Monday, May 3, 2010


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

financing conditions.

"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

$250 million

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

lines and

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

statement here.

"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


to 200708

on nonexistent

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

and 200708

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

medical negligence

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

Supreme Court.

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

for the

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

customers. Fixed

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

largest 'incountry'

mobile operator.

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.

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