South Africa beat West Indies by 7 wickets

South Africa beat the West Indies by seven wickets in a World Cup Group B match here Thursday.

AB de Villiers scored an unbeaten 107 off 105 balls with eight fours and two sixes with South Africa winning with 43 balls remaining.

Earlier, the West Indies were all out for 222 in 47.3 overs.ICC Cricket World Cup 2011

Pakistan beat Kenya by 205 runs

Shahid Afridi took five wickets and Umar Akmal scored one of four half-centuries as Pakistan crushed Kenya by 205 runs to get their World Cup campaign off to a flying start on Wednesday.

Hapless Kenya found their opponents too hot to handle after Umar hit a 52-ball 71 to anchor Pakistan's challenging total of 317-7 before they bundled out their rivals for just 112 in 33.1 overs.

Once Pakistan introduced spin, Kenyan wickets fell quickly with Afridi unplayable in the day-night match at Mahinda Rajapakse stadium.

Only Collins Obuya, with 47, and three other batsmen managed to reach double figures as Kenya -- bowled out for a paltry 69 in their first match against New Zealand on Sunday -- faltered again.

Pakistan headed for a 300-plus total thanks to Umar Akmal (71), Misbah-ul-Haq (65), Kamran Akmal (55) and Younis Khan (50) as four batsmen scored half-centuries for the ninth time in a World Cup match.

Man of the match Umar, 21, playing his first World Cup tie, gave the innings a final flourish, sharing a rapid 118-run stand for the fifth wicket with in-form Haq who was equally aggressive during his 69-ball stay.

With Umar and Haq in full swing, Pakistan racked up 70 runs in the batting powerplay, with the junior Akmal hitting four boundaries off one Elijah Otieno over.

Haq, Pakistan's best batsman in the recent Test and one-day series in New Zealand, also added 45 for the fourth wicket with Khan before giving impetus to the innings with Umar to help Pakistan put up an impressive total.

Haq, whose first scoring shot was a six, hit one more six and a single boundary, while Umar notched eight boundaries and a six before holing out off Thomos Odoyo who finished with 3-41.

Odoyo conceded 20 wides in an embarrassing team total of 46 extras.

Kenya equalled the highest number of wides bowled in a one-day innings of 37 conceded by the West Indies against Pakistan at Brisbane in 1989.

Pakistan had been sluggish at the start with openers Mohammad Hafeez (nine) and Ahmed Shahzad (one) falling in quick succession, leaving their team struggling at 12-2.

Hafeez was the first to go, failing to keep a drive down as a diving Seren Waters picked up a beautiful catch at short mid-wicket.

Two overs later, Shahzad, who scored his first run after 13 deliveries, was caught by skipper Jimmy Kamande off Odoyo.

Khan and Kamran revived the innings through a solid 98-run stand for the third wicket, pushing for singles off some tight bowling.

Pakistan next take on Sri Lanka, winners against Canada in their first match, on Saturday. Kenya meet Sri Lanka on March 1 with both matches in Colombo.


31 convicted in Godhra train burning case

Ahmedabad, Feb 22: A special court on Tuesday indicted 31 in the 2002 Godhra train burning case .

The judgement was pronounced by designated Judge P R Patel, who had completed hearing arguments of the prosecution and defence in September last year.

NDTV reports: The court pronounced judgment on the role of over 90 people accused of conspiring and burning the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express on February 27, 2002. Fifty-nine people, mostly Kar Sewaks returning from Ayodhya, were killed in the incident.

The verdict was pronounced at Ahmedabad's Sabarmati Central Jail, where the trial was held, on whether there was a pre-planned conspiracy behind the attack on the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express or whether it was a spontaneous riot situation fuelled by an altercation between Kar Sevaks and Muslim vendors at Godhra station in Gujarat.

IBN Live reports: Special Public Prosecutor JM Panchal said that the court upheld that the burning of the train was a pre-planned conspiracy. "The motive of the conspiracy was to set the train on fire," said Panchal. However, one of the main accused in the train burning case, Maulana Umarji, has been acquitted. For the families of those killed in the arson, the nine-year wait has been agonising.

Hindustan Times reported that many families of those killed on the train were living in poverty, and were angry with Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi for not doing enough to help them.

ANI said the Supreme Court had on October 26 last year vacated its stay in the 2002 Godhra communal riots case, thereby paving the way for the trial court to pronounce its verdict.

The apex court, however, said the trial court should not pronounce its verdict in the case relating to the killing of former Congress MP Ehsan Jaffrey in which the Special Investigation Team (SIT) has questioned Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Tuesday's verdict, which accepts the state contention that a conspiracy resulted in the burning of the train, overturns Tehelka magazine's report that it was a case of mob fury.

Earlier on April 27, 2010, the apex court had asked the SIT, headed by former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director RK Raghavan, to probe the role of 64 people, including that of Gujarat Chief Minister Modi in the post-Godhra riots cases. The court directive came in response to a petition filed by Zakia Jaffrey, whose husband Ehsan Jaffrey, ex-Congress MP, was killed during the Gulburg society riots along with 39 others. In her complaint Zakia Jaffrey alleged that Modi, his cabinet colleagues, police officials and senior bureaucrats aided and abetted the riots.


Australia beat Zimbabwe by 91 runs

In their first match in the 2011 World Cup, defending champions Australia have defeated Zimbabwe by decisive 91 runs.

Batting first, Australia put up a total of 262/6 in 50 overs. Though, the Zimbabwean spin bowlers bowled well, the Aussie batsmen rose to the occasion riding on half centuries by Shane Watson and Michael Clarke. Watson, who scored 79 with 8 boundaries and a six, was the highest scorer of the match. Clarke (58), Ponting (28) and Haddin (29) were other notable contributors.

Chasing 262, Zimbabwe batsmen faltered mid way to the lethal bowling of Australia’s pace battery. Zimbabwe was bowled out for 171 in 46.2 overs. Graeme Cremer (37) and Sean Williams (28) were the chief scorers. Mitchell Johnson was the pick of the bowler grabbing 4 wickets for just 19 runs. Mitchell was complemented by Shaun Tait and Jason Krejza who took two wickets each. Brett Lee and David Hussey got a piece each.

Shane Watson was awarded the Man of the Match.

Zimbabwe bowled and fielded impressively but while batting, at no stage, looked to threaten the Aussie total. Australia may not have won the match with too big a margin but their sharp fielding and top-class pace bowling has proven that they would be a force to reckon with in the later stages of the tournament. The likes of India, Sri Lanka and South Africa need to watch out!

New Zealand beat Kenya by 10 wickets

The Black Caps beat Kenya by 10 wickets chasing a measly target of 69 runs during their Group A match today in Chennai. New Zealand's Hamish Bennett grabbed four wickets in his World Cup debut to help skittle out Zimbabwe in 24 overs. Two days before he turns 24, Bennett claimed 4-16 from his tidy five overs as Kenya, having opted to bat first, lost their top half even before reaching the 50-run mark and were shot out in 23.5 overs.
ICC World Cup 2011

Tim Southee and Jacob Oram claimed three wickets apiece.

Southee dismissed Nehemiah Odhiambo and Shem Ngoche off the last to deliveries of his sixth over but could not get a chance to complete his hat-trick as Oram removed Elijah Otieno to drop curtains on the Kenyan innings.

Openers Alex Obanda (6) and Seren Waters (16) began cautiously even if run-rate was nothing to write home about.

Southee trapped Obanda in the seventh over before Bennett suddenly took fancy to beating the blade and hitting the pad of the flummoxed Kenyan batsmen, claiming three of his four victims lbw.

Only three Kenyan batsmen - Waters, Collins Obuya (14) and Rakep Patel (15 not out) -- managed double digit scores.

New Zealand missed Kyle Mills' service through a sore back but off-spinner Nathan McCullum recovered from fever to open the attack, a move that is getting increasingly popular among the visiting teams.

Here is the complete World Cup 2011 schedule.

India beat Bangladesh by 87 runs

19th Feb, 2011: The one-day-international (ODI) ICC World Cup 2011 finally kicked off today, and the first match, India vs Bangladesh (Ind vs Ban), at Shere Bangla Stadium in Mirpur, saw India whip Bangladesh by 87 runs.

The match saw a blitzkreig from Virender
Sehwag, who almost reached the highest score in ODIs (200* of Sachin Tendulkar in Hyderabad, vs South Africa, in 2010). His rampaging innings of 175 in 140 balls saw India score a huge 370/4 in its 50 overs. Virat Kohli ably supported Virender Sehwag, with an almost equally fierce century - 100 off 83 balls, not out. It appears like Kohli is on his way to becoming a star cricket icon, too.

In reply, Bangladesh could manage only 283 runs in its innings.

The World Cup highest score belongs to India, too - it made 434 against lowly Bermuda in the 2007 edition.

For addicts of cricket, live scores are everything, and for live world cup match scores each day, even if you do not have access to the Star Sports live or ESPN live telecasts, is going to be your great friend.

Here are the final Ind vs Ban match scores:

Bangladesh: 283/9 (50 overs)

Tamim Iqbal c Yuvraj Singh b Munaf Patel 70 (86b 3x4 1x6)
Imrul Kayes b Munaf Patel 34 (29b 7x4 0x6)
Junaid Siddique st Dhoni b Harbhajan 37 (52b 1x4 1x6)
Shakib Al Hasan c Harbhajan Singh b Yusuf Pathan 55 (50b 5x4 0x6)
Mushfiqur Rahim c sub (Raina) b Zaheer Khan 25 (30b 2x4 0x6)
Raqibul Hasan (not out) 29 (28b 0x4 1x6)
Mahmudullah b Munaf Patel 6 (6b 0x4 0x6)
Naeem Islam lbw b Munaf Patel 2 (8b 0x4 0x6)
Abdur Razzak lbw b Zaheer Khan 1 (5b 0x4 0x6)
Shafiul Islam run out (Harbhajan Singh) 0 (1b 0x4 0x6)
Rubel Hossain (not out) 1 (6b 0x4 0x6)

Extras: 23

India: 370/4 (50 overs)

Virender Sehwag b Shakib Al Hasan 175 (140b 14x4 5x6)
Sachin Tendulkar run out (Shakib Al Hassan ) 28 (29b 4x4 0x6)
Gautam Gambir b Mahmudullah 39 (39b 3x4 0x6)
Virat Kohli (not out) 100 (83b 8x4 2x6)
Yusuf Pathan c Mushfiqur Rahim b Shafiul Islam 8 (10b 0x4 0x6)

Extras: 20

Here is the complete World Cup 2011 schedule.

Cricket World Cup 2011 Opening Ceremony

DHAKA: Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni may find it difficult to recollect when he had last taken a rickshaw ride, but he is scheduled to take one on Thursday when captains of all the 14 participating countries are taken around the new-look Bangabandhu Stadium on tri-cycles during a glitzy opening ceremony of the 2011 World Cup.

In a nation where rickshaws continue to be the most popular mode of conveyance, it is Bangladesh's way of fusing tradition with modernity. The Pontings and Sangakkaras may find Thursday's rickshaw ride amusing but, for the 14 rickshawalas handpicked to ferry the cricketing luminaries --- it could well be a life-changing experience. As television cameras capture the moment and telecast the images to a worldwide audience, they will not only get their two minutes of fame but also become part of World Cup history, leaving the rest of their ilk to envy these chosen 14.
Cricket World Cup 2011 Opening Ceremony

The much-hyped rickshaw ride is not the only thing that will be on view during the two-hour-long opening ceremony whose tickets have long been sold out. A few thousand fans who braved long queues and to buy tickets can consider themselves lucky because it offers them two shows for the price of one. The gates of the stadium will open at 2.30pm (3pm IST) and fans will be treated to a pre-show (from 4 to 6pm) before the big show gets under way with the welcome song --- O prithibi, tumi aaj chine nao (O world, it's time to know us) --- sung by local artistes.

The high point of the function is expected in the segment where Canadian rock singer Bryan Adams takes over from top singers from the three host nations --- Bangladesh, Indian and Sri Lanka --- following the formal opening of the tournament by prime minister Sheikh Hasina, who has spared no effort in branding the country's image with the ICC's quadrennial showpiece event.

Three of Bangladesh's top lady singers --- Runa Laila, Sabina Yasmin and Mumtaz will kick off this segment by belting out some of their chart-bursting numbers, while the mellifluous voice of Sonu Nigam will tug at our heart strings even as the 14 skippers enjoy a rickshaw ride. And there will the trio of Shankar, Ehsan and Loy to sing the theme song De Ghuma Ke (whack it will all your might) in Hindi, Bengali and English to set the tone of the competition which involves a staggering 49 matches spread over six weeks. There will also be a band from Sri Lanka to entertain the fans before Adams gives it to us straight from the heart in what promises to be a one night love affair.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), which was keen to rope in Shakira for the opening ceremony, opted for Adams after the representatives of the Colombian singer reportedly asked for a cool $2 million appearance fee!

An aerial cricket show, touted to be first of its kind, promises to wow the spectators. The last time the World Cup was staged in the sub-continent in 1996, the opening ceremony at the Eden Gardens had been an unmitigated disaster. First-time co-hosts, Bangladesh, are taking every precaution to prevent any glitches. Having spruced up the nation's capital for the World Cup, the Hasina government is ready to showcase Bangladesh in a new light even as Dhaka doubles up as the capital of the cricket world for the next few days.

Original Source:

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 Schedule

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 schedule and Cricket World Cup 2011 fixtures: ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 schedule and Cricket World Cup 2011 fixtures are given below on our website.






19 Feb

India vs Bangladesh



20 Feb

New Zealand vs Kenya



20 Feb

Sri Lanka vs Canada



21 Feb

Australia vs Zimbabwe



22 Feb

England vs Netherlands



23 Feb

Pakistan vs Kenya



24 Feb

South Africa vs West Indies

New Delhi


25 Feb

Australia vs New Zealand



25 Feb

Bangladesh vs Ireland



26 Feb

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan



27 Feb

India vs England



28 Feb

West Indies vs Netherlands

New Delhi


28 Feb

Zimbabwe vs Canada



1 Mar

Sri Lanka vs Kenya



2 Mar

England vs Ireland



3 Mar

South Africa vs Netherlands



3 Mar

Pakistan vs Canada



4 Mar

New Zealand vs Zimbabwe



4 Mar

Bangladesh vs West Indies



5 Mar

Sri Lanka vs Australia



6 Mar

India vs Ireland



6 Mar

England vs South Africa



7 Mar

Kenya vs Canada

New Delhi


8 Mar

Pakistan vs New Zealand



9 Mar

India vs Netherlands

New Delhi


10 Mar

Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe



11 Mar

West Indies vs Ireland



11 Mar

Bangladesh vs England



12 Mar

India vs South Africa



13 Mar

New Zealand vs Canada



13 Mar

Australia vs Kenya



14 Mar

Pakistan vs Zimbabwe



14 Mar

Bangladesh vs Netherlands



15 Mar

South Africa vs Ireland



16 Mar

Australia vs Canada



17 Mar

England vs West Indies



18 Mar

Sri Lanka vs New Zealand



18 Mar

Ireland vs Netherlands



19 Mar

Australia vs Pakistan



19 Mar

Bangladesh vs South Africa



20 Mar

Zimbabwe vs Kenya



20 Mar

India vs West Indies



23 Mar

First Quarterfinal



24 Mar

Second Quarterfinal



25 Mar

Third Quarterfinal



26 Mar

Fourth Quarterfinal



29 Mar

First Semifinal
Sri Lanka vs New Zealand



30 Mar

Second Semifinal
India vs Pakistan



02 Apr

India vs Sri Lanka


*To be confirmed. Most probably it would be played in M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru (Bangalore).

Group A – Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada and Kenya.

Group B – India, South Africa, England, Bangladesh, West Indies, Netherlands and Ireland

World Cup 2011Reserve day from knock out stage

A reserve day has been factored in from the knock out stage in the World Cup which will commence with the Group B preliminary league clash between India and Bangladesh at Mirpur on February 19.

Play would be continued from where it stopped on the scheduled day of the quarterfinals, semifinals and final if it spills over into the reserve day, as per the playing conditions of the tournament.

"There shall be one reserve day allocated to the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final on which an incomplete match shall be continued from the scheduled day."

"Every effort will be made to complete the match on the scheduled day with any necessary reduction in overs taking place and only if the minimum number of overs necessary to constitute a match cannot be bowled on the scheduled day will the match be completed on the reserve day," the playing conditions state.

There would be no reserve day for the group matches.

The quarterfinals are scheduled on March 23 (Mirpur), March 24 (Ahmedabad), March 25 (Mirpur) and March 26 (Colombo) and the semi finals are to be held on March 29 (Colombo) and March 30 (Mohali).

The final is at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 2.


National Games Begins With a Colourful Opening Ceremony

RANCHI: An agonising wait of four years and six postponements later, the 34th National Games finally got off with a colourful opening ceremony at the Birsa Munda Athletics Stadium on Saturday.
Organisational chaos and mismanagement took some sheen off the opening ceremony but singer Sukhwinder Singh and Bollywood artists Vivek Oberoi and Ameesha Patel's riveting performances ensured that the spectators were enthralled at the three-hour programme.

A spectacular laser show towards the end of the opening ceremony brought the spectators on to their feet in the Mega Sports Complex in the outskirts of the city.

The timing of the February 12-26 National Games clashing with the much-awaited Cricket World Cup in the sub-continent proved to be a dampener as the premier multi-discipline competition of the country failed to generate a keen media interest nationwide.

National Games 2011 Opening CeremonyAs announced earlier, star son of Ranchi, Mahendra Singh Dhoni could not take part in the opening ceremony due to Team India commitments, though performances by Bollywood and local artists, laser shows and spectacular fireworks at the end filled in the void.

Amid vociferous chants of Jai Jharkhand, the state's chief minister Arjun Munda made a sincere appeal to forget about the torrid build-up to the National Games which was in jeopardy having missed deadlines after deadlines.

"Chhodo kal ki batein, kal ki baat purani. Naye daur mein likhenge milkar nayi kahaani hum hindustani, hum hindustani," Munda sang the popular song in his speech that saw loud cheers from the crowd.

Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi was at his usual hyperbole, saying, "10,000 athletes and officials are taking part here. This is world's best infrastructure. This is going to be the biggest National Games ever. I'm very happy that you have got all the good facilities."

The three-hour opening ceremony began with aerobatics ahead of the formal programme as chief guest governor of Jharkhand MOH Farook, Kalmadi, Munda and Jharkhand Olympic Association president arrived at the near-packed venue that has a 35,000 seating capacity.

With the National Anthem played in the background, floral welcome was showered on the chief guests as the governor declared the Games open as tricolour balloons were released in the sky while white pigeons were set free.

The first hour of the ceremony was all about the march-past of the athletes and speeches by the dignitaries including that of Munda, Kalmadi and Jharkhand Olympic Association president RK Anand, among others.

Jharkhand's teen sensation and Commonwealth Games archery gold medalist Deepika Kumari started the relay run with the torch from one end of the stadium and passed it on to international pugilist Aruna Mishra.

Former Indian women's hockey captain Sumrai Tete took the torch from Mishra before finally handing it to Olympian hockey player Sylvanus Dung Dung.

Dung Dung, who was part of the Indian Olympic hockey team that won gold in 1980 Moscow Games, ignited the giant torch as fire crackers lit up the sky.

The 'baby archer' Deepika, who shot into the limelight at the Commonwealth Games, took the Games oath on behalf of the athletes.

There were also folk dances from Jharkhand-Maanbhum Chhau, Paika, Jhumar, Mudar, Kurukh, Karsa portraying the rich cultural heritage of the tribal-dominated eastern state of India.

A tribute to Jharkhand warrior Birsa Munda in a mesmerising 10-minute performance peppered with Bollywood numbers set the tone for the colourful opening ceremony.

Games mascot 'Chhaua' -- baby dear -- made an aerial entry into the athletics complex and ran around the stadium with the torch with echoes of 'Vande Mataram'.

There was a special laser show on eminent Jharkhand sportspersons that included Jaipal Singh Munda, who captained the gold medal winning Olympics hockey team in 1928, Dung Dung, archery coach Sanjeev Kumar Singh, Tete and Indian cricket skipper Dhoni, bringing loud cheers from the crowd.

Sukhwinder Singh crooned popular Bollywood numbers, including 'Chhaiya Chhaiya', 'Chak De India'.

In the last part of the show, Bollywood actors Vivek Oberoi, Amisha Patel and Sameera Reddy added the glamour quotient as the opening ceremony stretched to more than three hours.

A laser show followed by dazzling fireworks lit up the sky in the Ranchi outskirts marking the beginning of a new chapter in Jharkhand's sporting history.


Apple working on smaller, cheaper iPhone - report

Apple Inc is working on a smaller and less expensive version of the iPhone , Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing sources.

The prototype device is about one-third smaller than the iPhone 4, the report said, citing a person who had seen it.

Apple has considered selling the new iPhone for $200 without a two-year wireless contract, Bloomberg reported.

Apple is aiming to unveil the device around the middle of this year, but the launch may be delayed or canceled altogether, the report said.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

The company often develops products it never brings to market.

According to the report, Apple is also working on a dual-mode phone that would be able to work with the world's two main wireless standards.

AT&T, which carries the iPhone on its wireless network in the United States, declined to comment. Verizon Wireless, which also carries the device, could not be reached for comment.

Shares of Cupertino, California-based Apple closed down 1 percent at $354.54 on the Nasdaq on Thursday.

(Reporting by Gabriel Madway and Sinead Carew, editing by Matthew Lewis)


IT Sector Has 3 Lakh Jobs

THE EIGHT per cent- plus growth clocked up by the economy is beginning to show up where it matters most for the common man — in jobs.

India's infotech ( IT) and infotechenabled services ( ITES) sector is shrugging off its post- meltdown caution and going on a hiring spree.

The result: a deluge of well over two lakh jobs over the coming months. Fresh hires in the IT- BPO sector alone will reach 2.40 lakh, the apex IT and BPO trade body Nasscom revealed on Thursday.

This will come on top of the estimated one lakh hires done in January alone, a peak hiring time for the IT and BPO sectors in India as it coincides with the start of a new financial year in the countries from which the sector secures its outsourcing jobs.

What's more, the pace of fresh hiring is expected to sustain well into 2012- 13 as well.

" The sector will continue with the hiring spree in the coming years. The fresh hiring in IT- BPO alone will reach 2.40 lakh in this fiscal.

In the next fiscal the sector will be hiring two lakh more people," said Som Mittal, president of Nasscom.

According to Mittal the improving demand from the US market and selected European markets will drive the high recruitment.

" The markets in the US and Europe are improving. The Indian software and service export sector is expected to grow by 15- 17 per cent, which is our conservative estimate keeping in view the Euro crisis and Rupee appreciation. So there will be more hiring," Mittal said.

That is because Indian IT continues to derive a bulk of its revenues from outsourcing.

Global outsourcing spends grew by 10 per cent in 2010, compared to a mere four per cent growth in overall technology spends worldwide, according to data from Everest Research and IDC. And India continues to get a lion's share of this particular pie.

" India's share in the global sourcing has gone up from 51 per cent in 2009 to 55 per cent in 2010, which is a good sign," said Mittal.

India's IT- BPO sector currently accounts for 26 per cent of the country's total exports and 11 per cent of all services revenues. Services account for more than half of India's GDP. IT services continue to comfortably outpace the rest of India Inc in the pace of growth, growing by 22.7 per cent. The BPO sector has been slower, growing at just 14 per cent, as new competition from cheaper geographies eats away India's share.

Nevertheless, improving domestic and overseas business is responsible for the high hiring numbers, said Mittal.

Another big factor has been attrition. After a two- year slowdown in pay hikes and bonuses, employees are ringing up job changes at a rapid clip as they switch jobs to improve their pay. The industry has seen a high attrition rate varying from 10- 20 per cent.

This has led to rising demand for those with more experience as well, although the big numbers are coming from campus hires. Companies like Infosys, Wipro and TCS have been on a hiring spree in campuses since December. Due to the growing order books, most firms have increased their hiring expectations from their earlier targets.

However, experts feel that as the industry grows, the sector will face a talent crunch. " The sector is already facing a talent crunch in more specialised areas, which will become severe in future. There will always be demand for specialised IT professionals," said Kamal Karanth, chief executive officer ( CEO) of Kelly Services.

That is the reason why companies have increased hiring of non- IT candidates. According to Nasscom, in 2005, the number of hires from non- technical backgrounds was around two to three per cent, which went up to 12 per cent in 2010.

Talking about the hiring trend for the IT sector, Mittal said, " A good number of BPO staff change their fields after two to three years, so there is always high hiring in this segment." According to him, as Indian IT moves up the IT value chain, companies are targeting more specialised services and typical low- end BPO jobs are going to countries like the Philippines.

" For IT and IT- enabled services, the industry is going through a paradigm shift.

Clients are now looking for application- based solutions.

So, there will be a fair demand for specialised application-based software developers," Mittal added.

The industry already directly employs over 2.54 million professionals, making Indian IT one of the world's largest technical labour forces. This upward trend is likely to stay. While revenues are expected to grow by an estimated 18.7 per cent this financial year, employee strength is expected to grow by 10 per cent.


IBM to offer USD 1,000 stock bonus to staff

Technology giant IBM today said it will give USD 1,000 worth of shares to its over one lakh employees in India as part of its centennial celebrations.

IBM, which will celebrate a hundred years of existence on June 16 this year, will give each of its employees globally a USD 1,000 stock bonus.

"IBM employees globally, except those at the executive level, will receive USD 1,000 in stock bonuses," an IBM India spokesperson said.

He, however, declined to comment on IBM''s India headcount, since the company does not disclose country-level employee numbers.

However, industry analysts peg the strength of the company''s India-based workforce at over one lakh. IBM has four lakh employees globally.

"The company is still working on the eligibility criteria for the bonus. However, one of the criteria is that the person has to be an employee (full-timers and part-timers included) of IBM or its wholly-owned subsidiaries before December 31, 2010," he said.

Eligible IBM employees will be offered ''restrictive stock units'' (RSU), under which the employee will be promised returns on the stocks awarded without actually owning them.

This means that at a stock value of USD 159 (on January 28), the USD 1,000 stock bonus will translate into 6-7 stock units.

Also, since these stock incentives will not vest until 2015, anybody quitting the company before June 16, 2015, will no longer be eligible to receive shares.

IBM reported revenues of about USD 100 billion and record free cash flow of USD 16.3 billion in 2010.