Google, Dish Network test TV search service

Google is testing a new TV programming search service with Dish Network, a move that would allow users to find content from the television and the Web

Internet search engine giant Google is testing a new TV-programming search service with satellite television operator Dish Network Corp, a move that would allow users to find content from television and the Web, reports PTI.

Attributing the developments to people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google is testing a new TV programming search service with Dish Network Corp.

The report said that the service, which runs on TV set-top boxes containing Google software, allows users to find shows on the satellite TV service as well as video from websites like Google's YouTube.

It will also allow users to personalise the line-up of shows.

With this, Google moves deeper into a crowded field of companies, large and small, that have been trying for years to marry the Web and TV and their business models—from rivals Microsoft Corp and Apple Inc to the makers of TVs and set-top boxes.

According to the publication, both companies declined to comment on the plan.

In addition to the test with Dish, Google has been talking to a range of other television service providers and hardware makers, prodding them to use its Android-based technologies to offer a broader range of programming, a more personal experience and varied advertising models, it added.



IOC rejects partnership offer for proposed Barmer refinery

After IOC turned down an offer to partner in the proposed Barmer refinery in Rajasthan due to financial constraints, the state government is consulting ONGC about the feasibility of the project

Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has turned down an offer to partner in the proposed Barmer refinery in Rajasthan due to financial constraints, minister of state for petroleum and natural gas Jitin Prasada said on Tuesday, reports PTI.

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) is in consultations with the Rajasthan government on the feasibility of the refinery, he said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

"IOC has regretted its participation as equity partner in the proposed Barmer refinery due to the financial constraints faced by the corporation," he said.

Originally proposed in 2004-05, the project was declared economically unviable after the previous Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan did not agree to give fiscal incentives like an interest-free loan and sales-tax exemption for the products to be produced at the 15 million tonnes a year unit.

After Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot renewed the demand of setting up of the refinery project in the state last year, ONGC decided to do a feasibility study again considering the fiscal concession that the state government was willing to extend to the project.

"The government of Rajasthan has not yet firmed up its nature of assistance for establishing (the) refinery in Barmer," Mr Prasada said.

The refinery was proposed to turn the crude oil produced by Cairn India from its Barmer fields into products. However, considering the fact that the peak oil production from Cairn's Barmer field, where ONGC has 30% stake, was only 8.75 million tonnes, which may last a maximum of seven years, the refinery was considered unviable.

Also, the economic scenario had undergone a sea-change since the project was first proposed with fuel demand expanding at a slower pace. India already has surplus refining capacity, meaning more fuel is produced that can be consumed in the country, that makes a new refinery addition unviable.



Tayals not promoters of Bank of Rajasthan, says CEO

A day after market regulator SEBI barred the Tayal group of entities and others from trading in securities and RBI appointed Deloitte Haskins & Sells to conduct a special audit, the Bank is trying to distance itself from the Tayal Group

Seeking to distance itself from a controversy over the Tayal Group's shareholding in it, Bank of Rajasthan (BoR) on Tuesday said the Tayals were technically not its promoters.

The clarification came a day after market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) barred the Tayal group of entities and others from trading in securities in any form till further directions.

"Legal opinion has been obtained that they are not the promoters. The bank doesn't consider them as its promoters. They are just dominant shareholders in the bank," Bank of Rajasthan's managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) G Padmanabhan told PTI.

SEBI was peeved that the Tayals had increased their shareholding in the private sector lender from 44.71% in the quarter ended June 2007 to 55.01% in the October-December quarter 2009, although they had claimed they were actually divesting stake.

The Bank said that it was still studying the order issued by the market regulator late last night and would come up with an appropriate response later, Mr Padmanabhan said.

The SEBI action against the Tayal Group itself came after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) appointed Deloitte Haskins & Sells to conduct a special audit of BoR's accounts, suspecting violation of operational norms by the lender, including transparency in lending. The RBI had also imposed a Rs25-lakh fine on the bank alleging violation of a host of norms.

Referring to the SEBI action, Mr Padmanabhan said, "From the bank's perspective these are two different things. They (the Tayal Group) have no control on the day-to-day activities of the bank."

The market regulator also said that while the promoters apparently conveyed the impression that they were reducing their shareholding, they did not, in fact, dilute their controlling stake in Bank of Rajasthan.

"On the contrary, they had actually increased their shareholding in a deceptive and fraudulent manner with the active connivance of others," the SEBI statement said.

Barring entities including the Tayals from accessing the share market, SEBI said, "It is imperative that the groups of entities including the promoters, the other Tayal entities, the Yadav Group and the Silvassa Group (are) restrained from dealing in the securities markets till further directions."

Started in 1943, Bank of Rajasthan has a network of 463 branches across the country and over 20 lakh customers.

For the quarter ended December 2009, BoR's net profit declined to Rs44.70 crore as against Rs49.20 crore in the year-ago period while its total income dropped to Rs373.70 crore from Rs419.80 crore.


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