Mumbai: India’s largest truck maker Tata Motors Ltd bought a 50.3% stake in Norway’s Milj Grenland Innovasjon for 12 million kroner ($2 million, Rs9.54 crore) to make electric vehicles.
Tata Motors will make the Indica electric vehicle from 2009, it said in a statement on Tuesday.
No Mamata influence on Maruti or Suzuki
New Delhi: Maruti Suzuki India Ltd has clarified that it has played no role in “scuttling” the Tata Nano project in West Bengal. “The allegation(s) that Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Suzuki Motor Corp. were ‘behind’ or ‘backing’ Mamata Banerjee, are false”, Maruti Suzuki’s corporate communications manager Puneet Dhawan said in an email. He was responding to a Tuesday story in Mint quoting the Communist Party of India (Marxist) member of Parliament and central committee member Shyamal Chakrabarty as saying that Banerjee, and the two companies “who were behind her, would love to auction the land and return (it) to the farmers”.
— Staff Writer
Ram Sethu: Centre files written submissions
New Delhi: After the Supreme Court reserved its verdict on the controversial Ram Sethu project in July, the Centre on Tuesday filed a transcript of its oral arguments and reiterated that religious texts show that the Ram Sethu was destroyed by Ram himself.
Quoting religious texts such as the ‘Kamban Ramayan’ and the ‘Padma Purana’, the Centre said the petitioners have not been able to establish that “whatever remains of the Ram Sethu as a place of worship is an essential and integral part” of Hinduism.
TV18 calls off securities broking joint venture
New Delhi: Television Eighteen India Ltd has called off a joint venture formed in end-2006 to enter the securities broking business, saying the decision was reached after evaluating the relative strengths and risks of entering this business under the prevailing market conditions. The JV partners were Ambit Corporate Finance Pvt. Ltd and Centurion Bank of Punjab. TV18 informed the Bombay Stock Exchange of the decision late on Monday.
— Staff Writer
NDTV posts 230% loss on channel launches
New Delhi: Broadcaster NDTV Ltd said its stand-alone net loss for the three months ended 30 September widened 230% compared with the year ago period to reach Rs13.04 crore, as the company expanded into the lifestyle and entertainment business.
Consolidated net loss widened by 373% to reach Rs119 crore, or Rs19.04 per share, but the firm added new channels to its network during the intervening period, causing expenditure to rise. Expenditure rose 147% from the year-ago period to Rs231 crore, while total income grew 67% to Rs120 crore. However, standalone income grew just 9.1% year-on-year to Rs73.91 crore, in what could be a sign of slowing ad revenue growth in the news business. “On account of entertainment side of business being in its early growth phase, the company has incurred a net loss of Rs119 crore. NDTV remains perhaps the only television media company, which has a cash balance of Rs660 crore in the holding company NDTV Ltd, available for expansion and development,” chief executive officer K.V.L. Narayan Rao said in a statement. The statement added that the company would undertake a major cost rationalization exercise.
— Staff Writer
DLF reschedules share buy back opening date
New Delhi: DLF Ltd, India’s largest real estate developer by market value, has re-scheduled the opening date of its proposed buy-back of equity shares from the open market through stock exchanges.
On 6 October, DLF had said that the Rs1,100 crore buy-back offer would open on 15 October and would close on 9July. The company has in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange rescheduled the buy-back offer for 17 October.
— Staff Writer
Merrill raises $2.65 bn for Asia Property Fund
Hong Kong: Merrill Lynch and Co., the securities firm being bought by Bank of America Corp., raised $2.65 billion (Rs12,640 crore) for its first fund dedicated to Asian real estate investments, it said in an emailed statement. Merrill Lynch Asian Real Estate Opportunity Fund aims to invest in real estate assets or property companies in the region, with a focus on Japan, China, South Korea and India. It will also invest in Australia and Southeast Asia.
Foreign Educational Institutions Bill to be tabled in Parliament
New Delhi: Seven months after the Union Cabinet cleared the Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations, Maintenance of Quality and Prevention of Commercialisation) Bill 2007, piloted by the Human Resource Development Ministry, the legislation is likely to be introduced in the upcoming session of Parliament to open up India’s higher education sector to foreign entities and regulate their entry and operation.
“The Bill has been listed to be tabled before the Parliament in the coming session,’’ a senior official of the HRD Ministry told Mint.
As per the Draft Bill, all foreign universities will get a status of Deemed Universities before enrolling students, thereby bringing them under the ambit of University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations. The UGC Secretary has been designated as the Registrar for Foreign Education Providers.
However, a new clause in the bill empowers the government to exempt foreign institutions from any provision of the legislation. This clause has opened the possibility of exempting these institutes from regulations like reservations, fee structure and salaries. This clause is said to be a compromise formula or a middle path between the commerce and human resource development ministries.
At present, foreign universities are forbidden from offering degree courses in India by the human resource development ministry that governs education, although the commerce ministry officially allows 100 per cent FDI in the sector. But nearly 150 foreign education providers are offering joint courses with Indian varsities under a twinning arrangement — part of the course in India, the rest abroad — that is allowed by the education department.
The entry of foreign education providers into India is a fait accompli in a globalised world, and the law will merely help monitor such institutions, the education department has argued in the draft bill, ministry sources said.
Only those foreign universities or institutions that are recognised in their home country will be allowed in, they added.
A crucial caveat in the proposed law may also allow the UGC to exempt some “world-class” institutions — like Harvard, Cambridge or Oxford — from its regulations on a “case-by-case” basis, the sources said. Indian laws on reservation in admission will apply to the foreign campuses here.
The government is also likely to introduce the Right to Education Bill 2005 in the upcoming session, the official said. The bill, referred to the Group of Ministers in August, once approved by the parliament, will pave way for free and compulsory education to children between six and 14 years of age.
— Staff Writer