Japanese Pharma Firm Acquires India’s Ranbaxy


June 13 – At a time when Indian compnaies are snapping up international conglomerates worldwide, India's largest pharmaceutical company Ranbaxy was sold to Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo Co for an estimated US$4.6billion, the largest buy out of an Indian company till date.

The agreement allows Daiichi Sankyo to buy at least 50.1 percent of the Indian generic drug maker's voting rights through March 2009, the Japanese company said in a statement.

Adding Ranbaxy's network, Daiichi Sankyo can more than double its global reach from the current 21 countries to 56, the Japanese company said.

The Monsoons Wash Up on India


June 10 – The much awaited monsoon washed up on India's south western coast earlier this month. Providing a much needed respite from the dreaded heat that can reach 45 degrees celcius, the Indian monsoom brings with it joy and disease. While low lying areas drown in a downpour, cities become a swirl of traffic and diseases, nonetheless Indians all look forward to the frenzy of the monsoon.

In India the monsoon is not just a season, it has social, political and economical connotations to the Indian. The rainy season brings with it a reason to enjoy India's verdant hill stations and throw rain dance parties, it is also integral to the economy.

Fuel prices rise by 10 percent


June 5 – India's government on Wednesday boosted fuel prices for the second time in a year to stem huge losses at state-run oil firms, stirring widespread political anger and worries about higher inflation.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh defended the hike in a nationally televised address, saying Indian oil companies were under huge stress as a result of record high global oil prices, reported the AFP.

India, which imports 70 percent of its oil needs to feed its fast-growing economy, raised petrol prices by five rupees (12 cents) a litre and diesel by three rupees — or 11 and 9.4 percent respectively based on pump prices in the capital.

India’s Best Football Club Will Play in Asian Champions League


May 28 – In a major boost to club football in India, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has chosen India as one of the 11 participants in the revamped 2009 Champions League. The champions of I-League, the professional league in the country, will take part in the Champions League, Indiatimes reported.

Japan, South Korea, Australia, China, Indonesia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Iran were the other countries which were recommended by the committee for the 2009 AFC Champions League to be re-launched on completely professional lines.

India – Pakistan work to dissolve differences


May 23 – India and Pakistan agreed to give consular access to each other’s prisoners and increase cross-border bus service in the disputed region of Kashmir during talks between the countries’ foreign ministers. The small concessions were considered a sign of progress between the nuclear powers. Shah Mehmood Qureshi, foreign minister of Pakistan, said talks were “very frank,” while India’s foreign minister, Pranab Mukherjee, said the two countries “have to cover a long distance.” The governments plan to meet again in July, reported the New York Times.

India’s social welfare better than many Asian nations


May 21 – The Asian Development Bank has ranked India 10th among 31 Asia-Pacific countries in providing social security like health care, education and child welfare to its people reported Businessweek.

India ranked above China and Malaysia, but below Uzbekistan, Mongolia, South Korea and Japan, which topped the ADB's Social Protection Index (SPI).

The ADB, in the new Index, has established that providing social protection is not subject to the wealth of a nation. Even poor countries like India can afford to provide social cover in the form of health insurance, labour market, child protection, education among other things, if there is government will.

A booming automobile market


May 16 – The Indian car crazed consumer has never had it so good before. The Indian automobile landscape is sporting the best and the cheapest. And the icing on the cake, is the marriage between technology and price. Automobiles will be powered with the best technology yet sport most consumer-friendly price tags. From a four-wheeler, coming at meagre price of Rs 1 lakh (US$2,350) to the high-speed luxury super bikes that will lighten you purse of Rs 50 lakh (US$120,000). The Indian market is ready to nurture these new age mean machines and get used to the variety in price ranges, reports the Economic Times.

Experts believe that with a wide variety of options, for customers price will become the most important deciding factor and only then can auto makers garner volumes. So the niche bikes are expected to garner annual sales of only 3,000 units annually in India. As far as the Nano story goes, the number of customers opting to drive around in it could be in lakhs. “While the high-priced bikes would satisfy the niche segment, Tata Motors’ product would be commuter-driven.

Renault-Nissan and India’s Bajaj Auto Anounce India’s Second Inexpensive Car


May 13 – Close on the heels of the Tata's US$2,500 Nano announcement, Nissan Motor Co. of Japan and its French partner Renault SA will form a joint venture with Indian motorcycle maker Bajaj Auto Ltd. to produce a minicar in India that will cost as little as $2,500 reported the Wall Street Journal.

The budget car, which would cost 100,000 rupees in India, is so far only known as "Codename ULC." The joint venture would be 50 percent owned by Bajaj Auto, 25 percent by Renault and 25 percent by Nissan, a statement said.

The ULC will be produced at a factory to be built at Chakan, Maharashtra, in western India. It will eventually produce 400,000 units a year, the two groups said. Mr. Ravikumar, Bajaj Auto's vice president in charge of business development said the car will be exported using the global sales network of Nissan and Renault.

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