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Former President APJ Abdul Kalam's Funeral takes place with Full Military Honours

11th President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam’s mortal remains has been laid to rest today with full military honours at Rameswaram, his hometown. Ahead of the funeral, Kalam’s mortal remains were first taken to the local mosque for burial at around 9.30am IST. Wide array of dignitaries including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi along with over 1 lakh people attended the last rites of the 83 year old “People’s President”. For paying respect to former President Kalam, business establishments including shops and hotels remained shut throughout Tamil Nadu. State government also declared public holiday today.

1993 Mumbai Serial Blast Convict Yakub Memon Hanged

The sole convict of 1993 Mumbai Serial Blast (that killed 257 people), 53-year-old Yakub Memon (who was also the brother of main accused Tiger Memon) has been hanged at Nagpur Central Jail 6.43am IST and was declared dead at 7.01 am IST. Final mercy petition of Yakub was turned down by President Pranab Mukherjee yesterday night. Yakub Memon’s lawyer moved SC late last night but the apex court bench turned down mercy petition after 90 minutes of overnight hearing at 5am IST, clearing all hurdles to Yakub’s hanging. After hanging, Yakub Memon’s mortal remains were handed over to his family members and then brought back to Mumbai for last rites.

Union Cabinet approves GST Bill Amendments for Compensating States' Revenue Losses for 5 Years

Union Cabinet has approved a crucial GST Bill Amendment, in accordance with the suggestions made by the Rajya Sabha Select Committee on GST. Reports say that Union Government will compensate all the states and UTs for 5 years for the loss in taxes they incur due to the introduction of a uniform countrywide indirect tax regime. Prime Minister chaired cabinet took this decision for winning over confidence and votes of Trinamool Congress (ruling party of West Bengal) and Biju Janata Dal (ruling party of Odhisa) so that they can approve the landmark bill in the Rajya Sabha, where NDA doesn’t have a majority.

General Motors Plans to Invest US $1 Billion to revive its Struggling Indian Operations

General Motors plans of reviving its struggling Indian operations by making fresh investment to the tune of US$1 billion, equivalent to Rs 6,400 crore. Reports say that the company is planning shutting down its Halol plant in Gujarat and in turn expand the plant in Maharashtra’s Talegaon. It is learnt that the expanded Talegaon plant will be used for producing automobiles for supplying to domestic as well as emerging markets. CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra, has said that their first concern is to recover their company’s image, which got dented due to frequent recall of cars from the market.  

HDFC announces plans of Raising up to Rs 5,000 crore through NCDs to boost its Business Operations

HDFC, largest mortgage lender of India, has announced that they are all set to raise funds to the tune of Rs. 5,000 crore, through non-convertible debentures (NCDs), for boosting their lending operations, on one hand, and meet future needs of capital, on the other. In the “Updates on Outcome of AGM”, the company has said that its Board of Directors have been exploring multiple fund raising options for augmenting Corporation’s long term resources. Reports say that the Corporations have planned issuing NCDs as well as warrants under QIP route. The concerned statement has been published during the announcement of HDFC’s first quarterly result of 2015-16.

Finance Ministry clears Foreign Investment Proposal worth Rs. 981.15 Crore

Reports say that investment proposals, to the tune of Rs. 981.15 crore, by foreign investors have been cleared by the Union Government. Reports say that following Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s (FIPB) recommendations Finance Ministry has cleared 7 foreign investment proposals including the one by Hathway Cable and Data Com Ltd. (HCDC). GCDC will now be able to raise its foreign investment limit 74 per cent from current 49 per cent of its issued and fully paid up share capital. Finance Ministry has said that foreign investment proposals approved in the telecom and broadcasting sector alone amounts to Rs. 963 crore.

Microsoft updating Voice-Activated Digital Assistant "Cortana" with Strong Local Content for India

Reports say that Microsoft is not shipping Windows 10 with its voice-activated digital assistant, Cortana, as of now because it is still updating the software with “strong” local content. Though Microsoft unveiled their own Windows 10 operating system having Cortana (which is a competitor of Apple’s Siri) globally, Vineet Durani (Director of Microsoft India - Windows Business Group) said that it will be available to Windows developers in coming weeks, followed by that to the consumers. Reports say that with Cortana, users can find data, set reminders, track information, and do many other works.  

PM Modi says APJ Abdul Kalam wanted to see his Country as a Knowledge Superpower

While praising former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam’s works, calling him “marg darshak”, and highlighting Dr. Kalam’s commitment towards strength, development, and freedom, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that ex-President wanted India to unfold itself as a knowledge superpower. PM Modi has said that India lost a “ratna” (jewel) and went on to highlight that Kalam never allowed his humble beginning to come into his way to success. Modi also said that APJ Abdul Kalam always believed in “wealth of knowledge” in scientific as well as spiritual manifestations. PM also remembered Kalam’s contribution to India’s defence programme, which brought paradigm shift in indigenous missile development.

India urges France to Facilitate Consensus to bring down Green Technology Cost

India has urged the official host of December 2015’s UN-sponsored global climate change conference (to be held in Paris) to take initiative in facilitating consensus among the developed countries so that Intellectual Property Right (IPR) issues do not drive up the green technology cost. India has said that IPR shoots up cost of green technology and France should try to build consensus so that the high cost doesn’t lead to problems for the developing countries to adopt them. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change’s Additional Secretary, Susheel Kumar, made this appeal while delivering speech during a FICCI organised session on the issue of 21st Climate Conference.

India to Host Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie against Czech Republic from September 18-20

All India Tennis Association (AITA) has decided to select Delhi as the venue for face-off between India and Czech Republic (top seeds) for Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie. It is learned that the matches will take place from September 18 to 20. Sources say that due to popular demand from the Indian tennis players, AITA has finalised Delhi instead of another shortlisted venue – Pune. It is learnt that the likes of Rohan Bopanna, Yuki Bhambri, and Somdev Devvarman were not willing to play in Pune because of the high altitude factor. The players specifically preferred to play at RK Khanna Tennis stadium of Delhi.

Former World No.1 Deepika Kumari earns Direct Entry to Round 16

Deepika Kumari, former World No.1, has got a direct entry to Round of 16 at World Archery Championship. It needs special mention that Deepika Kumari received a bye and entered the Round of 16 directly because of being in the top 8 slot. She will next take on China’s Yuhong Qi. The other two archers who advanced to the round of 16 are Laxmirani Majhi (in the women’s section) and Mangal Singh Champia (in the men’s section). However, the other archers who lost matches in their respective rounds are Rahul Banerjee and Jayanta Talukdar in the men’s section and Rimil Buriuly in the women’s archery section.

Sourav Ganguly supports BCCI on Putting Hold on Resumption of Indo-Pak Cricketing Ties

A day after BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur put a hold on the resumption of India-Pakistan cricket series; Sourav Ganguly supported BCCI’s decision. He said that BCCI has taken the correct decision of not going ahead with the bilateral cricketing ties with Pakistan now as people want terror to go completely. BCCI Secretary, in another occasion said that the ongoing ban on three players (Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, and Ankit Chavan) of Rajasthan Royals will continue as Delhi Police is all set to challenge the lower court order, which acquitted these players.

2002 Naroda Patiya Riot Case Chargesheet to be heard by Gujarat High Court

Gujarat High Court said that final hearing of the chargesheet on 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case will start by a 2-judge bench including Justice RD Kothari and Justice Mohinder Pal. Reports say that the names of the accused in the chargesheet will be shown, followed by a concise briefing of the case history. The decision of the Gujarat HC will be crucial as the concerned riot killed 97 people belonging to the minority community and hearing will be done on the appeals of the main convicts of the 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case – former VHP leader Babu Bajrangi and Gujarat minister Mayaben Kodnani.    

UN Report says Population of India will surpass that of China by 2022 instead of 2028

A recently published UN report has said that population in India will overtake that in China much earlier than thought. With the current rate of population increase in India, the same is expected to overtake that of China by 2022, instead of 2028 (as predicted two years back). U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ revised report by the population division said that current population in China and India is 1.38 billion and 1.31 billion respectively. However, the report went on to add that population of both the emerging giants will reach 1.4 billion in just 7 years from now.  

New Consumer Protection Bill 2015 approved by Union Cabinet

A new Consumer Protection Bill 2015 has been approved by Union Cabinet that seeks replacement of a 29-year-old Consumer Protection Law. As per the new bill, a regulatory authority for curbing unfair trade practices has been proposed. Ministry of Consumer affairs is all set to introduce this new bill to the parliament during the ongoing Monsoon session. Reports say that with the implementation of the new consumer protection law, the consumers will be able to get their grievances redressed in a much faster manner, similar to the ones available in the USA and European countries. A product liability provision is there, which ensures safe products to consumers.