IPL Auction 2018 – What teams have in their kitties?

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Sunrisers Hyderabad has retained their captain David Warner. The team has been selected very carefully according to all possible pitches. With Sakib Al Hasan, Manish Pandey, and Hooda the team has a strong middle order. The team has spinners like Nabi and Rashid, who could possibly be put together in the playing XI in case of a turning track. They also have three fast bowlers that is Bhuvaneshwar, Kaul, and Thampi. The team has quite a few good backups such as Pathan and Williamson.

Kolkata Knight Riders

The team did not retain their captain Gautam Gambhir. And, are still to announce the new captain. The team looks decent but they hardly have a backup in case one of their star players are left injured. The batting order of the team looks nice with Narine and Lynn the probable openers like the last season. The real point of worry here will be if the middle order Uthappa, Karthik, and Russell are not able to perform. The bowling line up looks decent.

Delhi Daredevils

The team has retained Shreyas Iyer, Chris Morris, and Rishab Pant. DD last year had failed to reach the knockout stages and this time have seemed to have banked on the youth. The team seems to have ticked in all departments while selecting players. Gautam Gambhir, who had been leading the KKR for quite a few years now, has returned to his home team. He will lead the team and hopes to make DD a winning side, he said in his recent tweet.

Chennai Super Kings

The Chennai team after returning after two years retained MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja. They went on to exercise the right to match for Dwayne Bravo. They lost Ravichandran Ashwin but got in Harbajan singh who will bring a lot the table. More importantly Harbajan brings in the experience into the team. He has been a part of the squads whenever they have been crowned champions.

Royal Challengers Bangalore 

This time the RCB seems to have done their homework. They did not have a seamers last time. This time, they have got Chris Woakes and Tim Southee. With Virat Kohli, Brandon McCullum, AB de Villiers helming batting line up they retain their destructive batting order. Nathan Coulter-Nile and Colin de Grandhomme being the smart picks for a middle order. The side has never won a title in the history of IPL, let’s see what awaits them this season.

Kings XI Punjab

The team has since the first season has been underperforming. This time the team seems to be a good one with some big names like Yuvraj, Gayle, KL Rahul, and Ravichandran Ashwin. The team boasts of a great batting line up which has the ability to thrash the bowling of the opposition. The tough choice will be to
pick the playing XI and balance out the team. The biggest drawback with this team is that they do not have a wicket-keeper.

Mumbai Indians

The biggest strength of Mumbai Indians is the number of all-rounders they have. Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, and JP Duminy. They have relied on Ishan Kisan, former under-19 captain. Overall the team looks strong.


Rajasthan Royals

Ben Stokes and Jaydev Unadkat won the highest bids, among international and national players respectively. The middle order seems very strong with Stokes, Short, Binny, and Smith. The Biggest disadvantage for the Royals remains that they are depending a little too much on International players. The only Indian capped players that the team has on their side are Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Dhawal Kulkarni, and Jaydev Unadkat. With a restriction on the number of international player in the playing XI, RR will have a hard time deciding their picks.

Image Source- News 18, CricBuzz.com

Om Prakash Rawat appointed as the new chief election commissioner.

Achal Kumar Joti, who stepped down from the post, will be succeeded by election commissioner Om Prakash Rawat who has been appointed as the new chief election commissioner.

He is from Madhya Pradesh cadre of the 1977-batch IAS officer, Rawat will take over from 23rd January, 2017. His appointed to the Election Commission was in August 2015. He has held numerous important portfolios at Centre and state level during his long career.

The 64-year-old prior to his appointment as Election Commissioner of India, had retired as secretary, ministry of heavy industries and public enterprises. He had earlier also attended as a director in the defence ministry in 1993. During this tenancy, he was delegated to South Africa in May, 1994, as United Nations election observer to supervise 1st post-apartheid elections in South Africa.

He also attended as chief secretary to Babu Lal Gaur, the former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh amid 2004 and 2006. He got the Prime Minister’s honour in 2010 for brilliance in Public Administration for initiating the movement “recognition of forest rights”.

President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to the nation on the eve of 68th Republic Day

In the backdrop of intensifying row and violence over Padmaavat, President Ram Nath Kovind on on the eve of Republic Day called for a “civic-minded” social order where one can disagree with opinions even which had a historical background without mocking the other person’s self-respect.

Civic conscious nation is built by civic-minded neighbourhoods, whether in our cities or our villages. Where we revere the next-door individual’s privacy and rights. Where we do not trouble our neighbours – while celebrating a festival or when resort to a protest or on any other event.

Where one can debate with another on a viewpoint – or even with a historical setting – without mocking a fellow citizen’s self-respect and personal space. This is fraternity in action, the President added in his first Republic Day-eve address to the nation.

Kovind also pointed out that institutes should be “disciplined and morally upright”, in addition they are always “more important” than the persons in office. The institutes should also esteem their “fraternal relationship” with other institutes, he said.

In his address, the President emphasized the struggle of millions of people led by Mahatma Gandhi in getting independence of the country which was tracked by writing the Constitution for the country.

He said that the country cannot be content without meeting the rudimentary needs and essential dignity of our under privileged people.

He referred to those from a less privileged socio-economic background, from the weaker communities and from families that still live at the edge of poverty. He emphasised that it is our sacred obligation to eliminate the curse of poverty in the shortest possible time. This is not negotiable for the Republic.

Observing that the “promise of a developed India beckons us”, Kovind said this is the new stage of our nation building project on which we have embarked. “This is the Republic that our young people need to take forward and enhance – in keeping with their vision, their ambition and their ideals. And their vision, ambition and ideals.”

Calling for reforms, upgradation and enlarging the education system, the President said over 60 per cent of the country’s population are below the age of 35. “It is in them that our hopes lie. We have made strides in spreading literacy; now we must expand the frontiers of education and of knowledge. Our aspiration must be to reform, upgrade and enlarge our education system – and to make it relevant to 21st century realities of the digital economy, genomics, robotics and automation…”

Highest stage of India’s nation building project is to contribute to building a better, amalgamated and cohesive world at peace with itself and at peace with landscape which is the ideal of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – of the World being One Family, he said.

Sources: NDTV, The Hindu

Senior SC Judges take on CJI, say democracy is at stake

Image Courtesy: R.V. Moorthy/ The Hindu
L to R: Justice Kurien Joseph, Justice Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Madan B Lokur, all Supreme Court Judges, addressing the media in New Delhi.

New Delhi, January 12: Four senior Supreme Court Judges addressed the media to place before the country their worries, which, according to them, failed to move the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. The rare press meet by Justices J Chelameshwar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph, was a first in the history of India and SC.

The SC judges appealed to the country to save their establishment if the people of India wanted democracy to survive.

Assignment of Judge Loya case is seen as reason behind the historic press conference by the top 4 judges.  Justice Chelameswar, senior most lawyer in SC, stated his concern over the corrosion and compromise taking place within the establishment of the judiciary and also within the portals of the SC.

Justice Chelameswar said that they had met CJI with an explicit request which regrettably couldn’t convince him that they were right therefore, they were left with no option except to speak the nation that please take care of the establishment.

Countering reports of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra holding a press conference on 12th January, 2018, after four senior SC judges took on the CJI in an extraordinary Press Conference, the Bar and Bench reported that the CJI is hearing cases as usual in the court.

ANI reported that the Attorney General KK Venugopal met CJI Misra over the accusations made by the 4 senior SC judges.

Letter sent by four judges to Chief Justice Dipak Mishra.

Sources: The Hindu, The Economic Times

Fast & furious, gang of five uses SUV to rob 7 ATMs

On Tuesday, 9th January, 2018, a gang of five school dropouts was caught by police after stealing seven automated teller machines (ATMs) from Pune and other nearby districts.The five were arrested by Kondhwa police for stealing two ATMs that contained Rs 21 lakh from a kiosk at the busy Khadi Machine Chowk between October and December ‘17.

A stolen sports utility vehicle (SUV) was used by the suspect to conduct the robberies. They had modified the vehicle. The idea came from the popular Hollywood action movie Fast and Furious.

The consequence of their experiment left the police perplexed — they made away with an entire cash vending machine within two-and-half minutes exact. The accused used a special equipment, custom-made to take away cash trays from the ATM, without causing any damage to the notes.

Investigation revealed that the gang had stolen seven ATMs. Two from Pune and the rest from Solapur, Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara and Karad. The gang made a total cash of Rs 40 lakh after the thefts as told by Deepak Sakore, deputy commissioner of police (zone-IV) to Times of India.

On October 8, the gang stole an ATM from Khadi Machine Chowk in Kondhwa, laden with cash of Rs 16.48 lakh. They hit once again on December 30 and escaped with a machine which had Rs 4.52 lakh cash from the same kiosk.

During investigation, the police could not obtain CCTV footage of the crime as the suspects had cut all the wires linked to the cameras. The scrutiny of mobile phone data didn’t help either.

Source: TOI

SEBI bars Price Waterhouse from auditing listed companies in India for two years

Ramalinga Raju, founder and former chairperson, Satyam, astonished Indian markets and investors in January 2009, when he acknowledged that the firm had exaggerated earnings and assets for several years, in a scam of more than $1 billion also known as “India’s Enron”.

Price Waterhouse(PW) was Satyam’s auditor during the time in which the scam was committed.

The SEBI, on 10th January, 2018, said any entities or firms practicing as chartered accountants in India under the brand and banner of PW, shall not directly or indirectly issue any certificate of audit of listed companies, or their intermediaries that are listed with the regulator for a period of two years.

SEBI in its 108-page order stated that the network structure of operations adopted by the international accounting firm, Price Waterhouse, should not be used as a defence to avoid legal consequences arising out of the certifications allotted under the brand name of the network.

In India, all audits within the group are directed under the PW brand, with a network of local firms functioning under the banner. The wider PwC entity handles consulting, tax advisory and other businesses.

Price Waterhouse in its defence said, the SEBI order relates to a fraud that took place nearly ten years ago, in which we played no part and had no knowledge of.

Price Waterhouse, further clarified that it was confident of getting a stay order before SEBI’s order becomes effective. They said that there was no intentional wrong doing by PW firms in the unprecedented management done scam at Satyam, nor have we seen any material evidence to the conflicting.

To avoid operational problems, SEBI said its order will not impact audit projects relating to the ongoing 2017-18 financial year, already accepted by firm’s part of the PW network.


Sources: Reuters, Hindustan Times

UIDAI introduces two-layer security system post reports of Aadhar breach

Days after a report by Tribune claimed a data breach in the Aadhaar database, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) introduced a 2-level safety net.

a.)     By creating a Virtual ID

b.)    Limiting Know Your Customer (KYC) – for the 12-digit biometric code.

ET Now reported, the two moves will cover Aadhaar users from any further breach.

How does this work?

The virtual ID will replace your Aadhaar number at the time of authentication. The ID will be a 16-digit, randomly-generated number, that will be used for authentication instead of your Aadhaar number. No one will be able to locate your Aadhaar based on this ID.

All agencies will shift to the new system by June 1.

Limited KYC access will provide agency-specific UID to do away with agencies from storing your Aadhaar number. The agencies will now build their own KYC database without depending on your Aadhaar. They will identify users with tokens.

The move comes a day after an RBI-backed research note pointed out some serious fears about Aadhaar. A study by a think tank associated with the RBI said Aadhaar in its current form is sitting duck for cyber criminals.

Aadhaar faces several challenges in the near future. The primary task is to protect the data from snooping and disproportionate revenue seeking excess of the business world. It is well-known that businesses are gradually operating in a highly competitive world in which ethical borders are rapidly being pulled down. The problem is compounded because they must satisfy their shareholders in a competitive business environment that rarely looks beyond the quarterly profits and the operational dynamics of stock market listing, a note by Reserve Bank claimed.

However, the note said, cyber weaknesses of Aadhaar are a bigger concern than the possible commercial misuse of data.