World
Grand old tigress of Ranthambore, Machli, dies
Watched over by her human admirers, Ranthambore Tiger Reserve's pride, 19-year-old tigress Machli, the oldest big cat ever known to have walked the wilderness, died on Wednesday morning, officials said.
 
Machli, the most photographed big cat at the reserve, died at 9.40 a.m. 
 
She had been refusing food and water for some time. She was under observation at Ama Ghati, in the fringe area of the reserve, and surrounded by a bevy of her admirers and forest officials when she died.
 
Her body has been taken to the Ama Ghati check-post for the post-mortem, after which it will be cremated. The cremation is to avoid the body parts from being harvested, Ranthambore Field Director Y.K Sahu told IANS.
 
Earlier this week after Machli, or T-16, was found in feeble condition near a resort in Ama Ghati fringes, officials cordoned off the area and kept her under observation. 
 
The area had a waterhole, and Machli lived there after she started losing her canines and prime area in 2008. 
 
For the last seven years, Machli was being fed bait to avoid death from starvation, perhaps a reason for her longevity.
 
"She lived an abnormally big life. Generally tigers in wilderness only reach 13 or 14 years, she almost touched 20," Sunayan Sharma, a former forester and founder of Sariska Tiger Foundation, told IANS.
 
"She also gave birth to about five litters which is extraordinary; and the way she'd been hunting was distinct, showing her extraordinary agility and adaptability," Sharma added.
 
Born in early 1997, and mother of over 12 cubs of which nine survived since 2000, the end of this extraordinary tigress was also distinct.
 
"It's very rare that one can witness a tiger die. They mostly go into seclusion. Due to her stature, she deserved our tending," Sahu said. 
 
For many forest officials, Machli's dying was an emotional moment.
 
Often seen hunting and playing around water bodies, which earned her the name Machli (fish) and titles like "Lady of lakes" or "Queen Mother", experts said her life was a distinct case of "evolution" in the behaviour of tigers, especially those in Ranthambore.
 
"Tiger behaviour is evolving and it was best reflected in the case of Machli. She understood the importance of humans and never showed aggression. She was the most photographed tigress ever," R.N. Mehrotra, former Field Director of Ranthambore who observed Machli for seven years from 2005 to 2012, told IANS.
 
He said that though the tiger has been described as solitary and elusive nocturnal carnivore, Machli's case showed a change in mindset of tigers and the way they perceived humans.
 
"The behaviour change in conditional to the situation," he said, contrasting Machli's case with 'Ustad" or T-24, another famous tiger from Ranthambore, whose behaviour change made him more aggressive, supposedly due to extreme interventions by humans in his area. Ustad was lablled a maneater and sent to captivity last year.
 
The Ranthambore Reserve reportedly earned millions of rupees a year from tourists flocking to see and photograph Machli.
 
The most famous tiger ever, Machli besides being remembered for her legendary battle with a huge crocodile, a dedicated postal stamp and as lead character of many documentaries, leaves behind a legacy of evolution. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Singtel to buy 7.39% more stake in Bharti Telecom for USD 650 mn
Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) on Thursday said it is acquiring 7.39 per cent additional stake in the holding arm of India's largest telecom company Bharti Airtel for around $650 million.
 
The development, as per a series of regulatory filings across countries, is a part of a larger deal struck by Singtel with Temasek to acquire 21 per cent in Thailand-based Intouch Holdings and 7.39 per cent of Bharti Telecom for a total consideration of $1.8 billion.
 
"The aggregate consideration payable for the Bharti Telecom sale shares is approximately Singapore Dollars 884 million (US $658 million)," Singtel added about the deal, which comes just ahead of India's largest-ever spectrum auction to date.
 
"Singtel currently already has an interest of approximately 39.78 per cent in the share capital of Bharti Telecom and an interest of approximately 15.01 per cent in the share capital of Bharti Airtel."
 
Following the acquisition of the Bharti Telecom sale shares, Singtel's interest in the share capital of Bharti Telecom will increase from approximately 39.78 per cent to 47.17%.
 
"Singtel will pay Temasek Thai Baht 60.83 for each share of Intouch and Rs 235.62 for each share of Bharti Telecom. The transaction is subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions precedent, including shareholder and relevant regulatory approvals, and is expected to be completed by December 2016," the statement added.
 
It will be satisfied in full in cash in Singapore Dollars on completion, and will be funded in part through the utilisation of the cash proceeds from the allotment and issue of the new shares under the placement agreement, with the balance being funded by internal cash and short-term debt.
 
The rather complex deal also involves a share placement of 386 million new Singtel shares to Temasek totalling Singapore Dollars 1.605 billion at a price of Singapore Dollars 4.16 per new share.
 
Singtel said Bharti Airtel is India's largest telecommunications company with operations in 18 countries across South Asia and Africa and that it has been an associate of its group since 2000. It said the acquisition of stake in Bharti Telecom and Intouch Holdings, which is the biggest shareholder in Thailand's largest mobile phone company, Advanced Info Services, further consolidates its economic interests in the region.
 
"Singtel has been a strategic partner to both Advanced Info Services and Airtel for more than 15 years. We have built deep and trusted relationships, worked well together through the years, sharing knowledge and expertise and we have grown together, from strength to strength," said Singtel Group Chief Executive Chua Sock Koong.
 
"Today, they have a combined mobile customer base of more than 380 million across Asia and Africa. This is a unique opportunity for us to deepen our relationships with two great market leaders," Chua added.
 
The company said both India and Thailand are fundamentally attractive markets, reaping the benefits of rapidly increasing smartphone penetration and mobile data adoption by a growing middle class.
 
"Both Advanced Info Services and Airtel are well-positioned to benefit from these trends. The recent mobile spectrum auctions in Thailand and ongoing industry consolidation in India have strengthened their competitive positions. They have also built for the future, securing significant spectrum for the long term and investing extensively in 3G and 4G networks and services."
 
Bharti Airtel declined comment on the deal, and only posted the identical press statement of Singtel in the regulatory filing to Indian stock exchanges. The shares of Bharti Airtel closed at Rs 352.40 on the BSE on Thursday, up Rs 7.15 or 2.07 per cent.
 
Besides mobile telephony, the New Delhi-based Bharti group has interests in diverse industries, telecom towers infrastructure including mobile gaming, retail, insurance, branded farm produce, realty and e-learning.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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India Post Payments Bank receives certificate of incorporation
The India Post Payments Bank Limited (IPPB) has received the certificate of incorporation from the Registrar of Companies that will help it to roll out pan-India branches by September 2017, an official statement said here on Thursday.
 
“With the incorporation the board of the India Posts Payments Bank Limited is likely to be constituted soon. The incorporation of the IPPB Limited is a significant step forward as this also paves the way for the bank to begin hiring of banking professionals to set up the bank and begin its operations in 2017,” the statement said.
 
The Department of Posts is expected to complete the roll out of its branches all over the country by 2017, it added.
 
The aspiration of the IPPB is to become the most accessible bank in the world riding on state-of-the-art banking and payments technology. It aims to become a powerful vehicle of financial inclusion in the country.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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