Thursday, 30 October 2014
There has been a debate in India's e-commerce sector as to whether the inventory or marketplace model is better. Snapdeal puts down the large investment by Japan's Softbank to the fact that it changed to the marketplace model. Is the marketplace model succeeding in Digital India? The media are suggesting that India's Snapdeal could become like China's Alibaba. China, India and the USA are competing to become Digital Superpowers. Clearly USA is currently way ahead with Facebook, Apple, Twitter Google etc. India has someway still to catch up.
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
This year has seen the threat of ISIS in the Middle East create new alliances and shared interests where there may have been none before such as between Iran and America, Syria and USA and between Turkey and the Kurds. There has been a metamorphosis in the Middle East. The enemy's enemy is perhaps now your temporary friend.
Tuesday, 28 October 2014
The Guardian reports that the UK will not support any future search and rescue operations to prevent migrants and refugees drowning in the Mediterranean, claiming they simply encourage more people to attempt the dangerous sea crossing, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) ministers have quietly announced. Refugee and human rights organisations reacted with anger to the official British refusal to support a sustained European search and rescue operation to prevent further mass migrant drownings, saying it would contribute to more people dying needlessly on Europe’s doorstep. The British refusal comes as the official Italian sea and rescue operation, Mare Nostrum (which is Latin for 'our sea'), is due to end this week after contributing over the past 12 months to the rescue of an estimated 150,000 people since the Lampedusa tragedies in which 500 migrants died in October 2013.
Fortress Europe is pulling up its drawbridge. Immigrants are no longer welcome as UK ministers refer to the natives feeling "swamped" by immigrants. I suppose the FCO will let the migrants drown in the Mediterranean? The instability in several African, Asian and Middle Eastern countries is making their populations desperate to migrate to more stable regions like Europe. This situation is helping parties like Ukip and other rights wing parties across Europe. One of the cornerstones of the European Union, free movement of people, is at risk.
Sunday, 26 October 2014
The Times of India has a very good article, 'The Sting in the Booker Tale' by Raghu Karnad which draws attention to the often forgotten Indians who died in the Second World War and who do not get much attention in books and films. The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan won this year's Booker Prize is an all too familiar example of a book which details the horrors and cruelty on the 'Burma Death Railway' but yet again hardly mentions the quarter of a million Tamils, Chinese, Javanese, Malayans, Thais and Burmese slave labourers who worked alongside the Allied POWs, many of whom lost their lives in horrific conditions. The film 'The English Patient' probably has the most realistic portrayal so far of an Indian soldier in the Second World War. Bollywood should be more than capable of making films to remind people of the horrors also suffered by Indians in the World Wars.
Saturday, 25 October 2014
Media reports yet again of another shooting in America, this time in Washington State, where people have been killed and injured and the gunmen then killed himself. Iraq and Afghanistan have suicide bombers and America has suicide lone gunmen. America's NRA just doesn't get it.
Just as regulators are looking into accounting procedures at Tesco (see Staking the Odds at Tesco), the Guardian reports that David Cameron admitted that he had been left in the dark by George Osborne for two days as he complained that he had been hijacked by Brussels over an unexpected demand to pay £1.7bn (€2.1bn) to the EU. The prime minister said he would refuse to comply with the sudden bill, which he first learned about on Thursday, but questions were raised about Whitehall’s competence once it emerged that the chancellor had known since Tuesday. Labour said ministers should have expected the higher bill months ago.
Is Britain being run in the same way Tesco is?
Friday, 24 October 2014
|Message on a Helmet from Mumbai Cops - IdeaIndia.com|
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The boom in India's e-commerce sector is creating a huge amount of jobs, particularly temporary jobs. With so many e-commerce companies starting up, salaries are also on the rise and this is creating problems for startups in getting and retaining the right talent.
Modi's dream of a Digital India is slowly taking shape but is also having its fair share of teething troubles. Also several e-tail companies are securing large amounts of funding from investors eager to get in on the act.
It is likely that there will be some consolidation in the future when investors will take their profits. I am sure several startups are there simply for the founders hope cash in when their startup is bought over after they have spent huge amounts on advertising creating buzz around their business initially.
Digital India is in a state of flux at the moment and will take a while for the larger e-commerce companies to get into profits.
Thursday, 23 October 2014
Uddhav Thackeray and the Shiv Sena are suffering without Balasaheb Thackeray around. The BJP with Modi and Amit Shah seem to be able to deal with both the Shiv Sena and Raj Thackeray's MNS party in Maharashtra.
The Shiv Sena is not what is used to be without Balasaheb and does not have the leverage without him. Should the Uddhav and Raj consider putting their disagreements behind them and join forces to deal with a BJP that has a charismatic leader in Modi and a strategist in Amit Shah? Shiv Sena and MNS will have to go through a similar process as the BJP went through when they selected Modi as their PM candidate. Shiv Sena will have to exorcise the ghost of Balasaheb if they want to progress. At present Matoshree is a mausoleum to Balasaheb rather than a centre for a thriving progressive party.
Labels: Ghost of Bal Thackeray Still Haunts the Shiv Sena Exorcist, Matoshree mausoleum to Balasaheb, Shiv Sena have exorcise ghost Balasaheb
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
BBC News reports on the dire situation at Tesco. BBC says the cause may be down to ‘aggressive accounting’ – something like booking profits before costs which enhances the bottom line. Again accounting practices at a large company such as Tesco have come under the spotlight and brings back memories of Enron and Arthur Andersen. This is a culture of profits at all and any cost.
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
The Guardian reports that Ukip has struck a deal with a Polish MEP whose far-right party leader casually uses racial slurs and questions the Holocaust following fears that its grouping in Europe would lose millions of pounds in taxpayers’ funds. Nigel Farage’s Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group recruited an MEP from the Congress of the New Right with the blessing of its controversial leader Janusz Korwin-Mikke, according to reports from Poland. The Polish MEP Robert Iwaszkiewicz is to join the EFDD’s ranks as an individual, which will restore the group, a Ukip spokesman said. The deal means that the EFDD group, set up by Farage, has 25 MEPs from seven countries, which should guarantee that Ukip will maintain about £1m a year in funding. The group received €2.6m (£2.1m) in 2013. Ukip accounts for 53.3% of the group.
Sunday, 19 October 2014
The Guardian reports that Police forces are quietly taking on unpaid volunteers as scene of crime investigators, forensic experts and emergency planning officers as 20% budget cuts bite, it can be revealed. Forces across the country have been taking on volunteers to fill some of the most sensitive police staff roles and some are seeking to escalate their recruitment drives. There are now 9,000 police support volunteers replacing 15,000 staff jobs lost since 2010. Some forces report plans to double or triple their voluntary staff in the next year.
As usual, the CPS and more particularly the judges will cover up the cracks in improper investigations at the expense of the accused resulting in miscarriages of justice. The Police unfortunately are moving backwards and it may not be wholly their own fault. MoJ: Miscarriages of Justice-R-Us!
Saturday, 18 October 2014
Media reports that companies like Facebook and Apple will pay for female employees to have their eggs (ova) frozen so that they can then have a career first and children later. Similar deals may be there for male employees to have their sperm frozen so they can have a family later in life.
But the employees are obviously recruited in the first place having gone through the companies' recruitment and selection process and the companies will presumably only employ people who fit their criteria. By freezing their employees' eggs and sperm are they simply perpetuating a similar type of person suitable for them to employ? Sounds a bit spooky?
Thursday, 16 October 2014
The Guardian reports that 6 journalists and executives at the Sun conducted “corruption on a grand scale” during almost a decade of paying cash to public officials for confidential information, a court heard. Information was bought on “the famous, not so famous and the infamous”, from police officers, members of the Armed Forces, prison officials and staff at Broadmoor hospital, a jury heard. The confidential information included celebrity arrests as well as on “notorious” inmates including the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, and Soham murderer Ian Huntley, and leaks on the hunt for missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler. Peter Wright, QC, prosecuting, told Kingston Crown Court: “This trial is about a series of corrupt agreements between staff and journalists at the Sun newspaper on the one hand, and various public officials on the other.”.
Making headlines at the Sun newspaper has a different meaning now. Public officials who got too close to the Sun have now fallen back to earth.
Monday, 13 October 2014
Indian Super League got off to a flying start. It will be a while before the quality of football matches that of the English Premier League but I am sure within 3-4 years the team valuations will match those in Britain. In the IPL the team values are similar to those of top European soccer teams. At present the money in Soccer is in the EPL and other European leagues but I imagine ISL will overtake Europe in terms of transfer fees in a few years. The money in sports is shifting East.
Sunday, 12 October 2014
|Street Performer in Fountain, Mumbai - IdeaIndia.Com|
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Saturday, 11 October 2014
Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian activist have won the Nobel Peace Prize this year. Also Times of India reports that even as gunfire continues to be traded across the Indo-Pak border in Kashmir, a full-blown hacking and defacement war has erupted in cyberspace. On Thursday, over a dozen Indian and Pakistani websites were defaced by hackers from either side of the fence. The website of the Press Club of India (PCI) in the capital was hacked and defaced, with the hackers' message on the website's home page claiming Pakistani origin. A hacker group calling itself "Indian Hackers Online Squad" hacked and defaced the website of the Pakistan's main opposition party, Pakistan People's Party (PPP), www.ppp.org.pk on Wednesday, with one "Bl@k Dr@gon" claiming credit. On Thursday, the Pakistan railways website was hacked as well, the second time this year, with the same name appearing on the defaced page.
This year's Nobel Peace Prize has put the international focus on Kashmir. Along with Vishal Bhardwaj's new film Haider which is based in Kashmir and is an adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet, Kashmir will hopefully get the political attention it deserves.