Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why we slap our politicians Anger's reaction to murky politics that drives the aam admi to the wall

Why we slap our politicians

Anger's reaction to murky politics that drives the aam admi to the wall

When Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zeidi hurled a shoe at former US President George W Bush during his farewell visit to Baghdad in 2008, little did he know that he had not just grabbed international headlines but also set a trend what have been cheekily labelled as the 'footwear missile incidents'.
Al-Zeidi's pent-up abhorrence for Bush made quite a dramatic appearance, earning him both applause and ridicule, and also a possible prison term. Following this uproar, a string of world leaders, from China's Wen Jiabao to Pakistan's Asif Ali Zardari were subjected to a similar humiliation.
Closer home, even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, home minister P Chidambaram, senior BJP leader LK Advani were not spared the disgrace. And with Sharad Pawar as the latest victim of this public fury, the question of why our politicians provoke such boorish behavior in the 'civilised' common man just gets bigger.
"The tolerant Indian, who used to direct his ire at his wife and children earlier, now vents it out on those responsible for his problems," says a Mumbai-based psychiatrist, who did not wish to be named. He pinpoints the rising problem of inflation as the root of this 'aggressive frustration' that has been only been escalating. This agitation is a reaction to the murky politics that drives the common man to the wall. Research has revealed that depression and stress levels are on the rise in urban areas. The pressure to buy that BMW you have been lusting after, or the 1-BHK flat you have promised your parents you'd buy, or simply the desire for an opulent lifestyle, could lead to a strenuous daily life filled with anxiety. At such a time, when scams are unearthed on such a regular basis, the thought of the people in power siphoning the tax-payer's money drives one into a frenzy.
Psycho-therapist Dr Anjali Chhabria sees it as an act of defiance and dissent against the growing economic burdens of the people. "Besides the obvious resentment against politicians who are seemingly fooling the public, another factor that triggers such uncivil conduct is, thanks to movies that show ordinary citizens taking the law and order in their hands, everybody wants to ape them and be a hero." Other theories, slightly cynical, point to the innately human hunger for free publicity and a 15-second claim to fame.
Offering a sociological perspective to the issue, Dr RN Sharma, a professor at the Tata Insitute of Social Sciences, says, "It's an obvious expression of antagonism against the decaying moral standards in politics. The hope of a 'shining India' has remained just that, a hope." The failure of conventional methods of revolting and the loss of faith in the government has prompted people to resort to unconstitutional approaches.
In sharp contrast to Dr Sharma's views, another sociologist, Dr S Parasuraman, says, "You cannot regard one man's attack on Pawar as the society's response to injustice. There may be anger, but it is not an indication of the people's moods, and definitely not a trend we need to be wary of."
Highlighting the significance of rebelling in a lawful manner, Prof Pratiba Naithani, department of Political Science at St Xavier's College, says, "I'm not defending his actions, but Pawar was not a Gaddafi or a Hosni Mubarak. He was an elected leader. By slapping a political representative, you are only causing law and order problems."
Filing a PIL is another way of expressing your angst, which is within the legal framework.

Chained, tortured, beaten to death for just Rs.6,000

A Katkari adivasi, Jhipru Mukane, 35, of Shere village in Thane district's Shahpur taluka, 100 km from Mumbai, died last Tuesday after being kept chained and tortured into working as a bonded labourer.
His widow Jayabai, 30, who was denied even his body for last rites, has alleged police complicity and apathy in her complaint to Thane rural SP Ramesh Kumar Mor.
Misfortune came calling on the Mukanes in the form of local arrack vendor and brick kiln owner Balu Choudhari and his son Ganesh on October 27. "We had borrowed Rs6,000 from them in 2010, which we have repaid. But the Choudharis insisted we'd defaulted. They beat up my husband and dragged him away to their brick kiln," said Jayabai.
She went looking for him on November 12. "I saw him locked in small room where he could barely lie down. His hands and feet were chained and there were bruises allover his body," she told DNA. Jayabai's pleading had no effect on the Choudharis. "They abused me and told me not to come back."
She went to the Vasind police station, but they asked for a written complaint. Being illiterate and unable to find anyone to write a complaint immediately, she went back to her village and borrowed Rs50 from her neighbours to pay a writer.
But the police refused to take her written complaint too. "They said I should go home and wait for my husband to return," she said.
She went back to see him at the brick kiln on November 22 with some food. "When I reached there, the Choudharis were raining blows on him. I ran to save him, but they slapped me too. They threatened to throw me into the boiling arrack vat if I came back," Jayabai said.
Back in her village that night, two constables from Vasind police station came to her house and said her husband had died. "I asked them how he had died, but they couldn't tell me. I asked them to take me to his body. The said they cremated him after a post-mortem," she said. "How could they do this when they were refusing to even take my complaint?"
While the police refused to comment, Mor said he was unaware of the case. "I will find out details and get back to you."

Monday, November 28, 2011

relics that quenched city's thirst Not only humans, these fountains also served the horses that drew trams.

relics that quenched city's thirst

Not only humans, these fountains also served the horses that drew trams.

When the BMC demolished a pyau (historic water fountain) at Bharatmata a few months ago, they not just lost an important piece of city's ornamental architecture, but also a crucial part of Mumbai's water history. Water fountains that dot the city today are important relics of the bygone era, when horse-drawn trams and bullock carts were important modes of transit. Such pyaus were located along the tram lines and crowded business districts not just for human drinking purpose, but also as troughs for cattle and tram horses.
Professor Dr Varsha S Shirgaonkar at SNDT Women's University at Churchgate, in her latest book Exploring the Water Heritage of Mumbai, documents each and every such relic of the past related to the city's water history. The book goes to document in detail all the known and unknown pyaus in the city and tells you the fascinating history of water supply and its relics today.
"Every ignored pyau that we see on the streets today in this fast-paced world has a story to tell. The study of fountains or pyaus helps us understand the social fabric of the city. The plaques, the data collected from archival and oral sources become a pointer to the information of the various communities that immigrated to Bombay," she says.
"There are two types of fountains — ornamental and drinking ones. Though the practice of ornamental fountains in India has been the legacy of Mughal and Rajput leaders, they have also been a symbol of water charities. The idea of erection of drinking fountains took root during the 1860s when the then Governor demolished the ramparts of the old fort and opened up Bombay. (The popular Flora Fountain is a relic of that era.) The fountains created their own artistic space in the city's town planning," adds the book.

Wedding - Marriage card designs

Wedding - Marriage card designs

Saturday, November 26, 2011

'Pain's given way to anger!' …says actor Amrita Raichand,

'Pain's given way to anger!'

…says actor Amrita Raichand, as she recalls her miraculous escape on 26/11, also her birthday, three years ago

Actor and popular anchor Amrita Raichand's caller tune happens to be Celine Dion's I'm Alive— a song, that she says truly denotes her mindset ever since she survived the 26/11 terror attacks three years ago. Incidentally, Amrita's birthday also happens to be today. It was, in fact, as part of celebrations that she along with her husband and in-laws had gone to Taj for a family dinner, when the hotel came under attack. Three years on since the fateful night, the actor admits that she has moved on, but it hasn't dulled the anger. "The depression and hurt that I was enveloped in for almost a year, has given way to anger and frustration and it's only increasing. To see a Kasab looking healthier with each passing year… How many more attacks before the government chooses to do something about the terrorism staring us in the face," she laments.
She reveals that it was pure divine intervention that saved them. "There was an unexpected delay in getting a table, so we visited our friend in his suite. It was while we were there that the firing started in the restaurant. There was so much confusion all around and I just kept thinking what would happen to my one-year-old child."
The actor confesses that she has come to associate her birthday with traumatic memories. "That night has scarred me forever. But I do count my blessings and I now believe in making the most of it," she shares. Though she has stopped making plans for her birthday, Amrita, however, will attend a bash hosted for her. "I have been to the Taj several times since, but it's impossible to not say a silent prayer for those who didn't survive and another prayer to thank for those of us who did," says Amrita.

Mayawati announces formation of four new castes

Mayawati announces formation of four new castes

After announcing that four new states would be carved out of Uttar Pradesh, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati has announced the formation of four new castes to be formed out of existing castes. These castes — the names would be announced later in a rally — will get the benefits of reservations in government jobs and educational institutes.
Mayawati is hoping to win the next assembly elections through this scheme, which has been called undemocratic and unconstitutional by opposition parties.
"If we come back to power, we will constitute four new castes for better development of the people of Uttar Pradesh," Mayawati read out from a written statement. "People can apply for membership of these castes, and if selected, they will be declared underprivileged, following which they will be eligible for reservations."
The names of the new castes and the process of selection of candidates to be included in the new castes have not been announced yet, which has given rise to many rumours.
"I think they are going to auction memberships like cricketers are auctioned in the Indian Premier League," Prof Santosh Sahay, sociology professor, Lucknow University, claimed. "This will make sure that money is generated for the party — a pattern that the BSP follows in every decision-making process."
Asked how those who take part in a competitive bidding process and 'buy' memberships be later declared as 'underprivileged' and needing government support, Sahay cited the example of Dr Vijay Mallya.
"Even he took part in the IPL auctions and bought many players, but did that stop him from seeking government help and support?" the professor argued.
"Recently even the ceiling for being categorised as belonging to the creamy layer in the OBC category was also changed and those earning Rs100,000 per month were deemed eligible for reservations. So I think Mayawati can defend her decision to auction the caste memberships," he added.
Currently, the Constitution of India doesn't allow a person to change one's caste, which means the Centre would have to bring about a constitutional amendment to execute Mayawati's plan.
"I have already written to the prime minister to this effect," said Mayawati, putting the onus on the Centre.
As expected, opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh have reacted sharply, with the Samajwadi Party accusing Mayawati of conspiring to weaken the OBCs by converting them to new castes. The Congress, too, opposed the move, with Rahul Gandhi terming those who seek to change their castes as 'beggars', while BJP has favoured merger of all castes into one large 'Hindu' caste.
Political experts believe that Mayawati's latest decision is aimed at winning next year's assembly elections.
"Instead of reaching out to already existing vote banks, she is trying to create a new vote bank," a political expert concluded after three hours of analysis.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mandaps, rooftops or open lawns? What's your ideal banquet hall? Most banquets these days provide exclusive facilities to guests. Which is why everything from the decor to the food is absolutely fantastic

Mandaps, rooftops or open lawns?

What's your ideal banquet hall? Most banquets these days provide exclusive facilities to guests. Which is
why everything from the decor to the food is absolutely fantastic

Every couple wishes to get themselves an ideal banquet hall for their marriage. Considering a banquet is booked much in advance, the couple is keen that they book a place providing them with best of the amenities. In today's times, most banquets are seen to provide exclusive facilities to guests and everything right from the decor to the food is seen to be absolutely fantastic.
Every banquet is seen to have its own exclusive and special things attached to it. The banquet at 'Four points by Sheraton' in Vashi is called Unifon. This banquet which is almost as huge as 5,000 sq ft can be easily divided into three parts depending on the requirement of the couple. This banquet can easily accommodate 1,000 moving crowd and 500 sitting crowd. "However during marriages most people are on the move and so, it's only the elders of the family who are seated. The major attraction, of the our banquet is that if the crowd is more than 500 people then we provide an open air terrace complimentary in addition to a 30% discount to the bride at our salon and a wash and change room for four hours duration," says Ranjeet Nagare, food and beverage manager. He further adds, "We have special tailor made packages also which are available according to a person's budget. We even have our premium pool side venue on the third floor of the hotel which we are offering for a crowd of around 250 people. This venue however is available to the guests only on weekdays."

The Regenza by Tunga has two banquet halls, namely Ebony and Primrose. Ebony can accommodate a rotating crowd of 350-400 while around 250 people can easily be made to sit in a theater style here. "We do not lay any burden on our guest and give them the leisure to choose from a wide range of decorators to foods available with us. Besides we do not mind the 'havan' taking place in the banquets and provide for comfortable accommodation from evening till early next morning," says Mahesh Rai -the Banquet manager. "Beautiful decor is done all through the banquet. Besides we also have around 250 car parking space and provide with some kind of discount in case the person takes the entire package from us," says Yogiraj Suryavanshi-food and beverages manager at this five-star. Hotel Royal Orchid Central Grazia at Vashi is seen having a rooftop set up just by poolside for marriages which can easily accommodate around 300 rotating crowd. "The specialty of this space is the sixth floor live kitchen. Besides if the crowd is above 200 then we provide a complimentary room to the couple for an overnight stay," says general manager Ridul Deka.
Then there is 'The Park' at Belapur which is seen to have four banquet halls. One of their banquets called Rosewood which can accommodate around 4000 rotating crowd. Besides another banquet of theirs called 'Banyan' can be divided into three parts. "We also have an open terrace venue where we can accommodate 2000 rotating crowd and white gardens which can fit around 500 people. Then there's a poolside space too which can fit almost 200 people easily," says Gokul Saklani - the associate director of food and beverages at 'The Park'.

Add zing to your wedding festivities

Add zing to your wedding festivities

We are here to take care of minute details for your big day, so that you can simply sit back and enjoy the moment. It's your day and you indeed have a lot to do then worrying about the arrangements. That's the reason we have listed down some of the most important details so that your wedding remains as the sweetest memory in your life. Right from the people who will plan your wedding to the ones who would help you get to the venue, you will get everything handy.

The showmen
Wedding planners form a very important part of your wedding. They are the ones who will make sure that not just your ceremony, but your reception, catering and hospitality are all taken care of. Sonalee Divgi, from Apple Bee Events and Entertainment, Vashi and Tardeo who has been organising events and planning weddings since past four years informed, "There is a certain section of society that believes in following the rituals, but most families and couples these days prefer the most conventional style of wedding. We do not package our clients otherwise they would have to adhere to a stipulated budget; however there are many who can't afford an extravagant affair but wish to have a class apart ceremony." In fact, weddings are still the matter of status quo for everyone, that's why the planner needs to focus on three things:
1. Believe in the fact that every wedding is unique
2. Avoid taking the same banquets for every wedding
3. Customise every couple as a celebrity

While Vrushali Karande from The Golden Events, Vashi says that people don't have a lot of time these days, hence the trend is to have a minuscule wedding and then throw a big reception for friends, colleagues and important guests. When asked what themes are preferred by most couples she informed, "The floral theme is very 'in' these days, since they are very easy on the eye and moreover flowers are an important part the entire wedding ritual, irrespective of community. What appeals most is the dream sequence that created by blending a subtle mix of flowers and curtains; and there are so many types of flowers you can choose from."
While for some reception itself is theme oriented; it adds a zing to your wedding festivities and makes the guests remember your wedding for a longer time. "Most people prefer outdoor weddings in lawns during winter, so that they can cash on the pleasant ambiance. Be it Rs5 lakh or 50 lakh, it is the duty of the wedding planners to make every wedding look classy; that's what we are paid to do," mentioned Abraham Phelix, Chvash Entertainment, Sanpada.
So your wedding is planned, but are you forgetting something? Who would capture every moment of your wedding and make it special for you? And he is the photographer.
Anil Fernandes, a Vashi based wedding photographer says that today's photographers have to find a creative way to capture weddings. He informed, "Family pictures are fine, but the most important ones are the candid pictures of the couple. I believe every candid picture should denote a message by which they should remember the moment. Rather than giving usual poses like holding hands, looking at each other, etc., I try to create moments. Some things like lifting up the bride, although the groom might not succeed in doing that they might just end up laughing or teasing each other which will create natural moments that are genuinely enjoyed by them." He also adds that for every wedding photographer the bride and groom should be the hero and heroine of the entire movie called 'wedding'.
Remember that dream sequence that common in every girl, 'My prince charming will arrive on a white horse riding through the clouds.' Every girl dreams that her would-be husband will arrive in a dream like chauffer driven vehicle to take her off. And that's what car hiring agencies are for. Your wedding is the time when you can realise your dreams and we help you do that. Car hiring is a very popular trend today; majority of grooms spend about a week to decide what vehicle they would take to get their newly-wed better half along.
Nerul-based Premier Travels makes sure you fetch your dulhaniya in the most exclusive vehicle of your choice. Rakesh Arora, proprietor mentioned, "We have variety of cars to choose from, you just have to name it. However the rates differ, if an Indian make, then we just charge for the fuel and the driver. While a foreign make like a Merc, BMW, Nissan, Volkswagen, etc. would have a maintenance charge."
While Shabri Travels also takes the effort to decorate the vehicle in the way you want it to. "Recently we had a groom who wanted to ride in a white colour Audi, and we arranged it for him. We hire all kind of wedding cars; the rates are as per the schedule, and we make sure to provide our driver since he also takes care of the car. The cost of hiring a car ranges from Rs10,000 to Rs1 lakh.
So, soon choose your planners and photographers, to create best wedding memories.

Thackeray steps out of city to meet Laxman in Pune

When Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray left for Pune to visit one of the greatest cartoonists of India, RK Laxman, it meant more than just a goodwill gesture.
Thackeray stepped out of Mumbai after a long time and to meet a former colleague who was part of a community, which was indirectly responsible for Thackeray quitting his job at Free Press Journal, a city-based English daily. The gesture is a great example of mutual admiration, respect and love.
Sena chief, then only a cartoonist and Laxman worked together for three years, in the 1950s. Exasperated due to the overwhelming dominance of south Indians at the newspaper, Thackeray quit the paper. Thackeray had always acknowledged Laxman's clean 'strokes' while drawing a cartoon.
On Thursday, Thackeray (86) visited Laxman (90) and inquired about his health. He was accompanied by his son, Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray and grandson Aditya Thackeray, president of Yuva Sena. A bed-ridden Laxman presented him a cartoon of his trademark, the common man. "We both used to do cartoons years ago and our cartoons used to make politicians shiver," said Thackeray. He said it felt good to see his old friend again, though it was only for 15 minutes.
DNA's report on November 17 said Thackeray was in good health and he would boost the Sena's civic poll campaign.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hotel Taj immortalises staff's bravery in book

They went beyond the call of duty. They stayed at their posts, putting their lives at stake, to ensure the safety of their guests when Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives from Pakistan wrecked havoc on hotel Taj Mahal Palace for three days from November 26, 2008.
Three years later, the bravery and resourcefulness of the staff during the 26/11 attack has been immortalised in a book, The Taj at Apollo Bunder, which chronicles the 108-year-old history of the heritage hotel.
"I have seen first-hand how this hotel has come to stand for the resilient spirit of Mumbai. The Taj has an extraordinary and heart-warming story to tell," said Raymond Bickson, managing director and CEO of the Taj Hotels.
Researched and written by British writer and historian Charles Allen along with Mumbai-based author and researcher Sharada Dwivedi, The Taj at Apollo Bunder has been has been in the making for the last two decades.
It highlights important events from the day the five-star hotel opened its doors — on December 16, 1903 — until its restoration and reopening after the 2008 terror attacks.
The last two chapters of the book are dedicated to the brave employees, such as general manager Karambir Kang, who lost his wife and sons but still continued to help others, and chef Hemant Oberoi and his team, who kept the kitchen running amid gunshots and grenade explosions.
The proceeds from the sales of the book will go to the Taj Public Service Welfare Trust to support the victims of natural calamities, said Bickson.
The book also features little-known nuggets.

Pak students vow to question hate ideology

How do you put an end to cross-border hatred? By questioning the very ideologies that fan it, vouched students from Pakistan, who are on a visit to the city to encourage the process of peace and bonding between the youth of the two countries.
Better yet, they added, catch them young and half your work is done.
At a workshop by the department of sociology of University of Mumbai on Tuesday, the students spoke at length on how young children in Pakistan are trained to hate India.
That's where these students' role becomes key to the initiation of the peace process. "Once hating India was seen as true patriotism. We were trained to hate India but we now we feel that there is an urgent need to stress on peace," said Sitara Jabeen, 23, who is doing an MPhil in peace and conflicts studies from the National Defence University, Islamabad.
So, over the last few years, many students like Jabeen started rejecting all religious and perceptive representations of India. "There is a group in Pakistan that is involved in terrorism, but the rest of us feel the same pain when India or any other country is attacked."
Arshi Saleem Hashmi, a professor from the same university, said stereotypes are kept alive by a lack of understanding between groups of people. One way to shatter them, she added, is by engaging the youth of both the countries. The bonding of the youth can break that deadlock."
Sidra Tariq, who is doing an MPhil in international relations at the Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad, argued that Pakistan is as much a victim of violence at the hands of terror outfits as India.
Hina Anwar Ali, an architect and youth activist from Lahore, pointed out the cultural and demographical similarities between the two countries, and said the youth should be at the centre of the peace process.

Hold your horses, Victoria joyrides to be history soon

Hold your horses, Victoria joyrides to be history soon

The Bombay high court on Wednesday directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to seize the horses which pull carriages in the city and are kept at unlicensed stables.
This means, the Victoria, which ply at Apollo Bunder, Marine Drive and Nariman Point, and are a major tourist attraction, will be phased out. Currently, there are 130 Victoria, down from 800 over the years.
A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice RS Dalvi was hearing a public interest litigation alleging cruelty to animals by using them for giving joyrides to people. The Animals and Birds Charitable Trust, which conducts feeding programmes for horses and ponies in South Mumbai, said it became aware of the plight of horses used for pulling carriages, including Victoria, through one such programme. Trust officials said the laws protecting these animals were "knowingly disregarded" and "blatantly violated".
There are 170 horses, including ponies, mostly used at beaches, gardens etc.
The petitioner's counsel, Aspi Chenoy, argued that the horses are made to stand all night, with their legs tied. This has been making them sick. "Also, the Victoria are getting bigger and accommodating more people. The rule says only three people should be allowed per carriage."
The court has directed the BMC to send the horses to Panvel on the 6.36 acre of open land provided by the trust. It observed, "The trust has given an undertaking that it will take care of the horses, and feed and transport them."
It has directed the deputy commissioner of BMC health department and officials of the trust and Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to work out the logistics in the change of place.
The court has also directed the Maharashtra government to work out a policy to rehabilitate the Victoria 107 registered drivers.
As per BMC records, there are 10 horse stables in the city, of which nine are illegal. Only the amateur stable of the Royal Western India Turf Club, which meets the whole criteria and only houses horses which run in races, is legal.
As per the BMC affidavit, it last issued the licence for stables in 1974. It stopped after that on finding the stables "filthy and unhygienic". It has been taking regular action against the horse owners, and had recently issued fresh notices to them. However, as per the Bombay Municipality Act, the owners whose horses are seized can redeem them after paying Rs2,500 and accepting the condition of not plying the horses again for commercial use.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Now, city police gears up to muffle the vroom Performing stunts on speeding bikes to be dealt on a par with drink driving

Now, city police gears up to muffle the vroom

Performing stunts on speeding bikes to be dealt on a par with drink driving

Want to zoom past on highway? Beware! After the successful drive against drink driving, the Mumbai police is now planning to launch another such measure against bike racing on city roads.
Those caught speeding away on city roads will be charged under stringent sections of the law. They will be arrested and will be produced in court. Earlier, such offenders were let off with just a fine and warning.
The drive against drink driving, which was implemented a couple of years ago, was a huge success and brought down drink driving cases considerably.
"It's not that the laws were not in place, but then many times, the offenders would be left with a stern warning and a fine. But now, we have decided to a handle it with an iron fist and will be taking the offenders to the task," said a senior official from the city police.
"We are concentrating our focus on the bike racing offenders. Strict action will be taken against them under various sections of the law," said Additional Commissioner of Police VN Patil.
Bike racing has become a menace for the past few years, with the offenders doing dangerous stunts on a speeding bike, thus putting their lives at risk along with others.
According to sources, bike racing is rampant is areas like Girgaum Chowpatty, Nariman Point and Bandra Reclamation. Generally, youngsters on the speed demons zip away in a serpentine manner with no regard for traffic rules and no respect for other motorists.
"We hope that strict action against the offenders will bring down the incidents of bike racing on city roads," said another official.
The officials said that stricter punishment like taking the offenders to police stations, court and even jail will act as deterrence.
A similar drive against drink driving has given the Mumbai police immense success during the past few years.
Earlier, drink driving offenders were let off with just paying a simple fine. But now they were facing stricter punishment like cancellation of their driving licences and jail sentence.

Why is the Indian rupee being devalue?

Why is the Indian rupee being devalue?
डॉलरच्या तुलनेत रुपयाचे मूल्य १५ पैशांनी घसरून ५२.३० रुपयांवर पोहचले. सत्रांतर्गत व्यवहारात रुपयाचे मूल्य ५२.७६ च्या पातळीवर पोचले होते. ही रुपयाची आतापर्यंतची नीचांकी पातळी आहे. या वषीर् रुपयाच्या मूल्यात १५ टक्क्यांपर्यंत घट झाली आहे. रुपयाच्या घसरणीचे परिणामही आता दिसू लागले आहेत. त्याचा घेतलेला हा आढावा

रुपया का घसरतो आहे?

अमेरिकेत मंदी येण्याची शक्यता आहे आणि युरोपातील वित्तीय पेच सुटण्याची चिन्हे अजूनही दिसत नाहीत. डॉलर हे अन्य देशांच्या तुलनेत मजबूत आणि जगमान्य चलन आहे. मंदीमुळे गुंतवणूकदारांनी गेल्या काही महिन्यांपासून आंतरराष्ट्रीय पातळीवर शेअर बाजारातून निधी काढून घेण्यास सुरुवात केली आहे. अमेरिकेत खर्चाचे बजेट कमी करण्यावर करार होण्याची शक्यता कमी असल्याची चर्चा आहे. त्यामुळे जोखीम कमी करण्यासाठी शेअर बाजाराप्रमाणे काही प्रमाणात सोन्यातून गुंतवणूक काढून डॉलरमध्ये गुंतविण्यास सुरुवात झाली आहे. परकी गुंतवणूकदार संस्थांनीही (१.७ अब्ज डॉलर) भारतातून गुंतवणूक काढून घेण्यावर भर दिला आहे; थेट परकी गुंतवणूक मंदावली आहे. तेल आयात करणाऱ्या कंपन्या आणि बँकांकडून डॉलरला मागणी वाढल्याने डॉलरच्या तुलनेत रुपयाचे मूल्य घसरत आहे.

घसरण केव्हा थांबणार?

जागतिक घडामोडी आणि युरोपातील वित्तीय पेचावर रुपयाचे घसरणे अवलंबून आहे. येथील प्रश्न सुटल्यावरच रुपयात झालेली घसरण थांबू शकते. यास रिर्झव्ह बँकेचे गव्हर्नर डी. सुब्बाराव यांनीही दुजोरा दिला आहे. रुपयाच्या मूल्यात असणारी अस्थिरता रिर्झव्ह बँक हाताळू शकते, असे बँकेचे म्हणणे आहे. मार्च २०१२ मध्ये रुपया पुन्हा ५० च्या पातळीपर्यंत येऊ शकतो, असा अंदाज रिर्झव्ह बँकेने बांधला आहे.

घसरण कोणत्या पातळीपर्यंत?

रुपयाची घसरण कमी करण्यात रिर्झव्ह बँकेचे उपाय मर्यादित राहतील, असे केंदीय अर्थमंत्रालयाने नुकतेच स्पष्ट केले होते. त्यातच मंदावलेली 'एफडीआय', धोरणात्मक निर्णयांचा अभाव आणि जागतिक परिस्थिती यांचा परिणाम रुपायवर होणार आहे. 'युरोपातील पेचावर लवकरच तोडगा न निघाल्यास पुढील काही महिन्यांत डॉलरच्या तुलनेत रुपयाचे मूल्य ५५-५६ रुपयांपर्यंत जाऊ शकते,' असे शेअर बाजार तज्ज्ञ विलास महाजन म्हणाले. 'आगामी काळात डॉलरच्या तुलनेत रुपया ५४-५६ रुपयांच्या पातळीपर्यंत जाऊ शकतो,' असे इंडसइंड बँकेचे कार्यकारी उपाध्यक्ष जे. मोजेस हार्डिंग यांनी नमूद केले.

सामान्यांना फटका कसा?

भारत एकूण कच्च्या तेलाच्या गरजेच्या ८० टक्क्यांहून अधिक कच्चे तेल आयात करतो. डॉलरच्या तुलनेत रुपया घसरल्याने तेल खरेदीसाठी अधिक पैसे द्यावे लागणार आहेत. यापूवीर् कंपन्यांनी जागतिक बाजारात कच्च्या तेलाच्या किमती वाढल्यावर इंधनाच्या दरात वाढ केली होती. रुपया ४९.३० च्या पातळीवर असताना गेल्या आठवड्यात पेट्रोलच्या किमती कमी करण्यात आल्या होत्या. कंपन्यांना अजूनही १.३० लाख कोटी येणे बाकी आहे. रुपयाचे मूल्य आणखी घसरल्यास इंधनाच्या दरात वाढ होऊ शकते. त्यामुळे महागाईत पुन्हा तेलच ओतले जाऊन भाज्या, अन्नधान्य, फळे आदींच्या भावात आणखी वाढ होईल. सध्या महागाईचा दर नऊ टक्क्यांच्या पुढे आहे.

अधिक किंमत मोजावी लागणार?

देशातील ऑटो कंपन्या अनेक सुटे भाग आयात करतात. रुपया घसरल्याने आयात महागत असून, उत्पादन खर्चात वाढ होत आहे. त्यामुळे जनरल मोटर्स, टोयोटा या कंपन्यांनी कारच्या किमतीत वाढ करण्याचे संकेत दिले आहे. ही वाढ जानेवारीमध्ये जाहीर केली जाऊ शकते, असे या कंपन्यांनी नमूद केले. आयात केल्या जाणाऱ्या वस्तूंचे पेमेंट हे डॉलरमध्ये केले जाते. रुपया घसरल्याने अन्य देशांच्या तुलनेत भारतीय ग्राहकांना आयफोन घेण्यासाठी अधिक रक्कम द्यावी लागणार आहे. त्याचप्रमाणे परदेशातून आयात केली जाणारे उत्पादने खरेदी करणे महागच पडणार आहे. या घसरणीमुले परदेशी प्रवास महाग होणार आहे. काही ट्रॅव्हल कंपन्यांनी ट्रॅव्हल पॅकेजमध्ये दहा ते बारा टक्के वाढ केली आहे.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Risat-1 to boost India's recce capabilities ISRO Gears up for its first launch of 2012

The launch of PSLV carrying RISAT 2 in 2009
Risat-1 to boost country's recce capabilities

ISRO Gears up for its first launch of 2012

The Radar Imaging Satellite-1 (RISAT-1), second in the series of India's radar imaging reconnaissance satellites, will be Indian Space Research Organisation's (Isro's) first launch next year.
RISAT-1, which will have the capability of imaging during day and night and in all-weather conditions including fog and haze, will be launched in January 2012 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, sources in the space agency told DNA.
The satellite, which will be launched aboard Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C-19 (PSLVC-19), will carry a C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and can be used for observational purposes for national security and environmental applications.
According to Isro, SAR is an active radar sensor, operating in the microwave region of electromagnetic spectrum that provides target parameters such as dielectric constant, surface roughness, geometry.
The SAR payload is based on an active phased array technology using Transmit/Receive (TR) modules, which would provide necessary electronic agility for achieving the multi-mode capability, providing spatial resolutions of 1 m to 50 m, and a swath of 10 to 240 km caters to different applications.
Isro scientists said RISAT-1 will follow RISAT-2 in the sequence of the country's radar imaging reconnaissance satellites. Although ISRO has denied that the RISAT-2 (launched in April 2009) falls under the spy satellite category, it is rumoured that the satellite is being used for surveillance on areas on the western borders of India.
The pre-launch activities of RISAT-2 in 2009 had aroused a lot of curiosity with media reports stating that it was accelerated following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, with the help of the Israeli Aerospace Industries.
Apart from the RISAT satellites, Indian defence forces under the Integrated Space Command have been contemplating having dedicated satellites for quite some time now.
IAF chief NAK Browne, during his recent visit to Bangalore, had given top priority to having such dedicated satellites for all the three services under the Indian defence.

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