Online Shopping sites:A to Z- Online Shopping sites India

A: ( A chinese website which features products at very cheap rates direct from wholesalers / producers ) ( Free International shipping )

B: ( Sales Events from major brands ) ( Shoes & accessories ) ( Sale events) ( cosmetics, accessories etc.)


D: ( for all the fabulous deals on restaurants, products etc. )

E: ( Needs no introduction ) ( personal care, skin care, hair care products etc .)

F: ( I Guess this is a website which doesn’t need an introduction, coz in my views it was a trendsetter for Online shopping trend in India) ( Books, mobiles, phones etc.- Its the 1 of the top-most shopping websites in India) (Books, mobiles, phones etc) ( Clothing, accessories, shoes etc for both men and women )

G: ( Books, mobiles, phones etc) ( fashions saree, salwar kameez, dress materials, kurtis, coat suits etc)

H: ( coming through the Channel Home Shop 18. The name says it all ) (clothing, footwear, accessories for women ) ( Cosmetics, skin care, hair care products etc. )

I:  ( Books, mobiles, phones etc. ) ( electronics, watches, phones etc. )

J: ( electronics, Books, phones etc. ) ( Apparels,Shoes,Watches ,Bags & More Free Shipping etc. )

K: ( Best deals website )

L: ( Best Mobile Phones, Cameras, Laptops, Home Appliances )

M: ( shoes, accessories, clothes etc. ) ( Deals and products )

N: ( Sales events website )

O: ( shopping store for women )

P: (shoes, t-shirts, fitness equipment, sports nutrition)

Q: ( Sales Events )

R: ( Free International shipping – Thanks for Sharing Swati )

S: ( All the products from the Retail chain Shoppers Stop you can buy at their website ) ( Accessories, cosmetics etc. from major brands like Aldo and Inglot )

T: ( A sales event website ) ( Books, mobiles, accessories and lots more. )

U: ( Cosmetics, skin care products and more )

V: ( Cosmetics, skin care products and more ) ( Sales event website )

W: ( clothing wholesale center, you can search for single unit buying options too )


Y: ( Shoes, clothes, accessories etc )

Z: ( for all your gifting ideas photos and cameras needs )
Read more here

Facebook Trading Glitches To Cost Market Makers

Trading glitches on the Nasdaq Stock Market during Facebook Inc.'s shares' rocky debut may cost Wall Street about $100 million, analysts said.
Firms that route orders to the exchange emerged this week as some of the biggest losers so far from the technical problems ...
Read more here

scared of Confucius:Why is Washington so scared of Confucius?

According to a new US State Department directive last week, Confucius Institutes in the US must obtain American accreditation. The directive also says that some academics at these institutes who are holding J-1 visas will not get their visas extended, which means they will have to leave the US. If the directive comes into force, Confucius Institutes and Schools in the US will face a lot of trouble. The US obviously wants this.

Confucius Institutes have expanded their global presence in recent years. There are now 691 Confucius Institutes and Schools, 69 of which are in the US. Their rapid development can be partly attributed to China's active promotion, but the decisive factor is the great demand for learning Chinese.

After Spanish, which was brought by Latino immigrants, Chinese has become the first foreign language taught in the US. The arrival of Confucius Institutes and Americans' eagerness to learn Chinese are a perfect match. The Confucius Institutes in the US are established in accordance with the requirements of American universities and colleges. The Chinese-teaching volunteers are actually invited by US academies.

US academies will bear the loss if Chinese teachers and volunteers leave the US. What China loses is a chance to promote its culture. Compared with the US' need for Chinese-training talents to better communicate with China, China's demand is not so urgent.

The issue shows that the US' cultural confidence is not as strong as we thought. The promotion of Chinese language and culture by Confucius Institutes makes some Americans uneasy. Only culturally weak countries have such sensitivity.

Chinese language is difficult to learn. Confucius Institutes set up a model where China and foreign countries cooperate to teach Chinese, which has sped up the promotion of Chinese teaching worldwide.

Some countries can resist Confucius Institutes, but they can't hold back people's interests to learn Chinese as long as China stays on its track of development. Confucius Institutes can hold a cooperative attitude, but do not need to beg any governments.

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was discussing the matter with the US. Presidents from many universities in the US have publicly objected to the government's decision. China doesn't need to feel as anxious as the US. Confucius Institutes should continue to develop globally. They have become the major promoter of Chinese culture. They can slow their pace of development in countries that make trouble for them.

When a country's economy develops, it will care about respect from other countries. The Chinese are clear that the establishment of a country's soft power is difficult.

The development of Confucius Institutes shows a mixed relationship between China and other countries during China's rise. Their evaluation is bound to be varied, but the most objective one is the demand of them in the world.
Read more here

CA extension plan:Supreme Court stays CA extension plan

Responding to a writ petition, Nepal's Supreme Court on Thursday issued an interim stay order against the government's proposal to amend the interim constitution and extend the term of the Constituent Assembly. A single bench of Chief Justice Khila Raj Regmi passed the order.

On November 25, the Court had issued an order in name of the chairman of the Constituent Assembly, the Prime Minister and Office of Council of Ministers, declaring that the extension of the CA, ending on May 27, would be the last one and the CA must promulgate the constitution within the stipulated deadline. If the CA failed to do so, said the Court, its term would end, and there should either be fresh elections for a new CA, or referendum or any other ‘appropriate arrangements' according to the constitution. A review petition filed against the decision, on the grounds that this was entirely a political decision beyond the prerogative of the judiciary, was quashed by the Court.

On Tuesday, an all-party meeting agreed to initiate the process to amend the interim constitution and extend the CA's term by another three months. The Cabinet endorsed the decision, and tabled an amendment bill in the legislature-Parliament accordingly. The Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) have since backtracked from the agreement, and opposed an extension.

In its verdict on Thursday, the Supreme Court said instead of taking steps towards the alternatives it proposed — elections, referendum or other appropriate arrangements — the government had acted as if there was no Court decision at all by initiating the process to amend the interim constitution to extend the CA. This, it said, was in violation of the earlier Court order as well constitutional provisions. Since the decision was ‘faulty', the Court issued the order.

In a separate case against the Prime Minister for contempt of court in proposing an extension, the Court directed both Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Law and Justice Krishna Prasad Situala, who undersigned the amendment bill, to appear personally in court with a written reply within seven days.
Political reactions

Dr. Bhattarai's political adviser Devendra Poudel however strongly opposed the verdict. He told The Hindu, “This is a direct intervention in the work-spheres of the legislature and the executive. The judiciary has over-reached since this is a purely political matter. We cannot accept this, and will counter this ideologically.”

UML leader Pradeep Gyawali told The Hindu, “The best option would be to agree on a constitution incorporating the areas of agreement between all sides, and promulgate it before May 27. If we do that, the legislature-Parliament will remain intact after that, and it can resolve the other remaining contentious issues like state restructuring.”

But Mr. Poudel said the Maoists would not agree to a ‘constitution without federalism', as that lies at the heart of the constitution. Madhesi parties and Janjati MPs too have expressed opposition to this proposal however, saying this would be a ‘conspiracy' to derail their federal aspirations. The party whip will be enforced in Parliament, unlike in the CA which adds to the apprehensions of ethnic lawmakers who want to retain the option of voting against their party decision on issues like federalism. Mr. Gyawali admitted there was a trust deficit. “Madhesis, Janjatis and women feel that future house will not address their concerns. We need to win their trust.”

Lawyers said if the CA gets dissolved without the constitution being written, the institution of the presidency and the government of the day would continue to exist.
Read more here

Pak doctor’s prosecution ‘unjust and unwarranted’: Hillary

 The 33-year jail term to a Pakistani doctor who helped CIA find Osama bin Laden has created outrage within the US with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling it “unjust and unwarranted” and a Senate panel voting to chop aid to Islamabad.

“We are raising it and that we can still do thus as a result of we expect that his treatment is unjust and unwarranted,” Ms. Clinton told reporters throughout a joint press conference with the visiting New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully.

“We are within the midst of a series of discussions with the Pakistani Government on a variety of problems that are vital to the U.S. and therefore the international community. we have a tendency to definitely take into account the treatment of Dr Afridi to be among those vital problems,” she said.

Ms. Clinton said the U.S. doesn't believe there was any basis for holding Dr. Afridi guilty.

“We regret each the very fact that he was convicted and therefore the severity of his sentence. His help, after all, was instrumental in taking down one among the world’s most notorious murderers,” she said.

“That was clearly in Pakistan’s interests moreover as ours and therefore the remainder of the planet. This action by Dr Afridi to assist give birth to the tip of the reign of terror designed and executed by bin Laden wasn't in anyway a betrayal of Pakistan and that we have created that terribly well-known and that we can still press it with the govt. of Pakistan,” she said.

Ms. Clinton’s remark came as prime US lawmakers expressed their outrage over Dr. Afridi’s prosecution, with Senator John Kerry, called one among the most effective friends of Pakistan within the Congress, warning Islamabad that such moves would create things troublesome for them within the US.

“I believe within the importance of the US-Pakistan strategic relationship, however realities like these create that effort tougher,” Mr. Kerry said in an exceedingly statement.

Mr. Kerry is that the author of the Kerry-Lugar-Burman bill that assured $7.5 billion U.S. aid to Pakistan in 5 years.

“Americans can have nice problem knowing that one year when the US found and killed the foremost notorious terrorist in trendy history hiding on Pakistani soil, the foremost visible action being taken to seek out out how he came to be in Pakistan is that the conviction in an exceedingly Pakistani court of physician who helped the US establish Osama bin Laden,” he said.

“The irony is, the sole person being punished is that the one who helped the US achieve justice for the murder of thousands of usa citizens,” Mr. Kerry said as a key Senate committee yesterday voted unanimously to chop aid to Pakistan by USD thirty three million, that in impact means that $1 million every year the Pakistani national spends his time in jail.

“This conviction says to me that al-Qaeda is viewed by the court to be Pakistan. I don’t understand that facet of the war Pakistan is on. This makes me seriously question our money support to Pakistan,” powerful Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairperson of the Senate choose Committee on Intelligence, said throughout the mark-up.

“All people are outraged at the imprisonment and sentence of some thirty three years, nearly a death sentence, to the doctor in Pakistan who was instrumental and fully innocent of any wrongdoing, was instrumental within the removal of Osama bin Laden,” said powerful Republican Senator John McCain, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“That has, frankly, outraged all people. i feel that’s a very important provision, and that i hope that we will have any discussion of this issue of our entire relations with Pakistan,” McCain said bearing on the National Defense Authorization Act elapsed Senate Armed Services Committee.

“This legislation needs that before the govt. of Pakistan will be reimbursed using coalition support funds, the secretary of defence can need to certify that it's open and maintaining lines of supply; isn't supporting militant extremist teams like Haqqani network; and isn't detaining or imprisoning voters of Pakistan,” Mr. McCain said.

Mr. McCain termed as extortion by Pakistan the negotiations with it on reopening of the closed offer routes to support US military effort in Afghanistan.

“This is a difficulty that i feel are going to be the topic of a lot of discussion and action by the Congress,” the Senator said.

Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Lindsey Graham termed Pakistan a “schizophrenic” ally, that has suffered the worst losses at the hands of Islamic militants whereas at an equivalent time harbouring the Haqqani network and different teams.

“If this can be cooperation, i'd hate like heck to examine opposition,” Leahy said.

The latest call by the key Senate represents regarding four per cent of the $800 million put aside for Pakistan for the year 2013.This includes $250 million in foreign military aid and another $50 million for Pakistan’s counterinsurgency efforts.

In fact, this quantity of $800 million is way below the $2.3 billion the Obama administration is requesting for Pakistan.

Another House committee had created similar recommendations early in the week.

The substantial reduction in House and Senate committees comes despite warning from the White House that such a move may well be counter-productive in obtaining Pakistan’s cooperation in war against terrorism.

“I assume it’s a very important purpose that any help provided by anyone within the effort to bring Osama bin Laden to justice was help not against Pakistan, however against al Qaeda and against Osama bin Laden. we've raised the problem with the Pakistani government. we are going to still have conversations with them regarding it,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

Read more here

Bharti to buy 49% in Qualcomm India broadband

 India Broadband:
India's largest mobile telecom service supplier Bharti Airtel on Thursday announced the acquisition of forty ninth stake in US large Qualcomm's broadband wireless access (BWA) business, conjointly known as 4G services, in India for $165 million ( Rs. 922 crore). The company's shares rose five.6% to Rs. 298 on the
Bombay Stock Exchange following the news.

The acquisition can offer Bharti access to four telecoms zones, as well as the lucrative Delhi and Mumbai, where it doesn't have its own 4G services. the corporate recently launched industrial 4G networks in Kolkata and Karnataka.

Qualcomm acquired spectrum for BWA in 2010 for Rs. 4,912.5 crore through the auction route. It holds spectrum in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala. Though the precise financials aren't known, the enterprise valuation is around $1.2 billion. the corporate features a debt of concerning Rs. 5,000 crore.

A statement by Bharti Airtel said that it had acquired forty ninth interest in Qualcomm's India entities for BWA licenses "partly by method of acquisition of twenty sixth equity interest equally held by world Holding Corporation Pvt Ltd and Tulip Telecom Ltd, and therefore the balance by method of subscription of recent equity in those entities."

"The agreement contemplates that when industrial operations are launched, subject to bound terms and conditions, Bharti would assume complete possession and monetary responsibility for the BWA entities by 2014 finish," said the statement.

Bharti acquired BWA licenses in Kolkata, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra and 3G licenses in 13 circles in India in 2010. It will currently supply 3G/4G services in eighteen circles.

"This partnership can mix the strength of Bharti's national telecom footprint and Qualcomm's technological leadership within the LTE TDD area," said Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman and MD, Bharti Airtel. "With a broadband-ready network across India, Bharti is well positioned to steer consecutive part of Indian's telecom revolution."

"One of our key objectives has been to incorporate a powerful partner within the Indian venture with the size, expertise and resources to deploy LTE TDD networks," said Paul E Jacobs, chairman and CEO, Qualcomm.
Read more here

Amazon:Samsung Galaxy S III Available June 1 from Amazon for $800

 Samsung Galaxy S III Available June 1 from Amazon for $800:
Consumers who need to be among the primary within the U.S. to possess Samsung’s Galaxy S III smartphone on June one can pay a steep value. Amazon is currently taking U.S. pre-orders for the flagship Android device and bitter iPhone rival for $800 unlocked, however the value tag isn't the sole issue you must be weary of.

Samsung and U.S. wireless carriers are however to announce their versions of the Galaxy S III, that sometimes vary from each other each internally and externally. therefore what you'll be obtaining for $800 is that the 16GB SIM-free international version of the S III (blue or white), conjointly called GT-i9300, with an enormous four.8-inch show, 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel camera, and Android four.0 with lots of Samsung software goodies.

However, using the Samsung Galaxy S III GT-i9300 within the U.S. means that you'll got to settle for some compromises. The model doesn't have 4G LTE connectivity, in contrast to several Android phones currently sold by carriers. Thus, the GT-i9300 will solely hook up with AT&T’s HSPA+ network. On T-Mobile the phone would be ready to create calls, however won’t be ready to hook up with high-speed knowledge because the GT-i9300 lacks support for T-Mobile’s 1700MHz band. Needless to mention, the phone won’t work on Verizon and Sprint.

What you are doing get for the $800 value tag with the S III though is that the quad-core one.4 GHz Exynos processor. It’s not known whether or not the processor can create it to U.S. versions of the phone; there's no 4G LTE version of the processor, therefore the carrier-customized Galaxy S IIIs are expected to use a dual-core chip instead, just like the Snapdragon S4, that has LTE support.

So unless you don’t mind not having 4G LTE connectivity, using AT&T’s network, and you've got $800 to shell out, the Galaxy S III ought to be with you in an exceedingly number of weeks. however you'd be more happy watching for the U.S. carrier-customized versions of the device, that though they won’t have a similar processor, they’ll probably price you a minimum of $500 less upfront with a contract, and that they will blaze at 4G LTE speeds.
Read more here

2G scam:Raja gets bail; can't visit Tamil Nadu, DoT without permission

After 15 months in jail, former telecom minister and DMK MP A Raja was granted bail by the court of Special CBI Judge OP Saini in New Delhi on Tuesday on a surety of Rs 25 lakh. The 49-year-old Raja, who was the first one to be arrested in the 2G scam and the last one to apply and get bail, cannot visit Tamil Nadu without permission. He has also been directed by the court not to visit the office of the Department of Telecom (DoT).

"Considering the progress of the trial, period of custody and the fact that all other accused have been released on bail, I am of the opinion that further detention of the accused will not serve any purpose," Judge OP Saini said in the 14-page bail order. The court also directed Raja, arrested on February, 2011, would not try to influence any witnesses while on bail.

Janata Party President and 2G petitioner Subramanian Swamy said that Raja was entitled to get bail, but he feared for the former telecom minister's life as he was not the mastermind of the scam.

"Raja should get bail according to the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court, but am concerned about his safety. There is a threat to his life. He has got bail but he will soon be behind bars. If the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) botches up, I am there as an independent prosecutor. I will take action," said Swamy after the court's order.

Raja's party welcomed the bail order and hoped that he would prove his innocence. "We are very happy that Raja has been given bail. The party is with him. What is important is what the court says," said DMK leader TR Baalu.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, however, feared that the spectrum allocation scam case was being diluted with all the accused getting bail. "I heard about Raja's bail. The case is definitely getting diluted," said Jayalalithaa.

Judge Saini said that several conditions and restrictions have been imposed on Raja when the told the CBI objected to the bail petition. The court noted that entire evidence in the case was documentary and was in its custody.

"Moreover, this apprehension of the prosecution (that Raja may influence the witnesses and tamper with the evidence) can be addressed by imposing conditions and restrictions on the accused. Furthermore, almost entire evidence in the case is documentary in nature and the same is in the custody of the court," the judge said and directed Raja to surrender his passport as a prerequisite for bail.

Raja, who has remained in judicial custody for over 15 months since his arrest, had sought bail on the ground of parity as other 13 co-accused have already secured bail either from the Supreme Court, the Delhi High Court or the trial court. He has alleged the case against him is "false and fabricated" and "not sustainable in law."

The CBI had vehemently opposed Raja's bail, saying he could not be released on the ground of parity as the charges levelled against him were of serious nature.

The agency has alleged that DMK-run Kalaignar TV had received Rs 200 crore as bribe from Shahid Balwa's DB Group through a circuitous route as a quid pro quo for favours shown by Raja in spectrum allocation.

The agency has also claimed that during the probe, it had come to light that Raja and others had received a bribe of another Rs 200 crore from certain companies under its scanner in connection with the spectrum scam.

The CBI had raised questions on Raja's alleged links with Mauritius-based Delphi Investment Ltd, in which Reliance Telecom Ltd had allegedly transferred its shares and said if released on bail at this stage, he might tamper with evidence.

Raja had sought bail, saying the Supreme Court, while granting bail to former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, had not distinguished the case of public servant from that of others. He had submitted that he and Behura were facing similar charges of abetment, conspiracy and criminal breach of trust.

Raja's counsel had submitted that as his client was no longer a Union Cabinet minister, he could not tamper with the evidence or influence the witnesses.

Besides Raja, his private secretary RK Chandolia, Behura, DMK MP Kanimozhi, corporate leaders - Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group's MD Gautam Doshi, ADAG group President Surendra Pipara and Senior Vice President Hari Nair, Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra and Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka - are facing trial in the case.

The court has also put on trial Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Director of Cineyug Media and Entertainment Pvt Ltd Karim Morani and Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal.

Besides these 14 persons, three telecom firms - Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd, are also facing trial in the case. Raja and others have been charged for the offences of cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and corruption besides criminal breach of trust that entails a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.

Read more here

IPL Spot-fixing:Spot-fixing in IPL, IPL 5 Spot-fixing, IPL Spot-fixing

5 players suspended for 15 days: Spot-fixing in IPL

The IPL's governing council on Tuesday decided to suspend five players named in the TV sting for 15 days. The governing council also asked Ravi Sawani, the head of the BCCI's new anti-corruption unit, to conduct an inquiry and submit a report within 15 days.

The players who got suspended are Abhinav Bali, TP Sudhindra (Deccan Chargers), Mohnish Mishra (Pune Warriors), Amit Yadav (Kings XI Punjab) and Shalabh Shrivastava (Kings XI Punjab).

A TV channel on Monday claimed to have blown the lid off "murky deals" in the IPL among players, organisers, owners and big guns of Indian cricket, prompting the BCCI to warn that stringent action will be taken if the report is found to be true.

The channel, India TV, claimed it had done a sting operation in which many players confessed on hidden camera they get much more than their prescribed auction under the table.

According to the channel, its operation also revealed that spot-fixing is not only prevalent in IPL but also that first class matches are fixed and women played an important role in match-fixing.

Asked about the sting operation, BCCI chief N Srinivasan had said, "We will ensure that the integrity of the game is protected. BCCI believes in the integrity of the game. We will take the strictest possible action. We will have to have the tapes and the moment we see it, whoever is the player, we will take very very strict action."

Read more here

Best Shopping Sites to Buy Books Online in India

Book reading is a passion for many people. These types of people are fond of buying books. With the advancement of technology, the internet has bought many such users to the online book stores that are having books for online selling. People are visiting these websites to buy books online in India.

Major advantage to buy books online is that one can make price comparison and moreover it is very comfortable to do shopping online while sitting in your living room. Online shopping is expected to cross its business for more than 7,000 crores rupees by the year 2015. So here we are, with this small list of Online Book Stores that cater Indian buyers.

List of Online Book Stores in India: infibeam Based in Ahemdabad, Gujarat, Infibeam offers a wide variety of books for the Indian readers. In addition they offer free shipping on books in India. Infibeam also has an ebook section, where you can preview and buy digital copies of many books. flipkart Launched by Ex-Amazon employees in 2007, with a sole motive of selling books, flipkart now sells various other goods like Kitchen Utilities, Electronics, Music CDs etc. Talking about books, flipkart has a wise variety of books perfectly sorted in different categories.The store has more than 11.5 million titles to choose from. Indiaplaza earlier know as FABmall has a wide range of books. Along with books, you can buy a variety of other products including healthcare, electronics, sport goods, kitchenware, gift vouchers, gifts, flowers, sweets etc. GoVasool Online Shopping website in India - GoVasool is India's best online shopping site providing online shopping in India with Free Shipping.

Buybooks India, Buy electronics, Buy mobile online, Buy LCD players, Shopping Laptops India, Buy Lifestyle and gift items, Fashion Jewellery shopping, etc. LandMarkOnTheNet is another website where you can buy books online. The added advantage, you can choose your books online and buy them at your nearest Landmark store for additional discounts.

Buy Books, Mobiles, Digital Cameras, Music & Movie CDs, DVDs, Toys & Games at upto 80% off, free shipping in India, shop online pay cash on delivery. Another Desi Portal to buy your favourite books. Book Bazaar offers free shipping on all their books. Additionally, this website lists a number of books in major Indian regional languages.

Delhi (India) based Book Store & shop to buy books online; Book BazaarIndia- No.1 book store in India to buy books online with free delivery. Purchase books online.

TRAI:Telecom firms see 25% tariff hike, TRAI says no

Telecom service providers on Thursday claimed that tariffs may rise by 25 to 30% on account of high spectrum prices, if the government accepts recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The regulator strongly refuted their figures and said that the impact will be only between 3% and 6%, if at all.

“I do not agree with the operators who have come out with such figures,” said TRAI chairman JS Sarma. “The amount of increase will be only between 1.5 and 3 paise per minute. Even here the competition will take care (to ensure low tariffs).”

India has a huge mobile subscriber base of over 900 million and they are expected to talk 340260 crore minutes in the current fiscal year, according to TRAI estimates. Moreover,  spectrum is issued for 20 years. As a result the increase in cost per minute is only between 1.5 and 3 paise, it says. At present, average tariff for a one-minute local call is 50 paise.

“We are transparent and our calculations are put on the Web as part of the recommendations," said Sarma, defending the recommendations on which the government is yet to take a decision.

Cellular operators, however, say that if the adverse effect of the high tariffs on demand is also taken into account, the hit they take will be very high.

In its recommendations on the auction of spectrum submitted to the government last month, the TRAI proposed a reserve price of Rs.3,622 per MHz, which is about 10 times more than the price at which old incumbent operators got spectrum.

“The cost of spectrum as a total percentage of service cost is very low,” said Sarma.

“Simple economics will show that tariff will not go up significantly due to higher spectrum prices,” said Mahesh Uppal, a Delhi-based analyst. “I do not expect an overnight steep rise. However, a slow and steady price rise can not be ruled out as all the operators will be hurt.”

Read more here

Air India:USD 80,000 fine slapped on Air India

USD 80,000 fine slapped on Air India:

The US Transportation Department has slapped a USD 80,000 fine on Air India for failing to post customer service and tarmac delay contingency plans on its website and adequately inform passengers about its optional fees.

This is the first penalty assessed for a violation of the Department's new airline consumer rules that took effect last August.

"Our new airline consumer rules help ensure that passengers are fully informed about airline services and fees and what to expect if their flight is delayed on the tarmac," US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said yesterday.

From August 2011, foreign carriers operating to the US with at least one aircraft of 30 or more seats have been required to adopt contingency plans for lengthy tarmac delays as well as customer service plans, and to post these plans on their websites.

US carriers have been covered by this requirement since April 2010, the Department of Transportation said in a statement.

Also both US carriers and foreign carriers with a website that sells tickets to US consumers have been required to include on their homepages a prominent hyperlink that takes viewers directly to a page that shows all fees for optional services the carrier charges, including baggage fees.

Air India failed to post its customer service and tarmac delay contingency plans and to provide a link to its optional fees by the required date, the statement added.
Read more here

Kingfisher airlines:More trouble for Kingfisher airlines

More trouble for Kingfisher airlines as pilots threaten stir over salary dues:

Kingfisher airline's dodgy payment practises have once again brought its employees together to launch a protest. "From May 7, a large number of pilots will strike work. The last salary payment we received was on April 9 and that was December's salary,'' the source added. The airline spokesperson did not respond to calls or an email query.

Though the airline has about 380 pilots on its rolls, only 120 among these are commanders and according to sources, a large majority of commanders will be striking work. If the threat to strike work is carried out, the airline's flight schedule would be affected. However, the management pilots working with the airline are expected to report to work and so passengers booked on flights like Mumbai-Delhi, Mumbai-Bangalore will not be as hit as those who booked flights to non-metro routes. Though no airline can afford a pilot's strike, for Kingfisher, the effects of an employee stir would be more damaging as the airline has the lowest market share among carriers in India today.

It is an apt case of how poor Indian labour laws are. In the last few months, Kingfisher Airlines closed its offices in several places-Kolkata, Hyderabad, London-but employees based in foreign countries did not have it as bad as those based in India. "Keeping with the UK labour laws, the airline cleared the pending salary, dues and even paid a penalty amount to its London employees. In contrast, its employees based in India are yet to be remunerated,'' said a Kingfisher source.
Read more here

Facebook execs, investors to sell $5.5B in stock in IPO

Mark Zuckerberg to be one of the big sellers, netting $1.1 billion -- much of which will go toward taxes for exercising stock options.

Facebook is about to create a handful of liquid billionaires and millionaires.

Mark Zuckerberg and investors in Facebook plan to sell up to $5.5 billion in stock when the social-networking giant goes public in a few weeks, according to an SEC filing today. Combined, the executives and investors are expected to sell 157.4 million shares for as much as $35 each.

Zuckerberg is expected to sell 30.2 million of his 533.8 million shares, netting him about $1.1 billion, most of which will go toward paying taxes for exercising stock options. Venture capitalist and Facebook board member Jim Breyer plans to sell nearly 38.2 million for about $1.3 billion, while Peter Thiel will offer 7.7 million shares for about $270 million.

The IPO is also giving early investors a chance to cash in on their investment. Venture capital firm Accel Partners, which bought 15 percent of Facebook for $12.2 million in 2005, is expected to sell $1.3 billion in stock.

Digital Sky is expected to sell 26.3 million shares for as much as $919 million, while Goldman Sachs plans to sell 13.2 million shares for as much as $461.6 million.

Others expected to sell shares include Zynga CEO Mark Pincus, LinkedIn Chairman Reid Hoffman, Elevation Partners, and Greylock Partners.

Meanwhile, those holding on their shares include Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and former Facebook President Sean Parker.
Read more here

Ratnakar Bank eyes full-scale retail presence in three years

From being a regional bank to making presence felt in four states, Ratnakar Bank has grown considerably in the last 18 months. But the development phase has just begun, said Vishwavir Ahuja, MD & CEO. At an event to announce Infosys’ Finacle as its core banking technology partner, Ahuja spoke with Vishwanath Nair about his shift from a global bank to a local bank, Ratnakar Bank’s decision to grow its number of branches to about 300 over the next three years from 105 now and the road ahead. Excerpts from the interview:

It’s been two years since you transitioned from a global banker to a hyper-local banker. What have been the learnings? The high and low points?
The straight and honest answer is that there have only been high points. While being at a senior position of a multinational bank I wanted to take on the challenge of building an institution. I had also made a commitment to myself that I will be in India and in some sense wanted to contribute to the country’s growth. A banking platform has all the components to achieve both these goals. My learning from this is that attitude is very important. If you give yourself the attitude of a mission, then the frills of life don’t matter. I don’t mind saying that what we are building in the bank is a middle-class value system, which has the natural achievement orientation built into it.

Could you list five changes that you brought in the bank?
The first thing we did was to create professionalism from top to bottom. We wanted to have a professional ownership and shareholding in the bank, hence the capital infusion of Rs 750 crore we did recently was from pedigree institutional investors. Secondly, we wanted to create a completely professional and independent board of directors. We have a board which only comprises professionals with excellent track records. I am the only executive member of the board; all others are independent, which is very unique. Thirdly, we wanted to create a strong management team, where we got professionals who have decades of experience and track records to prove it. We took that down further in terms of the kind of people we brought in. Along with this, we built processes, systems and technology to very high standards.

What would be the brand positioning of the bank going forward?
We have the legacy of a bank in our hands, which is regional in focus with a high level of presence in semi-urban and rural areas. Now, when we look at legacy we say this is great and it should not be diluted or lost. However, if you want to build a strong and successful bank, you cannot be segmented. You need to have end-to-end capabilities and for that you need to have metro and urban presence, also. We will build a successful commercial banking business and then eventually we will also expand our footprint, so that in the longer term we have a credible retail business.

What is your customer base like? Where do you see your retail business going ahead?
Our customer base is largely semi-urban, rural with a judicious mix of some urban customers. We do have retail customers along with a large chunk of small and medium enterprises (SME) customers. As we expand, we will deepen this mix, across segments. We perhaps won’t be in an entirely metro location before we have a decent presence in a suburban location. I think that is where we have the SME opportunity. So when we put up newer branches, we will first compete in that segment. We will take care of our immediate customer base, grow with them, taking them to the next level while increasing our capabilities to take on bigger customers. We want to be a full-scale retail bank operating in all segments. In the next two to three years, we will have built our capabilities to function in all retail segments.

Would you say Ratnakar will be a prime takeover candidate once the banking licences are issued? Do you see that happening?
No, I don’t believe so. These are very distant dreams for anybody. As far as we are concerned, we are in an evolutionary phase; all these things will follow. We are planning to build this bank into something bigger, till then nobody among us is even allowed to think of such things, certainly not me. May be three or four years down the line when we have become bigger, then maybe we will think of these things.
Read more here

Adidas to close down Reebok stores in India:Adidas to shut 1/3rd Reebok India stores

German sportswear maker Adidas has decided to shut down 300 of its 900 Reebok stores in the country in a move to restructure its business amid the financial irregularities discovered in its India operations.

Adidas Group chief executive officer (CEO) Herbert Hainer said on Thursday that the problems in India could lead to further charges of up to €70 million ($92 million) for the company, which needs to revamp its franchise model for Reebok India.

"The implementation of new commercial initiatives and terms could result in reduction of our Reebok franchise store base by about one-third as we focus on maximising our future returns in the market," Hainer said while announcing the group's earnings in Germany on Thursday.

At present, Rebook has about 1,000 outlets in the country.

Adidas, which on Monday had disclosed "commercial irregularities" to the tune of €125 million in Reebok India, said that the goal for the year 2013 is to begin with a clean sheet in the market.

Hainer, however, did not elaborate on the kind of commercial irregularities found in Reebok India. "Due to the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation, we cannot comment further than we already did on Monday," he said.

Read more here

Reliance suffers a jolt

The oil ministry has served a notice to Reliance Industries, disallowing $1.45 billion of cost recovery from the eastern offshore KG-D6 fields for failing to meet its drilling commitment.

The ministry yesterday sent a notice to RIL disallowing $457 million of cost recovery for 2010-11 and $778 million of cost recovery in 2011-12, sources said.

RIL has already slapped an arbitration notice on the ministry saying the production sharing contract allows for operators to recover 100 per cent of the capital and operating expenditures on an oil and gasfield and does not in any way link the cost recovery to production.

The ministry has refused to join arbitration saying there is no dispute till now, but the notice establishes there is a dispute over the amount of cost that can be recovered.

The letter signed by A. Giridhar, joint secretary (exploration), states that RIL has till now spent $5.693 billion on the development of Dhirubhai-1 and 3 (D1 and D3) gasfields in KG-D6, of which about $4.574 billion has been incurred on production facilities alone.

“It is brought to your notice that up to March 31, 2011, you have recovered a sum of approximately $5.258 billion from the petroleum operations in the D1 and D3 development area,” the letter stated.

D1 and D3 are producing about 27.5 million metric standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd) against 61.88mmscmd committed by RIL in its $8.8-billion development plan.

The ministry said lower-than-anticipated production had led to under-utilisation of the field facilities. It also blamed the fall in output from 53-54mmscmd in March 2010 to drilling of less than committed wells.

Sources said according to the approved field development plans, RIL should have put 22 wells on production for 61.88mmscmd by April and 80mmscmd by the end of the year from 31 wells.

However, the company has so far drilled 22 wells but has put on production only 18 wells. The other four have not been connected to the production system as they contain uneconomical reserves.
Read more here

New A4 Sedan in India, Audi A4 in India

Audi Introduces New A4 Sedan in India

Audi AG Thursday introduced its new A4 sedan in India and said it plans to start selling its smallest sport-utility vehicle--Q3--next month, as the German maker of luxury vehicles steps up efforts to consolidate its position in the South Asian nation.

Audi said that it replaced peer Daimler AG DAI.XE +0.33% to become the second-biggest luxury-car maker by sales in India in the January-March period and that the two new models will help strengthen its ranking in the market.

The company sold 562 vehicles in India in April, up 50% from a year earlier. Sales in the January-April period surged 43% to 2,831 autos.

"Our impressive sales performance, coupled with a fast-expanding dealer network, serves as a good springboard to a stronger year ahead and continued growth over the next few years," said Michael Perschke, head of Audi's India unit.

Audi plans to increase its sales outlets in India to 25 by December from 18 currently, it said.

The company has priced its new A4 sedan starting from 2.78 million rupees ($52,551) at showrooms in New Delhi.

Read more here

Blades of Glory cricket museum, Sachin Tendulkar Blades of Glory, Sachin Tendulkar cricket museum

Sachin inaugurates 'Blades Of Glory'

Cricket maestro Sachin Tendulkar today inaugurated a cricket museum named 'Blades of Glory' in Pune. While talking to media persons, Tendulkar congratulated Rohan Pate, the builder of the museum for achieving his passion for cricket with such earnestness.

The museum boasts of items, among which, the most notable is a golden bat signed by cricket legend Sir Donald Bradman and several other well known cricket players, enough to mesmerize and quench every cricket lover's thirst for the game.

Read more here