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Afghan President starts his India Tour by holding Discussion with PM Modi

After having a detailed discussion with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who is currently touring India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said in a joint press conference that India will support Afghanistan in all possible ways for the latter’s vision of achieving peace and stability. He also said that both the countries have shared interest in following Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process and that too within the framework of Afghanistan’s Constitution. Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister, met Afghan President as both the countries prepare to hold delegation level talks. Ashraf Ghani will also meet President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan later today.

TMC sweeps West Bengal Civic Polls

Trinamool Congress has swept the West Bengal civic polls. Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, told media that the result, announced today, is an answer to the slanderous campaign of the opposition parties. In Kolkata Municipal Corporation, TMC won 99 out of the 144 wards, followed by Left Front winning in 14 wards, BJP in 9, and INC in 7. While TMC won Chandannagar Corporation, Left Front halted the victory march of the ruling party in Siliguri corporation. Mamata slammed the general strike (called by Left Front, BJP, and Trade Unions such as CITU supported by INTUC on alleged poll rigging) call and threatened to take steps against those who want to ‘hinder progress of West Bengal’.   

Arun Jaitley informs about Setting Up High Level Committee to Sort Out Pending Tax Matters

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in an effort to make tax system in India transparent and predictable, has informed media about setting up a high-level committee to sort out taxation issues. The concerned committee will be empowered to explore the ways of resolving past tax issues. They will also have to prepare a report expeditiously. Jaitley also explained that the MAT notices sent by the revenue department to 68 FIIs were done on the rulings of Authority for Advance Rulings, a quasi judicial body. He also said that these rulings can’t override international treaties, thereby giving tacit support to the demand of FIIs.

Three-day Downward run at Indian Bourses Stops

Indian bourses ended a three-day long losing streak today as both BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty ended comfortably in green. The three sectors that gave impetus to the bourses to move up are power, automobile, and banking stocks. Giving comfort to lots of investors Nifty today closed above the crucial psychological support/resistance at 200 DMA of 8,257.44. With significant gains made by State Bank of India, Bharti Airtel, BPCL, Maruti Suzuki, and ICICI Bank, Nifty today closed at 8285.60, 71.80 points above previous close. BSE Sensex also made significant gains today as it closed at 27396.38, 219.39 points above previous close.

USL starts Process to Remove Vijay Mallya from Chairman's Position

Board of United Spirits Ltd. has initiated the process of removing its non-executive chairman Vijay Mallya on the allegations of financial irregularities. In a letter to the stock exchanges, Anand Kripalu, who was named CEO of the company by Diageo, said that if Vijay Mallya refuses to resign, the shareholders will be recommended by the board to vote him out. Diageo recently told media that Mallya didn’t reveal USL loans to UB earlier and they came to know about them while finalising 2014 FY USL accounts. Even as Diageo says that contract with Mallya becomes void in case of defaults, Vijay Mallya said that the UK based company has to support his chairmanship because of the contractual obligations.

GST Bill to be Taken Up in Lok Sabha on Thursday

Constitution Amendment Bill for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is likely to be taken up by the Union Government in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. This means that the House will debate and vote on the bill on Thursday.  The preliminary list for the businesses to be taken up today in the lower house of parliament, put up on Lok Sabha website, doesn’t mention anything about the GST bill. The concerned bill was supposed to be taken up and passed in Lok Sabha yesterday. Instead the House concentrated on the demand for grants. Government is finding it tough to garner support from the opposition parties on the concerned bill and is currently in talks with BJD, TMC, and AIADMK to get it passed in the Rajya Sabha.

Ratan Tata makes an Investment in Chinese Tech Behemoth Xiaomi Technology

A statement issued by Chinese Technology giant, Xiaomi Technology, said that Chairman Emeritus of Tata conglomerate, Ratan Tata, has acquired a personal stake in Xiaomi. This move is expected to increase the Chinese behemoth’s clout in the expanding Indian smartphone market. The statement, however, does not reveal the extent of investment done. Founder and CEO of Xiaomi, Lei Jun, told media that a personal investment by a respected businessperson in India such as Ratan Tata will bolster Xiaomi’s presence in India and also give impetus to the strategy adopted by the company. He went on to say that the company plans to unveil more products in India.

Government Asks People to Ignore Text Predicting Earthquake in North India

With the rising fear of earthquake in north India and circulation of text messages predicting the same, Government of India was forced to come up with a clarification. GOI said that the earthquake prediction text is a fake one and NASA has not forecast anything regarding the matter on India. A seismologist and top official at India Meteorological Department made it clear that there is no country in the world that can predict earthquakes, not even NASA. He also said that research is currently going on in China but it has not produced any substantial result as yet. Indian government made it clear that “there is no substance in such messages”.

Google's Person Finder Tool for Nepal Earthquake

A Person Finder Web-based tool of Google has been officially opened in response to 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal. The simple tool can give information about a person if it exists in the database. The tool is also accessible via mobile devices. On said profile you can find a person by name, sex, age, home address, or any other related description. On the flip side you can enter information about a person if you have.

IOC President says India is not Bidding for 2024 Olympic Games

Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), told media that India is not bidding to host the 2024 Olympic Games as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not propose it. During the meeting between Modi and Bach, PM stressed on the fact that India has maximum potential for growth of sports and expressed his intention of putting the country on sports map of the world. PM has requested IOC President of supporting India’s quest for becoming a hub of sports equipment manufacturing, sports technology, and sports infrastructure. During the discussion both agreed that sports is a great media for unifying societies and humanity.

N Srinivasan Allegedly Spent Rs. 14 Crore BCCI Money to Spy on Other Members, says report

A newly published report says that N Srinivasan, ex-BCCI President, spent Rs 14 crore of board’s money to spy on other BCCI members with the help of a London based private investigating agency. The report alleges that the concerned spy agency not only tapped phones and heard telephonic conversations of the BCCI officials but also tracked their private emails. It is learnt that a new probe panel, headed by its Secretary Anurag Thakur, will investigate the matter. During a recent BCCI meeting, Jyotiraditya Scindia (who was a special invitee in the meeting) questioned the glaringly depreciated value of Chennai Super Kings, valued at Rs. 5 lakhs, when it pays BCCI Rs. 40 lakhs yearly.

Dhoni works on his instincts while playing - Ashwin

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said that skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni goes blank and without preconceived notions to the field and works on solely his instincts. By winning a match against Kings XI Punjab on Saturday night, CSK is now at the top of the Indian Premier League (IPL) points table. Spinners Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja played exceptionally well and helped team to win match.

Furore over Delhi Law Minister's Alleged 'Fake' law Degree

Opposition parties in Delhi today attacked Aam Aadmi Party government by alleging that Delhi Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar faked his law degree. The furore started after a Bihar based university claimed yesterday that there is no record of Tomar completing his law degree from the concerned university. While Congress asked Delhi CM to sack Tomar, Arvind Kejriwal asked his law minister to explain the serious allegations on him. Jitender Singh Tomar told media that he has every document to support his law degree and all the allegations against him are "false and bogus".

Union Government Cancels Registrations of 8,975 NGOs for not Complying with Rules of the Land

The Union Government has come down heavily on around 9,000 NGOs for failing to comply with the rules of the land while accepting foreign funds. Registrations of 8,975 NGOs have been cancelled till now. A letter from Home Affairs ministry says that 10,343 NGOs didn’t submit annual returns since 2009-12. Even after sending notice and asking them to file returns by October 2014, most NGOs didn’t respond (except 229 NGOs). The decision comes just days after Narendra Modi government put under watch funds sent by Ford Foundation’s US wing to Indian NGOs. Home Ministry started keeping tab on the NGOs after an IB report claimed that foreign-funded NGOs are stalling India’s economic growth.

IB Issues Terror Attack Warning on Possible Aerial Strike in New Delhi with Unmanned Drones

Intelligence Bureau has issued a warning that terror groups – Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba – are planning to carry out aerial strikes in New Delhi with the help of unmanned drones. Delhi Police has asked all DCPs to track activities of the drone sellers and renters. District officials have been directed to prevent film units and private parties to fly unmanned aircrafts without proper verification and permission. Threat perception has been issued after an unmanned drone, carrying radioactive caesium contaminated sand, landed on Japanese PM’s office few days back.