Japan’s NTT DoCoMo to exit telecom JV with Tata Group

ntt-docomo_505_042514124603Japanese telecom firm NTT DoCoMo Inc on Friday said it will exit its loss-making mobile phone joint venture with Tata Group by selling its 26 per cent stake.

Japan’s largest wireless carrier by subscribers wants to sell the entire 26.5 per cent stake in Tata Teleservices it had bought for 266.7 billion yen ($2.61 billion) in 2009 and 2011.

Tata Group is likely to buy the stake.

In a press statement, DoCoMo said “its board of directors resolved today to exercise option for the sale of the company’s entire stake (124.9 crore shares, or about 26.5 per cent stake) in Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL).”

Under the March 2009 agreement between DoCoMo, TTSL and Tata Sons Ltd – Tata Group’s holding company, the Japanese firm “holds the right to require that its TTSL shares be acquired for 50 per cent of the acquisition price, which amounts to 72.5 billion Indian rupees (or 125.4 billion yennotice1) or a fair market price, whichever is higher, in the event that TTSL fails to achieve certain specified performance targets.”

“In the event that TTSL fails to achieve these performance targets by the end of the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, DOCOMO plans to exercise the above-mentioned right in or before June 2014,” the statement said.

DoCoMo expects to sell its TTSL shares in accordance with the agreement.


Source: http://businesstoday.intoday.in/story/japan-ntt-docomo-may-exit-india-telecoms-joint-venture/1/205557.html

Can My Boss Do That?

stupidboss_635x250_1395402175If you’ve ever witnessed your boss doing something that seems unfair to you or a co-worker, you might have wondered, “Can they really do that?” They don’t teach workplace law in school, and so collectively, Americans tend to lack understanding about what employers can and can’t do where employees are concerned.

Here are some questions you might wonder about.
1. My boss told my co-workers what my salary is! Can she do that?

Answer: Yes. No law requires that your salary information be confidential, and your employer is allowed to share it with others if she wishes to. In fact, some companies share everyone’s salary as a matter of course (and some people argue that doing so helps combat pay discrimination).

2. Can my boss tell me that I can’t discuss my salary with my co-workers?

Answer: No. Despite the fact that many employers have policies that attempt to ban these discussions, the National Labor Relations Act makes it illegal for employers to prohibit employees from discussing wages among themselves.

3. My boss said that I can’t take the day I requested off work, even though I have enough vacation time stored up to do it. Can he do that?

Answer: Yes. While your vacation time is part of your benefits package, your employer retains the right to approve or deny specific leave requests. That’s because managers sometimes need to deny time off if it would leave your department short-staffedor cause problems during an especially busy time.

4. My manager told me I have to stop teasing a co-worker about politics. Doesn’t that violate my right to free speech?

Answer: The First Amendment prevents the government from restricting your speech — but private employers are still free to regulate employees’ speech. (One important exception to this is that employers cannot interfere with employees who are discussing wages or working conditions with their co-workers, as in No. 2 above.)

5. Can my boss deduct money from my paycheck for doing a bad job?

Answer: No, your employer cannot dock your salary for poor performance. Your employer agreed to pay you a certain salary when you accepted the job, and that wage cannot be changed retroactively as punishment or for any other reason. However, your employer can change your pay going forward, after warning you of the change and giving you a chance to decline to do the work at the new wage.

6. Can my boss give me a bad reference when I’m looking for a job?

Answer: It’s legal for an employer to give a negative reference, as long as it’s factually accurate. It’s true that some companies, in an effort to avoid the headache of nuisance lawsuits, have implemented policies that they will only confirm dates of employment and title. As a result, many people have come to believe that it’s actually illegal to give a bad reference. But corporate policies aren’t the law (and often aren’t even followed by the companies that have them).

7. My boss changed my job description and says that I have to do work that’s dramatically different from what I was hired to do. Is that allowed?

Answer: Your employer can change your job description at any time, or direct you do work other than what you were hired for. The only time this wouldn’t be true is if you had a contract that spelled out the work you were signing on for — but most workers in the U.S. don’t have contracts and instead are subject to “at will” employment. This allows your employer to change the terms of your employment at any time.

8. Can my manager bully me, single me out for poor treatment, yell at me, or otherwise mistreat me?

Answer: Bullying or being a jerk is bad management, but it’s not illegal. However, if your manager is treating you differently because of your race, sex, religion or another protected class, then you do have legal protection; that would violate federal anti-discrimination laws. But if your manager is just a jerk because she doesn’t like you or is a hostile person generally, that’s not against the law.

9. I complained to human resources about my boss and asked them to keep it confidential, but they told my boss. Is that legal?

Answer: Yes. HR isn’t obligated to keep what you tell them confidential, even if you request their discretion. HR staffers aren’t doctors or priests, and you shouldn’t assume confidentiality when talking to them. If they hear information that they decide needs to be shared or used to address a problem, their job obligates them to do that.

10. I gave two weeks notice at work, and my boss told me to just leave now. Do they still have to pay me for those two weeks?

Answer: A smart employer would still pay you for those two weeks, since otherwise they’re signaling to other employees that they too will lose money if they give notice rather than quitting on the spot. But that’s up to your employer — no law requires them to pay you for time you didn’t work, even though you wanted to work out those final two weeks.

Alison Green writes the popular Ask a Manager blog, where she dispenses advice on career, job search, and management issues. She’s also the co-author of Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Manager’s Guide to Getting Results, and former chief of staff of a successful nonprofit organization, where she oversaw day-to-day staff management, hiring, firing, and employee development.


World faces ‘water-energy’ crisis: United Nations


Already, 768 million people do not have access to a safe, reliable source of water, 2.5 billion do not have decent sanitation and more than 1.3 billion do not have mains electricity.

TOKYO: Surging populations and economies in the developing world will cause a double crunch in demand for water and energy in the coming decades, the United Nations said on Friday.

In a report published on the eve of World Water Day, it said the cravings for clean water and electricity were intertwined and could badly strain Earth’s limited resources.

“Demand for freshwater and energy will continue to increase over the coming decades to meet the needs of growing populations and economies, changing lifestyles and evolving consumption patterns, greatly amplifying existing pressures on limited natural resources and on ecosystems,” the report said.

Already, 768 million people do not have access to a safe, reliable source of water, 2.5 billion do not have decent sanitation and more than 1.3 billion do not have mains electricity.

“Lack of access to water, sanitation and sustainable energy is an aggravating factor for poverty,” Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, told a conference at the United Nations University in Tokyo.

“We need to adopt more integrated policies and innovative strategies to tackle the issues.”

About 20% of the world’s aquifers today are depleted, according to the UN report.

Agriculture accounts for more than two-thirds of water use. The World Water Development Report, the fifth in the series by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), is an overview collated from data from scientific studies and investigations by agencies.

It said ever more freshwater will be needed for farming, construction, drinking, cooking, washing and sewerage, but also for energy production — 90% of which uses water-intensive techniques today.

The report gave this snapshot of the future:

*Global water demand is likely to increase by 55 percent by 2050. By then, more than 40 percent of the world’s population will be living in areas of “severe” water stress, many of them in the broad swathe of land from North Africa and the Middle East to western South Asia.

*Asia will be the biggest hotspot for bust-ups over water extraction, where water sources straddle national borders. “Areas of conflict include the Aral Sea and the Ganges-Brahmaputra River, Indus River and Mekong River basins,” said the report.

*Global energy demand is expected to grow by more than a third by 2035, with China, India and Middle Eastern countries accounting for 60 percent of the increase.

*In 2010, energy production gobbled up 66 billion cubic metres (2,300 billion cu. feet) of fresh water — more than the average annual flow of the River Nile in Egypt.

By 2035, this consumption could rise by 85%, driven by power plant cooling systems that work with water.

Shale deposits and tar sands, driving an energy boom in North America, are especially hefty in their demands for water to force out the precious gas and oil, the report said.

Even so, “they are outstripped by far by biofuels,” said researcher Richard Connor, who headed the study.

Renewable sources like solar and wind energy that use far less water are gaining ground, and accounted for about a fifth of global electricity output in 2011, the report said.

But they are unlikely to expand this share significantly if fossil fuels continue receiving the bulk of subsidies, it said.

Oil, gas and coal had subsidies of $523 billion (376 billion euros) in 2011, nearly 30 percent more than in 2010, compared to $88 billion for renewables, the report said, citing International Energy Agency (IEA) figures.

Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean have plenty of potential for hydro-energy, which reuses the precious resource, it added.

Hydro-electric dams have been extremely controversial. Big projects deliver gigawatts of power but critics say they are ecologically damaging and prone to massive cost overruns.

The review called for a global effort in efficiency gains, pointing the finger at the arid countries of the Middle East where between 15 and 60% of water is wasted through leaks or evaporation even before the consumer opens the tap.

The report also called for smart choices in allocating the trillions of dollars likely to be invested in water and energy infrastructure over the next two decades.

8 instances that show AAP is becoming too ‘aam’ for a party

AP seems to be losing ground just at the time when it is about to make its debut on the national stage. (Express Photo: Amit Mehra)

AP seems to be losing ground just at the time when it is about to make its debut on the national stage. (Express Photo: Amit Mehra)

All is not well with Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party. From growing dissent in the party to its leaders facing the heat over various issues, the party, which originated as an anti-corruption movement, seems to be losing ground just at the time when it is about to make its debut on the national stage. If the recent developments are any indication, the party, which was perceived to be different and cashed it in this perception initially, seems to be no different from its counterparts.

On Tuesday, AAP leader Shazia Ilmi refused to contest from Rae Bareli fuelling speculations of growing dissent in the party over ticket distribution.



On the same day, educationist and child rights lawyer Ashok Agarwal resigned from the AAP, saying the party has become ‘directionless’ and that it was promoting “elite individuals.” In his letter to Kejriwal, Agarwal stressed that the party was losing its vision. The resignation on such grounds not only discredited the party but also its leadership.

With each passing day, the party, created for providing a political alternative is beginning to look like any other party.

There are strong factors for party’s imminent downfall. Here are a few recent instances when Aam Aadmi Party found itself on a slippery ground.

1. TUSSLE OVER TICKET: AAP leader Shazia Ilmi expressed her displeasure over party’s offer to contest from Rae Bareli saying that she ‘never agreed’ to contest against Sonia Gandhi. Ilmi expressed her willingness to fight from Delhi. “I am not contesting from Rae Bareli. I never agreed to nor do I now… I’ve been denying this for the last two months,” she tweeted. Reports also surfaced about Kumar Vishwas’ rift with the party over ticket distribution. However, both leaders denied reports, saying they were not upset with the party.

2. AGARWAL UPSET WITH AAP: In a jolt to the party, national executive member of AAP and eminent educationist Ashok Agarwal resigned from the party saying it worked like a “private limited company” with an aim to promote “elite individuals.” In a strongly-worded letter to party leader Arvind Kejriwal, Agarwal pointed that the movement has become ‘directionless’ and objectives for which AAP was created are getting lost. Agarwal, who is also a child rights lawyer, cited AAP’s contentious Lok Sabha ticket distribution, as the main reason of his resignation.

3. SAVITA OPTS OUT OF RACE: Savita Bhatti, widow of actor and satirist Jaspal Bhatti and AAP’s candidate from Chandigarh, opted out of Lok Sabha elections saying she was ‘not interested’ in contesting polls. Savita was believed to have had differences with the local AAP unit.

4. INFLUENCING PORTRAYAL: In yet another incident that left the Aam Aadmi Party red-faced, footage of AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal’s ‘off the record’ interaction with a TV anchor went viral on the internet. The footage seemed to show Kejriwal seeking to influence his portrayal in the interview. He was seen asking the anchor to play down a certain segment of their interview. While the leaked video drew sharp criticism from the political leaders, it also raised questions about Kejriwal’s stand on privatisation.

5. AAP MEN SPAR WITH KEJRIWAL: Upset over the distribution of tickets in the party, a group of disgruntled AAP party workers staged a protest outside Arvind Kejriwal’s residence. A group of around 20 AAP workers shouted slogans against the selection of some AAP candidates for the Lok Sabha polls and accused the party leadership of being inaccessible. They complained that the AAP does not implement what it preaches. The AAP workers also questioned party’s Chandi Chowk candidate Ashutosh and East Delhi candidate Rajmohan Gandhi for “parachuting” in these constituencies.

6. INK ATTACK ON AAP LEADER: An AAP member from Shalimar Bagh smeared blue ink on senior AAP leader Yogendra Yadav’s face during a party event to celebrate International Women’s Day at Jantar Mantar. The man identified as Sagar Bhandari was angry with the fact that he wanted to speak to Yadav but since no one paid attention, he was not happy. The incident yet again reflected the growing grudges among the party workers.



7. AAP WORKERS TURN VIOLENT: In retaliation to protests against Kejriwal’s brief “detention” in Gujarat, the AAP workers clashed with BJP activists outside the saffron party headquarters in Delhi and Lucknow. AAP workers had stormed the BJP head office on Ashoka Road in central Delhi protesting against Kejriwal’s ‘detention’ in Radhanpur in North Gujarat where he has gone to “assess” the development claims made by CM Narendra Modi. The AAP leadership was yet again caught on a sticky wicket as prominent AAP leaders Ashutosh and Shazia Ilmi were seen during the clashes. Moreover, the action by AAP workers stood in contrast to the party’s ideologies of promoting non-violence.



8. KEJRIWAL’S PLANE CONTROVERSY: Arvind Kejriwal was caught on the wrong foot as he took a plane from Jaipur to Delhi to attend a conclave. As his rivals attacked him, Kejriwal said a media group arranged for the aircraft as they wanted him to attend the event. Interestingly, Kejriwal has been attacking major political leaders for using chartered aircraft of corporates for reaching the rally venues.

Subrata Roy Talks About India’s Economic Growth and the Necessity of Good Talent to Achieve the Target

In an interview, Subrata Roy, Managing Worker and Chairman, Sahara India Pariwar, talks about India’s economic growth and the necessity of good talent to achieve the target.

India is trying to raise 500 million skilled people by the end of 2022. How can companies help to make this dream comes true?

I think the human resource development is the best part of Indian corporate, working as the biggest platform of trained people. Thereby, they should try hard to get this target. It is also important to develop the entrepreneurial skills. The corporate sector should come forward to increase the job opportunities and take the employment as investment to boost up the economical condition of the country.

In such a doubtful economic condition, how can India manage to gain growth?

Actually, the focus is shifting to the developed countries in order to improve the economical conditions of such countries. Besides this, declining economy, inflation, degrading fiscal discipline and also the huge external deficit are the reasons for the uncertain economic condition of India. It is the high time to take some serious steps for the country. It is crucial to develop the social infrastructure, healthcare, education and other sectors. Moreover, it is highly essential to change from ‘economy of elite’ to ‘economy of collective growth’. In the past few years, India has managed to reveal nine percent growth and the economic indicators were positive for us. But, in reality, nine percent growth is very low employment generation. While you are looking forward to change the whole scenario, then it is important to change government’s point of views of dealing and implementing policies. In fact, the corporate India also has to change their objectives. It is necessary to provide good education, health services and improve the standard of living to every people of the country. To improve the economic condition, it is important to spread job opportunities at every level. As a result of it, government will receive revenue and corporate sector can get a good market for them.

Well, you are going to provide more than 56,000 vacancies. Is it one of your strategies?

Sahara has managed to get the position of second largest employer in India by Time magazine. We provide jobs in all tier 1, 2 and 3 cities. At present, we are thinking to expand our business in many sectors. These 56,000 vacancies are for the critical senior resource requirement. Moreover, we are going to hire more than four lakh employee from different levels. Sahara is spreading its business in different sectors which include luxury real estate and lifestyle venture, infrastructure and housing, FMCG and retail, financial services, healthcare, beverages and food. To make our dream come true, we are investing almost 32,400 crore in every sector of this plan.

Are people from every sector can get this job opportunity?

These 56,000 vacancies are only for some experienced and skilled people. However, we will hire four lakh people from every level very soon. Secondly, we are also providing good business scopes for people to work with their independent franchises. It is my belief that if the people and other stakeholder of a company can grow then the organization will definitely grow.

Why are you going to hire such a huge workforce?

Well, we are going to start a learning and development centre- Gurukul to provide proper behavioural training, knowledge on philosophy and our culture.

Are you planning to hire talent from tier 1, 2 cities?

They have proper education and people of small cities are very professional and skilled. The only thing that they need is the right opportunity. So our plan is to give a chance to the people of smaller cities.

Sahara India Pariwar is a major entity on the corporate scene having diversified business interests that include Finance, Infrastructure & Housing, Media & Entertainment, Sports, Consumer Products, Manufacturing, Services & Trading.

London Olympics projected to be $600M under budget

LONDON  — The British government says the London Olympics cost around 400 million pounds ($600 million) less than expected.

The final financial report for the games projects that the cost will be 8.921 billion pounds ($14.285 billion) from an original budget of 9.298 billion pounds ($14.878 billion). Savings came from a drop in security, transport and construction costs for the Olympics and Paralympics.

As a result of those savings and the unused part of the contingency budget, 480 million pounds ($770 million) is left unspent. The government says this will cover “risks” linked to the revamping of the Olympic Park.

Olympics minister Hugh Robertson says “it is a significant achievement to deliver this large and complex program on time and under budget.”

Stephen becomes first councillor in the UK with Down’s syndrome

“I want to help other people in the community I’ve grown up and lived in all my life”

A man with Down’s syndrome is believed to be the first person in the UK with the condition to become a parish councillor.

Cllr Stephen Green, 47, previously made the headlines for learning to read music and performing his first piano recital.

Last week he was elected as member of Nuthall Parish Council in Nottinghamshire after his predecessor, Councillor Paul Simpson, stepped down. It was the second time Stephen, from Nutthall, had stood for election to the council after narrowly getting beaten in an election eight years ago.

But when no one else stood for the seat, Stephen was elected to the council.

He said: “I want to help other people in the community I’ve grown up and lived in all my life.

“I stood before at the election so I’m very pleased to be councillor now.

“There will be some challenges but I’ve got a good support network around me.”

Stephen’s father, Grenville Green, added: “It’s a big achievement for Stephen.

“I’m ecstatic. He lost his mum when he was 28. It’s not been an easy ride.

“I get so much enjoyment out of his achievements. He was willing to fight this election.”

He added: “I was a bit disappointed nobody put up, to be honest, because it would have proved a point. “He’s got a lot to offer Nuthall. He can teach people manners and how to behave in public.”

Liz Silver, of the Nottinghamshire Disabled People’s Movement, said: “It’s great news, I hope he enjoys it.

“I think generally disabled people do have concerns about discrimination and stereotyping; it affects some people more than others.”

Future of Nokia hangs on Windows Phone 8 rollout

For Nokia, it comes down to this: Is Microsoft’s new phone software going to get it back in the smartphone race, or is it going to be too late?

After being the top seller of cellphones in the world for 14 years, Nokia failed to meet the challenge when Apple in 2007 introduced the dazzling iPhone that caught the imagination of design-conscious customers and rattled mobile markets.

Photo: AP Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gives his presentation at the launch of Microsoft Windows 8, in New York, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. Windows 8 is the most dramatic overhaul of the personal computer market’s dominant operating system in 17 years.

The Finnish company hit a downward spiral that has led to shrinking sales and market share, plant closures, thousands of layoffs and downgrades by credit agencies to junk status. On Friday, research firm IDC said that in the July-to-September period, Nokia slid for the first time off the list of the top five smartphone makers in the world. It’s still the second-largest maker of phones overall, but sales of non-smartphones are shrinking across the industry, and there’s little profit there.

The ailing company’s CEO, Stephen Elop, sees Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 8 software as a chance to reverse that trend, describing it as a catalyst for the new models. On Monday, Microsoft Corp. is hosting a big launch event for the software at an arena in San Francisco. The first phones from Nokia, Samsung and HTC are expected to hit store shelves next month.

The launch of Windows Phone 8 follows on the heels of Windows 8 for PCs and tablets, which Microsoft released Friday. That operating system has borrowed its look from Windows Phone, meaning Microsoft now has a unified look across PCs and phones — at least if people take to Windows 8. The company has also made it easy for developers to create software that runs on both platforms with minor modifications.

Analysts are calling this a make-or-break moment for Nokia. “Nokia is placing a huge bet on Microsoft and if the gamble doesn’t pay off, the losses can be high,” said Neil Mawston from Strategy Analytics, near London. “It’s putting all its eggs in one basket and that’s quite a high-risk strategy.”

In February last year, Nokia announced it was teaming up with Microsoft to replace its old Symbian and next-generation MeeGo software platforms with Windows. This move was made in the hope that it would rejuvenate the company and claw back lost ground.

Eight months later, they produced the first Nokia Windows Phone. Consumers didn’t warm to it, and it soon became clear that these phones, based on Windows Phone 7, were going to become obsolete. They can’t be upgraded to Windows Phone 8. Lumia sales slumped to 2.9 million units in the third quarter after reaching 4 million in the previous three months.

“Retailers withdrew marketing and promotion because no one wants to sell customers a device that ages in a few months,” says Michael Schroeder, analyst at FIM Bank Ltd. in Helsinki. “Had there been a seamless transfer to Windows 8 from the old (Lumia) devices, sales figures would have been much higher last quarter.”

Mawston gives Nokia until April to prove it’s still in the race. “If Nokia does not have more than 5 percent of the global smartphone market by the end of the first quarter 2013, alarm bells will be ringing,” Mawston said.

Analysts estimate Nokia’s current global smartphone market share to be some 4 percent — down from 14 percent a year ago. Meanwhile, uncertainty clouds its new venture with Microsoft. “We’re a bit in the dark here,” Schroeder said. “Right now we can’t really say anything about Nokia’s future. Everything depends on how the new devices are received in the market.”

Nokia says its Lumia 920 and 820 phones are just the beginning of a new range of Windows Phone 8 devices, but early evaluations suggest they lack the “wow” effect necessary to make a dent in the smartphone market.

Also, Windows Phone 8 lags behind in the number of third-party applications available. There are some 100,000 available. Google’s and Apple’s stores have six or seven times as many. “It’s a perception thing really,” Mawston of Strategy Analytics said. “Like in supermarket wars, if you have a store with lots of shelves with lots of apps, then consumers will choose you over a smaller store that has a smaller offering — even if you can’t use all those apps.”

Analysts expect 700 million smartphones to be sold worldwide this year. While network operators and retailers may welcome a third software system to challenge the dominance of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, it is the consumer who will ultimately decide Nokia’s and Windows Phone 8’s fate.

Beside the smartphone challenge, Nokia is feeling the pinch in the lower end with manufacturers in China and in Asia producing cut-rate non-smartphones — Nokia’s former domain. Earlier this year, Samsung overtook it as the world’s No. 1 mobile phone vendor, ending Nokia’s reign that peaked in 2008 with a 40 percent market share.

“Dumb” phones continue to be the backbone of Nokia operations, including in India where it’s a top seller. With strong and extensive distribution networks and a brand well-known in emerging markets, all might not be lost for the company that grew from making paper and rubber boots to being the biggest manufacturer of cellphones.

Mawston says that in theory, Nokia and Microsoft have a good chance of success as they offer an across-the-board system that stretches across home computers, mobiles, laptops, tablets as well as in the office, backed by Nokia’s strong distribution and hardware and Microsoft’s multi-platform software.

“If they can exploit that underlying market platform … and tie it all together in a good hardware portfolio, then potentially Microsoft and Nokia could be a very, very strong partnership — a bit like bringing together Batman and Robin,” Mawston said. “But, in practice, whether they can execute on that reality still is a great unknown and remains to be seen.”