Dec 10, 2012

Sonia sees life simple and more than Italian or Indian


Sonia Gandhi was born at Antonia Edvige Albina Maino of Italy on 9th December 1946. Sonia turns into 67th year of age. She is an Italian-born Indian politician and the President of the Indian National Congress, one of the major political parties of India. She is 12th powerful man of the world as per the Forbes Magazine  annual ranking for 2012.  

She is the widow of former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi and belongs to the Nehru–Gandhi family. After his assassination in 1991, she was invited by the Indian National Congress to take over the Congress but refused and publicly stayed away from politics amidst constant prodding by the Congress. She finally agreed to join politics in 1997; in 1998, she was elected as the leader of the Congress.

Since then, Sonia Gandhi has been the President of the Indian National Congress Party. She has served as the Chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance in the Lok Sabha since 2004. In September 2010, on being re-elected for the fourth time, she became the longest serving president in the 125-year history of the Congress party. Her foreign birth has been a subject of much debate and controversy. Although Sonia is actually the fifth foreign-born person to be leader of the Congress Party, she is the first since independence in 1947.

She was born to Stefano and Paola Maino in Contrada Màini, at Lusiana, a little village 30 km from Vicenza in Veneto, Italy, where families with the family name "Màino" have been living for many generations. She spent her adolescence in Orbassano, a town near Turin, being raised in a traditional Roman Catholic family and attending a Catholic school. Her father, a building mason, died in 1983. Her mother and two sisters still live around Orbassano.

In 1964, she went to study English at the Bell Educational Trust's language school in the city of Cambridge. She met Rajiv Gandhi, who was enrolled in Trinity College at the University of Cambridge in 1965 at a Greek restaurant (the Varsity Restaurant) while working there as a waitress to make ends meet. Sonia and Rajiv Gandhi married in 1968, following which she moved into the house of her mother-in-law and then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.

The couple had two children, Rahul Gandhi (born 1970) and Priyanka Vadra (born 1972). Despite belonging to the influential Nehru family, Sonia and Rajiv avoided all involvement in politics. Rajiv worked as an airline pilot while Sonia took care of her family. When Indira was ousted from office in 1977 in the aftermath of the Indian Emergency, the Rajiv family moved abroad for a short time.When Rajiv entered politics in 1982 after the death of his younger brother Sanjay Gandhi in a plane crash on 23 June 1980, Sonia continued to focus on her family and avoided all contact with the public.

Sonia Gandhi's involvement with Indian public life began after the assassination of her mother-in-law and her husband's election as Prime Minister. As the Prime Minister's wife she acted as his official hostess and also accompanied him on a number of state visits.

In 1984, she actively campaigned against her husband's sister-in-law Maneka Gandhi who was running against Rajiv in Amethi. At the end of Rajiv Gandhi's five years in office, the Bofors Scandal broke out. Ottavio Quattrocchi, an Italian business man believed to be involved, was said to be a friend of Sonia Gandhi, having access to the Prime Minister's official residence.

In 1980, her name appeared in the voter's list for New Delhi prior to her becoming an Indian Citizen, when she was still holding Italian Citizenship. It was a violation of Indian Laws. When she did acquire Indian Citizenship in April 1983, the issue cropped up again, as her name appeared on the 1983 voter's list when the deadline for registering had been in January 1983.

Senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee said that she surrendered her Italian passport to the Italian Embassy on 27 April 1983. Italian nationality law did not permit dual nationality until 1992. So, by acquiring Indian citizenship in 1983, she would automatically have lost Italian citizenship.

After the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and her refusal to become Prime Minister, the party settled on the choice of P. V. Narasimha Rao who became leader and subsequently Prime Minister. Over the next few years, however, the Congress fortunes continued to dwindle and it lost the 1996 elections. Several senior leaders such as Madhavrao Sindhia, Rajesh Pilot, Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Arjun Singh, Mamata Banerjee, G. K. Moopanar, P. Chidambaram and Jayanthi Natarajan were in open revolt against incumbent President Sitaram Kesri and quit the party, splitting the Congress into many factions.

In an effort to revive the party's sagging fortunes, she joined the Congress Party as a primary member in the Calcutta Plenary Session in 1997 and became party leader in 1998.

In May 1999, three senior leaders of the party (Sharad Pawar, P. A. Sangma, and Tariq Anwar) challenged her right to try to become India's Prime Minister because of her foreign origins. In response, she offered to resign as party leader, resulting in an outpouring of support and the expulsion from the party of the three rebels who went on to form the Nationalist Congress Party.

Within 62 days of joining as a primary member, she was offered the party President post which she accepted. She contested Lok Sabha elections from Bellary, Karnataka and Amethi, Uttar Pradesh in 1999. In Bellary she defeated veteran BJP leader, Sushma Swaraj. In 2004 and 2009, she was re-elected to the Lok Sabha from Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh.

She was elected the Leader of the Opposition of the 13th Lok Sabha in 1999. When the BJP-led NDA formed a government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, she took the office of the Leader of Opposition. As Leader of Opposition, she called a no-confidence motion against the NDA government led by Vajpayee in 2003. She holds the record of having served as Congress President for 10 years consecutively. 

In the 2004 general elections, Gandhi launched a nationwide campaign, criss-crossing the country on the Aam Aadmi (ordinary man) slogan in contrast to the 'India Shining' slogan of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) alliance. She countered the BJP asking "Who is India Shining for?". 

In the election, she won by a large margin in the Rae Bareilly constituency. Following the unexpected defeat of the NDA, she was widely expected to be the next Prime Minister of India. On 16 May, she was unanimously chosen to lead a 15-party coalition government with the support of the left, which was subsequently named the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

The defeated NDA protested once against her 'foreign origin' and senior NDA leader Sushma Swaraj threatened to shave her head and "sleep on the ground", among other things, should Sonia become prime minister. The NDA also claimed that there were legal reasons that barred her from the Prime Minister's post. They pointed, in particular, to Section 5 of the Indian Citizenship Act of 1955, which they claimed implied 'reciprocity'. This was contested by others and eventually the suits were dismissed by the Supreme Court of India.

A few days after the election, Gandhi appointed Manmohan Singh as prime minister. Her supporters compared it to the old Indian tradition of renunciation, while her opponents attacked it as a political stunt.

On 23 March 2006, Gandhi announced her resignation from the Lok Sabha and also as chairperson of the National Advisory Council under the office-of-profit controversy and the speculation that the government was planning to bring an ordinance to exempt the post of chairperson of National Advisory Council from the purview of office of profit. She was re-elected from her constituency Rae Bareilly in May 2006 by a margin of over 400,000 votes.

As chairperson of the National Advisory Committee and the UPA, she played an important role in making the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the Right to Information Act into law.

She addressed the United Nations on 2 October 2007, Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary which is observed as the international day of non-violence after a UN resolution passed on 15 July 2007.

Under her leadership, India returned the Congress-led-UPA to a near majority in the 2009 general elections with Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister. The Congress itself won 206 Lok Sabha seats, which was the highest total by any party since 1991.

Sonia is the widow of late Rajiv Gandhi, elder son of Indira Gandhi. She is a practising Christian. There has been considerable media speculation for over a decade about their future role in the Congress. After a period of uncertainty, both Rahul and Priyanka became primary members of the Congress party. While Priyanka has so far restricted herself to organising her mother's election campaigns and taking care of Sonia's constituency, Rahul Gandhi has gone on to take formal charge as General Secretary of the Congress Party. He is also currently head of the Youth Congress.

In August 2011, she underwent a successful surgery for an unspecified ailment in the United States. It has been widely speculated in the media that the surgery took place at Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Newspapers reported that she returned to India on 9th September after her treatment. Speaking on 18 July 2012, about her son taking a larger role in the party, she said that it is for Rahul to decide.
She follows the style quote " Simple is Stylish" and looks no further than mother-in-law Indira Gandhi's "innate sense of fashion".

Dec 8, 2012

Bangladesh wins ODI series against West Indies

Bangladeshies have won 5-match series with 3-2 victory against West Indies. They won by 2 wickets today in the deciding match. This is their 2nd ODI series victory in cricket. They first got first series victory in 2010 against New Zealand

Bangladesh lost eight wickets as they were chasing 218-run target set by West Indies Indies in the fifth and deciding one-day international at their home ground Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on Saturday.


The vice-captain smashed a solid 45 off 42, featuring seven boundaries, and hauled two wickets of the Caribbeans removing Darren Bravo (51) and Andre Russell for a duck.

After restricting West Indies to a modest 217, Bangladesh appeared in trouble with losing three wickets -- Tamim Iqbal (4), Anamul Haque (0) and Jahurul Islam (10) -- only for 30 runs.

Later, skipper Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah made a 91-run partnership in the fifth wicket.

But Narine broke the strong partnership by sending back Mahmudullah in the 21st over of the innings.

Narine also sent Mushfiqur back to the pavilion scoring 47 from 59 balls with seven boundaries.

Later, Nasir Hossain and Mominul Haque made a 43-run partnership before Narine dismissed Mominul at 25.

Nasir Hossain (39) and Elias Sunny (1) were unbeaten at the last moment and took the team to its target in 43.5 overs.

West Indies bowlers Kemar Roach grabbed five wickets while Sunil Narine picked up three.

Earlier, Kieron Pollard knocked a brilliant 85 off 74 to guide West Indies to post 217 runs in 48 overs.

Pollard scored 85, featuring five boundaries and eight sixes, before getting back to the pavilion.

Batting first, the tourists lost wickets at regular intervals and at one stage they lost three top orders for only 17 runs.

Later, Pollard and Darren Bravo made a 172-run partnership.

Mominul Haque broke the 172-run fifth wicket partnership by sending back Kieron Pollard in 32nd over.

Darren Bravo scored 51 from 107 balls that featured three boundaries and one six.

Bangladeshi bowlers Shafiul Islam grabbed three wickets while Mominul and Mahmudullah captured two wickets and Sohag Gazi took one wicket.

Marlon Samuels and Veerasammy Permaul were run out.

With the series level at 2-2, the Tigers brought in batsman Jahurul Islam and paceman Shafiul Islam for Naeem Islam and Mashrafe Mortaza from today's match.

The West Indies brought back Andre Russell for Dwayne Smith.

Earlier, Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim won the toss and invited West Indies to bat.

Bangladesh beat tourists by seven wickets in the opening match in Khulna on November 30 and by 160 runs in the second match on December 2 on the same venue.

West Indies beat Bangladesh by four wickets in the third ODI on December 5 and by 75 runs in the fourth match on December 7.

West Indies have clinched the two-match Test series by 2-0 against Bangladesh.

The West Indies cricket team arrived on a month-long tour in Dhaka on November 5 to play a full- fledged series against host Bangladesh.

ICC World T20 winners will also play a lone T20 in Dhaka on December 10.

Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (Captain), Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Jahurul Islam, Mohammad Mahmudullah, Mominul Haque, Nasir Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Sohag Gazi, Elias Sunny and Abdur Razzak

West Indies: Darren Sammy, Kieron Pollard, Darren Bravo, Chris Gayle, Devon Thomas, Sunil Narine, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Veerasammy Permaul, Marlon Samuels and Kieran Powell

Bill Gates echoes to technology


William Henry "Bill" Gates III, born October 28, 1955, is an American business magnate and philanthropist. Gates is the former chief executive and current chairman of Microsoft, the world’s largest personal-computer software company, which he co-founded with Paul Allen.

He is consistently ranked among the world's wealthiest people and was the wealthiest overall from 1995 to 2009, excluding 2008, when he was ranked third; in 2011 he was the wealthiest American and the second wealthiest person. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of CEO and chief software architect, and remains the largest individual shareholder, with 6.4 percent of the common stock. He has also authored or co-authored several books.

Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. Gates has been criticized for his business tactics, which have been considered anti-competitive, an opinion which has in some cases been upheld by the courts. In the later stages of his career, Gates has pursued a number of philanthropic endeavors, donating large amounts of money to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, established in 2000.

Gates stepped down as chief executive officer of Microsoft in January 2000. He remained as chairman and created the position of chief software architect. In June 2006, Gates announced that he would be transitioning from full-time work at Microsoft to part-time work, and full-time work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He gradually transferred his duties to Ray Ozzie, chief software architect, and Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer. Gates's last full-time day at Microsoft was June 27, 2008. He remains at Microsoft as non-executive chairman.

Gates was born in Seattle, Washington, to William H. Gates, Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates. His ancestry includes English, German, and Scots-Irish. His father was a prominent lawyer, and his mother served on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way. Gates's maternal grandfather was J. W. Maxwell, a national bank president. Gates has one elder sister, Kristi (Kristianne), and one younger sister, Libby. He was the fourth of his name in his family, but was known as William Gates III or "Trey" because his father had the "II" suffix.

Early on in his life, Gates's parents had a law career in mind for him. When Gates was young, his family regularly attended a Congregational church.

At 13 he enrolled in the Lakeside School, an exclusive preparatory school. When he was in the eighth grade, the Mothers Club at the school used proceeds from Lakeside School's rummage sale to buy a Teletype Model 33 ASR terminal and a block of computer time on a General Electric (GE) computer for the school's students. Gates took an interest in programming the GE system in BASIC, and was excused from math classes to pursue his interest. He wrote his first computer program on this machine: an implementation of tic-tac-toe that allowed users to play games against the computer.

Gates was fascinated by the machine and how it would always execute software code perfectly. When he reflected back on that moment, he said, "There was just something neat about the machine." After the Mothers Club donation was exhausted, he and other students sought time on systems including DEC PDP minicomputers. One of these systems was a PDP-10 belonging to Computer Center Corporation (CCC), which banned four Lakeside students—Gates, Paul Allen, Ric Weiland, and Kent Evans—for the summer after it caught them exploiting bugs in the operating system to obtain free computer time.

At the end of the ban, the four students offered to find bugs in CCC's software in exchange for computer time. Rather than use the system via Teletype, Gates went to CCC's offices and studied source code for various programs that ran on the system, including programs in FORTRAN, LISP, and machine language. The arrangement with CCC continued until 1970, when the company went out of business. The following year, Information Sciences, Inc. hired the four Lakeside students to write a payroll program in COBOL, providing them computer time and royalties. After his administrators became aware of his programming abilities, Gates wrote the school's computer program to schedule students in classes. He modified the code so that he was placed in classes with mostly female students. He later stated that "it was hard to tear myself away from a machine at which I could so unambiguously demonstrate success." 

At age 17, Gates formed a venture with Allen, called Traf-O-Data, to make traffic counters based on the Intel 8008 processor. In early 1973, Bill Gates served as a congressional page in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Gates graduated from Lakeside School in 1973. He scored 1590 out of 1600 on the SAT and enrolled at Harvard College in the autumn of 1973. While at Harvard, he met Steve Ballmer, who later succeeded Gates as CEO of Microsoft.

In his sophomore year, Gates devised an algorithm for pancake sorting as a solution to one of a series of unsolved problems presented in a combinatorics class by Harry Lewis, one of his professors. Gates's solution held the record as the fastest version for over thirty years; its successor is faster by only one percent. His solution was later formalized in a published paper in collaboration with Harvard computer scientist Christos Papadimitriou.

Gates did not have a definite study plan while a student at Harvard and spent a lot of time using the school's computers. Gates remained in contact with Paul Allen, and he joined him at Honeywell during the summer of 1974. The following year saw the release of the MITS Altair 8800 based on the Intel 8080 CPU, and Gates and Allen saw this as the opportunity to start their own computer software company. Gates dropped out of Harvard at this time. He had talked this decision over with his parents, who were supportive of him after seeing how much Gates wanted to start a company.

After reading the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics that demonstrated the Altair 8800, Gates contacted Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), the creators of the new microcomputer, to inform them that he and others were working on a BASIC interpreter for the platform.

In reality, Gates and Allen did not have an Altair and had not written code for it; they merely wanted to gauge MITS's interest. MITS president Ed Roberts agreed to meet them for a demo, and over the course of a few weeks they developed an Altair emulator that ran on a minicomputer, and then the BASIC interpreter. The demonstration, held at MITS's offices in Albuquerque was a success and resulted in a deal with MITS to distribute the interpreter as Altair BASIC. Paul Allen was hired into MITS, and Gates took a leave of absence from Harvard to work with Allen at MITS in Albuquerque in November 1975. They named their partnership "Micro-Soft" and had their first office located in Albuquerque. Within a year, the hyphen was dropped, and on November 26, 1976, the trade name "Microsoft" was registered with the Office of the Secretary of the State of New Mexico. Gates never returned to Harvard to complete his studies.

Microsoft's BASIC was popular with computer hobbyists, but Gates discovered that a pre-market copy had leaked into the community and was being widely copied and distributed. In February 1976, Gates wrote an Open Letter to Hobbyists in the MITS newsletter saying that MITS could not continue to produce, distribute, and maintain high-quality software without payment. This letter was unpopular with many computer hobbyists, but Gates persisted in his belief that software developers should be able to demand payment. Microsoft became independent of MITS in late 1976, and it continued to develop programming language software for various systems. The company moved from Albuquerque to its new home in Bellevue, Washington on January 1, 1979, after the former rejected his loan application.

During Microsoft's early years, all employees had broad responsibility for the company's business. Gates oversaw the business details, but continued to write code as well. In the first five years, Gates personally reviewed every line of code the company shipped, and often rewrote parts of it as he saw fit.

IBM approached Microsoft in July 1980 regarding its upcoming personal computer, the IBM PC. The computer company first proposed that Microsoft write the BASIC interpreter. When IBM's representatives mentioned that they needed an operating system, Gates referred them to Digital Research (DRI), makers of the widely used CP/M operating system. IBM's discussions with Digital Research went poorly, and they did not reach a licensing agreement. IBM representative Jack Sams mentioned the licensing difficulties during a subsequent meeting with Gates and told him to get an acceptable operating system. A few weeks later Gates proposed using 86-DOS (QDOS), an operating system similar to CP/M that Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer Products (SCP) had made for hardware similar to the PC. Microsoft made a deal with SCP to become the exclusive licensing agent, and later the full owner, of 86-DOS. After adapting the operating system for the PC, Microsoft delivered it to IBM as PC-DOS in exchange for a one-time fee of $50,000.

Gates did not offer to transfer the copyright on the operating system, because he believed that other hardware vendors would clone IBM's system. They did, and the sales of MS-DOS made Microsoft a major player in the industry. Despite IBM's name on the operating system the press quickly identified Microsoft as being very influential on the new computer, with PC Magazine asking if Gates were "The Man Behind The Machine?" He oversaw Microsoft's company restructuring on June 25, 1981, which re-incorporated the company in Washington state and made Gates President of Microsoft and the Chairman of the Board.

Microsoft launched its first retail version of Microsoft Windows on November 20, 1985, and in August, the company struck a deal with IBM to develop a separate operating system called OS/2. Although the two companies successfully developed the first version of the new system, mounting creative differences caused the partnership to deteriorate. It ended in 1991, when Gates led Microsoft to develop a version of OS/2 independently from IBM.

From Microsoft's founding in 1975 until 2006, Gates had primary responsibility for the company's product strategy. He aggressively broadened the company's range of products, and wherever Microsoft achieved a dominant position he vigorously defended it. He gained a reputation for being distant to others; as early as 1981 an industry executive complained in public that "Gates is notorious for not being reachable by phone and for not returning phone calls."Another executive recalled that after he showed Gates a videogame and defeated him 35 of 37 times, when they met again a month later Gates "won or tied every game. He had studied the game until he solved it. That is a competitor."


As an executive, Gates met regularly with Microsoft's senior managers and program managers. Firsthand accounts of these meetings describe him as verbally combative, berating managers for perceived holes in their business strategies or proposals that placed the company's long-term interests at risk.

He often interrupted presentations with such comments as, "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!" and, "Why don't you just give up your options and join the Peace Corps?" The target of his outburst then had to defend the proposal in detail until, hopefully, Gates was fully convinced. When subordinates appeared to be procrastinating, he was known to remark sarcastically, "I'll do it over the weekend."

Gates's role at Microsoft for most of its history was primarily a management and executive role. However, he was an active software developer in the early years, particularly on the company's programming language products. He has not officially been on a development team since working on the TRS-80 Model 100, but wrote code as late as 1989 that shipped in the company's products. 

On June 15, 2006, Gates announced that he would transition out of his day-to-day role over the next two years to dedicate more time to philanthropy. He divided his responsibilities between two successors, placing Ray Ozzie in charge of day-to-day management and Craig Mundie in charge of long-term product strategy.


Since leaving day-to-day operations at Microsoft (where he remains Chairman), Gates continues his philanthropy and, among other projects, purchased the video rights to the Messenger Lectures series called The Character of Physical Law, given at Cornell University by Richard Feynman in 1964 and recorded by the BBC. The videos are available online to the public at Microsoft's Project Tuva.

In April 2010, Gates was invited to visit and speak at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he asked the students to take on the hard problems of the world in their futures.

Gates married Melinda French on January 1, 1994. They have three children: daughters Jennifer Katharine (b. 1996) and Phoebe Adele (b. 2002) and son Rory John (b. 1999).

The family resides in the Gates's home, an earth-sheltered house in the side of a hill overlooking Lake Washington in Medina. According to King County public records, as of 2006 the total assessed value of the property (land and house) is $125 million, and the annual property tax is $991,000.

His 66,000 sq ft (6,100 m2) estate has a 60-foot (18 m) swimming pool with an underwater music system, as well as a 2,500 sq ft (230 m2) gym and a 1,000 sq ft (93 m2) dining room.

Also among Gates's private acquisitions is the Codex Leicester, a collection of writings by Leonardo da Vinci, which Gates bought for $30.8 million at an auction in 1994. Gates is also known as an avid reader, and the ceiling of his large home library is engraved with a quotation from The Great Gatsby. He also enjoys playing bridge, tennis, and golf.

Gates was number one on the Forbes 400 list from 1993 through to 2007 and number one on Forbes list of The World's Richest People from 1995 to 2007 and 2009. In 1999, his wealth briefly surpassed $101 billion, causing the media to call Gates a "centibillionaire". Despite his wealth and extensive business travel Gates usually flew coach until 1997, when he bought a private jet. Since 2000, the nominal value of his Microsoft holdings has declined due to a fall in Microsoft's stock price after the dot-com bubble burst and the multi-billion dollar donations he has made to his charitable foundations. 

In a May 2006 interview, Gates commented that he wished that he were not the richest man in the world because he disliked the attention it brought. Gates has several investments outside Microsoft, which in 2006 paid him a salary of $616,667 and $350,000 bonus totalling $966,667.

He founded Corbis, a digital imaging company, in 1989. In 2004 he became a director of Berkshire Hathaway, the investment company headed by long-time friend Warren Buffett. In March 2010 Bill Gates was bumped down to the second wealthiest man behind Carlos Slim.

Gates began to appreciate the expectations others had of him when public opinion mounted suggesting that he could give more of his wealth to charity. Gates studied the work of Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, and in 1994 sold some of his Microsoft stock to create the William H. Gates Foundation.

In 2000, Gates and his wife combined three family foundations into one to create the charitable Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is the largest transparently operated charitable foundation in the world. The foundation allows benefactors access to information regarding how its money is being spent, unlike other major charitable organizations such as the Wellcome Trust.

The generosity and extensive philanthropy of David Rockefeller has been credited as a major influence. Gates and his father met with Rockefeller several times, and modeled their giving in part on the Rockefeller family's philanthropic focus, namely those global problems that are ignored by governments and other organizations. As of 2007, Bill and Melinda Gates were the second-most generous philanthropists in America, having given over $28 billion to charity. They plan to eventually give 95% of their wealth to charity.

The foundation was at the same time criticized because it invests assets that it has not yet distributed with the exclusive goal of maximizing return on investment. As a result, its investments include companies that have been charged with worsening poverty in the same developing countries where the Foundation is attempting to relieve poverty. These include companies that pollute heavily, and pharmaceutical companies that do not sell into the developing world.

In response to press criticism, the foundation announced in 2007 a review of its investments, to assess social responsibility. It subsequently canceled the review and stood by its policy of investing for maximum return, while using voting rights to influence company practices. The Gates Millennium Scholars program has been criticized for its exclusion of Caucasian students.

Gates's wife urged people to learn a lesson from the philanthropic efforts of the Salwen family, which had sold its home and given away half of its value, as detailed in The Power of Half. Gates and his wife invited Joan Salwen to Seattle to speak about what the family had done, and on December 9, 2010, Gates, investor Warren Buffett, and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook's CEO) signed a promise they called the "Gates-Buffet Giving Pledge", in which they promised to donate to charity at least half of their wealth over the course of time.

Dec 7, 2012

Manmohan Singh, charismatic economist and leader


Manmohan Singh, born on 26th September 1932, is the 13th and current Prime Minister of India. A renowned economist, he is the only Prime Minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to return to power after completing a full five-year term, and the first Sikh to hold the office.

He born in Gah, now in Punjab of Pakistan in 1932. Singh's family migrated to India during its partition in 1947. After obtaining his doctorate in economics from Oxford, Singh worked for the United Nations in 1966–69. 

He subsequently began his bureaucratic career when Lalit Narayan Mishra hired him as an advisor in the Ministry of Foreign Trade. Over the 70s and 80s, Singh held several key posts in the Government of India, such as Chief Economic Advisor (1972–76), Reserve Bank Governor (1982–85) and Planning Commission head (1985–87).

In 1991, as India faced a severe economic crisis, newly elected Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao surprisingly inducted the apolitical Singh into his cabinet as Finance Minister. Over the next few years, despite strong opposition, Finance Minister Singh carried out several structural reforms that liberalised India's economy.

Although these measures proved successful in averting the crisis, and enhanced Singh's reputation globally as a leading reform-minded economist, the incumbent Congress party fared poorly in the 1996 general election. Subsequently, Singh served as Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha (the upper house of India's Parliament) during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government of 1998–2004.

In 2004, when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) came to power, party president Sonia Gandhi surprisingly relinquished the Prime Minister-ship to Manmohan Singh. This Singh-led "UPA" government executed several key legislations and projects, including the Rural Health Mission, the Unique Identification project, the Rural Employment Guarantee scheme, the Right to Information Act and a historic Civil Nuclear Agreement with the United States. The latter nearly caused the fall of Singh's government as anti-American Left Front parties withdrew from the UPA. Although India's economy grew rapidly under UPA, its security was threatened by several terrorist incidents (culminating in the 2008 Mumbai attacks) and a growing Maoist insurgency.

The 2009 general election saw the UPA return with an increased mandate, with Manmohan Singh retaining the office of Prime Minister.

Manmohan Singh was born to Gurmukh Singh and Amrit Kaur on 26th September 1932, in Gah, Punjab, British India, into a Sikh family. He lost his mother when he was very young and was raised by his paternal grandmother, to whom he was very close.

After the Partition of India, his family migrated to Amritsar, India, where he studied at Hindu College. He attended Panjab University, Chandigarh, then in Hoshiarpur, Punjab, studying Economics and got his bachelor's and master's degrees in 1952 and 1954, respectively, standing first throughout his academic career.

He went on to read for the Economics Tripos at Cambridge as a member of St John's College. He won the Wright's Prize for distinguished performance in 1955 and 1957. He was also one of the few recipients of the Wrenbury scholarship. In 1962, Singh completed his studies from the University of Oxford where he was a member of Nuffield College. His doctoral thesis "India’s export performance, 1951–1960, export prospects and policy implications" was later the base for his book "India’s Export Trends and Prospects for Self-Sustained Growth".

After completing his PhD, Singh worked for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) from 1966–1969. During the 1970s, he taught at the University of Delhi and worked for the Ministry of Foreign Trade with the former Cabinet Minister for Foreign Trade, Lalit Narayan Mishra. 

As the Minister of Foreign Trade, Lalit Narayan Mishra was one of the first to recognise Singh's talent as an economist and appointed him his advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Trade. Singh and Mishra first met, coincidentally, on a flight from India to Chile. Mishra was on his way to Santiago, Chile to attend an UNCTAD meeting.

In 1982, he was appointed the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India and held the post until 1985. He went on to become the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission of India from 1985 to 1987. Following his tenure at the Planning Commission, he was Secretary General of the South Commission, an independent economic policy think tank headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland from 1987 to 1990.

In 1991, India's Prime Minister at the time, P.V. Narasimha Rao, chose Singh to be his Finance Minister. At this time, India's fiscal deficit was close to 8.5 per cent of the gross domestic product, the balance of payments deficit was huge and the current account deficit was close to 3.5 percent of India's GDP. India's foreign reserves barely amounted to US$1 billion, enough to pay for a few weeks of imports, in comparison to US$283 billion today.

Evidently, India was facing an economic crisis. At this point, the government of India sought relief from the supranational International Monetary Fund, which, while assisting India financially, imposed several conditions regarding India's economic policy. In effect, IMF-dictated policy meant that the ubiquitous Licence Raj had to be dismantled, and India's attempt at a state-controlled economy had to end. 

Accordingly, Singh, who had thus far been one of the most influential architects of India's socialist economy, slowly opened the Indian economy to foreign investment and business competition.

Rao and Singh thus implemented policies to open up the economy and change India's socialist economy to a more capitalistic one, in the process dismantling the Licence Raj, a system that inhibited the prosperity of private businesses. 

They removed many obstacles standing in the way of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and initiated the process of the privatisation of public sector companies. However, in spite of these reforms, Rao's government was voted out in 1996 due to non-performance of government in other areas. In praise of Singh's work that pushed India towards a market economy, long-time Cabinet minister P. Chidambaram has referred to Singh as the Deng Xiaoping of India.

In 1993, Singh offered his resignation from the post of Finance Minister after a parliamentary investigation report criticised his ministry for not being able to anticipate a US$1.8 billion securities scandal. Prime Minister Rao refused Singh's resignation, instead promising to punish the individuals directly accused in the report.


Singh was first elected to the upper house of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha, in 1991 by the legislature of the state of Assam, and was re-elected in 1995, 2001 and 2007. From 1998 to 2004, while the Bharatiya Janata Party was in power, Singh was the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. In 1999, he contested for the Lok Sabha from South Delhi but was unable to win the seat.

After the 2004 general elections, the Indian National Congress ended the incumbent National Democratic Alliance (NDA) tenure by becoming the political party with the single largest number of seats in the Lok Sabha. It formed United Progressive Alliance (UPA) with allies and staked claim to form government. In a surprise move, Chairperson Sonia Gandhi declared Manmohan Singh, a technocrat, as the UPA candidate for the Prime Ministership. Despite the fact that Singh had never won a Lok Sabha seat, he "has enjoyed massive popular support, not least because he was seen by many as a clean politician untouched by the taint of corruption that has run through many Indian administrations." He took the oath as the Prime Minister of India on 22nd May 2004.

India held general elections to the 15th Lok Sabha in five phases between 16 April 2009 and 13 May 2009. The results of the election were announced on 16 May 2009. Strong showing in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh helped the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) form the new government under the incumbent Singh, who became the first prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru in 1962 to win re-election after completing a full five-year term.

The Congress and its allies were able to put together a comfortable majority with support from 322 members out of 543 members of the House. These included those of the UPA and the external support from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party (SP), Janata Dal (Secular) (JD(S)), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and other minor parties.

On 22 May 2009, Manmohan Singh was sworn in as the Prime Minister during a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The 2009 Indian general election was the largest democratic election in the world held to date, with an eligible electorate of 714 million.

Singh married Gursharan Kaur in 1958. They have three daughters, Upinder Singh, Daman Singh and Amrit Singh.

Upinder Singh is a professor of history at Delhi University. Daman Singh is a graduate of St. Stephen's College, Delhi and Institute of Rural Management, Anand, Gujarat. Amrit Singh is a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Singh's personal assets amount to five crore rupees (approx 1 million USD). He has property worth Rs 1.8 crore, a Rs 90 lakh house in Chandigarh and a Rs 88 lakh apartment in Vasant Kunj in Delhi. His bank deposits amount to Rs 3.2 crore.

Presently, Forbes Magazine placed him as the 19th powerful man of the world in 2012.  

Achievements of Manmohan Singh


2012-19th most powerful man of the world by the Forbes Magazines.
2010-World Statesman Award from Appeal of Conscience Foundation.
2005-Top 100 Influential People in the World by Time Magazine.
2002-Outstanding Parliamentarian Award by Indian Parliamentary Group.
2000-Annasaheb Chirmule Award by Annasaheb Chirmule Trust.
1999-H.H. Kanchi Sri Paramacharya Award for Excellence by Shri R. Venkataraman, The Centenarian Trust.
1999-Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi by National Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
1997-Lokmanya Tilak Award by Tilak Smarak Trust, Pune.
1997-Justice K.S. Hegde Foundation Award by Justice K.S. Hegde Foundation.
1997- Nikkei Asia prize for Regional Growth by Nihon Keizai Shimbun Inc.
1996- Honorary Professorship by Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, Delhi.
1995-Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Award (1994–95) by Indian Science Congress Association
1994-Finance Minister of the Year by Asiamoney.
1994- Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Award (1994–95) by Indian Science Congress Association.
1994- Elected Distinguished Fellow of the London School of Economics by London School of Economics, Centre for Asia Economy, Politics and Society.
1994- Elected Honorary Fellow, Nuffield College by Nuffield College, University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K.
1994- Elected Distinguished Fellow of the London School of Economics by London School of Economics, Centre for Asia Economy, Politics and Society.
1994- Elected Honorary Fellow of the All India Management Association by All India Management Association.
1993- Finance Minister of the Year by Euromoney.
1993- Finance Minister of the Year by Asiamoney.
1987- Padma Vibhushan by President of India.
1986- Elected National Fellow, National Institute of Education by National Institute of Education.
1985- Elected President of the Indian Economic Association by Indian Economic Association.
1982- Elected Honorary Fellow, St. John's College by St John's College, Cambridge.
1982- Elected Honorary Fellow, Indian Institute of Bankers by Indian Institute of Bankers.
1976- Honorary Professorship by Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
1957- Elected Wrenbury Scholar by University of Cambridge, U.K.
1956- Adam Smith Prize by University of Cambridge, U.K.
1955- Wright Prize for Distinguished Performance by St. John’s College, Cambridge, U.K.
1954- Uttar Chand Kapur Medal, for standing first in M.A. (Economics) by Panjab University, Chandigarh{Was then in Hoshiarpur,Punjab}.
1952-University Medal for standing first in B.A. (Honors Economics) by Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Oct 7, 2012

Honda Ridgeline comes with rearview


 The Honda Ridgeline was made refreshing in 2012 with a new high-value Sport trim level, new front styling and improved fuel efficiency. Now, the Honda Ridgeline returns for 2013 with a rearview camera now standard on all trim levels. The 2013 Honda Ridgeline represents an exclusive and innovative approach in the half-ton pickup truck segment, prioritizing its construction and features based on the capabilities that recreational truck buyers need and use the most. The 2013 Ridgeline goes on sale in this October 2012 and pricing is unchanged for 2013, starting at $29,3501.

The Honda Ridgeline features a closed-box, uni-body structure and an independent front and rear suspension for a unique combination of capability, interior spaciousness and comfortable ride performance. It also delivers a wide range of conventional pickup capabilities, with a maximum tow rating of 5,000 pounds and a half-ton payload rating, all while offering unique features like a large In-Bed Trunk® with dual-action tailgate for easy access.

Four distinctive Ridgeline models are available, including the Ridgeline RT, Ridgeline Sport, Ridgeline RTS and top-of-the-line Ridgeline RTL, which is available with Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™2. The 2013 Ridgeline earns an EPA fuel economy rating of 15/21/17 city/highway/combined3 mpg.

Unique 17-inch steel wheels, integrated trailer hitch, pre-wiring for 7-pin trailer wiring, keyless entry, power windows and door locks, power sliding rear window, air conditioning, tilt steering wheel, cruise control, trip computer with instantaneous and average fuel economy, 6-speaker 100-watt audio system with CD player and MP3/WMA playback capability, rearview camera, and 60/40 split lift-up rear seat with under-seat storage.

Exclusive black 18-inch aluminum wheels, exclusive black honeycomb grille with black surround, black headlight and brake light housings, fog lights, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, auxiliary audio input jack, all-weather floor mats and rear privacy glass.

Exclusive 17-inch aluminum wheels, painted inner grille surfaces, body-color painted door handles, 7-pin trailer wiring connector, 8-way power driver's seat with lumbar support, dual-zone automatic climate control, 7-speaker 160-watt audio system with subwoofer, 6-disc in-dash CD system, steering wheel-mounted controls, auxiliary audio input jack, exterior temperature indicator, all-weather floor mats and privacy glass.

Exclusive 18-inch aluminum wheels, fog lights, power moonroof, heated side mirrors, leather-trimmed interior with heated front seats, XM Radio4, HomeLink® remote system, ambient console lighting, 115-volt power outlet and carpeted floor mats.

The Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™2 with Voice Recognition and Zagat Survey® restaurant information is available on the Ridgeline RTL. It includes XM® Radio4, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® and a multi-information display. The navigation system includes a rearview camera display, thus eliminating this display in the rearview mirror.

The Ridgeline's all-aluminum, 60-degree, SOHC 3.5-liter VTEC V-6 engine produces 250 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 247 lb-ft. of torque at 4,300 rpm. Variable valve timing enhances low-rpm torque while extending high-rpm horsepower for a broad power band.  The 5-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission features Grade Logic Control to help maintain the most appropriate gear when going uphill or downhill to avoid gear "hunting."

A fully automatic Variable Torque Management® 4-wheel drive system (VTM-4®) provides confident operation in rain, snow, ice, sand and mud, while also improving on-road and towing performance by distributing torque to all four wheels as needed. The system operates predominately in front-wheel-drive during dry-pavement cruising conditions and continuously proportions torque to the rear wheels during acceleration and low traction situations. The VTM-4 lock button located on the instrument panel allows the driver to temporarily hold engagement of both rear wheels to aid traction while in gears "1" and "2" at speeds of up to 18 mph.

Standard towing equipment includes an integrated tow hitch, transmission and oil coolers, heavy duty brakes, dual radiator fans and a wiring harness for a 7-pin trailer hook up (pre-wiring only on RT and Sport).

Body
A 5-foot-long composite cargo bed with eight tie-down locations provides a payload rating of 1,100 pounds, while four cargo area lights illuminate both the bed and the in-bed trunk. A dual-action tailgate opens down for traditional access to the cargo area or to the side for ease-of-access to the 8.5 cubic-foot In-Bed Trunk®. The Ridgeline is available with a wide variety of accessories and can conveniently accommodate motorcycles or ATVs. The cargo area measures 49.5 inches wide between the wheel wells, 20.7 inches deep and 60.0 inches long (79.0 inches with the load-supporting tailgate in the down position).

A MacPherson strut front suspension and fully independent multi-link rear suspension with trailing arms provide a smooth ride and responsive handling. A heavy-duty braking system includes 12.6-inch front and 13.1-inch rear 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. The Ridgeline RT has 17x7.5-inch steel wheels and P245/65 R17 all-season tires, while the Ridgeline RTS upgrades to 17x7.5-inch aluminum wheels. Ridgeline Sport and Ridgeline RTL models are uniquely equipped with 18x7.5-inch aluminum wheels and all-season P245/60 R18 tires.

Interior
The interior takes advantage of Honda's uni-body packaging efficiency to deliver full-size interior space dimensions while maintaining garage-friendly, mid-size exterior dimensions. The driving position provides ergonomically comfortable access to large and easy-to-use controls.

The 2013 Honda Ridgeline is covered by a 3-year/36,000-mile new-car limited warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, and a 5-year/unlimited-mile corrosion limited warranty.

Honda takes customer friendly approach


The all-new 2013 Honda Accord has been launched in September 19, 2012 with an emotionally driven, integrated multimedia campaign designed to artfully highlight the new Accord's sophisticated design, dynamic performance, rich feature content and value.

The 'It Starts with You' campaign, was built around the Honda philosophy of designing the Accord around the needs of the driver and occupants. The Accord campaign highlights numerous new technologies that enhance the model's dynamic driving experience, as well as, the styling cues that improve visibility and efficiency.

"This campaign demonstrates how Honda's deep understanding of the customer allowed our engineers to perfect the midsize sedan in the new Accord," said Mike Accavitti, vice president of automotive marketing at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "The new Accord excels in all areas that are important to the midsize buyer so we created an emotionally engaging launch campaign that delivers that message while showing what makes Honda different from the competition and the smart choice."

The Accord campaign also extended to include unique culturally relevant elements for Hispanic and African American consumers.  Both campaigns were developed to be complementary with the general market but have a unique take on the "It Starts with You" campaign.

"The Hispanic market campaign focuses on the themes of achievement and moving forward without forgetting the past, which are representative of the Hispanic experience in the U.S.," said Robert Santiago, director of client services at Orci. 

"We wanted to highlight technology that would appeal to the African American consumer in a way that would resonate with their daily lives," said Wilky Lau, executive creative officer with Muse Communications. "Telling the story through children allows us to highlight the importance of the vehicle's innovative technology in real-life scenarios."

Honda offers a complete lineup of Honda cars, trucks and service through a network of 1,037 Honda dealerships within the United States. In 2012, Honda will mark 30 years of producing automobiles in the region, which began with the Accord in Marysville, Ohio in November 1982. Having produced over 23 million vehicles in North America, Honda currently operates 7 major automobile manufacturing facilities in the region.

Oct 5, 2012

Bangladesh lone communal riot free country in Asia

No riot happened in the Bangladesh territory in the history of last 100 years. Bangladesh is the lone country of communal harmony among the South East Asian countries. It is totally a sporadic incident which happened at the Ukhia and Ramu in the Cox’s Bazar District of the country during September 29 to 30, 2012.

Bangladeshi people are worried due to these incidents. It also anxious for them, as all issues are considered in the country as biased and politicized motive by the government in the country.

It is also matter of worry for the country that Home Minister M.K. Alamgir raised his hand against the Main Opposition leaders who are also elected Peoples representatives by the locals for long time. He did not wait to blame oppositions who were made elected by the minor communities also. All the major local government elected representatives are from main opposition and for they will not burn their fellow supporters but it were done to sabotage the opposition stronghold in the district as demanded by the opposition leaders.

On behalf of the Government of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh, police filed cases against BNP & Jamaat activists and leaders only. Besides, the opposition demands to unearth the real culprits and arrest of them. They also demanded that as the locals, irrespective of religions and casts, make support for the opposition in all time of Bangladesh election history, so the government made the conspiracy to discard their support from the locality.

Analysts think that Bangladesh is totally unexampled in the issues like in Kashmir over more than half a century, Guzrat, Asam, Andra Prodesh of India or Rakhyine, Rohinga of Myanmar and not like many others.

Amnesty International 

International rights group Amnesty has slated the Sep 29-30, 2012 attacks on minority communities in the lower regions of Bangladesh and called for ensuring citizens' protection and punitive steps against the perpetrators.

In a statement dated Oct 3, the organisation's researcher in Bangladesh, Abbas Faiz, was quoted as saying, "The scale and ferocity of these appalling attacks on ethnic communities have shocked Muslims and non-Muslims alike and the entire civil society in the country."

Religious fanatics, apparently stirred by a Facebook post allegedly defaming the Quran, had attacked a Buddhist locality in Ramu. At least seven Buddhist monasteries, 30 houses and shops were vandalised, looted and torched during the overnight frenzy.

The string of violence continued the following day as similar attacks took place in Chittagong's Patia, and Cox's Bazar's Ukhia and Teknaf upazilas.

"The Bangladeshi authorities must ensure this does not happen again," said Abbas Faiz.

The perpetrators of arson attacks on temples and Buddhist villages in the south of Bangladesh must be brought to justice and steps taken to ensure ethnic minorities were protected, the organisation called.

Amnesty also called upon all political leaders of Bangladesh to publicly condemn such atrocities against the minorities and 'urge their members not to take part in such acts'.

The right organisation also said, "Reports that police failed to ensure protection for minority communities - even though they had received news about imminent attacks – are disturbing, and must be investigated."

The High Court on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 ruled questioning the inactivity of law enforcers and their failure to protect the citizens, and ordered relevant authorities to ensure security to all religious establishments – mosques, churches, pagodas and temples.

The Home Secretary, Inspector General of Police, Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police of Cox's Bazaar district, and the Officer in Charge of Ramu Police Station were asked to reply to the rule within two weeks.

The High Court bench also ordered the probe committee, formed by the government to investigate Ramu mayhem, to submit its report to the court within Oct 17.

"The terms of reference for the investigation, called for by the Home Minister, must be made public and strong measures must be put in place to protect Buddhist, Hindu and all other witnesses who give evidence," Faiz said quoting Chittagong's Deputy Inspector General of Police, who told them that they had launched a probe into allegations that the Officer in Charge of the Ramu police station in Cox's Bazar had neglected his duty in ensuring the safety of minority communities.

"Those identified as responsible for the attack should be brought to justice in adherence to international fair trial standards and all people affected by the violence must be provided with shelter and assistance to rebuild their homes and places of worship," the statement said.

Bangladesh High Commission attacked in Colombo
Buddhist monks on Thursday, October 4, 2012 attacked the Bangladesh High Commission in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, in a backlash against the hate attack by miscreants on Buddhist homes and temples in Cox's Bazaar.

Bangladesh High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Sufiur Rahman confirmed the incident took place around 4:15pm Bangladesh time.

According to him, a group of around 900 protesters , mostly monks, went to the mission to register their protest against the brutalities in Bangladesh in writing. Protesters waiting outside pelted water bottles and brickbats at the commission, breaking a windowpane.

Police rushed to the spot and monks leaders regretted the incident.

Rahman said security has been beefed up around the commission and his residence.

Protests have been going on at the city over the Bangladesh incident and the commission received a written statement condemning the attack on Thursday morning, where a minister joined, said Rahman.

Sri Lanka's Colombo Gazette said the protesters including several Buddhist monks took to the streets to vent their anger over the incident in Bangladesh and threw water bottles and brickbats towards the commission, damaging windows and other property.

The internet newspaper also reported that their government had prior information that some extremist elements may attempt to create tensions in the city.

On Wednesday, Muslim organisations in Colombo condemned the attack on the Buddhist temples in Bangladesh, said the report.


Oct 1, 2012

Nokia to offer 10 to 15 percent discount

Nokia, the Finland based biggest phone maker company of the world, is offering discount prices for boost up of sale.   
Struggling phone maker Nokia has knocked 10-15 percent off the prices of two of its top of the range smartphones, hoping to boost sales before newer models arrive in markets in November.

Nokia has cut the price of the Lumia 800 by around 15 percent and the Lumia 900 by 10 percent in Europe, according to device pricing data compiled by British research firm CCS Insight. Nokia declined to comment.

Earlier this month, Nokia launched Lumia 820 and 920, which many see as crucial for the Finnish company's survival. But the newest models will only go on sale in November, leaving the company's sales team struggling with older smartphone models for over a month.

Nokia had already slashed the price of the Lumia 800 by around 15 percent earlier this month and made smaller cuts for its other Lumia models.

Once the world's biggest mobile phone maker, Nokia fell behind rivals in smartphones and has racked up more than 3 billion euros ($3.86 billion) in operating losses in the last 18 months.

In early 2011, it bet its future on Microsoft's Windows Phone software. Windows accounts for only around 3 percent of global smartphones, while Google's Android platform controls two-thirds of sales and Apple has around a quarter.

Competitive pricing is considered crucial for Nokia to lure back customers, even though pricing does not seem to be an issue for rival Apple. In Belgium, for example, more than 10,000 people have pre-registered for the latest iPhone even before a local price has been set.

Sep 21, 2012

Yunus, the Guru of microcredit



Muhammad Yunus is the proud of Bangladesh. He is also personality of proud of South Asia and the whole of the world. He is mostly known as Dr. Yunus or Professor Yunus in Bangladesh, a South Asian country. Now, his name is echoed with Grameen Bank, a Bank built for poor, made for poor, maintained for poor and worked for poor by him & his initiative.

Mr. Yunus born on 28th June in 1940. He was mainly a university professor in Bangladesh. Though, he is now mostly known as a Bangladeshi banker. He is also known as an economist and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

He previously was a professor of economics at Chittagong University in Bangladesh where he developed the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. He has become mentor for Grameen (Rural) Development in Bangladesh as well as in the world. Microcredit and microfinance are the loans given to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans.

In 2006, Yunus and Grameen received the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts through microcredit to create economic and social development from below". Yunus himself has received several other national and international honors.

In 2012, he was installed Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland, serving in this capacity as the university's titular head. He is also a member of advisory board at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology.  He is the author of Banker to the Poor and two books on Social Business Models and a founding board member of Grameen America and Grameen Foundation. Grameen Intel is just one of hundreds of public and private partnerships now mediated through Youth & Yunus.

In early 2007 Yunus showed interest in launching a political party in Bangladesh named Nagorik Shakti (Citizen Power), but later discarded the plan. He is one of the founding members of Global Elders.

Yunus also serves on the board of directors of the United Nations Foundation, a public charity created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes. The UN Foundation builds and implements public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the UN.

In March 2011, after months of government attack, the Bangladesh government controversially and  fired Yunus from his position at Grameen Bank. The Bangladesh government took the decision even avoiding the people's mandate, criticism, opinion, and even influencing of much talked pro-government Supreme Court of country. The government also tried to show cause before the world and people of Bangladesh citing legal violations and an age limit on his position. Yunus and Grameen Bank are appealing the decision, claiming Yunus' removal was politically motivated.

Professor Yunus was chosen by Wharton School of Business for PBS documentary, as one of 'The 25 Most Influential Business Persons of the Past 25 Years'. In 2006, Time magazine listed him under "60 years of Asian Heroes" as one of the top 12 business leaders. In 2008, in an open online poll, Yunus was voted the 2nd topmost intellectual person in the world on the list of Top 100 Public Intellectuals by Prospect Magazine (UK) and Foreign Policy (United States).


Younus in Brief: 
Born: 28 June 1940 (age 72) at Chittagong,  Bangladesh (A South Asian country).
Nationality: Bangladeshi
Institution: Chittagong University, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Middle Tennessee State University Glasgow, Caledonian University
Field: Microcredit, Welfare economics, Ethics
Contributions: Grameen Bank, Microcredit, Microfinance, Social Business. 
Awards: Independence Day Award (1987), World Food Prize (1994), Nobel Peace Prize (2006), Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009), Congressional Gold Medal (2010).

Sep 19, 2012

Shahrukh Khan, all time world biggest movie star


Shahrukh Khan born on 2nd November 1965, often credited as Shah Rukh Khan and informally referred to as SRK, is one of the greatest Indian film actors. He was born to Muslim parents of Pathan descent in New Delhi, India.His father, Taj Mohammed Khan, was an Indian independence activist from Peshawar, British India.

According to Khan, his paternal grandfather was originally from Afghanistan. His mother, Lateef Fatima, was the adopted daughter of Major General Shah Nawaz Khan of the Janjua Rajput clan, who served in the Indian National Army. Khan's father came to New Delhi from Qissa Khawani Bazaar in Peshawar before the partition of India. 

Regarding his origins, he described himself on Twitter as "i am half hyderabadi (mom) half pathan (Dad) some kashmiri (grandmom)..." His father died from cancer when Khan was 15 years old, and his mother died in 1990 after prolonged illness. Khan was very attached to his parents as a child and describes their early deaths as a turning point in his life and as his biggest motivation for hard work. Khan explained his ideology in life was "... to make movies so damn bloody big...that my parents somewhere sit down on a star and from there also can look at their son and say 'I can see his movies from here better than I can see the Wall of China or anything. We see his movies covering the face of this earth'. Khan has an elder sister named Shehnaz.

Growing up in Rajendra Nagar neighbourhood of Delhi, Khan attended St. Columba's School where he was accomplished in sports, drama, and academics. He won the Sword of Honour, an annual award given to the student who best represents the spirit of the school. Khan later attended the Hansraj College (1985–1988) and earned his Bachelors degree in Economics. When Hansraj College celebrated its 50th anniversary, it gave away 17 shields to its alumni who had excelled in their lives and professions. Khan was one of them. Though he pursued a Masters Degree in Mass Communications at Jamia Millia Islamia, he later opted out to pursue a career in Bollywood. He also attended the National School of Drama in Delhi.

After the death of his mother, Khan moved to Mumbai in 1991. He married Gauri Chibber, a Hindu, in a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony on 25 October 1991. They have two children, son Aryan (b. 1997) and daughter Suhana (b. 2000). According to Khan, while he strongly believes in Allah, he also values his wife's religion. At home, his children follow both religions, with the Qur'an being situated next to the Hindu deities.


Often referred to in the media as""Baadshah of Bollywood"", "King Khan" and "The King of Bollywood", Khan has acted in over 70 Hindi films in genres ranging from romantic dramas to action thrillers. His contributions to the film industry have garnered him numerous achievements including fourteen Filmfare Awards from thirty nominations. 

His eight Filmfare Best Actor Award wins make him the most awarded Bollywood actor of all time in that category, tied only with Dilip Kumar. In 2005, the Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri for his contributions towards Indian cinema.

After graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics, he started his career appearing in theatre and several television serials in the late 1980s and later made his Hindi film debut in 1992 with Deewana. Early in his career he was recognised for his unconventional choice in portraying negative roles in films such as Darr (1993), Baazigar (1993) and Anjaam (1994). 

He later rose to prominence by playing a series of romantic roles in the films Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995). Dil To Pagal Hai (1997) and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998). The commercial success of these films garnered him the tag of "the King of Romance". Khan, subsequently, earned wide critical appreciation for his portrayal of a NASA scientist in Swades (2004), a hockey coach in Chak De! India (2007) and as the titular character in My Name Is Khan (2010). 

Eleven of the films he has acted in have accumulated gross earnings of over  1 billion, making him one of the most successful leading actors of Hindi cinema.

Khan is the co-founder of Dreamz Unlimited, a production company and occupies the position of CEO and co-chairman of the motion picture production and distribution company Red Chillies Entertainment and the animation studio Red Chillies VFX. He is also co-owner of the Indian Premier League cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders. 2007 marked his debut as a television presenter with the Star Plus gaming show Kaun Banega Crorepati.

Khan is often labelled by the Media as "Brand SRK" due to his various brand endorsement and entrepreneurship ventures. He is also a regular stage performer and award ceremonies’ host and has been involved in philanthropic endeavors related to Health care, relief funds and children’s education, for which he was honoured with the UNESCO's Pyramide con Marni award in 2011.

Khan is considered to be one of the biggest film stars in cinematic history, with a fan following claimed to number in the billions; in 2011, the Los Angeles Times called him "the world's biggest movie star."

He has also been regularly featured in the listing of the most powerful names in Indian Cinema and in 2008, Newsweek named him one of the 50 most powerful people in the world. Khan has an estimated net worth of over 25 billion (US $540 million). He has been married to Indian film producer and interior designer, Gauri Khan since 1991, and together they have two children.

Khan studied acting under the mentorship of theatre director Barry John at Delhi's "Theatre Action Group" (TAG). Khan's first starring role was in Lekh Tandon's television series Dil Dariya, but due to production delays, the 1988 television series, Fauji was his television debut. He played the leading role of Commando Abhimanyu Rai in the critically acclaimed show, which earned him mass recognition.

He went on to appear in Aziz Mirza's Circus (1989) and played a minor role in the made-for-television English-language film, In Which Annie Gives it Those Ones (1989). His appearance in these teleserials, led critics to compare his acting style with that of film actor Dilip Kumar. In 1990, Khan shifted base to Mumbai and received his first film offer with Hema Malini's directorial debut Dil Aashna Hai. However, due to production delays, his second film, Deewana (1992), opposite Rishi Kapoor and Divya Bharti released first. The film became a box office hit, and launched his career in Bollywood.Despite portraying a supporting character in the film, he won a Filmfare Best Male Debut Award, the following year.

In 2011, Khan produced and starred in Anubhav Sinha's science fiction superhero film Ra.One, alongside Arjun Rampal and Kareena Kapoor. The film, which follows the story of a London-based videogame designer who creates a villain that escapes the reel world into the real world, was billed as Bollywood's most expensive production. With an estimated budget of 125 crore (US$22.63 million), the film witnessed months of massive campaigning before its theatrical release. Upon release, Ra.One emerged as a box office success, with a gross of  2.4 billion. 

His second release of the year was Don 2, a sequel to the 2006 hit, Don. For the portrayal of the titular character, Khan experimented with a variety of looks, including long unkempt hair and a stubble. In order to prepare for his role, Khan exercised extensively and performed most of the stunts himself. The film was a major success in India and it went on to become the year's highest-grossing Bollywood production abroad with a worldwide gross of more than $ 2.1 billion. Additionally, Don 2 earned him another nomination for Best Actor at the Filmfare ceremony .

Sep 16, 2012

Forbidden City of Beijing now open

The Forbidden City is one of Beijing’s finest attractions. Previously home to emperors and tyrants for some 500 years, and now the humble hangout of legions of tourists sheltering beneath phosphorescent orange hats. 

It’s big enough, sprawling over 720,000 square meters, that you can find spots to enjoy on your own. The Forbidden City is great for wandering. It also hosts an extensive art collection under the charge of the Palace Museum. The collection of imperial artwork and artifacts like ceramics, paintings, calligraphy, spans the Ming and Qing dynasties.

To avoid the crowds, visit on weekdays as early in the day as possible. For a remarkable view of the Forbidden City and surrounding cityscape, climb to the top of the hill in the middle of Jingshan Park, just a few blocks north.

Both the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square across the street can be managed in half a day.