The IT capital of India, Bangalore, tops the list of the most corrupt cities in the country, followed by another southern state, Chennai, according to an anti corruption website ipaidbribe.com. This anti-corruption site has been set up by Bangalore-based NGO Janaagraha, reports Christin Mathew Philip of TOI.
The website reveals that more than 22,000 people “confessed” of having paid bribe in some way or the other. Bangaloreans have paid 16 crore as bribe followed by Chennaiites with 7 crore, Mumbai- 6.97 crore, Delhi 4.4 crore, Hyderabad 2.9 crore, Kolkata 1.6 crore and Kochi 56, 101.
As stated by Joylita Saldanha, product manager of Janaagraha, Bangalore tops the corruption index mainly due to better knowledge about the organization and the website. He further exclaimed “There is also a good response from Chennai for the website. Most people are using the website to vent their anger at the system,” reports TOI.
“We get an average of 12,000 visits a day from across 544 cities in India. More than 20 ‘bribe experiences’ are reported on a daily basis from all parts of India. The amount varies from 4 lakh (for a seat in a medical college) to 20 (to be let off for a traffic offence),” Saldanha added.
The campaign is an initiative by Janaagraha with an aim to uncover the “market price of corruption” and help people to express their views about a leap in the current system, give them a platform to share their experiences related to bribe and people even ‘confess’ to have bribed someone.
The theme for this year’s contest, held annually for Indian students was “celebrating Indian women”. 15 year old Gayatri Ketharaman, who made the winning doodle, shows the theme of women empowerment moulded around the Google Doodle.
The letter G in GOOGLE represents a classical dancer and points out empowered women in the country, while the second G shows a space rocket pointing to the fact that Indian women have even ventured into space. The winning doodle strives to depict the different attributes of an Indian woman from an academician, a mother, a professional and a creator of life.
“It took me around a week to complete the doodle once I started working on it. But before that I spend several weeks thinking about the theme and how best I can represent the ideas I had in my mind about Indian women,” Ketharaman told TOI. “My doodle attempts to show different qualities of Indian women.”
The Doodle4Google contest was held all over India this year, across three age groups. Students from Class 1 to 3 formed a group, from class 4 to 6 formed another and the third from classes 7 to 10.
However, Ketharaman emerged as the overall winner, so it will be her doodle that will be Google’s page on Children’s Day i.e November 14. Winners from each category will be presented with Chromebook laptops
On Monday, Google paid tribute through its doodle to Shakuntala Devi on her 84th birth anniversary with a calculator font and her picture.
Popularly known as the Human Computer for her awesome ability to mentally solve complex mathematical problems, Shakuntala Devi was included in The Guinness Book of World Records in 1982.
Without any formal education as a child, Shakuntala Devi had the ability to memorise and calculate numbers mentally an ability her circus artist father discovered when she was just three.
On June 18, 1980, the Human computer, Shakuntala Devi demonstrated the multiplication of two 13-digit numbers 7,686,369,774,870 × 2,465,099,745,779 picked at random by the Computer Department of Imperial College, London. She answered 18,947,668,177,995,426,462,773,730 in 28 seconds which is correct. This event is mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records.
With the ability to calculate the cube root of 61,629,875, and the seventh root of 170,859,375 without writing it down or using a calculator, Shakuntala Devi’s abilities were studied by Arthur Jensen, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley in 1988.
Jensen wrote in his report that the calculation was done and answers given even before he wrote the answer in his notebook. The findings were published in the academic journal Intelligence in 1990.
In April 2013, Shakuntala Devi passed away in a hospital in Bangalore from complications of the heart and kidneys at the age of 83.
As the gold prices are tumbling since couple of days, retailers are witnessing a surge in demand and expect up to 50 per cent spike in sales volume in this marriage season.
The total sales volumes of gold for 2012 stood at 2.47 lakhs crore and total quantity of gold sold in the country was 864 tonnes, Vipin Sharma, Director (Jewellery) WGC told PTI. He further added that gold jewellery continued to attract Indian consumers due to its unique features such as for investment purpose and as gift items.
As the market is on a complete turmoil and jewellers are doing good business, here are six Indian jewellers, listed by Nidhi Nath Srinivas & Sutanuka Ghosal, Economic Times, who are ruling the gold trade market not only regionally and nationally, but also internationally.
He had no idea that one day he will be among the top five jewellers in the world. Hailing from a farmer family and starting his carrier ice-making factory, MP Ahamed, Chairman, Malabar Gold has an annual turnover of around 12,000 crore.
At the age of 36, Ahamed was advised to try his hand in the gold trading business. Ahamed, a high school graduate took his chances. “I started with the 50 lakh I had earned from my business and opened the first Malabar Gold & Diamonds showroom at Calicut,” says Ahamed.
Ahmed recalls that when he started the business, there were frequent unfair trades practices, which he made a key point and launched the first 100 percent BIS hallmarked jewellery.
Understandin the importance of a brand image, market savvy Ahamed hired global branding agency Brand Union to develop a unique corporate image to make a mark in the overseas market.Currently Malabar Gold has 82 outlets, 52 in India and 30 in Gulf countries.
2. Rajesh Exports
Chairman: Rajesh Mehta
Turnover: 30,000 crore
Key Business Fact: Integrated player
USP: No making charges
Being a rank holder in the board examinations, Rajesh Mehta, instead of going for higher studies, joined his father’s business in supplying semiprecious and imitation stones to jewellers. The sixteen year old gradually started to develop interest in the business and today his company Rajesh Exports has annual turn over of around 30, 000 crore.
Rajesh started making jewellery in the garage of his Bangalore home by borrowing 1, 200 from his brother and in 1995; Rajesh Exports raised 10 Crore from the capital market through its public issue.
Initially in order to sell their jewellery to the retail customers they cut manufacturing costs below 1 percent and sold jewellery at ‘real rate per gram’. That became the key factor and USP of the company, i.e. no making charges.
Commenting on the future roadmap of the company Mehta said, “Within four years, we plan to have 2,000 showrooms pan-India”.
Though he already had a set business to join started by his great grand father Maranchand Sen, the responsibility was huge. Suvankar Sen after completing MBA from IMT Ghaziabad joined the family business which was started seventy five years back and opened its first shop in 1968 in Kolkata’s jewellery heart, Bowbazar. By the time Suvankar joined the business his father Shankar Sen already ran a chain of 30 stores.
“I have added 16 new stores and we have expanded to Odisha, Assam, Jharkhand and Delhi. We now have the largest number of retail outlets in West Bengal,” says Suvankar. Senco Gold is also exporting to U.S., UK, Dubai and Singapore.
With the basic business sense which he got already from his family and the professional knowledge gained through his academics, Suvankar wants to highlight the art and creativity that gold artisans from Bengal.
4. Krishniah Chetty & Sons
Managing Director: C Vinod Hayagriv
Turnover: 600 crore
Key Business Fact: Jeweller to the rich and famous
USP: World-class design
Based in Bangalore, C. Krishniah Chetty & Sons is a 140 years old jewelry company founded by Cotha Krishniah Chetty in 1869. Krishniah Chetty at first started by simply resourcing gems and gold, but from 1880 shifted on to jewelry also. The business moved to bigger place as the jewelry designs found recognition in the Royal families of Mysore, Sandur and Travancore. Krishniah Chetty’s clientele generally included the royal families and the British, who were then very much a part of India’s colonial landscape.
The company was then appointed as the official distributor for Rolex of Switzerland, and imported products from Mappin & Webb, and The Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Company of London.”Rolex made diamond-encrusted dials with the name C Krishniah Chetty & Sons on top. Not many companies in the world can claim that honour,” says C Vinod Hayagriv.
Today Krishniah Chetty & Sons has an annual turnover of 600 crore and is among the top jewellers best know for their world-class design.
5. Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri
CMD :S Gopaldas Zaveri
Turnover: 1,385 crore
Key Business Fact: Public listing in May 2012
USP: Strong brand recognition
Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri is a renowned Indian jeweller and jewellery retail chain based in India. The company was founded in 1864 by Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri in Zaveri Bazaar, the jewellery hub of Mumbai. Later the throne was taken over by his son Gopaldas Tribhovandas Zaveri, and now Shrikant Zaveri, is the present Chairman and Managing Director of the group.
At the age of 19 when Shrikant Gopaldas Zaveri joined the family business he already knew how he wanted to take if forward. I knew the tricks of the trade and the areas where I could add value to the business,” says Zaveri, who took over as CMD in 2000.
The company today, has 16 showrooms in ten cities across six states, including Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Rajkot and has an annual turnover of around 1, 385 crore.
6. Bhima Jewellers
CMD: Dr. B Govindan
Turnover: 8, 000 crore
Key Business Fact: Kerala’s highest tax-paying retailer
USP: Certified purity
Bhima Jewellers was found by Late Sri Bhima Bhattar in the year 1925. Bhima Jewellers is an ISO certified Indian jewellery group based at Alappuzha, Kerala, India. The first shop started was a small outlet which now holds chain of more than two dozed showrooms across South India.
The company founder Bhima Bhattar was the first person to introduce the concept of ready made jewellery. The unique selling proposition of the company has always been “sell pure gold” from the very initial days. “This learning has helped me and my brothers to run the business successfully and to be a part of the lives of countless people,” says Dr B Govindan.
“Since 2004, we have invested around $ 200 million in activities around research and development. We are setting up new R&D centre in Bangalore with an additional investment of about $ 150 million to consolidate our operations under one facility,” Huawei Technologies Head (International Media Affairs) Scott Sykes told PTI.
He said it will be set up in the second half of this year. In India, Huawei employs around 6,000 people out of which it has close to 2,500 people are working at its R&D.
This new facility will have capacity to house 5,000 people but the company is yet to firm up its hiring plan for India.
“Huawei is building capacity in India. Hiring will be done as per business need. We expect to see better business there in second half of this year” Sykes said.
The company peaked revenues of $ 1.2 billion in 2011, registering a growth of around 30 per cent compared to the previous year. The company’s business had been almost flat in 2012, he said.
Huawei is also evaluating to shift its Indian global network operation centre (GNOC) to this new facility.
“We are looking to centralise our GNOC in India. Under the plan we may shift our GNOC under this new facility,” Sykes said.
The overall value of Indian defence orders placed with Russia has crossed USD 7 billion mark in 2012 and the outlook for current year is even more optimistic, Viktor Komardin, Chief of the delegation of ‘Rosoboronexport’ at Aero India 2013 aerospace show in Bangalore today said. The 9th Aero India show is scheduled for February 6-11.
Currently ‘Rosoboronexport’ is actively negotiating contracts for the modernisation of anti-submarine helicopters Kamov Ka-28 and Sukhoi Su-30MKI and supply of Mil Mi-17B-5 helicopters for Indian Home Ministry. Russia is also in the fray for the sale of refueller aircraft for the Indian Air Force.
Airtel announced the ‘Call-me-back’ service for prepaid subscribers in collaboration with mCarbon. This service will allow the users who have less than Rs. 1 balance to request their family or friends to call them back.
Call-me-back service offered by Airtel does not charge anything from the user. If the user has less than Rs. 1 balance in his account, he can send an SMS using the ‘Call-me-back’ service. The user can send a toll-free SMS with the message ‘Call and the message ‘Pls call me back’ to this friends and family members. The user will not be charged for sending this message but eh people who call back on the user’s number will be charged according to their plan rate. The user can send toll free SMS to either Airtel prepaid plan users or postpaid users including those who are in roaming. This service is only available for prepaid account users who have less than Rs. 1 balance in their account and the service can be utilized for three times in a day.
Airtel also introduced Wi-Fi Hangout, which is a prepaid hotspot service in the beginning of this week. Prepaid users can access broadband internet experience on Wi-Fi supported device laptops, mobiles and tablets. This service is presently available in only few cities such as Bangalore, Mumbai etc. Wi-Fi Hangout is available in different packages such as Rs. 20 for 30 minutes, Rs. 30 for 60 minutes and Rs. 50 for 120 minutes.
Data Share Plan is another service offered by Airtel. Users of this plan will be allowed to access 3G data on three devices by paying Rs. 1,000. After the usage of 5GB the speed will be reduced to 80DB per second and the user can use unlimited data.
mCarbon Tech Innovation Co-founder and director said that the they are happy to launch ‘Call-me-back’ service in partnership with Airtel. He said the service is part of customer experience management. He said they are positive to add more and more applications for the convenience of customers.
- Bharti Airtel raises the call tariffs (ktrmurali.wordpress.com)
“It is denying rights people of Tamil Nadu enjoyed for centuries”
Tamil Nadu on Tuesday charged Karnataka with irrigating 11.685 lakh acres as against 8.47 lakh acres permitted by the Cauvery Tribunal and depleting the water in the four reservoirs of the State.
Making a submission before a Supreme Court Bench, comprising Justices D.K. Jain and Madan B. Lokur, senior counsel C.S. Vaidyanathan, appearing for Tamil Nadu, said that in 2012-13, the State had received only 23.9 per cent inflow at Billigundlu, which worked out to 73.49 tmcft out of total availability of 307.81 tmcft. The remaining 234.32 tmcft (76.1 per cent) was fully utilised by Karnataka.
Even during 2002-2003, another comparable deficit year, the Tamil Nadu received 39.2 per cent of its share, but this year the attitude of Karnataka seemed to be that whatever water available there belonged to that State and “we will not share it.”
He said notwithstanding the deficit rainfall, Karnataka had not suffered distress and had sown crops on 11.685 lakh acres.
“It has already drawn more than 102 tmcft. (up to November 30) as against about 102 tmcft., which is the average drawal in the four major reservoirs up to the end of November.
“Thus it has not suffered any reduction either in the irrigated area or in the quantity of water. Karnataka cannot claim and seek to retain any water for the rabi crop, when Tamil Nadu could not have even one crop.”
Mr. Vaidyanathan said that while the Tribunal had permitted irrigation only on 8.47 lakh acres, the Centre allowed irrigation on over nine lakh acres and it seemed whatever Karnataka had submitted to them had been accepted.
He argued that while Tamil Nadu was suffering to salvage the samba crop, the claim made by Karnataka either for the second rabi crop or for the crops in new areas was unjustified. Further, the claim of 23 tmcft made by Karnataka for drinking water supply, including the requirement of Bangalore City from December to May, was highly exaggerated and unrealistic as the actual requirement was only 4.4 tmcft.
Senior counsel Anil Divan, appearing for Karnataka, said once the Cauvery River Authority headed by the Prime Minister had passed an order after considering all aspects, including deficit, the present application was not maintainable.
The court should not be carried away by emotional appeal or sympathy since farmers of both the States were involved, and pass ad hoc orders.
J. Venkatesan – The Hindu
Bangalore: To fund its expansion plans, Manipal Hospital is to raise almost a $100 Million India Value Fund Advisor (IVFA) by offering minority stakes. The group is planning to use the fund to upgrade the current facilities and technology used in the Hospitals and is eyeing on increasing the bed capacities of the Bangalore, Mangalore and Goa centers.
Manipal Hospitals led by Ranjan Pai had raised about $20 Million from Kotak Private Equity Group earlier in 2010. By 2014, the group wants to establish Greenfield multi-specialty hospitals in Pune, Hyderabad and Bhubaneshwar.
IVFA, which has been actively participating in deals happening in the health sector, was planning to acquire the Ahmedabad based Sterling Hospitals. The group that already holds stakes in Dubai based DM Healthcare may support Manipal to perform acquisitions in an industry where many small and independent hospitals are open to deals. Manipal has over 4,400 beds across 17 hospitals and serviced 1.8 million patients last year.
“Manipal may fetch about $280 Million valuations, giving the new investor a fairly large minority stake. They are in active discussions with three funds, including IVFA and an agreement may be reached soon. The initial deal may fall anywhere between $50 Million and $100 Million,” reported Times of India.