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RBI cuts repo rate by 25 bps ahead of schedule March 04, 2015 12:23

Raghuram Rajan, governor, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), seems to be enjoying by surprising the markets by cutting rates unannounced and ahead of monetary policy reviews. The Bank has cut rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday morning bringing the key repo rate down to 7.50%. Rajan said, "Given low capacity utilisation and still-weak indicators of production and credit off-take, it is appropriate for the Reserve Bank to be pre-emptive in its policy action to utilise available space for monetary accommodation.” with the release of the agreement on the monetary policy framework, it is appropriate for the Reserve Bank to offer guidance on how it will implement the mandate,” Rajan said. Rajan said, "Inflation in January 2015 at 5.1% as measured by the new index was well within the target of 8% for January 2015." “Disinflation is evolving along the path set out by the Reserve Bank in January 2014 and, in fact, at a faster pace than earlier envisaged," he said. He added, "Yet the picture it presents of a robust economy, with growth having picked up significantly over the last three years, is at odds with still-low direct measures of growth of production, credit, imports and capacity utilisation as well as with anecdotal evidence on the state of the economic cycle. Nevertheless, the picture of a steadily recovering economy appears right." He cautioned, "In the short run, however, the postponement of fiscal consolidation to the 3 per cent target by one year will add to aggregate demand. At a time of accelerating economic recovery, this is, prima facie, a source for concern from the standpoint of aggregate demand management, especially with large borrowings intended for public sector enterprises." By Premji

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Subrata Roy Completes 1 Year In Jail March 04, 2015 12:04

Sahara Group Chief Subrata Roy completed 1 year jail after he has been arrested last year as he failed to pay an amount of Rs 20,000 crores to its investors and a non bailable warrant has been issued for his failure of appearance before the court. Though he tried to reach out in several ways, he failed badly and we have been hearing many other bad things which will sure disturb the well wishers and employees of Sahara Group. The news is that the iconic hotel property Grosvenor House, estimated to be worth over Rs 5,000 crore, has been put on sale by lenders. The hotel has been famous in London and is one of the leading hotels over there. Sahara Group has been trying to raise the funds from the past few months to release their Chief Subrata Roy but they could not do it. The three iconic hotels - The Plaza and Dream Downtown in New York and Grosvenor House in London - were acquired by Sahara between 2010 and 2012 at an estimated valuation of $1.55 billion. Now after Grosvenor House has been kept on sale, Sahara Group has been worried more about the release of Subrata Roy and about the other properties all over.

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Surya Vs Surya Censor Updates March 04, 2015 09:57

Young actor Nikhil who has scored back to back hits in his career is currently getting ready with his latest movie Surya Vs Surya. The movie has been directed by Karthik Ghattamaneni who worked as the cinematographer for Prema Ishq Kadal and Karthikeya. The movie has completed all the censor formalities and it has been awarded clean U certificate without any cuts. The censor board has appreciated the movie unit for making such a clean and good film.  Nikhil and Trida Chowdary played the main leads in the movie and Karthikeya director Chandoo Mondeti penned the script for the film. Satya Mahaveer composed the music for the movie and the audio of the film is already a huge hit. The theatrical trailer of the film increased the expectations on the movie and the movie has been slated for a massive release all over on March 5th. Malkapuram Shiva Kumar produced the movie on Suraksh Entertainments banner. Nikhil is quite confident on the movie that the movie will sure impress the audience.   

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Escapism thy name is Aravind Kejriwal March 03, 2015 17:33

The Chief Minister of Delhi infamously known as Bhagoda is getting ready for another disappearing act. Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, is likely to take 10 days off from March 5 for naturopathy treatment. His second-in-command Manish Sisodia will take charge as acting Chief Minister during that time. This time in the name of naturopathy treatment he is trying to evade from Delhi when his party is in a huge crisis of infighting. The groupism and nepotism is the buzz word in the differently constituted AAP. Mr Kejriwal, 46, has been advised the treatment by doctors because of high blood sugar and coughing. He is likely to fly to Bengaluru for treatment. His medical leave comes in the middle of full blown war in the AAP leadership, with two founder members, Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, criticizing Mr Kejriwal and the party's functioning.  Without taking any responsibility or initiative to solve the infighting, he just posted tweets and shunned his responsibility as the AAP founder and convener. The people of Delhi have already started to feel the irresponsibility of the AAP leadership including Kejriwal, regarding the governance of the city-state. "I am deeply hurt and pained by what is going on in the party," Mr Kejriwal tweeted for the first time on the raging internal battle in the party just days after its record election victory in the capital. "This is betrayal of trust that Delhi posed in us. I refuse to be drawn in this ugly battle. Will concentrate only on Delhi's governance," he said.  Kejriwal has to remember that escapism is not the solution of any problem; instead he should face the issues and solve it. This is actually a betrayal of Kejriwal and co towards the Delhiites who have overwhelmingly voted for them.  By Premji

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Violation of HC Order on Arkavathi March 03, 2015 17:31

The state BJP unit submitted a petition before the Justice HS Kempanna Commission of Inquiry, who is looking into the denotification of the Arkavathi housing project, which is a controversial subject against present Karnataka government. As per the petition submitted by advocates S Doreraju and S Nataraja Sharma, the party has alleged that the government failed to protect the villages clubbed together as the Arkavathi project from getting denotified and blatantly violated court orders of the High Court in the process. According to the petition the action of the present government in considering the application, requests and official recommendations given by certain vested interest, officers of the government, politicians and land mafia are totally illegal, arbitrary and high handed. It is also opposed to the established Law and procedures as a result which the public has suffered and justice is on trial. Further to it, Karnataka suffered loss of crores of rupees on the account of illegal and arbitrary decisions by the government and orders issued thereafter. Petition lists the witnesses including seven former BDA commissioners and Commissioner Shyam Bhat, who could be summoned by inquiry commission. It is a known secret that the Karnataka government is playing at the hands of land mafia. By Premji

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Obama criticizes China’s new technology plans March 03, 2015 16:11

American President Barack Obama criticized China's plans for new rules on U.S technology companies, urging Beijing to change its policy if it wants any business to happen between the two countries. In an interview, Obama said he was concerned about Beijing’s counter terrorism law that would require technology firms to hand over encryption keys, the pass-codes that help to protect data, and install security  ‘’backdoors”  in their systems to give Chinese authorities to have surveillance access. "This is something that I have raised directly with President Xi," Obama said. "We have made it very clear to them that this is something they are going to have to change if they want to do business with the United States." The Chinese parliamentary body read a second draft of the country’s first anti-terrorism law last week and is expected to adopt legislation in the coming weeks or months. As to the draft companies need to keep the servers and user data within china, supply law enforcement authorities with communication records and censor terrorism related Internet content. This will allow Chinese government to force on foreign companies to turn to their mechanisms and allow snooping and tracking the data and services. Obama said, “As you might imagine tech companies are not going to be willing to do that.”  The rules will effect financial industry regulations by pushing Chinese banks to purchase from domestic vendors. The effects are felt on Silicon Valley companies and set the stage for clash over cyber security and technology policy. On the other side Beijing wants to quickly tighten measures for cyber security as a wakeup call from whistle blower Edward Snowden’s revelations of U.S spying.  By Premji

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RBI revises priority sector lending March 03, 2015 16:09

The Reserve Bank of India has rewritten the guidelines of lending to the priority sector, regarding loans to medium enterprises, sanitation and renewable energy sectors which come under one roof. “The target for lending to the redefined priority sector is retained uniformly at 40 percent of adjusted net bank credit or credit equivalent of off-balance sheet exposure, whichever is higher, for all scheduled commercial banks,” the RBI said in a notification. Foreign banks will however be given time to comply with the revised norms, the central bank added, without specifying time period.  The target for lending to the agriculture sector has been kept at usual 18 percent of ANBC, but the Reserve Bank has recommended a sub-target of 8 percent of ANBC for small and marginal farmers, to be achieved in a phased manner. The RBI’s decision came a day after the government proposed changes to the priority sector lending norms. Macquarie Research termed the priority sector recommendations as “very onerous especially for private banks” and added, although agriculture's contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) had decreased, the priority sector lending norms are not reflecting the changing requirements and suggested that the infrastructure sector has to be brought under the umbrella of priority sector lending. By Premji

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5 years jail for slaughter March 03, 2015 16:03

Slaughter of cows, bulls, bullocks and calves, is now completely banned in Maharashtra under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (amendment) Act (MAPA), 1995, which received President Pranab Mukherjee’s nod. However, the slaughter of female buffaloes and buffalo calves can continue, with the permission of relevant authorities. Under the amended act, the crime of slaughtering the animals covered will be non-bailable and the punishment will be five years in prison, upped from the earlier six months. The fine has been hiked to Rs 10,000 from the current Rs 1,000. “The amendment will come into force once the notification is issued by the state government,” said Mahesh Pathak, secretary of the animal husbandry and dairy development department. “The agriculture ministry had passed negative remarks after the bill was sent to the Centre in November last year. The agriculture department had pointed at provisions of schedule 6 of the Act claiming that only aged animals were being sent for slaughter. It was only after we convinced the political leadership about the importance of the bill, that the remarks were changed and the bill was sent to the ministry of home affairs,” said a BJP leader on the condition of anonymity. By Premji

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Contest for PMO Mobile App March 03, 2015 12:13

Government's citizen-engagement platform MyGov has launched a nationwide contest to build a mobile app for the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). "This contest will be held across the country, at different institutions and colleges and will invite participation from people throughout India," the statement said. Internet giant Google is partnering with the MyGov to create the PMO Mobile App.  While speaking at NASSCOM event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that they were planning to invite ideas from the public for developing a mobile app for his office. "Through the PMO app contest, we wish to use technology effectively to encourage innovation, aspiration and enhance connectivity. We want to provide every citizen access to the PMO through a mobile device," Gaurav Dwivedi, CEO, MyGov said.  "We announced about five months ago that we will contribute on the Digital India initiative and the app development contest is a step in that direction," Rajan Anandan, Vice President and Managing Director, Google India & South-East Asia said.  The contest will be divided into three phases, the first phase will seek ideas from the public on what they would like to see in the mobile app for the PMO, the second phase will involve building wireframes and the final phase will include short listing, judging and building the app. By Premji

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Airports modernization, employees oppose March 03, 2015 12:08

Civil aviation minister Mahesh Sharma told Parliament there was no proposal to privatise airports in the country. “However, based on the recommendations of Task Force on Financing Plan for Airports during 12th Five Year Plan period, set up by erstwhile Planning Commission, the government has initiated the process for undertaking operation, management and development of Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports through Public Private Partnership (PPP),” he told the Lok Sabha. AAEU’s general secretary Balraj Singh Ahlawat, refuted to this and said, “The fact that the ministry was giving 76% stake to the private companies for 60 years makes the whole exercise as good as privatisation. It gives the private entity majority stake, and therefore a bigger say in all matters relating to that airport.” R Santahnam, all-India president of the AAEU, said “A section of the (AAI) Act was amended to pave the way for leasing of the airports for development, operation and management. This made it easy for any private company to enter into a joint venture with the AAI through a subsidiary company created along with it. This was done for the purpose of privatization.” By Premji

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