Friday, November 30, 2012

SP Investments first to get India retail FDI license

SP Investments International, the international investment arm of the Jolly Roger Group has bagged the first retail FDI license issed in India. Amina Aziza, spokesperson for the company said in a press conference today that the Government of India had approved their license to invent in retail services in the country. The company would register a fully owned Indian subsidiary and begin operations in the next couple of months.

Ms Aziza said that the company would begin operations in cities and towns along the coastline, Lakshadweep, and the Andaman and Nicobar islands, before moving inwards into the country. The first set of retail outlets would be started in cities such as Mumbai, Mangalore, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Kolkata, which are the more densely populated cities along the Indian coastline. In a separate note, Mr J. BlackBeard, the CEO of Jolly Roger Group, which is the parent company of SP Investments International, thanked the Indian government for approving the license and also commended the employees of SP Investments for their efforts.

FDI in retail was approved after a prolonged debate between political parties. The Congress which heads the current coalition faced opposition from within the coalition.

SP Investments is based out of Somalia and already has investments in marine transportation and marine security.

(SP Investments : Somalian Pirates' Investments)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mamata institutes Bal Thackeray Award for Cartoonists

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee pulled an apparent volte face today and announced the Bal Thackeray Memorial Award for cartoonists in India. Mamata's public image had suffered after her act of calling students as Maoists when questioned about Government policies, and arresting Professor Ambikesh Mahapatra earlier this year for poking fun at her. Recently, Press Council Chairman, Justice (Retd) Markandey Katju had recently said that Mamata is intolerant to criticism and wants to be surrounded by yes-men.

TMC party sources say that Mamata wanted to spruce up her public image and the death of Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray came as an opportunity, and the award was instituted. Bal Thackeray began his career as a cartoonist.

The Shiv Sena is facing flak for curbing freedom of expression following the arrest of 2 girls. They have also issued a bundh call following the transfer of the magistrate and suspension of two police officers who   initiated the arrest. The West Bengal government proposal has come as a golden opportunity to the Shiv Sena who readily accepted it.

P.S. I might get arrested for this post. Don't be surprised.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Kingfisher airlines goes Gangnam to attract fliers

In a bid to attract more passengers, troubled airline Kingfisher has started to use Gangnam Style as inspiration. Passengers on Kingfisher flights yesterday were treated to a Gangnam Style standard procedure briefing, with cabin crew using dance moves from the hit K-Pop video to explain safety procedure - wearing a seat belt, oxygen masks, and location of emergency exits.

Some of the passengers were pleasantly surprised by the novel way of doing a mundane procedure. However some passengers felt that safety procedure must be done with a straight face.

In addition to using Gangnam in its safety briefing, the airline has also launched a brand new advertising campaign using the same theme.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Colgate-Palmolive pulls Govt of India to court on infrigement

Colgate-Palmolive today slapped a case of trademark infringement and defamation on the Government of India. The suit  follows the coal allocation scam, dubbed Coalgate by the press. Speaking to the press, Mr Niket Ghate, General Counsel, Colgate-Palmolive India, said that the Govt of India willfully undertook the coal allocation scam in an effort to undermine and defame the brand.

He said "It is general practice to add the word 'Gate' to any major scam or scandal. The PMO knew that the illegal coal allocation scam would sooner or later come out in the open and be dubbed Coal-gate. The word sounds very similar to our leading brand of toothpaste, and the name of the company itself. The coal scam is a willful infringement of our trademark."

Mr Ghate also added that the negative connotation of the word has impacted the positive image of the brand and resulting in loss of customer goodwill - the damages of which cannot be measured, especially after being named as one of the most admired companies in India by Fortune magazine. A case of defamation has also been slapped on the central government.

-Agency Sources

Thursday, July 19, 2012

News Brief: Barbers demand jobs as teachers

Saloon and salon owners in Bangalore gathered outside Oxford School and protested against the school and the teachers for cutting the hair of children admitted under the Right to Education Act (RTE). The head of the Barber Association of Bangalore said "It was illegal of the teachers to cut the hair of the students. This is clearly an invasion of work. An encroachment into our space of livelihood. If the teachers wanted to cut hair, they should have summoned a professional barber from a nearby saloon/salon. Cutting hair is not the teacher's job."

The association has already written to the state government requesting teaching jobs at the school.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hugh Hefner has no taste : Rakhi Sawant

Starlet Rakhi Sawant said that Hugh Hefner and his Playboy team do not have right taste. Speaking at a celebrity event, Sawant was responding to questions regarding Sherlyn Chopra. Miss Chopra is the first Indian woman to be a 'playmate' and will be stripping for Playboy for the cover page.

Ms Sawant said "Dekhiye, ye jo Playboy ke log hain, unki taste utni achi nahin hai. Sherlyn ke jo hain... wo bade hain, lekin mere wale usse bade hain - popularity aur ambition.Uske pakke hain, lekin mere jitne nahin - irade aur foundation. Aur mere zyada naram hai, nazakat aur ada".

Translated, "See, these people from Playboy don't have good taste. Sherlyn might have big ones, but I have bigger - ambition and popularity. She might be firm but I have firmer - intentions and foundations. And I have softer - femininity".

She said that these reasons prove why she would have been a better choice.

In a related news, a Swedish tourist in India collapsed lauging after reading about the war of words in a newspaper. The woman was identified as Lena Söderberg.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Protests in India against Huffington Post. Parliament divided

A wave of protests has engulfed large parts of India after the Huffington Post (HP) published its list of 10 foods to try before you die". The list featured the Masala Dosa, which is a popular dish in South India. People from other parts of India however feel that they have been cheated. Various protest groups have started agitations and online protests demanding HP add other foods to its list. Protest groups across "North" India claimed that the Madrasis had lobbied to get the dish included, and the list was biased.

The list was also discussed in a specially convened session of the parliament. Some politicians, including Digvijaya Singh & Kapil Sibal suggested that it was an international (Pakistani) conspiracy to divide India by not having foods from the North, West, and East of India in the list. External affairs minister S.M. Krishna, and Home Minister P. Chidambaram, were in a 'dharma sankat', 

The Prime Minister did not issue a statement because he was busy eating a dosa.

Image courtesy:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Poonam Pandey to drop clothes if India has men's doubles team

Poonam Pandey, the model who offered to strip for India's World Cup win has done it again. This time however, she has decided to strip if Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupati, and Rohan Bopanna set aside their differences and are able to work with the AITA to finalise the men's doubles team for the London Olympics.

AITA sources also added that "Poonam Pandey visited the AITA office where officials were meeting the trio, and held a private meeting with the three players. All three came out visibly happy. Talks seemed to be progressing well, and expect a resolution and decision on the team to be announced by today evening."

Sports minister Ajay Maken has welcomed the development and expressed hope of quick resolution, while also profusely praising and expressing his gratitude to Ms Pandey. Lara Datta & Rhea Pillai declined comment.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Increased instances of stupidity reported on Bharat Bandh day

by Ramya Iyer  & Staff Correspondent.

An alarming increase in events and mishaps resulting from stupidity is reported on the days of the Bharat Bandh. These  accidents which were easily preventable by application of common sense.

This is the summary of findings accepted for publication in the leading science journal Nature by top psychiatrists and psychologists from NIMHANS. Explaining the causes in simple terms director of NIMHANS & the lead author, Dr. P. Satish Chandra said  "The Bharat Bandh also results in 'dimaag bandh'. That is, the thought centers of people shutdown, so they do things that they would themselves call stupid and repent later". He also attributed peer pressure and conformism as factors. The findings were obtained after analysing data from multiple previous Bharat Bandh days.

Senior political leaders were cautious in their celebrations and congratulations. On the one hand, the findings indicate that common citizen brains shutdown on Bharat Bandh implying high success for their strike call. However, they are also worried that their party cadre might have done something on such days that would  show the party in poor light.

The research paper is titled "An analysis of Strike Calls on Human Brain and Causality to Stupid Actions" and will be part of the next edition of Nature. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

BCCI considering alternatives to player auction

The BCCI, which governs cricket in India, is reportedly considering alternatives to the player auction process for IPL players during the next auctions. A recent sting operation by a TV channel had exposed the issues of spot fixing and illegal payments with franchises and players violating the terms of payment. BCCI President N. Srinivasan, confirmed that talks were ongoing, but refused to disclose details. Sources within the board said "We are considering alternatives that are simpler and not based on money. When there is no money involved, no 'black' payments can be made, and no violations will happen. Auctions could be scrapped altogether."

Sources added that the alternatives being discussed include getting the player to wear a bulls eye t-shirt and come on stage. The franchises shoot one suction cup arrow each, and the arrow that hits the player closest to the center gets him. Another alternative is getting franchises shoot colour coded suction cup arrows for one minute at the player. The franchise with most arrow sticking on the player after 1 minute gets him.

N Srinivasan suggested that an effective way was to give clubs to franchise representatives, and the first one to knock the player on the head gets him. Caveman Style.

Alternatively, the franchise could get the player kidnapped by goons and threatened or beaten up till they agree to play for the franchise. He said he had tried similar tactics with the help of  the police to "cure his son from homosexuality."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mamata govt releases world map

The TMC government in West Bengal headed by Mamata Banerjee today released a new political world map today. The map, released in a press conference shows five countries missing - China, Laos, Vietnam, North Korea and Cuba. The Mamata government claims that these countries do not exist.

TMC Vice President Derek O'Brien, speaking in a press conference said "These "communist countries" do not exist. Their existence was concocted by the CPM in West Bengal to further their own interests. By creating a country like China - large in area, population, economy, manufacturing, the CPM were trying to show that communists can run a country very efficiently. This however is false; these countries do not exist "

He went on to add that the CPM's propaganda machinery worked overtime over the past 30 years, and the CPM bullied the press into printing articles about these 5 countries, including stories about a Fidel Castro, the Cuban Missilie crisis when they also claimed that Russia was a communist country,US presence in Vietnam, etc. The 'C' in the new economic group BRICS doesn't exist, it is only BRIS."

In a related development, the WB government is also considering to get CPM supporters to wear red stars on their clothing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

India institutes Whistle Ratna award

The Government of India today announced the Whistle Ratna award, to acknowledge the efforts of whistle blowers. This award will be presented to any whistle blower - civilian or military. And the Government has selected Gen. V K Singh, the chief of the Indian Army as the very first recipient. It should be noted that Gen. Singh brought to light India's defence under-preparedness, corruption, etc in a series of letters to the PMO and MoD, which were then 'leaked'.

The Government also believes that this award will placate the angry general who has been undermining national interest by talking bringing defence secrets  out in the presence of delegations from 'not-so-friendly' China and Pakistan in the country. The general in a short written statement said that he is very happy with the award.

The proposal  was initially opposed by Ms. Mamta Banerjee who called it a communist plot, and by Ms J. Jayalalitha, who expressed concern on possible nuclear fallout.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Italian guards offer pasta settlement to fishermen families

The Italian guards who are accused of gunning down two fishermen in Indian waters have offered an out of court settlement to the families. The two fishermen were perceived as pirates and shot at by the Italian guards despite no provocation from the fishermen leading to their arrest. The event also escalated into a diplomatic row between India and Italy.

The accused guards have requested an out of court settlement, and offered a a lifetime supply of pasta to the families of the two fishermen. This was revealed at a press conference held by the Italian envoy Deputy Foreign Minister Staffan De Mistura.

"The wife of one of the slain fishermen has asked for a compensation of Rs. 1 Crore. The guards have instead offered a supply of any variety of pasta that the families desire. They will be getting a 5 kg bag every month and it will be top quality pasta." said Mr De Mistura. He also added "If the shipment fails to arrive, then Italy will extradite the two guards to India."

This is an unprecedented offer, and the families of the two slain fishermen are  getting legal advice on the next course of action.

Italy continues to claim that the incident happened in international waters and the soldiers must be tried in Italy. However, Indian authorities refuted the claim and had arrested the two guards after the ship was escorted to shore by the Indian Coast Guard.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Govt withdraws cases against Google, Facebook; To use their storage and search

The Government of India has withdrawn the cases relating to posting of objectionable content against Google and Facebook, Kapil Sibal, central minister of Communications & Information Technology stated in a press conference today.

Sibal had earlier stated that companies must pre-screen content before making it available on the web. Last month, the government had also sanctioned prosecution of Google and Facebook objectionable content posted on sites hosted by them. Both companies have steadfastly maintained that they cannot be held accountable for content posted on their sites, pre-screening is technically impossible, and it also violates the right to free speech.

The sudden withdrawal of the case comes as a surprise. However, it is learnt that both companies have reached a settlement with the government, and are embarking on Project 1983.365 where they will host various private information that the government has gathered about individuals over time and from the UUID and National Population Register projects. A Google employee on condition of anonymity stated "It is much cheaper to spend a few hundred dollars on large capacity hard disks than the loss of business we would incur if the Government were to force us to stop operations". When asked how the companies stand to gain, the employee said "The data we get from the Government is semi-structured. And will be a wonderful test set for our search and data mining algorithms. We will also provide the government with software it mine data from this store.

Kapil Sibal refused to accept or deny this information and stated that "the Govt of India" is not a big brother and respects everyone's rights.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oprah sponsors political party in India, buys Kolaveri rights.

Oprah Winfrey announced today that she will be sponsoring a new political party in India, After visiting the "charmingly chaotic" country, meeting the Bachchan family, and attending a plethora of parties, the celebrity announced that she will be sponsoring a new political party.

As for the agenda of the party, she said, that it will be no different from the agenda of any other party. But, in addition the party will host its own talk show where celebrities could interact with the party members.She said, "I will not be able to relocate to India due to personal reasons, however I will sponsor the party for a period of 1 year, and  will continue to be the chief mentor".

As the party anthem, Oprah mentioned that she has already purchased the rights for the popular "Why this Kolaveri" song and intends to use that as the anthem. She said that the song is very inspirational and will motivate people, though she refused to comment on what she found inspirational in it. 

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

MEA expels Chinese diplomats. Says they are "Made in China"

The Ministry of External affairs today expelled all Chinese diplomats and has asked for the embassy to be vacated. This move comes under growing concern and pressure of fake products made in China, but carrying well known Indian brands and labels being sold in India.

 Taking note of the fake products issue, the Government of India decided to ban everything made in China. Following up on this development, the Ministry of External Affairs today ordered the Chinese embassy to be vacated and all diplomats to leave the country, because they were also "made in China".

The Chinese government said that this move was not good for improving bilateral relations between the two countries and has requested that the Ambassador and two other diplomatic staff be allowed to stay, because they were not conceived in China. The MEA is reportedly considering the request and expected to take a decision by tomorrow.