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Top IT skills that can get you a better job

With the job markets opening up, it is time for all the aspiring techies to be equipped with the right skills that can land them in a job now. Recently, several reports have indicated that the job market is booming again after the slump due to the economic slowdown. Based on inputs from some industry watchers, Silicon India has come out with the list of the Top IT Skills currently in demand.

SAP
The surging demand in the ERP market is expected to increase the adoption of SAP in organizations around the globe. “The demand for SAP market is currently booming and with many companies adopting ERP these days, SAP continues to dominate this space,” says Harry CD, Executive Director-Operations at 3G Labs India. Currently, SAP and Oracle are the two major ERP players, however the former is having an advantage over the latter when it comes to the demand in the market. The reason behind this dominance of SAP in the ERP market is because of the customer satisfaction, according a study conducted by Panorama Consulting Group. Analysts have also predicted that SAP’s Business ByDesign offering will do well this year, which will drive the demand for more SAP professionals.

Some of the applications developed by SAP that are seeing major demand are:

SAP Web Dynpro: It is a proprietary web application user interface technology developed by SAP. The increasing number of web applications around the globe needs professionals having this skill.

SAP Plant Maintenance: It deals with the preventive maintenance of manufacturing equipment that accompanies a streamlined production process. SAP PM also monitors downtime of equipment, workforce production hour as well as the time, materials and labor necessary for such maintenance.

SAP Advanced Planner and Optimizer: With the boom in the retail segment this is one tool that is bound to see growth in the coming days. Advanced Planner and Optimizer is designed to help a company improve production planning, pricing, scheduling, and product shipping. It works by getting real-time updates from retailers about customer demand.

SAP Governance, Risk management and Compliance: Today, every organization must chart its own course to embrace governance, risk management and compliance framework, weighing critical business requirements with organizational maturity and top-level commitment. Companies may choose to start by identifying one or two high-priority risk areas and initiate a business-specific or initiative-driven deployment of the applications.

Java
Today, Java is being used in more than 4.5 billion devices around the world and the usage is expected to rise further because of the growth in the number of mobile phones, personal computers and smart cards. Java applets help to have an improved functionality while browsing the internet also making it more attractive. “Java is in demand because there are more companies developing user interface and web applications for their clients. The rise in popularity of software as a service (SAAS) model is also giving the edge to Java professionals,” says Rishi Das, Co-founder and CEO of CareerNet Consulting.

C++
Many believe that the demand for C++ has always been there and there are not many signs that show the fall of this computer language in the near future. Satish Kumar, a HR executive with an IT firm believes that the demand for programmers like C++ remains constant because these are used in segments such as automobile, healthcare and communication systems, which are always in the growth trajectory.

PHP
PHP, which facilitates the production of dymanic web pages, was created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1995 and its growth has been phenomenal. Last year, PHP was estimated to have been installed on more than 20 million websites and over one million web servers, the number would have multiplied today considering the current surge in the online world. Today, there are several companies that are getting into this space that is driving the demand for professionals with knowledge about PHP.

Top IT Skills

IT Infrastructure Management
With more companies identifying the importance of infrastructure management services, there is a great demand for people who are specialized in this space, says Reuben Prem, an IT Recruiter in Bangalore. According to research firm IDC, currently investments in infrastructure management have the largest single impact on an organization’s revenue. Today, some of the top IT firms have also entered into this segment by identifying the opportunities that are available. Recently, TCS signed a five year contract with Malaysia Airlines for managing the airline’s datacentres, IT networks and IT security.

Oracle
Though there seems to be more demand for SAP professionals compared to Oracle, the demand for professionals in the overall ERP software market is on the rise. Forrester Research predicts that ERP software revenue from new licenses would have fallen 24 percent in 2009. However, 2010 looks good for ERP for several reasons such as the growth in open-source market and players like Microsoft broadening its ERP offerings. Anuj Agrawal, Director of Zyoin believes that the acquisitions that Oracle has been making in the recent past, especially the Sun Microsystems deal, may alter the ERP market and give some advantage to Oracle over SAP. In the financial services space Oracle applications still holds a high position with Oracle Financials, Oracle HRMS, Oracle Projects, Oracle CRM and Oracle PO considered as the most widely used applications and demand for them is moving upwards.

.NET
Since the birth of multi-core computing, there has been a requirement for parallel-programming architecture. Incidentally, almost every programmer considers .NET Framework 3.5 as getting distant and out of the way. To prevent its programming market fiasco, recently, Microsoft released the beta version of .NET Framework 4. Primarily, the MSDN site shows that the parallel extensions in the .NET 4, has been improvised to support analogous programming, targeting multi-core computing or distributed computing. Thus, making it the right time to be equipped with the .NET skills.

Embedded C++
The increasing demand for embedded systems is driving the growth for Embedded C++, which was defined by an industry group to address the shortcomings of C++ for embedded applications. The official website states the goal of Embedded C++ as to provide embedded systems programmers with a subset of C++ that is easy for the average C programmer to understand and use. “If your interest lies in embedded systems, having the knowledge of Embedded C++ will surely get you a job,” says Kumar.

C
C is still one of the most popular programming languages though it was developed nearly three decades ago and there are very few computer architectures for which a C compiler does not exist. C has greatly influenced many other popular programming languages, most notably C++, which originally began as an extension to C. “For all those who have been working on C, the demand still exists in the market because their application is wide,” says Prem.

Courtesy: SiliconIndia.com

April 6, 2010 Posted by | Business, General, India Related, IT, Science, Software, Technical Writing, Technology, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Madurai’s traffic cops to get booths with ACs

Madurai's traffic cops to get booths with ACs

While many of us work in swanky air-conditioned offices, our traffic policemen have to perform their duty in scorching heat. But this summer will be different, at least for Madurai’s men in uniform.

The city is soon going to see solar-powered air conditioned traffic booths for these men so that traffic policing could soon be a cool job, quite literally.

With the mercury crossing 38 degrees centigrade, these booths will give traffic policemen some respite from the heat and smoke.

“They suffer, they breathe bad air and inhale smoke that comes out of automobiles,” said J Rajendran, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Madurai.

Policemen say inhaling the smoke and dust often leads to disease and they welcome this cool initiative.

“This will keep us away from diseases,” said Head Constable Arumugham. “This is good. This kind of encouragement will motivate us to work harder and longer,” added Gubendran, a Traffic Constable.

Originally a gift from an NGO, now corporates have joined hands to replace all the 36 traditional traffic booths in Madurai with these. Once these booths are installed, the city will certainly become a role model for better working conditions for policemen.

Coutesy: NDTV.com

April 6, 2010 Posted by | General, India Related, Technology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Facebook opens office in Hyderabad, India

Facebook has become the latest to join the list of companies who have opened office in India. Last month, popular social gaming company Zynga opened up office in Bangalore. The main motive will be to tap the skilled workforce that provides quality services at relatively cheap wages. Facebook’s office in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad will support users, advertisers and developers in India and around the world, the company said in a statement on 28th March 2010 according to Reuters.

Hyderabad also houses other foreign firms, including Internet powerhouse Google and software giant Microsoft, whose Indian employees work on everything from writing software codes to providing customer services at cheaper salaries than in developed nations such as the United States. Facebook counts around 400 million users and has had large investments from Microsoft and from Russian investment company Digital Sky Technologies. More than eight million of Facebook’s total users are in India, the company’s director of global online operations, Don Faul, said in a post on the Facebook blog.

“By having multiple support centers in a variety of time zones, we can provide better round-the-clock, multi-lingual support,” Faul said. Facebook will initially recruit a small team in India, and anticipates further growth as the office expands. It is hiring people to join the online sales and operations teams that it is forming in the Hyderabad and Austin offices, Faul said.

Source: SiliconIndia.com

March 29, 2010 Posted by | Business, India Related, IT, Software, Technology, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kill IE6 says Industry, No says Microsoft!!!

Many Web designers are staging a protest against the old version of Microsoft’s browser, the Internet Explorer 6 (IE6). They allege that the ability of the Web to move forward in a more interactive way is getting hampered due to the browser. Microsoft acknowledged it is recommending IE6 users to upgrade to the newer IE8, but again promised it would support the older version till April 2014.

The designers say that the IE6, which was released in 2001 and since been updated twice by Microsoft is ‘crippling’ the Internet’s potential and slowing down the online experience. They also blame IE6 for giving webmasters a tough job, because they have to write special ‘hacks’ into the Web code to accommodate an outmoded browser. An estimated 15-25 percent of people still use IE6 as their portal to the Internet. Microsoft officials insist they simply can’t end support for IE 6, since it shipped as part of Windows XP.

Recently, a campaign has started, sparked by 40 Internet start-ups who want their users to ditch Microsoft’s eight year old web browser. The campaign is spread to the social networking sites as well. Facebook has been prompting IE6 users to swap out their browsers since February 2009. A petition on Twitter collected nearly 10,000 signatures supporting the effort. Even Google’s YouTube and Digg were taking similar steps to stop their users from using the IE6 browser.

Although Microsoft has released two major versions of Internet Explorer in the past couple of years, for many, the face of Internet Explorer is still the IE6. In large part, the reason is because many of Internet Explorer’s users are the ones who tend not to change the browser that comes with their operating system.

October 6, 2009 Posted by | Business, General, IT, Science, Software, Technology, USA, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Infosys looking at overseas acquisitions

IT major Infosys Technologies is looking at acquisitions in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Japan and Australia, a top company official said. “The size of the company should be around $450-500 million,” Infosys chief executive and managing director S. Gopalakrishnan told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The US accounts for around 62 percent and Europe around 26 percent of the company’s total revenues of $4.6 billion. The company is now looking at increasing the revenue share from Europe to 30 percent.

Regarding recruitments, Gopalakrishnan said the company had hired 18,000 people in 2008, adding that it would look into further recruitment next January-February depending on the economic scenario.

Infosys is pursuing contract deals worth $1 billion, he added.

October 6, 2009 Posted by | Business, General, India Related, IT, Science, Software, Technology, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Microsoft To Launch Free Anti-virus Named ‘Morro’ Soon

Microsoft Corp in a quest to provide complete security to its OS users would soon be launching its own antivirus app Code named-‘Morro’. Microsoft also informed that the early version of the product is currently tested by its employees and would soon make a beta product available online before going for a launch at the end of 2009.

The Anti-Virus Software

The Anti-Virus Software

Anti-virus app ‘Morro’ would provide full–time protection from several types of malicious software including viruses, spyware, rootkits and trojans .Although many are terming it as stripped down version of earlier shelved Live OneCare.

This news assumes significance as this antivirus would be completely free and would provide higher level of security due to close knit approach with Windows OS.Microsoft may be able to provide a great solution due to control over anonymous usage statistics of millions of PC’s.

This has sound alarms for commercial Anti-virus companies like Symantec,kaspersky and McAfee, earning majority of their revenues by protecting Windows PCs all these years. These companies also has significant presence in enterprise security market and attracts huge revenues from it.

Today many users are forced to buy paid anti-virus to fight higher level of threats unleashed by malicious programmes and viruses.The availability of anti-virus app by Microsoft itself would avoid the security dilemma faced by OS users and may also increase its legal OS sales in emerging markets.

Microsoft through this initiative is trying to ramp up confidence amongst its customers, at the same time opening up a new revenue stream in future.The move may be late timed but indeed serve great purpose for users craving about better anti-virus integration in windows OS.

June 12, 2009 Posted by | Business, General, IT, Software, Technology, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sourav Ganguly promises Rs 60 lakh for Cyclone Aila victims

Former Team India captain Sourav Ganguly today assured West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee of arranging Rs 50-60 lakh for relief to the Aila-affected people.

Ganguly went to the Writers’ Buildings and called on the Chief Minister to express his sympathy with the cyclone-hit people of the state.

After emerging out of the Chief Minister’s chamber, Ganguly told reporters that he assured him of arranging Rs 50-60 lakh for the cyclone-affected people.

He said he would contribute the money after returning from England.

He informed he would fly to London on June 05, 2009 to witness ICC Twenty20 World Cup. Ganguly had been assigned by the ESPN STAR Sports to give expert comment for two semifinals and the final match.

In reply to a question, he said he had apprised of a disputed matter to the Chief Minister regarding his proposed school at Salt Lake in the city.

The residents of CA and DA blocks of Salt Lake have been opposing construction of an English medium school on a 60-cottah land.

They said already there are two institutions Salt Lake School and Haryana Vidyamandir and the proposed six-storeyed third school- Wiffren International School of Ganguly- would cause environmental hazards and create noise pollution as the area is very congested.

Ganguly hoped the dispute would be resoved amicably.

June 5, 2009 Posted by | Cricket, General, India Related, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Does Google Store All of its Data?

Clustered serversEver wonder how Google manages all their information? Imagine Gmail, it has to keep track of the billions of emails that get sent out each day regardless of whether or not it is spam.

A Database?
My first thought was a database. But if you think about it, if e-mails were stored in a single database table, it would have billions of rows added each day. This just isn’t possible nor is it efficient when performing a search. So Google cannot possibly store their data in a database… at least not in the traditional MySQL sense.

After a bit of digging around, I found an interesting document written by some of Google’s main architect that describes their file system in great detail. It turns out Google uses a distributed file system spread over many machines. It offers huge storage (hundreds of terabytes) over thousands of machines and thousands of disks.

The Google File System

The advantage of this type of system is redundancy and low cost. Their servers are not top of the line but clustering many of them together creates a highly cost-effective file system.

It’s what Yahoo Does
The owner of the largest database in the world, Yahoo!, takes on a similar approach: clusters of cheap computers that form a distributed file system. In fact, if a computer breaks down, it’s usually cheaper and faster to throw away the computer and replace it with a new one than it is to repair it.

So if you have a bunch of old computers sitting around at home, don’t throw them out just yet… you could create your own distributed file system!

Courtesy: http://www.jonlee.ca

May 20, 2009 Posted by | Business, General, IT, Science, Software, Technology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Infosys Layoff – The IT giant Infosys Technologies fires 2100 employees

With companies keen on maximum utilisation of employees and low tolerance to poor performance in the backdrop of global economic turmoil, nearly 2,100 employees in software firm Infosys have faced the axe.

“Some of these employees have been asked to go while some have left on their own,” V Balakrishnan, CFO of the Bangalore-based company, told PTI on April 11, 2009.

Prior to asking the employees to leave, they were put on a performance improvement course and those who showed no improvement were asked to leave while some others quit, he said.

“Tolerance to poor performance is very low given the current economic scenario,” said Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan.

Usually, the employees who showed poor performance were given some more time to improve themselves, but this time there had been no such consideration, he said.

Both the officials said the sacking was part of annual routine, which usually formed five per cent of the total number of employees but this time it was much lower.

Some of the employees had been “outplaced”, Kris said, which refers to the firm hiring the services of placement agencies to help the employees to get placements in other firms. Infosys has a workforce of 105,000, including trainees.

April 13, 2009 Posted by | General, India Related, IT, Software, Technology, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Happy Rahman thanks mother, God at Oscars gala

Indian music maestro AR Rahman won the Oscar for his original score in the highly acclaimed movie Slumdog Millionaire.

The composer was overwhelmed and interspersed his speech with Hindi as well as Tamil on receiving the coveted trophy here Sunday.

“There is a dialogue from an old Hindi film,”Mere paas ma hai” – which means I have nothing but a mother. My mother is here, I have her blessings. I am glad she could be here,” said Rahman.

He ended the acceptance speech by saying “God is great” in Tamil, something he says after winning every award.

February 23, 2009 Posted by | Bollywood, Cinema, General, Hollywood, Kollywood, Oscar, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

AR Rahman gets 2 Oscars for Slumdog’s music

It was a dream run at the Oscars for India.

Filmmaker Danny Boyle’s rags-to-riches romance set in India, Slumdog Millionaire, won eight Oscar awards for best feature film, direction, original song, original score, sound mixing, editing, adapted screenplay and cinematography.

An elated Rahman who won the Academy Awards for best original score and song from the film Slumdog Millionaire said, “I want to thank everyone. The essence of the film is optimism and hope. All through my life I had the choice of love and hate…I chose love and I am here.” Read story

Boyle, 52, who had never before been nominated for an Oscar, beat David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon), Gus Van Sant (Milk), and Stephen Daldry (The Reader).

Boyle also becomes the first British winner of best director since Sam Mendes was honored in 2000 for American Beauty.

Resul Pookutty, who won the Oscar for best sound mixing, along with Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke said, “I dedicate this award to my country. This is not just an award, it is history.”

Smile Pinki, a 39-minute short film in Hindi and Bhojpuri, directed by Emmy-nominated producer Megan Mylan won the best documentary short subject Oscar. Read story

Spanish actress Penelope Cruz won her first Oscar on 22/02/2009 as best supporting actress for her performance as tempestuous artist Maria Elena in Woody Allen’s romantic comedy Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

“I dedicate this to all the actors from my country,” Cruz said in Spanish as she accepted the award.

Heath Ledger got the best supporting actor award for The Dark Knight. Ledger becomes the second man to win an acting Oscar posthumously.

Movie fans flocked to Hollywood on 22/02/2009(23/02/2009  morning India time) to watch the stars parade up the red carpet for the Oscars, the world’s top film awards.

Suspense at the gala ceremony had shifted to whether host Hugh Jackman and producers Bill Condon and Laurence Mark (Dreamgirls) can recapture a dwindling television audience with a showcase of top stars and films.

Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre where the 81st Academy Awards were held saw actors like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Sean Penn, Meryl Streep and scores of other stars.

Many around the world watched on television to see what Jackman would do. He who won a Tony award on Broadway for his work in The Boy From Oz as well as TV’s Emmy award for hosting the stage world’s Tony awards.

He was brought in to the Oscars to help spruce up the show. He, Condon and Mark had been mostly quiet about their plans, but The Los Angeles Times said the pair hired Australian director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge) to stage one number and comic writer/director Judd Apatow (Knocked Up) for laughs.

Jackman performed a musical introduction and a longer routine in the middle of the more than three-hour show.

Popular films always work

The biggest draw for Oscars has always been having popular movies at the centre of the show and suspense over which films, actors and actresses will win awards.

Slumdog, an often dark but ultimately hopeful tale about a poor Indian boy who competes for love and money on a TV game show, has generated about $150 million in global ticket sales.

It has earned awards from critics and industry groups whose members include actors, directors, producers and writers.

The movie’s key competition came from Milk, starring Penn as gay activist Harvey Milk, as well as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with Pitt as a man who ages backward.

The other two nominees were Frost/Nixon, which recounts the historic interviews of disgraced former US President Richard Nixon by British TV host David Frost, and the drama The Reader

February 23, 2009 Posted by | Bollywood, Cinema, General, Hollywood, India Related, Kollywood, Oscar, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shah Rukh Khan’s shoulder surgery successful

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh khan

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh khan’s shoulder surgery ended successfully on February 16, 2009. Earlier in the day Khan was admitted to Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital for the operation.

The actor injured his shoulder while shooting for the film ‘Dulha Mil Gaya’. This is Shah Rukh’s 2nd shoulder surgery. The actor decided to get himself operated in Mumbai to avoid the sort of criticism that came his way after he chose to be operated on by doctors in London for a back problem in 2003, says a friend of the actor.

“When he got his back surgery done in London there was criticism about his lack of faith in Indian doctors. Shah Rukh feels that some of the finest doctors in the world are in Mumbai and so he sees no need to go to the West for treatment,” Khan’s friend said.

Post the surgery Khan will be out of action for at least 2 months. Arriving in Mumbai from London, Shah Rukh spoke to the media about his injury. “I will be fine and get back to work in 2 to 3 months. I believe this is a little price that I have to pay for all the goodness that I have got in life”, the very optimistic actor said.

Despite his painful shoulder, Shah Rukh chose to promote his new film “Billu” vigorously during the Valentine week. “After attending the special screening of “Billu” for hairdressers in Mumbai on Feb 12, 2009, Shah Rukh flew to London with Lara Dutta and Irrfan Khan for the film’s premiere. He came back to Mumbai on Feb 15, 2009 to prepare for Monday’s (Feb 16, 2009) surgery,” the friend said.

Shah Rukh will need to rest for a month after the surgery, which has put on hold the filming of Karan Johar’s “My Name Is Khan” till March 14, 2009. But Johar, a close friend of the superstar, is not worried. “Films will keep happening. Shah Rukh needs to be well,” Johar said.

February 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Veteran Actor-Comedian Nagesh dead

END OF AN ERA: Nagesh was suffering from diabetes and a heart ailment.

Nagesh was suffering from diabetes and a heart ailment.

Veteran Tamil movie actor-comedian Cyril K Nagesh, popularly known as Nagesh, died in Chennai on Jan 31, 2009, a family source said. He was 77.

Nagesh was suffering from diabetes and a heart ailment, the family member said. He is survived by three sons, including actor Anand Babu.

Nagesh acted in about 1,000 films and is most remembered for his role in Thiruvilayaadal.

January 31, 2009 Posted by | Cinema, General, Kollywood | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ex-skipper Mohammad Azharuddin to contest on Congress ticket

COUNTERING AP ALLIANCE: With the TDP-TRS alliance looking strong in AP, Azhar’s entry will boost Cong’s confidence.

With the TDP-TRS alliance looking strong in AP, Azhar

Former cricketer Mohammed Azharuddin may contest the coming Lok Sabha polls on a Congress ticket. The Congress leadership has been in touch with him for the past few months.

With the TDP-TRS alliance looking strong in Andhra Pradesh, Azharuddin’s entry will boost the confidence of the Congress.

Azharuddin will be used by Congress to counter the powerful MIM influence on Muslim voters in Hyderabad.

The batsman might stand from his hometown Hyderabad. He has a huge fan-following there despite his premature exit from the world of cricket following allegations of match fixing in the late 90s.

Azhar has kept a low profile since his exit from the Indian cricket scene and runs a successful event management firm.

Speculation was rife in February last year that he may either join or campaign for the Telangana Rastra Samiti in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation polls. The talk was sparked by the hour-long luncheon meeting he had with TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao.

January 20, 2009 Posted by | Cricket, Elections, General, India Related, Politics, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

India test-fires BrahMos cruise missile

SHOW OF STRENGTH: Indian Army officers look on at Brahmos missiles during Army Day parade in New Delhi.

Indian Army officers look on at Brahmos missiles during Army Day parade in New Delhi.

India test-fired BrahMos cruise missile successfully on Jan 20, 2009  at the Pokhran test range of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.

BrahMos, developed jointly with Russia, is a supersonic cruise missile and can be launched from submarine, ship, aircraft and land based Mobile Autonomous Launchers (MAL).

The missile was to be test-fired for the third time in desert conditions on January 18, 2009  but it was postponed to January 20, 2009  due to heavy fog and rain in the area.

BrahMos has been named after two rivers – the Brahmaputra of India and the Moscow of Russia.

The first test-firing of the BrahMos was conducted on June 12, 2001 at the Interim Test Range Chandipur-On-Sea in Balasore (Orissa).

January 20, 2009 Posted by | General, India Related, Science, Technology, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Millions to watch Obama become US’ first black President

WAITING FOR OBAMA: People with masks of Barack Obama wave during a ‘Bye Bye Bush’ demonstration in Spain.

People with masks of Barack Obama wave during a

Barack Obama will become the first black president of the United States of America on Tuesday.

He came, he campaigned and he conquered and now Obama’s swearing-in ceremony will watched across the world.

Inauguration Day in the US is steeped in tradition. The president-elect and family will start their day with the morning service at the St Johns Church.

Obama and vice-president elect Joe Biden and their families will then proceed to the White House, where they will be greeted by outgoing President George W Bush. The swearing-in ceremony will be held at the US Capital.

First Joe Biden will take the oath of office and then Barack Obama raising his right hand and putting his other hand on the Bible will be sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts and attend inaugural parade.

On the eve of his inauguration, Obama paid tribute to the man who ushered in the social change which has helped US get its first black president – Martin Luther King

“Never forget that the true character of our nation is revealed not during times of comfort and ease but by the right we do when the moment is hard. I ask you to help reveal that character once more. And, together, we can carry forward as one nation and one people the legacy of our forefathers that we celebrate today,” said Obama.

Over 2 million people are expected to watch the swearing-in ceremony as well as Obama give his inaugural address.

At Penysalvania they are anticipating 3,00,000 people for viewing stands and many others will watch teh inaugural parade.

It is difficult to say what strikes the most about the next US president. Is it Barack Obama’s background, his education or is it his youth?

It is perhaps a combination of all of them, expressed in that one word – charisma.

January 20, 2009 Posted by | Elections, General, Politics, USA, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sanjay Dutt gets a Rs 3-crore bus for poll campaign

Sanjay Dutt’s luxury cruise caravan is being built on an original Volvo chassis.

Sanjay Dutt

Sanjay Dutt, a new entrant to the field politics, is kicking off his new career in style.

The Bollywood star is all set for smashing debut at the political box office in Lucknow and it’s time now for the Samajwadi party candidate to do a bit of travelling.

Dutt is getting a Rs 3-crore luxury Volvo caravan, equipped with a shower and a toilet for his campaign trails.

The luxury cruise caravan is being built on an original Volvo chassis complete with all the comforts of home.

“The forward section has an office lounge section. The central section has a bar and complete set-up which houses all the DVDs, the play station, the X-Box, computers,” says Dilip Chhabria of DC Design Pvt Ltd.

The designer says Sanjay designed it for his outdoor movie shoots. Sources close to the actor believe otherwise and say he would also be using it for his election campaigns in Uttar Pradesh and other parts of North India.

The luxury vehicle could even be a gift from the Samajwadi Party.

“Sanjay Dutt’s specification was very, very clear. He wanted a vehicle that could spell a wow,” says Chhabria.

The caravan has been nine months in the making and would be delivered to Sanjay Dutt soon.

January 20, 2009 Posted by | Bollywood, Cinema, Elections, General, India Related, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I wasn’t comfortable with Chappell: Sehwag; Praises Sourav Ganguly

Indian opener Virender Sehwag

Greg Chappell betrayed the trust of players but Gary Kirsten, his successor as Indian cricket coach, is the “best I have ever seen”, India’s dashing opening batsman Virender Sehwag said on Monday (January 19, 2009). The former South African batting star, Kirsten “doesn’t force things on you”, Sehwag said.

Comparing the two coaches, Sehwag indicated that Chappell had tried to get him to change his batting style.

“He had his view on my front-foot play, my footwork. The thing with him (Chappell) was that whatever you shared with him, it was promptly disclosed to media and selectors. He talked and that hurt the trust. I wasn’t comfortable with him,” Sehwag said.

Calling current coach Gary Kirsten as the best coach he has ever seen, Sehwag said, “He is the best coach I have ever seen. He doesn’t force things on you. His basic premise is: you all are international cricketers and you know how to succeed and how important it is to succeed. So I won’t thrust myself on you. But whenever you need me, for practice, throwing balls, sharing ideas, worries, I am always there.”

“During Test matches, there are days when he doesn’t force you to follow you a similar routine in warm ups. If he senses a day when it can be an easy one for the lads, he allows you to do no warm ups. When an intense day is ahead, we all come together to bring that required intensity,” added Viru.

The Delhi-opener also praised former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, who encouraged him to take on the mantle of an opener in the Test side.

“Yes, Dada made me an opener in Sri Lanka, where I hit gold in the third match with that blistering century off 69 balls (against New Zealand). A lot of youngsters, including me, came to the fore under Dada,” Viru said.

Praising Dada’s captaincy skills, Sehwag said, “Remember, when he took over world cricket was reeling under the impact of match-fixing. He always backed us. For instance when I was Man of the Match against Australia early in my career, he assured me that I would play in at least next 30 one-day matches. Even when he promoted me as an opener, he told me to bat without worry as he wouldn’t touch me for the next 30-35 games.”

“When your captains back you in this manner, your confidence is sky-high. He was also an extremely aggressive captain,” he added.

Viru, however, said that his current skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is doing what Dada used to do, but just that Mahi give more space to everyone.

He said, “In many ways he is doing what Ganguly used to do. He is also aggressive. But he also knows how to be defensive if a game is to be saved. The thing with Dhoni is that he gives all of us a lot of space. He doesn’t want to control everyone.”

“The optional practice rule has really gained ground under him. Now it’s not mandatory to turn up for practice everyday. There is so much of travelling, so many matches. He knows the importance of rest and allows everyone their own recovery period,” added the opener.

Finally, commenting on his Test career revival after the Adelaide Test in Australia in 2007-08, Sehwag went on to say that the century in the Test was very special.

“Yes it is. It was a knock when I was determined to spend time at the crease. In the first two hours on the final day, I made only 27 runs in the first session. In the afternoon, Tendulkar kept telling me that we had to keep going. Or Australians could use the final 30-35 overs to chase down the target. It was very, very special,” he said.

January 19, 2009 Posted by | Cricket, General, India Related, Sports, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sania Mirza enters round 2 of Australian Open

Indian ace Saniza Mirza  moves to second round

Making a successful return to the grand slams, India’s Sania Mirza cruised into the second round of the Australian Open on Monday (January 19, 2009) after defeating aside Poland’s  Marta Domachowska.

Sania won the match 6-1, 6-4 in a convincing display of form. However, she will have to continue in the same tempo as she may have to face Nadia Petrova, a top-10 player.

Sania raced away with the first set in just 25 minutes, breaking the Polish player thrice. The Indian led 2-0 in the second set before Marta stepped on the gas, winning four games on the trot, breaking Sania in the third and fifth games.

From a comfortable 2-0, Sania found herself trailing 2-4 in no time. Under pressure, the 22-year-old Hyderabadi got her act together and went on to win the next four games to seal the issue.

Sania broke Marta in the eighth and 10th games in the process. Sania had lost to Marta in 2003 in their first meeting and now the face-to-face record stands 1-1.

Sania, playing her first singles match of the season after a long injury-lay off, was happy with her comeback  match. “It was a great way to begin after such a long break. I’ve not played a match in almost six months now. I’m just happy to have come through,” she said after the match.

Sania’s best show so far in the Australian Open has been reaching the third round in 2005 and 2008.

January 19, 2009 Posted by | General, India Related, Sports, Tennis, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ramalinga Raju is hit over Obama in Internet search

He may be popular for all the wrong reasons, but Satyam’s disgraced founder Ramalinga Raju has beaten US President-elect Barack Obama on internet popularity charts in India, and is closing the gap abroad too.

By now infamous IT czar Raju shot to limelight earlier this month after disclosing what has emerged as the country’s biggest ever corporate fraud in India and has been called

‘India’s Enron’ right from the word go. Google’s search volume index shows Raju and Obama were generating almost equal searches from India during the first six days of the year, with Obama leading by a small margin. However, Raju jumped up the charts on January 7, when he admitted to a massive fraud of about Rs 7,800 crore.

The search volumes for Raju are estimated to have been over 10 times more than that of Obama on January 7, after which it has been declining consistently but Raju is still holding an edge over the US President-elect.

In terms of search volumes generated from various regions, Raju’s own state Andhra Pradesh is on top, followed by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi. In terms of cities too, the maximum search volume has been from Hyderabad, where both Raju and Satyam are based, followed by Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, Mahape and Delhi.

As regards searches for Obama, Tamil Nadu has been on the top, followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka and Delhi among the regions. For cities, the maximum search volumes for Obama has come from Chennai, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. Outside India too, Raju has generated significant search volumes from UAE, Singapore, Finland, US, Poland, Australia, UK, Canada and Germany, but has lagged Obama. Raju has been searched for in Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Dallas and San Fransisco, while search queries have come in Polish language too, other than English.

January 19, 2009 Posted by | General, India Related, IT, Software, Technology, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Top Ten Cities for Outsourcing in India

India has 35 major cities. Not all of them are good offshore outsourcing hubs.

In the recent past, several studies have been carried out to identify the best or most attractive cities in India. Gartner Inc, National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) and KPMG, neoIT, Mercer, A T Kearney, Merrill Lynch and several others have carried out city studies for a wide range of objectives.

Important parameters that were considered when developing the rankings in these studies include:

  • Availability of Infrastructure (Power, Transport, Telecommunication, Housing)
  • Cost of Living
  • Real Estate Costs
  • Availability of Skilled Manpower
  • Attrition Rates
  • Quality of Living
  • Political Climate
  • Educational Institutions

Urban infrastructure in India is not the best in the world. Indian cities are facing overpopulation, indiscriminate growth and shortage of urban services like public transportation, water supply and sanitation. It is important to point out that the 2006 World-wide Quality of Living Survey by Mercer for 350 global cities has the top Indian cities Mumbai and Delhi ranked at 150th place. Not impressive at all. On the networking front, India ranks 40th out of 115 countries with the network readiness index of 0.23.

Despite the constrains imposed by the infrastructure or lack thereof, availability of skilled manpower and the low cost advantage continues to drive investment into urban India.

An analysis of city rankings by different surveys and study of recent outsourcing trends reveals that the top 10 outsourcing destinations in India are:

1. Chennai was the poor cousin of Bangalore and Hyderabad during the initial years of the IT boom in India. Today it is the lead outsourcing destination due to the low cost advantage, improving infrastructure, international connectivity, availability of land, skilled manpower and lower attrition rates compared to Bangalore and Hyderabad.

2. Hyderabad continues to woo investors by focusing on improving its urban infrastructure. The Governments, both past and present, have been very clear in their focus and support to the IT industry. The city has been among the most favored destinations due to the infrastructural improvements and the planned growth phased in by the governments in the twin cities.

3. Bangalore is the technology hub of India. It is increasingly becoming a global melting pot of cultures. The original garden and pub city of India has a comfortable climate compared to the other Indian cities that are happening in terms of outsourcing. However, the city’s infrastructure is inadequate to meet the demands of the exploding population. There is a growing feeling that other cities will overtake Bangalore if it continues to suffer due to political bickering, skyrocketing real estate prices and poor urban planning. According to a recent survey, it still ranks as the top city for living, earning and investing.

4. National Capital Region (NCR) includes Delhi and its surrounding suburbs. Delhi is expensive and not as popular for outsourcing. It is the suburbs, Gurgaon and Noida that have become important outsourcing destinations due to their proximity to the capital. They continue to be a major draw due to improving transport connectivity with Delhi, good international linkage and availability of skilled manpower.

5. Pune is Maharastra’s response to Bangalore. Its proximity to India’s financial capital, Mumbai and availability of trained manpower has led to the development of a thriving hi-tech outsourcing industry in this erstwhile retirement and education haven. Apart from other infrastructure components, the city is focusing on township projects to improve housing facilities.

6. Chandigarh and Mohali are twin cities. Chandigarh is one of the few planned and good cities of India. Mohali is its twin. Together, they have the space as well as the intellectual and financial capability to become India’s best outsourcing destinations. It does not yet have an international airport, but is well connected to New Delhi by road and rail.

7. Kolkata, the capital city of the state of West Bengal is high in intellect and has an advantage in terms of low costs. However, the city is famous for its traffic snarls and trade union shut downs. The current state government under chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is making the right noises to encourage investors. Early indications are that it may actually emerge as a good outsourcing destination.

8. Mysore is one of India’s smaller cities, which have joined the outsourcing bandwagon. Its proximity to Bangalore and presence of companies like Infosys and Wipro has helped the cause. It is emerging as a preferred choice over Bangalore as India’s silicon city is now congested, expensive and has higher than average attrition rates.

9. Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala is well known for some of the leading science & technology research organizations in India. The city has the infrastructure and skilled workforce to attract IT investments. It is early days yet and remains to be seen whether Thiruvananthapuram can woo investors away from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.

10. Coimbatore is the emerging engineering outsourcing hub located in the state of Tamil Nadu. The government of Tamil Nadu is keen on developing Coimbatore as a major IT destination in the state. Coimbatore’s strength is its rich engineering tradition and young graduating engineers to meet the manpower demands of the growing industry.

January 7, 2009 Posted by | Business, General, India Related, IT, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sachin Tendulkar role model of cricket: Andrew Flintoff

England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff

Sachin Tendulkar’s match-winning century knock in Chennai which he dedicated to the people of India deeply hurt by the terror attack in Mumbai has earned respect from England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff who called the master bastman a “role model” for the game.

“It is impossible not to admire him (Tendulkar) when you are out in the middle. He is a class player and a great role model for the game,” Flintoff said.

“His innings (in Chennai) was a scriptwriter’s dream. The lad from Mumbai, with everything that has happened there, scores a hundred to win and then dedicates it to everyone in the country. Thinking about it, it was probably inevitable it happened,” he was quoted as saying by ‘The Independent’. Flintoff said playing against Tendulkar brought the best out of him.

“Playing against him brings the best out of you in a lot of ways. The worrying thing for us is that he was getting better towards the end of that innings. You could see in the way he was playing he was back to his best.”

The 31-year-old Lancashire player was of the view that there is very little margin for error bowling against greats like Tendulkar and Brian Lara.  “I enjoy bowling at him, as I did at the likes of Brian
Lara. I think they bring the best out of you. Your margins for error are small, you have to bowl well to restrict them, never mind get them out.”

December 20, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, India Related, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

India may still strike Pakistan

A US intelligence report claims that India is fully prepared and await go ahead for unilateral precision strikes on Pakistan (File photo)

India may have ruled out the military option against Pakistan in the aftermath of Mumbai terror attacks but the international intelligence community continues to believe that strikes in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and elsewhere could still happen.

Global intelligence service Stratfor, in its latest report, said, “Indian military operations against targets in Pakistan have in fact been prepared and await the signal to go forward.” It added, “These most likely would take the form of unilateral precision strikes inside Pakistan-administered Kashmir, along with special forces action on the ground in Pakistan proper.”

The private sector intelligence service said that unlike the massive movements of 2002 during Operation Parakram, India’s preparations this time were more under the radar and not visible to the world at large. Its only indication was the fact that the Border Security Force (BSF) has been put on high alert on the western sector as well as the eastern sector – this paramilitary force’s main mandate would be to prevent infiltration.

“Sources have indicated to Stratfor that New Delhi is going through the diplomatic motions in order to give Pakistan the opportunity to take care of the militant problem itself — but the Indians know that Islamabad has neither the will nor the capability to address their concerns,” Stratfor said.

Three weeks after the attacks, India has gone out of its way to reassure everyone that it is not thinking of military action on Pakistan. This was most recently conveyed by Indian high commissioner to Pakistan Satyabrata Pal to Awami National Party chief Afsandyar Wali Khan in Islamabad earlier this week. But India continues to tell all its international interlocutors that its patience will not last long, particularly if Islamabad cannot crack down on terrorism.

India’s actions thus far have been to build a kind of international consensus that the attacks were sourced in Pakistan. It has led to a huge spurt in international pressure on Pakistan to “do more” to combat terrorism. Almost every member of the international community also believes that the next attack in India would see the gloves come off. But everybody knows that Pakistan’s civilian government is unable to take any steps to curb terrorists and the military establishment is unwilling to do so.

“From a strategic perspective, the Indian government can no more afford to accept the Mumbai attacks and move forward than the US government could have afforded to ignore the 9/11 attacks. New Delhi has little choice but to respond – regardless of which political party is in power – and because the perpetrators are linked to elements within the Pakistani state, the response must be directed against Pakistan. And if Islamabad will not cooperate in controlling the militants, India will have to take unilateral action,” Stratfor said.

It explained that India knew strikes in Pakistan would not eliminate the terrorist threat, “but that would not be the aim of any such operation”. It added, “Instead, India has to communicate firmly that it will no longer tolerate attacks from Pakistan-based militants – whether they are rogue or approved by the state. Failure to do so risks emboldening the Islamists and their enablers, as well as a domestic political backlash. The Indian government could not live with either of those outcomes.”

December 20, 2008 Posted by | Attacks, General, India Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

GEORGE W BUSH AND SHOES


Just Be Strong enough to accept the challenges of life. Don’t ask life “Why me?”, instead smile and say “YES!..try me”.

Bush Shoes

December 17, 2008 Posted by | Attacks, General, Politics, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

England have the bulldog spirit to hit back: Michael Vaughan

Former England captain Michael Vaughan

Former captain Michael Vaughan has backed England to bounce back from the bitter loss in  Chennai, saying that Kevin Pietersen and his men have the “bulldog spirit” to square the Test series against India in Mohali.

“One thing with the England team is we do have a ‘bulldog spirit’, a fighting spirit. We proved that in this game,” Vaughan said ahead of the second and final Test in Mohali starting December 19, 2008.

England dominated the first three days of the Chennai Test before losing the plot on the fourth day when Indian opener Virender Sehwag went on a rampage to snatch the match away from the visitors.

“It was a great game of cricket. Both teams played to an incredible standard in terms of what they’d gone through in the previous two weeks,” Vaughan was quoted as saying by ‘The Daily Telegraph’.

“The England team can be very proud of the way they played. For three-and-three-quarter days they dominated the Test and that is something which is very difficult to do in India,” he added.

Vaughan admitted that the six-wicket loss was a bitter pill to swallow, considering the way England dominated most part of the match. “The defining moment was that middle session (on day four) when we probably let the momentum sway back towards India when we could have nailed home the game.”

However, Vaughan, who is currently on a sabbatical from international cricket, said the task would be tough test of England’s mental strength. “We’ve just lost a real big game, a game that all the
lads would have expected to win on that fourth evening,” he said.

“It’s going to be a real task of mental strength. The boys are pretty drained and emotionally tired from what they’ve been through in the last few weeks. But if they win the toss, and bat, and get put runs on the board they can put India under a lot of pressure,” he added.

The right-hander, training with the England’s elite performance squad, said he is working towards his international comeback. “My mind is very refreshed and of course after such a great game of cricket I’m desperate to get out there and make decisions, play and score runs,” he said.

December 17, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, India Related, Sports, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US President George W Bush gets ‘Farewell Boot’ in Iraq

US President George W Bush (In picture) faces the wrath of an Iraqi journalist who hurls his shoes at him during his final visit to Iraq

On his ‘farewell’ visit to Iraq as US President, George W Bush had an unusual ‘encounter’ when an
Iraqi scribe threw two shoes at him, but the agile American leader downplayed the incident, saying “it’s a sign of a free society.”

The journalist, Muntadar al-Zeidi, threw two shoes at Bush — one after another — during a joint news conference with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad on Sunday (December 14, 2008) and shouted “it is the farewell kiss, you dog”.

“All I can report is a size 10,” the president joked. Bush, who ducked both throws, said he has seen a lot of weird things during his eight-year-long Presidency and that he would term the latest incident as “one of the weirdest”.

“And it was amusing. I mean, I’ve seen a lot of weird things during my presidency and this may rank up there as one of the weirdest. So this happens and it’s a sign of a free society,” Bush said. “But I’m not insulted. I don’t hold it against the government. I don’t think the Iraqi press corps as a whole is terrible. And so, the guy wanted to get on TV and he did. I don’t know what his beef is. But whatever it is I’m sure somebody will hear it,” the US President told ABC channel.

After the incident, Iraqi government said that the scribe, who works with Al-Baghdadia channel which broadcasts from Cairo, has been held for questioning by the Prime Minister’s guards and is being tested for alcohol and drugs. Meanwhile, the television channel demanded the immediate release of its journalist and called the scribe as a “proud Arab and an open-minded man.”

Bush shoe attacker ‘detested America’

The Iraqi journalist who caused a furore when he hurled his shoes at visiting US President George W Bush “detested America” and had been plotting such an attack for months, colleagues said on on Monday (Dec 15, 2008).

Muntazer al-Zaidi, 28, was being hailed as a hero by some after his action against the US President who ordered the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and anti-US demonstrations were being staged in Baghdad and the holy shiite city of Najaf.

“This was a spontaneous action by an Iraqi citizen who was showing his dismay at seeing the President of the country which is occupying our nation,” said Liwaa Sumeissim from the anti-American Sadr movement.

The Iraqi government however branded Zaidi’s actions as “shameful” and demanded an apology from his employer Al-Baghdadia television, which in turn was calling for his immediate release from custody.

One of his colleagues in the Baghdad office of Al-Baghdadia said Zaidi had been planning to throw shoes at Bush if ever he got the chance. “When he said he was going to do it, we didn’t doubt him,” he said.

“Muntazer detested America. He detested the US soldiers, he detested Bush,” said another co-worker who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

An Iraqi lawyer said Zaidi risked a minimum of two years in prison if he is prosecuted for insulting a visiting head of state, but could face a 15-year term if he is charged with attempted murder.

In Cairo, Muzhir al-Khafaji, programming director for Al-Baghdadia television, described Zaidi as a “proud Arab and an open-minded man.” “We fear for his safety,” he told, adding that Zaidi had been arrested twice before by the Americans.

December 16, 2008 Posted by | Attacks, General, USA, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

India has no plans to attack Pakistan: Defence Minister

DEFENSIVE TALK? India’s Defence minister A K Antony has demanded sincere action by Pakistan against the terrorists.

DEFENSIVE TALK? India

India on Dec 16, 2008 said it is not planning any military action against Pakistan but stressed that the neighbouring country will have to take action against terrorists there for the relations to improve.

“We are not planning any military action but at the same time unless Pakistan takes actions against those terrorists who are operating from their soil against India and also against all those who are behind the Mumbai terrorist attack, things will not be normal,” Defence Minister A K Antony said.

He was talking to reporters on occasion of Vijay Diwas marking the 37th anniversary of India’s military victory on Dec 16, 2008 over Pakistan in the Bangladesh liberation war.

On the issue of troop deployment along the Indo-Pak border, Antony said the situation there was “normal” and armed forces were “always ready”.

“Everything is normal because our forces are always ready,” the Minister said.

The Minister denied that India was planning to call off the more than five-year-old ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC).

“Nothing like that,” he stated when asked if India had any plans to call off the ceasefire with Pakistan.

Refusing to divulge India’s course of action in the present scenario, Antony demanded sincere action by Pakistan against the terrorists.

“I cannot say what course of action we will take but unless Pakistan shows sincerity in whatever they are saying through their actions, one thing is very sure that there is no question of things as usual,” he said.

The chiefs of Navy, Army and Air Force — Admiral Sureesh Mehta, General Deepak Kapoor and Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major — also attended the Vijay Diwas function.

December 16, 2008 Posted by | Attacks, General, India Related, Politics, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tendulkar ton scripts India’s historical win

Sachin Tendulkar led the Indian run chase to take India to a famous
victory on the decisive day of the first Test against England. The
master batsman clobbered his 41st Test hundred as India won by six
wickets. The second hero on the tense day was Yuvraj Singh who proved
his Test credentials with an unbeaten 85 while Tendulkar remained
unconquered on 103.

Chasing a
daunting 387-run target, India lost only three wickets on the day as
they scripted the fourth highest successful run chase in history of
Test cricket. The final two sessions of play saw India dominate
proceedings with Tendulkar and Yuvraj batting with authority to swing
the match completely in India’s favour shortly after tea. India, who
started the second session on a poor note losing VVS Laxman, made 91
runs after lunch without any further damage and in the post tea
session, the willows of Yuvraj and Tendulkar flourished in grand style
to author India’s highest run chase in the sub-continent.

Tendulkar
was a picture of poise as he batted with effortless ease on a slow
turning track, plundering nine boundaries in his unbeaten innings. He
authored the chase, playing the sheet anchor to perfection and building
vital stands with of 42 Gautam Gambhir, of 41 with Laxman (41) and
finally an unbroken 162 one with Yuvraj. And in a fitting finish, a
nudge down the leg side took Tendulkar to his century and India home.

India
suffered a big blow after lunch when Graeme Swann had VVS Laxman caught
at short midwicket for 26. England at that stage had India under
pressure at 224-4 but Yuvraj ignored both the nerves and the words that
came his way from Andrew Flintoff to punch a determined knock that
included a huge six off Monty Panesar.

He batted
with caution, showing the temperament that was amiss in several of his
previous Test outings. But once he settled down, the southpaw displayed
the spectacular strokeplay he is capable of. His 84 came off only 131
balls that saw him hammer eight boundaries and one six.

India
started the day at 131-1, needing 256 to win on the final day at the MA
Chidambaram stadium with Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid in the
middle. But England got the perfect start with Andrew Flintoff removing
Dravid, who could add only a couple to his overnight score of two.
Dravid, who has been in dismal form throughout 2008, edged an outgoing
delivery and Matt Prior made no mistake behind the stumps.

Gambhir
reached his half-century soon after Dravid’s dismissal but he once
again fell to a poor shot. He poked at a wide delivery from James
Anderson and Paul Collingwood leaped to his right to take a neat catch.
The southpaw made 66 with seven boundaries to his name.

December 15, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, India Related, Sports, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Microsoft launches open-source blogging platform

Microsoft launched Oxite, an open-source blogging platform.

However, the software maker was quick to underline that the product is aimed at developers and not intended to directly compete with popular blogging software such as WordPress or Movable Type.

Microsoft posted the Oxite code on its CodePlex Web site  and made an official announcement. The software, described as an alpha release, is available under the Microsoft Public License, one of Microsoft’s OSI-certified open-source licenses.

Oxite is a standards-compliant, extensible content-management system designed to support either blogs or larger Web sites, Microsoft said. The platform includes support for features such as pingbacks, trackbacks, anonymous or authenticated commenting, gravatars (globally recognized avatars), and RSS feeds at any page level, the company said.

Users can create and edit a set of pages on a site, add customized HTML into pages, and support multiple blogs on a single site.

Oxite is also able to integrate with Microsoft developer software such as ASP.Net MVC, Visual Studio Team Suite, and Background Services Architecture. The project began as a way of demonstrating the capabilities of ASP.Net MVC to developers, Microsoft said.

The Web site for Mix Online was built using Oxite, and Microsoft is providing the Mix Online Web site code for developers to learn from. Mix Online is the online community centered on Microsoft’s Mix Web developer conference.

Oxite is not a direct competitor to existing, established blogging systems, nor is it intended to challenge Microsoft’s own SharePoint, which includes content-management-system capabilities, according to Oxite project coordinator Erik Porter.

The software is intended for developers but could eventually be made suitable for the general public, Porter wrote in an Oxite discussion forum.

“We have no plans to make this anything but a really good developer sample that should be able to run any site you want,” he wrote. “That said, this is a community project now and, if the community decides to take it a different direction, we won’t stop it.”

December 13, 2008 Posted by | General, IT, Science, Software, Technical Writing, Technology, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rahul Dravid needs a big score: Sourav Ganguly

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly says Rahul Dravid needs to get a big knock under his belt to ward off critics who have been questioning his place in the team for some time now.

“The pressure is bound to start mounting on Rahul Dravid after another below par effort and he must get a big score before the murmurings about his place in the team get louder,” Ganguly wrote in his column.

Dravid, who has been struggling with the bat ever since the last English summer, could only manage three in the first innings of the ongoing first Test against England in Chennai on Dec 11, 2008.

There was also much expected from Yuvraj Singh, who earned a recall to the Test team after an excellent performance in the ODI series, but the Chandigarh lad too disappointed scoring just 14.

“Yuvraj failed to make an impression in his comeback Test, but that was down to the supreme line and length that the English bowlers maintained against him,” Ganguly wrote.

“They used the short ball well, and also kept the spinners on, which Yuvraj does not enjoy when he starts his innings,” he added.

The classy southpaw also had a word of advice for England skipper Kevin Pietersen.

“Pietersen needs to adjust ‘mentally’ while batting in the subcontinent, as he is far too good a player to be gifting his wicket to the opposition. It’s paramount that he holds the English middle order together, especially in trying batting conditions,” Ganguly reckoned.

India’s most successful captain also wondered by India “always seem to struggle in the first Test of a new series” and hoped that a strong performance from the side was just around the corner.

December 13, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, India Related, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bush warns Pakistan to fight terror or a face-off

Bush has said US will not be held to ransom by terror outfits

GET IT CLEAR: Bush has said US will not be held to ransom by terror outfits

With India reaching out to the world community in the wake of Mumbai attacks, the US, Germany and Britain are sending their ministers and functionaries to India to discuss the developing situation.

Washington too is keeping the pressure up.

US President Bush made a statement saying even governments sponsoring terrorism will be held responsible.

“We’ve made it clear to Pakistan that we must do whatever to protect American people. Governments sponsoring terror are as guilty as the terrorists and will be held to account,” warned America’s President who will soon be making way for president-elect Barack Obama to take over.

The US reiterated that countries should deny safe haven to terrorists.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice too came down hard on the terror outfits and their nefarious designs.

Rice had said that those who want to disrupt good relations between India and Pakistan were at root, and that these non-state actors clearly used Pakistani territory. Rice continued to tell the CBS radio in the interview that there is reason for Pakistan to take up responsibility to act.

December 11, 2008 Posted by | Attacks, General, India Related, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Infosys to freeze hiring, says signs aren’t good

S Gopalakrishnan, CEO and MD of Infosys, speaks at the Reuters India Investment Summit.

COMPANY FORECAST: S Gopalakrishnan, CEO and MD of Infosys, speaks at the Reuters India Investment Summit.

Infosys Technologies Ltd will freeze recruitment after meeting this fiscal year’s target of hiring 25,000 staff, a telling sign the global downturn is hitting India’s $52 billion outsourcing sector.

The country’s second largest software services firm however has no plans to cut jobs and is sticking with its third quarter outlook, CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan told reporters.

He said the outsourcing sector’s growth rate would halve next year as some customers delay orders. “Last year the IT industry grew more than 30 per cent, this year it is looking at somewhere in the region of 15 per cent,” Gopalakrishnan said.

India’s export-driven IT sector, used to a scorching pace of growth, has been hit by the financial crisis and recession in the United States, which contributes more than half their revenue. In the last few years, the outsourcing industry has created tens of thousands of jobs, mainly attracting young workers, as global companies look to trim labour costs.

Infosys hired 16,000-17,000 employees in the first half of the fiscal year that began in April and would honour commitments to 6,000 under training, Gopalakrishnan said. Infosys, which counts Goldman Sachs and Philips Electronics among its clients, cut its full-year dollar revenue outlook in October due to the worsening global downturn.

Gopalakrishnan said on Dec 04, 2008 the company would freeze fresh recruitment, apart from meeting specific skill needs. “We will have to look at controlling our cost, controlling our expenses making sure that we run an optimised business. We will have to look at what are things we need to do in order to prepare ourselves for the recovery.” “Growth is coming more and more from emerging markets so hese are the things we need to prepare ourselves. We should not lose momentum in this slowdown,” he said.

But Infosys still expects its strong client base and a weakening rupee to help it meet a forecast for December quarter earnings of $0.57 a share. The Indian rupee has fallen nearly six per cent so far this quarter against the dollar.

“Infosys is seeing further degradation of the demand environment, with headwinds from leadership changes at customers, a shrinking large deal pipeline …. Pricing pressure has emerged,” CLSA Asia-Pacific said in a report this week.

December 4, 2008 Posted by | General, India Related, IT, Software, Technology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Indian Airports on high alert after hijack warning

Airports in small cities like Jaipur, Chandigarh and Guwahati are at maximum risk.

TENSION IN THE AIR: Airports in small cities like Jaipur, Chandigarh and Guwahati are at maximum risk.

Security has been tightened at all airports following an intelligence warning.

According to intelligence agencies, there is a possibility of an Indian airplane being hijacked small airports where security checks are less stringent.

Airports in small cities like Jaipur, Chandigarh, Nashik and Guwahati are at maximum risk.

Intelligence agencies have alerted small airports and air marshals are being sent to sensitive sectors.

The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security is carrying out checks across the country. Earlier, there were rumours of a bag being found at Mumbai airport but those were found to be false.

According to some media reports, Deccan Mujahidden, a little-known organisation that claimed responsibility for Mumbai attacks, has sent an e-mail threatening to attack three Indian airports.

Intelligence agencies believe that the Deccan Mujahideen is a front created by LeT for it’s Mumbai strikes.

December 4, 2008 Posted by | Attacks, General, India Related | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chandrayaan-1′s temperature rises, ISRO worried

ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair says Chandrayaan-1 is hotter by 10 degree Celsius.

FACING THE HEAT: ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair says Chandrayaan-1 is hotter by 10 degree Celsius.

India’s moon mission Chandrayaan-1 is facing the heat, literally. A month after its launch, an unexplained rise in temperature is causing concern for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair says Chandrayaan-1 is now hotter by 10 degree Celsius which is hot enough to affect its instruments.

Volcanoes have erupted on the moon in the past. And temperatures on the surface often reach 100 degree Celsius.

While it isn’t clear yet what’s triggered the rise in temperature, scientists say a thermal blanket around the satellite could be used to keep temperatures down.

Chandrayaan-1, India’s first lunar mission, was launched on October 22, 2008 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR, Sriharikota by PSLV-C11.

The Moon Impact Probe (MIP), with the Indian Tricolour pasted on its outer surface, was ejected on November 14 from Chandrayaan-1 and landed on the lunar surface.

December 3, 2008 Posted by | General, India Related, Science, Technology, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Barack Obama nominates Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State

Obama nominates Hillary as Secretary of State

US President-elect Barack Obama on Dec 01, 2008 named former Democrat rival Senator Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State in his incoming administration and retained Robert Gates as the Defence Secretary.

The team of Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden also officially announced other key members of their cabinet, nominating Eric Holder as Attorney General, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Susan Rice as Ambassador to the United Nations and General Jim Jones as the new National Security Adviser.

“In this uncertain world, the time has come for a new beginning – a new dawn of American leadership to overcome the challenges of the 21st century, and to seize the opportunities embedded in those challenges,” Obama said in a statement issued by his transition team.

To succeed, a new strategy should be pursued that skillfully uses, balances, and integrates all elements of American power — military and diplomacy, intelligence and law enforcement, economy and the power of “our moral example,” the country’s first African-American President said.

“The team that we have assembled here today is uniquely suited to do just that. They share my pragmatism about the use of power, and my sense of purpose about America’s role as a leader in the world,” Obama, who will be taking office as the 44th US President on January 20, 2009, said.

December 2, 2008 Posted by | General, Politics, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

England may return, first Test shifted to Mohali

The England cricket team is likely to return to India on December 3 to play the two Test series against India.

The first Test from December 11 to 15 has been shifted to Mohali from Ahmedabad. The second Test had been shifted to Chennai earlier itself after the terror attack on Mumbai.

The three-day practice game that was scheduled to be held in Baroda from December 5 to 7 is also likely to be played in Mohali.

England called off their seven-match ODI series with two more games to play after the terror attacks in Mumbai. The visitors were playing their fifth ODI in Cuttack on December 26 when terrorists struck India’s financial capital.

The team flew to Bangalore from where they flew back home. While some England cricketers have voiced their reservations about coming back to play in India, England skipper Kevin Pietersen has refused to be cowed down by the attacks.

December 1, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, India Related, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

War on Mumbai Day 3: Sequence of events so far

30 hrs IST on Wednesday night, terrorists entered the 22-storey Taj hotel and took hostages.

WARZONE MUMBAI: At 21:30 hrs IST on Nov 26, 2008 night, terrorists entered the 22-storey Taj hotel and took hostages.

More than 36 hours on, the war on Mumbai is still in full flow. The situation has been developing minute by minute. Here’s making sense of what’s happened so far.

At 21:30 hrs IST on Nov 26, 2008 night, terrorists entered the 22-storey Taj hotel and took hostages. Mumbai’s Anti-Terrorist Squad reached the area and soon a gunbattle began, punctuated with explosions.

Within minutes of the first gun being fired, there was panic across Southern Bombay. Young, heavily armed terrorists were at various locations – from the CST Station to five star hotels to the very popular Leopold Cafe in Colaba. Eyewitness accounts being collated by intelligence agencies suggest that these terrorists made their way into the heart of city in boats.

At 02:00 hrs IST on Nov 27, 2008, a fire broke out in Taj hotel’s central dome. In the continuing gunbattle, three terrorists were killed by 05:00 hrs IST on Thursday. Some guests were evacuated, but the war was far from over.

Apparently having landed by boat at the nearby Gateway of India, the terrorists split up. They first opened fire at the popular Cafe Leopold before moving to the Taj and Oberoi hotels. A group of terrorists entered the CST Station, fired and lobbed grenades into the crowded. Ten people died in the ensuing mayhem.

The terrorists then moved to the adjacent municipal headquarters and then to Cama hospital, where again they opened fire and lobbed grenades.

The terrorists managed to kill ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, who was supervising operations personally. Along with him were Additional Commissioner of Police, Ashok Kamte and senior police inspector Vijay Salaskar, a crack encounter specialist of the Mumbai Police, both of whom too died in the attack on Cama hospital.

The terrorists then hijacked a police vehicle and drove towards Metro junction, where again they fire into the crowds present there. This group of terrorists were later gunned down by a police team.

While police hunted for the terrorists, the Army, National Security Guard and Naval commandos tried to defuse the hostage situation in the Taj and Oberoi hotels – where some foreigners were being held – and Nariman House through the night.

The Armed Forces have had partial success at the Taj, but the stand off at the Oberoi hotel and Nariman House continues.

November 29, 2008 Posted by | Attacks, General, India Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mumbai Terror Attacks; 6 foreigners among 101 dead

At least 101 people have been killed in attacks by gunmen in Mumbai, police said on Nov 27, 2008.

Army personnel take position at the Gateway of India that stands in front of Taj Hotel in Mumbai.

“At least six foreigners have been killed and the death figure has gone up to 101 now,” Ramesh Tayde, a senior police officer told from Mumbai’s control room.

In one of the most violent terror attacks on Indian soil, Mumbai came under an unprecedented night attack as terrorists used heavy machine guns, including AK-47s, and grenades to strike at the city’s most high-profile targets — the hyper-busy CST (formerly VT) rail terminus; the landmark Taj Hotel at the Gateway and the luxury Oberoi Trident at Nariman Point; the domestic airport at Santa Cruz; the Cama and GT hospitals near CST; the Metro Adlabs multiplex and Mazgaon Dockyard — killing at least 101 and sending hundreds of injured to hospital, according to latest reports.

The attacks have taken a tragic toll on the city’s top police brass: The high-profile chief of the anti-terror squad Hemant Karkare was killed; Mumbai’s additional commissioner of police (east) Ashok Kamte was gunned down outside the Metro; and celebrated encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar was also killed.

The attacks appeared to be aimed at getting international attention as the terrorists took upto 40 British nationals and other foreigners hostage. The chairman of Hindustan Unilever Harish Manwani and CEO of the company Nitin Paranjpe were among the guests trapped at the Oberoi. All the internal board members of the multinational giant were reported to be holed up in the Oberoi hotel.

Two terrorists were reported holed up inside the Oberoi Hotel. Fresh firing has been reported at Oberoi and Army has entered the hotel to flush out the terrorists.

An unknown outfit, Deccan Mujahideen, has sent an email to news organizations claiming that it carried out the Mumbai attacks.

The Army and Navy in Mumbai were put on alert. 65 Army commandos and 200 NSG commandos were being rushed to Mumbai, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said.

The Navy commandos too have been asked to assist the police. Special secretary M L Kumawat is in constant touch with the state police.

Some media reports attributed the attack to Lashkar-e-Taiba. There were also unconfirmed reports that some of the terrorists came in by sea. A boat laden with explosives was recovered later at night off the Gateway of India.

Well after midnight, sources said two of the terrorists were shot and wounded at Girgaum in south Mumbai. The two were driving in a commandeered silver-coloured Skoda car. Earlier, these men had sprayed bullets from a police Bolero, outside the Metro Adlabs multiplex.

The attacks occurred at the busiest places. Besides hotels and hospitals, terrorists struck at railway stations, Crawford Market, Wadi Bunder and on the Western Express Highway near the airport. Several of these places are within a one-km radius of the commissioner of police’s office.

“This is definitely a terrorist strike. Seven places have been attacked with automatic weapons and grenades. Terrorists are still holed up in three locations Taj and Oberoi hotels and GT Hospital. Encounters are on at all three places,” said Maharashtra DGP A N Roy.

St George’s Hospital and G T Hospital were said to have received 75 bodies and more than 250 injured people, additional municipal commissioner R A Rajeev said. Bombay Hospital got two bodies and 30 injured people were admitted there; Cooper Hospital, Vile Parle, got three dismembered bodies.

Three of the deaths occurred inside the Taj and one G T Hospital attendant died in a shootout inside the hospital. There were reports of people cowering under tables and chairs at both the Taj as well as G T Hospital.

Metro Junction resident Manoj Goel said: “My brother, Manish, died in the firing at Colaba’s Hamaal Galli.” Cops fired back at the men — probably from one of the Lashkar groups, dressed in black and with backpacks and SRPF, Crime Branch, ATS and teams of military commandos were summoned to the spot. Train services at CST were suspended and all roads leading to and from south Mumbai were blockaded.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh cut short his Kerala visit and was returning to Mumbai. He described the situation in Mumbai as “very serious”.

Deshmukh promised “stringent action” against the assailants but the mood across Mumbai was not so optimistic.

There were reports of firing around several landmark buildings in the Colaba-Nariman Point area, including the Taj hotel, Oberoi and other tourist attractions and pubs like Leopold’s. The top floor of Oberoi was said to be on fire amid reports of blasts in the area and blood-smeared bodies were being brought out of the Taj lobby.

Terrorists were said to be holed up at the Taj as well as G T Hospital and cops scampered to cordon off these places. A white flag was seen fluttering from an Oberoi Hotel window around 11.20 pm, where a blast was said to have occurred.

The blast on the Western Express Highway — near Centaur Hotel outside the airport — occurred in a taxi, deputy commissioner of police Nissar Tamboli said.

The firing and bombing started close to the Gateway of India. The gunbattle then moved on towards CST and raged on for over an hour from 10 pm, sending commuters running out of the station.

The assailants also fired into the crowd at CST and people on the trains and then ran out of the station themselves and into neighbouring buildings, including Cama Hospital, after being challenged by cops.

SRPF personnel then entered the iconic BMC building — just opposite CST — to take aim at the assailants, BMC commissioner Jairaj Phatak said. “We fear some of the assailants are still inside the station and we want to catch them if they come out,” a police official said.

Vikhroli police station senior inspector Habib Ansari was on his way to work from his Colaba home when he saw two armed men, with sophisticated weaponry, trying to run into bylanes near the Gateway of India.”I rushed back to Colaba and all policemen, including GRP and RPF personnel, were called up,” he added.

November 27, 2008 Posted by | Attacks, General, India Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pakistan unsafe: Dhoni, Tendulkar tell Board

The Marriott Hotel in Islamabad after the Sept. 21 bombing. The hotel was used by international cricket teams.

DOWN: The Marriott Hotel in Islamabad after the Sept. 21 bombing. The hotel was used by international cricket teams.

Top Indian cricket players, including captain M S Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar, are unwilling to tour Pakistan in January because they fear for their security.

Sources tell that senior players have expressed their concern to the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI). The team is scheduled to play three Tests and five ODIs from January 4 to February 19 tour in Pakistan.

Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh too have expressed their unwillingness to tour Pakistan. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has assured foolproof security but the Indians believe the threat during the tour would be severe.

PCB chief Ejaz Butt is scheduled to visit India soon to try and convince the BCCI but that plea is now likely to fall on deaf ears.

It is known that the Ministry of External Affairs is unlikely to permit the Indian team to tour Pakistan.

Early November, the government refused to permit the Indian junior hockey team to tour Pakistan due to security concerns.

The Associated Press reports the International Cricket Council deferred the Champions Trophy in September after five of the eight participating teams refused to compete at the biennial tournament that is considered the second most prestigious one-day event after the World Cup.

The PCB has said it would consider playing India at a neutral venue or possibly switch series as alternatives. Pakistan is due to tour India in 2010.

November 26, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

India is the new Australia: Wasim Akram

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s leadership has changed the face of Indian cricket, according to Pakistan’s pace legend Wasim Akram who believes it is a matter of time before India upstages Australia as the number one team in the world.

Akram said Dhoni has completely transformed the team ever since he took over the mantle of captaincy and that Indian cricket was on the right track with a number of talented players in their ranks.

“Dhoni has changed the face of Indian cricket, there is no doubt about that. He leads from the front, he has charisma and players like him. You can’t ask for anything more,” Akram said in a telephonic interview.

“He has given the team the confidence. The players now believe that they can go and beat any team and it is this confidence that has helped India to bring about the desired results,” the former Pakistan captain said.

Akram, regarded as one of the finest left-arm speedsters with 414 Test and 502 ODI wickets to his credit in a career spanning nearly 17 years, said Dhoni had also brought about a refreshing change in his attitude and approach to matches.

“It does not matter whether Sachin Tendulkar is resting or some other players are injured, the Indians are so confident that they go out and do the job. It was not the case about six or seven years ago, India did not have that confidence,” he observed.

“If the captain leads from the front, half the job is done. That is what I like about Dhoni. He is cool, comes out with few quotes and gets the best out of his players,” Akram said.

“Leading the Chennai team in the upcoming Champions League will be a good challenge for him since there will be a lot of international teams,” he said.

Asked whether India would be able to topple Australia as the number one team in the near future, Akram said “India is the new Australia. I think they are on the right track to achieve that”.

Akram also lavished praise on India’s new pace sensation Ishant Sharma saying the Delhi youngster had improved by leaps and bounds in the last few months.

“Ishant has been a revelation. He has really improved in the last few months and I think he is a real asset to India,” Akram said about the paceman who emerged as the man-of-the-series in the recent Test series against Australia.

“After the Australian tour late last year, his length was slightly short. But he has now rectified that and was simply brilliant in the recent series against Australia. The way he bowled, it seemed he had been around in Test cricket for five years or so,” he said.

The cricketer-turned-commentator said Ishant will only get better with time but also cautioned that the youngster needed to be handled well to prolong his career.

“He (Ishant) will get quicker and better with time, there is no doubt about it. He just has to keep himself fit as fast bowling is hard work,” Akram pointed out.

He said the Indian bowling line-up looked quite balanced at the moment and the presence of an in-form Zaheer Khan has provided a lot more sting.

“Zaheer has been fantastic. He has bowled the reverse swing well, got the ball to swing in and out… he has become a complete bowler now. He really provides that cutting edge to the attack,” he said.

“India always had good spinners but I am happy to see these pacemen developing. They are winning matches for India”, Akram said.

The ex-pacer said Harbhajan Singh was capable enough to shoulder the responsibility in the spin department following the retirement of champion leg spinner Anil Kumble.

“Harbhajan is a good spinner. It is now upto him to take upon the responsibility in the spin department. I think he is capable of doing it and also has the experience”.

Akram also credited India’s rise as a cricketing nation to the planning done by the BCCI over the last few years.

“Credit must also go the BCCI for India’s rise in recent times. They have planned and implemented everything well. The results have started coming now,” he added.

November 24, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, India Related, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

India now aims for manned space mission

The plan is to achieve the space mission by 2015 said ISRO chief.

MANNED MISSION: The plan is to achieve the space mission by 2015 said ISRO chief.

India is aiming to send a manned mission into the space after the success of its first unmanned mission to the moon, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairmain G. Madhavan Nair said on Nov 23, 2008.

“The (manned) moon mission is a tough task and to achieve that our first task is to send an Indian astronaut on a manned mission to space, who will orbit the earth and return. For this, the sanction of the government has to come.

We plan to achieve this by 2015,” Nair said at a reception accorded to him during his first visit to his home town since the successful launch of the Chandrayaan-1.

“The next moon mission by the US and China is fixed for 2020 and our target is that we also should be ready by then,” Nair added.

“To achieve that, the space mission would provide the necessary boost. Another thing that is being planned is Aditya, a mission to study the solar system from the earth’s orbit,” said Nair.

November 24, 2008 Posted by | General, India Related, Science, Technology, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Disgusted Dhoni denies rift with selectors

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Nov 22, 2008 denied rift with selectors on dropping of Rudra Pratap Singh and preferring all-rounder Irfan Pathan for the remaining part of the on-going One-Day series against England.

“I don’t know who is spreading this kind of rumors. Whoever is leaking confidential matters to the press is not doing any good for the well being of cricket. I don’t want to deny or admit what transpires during the meeting because it is supposed to be confidential. If someone has leaked confidential matters to the press it is just not done. I want to know who the source was. As far as I am concerned there was no rift with the selectors on any issue,” Dhoni told reporters on the eve of the fourth One-Day match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

“It is unfortunate that such rumors are being spread when the team is doing so well and we are on the threshold of achieving yet another series victory. I should admit this kind of distractions are not good for the game in general and for the team in particular. The selection matters should always remain inside the four walls and moreover it is the selectors job to pick the best possible team,” he added.

It is understood that one of the selectors leaked about Dhoni’s threat to quit as captain of the Indian team if Irfan Pathan was preferred ahead of R P Singh during the selection meeting in Kanpur after the hosts beat England by 16 runs on Duckworth-Lewis Method.

However, Dhoni, who first denied the rift vehemently but later on softened his stance and wanted to know who was leaking out confidential matters to the press wanted to know the name of the person responsible when a scribe tried to grill him on this matter.

“if you (scribe) got the news over phone from someone, why don’t you name that person. By naming that person, you will be doing a great service to the team as what transpires in a meeting is not supposed to be leaked by anyone,” he thundered.

“Thankfully, our team is very united and both R P and Irfan understand that the best 16 boys get to play for the country. Luckily I don’t have to explain to RP or Irfan about anything as they trust me fully. In fact the whole team trusts each other and I should say that it has been a very short but fruitful journey as a player and captain so far. Though this unwanted event (rumors of rift) has turned out to be an eventful journey as well,” he added.

November 22, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can Yuvraj Singh make it three in a row?

With two hundreds in two successive innings,
Yuvraj Singh has a great chance to equal the world record of scoring
hundreds in most consecutive innings. The record is of three
consecutive hundreds shared by three batsmen as is listed below:

Name Runs Vs Venue Year
Zaheer Abbas (Pak) 118 v India Multan 17 Dec 1982
105 v India Lahore 31 Dec 1982
113 v India Karachi 21 Jan 1982
Saeed Anwar (Pak) 107 v Sri Lanka Sharjah 30 Oct 1993
131 v West Indies Sharjah 01 Nov 1993
111 v Sri Lanka Sharjah 02 Nov 1993
H Gibbs (SA) 116 v Kenya Colombo (RPS) 20 Sep 2002
116* v India Colombo (RPS) 25 Sep 2002
153 v Bangladesh Potchefstroom

November 19, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indian Flag in moon, Chandrayaan-1 probe sends first signal

Ex-president APJ Abdul Kalam and ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair hold a model of the moon.

CONQUERING MOON: Ex-president APJ Abdul Kalam and ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair hold a model of the moon.

The moon is 3,84,400 km away from earth and on Nov 14, 2008, India became the fourth nation to have its flag flying on the moon’s surface when Chandrayaan-1′s Moon Impact Probe (MIP), with the Tricolour painted on it, touched down.

The 35-kg payload crash-landed on the lunar surface at around 2030 hrs IST. The MIP has started sending its first signals to Chandrayaan-1.

It also contains equipment which will help scientists design a lunar land rover for the upcoming Chandrayaan-2 mission.

The MIP is slightly smaller than an average TV cabinet. Inside the MIP there is a device to constantly check it’s height as it falls. Another device checks what the air on the moon is made of. There is even a video camera to photograph the moon from close range.

The photographs taken by the MIP will help Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) decide where to land India’s first moon rover, a few years from now.

The MIP also has the Indian flag painted on it’s sides and a Sanskrit verse which means “

The MIP disconnected from Chandrayaan-1 100 km above the moon. As it fell, it kept sending information back to the satellite.

Closer to the surface, rockets were fired, to slow down it’s speed and soften the impact on landing.

After half an hour of free fall, the MIP crash-landed on the south pole of moon.

The idea to send a MIP was first mooted by former president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

If it weren’t for him, Chandrayaan-1 would only have orbited the moon.

November 15, 2008 Posted by | General, India Related, Science, Technology, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

India’s 40 Richest Persons – 2008

Source: Forbes.com

Rank

Name

Net Worth ($mil)

Age

City

1

Mukesh Ambani (Reliance Industries Limited)

20,800

51

Mumbai

2

Lakshmi Mittal (Mittal Steel Company Ltd.)

20,500

58

London

3

Anil Ambani (Reliance Communications, Reliance Energy)

12,500

49

Mumbai

4

Sunil Mittal (Bharti Airtel Group)

7,900

51

Delhi

5

Kushal Pal Singh (DLF Limited)

7,800

77

Delhi

6

Shashi & Ravi Ruia (Essar Group)

7,600

64

Mumbai

7

Azim Premji (Wipro Technologies)

7,000

63

Bangalore

8

Kumar Birla (Aditya Birla Group)

5,000

41

Mumbai

9

Adi Godrej (Godrej Group)

4,000

66

Mumbai

10

Gautam Adani (Adani Enterprises Group)

3,900

46

Ahmedabad

11

Dilip Shanghvi (Sun Pharmaceutical Industries)

3,100

53

Mumbai

12

Savitri Jindal (O.P. Jindal Group)

2,900

59

Delhi & Hisar

13

Malvinder & Shivinder Singh (Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited)

2,800

36

Delhi

14

Anil Agarwal (Vedanta Resources Corporation)

2,400

55

London

15

Shiv Nadar (HCL Group)

2,200

63

Delhi

16

Micky Jagtiani (Landmark Group)

2,000

57

Dubai

17

Indu Jain (Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.,)

1,800

72

Delhi

18

Cyrus Poonawalla (Poonawalla Group, Serum Institute of India)

1,600

67

Pune

19

Uday Kotak (Kotak Mahindra Bank)

1,550

49

Mumbai

20

Chandru Raheja (K. Raheja Corp.)

1,500

68

Mumbai

21

G.M. Rao (GMR Infrastructure Group)

1,470

58

Bangalore

22

Vivek Burman (Dabur India Limited)

1,300

71

Delhi

23

Anurag Dikshit (PartyGaming)

1,250

36

Gibraltar

24

Kalanithi Maran (Sun TV Network)

1,200

43

Chennai

25

Venugopal Dhoot (Videocon India)

1,100

57

Mumbai

26

Yusuf Hamied (Cipla Pharmaceutical Laboratories)

1,060

72

London & Mumbai

27

Ramesh Chandra (Unitech Group)

1,000

69

Delhi

28

Subhash Chandra (Zee TV Entertainment)

970

58

Mumbai

29

N.R. Narayana Murthy (Infosys Technologies Limited)

965

62

Bangalore

30

Rajan Raheja (Rajan Raheja Group)

950

54

Mumbai

31

Brijmohan Lall Munjal (Hero Honda Motors Limited)

940

85

Delhi

32

Baba Kalyani (Bharat Forge)

935

59

Pune

33

Tulsi Tanti (Suzlon Energy)

930

50

Pune

34

Jaiprakash Gaur (Jaypee Group)

890

77

Delhi

35

Niranjan Hiranandani (Niranjan Hiranandani Group)

885

58

Mumbai

36

Murali Divi (Divis Laboratories)

870

57

Hyderabad

37

Hemant Shah (Akruti City Limited)

830

55

Mumbai

38

Gracias Saldanha (Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd.)

825

70

Mumbai

39

Anand Jain (Jai Corporation Ltd.)

810

51

Mumbai

40

Rahul Bajaj (Bajaj Auto Ltd.)

760

70

Pune

November 13, 2008 Posted by | Business, General, India Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Superstar Rajnikanth to join BJP?

Tamil Nadu superstar Rajnikanth

He is South India’s biggest super star and for almost two decades now his entry into politics has been speculated. And, with the general elections around the corner once again there is strong buzz of Rajnikanth taking the plunge.

BJP prime ministerial candidate LK Advani’s visit to Rajnikanth’s house in Chennai has sent tongues wagging. Sources said that Advani wants Rajni to hop onboard and campaign for the BJP in the upcoming elections.

However, when both were quizzed about the same, they were tight lipped. Advani said, ” I had an invitation from him to visit his house for a long time and I used the opportunity since I was here in Chennai.”

“Rajnikanth had been pressing me for a long time to visit his place. Today I accepted the invitation. We discussed many things, including his latest film. It was a happy meeting with him and his family,” the BJP leader said.

Advani said that it was long standing desire of Rajanikanth and himself for a meeting. “It was fulfilled today,” he said.

Advani was in Chennai yesteday in connection with the release of the Tamil version of his autobiography.

Advani welcomed Rajnikant’s statement that he would come to politics if god asked him to do so.
“I had appreciated his decision that he will come to politics when god wills,” Advani said.

Following the meet, Rajnikanth also kept mum and said, “It was just a casual visit.”

And, with superstar Chiranjeevi having launched a political party recently, several Rajni fans want to see their favourite star do the same. The meeting assumes significance in the wake of the demand by Rajnikant’s fans asking him to enter politics.

However, he had been resisting such demands but recently announced that he would undertake a tour of the state to meet his fans. He had also promised that he would be frequently meeting them.

Rajnikanth is not averse to the idea expect he says that he’s wating for a sign from the Gods to make the plunge. He had said, “No one can compel me. What has to happen will surely happen. God’s sign has to come. If God’s sign comes, I can even start a party tomorrow.”

During the run up to the 2004 elections Rajnikanth had declared that he will vote for the BJP, but stopped short of asking his fans also to support the party. The saffron party is hoping that this time too Rajni will indicate his support, even if he does not make a political plunge.

November 13, 2008 Posted by | Elections, General, India Related, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chandrayaan-1 enters operational lunar orbit

Chandrayaan-1 enters operational lunar orbit

Twenty-one days after launch, Chandrayaan-1, India’s maiden moon craft has it seems finally reached its home orbit. It is now in an almost 102 kilometre from the moon. The satellite’s onboard engine was fired for 58 seconds on Nov 12, 2008 at about 6.30 pm.

ISRO officials say preliminary indications are that it has reached its designated orbit. Among its first tasks in the next few days will be to release the probe that carries the Indian national flag on to the lunar surface.

After that it will begin its scientific exploration which will last two years, which includes mapping the lunar resources, preparing a three dimensional atlas of the moon and searching for water on the lunar poles.

November 13, 2008 Posted by | General, India Related, Science, Technology, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dhoni asked for character certificate to get gun license

Dhoni enjoys \'Z\' category security and has a non-prohibited gun license.

GUNNED DOWN: Dhoni enjoys ‘Z’ category security and has a non-prohibited gun license.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been asked by the Ranchi District Arms Magistrate to produce a character certificate for getting a license to keep a 9mm pistol.

The Magistrate recently wrote to Dhoni that he should furnish a Swachchhata Praman Patra (character certificate) if he wished to procure the weapon in view of the increasing criminal activities in Jharkhand, police said on Wednesday.

The certificate could be obtained from SP (Special Branch), SP (Vigilance) and SP (CID), said the letter, in the first official communication after the cricketer applied for the weapon in September.

Annoyed over the requirement of ‘character certificate’ from their hero, a group of Dhoni fans on Wednesday demonstrated at the Elbert Ekka Chowk.

Dhoni enjoys ‘Z’ category security and has a non-prohibited gun license.

November 13, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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