Indian media: Praise for new Microsoft CEO

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image captionMedia warn that Satya Nadella will have to deal with a very competitive market

Media are ecstatic over the appointment of Indian-born Satya Nadella as Microsoft's new chief executive officer.

The story is front-page news for most dailies and they announce it with colourful headlines.

"India makes a Powerpoint," exclaims The Times of India, while Hindustan Times says that "India raises toast as Satya Nadella named Microsoft top boss".

The Times of India reports that the prestigious Manipal University, from where Mr Nadella graduated, was "basking in glory". Chancellor Dr Ramdas M Pai tells the paper that "every single student, past and present, will cherish this glorious moment".

"Nadella's elevation makes him the highest-ranked executive of Indian origin in the corporate world, ahead of such familiar names as Pepsico's Indra Nooyi and Mastercard's Ajay Banga," The Times of India points out.

It adds, however, that it remains to be seen whether Mr Nadella's technical background, along with the closer involvement of Microsoft founder Bill Gates in product decisions, "will give the company an edge it lacked" during the years of his predecessor Steve Ballmer.

The Hindu warns that difficult challenges lay ahead as the new CEO takes over at a "crucial juncture" and will have to tie up "loose ends" such as "the Nokia acquisition, turning Microsoft into a provider of services and hardware, and playing catch-up to the likes of Apple, Google and Amazon".

A note of caution can also be detected in the otherwise jubilant tone of Hindustan Times. "Nadella has been called a 'safe choice', rather than someone who would overhaul the company which, according to many, was needed for it to catch up with rivals Google and Apple," writes the daily.

Telangana issue

In national news, the government is set to persevere with its controversial proposal to divide the southern state of Andhra Pradesh and create a new state, Telangana, NDTV website reports.

The cabinet will introduce the Telangana bill in the final session of the Indian parliament that begins on Wednesday.

Last week, the bill was rejected by Andhra Pradesh lawmakers, a move which was seen as an embarrassment for the federal authorities which approved the new state in October.

Mercy petition

Staying with national news, the federal government has opposed the commuting of the death sentences to life in jail of the three men convicted of killing former PM Rajiv Gandhi, CNN-IBN website reports.

They had filed a plea arguing that the delay in addressing their mercy petitions of more than 11 years had made the wait for the execution of their death sentence "unduly harsh and excessive", and that this was a "violation of their right to life".

"There was a delay by the government in deciding the mercy plea, but it was not an unexplainable or inordinate delay," the report quoted Attorney General GE Vahanvati in the Supreme Court as saying.

Probe into student's death

Meanwhile, newspapers and websites are highlighting the growing clamour for a "fair probe" into the death of a student from the north-east even as Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde promised swift action against those responsible.

Nido Tania, a 19-year-old university student from Arunachal Pradesh, died on 31 January, a day after he was attacked by shopkeepers in Delhi who had ridiculed his appearance.

The Indian Express urges politicians to "exploit the enormously persuasive power" of campaigns for the forthcoming general election in order to "underline what is just not acceptable".

The Times of India echoes a similar sentiment, saying "politicians must do more than make speeches or join a candlelight march. Political leadership must ensure India's capital is safe and open to all".

Indigenous people from the north-east, who are ethnically closer to people in Burma and China, often say they face racism and discrimination in the rest of the country.

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