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News Digest: RCOM, Consim, Justdial, Etisalat DB, MNP & More

Smart Cards Under The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY)

A total of 3,445,762 smart cards have been issued this year alone in 21 states under The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY). The Government of Rajasthan has discontinued the scheme and the remaining states except Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are in the process of implementation of the scheme.

Reliance Communications Under-Reported Rs. 1000-1500 Crores In Revenue

After a special audit team gave the telco a clean chit, telecom minister A Raja continues to proclaim that Reliance Communications under-reported Rs. 1000 – 1500 crore in revenues during 2006-07 and 2007-08 and said the DoT is examining the case. He further added that the Government might have lost about Rs. 250 crore due to this.  (Read more at Business Standard)

CommunityMatrimony & Bharatmatrimony To Integrate Twitter Accounts

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CommunityMatrimony.com, a part of Consim Info that owns over 300 community based matrimony portals has integrated Twitter updates, allowing 5 lakh registered members to add their Twitter updates to their matrimony profile. They’ll do the same next with BharatMatrimony.com, which has 20 million members. Does Twitter have 25 lakh members from India?

Etisalat Accuses COAI Of Being Biased

So a split between new and incumbent operators: new telco Etisalat DB India (previously Swan Telecom) has accused industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) of representing the views of Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular only and has asked TRAI not to consider COAI’s recommendations as being representative of the entire GSM industry. Etisalat DB has licenses to operate in 15 circles but has not rolled out yet. (Read more at The Economic Times)

Google Denies Prenatal Sex Determination Ads

Google has denied allegations of hosting advertisement for prenatal sex determination which is illegal in India. The company said that it follows a “strict policy” as per law and does not post such ads in response to the allegations made by CPI-M leader Brinda Karat in the Rajya Sabha. Under the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act, any entity indulging in sex determination advertisements is liable for imprisonment and a fine in India. (Read more at Hindustan Times)

Mobile Number Portability Likely To Be Implemented By 31st December, 2009

No confirmation that MNP will be delayed, yet. The Department of Telecom has said that the first phase of the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is likely to be implemented by 31st December 2009 in metro cities and Category A service areas (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka service areas). Necessary licence agreements for enabling MNP were signed in April 2009.

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USO Fund To Boost Rural Tele-Density And Broadband Reach

The rural tele-density of India is 18.97% and urban is 101.38% – to remove this disparity, Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) has launched a scheme to provide subsidy support for setting up and managing 7437 number of infrastructure sites (towers) in 500 districts spread over 27 states, for provision of mobile services in the specified rural and remote areas, where there is no existing fixed wireless or mobile coverage in the country. As on 31, October 2009, 6648 towers have been set up under this scheme.

USO Fund will also support broadband connectivity to rural and remote areas as the Indian Telegraph Act 1885 has been amended accordingly. An agreement has been signed by USO Fund with BSNL for providing wire-line broadband connections to 28,000 rural areas by 2014. The subsidy will be for broadband connections, Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), computer/computing devices, setting up of kiosks for public access to broadband services. The estimated subsidy flow is Rs. 1500 crores.

Metro Shoes Launches Shopping Portal

Metro Shoes, a retail footwear chain in India, has launched its online shopping portal that will feature its entire range of footwear products and accessories. The website will also sell products from other brands such as Woodland, Red Tape, Lee Cooper, Reebok, Nike and Puma. (Read more at Alootechie)

Karthik S Joins Edelman India

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Edelman India has appointed Karthik S as Head of Digital Strategy (India). Karthik will focus on developing and expanding Edelman’s digital offerings in India. Prior to this, he was employed at public relations agency Text 100 in Bangalore where he was in charge of new business and social media communication initiatives.

Syed Safawi Quits As Executive Director of Airtel

Syed Safawi, Executive Director, Bharti Airtel has quit his post and may take up a top management position with a Mumbai based telecom company. Prior to Bharti in 2007, Safawi was country manager and CEO with Coca-Cola, Indochina according to Economic Times. (Read more at CXOtoday)

Motorola To Expand Wireless Broadband R&D In India

Motorola is all set to expand its investment, research capabilities and headcount for wireless broadband technology R&D centres in India. At present, Motorola has around 500 engineers and invests $30-40 million annually in India for development of 4G wireless broadband technologies like WiMax and Long Term Evolution (LTE). WiMAX spectrum auction in India is slated immediately after the 3G auction. (Read more at Trading Markets)

Ozone Media Plans To Launch Video Ad Network

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Well, it’s been over a year since it first announced plans for a video ad network: Internet advertising network Ozone Media now says that it will launch a video ad network early next year. At present, its priority is to first strengthen its ad channel for women, Eva. The company claims to have added more than 150 clients in 2009. (Read more at e4m)


Switch to JustDial? Not if you spam me (by Nikhil Pahwa)

I’ve been getting spam regularly from random people telling me to switch from Google to JustDial. It’s quite sad, frankly, but then how many websites automatically add users to their newsletter database without permission? A sample of the mail:

Subject: Dear Nikhil Pahwa, If you can’t find it in google try JUSTDIAL.COM

Dear Nikhil Pahwa,

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I strongly recommend this website www.justdial.com. It’s a world class local search service & I’ve always found anything I’ve ever wanted.

You can find info on any company, product, or service in over 240 cities in India.

You can also call them up 24×7, on phone (69999999), a local call in 240 Indian cities.

Ask for anything, you’ll get the info on the phone and/or by SMS within 30 secs, and this service is absolutely FREE!

For a change, it’s an original Indian idea and an Indian company with world class service, and with a vision to spread all over the world.

Be a proud Indian and forward this to every Indian you know.

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Best Wishes,

*** (name removed)

Reliance Big TV Launches Gujrati Content

Reliance Communications’ DTH Service Reliance Big TV is introducing Gujarati content on its Pay Per View channels. The company has bought DTH rights to premiere hit Gujrati Films from December 9th which will cost users Rs 50 for a 24-hour access.

Indiatimes Tie-Up With Rechargeitnow.com

Indiatimes has tied-up with Rechargeitnow.com for a co-branded site to provide recharge for prepaid mobiles and DTH. Rechargeitnow boasts a zero percent convenience charge. (Read more at pluggd.in)

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K&V Media Launch K&V Interactive

Integrated marketing communications agency, K&V Media has ventured into the digital space with a new agency called K&V Interactive. K&V Interactive will offer integrated online marketing solutions to its clients and has already bagged the total digital plan of Networth Direct and Jagran Social Welfare Society, for both Leeds Met India & JICM. (Read more at E4M)

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