Mumbai: Urjit Patel has assumed charge as the 24th governor of Reserve Bank, succeeding Raghuram Rajan whose three-year controversy-ridden tenure ended on Sunday. Patel has assumed charge effective September 4, 2016, after serving as deputy governor since January 2013, RBI said in a statement on Monday. He was reappointed as deputy governor on January 11, 2016, after the completion of his first three-year term in office. Among his assignments as deputy governor, Patel chaired the Expert Committee to Revise and Strengthen the Monetary Policy Framework. "Representing India, he actively participated in steering the signing into force of the inter-governmental treaty and the Inter-Central Bank Agreement (ICBA) among the BRICS nations, which led to the establishment of the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), a swap line framework among the central banks of these countries," RBI said. He has also served at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Patel was on deputation from the IMF to RBI during 1996-1997, and in that capacity he provided advice on development of the debt market, banking reforms, pension reforms, and evolution of the foreign exchange market. He was a Consultant to the Ministry of Finance from 1998 to 2001. He also had other assignments in public and private sectors, including with Reliance Industries, IDFC Ltd, MCX Ltd and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation. Dr Patel, as he is commonly referred to as, has worked closely with several central and state government high level committees. These include the Task Force on Direct Taxes, the High Level Expert Group for Reviewing the Civil & Defence Services Pension System, the Prime Minister's Task Force on Infrastructure, the Group of Ministers on Telecom Matters, the Committee on Civil Aviation Reforms and the Ministry of Power's Expert Group on State Electricity Boards. He has several publications in areas of Indian macroeconomics, monetary policy, public finance, financial sector, international trade, and regulatory economics, the RBI said. Patel has a PhD in economics from Yale University, an M Phil from University of Oxford and a BSc from the University of London.
New Delhi: Mother Teresa will be declared a saint by Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church in a canonisation ceremony in Vatican City on Sunday. From India, a 12-member central delegation led by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and two state government-level delegations from Delhi and West Bengal, led by Chief Ministers Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee, respectively, will be in attendance during the function. A group of around 40-50 nuns from different parts of the country will be present at the ceremony led by Missionaries of Charity Superior General Sister Mary Prema. Besides Archbishop of Kolkata Thomas D’Souza, about 45 bishops from all over India are now in Vatican. Earlier in March, Pope Francis had announced that Mother Teresa would be made a saint in a canonisation ceremony on September 4 on the eve of her 19th death anniversary. Teresa worked with the poor in Kolkata for nearly four decades, having initially come to eastern India as a missionary teacher with Ireland’s Loreto order. Born to Kosovar Albanian parents in what is now Macedonia in 1910, Teresa died in 1997. By then she was a household name around the world and also a citizen of India.
Hanoi: India and Vietnam on Saturday signed 12 agreements in a wide range of areas covering defence, IT, space, double taxation and sharing white shipping information, signalling a strong upward push in their strategic ties. The agreements were signed by officials of the two sides in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc here. "12 for togetherness! India& Vietnam sign a dozen agreements for further strengthening the Strategic Partnership," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted. Vietnam has shown a keen interest in air and defense production. India's L&T will build offshore high speed patrol boats for Vietnamese Coast Guards, while an agreement was signed on program of cooperation in UN peacekeeping matters. Indian Navy and Vietnam Navy will cooperate in sharing of white shipping information. The pacts included agreement on exploration and uses of outerspace for peaceful purposes, agreement on avoidance of double taxation, health cooperation, IT cooperation, cyber security and agreement on contract and design, building of boat in India, equipment supply and technology transfer. In addition, MoU between Vietnamese Academy of Social Science and Indian Council of World Affairs, MoU between BIS and STAMEQ for mutual recognition of standards, agreement on setting up of sustainable IT Infra for advanced IT training and protocol between Vietnam and India on celebrating 2017 as 'The Year Of Friendship' were also signed.
Mumbai: Reliance Jio's services will be available for everyone starting from September 5, Reliance Industries' chairman Mukesh Ambani said in the company's annual shareholder meeting on Thursday. Reliance Jio has been rolling out its services in a phased manner starting November last year, when it first made its serivces available for all the Reliance employees. It was later opened up to the family and friends of the employees, and then to other select customers. Ambani said, "starting coming Monday, September 5, data, voice, video, Jio apps, will be available for everyone." Ambani also announced a free welcome offer for its new customers, which will let them "try the Jio digital life absolutely free till December 31, 2016." "With our welcome offer, every Indian will get to enjoy the Jio life," he said. "Indians are used to Gandhigiri, they can now do datagiri, which is an opportunity to do unlimited good things for unlimited data," Ambani said. "The unlimited welcome offer will let customers get comfortable with Jio's services, experiment, personalise Jio offerings, that best fits their usage and get us valuable feedback from customers and to iron out defects that we jointly discover," Ambani said.
Bengaluru: As the industry is heading in the right direction and the top five global IT services firms being Indian, the country is the best market for e-commerce growth, Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan said on Sunday. “With GDP hitting 7.5 per cent and possibly 10 per cent in sometime, India is the best market for e-commerce growth. The increased mobile penetration will also help the industry grow,” said Mr Gopalakrishnan at an event here. The five Indian IT services firms are Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, Wipro, HCL Technologies and Tech Mahindra. Also noting that India was a high growth market for e-commerce business, thanks to its 1.2 billion people as consumers, the software major’s former chief executive said with increasing per capita income ($2,000), their aspirations too increased. “As the economy will double in the next 10 years, the e-commerce industry will also grow,” he observed at a panel discussion on “Are Indian e-commerce firms heading in the right direction”, organised by Hurun Report India. Hurun Report, a monthly magazine, published by Luxembourg-born Rupert Hoogewerf, whose Chinese name is Hu Run, and has been ranking the wealthiest in China since 1999 under its ‘China Rich List’. Mr Hurun also presented Gopalakrishnan the ‘Most Respected Entrepreneurs 2016′ award for his contribution to Indian philanthropy as a pioneer of technology, SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and start-ups at its fifth edition of the meet here. The ‘Most Respected Entrepreneurs’ is the highest honour awarded annually by Hurun Report, which estimates the influence of Indian entrepreneurs in past year. Chinese entrepreneur Alex Tang, who featured in Hurun’s China Rich List, said he would soon set foot into the Indian market although he focused only on the China market in the past. “Indian cities have an international appeal and India is regarded as one of the biggest potential markets. We will soon have a space business here,” he declared. About 200 entrepreneurs, chief executives and business leaders participated in the event, which provided a platform to develop, build and strengthen key B2B and B2C relationships, source new ideas and gather latest business data.
Mumbai: In a significant judgment, the Bombay High Court on Friday lifted the ban imposed on women from entering the sanctum sanctorum of Haji Ali dargah here, saying it contravenes the fundamental rights of a person. The court has, however, stayed its order for six weeks following a plea by Haji Ali dargah trust, which wants to challenge it in the Supreme Court. “The ban imposed on women from entering the Haji Ali dargah is contrary to Articles 14, 15, 19 and 25 of the Constitution of India. Women should be permitted to enter the dargah on par with men,” a Division Bench of Justices VM Kanade and Revati Mohite Dere said. Under the said Articles, a person is guaranteed equality before law and has the fundamental right to practice any religion he or she wants. They prohibit discrimination on grounds of religion, gender and so on, and provide freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion. The Bench allowed a PIL filed by two women, Zakia Soman and Noorjehan Niaz, challenging the ban on women’s entry in the sanctum sanctorum of the dargah. “The State Government and the Haji Ali Dargah Trust will have to take proper steps to ensure safety and security of women entering the dargah,” the court said. The High Court had in June this year reserved its verdict on the petition. The PIL states that gender justice is inherent in Quran and the decision contravenes the Hadith, which proves that there is no prohibition on women visiting graves. The Maharashtra Government had earlier told the court that women should be barred from entering the inner sanctorum of Haji Ali dargah only if it is so enshrined in the Quran. The ban on women’s entry cannot be justified if it is on the basis of an expert’s interpretation of the Quran, the then Maharashtra Advocate General Shrihari Aney had argued. The dargah trust had defended its stand saying that it is referred in Quran that allowing women close proximity to the dargah of a male saint is a grievous sin. Advocate Shoaib Memon, appearing for the trust had earlier said, “Women are not allowed inside mosques in Saudi Arabia. They are given a separate place to pray. We (trust) have not barred women. It is simply regulated for their safety. The trust not only administers the dargah but also manages the affairs of religion.”
Bengaluru: With an aim of promising speedier deliveries and better customer experience, India’s largest e-commerce marketplace Flipkart has launched ‘Assured’, its very own customer loyalty service. The new service is part of a strategy to take on the other industry major Amazon’s ‘Prime’. While the service will be available to all customers for no added cost, it lacks essential features that will lock customers onto the Flipkart platform. Unlike Prime, Flipkart’s offering isn’t a subscription-based service. It’s just a way for the company to mark quality listing on its platform. “Flipkart Assured is more than a badge or a sticker. A unique quality assurance from Flipkart, it is strengthened by a comprehensive suite of well-honed capabilities across the business value chain,” said Flipkart in a blog post. The company says all Flipkart Assured listings will be shipped within two-four days for products costing above Rs 500. Amazon Prime, on the other hand, offers free shipping for all Prime products to members within a timeline of one-two days. Prime subscribers will also have access to original video streaming content for a fee of Rs 999 per year. Back in 2014, Flipkart had unveiled a Prime competitor called Flipkart First, where the company charged a subscription of Rs 500 per year to assure users of faster deliveries. A year later, however, the service went under the radar with few takers. While it’s too early to comment on the success of Prime in India, the model has worked the world over for Amazon. In the US, it is estimated that half of all households have at least one member with a Prime membership. Moreover, Prime subscribers on average spend nearly double ($1200) that of non-subscribers ($600). “Flipkart Assured is not an exclusive service but an inclusive one, which means that anyone and everyone who shops on Flipkart can avail of the Flipkart Assured guarantee. No subscriptions, no exclusive club memberships,” said the company. Flipkart Assured will allow the company to direct users towards more reliable sellers as it looks to boost its customer satisfaction score and try to compete with Amazon over service quality. Also, with over 90,000 sellers on its platform, Assured will also allow Flipkart to direct more sales to a fewer number of sellers as it looks to build a similar seller model to Alibaba.
Mumbai: Cricket icon and Rajya Sabha MP Sachin Tendulkar has selected Donja village in Osmanabad district in Maharashtra for development under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna. "We are happy that Tendulkar has picked Donja. We are sure this will inspire other villages in the region to emulate this model of development," Osmanabad Zilla Parishad CEO Anand Rayate said. Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, launched in October 2014, is a rural development program focusing on development of villages which include social and cultural development, and spread motivation among the people on social mobilisation of the village community. Osmanabad has been reeling under a serve drought over the last few years and has also recorded a steep rise in incidents of farmers suicide. Donja is a village in Paranda of Osmanabad. As per 2011 census 582 families are residing there. It has a population of 2,863 of which 1,508 are males while 1,355 are females. In the village, population in the age group of 0-6 years is 319 which makes up 11.14 per cent of the total population. The average sex ratio of the village is 899, which is lower than Maharashtra's average of 929, while the Child Sex Ratio as per 2011 census is 910, higher than the state average of 894. The literacy rate of Donja in 2011 was 72.17 per cent, lower than 82.34 per cent of Maharashtra. Male literacy rate stands at 78.75 per cent, while female literacy rate was 64.84 per cent.
New Delhi: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and held talks with his counterpart Sushma Swaraj during which India's bid for membership of the NSG is understood to have figured among other regional and bilateral issues. Wang and Swaraj also discussed issues relating to annual BRICS summit which will be hosted by India in Goa in October. Wang had arrived in Goa yesterday on a three-day visit to India. He had met Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and discussed about preparations for the BRICS summit. The Chinese Foreign Minister arrived here last night. He called on Modi first and then held talks with Swaraj. China had stalled India's bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at the plenary meeting of the 48-nation grouping in June on the ground that it was not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Mumbai: The Modi government has decided to electrify the remaining 18452 un-electrified villages within 1,000 days, by May 1, 2018, as electrifying villages and providing power to all is one of the main focus areas of the government. The announcement regarding the prospective decision came in the run up to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day address to the country. According to a notification from the government, so far it has provided electricity to 9,653 villages, with 8,799 villages to go to meet the target. Just last week -- August 1 to 7, 2016) electricity was provided to 327 villages under the Deen Dayal Upadhayaya Gram Jyoti Yojna (DDUGJY). "Out of these electrified villages, seven villages belong to Arunachal Pradesh, 12 to Assam, 10 to Bihar, four to Chattisgarh, 68 to Jharkhand, four to Madhya Pradesh, 11 to Manipur, 136 to Meghalaya, eight to Nagaland, 24 to Odisha, six to Rajasthan, two to Tripura, 31 to Uttar Pradesh and one each to Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka and Mizoram," the government said. From April 2015 to August 15, 2015, 1,645 villages were electrified. After that the project was put into "mission mode" and in the one year since, 7,999 villages were given electricity, it said. In order to expedite the progress further, a close monitoring is being done through Gram Vidyut Abhiyanta (GVA) and various actions are also being taken on regular basis like reviewing the progress on monthly basis during the RPM meeting, sharing of list of villages which are at the stage of under energization with the state DISCOM, identifying the villages where milestone progress are delayed, the notification said.