Terror hits Mumbai again

November 27, 2008

t1widemumbaidaylightapIn a brazen series of coordinated attacks, gunmen struck 10 sites Wednesday night across India’s financial hub, killing scores of people and taking hostages in two luxury hotels frequented by Westerners, officials said.

Mumbai police spokesman Satish Katsa put the death toll at 87 and another 185 wounded, with nine of the attackers killed.

More than six hours after the attacks, fighting was still reported in the Taj Mahal Hotel, the Hotel Oberoi and Colaba Market, site of a number of restaurants, he said.

Vilasrao Deshmukh, chief minister of Maharashtra state, where Mumbai is located, told reporters that a total of 10 locations were attacked, including a railroad station.

A Mumbai police spokesman, Satish Katsa, said gunmen took over the Taj Mahal Hotel and Hotel Oberoi, and were holding guests hostage on multiple floors

Another hostage situation was occurring at Cama Hospital for women and children, CNN sister station CNN-IBN reported.

Bhushan Gagrani, a spokesman for Maharashtra, said no one had claimed responsibility for the attacks.

But several Indian news outlets reported receiving e-mails from a group calling itself the Deccan Mujahedeen that took responsibility for the attacks. CNN was not able to verify the reports.

Gagrani said nine suspects were arrested and three people were detained for questioning.

Source: CNN

Citigroup gets bailout, US to take $20 bn stake

November 24, 2008

The government unveiled a bold plan to rescue troubled Citigroup, including taking a $20 billion stake in the firm as well as guaranteeing hundreds of billions of dollars in risky assets.

The action, announced jointly by the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., is aimed at shoring up a huge financial institution whose collapse would wreak havoc on the already crippled financial system and the U.S. economy.

“With these transactions, the U.S. government is taking the actions necessary to strengthen the financial system and protect U.S. taxpayers and the U.S. economy,” the three agencies said in a statement issued Sunday night. “We will continue to use all of our resources to preserve the strength of our banking institutions, and promote the process of repair and recovery and to manage risks,” they said.

The $20 billion cash injection by the Treasury Department will come from the $700 billion financial bailout package. The capital infusion follows an earlier one — of $25 billion — in Citigroup in which the government received an ownership stake.

Click here to read more

Where Are The JOBS In India

November 19, 2008


SBI to hire 25,000 new hands, according to bank chairman O P Bhat, the fresh recruitment will be done this fiscal – 20,000 in the clerical cadre and 5,000 supervisory staff

Bank of India to hire 10,000 over the next few months. This on top of over 30,000 fresh recruitments in 2008-09. In the next 2 yrs, the bank plans to take in 75,000

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, top global mgmt consultants, looking to hire 3,500 in India in 3 yrs

MetLife, a new private insurance co., will recruit 30,000 agents and 2,000 managers by March 2009, says CEO Rajesh Relan


Aegis BPO Services will add 1,000 people per month this fiscal


IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta say all their students have got placements for next year


Tata Consultancy Services to hire 30,000-35,000 people this year, says a spokesperson. TCS made 24,789 technical campus offers for 2009-10, a 13% jump over this year

Infosys is sticking to plans of hiring 25,000 people this fiscal, says CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan. Infosys has made around 20,000 offers for next year

Satyam plans to hire 8,000-10,000 people this fiscal, according to its HR head, S V Krishnan

Accenture will hire 10,000 people in India by 2010, says COO Stephen J Rohleder


L&T will hire 10,000 people over the next 3 yrs, according to CMD A M Naik Maruti has decided to hire 1,000 fresh hands despite the sluggishness in the auto sector, says a company spokesman

Source: Times Of India

Time to reevaluate H1B Visas

November 19, 2008

h1-visaI came across the beautiful article written by Judi Hasson on Time to reevaluate H1B Visas, I think its high time to check this.

The high tech community has been lobbying not only to maintain the H1B visa program but to expand it on the premise that employers cannot find enough qualified American workers to meet their needs. This issue of Fierce CIO reports on word that federal government has found that employers have been abusing the system, engaging in fraud and even paying foreign workers less than they were entitled to receive.

The report is quite shocking. Investigators found forged documents, fake degrees and companies giving fake addresses to obtain the permits. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services report was released by Sen. Chuck Grassley (IA), a critic of the visa system.

“This report validates the major flaws in the H1B visa program that we have been discussing for some time,” Grassley said. “Until we make a conscious effort to close the loopholes, we’re going to see continued abuse. This report is proof that reform must come sooner rather than later. The program ought to operate the way Congress intended so qualified, high-tech American workers aren’t left behind.”

Click here to read full article.

Gartner: 85 percent of companies using open source

November 19, 2008

The analysts at Gartner say that 85 percent of 274 companies surveyed are already using open-source software, with the remaining 15 percent expected to do so by next year. The companies surveyed are end-user organizations from around the world; cost is consistently identified as the primary motivator for switching to open source (so much for the freedom of choice, though to be fair, some did mention OSS as a balance against vendor lock-in).

More revealing from the survey though, is the revelation that very few organizations have formal policies in place to protect against intellectual property violations, inadvertent or otherwise. As a result, Gartner says that the biggest barrier preventing the adoption of OSS has to do with area of governance. This includes issues like deciding which applications will be supported by OSS, as well as identifying risks in terms of supportability of OSS. This is important, as an increasing number of companies such as Google to Nokia are releasing open-source software.

To read more about this story:
– check out this article at ZDNet

Citigroup: ‘Job-cut impact on India to be minimal’

November 19, 2008

Citigroup on Tuesday ruled out any major retrenchment in its India operations. Elucidating the move to cut 52,000 jobs across the globe, Sanjay Nayar, Citi’s South Asia CEO, said the job-cut impact on India would be minimal.

Nayar explained that the bank has already reduced its staff strength in the country through sale of its BPO arm, Citigroup Global Services (CGSL), to TCS about a month ago, and there was little need to go for further reduction in manpower.

Speaking at the BS Banking Round Table conference on Tuesday, Nayar said, “There is a big difference in what is happening in the US and Europe, and in India. There is growth in Indian market. After five years of substantial growth, there could be some flab.”

He said that Citi’s businesses in some of the emerging markets, including India, were doing very well. Spurred by demand for credit and need for financial inclusion, the bank continued to expand its operations in the country, he said. “India will not be affected by the job-cut decision announced yesterday. There could be some cuts in Citi’s domestic workforce on the back of under-performance,” Nayar added.

Source: Business Standard

$2.5B in outsourcing headed India’s way

November 18, 2008

A new report on India’s pharmaceuticals industry predicts it will take over about $2.5 billion in drug makers’ outsourcing by 2012. As companies in the EU and U.S. look for lower-cost manufacturing and R&D, India will get an influx of new work, according to the report from Zinnov Management Consulting.

The country has certainly done a lot to encourage that growth. Besides a rich talent pool and a number of pharma-educational institutes, the Indian government has also started offering tax incentives to drug makers and set up some necessary legal infrastructure, the report says. “India has the potential to become one of the key global pharmaceutical players and also become the backbone of off-shored services in Pharmaceuticals,” Zinnov’s CEO said.

The success of pharmaceutical offshoring / outsourcing is aided by the rich pharma talent pool and the spread of pharma-educational institutes. The Government has also provided tax incentives to the pharmaceutical industry and has taken necessary steps to enact tough laws on data security and IP related issues to mitigate certain offshoring challenges. Development of Pharma Special Economic Zones SEZs is a key step by the Government to enable the growth of pharma industry, finds the study.

Read the story at India Infoline

There has been good conference conducted on Understanding the U.S. FDA regulations for the pharmaceutical industry by ComplianceOnline as part of Global Compliance Series of seminars