Morning Brief: Invest In India Call By Modi; TRAI Backs Net Neutrality; Boeing Spreading Wings In India
Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news and views brief for today.
Invest In India Call By Modi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited entrepreneurs from all over the world to be part of India's growth story. He was speaking at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit that he inaugurated in Hyderabad along with Ivanka Trump, who praised Modi for what he is "doing to build India as a thriving economy – a beacon of democracy – and a symbol of hope to the world." Modi said over 1,200 outdated laws have been scrapped, 87 rules for foreign investment eased in 21 sectors and several government processes have been taken online. "To my entrepreneur friends from across the globe, I would like to say, 'Come, Make in India, Invest in India', for India and for the world," he said. In her speech, Ivanka Trump, who is an informal adviser to US President Donald Trump, said the Indian economy can grow by over $150 billion in the next three years if it is able to close the gender gap in the labour force by half, calling for better opportunities for women entrepreneurs battling heavy odds around the world.
TRAI Backs Open And Free Internet: India’s telecom regulator has backed an open and free internet, saying internet service providers (ISPs) cannot discriminate on how people access web content. In its recommendations issued on Tuesday, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) upheld the concept of so-called net neutrality and said no ISP can grant preferential data speeds or treatment to any web content. “A licensee providing Internet Access Service shall not engage in any discriminatory treatment of content, including based on the sender or receiver, the protocols being used or the user equipment,” TRAI said in its much-awaited recommendations. The Indian regulator, however, exempt certain “specialised services”, defined by the telecom ministry, from its new guidelines so long as it did not violate the principles of net neutrality. It suggested the government change rules for granting licences to ISPs and set up a monitoring body to ensure net neutrality.
Supreme Court Rules Out Ban On Padmavati: The Supreme Court has turned down a request to ban Padmavati and asked political leaders to stop “pre-judging” the film even before the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has cleared the controversy-hit Bollywood movie. With several states banning the film, the apex court said the film was being prejudged and the actions of those in office could prejudice the minds of CBFC members and pulled up the petitioner for filing a frivolous plea. "The movie is before CBFC and a decision has not been taken yet. But people holding responsible posts are commenting on it. CBFC is a statutory body and it should be allowed to take a call as per rules and guidelines. Nobody should comment on the film," a bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said on Tuesday. The bench said the censor board should not be influenced by the opinion of politicians.
Jaitley Rejects Claims Of Loan Waiver For Capitalists: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday defended the recent steps taken by the government to tackle bad loans in the Indian banking system and said it cannot be construed as a waiver of loans of capitalists by banks. Jaitley said that the current government sought to fix India’s banks with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, while the previous government had sought to brush Rs 4.54 lakh crore of bad loans under the carpet. Bankruptcy proceedings have been initiated at the National Company Law Tribunal for time-bound recovery from the 12 largest defaulters in six to nine months in non-performing assets cases to the tune of Rs 1.75 lakh crore, he said and pointed out that Rs 7.33 lakh crore of bad loans originated during the term of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance.
Modi Inaugurates Hyderabad Metro: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated the Hyderabad Metro and took a ride along with Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao in its maiden run. The 30 km-long stretch from Nagole to Miyapur has 24 stations covering several busy clusters and city landmarks, including the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Osmania University, Secunderabad Railway Station and major commercial hubs like Begumpet and Ameerpet. This stretch of the largest metro project in the world in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode will be thrown open for commercial operations from Wednesday. The trains would run from 6 am to 10 pm initially and the timings would be rescheduled to 5.30 am to 11pm, depending on the traffic and demand, Telangana IT Minister K T Rama Rao said last week.
Boeing Spreading Wings In India: American aircraft manufacturer Boeing is going to scale up manufacturing in India by spreading its operations across Hyderabad and other southern cities. "Boeing in India is now also focussed on scaling up manufacturing through partnerships and engineering—both internally and through partnerships. When it comes to manufacturing, we have increased our sourcing by four folds over the past three years. This year, we expect this number to go beyond $1 billion," said Boeing India president Pratyush Kumar. The company will soon expand its manufacturing and engineering footprint in India, he said, and added that today, we have around 1,200 people employed in India and our goal is to have 3,000 engineers in the country by 2020 and we are rapidly moving towards the goal. “Our engineering base will be spread across Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai since we see growth in all these three areas," said Kumar.
Aung San Suu Kyi Stripped Of Oxford Honour: Oxford City Council has voted unanimously to strip Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi of the Freedom of Oxford award over her "inaction" in handling the raging Rohingya refugee crisis. The council has decided to permanently remove the honour given to 72-year-old Suu Kyi in 1997. "Today we have taken the unprecedented step of stripping her of her city's highest honour because of her inaction in the face of oppression of the minority Rohingya population," councillor Mary Clarkson said. "We hope that today we have added our small voice to others calling for human rights and justice for the Rohingya people," she said in a statement. More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh following a military crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine state, creating one of the world's most dire refugee crisis.
Hafiz Saeed Petitions UN To Remove His Name From Terror List: Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed has moved the United Nations asking that he be removed from the list of designated terrorists. Saeed, the mastermind of the Mumbai attacks, was put in the list on 10 December by the United Nations Security Council. The three-day long terror strike at multiple targets in the city between 26 and 28 November 2008 claimed 166 lives. Saeed’s petition to the UN was filed through the Lahore-based law firm that represents him, Mirza and Mirza, while he was still under house arrest. His son, Barrister Haider Rasul Mirza, who is Saeed’s counsel in the UN, also confirmed the move. Saeed, who carries a $10 million American bounty on his head for terror activities, walked free on Friday after the Pakistan government decided against detaining him further in any other case. He was under house arrest since January this year.
MUST READ OPINIONS AND COLUMNS
Monetary Policy: Staying With A Pause: Reflecting a higher risk to future inflation, RBI has already upped its inflation forecast to 4.2-4.6 per cent for the remainder of FY18 (from an earlier range of 4-4.5 per cent). RBI will keep its finger on the pause button not only at its 6 December monetary policy meet but till March 2018.
GST’s Real Gain Is Efficiency And Sustainability: The effects of GST on compliance and resulting teething issues for small businesses are well documented. As the country navigates through the current disruption, the GST narrative will change to productivity gains, formal jobs and better competitiveness.
Net Neutrality A Bold Step Towards Ensuring Equitable Internet For All: A digital economy can become a reality only if telecom firms make adequate investments to augment their existing networks to cater to the explosion of data traffic, and net neutrality enables that. The net neutrality recommendations by TRAI will ensure a level playing field for services providers to innovate and customise in India.
One Giant Leap, For All: High Speed Rail does not represent an incremental improvement over conventional systems, but combines technologies to take rail travel to new dimensions. Misgivings around high-speed railway are unwarranted. It will boost the economy and provide safe travel to the masses.
When Did ‘Death Before Dishonour’ Become Something To Mock? Jauhar is a magnificent act of chivalry and courage in the face of certain defeat – the womenfolk and children enter the funeral pyre so that even their dead bodies will not be desecrated by the invading hordes. Death before dishonour.
We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!
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