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vikram S kirloskar

Back To Office Not An Option For Many As Companies Give Up Office Space

Even as the corporate world rolls up its sleeves and prepares to get back to offices and tables, not everyone will be able to resume the daily commute. Some companies, including large multinationals, have cut their overheads by giving up their plush leased offices soon after work from home (WFH) became the norm (prevalent). So, the many who have got used to working while lounging comfortably in their pyjamas cannot, even if they – or their families – want to, as they no longer have a workplace to go back to (which they can start going) again. The Bengaluru-headquartered Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), which has its manufacturing facilities at Bidadi on the outskirts of the city, gave up the lease on its corporate office in the city’s posh Vasanth Nagar soon after the pandemic made it impossible for people to get to it. “We have decided to stick to WFH,” said the India-Japan joint venture’s vice chairman and managing director Vikram S Kirloskar. “When we need to have meetings, we can have them in a hotel instead of our own conference room. Anyway, people who need to come in from our other offices stay in a hotel.” Surely, the company is making huge savings by way of rents but are the employees really happy to WFH?
priyanka gandhi rally

Priyanka Vadra's Goa Campaign Sets the Cat Among The Pigeons, Over Congress Leadership

Is Priyanka Gandhi Vadra playing the ‘ladki hoon, lad sakti hoon’ card to empower women across the country or, is it more about just herself? Is she pushing the ladki issue merely to enlarge her own canvas within the Congress party? Why else would Priyanka be travelling outside Uttar Pradesh (UP) in the midst of heated poll campaigning and conducting herself like a super Mahila Congress president to spread the message about her Pink manifesto? This is a question party leaders are asking. In early December, within days of launching her Pink Manifesto for women in UP, promising 40% reservation for women candidates alongside tax sops for organisations represented by women as 50% of their workforce, Priyanka suddenly headed off to another poll-bound state of Goa. She spent an entire day there pitching her women’s agenda extensively. While many in the party believe Priyanka Vadra is looking to expand beyond her limited charge of Uttar Pradesh as AICC General Secretary, some party sources say Priyanka may strongly be competing with brother Rahul Gandhi to provide a new leadership to the Congress. Significantly, at the Mehangai Hatao Rally in Jaipur she addressed the crowd jointly with Rahul. With the Congress likely to fare poorly in the upcoming polls, Priyanka is perhaps already recalibrating for the aftershocks.

Photo : Fotocorp

Hell Hath No Fury As Mamata Scorned, TMC’s Mission Goa To Decimate Congress

TMC chief Mamata Banerjee has made acquiring Goa’s 40 assembly seats almost a prestige issue. She has apparently poured money to acquire political assets —  namely three sitting MLAs,  two belonging to the Congress — Luizinho Faliero and Alexio Reginaldo Lourenco, and one  from the NCP, Churchil Alemao, ahead of the Goa assembly elections slated next year. With Alexio’s exit, only two of the 17 MLAs elected in 2017 are left with the party. Going against its grain of procrastination, the Congress for the first time decided to go ahead with finalizing candidates and released the first list of eight candidates last week, just to prevent TMC from poaching its leaders. It was apparently former Union Minister P Chidambaram’s idea to halt the erosion of rank and file. Sources say the TMC was so livid with the Congress’ first list that poll strategist Prashant Kishor even boasted to a Goa leader that he would poach a candidate even after the list was finalised by Rahul Gandhi. He did it with Alexio joining TMC. AICC in charge Dinesh Gundurao was aware of this development. Well, If you want to know why no effort was made to stop this MLA from Curtorim from leaving the party, it was because the AICC made no offer to finance the elections.

Photo : Twitter

New Sacrilege Killing Cases, As Punjab CM Channi Tries Akalis For Past Instances

Two incidents of sacrilege, in a span of 24 hours, leading to two deaths, one at the Golden Temple in Amritsar and the other at a gurudwara in Kapurthala has shocked and raised hackles of everyone. The murderous assault on a man at Harmandir Sahib caught for the sacrilege by devotees seemed something akin to events in the run-up to Operation Blue Star in 1984 noted a Congress veteran. BJP leaders feel the sudden spike in religious violence could probably be an attempt to scuttle Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s move to get justice in an old sacrilege case — Bargari Case of 2015.  After all, Channi had changed the state DGP and was trying to bring Akalis to book. Looks like whenever Akalis are in trouble, they foment sectarian trouble. There was a spike in sacrilege incidents in the run-up to 2017 assembly polls. As for Channi, he is not in a happy place either. He is sort of sandwiched between two kinds of CMs — AICC in-charge Harish Chaudhury who functions like a super CM in Punjab, attends Cabinet meetings and a wannabe CM and PCC chief Navjot Sidhu.  While Chaudhury, a close Rahul aide, gives directions on running the government and enjoys facilities available to CM’s office, Sidhu simply avoids sharing any forum with Channi; he thinks he will be the CM post poll.

Sidhu's 'Thoko' Brand Of Politics Is Playing To The Gallery

The firebrand Navjot Sidhu is on the warpath again. He has seized upon the two incidents of sacrilege and subsequent lynchings as his ticket to dominating the Punjab poll scene. Amid the silence of Punjab’s political faces over the two lynchings, Sidhu is demanding public execution for those accused of desecrating religious texts. Sidhu knows this is a topic on which opposing political parties can tread only softly as they can’t be seen justifying lynching in a civilized country. The space is thus open for the Congress chief Sidhu to exploit the emotions that are attached to anyone playing the fool with religion and attempting sacrilege by attacking the holy text. Sidhu is alleging a “conspiracy against one community” and that fundamentalist forces are trying to disturb peace in Punjab. He had made an issue of the inaction over past attempts at the desecration of the Granth Saheb against which the government had not acted in time with due prosecution. Sidhu made it his plank against the then Congress CM Captain Amarinder Singh and dethroned him and got Charanjit Singh Channi installed. The CM has slammed the alleged sacrilege attempts but, chosen to remain silent on the lynchings. Sidhu has no qualms about it. He is virtually giving a license to the public to go after sacrilege while giving lip service to making laws stringent with a death sentence for sacrilege.

Photo : The Hans India

With Five Steel Giants’ Big Investments Odisha To Emerge As India’s Steel Capital

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is leaving no stone unturned to transform his state. And, the results appear to be showing.  It is reliably learnt that five steel giants have finalized mega investments in Odisha namely: Posco, ArcelorMittal, Tata Steel, Jindal Steel and JSW. While Posco has evinced an interest to invest once again, steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal’s ArcelorMittal has secured approval from the Patnaik government to set up a 24 MTPA greenfield integrated steel project at Kendrapara district. Similarly, Tata Steel will expand its Kalinga Nagar capacity from 3 MTPA to 8 MTPA; while Jindal Steel & Power will up its Anugul plant capacity from 6 MTPA to 25.2 MTPA. This will make JSPL’s Anugul plant the world’s largest single location steel plant. JSW, which acquired Bhushan Power & Steel plant located at Jharsuguda, will also ramp up capacity from 5 MTPA to 15 MTPA while the Rungta Mines’ Karakhendra plant capacity goes up from 0.53 MTPA to 3 MTPA.  If all goes as planned, Odisha will become the ‘Steel Capital’ of the country, driving national economic growth through steel production. The state had a mere 2 MTPA steel production capacity in 2000 compared to its steel production of 30 MTPA today and, plans to further increase it to 100 MTPA by 2030. Clearly, Odisha is setting the pace of development for India.
Lakshya Sen

Shuttler Lakshya Sen Wins BWF Bronze In Spain, Makes Prakash Padukone Proud

Huelva, in southwest Spain, delivered good tidings for men’s badminton in India and, particularly for the Bengaluru-based Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy (PPBA). Huelva was the venue for the season ending 2021 Badminton World Federation (BWF) Championship held last week, and the budding star from the PPBA, Lakshya Sen, reached the semi-finals before losing to countryman Kidambi Srikanth in a 69-minute three-setter. Sen won the bronze medal, but more significantly he has signalled his arrival into the big league. The world men’s singles field is replete with champion performers from Asia and Europe. Sen had lost to Denmark’s World No 1 Viktor Axelsen twice in Round Robin (second round) and the semi-finals of the previous week’s HSBC BWF World Tour Finals at Bali, Indonesia. He got a walkover from top gun Japanese Kento Momota due to injury and also from Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke but, he made the most of the following week’s World Championship upper half draw that was also weakened by injury related walkovers by Momota , Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie, France’s Toma Popov. Sen himself got a R32 walkover from German Max Weisskirchen. Sen needed all the luck, but he ran out of it against Srikant. The professional shuttler of four-plus years, Sen gives Indian Badminton plenty of hope.

Stalin's Rewarding Scheme for Good Samaritans: 5K Reward And No Pain of Prosecution For Taking Accident Victims To Hospital

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin announced a slew of welfare schemes in quick succession. Political watchers wonder if poll strategist Prashant Kishor still hand holds the DMK or, is it the Think Tank constituted by Stalin for reform that is behind these schemes? TN has been on top of its Corona vaccination priority alongside pandemic control. Health Minister M Subramaniam and his Health Secretary were fully primed to deal with every contingency. Consciously projecting an all-around presence in TN’s government landscape, Stalin announced the ‘Save A Precious Life’ scheme to render timely medical aid to accident victims. Accident victims are now entitled to free medical care for the first 48 hours, including the crucial golden hour, at government or notified private hospitals. As a further impetus, being a good samaritan no longer holds worries for citizens. Many victims remain unattended due to the fear of subsequent police inquisitions. Now, good samaritans would be rewarded Rs 5,000 each for taking accident victims to the hospital. The CM’s mass Health Insurance Scheme bagged the “e-India Jury Award” for best practices in the Health Insurance sector.  People can discern between mere populist announcements and tangible results on the ground. Lofty slogans must translate into real benefits is Stalin’s doctrine.
lulu mall_ twitter

Shashi Tharoor Practices & Preaches Development Sans Negative Politics.

Thiruvananthapuram’s Member of Parliament, Shashi Tharoor dons many hats. He’s famous as a wordsmith, ladies man, trend-setter on social media et al. Even as a politician, he takes on the high and mighty, even from his own party.  On December 16, at the launch of the biggest Lulu Mall of India in Trivandrum he hobnobbed with CPM Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, even praised him for his development agenda. This, when the Congress led-UDF has launched a concerted campaign against Vijayan’s controversial Rs 55,000 crore Silverline Rail project connecting Trivandrum and Kasaragod, aimed at accomplishing train travel from one tip of the state to the other in four hours flat. While UDF MPs petitioned the Union Railway Minister against the project, Tharoor refused to fall in line to demand more time and discussion before inking of the deal. This is Tharoor’s way of getting back at fellow MPs and party colleagues who backed the Communist government’s blockade of the privatization of Thiruvananthapuram airport. The Congress was against the airport being handed over to Adani although it was the Congress-led UDF’s erstwhile government that handed over Thiruvananthapuram’s greenfield deep-sea port to Adani. For Tharoor, development sans negative politics is the new mantra. Political conversations abound on how he would make a better leader of Opposition in Parliament than Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
armaan_ Kohli

Photo : Fotocorp

Why Bollywood Insider Armaan Kohli Did Not Make It Big?

When Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan was arrested in the drugs-on-cruise liner case the whole of tinseltown came out in support for him. The same spontaneity was missing when actor Armaan Kohli was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau in August 2021. Bollywood’s silence is peculiar, given its penchant to make stars of controversial actors in the past and, may be due to multiple earlier police cases against Kohli. With Bombay High Court rejecting his bail plea, Armaan’s only option is the Supreme Court now. The 49-year old actor, son of renowned film maker Rajkumar Kohli and actress Nishi, was always a maverick since his foray into Bollywood in 1992 with Virodhi.  Since then, many interesting offers that came his way were turned down by him. For instance, Shah Rukh Khan became his replacement in Deewana and an overnight star. Though 15 films old, success has eluded Kohli so far, despite his filmy family, by his own doing, says an industrywallah. Still, Salman Khan featured him in Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo and even Bigg Boss. At the Bigg Boss house Kohli befriended Tanisha Mukerji and many felt they would settle down. That was not to be. What does the future hold for Armaan considered a very good looking actor before Hrithik Roshan had arrived? Only time will tell!


Editor’s Note: Big Punch In Small Pack

It is the Third Anniversary of Short Post and as a news media startup launched during the Covid-19 pandemic it certainly feels better than good to find ourselves where we are today. Here, I must cite the unstinted support of our seasoned contributors, all senior editors in the country, who brought a great degree of maturity and sagacity to the Short Post newsroom. But for them, our tagline “Authentic Gossip”, an Oxymoron, would not have matured viably. Our user numbers may be small but our stories have created the desired impact among people who matter — decision makers and influencers. We offer a big punch in a small pack and Short Post with its 225-word stories has been punching above its weight category. Having posted close to 3,000 stories in the last 36 months, Short Post, I feel, is an idea whose time has come.
And this is vindicated by our two marquee advertisers – IDFC FIRST Bank and ICICI Lombard. Both believed in our story and have supported us from Day one. A big thank you to both.
If you look at the media landscape – print, TV and digital — it is a mixed bag. There are job losses as some outfits have closed down while a lucky few were bailed out by large corporate houses. Yes, there is a lot of action in the digital space. However, the entry of corporate houses has raised the question of independence of news media outfits. Sadly, there are just a handful of independent media outfits in the country that are highly respected for their neutrality. At Short Post, our credo is not to take sides, prejudge issues or be biased but, informing readers of behind-the-scenes happenings. In essence, Short Post strives to be a neutral editorial platform — neither anti-establishment nor pro-establishment.
As I said last year, disruptions in the media world are moving at a fast and furious pace. Technology is playing a very big role in how content is generated and consumed. But, we are neither alarmed nor perturbed as it is all a part of the evolution process. What gives us comfort is that AI is unable to create original gossipy content. And that is the news arena where we have achieved a distinction.