Tuesday 31st January 2017 18:18 EST

The Congress led Opposition caper to defer Budget day from its scheduled February 1 to a later date in mid-March after the State Assemble lections in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarkhand et al, was referred to the Supreme Court of India and peremptorily dismissed by it  with this contemptuous observation: ‘Presentation of the Central budget has nothing to do with State Assembly elections…you have presented not even a single concrete illustration to suggest  that Central budget can shake the minds of voters in a State.’ pronounced the Chief Justice of India J.S.Khattar, addressing the litigant,  Advocate Manohar Lal Sharma, who had contended that, ‘They presented schemes to control the minds of citizens. These schemes are against the Code of Conduct.’ 

‘What do you mean by “they”. So it is “you” against “they.” We are not here for that sort of thing. Bring us a proposition of law to bolster your notions, we will look into it,’ responded the Chief Justice. The petitioner was reminded that he been previously given four opportunities to do so without success. The bench also comprised Justices N.V.Ramana and D.V.Chandrachud.

Chief Justice Khattar questioned Mr Sharma’s interpretation of the Constitution, describing it as ‘absurd.’ ‘Take a situation where Party “A” is in power in the Centre and people may think if we vote for that party in the State, money will come to the State, money for welfare schemes will come to the State. Is that an excuse for a petition to be filed seeking a ban on the party to contest the state poll?’ (Hindu January 24).

Indian politics can oftentimes be said to be part of the India’s entertainment industry without any tax to relieve strain on the public purse.

Hailing Indian economy

Hugo Young, Aberdeen Asset Management’s Singapore-based Managing Director, who helps oversee assets of $400 billion, said: ‘We are not in wait and see anymore. Even though it is still relatively early days, the [Indian] economy has transitioned, we are already seeing significant improvement and the ground work is and has been laid for even stronger performance ahead. To not acknowledge that the outlook has improved is staggering….From a fixed-income point of view we are bullish on India.’ (Mint January 24).

Demonetization hits terror funding

India has made significant strikes against terror funding through fake currency by its recent demonetization. Jihadi terror groups in India were kept in the field with fake currency produced in Pakistan and smuggled directly across the border or through circuitous routes via Nepal and Bangladesh. According to Intelligence sources, two major presses in Pakistan engaged in producing fake Indian currency have been severely hit, with fake currency numbers entering from there fell 50-60 per cent following the introduction of Demonetization (Economic Times January 7).

Axis Bank is king

Mumbai-based Axis Bank has outperformed its foreign and domestic rivals with their investment banking skills with its market share surging to 20.4 per cent. The private sector lender has cut 327 deals worth Rs 81,100 crore raised by selling bonds in 2016, according to Bloomberg 2016 debt market league table (Economic Times January 7).

Ethiopian President lauds Jaipur Foot

President Mulatu Teshome of Ethiopia praised the makers of the world famous artificial limb Jaipur Foot for holding two camps in his country and rehabilitating 700 handicapped people. The on-the-spot fitment camps for limbless people were organized in the Ethiopian towns of Mekelle and Harar. Addressing a ceremony in Harrar, Dr Teshome lauded the efforts of Bhagwan Mahaveer Vikalang Sahayata Samiti, whose founder D.R. Mehta said his organization was prepared to set up a permanent centre in Ethiopia and train technical staff at the site. Mauritius and Afghanistan, for example, have such facilities (Hindu January 22).

Pinaka II tested

An improved version of the short range battlefield weapon, Pinaka II missile, has been successfully test-fired with a new guidance system and enhanced range from the previous 40 km to 70 km. The test took place from Chandipur-on-sea in Odisha. The earlier Pinkai model lacked a guidance mechanism. Pinaki Mark II has both a guidance system and a control kit developed by the Research Centre Immarat, Hyderabad, which forms part of the Defence Research & Development Organization ((DRDO). D G. Satheesh Reddy, Advisor to the Defence Minister, said: The success of the guided Pinaka has reinforced the technological strength of the country in converting the unguided systems into weapons of high precision.’ (Hindu January 25).

Maruti surge

Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest carmaker by a distance has reported a profit of 47.5 per cent for the third quarter of the current fiscal October-December 2016 (Hindu January 25).

Peugeot returns to India

French carmaker Peugeot has returned to India through a tie-up with the local CK Birla Group. The two companies are to set their car rolling in Tamil Nadu by 2020 and hope to manufacture 100,000 cars annually. The C.K Birla Group manufactured the ubiquitous Hindustan for decades after India’s independence, but economic liberalization brought its life span to an abrupt end a few years ago (Business Line January 26).

Canon eyes large Indian profit

Japanese digital imaging solutions provider Canon is targeting an annual growth of 10 per cent to achieve Rs 3,500 crore In revenue in India in the next three years, as it looksto expand its presence beyond the metropolitan cities. Last year’s growth was v9 per cent. Canon India President & CEO Kazutaka Kobayashi said, ‘2016 marks yet another successful year for our journey in India as we register as growth of 9 per cent.’ Mr Kobayashi added that the company would focus on expanding its retail footprint, particularly in the Tier II and Tier III cities. Nuriko Gunji, President & CEO Canon Singapore (regional hub for Southeast and South Asia)said. ‘India is a key market in Canon’s global development I am confident that India, as a market, will be a vital contributor to this future success.’ (Hindu January 21).

Tata Motors hybrid buses

Tata Motors, India’s largest heavy vehicle manufacturer has produced pollution-free models driven by hybrid fuels and electric batteries for urban transport. It has been contracted by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority to supply 25 buses, the delivery of which is to start in the new fiscal, starting April 1. The company has also partnered the Indian Research & Development Organization (ISRO) to produce hydrogen fuel cells for its inter-city and Smart City passenger coaches. (January 25).

103 satellites on single rocket

ISRO is shortly to send 103 satellites into spatial orbit in one launch. If successful, it will be a world first, surpassing Russia’s record of 37 satellites in one go in 2014. According to Dr K. Sivan, Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvanthapuram, Kerala, ‘the satellites will be separated from the launch vehicle in different directions’ and separate orbits. In June last year, India launched 20 satellites from a single launch.


The present PSLV – India’s workhorse – rocket will be launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, off India’s east coast, facing the Bay of Bengal (Hindu January 22).

Global hub

The IT industry employs 10 million professionals. More significant has been its stellar role as a transformational economic force, making it a global IT hub. India’s intellectual capital in IT has prompted global companies to set up their innovation centres in the country. The industry aims to achieve revenues of $300 billion by 2020 and reach exports of $200 billion by 2020. India’s internet economy is expected to touch Rs 10 trillion ($146.72 billion) by 2018, accounting for 5 per cent of GDP. India’s user base reached over 400 million by May 2016, the third-largest in the world, social media users grew to 143 million by April 2015 and smartphones grew 160 times.(Mint January 26).

UAE to top up India’s oil reserves

India and the United Arab Emirates have signed a contract for supplies of UAE oil to fill India’s strategic oil reserves at its Mangaluru facility. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company will store about 6 million barrels of oil there taking up half its capacity space. As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India infrastructure needs are indeed massive.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayeed al-Nahyan signed a series of pacts covering defence, trade, maritime cooperation to energy. During Mr Modi’s visit to the UAE in 2015, the two countries agreed to set up an India infrastructure fund of $75 billion. India has reserve oil storage facilities at Visakhapatnam  for 7.5 million barrels, and at Padur in Karntaka with its capacity storage 18.3 million barrels (Hindu January 25). 

IT sector India’s major transformer 

Make in India with its emphasis on Digital India is injecting faster IT growth in the country. With around 67 per cent of $124-130 billion market, India is the world’s largest sourcing destination for the Information Technology industry. The Indian IT sector is expected to register 12-14 per cent growth in the current fiscal ending March 31. The sector is expected to triple its current annual revenue to reach $350 billion by 2025 fiscal year.

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