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The Root of All World Religions
“Equality Based On The Soul”
Historically Christian and Muslim faiths have their roots in Judaism,
so at their core concepts about the soul, creation and God are all the same.

I would like to address certain linguistic and philosophical similarities common to both Jews and Hindus, which may open up a broader discussion.

1. Names of God,
a. The most holy of all names of God for a Jew is KNA or KANA, Rabbi’s have slapped my face when I have said this name out loud.

This is considered to be the most intimate name for God in the Old Testament. Where it is translated, “I am a jealous God, have no other gods before you”, the literal Hebrew translation is, “My name is EL KNA (KANA), have no other gods before you.”
This name expands to KRE ShTN as Rabbi Aryeh Kapln,in Meditation and the Kabbalah explains
“On Monday, you must intertwine the associated name “KRE ShTN””

b, From a Vedic (Hindu) view point, Kana is also an affectionate name of Krishna, The pronunciation used above “KRE ShTN” is very similar to the way south Indians pronounce Krishna.

2. Abraham and Brahma: Very few know that there are two Abrahams in Jewish philosophy
a. There is a description of how the universe was in chaos until Abraham appeared. It is said, “Over the whole, there hovered Tohu (chaos) and as long as Tohu dominated, the whole world was not in being or existence. When did that key open the gates and make the world fruitful?
It was when Abraham appeared.” [Genesis II 4] As explained in the introduction to the Zohar The Soncino Press LTD–London New York

There is also this reference one needs to ponder It is said, “Angels are supposed to have no back and four faces, so always to be able to behold God.”
[Talmud, cf. Ezek i. 6]

b. In the First Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, there is a long description of how Brahma created the planets, stars etc. It is well known that the Brahma of this universe has 4 heads.

3. DEMIGODS AND ANGELS have the same function in both trations.
a. The Midrash teaches, “There is no blade of grass that does not have a constellation (Mazal) over it, telling it to grow.” [Sefer Yetzirah 4.6]

“As commentaries explain, ‘God’s providence works through the angels, but the angels, in turn, work through the stars and planets. As some authorities put it, the angels are, in a sense, like souls to the stars. Thus, for example, some sources speak of the stars as having intelligence, but the commentaries note that this is actually speaking of the angels that are associated with them.'” [Sefer Yetrzirah 4.6]

b. The Vedic conception is that there are many specially empowered demigods who help manage the affairs of the universe including the planets of our solar system.
The controlling demigods, although not eternal them selves, function within various posts that exist as long as the universe exists. For example, one of the principle demigods is Lord Indra. Indra is the name of the post, but the particular demigod who occupies that post during a given period has his own personal name. Just like President of the United States is a post, but there have been many presidents throughout history.

4. Durga in the Bible?
a. “He summoned to issue from the side of Darkness a kind of female moon, which rules over the night, and is associated with Adonai, the Lord of all the earth. In his days, the moon was magnified and reached her fullness. A thousand mountains rose before her, and she blew them away with a puff. A thousand mighty rivers flowed before her, and she swallowed them at a draught. Her nails reached out in a thousand and seventy directions and her hands in twenty-four thousand, so that nothing could escape her. Thousands of bucklers clung to her hair. From between her feet went forth a youth who stretched from one end of the world to the other with sixty clubs of fire…”

b. The Vedas describe the ghastly form of Goddess Kali, another name for the Goddess Durga. There is a reference of Goddess Kali in the Srimad-Bhagavatam in the history of Jada Bharata, when she manifested herself to protect him. It is stated, “Intolerant of the offenses committed, the infuriated goddess Kali flashed her eyes and displayed her fierce, curved teeth. Her reddish eyes glowed, and she displayed her fearsome features. She assumed a frightening body, as if she were prepared to destroy the entire creation. Leaping violently from the altar, she
immediately decapitated all the rogues and thieves with the very sword with which they had intended to kill Jada Bharata. She then began to drink the hot blood that flowed from the necks of the beheaded rogues and thieves, as if this blood were liquor.

a. “The Most Recondite is beyond cognition, but reveals of Himself a tenuous and veiled brightness shining only along a narrow path which extends from Him, and this is the brightness that irradiates all. This is the starting point of all esoteric mysteries, itself being unknowable.” [Zohar IV 146b]

b. The Absolute Truth is expressed as Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavän.” [Srimad Bhagavatam.1.2.11] Brahman refers to the impersonal all-pervasive spirit.

That is the same as the brahmajyoti, the effulgence of the Lord.

a. It is said that a personality named Metatron cooperates with God to teach the young. While God devotes the last three hours of the day to this work, Metatron is in charge during the remainder of the day. (A.Z. 3b) [Everyman’s Talmud, II, III] Regarding the revolving sword or flaming sword that revolves, it is said “the manner in which the sword rotates depends on the readiness of the individual attempting to enter. If he is worthy, it becomes the mirror through which he perceives, while if he is not worthy, he is burned out and cut off by the fire of this sword. The one who oversees the sword, preventing the unworthy from entering, is the angel Metatron.” [Meditation and Kabbalah p 80 Chapter 4, Teachings of Rabbi Abraham Abulafia]
“Metatron is therefore not a proper name at all but a designation for the whole category of celestial powers performing a mission.”
[Origins of the Kabbalah, III, 6]

b. In the creative process,it is from Maha-Vishnu that all of the universes emanate, Sudarshan Cakra (flaming sword that revolves) controlled by Visnu similarly punishes and grants liberation. “Without illumination,nothing can be seen, especially in this material world.

The illumination in this world emanates from the effulgence of Sudarshan, the original vision of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The illuminating principles of the sun, the moon and fire emanate from Sudarshan.
Similarly, illumination by knowledge also comes from Sudarshan.” [Srimad Bhag. 9.5.7, Purport]
Also there is a series of Visnu expansions each with a chakra.

a. When the soul is about to descend to this world, it first goes down to the terrestrial Garden of Eden and sees there the glory of the souls of the righteous, and then goes down to Gehinnom and sees the wicked who cry “Woe, woe”, and find no compassion. That holy form (God) stands by him until he emerges into the world, after which it keeps him company and grows up with him.” [The Zohar 43b] [KI TAZRIA (LEVITICUS)]

b. In the Bhagavad-gita “Yet in this body there is another, a transcendental enjoyer, who is the Lord, the supreme proprietor, who exists as the overseer and permitter, and who is known as the Supersoul, Paramatma.” [Bg. 13.23]

a. In Judaism, knowledge is also passed from the rabbi to his students, but not everyone is qualified to become a student. “As a matter of law, the sages state that these mysteries ‘cannot even be taught to a single individual, unless he is wise enough to understand with his own knowledge.’ Even in such a case, the complete tradition was only given over to the head of the group, and he would then only instruct those whom he saw fit. Only individuals
possessing the highest qualities of scholarship and piety would be admitted to the circle of initiates.” [Introduction to the Bahir, Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan]

It is also stated that “One who reaches the highest level cannot reveal it to anyone. All he can do is give over the keys, so that the enlightened individual
can open the gates which are sealed to exclude the unworthy.”
[Meditation and Kabbalah, p 79]

b. In Vedic culture, although a guru would speak to whoever wanted to learn the Vedic science, he was traditionally very selective whom he would initiate as his disciple. He would only accept those persons who qualified themselves by humble submission and service. Lord Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita, “Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master, inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.”

a. The current Hebrew year is 5767. In this calendar, the year in which Adam was created is counted as year one. If we then count the Biblical genealogies from the time of Adam, we find that over 5,000 years have elapsed since the time he was formed. However, the Kabbalists clearly say that other human beings existed before Adam, and this is even supported in scripture The fifth cycle was the one that brought life, and this took
place around two and a half billion years ago. Around 974 generations before Adam, or some 25,000 years ago, man developed all of the physical and mental capabilities that we possess today…but he still lacked the divine soul that would make him a spiritual being. God then created Adam, the first true human being with a soul, ‘and He blew in his nostrils a soul of life’. [Genesis 2.7] [Sefer Yetzirah 4.15]

b. The Vedic calendar states that Kali-yuga lasts 432,000 years, out of which we have passed about 5,000 years.

10.The Ecstasy of Chanting The Names Of God
a. People who have dedicated their lives to the service of God may at times feel unlimited joy or ecstasy while engaged in prayer. It is said, “Permute the letters back and forth, and in this manner, you will reach the first level. As a result of the activity and your concentration on the letters, your mind will become bound to them. The hairs on your head will stand on end and tremble. Your lifeblood is in your heart, and regarding this it is written,
“the blood is the soul” [Deuteronomy 12:23]. It is likewise written, “The blood in the soul will atone” [Leviticus 17:11]. This blood within you will begin to vibrate because of the permutations that loosen it. Your entire body will then begin to tremble, and all your limbs will be seized with shuddering. You will experience the terror of God and will be enveloped with fear of Him. You will then feel as if an additional spirit is within you, arousing you and
strengthening you, passing through your entire body and giving you leisure. It will seem as you have been anointed with perfumed oil, from head to foot. You will rejoice and have great pleasure. You will experience ecstasy and trembling–ecstasy for the soul, and trembling for the body.
[Meditation and Kabbalah, Treasury of the Hidden Eden p85-86]

b. The stage of bhava, love of God, is manifested by eight transcendental symptoms, namely inertness, perspiration, standing of hairs on end, failing in the voice, trembling, paleness of the body, tears in the eyes, and finally trance. [Srimad Bhag. 2:3:24 Purport]

a.The Jewish scriptures describe a vision of God. “His head is a treasure of fine gold. His locks are hanging, black like the raven.” In both Talmudic and Kabbalistic traditions, one of the interpretations is that it relates to a vision of God; “when He is visualized in battle, He is seen as a young man with black hair.” [Sefer Yetzirah Ch 6.1]

b.The Vedas refer to the form of the Lord. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is stated, “the Lord is super excellently beautiful on account of His open and merciful smile and His sidelong glance upon His devotees. His black hair is curly, and His garments, waving in the wind, appear like flying saffron pollen from lotus flowers. His glittering earrings, shining helmet, bangles, garland, ankle bells, waist belt and various other bodily ornaments
combine with the conch shell, disc, club, and lotus flower to increase the natural beauty of the Kaustubha pearl on His chest.” [Srimad Bhag. 2.24.47-48]


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exExxon Mobil tops the Fortune magazine’s list of the 500 biggest publicly traded companies with a whopping revenue of $442.85 billion.

As a result of the financial crisis that is sweeping countries across the globe, overall earnings of the Fortune 500 companies fell by 85 per cent to $99 billion in 2008.

While Exxon was the world’s most profitable company earning $45.2 billion in profit in 2008, recession-hit financial services companies Citigroup and Bank of America were out of the top 10 list this time.

From a regional marketer of kerosene in the US to becoming the largest publicly traded petroleum company in the world, Exxon has come a long way.

Exxon’s brands are Exxon, Esso and Mobil. Rex W. Tillerson is the chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil. Fortune‘s report was based on based on overall revenue earned by these companies.

Image: A view of the Exxon Mobil refinery in Baytown, Texas . | Photograph: Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters

wm2. Wal-Mart Stores

Wal-Mart Stores has slipped to the second position this year on the Fortune list. During the past seven years, it topped the list six times.

A chain of large department stores, Wal-Mart�s revenue stood at $405.60 billion. Its profits stood at $13.4 billion.

Founded by Sam Walton in 1962, it was incorporated on October 31, 1969, and listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. Michael T. Duke is its CEO.

3. Chevron

Chevron Corporation, the world’s fourth largest non-government energy companywas ranked third with a revenue of $263.15 billion. In 2008, its profits stood at $23.93 billion.

Headquartered in California, USA, it is present in more than 180 countries.

Chevron carries out exploration and production, refining, marketing and transport, chemicals manufacturing and sales and power generation. Chevron is one of the world’s six ‘supermajor’ oil companies. David J O’Reilly is its CEO.

Image: A Chevron tanker truck unloads gasoline into underground storage tanks in Burbank, Calfiornia. | Photograph: Fred Prouser/Reuters

4. ConocoPhillips

With revenues to the tune of $230.76 billion, ConocoPhillips is at the fourth position in the Fortune 500 list. ConocoPhillips, however, reported a $17 billion loss last year.

This international energy corporation headquartered at Houston, Texas is the fifth largest private sector energy corporation in the world and is one of the six ‘supermajor’ oil companies.

Its fuel stations are known as Phillips 66, Conoco, and 76. It was created through the merger of Conoco Inc and the Phillips Petroleum Company in 2002. James J. Mulva is the CEO of the company.

5. General Electric

GE is ranked fifth in the Fortune 500 list with a revenue of $183.20 in 2008.

General Electric, a multinational technology and services conglomerate saw profits at $17.41 billion. General Electric has the fourth most recognized brand in the world.

GE’s divisions include GE Capital (including GE Commercial Finance and GE Money and GE Consumer Finance, GE Technology Infrastructure (including GE Aviation,the former Smiths Aerospace and GE Healthcare), GE Energy Infrastructure, and NBC Universal, an entertainment company. Jeffrey R. Immelt is the CEO of the company.

6.General Motors

General Motors Corporation founded in 1908 is sixth in the Fortune 500 list.

Headquartered in Detroit, the world’s second-largest automaker is facing the worst crisis in its history. GM is on the verge of bankruptcy and has sought more government aid to revive its Fortunes.

Its revenues stood at $148.97 billion while profits dipped by $30.86 billion. In 2008, 8.35 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally.

The year 2008 has been one of the worst for GM with falling sales and tough competition making the ride ahead difficult for this automaker. Frederick Henderson is the CEO of the company.

7.Ford Motor

The Ford Motor Company is the world’s fourth largest automaker based on worldwide vehicle sales. Its revenues stood at $146.27 billion while profits dipped by $14.67 billion.

Founded by Henry Ford, the company was incorporated on June 16, 1903.

In addition to the Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury brands, Ford also owns Volvo Cars of Sweden, and has a stake in Mazda of Japan and Aston Martin of England. Ford’s former UK subsidiaries Jaguar and Land Rover were sold to Tata Motors in March 2008. Alan R. Mulally is the CEO of the company.

at8. AT&T

Telecommunications giant AT&T Inc is one of the largest providers of both local and long distance telephone services in the United States.

With revenues soaring to $124.02 billion and profits at $12.86 billlion, AT&T is ranked 8th on the Fortune list.

AT&T is the second largest provider of wireless service in the United States, with over 77 million wireless customers.

AT&T, Inc. was formed in 2005, when ‘Baby Bell’ SBC Communications Inc acquired ‘Ma Bell’ AT&T Corporation. Randall L. Stephenson is the CEO of the company.

9. Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett-Packard with a revenue of $118.36 billion and profits at $8.32 billion is ranked ninth in the Fortune 500 list.

HP is one of the largest technology companies in the world. It develops and manufactures computing, storage, and networking hardware, software and services.

Major products include personal computing devices, enterprise servers, related storage devices, as well as a diverse range of printers and other imaging products. Mark V. Hurd is the CEO of the company.

20val110. Valero Energy

Valero Energy Corporation ranked tenth in the Fortune 500 list is an oil and gas refining and retail company based in San Antonio, Texas.

The company owns and operates 18 refineries throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean with a combined throughput capacity of approximately 3.3 million barrels per day, making it the largest refiner in North America.

William R. Klesse is the CEO of the company. Its revenues stood at $118.29 billion and profits stood at $1.13 billion in 200

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indiHere are a few startling facts:

  • The Indian state that has the highest per capita income has the second-highest debt burden.
  • The state that has the highest percentage of population under the poverty line has the lowest debt burden.
  • The difference in the infant mortality rate between the two states that hug the bottom of the debt list is one life. These two states also see one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country.
  • Two of the states in this list are ruled by the CPI (M) and three each by the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party.And yes, the state groaning under the largest debt burden is also the state that sends the most number of prime ministers to Parliament. Read on. . .

    orissaRank: 13 State: Orissa

    Debt position (2006-2007): Rs 39,388 crore (Rs 393.88 billion)

    State income (2005-2006): Rs 67,090 crore (Rs 670.90 billion)

    Per capita income (2005-2006): Rs 17,299

    Population (2001 census): 3.671 crore (36.71 million)

    Population below poverty line (2004-2005): 46.4 per cent

    Infant mortality rate (2006): 73 per 1,000

    Chief minister: Naveen Patnaik

    Ruling party: Biju Janata Dal

    mpRank: 12 State: Madhya Pradesh

    Debt position (2006-2007): Rs 53,545 crore (Rs 535.45 billion)

    State income (2005-2006): Rs 104,485 crore (Rs 1,044.85 billion)

    Per capita income (2005-2006): Rs 15,853

    Population (2001 census): 6.039 crore (60.39 million)

    Population below poverty line (2004-2005): 38.3 per cent

    Infant mortality rate (2006): 74 per 1,000

    Chief minister: Shivraj Singh Chouhan

    Ruling party: Bharatiya Janata Party

    krRank: 11 State: Karnataka

    Debt position (2006-2007): Rs 53,909 crore (Rs 539.09 billion)

    State income (2005-2006): Rs 151,741 crore (Rs 1,517.41 billion)

    Per capita income (2005-2006): Rs 27,101

    Population (2001 census): 5.273 crore (52.73 million)

    Population below poverty line (2004-2005): 25 per cent

    Iinfant mortality rate (2006): 48 per 1,000

    Chief minister: B S Yeddyurappa

    Ruling party: Bharatiya Janata Party

    brRank: 10 State: Bihar

    Debt position (2006-2007): Rs 54,897 crore (Rs 548.97 billion)

    State income (2005-2006): Rs 71,006 crore (Rs 710.06 billion)

    Per capita income (2005-2006): Rs 7,875

    Population (2001 census): 8.288 crore (82.88 million)

    Population below poverty line (2004-2005): 41.4 per cent

    Infant mortality rate (2006): 60 per 1,000

    Chief minister: Nitish Kumar

    Ruling party: Janata Dal (United)

    pbRank: 9 State: Punjab

    Debt position (2006-2007): Rs 57,609 crore (Rs 576.09 billion)

    State income (2005-2006): Rs 92,538 crore (Rs 925.38 billion)

    Per capita income (2005-2006): Rs 34,929

    Population (2001 census): 2.429 crore (24.29 million)

    Population below poverty line (2004-2005): 8.40 per cent

    Infant mortality rate (2006): 44 per 1,000

    Chief minister: Parkash Singh Badal

    Ruling party: Shiromani Akali Dal

    klRank: 8 State: Kerala

    Debt position (2006-2007): Rs 57,688 crore (Rs 576.88 billion)

    State income (2005-2006): Rs 102,508 crore (Rs 1,025.08 billion)

    Per capita income (2005-2006): Rs 30,668

    Population (2001 census): 3.184 crore (31.84 million)

    Population below poverty line (2004-2005): 15 per cent

    Infant mortality rate (2006): 15 per 1,000

    Chief minister: V S Achuthanandan

    Ruling party: Communist Party of India (Marxist)

    30sld15Rank: 7 State: Tamil Nadu

    Debt position (2006-2007): Rs 68,655 crore (Rs 686.55 billion)

    State income (2005-2006): Rs 194,528 crore (Rs 1,945.28 billion)

    Per capita income (2005-2006): Rs 29,958

    Population (2001 census): 6.211 crore (62.11 million)

    Population below poverty line (2004-2005): 22.5 per cent

    Infant mortality rate (2006): 16 per 1,000

    Chief minister: M Karunanidhi

    Ruling party: Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam

    Image: In this test of strength, a bull runs through crowded arena during the Pongal festival near the city of Madurai. The object is to wrest a bounty, which is held in a cloth bag tied between the horns of the bulls. | Photograph: Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters

    rjRank: 6 State: Rajasthan

    Debt position (2006-2007): Rs 72,652 crore (Rs 726.52 billion)

    Gross state domestic product (2007-2008, advance): Rs 166,628.77 crore (Rs 1,666.29 billion)

    Per capita income (2005-2006, advance): Rs 22,649

    Population (2001 census): 5.647 crore (56.47 million)

    Population below poverty line (2004-2005): 22.1 per cent

    Infant mortality rate (2006): 67 per 1,000

    Chief minister: Ashok Gehlot

    Ruling party: Indian National Congress

    gjRank: 5 State: Gujarat

    Debt position (2006-2007): Rs 86,138 crore (Rs 861.38 billion)

    State income (2005-2006): Rs 186,642 crore (Rs 1,866.42 billion)

    Per capita income (2005-2006): Rs 34,157

    Population (2001 census): 5.060 crore (50.60 million)

    Population below poverty line (2004-2005): 14.07 per cent

    Infant mortality rate (2006): 53 per 1,000

    Chief minister: Narendra Modi

    Ruling party: Bharatiya Janata Party

    Image: A girl performs the Garba during the Navratri celebrations in Ahmedabad. | Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters

    apRank: 4 State: Andhra Pradesh

    Debt position (2006-2007): Rs 91,445 crore (Rs 914.45 billion)

    State income (2005-2006): Rs 210,657 crore (Rs 2,106.57 billion)

    Per capita income (2005-2006): Rs 26,211

    Population (2001 census): 7.572 crore (75.72 million)

    Population below poverty line (2004-2005): 15.8 per cent

    Infant mortality rate (2006): 56 per 1,000

    Chief minister: Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhara Reddy

    Ruling party: Indian National Congress

    wbRank: 3 State: West Bengal

    Debt position (2006-2007): Rs 126,226 crore (Rs 1,262.26 billion)

    State income (2005-2006): Rs 213,427 crore (Rs 2,134.27 billion)

    Per capita income (2005-2006): Rs 25,156

    Population (2001 census): 8.022 crore (80.22 million)

    Population below poverty line (2004-2005): 24.7 per cent

    Infant mortality rate (2006): 38 per 1,000

    Chief minister: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee

    Ruling party: Communist Party of India (Marxist)

    mhRank: 2 State: Maharashtra

    Debt position (2006-2007): Rs 134,493 crore (Rs 1,344.93 billion)

    State income (2005-2006): Rs 375,915 (Rs 3,759.15 billion)

    Per capita income (2005-2006): Rs 36,090

    Population (2001 census): 9.675 crore (96.75 million)

    Population below poverty line (2004-2005): 30.7 per cent

    Infant mortality rate (2006): 35 per 1,000

    Chief minister: Ashok Chavan

    Ruling party: Indian National Congress

    upRank: 1 State: Uttar Pradesh

    Debt position (2006-2007): Rs 161,358 crore (Rs 1,613.58 billion)

    State income (2005-2006): Rs 241,196 crore (Rs 2,411.96 billion)

    Per capita income (2005-2006): Rs 13,262

    Population (2001 census): 16.605 crore (166.05 million)

    Population below poverty line (2004-2005): 32.8 per cent

    Infant mortality rate (2006): 71 per 1,000

    Chief minister: Mayawati

    Ruling party: Bahujan Samaj Party

    Image: People celebrate Holi, the festival of colours, at Nand Gaon in Uttar Pradesh. | Photograph: K K Arora/ Reuters

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    For the past few months banks all over the Western world and a few in Asia too have been in the news for all the wrong reasons.

    Zombie banks, bank bailout, bank merger — are some of the phrases that are doing the rounds to describe these banks, many of whom have gone belly up.

    Worldwide, governments have used taxpayers’ money to bail out banks. The story is no different in India.

    However, thanks to minimal exposure to the American housing market and the regulated regime under which they have to operate, Indian banks have been largely insulated from the financial crisis that is wreaking havoc.

    In a recent survey conducted by rediff.com, we had asked readers to name the best banks operating in India: the response was overwhelming.

    We were inundated with readers’ replies as they ranked India’s best banks based on the banks’ services, customer-experience, perception, etc.

    31bank4State Bank of India

    Starting its journey as the Bank of Calcutta on June 2, 1806, the State Bank of India today offers the largest banking network in the country.

    SBI boasts of over 10,000 branches and 8500 ATMs, and has 82 offices in 32 countries across the globe.

    SBI is also the only Indian bank to feature in the Fortune 500 list.

    The bank’s net profit for Q3FY09 stood at Rs 2,478 crore (Rs 24.78 billion), up by 37.03 per cent from Rs 1,809 crore (Rs 18.09 billion) in Q3FY08.

    hdfcHDFC Bank

    The Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited was amongst the first to receive an ‘in principle’ approval from the Reserve Bank of India to set up a bank in the private sector, as part of the RBI’s liberalisation of the Indian Banking Industry in 1994.

    The bank was incorporated in August 1994 as HDFC Bank Limited, with its registered office in Mumbai.

    HDFC Bank commenced operations as a Scheduled Commercial Bank in January 1995.

    It reported 44.8 per cent rise in Q3 net profit for the quarter ended December 31, 2008 at Rs 621.74 crore (Rs 6.22 billion).

    iciICICI Bank

    ICICI Bank was originally promoted in 1994 by ICICI Limited, an Indian financial institution, and was its wholly-owned subsidiary.

    In October 2001, boards of both the entities approved the merger of ICICI and two of its wholly-owned retail finance subsidiaries, ICICI Personal Financial Services Limited and ICICI Capital Services Limited, with ICICI Bank.

    The merger got the final nod in April 2002.

    ICICI Bank, the second largest bank in India had total assets of Rs 37,4,410 crore ($77 billion) on December 31, 2008 and its profit after tax was Rs 3,014 crore (Rs 30.14 billion) for the nine months ended December 31, 2008.

    It has a network of 1,419 branches and about 4,644 ATMs and is present in countries like United Kingdom, Russia, Canada, United States, Singapore, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Qatar, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, China, South Africa, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Belgium and Germany.

    pubPunjab National Bank

    Established in 1895 at Lahore (then undivided India), Punjab National Bank was nationalised in July 1969.

    Today, with assets of more than Rs 199,000 crore (Rs 1,990 billion), PNB is the third largest bank in India after SBI and ICICI Bank and has 4589 branches.

    PNB’s standalone Q3 net profit was up 85.61 per cent at Rs 1,005.8 crore (Rs 10.06 billion).

    Bank of Baroda

    Known as ‘India’s International Bank’, it has been a long and eventful journey for BoB.

    Present across 25 countries, Bank of Baroda started its journey in 1908 from a small building in Baroda.

    In 1995, the bank underwent a rebranding exercise and started sporting a new logo — dual letter ‘B’ holding the rays of the rising sun.

    The founder, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad, started the bank with a paid up capital of Rs 10 lakh (Rs 1 million).

    Today BoB boasts of 2956 branches (including those outside India), and has a staff strength of 38,063.

    It first tapped the equity market in December 1996 and the second IPO — of 71 million equity shares — was in January 2006. Today out of the total equity capital of Rs 365.53 crore (Rs 3.66 billion), public shareholding is at 46.19 per cent.

    Its standalone net profit for the third quarter ended December 31 rose by 41.37 per cent to Rs 708.37 crore (Rs 7.08 billion).

    Canara Bank

    Founded as Canara Bank Hindu Permanent Fund in 1906, by Ammembal Subba Rao Pai, a philanthropist, and nationalised in 1969, the bank was the first to be conferred with ISO 9002 certification for one of its branches in Bangalore.

    Canara Bank or CanBank has 2710 branches and over 2000 ATMs.

    It reported a 52.89 per cent growth in net profit to Rs 701.50 crore (Rs 7.01 billion) in the third quarter ended December 31, 2008.

    Bank of India

    Bank of India was founded on September 7, 1906 by a group of eminent businessmen from Mumbai.

    The bank was under private ownership and control till July 1969 when it was nationalised.

    Beginning with one office in Mumbai, with a paid-up capital of Rs 50 lakh (Rs 5 million) and 50 employees, BoI today boasts of 2884 branches in India.

    It was the first Indian bank to open an overseas branch (at London, in 1946).

    BoI has 27 oversaes branches including those at London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Hong-Kong and Singapore.

    Axis Bank

    In July 2007, UTI Bank re-branded itself as Axis Bank. Today, the bank is capitalised to the extent of Rs 358.97 crores (Rs 3.59 billion) with the public holding (other than promoters) at 57.59 per cent.

    The bank has a very wide network of more than 729 branch offices and extension counters and has a network of over 3171 ATMs.

    The bank was set up with a capital of Rs 115 crore (Rs 1.15 billion), with earstwhile financial major Unit Trust of India contributing Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion), Life insurance Corporation – Rs 7.5 crore (Rs 75 million) and General Insurance corporation and its four subsidiaries contributing Rs 1.5 crore (Rs 15 million) each.

    Axis Bank reported a 63.24 per cent surge in net profit at Rs 500.86 crore (Rs 5.01 billion) for the third quarter ended 31 December, 2008

    Corporation Bank

    Started about 102 years ago in 1906, with an initial capital of just Rs 5000, Corporation Bank has already surpassed the land mark of Rs 1 lakh crore (Rs 1 trillion) in business, with over 2000 service outlets across the nation.

    In 1997, it became the Second Public Sector Bank in the country to enter the capital market, the IPO of which was over- subscribed by 13 times.

    Mangalore-headquartered Corporation Bank reported a 34.3 per cent jump in its net profit to Rs 256.4 crore (Rs 2.56 billion) for the third quarter ended December 31, 2008.

    HSBC Bank

    The history of the HSBC Group in India can be traced back to October 1853 when the Mercantile Bank of India, London and China was founded in Bombay (now Mumbai).

    Starting with an authorised capital of Rs 50 lakh (Rs 5 million), the Mercantile Bank opened offices in London, Madras(Chennai), Colombo and Kandy, followed by Calcutta(Kolkata), Singapore, Hong Kong, Canton(Guangchow) and Shanghai by 1855.

    In 1959 the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation acquired the Mercantile Bank and this led to the foundation of today’s HSBC Group.

    HSBC gave India its first ATM way back in 1987.

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    India has been ranked at a dismal 115th among 223 countries in terms of average Internet connection speeds. India has an average Internet connection speed of just 772 Kbps compared with the global average of 1.5 Mbps.

    At the end of 2008, approximately 19 per cent Internet connections around the world were at speeds greater than 5 Mbps — a 21 per cent increase over the average global connection speed at the end of 2007.

    The number of unique IPs or Internet addresses from India grew 42.91 per cent year-on-year, to 2.63 million. Globally, the number of unique IPs grew 20 per cent. In terms of broadband penetration, India had 0.0001 broadband IPs per capita.

    This is according to the State of the Internet report, a quarterly study by Akamai Technologies, the US-based Internet content distribution giant. The State of the Internet report tracks average connection speeds for countries around the world. Check out the top 10 nations in terms of average Internet connection speed. . .

    1. South Korea

    South Korea rules supreme when it comes to Internet connection speed and broadband connectivity.

    It is the world’s No.1 with average connection speed of 15 Mbps, ten times the global average!

    During 2008, South Korea’s rate of quarterly change appeared to be locked into a cyclical pattern, with quarterly decreases being recorded in the first and third quarters, and increases seen in the second and fourth quarters.

    For the whole year, South Korea saw a modest 7 per cent rise in their levels of high broadband adoption. South Korea is also ranked first in terms of high broadband connectivity with 69 per cent connections above 5 Mpbs.

    South Korea, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway had more high broadband IP’s per capita than in the prior quarter. This is consistent with what would be expected from the initiatives to bring higher speed connectivity, including fibre to the home (FTTH) efforts, to consumers in these countries.

    2. Japan

    Japan ranks 2nd in terms of Internet connection and high broadband connectivity. Japan ranks 2nd in terms of high broadband connectivity. About 54 per cent of the connections in Japan are above 7 Mbps.

    3. Hong Kong

    Hong Kong ranks third with an Internet connection speed of 6.9 Mbps. The country ranks fifth in terms of high broadband connectivity with 38 per cent of the connection above 5 Mbps

    4. Romania

    Romania is at the fourth position with a Internet connection speed of 5.7 Mbps. The country ranks third in terms of high broadband connectivity with 45% of the connection above 5 Mbps.

    5. Sweden

    Sweden is at the fifth position with a Internet connection speed of 5.6 Mbps. Sweden ranks fourth in terms of high broadband connectivity with 39 per cent of the connection above 5Mbps.

    6. Switzerland

    Switzerland has bagged the sixth position with an Internet connection speed of over 5 Mbps. The country however does not figure in the top ten list of countries with high broadband connectivity.

    7. Netherlands

    Netherlands ranks 7th with an Internet connection speed of 4.9 Mbps. The country ranks 7th in terms of high broadband connectivity with 28 per cent of the connections above 5 Mbps.

    8. Belgium

    Belgium is at the 8th position with an Internet connection speed of 4.7 Mbps. The country ranks sixth in terms of high broadband connectivity with 31 per cent of the connection above 5 Mbps.

    9. Slovakia

    Slovakia bags the ninth position with an Internet connection speed of 4.5 Mbps. The country does not figure among the top ten in terms of high broadband connectivity.

    10. Norway

    Norway ranks tenth with an Internet connection speed of 4.5 Mbps. The country ranks fifth in terms of high broadband connectivity with 38 per cent of the connection above 5 Mbp

    United States

    United States is at the 17th position with an Internet connection speed of 3.9 Mbps, up approximately 8 per cent from the average connection speed for the first quarter of 2008.

    The country ranks ninth in terms of high broadband connectivity with 25 per cent of the connection above 5 Mbps. The study states that the average speed will continue to grow over time, as new technologies, such as DOCSIS 3.0 enable consumer broadband connections to reach significantly higher speeds.

    Most states in the US saw nominal to significant rise in their average broadband speed, with both Nebraska and Kentucky seeing a 33 per cent improvement from the first quarter to the fourth quarter. Several states, including Rhode Island and New Jersey, saw minor decreases over the course of the year

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    07joy7The ability to attract and retain skilled employees is critical to business success. The pay-offs, if you are able to do so, are many — not the least being impressive business results.

    The Hewitt Best Employers study examines people management practices in India’s leading organisations. It provides insights into how organisations can achieve a real competitive advantage through their people, explores what makes an organisation a good place to work and identifies a shortlist of the best employers.

    Their research shows that Hewitt Best Employers excel at making employees feel connected to the business. They communicate with employees about the organisation’s goals. They align people with the business through performance management and aggressive career development. And they link pay with performance of the individual and the company.

    Note: If you do not find a particular company listed in this Hewitt study, it could also be because it did not participate in the study

    08slide11Name: HCL Technologies

    Rank: 1

    Market cap: Rs 7,465.86 crore (Rs 74.66 billion)

    Chairman and chief strategy officer: Shiv Nadar

    What it does: HCL Technologies is a leading global IT services company. It offers an integrated portfolio of services, including software-led IT solutions, remote infrastructure management, engineering and R&D services and BPO.

    Image: Shiv Nadar, chairman, HCL. | Photograph: Rediff Archive

    Name: Hindustan Zinc Limited

    Rank: 2

    Market cap: Rs 20,406.75 crore (Rs 204.07 billion)

    Chairman: Agnivesh Agrawal

    What it does: Hindustan Zinc is a vertically integrated company with mining and smelting operations located mainly in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the world’s largest integrated zinc and lead producers.

    Name: Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces

    Rank: 3

    Market cap: Rs 312.25 crore (Rs 3.12 billion)

    Managing director and CEO: Raymond Bickson

    What it does: Recognised as one of Asia’s largest and finest hotel company, Taj Hotels Resort and Palaces comprises more than 60 hotels in 45 locations across India with an additional 15 international hotels in the Malaysia, United Kingdom, United States of America, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa, the Middle East and Australia.

    Last year, the group’s heritage hotel in Mumbai faced a terrible terrorist attack. During this crisis, its staff won accolades for putting their guests’ safety and comfort first, at times even at the cost of their own lives.

    Name: Cisco Systems

    Rank: 4

    Revenue, as of 2008 : $39 billion

    Chairman and CEO: John T Chambers

    What it does: Cisco hardware, software and service offerings are used to create Internet solutions that make networks possible. It was founded in 1984 by a small group of computer scientists from Stanford University.

    Since the company’s inception, Cisco engineers have been leaders in the development of Internet Protocol-based networking technologies. Today, it has more than 67,647 employees worldwide.

    Name: ITC — Welcomgroup

    Rank: 5

    Worth: Rs 2,300 crore (Rs 23 billion)

    CEO: Nakul Anand

    What it does: ITC entered the hotels business in 1975 with the acquisition of a hotel in Chennai, which was rechristened ITC Chola. Today, ITC-Welcomgroup has over 90 hotels in 77 destinations.

    Despite the downturn, the company isn’t lowering growth projections or reducing its workforce. In fact, it plans to double the number of rooms in its luxury hotels to 5,000 in the next three years.

    Name: Intuit Technology Services Pvt Ltd (Brad Smith, CEO,)

    Rank: 6

    Revenue for 2008: $3.07 billion

    CEO: Brad Smith; India MD: Umang Bedi

    What it does: Intuit provides business and financial management solutions for small and medium sized businesses, financial institutions, consumers and accounting professionals in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

    Intuit India is a fully owned subsidiary of Intuit Inc USA. Located in Bangalore, it was started in April 2005. It is one of the two development centres of Intuit outside the USA, along with Intuit Canada.

    Name: Eureka Forbes Limited

    Rank: 7

    Worth: Rs 10 billion

    Vice chairman and MD: S L Goklaney

    What it does: Eureka Forbes, which is part of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, are leaders in domestic and industrial water purification systems, vacuum cleaners, air purifiers and security solutions. They are Asia’s largest direct sales organisation; 6,000 of its 7,000-odd employees are part of its direct sales force.

    Name: L G Electronics India Pvt Ltd

    Rank: 8

    Turnover in 2008: Rs 10,700 crore (Rs 107 billion)

    Managing director: Moon B Shin

    What it does: In India for a decade now, L G is a leading brand when it comes to consumer durables. It is also recognised as a technology innovator in the information technology and mobile communications business. It has a large and varied portfolio of consumer electronics, home appliances, GSM mobile phones and IT products.\

    Name: Domino’s Pizza India Ltd

    Rank: 9

    Worth: Domino’s claims to have a 42 per cent market share in India’s Rs 350 crore (Rs 3.5 billion) organised pizza market.

    CEO: Ajay Kaul

    What it does: Domino’s Pizza India Ltd, which was incorporated in March 1995, is one of the largest and fastest growing international food chains in South Asia. The first Domino’s Pizza store in India opened in January 1996 in New Delhi.

    Today, Domino’s Pizza India has grown into a countrywide network around 250 outlets in 49 cities, delivering over 2 crore (20 million) pizzas annually.

    Name: Marriott Hotels India Pvt Ltd

    Rank: 10

    Worth: In fiscal year 2008, Marriott International reported sales from continuing operations of nearly $13 billion.

    Chairman and CEO: J W Marriott, Jr; Area vice-president, (India, Pakistan, Maldives, Malaysia): Rajeev Menon

    What it does: Marriott International, Inc, is a leading lodging company with more than 3,100 lodging properties in 66 countries and territories. The company is headquartered in the US and had approximately 146,000 employees at the end of 2008. It is ranked as the lodging industry’s most admired company and one of the best companies to work for by business magazine Fortune.

    Name: Godrej Consumer Products Ltd

    Rank: 11

    Market cap: Rs 3,303.68 crore (Rs 33.04 billion)

    Chairman and managing director: Adi Godrej

    What it does: Started in 1897 as a locks manufacturing company, the Godrej Group today is a leading manufacturer of goods and provider of services in a multitude of categories: home appliances, consumer durables, consumer products, industrial products and agri products to name a few.

    A recent estimate suggested that 350 million people across India use Godrej products. The group has recently entered the real estate and information technology sectors.

    Name: Becton Dickinson India Pvt. Ltd

    Rank: 12

    Revenue: Revenues rose to $7.156 billion for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2008. BD generates over 50 percent of its revenues outside the United States.

    Chairman and CEO: Edward J Ludwig; India managing director: Ram Sharma

    What it does: Becton Dickinson India is a medical technology company that serves healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, industry and the general public. It manufactures and sells a broad range of medical supplies, devices, laboratory equipment and diagnostic products.

    BD has a highly automated manufacturing facility in Haryana that makes products recognised around the world, including disposable needles, syringes and catheters.

    Name: Stryker Global Technology Center Pvt Ltd

    Rank: 13

    Revenue (2008): Stryker has reported eight consecutive years of double-digit sales growth. In 2008, Company sales reached $ 6.7 billion, 12.0% more than the total for the previous year.

    President and CEO: Stephen P MacMillan

    What it does: Stryker is a broadly based, global leader in medical technology and is one of the largest players in the $35.6 billion worldwide orthopaedic market. Company products are marketed in over 120 countries.

    Through top quality products, simplified surgical techniques and improved hospital efficiencies, Stryker helps reduce health-care costs throughout the world and enables surgeons and medical professionals to help their patients lead more active and fulfilling lives.

    Name: NetApp India Private Limited

    Rank: 14

    Revenue (2008): $3.3 billion. NetApp’s India revenue has risen by about 40 percent a year since it started operations in 2000.

    Chairman and CEO: Dan Warmenhoven; India managing director: George Thomas

    What it does: NetApp creates innovative storage and data management solutions that helps accelerate business breakthroughs and achieve cost efficiency. It is one of the fastest-growing storage and data management providers today. It has nearly 8,000 employees and over 130 offices worldwide.

    Name: The Oberoi Group

    Rank: 15

    Chairman and CEO: P R S Oberoi

    What it does: Founded in 1934, the group operates in 27 hotels and three cruisers in five countries under the luxury ‘Oberoi’ and five-star ‘Trident’ brands. It is also engaged in flight catering, airport restaurants, travel and tour services, car rentals, project management and corporate air charters.

    It established The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development for training in hospitality management in 1966.

    The Trident and Oberoi hotels in south Mumbai were subject to dastardly terrorist attacks last year, but are now up and running again.

    Name: vCustomer Corporation

    Rank: 16

    CEO and founder: Sanjay Kumar

    What it does: Established in 1999 and privately held, US-based vCustomer is a leading provider of customer care contact centre solutions and services. It provides industry expertise in banking and finance, communications and telecom, travel and hospitality, retail and consumer technology and government.

    Its services include inbound/outbound call centre, technical support, back-office, loyalty program management, pre-sales support and up-sell/cross-sell, CRM and analytics. With state-of-the-art facilities in the United States, India, Philippines and the United Kingdom, it employs more than 4,000 professionals globally.

    Name: Paypal India Private Limited

    Rank: 17

    Revenues for Q4 2008: $623 million, up 11 percent year-over-year

    President: Scott Thompson; Head, Asia-Pacific: Farhad Irani

    What it does: PayPal is a global leader in online payment solutions with more than 153 million accounts worldwide. Available in 190 markets and 18 currencies around the world, PayPal enables global ecommerce by making payments possible across different locations, currencies, and languages.

    The service allows anyone to pay in any way they prefer, including through credit cards, bank accounts, buyer credit or account balances, without sharing financial information. Located in the US, PayPal was founded in 1998 and was acquired by eBay in 2002.

    Name: Accenture Services Pvt Ltd

    Rank: 18

    Net revenue (2008): $23.39 billion

    Chairman and CEO: William D Green; Chairman and geography managing director, India: Harsh Manglik

    What it does: Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Using a combination of experience, capabilities across all industries and business functions and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments.

    Name: Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited

    Rank: 19

    Market cap: Rs 12,247.19 crore (Rs 122.47 billion)

    Executive vice chairman and managing director: Uday Kotak

    What it does: Kotak Mahindra offers a wide range of financial services for both individuals and corporates, including commercial banking, stock broking, mutual funds, life insurance and investment banking. It has a net worth of over Rs 6,327 crore (Rs 63.27 billion) and around 5.9 million customer accounts.

    It has a distribution network of more than 1,300 branches, franchisees, representative offices and satellite offices across cities and towns in India and offices in New York, London, San Francisco, Dubai, Mauritius and Singapore.

    Name: Whirlpool Of India Limited

    Rank: 20

    Market cap: Rs 403.54 crore (Rs 4.04 billion)

    Managing director: Arvind Uppal

    What it does: Whirlpool, which is headquartered in the US, began in 1911 as a commercial manufacturer of motorised washers, Today, with a presence in over 170 countries, it is the world’s number one manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances.

    It is holds a 25 per cent market share in India and owns three state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities at Faridabad, Pondicherry and Pune. According to IMRB surveys, Whirlpool is the single largest refrigerator and second largest washing machine brand in India.

    In the year ending in March ’06, the annual turnover of the company for its Indian enterprise was Rs 1,375 crore (Rs 13.75 billion).

    Name: Intelenet Global Services

    Rank: 21

    Worth: By September 2008, it had grown 128.1 percent to Rs.6.57 billion up from Rs.2.88 billion last fiscal.

    CEO and managing director: Susir Kumar

    What it does: Intelenet is a leading global third party BPO Company that delivers Business Process Outsourcing services to Fortune 500 companies in the UK, USA, Australia and India.

    Its solutions extend across all strata of BPO, technology and consulting and can be applied across diverse industries spanning banking & finance, insurance, retail, telecom, information technology, travel and hospitality.

    Name: The Hong Kong And Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

    Rank: 22

    Worth: HSBC India posted a 50 percent increase in total income and 41 percent in net profit for the year ended March 31, 2008. Total income rose to Rs 70.96 billion from Rs 47.20 billion in 2006-07. During the same period, net profit rose to Rs 11.92 billion from Rs 8.46 billion.

    Group general manager and country head: Naina Lal Kidwai

    What it does: HSBC’s origins in India date back to 1853, when the Mercantile Bank of India was established in Mumbai with an authorised capital of Rs 5 million. It was acquired in 1959 by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited.

    Today, in India, the bank offers a comprehensive suite of products and services to its corporate and commercial banking clients as also personal banking customers. In fact, it gave India its first ATM in 1987.

    Name: Hewlett-Packard India Sales Pvt Ltd

    Rank: 23

    Revenue (2007-08): Rs 15,454 crore (Rs 154.54 billion)

    Managing director, HP India: Neelam Dhawan

    What it does: HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company’s offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing for consumers, enterprises and small and medium businesses.

    Name: Indian Oil Corporation Ltd

    Rank: 24

    Market cap: Rs 50,068.88 crore (Rs 500.69 billion)

    Chairman: Sarthak Behuria

    What it does: The 18th largest petroleum company in the world, Indian Oil is currently India’s largest company by sales, with a turnover of $59.22 billion and profit of $1.67 billion for fiscal 2007. It is also the highest ranked Indian company in business magazine Fortune‘s Global 500 list.

    The Indian Oil group of companies owns and operates 10 of India’s 19 refineries with a combined refining capacity of 60.2 million metric tonnes per annum (ie 1.2 million barrels per day).

    Name: Ford India Pvt Ltd

    Rank: 25

    Worth: Ford India had an accumulated loss of Rs 819.64 crore (Rs 8.20 billion) in 2007-2008. It registered a 35 per cent growth in month-on-month sales in February 2009 and posted an 8 per cent growth in year-on-year growth compared to February last year.

    President and managing director: Michael Boneham

    What it does: Established in 1995, Ford India is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader. Ford India manufactures and distributes automobiles made at its modern integrated manufacturing facility at Maraimalai Nagar, near Chennai.

    With over 2,100 employees, the company’s models include the Ikon, Fusion, Endeavour and the Fiesta. Ford India is in its twelfth year of operations in the country.

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