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Home » Current Affairs » Current Affairs of November 2010

Current Affairs of November 2010

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


Obama wins 50,000 jobs in 20 deals worth over $10 b

US President Barack Obama has announced $10 billion in new trade deals with India. He was speaking in Mumbai at the start of a 10-day Asian tour designed to boost US exports and create jobs.

Mr Obama, who arrived here on a three-day tour of the country, also announced that the US will lift export controls on high technology products to India, to facilitate two-way trade between both the countries.

Some of the deals expected to contribute to this included:
• The sale by Boeing of 30 new 737 aircraft to private Indian airline SpiceJet. The White House says this will help support over 12,000 US jobs.
• Preliminary agreement had been reached on the Indian purchase of 10 Boeing C-17s military transport planes.
• The sale by GE of fighter 107 F414 jet engines to the Indian military.
• A separate deal with GE worth $500m (£309m) for the sale of six heavy duty gas turbines and three steam turbines to India’s Reliance Energy Ltd.
• Harley-Davidson plans a new plant in India to assemble American-made motorcycle kits.
• The White House said India had identified GE subsidiary GE Transportation, based in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Electro-Motive Diesel, of LaGrange, Illinois, a unit of Caterpillar Inc, as bidders to supply Indian railways with over 1,000 diesel locomotives over 10 years

 

RBI sets its face against pre-payment penalty

Banks are losing their battle for penalty on home loan pre-payments as the Reserve Bank of India sees no case for such a levy given that lenders don’t play a fair game with borrowers.

In a meeting with chief executives of banks last week, RBI deputy governor KC Chakrabarty backed the Competition Commissioner of India’s stance that banks waive the clause on pre-payment penalty in mortgage documents since it is anti-competitive, said two people familiar with the discussions at the meet.

If implemented, this would erode one of the key elements of easy profits for banks which charge as much as 2% of the loan amount in some cases.

In the two years since 2008 when the central bank cut policy rates more than 5 percentage points, most banks did not pass on lower costs to existing customers, but offered lower rates to new customers. Feeling short-changed by bank practices, customers wanted to change their lenders, but stayed back due to the usurious penalties. New borrowers were offered loans at 8% while existing ones paid around 11%.

 

India orders may create 7 lakh jobs in US in 10 years

Industry body CII on 7th November, 2010 said sourcing of infrastructure equipment, nuclear hardware and military aircraft from the US by India could create over seven lakh jobs in America in the next ten years.

A CII survey of member firms with operations in the US clearly shows that Indian business is now engaged across a wide spectrum of sectors in America, and not just IT and ITeS.

The Report, ‘India – A Growth Partner in the Indian Economy’, estimates that, “India sourcing of US military and nuclear hardware and civilian aircraft could create over 700,000 jobs in the US over the next ten years.

 

Adarsh Scam leads Chavan to quit

The Congress high command on Tuesday accepted Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan’s offer to resign over the Adarsh Housing Society scam, pending inquiry.

At a meeting with the high command on October 30, Mr. Chavan offered to quit owning moral responsibility as three of his relatives had flats in the Adarsh society.

On 9th November, 2010 morning, Mr. Chavan, accompanied by his wife and some senior Cabinet colleagues, tendered his resignation to Governor K. Sankaranarayanan, who accepted it. He will, however, continue as caretaker Chief Minister until the party appoints a new candidate for the post.

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told journalists here that the Congress Legislature Party, which met late on 9th November 2010 night, passed a one-line resolution authorising party president Sonia Gandhi to decide on the next Chief Minister.

 

Kharif food grain production to go up 6 pc to over 114 mn tone

India’s foodgrain production for this year’s kharif season is estimated to go up by nearly 6 per cent to 114.63 million tonnes, Parliament was informed on 9th November, 2010.

“As per the first advance estimates for Kharif 2010, the foodgrains production is estimated to be 114.63 million tonnes against 103.84 million tonnes as per fourth advanceestimates for kharif 2009,” Minister of state for Agriculture K V Thomas said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

The minister said that in view of higher procurement last year as well as this year, the stocks available in the central pool are adequate to meet the requests of foodgrain under public distribution system.
In a response to another query, Thomas said rice production during the season is estimated to be 80.4 million tonnes, against 75.9 million tonnes in 2009.

The production of pulses is estimated to be 6 million tonnes as against 4.3 million tonnes last year, and of sugar to go up to 324.91 million tonnes as against 277.75 million tonnes last year.

 

Housing loans grow 20 pc to Rs 3.15 lakh cr last fiscal: RBI

The Reserve Bank of India has said that home loan disbursals raised by 20 percent to Rs 3.15 lakh crore in 2009-10 compared to the year-ago period, primarily helped by lower interest rate.

In its report ‘Trend and Progress of Banking in India 2009-10′, RBI said that while home advances rose, loans for other retail segments such as auto, consumer durables and personal purposes dropped in the last fiscal.

“The pickup in housing loan growth was partly on account of low interest rates that prevailed during most part of 2009-10 despite the fact that property prices, which had experienced a correction in 2008-09 immediately following the crisis, showed a spurt during 2009-10,” the report said.

The housing loans in the 2008-09 fiscal stood at Rs 2.63 lakh crore, which marked a growth of just 4.1 percent as against the 2007-08 financial year.

In 2009-10 fiscal, consumer durables’ loan fell 44.2 percent to Rs 3,032 crore while auto loans declined 6.6 percent to Rs 78,346 crore as compared to the year-ago period, the report said.
Other personal loans decreased 3.5 percent to Rs 2.03 lakh crore last fiscal.

The credit card receivables also slipped during the last fiscal to Rs 21,565 crore from Rs 29,941 crore in 2008-09 financial year.

 

Banks increase exposure to capital markets

It takes robust technology, sound risk management capabilities and aggressive employees for banks to do business in the capital market segment, say market experts and this is corroborated in RBI’s latest report on trends and progress in banking for 2009-10.

The report observed that bank credit to capital markets grew 22.1 per cent year on year to Rs 67,402 crore as of March 2010.

Private sector banks clocked the highest percentage increase of 46.8 per cent when it came to capital market lending.

It is interesting to note that new generation private sector banks such HDFC, ICICI, Axis and the like grew this business by a huge 55.9 per cent while their old generation counterparts such as Karur Vysya, Lakshmi Vilas and City Union Bank reduced their exposure by 8.1 per cent. PSU banks and foreign banks increased their exposures to capital market by 12.7 and 8.1 per cent respectively.

Along with capital markets, real estate and commodities, all classified by the RBI as ‘sensitive sectors’, constitute one fifth of the total bank credit (19.6 per cent in FY10), says the RBI data.

Commercial banks’ exposure to real estate went up 10.4 per cent to Rs 5,79,814 crore while exposure to commodities was marginally positive at 1.5 per cent to register Rs 911 crore.

 

Prithviraj Chavan is new Maharashtra Chief Minister

Prithviraj Chavan will be sworn in as the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra on 11th November, 2010 ending 10 days of political uncertainty in the State.

The impasse was triggered by Ashok Chavan’s “offer” on October 30 to quit over a real estate scam that has since also placed the activities of a group of former generals and top bureaucrats under the scanner.

Mr. Prithviraj Chavan — as he made the last rounds of Parliament House on 10th November, 2010 of what has been his stomping ground since 1991, when he was first elected as a Lok Sabha MP from Karad — told journalists that his priority would be to bring in a “transparent administration.” He, however, refused to comment on how he planned to deal with the Adarsh Housing Society scam.

 

Sachin appointed ambassador for 2011 World Cup

With exactly 100 days to go, the ICC on 11th November, 2010 announced the appointment of Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar as the official event ambassador for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

Throughout his long and successful career to date, Tendulkar has inspired hundreds of millions of cricket lovers around the world with his personality, skill, temperament and love for the game.

Since making his debut for India in 1989 at the tender age of 16, on the field he has scored more international runs than anyone else in the history while also adhering faithfully to the spirit of cricket.

Off the field he has always carried himself as a true champion, making him a perfect role model and one of the most recognisable and popular sportsmen of his generation.

In his role as ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 ambassador he will be called upon to promote and support a variety of ICC initiatives for the tournament, which is the third biggest sporting event in the world and will take place in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka from 19 February to 2 April next year.

 

US joins India to set up global N-Centre in Haryana

The US joined hands with India to set up a Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership for research and development of secure and proliferation resistant reactor systems.

  • India had announced at the Nuclear Security Summit in April in Washington to set up the Centre as part of its efforts to promote non-proliferation.

  • A Memorandum of Understanding for coooperation in building the Centre was signed by Srikumar Banerjee, Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy and Timothy Roemer, the USAmbassador to India, on the sidelines of the talks President Barack Obama held with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi.

 

 

Raja ignored advice on 2G auction, says former DoT chief

Former top officials of the Department of Telecom and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on 13th November, 2010 said the Communications and IT Minister, Mr A. Raja, had ignored their advice for allocating 2G licences through auction.

A former DoT Secretary, Mr D.S. Mathur, said he had resisted Mr Raja’s attempts to grant licences without an equitable and transparent policy.

“When Raja became the Minister in May 2007, he called me and expressed his desire to award around 500 new licences. My response was that the same was not possible as there was not enough spectrum,” Mr Mathur said.

Nor did Mr Mathur give the nod to the decision by Mr Raja to advance the cut-off date for processing the applications for licences, from October 1, 2007 to September 25.

The former DoT chief said that he along with other Members of the Telecom Commission, had proposed to the Minister that the spectrum should be distributed through theauction route but the same was ignored.

The Comptroller and Auditor-General has slammed the Communications and IT Minister saying that he had caused a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the Exchequer by following the first-come, first- served policy. The CAG had also said that the licences issued in 2008 were illegal and should be cancelled

 

Raghuram Rajan among world’s 7 most powerful economists

Renowned Indian-origin academician Raghuram Rajan has been named alongside US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman among the seven most powerful economists in the world, according to a compilation in Forbes magazine by economist Nouriel Roubini .

Forbes asked a group of experts to pick seven influential individuals each from the world’s nearly seven billion people for fields such as education, Hollywood, media, entrepreneurs, economists, energy, philanthropists, bloggers, designers, feminists and fashion.

In the feminist category, Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva has been named as one of the seven most powerful feminists in the world. Roubini, Harvard alumnus and New York University professor who predicted the global financial crisis, picked the world’s most powerful economists.

His list of seven includes US President Barack Obama’s chief economic adviser Lawrence Summers , whose “views are always very influential, regardless of whether or not he is in government,” Bernanke, the most powerful central banker in the world and New York Times columnist Krugman, “a strong and most articulate defender of Keynesian policies.”

Roubini said Raghuram Rajan, Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, was one of the earliest economists to point out the “distortions in bankers’ and traders’ compensation and other serious flaws of Wall Street that led to the US and global financial crisis.

 

Forbes releases list of 7 most powerful rural Indians

Mansukhbhai Jagani, Mansukhbhai Patel, Mansukhbhai Prajapati and Madanlal Kumawat, are among Forbes’ list of seven most powerful rural Indian entrepreneurs, whose “inventions are changing lives” of the people across the country.

IIM-Ahmedabad professor and founder of India’s Honeybee Network Anil Gupta has selected the seven most powerful rural Indian entrepreneurs for a compilation in Forbes magazine.

“India’s villages have become a hot bed of innovation, as its rural poor develop inventions out of necessity. Several of the people on this list have no more than an elementary school education,” Gupta says.

Jagani developed a motorcycle-based tractor for India’s poor farmers, which is both cost effective – costing roughly USD 318, and fuel efficient (it can plow an acre of land in 30 minutes with two liters of fuel).

A farmer, Patel invented a cotton stripping machine that has significantly cut the cost of cotton farming and revolutionised India’s cotton industry.

Prajapati, a potter, invented a clay non-stick pan that costs Rs 100 and a clay refrigerator that runs without electricity for those who cannot afford a fridge or their electricity and maintenance costs, Gupta said.

Next on the list is Future Group Chairman Kishore Biyani . Called the “Sam Walton of India ,” Biyani’s company operates about three million square feet of retail space in 25 Indian cities.

Coming in next is social entrepreneur Anshu Gupta who founded GOONJ, a system that transfers used clothing and household goods from India’s rich to its poorest communities.

 

India aims for double-digit economic growth

India is aiming to achieve double-digit economic growth within two years, as the country’s recovery from the global downturn picks up pace.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said he was optimistic the economy should soon return to the 9% growth it achieved before the downturn.

The challenge then is “to cross the double-digit growth barrier in the coming year or two”, he added.

The Indian economy grew by 8.8% between April and June this year.
It is the second-fastest-growing economy in the world behind China.

“We are all witness to an emerging new world order,” Mr Mukherjee said, which would lead to a “more equitable arrangement for global prosperity.”

The finance minister’s comments come just two days after the G20 meeting of the world’s leading economies in South Korea.

The meeting was dominated by discussions about global currency values, and how global trade imbalances could be resolved, with emerging economies relying on exports and more developed economies relying on domestic consumer consumption.

 

Telecommunications Minister Raja resigns from Union Cabinet

Ahead of an expected statement in Parliament, Minister for Communications and Information Technology A. Raja has handed over his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

  • The development follows hectic parleys between some senior Congress leaders and Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi during the day. the DMK leader advised Mr. Raja to submit his resignation.

 

 

Sibal given charge of Telecom Ministry

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal was given the additional charge of the Telecom Ministry by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a development that takes the portfolio away from DMK at least for the time being.

  • Sibal will hold the charge of the Ministry held by A Raja, who resigned facing allegations of scam in 2G spectrum allocation.

  • The arrangement is seen to be temporary in view of the ongoing Parliament session when issues related to the ministry are to be handled at the senior level, particularly at a time when the ministry is facing allegations of corruption of huge magnitude.

  • Sibal, a renowned lawyer-turned-politician, was a week earlier given the additional charge of Ministries of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, which fell vacant after incumbent Prithviraj Chavan was made Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

  • In another decision, V Narayansamy, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, was given additional charge of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which also fell vacant after Chavan’s departure.

 

Indirect tax collections grow 33% in October

Aided by strong show on the customs duty front, the Centre’s indirect tax collections recorded a robust 33.15 per cent increase in October 2010 to Rs 29,574 crore (Rs 22,211 crore). This collection performance was higher than the indirect tax collections of Rs 26,476 crore in September this year.

The Centre’s customs duty collections grew 61.36 per cent in October to Rs 12,120 crore (Rs 7,511 crore) on the back of increased imports. Introduction of import duties on crude oil in this year’s budget has also helped bolster customs duty collections.

In April-October period, the Centre’s customs duty collections recorded 65.9 per cent increase to Rs 75,349 crore (Rs 45,418 crore).

On the excise duty front, the collections in October grew 14.47 per cent to Rs 10,244 crore (Rs 8949 crore). In the first seven months of the current fiscal, excise duty collections grew 36.2 per cent to Rs 71,078 crore (Rs 52,186 crore). This represents about 54 per cent of the budget target of Rs 1.32 lakh crore for 2010-11.

The Centre’s service tax collections in October registered a 25.37 per cent increase to Rs 7,210 crore (Rs 5,751 crore). During April-October , the service tax collections registered 16.9 per cent increase to Rs 33,833 crore (Rs 28,942 crore), an official release said.

On an overall basis, the Centre’s indirect tax collections recorded 42.4 per cent increase in April-October to Rs 1,80,261 crore. This represents 57.5 per cent of the budget estimate of Rs 3.15 lakh crore for 2010-11.

 

Black money trail: India drained of Rs 20 Lakh crore

Black money —the popular moniker given to the billions seeded by dirty deals and whisked away abroad from the taxman’s prying eyes — has received much attention in recent years.

A new study by an international watchdog on the illicit flight of money from the country, perhaps the first ever attempt at shedding light on a subject steeped in secrecy, concludes that India has been drained of $462 billion (Rs 20,556,848,000,000 or over Rs 20 lakh crore) between 1948 and 2008.

The amount is nearly 40% of India’s gross domestic product, and nearly 12 times the size of the estimated loss to the government because of the 2G spectrum scam .

The study has been authored by Dev Kar, a lead economist with the US-based Global Financial Integrity, a non-profit research body that has long crusaded against illegal capital flight.

Mr Kar, a former senior economist with the International Monetary Fund, says illicit financial flows out of India have grown at 11.5% a year, debunking a popular notion that economic reforms that began nearly two decades ago had tempered the creation and stashing away of blackmoney overseas.

If capital outflows were a child of the independence era, the problem came of age in the years after the reforms kicked in. Nearly 50% of the total illegal outflows occurred since 1991. Around a third of themoney exited the country between 2000 and 2008

 

Mukesh Ambani receives Global Vision Award

Billionaire businessman and Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has received the Global Vision Award instituted by the Asia Society for helping to promote understanding between Asians and Americans.

Speaking at the award function in New York on Tuesday, Ambani said that India has come a long way from being a third world county in the 1980s to become the world’s third most important economy.

“In the 1980s, India was viewed as a third world country and today India is the third most important economy in the world. That has been truly a fantastic journey,” Ambani, who is one of the richest people in the world, said.

India has the foundation for growth, Ambani said, adding, “I think in the 21st century we are going to be fastest growing economy. That is the story of India, which I am very fortunate to be part of”.

General Electric’s chairman and chief executive officer Jeffrey Immelt received the Global Leadership Award.

 

Scheme for women agriculturists planned

The Union government intends to launch by January end a scheme aimed at improving the status of women as agriculturists and open up opportunities for their empowerment.

  • The scheme, to be taken up by the Ministry of Rural Development, has been named Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP). It will be launched as a sub-component of the renamed, but yet to be launched, National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), which was earlier known as Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojna (SGSY).

  • The scheme hopes to meet the needs of women farmers, who predominantly come under the small and marginal farmer categories. Its objective is to achieve socio-economic and technical empowerment of rural woman farmers. A sum of Rs. 100 crore has been allocated for implementing the MKSP in the initial stages.

 

Centre to recruit 2100 agriculture graduates for extension services

Recognising that agriculture extension services is the weakest link in transferring technology and techniques to farmers, the Centre has decided to recruit, in the next one year, more than 2100 farm graduates dedicated to extension services across the country.

  • The workers, whose job primarily would be to integrate research and extension activities for farmers in every district, would be attached to the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), a society of stakeholders in each district working towards sustainable agricultural development.

  • A major activity of the extension workers would be to spread awareness and facilitate soil testing facility to check the nutrient deficiency in a farmer’s field. Every farmer would be provided a soil-health card much in the same manner as a ration card. The farmer will use the soil-health card as a guide for nutrient application.

Indira Gandhi 9th most powerful woman of the century

Indira Gandhi, world’s longest serving woman Prime Minister, has been ranked by the Time magazine as the 9th most powerful woman of the past century, a list that also includes Mother Teresa.

The list of ’25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century’ is topped by Jane Addams, an outspoken advocate for women’s suffrage, who was the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is ranked sixth on the list.

Besides Gandhi and Mother Teresa, who is ranked 22nd, no other woman from the sub-continent figures in the Time magazine list released on 20th November 2010.

When Gandhi was elected Prime Minister in 1966, a TIME cover line had read, ‘Troubled India in a Woman’s Hands’.

She served three consecutive terms from 1966 to 1977 and was in the middle of her fourth term from 1980 when she was assassinated in 1984.

By the time she was assassinated, Gandhi was the world’s longest-serving woman Prime Minister, a distinction she holds to this day, the magazine said.

The list of 25 also includes Marie Curie, Madonna, Golda Meir, Angela Merkel, Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher, Oprah Winfrey and Virginia Woolf.

NRIs can now vote in India

The longstanding wish of millions of non-resident Indians (NRIs) to be able to exercise their franchise in India has come true, with the Centre issuing a notification to this effect.

  • In the monsoon session, Parliament had passed the Representation of People (Amendment) Bill, 2010, to allow NRIs to vote in Indian elections.

Kiran Kumar sworn in as CM

 

Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan (centre) Chief Minister K. Rosaiah (right)  presents a bouquet to his successor N. Kiran Kumar Reddy (left)  during the swearing-in ceremony at the Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad.

Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy, a YSR loyalist, was sworn-in as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, capping hectic political developments that saw the exit of K Rosaiah from the post.

Army’s Strategic Forces Command tests Agni-1

 

The Strategic Forces Command of the Army fired Agni-1, the surface-to-surface missile, from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) on Wheeler Island, off Damra village on the Orissa coast.

  • The flight was successful with the missile travelling its full range of 700 km. Fired at 10.20 a.m., the missile followed its trajectory and reached the designated target area in the Bay of Bengal.

  • Agni-1, which can carry nuclear warheads, is a product of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL), a DRDO facility at Hyderabad, developed it. The Strategic Forces Command is in charge of the nuclear delivery systems.

 

Nitish Kumar sworn in as Bihar CM for second consecutive term

Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Nitish Kumar was sworn in as the Chief minister for a second consecutive term,the oath of office administered by Governor Devanand Konwar in the presence of thousands of people at the historic Gandhi Maidan in Patna.

  • Kumar, the trained engineer for whom the development mantra spun magic, has his task cut out to further change the face of Bihar riding on a massive mandate that has raised expectations.

Oberoi bagged ’2010 Corporate Hotelier of the World’ award

Oberoi Group Chairman P R S Oberoi was awarded the ’2010 Corporate Hotelier of the World’ award by HOTELS magazine in New York.

  • In its 29th year, the annual ‘Hotelier of the World’ award winner is selected on the basis of votes cast by readers of the magazine in more than 150 countries.

  • The cover story of the November edition of HOTELS magazine refers to Oberoi as "the founder father of modern luxury hospitality in India" and credits him with growing the company "into one of the world’s most prestigious luxury hotel groups".

  • Recently, The Oberoi Vanyavilas hotel at Ranthambhore was ranked the best hotel in the world in Travel + Leisure magazine’s 2010 World’s Best Awards readers’ poll.

 

Humanitarian Award to Bopanna-Qureshi pair

Their message of 'Stop War Start Tennis' fetched Indian Davis Cupper Rohan Bopanna and his Pakistani partner Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Of The Year award during the ATP World Tour Finals in London.

The two players have been playing with the message of 'Stop War Start Tennis' for quite some time on the Tour and in Grand Slams. Qureshi has received this award in the past as well when he teamed up with Israel's Amir Hadad in 2002, it's a first for Bopanna.

Humanitarian Award to Bopanna-Qureshi pair is a post from

 

RIL among world’s largest chemical firms

  • RIL ranked globally at the 20th position

  • Tata Chemical ranked 115th in a separate list

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has been ranked globally at the 20th position on the ICIS Top 100 Chemicals Companies list. German major BASF topped the list.

  • The companies were ranked on the basis of their annual sales figures in the annual list released by ICIS Chemical Business magazine. The ICIS is a global information provider for the chemical and energy industries.

  • Terming RIL and Chinese major PetroChina among the major climbers on the list over the past decade, the report said the two companies could take top rankings soon.

 

 

Sanjeev Tripathi likely to be next RAW chief

The government is understood to have finalised the name of the next chief of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). The external intelligence agency is most likely to be headed by Sanjeev Tripathi, an officer of the RAW Allied Services (RAS) cadre.

  • Current chief K.C. Verma, is due to retire on January 31 next, and is expected to be shifted to the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) as its chief. Mr. Tripathi, who retires on December 31, will secure a two-year tenure, once his appointment is formally notified, according to sources in the government.

  • Mr. Tripathi originally belongs to the Uttar Pradesh cadre of the 1973 batch of the IPS, but was absorbed in the RAW.

  • Considered a protégé of Ashok Chaturvedi, who served as the RAW chief before Mr. Verma became the head of the agency in the early 2009, Mr. Tripathi now heads the Aviation Research Centre (ARC) of the RAW.

 

KPSC exam pattern to change

The pattern of the competitive examinations conducted by the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) is all set undergo a sea change after a long gap of four decades.

A sub-committee constituted by the Commission is likely to table its report recommending the new system in a couple of weeks and gazette notification is expected by January next year.

Transparency

The new structure aims to put an end to unnecessary delay in completing recruitment process, reduce scope for political intervention in government appointments, bring in more transparency, introduce corporate work culture and enable candidates to equip themselves with latest administrative skills such as e-governance.

The proposed structure comprises limited number of subjects, negative marking system and restricted ratio for mains and interviews. It eliminates optional subject system (at present there are 30 subjects) and will have five papers, all compulsory.

Prelims & Mains

There will be one paper in the preliminary round with 150 questions, each carrying two marks. Half a mark will be deducted for each wrong answer.

The main examination comprises five compulsory papers in three categories – Essay, Humanities and Science. Excluding the Essay paper, other will have 20 units dealing with varied issues instead of specific issues. The units in the papers are such that candidate of any background will find it comfortable to study and answer.

There will be 40 questions in the examination, two from each unit. But, it is compulsory to answer questions from all 20 units. Each paper will be for 200 marks, each question carrying 10 marks. Limited number of answer sheets will be given to candidates for answering within the given space. Three different evaluators will evaluate answer scripts.

Another feature is change in the ratio for mains and interview. Instead of the 1:20 from prelims to mains, it will be 1:5 and instead of 1:5 from mains to interview it will be 1:3.

The Commission is planning to invite applications for several posts early next year and candidates will have to follow the new structure.

 

A.P. Singh is new CBI chief

IPS officer Amar Pratap Singh has been appointed the new Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation for two years succeeding Ashwani Kumar.

  • The Appointments’ Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cleared the name of 58-year-old Singh, a 1974 batch IPS officer from Jharkhand cadre, for the post of the new chief of the elite investigating agency.

  • Singh was serving as Special Director of the agency. He has also held post of additional Director General in BSF and is a recipient of Indian Police Medal and President’s Police Medal.

 

Tata Motors bags Rajiv Gandhi quality award

Automaker Tata Motors Limited, Lucknow unit, has bagged the Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award for 2009 in the “Best of All” category.

The award is instituted by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). It recognises Indian manufacturing and service organisations that are at the forefront of the quality movement in the country, a BIS release said.

The Lucknow unit of Tata Motors Limited has won the “Best of All” awards for 2009, it said.

While Glaxosmithkline Consumer Healthcare won an award in the large scale manufacturing segment, Elin Appliances Private Ltd, was honoured in the category of small scale manufacturing.

Quality Evaluation and Systems Team Pvt Ltd won it in large scale service category and Karnataka State Road Transport was given an award in the small scale service sector segment, it said.

 

Rajiv Awas Yojana for Urban poor

Of the projects sanctioned under the JNNURM so far, an investment of around Rs. 36,000 crore is devoted to the programmes for basic services to urban poor and the development of slums. Construction of around 1.5 million houses for the poor and slum dwellers has been approved.

A new scheme called the Rajiv Awas Yojana has been announced for slum dwellers and the urban poor, aimed at ushering in a slum-free India by providing access to affordable housing for the urban poor.”

 

Job figure rises by 13 lakh in one year, IT/BPO top list

The overall employment figure in the country rose by 12.96 lakh during the last one year with the IT/BPO sector creating maximum jobs.

The figures were compiled from quarterly surveys conducted by the Labour Bureau (under the Labour and Employment Ministry) between September 2009 and September 2010.

According to the survey, the IT/BPO sector created 8.54 lakh jobs. The textiles sector was next with 1.52 lakh new jobs during this period. This was followed by the metals sector which created 1.37 lakh jobs. The automobile sector generated 1.10 lakh employment opportunities and the gems and jewellery sector created 0.93 lakh jobs.

The quarterly surveys were first carried immediately after the onset of the recession in October 2008, which cost millions of people their jobs.

The latest quarterly survey — eighth in the series — for the July-September period, has said employment in the country has risen by 4.35 lakh.

The survey, which covered eight sectors, said the textile sector led in job creation with 2.45 lakh new jobs. This was followed by the IT/BPO sector where employment rose by 1.08 lakh. Employment in the automobile and metal industries rose by 0.29 lakh and 0.27 lakh respectively.

Overall employment in export oriented units increased by 3.05 lakh whereas in non-exporting units, it rose by 1.30 lakh.

 

Sensex drops 458 points

The Bombay Stock Exchange recently fell by a total of 458 points. The reasons for the underperformance of the Indian Equity market have been said to be the series of scams that were unearthed from mid November. Just last month, CBI officials discovered a bribe for loan scandal that involved several officials from financial firms and a few state run banks. The 10.8% rise in industrial growth since last month could not help and several indices ended with huge losses. Major loses were mainly suffered by PSUs, realty, consumer durables and healthcare.

 

Satyam Trial Case

The examination of the first witness in the infamous multi crore Satyam Computer accounting scam would begin from the first of November Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court. CBI officials submitted a list of six witnesses to the courts who were officials of a number of different banks. All ten accused including company founder B Ramalinga Raju were present in court during the hearing of the case. The DIG of police who operates under the department of CBI said that the agency requested permission to set up LCD projectors and screens in the court so that both parties could observe and take notes on all the documents that would be brought up in court. Since cases in the Supreme Court need to be resolved at the earliest, CBI officials submitted close to a thousand documents to the court to speed up the prosecution. The bail of the owner of company and the other 5 individuals associated has been rejected.

 

 

Baba Ramdev Temple under threat

An anonymous letter was received at the Ramdev Baba temple in Jaisalmer that contained threats to blow up the temple on November 9th. District Collector G S Kushwaha received this letter by normal post. Following this letter security around the temple and the surrounding complex was tightened by posting additional number of policeman around the temple complex. Around 5 million devotees are said to visit the temple every year.

 

Ashok Chavan’s fate

Disgraced Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ashok Chauhan’s would be decided after the Diwali holiday season, i.e. after November 8th said the Congress party. Recently Chief Minister Ashok Chauhan’s name had come in the Adarsh Housing Society scam. Following this allegation, Mr. Ashok Chauhan immediately offered to resign from his post. No mention of either the Adarsh Housing Society scam or the commonwealth Games fiasco was made by the Congress in its AICC session. Also present at the meeting were Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit, Common Wealth Games Organizing Committee Chaiperson Suresh Kalmadi, Heavy Industries Minister and former Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Maharashtra PCC President Manikrao Thakre.

 

Adjournment of Ajmer Dargah blast case

The hearing of the Ajmer Gargah blast case was recently adjourned to November 8 by a sessions court due to leave taken by the presiding judge. Over an 800 page charge sheet was produced before the court of the Additional Chief Judge Magistrate on the 22nd of October by the Rajasthan ATS. The five accused in the case have alleged links with the radical Hindu group Abhinav Bharat. Only one accused was brought to the court while the other two are being questioned about the Hyderabad Mecca blast case. The accused have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code like conspiracy to murder, attempt to murder and murder. Over one hundred and thirty witnesses have been cited by the prosecution of the case.

 

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s concern

The finance minister of the country Pranab Mukherjee recently raised his fears over the rising of inflation in the country. Minister Mukherjee said that the Reserve Bank of India would take steps at its next monetary policy review to check rising prices because of increased inflation. He further added that rising food prices were solely the reason for this sudden inflation. Inflation for the month of September was estimated to be close to 8.6% much above the acceptable rate of 5%. As said by Finance Minister Mukherjee, food prices had the highest amount of inflation which in Mid October was estimated to be over 13%. Recently, Minister Pranab Mukherjee was in talks with the Reserve Bank of India Governor over the the possible rate hike action by the Central Bank. The global financial crisis, which was worsened by the total collapse of financial firm Lehman Brothers, is being said to be the reason behind the RBI’s recent reversal of its soft monetary policy that it started back in September 2008. Adding to these has been the sudden drop in industrial growth from 15.2% to 5.6%. To combat the aforementioned rise in inflation, the Reserve Bank of India has hiked its key short term lending and borrowing times several times this year.

 

Protest during Obama visit by Bhopal Gas tragedy victims

Victims of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy are said to be planning to stage a protest at Jantar Mantar on the 8th of November, during the time of US President Barrack Obama’s visit to the capital. Several tonnes of the poisonous gas methyl iso-cyanide, leaked from the Union Carbide Plant in Bhopal in 1984, killing over 3000 people the same night and causing the deaths of over 25000 people over the subsequent years. Five different voluntary organizations working for the gas tragedy victims recently held a press conference where they stated that they would be requesting to President Obama to use his Presidential powers to bring the Union Carbide Corporation to Indian Courts and be answerable to them. The verdict of this case many years back had found seven top officials of this corporation to be guilty but as these guilty persons were bailed out within minutes of the verdict, many people till date question the justice imparted in the case. The voluntary organizations further added that hundreds of people regularly fall sick and die every month due to the long term poisonous effects of the leaked gas on the soil and water. They further plan to ask President Obama for his help as the US government has been largely unhelpful these last few years. The sit in protest organized by the voluntary organizations is said to be comprised of over 5000 gas tragedy victims.

 

WikiLeaks: India to wait and watch

A day after whistle blower WikiLeaks made public secret U.S. diplomatic communications, it is a “very sensitive” issue and the govt would like to “wait and work this out”. Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur added.

  • Over three million cables were released by the WikiLeaks documenting correspondence between various U.S. embassies and consulates.

  • The U.S. had warned India and other key governments across the world about the potentially embarrassing release of classified documents by WikiLeaks which may harm American interests and create tension in its ties with its “friends”.

Wikileaks’ latest release includes 3,038 cables from New Delhi.

  • Of the quarter million top secret US documents released by the whistleblower website Wikileaks, as many as 3,038 classified cables are from the US Embassy in New Delhi.

2G spectrum: Govt orders probe into Radia tape leaks

Ratan Tata on 29th November, 2010, asked the Supreme Court to direct the Union of India to stop further leaks of tapes containing his conversations with corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, even as the government ordered a probe into the leaked conversations.

The probe, which was reported by ET on 29th November, 2010, tasks the Intelligence Bureau and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) with the responsibility of unearthing those responsible for leaking tapes featuring Radia’s conversations with her clients who include industrialists, politicians and journalists.

In his writ petition, which runs into less than 20 pages, Tata has argued that the tape leaks have affected his reputation, and thereby the image of the eponymous soft-to-software group headed by him. Tata Group, which has sales of $67.4 billion according to its website, is India’s biggest with as many as 28 listed companies.

The selective leaks containing purely private conversations between him and Radia hinted at foul play—that the tapes were either “stolen” or given away unauthorized by an official with an ulterior motive—the petitioner alleged.

 

New role for Preity Zinta

Himachal Pradesh-born actor Preity Zinta is all set to be the State tourism’s brand ambassador. She has been in touch with the State tourism officers for sometime, and is understood to have expressed willingness to act as the brand ambassador.

Officials met the actor in Mumbai on Saturday to finalise the modalities, sources said. A formal declaration to the effect will be made after discussing various issues.


Oberoi bagged ’2010 Corporate Hotelier of the World’ award

Oberoi Group Chairman P R S Oberoi was awarded the ’2010 Corporate Hotelier of the World’ award by HOTELS magazine in New York.

In its 29th year, the annual ‘Hotelier of the World’ award winner is selected on the basis of votes cast by readers of the magazine in more than 150 countries.

The cover story of the November edition of HOTELS magazine refers to Oberoi as "the founder father of modern luxury hospitality in India" and credits him with growing the company "into one of the world’s most prestigious luxury hotel groups".

Recently, The Oberoi Vanyavilas hotel at Ranthambhore was ranked the best hotel in the world in Travel + Leisure magazine’s 2010 World’s Best Awards readers’ poll.

 

 

Nitish Kumar sworn in as Bihar CM for second consecutive term

Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Nitish Kumar was sworn in as the Chief minister for a second consecutive term,the oath of office administered by Governor Devanand Konwar in the presence of thousands of people at the historic Gandhi Maidan in Patna.

Kumar, the trained engineer for whom the development mantra spun magic, has his task cut out to further change the face of Bihar riding on a massive mandate that has raised expectations.

Sibal launches MNP from Haryana

India on 25th November, 2010 ushered in Mobile Number Portability that will allow cellphone users to switch operators without changing numbers, with Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal launching the service in Haryana.

The rest of India would get to use MNP from January 20, next year.

The consumer friendly service was mooted over two years ago and was planned to be implemented by end of 2009.

However, implementation had to be deferred several times owing to reasons ranging from lack of preparedness of operators to delay in appointment of an agency to oversee MNP execution.

The customers will have to pay a maximum of Rs.19 to the new operator for porting his number. However the minimum stay period for a customer to retain the new operator will be three months.

 

Over 1.97 cr households given jobs under NREGA: Govt

More than 1.79 crore households across the country have been provided employment under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) this year, the Government said.

As of 30th June, a total of 179,43,189 families in the country have been provided employment under MGNREGS scheme.

According to the sate-wise data presented by the Minister, Andhra Pradesh tops the list of states where most number of families were given employment this year, followed by Rajasthan, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

While a total of 48,04,559 households in Andhra Pradesh have benefited from the scheme, 25,01,792 families in Rajasthan, 22,055,89 in West Bengal and 19,959,50 families in Uttar Pradesh were given job opportunities this year.

 

Indira Gandhi 9th most powerful woman of the century

Indira Gandhi, world’s longest serving woman Prime Minister, has been ranked by the Time magazine as the 9th most powerful woman of the past century, a list that also includes Mother Teresa.

The list of ’25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century’ is topped by Jane Addams, an outspoken advocate for women’s suffrage, who was the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is ranked sixth on the list.

Besides Gandhi and Mother Teresa, who is ranked 22nd, no other woman from the sub-continent figures in the Time magazine list released on 20th November 2010.

When Gandhi was elected Prime Minister in 1966, a TIME cover line had read, ‘Troubled India in a Woman’s Hands’.

She served three consecutive terms from 1966 to 1977 and was in the middle of her fourth term from 1980 when she was assassinated in 1984.

By the time she was assassinated, Gandhi was the world’s longest-serving woman Prime Minister, a distinction she holds to this day, the magazine said.

The list of 25 also includes Marie Curie, Madonna, Golda Meir, Angela Merkel, Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher, Oprah Winfrey and Virginia Woolf.

 

Centre to recruit 2100 agriculture graduates for extension services

Recognising that agriculture extension services is the weakest link in transferring technology and techniques to farmers, the Centre has decided to recruit, in the next one year, more than 2100 farm graduates dedicated to extension services across the country.

The workers, whose job primarily would be to integrate research and extension activities for farmers in every district, would be attached to the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), a society of stakeholders in each district working towards sustainable agricultural development.

A major activity of the extension workers would be to spread awareness and facilitate soil testing facility to check the nutrient deficiency in a farmer’s field. Every farmer would be provided a soil-health card much in the same manner as a ration card. The farmer will use the soil-health card as a guide for nutrient application.

Mukesh Ambani receives Global Vision Award

Billionaire businessman and Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has received the Global Vision Award instituted by the Asia Society for helping to promote understanding between Asians and Americans.

Speaking at the award function in New York on Tuesday, Ambani said that India has come a long way from being a third world county in the 1980s to become the world’s third most important economy.

“In the 1980s, India was viewed as a third world country and today India is the third most important economy in the world. That has been truly a fantastic journey,” Ambani, who is one of the richest people in the world, said.

India has the foundation for growth, Ambani said, adding, “I think in the 21st century we are going to be fastest growing economy. That is the story of India, which I am very fortunate to be part of”.

General Electric’s chairman and chief executive officer Jeffrey Immelt r

 

Black money trail: India drained of Rs 20 Lakh crore

Black money —the popular moniker given to the billions seeded by dirty deals and whisked away abroad from the taxman’s prying eyes — has received much attention in recent years.

A new study by an international watchdog on the illicit flight of money from the country, perhaps the first ever attempt at shedding light on a subject steeped in secrecy, concludes that India has been drained of $462 billion (Rs 20,556,848,000,000 or over Rs 20 lakh crore) between 1948 and 2008.

The amount is nearly 40% of India’s gross domestic product, and nearly 12 times the size of the estimated loss to the government because of the 2G spectrum scam .

The study has been authored by Dev Kar, a lead economist with the US-based Global Financial Integrity, a non-profit research body that has long crusaded against illegal capital flight.

Mr Kar, a former senior economist with the International Monetary Fund, says illicit financial flows out of India have grown at 11.5% a year, debunking a popular notion that economic reforms that began nearly two decades ago had tempered the creation and stashing away of black money overseas.

If capital outflows were a child of the independence era, the problem came of age in the years after the reforms kicked in. Nearly 50% of the total illegal outflows occurred since 1991. Around a third of the money exited the country between 2000 and 2008.

 

Sibal given charge of Telecom Ministry

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal was given the additional charge of the Telecom Ministry by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a development that takes the portfolio away from DMK at least for the time being.

Sibal will hold the charge of the Ministry held by A Raja, who resigned facing allegations of scam in 2G spectrum allocation.

The arrangement is seen to be temporary in view of the ongoing Parliament session when issues related to the ministry are to be handled at the senior level, particularly at a time when the ministry is facing allegations of corruption of huge magnitude.

Sibal, a renowned lawyer-turned-politician, was a week earlier given the additional charge of Ministries of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, which fell vacant after incumbent Prithviraj Chavan was made Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

In another decision, V Narayansamy, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, was given additional charge of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which also fell vacant after Chavan’s departure.

Highlights of Economic Outlook 2010-11

 

Economy to grow at 8.5 per cent in 2010-11 and 9.0 % in 2011-12

o Agriculture grew at 0.2% in 2009-10. Projected to grow at 4.5% in 2010-11 and 4.0% in 2011-12.

o Industry grew at 9.3% in 2009-10. Projected to grow at 9.7% in 2010-11 and 10.3 % in 2011-12.

o Services grew at 8.5% in 2009-10. Projected to grow at 8.9% in 2010-11 and 9.8% in 2011-12.

• Slow recovery in global economic and financial situation

• Rising domestic Savings and Investment chief engines of growth

o Investment rate is expected to be 37% in 2010-11 and 38.4% in 2011-12.

o Domestic savings rate is expected to be over 34% in 2010-11 and close to 36% in 2011-12.

Current Account deficit estimated at 2.7% of GDP in 2010-11 and 2.9% of GDP in 2011-12

o Merchandise trade deficit projected to be $ 137.8 billion or 9% of the GDP in 2010-11 and $160 billion or 9.3% of GDP in 2011-12.

o Invisibles trade surplus projected to be $ 96 billion or 6.3% of the GDP in 2010-11 and $109.7 billion or 6.4% in 2011-12.

Capital Flows can be readily absorbed by financing needs of the high growth of the Indian Economy.

o Against the level of $53.6 billion in 2009-10, the capital inflows projected to be $ 73 billion for 2010-11 and $91 billion for 2011-12.

o Accretion to reserves was $13.4 billion in 2009-10. Projected to be $30.9 billion in 2010-11 and $39.8 billion in 2011-12.

Inflation rate projected at 6.5 % by March 2011 due to expected normal monsoon combined with the base effect.

o The provisional headline inflation was above 10% in June 2010.

o Controlling high inflation rate essential for sustainable growth in medium term.

o Available food stocks must be released to have a dampening effect on prices.

Monetary Policy to complete the process of exit and operate with bias toward tightening.

o Credit off take picked up. Strong growth rate in the 1st quarter of 2010-11.

o Fund flow from capital market to commercial sector quite strong. Bond issuance growth relatively higher than issuance of equity.

o Liquidity conditions are taut enough for monetary policy signals to be appropriately transmitted to the financial sector. A bias toward tightening is necessary.

o Exchange rate variations will remain within acceptable range.

• Exit from the expansionary fiscal policy not only feasible but also necessary

o High buoyancy in direct and indirect tax collections. Telecom auctions and decontrol of the petroleum products prices to provide additional cushion.

o Fiscal deficit outturn may be lower than the budgeted consolidated fiscal deficit of 8.4% of GDP for 2010-11.

o Revenue Deficit as a ratio of GDP expected to decline from 6.3% in 2009-10 to 4.6% in 2010-11.

o Operationalization of Goods and Services Tax (GST) should be a priority.

o Budgeted level of Fiscal Deficit and Revenue Deficit still beyond comfort zone.

o Need to rationalize the food and fertilizer subsidies.

• To sustain a growth rate of 9.0 per cent, focus is required on:

o Containing inflation

o Improving farm productivity

o Closing the large physical infrastructure deficit, especially in the power sector

 

India orders may create 7 lakh jobs in US in 10 years

Industry body CII on 7th November, 2010 said sourcing of infrastructure equipment, nuclear hardware and military aircraft from the US by India could create over seven lakh jobs in America in the next ten years.

A CII survey of member firms with operations in the US clearly shows that Indian business is now engaged across a wide spectrum of sectors in America, and not just IT and ITeS.

The Report, ‘India – A Growth Partner in the Indian Economy’, estimates that, “India sourcing of US military and nuclear hardware and civilian aircraft could create over 700,000 jobs in the US over the next ten years.

 

Sonia among 10 most powerful in world: Forbes

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has been ranked ninth in the list of world’s most powerful people by the Forbes magazine, which put Chinese President Hu Jintao on the top. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh occupied the 18th place.

“Despite Italian birth, foreign religion (Roman Catholic) and political reluctance, Gandhi wields unequalled influence over one billion Indians,” Forbes said.

It said she was “recently elected to a record fourth term as head of India’s ruling Congress party, cementing (the) status as true heiress to the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty”.

The other Indians who made it to the list released Wednesday are Manmohan Singh (18th), telecom mogul Sunil Mittal (44) and industrialist Ratan Tata (61).

Describing him as “brainy Sikh economist”, Forbes said that Manmohan Singh was widely praised “as India’s bet prime minister” since Jawaharlal Nehru, the country’s first prime minister.

“But Gandhi remains the real power behind the nuclear-tipped throne,” it said.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who has lived in India in self-imposed exile since fleeing his homeland in 1959, occupied the 39th place. TheTibetan government-in-exile is based in Dharamsala, India.

China’s Hu was named the world’s most powerful person, ahead of even US President Barack Obama, who topped last year’s rankings. Obama is now just behind Hu.

The top 10 also includes Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud (3), Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (4), Pope Benedict XVI (5), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (6), British Prime Minister David Cameron (7), US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke (8) and Microsoft founder Bill Gates (10).

 

Tendulkar is the Bradman of today: British media

“Let us just say that Tendulkar is the Bradman of today – less hypnotic but scarcely less phenomenal”, according to cricket writer John Woodcock , who reckons the Indian icon has every chance of making his 50th Test century this week.

In his column for ‘The Times’, Woodcock paid rich tributes to Tendulkar for his “insatiable” hunger to score runs and said comparing him to Bradman did not diminish the legendary Australian and his achievements.

There is every chance that Tendulkar will make his 50th Test hundred this week, against New Zealand, in itself an amazing achievement. But if Bradman had played the same number of Test innings (Tendulkar has played 280 to Bradman’s 80), he would have finished with something like 100 hundred, given the rate at which he scored them.
Tendulkar, who just needs one more century to record an amazing feat of 50 Test tons, has been in red-hot form from the beginning of this year when India toured Bangladesh. His appetite for runs and centuries has only increased with advancing years.

The 37-year-old champion cricketer has accumulated a staggering 1270 runs from his last nine Tests (15 innings), embellished by six three-figure knocks that includes two double hundreds, for a Bradmanesque average of 97.69, a feat that fetched him this year’s ICC Cricketer of the Year honour.

 

Indian students won Singapore edition of the Tata Campus Quiz

Two students from India have won the Singapore edition of the Tata Crucible Campus Quiz and will participate in the international final to be held in India early next year.

Abhishek Kumar from Delhi and Nabil Rasheed from Chennai won the quiz contest which had 100 teams participating from different Singapore universities.

Abhishek and Nabil, both pursuing business studies at the Singapore Management University (SMU), won a prize of SGD 7000 (USD 541), a trophy each, and they will be doing an internship at one of the Tata Group of companies, Tata said in a statement.

Singaporean students Ivan Chang Weilong and Abbas Ali Mohamed Irshad, also from SMU, won the second prize of SGD 3000 (USD 231).

The quiz was conducted by India’s Giri Balasubramanium, popularly known as “Pick Brain”.

The quiz covered a wide range of subjects from business houses to brands, business history to people and products, business principles to the fundamentals of business economics and creation of wealth to architects of industries.

Tata has been hosting the Singapore quiz since 2007 in recognition of the city state’s status as an international financial centre and an international education hub.




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