|Friday, September 8, 2000,
Vajpayee to take up issue with
Oil retreats as OPEC may increase
Now New Zealand wants IT
Private telephone connections from
PNB floats gold import scheme
Maruti to roll out
cheaper Wagon R
Notice to Nestle
Vajpayee to take up issue with
NEW DELHI, Sept 7 India has written to OPEC to increase the production of crude oil in the interest of both oil producing and consuming countries.
Realising that the oil rates at a record $ 34 a barrel were unsustainable for at least developing economies like India, it was decided that the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, would take up the issue with the US President, Mr Bill Clinton, during his current visit to that country.
The acting US Ambassador to India, Mr A.A. Thibault, also met the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr Ram Naik, here today and is understood to have discussed the issue with him.
Mr Naik on his part also appealed to the members of OPEC to increase the production level of crude oil so that the prices are brought down to sustainable levels.
In a letter to OPEC, the
Minister has urged it to take such a decision at the
proposed OPEC meeting on September 10. Expressing grave
concern at the current oil prices, Mr Naik emphasised
that the high prices would adversely affect the economic
activity of oil consuming countries which in turn would
affect the suppliers of oil as well in the long run.
Oil retreats as OPEC may
LONDON, Sept 7 Oil markets retreated from 10-year highs in a reprieve for energy importing nations on Thursday after Saudi Arabia told U.S. President Bill Clinton it expected OPEC to increase crude production by 3 per cent.
Benchmark Brent crude slid 1.4 percent on word that OPEC's dominant power expected the cartel to agree to add 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) at a policy meeting this weekend.
The message was given to President Bill Clinton by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah during talks in New York during a break in the U.N. Millennium Summit, a source close to the talks said.
"Saudi Arabia will come through. Everybody knows we want $25 a barrel. We're not equivocating on this," the source said.
In Asia, where some governments are struggling to dismantle decades-old subsidies on oil, the higher prices threaten civil unrest in some countries.
In France, protesters tightened their stranglehold on oil supplies in a showdown with the government over fuel tax.
Farmers planned a protest at the Channel Tunnel at Calais and threatened to block the entrance while taxi drivers converged on major cities for a massive "go-slow" protest.
This year's 15 per cent fall in the Euro against the dollar has aggravated a 43 per cent rise in greenback-denominated crude prices to worsen wholesale energy costs for Eurozone economies.
In Washington, the Clinton administration said oil prices remained unacceptably high and urged OPEC exporters to seriously consider raising output to bring down prices and meet demand.
"The markets around the world ... are very clearly insisting that there's not enough oil on the market to bring the stability that is needed," U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said.
Now New Zealand wants IT
MELBOURNE, Sept 7 After the USA, Canada, Britain and Germany, it is New Zealands turn to head-hunt for Indian information technology (IT) specialists as it is facing an acute shortage of IT professionals.
The Information Technology Association of New Zealand (ITANZ), the Immigration Service and Trade New Zealand have come together to recruit about 200 IT experts from India.
Aware of the fact that it would be competing with countries like the USA and Britain, Wellington plans to attract Indian IT specialists by selling a package that combines lifestyle and enjoyment. They would be fully exploiting two common reference points cricket and the use of New Zealand locations for Bollywood blockbusters like the Hrithik Roshan starrer Kaho Na Pyar Hai.
We are using a New Zealand Inc approach. We are helping immigration devise screening techniques so we get people with the right skills in areas like Java, Oracle databases, Web design and e-commerce, said Jim ONeill, ITANZ executive director.
The recruiters are looking for professionals with a reasonably good command of English and willing to work in customer environments. They will hold seminars in Bangalore and Hyderabad, the major IT centres in India, on October 9 and 10, besides visiting Mumbai and Chennai for separate recruitment drives.
The representatives of ITANZ member companies like Oracle, Synergy and Fujitsu would also participate in these seminars. Another member of ITANZ and a major South Pacific IT recruitment company, Candle, would also send its representatives to India.
India has been chosen because it has a huge pool of skilled IT professionals, according to Arron Baker, the Regional Director of the New Zealand Immigration Service for Asia and the Middle East. The companies would have jobs ready for some of the Indian migrants. Others would not have to wait long to get an IT-related job as any people we take from this process will be marketable, ONeill told the New Zealand Herald newspaper.
One of the places known to have a huge number of people with IT skills is India. It produces on average 600,000 science or technical graduates a year. In 1997, we produced 1,033 technical-related graduates, ONeill added.
The New Zealand
Immigration Service is also setting up a special unit in
India to help IT professionals interested in immigrating.
We are competing with Australia, Canada, Germany
and other countries for skilled migrants, Baker
said. He also acknowledged the fact that the Indian IT
industry is booming and the Indian companies have been
doing very well internationally. IANS
Private telephone connections
CHANDIGARH, Sept 7 Now you can get a telephone connection within two to a maximum of seven days and that too at the cost of an ordinary connection.
So claims HFCL Infotel, which will start providing private telephone connections in Punjab and Chandigarh from October. The company using the brand name Connect, will provide Wireless Local Loop access networks throughout Chandigarh and wireline in S.A.S. Nagar and parts of the UT. The next phase will include services in Patiala and Ludhiana which are expected to start by November. The company will tie up with DoT and the user will be able to make calls throughout the country and outside via VSNL.
The company has already put up wirelines in most of the areas in S.A.S.Nagar and Sectors 21, 22, and 23 of Chandigarh. By the end of September, Sectors 34, 35, 26, 8, 9 and a few others will also be covered. Wireless services, however, will be available throughout the city. In case of the wireless system, the instrument to be provided by the company itself, will have a small antenna attached to it. Officials in the company say that the voice quality will also be same as that of fixed Phone connections.
We will be starting with wireless system since it is not possible to put wires in the entire region all at once. However, gradually we plan to shift entirely to the wire system as the wireless system is expensive and cannot handle additional facilities like FAX, EPABX, Internet etc., says Mr.Vijay Kaul ,Chief Marketing Officer.
Connections will be issued from next month. Charges will be the same as of DoT. Bills will reach the user through a courier and payments can be made through banks.Facilities like call divert, morning calls etc will be same as are being provided by the department.Volume rebates on the bills will also be provided.
Under the fixed wire system ,the connection will be provided via Optic Fibre Cable which would ensure much greater bandwidth and additional services.
By the end of March, all cities in Punjab are expected to be covered by private lines.There will be as many as 50 exchanges which will be set up in the state. After Ludhiana and Patiala , the next step will cover Jalandhar and Amritsar.
PNB floats gold import
NEW DELHI, Sept 7 The Punjab National Bank has introduced gold import scheme, the General Manager of the Bank, Mr P.K. Gupta, said here today.
The scheme shall be available to exporters, NRIs, returning Indians and domestic in the selected branches at seven centres in the country.
The business would be initially conducted on consignment basis, he said, adding that the bank has entered into supply arrangements with Commerz Bank, Luxemburg.
The gold import scheme will be available in Delhi, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Chennai, where international quality gold bars in the form of TT bar/kg bars would be sold at designated branches having high cash management capabilities at competitive prices.
Maruti to roll out cheaper Wagon R
NEW DELHI, Sept 7 (UNI) Maruti Udyog Limited (MUL) has discontinued production of the top-end version of its latest offering Wagon-R VX and is introducing two new cheaper variants of the car with power-steering LXI and VXI sporting price tags of Rs 3.65 lakh and Rs 3.85 lakh respectively.
MUL has been offering discounts of up to Rs 30,000 over the past few weeks in a desperate bid to clear dealer inventories of the Wagon-R VX model. The VX model was priced at Rs 4.05 lakh.
The introduction of the two new variants featuring electric power steering (EPS) is in response to the recent offensive by competitors Daewoo Motors India Limited and Hyundai Motor India Limited in launching similar models.
A statement issued here today said the Wagon-R will now be available in four variants LX, AX, LXI and VXI. The addition of the EPS to the Wagon-R and introduction of two more variants is aimed at further consolidating MULs in the premium small car market. The Wagon-R LXI, will, in addition to the EPS also be equipped with central locking and split rear seats.
Wagon-R is powered by a 1.1 litre, 62 BHP, 16 valve, MPFI engine. The Wagon-R LX is priced at Rs 3.43 lakh while the AX version sports a price tag of Rs 4.96 lakh.
Meanwhile, MUL Managing Director Jagdish Khattar told UNI that the company is not in favour of discontinuing the automatic transmission versions of its passenger cars Zen, Wagon-R and Esteem despite low volumes.
possibility of extending the reduced prices of
Maruti-800, Omni and Wagon-R beyond September 30, Mr
Khattar said, the position will be reviewed by the
month-end. The response in the first two months has
been tremendous and we now have a 15-day waiting period
on Maruti 800. But we will decide only by the month-end
if we want to extend this further.
Notice to Nestle
AHMEDABAD, Sept 7 (PTI) The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) has issued a notice against Nestle India Ltd for selling less than the stated quantity of coffee in 50 gm sachets of its Nescafe brand.
The action followed a complaint by Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS).
Tests carried out by CERS on 50 gm sachets of four brands of instant coffee Nescafe, Sunrise, Tata Cafe and Bru at its comparative product testing laboratory here revealed non-compliance in weight in the case of Nescafe, the Society said in a press note.
Though the Nescafe sachet claimed to contain 50 gm of coffee, the average net weight of 10 sachets of this brand was 47.5 gm, CERS said.
The standard rules permit a maximum variation of three per cent i.e. 1.5 gm in a 50 gm packet, CERS said, adding that this meant the consumer was paying Rs 2 extra for every 50 gm sachet of Nescafe.
AMRITSAR, Sept 7 The Union Government is likely to sanction a special grant of Rs 100 to Rs 150 crore to each of the Regional Engineering Colleges for the upgrading and future development of computer technology.
Mr H.S. Sagar, Principal of Regional Engineering College, Jalandhar, announced this while inaugurating an information and web company, Diamond Web Era Private Limited launched by local software engineers.
Mr Navdeep Singh, Managing Director of Diamond Web Era, said the company would provide a complete package of dealing with e-commerce, website designing, maintenance and hosting besides the company would cater to site promotion and media advertisements on internet.
Other websites the company was creating for M.K. Hotels and Resorts, Mohan International Hotels, Doaba College of Jalandhar, etc.
MUMBAI, Sept 7 (UNI)
Mr Sabeer Bhatia, co-founder of Hotmail
(worlds most popular Internet e-mail service),
today announced the launch of Arzoo.com, his latest
venture in providing real-time technology consultancy
services to corporates, government agencies and emerging
technology start-up firms. Explaining his future action
plan, Mr Bhatia told reporters here that Arzoo would be a
large technology corporate on the Net which provides
companies with web-based access to a global network of
technology experts who offer real-time problem-solving
assistance for engineering, Information Technology (IT)
and technical support applications.
The Berliner Zeitung said proposals had been drafted requiring manufacturers of goods from computers to printers, modems, compact disc burners and other devices to pay fees that would then be forwarded to music and film companies.
Officials at the Justice Ministry, which it said was behind the move, were not immediately available for comment.
The new tax would particularly intend to ensure that the authors of cultural products available on the Internet were properly rewarded.
Similar levies already exist in Germany on devices whose main function is that of copying, such as scanners, photocopiers and fax machines. Depending on the power of the machine involved, the taxes range from 75-600 marks ($ 30-$275).
The 504-hour programme would offer an indepth coverage on advance technologies like Javaserver pages, Servlets, JDBC, XML, Oracle 8i and WAP along with designing and developing web solutions. It aims to make students aware of the immense potential of Internet. The programme will enable students to understand the fundamental principles of the world wide web, even while training them to create advanced e-commerce solutions with WAP technologies, according to a company press release issued here today.
unveils transtel, Karel
tie-up with IITs
ISPs shows in
Researchers at Londons Imperial College told a science meeting that they had harnessed a cyanide-generating system used by plants as a defence against insects and believed the mechanism could be developed to produce anti-cancer drugs.
Plants like the hydrangea and African potato contain an enzyme called linamarase which is capable of generating cyanide when they are damaged by animals or insects.
The scientists believe they can attach that enzyme to a cancer-seeking antibody capable of recognising a protein found only in certain cancers. The method known as AGENT (Antibody Guided Enzyme Nitrile Therapy) would produce an agent that could potentially kill cancer cells and leave healthy tissue unharmed.
Dr Mahendra Deonarain of Imperial Colleges Department of Biochemistry told the British Associations Festival of Science meeting in London that the work was still at an early stage but was promising.
We have demonstrated that this system is able to specifically kill tumour cells by cyanide intoxication, he said. The next step is to identify the best molecule to proceed before we go on to animal studies. Reuters
warming wont spread malaria
Computer models show that global warming will mean drier conditions in northern latitudes, not the steamy, humid conditions needed for malaria-spreading mosquitoes to thrive, the researchers reported in the journal Science.
We disagree with these silly wild predictions that malaria could spread dramatically because those studies rely on a rather suspect model, David Rogers of Oxford University in Britain said in a telephone interview.
Malaria, which kills a million people a year, is spread by mosquitoes. Found mostly in tropical areas, fears are that global warming could create new havens for both mosquitoes and the malaria parasites they carry.
Rogers main criticism is that many studies seem to have overlooked the essential conditions that keep the parasites that cause malaria alive and instead focused solely on global warming. His study, he said, is more accurate because it combines these key factors and long-term weather forecasts.
Its not staggeringly brilliant but its better that what others have done. Rogers said. Reuters
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