Friday, December 28, 2012

Ratan Tata, bids adieu,India Inc

Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Group has a 50-year run on Friday but kept away from office on his last day at the helm of one of country's oldest business empires. 

Tata, who turned 75 on Friday, is in Pune for his birthday, sources at Bombay House, headquarters of the salt-to-software conglomerate, said.
Chairman-designate Cyrus Mistry, who made a visit to Bombay House on Friday, will take charge of the new assignment on Saturday, sources in Tata Sons said.
Mistry was groomed for the assignment by Tata for a year.
The group had earlier announced that he has been appointed chairman with effect from Saturday.
Mistry chose the group company Tata Motors entry-level sedan Indigo Manza to travel to work on the important day, marking an end to an era.
The narrow lane leading to Bombay House, one of the oldest buildings in the heritage Fort area of south Mumbai, has heavy media presence since this morning in anticipation of Tata visiting Bombay House.
Ratan Tata, who helmed the group for 21 years after being chosen successor by his uncle, the iconic JRD Tata, in 1991, is credited with transforming the group through bold decisions including large global acquisitions, even as some of its peers struggled to stay relevant post economic liberalisation.
Mistry, who has been with the group since 2006 in various capacities hails from the Shapoorji Pallonji family, the largest private share holder of the group's holding company Tata Sons.
Born on July 4, 1968, Cyrus Mistry completed his graduation in Civil Engineering from London's Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine and followed it up with a masters in Management from the London Business School.
He was chosen by a 5-member panel last year to succeed Ratan Tata.
During Ratan Tata's tenure, the group's revenues grew manifold, totalling USD 100.09 billion (around Rs 475,721 crore) in 2011-12 from a turnover of a mere Rs 10,000 crore in 1991.
Tata led the group into some notable acquisitions, starting from Tetley by Tata Tea for USD 450 million in 2000, to steelmaker Corus by Tata Steel in 2007 for GBP 6.2 billion and the landmark Jaguar LandRover in 2008 for USD 2.3 billion by Tata Motors.
Courtesy the acquisitions, over half of the salt-to-software group's revenues are derived from outside the country.
Not limiting himself to big-ticket acquisitions, Tata also displayed sensitivity to the needs of the burgeoning middle class with the launch of the Rs one lakh Nano battling the odds in West Bengal. The group was forced to shift the project from Singur, where he was invited by Marxist Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, to Sanand in Gujarat at the invitation of Narendra Modi. Although Nano could not live up to the expectations after its initial worldwide acclaim, the small car will still be remembered as Tata's desire to provide a "safer" option to many Indian lower-middle class families riding two-wheelers.
In a recent interview to a news agency, Tata has said that Singur was a "great disappointment" because he went there "in a leap of faith" thinking that part of the country was being ignored industrially.
Tatas will still go to West Bengal someday, he has said. Under Tata, the group also made great strides when it capitalised on the sunrise industry of information technology in the 90's.
With revenues of over USD 10 billion in 2011-12, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is today India's largest IT company, ahead of giants in the field like Infosys and Wipro.
On his post-retirement plans, Tata, a bachelor, has said he will spend time on technology which is quite a passion with him. He will brush up on his piano, which he learnt as a school boy and pursue flying, apart from his focus on philanthropic activities

Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said on Friday that the government will take a decision on the Telangana statehood within one month after an all party meet on the issue. 

"The meeting was very cordial. Some representatives said decision should be given as early as possible and some said that it should be taken within a month," Shinde told reporters.
He said that he has full faith that there will be a solution to the problems being faced by people of Andhra Pradesh.
Stating that the Friday meeting was the last time all parties would discuss the Telangana issue, Shinde said, "There will be a good decision."
Representatives from eight major political parties from Andhra Pradesh were likely to have attended the meeting on the four-decade-old demand for Telangana. The demand to carve a new state out of the economically less developed part of Andhra Pradesh gathered momentum after the Congress party-ruled government accepted the demand in-principle.
So far, 33 Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Praja Rajyam Party and Independent lawmakers hailing from the Telangana region have resigned from parliament as well as the Andhra Pradesh state assembly.
The demand for the separate state has seen violent protests and political power play, with more than 300 people killed between 1969 and 1972.
PRESS INVITE Condemning the recent gang rape in a moving vehicle in Delhi, Beghar Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti is organizing a candle light march from Mori Gate on 30.12.2012 (Sunday) at 7 p.m. as a mark of protest against the increasing violence against women. The route of the march will be, starting from Kudesia Ghat- Yamuna Bazaar, Hanuman Mandir- GPO- Kashmere Gate Police Station. The march aims at raising the issue of women safety in relation to city planning, development and the inclusion of all classes of women. The effort is to highlight the risk that women living in bastis, slums, and resettlement colonies as well as homeless women. We would like to invite you to the march that will be taken out by homeless women and workers working with Beghar Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti. We hope you will extend your support and ensure that people’s voices being raised in participatory platforms are given strength and justice is ensured. For further information please contact: Ashok, BGSS :9716436605. Sunayana, Hazards Centre :9911550840
Violent attack on peaceful meeting of brick kiln workers in Rajasthan Maandal Diary 21st December, Workers come together for a massive show of strength Today was the D day. The Union team undertook extensive mobilization amongst the workers between 15th and 21st December. It visited all the brick kilns and gave memorandum to the employers. It contacted workers and gave them pamphlet about the Union meeting on 21st. A memorandum was given to the brick kiln owners’ association. While most owners accepted the memorandum, there were heated discussions with a group of 6-7 owners. Another team met the Government officers. The Labor Department was given the memorandum and asked to initiate a tripartite dialogue. The police and the administration were also given information about the meeting and workers’ problems. The Union team made efforts to develop a local support group. It met sympathetic members of the civil society including advocates, trade union members, and social activists. The mobilization efforts met resistance from a small group of 7-8 owners. These owners own comparatively larger units centered around the village of Haripura. These are the owners who pay the lowest rates and stand to suffer the most from a wage hike. They challenged the Union to hold the meeting. The source of their confidence became apparent on the morning of the meeting when the local official responsible for law and order, the Sub Divisional Officer phoned the Union Secretary saying that he has cancelled permission for the meeting. Then the tent house supplier was threatened by the owners not to erect the tent. Union responded by mobilizing the support group to speak to the higher police officials. We asked the local police to provide protection. The local police responded and a police team was stationed at the site. The tent was erected again. There remained the suspense whether workers will be able to resist the employers and come out of the brick kilns. The suspense was soon removed as workers started arriving in groups. Soon the tent was full and workers flowed outside. We registered almost 1000 workers and an equal number is likely to have gone unregistered. The numbers were beyond our expectation. The guests included the local city support group and supporters from outside the district. The workers were full of enthusiasm. After the speeches, the workers decided on the next course of action. The Union president moved the resolution for continuing the strike. The resolution was passed by a show of hands by overwhelming majority. Next the Union activists outline the strategy. It was decided to continue the strike for three days. If by the end of three days, the owners do not respond, then the workers will apply for release under the Bonded Labor Act and go back home. The Bonded Labor Act was explained. Nearly all the workers have taken an advance and that is the source of their bondage. The workers were told that they can apply for release under the Act and the bonded debt will be annulled. Format of an application under release under the Act was circulated and 40 such forms were circulated. After the meeting the workers went in the form of a rally to the nearby Haripura chauraha as a show of strength. The rally passed through the village where a large number of owners live. Finally a committee was constituted. It was decided that every day the workers will gather at Haripura chauraha in the morning and then the team will go wherever required. Post script: As the meeting ended, the owners’ reaction became clear. One owner threatened the Union activist. From one brick kiln, there was report of violence and a worker was beaten up. The workers responded by collecting together forcing the owner to run away. All work came to a halt. The Union informed the local police that paid a visit to the kiln. The owner later tried to effect a compromise. The city support group met the Labor Commissioner and asked for speeding up the process of tripartite dialogue. He has fixed 24th December for the meeting. On 24th December 2012, a meeting of striking workers was attacked violently by the brick kiln owners. A group of workers was holding a meeting two kms from Haripura chauraha. Suddenly the brick kiln owners came in a group of ten vehicles and attacked the workers and union team from behind. The attack was sudden. The women with children were also not spared. The workers dispersed under this sudden attack. The Union team members had to flee for their life. They were pursued by the attackers. The attack was preplanned. Earlier the owners had collected in Maandal town and held a meeting. They gave an application against the Union to the Police Station. And then came out and went to the meeting site for the attack. The police and the administration is supporting the owners as is evident by the statements they gave in the media blaming the Union for provoking the owners. Even media is giving more prominence to owners’ version. The Union team has met the district collector. He has been handed a list of 15groups of workers who want to be released from bondage. This is going to be the main strategy now as the owners are not interested in a dialogue with the workers. The news from the kilns is that the owners have forced the workers to resume work under threat. The pathera workers want to leave but the owners are making them work under force. We appeal for support from all at this critical juncture in the movement. You could write to the Chief Minister on Rajasthan on this brazen attack on workers movement. Sudhir Katiyar on bhalf of Rajasthan Pradesh Int Bhatta Majdoor Union
दुर्गा वाहिनी ने निकाली मशाल यात्रा नई दिल्ली, दिसम्बर 27,2012. दिल्ली में हुई वीभत्स गेंग रेप की घटना के विरोध में विश्व हिन्दू परिषद् की महिला शाखा मातॄ शक्ति व दुर्गा वाहिनी ने कल देर रात एक मशाल यात्रा निकाल कर दोषियों को कडा दण्ड व पीडिता को उच्चतम स्तर की चिकित्सा सहायता की अपनी मांग दोहराई। प्रांत मातॄ शक्ति संयोजिका श्रीमति सिम्मी आहूजा ने इस अवसर पर कहा कि यह देश का दुर्भाग्य है की वर्तमान केंद्र सरकार अपराधियों पर सिकंजा कसने की बजाय लोकतांत्रिक रूप से शान्ति पूर्ण प्रदर्शन कर रहे लोगों के दमन पर उतारू है। उन्होंने प्रदर्शकारियों का समर्थन करने आए बाबा राम देव व पूर्व सेना अध्यक्ष जनरल वीके सिंह पर लगाए गए दंगा भडकाने के आरोपों को भी बापस लेने की मांग की। पश्चिमी दिल्ली के पूर्वी पंजाबी बाग़ बाजार के पास स्थित सनातन धर्म मंदिर से प्रारम्भ हुई मशाल यात्रा पंजाबी बाग़ के विभन्न स्थानों से होती हुई शहीद धींगरा पार्क में समाप्त हुई। बडी संख्या में दुर्गा वाहिनी व मात्र शक्ति की कार्यकत्रियों के अलाबा पुलकारी पंजाबी महिला मंच की मोनिका दुआ ज्योती कलूचा, विम्मी चावला, महिला मण्डल की बहिन मीना गुप्ता तथा मेरी दिल्ली, सांवरी सनातन धर्म महिला सत्संग मण्डल व G -7 वेलफेयर एसोसिएशन की भागीदारी थी। पुरुषों ने भी अपने हाथों में मशालें थामी हुई थी तथा महिलाओं के साथ साथ चल रहे थे। भवदीय विनोद बंसल (मीडिया प्रमुख)

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