Famous In India

Archive for February 2009

Music maestro AR Rahman created history by becoming the first Indian to win two Oscar Awards in the ‘Best Original Score’ and ‘Best Song’ categories for ‘Slumdog Millionaire‘ at the Academy Awards in LA.

The film had 10 Oscar nominations, including 3 for Rahman. He was nominated in the Best Original Score and Best Song categories for ‘O Saaya’ and ‘Jai Ho’ respectively, of which he won two awards each for ‘O Saaya’ and ‘Jai Ho’.

The composer was overwhelmed and interspersed his speech with Hindi as well as Tamil after receiving the coveted trophy here on Sunday. “There is a dialogue from an old Hindi film – “Mere paas ma hai” – which means I have nothing but a mother. My mother is here, I have her blessings. I am glad she could be here,” said Rahman. He ended the acceptance speech by saying “God is great” in Tamil, something he says after winning every award.

He shared the second Oscar for best original song for the film’s theme number “Jai Ho” with noted Indian lyricist Gulzar.

“All my life I had a choice between hate and love. I chose love and I am here,” said Rahman after receiving his second golden statuette.

This honour comes as recognition of popular Indian cinema in the West that for long has shunned Indian movies as too long and too full of song-and-dance sequences. Rahman’s exuberant score has shattered all those perceptions, and shown that the West likes the sound of India.

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is having a sweeping win at the Oscars, currently on in Los Angeles. The much acclaimed flick won eight awards in all, which include- ‘Best Direction’, ‘Best Original Score’, ‘Best Song’, ‘Best Sound Mixing’, ‘Best Editing’ ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’ and ‘Best Cinematography’.

source : http://www.zeenews.com/


Bhavani Mandir, a temple believed to be thousands of years old and visited by both Hindus and Muslims for centuries, is situated on the coast of the Arabian Sea in Gujarat’s Saurashtra region. Natural beauty is in abundance in this place and the temple is mostly visited by childless couples.

According to priests of the temple this is the place where Krishna carried out the Leela of abducting Rukmani. Another distinctive feature of this temple is that Muslims also offer their namaaz in the courtyard of the temple.

Mahua, a place which is often referred to as the Kashmir of Gujarat’s Saurashtra, is surrounded by small hills and coconut trees. Arabian Sea is some five kilometres away from it. The journey from Mahua to the Arabian Sea is a visual treat. We used this road to get to the Bhavani temple. After Mahua, comes Bhavani village where the temple is situated.

The priest of the temple claimed that his ancestors have been performing rituals for the past 1,200 years in this over 7,500 years old temple. In Dwapar yug this place was known as Madhuban and Lord Krishna frequented this place.

After entering the temple we noticed the exhibition of excellent art and sculptures as also the beautiful idol of Goddess Bhavani.

Inside the temple, the walls have the photographs of some little kids. These pictures have been pasted there by those couples who had prayed for a child in this temple and were in turn blessed by Goddess Bhavani.

This is probably the only temple in India where devotees offer snakeskin. After their wish is granted by Goddess Bhavani devotees bring snakeskin as offering.

Situated in a calm place as the Arabian Sea shore the temple is now in a dilapidated condition. In the pre-Independence era, it was Bhavnagar’s King who patronized the temple and the priest. With the end of his reign, his progeny lost interest. Now it is Hetal Bhai Rathore, a businessman from Gujarat’s Alang sea port, who is taking care of the temple.

With sustained efforts from his end, the temple is expected to regain its lost glory in the days to come.

source: http://www.zeenews.com/

lalu-prasadRailway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, who managed to keep passengers fares in check for the last five years, on Friday presented interim Railway Departing from normal practice, Lalu Prasad announced an across-the-board 2% cut in fares of ordinary and AC class.

The interim budget makes no changes in relation to freight rates.

Normally, the interim budgets do not carry any financial proposals in view of the fact that it is a vote-on-account ahead of the general elections.

Recalling that he had decided to reduce the second class fares of all mail, express and ordinary trains by 5% for tickets above Rs 50 last year, Prasad said respecting the aspirations of the long distance passengers he has decided to reduce the second class and sleeper class fares of all mail and express and ordinary passenger trains by two per cent for the ticket costing more than Rs 50.

He said during the last four years, he had reduced the fares of AC First class by 28% and AC II tier by 20%.

Even as air travel is reportedly reflecting reduction in number of passengers due to economic slowdown, there has been a significant increase in the number of passengers of these classes on the Railways.

“Therefore, I have decided to reduce the fares of AC First Class, AC II tier and AC III tier and AC Chair Car by 2%,” he said amidst thumping of desks by members of ruling benches in Lok Sabha.

The Minister said since the fare for rail travel for 10 km and below has already been reduced from Rs 4 to Rs 1, this reduction will not be applicable for second class rail journey upto 10 km.

Highlights :

-All AC and Mail Express fares cut by 2%

– Freight rates kept unchanged

-Freight has grown at the rate of 8% in the past five years. Freight loading in the current year has come down due to economic downturn, because of which revenue has fallen. Otherwise it would have touched Rs one lakh crore.

– 43 new trains to start in 2009-10, extension of 14 trains envisaged and frequency of 14 trains to be increased.

– Kolkata Metro will be expanded

-Railways cash reserves touched Rs 90, 000 crore

-Railways have raised $100 million at 4% interest

– Railways expected to show a surplus of Rs 18,847 crore in the next fiscal.

-Feasibility study underway for bullet trains between Delhi-Amritsar, Ahmedabad-Pune, Hyderabad-Vijaywada- Chennai, Chennai-Bangalore, Delhi-Patna, Kolkata-Haldia and Ernakulam-Howrah.

-Dedicated freight corridor from Ludhiana to Kolkata to be inaugurated later this month

– Railway line between Anantnag and Rajwansher in Kashmir valley will be extended to Qazigund in four months

-4 call centres set up for railway enquiry

-Invested Rs 70, 000 crore out of surplus in last four years

-To invest Rs 2, 30,000 crore in the 11th Plan

-Decrease in the number of accidents in Railways since 2003

-Passenger volume likely to grow by around 7% over previous year

– Estimated freight earnings for next fiscal pegged at Rs 59,059 crore

source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/

In a move that puts Ahmedabad on the global IT/ITeS map, the city has made it to the list of top 31 cities identified globally by international consultancy firm KPMG as key emerging alternatives to existing IT/ITeS hotspots the world over.

Jaipur and Nagpur are the only other Indian cities to have made the cut in the global list that covers nations like China, Brazil, Malaysia, Mexico, Argentina, Russia, Poland, Mauritius and Egypt.

The report, ‘Exploring global frontiers — the new emerging destinations’, has lauded the proposed Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) and moves to improve English language proficiency.

According to KPMG, the key drivers for Ahmedabad to emerge as a favourable IT-ITeS destination are its huge pool of qualified human resource, especially with finance and accounting background, leading educational institutes like IIM-A, and a 30% cost advantage over premier IT-BPO hubs like Mumbai, Bangalore and NCR in terms of compensation levels and rentals.

“Cost of living is relatively low as compared to tier-I cities. Cost of housing is 40-70% cheaper as compared to cities like Mumbai,” the report states.

The report said: “The city has a large talent pool with over 1.73 lakh students enrolled in commerce and arts streams (2006-07) to support the industry. It also produces a large number of chartered accountants. The city is home to renowned engineering and management institutes.”

Commenting on the report, KPMG global partner-in-charge, IT advisory, Egidio Zarrella said: “Though established locations may still be considered as epicentres of outsourcing, entities are beginning to look at alternative locations due to favourable business environment, access to a good supply of talent, good quality of life and lower costs.”

source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/

Google Inc released software on Wednesday that allows users of mobile phones and other wireless devices to automatically share their whereabouts with family and friends.

Users in 27 countries will be able to broadcast their location to others constantly, using Google Latitude. Controls allow users to select who receives the information or to go offline at any time, Google said on its website.

“Fun aside, we recognize the sensitivity of location data, so we’ve built fine-grained privacy controls right into the application,” Google said in a blog post announcing the service.

“You not only control exactly who gets to see your location, but you also decide the location that they see.”

Friends’ whereabouts can be tracked on a Google map, either from a handset or from a personal computer.

Google’s new service is similar to the service offered by privately-held Loopt.

Companies including Verizon Wireless, owned by Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc, already offer Loopt’s service, which also works on iPhone from Apple Inc.

Latitude will work on Research In Motion Ltd’s Blackberry and devices running on Symbian S60 devices or Microsoft Corp’s Windows Mobile and some T-1 Mobile phones running on Google’s Android software.

The software will eventually run on Apple’s iPhone and iTouch and many Sony Ericsson devices.

source: http://uk.reuters.com/

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