India on Thursday expressed “grave concern” over the recent
U.S. military assistance to Pakistan, and stated that it had conveyed its
concerns to Washington.
The U.S. had publicly stated that the proposed sale was intended
to enable it to continue technical and logistics support services to assist in
the oversight of the operations of F-16 fighter aircraft in Pakistan's
inventory, he said.
However, official sources emphasised that the concern expressed
was not just for the supply of F-16 parts, but for the “signs of growing
military cooperation and resumption of military supplies” by the U.S. to
Last week, days after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit
to Washington, the State Department approved a military assistance package for
“continued support” of the F-16 programme.
“The State Department has made a determination approving a
possible Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan for Technical Security Team (TST) in
continued support of the F-16 programme for an estimated cost of $125 million,”
the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement after delivering the
required certification notifying Congress of the possible sale on July 26.
Pakistan, which has long operated the F-16s, recently deployed
them against India during the aerial engagement on February 27, a day after the
Balakot air strike by India.
Parliament has passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention)
Amendment Bill, 2019 with the RajyaSabha approving it today. The LokSabha
has already passed the bill.
Replying to discussion on the bill, Home Minister Amit Shah
reiterated NDA government’s commitment to fight against terrorism. He said there
is a need to speak in one voice against terrorism.
Referring to some members objection to naming an individual as a
terrorist, Mr. Shah said the countries like US, Pakistan and China also has
similar provisions to name an individual as a terrorist.
He emphatically said a terrorist does not belong to any religion and the law
should be amended along with time.
Earlier participating in the debate, Congress objected to some
of the provisions of the bill saying they are unconstitutional and against
P. Chidambaram said the bill empowers the Central government to
name any individual a terrorist if it believes so. He said the Bill will be
struck down by the court.
The Congress leader questioned the provisions in the bill saying
the individual is already covered in the law and there is no need to distinguish
between organization and individual on the issue of terrorism.
Ratings agency Crisil has cut its forecast for GDP growth in
2019-20 to 6.9% from its earlier forecast of 7.1%, citing weak monsoon, slow
global growth and poor high-frequency data for the first quarter of the
It added that the slowdown would be more pronounced in the
April-June period while the second half of the year would be bolstered by the
expected monetary easing, consumption, and a statistical low-base effect.
Crisil also expects corporate sector growth to slow to 8% in
2019-20, lower than the double-digit growth trend of the last two financial
The report said that banking sectorNPAs are expected to come
down to about 8% by the end of financial year 2019-20, based on lower additional
NPAs and increased recoveries. Credit growth is expected to recover to 14%, the
highest in five years.
“The crucial question is whether a trough is in sight,”
Dharmakirti Joshi, chief economist at Crisil said. “Given the fiscal
constraints, public spending is unlikely to have the heft to pull growth above
7%,” he said.
Continuing to face rough weather, Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and
three other auto majors reported a double-digit decline in sales in July as
consumer sentiment remained subdued.
Market leader Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) said its domestic sales
were down 36.3% to 98,210 units last month compared with 1,54,150 units in July
last year. It was in June 2017 that the company’s sales had last fallen below 1
lakh units mark in a month.
The industry needs stimuli to help revive consumer demand and
conversions, he added. Honda Cars India Ltd. (HCIL) reported 48.67% decline in
domestic sales to 10,250 units in July.
In the two-wheeler space, Bajaj Auto saw its domestic sales dip
13% per cent last month to 2,05,470 units.
TVS Motor Company reported a 12.98% dip in its July 2019 sales
to 2.79 lakh unit on weaker volumes.In the domestic market, two-wheeler sales
dropped to 2.08 lakh units from 2.47 lakh units.
Truck major Ashok Leyland reported a 39% contraction in the
sales of its medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M&HCV) in the domestic and
U.S. scientists have successfully built functional heart
parts out of collagen using a 3D bioprinter, a breakthrough they say could
one day create entire organs.
Their technique, which was described in the journal Science on
Thursday, replicates the body’s own complex biological scaffolds that provide
the structure and biochemical signalling organs need to function.
“What we were able to show was you can actually 3D print a heart
valve out of collagen, and they function,” Adam Feinberg, one of the paper’s
co-authors said. Previous attempts at printing these scaffolds, known as
extracellular matrices, had been hindered by limitations that resulted in poor
tissue fidelity and low resolutions.
But the scientists at Carnegie Mellon University were able to
overcome these hurdles by using rapid changes in pH to cause the collagen to
solidify with precise control. “That’s the very first version of a valve, and so
anything that we engineer as a product will actually get better and better,” Mr.
The technique could one day help patients awaiting heart
transplants, but it will need to validated through animal testing and eventually