India sanctions $100 million for Kenya
India > India - Kenya > Jan 12
India announced $ 100 million Line of Credit for Kenya’s agricultural mechanisation. The announcement followed talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta during which they agreed to deepen economic cooperation and expand trade.
File account details online or face action, MHA tells NGOs
India > NGOs > Jan 12
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed all NGOs receiving foreign funds to compulsorily file their account details online, failing which they will face penal action. The move is aimed at checking misuse of foreign funds by voluntary organisations.
Second Scorpene class submarine INS Khanderi launched in Mumbai
India > INS Khanderi > Jan 12
INS Khanderi, second of the Scorpene class submarine, was launched in Mumbai. The submarine, which was launched at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), will undergo trials before being inducted in the Indian Navy. Union Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Subhash Bhamre was present at the function along with his wife, Bina Bhamre, who launched the submarine. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba was also present on the occasion.
Donald Trump's nominee for attorney general, Jeff Sessions, promises curbs on H-1B visas
World > H-1B Visa > Jan 12
US President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for the post of attorney general has assured lawmakers of taking steps towards pushing legislative measures to curb misuse of H-1B and L1 work visas significantly used by Indian IT professionals.
Supreme Court rejects plea for probe into Sahara, Birla ‘bribe’ charges
India > Sahara-Birla > Jan 12
The Supreme Court rejected on Wednesday the demand for a probe into bribes allegedly paid to politicians mentioned in the so-called Birla-Sahara diaries, saying it would be dangerous for democracy to order a probe on the basis of loose sheets inadmissible as evidence.
Supreme Court rejects plea to make it mandatory for parties to declare source of funds
India > SC > Jan 12
Political parties will continue to enjoy income tax exemption for the funds they collect as the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that there is no illegality in the exception made to keep parties out of the tax net. The decision puts to rest the debate over whether the exemption was an unfair privilege granted to political parties. The apex court said the matter was one of executive determination and parties needed money to propagate their beliefs.
Amazon removes Indian flag doormat link after visa threat
Corporate > Amazon > Jan 12
Amazon.com removed doormats resembling the Indian tri-colour flag from its Canadian website on Wednesday, after an Indian government threat to rescind visas of the U.S. company’s employees if they did not stop selling the product. “Amazon must tender unconditional apology,” India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter. “They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately.”
US charges Ban Ki-moon's relatives in bribery case
World > UN Chief > Jan 11
A US bribery case against two relatives has cast a pall over former United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon's planned return this week to South Korea, where he is expected to launch a bid to run for president. Ban, 72, has not declared his candidacy but has had a team of people laying groundwork in Seoul ahead of his planned arrival in South Korea on Thursday afternoon.
Donald Trump warned Russian hackers claim to have compromising information on him
World > Russian Hackers > Jan 11
Classified documents that the heads of four US intelligence agencies presented last week to President-elect Donald Trump included claims that Russian intelligence operatives have compromising information about him, two US officials said Tuesday evening. They told Reuters the claims, which one called "still unsubstantiated," were contained in a two-page memo appended to a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election that US intelligence officials presented to Trump and President Barack Obama last week.
At Russia hearing, FBI mum about possible Donald Trump probe
World > Russia - US > Jan 11
FBI Director James Comey refused to say whether his bureau was investigating any possible ties between Russia and the Donald Trump's presidential campaign, citing policy not to comment on what the FBI might or might not be doing.
China likely to pressure Vietnam leader to stop missile deal with India
World > China - Vietnam > Jan 11
Vietnam leader Nguyen Phu Trong, who arrives in Beijing on Thursday, will be under pressure to call off reported negotiations with India for purchase of a missile system, sources said. The Indian media has reported that Hanoi is in discussion with Indian authorities to purchase the Akash surface-to-air missile system from New Delhi.
Govt advised RBI on note ban 1 day before Modi's announcement: Report
India > Note Ban > Jan 10
On November 7, 2015, a day ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation announcement, it was the central government which "advised" the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to withdraw the legal tender status of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and not the other way round, reported the Indian Express on Tuesday while citing a seven-page note submitted by the RBI to the Parliament’s Department Related Committee of Finance.
IOA annuls appointment of Abhay Singh Chautala, Suresh Kalmadi as life presidents
India > IOA > Jan 10
Facing a severe backlash for appointing scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as life presidents, the Indian Olympic Association has been forced to revoke its controversial decision. A top IOA official confirmed that the appointments of Kalmadi and Chautala has been declared “null and void” in order to get the recognition of the Sports Ministry and also to avoid any possible action from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Supreme Court turns down plea to revisit Jallikattu ban before Pongal
India > Jallikattu ban > Jan 10
The Supreme Court turned down a plea seeking its intervention in passing a judgment on Jallikattu before Saturday, news agency ANI reported. Jallikattu is a bull-taming sport practiced during the Tamil festival of Pongal. The apex court said while the draft of the judgment has been prepared, it is not possible to deliver a verdict before Saturday when Pongal is set to be celebrated in Tamil Nadu. The apex court, which had first banned the sport in 2014 citing animal cruelty, had upheld the order last year when it dismissed the state government’s review petition.
India-Myanmar border trade hit by Manipur blockade
India > India-Myanmar > Jan 8
The crisis caused by the economic blockade in Manipur has affected the bilateral trade with the neighbouring Myanmar, and the concerns were echoed at a business meet here on Sunday.
Wrap up Rs 70,000 crore Air India scam probe by June, SC tells CBI
India > Air India > Jan 06
The Supreme Court ordered the CBI on Thursday to complete probe into the alleged Rs 70,000 crore scam in purchase and leasing of aircraft by Air India during UPA-I government in 2005-06. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi informed a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices N V Ramana and D Y Chandrachud that CBI had registered an FIR in 2013 and has already examined 55 witnesses.
IAF to deploy more surface-to-air missiles for high-value targets in Gujarat, Maharashtra
India > IAF > Jan 06
In order to protect “high-value targets” on the coasts of Gujarat and Maharashtra that lies in close proximity to Pakistan, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be increasing the number of surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) in its jurisdiction, said Air Marshal RK Dhir, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of South Western Air Command (SWAC) on Thursday.
SC declines urgent hearing on PIL seeking postponement of Union Budget in view of elections
India > Union Budget > Jan 06
The Supreme Court declined to hear a PIL that urgently sought postponing of the annual budget in Parliament in view of the schedule of Assembly elections in five states. While the Budget is scheduled to be presented in Parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on February 1, the elections in five states begin three days later. On Thursday, opposition parties led by the Congress approached the Election Commission seeking postponing of the budget arguing that the government led by the BJP may announce populist measures in the budget thereby giving it an advantage in the polls. The parties wanted the Budget announcement after March 8, the last day of polling.
Private firms collecting Aadhaar data not a great idea, says SC
India > Private firms > Jan 06
THE SUPREME Court Thursday declined to expedite hearing of Aadhaar cases challenging the constitutional validity of the initiative but observed that data collection by private agencies might not be “a great idea”. Chief Justice of India J S Khehar made the remarks after senior advocate Shyam Divan sought urgent hearing of the plea, citing privacy concerns. Divan urged that there were several issues that required to be heard by the top court on an urgent basis. “It would become a 100 per cent surveillance state,” claimed Divan, adding there were privacy concerns since biometric data was being collected by private agencies.
Om Puri passes away after a massive heart attack
India > Om Puri > Jan 06
Veteran actor Om Puri has passed away after a massive heart attack early on Friday morning. The actor was 66. Om Puri’s friends and colleagues from Bollywood reached his Andheri residence to pay their last respects to the actor. Puri’s body was taken to Cooper hospital for postmortem, following which the funeral will take place.