Wednesday, July 31, 2013

India-born Mamnoon Hussain elected as Pakistan's 12th Prez

India-born Mamnoon Hussain, a close aide of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, on Tuesday was elected as the 12th President of Pakistan and will replace incumbent Asif Ali Zardari in September.
Hussain emerged as a clear winner in the one-sided contest with ex-judge Wajihuddin Ahmad of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf party, state media reported.
Pakistan People's Party withdrew its candidate Raza Rabbani and boycotted the election in protest to the date of polls being changed.
The polling started at 10.00 AM amidst tight security arrangements.
Born in the historic city of Agra, Hussain, who belongs to an Urdu-speaking ethnic group that migrated from India during partition in 1947, was the candidate of ruling PML-N government.
Over 1,000 members of the national parliament and four provincial assemblies cast their ballots to elect largely ceremonial head of the state.
The office of the president is ceremonial in Pakistan but he is still the constitutional chief of the armed forces but cannot order deployments.
He also appoints the services chiefs at the recommendation of the prime minister. Pakistan so far had 11 presidents, out of which five were military generals.
Four of them seized powers through coups, whereas first president Major Sikandar Mirza was elected in 1956 after the first constitution was adopted.
Single Window Clearance To Promote India as A Films Hub and Destination – Secretary (I&B)

I&B Ministry Develops Sop for Film Shooting in India Online Portal and Website to Facilitate Applications Ministry Convenes National Workshop on ‘Single Window’ Clearance
The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting will be working to mainstream a synchronized ‘Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)’ for obtaining permissions for films shooting in India for both Indian and foreign film producers. This would lead to institutionalization and standardized benchmarks for each critical stakeholder involved in the process. The benchmarks identified in the SOP would clearly identify the responsibility of critical stakeholders in terms of clearances / timelines/ permissions required for films shooting. This was stated by Secretary (I&B), Shri Bimal Julka while delivering his inaugural address at the National Workshop on ‘Single Window Clearance for Film Shooting in India’ here today.

Regarding the initiative of the Ministry, Secretary mentioned that the Ministry was in the process of developing a dedicated online portal for operationalising the ‘Single Window Clearance’ System. The website would include the data on various requirements such as custom clearances, visas, cultural sensibilities etc. A Production Resource Guide highlighting different aspects of production as well as logistics and a digital location library of panaromic images of potential production locations would also form an important component of the online portal. The website will also include information on state-wise facilities like transport, hospitality, medical and other local information for the applicants.

Highlighting the importance of Social Media in the changed communication paradigm, Shri Julka said that the Ministry would actively utilize the new media platforms to provide real time information and facilitate active engagement and interaction with key stakeholders on the single window clearance mechanism. This would enable the seamless transition to online application process.

Elaborating further, Shri Julka said that the challenge before the ministry was to outline steps that would encourage producers to avail of the facility. The roadmap needed to include steps involving the simplification of the process, incentivization of various principles and inputs which would lead to India as a filming hub and synergize the link between films and tourism as the case world over.

During the inaugural session, Shri Raghvendra Singh, Joint Secretary (Films) made a presentation on facilitation of film production in India highlighting the growth of Indian Film Industry in view of the surge of domestic theatrical revenue which grew by 24% and contributed 76% to the Rs.124 billion Indian Film Industry. The relevance of digital dominance was also touched upon highlighting the share of digital format increasing to 80% in 2012. The presentation also touched upon the revenue assessment in view of the exponential growth in theatrical revenue. An overview was also provided regarding the increasing number of co-productions in the country and the deliberations of the Inter-Ministerial Committee constituted to fast track the process.

The day long workshop included interactions with key stakeholders including senior officers from key departments involved at the central level, state government representatives, film producers/ line producers and bodies such as FICCI. A first of its kind, the workshop was organised to review the experiences of the past and the obstacles that many a times led to delays in providing timely clearances/ permissions. 
Coal PSUs Contributes Rs. 125 Crores for Uttarakhand Relief Work
Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) under the Ministry of Coal have so far contributed Rs. 125 Crores for relief and rehabilitation work in Uttrakhnand. Out of this Rs. 92.5 Crore have been contributed towards, Chief Minister’s Relief Fund and Rs.33.5 crore to Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.

The contribution includes Rs. 50 Crores from Coal India Limited (CIL), Rs. 22.4 crore from Northern Coal Field Limited( NCL), Rs. 27 crore by Bharat Coking Coal limited (BCCL) and more than Rs. 6 crore from Western Coalfields Ltd. The cheques for the noble cause presented earlier to Union Minister of Coal, Shri Sriprakash Jaiswal by the PSUs have been forwarded to concerned funds.

Today the Union Minister for Coal, also received a cheque of Rs. 7.7 crore from the South Eastern Coalfields Limited, a cheque of Rs. 7.5 crore from the Eastern Coalfields Limited, and a cheque of Rs. 2.7 Crores from Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd. These contributions are made from one day’s salary of the employees of the PSUs. The cheques were presented by Shri N.Kumar, CMD, SECL, Shri Rakesh Sinha,CMD, ECL and Shri B.Surender, CMD, NLC in the presence of Shri S.K. Srivastava, Secretary Coal, Shri S. Narsing Rao CMD Coal India Ltd. and other senior official of PSUs .

The Coal Minister, Shri Sriprakash Jaiswal has appreciated the concern displayed by Coal PSUs employees for a worthy cause. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

AirAsia X to take off for Adelaide, Australia
Launch fare from as low as MYR199* (AUD99)* one way from Kuala Lumpur to Adelaide
Photo Caption 1: Adelaide Fare Reveal (L-R): AirAsia X Crew, Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X and Leon Bignell, South Australia Tourism Minister.
Photo Caption 2: The Launch of AirAsia X's latest route to Adelaide  (L-R): Leon Bignell, South Australia Tourism Minister, Jay Weatherhill, South Australia Premier, Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X and Mark Young, Managing Director of Adelaide Airport.

ADELAIDE, 29 JULY 2013 – AIRASIA X BERHAD, the long-haul, low fare affiliate of the AirAsia Group is headed for Adelaide, with direct flights between the city and Kuala Lumpur set to take off on 30th October 2013 from just MYR199* (AUD99*) one way.
AirAsia X will fly four times weekly from its hub in Kuala Lumpur to Adelaide International Airport, providing affordable travel for guests from the AirAsia group network to connect to the capital city of South Australia.
Adelaide will be AirAsia X’s fifth Australian destination after the Gold CoastMelbourne, Perth andSydney.
The route will be the only direct low cost service between Malaysia and Adelaide, and will be operated by the Airbus A330-300 aircraft with a seating capacity of 377.
The new service was announced today by AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani during a special ceremony attended by South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill and Tourism Minister Leon Bignellat the Adelaide Convention Centre.
To celebrate the open for sale of the new route, AirAsia X is offering incredible fares from Kuala Lumpur to Adelaide from as low as MYR199*(AUD99*) one way on Economy and from as low as MYR999* (AUD599*) one way on Premium. Promotional fares are available for bookings online between 30th July and 4th August, 2013 for travel between 30 October 2013 and 5 August 2014. 
“We are thrilled to announce that AirAsia X is finally jetting into Adelaide, which means now every Adelaidian can fly to South East Asia and beyond and vice versa,” Mr Osman-Rani said.
“The long-haul, low cost airline began services just 6 years ago with the aim of making long-haul travel affordable for everyone. This new route ensures Adelaidians access to over 80 destinations across 20 countries including Kuala LumpurBaliOsaka and Singapore at affordable prices. Guests from the AirAsia Group network may also conveniently fly to Adelaide via Kuala Lumpur hub soon when direct flights commences in October.”
“Australia is one of our core markets where AirAsia X will see its wings expand and the Adelaide route has been a priority. Our goal since launching our first Australian service on the Gold Coast in 2007 was to operate in the five major states, and we are proud to have accomplished this within six years.”
“We are very excited to finally touch down in South Australia and bring some much needed competition to the skies.”
AirAsia X will increase its flight frequencies to daily services during peak periods between December and February from Kuala Lumpur.
Adelaidians will be able to fly to a host of destinations from Kuala Lumpur using AirAsia’s Fly-Thru service, which allows guests to easily connect between two different flights via the Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal without having to worry about checking in twice.
Fly-Thru routes available from Adelaide are: Chengdu in China; BaliJakartaMedan andSurabaya in Indonesia; Osaka in Japan; Kota KinabaluKuchingLangkawi and Penang in Malaysia; SingaporeSeoul and Busan in South Korea; Taipei in Taiwan; Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand; and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam.

“Kuala Lumpur is a gateway hub to a range of other destinations such as BruneiSiem Reap,ShanghaiBangaloreTokyoVientianeAlor SetarYangonKathmanduChiang Mai and Krabi,” Mr Osman-Rani said.

“Whether you’re after a shopping holiday in Tokyo or Hong Kong, a trekking adventure in Kathmandu or Kota Kinabulu or a beachside break in Bali or Phuket, there’s a destination to suit everyone in the AirAsia group network.”

Together with the AirAsia Group, AirAsia X has established itself as a market leader and innovator in travel and technology, offering not just flights but a comprehensive travel experience with the introduction of mobile apps, interactive travel guides of the countries and destinations that the airline flies to, self check-in options and more.
AirAsia X was the first long-haul, low fare carrier to introduce Premium Flatbed seats, which have standard business class specifications of 20” width, 60” pitch and stretch out to 77” in full recline position.
The Premium flatbeds feature universal power sockets, adjustable headrests and built-in personal utilities such as tray table, drink holder, reading light and privacy screen. Premium seat guests also enjoy premium complimentary products and services including Pick A Seat, Priority Check-in, Priority Boarding, Priority Baggage, 25kg Baggage Allowance, Complimentary Meal and Pillow & Duvet.
AirAsia X’s most recent innovation has been the Quiet Zone between rows 7 to 14, directly behind premium class, which is reserved for guests aged 12 and above on AirAsia X long-haul flights.
AirAsia also recently expanded its Red Carpet service which includes fast track immigration, security clearance and priority boarding to guests departing Kuala Lumpur to long-haul destinations, and introduced the Empty Seat Option, which lets travellers stretch out by securing empty seats next to their seat at a nominal price.
For bookings or further information visit Flights and fares are subject to availability.

* Flights and fares are subject to availability. Availability of connecting flights are subject to timings of the individual flights. Seats are limited and not available on all flights/days or at peak periods. Fares include airport taxes & surcharges. Processing fee is applicable for online bookings made by credit, debit or charge card. Fees apply for checked baggage. Other terms and conditions apply.

Flights From
Departure/ Arrival
Flight No.
Kuala Lumpur to Adelaide
23:55 / 09:45
D7 246
Adelaide to Kuala Lumpur
11:00 / 16:20
D7 247
Kuala Lumpur to Adelaide
D7 246
Adelaide to Kuala Lumpur
D7 247

All Members,
Macroeconomic and Monetary Developments: First Quarter Review 2013-14
Growth is expected to improve slowly as the year progresses, but recovery is likely to be slow. Various surveys indicate further drop in business confidence with the Reserve Bank's Industrial Outlook Survey showing weakening of business sentiments in Q1 of 2013-14 to a three year low, though expectations showed improvement for Q2. WPI inflation has moderated to below 5%, while consumer price inflation has remained at an elevated level of near double digits. Upside risks persist with recent rupee depreciation and rise in crude prices amidst geo-political uncertainties in the Middle East .
Professional forecasters outside the Reserve Bank project modest recovery in 2013-14 at 5.7%. The latest forecast is a downward revision from 6% in May 2013. Their average WPI inflation projection of 5.3% for 2013-14 marks a sharp downward revision from 6.5% in May 2013.
Summary of macroeconomic and monetary developments in First Quarter Review 2013-14: RBI

Global economy : Global growth stays weak, financial markets enter periods of fresh turbulence -- Global growth remained subdued, with improvements in some advanced economies (AEs), especially the US and Japan, getting counterbalanced by slowing growth in key emerging and developing economies. Global commodity price inflation is expected to remain contained in the near term, in part helped by slowing growth in China . However, upside risks to global crude oil prices remain from rising political uncertainties in the Middle East . Global financial markets have entered into a period of fresh turbulence, with re-pricing of risks from likely tapering of quantitative easing. Going forward, interest rates could continue to harden and financial conditions could tighten further, keeping markets episodically under stress.

Indian economy: Slow paced likely to take shape later in the year -- The Indian economy continued to remain sluggish in fourth quarter of 2012-13. Leading indicators do not suggest immediate improvement in production activity and a slow-paced recovery is likely to take shape only later in 2013-14, supported by good monsoon that could shore up rural demand. The progress of monsoon has been encouraging and agricultural growth is likely to pick up. The Reserve Bank’s production weighted rainfall index indicates that the rainfall so far was 17% higher than the long period average. Water levels in major reservoirs are now 66% above past average. Industrial growth remains subdued and supply-side bottlenecks are constraining core industries. Lead indicators of service sector and the Reserve Bank’s Service Sector Composite Indicator signal moderation in Q1 of 2013-14.

Aggregate Demand: Slack exists with decelerating consumption and investment -- Aggregate demand continues to be weak with deceleration in consumption and investment. Government initiatives have started addressing infrastructure bottlenecks, although the progress is slow. Nearly half of 566 large central sector projects are delayed and have cost overruns of about 18%. Tax collection has remained weak during 2013-14 so far. If the revenues fall short of the budget estimates due to growth slowdown, a cutback in expenditure will be required. Therefore, currently it is important to restrain subsidy commitments and increase public investment to crowd-in private investments

External Sector: Need to reduce the Current Account Deficit and ensure it’s financing through stable flows -- Even though the current account deficit (CAD) to GDP ratio moderated to 3.8% in Q4 of 2012-13 from 6.5% in Q3 of 2012-13, indications are that it may have widened again in Q1 of 2013-14. Trade deficit has widened in Q1 of 2013-14 on account of contraction in exports and sharp increase in imports of gold. Going forward, the current account is expected to show improvement. The demand for gold is likely to decline with increase in customs duty and rationalization of gold import policy. While CAD may fall in 2013-14, risks to CAD financing have increased with firming up of US yields that caused global bond sell off and capital outflows from Emerging and Developing Economies, including India .

Monetary and Liquidity Conditions: Policy recalibration became necessary with increased macro-financial risk -- The Reserve Bank eased monetary policy in 2012-13 and in early May 2013 with 125 basis points cut in policy rate. The transmission of this easing has reduced weighted average lending rates of banks by 47 basis points. The policy, however, was recalibrated and liquidity was tightened in July 2013, with a view to restoring stability to the foreign exchange market. The Reserve Bank raised the marginal standing facility rate and the bank rate, restricted access to borrowing under liquidity adjustment facility, stipulated higher daily maintenance of cash reserve ratio and undertook open market sales of government securities.

Broad money (M3) growth stayed in line with the indicative trajectory, but the deceleration in domestic growth and deterioration in asset quality of the banking sector has kept credit growth below the indicative trajectory in Q1 of 2013-14. Going forward, the Reserve Bank will endeavor to actively manage liquidity to reinforce monetary transmission that is consistent with the growth-inflation balance and macro-financial stability.

Financial Markets: Contagion from global bond sell off generates stress in Indian financial markets-- The policy statements by the US Fed in May 2013 accentuated the global bond sell off which also made the markets jittery, leading to significant volatility in bonds, currencies, commodities and equities in emerging and developing economies. Contagion from markets across Asia spilled over to India as well. Policy action was taken on a wide front to limit these spillovers. This helped stabilize exchange rate of rupee, though money market rates and bond yields hardened. The exchange rate of the rupee that had depreciated following the Fed's May 22, 2013 testimony by 7.5% till the July 15, subsequently appreciated by 1.9% till July 26 following the Reserve Bank measures.

Price SituationHeadline inflation moderates, but upside risks persists-- Moderation of global commodity prices, negative output gap and past monetary policy actions contributed to fall in headline WPI inflation. Non-food manufactured products inflation declined sharply to its lowest level in the past three years. For the last 15 months, however, CPI inflation has hovered around double digit-levels. Food inflation rose in May and June 2013 and put pressures on general price-level. These pressures could moderate somewhat if the monsoon remains on track during the rest of the season. Recent currency depreciation and upward revisions in fuel prices have increased upside risks to both wholesale and consumer price inflation

Warm regards,

Dr. S P Sharma

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Thimphu new government installed

King of Bhutan has installed the new government on Saturday ,27 July 2013.
People Democratic party has won 32 seats in parliament out of Total strength of 47 in lower house of the parliament.Election were held on 13 July 2013.
Tobgay installed PM with his members of cabinet ministers by the King Jigme Khesar Namgyel.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Korean War agreement celebration

People in North and South Korea are marking sixty years since the suspension of hostilities between them. North Korea is celebrating the anniversary of the Armistice Agreement with a show of military strength. The ballistic missiles were on display in a parade through Kim Il Sung Square in the center of Pyongyang.

North describes the signing of the agreement in 1953 as a victory against the United States.

Korean War broke out in 1950 when North Korean troops invaded the South. UN forces, led by the US, backed the South Korean military. China supported the North Korea and  fighting lasted for three years.

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un stood along with  Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao on a balcony to watch the anniversary parade.
Media agencies 

Friday, July 26, 2013

     cordially invites you for a two day convention
            IDEA OF INDIA

             AUGUST 21: 2PM-5PM
             AUGUST 22: 10AM-5PM




Dr.Mahalingam M
Research Fellow
Centre for Policy Analysis
N 24 A, First Floor,
Green Park Extension,
New Delhi - 110016
Ph:- 011-26176992

Thursday, July 25, 2013

International Reviews

Moscow cannot extradite Snowden:

In response U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul request to hand over Snowden. Russia could not extradite fugitive U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden under any circumstances, head of the Presidential Human Rights Council said Thursday.
“The extradition is impossible,” Interfax news agency quoted Mikhail Fedotov as saying.
Fedotov said a person who has asked for political asylum cannot be extradited in line with international law. In addition, from a legal point of view, Russia had nothing to do with the U.S. refuge-seeker, he said.
“The problem is that, although Snowden is physically in Russian territory, legally he is not here. While he is in an airport’s transit zone, he hasn’t crossed Russia’s borders. So Russia cannot extradite him or do anything at all with him,” Fedotov said.
Meanwhile, Fedotov said Russia would not violate international law in the situation he described as a dead-end.
“We can do nothing to satisfy our U.S. partners even if we wanted,” he said.
Earlier Thursday, U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul said Washington had asked Russia not to “extradite” Snowden but to “hand him over” to U.S. authorities. Media agencies


Violence unabated in Syria

Violence unabated in Syria today seven people were killed and 62 others wounded when a booby-trapped car ripped through a busy square in a suburb of the Syrian capital of Damascus on Thursday, state media reported.
The blast rocked al-Soyouf Square in the southeastern suburb of Jaramana, state TV said, airing live footage of the blast scene marked by bloodshed and destruction.
The pro-government Jaramana is largely dominated by Christians and Druze minority and has been subjected to many explosions and mortar attacks carried out by opposition fighters.
No party claimed responsibility for Thursday’s blast, but similar ones were claimed by the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front which has recently been blacklisted as a terrorist group by the United States.
The Jaramana blast is the latest of a series of explosions that rocked the capital on Thursday. media agencies


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets a Syrian delegation

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has met a Syrian government delegation in Pyongyang. It was Kim’s first meeting with a foreign delegation from a country other than China.
North Korea’s state-run television reported the meeting took place on Wednesday. The Syrians are in Pyongyang to attend celebrations on Saturday marking the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War.
Delegation delivered a message of congratulations to Kim from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
State-run media quoted Kim as saying it is extremely encouraging for the North Korean people that Syria’s ruling party and government have sent a delegation to celebrate the anniversary.Media agencies


US stops delivery of F-16s to Egypt

United States said   a delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Egypt is halted in light of the military’s overthrow of Mohamed Morsi from the presidency.
US Defense Department spokesman George Little told reporters on Wednesday that President Barack Obama decided to stop the planned delivery of four F-16s.Little said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel informed Egypt’s Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of the decision over the phone on Wednesday.
The decision comes amid unrest following Morsi’s ouster.
A military-led interim government has been installed but violent street clashes continue between troops and the Muslim Brotherhood, which backs Morsi.
Egypt, which has signed a peace treaty with Israel, is a key US ally in the Middle East. The US sends over one billion dollars of military aid to Egypt every year.Media agencies


Dinosaur tail found in desert in northern Mexico


A team of paleontologists has discovered the fossilized remains of a dinosaur tail in a desert in northern Mexico.
The team said five -meter long tail has fifty connected vertebrae and is completely intact.
Fossilized bones believed to be the dinosaur’s hips were also found near the tail.The fossilized tail is the first ever found in Mexico.
The researchers say further study will be needed to determine what type of dinosaur it is. But they say it could very well be the giant plant-eating hadrosaur, which lived in the latter Cretaceous period, about 74 million to 80 million years ago.
A researcher says it is rare that such a well-preserved dinosaur fossil is found.Media agencies

K Chiranjeevi launched the Project “Clean India Campaign” at Taj Mahal,

Tourism Minister Shri K Chiranjeevi launched the Project “Clean India Campaign” at Taj Mahal, Agra today. Taj Mahal is the second heritage site to be covered under this project. Sri. S Vasudev, ONGC CMD, Pravin Srivastava, Director-General of the ASI, Sanjiv Saran, secretary for UP tourism, Parvez Diwan, secretary for tourism (GOI) accompanied the minister who was welcomed by Pradeep Bhatnagar, commissioner of Agra, and NK Pathak, superintending archaeologist. —@  launch of Campaign Clean India at TajMahal 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

India’s Poverty Ratio declines to around 22% in 2011-12
(The percentage of population below poverty line in 2011-12 has been estimated at 25.7% in rural areas, 13.7% in urban areas).

The poverty estimates for 2011-12 released by Planning Commission (68th Round NSS-2011-12) reveals that there has been a reduction in poverty levels across the country. The percentage of population below poverty line declines to 21.9% in 2011-12 from 29.8% in 2009-10 and 37.2% in 2004-05. The overall rural poverty has declined to 25.7% in 2011-12 from 33.8% in 2009-10 and 41.8% in 2004-05, whereas the urban poverty has declined to 13.7% in 2011-12 from 20.9% in 2009-10 and 25.7% in 2004-05.

It is encouraging to note that most of the northern and central states have been able to reduce their poverty numbers significantly over the period of two years. The percentage of population below poverty line in Bihar declined by around 20 percentage points and Rajasthan by about 10 percentage points. Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have also been able to reduce their percentage of population below poverty line by around 5 percentage points and more. While states like Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand have shown only marginal decline in percentage of population below poverty line. However, the increase in percentage of population below poverty line in J&K is disappointing.

   Trend in variation in population below poverty line over 2009-10 to 2011-12
Decline over the period 2011-12 over 2009-10
(percentage points)

J & K
Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from Planning Commission

The percentage of population below poverty line stands highest in the state of Chhattisgarh at around 40% followed by Jharkhand and Manipur at about 37% each, Arunachal Pradesh at around 35%, Bihar at about 34%, OdhisaAssam and Madhya Pradesh at around 32% each. However, states like Delhi, Daman & Diu, Andhra Pradesh, PunjabSikkim, Himachal Pradesh; Kerala holds percentage of population below poverty line less than 10%.

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