Aug 13, 2016

India film industry contributes $6.2 billion in year


India's film and television industry contributes an immense $6.2 billion (Rs 28,305 crores) to the Indian economy, according to a new report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The report, titled Economic Contribution of the Indian Film and Television Industry, also finds that the sector has a total gross output of $20.4 billion (Rs 92,645 crores) and contributes more to the GDP of India than the advertising industry.

"This report demonstrates the importance of the film and television sector to the overall growth and vitality of the Indian economy. Indians should be proud of the staggering growth that the film and television industry has achieved," said Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) chairman Dan Glickman, who launched the report in New Delhi at the Asia Society Conference.

"The film and television industry in India is one of the world's largest markets in terms of number of consumers and offers significant growth potential. Over the past few years the industry has experienced rapid double-digit growth and it is expected that this trend will continue in future, resulting in increasing contribution to the Indian economy," added Time Warner senior vice president Hugh Stephens.

The combined revenues of the Indian film and television industry were over $7.7 billion (Rs 35,000 crores) in the calendar year 2008. This is expected to grow at a rate of 11% over the next five years, reaching a size of over $13 billion (Rs 60,000 crores). Commissioned by the Motion Picture Distributors Association (India), representing the MPA in India, the study measures the direct, indirect and induced economic impacts created by the film and television industry, and combines them to determine the industry's total economic contribution.

Glickman also commented that the report illustrates the need to protect the Indian film and television industry. "While still growing, the Indian film and television industry already contributes significantly to India's economy, and the menace of copyright theft jeopardizes a movie's ability to make money - if at all. This affects the level of investment available for new films and the ability to create new jobs for workers throughout the country. The launch of the coalition to protect film and television content is as such a clear reflection of the Indian creative community's recognition of the urgent need to act quickly to address this threat," he said.

On the need for a strong legislative response to tackle copyright infringement, Motion Picture Dist. Association (India) managing director Rajiv Dalal said, "While the film industry has come together to fight intellectual property theft, the industry also needs the Indian government to pass legislation such as anti-camcord restrictions that would allow for effective copyright enforcement."

UTV Motion Pictures CEO Siddharth Roy Kapur asserted, "While this report is significant as it highlights the economic benefits of our industry, let us not forget our community's social and cultural contribution to the development of society

Jul 30, 2016

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Jan 20, 2013

China growth rate on positive trend

China's economic growth rose in the fourth quarter of 2012, helping the world's most populous nation end the year with a growth rate of 7.8%, according to figures released on January 18, 2013 from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Last quarter, China's economy grew at a pace of 7.9%, slightly better than analyst expectations and breaking a pattern of seven straight quarters of decline. 

China's growth rate had been steadily falling since the fourth quarter of 2010, when economic output grew 9.8%. The slowing growth rate bottomed out in the third quarter of 2012, when China's economy only grew at 7.4%. 

Last March, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao lowered the country's 2012 growth target from 8% to 7.5%. While such growth would be the envy of most nations, China's economy has grown at an average rate of about 10% each year for the past 30 years.

This has helped propel China to become the world's second largest economy, just behind that of the United States. China's leaders are widely expected to maintain its 7.5% growth target into 2013. 

Adding to Friday's better-than-expected growth figures, China's industrial production increased to 10.3% year-on-year versus expectations of 10.2% growth. Retail sales rose 15.2% year-on-year, also a 0.1% point increase over expectations.

Jan 18, 2013

Colorful Imran Khan

Imran Khan with his sons Sulaiman Isa and Kasim
Imran Khan is the world famous cricketer and now also politician born on 25 November 1952 in Pakistan. He played international cricket for two decades in the late twentieth century and, after retiring, entered politics. Besides, his political activism, Khan is also a philanthropist, cricket commentator, Chancellor of the University of Bradford and Founding Chairman Board of Governors of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre.

Imran Khan batting
He was Pakistan's most successful cricket captain, leading his country to victory at the 1992 Cricket World Cup, playing for the Pakistani cricket team from 1971 to 1992, and serving as its captain intermittently throughout 1982–1992.

After retiring from cricket at the end of the 1987 World Cup in 1988, due to popular public demand he was requested to come back by the president of Pakistan to lead the team once again. At 39, Khan led his team to Pakistan's first and only World Cup victory in 1992.

He has a record of 3807 runs and 362 wickets in Test cricket, making him one of eight world cricketers to have achieved an 'All-rounder's Triple' in Test matches. On 14 July 2010, Khan was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

In April 1996, Khan founded and became the chairman of a political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice). He represented Mianwali as a member of the National Assembly from November 2002 to October 2007. Foreign Policy magazine described him as "Pakistan's Ron Paul".

Imran Khan's former wife  Jemima Khan
On 16 May 1995, Khan married Jemima Goldsmith, in an Islamic ceremony in Paris. A month later, on 21 June, they were married again in a civil ceremony at the Richmond register office in England, followed by a reception at the Goldsmiths' house in Surrey. The marriage, described as "tough" by Khan, produced two sons, Sulaiman Isa (born 18 November 1996) and Kasim (born 10 April 1999). As an agreement of his marriage, Khan spent four months a year in England. On 22 June 2004, it was announced that the Khans had divorced because it was "difficult for Jemima to adapt to life in Pakistan". The marriage ended amicably. Imran has regular access to his children and his relationship with his ex-wife is friendly.

Khan now resides alone in Bani Gala, Islamabad, a 300 kanal (37 acre) house plus farmhouse which he built with the money he initially borrowed from his wife and re-paid after selling his London flat. He grows fruit trees, wheat, and keeps cows and dogs, while also maintaining a cricket ground for his two sons, who visit during their holidays. Khan is known as one of the few cricket players who has a clean record of match fixing and the trust that he has maintained for so long has helped his political life quiet well.

We expect Imran Khan will play more role for emancipation of the peoples of Pakistan, for a freeness from the hardship to normal social, political, cultural, democratic and development era. Good Luck Imran Khan. Live long Imran Khan.   

Jan 15, 2013

internet prodigy Aaron Swartz commits suicide

Aaron Swartz, an Internet savant who at a young age shaped the online era by co-developing RSS and Reddit and later became a digital activist, has committed suicide. 

Swartz's body was found Friday evening in Brooklyn, said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman with the New York medical examiner's office. The 26-year-old had hanged himself in his apartment. His family and partner said they were "in shock, and have not yet come to terms with his passing." "Aaron's insatiable curiosity, creativity, and brilliance; his reflexive empathy and capacity for selfless, boundless love; his refusal to accept injustice as inevitable -- these gifts made the world, and our lives, far brighter," they said in a statement.

"We're grateful for our time with him, to those who loved him and stood with him, and to all of those who continue his work for a better world." 

A prodigy, Swartz was behind some of the Internet's defining moments, soaring to heights that many developers only dream of. At the same time, he was plagued by legal problems arising from his aggressive activism, and he was also known to suffer depression, a personal matter that he publicly revealed on his blog.

Technology activist Cory Doctorow met Swartz when he was 14 or 15, Doctorow said on his blog. "In so many ways, he was an adult, even then, with a kind of intense, fast intellect that really made me feel like he was part and parcel of the Internet society," Doctorow wrote. 


"But Aaron was also a person who'd had problems with depression for many years," Doctorow blogged. He added that "whatever problems Aaron was facing, killing himself didn't solve them. Whatever problems Aaron was facing, they will go unsolved forever." 

At age 14, Swartz co-wrote the RSS specification. He was later admitted to Stanford University, but dropped out after a year because, as he wrote in a blog post, "I didn't find it a very intellectual atmosphere, since most of the other kids seemed profoundly unconcerned with their studies." 

What he did next was help develop Reddit, the social news website that was eventually bought by heavyweight publisher Conde Nast in 2006. Swartz then engaged in Internet digital activism, co-founding Demand Progress, a political action group that campaigns against Internet censorship. 

But he pushed the legal limits, allegedly putting him on the wrong side of the law. In 2011, he was arrested in Boston for alleged computer fraud and illegally obtaining documents from protected computers. He was later indicted in an incident in which he allegedly stole millions of online documents from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 


He pleaded not guilty in September, according to MIT's "The Tech" newspaper. Two years earlier, the FBI investigated him after he released millions of U.S. federal court documents online. The alleged hacking was significant because the documents came from the government-run Public Access to Court Electronic Records, or PACER, which typically charges a fee, which was 8 cents a page in 2009. 

No charges were filed in that case, but on October 5, 2009, he posted online his FBI file that he apparently requested from the agency. He redacted the FBI agents' names and his personal information, he said. In that file, the FBI said more than 18 million pages with a value of about $1.5 million were downloaded from PACER in September 2008 to Swartz's home in Highland Park, Illinois. "As I hoped, it's truly delightful," he wrote of his FBI file. 

Swartz's family and partner recalled his "commitment to social justice," and called his death "the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach." They criticized U.S. prosecutors for seeking "an exceptionally harsh array of charges (for) an alleged crime that had no victims," and MIT because it did not "stand up for Aaron." 

"Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's office and at MIT contributed to his death," they said. Christina DiIorio-Sterling, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Justice, declined to comment on Swartz's case, citing respect for the family. 

His funeral will be held Tuesday at a synagogue in Highland Park. Swartz, who completed a fellowship at Harvard's Ethics Center Lab on Institutional Corruption, frequently blogged about his life, success and personal struggles. 

In some instances, he wrote about death. "There is a moment, immediately before life becomes no longer worth living, when the world appears to slow down and all its myriad details suddenly become brightly, achingly apparent," he wrote in a 2007 post titled "A Moment Before Dying." 

On November 27, 2007, he blogged about "depressed mood." "Surely there have been times when you've been sad. Perhaps a loved one has abandoned you or a plan has gone horribly awry. Your face falls. Perhaps you cry. You feel worthless. You wonder whether it's worth going on," he wrote. "Everything you think about seems bleak — the things you've done, the things you hope to do, the people around you. You want to lie in bed and keep the lights off. Depressed mood is like that, only it doesn't come for any reason and it doesn't go for any either. "

At best, you tell yourself that your thinking is irrational, that it is simply a mood disorder, that you should get on with your life. But sometimes that is worse. You feel as if streaks of pain are running through your head, you thrash your body, you search for some escape but find none. And this is one of the more moderate forms," he wrote.

Jan 4, 2013

S Korea increases budget to fund N Korea

South Korea has increased its budget to fund North Korea-related projects this year, government data showed on Thursday, with a new president seeking closer relations due to take office in Seoul and signs of an opening from Pyongyang.

South Korea's Ministry of Unification said parliament had approved a 9.1 percent rise in the inter-Korean cooperation fund this year to 1.1 trillion won ($1.03 billion). "The last offer for talks we made to North Korea was last summer, when the North was suffering from flood damage," said Park Soo-jin, a spokeswoman for the ministry.

The two Koreas remain technically at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended with a truce, not a treaty, and relations plunged under South Korean President Lee Myung-bak who cut aid dramatically after the shooting of a South Korean tourist in the North in 2008. 

Lee's single term ends in February when he will be replaced by Park Geun-hye, who has pledged engagement with the isolated and impoverished North, whose new leader Kim Jong-un signalled a desire for better ties in a speech on New Year's Day. 

"We have made the request countless times, and we can say that the offer (to talk) is still open." The budget was higher across the board than in 2012, with more money to support exchanges between families that were divided during the Korean War as well as humanitarian aid. 

However, it was still well short of the levels seen during the presidency of late former President Roh Moo-hyun, who maintained his predecessor's "sunshine-policy" engagement stance. Both Roh and his predecessor, Kim Dae-jung, were left-of-centre presidents who sought engagement, pouring hundreds of billions of dollars of state and private aid into the North in a bid to prevent Pyongyang developing nuclear weapons.

The North pushed ahead with its nuclear programme and has conducted two tests, in 2006 and 2009, and is believed to be readying a third. Last month it successfully launched a long-range rocket that critics say is aimed at developing missile technology. Just two weeks after the launch, Kim Jong-un, who took over after his father died in December 2011, called in his New Year's address for "an end to the division of the country" and to "remove confrontation". 

Political analysts said that while welcome, the statement would not result in better ties unless North Korea abandoned its nuclear ambitions. North Korea has offered olive branches many times before, only to withdraw the offer later and resume shrill threats of all-out war. Park, the daughter of South Korea's former ruler, Park Chung-hee, has said she will engage the North, but that it needs to drop its nuclear ambitions.

Jan 3, 2013

Zynga to shutdown all its social games

Social games publisher Zynga Inc confirmed on Monday that it has carried out 11 of the planned shutdowns of 13 game titles, with "Petville" being the latest game on which it pulled the plug. 

Zynga in October said it would shut down 13 under-performing titles after warning that its revenues were slowing as gamers fled from its once-popular titles published on the Facebook platform in large numbers and sharply revised its full-year outlook. 

The San Francisco-based company announced the "Petville" shutdown two weeks ago on its Facebook page. All the 11 shutdowns occurred in December. The 11 titles shut down or closed to new players include role-playing game "Mafia Wars 2," "Vampire Wars," "ForestVille" and "FishVille." 

"In place of 'PetVille,' we encourage you to play other Zynga games like 'Castleville,' 'Chefville,' 'Farmville 2,' 'Mafia Wars' and 'Yoville,'" the company told players on its 'PetVille' Facebook page. 

"PetVille" players were offered a one-time, complimentary bonus package for virtual goods in those games. "Petville," which lets users adopt virtual pets, has 7.5 million likes on Facebook but only 60,000 daily active users, according to AppData. About 1,260 users commented on the game's Facebook page, some lamenting the game's shutdown. 

Zynga has said it is shifting focus to capture growth in mobile games. It also applied this month for a preliminary application to run real-money gambling games in Nevada. Zynga is hoping that a lucrative real-money market could make up for declining revenue from games like "FarmVille" and other fading titles that still generate the bulk of its sales.