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Kerala CM rings opening bell at London Stock Exchange as KIIFB lists masala bonds

yesterday  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan rang the opening bell at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) Friday to mark the listing of masala bonds sold by Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB), according to an official statement. KIIFB, a state government agency, had raised Rs 2,150 crore through its debut masala bond issue. KIIFB plans to raise Rs 5,000 crore through masala bonds to fund large and critical infrastructure projects in Kerala. Indian Rupee denominated overseas bonds are popularly known as masala bonds. "This was not only the first-ever offshore capital market issuance from a state-level entity from India, but also the largest dual currency issue by a sub-sovereign backed entity from the entire emerging markets and Asia," the KIIFB had said. The transaction was priced on March 26, 2019 and saw strong participation from a wide spectrum of investors which included asset managers, insurance companies, pension funds, banks as well as private wealth managers, it had .....
                 

6 kg gold worth Rs 2 crore seized at Chennai airport

yesterday  
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Six kg of gold worth Rs 2 crore was seized in three separate incidents at the Chennai airport, Customs officials said Friday. The seizure was effected in separate incidents reported over the last two days. Three passengers were intercepted after their arrival from Dubai on Friday, the officials said in a statement issued here. A personal examination revealed that the three passengers had concealed the yellow metal in their rectum, it said. On Thursday night, the sleuths recovered gold from four passengers, who had arrived from Colombo. Nineteen people, all hailing from Ramanathapuram, were intercepted at the airport Thursday morning after their arrival from Colombo. They had concealed gold in their rectum, according to the statement. In total, six kg gold valued at Rs 2 crore was seized by the sleuths, it said...
                 

Man held for attacking cop over late-night music at wedding

yesterday  
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A man was Friday arrested for allegedly abusing and assaulting an assistant inspector after the latter asked him to turn off a music system since it was past the 10pm deadline, police said. Two others who were part of the fracas which started at around 11:30pm on Thursday are on the run, a Dombivali police official added. "At a marriage function on Ayre Road in Dombivali, the organisers were playing loud music despite rules specifying a 10 pm deadline for it. When Assistant Inspector Sharad Shelke (35) went to get it switched off, he was abused and manhandled by Santosh Mhatre and two others," Senior Inspector VM Pawar of Dombivili police station said. A case has been registered against the three under section 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and relevant provisions of the IPC, he added...
                 

This ex-serviceman is providing free training to young Army aspirants

yesterday  
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With an aim to help youth make their way to the Army, a former serviceman is providing free training to youths from rural areas in Anandapuram area of Shivamogga district.Kishore Kumar, who served in the Army for 18 years, is providing free lodging and training for a recruitment rally on May 28 to around 80 youths from nearby villages.Kishore, who hails from Byrapura village and served in Madras Regiment, said, "Youth here do not have information as to what to do to join the Army, I thought a coaching centre would really help them.""We have seen coaching centre for civil services and competitive exams, but we do not have a single coaching centre (free) for Army aspirants. I want south India to get more participation in the Army. This is a patriotic work," he told ANI. Our participation is almost negligible in the military compared to North India. Our youth are strong enough and wish to join the Army but they have no knowledge about physical and mental abilities."Kishore raised funds ....
                 

Rain lashes parts of Delhi, 11 flights diverted

yesterday  
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Light rain lashed parts of the national capital on Friday evening bringing respite from the heat but the cloudy weather caused the diversion of as many as 11 flights from the IGI airport till 9. 30 pm, officials said."There is air congestion due to bad weather. A total of 11 diversions between 2100 hours and 2130 hours, and between 1630 hours and 1730 hours have been done," airport officials said.AirVistara in a travel update said: "Due to bad weather in New Delhi, UK 940 from Mumbai to Delhi has been diverted to Amritsar."Meanwhile, according to the MeT Department, the weather in the national capital is expected to remain pleasant on Saturday with the maximum and minimum temperature is expected to stay around 36 degree and 24 degree Celsius respectively.The weather department has warned of hail precipitation over and nearby areas of Meerut, Modinagar, Loni, Khair, and at isolated places of the national capital.There was also a sudden spell of rain in parts of Himachal Pradesh and .....
                 

40-year-old woman killed by neighbour in Delhi

yesterday  
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A 40-year-old woman was stabbed to death allegedly by her neighbour in southwest Delhi's Rangpuri near Vasant Kunj, police said Friday. The incident took place on Thursday night. The woman, Rekha Singh, was stabbed in her chest four times by her 22-year-old neighbour, they said. According to the police, the accused -- Gopal Singh -- and the woman had an argument two days ago. On reaching the spot, police learnt that the woman was shifted to AIIMS trauma centre. She was declared brought dead by the doctors. Investigations revealed that her neighbour had stabbed her. Police later arrested the accused and seized the knife used in the crime, Devender Arya, Deputy Commissioner of Police (southwest), said. Rekha's husband, Sunil Singh said that he was at his shop with his eldest son when the incident took place. Police said the family of the accused he had an accident a few days ago and has been mentally disturbed since then. However, police said that mental health of the accused is a .....
                 

Ready to lead coalition if given a chance: Cong

yesterday  
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The Congress Friday said it is committed to constituting a progressive and secular government and ready to lead a coalition, a day after its senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the party is not averse to supporting a regional leader for the Prime Minister's post even if it emerges as the single largest party. As part of its efforts to bring together opposition parties, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has asked her trusted leaders to convene a meeting soon after the Lok Sabha election results are announced on May 23, sources said. "My party high command has already made it clear that the Congress is not averse to making a prime minister from any regional party," Azad had told reporters in Shimla on Thursday. However, in a change of tone on Friday, he said, "It is not true that the Congress will not claim the Prime Minister's post. The Congress is the biggest and oldest party and it should be given a chance if a government has to run for five years." Asked about Azad's comments, Congress ....
                 

6 kg gold worth Rs 2 crore seized from Chennai airport

yesterday  
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27-year-old gored to death by stray cattle in Delhi

yesterday  
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EC okay with PM visit to Himalayan shrines

yesterday  
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The Election Commission is learnt to have given its nod to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's proposed visit to Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines in Uttarakhand beginning Saturday while "reminding" the prime minister's office that the model code of conduct is still in force. The prime minister's office is learnt to have sought the views of the Election Commission on the two-day official visit of Modi to Uttarakhand. As it is an official visit, the Commission has only "reminded" the PMO that the model code of conduct which came into force on March 10 with the declaration of Lok Sabha polls, is still in force, sources aware of the development said. The last and seventh phase of Lok Sabha polls is on May 19. "The visit is official so it can be undertaken. But the office of the PM has been reminded that the poll code is still in force," a source said without elaborating. Modi will undertake a two-day visit to Uttarakhand beginning May 18. While he will be in Kedarnath Saturday, he will visit .....
                 

Jaypee Infra insolvency: Homebuyers welcome NCLAT annulling creditors' voting on NBCC bid

yesterday  
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Homebuyers on Friday described as "positive" the NCLAT's decision to annul voting by creditors on NBCC's bid to acquire debt-laden Jaypee Infratech as bankers will now not be able to reject the offer. Hearing a plea by IDBI Bank, a three-member bench of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) headed by Chairman Justice S J Mukhopadhaya annulled the ongoing voting process. The bench also allowed nine homebuyers' associations representing around 5,000 buyers to file an intervention application. NCLAT said banks can renegotiate the offer made by state-run NBCC till May 30 and the voting process can start May 31 onwards. Reacting to this development, a homebuyers association office bearer Ashish Rustagi said the NCLAT order confirmed its support in favour of homebuyers. "The judges have asked the IDBI Bank that they have to vote in support of resolution for homebuyers. The CoC (Committee of Creditors) cannot fail the resolution in case banks vote negative. In the latter case, ...
                 

Presence of wicket-takers in middle overs will benefit India in high-scoring World Cup: Dravid

yesterday  
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Batting great Rahul Dravid Friday said the presence of wicket-taking bowlers will greatly benefit India in the middle overs of what is expected to be a high-scoring World Cup. Alongside hosts England and Australia, India will enter the ICC showpiece as favourites. The tournament kicks off on May 30 with the grand finale slated for July at the Lord's. "In a World Cup, I believe, having experienced some of the conditions in England last year with the A tour, it would be a high scoring World Cup. And in a high scoring WC, having bowlers who can take wickets in the middle will be very important. I think India is lucky in that regard," Dravid said here. The former captain added, "People like (Jasprit) Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal... (We have) got bowlers who can take wickets. Teams that are taking wickets through those middle-overs in those high scoring games have a better better chance of restricting the opposition." India played their last international on March 13, after ....
                 

Bombay HC comes to the rescue of stranded sailors

yesterday  
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The Bombay High Court has come to the aid of 16 sailors, stranded aboard a ship, which has been anchored near Nhava jetty for over two months, and ordered for them to be disembarked from the ship. A vacation bench of Justices Ajey Gadkari and N J Jamadar was hearing a petition filed by nine of the 16 sailors seeking to be disembarked as they remained on the M T Tag Navy vessel since long and the living conditions on the ship are "pathetic". The vessel was arrested and anchored on April 20 this year pursuant to a court order while hearing a civil suit between the vessel owner company Tag Offshore Ltd and creditor R H Petroleum Pvt Ltd. The court on Thursday said in the dispute between the company and others, the lives of the crew members cannot be put in jeopardy. "The lives of the petitioners who are stranded on the vessel are in jeopardy. In these extreme and emergent circumstances, we cannot afford not to intervene, so as to protect the lives of hapless crewmen," the court said. The..
                 

Modi locked up entire cabinet before demonetisation: Rahul

yesterday  
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Congress president Rahul Gandhi Friday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi got his entire cabinet locked up before announcing his decision to demonetise high-value currency notes. Addressing a rally in Himachal Pradesh's Solan, Gandhi claimed he was given this information by members of the Special Protection Group (SPG), the agency which guards him. "During demonetisation Narendra Modi put his cabinet under lock and key (taley se band kiya thha) on Race Course Road, he said, referring to the earlier name of the road on which the PM's official residence is located. This the truth, Gandhi said. The SPG people provide me also with security. They told me that do you know that the prime minister of India locked up his entire cabinet, he said. He also criticised Modi over the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). "Countrymen say Modi committed mistakes by implementing demonetisation and the GST. But Modi will never admit it," he said. The small and medium industrialists,..
                 

Govt to grant ESM status to retired Military Nursing Service officers

yesterday  
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The defence ministry and the armed forces have given in-principle approval to accord ex-servicemen status to the Military Nursing Service (MNS) officers post-retirement, military sources said Friday. They said officers serving as Brigadiers and above rank in the MNS will also be allowed to display staff plates on their official vehicles on par with other officers of the three services. The staff plates carry rank of the officers. The ex-servicemen (ESM) status will allow retired MNS officers to get a number of benefits including applying for re-employment in public sector undertakings (PSUs) and other government bodies, the sources said. They said granting retired MNS officials the status of ESM will require some tweaking in existing norms and the Department of Personnel and Training is examining the issue. Around 10 years back, a group MNS officials had approached the armed forces tribunal, and in 2010 it has favoured granting them ESM status. At present, the MNS has over 5,000 .....
                 

Will resign if those guilty of desecration of religious scriptures not punished: Sidhu

yesterday  
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Punjab minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu said Friday that he would resign if the punishment was not given to those involved in desecration of religious scriptures. Though he did not clarify whether he would resign from the cabinet or the party. Addressing a poll rally in favour of Congress' Bathinda candidate Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, Sidhu lashed out at the Badal family for allegedly "ruining" Punjab during the previous SAD-BJP regime. On the last day of poll campaigning, Sidhu addressed several elections rallies in Bathinda, which is considered a stronghold of the Akali Dal. "I had earlier left Rajya Sabha seat (when he was in the BJP)," Sidhu told the gathering. He claimed that the BJP in 2014 had asked him to leave the Amritsar seat and contest from other parliamentary constituency. "If a punishment is not given to the guilty of sacrilege (of religious scriptures) and if Guru does not get respect... Sidhu will resign," said state's tourism and cultural affairs .....
                 

Parties including TMC, SP, BSP, TDP won't support BJP: Rahul

yesterday  
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Congress president Rahul Gandhi Friday exuded confidence that a secular formation will win the maximum number of seats in this Lok Sabha polls indicating that opposition parties will come together to form the next government and said that regional parties like TMC, SP, BSP and TDP will not support the BJP. He, however, said he will not pre-judge the verdict of the people and launched an all-out attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for having lost the opportunity given by the people to take the country forward. Refusing to spell out the opposition's strategy ahead of the Lok Sabha poll results on May 23, Gandhi told a press conference that unlike Modi, the Congress will use the experience of veterans such as UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh. He was asked what role Sonia Gandhi will play in bringing together opposition parties to form the next government, amid talks of the UPA chairperson asking its top leaders to talk to various leaders and hold a..
                 

10 govt employees suspended for absenteeism in Rajouri

yesterday  
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Ten government officials in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district were suspended on Friday for alleged absenteeism, officials said. As many as 47 institutions were inspected during recent surprise inspections in Rajouri, they said. Against the strength of 478 officials posted in these institutions, 309 were were found present, 17 absent and 50 others on leave, officials said. Four other were shown on deputation, they said. Deputy Commissioner of Rajouri Mohammad Aijaz Asad, under whose directive the checks were made, placed ten employees under suspension, they said. Seven contractual employees who were absent have been directed to explain their position, along with reasons why their contracts should not be terminated, officials said. The DC added no laxity would be allowed in the maintenance of discipline and punctuality in government offices...
                 

Re-polling ordered at Azamgarh booth on May 19

yesterday  
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The Election Commission on Friday ordered re-polling to be conducted at a booth in Azamgarh during the seventh and last phase of general elections on May 19.In a statement, the EC said re-polling would be conducted at booth number 337 located at Karaut in Mubarakpur. Polling would be conducted from 7 am to 6 pm on Sunday, EC said.Alleging misconduct by a polling official at a booth here, the Samajwadi Party (SP) had written to the EC raising concern over the same. The SP alleged that at booth number 57, set up at Primary School Mustafabad of Mehnagar Assembly constituency, the polling officer was casting votes on behalf of elder women and senior citizens.Addressing a press conference here today, Uttar Pradesh's Chief Electoral Officer L Venkateshwar Loo said the EC has decided to honour magistrates of the districts that witness "good" voter turnout in the Lok Sabha elections.He also appealed to the people to exercise their franchise in the elections, adding that EC officials are .....
                 

Days ahead of poll results, Chandrababu Naidu meets Kejriwal

yesterday  
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Days ahead of the declaration of the Lok Sabha poll results, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu met his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal here on Friday, with the AAP terming it a "courtesy visit". Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh were also present at the meeting. According to sources, Naidu and Kejriwal discussed the scenario after the election results are declared and what role their parties, the TDP and the AAP would play in government formation if such a situation rises. However, the AAP maintained that Naidu paid a courtesy visit to Kejriwal. Earlier in the day, TDP president Naidu, who has been rallying regional parties to form a non-BJP coalition, met CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury in the national capital. Sources said that Naidu is likely to meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi in the national capital and BSP chief Mayawati in Lucknow Saturday. The TDP chief had met the election commission earlier in the day..
                 

Indian Navy successfully test-fires MRSAM missile

yesterday  
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The Indian Navy has successfully test-fired a Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM), achieving a significant milestone to enhance its anti-air warfare capability, the defence ministry said Friday. The test-firing of the missile was undertaken on the western seaboard by Indian naval ships Kochi and Chennai. "The Indian Navy achieved a significant milestone in enhancing its anti air warfare capability with the maiden cooperative engagement firing of the MRSAM," the defence ministry said in a statement. The test-firing of the missile was carried out jointly by the Indian Navy, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries. The DRDO has jointly developed the missile in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries. The MRSAM has been manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited. "These surface to air missiles are fitted onboard the Kolkata class destroyers and would also be fitted on all future major warships of the Indian Navy," the ministry .....
                 

Victory of 'Nyay' certain on May 23: Priyanka

yesterday  
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Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday said her party did not allow the BJP to divert the focus in elections from issues of employment and farming as she asserted that the victory of 'Nyay' was certain on May 23. Campaigning in the bitterly fought marathon Lok Sabha elections, spread over 38 days, drew to a close Friday evening as top leaders made a final push in the seventh and concluding phase for the remaining 59 seats. "Dear friends, 60 days of spirited election campaign for 'one person one vote' or political equality was made possible because of your love," Priyanka said. "Despite BJP's efforts, we did not allow the elections to be diverted from issues of employment, farming, and income. On the 23rd (May), the victory of 'Nyay' (justice) and people's voice is certain," said the AICC general secretary, in-charge Uttar Pradesh (East). The Congress' proposed Nyuntam Aay Yojana (Nyay) promises up to Rs 72,000 a year to 20 per cent of India's poorest families if .....
                 

Social worker held for extortion bid on Union minister Mahesh Sharma

yesterday  
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A social worker was arrested on Friday by the Noida Police for allegedly hatching a conspiracy to extort Rs 2 crore from Union minister and BJP leader Mahesh Sharma, officials said. Usha Thakur, in her 60s, was held from her house in Sector 31 at around 10 am, a police official said. Thakur is accused of extortion, forgery and criminal conspiracy linked to a pre-election "sting operation" done by a gang helmed by a man who ran a local news channel that was shut down after demonetisation, according to the police. The gang was demanding Rs 2 crore from Sharma after threatening to make public an "objectionable" video, the officials said, adding that three people directly linked to the case were already arrested in April. "Usha Thakur was arrested this morning from her house. She has been arrested following detailed interrogation of other accused involved in this case," SHO of the Sector 20 police station Rajvir Singh Chauhan said. "Thakur had facilitated the meeting between the people .....
                 

DoT asks industry, academia to develop standards relevant for India

yesterday  
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Telecom industry should come forward to create Indian-owned intellectual property right (IPR) that can be integrated into the global communications ecosystem and also help bridge the standardisation gap, a senior Telecom Department official said Friday. "Nearly 5-10 per cent of the value of products that the Indian telecom market uses is towards payments of global IPR. This is when many of these products have had Indian brains behind it. We want more development and fabrication of future products done in India and by Indians," Anshu Prakash, Additional Secretary, Department of Telecom (DoT) said, addressing a discussion on 'Bridging the Standardisation Gap'. The event was organised jointly by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) and Broadband India Forum (BIF). Prakash emphasised the need to enhance collaboration between industry, academia, and civil society to accelerate the development of Indian standards with the government taking the lead role as facilitator and enabler...
                 

Modi's election campaign involved 1.5 lakh km of air travel, 142 rallies: Shah

yesterday  
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew 1.5 lakh km and addressed 142 public rallies during the most extensive campaign for a Lok Sabha election since Independence, BJP president Amit Shah said Friday. Addressing a press conference here with the PM by his side, Shah praised Modi for braving scorching temperatures which went up to 46 degrees Celsius. "Since Independence, the most hardworking, extensive election campaign was this one and Modi's outreach was unprecedented," Shah said. There is hardly any part of the country Modi did not visit during the election campaign between February and May, he said. The dates for the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections were announced on March 10. "On 28 March 2019, the campaign started from Meerut. PM Modi addressed 142 public rallies, held four roadshows and, according to conservative estimates, he directly addressed about 1.5 crore people in these rallies. Modi's campaign involved air travel of around 1.5 lakh km," he said. Shah also said, that he himself ...
                 

Nilekani-led panel on digital payments submits report to RBI

yesterday  
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A Reserve Bank-appointed committee headed by Aadhaar architect Nandan Nilekani submitted its suggestions on promoting digital payments to Governor Shaktikanta Das Friday, the central bank said. In January, the Reserve Bank of India had set up the five-member panel on deepening digital payments with a view to encouraging digitisation of payments and enhance financial inclusion through digitisation. In a statement, the Reserve Bank said the committee held its deliberations including consultations with various stakeholders and submitted its report Friday to Governor Das. "The Reserve Bank of India will examine the recommendations of the committee and will dovetail the action points, wherever necessary, in its Payment Systems Vision 2021 for implementation," it said. The panel was tasked with reviewing the existing status of digitisation of payments in the country, identifying the current gaps in the ecosystem and suggesting ways to bridge them and assessing the current levels of digital ...
                 

Yes Bank to claw back Rs 1.44 cr bonus from ex-MD Rana Kapoor

yesterday  
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In a rare move, Yes Bank will claw back Rs 1.44 crore bonus paid to its founder and former chief Rana Kapoor following RBI's directions. Yes Bank, which is grappling with bad loan issues, has come under the scanner of the Reserve Bank for weak corporate governance. Kapoor is one of the founders and promoters of Yes Bank, which started operations in 2004. He still owns 4.32 per cent stake in the bank (as of March 2019). It is to be noted that RBI had denied extension to Kapoor in October last year following regulatory issues. The central bank cited serious lapses in corporate governance and a poor compliance culture at Yes Bank as reasons for denial of extension to Kapoor. "Further, in accordance with the directions of RBI, the Board of Directors of the Bank had considered and approved clawback of 100 per cent of performance bonus paid to Rana Kapoor for FY 2014-15 and FY 2015-16 net of taxes," Yes Bank said in its annual report released on Thursday. "The amount of Bonus subjected to ....
                 

Army pays tribute to soldier who died in Shopian encounter

yesterday  
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The Army Friday paid floral tributes to Sepoy Rohit Kumar Yadav who was killed during an encounter with militants in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir. Yadav sustained bullet injuries during a fierce anti-militancy operation at village Handew of Shopian District in south Kashmir on Thursday. He was provided immediate first aid and evacuated to 92 Base Hospital, but succumbed to the injuries. "In a solemn ceremony at BB Cantonment, Lt Gen K J S Dhillon, Chinar Corps Commander and all ranks paid homage to the martyr on behalf of a proud nation. In a show of solidarity, representatives from other security agencies also joined in to pay their last respects to the martyr," an Army spokesperson said. The mortal remains of the martyr were taken for the last rites to his native place, where he would be laid to rest with full military honours, the official said. "In this hour of grief, the Army stands in solidarity with the bereaved family of the martyr and remains committed to their .....
                 

Rains bring respite from heat in Delhi

yesterday  
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Rains lashed several parts of the national capital on Friday providing some relief to Delhiites from the scorching heat. The Safdarjung observatory, recording of which is considered official for the city, received 2.4 mm of rainfall till 5.30 pm. Areas under Palam, Lodhi Road, Ridge and Ayanagar received 7.6 mm, 1.8 mm, 0.2 mm and 3.6 mm of rainfall, respectively. The minimum temperature was recorded at 24.6 degrees Celsius, two notches below the season's average, while the maximum was recorded at 37.4 degrees Celsius, three notches below the season's average. Humidity oscillated between 100 per cent and 53 per cent. The weatherman has forecast cloudy skies for Saturday with the possibility of thunderstorm accompanied with very light rains and gusty winds. The weather is likely to remain pleasant on Saturday and the maximum and minimum temperatures are expected to hover around 37 degrees and 24 degrees Celsius, respectively. On Thursday, the maximum temperature was recorded at 36.7 .....
                 

Bharti Airtel's Rs 25,000 cr rights issue oversubscribed

yesterday  
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Telecom operator Bharti Airtel said Friday that its about Rs 25,000 crore rights issue has been "over-subscribed" as per the preliminary information received. The company's rights issue, which had opened on May 3, closed for subscription on Friday. "The company would like to bring to your notice that, based on preliminary information received, the rights issue has been over-subscribed," the company said in a regulatory filing. The applications received in the rights issue are subject to verification and clearing of payments, and finalisation of the basis of allotment, it added. Airtel had announced the rights issue to raise up to Rs 25,000 crore through issuance of fully paid-up shares at a price of Rs 220 per share, and additional Rs 7,000 crore through a foreign currency perpetual bond issue. The company had said the capital infusion will help it continue investments in future rollouts to build large network capacity and create content and technology partnerships to ensure the .....
                 

Temp drops in Raj after dust storm and light rains

yesterday  
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The maximum temperature dropped by a few notches in Rajasthan on Friday after dust storm and light rains lashed parts of the state, a MeT Department official said Friday. Several places in east and west regions of the state witnessed rainfall ranging from 1 to 4 cm till 8 am, he said. On Friday, Pachpadra recorded 4 cm of rainfall followed by 3 cm in Sikar and Bhilwara, 2 cm in Pokaran, Padampur, Khajuwala, Shergarh, Barmer, Fatehgarh and Raniwada, 8.5 mm in Jodhpur and 0.5 mm in Ajmer, he said. Kota was recorded as hottest place in the state with a maximum temperature of 40.9 degrees Celsius followed by 37.8 degrees Celsius in Jaipur, 36.2 degrees Celsius in Dabok, 36 degrees Celsius in Ajmer, 35.3 degrees Celsius in Barmer, 34.9 degrees Celsius in Churu, 33.9 degrees Celsius in Jaisalmer, 33.7 degrees Celsius in Bikaner and 33 degrees Celsius in Jodhpur. The minimum temperature was recorded between 19.8 and 25.6 degrees Celsius in the state, the official said. The MeT Department .....
                 

Sunny Deol approaches HC 'fearing misuse of official machinery' by Cong in polls

yesterday  
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Actor and BJP candidate from Gurdaspur Sunny Deol Friday moved the Punjab and Haryana high court here "fearing misuse of official machinery" by the ruling Congress and sought adequate measures, including deployment of additional paramilitary forces, to ensure free and fair polling. Deol also demanded that the Gurdaspur constituency be declared "super sensitive", claiming it was prone to violence. He cited the incidents of poll-related violence in the border constituency during panchayat polls which were conducted across the state in December 2018. "We moved the court because we feared the official machinery could be misused in the elections by the Congress," advocate Pankaj Jain, the counsel for Deol, told reporters. He said after they filed the petition before a division bench of justices Daya Chaudhary and Sudhir Mittal, the court sought to know from the Election Commission about the measures being taken to ensure free and fair polls in Gurdaspur. The petitioner's counsel submitted ...
                 

Civil society groups seek revision of WHO guidelines on Similar Biotherapeutic Products evaluation

yesterday  
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Over 60 civil society organisations from across the world have written to the Director General of WHO demanding revision of the global health body's 'Guidelines on Evaluation of Similar Biotherapeutic Products (SBPs)' which were adopted in 2009. The regulatory framework for approval of SPBs, put in place by many countries, including India, is in accordance with the WHO guidelines, which the groups claim are "unnecessarily cumbersome". They allege that the "failure" of the WHO secretariat to update the guidelines in line with current scientific evidence and technological advances, "compromises access to affordable biotherapeutic products" and has "grave consequences for the realization of the right to health and the right to enjoy scientific progress." Biotherapeutic medicines, also known as biologics, are produced through biological processes and differ from the older generation small-molecule medicines that are derived through chemical synthesis. They have advantages over small .....
                 

St Stephen's college row: AC, EC members of Delhi University write to V-C

yesterday  
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Members of Delhi University's Academic and Executive Councils Friday wrote to the varsity's vice-chancellor, saying the decision of St Stephen's college to include a member of Supreme Council in the interview panel for students "will compromise with the academic integrity in the admission process". The letter addressed to Professor Yogesh Tyagi was written by Executive Council members J L Gupta and Rajesh Jha, Academic Council members Seema Das, Richa Raj, Sudhanshu and Pradip Kumar, and Finance Committee member Rajpal Singh Pawar. "We request you to preserve and protect the academic integrity in the admission process and dignity of the teachers of St Stephen's college, which is under serious threat by some recent decisions of the college administration," the letter read. "We respect the status of the minority institution, but we also demand respect for the university's statutory framework and service conditions of the teachers," the members said in the letter. It stated that the .....
                 

Member of Army mountaineering team to Mt. Makalu dies

yesterday  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The Army on Friday said a member of its 18-personnel expedition team to Mount Makalu in Nepal, which claimed to have spotted mysterious footprints of mythical creature Yeti, died while descending from the summit point. The team had successfully climbed Mt. Makalu (8,485 metre) on Thursday. "While descending from the summit point to Camp IV (first camp during the descent), one of the team members, Naik Narayan Singh, died," the Army said. The Army said Singh was a keen mountaineer and had earlier taken part in other mountaineering expeditions, including to Mt. Kamet. Singh had joined the Army in 2002 and hailed from Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand. He is survived by his wife and three young children. Mt. Makalu is considered amongst the most dangerous and challenging peaks to summit. The Army said it had undertaken this mountaineering expedition in furtherance of the objective of climbing challenging peaks above 8,000 metre. During the expedition, the team also claimed to have spotted .....
                 

EC manipulated polling diaries in South Delhi: AAP

yesterday  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The Aam Aadmi Party has alleged that the Election Commission got the polling diaries manipulated by presiding officers in the South Delhi Lok Sabha seat. The returning officer of the South Delhi constituency, however, said it is "misinformation" and no officers were called in this regard to the EC office. AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj alleged about 200-250 presiding officers have been called to the EC office in the last two days and they have been asked to "change sensitive information in the polling diaries". Polling diaries are used to note hourly activity at a booth on the polling day. "These diaries contain sensitive information and we want to know why the Election Commission asked presiding officers to modify the information," Bhardwaj claimed. An election commission official, requesting anonymity, said the officials were called for clarification over new entries in the polling diaries. Raghav Chadha, the AAP candidate from South Delhi, asked why documents are being .....
                 

Moti Nagar murder: Muslims of Basai Darapur living in fear of backlash

yesterday  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The tension in the air is palpable at the Basai Darapur village in west Delhi's Moti Nagar with several Muslim residents living under constant fear of backlash-- days after a member of the majority Tyagi community was killed by his neighbours from the minority community. While several Muslim families who had have fled their homes have returned after assurances from the Delhi Police, members of the Tyagi community have decided to boycott Muslims from outside Delhi. Locals claim that the village, around 10 km from the power corridors in Lutyens' Delhi, remained peaceful even in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition back in 1992. However, the murder of 51-year-old Dhruv Tyagi on May 12, allegedly for resisting youths who passed lewd remarks at his daughter, has not only shook both the communities to their core but is now threatening the bonhomie that has characterised Basai Darapur for decades. "Even during the Babri Masjid demolition, we have never witnessed any such instance. .....
                 

Modi 'lahar' has turned into Modi 'qahar': Shatrughan Sinha

yesterday  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha on Friday claimed that the Narendra Modi wave (lahar) in the country has now turned into chaos against the Prime Minister."Modi lahar has turned into Modi qahar (Modi wave has turned into Modi havoc)," he said at a press conference which was attended by several leaders of the grand alliance, adding that the "gali-gali me shor hai, chowkidar chor hai" was being raised frequently.Launching a scathing attack on BJP chief Amit Shah, Sinha stated that people of Bihar will show him his "aukat" (worth) in the upcoming elections."Amit Shah said he will show Bihari Babu (Sinha) his worth (aukat). The way Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked of Bihar's DNA, people showed him his worth during the assembly elections. After the roadshow that happened today, they (BJP and its allies) will be aware of their worth. And whatever is left, people of Bihar will let them know of their worth in the upcoming elections," he asserted.Sinha claimed that he had to pay a price for..
                 

Social worker held for trying to extort money from Union min Mahesh Sharma

yesterday  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
A social worker was arrested on Friday by the Noida Police on charges of trying to extort Rs 2 crore from Union minister and BJP leader Mahesh Sharma, officials said. Usha Thakur, in her 60s, was held from her house in Sector 31 at around 10 am, a police official said. Thakur is accused of extortion, forgery and criminal conspiracy linked to a pre-election "sting operation" done by a gang helmed by a man who ran a local news channel that was shut down after demonetisation, according to the police. The gang was demanding Rs 2 crore from Sharma after threatening to make public an "objectionable" video, the officials said, adding that three people directly linked to the case were already arrested in April. "Usha Thakur was arrested this morning from her house. She has been arrested following detailed interrogation of other accused involved in this case," SHO of the Sector 20 police station Rajvir Singh Chauhan said. She was produced before a local court, which remanded her in judicial .....
                 

Fought to protect India's institutions in poll; will win: Rahul Gandhi

yesterday  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday asserted that the Lok Sabha elections were about protecting the institutions which give "voice to people of this great country" and said that his party has done "A-grade" job fighting the BJP and RSS ideology."I am proud to say that we have fought Narendra Modi and BJP. We have protected the institutions of this country, which is our main duty, from Narendra Modi, the BJP, and the RSS. This fight was about protecting Supreme Court, RBI, the Constitution and all the institutions that make this great country and give voice to people," he said at a press conference here as the campaign came to a close in the Lok Sabha polls.He said, "We have given a good fight (to the BJP). Our strategy was to raise people's issues and we effectively did it. We played A-grade role of the Opposition. We incircled Modi and dismantled his idea. We raise farmers issues. We told to people that Rs 15 lakh cannot be given but 3.6 lakhs can be given in 5 years."Gandhi ....
                 

Union minister Hegde, BJP MP Kateel jump into Godse row,

yesterday  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Union minister Anantkumar Hegde and his party lawmaker Nalinkumar Kateel Friday jumped into the Nathuram Godse row with tweets about Mahatma Gandhi's assassin that left the BJP red-faced and triggered outrage. The tweets by Hegde and Kateel, seeking re-election from Karnataka in the Lok Sabha polls, came days after BJPs Bhopal candidate and Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur lauded Godse as a patriot, before her party distanced itself from her remarks. She issued an apology hours later saying she respected Gandhi and his work for the country cannot be forgotten. Joining the Godse debate, Kateel tweeted, "Number of people killed by Nathuram is 1. Number of people Ajmal Kasab killed is 72. Number of people Rajiv Gandhi killed is 17,000. Now you tell me who is the most cruel person?" Another related tweet appeared on union minister of state for skill development and entrepreneurship Anantkumar Hegdes official Twitter handle. Sharing a woman's tweet, Hegdes tweet read,..
                 

Museums under ASI to allow free entry on International Museum Day

yesterday  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
All 46 museums managed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) across the country will allow free entry to visitors on International Museum Day (IMD) on Saturday, the government agency said in a statement. "Entry in all the museums under Archaeological Survey of India would be free for general public on 18th May, 2019 on the occasion of International Museum Day," the notice read. The list of ASI museums include Archaelogical Museum in Purana Qila, Swatantrata Sangram Sanghralaya, Swantratata Senani Museum and Indian War Memorial Museum in Red Fort in the national capital. The day is celebrated every year globally since 1977 by International Council of Museums (ICOM). The theme for this year's IMD is 'Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition'. "As institutions at the heart of society, museums have the power to establish dialogue between cultures, to build bridges for a peaceful world and to define a sustainable future. "As museums increasingly grow into their roles as .....
                 

SC refuses to grant protection from arrest to SP-BSP alliance candidate in rape case

yesterday  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The Supreme Court Friday refused to grant interim protection from arrest to a SP-BSP alliance candidate from Ghosi Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, who was seeking relief till May 23 in a rape case registered against him. "Absolutely no case," a vacation bench of Justices Indira Banarjee and Sanjiv Khanna said at the outset of the hearing. The counsel appearing for petitioner Atul Rai, who is accused of raping a college student from Varanasi, said polling in Ghosi is scheduled on May 19 in the last phase. "It is not a case for quashing. Fight it out. Fight the election and this case too," the bench told the counsel, adding, "Sorry. You are well aware about the procedure of quashing". An FIR was registered against Rai on May 1 on a complaint by a college student who had alleged that he took her home on the pretext of meeting his wife but later sexually assaulted her. The SP-BSP alliance candidate, who has denied the rape allegations, has been on the run since the lodging of the..
                 

Congress will be wiped out from Punjab: Sukhbir Badal

yesterday  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal Friday here claimed that the Congress would be "wiped out" from the state in the Lok Sabha polls. Sukhbir Badal's assertion came a day after Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said he would quit if the Congress performed poorly in the state. "Wait for a few days. The Congress will be wiped out from Punjab. The chief minister's wife Preneet Kaur and state Congress chief Sunil Jakhar will lose by huge margins,"claimed Sukhbir Badal, who is in contention from Ferozepur. Preneet Kaur is contesting from Patiala while Sunil Jakhar is trying his luck from Gurdaspur against actor-turned-politician Sunny Deol. On Thursday, Amarinder Singh had said, "If the Congress is wiped out in Punjab, what do you think I will do? Obviously, I will accept the responsibility and resign. Lashing out at Amarinder Singh over poll promises, Sukhbir Badal accused the Congress-led government of "stalling" all development work and welfare schemes in the state ever .....
                 

SC refuses to entertain Atul Rai's plea seeking protection from arrest in rape case

yesterday  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea filed by Atul Rai, SP-BSP candidate from Uttar Pradesh's Ghoshi Lok Sabha constituency, seeking protection from arrest till May 23 in connection with a case of rape and kidnapping.A vacation bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna, however, granted liberty to Rai and directed him to place additional documents before it to prove that he is not involved in the case, on the next hearing.The matter is slated to be heard on May 27.In April, a college student in Varanasi had accused Rai of sexually assaulting her. The victim had alleged that she was taken by Rai to his residence on the pretext of meeting his wife.An FIR was lodged against Rai in the matter.On May 8, the Allahabad High Court had turned down Rai's plea seeking anticipatory bail. Since then, he has been absconding...
                 

BJP, RSS are 'God-Se Lovers': Rahul Gandhi

yesterday  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday took potshots at BJP and RSS and called them "God-Se Lovers", in an apparent reference to remarks by Pragya Singh Thakur and two other BJP leaders in support of Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse."I finally got it. The BJP and the RSS... Are not God-Ke Lovers. They are God-Se Lovers," Rahul tweeted.His tweet came after BJP leaders - Thakur, Ananthkumar Hegde and Nalin Kumar Kateel - made pro-Godse remarks.At a press conference here on Friday, BJP chief Amit Shah said that the party does not endorse the comments made.Thakur, BJP's Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal, had on Thursday sparked an outrage after she called Godse a "patriot".When questioned about actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan's remark that India's first terrorist was a Hindu (in reference to Godse), she said, "Nathuram Godse was a 'deshbhakt', is a 'deshbhakt' and will remain a 'deshbhakt'."However, Thakur, BJP's Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal, later apologised for her .....
                 

Plea in HC to remove election symbol from ballot paper, EVM

yesterday  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
A plea was filed in the Delhi High Court on Friday seeking to remove election symbol from the ballot paper, including the unit of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), in the municipal elections in the national capital. The petition, listed for Friday, could not be heard as the bench concerned did not sit and would hear it on May 27. The plea filed by Alka Gahlot, who had contested and lost the MCD polls in 2017, said the state Election Commission puts the reserved symbol on the ballot paper in "blatant violation" of the provisions of the Constitution and the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act as there is no reference to political parties in the Part IX and IX-A of the Constitution and the Act. The petitioner said she wants to contest the election again in 2022 and there is a fear of losing as she would be allotted a new election symbol just 15 days before the polling day whereas some other candidates would contest elections on reserved symbol. The plea said that in the 2017 MCD .....
                 

U to introduce MA in Defence & Strategic Studies

yesterday  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) here has decided to introduce MA (Defence and Strategic studies) under its newly opened National Security Studies department and MA (Tribal studies). TheU, a Central university will create an additional 10 per cent seats in each programme in diploma, bachelors and PG level courses exclusively for economically weaker section (EWS) category candidates, a release said here on Friday. The university also plans to earmark a supernumerary seat for foreign nationals in each PG level programme, it said. The varsity is now offering online admission since May nine. The decision to go for online admission was taken in the last academic council meeting chaired by vice chancellor Prof Kushwaha, according to joint registrar (academic) Dr David Pertin. The online application submission which started on May 9 last, will culminate on June 8 forUCET-2019, while for RGUMPET-2019 the last date has been fixed for May 24, 2019 for online application .....
                 

Work with full attention to ensure there is no error vote counting: EC advisor to officials

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
At a training programme of returning officers involved in vote-counting process Election Commission Advisor Bhanwar Lal asked them to take it as a challenge and ensure absolutely no error in the process. Campaigning for the last phase of polling for the general elections, to be held on Sunday, ended Friday evening and counting of votes will take place on May 23. "It is required that the officials work with full attention for zero error in counting process," Lal said at a training programme of 25 returning officers. Rajasthan Chief Electoral Anand Kumar said no major complaint was received and no re-polling situation arose in any parliamentary constituency of the state due to efforts of officials involved in the election process. He asked officials to ensure similar management in vote counting process. Kumar said counting will start at 8 am on May 23 with postal ballots and Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) whereas counting of EVM will start at 8.30 am...
                 

ILFS Engineering appoints Karim Raza Khan as CEO

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
IL&FS Engineering and Construction Company Ltd Friday said its board has appointed Kazim Raza Khan as its Chief Executive Officer. "The board of directors have re-designated Khan as "Chief Executive Officer" of the company effective May 16, 2019," the company said in a statement. Kazim Raza Khan was appointed as the manager and key managerial personnel of the company on December 24, 2018. The company said Khan, who has an overall professional experience of over three decades in technical field focused towards infrastructure will continue to be key managerial personnel of the company. The company said Khan had joined IL&FS Transportation Networks Limited in December 2005, as Project Manager and was promoted as Assistant Vice President in 2007 and was further promoted as Associate Vice President in 2010. He was working as Senior Vice President and Regional Head of South, Central and West India till his appointment as Manager (Key Managerial Personnel) of IL&FS Engineering .....
                 

13-yr-old raped by three youths in Ambala

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
A 13-year-old girl was allegedly abducted and raped at knifepoint by three youths here, police said Friday. The police have booked the three accused under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and also charged them with abducting the minor. Police said the girl had gone to a local market to purchase items of daily need on Wednesday, but did not return till late evening. She reached her home the next day. She told her parents that a youth of the same locality forcibly took her on his scooter to a secluded place in a nearby village where two other youths were already present. They forced her to consume liquor and raped her at knifepoint, police said, adding somehow the victim managed to escape and reach home early morning. Police conducted her medical examination on Thursday, a police officer said, adding the accused would be nabbed soon...
                 

No green nod required for construction on 20000-50000 sq metre area: Env Min's new EIA notification

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Construction in areas between 20,000-50,000 square metres will not require environment clearance from the government anymore, the Centre has said in its modified notification on the environment impact assessment (EIA). The notification, recently issued by the Ministry of Environment, states that it has decided to "re-engineer" EIA rules based on amendments and the experience over the years in its implementation. "As the principal notification has undergone substantial changes over the years, the Ministry has decided to re-engineer the entire notification in line with the amendments issued...and circulars issued from time to time and experience gained over the years in implementation of the EIA notification," it said. Under the new notification, the process of clearances granted for sand mining and construction activities have been eased out, a decision that has not gone down well with environmental activists who claim that the EIA notification compromises public hearings. The draft .....
                 

Honda commences made-in-India CBR650R bike deliveries

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) said Friday it has commenced deliveries of its latest made-in-India middle-weight bike CBR650R from Honda BigWing in Gurugram. BigWing is the premium bike business vertical of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter in India. Revealed at the 2018 Milan Motorcycle Show, CBR650R replaces CBR650F under Hondas sports middle-weight line up, the company said in a release. "We are happy to commence deliveries to our booking customers and wish them an exciting journey ahead. The motorcycle has received good response and we are confident that it will all together provide a new experience to young passionate riders," said Yadvinder Singh Guleria, senior vice president for sales and marketing, HMSI. Priced at Rs 7.70 lakh (ex-showroom pan India), the model has received a splendid response from the customers across the country, the release said...
                 

Corporation Bank posts loss of Rs 6,581 cr in Q4 as provisioning doubles

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Public sector lender Corporation Bank Friday said its loss widened to Rs 6,581.49 crore during the fourth quarter ended March 31, mainly due to higher provisioning for bad loans. The bank had reported loss of Rs 1,838.39 crore during January-March quarter of 2017-18. The total income of Corporation Bank during the fourth quarter of 2018-19 stood at Rs 4,187.65 crore down from Rs 4,642.45 crore in the same period of the previous fiscal, the lender said in a regulatory filing. The bank, however has reported reduction in non-performing assets (NPAs). The gross NPA as a percentage of total advances was 15.35 per cent compared to 17.35 per cent during fourth quarter of 2017-18. The bank has made a provision of Rs 8,505.87 crore for NPAs almost double from Rs 4,441.29 crore in the year-ago quarter. Corporation Bank's net loss stood at Rs 6,325.29 crore during the year 2018-19, as against Rs 4,049.93 crore in the preceding fiscal. The shares of Corporation Bank closed at Rs 25.50 a piece on ...
                 

Campaigning ends for last phase of LS polls

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Campaigning for the last phase of the staggered Lok Sabha elections spread over more than a month drew to a close Friday as top leaders sought to muster a final show of strength in the contest for 59 seats with Prime Minister Narendra Modi among those in the fray. Polling will be held on Sunday in the seventh phase in all 13 seats in Punjab, as many seats in Uttar Pradesh, nine in West Bengal, eight seats each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, four in Himachal Pradesh, three in Jharkhand and the lone seat Chandigarh. Electioneering also drew to a close for the bypoll in Panaji, necessitated due to the death of former chief minister Manohar Parrikar in March. In a first, campaigning in West Bengal came to an end 20 hours before the scheduled time on the orders of the Election Commission. The poll body had Wednesday ordered campaigning in West Bengal constituencies to end at 10 pm on Thursday in the wake of violence between the BJP and the TMC in Kolkata during Amit Shah's roadshow. The .....
                 

If Indira can be given credit for 1971 war, why not Modi for Balakot: Jitendra Singh

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Union minister Jitendra Singh Friday asked if then prime minister Indira Gandhi can be credited for the victory in the 1971 war, why shouldn't Prime Minister Narendra Modi get the credit for a successful air strike in Balakot. Singh, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, said, that throughout the Lok Sabha election campaign, the Congress and its allies have been attacking the BJP and the PM for allegedly taking credit for the successful strikes by the Indian Air Force on terror camps in Pakistan's Balakot. Since Independence, whenever there was an armed conflict with a foreign nation, the credit or discredit obviously went to the ruling dispensation and its head, he said. By the same logic, Indira Gandhi's greatest achievement as PM is still remembered to be the victory in the Indo-Pak war of 1971 which led to the liberation of Bangladesh, he said. Similarly, the blame for the Himalayan debacle in the Indo-China war of 1962 is even today primarily put on the then .....
                 

Campaign for high stakes bypolls to four constituencies ends

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The campaign for the high-stakes by-elections to four constituencies in Tamil Nadu ended Friday evening, with the polling all set to take place on Sunday, amidst heavy deployment of around 16,000 personnel. The outcome of the by-polls to a total of 22 seats will decide the future political course in Tamil Nadu as the results would determine the continuance of the two year-old Palaniswami government. While by-elections to 18 seats were held on April 18, along with the 38 Lok Sabha segments, four others--Sulur, Aravakurichi, Ottapidaram and Thiruparankundram go to the polls on May 19. Arch rivals AIADMK and DMK have left no stone unturned to ensure victory, with their leaders, Chief Minister K Palaniswami and DMK President M K Stalin embarking on a hectic campaign trail in order to win the race. Seeking to play spoilsport to the two Dravidian majors, T T V Dhinakaran-led AMMK, Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam and actor-director Seeman's Naam Tamizhar Katchi have fielded..
                 

Rain hits Delhi, brings mercury down

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
                 

Curtains drawn on campaign for Lok Sabha elections in Bihar

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Campaign for the long drawn out general elections in Bihar, spread over all the seven phases, came to a close on Friday at 6 pm, for the last lap of electioneering wherein eight Lok Sabha seats go to polls. The constituencies which go to polls on Sunday are Patna Sahib, Pataliputra, Arrah, Buxar, Sasaram, Karakat, Jehanabad and Nalanda. Seven of these were won by the NDA in 2014. Leading the charge, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held three rallies - one each in Pataliputra, Buxar and Sasaram constituencies - where he was joined by alliance partners Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who heads the JD(U) and Union minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan. It was an extensive campaign by the Prime Minister who addressed altogether 10 rallies in the state where the total number of seats is 40. Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who did not visit the state in the last couple of phases, held a rally in Pataliputra in support of jailed RJD supremo Lalu Prasad's eldest daughter Misa .....
                 

Cases filed against BJP man, 2 others for ruckus at MNM poll meet

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Cases have been registered against a local BJP functionary and two others for allegedly throwing eggs and stones at the dais from where Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan was addressing an election meeting near Aravakurichi in the district, police said Friday. The missiles did not hit anybody and no one was injured, they said. The incident happened on Thursday when Haasan was getting off the stage after completing his address. MNM workers roughed up two people suspected to have hurled stones and eggs, before police rescued them and took them away for questioning. The incident came a day after a footwear was hurled towards a vehicle from which Haasan was addressing an election meeting in the Tirupparankundram assembly constituency in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday evening. Haasan, founder of new political outfit Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), kicked up a controversy this week with his comment that "free India's first extremist was a Hindu", a reference to Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram ...
                 

MP BJP man suspended after objectionable post on Gandhiji

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
A Madhya Pradesh BJP functionary was suspended from the primary membership of the party for uploading an objectionable post about Mahatma Gandhi and dubbing him "Pakistan's father of the nation". State BJP chief Rakesh Singh has suspended the primary membership of Saumitra, who was the party's media sampark department's state convener, with immediate effect, informed BJP state media in charge Lokendra Parashar in a press release. In a Facebook post on Thursday night, Saumitra claimed, "He (Gandhiji) was the father of the nation, but of Pakistan, there were millions of sons like him in India some worthy and some worthless." Parashar said action was taken as Saumitra had breached party discipline, adding that the latter was given seven days to clarify. After action on him by the BJP, Saumitra Friday claimed, "The concept of Pakistan was prepared by Britishers and its promulgators were Nehru (first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru) and Jinnah (Mohammed Ali Jinnah), who .....
                 

Jayaprakash elected SFI president

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Tamil Nadu's R N Jayaprakash was on Friday elected as the president of the Swimming Federation of India (SFI). Chokshi Mondal of Gujarat was elected the general secretary while Mekala Ramakrishna of Telangana has become the treasurer. The office-bearers were elected for a four-year term during SFI's annual general body meeting here. Jayaprakash, who was the federation's vice-president earlier, has become the first person from Tamil Nadu to be elected for the top post. he other office-bearers elected were Vice Presidents Balraj Sharma (Punjab), Rajiv Sukumaran Nair (Kerala), Kamlesh D Nanavati (Gujarat), Piyush Sharma (Madhya Pradesh) and Anil Vyas (Rajasthan). Joint Secretaries are R B Pandey (Bihar), Ravin Kapoor (UP), Mohan Satish Kumar (Karnataka) and Anil Khatri (Haryana). All the office-bearers were elected unanimously. Talking to the reporters, Jayaprakash said all steps would be taken for the development of swimming in India and efforts would be made to set up pools across the..
                 

Bitter campaigning ends in LS polls

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Campaigning in the bitterly-fought high-stakes Lok Sabha elections came to an end with the BJP claiming that it will get more than 300 seats and ensure return of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, while Congress president Rahul Gandhi refused to hazard a guess on the numbers the opposition will get and on who could be the prime minister if the incumbent is defeated.As the campaign in 59 constituencies spread over six states and one union territory on May 19 came to a close, BJP president Amit Shah and Gandhi held press conferences at their party headquarters about how electioneering went in the last two months."We will get more than 300 seats along with our pre-poll allies. We will have the government. It'll be a coalition government," Shah said at the press conference also attended by Prime Minister Modi. He also did not rule out new allies coming into NDA after the poll results. "We are open to having anybody who will accept our agenda," he said.At his press conference, Gandhi said a ...
                 

BJD to shun its "equi-distance" policy after polls: Patro

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Ahead of the countiung of votes on May 23, Odisha's ruling Biju Janata Dal Friday said it will no more adhere to its policy of maintaining "equal distance" from both the BJP and the Congress. "We will not adopt the equal distance (from BJP and Congress) policy any more. The BJD will support any front which supports Odisha," BJD vice-president and minister S N Patro told reporters. The regional party, which had a decade long alliance with the BJP, had severed ties with the saffron party ahead of the 2009 elections over a dispute on seat sharing. A BJD-BJP coalition government existed in Odisha from 2000 to 2009. After severing ties with BJP, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had dubbed the saffron party as "communal" and the Congress as "corrupt. "Even Patnaik in the midst of election campaign this time, also continued his impression on BJP and also called it as "communal." However, Patnaik has meanwhile made his party's stand clear that the BJD will support any front, may be..
                 

Plea in HC for payment of salaries of EDMC, North MCD teachers and doctors

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
A plea was moved in the Delhi High Court Friday seeking directions to the municipal corporations of north and east Delhi to disburse the salaries of March and April to the primary teachers and doctors employed by them. The application by NGO Social Jurist contended that while the teachers have not been paid for these two months, in February they received meagre amounts like Rs 4 and Rs 8 as salary after deduction of tax. The NGO, in its plea filed through advocate Ashok Agarwal, also said the residential doctors of Hindu Rao Hospital have gone on a pen-down strike since Thursday in protest against non-payment of March and April salaries. The application, which is likely to be listed for hearing on May 21, was filed in the NGO's main petition highlighting the non-payment of salaries of teachers employed by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation and North Delhi Municipal Corporation. The petition has contended that non-payment of the teachers' salaries, would adversely affect the .....
                 

L&T buys 13,440 shares of Mindtree, expands shareholding to 26.48%

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Infrastructure major Larsen and Toubro (L&T) on Friday acquired 13,440 shares of Mindtree from the open market, as per a regulatory filing. Earlier this month, L&T had purchased around 20 per cent stake of V G Siddhartha and Cafe Coffee Day in Mindtree through a block deal for about Rs 3,210 crore, and has since topped that up with share purchases from the open market. "Larsen and Toubro Ltd has acquired 13,440 equity shares (with a face value of Rs 10 each) of Mindtree Ltd on May 16, 2019," a Mindtree filing said. After the latest transaction, L&T's shareholding in Mindtree stands at 26.48 per cent. The latest stock purchase was made at Rs 979.98 apiece. On Thursday, L&T had acquired 8.86 lakh shares of Mindtree from the open market. In all, the infrastructure major is eyeing up to 66 per cent stake in Mindtree for around Rs 10,800 crore -- marking the country's first-ever hostile takeover bid in the information technology industry. L&T had proposed to buy .....
                 

Rupee snaps 3-day winning streak; settles 20 paise down at 70.23

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Snapping its three-session winning streak, the rupee Friday declined by 20 paise to close at 70.23 against the US dollar as rising crude oil prices and recent foreign fund outflows weighed on investor sentiment. Forex traders said the decline in the local unit was in tandem with the weakness in other major Asian currencies vis-a-vis the US dollar. At the interbank foreign exchange (forex), the domestic currency opened at 70.22 a dollar and fell further to touch the day's low of 70.32. It finally settled at 70.23 per dollar, down 20 paise over its previous close. The rupee Thursday had settled at 70.03 to the US dollar. Besides, US-China trade related concerns, rising crude prices and foreign fund outflows also added pressure on the local unit. During the week, the rupee fell by 31 paise. This is the second straight week of loss for the domestic currency. "Indian rupee heads for the second weekly decline following weakness in Asian currencies against US dollar. Weak economic data, .....
                 

Arvind Ltd reports Q4 profit of Rs 66.71 crore

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Textile major Arvind Ltd Friday reported a consolidated profit of Rs 66.71 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2019. The company had posted a profit of Rs 115.47 crore crore in the same quarter of 2017-18. Total income in the reported quarter stood at Rs 1,879.03 crore. It was at Rs 1,863.03 crore in the year-ago period, the company said in a BSE filing. The results are not comparable with the previous year's period beacuse of demerger of branded apparel undertaking of the company to Arvind Fashions Ltd with effect from November 30, 2018 (the appointed date), it said. "To the extent current quarter ended on March 31, 2019, year ended March 31, 2019 and quarter ended on December 31, 2018 are not comparable with previous periods presented," the company said. Giving future growth outlook, the company said it expects 7-8 per cent topline growth over the year, which will mostly be realized in the second half of the current fiscal. The company's board has recommended a dividend of Rs 2 .....
                 

Team management should give Dhoni freedom to attack from start: Harbhajan

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Mahendra Singh Dhoni's six-hitting prowess is still intact and the Indian team management must give him the license to attack from the word go during the World Cup, suggests senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. A trend shows that Dhoni has been taking the game deep before going for a final assault but his one-time national and current CSK teammate wants him to go back to his big-hitting ways. "I feel he is at his best when he hits from the onset. Some of his best innings have come when he started the onslaught straightaway. I feel the team management should give him and Hardik Pandya the licence to bat the way they want to. No restrictions, only go for the jugular at No 5," Harbhajan told PTI during an interview. For Harbahajan, top-order batsmen Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul can build the innings, so Dhoni has the freedom to attack. But what about his problems in the middle overs when spinners like Mitchell Santner or Nathan Lyon will be operational? "That .....
                 

Bajaj Auto shares gain 3.5 pc; m-cap rises by Rs 2,812 cr post earnings

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Shares of Bajaj Auto jumped 3.5 per cent Friday after the company reported 19.82 per cent increase in net profit for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2019. The scrip climbed 3.30 per cent to close at Rs 3,041.80 on the BSE. During the day, it jumped 6.82 per cent to Rs 3,145.55. At the NSE, shares gained 3.54 per cent to close at Rs 3,046.90. On the traded volume front, 1.58 lakh shares of the company were traded on the BSE and over 19 lakh shares on the NSE during the day. The company's market valuation rose by Rs 2,811.66 crore to Rs 88,019.66 crore on the BSE. Riding on good domestic motorcycle sales, Bajaj Auto Friday reported 19.82 per cent increase in consolidated net profit at Rs 1,408.49 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2019. The company posted a profit of Rs 1,175.47 crore in the year-ago period, Bajaj Auto said in a regulatory filing. Total revenue from operations for the period under review stood at Rs 7,395.19 crore as against Rs 6,788.43 crore in the .....
                 

Campaign ends in Jharkhand for last phase of elections

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Campaigning for the last phase of polling in Jharkhand came to a close at 4 pm on Friday where polling will be held in three Lok Sabha seats on Sunday. A total number of 45, 64, 681, including 22,00,119 female and 21 third gender voters, will decide the fate of 42 candidates, an Election Commission of India (ECI) release said here. Polling will be held from 7 am to 4 pm, an ECI official said, adding, Dumka (ST), Rajmahal (ST) and Godda are the constituencies going for polls on Sunday. A total of 15 candidates are in the fray from Dumka, 14 candidates from Rajmahal and 13 candidates from Godda. In Dumka, eight-time MP and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) president Shibu Soren is being challenged by BJP's Sunil Soren. He had lost to the former chief minister in 2014 and 2009 from the same constituency. Sitting BJP MP Nishikant Dubey is taking on Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) MLA Pradip Yadav, who is backed by the 'Mahagathbandhan' (grand alliance), in Godda. JMM's .....
                 

AICC circular for its candidates for post-poll counting process

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The election team of All India Congress Committee (AICC) released circular for its Lok Sabha candidates citing important steps to be taken during the counting process and the post-poll situation.The FAQs and guidelines are regarding the general dos and don'ts of the counting process. The powers of the polling officers are enumerated as per the Representation of People Act, 1951.The security system regarding the counting centres has been elaborated. The steps about how a candidate can request for a recount have also been explained.According to the guidelines issued by AICC, the persons allowed inside the counting hall are, counting supervisors and counting assistants; persons authorized by the Election Commission; public servants on duty in connection with the election; the LS candidate, election agent and counting agents."Each candidate has been allowed to appoint as many counting agents as there are counting tables and one more to watch the counting at the Returning Officer's .....
                 

Spencer's Retail to acquire Nature's Basket for Rs 300 cr

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Sanjiv Goenka Group's Spencer's Retail Friday said it will acquire Godrej Industries' grocery chain Nature's Basket for Rs 300 crore. Natures Basket's acquisition will make Spencer's Retail a national player, giving it access to the western parts of India through its 36 stores in prime locations in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore. "...The Board of Directors of the company....has approved a proposal for acquisition of entire 100 per cent stake held by Godrej Industries Ltd in its wholly owned subsidiary Nature's Basket Ltd, subject to requisite approval of the shareholders of the company and execution of a share purchase agreement for undertaking the transaction contemplated above. "This acquisition will bring in many synergies in Spencer's business and fits in well with Spencer's omnichannel strategy," Spencer's Retail said in a regulatory filing. Spencer's Retail will acquire Nature's Basket's entire share capital comprising 44,58,30,000 fully paid-up equity shares of Rs 10 .....
                 

Reliance Capital shares gain over 2 pc

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Shares of Reliance Capital rose by over 2 per cent Friday after the company reiterated that it had invited Nippon Life Insurance to acquire up to 42.88 per cent stake held by RCap in Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management. The scrip gained 2.18 per cent to close at Rs 114.95 on the BSE. During the day, it rose sharply by 8.22 per cent to Rs 121.75. At the NSE, shares climbed 1.68 per cent to close at Rs 114.50. Shares of Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management went up by 2.33 per cent to close at Rs 201.70 on the BSE. BSE had sought clarification from Reliance Capital (RCap) earlier Friday regarding news reports related to the transaction. In its reply, RCap said, "With reference to your email dated May 17, 2019 on the subject, you may kindly note that Reliance Capital had invited its partner Nippon Life Insurance Company to make an offer to acquire up to 42.88 per cent stake held by Reliance Capital in Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management." Further announcements in this regard shall be..
                 

EC asks star campaigners, other leaders to refrain from addressing media during silence period

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The Election Commission (EC) asked star campaigners and other political leaders to refrain from addressing the media by way of press conferences and giving interviews on election matters during the silence period beginning Friday evening ahead of the last phase of Lok Sabha polls on May 19."In a multi-phased election, the silence period of last 48 hours may be on in certain constituencies while campaign is ongoing in other constituencies. In such event, there should not be any direct or indirect reference amounting to soliciting support for parties or candidates in the constituencies observing the silence period," an EC statement said."During the silence period, star campaigners and other political leaders should refrain from addressing the media by way of press conferences and giving interviews on election matters," it said.The statement came in reference to queries received by the poll body on telecasting interviews of star campaigners during the silence period. The campaigning for ...
                 

BJP, Cong bank on sitting MLAs to win three LS seats in HP

2 days ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The BJP and the Congress, which have fielded their sitting MLAs as Lok Sabha candidates, are banking on their popularity to win three of the four seats in Himachal Pradesh going to polls in the last phase of the general elections. The four seats in the hill state are among the 59 parliamentary constituencies going to polls on Sunday. While the Congress has fielded three sitting MLAs as candidates, the BJP has fielded two state legislators as nominees for the Lok Sabha elections. If any of the state legislators wins in the parliamentary elections, Himachal Pradesh will see by-polls within six months. Denying tickets to its sitting MPs Shanta Kumar and Virender Kashyap, the BJP has fielded its Dharamshala MLA Kishan Kapoor and Pachhad MLA Suresh Kashyap for the Kangra and Shimla Lok Sabha seats respectively. While Kapoor is pitted against Congress' Kangra MLA Pawan Kumar Sejal from the Kangra parliamentary constituency, Kashyap is contesting against the opposition party's Solan MLA .....