Speeding tanker kills six software engineers in Pune

The night journey for 15 software engineers was a tragic one. A water tanker rammed into their minibus. Six were killed and nine were injured in the incident that happened late Sunday night.

A report in Mid-day notified that the deceased had gone to Sonai in Ahmednangar district for a friend’s wedding. They had been on their way home to Pune after the function. A Lonikhand police station official mentioned “The young techies who died include Vaibhav Mane (27), Vishal Chauhan (29), Nupur Sahu (26), Akshay Dabhade (28), Mahesh Pawar (28) and Nikhil Jadhav (26).”

As per a report in The Times of India the bodies were taken to Sasson Hospital for postmortem and other procedures. The injured persons were rushed to a private hospital in Wagholi. Inspector Sarjerao Patil stated, “The water tanker was heading towards Ahmednagar when the driver lost control. The vehicle hit the minibus on the opposite direction after it went over the road divider.” Ranjit Kadam , an engineer from the group informed TOI, “I was only fortunate to receive minor injuries on my finger since I was seated next to the driver in the front seat.”

The tanker collided with a car after hitting the minibus. A couple escaped with minor injuries.

Sources: TOI, Mid-Day

Films with quality, change win big at London Indian Film Festival 2017

Mumbai, July 1: The London Indian Film Festival this year saw the emergence of parallel cinema and serious filmmaking as its focus. It saw the rise of new names in the film world. The festival this year endorses the British Film Institute’s “India on Film” series and corresponds with the UK India Year of Culture celebrations in London. This is the eight edition of the annual festival. It is supported by Bagri Foundation.

The film titled, “A Billion Colour Story”, that spoke about Hindu and Muslim unity won the top award. The Indian Express informs that Bollywood filmmaker Satish Kaushik produced the film, while Padmakumar Narasimhamurthy directed it. It was heart-warming and won the Audience Award. The filmmakers were pleased that the film had an impact with international audiences. They were contented that feelings and belief systems are similar across cultures.

Ashutosh Gowarikar from Mumbai, Adoor Gopalakrishnan from Kerala and documentary filmmaker Pratibha Parmar from London were conferred with the Sunmark ICON Awards. Siddharth Chauhan won the Satyajit Ray Short Film Award for his film, “Papa”. He informed the media that he made this film to fight depression. The festival aims to promote the transformations in Indian cinema. It fosters new talent. The works of Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, a young director and Anjali Patil, emerging female actor were showcased, mentions the Asian Age.

Sources: The Indian Express, Asian Age

KK Venugopal to be the next Attorney General of India

KK Venugopal will replace Mukul Rohatgi as the new Attorney General of India. President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed him to the post from the list of other suitable candidates.

A CNN News 18 report states that the 86 year old Senior Lawyer met the requirements of his appointment. He was a favoured choice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi due to 50 years of expertise in legal law. He was the Additional Solicitor General during the political leadership of Morarji Desai. He assisted the Supreme Court in the 2G spectrum case as amicus curiae. He was the lawyer to senior BJP leader L K Advani in the apex court case concerning the Babri Masjid dispute.

The Financial Express informs that this development happened after Rohatgi’s tenure ended on June 6. Venugopal is a native of Kasargode district in Kerala. He began legal practice in Mysuru in 1954. He later assisted his father and late barrister M K Nambiar. He has proved that he is proficient in legal matters as a senior advocate in numerous significant cases together with the case of the Mandal Commission.

He has been appointed under Article 76(1) of the Constitution of India which affirms that he will be holding office during the pleasure of the President.  An Attorney General must be eligible for appointment as Judge to the Supreme Court. He should be a citizen of India and an eminent jurist.

“Be competent or else face a runoff” is Mongolia’s response to Presidential polls

Mongolia will see a first ever runoff in its Presidential elections on July 9, 2017. This was an aftermath to no single candidate seeking more than 50% of the vote share.

Battulga secured 38.1% (517,478) votes emerging as a probable frontrunner. Enkhbold obtained 30.3% votes and emerged as runner up while Ganbaatar got 0.1% of the total vote share early this morning as reported by Al Jazeera.

“I didn’t like the campaigns, I felt like I had no one to vote for,” informed Batbayar Nyamjargal, a young voter, in an article by Times of India. The report goes on to give us a glimpse into the shortcomings of these three candidates to suggest reasons for such a first ever runoff. Battulga has reports of offshore accounts and associates who have been arrested by the anti-corruption body. Enkhbold was caught on camera with two party officials during a chat about $60 billion tugrik plan to sell government positions.  A video shows Ganbaatar receiving a donation of $44,000 from “Moonies”, a Christian group in South Korea.

Mongolia has several economic problems to confront informs a report in the New Indian Express. This turmoil is a result of its rich resources being exploited by the growing demands from China and Russia. The increasing disputes between the government and large investors like Rio Tinto have led to decline in Foreign Direct Investment.

Battulga wants to be a patriotic president and has adopted a “Mangolia First” model equivalent to Donald Trump’s model. Enkhbold promises to maintain stability and Ganbaatar aims for revival of mines and ties with foreign investors.

Sources: Times of India, The Indian Express, Al Jazeera


New Sebi measures a relief for lenders buying stakes in stressed firms

Announced on Wednesday, June 21, the new measures of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) offer relaxation to new investors while buying their shares in distressed firms. The new norms will mean that buyers are now exempted from the need to make open offers to shareholders.

As per a report in The Times of India, under usual circumstances, it was mandatory for an investor buying more than 25% of stake to make such an offer to other shareholders. This is in aftermath to the list of 12 companies that the RBI had sent a week ago. “This exemption would serve as a relief to such lenders once these firms see a changes in management”, opines Manoj Kumar, head of a Delhi-based advisory firm. However, this relaxation will depend on certain conditions.

Sebi has tightened norms for issue of participatory notes (P-Notes). A fee of $1000 has been levied for the use of such notes.

Sebi also plans to amend the FPI (Foreign Portfolio Investors) regulations to ease the entry of such investors. They would be exempted under the strategic debt restructuring scheme (SDR), according to the Financial Express. “The National Stock Exchange (NSE) and 14 key personnel have been given show-cause notices for giving certain brokers a favoured treatment and immediate access to the data feed of the exchange” mentions Sebi chairman Ajay Tyagi.

After the introduction of these measures the Sensex hit an all-time high of 31,494, reported The Hindu.

Sources: The Hindu, The Times of India, Financial Express

Hike Messenger gets a mobile wallet with its latest update

The latest update of the Hike Messenger saw the addition of a wallet service called Blue Packet. This is through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to help users with online bank-to-bank transfer besides instant messaging.

This Blue Packet also has personalized messages and envelopes that can be gifted to friends along with money on special occasions. This will enable one to gift one’s friend cash along with a card to celebrate any special occasion as mentioned in a report by CNN News 18.

The Economic Times informed through its report that this service has been facilitated by Yes Bank. This will also enable users to recharge their numbers through the app.

Hike Messenger founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal informed the media that it took six months for the firm to launch this brand new feature. This was done to sustain the faith of Hike users in the messaging service by offering them something better.

Besides this Hike Messenger has also created app themes with a personal touch. You can now message using the night theme when during the night hours.

Goa gov announces Common Minimum Programme

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar looks confident with his bag of promises from the Common Minimum Programme. Image source: PTI
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar looks confident with his bag of promises from the Common Minimum Programme. Image source: PTI

The BJP-led government in Goa has announced the Common Minimum Programme (CMP), bringing in a lot of policy changes, including the controversies besetting offshore casinos.

As reported by the Indian Express, the programme would include Rs 1 lakh waiver on agricultural loans to farmers. The government aims to setup ‘open markets’, alongside highways which is based on the American market model to provide a market for farmers to sell their produce. Additionally, the CMP states that coconut would be made the tree of the state to alter the previous regulation of it being called a grass.

There will be a relocation of Casinos from its Mandovi base and the housing will be reasonably priced through the state housing boards. However, no timeframe has been given for this yet. Also, the national highways which pass through the state would be widened as part of the CMP.

This policy was framed based on recommendations made by MLA and Minister for Town and Country Planning, Vijay Sardesai, states The Times of India. This was to promote the much discussed value of Goemkarponn (the way of the Goans).


Source: The Times of India, Indian Express