Current Affairs

Morning Brief: UPA Awarded Projects Worth Rs 100,000 Crore To Anil Ambani’s Reliance In Seven Years; India Rejects World Bank’s Human Capital Report; And More

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi during the farmers rally (Kisan-Khet Mazdoor Rally) on 19 April 2015 in New Delhi. (Ajay Aggarwal/Hindustan Times via Getty Images) 

Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news brief for today.

UPA Awarded Projects Worth Rs 100,000 To Anil Ambani’s Reliance

In the last seven years of its 10-year-long rule, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government had awarded projects worth Rs 100,000 crore to Anil Ambai’s Reliance, the Economic Times has reported. According to the daily, the Narendra Modi government, which is under attack from the Congress for allegedly favouring Reliance in the Rafale deal with France for 36 fighters, is currently making a list of the projects awarded to the firm during the two terms of the Congress-led coalition government.

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According to an official who spoke to the daily, many of these projects were with government-owned agencies before being awarded to Reliance. The government is also looking at the process followed while awarding the projects to Ambani’s firm. Another official noted that Reliance Infrastructure transformed from an electricity distribution company to India’s largest infrastructure company within five years. Projects awarded to the firm were in sectors such as power, telecom, and road transport and highways.

India Rejects World Bank's Human Capital Index Report

The findings of the World Bank's Human Capital Index (HCI), in which India was ranked 115 out of 157 countries on parameters like youth mortality, schooling and health, has been rejected by the Nerandar Modi government. India’s score of 0.44, on a scale of 0 to 1, was below the average score for South Asia. In a statement, the Finance Ministry has raised questions on the methodological adopted by the World Bank to arrive at the score and the gaps in the data.

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According to the report, which was published on Thursday at the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group in Indonesia's Bali, concludes that 56 per cent of the world’s population scored below 0.50 and 92 per cent of it is at or below 0.75. From these figures, it can be inferred that just 8 per cent of the global population can expect to be 75 per cent as productive as they could be in an ideal situation.

TCS Grows In Double Digits After Eight Quarters

For the first time in eight quarters, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has touched double-digit revenue growth. The company’s revenue crossed $5.20 billion in the September quarter, showing a growth of 3.7 per cent sequentially and 11.5 per cent year-on-year. The operating margins of the company rose by 1.5 per cent to 26.5 per cent- which is the highest among major IT companies. In the last quarter, TCS added over 10,220 people, its highest in 12 quarters.

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In the September quarter, TCS bagged deals worth $4.9 billion. While the firm’s operating margin benefited nearly 120 basis points (100 bps = 1 percentage point) from currency changes, 30 bps came as due to operational efficiency.

Reliance Has 10 Per Cent Offset, In Talks With 100 Firms: Dassault CEO

Anil Ambani’s Reliance will only get 10 per cent of the total offsets, the Chief Executive Officer of Dassault, the maker of Rafale, has said. He added that the company is talking to a large number of other forms for the execution of offsets, an obligatory part of the Rafale deal. Under the offset policy, put in place by the UPA government, foreign equipment manufacturers are required to invest a part of the contract value in India. Rafale has agreed to execute offsets worth 50 per cent of the total value of the Rafale deal.

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On Wednesday, French portal Mediapart reported that Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Dassault Aviation Loïk Segalen had said in May 2017 that the firm’s joint venture with Anil Ambani’s Reliance was a “condition”, “imperative and obligatory” to get the deal for 36 Rafale aircraft from India. However, the portal has now been accused of misquoting the official, who may have been talking about the mandatory nature of the offsets and not about the deal with Reliance. Reports have said that Dassault is also in talks with some state-owned firms for execution of offsets under the Rafale deal.

From Swarajya

Modi Government Messed Up The Communication Around Rafale Deal, And Now It’s Paying The Price: A good option even now would be to call leaders of major political parties to a closed-door briefing on the details of the Rafale deal, with invitees being sworn to secrecy. It may not work, but at least it would prove sincere intent on the part of the government.

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The Tragedy Of Ghoshpara And What Lies In Store If Infiltration From Bangladesh Is Not Stopped: The story of a village that was cleansed of Hindus by illegal migrants from East Pakistan and Bangladesh. Unfortunately, this is not the story of this one village alone.

The Vanishing ‘Garadi Manes’ Of Royal Mysuru: The wrestlers of Mysuru’s garadis are still in the game despite meagre prize money in tournaments and little government support. A story of a 150-year-old garadi mane that has muscled up hundreds of wrestlers.

We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!

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