News Today Business & Economy December 1, 2009

December 1, 2009: Kaiga Incident
A few days back Tritium had been found in the urine samples of staffers who drank contaminated water from a cooler at the Kaiga Nuclear Power Plant. There is an inquiry going on , whose report is awaited.

December 1, 2009: FDI in India since 2004
April 2004 to September 2009 India has received $88.43 billion (Rs.391,477 crore) as foreign direct investment (FDI) which have increased from year to year.

December 1, 2009: 300,000 tonnes of bauxite deposits discovered in Bastar, Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh Mining Development Corporation (CMDC) has discovered a high quality 300,000 tonnes of bauxite reserves spread in an area of 20 hectares at village Kudarwahi in Keshkal area in Bastar district, Chhattisgarh. Excavation will be started in 3-4 months.

December 1, 2009: VRS scheme for AAI employees.
For Airports Authority of India (AAI) employees working in the Delhi and Mumbai airports, the government has approved a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) proposal. AAI has about 20,000 employees across the country. Those employees who opt for it would get ex-gratia of 60 days salary for each completed year of service or salary for the number of months’ service left, whichever is less.

December 1, 2009: Kaushik Basu new chief economic advisor
Kaushik Basu Tuesday is the new chief economic advisor in the finance ministry, with the rank of a secretary to the government of India for a two-year term. He will assist Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in formulating broad policies for the Indian economy & play important role in Economic Survey for the current fiscal. The Economic Survey will be tabled in the parliament in February.

December 1, 2009: Visa on arrival scheme launched on Pilot Basis.
Government of India has introduced the ‘visa on arrival’ on a pilot basis (for one year) for citizens of 5 countries. These countries Singapore, Finland, New Zealand, Luxembourg and Japan.

Some basic notes on Visa?

  1. Foreign Nationals desirous of coming into India are required to possess a valid passport of their country and a valid Indian Visa.
  2. Visa is an endorsement on the passport of the passport holder.
  3. Until now there is no provision of ‘Visa on Arrival’ in India and no fee is charged for immigration facilities at the airports.
  4. Foreign passengers need to ensure that they are in possession of valid Indian Visa before they start their journey to India except nationals of Nepal and Bhutan who do not require visa to enter India and nationals of Maldives who do not require visa for entry in India for a period up to 90 days (a separate Visa regime exists for diplomatic/official passport holders).
  5. Visas are issued on the basis of duration. For example Tourist Visa for 6 months, Business Visa for One or more years, Student Visa For the duration of the academic course of study or for a period of five years, Transit Visa Maximum For 15 Days, Conference Visa For the duration of the conference or seminar .
  6. With an aim to boost tourism and make the Visa process tourist friendly the government has started this VISA on arrival scheme on pilot basis.
  7. The visitors from Singapore, Finland, New Zealand, Luxembourg and Japan will now get a visa on arrival on the airport.
  8. Modalities: Since the scheme has been just announced, the modalities will be worked out soon.

December 1, 2009: Catamaran Venture Fund
Infosys Chief Mentor NR Narayanmurthy will be launching a Venture Capital Fund which will be named as ‘Catamaran Venture Fund’. The objective will be to look at opportunities offered by entrepreneurs in a wide variety of fields, a broad spectrum of fields.

December 1, 2009: 20 Million handsets without IMEI are nonfunctional.
December 1 is the deadline to ban mobile handsets without the unique identification number. From this date approximately 20 million mobile phones have gone inactive.

What is IMEI Number?
The 15-digit (or 17 digit) International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number is a unique number, which is alloted to every mobile phone for identification. It represents the name of mobile maker, type of phone and it gets registered with the mobile phone operator as soon as the mobile set is activated. The operator can also track the handset user by using Global Positioning System.

Security Issue with IMEI:
Security issue with IMEI number was raised after 26/11 incident as security agencies were not able to trace mobile handsets after terrorists attack. In this context, DoT had asked all mobile operators to comply with national security norms, by not carrying calls from mobile handsets without IMEI number, latest by November 30. The deadline was sought extension by Cellular Operators Association of India and was extended for a couple of times , this time it was not extended.

Note : Typing *#06# on mobile gives IMEI Number.

December 1, 2009: Sister Cities Agreement
Bangalore and San Francisco have signed 7 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) strengthening the “sister cities” arrangement. Its a unique concept which provides planned and continuous contact between the cities involved and their citizens. The MoUs were in respect of health care, water and sanitation, education and research, art, museum and culture, trade and commerce and fashion technology.

December 1, 2009: Burn from Coca Cola
Coca-Cola has forayed into the energy drink segment in India with the launch of ‘Burn’. This energy drink has a strong presence in Russia , Ukraine, France , Italy , Great Britain, Austria, Poland, US, Australia and South Africa .

Some notes:

  1. Austria’s Red Bull, world leader of the energy drink market, dominates the Indian market too, and has become a popular mixer at clubs since its 2002 when it was launched launch.
  2. Next comes ‘Cloud 9’. Besides ‘Effect’ and ‘Fullpower’ are other brands which have been struggling to develop a niche in India.
  3. Gatorade by PepsiCo is a sports drink which aims at replenishing body fluids.
  4. Branded energy drinks sector in India is valued at Rs. 250 crore and is growing at the rate of 60-65%% as compared to 10% growth rate of the Rs 7,000-crore soft drinks market.
  5. Some experts say that this may be a Rs. 1100 crore market by the end of 2011.
  6. Coke -Pepsi Energy Yudh:
    Both giants have recognized the potential of this sector. PepsiCo India launched its first energy drink ‘Sobe Adrenaline Rush’ from the SoBe stable a few months back. And in this series Coca cola is the latest with ‘Burn’ which is being positioned by the company as ‘a drink with a potent energy formula which ignites and intensify experiences.

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