After streamlining across its TV channels, the TV18 group is reportedly shutting some of its web properties and drastically reducing staff strength
Web18 Software Services Ltd, or Web18, the Internet and mobile arm of Network18, has reportedly decided to close several of its web properties and cut down staff strength to just 15%. According to sources, employees were handed over three months’ severance package and asked not to report for duty from 26th August. The web properties that are likely to be shut down includes, in.com and CommoditiesControl.com while others will be kept alive nominally. Moneycontrol.com, the flagship property will be run by a handful of staff, sources said.
This follows the move by the television arm of Network18, which last week handed out pink slips to hundreds of employees, including cameramen, technicians, reporters, news anchors and producers across its channels.
Web18 has a variety of information and transactional services based on the Internet. This includes, In.com, Moneycontrol.com, Cricketnext.com, CommoditiesControl.com, PowerYourTrade.com, Tech2.com, Biztech2.com, IBNLive.com, Compareindia.com, Storeguru.com (now In.com Shop), Indiaearnings.com, JobStreet.com, Indiwo.com, Buzz18.com, Josh18.com, Yatra.com and BookMyShow.com.
The TV18 group holds 85% stake in Web18 Holdings while the remaining is held by Global Broadcast News Network, a part of the group.
According to a report from NewsLaundry.com, the mass terminations were supposedly decided in a Macau offsite earlier this year where managing director Raghav Bahl had told his marketing team that they do not need any specialist journalists. In fact, owing to the same formula of no-need-of-specialists CNN IBN’s Special Investigation team headed by VK Shashikumar was packed up a year earlier. Similarly, Bahar Dutt and her environmental reporting team have also been asked to leave, the report said.
The report also mentioned that the downsizing was believed to have an adverse impact on some of Network 18’s online ventures and Moneycontrol.com was the next in queue. "Its operations are being streamlined and the office is shifting to Parel from Matunga. The downsizing is believed to be because the website’s traffic has plummeted substantially. Forbes India which saw the rather ugly exit of its four editors a few months back, might be shut down permanently," the report says. The group has wide presence in print, internet and television. It has been making losses in almost all its ventures. The group is now controlled by Mukesh Ambani through a complicated arrangement that has bypassed takeover norms.
The market regulator is also framing a new set of norms to enable it to conduct search and seizure operations and recover unlawful gains through disgorgement orders
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has started the process of framing new regulations and putting in place infrastructure to exercise newly granted powers through the Securities Laws Ordinance, including those related to information collection, search and seizure operations and disgorgement orders.
Besides, the SEBI is preparing internal guidelines to exercise the powers given to it through the Securities Laws (Amendment) Ordinance.
The proposed actions, approved by SEBI's board, include entering into agreements with foreign and domestic regulators to seek information from them about ongoing probes, sources said. In the case of foreign regulators, prior approval of the central government would be taken on a case-to-case basis.
SEBI will also frame a new set of norms to enable it to conduct search and seizure operations and recover unlawful gains through disgorgement orders.
The new powers are aimed at making SEBI more effective in protecting investors' interests and helping it to better regulate the market, including enforcement of securities laws.
SEBI is also preparing guidelines for its officers for search and seizure operations and recovering amounts through attachment and sale of assets. Greater manpower with legal background will be deployed and they will be provided training and other infrastructure.
The regulator is also framing regulations for utilisation of disgorged amounts credited to the Investor Education and Protection Fund.
SEBI is amending the Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) Regulations, 1999, to bring any scheme or arrangement involving unauthorised pooling of money within the ambit of CIS to protect the interests of investors and the securities market. This proposal has been separately approved by the SEBI board and a notification in this regard would be issued soon.
The market watchdog will put in place specific regulations for the procedure of settlement proceedings.
For speedy trial of offences under SEBI regulations, the regulator is taking up the issue with the central government to establish or designate special courts.
Angry MPs demanded stern action against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, against whom a 15-year girl has slapped rape charges
Several members from the Lok Sabha on Monday demanded stern action against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, against whom a teenaged girl has slapped rape charges. The government however tried to pacify members by saying that the probe against Asaram is underway.
The issue came up during Zero Hour when the House was discussing the progress in the probe against the recent gang rape of a Mumbai-based photojournalist.
Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Sharad Yadav said, "There is one sadhu who is taking the country for a ride. What have you done in the case? A young girl has slapped rape charges against him. Government should say something and do something on this. Why don’t you speak on this.”
“Punishing this sadhu will send a strong message across the country,” Yadav asserted, with several members including Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) demanding stringent action against the controversial godman. The members wanted to speak on the subject but were not allowed by Speaker Meira Kumar.
“Asaram should be hanged,” shouted Dasgupta. He also said that there have been growing incidents of rape across the country including gang-rape of a lady constable in Jharkhand. “These incidents bring shame to us and also to government agencies,” he said.
In the melee, Harsimrat Kaur (SAD) also demanded death sentence for all such culprits.
Responding to the members, home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said cases like those of Asaram Bapu and the Jharkhand constable were 'primarily the concern of states. They are in preliminary stages of investigation’.
A 15-year-old girl has lodged a written complaint with the police charging Asaram Bapu with sexually assaulting her in his Jodhpur ashram. Asaram has denied the charge.