India Corner 

ITC Chairman named Business Person of the Year

She helps Kutch weave its economy

ITC Limited Chairman Y.C. Deveshwar has been named ‘Business Person of the Year 2006’ by UK Trade and Investment, a British government organisation that supports overseas businesses. Deveshwar was honoured by Prince Andrew, Duke of York, at the India Business Awards ceremony in Mumbai. The award acknowledges Deveshwar’s significant role in promoting Indo-British business relations as he was a key figure behind the success of Tony Blair’s EU-India summit in 2005 as the president of the Confederation of India Industry. Deveshwar has been the chairman of ITC since 1996 and has been instrumental in strengthening and consolidating its various businesses in tobacco, hotels, paperboards and packaging, agri-business and expanding the retail business.

She’s an unlikely social crusader. Conservatively dressed, married into a wealthy Mumbai-based family of industrialists, Chanda Shroff is the moving force behind a project that sustains thousands of families in drought-prone Kutch. 
Chandaben, or Kaki as she is universally known around Shrujan, the organisation she founded in 1969, received the RAE laureate in Singapore on November 22. “The selection committee was impressed by several elements of Chanda Shroff’s work—the number of women who are benefiting from her project, the exquisite quality of Shrujan’s work, as well as the breaking down of social and geographical barriers through embroidery,” says Rebecca Irvin, the programme director of RAE’s Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. RAE also makes note of the fact that, given her social and economic background, Chandaben could “easily have led a comfortable life at home”. Instead, the 73-year-old seems happiest travelling through the dusty roads of Kutch or directing her energies to establish a design centre, her next big project.


Wipro accused of breaking marriages

India a flawed democracy: The Economist

Wipro Chairman Azim Premji is used to being called a software czar and a member of the world’s billionaire club. But a homebreaker?
Kanpur-based Tripti Nigam has filed a case against her husband Gaura” Nigam, an engineer at Wipro Technologies in Bangalore, and his boss Premji. She alleged the IT major was “promoting illicit relationships” and breaking her home by gi”ing her husband a “dating allowance”. “With this dating allowance, the firm helps my husband to keep up his illicit relationships with women. It is nothing but a home-breaking allowance,” said Tripti.
The Nigams’ two-year marriage is reportedly on the rocks. While Gaurav filed for divorce in April, Tripti in turn sued him and her in-laws in October under the new Domestic violence Act. Now Premji is drawn into their conflict, with the court summoning him. Kanpur’s Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar issued notices to Premji, Gaurav and Pratik Kumar, head of Wipro’s human resource division, asking them to appear in person.
India is one of the fifty-four countries that have flawed democracies, according to a new democracy index devised by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a division of the leading news magazine The Economist.
In a detailed analysis of the ‘World in 2007’, the magazine has devised the index that examines 60 indicators across five broad categories: free elections, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation and political culture. 
India is listed among the 54 ‘flawed democracies’ that include Brazil, Israel, Poland, Romania and Estonia. Twenty-eight countries including the US, Britain, Norway, Denmark and Portugal are listed as ‘full democracies’. Sweden is described as a ‘near-perfect’ democracy.
India scored 9.58 out of ten for its electoral process and pluralism and 8.21 out of ten for functioning of government. Its score for political participation was 5.56 out of 10 and 5.63 out of 10 for political culture. It got 9.41 out of ten for civil liberties.