Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Kochadaiiyaan: Rejoice for Rajinikanth fans
India's first motion capture photo-realistic 3D animation opened to full houses across south India. Kochadaiiyaan is recieving mixed, mostly positive, reviews from audience around the world
Kochadaiyan, which marked the directorial debut of Rajinikanth's daughter Soundarya Rajinikanth finally hit the screens Friday after delays due to financial and technical reasons. With a record launch in a record 4000 screens - 450 in Tamil Nadu, 300 in Karnataka and Kerala, 700 in Andhra Pradesh, around 2,000 screens in North India and 700 screens in US and Europe - analysts expect it to earn more than Rs30 crore in the first day box office collection. 
Film trade analyst Taran Adarsh, in a tweet, said, “Expect new records to be set (for Kochadaiiyaan)”.
According to a report from Filmfare, the Rajnikanth Starrer Kochadaiyaan has opened with 90% occupancy in South. “Kochadaiiyaan broke all records in Tamil Nadu which makes it the biggest Rajinikanth opener. Trade pundits are predicting 100 crore haul just in Tamil Nadu. Overseas too the film is creating waves, its a huge hit in the UAE and it's also receiving a good response in USA, Malaysia and Singapore as well,” the report says. 
The actors received accolades for their performance while AR Rahman's background score and Ravikumar's script are also being praised by the audience. The audience, both Indian and overseas were impressed with the movie and took to twitter to express their appreciation. Here are some of the tweets.
The Rajinikanth-Deepika Padukone starrer is shot with motion capture in 3D and is India's first performance capture photorealistic project. It is a joint venture project between Eros International and Media One Global Ltd and looking at the advance bookings trade analysts expect it to get the biggest opening of 2014.
It took Soundarya two years and over 200 technicians in India and abroad to make this film which is compared to Hollywood movies like Avatar and Tin Tin which are made using the same technology.  While Kochadaiyaan is made with a budget of Rs125 crore, Avatar was made with Rs3,000 crore budget and completed in five years and Tin Tin cost about Rs4,000 crore and five years to be completed.


SBI shares up 10% on improved asset quality in March quarter
During the March quarter, SBI reported healthy performance on the asset quality front while its operating performance came ahead of the market expectations
Shares of State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender, Friday jumped 10% on the BSE, mainly on its 'healthy performance' during the fourth quarter, especially improvement in asset quality and annoucement of a 150% final divident. The improvement in asset quality was ahead of the market expectations.
Asset Quality of SBI
For the quarter to end-March, the state-run lender, said its net profit fell 8% to Rs3,041 crore from Rs3,299 crore while its net interest income rose 16% to Rs12,903 crore from from Rs11,078 crore, same period last year. 
SBI said its gross non-performing assets (G-NPAs) during the fourth quarter declined 78 bps sequentially to 4.95% from 5.73%, while its net NPA declined 67 bps sequentially to 2.57% from 3.24% in December 2013 quarter.
For the 12 months to end-March, the state-run lender said its net profit fell 23% to Rs10,891 crore from Rs14,104 crore even as its total income, including interest income, rose to Rs1.55 lakh crore from Rs1.36 lakh crore, a year ago. Its full year NII rose 11% to Rs49,282 crore, SBI said.
The Bank's total business increased by Rs3.58 lakh crore to Rs26.4 lakh crore during FY14. 
The state-run lender declared a final dividend of Rs15 or 150% for 2013-14. It had earlier paid an interim dividend of Rs15.
SBI closed Friday 9.7% higher at Rs2,755 on the BSE, while the 30-share Sensex ended the day 1.3% up at 24,693.
SBI: Details of Profit and Loss account on stand alone basis:


Restructured Coal India may help increase production
The mammoth task of restructuring Coal India has to be done on a war footing, starting with making its subsidiaries totally independent profit centres
The new government takes over official control after the swearing in ceremony on 26th May, when the portfolios will be announced and new Ministers take over control of their new ministries and responsibilities. If press reports are to be believed, there are very good chances that many of the ministries may be amalgamated into a single large unit to cover major areas.  For instance, it is believed that a Ministry of Power may be established that would take care of power generation in any form, though, it is likely to have sub-divisional heads to control, guide and operate the
given area.
One of the important issues that is likely to be taken on hand relates to whether Coal India Ltd (CIL), the world's largest coal miner, be allowed to run the way it has been for so many years now, or should it be restructured, in order to ensure greater domestic production and reduced dependence on imports of coal. 
Coal India, as the largest coal miner in the world, accounts for meeting 80% of India's needs. As a Holding company, it controls the following companies:
1. Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL) - Sanctoria, West Bengal
2. Bharat Coaking Coal Ltd (BCCL), Dhanbad, Jharkhand
3. Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL), Ranchi, Jharkhand
4. South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL), Bilaspur, Chhatisgarh
5. Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL), Nagpur, Maharashtra
6. Northern Coalfields Ltd (NCL) Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh
7. Mahanadhi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), Sambalpur, Odisha
It may be noted that Coal India has interest in Coal India Africana Limitada, in Mozambique.  Coal India's consultancy is done by Central Mining Planning and Design Institute Ltd (CMPDI), Ranchi, Jharkhand.
Coal India's Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), S Narasing Rao, IAS, will soon relinquish his position and move on to Andhra to be the chief secretary of the chief minister there.  So, with his going away to a new posting, all the experience and knowledge that he gained in the coal industry will be lost and the new government will now have to nominate the new CMD to take over the job, and, unless he has sufficient background knowledge in the coal mining industry, he will have to start all over again to acquire the same.
During his tenor, although CIL faced and continues to face a lot of difficulties, in terms of land aquisition issues, inadequate supply  of racks, evacuation problems from pitheads, environmental clearances, politically motivated agitations besides red tape, Coal India managed to produce some 452 million tonnes.  During this period, production was also lost due to cyclone Phalin and flooding in the monsoon period.  Work on the dedicated corridors are moving at a slow space and due to government intervention, Narasing Rao had to sign 172 FSAs (Fuel Supply Agreements) for ensuring coal supplies for power generators to produce 78,000 MW, though coal production was falling behind targets!
It may be noted that our mines still are not modern, like their overseas counterparts, with latest mining equipment and technology.  In the meantime, our ambitious plans need coal supply of 530 million tonnes in 2014-15, 575 million tonnes in 2015-16 and 615 mt in 2016-17. We do not, unfortunately, have the capacity to reach these figures unless radical changes are made in the organisation and its approach to the various problems that confront its it, and act as stumbling blocks, details of which have been stated as above.
The mammoth task of restructuring Coal India has to be done on war footing. First, and foremost, is that the seven coal mining units, mentioned above, need to be made as totally independent profit and production supply centres, run by technocrats who have years of experience in the coal mining industry.  
Among the magnificent seven mentioned above, two units, namely, South Eastern Coalfields Ltd and Mahanadhi Coalfileds Ltd, are mining annually over 100 million tonnes each, joining a few others in the same league overseas. If they can maintain this tempo and production, there must be some serious flaw in our other five units which may be due to the various causes mentioned above.  These obstacles have to be surmounted at all costs, and the government must ensure that the posts of CMDs are not for those not qualified to run such establishments.
The new government has also indicated that they are not averse to foreign direct investment (FDI) in the industry.  Why not selectively get in touch with the top miners in the world and invite them to invest in the country? They may be permitted to import the latest machinery and technology that goes with it but ensure increased production of much needed coal.
Coal India has cash reserves of over Rs60,000 crore. As the first step in the restructuring of the organisation, they need to reduce the government holding to 26% and pay off from the cash reserves.  Next, would be to spin off all these seven companies into totally independent entities, by awarding to the existing shareholders of Coal India. Those coal blocks, which were taken back may now be auctioned through open tendering process, in line with same procedure adopted for oil and gas blocks that have been successful so far.  Captive blocks given by the government to power generators must now have a time frame to perform, and this may call for a total elimination of the MOEF in the current form, and replace it by a more practical ministry that may be directly controlled by the concerned State Government, to whom a clear cut term of reference be given along with national guidelines.
This is not a small task to achieve, but steps can be taken by the new government in these directions, taking into account what a Core Advisory Committee (CAC) to the Prime Minister can do on such matters of national importance.
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)



Dr Anantha K Ramdas

3 years ago

In response to Mr Raghunathan, may I mention that as a shareholder of the company, and interested in its development, and wanting to know what are the problems, I did get in touch with one of the seven units and the Secretary of the organization, based in Kolkata.

I suggest you write to mr Viswanathan the Secretary in Kolkata or write to any CEO of the seven organizarion listed.

After you get any response please do write again.

Sorry to say this, but the fact remains that people in the top in our country do not respond to aam aadmi, including shareholders, as they think it it is below their dignity to respond to genuine enquiries.

Please do not talk about fashion. Please do write to any top guys in the companies in which you are a shareholder and see how they respond. Kindly let me know when you are successful. If you do, it will be an extremely exception case.

We need dedicated people in the staff - all round - from bottom to the top; then only we can improve. We have to lead from the front, and talking just won't do.

V Raghunathan

3 years ago

Of late, talking about inefficiency of Coal India (CIL) has become fashionable. It appears author has completely overlooked the transportation constraints / bottlenecks in the country.

Even if by allowing foreign miners to come in with latest technology and magically enhance production drastically, has any thought been given on how such enhanced production is going to be moved throughout the length and breadth of the country with the existing capacity?

Logically, restructuring of CIL may be wwrranted in terms of environment friendly enhancement of coal production using latest technology and what is more urgently required is restructuring of transportation systems in the country, especially for bulk commodities like coal, oil etc.

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