The Passport Seva Project, an e-project for faster delivery of
passports, has got another sting in its tale. The contract for
implementing the project, worth Rs.1, 000 crore (Rs.10 billion or
$21.4 million) was given to information technology major Tata
Consultancy Services in October 2008, with an implementation
timeline from June. Since then, there have been multiple deadlines,
in October and November. But the project is yet to take off as TCS
has been unable to provide fool-proof software.
The Passport Seva Project is an e-governance project of the Indian
government which is supposed to streamline and bring efficiency in
the process of distribution of passports.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment will be releasing Aamir
Khan's award-winning film "Like Stars on Earth" (Taare Zameen
Par), its first-ever Hindi language release, on DVD on Jan 12 next
year. The critically-acclaimed film that won numerous Filmfare and
Screen Awards and was selected to be India's official submission to
the 2009 Academy Awards would be available on 3-Disc DVD/CD set
with a new English language track. It has a suggested retail price of
$29.99 (US) and $35.99 (Canada).
"Like Stars on Earth" includes seven infectious Bollywood dance
numbers, vividly imagined animated interludes and a brand new
English-language track for a cross-cultural celebration of creativity
and individuality. The emotional and entertaining release features an
eight-year-old misfit with his head in the stars who learns that being
different can also mean being special.
Produced, directed and starring Aamir Khan, one of India's
most acclaimed filmmakers (Lagaan, 2002 Academy Award nominee,
Best Foreign Language Film, India), the film was originally brought
to a worldwide theatrical audience by UTV Motion Pictures.
"Like Stars on Earth" also features young newcomer Darsheel
Safary in an astonishingly nuanced performance that earned him a
2007 nomination for Best Actor in India's prestigious Filmfare
Awards. It was one of India's top grossing theatrical films of 2007.
Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc., a recognized leader in
the home entertainment industry, is the marketing, sales and
Distribution Company for Walt Disney, Touchstone, Hollywood
Pictures, Miramax and Buena Vista product, which includes DVD,
Blu-ray Disc and electronic distribution. Buena Vista Home
Entertainment, Inc. is a division of The Walt Disney Studios.
Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who tackled World War II
in "Saving Private Ryan" and "Band of Brothers," is set to bring
a novel based on the World War I to the big screen. The Oscar
winner has bought the rights to Michael Morpurgo's 1982 book
"Warhorse", which follows the relationship between a boy and his
horse in the backdrop of the war.
Actor John Abraham is deeply attached to the idea of wildlife
conservation. He's going to produce a film on tiger preservation to
be directed by internationally renowned filmmaker Mike Pandey.
The documentary film entitled "The Return of the Tiger" will
address the alarming disappearance of the species.
Actor Aamir Khan and singer Lucky Ali were among those who tried
to catch up with the new media in 2009. In 2009, two films "Blue"
and "3 Idiots" released their music on the digital format. While the
music of underwater thriller "Blue" was launched through micro chips
and pen drives, Aamir decided to float the music of his forthcoming
film "3 Idiots" on the internet.
The size of the music industry came down from an estimated Rs 8.3
billion in 2005 to Rs 7.3 billion in 2008, to a great extent due to
piracy. But new technology seems to have come to its rescue. The
digital trend is also spreading its wings to the non-film music
segment. Recently singer Lucky Ali refrained from indulging in
physical distribution of the music of his new album "Xsuie" he
released it online.
Putting an end to speculation, BCCI president Shashank Manohar
announced that Lalit Modi will remain the chairman of the Indian
Premier League till 2012.
Spanish leader Barcelona lifts up the World Club Cup (Football) in
Abu Dhabi by defeating Estudiantes of Argentina with Lionel Messi
chesting in the winning goal 10 minutes away from a penalty
Spain has been ranked No. 1 in the year-end FIFA standings for the
second straight year.
Australia has claimed consecutive Champions Trophy titles, scoring
four unanswered second-half goals to beat Germany 5-3 in the final.
It is Australia's 10th title overall in the leading men's field hockey
Rafael Nadal closed out his most challenging season with another
title, ending a four-match losing streak by earning two points for
Spain in the Davis Cup final. Nadal opened the best-of-five series on
indoor clay with a victory over Tomas Berdych. He then beat Jan
Hajek 6-3, 6-4 at Palau Sant Jordi in Spain's 5-0 win over the Czech
Serena Williams has been fined a record $82,500 for her tirade at
this year's U.S. Open and could be suspended from that tournament
if she has another "major offence" in the next two years. The
previous highest fine for a Grand Slam offence was about $48,000
to Jeff Tarango in the 1990s. Williams lashed out at a lineswoman
after a foot-fault call at the end of her U.S. Open semifinal loss.
Dec 24, 2009
Albert Scanlon, one of Manchester United's famed "Busby
Babes" and a survivor of the 1958 Munich air disaster, died on Dec
23, 2009. He was 74. Scanlon won the 1956 and '57 league titles as
an inside forward before the February 6 crash killed eight of his
United teammates on the way back from a European Cup match in
Belgrade. He scored 35 times in 127 matches for United before
spells at Newcastle, Mansfield and Lincoln. He retired in 1966.
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee felicitated Sachin Tendulkar on
completing 20 years in international cricket at a function in Kolkata
on Dec 23, 2009. The former Indian captain, Saurav Ganguly, was
also given a lifetime achievement award. Both are rewarded lifetime
golden family AC-first class passes by Railway Minister.
Roger Federer and Serena Williams are selected as the
International Tennis Federation's world champions of 2009.
Federer, who receives the ITF award for a fifth time, completed a
career Grand Slam by winning the French Open and captured a
record 15th major title by winning Wimbledon. He also regained the
No. 1 ranking from Rafael Nadal. Williams, who receives the ITF
honour for a second time, won the Australian Open and Wimbledon
to bring her career total of Grand Slam titles to 11.
Serena and Venus Williams were selected as women's doubles
world champions for the first time, making Serena the first player
since Martina Hingis in 1999 to receive both singles and doubles
honours. American twins Bob and Mike Bryan are the men's
doubles world champions for a record sixth time.
Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni received the Padma Shri
award for 2009.