Maruti Suzuki Ritz

May 12, 2009

maruti-8-ritz-138-ritzzdiMaruti Suzuki to launch premium hatchback Ritz on May 15

India’s number one carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Limited is set to launch India’s first BS-IV compliant passenger car, Ritz, on May 15.

Ritz is a tallboy hatchback, positioned in the premium A2 market segment. The Maruti Suzuki Ritz, adopts a contemporary European design and is positioned at the growing premium-end of the compact car market.

Ritz will be the first passenger car in India to be compliant with the BS-IV emission norms, in petrol as well as diesel variants. This is many months ahead of the BS-IV norms being applicable in India, reinforcing Maruti Suzuki’s leadership position.The suspension of the vehicle with a ground clearance of 170 mm has been tuned for Indian road conditions.

Ritz is MSIL’s eighth new model within 48 months following the launch of Swift, Zen Estilo, SX4, Swift Diesel, Grand Vitara, Swift Dzire and A-star. In the A-2 segment, Ritz will be the 7th offering for the customers by Maruti Suzuki.

The Ritz combines modern European design, the sportiness of the Swift, the latest in engine technology and Suzuki’s globally acclaimed expertise in compact cars. The Ritz further reiterates Maruti Suzuki’s commitment to bring global car models for its customers in India.

The Ritz will be available with two different engine options: a brand new K-series 1.2 litre, four-cylinder, 85PS Petrol engine and the super-successful 1.3 litre, 16-valve DDiS, 75PS Diesel engine.

Source: Maruti

About – New Pension Scheme : India

May 4, 2009

yourfileFrom May 1, Indians have access to another investment avenue to plan for retirement in the New Pension Scheme (NPS).

The scheme has been in the pipeline for at least five years but it finally took shape in 2007-08. Although the government was pushing for the scheme after a law providing statutory backing to the regulator was enacted, the Left parties, which were supporting the United Progressive Alliance government, did not allow the passage of the Bill.

Who can join the New Pension Scheme?

Any Indian citizen between 18 and 55 years. At present, only tier-I of the scheme, involving a contribution to a non-withdrawable account, is open.

Subsequently tier-II accounts, which permit voluntary savings that can be withdrawn at any point of time, can be opened. But to be eligible to open a tier-II account, you need a tier-I account.

How do I enrol?

You will need to visit a point of presence (PoP), fill up the prescribed form with the required documents.

Once you are registered, the Central Recordkeeping Agency (CRA) will send you a Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN), along with telephone and internet passwords.

How much can I invest?

There is no investment ceiling. But the minimum investment limit has been fixed at Rs 500 a month or Rs 6,000 annually. Subscribers are required to contribute at least once a quarter but there is no ceiling on how many times you invest during the year.

What is the penalty for failure to make the minimum payment?

You will have to bear a penalty of Rs 100 per year of default and will need to pay it with the minimum amount to reactivate the account. Also, dormant accounts will be closed when the account value falls to zero.

Are my investments guaranteed?

No. There is no guarantee since NPS is a defined contribution scheme and the benefits depend on the amount contributed and the investment growth up to the time of exit.

d4_policyHow should I select my investment option?

You can choose the investment mix between equity or E (high risk but high returns), mainly fixed income instruments or C (that come with medium risk and returns) and pure fixed investment products or G (which offer low returns but have very low risks associated with them). Equity investment is capped at 50 per cent.

What is the default option?

The default option, called auto choice lifecycle fund, will see the investment mix change according to the age of the subscriber. At the lowest entry age of 18 years, auto choice entails an investment of 50 per cent in E, 30 per cent in C and 20 per cent in G.

The ratios will remain unchanged till the subscriber turns 36, when the ratio of investment in E and C will decrease annually, while the proportion of G rises.

By the time the subscriber is 55 years, G will account for 80 per cent of the corpus, while the share of E and C will fall to 10 per cent each.

Who will decide the fund manager?

At the moment, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has selected six fund managers — State Bank of India, UTI, ICICI Prudential, Kotak Mahindra, IDFC and Reliance — on the basis of a bidding and technical evaluation process.

You have to select one fund manager at the time of deciding your investment option; later, PFRDA may allow subscribers to choose more than one fund manager.

Can I change my investment mix and the fund manager? You can shift from one fund manager to another from May 2010.

What happens if I relocate to another city?

The PRAN remains the same and you can access a toll-free number (1-800-222080). The details of your PRAN and the statement of transactions will be available on the CRA website (

New Pension Scheme

The normal retirement age has been fixed at 60 years. At 60, you will be required to use at least 40 per cent of your accumulated savings to buy a life annuity from an insurance company. A phased withdrawal is also allowed but the lump sum benefit has to be availed of before you turn 70 years.

For those looking to exit before turning 60, there is an option to withdraw 20 per cent of the accumulated savings but buy an annuity with the remaining 80 per cent.

If the subscriber dies before he or she turns 60, the nominee can receive the entire pension corpus. Alternatively, a subscriber can exit if the account value falls to zero or if the citizenship status changes.

The age of exit will be reviewed by PFRDA from time to time. There will also be the option to select an annuity that will pay a survivor pension to your spouse.

Are there tax benefits for NPS?

At present, the investment is covered under section 80CCD of the Income Tax Act and a tax will be levied if you withdraw the money.

You can avoid paying tax by transferring the entire corpus to the annuity service provider. PFRDA has, however, approached the government to treat investment in NPS on a par with instruments like Employees Provident Fund and Public Provident Fund, for which no tax is levied at the investment, accumulation or withdrawal stage.


Lok Sabha Polls In Karnataka- 2nd Phase

April 30, 2009


Gowda vs the rest

Billed a prestigious constituency, this segment is keenly fought between Janata Dal (Secular) supremo H D Deve Gowda and the BJP.

Seat held by JD(S)


Epic battle

The most-watched constituency in Karnataka. It has acquired importance as CM B S Yeddyurappa’s son B Y Raghavendra is in the fray against warhorse and former CM S Bangarappa from the Congress. Here, women voters outnumber men. Caste and cash are playing a vital role.

Seat vacant after S Bangarappa, resigned to join the Congress


Business rivalry

It is a straight contest between two business families, which also run education institutions. BJP’s current MP G M Siddeshwar is seeking to retain his seat for a second term, while Congress S S Mallikarjun, son of KPCC treasurer and Davanagere South MLA Shamnur Shivashankarappa, is locked in a tough contest with him.

Seat held by BJP


Tough fight for BJP

It’s a straight fight between sitting MP Prahlad Joshi of the BJP and Manjunath Kunnur of the Congress, termed a habitual turncoat

New constituency carved out of Dharwad North and South


Keen contest

A keen contest is on the cards between the BJP and the Congress here. JD(S) is also in the race, but its candidate, at best, may play a spoilsport.

New constituency


Proxy battle

A three-cornered contest is on here and has become a proxy battle between followers of former deputy CM Siddaramaiah and party senior Mallikarjun M Kharge, who has stepped down from the CLP leader’s post.

Seat held by JD(S)


Stiff competition

The contest here is between H Vishwanath of Congress and BJP’s C H Vijayashankar. Twotime MP, Vijayashankar is facing a stiff competition from his Congress opponent, who is seeking to make it to Parliament after defeat in the assembly polls in May 2008

Seat held by BJP


Cong-BJP clash

The fight is between J T Patil of Congress (belonging to Reddy community) and Gaddigoudar of BJP (Ganiga community).

Seat held by BJP


JD(S)’s clear edge

Battle for power at the Vokkaliga heartland is between sitting MP MH Ambareesh (Congress) and former minister N Chaluvarayaswamy of JD(S).

Seat held by Congress


The heat is on

The contest is between poll veteran, former KPCC president B Janardhana Poojary, and greenhorn Nalin Kumar Kateel (BJP).

Seat held by BJP


War on new turf

A new constituency carved out of Udupi and Chikmagalur. State BJP president D V Sadananda Gowda shifted here from Mangalore and takes on K Jayaprakash Hegde (Congress). JD(S) has made way for the CPI.

Source: Times of India

Oracle Corp to buy Sun Microsystems for $7.4 bn

April 28, 2009

Oracle Corp said on Monday (April 20) that it will buy Sun Microsystems Inc for $9.50 a share, valuing the high-end computer server maker at more than $7 billion.

The surprise announcement from the two companies comes after deal talks between IBM and Sun fell apart earlier this month, and sources with knowledge of the matter had said Sun had turned down IBM’s offer to pay up to $9.40 a share.

Sun shares jumped 37.5 percent to $9.20 in premarket trading, while Oracle shares fell 4.5 percent to $18.34. The price of $9.50 a share values Sun at about $7.1 billion based on about 745 million shares outstanding, according to Sun’s latest regulatory filings.

The companies said in a statement the transaction is valued at about $7.4 billion, or $5.6 billion net of cash and debt.

Source: TimesNow

About Swine influenza

April 28, 2009

bishSwine influenza refers to influenza caused by any virus of the family Orthomyxoviridae that is endemic to pig (swine) populations.

People who work with poultry and swine, especially people with intense exposures, are at risk of infection from these animals if the animals carry a strain that is also able to infect humans. SIV can mutate into a form that allows it to pass from human to human.

The 2009 swine flu outbreak is the spread of a new strain of H1N1 influenza virus that was first detected by public health agencies in March 2009.

Local outbreaks of influenza-like illness were first detected in three areas of Mexico, but the new strain was not clinically ascertained as such until a month later in cases in Texas and California, whereupon its presence was swiftly confirmed in various Mexican states and Mexico City; within days isolated cases elsewhere in Mexico, the U.S., the Northern Hemisphere were also identified.

Source: Wikipedia

Voting infrastructure:Lok Sabha Election 2009

April 23, 2009

Electronic voting machines

The election will be conducted using the Electronic voting machine (EVM), as was done with the 2004 election. There are 1,368,430 voting machines available across the country.

The complete EVM consists mainly of two units –

(a) Control Unit and

(b) Balloting Unit with cable for connecting it with Control unit.

A Balloting Unit caters up to 16 candidates. Four Balloting Units linked together catering in all to 64 candidates can be used with one control unit. The control unit is kept with the Presiding Officer and the Balloting Unit is used by the voter for polling.

The Balloting Unit of EVM is a small box-like device, on top of which each candidate and his/her election symbol is listed like a big ballot paper. Against each candidate’s name, a red LED and a blue button is provided. The voter polls his vote by pressing the blue button against the name of his desired candidate.

Polling stations

There are 828,804 polling stations in the country, a 20% increase over the 2004 election.

Electoral rolls

The electoral rolls had to be completely updated because of the delimitation that took effect from 2008. The process of updating the electoral rolls is expected to continue until the last date of filing nominations. 714 million people are eligible to vote in 2009, up 6.4% (43 million) from 2004.

Bio’s of our possible Prime Minsiter – India

April 23, 2009

lk-advani1Full name: Lal Krishna Advani

The gist: Advani is the current leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha and the NDA’s official prime ministerial candidate for the 2009 elections.

Title: Leader of Opposition, Lok Sabha

Constituency: Gandhinagar, Gujarat

Party: Bharatiya Janata Party

Date and place of birth: 8 November 1927; Karachi

Profession: Journalist, trade unionist, diplomat

Education: Educated at St. Patricks High School, Karachi; D.G. National College, Hyderabad, Sindh (now in Pakistan) and Government Law College, Mumbai

Resume: Advani’s political career began as a member of the RSS in the early 1940s. He became a leader and eventually president of the newly formed BJP in the 1980s, and is credited with helping to make the party a formidable force in Indian politics. Advani was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1970, and re-elected three times. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1989 and re-elected four times. He became leader of the opposition after the 2004 general election.

Personal: Advani is married to Kamla Advani with one son and one daughter.

Hobbies: Books, theatre, cinema, sports and music

dr_manmohan_singh_pmThe gist: Manmohan Singh is the 17th and current prime minister of India, and the first Sikh to hold the position. Singh was named to the post after the INC won a majority in the Lok Sabha after the 2004 general elections.

Title: Prime Minister of India; Union Minister for Finance

Constituency: Assam

Party: Indian National Congress

Date and place of birth: 26 September, 1932; Village Gah (West Punjab)

Profession: Economist, politician

Education: Stood first in BA (Hons), Economics, Panjab University, Chandigarh, 1952; stood first in MA (Economics), Panjab University, Chandigarh, 1954; Wright’s Prize for distinguished performance at St John’s College, Cambridge, 1955 and 1957; Wrenbury scholar, University of Cambridge, 1957; DPhil (Oxford), DLitt (Honoris Causa); PhD thesis on India’s export competitiveness.

Resume: At the start of his career, Singh was a professor at Panjab University and the Delhi School of Economics. In 1971, Dr. Singh joined the Government of India as economic advisor in the Commerce Ministry. He became chief economic advisor in the Ministry of Finance in 1972. Other positions he has held include secretary in the Ministry of Finance; Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission; Governor of the Reserve Bank of India; Advisor of the Prime Minister; and Chairman of the University Grants Commission. Dr. Singh has been a Member of India’s Upper House of Parliament (the Rajya Sabha) since 1991. He was Leader of the Opposition between 1998 and 2004.

Personal: Dr. Singh and his wife Mrs. Gursharan Kaur have three daughters, the youngest of whom is an attorney for the ACLU in New York.

Hobbies: Reading and writing

Full name: Kumari Mayawati

mayawatiThe gist: Mayawati is serving her fourth term as leader of the largest state in the country and is president of the Bahujan Samaj Party, which was created to represent those at the bottom of the caste system.

Title: Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh

Party: Bahujan Samaj Party

Date and place of birth: 15 January, 1956; Delhi

Profession: Politician, social worker, lawyer

Education: B.A., B.Ed., LL.B., education at Kalindi College, University of Delhi (Delhi) and University of Meerut (Uttar Pradesh)

Resume: Mayawati was a teacher in Delhi prior to her entry into politics in the early 1980s. She has been a part of BSP from its inception in 1984. She won her first seat in the Lok Sabha in 1989 and was re-elected three times. She was elected twice to the Rajya Sabha, in 1994 and 2004. She served three stints as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1995, 1997 and 2002-03 before being sworn in to her fourth term in May 2007.

Personal: Mayawati is not married.

Hobbies: Reading, gardening, urban development, planning and labour welfare.

Full name: Sharad Chandra Govindrao Pawar

2006062913300101The gist: Pawar is president of the Nationalist Congress Party, which he co-founded in 1999 after a split from Congress. A minister in the UPA-led government, Pawar is a leader in Maharashtra politics.

Title: Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Consumer Affairs: Food & Public Distribution, Government of India

Constituency: Baramati, Maharashtra

Party: Nationalist Congress Party

Date and place of birth: 12 December 1940; Baramati, Dist. Pune (Maharashtra)

Profession: Agriculturalist, politician


Resume: Pawar entered into politics in his twenties and became a Congress Party MLA in the Maharashtra legislative assembly in 1967. He has served four terms as chief minister of Maharasthra, and six terms as a Lok Sabha MP. His relationship with Congress has been fickle; he broke with the party in 1999 to co-found the Nationalist Congress Party. He is currently the party’s president and a cabinet member in the UPA-led ruling government.

Personal: Pawar is married to Pratibha Pawar with one daughter, Supriya Sule, who is an MP in the Rajya Sabha.

Hobbies: Reading and traveling

Full name: Haradanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda

deve-gowdaThe gist: Former Prime Minister Deve Gowda leads the Janata Dal (Secular) party and the Left Front coalition, a group of parties that are unaligned with the NDA and UPA coalitions.

Title: Leader of the Janata Dal (Secular) party; 14th Prime Minister of India

Party: Janata Dal (Secular)

Date and place of birth: 18 May, 1933; Haradanahalli village of Holenarasipura Taluk, Hassan District (Karnataka)

Profession: Politician

Education: Degree in civil engineering

Resume: Gowda joined the Congress Party in 1953 and was a member until 1962. He won his first seat as an independent in the Karnataka assembly in 1962, was re-elected to three more consecutive terms and rose through the ranks to become chief minister of Karnataka in 1994. He left this post to become Prime Minister of India from June 1996 to April 1997 under the United Front coalition-led government. Gowda is president of the Janata Dal (Secular) party and leader of the Third Front coalition.

Personal: Gowda is married to Chennamma and is the father of two daughters and four sons.