RESEARCH, REFERENCE & TRAINING DIVISION
(Ministry of Information & Broadcasting)
Vol.III 1-15 October 2000 19
October 10 Centre will soon take steps to prevent telecasting of obscene and undesirable material by foreign channels operating in the country.
October 13 Government is considering an option to amalgamate the three key Ministries of Information and Broadcasting, Communications and Information Technology into one "Super" Ministry.
October 11 A Russian and two US-based researchers bag the Nobel Prize in Physics for their pioneering work in information technology.
October 13 Noted Chinese novelist and playwright Gao Xingjian wins Nobel Prize in literature.
This fortnightly service brings to focus major national and international media events for record and reference by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and its media units.
Pankaj Mishra's The Romantics and Indian-American Mr. Akhil Sharma's An Obedient Father are in the race for Booker Prize 2000 nominations to be announced in London soon.
Three previous winners - Michael Ondaatje for Anil's Ghost, A.S.Byatt for The Biographer's Tale and Kazuo Ishiguro for When We Were Orphans - are the frontrunners in the nomination race for the 21,000 pound literary award, judged this year by a five-member jury headed by writer-journalist Simon Jenkins. Bestsellking author Rose Tremainand The Sunday Times Literary editor Caroline Gasoigne are also on the jury.
The Asian Age
European Film Festival
An eight-day European Union Film Festival showcasing 14 contemporary films focusing on city life in Europe, opened in New Delhi on October 6
Inaugurating the festival at Siri Fort, the Information and Broadcasting Minister, Ms. Sushma Swaraj said that the easy way to get familiar with a place was to watch a film of that country. Jointly organised by European Union Member State missions and the Directorate of Film Festivals, the festival began with Gerard Krawczyk's"Taxi-2" which has a record ride of 836 screenings in France.
French ambassador Bernard De Monteferrand said the festival would also explore possibilities of cooperation between India and Europe in cinema.
"It 's a way of explaining Europe to India These films will given an deeper understanding of Europe and help people understand the harmonious existence of the European Union," he said.
Emphasising the significance of interaction between India and the European Union, Doordarshan CEO, Mr. R.R Shah said the cinema enabled a greater understanding of cultures.
Ramakrishna Hedge, President of the Indo-French Initiative Forum, suggested a free flow of ideas as far as cultural exchanges were concerned. Among the others present on the occasion were I&B State Minister, Mr.Ramesh Bais and film-maker Shaji N.Karun.
The Hindustan Times
IT export to US
India's Software industry exports to the US are expected to reach $ 3.7 billion in 2000-2001 on the back of a US proposal to allow more Indian IT experts to work there. This was disclosed by Mr. Dewang Mehta, president of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) in New Delhi on October 8.
The decision of the US Congress to increase the number of H-1B visas to a record 195,000 a year for three years was more than a reflection the need for hi-tech workers. The manner the legislation was passed told a tale of the new found strength of Silicon Valley lobbyists on Capitol Hill. It also points to an incipient political alliance between the infotech industry and the Indian American Community
The Hindustan Times
The government will soon take steps to prevent telecasting of obscene and undesirable material by foreign channels operating in the country. This was stated by the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, in Agra on October 9
An advertising code would be enforced on these channels directing them about what was unacceptable for Indian viewers, violation of which would invite punishment, Mrs.Swaraj said.
Regarding the Prasar Bharati Bill, she said it will not be dropped but efforts would be made to get it approved.
Naming Bollywood's dream girl Ms. Hema Malini as its first-ever woman chairperson, the government has now appointed a senior Indian Information Service officer as managing director of the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC).
The appointments committee of the cabinet has approved the appointments of Ms.Hema Malini and Mr.Deepankar Mukhopadhay who until recently was functioning as officer on special duty in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The Committee has also approved the names of six part-time members of the NFDC board. They include filmakers Kiran Shantaram, Vijaya Mehta, and senior critic Sudhir Nandgaonkar who is presently director of the Mumbai International Film Festival.
The NFDC, which is the government's, body dealing in film trade, has been without a formal board and chairperson since well-known Telugu filmmaker D.V.S.Raju resigned.
Infosy net up 134 per cent
Leading IT companies Infosys and Satyam Computers overshot analyst expectations to announce that their profit during July-September 2000 had more than doubled over the same period last year.
While booming e-commerce revenues helped market favourite Infosys record a 134 per cent increase in net profit to Rs.154.01 crore in the quarter, the net profit of Satyam improved 118 per cent over the year-ago period owing partly to its "other income" going up owing to a weak rupee.
The Times of India
Plan to merge Communication, I&B and IT
The Union Government is considering an option to amalgamate the three key Ministries of Information and Broadcasting, Communications and Information Technology into one "super" Ministry.
The idea has been prompted by the fast changing technological scenario and the phenomenon of convergence, which is rapidly blurring the distinction between broadcasting, internet and voice communication.
Meanwhile, the Government is also awaiting the recommendations of a special committee, headed by noted jurist and Parliamentarian Fali S.Nariman for instituting a new communications law and a common regulatory authority for the three sunrise sectors of infotech, telecom and broadcasting.
The legislation for enabling this proposal is currently being drafted by the Nariman Committee, which had been vested with the responsibility of drafting a new law, to replace the archaic Indian Telegraph Act of 1865.
The Hindustan Times
French seeking Indian Infotech
The French government needs 10,000 software engineers and 40,000 technicians from India in order to bridge the manpower shortage in the information technology sector in France.
This was communicated to the Indian side during the meeting of the working group on information technology, which was held in France recently.
To meet the supply, however, the Indian government will have to take some measures to tide over the language barrier. For this, there are plans to introduce French into the curriculum of some of the Masters in Computer Application courses offered by various Indian Universities.
The 20 strong delegation led by Minister of Information Technology, Mr. Pramod Mahajan, including representatives from TEC, Wipro, L&T, Infosys among others, had visited France to deliberate upon the steps the two countries need to take in order to boost the software exports from India, which have grown only one per cent as compared to a 23 per cent raise in the country's soft ware exports to Europe in the last year.
The Hindustan Times
Nobel prize for physics
A Russian and two US-based researchers won the Nobel Prize in physics for work that has helped in laying the foundation of modern information technology and led to the creation of familiar, everyday devices like the pocket calculator and cellular phones.
Zhores I Alferov of the A F Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute in St.Petersburg, Russia and Herbert Kroemer, a German-born researcher at the Univesity of California at Santa Barbara will share half the prize for their work in developing technology used in satellite communications and cellular phones.
Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments will get the other half for his part in the invention and development of the integrated circuits and for being a co-inventor of the pocket calculator. The prize this year is worth nine million kronor ($9,15,000).
Hermann Grimmeiss, member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, said the work of the three men had been invaluable in the development of modern information technology. "Without Killey it would not have been possible to build the personal computers we have today, and without Alferov it would not be possible to transfer all the information from satellites down to the earth or to have so many telephone lines between cities," Grimmeiss said.
The Hindustan Times
Nobel prize for literature
Chinese-born Novelist and playwright Gao Xingjian, who left China in 1987 to settle in France, won the 2000 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Gao is the first literature laureate for six years to come from outside Europe, and the Swedish Academy's choice of the Chinese dissident is bound to upset authorities in Beijing, even though it honours one of the greatest living writers in the Chinese language.
Gao, 60, won the prize, worth about 9,00,000 dollars "for an oeuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and lingustic ingenuity, which has opened new paths for the Chinese novel and drama," the academy said in its citation.
One of his best known works is "Soul Mountain", in which he portrays an individual's search for roots, inner peace and liberty via an odyssey in time and space through the Chinese countryside.
Gao, who is now a French citizen, was born in 1940 and grew up in the aftermath of the Japanese invasion of China. He took degree in French but in China's Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976 he was sent to a re-education camp and burnt a suitcase full of manuscripts.
He was not able to publish or travel abroad until 1979. Many of his experimental plays produced in Beijing, were popular success but condemned by Community Party ideologues.
In 1986, his play "The Other Shore" was banned and since then none of his plays have been performed in China.
He left China in 1987 and settled a year later in Paris as a political refugee. After the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, in which demonstrators in Beijing were killed by the authorities, he left the Community Party.
He was declared "persona non grata" by the China's Government and his works were banned after the publication of a work that takes place against the background of the massacre.
Gao is a translator and director as well as a writer. He also paints in ink, providing the cover illustrations for his own books.
The Nobel prizes, first awarded in 1901, were created by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, who died in 1896.
The Hindustan Times