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Narendra Modi to meet Swami Atmasthanand during his Kolkata Visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Kolkata on 9 May 2015 to inaugurate three social security schemes (Atal Pension Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana), and is likely to visit Ramkrishna Math’s and Mission Order’s 97-year old Swami Atmasthanand, who is currently suffering from old age ailments. Assistant Secretary of Ramkrishna Math, Subirananda Maharaj, said that PM treats Swami Atmasthanand as his ‘guru’ and the former used to seek guidance from Atmasthanand when both of them were in Rajkot. Narendra Modi is likely to visit the temples in Belur Math “to pay obeisance to Swami Vivekananda”.

Rahul Gandhi slams BJP government on real estate bill

Earlier it was the land acquisition law and now it is the real estate bill for which Rahul Gandhi has slammed the Modi government. Congress is stating that the bill favours private builders not consumer. To increase the outreach of this initiative Rahul Gandhi met home buyers from Delhi and NCR at an event organized by Congress. He called the real estate bill a 'pro-builder' and 'anti-consumer'.

J&K government must take action against waving of Pak flags, says Union Minister Jitendra Singh

Union Minister Jitendra Singh has condemned the incident of the waving of the Pakistani flag at Hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani's rally. He also said that the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed government in the valley has to take a definitive action against this and must ensure that such incidents do not recur. He added that state government has to go with promises it made regarding disallowing of such activities.

D&B Report Expects WPI Inflation to Average Out at 3.7 Per Cent in 2016FY from two Per Cent in 2015FY

According to Dun & Bradstreet report, the Wholesale Price Index inflation will increase from two per cent in 2015 to 3.7 per cent in 2016. The report also says that lower demand side pressures, along with fall in price of crude oil, will help easing of inflation along gliding path. However, the D&B report points out that there are certain risks that can increase the WPI inflation such as geo-political issues, weak agricultural production (dependent on vagaries of nature), and administered price corrections. 2015 fiscal was particularly good for inflation as WPI decreased to two per cent from six per cent in 2013-14 and 7.4 per cent in 2012-13.

Railway Minister again Clarifies that Government has No Plans of Privatising Railways

After economist Bibek Debroy-led government appointed expert committee recommended corporatisation of Indian railways (which is running at a loss of Rs 23,643 crore during 2011-12 for passenger and other coach services) and vouched for entry of private players in both freight and passenger segments, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu made it clear that there are no plans of privatising Indian Railways. He said that not only will the government own the national transporter but also run it. Prabhu also added that they are only seeking private capital and technology for making railways more valuable and to improve functioning of the transporter. Railway minister went on to say that these types of confrontations on privatising the national transporter are “unnecessary and unintended”.

Aditya Birla Group creates India's Largest Fashion Lifestyle Company

Aditya Birla Group today consolidated all its apparel business into a single entity named Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail, worth Rs 5,290 crore, to become the biggest fashion lifestyle company of India. Madura Garments Lifestyle Retail Company Ltd’s and Aditya Birla Nuvo’s apparel businesses will be demerged into Pantaloons Fashion & Retail Ltd. through vertical demerger process. Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla told media that his group is in the process of making a listed apparel retail company. It is learnt that the entity will have 1,869 exclusive stores network throughout the country. While MGLRCL’s shareholders will receive seven new PFRL’s shares for holding every 500 equity shares, preferential shareholders will get one PFRL’s equity share.   

DoT extends MNP deadline by two months

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) extended the mobile number portability (MNP) deadline by another two months. An extension requested by the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) has given a relief to telecom companies. Now these service providers have enough time to make technical adjustments in their networks. The announcement on MNP was made in July 2014 Communications and IT Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad stating that India could expect full countrywide MNP by March 2015.

Airtel India launches My Airtel applicable for prepaid customers

Airtel India will use the My Airtel application for launching new value-for-money promotions targeting prepaid customers. As per news reports, the application is available only for Android and iOS based devices. The app will deliver many deals including cashback offers, talk time benefits and also more internet data. Customer will now be able to manage all the services from one point. The tool fulfills all the security needs with PCIDSS certification.

India to Launch six more Satellites in 2015-16

Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh told upper house of the parliament in a written reply that during the ongoing financial year, India is going to launch six more satellites - 1 ASTROSAT space science satellite, two communication satellites (GSAT-15 and GSAT-6), and three navigation satellites (IRNSS-1G, IRNSS-1F, and IRNSS-1E). The written reply also states that Indian Space Research Organisation is all set to launch thirteen satellites belonging to four other countries by using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) of India. Jitendra Singh also said that 74 satellites have been launched by ISRO till April 2015.

Mumbai Indians beat Rajasthan Royals

Mumbai Indians won the IPL match against Rajasthan Royals by 8 wickets. Ambati Rayudu batted exceptionally well. He helped the team to make a massive score of 187 runs. Mitchell McClenaghan's bowling did the same magic for Mumbai Indians. He took three wickets. Rayudu was awarded the man of the match.

Wrestler Sushil Kumar Lauds Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme of Union Government

Ace Indian wrestler and Olympics medal winner Sushil Kumar said that medal tally of India can only increase when more facilities are provided to the players. He applauded the recent sports ministry’s initiative of providing targeted facilities to selected medal hopefuls during 2016 Rio Olympics through Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme. Sushil Kumar also said that this scheme will help India increase its medal tally in the coming Olympics tournament. He also expressed his anguish by saying that the Indian players winning just four or five medals is not good for a country as a big as India.

Anirban Lahiri to play Ryan Palmer at World Golf Championships

World No. 35 Anirban Lahiri is all set to take on Ryan Palmer, World No. 23, in World Golf Championships Cadillac Matchplay’s opening match. The match will be played in San Francisco’s TPC Harding Park. The other players in the group in which Lahiri is playing include World No. 60 Marc Leishman and Justin Rose, winner of New Orleans’s Zurich Classic and runner-up at Masters. On PGA Tour, Anirban Lahiri has missed three cuts in seven starts. Changes has been done in the matchplay format, where 16 groups of four (every group is headed by a top-16 player) replaced straight knockout format for ensuring top players remain in the tournament till weekend at least.

France's Defence Major Dassault Aviation likely to Enter into JV Arrangement with Indian Firm

Sources say that Dassault Aviation, the French manufacturer of Rafale fighter jets, is all set to enter into a joint venture with either any credible private entity or government run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and consequently set up a base in India to augment its existing production line. It is believed that such a move will also decrease their production cost of the 36 Rafale jets significantly, which they are expected to deliver to India. Defence sources say that if Dassault Aviation goes for such an arrangement, it will be a major push for ‘Make in India’ initiative. Ministry sources say that the French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is likely to discuss this issue during his visit to India on 6 May.

AAP led government in Delhi directs DTC to add 500 midi buses

500 midi buses will be added in the fleet of DTC buses in Delhi on the direction of the AAP-led Delhi government. The national capital was facing the shortage buses and because of this Delhiites were finding it difficult to commute. At present approximately 4,700 buses and 1,500 cluster buses are part of DTC. DTC is now in the process of analyzing the cost of procuring midi buses and it is expected that decision will be taken in the next board meeting.

Ten rear coaches of a Duronto Express derailed in Goa

Ten rear coaches of a Duronto Express derailed about 45 km south of Panaji in a tunnel close to Balli railway station in Goa. The train was going Mumbai to Ernakulam. No causalities have been reported so far. The Konkan Railway has issued a statement stating that trains running on the Konkan Railway route via Goa would have either been canceled or diverted.