The Toxic Train

Every two hours on average, a freight train pulls out of Mormugao Port, 6 kms from vasco. Each of its 58 wagons is covered with blue tarpaulin, the edges of which flap in the breeze, revealing whar lies underneath- about 65,000 kgs of coal, the toxic black dust hanging in the air like a shroud over each wagon.

Monumental step, says RBI Gov, better banks ahead in line for capital

While Reserve bank Governor Urijit Patel Wednesday termed the government's capital infusion package for banks as 'a monumental step forward in safeguarding the country's economic future', Finance Ministry officials indicated that the government is likely to allocate funds differentially and will prioritise capital allocation to strong lenders. The weaker banks may have to either shrink in size or not grow from current position.

India, US send strong message to Pak: Crack down on terror outfits

With External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj sitting by his side, visitng US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday took on Pakistan, saying there are 'too many terror outfits' which find a 'safe place in Pakistan'. Stating that Washington has conveyed 'cetain expectations' to Islamabad, he said 'terror safe havens will not be tolerated'.

Can extend deadline for those who don’t have Aadhaar: Centre

The Centre on Wednesday toldd the Supreme Court that it is open to extending the deadline for linking Aadhaar to various programmes for those who do not have the unique identity yet.

China unveils new leadership line-up with no clear successor to Xi Jinping

With little indication of who might succeed him five years from now, Chinese President Xi Jinping Wednesday announced his leadership team with five new appointments to the seven member Politburo Standing Committee (PSC). Following a closed door vote, Xi was also reelected as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) for another five year term as well as Chairman of the Central Military Commission.

Increase efforts to eradicate terror, US tells Pakistan

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Tuesday told Pakistan's leadership that it must increase efforts to eradicate terrorists operating within the country as he arrived here to reset ties strained after President Donald Trump accused Islamabad of providing safe havens to terror groups.

Myanmar, Bangladesh to cooperate on Rohingya refugee repatriation

Myanmar and Bangladesh on Tuesday agreed to cooperate on the repatriation of Rohingya refugees and took steps to boost border security as relations between the neighbours have been strained by the continuing flow of refugees into Bangladesh.


The Booster Shot

The Booster Shot The Indian Government took a positive step by introducing measures like grater spending on the construction of roads and expressways, recapitalisation plan for the banks as well as providing financial support for the medium as well as small scale enterprises in 50 clusters. One of the crucial challenges the current government has faced is the balance sheet issue of banks. As such, the Government has decided to infuse Rs 2.11 lakh crores into the state run banks in the next couple of years. These funds would be incorporated through the issue of recapitalisation of bonds, dilution of the government equities both at the capital markets and mergers and also budgetary support. The capital infusion can be termed as a positive step as the strengthening of the banks is important. As the small and medium firms are not in a position to raise funds, this step is a motivational step for them and should be boosted by governance changes in the banks with the desired measures in place. The capital spending ways of the Government is on track with Rs. 290.299 crores total capital expenditure spent in 2016-17 from the Union Budget. This was much higher than the originally budgeted figure i.e. Rs 247,023 crores. In the current fiscal period, the budgeted capital expenditure is Rs 309,801 crores of which Rs 146,000 crores have been already spent during April-September and the targeted expenditure will also be achieved. The only sector lagging behind is the capital spending through the Railways sector, though the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and the rural road construction has made significant progress.

No Signs of Life

The Madras High Court recently passed a ruling imposing a ban on the use of 'photographs or any pictures' on the living persons on nay banners, flex boards and signboards across the state. According to the ruling, only photos of the dead can be put up in posters and any person would require the permission of the municipal authorities before putting up flex boards and sign boards. This law is passed to ensure that the political outfits or people refrain from defacing the public places by putting up unwanted banners and flex boards. The issue rose up from a Chennai neighbourhood of Arumbakkam where putting up of political flags were restricted by an owner and it led to a court suit. This move is seen as a implication on the freedom of expression both at the personal as well as the political front.

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