Morning briefing: PM Modi to meet industry leaders today for positive talk

GN Bureau | September 8, 2015



To discuss conversion of global crisis into an opportunity for India and regain investors confidence in stock market, prime minister Narendra Modi is holding a meeting of top businessmen and bankers today. This is Modi's second high-level interaction with industry captains since he assumed office. As many has 27 business leaders, bankers and economists have been invited for the meeting.Among those expected at the PM's residence are — Ambani brothers Mukesh and Anil, Tata Group’s Cyrus Mistry, Aditya Birla Group’s Kumar Mangalam Birla, Mahindra & Mahindra’s Anand Mahindra, Essar’s Shashi Ruia, and Adani Group’s Gautam Adani.

The heads of the two biggest banks – State Bank of India’s Arundhati Bhattacharya and ICICI Bank’s Chanda Kochhar are expected to attend the meeting along with three industry chambers' presidents -- Sumit Mazumder of CII, Jyotsna Suri of FICCI and Rana Kapoor of Assocham. The government has been of the view that India should take advantage of the global turbulence and look at how to convert it into an opportunity.

Election Commission may announce Bihar poll dates today
Bihar poll dates are likely to be announced by the Election Commission of India. The availability of central forces will decide the phases for polling. Chief minister Nitish Kumar is seeking a third term after ruling Bihar for ten years. The Bharatiya Janata Party and an alliance of the Janata Dal-United and the Rashtriya Janata Dal that has the backing of the Congress will be the main contenders in the polls.

80% of Assam hit by flood, 18 lakh affected
Nearly 80 per cent of Assam has been engulfed by floods which has affected 20 out of the total 27 districts, claimed 42 lives and affected 18 lakh people, Assam State Disaster Management Authority said on Monday. Loss of six lives was reported during the day in the flood, which has affected 18 lakh people in almost 1,880 villages and submerged over 1.1 lakh hectares of crop land.

Meat ban is against fundamental right of choice of food, say Muslims
Days after the Mira Bhayander municipal body banned the sale of mutton for eight days of Paryushan during which Jains fast, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation ordered that slaughter houses be shut for four days. The order was passed after Vishwamaitra Trust Ahinsa Sangh (VTAS) made the demand. Some slammed the move for it being motivated for vote-bank politics. "Why only mutton and beef, why not fish and chicken? Tomorrow if they do that there will be problem from the Koli community. This is being done only to affect Muslims who are politically weak," said Maulana Hakim Mehmood Dariyabadi, general secretary of All India Ulema Council.

Siemens to invest one billion euro in India
Germany's trains-to-turbines conglomerate Siemens AG will invest 1 billion euro in India to add 4,000 jobs to its existing workforce of 16,000 in the country, becoming the first major European conglomerate to commit big bucks in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' initiative. It may look at mergers and acquisitions in software, said Chief Executive Joe Kaeser, who is in New Delhi along with the company's entire board. Kaeser will meet Modi on Tuesday, his fourth interaction with the PM.

India hits back at Pak Army chief Raheel Sharif
The only issue with Pakistan is to get back parts of Jammu and Kashmir under its illegal occupation, Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh said here today, hitting back at Pakistan Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif's comments that Kashmir is an "unfinished agenda". Singh emphasised that Jammu and Kashmir was and will remain the integral part of India. "If there is any subject related to Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan it is how the parts of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) can be again included in India.

Americans sign petition offering to house Syrian refugees
Hundreds of Americans offered on Monday to take Syrian refugees into their homes, saying in an online petition that the United States needed to let in more migrants fleeing civil war. Almost 1,300 people had signed the petition on the progressive MoveOn.org website calling on the United States to lift its limit on Syrian refugees as Europe struggled to cope with record numbers of asylum seekers. The United Nations says 4 million people have fled the fighting since the start of the civil war in 2011. The United States has admitted about 1,500 refugees, and the White House said it was weighing responses to the crisis, including resettlement.

Hindus, other refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh can stay in India without visa
At a time when the plight of refugees has shot to limelight due to the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe, India has done its part to come to the aid of minority refugees from Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Central government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to grant exemptions to minority community nationals from Bangladesh and Pakistan in regularization of their entry and stay in India.

As per an official release, “the Government of India will exempt Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals belonging to minority communities, who have entered India on or before December 31, 2014, from the relevant provisions of rules and order made under the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and the Foreigners Act, 1946 in respect of their entry and stay in India without such documents or after the expiry of those documents, as the case may be.”

CWC meeting likely to extend Sonia Gandhi's term by a year today
The Congress Working Committee (CWC) is likely to extend term of party president Sonia Gandhi by a year at its meeting today (Tuesday). The CWC, which is the Congress' highest decision-making body, will also discuss the present political situation in the country. The term of Gandhi, who has been at the helm for 17 years, will end in December and the party is likely to hold organisational elections next year. There had been demands within the party earlier that party vice president Rahul Gandhi should be elevated as the president but the party appears to have decided to make the change at an appropriate time later.

7 Indians feature in Forbes Asia's Heroes of Philanthropy list
Seven Indians feature in Forbes Asia's ninth Heroes of Philanthropy list, highlighting most noteworthy contributions to philanthropy from 13 countries across Asia Pacific. Infosys co-founders Senapathy Gopalakrishnan, Nandan Nilekani and S D Shibulal feature on the list for their individual contributions to the health and education sectors. Another Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy's son Rohan is on the list for donating a whopping USD 5.2 million to Harvard University Press for promoting ancient Indian literary classics. He represents his father as a philanthropist. Kerala-born entrepreneur Sunny Varkey, who in June pledged about half of his $ 2.25 billion dollar fortune to charity as part of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet-led Giving Pledge initiative, tops the list of philanthropists in the region. The other two Indian philanthropists are brothers Suresh Ramakrishnan and Mahesh Ramakrishnan, both London-based entrepreneurs and founders of Whitcomb & Shaftesbury Tailors on London's Saville Row.The brothers donated $ 3 million for training of more than 4,000 people in tailoring across India.

BJP-ruled states asked to set up Vyapam-like education body
The BJP-ruled state governments on Monday were asked by the party to set up a body on the lines of Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board to conduct examinations for admissions and recruitments. The call was made at a two-day meet of the education and cultural affairs ministers of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) -ruled states in the capital which discussed how new education policies could be implemented in the party-ruled states. The meet was attended by union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani and Minister of Culture Mahesh Sharma and senior RSS official Krishna Gopal, among others.

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