World


How does this affect you?
If you are traveller, you can now take foreign tours and spend less than you expected. Your purchase power has dramatically boosted with stronger rupee.
If you are just a citizen, expect imported things to cost less and in the long run expect to save more.
If you are an investor avoid investing in any company that is exporting goods/services and doesnot have any mechanism to hedge against currency fultuations. Invest heavily in those companies, who do business locally and generate their revenues locally and who raise money abroad for further ramping/scaling up their productions and or services.
If you are a company based in India, it will now cost you less to outsource.
Like in the previous years, RBI didnot intervene and bought the dollars by releasing more Indian currency into the market. It is not doing so intentionally this time and is allowing the market to dictate the effective rate. Already there are so many industries who are crying foul for immediate RBI intervention as their margins are thinning dure to huge strength in rupee.
There may be a political decision not to intervene as this will allow the government to import goods that is costing more in the domestic market like cement. Cement industry has played hard ball with the government and did not cut prices. They have thrown age old supply/demand equation at the government and turned down their requests in bringing the prices down. Government now can import cement from neighbouring countries and sell in the domestic market.
In reality there is a supply/demand crunch in our country and government is worried about inflation and the costs the poor man has to bear. The strength in Rupee will allow the government to contain the prices and will also help them in debt servicing.

Let us see what happens in near term, but for future, the trend is likely to continue. so why stop the rupee rise?

Blood bath on dalal street
As we already know, that appreciating rupee depreciates the earnings of our star companies like Infosys, TCS, wipro, Satyam etc. With Infosys earnings due on Friday the 13th, everybody is on the edge expecting Infosys to guide lower due to rising rupee. Friday the 13 is a bad number and day according Europians and also North Americans. 13 being an odd number is also a bad number according to most Indians. Will this bad omen be part of the reason for blood bath this coming friday when Infosys report their earnings?
There are several negative indicators already in the play, like rising inflation, tight monetary policy by our reserve bank, appreciating rupee etc. Already market tanked a bit when RBI raised their repo rates and CRR percentage unexpectedly. However, since then market recovered a bit, but people on the street are not convinced and are predicting that there will be a sharp pullback.
Could Infosys results be a trigger for that pullback?
Everybody is asking a bigger question. Which direction the market should go? Who and what should be the deciding factor for the market’s directionality? Most of them are just hoping that Infosys could give the market its needed direction. Down or up, only friday the 13th can tell us.
Here is what i am guessing, would happen after Infosys reports its earnings.
Competition is getting tougher and already we are seeing tightening of margins. With US slowdown and rising rupee the margin squeeze is much more stronger.
Longer term Rupee will only appreciate and Dollar has nowhere to go but depreciate. This is because of rising India and slowdown in United States. If this is any indicator than Infosys has noway but to guide lower for the year 2008 on which the market will tank.
Short term (next 6-8 months) Rupee may depericiate a bit due to RBI intervention and Infosys may guide higher based on conversion rate of RS 45 per Dollar for the year 2008. I don’t know if market will take that seriously.
Infosys and many other software firms have to come up with firm response to rising Rupee, if not, investors can safely stay away from IT companies.

Simply put Sanjaya Malakar is to American Idol what Shilpa Shetty was to Big Brother. A lucky 17 year old who found instant stardom after participating in the American Idol season 6. More known for his on & off stage charm and much less for his singing talent.

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So what’s the fuss about now, one may ask?
He is not much of a singer. But so are many others who participate in American Idol you might say.
He has funny hairdos. So what? You exclaim!
Well, he is half-Indian. Aah! Now I get it you say. J
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Here is a little snapshot on Sanjaya  

    • Sanjaya & Shyamali both auditioned for Americal Idol season 6 and both got selected for the Hollywood round. But only Sanjaya made it till Top 8.  
    • His father is a Bengali Indian while his mother is an Italian American.  
    • He has J Lo for a “fanjaya” for she said, “I like this kid. I love Sanjaya!” after hearing him sing in Spanish in rehearsal, the only one of the remaining 8 contestants to do so 
    • The real controvery started when Howard Stern, veteran radio and television personality, announced that he was launching a campaign with his listeners to vote for Malakar to win the competition.
    • Simon Cowell told Extra, an entertainment news television program, that if Sanjaya Malakar wins, he wouldn’t return as a judge to the show, even though he is contractually obligated to return

What I get to understand is – The world of entertaiment has hit on this new age formula for instant revival of dying television shows & it is quite simple – 1. Start a new season or series, 2. Get an Indian to participate (whackier the better), 3. Throw in few hundred supporters and a few thousand opposers. Sit back and watch your fortune turaround.

For now we got to wait and watch what magic Sanjaya spins for American Idol.

[Image Source: Wikipedia & Bodog Beat]

Cross Posted Here

I have written about the dark side of the internet and also about people abusing complete strangers on the internet. Since then I have understood the problem better. I delete racist/rude/abusive/misrepresentative comments/trackbacks and I don’t care if that person cries censorship. At first I felt guilty, but now I don’t.

And today I discovered that it wasn’t just me who was mulling over this problem. In fact I was happy to discover that there is actually a Bloggers Code of Conduct that is being deliberated. 🙂 In fact there is this blog dedicated to blogging. Anyone can participate in the discussion.

I think a code of conduct is badly needed. Its not only about commentators. There are bloggers who write nasty/abusive stuff too. A written Code like this should rein in those who insist that its okay to be uncivil, in the name of free speech.

Cross-posted

Shame

I know many don’t understand when I keep raising this issue. Why is it so important?

It’s important to me because thousands of my countrymen have died for those lines. It’s our nations boundaries. Please respect it.

I can understand if foreigners can’t accept it but what about Indians?

Look at the cover of this book, Reintegrating India with the World Economy,  by T. N. Srinivasan and Suresh D. Tendulkar.

Well done guys, give it way. I guess it’s just rocks and sand for you.

Mark-II pumpFew inventions ever have changed the lives of people.And even fewer inventions made a difference to millions of people in water starved areas.And the Mark II  is one of those rarities.Well,its nothing but the ubiquitous hand pump.

It happened in 1960.India was reeling under severe drought and water was scarce.The people needed a hand pump that can be used easily and durable.The cast iron pumps that were used earlier were more suitable for use in homes,to be used only a few times a day.

At a workshop conducted by UNICEF together with Govt. of India at Bangalore,the search for the perfect pump has started.They were looking for a pump that could be manufactured in an unsophisticated workshop,that wouldn’t cost more than $200 and most importantly,should be durable.

The search ended in a mechanic’s workshop in Sholapur, Maharashtra.The design found universal acceptance and was an instant hit.Slight improvisations in the form of polypropylene washers and galvanised steel parts to prevent rusting.They were exported to 52 countries across the world,including the water-starved regions in Africa and Latin America.More than 30 lakh units were used in India itself!

Over the years, the pump has become more sophisticated with increasing use of stronger, lightweight metal, and has spawned the new avatar of the best known hand-pump in the world: India Mark III.

Parts of the article have been taken from an article on the same in India Today

Picture Source: http://www.aovinternational.com/


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Its been some time since ‘Sivaji – The Boss’ the next film of the southern superstar Rajni has been announced and everyday the hoopla around it seems to increase exponentially. Here are some mindboggling information surrounding this movie:

1. Out of all director Shankar’s movies this is being touted as the most expensive one. And here is the breakup – 68% was spent in location, not surprisingly 12% in graphics, 8% as salaries (no doubt excluding dat of Rajni’s) 8% for costumes, 2% for music maestro A.R.Rahman and other techincians, and the remaining 2% on miscellaneous.

2. Amitabh Big B Bachchan is supposedly making his first guest appearance with Rajni in a Tamil movie. And dat is something to watch out for. Rumours say the Big B shot for the movie in 2 days at Pune.

3. Not to stop at Big B..Shankar has allegedly also roped in Malayam Superstar Mamooty for a special scene n the movie. 4. Here are some numbers for you to digest – The distribution rights for Sivaji has been sold to kerala for 6 crores,(an alltime high)- and actor Vineet seems to have bagged the exclusive rights. The movie has found a distrubutor for Karnataka in Ravichandran who sources claim paid a whopping 9 crores and not to be outdone Andhra Pradesh bagged the movie rights for – hold your breath! – 17 crores!5. Here are some more titbits for the expectant: Sun TV and Reliance are fighting tooth & nail for satelite, dvd, and audio rights. 80 crores seem to be the stake amount for the same with additional 100 mil USD for International rights.

6. International DVD release rights for 9 countries worldwide is being competed by
‘Ayngaran International’ of Canada and ‘Pyramid’ of india. Wikipedia has listed Ayngaran as the distributors worldwide, so now we know who bagged the deal.

7. AVM Productions has magnanimously announced that they will give 25% profit to the charity (Sivaji Foundation) if the movie hits silver jubliee, which I am sure his fans will ensure.

8. And as per the cover story of the No:1 Japanese magazine called “Tosho” this movie has crossed the expectation of even hollywood Bond flick “Casino Royale” and this also supposedly makes Rajinkanth the highest paid actor in the world.

9. Tosho magazine also reveals that the total revenue for AVM Productions (if the movie successfully runs for 50 days only in southern India)will be around 430 crores

10. And last but not the least in a series of firsts: This movie is going to be the first to be dubbed in the local languages of Turkey, Hausa, Gonga(South Africa) and kshinola (Argentina).

Scandals not to be withstood Sivaji faced the music when its soundtrack was allegedly leaked in the internet 2 weeks before its actual launch. And a miffed Shankar who swears by the secrecy of his films has decided to re-shoot the songs.

I just hope albeit all the hype the movie manages to entertain the audience like Rajni’s past movies did.

Tailender: Much has also been said and written about Rajnikant’s popularity in Japan. Here are two pictures of Rajni’s popular film Arunachalam hoarding in Japan which should silence the skeptics –

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[Image source: Mid-day Bangalore & Rajninews]

Cross posted here

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