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Wednesday, 27 August 2008 08:45


Chennai set to get largest cricket stadium

CHENNAI: Plans are afoot to bowl out Melbourne and Eden Garden cricket stadiums. The world's largest cricket stadium is all set to come up near Chennai in time for World Cup 2011, which India will co-host with Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The executive committee of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association will finalize the contractor to build the "ultra modern cricket stadium" on a 50-acre site in Karunkuzhipallam village in Kanchipuram district, 25km from the city. The stadium's name will be announced by the association after consultation with the state government.

The highlight of the stadium, besides the size and seating capacity, will be a retractable roof to ensure matches don't get washed out during rain.

The stadium complex will occupy 30 acres.
"The stadium will have more seating capacity than Eden Gardens or the Melbourne Cricket Ground, though we can't give an exact number at this stage. It will meet futuristic safety standards," said TNCA honorary secretary KS Viswanathan.

Melbourne has a seating capacity of close to 1 lakh, while Eden Gardens can accommodate up to 90,000 spectators. The rest of the area will be used for two smaller fields for research and training, besides rehabilitation.


TCS bags 5-year Singapore  airline deal

MUMBAI: India's top software exporter Tata Consultancy Services has bagged a five-year multi-million- dollar contract from Singapore Airlines Cargo.

As per the agreement, SIA Cargo has outsourced its cargo revenue accounting processes to TCS.

"Singapore Airlines and TCS have always enjoyed a long lasting relationship which can be termed more as a partnership in progress rather than a customer-service provider relationship," TCS Asia Pacific Executive Vice-President and Regional Director Girija Pande said in a statement.

Although the company did not reveal the deal size, industry sources said it could be over 100 million dollars as SIA Cargo, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, is ranked fourth in the world in terms of international freight tone-kilometer.

The airline has a route network that covers more than 39 countries.

TCS share prices were up 1.6 per cent at Rs 831. Analyst Gartner said India's top outsourcing companies were likely to become the next generation of "megavendors" for IT services by 2011, competing for deals worth more than one billion dollars.

Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys Technologies and Wipro would increasingly compete with other top players such as IBM, Accenture and EDS for those large deals, Gartner said.


One-third of world's poor in India: Survey

NEW DELHI: India is home to roughly one-third of all poor people in the world. It also has a higher proportion of its population living on less than $2 per day than even sub-Saharan Africa.

That is the sobering news coming out of
the World Bank's latest estimates on global poverty. The fine print of the estimates also shows that the rate of decline of poverty in India was faster between 1981 and 1990 than between 1990 and 2005. This is likely to give fresh ammunition to those who maintain that economic reforms, which started in 1991, have failed to reduce poverty at a faster rate.

India, according to the new estimates, had 456 million people or about 42% of the population living below the new international poverty line of $1.25 per day. The number of Indian poor also constitute 33% of the global poor, which is pegged at 1.4 billion people.

India also had 828 million people, or 75.6% of the population living below $2 a day. Sub-Saharan Africa, considered the world's poorest region, is better — it has 72.2% of its population (551m) people below the $2 a day level.

Anwar Ibrahim, scored a bigger than expected

Malaysia: Malaysia's best-known opposition politician, Anwar Ibrahim, scored a bigger than expected victory in a by-election on Tuesday, boosting his chances of becoming the country's next prime minister. Anwar, whose campaign for the parliamentary seat vacated by his wife has been dogged by charges of sodomy, won a majority of 15,671 over his government opponent.

He said he would initiate a vote to topple the coalition that has ruled Malaysia for five decades."The message is clear, we in Permatang Pauh and in Malaysia, we demand change for freedom and justice," Anwar told a jubilant crowd of thousands of people gathered in a football stadium who were chanting "reformasi" (reform) and "merdeka" (freedom).

"We want an independent judiciary, we want the economy to benefit the vast majority not the corrupt few," Anwar, who was wearing a colourful batik shirt, told the cheering crowd.Political analysts had said that the man who was once a rising star in the government and is now seeking to oust it from power had needed to win by at least the 13,388 majority his wife won when she contested the seat in March's general election.

That Anwar won by much more gives him a real shot at tempting the 30 government legislators to join his three-party coalition and that will enable him to win power in a confidence vote that he has said he will call for September.


UK government now targeting Islam

If the British government is attempting to interfere in the Muslim community on matters of Islam by funding a board of theologians, it is being "wrong-headed" as such a panel would have no credibility, according to editor of The Muslim News, Ahmed J Versi.

"Other governments have tried to impose their views to control Islam and have failed. It has been counter-productive and divisive," Versi said. "It will be perceived that the whole strategy of the UK Government on tackling extremism is to target not just extremists but Islam itself," he said.

His warning comes as Communities Secretary Hazel Blears was announcing the Government’s latest package of measures as "Winning Hearts and Minds" of the Muslim community. The launch of "Preventing Violent Extremism: Next Steps for Communities" included funding a board of some 20 theologians, who have yet to be named, under the auspices of Oxford and Cambridge universities.

Speaking from the inter-faith conference in Madrid, he said that there was unanimous agreement among Jewish, Christian and Muslim delegates that religion does not breed extremism but there are a variety of complex issues that is the problem.