Bharti Airtel forays into mobile advertising space

Through Airtel's m-Advertising platform, advertisers will be able to leverage multiple communications outlets and tools such as mobile internet, messaging services and Airtel digital TV to engage their audiences

Mumbai: Private telecom service provider, Bharti Airtel announced its foray into mobile advertising (m-Advertising) segment in India, reports PTI.

"With the mobile advertising market poised to grow by more than 40% over the next few years, Airtel with its technology, scale and customer intelligence is placed uniquely to leverage this growing medium. Airtel?s m-advertising platform will enable advertisers to land their message in a simple and effective manner," said K Srinivas, president for Consumer Business of Bharti Airtel.

According to the company, through Airtel's m-Advertising platform, advertisers will be able to leverage multiple communications outlets and tools such as mobile internet (WAP), messaging services and Airtel digital TV to engage their audiences.


M&M to re-open XUV500 bookings from next month

XUV500 bookings will re-open from 8 June and the vehicle would be available across the country. Delivery of XUV500 may take over nine months

Mumbai: Homegrown auto major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) on Monday said it will re-open bookings for its model XUV500 next month and has increased output of the sports utility vehicle to 4,000 units a month, reports PTI.

The company further said the XUV500 will be made available across India, including the existing 19 cities where it had been launched earlier.

"Now that we have ramped-up our production capacity significantly, we are confident that we will be able to take care of the growing all-India demand for the XUV500," M&M Chief Executive, Automotive Division, Pravin Shah said in a statement.

M&M had been producing about 3,000 units a month of the XUV500 at its Chakan facility earlier and plans to ultimately take it to a monthly output of 5,000 units.

"To cater to the growing demand, production capacity (has been) ramped up to 4,000 vehicles per month," M&M said.

The bookings will re-open from 8 June 2012, the company said, adding nine months production capacity has been sold out for the XUV500.

After launching the vehicle on 29th September last year, the company had temporarily suspended new bookings in October as four months production of over 8,000 units was sold out within just 10 days. The vehicle was available only in five cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, and Pune then.

In the second phase, M&M re-opened bookings for a limited period of 10 days from 25th January this year in 19 cities in India and had received over 25,000 applications but only 7,200 were selected through a lottery.

The XUV500 is currently priced between Rs11.58 lakh and Rs14.11 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).


Public Interest Exclusive
PJ Thomas’ empanelment records: Govt to challenge CIC order

The cabinet secretariat has refused to furnish the records of empanelment of Mr Thomas’ appointment at the Centre under the RTI Act. However, earlier acting on an appeal filed by Delhi-based activist Subhash Agrawal, the CIC had directed the government to disclose of the documents

The central government has decided to challenge the Central Information Commission’s (CIC) order in Delhi High Court, directing it to disclose records, including the file noting, related to the empanelment of former Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) PJ Thomas for appointment at the Centre. The decision comes three month after the CIC order.

Hearing an appeal filed by Delhi-based Right to Information (RTI) activist Subhash Agrawal, Central Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra had, on 29 February 2012, set aside the orders of the central public information officer (CPIO) and appellate authority and directed the cabinet secretariat to disclose the required documents.

“The entire information relates to a certain rule made by the Central government for empanelment of officers for posting at the level of additional secretary and secretary to the Government of India and the subsequent relaxation in that rule. The framing of the rule and its subsequent relaxation cannot be classified as Cabinet papers. Cabinet papers refer to only those papers which are placed before the council of ministers or any committee of ministers constituted by it for considering any particular proposal; framing of rules for empanelment of officers at the level of additional secretary and secretary, we understand, does not require the approval of the council of ministers.”

The cabinet secretariat had refused to furnish the records of empanelment of Mr Thomas’ appointment at the Centre citing it to be Cabinet documents not to be disclosed under the RTI Act.

In a reply to Mr Agrawal’s RTI application, the CPIO did not provide information on some questions such as if there is any provision that required an officer to serve at least for three years in the central government before joining post of joint secretary and above at the Centre, any changes in those norms, etc. The decision was endorsed by the Appellate Authority.

PTI reported that the Centre had a rule that only those IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officers who had served at least three years at the Centre would be considered for appointment to the post of joint secretary and above at the Centre. Accordingly, officials who were facing vigilance cases in their states could not come to the Centre for these positions. The rule was reportedly changed allowing the officials who had been cleared of vigilance inquiry to come and serve at the Centre.

Mr Thomas had joined the Centre as parliamentary affairs secretary in 2009 before his appointment as telecom secretary and subsequently as central vigilance commissioner, which was quashed by the Supreme Court on 3 March 2011. He was selected as CVC in September 2010 by the three-member high-powered committee (HPC) including prime minister Manmohan Singh, home minister P Chidambaram and leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj. Ms Swaraj had put a dissenting note opposing the selection of Mr Thomas. The Supreme Court quashed the appointment of Mr Thomas as CVC, saying the recommendation made by the HPC did not consider charge-sheet relating to a corruption case pending against him during his tenure in Kerala government.


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