Hindu ND21-NOV-11
Montek says he went wrong on inflation projection
NEW DELHI:

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Sunday conceded that he went wrong while projecting moderation in inflation, which remains near the double-digit mark.

"It is true that we were hoping that this [moderation in inflation] will happen earlier, to that extent our credibility becomes a question," he told Karan Thapar in CNN-IBN's 'Devil's Advocate.'

He was asked why the government's repeated projections on inflation proved false "You should recognise that short-term forecast is subject to error," he said.

He, however, asserted inflation would moderate to 7-7.5 per cent by next March. Headline inflation has remained over 9 per cent for several months and was 9.73 per cent in October. The food inflation stood at 10.63 per cent for the week ended November 5.

Inflation has remained stubbornly high despite repeated assurances by several government functionaries that it would moderate.

Responding to criticism of India Inc that there was a policy paralysis in the government, Mr. Ahluwalia said:

"Industry has been a lot more focused on decisions that are holding up infrastructure projects and not the [financial] reforms" He said, "The government is keen to push [reforms] ahead, but needs to develop political consensus and if the measures like GST, DTC and other reforms are delayed, that does not mean that they will not happen." PTI

Business Line ND 18/10/2011 P7
TCS adds 20,349 hands in Q2
Attrition rate falls sharply to 13.7%
Our Bureau Mumbai

Tata Consultancy Services' gross hiring during the recently concluded quarter was the highest by the company since its inception. It added 20,349 new hands a combination of laterals and campus recruits during the period, said Mr Ajoy Mukherjee', Execuitve Vice-president and Global Head, Human Resources.

Hindu ND 11/10/2011 P-1
New telecom policy rings in free roaming
Sujay Mehdudia NEW DELHI:

Seeking to eliminate the ambiguities of the past, the draft National Telecom Policy 2011 will remove national roaming charges, make broadband available on demand, bring in a 'one-nation, one-licence' policy and allow mobile numbers to be ported to any part of the country.

Under the new draft policy unveiled by Communications Minister Kapil Sibal here on Monday, users will be allowed to port their mobile numbers, keeping the same number, even while switching service areas. It proposes to accord the telecom industry the status of an infrastructure sector, helping it get easy credit flow for funding rollout plans or expansion.

With the policy aiming at a 'one-nation, one-licence' regime, the distinction between local and STD calls will vanish. Telecom operators would not require separate licences for operations in various parts of the country, and a single licence would suffice. "We will seek Telecom Regulatory Authority of India recommendations on new licences, migration to new licences and [an] exit policy," Mr. Sibal said.

In the wake of the 2G scam, the Minister said, spectrum allocation would be delinked from licences and radio waves, made available at market-determined prices. As the market was crowded with too many players, the government would bring in an exit policy. The draft policy would target full MNP and free roaming. "I want India to become a hub of telecommunication. Draft NTP targets broadband on demand."

Mr. Sibal said 300 Mhz of radio waves would be made available by 2017 and another 200 Mhz by 2020. "We will ensure adequate availability of spectrum and its allocation in a transparent manner through market-related processes." Asked whether spectrum would be auctioned this year, he said: "It looks difficult this year."

Any allocation of spectrum would be delinked from all future licences. Till now, all licences for mobile telecom services were given bundled with a start-up spectrum of 4.4 Mhz. "We shall enact a Spectrum Act which, inter alia, deals with all issues connected with wireless [spectrum] licences and their terms and conditions. There would be a periodic audit of spectrum allocated to service providers."

Financial Chronicle 21 Sep 2011
IMF cuts global growth forecast
By Bloomberg Sep 20 2011

The International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for global economic growth and predicted severe repercussions if Europe fails to contain its debt crisis or if US policy makers reach an impasse over a fiscal plan.

The world economy will expand four per cent this year and next, the IMF said on Tuesday, compared with June forecasts of 4.3 per cent in 2011 and of 4.5 per cent in 2012.

The US growth projection for 2011 was lowered to 1.5 per cent this year from 2.5 per cent in June. Global activity has weakened and become more uneven, confidence has fallen sharply recently, and downside risks are growing, the IMF said in its World Economic Outlook report on Tuesday. In Europe leaders must stand by their commitments to do whatever it takes to preserve trust in national policies and the euro while in the US deep political divisions leave the course of US policy highly uncertain. IMF chief Christine Lagarde last week urged global policy makers to find collective resolve as investors worry Greece may default and European banks will be forced to take losses on bonds sold by the region's most indebted countries. Under an alternative to its growth scenario, the institution predicts the US and Europe could fall back into recession. The Washington-based IMF said it based its forecasts of a modest pickup of activity in advanced economies and of robust growth in emerging counterparts on the premise that European policy makers implement the measures to reinforce their bailout mechanism agreed on in July. It also assumed that volatility in financial markets doesn't worsen and that US authorities agree on a fiscal plan that both supports the economy and outlines fiscal consolidation over the medium term.

Key drivers of stronger activity over the near term include the rebound of activity in Japan, the drop in oil and food prices, and solid demand growth in key emerging market economies, the IMF said. The IMF predicts growth of 6.4 per cent in developing economies this year and 6.1 per cent next year, down from 6.6 per cent and 6.4 per cent forecast in June.

Richer nations will grow 1.6 per cent this year instead of the 2.2 per cent expected in June, and 1.9 per cent next year instead of 2.6 per cent, the IMF said. Japan was the only Group of 7 economy revised higher for this year, with the IMF now seeing a 0.5 per cent contraction, compared with a 0.7 per cent decline seen in June.

Growth in 2012 should reach 2.3 per cent, 0.6 percentage point less than in June. In the euro area, where the IMF cut its prediction to 1.6 percent from two per cent this year and to 1.1 per cent from 1.7 per cent next year, injecting capital into banks and restructuring or closing down others is essential, IMF said.

The European Central Bank should lower interest rates if risks to growth persist, the IMF also said. The ECB s current benchmark rate is 1.5 per cent. In its downside scenario, the IMF assumes that banks need to absorb losses resulting in a 10 per cent decrease of their capital as a result of major financial turbulence in the euro area, combined with a downscaling of expectations for US medium-term growth prospects and real-estate-related financial stress in emerging Asia.

In the US, where the IMF now sees expansion of 1.8 per cent next year as the housing market also weighs on the recovery, the fiscal plan is a priority, the IMF said. The Federal Reserve should also stand ready to deploy new unconventional support for the economy. The IMF urged emerging economies to roll back fiscal deficits and to continue raising interest rates, though situations vary across countries. It said that China s currency remains substantially undervalued. The IMF now assumes oil at $103.20 a barrel in 2011, based on the average prices of U.K. Brent, Dubai and West Texas Intermediate crudes, compared with $106.30 in June.

Financial Express 30 Aug 2011 P-19
CII unit MPs meet discuss plan for UP
Deepa Jainani

 In a bid to usher in development in Uttar Pradesh, the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII’s) Uttar Pradesh state council held an interactive meeting with Members of Parliament (MPs) representing the state to work out a plan according to which it can redesign its agenda with the plans of the MPs of the state. Five MPs, representing both the developed western region of the state as well as the backward and impoverished eastern regions cut across party lines to attend the meet to state that UP has immense agricultural resources and efforts need to be made for its enhancement. They also felt that there was a crying need to fill the skill development gap in order to boost industries.
The CII was represented by its members, Vijay Thadani, chairman CII northern region and Alok Saxena, CEO of NIIT, vice chairman of the UP state council and Tata Motorsplant head Mayank Ajay Gupta, CEO and MD of Olympic Zippers, Deepak Malik, Chairman, regional committee on developmental initiatives and MD of Continental Carbons India Ltd and Jayant Krishna, co-chairman of the regional committee on skills and principal consultant and regional manager of Tata Consultancy Services.
The Rashtriya Lok Dal MP from Bijnor, Sanjay Singh Chauhan, reiterated the need to explore the agricultural resources of the state. “UP is rich in agriculture and produces many crops such as sugarcane, wheat, rice, dals, pulses, potato, mango, amla and guava. But despite all these, the state has been lagging behind in terms of major investment coming to the food processing sector, mainly due to the lack of human resource availability,” he said. He sought the CII’s intervention in developing models that would open new prospects for the farmers and help them stick to their respective profession of farming.
The Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Meerut Rajendra Agarwal, seconded Chauhan on the need to enhance agricultural activities in the state and also felt that there was an urgent need to have more warehousing and cold storage facilities as currently lots of losses are incurred due to improper facilities in the state.
On behalf of CII, Vijay Thadani suggested that it would take up the matter with its members and have awareness sessions for the farmers. “CII with the help of its agricultural panel will explore marketing linkages for the farmers to market their produce,” he said. He also suggested that the MPs facilitate the participation of the farmers in their respective constituencies to attend and take part in various agri events conducted by CII from time to time.
The ruling BSP, MP, Dhananjay Singh from Jaunpur expressed concern over the fact that inspite of the fact that Jaunpur has the maximum number of ITIs in its region, the people passing out of these ITIs remained unemployed. He felt that skills that are imparted to the youth should be on the basis of the local resources of that area so that the productive youth of that area stays and contributes to the uplifting and development of that very area.
He suggested that this could be done by identifying the block level requirement and then finding the apt industries to adopt the ITIs. Kamlesh Paswan, the BJP MP of Banzgaon also felt that there was a need to develop the entrepreneurial skill of the youth and develop micro entrepreneurs that could give rise to employment opportunities in the UP State.
The CII suggested that it would take the assistance of CII member companies in the Northern Region to adopt these ITIs to upgrade them through the PPP model. “This model is being widely used in the rest of the region to upgrade the skill set of the youth,” said Alok Saxena of Tata Motors. Suggesting that there is a need to develop a roadmap on the skill requirements for the whole of UP State, the CII members said that this roadmap would help the Government identify areas where skill gaps are and what best could be done to bridge these skill gaps. They also said that it conducts entrepreneurial development sessions form time to time and asked for the assistance of the MP’s present to facilitate their participation for these programmes.
Shailender Kumar, the Samajwadi Party MP from Kaushambi expressed concern that a large number of industries in UP are becoming sick which is also leading to large scale unemployment and needs to be looked into. “Gorakhpur, which has a great scope for fertilizer production needs to be explored and invited industry player to be invited for investment in the region,” he said.
Jayant Krishna, co-chairman, Regional Committee on Skills said that Uttar Pradesh has not attracted any major investment since the past 20 years and the Government needs to look into providing incentives for big players to set up industries in the State. “Investment by big players will automatically attract ancillary units around it which will in a way lead to creating employment opportunities for the unemployed youth of the State,” he added.

Economic Times ND 30/08/2011 P-10
Women are the Key in War for Talent
Hidden biases and lack of self-advocacy, however, are hindering women's rise to the top
RIPA RASH1D

The war for talent is heating up in emerging markets. Without enough brain power’, companies cannot succeed in these fast-growing markets. Yet these companies are approaching the war in the wrong way — bringing in homegrown expats and engaging in bidding wars for hotshot local “male” managers. The solution is hiding in plain sight: the millions of highly educated women surging into the labour markets of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and the United Arab Emirates. 
Our surveys and research show that Indian women are the most ambitious of all in the emerging market with the exception of UAE, which is not an exact comparative point. Indian women are far more ambitious than their counterparts in BRIC countries. 
Eighty per cent aspire for the top job, 85% identify themselves as highly ambitious, 86% are hugely committed to their work. The comparative figure for ambition in United States is 52%. That is the reason working women in India have beenidentified in our research as a kind of a hidden treasure trove of talent, especially when companies in these geographies are in a real war for well-qualified, wellcredentialed talent. 
Before we did the analysis on why women are the solution for winning the war for talent in emerging markets, we had hypothesised that the findings will be different because at the end of the day we are talking about vastly different cultures. The commonalities and the convergence of themes surprised us. The most pronounced commonality was around ambition—women across the board in these geographies are far more ambitious than women in the West. 
That’s because these are all growth economies on an upward trajectory. That gives a sense of growing, unprecedented opportunity for every body. 
What made India stand out in our research was women in top roles across corporate India. India has more female CEOs percentage-wise, 11%, than US has ever had, never more than 5%. That was an eye-opener. The perception is that developing countries are far behind the developed ones. 
    The issues in the Indian workplace are three-fold. The first is hidden biases. This gets reflected in situations such as women coming back from maternity leave who might be put on a project that is not high profile. It is assumed that they may not want to take up a big role. That may or may not be true. 
The second area is around advocacy and sponsors — getting senior-level individuals to advocate for their advancement. No one can get to the top without someone advocating for them. A sponsor at work is someone who actively supports you—this is different from a mentor. Your sponsor makes you his protégé and takes a risk on you. Across the board, women are less prone to develop those relationships. The third piece is around the lack of alignment between how women are taught culturally to behave and how their workplaces function. The multinational workplace rewards self-advocacy. It is not what you do, but who knows what you do. How women are socialised can be a debilitating factor for them. 
Our study found that women are more likely to doubt their capability at work. It is a direct function of a lack of role models. When you have fewer women at the top, there are fewer styles you may want to emulate. Studies have shown that having senior women in organisations has a positive impact on businesses. Genderbalanced teams are more effective. Women are the solution in the war for talent. 

Mail Today 30 Aug 2011 P 10
Stiff clauses will undo the foreign varsities Bill
by V. S. Chauhan

ONE of the major challenges on the higher education landscape in India will be to create infrastructure capabilities and a suitable environment to ensure that the huge gap between supply and demand is filled, or at least reduced considerably. But rough estimates of the number of young aspirants for higher education ( post school) will almost double by 2016- 30. Needless to say, this will be a complex and difficult job; the sheer scale of it is daunting.
Mindless and unplanned growth will not only spoil the existing fabric of higher education, but might start off something which will be difficult to rectify and control later. Given the scale of the needs and urgency, it is quite clear that private players, and public- private partnership, along with massive efforts of the government, will be required. Already, in recent times a large number of private institutions have sprung up and although some of these have created reasonable infra- structure, their focus has remained limited to what they perceive as the needs of the “ market”.
Need
Many of these institutions also proudly display their association with educational institutions abroad. On their part, given their more recent perceptions about its economic growth and huge demand for higher education, the foreign educators are more than tempted to bring their expertise to India. On the other hand, there is no question that higher education in India can benefit enormously from those who have proven credentials, abilities and the desire to come to India, independently or in collaboration with existing universities/ institutions in India, both public and private.
More so, in several areas where we have not been able to create facilities and trained manpower including those which may be considered non- traditional, but are in great demand in present times, for example, film making, media, animation, product design, automobile engineering and design, subject related to the hospitality industry, clinical studies, hospital management, conflict resolution, diplomacy, town planning, food processing and so on.
I know this because of my own association with a number of scholarship schemes for studies abroad where one often finds that there are none at all, or very meagre facilities at present in the country. Many of these areas are not only relevant, they are now established subjects of teaching and research. However, whether foreign educators in these areas will come and establish facilities or they will all opt for softer options like business management, law, engineering etc.
remains to be seen.
As of now, the role, scope and guidelines for foreign universities wanting to come to India remain unclear, particularly to students aspiring for quality higher education.
In this context, the Foreign Institutions Entry Bill, which is due to be presented to Parliament, is timely and much needed. The bill is essentially regulatory in nature and seeks to set conditions, boundaries and guidelines for the entry of foreign educators.
Legislation
While most guidelines are straightforward, two mandatory conditions that will make any highly reputed foreign institution frown are: ( a) “ The foreign university has to maintain a corpus fund of a minimum of Rs 50 crore. Maximum of 75 per cent of any income generated from the fund shall be utilised for developing the institution in India and the rest should be reinvested in the fund and ( b) Any surplus in revenue generated in India by the foreign university has to be invested in the development of the educational institution established by it in India.” Why would any decent foreign educator like to come to India, at least independently? More so in present times when most well known foreign universities are finding it difficult to run their “ business” of providing quality education in their own countries. The costs of higher education, for example in UK and USA, have increased alarmingly, and these universities have increasingly resorted to shorter duration courses for higher studies, largely diluting the whole idea of quality education within a university set up. But getting back to the bill, the question remains: why will a highly ranked foreign educator, which cannot make, and take, money out of India, come here in the first place? As a regulatory bill, this is a good one, particularly for the benefit of eager students and parents. It tries to ensure that incoming foreign educators have appropriate credentials, and that all relevant information regarding the nature of courses, faculty, fees, infrastructure, nature of collaboration, entry process etc.
is transparently and easily available to all; for the first time, it will also be clear to the foreign educators as to what is required on their part, and what they can expect.
The bill should be welcomed by all stakeholders involved in the pursuit of higher education.
However, the sheer scale of the demand should be a scary thought for all. The regulators are only as good as they choose to be. There are several regulatory bodies, existing for a long time, whose job is to ensure the quality and transparency of higher education and how well they have performed is not hidden from anyone, particularly in the case of private Indian institutions.
While the present bill is aimed at foreign educators coming to India, there is an urgent need for making it mandatory and ensuring that all private institutions in India provide adequate infrastructure and the details that are being asked from the incoming foreign educator.
Quality
What about the quality of higher education? The bill is largely silent on the issue, and rather vaguely mentions that “ quality” should be maintained. This however is an important issue, equally valid for the foreign educator as well as Indian institutions, public or private. It is often said that studying at world class institutions such as Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, to name a few, is an experience in itself. In fact, it is. It is not only the environment, quality of teaching, quality of coherent students, robust research culture etc but also several other facilities and structures like organised sports, music, theatre, debates, university clubs and entertainment facilities that make for essential ingredients of quality education.
Good quality education is expected to provide the recipient with knowledge, analytical skills, ability to think independently, an appetite for deeper inquiry in the subject and equip one with tools and methodology to address different questions.
In addition, while quality education readies one for taking up a variety of jobs, it is also expected to inculcate flexibility in thoughts and the ability to appreciate opinions different from one’s own.
What is the quality of higher education in Indian teaching institutions, public or private? While some of the well known universities ( a generous estimate of thirty or so) can claim a reasonable standard of education, these standards decline rapidly.
Higher education in the university has suffered from continuous criminal neglect for a long time, and that simply cannot be addressed in a short period of time; such repairs are necessarily long drawn processes.
Can quality in education be transplanted? In principle the answer has to be yes. But in practice, it would require persistent and careful attention. My own hunch is that we will see the presence of foreign educators in areas like engineering ( B. Tech, M. Tech), law, pharmacy, biotechnology, management studies, areas already invaded with missionary zeal by private education providers in India. Will their collaboration with foreign players produce better quality? It is the Indian government which will have to invest heavily and continuously in higher education in areas like the humanities, fine arts, basic science and it is good that after decades of neglect higher education is on the radar as far as human resource development is concerned.
The writer is Director, International Centre for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology, New Delhi

Financial Chronicle ND 30/08/2011 P-10
Uniform CAT to replace JMET for IITs and IISc
Kolkata

The joint management entrance test (JMET) previously used for admission by IITs and Indi­an Institute of Science (I­I­Sc) will now be discontinu­ed, making room for a un­iform combined admission test. IIMs, IITs and II­Sc ha­ve agreed to use CAT 2011 as part of the st­udent selection process of their MBA and M.Mgt prog­rammes beginning fr­om the academic year 2012-13.
The move was necessitated by the finding of a recent review, which said that the relatively young JMET is not too dissimilar to CAT, and that the effort to organise JMET each year seems enormous. On an average, nearly 40,000 candidates take the test each year.
Prof Janakiraman Moorthy, CAT 2011 convenor, said, “This is a major initiative that brings two premier higher education systems together. We anticipate that this will result in closer tie-ups and collaborative research work that will provide both sets of institutions a competitive edge in the long run.”
Professor LS Ganesh, former HOD, management department, IIT Madras sa­id, “The decision to use CAT for admission into the IITs and IISc will minimise the test preparation and financial burden on candidates.”
In an official communiqué, Prometric, a leading provider of market-leading test development and test delivery solutions which is IIMs’ partner in developing and delivering CAT 2011, said CAT 2011 will be held over a 20-day window from October 22 to November 18 across 36 cities.

Mail Today ND, 30/08/2011 p-4 Education Mail
PTE ACADEMIC MAKES UP FOR LATE ARRIVAL
Natasha Pathak
The global sales chief of Pearson Language Tests discusses the new English proficiency test fast gaining a following.

 COME SEPTEMBER, and it’s time for a number of universities around the world to open their doors for admission to the spring session. It is also the time to plan for the English Language Test ( ELT) one of the many that crowd the marketplace that’ll bring you closest to your ambition to make it to your personal Promised Land.
The Pearson Test of English ( PTE) Academic, launched just two years ago by the UK- based Pearson Education, is the newest entrant into the crowded marketplace, but it’s gaining a fan following because of the speed with which it publishes test results, its flexible test dates and fully automated scoring. These, though, aren’t the only reasons behind its popularity.
It comes with good pedigree. The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which manages the Graduate Management Admission Test ( GMAT), recognises PTE Academic as an internationally certified test of English proficiency.
If you take PTE Academic and GMAT together, you can even get a $ 100 discount on the test fee till December this year. “ Over 2,500 universities and government agencies recognise this test,” says Carl Rhymer, Global Sales Director, Pearson Language Tests, who was previously the head of British Council’s IELTS programme.
Leading UK universities, including those of the Russell Group ( it’s an elite club of 20 institutions that attracts two- thirds of research grants in Britain), Ivy League schools and government organisations accept the test scores for different reasons, informs Rhymer.
The test has some obvious positives.
It gives candidates the flexibility to book online 48 hours in advance and on phone 24 hours before the test. It’s a single three- hour test and the results are announced within five business days. And you can get unlimited score reports free of charge for two years.
PTE Academic takes a slightly different approach from the two big names in the English testing market — TOEFL and IELTS. It focuses on real- time processing, which means the candidates cannot change their answers after they have registered it with a click on the right circle. The speaking test, moreover, takes into account the regional variations in accents. And the process of scoring, even for the speaking test, is fully automated.
A typical test requires you to attempt 20 different types of task in the allotted time. “ The tasks test skills such as reading and writing,” says Rhymer. “ Students can use online practice tests with sample answers, the free test tutorial, the Official Guide to PTE Academic with over 200 practice questions, analysis of sample responses and test- taking tips,” Rhymer says.
The tips include making good use of the 40 seconds you have per question, not pausing for long while answering the speaking test questions, filling up the blanks using your knowledge of grammar and understanding of words, and jotting down words heard for the first time. Are you ready to hop on to the PTE Academic bandwagon?

Mail Today ND, 30/08/2011 Education Mail P 3
GOOD READERS GET THE PRIZE
Natasha Pathak

Regular reading will help you gain the skills to crack Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning
THE VERBAL ABILITY section of the new- format CAT tests your grip over grammar as much as it checks out your power to grasp what you read. You can be on top of this section only if you are a good reader and you know your grammar well.
K. Ramchandran, Regional Head of Academics at the coaching institute T. I. M. E. guides us through this section, which is one half of the new- format test paper.
“The grammar questions are likely to include the identification of mistakes, either in a sentence, or in a part of a sentence,” he says.
“The mistakes could be related to grammar, punctuation or incorrect or inappropriate usage.” Reading Comprehension requires you to understand passages and answer questions from the options given. The passages may be taken from newspapers, magazines or books, but the thrust is clearly on non- fiction, although CAT has occasionally included poetry.
“And in the last 10 years,” Ramachandran says, “the vocabulary area has not included questions on synonyms, antonyms, the odd man out and analogies. The questions in this area could include sentence completion, filling up the blanks and incorrect use of words.” Verbal reasoning normally covers questions on paragraph formation and completion, précis writing, identification of facts, and making inferences and judgments from the statements that are given.
From this year, Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning are being clubbed. The latter covers puzzles involving blood relationships; arrangements in linear, circular or any other form; selections, rankings and logic, especially syllogisms; and ‘ if- and- then’ statements.
The section may also include critical reasoning, which starts with a short passage followed by questions that try to strengthen or weaken the conclusions in the passage.
“The section may have a word like ‘pluck’ and the candidates will be asked to identify whether it’s a verb or a noun,” says Ramachandran.
“Most students may know it to be a verb, but it is also a noun.
This requires a good knowledge of vocabulary and grammar, and the base, as always, is sound reading.” It is difficult to predict the areas from which questions are bound to come, but you can rest assured that reading comprehension is a perennial favourite. Grammar will surely be tested in some form or the other. Vocabulary is also high on the priority list of the paper setters, but the emphasis is on ascertaining whether students are comfortable with contextual meanings.
Nothing will help you understand the nuances of the language better than good reading habits. Regular practice with mock tests will help you develop skill and confidence as well as speed and accuracy.
Ramachandran says we must use the scratch paper given for rough work to make diagrams that are important for answering questions related to arrangements, ranking and selections. The papers of the last ten years show that questions relating to paragraph formation and completion as well as sentence completion and correction are included regularly.
And yes, don’t take chances. As Ramachandran points out, “ Don’t go by what looks or sounds right; be reasonably sure about the right answer.”

Mail Today ND, 30/08/2011 P-4 education mail
Projects Pave the Way for New Careers
Natasha Pathak

ANY GROWING economy needs managers trained especially to get projects off the ground within deadlines and budgets. India needs 500,000 of them, but the country has only 30,000 certified project managers. There's an opportunity out there beckoning enterprising students.
"There are four steps to becoming a project manager," says Raj Kalady, Managing Director, PMI (Project Management Institute) India, Mumbai. PMI is one of the world's largest professional associations with more than 5,00,000 members in 185 countries and an ambitious academic research programme. For a career in project management, after completing their post-secondary education, students have to get the required certification, ' gain field experience and develop interpersonal skills. Project managers give shape to dreams and putting their management degree to good use as well. Coordinating the efforts of team members, developing a project plan, managing budgets and battling deadlines are what really matter in project management.
A Master's in project management can enhance your knowledge and make you eligible for higher pay. And internships are essential to bridge the gap between collegiate studies and the real world of project management. Aminimum of three years of project management experience are necessary to qualify for certification.
"To get this certification, you must have a four-year Bachelor's degree, at least three years of project management experience, or 4,500 hours leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of project management education," explains Kalady. "If you have a high school diploma, you need at least five years of project management experience, or 7,500 hours leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of project management education." You wouldn't regret going through the grind, for project managers are in demand and their annual pay packages range from 735 lakh to Rs45 lakh.

Financial Express ND 30/08/2011 P8
Profit from education
Planning Commission has the right 'approach'

India needs to add other 25,000-30,000 colleges, roughly the number it has right now, if it wants to increase the proportion of college-going kids from around 13% right now to the Chinese level of around 25%. The fact that China has managed a scorching GDP growth rate for so many decades and India is spluttering after less than a decade of high growth is testimony to just how badly India needs to increase its college-going population. Does the government have the funds, and managerial capability, to do in the next decade what has been achieved in the last 65? Clearly not. Theoretically, the private sector can step in, but can it under the current set of laws?
This is where the Planning Commission’s approach paper for education in the 12th Five Year Plan comes in. According to a newspaper report, the approach paper suggests the government re-examine allowing of for-profit educational institutions. This has been talked of in the past, and shot down by educationists who argue that for-profit education is nowhere as good as not-for-profit education. They’re probably right, even though the fact that the only IIT which was on the list of the world’s top 500 universities has just slipped off it is hardly a great testimonial for what government funding can achieve. A good example to cite in this context is that of the for-profit University of Phoenix in the US and the not-for-profit Harvard. No one even thinks of the University of Phoenix when it comes to top-quality education, but it has 200 campuses and nearly 5 lakh students versus just one Harvard after 375 years that has a total of 21,000 students. And yes, universities like Harvard and MIT have operating budgets of around $2bn a year.
It is true private education in India, even though it is not-for-profit, has been expanding dramatically. But the not-for-profit status has to be taken with a pinch of salt—many institutions have devised under-the-carpet ways for taking back the profits. To be sure, there will be, and there should be, genuine philanthropists who will set up colleges, but finding them in sufficiently large numbers is not easy—in any case, having for-profit colleges doesn’t mean India cannot have not-for-profit colleges. Since India’s biggest challenge right now is to get scale, this requires the large sums of money that stock markets will find it easy to give—even PE investors who are getting in to fund private colleges and universities right now, are doing so keeping in mind an eventual exit route through listing. Once for-profit education is allowed, this will drive down borrowing costs and make raising money easier along with the attendant benefits of greater transparency that listing always brings.

Indian Express ND 30/08/2011 P-1
Citing nearby Jaitapur n-project, promoter aborts education hub plan

BE it burger, pizza or specialty chains, private equity (PE) players are increasingly developing an appetite for restaurant businesses, one of the fastest growing consumer spending themes. According to statistics provided by Venture Intelligence, in the last six months, the food and beverages industry attracted special attention from PE investors with significant sized deals in the space. This year, till now, the segment has attracted total funding of $78 million across three deals.

According to a report released by the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), last year, nearly 80% of the U3.000-crore restaurant industry was unorganised. The organised segment of the market is estimated between Rs7,000 and f 8,500crore. Industry experts feel with expanding wallet of the rising middle class in the country, consumer aspirations, changing food habits and move towards lifestyle-oriented consumption, food business Is very well placed in May, ICICI Ventures picked up a minority stake by investing $33 million in RJ Corp's Devyanl International, that runs KFC, Pizza Hut and Costa Coffee chains across the country.

In June, Delhi-based Sagar Ratna, a restaurant chain serving south Indian cuisine across NCR, raised $35 million from PE player India Equity Partners. According to experts, restaurant chains across formats are looking to raise funds through different routes. SAIF Partners-backed Speciality Restaurants that owns Mainland China and Oh! Calcutta chains across the country, has filed DRHP with Sebi in an attempt to raise funds through an IPO.

Private equity major New Silk Route (NSR), which has an investment of $75 million in Coffee Day Holding, is looking to build India's biggest platform In this sector with a commitment of $100 million.
"We will act like a holding company providing funds and expertise to promoters to operate their businesses under this platform. This should give entrepreneurs access to resources and opportunity to build their businesses without worrying about capital," said Jacob Kurlan, partner, New Silk Route Advisors.

Chains that offer competitive pricing, good quality products are poised to expand pan-India and are attractive investment targets. "Investors are looking for a significant increase In valuation from entry to exit Margins and generating a high return on investment in this space is a function of several aspects, including the ability to scale and expand operations, aggressive sourcing and procurement practices, ability to run robust supply chain systems, maintaining sharp pricing for anchor and new menu offerings," said NV Sivakumar, leader retail, consumer and Industrial products, PwC India.
Triggered by the IPO of Jubilant FoodWorks last year, the Indian master franchise for Dominos Pizza, the food chain space has been garnering investors’ interest of late. Since Its listing. Jubilant FoodWorks has seen a price appreciation of over 500%. JPMorgan and India Private Equity Fund, that Invested In Jubilant, exited in the IPO last year. Experts point out that IPO and strategic sale is the likely route for Investors to exit.

"It all depends on the business model. If the company has a certain scale, IPO Is a possible opportunity, like Jubilant FoodWorks. But the business has to be of a certain scale in the range of ?400-500 crore and not just ?10-20 crore," said Keshav Misra, head, capital allocation and investment management, Baring Private Equity, India.
Baring is exploring multiple opportunities In the space. "Consumer-driven business is a core focus area for us. We are extremely bullish on this space. The sector will attract more capital," he said.
Among the restaurant formats, industry experts feel, young population under the age of 25 years are Increasingly visiting homegrown quick service restaurant (QSR) chains due to the convenience offered in terms of access, sharp pricing and diverse menu.

The Rs3,000-crore QSR space In India Is growing at about 30% every year. Last year. Bangalore-based QSR chain Mast Kalandar secured a second round of investment from Helion Venture Partners, Footprint Ventures and angel Investors Satarpuria Group.

Other investments in the space Include Accel Partners' investment in Bangalore-based Kaati Zone, Matrix Partners in YoiChina, and Beacon India Advisors' ?75-crore investment in Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality, which owns brands like Mocha.

Investors point out that among different formats, QSRs have scaled better, compared to fine-dining restaurants. And going forward, there could be more early-stage Investments in the QSR space. While fine-dining and QSR formats can show margins of 20%-30%, tow-cost QSRs such as Kaati Zone which require an initial Investment of f 30-?40 lakh, have better chances of breaking even.
For investors scalability, sound business model and management team are important factors to invest in a business. "It’s a very tough business to be in but remains a fascination for investors," said Kurian of NSR.

Hindustan Times 27 July 2011 P 21
Hawkish RBI rate hike rattles stocks

It was stronger than expected and showed that the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) seemed to agree that the war on inflation needed a decisive blow through a squeeze on money supply – even at the cost of foregoing some economic growth. RBI governor Duvvuri Subbarao on Tuesday gave a decisive, hawkish push-up to interest rates with a 50 basis-point (0.5 percentage point) increase in the repo rate — at which commercial banks borrow from the RBI — taking it to 8%.

That was the eleventh jack-up in policy rates in 16 months since India started a battle against double-digit inflation fanned by domestic demand and a global rise in commodity prices.
Jittery stocks plunged. The benchmark Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange fell 353 points or 1.9% as investors and traders worried about that costlier money would do to corporate earnings. Both funding of industrial expansion and consumer loans for products such as cars depend on interest rates.

Market traders were looking for a calibrated 25 basis point hike, and their immediate reaction was that the stronger dose would choke growth.

However, RBI maintained its projected real GDP growth rate for 2011-12 at 8%  while acknowledging that there were signs of moderation in interest rate-sensitive sectors. The focus, nevertheless, was on curbing demand by squeezing money.

RBI revised its baseline projection for inflation for March 2012 from 6% earlier to 7%. It is currently at 9.44%.

“The recent increase in domestic administered fuel prices and the minimum support price for certain food items will keep inflation under pressure,” said Subbarao. “Considering the overall growth and inflation scenario, there is a need to persevere with the anti-inflationary stance.”

“Growth will get sacrificed for the future as capital formation in the economy is the biggest concern now, bigger than inflation, and these steps will derail it further,” said Aseem Dhru, CEO, HDFC Securities. “If this continues we may end up with high interest rate, high inflation and low growth.”

Rate sensitive stocks plunged. The realty index  was down 3.55% followed by the capital goods index (3.5%), banking index (2.46%) and automobile index (2.1%) .
Market experts say companies are already putting off capital expansion plans.

“The resultant moderation (from the rate hike) in the domestic economic growth rate may be more than expected, and the deceleration in the credit growth may help augment the gilt (government securities) appetite of the PSU banks,” said Sandesh Kirkire, CEO, Kotak Mahindra Asset Management.

PIONEER ND 25 JULY 2011
RBI likely to raise policy rates by 25 basis points: Bankers
NEW DELHI:

Faced with inflation much above the comfort level, the Reserve Bank is likely to raise key interest rates by another 25 basis points in its first quarterly review of monetary policy 2011-12 on July 26.
"There is a general perception that (policy) rates are going to go up by 25 basis points,"Canara Bank Executive Director Archana S Bhargava said.

Banks would respond to policy action as they have been doing it in the past, she added.

The headline inflation for June at 9.44 per cent is much above the comfort zone of 5-6 per cent.

In its fight against price rise, the RBI has hiked key policy rates 10 times, or 275 basis points, since March, 2010. It has clearly articulated that it is ready to sacrifice growth in the short-term.
Inflation has reached such a level that RBI cannot but hike the rate by 25 basis points, said Kotak Mahindra Bank Group CFO Jaimin Bhatt.

Echoing similar views, HSBC India CEO Stuart Davis said the RBI is expected to raise rate by 25 basis points.

YES Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Rana Kapoor said the market has factored in a 25 basis points increase in repo rate by the RBI.

"The RBI rate action will continue to be driven somewhat mechanically by the inflation data that remain way above its comfort zone. Thus, a 25 basis points hike in the policy rate seems almost certain,"HDFC Bank chief economist Abheek Barua said in his report.

The central bank faces a challenging task of managing the inflationary pressure at a time when the industrial growth has started showing signs of moderation.

The factory output growth rate, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP)), dipped to 9-month low of 5.6 per cent in May.

It is to be noted that the government has already lowered India's GDP projection for 2011-12 to 8.6 per cent from the earlier estimate of about 9 per cent on account of slowdown in industry output.
Taking into consideration all these issues and slackening of credit growth, bankers have suggested the RBI to hold the rates at the current levels and sought a clearer picture on the future interest rates and inflation scenario.

Endorsing the view, SBI Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri earlier this month had said that the RBI is unlikely to hike the rate further in its upcoming review.
"As of now, in our view is it (the rate hike by RBI) will come with a lag... with a gap," Chaudhuri said, adding that he would be surprised if the RBI indeed raised the rates on July 26.

Business Standard ND 21/07/2011 p-6
CREDIT GROWTH DIPS; RATE INCREASE MAY HURT MORE
MALVIKAJOSHI Mumbai

The slowing credit growth may intensify amid fears that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would raise interest rates further during the first quarter review next Tuesday.
According to RBI data, banks disbursed nearly Rs 1.5 lakh crore of loans during the first three months of the current financial year, representing a 3.75 per cent growth over March. This is much lower than the five per cent growth during the same period of the previous financial year. A year-on-year comparison also confirms the trend of slowing loan growth.
On a yearly basis, credit growth stood at 20 per cent as on July 1, lower than the annual growth of 21.4 per

Economic Times ND 13 July 2011
Infosys Q1 net slips 5.3% on wage burden
MYSORE:

Sanjiv Goenka gives up RPG tag, rolls out own corporate identity, new logo Nearly one and half years after a formal split between the two brothers of the 190-year-old RPG group, Sanjiv Goenka, the younger son of Rama Prasad Goenka, on Wednesday rolled out a new corporate identity and a new logo for his part of the group, giving up the RPG group tag. The new group will be called RP-Sanjiv Goenka group with a new logo that is inspired by Dhanuchakra.

Mumbai-based agency Law & Kenneth was assigned the task of creating a new design, logo and future communication strategy for the corporate brand of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group.
Simultaneously, the next generation is also gearing up to join the family business. Shashwat, Sanjiv Goenka’s son and a final year student at Wharton Business School, is starting his internship at his father’s group on Thursday. He will formally join the family business on completion of studies in a year. His daughter Avarna is already managing the group’s café chain, Au Bon Pain Café.
Following the division, Sanjiv Goenka manages flagship companies in different verticals such as CESC, Phillips Carbon Black, Spencer’s and Saregama with a combined turnover of Rs 9,000 crore, while the elder brother Harsh Goenka manages CEAT, KEC International and Zensar Technologies with a combined turnover of Rs 7,000 crore. Sanjiv Goenka will be the chairman of his newly created group. For CESC and Saregama, RP Goenka would continue to be the chairman and would also hold chairman emeritus status for the remaining companies of the new group.
Goenka on Wednesday told Financial Chronicle, “I discussed everything with my father. In fact, he was actively involved over the last one and half years, particularly over the last six months. And this morning he gifted me a new book Tirmali Tirupati as a mark of his blessings and best wishes as I formally set out on a new journey.”

Asked if he had discussed these things with his elder brother, he said, “We are in touch but we did not necessarily discuss these latest issues.” He said this identity was necessary to do away with any confusion.

He told FC that his group, which would operate in five business sectors with as many as 10 companies, 16,000 employees and 1 lakh shareholders, will invest Rs 35,200 crore over the next five years. “Our current asset base is Rs 14,000 crore and group turnover is Rs 9,000 crore. And we aspire to be a company with an asset base of Rs 50,000 crore and a group turnover of Rs 25,000 crore five years down the road,” Goenka said.

Of the fresh Rs 35,200 crore investments, Rs 31,500 will be pumped into power and mining, Rs 2,200 crore in carbon black and Rs 1,500 crore in retail and entertainment business of the group.
Asked about the fate of RPG Enterprises and his future role in it, he said, “The RPG Enterprises will continue to be under joint ownership. I will continue to be the vice-chairman of the RPG Enterprises, while my elder brother will continue as the chairman. Let me clarify that the RPG Enterprises is not a holding company and will never be a holding company. It is a company without any balance sheet.”

He said even the large pool of paintings and sculptures have been amicably divided between the two brothers by their father. Only the plantation company, Harrisons Malayalam, is yet to be legally separated and is actively controlled by RP Goenka. Now, two separate business units of Harrisons have been created and are controlled by the two brothers, and a legal division of the company would be done within a year, Goenka said.

The tea estates under Sanjiv Goenka are Wallardie, Moongalaar, Pattumalay, Wentworth, Lockhart, Panniar, while rubber estates under him are Magamalay, Kundai, Kubazha, Mooply, Mundakayam.

Economic Times ND 13 July 2011
Infosys Q1 net slips 5.3% on wage burden
MYSORE:

Sanjiv Goenka gives up RPG tag, rolls out own corporate identity, new logo Nearly one and half years after a formal split between the two brothers of the 190-year-old RPG group, Sanjiv Goenka, the younger son of Rama Prasad Goenka, on Wednesday rolled out a new corporate identity and a new logo for his part of the group, giving up the RPG group tag. The new group will be called RP-Sanjiv Goenka group with a new logo that is inspired by Dhanuchakra.

Mumbai-based agency Law & Kenneth was assigned the task of creating a new design, logo and future communication strategy for the corporate brand of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group.
Simultaneously, the next generation is also gearing up to join the family business. Shashwat, Sanjiv Goenka’s son and a final year student at Wharton Business School, is starting his internship at his father’s group on Thursday. He will formally join the family business on completion of studies in a year. His daughter Avarna is already managing the group’s café chain, Au Bon Pain Café.
Following the division, Sanjiv Goenka manages flagship companies in different verticals such as CESC, Phillips Carbon Black, Spencer’s and Saregama with a combined turnover of Rs 9,000 crore, while the elder brother Harsh Goenka manages CEAT, KEC International and Zensar Technologies with a combined turnover of Rs 7,000 crore. Sanjiv Goenka will be the chairman of his newly created group. For CESC and Saregama, RP Goenka would continue to be the chairman and would also hold chairman emeritus status for the remaining companies of the new group.
Goenka on Wednesday told Financial Chronicle, “I discussed everything with my father. In fact, he was actively involved over the last one and half years, particularly over the last six months. And this morning he gifted me a new book Tirmali Tirupati as a mark of his blessings and best wishes as I formally set out on a new journey.”

Asked if he had discussed these things with his elder brother, he said, “We are in touch but we did not necessarily discuss these latest issues.” He said this identity was necessary to do away with any confusion.

He told FC that his group, which would operate in five business sectors with as many as 10 companies, 16,000 employees and 1 lakh shareholders, will invest Rs 35,200 crore over the next five years. “Our current asset base is Rs 14,000 crore and group turnover is Rs 9,000 crore. And we aspire to be a company with an asset base of Rs 50,000 crore and a group turnover of Rs 25,000 crore five years down the road,” Goenka said.

Of the fresh Rs 35,200 crore investments, Rs 31,500 will be pumped into power and mining, Rs 2,200 crore in carbon black and Rs 1,500 crore in retail and entertainment business of the group.
Asked about the fate of RPG Enterprises and his future role in it, he said, “The RPG Enterprises will continue to be under joint ownership. I will continue to be the vice-chairman of the RPG Enterprises, while my elder brother will continue as the chairman. Let me clarify that the RPG Enterprises is not a holding company and will never be a holding company. It is a company without any balance sheet.”

He said even the large pool of paintings and sculptures have been amicably divided between the two brothers by their father. Only the plantation company, Harrisons Malayalam, is yet to be legally separated and is actively controlled by RP Goenka. Now, two separate business units of Harrisons have been created and are controlled by the two brothers, and a legal division of the company would be done within a year, Goenka said.

The tea estates under Sanjiv Goenka are Wallardie, Moongalaar, Pattumalay, Wentworth, Lockhart, Panniar, while rubber estates under him are Magamalay, Kundai, Kubazha, Mooply, Mundakayam.

Economic Times ND 13 July 2011
Infosys Q1 net slips 5.3% on wage burden
MYSORE:

Infosys, India's second-biggest software exporter, reported a 5.3% sequential fall in first-quarter profit to Rs.1,722 crore and provided a muted forecast for demand on macroeconomic concerns in the top outsourcing markets of the US and Europe.

For investors and experts tracking performance of Infosys to read the pulse of India's growing outsourcing sector, the company's first quarter earnings posed more questions than answers.

After years of outshining larger peer Tata Consultancy Services and achieving the bellwether status for its runderpromise, over-deliver' performance quarter after quarter, Infosys reported April to June quarter revenues of Rs.7,485 crore, growing at 3.2%, and lower than at least 5% revenue growth expected by brokerage analysts.

Infosys also maintained its full-year forecast of achieving 18-20% growth in revenues to $7.13-7.25 billion. Analysts were expecting the company to revise its guidance upwards especially after TCS denied any slowdown in tech spending last month.

Research firm Gartner too revised its forecast for the global tech spending to 7.1% growth from around 5% projected earlier. "The markets expect us to be like Sachin Tendulkar. Every time we score a 100 they want us to score 200," Infosys CFO and now member of the board V Balakrishnan said, responding to the reaction of investors on Tuesday.

Balakrishnan said the impact of wage hikes dragged the margins down by 3%. Alarmed by the company's weak commentary and concerns on whether it can sustain its high profit margins amid growing competition, investors dragged Infosys shares by 4.27% to Rs.2,794.25 on the BSE.

"With 18-20% growth, this impact cannot be absorbed fully," he said. Even for this growth to be achieved during year ending March 2012 will need much more robust growth during next two quarters.
Traditionally, October to March quarters are weak for the country's $60-billion outsourcing sector. Infosys' operating margin fell to 26% during April to June period marking the worst such dip in quarterly profits in five years.

Brokerage analysts like Nimish Joshi of CLSA said investors were hoping that Infosys will regain its momentum. "After the big miss in the March-11 quarter, Infosys needed a solid quarter to revive investor confidence in the stock. Unfortunately, the June quarter has failed to provide that," Joshi in a note to investors after Infosys results.
"This is completely at odds to positive comments by other vendors on pricing and seems likely to be a function of Infosys giving away some of its erstwhile pricing premium c.f. other vendors," Joshi added. The company, which counts JP Morgan, BT and Goldman Sachs among its top customers now employs 1, 33,560 staff, and added 26 new customers during the June quarter.
"Infosys' 1QFY12 results came in the background of expectations that this quarter could be the quarter of the beginning of a comeback for the bellwether after the recent restructuring. The quarter's results belied such expectations," JP Morgan analysts Viju K George and Amit Sharma said in their note to investors.
For a company long used to commanding at least 15% premium rates over rivals and with reputation of being the stock market's rone of the most loved' stock, Infosys' first quarter profit fall hints at the beginning of a significant shift in the company's history.

Mint ND 11/07/2011 P-11
POLICY DEBATE
Opening up of the economy will start again
BY SURABHI UPADHYAY

After a long period of in- action, the government has started taking some policy decisions. In an inter- view, Rahul Bhasin, managing director, Baring Private Equity Partners (India), and Adi Godrej, chairman, Godrej Indus- tries, spoke in an interview about how investors and businesses are reacting to the government's actions. Edited excerpts: What do you make of the government's recent policy actions?

Godrej: I think decision- making has commenced again, so quite a few decisions have been taken, if you look at the increases of prices of diesel and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), etc., if you see the decision on the mining policy. So decisions are being now taken and I hope it will continue. It is very important that the reforms continue, the decisions are made and the hiatus ended.
When you were looking at India as a place to invest? Was there an issue building up last year?

Bhasin: Of course, it's very topical. There is no doubt that it will catch media attention...

there is actually action being taken against corruption, which has reached a point where no one was even bothered about covering it up any more.

So I guess of course it's exciting, of course it's the talk of the town, but I think more fundamentally if you look at the different components of the economy, you will find that it is the investment piece of it which is starting to lag and slow down.

And I think that if you see, ever since the financial crisis it's been pretty schizophrenic any- way.

It is very strong and then it weakens and then it is very strong and then it weakens. But I think what is needed is to look at the structural bottlenecks than to address that, and I think to the extent that cleaning up this corruption is a necessary precursor to doing that.

I think whatever clean up is happening is great because we do need to address far more fundamental issues and that is how do we govern our cities and our urban infrastructure.

Actually from a policy perspective and philosophy perspective, the political system has clearly gone down their route of panchayati raj, which is devolving powers to the local bodies.

I am astonished that it has happened everywhere in the rural areas or at least there has been a sincere attempt to do it.

But there has been no attempt to do it in the urban centres and, therefore, you have had urban decay, lack of urban planning, lack of public trans- port, the inability to have high FSI (floor space index) because of this lack of urban planning, the lack of drains, the lack of water supply and the lack of policing... the entire framework in which the city works and be- cause that to my mind holding up investments big time.

How do you look at the next cople of months? Growth is what everybody has been talking about. Do you think now if the government action actually picks up, we could still aim for some thing above 8%?

Godrej: First of all, the government must start the reform process once again. There was a hiatus earlier; because of these corruption scandals etc, government went into hibernation for a while.

Mint ND 11/07/2011 P-11
POLICY DEBATE
Opening up of the economy will start again
BY SURABHI UPADHYAY

After a long period of in- action, the government has started taking some policy decisions. In an inter- view, Rahul Bhasin, managing director, Baring Private Equity Partners (India), and Adi Godrej, chairman, Godrej Indus- tries, spoke in an interview about how investors and businesses are reacting to the government's actions. Edited excerpts: What do you make of the government's recent policy actions?

Godrej: I think decision- making has commenced again, so quite a few decisions have been taken, if you look at the increases of prices of diesel and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), etc., if you see the decision on the mining policy. So decisions are being now taken and I hope it will continue. It is very important that the reforms continue, the decisions are made and the hiatus ended.
When you were looking at India as a place to invest? Was there an issue building up last year?

Bhasin: Of course, it's very topical. There is no doubt that it will catch media attention...

there is actually action being taken against corruption, which has reached a point where no one was even bothered about covering it up any more.

So I guess of course it's exciting, of course it's the talk of the town, but I think more fundamentally if you look at the different components of the economy, you will find that it is the investment piece of it which is starting to lag and slow down.

And I think that if you see, ever since the financial crisis it's been pretty schizophrenic any- way.

It is very strong and then it weakens and then it is very strong and then it weakens. But I think what is needed is to look at the structural bottlenecks than to address that, and I think to the extent that cleaning up this corruption is a necessary precursor to doing that.

I think whatever clean up is happening is great because we do need to address far more fundamental issues and that is how do we govern our cities and our urban infrastructure.

Actually from a policy perspective and philosophy perspective, the political system has clearly gone down their route of panchayati raj, which is devolving powers to the local bodies.

I am astonished that it has happened everywhere in the rural areas or at least there has been a sincere attempt to do it.

But there has been no attempt to do it in the urban centres and, therefore, you have had urban decay, lack of urban planning, lack of public trans- port, the inability to have high FSI (floor space index) because of this lack of urban planning, the lack of drains, the lack of water supply and the lack of policing... the entire framework in which the city works and be- cause that to my mind holding up investments big time.

How do you look at the next cople of months? Growth is what everybody has been talking about. Do you think now if the government action actually picks up, we could still aim for some thing above 8%?

Godrej: First of all, the government must start the reform process once again. There was a hiatus earlier; because of these corruption scandals etc, government went into hibernation for a while.

I think the corruption is being tackled. Even the CII (Con- federation of Indian Industry) has declared a code of business ethics now. So I expect that this opening up of the economy will start again.

But the most important legislation that could really kick- start the economy quickly to attain 10% growth rate is the introduction of the GST (goods and services tax). Because of the political problems between the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) and UPA (United Progressive Alliance), I think the GST implementation has slowed down.

I do hope that it picks up again because once GST is introduced, other things being equal, the Indian economy almost immediately would start growing by 1.5-2% higher.

Are you getting some sense of optimism? In the last two weeks we have seen the diesel price hike, we have seen at least one big M&A (merger and acquisition) transaction get approved by the government. So is it time to start feeling cheerful?

Bhasin: We can talk about the hike of diesel prices etc. If I take a plain vanilla logical view of it, of course it's a good thing directionally but it is an action which has been almost forced upon the government. The deficit was becoming so large, it was just unmanageable. There- fore, they have taken one baby step. I think what is really missing is the sense of urgency that we are a poor country and we don't need to be and we need to do a whole bunch of things to make sure that our policy frameworks or governance etc is put in place.

What is the image of India right now in the eyes of major private equity investors like yourself or clients, institutions? When you speak to people, what are they thinking of India right now?

Bhasin: You and I are sitting and worried about India's image and quite rightly so. But I think the world is besotted with so many problems--largely that of huge debt overhang in most parts of the developed world.

Frankly, India is getting very little attention compared to what we might like to see. Yes I think that the whole situation is also leading to a sense of complacency here because we look at every one and say, `Oh my God, look at the mess there, and they are not going to grow for a while,' and I think that leads to some sense of complacency.

I really wish that people would realize that if your per capita income is $40,000 and you don't go anywhere for 10 years, people are living very happy, good, fulfilled--at least economically fulfilled lives.
When per capita income is just $1,300 I think we should have a sense of urgency and not get complacent looking at other people's problems.

We keep singing about 89% growth. What is really happening on the ground?

Godrej: We are growing quite well. We have grown quite well over the last few years. All the projections indicate that Indian growth will accelerate and projections indicate that by 2030 India will be a mid-development country and by 2050 India will be the largest economy in the world.

So we are progressing reasonably well, except that we have this habit of stamping on our own feet and the progress we could make is not fully realized.

One of the issues is political arguments; politics gets in the way of the best economic decision making. If we could over- come that, we could grow even faster. As I mentioned, a simple thing like the implementation of the GST, which everybody is agreed with but is being held up because of political tug of war, could have helped the country tremendously.

I think by and large we are doing quite well and if we can successfully overcome this problem with transparency and reduce corruption in the country as we seem to be headed to do, I think that will itself add to our future growth rate. So I am not at all despondent, I think we are doing reasonably well.

We need to just ensure that we optimize on all the decision making, whether it is government or business.

All things being equal, when we are looking at corporate growth and corporate profitability, do you think over the next couple of quarters we are going to be get ting into some kind of a soft patch or sustain soft patch or do you think it's a matter of time before the major frontline companies start doing 20%plus again?

Godrej: No, I don't think we are getting into any major soft patch. I think companies will continue to do well and I think the GDP growth will still be between 8-8.5% this year and if we can get some of the reforms going rapidly and take some decisions in the right areas it could accelerate even a little further.

Business Standard ND 11/07/2011 P-5
CII survey: 42 per cent sectors post moderate growth in April-June
BS REPORTER New Delhi


THE performance of industry moderated during the first quarter (April-June) of the current financial year, showed a survey jointly conducted by CII and Ascon.

Out of the 135 sectors covered by the survey, the share of sectors reporting 'excellent' growth has declined to 20.7 per cent from 27.3 per cent a year ago, while an increasing number of sectors or 42 per cent reported moderate growth of up to 10 per cent during the quarter.

"High inflation, rising input cost and monetary tightening measures adopted by the Reserve Bank of India are some of the reasons behind moderating growth in April-June 2011," said CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee.

An analysis of the data according to broad categories shows that consumer durables had the largest percentage of sectors in the excellent growth category followed by capital goods. On the other hand, consumer non-durables and basic goods performed poorly with a larger share of sectors in the high, moderate or negative growth segments.

Some of the sectors reporting excellent growth rates over 20 per cent are machine tools, forgings, switchgears, tractors, LCVs, passenger cars, earth-moving and construction equipment. Cement, motors starters, natural gas, sunflower oil, and colour picture tube of TVs are some sectors that have shown negative growth rates.

The survey also highlighted some of the general and sector-specific issues faced by the industry. The general issues include rise in the cost of raw materials, high cost of credit, infrastructure bottlenecks and availability of power, land acquisition and increasing oil prices.

The survey was based on the feedback collected from more than 100 industry associations and interaction with industry representatives of more than 3,500 companies in sectors such as basic goods, intermediate goods, capital goods, consumer durables and non durables.

Economic Times, ND 11/07/2011 p-5
Need to Make CSR More Meaningful: Ambani
OURBUREAU NEW DELHI

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani called for a new business ethos where companies don't just work only to create shareholder value but also enrich society, making corporate social responsibility (CSR) more meaningful than mere handouts for the deprived. "One cannot try to understand CSR in isolation. CSR is often seen as charity and this narrow definition springs from wester n theories that believe hi more privileged giving certain portion of their wealth to the less privileged. However, Indian values teaches not only charity but enrichment of others," Ambani said at the Col Mushran Memorial Lecture in New Delhi.

He said CSR should be defined as "continuous social responsibility" and called for new partnerships involving corporate world, government and people at large - a view echoed by Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath, who said at the same function .that corporate houses should spare people for voluntary work in art, healthcare and efficient implementation of development projects.

"Business should be evaluated on the basis of social returns and not only financial returns. For me, purpose of business is growth and welfare of the nation at large by creating more jobs and wealth. Every Indian deserves to lead to a better life," said Ambani, one of the richest men on the planet and owner of multistoreyed Antilla, which ranks among the world's most opulent and luxurious homes.

He said businesses should put people ahead of customers and that economic growth stories should not be just told in absolute numbers but it should translate into the transformation of the future. He stressed on significance of CSR in the lights of Indian corporate houses that are transforming into global giants that will have to keep CSR as integral part of the business. "We now have to see .business in vital context. Business will not have to act only for shareholders. But it will also have to care for the society In today's context it is important to get business of business right," said Ambani. He stressed for the need of creating unique CSR models design with keeping hi mind the tradition of India.

Economic Times ND 8/07/2011   p-15
CSR is About Doing Business Ethically, Not Money: Govt
Ministry of Corporate Affairs to unveil new norms on business responsibility today
SOUVIK S ANYAL & RISHI SHAH
NEW DELHI

Corporate social responsibility will get redefined under new guidelines set to be unveiled on Friday that aim to encourage ethical practices in all spheres of business operations, ultimately shifting the focus away from merely shelling out cash on social causes.
The new guidelines, now being referred to as business responsibility norms, will replace the ministry of corporate affairs' voluntary directions on CSR introduced two years ago.
The new norms require a company to be responsible in its handling of issues related to environment and society where it functions. Apart from prescribing best practices on how a company should address concerns on human rights violations, the guidelines will suggest ways in which India Inc should interact and lobby with the government.
While the norms would still be kept voluntary, a strict process of reporting has been devised that would be periodically reviewed by regulators. An independent evaluation mechanism of how a business is performing is also being devised through rating agencies. "The fear of losing credibility and goodwill is way bigger than money spent," said a ministry official requesting anonymity Planning Commission member Arun Maira said, "It is the way profit is earned by the companies that is important, not the expenditure incurred on CSR." The commission, which is separately looking into the aspect on business responsibility and industry's interface with the government, will come up with suggestions on how to make the new structure efficient. A Maura-led group is looking into the relationship of industry and government to suggest as part of promoting business responsibility. The new norms will be kept separate from the purview of the Companies Act. "We should not immediately incorporate something which the industry does not understand right away," Maira said. The business responsibility framework has been jointly prepared by the Indian Institute of Corporate   Affairs, a think tank under the ministry, and Germany-based international enterprise GIZ as part of a bilateral cooperation effort. Companies will be asked to report their activities in their annual reports. While larger companies will be required to report as per the global reporting initiative (GRI) format, which is an internationally recognised format on sustainability reporting, smaller companies will have an option of just declaring then: in-principle acceptance of these norms. Rating firms have already started ranking companies based on their performance on environment social norms. Crisil had recently launched its Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) index, which measures company performance on voluntary disclosures on governance and environment issues rather than financial performance.
The index ranks India's top 500 listed firms, using publicly available information to measure their performance. "Since June 2009 the' ESG index has outperformed the Nifty SO,1" said Sunil Sinha, senior economist and the person in charge of creating the index. "This shows that investing in environment friendly companies with good corporate governance will yield good return too." The social responsibility debate was revived this year when the corporate affairs minister wanted companies to spend at least 2 % of their annual net profits on CSR activities by including the clause hi the new Companies Act. The industry, however, managed to keep CSR spending voluntary although a provision on earmarking at least 2 % of their net profits is likely to be maintained.