Morning briefing: NDA likely to announce seat-sharing deal today

GN Staff | September 12, 2015



Top BJP leaders will meet at party chief Amit Shah's residence at 11 am today to finalise seat-sharing arrangements with allies for the Bihar assembly polls next month. A meeting of the NDA allies is likely to take place later in the day over allocation of seats. The announcement of arrangement is likely this evening. The BJP, may contest at least 160 seats, leaving the allies with at least 70 seats.

107 people, including 2 Indians, killed after crane crashed into Mecca’s Grand Mosque
A towering construction crane toppled over on Friday during a violent rainstorm in the Saudi city of Mecca, Islam’s holiest site, crashing into the Grand Mosque and killing at least 107 people ahead of the start of the annual hajj pilgrimage later this month. The Indian Consulate in Jeddah has confirmed that 2 Indians have been killed in the unfortunate accident and 15 others injured. The injured are being treated at various hospitals. 11 of the injured are from the Haj Committee of India and 4 from private tour operators, officials confirmed. Images posted by social media users showed a grisly scene, with police and onlookers attending to numerous bodies lying amid pools of blood on the polished mosque floors. Saudi Arabia’s civil defense authority provided a series of rising casualty numbers on its official Twitter account as ambulances whisked the wounded to area hospitals. As of early Saturday, it said those injured in the disaster numbered 238.

IIP grows 4.2% in July, beats estimates
A higher-than-expected 4.2% growth in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) or factory output number has been recorded for July compared to 4.4% (revised from 3.8%) in June. As per the data released by the government on Friday, manufacturing, which carries 75% weightage in the index, grew 4.7% compared with 4.6% in June. Electricity output also improved 3.5% from 1.3% during the same period, but slipped compared to 11.7% in July last year. Mining moved into positive zone with a 1.3% rise compared to -0.3% growth a month ago; it grew 0.1% in July last year. Cpital goods growth jumped 10.6% as against a contraction of 3% in July last year while consumer durables output rose 11.4% as against contraction of 20.4% during the same period. The IIP growth for first four months of the current fiscal marginally slowed to 3.5% compared with 3.6% for the same period last year.

RBI may cut interest rates on expectations of lower inflation: Moody's
Reserve Bank is likely to cut interest rate as the wholesale price-based inflation is expected to decline further to 4.3% in August, Moody's Analytics said. "India's wholesale prices likely fell 4.3% on year-on-year in August, a further decrease from last month's surprise 4.1% decline. Energy and manufactured-good costs are expected to continue their decline, while food prices will likely fall steeply as a result of base effects," it said. At the same time, retail inflation also slipped to a record low of 3.78% in July.

Jamiat to challenge 7/11 Mumbai train blasts verdict in Bombay high court
Jamiat Ulama E Maharashtra, an NGO that has been providing free legal aid to the accused in the 7/11 case, said they would challenge the verdict in the high court. "We are disappointed with the verdict, and will be approaching the Bombay High Court against the special court decision," said Halimul Kasimi, general secretary of the organisation. Expressing happiness over the acquittal of one of the accused, Kasimi said the acquitted Abdul Wahid Shaikh may consider the option of seeking compensation from the state for wasting his precious years, after consulting legal experts and his family members.

Two die in derailment of Secunderabad-Mumbai Duranto Express
Nine coaches of Secunderabad-Mumbai Duranto Express derailed near Kalburgi in Karnataka on early Saturday where two persons were killed and eight were injured in the mishap. The incident took place at Martur village station, about 20 kilometres from Kalburgi. The train derailed at 0215 hrs, blocking Up and Dn lines on Wadi-Gulbarga section. The dead passengers have been identified as Jyoti (female, age 46 yrs) and Lata (female, age 28 yrs) both travelling from  Hyderabad to Pune.

Ex-servicemen to hold rally today at Jantar Mantar for OROP changes
Ex-servicemen will hold a rally on Saturday at Jantar Mantar to press for changes in one rank one pension scheme (OROP). Army veterans had said yesterday that there were some issues in the scheme that remained unresolved. They had also said that the OROP protest would continue.

Gujarat to provide funds for soft loans to minorities

Gujarat will soon provide funds to the National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC) to make soft loans available to minorities, state government officials said on Friday. The assurance to release funds to NMDFC that works for economic upliftment among backward section of minorities, was given here to union Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla during a review meeting of minority welfare programmes of the western region. Speaking at the occasion, Heptullah expressed her concern about protection of Parsis (a religious community) and their properties in Gujarat and Daman and Diu.

April-June current account deficit narrows to 1.2% of GDP

India's current account deficit in the June quarter fell to a 5-quarter low as the falling crude oil and commodity prices helped curb the import bill. The measure fell to just 1.2 per cent of gross domestic product, or $6.2 billion, from 1.6 per cent, or $7.8 billion, a year earlier, data from the Reserve Bank of India showed. The benign current account deficit numbers should provide comfort to investors that the currency is unlikely to witness severe selling when the global currency markets turn volatile due to events such as the Chinese currency devaluation, or an impending rate increase by the US Federal Reserve.

Humans wired to be lazy, finds study
Feeling lazy, blame it on the brain. Scientists have discovered that the human nervous system appears wired to expend the least amount of energy and subconsciously might be pushing people - at least while walking - to do less than more. It suggest that the nervous system subconsciously works against the expenditure of energy and seeks to alter movement patterns to use up as little energy as possible. The study suggests that people change their walking gait to save even quite small amounts of energy. The findings, published today in the journal Current Biology, are consistent with the long-standing observations that people tend to do things through the least effort.

Bihar home secretary transferred on EC orders
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has asked the Bihar chief secretary to immediately transfer principal secretary (home) Amir Subhani and replace him by 1983-batch IAS officer Sudhir Kumar Rakesh. It also ordered transfer of nine other IAS and seven IPS officers. The commission has sought a compliance report from the chief secretary within 24 hours. The directive sent by ECI principal secretary R K Srivastava on Friday evening has asked the chief secretary to remove Subhani from the post of general administration department principal secretary as well.The BJP, in a memorandum submitted to EC recently, had demanded transfer of Subhani.

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