2019, June, Newsletter

India Newsletter June 12, 2019

NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12, 2019

FRONT PAGE NEWS

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WRECKAGE OF MISSING AIR FORCE PLANE SPOTTED, EFFORTS ON TO REACH THERE

The wreckage of the AN-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force was spotted on
Tuesday in a heavily-forested mountainous terrain in Arunachal Pradesh,
eight days after it went missing with 13 people on board after taking off
from Assam’s Jorhat.

The IAF said efforts are on to establish the status of occupants amid fears
of that chances of any survivor in the one of worst accidents involving a
military platform in recent years may be very bleak.

“The wreckage of the aircraft was spotted today 16 kms North of Lipo, North
East of Tato at an approximate elevation of 12,000 feet by an IAF Mi-17
helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone,” the IAF said in
a statement.

The Russian-origin AN-32 aircraft lost contact on the afternoon of June 3
after taking off from Jorhat for Menchuka advanced landing ground near the
border with China.

An IAF official said after identifying the wreckage of the AN 32, a Cheetah
helicopter and an ALH chopper reached the crash site but could not land due
to high elevation and dense forest.

“However, nearest landing site has been identified and the rescue operation
by helicopters will commence tomorrow early morning. Ground forces will
continue to reach the crash site during the night,” he said.

Another official said the IAF will send its special commandos ‘Garud’ to the
crash site and carry out an exercise to look for possible survivors.

The Russian-origin AN-32 aircraft was going from Jorhat in Assam to Menchuka
advanced landing ground near the border with China on June 3 when it lost
contact with ground staff at 1 pm, within 33 minutes of taking off.

PAK TO LET MODI’S PLANE FLY OVER ITS AIRSPACE FOR SCO SUMMIT IN KYRGYZSTAN

Pakistan has approved “in principle” India’s request to allow Prime Minister
Narendra Modi’s aircraft fly over its airspace to Bishkek to attend the
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit this week, according to a
senior Pakistani official, who hoped that New Delhi would respond to
Islamabad’s offer for peace dialogue.

India requested Pakistan to let Prime Minister Modi’s aircraft fly over its
airspace to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan to attend the SCO summit on June 13-14.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is also attending the meeting of the
regional grouping.

Pakistan had fully closed its airspace on February 26 after an Indian Air
Force (IAF) strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Balakot. Since
then, it has only opened two routes, both of them pass through southern
Pakistan, of the total 11.

“The Indian government will be conveyed about the decision once the
procedural formalities are completed. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
will also be directed to notify the airmen subsequently,” the official said,
adding Pakistan was hopeful that India would respond to its offer for peace
dialogue. He said Prime Minister Khan has recently written a letter to his
Indian counterpart stressing Pakistan requires a solution for all
geopolitical issues including Kashmir between the two neighbouring states.

The official further said Pakistan is still optimistic that India will
respond to peace offer despite the fact both premiers were not meeting at
the sidelines of the SCO Summit.

NO SIGNIFICANT INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON BJP’S LOK SABHA POLL WIN: STUDY

Social media did not heavily influence the BJP’s recent win as the ruling
party’s social media advantage over the Congress declined in the 2019 Lok
Sabha polls, a study by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
(CSDS) shows.

The BJP’s vote share lead over the Congress has reduced among social media
users and grown among non-users since 2014, the study shows. The Congress’
performance was worse among newspaper readers than social media users,
suggesting that the momentum behind the 2019 results was not as much in the
social media domain as previously thought.

“I think this study will surprise many because this is not a sample of urban
voters. This is a national sample,” CSDS director Sanjay Kumar said at the
report’s launch on Tuesday. A total of 24,236 voters were interviewed in 211
parliamentary constituencies.

Compared to 2014, the BJP made gains among those who were not on Facebook
(from 30 per cent in 2014 to 36 per cent in 2019) and losses among the daily
users. Inversely, the Congress gained among heavy Facebook users (from 16
per cent in 2014 to 20 per cent in 2019) and lost among non-users.

The study found that the lowest social media penetration was where the BJP
made the most surprising gains — eastern states — and the highest social
media penetration was where BJP has yet to spread significantly — southern
states.

EX-CEA CUTTING GDP GROWTH 2 PC POINTS: GOVT DEFENDS ITS DATA

After former Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian kick-started a debate
with his new research that India’s GDP growth rates were overestimated, the
government said GDP estimates are based on “accepted procedures,
methodologies and available data and objectively measure the contribution of
various sectors in the economy”.

The methodology of compilation of macro aggregates has been discussed in
detail by a committee comprising experts from academia, National Statistical
Commission, Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Reserve Bank of India,
Ministries of Finance, Corporate Affairs, Agriculture, NITI Aayog and
selected State Government, the Ministry of Statistics and Programme
Implementation (MoSPI) said in a statement. “.decisions taken are unanimous
and collective after taking into consideration the data availability and
methodological aspects before recommending the most appropriate approach,”
it said.

Subramanian, in a recent research paper published at Harvard University
concluded that the country’s growth has been overestimated by around 2.5
percentage points between 2011-12 and 2016-17. While official estimates
pegged average annual growth at around 7 per cent during this period, actual
GDP growth is likely to have been lower, at around 4.5 per cent, he said.

While some economists and statisticians supported Subramanian’s view and the
call for an independent panel to examine the GDP estimates, some disagreed
stating he didn’t take into account the value indices to measure growth.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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SHAHBAZ SHARIF’S SON HAMZA ARRESTED BY NAB OFFICIALS OUTSIDE LAHORE COURT

Opposition leader in Pakistan’s Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz was arrested
on Tuesday outside the Lahore High Court by the officials of the country’s
anti-graft body in cases related to money laundering and corruption.

The arrest took place after a two-member Lahore High Court (LHC) Bench
dismissed bail applications filed by Hamza, 44, after his lawyer opted to
withdraw the pleas in two corruption cases.

Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) vice president is under investigation
by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Ramzan Sugar Mills, Saaf
Paani project and assets beyond known means of income cases.

He is accused of laundering money through his front men who are already in
NAB’s custody.

Hamza, the son of PML-N president and National Assembly opposition leader
Shahbaz Sharif, told reporters prior to his arrest that the vindictive
government of “puppet Prime Minister (Imran) Khan” could not even prove a
one rupee corruption against him and his other family members.

His arrest comes a day after former President Asif Ali Zardari was arrested
by NAB in Islamabad.

The supporters of both PML-N and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) held
demonstrations in Lahore and other parts of Punjab province against the
arrest of their top leaders.

SRI LANKA MPS DEFY PRESIDENT TO RESUME EASTER ATTACK PROBE

Sri Lanka’s Parliament on Tuesday defied President Maithripala Sirisena and
resumed investigations into security lapses surrounding the Easter suicide
bombings that killed 258 people, officials said, as a political crisis in
the country deepened.

The Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) began hearing testimony from Muslim
leaders who claimed they repeatedly alerted the authorities to dangerous
radicalisation, a parliamentary official said.

In what appeared to be a tit-for-tat move, Mr. Sirisena did not call the
routine weekly Cabinet meeting to discuss the day-to-day running of the
administration.

The Opposition Sri Lanka People’s Front said the standoff between the
President and the Cabinet, controlled by Prime Minister Ranil
Wickremesinghe’s party, meant the government was at a standstill.

“The current standoff effectively means that there is no government in Sri
Lanka from today,” Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLPF) leader Gamini Lakshman
Peiris told reporters in Colombo.

There was no immediate word either from the President or the Prime Minister
on why the scheduled cabinet meeting was not held.

THE REST

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SUPREME COURT ORDERS IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF JOURNALIST PRASHANT KANOJIA

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered immediate release of journalist
Prashant Kanojia who was arrested for posting objectionable material against
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on social media.

While granting bail to Kanojia, a Bench of Justice Indira Banerjee and
Justice Ajay Rastogi, however, allowed UP Police to proceed against him for
offences alleged to have been committed by him.

“Liberty of citizens is sacrosanct and non-negotiable. It is guaranteed by
the Constitution and it can’t be infringed,” the Bench said disapproving of
his arrest.

“We don’t appreciate tweets. But what we are bothered about is why he was
arrested. We live in a country where there is a Constitution. Proceed
against him in accordance with law…But can he be put behind bars for
that?” the Bench commented.

On behalf of the Uttar Pradesh government, Additional Solicitor General
Vikramjeet Banerjee opposed the journalist’s release, saying it would be
construed as an endorsement of his tweets.

“Why should it? It will be treated as an endorsement of his right to
personal liberty,” said Justice Banerjee.

Kanojia had allegedly shared a video on Twitter and Facebook where a woman
is seen speaking to reporters of various media organisations outside the
Chief Minister’s office claiming that she had sent a marriage proposal to
Adityanath. Uttar Pradesh Police registered an FIR on June 7 at the
Hazratganj police station in Lucknow under various provisions of the IPC and
the Information Technology Act.

CYCLONE ‘VAYU’: GUJARAT ON ALERT, PEOPLE FROM COAST TO BE EVACUATED

The Gujarat administration is on high alert to deal with cyclone ‘Vayu’,
which is likely to hit the state coast near Veraval on Thursday, officials
said. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday said people living in the
coastal belt would be shifted to safer places.

As per the latest weather report, the cyclonic storm Vayu was located around
650 km south of Veraval coast and is very likely to intensify further into a
severe cyclonic storm and hit the state coast on June 13.

Rupani told reporters in Gandhinagar that the entire coastline, starting
from Kutch to south Gujarat, has been put on “high alert”.

The officials concerned are in touch with the Odisha government to learn and
implement the disaster management techniques adopted by them when cyclone
Fani hit the eastern coastal state recently, he said.

LIFE EXPECTANCY IN INDIA DOWN BY 2.6 YRS DUE TO AIR POLLUTION: STUDY

Life expectancy in India has gone down by 2.6 years due to deadly diseases
caused by air pollution, according to a recent report by an environment
think tank.

The report by the environment organisation Centre for Science and
Environment (CSE) revealed that outdoor and household air pollution together
are causing deadly diseases.

“Air pollution is now the third highest cause of death among all health
risks ranking just above smoking in India. This is a combined effect of
outdoor particulate matter (PM) 2.5, ozone and household air pollution.

“Due to this combined exposure, South Asians, including Indians are dying
early — their life expectancy has reduced by over 2.6 years. This is much
higher than the global tally of reduced life expectancy by an average of 20
months. While globally a child born today will die 20 months sooner on an
average than would be expected without air pollution in India they would die
2.6 years earlier,” the report released by the CSE said.

While exposure to outdoor particulate matter (PM) accounted for a loss of
nearly one year and six months in life expectancy, exposure to household air
pollution accounted for a loss of nearly one year and two months, according
to the CSE. “Thus, together Indians lose 2.6 years,” it said.

MUMBAI BUSINESSMAN GETS LIFE TERM FOR HIJACK SCARE ON JET PLANE

A special NIA court here on Tuesday awarded life imprisonment to a
Mumbai-based businessman and imposed a fine of Rs 5 crore on him for leaving
a hijack threat note on a Jet Airways plane in October 2017.

The court of special NIA judge K M Dave said the fine amount submitted by
the convict, businessman Birju Salla, will be distributed among the crew
members and passengers on board the affected plane.

Salla was accused of creating a hijack scare by planting a threat note
written in English and Urdu in the tissue paper box of the aircraft’s toilet
on October 30.

After the incident, Salla become the first person to be put under the
“national no-fly list”, and was also the first to be booked under the
stringent Anti Hijacking Act, which had replaced a vintage law of 1982.

AUTO INDUSTRY SEEKS GOVT INTERVENTION AS PV SALES SKID TO DECADE LOW

Vehicle sales in India – a key indicator of the economy – continued to slump
with a decline of 8.62 per cent in May.

Sales have been going down since July last year but what is worrying the
industry is a historic drop in sales of passenger vehicles by 20.55 per cent
in May.

The passenger segment is the most valuable for the industry and a slowdown
indicates Indian consumers are holding back purchases.

Industry executives are calling the decline unprecedented and have asked for
government intervention in the matter. “We were expecting that there would
be recovery in sales after the election but this kind of decline is
unprecedented, indicating a cyclical slowdown,” said Vishnu Mathur, director
general, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

The decline has been the sharpest in the history of the passenger vehicle
segment.

FUND TRANSFERS VIA RTGS, NEFT TO COST LESS FROM JULY 1

The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday said it will waive all charges on fund
transfer through popular RTGS and NEFT systems from July 1 and asked banks
to pass on the benefits to customers from the same day. This follows the
announcement made on June 6 after the bi-monthly monetary policy review.

IL&FS SCAM: FRESH BID TO GET DELOITTE, KPMG ARM BANNED

The Corporate Affairs Ministry yesterday filed fresh applications at NCLT to
debar Deloitte Haskins & Sells and BSR Associates, an arm of KPMG – who are
the auditors of IL&FS Financial Services from auditing for five years and
also to appoint a new auditor for the crippled firm.

IL&FS Financial Services is of the 348 subsidiaries of the crippled IL&FS
group, which owes more than Rs 95,000 crore to the lenders. The group got
into trouble after many of its subsidiaries began to default since last
September and on October 1 that year, the government had suspended its Board
and taken over the company.

The ministry has also made Udayen Sen of Deloitte, and Kalpesh Mehta and
Sampath Ganesh of BSR as respondents as they were the signatories of the
audit reports of the company.

WORLD CUP: ANOTHER WASHOUT; SRI LANKA, BANGLADESH SPLIT POINTS

Sri Lanka were forced to split points for the second successive time in the
ongoing World Cup after their World Cup match against Bangladesh was called
off without a ball being bowled due to persistent rain in Bristol yesterday.

Both the teams came into the match with one win from three matches and now
each will get a point for the washout.

Sri Lanka now have four points from as many games, while Bangladesh have
three points from four games. The result will leave Sri Lanka frustrated as
it is the second instant of a wash-out for the Island nation.

After two defeats, Bangladesh too were looking for resurgence against Sri
Lanka.

YUVRAJ RESPONDS TO ROHIT SHARMA’S HEARTFELT POST

Indian opener Rohit Sharma posted a heartfelt message for Yuvraj Singh who
on Tuesday announced his retirement from international cricket.

Rohit said: “You don’t know what you got till it’s gone. Love you
brotherman. You deserved a better send off.”

“You know how I feel inside ! Love u brothaman you go be a legend,” was
Yuvraj’s reply to Rohit.

The 37-year-old, who played a crucial part in India’s successful campaigns
at the 2007 World T20 and the 2011 World Cup, is among the Indian greats who
did not get a farewell game after contemporaries Virender Sehwag, Rahul
Dravid, VVS Laxman and Gautam Gambhir.

Unlike many, the Punjab lad won’t be a part of the IPL post his retirement
from all forms of the game, saying he is now open to playing outside the
country, in other T20 leagues.

DHAWAN SUSTAINS HAND INJURY, SET TO MISS MINIMUM THREE GAMES

In-form senior India opener Shikhar Dhawan was on Tuesday ruled out of at
least three World Cup matches after sustaining a hairline fracture on his
left hand.

While it is blow to the team ahead of India’s third game against New
Zealand, the good news is there is a chance that he will recover and
therefore, the team management has not sought for any replacement.

“Team India opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan is presently under the
observation of the BCCI medical team. The team management has decided that
Dhawan will continue to be in England and his progress will be monitored,”
Indian team media manager Moulin Parikh posted on official WhatsApp group.

While earlier it was learnt that Dhawan had suffered a thumb fracture, it
has been clarified that the injury is on the back of his left hand.

INDICATORS

Sensex 39,950 (+165), Nifty 11,966 (+43), Trading Value NSE (Rs.crores)
28,846

Nasdaq 7,823 (-1) Dow 26,049 (-14), S&P 2,886 (-1)

***US$-Rs. 69.34 GBP-Rs. 88.09, Euro-Rs. 78.49, UAE Dhm-Rs.18.87, Can$-Rs.
52.24, Aus$- Rs. 48.23

GBP 0.78 /US$, Euro 0.88 /US$, Jap.Yen 108.58 /US$, Aus$ 1.43 /US$, Sing
1.36 /US$, Bang Taka 82.85 /US$, Can$ 1.32 /US$, Mal Ring 4.15 /US$,

Pak Re 150.79 /US$, Phil Peso 51.92 /US$, Russian Rouble 64.54 /US$, NZ$
1.51 /US$, Thai Baht 31.25 /US$, Ukraine Hryvnia 26.06 /US$, Norway NOK 8.63
/US$

Bitcoin – USD 7,893

Dollar Index 96.67 Brent Crude 61.42 BDI 1125

Gold world Spot Price USD/aoz 1,333 India (Rs. per gm 24k/22k) 3275 / 3097,
Silver (Rs. Per KG) 39,600

Note – ***The currency rates quoted above are only indicative. At best these
can give trends of currency movements. The banks’ buy/sell rates can be
different from these.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Greatness comes not in possessing security, but in withstanding insecurity.
– Jeffrey Fry

OFF TRACK

A woman shopped at the mall and stopped at the perfume counter. She sees,
“My Sin,” “Desire,” and “Ecstasy.” She says to the salesperson, “I don’t
want to get emotionally involved. I just want to smell nice.”

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