Morning briefing: Moody’s cuts GDP growth forecast to 7% due to monsoon mess

GN Bureau | August 18, 2015



Moody’s Investors Service cut its forecast for India’s economic growth to around 7% this year from 7.5% because of lower-than-expected rainfall in the ongoing monsoon season, the ratings agency said on Tuesday. Moody’s maintained its forecast of around 7.5% increase in gross domestic product (GDP) for 2016, but pointed to risks ahead that include delays to the government’s reform plans.

Monsoon sub-normal, farm output fell last season
Even as monsoon rains are now predicted at 10 percent below normal, raising fears of another hard year for farmers, the latest official estimates suggest that the country's grain output fell 4.7 percent in the 2014-15 (July to June) season. "As per the 4th advance estimates for 2014-15, total foodgrain production in the country is estimated at 252.68 million tonnes, which is lower by 12.36 million tonnes than the last year's record foodgrains production of 265.04 million tonnes," an official statement said.

Sensex rises 162 points in early trade on capital inflows
The benchmark BSE Sensex gained over 162 points to trade above 28,000-mark in early trade on Tuesday on sustained foreign capital inflows midst a firming trend at other Asian markets. The 30-share index, which had lost 189.04 points in the previous session, recovered 162.46 points, or 0.58 per cent, at 28,040.73 with IT, metal and capital goods sector stocks leading the recovery. Similarly, the National Stock Exchange index Nifty reclaimed the 8,500-mark by rising 34.95 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 8,512.25.

Pakistani terrorist Naved to undergo lie detector test today
Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist Mohammed Naved Yakub will undergo a lie detector test today, a day after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) got permission from a Delhi court to do so. The agency was also allowed to collect his DNA and voice samples. The lie detector test on Naved, who is in NIA custody till August 24, be carried out at 11 am today at the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in CGO complex, Lodhi road, New Delhi, after his interrogators claimed he was lying on many accounts.Yakub was captured by villagers after an attack on a Border Security Force (BSF) bus in Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur district earlier this month which had left two of its personnel dead.

Centre proposes guidelines to make school bags lighter
To make the school bags of students lighter, a set of guidelines has been proposed by the Centre suggesting steps such as well-designed timetables and use of child-friendly rucksacks. Other measures proposed include discouraging reference books and children up to class II leaving behind their bags in school. The guidelines, which would be placed before the Central Advisory Board on Education tomorrow (August 19) for consideration, also calls for supporting the concept of "class libraries" to promote reading habit among students and supplement those who do not bring textbooks on a particular day.

FTII students want one-to-one interaction with Jaitley
The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) students, who have been protesting against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan, have demanded a formal interaction with Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley. The students have also requested the director of the institute to call an emergency meeting of Academic Council to address the issue of the assessment.  They had gheraoed FTII director Prashant Pathrabe's office and wanted to convince him to retract his decision to carry forward with the assessment.

PM Modi arrives home after successful visit to UAE

Prime minister Narendra Modi returned home on Tuesday morning after completing his successful visit to the UAE during which both sides came down heavily on countries sponsoring terrorism against other states. The two sides decided to elevate India-UAE relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership and chart out a new course for cooperation in key areas like trade and investment, defence, security, maritime security and intelligence sharing.

Former Territorial Army jawan held for suspectedly helping Pak shelling in J&K

A former jawan Liyaqat Hussain of 156 Territorial Army (TA), suspected to be guiding Pakistani shelling in Jammu and Kashmir, has been arrested by the Army.Hussain was disembodied from Army in year 2011. Army claimed to have recovered a wireless transmitter set and suspects that he had been guiding firing and shelling from across the border. Meanwhile, a civilian was injured in an overnight ceasefire violation by Pakistan Rangers on the international border in Jammu district. The officer said Pakistan Rangers targeted BSF border outposts, with automatics and small arms, in Suchetgarh area of the international border late Monday.

PM wishes Keralites on occasion of Malayalam New Year
On the occasion of Malayalam New Year Chingam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished the Keralites a Happy New Year before starting his speech at the Dubai Cricket Stadium, while addressing the Indian community in Dubai. PM initiated his speech with greetings to those who hail from Kerala. The Keralites are celebrating their New Year today. Today marks the first day of the Malayalam month of Chingam.

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