Consumer Issues
Xpress Money cuts remittance fee from Oman

Xpress Money with its festive offer for Ramadan enables expats to send money at an affordable fee of 1.70 Omnai rial

 
Mumbai: Xpress Money, a global money transfer agency announced a flat fee of 1.70 Omani rial for remittances of any denominations to India during the Ramadan season, reports PTI.
 
With this festive offer, Xpress Money enables the expats to send money at an affordable fee of 1.70 Omnai rial, the company said in a release.
 
"India is a critical market for us as this is the largest 'receive' market globally, with inward remittances upwards of $64 billion in 2011," said Xpress Money Business head Sudhesh Giriyan.
 

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In Memoriam – R Vijayaraghavan (1948-2012)

Well-known journalist and Consulting Editor and columnist of Moneylife, R Vijayaraghavan, passed away in the early hours of Tuesday.  He will be deeply missed

Moneylife columnist and consulting editor R Vijayaraghavan passed away of a sudden cardiac arrest on 30 July 2012 at Pune. Known as Viji to friends, he spent decades with Business Standard (the ABP group) at Delhi and Kolkata. He also did a long stint with the Economic Times. He moved to Chennai in the early '90s helping launch the The Hindu Business Line.

Viji was among the rare journalists who excelled at editing as well as reportage. His sharp nose for news and his ability to make friends and build excellent sources at the highest levels of the government and bureaucracy ensured that his articles were front pages headlines several times a week at Business Standard as well as The Economic Times. A voracious reader with huge modern classics on English literature. With an eventful life behind him and a sharp sense of humour, he was able to regale friends and colleagues with quotations and many gripping and funny anecdotes. He was always keen on teaching youngsters the art and craft of journalism. Viji was also considered a brilliant bridge player in the Chennai bridge circles and a golfer with a fine touch around the greens.

He hailed from one of the most illustrious families in Chennai. His grandmother was Rukmini Lakshmipathi, a famous freedom fighter. He is the son of Dr Indira Ramamurthy and Dr B Ramamurthy, who were two of the finest neurosurgeons in the country. He would have been an excellent surgeon as well. However, unlike his brother and parents, he chose to be a journalist. He is survived by son Vivek and daughter Lavanya.  Viji will be cremated at Pune later this evening. He will be deeply missed.

 

Ravi Srinivasan, a former colleague of Vijayaraghavan at Business Standard writes: I can't still come to grips with the fact that R Vijayaraghavan, better known to all as Viji, is no more. One of the stars of the 'old' BS, who made a small paper from Calcutta competitive and relevant in Delhi even though it used to reach three days late (remember, it was the age before Internet). Viji lit up the newsroom with his presence. He brought passion to everything he did -- whether it was journalism, or talking cricket, or playing golf or bridge or taking on young whippersnappers (including yours truly) in everything from pun contests to speed cryptic crosswords to Wodehouse quotes to Phantom comic trivia quizzes. He was one of those who egged me on to becoming a journalist and was ever ready with help, advice and sometimes, deserved admonition. Viji later had a key role to play in setting up Businessline. I last met him a few months ago. He was bubbly as ever, talking about getting back to golf and investigative journalism after one of the many breaks forced upon him by his often uncertain health. Will be sorely missed.



 

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COMMENTS

Ashok Kumar Reddy K

4 years ago

I have known Viji for 32 years. A remarkable individual. He was at once boss, colleague and friend -- loved as much as feared.He was not without his quota of detractors and critics. But, I am proud to say, I remained his admirer all through.

Ashok Kumar Reddy K

V Ramnarayan

4 years ago

The first time I met Viji was when I bowled to him in an inter-college match and got his wicket. It was a great delivery--entirely unintended by me--that won me his respect forever. A couple of years later, I was married, with my wife still in her teens and I barely out of mine. We went to distant Valmiki Nagar—remember it was 1970, and Adyar was still out of bounds for good Mylapore boys and girls—for our honeymoon, flat broke as we were. Somebody forgot to tell Viji—and another Viji, PN Vijay, that they must leave the newlyweds alone, and the two Vijis visited us everyday, until one morning my father decided it was time for us to go home and bundled us into the car.

My next major encounter with Viji was when he and another friend Bharatan brought a dubious bottle of whisky made in some east European totalitarian state and adulterated in Chandni Chowk to my hotel room at the end of the first day's play in the Irani Cup match in 1976. I must have been the first Rest of India player to puke on the lawns of Oberoi Maidens!

In 1999-2000, just before the dotcom bust, Viji was chief editor and I sports editor at the portal Chennai Online, where he encouraged me to write the series Curdrice Cricket. The column gave me much pleasure and visibility as a chronicler. And I can never forget what he said about me to the whole team at a reunion. I was so moved by his generosity, I left the room in sheer embarrassment.

And before I forget, my wife Gowri and he were colleagues at The Hindu and had great respect and affection for each other. Viji was a brilliant, talented man with a cheerful disposition, even if the slings and arrows of life did not always give him something to cheer about. Au revoir, Viji.

Sucheta Dalal

4 years ago

Here is a nice adios posted by Chiddananda Rajghatta posted on my facebook page. Thought i would share it: Viji...one of a kind. Fine mind, great wit. We worked together in mid-80s and shared space in 1/3 INS Building on Rafi Marg. We were both early birds and got into office by 9.30 a.m (unheard of in newspaper offices), mainly to take a shot at crosswords. He introduced me to the cryptic; The Statesman had the toughest one those days, but Viji would crack it like a ripe coconut -- 20 minutes (legend had it that Mrs Gandhi could do it in 15 minutes and that was Viji's goal; he got there soon enough). Years later, I caught up with him in Chennai when he had briefly left journalism and had started a lending library at home -- at a time world was going digital. Typical of him...going against the tide. We were both Wodehouse buffs and over the years traded much Wodehouse trivia and other literary tittle-tattle. He was in U.S couple years back visiting Lavanya and we spoke on phone but couldn't meet. He was also a great golf and bridge buff and I believe he was in Pune for a bridge tournament when he passed away. Just like him. You played a great hand, Viji. Adios.

Lavanya

4 years ago

As Viji's daughter, all your memories are priceless. We were the best of friends and I couldn't have asked for a better father. He 'was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad'. Keep laughing, Dad!

vasanthi vasudev

4 years ago

It is truly hard to believe that ‘Viji’ is no more. I had the pleasure of knowing him as a fellow bridge player who showed astonishing astuteness in unraveling the game, which was equally matched by his razor sharp wit and candor. He rarely spared anyone who did not’ think enough’ at the bridge table!
I saw him battle through physical and emotional pain with stoicism! Almost nothing could get him under the weather! He simply loved being a journalist; he and lived and breathed being one at all times! He could churn out articles at the drop of a hat and writing, even while in pain, was a healing balm. He loved his children very dearly and was very proud of their success. He hoped to wish away all his ailments and get back to golf and to travel to the many distant lands that were on his bucket list! But that was not to be…if only it had!
Vasanthi Vasudev

jerry rao

4 years ago

a few years ago, Seetaram and I had lunch with Viji. He started off by asking "Saivama alladu Asaivama?"....for those who don't know Tamil, its a convoluted way of asking whether we were planning to eat meat or not. his sense of irony remained intact after all those years. in college he ran an avant garde club which was called ---you guessed it "avant gardes"....Viji was skeptical about poetry....he once told me that he much preferred the glories of English prose....he was a lover of Hazlitt......Viji had a tough life as he had no choice but to live under the shadow of a father of extraordinary eminence.....in some ways he reminded me of another friend of mine Dom Moraes who too had deal with similar daemons......but over the years, he emerged as his "own person"......he was very proud of his daughter....he told me "Da...she is more brilliant than my father"......trust me for those of us who knew Dr. Ramamurthy that was an extraordinary compliment.....Viji could not and would not have said it out of mere affection for a daughter....i have not met her....but she must be very special........Viji's wife H.t. (Himagiri Tanaye) Durga was a friend of mine.....she too passed away a few months ago......they were both into "multiple" things....a characteristic of Madras (not Chennai) of the sixties....Viji was a good cricketer, a lover of Hazlitt and a student of satire...he and I once spent fifteen minutes laughing away at the thought of the misogynist Schopenhauer making cuttings of all the articles written about him and salivating in his loneliness........for many of us, this is one more encounter with the distinct likelihood of one's own mortality in the near future............good fellow Viji...a lapsed Brahmin...they are always the best!!

Jaithirth (Jerry) Rao

Radhakrishnan

4 years ago

Dear Viji,

I cannot believe but must understand that you are gone. I love you, miss you, and will mourn and grieve for you along with the many whose lives you have touched so inimitably. My heart goes out in particular to Tom (KO Thomas who broke the news to me), Nari (P.N. Narayanan), Shanta (Shanta Kumar), Jerry (Jaithirth Rao), Seetha (Seetha Ram) and Sukun (AKMahapatra): the cohort that evolved together in Loyola in the late 60s. It was an honor for me to have been part of that gang. I salute and honor you Viji for your brilliant and influential career as a consultant, editor, journalist (It all started with our magnificent, even if i say so myself, LOYOLA LOOKOUT, and your memorable contributions as well as editorial leadership), correspondent, senior advisor and teacher, connoisseur of life, and much more. I celebrate your versatile lust (In Chaucer's sense of the term, we English majors will never give up, will we? you switched from the sciences and I from Economics) for life that you maintained with exemplary dignity under less than ideal circumstances. I wish I had learned some bridge from you, through sheer contact (get it, get it?). I guess I will now cross that bridge when I come to it. Sorry Viji, had to pun in your honor, you incorrigible prankster with words.

Still remember the 6 you would hit in the very first over of the match as though you couldn't help it.

I just spoke to you a few days ago and we had planned to meet in good old Chennai once you got back from your trip. Reluctantly and with petrified fingers I am trying to erase from my diary our appointment to meet, sip some soup, and talk about stuff "from cabbages to kings." I can still hear your laughter laced voice, the twinkle in your eye.

Good bye my friend. Yours forever in mortal solidarity.

Radha
R. Radhakrishnan.

nagesh kini

4 years ago

A very touching obit. in the Business Line of August 1,2012.
"Viji was one of the key architects of Business Line. He was absolutely convinced that there was room for a financial daily which could still be different from the rest. It was his idea to create a think-tank which is today's BL Research Bureau. Those were exciting days when the paper was being conceived and Viji's energy levels were soaring high. His enthusiasm was infectious and even the diehard sceptics were convinced that Business Line would work... It was not all work for Viji. He was passionate about golf and bridge.. and boy, did he read! He was familiar with almost every writer under the sun and was more than happy to lend friends from his vast collection. To friends, he was simply Viji. Casual and easy going.He was one of the senior editors at the Hindu, but did not throw his weight around. There was a whole lot of journalists who owe their careers to him.He died in Pune, just three days short of his 64th birthday. He will be sorely missed."

Karuna Ramakrishnan

4 years ago

Thank you for such a kind obituary. I am devastated by this loss. Viji was a mentor and great friend to me. He taught me how to write great copy, edit and re-edit my work. We had some great talks on life and literature, and he was very supportive of my dreams to be a novelist. His life was an inspiration - he was such an interesting man, with so many passions. I hope to keep his spirit alive by mentoring others. His last email to me in June 2012 ended "best of luck, kiddo".

anantha ramdas

4 years ago

Recently, I have had the opportunity to read Mr Vijayaraghavan's articles and have been impressed by his depth of knowledge on the subjects that he dealt.

It is an irrepairable loss and I convey my heartfelt condolence to his family.

May he rest in peace; we will miss reading his writings but will remember what he wrote with great passion and understanding.

Seetharam Naidu

4 years ago

Though all of us know that death is the ultimate leveller, it is painful to come to terms with the absence of Viji.We were friends from college days in the late sixties and I recall with fondness the times we had spent together after leaving college.Once Viji and I decided to attend the Krishnamurti gathering which used to be held at Mrs.Jayalakshmi's residence on Greenways Road. The meeting was on that day presided over by M.Anantanarayanan and after having listened to some taped talks of Krishnamurti, I asked Anantanarayanan whether J.Krishnamurti practiced his "Choiceless awareness" when he was alone or in company. Anantanarayanan an erudite scholar and a retired chief Justice was not amused and told us that he did not feel at ease the moment he saw us walking in and was sure we had a devious agenda and irreverence towards such a spiritual congregation and ordered us to leave. Viji was thoroughly peeved at the treatment and chided me for having belittled the august gathering.Subsequently we laughed heartily and felt happy for having posed the profound question which was not answered.

I really miss him, and would carry the memory of many such moments spent together in his company

nagesh kini

4 years ago

Though I've not met Viji in person, I've read all that he has written for ML. He will be surely be missed.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.
My heartfelt sympathies to his bereaved family.

Mahadevan

4 years ago

He used to run a library on St. Mary's road, Alwarpet, Chennai. I used to be a member and we used to have long chats. Learned a lot from him about books and life in general. May he rest in peace.

REPLY

vasanthi vasudev

In Reply to Mahadevan 4 years ago

It is truly hard to believe that ‘Viji’ is no more. I had the pleasure of knowing him as a fellow bridge player who showed astonishing astuteness in unraveling the game, which was equally matched by his razor sharp wit and candor. He rarely spared anyone who did not’ think enough’ at the bridge table!
I saw him battle through physical and emotional pain with stoicism! Almost nothing could get him under the weather! He simply loved being a journalist; he and lived and breathed being one at all times! He could churn out articles at the drop of a hat and writing, even while in pain, was a healing balm. He loved his children very dearly and was very proud of their success. He hoped to wish away all his ailments and get back to golf and to travel to the many distant lands that were on his bucket list! But that was not to be…if only it had!
Vasanthi Vasudev

Oil and gas shortages: Government must act expeditiously

Despite the huge decline in oil and gas capacities from RIL and delay in approving Cairn’s plan for Rajasthan, the government is wavering on its policies and relying more on imports

 
After hitting a peak production of 60 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) by end of 2009, Reliance Industries’ (RIL) output has fallen down to 30 mmscmd, a steep fall of 50% from its Krishna Godavari (KG) D-6 block.
 
RIL is in a fix; literally between the devil and the deep sea. Due to the delay in government approval and uncertainty arising out of this, despite having spent over $6 billion in the pre-developmental activities on the D-6 block, the oil and gas exploration and production major is putting its exploration activities on the hold.
 
Presently the D1-D3 fields in the Krishna Godavari block are producing some 23 mmscmd while the MA fields are getting the balance of 5.8 mmscmd to make the up the current production.
 
As the uncertainty continues, RIL and its partners, BP and Niko are planning to submit a revised field development plan (FDP) for D-1 and D-3, aimed at maximising the gas recovery and bring about satellite discoveries in the block to increase the production.
 
Cairn India, on the other hand, is planning to spend $600 million to increase the output in its Rajasthan oil fields, which has crossed 100 million barrels so far, with a flow of 175,000 barrels a day.
 
Anil Agarwal, chairman of Vedanta Resources, has sought the intervention of prime minister Manmohan Singh, with a view to seeking the oil ministry’s permission to explore within the ring-fenced development area that contains 25 oil and gas finds.  If and when given, Cairn will endeavour and increase the current output from 175,000 barrels a day to 300,000, reaching 15 million tonnes per year.
 
Although the Rajasthan production sharing contract and mining lease have provisions that permit carrying on exploration and development programme in the area, Mr Agarwal has stated that they have been asked to obtain government approval for the same. Such avoidable formalities only delay the work planned by the company. 
 
It is essential that the government departments act as catalysts for development and production of oil and gas rather than act as stumbling blocks.
 
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce and was 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. He can be contacted at [email protected].)
 

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COMMENTS

Dahyabhai S Patel

4 years ago

To conserve/spend less hydrocarbons, government must ask all citizens to observe petroleum holidays/fast for two days per week. Majority of cars manufactured must be for exports only vis a vis making public transport efficient, frequent and easily available.

Government must reduce its hydrocarbon consumption by 50% and ministers officials must not travel too frequently to different locations for useless reasons like inagurations etc.

More biogas and gobergas plants should be used to the ultimate level using cattle dung, human excreta, agrowastes, household food wastes etc and community biogas plants should be used as fuel for heating and power generation, besides solar PV power generation. All materials used for these must not have any overheads/taxation.

Government should take the subsidy back from the gobergas plants holders given earlier by village and khadi commission if the plant is not found in working condition. This will reduce use of chemical fertilizers using costly hydrocarbon inputs like gas, RFO, naptha etc.

Technology for vehicles to run on electricity is available and made use of it. If not available as multinational companies have purchased the same and vehicles running on electricity destroyed, R&D must be encouraged for the same.

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