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Devendra Fadnavis to be new Chief Minister of Maharashtra

File photo of Devendra Fadnavis
File photo of Devendra Fadnavis
Mr Devendra Fadnavis was today unanimously elected as the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislature party in Maharashtra, paving the way for his appointment as the new Chief Minister of the state.
 
The name of Mr Fadnavis, 44, who is the president of the BJP's Maharashtra unit, was proposed by senior state BJP leader Eknath Khadse and supported by, among others, Ms Pankaja Munde, both considered claimants for the job, and was endorsed unanimously at a meeting of the party's newly-elected legislators here.
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and senior BJP leader J P Nadda attended the meeting as the party's central observers.
 
Senior BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters that Mr Singh later formally declared Mr Fadnavis elected as leader of the legislature party.
 
He said that Mr Fadnavis and members of the BJP state unit's core team would call on Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao this evening and apprise him of the party's decision and stake claim to form the new government in the state.
 
The BJP had emerged as the single largest party in the October 15 elections to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, winning 122 seats in the 288-member house.
 
Its erstwhile partner Shiv Sena, which broke off their 25-year alliance just before the elections, finished second with 63 seats.
 
Thank everyone for supporting me: Fadnavis
The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which ruled the state for the past 15 years and had also called off their alliance ahead of the elections, ended up in third and fourth places, with 42 and 41 seats, respectively.
 
Mr Fadnavis was re-elected as a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for a fourth consecutive term from the Nagpur South West constituency in the recent elections.
 
Born on July 22, 1970, he has a degree in law and a post-graduate diploma in business management. He became the youngest Mayor in India when he was elected to that position in Nagpur in 1997 at the age of 27. He was elected president of the Maharashtra unit of the BJP in 2013.
 
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Xiaomi to set up data centre in India to address security concerns

Chinese smart phone maker Xiaomi Inc today said that it would move its Indian users' data to servers outside of China by the end of this year and launch a local data centre in India in 2015 to serve their needs and store data for them.
 
The statement came in the wake of media reports about an Indian Air Force (IAF) circular claiming that Xiaomi phones were a security threat and advising its personnel and their families against using them.
 
"While we are attempting to reach Indian authorities to learn specifics, we would like to clarify a few points to assure our users that we treat your privacy seriously," it said.
 
The company said that, since early this year, it had been migrating its services and corresponding data for Indian users from its Beijing data centres to Amazon AWS data centers in Singapore and the United States.
 
"Parts of this migration will be completed by the end of October, and all of it will be completed by the end of 2014. In 2015, we plan to launch a local data center in India to serve the needs of (and store data for) our Indian users," it said.
 
"These efforts help significantly improve the performance of our services and also provide some peace of mind for users in India, ensuring that we treat their data with utmost care and the highest privacy standards," it said.
 
The company said it provided various opt-in Internet services that bring great user benefits, are free of charge, and require personal data to be stored in the cloud.
 
"These services are optional (opt-in). Users can turn them on and off at any time. Users can also opt to use similar services from other Internet companies instead, such as Google, Whatsapp, Dropbox and others," it said.
 
Xiaomi also said it did not collect any data associated with services such as Mi Cloud and Cloud Messaging until the user provides explicit consent by turning on the corresponding service(s). Even after users have turned on these services, they can turn them off at any point of time.
 
"We take rigorous precautions to ensure that all data is secured when uploaded to Xiaomi servers and is not stored beyond the time required," it said.
 
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The statement said the company encrypted data using AES-128 standard before storing, which makes it practically impossible for anyone to steal this information.
 
"We protect user passwords and identifiers such as IMEI number using cryptographic one-way hash functions before they're uploaded, which means we never actually receive the original information.
 
"No single person, including Xiaomi employees, can decrypt user data stored in Mi Cloud, even if they get access to the hard drives. We use extremely strict access control policies with multiple authorizations being required for engineers building services that access any personal data. All access to servers is logged and audited," the statement said.
 
"We believe the advisory circular issued by IAF is based on events about 3 months back. It refers to the F-Secure test done on the Redmi 1S in July 2014 about the activation of our Cloud Messaging service (which enables users to send text messages for free, similar to other popular messaging services). We immediately addressed the concerns raised, which was directly acknowledged by F-Secure 4 days later," it added.
 
Xiaomi, founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneur Lei Jun, entered India earlier this year and is trying to achieve rapid growth in what is one of the world's largest markets for smart phones. It sells its phones in the country through online retailer Flipkart.com.
 
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Modi voices concern about India's health indicators, calls for affordable health services

 An artist's impression of the Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre in Mumbai
An artist's impression of the Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre in Mumbai
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today voiced concern over India's health indicators, such as infant and maternal mortality rates, and called for efforts to provide affordable health services for the poorest of the poor.
 
Speaking at the inauguration of the Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre here, he said there was need to generate more awareness about the hundreds of children who were unable to survive due to lack of primary healthcare facilities.
 
Mr Modi said society and government should together give priority to the poorest of the poor and make all possible efforts to provide affordable health services. He said the Reliance Foundation Hospital was a step in that direction. 
 
He said India would undergo a renewal through the combined efforts of 125 crore Indians, just as the 90-year-old hospital had undergone a renewal.
 
He underlined the need for India to manufacture medical equipment as part of the government's Make in India programme so that they become available to the poorest people in the remotest corners of the country.
 
Referring to the Digital India programme of the Union Government, he said one of the primary aims of this programme was to ensure advanced healthcare in remote areas through telemedicine, and access to the best education for poor. 
 
Mr Modi called for a renewed thrust on preventive healthcare, saying that treatment is expensive, while prevention is economical. He said clean drinking water for all would be the biggest source of preventive healthcare. He congratulated the Government of Madhya Pradesh for its initiative of washing hands. 
 
He spoke of his suggestion at the United Nations for an International Yoga Day. He said holistic healthcare was a subject of interest across the world, and India could contribute a lot to this cause, through its rich heritage. He said India had a heritage where people desired the good of everyone.
 
"A true leader works with the intention of wiping the tears of the poor," the Prime Minister said, reciting two shlokas. He congratulated the Reliance Foundation for its health outreach efforts in the neighbourhood communities. 
 
Modi inaugurates Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital
Mrs Kokilaben Ambani, mother of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani, presented a memento to the Prime Minister on the occasion.
 
In her welcome address, Reliance Foundation Chairperson Nita Ambani gave details of the facilities available in the hospital, while Mr Ambani delivered a vote of thanks.
 
Goa Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, actor Amitabh Bachchan and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar were amongst those present on the occasion.
 
Now in its 90th year, the hospital has been completely rebuilt by Reliance Foundation into a modern 19-storeyed tower and two heritage wings.
 
Founded in 1925 as Mumbai’s first general hospital, it has a rich heritage. It witnessed the freedom struggle and the Second World War and one of the most frequent visitors then was Mahatma Gandhi.
 
The hospital celebrated its silver jubilee with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, then Deputy Prime Minister, as its chief guest and the golden jubilee celebration was graced by well-known social activist Jayaprakash Narayan. 
 
The hospital has collaboration with John Hopkins, MD Anderson Cancer Centre, Massachusetts General Hospital and University of Southern California. 
 
It has state-of-the-art operation theatres equipped with robotic surgery and on-line video conferencing enabling live consultations with specialists across the world, a hybrid cath-lab -- India’s first -- for emergency heart operations, and state-of-the-art diagnostics facility with Asia’s first new generation CT scan. 
 
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The hospital is equipped with high-end Obstetrics & Gynaecology services and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and a learning centre, adapting the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations.
 
The general wards of the hospital will have the same level of treatment for the citizens at the bottom of the pyramid, a press release from Reliance Foundation said.
 
The hospital has an outreach program that currently covers over 310,000 individuals in the vicinity providing preventive and primary healthcare on a digital platform virtually free of cost. The hospital has initiated steps to adopt the nearby congested areas as part 
of the Prime Minister’s call of Swachch Bharat Abhiyan. 
 
The hospital has adopted water recycling and rainwater harvesting, making it the greenest healthcare facility in India of its size, the release said.
 
The hospital’s digital initiatives include RFID tags for patients, end-to-end digitization of medical records and real-time remote access to these records, adopting the vision of Digital India of the Prime Minister, it said.
 
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Mumbai City manager Peter Reid says North East United deserved to win

Peter Reid. Photo: Courtesy ISL
Peter Reid. Photo: Courtesy ISL
Mumbai City FC manager Peter Reid conceded that NorthEast United FC, which beat his side 2-0 in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) here yesterday, was the better team in the match and deserved to win.
 
“A lot of things conspired to go against us today. But I make no excuses, NorthEast United deserved to win,” he was quoted by the ISL website as saying at the post-match press conference.
 
“When you end up with nine men it’s always going to be difficult and tough. I’ve got no complaints against the referee. We made rash tackles today and paid the penalty," he said.
 
Asked what had gone wrong yesterday after they had touched peak form last week, when they defeated FC Pune City, he said, "We didn’t play well today, we didn’t work their keeper, we didn’t create enough (chances), our passing was not incisive. I thought we were a little bit impatient, whereas they were well-organised. They dropped back and they made it difficult; we just didn’t have the patience. But that’s football, we need to learn.”
 
The hosts were reduced to nine men when substitute Freddie Ljungberg limped off after Reid had used up all his three substitutes and defender Pavel Cmovs was expelled after collecting his second caution for the night.
 
But Reid praised the fighting spirit of his squad despite the reverses on the pitch. “I know that we’ve been beaten 2-0 but the nine men on the pitch, they gave their everything. I couldn’t have asked for more, even in general play,” he said.
 
Reid also said that their opponents deserved due credit for their win. “Their two centre-backs, they are very experienced players, and then they tightened up the midfield and made it difficult for us,” he explained. He emphasised that keeping it tight was imperative because the first goal was going to win the match.
 
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Reid also revealed that the side had taken a risk by starting last match's hattrick man André Moritz, who played with a bandaged head, having slipped and fallen in the bathroom three days ago after contracting a stomach bug. 
 
The Brazilian was cleared by the team medics and he himself was willing to come out and play. “He was happy to play for 45 minutes. He wasn’t as explosive as he was earlier, but he did a good job for us,” the former Manchester City manager said.
 
About marquee player Ljungberg’s injury, Reid said, “Freddie’s hamstring is gone and with my experience in football, tears in hamstrings are very difficult injuries and I don’t think it is good for us”.
 
Reid said the loss of ?movš due to suspension and the shadow of doubt hanging over the heads of Ljungberg and Moritz, would be negated by the availability of Nicolas Anelka and Syed Rahim Nabi.
 
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ISL: NorthEast United FC beat nine-men Mumbai City FC 2-0

Photo coutesy:ISL
Photo coutesy:ISL
NorthEast United FC (NEUFC) climbed to second spot in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) when they defeated hosts Mumbai City FC 2-0 at the D. Y. Patil Stadium at Navi Mumbai here this evening.
 
This was their first away win in the tournament and they are now placed second in the league table with seven points, behind leaders Atletico de Kolkata who continued to be at the top with 10 points.
 
For the visitors, Kondwani Mtonga’s finish in the 57th minute gave them the lead and Felipe de Castro cemented their victory with a strike in stoppage time.
 
Both teams were engaged in a keen tussle in the opening stages but Mumbai began to control possession and took the attack to the rival camp.
 
Their best chance came in the 13th minute as Nadong Bhutia took a crossfield ball under control near the 6-yard area before making a run into the box and cutting it back. The ball rolled between Subhash Singh and André Moritz and was cleared by an NEUFC defender.
 
NorthEast United, who were still struggling to string together their first attack, got their best chance in the 17th minute as Koke played in Felipe de Castro who cut the ball back onto his left foot and shot just wide of the far post.
 
Mumbai dominated for the remainder of the first half but could not find a way through the stubborn NorthEast defence. Apart from a couple of shots off target, the first half didn’t produce any clear-cut opportunities for either sides.
 
The second half began with the entry of Mumbai City’s marquee player Freddie Ljungberg who replaced Moritz. The first chance, though, fell to the visiting team, as Durga Boro shot just over the bar from close to 30 yards out.
 
The breakthrough for the Highlanders came twelve minutes into the half as Koke dinked the ball into the 6-yard area to Mtonga, who held off Tiago Ribeiro and beat Subrata Paul to the ball before lifting it over the keeper and into the net.
 
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The hosts made their final change in the 71st minute and Ljungberg went down with a thigh injury moments later reducing the home side to 10 men. 
 
Things went from bad to worse for the Mumbai team as Pavel ?movš got sent off for a rather unnecessary and rash challenge on James Keene. The red card left Mumbai with only nine players on the pitch.
 
NEUFC took advantage of the two-man deficit in the opposition’s side as Keene did well to get the ball through the feet of Deepak Mandal cutting it back to Felipe who dispatched the ball into the top corner with a composed finish in the 92nd minute.
 
Mumbai City will seek to rediscover their goal-scoring prowess on October 28 as they take on Chennaiyin FC, a team that is yet to drop points in the ISL. 
 
The winners today, NorthEast United FC, will travel to the capital as they look for their second away win when they take on Delhi Dynamos FC on October 29.
 
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India's forex reserves rise by $ 945.6 million to $ 313.682 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves rose for the second consecutive week, going up by $ 945.6 million to $ 313.682 billion in the week ended October 17, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said.
 
The forex reserves had gone up by $ 1.31 billion to $ 312.737 billion in the previous week after dipping by about $ 7.2 billion in all in the five weeks before that, mainly due to the appreciation of the dollar against major currencies.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here today, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, went up by $ 914.1 million to $ 2867.8 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 20.013 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) increased by $ 23.1 million to $ 4.317 billion during the week.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) increased by $ 8.4 million to $ 1.552 billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest announces shortlist for three awards


 
Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest has announced the shortlists for three of the five literary awards that the festival has instituted. 
 
The fifth edition of the festival will be held between October 30 and November 2, 2014, at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), Nariman Point (Oct 30 - Nov 2) as well as the Prithvi Theatre, Prithvi House and The Easel in Juhu (Nov 1 & 2).
 
Yesterday, the festival organisers declared the shortlisted nominees for the coveted Tata Literature Live! First Book Award (Fiction & Non-Fiction), the Tata Literature Live! Book of the Year Award (Fiction and Non-Fiction) and the Tata Literature Live! Business Book Award. 
 
"These awards endeavour to recognise and promote literary talent across the country, across all genres of literature. The winners will be announced on November 2nd at an Awards ceremony at the festival," the release said.
 
The Tata Literature Live! First Book Award recognises new talent in the Indian literary space across the fiction and non-fiction genres.
 
In the Fiction category, the shortlisted nominees are:
 
Meena Kandasamy for 'The Gypsy Goddess', a fictional retelling of a true-life massacre in Tamil Nadu in the late 1960s. Treading the line between powerful fiction and fearsome critique, this novel points out injustices of privilege, hypocrisies of authority and the unforgiveable politics of turning a blind eye. 
 
Mira Jacob for 'The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing', a fictional story about Amina, who finds herself at the centre of a mystery in her family’s painful past. With lush language, sharp dialogue, and an eye for detail, this novel is a heartbreaking, hilarious debut.
 
Mahesh Rao for his savagely funny and deeply poignant book, 'The Smoke is Rising'. The book is a riveting portrait of a city hurtling towards an epic clash of modernity and tradition, and all the wandering souls – some hopeful, some broken, and a few somewhere in-between – who find themselves caught in the middle.
 
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In the Non-Fiction category, the shortlisted nominees are:
 
Actor and director Naseeruddin Shah for his book, 'And Then One Day', a sparkling memoir of his early years, "from zero to thirty-two". Shah is a recipient of the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan awards for his contribution to Indian cinema.
 
Reshma Patil for 'Strangers Across The Border'. Is India a friend, rival or enemy? This was the question Patil asked people she met on her journeys through China where she set up the first China bureau of the Hindustan Times.
 
Karnatik music vocalist T M Krishna for his book, 'A Southern Music', which meticulously and lyrically explores every aspect of the world of Karnatik music. Krishna is a recipient of the Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar Award by the Central Sangeet Natak Academy.
 
The Tata Literature Live! Book of the Year Award has been constituted to recognise noteworthy work in the Indian literary space across the fiction and non-fiction genres.
 
In the Fiction category, the shortlisted nominees are:
 
Akhil Sharma for his book ‘Family Life’. Dark, sardonic, and written with biting wit and observation, Family Life is a portrait of one dysfunctional family that speaks to all families. Sharma is the author of An Obedient Father, for which he won the 2001 PEN/Hemingway Award and the 2001 Whiting Writers' Award.
 
Damon Galgut for his book, ‘Arctic Summer’. Meticulously researched and vividly imagined, Arctic Summer conjures up the figure of E.M. Forster as he struggles to write his masterpiece, A Passage To India. Galgut’s earlier works have been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize.
 
Neel Mukherjee for his novel, ‘The Lives of Others’, a book which unfolds a family history and anatomises a social class in all its contradictions. Mukherjee’s first novel, A Life Apart, won the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain Award for best fiction, and was shortlisted for the inaugural DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.
 
In the Non-Fiction category, the shortlisted nominees are:
 
Irwin Allan Sealy for 'The Small Wild Goose Pagoda', a natural and social history of 433 square yards of India where the Sealy family has a small brick house. Sealy looks back on his life as he turns 60 and goes from Householder to Forest Dweller (the two middle stages in the life of a man, as set out in Indian philosophical tradition). His novel, The Everest Hotel: A Calendar, was short-listed for the Booker Prize in 1998.
 
Ramachandra Guha for 'Gandhi before India', a remarkable biography in which Guha argues that Gandhi's ideas were fundamentally shaped before his return to India in 1915. In 2008, and again in 2013, Guha featured in Prospect Magazine's list of the world's most influential thinkers.
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Rana Dasgupta for his book, 'Capital - The Eruption of Delhi' in which Dasgupta examines one of the great trends of our time: the expansion of the global elite. Capital is an intimate portrait of the city of Delhi that offers a glimpse of what capitalism will become in the coming, post-Western world. Dasgupta's earlier book 'Solo' won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize Best Book: Europe and South Asia.
 
The Tata Literature Live! Business Book of the Year Award, instituted this year, recognises the best business writing in the Indian literary space.
 
The shortlisted nominees are:
 
Dev Prasad for his book, 'Pitch It!' with inspirational stories from cricket dressing rooms and corporate boardrooms. Pitch It! has a Foreword by Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (CMD, Biocon) and Epilogue by former Indian cricketer & coach Venkatesh Prasad. Dev Prasad is an IT professional residing in Bangalore.
 
Rajiv Narang and Devika Devaiah for their book, 'Orbit-Shifting Innovation - The Dynamics of Ideas that Create History'. This book empowers readers to overcome obstacles to innovation and provides the tools to maximize the impact of transformative change. Narang was part of the National Planning Commission Panel to recommend 'India's Innovation Strategy'. Devika Devaiah is the Director of Erehwon Innovation Consulting.
Anil Dharker
Anil Dharker
 
Rama Bijapurkar for her book, 'A Never-Before World: Tracking the Evolution of Consumer India'. The book explores widely yet sharply, everything that businesses need to know and think about to win in the Indian market. Rama Bijapurkar is one of India's most respected thought leaders on market strategy and India's consumer economy.
 
This year, the fiction categories for the Tata Literature Live! First Book Award and Tata Literature Live! Book of the Year Award were judged by Carol Andrade, senior journalist; Anil Dharker, festival director; author, Basharat Peer; author Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi; and poet and author Arundhathi Subramaniam.
 
The non-fiction categories for the awards were judged by author and editor, Madhu Jain; columnist, author and social commentator Santosh Desai; festival director Anil Dharker; and senior journalist Dileep Padgaonkar.
 
The jury for the Tata Literature Live! Business Book Award comprised Harish Bhat, Member – Group Executive Council, Tata Sons; R. Gopalakrishnan, Director, Tata Sons; Abheek Singhi, Senior Partner and Director, The Boston Consulting Group; Usha Sangwan, Managing Director, Life Insurance Corporation of India; and Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Social Venture Partners India.
 
The festival will be free and on a first-come, first-served basis. The festival is conceived by Anil Dharker, the Founder and Festival Director of Literature Live! which organises the festival with the support of the Tata group.
 
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ISL: André Moritz stars as Mumbai City FC blank FC Pune City 5-0

Mumbai City FC defeats Pune City FC, 5-0
André Moritz was the star as hosts Mumbai City FC put the ghosts of their opening-day 0-3 defeat to Atletico de Kokata to rest by outplaying FC Pune City 5-0 in the sixth match of the inaugural Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the D Y Patil Stadium here today.
 
Moritz scored the first hat-trick of ISL with goals in the 12th, 27th and 71st minute. Subhash Singh and Johan Letzelter were the other scores for the home team.
 
The match started as a typical derby, with feisty tackles from both sides. Mumbai's Peter Costa and Pune’s Lenny Rodrigues both received yellow cards in the first five minutes. 
 
The home side began to stamp their authority on the game and a swift counterattack saw them take the lead. Brazilian midfielder Moritz collected the ball on the right, cut in and hit a beautiful curler into the far corner.
 
Pune’s marquee player David Trezeguet saw a superb overhead kick hit the crossbar with Mumbai keeper Subrata Paul beaten, but Mumbai continued to pile on the pressure. They doubled their lead soon after, through Moritz’ second goal, a neat volleyed flick from a corner.
 
Pune were on the back foot and Subhash Singh took advantage, firing in a cross for Lalrindika Ralte, but Belardi pulled off an incredible save to deny him. Subhash would not be denied, picking up a pass in the middle of the park and racing past the defence before smashing past a hapless Belardi. He could have had another, shooting wide from a one-on-one with the keeper.
 
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The visitors came out in the second half searching for a goal, but the unrelenting Mumbai side did not let Pune off the hook, pressing their opponents incessantly. They got a fourth goal, with Moritz striking a smart near-post finish to bag the first hat-trick of the tournament. 
 
There was further delight for the Mumbai fans, as marquee player Freddie Ljungberg came on for his first ISL appearance. The Swedish star was soon involved in the action, setting off a sweeping move which ended with Letzelter getting Mumbai’s fifth with a thumping finish.
 
Peter Reid will no doubt be delighted with his team’s performance in bouncing back from the opening day defeat to Kolkata and will look to continue the form as they host North East United FC on October 24. 
 
Franco Colomba, on the other hand, has a lot to ponder ahead of FC Pune City’s next match, their home opener against FC Goa on October 26.
 
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India’s forex reserves rise by $ 1.31 billion to $ 312.737 billion

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After falling for five consecutive weeks, India’s foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 1.31 billion to $ 312.737 billion in the week ended October 10, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said.
 
The forex reserves had dropped sharply by $ 2.754 billion to $ 311.427 billion, a five-month low, in the previous week. The reserves had dipped by about $ 7.2 billion in the past five weeks, mainly due to the appreciation of the dollar against major currencies.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here yesterday, the central bank said that 
foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, went up by $ 1.297 billion to $ 286.886 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 20.013 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) increased by $ 9.3 million to $ 4.294 billion during the week.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) increased by $ 3.3 million to $ 1.544 billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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Modi to inaugurate Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital in Mumbai on Oct 25

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital & Research Centre in South Mumbai on October 25.
 
Now in its 90th year, the hospital has been completely rebuilt by Reliance Foundation, headed by Ms Nita Ambani, into a modern 19-storeyed tower and two heritage wings.
 
Founded in 1925 as Mumbai’s first general hospital, it has a rich heritage. It witnessed the freedom struggle and the Second World War and one of the most frequent visitors then was Mahatma Gandhi.
 
The hospital celebrated its silver jubilee with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, then Deputy Prime Minister, as its chief guest and the golden jubilee celebration was graced by well-known social activist Jayaprakash Narayan. 
 
A press release from Reliance Foundation said the hospital has collaboration with John Hopkins, MD Anderson Cancer Centre, Massachusetts General Hospital and University of Southern California. 
 
"This hospital has state-of-the-art operation theaters equipped with robotic surgery and on-line video conferencing enabling live consultations with specialists across the world, a hybrid cath-lab -- India’s first -- for emergency heart operations, state of the art diagnostics facility with Asia’s first new generation CT scan. The hospital is equipped with high-end Obstetrics & Gynaecology services and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and a learning centre, adapting the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations," the release said.
 
"The general wards of the hospital will have the same level of treatment for the citizens at the bottom of the pyramid," it said.
 
The hospital has an outreach program that currently covers over 310,000 individuals in the vicinity providing preventive and primary healthcare on a digital platform virtually free of cost. 
 
The hospital has initiated steps to adopt the nearby congested areas as part of the Prime Minister’s call of Swachch Bharat Abhiyan. 
 
The hospital has adopted water recycling and rainwater harvesting, making it the greenest healthcare facility in India of its size, the release said.
 
The hospital’s digital initiatives include RFID tags for patients, end-to-end digitization of medical records and real-time remote access to these records, adopting the vision of Digital India of the Prime Minister, it said.
 
"Reliance Foundation and its Chairperson Nita Ambani are delighted to dedicate this hospital to the city of Mumbai," the release added.
 
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West Indies cancels ongoing tour of India, SL to play five-ODI series in November

 
Sri Lanka accepts India's invite to play ODI series
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has cancelled the rest of its ongoing tour of India because of a payment structure dispute with its players, following which the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that the Sri Lankan team would play a limited-overs series in India in November.
 
A press release from the BCCI said this evening that the WICB had informed it of its decision and that its players would return home immediately.
 
"The BCCI is shocked and extremely disappointed at the decision taken by the WICB. The WICB’s inability to resolve internal issues with its players and allowing the same to affect an ongoing bilateral series does not reflect well on any of those involved. The withdrawal gives little thought to the future of the game, the players and the long standing relations between the BCCI and the WICB," BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel said.
 
"The BCCI wishes to inform all its stakeholders, especially ardent fans of the Indian cricket team, that this is a unilateral decision taken by the WICB and its players, in spite of several appeals to the WICB to honour its commitment and complete the series.
 
"The BCCI will pursue all options available to protect its rights, whilst seeking appropriate action from the ICC to ensure that its interests and those of the game at large will not suffer any damage due to such acts of indiscretion," he added.
 
The BCCI said Sri Lanka Cricket, with whom it had commenced discussions immediately after the WICB made known its decision, had confirmed a five-match ODI series between India and Sri Lanka, to be played from November 1.
 
"The series promises to be an exciting one, with Sri Lanka placed 4th in the world rankings in ODIs. India is ranked 3rd, with only 2 points separating the teams," Patel said.
 
"The BCCI wishes to thank SLC for its swift response and for extending its support to ensure that the international cricket season is not curtailed. 
 
"The details of the venues and fixtures will be announced soon," he added. 
 
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In St. John's Antigua, the WICB issued a statement, after an emergency meeting of its Board of Directors, saying that it was left with no option but to advise the BCCI that it would no longer be able to provide a West Indies team for the remaining five matches of the tour (the 5th ODI, a T20 International and three Test matches).
 
It said the players of its team, represented by skipper Dwayne Bravo, had indicated to it that they had taken a decision to withdraw their services for the remainder of the tour of India.
 
"The WICB wishes to further clarify that its proposed alternative arrangement of a replacement West Indies team was not considered acceptable. The WICB is understanding of this position. 
 
"The WICB unreservedly apologises to West Indian fans and all cricket fans for this most regrettable situation and the premature end to the tour.
 
"The WICB unreservedly apologises to the BCCI, their sponsors, broadcasters and other stakeholders for the premature end to the tour," the statement said.
 
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CMC Limited amalgamates with Tata Consultancy Services

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IT services and consulting major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS) has announced that the Board of Directors of TCS and its CMC Limited (CMC) yesterday approved the amalgamation of CMC with TCS pursuant to the provisions of Sections 391 to 394 of the Companies Act, 1956. 
 
As per the terms of the Scheme of Amalgamation (Scheme), shareholders of CMC will receive 79 equity shares of Rs 1 each of TCS for 100 equity shares of Rs 10 each of CMC. 
 
The swap ratio has been arrived at based on the valuation report prepared by B.S.R. & Associates LLP, a press release from the company said here yesterday.
 
After the amalgamation, the paid-up share capital of TCS will increase from Rs 195.87 crore to Rs 197.04 crore. The scheme is subject to, court, regulatory, shareholders and other necessary approvals, the release said.
 
The consolidated revenue of TCS, for the quarter ended September 30, 2014, was Rs 23,816.48 crore, with profit after tax of Rs 5,244.28 crore based on Indian GAAP. For the same period, the consolidated revenue of CMC was Rs 616.68 crore with profit after tax of Rs 76.00 crore based on Indian GAAP.
 
CMC, where TCS holds a 51.12% stake, is engaged in the design, development and implementation of software technologies and applications, providing professional services in India and overseas, and procurement, installation, commissioning, warranty and maintenance of mported/indigenous computer and networking systems, and in education and training.
 
The amalgamation will enable TCS to consolidate CMC’s operations in a single company with rationalized structure, enhanced reach, greater financial strength and flexibility aiding in achieving economies of scale, more focused operational efforts, standardization and simplification of business processes and productivity improvements, the release added.
 
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Star Group wins 8-year cricket broadcast deal with ICC for 18 events

A view of the ICC headquarters in Dubai
A view of the ICC headquarters in Dubai
The Star Group today said it had signed an eight-year global cricket broadcast contract with the International Cricket Council (ICC) that will cover six major events, including two back-to-back ICC Cricket World Cups.
 
The network had held the rights for all of cricket’s marquee multinational events during the previous eight years and with this contract, it will continue doing so for the next eight years until 2023.
 
In all, the contract signed between ICC and the Star Group, including Star India and Star Middle East, provides for rights to 18 ICC tournaments, including the 2019 and 2023 World Cups, two ICC Champions Trophy tournaments (2017 and 2021) and two ICC World Twenty20 tournaments (2016 and 2020).
 
A press release from Star said the contract was won following a robust tender, bidding and evaluation process which started in July.
 
Star was selected over 17 other competitive bids from various broadcasters across different territories. 
 
"This deal reinforces Star’s outstanding reputation as a global sports broadcaster and reiterates its profound commitment to the game of cricket. With its unparalleled broadcast network within India and robust global broadcast partnerships, Star will continue to provide an unprecedented viewing experience to cricket fans across the world," the release said.
 
Mr Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India, said: “We are delighted and honoured to extend our partnership with ICC. This is a tribute to Star's commitment and ICC's trust in our ability to take the great game of cricket to the next level. Star will constantly attempt to reinvent the viewer experience to make cricket bigger and bigger.”
 
ICC Chairman Mr N. Srinivasan said, “Star has an outstanding reputation as a sports broadcaster and has played an integral role in promoting and growing the game by taking coverage of ICC Events to a truly global and record-breaking audience. This commitment for the next eight years will ensure greater stability for ICC Members as well as increased funding for developing and established countries. The level of investment committed by Star shows that the game is stronger than ever before and hopefully with this financial stability for the next eight years, we can implement plans to strengthen and grow the game further, making it an even bigger and better global game.”
 
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According to the release, the following ICC major global events are included in the audio-visual rights packages:
 
ICC World Twenty20 2016 – India
ICC Champions Trophy 2017 - England and Wales
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 - England and Wales
ICC World Twenty20 2020 – Australia
ICC Champions Trophy 2021 – India
ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 – India
 
ICC qualifying events:
 
ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015 - Ireland and Scotland
ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 – Bangladesh
ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2019 – TBC
ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2022 - Zimbabwe 
 
Other ICC events:
 
 ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2016 – Bangladesh
ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 - England and Wales
ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2018 - New Zealand
ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2018 - West Indies
ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 - South Africa
ICC Women’s World Cup 2021 - New Zealand
ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2022 - West Indies
ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2022 - South Africa
 
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Tata Value Homes launches e-commerce platform for home buying

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Tata Value Homes, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Housing Development Company, has announced the launch of an e-commerce platform for home buying", which will allow global access to its properties in India. 
 
The new platform, said to be the first of its kind in the world, would enable buyers across the world to book homes in three  steps: Select Location – Review Details – Book online for just Rs 30,000 under the inaugural offer of One Price One Nation.
 
A press release from the company said the offer would start at 10 am on October 15.
 
Under the offer, customers will be able to buy a particular unit at a flat price across Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Chennai. All 1 BHKs will be priced at Rs 29.9 lakhs, 2 BHKs at Rs 39.9 lakhs, 2 BHK large at Rs 49.9 lakhs and 3 BHKs at Rs 59.9 lakhs.
 
The release said Tata Value Homes has sold over a million sq. ft of residential space, which translates into over 700 units, generating over Rs 300 crores worth of revenue in the value and affordable housing segment. 
 
"Statistics also revealed a paradigm shift towards young investors and home buyers. The average age of buyers has decreased by a couple of years to 29-42 years in 2014 as compared to 31-45 years in 2013," it said.
 
The release said an analysis of customers who had booked Tata Value Homes online in the last year had shown that 39% of the customers, who booked homes online, did so with intent to live in them with their families. 
 
Around 59% of the customers who booked homes online did not consult any brokers or salesmen while making the bookings online. Around 56% of online customers considered the information made available to them online adequate to make an online transaction. Most notably, for 39% of the customers who booked homes online, a Tata Value Homes was their very first online purchase, it said.
 
Mr. Brotin Banerjee, MD & CEO of Tata Housing said, "Evolution of Indian consumer over the years to embrace the e-commerce platforms has opened up the market for consumers across the globe. With the increasing internet penetration, the new platform builds on the vision of being the largest provider of homes".
 
"We have invested in the research and technology which ensures transactional safety, quality and transparency. With this launch we have simplified the platform which makes purchasing homes accessible to Indians, across the world," he said.
 
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The release said Tata Value Homes has witnessed a rising appetite for online sales from tier II markets, which has jumped from 11% in December-January 2013 to 30% in January-October 2014. The online buyers have been from tier II cities in India which included Patna, Chandigarh, Ranchi, Jaipur, Indore, Vadodara, Surat, Mangalore, Mysore, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Tiruchirapalli,  Bhubaneswar and Leh, amongst others.
 
NRIs have been strong evangelists of the online platform with 25% of buyers (between January –October 2014) being from the international markets of the United States of America, United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. The boost from this segment has seen a tremendous surge, from a 12% contribution to online sales in 2013 (January-December) to 25% this year, the release added.
 
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Kotak Mahindra launches bank agnostic funds transfer platform for Facebook users

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Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) today announced the launch of KayPay, the world’s first bank agnostic payment product for Facebook users to send money to each other in an instant round the clock.
 
A press release from the private sector bank said bank account holders can now transfer money to each other at any hour of the day or night, without needing net banking, or knowing various bank account related details of the payee. 
 
"KayPay enables over 250 million Indian bank account holders transfer funds to each other instantly by just choosing recipients from their Facebook friends list," it said.
 
According to the release, KayPay offers a safe and secure platform to transact on the social networking site through a two-level authentication – Facebook user id & password and a One Time Password (OTP). Further, both sender and receiver immediately receive notifications via SMS and on Facebook about the transfer. 
 
Shanti Ekambaram, President – Consumer Banking, Kotak Mahindra Bank, said, “KayPay is a revolutionary digital banking innovation that leverages social media to offer a better and secure payment platform to all. KayPay is bank agnostic, facilitating transfer of funds instantly. The convenience of not having to know payee details breaks down all barriers of a process, which otherwise requires a host of information that one may not necessarily have handy.”
 
"We are constantly working to deliver seamless and convenient banking solutions across all channels, especially digital banking, to the entire community," she added.
 
The release said that, as a one-time process, users need to register their existing bank accounts, which participate in the IMPS (Immediate Payment System) P2M Pull platform by National Payment Corporation of India, on Facebook or www.kaypay.com. 
 
Currently, KMB is offering KayPay at no cost to users, the release added.
 
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Reliance reports 1.7% rise in net profit to record Rs 5972 crore in Q2

Reliance logo
Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today reported a 1.7 per cent increase in net profit to a record high of Rs 5972 crore in the second quarter (Q2) of financial year 2014-15 from Rs 5,873 crore in the same quarter of the previous year.
 
Reporting its financial performance for the quarter ended September 30, the company said in a press release that the record profit was recorded despite the fact that its revenue (turnover) had decreased by 4.3 per cent to Rs 113,396 crore in the period as compared to Rs 118, 439 crore in the corresponding period last year.
 
The company attributed the fall in revenue to lower curde prices and volumes, mainly in the refining and oil & gas business.
 
The company said its half-yearly consolidated net profit had gone up by 7.4 per cent to a record Rs 11,929 crore in the first half of the financial year.
 
“RIL’s financial performance for the period stands testimony to the intrinsic strength of our integrated business operations. The refining and etrochemical businesses, once again, delivered robust results, outperforming regional industry benchmarks," RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh D. Ambani said.
 
"Renewed optimism in the domestic economy augurs well for business and consumer confidence particularly against the backdrop of continuing concerns on global economic growth. We expect to create significant value for our stakeholders over the next 12-18 months as we complete our large investment programme across energy and consumer businesses. These projects will propel the next phase of growth for India and Reliance," he said.
 
The release said the company's exports from India were lower by 14.7 per cent at Rs 66,065 crore ($ 10.7 billion) as against Rs 77,428 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year. 
 
Cost of raw materials was lower by 12.9% from Rs 93,933 crore to Rs 81,815 crore ($ 13.2 billion) on year-on-year (Y-o-Y) basis mainly on weaker crude oil prices, lower crude processed in refinery and lower blending and trading activity in the United States during the second quarter.
 
Other income was lower at Rs 2,009 crore ($ 325 million) as against Rs 2,346 crore in corresponding period of the previous year, primarily on account of lower investible surplus.
 
The company said its gross refining margins (GRM) for the quarter stood at $ 8.3/bbl as against $ 7.7/bbl in the corresponding period of the previous year. 
 
The company's outstanding debt as on 30th September 2014 was Rs 142,084 crore ($ 23.0 billion) compared to Rs 138,761 crore as on 31st March 2014. 
 
Cash and cash equivalents as on 30th September 2014 were at Rs 83,456 crore ($ 13.5 billion). 
 
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Ramesh Ramanathan elected chairman of All India Resort Development Association

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Mr Ramesh Ramanathan, Managing Director, Sterling Holiday Resorts (India) Limited, has been elected as chairman of All India Resort Development Association (AIRDA) at its recently held annual general meeting.
 
AIRDA is an independent, non-profit advisory body set up by the vacation ownership industry. It functions as a self-regulatory body and provides guidance to all stakeholders. This includes customer guidance and protection. AIRDA also guides new entrants to the industry and existing players. 
 
"AIRDA’s mission is to provide a platform for the industry to work together and address opportunities for growth," a press release from the association said.
 
Mr Ramanathan is a founder member of AIRDA. Acknowledged as a pioneer in the vacation ownership industry in India, his foray into the industry began in 1991 when he led the Marketing, Sales and Customer Relations functions at Sterling. Under his leadership, Sterling pioneered the “right to use” Vacation Ownership model and grew to be a leader in the industry.
 
In 1996, he joined the Mahindra Group to found Club Mahindra. He is credited with the successful establishment of the Club Mahindra brand and in leading Mahindra Holidays and Resorts into becoming one of the top holiday companies in the world. 
 
In July 2011, he returned at the helm of Sterling as Managing Director.
 
“The travel and tourism industry in India is poised for exponential growth. As Indian families adopt holidays as integral to their lifestyle in increasing numbers, Vacation Ownership membership will come to be seen as highly attractive given the concept’s economic and emotional benefits. I look forward to working with AIRDA in providing guidance to the Vacation Ownership industry so that it realizes its full potential. I am also confident that the Vacation Ownership industry can play an integral role in developing destinations, thereby adding impetus to the Incredible India story," Mr Ramanathan said.
 
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Isha Ambani, Akash Ambani appointed Directors of Reliance Jio Infocomm, Reliance Retail

Isha and Akash Ambani
Isha and Akash Ambani
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani's daughter Isha Ambani and son Akash Ambani were today appointed as Directors on the Boards of Reliance Jio Infocomm and Reliance Retail, both subsidiaries of RIL.
 
Isha and Akash,  23, are twins. They have a younger brother. This is the first time that any of them has been appointed on the board of any company in the Reliance Group.
 
Isha Ambani has graduated from Yale University with double majors in Psychology and South Asian Studies. She was a business analyst at McKinsey & company's New York office. 
 
Akash Ambani has graduated from Brown University with major in Economics. He is closely involved in the development of products and digital services applications in Reliance Jio. 
 
At its meeting held today, the Board of Reliance Retail also appointed Mr Adil Zainulbhai, an independent director of RIL, on its Board. Mr Dipak Jain is already an independent director on the Board of Reliance Retail. 
 
Mr Zainulbhai and Mr Jain are independent directors on the Board of Reliance Jio Infocomm. 
 
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Actor Amitabh Bachchan turns 72, spends day with family

 
Amitabh Bachchan thanksfans for their wishes on his birthday
Renowned actor Amitabh Bachchan turned 72 today and spent the day with his family, saying that the best gift to him would be whatever his little grand-daughter Aaradhya chose to present him on the occasion.
 
"She is still sleeping. I am waiting to find out what gift she will give me," he told journalists this morning.
 
Aaradhya is the daughter of Mr Bachchan's son Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, both well-known actors in their own right.
 
Mr Bachchan said nothing special had been planned for the day, and he only wished to spend it with his family.
 
He said the women in the family -- his wife and actor Jaya Bachchan, daughter Shweta Nanda and daughter-in-law Aishwarya -- were observing a fast for the day on the occasion of Karva Chauth, when women pray for their husbands.
 
He said he would join them in celebrations after they break their fasts in the evening, after sighting the moon.
 
Mr Bachchan also used the opportunity to thank the thousands of his fans who greeted him on his birthday and said he could repay their love and affection only by entertaining them with his work.
 
"The hour has passed and the greetings have poured in and the family has been with me and that is the greatest gift, if gifts were to be any judge of affection," he wrote on his blog.
 
"But it is not a day to contemplate .. it is a time to deliver thanks and gratefulness to all those that have been responsible for my 72 in completion and my 73 to begin .. 
 
"There is a numbness in all that we do now .. as opposed to the gaiety and laughter and excitement of the earlier years .. I have always wondered why .. but it there and it shall remain I presume for the days left in my life .." he added.
 
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India’s forex reserves dip by $ 2.754 billion to $ 311.427 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves dropped sharply by $ 2.754 billion to $ 311.427 billion, a five-month low, in the week ended October 3, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said.
 
This was the fifth straight week that the forex reserves have fallen. They had dipped by $ 1.415 billion to $ 314.181 billion in the previous week. In the last five weeks, the reserves have gone down by about $ 7.2 billion, partly due to the appreciation of the dollar against major currencies.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here yesterday, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, fell by $ 1.804 billion to $ 285.588 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves fell by $ 919.7 million to $ 20.013 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) fell by $ 22.8 million to $ 4.284 billion during the week.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) declined by $ 8.2 million to $ 1.541 billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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Ishant to replace injured Mohit for rest of ODI series against West Indies

Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma
Lanky pace bowler Ishant Sharma will replace the injured pacer Mohit Sharma in the Indian squad for the rest of the one-day international (ODI) series against the touring West Indies.
 
"Mohit Sharma has aggravated his bilateral shin pain, and has therefore been ruled out of the ongoing Micromax Cup, India vs West Indies ODI series, 2014," a press release from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said.
 
"The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Ishant Sharma as his replacement in the Indian squad," it said.
 
Though a regular in the Test team, Ishant, 26, last played an ODI in January against New Zealand.
 
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Hero Indian Super League signs up six brands as sponsor partners

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Hero Indian Super League (ISL) today announced that it had signed up six iconic brands from diverse industry verticals as sponsors and partners for the tournament.
 
The league is set to kick off on Sunday, October 12, at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata. 
 
The opening ceremony of the league will be telecast starting 6:00 pm on eight channels of the Star network and also be aired on www.starsports.com, whereas, the on-ground stadium entertainment will start 5:20 pm onwards.
 
Joining Hero MotoCorp Ltd, the ISL title sponsor, is car maker Maruti Suzuki which has signed up as the Associate Sponsor. 
 
FMCG brands PepsiCo India and Amul have signed up as official partners, as have the Muthoot Group, Puma and Dr Reddy’s Nise Gel.
 
Mr. Sanjay Gupta, COO, Star India, said, “We are a few days  away from the kick off of the Hero Indian Super League and it has gained excellent traction as is evident in the number of sponsors lined up to support the league. The response from sponsors has been overwhelming and the league has attracted a wide range of marketers from a variety of industries."
 
"We welcome these brands on board to support the Hero Indian Super League – a league that is bound to change the development trajectory of Indian football. Football is an aspirational sport with mass appeal and a deep youth connect. This is a historic opportunity for brands to be part of the birth of a footballing nation," he said.
 
ISL is co-promoted by IMG-Reliance (the joint venture between IMG and Reliance Industries) and Star India along with the support of All India Football Federation (AIFF).
 
Leading industrialists and celebrities from sports as well as the Indian film industry have invested in owning the eight city franchises of the ISL.
 
The opening ceremony of the tournament on Sunday will feature performances by actress Priyanka Chopra, percussionist Anandan Sivamani and Salim Merchant of the popular music director duo of Salim and Suleiman Merchant.
 
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L&T Technology Services plans to acquire Dell's Engineering Services business

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L&T Technology Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of the $14.3 billion  Larsen & Toubro (L&T) group today announced its intent to acquire the assets of U.S.-based Dell Product and Process Innovation Services (formerly eServ), the Engineering Services division of Dell.
 
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the proposed transaction and the company is awaiting US regulatory approvals which are expected shortly, a press release from the company said.
 
"The proposed transaction will significantly drive forward L&T Technology Services’ position as a premier Engineering Services provider by adding local delivery centers in North America. Dell Engineering Services also has delivery centers in Hyderabad and Bangalore in India,. This enhances L&T Technology Services’ ability to offer differentiated technology solutions and full program management services by leveraging global-local talent base at any point in the product development cycle," the release said.
 
Headquartered in Peoria, Illinois, Dell Engineering Services has over 15 years of extensive experience in Mechanical Design & Analysis, Embedded Engineering, Applied Engineering, and Manufacturing Consulting across multiple industries and has long term relationships with marquee clients in North America, especially in the transportation industry.
 
"This proposed acquisition enables L&T Technology Services to consolidate its position as preferred vendor in the $4 billion Transportation ER&D market. The acquired assets will enable L&T Technology Services to leverage the customer base and complementary capabilities of Dell Engineering Services along with L&T Technology Services’ broader portfolio of Embedded and PLM offerings, supported by a global sales force. The closure of transaction is expected around this quarter, subject to certain regulatory approvals," the release said.
 
Dr. Keshab Panda, Chief Executive of L&T Technology Services said, “Product engineering is undergoing structural shifts with evolving technologies, shorter development cycles, regulatory demands, and a shortage of skilled talent. This is a tremendous opportunity for us to have a strong local presence in North America where a majority of our clients are based. That along with Dell Engineering Services’ strong expertise in Embedded, and Mechanical Design & Analysis and a history of successful relationships in North America will help us ride the next level of growth."
 
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Gulf Petrochem makes open offer to shareholders of Sah Petroleums at Rs 15.70/share

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Gulf Petrochem Group, a United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based leading player in the oil space, today said it had made an open offer to acquire upto 26 per cent of Sah Petroleums Ltd., a manufacturer of industrial and automotive oil lubricants in India, from its public shareholders.
 
The offer has been made by Gulf Petrochem’s subsidiaries Gulf Petrochem Energy Private Ltd and Gulf Petrochem Pte Ltd to acquire upto 13,255,940 equity shares, representing 26% of Sah Petroleums Limited’s share capital, at a price of Rs 15.70 per share.
 
A press release from the company said the offer would open on October 10 and is scheduled to close on October 28.
 
Gulf Petrochem Energy Private Ltd and Gulf Petrochem Pte Ltd acquired 72.23% in Sah Petroleums on July 31st, 2014 pursuant to a share purchase agreement. The open offer is being made in accordance with the provisions of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 2011.
 
“The timing of this deal is perfect as India gears up for its ‘Make in India’ campaign and the government keen to shape business friendly policies, especially in the oil sector, which is set to open anytime now. This acquisition fits our strategy to make Gulf Petrochem Group a global conglomerate operating in oil space and have an integrated portfolio and also extend its capabilities to manufacture, supply and globally distribute a wider variety of products, from base oils to finished lubricants.” said Mr. Sudhir Goyel, Managing Director, Gulf Petrochem Group.
 
Sah Petroleums specializes in industrial lubricants, automotive lubricants, process oils, transformer oils, greases and other specialties under the brand name IPOL in India and overseas.
 
"The acquisition will further bolster Gulf Petrochem Group’s offerings which are currently divided into six divisions, i.e. refining, storage terminals, trading & bunkering, bitumen and grease manufacturing and shipping and logistics," the release added.
 
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English Vinglish to release in Romania on October 24

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Close on the heels of the success of actress Sridevi's comeback film English Vinglish in Japan, where the film garnered box office collections of a whopping $ 1.4 million plus, Eros International is all set to release the blockbuster in Romania this month on October 24 across 15 screens.
 
A press release from Eros said the film had performed exceptionally well in other new markets like South Korea, Hong Kong, Germany and Taiwan, too, and the team is confident of its continued appreciation in new territories.
 
English Vinglish, directed by Gauri Shinde released in October 2012 and has since fascinated audiences worldwide with its universal subject of people living abroad in an English-speaking world trying hard to learn English to be accepted by their society.
 
Cocktail and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara are some of the other releases by Eros which have enjoyed success in Romania, the release added.
 
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