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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Smartphone maker Micromax is emerging as the Xiaomi of India—much to Samsung’s dismay

India’s currency may be floundering but its smartphone market is on fire—sales have nearly tripled in the last year, led by the local upstart Micromax, which is nipping at the heels of Samsung for market share dominance. Micromax now commands a 22% market share, up from 18.8% in the first quarter. Samsung’s share has slipped to 26% from 32.7%.




The scenario that is playing out in India—initial dominance by foreign brands like Samsung and Sony, which is quickly eroded by homegrown manufacturers like Micromax and Karbonn—is eerily similar to the dynamic seen in China, where Samsung and Apple had an early advantage that is being steadily erased by Huawei and Lenovo.

Other companies that fit a similar mold include Coolpad in China, Smartfren in Indonesia, Ninetology in Malaysia, Cherry Mobile in the Philippines, i-Mobile in Thailand, and Q-Smart in Vietnam, as IDC noted earlier this month. There is plenty of money on the table: emerging market sales are expected to surge from 400 million units in 2013 to 749 million in 2017.

In India’s case, the trend will be accelerated by the country’s currency woes, which are making foreign imports much more expensive—the rupee has declined by nearly a third in the last six months. But even without foreign exchange fluctuations it could spell bad news for companies like Samsung and Apple, which derive huge portions of their profits from smartphones, yet have largely saturated their existing markets and are facing increasingly intense domestic competition in new ones.

Micromax, now within shouting distance of becoming the top smartphone maker in the world’s largest market after the United States and China, at first glance bears some similarities to Xiaomi, the Chinese firm that drew attention this week by poaching a top executive from Google’s Android division, which makes the operating system used by some 80% of the world’s smartphones, including Samsung and Micromax.

Like Xiaomi, Micromax’s top-of-the-line phones are significantly cheaper than the premium-priced handsets from Apple and Samsung; its newly launched Canvas Doodle 2 phablet sells for Rs 19,990 ($300). (It also has a gimmicky “blow-to-unlock” feature.) The company has bet heavily on the super-size phones known as phablets, which now make up 30% of the Indian smartphone market. “[G]iven the growth we are seeing in the phablet category (Canvas series), we are aiming to be the top player by Diwali, which is Q3,” Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma told the PTI news agency.

Market research firm IDC said that India’s second-quarter smartphone sales nearly tripled to 9.3 million, from 3.5 million a year earlier, led by devices with super-sized screens of five inches and bigger. These so-called phablets now make up 30% of the Indian smartphone market.

If there’s anything standing in the way of Micromax’s march to dominance in India it might be the lack of a charismatic executive at the helm, a la Xiaomi’s Lei Jun, often called “China’s Steve Jobs.” Rajesh Agarwal, the co-founder and managing director of Micromax, was forced to resign at the beginning of August after he was arrested for attempting to bribe municipal engineers to obtain approval for the construction of a banquet hall. The incident could derail the company’s anticipated IPO; it is backed by private equity firms Sequoia Capital, Sandstone Capital and Madison India Capital.

Source: QZ
http://click.discountclick.com/go/click.php?tid=952753

Friday, August 30, 2013

New faces of Android: inside Google's management shuffle

One big loss at the world's most popular smartphone platform has been followed by another. Five months after Android founder Andy Rubin left his creation to work on unspecified other projects inside Google, head of Android product management Hugo Barra quit to take a job at upstart Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi. And while there are clear potential benefits for both parties in the move — having Barra as an ally inside the explosive Chinese market could prove hugely profitable to Google — he also leaves a void at Android.

RUBIN AND BARRA WERE THE FACES OF ANDROID

To the outside world, Rubin and Barra were the faces of Android, with Barra regularly appearing onstage at events to explain its changing look and features. Along with vice president for engineering Hiroshi Lockheimer, Rubin and Barra were seen as Android's most influential voices on product decisions, guiding Android's rapid evolution while carefully building out its feature set. "Andy, Hiroshi, and Hugo were the triumvirate of Android," a former co-worker said. "Those were the dudes that make Android work."

Today, Android is led by one of Google's brightest executives, Sundar Pichai, whose charge also includes both the mobile operating system group and the Chrome and Google Apps divisions he oversaw previously. Google says Barra was part of a strong Android leadership team that is still in place. The operating system's basic goal — to become a ubiquitous channel for delivering Google services — remains unchanged. But now that two of its biggest stars have moved on, how will Android change — and who will change it?

The Verge spoke with current and former Google employees, along with others who have worked with members of the Android team, to get a clearer sense of Android's current leadership team and its priorities. It remains unclear how Google will go about filling Barra's shoes. But in interviews with those who worked with him, a portrait emerges of what Android will lose with Barra at Xiaomi — and of how the company will proceed while they look to replace him.
THE FRIENDLY FACE




In Barra, Android had a whip-smart manager with a flair for design — and for live product demonstrations. The Brazil native is deeply conversant in mobile technology, having spent five years focused on mobile voice search and messaging at Nuance Communications. He joined Google in March 2008 as its global head of mobile products and took over product management for Android two years later.

UNDER RUBIN, COLLABORATION WAS A LARGELY TECHNICAL AFFAIR

The Android group had a reputation for being dismissive of anyone perceived as an outsider, including Googlers who worked at other divisions. In some cases, former employees recalled, Android executives refused to return their calls. For a time, the Android building cafeteria was closed to non-Android employees. Former colleagues trace Android's insular culture to Rubin, whom they describe on one hand as a visionary leader, and on the other as a person who showed little interest in building bridges to the outside world. Under Rubin, collaboration was a largely technical affair, an exchange of code and documentation and little else. To “collaborate” with Android meant to build an app for it, or perhaps work with the Android team on an API like Google Wallet Instant Buy, which was built by the Wallet team and released during Rubin’s tenure.

To those outside the division, Barra was a rare friendly face at Android. He had a quick smile and an easy way with outsiders, and he had mastered that most crucial of the corporate arts: the presentation. "He was the go-to guy if you wanted to have a kickass demo," a colleague from another division said. "Especially if you wanted a demo of something Android, because you could never get Andy Rubin to do anything."

"HE WAS THE GO-TO GUY IF YOU WANTED TO HAVE A KICKASS DEMO."

Barra also had a strong mind for product, colleagues say. Around the Android team, said another colleague, "Hugo's not really going to like that" or "this isn't going to fly because Hugo has a really strong opinion" were popular refrains.

At the same time, Barra didn't work in a vacuum. "You've got to remember, the bench is deep at Google," a former colleague said. "They've got a lot of smart people. There could be somebody really great waiting in the wings."
THE DEEP BENCH




With Barra out, Google will look to several members of its leadership team to keep Android moving forward. As the head of the division, Pichai has moved quickly to integrate the operating system into the rest of Google. Colleagues credit him with helping to transform Android from a kingdom ruled by its creator into a more open environment, and he wins widespread praise among colleagues for his product smarts and approachable demeanor. To Pichai, colleagues said, collaboration means face-to-face communication with co-workers and a more engaging social environment.

SUNDAR PICHAI LEADS ANDROID, CHROME, AND APPS

Pichai has one of the broadest and most important product portfolios at Google, raising questions about how much attention he can pay to Android day to day. But all indications are that since taking over this spring, Pichai has been deeply involved in major decisions around the operating system.

Reporting to Pichai is Hiroshi Lockheimer, a longtime Android executive who has only occasionally stepped into the spotlight alongside Rubin and Barra. Lockheimer is Android’s vice president of engineering, and was mentioned by name in the farewell letters of both Rubin and Barra. Rubin wrote "Hiroshi Lockheimer — who many of you already know well — plus the rest of the Android leadership team will work closely with all of our partners to advance Android." One former colleague said that since Pichai has led Android, Lockheimer has taken on a more prominent role in the division, often answering questions about Android at the company's weekly internal Q&A sessions.

LG unveils a cinematic all-in-one PC with an ultra-wide screen


LG showed off its first monitor with a cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio at IFA last year, and the company’s back in 2013 with a similarly proportioned all-in-one PC. The IPS 21:9 UltraWide All-In-One PC, as LG calls it, appears to feature the same display as the 29-inch 2560 x 1080 monitor, along with a TV tuner, Windows 8, and Nvidia GeForce GT 640M graphics. Other specifications, such as whether it’ll feature a touchscreen, are yet to be announced; the PC will be shown off at this year’s IFA trade show.

With Philips discontinuing sales of its Cinema 21:9 TVs last year, why would anyone want such a stretched-out PC? According to LG, the displays "make multitasking more convenient with extra screen real estate," and users can also divide the screen into four separate parts. Of course, movie buffs will no doubt appreciate the opportunity to watch anamorphic films in their true format without resorting to stretching or letterboxing.

Source: theverge

8,000 Indians queue up for one-way trip to Mars

As the deadline for registration nears, over 8,000 Indians have so far signed up for the one-way trip to Mars and settle down on the red planet, as 'Mars One' project is planning to establish a colony there in the next 10 years.
'Mars One', a not-for-profit foundation intends to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars in 2023 and is registering those interested to make it up there.
India stands fourth among other countries of the world with 8,107 applicants, as on August 27.
The top 10 countries to enroll are the USA (37,852), China (13,124), Brazil (8,686), India (8,107), Russia (7,138), Britain (6,999), Mexico (6,771), Canada (6,593), Spain (3,621) and Philippines (3,516) as on August 22, Aashima Dogra of 'Mars One' told .
With August 31 this year being the last date for registering, 'Mars One' has already received interest from more than 1,65,000 people hoping to be the first humans on Mars.
"The Mars One Application Program is turning out to be the most desired job vacancy in the world. People from over 140 countries are looking towards the final frontier and envisioning their life on another planet," she said.
Mars One believes that human settlement on the red planet was possible with existing technologies and it plans to integrate components that are well tested and readily available from industry leaders worldwide.
"The first footprint on Mars and lives of the crew thereon will captivate and inspire generations; it is this public interest that will help finance this human mission to Mars," she said.
The mission plan consists of cargo missions and unmanned preparation of a habitable settlement, followed by human landings.
"In the coming years, a demonstration mission, communication satellites, two rovers and several cargo missions will be sent to Mars. These missions will set up the outpost where the human crew will live and work," Dogra said.
The selection and training the human crew for permanent settlement has already commenced. "The search for Astronauts began in April 2013. More than 78,000 registered for the selection programme within two weeks of its launch."
Mars One is a Dutch non-for-profit foundation. It is the mother company of Interplanetary Media Group, which enables the foundation to secure funds from its investors.
After securing the first investments and commissioning the first conceptual design study in 2012, Mars One was ready to launch its Astronaut Selection Program. It was launched at press conferences in New York and Shanghai in April 2013.
Bas Lansdorp, CEO and co-founder of Mars One said, "The cultural diversity of Mars One applicants reflects the international nature of this project and ultimately makes it humanity's mission to Mars."
Anyone above 18 years can enter the program at apply.mars-one.com.

Source: TOI

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Syria problem: Obama ran for President to get the U.S. out of wars, not into them

Foreign policy grants American presidents almost supernatural powers. From thousands of miles away, they can mobilize fleets and squadrons at a whim, sometimes killing without risking a single soldier's life. But foreign policy can also become a curse, with an equally mystical ability to ruin a presidency. Barack Obama learned that lesson watching his predecessor wage what Obama famously called "a dumb war" of choice in Iraq. His opposition to the invasion launched the one-term Senator's first presidential run, and he arrived in the White House with a clear vision of a humbler America narrowly focused on core interests, like healing domestic economic and social wounds. Obama would hunt down terrorists in caves and deserts and throw a harder punch at the Taliban in Afghanistan. But he also presented himself as a conciliator, a peacemaker who would land the Nobel Peace Prize before he'd even redecorated the Oval Office.

From the start of his presidency, Obama sounded his call in speeches from Washington to Prague to Cairo, describing a transformed world order--"a revolutionary world" where "we can do improbable, sometimes impossible things." Cynics said Obama was just putting a gloss on harsh economic reality: deep in debt and with its financial sector in a tailspin, the U.S. couldn't afford an interventionist foreign policy. But Obama seemed genuine enough when he spoke of starting a dialogue of "mutual respect" with Iran, and to other rivals, he vowed that "we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist." Reason would replace raw power, and the neoconservative vision would be retired. It was hope and change on a global scale.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Recall a Sent Mail on Gmail

How many times have you sent out an email only to later realise your mistake? Haven’t you wished you could just cancel the sent mail or recall it? Well, using this little known Gmail feature, you actually can! Gmail lets users recall emails sent for a specific period after the mail is sent. You just need to go to settings and activate it. Follow the steps listed to recall your sent email.

Steps

1. Click on the Gear button on the top right corner of your screen. The Gear button appears right below your image for the Google Plus profile. Select ‘Settings’ from the dropdown menu.

2.You will now be presented with multiple tabbed options. Choose ‘Labs’ from the options present (third from the right) and scroll towards the bottom.

3.Third from the bottom, you will be presented with an option to ‘Undo Send’. Select Enable to the right of that option.

4. Scroll right to the bottom of the screen and click on the ‘Save Changes’ button. Wait, your Undo Send option might be activated, but there’s still more to be done.

5. Once you click ‘Save Changes’, you will be taken to your Inbox by default. Follow the first step and go to Settings option.

6. You will land on the ‘General’ tab by default. Scroll down the tab and somewhere in the middle, you will see the option to ‘Undo Send’. The option will already be ticked, confirming that your selection. Right below the tick mark, you can then choose the amount of time in which you can recall a sent email. You can choose anywhere from 5 seconds to 30 seconds.

7. Once you choose your time, scroll to the bottom and click on ‘Save Changes’.

source: indiatimes

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

TIME takes on Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Last week, billionaire Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced a new initiative, Internet.org, aimed at greatly expanding Internet access throughout the developing world — a goal that he said would spark dramatic economic growth in the world’s poorest countries. But is Zuckerberg’s claim really true? And is Internet.org really the humanitarian effort that Zuckerberg painted it to be?
None other than Nobel Peace Prize winning economist Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank, has endorsed the project. “Extending Internet access, in an almost costless way, to the next 5 billion people is key for solving all social problems,” he said in a statement issued by Facebook. “Using the combined power of technology and social business will enable any individual anywhere in the planet to change the world in the fastest possible time. Internet.org will help transform a small piece of solution of a giant problem, in one unknown location, into a global solution.”
But the majority of reactions have been far less kind. The criticism of Internet.org breaks down into three basic points.
Read more: http://business.time.com/2013/08/27/three-reasons-zuckerbergs-internet-for-all-crusade-rings-hollow/#ixzz2dF4S98xD

India: The Story You Never Wanted to Hear


Michaela Cross, a 23 year old American student of “South Asian Studies” from the University of Chicago who travelled to India in 2012 to study has written a document called “India: The Story You Never Wanted to Hear” on CNN’s ireport under the name “RoseChasm”. She describes how she was sexually harassed, groped, stalked, stared and masturbated at. It was so bad that she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder upon her return to the United States.


The harassment story of Michaela Cross has been going viral on the internet with more than 1,042,067 views and 97K shares. From CNN

Michaela Cross writes that, “India is wonderful but extremely dangerous for women”. She tells us various stories about harassment and groping. For instance; one where she was dancing in the city of Pune at the Ganesha festival. She realised that she was being photographed and being filmed by men. She tells us how men wanted to touch her at the bazaar while she was shopping for sarees. She talks about a man (a vendor) who followed her for forty minutes till she bought something. She mentions Goa where she was lying hunched in a foetal position, holding a pair of scissors with the door bolted shut, while the staff member of the hotel tried to rape her room-mate called me over and over, and breathing into the phone? I can understand where she is coming from. There was a headline in India’s top news channel (Aaj Tak) called the “Sick Indian man”. What they showed was that, no matter where women go – Indian men will stare at women, try to touch them and given a chance rape them. The gang rape incident in Mumbai where a photo-journalist was gang-raped in the heart of Mumbai on the 22nd of August seems to confirm this fact. Nothing seems to have changed much in India since the Delhi gang-rape incident. The harsh reality is that women in India are not safe. This is how it feels to be a woman in India? You can read the entire story of Michaela Cross and her personal account describing repeated sexual harassment “India: The Story You Never Wanted to Hear” on CNN.



LG L9 II is now official, coming this October

While most of our attention is turned towards the LG G2, that’s far from the only new device that the company has in the pipeline. Back in June we reported that the LG L9 II had been spotted in benchmarks and had even shown off for the camera in a leaked image. Now it’s official, the LG L9 II is on its way.
So what can we expect from the budget device? The upcoming handset has a 720p 4.7-inch TrueIPS display, a 1.4GHz dual-core processor and 1GB RAM. Some of the other specs include an 8MP shooter, 8GB storage, microSD for expansion, a 2150 mAh battery and an IR Blaster. As for the OS, you get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.
Unfortunately, we don’t yet have an exact release date or pricing for the LG L9 II. Heck, we don’t even a clue what countries the device will be available in. We aren’t completely left in the dark though, as we do know the mid-range handset is coming sometime in October.
The LG L9 II might not scream innovation or excitement, but it is a solid upgrade from the original L9and could be the perfect device for those looking for a decent phone on a budget.

Source: androidauthority

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Micromax Canvas Doodle 2 A240 with 5.7” display & 1.2 Ghz Quad core processor introduced for Rs 19990



Micromax’s latest big screen smartphone Micromax Canvas Doodle 2 A240 has made is debut online with price tag of Rs 19990. Smartphones are now defying any standard size and coming out with new dimensions as depicted by recent launches and this one is no exception as it has 5.7” touchscreen with IPS display. Canvas Doodle 2 , with dual SIM feature, uses Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS and packs 1.2 Ghz quad core processor. It is equipped with 12 mega pixel rear camera with dual LED flash and 5 mega pixel secondary camera. It offers 1 GB RAM and 2600 mAh battery. It comes pre-loaded with exciting apps like the M-Doodle that allows one to scribble, sketch, doodle and share the same with their friends. Other pre-loaded apps include M! Live, Game Hub, M! Security and M! Zone, amongst others.

Key features – Micromax Canvas Doodle 2 A240

5.7” touchscreen with IPS display, 1280×720 pixels
Dua SIM
Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS
1.2 Ghz quad core processor
12 mega pixel camera with dual LED flash, front 5 mega pixel camera
1 GB RAM , 12 GB internal memory.
2600 mAh battery
3G, Wi-Fi

Source: teleguru

Madras Cafe is a 'hatke' Bollywood film

Like Kamal Haasan’s ViswaroopamShoojit Sircar’s Madras Cafebelongs to the do-not-ban-it-but-feel-free-to-pan-it category.
Threats of violence by Tamil nationalist groups have managed to create trouble for the Tamil Nadu release of Sircar’s movie, about events leading up to the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, just like Muslim groups created obstacles for Viswaroopam in January. For a moment, let’s forget the testy Tamilians, who perhaps don’t want to be reminded of the links between local groups and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terrorists who planned the assassination. What will our neighbour make of this political thriller, which fictionalizes the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) operations in Sri Lanka before returning to India to chase a conspiracy to kill a politician who closely resembles Gandhi?
The fanciful screenplay, by Somnath Dey and Shubhendu Bhattacharya, glosses over the role played by the Lankans in inviting India to “keep peace” in the north of the island, and instead sets up a two-sided bout between the LTTE (Liberation of Tamils Front in the movie) and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) operatives. One possibility is that somebody didn’t want to upset any more parties than are already upset by the creativity on display. Another is that Sircar has his hands full trying to distil the lengthy and complex history of the Tamil pro-independence struggle, in which the LTTE is a crucial but not the solo player, and doesn’t want to deal with the tricky issue of the conduct of Sri Lanka during the civil war, which ended on a deeply controversial note in 2009.
There is, in fact, so much going on in this movie even without the Lankans that it’s befuddling that Sircar didn’t opt for the less complicated story of the conspiracy to kill Gandhi and the Special Investigation Team’s nimble efforts to crack the case. The convoluted plot is about military intelligence officer Vikram Singh (John Abraham) who is sent to Sri Lanka to prop up a Tamil politician against the Liberation of Tamils Front (LTF) in an election seen as crucial to the peace process. Vikram crosses tracks and swords with the regional RAW head (Prakash Belawadi), while LTF supremo Anna Bhaskaran (Ajay Ratnam) plots away to assassinate the former Indian prime minister who is seen as responsible for supporting the LTF’s opponents.
Madras Cafe hints at a conspiracy within the conspiracy, but it’s never really clear what exactly is the untold truth being revealed. The nationalities of the Caucasian men with whom LTF cadres are consorting? The extent of corruption within RAW? The notorious inefficiency of the Indian state?
Madras Cafe has its sights set higher. Inspired by Steven Spielberg’s Munich, the movie tries to suggest that the government’s policy short-sightedness blinds them to a far greater tragedy ahead (the 11 September 2001 attacks in the case of Munich), but Sircar doesn’t make this point outright. Instead, you get a jumble of jittery action, cross-cutting between various locales, insistent background music, and a phalanx of characters, which includes amateur actors like television producer Siddhartha Basu (playing the RAW chief), advertising man Piyush Pandey (cabinet secretary) and television journalist Dibang (mysterious contact).
The movie settles down, and improves, when the assassination plot gets underway. There is intercept-decoding and clock-watching as Vikram, teaming up with journalist Nargis Fakhri (the movie’s best performance), finally gets cracking. The big reveal is a downer, but in the movie’s closing moments, Sircar finally achieves the emotional impact he has been striving towards from the opening credits.
Source: LM

Consensual sex with minor not crime: Delhi court

A city court has observed that consensual sex with a girl aged below 18 years does not constitute an offence under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. 

The court said the provisions of POCSO Act suggest that where a physical relationship — which is not in the nature of an assault — takes place with the minor girl's consent and where the consent has not been obtained unlawfully, no offence can be said to have been committed. 

Rejecting the plea of the police and Delhi Commission for Women that POCSO Act prohibits minors from having any kind sexual relationship, additional sessions judge Dharmesh Sharma said, "I am afraid if that interpretation is allowed, it would mean that the human body of every individual under 18 years is the property of the state and no individual below 18 years can be allowed to have pleasures associated with one's body." 

ASJ Sharma, however, urged state authorities to spread awareness related to unsafe sex or early marriage. "But there lies a greater responsibility on all of us, the state including police in spreading and creating public awareness about the impact of girl or boy marrying at a tender age or indulging in unsafe sexual activities," he said. 

The court made these observations while acquitting a 22-year-old youth of charges of kidnapping and raping a 15-year-old girl whom he later married. The youth, a native of West Bengal, was acquitted of the charges as the court held that the minor, on her own will, accompanied him and obstacles should not be put in their happy married life. 

"As the evidence indicates, they got married voluntarily with their free consent. Hence no case is made out under section 363 (kidnapping) and 366 (kidnapping or inducing woman to compel her marriage) of the IPC," the court said. 

"In my opinion, it would neither serve the object of present enactment (POCSO Act) nor the purpose of criminal laws to hold the accused guilty on the ground that he had sexual intercourse with the girl below 18 years," the judge said, adding that it would not be good for the girl if her husband was sent to jail. The POCSO Act treats girls and boys below 18 years of age as minors. 

"It is high time that state authorities, its machinery, NGOs and women groups made a determined and sustained endeavour to reach out to all in schools, colleges and residential places, thereby creating public awareness on various aspects of life in case of marriage at a tender age... besides creating awareness amongst adolescents and young adults about the serious psychological and physical health issues that such a relation entails," the court observed. 

According to the prosecution, a complaint was filed before the police on March 5 by the minor girl's mother about her daughter going missing since February 26. 

The accused was arrested on March 6 and the girl was also recovered from his custody, it said. The girl, in her statement recorded before a magistrate, said she had willingly gone with the accused to his native place in Kolkata and they got married in a temple there and since then they have been living together. 

During the trial, the youth told the court that the girl had accompanied him to Kolkata on her own and they got married there but he denied having physical relations with her. The court also noted that the marriage was accepted by the girl's mother.

Source: TOI

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Save Rupees

Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday held a closed-door meeting here with top bankers to take stock of the situation in the wake of rupee volatility and ways to shore up foreign capital to bridge the widening current account gap.

The minister, who will also be meeting foreign institutional investors whose money is key to funding CAD in the afternoon, did not speak to reporters waiting outside.

Chidambaram was accompanied by his top officials, including economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram and financial services secretary Rajiv Takru, while the bankers who met the minister included SBI's Pratip Chaudhuri, ICICI Bank's Chanda Kochhar, HDFC Bank's Aditya Puri, Pramit Jhaveri of Citigroup India, Vijayalakshmi Iyer of Bank of India, Canara Bank chief RK Dubey and StanChart India's Anurag Adlakha among others.

The meeting assumes importance as it comes against the backdrop of continuing flight of capital, especially after RBI put restrictions of capital withdrawal by corporates and individuals last week, which triggered concern among overseas investors that the government was on the verge of a throwback to the early 199 crisis, when stiff capital control was imposed due to the balance of payment crisis.

The FIIs, who pulled out over USD 12 billion since May 22 after the US Fed hinted at scaling down bond buyback sooner than expected, has had a debilitating impact on the rupee, which had plumbed to a low of 65.56 to the dollar on Thursday.



The current plight of the rupee, which is the most bruised currency in entire Asia losing nearly 20 percent since beginning of the fiscal, has mostly attributed to the high current account deficit, which stood at 4.8 percent last fiscal and is likely to be higher in Q1 as well.

"The meeting was mainly to seek ideas and suggestions on what can be done about capital inflows. It was a very good and positive meeting," Kochhar told reporters after the meeting. 
When asked whether there was any directive from the minister to the bank about NRI bonds, the SBI chairman joined in, saying "there was no directive, as it was only a consultation."

The meeting also assume significance in the backdrop of the volatility in the stock which have lost close to 10 per cent this year.

Chidambaram had yesterday underlined the need for communicating the decisions of the government in an effective manner to the markets and all other stakeholders.

The minister had said yesterday that, "there is no cause for panic which seems to have gripped the currency markets that is feeding into other markets. We are confident that stability will return to these markets and we can get on with the task of promoting investment and growth."

He had also laid emphasis that there was no reason for "excessive or unwarranted pessimism" and said the recent liquidity control measures taken by the Reserve Bank to reduce volatility in forex market and quell speculation would be revisited with return of stability. 

PTI 

Mumbai photojournalist's gang-rape case


A second accused in the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old photojournalist was on Saturday arrested from south Mumbai even as police launched a manhunt for three others in the case, which sparked a wave of protests.

Accused Vijay Jadhav was picked up in the wee hours from Madanpura area by the crime branch.

On Friday, an unemployed youth from south Mumbai identified as Chand Babu Sattat Shaikh alias Mohammed Abdul (19), was arrested in the case. He had named all the four co-accused out of which three — Qasim Bengali, Saleem and Ashfaq— are still at large.

According to Mumbai police Commissioner Satyapal Singh, more than 20 teams, including 10 from the elite crime branch, have been formed to track down the perpetrators amid mounting public pressure and anger.

Singh Friday, said police was trying to gather "clinching evidence" to ensure that the culprits get maximum punishment for the "shocking crime".

The victim, an intern with an English magazine was gang-raped allegedly by five men on Thursday evening when she and her male colleague went to the deserted Shakti Mills compound in Lower Parel area for taking photographs in connection with a story on city chawls.

The five accused, whose sketches were released on Friday, tied up the victim's friend and raped the woman in a chilling reminder of the December gang rape in Delhi.

The young scribe, who resides in western suburbs, has been admitted to Jaslok Hospital and is said to be "composed and stable". Preliminary reports suggested that she sustained multiple internal injuries.

Friday, August 23, 2013

10 Ways The Rupee Fall Affects You

















1

Less purchasing power: You get less for every rupee you spend. As the rupee declines, so does its purchasing power. Anything you bought for Rs 100 in January is now worth Rs 116 in cost terms alone by the virtue of the drop in the currency. The rupee has slipped by about 20 percent since the beginning of this year.
2
High interest rates: Your EMIs for auto and home loans, along with interest rate on fresh loans may go up. As we have seen the RBI has already introduced measures that make it more expensive for banks to borrow money from their central pool. This in turn means the rate at which banks lend to consumer also notches up.
3
Expensive Fuel: India is an oil importing country. Most of our fuel firms import oil before refining it and then selling it as fuel at pumps. Any drop in rupee increases the cost burden on oil firms, which may then consider an increase in fuel prices.
4
Inflation goes up: India’s inflation figure has a big contribution from commodities and that includes fuel and other commodities. As imports of these commodities go up, the price at which they are being brought into the country will also rise in rupee terms. Eventually this will show up in companies/ value chains that use imported ore, coal, oil or even gold. Finished goods will therefore become more expensive and consumers would be forced to pay more for the same products. This way every drop in the rupee pushes inflation higher.
5
Indian Students abroad: Cost of studying abroad shoots up, as suddenly more rupees must be spent for every dollar needed. Assocham released a report saying those planning to go to the U.S. may have to shell out at least Rs 2-4 lakh more for their expenses just because of the sharp fall in the rupee.
6
Foreign holidays more expensive: Travelling abroad will be costlier as you will have to pay more rupees to buy the same number of dollars for your vacation.
7
NRIs benefit: When the rupee weakens those earning in dollars and other stronger currencies will gain as they get more rupees for the dollars in hand.
8
Good for export, bad for import: Importers get directly hit as they are forced to pay more rupees per dollar/pound on importing products. But a sliding rupee always benefits exporters who earn in dollars and therefore will get more rupees for every foreign currency earned. This is why they say that a declining rupee can serve up export advantages. Meanwhile for consumers the government has put restrictions on importing plasma TVs/ gold and other high end commodities.
9
Deficit dilemma:  Weakness in rupee adds to the rising import bill (via oil, gold or other high ticket products) of the country and widens the current account deficit (CAD). This can add to macroeconomic instability hurting all sections of consumers and the economy.
10
Hits corporate balance sheets: Companies across India have borrowed foreign loans at high rates of interest for operations, expansion and investment. Any drop in the rupee makes their interest installments more expensive. Sometimes companies may even pass this on to their consumers by increasing prices of their products and services.
Source: Tahalka

Madras Cafe - Movie Review


Madras Cafe

Release Date: August 23, 2013
Star-Cast: John Abraham, Ayushmann Khurrana, Rashi Khanna, Sheetal Malhar, Leena Maria, Nargis Fakhri.
Director: Shoojit Sircar.
Music Director: Shantanu Moitra.
Producer: John Abraham, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Ronnie Lahiri.
Genre: Thriller.
Madras Cafe is a Hindi Political Spy Thriller movie directed by Shoojit Sircar. The movie depicts the backdrop of the Sril Lankan Civil War of the 1990s. Vikram Singh (John Abraham) is Indian Army special officer who is appointed by Indian intelligence agency RAW to conduct secret operations in Sri Lanka. He then meets a journalist who is there to reveal the truth about the civil war, and in the process uncovers a conspiracy.

Source: MS

Thursday, August 22, 2013

If India is computer, Congress is its default programme: Rahul Gandhi

"If India is computer, Congress is its default programme," Rahul Gandhi on Thursday told a Congress workshop on social media. Addressing odd-300 participants from various states, NSUI and Youth Congress members, the Congress Vice President said the party captures the essence of the nation.


At a time when BJP's key face Narendra Modi is aggressively attacking Congress and the UPA, Rahul advised partymen for restraint saying the country does not appreciate anger and aggression. He asked the party's media managers to stick to facts and decency of language while countering the Opposition propaganda.
"If India is computer, its default programme is Congress. Congress comes natural to India's ethos. Here anger and aggression are not appreciated," a party source quoted Rahul as saying.
Source: IBN

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rupee at historic low of 64.45 vs dollar


Despite a heavy battering, the Indian rupee Tuesday made a smart recovery to close at 63.25 after hitting a fresh low of 64.13 against the US dollar, helped by massive intervention by RBI.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the domestic currency commenced sharply weak at 63.75 a dollar from overnight close of 63.13. It sank below 64-mark to historic low of 64.13 on sluggish local stocks and continued dollar demand from importers.

However, the rupee later recovered smartly on dollar selling by Reserve Bank of India and exporters. It touched the day's high of 63.15, before settling at a closing low of 63.25, a fall of 12 paise over Monday's close.

"The RBI was seen selling dollars via state-run banks around the 64.00 levels which helped rupee to trade stable and recover slightly," said Pramit Brahmbhatt, CEO, Alpari Financial Services (India).

Forex dealers said the intra-day movement from the rupee against the dollar from 61.65 to 64.13 was swift.

"The US dollar was also seen weakening internationally before the FOMC minutes which is due for Wednesday. We will be looking at the July minutes for potential details on the process for tapering as well as the level of conviction within the central bank," said Abhishek Goenka, Founder & CEO, India Forex Advisors.

Experts forecast spot rupee to fall down further as dollar demand from defence & oil importers will force the local currency to trade near the 64.50 level in coming days.

Meanwhile, the Indian benchmark S&P BSE Sensex on Tuesday declined by another 61 points.

Source: BT

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Creativity returnsss................

After a long time my creativity returns, so am decided to start my blog that was created years before in 2008... lets see how long it goes this time.....

So just wait & watch coming soon with few own words or some interesting copy/pastes...

Thanx

New Testing Post

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ओके। ……………। 

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