Sunday, May 2, 2010


Cafe Coffee Day has launched its flagship and specialty format Cafe 'Coffee Day

Square' that serves a variety of 'single origin coffee' brews from around the world.

Single origin coffees are those procured from beans grown in a single location, giving the

coffee uniformity.

At Coffee Day Square, coffee connoisseurs have a variety of beans to choose from

Ethiopia, Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica and the mountain ranges of Himalayas,

Kathlekhan, Rajgiri and Araku Valley.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has approved the

registration of Star Union Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company Ltd, a joint venture life

insurance company promoted by Bank of India, Union Bank of India and Dai-ichi Mutual

Life Insurance Company, Japan.

Real Estate Bank India (REBI), India's largest network of property outlets with a global

as well as a pan India presence, has launched a magazine – Property Guru.

Mahindra & Mahindra owned Punjab Tractors announced its plans to sell its

remaining stake of 14.4 per cent held in Swaraj Mazda to Sumitomo Corporation.

The Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications announced the launch of its nationwide

enhanced GSM service.

Champagne Indage has been renamed 'Indage Vintners' with immediate effect.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Chennai-based IT solutions company

Novatium have rolled out a low-cost home computing device "Nova netPC". The user is

provided with a set top box, keyboard and mouse while most hardware functions of a

computer will be managed by a central server.

Parthasarathy Shome, the former Economic Adviser to the Union Finance Minister of

India, has been appointed Chief Economist at the Revenues and Customs Department,


Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals (AGH) plans to expand its dedicated diabetic care clinics

branded 'Sugar' to cities across the country.



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DLF Pramerica, a JV of DLF, and Prudential Financial Inc (PFI) of US got approval

to set up an asset management company (AMC) from SEBI. Pramerica is the brand

name used by PFI in India and other select countries.

General Motors India has tied up with Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) for

establishing Chevrolet authorised service centres at select BPCL workshops called "V


Infosys Technologies has issued letters to its employees stating they could opt for a oneyear

sabbatical to engage themselves in philanthropic activities. They would continue

to draw 50 per cent of their salary during the period. Infosys crossed the 100,000-

employee mark in India in the quarter ended September 30, 2008.

Star TV has acquired a majority stake in Rajeev Chandrashekhar's Jupiter

Entertainment, thereby forming Star Jupiter. Through this joint venture, Star TV will

acquire a majority stake in Malayalam channels Asianet, Asianet Plus, Kannada channel

Suvarna and Telugu Channel Sitara.

Star Jupiter will also own Tamil channel Star Vijay as well as any future general

entertainment channels for south Indian audience from Star.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) recently launched the world's first Financial

Development Index, a rigorous, comprehensive analysis of financial systems and capital

markets in 52 countries that analyses key drivers of financial system development and

economic growth in developing and developed countries.

The United States narrowly edged the United Kingdom to take the top position in the

Financial Development Index of the World Economic Forum. The US and the UK

have close rankings, outstripping the remaining countries in the top 10 (Germany, Japan,

Canada, France, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Netherlands and Singapore). India ranks 31st

out of the 52 countries that were studied.

IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance has rolled out its new 'Muskurate Raho' featuring

brand ambassador Paresh Rawal as Albert Pinto.

Merrill Lynch & Co's 95-year run as an independent company came to an end as Bank

America Corp completed its acquisition of the broker for about $33 billion in stock.

Fox Interactive, the digital arm of News Corp, has rolled out its digital advertising

services in India with the launch of its online ad network, called .FoxNetworks. It will

procure ads for its own network of websites as well as for the publishers it has tied up




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National Geographic has set up its own video game division called National

Geographic Games. Herod's Lost Tomb is the first game released recently. The game

is available for free download on PC, Mac and iPhone.

In addition to producing video games in-house, National Geographic will also rely on

partnerships, such as 'National Geographic Panda' from Namco Bandai and 'National

Geographic: Africa' from Sony.

Nerolac has come out with a unique way to give a reason to its dealers to stock more of

their products. The paint company has launched a campaign named Aap Khiladi Yeh

Haseena, in which one ICL player and one Femina Miss India finalist visiting each of

the dealers and also have get-togethers with the dealers' families.

Emerging Media, promoters of Indian Premier League club Rajasthan

Royals, has formed a membership programme called Royals Army in

order to reach out to Rajasthan Royals fans. The Royals Army

membership programme has five fan categories, Maharaja Club,

Captain's Club, Royal Lions Club, Royal Bugles Club and Young

Royals Club, with membership fees ranging between Rs 2,500 and Rs

1.5 lakh.

Denim wear brand Lee Cooper has created a special microsite called

targeted at the Indian youth. The microsite is an extension of Lee Cooper's current print

and outdoor campaign.

German auto major Volkswagen has announced plans to launch its light commercial

vehicles (LCV) the Craftar and the Caravalle in India later this year.

Maruti Suzuki has launched its much awaited A-Star recently. The A-Star, a strategic

model designed to tap the export market, is the fifth strategic model after Swift, SX 4,

Grand Vitara, and the upcoming Splash.

Dutch financial services major Aegon and Religare Enterprises have decided to part

ways. Aegon will assume control of Religare Aegon Mutual Fund, a 50:50 joint

venture. Lotus India Mutual Fund, which was acquired by Religare Aegon recently,

will be Religare's asset management business in India.

TI Cycles of India, a part of the Rs 10,000 crore Murugappa Group, makers of

'Hercules' and 'BSA' brands of bicycles, has launched bicycles for toddlers under the

'BSA Toddlers' brand name. TI Cycles is also planning to start 'Hercules Express', a

bicycle mall.



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TCS has recently signed an agreement with Apparel Export Promotion Council

(AEPC), one of the largest industrial councils in the country, to provide end-to-end IT

solutions and services to its nearly 11,000 members under ITaaS–Information

Technology as-a-Service (ITaaS).

A leaf from the stevia plant the Guarani Indians of Paraguay's jungles used to sweeten

drinks for centuries may help Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo Inc revive flagging sales. US

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed the use of zero-calorie sweetener

derived from the stevia plant grown in Paraguay and China.

Merisant Co, the maker of Equal and Canderel artificial sweeteners, is working with

PepsiCo to obtain FDA clearance for rebaudioside A, a compound derived from stevia

that is at least 200 times sweeter than sugar. Cargill Inc, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola's

partner, has also filed an application for the same compound.

Private equity player Blackstone will pick up a majority stake in Mumbai-based IT firm

CMS Computers that was set up by three ex-IBM employees — R D Grover, S

Ramadorai and V Prasad.

Transglobal Beneficial, a Texas-based provider of healthcare solutions, has launched

India Health Card (IHC), a prepaid health care card designed to provide access to health

services for the NRI beneficiaries through a network of healthcare providers across India.

US-based Rapaport Group — the primary source of diamond prices and market

information — plans to strengthen its presence in the huge Indian diamond market by

opening its office in Surat, known as the global diamond processing hub.

The World Bank has developed a new Investment Climate Index to help identify the

key challenges and bottlenecks to be overcome in attracting business investment in 16

Indian states. Karnataka tops the list, with Kerala a close second.

Russian ex-KGB agent Alexander Lebedev will buy the London Evening Standard

newspaper for the sum of £1 from the paper's publisher - the Daily Mail & General

Trust (DMGT).

US insurer AIG will not be renewing its shirt sponsorship deal with Manchester

United that expires in May 2010. AIG has already ended its sponsorship deal with the US

Davis Cup tennis team. It is not clear whether the MU Finance deal between AIG and

Manchester United will continue. AIG signed a six-and-a-half year deal at the beginning

of 2008 to offer insurance, credit cards and mortgages using the MU Finance brand.



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Current Events: World

Winslet and Slumdog sweep Globes

AR Rahman has won the award for Best original score for 'Slumdog Millionaire'

Kate Winslet won two

awards at the Golden

Globes in Los Angeles,

winning best actress for

'Revolutionary Road' and

best supporting actress for

'The Reader'.

'Slumdog Millionaire' was

named best film drama, one

of four awards Danny

Boyle's Mumbai-set movie


The Globes - which recognise both film and television - are often regarded as an indicator of

the movies and actors who will go on to win honours at the Academy Awards.

'Slumdog Millionaire' has been produced by Fox Searchlight and directed by Danny

Boyle, acclaimed Hollywood director of films like 'The Beach'. It is scripted by another

Hollywood name, Simon Beaufoy, and is based on a novel 'Q and A' by an Indian diplomat

Vikas Swarup. Boyle and Beaufoy won the Golden Globe awards for "best director" and

"best screenplay".

'Slumdog Millionaire' film features Bollywood actors Anil Kapoor and Irrfan Khan and a

newcomer, non-resident Indian Dev Patel in the lead role of the 18-year-old orphan who

grows up in the slums of Mumbai and knows all the answers on the television game show

'Kaun Banega Crorepati'.

Golden Globes 2009: The winners

Film Categories

Best film (drama): 'Slumdog Millionaire'

Best film (musical or comedy): 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona'

Best director: Danny Boyle ('Slumdog Millionaire')

Best actor (drama): Mickey Rourke ('The Wrestler')

Best actress (drama): Kate Winslet ('Revolutionary Road')

Best actor (musical or comedy): Colin Farrell ('In Bruges')

Best actress (musical or comedy): Sally Hawkins ('Happy-Go-Lucky')

Best supporting actor: Heath Ledger ('The Dark Knight')

Best supporting actress: Kate Winslet ('The Reader')



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Best foreign language film: 'Waltz with Bashir'

Best animated feature film: 'Wall-E'

Best screenplay: Simon Beaufoy ('Slumdog Millionaire')

Best original song: The Wrestler ('The Wrestler')

Best original score: AR Rahman ('Slumdog Millionaire')

Television categories

Best series (drama): Mad Men

Best series (musical or comedy): 30 Rock

China's economy leapfrogs Germany

Many Chinese people have not benefited from the boom

The Chinese government has increased its estimate of how

much the economy grew during 2007. The revision means

China's economy overtook Germany's to become the world's

third largest in 2007. Gross domestic product expanded 13%,

up from an earlier estimate of 11.9%, to 25.7 trillion yuan

($3.5 trillion). The figures underscore China's emergence as

an economic superpower, although the country's growth rate

is expected to have dropped to 9% in 2008.

China's government is taking measures to try and ease the

slowdown. The government has launched a 4 trillion yuan

($586bn) stimulus package and has promised measures to

help struggling exporters and vehicle and steel makers.

Individually, most of China's more than one billion people remain poor. Germany's GDP per

person was $38,800 in 2007 compared with $2,800 in China, which has wide disparities

between rich and poor.

Indo-Pak dispute over Basmati trademark

India has objected to the grant of the trademark to Pak based basmati growers


India has strongly objected to Pakistan allowing its farmers' organisation to register

basmati as a trademark. Apart from moving the Sindh High Court, India has decided to put

on hold all initiatives with Pakistan for a joint registration of 'Geographical Indication' (GI)

for basmati rice in Europe.



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Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), under

India's Commerce and Industry Ministry, has moved the court Sindh High Court in Pakistan

against the trademark right given by the Registrar of Trademark, Karachi, to Basmati

Growers Association of Lahore, for Basmati rice.

Commerce Minister Jairam Ramesh said this is a serious breach of trust and unethical on part

of Pakistani authorities to take such a step when India and Pakistan were talking to jointly

market Basmati and apply for its intellectual property rights (IPR).

Recalling the famous cases of copying Basmati brand by the U.S. firms by naming rice

grown in Texas as 'Taxmati' and in Kansas as 'Kansmati' which were successfully contested

by the Indian Government, Ramesh said APEDA would immediately take up the case of

Basmati rice and file applications for registration of trademarks or grant of patent.

APEDA would also take up cases related to other special agricultural products like Ponni rice

grown in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Nagpur oranges, Hyderabadi 'biryani' and Benarasi 'paan'.

The authority has already managed to get GI for 104 products, starting from Darjeeling tea in


'Bush shoe' creates 100 new jobs in Turkey

The manufacturer plans to rename the shoe model as "Bush Shoe"

The world's most notorious pair of black

leather shoes, that made history, has

generated 100 jobs in Turkey.

The footwear that startled George W Bush

and landed its owner Iraqi journalist

Muntazer al-Zaidi — who hurled them at

the US President at a press meet in Baghdad

— in prison, has yielded an unexpected

bonanza for its maker. Ever since the incident, Ramazan Baydan, the owner of the Istanbulbased

Baydan Shoe Company, has been swamped with orders from across the world.

Baydan has recruited an additional 100 staff to meet orders for 300,000 pairs of Model 271,

more than four times the shoe's normal annual sale, following an outpouring of support for

Zaidi's act. Orders have come mainly from the US and Britain, and from neighbouring

Muslim countries. A sharp rise in orders has been recorded in Syria, Egypt and Iran, where

the shoemaker's federation has offered to provide Zaidi and his family with a lifetime's

supply of shoes. Baydan is planning to rename the model "Bush Shoe" or "Bye-Bye Bush".



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Historic triumph for Hasina

Clean sweep for Awami-led alliance; BNP routed, Jamaat-e-Islami blotted out

The Awami League led by Sheikh Hasina has secured a remarkable majority in the

Parliamentary elections recently. This massive mandate will give the party the power to

rewrite the Constitution and bring about the promised reforms.

Awami League, the party that led the country's independence war against Pakistan in 1970,

won 230 out of 299 the seats independently. The voter turnout was 70%.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by Begum Khaleda Zia came up with a paltry tally of

27. Its allies won three — Bangladesh Jatiya Party (1) and Jamaat-e-Islami (2).

The Hasina-led grand alliance partner Jatiya Party bagged 27 seats. Other Awami League

allies secured five, taking the grand total for the alliance to 262.

ICC Cricket Hall of Fame

The initiative is a part of the ICC's centenary celebrations

Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar and Bishan Singh Bedi figure among the 55 players in the ICC's

inaugural Hall of Fame list that was launched as a part of the ICC's centenary celebrations

recently. The career statistics and biographies of the 55 inductees can be found at the new

ICC centenary website (

Each year, starting 2009, new inductees will be announced during the LG ICC Awards

ceremony. The initial inductees or, in the case of those who have passed away, their relatives

will be presented with a commemorative ICC Cricket Hall of Fame cap at an appropriate

stage during the ICC centenary year. The living members of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame

will also have the chance to choose new inductees.

The inductees: Sydney Barnes, Bishan Bedi, Alec Bedser, Richie Benaud, Allan Border, Ian

Botham, Geoffrey Boycott, Donald Bradman, Greg Chappell, Ian Chappell, Denis Compton,

Colin Cowdrey, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Lance Gibbs, Graham Gooch, David Gower,

W.G. Grace, Tom Graveney, Gordon Greenidge, Richard Hadlee, Walter Hammond, Neil

Harvey, Ron Headley, Jack Hobbs, Michael Holding, Leonard Hutton, Rohan Kanhai, Imran

Khan, Alan Knott, Jim Laker, Harold Larwood, Dennis Lillee, Ray Lindwall, Clive Lloyd,

Hanif Mohammad, Rodney Marsh, Malcolm Marshall, Peter May, Javed Miandad, Keith

Miller, Bill O'Reilly, Graeme Pollock, Wilfred Rhodes, Barry Richards, Vivian Richards,

Andy Roberts, Garfield Sobers, Brian Statham, Fred Trueman, Derek Underwood, Clyde

Walcott, Everton Weekes, Frank Woolley and Frank Worrell

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