Business Today

Etcetera

     Print Edition: May 15, 2011

HOW THINGS WORK
Securing EVMs
Over 1.4 million electronic voting machines, or EVMs, are being used in the ongoing assembly elections in five states. But experts say that EVMs can be tampered with and need to be secured.
Function: EVMs directly record individual votes. The votes are stored on a data card or disk. The machines speed up the voting process and the counting of votes.
Manipulation: Tampering with EVMs can potentially swing election outcomes. Technocrats have demonstrated that EVMs can be meddled with by using portable hardware devices to change the stored vote records.
Safeguards: To prevent tampering, EVMs can be installed together with a printer similar to the one used to produce credit card receipts. Since voting more than once is not allowed, these receipts will help in counting votes in case of tampering.

JUST WONDERING
Power Project in Limbo
In 1999, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister, laid the foundation stone for Bihar's Barh power project. The 1,980-MW plant was originally scheduled to start working in 2007, but is yet to commission its first unit. In 2008, work came to a standstill when contractual disputes arose between NTPC, the Centre-owned power producer, and the Russian suppliers - Technoprom Exports and Power Machines, of key equipment. This issue snowballed when Technoprom faced an enquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation for alleged pay-offs to the then NTPC Chairman C.P. Jain for securing the contract to supply boilers to the project. Earlier this year, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar claimed he had brought the Barh plant to the state. Kumar's intervention, then, might be required to put the project back on track.

QUIRKY

King Con
To indulge his passion for luxury cars, Sukesh, 21, conned dozens of people in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh of over `10 crore. His modus operandi was simple. He claimed to be related to top politicians and promised several gullible people lucrative government contracts. To bolster his credentials, the conman even travelled with a posse of private guards armed with automatic weapons, and drove in a car with state government emblems. The good times continued to roll for Sukesh before his girlfriend spilled the beans to the Chennai police, which led to his arrest.

SNOOT CORNER
Golden Delight

There are golden rules for savouring your single malt. It is best consumed neat - any additions detract from its fl avour. Indeed, if the malt has to be diluted at all, distilled or mineral water is preferable. A peg 'on the rocks' is a strict no-no. The alcohol loses about three quarters of its fi ne taste and aromas, if ice is added. Malt whisky serves best in cognac snifters or broad-based 'tulip' glasses.

Compiled by Anamika Butalia

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