Morning briefing: Promises in poll manifesto not legally enforceable, says supreme court

GN Staff | September 29, 2015


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Tall promises made by political parties in their election manifestos got legal sanction as the Supreme Court on Monday refused to tie parties down to their grandiose claims. Refusing to entertain a PIL by advocate Mithilesh Kumar Pandey, a bench of Chief Justice HL Dattu and Justice Amitava Roy asked, "Is there any provision in law which makes promises made in the manifesto enforceable against a political party?" Leaving it for better adjudication in the people's court, the bench said the judiciary was not the cure for every problem in the political system.

Asians to become largest US immigrant group
Asians will exceed Hispanic immigrants to become the largest immigrant group by 2055, a study said. If the current demographic trends continue, Asian immigrants are projected to become the largest immigrant group by 2055 and make up 38 per cent of the total foreign-born population by 2065, Pew Research Center's latest analysis said on Monday. While 47 per cent of US immigrants are Hispanic as of 2015, the proportion is predicted to drop to 31 per cent by 2065, said the Pew report, citing the gradual slowdown of the influx of immigrants from Latin America as the basis for the projection.

India, US are natural partners; have elevated their relationship, says Obama
Calling India and the US "natural partners", US President Barack Obama said the two countries have elevated their relationship and committed themselves to a new partnership."We've elevated our ties. We've committed ourselves to a new partnership between our countries," Obama told Modi after the two leaders met for more than an hour at UN headquarters in New York. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the meeting was held in a "very very positive and cordial" atmosphere.

Sensex down 300 points
The S&P BSE Sensex plunged over 300 points in trade on Tuesday following Asian markets, which were trading lower on renewed worries about global economic growth. The 50-share Nifty index was also trading around its crucial psychological level of 7700, weighed down by losses in Pharma, auto, banks, and metal stocks. Most analysts on Dalal Street expect the Reserve Bank of India to slash policy rates by atleast 25 bps later today.

iPhone 6s, 6s Plus roll out fastest in India, sale from October 16
Apple will unveil its latest iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus in India on October 16. This will be the fastest iPhone rollout ever for the Indian market, coming less than a month after the latest models became available globally. The availability of the new devices, that compete with the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy Note5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+, will enable the US-based firm to cash in on the upcoming festive season.

Signs of liquid water found on surface of Mars
Despite its reputation as a forebodingly dusty, desolate and lifeless place, Mars seems to be a little bit wet even today.Scientists reported on Monday definitive signs of liquid water on the surface of present-day Mars, a finding that will fuel speculation that life, if it ever arose there, could persist to now. Although young Mars was inundated by rivers, lakes and maybe even an ocean a few billion years ago, the modern moisture is modest. Scientists have long known that large amounts of water remain — but frozen solid in the polar ice caps. There have been fleeting hints of recent liquid water, like fresh-looking gullies, but none have proved convincing.

Home ministry says death penalty can’t be abolished

The home ministry has rejected the Law Commission’s recommendation of abolishing the death penalty except in cases related to terrorism. The commission’s report in which the suggestion was made was forwarded to the ministry earlier last week by the law ministry for a decision since amendments to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) are in the jurisdiction of the former. At least three members of the law panel had given a dissent note, opposing the recommendation to abolish the death penalty. Law secretary P.K. Malhotra, legislative secretary Sanjay Singh and former judge Usha Mehra opposed the recommendation. Parliament in its wisdom has prescribed death penalty only in heinous crimes, Malhotra said in his dissent note.

Facebook suffers second outage
Facebook restored access to its social media website for most users on Monday afternoon, after its second outage in less than a week. Facebook was down for about 42 minutes in North America. Facebook suffered a similar outage on September 24 when it was down in North America, Europe, Australia and India.

Mark Zuckerberg to step up India philanthropy

Facebook cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to step up philanthropic activities in India and also put more resources behind bringing more people online in the country. "You should probably expect us to do more. We are in a fortunate position of having earned a lot of money through Facebook and I think we have a responsibility to make sure that we do good for the world," he said when asked if he intends to increase philanthropic activities in the country. Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan have also supported educational institutions and hospitals.

Mumbai Central will be first railway station to get Wi-Fi 
Mumbai Central will be the first railway station in the country to get Google's high-speed public Wi-Fi connectivity. Google will begin the wor k at Mumbai Central next month and the service is expected to be ready for public use by mid-October.
The Wi-Fi will be free for the first 30 minutes over a 24-hour period. It will be a high-speed network capable of delivering HD video streaming services and passengers will be able to download a movie in four minutes. Rao said customers will have to pay for the service if they use it beyond 30 minutes.

Nestle cancels contract manufacturing of Maggi
Nestle India has ended its contract with the lone third party producer of its Maggi instant noodle. Nestle's decision to end its 12-year contract with Kolkata based SAJ Food Products could be part of a move to increase focus on quality after the national food regulator, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), banned Maggi noodles because some tests showed that it contained unsafe levels of lead.

Abdul Kalam's grand nephew joins BJP
A grand nephew of former President A P J Abdul Kalam today joined the BJP. A P J Sheikh Salim met BJP president Amit Shah and joined the party, BJP said. Salim is son of a brother of Kalam, a popular public figure who died of a heart attack in July.

Infosys ties up with VC firm to tap start-ups
Infosys Ltd has partnered with Palo Alto-based venture capital firm Vertex Ventures US Fund I Lp to boost its access to start-ups focused on disruptive technologies. The move by Infosys Innovation Fund, which has an outlay of $500 million, puts India’s second-largest software services exporter in the league of technology titans such as Google Inc. that (through their corporate venture arms) have partnered with VC firms across the globe to find the next big thing.

Centre rejects request, private B-schools can’t award degrees
The central government has rejected a request from India’s top private business schools to let them award management degrees and receive public funding as proposed for Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) under a draft bill. Currently, state-run IIMs as well as privately owned B-schools such as XLRI in Jamshedpur, Birla Institute of Management and Technology (BIMTECH) in Greater Noida and Management Development Institute (MDI) in Gurgaon, grant postgraduate diplomas in management (PGDM), not degrees. The private schools are worried that a draft bill that allows IIMs to grant degrees will put them at a disadvantage.

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