Thursday, January 31, 2008

7,000 Young!

OTFS has broken the 7,000 visitors' mark. With a new logo, new identity and higher quality, we are proud to have written over 300 posts and adding more each day. In January, we added over 65 posts, the highest for any month since our inception in early 2007.

OTFS will slow down a little in February on account of the oncoming Board Exams (IPE), although an update on each and every exam will be made available.

We look forward to more feedback from our readers. With Project Ticker already off the mark, we hope to raise the Business Desk to a whole new level. Watch this space for more.


GDP Data

Released on Jan. 31, 2008 by the Reserve Bank of India

Hillary's Sun Shines

Hillary Clinton defeated rival Democrat Barack Obama in the Florida Primaries. However, she won no delegates, as the party had penalised the state for pushing up its primary. Sen. Clinton won 50% of the votes, with Obama trailing at 14%. Meanwhile, John Edwards came a disappointing third and CNN reports that he is dropping our of the race.

A CNN Exit Poll found that nearly 90% of voters found Hillary Clinton the most able commander-in-chief. 99% of precincts have reported their results.

On the Republican side, John McCain emerged the winner with 36 of votes, followed by Mitt Romney (31%) and Rudy Guiliani (15%). There are indications that Guiliani, who invested most of his time and capital into Florida, will be dropping his bid.

On both sides, older voters (60+ years) made up most of the voters.

OTFS with Inputs from CNN

Online Services could be Disrupted

An underwater sea cable connecting India and Europe via Alexandria has been damaged by a ship, disrupting normal Internet activities and International calls, NDTV Reports. Services in Dubai have been affected badly, while Internet capability in India has been slashed by half.



Sri Chaitanya IIT Academy, SR Nagar, Hyderabad, Jan. 31: The college has released the timings of tomorrow's Environmental Education exam (IPEEE). Students will have to come to college at 9:00 AM, while the exam will be held in the IIT Campus from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

Counselor Mrs. Uma has told JIIT1 that the exam would be exceedingly easy and it was just to qualify for IPE. Students are requested to bring their provisional hall tickets tomorrow. Answer sheets will be provided by the college.

English Exam
Pre-Final 1 English (PF1E) rated easy but lengthy on the Instant Poll today. Students said that grammar was somewhat difficult.

The last Pre-Final Exam, Second Language (PF1L) will be held the day after tomorrow.

Confusion over Marks
here was considerable confusion over the Chemistry (PF1C) marks, as the Principal had asked the JLs not to award full marks to anybody. There were also rumours that 59.5 would be rounded off to 59, not 60.

However, the matter was sorted out in the end. Sushobhan Sen in J1 leads with full marks in all optionals. (OTFS)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Which one is more Popular?

Interestingly, Orkut and Facebook, the two most-talked about social networking sites, show variation in their respective Mumbai and Hyderabad communities.

The Orkut Hyderabad Community boasts of over 79,000 members, far ahead of the Orkut Mumbai Community (41,000 members). But surprisingly, the Mumbai community on Facebook has over 10,000 members and the Hyderabad Community has next to no members!

So what's the reason? Is Orkut more popular in Hyderabad and Facebook in Mumbai? Or is the Groups culture on Facebook not as strong as the Communities culture on Orkut? It could be any of these! Or it could be none at all!

I, being a former Mumbaikar and a current Hyderabadi, personally feel that Facebook has more class, oomph and sophistication. And hey, the best always choose the best!

Our New Logo Set

OTFS has begun its restructuring. As a part of it, we have introduced some new logos to replace our old ones. Here are some of the new logos.

Our new while-black-n-red logo, replacing the original blue logo

For all our exclusive stories

For our real-time updates

For the REALLY big news

And there'll be plenty more as we move ahead on the road to 500 posts!

Review: Beta

Website: Beta
Company: NDTV Convergence
Genre: Business News and Finance
Pros: Clear interface, innovative use of technology, calculators
Cons: Difficult site navigation, obsolete news ticker
Rating: *** of 5
This website is still in BETA

India's No. 1 Business News Channel has lacked a foothold in the online arena for years now: although NDTV Profit is the undisputed king of the Bombay Stock Exchange, rules the online roost.

But now, NDTV Convergence has overhauled and added a host of features to it. There's now an instant Income Tax calculator, MF Search customised to your needs, a guest columns section and much more.

The interface, similar to that of the ET, is appealing and the navigation is a million times better than its predecessor. Although, a long-time loyalist of Profit like me would miss the Flash Sensex Chart. The industry-specific news segment is very useful as is the personal finance segment. Although, more than just three headlines on the homepage would definitely help.

As far as technology goes, NDTV Convergence has used it well. Instead of listing all 30 Sensex or all 50 Nifty stocks with their price changes, or simply listing the top movers of the day (both of which use up a lot of space), the new vertical marquee showing all the stocks in the least possible space deserves a thumbs-up.

However, the navigation is difficult. If you know exactly which industry the news you're looking for belongs to, it's easy to look for it. But if what you're looking for doesn't fall into a specific category, you're going to face a lot of trouble finding the relevant story. Plus, you need to navigate to a different page to add you're comments. Why not keep a comments box on the same page, like YouTube?

The news ticker is pretty old-fashioned. While has a great ticker on top, this one is more of a blot than an attraction. Perhaps it could simply use a ticker similar to the one on NDTV Profit?

And lastly, the video on the right either needs to be scrapped or set to DON'T PLAY so that it doesn't eat up bandwidth without you wanting it to!

To sum it up, this beta version still has a lot of kinks, but it also has a lot of potential. What NDTV Convergence needs to do is take in a lot of feedback and incorporate it into the final version. But until they do that, you can be sure of one thing: whatever the pros and cons, you'll always find news you can use!

Review by OTFS

DC's New Business

Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd. (OTFS:* DC) has decided to launch a new business nespaper, effectively tapping a INR 5 bn advertising market. The company, which posted an Oct.-Dec. net profit of Rs. 1.03 bn, says that the paper would concentrate on business in the south, unlike other papers that tend to report happenings in and around Mumbai and Delhi.

Other players in the field include Business Standard, The Hindu Business Line and the Economic Times, apart from the Financial Express and the WSJ's India venture with HT Media (OTFS:* HTM), Mint. (Reuters)

*OTFS Orange ticker part of Project Ticker.

JIIT1 Allowed to go Home


Sri Chaitanya IIT Academy, SR Nagar, Hyderabad, Jan. 29: The VP shocked everyone again by allowing students of JIIT1 to go home as early as 4:00 PM. No other class was conferred this privilege. The reason for this seems to be a request from a section of students who wished to study for the IPE Non-optionals English (PF1E) and Second Language (PF1L) at home.

In another interesting development, she also advised the students of J1 to skip the IIT Grand Test on Feb. 10 if they wished to. Never before has such an offer been made. Students have told OTFS that they would consider the matter fully.

IPE Results
In other news, the results of the Physics Pre-Final (PF1P) exam came in today. A few students in J1 clinched a full mark. Mrs. Jhansi took the students who scored abysmally low marks, such as 44/60, to task. She also added that she expeted good results from students in IPE.

Mrs. Jhansi has told OTFS exclusively hat J1's English paper would be corrected by English HOD Mrs. Latika, which means that students could not write any nonsense in their paper.

What's up tomorrow?
A straw poll conducted by OTFS showed that a majority of students would be absent tomorrow to study for the upcoming exam,s including Environmental Education (IPEEE), which acts as a qualifier to the IPE Exam. (OTFS)

Notice: The OTFS logical code for the IPE 08 exams is IPE[subject code].

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Padma Shri for Journalism

This year's winners definitely deserved the Padma Shri. Thanks to them, India journalism will never be the same.
Clockwise CNN-IBN Managing Editor Rajdeep Sardesai, NDTV India consultant Vinod Dua and NDTV 24x7 Managing Editor Barkha Dutt.

Old Wine, Very New Bottle


Sri Chaitanya IIT Academy, SR Nagar, Hyderabad, Jan. 28: Today's IIT Unit Test-10 came in a new package. The new ICON Series of OMR Sheets were unveiled to the students. The exceptional features of this new sheet are:
  • Designed exclusively for IITJEE-based tests, as per IITJEE-2008 format
  • Multi-matching 4x4 matrix provided
  • The circles just about touch each other, making it infinitely more dangerous to mark your answer without precision
  • No place to write your class
The second feature - the 4x4 matrix - is what students feared the most. In JIIT1, students claimed that of the 108 marks awarded to match-the-following questions, everybody was sure to lose at least 80 marks! Consequently, the maximum mark is also expected to be low.

The Instant Poll says
The instant poll rated Paper 1 as difficult and Paper 2 very difficult. Indeed, many do not even expect to qualify in a few tracks. Furthermore, a large number of students were absent today. In J4, which has a strength of nearly 80, only about 6 were present, and these six were allowed to skip the exam.

The reason for the large number of absentees is tomorrow's IPE Chemistry exam (PF1C), which students consider more important that the UT. In fact, the college allowed the students to go home at 3:00 PM today after writing Paper 2 so that they could study.

Mrs. Jhansi reacts
The VP seemed unperturbed by the fact that many students had fared badly in today's test. Speaking exclusively to OTFS, she reiterated that she expected high marks from students in the Intermediate Public Examination 2008. She also expressed concern over the difficulty students faced in Sanskrit, and hoped that it would not cause their percentages to crash. (OTFS)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Vodafone's Great Ad

Vodafone's latest ad, Soul mate in the Elevator, has just about the best music among all recent ads. the idea is pretty good, but the song just steals the show. This is ones ad that definitely deserves a nomination at the Ad Awards.

Obama Unseats Clinton

Barack Obama defeated Hillary Clinton by a huge margin to clinch the South Carolina primary, defeating the new York senator 55% to 27% of votes (with 99% precincts reporting), according to CNN. South Carolina is a black-majority state, but Obama insisted that he never fought the race on the basis of colour.

"It's not about rich versus poor; young versus old; and it is not about black versus white," he said.

John Edwards, who was born in South Carolina, came in a distant third, at 18%.

However, a CNN Exit Poll showed that black voters had voted in favour of him. Among white voters, he won 25% of the votes, with the other two taking in nearly an equal share of the remainder.

Exit Polls showed that only elderly voters gave a majority thumbs up to Clinton. Perhaps, this is because the influential New York Times endorsed her 'based on experience," it said.

And half of those polled said both candidates shared blame for the rancor between the two camps. Of those who said one of the contenders was more to blame than the other, 21 percent blamed Clinton, and 6 percent said Obama.

South Carolina is the last big test for the Democrats before Super Tuesday, February 5, when nearly two dozen states will hold either primaries or caucuses -- including such delegate-rich states as California, New York, New Jersey and Illinois.

Florida holds its primary on Tuesday but no Democratic delegates are being awarded there because the national party is penalizing the state for moving its primary up earlier in the year.

OTFS with inputs from CNN

A Cold, Cold Morning

Or WEEK 35 DAY 0, whichever you like

Sri Chaitanya IIT Academy, SR Nagar, Hyderabad, Jan. 27 (SUNDAY): In the first ever exam conducted on Sunday for the First Years, the instant poll found that the paper was easy but lengthy. With nearly 100% attendance in spite of it being a Sunday, Mrs. Jhansi and her gang-of-girls, the librarian and counselor, looked smug.

Student, on the other hand, were obviously not so happy. Many hoped that this would be the last time in a long time that they would be asked to ome to college on a Sunday. To make matters worse, an IIT UT is scheduled for tomorrow. However, the VP reiterated that the students need to simply 'attempt it' and not worry about the mark.

The examination began sharp at 8:30 AM for both Juniors and Seniors (who had an ICON IIT Series Test). Tomorrow will be a full working day from 8:00 AM to 5:00 Pm as usual. (OTFS)

Friday, January 25, 2008

NDTV launches Movie Portal


NDTV Lumiere will be the first movement of its kind in India that aims to meet the long-existing need of film enthusiasts. It will provide access to top quality cinema from across the world, premiering the best of world cinema in Indian theatres immediately following their worldwide release. The movies from NDTV Lumière will also be made available across multiple platforms such as home video, a 24 hour TV Channel, pay-per-view across DTH platforms and internet downloads.

Furthering the cause of world cinema, NDTV Lumière will organize a host of events and promotions such as lectures by well known experts from the world of cinema, workshops for film students, and opportunities to interact one on one with the directors and cast of these films – offering audiences insight and a context to the film, over and above the joy of a unique viewing experience.

The Movies

The films from NDTV Lumière will span across genres from drama, animation and comedy to horror, thrillers and political dramas. These films include popular, critically acclaimed films from across the world and also the finest award-winning international cinema from Cannes, Berlin, Sundance, Toronto, Pusan, Locarno, Venice Film Festival and other international film festivals. At NDTV Lumière, the endeavour is to create awareness of current global trends in an industry that is constantly evolving with the continuous influx of new talent, and to offer audiences a wider variety of films to choose from.

This is the first time world cinema will be brought to India on such a grand scale. New age masters such as Fatih Akin, Aki Kaurismaski, Pedro Almodovar, Emir Kusturica, Wong-Kar Wai, Abbas Kiarostami and Allias Suleiman amongst others will be complemented by legendary veterans such as Fellini, Truffaut, Bergman, Louis Malle, Antonioni and Chabrol, offering a collection of films that showcases the best talent from around the world.

The Company

Alliance Lumière Pvt. Ltd. will be a joint venture of NDTV Imagine, Mr. Manmohan Shetty and Mr. Sunil Doshi which will distribute its content under the brand name NDTV Lumière.

The Name

NDTV Lumière derives its name from the Lumière brothers who got Cinema to India from France on 7th July 1896, when six silent film strips, made by the Lumière brothers were shown in Mumbai’s Watson hotel. It is only fitting that more than a hundred years later, the movement that is bringing a new wave of cinema back into the country should be called NDTV Lumière.

Welcome, Mr. President

French President Nicholas Sarkozy has arrived in India, sans his girlfriend. He will be the Chief Guest at the 59th Republic Day Parade in New Delhi.

On the occasion of his maiden visit to the world's largest democracy, Indian President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh welcomed him with a grand ceremony.

I Salute the Republic

जय हिन्द

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;


Sunday Timings Comfirmed


Sri Chaitanya IIT Academy, SR Nagar, Hyderabad, Jan. 25: The college has confirmed that the Physics Pre-Final (PF1P) would be held on Sunday from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM. The IIT Unit Test-7 would then be held on Monday as usual, while Chemistry (PF1C) would be held on Tuesday.

Commenting on JIIT1's performance in Maths 1A (PF1M1A), Mrs. Jhansi asked the students to simply 'attempt' Monday's paper. However, she was categorical that every student in JIIT1 must score above 90% in the Pre-Finals.

Maths 1B (PF1M1B)
Today's paper received a moderately difficult rating on the Instant Poll. Although not many people are expecting a full mark, most expect a mark higher than 60/75.

Advantage J4
As the tide turns towards IPE, JIIT4 has suddenly shot up in the value chain. As IPE is the main focus for JIIT4, every class is now comparing their performance using J4 as a benchmark.

Flag Hoisting
For those interested, the college will he hosting a flag-hoisting ceremony tomorrow in Campus 4. All students need to come, but only those who are interested would actually show up.

Thursday's Attendance
Attendance dipped to a new low on Thursday, a day before the Maths 1B (PF1M1B) exam. Just 18 students were present in J1, and Mrs. Jhansi said that even that was an impressive number! (OTFS)

It's all About the Money, Honey

BCCI's Indian Premier League has sold its team franchises to the following winners. The minimum bid was $50 million, but nobody bid that low.

Team Mumbai
Mukesh Ambani
$111.9 million

Team Delhi
GMR Group
$84 million

Team Kolkata
Red Chillies Entertainment/Shah Rukh Khan
$75.09 million

Team Bangalore
UB Group/Vijay Mallya
$111.6 million

Team Hyderabad
Deccan Chronicle Group
$107.01 million

Team Jaipur
Emerging Media
$67 million

Team Chennai
India Cements
$91 million

Team Mohali
Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia
$76 million

To quote the communists, the rich have just gotten richer! And how.

(Data courtesy

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Martian Life?

The green circle shows the spot where NASA researchers say their space probe detected a possible living creature on Mars

Zoomed-in image of the supposed life form

NASA researchers are baffled by these images of a 'woman-like' figure on Mars taken by two of its rovers on a four-year mission to the Red Planet. This image was taken by rover Spirit in 2007 and relayed back to earth.

(Images courtesy The Times Online)

The Certificate is Here!

I've just received my certificate from NCERT for the National Talent Search Exam! Yes, now I'm OFFICIALLY an NTSE Scholar!

Centre for Social Excellence
The advantage of an NTS Scholarship holder

--Scholarship of Rs.500/- per month from high school level till Post Graduation / Ph.D.

--To build a good foundation for any entrance examination in the future including NDA /Medical /Engineering entrance exams.

--Help students immensely in their school curriculum.
--An NTSE certificate acts as a passport to get through all types of major interview platforms.

Well, that's good news! As for when the actually money comes in, I have no idea! But this isn't about the money, is it?

You can read all about the journey through the National Talent Search Examination-2007 conducted by NCERT (Ministry of HRD) on OTFS. Click on the InNTSE label.

Paper Leaked


Sri Chaitanya IIT Academy, SR Nagar, Hyderabad, Jan. 23, 2008: The college compiled a list of nine questions which students would have to learn for the Environmental Education exam. The exam, strictly internal but acting as a qualifying exam for the Intermediate Public Examination 2008, would be held on Feb. 1 for 3 hours. The paper will be of 60 marks, consisting of 15-mark questions. The total number of questions will be 8, and students need to attempt only four.

The list of questions, technically illegal, was given to all the students. Attendance for the exam in mandatory. These details were given by Mrs. Uma, counselor.

Tuesday's Attendance
On Tuesday, 15 students in JIIT1 were absent, while the net attendance for the college was at 66%. Today, Sr. ISB created a record of sorts by virtue of having 0% attendance. No student came to college from that class. An unscientific poll conducted by OTFS in JIIT1 showed that every 5 in 6 students in the class was planning to take a study-leave tomorrow.

Maths 1A Exam
The Instant Poll rated today's Pre-Final 1 Maths 1A (PF1MA) Exam average. Comments came in that although the paper was fairly simple, many students did not attempt all the questions, including the choice questions. Furthermore, it was found that nearly all the questions were from the IPE 2006 and 2007 question papers, both of which are printed behind the textbooks!

Friday will see the next exam, Pre-Final 1 Maths 1B (PF1MB). This exam is widely considered more difficult that Maths 1A. Hence, most students are planning to take the day off tomorrow to study.

Compulsory Attendance
The counselor and the librarian reiterated today that students had to write all the Pre-Finals. Failure to do so would cause them not to receive their hall tickets, the counselor said. (OTFS)

NBC buys stake in NDTV Networks

American media giant NBC Universal signed a memorandum of Understanding with Indian media conglomerate NDTV to buy a 26% stake in NDTV Networks, which holds the company's lifestyle and digital media wing.
The announcement was made today in London by Jeff Zucker, President and CEO, NBC Universal and Dr Prannoy Roy, Chairman and joint founder of NDTV Ltd.

NDTV Networks runs two channels in India: the newly-launched Hindi GEC NDTV Imagine and lifestyle channel NDTV Good Times. The deal is alued at $150m or INR 6bn

Dr Roy stated, "We are delighted to have NBC as our partner. This agreement is a significant step for us. Today, two pioneers in the television history of the world's two largest democracies have come together to cater to a dynamic and demanding set of viewers."

NBC Universal is run by GE. Its joint venture with Dow Jones is called CNBC.

NDTV Networks Plc is a UK-registered company that owns five subsidiaries of NDTV: NDTV Imagine Limited, NDTV Lifestyle Limited, NDTV Convergence Limited and NDTV Labs Limited and 50 per cent in NGEN Media Services Private Limited (a 50:50 outsourcing JV with Genpact).

(With inputs from and

Monday, January 21, 2008

Welcome Back!


Sri Chaitanya IIT Academy, SR Nagar, Hyderabad, Jan. 21, 2008: The college reopened today after a week's holiday with the results of the previous working week's IPE Exam being declared. In JIIT1, Sushobhan and Divya topped with a full 270/270. The marks were tripled this time too, and the general rules for the process were followed. That means a fractional mark would be rounded off only after being tripled.

Mrs. Jhansi has clarified that a Physics IPE Pre-Final will be held on Sunday, despite protests from many students. She further added that IIT UT-10 would be held on Monday and the Environmental Education test on Feb. 1.

With most lecturers insisting on high marks for IPE, many students have planned a mass-bunk tomorrow to study. Of course, with the syllabus completed, this might not be so bad, as long as students do study at home.

IPE Exam
The hall tickets/admission cards for the Intermediate Exams were distributed today. Students are requested to photocopy it and carry it with them to all the examinations. For the skeptics, this is real, and this is very important. (OTFS)

Sensex tanks 1,400 pts

Mumbai, Jan. 21, 2008: The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark sensitive index, the Sensex, fell by nearly 7%, the second largest percentage fall since the UPA took control, and the largest ever in terms of absolute loss.
BSE Sensex 17657.37 1356.33 (-7.13%)

The sell-off was triggered by various factors:
  • Panic caused by the recent tumble since the Reliance Power IPO opened. The IPO, India's largest, attracted offers worth $190bn, nearly a third of the total value of the Sensex. Many FIIs and MFs pulled money out of the markets and placed them in the IPO.
  • The Global liquidity crunch caused by fears of a recession in the US. In Asia, the Hang Seng fell by 5.5%, the Jakarta SE Index by 4% and the Nikkei 225 by 4%. The Nikkei touched its lowest since Oct. 2005 while the Hang Seng on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange saw its steepest fall since 9/11.
In Shanghai, the world's best performing index, the Shanghai Composite, tanked 5.1%. The Singapore Straits Times Index plunged 6%.

In intra-day trading, the Sensex was down by over 10% or 2,000 points, halting trading. In broader markets, the Nifty tanked 8.7 per cent or 496 points to end the day at 5,208 levels. The BSE Metal Index was down 13.3%.

However, the Sensex might not be in a bear market yet (technically, a bear market is defined as a market which is below its lifetime high by 20% or more; Paris CAC-40 is 21% below its high). Tomorrow's movements will be important as the market looks for more support. 18,000, which was a support-level, was broken today.

With inputs from NDTV Profit

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Hillary upsets Obama

The odds were even and the location went to litigation. But Sen. Hillary Clinton beat rival democrat Barack Obama by 6% in Saturday's Nevada caucuses with 98% of precincts reporting according to CNN.

A few days back, an appeal was filed by some Clinton-supporters alleging that holding the caucuses in casinos in LA, where workers strongly support Obama, would give him an undue advantage. The appeal was however, turned down by the court.

In spite of this, Hillary Clinton beat Obama, with John Edwards a distant third. However, Obama won 13 delegates to 12 for Clinton. This Presidential race, it seems, is increasingly becoming a race for more delegates.

Among Republicans, Mitt Romney won the Nevada caucuses. Ron Paul assumed second place, followed by John McCain, Thompson and Huckabee. California Rep. Duncan Hunter, who received just 2 percent of the GOP vote, abandoned his presidential bid after the results came in.

A CNN Exit Poll showed that voters took economy and illegal immigration as the most important issues in that order, followed by Iraq and terrorism. Nevada marks the third win for Romney. He took Michigan on Tuesday and also won the overshadowed contest in Wyoming.

Meanwhile, South Carolina held its Republican Primary, where John McCain claimed victory. This is a significant victory, as it was South Carolina that had voted our McCain in 2000, selecting George W Bush instead.

Mike Huckabee came in second. Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson was in third, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

The Democrat Primary will be held in South Carolina on Saturday, and the Republican race heads to Florida for the January 29 primary.