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Defence Minister Vouches for "Targeted Kill" of Terrorists in J&K as Cross-Border Ceasefire Violations drop 30 Per Cent

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that the dual approach of Indian army heavily guarding the LoC with Pakistan coupled with intelligence-backed "targeted kills" against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir has resulted in 30 per cent drop in infiltration bids and cross-border ceasefire violations.  While emphasizing on the fact that the situation along the border areas are “pretty much under control”, Parrikar said that targeted kill approach has led to minimum collateral damage and maximum neutralisation of identified terrorists. Defence Minister said in an event that it is immaterial to use soldiers for neutralizing terrorists when it can be done by using other terrorists, thereby hinting at covert operations.  Parrikar went on to say that monthly salaries in the range of Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 are paid to the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.

Opposition Finds Advani by their Side on Net Neutrality

In the parliamentary standing committee meeting on net neutrality, BJP MP Anurag Thakur-led panel was forced to postpone the meeting within 50 minutes from its initiation when BJP patriarch Lal Krishna Advani found substance in the points raised by opposition leaders. Row began when committee members came to know that private internet service providers Vodafone, Airtel, and Idea will be present in the meeting to put their case. TMC’s Derek O'Brien and INC’s KVP Ramachandra Rao objected and demanded that invitation must be sent to over-the-top service providers and consumer forums first.  TMC’s Prasun Banerjee said that it is impossible for him to finish the 120 page background note in just 3-4 hours. Anurag Thakur postponed the meeting after Advani weighed in favour of calling a meeting later.

Tamil Nadu Governor invites AIADMK Supremo J Jayalalithaa as Panneerselvam Resigns from CM's Position

AIADMK unanimously elected J Jayalalithaa as its legislature party leader today morning at her Poes Garden residence. The motion to elect her as the legislature party leader was moved by her loyal lieutenant O Panneerselvam, who is also the treasurer of AIADMK. Panneerselvam then resigned from Chief Minister’s position, clearing her way to become CM of Tamil Nadu. Soon after Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah asked 67-year old Jayalalithaa to form the government in TN.  AIADMK supporters have already started festivities to mark the return of “Amma” as would be CM. Panneerselvam called her AIADMK’s “permanent General Secretary” and “gold refined in fire”. She will make her first public appearance after acquittal from Rs 66.66 crore disproportionate assets case in Chennai today and will also meet the governor to convey her message that she will form government tomorrow.   

PM headed Cabinet Committee Liberalise FDI Norms for NRIs, OCIs, and PIOs

A Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given nod to liberalization of FDI norms for Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs), NRIs, and PIOs. Reports say that this decision has been taken in order to increase flow of capital in India. As per statement of an official spokesperson, approved amendments to FDI policy will bring OCIs and PIOs at same level as NRIs when it comes to education and economy. The spokesperson also said that these amendments are made with the expectation that they will create inflow of greater extent of remittances and investment (construction development, railways, defence, insurance, and medical devices) from OCIs, NRIs, and PIOs.

RBI Relaxes Rules to Help Indian Companies working Offshore to Raise Funds in Rupees

The Reserve Bank of India has made it easier for Indian companies, with overseas operations, to raise funds from abroad in rupees denomination and not in any other currency by relaxing the related rules. Indian corporate entities having offshore operations had to earlier take loans in US Dollar denomination and then convert them to Indian currencies. However, this arrangement included exposure to foreign currency risks. Now, lender abroad will swap currency with banks abroad, which will provide fund in rupees through tapping of a bank present in India and extend money in Indian currency to the borrowing company. A senior foreign banker said that the foreign exchange risk involved in the earlier system will now to borne by the offshore lender.  

SEBI Sets up N R Narayana Murthy-led Panel to recommend on Further Development of Start-ups

Securities and Exchange Board of India has set up an 18-member panel called Alternative Investment Policy Advisory Committee (AIPAC) that will recommend the securities watchdog on formulating a new regulatory framework for start-ups and alternative investments. To head the panel SEBI has roped in Infosys founder and reputed industrialist N R Narayana Murthy. Reports say that AIPAC will recommend SEBI on any hurdle that may stall alternative investment industry development. SEBI will be advised on the coordination needed on issues for developing the start-up and alternative investment industry ecosystem. The panel consists of members from RBI, SEBI, Finance Ministry, start-up organisations, private equity firms, and industry. Some of the renowned names in the panel are Sanjay Nayar, Saurabh Srivastava, Ajay Piramal, Devinjit Singh, and others.

Videocon Launches Affordable Z45 Nova+ Smartphone in India at Rs. 4,900

Videocon has introduced a new affordable smartphone, Z45 Nova+, for the budget conscious customers in India at a price of Rs. 4,900. This budget phone boasts of having moderately powerful 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, and Android KitKat 4.4 operating system. Videocon Z45 Nova+ has FWVGA IPS capacitive touch screen of 4.5-inch size that provides customers with crystal clear image viewing experience. It is a dual-SIM phone and comes with multiple connectivity options including 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS/A-GPS, and Bluetooth. This smartphone has been packed with important pre-loaded apps such as V-Secure mobile security app and V-Safe app. While the rear camera has 5MP sensor with auto-focus feature, the front faced camera has 2MP sensor. Videocon has provided enough storage space in this budget phone including 8GB internal storage and up to 32GB expandable storage capacity.  

Apple Launches 15-inch MacBook Pro in India

The new 15-inch MacBook Pro has been launched in India by Apple and the starting price of this series is Rs. 1,59,000. This bigger version of MacBook Pro comes with the new Force Touch trackpad, which comes with force sensors. This device is powered by 2.2 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor having Turbo Boost that increases processor speed up to 3.7 GHz. Some of the other important features of the 15-inch MacBook Pro are Intel Iris Pro graphics, 256GB flash storage, and 16GB memory. Another variant costing Rs 1,99,900 comes with AMD Radeon R9 M370X graphics, 2.5 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost increasing processor speed to 3.7 GHz, 512GB flash storage, and 16GB memory.

2015 Tata Nano GenX Model Launched

The 2015 Tata Nano GenX has been launched in India today and the Delhi ex-showroom starting price of the model has been fixed at Rs. 1.99 lakh. However, the ex-showroom Delhi price of AMT (Easy Shift) version starts at Rs. 2.69 lakh. Tata Motors is trying to renew the Nano brand by replacing the ‘cheap’ or ‘affordable’ car tag to “smart city car”. The refurbished hatchback now comes with openable hatch, automated manual transmission, bigger fuel tank, slightly updated engine (624cc, two-cylinder MPFI petrol engine comes with aluminium block and cylinder head), and better looking cabin. 5-speed AMT (Easy Shift) comes with unit found in Tata Zest diesel AMT version.

BCCI Announces Test and ODI Squads for Bangladesh Tour

BCCI has announced squads for one test match and three one-dayers to be played in Bangladesh from 10 June to 14 June and 18 June to 24 June respectively. Keeping in mind the good performance of Bangladesh cricket team during the World Cup, India has chosen strong teams for both ODIs and test matches. While the ODI team will be led by skipper MS Dhoni, the Test squad will be led by Virat Kohli. Announcement of the teams was done by selector Sandeep Patil and Anurag Thakur, the newly elected BCCI secretary. One of the highlights of the test squad is the comeback of 34-year old ‘turbanator’ Harbhajan Singh, one of the most reliable off spinners who last played test series back in March 2013 against Australia. Indian pacer Mohammad Shami missed out due to knee injury.    

Sports Ministry Issues Guidelines to SAI

The Sports Ministry has directed Sports Authority of India (SAI) to empanel counseling psychologists for one-to-one as well as group counseling of the players and athletes in its centres present all across India. This directive comes after four trainee athletes in SAI’s Alappuzha centre in Kerala tried to commit suicide a few days back. In a press release, Sports Ministry has vouched for setting up a 24x7 helpline where athletes and trainees can report ragging and sexual harassment cases. For emotional wellbeing and holistic development the ministry has emphasized on introducing Yoga in all SAI centres as compulsory activity.  While the ministry has emphasised on bringing all eligible SAI trainees under Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, they have vowed to increase security of the SAI hostels.

IPC gives Permission to India's Para Athletes to Participate in International Competitions inspite of Ban on National Body

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has lifted the morale of Indian para-athletes as it allowed them to participate at international competitions under IPC flag licensed through Sport Data Management System. This permission comes as a relief for the para-athletes because their national body, the Paralympic Committee of India, was suspended on 17 April due to internal feud. In fact, government also derecognised the body for treating para-athletes shabbily during Ghaziabad’s National Para-Athletics Championships, held in March. IPC has also appreciated suggestion of the Sports Ministry where the latter asked the former of setting up ad-hoc committee for running paralympic affairs in India. IPC also asked the government for details of persons to be included in this ad hoc committee.  

Al Qaeda calls 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attack "Blessed" and "Heroic Fidai" Operation

Reports say that a 15-page Al-Qaeda document "Terror Franchise: The Unstoppable Assassin: Techs Vital role for its success" called the 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attack in 2008 as a "heroic Fidai" operation by Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists. The document also lists the heinous attack among the "blessed" terror operations. Office of the Director of National Intelligence declassified the document and translated it partially. A huge cache of documents were recovered by US Navy SEALs from Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad, which are regarded by US intelligence as a “treasure trove of information” on terrorist activities of Al Qaeda throughout the world. The document claims that Global Mujahideen’s mission is to destroy US economy through specific targeting of economic targets world over. It also called Pune’s German Bakery operation by LeT as "beautiful huge" bombing.

Enforcement Directorate Zeroes in on Dawood Ibrahim's Assets in India and Europe

The Enforcement Directorate yesterday launched an investigation that will look into Dawood Ibrahim's Assets in India and Europe. The move comes a day after Indian intelligence agencies tracked Dawood’s house in Pakistan. Source reports say that Indian operations of the terrorist and underworld don was run in India by Iqbal Mirchi. Though Mirchi died in London on 14 August 2013, it is learnt that he sold four Mumbai based properties at an estimated cost of more than Rs. 1000 crore and reinvested them in buying European properties. Some of the tracked properties of Mirchi in several parts of the world include UK, Dubai, Spain, Turkey, Morocco, and Cyprus. Reports say that ED is currently in talks with the foreign countries to crack down on the assets amassed by Dawood Ibrahim and his gang.

Environment Minister Javedkar Questions $100 billion per year Commitment by Developed Countries

Prakash Javadekar, Environment Minister of India, while speaking in Berlin’s Petersberg Climate Dialogue reiterated India’s stand that they will work closely with international community and also undertake responsible, proactive, and constructive role in finding equitable, pragmatic, and practical solutions to climate change problem. However, he questioned the seriousness of commitment made by the developed countries in creating US$100 billion per year global climate fund by 2020 as he noted that the developed countries are nowhere near the agreed upon goal. Javedkar also warned that a formula must be reached which makes the polluters pay up rather than make poor countries pay the price. He also asked the developed nations of making available the climate-friendly technologies at affordable cost to the developing countries.