Morning briefing: Raghuram Rajan in WEF's task force on study global financial system

GN Bureau | January 27, 2016

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has created a new task force with Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and his counterpart at the Reserve Bank of India, Raghuram Rajan, to study how rapid changes in technology affect financial stability and growth. The group, formed partly at the request of Carney, includes Bank of America Chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan and HSBC Chairman Douglas Flint. "The group will focus on the inclusion of emerging market economies in the global financial system, technology-enabled innovation, and the economic cost benefit of post-crisis regulatory reforms," the WEF said in a statement. The task force will look at emerging markets, technology, regulatory and monetary policies, loss of trust in financial services, and financial inclusion. The WEF's annual meeting in Davos last week discussed what it called the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or the idea that technological advances will allow even greater levels of automation, transforming the global economy in profound ways.

Supreme court to hear plea against president's rule in Arunachal Pradesh
The Centre has imposed President's rule in Arunachal Pradesh, where the assembly has also been placed under suspended animation. Though the Union Cabinet had recommended central rule on Sunday, after an emergency meeting, president Pranab Mukherjee took more than 48 hours to give his assent. Later in the day, former Delhi police commissioner YS Dadwal and former Delhi home secretary GS Patnaik, were appointed advisors to governor JP Rajkhowa who would be in charge of the administration. Imposition of President's rule comes on the eve of the Supreme Court's hearing on Congress' petition challenging the Union Cabinet's recommendation. The president had expressed reservations too and sought explanations from the government. Home minister Rajnath Singh, consequently, met the president on Monday and explained the government's logic. President's rule has to be endorsed by Parliament and the NDA will find it impossible to have an endorsement of the Rajya Sabha, where it is in a minority.

Don't disclose students' information without consulting parents: CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has said schools and Education Department should not disclose information about children under the RTI Act without consulting their parents. The Commission admonished the principal of RD Public School and Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of Directorate of Education (DoE) of Delhi government for disclosing information about a student to his relatives who had a dispute with the student's family. Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said the principal of the school himself told the DoE that his school does not come under RTI Act and applicant was involved in a dispute with the school student's family. "There are several incidents reported that rivals of the parents or quarreling spouses take the child from the school. Revealing the details of the child might lead to kidnap or murder etc.

Maharashtra CM Fadnavis backs women on Shani ​Shingnapur temple row
Maintaining that women have right to pray, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday favoured a dialogue between authorities of Shani Shingnapur temple and activists to find a way out over the ban on entry of female devotees into the inner sanctum of the shrine. He urged the temple authorities to hold a dialogue with the women’s group that is campaigning for entry of female devotees into the inner sanctum of the shrine in Ahmednagar district. “Indian culture and Hindu religion gives women have the right to pray. A change in traditions is our culture. Discrimination in praying is not in our culture. The temple authorities should resolve the issue through a dialogue,” tweeted Fadnavis, who also holds the Home portfolio. Minister of State for Home Ram Shinde said the government will facilitate talks between the temple authorities and women activists to arrive at an amicable solution.

Donald Trump says 'India is doing great'
 Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump has commented on India for the first time after he entered the presidential race, saying that the country is doing great and no one is talking about it. "India is doing great," Trump told the CNN in an interview on Monday. This is for the first time that Trump has gave a glimpse into his thought about India, even as he has been openly critical about many countries like China, Mexico and Japan in many of his speeches. "That was the beginning of China. That was the beginning of India, when India -- by the way, India is doing great. Nobody talks about it. And I have big jobs going up in India. But India is doing great," Trump said. "But that was the beginning of China. That was the beginning of India. Look at everything I told you. Everything I told you is all right, whether it's Iraq, whether it's Iran, whether it's China, whether it's India, whether it's Japan," Trump said referring to his CNN interview in September 2007.

Opinion poll puts Modi as the most popular leader in country
Prime minister Narendra Modi is the most popular leader in the country, as per an opinion poll. As per an opinion poll conducted by ABP News-Nielsen, 58% respondents consider PM Modi to be the most popular leader in the country. On the other hand, the performance of BJP-led government has been rated "above average". According to the opinion poll, if the Lok Sabha elections were to be held tomorrow, NDA is likely to get 38 per cent vote share which will give it 301 seats as against 339 seats in May 2014 polls. The Congress-led UPA is likely to get a vote share of 28 per cent which will give it 108 seats compared to 62 seats in the previous elections, it said.

Venkaiah Naidu slams Owaisi for his 'vote for us if you want beef' remark
Union minister Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday accused Asaduddin Owaisi of indulging into communal politics by appealing citizens to vote for MIM in forthcoming civic polls if they don't want ban on consumption of beef like in other states. "(Generally) what anybody (political leaders) say in elections? If we come to power, we will get piped water, roads (for people)...The party (MIM) is saying new things. Vote for us if you want beef. Beef for you (people) and development for us," Naidu said addressing a campaign meeting at Hyderabad in support of the BJP-TDP combine for the February 2 Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections.

The senior BJP leader said he had no objection about people's culinary preferences. "I don't to get into what to be eaten. Except humans (flesh), everybody has the right to eat anything. Let them eat, no objection. But, the point is...They are trying to divide people on religion basis," he said. Addressing a public meeting here yesterday, Owaisi had said that a ban on consumption and sale of beef may be imposed in the city if MIM was not voted to power in the polls. "I am not trying to scare you. But, the fact is if we don't come to power, there may be a scope for ban on beef (in Hyderabad) on pretext of faith," he had said. Owaisi also said that such a ban will hit the poor and also beef traders hard as it happened in Maharashtra.

National Investment Grid to map business opportunities soon
The government is considering the creation of a National Investment Grid to map business opportunities across the country, reports Economic Times. The idea is that this may encourage private investment, which has been a laggard. The proposed grid will have details of upcoming projects as well as those that are underway besides land available with the Centre, states, their agencies and public sector undertakings. "Such a grid will place investment opportunities in terms of projects upfront and make it easier for investors to access and explore," said an official of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), which is discussing the idea with states as part of the Invest India programme. DIPP has been at the forefront of key government initiatives such as Make in India, Start Up India and improving ease of doing business.

Pact on building of nuclear reactors by French firm
Nuclear Power Corp of India has signed a memorandum of understanding with French utility EDF for the construction of six EPR nuclear reactors at Jaitapur. With this agreement, the EDF takes over the long-delayed project from French nuclear group Areva, which will sell its reactor arm to EDF later this year. The Jaitapur project is at the preliminary technical studies stage after getting initial environmental clearance in 2010, the EDF said in a statement. A contract for pre-engineering studies was signed by Areva and the NPCIL last April.



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