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INFOTECH INDIA | Tech Briefs:

Largest TCS Center Coming up in Pune | MICROSOFT: $175 Million Tax | DELL: New PCs | WIPRO: Mideast Market | TECH MAHINDRA: $350M Deal


Largest TCS Center Coming up in Pune

Pune’s status as one of India’s premier IT hubs got a further boost as Tata Consulting Services, a leading IT services organization, commenced work on its Rs. 9 trillion facility at the Hinjewadi Special Economic Zone, near this Maharashtra city.

The three-phase project with TCS largest development center, called the TCS Sahyadri Park, spread over 50 acres, will provide direct employment to over 20,000 people, TCS CEO and managing director S. Ramadorai said.

“TCS Sahyadri Park marks the next phase of our growth in the region and will help us access the skilled professionals and students in and around Pune,” he told reporters.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh laid down the foundation stone of the Rs. 4-trillion first phase of the TCS centre April 2 evening.

Deshmukh hailed the contribution of the Tata group in the development of the state.

The first phase is expected to be completed by March next year with 7,000 seats, Ramadorai had said in the release issued April 2.

The entire facility is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2010, he added.

Tata Realty and Infrastructure has been mandated to develop the facility while Frank Glynn of California has been appointed as the principal architect for its design which envisions a campus of approximately 2.5 million sq. ft. with buildings up to nine stories in height and a recreational area with landscaped gardens, walks and music gallery.

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MICROSOFT: $175 Million Tax

India has asked U.S. software giant Microsoft to pay $175 million in back taxes and interest for revenue earned from licensing its software here, the Times of India reported April 3.

An Indian tax authority ruled April 2 that Microsoft’s India subsidiary Gracemac Corporation should have paid tax on the $560 million it showed as revenue for the six financial years up to March 31, 2004, the report said.

The dispute revolves around whether the amount qualifies as royalties or sales.

The amount should have been taxed as royalties, the Commissioner of Income Tax ruled in New Delhi, citing language in the end-user license agreement shipped with the company’s software.

India taxes royalties at 15 percent, but the tax appeals body appeared to be levying a similar amount in penalties and interest charges.

Microsoft’s India subsidiary did not pay taxes on the income, citing a double tax-avoidance treaty between India and the United States and noting that an overseas subsidiary paid tax in the U.S. on profits from the software sales.

“Microsoft believes it is in full compliance with Indian tax laws and the income tax treaty agreement between India and the US,” a Microsoft statement said.

“Microsoft is reviewing the order and will determine its course of action accordingly.” The technology giant is expected to appeal the decision.

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DELL: New PCs

Dell Inc, the world’s No. 2 PC maker, is developing new models aimed at Chinese and Indian consumers to drive sales in fast-growing Asian markets, CEO Michael Dell said.

Personal computer makers increasingly are designing products with Chinese buyers in mind. Both Dell and China’s Lenovo Group unveiled low-cost PCs last year for rural and novice users.

“This year, we plan to introduce 50 percent more notebook platforms than we introduced last year, including exciting new products aimed exactly at Chinese customer needs,” Dell said at a news conference.

New models are meant to meet “specifically the requirements that we see in countries like China and India,” he said.

Dell says its consumer sales in China grew by 54 percent last year, more than three times the industry average of 17 percent.

“When we look at the potential for expansion, we do see enormous opportunity ahead,” Dell said. “As far as the U.S. goes, I think the U.S. will be okay, but not the fastest-growing. We expect more growth in Asia.”

The company last month reported its fourth-quarter profit fell 6.4 percent and cautioned that more cautious spending by U.S. customers could hurt its business.

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WIPRO: Mideast Market

I-flex solutions, an IT solutions provider to the global financial services industry, April 3 signed an agreement with Wipro Limited to market its products in the Middle East.

Under the agreement, IT services provider Wipro will also implement and support i-flex’s solutions including core banking product suite Flexcube in the region.

Other products include i-flex’s analytics offering, an integrated suite of Reveleus and Mantas, that helps financial institutions maximize profitability, minimize risks and deliver enterprise-wide compliance, a joint statement said.

“i-flex has an established presence in the Middle East and this partnership will enhance its strategy to penetrate the rapidly expanding market and provide end-to-end systems integration capability in collaboration with Wipro,” it said.

i-flex also plans to leverage Wipro’s proposed global development centre in Egypt to equip consultants in the region with expertise to implement and support its products, the statement said.

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TECH MAHINDRA: $350M Deal

Tech Mahindra said it has signed a $350 million deal with BT Group for providing communications solutions.

Tech Mahindra has signed a five-year deal to provide BT with application maintenance and support services for their business software solutions and open source software platforms, the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

These services would be delivered from the firm’s facilities in India and a new facility being setup in the U.K. to monitor BT’s core business processes.

“Tech Mahindra has been a system integration partner with us for many years, they have expertise and knowledge of our legacy systems and are working with us in developing new generation systems,” BT executive Clive Selley told reporters.

The total value of the deal would be spread equally over the five years, he added.

“This deal showcases Tech Mahindra’s strengths in delivering business critical services that have so far been hidden under “business-as-usual” application support,” Tech Mahindra president Sanjay Kalra said.

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CURRENT ISSUE IN PDF
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COVER STORY
A Painter’s Worldview: Nandalal Bose
Artist Nandalal Bose combined patriotic affection with a broader sense of kinship with Asia, writes Sugata Bose.


TRIBUTE
A Hero in Our Time: Farewell, Baba Amte
For grassroots human rights activist Baba Amte, life flowed like poetry and for the time that you were with him you flowed with it, writes Sandeep Pandey.


SUBCONTINENT
Overstaying Its Welcome: Pakistan’s Military
Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa Agha, an expert of the Pakistani military, has this advice for her country’s army: ‘Stay out of politics, it is good for you, good for us,’ writes Ali Hasan Cementdaur.


OTHER STORIES
EDITORIAL: Artist Nandalal Bose
NEWS DIARY: March
EXHIBIT: Painting Desi Icons
DIARY: Goodbye India, Hello Ghana
SUBCONTINENT: China: Dark Horse?
HEALTH: Treating Sleep Apnea
TRAVEL: Hwy 1, Northern Calfornia
OBITUARY: Tejinder Sibia
SUBCONTINENT: Makeover for Dharavi
FESTIVAL: Rang Barse!
BUSINESS: News Briefs
COMMUNITY: News in Brief
INFOTECH INDIA: Round-up
AUTO: 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser
BOLLYWOOD: Review: Race
BOLLYWOOD: Guftugu
TAMIL CINEMA: Pazhani
RECIPE: Chinese Bhel
HOROSCOPE: April
HEALTH: Caring for Your Teeth

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