliament has also decided to exactly double the allowances
issued daily to each Member of Parliament. Hence daily allowance of rupees 1000
will now become 2000. This daily allowance will be issued only when the
parliament session is in progress. Other than the daily allowances the official
expenses for every office per month have now been considerably raised and touch
a 50,000 amount. That is not all the travel and conveyance charge issued will
now become 4 times which were earlier around rupees 1,00,000. Retired members
will now get a monthly pension of around rupees 20,000 which was around 10,000
in the past times.
trees have been either felled or transplanted for Delhi’s preparation of
Commonwealth Games 2010. Apart from the financial burden of creating world class
infrastructure and transport facilities Delhites have to bear the loss of its
green cover as the compensatory plantation cannot in any way compensate for the
loss of a fully grown, mature tree.
Research in Motion (RIM),
the maker of Blackberry has finally surrendered to Indian security agencies’
demand for access to their server. The company has proposed for lawful access to
its services including the messenger as well as the enterprise with immediate
effect and the company would have to set up a server in India if it does not
work to the satisfaction of Indian agencies. The security agencies already had
access to voice data, SMS and general emails sent through Blackberry devices but
Blackberry email and messaging services that are highly encrypted were major
concerns for the security agencies. With this understanding in place the
government has decided to serve notices to Google and Skype also to fall in
Direct tax code
The Government deferred
the direct tax code(DTC) by yet another year to April 2012 causing yet another
disappointment to the taxpayers. Women taxpayers suffered a bolt as the
preferential treatment meted out to them earlier is now proposed to be
withdrawn. Senior citizens, however, enjoy a higher exemption limit. The bill
that replaces the Income Tax Act 1961 seeks an increase in exemption threshold
of individuals from Rs.1.6 lakh currently to Rs.2lakh. The corporate taxes will
be reduced to a flat 30%.
Leh hit by flood
A cloudburst on the
intervening night of August 5 and 6 has led to flash floods and mudslides in the
Leh district of Jammu and Kashmir. The cloudburst and the following floods have
claimed over 175 lives and injured about 400 people, besides causing widespread
damage to public and private property. The worst hit Chuglamsar has just turned
into debris all over.
More rich than
National Council of
Applied Economic Research (NCAER) has estimated in its report, “How India Earns,
Spends and Saves”, that despite the economic slowdown of the last three years,
the number of high-income households in India has exceeded the number of
low-income households. Households with high income or earnings have grown by
over 3.7% in total and now touch the mark of around 21%. That is not all also
the households with low income sources have fallen by around 3.2% and gone down
to a mark of 18%.
When everything is being
prepared for the common wealth coming up in October then how could Music maestro
A R Rahman stay away from it. Yes, the musician has launched the theme song for
the Commonwealth Games 2010 that has the best lyrics covering khelo oh
yaaro,,jeeto oh yaaro. During the launch of this theme song honorable Chief
Minister Shiela Dixit, Bhupinder Singh Hooda and OC Chairman Suresh Kalmadi were
present in the ceremony.
Theme song released
SONG FOR SPORT: Music
composer A.R. Rahman renders the
“Jiyo Utho Badho Jeeto,” during its release in Gurgaon, Haryana. Mr. Rahman, who
sang the song for around five minutes.
Oscar winning music composer A R Rahman
launched the theme song of the Commonwealth Games
“Swagatham” at a glittering ceremony at Gurgaon near New Delhi.
Rahman sung the song in front of a
gathering which included Delhi Chief Minister Sheila
Dikshit, her Haryana counterpart Bhupinder
Singh Hooda and CWG Organising Committee Chairman
Rajpal to lead hockey
team in Commonwealth Games
Hockey captain Rajpal Singh with the Commonwealth Games mascot in New Delhi.
Rajpal Singh was named captain of the
16-member hockey squad, announced by Hockey India, for
the October Commonwealth Games.
- The side has only one goalkeeper in Bharat Chetri and five
defenders, including Sandeep Singh, who was awarded Arjuna Awardee.
- There are six midfielders and Rajpal is leading the forwards
line-up along with Shivinder Singh and Tushar Khandker and Dharamvir Singh.
- “The team was selected after the trials conducted at Balewadi,
Pune in the presence of Hockey India
Chetri (Canara Bank).
Singh (Haryana), Sandeep Singh (Haryana), Dhananjay Mahadik (Services), Gurbaj
and Prabodh Tirkey (Air India).
Halappa (Air India), Vikram Pillay (Air
India), Ravi Pal (BPCL), Bharat Chikara (Indian
Oil), Danish Mujtaba (UP) and Sarvanjit Singh (PSB)
Singh (Indian Oil), Tushar Khandker (BPCL),
Shivendra Singh (Air India), Dharamvir Singh (Indian Oil).
The fingers are already
crossed and people fear further delay in the common wealth problems. When the
earlier hurdles are not getting removed and new problems are coming into view.
The sincere attention is being drawn by the mosquitoes breeding in various
dumps. Because of heavy rainfall in the country water is collected in almost
every venue and mosquitoes have converted these venues into their favorite
breeding places and are increasing the fear of dengue disease.
A foreign cargo ship MV
Khalijia-111 which collided with MSC Chitra which was carrying about 1,200
containers with over 266 tonnes of fuel about 10 km off Mumbai harbour has
spilled oil into the Mumbai seas. The collision tilted MSC Chitra vessel causing
300 containers carrying oil to tumble into the Mumbai waters creating a thick
oil slick two to three kms around the vessel Chitra causing a serious threat to
the marine life.
Manmohan Singh hoists
the national flag
during the 64th Independence Day celebrations, in New Delhi
Manmohan Singh became the third Prime
Minister to hoist the national flag from the ramparts of Red Fort for the
seventh time in a row, after Jawaharlal Nehru and
By hoisting the tricolour,
Dr. Singh overtook his predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who had the honour of
unfurling the national flag from the majestic Red Fort six times.
historic Mughal monument has seen Nehru, the first Prime Minister of
independent India, unfurling the national flag 17 times. He is closely followed
by his daughter Indira Gandhi who had the honour of unfurling the flag 16 times.
Dr. Singh, the country’s
14th Prime Minister, first hoisted the tricolour on August 15, 2004, three
months after he assumed office
Major Jyotin Singh
awarded Ashok Chakra posthumously
Major Laishram Jyotin
Singh, who fought bare-handed with a heavily-armed terrorist and saved 10
colleagues during an
Indians in Kabul in February, has been posthumously given the
Ashok Chakra, the highest peacetime
Singh, from the Army
Medical Corps, engaged the terrorist who struck on 26th February at a hotel
which housed members of Indian Medical Mission.
The 37-year-old from
Manipur showed exemplary courage when a heavily-armed terrorist, after
detonating an explosives-laden vehicle and killing three
guards, entered the hotel building to kill any survivors.
Major Laishram Jyotin
Singh, who sacrificed his life in the February terror attack in Kabul this year,
has been awarded the Ashok Chakra, the highest peacetime gallantry award
In the process, he saved
the lives of 10 colleagues.
IBM Number two
IBM is the second largest
private sector employer in India after TCS . The company has more than one lakh
people on its rolls.
India slips to 5th
position from 3rd in global steel output
According to the
statement of the Parliament, India has slipped to the fifth position in terms of
global steel production with a 32.5 million tonnes output in the first six
months of this year.
In 2009, the country
occupied the third rank in global steel production with 62.8 million tonnes (MT)
output whereas China topped the list with 567.8 MT. Japan secured the second
place with 87.5 MT production, as per the World Steel Association (WSA).
The US and Russia super
ceded India during the first half of the year occupying third and fourth
positions with 41 MT and 32.6 MT production, respectively during the first half
of the year.
As per the latest
estimates, the crude steel capacity in the country is likely to reach 120 MT by
2012 from 72.9 MT in 2009-10.
The fall in the
country’s output is said to be on account of a dip in demand and prices of steel
in the wake of global economic crisis and a gloomy global steel scenario.
Govt. to give
state-owned banks Rs. 4,868 crore for cheap farm loans
The government on Friday
decided to release Rs. 4,868 crore to public sector
lenders for providing concessional loans to farmers.
The decision, taken at a Cabinet meeting, will help lenders provide farmers
short-term crop loan at 7 per cent interest. The Union Cabinet today gave its
approval for the release of Rs. 4,868 crore as interest subvention to Public
Sector Banks (PSBs), Regional Rural Banks
Banks and NABARD for refinance to RRBs at
concessional rates to reimburse the amount of interest subvention to ensure that
the farmer, in general, should receive short-term crop loan at 7 per cent per
annum this fiscal. The lenders would have given loans to farmers at 9 per cent,
had the subsidy of 2 per cent not been provided by the government. The
government has, since 2006-07, been subsidizing short term
crop loans so as to ensure the availability of funds to farmers. This interest
subvention scheme has been continued for 2010-11 for public sector banks,
regional rural banks and cooperative banks. In 2009-10, an additional subvention
of one per cent was being provided to farmers who repaid on time. This has been
increased from one per cent in 2009-10 to two per cent in 2010-11. Thus, the
effective rate of interest for such farmers will be five per cent per annum. The
banks have been consistently meeting the targets set for
agriculture credit flow in the past few years. For 2010-11, the target
for agricultural credit flow has been raised to Rs. 3,75,000 crore from Rs.
3,25,000 crore in 2009-10.
New inflation index
likely to come from August
The government is
planning to start a new wholesale price index (WPI)
series from August for more realistic picture of price rise. The revised index,
which has been scrutinized by experts, would cover price changes of about 250
extra items. It will have 2004-05 as the base year, changed from 1993-94 base
year for calculating inflation. The department of
industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) is ready with the new inflation index.
The Committee of Secretaries (CoS), headed by cabinet secretary K M
Chandrasekhar will give the final approval to the index.
Rahul Gandhi a hit on
Rahul Gandhi is a hit on
Facebook. He has a fan page following of
67,921 people, which could be among the largest for any leader in the country on
the popular social networking site.Mr. Gandhi’s Facebook account, which the
Congress says has not been created by him,
has 4,999 friends listed in it. It has photographs and videos as well as regular
updates.Rahul’s sister Priyanka Vadra too has a fan page, with 17,469 people
listed as followers .Another page, titled “Priyanka
Gandhi politician,” has 163 followers. Party president
Sonia Gandhi has a page, which lists her
as an author, with 1,283 people ‘liking’ it. There is another page that lists
her as a ‘politician.’Chairman of the computer department of the Congress
Vishwajeet P. Singh said some of the pages gave information taken from Wikipedia
and are “definitely” not created by the office of either Mr. Gandhi or Ms.
recipient of World Bank loans in 2009-10
India was the World Bank’s favourite last fiscal when it came to extending
financial aid in the form of loans, both among developing countries and the
world’s poorest nations. The World Bank,
through its lending arms IBRD and IDA, committed USD 9.3 billion in financial
assistance to India in the fiscal, more than the aid committed by the US and the
Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
committed USD 6.7 billion, or 15.1 per cent of its total lending in the fiscal,
to India, according to government officials. In comparison, the second highest
recipient, Mexico, got USD 6.4 billion.
The World Bank’s concessionary lending arm,
the International Development Association (IDA), which helps the world’s poorest
countries, committed 17.7 per cent of its total aid, amounting to USD 2.6
billion, to India in 2009-10.
India was also the largest recipient of
loans from Germany’s state-owned development bank KfW Group and Japanese
Official Development Assistance (ODA) last fiscal.
However, the country was only the third largest recipient of external assistance
from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). It was also the second largest recipient
of loans from the European Union in Asia. In terms of the total amount of aid
given by the US in the fiscal, India stood at 27th in the list of countries.
Non-metros more hurt
Data on the Consumer Price Index for
Industrial Workers viz. CPI (IW) show that
these cities have the unenviable distinction of recording the highest increase
in monthly prices, in the first half of calendar 2010,
among urban centres. Prices in these towns rose
between 19-27 per cent in the six months through January to June 2010 over the
corresponding months in 2009.
On an all India-basis, the point-to-point
inflation in the urban centres was 13.7 per cent in
June 2010. As against this, in most metros, prices increased at a lower rate of
around 10-10.5 per cent.
Among the metros,
Kolkata registered the highest inflation
(around 13 to 13.7 per cent), while Chennai
got away comparatively mildly (around 9 to 10 per cent). Rangapara in
Assam was relatively unscathed by the inflationary winds, with prices increasing
between 3.6-6.3 per cent, the lowest in the country.
Tax pact to crack
A subtle but significant shift is taking
place in the way the government is dealing with the celebrated Swiss banking
secrecy laws. India and Switzerland
are close to signing a landmark tax agreement that could make
things easier for sleuths, though some question marks remain.
Swiss foreign minister Micheline Calmy-Rey is scheduled to meet Finance
Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday amid expectations of a new
double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA)
that would pave the way for India to obtain information on money stashed away in
Ministry sources said the government has concluded the renegotiation to
widen the ambit of the bilateral tax treaty after initiating steps last year in
an effort to unearth money stashed away by Indians.
Last year, UBS, one of Switzerland’s
largest banks, admitted to helping U.S. taxpayers hide
accounts from the Internal Revenue Service
(IRS). The US cracked down and forced UBS to give details concerning American
The Centre has written to about 65
countries to amend existing tax treaties insisting on the adding Article 26 of
OECD’s Model Tax Convention that allows governments to seek tax-related
information. That provision is both an enabling and limiting factor for Indian
by India Inc take a dip
India Inc was not that aggressive during
2009-10 when it came to expanding global footprint. This has been reflected in
the latest data on overseas direct
investment for that year.
Corporate India’s overseas direct
investment in 2009-10 was $10.75 billion, substantially lower than $16.23
billion recorded in 2008-09, data available with the Finance Ministry showed.
financial meltdown has compelled most Indian
companies to adopt a cautious approach even as certain big corporate houses took
it as an opportunity to spread their wings further and expand their empires.
In 2007-08, India Inc’s overseas direct
investment stood at $18.31 billion. For the same year, India ranked as the
fourth largest overseas business acquirer among developing and transitional
economies, after Singapore, the UAE and Russia.
foreign direct investment (FDI) outflow from India increased from a level
of $25 million in early nineties to about $14 billion
in 2007. India remains a net FDI recipient even though the gap between outflows
and inflows has been narrowing in the recent years running up to 2008-09.
However, the drop in overseas direct investment has slightly increased the gap
for 2009-10. Indian outward FDI has predominantly been a private sector
Upper layer of atmosphere shrinking:
One of the highest sections of the
atmosphere is shrinking as a result of low sun activity, U.S.
According to the study,
published in the American Geophysical
Union’s journalGeophysical Research Letters, the sun’s energy output
was unusually low from 2007 to 2009.
During that period the
atmospheric layer called the thermosphere — from 55
miles to 300 miles (90-240 kilometres) above the Earth — cooled and shrank. That
reduced the density of gas at high levels where many
satellites orbit, explained Thomas Woods of the
University of Colorado, a co-author of the report.
The decline in high-level
density was as much as 30 percent, Woods said, even less than the last
The research was
supported by the National Science Foundation, NASA and the Office of Naval
Mukesh Ambani joins
World Economic Forum’s Foundation Board
Reliance Industries’ Chairman and Managing
Director Mukesh Ambani has been has
elected as Member to the Board of World Economic Forum.
Others elected to the Board are
Alcatel-Lucent’s CEO, Ben J Verwaayen and Zhu Min, Special Adviser,
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a
former Deputy Governor, People’s Bank of China, a press
release issued on 27th August, 2010 stated.
The Foundation Board is composed of leaders
politics, academia and civil society who
strongly identify themselves with the Forums mission to improve the
state of the world and who make a valuable
contribution to this mission through their involvement.
India is top exporter
of petro products in Asia
India is now the largest petroleum products
exporter in Asia, surpassing South Korea.
According to the data compiled by oil and
metal information provider Platts, India’s gross exports currently average 1
million barrels a day, inching past
South Korea which exports 0.9 million
barrels a day.
With the commissioning of a new
refinery by Reliance Industries at Jamnagar and Essar
Oil increasing refinery output at Vadinar, India overtook South Korea by
mid-2009 and has since then consistently maintained the lead position.
India’s average petroleum products export
grew from 0.77 million barrels a day in January 2009 to one million barrels a
day in August 2009. In the current year, the average
oil products export from India stands at
1.07 million while South Korea exports average 0.88 million.
In fact, India’s refining capacity at 3.69
million barrels a day is the third largest in Asia after China and Japan, which
have a refining capacity of 9.6 million bpd and 4.64 bpd respectively. Platts’
compilation is based on the data from individual
Highways authority to
launch toll free number
Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has decided to launch a four digit
toll free number that will help road-users to save
lives and ensure road safety.
The NHAI has decided to
set up five call centres covering the eastern,
western, northern, southern and central regions. They
will be located in backward districts.
The decisions were taken
in the light of the fact that more than one lakh people die in road accidents in
the country every year, the highest in the world. The poor sections of people
account for 70 per cent of the fatalities.
The social cost of road
accidents has been estimated at 3 per cent of the GDP.
India first choice of
UK firms for outsourcing jobs
Two-thirds of British
companies intending to outsource jobs offshore prefer India over China. This is
the finding of a study jointly carried out by the Chartered Institute of
Personnel and Development here and the accounting firm KPMG. The remaining
one-third will go to China and eastern Europe.
The corporate are seeking
to export call centre, IT and finance jobs abroad. A significant number of such
employers called on the UK government to rethink the immigration cap imposed by
home minister Theresa May in the present Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition
government, illustrating that one out of 10 jobs in the UK’s private sector will
be relocated abroad in the next year.
Mid-size & small IT
firms struggling to maintain growth
For the first time
in many years, second-tier IT vendors are
not sharing the same optimism as their larger
counterparts about a recovery in demand for IT services.
While the country’s top technology firms
including Tata Consultancy Services,
Infosys Technologies and
Wipro grew their revenues in double
digits, Tech Mahindra and Patni saw their revenues and profits fall
sequentially, because of pressure on telecom clients
and project delays, and have refrained from giving a robust guidance.
Traditionally in the
Indian IT industry, higher demand for IT
services has spilled over to smaller service providers, benefitting them. But
post-recession, there has been visible divergence in how large firms and a
majority of medium-size firms perceive future demand.
Sachin shortlisted for
ICC People’s Choice Award
Tendulkar is one of the five cricketers who has been shortlisted for the
first LG People’s Choice Award to be given away during the
ICC prize distribution function in Bengaluru on October 6.
The other four are Mike
Hussey of Australia, Mahela Jayawardene of Sri
Lanka, England captain Andrew Strauss and South African A.B. de Villiers,
an ICC release
The award category, which
has been included for the first time this year, will
be chosen by cricket fans around the world who now have a chance to vote for
their favourite player until September 10.
Sehwag becomes sixth
Indian batsman to score 7000 Test runs
Virender Sehwag became the sixth
Indian batsman to score 7000 Test runs during his unbeaten knock of 97 on third
and final Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
Sehwag reached the
milestone during the final session when he scored a single off Sri Lankan
paceman Lasith Malinga to mid-off area to bring up his 70 at the P Sara Oval.
The dashing Indian opener
is the 38th batsman overall to have scored 7000 runs.
31-year-old Sehwag, who
made his debut against South Africa at Bloemfontein in 2001, was playing in his
Sunil Gavaskar was the
first Indian to complete 7000 runs in Test cricket
years ago, while the other Indians in the list are
Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman
and Sourav Ganguly.
The cricketers have been
selected on the basis of some innovative parameters by
a five-member ICC selection panel, chaired by former West Indies captain and
current chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee Clive Lloyd.
The panel also includes
former international players Angus Fraser of England, Matthew Hayden of
Australia, Ravi Shastri of India and Zimbabwe’s Duncan Fletcher.
These parameters include
innovation, dynamism, strength in decision-making,
performing well under pressure and also executing a plan to distinction.
LG ICC Awards ceremony is now in its
Arjun Atwal creates
THIS IS IT!
Arjun Atwal gives vent to his feelings
after winning the Wyndham Championship to put(t) his name in the annals of
Indian sporting history.
Becomes the first Indian to win on
the U.S. PGA Tour
Arjun Atwal became the
first Indian and just the sixth Asian-born player to win on the PGA Tour when he
secured a one-stroke victory at the
Atwal joined Japanese
trio Isao Aoki, Shigeki Maruyama and Ryuji Imada and South Koreans K.J. Choi and
Y.E. Yang in an elite but growing club of champions from world’s most populous
The 37-year-old Atwal
finished at 20-under-par 260 to beat American David Toms (64) by one stroke.
Sachin, Dhoni, Sehwag
among 8 players nominated for ICC Awards
India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni,
senior batsman Sachin
Tendulkar and opener Virender Sehwag
are among the eight cricketers who have been nominated for the October 6 LG
ICC Awards 2010.
Nine players from four
teams have each been nominated in three different categories for the award which
is scheduled to be held in Bangaluru later this year.
Besides the Indian
players, Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis from South Africa, Shane Watson and Doug
Bollinger from Australia and Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardena feature prominently
in the long-lists for the awards.
first time, this year’s awards feature a new category,
the People’s Choice Award, which will be chosen by cricket
fans around the world who will get a chance to vote for their favourite player
online from a short-list of five cricketers selected by the ICC selection panel.
The long-lists of
nominations were made by a five-man ICC selection panel chaired by former West
Indies captain and current chairman of the ICCCricket Committee Clive Lloyd.
The panel also includes
former international players Angus Fraser of England,
Matthew Hayden of Australia, Ravi Shastri
of India and Zimbabwe’s Duncan Fletcher.
Sensex jumps nearly
200 pts to close at over two-year high
A smart rally in financial, FMCG and metal
stocks, supported by strong global cues, pushed the BSE benchmark
Sensex higher by nearly 200 points on
Thursday to close at its highest level in two-and-a-half years.
Extending its upward journey for the second
day, the 30-share barometer of the Bombay Stock
Exchange ended with a gain of 197.82 points, or 1.08 per cent, at
18,454.94, its best closing since February 5, 2008.
In two days of rally, the Sensex has
recorded a gain of 406 points.
Stock Exchange’s 50-share Nifty index added 1.11 per cent to settle at
Shaurya Chakra for
Commander Dilip Dhonde of Maharashtra has
been decorated with Shaurya Chakra for becoming the
first Indian to undertake a solo circumnavigation of the globe.
Commander Donde undertook
“Sagar Parikrama” on Indian Naval Sailing
The Shaurya Chakra is a
military decoration awarded for valour,
courageous action or self-sacrifice while not being engaged in direct action
with the enemy.
scholarships for SC students to be raised by 70%
cash amount of post-matric
scholarships meant for
students belonging to
castes will be raised by 70 per cent. Social Justice and Empowerment Minister
Mukul Wasnik stated, the government has taken a decision to revise and
increasethe cash amount of post-matric scholarships keeping in view the rise in
UP launches scheme to
financially assist poor families
Pradesh government will implement Mahamaya Gareeb Aarthik Madad Yojna – a scheme
to provide financial assistance to poor and destitute from 1st October, Social
Welfare Minister Indrajeet Saroj stated in Lucknow.
Under the scheme,
financial assistance will be extended to 30 lakh families,
that have neither received the Below Poverty Line (BPL)
ration card nor any type of pension, to fulfill their daily needs.
The beneficiaries will
get financial assistance at the rate of of Rs 300 per month in two half-yearly
Saroj also directed the
officials to verify income and caste proof of persons covered under various
schemes of social welfare department and lodge FIR, if their certificates were
found to be fake.
Bhopal gas leak: Govt
wants 1,500 crore from Dow
More than 20 years after the
Supreme Court-supervised Bhopal gas victims
compensation package of $470 million was worked out, the Centre has decided to
seek more than Rs 1,500 crore extra from Dow Chemicals
and its subsidiary Union Carbide. This meant to be
additional relief for the victims.
Given the decision of the Group of
Ministers (GoM) to uniformly give Rs 10
lakh as compensation to the kin of those who died in the worst ever industrial
disaster on December 2-3, 1984, when deadly methyl isocyanate gas leaked from
the UCC plant in Bhopal, the ministry
feels that the gradation made by the Supreme Court for compensation was not
RBI directive to core
The Reserve Bank
of India (RBI)
on 13th August, 2010 directed core investment
companies (CICs) to register themselves with the central bank in case their
asset size is at least Rs. 100 crore.
CICs are non-banking finance companies (NBFCs),
which invest in shares for the purpose of owning a
stake in a company, rather than for trading. They also do not carry out any
other financial activities.
The RBI also asked these companies to keep
aside minimum capital at all times to ensure that their “adjusted net worth
shall not be less than 30 per cent of aggregate risk weighted assets on balance
sheet and risk adjusted value of off-balance sheet items as on the date of last
audited balance sheet as at the end of the financial year”.
Status of Boradband
connectivity in Schools
Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme
“Information and Communication Technology
in Schools” there is a provision for internet connectivity including
broadband in Government and Government
aided secondary and higher
secondary schools subject to availability of telecom infrastructure in
the vicinity and based on viable proposals from the State
The Rural Wire-line Broadband Scheme of
Department of Telecommunication, there is provision for providing
broadband connectivity to
individual users and Government Institutions,
including schools in rural and remote areas.
Under the Scheme, BSNL plans to provide 8,88,832
wire-line broadband connections to individual users and Government Institutions,
including schools, and will set up 28.672 kiosks over a period of 5 years i.e.
by 2014. As of May 2010, a total of 1,42,906 broadband connections have been
provided in rural and remote areas.
Under the Centrally Sponsored Plan Scheme
“National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology
(NMEICT)”, there is a proposal to provide
broadband connectivity to over 18000 colleges in the country including each of
the Departments of 419 Universities/Institutions of higher learning by the end
of the 11th Five Year Plan.
University Grants Commission (UGC) had constituted a
Committee under the Chairmanship of Prof. J.A.K.
Tareen on the norms for teacher to student ratio for various disciplines/programmes
and teaching to non-teaching ratio in Central
Universities and UGC maintained Deemed to be Universities. The
recommendations of the Committee are as under:
1. Teacher to Student Ratio-
(i) For Science Programme 1:10
(ii) For Humanities/Social Science 1:15
(iii) Commerce & Management 1:15
(iv) Media & Mass
(i) Social Sciences 1:30
(ii) Sciences 1:25
(iii) B.Ed. As per NCTE norms
(iv) Media & Mass Communication 1:15
2. Teacher to Non-Teaching Ratio:
1:1.1 Non-Teaching (Ministerial)
1:0.40 Non-Teaching (Technical)
1:1.30 for affiliating University
The recommendations of the Committee are
under consideration with UGC.
Banks’ loans fall in
July, deposits rise: RBI
Indian banks’ outstanding loans fell in
July while deposits posted an increase, Reserve Bank of India data showed on 11th
August, 2010. Loans fell 1.3 per cent in July to Rs 33.57 trillion and in the
fortnight ended July 30, they shrunk by 0.2 per cent, data from the Reserve Bank
of India (RBI) showed.
On the other hand, total deposits of banks
grew 1.04 per cent during the fortnight to Rs 46.4 trillion as on July 30, and
were up a marginal 0.15 per cent in July.
On-year, banks posted a robust 19.7 per
cent credit growth in July and deposits grew 13.98 per cent in the same period,
The RBI has projected loan growth of 20 per cent for 2010/11 fiscal year in the
quarterly review in July. Indian banks’ investments in government bonds, during
the July 30 fortnight, grew 0.33 per cent to Rs 14.39 trillion, the RBI said.
Year-on-year, investments grew by 8.44 per
cent, it said.
RBI proposes foreign
investment in Private Banks below 50%
The Reserve Bank on 11th August,
2010 suggested lowering the foreign investment limit in new private sector banks
to below 50 per cent from 74 per cent currently, in order to strengthen the
RBI released the paper on issuing new
banking licenses to foster greater competition and expand the
banking system. It listed pros and cons of
various norms such as minimum capital requirements and caps on promoters as well
as foreign shareholding.
The paper did not say whether the 50 per
cent cap on foreign investment in
private sector banks should apply to the
new units only, or will hold true for the existing ones as well. Industry
experts said the new cap could be for all.
Infy to begin search for its
Technologies will begin the task of finding a
replacement for its chairman and chief mentor, NR Narayana Murthy, from
January next year, as India’s second-biggest software exporter seeks to pass on
the baton to a new crop of leaders. Mr Murthy will retire next year August after
he turns 65.
At present there are three nominees for the
successor of Mr. Murthy are in the Infosys’ nominations committee, which has
ICICI Bank non-executive chairman KV Kamath, Cornell
University professor Jeffrey Sean Lehman and HDFC Standard Life Insurance CEO
Deepak M Satwalekar as its members, has already begun discussions on the
Mr Murthy, who founded Infosys along with
six others in 1981, quit as executive chairman when he turned 60 in 2006. The
company has been preparing for its biggest leadership transition since then.
Ratan Tata selected
‘Businessman of the decade’
Chairman of the TATA group was bestowed
with the title of ‘Businessman of the Decade’ during a ceremony held in Mumbai.
Governor of Maharashtra, K.
Sankaranarayanan felicitated Ratan Tata with the award at a function organised
by Federation of Indo-Israel Chambers of Commerce.
IT industry upsets
about the US plan of hiking visa fees
companies on 6th August, 2010 cried foul over a proposed US
Bill that is expected to saddle the outsourcing industry with an additional cost
of $200-250 million towards visa fees.
The Border Security Bill – which has been
passed by the US Senate and will be taken up by the House of Representatives
shortly – seeks to recover the cost of a beefed-up US-Mexico border security
programme by imposing a steep $2000 increase in H-1B
and L-1 visa fee (filing fee and fraud prevention and detection fee) over the
At present, depending on their size, IT
companies shell out $1,570 or $2,320 towards H-1B visa fees. Apex industry
association NASSCOM (National Association of
Software Companies) fears that the
proposed bill hurt competitiveness of Indian
outsourcing firms. That at a time when the $50-billion IT export industry
has just begun to recover from the effects of global financial crisis, and is
already nervous about the debt crisis in Europe.
In 2009, Wipro is the IT firm among the
others who have got maximum H1 visas (1964).
India now has more
rich than poor
growing economy has spun a wheel of
fortune for Indians, with high income households outnumbering those in the low
category for the first time at the end of 2009-10,
according to estimates made by think-tank
India has 46.7
million high income households as compared to 41
million in the low income category, the National
Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) estimates on earnings and
spendings have revealed.
“For the first time, the
number of high income households is set to exceed the number of poor households
in 2009-10,” the NCAER said, adding that the middle income class continued to
Households earning less
than Rs 40,000 per annum (at 2001-02 prices) are dubbed as low income, whereas
those with earnings over Rs 1.80 lakh fall in the high income category.
Those earning between Rs
45,000-Rs 1.80 lakh per annum are considered middle income households, whose
number surged to 140.7 million out of the total of 228.4 Indian million
families at the end of 2009-10.
Thus, the NCAER survey
confirms that 62 per cent of Indian households belong to the middle class, which
is the target of most consumer goods firms.
Similarly, 53 per cent of
all air conditioners are owned by middle class homes
and nearly 46 per cent of all credit cards are to be found in these households.
21 new sites added to
World Heritage List
has added 21 new sites to its World
Heritage List, bringing the total to 911.
Among the sites added after a ten day
meeting in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia were the Bikini Atoll in the
Marshall Islands, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long-Hanoi in Vietnam and the
historic villages of Hahoe and Yangdong in South
Korea. Also included were the Episcopal city of Albi in France, the prehistoric
caves of Yagul and Mitla in Mexico, thehistoric monuments of Dengfeng in China,
and the 17th century canal ring in Amsterdam.
The Everglades National Park in the United
States was added to UNESCO’s list of sites in danger,
while the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador was removed from it.
The UNESCO meeting would be held in 2011 in
Stocks up at 30-month
Putting behind a weak
profit growth in quarterly results unveiled by India Inc for the April-June
quarter, stocks are surging ahead. The third straight
session of rise on Wednesday saw the 30-share sensitive index (Sensex)
of the Bombay Stock Exchange and the
National Stock Exchange’s Nifty close at
30-monthly highs as investors seemed to bet on strong economic growth ahead.
The Sensex rose 102
points or 0.5 per cent to close at 18,217.4 while the
Nifty gained 28 points to close at 5,467.9, even as the whole of Europe was
trading in the red.
The Sensex has gained 776
points or 4.5 per cent over the last one month amidst a strong
FII inflow of Rs 16, 617 crore in July and R2,582 crore in the first
three trading days of August.
Worlds cheapest laptop
designed by IIT, Kanpur
India has developed world’s cheapest laptop.
Designed by experts at IIT, Kanpur,
Kharagpur, Madras and Indian Institute of Science,
Bangalore, the device was unveiled recently. This
low-cost computer comes with a price tag of Rs 1,500 or $35. This has been
aimed for students and probably to change the class room education across the
This sleek looking device is no bigger than
a iPad, equipped with touch-screen and built in keyboard, wi-fi connectivity,
USB port, have a 2 GB RAM memory, and is supported by a 2-watt system for areas
with poor supply. Thedevice has an alternate solar
is packed with Internet browsers, PDF reader and video conferencing
facilities. The device is expected to come out for students by 2011. He
further added that the aim is to reduce the price to $20 and eventually $10 i.e.
Sericulture treated as
Keeping in view the fact that
National Commission for
Agriculture and Reserve Bank of India have
considered sericulture up to the stage of cocoon production as an
Department of Agriculture &
Cooperation has decided to include sericulture up to
the stage of cocoon production along with extension system for cocoon production
and silk yarn production in agri-enterprises up to the stage of yarn production
and marketing to be eligible for funding under RKVY.
Railways’ New Catering
A new Catering Policy 2010 of
Indian Railways has been introduced w.e.f.
21st July, 2010 which has revised policy guidelines
regarding management of mobile as well as static catering units.
The management of providing onboard
catering services to the railway passengers on Indian
Railways is now to be done by the Zonal Railways
instead of IRCTC, in a phased manner.
Following steps are taken to maintain
quality of food and mobile as well as static units:-
1. Modernization of base kitchens and cell
kitchens where food is prepared for onward transmission to mobile unit.
2. Conducting special drive on premium trains and base
3. Conducting 3rd party audit by reputed agencies.
4. Customer satisfaction surveys.
5. Web enabled complaint management systems.
6. Toll free number to lodge complaint.