Survey for fourth quarter of 2010 says newspapers are doing well, especially local language dailies, except in Maharashtra where there is a decline in readership
The India Readership Survey results for the fourth quarter of 2010 has shown that internet has emerged as a tremendous force, whereas radio is facing a decline. While the top line has been preserved, Maharashtra appears to be the exception as far as growth of newspapers is concerned.
India continues its journey at odds with the West with respect to news readership. While in Europe and the US newspaper readership has fallen dramatically and many publications have folded up, in India the print business continues to grow. Most of it is fuelled by the growth of local language editions and the launch of new regional publications in the last two quarters.
Internet, too, has emerged as a powerful mass media channel. It is the only media which has recorded a growth of more than 30% over the last two quarters. From the second quarter, it has grown a phenomenal 35.9%.
Staying true to the trends, regional dailies have recorded growth in almost all states. The change can be attributed to increased literacy levels and widespread penetration of mobile and broadband connections.
The radio sector, however, has shown a decline of 9.8%, with the audience reduced from 17.26 crore in the second quarter to 16.39 crore in this quarter.
Barring a few, all Hindi dailies registered growth. The top three dailies, all Hindi-Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar and Hindustan-have retained their positions and increased their readership as well. Dainik Jagran currently enjoys a readership of 160.66 lakh, which is a marked increase of nearly 70 lakh from the last quarter. The Times of India continues to be the only English daily to feature in the top ten list.
In Maharashtra, however, eight out of the top ten dailies have recorded negative growth. Lokmat, which holds the top position, has seen a decrease of 3.9% in growth against that in the third quarter. Daily Sakal, which holds the second position, has seen a marginal growth of 0.45% and English daily Hindustan Times has seen a growth of 3.47% in the state, proving to be the only two exceptions.
Among the English dailies, Hindustan Times; with a readership of 35.92 lakh, followed The Times of India which has a readership of 75.24 lakh across India. The Hindu was in third position. The Telegraph, which limits itself to the eastern region, continues to grow, and is in fourth position.
Malayala Manorama, which is the fourth most popular daily with a circulation of 99.30 lakh remains the top vernacular publication, followed by Marathi Lokmat, which has a readership of 77.12 lakh. In Hindi magazines, Pratiyogita Darpan continues to lead, and the weekly India Today remains the top English magazine.
Following orders from the apex court, the Custodian released money from the big bull's assets to the I-T department and SBI
The Mumbai-based office of the Custodian has released about Rs2,194.9 crore from Harshad Mehta's assets to the State Bank of India (SBI) and the Income-Tax (I-T) department, said, AK Toprani, director, Office of the Custodian. This disbursement, made against the outstanding dues of Harshad Mehta group is the largest and first of its kind in India.
At a meeting held in Mumbai, Satish Loomba, Custodian, handed over Rs1995.66 crore and Rs199.25 crore to senior revenue and bank officials, respectively, the Office of the Custodian said in a press note. BP Gaur, Director General of Investigation (Central) and Nilima Mansukhani, Chief Commissioner of I-T, Maharashtra received the payment on behalf of the I-T department, while B Sriram, Chief General Manager (Securities) from SBI accepted the payments.
The family of Harshad Mehta has tried to get an interim stay on the payment disbursement, however, the Supreme Court on 14th March, while admitting a civil appeal from the Mehta family, denied interim stay on the High Court order. The apex court, however clarified that if ultimately the I-T department and the financial institutions are required to bring back the entire or part of the amount disbursed in terms of the impugned order, it shall also include the interest at a rate as may be directed by the court.
The Supreme Court, however, said, "The amount of Rs25 crore, directed to be paid to Canbank Financial Services Ltd, in terms of the impugned order shall not be disbursed to them, if not already released."
Last month, the Bombay High Court directed the Custodian to release Rs1,995.66 crore to the I-T department to clear its dues from the Harshad Mehta group. The I-T department had moved the High Court to claim its dues for the 10-month period when the securities scam hit the market in 1991-92, perpetrated by late Mr Mehta, also known as the 'Big Bull'.
Harshad Mehta, who died of a heart attack in Mumbai in December 2001, faced allegations of diverting huge amounts of public money to the securities market. The Joint Parliamentary Committee, set up for the 1992 scam, had estimated the quantum of the scam at approximately Rs4,400 crore.
Family says he hung himself; police say he died under mysterious circumstances. Investigating agencies were probing his role in the 2G scam
Chennai: In a dramatic twist in the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation scam probe, Sadiq Batcha, a close aide of former telecom minister A Raja and under investigation in the case, died in mysterious circumstances with his family claiming he committed suicide, reports PTI.
"He was brought dead to the Apollo hospital at about 1:30 pm. The family says he had hanged himself. Police is yet to verify anything. We are investigating," Chennai police commissioner T Rajendran told PTI.
Police have rushed to his house and are conducting enquiries.
When the body of 47-year-old Mr Batcha was taken to the hospital, doctors declared him "brought dead."
Hospital sources said the body would be taken to a government hospital for post-mortem.
Mr Batcha was the managing director of Greenhouse Promoters, a firm under the scanner of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as well as the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The CBI along with the ED had conducted searches at his premises late last year.
Both CBI and ED were probing the possibility of his firms acting as a front for the former minister. Both the agencies have questioned him earlier in connection with the case.