Companies & Sectors
Hinduja Global Solutions to acquire major stake in Mphasis
IT services provider Mphasis on Tuesday said it has signed a definitive agreement with Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS) to transfer a significant portion of its domestic business.
 
The agreement facilitating the transfer is subject to regulatory approvals.
 
"Focus and specialisation will be key to success in the new digital world. I am happy to see that with this agreement, Mphasis will further intensify our focus in Digital, Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC), Application Maintenance Services (AMS) and Infrastructure Services (IS). HGS' specialisation will bring excellent value to the in-scope domestic customers and employees in India," Mphasis CEO Ganesh Ayyar said in a statement.
 
However, the company has assured of no loss of jobs as a result of the transfer of business, stating its employees to "have found a new home in HGS and will play a pivotal role in augmenting their India footprint".
 
"A dedicated unit has been set up to ensure smooth transfer for all employees. There would be no loss of jobs or headcount reduction," said Mphasis' chief human resources officer and head, emerging geographies business unit Elango R.
 
Speaking about the agreement, HGS CEO Partha De Sarkar said: "We see an environment of bullishness in India where companies are getting back into investment mode and looking for ways to enable higher growth."
 
He said the resulting acquisition is opportunistic and fits well into his company's growth plans.
 
"It adds scale and a wider footprint even as we enhance our capabilities and gain an outstanding team of domain specialists to cater to our clientele," he said. 

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Extreme Iceland: Northern lights seekers may be left disappointed
Is a trip to Iceland to view the northern lights on your bucket list? What you see may be nothing like the photos on the travel site
 
Wisps of green and purple paint the night sky in this photo of the northern lights featured on the website for Extreme Iceland, an Icelandic travel agency that offers sightseeing tours of the aurora borealis, among other vacation packages.
 
But the awesomeness of this image may not match what you get to see with the naked eye, as the photo rendering is the result of an 8-second time exposure and not a single moment caught on camera. (An Extreme Iceland spokesperson confirmed this in response to a query by TINA.org.)
 
Others caution potential sightseers as well.
 
“The colors you see in aurora photos ARE real but exaggerated because the pictures are time exposures,” Bob King, a self-proclaimed amateur astronomer who maintains the blog “Astro Bob,” wrote in an October 2013 post titled “Technicolor Auroras? A Reality Check.”
 
“Often a curtain of green rays will be topped off by red, blue or purple emission recorded with sumptuous fidelity in the camera,” King wrote. “What does the eye see? Smoky, colorless haze with hints of pink. Maybe.”
 
The Extreme Iceland spokesperson acknowledged that observing red in person is rare. And while the travel site does note that witnessing any northern lights takes luck, it doesn’t disclose how the photographer captured the alluring photos.
 
Extreme Iceland is not the only Icelandic tourism site that uses long exposure shots of the northern lights to advertise sightseeing tours. Icelandair also displays such photography on its site. In response to a query from TINA.org, Michael Raucheisen, a spokesperson for Icelandair, wrote:
 
Although it can be difficult to photograph the northern lights, depending on the speed and intensity of them, these photographs would have been taken with a long exposure to capture the light, subtle nuances and beauty of what the photographer was actually seeing.
 
The bottom line for northern lights seekers: If you’re expecting a spectacular light show based on photos you see on a tourism website, you may end up disappointed. To avoid this, find out what isn’t guaranteed before booking your trip.
 
Find more of our coverage on summer vacations here
 

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What Chris Christie Didn’t Say at His Campaign Kickoff
The New Jersey governor pledges to “tell it like it is,” but his fiscal record and rhetoric don’t line up
 
Now that Chris Christie is officially running for president, his record as governor of New Jersey will be getting a lot more scrutiny. As we reported with The Washington Post in April, there’s plenty to look at.
 
Our reporting focused on Republican Christie’s fiscal record, an area where he’s claimed some of his biggest achievements – and committed some of the “Budget Sins” he attacked his predecessors for. 
 
Kicking off his campaign today, Christie used familiar rhetoric to champion his record in New Jersey. “We rolled up our sleeves and we went to work and we balanced six budgets in a row,” he said. “We’ve refused to raise taxes on the people of this state for six years.” 
 
But as our earlier reporting showed, Christie’s fiscal record doesn't always line up with his campaign’s “Telling It Like It Is” tagline. Take public employee pensions, a chronic problem in New Jersey.
 
When Christie signed his sixth budget on Friday, he reiterated his claim that his contributions to the state’s pensions have far outpaced those of his predecessors. As we pointed out in April, that’s only true if you exclude a $2.75 billion pension contribution by former Republican Gov. Christine Todd Whitman. 
 
Christie doesn’t count Whitman’s payment because it was made with borrowed money, allowing him to assert that pension contributions under his administration are “more than twice as much as any other governor in New Jersey history.” 
 
More recently, Christie has also claimed a pension victory from a New Jersey Supreme Court decision that came out in his favor. But again, the circumstances are more complicated than he describes.
 
“We just won a major court decision supporting the pension reforms that we put into place in 2011,” Christie told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos during a recent interview on “This Week.” 
 
The details: The court ruling actually allowed Christie to avoid making a full $2.25 billion payment to the pension funds due by today, as dictated by the reforms. To allow for a smaller contribution – $893 million – Christie’s lawyers had argued that a key provision of the reforms was unconstitutional.
 
In the past, Christie has claimed the pension reforms as one of his biggest political wins.
 
Entangled in the recent pension wrangling was another issue we reported on in April – a reduction in the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit under Christie. The cut effectively raised taxes on the working poor.
 
New Jersey Democrats, who control the legislature, had pushed a “millionaires’ tax” to help make the full pension contribution in the state’s 2016 fiscal year. Christie vetoed the tax – and then sent a surprise proposal back to lawmakers to restore the prior cut in the tax credit and raise it even higher. 
 
But the proposal came with a catch – it required concurrence with the millionaires’ tax veto. Democrats groused that it would give Christie a campaign sound bite, but they went along anyway. The tax credit increase now awaits Christie’s signature.
 
Courtesy: ProPublica

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