Aadhaar not compulsory for rail bookings, but incentivising its usage voluntarily: Railways
The Railways has said Aadhaar is not compulsory for booking tickets for rail journey, but it is encouraged by the transport behemoth by promoting it on a voluntary basis by incentivising it.
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain said there is no proposal to make Aadhaar number compulsory for booking tickets. However, as of January 1, 2017, requirement of Aadhaar verification for booking concessional railway tickets for senior citizen has been introduced on voluntary basis, he said.
1. GIC Re backs Rs 2 trillion cover to Reliance Industries’ units, reports The Economic Times
2. SME IPOs make a mark in 2017, lap up record Rs 1,785cr
3. Maharashtra bandh turns violent; rail, road traffic hit | Congress accuses Hindutva outfits of triggering Maha clashes
4. Israel's Rafael says India cancels order for Spike anti-tank missile, reports Reuters
5. Trump to North Korean leader - my nuclear button 'is bigger & more powerful'
Trade setup for Thursday: Top 15 things you should know before Opening Bell
The Nifty50 index consolidated for the second day in a row on Wednesday and formed a 'small bodied' candle on the daily candlestick charts.
Swine flu: Rajasthan govt issues alert, rushes teams to affected areas
The Rajasthan government on Wednesday sounded an alert in the state after more than 400 people were diagnosed positive for the fatal swine flu virus last month.
Rapid response teams of the health department were rushed to the areas where people were feared to have been affected by the H1N1 virus.
“We are ensuring that swine flu symptoms are diagnosed early on and treatment is given,” Health Minister Kalicharan Saraf said.
Nawaz Sharif describes US president Donald Trump’s remarks as ‘non-serious’
Pakistan’s ruling party PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday described US President Donald Trump’s remarks against Islamabad as “non-serious” and said a head of state should be mindful of the diplomatic rules of engagement, amidst escalating war of words between the two countries.
“A head of state should remember the rules of engagement while addressing a fellow state,” Sharif, also the former prime minister, told reporters here.
In a scathing attack, Trump on Monday accused Pakistan of giving nothing to the US but “lies and deceit” in return for USD 33 billion aid and said Islamabad has provided “safe haven” to terrorists.
Day of unrest throws life out of gear in Maharashtra
Protesters attacked buses, stopped suburban trains and blocked roads at various places in Mumbai as normal life was hit in the city and other parts of Maharashtra during a bandh called against violence on the anniversary of a battle fought 200 years ago.
The bandh was called off later in the day.
Dalits staged protests in suburban Chembur, Ghatkopar, Kamraj Nagar, Vikhroli, Dindoshi, Kandivali, Jogeshwari, Kalanagar and Mahim, police said.
Hungary, Poland demand bigger say in EU, reject its migration policy
The European Union’s migration policy has failed, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Wednesday, as he and his Polish counterpart demanded a bigger say in the bloc’s future.
Orban and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki lead conservative governments under fire from Brussels over their refusal to take in migrants under a quota system and over their efforts to tighten state control of their courts and media.
“In terms of migration and quotas that were to be imposed on (EU) member countries we strongly reject such an approach as it infringes on sovereign decisions of member states,” Morawiecki told a joint news conference after talks with Orban in Budapest.
419 compensation claims pending with railways, says MoS Railways Rajen Gohain
Over 400 compensation claim cases related to train accidents are pending till December 15, 2017, the government informed Parliament on Wednesday.
In a written reply in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain said that as of December 15, 2017, there were 419 cases related to compensation claims that were pending with the railways.
"Compensation is paid by railways on the basis of decree awarded by Railways Claims Tribunal (RCT) after adjudication of the claim application filed before them", Gohain said.
IBC’s objective not to emphasise on liquidation: NCLT
National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) president M M Kumar on Wednesday said the objective of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) is to find appropriate solution for stressed assets and liquidation would be the last resort.
Stating that there are jobs and livelihood at stake, Kumar said the idea is not to lay stress on liquidation of the companies facing insolvency proceedings.
On efforts of the NCLT and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) for putting in place mechanisms for proper resolution in a short time span, he said the role of resolution professionals in finding suitable and amiable solutions for stressed companies is commendable.
He is senior most politician in the country. I respect him a lot. We have a very good friendship. I took his blessings as I am entering politics. I am feeling very happy after meeting him: Rajinikanth after meeting DMK chief M Karunanidhi in Chennai pic.twitter.com/WYhiTgouTi— ANI (@ANI) January 3, 2018
Audi 2017 sales in India up 2% at 7,876 units
German luxury carmaker Audi on Wednesday reported 2 percent increase in its total sales in India at 7,876 units.
The company, which completed ten years of operations in India in 2017, had sold 7,720 units in the previous year.
Reflecting on the journey, Audi India Head Rahil Ansari said, "Audi completed ten years in India in 2017 and we are delighted that within this short span, it has become one of the most preferred luxury car brands for enthusiasts in the country."
Corporate bond investment limit oversubscribed, FPIs bid for $2.5-billion
Corporate bonds attracted bids worth USD 2.5 billion from foreign investors in an auction today as against the debt investment limit of USD 2 billion on offer, exchange data showed.
The investment limit for such securities has been receiving a good response from foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in the recent past.
The auction was conducted on the BSE's e-bidXchange platform from 3.30-5.30 pm, after the market hours.
India Inc raises over Rs 46,000 cr via QIP during Apr-Nov 2017
Indian firms mobilised over Rs 46,000 crore by issuing shares to institutional investors during the April-November period of the current fiscal, nearly 11-fold rise from the year-ago period.
In comparison, they had mopped-up Rs 4,318 crore in the first eight months of 2016-17 fiscal.
As per the latest data available with the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the capital garnered by the listed companies through the Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP) route stood at Rs 46,675 crore in the first eight months of 2017-18.
India signed defence deals worth Rs 2.40 lakh cr in last 4 years
India has inked 187 contracts involving Rs 2.40 lakh crore with foreign and domestics firms for procurement of various military platforms and equipment in the last four years.
Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said 119 contracts involving Rs 1.62 lakh crore have been signed with Indian vendors while 68 procurement deals worth Rs 1.24 crore have been signed with foreign vendors.
The value of total contracts signed in the last four years comes to Rs 2.40 lakh crore.
BJP playing dirty politics, its double standards exposed: TMC
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Wednesday alleged that the BJP did not want the Triple Talaq Bill to be passed in the Rajya Sabha and its "double standards" were exposed when it "disrupted" the house after the opposition moved a motion to refer the bill to a select committee.
"What happened in the Rajya Sabha was historical. The government created disruptions in the Rajya Sabha. They are not interested in passing the Bill. BJP is playing dirty politics over women, over religion. This is the only way to expose the double standards of BJP," TMC leader Derek O'Brien said.
Markets take European Union's new financial rules in their stride
The rollout of new rules on Wednesday that aim to make European Union financial markets safer and more transparent has been glitch-free so far, though disruptions cannot be ruled out, the EU's markets watchdog said.
The new regime shines a spotlight on the inner workings of stock, bond, commodity and derivatives markets by forcing banks, asset managers and traders to provide detailed information on trillions of euros in transactions.
Use of tech could have minimised impact of cyclone Ockhi, experts say
The impact of cyclone Ockhi that claimed several lives and caused widespread damage to property in Kerala could have been minimised by using non-profitable technologies as instruments for disaster management, an expert said today.
"There is a reluctance to use technologies which is a great challenge to mitigation of disaster management," chief of Disaster Risk Reduction at United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Muralee Thummarukudy said.
Maharashtra Bandh: 12 flights canceled, 235 delayed at Mumbai airport
Flight operations at the Mumbai airport were badly hit due to the Maharashtra Bandh called by Dalit leaders on Wednesday, with 12 flights getting canceled and 235 delayed.
The shut-down, called to protest the state government’s “failure” to stop the violence against celebration of 200th anniversary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in Pune district, disrupted normal life across Maharashtra, including Mumbai.
The shut-down was withdrawn later this evening.
There can't be different standards for private, govt hospitals: Delhi High Court
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said the Centre and the AAP government cannot have different standards for private hospitals and those run by them as far as instances of medical negligence are concerned.
The observation by Justice Vibhu Bakhru came during the hearing of a plea alleging medical negligence by Safdarjung Hospital in wrongly declaring a newborn as dead in June 2017.
The infant was brought back to the hospital and put on a ventilator, but died after 36 hours.
Opposition and BJP spar over Triple Talaq Bill in Rajya Sabha
A united opposition on Wednesday had a face-off with the government over the Triple Talaq Bill in the Rajya Sabha and stalled a debate on it insisting that it should be sent to a select panel, as the ruling BJP strongly sought its expeditious passage to stop the unlawful practice.
Amid noisy scenes, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad introduced the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 for discussion and passage, but pandemonium broke out in the Upper House with the opposition creating an uproar and the BJP countering it vociferously.
ED attaches assets worth Rs 117 cr in Jaganmohan Reddy PMLA case
The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday said it has attached assets worth Rs 117.74 crore in connection with its money laundering probe in a case against YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy and others.
Official sources said the central probe agency's zonal office in Hyderabad issued a provisional order for attachment of these properties under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED said it has attached "movable and immovable assets worth Rs 117.74 crore under the Prevention of the PMLA of companies of Syam Prasad Reddy, Indu Projects, Embassy Property Developments and Vasantha Projects in the Indu-APHB case related to Y S Jaganmohan Reddy."
Centre to form committee to push 12 stalled port projects
The committee, which will be headed by Finance minister Arun Jaitley, will have representations from other ministries including Shipping and Law.
Norway suspends arms, ammo exports to UAE amid war in Yemen
Norway on Wednesday said it has suspended exports of munitions and arms to the United Arab Emirates as a “precautionary line,” based on its assessment of the situation in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been fighting Shiite rebels for the past three years.
The UAE is part of the coalition.
Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide said she has “no information” that any of Norway’s military exports have been used in Yemen but that there’s “great concern” over the humanitarian crisis.
Maharashtra violence: Ram Vilas Paswan seeks time-bound inquiry, strict action
Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Wednesday called for a time-bound inquiry into the Maharashtra caste violence and said strict action should be taken against those found guilty.
Paswan, chief of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) which is an NDA ally, also rejected the charge that such violence was taking place mostly in BJP-ruled states, saying that Bihar had witnessed a number of such incidents under the rule of Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad.
“Judicial inquiry should be conducted in a time-bound manner. Some people are saying that it was due to administrative lapses while others are accusing some people behind the violence. Whosoever are guilty, strict action should be taken against them,” he told a TV channel outside Parliament.
China to boost intellectual property protection – State media
China’s state council said on Wednesday it will boost intellectual property rights protection, state-run China National Radio reported.
The council also said during a meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang it would improve the business environment for companies in China, according to the report.
V Balakrishnan calls for replacing Ravi Venkatesan, Roopa Kudva on Infosys board
As Salil Parekh took charge as CEO at Infosys, a former top company official has sought restructuring of the Board by replacing ex-co-chairman Ravi Venkatesan and ex-Audit Committee Chairperson Roopa Kudva.
"Nandan (Nilekani, the company's Chairman) should also complete the board restructuring quickly including replacing the earlier co-chairman and audit committee chairman thereby providing a clean slate board for him (Parekh) to peform to his full capability without any distractions," former CFO, V Balakrishnan said.
Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle ‘set to boost UK economy’
Prince Harry’s wedding to American actress Meghan Markle could provide a 500 million pound boost to Britain’s economy as tourists flock to the country and Britons celebrate, according to an estimate.
Harry, Queen Elizabeth’s grandson and fifth-in-line to the throne, will tie the knot with Markle on May 19 at Windsor Castle, the royal palace home of British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the wedding of Harry’s elder brother William to wife Kate in April 2011 led to an increase of 350,000 visitors to the UK compared to the same month the year before and business valuation consultancy Brand Finance predicted a similar surge in May.
Maharashtra bandh called off, says Prakash Ambedkar
The day-long ‘Maharashtra bandh’ called by various Dalit and other organisations to protest the violence against commemoration of Bhima-Koregaon battle has been withdrawn, Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar said today.
He told reporters that nearly 50 percent of the state’s population took part in the shut-down.
India's GDP growth to slip below 7% this fiscal, say experts
India's economic growth is likely to be below 7 percent this fiscal, experts point, citing GST disruption and the lingering impact of note ban.The Indian economy grew 7.1 percent in 2016-17, against 8 percent in 2015-16.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) is scheduled to release its advance estimates of national income 2017-18 on Friday.
"It is difficult for GDP to cross 7 percent this fiscal unless the base is revised downwards. The economy is expected to do well in the third and fourth quarter," SBI Research Chief Economist Soumya Kanti Ghosh told PTI.