இவற்றிற்கான களஞ்சியம் September, 2006

Sep 29 2006

U.S. parents outsourcing kids’ homework to India

Published by CAPitalZ under India, US

BOSTON (Reuters) – Private tutors are a luxury many American families cannot afford, costing anywhere between $25 to $100 an hour. But California mother Denise Robison found one online for $2.50 an hour — in India.

“It’s made the biggest difference. My daughter is literally at the top of every single one of her classes and she has never done that before,” said Robison, a single mother from Modesto.

Her 13-year-old daughter, Taylor, is one of 1,100 Americans enrolled in Bangalore-based TutorVista, which launched U.S. services last November with a staff of 150 “e-tutors” mostly in India with a fee of $100 a month for unlimited hours.

Taylor took two-hour sessions each day for five days a week in math and English — a cost that tallies to $2.50 an hour, a fraction of the $40 an hour charged by U.S.-based online tutors such as market leader Tutor.com that draw on North American teachers, or the usual $100 an hour for face-to-face sessions.

“I like to tell people I did private tutoring every day for the cost of a fast-food meal or a Starbucks’ coffee,” Robison said. “We did our own form of summer school all summer.”

The outsourcing trend that fueled a boom in Asian call centers staffed by educated, low-paid workers manning phones around the clock for U.S. banks and other industries is moving fast into an area at the heart of U.S. culture: education.

It comes at a difficult time for the U.S. education system: only two-thirds of teenagers graduate from high school, a proportion that slides to 50 percent for black Americans and Hispanics, according to government statistics.

China and India, meanwhile, are producing the world’s largest number of science and engineering graduates — at least five times as many as in the United States, where the number has fallen since the early 1980s.

Parents using schools like Taylor’s say they are doing whatever they can to give children an edge that can lead to better marks, better colleges and a better future, even if it comes with an Indian accent about 9,000 miles away.

SLANG & AMERICAN ACCENTS

“We’ve changed the paradigm of tutoring,” said Krishnan Ganesh, founder and chairman of TutorVista, which offers subjects ranging from grammar to geometry for children as young as 6 years old to adults in college.

“It’s not that the U.S. education system is not good. It’s just that it’s impossible to give personalized education at an affordable cost unless you use technology, unless you use the Internet and unless you can use lower-cost job centers like India,” he said over a crackly Internet-phone line from Bangalore. “We can deliver that.”

Many of the tutors have masters degrees in their subjects, said Ganesh. On average, they have taught for 10 years. Each undergoes 60 hours of training, including lessons on how to speak in a U.S. accent and how to decipher American slang.

They are schooled on U.S. history and state curricula, and work in mini-call centers or from their homes across India. One operates out of Hong Kong, teaching the Chinese language.

As with other Indian e-tutoring firms such as Growing Stars Inc., students log on to TutorVista’s Web site and are assigned lessons by tutors who communicate using voice-over-Internet technology and an instant messaging window. They share a simulated whiteboard on their computers.

Denise Robison said Taylor had trouble understanding her tutor’s accent at first. “Now that she is used to it, it doesn’t bother her at all,” she said.

TutorVista launched a British service in August and Ganesh said he plans to expand into China in December to tap demand for English lessons from China’s booming middle class. In 2007, he plans to launch Spanish-language lessons and build on Chinese and French lessons already offered.

A New Delhi tutoring company, Educomp Solutions Ltd., estimates the U.S. tutoring market at $8 billion and growing. Online companies, both from the United States and India, are looking to tap millions of dollars available to firms under the U.S. No Child Left Behind Act for remedial tutoring.

Teachers unions hope to stop that from happening.

“Tutoring providers must keep in frequent touch with not only parents but classroom teachers and we believe there is greater difficulty in an offshore tutor doing that,” said Nancy Van Meter, a director at the American Federation of Teachers.

But No Child Left Behind, a signature Bush administration policy, encourages competition among tutoring agencies and leaves the door open for offshore tutors, said Diane Stark Rentner of the Center on Education Policy in Washington.

“The big test is whether the kids are actually learning. Until you answer that, I don’t know if you can pass judgment on whether this is a good or bad way to go,” she said.

U.S. parents outsourcing kids’ homework help

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Sep 27 2006

Avoid “Made in Sri Lanka” Products

Published by CAPitalZ under Canada, Tamil Eelam, tamils

Remember we can make a difference.

  • Avoid investment in Sinhala areas
  • Avoid Air Lanka (Sri Lankan Airlines), if you can
  • Buy alternate to those made in Sri Lanka
  • Avoid “Made in Sri Lanka” products
  • Don’t save any money in Srilankan banks [save money in foreign banks (ie.HSBC) in Colombo]
  • Don’t buy any textile items that produced in SL
  • Encourage buying items that produced in Tamileelam and shipped via Srilanka (Eg. Palm related products)
  • Allow groceries from SL if it is cheap. Otherwise, try to get it from India especially Tamil Nada
  • Discourage buying juice items (elephant brand soda), soap (lux, etc), biscuits from SL
  • Ask companies not to carry “Made in Sri Lanka” textiles
  • Ask Tamil stores to carry alternate, yet competitive products

Introduction

The Human rights situation in Sri Lanka is getting worse with each passing day. Tamil civilians including men, women, children and the sick and elderly are being killed or seriously injured by the hundreds and thousands respectively.

Two weeks of aerial bombing in July and August of 2006 by the Sri Lanka military have left hundreds of Tamil Civilians killed in different parts of the northeast. Over 200,000 people have been displaced from their homes.

In August 2006, 17 Tamil workers with a French aid agency were killed execution style by the Sri Lanka military and its agents. And Sri Lanka aerial strikes have killed 55 people, including 51 girls in an orphanage run by Tamils.

As AFP news agency has argued, “The Government maintained it targeted an LTTE military training center but the monitors found no evidence the victims were combatants or undergoing military training.

It is very clear that the Sri Lanka government and military are guilty of war crime, crimes against peace and crimes against humanity. They should be strongly condemned by the United Nations and ordinary people. They should be tried by some war crimes tribunal.

This pre-meditated genocide against the Tamil people in Sri Lanka must be fought most vigorously on all fronts. Tamils in India and those in Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji, East Africa and other parts of the world – in short, the Tamil Diaspora in the world – must stand up to help stop this genocide. So should all other people throughout the world who love the sanctity of human life and respect human rights and peace.
Take Action and Boycott

Join with people around the world who have decided not to allow their money to help maintain the world’s most violent and abusive regime – Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s myriad human rights abuses against Tamil people and its repression in Eelam.

Do consumers have a moral responsibility to boycott ‘Made in Sri Lanka products and services? And, if so, why should consumers care about how their purchase money is used by the Sri Lanka’s government? Here’s why:

Probably one of the most underused but powerful weapons individuals have to effect political and social change in our consumer-driven world is their purchasing power. It has been underused because the correlation between “shopping” and political freedom is not an immediate one to most people.

Yet, economic boycotts have, on the whole, an impressive success record: Gandhi’s Swadeshi campaign to rid India of British colonial rule; the boycott and international sanctions against the white South African regime to end apartheid; the imposition of economic sanctions and penalties on Poland by the West that contributed to the downfall of the Communist regime; and the worldwide campaign for shareholder pressure that forced a number of Western companies to withdraw from Burma.

Do we really have a moral responsibility towards the Tamil people of Eelam who live under Sri Lanka’s military occupation?

Even a partial review of Sri Lanka’s myriad crimes against humanity provides sufficient reason for any morally conscious person not to buy ‘Made in Sri Lanka.’ For example, for each purchase that you make, you are funding, promoting or endorsing:

§ the suppression of democracy and freedom

§ Extrajudicial killing and disappearances

§ denial of basic rights to Tamil workers, fishermen and farmers

§ sweeping and brutal repression of all religions

§ criminal psychiatric abuse of Tamil prisoners

§ routine torture of Tamil prisoners

§ military occupation and genocide in Eelam

§ military expansion and aggression

Canada and Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s bilateral trade with Canada being the balance of trade between two countries to remain in favour of Sri Lanka, meaning more imports from Sri Lanka than export from Canada.

Clothing and textiles continued to dominate over 50 per cent in the composition of Sri Lanka’s exports to Canada with most popular categories being shirts, blouses, athletic wear, knitted and crocheted overcoats, anorakes, outerwear, trousers and gloves. The contribution from rubber and rubber products amounted to 15 per cent of total earnings.

Tea is the third important export item to Canada. Exports of tea to Canada amounted to 7 per cent of total earnings, Sri Lanka was able to maintain her market share of 10 per cent in the Canadian tea market in 2000 as well. Sri Lanka is the largest supplier of tea to Canada out of producing countries and it is evident from the figures set out below.

Sri Lankan tea exporters have been successful in establishing few brand names in the Canadian market such as Mlesna, Dilmah etc. Sri Lanka tea bags are making a strong presence in the tea bags sector in the recent years. With more advertisement and brand promotion, Sri Lanka will be able to increase her market share in the tea bag sector, as well.

Other items that feature among the exports from Sri Lanka to Canada include mainly leather products, footwear, ceramic and porcelain products, toys, sports goods spices, gems and jewellery and coconut products. The main items of imports from Canada to Sri Lanka are wheat, fertilizer, paper & paper board, chemicals, lentils, printed books, electrical machinery and parts, asbestos pharmaceutical products.

Canadian companies have invested in Sri Lanka in the areas of telecommunications (Lanka Bell; joint venture with Bell Canada), satellite projects, mini hydro power generators and housing projects and manufacture of treted rubber wood, with a total investment of approximately US $ 140 million in the recent past. In addition to the above, Canada Sri Lanka Capital Corporation in Vancouver has signed an MOU with Southern Development Authority to form a joint venture partnership in the field of agro-forestry. The other possible areas for Canadian investments in Sri Lanka include, infrastructure development, the construction of roads, bridges etc, thrust industry sectors such as ceramics and glassware, rubber based products, light and heavy engineering and computer engineering.

Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotia Bank), a leading Canadian Bank has opened a branch in Colombo.

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Sep 26 2006

Akila Ganapathy is appointed Business Operations prime for Global Manufacturing Services at Nortel

Published by CAPitalZ under US, tamils

Global Manufacturing Services – Business Operations

We are pleased to announce Akila Ganapathy is appointed Business Operations prime for Global Manufacturing Services effective September 25. Akila will be based in RTP and report to me as a member of my senior cabinet.

In this role, Akila will be instrumental in maximizing the efficiency of our organization and ensuring collaboration and coordination among our functional teams and with the other business stakeholders. She will work closely with my executive team, HR and Finance to ensure organizational priorities are effectively aligned and addressed, and facilitate issues management and closure of critical business decisions. In addition, Akila will help all of us drive Own It! throughout our organization plus she will lead other key work essential for our operation transformation.

Akila joined Nortel in 1999 and has held a variety of roles in engineering, program management, and marketing. Most recently she drove cost leadership in Supply Chain Operations as Supply Chain Cost Manager. Prior to joining Nortel, Akila provided consulting, software development, and customer support team management with Wipro Systems in Bangalore, India.

She has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering (Electronics & Communication) from Coimbatore Institute of Technology in India.

Please join me in welcoming Akila to our team.

Don McKenna
Global Manufacturing Services

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Sep 22 2006

படுகொலையைக் கண்டித்து ஆர்ப்பாட்டம் நடத்திய முஸ்லீம்கள் மீது துப்பாக்கிச் சூடு

Published by CAPitalZ under Sri Lanka, Tamil Eelam

அம்பாறையில் முஸ்லிம்கள் படுகொலை செய்யப்பட்டமைக்கு சிறிலங்கா சிறப்பு அதிரடிப்படைதான் காரணம் என்று சிறிலங்கா முஸ்லிம் தேசியக் கூட்டமைப்பு குற்றம்சாட்டியுள்ளது.

அம்பாறை படுகொலை குறித்து முஸ்லிம் தேசியக் கூட்டமைப்பின் பொதுச்செயலாளர் நசீர் அகமெட் வெளியிட்டுள்ள அறிக்கை:

இப்படுகொலை தொடர்பாக தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள் மீது குற்றம்சாட்டப்பட்டாலும் முழுமையாக அரசாங்கக் கட்டுப்பாட்டுப் பிரதேசத்தில் உள்ள சிறப்பு அதிரடிப்படையால் பாதுகாக்கப்பட்ட இடத்தில்தான் படுகொலை நடந்துள்ளமையை மறக்கக் கூடாது.

சிறப்பு அதிரடிப்படையேதான் காரணம் தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள் அல்ல என்று அப்பகுதி மக்கள் பலரும் தெரிவிக்கின்றனர்.

படுகொலைச் சம்பவம் நடந்த பகுதியைச் சுற்றிலும் சிறப்பு அதிரடிப்படையினரது முகாம்கள் உள்ள நிலையில் தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள் உள்நுழைந்து படுகொலை செய்துவிட்டு அதிரடிப்படையினரின் பார்வையில் படாமல் தப்பிச் சென்றது எப்படி என்பது புதிரை ஏற்படுத்துகிறது.

கடந்த சில மாதங்களாக முஸ்லிம் மக்களுக்கும் அதிரடிப்படையினருக்கும் முறுகல் நிலை இருந்து வந்தது. இந்த நிலையில் படுகொலையைக் கண்டித்து ஆர்ப்பாட்டம் நடத்திய மக்கள் மீது துப்பாக்கிச் சூடு நடத்தியதில் 14 பேர் படுகாயமடைந்துள்ளனர். இந்தச் செயல் வன்மையாக கண்டனத்துக்குரியது என்று அதில் நசீர் அகமெட் தெரிவித்துள்ளார்.

முஸ்லிம்கள் படுகொலைக்கு அதிரடிப்படையே காரணம்: முஸ்லிம் தேசியக் கூட்டமைப்பு

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Sep 22 2006

Muslim protesters shot at, dozens injured

Published by CAPitalZ under Sri Lanka, Tamil Eelam

Several hundred Muslim civilians in Amapari, protesting at the recent massacre of 10 Muslims youths in the area were shot at by the Sri Lankan police’s Special Task Force (STF) on Wednesday morning, reports said.

STF personal in the village of Ullai opened fire to quell protesters who were getting violent, police sources said.

Muslims were seen throwing stones at the police _almost all ethnic Sinhala_ demanding that the STF withdraws from Amparai, following months of tensions that led to the massacre of 10 youths earlier in the week.

Over a dozen Muslims were injured due to STF fire, and were admitted to the Kalmunai Hospital, sources said. All the injured are said to be in stable conditions.

Meanwhile, Muslim political leaders have requested the United Nations to intervene and carry out a through investigation of the massacre.

Muslim protesters shot at, dozens injured

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