Category Archives: City

Hindus rated “fairly warmly” in USA, survey reveals

Most religious groups in USA rate Hindus fairly warmly, according to “polling and analysis” posted by Washington DC headquartered Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact tank, on February 15.

Asked to rate a variety of groups on a “feeling thermometer” ranging from 0 to 100, Americans’ feelings toward Hindus have shifted from relatively neutral place of 50 in 2014 on the thermometer to somewhat warmer rating of 58.

Americans aged 18-29 put the Hindus at 64 on the thermometer, which is higher than Jews, Atheists, Evangelical Christians, Mainline Protestants, Muslims and Mormons. Jews gave Hindus a thermometer rating of 70, which is highest given to Hindus by any religious group.

Hindus were rated at 70 by those who had personal connections with someone in the Hindu community, as compared to 54 given by those who had no such connection.

But only 22% of Americans say they personally know a Hindu.

These were among the findings of a new Pew Research Center survey of 4,248 adults conducted between January nine to 23 on the Center’s nationally representative American Trends Panel.

Meanwhile Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, congratulating the American Hindu community on climbing higher on the warmth scale; urged them to continue with the traditional values of hard work, higher morals, stress on education, sanctity of marriage, etc.; amidst so many distractions.

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, advised Hindus to focus on inner search, stay pure, explore the vast wisdom of scriptures, make spirituality more attractive to youth and children, stay away from the greed, and always keep God in the life.

There are about three million Hindus in USA.

Reliance Power Reaches Agreement with JP Group to Acquire Hydroelectric Business

Reliance Power has reached an agreement to acquire 1,800 mega watt hydropower assets of Jaypee Group. Reliance CleanGen, a unit of Reliance Power, will acquire 100 percent stake in the hydroelectric power business of Jaypee Group.

The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed yet. After the deal, Reliance Power will become the largest private sector company in India in hydroelectric sector with combined capacity of 7,800 mega watts.

SBI Capital Markets has acted as the advisors to the group for the deal which marks the biggest deal in the power sector in India.

Jaypee Group had earlier offloaded its hydroelectric power projects in Himachal Pradesh to Abu Dhabi based energy major for Rs 10,500 crore. The deal could not be finalized.

Reliance Power was trading around Rs 93 in today’s market. The stock has touched 52-week high of Rs 112 and low of Rs 60.

Congress Plays Cheap Political Trick with 9 LPG Cylinders in Congress Ruled States

Facing the pressure from opposition and UPA allies over the increase in diesel price, and FDI, Congress has played another card by increasing the number of subsidized LPG cylinders in a year from 6 to 9 in congress ruled states.

The decision comes after most political parties announced that 6 LPG cylinders per year are too low as common household consumption is more. Congress has directed the states where it has ruling to offer 3 additional cylinders at subsidy to consumers.

Mamata Banerjee has decided to withdraw support from UPA and their ministers will offer resignation on Friday. The Congress party leaders held meeting in New Delhi to discuss next course of action. The decision of Mamata Banerjee to quit the UPA government comes as her demands for rollback were not heard by Congress leadership.

Congress wants to push ahead with the reforms but its allies are not allowing it to move forward. Congress is also portraying itself as a victim to win public support, but with rising expenses, common man can not support the decisions of the government. Congress should have thought of other reforms, which could have allowed the government to reduce deficit rather than increasing diesel prices by Rs 5, which will surely impact budget of most of the people in the country.

Air India Strike Continues; DGCA Plans Strict Action

Air India pilots on strike might be in for a negative surprise as DGCA is considering cancellation of licenses. Many pilots have been issued show cause notice.

After the tough message sent across by aviation minister Ajit Singh, there are expectations that Air India pilots can return to work. The minister did not meet the pilot representatives and asked them to join their duties before any further talk.

Indian Pilots’ Guild has been derecognised by the Indian government and DGCA is considering tough action against office bearers of IPG.

Air India has been suffering massive losses in the past few quarters. After the government offered funds to keep the day-to-day business running at the national carrier, there has been pressure on Air India to register positive growth.

The aviation sector in India has been under pressure due to higher fuel costs. Vijay Mallya owned Kingfisher is private carrier facing trouble due to massive losses.

Will Indian Retailers Allow FDI?

There seems to be no end to the controversy surrounding FDI in retail for the Indian Government as mass protests across all the states are not soothing out. While parliament is not reaching at any consensus at all on the same, there are over 6,000 traders in Shimla who have closed their shops to oppose the decision.

Adding fuel to the fire in the joint opposition by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), which are hell bent to jolt the government. As of now, no reports of violence have been received.

“We have got very good response from across the country and 5 crore traders will not open their shops tomorrow. They will hold protest in their own markets. We will not hold demonstrations in front of foreign stores”, said Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary-General of the Confederation of All India Traders association. Backed by support from other states, there seems to be no early breather for the government.

Apparently, there are confirmed reports that several Bharti-Walmart stores would be shut down on Thursday to avoid any violence. Even security has been escalated at stores of World’s second largest retailer Carrefour in Delhi and Jaipur as a part of precautionary measures. Meanwhile, such similar shutter down operation was seen in Karnataka against the government’s decision to allow 51% the FDI in retail.

Nonetheless, the government has assured that there decision in favor of public interest, there are lingering fears in the minds of retailers that there would be threat to their presence in case such malls are being set up in their states.

There are countries like US where such decisions have affected many small stores, and that’s what has made retailers to put up strong opposition for the entry of foreign players in the retail market. While government would be putting up their best efforts, it would be interesting to see how they would seam through the fierce attack of retailers and opposition parties.

Duqu Attackers: Master Coders, Linux rookies

Post the revelation that 12 known command-and-control (C&C) servers for Duqu were found with all files deleted on Oct. 20, 2011, it has been confirmed that there is no more hacking being done. This revelation has been made by Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab.

It has been found that as soon as the attackers got to know about the Duqu Trojan in October, they secretly tried to remove every single trace of their activity from all their command and control servers.

It is being believed that Duqu is a Trojan horse-based botnet which shares common code and characteristics with Stuxnet. Being developed by hackers, Duqu is told to be attacked by some other country which could have vested interest in the files stores in the Linux servers.

There were reports earlier about Stuxnet which had destroyed Iran’s nuclear program, but Duqu was not made for that purpose. It was made to keep a track on vulnerable installations and computer networks which could trigger the development of another worm targeting industrial control systems.

It has come to the notice during the investigation that hackers had removed every single server they had used as far back as 2009, and further, they checked it again if they have deleted all the stuff perfectly or not.

“The logical assumption here is that we’re looking at possibly a vulnerability in the older version and/or an added feature in the new version that’s of use to the attacker”, said Roel Schouwenberg, a Kaspersky senior researcher. It has been known that along with the command and control servers in India and Belgium, Duqu had been associated with servers in Vietnam and the Netherlands,

As of now, no clue about the hackers behind Duqu and Stuxnet is found as they planned their each move very smartly, however, significant efforts have been made by Kaspersky researchers on the same.

FTC Resolves Privacy Issue at Facebook

Blaming Facebook for its alleged role in carrying out “unfair and deceptive” practices, the Federal Government declared a broad agreement that needs Facebook to maintain high reverence for the privacy requirements and hopes of its users. As a result, the company will be subjected it regular privacy audits for the next two decades.

The order, which was declared on Tuesday in Washington by the Federal Trade Commission, is apparently influenced by modifications made by Facebook in the manner in which it governs the personal information of its users. The changes were made by Facebook earlier in December 2009. The commission argued that Facebook, without offering its users any sort of notification or soliciting their consent in this regard, enforced public information that the Facebook users wished to remain private on their personal pages.

The order also claimed that the social networking giant, having in excess of 800 million users all over the world, in majority of circumstances permitted its advertisers to garner personally identifiable data when users clicked on any of the advertisements displayed at their Facebook pages. Since long, the company claimed that it is not sharing any sort of personal information of its users with the advertisers whose ads are displayed on the personal webpage of a user on Facebook.

The order further claimed that Facebook had in fact, contracting to its policies as mentioned to its users while they sign up on the website, shared user data with advertisers and also with outside, third-party, application developers.

Making the allegations even stricter, the FTC committed deemed that even after a user deletes his or her account on Facebook, the company is still permitting an access to videos and photos.

While expressing his opinion in a long blog post, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg admitted that the company had committed “a bunch of mistakes”, but he claimed that it had already solved various issues highlighted by the FTC

Ericsson Join Hands with Airtel

It has been reported that the Swedish firm Ericsson has finalized a deal with Airtel in order to handle more than 70% of Airtel’s network in India, whereas Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) will be handling the rest of the parts, though the authorities have not disclosed the amount as of now.

“This unique multi-technology managed services partnership with Ericsson will help us focus on creating a compelling service proposition for our customers, as we look to ramp up our market access”, said that Airtel’s Chief Executive Officer for India and South Asia, Sanjay Kapoor, while briefing the contract. Under the spell of the contract, Ericsson will be liable for surplus 15 service areas such as managing Airtel’s networks in regions of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, UP, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, the North East, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chennai and Kerala.

In a statement, the company said that Bharti Airtel is one out of the leading global telecommunication companies that successfully delivers its services in around 19 countries across Asia as well as Africa. The service provider has refined its managed services agreement with Ericsson, especially for Indian operations.

In addition, the company authorities have also notified that the five-year contract will support multi-vendor and multi-technology, where Ericsson will be liable for operating maintaining as well as providing its services across 70% of Bharti Airtel’s network across India. Simultaneously, Ericsson will be employed to manage Bharti Airtel’s prepaid customer base.

Sanjay Kapoor has claimed that India can be observed as the third largest internet market with a noteworthy increase in the data traffic, higher number of smartphones as well as wireless networks. Ericsson is believed to have a significant role to create Airtel’s 3G networks in Indian service circles.

Google’s Internet Bus Reaches Kolkata

Introduced in 2009 to serve large number of people in the region, Google’s Internet Bus project is on its newest way to educate and aware more people about the Internet.

After spreading internet awarness all over the country, including 11 states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Google’s Internet Bus project is all set to enter Kolkata now. Moreover, the reports have also confirmed that the project will run through Uluberia on December 2 and will then cover some other regions like Haldia, Purulia, Asansol, Durgapur, Behrampore and Chandannagar.

“We had begun the internet bus back in February 2009 and now the bus will tour the state. We hope to create awareness about the internet as we believe that continuous efforts will enable the common man to utilize the knowledge”, said Google India Director Mr. Vinay Goel, who further added that bus is primarily targeting the first time users of internet, public places and schools.

In the recently started Google Internet Bus Project, the bus actually works with schools of the towns and helps them to learn more and maximum about Internet and its uses. The Google Internet Bus project is an initiative of Google India which aims to all the people aware about internet services and its uses by taking it into those regions of the country, where no one can even imagine. Latest, the project has entered West Bengal and will be serving the region for some time.

With help of the Google’s Internet Bus, the brains behind the project have been able to efficiently take computers and mobile terminals (all connected to the Internet) in the hinterland of India. Moreover, the project has also successfully covered 11 states and 130 cities so far by travelling 50,000 km.

Indians Slam Apple for Launching iPhone 4S at Much Higher Price than its US Retail Cost

The anguish and frustration of Indian mobile fascinates and users, who had long been waiting for the launch of iPhone 4S in India, erupted within a matter of few hours of announcement of the cost of iPhone 4S on the websites of Aircel and Bharti Airtel on Friday.

In no time, the social networking media was overflowing with comments disdaining the smartphone maker Apple. The launch price of iPhone in India is Rs 44,500 and evidently, it will be much more costly in India than in the rest of the world. Though various online shopping sites, like ebay, are claiming 10% off on purchase and shipment of iPhone 4S in India, the customers are fuming with the fact that the retail price of Apple iPhone 4S in India is much more than its retail price in the United States.

On micro-blogging site Twitter, comments started rushing in soon after the official announcement of the price was made by Bharti Airtel and Aircel. Some of the interesting tweets even mentioned few items that are shockingly cheaper than the latest smartphone by Apple.

A few of them included: LED television sets, one year’s petrol bill and return tickets plus three-day stay in Colombo/Dubai/Bangkok, etc. Tweets mostly condemned Apple for being harsh on Indian users, as the price of iPhone 4S in India is shockingly 35% more than that in the United States.

However, the situation holds no novelty for Apple or Indian users, for that matter. Starting from iPods, Apple products have always been priced considerably higher in India as compared to other nations like Singapore, Hong Kong and the United States.

While expressing his opinion in this regard, an industry executive, who has long been eventful in monitoring response of Indian users for such international gadgets, said: “Most customers who wanted the 4S are internet savvy. They took price cues from other markets”.