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Newsletter. Issue 2008-25. December 06, 2008

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India News Clips

Cardinal Oswald Gracias Expresses Condolences, Offers Church?s Support

MUMBAI, NOV. 28, 2008, 10.00 Hrs (Nirmala Carvalho / AsiaNews): Mumbai Archbishop and Catholic Bishops? Conference of India (CBCI) vice-President, Cardinal Oswald Gracias has condemned the attacks in Mumbai. He has offered the assistance of all Catholic medical centres to help tend the wounded. The Cardinal sends condolences to the victim's families. He has pledged full cooperation with police and invites the international community to be close to the nation.

Sorrow for the terrible attack which has devastated the city and the nation, and condemnation of the folly of this "senseless logic of violence", fed by "brainwashing" that is provoked by ideologies: this is how Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai, reacted to the terrorist attack in an interview with AsiaNews.

He underlines the "shame" of an attack which also targeted tourists, in a city that has always distinguished itself for its "tolerance" and "shared respect among cultures and religions". He invites the international community to take into account and take action to "defeat the logic of evil with good and promote peace".

Here, below, we publish the Archbishops' appeal given to AsiaNews correspondent Nirmala Carvalho. "Our words cannot express our shock at this incident; I am deeply saddened by this attack on our city and on our beloved nation as a whole.

The Church in India condemns this attack in the strongest possible terms. Innocent and unconnected people have been killed. Very brave police officers have been killed. Mumbai has been the target of different terrorist groups. The Church offers our deepest sympathy to the families of those who lost their dear ones, and the Church in Mumbai places all our medical services at the assistance of those who have been injured.

We must fight together as a nation and as a united people to combat the terrorists. We must never give up hope because ultimately hope will prevail. It is Christian to always hope. Good will triumph, evil will be overcome, this is our hope.

Regrettably, senseless violence goes on and there may be reprisals, we ? all of us-must consider creating a feeling of intolerance against divisive forces, against elements that sow seeds of mistrust and suspicion in the minds of our people. We must create a climate where every citizen is alert and such incidents can immediately be reported to the intelligence agencies and enable the government and our security agencies to take steps earlier. The important thing today is to be together.

Mumbai is our city, where mutual tolerance and understandings between cultures and religions has prevailed despite of the attempts to rip apart our city, now we will continue to build bridges of understanding between peoples, cultures and religions. We must overcome evil with good and seek peace.

This terror attack, was not an act of the people who love our country, this is not India, and this is not Mumbai. Mumbai is a very tolerant and brave city. India is a great country and very tolerant. These are all misguided people who are brain washed who probably think what they are doing is right and that every thing is ok. It's terrible what they have done. They're harming innocent people and disturbing the peace."

"This tragedy snuffed out the lives of many foreign national and this is a matter of immense shame. India is known for her hospitality, we ask for forgiveness for this aberration done in our city??.but please- do not write Mumbai off, India is a great county, Mumbai is a great city, you are also welcome here.

The people who carried out these deadly attacks, are misguided people, who have been deluded and brainwashed into the ideologies and propaganda of the cause, but this is madness, they bring death, fear , panic and disrupt the harmony and lives of the city and county??darkness of chaos.
But we do not despair, we do give up Hope that Goodness will prevail that God will lead us from darkness of chaos to Light Peace and Harmony.

God Bless our city Mumbai!
God Bless India!

First Batch Of Christians Leaves For Holy Land On A.P. Govt. Subsidy

HYDERABAD, Andhra Pradesh(SAR NEWS) -- The first batch Christian pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh left for the Holy Land, Jerusalem, November 24, under the State government?s subsidised tour plan.

Speaking at a function to mark the departure of 51 pilgrims here, Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy said that a thousand pilgrims would be sent to the Holy Land this year, for which the government has allotted rupees 20 million (Rs 2 crore). The subsidised tour to Jerusalem would be extended next year depending on this year?s experience, he added.

The cost for each trip is rupees 56,000. The government would contribute nearly rupees 20,000 subsidy and the remaining amount would have to be borne by the pilgrim, said Reddy, who is also a Christian.

Reddy had announced the subsidy tour plan for Christians December 21 last year. ?The government has realised the Chief Minister?s promise within a year,? said Minority Welfare Minister, Mohammed Ali Shabbir, who was also present at the function

However, Archbishop Marampudi Joji of Hyderabad said Christians in the state had been seeking part-sponsorship of the pilgrimage to Holy Land for the last ten years, and the government had fulfilled their wish only now.


Don Bosco Opens First Catholic University in India
(SAR News)?
Sent: November 29, 2008 4:47:41 AM

GUWAHATI, Assam (SAR NEWS) -- Don Bosco University (DBU) Guwahati, Assam, the first Catholic university set up under the new government legislation, will be inaugurated on December 6, 2008. The earlier inaugural programme scheduled for October 31 was postponed due to the serial bomb blast that rocked Guwahati and left 81 people dead and over 200 people injured, October 30. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and four State ministers (Education, Health, Power and Social Welfare) will attend the function along with a galaxy of eminent civil and church personalities of the region.

"We are focusing on teaching, research and consultancy on three core areas: technology, service and social sectors with the declared objectives of working with cutting-edge technology, ensuring the employability of the graduates and their capacity to transform society," says Vice-Chancellor-designate Dr. Stephen Mavely in an interview with Radio Vatican in the Vatican, November 26.

While Information Technology and Biotechnology dominate the Technology sector, Nursing, Pharmacology and Para-Medical, Psychology, Counseling, Management, Media, Teacher Education, Social Work and Rural Development are other subjects of the Service sector. Teaching and research on Religion and Culture, Ethics, Governance and Tribal studies will be the forte at DBU as North East India has a concentration of over 200 distinct tribal groups.

Engineering Courses Started in August

The first constituent College of Don Bosco University, Don Bosco College of Engineering and Technology (DBCET), Airport Road, Azara, launched its engineering programmes in August 2008. The new campus, located 15 km from state capital Dispur, when completed will nestle in a 230 acre tea garden.

"Currently DBCET offers Engineering Courses in four streams - Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering and Electrical Engineering for 240 students. When fully operational, it will have a full complement of 1,500 students in various streams of engineering," says DBU Registrar-designate Dr. Basil Koikara. "We have now 60 boys and girls in the college hostel while DBCET bus, as well as city buses, and car pools bring students from the city and neighbouring towns," adds Dr. Koikara.

"State-of-the-art, tastefully furnished computer lab with over 70 computers networked under Windows 2003 server and Linux Computing Centre with 30 Internet enabled computers to serve the day-to-day computing needs of students," says Campus Ministry coordinator Salesian Sister Celine D'Cunha showing the language lab equipped with 30 student consoles, language lab software and digitised audio and video material to develop interactive language skills.

Don Bosco Background Story

"Don Bosco Society came to Northeast India 85 years ago and has 8 colleges and 118 high schools with dozens of formal and non-formal technical schools," says DBU liaison officer Dr. Peter Paul Hauhnar.

Don Bosco in India is 100 years old and has some 5,000 Fathers, Brothers and Sisters running 27 colleges and over 100 technical schools.


CBC Video On India

Bangalore - Electronic City
November 24, 2008 (Runs 10:09)
A cool oasis one thousand metres above sea level, Bangalore is India's city of research and knowledge, where all the high tech heavyweights have set up

Program note: Our series on India continues until Thursday, November 27 on The National and on this website.

Visit CBC Digital Archives' online feature India: Colonial Past, Global Future. India is the world's largest democracy and its second most populous, but for decades its image was mainly that of a poor nation with a rich history. Shaken by periodic religious strife and still largely a rural and agricultural country, India has nevertheless emerged in the new millennium as an increasingly important global player. From its colonial origins to the bright lights of Bollywood, CBC Digital Archives presents a collection of clips about India past and present.


Indian IT firms unfazed by Obama's tax plans
Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:23pm IST
By Amitha Rajan

BANGALORE (Reuters) - Indian IT and IT-services companies seem undaunted by the potential impact from U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's proposal to repeal tax breaks for companies that outsource certain operations to offshore centers.

"I don't see Obama doing anything terribly drastic. I think he has enough on his plate; he has got a trillion-dollar bailout and probably got another trillion dollars coming on top of that which he has to finance," Genpact Ltd's (G.N: Quote, Profile, Research) Chief Executive Pramod Bhasin said at the Reuters India Investment Summit.

Obama's tax plans are unlikely to affect the outsourcing industry because of the scarcity of IT talent in the United States, Suresh Senapaty, chief financial officer of Wipro Ltd (WIPR.BO: Quote, Profile, Research), told the summit, held at Reuters Bangalore office. Over the past few years, IT-services firms armed with competitive, English-speaking professionals working for relatively cheap wages have cashed in on an outsourcing boom. But they are now experiencing a lull in growth as the U.S. economy faces one of the worst crises in history.

Obama's plans to encourage U.S. firms to keep jobs in the country have raised concerns that Indian IT-services firms could lose out as more services are retained in the United States. "Barack Obama will repeal tax breaks that reward corporations that retain their earnings overseas, and will use those savings to lower corporate tax rates for companies that expand or start operations in the United States," according to Obama's website, www.barackobama.com.

With unemployment rates in the United States rising and Wall Street giants collapsing, merging or rushing to chop their workforces to mitigate costs, Obama faces growing political pressure to keep jobs at home. But IT industry experts concur with the view of Indian firms that the policies of Obama, who will be the first African-American president of the United States, may not be so taxing after all. Currently, the U.S. Internal Revenue Code allows corporations to offset losses in overseas jurisdictions against profits made in the United States, analysts Kishore Belai and Shashi Bhusan of Macquarie Research Equities said in a research report earlier this month.

The code also allows companies operating through subsidiaries overseas not to pay taxes on profits made by the units unless those profits are directed back to the United States, they said. The tax plan proposed by Obama, who will be sworn in as president on Jan. 20, seeks to revoke this benefit. "Such provisions may have the perverse effect of making U.S. companies uncompetitive in overseas markets rather than deterring offshoring," the Macquarie analysts said.

Indian IT-services companies like Infosys (INFY.BO: Quote, Profile, Research), Wipro and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS.BO: Quote, Profile, Research) could get an edge over U.S. companies such as Cognizant (CTSH.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and IBM (IBM.N: Quote, Profile, Research), they said.

The India-domiciled companies will continue to pay lower taxes, while Cognizant and IBM will have to pay out more, the analysts said. "It is not very tangible because he (Obama) cannot dictate what companies do or do not do," Avinash Vashistha, CEO of Tholons, an investment advisory and management consultant firm, told Reuters.

Vashistha said it would be easier for Obama to control jobs that are going offshore in the manufacturing sectors such as textiles and autos. "But as far as the (IT and BPO) services jobs are concerned, we expect no changes," he said.

Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, the director of advisory services at Zinnov Management Consulting Pvt Ltd, believes companies probably need to adopt a "wait and watch" policy to see how many of Obama's tax plans are actually implemented. "These are uncertain times. You can't really make some very insightful statements. We are closely watching the situation," Anantha Radhakrishnan, a vice president at Infosys BPO, said at the summit.

But currently, he does not expect to see any fundamental changes in the outsourcing environment due to Obama's plans. Zinnov's Ramalingegowda said, "On the one hand (Obama) has said he is going to take away some of the tax breaks, and on the other hand he has said, very categorically, that the trend of outsourcing cannot be reversed."

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