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Indian Naval Ship leaves for Sri Lanka with relief material

Sonu Kanojia

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In the wake of recent floods in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan government has asked for flood relief assistance from India. Responding to the request, INS Shardul has been dispatched from Southern Naval Command to render humanitarian assistance.
The ship sailed from Kochi in the morning of 27 May and will reach Sri Lanka AM 28 May 17. The ship is carrying not only relief material such as food, water and medicines, but also has a medical team of doctors and assistants to render immediate medical aid to the affected personnel.

Additionally, the ship has embarked Diving Teams along with ‘Gemini’ rubber inflatable craft to evacuate persons in the flood affected areas. Equipped with a Chetak helicopter the ship is also capable of undertaking Search and Rescue Mission by air.

                                          

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Stubble Burning in Bihar is the new worry of CM Nitish Kumar

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Nitish Kumar

“This must be stopped at all costs and farmers should be made aware that this leads to pollution,” Nitish Kumar said.

 

Patna| Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has voiced concern over reports of stubble burning in some districts of the state and called for urgent steps to check the practice.

At a meeting in the Chief Minister’s Secretariat, where the agriculture scenario of the state was reviewed, he also highlighted the need for herding stray cattle to “gaushalas” as cow dung and urine were required for organic farming.

“There have been reports that farmers in Patna and Nalanda districts have taken up the practice of burning crop stubble. This must be stopped at all costs and farmers should be made aware that this leads to pollution,” Kumar said on Thursday.

Similar practice by farmers of Punjab and Haryana has had deleterious effects on the air quality in Delhi, Kumar said.

“We must ensure proper upkeep of our gaushalas where stray cattle must be herded. Dung and urine of cows are of great use in organic farming which our government is promoting. The cattle reared at the gaushalas would come in handy as a source for milk as well as vermicompost,” he added.

The chief minister also stressed the need for giving a fillip to the rearing of goats and chickens “which would go a long way in improving the economic well being of the rural poor”.

He also gave instructions for installation of sewage treatment plants in towns located along the Ganga and ensuring that the treated effluents are not discharged into the river but used for irrigation.

Besides, he directed that hand pumps be installed in villages after a thorough assessment of the groundwater level.

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Rafale Deal Case: Supreme Court rules out probe in the deal

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The verdict was pronounced on a batch of pleas seeking court-monitored probe in the multi-billion dollar Rafale fighter jet deal with France.

 

New Delhi| The Supreme Court Friday said there is no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the multi-billion dollar Rafale fighter jet deal with France.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, said there has been the necessity of fighter aircraft and the country cannot remain without fighter jets.

The Chief Justice of India (CJI) is reading out the judgment for the three-judge bench.

The verdict was pronounced on a batch of pleas seeking court-monitored probe in the multi-billion dollar Rafale fighter jet deal with France.

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Make sure private banks stay in Indian hands: RSS affiliate to new RBI governor

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New Delhi | Days after new RBI governor Shaktikanta Das assumed charge, an RSS-affiliated outfit on Thursday said he should “rethink” about the regulatory framework for private bank ownership in the country so that it remains in Indian hands.

The Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) Thursday organized a discussion on ‘Future of Banks in India’, which was moderated by its co-convener Ashwani Mahajan.

After the discussion a paper was released, in which the SJM said, “There is a need for the new RBI Governor to rethink the regulatory framework for private bank ownership. None of us want India homegrown banks to be allowed in the hands of foreign players.”

These remarks come just two days after Das was appointed as the Central bank governor and a day ahead of RBI’s central board meet in Mumbai.

The Sangh affiliate further suggested that the promoters cap should also be reexamined, adding “present guidelines for compulsory dilution of the equity appear unnatural” as it is helping more foreign funds to make way into the Indian markets.

“SJM is worried that the foreign funds are increasing their penetration among the public sector banks as well as taking control of various private banks. In absence of any agreements on this at multilaterals, including the World Trade Organisation (WTO). SJM believes that the ownership of banks in India should stay among Indians,” the paper said.

It is worrisome, as India doesn’t have mature funds with deeper pockets to take up equities in the banks, the forced equity dilution pushes the banks to go abroad, SJM said while underlining that the motive of bringing in private sector banks in 2001 was to bring in more competition in this space and improving the access to credit to more Indians.

Asserting that the country needs strong and healthy banks for inclusiveness in the society, the SJM said there are two main disruptors for banks, the implementation of International Financial Reporting System (IFRS) based accounting standards and BASEL-III norms.

Basel III capital regulations are a global capital to risk norms. As per the norms, banks have to maintain a minimum common equity ratio of 8 percent and a total capital ratio of 11.5 percent.

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