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Recent Death of Journalist Investigating Vyapam Scam makes MP CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan meet Press

Mysterious deaths related to Vyapam scam took an ugly turn when 35-year old reporter named Akshay Singh, investigating Madhya Pradesh's multi-layered recruitment and examination scam, mysteriously died after interviewing parents of a girl who died soon after her name surfaced in connection with the scam. Congress stepped up the heat against  Shivraj Singh Chauhan’s government asking for an independent probe on all the deaths related to Vyapam scam. Though suspicion looms on the issue of sudden death of a “healthy person”, post-mortem report suggests natural death. Sources say no injury marks were found on Akshay’s body. One of the doctors who performed the post mortem said exact reason of the journalist’s death will be known after receiving the viscera report. Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan today met the press and assured that a thorough SIT probe will be carried out but denied handing over the case to CBI.

J Jayalalitha takes Oath as MLA after Winning Bypoll to make her Provisional CM Post Formal

Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa took oath as MLA of Tamil Nadu Assembly after securing a decisive win from north Chennai’s Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar constituency. The AIADMK supremo was sworn in as provisional Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on May 23 after getting acquittal from disproportionate asset case. She needed to be reelected from an assembly seat within 6 months of swearing in as CM. The oath taking event was kept a closed door affair as neither media nor photographers were allowed entrance at speaker P Dhanapal's chamber. Though directorate of information and public relations invited media to witness the oath taking event, entry was restricted to media by security guards. At speaker Dhanapal's office, which is located at main secretariat building’s eastern wing, only a few close associates and cabinet colleagues of Jayalalithaa (including O Panneerselvam, R Vaithilingam, R Viswanathan, etc.) were allowed.

Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi says Madrasas are a Reality in India

While attending an Iftar party organised by Ramdas Athavale, chief of Republican Party of India, at Mumbai’s Haj House Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that madrasas "are a reality of India" and went on to add that on behalf of the union government he has assured the madrasas that they are in favour of education for all and there will be no dearth of funds. Naqvi also said that it was erstwhile Congress government that excluded Madrasas from the ambit of formal school category and also assured that his government at the centre will consider including these educational centres under Right to Education Act’s mainstream educational system. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s comment come at a time when confusion surfaced after Maharashtra government decided to classify madrasa students who were not taught mainstream subjects and but only Islamic scriptures as “out-of-school”.     

Finance Ministry says Black Money Law "Simple and Clear", Calls Compliance Window Last Chance to Come Clean

Finance Ministry has called the Black Money Law and its rules “simple and clear”. The ministry also said that the ongoing compliance window is the only way out for the tax evaders of declaring their assets on their undisclosed foreign assets for avoiding any kind of prosecution. However, reports say that this compliance window will not be applicable in cases where proceedings are already going on. Rules have been issued under black money law by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to value income and assets, stashed abroad, for levying tax and penalty. Reports say that The Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 provides 90-days compliance window, which came into effect from July 1 2015 that requires a tax evader to declare undeclared foreign assets/incomes and pay 60 per cent tax on them along with a penalty.

Doha Bank all set to Double Business in India in 2-3 years to $5-6 Billion

A Qatar-based leading lender, Doha Bank, has said that in keeping up with the projected high growth story of Indian economy, they are aiming to enhance their Indian exposure in the coming 2 to 3 years from the current $2.4 billion to $ 5-6 billion. Reports say that Doha Bank has decided to focus on multiple sectors including infrastructure finance, funding to big corporate to fulfill their working capital needs, contract finance, real estate, trade and services. CEO of Doha Bank, R Seetharaman, said the Indian economy is currently on a revival path and the measures announced by government are expected to push the economic growth way above the projected 7-7.6 per cent growth rate. Doha Bank, which also finances Indian companies for investing in Gulf projects, is planning to open two more Indian offices, in addition to the existing two in Mumbai and one in Kochi.

Sony to Contract-Manufacture via Foxconn under "Make in India" Initiative

Giving huge boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project “Make in India” initiative, Japanese electronics behemoth Sony is learnt to be entering into a contract-manufacture deal with Taiwanese electronics part manufacturer Foxconn for manufacturing their products in India itself. Sources say that this decision has been taken as various incentives provided by Government of India to foreign investors in setting up their manufacturing base here led Foxconn to set up multiple facilities in India. However, confirmed reports say that Sony is not starting its manufacturing unit in India as of now. Kenichiro Hibi, Managing Director of Sony India, has said that they haven’t taken a final decision yet but considering various ways of making in India and one of the major possibilities is surely contract manufacturing. Reports say that Foxconn has chosen Andhra Pradesh’s Sri City to set up facility for manufacturing Sony’s products.

Cellular Operators' Association of India says Pan-India Mobile Number Portability will Increase Customer Satisfaction

Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) has issued statement that implementing pan-India mobile number portability (MNP) was one of the most important aspects of National Telecom Policy 2012 and the industry has been successful in accomplishing the same. COAI represents most telecom equipment manufacturers, communication service providers, and 7 biggest mobile service operators. The statement also said that MNP implementation has ensured enhanced competition among the telecom operators within India and at the same time will lead to greater customer satisfaction. Pan-mobile MNP throughout India was implemented on July 3, 2015. COAI director general Rajan S. Mathews called it a “proud moment for Indian telecom industry”. At a FICCI CEOs Roundtable, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that importance must be given to the issue of call drops so that consumers don’t confront it. He also asked the operators to walk the extra mile to make it happen.

State-run BSNL Launches Pre-Paid Card Linked Mobile Wallet Service

BSNL has come of age with the changing times. The company launched pre-paid card linked mobile wallet service named Speed Pay that will help customers make payment for services, transfer money, and withdraw cash up to Rs. 1 lakh. Reports say a person can use this wallet for loading money even if he/she does not possess a bank account. The loaded money can be withdrawn from either a BSNL outlet or bank branch and can be transferred to a bank account. While inaugurating the service, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that PM Modi once asked him whether people of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar working in Tamil Nadu and Kerala can transfer money to their families back home. Prasad added that this wallet service is a significant step towards that direction. Speed Pay has been launched by BSNL by partnering with IT company Pyro.    

India Calls for Transparency and Accountability in Internet Security Surveillance in UN General Assembly

Director General of external affairs ministry, Santosh Jha, has told UN General Assembly that internet surveillance practices, done for security reasons, needs accountable and truly transparent framework so that a balance can be struck between national security and internationally recognised human rights standards. He stressed on the point for “better protection of all citizens in the online environment”. Jha said this during review of implementation of the recommendations done during World Summit on Information Society. MEA’s proposal to the UN comes at a time when the world is criticising US for carrying on mass surveillance not only on suspected criminals and terrorists but also on French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  Interestingly, even as Jha was speaking at UN General Assembly, Wikileaks disclosure said that National Security Agency (NSA) of US carried out telephone surveillance on German officials.    

Indian Women's Hockey Team finishes 5th in Hockey World League, Keeps Alive Rio Olympics 2016 Hope

Indian Women's Hockey team beat Japan 1-0 and finished 5th in the Hockey World League 2015. With this win India keeps alive the chances of getting selected to Rio Olympics. The only goal in the match was scored by Rani Rampal at 13th minute of the game, played at Brasschaat Municipal Park at Belgium’s Antwerp. Indian goalkeeper Savita saved 4 penalty corners of Japan, providing India a 1-0 win. Reports say that FIH, governing body of World hockey, conducts two semi final matches that secure berth for three teams to Rio Olympics 2016. Winners of 5 continental games (2015 Oceania Cup, 2015 African Qualifying Tournament, 2015 EuroHockey Nations Championship, 2015 Pan American Games, and 2014 Asian Games) will also secure their berths at Rio. The teams, those are likely to get qualified for Rio, include 6 teams of HWL 2015, 5 continental champions, and most probably hosts Brazil.

India Humiliated by Belgium in Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Final Match

Indian men’s hockey team was ousted from Hockey World League by the hosting country Belgium in the semi-final match played at Antwerp’s Brasschaat Municipal Park. Belgium humiliated India 4-0. Three goal scored by Belgium’s Florent Van Aubel made the game a no-match. The second goal on behalf of Belgium was scored by Tanguy Cosyns. The hosts played smart and put pressure on India at the very beginning of the game by scoring their first goal at 2nd minute of first quarter of the match. India’s Satbir Singh got a golden opportunity to level the score but a brilliant save by stopper Vincent Vanasch denied the equaliser. It was Tanguy Cosyns who scored the second goal to help Belgium lead by 2-0 at 8th minute of the game. In the 41st and 53rd minute of the game Van Aubel scored the third and fourth goals.  

Olympic-medallist Sushil Kumar opts out of World Championship due to Shoulder Injury

India wrestling fraternity received a huge blow yesterday when two times Olympic medallist and ace Indian wrestler Sushil Kumar opted out of the World Championship, to be played from September 7 to September 12 in Las Vegas, after he sustained shoulder injury. The most noteworthy point here is that the World Championship is going to be the first tournament of qualification for Rio Olympics of 2016. While talking to the media Sushil said that he sustained the injury during his practice session and he has been advised by the doctors of taking rest. He added that he is not aware of the time it will take to heal the injury completely but said that he is taking good care of it. Reports say that after the World Championship, there will be 6 more qualification tournaments to the Rio Olympics and they will start from March 2016.  

IIT-JEE topper Kruti Tiwari appointed as "Digital India" Brand Ambassador by PM Modi

An IIT-JEE topper Kruti Tiwari has been selected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a brand ambassador of the ambitious “Digital India” project. Kruti will be part of the campaign for the coming one year period and is expected to be traveling extensively across India to spread message of the programme for popularizing it, make people know about it, and its advantages. IIT-JEE topper, when contacted by media, said that she is very happy to become the brand ambassador of the grand project and that’s too handpicked by the government. She also said PM Modi wants her to spread words about some of the core initiatives of Digital India such as e-locker and e-scholarship that are extremely important for students. While launching Digital India, PM Modi unveiled its policy document, Digital India book, and many products such as National Scholarship Portal, Digital locker, and Bharat Net.

BJP Lawmaker 'Dreamgirl' Hema Malini Discharged from Hospital, Criticised for not Reaching out to Accident Victims

BJP lawmaker and yesteryear actor, 66-year old ‘Dreamgirl’ Hema Malini, whose chauffeur-driven Mercedes rammed on a Maruti Suzuki Alto killing a 4-year old girl child, has been discharged from hospital after undergoing a surgery of wounds and treatment for minor nose fracture. Fortis Hospital’s spokesperson said that the actress was discharged at 9.30am IST today on the request of her family. Prima facie police report says that Hema’s car was over-speeding at the time of accident on Jaipur-Agra national highway near Dausa. Mahesh Chand Thakur, driving Hema Malini’s car, was arrested by Rajasthan police and was kept at Dausa’s Kotwali Thana. FIR was filed and produced before Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Pallavi Sharma before being released on bail.

PM Modi to start his Tour of Central Asian Countries Next Week

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go on a 5-nation visit in Central Asia next week. The countries he is scheduled to visit are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. The tour will concentrate on securing counter terrorism cooperation and strengthen relation between the countries, on the other. PM Modi also seeks to revive the close relation India has with Central Asia since 3rd millennium B.C. Archaeological evidences point out that trade contacts were there between people of Indus civilization and those living in Central Asia during Bronze Age. Author Amiya Chandra says that the three major objectives of India to establish relation with Central Asian countries are to ensure energy security, prevent terrorism, and maintain stability and peace. NSA Ajit Doval already visited Iran in February 2015 and held talks. Asif Ibrahim, ex-IB Director, was sent as special envoy to the Central Asian countries recently.