Over 60 killed in Myanmar earthquake

Tremors were felt as far away as Bangkok, almost 800 kilometres from the epicentre, Hanoi and parts of China during the earthquake yesterday, which the US Geological Survey (USGS) measured at magnitude 6.8

Yangon: More than 60 people were killed and dozens injured after a strong earthquake struck Myanmar near its border with Thailand cutting off some affected areas, reports PTI.

Tremors were felt as far away as Bangkok, almost 800 kilometres (500 miles) from the epicentre, Hanoi and parts of China during the earthquake yesterday, which the US Geological Survey (USGS) measured at magnitude 6.8.

A Myanmar official said dozens of people were killed in areas close to the epicentre and more than 240 buildings had collapsed.

"The death toll has increased to more than 60 now from those areas including Tarlay, Mine Lin and Tachileik townships," the official said.

"About 90 people were injured from those areas. Officials are still trying to reach some more affected areas. There are some places we cannot reach yet," he added.

Across the border, Thai authorities said a 52-year-old woman was killed in Mae Sai district after a wall in her house collapsed.

Terrified residents across the region fled their homes, tall buildings swayed and hospitals and schools were evacuated during the tremors.

In Yangon Chris Herink, Myanmar country director for the charity World Vision, said there did not appear to be "catastrophic infrastructure damage" in the affected areas of Kengtung and Tachileik, although buildings were cracked and water supplies disrupted in some areas.

"Of real concern though are the more rural areas.

There will be more, I am afraid to say, unhappy information coming throughout the day," he said.

"It is a hilly area near the border between Thailand and Laos, the so-called Golden Triangle. There is a lot of commerce that goes on in the area."

World Vision has around 7,000 children sponsored by overseas donors in the affected areas.


Govt introduces Bill to give statutory power to PFRDA

The pension regulatory authority was set up in 2003, but legislation laying down its structure and responsibilities has not been instituted till now for various reasons

New Delhi: Taking forward financial sector reforms, the government on Thursday introduced the long-pending Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill in the Lok Sabha to give statutory status to the interim pension regulator and promote old age income security.

The Bill, which was introduced by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, provides for establishing a statutory regulatory body to be called the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) that will undertake promotional, developmental and regulatory functions with respect to pension funds, reports PTI.

The principal opposition Bharatiya Janata Party supported the proposal, even as the Left parties pressed for a division at the introduction stage. The Bill was introduced after a division of votes, as 115 members backed the proposed legislation, 43 opposed it and one member abstained from voting. As many as 159 members were present in the 543 member House.

According to the statement of objects and reasons, foreign investment policy for pension sector intermediaries, including pension funds and the central record-keeping agency, would be determined and notified outside the proposed legislation under the Foreign Exchange Management Act.

The Bill also contains provisions for empowering the PFRDA to regulate the National Pension System (NPS), as amended from time to time. Moreover, it authorises the PFRDA to levy fees for services rendered by it, towards meeting its expenditure. The pension fund regulator can also impose penalties for any violation of the provisions of the legislation, rules, regulations, etc, once the Bill is passed.

The Bill also provides for the establishment of the PFRDA consisting of a chairperson, three whole-time members and three part-time members.

"The New Pension System, as provided in the PFRDA Bill, 2005, would be renamed as the National Pension System," the Bill says.

The government had constituted an interim pension sector regulator in 2003. The PFRDA Bill was earlier introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2005, which was then referred to the Standing Committee.

The government proposed amendments in 2009 to give effect to certain recommendations of the Committee, but amendments could not be moved and the PFRDA Bill, 2005, could not be considered and passed, and the same lapsed due to the dissolution of the 14th Lok Sabha.

Though the PFRDA does not have statutory powers at present, it is regulating the New Pension System. The government had launched the New Pension System for central government employees entering service from 1 January 2004. Later it was extended to all citizens from 1 May 2009.


Cadbury Dairy Milk: Another market expansion drive

The new commercial is Cadbury’s attempt to slip in to the dessert plate. The creative is quite boring and lifeless, but it still is a brave marketing move to try and change a very deeply entrenched Indian habit

If there's one brand we can all learn from, in terms of how to expand the market, it's Cadbury Dairy Milk. They are forever looking to find new occasions for chocolate consumption, even if that means trespassing age-old, well-entrenched consumer habits.

I recall only till about two decades ago, Cadbury Dairy Milk was targeted purely at children. The commercials at the time used to always feature parents gifting the chocolate to their kids. Since then, the Cadbury guys have consistently (and successfully) broken the age barrier, and the brand is now pitched at even the geriatrics. And in terms of consumption occasions, they have been giving the traditional mithai a serious run for its money (remember 'Pappu pass ho gayaa'?).

The latest attempt is to make Cadbury Dairy Milk a substitute for dessert. To satisfy the craving for a post-dinner sweet, the space which, in typical Indian households, is usually occupied by ice creams, custards, gulab jamuns, jalebis, kheer, etc. This is a brave marketing move, but a commendable one nonetheless. Agreed, this will be a long haul effort as it may take a long time for consumers to change their habits, but it's worth a try for sure. Kuchh meetha post dinner is a huge market.

However, and quite surprisingly I might add, the commercial is very laid back and un-engaging. Considering that one would expect the ad to be really hot, given the challenging marketing assignment on hand. The commercial features a family at a dinner table. A little girl fusses over her food. When the grand dad wants to know what sweet dish is lined up for the evening, someone mentions Cadbury. The little girl tries to quickly eat her choc bar, so that it becomes jhootha, and therefore others won't have it. But they do. From a new plate that arrives with Cadbury Dairy Milk pieces displayed like sweetmeats. The family shares a laugh as the voice-over says: 'Khaane ke baad meethe mein kuchh meetha ho jaaye.'

Yes, the commercial is quite boring and lifeless. Still, it's a 'sweet' marketing strategy, and the creative renditions can change and improve with time. A good case study material for marketing schools to keep a sharp eye on, if Cadbury Dairy Milk can actually achieve some degree of success in smashing a very deeply entrenched Indian habit.




6 years ago

The girl so cute... Her acting so natural and heart touching... She is so damn cute.. Awesome add.. Hope to see her in future diary milk ads too..


6 years ago

Its sad to see the commercial products trying to replace the traditional Indian desserts. Agree that even India desserts are bought from market these days, but atleast. its something associated with our way of living since long.
Now come the chocolates, which have only harmful effects on our health, trying to devoid us from any leftover indian food we have these days. Evening breakfast are already replaced by all kinds of junk foods, now the evil corporates have found a new target.

Coming back to the ad, its as lame as possible. You get a feeling of the ad being 'trying to be too sweet' from the word go. Watch it 2-3 times and you feel its fake-ness creeping in. Also, what amazes me in the ad, is the fact that older people are shown to be more interested in having the chocs rather than younger couples on the table.
Eat it all customers, diabetics, BP, obesity, they are all coming for you

Dr Pragyan

6 years ago

Such an amazing ad, wonder how you missed it

Krishna Kumar

6 years ago

Sorry, I cannot disagree with you more. The acting of that little girl is simply superb. This is one ad that managed to captivate my mind after a long time.

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