Legendary wrestler, actor Dara Singh passes away

Legendary wrestler and film actor Dara Singh passed away at his Mumbai residence early Thursday morning after a brief illness. He was 83.
File photo of Dara Singh
File photo of Dara Singh
Legendary wrestler and film actor Dara Singh passed away at his Mumbai residence early this morning after a brief illness. He was 83.
Dara Singh had been admitted to the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital on July 7 after a cardiac arrest, which had led to "significant brain damage". He was taken off the ventilator,  discharged from the hospital and taken home by his family after his condition failed to show improvement despite all the efforts by the doctors.
Doctors had given him very little chance of recovery, and his family wanted him to spend his last moments at home. The end came around 0730 hours today, sources said.
Born on November 19, 1928 at Dharmuchak in Amritsar district of Punjab to Surat Singh and Balwant Kaur, Dara Singh Randhawa had earned a formidable countrywide reputation as a wrestler before he started acting in Hindi films in 1962.
One of his most memorable roles was as Hanuman in filmmaker Ramanand Sagar's television serial Ramayan. He was last seen in the Shahid Kapoor-Shahid Kapoor starrer "Jab We Met" in 2007, in which he played the heroine Geet's grandfather.
He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in August 2003 for a six-year term.
Dara Singh in his last movie appearance, as Geet's grandfather, in Jab We Met.
Dara Singh in his last movie appearance, as Geet's grandfather, in Jab We Met.
Dara Singh was encouraged to take to wrestling from an early age, thanks to his good physique and before long he was a crowd puller at wrestling tournaments across India and in wrestling events at fairs and carnivals.
He was coached in the basics of wrestling by renowned wrestler Harman Singh. In 1951, he defeated the reigning champion in Malaysia and was crowned “ Champion of Malaysia”. He travelled to Indonesia,  London, Canada and various European countries winning accolades everywhere.
In 1953, he arrived in Mumbai and a year later he became the Indian champion defeating over a hundred contestants. In 1959, he won the Commonwealth championship and his moment of glory came on May 29,1964 when he was declared the world champion. He successfully defended his title for 29 years before retiring in 1983.
During an unparalleled career, he achieved success against some of the best known wrestlers in India and abroad, including Oriental champion King Kong, George Gordienko of Canada and John de Silva of New Zealand.
Some of his other major fights included those with Pakistan champion Mazid Akra, Shane Ali and Tariq Ali (also of Pakistan), Prince Kumali (Africa), Rikidozan of Japan and European champion Bill Robinson. He defeated them and many others in bouts in front of their home crowds. He retired from wrestling in 1983.
Dara Singh in his early days as a wrestler.
Dara Singh in his early days as a wrestler.
After  he made a foray into films, he quickly earned a name for himself as the "action king". In many of his films, the female lead was played by Mumtaz, who went on to become one of the most successful actresses in Hindi cinema. They were paired in films such as Do Dushman, Samson, Daku Mangal Singh, Tarzan comes to India, Jung aur Aman and Faulad.
He made the transition from the wrestling ring to film studios with ease and wooed film buffs and sports fanatics alike with his deadly punches.
He featured in nearly 120 movies in a film career spanning more than four decades, appearing in mythologicals, fantasies and action movies.
Apart from Ramayan, he played Hanuman in Bajrangbali. He insisted in doing all the stunts in his movies himself.
He achieved stardom in films while still active as a wrestler. In 1951, he ha faced the camera for the first time for a Sri Lankan movie which was followed by a Hindi film called Pehli Jhalak in which he had a fight scene with Om Prakash.
In 1962, Dara Singh featured in a movie King Kong opposite Kum Kum by Devi Sharma. The movie was a hit.  He also won appreciation in Sohrab Modi’s Sikander-e-Azam. 
He would always confess that he never liked his performances.However, he liked himself in Samson, Lootere, Mera Desh Mera Dharam,  Faulad and Mard.
In the 1980s and 1990s, he was seen in many serials on the small screen. During his Bollywood career, he also produced and directed some movies.
Dara Singh was also the owner of the Dara Studio at Rupnagar in Punjab, which he founded in 1978.
Some of the other popular movies featuring him in the lead role were Aaya Toofan, Hum Sab Ustad Hain and Hum Sab Chor Hain.
(Photos: Courtesy: Dara Singh's Official Website)
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Wrestler/actor Dara Singh passes away

Expedia partners with Thomas Cook India to offer visa services


Online travel company Expedia India today announced a tie-up with Thomas Cook Visa & Passport Services, a business division of Thomas Cook (India) Ltd (TCIL), a travel and travel- related financial services company in India, to provide a range of visa assistance services to its customers. 

Expedia India has waived the visa processing charge for its customers booking international flights and packages, a press release from the company said.
Thomas Cook Visa & Passport Services will provide end to end visa related services to Expedia India’s customers via an xml based web service.
"The partnership will enable all registered users of to access visa information by obtaining a unique Expedia ID from Thomas Cook India’s Visa and Passport Service 'Knowledge Centre' - a unique and proprietary online visa content platform and avail of 24x7 visa assistance services," the release said.

CBI arrests senior manager of Bank of India in Mumbai on bribery charges


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today said it had arrested a senior manager of the public sector Bank of India, Main Branch, Mumbai for demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs. 1 lakh from a financial consultant.

The consultant had complained to the agency that the official had demanded a bribe from him at the rate of 5 per cent of the subsidy claims filed by him on behalf of his various clients and had directed him to give a bribe of Rs 1 lakh.
A press release from the CBI said the agency laid a trap and caught the official red-handed while allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 1 lakh from the complainant.
The release said searches were conducted at the official and residential premises of the accused at Mumbai, Titwala and Kolkata which yielded a recovery of cash worth approximately Rs. 25 lakhs and gold coins weighing 150 grams.
The accused was produced before Special Judge, Mumbai and was remanded to police custody till July 10, the release added.

Mindlogicx Infratec to merge with software trainer SQL Star International

SQL Star International Ltd., a prominent player in the authorized software training market, today announced its intent to merge Mindlogicx Infratec Ltd, a products and services player in the examination automation segment, with itself.
The combined business will have an integrated offering that includes a comprehensive and proven solution to large universities and other institutions for managing their examinations end to end and to help them deploy a distributed learning framework through its industry-grade products: IntelliExams for examination automation and GradFirst for knowledge delivery and skills enhancement, a press release from SQL Star said.
According to it, Mindlogicx Infratec has developed and delivered industry-strength products and solutions in the higher education segment. All the services are offered through their patent pending technology platform Vedas.

3i Fund invests Rs 200 in Supreme Infrastructure India Ltd's BOT road projects

3i India Infrastructure Fund, an investment fund established by international investor 3i Group plc, has completed its Rs 200 crore investment for a minority stake in a portfolio of road BOT companies of Supreme Infrastructure India Limited (SIIL).

The transaction was signed and announced on 30 January 2012. Ernst & Young was the exclusive financial adviser to SIIL for this fund raise.
SIIL is a construction and infrastructure company in India, focused on roads, bridges, power, water, railways and civil construction and infrastructure among other activities, with its primary focus in the roads and highway sector along with other verticals of infrastructure. 

Tendulkar skips SL tour, Sehwag, Zaheer back in squad

File photo of Indian batsman Virender Sehwag (R). EPA/UNI PHOTO
File photo of Indian batsman Virender Sehwag (R). EPA/UNI PHOTO

Opener Virender Sehwag and pace bowler Zaheer Khan returned to the 15-member Indian cricket team named by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the five one-day nternationals and one T20 match to be played in Sri Lanka beginning July 21.

Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, 39, has chosen to skip the tour, and his place has been taken by young Mumbai batsman Ajinkya Rahane.
Pace bowler Umesh Yadav, who, too, had missed the Asia Cup in Bangladesh, with Sehwag and Zaheer, due to fitness problems, is also back in the team. He takes the place of Praveen Kumar.
In other changes from the team that failed to make it to the finals of the Asia Cup, left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha has been brought in in place of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who has not been in form.
The team was announced after a meeting ofthe All India Senior Selection Committee of the BCCI at the Cricket Centre here today.
"We have the best available team. Sachin is not available. I think it is a very good side which has a very strong batting line-up and good bowlers and we are confident that it will do well in Sri Lanka," Krishnamachari Srikkanth, the chairman of the selection committee, told mediapersons. 
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who had shown indifferent form during the recent Indian Premier League (IPL), did not find favour with the selectors again. The player has now signed up for English county Essex. Rahul Sharma has been included.
The 15-member squad has seven specialist batsmen, four seamers, three spinners and a wicket-keeper in Dhoni.
The selectors have retained Delhi youngster Virat Kohli as vice-captain, a position in which he had replaced Gautam Gambhir in the team for the Asia Cup.
"Virat Kohli has been appointed vice-captain, the idea is continuity. Virat got brilliant hundreds after becoming vice captain which shows that he likes responsibility," Srikkanth said.
The following is the team: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virat Kohli (vice-captain), Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, Ashok Dinda, Vinay Kumar, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwari and Rahul Sharma.
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Indian private sector output expands at fastest rate since February: HSBC PMI survey


The health of the Indian private sector continued to improve in June, according to the latest HSBC India Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data, which pointed to the fastest expansion of output in four months.

The HSBC India Composite Output Index rose in June, posting 55.7 up from 55.3 in May, a press release from HSBC India said.
It said growth reflected rising output at both manufacturers and service providers. After adjusting for seasonal factors, the headline HSBC Services Business Activity Index - which is based on a single question asking respondents to report on the actual change in business activity at their companies compared to one month ago - posted 54.3 in June, down from 54.7 in May. 
Output increased solidly as order book volumes continued to expand. Manufacturing production, meanwhile, increased at the sharpest pace since February, the release said.
New business growth in the service sector remained broadly in line with that in the previous month and the current expansionary period was extended to three years and two months. Composite data pointed to increasing new orders in June, extending the current expansionary period to 38 successive months.
Service providers increased staffing levels during June, marking a four-month sequence of expansion. The increase in payroll numbers was the strongest since June 2011 but was below the long-run average for this series. The rate of job creation at manufacturers also accelerated, leading to the size of the private sector workforce increasing at the fastest pace for 12 months, the release said.
According to it, input prices rose sharply at Indian services companies in June, with the rate of increase remaining exactly the same as the previous month. The Composite Input Prices Index posted above the no-change 50.0 mark, signalling a further month of rising input costs. This has
been the case throughout the past 39 months.
Output prices have increased in the services sector in each month since November 2010. Composite data indicated that charges rose sharply in June, with the rate of increase the strongest since July 2008.
Business expectations remained positive at services companies in June. Optimism has been recorded in each month since the survey began in December 2005. Although the level of optimism dipped to the lowest since March, sentiment was still above the long-run series average.
“While service sector activity grew at a slightly slower pace, new orders grew faster and this should hold up activity in coming months. Moreover, employment picked up, which helped reduce the backlogs of work, and businesses remained relatively optimistic about the outlook for the coming 12 months, although sentiments eased a bit from the previous month," Leif Eskesen, Chief Economist for India & ASEAN at HSBC, said.
"However, the inflation readings for input and output prices were broadly unchanged from May and remain high by historical standards. Together with manufacturing PMI, these numbers suggest that it is hard to build a strong case for policy rate cuts in the near term," he added.

CBI arrests another senior CSD official in alleged bribery case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today said it had arrested a Joint General Manager-I, a brigadier-level officer, of the Canteen Stores Depot (CSD) under the Ministry of Defence, Mumbai, in an onging investigation of an alleged bribery case.
The arrested accused was produced today before the Special Judge, Mumbai and was remanded to CBI custody till July 5, a press release from the agency said.
On July 1, the CBI had said that it had arrested a Joint General Manager of the CSD, a director of a Mumbai-based private firm supplying consumer products and two other private indiividuals on Saturday in connection with the case.
The agency said that, during the initial investigation, it was revealed that the official arrested today also had allegedly accepted Rs 7.50 lakhs from the firm for taking decisions in its favour at various stages such as introduction of items, price revision, and issue of supply orders. 

Essar Energy sells stake in Vietnam gas block to ENI


Essar Energy plc, a part of the Essar Group, today said that its subsidiary Essar Exploration & Production Limited had agreed to sell a 50 per cent stake in Vietnam’s offshore gas exploration block 114 to ENI International B.V.

The company said in a press release that the reduction in Essar Energy’s stake in the block, which was previously 100 per cent, is in line with the strategy for its exploration and production business of introducing strategic partners to help manage risk and of focusing on the development of its core assets.
Essar Energy  acquired the 100 per cent stake in block 114 in 2007 and a production sharing contract with the Vietnam Government became effective in 2010. 
"Further investment is required to establish gas reserves in the block and no gas is being produced at present. Under the terms of the transaction, ENI is also assuming operator status for the block," the release said.
The transaction is subject to agreement from the Vietnam government, the release added.

CBI arrests CSD official, others in alleged bribery case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today said it had arrested a Joint General Manager of the Canteen Stores Department (CSD) under the Ministry of Defence, Head Office, Mumbai; a director of a Mumbai-based private firm supplying consumers products and two other private persons yesterday in an alleged bribery case.

The arrested accused were produced today in the court at Mumbai and were remanded to police custody, a press release from the agency said.
The release said the CBI had busted a corruption racket involving officials of CSD and a private firm supplying consumer products after registering a case for offences under Prevention of Corruption Act, criminal conspiracy and abetment.
CSD operates from its Head Office at Mumbai and has depots all over India to provide consumer goods to the serving and retired personnel of Army, Navy and Air Force. Such goods are made available at uniform and concessional price throughout India.
The case was registered on the information that the private firm allegedly acted as a marketing arm and a representative of a number of companies against the policy laid by CSD. The firm through its director and officials of CSD entered into criminal conspiracy with each other and in furtherance of the said conspiracy manipulated various demands of CSD items of firm in favour of the clients.
The CSD officials allegedly favoured the firm at various stages in CSD such as Introduction of items, price revision, delayed and excess supply, demand creation, budget allocation and so on. In lieu of favourable decisions, the firm through it director had allegedly paid huge illegal gratification regularly to officials of CSD, the release said.
According to it, the Joint General Manager, CSD allegedly demanded and accepted an amount of Rs.1.25 lakh as illegal gratification from the director of the private firm. Both were allegedly caught red-handed at the residence of the official  at Napean Sea Road while indulging in this transaction, it said.
Searches were conducted at 20 places in Mumbai, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and Delhi at the official and residential premises of the accused persons and the suspected officials. During the search, incriminating documents, huge amounts of cash and jewellery were recovered.             Further investigation is in progress, the release added.

BCCI debars Sudhindra for life, Srivastava for 5 years, Mishra, Yadav and Bali for a year


The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today imposed heavy penalties on the five players who were named in a sting operation alleging spot fixing, including a ban for life on T P Sudhindra.

The Disciplinary Committee of the BCCI, comprising Mr. N. Srinivasan, Mr. Arun Jaitley and Mr. Niranjan Shah met at the Cricket Centre here and debarred Shalabh Srivastava for five years, while the other three, Mohnish Mishra, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali, have been debarred for a year.
A press release from BCCI said the committee took the decision on the basis of the report of Mr Ravi Sawani, the Commissioner of Inquiry. Mr Sawani is a retired officer of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and former head of the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The committee accorded a personal hearing to Sudhindra, Bali and Mishra, while Srivastava and Yadav pleaded their respective cases through teleconference. 
According to the release, the committee held Sudhindra guilty of actually receiving a consideration to spot-fix in a domestic cricket match, and hence imposed exemplary penalty on him. 
Sudhindra has been debarred for life, from playing any cricket matches conducted or authorized by the ICC or BCCI, or any affiliated unit of the BCCI. 
He will not be entitled to the monthly gratis, benevolent fund, benefit match or any other facility, in lieu of. He cannot hold any position in any cricket association affiliated to the BCCI, for life. 
Srivastava was held guilty of agreeing to fix a match and negotiating terms for the same, even though no actual match-fixing or spot fixing took place. 
He has been debarred for a period of five years, from playing any cricket matches conducted or authorized by the ICC or BCCI, or any affiliated unit of the BCCI. He will not be entitled to the monthly gratis, benevolent fund, benefit matches or any other facility, during this period.  He cannot hold any position in any cricket association affiliated to the BCCI, for a period of five years.
Mishra, Yadav and Bali were found guilty of, through "loose talk and unsubstantiated bragging", bringing the game into disrepute and were, hence, held guilty of the lesser offence. 
They have been debarred for a period of one year, from playing any cricket matches conducted or authorized by the ICC or BCCI, or any affiliated unit of the BCCI. 
The penalties will be effective from the date of the suspension of the players – May 15, 2012, the release added.
While Sudhindra was a part of the Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Mishra was with Pune Warriors, and Srivastava and Yadav with Kings XI Punjab, Bali was not playing for any IPL team.
Television channel India TV had, in May this year, shown footage of a player bowling a big no-ball in a limited overs match and also played a telephone conversation that it said was of a current IPL player discussing a payment for bowling a no-ball.
The channel also showed some players on camera allegedly seeking more lucrative deals through a journalist who posed as a sports agent.
The BCCI had said at that time that it would not tolerate any violation of regulations and any act of corruption. 

L&T secures new orders valued at Rs 1002 crore in June


Engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said it had won new orders valued at over Rs 1002 crore across various business segments in both domestic and international markets in June.

These included an order worth Rs 846 crore from West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited for rural electricity infrastructure in villages in Jalpaiguri, East Midnapore, West Midnapore and Malda districts of the state under the Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) Scheme.
On the international front, new orders worth Rs 156 crore has been secured from reputed 
customers in Qatar for  electrical network power quality improvement work including 
additional orders in ongoing projects in Middle East.

CG inaugurates new EHV switchgear manufacturing facility in Brazil


Electrical equipment manufacturer Crompton Greaves Ltd (CG) has commenced operations of its new Extra High Voltage (EHV) Switchgear manufacturing facility at Sapucaia do Sul in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

A press release from the company said this was its first manufacturing facility in Brazil, at which it will manufacture a full range of EHV switchgear targeted at the Brazilian utility market segment, which is estimated at $ 1 billion and growing.
The release said CG intends to differentiate by introducing its latest models and provide Brazilian customers with a 30 per cent reduced lead time.  CG expects to reach more than 10 per cent of the market, it said.
The annual designed manufacturing capacity exceeds 500 HV breakers, 1000 lightning arresters and 300 instrument transformers. CG expects  annual revenue in excess of $ 50 million during the first years of operation. CG has already received more than $ 6 million worth of orders from various utilities, it said.
“Brazil is a key region for the development of CG. CG has already a large installed base in the region with more than 1500 breakers in operation. This new facility in Brazil will not only  provide customers with a very short lead time but will also provide a full range of services for the current installed base viz; spare parts, training, sales support and engineering services. We are very pleased to establish this first factory in Rio Grande do Sul and are very grateful to the state and our customers who have supported us all along the development of this new venture” said Mr. Laurent Demortier, CEO and Managing Director.
CG is present in 21 countries and employs more than 15000 employees and provides electrical products, systems and services for utilities, power generation companies and industrial consumers. It is a part of the $ 4 billion Avantha Group.

Essar Projects completes ONGC’s D1 field project off Mumbai


Engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) contractor Essar Projects Limited today said it had completed and handed over the Rs 1064 crore D1 development project, 200 kms off Mumbai, to the public sector Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), facilitating the scaling up of D1 field production to 35,000 barrels of oil per day (BOPD).

The largest offshore project executed by Essar Projects Limited envisaged installation of three offshore platforms, laying of subsea pipelines to connect the three platforms to the floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) through a Pipeline End Manifold (PLEM). 
All new platforms, the PLEM and the existing D1 Platform will be connected with a network of subsea rigid and flexible pipelines and composite cables totaling about 14.5 kms, a press release from the company, a part of the Essar Group, said.
According to it, Essar completed the project, awarded in May 2010 to the Essar Offshore Subsea Limited- led consortium on a fast-track basis within 24 months and the scope of the work included  engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning of the three unmanned four-legged fixed Jacket SMART Platforms – D1B, D1C & D1D in water depths of approximately 90 meters.
Mr. Alwyn Bowden, President & CEO of Essar Projects said “Executing the prestigious ONGC project on schedule was a strategic objective for Essar Projects Limited. The company has demonstrated its ability to conclude such a challenging project on time and is poised to execute projects of similar kinds worldwide.
"ONGC’s D1 project represents for Essar Projects Limited the confirmation of meeting one of our strategic objectives: acceding into the first league of offshore integrated oil and gas services providers worldwide. The management of all the subsea pipeline installation and adjoining works for ONGC speaks by itself about our growth rate, about the achieved performance level in the turnkey projects management and successful delivery of major projects."
According to the release, D1B platform will receive the 35,000 bopd of crude produced by the D1, D1C and D1D platforms and this will then be transferred for processing to the D1 field FPSO via the PLEM.
Each platform has two main parts – Jacket and Deck. The Jackets for each of the three platforms were fabricated at the CUEL Yard in Laem Chabang, Thailand. And the three decks were fabricated at the Profab yard in Batam, Indonesia.
The platforms in D1 Project region are heavier than their counterparts in Indian offshore. This is because of the water depth in the field being deeper at about 90 metres.
Mr. PCB Nair, CEO & MD, Essar Offshore & Subsea, Limited, said, “We value our partnership with ONGC. The offshore & subsea long-term business partnerships are key to our
performance. Having completed this project it showcases our ability to deliver and our ambition in furthering our lead in the oil and gas market space. By completing this large offshore project, Essar sends the signal that it is our intent to develop long-term collaboration with major Indian and global oil and gas market players”.
According to the release, some of the technological achievements of the project included transporting nearly 17,000 tonnes of steel for fabrication of jackets and decks over 2,000 nautical miles to reach Bombay High, the destination. The jackets are pile driven into sea bed at a depth of over 100 metres and the decks are installed on the jacket to complete the platform. 

Jeena Hai Toh Thok Daal to release on September 7


Jeena Hai Toh Thok Daal, produced by Aparna Hoshing under the banner of Rash Productions and directed by Manish Vatsalya, will release on September 7.

The film marks the return to lead roles in Hindi cinema for Bhojpuri superstar Ravi Kishan. The film also has Manish Vatsalya playing a key character along with Hazel Croney, Pooja Welling, Rahul Kumar, Yashpal Sharma, Murli Sharma, Govind Namdeo, Ashwini Kalsekar, Sharat Saxena, Shubha Khote and Mukesh Bhatt. 
The music of the film has been done by Siddhant Madhav and Shadab Abhik. Veteran Ganesh Acharya has choreographed all the songs in the film.

Esha Deol's wedding celebrations kick off with star-studded "sangeet"

Sangeet ceremony of Esha Deol

The wedding celebrations of actress Esha Deol, the elder daughter of actors Hema Malini and Dharmendra, with Bharat Takhtani kicked off with a star-studded "sangeet" here last night.

The event was a glittering extravaganza, with close friends and relatives of the two families and the who's who of Bollywood in attendance.
Esha looked resplendent in a traditional gagra choli in orange, red and indigo with gold zari work, designed by Rocky S, whilst Bharat wore a blue velvet sherwani with bold zari work which was designed by his close friend Simone Khambatta.
A very special dance act was put together by Esha, Ahana, and Karan (Mani Ratnam's assistant) for both the families. Esha was in full flow and enthralled those present with the medley of songs Kajra Re, Tauba Tauba, Dhoom Machale whilst Bharat and his friends matched step by step with a class act on the medley of songs like Desi Boyz, Thamma Thamma, Nagada, Satte pe Satta, Señorita, Koi Kahe, Yamla Pagla, Deewana and so on.
Abhay Deol joined in the songs with Bharat and Esha in Aaja Na Chule, Meri Chunari Sanam and Mujse Shaadi Karoogi, whilst the 'Original' dream girl Hema Malini made a grand entry with the song playing and danced gracefully.
The retro theme of the sangeet was red and black colour scheme with shining disco balls et al. Ranveer Singh and other celebs were seen dancing the night away.
Some  of the celebrities who were spotted attending the sangeet were Hema Malini, Dharmendra, Ahana Deol, Abhay Deol, Preeti Desai, Ranveer Singh, Nasseruddin and Ratna Shah, Sohail Khan, Zayed Khan with wife, Riya and Raima Sen, Ritiesh and Genelia, Abhishek Kapoor and wife, Jacky Bhagnani, Arjan Bajwa, Deepa Sahi, Ashish Chowdhary and Samita, Zoa Morani, Neeta and Nishka Lulla, Pankaj Udhas and wife, Anu Mallik and family, Madhoo Shah and family, Shonali Nagarani and Anusha Manchanda, Shweta Pandit, Shaina N C, Harry Baweja, Chetan Hansraj, Shweta Salve, Bunty Walia, Pia Tivedi, Sudanshu Pandey, Arya Babbar with wife, Ravindra Jain, and Masaba Gupta, among others.
The theme and the wedding planning activities were choreographed by Shailesh Gandhi's 'Discovery Events' team.
Esha's mehendi is on June 28, followed by a traditional morning wedding on June 29.

Reliance Life Insurance launches online life cover plan – eTerm

Reliance Life Insurance Company (RLIC), part of Reliance Capital Limited, today launched its first online life cover plan -- Reliance Life Insurance eTerm -- offering high insurance cover at affordable premiums.
This was announced by Mr. Malay Ghosh, President and Executive Director, Reliance Life Insurance, here today.
A press release from the company said the eTerm Plan is a simple and cost-effective risk
protection product and offers instant life insurance cover through a transparent and hassle-free online purchase.
This is the first online insurance offering from Reliance Life Insurance and the company plans to introduce more such products in times to come, the release said.
‘’Our new offering simplifies the process of purchasing an insurance cover and empowers customers to take an informed decision. The launch of our eTerm Plan is in line with the company’s objective to continuously provide the customers with innovative products and value-added services in a cost-effective manner,’’ said Mr. Ghosh.
The plan offers Rs. 1 crore of life cover from Rs. 700 per month and is available directly to customers in the age group of 18-60 years pan-India with minimum annual premium as low as Rs. 3,500.
The online term plan begins with a minimum cover of Rs 25 lakh with no upper limit and a policy term of 10-30 years. The plan provides relatively lower premium rates for women and special rates for non-tobacco users.
Reliance Life Insurance eTerm Plan has two options. Option I where death benefit is equal to sum assured and Option II comes with an accidental death benefit rider where additional sum assured up to Rs. 50 lakh is paid to the nominee in case of death due to an accident. The maximum maturity age is 70 years.
Apart from tax benefits, the plan also has a free look period of 15 days from the date of receipt of policy bond to continue or return the policy. It offers annual premium payment mode only with a grace period of 30 days from the due date for payment of regular premiums.
Mr. Ghosh said, ‘’The digital platform is a growing distribution channel in the insurance market and still untapped in India. Through eTerm Plan, we are targeting the ever-expanding internet user base in the country, as part of our plans to tap and grow the domestic online insurance market. We see a great potential opportunity in the online space and would introduce a slew of insurance products in a couple of years.’’
The foray into the online distribution channel will further boost the overall sales of the company, he added.

Ferrari Ki Sawaari grosses Rs 25 crore worldwide in opening week

Ferrari Ki Sawaari Film Promotion
Entertainment major Eros International Media Ltd today said its new release Ferrari Ki Sawaari had grossed Rs 25 crore worldwide in the opening weekend.
A press release from the company said the film, directed by debutant Rajesh Mapuskar, had grossed more than Rs 20 crore in India (net Rs 13.91 crore) and Rs 5 crore overseas.
The film is a comedy of errors about small guys and their big dreams. Produced by Vinod Chopra Films, the film was released worldwide on June 15.
“Vinod Chopra and his team have gained a reputation for presenting clean, entertaining films with a message for the entire family and with Ferrari Ki Sawaari, they have once again won the hearts of the audiences. We are also happy with critics’ reactions to this joyride. The film showed a growth in collections over the weekend viz. Saturday showed a 36% increase over Friday, Sunday showed a growth of approx 47% over Saturday and Sunday over Friday was 99%," Nandu Ahuja, Senior VP – Distribution – India, Eros International Media Ltd, said.
Pranab Kapadia, President – Marketing & Distribution, Eros International, said, “Ferrari Ki Sawaari is yet another success story which goes on to show that modest budget films are gaining popularity with the audiences. We had similar success with Vicky Donor earlier this year and this augurs well for new talent, be it actors or directors, to make their presence known in a rapidly growing Indian film industry. We are delighted to see this evolving trend that allows Eros to offer more such films later this year such as Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi and English Vinglish.”
Ferrari Ki Sawaari is a story about a young father’s endeavor to fulfill the dream of his talented ten year old son. It stars Sharman Joshi, Boman Irani and Ritwik Sahore with a song appearance by Vidya Balan. 
The cast also includes Paresh Rawal, Nilesh Divekar, Deepak Shirke, Akash Dhabade and Satyadeep Mishra.

RBI enhances limit of Export Credit Refinance facility for banks

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today said it had, with a view to enhancing the credit flow to the export sector, decided to enhance the eligible limit of the Export Credit Refinance (ECR) facility for scheduled banks (excluding regional rural banks) from 15 per cent of the outstanding export credit eligible for refinance to 50 per cent.
The enhanced limit, effective fortnight beginning June 30, will provide additional liquidity support to banks of over Rs 300 billion, a press release from the RBI said.
The rate of interest charged on the ECR facility will continue to be the prevailing repo rate under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility(LAF), which is currently 8.0 per cent.
At present, the Export Credit Refinance ECR limit is fixed at 15 per cent of the outstanding rupee export credit eligible for refinance as at the end of the second preceding fortnight.

K C Chakrabarty re-appointed as RBI Deputy Governor for three more months

The Government of India today re-appointed Dr. K C Chakrabarty as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India for a further period of three months beyond June 14, 2012 or until further orders, whichever is earlier.

Dr Chakrabarty was appointed as Deputy Governor in 2009 for a period of three years from the date of his taking charge or until further orders, whichever was earlier. He had taken charge as Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank on June 15, 2009, an official press release added.

RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 8%, CRR at 4.75%

RBI logo
The Reserve Bank of India today kept the policy repo rate unchanged at 8 per cent and the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks at 4.75 per cent on the basis of its assessment of the current macroeconomic situation, saying that any reduction in the rate at this juncture could exacerbate inflationary pressures.
Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) will remain unchanged at 7 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at  9, the central bank said.
"Future actions will depend on a continuing assessment of external and domestic developments that contribute to lowering inflation risks," it said.
According to the RBI, since its annual policy statement in April, global macroeconomic and financial conditions had deteriorated.
"At the same time, the domestic macroeconomic situation too raises several deepening concerns. While growth in 2011-12 has moderated significantly, headline inflation remains above levels consistent with sustainable growth. Importantly, retail inflation is also on an uptrend," the RBI said in a statement.
The RBI said it had frontloaded the policy rate reduction in April with a cut of 50 basis points.
"This decision was based on the premise that the process of fiscal consolidation critical for inflation management would get under way, along with other supply-side initiatives. Our assessment of the current growth-inflation dynamic is that there are several factors responsible for the slowdown in activity, particularly in investment, with the role of interest rates being relatively small. Consequently, further reduction in the policy interest rate at this juncture, rather than supporting growth, could exacerbate inflationary pressures," it
The statement said domestic economic activity in 2011-12 moderated sequentially over the quarters to take growth to a low of 5.3 per cent in Q4, though for the year as a whole it was 6.5 per cent. 
Deceleration in industrial production from the supply side and weak investment from the demand side have, in particular, contributed to the growth slowdown. The index of industrial production (IIP) increased by just 0.1 per cent in April 2012. Even as the manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for May suggested that industrial activity remains in an expansionary mode, there is no question that the pace of expansion has slowed significantly, it said.
"In this context, it is relevant to assess as to what extent high interest rates are affecting economic growth. Estimates suggest that real effective bank lending interest rates, though positive, remain comparatively lower than the levels seen  during the high growth phase of 2003-08. This suggests that factors other than interest rates are contributing more significantly to the growth slowdown.
"Further, one implication of the rupee depreciation over the past several months is that domestic producers have gained in competitiveness over foreign producers. Over time, this should result in expanding exports and contracting imports, thus acting as a demand stimulus," it said.
The statement also noted that, during  2011-12, headline WPI inflation rate moderated from a peak of 10.0 per cent in September 2011 to 7.7 per cent in March 2012. 
"However, during 2012-13 so far, provisional data suggest that it inched up from 7.2 per cent in April to 7.6 per cent in May, driven mainly by food and fuel prices. Primary food articles inflation rose from negative [(-) 0.7 per cent)] in January to 10.7 per cent in May largely due to a sharp increase in vegetable prices. Protein inflation continued to be in double digits. With food prices contributing so heavily to headline inflation, the performance of the south-west monsoon will also play a role in determining inflationary conditions over the course of the current year.
"Though international crude prices have fallen significantly from their levels in April 2012, the rupee depreciation has significantly offset its impact on wholesale prices. Further, even at the current lower level of global crude oil prices, significant under-recoveries persist in respect of administered petroleum product prices. The positive development on the inflation front is that core (non-food manufactured products) inflation has trended down," it said.
According to the RBI, consumer price index (CPI) inflation (as measured by the new series, base year 2010) rose from 8.8 per cent in February to 9.4 per cent in March and further to 10.4 per cent in April. 
Significantly, CPI inflation, excluding food and fuel, was also in double digits suggesting that moderation in wholesale price inflation has not transmitted to the retail level, it said.
"Notwithstanding the moderation in core inflation, the persistence of overall inflation both at the wholesale and retail levels, in the face of significant growth slowdown, points to serious supply bottlenecks and sticky inflation expectations. Also, in the absence of pass-through from international crude oil prices to domestic prices, the consumption of petroleum products remains strong distorting price signals and preventing the much needed adjustment in aggregate demand. The consequent subsidy burden on the Government is crowding out public investment at a time when reviving investment, both public and private, is a critical imperative. The widening current account deficit (CAD), despite the slowdown in growth, is symptomatic of demand-supply imbalances and a pointer to the urgent need to resolve the supply bottlenecks," it said.
The RBI said the evolving growth-inflation dynamic will continue to influence its Reserve Bank's stance on interest rates. 
"Core inflation has moderated, reflecting demand conditions and lower pricing power. However, both headline and retail inflation rates are rising, which have a bearing on inflation expectations. Future actions will depend on a continuing assessment of external and domestic developments that contribute to lowering inflation risks.
"Management of liquidity remains a priority. Even as the liquidity situation converges to the comfort zone, the Reserve Bank will continue to use OMOs as and when warranted to contain liquidity pressures.
"Finally, recognizing that the global situation is turbulent, the Reserve Bank stands ready to use all available instruments and measures to respond rapidly and appropriately to any adverse developments," it added.

L&T Construction secures orders valued at over Rs 1076 crore


Engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said it had won new orders valued at Rs 1076 crore across various businesses during the first quarter of financial year 2012-13.

A press release from the company said the orders included one worth Rs 407 crore from Bajaj Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (BIDCO) to set up a coal handling system on turnkey basis for its green field 3x660 MW super thermal power project in Lalitpur, Uttar Pradesh.   
This coal handling plant package will be completed on a fast track schedule of 22 months. L&T’s scope of work includes design, engineering, supply and erection of mechanical, electrical & instrumentation works,covering associated civil, structural works, testing and commissioning, the release said.
The company said it had also won orders worth Rs 699 crore in the domestic and international markets, including one for the construction of 132/33 kV substations and other modification works in the Middle East. 
On the domestic front, a new order has been secured for executing electrical works under Restructured Accelerated Power Development Reforms Programme for the Hubli Electricity Supply Company Limited and a few additional orders from various ongoing projects, the release added.

Pritish Nandy Communications announces Shaadi Ke Side Effects with Vidya, Farhan

The makers of the 2006 hit Pyaar Ke Side Effects have managed to pull off a casting coup of sorts and have roped in Vidya Balan and Farhan Akhtar for the sequel titled “Shaadi Ke Side Effects” - a take on the fascinating ways love works before and after marriage.

The romantic comedy will see the actors essaying the role of a married couple who are coping with their issues, much on the comic lines of the first film.
Talking about the plot, producer Pritish Nandy says, “Vidya will be playing a Delhi girl and Farhan a Bombay boy. The story moves ahead from where Trisha and Sid’s characters (Pyaar Ke Side Effects) left - they get married and the changes that come in their married life, the transformation in their relationship and how they tackle these changes."
“Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan are the two most successful actors of 2011. We are privileged to have them as the stars of Shaadi Ke Side-Effects and that is why I think this film tops our calendar for the coming year. My belief is that Shaadi Ke Side-Effects has the ability to be 2012's most exciting film, wild, wicked and wonderfully, wonderfully entertaining. Mars vs Venus at its best."
While the film has an all-new starcast, the director Saket Choudhary and music composer Pritam stay the same.
Irnoically, this would also be Farhan Akhtar’s first romantic comedy and the actor couldn’t be more excited.
“SKSE is a departure from my earlier work as an actor so it promises to be a new experience. Saket has written a funny yet moving story about simple things that everyone can relate to," he said.
Talking about being cast alongside Farhan Akhtar for the first time, Vidya Balan said, “It's the first time that Farhan and I will be working together. He's so real that everything about our situation in SKSE would seem believable. SKSE begins where every romcom ends."

Rowdy Rathore enters the big league, crosses Rs 105 crore mark in week 2

Movie ROWDY RATHORE Interview
Rowdy Rathore, the Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha starrer, is turning out be a winner all the way for the producers.
After a bumper opening and a  steady run in its first week, the UTV Motion Pictures & Sanjay Leela Bhansali Productions' movie continues to rule the box office even in its second week with audiences pouring into theatres across the country.
Confirms acclaimed critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh: “RowdyRathore has crossed Rs. 105 cr nett mark in week 2. Has performed exceptionally well at single screens as well as plexes”
"We are thrilled with the incredible response that Rowdy Rathore has received from audiences across the board. It’s been a great year so far for all of us with the back to back success of Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, Paan Singh Tomar, Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, The Avengers and Rowdy Rathore. 
"It is a very proud moment for all of us associated with the movie - Sanjay, Prabhudheva, Akshay and Sonakshi," says Siddharth Roy Kapur, MD - Studios, Disney UTV.
Adds co-producer Shabinaa Khan, "It's exciting news that Rowdy Rathore is getting audiences to the theatres even after the second week of its release. I am very proud to have co-produced this action-entertainer."

Bollywood Snippets: Ajay Devgn grooves the desi way in Bol Bachchan

The link of the song

National Award winning actor Ajay Devgn has done his first full-fledged desi-dance number in Rohit Shetty's Bol Bachchan.

Taking it up as a challenge, Devgn brought out his dancing shoes and has given his best.  Raju Khan, who choreographed the song, says, “There has been a major growth in Ajay Devgn as a dancer. Unlike earlier years where he was very shy, today he’s absolutely confident. He is well-versed with dancing and can grasp steps quickly.
"Also, having worked with him for over a decade now, I am very familiar with his body language. I know what will go down well with his personality and what will not suit his persona. For this particular number with Asin, I gave him steps that would be in perfect sync with his character in the film.”
Shetty is known for always incorporating something out-of-the-box in his song and dance routines and this time around the audience will see a larger than life, colorful mela in the backdrop of the song, which will feature Devgn flaunting some unique moves and Asin showcasing some latkas and thumkas!
The song, Chalao Na Naino Se Baan Re, is a full-on desi dance number where we see "pehelwaan" Devgn wooing his lady love, Asin. 
Another thing you must know about the song is that it doesn’t boast of the regular, run-of-the-mill professional background dancers. Instead we have some very cute and tough looking pehelwaans singing and dancing comically in the background! Together with Himesh Reshamiya’s singing and Ajay Devgn’s unique stint, the song makes for an out-and-out entertainer!
Presented by Fox Star Studios, the movie which is produced by Shree Ashtavinayak Cinevision Pvt Ltd and Ajay Devgn Ffilms is slated for a 6th July release.
Chasme Baddoor to release on August 24
David Dhawan’s upcoming comic caper Chasme Baddoor, which is a remake of the original 1981 hit film, is slated for release on August 24.
The movie boasts of a fresh young cast such as Ali Zafar, Siddharth (Rang De Basanti fame), and Divyendu Sharma (Pyaar Ka Punchnama). It also features Rishi Kapoor, Anupam Kher,
Lillete Dubey and southern beauty Tapasee, who is making her Bollywood debut.
The movie is produced by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and music is by Sajid Wajid.
Sarah Jane Dias turns choreographer with Kya Super Kool Hai Hum
Actress Sarah Jane Dias will soon be grooving to her own choreography in Balaji’s Kya Super Kool Hai Hum starring Tusshar Kapoor and Riteish Deshmukh.
A professional dancer, Dias volunteered to choreograph a couple of steps while shooting a song in a popular nightclub in the city, given that dancing has been a passion since her childhood.
Reveals a source “While shooting a peppy party track with Neha Sharma and Sarah-Jane in a club, Sarah asked director Sachin if she could suggest a few steps she felt would be apt for the song. Everyone loved her ideas and decided to go along with them. These have now been included in the film."
Directed by Sachin Yardi, Kya Super Kool Hai, Hum starring Tusshar, Riteish Deshmukh, Neha Sharma and Sarah-Jane Dias, is scheduled to release on August 2.
Hyderabad’s a favorite for Shruti Hassan 
After having settled in Mumbai,Shruti Hassan has barely had  quality time to spend in her sprawling new apartment in the suburbs. The reason being her long standing love for Hyderabad city!
The actress who recently shifted base to Mumbai has been traveling back and forth to Hyderabad for her professional commitments.
Explaining how Hyderabad holds a special spot in her heart, says Shruti Hassan 
"Hyderabad has always accepted and loved my movies. Gabbar Singh has been a huge hit over there. After being told it's running house full, I managed to visit a theatre, and I am extremely overwhelmed with the response that I've got from the people of Hyderabad. 
"Now I'm busy with projects in Mumbai, but Hyderabad has always been one of my favourite cities, and you will see me there a lot more," she said.
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