Opinion

Can Giraffe fund Tiger to save Swan?

OUR BUREAUS | Updated on March 11, 2011 Published on February 28, 2011

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BL28GOKARN   -  PAUL NORONHA

HYDERABAD (AP) -25-02-2011- (BL DAIRY ) -- Mr. Ponnala Laxmiah ( at right) , Minister for IT and Communications was being fondly referred to as a CEO of the IT Ministry by the large group of captains of the IT Industry at the curtain raiser of the 'Advantage AP ' held at the Secretarait in Hyderabad on Thursday . And he did not let them down too flaunting his new i-Pad , was seen taking help from Mr. V. Rajanna , the V-P of TCS . A US educated engineer Mr Laxmiah seemed to have found his true moorings in his present portfolio as IT Minister , having presided over the Major Irrigation portfolio under the past Chief Ministers , nattily dressed in a suit as a CEO . --PHOTO: P.V.SIVAKUMAR   -  STAFFER

BANGALORE:21/02/2011. A Crane passing infront of a Banner displayed List of prohibited items inside the stadium, this time it include Mobile phones at the M Chinnaswamy Cricket Stadium in Bangalore on Monday as part of the World Cup 20011 Matches. . Photo: G R N SOMASHEKAR   -  BL

Impossible in the animal kingdom, but this seems to be a likely scenario in the case of the telecom world. The ongoing investigations by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Swan Telecom have revealed that the equity stake in the company is being held by a number of front companies — most of them with names of animals and birds. So now it appears that Giraffe Consultancies Services had funded Tiger Traders (P) Ltd that, in turn, was used to buy majority shares of Swan Telecom. It has always been survival of the fittest in the telecom world, but seems like the old jungle rule is now being extended to company names as well.

Off the record

Dr Subir Gokarn believes in learning from other's mistakes. How risky it is to speak your mind if you are an RBI Deputy Governor, is the lesson that his senior colleague Dr K. C. Chakrabarty had learned the hard way last year. Dr Chakrabarty supposedly aired his thoughts on inflation and interest rates which were perceived as being contrary to the thinking on Mint Street. The result was he ostensibly went on to lose key portfolios. Now, Dr Gokarn has decided not to take a chance (with the media). He got the RBI to insert a warning in its Web site: “Note for Media: Please note that henceforth, Dr Subir Gokarn's speaking engagements in academic institutions will be completely off-the-record.” He seems to be going by the old maxim ‘Discretion is the better part of valour.'

Officially retired, but mail active

Siddartha Behura, the 2G scam-tainted official retired from the Department of Telecom (DoT) a few months ago, but if you send an email to the Secretary, DoT, it will still land in Behura's personal Yahoo mail. On the DoT Web site, if you click on the DoT Secretary's e-mail ID (secy-dot@nic.in) an Outlook Express window pops up into Behura's personal ID sidbehura@yahoo.co.inin the ‘To' address.

Curiously, this also happens in the case of Member (Technology) e-mail id which resolves into former Member K Sridhara's personal Hotmail. So, if people are sending official documents/information, thinking they are going to an official person, they may be landing at a retired official's inbox, even those arrested for criminal conspiracy.

Chaos in Connaught Place

In the run-up to the Commonwealth Games, it was construction activity that caused traffic snarls, and now Opposition parties have taken over the mantle to make sure traffic moves at a snail's pace in the heart of Delhi. This week saw protests from CPI (M) and BJP and protestors seem to be drawn to Jantar Mantar near Connaught Place like bees to honey. What the protestors achieved remains to be seen, but the immediate gains included curses from the city's public and promises of not voting for these parties in the next elections.

Merger pains passengers too

After the pain faced by employees of the state-owned airline Air India due to the merger, it would seem that now it is the turn of the passengers to face some inconvenience. A colleague wanted to make a booking on Saturday. He first tried the Web site where he found a message saying ‘We are changing' and ‘air ticket booking maintenance in progress'.

Thinking that the Web site may be down, our colleague called the airline office. Only to be told: “We are merging and our servers will not be available till 5 p.m,” This from an airline which is slowly and steadily losing market share. Surely, there are better ways of ensuring that the merger process is carried out more seamlessly.

Minister-CEO

The Andhra Pradesh Minister for IT and Communications, Ponnala Lakshmaiah, was being fondly referred to as ‘the CEO of the IT Ministry' at a recent curtain-raiser meet of the ‘Advantage AP' held at the Secretariat in Hyderabad.

Flaunting his new i-Pad, the Minister lived up to his moniker too. He was seen busy taking help from V. Rajanna, Vice-President of TCS. Lakshmaiah, a US-educated engineer, seems to have found his true moorings in his present portfolio as IT Minister after having presided over the Major Irrigation portfolio under the past two Chief Ministers. He was aptly dressed as a CEO as well.

A seed of discontent

The Indian Seed Congress, which was held in Hyderabad last week, witnessed an animated incident. At the EGM, a top seed producer came out (walked out?) of the room. His grouse was the EGM failed to announce Pune as the venue for the next edition of the congress. “I have been asking for this for long. They always hold this event in southern locations. Why not Pune,” he thundered. His anger only grew when his peers tried to pacify him, post-EGM. Hmm…a seed of discontent.

Mobile fear?

Along with firearms, cigarettes and water bottles, the ubiquitous mobile phone too seems to have attracted attention as a lethal weapon. With security concerns floating around everywhere, the handheld also joined the probable list of banned items inside the Bangalore cricket stadium during the World Cup. While this seems to be the thinking for the ‘larger good of people for security reasons', some members of the public, of course, were not too happy.

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Published on February 28, 2011
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