Author: Biz India

Kolkata Vs. Pune Clash: It’s Ganguly’s First

Kolkata: Eden Gardens may be the official home venue for the Kolkata Knight Riders, but come May 5, a majority of the Kolkatans — from celebrities to the man on the street — seem to be gearing up emotionally to back their eternal favorite ‘Dada’ Sourav Ganguly, who will lead the Pune Warriors India out on the historic ground. The much-awaited Indian Premier League clash, which many are saying would be a ‘home’ tie for Pune, has already generated tremendous interest. The entire quota of tickets set aside for online booking has been sold, and police had to baton-charge sports buffs, who had gone on a rampage after failing to procure tickets on Sunday despite standing in the queue for hours. The match is being variously touted as “Dada vs SRK” (KKR co-owner Shah Rukh Khan) and as a derby, with Ganguly set to use for the first time ever the visiting team dressing room and dug out on a ground where he honed his cricketing skills from a young age. Ganguly, who led Kolkata in the early editions of the tournament, was shown the door last year after a controversy-laden three-year association. The prince of Kolkata has done his bit to further electrify the atmosphere. “Eden is my ground. Eden is always a home match for me,” he said. Passion for Ganguly is at its peak, especially after...

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The 800-Lb Gorilla in the Room

By Martin Weiss, PhD It is THE story of the day. It is THE event that will impact every investment decision you make. If you ignore it, it will cost you. If you harness it, it can make you substantially richer. I’m talking about the end of austerity programs and so-called “fiscal pacts” all over the world. Last year, for example, Congress debated endlessly about budget cutting but never actually DID anything of substance. Nor are they likely to do a darn thing during this election season. Also last year, after months of agonizing debate, the Europeans finally managed to cobble together an agreement to cut their deficits. But just in the last couple of weeks, the entire agreement has started to collapse. Sarkozi in France, who was a major linchpin of the pact, has fallen from grace. The government of the Netherlands, another major supporter of the pact, has collapsed. The upcoming elections in Greece could be another game changer. And now, May Day in Europe will launch new street protests against austerity all across the continent. Suddenly and without warning, the pressure is building for MORE spending, BIGGER deficits, and a bigger pile-up of DEBT. Plus, I’m talking about an enormous amount of money that’s already being created by the world’s central banks right now. From Tokyo to Brussels and from London to Washington, the world’s governments...

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Nalsar Hyderabad’s Academic Revolution

By Prachi Shrivastava Nalsar Hyderabad’s newly appointed vice chancellor Prof. Faizan Mustafa plans to make  drastic changes to the undergraduate law degree syllabus and credit system, introduce new courses designed by practicing lawyers, and target alumni for faculty recruitment. Mustafa said that 20 out of the 50 courses of Nalsar’s five year LLB degree would become optional, as 17 new papers would be added to the current list of three elective courses. “I am going to give a huge choice to my students in terms of electives,” he said. In the present scheme, there are 47 compulsory papers out of a total of 50, despite the Bar Council of India (BCI) rules requiring only 30 compulsory papers, which Mustafa said was “not a healthy state of affairs”. “I feel a university which does not offer too many courses cannot truly be claiming to be a university in the real sense of the term.” The number of lecture hours allotted to every course would also change under the proposal. One credit would be awarded for every 16 hours of taking a course, and hours for each course would be re-allocated based on the number of credits required. “In the best universities of the world credit is given on the basis of the number of lectures which you take for the course,” said Mustafa, explaining that the new system envisaged a...

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U.P. CM Yadav Says He Will Supply 470,000 Tablets and Laptops to Students

Lucknow – Taking a step towards providing free laptops and tablets to students who have passed class X and XII, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has formed a committee to oversee their purchase and distribution to students, as implementation of his Samajwadi Party’s poll promise. The committee, headed by chief secretary Jawwed Usmani, would be entering into detailed negotiations with Information Technology (IT) major companies and try to “get the best deal” for the state. The high-powered committee, other than the chief secretary, would have nine principal secretaries, including those for Information, Finance, IT, Planning, Higher Education and Secondary Education. The committee would first be inviting proposals for the supply of some 470,000 tablets and laptops and would then hold discussions to scale down the prices, since the poll promise of the Samajwadi Party (SP) is likely to bear a price tag of Rs.4,555 crore (about $876 million). The number of class XII students in the state is pegged at 181,900 while the number of class X students is 281,400, for a total of 463,300 students qualified to receive them. The government, at the highest level, has already explored the possibility of procurement of laptops and tablets with IT major HCL whose chairman Shiv Nadar and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav have already held “preliminary parleys” on the matter, an official said. While the IT giant has expressed its...

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Most US Non-Immigrant Visa Fees Increased / All Immigrant Visa Fees Decreased

Effective April 13, 2012, the Department of State adjusted visa processing fees. The fees for most nonimmigrant visa applications and Border Crossing Cards increased, while all immigrant visa processing fees decreasde. Although most categories of nonimmigrant visa processing fees increased, the fee for E visas (treaty-traders and treaty-investors) and K visas (for fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens) decreased. Nonimmigrant Visa Processing Fees w.e.f. April 13 2012 Type of Visa New Fee Tourist, Business, Transit, Crew Member, Student, Exchange Visitor, and Journalist visas $160 Petition-Based visas (H, L, O, P, Q, and R) $190 Treaty Investor and Trader visas (E) $270 Fiancé(e) visas (K) $240 Border Crossing Cards (age 15 and older) $160 Border Crossing Cards (under age 15) $15 Immigrant Visa Processing Fees w.e.f. April 13 2012 Type of Visa New Fee Immediate Relative and Family Preference Applications $230 Employment-Based Applications $405 Other Immigrant Visa Applications $220 Diversity Visa Program Fee $330 Determining Returning Resident Status $275 Fee information may also be found on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, www.travel.state.gov, and on the websites of U.S. Embassies and...

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