Bharti Airtel, India’s top mobile phone carrier, signed up 935,947 mobile subscribers in September, taking its total in the country to 172.8 million, data from an industry body showed on Wednesday.
Vodafone Essar, India’s third-largest mobile phone carrier by users and controlled by Vodafone, added 848,204 subscribers in the same month to have a total of about 145 million, the Cellular Operators’ Association of India said. (Reuters)
Low cost Aakash generates a lot of enthusiasm in US: Sibal
HRD minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday said the low cost computing device Aakash has generated a lot of “enthusiasm” among the American public and several companies there have evinced interest to associate with the project to further raise its efficiency and productivity.
The minister, who returned on Tuesday from a week-long trip to the US where he attended the first ever Indo-US higher education summit, said details of the product were also shared with the World Bank which suggested spreading it among the students world-wide. (PTI)
Facebook may be ‘changing brains’
How many Facebook “friends” do you have? People with lots of friends on the social networking site have denser grey matter in certain regions of the brain, says a new study, raising the possibility that such sites may be altering people’s brains.
Researchers at University College London found that users with the greatest number of friends on Facebook had more grey matter in brain regions than those of people with fewer online connections. (PTI)
Ashok Chawla to be sworn-in as new CCI chairman
Former finance secretary Ashok Chawla will be sworn in tomorrow as the new chairman of the competition watchdog, CCI, filling up the key post that has been lying vacant for over four months.
Sources said the ministry of corporate affairs, the administrative ministry of CCI, will hold the swearing-in as per the requirement of the Competition Act 2002.
A day after, he will be taking charge as the chairman, they added. (PTI)
US national security advisor to visit India next week
Ahead of the East Asian Summit, US President Barack Obama’s national security advisor Thomas E Donilon will visit India next week for key consultations and to review recent developments in bilateral strategic partnership.
Donilon is schedule to meet National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon and other Indian leaders, the White House announced today. Before coming to India, the top US official will travel to China.
The top American official and Indian leaders will “review recent developments” in the US-India partnership, and “discuss ways to advance key elements of the relationship, including both countries’ participation in the upcoming East Asia Summit,” in Indonesia in mid-November, the White House said. (PTI)
Government to decide on ONGC share sale soon
India will decide on the share sale in state-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp in 4-5 days, an official at the finance ministry, who declined to be named, said on Wednesday. (Reuters)
Sun Pharma offers to buy remaining stake in Taro
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd , India’s top drugmaker by market value, said on Tuesday it offered to buy all of the outstanding shares it does not already own in its Israeli unit Taro Pharmaceutical Industries for $24.50 apiece.
Sun Pharma owns about 66% of Taro, according to the Indian firm’s website.
Sun Pharma said in a statement to the stock exchanges that its offer was 25.96% higher than the most recent closing price of Taro’s common stock. (Reuters)
RBI grants pan-India licence to J&K State Coop Bank
The Reserve Bank of India has granted a licence to Jammu and Kashmir State Cooperative Bank to carry out business activities in any part of the country, an official spokesperson of the state government said on Wednesday.
Minister of state for cooperatives, finance & planning Manohar Lal Sharma announced the grant of licence by the RBI at a high-level meeting of bank officers, according to the spokesperson.
“It is a matter of pride for the state to get the (RBI) licence for a public sector bank,” Sharma said, expressing hope that the bank will be able to expand its activities into other parts of the country besides Jammu and Kashmir. (PTI)
Samsung, Google unveil latest Android phone
Samsung Electronics unveiled the first smartphone running on Google’s latest version of the Android operating system, which combines software used in tablets and smartphones, as they step up competition against Apple.
The global launch of the Galaxy Nexus kicks off in November and comes as competition intensifies between Samsung and Apple Inc to win market share in the booming tablets and smartphones industry. (Reuters)
China to inspect coastal regions for oil spill risks
China plans inspections of coastal regions for potential pollution risks from oil spills, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
The inspections were aimed at enhancing awareness among local governments and companies about safe production, and establishing mechanisms to prevent oil leaks, Xinhua reported, quoting ministry of environmental protection (MEP) spokesman Tao Detian.
China has experienced an increasing number of oil spills in recent years, damaging the environment and threatening the safety of drinking water. (Reuters)
Moody downgrades Spanish government debt ratings
Moody’s Investors Service on Tuesday became the latest ratings agency to downgrade Spain’s government bond ratings. Moody’s cut the ratings one notch and issued a negative outlook for the struggling nation’s sovereign debt. The ratings agency downgraded Spanish debt to “A1” from “Aa2,” four days after Standard & Poor’s cut its rating on the nation’s long-term debt. Fitch Ratings likewise cut Spain’s rating earlier this month. After nearly two years of recession, Spanish unemployment is high, credit is tight, the banking sector is weak and the private sector carries heavy debt. (Reuters)
Strike shuts down Greece before austerity vote
Greek unions began a 48-hour general strike on Wednesday, the biggest protest in years, as parliament prepared to vote on sweeping new austerity measures designed to stave off a default that could trigger a crisis in the wider euro zone.
The strike shut government departments, businesses, public services and even providers of everyday staples like shops and bakeries and will culminate in mass demonstrations outside parliament, the scene of violent clashes in June. (Reuters)