Archive for August, 2006|Monthly archive page

Suicide cases on the rise in Chennai

NDTV carried the following story on the rising suicide trends in our city. It’s certainly not a good trend :-(. What could be the reason? Too much stress from parents? Or could it be because of a very competitive environment for the younger generations?

There is growing concern about the increasing number of suicide cases, particularly among youngsters, in Chennai. In order to battle this trend – just before the World Suicide Prevention Day, which is on September 10th – 27 students from the Adarsh Vidyala school in Chennai took a joint pledge not to commit suicide. Doctors at Royapettah government hospital, who organised the event, say that the exercise was necessary to build awareness among teenagers.

Statistics show that more and more young people between the ages of 15 and 29 in the city are committing suicide. Among the most common causes are parental pressure, failure in relationships and failure in exams. For instance, 15-year-old Sangeetha consumed acid because her mother scolded her for playing instead of studying. “Don’t ever try this, what I have done to myself. If your mother scolds you, be calm and don’t take a step like this,” said Sangeetha, Student. According to the police a growing number of cases of suicide attempts are being reported in the city.

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World’s Top 10 Richest Tech Titans

Business Magazine Forbes has come out with its list of top 10 richest tech titans. I am sure as you look through the list most of the names might sound familiar. Bill Gates continues to hold on to his #1 position. An interesting aspect is 9 out of the 10 members on the list are founders of the company. The only exception is Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Another interesting characteristic of the list is that with the exception of Dell all other companies are primarily in the software business. Azim Premji of Wipro is the lone Indian in the list.

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Congress walks out on the DMK

The UPA coalition in the state witnessed its first hiccups today, when the Congress decided to walkout of the assembly in protest against failure to get an assurance from Chief Minister Karunanidhi to take action against MDMK chief Vaiko. Vaiko had apparently made statements in favor of LTTE and warned the Centre against extending help to the Sri Lankan army. He warned that a “Kashmir like situation” would arise in Tamil Nadu if the Centre acted against the interests of Tamilians in Sri Lanka.

The Congress sought action against Vaiko for making such statements. But Karunanidhi remained non-committal on the issue. The CLP feeling snubbed walked out of the house in protest. Some DMK members then went to the chamber to assuage the Congress members. Finally after much persuasion, the Congress MLA returned back to the house.

It’s quite interesting to see Karnunanidhi’s reaction for the last couple of days to the situation vis a vie Sri Lanka. It looks more and more that his views are more closely aligned to that of Vaiko although he continues to maintain that Tamil Nadu government will follow the directives from the Centre.

Infosys Technologies Chairman Murthy Retires

N.R. Narayana Murthy, cofounder of Indian outsourcer Infosys Technologies and a pioneer of the Indian outsourcing industry, stepped down on Sunday as the company’s chairman.

Murthy, who was Infosys’ first chief executive officer (CEO) when the company was established in 1981, moved to the position of executive chairman of the company in 2002, making way for younger leadership. Nandan Nilekani, also a cofounder, took over as CEO, while another cofounder, S. Gopalakrishnan, was appointed as chief operating officer.

Murthy, who reached the company’s retirement age at 60 on Sunday, continues as non-executive chairman and chief mentor of Infosys. “I will dedicate myself to social causes,” Murthy said in an in interview earlier this year

TN govt withdraws ordinance – Your Opinion

According to NDTV, Tamil Nadu government has decided to withdraw the ordinance that would have allowed non-Brahmins to become priests in temples. I would like to know your views on this topic? Being a sensitive topic, I request readers to refrain from making any inflammatory comments.

The Tamil Nadu Government has withdrawn its ordinance to allow non-Brahmins to become priests in the state’s temples. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court put a stay on the ordinance passed by the Karunanidhi government in July which had said any Hindu could become a priest. The decision to break the brahminical hold over temples was a major election promise of the DMK. However Chief Minister M Karunanidhi says this was the dream of the Periyar – the father of the Dravidian movement.

DMK government’s performance “good”

A majority of people (about 67%) surveyed by Goodwill Communications, a NGO, termed the performance of the DMK government during its first 100 days as good. Chief Minister Karunanidhi’s performance was very well received by a whopping 78% of those surveyed. Even those who voted for the ADMK termed Karunanidhi as a respected Tamil leader. The survey found that MK Stalin as the best performing minister in the government.

Policies

People were so far supportive of the policy decisions of the DMK government. 43% of the people viewed the TN budget favorably, while 67% of the people supported the stance of the TN government with respect to the disinvestment of Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC). Making Tamil compulsory was the most popular policy decision of the DMK government. 77% of the people were supportive of this policy. Going forward, the survey found that continued popularity depends on the implementation of promises made in the DMK government’s manifesto as well as employment for youth.

Politics

The perceived favorability of the DMK regime was also reflected in the strong support for the UPA coalition. 47% now favored the alliance over the opposition. The survey also found that Vijaykanth remained an important factor. 91% of those who voted for Vijaykanth continued to support him. However, his support in Chennai appears to be waning. Just 59% said they would vote for his party should elections be held immediately.

The DMK and UPA coalition in the state should be pleased with the results. Their coalition has remained strong so far and continues to enjoy widespread support among the people of Tamil Nadu.

Free gas connections from Pongal

Fulfilling another major election promise, Chief Minister Karunanidhi during his Independence day address at St. George Fort announced that free gas connections and free gas stoves will be given to poor families starting Pongal day on January 14th. During his address Karunanidhi said,

“The poor and downtrodden use firewood and kerosene stoves and women in these households experience hardship while cooking. To ameliorate their suffering and bring relief and happiness to them, arrangements have been proposed for providing free gas connections and also free gas stoves to these poor families”

His Independence day also included a promise to setup Information Technology parks in cities like Madurai, Tiruchi, Coimbatore and Tirunelveli. He also noted that free color TVs are due to be distributed starting September 15th (birth anniversary of Anna Durai) and land distribution scheme would commence on September 17th (birth anniversary of Periyar).

Chennai born Nooyi next CEO of Pepsi Co

Indra Nooyi was today selected as the next CEO of Pepsi Co. Nooyi was born in Chennai and studied at Madras Christian College before pursuing graduate degrees at Indian Institute of Management and Yale University. She started her career at Johnson and Johnson and also held important positions at Boston Consulting Group and Motorola.

Nooyi joined Pepsi Co in 1996 as a senior Vice-President and is presently serving as the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO). She will take over as CEO in May 2007. Pepsi Co will become the largest corporation to have a woman CEO surpassing the likes of Carly Fiorina (former CEO of HP) and Megan Whitman (current CEO of eBay).

15 year TN boy the youngest IITian

S Chandrasekar, a 15 year old boy from Tirunelveli district, has become the youngest person to pursue a MTech course at IIT. He scored an amazing 99.32 percentage marks in the aptitude test for M Tech Computer Science to gain entry to the prestigious institution. Chandrasekar has also received a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer when he was just 10 years old and is also Cisco Certified Network Engineer. Chandrasekar also has published a paper on Intrusion Detection System. In his MTech degree, he would like to concentrate on Information Security and Cryptography field. These achievements at such a young age is indeed very astonishing :-).

Jet Airway’s employee involved in terror plot?

Jet Airways confirmed yesterday that one of its employee Amin Asmin Tariq was among the 21 people arrested for allegedly planning to blow up American airlines flying from London to New York. Tariq, a British passport holder, was hired by Jet on March 2006. He was actually transferred to the company from a private security firm G4S after the airline ended its contract with the company. Jet Airways issued the following statement in regards to the arrest,

“Under U.K. employment legislation, TUPEE — Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations — was applicable which meant that Jet Airways had to take on those employees who had been employed by G4S prior to the airline bringing the contract in-house in respect of passenger service representatives. G4S is a reputable agency which provides services to British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, SAS [Scandinavian Airlines System] etc.,”

Jet Airways is already under investigation for possible links with terrorist organizations. The airline is also suspended from operating in the United States. So this incident further tarnishes the reputation of the airline.