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CWG: Corporates chip in to spruce up Village, other venues India Inc is now chipping in to help the Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee with logistics and hospitality issues in and around the beleaguered Commonwealth Games Village and at key venues. ITC Hotels and the Oberoi group have lent a helping hand to maintain the games village, given their experience and expertise in handling hospitality and hygiene. Staff of the Sahara group and GMR, among others, will assist in the hospitality arrangements at the Delhi airport where the teams and delegates fly in, and some others are extending their expertise in healthcare services as well.
Mamata proposes two factories on Singur land Railway minister MamataBanerjee has said her department will set up not one but two new factories in the erstwhile site of the Tata Nano factory in Singur, provided the state government hands over the land to the railways. “The railways does not own land in Singur. If you give us the land, we will put up two railway units on 600 acres there and return 400 acres to unwilling farmers,” Ms Banerjee said.
Celebrations cut short, extra 1% EPF interest to be taxed The government’s surprise gift for workers isn’t much of a gift after all. The labour ministry has hiked the employees’ provident fund, or EPF, rate to 9.5%, but a finance ministry notification says that anything in excess of 8.5% will be taxed. But even before the EPF board met under Kharge, the Central Board of Direct Taxes had notified a tax-free PF rate of 8.5% for 2010-11 — effective from September 1. This means that the 1% extra income (or Rs 1,700 crore) that the labour ministry has projected as a gift to the workforce, would be fully taxable. This is the first time ever that income from provident fund would be taxable, if the tax department does not notify the higher rate.
Maruti Alto's rival; Hyundai's small car 'well on course' Hyundai Motor India (HMI), the country's second largest car maker, today said its plan for launching a small car in the Indian auto-market is "well on course". The Korean company which has presence in the A segment with flagship hatchback Santro and the i10 has been planning to launch the small car The proposed small car would be positioned below the company's existing flagship model, Santro, and compete with the Alto from Maruti Suzuki. Alto is the largest selling model in India with average sales of over 20,000 units per month. to compete with Maruti Suzuki's Alto.
Google chief sees Bing as main threat Google chief executive Eric Schmidt on Friday said that Microsoft's Bing search engine was the company's main threat, not Facebook or Apple. He described Apple as a well-respected competitor and Facebook as a "company of consequence doing an excellent job in social networking," but said that Microsoft's latest-generation search engine was Google's main competition. "We consider neither to be a competitive threat," Schmidt said, referring to Facebook and Apple. "Absolutely, our competitor is Bing. Bing is a well-run, highly competitive search engine."
Obama looking forward to India trip; Michelle excited US President BarackObama is looking forward to visiting India in early November and first lady Michelle is excited about the trip. Obamas conveyed this to Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna at a reception they hosted at the Natural History Museum here in honour of heads of delegation attending the United Nations General Assembly.
Facebook founder to donate $100 mn to public schools: Report In a goodwill gesture, social networking site Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to donate a whopping $100 million to improve the troubled public school system in Newark city, a media report said. 26-year-old Zuckerberg is to announce the donation on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" to be aired on Friday, 'The New York Times' reported, claiming that the gift would actually be the first instalment in an education endowment started by him.
Facebook plans rolling out two smartphones Facebook is working with mobile phone maker INQ Mobile Ltd to create two smartphone devices that may have a network tie up with AT&T Inc, Bloomberg said, citing three people familiar with the matter. The smartphones would carry the popular social networking website's services and were set to be unveiled in Europe in the first half of 2011 and the United States in the second half of the year.
'World Statesman Award' for Manmohan Singh A top US official described Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as "a man of uncommon decency and grace" who has led the way in building the Indo-US partnership, as he presented the Indian leader 'The World Statesman Award. "History will also mark with special significance Prime Minister Singh's personal contributions to the emerging partnership between the world's oldest and largest democracies, America and India," Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Bill Burns said at an awards dinners in New York where the Prime Minister was awarded in absentia by the Appeals of Conscience Foundation.
From Third World country to third most powerful nation Hard as it is to imagine it amid the chaos of Commonwealth Games preparations in New Delhi and a million small mutinies across the country, an official US report has declared India to be the fourth most powerful nation/bloc in the world after the United States, China, and the European Union. It is followed by China (12 per cent), and India (eight per cent). Japan, Russia and Brazil with less than five per cent each. Taken as a bloc, European Union comes second with 16 per cent of global power.
MBAs to face screening test for jobs Come February 2011, management school graduates will have to crack an entrance test before they can bag those dream jobs. The All-India Management Association (AIMA) plans to introduce a computer-based screening test, which will assess whether a B-school graduate has the skill-sets required to become an effective manager. Big recruiters like Deloitte, Dabur, MetLife India, Idea Cellular, Camlin Ltd, Alembic Ltd, HLL, Pfizer, Parle, PwC India, McAfee, Nokia, Lenovo, JM Financial, Reliance Industries, Suzlon and TATA Communications have agreed to use the score of the AIMA test during recruitment.
KBC-4 punchline runs into trouble AmitabhBachchan’s promotional campaign for KaunBanegaCrorepati (KBC) on Sony Entertainment Television may run into trouble with its punch line -‘TumMujheKhoon Do Main TumheAzadiDunga’. Mumbai-based advocate Goya Sodhi on behalf of his client ParveenAbdi, grand daughter of a freedom fighter, has sent legal notices to Mr. Bachchan and the channel. The legal notice states that the promo which uses the slogan given by freedom fighter NetajiSubhash Chandra Bose has been utilized in extremely lighter and derogatory manner.
LG Chem, Mitsubishi Motors to develop battery LG Chem Ltd will jointly develop a lithium-ion battery system with Mitsubishi Motors Corp, the Japan's Nikkei business. The two firms hope to use the system for some small electric cars that will be launched by fiscal 2012 and new plug-in hybrids introduced in 2013. LG Chem, South Korea's No1 chemicals company, has already teamed up with home market giant Hyundai Motor Co, General Motors and Ford Motor Co of the United States on auto batteries.
Panasonic looks to extend recycling programme for more items Consumer durables firm Panasonic said it is looking at expanding its recycling programmes for other products, besides television in India in line with its global strategy to be a complete green company by 2018. The company's Indian arm Panasonic India had started recycling television voluntarily this year. "Going forward, we plan to start for other products as well. This initiative is part of our aim to become a green company by 2018," Panasonic India Director ArjunBalakrishnan.
Reliance Brands eyes acquisition, plans own label Reliance Brands, a subsidiary of MukeshAmbani-led Reliance Retail, is scouting for acquisition in the domestic market, besides launching its own luxury label in the next 18 months. The company, which at present predominantly focusses on men's range, plans to focus on women and kidswear categories. Launched in 2007, Reliance Brands has joint ventures with Diesel, Zegna and Timberland. It is also a licensee for Italy's fashion brand Paul & Shark. The company opened the first outlet for Diesel in March this year and plans to gradually expand the reach of existing brands in its kitty.