Showing posts from June, 2011

Salaried persons with less than Rs 5 lakh taxable income need not file returns

Salaried individuals with taxable income of less than Rs 5 lakh will not have to file income-tax returns in the current assessment year.

The finance ministry notified the scheme on Thursday, spelling out the conditions for the exemption announced in the Budget for 2011-12.

Individuals with total taxable salary income of less than Rs 5 lakh in FY 2010-11, after allowing all deductions, will be exempt from filing tax returns this year.

However, the entire income must accrue from a single employer. That is, if an individual has a taxable salary income of less than Rs 5 lakh but had switched jobs in the middle of 2010-11, then he would have to file tax returns, clubbing income from all the employers.

The exemption will also not be available to individuals who have interest income of more than 10,000 in their savings deposits. Those with interest income of less than 10,000 will need to declare such income to their employer and have tax deducted on it to avail of the exemption.

The emp…

Trends in the Healthcare Business Intelligence

The importance of business intelligence (BI) has grown exponentially as healthcare providers respond to a wide range of internal and external demands.
While advances in health information technology may be improving clinical operations and increasing bedside data capture, exploiting this wealth of new data with legacy decision support systems remains a formidable challenge. In addition, decision makers and knowledge workers are demanding more from both the scope of data available and the maturity of tools for analyzing that data.
Demand-Side Trends
•Healthcare organizations face increased pressure to invest in technologies that help them achieve strategic goals such as competing based on value and quality.
•The collection of clinical data is growing exponentially as more providers adopt clinical information systems and use ambulatory electronic medical records. However, translating this data into actionable intelligence is challenging when using traditional, financially focused decision s…

Rail concession for visually, mentally challenged from July 1

The extension of rail fare concession for the visually and mentally challenged travelling in Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains will take effect from July 1, a Railway Ministry official said today.

"The concession for both categories will be 25 per cent in AC III tier and AC chair car in Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains," said a senior Railway Ministry official, adding the "same concession would also be admissible to one escort accompanying the person."
The concession will be effective for tickets purchased on or after July 1 this year, he added.

Currently the concession for the visually challenged is 75 per cent in sleeper class, AC chair car and AC III tier, and 50 per cent in AC II tier and AC first class for the mentally challenged in all trains except Rajdhani and Shatabdi.

For the visually challenged to avail of the concession, a certificate issued by a government doctor or Head of the Institution for the Blind , listed in IRCA Coaching Tariff, is required, while the ment…

Immigration numbers plunge by almost half in two years in Australia

Australia is not wooing foreigners, including Indians, as latest official data says that the country's net migration has plunged by almost half in the last two years.

Australia's Bureau of statistics report disclosed that net migration was just 171,000 in 2010, down sharply from 316,000 in 2008 and the lowest since the bureau changed its measuring system in late 2006, according to media reports.

The report said that country's population growth fell to 325,500 in 2010, down from 467,300 in 2008.

However, in the six months to December, net migration slumped 37 per cent year on year, from 121,500 to 77,000.

In the state of Victoria, net migration fell even more sharply.

Since 2003, Indians had been the main source of permanent settlers in Victoria. But in 2009-10, their numbers slumped 14 per cent, and China became the state's main source of settlers.

In 2010, migration of Indians to Victoria slumped 37 per cent, from 76,000 to 48,000, partly reflecting the impact o…

Two Indian firms win green energy awards

Two Indian firms have won the prestigious Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy , considered as the Green Oscar ".

A cash prize of 20,000 pounds each were also given to them at a ceremony held here last night.

Pankaj Patel, Chief of the Abellon CleanEnergy, Gujarat received the International Award and cash prize of 20,000 pounds on behalf of the company for producing biomass pellets from crop waste to fuel Gujarat's industries and for giving farmers a market for their waste products.

Sarah Butler-Sloss, Founder director of the Ashden Awards and chair of the judging panel said: "Abellon has devised a system that relies on a local clean source of energy to reduce Co2, by replacing dirty industrial fuels, drive economic growth, improve crops yields and support farmers."

"This is a showcase example of how the use of local, clean energy can provide effective and commercially viable solutions to local challenges. We hope others can learn from this exciting and suc…

Apple files patent suit against Samsung in S.Korea

Apple Inc has filed a patent lawsuit in South Korea , claiming Samsung Electronics Co Ltd infringed upon several patents, a court official said on Friday, in their latest legal tussle over smartphone and tablet devices.

The litigation comes as Samsung filed patent suits in South Korea, Japan and Germany in April over the U.S. company's iPhone and iPad after Apple claimed Samsung's Galaxy line "slavishly" copied its products.

India, China growing much rapidly, says Obama

US President Barack Obama has said that countries like India and China are on the move and growing much rapidly, warning that America is facing stiff competition from these nations.

"There are rapidly growing nations like China and India - they're hungry; they're on the move," Obama said at a fund raiser event in New York wherein he disclosed that one of the reasons why he ran for presidency in 2008 was because it is now a world where America is facing stiff competition for good jobs.

"For a long time we were told that the best way to win this competition was to undermine consumer protections, undermine clean air and clean water laws, hand out tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires, and everything would work out just fine. It did not work out well. In fact, if you look at our history, you'll see that philosophy has never worked our very well," Obama said.

At another speech in New York, Obama said a lot has changed since then.

"We had gone …

Oracle Q4 net up 36% to $3.2 billion

Oracle Corp reported a 36 per cent surge in net income to $3.2 billion in the three-month period ended May 31, 2011, driven by growth in software sales.

In the year-ago period, the software giant had a net income of USD 2.38 billion, Oracle said in a statement.

Oracle has attributed its robust quarter numbers to strong growth in software demand along with sales of Exadata and Exalogic systems, while the company has recorded a decline in hardware business.

Total revenues for the fourth quarter increased to $10.8 billion from USD 9.5 billion in the previous year quarter, representing a growth of 13 per cent.

New software license sales, which are the main contributor to the company's growth, grew by 19 per cent to $3.7 billion.

"In Q4, we achieved a 19 per cent new software license growth rate with almost no help from acquisitions," Oracle President and CFO Safra Catz said.

However, Oracle, maker of database software, may not be benefiting as much as predicted from it…

India to go ahead with plan to expand its nuclear energy

India has assured corporate America that it has no plans to halt its nuclear energy projects in view of the recent damage to a nuclear power plant in Japan after it was hit by a tsunami.

"We are very clear it is an absolute must in the bouquet of energy resources which have to be accessed," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma told a gathering of top US c corporate leaders and those from the US government at the annual summit of the US India Business Council (USIBC).

Sharma told the USIBC meeting that he was recently asked if nuclear energy in India would be effected in view of the recent incident in Japan, "My answer was no," Sharma said, adding that nuclear energy in India is going to expand.

"We are very clear that we not be left behind again in the field of technologies," Sharma said.

"We want you to be with us in achieving what we have set out to achieve," he urged the corporate leaders of the United States.

"That would be a notabl…

Sensex regains 18,000 level after 9-days as crude falls

The BSE benchmark Sensex added over 313 points to regain the 18,000-level after nine-days during intra-day trade today on heavy buying in blue-chips after a steep fall in crude prices and easing concerns on fuel prices hike.

The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index climbed 313.14 points to 18,037.63 at 1145 hrs, with most oil company stocks rising.

The National Stock Exchange's broader Nifty index rose by 92 points to 5,414.

The trading sentiment improved after Oil Minister S Jaipal Reddy said his ministry has made no specific proposal on increasing auto and cooking fuel prices for consideration by the EGoM on fuel prices later today, easing concerns of more monetary tightening to curb inflation.

Crude oil prices dropped by 4.6 per cent to USD 91.02 a barrel in New York yesterday.

The largest state-owned oil explorer, Oil and Natural Gas Corp, surged by 3.18 per cent, the most in a month, to Rs 272.90, while Gas Authority of India gained 2.20 per cent to Rs 446.50.

Dell's Suresh Vaswani eyes Wipro talent pool

Suresh Vaswani is dipping into the precious talent pool of Wipro , his former employer, as he builds the back office business of Dell.

In his first senior hire since joining Dell as chairman for its India operations in April this year, Vaswani has reached out to an old colleague and former head of Wipro's BPO division - Ashutosh Vaidya. According to at least three people familiar with the discussions, Vaidya is set to join his former boss as the head of Dell's BPO business.

"In Vaidya, he (Vaswani) has found an ideal candidate to shape Dell's BPO strategy," said the first person adding that he expected an announcement to be made on this appointment within days. "Until that (announcement) happens, it's not really done," he added.

Vaswani, who resigned from Wipro's joint post in January this year after spending 25 years at the company, is now helping Dell grow its nearly $8 billion services and BPO business. Dell, a late entrant in the lucrativ…

Booking a flat from a builder? Do the due first

A brand new home has its own charm, especially when its price is yet to hit the roof. Many individuals take the risk of booking a flat in an under-construction building mainly for that reason. It not only helps you fulfil the dream of owning a house, but is also cheaper than a read-to-occupy flat.
But, reports about builders failing to complete the project on time have made many prospective home buyers anxious about booking a flat in an under-construction project. Many also wonder if they should book a property whose final shape is still not known.
"The biggest advantage of an under-construction flat is a well spread out cash outflow linked to the construction's progress," says Gulam Zia, national director, research & advisory services, Knight Frank India. "You can also get the flat customised to your needs."
You can also choose the location of the flat, direction and floor when the builder is about to start the project. Locating them is easy, given the lar…

Buying diesel cars? Get ready to pay more for cover

Insurance premium on diesel vehicles may rise by 30% as insurers plan to compensate themselves for higher liabilities in the segment, dealing yet another blow to auto sales that have been slowing due to high interest rates.
General insurance companies, facing steep losses in motor policy claims, also plan to factor in regional behaviour on claims to finalise premium, said two people familiar with the development. This will translate into customers in north India paying higher premium for damages and customers in the south paying more for third-party insurance.

"An individual travelling long distances mostly chooses a diesel vehicle, leading to higher exposure to risk, which may increase the premium," said Vijay Kumar , head of motor insurance at Bajaj Allianz General Insurance. "Fuel has become an important rating parameter with the growing preference for diesel vehicles."

Automobile insurance premium is on the rise as insurers say claims are disproportionate to…

Honda to revamp 'City' sedan in a bid to revive its fortunes

Honda plans to revamp its City sedan within days of slashing its flagship car's price by up to 66,000 to revive it sagging fortunes in world's fastest growing auto market. The refreshed car is likely to have top-notch optional features such as sunroof, new multimedia and infotainment additions like Bluetooth and iPod connectivity and a new color combination, an industry executive said.

"The car would carry new colors and design cues like new tail lamps that could get an LED treatment and internal changes in form of some modifications with instrumental panel, new interior trim and a new CD player system," the person said, requesting anonymity.

City, the largest sold Honda model in India, has kept company going in its 13 years of existence. However, in recent months, new entrants such as Volkswagen Vento and the relaunched Hyundai Verna have displaced this decade-old segment leader to a fourth spot in mid-size sedan market.

Honda City sales dropped 43% to 3,370 cars …

India to overtake US as world's second largest trading nation: Citibank

In less than 40 years India will overtake the US as the world's second-largest trading nation , pushing today's superpower into third place and Europe in to the little leagues, according to a new report by Citigroup .
"According to projections, world trade in goods and services will grow from $37 trillion in 2010 to $149 trillion in 2030 and $371 trillion in 2050," Citigroup's William Buiter and Ebrahim Rahbari .
China is expected by Citi to become the world's biggest trader by 2015 but it is India's rise that could come as a surprise to many, according to Citi's analysis.

"In terms of the largest countries by trade, expected China to overtake the US to become the world's largest trader by 2015 and to remain in the top spot for the rest of our forecast horizon,"
"India, which does not even feature in the top 10 of the world's largest traders in 2010, is expected to be the world's second-largest trader by 2050, with the US …

Will gold continue to perform as well as it has in the past?

Gold has given a return of about 160% in the past five years. That is, if you had invested Rs 100 in gold back then, it would be worth around Rs 260 today. Now, compare that to the investment made in the stock market during the same period. The 50-share NSE Nifty Index, which is a broad representation of the Indian stock market, has grown by around 83%, which means that Rs 100 invested in the stock market five years ago would have grown to Rs 183 by now. The point is: return from gold has been almost double than from stocks. But that, as they say, is the past. What about the future? Will gold continue to perform as well as it has in the past? The answer is most likely yes. Gold prices will continue to rise even further in the days to come. Here are some reasons why. For many years, central banks around the world have been net sellers of gold. But in 2010, after a very long period, they became buyers again. Central banks have been net buyers of gold in 2010 for the first time in the pa…

China to Buy More Gold

China's foreign exchange reserves currently stand at $3 trillion and gold as a percentage of these reserves forms only a miniscule 1.8%. But this dependence on the dollar is gradually coming down. "Countries like China who are amongst the largest holders of US dollars are, in fact, diversifying away from the dollar by selling dollar and buying gold.
Currently, 1.8% of China's forex reserves is in gold; if China were to bring this percentage in line with the global average of 11%, it would have to buy another 6,000 tons of gold, or more than two years' global mine production of gold." Imagine what that would do to the price of gold. This is also true of other major holders of foreign exchange reserves like Japan as well as India. Japan's gold reserves stand at a miniscule 3.2% of its total foreign exchange reserves of $1.14 trillion. India's gold reserves at 8.2% are much closer to the world average of 11%. The rise in the price of gold has shown an almost o…

Nokia to launch Microsoft platform phones in 2011

Nokia Corp. says it plans to introduce this year its first mobile phone using the Microsoft Windows platform.

Chief Executive Stephen Elop said in a speech on Tuesday in Singapore that Nokia will start to deliver the models in bulk during 2012.

Nokia also unveiled its N9 smartphone model, which is based on the MeeGo platform. Elop said the N9 would be launched later this year, but declined to specify the date or price.

Nokia is facing steep competition at the top end of the market against smartphones such as Apple Inc.'s iPhone, Research in Motion's Blackberry as well as Android, and on the lower end against emerging market phone makers who are dropping their prices on devices.

Trends in Indian Healthcare Industry - 2011

Healthcare sector has witnessed upward trend even during recessions, reports suggest that healthcare is going to be one of the major sector that would fuel the economic growth and will contribute to the increased revenues, along with IT Services and Education sectors. Forecasted 40 millions new jobs and around 200 billion increased revenues by 2020 in Indian Healthcare Industry.
The Indian healthcare industry is seen to be growing at a much rapid pace  and is expected to become a Rs.12,60,000 Cr. by 2020.
The past two years most of the players in the Healthcare Industry announced huge expansion plans, many large companies and corporates with no or very little existence in healthcare delivery declared that they would be putting in huge investments in Healthcare Services.

According to the Investment Commission of India the healthcare sector has experienced phenomenal growth of more than 12%per annum in the last 4years and this growth is expected to be driven by differnet factors: rising l…

GFMS sees gold at $1,620 in Q4

Gold should rise to around USD 1,620 an ounce and silver about USD 50 an ounce in the fourth quarter, metals consultancy GFMS research director Neil Meader said on Tuesday. The rise is being driven in part by low interest rates, fears of inflation, Indian and Chinese demand and worries about sovereign debt, he told Reuters on the sidelines of a business conference.
"After the summer lull we should start to see a firming in the price of gold and silver," Meader said. "The two (metals) should broadly follow one another," with volatile silver prices "nudging USD 50," he said. GFMS had foreseen gold prices averaging USD 1,455 this year, with a range of USD 1,319 to USD 1,620, when it released its widely anticipated industry report in April.
Spot gold was bid at USD 1,519.60 an ounce at 1010 GMT compared with USD 1,514.73 late in New York on Monday. Silver was at USD 35.02 from USD 34.69.
Demand is expected to rise in China this year despite a seasonally related di…

India gold adds gains to high.

India gold rose on Monday afternoon, extending gains to over the highest level in more than a week, while traders retreated after picking up bargains last week as a weaker rupee made the dollar-quoted yellow metal expensive, dealers said.
The most-active gold for August delivery on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) was trading 0.14% higher at Rs 22,654 per 10 grams at 1:56 p.m., after hitting a high of Rs 22,675, a level last seen on June 9.
"There were a few deals on Thursday and Friday... however there are no deals today," said a dealer with a state-run, bullion-dealing bank.
Dealers said premiums charged on the yellow metal on London prices eased by 20 cents to USD 1.2-1.4 an ounce due to lack of demand.
The Indian rupee weakened to its lowest in three weeks on Monday, weighed by losses in domestic shares and the euro, with dollar demand from oil companies also piling pressure. The rupee plays an important role in determining the landed cost of the dollar-quoted yellow metal…

Croatian(country in Central & Southeastern Europe)IT Services Market Expected to Remain Flat in 2011

The IT services market in Croatia contracted in 2010, slipping to a total of $370 million. "This represents a year-on-year decline of 6.1% in U.S. dollar terms and 2.3% in local currency- IDC.
IDC predicts that spending on IT services in Croatia will be flat in 2011, with growth expected from 2012 onward, driven by economic recovery and EU membership.
Following a healthy real annual increase in IT services spending of over 30% in 2005–2006, more moderate, single-digit, growth in 2007–2008, and a modest contraction of the Croatian IT services market in 2009, 2010 witnessed a 6.1% decline. This was due to continued economic malaise and shrinking capital expenditure budgets among the largest IT services spenders – organizations in the telecoms and finance industries - as well as reduced technology investments in the public sector.
The project services macromarket, which includes systems integration, consulting, and custom application development, amounted to $188.66 million in 2010, m…

New CEO for Al-Qaida: Sheikh Dr. Abu Muhammad Ayman al-Zawahiri

A web posting Thursday said Zawahri has assumed responsibility for the group, and that there will be no shift in al-Qaida policy.  He had been the number two. Although some terror analysts speculated he lacked bin Laden's potent charisma and ability to hold al Qaeda together.
Born into a wealthy family in Cairo, al-Zawahiri is a physician and founding member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, a militant organization that opposed the secular Egyptian government of Hosni Mubarak and sought its overthrow through violent means. Like bin Laden, al-Zawahiri also went to Afghanistan during its fight against the Soviets, although he was there primarily to offer medical expertise. Al-Zawahiri's wife and three children were killed in December 2001 in a U.S. attack on the family's residence in Afghanistan.
An associate of bin Laden's since the 1980s, he has been described as the organizational mastermind of the operation, complementing bin Laden's inspirational and financial role. …

White House tech guru Vivek Kundra leaving for Harvard

The White House tech guru who spearheaded an administration effort to streamline the federal government’s massive IT infrastructure is leaving for Harvard.
After 2½ years as the first federal chief information officer, Vivek Kundra is leaving in August for a fellowship at Harvard. Kundra, who worked in the Office of Management and Budget, oversees $80 billion in federal information technology projects and led a push for more cloud computing.
In his new endeavor, Kundra will split his time in a joint fellowship between the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
“We look forward to working closely with him on cutting-edge issues where the complexities of cloud computing intersect with law, institutions and data,” Berkman Center Executive Director Urs Gasser said in a news release.Kundra occupied one of three tech-focused posts that the Obama White House created to overhaul the government’s use of technology.
The others ar…

White House tech guru Vivek Kundra leaving for Harvard

The White House tech guru who spearheaded an administration effort to streamline the federal government’s massive IT infrastructure is leaving for Harvard.
After 2½ years as the first federal chief information officer, Vivek Kundra is leaving in August for a fellowship at Harvard. Kundra, who worked in the Office of Management and Budget, oversees $80 billion in federal information technology projects and led a push for more cloud computing.
In his new endeavor, Kundra will split his time in a joint fellowship between the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
“We look forward to working closely with him on cutting-edge issues where the complexities of cloud computing intersect with law, institutions and data,” Berkman Center Executive Director Urs Gasser said in a news release. Kundra occupied one of three tech-focused posts that the Obama White House created to overhaul the government’s use of technology.
The others ar…