BlackBerry service outage caused by core switch failure: RIM

“The messaging and browsing delays being experienced by BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina were caused by a core switch failure within RIM’s infrastructure,” Canada-based Research in Motion said in a statement

Ottawa/New Delhi: The disruption in BlackBerry mobile services in India and several other countries since Monday was caused by a core switch failure, reports PTI quoting makers of the device—Research in Motion (RIM).

“The messaging and browsing delays being experienced by BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina were caused by a core switch failure within RIM’s infrastructure,” the Canada-based firm said in a statement.

BlackBerry users have been hit by service disruptions to their smartphones since Monday after a glitch cut off Internet and messaging services for a large numbers of users around the world.

“Although the system is designed to failover to a back-up switch, the failover did not function as previously tested. As a result, a large backlog of data was generated and we are now working to clear that backlog and restore normal service as quickly as possible,” RIM said.

Stating that it is working to restore normal service as quickly as possible, the company apologised for the inconvenience to its customers.

RIM, which makes the smartphone, announced on Monday that it had fixed the problem after users across the globe reported not being able to receive or send email, use instant messaging or browse the Internet, though the problems did not appear to be the same for each user, or affect all users.

The problem reappeared yesterday.

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Industrial growth slows to 4.1% in August

The fall in the industrial production numbers, as shown by the latest data, suggests continued sluggishness in the economy, experts said

New Delhi: The country’s industrial growth, as measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), slowed to 4.1% in August from 4.5% in the same month last year on account of the poor performance of the manufacturing sector and a decline in mining output, indicating an economic slowdown, reports PTI.

During the April-August period this fiscal, IIP growth stood at 5.6%, as against 8.7% in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the IIP growth figure for July this year has been revised upward to 3.8% from the provisional estimate of 3.3%.

The output of the manufacturing sector, which constitutes over 75% of the index, grew by only 4.5% in August compared to 4.7% expansion in the same month last year, according to official data released today.

Mining output declined by 3.4% in August this year against a growth of 5.9% in the same month last year.

Growth in capital goods output slowed to 3.9% in August in comparison to a growth of 4.7% in the same month of 2010.

Growth in production of intermediate goods slowed to 1.3% during the month under review, as against a growth of 5.8% in August 2010.

Consumer durables output grew by 4.6% in August compared to a growth of 8.1% in the corresponding month last year.

However, electricity production improved, witnessing growth of 9.5% in August this year, as against mere growth of a mere 1% in August 2010.

Non-durable consumer goods (FMCG) production also grew by 2.9% in August compared to growth of 1.8% in the same month last year.

Output of overall consumer goods increased by 3.7% in August this year compared to a growth of 4.6% in August 2010.

The IIP numbers for May have also been revised upward to a final figure of 6.2% from the earlier estimate of 5.9%.

The fall in the industrial production numbers, as shown by the latest data, suggests continued sluggishness in the economy, experts said.

India’s economy grew by 7.7% in the April-June period, the slowest in six quarters.

India Inc had attributed the slowdown to rising interest rates, which have led to an increase in the cost of borrowings, thus hindering fresh investments.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has hiked interest rates 12 times since March 2010 to tame inflation. Headline inflation has been above the 9% mark since December last year and stood at a 13-month high of 9.78% in August.

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Strike at Maruti’s Manesar unit enters sixth day

Maruti Suzuki’s production is now heading toward a complete halt, with its main unit in Gurgaon rolling out 64% less cars yesterday than the normal daily output of 2,800 units due to parts supply constraints caused by the strike at SPIL

New Delhi: The ongoing strike at Maruti Suzuki India’s (MSI) Manesar plant entered its sixth day today, with no production taking place at the unit, as workers continue to demand that the management take back all suspended and casual employees, reports PTI.

The strike by workers at Suzuki Powertrain India (SPIL) and Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd (SMIPL) in support of their colleagues at MSI Manesar plant has worsened the situation.

“The plant is still captive in the hands of striking workers. There is no production today also at the Manesar plant,” a company spokesperson told PTI.

The company has been hit hard, not only by strike of its own workers, but also due to the supply shortage of engines and transmissions from SPIL.

MSI’s production is now heading toward a complete halt, with its main unit in Gurgaon rolling out 64% less cars yesterday than the normal daily output of 2,800 units due to parts supply constraints caused by the strike at SPIL.

On 10th October the Haryana Labour Department slapped a notice on workers for ‘breach of settlement’ in connection to the agreement that was signed on 1st October to end the 33-day-long impasse and asked them to respond within the next 48 hours.

On the other hand, all big national trade unions cutting across party lines—AITUC, CITU, HMS, INTUC, BMS, AIUTUC, TUCC, AICCTU and UTUC—lashed out at the company management, accusing it of ‘high-handed provocative activities’ and said not allowing casual workers to join duty is ‘an absolute act of vengeance’.

The series of strikes at the Manesar plant since June this year has resulted in excise revenue losses to the tune of nearly Rs350 crore for the government, while the company has already suffered a hit of up to Rs1,540 crore, with a total production loss of 51,375 units till yesterday.

Because of the strike, exclusive component suppliers to MSI fear heavy losses during the festive season and have sought the intervention of Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who along with his ministerial colleagues are busy with the Hisar by-elections on 13th October, to help resolve the issues.

Workers at MSI’s Manesar plant went on a stay-in strike on Friday afternoon, completely affecting production at the plant.

The number of workers who went on strike was around 2,000, including regular and contract employees, apprentices and trainees.

The number, however, came down to about 1,500 after the company ‘rescued’ some workers, who were ‘held under duress’.

The company alleged that the striking workers attacked co-workers, supervisors and executives in multiple incidents of violence and damaged factory properties inside the plant.

The workers, however, denied any such acts and said they were “manhandled by company bouncers”. They have gone on strike, demanding the reinstatement of over 1,000 casual workers and 44 permanent employees, who were suspended during the standoff that started on 29th August.

On Sunday, MSI dismissed 10 workers, terminated five trainees and suspended 10 employees in connection “with the strike and violence at the Manesar factory premises”.

As per the agreement reached on 1st October, the company had agreed to conditionally take back suspended 18 trainees.

The workers, in turn, had agreed to sign the ‘good conduct bond’, which said they would “not resort to go-slow, intermittent stoppage of work, stay-in-strike, work-to-rule, sabotage or otherwise indulge in any activity, which would hamper normal production at the factory”.

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