The Rajkummar Rao-starrer is about free and
fair elections in conflict-ridden jungles of Chhattisgarh
Newton will be India’s official entry to the Best
Foreign Film category at the Oscars next year, according to a Film Federation of
The Amit Masurkar directed movie, starring
Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Raghubir Yadav and Anjali Patil, tells the story
of polling officer Newton Kumar, who is bent on conducting free and fair
elections in the conflict-ridden jungles of Chhattisgarh.
ManishMundra, founder of Drishyam Films and
producer of Newton , said, “This is the most incredible news of our lives – all
of our hard work and faith is finally paying off.”
The Oscars will be held on March 4, 2018, in Los
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister PemaKhandu and
a junior Minister in the BJP-led Assam government, Naba Kumar Doley, figure
among the 1.06 lakh disqualified directors associated with ‘shell companies’
that have been “named and shamed” by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MoCA).
Mr. Khandu’s name appears as one of the three
directors of Rigsel Hotels and Resorts, whose registered address with the
Registrar of Companies (Shillong) is the same as the one mentioned in his
The company was registered on February 3, 2011,
when the Arunachal Pradesh government was headed by his late father,
DorjeeKhandu, and Mr. PemaKhandu was not active in politics.
A background search on the business activity of
Rigsel Hotels showed that the company was started with a paid-up capital of Rs.
1.2 lakh but no details of its business activity are available in the public
Mr. Doley, who is a Minister of State for Sports
and Youth Affairs in the Assam government, has also been disqualified as a
director of Abutani Wheels India, a company that is into real estate and renting
He claimed he had been disqualified as a member
from one of his companies since he had not filed annual returns as required by
the Companies Act, 2013.
In May 2016 when Mr. Doley was sworn in as a
Minister, his declared assets were to the tune of Rs. 7 crore.
The disqualification of directors and the crackdown
on alleged shell companies, the MoCA claimed, is part of the government’s fight
against black money.
Former Kerala Chief Minister OommenChandy, Leader
of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala and V.K. Sasikala,
who is in jail, were among the prominent names in the MoCA list of disqualified
directors released on Monday.
On September 12, when the crackdown started, the
Union Minister of State for Corporate Affairs, P.P. Chaudhary had said, “The
disqualification under Section 164 of the Act is by operation of law.”
A 10-year-old rape survivor from Chandigarh who
recently gave birth, has not received the Rs. 9 lakh due to her from the
Central Victim Compensation Fund under the Nirbhaya scheme.
The money, to be put in a fixed deposit, was meant
to take care of her psychological well-being, medical treatment and education.
It was part of the total Rs. 10 lakh the Supreme Court had awarded her while
denying her an abortion. So far, her family has received only Rs. 1 lakh.
The Supreme Court found that the Chandigarh case
was only the tip of the “utter confusion and unhappy state of affairs” over the
disbursal of compensation to sexual assault victims under the Nirbhaya scheme,
started in 2013 following the brutal gang-rape and death of a 23-year-old
student in Delhi
The Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak
Gupta recorded “there is a lot of confusion” among the three Ministries Finance,
Home Affairs and Women and Child Development over what their responsibilities
are as far as the scheme is concerned.
The Centre has disbursed Rs. 200 crore each to the
States to compensate sexual assault victims under the Nirbhaya fund, senior
advocate Indira Jaising, the court’s amicus curiae, said.
Ms. Jaising said some States have spent the money
on CCTV cameras and other “paraphernalia” rather than using it to pay
compensation to the human victims of sexual assault and abuse.
The court referred to the Home Ministry affidavit,
which showed “anomalies” like the Jharkhand government’s disbursal of Rs. 2.48
crore to women victims of sexual assault, but with the column of the number of
After training Afghan National Army officers
and soldiers for four years, India is now planning to train Afghan police
officers here as well, says Afghanistan’s envoy to India.
The MoU for the proposal, which will be supported
by the United Nations Development Programme, is a first, and was discussed as
part of enhancing the security partnership between India and Afghanistan during
the meeting of the Strategic Partnership Council in Delhi.
we do have similarities in some of the aspects of
the conflict we face, so Indian knowledge and experience is going to be very
useful for us, especially in counter-terror, and counter-narcotic [programmes].
The Ambassador’s comments come ahead of two
separate, high-profile visits to Delhi next week, by U.S. Secretary of Defence
James Mattis, and Afghanistan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, which are
expected to shape the contours of the U.S.’s newly announced Afghanistan policy,
in which U.S. President Donald Trump called for greater Indian involvement in
development projects in Afghanistan.
The External Affairs Ministry did not respond to
requests for a comment on the plan to train police officers, who have borne the
brunt of a spike in attacks by Taliban since 2016, when about 6,300 members of
Afghan security and defence forces were killed.
At present about 200 Afghan soldiers are trained at
a time at the Indian Military Academy, including 130 cadets and 30 to 40
The training of police officers, which India had
first offered to Afghanistan in 2011, will be a significant step in security
ties, which are a small part of the relationship, compared with India’s $3
billion investment in civilian projects since 2002, with 116 new projects
announced this month.
India sent Afghanistan four Russian-made Mi-25
helicopters, but has yet to concede to Afghan requests for more equipment,
transport vehicles, while an agreement for Indian engineers to repair the
helicopters and to refurbish old aircraft that is non-functional, has still not
been finalised a year later.
The Afghan envoy said that while Afghanistan was
“grateful” for India’s help thus far, they understood India’s own capabilities
to give Afghanistan more hardware are “constrained”. “Strategically speaking, we
are now looking at building an Army on this western model,” Mr. Abdali said.
Michael J. Gobartov, Vice Consul, Consulate
General of Russian Federation in Southern India, and Director, Russian
Centre of Science and Culture, informed the Madras High Court (Madurai
Bench) that Russia would render assistance to India in curbing the dangerous
Blue Whale Challenge game, which originated in his country.
The court was hearing a suomotu public interest
litigation (PIL) petition initiated by it following the recent suicide of a
Madurai-based college boy, who had allegedly taken to the Blue Whale Challenge.
In the report submitted to the court, through R.
Rajagobal, advocate and Chairman, Indo-Russian Centre for Rural Development, the
Vice Consul stated that the Government of Russia and the Consulate are willing
to render their assistance to the High Court and the Government of Tamil Nadu,
and are willing to take instructions in putting an end to the game, which had
turned into a wild subculture, according to the Consul.
However, he submitted that the competent government
authority’s decision to block the Russian social media site VKontakte (VK) was
not wise as the Blue Whale Challenge content, which first surfaced on VK, was
now available on other platforms as well.
The Consul stated that all the discovered suicidal
groups of VK had been blocked and the ones that existed were moderated in the
Russian language, including the game tasks. Since the language was Russian, and
with very few Indian users, he said only the [relevant] content should have been
blocked rather than the social media site itself.
The Division Bench of Justices K.K. Sasidharan and
G.R. Swaminathan, which had initiated the suomotu PIL, had directed the Centre
to use the diplomatic relationship it shared with Russia to block the URLs and
links to the game.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has
floated a five-point proposal at the United Nations to find a permanent
solution to the Rohingya crisis.
Emphasising swift action to resolve the crisis in
her speech at the 72nd UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. she called for
immediate steps to end the 'cleansing' of the ethnic Rohingya minority. She was
at the centre-stage at the UNGA this year, with the Rohingya crisis deepening
along Bangladesh’s border with Myanmar, a crossing made by over 430,000 refugees
fleeing violence in Rakhine State in past over three weeks.
Hasina’s five-point proposal says: Myanmar must
stop the violence and the practice of ethnic cleansing in the Rakhine State
unconditionally, immediately and forever; the UN Secretary General should
immediately send a fact-finding mission to Myanmar; all civilians, irrespective
of religion and ethnicity, must be protected in Myanmar; for this, 'safe zones'
could be created inside Myanmar under UN supervision; sustainable return of all
forcibly displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh to their homes in Myanmar must be
ensured; and the recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission Report must be
implemented immediately, unconditionally and entirely.
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya from the Rakhine
State are entering Bangladesh to flee violence. As estimated by IOM
(International Organisation for Migration), in last three weeks, over 430,000
Rohingya entered Bangladesh. They are fleeing 'ethnic cleansing' in their own
country where they have been living for centuries
She proposed that the UN Secretary-General send a
fact-finding mission to Myanmar where 'safe zones' can be built under the UN’s
supervision for the protection of all civilians, irrespective of religion and
Hasina thanked UN Secretary-General Antonio
Guterres and the Security Council for their attempts to stop atrocities, and
bring peace and stability in Rakhine.
India, China and Southeast Asian countries should
help implement Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s five-point Rohingya solution
The ASEAN countries are yet to take a united step
to force Myanmar to take effective measures. China needs to be more vocal in
stopping the tragedy inflicted on the Rohingya.
Bangladesh has been handling the crisis of influx
of refugees from Myanmar single-handedly, said the official, urging more
international support. The role of ASEAN and the Organisation of Islamic
Countries (OIC) will be critical in ensuring support for the Rohingya, said the
Bangladesh has been receiving attention from
international relief agencies, though political support to force Myanmar to stop
the campaign against the Rohingya has not arrived so far so far. Prime Minister
Hasina did not receive the assurance of support from U.S. President Donald Trump
during her ongoing trip to the U.S. for the UN meet.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard unveiled its latest
ballistic missile capable of reaching much of the Middle East, including
Israel, while the country’s President vowed that Tehran would press ahead
with its missile program in defiance of U.S. demands to the contrary.
The unveiling came during a military parade in
Tehran that commemorated the 1980’s Iraq-Iran war.
The move was a direct challenge to U.S. President
Donald Trump, who in August signed a Bill imposing mandatory penalties on those
involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with
Though Iran has long boasted of having missiles in
the same range in its arsenal, it was the first time that the Khoramshahr, with
a range of 2,000 km was displayed in public. In February, Iran test-fired the
same medium-range type of missile, prompting Mr. Trump to say that the United
States is “putting Iran on notice”.
Mr. Trump has vowed repeatedly to take a tougher
line toward Iran than his predecessor, threatening at various times to
renegotiate or even dismantle the nuclear deal, and shoot Iranian boats out of
the water if they provoke U.S. naval vessels in the Persian Gulf.
Tehran has backed Yemen’s Shia rebels known as
Houthis against a U.S.-supported and Saudi-led coalition of mostly Arab states
that seeks to return the internationally elected government to power.
It has demonstrated a lack of corporate
responsibility, says transport authority
Taxi-hailing app Uber suffered a major blow as
Transport for London (TfL) — the body responsible for issuing licences to cab
companies — said that by the end of this month it would lose its licence to
operate in the city.
Uber London Limited is not fit and proper to hold a
private hire operator license,” said TfL regarding the transport app’s private
hire operator licence that expires on September 30.
It said that when it came to reporting serious
offences, gaining medical certificates for its drivers, and other issues, Uber’s
approach and conduct demonstrated a “lack of corporate responsibility in
relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security
implications”. Around 3.5 million Londoners use the app.
Providing an innovative service must not be at the
expense of customer safety and security…all companies in London must play by the
rules and adhere to the high standards we expect — particularly when it comes to
the safety of customers,” said London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan, who backed the move.
Uber pledged to challenge the decision in the
courts to “defend the livelihoods” of drivers and the “consumer choice of
millions of Londoners…the bank would show the world that, far from being open,
London is closed to innovative companies who bring choice to consumers”.
However, Uber has brought down travel costs, making
travelling in taxis affordable to new sections of society. It has also provided
livelihood to many from migrant communities, who form the bulk of Uber drivers.
The next launch of the PSLV will be in
November-December, ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar said.
He was speaking to the media on the sidelines of
the two-day national seminar on Emerging Trends in Aerospace Technologies, AseT
2017, organised by the Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI) and the Vikram
Sarabhai Space Centre.
Earlier, in his inaugural address at the seminar,
Mr. Kumar said there was a real problem in certifying a system or a technology
for actual usage. This was a problem faced by developing countries. Government
agencies and industry partners could design, build, and realise products.
The real question mark is certification. Another
problem is in quickly establishing a mechanism for translating design into
product. There is a real need to adopt enabling technologies and incorporate
them in the systems we build.
Otherwise, technology will remain the forte of the
Western countries. We need to identify technologies and incorporate them into
our designs and provide cost-effective solutions to the nation. While there have
been many developments on the aerospace front, nothing much has been done by way
of designing passenger aircraft to be used for domestic flights.
In his presidential address, society president and
member, NITI Aayog, V.K. Saraswat said technology had to be consistently
upgraded so that India was globally competitive. There was a need to accelerate
commercialisation of technologies we developed. The nation faced a major lacuna
in terms of design capabilities.
The chairman of the AeSi, Thiruvananthapuram S.
Pandian, VSSC director K. Sivan, AeSI secretary general Lalit Gupta and
secretary of the Thiruvananthapuram branch A. P. Beena were among those present
for the inaugural ceremony.
The 68th AGM of the Society is also being held
along with the conference.
The State Bank of India has introduced the FTSE
SBI Bond Index series in partnership with the global index provider FTSE
100, which the bank hopes would give investors from India, U.K. and
globally, tools to analyse India’s government bond market, and drive growth
in this market.
“With the launch of this index along with FTSE
Russell, our intention is to give people a benchmark on which they can make
investment calls,” said Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairman, SBI, at the unveiling
at the London Stock Exchange.
“With respect to the Indian government bond market,
we didn’t have any international indices on which international investors could
take a call as to whether they would like to come in and invest,” she said.
There is a lot of capital wanting to come into
India. But what we lacked was enough depth in terms of the various types of
products it is important to have benchmarks on which people can rely; so, this
index, launched in collaboration with the London Stock Exchange, will ensure
that international investors have a benchmark that is transparent, well governed
and something they can easily rely on.
“We have a few products in mind and we are sure
that given that India is a very good destination at this point of time for
investors that there will be enough interest in in and that people will innovate
and have products based on this.”
She anticipated products emerging in the next three
to five months following necessary approvals. “Even though there may not be
products in the interim, we expect it to be used by international investors.”
WaqasSamad, CEO of fixed income and multi asset at
FTSE Russell said they would be working to develop index products that could
“create greater awareness and foster liquidity across the Indian domestic fixed
The Centre termed as “wild estimates,”
exporters claiming that working capital was getting blocked due to delay in
Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds. However, it was working out a
mechanism to expedite the refund process.
“There are various figures also being discussed on
the blockage of such (working capital) funds (post-GST), which are wild
estimates.... (and) not based on facts,” an official statement said.
Virtually rejecting claims by exporters that about
$10 billion worth of funds is estimated to be a blocked (till December 2017) due
to the delay in refunds, the Centre said in respect of 66% value of exports,
exporters had preferred duty drawback scheme instead of taking actual refund of
input taxes in the pre-GST regime.
On the mechanism for expediting refunds, it said,
“We are trying to find a way of giving refund by linking form (GST Return) GSTR
1 with form GSTR 3B and, therefore, for the month of July, where form GSTR 1 is
already filed, the authorities would be in a position to process the refund
Allowing refund based on GSTR-3B and GSTR-1
submission will ease up working capital and business issues for exporters who
have had their funds locked up.
The Centre said while the GSTN application for
refund was getting ready, the Centre was in the process of finding other ways of
giving refund, if necessary, through a manual procedure.
In the meantime, the State and Union government
authorities have been asked to clear the pending refund claims of Central Excise
and VAT for the pre-GST period so that exporters will get immediate relief.
The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) has
pulled up SBI Life Insurance for delaying hearing of the matter related to a
refund of Rs. 275.29 crore to policy holders.
In March 2014, Insurance Regulatory and Development
Authority of India (IRDAI) ordered SBI Life to refund Rs. 275.29 crore which,
according to the regulator, was the quantum of excess commission collected from
holders of Dhanaraksha Plus Limited Premium Paying Term policy.
In 2015, SAT had granted interim relief to SBI Life
by directing IRDAI not to take any coercive action to recover Rs. 275 crore till
the tribunal passed final orders in the matter. The appellate body imposed costs
of Rs. 10,000 on SBI Life for dragging the matter for more than two years after
having received a reprieve in the form of a stay on the IRDAI order. The
tribunal posted the matter to October 31 for hearing.
While the policy had two premium payment options
single premium and two-year premium paying plan the regulator found that the
corporate agents of SBI Life, that mostly included State Bank of India and its
associate banks, did not reveal to the policy holders the availability of single
The share of commission was less in a single
premium option when compared with the two-year premium plan.
Senior advocate Janak Dwarkadas along with DMD
Advocates appeared for SBI Life while IRDAI is being represented by Suvan Law
Advisors along with senior counsel KevicSetalwad.
Meanwhile, the public issue of SBI Life Insurance,
which closed was subscribed 3.58 times with bids received for 31.55 crore shares
as against 8.82 crore shares on offer, in the price band of Rs. 685 to Rs. 700.