The study conducted by CyberMedia Research pointed out that with nearly 10 million unit sales in 2010, the combined installed base of desktop and notebook personal computers in India is estimated to have crossed 52 million units as of 31 December 2010
Bangalore: The India personal computer (PC) market is expected to see sales of 11.15 million units in the 2011 calendar year, reports PTI.
According to market research, consulting and advisory services firm CyberMedia Research, sales are expected to accelerate further by 14% to 12.71 million units in 2012.
The study pointed out that with nearly 10 million unit sales in 2010, the combined installed base of desktop and notebook personal computers in India is estimated to have crossed 52 million units as of 31 December 2010.
The current installed base of personal computers translates into one computer for every 25 Indians, doubling the per capita PC availability in just four years. At the end of 2006, there was approximately one computer for every 50 Indians.
The first tablet computer was launched in India in November 2010. Since then, the market has seen a slew of launches by both MNC and Indian players.
While models like Cisco's Cius and RIM's Blackberry Playbook tablets are focused on the enterprise user segment, the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Reliance 3G Tab manufactured by Chinese telecom manufacturer ZTE are focused on the consumer segment.
The firm expects tablets to become the new battleground as major MNCs and Indian vendors and operators race to capture a share of this emerging market.
The first half of 2011 witnessed subdued sales in the Indian PC market on account of lower offtake by the government, public and private sector. Lower consumer demand also added to the slack sales.
This situation is expected to correct itself in the July-September 2011 quarter as strong demand from the education sector is usually witnessed at the commencement of the new academic session.
Consumer buying is also expected to be higher in the July-December period of 2011 on account of festive season buying.
Domestic demand in the large and small and medium business (SMB) enterprise segments is expected to remain healthy as well.
However, a 'wait-and-watch' buying sentiment may continue in the corporate sector due to the ongoing uncertain economic environment in the US, Europe and Japan.
The other major development with a likely impact on companies' shares of the PC market was HP's announcement on 18-19 August that it was spinning off its PC business, the study added.
Shehla Masood, RTI activist and wildlife enthusiast, was shot dead outside her home in Bhopal on 16th August, the day Anna Hazare resumed his hunger protest for a strong anti-corruption law. She had informed the government about threats to her life, particularly by IPS officer Pawan Shrivastava, but even an elementary FIR was not registered by police. What protection do whistleblowers have in our country?
The dark side of the Right to Information crusade is the brutal killing of RTI activists. The latest victim was 38-year-old Shehla Masood, who was shot dead in her car on 16th August, as she left her home in Bhopal.
A comment posted by one of her friends on http://www.ecowalkthetalk.com/blog/?) on 20th August states: "She is a co-alumni of our High School in Bhopal, a Facebook friend and colleague on a fan page. I am shocked and sickened at the violent nature of this abominable crime against one of our best and brightest. How can Bhopal be safe if strong voices like Shehla Masood can be snuffed out without any repercussions? The government needs to show that it can keep its citizens safe by identifying the culprits and getting justice for Shehla's murder. 'It is in justice that the ordering of society is centered - Aristotle'."
In 2010 alone, there were 11 attacks on activists in various parts of Maharashtra, which is about half the number of attacks that occurred nationwide.
Satish Shetty was killed in Pune, on 13 January 2010, on his way back home on his morning walk. He had been exposing land scams of some mighty politicians.
In February, Arun Sawant was attacked and left paralysed in Thane. Arun had dug out land scams at a local municipal council.
Then in April, Vithal Gite was killed in Beed for revealing corruption in the local panchayat and block office.
In May, Dattatreya Patil was killed in the textile town of Ichalkaranji. He had brought out the corruption in the handloom sector.
Ramdas Ghadegaonkar was murdered in Nanded for exposing the scam in fuel and grain allocation in the public distribution system.
And in December, Irfan Qazi was killed for protesting against the controversial Jaitapur nuclear plant.
At the start of 2011, Yashwant Gavand was killed in Mumbai after he procured documents that revealed a local corporator had not declared his assets honestly to the Election Commission as is mandatory.
In Pune, Arun Mane (a colleague of Satish Shetty) was attacked for following up on Shetty's campaign on the land scams along the Pune-Mumbai Expressway.
What is most distressing is that none of these cases have been solved. As usual, police are said to be still investigating and the culprits roam free, feeling like victors.
While the murder of Shehla Masood, who was a wildlife enthusiast, may have missed the headlines as it happened on the day that Anna Hazare resumed his hunger protest, it is necessary to rewind the details of her crusade against corruption and financial irregularities.
In fact, the 38-year-old was on her way to participate in a rally to support the Gandhian leader's campaign for a strong Lokpal, when she was shot dead by an unidentified assailant as she hopped into the car. She had her car keys in one hand and the mobile in the other hand, her brother has said. Yet, the authorities are trying to make it out to be a case of suicide.
After an uproar in the media, police have now dumped the suicide theory, but are dishing out the usual rhetoric. Inspector General of Police (Bhopal range) Vijay Yadav says police is convinced that it was indeed a murder; she was shot dead from point blank range; all possible angles are being explored to get the killer. The fact is that Shehla Masood was campaigning against mining activity by a multinational company that is endangering the Panna Tiger Reserve and the Shyamri river, and that is why she was eliminated.
Gopal Krishna, founder, convener of Toxics Watch Alliance (TWA), an non-government organisation campaigning against corporate crimes and pollution, and Prakash Ray of Jawaharlal Nehru University Researchers' Association (JNURA), have written to the central and state governments demanding "that the possible connection between her murder and her raising the issue of the illegal diamond mining project in Chhatarpur district in Madhya Pradesh, by Rio Tinto, a transnational mining company headquartered in the UK (combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange), must be investigated along with other suspicions by a high level probe team."
They have said, "the mining block is inside a forest, which is at the northernmost tip of the best corridor of teak forests south of the Gangetic plain. It is an established law that mining is non-forestry activity. There is an immediate need for a probe to determine who allowed the mining to take place in such an ecologically fragile area. The Bunder mine project, near the city of Chhatarpur in Madhya Pradesh, about 500 km south-east of Delhi, is likely to be one of the largest diamond reserves in the world. It is estimated that there is a 'inferred resource' of 27.4 million carats, a diamonds resource seven times richer than the Panna mine, the country's only working diamond mine.
"A statement, dated 22 March 2011, was laid in Parliament (Lok Sabha) on the 'need to review the diamond mining project in Chhatarpur district, Madhya Pradesh, posing serious threat to environment in the region'.
"We have learnt from senior journalists that two Collectors have been transferred to facilitate the ongoing illegal mining and the fact that the new Collector has allowed mining which came to light when a PIL was filed, stating that Rio Tinto has been carrying on exploitation of mineral resources in Chhatarpur district violating the prescribed provisions.
"Prior to the statement in the Lok Sabha, on 10 March 2011, the Forest Advisory Committee Meeting of the Ministry of Environment and Forests listed Agenda no. 6 on 'Prospecting of diamonds at 143 additional locations in 2329.75 hectares of forest land located in 18 compartments in Buxwaha Range in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh by M/s Rio Tinto Exploration India Private Limited. [File No. 8-49/2006-FC-(Vol.)]' to discuss it, but did not do so stating, 'Due to paucity of time the proposal could not be discussed during the meeting'.
"We had written to the Union Environment Minister and Parliamentary Petitions Committee, separately, drawing attention towards Madhya Pradesh High Court's notices to the Centre and the state government on illegal mining of diamonds by international mining companies. The court had asked both the governments to reply in this matter within four weeks. Considering the act of illegal mining as a serious offence, a double bench of chief justice Sayed Rafat Alam and justice Sushil Harkauli criticised the forest departments, mining secretaries of the state and the centre and issued notices against them, in addition to the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board and Chhatarpur Collector.
"We take note of 'Rio Tinto: the Tainted Titan', the Stakeholders Report, www.cfmeu.asn.au, 1997, which states 'Its (Rio Tinto's) activities in some of the wildest and the most pristine places in the world and their impact on the environment of those places, the people who live there, the lifestyle of the indigenous people and also its corporate culture, are subjects of real concern.
"We submit that the Rio Tinto project is threatening unique forest resources in the area affected by the mine in Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh. In this context, it may be noted that veteran journalist Roger Moody has in his book 'Plunder', described Rio Tinto's activities as ranging from 'brow-beating opponents, leaning on governments and price-fixing, to violating international law, union-busting and management of one of the world's biggest commodity cartels". His book outlines numerous examples of its environmental irresponsibility.
"We salute the struggle and martyrdom of Shehla Masood who defended our forests, rivers, land and wildlife in the face of unscrupulous corporate assault in nexus with ruling political regimes. Shehla Masood used to conclude her messages with a proud 'Roarrrrr' that cannot be silenced by the bullets of her assailants."
This apart, Shehla Masood had formally complained through letters in 2009 and 2010 to the director general of police as well as the Central Information Commission (CIC) that she had been receiving threats from Pawan Shrivastava, an IPS officer, who had in one of the instances asked her to withdraw her RTI applications. However, her complaint was pushed into the hands of a junior police officer who understandably could not take on his senior.
Shehla had also received threats over various other issues involving a number of government officers and politicians. In an interview to Outlook magazine she said, "I'm fighting for good governance, transparency, police reforms and environmental issues like tiger conservation. I've been using the RTI Act since 2005 as a tool to collect evidence. It is the nexus between politicians and babus which is slowly poisoning our country. The fight is between the powerful and weak and I represent the weakest and the poorest of society."
In all likelihood, the mining mafia will have the last laugh. But it is in this backdrop that Anna Hazare is leading the movement that has taken the first little step towards condemnation of the mindless and shameless corruption engaged in by our elected representatives and bureaucrats who are destroying the heart and soul of our country. And they claim "parliamentary supremacy"! Bah!
(Vinita Deshmukh is a senior editor, author and convener of Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She can be reached at [email protected].)
The sports ministry will now fine-tune the bill and take into consideration the objections raised by the ministers, which means that it may not be possible in the ongoing session of Parliament
New Delhi: The controversial Sports Bill, aimed at reining in sports federations and possibly have a government grip over the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI), failed to get Cabinet nod on Tuesday due to opposition by a number of ministers who felt the step was intended to control sports bodies rather then facilitate, reports PTI.
At the Cabinet meeting chaired by prime minister Manmohan Singh, the National Sports Development Bill, steered by new sports minister Ajay Maken, was discussed and a number of ministers raised objections, particularly with respect to limiting of age to 70 years of those heading these bodies and fixed tenures for them, sources said.
Subsequently, it was decided that the bill should be re-worked by the sports ministry before it could be again considered.
During the meeting, the prime minister asked all ministers to give their views on the bill after Mr Maken piloted it.
Among those who opposed were Sharad Pawar, Farooq Abdullah, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Praful Patel, Kamal Nath, CP Joshi and Kapil Sibal. Home minister P Chidambaram, however, was not in favour of throwing out "the baby along with the bath water".
Mr Pawar, the former BCCI chief and currently ICC president, led the opposition contending that age should not be any factor for deciding as to who should head sports bodies.
"What are we doing here if 70 plus rule is going to be applied. All those who are above 70 in this room should not be there" Mr Pawar is said to have told the meeting.
Mr Pawar also said that he would take up the matter with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi if the bill is passed with the current provisions. He also said Indian cricketers would be subjected to WADA provisions if the bill is cleared.
Telecom minister Kapil Sibal contended that it was not the right time politically to introduce the bill in Parliament.
Surface transport minister CP Joshi said he favoured guidelines instead of a law as is the practice in the United Kingdom.
Farooq Abdullah raised the issue of age restriction in the bill. "I am 73 plus but I can do so many things which younger people cannot do" he is said to have remarked.
The bill had sought to bring in revolutionary changes in the functioning of sports bodies in the country, which included putting an age limit of 70 years and tenure restrictions besides bringing these bodies under RTI.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and several other national sports federations had vehemently opposed the bill ever since the drafting stage, saying it was an attempt to interfere in the functioning of the bodies.
The IOA had also said that the move was against the Olympic charter and India could be banned from international sports events if the government tried to curb their autonomy.
Cricket administrators had also reacted sharply to the proposed bill which sought to put it under the purview of the RTI.
The bill, had it been cleared by the Cabinet, would have been introduced in the Parliament in the ongoing monsoon session itself and could have had a bearing on the tenures of several seasoned administrators like Suresh Kalmadi, VK Malhotra, Yashwant Sinha, Jagdish Tytler and Virendra Nanavati who have been at the helm of their respective federations for decades.
It could also have brought the cash-rich BCCI under its fold though cricket administrators maintained that it would not be binding on the board which does not take any grant from the government.
The sports ministry will now fine-tune the bill and take into consideration the objections raised by the ministers, which means that it may not be possible in the ongoing session of Parliament.
Sports minister Mr Maken had said that the bill once passed in the Parliament would bring in more accountability in the functioning of the NSFs.