Maruti launches its small car Ritz
The country's largest car maker, Maruti
Suzuki India, launched its latest small car
Ritz in both petrol and diesel variants, offered
at an introductory price of Rs 3.9 lakh for the
petrol and Rs 4.65 lakh for the diesel version.
"Ritz is our parent Suzuki's fifth global model
and it will be the first Bharat StageIV
emission norms compliant Indian car. We
have launched it at the beginning of the fiscal
and we hope it will bring excitement in the
market," Maruti Suzuki India Managing
Director and CEO Shinzo Nakanishi told reporters.
The small car has been developed on the existing hatchback
Swift's platform and common
usage of the platform helped the company to offer Ritz at a lower price, he added.
"Also higher level of localization helped us in reducing the cost. Ritz has 85 per cent of
localization in components," Nakanishi said.
About the sales of the car, he said that the company has not fixed any target as "it is tough to
project for future. We have capacity to meet all requirements."
Regarding its product portfolio, Nakanishi said: "We are constantly expanding our portfolio
in the competitive compact car segment. India is a diverse market, no two customers think in
the same way. We do not want to miss any opportunity in this segment."
Aegis signed a deal to acquire Australiabased
UCMS for Rs 203 crore
Aegis, the business process outsourcing arm of Essar Group, signed a deal to acquire
Australian firm UCMS Group through an all cash transaction worth around Rs 203 crore. The
acquisition is being done by the company's Australian affiliate Aegis BPO Services
Australia. Under the terms of the agreement, Aegis will pay UCMS stockholders Rs 36.70
per share in cash through Aegis BPO Services Australia, which represents a premium of 133
per cent over closing price of UCMS on May 14, 2009 of Rs 15.70, being the last trading day
prior to this announcement.
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On completion of the transaction, Aegis will have presence in
India, Philippines, United State, Costa Rica, Kenya and now
Australia. The transaction is subject to several conditions,
including UCMS shareholder approval, approval by the
Supreme Court of Victoria and certain other customary closing
conditions. The transaction is expected to close in the third
quarter of this year. The transaction is not subject to any
"Aegis has grown five fold in size and ten fold in employee
strength in the last four years. Australia and New Zealand logically become a part of our
growth strategy and offer an opportunity for Aegis to expand its footprint in this geography.
The combined entity will offer clients and prospects an expanded set of solutions and services
from a broader geographic delivery platform," said Aparup Sengupta, Global CEO and
Managing Director of Aegis Limited.
Denice Pitt, Chief Executive Officer, UCMS said, "We are excited to become a part of a
global outsourcing leader. We believe that this combination will deliver superior value to our
customers as well as provide our employees with an opportunity to be part of a larger
enterprise and to explore career opportunities in new geographies."
Earlier this year, Aegis had announced the intention to acquire NASDAQ listed ICT Group
over $130 million. But the acquisition fell through. As ICT Group in a statement said: "ICT
Group determined that it would not be in the best interest of the company to pursue the
transaction proposed by Aegis."
If successful, UCMS Group would be Aegis 12 th acquisition. In October 2008, the company
had acquired People Supporta
NASDAQ listed firmfor
GTL bags orders worth Rs 324 crore from MSEDCL
Telecom equipment manufacturer GTL Ltd said it has
bagged orders worth Rs 324 crore from Maharashtra State
Electricity Distribution Ltd (MSEDCL) for transmissionrelated
The company has received multiple contracts valued at Rs
324 crore from MSEDCL for construction, erection, testing
and commissioning of subtransmission
modernisation works in Maharashtra, GTL Ltd said in a filing to the Bombay Stock
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GTL has executed over 1000 kilometres in transmission lines works to power the cell sites till
date. "GTL has a pan India presence and has gained experience to execute projects across
entire power sector value chain," said Charudatta Naik, Director and COO of GTL.
Tata Indicom launches "One World, One Account
Internet service provider Tata Indicom Broadband launched a
service which would allow users global internet roaming access in
over 160 countries using the same account.
"People are now used to using mobile phones on roaming and internet roaming is the next
step on customer convenience and productivity enhancement for businesses," Tata Indicom
Broad Band's Head (sales & marketing) Mehul Kapadia was quoted as saying in a company
"It is a proud moment for the Indian internet industry that such a unique innovation has got
delivered," he added.
The service, "One World, One Account Service", is aimed at catering an endtoend
service for home as well as small business users.
It would also allow the customer to use various forms of internet accesses like broadband,
and other services like gaming, movies, music among others on a single
account on a single account, the statement said.
MIG 27 crashes in Jodhpur; seven injured
An Indian Air Force MIG 27 fighter plane
crashed at Konkani village, 25 km from Jodhpur
on May 15, defence sources said. At seven
people had serious burn injuries at the crash site.
The pilot had a narrow escape after he managed
to eject safely. The plane was on a routine sortie.
According to the sources, the accident occurred
in the morning time when the fighter plane
began its practice flight from here but crashed
near the village after developing a technical snag
a short while into the flight. The injured have
been admitted to Jodhpur hospital.
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Hubble packing shiny new camera
The Hubble Space Telescope now boasts a
shiny new Wide Field Camera 3 following a
spacewalk by STS125
mission specialists John Grunsfeld and
Drew Feustel. During the excursion, the pair
also replaced the bothersome Science
Instrument Command and Data Handling
Unit (SICDH), "installed a soft capture
mechanism, which will allow future vehicles
to attach to the telescope" and finally fitted
"a combination of locks and latches that will
allow for faster opening and closing of the
telescope doors during the third spacewalk".
The replaced Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 is now destined for the Smithsonian's Air and
Space Museum, NASA said.
A.S. Bindra father of Olympic gold medalist Abhinav
Bindra is arrested
Olympic gold medalist shooter Abhinav Bindra's father A
S Bindra, a leading industrialist, was arrested by Delhi
Police from Punjab's Mohali district in connection with
cases of alleged cheating. Senior Bindra was picked up
from his farmhouse at Zikarpur, 25 km from Chandigarh,
by the Economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police's Crime
Branch in connection with complaints filed by Apple
Finance and IndusInd Bank.
The cases date back to 2006 and 2007. A Delhi court had
on May ten issued nonbailable
warrant against senior
Bindra who was accused of cheating Apple Finance to the
tune of Rs 4.31 crore and IndusInd Bank of Rs five crore.
Bindra complained of health problems, after which he was taken to a hospital in Sector 32 of
Chandigarh. According to Delhi Police sources, the industrialist had defaulted in repaying
loans and his cheques bounced.
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'Satyam paid tax on fake interest'
Satyam paid Rs 186.91 crore as tax over seven years on fictitious
interest income on nonexistent
fixed deposits, said the Serious
Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) in its report on the accounting
scam in the IT firm.
Satyam Computer Services, under the leadership of its founder B
Ramalinga Raju, paid excess tax on fictitious interest income from
fixed deposits to prevent any
"systematic falsification of accounts" from getting detected, said
the SFIO report, the investigation arm of the corporate affairs
Satyam, in the centre of the biggest accounting fraud in the country ever, is alleged to have
shown fake fixed deposits of Rs 3,318.37 crore on its books of account, while the company
had FDs worth only Rs 9.96 crore.
"The amount of excess taxes paid between 200001
is found to be Rs 186.91
crore, as worked out by investigation," the SFIO said in its report. Noting that the brothers (B
Ramalinga Raju and B Rama Raju) were aware that no tax was payable on the false interest
income, the report said "they deliberately misused the funds to the detriment of its
shareholders in making payment of taxes which were not due".
SC awards Rs 1 crore to the techie, as the damages for
In the highest compensation ordered by an
Indian court in a medical negligence case, a
techie who found himself paralyzed waist down
after a surgeon damaged his spinal chord during
an operation to remove a tumour in the chest,
was awarded Rs 1 crore in damages by the
The victim, Prashant S Dhananka, 39, who
spiritedly argued his case from a wheelchair he has been confined to since the operation 19
years ago, had sought a compensation of Rs 7 crore. The court, however, settled for an almost
increase in the Rs 15 lakh amount awarded by the Andhra Pradesh high court.
Though it is a pittance compared to the 5 million pounds (a little over Rs 37 crore) awarded
to British TV actress Leslie Ash in a similar case last year and she got compensation in 4
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Dhananka, a senior manager with Infosys earning Rs 1.5 lakh a month and residing in
Bangalore, gave vivid details of the gross negligence he suffered at Nizam's Institute of
Medical Sciences (NIMS), Hyderabad, and demonstrated the inadequacy of the compensation
awarded by the high court. NIMS, a semigovernment
set up, are rated as one of the premier
hospitals in the country.
While increasing the compensation to Rs 1 crore, the bench comprising Justices B N
Agrawal, H S Bedi and G S Singhvi showed both its disgust at blatant attempts by NIMS to
wriggle out of its responsibility for the victim's condition and acknowledged the need to
provide for the huge medical expenses that Dhananka has had to incur every month since
Pakistan lifts Swat Valley curfew
Pakistan's army has temporarily lifted a curfew in large parts of the Swat valley to allow
civilians to flee the intense fighting against the Taleban. The curfew is being suspended for
eight hours during the day,
officials said. Prime Minister
Yousuf Raza Gilani has
vowed the army would
successfully clear the valley of
militants who have largely
controlled the area for months.
The UN said more than
800,000 people have been
displaced by fighting in the
region in recent months.
Many tens of thousands are
living in camps in the area
around the city of Mardan.
Thousands more arrived after
the curfew was eased at the
weekend. About 150,000 civilians are trapped in the main city, Mingora, with gas, electricity
and food increasingly scarce, said news officials. Residents told the news agency that
Taleban holding the city had mined roads and dug trenches around it.
Up to 15,000 troops have now been deployed in the Swat valley and neighbouring areas to
take on up to 5,000 militants.
Military operations including artillery shelling of suspected militant hideouts in Swat and the
neighbouring district of Lower Dir killed about 124 militants and left nine soldiers dead in
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the 24 hours before the curfew was relaxed, the army said. As the operation stepped up on,
Pakistan's Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani visited troops on the frontlines reportedly
first time since the bombardment began.
MTNL launches 3G mobile service in Mumbai
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL)
became the first operator to launch third generation (3G)
mobile service in the Mumbai after getting moderate
response from Delhi, MTNL expects to rope in one lakh
customers by March next year.
"Our total investment for the 3G launch in Mumbai is Rs
250 crore and we hope to rope in one lakh customers by
March next year. Connections will be available in about a
month's time," MTNL's Chairman and Managing Director
R S P Sinha told reporters.
Sinha said that the company has builtup
capacity to extend the service to 7.5 lakh
subscribers, but due to unavailability of the required spectrum, only four lakh customers
could be served.
"We will launch the service in South and Central Mumbai currently. This will soon be
expanded to other parts of the city, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan and Dombivali," Sinha said,
adding that ITI/AlcatelLucent
India was putting in place the necessary infrastructure.
The 3G service would enable customers to make video calls, view LIVE TV channels on
their mobiles, download data from internet at speeds upto 2 mbps and songs among many
other applications involving highspeed
data downloads, he said.
MTNL has associated with Nokia which would provide 3G handset plus connection package.
3G services require a 3Genabled
handset and a 3G USIM.
Customers already having 3G
enabled handsets would need to take MTNL 3G connection. Existing MTNL customers can
retain their mobile numbers by requesting the operator to upgrade the same number to 3G
services, Sinha said.
MTNL would offer four different packages for prepaid
as well as postpaid
monthly charges for the postpaid
packages vary from Rs 250 to Rs 2,500. It, however,
indicated that the tariffs could be lowered provided the service receives good response.
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Bharti Airtel reaches 100 million customers mark
Bharti Airtel said its subscriber base has crossed
the 100 million mark, making it the world's third
The milestone makes every fourth mobile phone
user in the country a customer of Bharti Airtel,
founded in 1995 as Bharti TeleVentures.
"The Indian telecom sector is seen as providing the most affordable services in the world
have grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade.
"We are proud to have led the telecom revolution that made a positive impact on the lives of
people in every corner of the country as well as the Indian economy," Bharti Airtel Chairman
Sunil Mittal told reporters.
The company's equipment partners Ericsson and NokiaSiemens
and nearly 31 per cent
equity partner Sing Tel were present on the occasion to mark the milestone.
"This remarkable journey to 100 million customers is a testament to the vision and
commitment of the company that benchmarks itself with the best in the world," Mittal said.
Besides 25 per cent subscriber share, Bharti Airtel enjoys 30 per cent market share in terms
of revenue. It's only behind two Chinese operators in terms of subscriber size measured
within a country.
Noting that it has been adding more than 3,000 base stations in a month, Mittal said for the
first time, an Indian company has emerged a dominant player in the world and that too was in the telecom sector.