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Opposition Parties Walk Out after Government Insists upon Discussion of GST Bill

After Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill in Lok Sabha and union government insisted upon holding discussion on the bill, the entire opposition walked out of the parliament. Congress-led opposition, however, insisted upon sending the concerned bill for scrutiny to the parliamentary committee before debating it in the house. Union government wanted discussion on the bill today followed by a voting tomorrow. To stall the bill in the parliament, Congress said that an important bill like this cannot be brought on Friday and insisted on the fact that pending financial business should be considered first.

Funds from US Arm of Ford Foundation Placed Under the Scanner by the Home Ministry

International funding organisation, Ford Foundation, has been placed under the scanner by the Home Affairs Ministry. As per reports, Reserve Bank of India has been asked by the ministry to notify it whenever fund is transferred by the US based Ford Foundation. As per the requirements of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, funds that are coming to Indian shores from the US arm of Ford Foundation must be cleared by the Home Ministry for ensuring proper utilization of funds for the welfare activities only and not for purposes adversely affecting “national interest and security”. The move comes after Gujarat government’s request of taking action against Ford Foundation as they alleged that the funds from Ford Foundation were used by Teesta Setalvad’s Sabrang Trust NGO for "abetting communal disharmony" and "interfering in the internal affairs" of India.

Delhi CM Apologises for Continuing Speech even after Gajendra Singh's Suicide

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today apologised for continuing the rally against Land Acquisition Bill at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar even after a Rajasthan farmer, Gajendra Singh, who was attending the meet committed suicide. Kejriwal told media that he was wrong in continuing his speech even after the unwanted incident as the timing for delivering speech during a remorseful incident like that was wrong. He also aplogised if he had hurt anyone’s sentiment. The chief minister claimed that he spent two sleepless nights thinking about the incident. He went on to say that the incident made him to cut short his speech that day from one hour to just 10 minutes.   

Infosys Stock Nosedives over 6 Per Cent after Reporting Decrease in Dollar Revenue Growth

Even after reporting a net profit of Rs. 3,097 crore and total sales of Rs. 13,411 crore during fourth quarter of 2014-15 fiscal, revenue of Infosys in constant currency during Q4 of 2014-15 decreased by 2.4 per cent. The quarterly report published today is a disappointment for the market as rivals of Infosys including HCL Tech, TCS, and Wipro reported dollar revenue growth of 2.7 per cent, 1.6 per cent, and 1.2 per cent respectively. CEO of Infosys, Vishal Sikka, said that the Q4 result were disappointing considering the fact that the company did well in the first three quarters. Infosys Ltd. stock today nosedived by 5.98 per cent or 126.80 points to 1,995.20 points at 3.51 pm IST.

Cairn India Posts Q4 Loss of Rs 241 crore

Cairn India, which produces 1/5th of India’s total oil, posted a quarterly loss of Rs 241 crore during Q4 of 2014-15. This is the biggest loss of the company and the first quarterly loss registered in the last seven years because of foreign exchange loss, sustained low oil price, and one-time impairment loss in Sri Lanka. Poor performance of the company led to its stock opening at a 52-week low level of Rs. 202 per share today. However, the stock regained some of its lost shine with progress in the trading session. At 2.11pm IST, Cairn India Limited was trading at 216.40, 1.31 per cent up from previous close, at NSE.

Yes Bank to Raise FII and FPI Stake from 49 Per Cent to 74 Per Cent

In a filing to Bombay Stock Exchange, Yes Bank said that the Board of Directors of the company have approved increasing share holding limit of FIIs and FPIs from the existing 49 per cent to 74 per cent of the bank’s paid-up share capital. Though the Government during 2015-16 Union Budget said that they are going to do away with the distinction between different kinds of foreign investments and replace it with a composite cap, amendments to applicable laws as well as notification for increasing upper limits of investments by FPIs and FIIs are yet to be done.

Xiaomi Mi 4i Launched in India; To Go on Flash Sale on April 30

Xiaomi Mi 4i smartphone has been launched in India at a mid-range price of Rs. 12,999. As per available information, this new flagship phone will be available in five colours – Pink, Light Blue, Orange, White, and Black. Though Xiaomi Mi 4i will be available for flash sale on Flipkart from April 30, its pre-order registration started yesterday evening at 8pm IST. The launch event of Xiaomi’s flagship smartphone in India was attended by both Lei Jun (CEO and Founder of the company) and Hugo Barra (VP Xiaomi Global).

One Million Emails Sent to TRAI in Support of Net Neutrality

In a bid to save net neutrality, almost one million mails have been sent to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in a span of just 12 days. TRAI has received around 9,94,230 emails supporting neutrality of internet, at a rate of 50 emails per minute. A volunteer at Savetheinternet, Kiran Jonnalagadda, told media that the campaign was unprecedented as it touched the one million mark in just over ten days span, surpassing their expectation of getting around 15,000 emails. The issue took a political turn when Vice President of Congress Rahul Gandhi vouched for a new law for protecting net neutrality. In response, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad made it clear that his government stands in favour of free internet.

Micromax's Revenue Increased by Over 39 Per Cent during 2014-15

Vineet Taneja, CEO of Micromax, said during the launch of Canvas Spark that the indigenous technology behemoth’s revenue for the financial year 2014-15 has surpassed Rs. 10,000 crore. While comparing this figure with the revenue earned by the company during 2013-14 fiscal, it was observed that Micromax’s revenue has increased by 39 per cent from a paltry Rs. 7200 crore. Micromax’s CEO went on to say that one of the major reasons of the company’s achievement is the success achieved in the low cost mass market phones. Vineet said that his company sold 1 crore units of such phones in the Rs. 3000 - Rs. 5000 price bracket during 2014-15 FY.

IOC President to Meet PM Modi Fueling Speculation of India's 2024 Olympic Hosting Bid

President of International Olympics Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, is all set to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday. The upcoming meeting has fueled speculation that Modi may show willingness to host the 2024 Olympics in India. Sources say that PM Narendra Modi may approve bidding for hosting the game after the meeting. When Randhir Singh, the only IOC member from India, was contacted he said that approval of bidding to host Olympic games will be welcomed by his colleagues in the IOC. He downplayed the talks on hosting 2024 Olympics by calling it wishful thinking. However, he kept the hope alive by saying that if India misses the 2024 opportunity, it may host 2028 or even 2032 Olympics.

Sports Ministry Suspends Paralympic Committee of India

The sports ministry has suspended the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) for poor management of the fifteenth National Para Athletics Championships that was held in Ghaziabad from 20 March to 22 March. The decision comes after International Paralympic Committee took a similar step against PCI on April 15. National Sports Federation’s recognition was suspended by the sports ministry yesterday with immediate effect till further notice. The sports ministry took the decision after Sports Authority of India’s inquiry found serious flaws in administration, technicals and logistics while conducting National Para Athletics Championships in March.

Sportspersons to be honoured at Calcutta Sports Journalists' Club Annual Awards

Calcutta Sports Journalists' Club will give awards to sportspersons for their notable contribution to sports at Kolkata’s Rotary Sadan on 23 April. While Lifetime Achievement Awards will be conferred to Aparna Ghosh and Gurbux Singh for their long years of contribution to Basketball and Hockey respectively, Saurav Ghosal will be given Best Sportsperson of the Country award for winning team gold medal and silver medal in singles competition of squash during 2014 Incheon Asian Games. Other players who will be given awards during the ceremony are Doyel Dey (cue sport), Atanu Das, Chandan Bauri and Swapna Burman (athletics), Wriddhiman Saha (cricket), Rajdeep Sarkar (chess), Jose Barreto (football), and others.

Four Convicts of 2007 Tabinda Gani Rape and Murder Case given Death Sentence

Four rape and murder convicts have been given death sentence by a local court in Jammu and Kashmir. The accused identified as Azhar Ahmad Mir and Sadiq Mir of J&K, Suresh Kumar of Rajasthan, and Mochi Jahangir Ansari of West Bengal had brutally raped and murdered 13-year-old school girl Tabinda Gani in Kupwara in 2007 when she was returning home. The local court categorised the case in the “rarest of rare” cases. Gani’s family has been asking for death sentence for the four accused for the last eight years. The Jammu and Kashmir government has instituted a bravery award in memory of Tabina Gani.

Controversial Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Bill Sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for his Assent

Controversial Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Bill, 2015, has been sent by O P Kohli (Governor of Gujarat) to President Pranab Mukherjee for approval, Rajnikant Patel (Home Minister of Gujarat) said. State assembly passed the concerned controversial bill on 31 March 2015 for the fourth time as it was sent back by two earlier presidents - APJ Abdul Kalam and Pratibha Patil in 2004 and 2008 respectively. Controversial clauses in GCTOCB 2015 include detention of suspect with the provision of slapping chargesheet within 6 months, no provision of personal bond bail, and admissibility of evidence collected through confession made before a police officer and evidence collected by intercepting telephonic conversations.

WB CM Boasts of Making Most Progress in Building New Household Toilets

Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee tweeted that West Bengal had been successful in building 8.47 lakh new household toilets during 2014-15 fiscal, the highest progress made by any state in India in the quest to make India clean. She also said that Nadia district becomes the first district in India in the last 2 years for becoming Open Defecation Free as it created over 3.47 lakh toilets in the last fiscal. Mamata also tweeted that when it comes to districts constructing most number of individual districts, three slots in the top four positions are occupied by districts from West Bengal - Nadia, Hooghly, and Burdwan.