Centre seeks report from UP govt on acid atack on a Russian girl in Varanasi

Centre has sought a report from Uttar Pradesh government over the incident of acid attack on a Russian girl. In a tweet, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, she has sought a report on the incident, which took place in Varanasi on Friday. “As I learnt about the acid attack on the Russian girl in Varanasi, I asked for a report from UP Government. The accused has been arrested. The victim is under treatment in Sunderlal Hospital Varanasi. We are monitoring the progress,” Sushma tweeted.

The accused in the case Siddharth Srivastava has already been arrested.  The victim, who has suffered 46 per cent burn injuries on her face and body, has been shifted to Delhi for better treatment.

Varanasi SSP, Akash Kulhary said that the victim had dual citizenship of Russia and Bulgaria and was living with the accused as his friend, and not as a paying guest. The Police had earlier said Siddharth Srivastava, the accused in the case, had an argument with the victim on Thursday after she told him that she was leaving India. Angered by this, threw acid on her while she was asleep on her terrace.

The Russian woman came to Varanasi four months ago. She rented a place in Lanka area in Varanasi and befriended Siddharth, son of the house owners.

Philippines to host Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit

For the first time in nearly two decades, it is the Philippines’ turn to host Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders for the region’s most high-level business event. From tomorrow, leaders of economies which account for nearly half of the world’s trade and about 57 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) will arrive in the city for the summit. The first time the Philippines hosted the summit was in 1996, when then-President Fidel Ramos vowed to help develop an action plan on facilitating free trade in the region.

This year, under the theme of “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World”, Manila will push for inclusive growth, highlighting the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which account for more than 97 per cent of businesses in APEC economies.

The APEC meetings will end before the week is out, but according to the spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs Charles Jose, growth in tourist arrivals is expected even after the meetings conclude, and the effects are expected to be felt long afterwards.

From the various meetings that took place between different ministers across key cities in the Philippines, two key road maps will be endorsed: The Cebu Action Plan for financial integration, which aims to protect the region from financial crises, and the Boracay Action Agenda, which is meant to help micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) access the regional and global market.

“The document that really embodies this is the Boracay Action Agenda for micro, small and medium enterprises,” said Philippine Trade Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. “Historically, this is the first time that the ministers responsible for trade adopted this and the first time they approved and agreed.”

Petrol price been hiked by 36 paise, diesel by 87 paise per litre

Petrol price has been hiked by 36 paise a litre, while the price of diesel has gone up by 87 paise per litre. The new rates will come into effect from midnight tonight.

With this, now petrol will cost 60 rupees 6 paise a litre in Delhi, 66 rupees 39 paise in Kolkata, 68 rupees 13 paise in Mumbai and 61 rupees 38 paise in Chennai. While Diesel will cost 46 rupees 80 paise in Delhi, 50 rupees 29 paise in Kolkata, 54 rupees 4 paise in Mumbai and 48 rupees in Chennai.

This is the first hike in petrol price in five months and the third in diesel rates since October. “The current level of international product prices of petrol and diesel and Indian Rupee-US Dollar exchange rate warrant an increase in prices, the impact of which is being passed on to the consumers with this price revision,” IOC said in a statement here.

State-owned fuel retailers — IOC, Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) — revise petrol and diesel prices on 1st and 16th of every month based on average imported cost and rupee-dollar exchange rate in the previous fortnight.

Last time the price of petrol was on July 16 when rates were increased by 32 paisa. Since then prices have been cut on four occasions – by Rs 2.43 on August 1.27 on August 1, by Rs 2 on September 1 and by 50 paisa on last price change on November 1.

Govt to come out with definition of e-commerce: Nirmala Sitharaman

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government is working on the definition of ‘e-commerce’ to clear the air over key issues such as taxation and foreign investment in the rapidly expanding sector. Talking to news agency PTI, Ms Sitharaman said that her ministry has received inputs from almost all the states on the issues related with Foreign Direct Investment, FDI in e-commerce segment.

The minister on July 15th chaired a meeting of states on the issues and were asked to give their views and comments . As per the current FDI policy, e-commerce activities refer to the activity of buying and selling by a company through the e-commerce platform. Industry experts said that the government needs to define the term marketplace and also elaborate as to what constitutes retail and wholesale trading on online platforms.

At present, 100 per cent FDI is allowed in business-to-business, B2B e-commerce and not in the retail segment. Global retail giants as well as some domestic e-retailers want the government to relax the foreign investment norms in the space. According to estimates, the sector’s size is around 5 billion dollars annually.

On the other hand, traders body CAIT has strongly opposed any kind of relaxation in FDI in e-commerce retail. They have alleged that e-commerce firms are violating FDI norms.

Hundred Drums Wangala festival begins on a cultural fervor

The annual Hundred Drums Wangala Festival recently began at Asanang in West Garo Hills in Meghalaya.
Wangala is the most significant post harvest festival of the Garos generally held in the second week of November every year and it is a Thanksgiving ceremony to Misi Saljong also known as Pattigipa Rarongipa (The Great Giver) for having blessed the people with rich harvest of the season.

The festival was started in the year 1976 at Asanang. The festival has grown over the years under the patronage of the Government of Meghalaya. During the festival, indigenous sports competitions will be held.

The ten participating troupes in this years Wangala Festival are Gondenggre, Gambarigre, Sadolbra, Chibonggre, Dallanggre, Rongdikgre, Chidamgre, Sasatgre, Danang Songma and combined troupes of Selbalgre and Rengsangre. As part of the three-day Wangala festival, the Master Chef 100 Drums organised Wangala Festival cum Indigenous Slow Food competition known as Brenga (which is cooked in bamboo tubes) and Wetepa(which is steamed on low fire by wrapping with banana leaves.

District Industrial Exhibition is also being held simultaneously in this three-day festival. An inter-locality tug-of-war was also held on the first day. The Hundred Drums Wangala festival which was started in the year 1976 at Asanang, the Headquarters of Rongram Development Block near Tura has grown over the years under the patronage of the Government of Meghalaya and nurtured by Festival organization.Indigenous sports and Ajea, Doroa and Grika competitions and Rugala ceremony will be held on the second day and will be concluded with the Hundred Drums Dance competition tomorrow.

French President vows to strike back mercilessly on perpetrators of Paris terror attack

French President Francois Hollande today blamed the Islamic State group for the attacks in Paris that left at least 128 dead. He termed the multiple attacks across the city as an act of war and vowed to strike back without mercy. Hollande declared three days of national mourning following the deadly attacks since World War II.

Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande cancelled his participation at G20 meeting tomorrow in Turkey following the deadly attacks in Pari. A diplomatic source said Finance Minister Michel Sapin and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, will attend the G20 meeting.

World leaders led by UN Secretary-General today expressed shock and outrage over a wave of bombings and shootings in Paris that left at least 128 people dead and pledged solidarity with France. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council condemned the “despicable” terrorist attacks. Ban said he trusts that the French authorities will do all in their power to bring the perpetrators to justice quickly.

US President Barack Obama called the attacks an outrageous attempt to terrorise innocent civilians. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was deeply shaken by the news. British Prime Minister David Cameron said he was “shocked” by the Paris attacks and violence.

China strongly condemned the attacks, saying it is greatly shocked by the terrorist attacks that has caused massive casualties.

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered condolences and support to his counterpart Hollande and the French people. President, Vice President Prime Minister and other senior leaders of the country have condemned the terror attack in French capital Paris.

Green Climate Fund faces uncertainty

At a recently concluded meeting of the Green Climate Fund’s board in Zambia, developed countries including the US have refused to commit to a deadline by which the rest of the money ($4.37 billion) would be deposited with the Fund. At present, Green Climate Fund has only $5.83 billion in its kitty.

The US informed that it would not be able to provide the pledged $3 billion by December 2015 to the Green Climate Fund. The EU finance ministers have also concluded their meeting without committing to a clear roadmap for delivery of their fair share towards the annual $100 billion corpus target, which is to be delivered by 2020.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a fund within the framework of the UNFCCC founded as a mechanism to redistribute money from the developed to the developing world, in order to assist the developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.

GCF was founded as a mechanism to redistribute money from the developed to the developing world, in order to assist the developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change. It was also founded to make a significant and ambitious contribution to the global efforts towards attaining the goals set by the international community to combat climate change.

The fund is governed by a Board of 24 members and was initially supported by an Interim Secretariat. The Board will have full responsibility for funding decisions and receives the guidance of the COP. The Fund is accountable to, and functions under the guidance of, the COP.

Met Dept issues warning of very heavy to extremely heavy rains in TN, Pudducherry, AP, Rayalaseema, Kerala

Meteorological Department has issued a warning for very heavy or extremely heavy rains in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, South Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and Kerala over the next four days.

According to an official release, a low-pressure area over southeast Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood is causing Heavy rains at isolated places over Coastal Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala today. Fishermen have been asked not to venture into sea along and off Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and South coastal Andhra Pradesh coasts during next 48 hours.

A low-pressure area over southeast Bay of Bengal & neighbourhood is causing Heavy rains at isolated places over Coastal Tamilnadu, Puducherry and Kerala today, according to PIB release. The Indian Meteorological Department meanwhile has advised fishermen not to venture into sea along and off Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and South coastal Andhra Pradesh coasts during next 48 hours. Heavy rain would occur tomorrow at isolated places over south Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, Tamil Nadu& Pondicherry, Kerala and Lakshadweep.

“On Monday too, heavy to very heavy rain would occur at a few places, with extremely heavy falls at isolated places over Tamilnadu & Puducherry. Heavy to very heavy rain at isolated places are also expected over Coastal Andhra Pradesh and heavy rains over Rayalaseema, South Interior Karnataka and Kerala,” said in the statement.

PM Modi urges UN to define terrorism & its supporters before it’s too late; Wraps up his UK visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has strongly condemned the attack in Paris and has said that this is not only an attack on France but on the whole humanity. He called upon all the powers believing in Humanity to join hands in condemning the inhuman attack.

Unveiling the statue of a great scholar Basaveshwara in London on Saturday Mr. Modi called upon the United Nations to define the definition of terrorism so that world should come to know those who are supporting it and those who are against it. Mr. Modi said a proposal regarding defining terrorism is already pending with the UN and UN should not waste time in taking it up.

Mr. Modi mentioned about the remarkable contribution of Basaveshwara, a great scholar, philosopher and statesman towards the upliftment and empowerment of women in the 12th century. He said the scholar nurtured the values of democracy seven centuries ago. The Prime Minister inaugurated the memorial of Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar at 10 King Henry’s road. This was the house where Dr Ambedkar lived during his stay at London for his studies. The house was recently acquired by the Maharashtra Government. He was received by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the memorial.

Before leaving for G-20 conference in Turkey, Mr. Modi wrapped up his three-day London visit by visiting Jaguar Land Rover factory at Solihull.

India can grow between 7-8% despite global adversities: FM

Union Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley has said that India can grow between 7-8% despite global adversities. Mr. Jaitley was speaking at the Commemorative Function of the National Security Depositary Ltd in Mumbai today.

The function marked historic milestone of crossing Rs 100 lakh crores value of assets held of NSDL, the largest security depository in India that holds 89% of financial assets in demand mode.  Speaking on the occasion, the Finance Minister said that India needs a bigger private sector to for investors to put their money and continue economy’s current growth pace.

Talking about the global economic scenario, Mr. Jaitley said currently, many trading nations and many areas of business and trade passing through difficult moments due to commodity fall. He however stated what is gloom for others is boom for India and despite global economic challenges; Indian economy is growing at a satisfactory pace. Stressing upon the need to transform individual cautious spending nature, Jaitley said that Indians have always been very cautious traders and careful spenders.  He informed that Indian have maintained around 30% saving rate which is quite high on global scale.

Jaitley also said that the Secularization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act is a good beginning to curb NonPerforming Assets -NPAs in the economy.