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Delhi Government Decides to Withdraw Aggressive Ad Campaign to Pay respect to APJ Abdul Kalam

In order to pay respect to former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam, who passed away on Monday evening, Delhi government has decided to withdraw aggressive ad campaign that targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi directly. The poster campaign asked to be removed read "Prime Minister Sir, Please, let Delhi government work”. Analysts believe that AAP-led government, with this gesture, also wants to reciprocate Delhi L-G Najeeb Jung’s acceptance of Swati Maliwal as Chief of Delhi Commission for Women. Reports say that the sarcastic appeal to the PM became public after there was a spat between Delhi Government and L-G regarding Maliwal’s appointment issue.

Government says it is Committed to Complete Caste Census

Countering opposition allegation that Union Government is not making Caste Census public for suppressing facts, the central government said that they are committed to complete Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) and release it after they are done with rectifying the 8,19,58,314 errors present in the report. Government also said that around 1.46 crore errors are still needed to be rectified by respective states. They have sought “fullest cooperation” of all states and Union Territories for rectifying the errors present in the report. Most number of errors are found in Maharashtra (69.1 lakh), followed by Madhya Pradesh (13.9 lakh), West Bengal (11.6 lakh), and others.

Jitan Ram Manjhi opts out of Bihar Chief Ministerial Race

Jitan Ram Manjhi (supremo of recently recognised Hindustan Awami Morcha party, ex-CM of Bihar, and friend-turned-foe of JDU leader Nitish Kumar) today announced his opting out of Chief Ministerial race and told media that his party will work towards defeating Nitish-Lalu combine during upcoming state assembly. Reports say that during bargaining with NDA, Manjhi also significantly curtailed his earlier demand of 70 to 80 seats out of the total 243 assembly seats. While talking to media from his residence in Gaya, Manjhi also said that seat sharing will not be a big issue and all constituents of NDA will decide upon it mutually.   

FICCI CASCADE Report says Exchequer Loss in 2014 due to Illicit Trade is Rs 39,239 crore

FICCI CASCADE (Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy) report titled “Illicit Market: A Threat to Our National Interest” said that exchequer loss in 2014 in comparison to 2014 has increased from Rs. 26,190 crore to Rs. 39,239 crore due to illicit trade. The report points out that among the total exchequer loss in 2014, Rs. 34,020 crore accounts for indirect tax loss and Rs. 5,218 crore accounts for direct tax loss. While calculating the loss, the concerned report considered 9 sectors including media and entertainment, tobacco and alcohol, mobile phones, automobiles, computer hardware, packaged foods and personal goods, and FMCG.

SEBI Cancels Registration of Sahara Mutual Fund

Securities watchdog SEBI has yet again came down heavily on Sahara Group by cancelling Sahara Mutual Fund’s registration, after 6 months. In its report, SEBI has said that the group is neither fit nor proper in carrying out the mutual fund business and consequently ordered transfer of all its operations to another fund management company. The move comes soon after SEBI cancelled Sahara firm’s Portfolio Management license. Sahara Asset Management Company, as well as Sahara Mutual Fund, has been ordered by SEBI to stop accepting subscription with immediate effect from all investors (new as well as existing).  

Net Profit of Maruti Suzuki during April-June Quarter increases by 56 Per Cent

First quarter report of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. for 2015-16 shows that the company’s net profit increased by 56 per cent to a whooping Rs. 1,190 crore. During Q1 of 2014-15, net profit of the company was just Rs 760 crore. Analysts believe that the top three factors that contributed to this roaring success of India’s top selling automobile company are higher sales, favourable foreign exchange rates, and comparatively lower costs of the cars. In spite of such a good performance, reports say that achieved net profit missed analysts’ expectation of Rs. 1,235 crore. During Q1 of 2015-16, net sales increased by 18 per cent to Rs. 13,080 crore.

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.

Parliamentary Standing Committee Expresses Concern on Yamuna River Pollution affecting Taj Mahal

Congress MP Ashwani Kumar headed Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology and Environment and Forest expressed concern over ever increasing pollution of Yamuna River and its ill effect on Taj Mahal. In its report the parliamentary committee has suggested formation of a water body near the Taj Mahal so that it gets back its sheen. The report pointed out tanneries around Taj Mahal to be the real reasons of increasing pollution and slammed the authorities of not taking adequate action to check it. The committee questioned why untreated sewerage is discharged into Yamuna and recommended strengthening of waste management system of Agra city.    

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.

CAS Suspends Controversial Gender Test Allowing Indian Sprinter Dutee Chand to Compete Again

Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) suspended the controversial gender test regulation, issued by International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), thereby allowing Indian sprinter Dutee Chand to participate in athletics again. CAS has observed that the concerned regulation on hyperandrogenism will be permanently done away with if IAAF fails to prove that increased testosterone production leads to improved performance by the athletes suffering from this issue. Dutee Chand expressed her relief and happiness after the verdict. While talking to the media, 19-year-old Duttee said that she went through lots of humiliation and suffering but wants to start afresh.

Gurdaspur Attack Fallout: BCCI Secretary says Resumption of India-Pakistan Cricket Ties will stop if Terror Strikes Continue

Following yesterday’s Gurdaspur terror attack and evidence pointing towards alleged involvement of Pakistan in cross-border terrorism, BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur said that resumption of cricket ties between India and Pakistan by 2015-end may not be possible if Pakistan continues terror strikes. Thakur told media that with the Jammu attacks (heavy cross-border shelling and firing) in the recent past followed by the terrorist attack in Punjab yesterday, resumption of cricket ties are not possible now as Indian citizens are dying due to Pakistan’s involvement. The Hamirpur MP, while condemning the attack, pointed out that resumption of Indo-Pak cricket ties will not resume until and unless the situation improves.  

Yakub Memon's Fate Dangles on 3-judge SC Bench's Decision

1993 Mumbai serial blast convict Yakub Memon’s last moment plea to the apex court against his scheduled execution on July 30, as per Maharashtra Government’s directives, has been dismissed by the 3-judge bench of Supreme Court. The bench observed that Yakub Memon had not challenged his mercy petition rejection by the President to the SC. Moreover, Maharashtra Governor CH Vidyasagar Rao also rejected Yakub’s mercy plea.  Reports say Yakub Memon has sent a second mercy petition to the President today for changing death sentence to life imprisonment, which is being currently reviewed by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Scheduled time of his hanging is tomorrow at 7am IST.  

Ramon Magsaysay Award to be Conferred to Sanjiv Chaturvedi and Anshu Gupta

Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation announced today that two Indians will be conferred with the Ramon Magsaysay Award of 2015. While one of them is renowned whistleblower bureaucrat Sanjiv Chaturvedi, the other is head of NGO Goonj, Anshu Gupta. Sanjiv Chaturvedi is known for his role in blowing the lid of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) scam, following which he was removed from Chief Vigilance Commissioner’s position in August 2014. In fact, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal recommended Chaturvedi’s name for deputation of officer on special duty but the issue is yet to be taken up by central government. Anshu Gupta has been chosen for “his creative vision”.   

Ex-President APJ Abdul Kalam's Body Flown to His Hometown Rameswaram, Last Rites to be Performed Tomorrow

Mortal remain of APJ Abdul Kalam, 11th President of India, has been flown out of Delhi to be taken to his hometown - Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, where the last rites will be performed tomorrow. The special chopper carrying Kalam’s body reached Rameshwaram at around 1 PM today. His body has been kept in a school for local people to pay their respect. Report say that last rites to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam will be performed tomorrow at 11 am IST and the programme will be attended by PM Modi. He will be provided full military honour. US President Barack Obama condoled Kalam’s death.