The women’s tech park at Harohalli,Bengaluru
which was first announced during the Invest Karnataka Meeting in February
2016, is expected to be inaugurated by November. From automobile sector to
food processing and garments, the park is, in its core, a display of the
power of women in the industry.
The park in Harohalli, which will accommodate at
least 90 entrepreneurs, may open by November
Currently, nearly 20 employees work out of a 1,100
sq. ft workspace churning out sugar confectioneries that are sold across India
and even exported.
From automobile sector to food processing and
garments, the park is, in its core, a display of the power of women in the
The tech park was first announced during the Invest
Karnataka Meeting in February 2016, with the hope of completing it within the
end of the year.
However, Karnataka Industrial Areas Development
Board (KIADB) officials said land acquisition was a hurdle.
While 300 acres in Harohalli Phase III on the
outskirts of the city have been earmarked for the women’s tech park, nearly 106
acres have been developed so far. Layout formation, roads and other
infrastructure work are nearing completion.
From designing crèches and playschools to
incorporating a natural lake to add aesthetics, the designing of the industrial
area involved a lot of feedback from women entrepreneurs themselves
while the 5% reservation policy in 158 industrial areas across the State
continues, the women-only park will be crucial to enhance networking among women
Skippered by Lt. Cdr. Vartika Joshi, Rishikesh,
Uttarakhand, the all-women team has Lt. Cdr. Pratibha Jamwal of Kullu,
Himachal Pradesh; Lt. Cdr. Swathi P. of Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh; Lt.
Aishwarya Boddapati of Hyderabad, Telangana; Lt. Sh Vijaya Devi of Manipur
and Lt. Payal Gupta of Uttarakhand as crew members.
Among other things, the crew will collate and
update Meteorological/Ocean/Wave data on a daily basis for subsequent analysis
by research and development organisations. They will also monitor and report
marine pollution on the high seas.
The first Indian solo circumnavigation was
undertaken by Capt. Dilip Donde, SC (Retd) from August 19, 2009 to May 19, 2010
on board the Indian built vessel, INSV Mhadei.
The first Indian non-stop solo circumnavigation was
undertaken by Cdr. Abhilash Tomy, KC from November 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hailed the
global circumnavigation being attempted by an all-women Indian Navy crew of
‘Navika Sagar Parikrama.’
‘Navika Sagar Parikrama,’ perhaps the first-ever
attempt by an all-women crew to circumnavigate the globe, will have stopovers at
four ports Fremantle (Australia), Lyttleton (New Zealand), Port Stanley
(Falklands) and Cape town (South Africa) for replenishments and repairs. It will
return to Goa in April next year.
The crew has sailed approximately 20,000 Nm on
board INSV Mhadei and Tarini as part of training, which included two expeditions
to Mauritius (in 2016 and 2017) and a voyage from Goa to Cape Town in December
The project is seen as essential for promoting
ocean sailing activities in the Navy, while highlighting Government of India’s
thrust for Nari Shakti.
The Indian Navy said the project would help to
discard societal attitudes and mind-set towards women.
Among other things, the crew will collate and
update Meteorological/ Ocean/ Wave data on a daily basis for subsequent analysis
by research and development organisations. They will also monitor and report
marine pollution on the high seas.
Some refugees from West Pakistan, who had
migrated to India during Partition, have moved the Supreme Court challenging
Article 35A of the Constitution relating to special rights and privileges of
permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
The petition said nearly 3 lakh refugees had
arrived from West Pakistan, but those settled in Jammu and Kashmir had been
denied the rights guaranteed under Article 35A.
A Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices
A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud tagged the plea of the refugees, who are
settled in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir, with similar matters pending
Earlier, a Kashmiri Pandit woman, Charu Wali Khanna,
had approached the court challenging the provision.
Petitioners Kali Das, his son Sanjay Kumar and one
other, in their plea, said they were raising issues seeking conferment of basic
natural and human rights.
The Bonda Development Agency (BDA) has started
an inquiry and survey in the remote Bonda-inhabited villages in Malkangiri
district of Odisha following reports that these primitive tribals are
migrating to other States in search of employment and that some of their
women are being sexually exploited.
A minor Bonda girl recently lodged a complaint with
the Mudulipada police station, alleging that a man had lured her through
promises and made her pregnant. She is seven months pregnant now.
According to media reports, another minor Bonda
girl has also come up with a similar allegation but has not approached the
As allegations are rife about mass migration of
Bonda tribals from Odisha in search of livelihood, the administration has taken
the issue seriously.
Officials of the BDA have started an on-the-spot
inquiry and survey relating to migration and alleged sexual harassment of Bonda
women outside the State.
Some Bondas undertake seasonal migration after the
end of the kharif season and return by Durga Puja to start agricultural work.
Through the on-the-spot inquiry and enumeration,
the BDA plans to prepare a proper data base about Bonda migration and realise
the reasons behind it.
Bondas are considered to be one of most primitive
tribes in the world.
As per an official survey in 2015, around 8,000
Bonda tribals live in 32 villages of four panchayats under Khairaput block.
Their villages are located in remote and isolated hilly region north-west of the
Their habitat in Khairaput block is called the
India is in talks with the U.S. for buying
another Boeing C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft to be added to its fleet
Since induction in 2013, the aircraft has become
the mainstay of India’s humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.
The validity of the Letter of Acceptance for the
sale expires in mid-October and India has to conclude the deal before that or
ask the U.S. for an extension.
The aircraft, along with associated equipment,
technical support and warranty, is estimated to cost $366.2 million.
The aircraft will be handed over within a month of
the contract having been signed after some routine checks and maintenance. The
handover will be done in the U.S. itself, and it will be flown to India by
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) gave its
approval for the purchase in December last.
The proposed sale will improve India’s capability
to meet the current and future strategic airlift requirements. India lies in a
region prone to natural disasters and will use the additional capability
[aircraft] for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
In 2011, India purchased 10 C-17s under the Foreign
Military Sales programme worth $4.1 billion, which had a follow-on clause for
six more aircraft.
However, the delay in decision-making in the
Defence Ministry meant the IAF missed out on the opportunity. The last C-17
aircraft left Boeing’s Long Beach plant in California in 2015.
While the C-17 assembly line was shut down, Boeing
made 10 additional aircraft without any order and offered them to all existing
customers, including India. New Delhi’s silence meant nine pieces were picked by
the existing users and one is left with Boeing.
After Bangladesh High Commissioner Syed Muazzem
Ali had sought a meeting with Mr. Jaishankar, the MEA issued another
statement, clarifying that India “remains deeply concerned” about the
situation in Rakhine and “the outflow of refugees from that region,” the
first such reference since the outbreak of violence in August.
The MEA did not reply to requests for a comment on
the issue, but Indian and Bangladeshi officials acknowledged the shift in the
Indian position, which they said was “welcomed” and “well received” in Dhaka.
Bangladesh and India both see the refugee problem
as a national security concern given Rohingya terror groups that are operating.
That is why Bangladesh conveyed the need for India to join in putting pressure
on the Myanmar government to stem the flow.
Former Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Tariq
Karim also warned that “the Rohingya issue could throw a spanner in the
India-Bangladesh relationship, as PM Sheikh Hasina is under severe pressure on
the issue of the violence in Myanmar that has forced out Rohingya.”
India’s support to Myanmar is seen as encouraging
the Burmese security forces to crack down more on the Rohingya, causing a
Experts say India’s bid to strengthen ties with
Myanmar comes amid China’s growing presence in that Country.
India’s stand to support Suu Kyi is also in line
with our tough stand on terrorism, as well as on refusing to interfere in
Myanmar’s domestic politics.
India’s shift in position on the Myanmar issue,
where it expressed concerns about the outflow of Rohingya refugees for the first
time in recent months, was prompted by a series of requests from the Bangladesh
government “at the highest levels”.
American historian Nancy Hatch Dupree, who
dedicated most of her life to preserving Afghanistan’s heritage, died in a
Kabul hospital aged 89.
Ms. Dupree first arrived in the Afghan capital in
1962 as the wife of a diplomat.
Over the next five decades she travelled throughout
the country, wrote five guidebooks and documented the war-torn nation’s past.
Ms. Dupree and her husband lived in Afghanistan
until the late 1970s. Her husband died in 1989 and she moved back to Afghanistan
after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled the ruling Taliban in 2001.
With the help of the new government, Ms. Dupree
created a centre to preserve the couple’s priceless collection of records for
The Afghanistan Center houses more than 1,00,000
documents in the country’s two official languages, Dari and Pashto, as well as
English and other European languages.
The centre also provides reading materials to
hundreds of libraries around the country, a reflection of Ms. Dupree’s belief
that knowledge was key to Afghanistan’s recovery from decades of conflict.
India’s GDP growth was expected to decline in
the first quarter of the current fiscal, but the “free fall” in the numbers
shows that the problem is more structural than transient.
India’s economic growth slipped to a three-year low
of 5.7% cent in April-June, underscoring the disruptions caused by uncertainty
related to the GST roll-out amid a slowdown in manufacturing activities.
According to the report, the negative impact of the
Goods and Services Tax (GST) on growth has been “majorly emphasised”.
Though there has been a lot of talk about
manufacturing destocking ahead of GST and its impact on GDP, a significant
destocking in both consumer as well as investment intensive sectors was already
taking pace in 2016-17.
With fiscal deficit touching 92.4% of the budget
estimate by the end of July, the government may cut expenditure to meet the 3.2%
target, the report stated.
In absolute terms, fiscal deficit — the difference
between expenditure and revenue — was Rs. 5.04 trillion of budget estimate till
July, against 73.7% in the same period last fiscal.
The report was quick to point out that with
uncertainties involving GST and monetary policy support to growth not
forthcoming, it would not be prudent for the government to reduce spending as
other growth drivers are missing.
India’s manufacturing sector gives a major
thrust to economic growth, contributing to the GDP, creating employment
opportunities and attracting foreign investments.
The Industrial Policy Resolution of 1956, known as
the economic constitution of India, laid down the structure of the manufacturing
sector. Subsequent policies have continued to give importance to the sector.
The share of manufacturing in the GDP was 16% at
the beginning of the 12th Five Year Plan. While the service sector’s share is
predominant, it is pertinent to note that the manufacturing sector is a major
consumer of services.
Till recently, the manufacturing sector was
burdened with multiple indirect taxes viz. central excise, service tax and VAT.
In addition, non-availability of tax credit for
central sales tax increased the cost. Introduction of GST, in the backdrop of
the ‘Make in India’ initiative, does away with multi-layered taxation.
For major sectors, tax rates are mostly in line
with the present effective tax incidence. Sectors such as consumer durables,
construction material and FMCG, GST rates have seen a marginal difference.
State-border check posts, established to scrutinise
documents and location-based compliance, adversely impacted the overall
production and logistics time, which reduced the efficiency of Indian
These check-posts have been abolished with the
introduction of GST. The new tax regime will unify the Indian market and help
smooth the flow of goods within the country. Prior to GST, the inter-state sale
was subjected to 2% CST without input credit, whereas GST on inter-state supply
is available for input credit. This would lead to removal of an extra level of
warehousing in the supply chain resulting in cost benefits.
GST contemplates input credit of tax on supply of
goods or services. The GST Act provides a list of services for which input
credit is not available. Thus the system intends to provide seamless input
credit. This welcome change helps businesses plan well on product pricing and
estimating cash flows.
Anti-Profiteering rules mandate that any reduction
in the tax rate or the benefit of input tax credit needs to be passed on by way
of commensurate price reduction. Standing committees, both at the Central and
State levels, will examine complaints and refer cases for investigation based on
The authority, which has a sunset period of two
years, has powers to debar an assessee from conducting business, to levy
penalty, or to enforce refund of proportionate price reduction.
The GST system excludes certain petroleum products.
Natural gas, a clean fuel, is one of them. Certain industries which use them as
key input were allowed input credit under the erstwhile VAT system.
Keeping natural gas out of the GST system would
increase the production cost. The GST Council, which is considering this aspect,
has to take quick, positive action in this regard to avoid cost increases.
Another important issue is how exemptions and
incentives granted under the erstwhile excise and VAT system would be continued
under the GST regime. Central and State governments are yet to come out with a
concrete proposal. It has to be ensured that what was intended, while granting
the incentive, is continued under the GST system.
The GST System contemplates seamless input credit.
Administrative machinery has to ensure this is implemented in letter and spirit.
The GST Council has to constantly watch developments and give suitable
directions to achieving the objective of seamless input credit.
The Council should also ensure that actions taken
by the anti-profiteering committee are genuine and not arbitrary. This will
boost the confidence of the industry in the GST system and embolden them to
concentrate on business development.
The Council has to take a pragmatic view in making
changes to the tax rate for certain goods and services about which select
industries are concerned.
Both the Central and State governments have to be
congratulated for implementing the GST system in a smooth manner, without
disrupting businesses. The manufacturing sector has always extended its support
to the initiatives taken by the Government. Now too, this sector has accepted
the GST system and is working well with the governments.
India’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel
is in talks with multiple handset makers to bring a 4G smartphone for a
price as low as Rs. 2,500—Rs. 2,700 to take on Reliance Jio.
While Mukesh Ambani led Jio has announced plans to
offer Internet—enabled feature phone for a refundable deposit of Rs. 1,500,
Airtel is placing its bet on a full fledged smartphone as it believes people
would be ready to shell out a little more to get a loaded handset.
A source familiar with the development said the new
4G smartphone — that will debut around Diwali — will come bundled with Airtel’s
4G connection and “attractive” data and voice plan to woo mass market customers.
The planned dual SIM 4G smartphone will sport a
four-inch display, dual camera, VoLTE calling and a longer battery life. The
Android handset will come with 1 GB RAM, said the source who wished not to be
Reliance Jio had, in July, announced that formal
bookings for Jio Phone would open on August 24, while the phone itself is
expected to be available from September. While details such as the name of the
handset makers that Airtel is negotiating with and the exact offers on anvil are
still under the wraps, it is learnt that the Sunil Mittal company will
co—promote the 4G smartphone with the manufacturers.
State—owned BSNL is betting on national roll-out of
4G VoLTE services, even as it begins preparatory work on 5G to stay
future-ready, a top official has said.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) came up with an
advisory asking banks to file insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings for 12
loan accounts, in which banks had an exposure of more than Rs. 5,000 crore
each. This constituted about 25% of the system’s bad loans whose total is
estimated at Rs. 7 lakh crore.
The central bank had asked banks to file bankruptcy
cases with the National Companies Law Tribunal (NCLT) within June 30.
The RBI had also advised banks to make higher
provisions for these accounts to be referred to the Tribunal under the
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
According to RBI deputy governor Viral Acharya, the
move was intended to improve bank provision coverage ratios and to ensure that
banks are fully protected against likely losses in the resolution process.
RBI sent banks another list comprising 26 accounts,
which they must resolve by December 31, failing which those cases have to be
taken up for bankruptcy as well.
NCLT is expected to admit or reject a case within
14 days of a case being filed. However, bankers said the time taken by NCLT in
some of the cases was beyond 14 days.
It is still early days, but the number of
bankruptcy cases which have been filed by operational as well as financial
creditors is encouraging. Many cases have been admitted and the 180-day clock
(extensible by a further 90 days) for these cases to resolve has already
The IBC, 2016 — which Mr. Patel describes as a
watershed towards improving the credit culture of the country — was aimed at
time bound resolution (or liquidation) of stressed assets.
The NCLT was constituted on June 1, 2016 with 10
benches and one principal bench. More than 1,000 cases have already been filed
with the NCLT, of which more than 220 cases have been admitted. Over 900
insolvency professionals (IPs) have registered with the Insolvency and
Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI).
One of the key aspects of time-bound resolution is
the infrastructure of the NCLT. Bankers and insolvency professionals said there
is a need to beef up the infrastructure of NCLT as many cases apart from
bankruptcy are also being filed at NCLT.
Bench is under pressure because there are not
enough number of Judges. The same bench will be hearing IBC matters, other
company law matters, other merger matters, conversion of private limited company
to public limited company — all issues are going to the same bench,” he said.
According to Mr. Srivastava, a separate bench for
for insolvency and bankruptcy cases is the need of the hour.
Among sectors, metals and mining is at the top with
over 50 cases, followed by engineering and construction (35), food, beverage and
hospitality (27), power and electricity (20) and healthcare (7).
Observing that ‘a major challenge foreseen for the
Code was the tidal flow of cases to the NCLT’, the report said, “In addition to
new cases filed for resolution under IBC, there was a significant backlog of
cases that were transferred from the CLB. Also, winding up cases with high
courts, corporate recovery cases with the debt recovery tribunals (DRTs) and
rehabilitation cases with the BIFR [Board for Industrial & Financial
Reconstruction] were transferred to the NCLT.”
There are discussions currently to increase the
number of benches and change single-member benches to double-member benches.
The important question is whether the stakeholders
will find a resolution within the required time frame, that is within six months
plus another three months after the case has been admitted. If time-bound
resolution does not happen, companies will go for liquidation. Most companies
going into liquidation is a scenario that no one wants.
In a world-first, Japanese scientists have used
the CRISPR gene-editing tool to change the colour of ornamental morning
glory flowers from violet to white by tweaking a single gene.
Japanese morning glory, or Asagao, was chosen for
this study as it is one of two traditional horticultural model plants in the
National BioResource Project in Japan (NBRP).
Extensive genetic studies of this plant have
already been performed, its genome sequenced and DNA transfer methods
As public concern with genetic technologies such as
CRISPR/Cas9 is currently a social issue in Japan, studies using this popular and
widely-grown plant may help to educate the public on this topic, researchers
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba, the
National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) and Yokohama City
University in Japan targeted a single gene DFR-B, encoding an enzyme responsible
for the colour of the plant’s stems, leaves and flowers.
Two other very closely related genes (DFR-A and DRF-C)
sit side-by-side, next to DFR-B. Therefore, the challenge was to specifically
and accurately target the DFR-B gene without altering the other genes. The
CRISPR/Cas9 system was used as it is currently the most precise method of gene
The CRISPR/Cas9 system is based on a bacterial
It is composed of two molecules that alter the DNA
sequence. Cas9, an enzyme, cuts the two strands of DNA in a precise location so
that DNA can be added or removed.
Cas9 is guided to the correct location by gRNA, or
guide RNA, a small piece of RNA that has been designed to be complementary to
the target DNA sequence.
Cas9 cuts the two strands of DNA at the target
location, allowing DNA to be removed and/or added.
This technology is also extremely useful in
confirming the function of genes.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has beamed back a
stunning close-up image revealing the wave structure of Saturn’s rings.
The image was taken on June 4 with the Cassini
spacecraft narrow-angle camera. It was acquired on the sunlit side of the rings
from a distance of 76,000 km away from the area picture
The spacecraft currently is closing in on the end
of its epic 20-year-long journey in space, as it prepares to take the final
plunge into the atmosphere of Saturn.
A gravitational kick in April from Saturn’s moon
Titan placed the two-and-a-half tonne space probe on its path for impending
destruction on September 15. Resulting from the same process that creates spiral
galaxies, spiral density waves in Saturn’s rings are much more tightly wound
In this case, every second wave crest is actually
the same spiral arm which has encircled the entire planet multiple times.The
wave, known as the Janus 2:1 spiral density wave, is the only major density wave
visible in Saturn’s B ring, NASA said. Most of the B ring is characterised by
structures that dominate the areas where density waves might otherwise occur,
but this innermost portion of the B ring is different.