Morning briefing: Hardik Patel calls for Gujarat bandh, Whatsapp and SMS suspended to contain rumour mongering

GN Staff | August 26, 2015


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Patels community leader Hardik Patel has called for a bandh in Gujarat today. In a late night message on WhatsApp, he also said, "I make an appeal to maintain peace and keep calm."  Meanwhile, internet services on mobile phones have been suspended in some parts of the state to check the spread of rumours through Whatsapp and SMS. Internet can be accessed on computers in homes and offices. There is curfew in some areas of Ahmedabad and Surat where there has been violence after 21-year-old Hardik Patel was briefly detained on Tuesday night. Schools and colleges are closed today in Ahmedabad, There is a  demand for reservation in government jobs and colleges for the Patel community or Patidars. Chief Minister Anandiben, who also belongs to the Patel community, has said the Patels cannot be added to the list of castes entitled to quotas because Gujarat has hit the cap of 50 per cent reservation ordered by the Supreme Court.

Hindu population declines by 0.7%, Muslims' increases by 0.8%
The latest census data on the population of religious groups, released by the Modi government on Tuesday, shows a 0.7 percent decline in the Hindu population, while a growth of 0.8 percent has been registered in the Muslim community. The census has distributed the total population amongst six religions namely Hindu, Muslim, Christians, Sikh, Buddhist and Jains. In 2011, total population was registered as – 121.09 crores, in which Hindus constituted 79.8 percent, Muslims 14.2 percent, Christians 2.3 percent, Sikh 1.7 percent, Buddhist 0.7 percent and Jain 0.4 percent.

Raghuram Rajan: India 'not immune to China-led slowdown'
Governor Raghuram Rajan of Reserve Bank of India acknowledged that India was not immune to a China-led slowdown. In an interview to BBC he said he does not think there is any evidence of another financial meltdown. But the global market sell-off was not just down to China.

Sensex down; Nifty trades near 7,800

The S&P BSE Sensex slipped over 300 points in trade on Wednesday, led by losses in ICICI Bank, ITC, Tata Motors, HDFC Bank and RIL. The 50-share Nifty index plunged below its crucial psychological support level of 7800, weighed down by losses in pharma, IT, auto, banks, metal and power stocks.

Asian equities trade lower; Chinese rate cut fails to fuel rally
Shares were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday, after a move by China to cut its key interest rate failed to spark a sustained rally on Wall Street. Investors looked set for another white-knuckle day as Chinese, Hong Kong and Japan shares bobbled in and out of negative territory. Japan's main Nikkei 225 stock index ended the morning up 0.5 percent at 17,896.23, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dipped in early trading but was up 0.2 percent at 21,444.73. China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index — source of much angst through these days of volatility — fell 0.4 percent to 2,953.33. But Australian shares fell 0.2 percent to 5,127.30 and shares in New Zealand, Taiwan and Southeast Asia were mostly lower.

Indian-made foreign liquor sales volume drops for first time in 10 years
Sales volumes of locally made versions of foreign liquor declined for the first time in more than a decade amid price increases, bans and distribution changes in some states. Indian-made foreign liquor products, which include brands such as Royal Stag, McDowell's and Officer's Choice, are locally produced adapted versions of European spirits and account for almost 70% of the market. Their sales volume declined 2% during the quarter ended June compared with a 6%  growth in the corresponding period a year ago, according to industry estimates.

Govt moves cabinet note on monetary policy committee
The government has moved a cabinet note on the creation of a monetary policy committee (MPC) as part of plans to reset a framework for this in line with international best practices. The committee is likely to have three government nominees and four from the Reserve Bank of India, with the governor as chairman. There may not be any veto for the governor but the person will have a casting vote in case of a tie.


Modi rakhis make it big in poll bound Bihar
Shopkeepers in Patna say that the bracelets made of interwoven red and white threads and adorned with pictures of prime minister Narendra Modi are selling like hotcakes ahead of the festival later this week. They say the first lot of Modi-Rakhis went out of stock within a week and had to be replenished. Given the demand, they are also comparatively costlier. Bihar is going to face elections soon and the BJP is banking on Modi to deliver the state.

E-commerce firms hope for $4-billion sales bonanza in festive season
E-commerce firms are running their preparations for the coming festive season at full steam, expecting sales to the tune of Rs 25,600 crore ($4 billion). The festive months from October-December are expected to account for 40% of the $10-billion annual sales e-commerce firms are likely to record this year, according to management consulting firm Technopark Advisors.

Online grocery stores selling cheaper onion
With market price of onions hitting Rs 80 per kg, online grocery stores are looking to gain favour with customers by offering onions at about half the rate. Companies such as Localbanya, MeraGrocer, Freshfalsabzi.com and GrocerMax are offering onions at Rs 40-69 per kilogramme. They're able to do this through better logistics and by cutting out middlemen. Many online stores are supplying onions on a minimum purchase order and also restrict 2 kg of onions per customer on a given day to prevent hoarding.

India to face power surplus
India may be heading for a huge surplus of generation capacity because the 300 million people who don't have access to electricity also don't have the means to buy power from new plants that are being set up to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of power for all, experts said. The government said it intends to expand power generation capacity about three-fold to 800 gigawatts by 2030.

Modi calls Nepal PM Sushil Koirala, offers security assistance

Prime minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday telephoned his Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala and offered assistance to safeguard security in the Himalayan country which is in the grip of violence over demand of creation of a new state. The remarks came less than 24 hours after violence broke out in the western district of Kailali and nine people were killed.


 

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