350 shops gutted in fire in south Mumbai

Fire fighters trying to douse a blaze at a mall in Crawford market area, in Mumbai on November 26, 2011. UNI PHOTO
Fire fighters trying to douse a blaze at a mall in Crawford market area, in Mumbai on November 26, 2011. UNI PHOTO
Fire fighters spray water to control the fire which broke out at Manish Market, a  commercial complex and adjoining areas in South Mumbai on November 26, 2011. UNI PHOTO
Fire fighters spray water to control the fire which broke out at Manish Market, a commercial complex and adjoining areas in South Mumbai on November 26, 2011. UNI PHOTO
A huge fire engulfed the Sara-Sahara shopping complex, near the Crawford market, in south Mumbai, early today, destroying goods worth crores of rupees.
At least 350 shops and "galas" were gutted in the fire, which broke out around 0330 hrs. The blaze originated in the Sahara Mall and spread to the shops, selling electronic, cosmetics and other imported goods.
As many as 25 fire tenders and 10 water tankers fought the  blaze for about ten hours. Fire-dousing operations are still on, fire brigade officials said. 
The area has been cordoned off by the police. The cause of the fire was still to be ascertained, police said, adding that most of the shops were completely destroyed. 

Krishna pays homage to 26/11 victims, asks Pakistan to bring perpetrators to justice

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Saturday paid homage to the 166 people who were killed in the November 26, 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai and called upon Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the crime to speedy justice.
File photo of Minister for External Affairs S. M. Krishna.
File photo of Minister for External Affairs S. M. Krishna.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna today paid homage to the 166 people who were killed in the November 26, 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai and called upon Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the crime to speedy justice.

 "I join my countrymen in paying respectful homage to the innocent men, women and children whose lives were most tragically snuffed out by the inhuman act of terrorism, inspired and carried out from across our borders, three year ago, on this day, in Mumbai," Mr Krishna said in a statement here on the third anniversary of the attacks.
"We also salute the courage and fortitude of the families who lost their loved ones in that senseless act of violence," he said.
"I once again call on our neighbor to bring the perpetrators of the crime to speedy justice," he said.
Mr Krishna said no cause could justify the use of terrorism for attainment of goals, whatsoever they may be.
"There also cannot be a selective fight against terror. The scourge of terrorism has to be comprehensively fought and eradicated in all its forms and manifestations. It must be realized that use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy, has no place in today’s world and is self destructive," he said.
Mr Krishna said issues have to be resolved through a peaceful dialogue in an atmosphere free from terror and violence.
"India is committed to having a peaceful, friendly and cooperative relationship with all its neighbours for progress and prosperity in our region. We call upon all our neighbours to join us in this endeavour of building a better future for our peoples," he said.
India blames elements based in Pakistan for the attacks, which were carried out by a group of ten terrorists who reached Mumbai through the sea route in a boat. Only one of the ten terrorists survived, and he is now facing the death penalty for his role in the attacks.
India had called off its dialogue with Pakistan after the attacks and insisted that it would be resumed only after the perpetrators of the horrendous crime were brought to book.
However, after a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani at Thimphu in Bhutan in April last year, the two sides agreed to resume the peace process.

Dhoni, Sachin rested for Windies ODIs; Sehwag named skipper

File photo of Indian batsman Virender Sehwag (R). EPA/UNI PHOTO
File photo of Indian batsman Virender Sehwag (R). EPA/UNI PHOTO
Explosive opening batsman Virender Sehwag is set to lead India in an ODI for the first time since December 2009, after the selectors decided to give regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni a break for the five-match series against the West Indies.
Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar was also rested for the first three one-dayers, while middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh was ignored on fitness grounds, which means neither has played an ODI for India since their starring roles in the World Cup win. 
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who was dropped for the home ODI series against England and the ongoing Tests against West Indies, remains out of contention too.
Since taking over as full-time captain, Dhoni has been reluctant to miss one-day games despite his exceptional workload as full-time wicketkeeper and captain of India and his IPL franchise, the Chennai Super Kings. 
In recent times, he sat out of two bilateral one-day series against New Zealand and West Indies, on either side of the World Cup. 
Gautam Gambhir stood in as captain against New Zealand, while Suresh Raina led an inexperienced side in the West Indies, in the absence of Sehwag, Gambhir and Yuvraj. Sehwag's appointment comes as a surprise since he had stated on record in 2009 that he did not desire captaincy.
Yuvraj's exclusion is believed to be due to a recurrence of the lung infection that ruled him out of the tour of West Indies earlier in the year. He returned to the side for the Tests in England, and made a fifty in Trent Bridge, before suffering a fractured finger that put him out of the rest of the series and England's return tour. 
He came back for the ongoing Tests against West Indies, but failed in the first two matches, before making way for Virat Kohli for the Mumbai Test.
The rest of the side is along expected lines, with Praveen Kumar and Vinay Kumar returning to complete the four-man seam attack that also included Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav. S Aravind and Abhimanyu Mithun, who were picked for the England ODIs, were dropped despite not getting a game in that series.
Pragyan Ojha missed out despite making a strong comeback to the Test side, which meant off-spinner R Ashwin, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and leg-spinner Rahul Sharma will be the specialist spinners.
The squad for first three ODIs: Virender Sehwag (capt), Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Parthiv Patel (wk), Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Rahul Sharma, Praveen Kumar and Vinay Kumar.

Ashwin's gutsy 103 guides India to 482, Windies post 81/2

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin today displayed his sublime batting skills with a gutsy 103 to guide India to 482 all out against the West Indies on the fourth day of the final Test and become the first Indian in 44 years to have scored a century and taken five wickets 
in a single match.
At stumps, the West Indies were on 81 for two for an overall lead of 189 runs.
It was a day that saw a decent crowd turn up at the historic Wankhede stadium in anticipation of an epic century by the living legend Sachin Tendulkar, only to be disappointed.
However, Indian left-arm-spinner Pragyan Ojha's double strike provided the early breakthroughs in the form of Adrian Barath and Kirk Edwards. 
The tweaker was on cue, trying to make something out of a placid pitch that has sent the final Test to almost on the verge of a draw.
The visitors, however, ensured no more loss of wickets and with a lead of 189 runs, it would not be surprising if they bat for one session tomorrow and ask India to chase.
Earlier, however ran out of partner at the other end as Ishant Sharma (5) and Varun Aaron (4) could not provide apt support and went back to the pavilion in quick time. The penultimate wicket fell with 463 runs on the board, making the task even tougher for Ashwin.
Prior to that, Virat Kohli could not carry the momentum and was caught by Fidel Edwards off Bishoo's bowling at a score of 52 runs.
The duo of Kohli and Ashwin had slammed quick fifties and averted an embarrassing follow-on, forging a handy partnership to steady the Indian innings. The pair took the total past the 400-run mark as the belter of a Wankhede pitch offered no assistance to the bowlers.
India had gone into lunch after a disastrous morning session that saw Sachin Tendulkar getting out in the nervous nineties for the tenth time alongside the collapse of the middle order. 
The scorecard read 376/6 at the juncture as Kohli and Ashwin tried to inch towards the mammoth Caribbean total.
Skipper M S Dhoni was claimed by his counterpart Darren Sammy as the team needed 60 more runs to avoid the follow-on with the scorecard reading 331/6.
Earlier, it was the biggest heartbreak for millions across the globe as Tendulkar got out at the cusp of a century, claimed by Ravi Rampaul at a score of 94 runs.
The crowds went into a state of unbelievable shock at the fall while Rampaul took off on a run. It was a sharp catch at second slip as Tendulkar went hard at the fuller delivery and the edge travelled to Sammy who reverse cupped it well. Tendulkar looked up at the sky and then at the toe end of his bat before slowly trudging off.
Just before the fifth wicket, a soft dismissal was in store for VVS Laxman (32) as he was out on the first ball that he faced.
The stadium was abuzz with the one thing today, Sachin Tendulkar's possible century. The name figured in talks around India and the 
globe for one simple thing- a never before feat of a hundred international centuries. However, it was not  to be and the world waits longer to see the feat happen.
The penultimate day started with India trailing by 309 runs and Dhoni's problems were compounded with the middle-order collapse. 


India 376/6 at lunch; Tendulkar misses 100th ton


India were 376 for six at lunch on day 4 of the third and final Test  against the West Indies who had the most fruitful session on a deteriorating Wankhede pitch here today. 
Young middle-order batsman Virat Kohli and off-spinner R Ashwin put up a partnership of 45-runs to guide India to 376 after the West Indies bowlers triggered a collapse that saw batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar falling short of his much-awaited 100th international ton by six runs.
Apart from Tendulkar,  India lost veteran middle-order batsman V V S Laxman and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni cheaply in the session.
Windies captain Darren Sammy clean bowled his Indian counterpart Dhoni as India lost their sixth wicket with 60 runs more needed to avoid the follow-on. 
Playing without moving his feet, Dhoni (8) was clean bowled by an incoming delivery. 
This was after Ravi Rampaul broke a billion hearts when he had  Tendulkar (94) caught by Sammy at second slip. 
This is the 10th time that Tendulkar has got out in the nineties equalling the record of Steve Waugh and Rahul Dravid. 
Earlier, pacer Fidel Edwards struck in the second over of the day when he had Laxman caught by Marlon Samuels at gully.  
Laxman fell on the first ball he faced on the day failing to add to his overnight score of 32. 
Brief scorecard:
West Indies (1st innings) 590 all out (184.1 overs)
Darren Bravo 166 (284) R Ashwin 5-156 Kirk Edwards 86 (165) V Aaron 3-106
India (1st innings) 376/6 (105 overs)
Rahul Dravid 82 (149) R Rampaul 2-68 Sachin Tendulkar 94 (153) D Sammy 2-90

Tendulkar misses out much anticipated 100th international ton

File photo of Sachin Tendulkar.
File photo of Sachin Tendulkar.
The wait for batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar's 100th international century continues as the legendary batsman fell six runs short of the unprecedented feat during the third and final Test against the West Indies at the Wankhede stadium here today.
Tendulkar, who resumed on 67 at his home ground, was dismissed for 94 when he slashed at a delivery from pace bowler Ravi Rampaul and was caught by Darren Sammy at second slip in the first session of the fourth day.
Sachin faced 20 deliveries in the morning session and smashed a total of eight fours and two sixes in a 153-ball knock.
The 100th century has been tensely anticipated since he notched two 100s during this year's World Cup to reach a total of 99. He has scored 51 test centuries and 48 in one-day internationals.

Tendulkar, Laxman steer India to 281/3 on Day 3


Veteran batsmen Sachin Tendulkar (67 not out) and V V S Laxman (32 not out) stitched together a 57-run partnership to guide India to 281 for three, still 309 runs short of the West Indies' first innings total of 590 runs, in the final session of play on day 3 of the third Test match here today.
Tendulkar kept his date with the home crowd as he slammed a solid fifty, inching closer to the elusive and historic 100th international century at the Wankhede stadium.
By the close of play, the hosts had lost their top three - Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid. Sehwag fell rather cheaply, becoming the first frontline batsman in the match not to get a half-century, but Gambhir and Dravid returned normalcy to proceedings making 55 and 82, respectively.
Dravid, meanwhile, completed 13,000 runs in the Test cricket.
India started their innings on a brisk note and were 74 for one in their first innings in reply to West Indies 590 all out at lunch.
The opening duo of Sehwag and Gambhir started well and punished the bowlers at will to pile up another half-century stand until Caribbean skipper Darren Sammy went through the defence of the dangerous Sehwag with the Indian total at 67.
Gambhir and veteran middle-order batsman Dravid ensured there were no further hiccups till the lunch break and batted cautiously with India trailing by 516 runs with nine first innings wickets in hand.
Both batsmen were set, and the track was still a shirtfront, but West Indies managed to wheedle out a wicket, when Ravi Rampaul banged in a bouncer that Gambhir threw his bat at. The ball flew through to the keeper, and though the Snickometer showed nothing, the umpire was convinced there was an edge.
The crowd wasn't too disappointed since it brought in Tendulkar, continuing his quest for the century that has eluded him since March. 
The batting legend used his feet well against the spinners right from the start, and quickly progressed to 20. After tea, the crowd had more to cheer as he upper-cut Fidel Edwards into the stands beyond third man. It was a shot he repeated against a quicker one from Samuels, getting four for his effort.
Dravid worked his way to 1000 runs for the year, and his half-century soon after. He showed his presence of mind on the final delivery before tea: after he defended the ball, it spun alarmingly back towards the stumps, but he reacted just in time, booting the ball away when the it was inches away from the wickets. 
Earlier, resuming at their overnight total of 575 for nine, the last Caribbean duo of Fidel Edwards and Bishoo resisted for 15 minutes, indulging in a whole lot of entertaining tail-ender swings, to add 15 runs to the total.
Meanwhile, Indian off-spinner R Ashwin claimed his second five-wicket haul in Test cricket after the tweaker got broke the stumps of Devendra Bishoo in the fourth over of the day.
 West Indies first innings (overnight 575-9)
 A Barath c Dhoni b Ashwin        62
 K Brathwaite c Kohli b Ashwin    68
 K Edwards c Dhoni b Sharma       86
 D Bravo c Dhoni b Aaron         166
 K Powell c Dhoni b Ojha          81
 M Samuels c Dravid b Ashwin      61
 C Baugh b Aaron                   4
 D Sammy c Dhoni b Aaron           3
 R Rampaul c Kohli b Ashwin       10
 F Edwards not out                11
 D Bishoo b Ashwin                12    
 Extras (b-8, lb-16, nb-2)        26  
 Total (in 184.1 overs)          590 all out  
 Fall of wickets: 1-137, 2-150, 3-314, 4-474, 5-518, 6-524,
7-540, 8-563, 9-566  
 Bowling: Sharma 32-9-84-1, Aaron 28-4-106-3, Ojha
48-10-126-1, Ashwin 52.1-6-156-5, Sehwag 16-1-61-0, Kohli
2-0-9-0, Tendulkar 6-0-24-0
  India first innings
 G Gambhir c Baugh b Rampaul      55
 V Sehwag b Sammy                 37
 R Dravid b Samuels               82
 S Tendulkar batting              67
 VVS Laxman batting               32
 Extras (b-1, w-3, nb-4)           8
 Total (in 80 overs)             281 for three 
  Fall of wickets: 1-67, 2-138, 3-224
   Bowling: F Edwards 15-0-70-0, Rampaul 12-1-42-1, Sammy 22-3-67-1, 
Samuels 11-0-48-1, Bishoo 20-4-53-0.
   India lead the series 2-0.

Wadekar to receive BCCI Lifetime Achievement Award


Former Indian skipper Ajit Wadekar has been selected for the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) C K Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award for this year.
The award, which comprises a trophy, citation and Rs 15 lakhs in cash will be given to the legendary batsman at the annual BCCI awards ceremony in Chennai on December 10.
Having made his Test debut in 1966 under the late Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Wadekar enjoyed instant success as captain when he led India to maiden Test series wins in the West Indies and England in 1971 in his first two assignments. 
He had a hat-trick of successive series wins as captain, after India beat England at home in 1972-73.
The 1974 tour of England brought a premature end to his career at the age of 33 as India were thumped 0-3, which included getting bowled out for 42 at Lord's. 
Wadekar played just one more first-class game after that tour and retired, having represented India in 37 Tests, and scored 2113 runs. He also scored 15,380 runs from 237 first-class matches, and led Bombay to Ranji Trophy triumphs in 1968-69, 1969-70, 1971-72 and 1972-73.
Wadekar was part of India's first overseas Test series win against New Zealand, in 1968. He was also the manager of the Indian team from 1992-93 to 1995-96, and chairman of the selection committee in 1998-99.
The other notable recipients are Jhulan Goswami - for the Best Woman Cricketer of 2010-11 - and Rahul Dravid for the Polly Umrigar Award in recognition of his Test batting over the years.
Other awards:
Madhavrao Scindia award for the highest scorer in the Ranji Trophy 2010-11 - S Badrinath 
Highest wicket-taker in Ranji Trophy - Bhargav Bhatt 
Lala Amarnath Award for the best all-rounder of Ranji Trophy - Iqbal Abdulla 
Best Umpire in domestic cricket - S Ravi
Best Under-19 cricketer - Avi Barot 
Best Under-22 cricketer - Suryakumar Yadav 
Best all-rounder in domestic limited-overs - Sumit Narwal.

Tata Sons names Cyrus P Mistry as successor to Ratan Tata

The Board of Directors of Tata Sons at its meeting on Wednesday appointed Mr. Cyrus P. Mistry as Deputy Chairman of the company who will succeed Mr Ratan N Tata as Chairman when he retires in December 2012.
Cyrus P. Mistry, Deputy Chairman, Tata Sons Limited
Cyrus P. Mistry, Deputy Chairman, Tata Sons Limited

The Board of Directors of Tata Sons at its meeting today appointed Mr. Cyrus P. Mistry as Deputy Chairman of the company who will succeed Mr Ratan N Tata as Chairman when he retires in December 2012.

A press release from the company said Mr Mistry, 43, would work with Mr Tata over the next year and added that the appointment was made as per the unanimous recommendation of the Selection Committee.

Endorsing the appointment, Mr Tata said: “The appointment of Mr. Cyrus P. Mistry as Deputy Chairman of Tata Sons is a good and far-sighted choice.

"He has been on the Board of Tata Sons since August 2006 and I have been impressed with the quality and caliber of his participation, his astute observations and his humility. He is intelligent and qualified to take on the responsibility being offered and I will be committed to working with him over the next year to give him the exposure, the involvement and the operating experience to equip him to undertake the full responsibility of the Group on my retirement," Mr Tata added.

Mr Mistry, currently Managing Director, Shapoorji Pallonji Group, has been a Director of Tata Sons since August 2006. He is a graduate of Civil Engineering from Imperial College, London, and has a Master of Science in Management from the London Business School.

“I feel deeply honoured by this appointment. I am aware that an enormous responsibility, with a great legacy, has been entrusted to me. I look forward to Mr Tata’s guidance in the year ahead in meeting the expectations of the Group," Mr Mistry said.

"I take this responsibility very seriously and in keeping with the values and ethics of the Tata Group I will undertake to legally dissociate myself from the management of my family businesses to avoid any issue of conflict of interest," he added.


Born on July 4, 1968, Mr Mistry graduated from the Imperial College, London with a BE in civil engineering. He also holds a masters degree in management from the London Business School, and is a fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Apart from the Tata Group, he also serves as a director on the board of several other companies, including his family business Shapoorji Pallonji & Co, Forbes Gokak, Afcons Infrastructure and United Motors (India).

He is the younger son of Pallonji Mistry, the largest individual shareholder in Tata Sons.

The Tata Group comprises over 100 operating companies in seven business sectors: communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals.

The group has operations in more than 80 countries across six continents, and its companies export products and services to 85 countries. The total revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $83.3 billion (around Rs379,675 crores) in 2010-11, with 58 per cent of this coming from business outside India. Tata companies employ over 425,000 people worldwide.

Tata Sons is the promoter of all key Tata companies and holds the bulk of shareholding in these companies. The chairman of Tata Sons has traditionally been the chairman of the Tata group.

About 66 per cent of the equity capital of Tata Sons is held by philanthropic trusts endowed by members of the Tata family. The biggest of these trusts are the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Sir Ratan Tata Trust, which were created by the families of the sons of Jamsetji Tata.


Under Mr Mistry's guidance, Shapoorji Pallonji’s construction business has grown from a turnover of $ 20 million to approximately $ 1.5 billion. The companies have evolved from pure construction to now executing projects under design & build and EPC delivery methodologies, implementing complex projects in the marine, oil and gas, rail sectors.

Under his stewardship, the companies registered many firsts in India – construction of the tallest residential towers, the longest rail bridge, the largest dry dock and the largest affordable housing project. The group’s international construction business is now present in over 10 countries.

Mr Mistry was responsible for building the infrastructure development vertical in the Shapoorji Pallonji Group starting in 1995 with a 106 MW power project in Tamil Nadu followed by the development of the India’s largest biotech park near Hyderabad in partnership with the Andhra Pradesh government. The infrastructure vertical has also developed two large road projects totaling an investment of $ 550 million.

Shapoorji Pallonji Group’s recent foray into agriculture & bio fuels, with the leasing of 50,000 hectares in Ethiopia, was overseen by him.

Mr Mistry is also on the Board of the Construction Federation of India, Imperial College Advisory Board, on the Board of Governors of NICMAR, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineers.



RIL, BP to set up JV for sourcing, marketing & transporting natural gas

Energy majors Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and BP have announced the incorporation of a 50:50 joint venture (JV) which will focus on global sourcing and marketing of natural
gas in India.

A press release from RIL said the joint venture would also develop infrastructure to accelerate transportation and marketing of natural gas within the country.

The release said the joint venture would be funded with equal equity from BP and RIL. The company’s Board comprises six members with equal representation from BPand RIL.

Kris Sliger from BP will be appointed Chairman and RIL’s Bibhas Ganguly will be appointed Vice-Chairman.

The executive team comprises Hiten Mehta (BP), Chief Executive Officer; Suresh Manglani (RIL), Chief Financial Officer; Amit Mehta (RIL), Chief Operating Officer and Brian Dodson (BP), Chief Commercial Officer.

"Our vision is to see the RIL-BP joint venture company emerge as a major participant in meeting India’s growing gas demand. The need for assured gas supplies to fuel this growth is crucial and the RIL–BP partnership is in a unique position to contribute significantly in this respect," Sashi Mukundan, Region President and Country Head, BP India said.

"The incorporation of the joint venture company is a significant step in the relationship of RIL and BP and further establishes the commitment of both the parties to the Indian market," said P M S Prasad, Executive Director, RIL.

"Demand for gas has been growing at an exponential rate and we anticipate natural gas to emerge as the preferred choice of fuel given its properties as a cleaner and sustainable fuel source," he said.

The release said India Gas Solutions would commence operations with 30 employees seconded from BP and RIL, with deep experience in the gas business, both in India and internationally.

The joint venture would assume the administration of the existing gas contracts to KG D6 customers, and will also pursue other opportunities, including LNG import, the release added.


SBICAPS to host maiden Cross-Border M&A Forum in India

SBI Capital Markets Limited (SBICAPS), India's leading investment bank and project adviser, is organising a two-day Cross-Border Merger & Acquisition (M&A) Forum here from tomorrow.
SBICAPS is the Indian member of M&A International Inc. (MAI), an integrated alliance of industry-leading advisory and finance firms with transactional experience around the world, 
A press release from the organisers said the forum was based on a unique “corporate speed networking” format and is specifically designed for structured networking, building relationships, and discussing and generating business opportunities.
It allows delegates to meet and share ideas with M&A advisors from more than 40 countries, network with international corporate leaders, and discuss business with the leading private equity funds and representatives from the M&A community, all in one place, all in one day, the release said.
According to it, the event will see attendance from top business houses from all over India and over 250 M&A professionals who have the experience and know-how to help clients explore and progress their M&A objectives.
More than 750 pre-arranged one-to-one private meetings have been scheduled between strategic minds from the corporate world and M&A professionals from around the globe based on their geographical and sector interests.
“Indian clients of SBICAPS are presented with an opportunity to interact with an investment banking partner of SBICAPS in countries of interest to them, and with the requisite domain expertise to support their global strategy," Mr. S. Vishvanathan, MD&CEO, SBICAPS said.
"I have not seen any other event that provides for pre-fixed meetings with over 40 M&A firms all in one place and in one day that is not chance networking. It’s an extraordinary opportunity," Mr Vishvanathan added.
Mr. Scott Hardman, Chairman, M&A International Inc said, “Our unique alliance, which combines local market knowledge with professional discipline and sector expertise, is truly committed to the success of our clients. No longer do middle-market companies need to settle for second-rate service.”
SBICAPS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of State Bank of India, the largest and oldest commercial bank in India.

It's a baby girl for Aishwarya and Abhishek Bachchan

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Bollywood actors Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan became the proud parents of a baby girl, their first child, early today.

Aishwarya, a former Miss World, gave birth to the baby at the Seven Hills Hospital in suburban Andheri here this morning.

"I AM DADA to the cutest baby girl!!", Abhishek's father and megastar Amitabh Bachchan said on the micro-blogging site Twitter.

"A dada ji..Ecstatic!!!!", he said, adding a big "thank you all!" to all those who sent them greetings on hearing the news.

Aishwarya was admitted to the hospital on Monday night.

A UNI report said Aishwarya delivered the baby under the care of Dr Vinita Salvi, head of obstetrics and gynaecology at the hospital. Dr Salvi said the mother and daughter were both doing fine.

"It's a girl!!," Abhishek, 35, posted on Twitter. He had recently said he wanted a daughter. who looked like Aishwarya.
Hospital sources said the delivery was normal and came a few minutes before 10OO hrs. The Bachchan and Rai families were present at the hospital.
Aishwarya, 38, developed labour pains around 0400 hrs and was taken to the labour room, where the delivery took place after nearly six hours, the sources said.
The baby is Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan's third grandchild, after Agastya and Navya Naveli--children of his daughter Shweta and son-in-law Nikhil Nanda.
Aishwarya was married to Abhishek in April 2007.

CBFC denies MNS allegation on certification of Marathi films


The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) today denied allegations by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) that Marathi films are being certified by persons who do not know Marathi.
A day after the CBFC office at Walkeshwar Road in Mumbai was ransacked, allegedly by MNS supporters, the CEO of CBFC had clarified that its Advisory Panel of 123 members has 47 members whose mother tongue is Marathi.
It said that almost all the films are certified at the local level by the Advisory Panel, which consists of members drawn from various fields. 

Aishwarya Rai admitted to Seven Hills Hospital in Mumbai

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, expecting her first child, was admitted to the Seven Hills Hospital in suburban Andheri here early today. 
As the arrival of the junior-most Bachchan is awaited by her family, fans and well-wishers, security at the hospital has been beefed up. More than 100 security personnel have been posted at the hospital, sources said.
Aishwarya is married to popular actor Abhishekh Bachchan.
Her father-in-law and megastar Amitabh Bachchan tweeted early today : "A day of expectations! but the Lord has his way and they are most special....we wait!!." 

Sensex slips by 169.28 pts to 17,192.82, 3-week-low


The Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) declined further today by 169.28 points to settle at 17,192.82, a three-week-low, due to poor Index of Industrial Production (IIP) data and selling pressure in Bankex, Metal and Realty stocks.

The Sensex registered the day's high and low at 17,279.23 and 17,096.84 points, respectively.

The Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) eased by 52.20 points to 5168.85.

It recorded the day's high and low at 5,198.60 and 5,142.25 points, respectively.


Rapper Pitbull to perform in Noida, Mumbai, Pune in December

Eminent rapper and singer-songwriter Armando Christian Pérez, popularly known as Pitbull, is scheduled to perform at concerts in Noida, near Delhi, and Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra early December, the organisers said today.
Pitbull will perform in Noida on December 2, Mumbai on December 3 and Pune on December 4, a press release from P3P E Ventures Pvt Ltd, the organisers said. These will be the singer's first concerts in India.
The release said the proceeds of the concerts would be donated to reputed non-governmental organisation (NGO) Suryoday Aids Foundation.

Rupee opens at 50.24 against US dollar, 2-year-low

The rupee today opened at 50.24 per US dollar, declining by 9 paise, a two-year-low, against the greenback in the opening trade on rising demand for dollars from bankers and weak opening in share market, dealers at the Interbank Foreign Exchange said.
The local unit registered an intra-day high and low at 50.24 and 50.09 per US dollar, respectively, with a major fluctuation. 
The rupee was down for the third day today following the dollar's gain against other world currencies. The sliding equity market also put pressure on it, dealers said.
Before this, the domestic unit was at 50.42 on April 28,2009. The rupee closed at 50.15 on Wednesday.
The market was closed yesterday for Guru Nanak Jayanti.

Man burnt to death over property dispute in Mumbai

A 36-year-old Bollywood lightman, resident of Sundar Wadi in Versova in the western suburbs, was set ablaze outside his home by three people over a property dispute.

The deceased, identified as Rehmat Shah, was burnt alive late Monday night, police said.

According to Shah's family, his seven-year-old son Rizwan came out at night looking for his father when he saw him up in flames. "I saw my father burning and got frightened. I ran to my uncle Ahmed and told him," said Rizwan.

Shah's wife, Mumtaz, was away at her village along with their five-year-old son Rihan at the time of the incident.

Shah's brother, Ahmed, who called up the police control room, said that after Rizwan told him of the incident, he rushed out to see a burning figure, screaming and scrambling around in the open ground.

"Nobody came forward to douse the fire or help him. By the time I intervened to help, it was too late," said Ahmed. The victim was rushed to the Cooper Hospital, where he was declared brought dead.

A local goon and two of his accomplices ran away from the spot after torching Shah and a complaint has been lodged against the three, he said.

The Versova police have filed an FIR against the trio under sections 302 (murder) and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.


Former US President George Bush in Mumbai on private visit

Former United States President George W Bush arrived in the metropolis on a private visit last night.
He is accompanied by a 30-member delegation. Soon after his arrival at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, his motorcade left for the Taj Mahal Palace hotel at Colaba, US Consulate sources said.
Tight security was seen outside the hotel where he will be staying. He is due to attend ICICI Lombard's 10th anniversary celebrations.

Gold, cash stolen from Congress MP's home in Bhiwandi


Two burglars allegedly broke into the Bhiwandi bungalow of Congress MP Suresh Taware and made away with two kg gold worth over Rs 50 lakh, and Rs 2 lakh in cash, police said.

They also allegedly assaulted the MP's neighbour, who was staying in the bungalow in Thane district in his absence.
Kamlakar Taware, the MP's elder brother, currently lives in the bungalow along with his family. On Saturday, Kamlakar left for Mahabaleshwar with his family and instructed his neighbour Shreenivas (60) to stay in the bungalow till they returned. 
Around 2030 hrs, Shreeniwas went to the bungalow, but when he tried to open the door, the two burglars, who were hiding inside, hit him with a rod, police said.
The thieves then dragged Shreeniwas into the bathroom, where they tied his hands and mouth and warned him not to raise an alarm. After ransacking the house, the duo fled early yesterday. The neighbour has been hospitalised, police said.
Kamlakar was informed about the incident yesterday morning. Police has mounted a search for the thieves, the sources added.

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust signs MoU with Venice Port Authority


The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Mumbai and Venice Port Authority of Italy signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Chennai today as part of efforts for greater cooperation between the two countries in the area of trade, especially maritime activities.

The MoU was signed by Mr L.Radhakrishnan, Chairman, JNPT and Capt Antonio Revedin of the Venice Port Authority was represented by Capt. Antonio Revedin in the presence of Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan.
Mr Vasan said JNPT was the largest port in India for solids handling and it had a 55 per cent market share in containers among the major ports of India. Venice is one of the most important European ports for break bulk and project cargo traffic.
He said JNPT expected to strengthen its relationship with Venice and enhance direct shipping to and from that port.
He said this was bound to be a mutually advantageous relationship for not only the to ports but also for the manufacturing and trade sectors of both countries, he said.
"With over 2 million passengers per year, Venice is the first home port for cruise ships in the Mediterranean Sea. The expertise of Port of Venice in cruise shipping could also be shared with JNPT in order that this expanding segment of tourism can develop faster in India," he said.

Singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika passes away in Mumbai

Bhupen Hazarika
Bhupen Hazarika

Noted singer and composer Bhupen Hazarika, a doyen of the film industry and regarded as one of the greatest ballad singers, passed away at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital here today of multi-organ failure.

He was 85.
Hazarika, who had undergone an open heart surgery about a year ago, had been admitted to the hospital in Andheri on June 29 after he complained of uneasiness and giddiness.
His health deteriorated on October 23 after he developed pneumonia and he was shifted the intensive care unit of the hospital.
He was put on ventilator support and was undergoing dialysis. Over the last few days, his kidneys were not functioning properly, sources said.
Hazarika had celebrated his 85th birthday in hospital on September 8.
He had sung in many Indian languages, including Bengali, Assamese and Hindi. He was the recipient of the Padma Bhushan and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
President K.R. Narayanan presenting the Padma Bhusan Award-2001 to singer Bhupen Hazarika at Rashtrapati Bhawan, in New Delhi on March 21, 2001.
President K.R. Narayanan presenting the Padma Bhusan Award-2001 to singer Bhupen Hazarika at Rashtrapati Bhawan, in New Delhi on March 21, 2001.
Hazarika was also an acknowledged poet, actor, journalist, author and film-maker and a pioneer of the film industry in Assam.
As a singer, he had a huge fan following, with his deep baritone voice and crisp diction. The lyrics he wrote touched on social and political themes. His compositions made use of folk music as well as contemporary elements.
Born on September 8, 1926, he graduated in arts from the Banaras Hindu University in 1944 and did his M.A. in Political Science in 1946. He then spent five years in the United States, where he earned a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the Columbia University. 
He also received the Lisle Fellowship from Chicago University to study the use of educational project development through cinema.
Over the years, he emerged as a leading film maker and helped to place Assamese cinema on the national and international cinema map. He was elected as an independent candidate to the Assam legislative assembly in 1967.
Hazarika's career in films began as a child actor in 1939 in Indramali, one of the early talkies in India and only the second Assamese film. He wrote and sang his first song at the age of 10.
He produced, directed and composed music and sang for several Assamese films, including Era Batar Sur in 1956, Shakuntala. in 1960, Pratidhwani in 1964, Lotighoti. in 1967, Chick Mick Bijuli in 1971, Mon Projapati. in 1978, Swikarokti. in 1986, and.Siraj in 1988. 
He produced and composed music for the award-winning Hindi feature film Ek Pal. in 1986, directed by Kalpana Lajmi and starring Shabana Azmi, Nasiruddin Shah and Faroque Shaikh. 
He was also the executive producer and music composer for the much-acclaimed Hindi film Rudaali, featuring Dimple Kapadia, Raj Babbar, Amjad Khan and Rakhi.
He won the National Award for the best film maker thrice: for Shakuntala, Pratidhwani, and Loti Ghoti in 1960, 1964 and 1967, respectively. He also won the National Award for best music composer in 1977 for the Assamese film Chameli Memsaab..
Among various organisations, he was associated with the Central Board of Film Certification,  the National Film Development Corporation, the Children's Film Society of India and the Film and Television Institute of India.

6 Sai Baba devotees killed as car overturns in Maharashtra


Six people, including two women, have been killed and five others injured when their car overturned after hitting a road divider at Khardi on the Mumbai-Agra Highway, near Sahapur, the district rural police said.

Police said the deceased were returning to Mumbai from a "darshan" of Sai Baha at Shirdi last evening when the accident occurred.
The injured, who include two children and three women, have been admitted to the Thane Civil Hospital and Sion Hospital.
The Disaster Control officials identified the dead as Shyamsunder A Shukla, Dinesh Tripati, Shushila K Shukla, Baroti R Tiwari, Rajmani R Tiwari, and Shuas Tiwari.
The Sahapur police have registered a case of accidental death and are investigating the case, police said.

Keenan-Reuben murder accused in judicial custody till Nov 18


The Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate's court today extended the remand of four persons arrested for the murder of two youths, Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandez, to judicial custody till November 18.

The four - Jitendra Rane (25), Satish Dulhaj (35), Sunil Bodh (20) and Deepak Tival (18) - had been in police custody after their remand was extended till today.
Police claimed to have recovered the second knife used in the murder after the four accused had confessed.
On the night of October 20, Keenan and Reuben and five of their friends came out for a "paan" after having dinner in Amboli Restaraunt in suburban Andheri. They got into an argument with main accused Jeetendra after he allegedly started harassing Keenan's girlfriend. Rana retreated only to return with 20 friends and stabbed Keenan and Reuben.
"Since he (Keenan) was first, they grabbed hold of him and started beating him mercilessly," Keenan's brother said.
Keenan died on the same day while Reuben succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday.

Sadhvi Pragya's lawyer alleges she was manhandled in jail by fellow prisoners


The 2008 Malegaon bomb blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur has sought police protection inside the Byculla District Jail here after she was allegedly manhandled by some African women prisoners, her lawyer said.

Advocate Ganesh Sovani, while talking to mediapersons, confirmed this and said he would be moving an application before Special Judge, Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act court, tomorrow morning in this connection since her life could be in danger.
Recounting the incident, Mr Sovani said that, on November 1, Bhagwan Jha, the Sadhvi’s brother-in-law, happened to meet her in the jail when she recounted the incident which happened on October 27.
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