Bangalore Tops The List Of India’s Most Corrupt Cities: Study

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 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.

India’s First Women’s-Only Bank #BharatiyaMahilaBank

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday inaugurated the “Bharatiya Mahila Bank” or Indian Women’s Bank, the country’s first women-oriented bank aimed at providing loans and financial services to women.


The bank, fully owned by the government, started with an initial funding of 10 billion rupees ($161 million) and an all-women board comprising eight members.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had announced setting up the bank in his budget speech in February, as part of government measures to generate employment opportunities and provide funding for women.

Many, including members of the opposition, welcomed the announcement at the time. But some commentators felt the move was populist and sought to attract female voters ahead of federal elections in May next year.

Sonia Gandhi, the president of India’s ruling Congress party, of which Mr. Chidambaram and Mr. Singh are members, has asserted that a dedicated women’s bank is aimed at improving the self-sufficiency of women.

“Only 26% women in the country today have bank accounts,” Mr. Chidambaram said at a press conference in Mumbai on Tuesday, adding that a women’s-only bank will help increase this statistic.

Access to finance and banking not only helps empower women but also broadens the social base of development, thus fostering equitable growth. This is an area in which India lags far behind,” Prime Minister Mr. Singh said in his inaugural speech.

The bank, headquartered in New Delhi, will be headed by Usha Ananthasubramanian, a former executive director of Punjab National Bank, the country’s second largest state-run lender by assets. Tuesday was the launch of the inaugural branch in Mumbai.

Mr. Chidambaram said the bank is starting with seven branches and has a target to open 25 branches by March 2014. He expects the bank to open a branch in every state capital and eventually expand to smaller towns and villages, perhaps even overseas.

The bank’s priority will be women and it will design its products around them, he said.

India’s Most Wanted Female Criminals Who are Still Absconding – #Women

The femme fatale which was once a popular figure in crime fiction is today common in real life too. The number of crimes where women emerged as key players have shot up to such an extent that it has given birth to a new saying: “There is a woman behind every successful crime.” Here are the names of the most wanted female criminals in India as listed by IndiaTv

1. Reshma Memon


Reshma, the most wanted woman criminal in India is the wife of Tiger Memon who is an Indian gangster and one of the prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case. She was actively involved in the terror activities of her husband and unleashed a shower of terror all throughout the city. This Indian gangster’s wife was issued with a Red-corner notice by Interpol and a cash reward of 25,000 was announced by Mumbai police. She fled with her husband to Dubai and later shifted base to Karachi.

2. Shabana Memon


Shabana Memon is the wife of Ayub Memon who is accused of being a part of her husband’s criminal activities and for not informing police about the 1993 bomb blast. She is associated with the Dawood gang. She, too, fled to Dubai with her husband and took shelter in Karachi. The Mumbai police had issued a Red-corner against Shabana and a reward of 25,000.

3. Shobha Iyer


Shobha Iyer is one of India’s most wanted female criminals. The police have announced a reward of 10,000 for capturing Shobha. With no trace of her looks and appearance, the police find it more difficult to get hold of her. Few years back, a Red-Corner notice was issued against Shobha.

4. Samaira Jhumani


Samaira Jhumani, the divorced wife of gangster Abu Salem holds key to several intricate details about Salem and his involvement in 1993 blasts, his extortion business and other interests in property. But, Samaira is avoiding Indian law and is hiding somewhere in the U.S. As such, a Red-corner notice was issued against her.

5. Anjali Makan


Anjali Makan is another female criminal, who had committed crimes like fraud, counterfeiting and forgery.  The bank which was conned by Anjali was not successful enough in providing any information about her. She was later issued with a Red-corner notice.

6. Archana Balmukund


Archana Balmukund Sharma is a confidante and girlfriend of international gangster, Om Prakash “Babloo” Srivastava. Archana is an active member of Babloo Srivastav gang and a trusted lieutenant of Fazal-ur-Rehman. She was involved in several kidnapping and extortion cases in the northern states. She jumped bail and is allegedly running the gang from abroad. Also known by names such as Manisha Agarwal and Minakshi Ahuja, Archana is wanted by Pune police

7. Monica Maurice


Monica Maurice was arrested by the crime branch in March 2001 in a fake currency racket worth Rs 60 lakh. She was booked under the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act and detained at the Arthur Road jail. She applied for bail on humanitarian grounds after giving birth to a baby in the jail. She later jumped bail and is absconding since then.


Accused forced Mumbai gang-rape victim to watch porn clip on cell

The photojournalist who was gang-raped at the Shakti Mills compound recently was allegedly forced to watch a pornographic clip on the mobile phone of one of the five suspects.


Giving a detailed account in her supplementary statement to the police of the horrors she was put through on the premises of the derelict mill, the 23-year-old said one of the men showed her a pornographic clip before she was gang-raped, sources revealed. She has also alleged that all five had unnatural sex with her.

Crime branch sources said the police recorded the woman’s supplementary statement last week. “Since she claimed that all five had unnatural sex with her, we added section 377 of the Indian Penal Code to the case. It is also clear that the rape was a conspiracy and, so, section 120B of the Indian Penal Code, too, has been added,” said a police officer.

Based on the woman’s allegation of being shown a pornographic clip, the police have sent all the mobile phones of the five accused to forensics retrieve deleted data.

“Once we recover the clip, we will add charges under relevant sections of the Information Technology Act to the case,” said the police officer.

The police are also pinning hopes on the identification parade to nail the suspect who forced the photojournalist to watch the clip.

Satyanarayan Chaudhary, deputy commissioner of police (detection), said, “We will not ask for custody of the accused beyond September 5 unless something new crops up in the investigation. We will get the identification parade done once they are sent to judicial custody.”

Somendra Sharma 

Can Falling Rupee be Rescued by Gold in Indian Temples?

The Prime Minister, The Finance Minister, The Finance Ministry of India as well as the RBI are trying to come up with dynamic measures to solve the current problem of falling rupee and improving the Indian economy as a whole. Most of the initiatives taken by RBI met with criticism, and the need of the hour is to come up with some novel idea to curb the current crisis, reports Debiprasad Nayak of The Wall Street Journal.

One of the control measures announced by Government is to increase the import duties on gold. But experts believe that the gold loving Indians will not be affected by the price rise. According to World Gold Council, India currently has around 20,000 tons of gold worth $950 billion. About 2.79 percent of this gold is held by Reserve Bank of India and the rest is under individual possession. Few experts suggest that Government should try to make use of some of this gold. “If we will be able to bring out only 10% of the gold holdings, we don’t need to import any gold for the next two years,” said Haresh Soni, chairman of the Mumbai-based All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation.

The gold loan scheme is already practiced in India in which banks accept gold jewelry and bars from individuals and provide loan based on the quantity and current price of gold. The minimum deposit should be of 500 gm of gold. If the amount of deposit is reduced to 100 or 200 grams, it would be feasible for many Indians to use this scheme.  Hence, Government should try and make use of this unproductive asset to increase dollar inflow and reduce gold import.

Freedom Offers you can get benefited on this Independence Day #INDIA

 1 . Tata Docomo launches ‘Freedom Offer’ for prepaid GSM subscriber


On the eve of India’s 67th Independence Day, Tata Docomo has launched a new offer named as the ‘Freedom Offer’ for its pre-paid subscribers in various circles. According to the offer, a Docomo subscriber will get to use 1.9GB of 2G data for free for 7 days from the date of the recharge of the scheme.

 This offer is valid only for the Docomo’s GSM prepaid users on 2G network and will be applicable on recharges done till August 31, 2013. For Andhra Pradesh circle, the recharge pack is available for Rs 32, while for Chennai the same pack will cost Rs 31.

2. Aircel Launches Independence Day ‘Full Freedom – Full Talktime’ Offer


Aircel, this Independence Day is offering its customers a unique and exciting product – ‘Full Freedom – Full Talktime’. With this product, Aircel aims to redefine the user experience by offering Full Talk Time (FTT) starting from Rs. 10 in Western region.

Aircel constantly makes efforts to offer exciting products and services for its customers. The company strives to bring an element of ‘Extra’ in its products as a simple way to bring joy and happiness to its customers. Recently, Aircel has introduced noteworthy products in the market like ‘One Nation One Rate’ which made roaming charges free, PocketBuddies, Pocket Internet Games, Pocket Internet 24, amongst others.

Harish Sharma, Regional Business Head – West, Aircel, said, “This Independence Day, Aircel is bringing a best value for money product for its customers which gives them freedom to get FTT for as low as Rs. 10. The product will allow us to take giant strides in the voice market by making it convenient and affordable for our customers.”

New Customers in Mumbai, Maharashtra Goa and Gujarat circle :  Price Rs. 91  –  Benefits –: FTT on subsequent recharges starting from Rs. 10/30/90 (offerValidity 180 days).

Existing Customers in Mumbai, Maharashtra – Goa and Gujarat circle : Price Rs. 27  —:  Benefits – FTT on subsequent recharges starting from Rs. 10 (offer validity 60 days).

3. Cathay Pacific Airways launches ‘Freedom offer’


In order to celebrate the Indian Independence Day this year, Cathay Pacific Airways has launched the ‘Freedom offer’, as per a release. The offer is valid from August 14 to 19. Passengers booking tickets during this period have the freedom to change their date of travel multiple times free of cost. This offer is valid for all bookings made in India for travel from India to any destination on the Cathay Pacific and Dragonair network during the period.

Cathay Pacific Airways along with sister airline Dragonair offers connectivity to over 170 destinations in 40 countries.

4. Celebrate Independence Day with Hidesign’s Freedom Offer!


Celebrate Independence Day with Hidesign’s Tri-colour collection & Avail of the special Freedom OfferShop for your favourite Hidesign products and get upto 20% OFF on the second purchase

Choose from Hidesign’s collection of exclusive, handcrafted, vegetable-tanned leather bags at unbelievable prices.With a wide range of styles, Hidesign has something unique and special to offer everyone – from the bestselling Celine to stylish Harrison and Elton

The offer is on at all exclusive Hidesign stores across India until 20th of August.

Shop Online:

5. LG ‘Freedom Festival Offer’ on Cinema 3D Smart Televisions


LG introduced Freedom Festival Offer on its Cinema 3D smart televisions.  Consumers can purchase the television on easy installment schemes.  Blu-Ray player worth Rs. 1990 is also offered with every purchase of the television.

LG has come up with Freedom Festival Offer on its Cinema 3D Smart televisions to celebrate the Independence Day with LG.  Cinema 3D smart Televisions are offered with nod own payment.  They are also offered with special discount prices.  Along with the discounts, a free Blu-Ray player worth Rs. 9,990 is also offered with every purchase of Cinema 3D smart televisions.  Freedom Festival Offer is applicable on Cinema 3D smart televisions above 42 inches screen.

The Cinema 3D smart models and their offer prices are given here on which LG is offering Freedom Festival offer.  All the 3D Smart televisions are available on finance schemes with no processing fee, no verification or no hidden costs.  Standard Chartered, SBI card, Baja Finsery, Citi Bank, HDFC bank, ICICI credit card can be used to purchase the televisions.

  • Model number 55LKA6910 is offered for a price of Rs. 1,79,990 and the EMI is Rs. 11,999
  • 47LA6910 is offered with a price tag of Rs. 1,08, 990 and the EMI is Rs. 7,266
  • Model number 42LA6910  is offered under Freedom festival offer for Rs. 89,990 and the EMI is Rs. 5,999
  • 55LA6200 is offered for Rs. 1,46,990 and the EMI is Rs. 9,799
  • Model number 42LA6200’s offer price is Rs. 78,990 and the EMI is Rs. 5,266
  • 47LA6620 is another model available under Freedom Festival Offer and the offer price is Rs. 98,990 and EMI is Rs. 6,599
  • 42LA6620 is another TV in this scheme and it is offered for Rs. 81,990 and the EMI is Rs. 5,466

Blu-Ray player worth Rs. 1,999 is offered on the purchase of all the above LG Cinema 3D Smart television models.  Some of the features of the handset are voice and gesture control with the magic remote.  Time machine is another features which allow internal recording, scheduled recording and live playback.   2D content can be converted in to 3D.

LG is also introduced another combo offer in which model number 32LN5650 Jazz 1200W PMPO is which is worth Rs. 37,000  is offered along with Songstar which is worth Rs. 14,990.  Both the devices are offered for a combo price of Rs. 46,990.  Consumers can save up to Rs. 5,000.

6. BSNL has announced revised SMS Packs

bsnl-logo 100612

BSNL has announced revised SMS Packs and one new SMS STV for all the 2G and 3G prepaid customers. The SMS packs priced at Rs 12, Rs 24, Rs 31 and Rs 52 offering (network to network) Local/National SMS at 0.5p per SMS and (BSNL to others) Local/National SMS at 10p per SMS

7. Paytm Coupon ‘FREEDOM’


On using coupon ‘FREEDOM’, those who use Paytm will receive 100% cashback on their recharge. This cashback will be reflected in 3 days within recharge and it will be valid up to August 15.

8. JustRechargeIt


On the occasion of Independence Day, 500 Lucky Winners will be given 50% or maximum up to Rs 50 cashback on recharges worth Rs 100 and above. The cashback will be added into your JRI Card.

9. Loop Mobile  


Loop Mobile is providing its subscribers in Mumbai with a host of offers including Independence Day CRT. The Independence Day songs are featured on top deck of Jukebox (543213), @cafe WAP portal features a dedicated zone for Independence Day downloads and Independence Day MP3 downloads being promoted on USSD (*234*2#).

Besides these offers announced by the telcos, the online recharge websites are also offering several discounts. Below are a couple of them.



MTNL has announced two new full talktime offers for its customers in Delhi circle. These offers are applicable to both 2G and 3G customers. These offers are valid only for one week from August 12 to August 16.



On the eve of the Independence Day (August 15th), Sun Direct announces a limited period special offer priced at Rs.1947 for the Cinema + Sports pack valid from 14th to 18th August 2013. This subscription comes with 2 months subscription free. Cinema + sports pack comes at a great value of just Rs. 185 per month with 130+ channels and cheapest Cinema + sports offering among the DTH Players. This includes a range of sports and entertainment channels, with nonstop movies round the clock. The freedom offer delivers non-stop entertainment value at a very affordable price point.

This new pack is sure to address the complete entertainment needs of the entire family with the addition of 4 new popular sports channels ESPN, Star Sports, Star Sports 2 and Star Cricket- at an amazing price point. Sun Direct has also added ESPN HD and Star Cricket HD as part of their HD offering. What’s more, customers can now record their favorite serials and movies with Sun Direct offering video recording at no extra cost on all its SD + and HD + boxes.

12. India Today Group Digital rolls out ‘Freedom Offer’!


In its endeavour to celebrate 67 successful years of Indian independence, India’s leading media conglomerate, the India Today Group, has slated attractive discount offers on subscriptions of all its 18 digital magazines. The ‘Freedom Offer’ season by the group begins from 1st August’13 to 31st August’ 13 and will enable modern day readers to enjoy attractive discounts on both print and digital issues of single, three month, six month and annual magazine issues.

The season’s ‘Freedom Offer’ by the group is in line with India’s 67th year of independence where magazine lovers can enjoy discounts on magazine subscriptions i.e. 67% off on a year’s issues, 50% off on issues for six months, 25% off on issues for three months and 10% off on print and digital combination subscription offers.

The Group has also expanded its overall digital magazine portfolio introducing Prevention India Digital and Women’s Health India Digital editions recently. Other digital magazines from the group include India Today (Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam & Telugu), Business Today, Gadgets & Gizmos, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Men’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Harper’s Bazaar, Money Today, Travel Plus and Ten Years of Sex Survey. The group magazines keep the reader updated with the best of information pertaining to various genres such as politics, health, business, sports, lifestyle, entertainment, and India and world.

About India Today Group Digital Magazines

The digital media landscape is changing and is witnessing new reading trends amongst readers. In a very short span of time, India Today Group Digital has been instrumental in reaching out to its viewers, and the growing popularity of its magazines is a testimony of the group’s impactful reach to a wide variety of audiences. The digital magazines offered by the group provide impressive readability with moving covers, rich multimedia content that too at super deals across a variety of digital platforms.

  • One year subscription-67% off
  • Six month subscription-50% off
  • Three month subscription- 25% off
  • One month subscription-10% off

13. British Airways is offering 15 per cent discount on its fares to London and North America

from Indian cities to mark the country’s 67th Independence Day (I-Day)


Indian passengers travelling via London-Heathrow will also benefit from the airline’s Terminal-5, which provides seamless connections to over 200 destinations in partnership with American Airlines.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong based Cathay Pacific has announced a “Freedom Offer”, which lets passengers change their travel dates anytime on tickets booked between 14th and 19th August 2013. These tickets can be booked for travel from India to any destination on its network.

Some other airlines are asking passengers to pay 66 per cent of base fare for tickets booked on Independence Day, agents said.

British Airways’ offer is available only on the first and club world cabins, starts from August 15 and will end on August 18 on outbound travel from September 1 to December 20, the airline said in a statement.

Coinciding with the I-Day fete, the airline is also showcasing some of its iconic photos from its heritage collection, which captures its first flight to Delhi and its national crew uniforms, including the Indian sari uniform.

14. Fiat India Freedom Drive


Fiat India has launched ‘Freedom Drive’ to give customers an opportunity to drive away for a total of three nights for those who book a Fiat car to a destination of their choice.

The company also offers an exciting exchange package wherein customers can take advantage of benefits upto Rs 1 lakh in exchange of their old car, and on booking Linea or Punto, assured gifts are the order of the day.

Free checkups for Fiat vehicles are also on offer and customers are requested to take their vehicles to allocated Pit Stops in Mumbai, Pune, Chandigarh, Chennai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad on August 14 and 15 for a free check and advice on maintenance on their vehicles. This checkup camp is being offered to ensure that all Fiat cars are in perfect condition so as to ensure trouble free rides to customers as they head to their destination getaways.

Fiat Freedom Drive offer is valid till 18th August 2013 and is being initiated by the company to continue with their long term commitment to customers across the country and to create a closer bond between the company and their clientele.

Restaurants to Serve Dishes Named After UPA Scams

The drama hasn’t ended yet for the UPA government; after Hotel Aditi that had criticized the UPA government in its bills, now restaurants in Gujarat may serve dishes named after UPA scams.


From “2G ka samosa” to a toasted “Coalgate sandwich”, restaurants in Gujarat may soon add some flavor of politics, reported Tushar Tere for TNN.

Further, members of the Gujarat Rajya Hotel Federation (GRHF) have decided to stand up for Mumbai eatery Aditi Restaurant that was asked to shut down by Congress workers for criticizing the UPA government in its bills. The GRHF has more than 6,000 members across the state.

Hotelier and GRHF member Ashwin Gandhi discussed the proposal with other federation members and said “Naming food and drinks after scams is an apt reply,” as reported by TOI. He added that “Every citizen has the right to express his views.”

The controversy sparked after Mumbai based Aditi Restaurant started issuing bills that had a message at the bottom of the printed receipt saying, “As per UPA govt eating money (2G, coal, CWG scam) is a necessity and eating food in AC restaurants is a luxury.”


The GRHF was tense over the new service tax on restaurants that was imposed by the Centre a few months ago.

Sanat Relia, Southern Gujarat Hotel Association vice-president said “Bofors, 2G and other scams would appear on our menu once the proposal is approved.” He said that “We made several efforts to convince the Centre to remove the new service tax, but to no avail. Such a protest may help,” as reported by TOI.

However, the Vadodara city Congress has issued open threat to the restaurateurs in connection with the proposal. Vadodara Congress president Narendra Rawat said “This is not the correct way to protest. If any restaurant mentions about scams on their menu cards, we will protest in their premises. If the workers lose their temper and the restaurant is ransacked, we are not responsible for it.”

Rawat added that “Such hotel owners seem to be hand in gloves with BJP and they are making it a political issue. They should be ready to face ire of Congress workers.”

Indian PM Spends a Whopping 642 Crore on Travel

Strong austerity measures are being taken up from time to time by the Central Government to deal with increasing inflation in the country. But on the other hand, a study of the travelling expenses of so many ministers shows that it does not correspond with the government’s measures of strictness. The Cabinet ministers, ministers of state and even Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime minister of India spent huge amounts on their domestic and overseas trips over the last few years.
This has raised questions by many sections of the society on the government’s policy to control expenditure and also inflation. Given here is the list of travelling expenditures incurred by the Ministers of India during the year 2004 to 2011, as reported by The Hindu.

Manmohan Singh

q8964E35 The Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh’s foreign trip by means of air travel has hugely affected the government’s funds as he has spent a whopping amount of 642 crore in the previous nine years.

The information on PM’s official visits gives an insight about the overall 67 travels undertaken by Dr. Singh since 2004 when his tenure as PM started. The bills of his 62 visits were received whereas the other five still remain a mystery.  Among all the visits of the Prime minister, the highest expenditure of 26.94 crore was incurred from his weeklong visit to Mexico and Brazil in 2012 for attending the G20 Summit and Rio +20 Summit. There is also an expense of 22.70 crore used up for travelling to attend the Nuclear Security Summit, BRIC Summit and IBSA Summit at Washington DC, and Brazil in 2010. All theis information is disclosed by the PMO as part of obligations under the compulsory proactive revelation clause of the Right to Information Act.

Montek Singh Ahluwalia

fE7D3IXY Montek Singh Ahluwalia has undertaken around 42 official trips and spent every ninth day abroad during his seven year tenure as the deputy chairman for Planning Commission. Between May and October 2011, Ahluwalia has cost the exchequer a daily average amount of 2.02 lakh. He also further made four international trips that cost around 36.40 lakh just for 18 nights. UK and the U.S. were the first few destinations for the deputy chairman’s official foreign trip in the year 2004 whereas the trip to Davos, Switzerland from January 24 to January 30 was his latest according to the information provided by the Planning Commission under the Right to Information Act (RTI).

The exact expenditure incurred by Ahluwalia is 2.34 crore which he has spent on these trips. According to the Commission, he has spent 11.68 lakh during his visit to U.S. and the UK during April 18-28, 2006.But this figures might not be the exact figures as the actual numbers might be much more.

Rahul Gandhi

NfZVpyLb Rahul Gandhi, the Congress vice-president whom everyone looks up to as the youth icon of India is one of those politicians of the country who spent in lakhs and crores for a trip in and around the country and abroad too.  His trip to Tamil Nadu in 2009 raised quite a few eyebrows as his three day visit is believed to add to a sum of around 1 crore, reported The Hindu.

The report also reveals that Gandhi who flew back to New Delhi in an eight-seater Falcon 2000 aircraft which belonged to the Mumbai-based Taj Air costed approximately 20.31 lakh for a oneway trip. On September 8, Gandhi was on a day-long whirlwind tour to southern districts and had used a Pawan Hans helicopter from Thiruvananthapuram after arriving there in the Beechcraft. The total cost incurred was around 15 lakh for all these trips.

Cabinet Ministers

S0q2xlBF Almost all the Cabinet Ministers of the UPA Government have successfully contributed its shares of spending from the government’s funds. This accounts to a whopping sum of 300 crore, especially spent from their foreign and domestic travels since the government came into existence.

During the period 2006 to 2009, a sum of around 271 crore was spent on overseas visits and a sum of more than 29 crore was spent on domestic travel by the cabinet ministers. In the data given by the Cabinet Secretariat shows that more than 137 crore was spent by the cabinet ministers on their overseas travels between the year 2006-07 and 2008-09 showing the highest amount (more than Rs 115 crore) in the period 2007-08 spent on such kind of trips. The data provides shocking information about the domestic travels of the ministers of cabinet. It ranks much more than that of the expenditure spent on the abroad trips. More than Rs 163 crore was lavishly thrown away by the cabinet ministers during their tenures.

Ministers of state

59S1haI6 The ministers of state of the central government of India are also among those who enjoy all the benefits a minister of a country should get which are much more than it is endowed to be.

Since  two years from its government formation in May 2009, the ministers are found to have at least 750 visits abroad. Of all these trips, the media are just aware of the only 260 trips which amount to over Rs 12 crore. In the year 2006 to 2009, the ministers of state had a travelling expenditure to foreign countries that are more that Rs 20 crore. An amount of more than 27 crore was used up just for travels expenses of the ministers of state for a trip within the country in the period 2006-07 to 2008-09.  It was in the year 2010, the Union government put up an austerity measure to check foreign trips by the ministers of state.

Rosê future & Pink Wine

Pink used to be plonk. But no longer. The market for rosê is acquiring a serious hue. 2013-6-27 11 46 26

Just in case you thought pink wasn’t your colour, think again. The world has started to drink rosê. In fact, the French knock back over a third of the pink wine produced on the planet. The stamp of chic came with the launch of Miraval, a high-end Provencal rosê from the hippest wine-making couple on the planet, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Produced at their 1, 000-acre organic estate in Correns, France, the first lot of 6, 000 bottles sold out in March within five hours of release.

The interest in blush wine is hardly sudden. According to the 11th VinExpo study on the ‘Current trends in the international wine and spirits market and outlook to 2016′, conducted by the International Wine & Spirit Research, consumption of rosê wines is expected to increase by 7. 58 per cent between 2011 and 2016, reaching a total share of 9. 2 per cent of all wine drunk in the world.

This global trend has taken its time to reach Indian shores but now, there’s no ladies lunch, romantic dinner or a wedding that doesn’t have rosê on the menu. “Rosê is definitely a fast-moving item during lunch and its popular with the ladies, ” says Kapil Vig, F&B manager of The Lalit, New Delhi.

Its restaurants offer three labels of rosê varying in price from Rs 2, 500 to Rs 15, 000 per bottle. “Pink champagne is, in fact, very popular with the younger crowd. For example, Billecart-Salmon pink champagne does much better than the regular one, ” adds Vig.

India has taken its time to warm up to the summery goodness of rosê because most people here have a binary view of wine. It is either white or red. Rosê was just assumed to be a weak red wine. Another popular perception was that rosê is a girlie drink. But for the longest time, lack of good rosê was the big problem.

Now there are at least 10 different types of rosê, still and sparkling, and even Indian wine makers like Sula and Vinsura have produced some great, value-for-money rosê. Even though the rosê market is still relatively small with an only 5 per cent market share – it is 10 per cent of the total wine production globally – Indian importers and wine makers are enthused enough about it. According to the IWSR India Market Research Study, 55, 000 cases of rosê were consumed in India in 2012 and the 2013 estimate is 60, 000 cases (each case holds nine litres).

Mumbai-based Aspri Spirits (Pvt) Ltd, one of the leading distributors of imported premium wines, spirits and beer in the country, has seen demand for the pink stuff grow – their volume of rosê has increased by 35-40 per cent every year.

The company has brought in several labels like Champagne Lombard Cuvee Brut Rosê, Bulle No. 1, AOC Cremant Rosê De Limox, Mateus Rosê, Mateus Sparkling Rosê and Two Oceans Shiraz Rosê and has plans of introducing more labels into the market.
“Earlier, it was not a preferred drink simply because people did not know about it. Now it is gaining popularity as one of the most preferred forms of champagne, ” says Ashwin Deo from Aspri.

Sula Vineyards produced their first batch of rosê back in 2005, and today the label has three different rosê in different price categories. Most Indian wineries, now, produce and market at least one rosê wine, according to Cecilia Oldne, global brand ambassador and head of international business at Sula Vineyards.

The reason, she says, is because “It is a fun, happy and easy to drink wine. It is uncomplicated and we try to uncomplicate it even further. In one of our campaigns ‘Rosê on the Rocks’ we encourage our customers to serve it on ice, ” she details. One of her favourite cocktails, she says, is St Tropez, rosê with two-thirds of Fanta/Miranda and a slice of lime.
Rosê champagnes have also become the symbol of extravagance and romance. Every year, like it has for the past seven years, Moet & Chandon offers rosê-paired dinners at a hundred restaurants in the country on February 14. On the back of the fact that it has doubled its volumes every year for the rosê, Moet Hennessy India is hoping to push rosê into one of India’s biggest industries, weddings. “The Moet & Chandon Rosê Impêrial is the champagne of choice for those looking to gift someone an ultimate expression of love. In a $25 billion Indian wedding market, growing at a rate of 20-25 per cent annually, we see a strong trend of rosê champagnes.

We offer bottles personalised with ‘his and her’ initials, in crystals – this elegant offering often accompanies wedding invites replacing the traditional mithai box. Magnum (1. 5 litre) bottles are also a striking statement when served at a mehendi or sangeet, ” says Gaurav Bhatia, marketing director, Moet Hennessy India.

Nikhil Agarwal, sommelier and director, All Things Nice, a fine-dining consultancy firm in Mumbai feels that the rosê’s biggest plus points are that it’s a versatile, lighter style fruity wine and it adapts very well to Indian food and weather. “For Indian food with all its spice, sa refreshing rosê is a great match.

Every restaurant and hotel in India has at least two rosês on their wine list and it’s only going up. I can tell you that the number of people drinking a glass of rosê at lunch on a hot night or just because they like it will increase dramatically;all we need is a little time, ” he says.

Ruhi Batra

Being Rajinikanth’s son-in-law hasn’t helped me: Dhanush

Tamil superstar Dhanush, who is married to Rajnikanth‘s daughter, says being the son-in-law of the iconic actor has not helped or affected him.


Dhanush got married to Rajnikanth’s daughter Aishwarya in 2004.

“Being his son-in-law doesn’t do anything to me actually. I have always done my own work. It (his name) neither helped me nor affected me,” Dhanush said in an interview in Mumbai.

He says it’s not worth comparing his work with his father-in-law as their styles of working are quite different.

“My choice of films are different. My method of acting is completely different from his. So there is no room for comparison. And comparing a 20-25 films-old guy with an icon is absolutely rubbish,” he said.

Dhanush is entering Bollywood with Raanjhanaa, but has not discussed about the film with his father-in-law. “To be very honest he has been very busy with his work while I’ve been with mine. We haven’t spoken about this film yet,” he said, adding he never discusses work with his dad-in-law.

When asked about Aishwarya’s reaction about him doing a Hindi film, Dhanush said she is yet to watch it, but right now they are quite thrilled that he is speaking in Hindi.

Dhanush will be seen romancing Sonam Kapoor in Raanjhanaa which also stars Abhay Deol, Swara Bhaskar and Suraj Singh and is set to hit the screens on June 21.

Even before his film releases, Dhanush has decided to do yet another Hindi movie with Raanjhana director Anand L Rai.

“Yes I am doing my next film here with Anand sir. We share a very good rapport. When we were shooting for Raanjhanaa, we came up with an idea and it was very fascinating. I thought we would do something later, but when we finished Raanjhanaa we got very close to each other and then I agreed for the film,” Dhanush said.

However, the actor refused to divulge details about the film, saying it was too early to say which genre it falls into. But he revealed that he would co-produce it.

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