Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news and views brief for today.
Swiss Aviation Firm Expresses Interest In Acquiring Air India
Just days after the government invited bids for a stake sale in Air India, advisory firm Swiss Aviation Consulting has expressed interest. The firm, which offers services such as aircraft asset management, aircraft sales and acquisition support, risk management and more, had earlier shown interest in buying Air India months before the government formally invited bidders and reportedly shared its keenness with the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The Hunenberg-headquartered firm was established in 2005. Other foreign companies that could bid include Singapore Airlines with the Tata group and Air France KLM with Jet Airways.
In its offer, contours of which were revealed last week, the government has invited bids for management control and 76 per cent share in Air India along with its low-cost subsidiary Air India Express and 50 per cent stake in AISATS, a ground-handling joint venture with Singapore Airport Terminal Services. The last date for submission of Expression of Interest is 14 May 2018.
Yogi Government Seeks Report On Exodus Of Hindus
The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has asked the police department to furnish a new report on the exodus of Hindus from the state due to communal tensions in different parts. The government has asked the office of the Director General of Police to send a detailed report. This is not the first time the state government has sought a report on the exodus. Initial orders for a detailed report were issued on 20 June 2017. Directions for a new report were issued on 29 March after the government found the details compiled in the earlier report to be insufficient. The government has sought information on those who allegedly migrated before 28 February 2017, and the reasons for the same, within a week.
The move comes at a time when by polls in Kairana and Noorpur are just months away. The National Human Rights Commission had in 2017 found the reports of exodus of 250 Hindu families from Kairana in Shamli district to be true.
Pakistani Diplomat On NIA’s Wanted List
The National Investigation Agency has put a Pakistani diplomat, posted as visa counsellor in the country’s High Commission in Colombo, on its wanted list for planning 26/11 type attacks on consulates of the United States and Israel and bases belonging to the Indian Army and the Navy in south India in 2014. Two more Pakistani officials, who were part of the conspiracy, have been added to the list. The agency is now preparing to approach Interpol seeking red corner notices against the Pakistani officers, who have reportedly been repatriated to Islamabad. The officer, identified by the agency as Amir Zubair Siddiqui, was chargesheeted in February.
Pakistani officers, who served in Colombo between 2009 to 2016, planned to attack vital installations in Chennai. They hired Sri Lankan national Muhammed Sakir Hussaien and others, including Arun Selvaraj, Sivabalan and Thameem Ansari. These men were arrested by the agency in India. This is the first time that India has put a Pakistani diplomat’s name in the ‘wanted’ list.
Three Month Extension For Panel Drafting New Education Policy
A committee appointed by the government, tasked with drafting a new education policy for the country, has been granted a three-month extension. The panel, headed by former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chief K Kasturirangan, was set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in June 2017. The BJP had promised to bring a new education policy to replace the one that was framed in 1986 and revised in 1992. Apart from the former ISRO chief, the committee has eight members. Earlier, a committee formed by former HRD minister Smriti Irani and headed by former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian had submitted a draft in May 2016. The report, however, was termed as an input document and HRD minister Prakash Javadekar formed a new committee headed by Kasturirangan. In December 2017, the committee was given an extension till March 2018.
India Ups Ante On Steel Dispute With The US
Amid an ongoing trade war between the US and China, sparked by the former’s decision to impose 25 per cent tariff on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium, New Delhi has decided to take up its unresolved steel dispute with Washington at the World Trade Organisation. India decided to press ahead after the US failed to resolve its concerns about the non-implementation of the appellate body’s ruling against countervailing duties imposed on hot-rolled carbon products. India has asked the WTO to set up a panel to determine whether the US implemented all the recommendations made by the dispute settlement body. India’s proposal will come up today (9 April) and can be blocked by the US. However, Washington will not be able to block it if India presses ahead with a second request.
This comes ahead of the two-day trade talks between the US and India starting Monday. During the talks, India is likely to seek exemption from steel and aluminium tariff hikes imposed by the Donald Trump administration.
Karnataka Polls: BJP Releases First List Of Candidates
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday released its first list of 72 candidates for the 12 May Karnataka assembly elections. BS Yeddyurappa, the party’s chief ministerial candidate, will contest again from Shikaripur constituency. In 2013, he had won the seat on a ticket from Karnataka Janata Paksha after quitting BJP. Senior party leader KS Eshwarappa will contest from Shivamogga constituency. He had finished in the third spot in the constituency 2013. B Sriramulu, a close associate of one of the three Reddy brothers, has been fielded from Molkalmuru in Chitradurga.
North Korea Prepared To Discuss Denuclearisation
North Korea has confirmed that it is willing to negotiate with the United States over potential denuclearisation, Trump administration officials have revealed. Until now, Washington had been relying on South Korea’s assurance of Kim Jong-un’s intentions. South Korean envoys had last month visited Washington to convey Kim’s invitation to meet. North Korean leader Kim is likely to meet US President Donald Trump by the end of next month. US and North Korea officials have been holding talks ahead of the two leaders’ highly anticipated meeting. Kim visited Beijing this month in his first visit outside North Korea since assuming control of the country.
MUST READ OPINIONS AND COLUMNS
The Role Of Competition Policy For Development: A competition policy will help in improving the competitiveness of enterprises and act as a bridge between industrial and trade policies.
Data As An Asset Class: We need to reset the tax regime and also find creative solutions for individuals to control and extract value from their data.
Addressing The Insolvency Code’s Many Dilemmas: The early successes of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code need to be built on if India is to avoid its next great wave of corporate over-borrowing and bank mislending.
A comprehensive reading of employment data is what is needed, instead of creating a sense of despondency among youth about joblessness.
We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!
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