Booming and Bubbling India-XXIV

India now $4 trillion economy: India’s economy, which swelled close to a trillion dollars last year, is actually worth four trillion dollars when measured in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) and accounts for 6.3 per cent of the global economy.

Economy likely to sustain growth at 10%: “I think a growth of around 10 per cent will be sustained in the next 10-15 years. We have come through various challenges like inflation and ‘overheating’. But growth has been sustained,” said ICICI Bank’s Managing Director and CEO K V Kamath.

India has fifth largest forex reserves in world: India on Friday joined the elite group of world’s five biggest holders of foreign exchange reserves as it added about $4.5 billion last week to take the kitty to $261 billion. The country surpassed South Korea, which had $257 billion in forex reserves as of September-end, to stand at the fifth spot.

Sensex Breaking record after after record: In just five months, India’s market capitalization rose by $500 billion to $1.5 trillion now. Sensex recorded its biggest evr weekly gain of 1,634 points (9.6%) toclose at 19,243, a record high. Investors’ wealth jumped Rs 6.1 lakh crore during the week to a new peak at Rs 60.4 lakh crore. On October 23, 2007 Sensex recorded its biggest single-day gain of 879 points on the Bombay Stock Exchange. Market players see sensex touching 22,000. It’s a trillion dollar tidal wave. Nearly 500 firms gained even in meltdown. Even when the stock market fell like ninepins last week, eroding over Rs4 trillion from investors’ wealth in just three days, as many as 494 companies, including top five IT firms and some PSUs, added to their market value.

International firms looking beyond IIMs: International recruiters are going beyond the top IIMs to hire students for the two-month-long summers, a mid course training programme of sorts. It must be to allure the prospective employees.

Uniform accounting norms push KPO: A new opportunity is knocking on the doors of the Indian BPO, or more precisely, the KPO (knowledge process outsourcing), industry. And the indications are that it would be a mega opportunity.

Chips’ in cattle to detect insurance frauds: The Gujarat Government would be implanting 1.5 lakh cattle with the RFID chips to prevent fraudulent applications for loans or claims against cattle insurance policies. It would be by permanently injecting the microchips in the cavity behind the ear of cows and buffaloes. India is becoming tech-savvy.

Small towns drive Internet boom: Internet usage in India has grown more than 11 times over the last seven years. The boom is being driven not by metros, but by smaller and non-metro towns, where the number of users has risen by a whopping 69 times and 33 times respectively since 2000.

250mn telephone target achieved 2 months in advance: India has achieved its target of 250 million telephone connections two months ahead of the scheduled December-end, according to a statement from telecom regulator Trai. The gross number of telephones crossed 248.66 million in September with the addition of 7.64 million telephone connections.

ONGC-Mittal JV buys 30% in Turkmenistan block: ONGC-Mittal Energy Ltd, the joint venture company formed by ONGC and Mittal Investment, has acquired a 30% participating interest in an exploration block in Turkmenistan. Himatsingka Seide, the Bangalore-based company has now announced the acquisition of US-based DWI Holdings, its third buyout this calendar year. Wockhardt acquires US-based Morton Grove: Pharmaceutical major Wockhardt Ltd has acquired Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals, a liquid generic and specialty dermatology company in the US with sales revenue of USD 52 million. The acquisition would boost the company’s US revenue by providing a complete range of dosage forms right from tablets, capsules, liquids to injectables.

Two Indians on Time’s global “Heroes of Environment” list: Domestic wind power firm Suzlon Energy chief Tulsi Tanti, along with Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology’s D P Dobhal, have made to a list of global environment champions prepared by the Time magazine.

Tamil Nadu Govt to introduce ‘rural tourism’: Tamil Nadu Government has decided to introduce ‘rural tourism’ showcasing Tamil culture and customs. Two villages in the district, where Tamil culture and customs were still preserved, had been identified for the new tourism concept. Rs one crore each would be spent on Kadampadi village and Punjarasanthangal villages in the district have been selected for inclusion in the rural tourism sector.

A fund to engineer entrepreneurship: India’s second largest software and services firm Infosys Technologies Ltd’s chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy and venture capitalist Gururaj Deshpande have committed $600,000 (Rs2.4 crore) of their own money to hone the entrepreneurship skills of engineering students across India. The money will be spent on getting professors from top universities in the US to take courses in non-IIT engineering colleges, in drafting effective business proposals and helping them network with leading venture capitalists in the US.

Vizag Pharma City: Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City, country’s first pharma industrial estate, which is being developed by the Ramky group near Visakhapatnam, is almost ready. Three pharma companies – Glochem industries, Actumum Chemicals and Vijayasri Chemicals – have already started production.

Patni Computer ties up with BITS, Pilani: IT services and business solutions provider Patni Computer Systems has signed an MoU with Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, for a two-year masters degree in Embedded Systems for its employees for upgrading the skills of its employees for growing Product Engineering Services (PES) division of the company. Revenues of Indian IT companies from engineering services are growing exponentially with NASSCOM estimating engineering services offshoring to be a $55-billion opportunity by 2020. .

Sun Pharma gets US approval to sell generic Exelon: Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, India’s biggest drugmaker by market value, has got approval to sell its generic version of Novartis AG’s Exelon, in the US market. Exelon is used to treat dementia.

Suzlon to raise Rs 5,000cr for expansion: Country’s largest wind power equipment maker Suzlon Energy will raise up to Rs5,000 crore for expansion purposes, including raising production capacity to 5,700 MW.

S&P puts TCS in investment grade: Global rating agency Standard & Poor’s has assigned an investment grade to TCS. The corporate credit rating with a positive outlook, BBB, is higher than India’s rating and “highlights the financial robustness of our business model and operating strengths of the company,” said TCS.

BSNL to invest Rs 60,000 cr: State-run telecom giant Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) is investing a whopping Rs 60,000 crore in next three years to expand its GSM, Broadband and WLL services, a move that would help the PSU achieve top position by 2010.

Goldman Sachs eyes 33% stake in Bhatia’s Nano City: The Nano City, which would have five lakh inhabitants, would focus on nano technology, bio-sciences, software product development, next-generation internet products, material research and energy.

IT exports to touch $80 bn by 2011: The government expects IT exports to touch 80 billion dollars by 2011, growing at an average rate of 30 per cent annum.

Essar to construct refinery in Iran: Iran’s state oil refining firm and the Essar Group are expected to start building a 3,00,000 barrels per day refinery in southern Iran. The facility, estimated to cost $8-$10 billion (Rs32,000-40,000 crore) and which would be the first foreign-invested downstream project in sanctions-hit Iran, will boost the OPEC member’s stagnant refining sector that is struggling with petrol shortages.

Cookson Electronics opens India R&D center: Cookson Electronics, a US-based company, which provides basic materials used in electronic assembly processes, has opened a research and development (R&D) centre in Bangalore at an investment of $10 million that will focus on innovative new materials, components and technologies for the electronic, manufacturing, assembly and packaging.

ONGC plans Rs 31,000 cr capex in 11th Planz; Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd aims to invest over $ 5 billion and produce 25 million metric standard cubic metres per day of gas from its fields in the Krishna Godavari basin by 2012-13.

And the news of some other booms and birsts is building confidence and providing hope to many in the country.

Burst of justice, from Delhi to Coimbatore: One after the other, the blasts went off in packed courtrooms. The heat sent 60 persons to a life of confinement, but none died.

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