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Venkaiah calls Chidambaram's Comment on J&K Irresponsible

Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu made scathing attack on senior Congress leader and former home minister P Chidambaram by calling the latter’s statement on Kashmir as “highly shocking, irresponsible and bordering on anti-nationalism”. Chidambaram had earlier said that people of Kashmir are agitated. Naidu discarded Chidambaram’s statement by saying that communal amity is thriving in Kashmir. However, former home minister brushed aside Venkaiah’s attack by saying that no one takes him seriously.  

NIA Finds No Evidence on 2 Uri Attack 'Guides', Files Closure Report

National Investigation Agency (NIA) has found no evidence to corroborate the initial “confessional statement” of Faisal Hussain Awan and Ahsan Khursheed made to the Indian Army after the infamous Uri attack. In this end, NIA has also filed a closure report, which essentially means the two youths have been exonerated of all charges. The 2 youths were initially suspected of helping the terrorists that attacked Indian Army camp in Uri. As per "goodwill" arrangement between India and Pakistan, the duo is likely to be returned to Pakistan as the latter returned Indian Army soldier Chandu Chavan to India last month.

Congress Joins the Race for BMC Mayor Post as BJP-Shiv Sena Jostle

While Shiv Sena and BJP count their numbers and try to gain support of independents, Congress Mumbai chief Sanjay Nirupam bowled a googly by telling media that his party will contest for the coveted BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) mayoral post by garnering support from NCP and other smaller political parties. While Shiv Sena increased their tally to 88 by garnering support of 4 independents, BJP celebrated Vijay Diwas in every district headquarters throughout India to mark victories in Odisha and Maharashtra civic polls. Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis did away with the speculation of roping in Congress. Shiv Sena is expecting support from MNS to stake claim of BMC’s Mayoral post.

Forex Reserve falls to US$362,729 Million

As per Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Weekly Statistical Supplement, total Foreign Exchange Reserve of India has decreased to US$362,729.0 million (as on 17 February 2017) from US$362,785.8 million (as on 10 February 2017), a fall of $56.8 million. Major reason of this fall is the drop in Foreign Currency Assets (FCAs) by $59.1 million during the same period (from $339,778.9 to $339,719.8). Besides US Dollar, FCAs include major non-US securities, bonds, and global currencies. Reports say, one of the reasons behind falling of reserve’s value is individual movement of these major global currencies again US$. Gold reserve of India remained stagnant at $19,248.4 million. However, India’s reserve position in the IMF increased from $2,315.9 million to $2,317.3 million, an increase of $1.4 million.

Norway's Telenor to Sell its India Telecom Business to Bharti Airtel

Norway's Telenor group is going to exit the telecom market in India and sell its venture to Bharti Airtel.

The customer base of Telenor is 44 million and operates in circles like Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh East and West, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

According to Airtel, it has already put its step forward for a "definitive agreement" in order to acquire the Norwegian company's operations and the regulatory approvals are awaited for a final go-ahead.

Forever 21 scales up India operations, debuts in Tamil Nadu

Scaling up its IndiaIndia operation, American fast fashion retailer Forever 21, managed by Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd, has launched its first store in Chennai. This launch marks brand’s foray in Tamil Nadu, thus strengthening its foothold in the Southern market.

After establishing a strong affinity with fashion conscious Indians in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad, the brand is looking forward address the fashion needs of Chennai with its trendy, runway fashion.

The store spread over 10,000 sq ft of retail space, is located at the Express Avenue Mall. The store will also feature the retailer's other brands, including 21MEN, Love & Beauty cosmetics line and Forever 21's lingerie and shoe line. With this new store, the brand has increased its store count to 14.

 

Xiomi promotes India head Manu Jain as Global VP

Xiaomi's India operations head Manu Kumar Jain has been promoted to the post of Vice President of the company. Jain will replace Hugo Barra, Xiaomi's Global VP, who had announced his decision to leave the company last month.

The news was confirmed in a tweet from the official Twitter handle of Xiaomi India - Mi India.

Along with being the Vice President at the company, Jain will also be Managing Director of Xiaomi India. He had joined Xiaomi back in June 2014.

Hugo Barra, Xiaomi's former Global Vice President, decided to part ways with the smartphone-maker last month only to return to Silicon Valley. Barra was with the company from last three and a half year and will now join Facebook to lead the Oculus team's VR efforts within the social network.

Prior to joining the smartphone maker, Barra was the Vice President of Product Development for Android at Google.

Barra has been the face of the company at various events, and his exit was seen as a major blow to the company's strategies for international markets like India.

Jain's promotion has strengthen the fact that India will continue to be an important market for Xiaomi and that Jain will have a key role in maintaining Xiaomi's momentum in the country. Currently India is Xiaomi's biggest market outside of China with over $1 billion in sales last year.

BHIM App: Registration Crosses 140 Lakh

Reports say that more than 140 lakh registration have been done for the recently launched Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app. According to IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, two new schemes -Referral Bonus Scheme for individuals and a Cashback Scheme for merchants, will be launched. These will help in promoting the usage of this app.

Aadhaar Enabled Payment System's merchant version, Aadhaar Pay is also going to be launched, which will be helpful for those without debit cards, mobile wallets and mobile phones.

Xiaomi plans to launch products in three new categories in India

Chinese handset maker Xiaomi is looking to launch products in three to four new categories in India this year, Xiaomi India head Manu Jain told to media. The brand has crossed the $ 1 billion revenue mark in India in 2016

However, the company is yet to confirm on the new product categories to be rolled out. The brand entered India in 2014 and along with smartphones, the China based player sells air purifiers, wearables, bluetooth speakers and power banks in India.

Apart from phone and routers, all other products of Xiaomi are developed by its ecosystem companies in which Xiaomi holds majority stake. The company has 77 such ecosystem companies, and 20 of them have launched products till now.

Divulging the details Jain said that the new product categories will be customised for the Indian market. Jain was in Hyderabad to unveil the company's latest smartphone, Redmi Note 4.

Apart from Redmi Note 4, Xiaomi also displayed an installation of Mi Home sufficed with Mi Air Purifier 2, Mi Bluetooth Speaker, Mi Powerbanks, Mi Robot, Mi Notebook Air apart.

Commenting on expectation from sales of Redmi Note 4, Jain said that the count is expected to be double the sale figure of Redmi Note 3. Noticeably, Xiomi had sold 3.6 million Redmi Note 3 handsets in 2016.

Saina Nehwal's triumph at Malaysia Masters Final

Days after recovering from knee injury during Rio Olympics, Saina Nehwal is back with a bang as this Indian badminton ace thrashes Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand by 22-20, 22-20, thereby claiming the Malaysia Masters Grand title.

Quashing the air about her ability to win titles, the world No 10 Nehwal clinched her first Masters within five months since knee injury. Nehwal had to undergo surgery after an early exit from the Rio Olympics where her fellow citizen PV Sindhu created history by claiming the first silver medal for Indian badminton.

Silencing the critiques, Saina returned to action within a quarter of the surgery setback. Once the absolute queen of Indian badminton, she faced early exists and missed he qualification mark for Dubai World Superseries Finals. Also, she lost to Sindhu in the Premier Badminton League. However, Malaysia Masters Grand title has been her winning start to 2017.

The hyderabadi had to battle to claim the first game. With her opponent just five points away from winning the first game, Saina let out a series of cross court smashes to come back into the game. After leveling in the game for the first time at 19-19, she went on to nail it. 

ODI Series against England: BCCI Announces India U-19 Team

The team for Under 19 One-day series has been announced by The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The upcoming Under 19 One-day series against England is going to be held in India in the months of January-February at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. It will start from 30 January and end on 8 February.

The team for four-day matches is yet to be announced.

Ranji Trophy: Gujarat lions beat 41-time winner Mumbai at Indore Stadium

In one of the most beautiful and memorable Ranji matches ever, Gujarat has beaten up its opponent and 41-times winner Mumbai at the finals held at Holkar Stadium, Indore. While the credit goes to selfless performance by Parthiv Patel, no one can rule out the contribution of coach Vijay Patel who has lost a Ranji trophy to the same opponent, at the same Stadium 14 winters ago. And now was the time when his boys were taking home that finely crafted piece of silverware.

This was perhaps the most beautiful backdrop of Gujarat’s historic triumph. Gujarat’s Skipper Parthiv Patel scored 143, scoring a century under tremendous pressure and being on the crease for most of the time. Gujarat lions chased the target of 313 at a loss of 5 wickets while beating their rivals, or the arch rivals, by five wickets on Day 5 of the final.

This is the first Ranji Trophy title claimed by Gujarat lions.41 times champions, Mumbai managed 412 in their second innings, credits to half centuries by Abhishek Nayar and skipper Aditya Tare. Post the tea session, Rujul Bhatt and Parthiv Patel started dealing in boundaries when they were just 13 runs short from victory.

It was when Gujarat needed 11 runs to win, Patel was knocked out and Chirag Gandhi took over. What followed was back to back boundaries by Bhatt and Gandhi that made Gujarat lift its maiden Ranji trophy. 

Rwanda's Senate Hardsells "Land of 1,000 Hills" to India for Film Shooting

Rwanda's Senate hard sold its picturesque hilly surroundings to India by hosting a luncheon for Vice President of India Hamid Ansari at Hotel des Mille Collines, the oldest luxury hotel atop Kigali, giving a stunning hilly view. “Remarkable Rwanda” is now alluring “Incredible India” and urging the Indian film (Bollywood) fraternity to shoot films in its salubrious surroundings. Hamid Ansari’s visit is the first high-level visit to this East African country. Ansari was accompanied by Secretary, Economic Relations in the MEA, Amar Sinha. 

Priyanka Chopra will Attend Oscars 2017

Acclaimed Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra has announced that she'll attend 89th Academy Awards (to be held at Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles), present an award, and walk the red carpet. Priyanka made the announcement by posting an Instagram picture with legendary British singer Mick Jagger. Initially, another Bollywood diva Deepika Padukon was also expected to attend Oscars 2017 but will miss this time. Oscars ceremony will be aired in India on 27 February 2017 from 7 am.  Last year, Priyanka Chopra was one of the presenters at the 88th Academy Awards and presented the award for best film editing.

BMC Election 2017: B-Town Celebrities Cast their Votes

As per reports, actresses Anushka Sharma and Rekha were seen casting their votes for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections on Tuesday. Anushka Sharma even shared her picture on Instagram showing her inked finger. Other Bollywood celebrities are also expected to cast their votes as a duty towards the country & its progress.

India's Envoy to US Meets President Donald Trump

Navtej Sarma, India’s envoy to the US, has met the newly elected US President Donald Trump at White House’s Oval Office for the first time after Trump was sworn in as the President of USA on January 20. President Trump met all new foreign ambassadors and had individual photographs with everyone. Navtej Sarna, a 1980 batch Indian Foreign Service officer, arrived at the United States just a few days before the 2016 Presidential elections, held on 8 November 2016.

Indian Man Dies in Kansas Bar Shooting

Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, who is originally from Hyderabad, was killed after Adam Purinton, opened fire on him and his friend Alok Madasani at bar in Kansas. However, reports say that the latter is in a stable condition now, though suffered injuries. This was reportedly a racial attack as the shooter yelled at the men to leave his country.

Reports also say that Purinton thought that the duo were from Middle East.

J & K: Terrorists Attack Patrolling Party, Kill 3 Jawans and 1 Civilian

Terrorists on Thursday attacked a patrolling party in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir in which three army jawans and a civilian were killed. The civilian killed was a woman. Reports say that the militants managed to escape even after Indian army retaliated to the firing.