Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A quick brown fox jumps.............................

Dear (s)

Can you say which one is correct ?
1) The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog.    OR..........
2) The quick brown fox jumped over a lazy dog. (see the end)

Could be a difficult one for the new gen. But for old timers, this is a well known sentence. Not many decades ago, young boys and girls immediately upon joining college would enroll themselves in a nearby Typewriting institute learning Typewriting skills and Stenography. That th e place meant for inculcating new skills for budding students and help them in honing them for employment also was a breeding ground for many love stories is a different interesting story altogether.

The modern key board and the blackberry are modelled on the traditional configuration of typewriter styled as ‘QWERTY”. Once elementary skills of which key to type with left and what with right were acquired, came the practice of typing sentences like the one figured above.
These are known as ‘pangram’ which contains all the alphabets and would help test out the new typewriters. Here are some common pangrams :

• Nymphs blitz quick vex dwarf jog. (27 letters)
• Two driven jocks help fax my big quiz. (30 letters)
• Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs. (32 letters)
• Heavy boxes perform quick waltzes and jigs. (36 letters)
• The lazy major was fixing Cupid's broken quiver. (39 letters)
• Six big devils from Japan quickly forgot how to waltz. (44 letters)
• Few black taxis drive up major roads on quiet hazy nights. (47 letters)
• A quick movement of the enemy will jeopardize six gunboats. (49 letters)
• All questions asked by five watched experts amaze the judge. (49 letters)
• Jaded zombies acted quietly but kept driving their oxen forward. (54 letters)

The word ‘pangram’ comes from Greek, literal translation meaning every letter. The pangram at the start of the article is believed to have been in use for centuries and utilised by Western Union to test Telex / data communication equipment for accuracy and reliability. Number of computer programmes including MS Windows use this to display the available fonts.

If you still remember the query at the beginning. It is not a grammar check here. The latter is not a pangram, as it does not have a ‘s’ in the sentence.

With regards – S Sampathkumar.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Dear (s) - first some news of a loss near Mumbai and then some Marine insurance !!!!

There was news in Indian newspapers of vessel MV Maersk Miami, bound for JNPT carrying many containers catching fire 43 nautical miles off the Goa coast on 26/3/10. This is a 1994 built 56248 GT, Liberian flagged containership with call sign of A8PK9 on voyage from Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Indonesia, with future calls in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore, laden with more than 2000 loaded containers.

It is reported that 23 crew were rescued and there was no loss of lives. A major fire had broken out in the engine room and distress signal was received by the Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Shubadra Kumari Chauhan off the Tarapur coast, which alerted the Indian Navy. The navy sent its FAC-82 high-speed patrol boats with medical assistance. The navy diverted two other ships in the area for further assistance. The Coast Guard sailed its interceptor boat, ICGS Samrat, simultaneously towards the vessel. The rescue ships arrived on the spot by midnight and the fire was reportedly doused by 2am, Saturday. MV Aranda Colossus and MV Chime, passing by in the nearby area, arrived after they were alerted. The crew of MV Maersk Miami was transferred by ICGS Samrat to sister ships MV Maersk Dauphin and MV Nedllyod Africa. MV Maersk Miami, along with ICGS Samrat, was waiting for ocean tugs, when reports last came in. The owners had despatched two tugs for salvage assistance.

It is anticipated General Average will be declared and salvage costs will be incorporated into the assessment of GA. The circumstances of the fire will require to be investigated with a view to determining nature and cause and also to identify responsibility for the fire. Well, this news item would intrigue you to know what is General Average and here is another attempt in guiding you on the basic tenets of Marine Insurance. Most of the Insurance Policies covers physical loss of or damage to the subject matter insured.

Sure you would have observed that Institute Cargo Clauses the clauses that are used for insuring cargo through ocean transit provides for something more. It would read that this insurance covers General Average and salvage charges adjusted or determined according to the contract of affreightment…….. incurred to avoid or in connection with the avoidance of loss from any cause except those excluded in clauses 4,5,6 & 7 or elsewhere.

In insurance parlance, if the sum insured is expressed to be ‘subject to average, it refers to proportionate reduction reflecting Under insurance if the sum insured is less than the value of the subject matter insured. In marine insurance parlance, average means loss and particular loss would mean partial loss. There is also the concept of General Average.
GA is an ancient principle of equity in which all parties in sea adventure proportionately share losses arising out of voluntary and successful sacrifice or extraordinary expense incurred for common benefit. It is a legal principle of maritime law aimed at sharing the losses. History has it that under Rhodian Law, if in time of peril cargo was thrown overboard to lighten a ship, that which had been given for the good of all should be replaced by a contribution from all that was saved. Due to many and varied different interpretations between maritime trading countries it was decided, in the 19th century, to codify General Average. The result being a set of Rules - the York/Antwerp Rules of 1890. These rules have also been amended from time to time and would find a reference in the Bill of lading.

In principle , there is a general average act when and only when any extraordinary sacrifice or expenditure is intentionally and reasonably made or incurred for the common safety for the purposes of preserving the peril the property involved in a common maritime adventurE.   When a marine casualty arises mid sea, steps are required to be taken to protect or save the ship and cargo from serious damage or total loss. The steps taken may result in expenditure being incurred and/or deliberate loss or damage to some of the property at risk, but result in the saving of other property.

Some of the common circumstances leading to GA could be :
v      Engine and/or propeller damage and fuel used in refloating a stranded ship.
v      Damage to ship &/or cargo by water, steam etc., in the effort to extinguish a fire on board the ship.
v      Damage or loss of cargo caused by the forced discharge of cargo to refloat the ship, to get at the seat of a fire, to effect repairs to the ship to enable the voyage to be undertaken in safety.
v      Jettison of cargo, for the safety of the ship and remaining cargo in time of peril.
v      Expenses incurred in entering a port of refuge for the common safety
v      Salvage services rendered to ship and cargo are normally treated as general average. Salvors have a lien on the ship and cargo and might insist on security at the time of rendering their services.

Marine Insurance Act 1963 which has codified all principles of Marine Insurance deals about GA in Sec 66. The Act states :

General average loss. (1) A general average loss is a loss caused by or directly consequential on a general average act. It includes a general average expenditure as well as a general average sacrifice.

(2) There is a general average act where any extraordinary sacrifice or expenditure is voluntarily and reasonably made or incurred in time of peril for the purpose of preserving the property imperilled in the common adventure.

(3) Where there is a general average loss, the party on whom it falls is entitled, subject to the conditions imposed by maritime law, to a rateable contribution from the other parties interested, and such contribution is called a general average contribution.

(4) Subject to any express provision in the policy, where the assured has incurred a general average of expenditure, he may recover from the insurer in respect of the proportion of the loss which falls upon him ; and in the case of a general average sacrifice, he may recover from the insurer in respect of the whole loss without having enforced his right of contribution from the other parties liable to contribute.

(5) Subject to any express provision in the policy, where the assured has paid, or is liable to pay, a general average contribution in respect of the interest insured, he may recover therefor from the insurer.

(6) In the absence of express stipulation, the insurer is not liable for any general average loss or contribution where the loss was not incurred for the purpose of avoiding, or in connection with the avoidance of a peril insured against.

(7) Where ship, freight, and cargo, or any two of those interests, are owned by the same assured, the liability of the insurer in respect of general average losses or contributions is to be determined as if those interests were owned by different persons.

The above is MI Act, then there is York Antwerp Rules which have been developed to provide a uniform approach to the handling of General Average losses. Many contracts of carriage provide for the application of these Rules. Where they do not apply General Average claims and compensation are determined by local law. The latest set is known as York Antwerp Rules 2004. This contains Rule Paramount, Numbered Rules and Lettered rules.

The Rule Paramount states “In no case shall there be any allowance for sacrifice or expenditure unless reasonably made or incurred”.

The lettered rules range from A to G. A defines the GA act, G states that GA shall be adjusted as regards both loss and contribution upon the basis of values at the time and place when and where the adventure ends.

The numbered rules defines the various items that could be considered under GA such as : Jettison of cargo, extinguishing fire on ship board, cutting away wreck, voluntary stranding, salvage remuneration, damage to machinery and boilers, expenses at a port of refuge etc.,

If you found this to be useful, do send in your feedback either by way of comment down below or e-mail the author at :

Regards – S Sampathkumar.

Monday, March 29, 2010


What a match it was ! Deccan were the favourite, while the form favoured Mumbai Indians.  T 20 could be the violent ways one batsman changing the course of the match with lusty hitting. Mumbai had a good start and were coasting along at 64 for in 7.3 overs when Dwayne Bravo held out to RP who removed the Dhoni clone – Saurabh Tiwary in the same over.

A great drama was to unfold at the great looking DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai. This stadium was inaugurated on 4th Mar 2008 and was to host the One dayer against Australia on Nov 11,2009 when rain played the spoil sport for sports lovers and Insurers. This stadium at DY Patil Vidyanagar Campus, Nerul, Navi Mumbai is state of art with facilities which include tennis, badminton courts and swimming pool. Uniquely, this has cantilever roof eliminating the pillar support thus providing the spectators unobstructed view of match from any place.

Coming back, Mumbai Indians which boasted of Sachin, Bravo, Tiwary, Rayudu, Satish & Pollard were struggling at 119 for 7 with close to 3 overs left and one expected them to fold under 125. Bravo promoted up in the order lifted Ojha’s first over for a huge six and followed with a straight flat batted hit across the fence. Things looked ominous. After quick fall of wickets, Sachin slowed down and appeared in control of things but was out making 55 off 43. I expected Rajagopalan Satish to play a good innings but he disappointed with a sweep to backward square leg and Pollard top edged a pull. Chargers were steam rolling and looked closing the match – most of the times Harbhajan never looks like a batsmen with ugly swipes and intended pulls. Not many take him seriously as a batsman. With hardly 20 balls to go, Mumbai Indians were expected to fold up. But look at the series of events that followed. In 18 deliveries he turned the game upside down with sweet timed lusty hits. Later he revealed that he played with Sachin’s bats – would have hit with any other timber in hand it appeared though.

That was not all over. He came back to bowl and with his second ball removed the dangerous Adam Gilchrist caught by Sachin for a nought and the chase was never on. Lasith Malinga took over with another controlled aggression conceding measly 12 and picking up 3 wickets to floor Chargers down.

When one expected fire works from Bravo, Pollard, Tiwary and like and when all failed, least expected to deliver was Bhaji. He dominated all the bowlers (infact faced Symonds, Kemar Roach and Rohit) and Jaskaran Singh floored him with a beamer – narrowly missing the head. The younger Singh apologised and ran down after the innings to explain things further.

In the end it was a comprehensive 41 run victory for the Mumbai Indians and here is Harbhajan’s short knock.

With regards
S Sampathkumar.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Do you know what this is ? Clearly taking advertisement into the sky.

The mega sharks of marketing have ensured that IPL is played on Television and reach out to larger audience than to the gallery with host of innovations. In early days, at the end of over or at the fall of any wicket, you would have an expert voicing opinion. Who wants to hear all that when one can earn loads of revenue. Now we have advertisements in between the balls and any other possible slot. When a run out decision is pending, the screen fully aware that it is the place being watched by everyone runs mini commercials. As the bowler walks back to his run up, there are mini ads. Now this one towering above the stadiums, prominently featured in broadcasts with cameras zooming on them and commentator speaking on it and about the Company behind.

Even for the most ardent cricket lover, this is clearly overdose of cricket – 60 T20 IPL matches starting from Mar 12 ending Apr 25th. A small gap and then from 30th April to 16th May 2010, there would be ICC World T20 tournament !!!!! Unlike the limited over World Cup which is held once in 4 years starting from 1975 (1979,1983, 1987, 1992, 1996, 1999, 2003 & 2007), the T20 WC is running limitless. The Tourney is to be held every two years. First was in 2007, when India won (remember the Misbah shot in the final over giving us victory by 5 runs); the second one was in June 2009, when Pak beat Lankans in the finals. Now less than a year the third version is to happen.

Actually, it was to be a Champions Trophy one day international tournament but revised to T20 citing reasons of postponement of 2008 Champions trophy in Pakistan due to security reasons. This tourney will feature 12 teams with Afghanistan and Ireland also in the fray. Matches will be played at four grounds – Barbados, Guyana, St.Lucia and St.Kitts & Nevis. The tournament will be organised in parallel with the women's tournament, with the men's semi-finals and final being preceded by the semi-finals and final from the women's event.

The first round is in four groups, with two teams from each group moving to Super 8. The Super 8s consist of two groups, Group E and Group F. Group E will consist of A1, B2, C1, D2 and Group F will consist of A2, B1, C2, D1, where X1 is the first seed from Group X and X2 is the second seed from Group X. The seedings are based on performance in the last ICC T20 (2007). If a non-seeded team knocks out a seeded team, the non-seeded team inherits the seed of the team it knocked out.

India has named its squad for the event : M.S. Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Vinay Kumar, Dinesh Karthik, Rohit Sharma, Piyush Chawla.
With many picking themselves, there was not much for speculation. Rohit should feel lucky to be ahead of Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Saurabh Tiwari and others who have performed in this version. Nehra comes back ahead of Ishant, RP Singh, Sreesanth, Munaf, Sudip Tyagi.

Ranganath Vinay Kumar born in Davangere on 12/2/1984 shot into limelight in a recent IPL match against Mumbai Indians when he removed Sachin, Dwayne Bravo and Ambati Rayudu in one over to tide the game clearly in RC way.


When it comes to IPL everything is at a premium and every little space is marketed. Here is a case of something more. Marketing something over the space also.

These inflated balloons are known as ‘blimps; MRF is the official blimp sponsor of IPL 2010, and will put the MRF Blimp on display during matches at Mumbai, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Bangalore and Cuttack. The blimp is 19m long, has a diameter of seven metre, contains up to 400 cubic metre of pure helium when filled. The blimp can be raised to a maximum height of 300m. Once in the air at 300m height, the blimp can withstand wind velocity of up to 40 knots during a storm. Unlike traditional blimps, which are engine driven and contain a gondola for passengers, the MRF Blimp is a tethered blimp, which is stationary and fixed to a mooring trailer on the ground. A blimp unit is manned by four operators.

Technically, the term blimp would refer only free-flying aircraft but commercially they are used to tethered or moored balloons also. The word is reportedly onomatopoeic, coming from the sound the airship makes when one taps the balloon with a finger, though there is disagreement on this. A report has it that this is one of the most expensive on ground ad space. There are unconventional ways of marketing – I for one fail to understand how this is going to attract the viewer into becoming a customer for the product but those spending crores would certainly know better.

Now, the sixers or catches have a sponsor tag to them mentioned diligently by the TV commentator and cameras zoom to ad boards and blimps without fail.

As you might know, MRF started as a toy balloon manufacturer in 1946 and has grown to become leading tyre maker and blimps are just right to them.

With regards – S Sampathkumar.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Can you connect Manu needhi Chozha to James Earle Fraser. ? Or do you know what is ‘Certiorari’ ?? .
Can you imagine a dispute between Company incorporated in India and one incorporated in Singapore over an accident that occurred in India, involving shipment of products to China, dispute was to be arbitrated in England being the subject matter of a law suit in US, with Supreme Court of United States in Washington DC pronouncing judgment.

To a common man, legal terms are always bemusing. In general parlance, to sue is the action of filing a law suit before a Court law. To make one appear in a Court is still considered humility in some forms. The law suit is a civil action in a Court of Law in which the plaintiff, i.e., the person who initiates action seeks legal or equitable remedy arising out of the defendant’s action.

For filing a suit, there is a basic requirement of jurisdiction. This term from latin ‘juris’ meaning law and ‘dicere’ meaning to speak is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body to deal and make decisions on legal matters and to administer justice
To those of us, with no legal background ‘Certiorari’ is Greek and Latin. The word was in news recently and has an Indian connection. US Supreme Court recently denied a writ of certiorari brought by Shipping Corporation of India appealing against an order in case against Jaldhi Overseas Pte Ltd.

Earlier, in a landmark judgment dated 16 October 2009, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held in The Shipping Corporation of India v. Jaldhi Overseas Pte Ltd. that claimants attaching electronic funds transfers (EFTs) passing through the New York banking system are no longer subject to attachment under Rule B of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Second Circuit departed from its previous decision in Winter Storm Shipping v. TPI – the initial decision that sanctioned the restraint of an EFT.

The present writ certiorari was an attempt by SCI to restore the use of Rule B to attach electronic funds transfers associated with alleged defaulters as they passed through New York but failed to win the favour of the US Supreme Court, as the Court denied the writ this month (March 2010).

Here is the background of the impugned case :

In March 2008, SCI chartered its vessel M/V Rishikesh to Jaldhi Overseas Pte Ltd for transporting iron ore from India to China. Specifically, the charter provided that SCI was to deliver the vessel to Jaldhi on March 29, 2008. The vessel was delivered to Jaldhi on March 29, 2008, in compliance with the terms of the charter. While in port in Kolkata, India the next day, a crane on board the vessel collapsed, killing the crane operator, halting cargo operations, and causing Jaldhi to place the vessel “off hire,” i.e., to suspend the charter. On May 2, 2008, SCI issued an invoice to Jaldhi seeking payment of Jaldhi’s unpaid balance of $3,608,445. After not receiving payment, SCI filed a complaint in the District Court seeking an ex parte maritime attachment pursuant to Rule B of the Admiralty Rules on May 7, 2008 for the balance, interest, and attorneys’ fees for a total of $4,816,218. According to SCI, the vessel came back “on hire” on April 13, 2008, when its cranes passed safety inspections, and therefore Jaldhi owes payments under the charter from that date forward. On May 8, 2008, the District Court entered an ex parte order of Maritime Attachment and Garnishment in the amount of $4,816,218 and noted in its order that the attachment applied against all tangible or intangible property belonging to, claimed by or being held for the Defendant by any garnishees within this District, including but not limited to electronic fund transfers originated by, payable to, or otherwise for the benefit of Defendant, whether to or from the garnishee banks or any other electronic funds transfers. SCI then filed an amended complaint on May 15, 2008, to adjust the amount attached to reflect additional fees and a $1,260,585 payment from Jaldhi to SCI, bringing the total attachment to $4,689,247. ……………………..

In the plaint initiated by SCI in New York in Rule B action, initially they could obtain an order of attachment and garnishment from the District Court for the Southern District of New York. The order included EFTs held by any banks under the court's jurisdiction that were originated by or payable to the Defendant.

The landmark judgment of The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (the "2nd Circuit Court" or the "Court") put an end to the practice of claimants attaching electronic funds transfers ("EFTs") passing through the New York banking system pursuant to Rule B of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure "Rule B").

The Court held that EFTs being processed by an intermediary bank are not property subject to attachment under Rule B". In doing so, the Court overruled its 2002 decision in Winter Storm Shipping Ltd v TPI, 310 F.3d 263, 278 (2d Cir. 2002). The specific question on appeal before the Court was whether EFTs were attachable property of the defendant. By answering in negative, Court restated the issue in wider terms.

The Court took into consideration the growing body of case law in the lower courts of the Circuit, which have increasingly imposed limitations on the extent of the availability of Rule B as a tool in respect of EFTs. The Court noted that a number of judicial panels and commentators had called the Winter Storm decision into question, with some suggesting that it merited reconsideration. The banks themselves received numerous new attachment orders and over 700 supplementary services of existing orders each day. The banks alleged that the resulting strain on the New York banking system undermined the efficiency of New York's international funds transfer business.

This placed SCI on a disadvantageous footing as they are virtually denied of a potent tool which enabled obtaining security from litigant defendants easier. Still the decision does not eliminate the Rule B but perhaps puts an end to the use for attachment of EFTs and goes back to traditional roots of attachment of physical properties like ships, cargo, bunkers, etc., as security for maritime claims.   The judgment categorically asserted that EFTs in temporary possession of an intermediary bank are neither the property of the originator nor the beneficiary of the transfer and may not be the subject of an attachment under Rule B. Coming as it did after the affirmation twice earlier by the Circuit Court of the Winter Storm decision, this did surprise many. Seemingly there was no retroactive guidance.

Though Rule B is not done away with, the effectiveness stands eroded. It is welcome news for defendants with only connection to New York being the passing of funds through banks there.
That Shipping Corporation could not succeed in US Supreme Court does not augur well for them.

Some explanations which would help understand better:

 Certiorari : is a legal term (roman) referring to a type of writ seeking judicial review. The word would mean ‘to be more fully informed’. It is generally issued by a Higher Court directing a lower court, tribunal or Public authority to send the record in a given case for review.
 Rule B is a procedure unique in American federal law which permits a plaintiff, on a fairly basic showing in a maritime case, to obtain an order that authorizes prejudgment attachment of a defendant's property. Rule B of Admiralty Rules permit attachment of tangible or intangible personal property.
 This is filed ‘In Personam’ a Latin term which is suit directed towards a particular person i.e., against a specific individuals who would be served with summons to give the Court Jurisdiction to try.
 In Rem In Rem contrarily is ‘in a thing’. In rem is Latin for "in a thing". In a lawsuit, an action in rem is directed towards some specific piece of property, rather than being a claim for, say, monetary compensation against a person
 An important distinction is in ‘rem’ action, the jurisdiction would be where the property actually is but not so in - in personam
 EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer) is an instruction to transfer funds from one account to another. When the originator and the beneficiary each have accounts in the same bank that bank simply debits the originator’s account and credits the beneficiary’s account. When the originator and beneficiary have accounts in different banks, the method for transferring funds depends on whether the banks are members of the same wire transfer consortium. It not, then they use an intermediary bank. After the originator directs its bank to commence an EFT, the originator’s bank would instruct the intermediary to begin the transfer of funds. The intermediary bank would then debit the account of the bank where the originator has an account and credit the account of the bank where the beneficiary has an account. The originator’s bank and the beneficiary’s bank would then adjust the accounts of their respective clients.

Now concluding the Q at the start : Manu Needhi Chozhan was a legendary Chozha King believed to have killed his own son to provide justice to a Cow following Manu Needhi or Manu's law. Legend has it that the king hung a giant bell in front of his courtroom for anyone needing justice to ring. One day, he came out on hearing the ringing of the bell by a Cow. On enquiry he found that the Calf of that Cow was killed under the wheels of his chariot. In order to provide justice to the cow, he killed his own son under the chariot as a punishment to himself i.e. make himself suffer as much as the cow. His name has since then been used as a metaphor for fairness and justice in literature. His capital was Thiruvarur. A statue of the King adorns the Chennai High Court, in Chennai, Tamilnadu.

The US Supreme Court is situated in Washington D.C – the building was designated as a National historic landmark on 4th May 1987. Alongside some is a statue located to the right of the front steps titled ‘authority of law’ sculpted by James Earle Fraser. A single tablet inscribed with "LEX" (Latin for "Law") is held by the figure.

Hope this made an interesting reading.  This post certainly does not intend to any commentary on the judgment. Merely an attempt to understand the latest judgment and some legal terms, rather than its interpretation and the far reaching attempts that the decision could have.

With regards – S Sampathkumar.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Dear (s)

Come March, salaried individuals would start thinking of bringing down their tax liability by somehow saving something in NSC, PPF, LIC, Infrastructure bonds and what not. Weeks earlier, a tender process was cancelled rumoured to be due to poor response, then bidding was conducted behind closed doors, lasted less than an hour as contenders barged into a plush hotel vying to buy at a base price of $ 225M, four times more than the rate two years back.

The bidding, conducted behind closed doors, lasted less than an hour after the contenders trooped into a hotel in Chennai. The base price for each team was $225 million, more than four times the rate at which the first IPL auction began in 2008. Bollywood stars Salman, Katrina, Saif, Kareena were all in the thick - can you imagine what it was ?

India has been one of the best performers in the world economy in recent years, but rapidly rising inflation and the complexities of running the world’s biggest democracy are proving challenging. There is widespread poverty in the Nation estimated to have a third of world’s poor. The per capita income is put at Rs.38000/- (in 2008-09). Per capita income is the measure of amount of money that each persons earns – i.e., notionally what each citizen is to receive if the yearly national income is divided equally amongst everyone.

In a recent meeting, our PM said that the economy would grow at 8.5% in the next fiscal year. An article in ET states that the country loses Rs 10 lakh crore from black economy every year. The news item adds that ‘While there are no authentic figures, economists feel that it is in the region of 40% of India’s gross domestic product (GDP). According to the latest estimate of Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), the size of the Indian economy is around Rs 61,64,000 crore. Thus, the size of the black economy, taking it at 40% of GDP, is around Rs 25,00,000 crore or around $500 billion.

The common man may not evince interest in all this – IPL 4 is to have two more teams and the amount of money splashed out at the auction would put not only the wealthiest of EPL teams to shame. Competitors vied with stash of money to gain entry in to an elite brand of clubs – Indian Premier League (IPL). For an non-existent brand – of two teams based out of Pune and Kochi, crores were the bid value. The recent auctions threw up huge surprise valuations defeating any talk of recession showing the faith in the potential of the brand enterprise. The two winners Sahara for Pune @ $ 370M and Rendezvous Sport for Kochi $333.33M have dwarfed many others including the Mumbai Indians Brand which was brought earlier at $ 111.9M (Rs.509 crores at that time). Those 8 teams together were traded at a whooping 2852 cr, now these two teams have cost Rs.3235 crores. The Kochi sponsor is a consortium brought together by suave Shashi Tharoor, the Union Minister. The minister famous for tweets, tweeted that he is not part but the group had his encouragement and blessings. The difference is marginally attributable to dollar fluctuation from 40 to 46. The two new teams will become part of IPL in the 2011 edition. The franchises will be valid for 10 years.

Certainly there is no recession for IPL but is it a bloated balloon ? these couple with audacious player bids, is it really worthy enough ? – questions to be answered by posterity.

Some ardent lovers of the game say that they do not evince in this form, especially with no allegiance to Clubs though somehow associated with States but TRP and other ratings keep proclaiming that the numbers are growing disproportionately. With plans to host the games in cine halls and with internet leverage, the spectator base is more to grow.

From an era where we rued advertisements in between overs, now virtually we have ads between balls. One form of making money. On the contrary another high definition service provider claims that one can watch game without advertisements by subscribing to their premium service. Clear paradox where advertisements and lack of them – both churn money. Sony Entertainment Television (SET) India together with World Sport Group which has the 10-year global media and production rights for IPL is all smiling after having winning the bid for $ 1.026 billion. According to a research report by Edelweiss, SET MAX is all set to reap a bonanza this time around with about Rs 700 crore in ad revenues as against Rs 500 crore in the previous edition, which translates into a growth of 40% year-on-year.

IPL is not just cricket. It is a lethal combination of sport, business, flow of money, pomp, marketing and politics.

In the first edition, not many of the franchisees earned profit. Still that has not deterred business houses like Videocon from being prepared to pump in $ 310 M and yet unable to clinch the deal.

Cochin does not have a ground ready to host the games, whilst the one in Pune is away from the city. When the State is reeling under power shortage, likely to worsen in summer, the matches are mostly day night affairs with giant equipments generating MWs of electricity.

The nation is going berserk and crazy.

An avid fan of the game – Srinivasan Sampathkumar.

PS: Not out of place to post here what I had shared with my friends through e mail  on 20/2/2008, immediately after the first IPL Auction.

Dear (s)
Sure you know what bidding is all about. An auction is a process of buying and selling goods by offering them up for bid, taking bids, and then selling the item to the winning bidder. In economic theory, an auction is a method for determining the value of a commodity that has an undetermined or variable price. In auction situations, traditionally, an object's value is determined by how badly someone wants it, rather than what it is intrinsically worth.
There are several variations on the basic auction form, including time limits, minimum or maximum limits on bid prices, and special rules for determining the winning bidder(s) and sale price(s). Participants in an auction may or may not know the identities or actions of other participants. Depending on the auction, bidders may participate in person or remotely through a variety of means, including telephone and the internet. Auctions are generally funded by a fee paid by the seller to the auctioneer or auction company.
What is being witnessed in India today is something which had never occurred before !!! Certainly, it is not CRICKET but trading of Players.Here is something on this billion-dollar news. It all started recently OR infact few months back to precise. Zee Group ambitiously launched Indian Cricket League (ICL) with a corpus fund of Rs 1 billion ($232.26 million) and a promise to field many international players. This was a private league running parallel to the existing cricket set up managed by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). They could rope in many recently retired cricketers, some promising Indian aspirants and some over the hill foreign players as well; which included the likes of Abdul Razaaq, Marvan Attapattu, Lara………. It was a Twenty 20 format of six teams and though the matches were somewhat intense they failed to generate the interest that it promised in the initial stages.
The Board was rudely shocked – it was not simply controlling the game but the vast money that was flowing to the coffers. They promptly banned the players contracted by the ICL stating the NATION INTEREST SHOULD STAND FIRST, MORE THAN ANY INDIVIDUAL INTEREST.Life has come a full circle. Now, it is BCCI at the wheels (of fortune) luring players with lucrative offers, which has made some current players think of terminating their careers and entering a contract for playing league in India.
On Sept. 14, 2007, BCCI launched the Indian Premier League reportedly the brainchild of the Vice president Lalit Modi. The league opens on April 18 and will see 59 matches spread over 44 days. In this big money game, overall prize money will be US $5 million, with the winners taking home $2 million. The remaining will be up for grabs in different forms, like man of the match awards and cash prizes. By contrast, the winners of the 2007 ICC World Cup in the Caribbean took home $1 million; the Indian team that won the World Twenty20 got half of that. TV rights have already gone for over $1 billion. Franchisees have already committed close to US $723 million. Top players are expected to earn minimum 1-2 crores per season. It was decided to have franchisees (8) who will run the teams in their own styles, bring their own sponsors and even name the team according to their choice. They will even be free to list their teams on the stock exchange. Some Corporates and some cine stars vultured on the prey and it ended with the following edging others out the others.
1) Vijay Mallya won the bid for the Bangalore team for $111.6 million.
2) Shah Rukh Khan won the bid for the Kolkata team for $75.09 million.
3) GMR Holdings won the bid for the Delhi team for $84 million.
4) Mukesh Ambani won the bid for the Mumbai team for $111.9 million.
5) India Cements won the bid for the Chennai team for $91 million.
6) Deccan Chronicle won the bid for the Hyderabad team for $107.01 million.
7) Emerging Media won the bid for the Jaipur team for $67 million.
8) Ness Wadia (Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia)won the bid for the Mohali team for $76 million, reportedly
For locals, the Chennai team is sponsored by India Cements and the team is named THE CHENNAI SUPER KINGS. Krishnamachari Srikanth who jocularly said that T20 was his cup of tea as he never lasted beyond that is the brand ambassador for the team while V B Chandrasekar is the official selector. The Chennai Super Kings team will play seven matches at MA Chidambaram stadium during April. The matches will be played under lights between 8 and 11 pm. Efforts are on to standardise the presentation of the stadium and an expert team from IPL inspected the grounds at Chepauk.
Once the Teams have been finalized, it is a tamasha of a different kind in selecting (!) the players. Today, is the day when Bollywood star amidst several Board Chairmans of Corporate world vied in bidding hundreds of thousands of dollars for the services of 77 star cricketers in a sporting auction never seen before in India. This is being held at Mumbai Hilton Towers in Nariman Point. The auction will be conducted by English auctioneer Richard Madley. Franchisees can spend up to $5million on their buys. Players will be contracted for three years.
Interestingly, Five players accorded “icon” status will not be auctioned. They will get 15 per cent more than the highest-priced player in their team. The icons are: Sachin Tendulkar (Mumbai), Sourav Ganguly (Kolkata), Rahul Dravid (Bangalore), Yuvraj Singh (Chandigarh) and Virender Sehwag (Delhi). Based on the lines of the NBA draft, the players have been divided into eight batches for the auction. Lots A, B, C and D are made up of top-rung players. Set E has wicketkeepers, F allrounders, G batsmen, and H bowlers. There are 25 Indians, 13 Australians, 11 Sri Lankans, 11 South Africans, 8 Pakistanis, 5 New Zealanders, 3 West Indians and one Zimbabwean on the list. Up for grabs first will be the marquee players from Set A: Shane Warne, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Adam Gilchrist, Shoaib Akhtar, Mahela Jayawardene and Muttiah Muralitharan.
Currently, the highest grade retainership in the Indian cricket team is worth Rs 60 lakh. Per Test, a player gets 3.2 lakh and each ODI earns him 2.2 lakh. Assume Sachin Tendulkar plays 30 ODIs and 10 Tests in a year. This translates to a pay of 158 lakh (including the retainer but excluding bonuses, prize money etc) for 80 days of work. In essence, this means Tendulkar's pay per playing day is Rs. 1.975 lakh.
SO, when the clock struck 11 am, the floor was open for the start of the first ever cricket players' auction. Mahendra Singh Dhoni outshone the likes of Adam Gilchrist and Muttiah Muralitharan as the Chennai franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL) made a whopping USD 1.5 million bid (approximately Rs six crore) to win the Indian one day captain. The Hyderabad franchise won Gilchrist with a USD 7,00,000 (app Rs 2.8 crore) bid, less than half of what Dhoni managed. The Chennai side also managed to rope in Sri Lankan off-spinner Muralitharan for USD 6,00,000 (Rs 2.4 crore).Retired Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne was bought by Jaipur for USD 4,50, 000, while Mahela Jayawardene will be seen playing for the Mohali team, which shelled out USD 4,75,000 for the Sri Lankan captain. Pakistan's enigmatic speedster Shoaib Akhtar was won by the Kolkata team for USD 425,000.
12:57 pm : Second round bidding results (figures in USD, base price in brackets):
Anil Kumble, Bangalore, $5,00,000 ($2,50,000)
Harbhajan Singh, Mumbai, $8,50,000 ($2,50,000)
Sanath Jayasuriya, Mumbai, $9,75,000 ($2,50,000)
Kumar Sangakkara, Mohali, $7,00,000 ($2,50,000).
Glenn McGrath and Mohammad Yousuf have gone back to the reserve pool as there was no opening bid for the two.
2:18 pm: Third round bidding results (figures in USD, base price in brackets):
Ricky Ponting to Kolkata, 4,00,000 (3,25,000)
Brett Lee to Mohali, 9,00,000 (3,00,000)
Andrew Symonds to Hyderabad, 1.35 million (2,50,000)
Daniel Vettori to Delhi, 6,25,000 (Delhi)
Matthew Hayden to Chennai, 3,75,000 (Chennai)
Brendon McCullum Kolkata, 7,00,000 (1,75,000)
Jacob Oram, Chennai, 6,75,000 (2,00,000).
Australian left-handed batsman Michael Hussey, who had a base price of USD 2,00,000, went unsold and has gone to the reserve pool, joining compatriot Glenn McGrath and Pakistan's Md Yousuf.
ANY OTHER VIEWS ??????????

With Regards - S. Sampathkumar.

Friday, March 19, 2010


In the 11th match at Kotla, Daredevils made a testing 185/6 ; CSK romped home with 5 balls to spare, losing 5 wickets.
The match saw for the first time, the mongoose bat, named after the fierce animal being used.  Hyped to be a ball crusher was used to good effect by the big burly Hayden.  In this edition of IPL, Hayden, Symonds, Dwayne Smith all are set to use the mongoose bat according to its creator Marcus Codrington Fernandez, Director of Mongoose Cricket Ltd.

The handle of the bat is about 43% longer and blade 33% shorter than the conventional ones.  It is claimed that since there is no splice, the sweet spot is increased by 120%.
Earlier the bat had been formally launched by Matthew Hayden with much fanfare who endorsed the product – today he demonstrated its power hitting.  Today he started with conventional bat but in over 3 bowled by Sangwan he switched to mongoose bat much to the glare of the media.
The first use was a mistimed shot on to onside fetching a single. The rest of the over was played by Badri.  The fourth by Bhatia was different.  First one produced no run, the second delivery drifted to give Hayden and mongoose a boundary. Third was lofted straight for a six, 4th was a four to fine leg; 5th escaped and 6th was again the maximum.
Playing further with the shorter, thicker bat Hayden smacked 93 off 43 and was instrumental in setting up the successful chase, out classing Virender Sehwag’s 74.  It was a wonder that Dirk Nannes did not try bouncing at the shorter bat.  Even before the arrival of mongoose, Hayden had displayed ominous form hitting 3 fours off first 8 he faced.  He further hit 6 across the line and seven over them.  His beastly hitting would have cleared the fence, even if he had used some other bat.  The end came when he hit Amit Mishra powerfully down the ground and Dilshan took a good catch – perhaps it would not have carried so much with a normal bat !!!
Regards – Sampathkumar.


Dear (s)

{I started this blog during Sept 2009. This article on Open Top Containers was shared with my friends on 5th Sept 2008 at which time, there were news items of this container type being very new to the market. The article reproduced now with some modifications and posted on my blog.}

For those of you who have been on ships and have handled containers for ages – this info may be rudimentary. Whilst this appears innovative, there are some questions like : is the risk of theft higher on such containers? will these containers also be sealed in the normal manner? When somebody can approach by cutting from top, is it fool proof to have strong doors? I don’t have ready made answers but still found it worthwhile and interesting about this new type of containers – Open Top containers.

Goods are transported from once place to another - often across Nations - perhaps almost any product that humans utilize spends sometime in a container. As goods are so transported, they require robust packaging to withstand the vagaries of transportation. The primary purpose of packing is to protect them from possible damages. The introduction of containers has vastly improved the way the goods are handled, transported as mostly the cargo within remains untouched during the journey.

There are five common standard lengths, 20-ft, 40-ft, 45-ft, 48-ft, and 53-ft. The majority of containers used worldwide today comply with the ISO standard, with 20'- and 40'-long containers predominating the development of standardized has ensured that cargoes, sometimes of different characters are shipped together easily. As the containers are stacked one upon the other, it is huge savings on space and costs. The exterior dimensions are generally 20 X 8X 8.6 Apart from the size there are various types: Standard, High cube, Hard top, Open top, flat track, platform, Refrigerated, Bulk and Tank containers. - To name a few. This is how containers are stacked.

The container floor is generally made of wood, usually planking or plywood. The sides are made up of corrugated steel sheets / aluminum sheet in conjunction with stiffening profiles. This is something about a new innovative type known as Open top which as the same suggests will have opening on top. This will be very easy to pack and unpack from the above using cranes or crab. They will be closed with tarpaulin. They are suitable for transporting over height cargo i.e., cargo taller than 2.54m /8'5".Commodities commonly shipped in the open top container include machinery, industrial boilers, tractors, steel pipes, steel bars and cables.

Read recently about a futuristic invention in the container transport: a new sliding open top container - developed in South Korea. This promises to overcome drawbacks associated with earlier designs at a cost that represents only a marginal increase over that of a standard open top. This is developed and patented by a company owned by former Hanjin Executive.

Open top units are designed to allow loading through both the top opening and the rear doors and are consequently suitable for the carriage of awkward and indivisible cargoes, whose handling and loading can only be performed with a crane or rolling bridge. Tiltable half-height open top containers are specifically designed to carry bulk minerals. The roof is replaced by a tarpaulin to allow loading and discharge from above. The tarpaulin covering means cargo is fully protected from the elements. Manufactured from steel, open top containers come in 20 ft and 40 ft sizes. Open tops are equipped with a swinging header to the door opening, hinged doors on both sides and removable roof bows and tarpaulin.
A safer and more cost-effective design of open top container - designated the “Sliding Open Top” - has been developed by Korean container specialists BoxJoin Corporation. The innovative design is being marketed internationally to container shipping lines, leasing companies and intermodal operators by Blue Sky Intermodal (UK) Ltd, on behalf of BoxJoin.

Open top containers are commonly used in the container shipping industry to transport oversized cargo and cargo which cannot easily be loaded into standard 20ft or 40ft dry freight containers through the doors. Instead of a normal container roof, an open top container is fitted with a removable tarpaulin, supported by a series of roof bows. Major challenges for container operators are how to easily open and close the roof, and how to avoid losing the removable parts, (the tarpaulin and roof bows) once the cargo has been discharged from the container.
BoxJoin’s concept is for the roof bows and tarpaulin to stay with the container. Instead of the roof bows being secured by pins in the top rail (as on a standard open top), the roof bows on the new Sliding Open Top have rollers at each end, which sit in a track on the inside of the container’s top rail, running the whole length of the unit.   So, after the rope securing the tarpaulin to the container has been untied, the roof bows and the tarpaulin together can now be pulled along the track either to the front or back of the container, giving access for quick and easy loading and discharging of the cargo. Alternatively, the roof bows can be pulled along the track after the tarpaulin has been pulled back in the same way as on a normal open top. The roof bows are held an equal distance apart from each other by a simple cord. To pull the roof bows backwards and forwards, a hand rope is attached at both sides of the first and last roof bow ends. When the roof is closed, the hand ropes can be tied to the four corner posts’ inner lashing bars, to prevent the roof bows moving in transit.

If the roof bows have to be removed, they can easily be taken out of the track on the top rail through a slot at each end of track and then stowed on the front wall of the container, behind a simple securing bar that is installed in both inside front corner posts.
One of the main benefits of the system is that it avoids the need to remove the roof bows and the tarpaulin during loading and discharge, so there is much less chance of them being lost or damaged. In addition, there is no need for people to climb up onto the top rail to remove the roof bows. Operations are therefore much safer, because the roof bows and tarpaulin together can be pulled up and down the track either from inside the container or from alongside the container with a rope. Trials have also shown that cargo loading and discharge is much quicker than with a normal open top.

In the original version, specially designed roof bow ends ran on rollers in tracks in the top side rails and were connected by a scissor mechanism, which ensured that they were correctly spaced and could not jam in the tracks. The tarpaulin was attached to each roof bow and once detached from the top rails and headers, the tarpaulin and roof bows could be rolled back concertina-fashion to the front end of the container like the hood of a soft top car. There were some troubles experienced including the restriction of loading area by the retracted tarpaulin at one end of container and thus

For the not so informed, the maximum permissible weight (called Rating) i.e., weight of a container + its contents of a 20' dry cargo is 24000 kgs and for a 40' is 30480 kgs.

With Regards
S Sampathkumar


Recently a friend who is in the Survey field shared some photographs of a gory accident - sad one at that - but was that really an accident is what triggers thought process. Safety is everybody’s concern and no body wants an accident to happen. But despite best of precautions and safe driving accidents do happen and perhaps that is the time when Insurer is required to step in.

By definition, accident is unexpected, unusual, unintended, sudden external action which occurs without apparent or deliberate cause and generally has negative outcome which may have been avoided or prevented had circumstances lading up to the same been recognised and acted upon, prior to its occurrence. Road accidents are common and so many valuable human lives are lost. A number of factors contribute to the risk of collision which include the vehicle design, speed of operation, road design, driver impairment and something more……………. A high percentage of accidents do occur due to sheer negligence, or laxity or utter callousness – this article is more about this article.
Time and again I have highlighted the indifferent attitude and impudence of drivers talking on cell phone whilst driving. Have you heard of ‘return lorry syndrome? Before we proceed, the one above is an interesting photo of a goods transport truck that fell into a six meter deep hole in a street in downtown Badajoz, western Spain, recently. The 28 ton truck had to be lifted by three cranes after falling into the hole created by a leak on the city's main sewer. Sounds that roads in advanced countries could also have potholes and poor maintenance.

See these photos – iron rods and pipes being transported from one place to other by truck, presumably for some project. Can you smell anything?

More often than not, the cargo owner wants the goods to be moved. The cargo could be costly but not much is planned or thought of about the way it is to be transported. Just find a lorry perhaps someone returning after delivering cargo, for a cheap cost; put them on the truck, the illiterate lorry driver would take care of everything on the way.

Quite unfortunately, this truck did not reach the destination. Human lives were lost when the driver tried to avoid a stray animal (something commonly encountered in highways). No other vehicle was involved The driver applied brakes at a considerable speed, the loose lying cargo, flew piercing the cabin and killing the driver and the other occupant. Quite inconceivably, the pipes were not even secured using conventional ropes – fibre, wire, composite, jute or synthetic ones.

A grim tale of how lack of any safety precaution paved way for an accident ! Was it really an accident ? Could it not have been avoided by proper planning ? Who is to be blamed ? - the cargo owner, the contractor, the carrier, the lorry driver, the roads, lack of regulations, or the laxity of administration in allowing such things to happen. Will anybody learn from such mistakes? Unfortunately, the answer would be a striking NO.

There are some basic aspects of transporting cargo. Pipes are not to be carried loose lying. There are aspects of weight management, stowing and securing the cargo. These are mandatory in ships and are to be adhered to in trucks also. Any cargo needs to be packed and secured within the unit to prevent throughout the voyage, shifting, movement or falling to prevent hazards not only to cargo and carrying vessel but to other road users as well. Appropriate precautions are to be taken during loading and transporting. Cargo should be lashed and secured. In advanced countries there are manuals created after great research in load securing, lashing and handling.

The objects loaded must be fundamentally safe and secure and should not be able to move as a result of jolts or vibrations that can be expected under normal operating conditions. The possibility of longitudinal movement is permitted insofar as the magnitude of this movement is limited by the use of appropriate means and there is no risk posed to safety. Truckers must avoid stacking loads too high or with uneven or improper weight distribution. Failure will only result in an uneven load or load shifting, which can cause the truck to rollover, leading to accidents.

Unsecured cargo is potential ammunition of hazard to all road users and stringent regulations needs to be in place. Inspection by a qualified authority (surveyors have a great role here) on loads should be made mandatory. The expenses incurred are towards safety – for all concerned. The trucker need to inspect the security of the load frequently at regular intervals say every 200 kms and observations logged properly.

There are simple methods of containing, immobilising, securing the load so that it would not move / shift upon or within the vehicle. Movements could adversely impact the vehicle’s stability or manoeuvrability. Some of the simple things to be adopted could be: strapping by tensioned strips of material, clamping them, tying down on anchor points, putting dunnage, contour bunks and blocking materials either by nailing or fastening. The carrier and driver besides the consignor and receiver must be aware of the environmental and physical hazards relating to such transport.

Any measure taken just for the sake of complying with any regulation (if at all there are some) would never have the intended safety effect. It does not require great engineering brain to understand that upon deceleration or sudden breaking, unsecured pipes tend to shoot forward, crash through the trailer head board and driver’s cabin before finally embedding themselves on the ground in front or elsewhere!!

Before the journey begins, the possibility of placing them side by side or cantline and securing them sensibility should be studied. This is certainly left to the experts. There are techniques of forward securing countering the friction and distribute the pressure. Use of hooks, long link chains, tie-down lashings, belts, steel wires etc., are to be used appropriately. In movement, there will always be forces which would apply on the belts holding the cargo (pipes). Further they are to be secured against sideways movement assisted by wooden guide rails. It has to be ensured that the load movement does cause exceeding the permissible axle loads. Regardless of the mass, the goods could slide and that needs to be blocked.

There is accepted practice of rigid loading and individually securing the load. Popularly, wooden wedges and squared lumber are used so also are planks which are to be nailed.

If you plan all these properly and transportation takes place in a planned manner and if there is any unforeseen mishap, that could be termed as an accident but not when there is invitation to disaster – it is only a recipe for disaster and road to harrowing experience.

With regards – S Sampathkumar.