October 2019

TMC suspends Mukul Roys son for 6 years

first_imgKolkata: The Trinamool Congress on Friday suspended its Bijpur legislator Subhranshu Roy for a period of six years for making anti-party comments. Roy’s activities had been under the scanner of the top party leadership particularly after his father Mukul Roy shunned the TMC and joined the BJP in November 2017.”He has been constantly making such statements that we feel has affected the image of the party. The discipline of the party should be prioritised and the party felt that he had not towed the party line on more than one occasions. So we have been compelled to take this tough decision. Our party’s disciplinary body, after consultation with party supremo Mamata Banerjee, has decided to expel him,” Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee said on Friday. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaEarlier in the day, Subhranshu held a press conference in his own Assembly constituency and heaved praises on the organisational skills of his turncoat father Mukul Roy. He claimed that he tried his best to give party’s Barrackpore candidate Dinesh Trivedi a lead from his Assembly constituency but failed to do so as his father proved to be a better organiser than him. “I have lost to my father. He is a real Chanakya of Bengal politics. I feel proud to be the son of Mukul Roy who had earlier played a pivotal role in TMC gaining strength in Bengal and now he has been instrumental in uprooting it. Our party has lost and people voted against us. We should accept it,” Roy said. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersAccording to him, both he and his father have done the best for their respective parties. But people have chosen his father. “Many people had said that if one Mukul Roy leaves, they will make hundreds of Mukul Roys. I just want to say, Mukul Roy who was there since the inception of the party has now single-handedly destroyed it,” Roy added. Though he did not say anything about shifting allegiance to the saffron party following the footsteps of his father but after his statement speculations of him leaving the party have become stronger. Roy further alleged that a section of the party leadership had questioned his allegiance to TMC even after he continued to be loyal to the party.last_img read more

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Piyush Goyal retains railways likely to focus on safety nonfare revenue

first_imgNew Delhi: Piyush Goyal, reassigned the charge of the crucial railway ministry, is likely to focus on safety, generation of non-fare revenue, track renewal, modernisation and increase in the production of state-of-the-art coaches in his second stint at the helm of the national transporter, official sources said Friday.Goyal, having achieved the lowest accident figures in his previous tenure, had repeatedly said that his goal was to reach the zero accident standard. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCHis biggest challenge would be to maintain the record by timely track maintenance and renewal. His aim would be to ensure that railway factories ramp up production of state-of-the-art coaches for trains such as Vande Bharat Express so that more such services can be introduced. Goyal, who had pushed for generating resources through non-fare revenue, had hit a stonewall during his last stint, but the minister is likely to drive this idea as he believes that this will bring in additional funds to boost the beleaguered railways’ finances. Known to work with a team of around 20 trusted advisors, mostly graduates of top business schools, Goyal keeps track of every operational detail through spreadsheets and is usually quick with facts and figures. Not shy of keeping bureaucrats in line, Goyal burns the midnight oil reading reports and documents related to different aspects of his ministry. Active on Twitter, Goyal even responds to passengers’ queries. In his first stint as railway minister, Goyal, a Rajya Sabha member, achieved several firsts — it was during his tenure the government announced its first bullet train which would run from Mumbai to Ahmedabad in Gujarat.last_img read more

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Push for water projects in Tapan

first_imgBalurghat: The new District Magistrate of South Dinajpur, Nikhil Nirmal, who assumed office earlier this month, is trying to solve the problem of acute drinking water crisis, which is prevalent in many areas of entire Tapan block since the past one month. “The district has been reeling under the crisis of safe drinking water since a very long time. As a part of various development schemes undertaken by state government to mitigate the problem of drinking water scarcity, particularly in drought-prone areas across the state, a pipeline-based water supply project has been taken up by Public Health Engineering department at Tapan in South Dinajpur,” Nirmal said. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaNirmal said he visited the affected areas to inspect the progress of ongoing project with the officials of the Public Health Engineering department. It is difficult to collect drinking water from the tube-wells during the onset of summer days as the water-level is very low. A resident Ratan Mondal said: “With soaring temperatures, the demand for drinking water has been rising. The supply of drinking water for Tapan comes from tube-wells, which fails to cater the extra demand in summer when the level of groundwater goes down.” Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersThe villagers said they have tube-wells in houses for drinking water but most of them have dried up. Moreover, the demand has gone up manifold due to intolerable heat. Most of the ponds and tanks have dried up in many areas of Tapan. “Villagers bathe more than once during summer season. As we have limited water resources, so we are cutting down on consumption of water. Women need water for household work as well,” said local resident Jagan Biswas. An administrative official informed the Trinamool-led state government has been keen to resolve the problem. New pipelines have been set up through which fresh drinking water is supplied to the affected villages. “Concrete steps have been taken regarding the matter while drinking water are being supplied through PHE and Mark II deep-well hand pump,” said an official.last_img read more

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Dutch to put four on trial over MH17 crash

first_imgNieuwegein: Dutch prosecutors are to put four people on trial for murder next year over the shooting down of flight MH17 over Ukraine, in which 298 people were killed, relatives said on Wednesday. The court case over the crash of the Malaysia Airlines plane will start in the Netherlands in March 2020, according to family members who were briefed ahead of an announcement by international investigators due about 1100 GMT. The identities of the four people to be charged were not immediately available but a Ukrainian minister and reports said on Tuesday they included at least one senior Russian officer. Also Read – Merkel warns UK Brexit deal ‘unlikely’ without compromise: London The airliner travelling between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur was torn apart in mid-air after being hit by a missile over territory in eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian separatists on July 17, 2014, investigators say. “There is a court case on March 9 2020 against four people for murder,” Silene Fredriksz, whose son and daughter-in-law were killed in the disaster, told reporters. “I am happy that the trial is finally going to start and that the names have been announced. It’s a start. I’m satisfied.” The charges come nearly a year after the international probe into the crash said the BUK missile which hit the Boeing 777 had originated from a Russian military brigade based in the southwestern city of Kursk. Also Read – India, China should jointly uphold peace and stability, resolve disputes through dialogues: Chinese ambassador Asked if she personally blamed anyone for the crash, Fredriksz said: “Mr (Russian President Vladimir) Putin. “Because he made this possible. He created this situation. He is the main responsible person.” Russia has vehemently denied all involvement in the shooting down of MH17. On Wednesday it complained of being excluded from the probe despite “proactively” trying to be involved. “You know our attitude towards this investigation. Russia had no opportunity to take part in it even though it showed initiative from… the very first days of this tragedy,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister Olena Zerkal said on Tuesday that four people would be named over MH17 and senior Russian army officers were involved. Zerkal said the transfer of weapons like the BUK anti-aircraft missile system “is impossible without the (Russian) top brass’s permission”. Dutch media have named several suspects including the head of the 53rd anti-aircraft brigade, the Russian unit identified by the probe last year. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the attack includes Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine. The Netherlands and Australia said in May last year that they formally “hold Russia responsible” for the disaster, after the findings on the origin of the missile were announced. Of the passengers who died, 196 were Dutch and 38 Australian. Any trial is likely to be in the Netherlands where the majority of the victims came from. The suspects could be tried in absentia as Russia does not extradite its nationals for prosecution, said Dutch broadcaster RTL, quoting anonymous sources. “After five years, it is finally clear that justice will be done. This is very important for surviving relatives,” Piet Ploeg, president of a Dutch victims’ association who lost three family members on MH17, told AFP. Investigative website Bellingcat on Wednesday named a series of Ukrainian separatists that it said were linked to the downing of MH17, based on phone intercepts previously revealed by the Dutch-led team. The Dutch safety board said in 2015 that the plane had been hit by a BUK missile, with the JIT reaching the same conclusion in 2016. Then in May 2018 the JIT said MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile from Russia’s 53rd brigade, but that they were still searching for suspects. They showed videos and animation of the BUK launcher as part of a Russian military convoy, using video clips found on social media and then checked against Google Maps, as it travelled from Kursk to eastern Ukraine. Russia insisted last year that the missile was fired by Kiev’s forces, adding that it was sent to Ukraine in the Soviet era. The war in eastern Ukraine and the MH17 disaster continue to plague relations between Russia and the West. Since 2014, some 13,000 people have been killed. Kiev and its Western backers accuse Russia of funnelling troops and arms to back the separatists. Moscow has denied the claims despite evidence to the contrary.last_img read more

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Ethiopian army chief regional president killed in unrest PMs office

first_imgAddis Ababa: Ethiopia’s army chief was shot dead by his bodyguard just hours after an attempted coup in Amhara state left the regional president and another top adviser dead, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Sunday. Spokeswoman Billene Seyoum told journalists a “hit squad” led by Amhara’s security chief Asaminew Tsige burst into a meeting on Saturday afternoon and shot regional president Ambachew Mekonnen and another top official. Also Read – Merkel warns UK Brexit deal ‘unlikely’ without compromise: London The men were “gravely injured in the attack and later died of their wounds,” she said. “Several hours later in what seems like a co-ordinated attack, the chief of the staff of the national security forces Seare Mekonnen was killed in his home by his bodyguard.” Also shot dead was a retired general who had been visiting him, Billene added. The bodyguard has been apprehended while Asaminew is still on the loose, sources said. Analysts said the incident showed the seriousness of the political crisis in Ethiopia, where efforts by Abiy to loosen the iron-fisted grip of his predecessors and push through reforms has unleashed a wave of unrest. “These tragic incidents unfortunately demonstrate the depth of Ethiopia’s political crisis,” said International Crisis Group analyst William Davison. “It is now critical that actors across the country do not worsen the instability by reacting violently or trying to exploit this unfolding situation for their own political ends,” the expert said.last_img read more

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Google says fighting fake business profiles on Maps

first_imgSan Francisco: Admitting that fake business profiles were lurking people on Google Maps, the company has said it was working hard to remove bad actors before they could scam customers. Reacting to media reports that Google Maps is flooded by about 11 million false listings and phone numbers that reroute to competing businesses, the company said local business scammers have been a thorn in the Internet’s side for over a decade. “Over the years, we’ve added more than 200 million places to Google Maps and every month we connect people to businesses more than nine billion times, including more than one billion phone calls and three billion requests for directions,” Ethan Russell, Product Director, Google Maps, said in a blog post. Also Read – Spotify rolls out Siri support, new Apple TV app Occasionally, business scammers take advantage of local listings to make a profit. They do things like charge business owners for services that are actually free, defraud customers by posing as real businesses, and impersonate real businesses to secure leads and then sell them. “Even though fake business profiles are a small percentage of the overall business profiles on Google, local business scammers have been a thorn in the Internet’s side for over a decade,a said Russell. Also Read – New Instagram tool to help users spot phishing emails The media reports last week claimed that majority of businesses on Google Maps that are not at their listed locations and the ones most prone to these scams include contractors, repairmen and car towing services. According to Google, these scammers use a wide range of deceptive techniques to try to game its system a” as we shut them down, they change their techniques, and the cycle continues. “It’s a constant balancing act and wea¿re continually working on new and better ways to fight these scams using a variety of ever-evolving manual and automated systems,” said Google. The company took took down more than three million fake business profiles last year — and more than 90 per cent of those business profiles were removed before a user could even see the profile. “Our internal systems were responsible for more than 85 percent of these removals. More than 250,000 of the fake business profiles we removed were reported to us by users,” said Google. It disabled more than 150,000 user accounts that were found to be abusive – a 50 per cent increase from 2017. “This year, we’ve already introduced a new way to report suspicious business profiles and have started to apply refined techniques to business categories where we’re seeing an increase in fraud attempts,” the tech giant informed. People can flag individual business profiles for removal. They can also report multiple business profiles at once via the business redressal form to kick off the review process.last_img read more

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Pak hands India list of 261 Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails

first_imgIslamabad: Pakistan on Monday handed over a list of 261 Indian prisoners lodged in Pakistani jails to the Indian High Commission here. Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement that the step was consistent with the provisions of the Consular Access Agreement between Pakistan and India, signed on May 21, 2008. “The Government of Pakistan today handed over a list of 261 Indian prisoners (52 civil + 209 fishermen) in Pakistan to the High Commission of India in Islamabad,” it said. The Foreign Office said that the Indian Government will also share the list of Pakistani prisoners with Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. Under the agreement both countries are required to exchange lists of prisoners in each other’s custody twice a year, on January 1st and July 1st, respectively.last_img read more

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KPTL to sell stake in 3 assets to CLP India for Rs

first_imgNew Delhi: Kalpataru Power Transmission (KPTL) Wednesday said it has entered into binding agreements with Canada’s institutional fund manager CDPQ’s arm CLP India to sell its stake in 3 power transmission assets for an estimated enterprise value of Rs 3,275 crore. The company is selling stake in Kalpataru Satpura Transco Pvt Ltd (KSTPL), Alipurduar Transmission Ltd (ATL) and Kohima Mariani Transmission Ltd (KMTL) (referred jointly as SPVs), Kalpataru Power Transmission said in a BSE filing. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep”As a part of this deal, the transaction for ATL and KMTL will be effective post commercial operation date (COD) and fulfilment of certain conditions,” the company added. Techno Electric & Engineering Company Ltd (Techno) owns 26 per cent stake in KMTL. “The sale of assets will lead to a significant reduction in KPTL’s consolidated debt and will help focus on strategic diversification within core business. KPTL will continue to focus on sustainable and profitable growth with commitment to improve return ratios,” Kalpataru Power Transmission Managing Director and CEO Manish Mohnot said.last_img read more

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Develop realtime rural distress indicator with MGNREGA data

first_imgNew Delhi: There is a need to develop a real time indicator of rural distress by using data related to work demand by MGNREGA workers, the Economic Survey 2018-19 said Thursday. It said that timely wage payment under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is expected to increase work demand, and now there is need to diversify definition of ‘works’ under the plan. “Demand for work under MGNREGS may be used to develop a real-time indicator of distress at the granular district/panchayat level,” the survey which was tabled in Parliament on Thursday pointed out. It said that distress at the level of a district or panchayat is difficult to identify in real-time using the current data-sets. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepThe employment related NSS surveys are carried out once in 5-6 years, while household level data are released after a gap of almost two years from the date of surveys. As per the Economic Survey, it is important to provide assistance to the household at the right time when an adverse economic shock significantly reduces their consumption expenditure. “By utilizing information on demand for work under MGNREGS and correlating it with other real-time measures of weather etc, that lead to rural distress, a dashboard can be created which flashes ‘alerts’ from areas under local distress to enable policymakers to act in a timely manner to alleviate such distress,” the survey said. The timely payment of wages directly into bank account of MGNREGS worker is expected to increase in demand for work under the programme in distressed areas, according to the survey.last_img read more

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Rashly driven Mercedes kills CRPF constable in GKI

first_imgNew Delhi: Rash and negligent driving continues to take lives in Delhi as in a recent case, a constable from Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) died and two others were injured after their car was hit by a Mercedes- drove errantly-by a businessman’s son in South Delhi’s Greater Kailash-1 area on Thursday night.Police have arrested the driver in the case. Police identified the accused as Sanidhya Garg, resident of Model Town II. Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Vijay Kumar said the accused is pursuing an undergraduate course in commerce from London and is presently on vacation. Also Read – Gurdwara Bangla Sahib bans single use plastic”His father has an iron business in Noida sector 2,” said DCP, adding that no presence of alcohol was found in MLC. Police further said that they were alerted around 10:59 pm regarding the accident at Archana crossing on BRT. Narender (24), succumbed to injuries in a hospital while Vinod Kumar (36) and Babulal Yadav (38) were discharged after treatment. The Mercedes was coming from the Siri Fort roadside when it jumped a red light and hit the WagonR. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”We were driving slowly. Mercedes was rashly driven and we had no chance to escape. Due to the impact, our car turned,” said Vinod Kumar (victim). The WagonR was coming from Moolchand side and heading towards Chirag Delhi. Kumar further told Millennium Post that they were returning from Lajpat Nagar area to their camp when the incident took place. “After the incident, our car turned, other commuters at the spot run towards our vehicle then I came out. With the help of other people, both my friend were taken out of the vehicle,” said Kumar. DCP South stated that the driver of the Wagon R, Vinod Kumar (36), and his colleague Babu Lal Yadav, were discharged after first aid. DCP further stated that the Mercedes was driven rashly as after hitting the Wagon R, it hit the divider and the traffic light. “The accused in the case was carrying license,” police said. Police said that a case under sections 279/337 of IPC has been registered on the complaint of Kumar against the driver of the Mercedes car. The accused Sanidhya Garg has been arrested in the case and has been medically examined. The vehicles have been seized. The deceased Narender (24), resident of sector IV, Pushp Vihar, was the native of Kishangarh in Rajasthan. The victim Babulal Yadav (38), the constable in CRPF, currently living in Pushp Vihar. He is the native of Khetari in Jhunjunu, Rajasthan whereas another constable Vinod is the native of Uttar Pradesh.last_img read more

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Nine students killed cartruck collision on PuneSolapur highway

first_imgPune: Nine students were killed after their car collided with a truck on the Pune-Solapur Highway here in the early hours of Saturday, police said.The accident took place around 1.30 am near Kadamwak Wasti in Pune district. “The deceased, who were in the age group of 19 to 23 years, were residents of Yavat in Pune district and returning to their hometown from Raigad,” Senior Inspector at the Loni Kalbhor police station Suraj Bandgar said. “The car was being driven at a high speed. After reaching Kadamwak Wasti, the driver lost control over the car and the vehicle first hit a divider and then collided with the truck after landing on the other side of the highway,” he said. Also Read – MP woman hangs herself after killing three childrenPreliminary investigation revealed that the accident was due to overspeeding and the driver losing control over the vehicle, Bandgar said. The inspector said some employees at a toll plaza from where the car had passed a few minutes before the accident, also said it was overspeeding. The impact of the collision was such that the car got badly mangled and eight of its nine occupants died on the spot, he said. “Local residents and police saw that one of the occupants was making some movement and he was immediately taken to a nearby hospital. However, he was declared brought dead,” Bandgar said. The bodies have been sent for postmortem and the matter is being investigated, the officer said.last_img read more

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Irelands Lowry wins maiden Open Championship title

first_imgLondon: Ireland’s Shane Lowry won his first Grand Slam championship as he held his nerve in a tense battle with England’s Tommy Fleetwood at the 148th Open in Royal Portrush. Sunday’s victory tasted sweeter for a man from the island considering The Open is returning to Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951, Xinhua news agency reported. The 32-year-old had built enough of a lead that he could enjoy the greatest walk in golf up the 18th fairway knowing the Claret Jug was waiting for him, and has become just the second Irishman to lift it, after Padraig Harrington. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh He eventually signed for a score of 72 which saw him end the Championship at -15 and Fleetwood could only shake the new Champion Golfer’s hand as he finished six strokes back. American Tony Finau produced a superb level-par 71 to finish third at -7. Last year’s Champion Golfer Francesco Molinari also finished strongly with a Sunday-best round of 66 that saw him leap up to -3 for the Championship and a tie for 11th. Lowry was greeted by boisterous fans who belted out football chants and pop songs lauding their hero long into the night. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later “Honestly, that’s the most incredible day I’ve ever had on the golf course. I honestly can’t explain what it was like,” said Lowry afterwards. “The crowd was incredible,” he said. “I let myself enjoy it and it was incredible walking down 18, they were singing and going mad. I could not believe it was happening to me. “It is huge for Irish golf and big for Irish sport. I am a huge sports fan and I think there are people back home who watched golf that have never watched it before,” he added.last_img read more

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US dollar rises as investors await monetary decisions

first_imgNew York: The US dollar strengthened against its major rivals as investors awaited major central banks’ next monetary moves. In late New York trading on Monday, the euro decreased to $1.1211 from $1.1219 in the previous session, and the British pound was down to $1.2481 from $1.2499 in the previous session, Xinhua news agency reported. The Australian dollar was down to $0.7035 from $0.7043. The US dollar bought 107.87 Japanese yen, higher than 107.77 Japanese yen of the previous session. The US dollar fell to 0.9816 Swiss franc from 0.9825 Swiss franc, and it was up to 1.3112 Canadian dollars from 1.3062 Canadian dollars. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal Market expectations for the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates in July were 100 per cent, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool late Monday, with investors pricing in some 22.5 per cent chance of a more aggressive cut. Investors were also waiting for Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting, which will likely give out policy easing signals. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, rose 0.12 per cent at 97.2628 in late trading.last_img read more

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Highly provocative noises on Kashmir by Pak Army chief

first_imgIslamabad: Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday said that his troops are prepared to “go to any extent” to help Kashmiris, a day after the Indian government revoked Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The decision to take away Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and treat it like any other state in India is aimed at the ending the decades old separatist movement in the Valley. Gen Bajwa presided over the Corps Commanders Conference, which is the highest decision making forum of the army, held at General Headquarters on a single point agenda of Kashmir. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”Pakistan Army firmly stands by the Kashmiris in their just struggle to the very end. We are prepared and shall go to any extent to fulfil our obligations…,” Gen Bajwa told the army commanders. In a statement, the Army said that the forum fully supported the Pakistan Government’s “rejection of Indian actions” regarding Kashmir. Pakistan never recognised Article 370 of the Indian Constitution or 35-A which have now been revoked by New Delhi itself, the army Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollssaid. On Monday, Pakistan condemned and rejected the Indian government revoking Article 370 of the Constitution and vowed to exercise “all possible options” to counter India’s “illegal” and “unilateral” step. Reacting sharply to the Indian government’s announcement, Prime Minister Imran Khan termed the move to revoke Article 370 as “illegal” and said it will “further deteriorate” relations between the nuclear-capable neighbours.last_img read more

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Reflecting Gods creations in their actual forms

first_imgThe Bengal School of Art commonly referred to as Bengal School was an art movement and a style of Indian painting that originated in Bengal, primarily in Kolkata and Shantiniketan and flourished throughout the Indian subcontinent, during the British Raj in the early 20th century. A sneak-peek into the artworks of veteran artist Uma Bardhan will remind you of the influence the Bengal school has on her artworks.Born in 1945, Bardhan is originally from Kolkata, currently based in Gurgaon specializes in figurative paintings, landscapes in water colour on silk, oil on canvas and water mixable oil on canvas. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainTalking about her muse for her artworks, the veteran artist says, “God is the supreme creator of this universe and I, as an artist take extreme pleasure in reflecting his creation in their actual forms.” Bardhan keeps shuttling between Kolkata and Gurgaon and feels that earlier there was not enough space for art and culture in the city but over time people are becoming aware of art and aesthetics which is a positive sign as far as preserving art is concerned. Ask the artist about her muse in the city, and she is quick to retort, ‘Its Tau Devi Lal Biodiversity Park in Sector 52 because it is massive in size and moves the viewer by its beauty. The green expanse is truly attractive’ Cut-throat competition in the market does not bog her down as she keeps up her hard work in making artworks of timelessness.last_img read more

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Aiming for a surplus

first_imgThe focus of the monetary policy is now conclusively on ensuring better transmission. Towards this, for the first time in recent history, the RBI has consciously moved liquidity stance to positive. Indeed, the Governor has lately referred to the Rs 1-1.5 lakh crore positive system liquidity as a comfort factor and facilitator for banks. It thus seems reasonable to infer, in the absence of an official framework on liquidity ‘targets’, that the RBI will want to ensure sustained liquidity surpluses of this magnitude going forward as well. Also Read – A special kind of bond The micro aspects As per our estimates, the so-called ‘core’ system liquidity (total banking liquidity minus government balances) is around Rs 65,000 crore as in early August. Assuming currency in circulation (CIC) seasonality of last year and superimposing a nominal growth rate to this, the system will lose around Rs 2,20,000 crore from here to March 2020. Adding back a higher RBI dividend and some balance of payment accretions, we are largely left with zero core liquidity by end of the financial year. However, given RBI’s current liquidity preference, we would assume they would want core liquidity to at least be in surplus by a similar magnitude as today. This means that one should reasonably expect further open market operation (OMO) bond purchases from the RBI of at least Rs 65,000-75,000 crore between now and end of the financial year. Also Read – Insider threat managementA further implication of this is that the domestic net government bond supply between October and March is largely agnostic to whether the government decides to do a foreign currency sovereign bond issue or not. This is assuming that say $10 billion raised by government from offshore sovereign bonds would have been entirely converted by RBI into rupee liquidity. Thus, the need for OMOs would have fallen to that extent. Refreshing a table we had done in an earlier note, the Rs 70,000 crore assumed for the sovereign bond issue may just end up getting replaced as RBI OMO should the bond issue not happen. While on the subject, one has to comment on the conceptual fallacy in the criticism often levied towards RBI’s OMOs as being monetisation of government deficit. Assuming an unwillingness to cut Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), the only other tools for policy-driven liquidity creation is the purchase of forex or bonds. Long term repos are no solution since this is ‘borrowed’ and not permanent liquidity. Given that purchase of forex is a function of flows that the RBI doesn’t directly influence, it has to resort to purchasing of bonds for discretionary enhancements in core liquidity. Now, if this were being done much beyond the requirements of liquidity creation for the explicit purpose of supporting the bond issuance program or was systematically tied to the quantum of such program or didn’t display two-way directionality, then one could have legitimately argued for backdoor monetisation. However, there is no evidence of this as well. Thus, any impact from OMOs has to be treated as largely an unavoidable cost of policy implementation just as other tools affect other market variables. The macro aspects As can be seen, after the disruption from the global financial crisis (GFC) had subsided, the ratio of broad money (M3) as the proportion of quarterly GDP had largely settled in a range. This broke lower post demonetisation but hasn’t still reverted to its previous range. This is despite the well-acknowledged growth slowdown that has now been underway for some time. After largely tracking nominal GDP growth rates between 2012 and 2015, M3 growth had started to fall below GDP growth from early 2016, even before demonetisation. It is only very recently that M3 growth has been catching back with nominal GDP. It can be argued that a necessary ask from monetary policy in response to the broad-based slowdown is for a higher rate of money supply growth than what has been in the recent few years. Indeed, that seems to have been the case also in the ‘golden’ growth period of 2005-2008, where M3 growth was much above nominal GDP growth. Assuming no changes to the money multiplier, this implies a higher pace of expansion in RBI’s balance sheet, including through more aggressive purchases of domestic bonds. (Suyash Choudhary is the Head – Fixed Income, IDFC AMC. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

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Rewarding excellence

first_imgSankalp Education Awards 2019, conceived and initiated by Lion Sudha Jaiswal, District Governer, Lions Club International 322B2; Imran Zaki, President, Faces; and Lal Bhatia, Co-Founder, David and Goliath, acknowledged educational institutions, individuals, edu-tech corporates and start-ups that have transformed teaching, learning and employability outcomes.An esteemed panel of juries from the host organisation of Sankalp Education Awards judged the nominees on grounds of achieving outstanding standards of innovativeness, thereby stimulating a new development in the field of education. Also Read – An income drop can harm brain”Our aim is to recognise and reward outstanding teaching, where a significant contribution is made by individuals to enhance the quality of learning and teaching,” said Lal Bhatia, Co-Founder, David & Goliath. “Honouring, awarding and conveying gratitude to the teachers for their excellent teaching performance and also stimulating, encouraging and supporting new members of staff in their teaching career along with the students with academic excellence and co-curricular activities is what Sankalp Awards is about,” said Lion Sudha Jaiswal, District Governer, Lions Club International 322B2. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardLIST OF AWARDEES Most Active Alumni (College) – St Xavier’s Alumni Association Montessori that Cares – Little Laurettes Best upcoming Montessori – Morning Smiles, Pre-School, Ballygunge Montessori of the Year – Mongrace Montessori House Educationist of the Year – Father Felix Raj Lifetime Achievement (Sports Education) – Akhtar Ali Best Extra Curricular Activities (School) – Delhi Public School, Megacity School that looks Beyond – The Future Foundation School Best International School – Asian International School Innovative International Initiative – The Heritage School Academic excellence (ICSE) – La Martiniere for Boys Academic Excellence (CBSE) – Lakshmipat Singhania Academy College of the Year – Loreto College Principal of the Year (College) – Dr. Deepali Singhee, JD Birla Institute Most Active Alumni (School) – Don Bosco, Park Circus Best Education Group – JIS group Best Hospitality Management Institute – IIHM Best Fashion Education Institute – NIFT, Kolkata Best Entrepreneurship Development Programme Institute – iLEAD Institute of Leadership Entrepreneurship and Development Best Mass Media Communication Institute – Calcutta Media Institute Best Management Institute – NSHM School of Business and Management Best Jewellery Design Institute – Sawansukha Institute of Gemlogy and Jewellery Design Best Theatre Institute – The Creative Arts Studio Best PR Institute – Candid School of Communication Best Researcher – Dr. Rituparna Basu , International Management Institute Best Art Coaching Institute – Impart Art Coachinglast_img read more

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Shraddha starts prep for Baaghi 3

first_imgMumbai: Actress Shraddha Kapoor, who wooed the audience with her performance in the first installment of Baaghi, has already started preparing for the upcoming third part of the franchise. Shraddha recently took to Instagram Stories to share an update about the project. She posted a photograph of the front page of the script. It read: “Baaghi 3” “Baaghi 3 prep. Shoot starts in a few days,” Shraddha said of the film that will be directed by Ahmed Khan, and will also star Tiger Shroff. In 2019, the actor’s apperance on-screen has been active. She was seen in Saaho and a Nitish Tiwari direction Chhichhore.last_img read more

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Shehla Rashid gets protection from arrest in sedition case

first_imgNew Delhi: A Delhi court has granted interim protection from arrest to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student leader and Jammu and Kashmir People’s movement leader Shehla Rashid, who has been booked under the sedition law for allegedly tweeting against the Indian Army. Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar Jain at the Patiala House Court while granting interim bail to Rashid, said: “Considering all the facts, I am of the view that matter requires investigation in detail…Till then accused shall not be arrested, however, she shall join the investigation as and when called by the Investigating Officer (IO).” Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder The court then posted the matter for hearing on November 5. During the course of the hearing, Additional Public Prosecutor submitted that the police had not even issued a notice to Shehla Rashid yet. The counsel for the accused submitted before the court that his client is ready to join the investigation and would cooperate with the police. The public prosecutor also submitted that the police has not received any complaint from the Army. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings He further added that the police needs a substantial time of at least six weeks to probe the matter. Shehla Rashid was booked on Friday for sedition over her comments about alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, police said. The Delhi Police’s Special Cell said that the FIR was registered on September 3 and Rashid, who is also a JNU Ph.D scholar, was booked for sedition on a criminal complaint by Supreme Court lawyer Alok Srivastav who had sought her arrest. “An FIR has been registered against her under sections 124-A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity), 153 (provocation with intent to cause riot), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly tweeting false information about Army raids in the Kashmir Valley based on a complaint filed by Supreme Court lawyer Alakh Alok Srivastava,” a senior police officer said. In a series of tweets, Rashid had claimed that the Indian Army was indiscriminately picking up men, raiding houses and torturing people in the valley. She claimed that human rights abuses were being carried out in Kashmir. The allegations had drawn sharp reactions. Rashid, however, had said that she was ready to give the evidence when the Indian Army constitutes an inquiry. The Indian Army has officially rejected Rashid’s claims and called them “baseless” and “unverified”. After the Army dismissed her claims, many accused Rashid of spreading fake news to disrupt peace in the Valley.last_img read more

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Exports The engine of growth

first_imgThe timing is right. We have proved our quality, we have proved our commitment. The world is looking at us. Slump/slowdown in Domestic manufacturing could be/should be offset by kick-starting and fast-tracking of exports. Readymade infrastructure lying idle could be and should be ideally and immediately utilised for Export Manufacturing. Right dose at the right time is required and time is ripe. Instead of ideas and ideating, implementation is important. The intention should result in implementation. Desire should convert into delivery. Let us all get together and get going. The industry needs to fasten its belts and look inwards for cutting cost wherever possible and the government needs to join hands to supplement, complement and implement some of the immediate measures which would go a long way in achieving the achievable. Also Read – A special kind of bond Engineering exports: An engine of export growth Engineering exports constitute about 26 per cent of India’s total exports and have the potential to garner a bigger market share. It is a highly labour-intensive sector and provides sizeable employment. However, in the last one year, the price of steel which is the basic raw material for engineering exports has increased by almost 20 per cent. This has made engineering exports uncompetitive and unsustainable. Also Read – Insider threat managementSteel mills export steel at much lower prices compared to their domestic prices which are offered to buyers here. Engineering exporters buy steel domestically from these mills at these high prices. It is suggested that engineering exporters be provided steel at competitive/export prices that are offered to international buyers by steel mills. Only announcing for MSME will not serve the purpose since we need large capacity and capability for Exports and Cost and Logistic disadvantage is faced by all irrespective of the size (large/medium/small). Cost of Credit and Availability of Credit Interest rates of major competing countries are either nil or negligible whereas Indian exporters have to pay 6-7 per cent minimum interest. Vide Circular number RBI/2018-19/81,DBR.Dir.BC.No. 09/04.02.001/2018-19, the government has given interest equalisation scheme from 3-5 per cent. However, this is only applicable for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. The above should be applicable to all exporters so that they can compete in the international market. Similarly, a smooth flow of funds must be ensured. Competitiveness of Indian exporters Opening of trade windows due to trade tensions between the US and China provides an opportunity for Indian exporters to enhance/get a foothold in the US market. Chinese exporters are offering their goods at more than 10 per cent discount, with the Chinese regularly devaluating their currency Yuan. They are able to match their original prices nullifying the impact of duty imposition. We don’t know what kind of subsidies/support – visible/not-so-visible do they get from their government. Hence, our government should support exporters for offsetting the cost disadvantage and non-abetment of taxes and duties by enhancing MEIS and Duty Drawback rates at the earliest till another refund scheme is introduced. Still, there are many taxes, duties and levies which are not yet refunded through GST mechanism, such as Electricity Duty, Taxes and Duties on Petroleum Products; though we are sure it will be taken care of in the upcoming announcements. Refund of Certification Charges For US Markets, taking UL (Underwriters Laboratories) Certification is a pre-condition for exporting electrical products. UL marking is mandatory for all electrical products to be sold to the US. The charges for UL listing are prohibitory but have to be paid by exporters. It is high time the government should encourage and energise the existing exporters who can expand and capture a bigger ready market share in the US from their existing customers provided we are competitive and cost-effective. Hence, certification charges paid to Underwriters Laboratory (UL), etc., should be reimbursed by the Ministry of Commerce under Market Access Initiative (MAI) or any other scheme. Role of Embassies/High Commissions Embassies and High Commissions are our ears and eyes. They should be proactively engaged in gathering and sharing market intelligence in terms of new opportunities and also how and what the other governments are offering to their exporters. Role of Ambassadors should be equally that of Economic Ambassadors, which will enhance and enlarge our efforts to increase India’s market share in the global trade. Need for a Shipping Regulator Exporters are facing severe hardship due to continuous rise in shipping freight to US, Canada and even to European markets by the shipping lines. These increases have been brought about by imposing several surcharges like peak season surcharge and general rate increase which varies according to different shipping lines and container sizes. Apart from these, the shipping lines have also imposed several small surcharges and incidental charges such as the issuance of Bill of Lading (BL), Amendment to BL and various other smaller charges, which are adding up to a sizeable amount. In absence of any National Shipping Line, our exporters are at the mercy of these foreign shipping lines. As in the case of COSCO, the Chinese National carrier, it is suggested that we should invest in Shipping Corporation of India so that determine or set the freight rates rather than foreign shipping liners. Also, a National Shipping Regulatory Body should be formed in the lines of IRDA and TRAI to determine freight rates. Special Economic Zones SEZs were created with the main objective of generating additional economic activity, promotion of exports and the creation of employment opportunities. Close to Rs 4.75 lakh crores have been invested in SEZ. Yearly exports from SEZ are close to Rs 6 lakh crores and around 20 lakh people are employed in SEZs. SEZs have a huge potential for increasing exports and need stable policy. There are serious issues which are driving entire investment made in SEZs go waste if no remedial measures are taken. Due to mid-term policy changes, many units in SEZ are finding it difficult to do business and carry on operations. Lot of infrastructure developments and investments initially planned for SEZs have either been abandoned or in a state of suspension. The government should use these existing ready infrastructures for increasing the value of exports. The following remedial measures in way of policy change will go a long way in contributing to this objective. The SEZ Act of 2005 provided for Income Tax exemption for 15 years for units located in SEZ. MAT has unexpectedly been imposed on units in SEZ. The 10 year period (2006-16) for Income Tax exemptions has also ended and units established in 2006-07 are paying full Income Tax which has made them unviable due to added financial burden and they will lose the stimulus of investing and enhancing exports. It is hence suggested that a one-time 100 per cent Income Tax payment exemption for a period of 10 years be provided and MAT be withdrawn at the earliest for all units operating in SEZs to mitigate the financial burden and give impetus to exporters to make further investments to expand or strengthen their existing operations. It is suggested that Duty Drawback eligible on exports from DTA to SEZ should be credited to exporter’s bank account similarly as exports through ICES (Indian Customs EDI System), without the need to submit physical documents which will drastically reduce time, money and energy expended by both the exporters and authorities. (The author is Chairman – CII National Committee on EXIM & MD, Patton group. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

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