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PM Modi meets Industry Leaders, Hears their woes

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met business delegations from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) separately and listened to the woes of business leaders. The most common problems the business leaders conveyed are lack of ease-of-doing business, high capital cost, lack of transparency in matters of taxation, and others. The FICCI delegation conveyed to PM Modi that investment in India is not increasing due to barriers faced by medium and small companies, poor growth of credit, and high capital cost. PMO statement said that the industry bodies appreciated last one year’s performance (including steps undertaken for ease of doing business) of Narendra Modi government. During Modi’s meeting with CII, he asked industries to become technologically self reliant and invest in “make in India” to create jobs.   

Digvijaya Singh seeks CBI Inquiry into Mysterious Vyapam Scam under Supreme Court Supervision

Digvijaya Singh, General Secretary of Congress, has filed a petition in Supreme Court where he sought investigation of Madhya Pradesh’s mysterious Vyapam scam by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under the supervision of apex court. The move comes after submission of SIT report said that 44 persons involved in the scam were found dead, either due to heart attack or “unnatural” circumstances, during investigation. Congress upped ante against Madhya Pradesh government after unnatural death of Mhow’s veterinary student Amit Sagar, 44th person involved in the case, was reported recently. Most high-profile death in Vyapam scam case is that of Shailesh Yadav, son of Ram Naresh Yadav (MP Governor as well as former CM of Uttar Pradesh). 50-year-old Shailesh was found in Lucknow’s residence of Ram Naresh Yadav. Congress alleged that Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan is also involved in the case.       

Supreme Court takes Strong stand against Mediation in Rape Cases

A week after a Madras High Court judge Justice D Devdass granted bail to a rapist for arranging mediation session with the victim, Supreme Court today described HC’s order as "a spectacular error" that is against dignity of women. While giving the verdict, the Madras HC judge gave reference to another verdict given by him where he claimed that a happy conclusion was reached between the rapist and victim. However, in this case the victim, who became pregnant due to the rape and also delivered a girl child, has reportedly refused any kind of mediation with the assaulter. In the judgement SC bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra observed that a compromise in case of rape, in the name of marriage, compromises woman’s dignity. Misra also said that promotion of such settlement between rapist and the victim lacks sensitivity.   

Indian Bourses Hold Ground Inspite of Looming Greece Default

Indian bourses today not only held ground with Greece accepting bailout conditions set by its creditors but also increased considerably. While Sensex closed at 28020.87 points (an increase of 240.04 points or 0.86 per cent), Nifty closed at 8453.05 (an increase of 84.55 points or 1.01 per cent). Analysts say that market today witnessed broad-based buying. Buying interests were witnessed, especially in auto, realty, power, IT, and capital goods sectors. These indices in BSE increased anywhere from 1.3 to 1.7 per cent. Small caps as well as mid caps advanced by 1.4 and 1.3 per cent respectively. Biggest gainers today are Ambuja Cements, BHEL, Yes Bank, Cipla, Axis Bank, Tata Motors, HCL Technologies, UltraTech Cement, and Power Grid. Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has conveyed in writing to the international creditors that Greece can accept their last minute bailout plan, provided some conditions are changed.               

CEO of Airbus Defence and Space Conveys PM Modi about the company's "Make in India" Plans

CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, Bernhard Gerwert, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and conveyed his company’s plan of becoming a part of “Make in India” initiative. Statement issued by Prime Minister's Office said that Gerwert expressed interest in following a cluster approach with regional partners in an effort to become a partner in “Make in India” initiative. The PMO statement also said that Prime Minister Modi welcomed interest shown by Bernhard Gerwert in the ambitious “Make in India” programme. While talking to the media, Airbus CEO said that PM Modi’s visit to France’s Airbus manufacturing unit in Toulouse enhanced their interest and also created positive atmosphere. Airbus Group has already started consolidating its operation in India, as per its new strategy, and brought all the Indian operations under Airbus Group India Private Limited. This is the first ever such move outside France by Airbus Group.

NITI Aayog Vice Chairman expects Indian Economy to Surpass $3 trillion mark within 5 Years

Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, has said in an interview that he expects Indian economy to hit $3 trillion mark in the coming five years. He went on to say that he will be “greatly disappointed” if GDP growth of the economy doesn’t hit the 8 per cent mark in 2015-16. Available data says that during 2014-15, Indian economy grew at the rate of 7.3 per cent and it is currently little over $2 trillion, which makes India 3rd largest economy in the Asian continent. Arvind Panagariya stressed on export led growth as he said that India accounts for less than 2 per cent export share in total global economy and hopes to reach 12 per cent global export share in coming years. Panagariya said rising wages in China has made many companies seek other low wage destinations and India is perfectly suited for that.

PM Modi Launches Digital India Today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched the ambitious Digital India project, which aims at connecting more than 2.5 lakh Indian villages with broadband Internet services.  Besides the political heavyweights, industrial bigwigs such as RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani, Cyrus Mistry of Tata Group, Gautam Adani of Adani Group, Bharti Group’s Sunil Bharti Mittal, Kumaramangalam Birla of Aditya Birla Group, and others also attended the event. Reports say that ‘the Information for all scheme’ aims to provide internet services just like PCOs. This grand Digital India programme is expected to see around Rs. 1,13,000 crore investment. The programme was attended by around ten thousand dignitaries and the projects announced by the CM include e-health, e-education, and Digital Locker. While Mukesh Ambani announced investment to the tune of around Rs 2.5 lakh crore, Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry committed his group’s wholehearted participation.

Amazon to Establish Multiple Data Centres in India by 2016

Head of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Andy Jassy, has said that Amazon is all set to establish multiple data centres in the coming year in India. The total investment will be worth many millions of dollars. He also said that the investment will increase to billion dollars with growth in region. Jassy went on to refer the upcoming investment in data centres as highly significant as Amazon has “grown very, very quickly in India”. Stressing on increasing ambit of investment in India, AWS’s head said in an interview that Amazon has “tens of thousands of active customers in India” and it includes startups, medium size businesses, and small businesses. Some of the major customers of AWS include Macmillan India, Future Group, Tata Motors, Manipal Global Education, and many more. Andy Jassy’s announcement comes within months of Microsoft’s announcement of commercializing three data centres in India by 2015-end.  

Xiaomi India Slashes Redmi Note 4G Price by Rs. 2,000

Xiaomi India today announced a Rs. 2,000 price cut of Redmi Note 4G smartphone. The device’s price has been slashed from launch price of Rs. 9,999 to Rs. 7,999. Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G will be available in multiple online retail shops such as the official site of Xiaomi, Snapdeal, Amazon, and Flipkart at slashed price. It will also be available at Airtel retail stores and The Mobile Store. Analysts believe that today’s attempt at price cut is to make the smartphone more competitive among affordable smartphones. Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G will now be pitted against Yu Yuphoria of Micromax (Rs. 6,999), Moto E (Gen 2) 4G of Motorola (Rs. 7,999), A6000 Plus of Lenovo (Rs. 7,499). Xiaomi has also brought down Redmi Note 4G’s price by Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 14,999 to make it more attractive for mid-range customers.

Indian Women's Hockey Team Thrashed by Netherlands in the Quarters of Hockey World League

Indian women’s hockey team has been humiliated by Netherlands in Hockey World League’s quarter final match as the latter cruised to the semifinals by defeating the former 7-0 at HC Dragons Stadium. Dutch girls’ fast paced attack scattered the Indian defence. Out of the seven goals scored by Netherlands’s women’s hockey team, three penalty corners were converted to goal by Caia van Maasakker and two by Lidewij Walten. Other two who scored are Naomi van As and Ginella Zarbo. World Number 13 Indian women’s team was no match before the Olympic title holder Netherlands. India was successful in breaching the Dutch defence in handful of cases only and was in the position to score just twice, when they received two penalty corners. While Netherlands will play against Australia in the semis, India will fight it out with Italy for 5th to 8th classification spots.

Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta wins Commonwealth Chess Championship

Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta, who is also a former world junior champion, has clinched Commonwealth Chess Championship after he settled for a draw in the 9th and final round of the match against Arghyadip Das. Abhijeet regained the crown after securing wins in first seven games and draw in two games afterwards. After winning the championship, Gupta told media that it is one of his best performances in any international game as he won seven games in a row. He also said that the toughest game in the tournament was winning the 7th game against Deep Sengupta but he was pleasantly surprised to find Sengupta not quite prepared. The second position was won by Arghyadip Das, followed by M R Lalith Babu for third position. In women’s leg of the tournament, first three positions are held by Padmini Rout, S Vijayalakshmi and S Meenakshi respectively.

BCCI Announces Team India for Zimbabwe Tour; Dhoni-Kohli Rested

BCCI announced the Indian cricket squad for Zimbabwe tour yesterday after a meeting of the selection committee. The tour will be led by Ajinkya Rahane as the selection committee has decided to rest ODI captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Test skipper Virat Kohli, and Ravichandran Ashwin. Other members of Team India to tour Zimbabwe include Manoj Tiwary, Ambati Rayudu, M Vijay, Harbhajan Singh, Manish Pandey, Robin Uthappa, Kedar Jadhav, Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Stuart Binny, Dhawal Kulkarni, Karn Sharma, and Axar Patel. While making the announcement Chief selector Sandeep Patil said that there is no rift in the team and this is the time to move ahead of the Bangladesh tour, where India’s performance was not satisfying. Team director Ravi Shastri will not accompany Team India to Zimbabwe. However, R Sridhar, Bharat Arun, and Sanjay Bangar will accompany the team.

Moody's Investor Service shows Concerns on India's Slow Pace of Reform

Moody’s Investor Service has said in its 'Inside India' report that economic growth prospect of India is relatively optimistic and is expected to fulfill Moody’s 7.5 per cent baseline growth rate expansion forecast for current financial year. India’s projection is highest among G20 countries and it adequately supports “Baa3 sovereign rating and positive outlook”. Moody’s upgraded its sovereign rating outlook on India from “stable” to “positive”. However, the latest report of Moody’s points out that in a poll conducted by it that majority of the respondents had “some disappointment” on the slower pace of reforms and were worried about policy stagnation. Moody's said that around 50 per cent of the poll respondents said that the greatest risk to macroeconomic story of India is sluggish reform momentum. However, it pointed out that full result of growth-enhancing reforms will be visible over multi-year horizon.  

Manufacturing PMI of India Weakens in June'15

Nikkei manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for the month of June 2015 shows that in relation to May 2015, PMI has slipped from 52.6 to 51.3. However, it stayed above the 50 point mark, which separates contraction (below 50) from growth (above 50). Economist at Markit (which compiles Nikkei PMI data) Pollyanna De Lima said that during India’s economic revival, month of June witnessed a slowdown in rate of growth in its manufacturing sector. Most importantly, the pace of growth of new businesses were particularly slow and one of the reason being “loss of momentum in export business”. Lima added that manufacturers were particularly cautious and the employment numbers remained “unchanged once again”.  Subdued manufacturing growth in June’15 was attributed to slower pace in filling up of factories’ order books. De Lima has said that loosening cycle of RBI is expected to continue because of slower price rise.

Special Investigating Team submits Report of Vyapam Scam to MP High Court

Madhya Pradesh’s high profile Vyapam scam is getting murkier and mysterious as another suspect named Amit Sagar’s (veterinary student in Mhow) death in mysterious circumstances surfaced. Reports say that his dead body was found in a pond located in MP’s Sheopur district, back in February 2015. Accused mastermind of PMT paper leak case, Indrajeet Bhushan, named the veterinary student but during investigation police found that Amit was already dead. SIT’s submitted reports say that 44 accused in the concerned scam have been found dead, among which death of 23 accused were “unnatural”. However, Babu Lal Gaur, Home Minister of Madhya Pradesh, refused handing over the case to CBI, claiming that the deaths have no connection with the case of Vyapam scam. Congress leaders earlier met PM Modi seeking centre’s intervention as they claimed presence of “solid evidence” indicating involvement of CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.