In the debate over the nation’s rising debt, rhetoric trumps reality. In January 2001, the U.S. budget was balanced for the first time in decades and the Congressional Budget Office was forecasting surpluses totaling $5.6 trillion by 2011. A decade later, the national debt is larger, as a percentage of the economy, than at any time in U.S. history except for the period shortly after World War II.
So what happened?
The impact of three policies
on the federal debt
Shown as a percent of GDP
In classic Washington style, neither party wants to take responsibility. “Washington has a spending problem, not a revenue problem,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in April.
“Republicans made the contradictory promises that cutting taxes would lead to higher revenues and would force lower spending,” House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer shot back in a speech later the same month. “They did neither.”
The reality falls somewhere in between. In fact, 75 percent of the members currently serving in Congress voted for at least one — and in most cases more than one — of three policies that contributed to fully one-third of the $12.7 trillion swing from projected surpluses to real debt: President George W. Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, funding for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and President Obama’s 2009 stimulus bill.
A new take on the overlapping priorities that led us to record deficits, and who voted for them.
Roll over for names of the 310 members who voted for these measures that remain in the House
Voted only for wars
(Voted for at least two supplemental appropriations bills to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq during Bush’s last two years in office or Obama’s first two years.)
(Voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the stimulus bill.)
Voted for wars
Voted only for
(Voted for at least one of the two tax-cut measures enacted in 2001 and 2003, known as the Bush tax cuts.)
Voted for wars
and tax cuts
and tax cuts
“Our troops in combat deserve to be sent the resources and the
deserve to succeed
in their mission in
Iraq without strings and
– Michelle Bachmann
(R-Minn.), April 25, 2007
(Was not in office
during tax-cut votes)“What we are simply saying is that rather than take your money and find new ways to spend it for you here in Washington, we want to give it back to the American people.”
– Paul Ryan (R-Wis.),
May 16, 2001
Ron Paul (R-Tex.)
“My commitment to voters is simple: I follow the Constitution and I fight to make government smaller. This committment compels me to vote for all tax cuts and against all spending increases.”
March 30, 2001
Rick Larsen (D-Wash.)
“This legislation is not a cure-all, and our country faces difficult times ahead. But the need for aggressive action is clear to shorten the recession and lessen its impact on the American economy.”
Jan. 28, 2009
Roll over for names of the 86 current senators who voted for these measures
Voted only for wars
(Voted for at least two supplemental appropriations bills to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq during Bush’s last two years in office or in Obama’s first two years.)
(Voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the stimulus bill.)
Voted for wars
Voted only for
(Voted for at least one of the two tax-cut measures enacted in 2001 and 2003, known as the Bush tax cuts.)
Voted for wars
and tax cuts
and tax cuts
“This jolt to the economy will help us recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”
– Bernard Sanders
(I-Vt.), Feb. 13, 2009“This bill is about righting wrongs in the tax code that are so flagrant as to transcend partisan rancor…I am proud to say that I believe that this surplus belongs to the American people.”
– Mitch McConnell
(R-Ky.), May 26, 2001
Jim DeMint (R-S.C.)
“Democrats will attempt to end the Bush tax cuts. Doing so violates the rights of individuals to keep their hard-earned money, and it hurts free enterprise.”
March 1, 1007
Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
“It seemed an appropriate time to return some of that surplus to taxpayers, just as a business would do when that business was doing well.”
May 14, 2003
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this graphic incorrectly attributed a quote to
It took Kishore Biyani almost three months to incorporate Pantaloon Retail; Tulsi Tanti needed a month to float Suzlon Energy; Ramesh Chauhan says it took him ages, and he had to agonise over 50-100 pages of documentation; Kiran Mazumdar Shaw recollects she did it in a “record time” of three months in 1978, an era in which six months was the norm. But come August, entrepreneurs dreaming about walking in their footsteps can float a company in exactly 24 hours, doing everything that’s needed online. At least, that’s the promise the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) is holding out to start-up aspirants across the country.
In a circular issued last Saturday, the ministry outlined several measures including online verification and clearance of the name of the company being incorporated, online submissions of statutory forms, and issuing digital certificates of incorporation. “The simplified process of online incorporation of companies is likely to be implemented with effect from 11th August, 2011,” the circular signed by Assistant Director Monika Gupta said.
“This will spur entrepreneurship and kick start the economy. The amount of time consumed in setting up companies is huge deterrence for the entrepreneurial growth,” says Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairman & Managing Director, Biocon.
It takes an average of 29 days to start a new company in India now, according to the India edition of Doing Business 2011, a report co-produced by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation. Often, the wait is longer.
Serial entrepreneur Mukund Mohan, who floated four businesses in Silicon Valley before moving to India to start three businesses here, says the latter took him 2-3 months each. In contrast, “it took me between 5 hours to 2 days to start my businesses in the Valley,” he says. Adds Vinod Ambavat, partner, Jain Ambavat and Associates, an auditing firm: “It takes over a month to complete this process.” Twelve different procedures need to be completed before a company is incorporated, making India one of the least efficient countries in the world. The World Bank report, which covered a universe of 183 countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, ranked India 165 when it comes to ease of starting a business
Photograph by Gayathri Vuppuluri, My Shot
Llamas, like the one shown here, are a common sight at Machu Picchu. Used as pack animals for centuries by Andean dwellers, the camel relatives were also sources of leather, wool, and meat for the Inca.
Of course RIM is downsizing. The BlackBerry is over.
BlackBerry missed the memo.
Can’t play Angry Birds on it? Kiss that smartphone goodbye.
Besides, BlackBerrys are hardly smartphones. They’re phones that were told they were smart until they got to college and discovered they were incapable of doing basic math. They’re small fish that once dominated the pond, until it was invaded by larger, more competent fish with better features. (In this metaphor, iPhones are Asian carp.)
The BlackBerry’s parent company, RIM (Research in Motion) just shed 11 percent of its workforce.
And I can believe it.
A scant two years ago, I was overjoyed to have a BlackBerry. My friends and I would BBM late into the night. “Ooh, a free message,” we’d say. “This is like texting but better. How great this keyboard is! I feel so futuristic!”
Then iPhone guy arrived. We regarded him as something of an upstart. Sure, he had these mystical things called apps, but so did we! We could get Google Maps to load very slowly and direct us to travel miles out of our way to Ballston because the satellite was malfunctioning. We once downloaded the Yelp app, but it kept causing our BlackBerry to make strange noises and turn purple and actually sweat in frustration, so we decided to stop. And we had a keyboard, preventing us from sending embarrassing texts about midget mechanics. Surely these iPhone things were a passing fad, although they were fun for playing games and booking plane tickets. Try doing that on a BlackBerry!
“Al Gore had a BlackBerry before this iPhone was a twinkle in your eye,” we said, suddenly realizing how uncool we sounded.
Once BlackBerrys were the go-to accessory of the Washington insider. There was a customary chorus of faint clicking on the Metro as we typed Important Messages. “I’ll BBM you,” we said, getting ill-advised tattoos that read “Rollerballs For Lyfe.”
But iPhone guy infiltrated first one office, then the other. It was just so much more efficient, even if we kept mistyping things. And you could play Angry Birds!
It didn’t help that BlackBerry didn’t keep up with the times. “Apps? Who needs apps?” RIM asked. “This phone caters to people who want small screens, limited functionality and a keyboard! There will never be any technology more gripping than a keyboard!” Then Android came along and we were — up a creek.
Having a BlackBerry is something like having a pager. Once it showed that you were a first-adopter. Now it indicates that you’re something of a stegosaurus. We’re trapped on the wrong part of the S-curve.
I don’t have Internet in my home, and trying to use a BlackBerry to find the Internet has made me almost painfully aware of the device’s limitations. It takes a fairly terrible device for you to complain that “I can’t really enjoy YouTube videos, given the limitations of the screen.” YouTube videos are designed to be watched on maybe a three-inch diameter screen with limited contrast, given that they are about as subtle and nuanced as a Mel Gibson diatribe.
Frankly, the BlackBerry is not designed for web-surfing or app-using. Sure, you can download apps, but they have all the delightful functionality of getting your hand caught in an icemaker. And it has the delightful bonus characteristic of falling instantly to pieces whenever you drop it but reassembling fairly quickly, having forgotten all your contacts. Some would call it a piece of — but let’s not get carried away.
It’s gotten so bad that I’ve started pretending that I have an iPhone for social reasons. “It’s one of the new red iPhones,” I say. “It has a keyboard.”
With news of the layoffs, here’s yet another once ubiquitous technology that’s going the way of the dodo. Even the dodo once was hip and cutting edge.
“This dodo is a fabulous, fearless Mauritian bird!” we once said. “All the insiders have them!”
“Can it fly?”
“No.” We swallowed nervously. “But I think Al Gore has one.”
So long, BlackBerry.
FormerSupreme Court judge, Justice Shivaraj V Patil, was on Tuesday appointed the new Lokayukta of Karnataka to succeed Santosh Hegde.
GovernorH R Bhardwaj has cleared the name of Patil, who had earlier served as Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court as well as Acting Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Raj Bhavan sources said.
71-year-old Patil, who hails from Karnataka, replaces Hegde, a former Supreme Court judge who completes his term on August two.
Patil also served as the one-man committee that went into the processes and procedures followed by the Department of Telecommunications in the allocation of licences and spectrum between 2001 and 2009.
NSG commandos with sniffer dogs outside the Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai, during the 26/11 operations
The city is gearing up for an invasion from the National Security Guard (NSG), those ‘Men in Black’ who emerged heroes following the 26/11 carnage in Mumbai. Commandos from the crack outfit are set to storm the city, wielding their deadly weapons, scaling high walls, disposing of bombs, releasing hostages and capturing imaginary terrorists in mock operations which will be conducted over the next four days starting Tuesday.
“This is a first-of-its-kind operation in our state,” said Bhaskar Rao, IGP and nodal officer of the counter-terror wing, facilitating the NSG operation. “The final touches are being put in place.”
The operation, which will be held in-camera, is primarily aimed at gathering first-hand knowledge of the city, which would prove vital in case of a terror attack. Precious momentum and time was lost during the initial stages of the 2008 siege in Mumbai and the NSG hopes to ensure no such lapse in the event of a similar attack.
The NSG was also loath to call the operation a drill as it plans to conduct it on the lines of the 26/11 operation and as close as possible to the real thing. The commandos will also check the preparedness of the city — home to a number of defence establishments, software firms, luxury hotels and a sizable migrant overseas population. At the end of the operation, measures to enhance security in the city will be suggested for implementation.
Stereotypes are stereotypes because they are true? Maybe…Today’s infographic is a collection of data supplied by over a million people who were surveyed about their personal preferences. You’ll catch a few stereotypes in this information, don’t complain too much.
The ‘THAY’ stands for Teach Hunch About You. Hunch.com is a website that asks questions to its users, then uses the personalized information to recommend songs, movies, restaurants, et cetera that would interest you. They’ve taken some of their question data and plopped it in infographic form so you can devour the statistics.
One of the more surprising tid-bits of information I ran across was that it is almost a 50/50 split between people who swat flies and those who let them fly out a window. I always thought people killed flies cold-blooded. I had no clue that there is a massive population of fly philanthropists. It is also quite odd they would compare the death penalty to this, but it’s true, those who kill flies somewhat support killing people.
I also noticed it is a pretty close race between those that take off a bandaid fast to those that slowly peel it off. I myself, alway rip it off as fast as possible, but contrary to their data I have never broken a bone. [Via]
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Express Reform for Speedy Deliveries The government looks to enhance the booming, yet disorganized, express delivery industry By LIU XINLIAN
OVERNIGHT DELIVERY: Qingdao Airport of Shandong Province has been included in a new cargo air route run by China Postal Airlines, enabling local EMS mail to arrive at any major city across China the next morning (CUI PENGSEN)
With the rapid development of the express delivery industry in recent years, Chinese urbanites’ impressions of deliverymen have been transformed. Gone are the typical images of dark green uniformed men toting large boxes, replaced now by young, casually dressed couriers on electric bikes laden with packages.
While express services become a daily necessity with the popularity of online-shopping, the country is gearing up to consolidate the fragmented and crowded industry. China will strive to support mergers and acquisitions between delivery companies by offering policy incentives in taxation and land use, said a guideline of the State Post Bureau of China (SPB) posted on the website on June 17. More express firms will be nurtured into larger ones capable of competing against international delivery service giants like UPS and DHL and with annual revenues exceeding 10 billion yuan ($1.54 billion), said the guideline.
Although China’s express delivery industry has seen rapid growth since 2005, it is far from strong compared with advanced countries, like the United States and Japan, regarding service quality, service capacity and internal management, said Ma Junsheng, Director General of the SPB.
In 2010, the number of express deliveries in China totaled 2.3 billion, a rise of 26 percent from 2009, with revenues hitting 57.5 billion yuan ($8.85 billion), a year-on-year increase of 20 percent, according to figures from the SPB.
At the end of 2010, the industry had 542,000 employees, up 35 percent from the previous year, said the SPB. The express delivery network has covered 90 percent of municipalities and provincial capitals and 80 percent of provincial-administered cities.
Express firms are mushrooming across the country as the industry picks up momentum thanks to a significant e-commerce boom.
Online retail sales almost doubled in 2010 from a year earlier to 513.1 billion yuan ($78.9 billion), said a report released by China e-Business Research Center, headquartered in Hangzhou, capital of southeast China’s Zhejiang Province.
The figure provided by China Express Association showed that the mail generated by e-commerce accounted for nearly half of the country’s daily express delivery last year.
After the Shanghai-based Yuantong Express became the delivery contractor for China’s largest C2C marketplace Taobao.com in 2006, its daily mail delivery increased from 2,000 to 280,000 over the course of three years, said Xu Jianguo, former vice president of Yuantong Express, one of China’s top four private express carriers.
The express delivery industry in China is composed mainly of foreign express giants as well as the SPB’s EMS (Worldwide Express Mail Service) and locally funded private express companies. Currently, domestic companies take up close to 70 percent of the mainland’s express delivery market, while the four international express giants, including FedEx and UPS of the United States, DHL of Germany and TNT of the Netherlands, dominate 80 percent of the express delivery service between China and the rest of the world.
The lack of delivery services and delays last winter are still fresh in the minds of most online shoppers. Poor weather and a migration of couriers rushing home for the Spring Festival (February 2-8) left express firms in desperate need of personnel to make deliveries.
This setback showed the industry’s incapacity compared with the booming e-commerce, said Xu Yong, President of Cecss.com, an express consulting website based in Shanghai.
BS Reporter in Mumbai
Mumbai municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar’s proposal to charge additional premium on construction of certain sections in a building, could push up property prices in the city by 20 to 30 per cent, say property developers.
Consultants, however, raise doubts about the practicality of such price rise.
Kumar has put forth a proposal before the state government that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation charge a premium of 100 per cent of the ready reckoner rates on construction of lobbies, terraces and balconies compared to the 25 per cent charged earlier.
Ready reckoner rates are the rate at which the government calculates the market value of the property. Though these specified areas are free from calculation of floor space index (FSI) — permissible construction allowed on a given plot of land — according to BMC, developers sell terraces, balconies and decks to buyers at market rates.
“I want to do something meaningful with my life.
“I have big dreams but no time to develop or implement them.
“I hate my job but can’t quit because I need the money.
“I work hard and do good work but no matter how hard I work I just can’t seem to get ahead financially.
“I love my family and friends.
“I have become very sensitive about everything.
“I have this sense of urgency
Surprisingly, the usually outspoken Singh appeared subdued, while Aiyar shook the floor with raised decibel levels to Sardesai’s several comments on the Congress party’s state of affairs.
All three were a part of a panel discussion at the release of journalist Rasheed Kidwai’s second book, 24, Akbar Road on Sunday evening.
To Sardesai’s comment that the Congress party was feudalistic, a member in the audience asked Sardesai about feudalism in his own channel, CNN-IBN.
“Why are you talking about feudalism, when the CNN-IBN is totally run by Rajdeep Sardesai and his wife, Sagarika Ghose?” the woman asked right after Sardesai said that the Congress party was “monarchical.”
Sardesai opened his speech by saying that it was ironical that the book was released on July 24.
“It was on this day that 20 years ago Manmohan Singh [ Images ] introduced his economic reforms under Narasimha Rao. There is not even a single Samadhi for Rao, even though without him, Manmohan Singh could not have introduced his economic reforms,” Sardesai said while commenting on the book.
“Even in the case of Sitaram Kesri, it was a bloodleass coup. That reflects the dilemma of Congress today. It is a source of major strength and weakness for the party that it is umblically tied to one family. The Congress was formed as a democratic party and it fought independence for us, but today it is a monarchical party,” Sardesai added.
Rather subdued, Singh took the mike and said, “First of all, economic liberalisation started during Rajiv Gandhi’s [ Images ] time. Yes, it got momentum under Rao. It was on Rao’s family’s insistence that he was buried in Hyderabad, not because Congress did not want to. And how is the Bahujan Samaj Party not feudalistic?”
On Sardesai’s comment that it was easy to write on Bharatiya Janata Party [ Images ] than Congress because the “BJP lives and dies by the media”, Digvijay Singh said, “We envy the strength the BJP enjoys in the media.”
When Sardesai reiterated that one needed connections in the Congress to rise, Aiyar said, “The two of us (Aiyar and Singh) are still sitting here, aren’t we?”
To Sardesai’s comments on Rao, Aiyar said, “It was under Rao that the Babri Masjid [ Images ] was demolished. It was the biggest disaster in our country. During my Ram-Rahim Yatra, Rao had told me that he had a problem with my definition of secularism. When I asked him what it was, he had told me that I was forgetting that India [ Images ] was a Hindu nation. That was why there was a rift between the Congress party and Rao.”
Sardesai put a follow up question to Aiyar, when he asked how the Congress is going to deal with economic policies, Aiyar said, “I am not for a policy which is pro-India, but anti-Indians.”
Sardesai compared present day Congress to the Mughal Empire.
“You are a party in decline. Will you accept that and reinvent yourself? Barring for the sympathy votes in 1984, see your vote percentage in Uttar Pradesh [ Images ], Bihar and other states. Isn’t it true that you are like the latter part of the Mughal Empire? The Mughals survived in their latter phase by forming alliances. That is what the Congress is doing too,” Sardesai said.
When Sardesai pointed out that Mamta Bannerjee won in West Bengal [ Images ] after she left the Congress, Singh said, “She won the elections because of the Congress’s alliance.”
Singh was at his wittiest best, when he opened his remarks on the book by saying, “To be frank, I have read neither this book nor Kidwai’s first book,” much to laughter from the crowd.
“I have only known one official address of the Congress, which is 24, Akbar Road. There is a syndrome called the MKH syndrome at 24, Akbar Road Mera Kya Hoga syndrome. Here, sometimes you succeed, sometimes you don’t!” Singh said.
When asked to share his memories of 24, Akbar Road, Aiyar said, “When I joined the place first, I was given a room next to the ladies’ toilet!”
On Sunday, Rasheed Kidwai released his second book. Titled 24, Akbar Road, the book is presented as a short history of the people behind “the fall and rise of the Congress”.
Blue chip stocks are those stocks which have been known to be the stocks that have following characteristics:
- Leaders in their individual industry segments
- Large capitalisation
- Stability of earnings
- Sustained growth
- Regular dividend payouts
- Good governance model
- Widely held
Some of the blue chips which can be considered by retail investors are as follows:
- Tata Consultancy Services
- Bharti Airtel Limited
- Coal India
- HDFC Bank
- Tata Motors
- L & T
- NTPC Ltd
- Hindalco Industries Ltd
- Axis Bank
“If you take a deep breath and look around, ‘Look what’s
happening to me!’ can become ‘Look what’s happening!’ And
what’s happening? The incredible drama of life is happening.
And we’re in it!” — Sylvia Boorstein
Rahul Gandhi gets ‘blinking eyes’ image like Govind Tiwari
Govind Tiwari, the young man from Allahabad or the chhora Ganga kinaare waala, is all set to redefine the political scene in Uttar Pradesh. Govind, who became an international sensation thanks to his creative blog, has inspired Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to get a ‘blinking eyes’ snap done for himself. Govind had captivated the whole world a couple of days back thanks to his animated snap.
Apparently Rahul Gandhi decided to do so to project an image himself as a common man who was no different from Govind Tiwari, just another common man from Uttar Pradesh:
Experts believe that with Rahul Gandhi constantly blinking his eyes like Govind Tiwari, other Congress leaders will have no choice but to follow suit:
With every Congressman blinking his eyes, this surely is going to get some reactions from the BSP chief Mayawati while BJP would be left wondering how to react and take a position on this issue:
As the political eye blinking will get more intense and competitive before the 2012 assembly elections, the leading journalists of India will have no option but to analyze the whole issue:
However, far from the madding crowd, another Tiwari (and his friend) will try their best to imitate Govind Tiwari, but would get only partial success:
Faking News ! LOL !
Mint Infographic: Canadian Consumers — How Does The Average Canadian Household Spend Its Earnings?Mint
Everything ElseWhat’s Trending Motion Graphic: Controversial All-Star Game in Arizona Means Big Bucks for StateWhat’s Trending
What’s Trending Motion Graphic: The Tour De France Requires a lot of Heart (Literally)What’s Trending
Stop the Shouting. No human being responds well to someone shouting “Remove all laptops! Take out all liquids, aerosols, and gels! Remove all items from your pockets, that means ALL items!” at them at 6 AM–or any other time of day. Imagine walking into a Toyota dealership to find a uniformed officer there yelling, “If you want a Camry get in the left line; if you have credit question go to the right!” The best way for TSA to improve customer service would be to start treating people like customers instead of animals. They should establish a “no yelling or you’re fired” rule. This alone would transform the atmosphere around the screening areas. And people might actually pay attention.
Lollipops. Give lollipops to kids after they go through a screening. It would immediately signal customer appreciation, sensitivity, and basic humanity.
Advanced Courtesy Training. TSA agents rarely say thank you, they bark orders at you, and they generally treat you like an idiot because you aren’t 100% proficient at a procedure that they perform countless times a day. TSA should conduct extensive staff training on the language and habits of basic courtesy.
Usable Comment Cards. Agents should be required to greet customers with their first name. “Hi, I’m Ann, and I’ll be searching your bag.” When finished, the agent should hand the passenger a zen-simple comment card that says “Ann” with numbers 1-10 underneath so that you can circle a score and drop it immediately into a comment box. If you want customers to believe you care about their feedback, prove it: Make it super-simple for them to tell you what they think.
A Context of Friendliness. Shifting the context of customer-interfacing operations from one of intimidation to one of friendliness does not mean ceding the power necessary to keep airports secure. Using the comment card feedback, for example, each day TSA could place a large poster at the entrance to the security area with a photo of the agent voted friendliest the previous day, with a headline, “Yesterday’s Most Courteous Agent, According to You.” Staff could be trained to utter a simple, “Welcome,” when you enter the line. Bins could be ordered in bright saturated colors, instead of Big Brother gray. Hell, maybe they could even have “Hi!” written on them.
Simple Equipment Innovations. A TSA agent in Boston designed an apparatus that sends empty plastic bins from the end of the line along a sloping, roller-lined rack and feeds them back onto the conveyor belt, thereby placing the bins at your fingertips as you move along the conveyor. You can grab bins as you need them instead of lugging two or three by your fingernails from the start of the line. The innovation eliminates human labor involved in endlessly transferring bins from the end of the line to the front. The machine is ingenious. The agent had it fabricated with his own money. Yet the manager told me the Feds want it taken down because they didn’t design it. They should do the opposite. They should order one for every TSA line in America. The labor savings and time savings would pay for equipment in a month. The innovation would demonstrate care and concern to the general public, and would make everything easier and faster.
Magic Bin and 1,000th Passenger Programs. Put a star on the bottom of every 100th bin. The customer who gets that bin wins a voucher for a refreshing beverage at one of the airport concessions. The 1,000th passenger each day gets a voucher for a relaxing 15-minute massage at one of those airport mini-spas. Signs in the queue could alert customers to the programs, which would alter the spirit of the operations area. These two programs would create substantial positive word-of-mouth advertising. People would start saying, “You wouldn’t believe what happened to me in the TSA line the other day…” and it wouldn’t be that they got strip-searched.
Relaxing Music. Security is the most stressful part of the travel experience. Acknowledge that and reduce the stress by playing spa music in the TSA areas.
Family Assistance. Families traveling with strollers and car seats and formula bags have a tough time. Station a family assistant in the queue area to help families get all their stuff through the lines.
Value Proposition Messages. Long lines are an advertiser’s dream. TSA should put up advertising boards touting their value: “278 flights delivered safely yesterday from this station” or “6,887 passengers delivered to their destinations without incident yesterday from this station.”
Late Program. Eliminate stressed-out passengers from the line by offering to put people at the front of the line for a $35 fee if they are at risk of missing their flights.
I must compliment the Indian CISF engaged at the Airports. They seem to have received training in courtesy and are quite friendly.
To-date, the Harry Potter movie franchise has generated more than $6 billion in combined worldwide box office sales. Think that’s a lot? Well, it doesn’t include book sales, product licensing or any of the brand’s myriad of other revenues.
The Potter powerhouse has steamed ahead at full throttle since the first book published in the U.K. in 1997 (in the U.S. in 1998), due in large part to its marketing strategy. So, for small-business owners, what can they learn from this unbelievable success when it comes to their own marketing?
While most small businesses won’t achieve the astronomical level of success that the Harry Potter brand has, owners should start by providing a quality product or service that far exceeds customer expectations as the boy wizard does. No one knows that better than marketing communications expert Susan Gunelius, author of Harry Potter: The Story of a Global Business Phenomenon (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008). Here are three Harry Potter-inspired tips from Gunelius that small-business owners can apply to their own marketing plans:
1. Tug at their heart strings. Want your brand to be a phenomenon like boy wizard? Then creating a consistent emotional attachment with customers will be necessary. To do this, Gunelius suggests delivering on the “3 S’s” of customer loyalty: Creating feelings of stability, sustainability and security.
“Without that kind of emotional involvement, your success will peak long before the phenomenon status comes into view,” she says.
2. Get ’em talking. Once you get those first few customers engaged, the next step is to get them telling all their friends about your brand. How many people first learned about Harry Potter from friends and family members? We can only speculate but assume the numbers are mind-boggling.
Consider using social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to get the conversations started and begin building buzz online about your brand. “Fans always wanted more of the Harry Potter brand, and the Internet became a place where the Harry Potter community could socialize, network and experience the brand in their own ways,” she says.
3. Keep them hungry. Always leave customers wanting more of your product or service. Gunelius says business owners can create cliffhangers like Harry Potter did by leaking pieces of information and holding promotional events and contests around the next product to launch.
After that, it’s all about damage control. “Once customers become loyal to a brand and develop an emotional connection to it, it’s critical that nothing is done to damage the brand or betray consumers’ loyalties to it,” Gunelius says.
Yeddyurrappa, BJP’s headache for sometime now is fast turning out to be its Achilles’ heel. The recent developments in Karnataka not only throw serious questions on the quality of the first BJP ministry down South but also threaten to compromise the party’s credibility at the national level. The party has gambled too much on a chief minister with too many skeletons in the cupboard and dubious records at governance; it would find it difficult to wriggle out now.
The dilemma shows. The party is yet to come out with a proper response to Lokayukta Santosh Hegde’s allegation that a senior BJP leader urged him to drop Yeddyurappa’s name from the report on the Bellary mining scam. It was silent when the chief minister invited his principal political opponent and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy to a ‘truth test’ before Lord Manjunathaswamy. As the chief minister keeps hopping from one embarrassment to the other, the party’s halo of self-righteousness keeps slipping. Its grandstanding on issues like corruption also looks like a vacuous game of moral double standards.
The mining scam was expected to blow up on the party’s face at some point. It is not possible that it was not aware of the ground realities in Karnataka. It was either trying to bluff its way through or was brow-beaten by Yeddyurappa to fall in line. In both cases, it ends up looking miserable.
The Lokayukta’s report, if what’s coming out in the media is true, is indeed damning. It leaves the BJP with no escape route. The size of the scam is big – Rs 1,827 crore in just 14 months – and it involves not only Yeddyurappa but also four of his cabinet ministers. What makes matters worse is the chief minister holds the mining portfolio. The report says he is charged on two counts. One of the charges is specific: dues of nearly Rs 118 crore, owed by a private mining firm, were waived without any justification. The other one has to do with sale of land by the firm owned by his son and son-in-law to a mining company at 20 times the market rate.
Tourism Minister Janaradhana Reddy and BJP MLA Anand Singh, the report says, turned Bellary’s mining zone into a major hub off illegal iron ore export. The racket thrived on circumvention of all permit and licensing rules.
The mining scandal, thus, threatens to engulf the whole of the BJP in the state. That former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy also figures in the report is no solace to the party. It has to protect its own credibility for its political future in the state.
The predicament of the national leadership is unique. It has to swim or sink with Yeddyurappa. The chief minister carries the support of a good number of MLAs with him and he has not shown the inclination to buckle under pressure from the top. During the serious debate over leadership change in the state a few months ago, he had virtually resorted to a show of strength. The national leadership had to appease him by not replacing him.
If it fails to replace him immediately, it runs the risk of being called hypocritical. The BJP has been relentless in its attack on the Congress and the UPA over the issue of corruption. It has been aggressive in taking the moral high ground on the issue. The Karnataka affairs threaten to expose its ambiguity.
The party has been dodging the issue for a long time. It can escape no longer because the implication of the developments in Karnataka is going to be huge politically. The Lokayukta’s report is likely to trigger immediate reaction from the Opposition. That the Congress is waiting to pounce on the opportunity was evident on Wednesday when the party’s spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed blasted the BJP leadership for remaining mum on Hegde’s allegation against Yeddyurappa. The political attack is only going to be worse in the coming days.
It’s a choice the BJP has to make now.
Q:Why does executive coaching work?
A: Executive coaching works when all the stars are aligned. And when it does work, organizations will see a transformational change in their executive’s mindset and behavior. Executive coaching is not a quick fix, however. An executive cannot be sent to a one-day training program and expect a transformation. Rather, executive coaching is a customized, interactive process that is conducted over the course of a few months until the mindset and behavior changes are ingrained.
There are four key components to executive coaching that garner transformational change:
- An effective coach.
- Executive buy-in.
- Organizational buy-in.
- A comprehensive coaching plan.
In real estate the mantra is location, location, location. The critical aspect of coaching is rapport, rapport, rapport. An executive coach needs many competencies, but without good rapport between the coach and the executive, no amount of experience, education or certification will cause a transformation of the executive’s mindset and behavior. It is crucial that the executive trusts the coach and feels comfortable with the level of the coach’s in-depth probing. A contract for coaching should not be signed until both parties feel that connection.
A good executive coach will be the catalyst for the process by engaging with the executive to achieve the following:
- Increased self-awareness. The executive becomes fully aware of his/her strengths, development areas and how others perceive them.
- Understanding of inner drive. The executive explores his/her values, goals, ambitions and hot buttons and the legacy he or she wishes to leave.
- Recognition of the relationship between behaviors and inner drive. The executive understands what drives his/her behaviors and how behaviors affect the achievement of personal and organizational goals.
- Skill development. The executive learns to choose behaviors rather than react to situations.
- Ownership. The executive becomes independent of the coach and situational issues and accepts responsibility to use new ingrained behaviors for the betterment of achieving personal and organizational goals.
- Establishment of a trusted feedback network. The executive sets up a network of trusted advisors to gain independent observations that serve to inoculate against “CEO disease,” or a lack of self-awareness and honest feedback.
If a prospective coach offers to jump in and fix the problem without exploring that connection, run, don’t walk, to another coach. Use the following competencies checklist to assess a coach:
- Knowledge of the coaching process.
- Expertise in organization and development.
- Business savvy.
- Ability to guide the exploration process and stay in control.
- Ability to identify the issues by being curious, using probing questions and analyzing any underlying agendas or contributing situations.
- Ability to use positive reinforcement to encourage change initiatives.
- Ability to use adult learning principles to transfer knowledge and skills.
- Ability to foster independence.
Every situation requires different competencies. No one package of education, certification, experience or interpersonal skills will be right for every coaching endeavor. An executive who is dysfunctional may need a coach with psychotherapy credentials, but another situation will call for a coach with in-depth business experience. Select a coach with the competencies that fit the particular coaching situation.
Executives scoring low on emotional intelligence tests are not good candidates for coaching. For behavior change to take place, the executive must be open to feedback. Some defensiveness is to be expected, and a good coach can overcome this response in most candidates. Paranoia, extreme anger or other psychological disturbances, however, are signs that executive coaching will not work.
Trust in the coach and the organization is essential. The executive must see the coach as a competent, trusted advisor. To be open and honest, the executive also must trust that what is communicated during the coaching process is confidential and will not be shared with the organization.
In addition, the executive must be willing to commit to the process. Areas of commitment include setting aside time for meetings without cancellation, working on assignments (taking assessments, reading material, role playing, practicing behaviors), being forthright with the coach and communicating any organizational changes or feedback that may influence the coaching process. Commitment includes meshing personal goals with organizational goals.
Organization buy-in is more than paying the coach’s invoices. It starts with an honest assessment of the following questions:
- Why should this executive receive coaching?
- Is the coach a trusted advisor?
- What two or three goals should be set for executive improvement?
- How much time will be committed to the process?
- What measurements will confirm executive improvement?
- Is the organization open to feedback concerning other factors that might be contributing to the executive’s dysfunction?
- What information will be shared with the coach?
- Will the organization honor the confidentiality of the process? This is very important.
Comprehensive Coaching Plan
Coaching without a plan is like choosing to drive on a random road without a map. If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there? A coaching plan can support the communication and understanding that is needed among the organization, coach and executive. In addition, an effective coaching arrangement requires a customized agreement for each individual coaching situation—one that can be amended to address issues as they arise. The following are considerations that should be addressed in a typical coaching plan:
- To ensure rapport between the coach and executive, develop a written confidentiality agreement that assures anonymity for executives and other contributors of information. Ensure that the confidentiality agreement has an escape clause for any unethical, illegal or harassment/discrimination information that may need to be reported.
- To ensure communication of progress, develop a written agreement that spells out initial goals, a timeline, fees and invoicing procedures. Appoint a person to receive summary updates and timeframes, and include a clause that notes that the executive will receive a copy of all summary information to maintain the trusting relationship.
- Require advance approval of all assessments and observations, and state that summary documentation is to be provided to the organization.
- List what measurements will be used to assess the executive’s improvement, and determine under what circumstances the contract would need to be amended.
- State what organization documents can be shared during the coaching process, and ask for a confidentiality agreement, if necessary.
- Include a plan for weaning the executive from the coaching process, and develop a process for future evaluations.
Not every executive is coachable, but those who deserve to succeed, which they can do by mapping out a strategy that emphasizes coaching competence, executive and organizational buy-in and a coaching plan that maps out what the executive and coach are to achieve and how they are to achieve it. The effort put forth to build this plan will yield positive results for the executive and the organization.
Parcel consultants, many of whom are former FedEx, UPS, and DHL Express executives, have built a cottage industry using their knowledge to guide shipper customers through the often-byzantine world of parcel contract negotiations. For years, FedEx, UPS, and, when it had a U.S. presence, DHL, co-existed with consultants in a reasonably amicable manner. However, the carriers began chafing at the consultants’ growing role in negotiating lower rates on their customers’ behalf that would impact the carriers’ bottom lines.
At an industry conference in late 2009, UPS and FedEx executives went public with their intent to minimize their dealings with consultants. In separate internal policy memos the following spring, they codified that intent, essentially forcing shippers to negotiate directly with them or risk having their contracts canceled and all the pricing benefits associated with the contract eliminated.
- Press Communique
- Vice President Releases Autobiography of Shri Asghar Ali Engineer
- ! Three-Day 28th All India Police Radio Officers Conference Gets Underway
- Home Secretary Leaving for Thimphu Tomorrow to attend SAARC Meet
- MHA Statement on Appointment of SIT Member
- Sports Minister Announces Demerger of National Institute of Sports, Patiala From Sports Authority of India
- Youth Parliament Session and prize distribution to Navodaya Vidyalayas
- India Signs Loan Agreement with ADB Worth US$ 315 Million for Karnataka State Highway Improv! ement Project
- Anand Sharma Discusses Manufacturing Policy with Jayanti Natrajan
- Protected Monuments in Orissa
- Historical Monuments
- All-India Consumer Price Index Numbers for Agricultural and Rural Labourers on Base 1986-87=100 for June, 2011
- Commodity-Wise Freight Revenue by Railways goes up by 10.68 per cent during April-June 2011
- Release of ‘Air House’ Coffee-Table Book
- Project ‘SANGAM’ for Defence Pensioners Launched
- 1st Training Course for National Participants launched at IIIDEM over 40 Master Trainers being trained for training of Booth Level Officers
- Electronic Voting Machines- Field trial of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system in five locations in the country
- States Asked to Get Ready for the Implementation of Food Security
- Mukul Wasnik, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Inaugurated Job Fest for Differently Abled Persons
- The Ministry of Minority Affairs Receives over 200 Recommended Proposals under its Free Coaching and Allied Scheme For 2011-12
- DR. C.P. Joshi Releases Natio! nal Register and National Transport Portal
Almost one-third of the money that is invested abroad as outbound investment have been in tax havens.
Over 80 companies invested in countries like Mauritius, British Virgin Islands and Cyprus — popularly known for their liberal taxation regimes, where usually not many questions are asked about investments to and from these markets.
Investments by Indian companies in overseas markets were over $5 billion in June, according to a Reserve Bank of India release on overseas direct investment, which the central bank has put in public domain for the first time. However, much of these outflows ($3.9 billion) are in the form of guaranteed issues.
Outflows worth $600 million are in equities and $900 million is in the form of debt. Most of the investments are in wholly-owned subsidiaries and joint ventures. Mundra Port was the highest investee in the overseas market, with a $2.2-billion investment as credit guarantee in Australia, followed by Biocon which made a $350-million investment in its Malaysian subsidiary and Sun Pharma’s $300-million investment in British Virgin Islands.
Put simply, a tax haven is a foreign country that has unique offerings for investors, the primary one being relatively low tax rates in comparison to other countries.
Jigar Saiya, partner at MZS & Associates, said: “Countries like Mauritius have an exemption of capital gains tax. In India, a company has to pay 30% on the operating income while in Mauritius it is 3%.” Notably, Mauritius accounts for 60% of equity investments by Indian companies. Tax experts say countries such as British Virgin Islands are used by companies to save on tax in the US, where a company might have a base
Indian business schools will together attempt at changing the course curriculum last tweaked by some of them in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial meltdown. Driving the change this time will be corporate needs in emerging markets and not just economic compulsions. This is the first time that B-Schools will jointly brainstorm on curriculum.
A few institutes including the IIMs introduced subjects like ethics and social-cultural environment two years ago when MBA education was under fire for causing the sub-prime crisis and later failing to contain the global recession. Now companies picking up grads from campuses are increasingly seeking on-field experience, sending institutes into a huddle for a long-term revamp plan.
Some 65 representatives from vario US 30 B-Schools (including six IIMs) and some companies will meet at a conference on Friday to kick off what is termed as a process to decide the road ahead for management education in India. Roadmap that emerges from the conference will be shared with Indian B-Schools to help them reformulate their curricula,” says IIM-A faculty Vijaya Sherry Chand who is a member of the conference’s organising committee.
Man Dressed As Stormtrooper Is Walking Across Australia For CharityBy July 18, 2011on
photos via Getty Images
Australian Jacob French is walking across Australia while wearing Star Wars stormtrooper armor. He’s traversing the 2,400 or so miles between Perth and Sydney to raise money for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, a charity focused on improving the lives of sick children. French is making quite a few friends along the way, including the local authorities (see the staged photo below).
photo via Jacob French
The United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday adopted a resolution on happiness, saying that this is critical to advance economic growth and social progress.
Calling the “pursuit of happiness” a “fundamental human goal,” the resolution recognized that it was a universal goal, which is in the spirit of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which are the internationally agreed on developmental goals.
The resolution called on a “balanced approach” to economic growth that can lead to sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and well-being of the planet.
It also invited the world body to “pursue the elaboration of additional measures that better capture the importance of the pursuit of happiness and well-being in development with a view to guiding public policies.”
Lhatu Wangchuk, Bhutan’s ambassador to the UN, whose country was a co-sponsor of the resolution, said it was “inspired by the belief that we need to begin discussing a topic whose moment has come, at the United Nations.”
“The draft resolution reflects this important spirit and invites them to elaborate additional measures that better capture happiness and wellbeing with a view to guide their public policies, ” said Wangchuk.
He also said that Bhutun has offered to convene a panel discussion on the theme of happiness and wellbeing at the next session of the General Assembly, which will be held in September.
- Vice Chairman, Ndma Calls for Special Focus on Reproductive Health During Disasters
- IES/ISS Exam 2010 Results Announced
- Special Drive to Fill up Vacant Posts Of SCs/STs/OBCs/PWDs
- Shri R.S. Gujral appointed Finance Secretary
- Informal East Asia Summit (East) Education Ministers Meeting
- Shri V. Kishore Chandra Deo assumes charge of office as Minister of Panchayati Raj
- Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh Took Over as Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences
- India and US Towork on Frontline Areas for Focused Collaborative Research: Ashwani! Kumar
- India Fully Committed to Combat Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism: FM
- 31 Proposals of FDI Amounting to ` 3844.70 Crore Approved
- US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Calls on Pranab Mukherjee; Both Leaders Decide to Further Strengthen India US Strategic and Economic Partnership
- Auction for sale (Re-issue) of ‘8.07 per cent Government Stock, 2017,’ auction for sale (Re-issue) of ‘8.08 per cent Government Stock, 2022’ and Auction for sale (Re-issue) of ‘8.28 per cent Government Stock, 2027
- Manuscript Resou! rce and Conservation Centres
- Ancient Sites in Eran
- Science Cities
- Foodgrain Production Estimated at 241.56 MT
- India Calls for Expanding Cooperation with the USA in Renewable Energy
- Indo-US Dialogue on climate change to continue at Scientific, Negotiators and Ministerial Level
- Shri Azad Launches Mass Screening Camps for Diabetes and Hypertension in Delhi Slums
- Job Fest for the Differently Abled Inaugurate Tomorrow
- Eight New Pilots to be Taken up to Develop Smart Grid in the Country
- Waiver of approval of Central Government for payment of remuneration to professional managerial person by companies having no profits or inadequate profits
- Dr. C.P. Joshi to Inaugurate National Register and National Transport Portal tomorrow
Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh is known for his penchant for making drastic statements. His readiness to wade into tricky situations is seen as a costly addiction as it often leaves the party red faced. Instances of Singh retracting his statements and the party distancing itself from them are innumerable.
Rediff.com takes a look at some of the remarks made by the Congress leader that have raised quite a storm in political circles, the most recent one being on the Mumbai’s triple blasts.
Incorrect: Could you please repeat what you said again?
Correct: Could you please repeat what you said?
The very word ‘repeat’ means to say something again. Similarly the word return means to give back. Therefore these words need to be used singly and not with other qualifying words, as that makes the phrase redundant
The president of the Greenleaf Center, Larry Spears, has identified ten characteristics of servant leaders. Having been immersed in all things Potter in my house for the last ten years, it seems to me that Harry embodies all or most of them. Here they are:
- Commitment to people’s growth
- Building community
As you watch Harry Potter in his last movie, look for those characteristics of a servant leader. My guess is you’ll see them. Perhaps those qualities are one reason the books and movies have been such a phenomenon. People want to be around and be led by people who embody those traits. Maybe we see in Harry what we hope or would like to see in ourselves. Maybe the magic was not so much in the wand and the spells as in the way Harry led others. If that’s the case, all of us muggles may actually have a shot at being leaders who make a difference. It just comes down to our motivation and how we act.
What do you think?
In 2011, India’s Foreign Exchange Reserve stands at $315.72 billion, but 20 years ago, in 1991, the foreign exchange reserves were barely a billion dollars and FDI was almost non-existent.
In 1991, when Manmohan Singh became the finance minister in the PV Narasimha Rao-led Congress government, the country was close to bankruptcy and had mortgaged its gold to pay for loan installments.
India’s fiscal deficit in 1991 was close to 8.5 per cent of GDP and the balance of payments deficit was huge.
The Government had to choose between continuing with its populist socialist economic structure or pursuing reforms at the cost of public anger. The then prime minister PV Narasimha Rao and finance minister Manmohan Singh chose the second route.
It’s been 20 years since Manmohan Singh opened up Indian economy and freed up Indian entrepreneurship.
“India is on the move again, we shall make the future happen. As the poet say sarfroshi ki tamana ab hamari dil mien hai dekhna hai zor kitna bazuaii katil mien hai (We are ready for sacrifice, let’s see how much hardship we can endure),” Singh had said while presenting his Union Budget in 1991 that signalled the beginning of economic reforms.
CNN-IBN talked to people who worked with economist Manmohan Singh and those who watched the two decade journey of India.
Expressing his views on 1991 Budget, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia said:
– Manmohan Singh quoted Victor Hugo stating that the idea of India as a country that is ready to take off has come. That set the tone of the budget
– It was time to embark on a broad range of issues
– It was not just a budget but a signal that we are going to do things differently from what we have been doing so far
– The focus of the budget was to achieve higher growth rate
– In the 90s India’s growth rate was 5.6 per cent on an average but now for the past five years we have been averaging a growth rate of 8.2 per cent – that has been a big achievement
– India is the fastest growing country after China
What did not work:
– Less success in making growth more inclusive
– 50 per cent of the population is dependent on agriculture and in the last 10 years agriculture growth rate has gone up from 2 per cent to 3 per cent but it should have reached 4 per cent
– Education and health indicators are also lagging behind for rapid and sustainable growth
– Could have done better in health and education sectors
– We managed the balance of payment without import control
– There was a lot of apprehension, in fact 1991 we were faced with a balance of payment crisis but we managed the macro economic situation
– In the past 20 years we have had many problems but the one problem that we have not had is that of balance of payments
Follow this process:
- First, follow all the rules. You’re new. You don’t deserve to be different. Follow every rule, written or unwritten. Show you can and will fit in.
- Prove yourself. Work extremely hard. Build relationships. Achieve great things. Be indispensable. The more your employer (or, for that matter, your customer, if you own your own business) needs you, the more you can eventually stray from certain rules.
- Stay late. But don’t get to work late; come in at 9 a.m. Find a good reason to stay late, a reason that can be repeated. Maybe you need to call customers in other time zones. Maybe generating a report after the close of business makes sense. Maybe you need production to be idle before you experiment with a new process. Don’t stay late because you are or want to appear overworked; stay late because you plan to do something that can’t be done during normal work hours. Above all, make sure what you stay to do benefits the company, not yourself.
- Then do it again. And again. Show you are willing to sacrifice and go the extra mile when it benefits the company and others.
- Ask to change work hours, but just for one day. Explain why. Show how staying late paid off for the company the last few times. It should be easy, especially if you can describe tangible results.
- Go back to coming in on time and staying late a couple more times. Again, show you’re willing to sacrifice to get results.
- Ask to change work hours for one more day. This time it will be really easy. Everyone, including your boss, will have grown accustomed to you working late, and have had time to realize that coming in late isn’t a problem.
- Now for the clincher: Tell your boss you’ll be coming in late because you will stay late. That’s right: Don’t ask, tell. But in a nice way. Say, “Hey, I’m going to come in at noon tomorrow because I’ll be staying until at least 8 p.m. to run those reports….” Say it like it’s no big deal, nothing out of the ordinary, just smart business as usual. If your boss nods distractedly, you know you’re in. Then slowly extend the habit so it truly does become business as usual.
1840s: The longest reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, Queen Victoria also held the title of the Empress of India. During her reign a number of quarter rupee coins were issued. Soon after her ascent to the throne, a silver quarter rupee coin was issued in India. The coins featured the bust of a young Queen Victoria. She was made the queen soon after her 18th birthday
1900s: The new century also witnessed a change on the British monarchy. Following the death of his mother Queen Victoria, Edward VII was crowned as the King of the United Kingdom and also as the Emperor of India. All new coins issued during the time bore his name and face.
Early 1950s: Following the Independence of India the currency system continued with the British series of coins till the establishment of the Indian Republic. The first coins of independent India were introduced on August 15, 1950 and it included the quarter rupee coin made of nickel. The coins had the words ‘char aana’ embossed in Devnagri script and had the Ashoka Emblem on one side.
Late 1950s: Another major landmark in the history of the 25 paise coin happened following the introduction of the decimal series in accordance with the Indian Coinage Act that came into force from April 1, 1957. The 19 mm 25 paise coins were called ’25 naye paise’. The tern ‘naye paise’ was used for wider public recognition of the new coinage system and was discontinued from June 1, 1964 when the term ‘naye’ was dropped. The coins weighed 5 grams and were made of nickel.
1970s: By the late 1960s, Indians had become used to the new coinage system. The text ‘rupaiye ka chautha bhag’ (one fourth of a rupee) was also replaced by 25 paise. While other coins of lower denominations underwent a major change and moved to aluminium, the 25 paise coin didn’t change much.
Late 1980s to the 2000s: In 1988 the 25 paisa coin went steel and was made of ferratic stainless steel. It was a little heavier than its predecessor at 2.83 grams but was of the same size. The last 25 paise coins seen in popular circulation were minted in the year 2002.
A new symbol: In July 2010 the Government of India unveiled the new symbol for the Indian Rupee and designer D Udaya Kumar also designed a new symbol for the paise. But with the 25 paise going out of circulation we are unlikely to see the image below anywhere.
It’s a little like the story of the tortoise and the hare. China has been the world’s automotive rabbit, sprinting ahead and getting all the attention (its domestic market is also twice as big as India’s — 8-9 million passenger vehicles versus about 4 million). India has plodded along and struggled to deal with its inferiority complex, created because its democracy doesn’t allow for full-on command-and-control economic planning.
Things are so bad in China even the ratings agencies are telling the truth. Separate reports from Fitch and Moody’s point to the likely fraud and accounting irregularities at Chinese companies.
The reports underline the already dubious reputation of China’s business practices. Fitch specifically says the companies suffer from “the overall Chinese framework of an under-developed legal system and documentation standards, distinct business practices and weak corporate governance.” Translated from expert to human that means: “Enron looks good by comparison.”
Fitch generally rates Chinese corporates at “BB” and below while it puts state-owned and state-supported companies at investment grade and up. Which you’ve got to figure means they are even worse. These are the agencies which were giving AAA ratings to credit default obligations after Bear Stearns became road kill.
All this fraud comes on top of economic conditions every bit as sturdy as a marshmallow dropped in a campfire. Consider that China’s billions of dollars in local debt is backed by collateral that is overvalued, may be hard to sell and, in some cases, doesn’t exist. (Sound familiar?) Bloomberg points to a 30,000 seat sports complex being built in one city.
Here are seven that need to be eliminated today:
- Trips with vendors and suppliers. In many industries the “vendor fishing trip” is a time-honored tradition. Forget tradition — stop accepting. Why put yourself in a position where influence could be implied? Besides, your employees don’t get to go, so why should you? A great vendor doesn’t provide tickets to a ballgame or a fancy meal; a great vendor provides excellent service and quality products at a great price. Caveat: If the vendor agrees, you could put all employee names in a hat and draw a few lucky winners at random.
- Reserved parking spaces. You don’t need to park close to the front door. A little rain won’t hurt you. Caveat: The only time reserved spaces make sense is when they are reserved for employees who work late at night and go to their cars alone. (And if your parking lot is potentially dangerous during off hours, make sure you do more than set up reserved spots to make it safe.)
- Different lunch or break areas. Think the executive lunch area is a bygone relic? Nope. In the last year I’ve seen six. Use the space for another purpose and get out and mingle. And when you do, don’t sit at a table with your peers. Always sit with the rank and file; you spend enough time with the other managers as it is. (In fact, your rule should be “No more than one manager or supervisor at a table.”) Caveat: Maintaining different lunch or break areas based on geography or employee convenience is fine, but make sure your area is no nicer than any other area.
- Different doors. Okay, so you have a master key that opens all doors. And it’s really convenient to enter the facility through the side door. But if no one else can use that door, you shouldn’t use it either. Caveat: If entering through a specific door has a tangible business purpose, like carrying in equipment or supplies, that’s fine. If only because you’re “special,” no.
- Offices with doors. Don’t take the door off its hinges, but do leave it open except during confidential discussions with employees. Your office is just another tool that supports your job function; it should not shield you from employees. Caveat: I know sometimes you need peace and quiet to complete a project; just do so sparingly.
- Meeting refreshments. Is it customary to get bagels and beverages for a meeting? Fine — but who pays? If the company pays, stop. Managers have a lot more meetings than employees, and you would be surprised by how many employees think, “Oooh, it’s bagel day again… must be nice…” Besides, if your meetings run so long you need nourishment to keep going, you have an entirely different problem. Caveat: If you are meeting with employees, providing refreshments is very cool.
- Leaving the facility during the work day. I know you work long hours and shoulder tons of responsibility. It’s only fair if you run out to a doctor’s appointment during work hours, right? If your employees can do likewise, without penalty, fine. Otherwise no. When you arrive late or leave early or flit in and out of the building during work hours… and others don’t enjoy the same discretion and freedom… all you do is prove that standards are applied very differently. Caveat: No caveat. Nothing irritates an hourly employee more than watching a manager “run out for a couple hours.” Trust me.
Britain’s roiling phone-hacking scandal continues to reverberate deep inside this nation’s power structure, with the head of Scotland Yard, Sir Paul Stephenson, resigning Sunday only hours after Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s British operations, was arrested.
In a stoic appearance before the news media, Stephenson — Britain’s most senior police official — said he was offering his resignation in light of “ongoing speculation and accusations” relating to his force’s links to senior members of News International, the British division of Murdoch’s News Corp.
The animated book launched will be taught to children, serving as a teaching aid for traffic rules. Nearly 247 schools in Vadodra are going to have a traffic period once a week. School children will be taught traffic rules in an enjoyable way. TAC will prep one teacher from each school. After that on any day of the week the students can be taught about traffic rules by the teacher. Nilesh Shukla, an officer with TAC said that the syllabus for the traffic book for children from 1 to 6 standards was done in the Adult Education Department of the MS University. The syllabus is of 20 hours. 247 teachers in charge of 1 standard in different schools will be taught. The students from 1 to 6 standards will be taught in an enjoyable way. It is believed that the students of 8 to 11 will be taught in the second phase