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Journalist Allwyn Fernandes passes away in Mumbai

Allwyn Fernandes
Allwyn Fernandes
Well-known journalist Allwyn Fernandes, who had moved to corporate communications in the later years of his career, passed away at his home in Marol, Andheri here last night after battling cancer for more than two years.
 
He was 66. He is survived by his  wife Enid, son Rohan and daughter Rohini.His funeral will be held here later today, his family said.
 
Fernandes had been suffering from sarcoma, an aggressive cancer, and his condition took a turn for the worse around the end of September.
 
The news of his death stunned his large number of friends in the media, civil society and the corporate world as well as the hundreds of students he had taught and mentored over the years.
 
Born on June 1, 1948, Fernandes graduated in Physics and Mathematics from St Xavier's College here and did courses in journalism at the Bhavan's College of Mass Communication here as well as the International Institute for Journalism in Berlin.
 
He began his career as a teacher before joining The Times of India, where he earned a name for himself with his investigative stories. After about 25 years with the newspaper, he became Director, Media Practice at public relations firm Edelman India and conducted training sessions in media and crisis management there for corporate executives.
 
He also taught at journalism schools and wrote books, including one on the late consumer activist M R Pai.
 
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Jet Airways commences roll out of full service product across domestic network

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Private sector carrier Jet Airways today commenced the roll out of a full service product on all flights across its domestic network in keeping with its Master Brand Plan, announced in August, as part of which it has phased out the low-cost services offered by JetLite under the JetKonnect brand, for a return to profitability.
 
Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal had said on August 11 that the airline would "streamline and align its domestic operation, creating a strong, uniform Jet Airways master brand, simultaneously revitalising its product and service offering."
 
A press release from the airline said that, starting today, Jet Airways’ would offer guests a two class, full service product with a complimentary dining experience onboard all domestic flights. 
 
"Apart from the enhanced service quality levels, the airline will offer easy convenient connections on its domestic network to over 51 destinations across India with over 450 daily domestic flights," it said.
 
The release said passengers would  also be able to access 22 international destinations on Jet Airways network and also offer connectivity to over 135 international destinations across the world with its strategic alliance partner Etihad Airways.
 
Cramer Ball, CEO of Jet Airways, said “We hope that our move to a full service brand, across all flights demonstrates our commitment to continually enhance the service and hospitality we offer our guests. I firmly believe that this move to a full service carrier, delivered in our inimitable style with the warmth and graciousness of Indian hospitality will help Jet Airways redefine the service paradigm in Indian skies. We are all committed to delivering the best domestic full service product in India.”
 
JetPrivilege members will also earn JPMiles in line with the accrual structure of full service flights. The programmewill offer guests easy tier retention, faster tier upgrades, improved tier benefits, easy redemptions, a minimum of 500 JPMiles on every flight, and a wide range of 150 partners to choose from.
 
Jet Airways currently operates a fleet of 115 aircraft, which include 10 Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, 8 Airbus A330-200 aircraft, 4 Airbus A330-300 aircraft, 75 Boeing 737-700/800/900/900ER aircraft and 15 ATR 72-500 and 3 ATR72-600. 
 
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RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 8% despite pressure from govt.

The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday kept its key policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility unchanged at 8.0% and the cash reserve ratio of scheduled banks at 4.0% net demand and time liabilities, citing the durability of the current upturn, especially the fall in inflation rates, as the key uncertainty.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today kept its key policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 8.0 per cent and the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks at 4.0 per cent of net demand and time liabilities (NDTL), citing the durability of the current upturn, especially the fall in inflation rates, as the key uncertainty.
 
In its Fifth Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2014-15, the RBI said this was done on the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation.
 
"A change in the monetary policy stance at the current juncture is premature. However, if the current inflation momentum and changes in inflationary expectations continue, and fiscal developments are encouraging, a change in the monetary policy stance is likely early next year, including outside the policy review cycle," RBI Governor Raghuram G. Rajan said.
 
Dr Rajan said the central bank would continue to provide liquidity under overnight repos at 0.25 per cent of bank-wise NDTL at the LAF repo rate and liquidity under 7-day and 14-day term repos of up to 0.75 per cent of NDTL of the banking system through auctions and continue with daily one-day term repos and reverse repos to smooth liquidity.
 
Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF will remain unchanged at 7.0 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 9.0 per cent, the statement said.
 
The RBI has not reduced the rates since May 2013 though retail inflation has eased to a record low of 5.5 per cent in October this year.
 
Today's decision is in keeping with general expectations though there was pressure from both the government and the industry for a cut in interest rates to help boost demand and growth.
 
Dr Rajan said that, consistent with the balance of risks set out in the fourth bi-monthly monetary policy statement of September, headline inflation had been receding steadily and current readings are below the January 2015 target of 8 per cent as well as the January 2016 target of 6 per cent. 
 
"The inflation reading for November – which will become available by mid-December – is expected to show a further softening. Thereafter, however, the favourable base effect that is driving down headline inflation will likely dissipate and inflation for December (data release in mid-January) may well rise above current levels," he said.
 
Dr Rajan said the key uncertainty was the durability of this upturn. "The full outcome of the north-east monsoon will determine the intensity of price pressures relating to cereals, oilseeds and pulses, but it is reasonable to expect some firming up of these prices in view of the monsoon’s performance so far and the shortfall estimated for kharif production. Risks from imported inflation appear to be retreating, given the softening of international commodity prices, especially crude, and reasonable stability in the foreign exchange market. Accordingly, the central forecast for CPI inflation is revised down to 6 per cent for March 2015," he said.
 
Turning to the outlook for inflation in the medium-term, the statement said projections at this stage would be contingent upon expectations of a normal south-west monsoon in 2015, international crude prices broadly around current levels and no change in administered prices in the fuel group, barring electricity. 
 
"Over the next 12-month period, inflation is expected to retain some momentum and hover around 6 per cent, except for seasonal movements, as the disinflation momentum works through. Accordingly, the risks to the January 2016 target of 6 per cent appear evenly balanced under the current policy stance," it said.
 
Dr Rajan said some easing of monetary conditions had already taken place. "The weighted average call rates as well as long term yields for government and high-quality corporate issuances have moderated substantially since end-August. However, these interest rate impulses have yet to be transmitted by banks into lower lending rates. Indeed, slow bank credit growth is mirrored by increasing reliance of large corporations on commercial paper and domestic as well as external public issuances," he said.
 
"Still weak demand and the rapid pace of recent disinflation are factors supporting monetary accommodation. However, the weak transmission by banks of the recent fall in money market rates into lending rates suggests monetary policy shifts will primarily have signaling effects for a while. Nevertheless, these signaling effects are likely to be large because the Reserve Bank has repeatedly indicated that once the monetary policy stance shifts, subsequent policy actions will be consistent with the changed stance. There is still some uncertainty about the evolution of base effects in inflation, the strength of the on-going disinflationary impulses, the pace of change of the public’s inflationary expectations, as well as the success of the government’s efforts to hit deficit targets.
 
The statement said that, while activity appeared to have lost some momentum in the second quarter (Q2), probably extending into Q3, conditions congenial for a turnaround – the softening of inflation; easing of commodity prices and input costs; comfortable liquidity conditions; and rising business confidence as well as purchasing activity – were gathering. 
 
"These conditions could enable a pick-up in Q4 if coordinated policy efforts fructify in dispelling the drag on the economy emanating from structural constraints.
 
"A durable revival of investment demand continues to be held back by infrastructural constraints and lack of assured supply of key inputs, in particular coal, power, land and minerals. The success of ongoing government actions in these areas will be key to reviving growth and offsetting downside risks emanating from agriculture – in view of weaker-than-expected rabi sowing – and exports – given the sluggishness in external demand. Anticipating such success, the central estimate of projected growth for 2014-15 has been retained at 5.5 per cent, with a gradual pick-up in momentum through 2015-16 on the assumption of a normal monsoon and no adverse supply/financial shocks," it said.
 
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India scraps 20:80 gold import rule in surprise move

India today scrapped a rule that required traders to export 20 per cent of the gold imported by them as part of the government's efforts to bring down the current account deficit.
 
"It has been decided by the Government of India to withdraw the 20:80 scheme and restrictions placed on import of gold. Accordingly, all instructions issued about the scheme from time to time starting with A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No.25 dated August 14, 2013 stand withdrawn with immediate effect," a notification issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said.
 
The government had on July 22 last year impsoed some restrictions on the import of various forms of gold by nominated banks and agencies, premier and star trading houses, special economic zone (SEZ) units and export-oriented units (EOUs) which are permitted to import gold for use in the domestic sector.
 
Through the circular of August 14, 2013, the government prohibited the import of gold in the form of coins and medallions.
 
It also said that it would be incumbent on all nominated banks/nominated agencies and other entities to ensure that at least 20%, of every lot of import of gold imported to the country is exclusively made available for the purpose of exports and the balance for domestic use. 
 
Further, nominated banks/ nominated agencies and other entities could make available gold for domestic use only to the entities engaged in jewellery business/bullion dealers and to banks authorised to administer the Gold Deposit Scheme against full upfront payment. In other words, supply of gold in any form to the domestic users other than against full payment upfront was not permitted.
 
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At the same time, as part of the measures to contain the current account deficit (CAD), the Government had hiked the customs duty on gold and platinum to 10 per cent from eight per cent.
 
Thus, additional duty of customs (CVD) on gold dore bars and on gold ore/concentrate was increased from 6% to 8%. In recent months, some of these provisions were eased.
 
Today's announcement is expected to come as a relief to jewellers who faced difficulties in sourcing gold during the peak festival and wedding season that began last month. The restrictions had also led to a spurt in smuggling of gold.
 
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ISL: Delhi Dynamos outplay Mumbai City FC 4-1

Photo courtesy ISL
Photo courtesy ISL
Delhi Dynamos FC were in unstoppable form as they outplayed Mumbai City FC 4-1 in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here tonight.
 
The hosts went 3-0 up with goals by Hans Mulder, Mads Junker and Gustavo dos Santos before substitute Abhishek Yadav grabbed a consolation for the visitors.
 
But substitute Manish Bhargav completed the rout with a stoppage time strike to help Delhi move up to fifth on the table and leave Mumbai languishing at the bottom.
 
Mumbai started the stronger of the two sides as they pushed forward for an early goal but Delhi stayed strong. It didn't take the home side long to get into the game though. The enigmatic dos Santos had a shot blocked early on for a corner. 
 
Delhi were denied four minutes later when Deepak Mandal cleared a Junker shot off the line. 
 
Mumbai were in control briefly in the middle period but were unable to make it count. 
 
Delhi finally took the lead in the 44th minute. Junker put in a low cross at the near post, Manuel Friedrich made a poor clearance and Mulder was on hand to smash it into the roof of the net for his second goal in two games.
 
Peter Reid took off Lalrindika Ralte and marquee man Fredrik Ljungberg at the start of the second half but it was Delhi who doubled their lead in the 48th minute through some good football. The young Brazilian dos Santos split the Mumbai defence with an excellent through ball. Junker read the play, ran on to it and rolled it past a stunned Subrata Paul. 
 
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Ten minutes later it was 3-0 as Francis Fernandes put in a superb cross from the right. An unmarked dos Santos got on the end of it and headed superbly past a stationary Paul.  
 
Peter Reid threw in Abhishek Yadav on as a final option. The lanky former international striker repaid his coach's faith with a superb volley to beat Kristof Van Hout for a goal on debut. But Delhi were not done yet as substitute Bhargav smashed the ball into the net after Paul had saved a shot from substitute Steven Dias’ cut back.
 
Reid will be hoping his side can pull up their socks when they take on state rivals FC Pune City away on December 3. Delhi will want to continue in the same vein against Atlético de Kolkata at home on December 2 as they eye a top four spot.
 
Match awards
 
Hero of the Match: Gustavo dos Santos (Delhi Dynamos FC) 
Swift Moment of the Match: Hans Mulder (Delhi Dynamos FC) 
Amul Fittest Player of the Match: Francis Fernandes (Delhi Dynamos FC)  
ISL Emerging Player of the Match: Sushil Kumar Singh (Mumbai City FC)  
 
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RBI releases final guidelines on Bharat Bill Payment System

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The Reserve Bank of India today released the final guidelines for implementation of Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS).
 
In terms of the guidelines, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) will function as the authorised Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU) to set the standards for BBPS processes which need to be adhered to by all operating units (Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units - BBPOUs) under the system.
 
NPCI, as the BBPCU, will also undertake clearing and settlement activities related to the BBPS as outlined in the guidelines, a press release from RBI said here
 
The prospective participants of the BBPS system are advised to interact with the NPCI to work out the modalities. 
 
The prospective BBPOUs may submit applications for authorisation under Payment & Settlement Systems Act, 2007 to the Reserve Bank of India from the first quarter of 2015. The exact date from which/format in which such applications for authorisation/approval can be submitted will be notified in due course, it said.
 
The Payment Systems Vision in India 2012-15 had highlighted the existence of a huge bill payments market with a diverse and a complex biller market structure with varied national/regional players and private/state owned entities.
 
In the Second Quarter Review of Monetary Policy 2012-13, the RBI announced the setting up of a committee to finalise the modalities of implementing an electronic GIRO payment system in India. The committee was set up under the chairmanship of Mr G. Padmanabhan, Executive Director, RBI to study the feasibility of implementation of an electronic GIRO payment system in the country.
 
Subsequently, based on the recommendations of the committee, a Giro Advisory Group was constituted under the Chairmanship of Prof. Umesh Bellur, IIT Bombay, with the objective of defining a framework that enables the creation of pan India touch points for bill payments by  customers in the country, irrespective of the geographical location of the billers. 
 
The group, which submitted its report on March 20, 2014, had recommended a tiered structure for bill payments system in the country – with a central unit setting the standards and various operating units working in accordance and adherence to the standards set for the BBPS. 
 
Accordingly, the draft guidelines for implementation of the BBPS were placed on the RBI's website on August 7, 2014 for public comments. The final guidelines have been prepared based on public comments received on the draft guidelines, the release added.
 
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India’s forex reserves fall by $ 672.4 million to $ 314.879 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves fell by $ 672.4 million to $ 314.879 billion in the week ended November 21, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The forex  reserves had risen by $ 419.4 million to $ 315.551 bilion in the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here today, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, went down  by $ 6643 million to $ 289.398 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 19.738 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) fell by $ 5.9 million to $ 4.223 billion during the week.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 2.2 million to $ 1.519 billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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RBI releases guidelines for licensing of Payments Banks, Small Finance Banks

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released on its website today the guidelines for licensing of Payments Banks and Small Finance Banks in the private sector.
 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had, while presenting the Union Budget for 2014-15 in the Lok Sabha on July 10, had said that the RBI would create a framework for licensing of small banks and other differentiated banks to serve niche interests, including local area banks and payments banks.
 
These are expected to meet credit and remittance needs of small businesses, unorganized sector, low income households, farmers and migrant work force. 
 
Draft guidelines in this regard were formulated by the RbI and released for public comments on July 17. Guidlines have been finalised on the basis of comments and suggestions received from interested parties and the public.
 
According to a press release from the RBI, the following are the key features of the guidelines for Small Finance Banks:
 
i) Objectives:
 
The objectives of setting up of small finance banks will be to further financial inclusion by (a) provision of savings vehicles, and (ii) supply of credit to small business units; small and marginal farmers; micro and small industries; and other unorganised sector entities, through high technology-low cost operations.
 
ii) Eligible promoters: Resident individuals/professionals with 10 years of experience in banking and finance; and companies and societies owned and controlled by residents will be eligible to set up small finance banks. Existing Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs), Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs), and Local Area Banks (LABs) that are owned and controlled by residents can also opt for conversion into small finance banks. Promoter/promoter groups should be ‘fit and proper’ with a sound track record of professional experience or of running their businesses for at least a period of five years in order to be eligible to promote small finance banks.
 
iii) Scope of activities :
 
The small finance bank shall primarily undertake basic banking activities of acceptance of deposits and lending to unserved and underserved sections including small business units, small and marginal farmers, micro and small industries and unorganised sector entities.
 
There will not be any restriction in the area of operations of small finance banks.
 
iv) Capital requirement: The minimum paid-up equity capital for small finance banks shall be Rs. 100 crore.
 
v) Promoter's contribution: The promoter's minimum initial contribution to the paid-up equity capital of such small finance bank shall at least be 40 per cent and gradually brought down to 26 per cent within 12 years from the date of commencement of business of the bank.
 
vi) Foreign shareholding: The foreign shareholding in the small finance bank would be as per the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy for private sector banks as amended from time to time.
 
vii) Prudential norms :
 
The small finance bank will be subject to all prudential norms and regulations of RBI as applicable to existing commercial banks including requirement of maintenance of Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR). No forbearance would be provided for complying with the statutory provisions.
 
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The small finance banks will be required to extend 75 per cent of its Adjusted Net Bank Credit (ANBC) to the sectors eligible for classification as priority sector lending (PSL) by the Reserve Bank.
 
At least 50 per cent of its loan portfolio should constitute loans and advances of upto Rs. 25 lakh.
 
viii) Transition path: If the small finance bank aspires to transit into a universal bank, such transition will not be automatic, but would be subject to fulfilling minimum paid-up capital / net worth requirement as applicable to universal banks; its satisfactory track record of performance as a small finance bank and the outcome of the Reserve Bank’s due diligence exercise.
 
ix) Procedure for application: In terms of Rule 11 of the Banking Regulation (Companies) Rules, 1949, applications shall be submitted in the prescribed form (Form III) to the Chief General Manager, Department of Banking Regulation, Reserve Bank of India, 13th Floor, Central Office Building, Mumbai – 400 001. In addition, the applicants should furnish the business plan and other requisite information as indicated. Applications will be accepted till the close of business as on January 16, 2015. After experience gained in dealing with small finance banks, applications will be received on a continuous basis. However, these guidelines are subject to periodic review and revision.
 
x) Procedure for RBI decisions :
 
An External Advisory Committee (EAC) comprising eminent professionals like bankers, chartered accountants, finance professionals, etc., will evaluate the applications.
 
The decision to issue an in-principle approval for setting up of a bank will be taken by the Reserve Bank. The Reserve Bank’s decision in this regard will be final.
 
The validity of the in-principle approval issued by the Reserve Bank will be eighteen months.
 
The names of applicants for bank licences will be placed on the Reserve Bank’s website.
 
The key features of the Payments Banks guidelines are:
 
i) Objectives:
 
The objectives of setting up of payments banks will be to further financial inclusion by providing (i) small savings accounts and (ii) payments/remittance services to migrant labour workforce, low income households, small businesses, other unorganised sector entities and other users.
 
ii) Eligible promoters :
 
Existing non-bank Pre-paid Payment Instrument (PPI) issuers; and other entities such as individuals / professionals; Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs), corporate Business Correspondents(BCs), mobile telephone companies, super-market chains, companies, real sector cooperatives; that are owned and controlled by residents; and public sector entities may apply to set up payments banks.
 
A promoter/promoter group can have a joint venture with an existing scheduled commercial bank to set up a payments bank. However, scheduled commercial bank can take equity stake in a payments bank to the extent permitted under Section 19 (2) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
 
Promoter/promoter groups should be ‘fit and proper’ with a sound track record of professional experience or running their businesses for at least a period of five years in order to be eligible to promote payments banks.
 
iii) Scope of activities :
 
Acceptance of demand deposits. Payments bank will initially be restricted to holding a maximum balance of Rs. 100,000 per individual customer.
 
Issuance of ATM/debit cards. Payments banks, however, cannot issue credit cards.
 
Payments and remittance services through various channels.
 
BC of another bank, subject to the Reserve Bank guidelines on BCs.
 
Distribution of non-risk sharing simple financial products like mutual fund units and insurance products, etc.
 
iv) Deployment of funds :
 
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The payments bank cannot undertake lending activities.
 
Apart from amounts maintained as Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) with the Reserve Bank on its outside demand and time liabilities, it will be required to invest minimum 75 per cent of its "demand deposit balances" in Statutory Liquidity Ratio(SLR) eligible Government securities/treasury bills with maturity up to one year and hold maximum 25 per cent in current and time/fixed deposits with other scheduled commercial banks for operational purposes and liquidity management.
 
v) Capital requirement :
 
The minimum paid-up equity capital for payments banks shall be Rs. 100 crore.
 
The payments bank should have a leverage ratio of not less than 3 per cent, i.e., its outside liabilities should not exceed 33.33 times its net worth (paid-up capital and reserves).
vi) Promoter's contribution: The promoter's minimum initial contribution to the paid-up equity capital of such payments bank shall at least be 40 per cent for the first five years from the commencement of its business.
 
vii) Foreign shareholding: The foreign shareholding in the payments bank would be as per the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy for private sector banks as amended from time to time.
 
viii) Other conditions :
 
The operations of the bank should be fully networked and technology driven from the beginning, conforming to generally accepted standards and norms.
 
The bank should have a high powered Customer Grievances Cell to handle customer complaints.
 
ix) Procedure for application: In terms of Rule 11 of the Banking Regulation (Companies) Rules, 1949, applications shall be submitted in the prescribed form (Form III) to the Chief General Manager, Department of Banking Regulation, Reserve Bank of India, 13th Floor, Central Office Building, Mumbai – 400 001. In addition, the applicants should furnish the business plan and other requisite information as indicated. Applications will be accepted till the close of business as on January 16, 2015. After experience gained in dealing with payments banks, applications will be received on a continuous basis. However, these guidelines are subject to periodic review and revision.
 
x) Procedure for RBI decisions:
 
An External Advisory Committee (EAC) comprising eminent professionals like bankers, chartered accountants, finance professionals, etc., will evaluate the applications.
 
The decision to issue an in-principle approval for setting up of a bank will be taken by the Reserve Bank. The Reserve Bank’s decision in this regard will be final.
 
The validity of the in-principle approval issued by the Reserve Bank will be eighteen months.
 
The names of applicants for bank licences will be placed on the Reserve Bank website.
 
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Radiologist Deepak Patkar elected chairman of ICRI

Dr Deepak Patkar
Dr Deepak Patkar
Leading consultant radiologist Deepak Patkar, who is the head of the Department of Radiology of Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital here, has been elected as the chairman of Indian College of Radiology and Imaging (ICRI), an academic wing of Indian Radiology and Imaging Association (IRIA).
 
The appointment is for two years from January 2015 to December 2016. Dr. Patkar has been a fellow of ICRI and had earlier served as its secretary in 2008 and 2009.
 
He is also Director of Teleradiology Diagnostic Services Pvt. Ltd., dealing in teleradiology with clients in the United States, Africa and the Middle East.  He has been associated with Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital for the last 22 years and has been responsible for setting up the new radiology wing there.
 
Dr Patkar has more than 150 international publications predominantly on Neuro and Musculoskeletal MRI related topics.
 
“It is a great honour and privilege to be elected as Chairman for the ICRI. During its 36 years of journey, ICRI has helped many budding radiologists to quench their thirst for knowledge through its various academic projects and programmes," Dr Patkar said.
 
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Central Railway to run six special trains on Mahaparinirvan Divas

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The Central Railway will run six special trains between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus/Dadar in Mumbai to Sevagram/Ajni/Nagpur to clear the extra rush of passengers on account of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar's Mahaparinirvan Divas on December 6.
 
According to a press release from Central Railway, the details are:
 
1. Special train No. 01069 will leave Mumbai CST at 04.05 p.m. on 6.12.2014 and will reach Ajni  at 08.10 a.m. next day.
 
2. Special train No. 01071 will leave Mumbai CST at 06.40 p.m. on 6.12.2014 and will reach  Sevagram  at 10.30 a.m. next day.
 
3. Special train No.01073 will leave Dadar at 00.40 a.m. on 7.12.2014 and will reach Nagpur at 06.00 p.m. same day.
 
4. Special train No.01075 will leave Mumbai CST at 12.35 p.m. on 7.12.2014 and will reach Nagpur at 3.30 a.m. next day.
 
5. Special train No.01083 will leave Mumbai CST at 06.40 p.m. on 8.12.2014 and will reach Nagpur at 12.10 pm next day. 
 
6. Special train No.01085 will leave Dadar at 00.40 a.m. on 8.12.2014 and will reach Nagpur at 06.00 p.m. same day.
 
All these special trains will run with 12 general second class coaches, the release said.
 
Halts for all these special trains will be at Dadar, Kalyan, Kasara, Igatpuri, Nasik Road, Manmad, Chalisgaon, Jalgaon, Bhusawal, Malkapur, Jalamb, Akola, Murtizapur, Badnera, Damangaon, Pulgaon, Wardha, Sewagram, Ajni and Nagpur. 
 
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IIMA, World Gold Council join hands to set up India Gold Policy Centre

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The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA), India's top business school, and the World Gold Council (WGC) today announced the setting up of the India Gold Policy Centre, a first-of-its-kind initiative that will conduct cutting-edge research on all aspects of the Indian gold industry.
 
The objective of the ‘India Gold Policy Centre’ is to develop insights into how the significant stocks of gold that India owns can be used to advance growth, employment, social inclusion and the economic wealth of the nation, a press release from WGC said.
 
It said the centre would conduct research that has a practical application and that the industry and all stakeholders can use, leading to the development of an effective gold ecosystem in the country.
 
“As part of the initiative taken by IIMA to connect more closely with practice, and in line with our vision to contribute and reach out to industry, the Gold Centre will provide innovative solutions and insights for the gold industry through cutting-edge research,” said Prof. Ashish Nanda, Director, IIMA.
 
“The research is intended to study the growth and development of the gold industry in India and globally. I am thankful to the World Gold Council for supporting this initiative,” he added.
 
The release said the move would help IIMA enhance its research environment. The management school has recently been engaging with different organisations and industry bodies to support and encourage research at the institute.
 
Likewise, the WGC also believes there is a need for rigorous research on how gold can benefit the Indian economy and society as a whole.
 
Mr Somasundaram PR, Managing Director, India, World Gold Council said: “It is estimated that India holds around 22,000 tonnes of gold valued at over a trillion US dollars. This historic asset can be used to enhance the nation’s prosperity by putting it to work for the economy, creating jobs, developing skills, generating exports and revenues. To develop gold’s potential, we need to understand gold’s role in the Indian economy, through high quality data, insights and research.”
 
“It is important that the Centre is established by a highly respected academic body, so we approached the IIMA to establish a dedicated and exclusive ‘India Gold Policy Centre’. This will be a world class centre of excellence, conducting cutting edge applied research on the Indian gold industry, providing analytics, data and pragmatic recommendations that can be used by all stakeholders. Our joint vision is that the Centre will be the foremost provider of insights into the way in which gold contributes to our economy and our society,” he said.
 
Situated within the campus of IIMA, the centre is being set up with a financial grant from the World Gold Council and will operate independently. The centre will commence its operations from December 2014, the release added.
 
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Nippon Life to raise stake in Reliance Capital Asset Management from 26% to 49%

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Japan's Nippon Life Insurance (NLI), a Fortune 100 company and the seventh largest life insurer in the world, has agreed to increase its stake in Reliance Capital Asset Management (RCAM), a part of Reliance Capital.
 
NLI will be increasing its stake in Reliance Capital Asset Management from the existing 26 per cent to 49 per cent in two or more tranches, a press release from RCAM said.
 
The Japanese company will be investing an aggregate value of Rs 657 crore (US$ 108 million) to acquire an additional stake of 9% in RCAM in the first tranche, to reach a 35% stake. The transaction pegs RCAM's valuation at Rs 7,300 crore ($ 1.2 billion), the highest valuation till date for any asset management company in the country. 
 
The first tranche of the transaction is expected to be completed within the current financial year, subject to receipt of regulatory approvals. Subsequently, Nippon Life Insurance will have an option to increase its stake further by an additional 14 
per cent, to reach 49 per cent, in tranches, the release said.
 
“We welcome Nippon’s decision to further strengthen this partnership and acquire an additional stake in our asset management company. We strongly believe their expanded role in the company will accelerate our growth, reach and performance," said Mr. Sam Ghosh, CEO, Reliance Capital.
 
“Our partnership with Reliance Group is an exemplary example of successful collaboration between two big corporations and countries. We look forward to strengthening this relationship and using the collective experience of the two corporations to the advantage of the two global economies," said Mr. Yoshinobu 
Tsutsui, President, Nippon Life Insurance.
 
The release said the boards of directors of both the companies had approved the stake increase by the Japanese partner, subject to regulatory approvals.
 
According to it, RCAM is the largest asset manager in India managing Rs. 2,18,338 crore ($ 36.0 billion) as on September 30, 2014, across mutual funds, pension funds, managed accounts and offshore funds.
 
Nippon Life Insurance is already a strategic partner in RCAM, having acquired 26 per cent stake in the company at an aggregate value of Rs 1,450 crore ($ 240 million) in 2012. The transaction pegged the total valuation of RCAM at approximately Rs 5,600 crore ($ 920 million).
 
Nippon Life is a 125-year-old global Fortune 100 company and manages nearly $ 500 billion (Rs 30 lakh crore) in assets, amongst the largest total assets in the world for any life insurer. The company is the seventh largest life insurer in the world and the number 1 private life insurer in Asia and Japan, the release added.
 
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Actor Dilip Kumar tweets to assure fans he is well after rumours on social media

File photo of actor Dilip Kumar and his actress wife Saira Bano
File photo of actor Dilip Kumar and his actress wife Saira Bano
Veteran actor Dilip Kumar took to micro-blogging site Twitter to confirm to his fans that he was hale and hearty after rumours about his health spread through social media yesterday evening.
 
The rumours left many of his fans in shock till well-known actor Amitabh Bachchan rubbished them as a hoax.
 
"Some baseless rumours being spread about Yusuf Saheb - Dilip Kumar, being ill .. Saira ji just informed me he is perfectly fine !" Bachchan said on Twitter.
 
Later, Dilip Kumar, 91, himself made a rare post on the site. "Phone calls from all over the world. All night. Your love and prayers and Allah's blessings cannot be thanked enough," he said, and promised his fans that he would interact with them more regularly on the site.
 
Bollywood celebrities are often victims of such hoaxes and Dilip Kumar himself was subject one such rumour in 2011, when his wife and former actress Saira Banu had issued a statement to assure people that he was well.
 
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Christie's second auction in India to be held in Mumbai on December 11

Tyeb Mehta's 'Falling Bull'
Tyeb Mehta's 'Falling Bull'
Fine arts auction house Christie's second auction in India will take place on December 11 in Mumbai, featuring, among other items, one of V S Gaitonde's last works and early works by artists like S H Raza, Tyeb Mehta, Frances Newton Souza and Ram Kumar.
 
Ten works donated by leading Indian contemporary artists will be sold to support Khoj International Artists' Association, a press release from Christie's said today.
 
The auction will also offer works by other renowned artists such as the Tagores and Jamini Roy.
 
Artists such as Subodh Gupta and Bharti Kher are among those who have donated works for Khoj, the artist residency programme established in India in 1997.
 
The auction will also include significant works and items by some of India's designated National Treasure artists, which are considered of such importance to the cultural development of India that they cannot leave the country, the release said.
 
The auction will take place on December 11 at 7 pm at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai with a pre-sale viewing open to the public, from December 9-11. A selection of works will also be publicly previewed in New Delhi at The Taj Mahal Hotel from November 28-30.
 
"Our first auction held here a year ago was a great success, and once again we have worked hard to curate a sale of the highest quality with an offering that covers India's most important modern and contemporary art movements. Along with the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, our Mumbai sale will act as a finale to a year which began with the successful annual India Art Fair in Delhi, and was highlighted by the opening of the V.S. Gaitonde retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in October. It has been a great year in which many have come together from around the world to shed new light on Indian art and culture," Sonal Singh, Head of Department, Mumbai, said.
 
She said Christie's is delighted to have been asked to support all three initiatives.
 
Tyeb Mehta's (1925-2009) painting Untitled (Falling Bull), in which his mastery of composition and economy of line is evident, will lead the sale.
 
Showing the central figure of a bull on a rickshaw set against blocks of vivid color, it showcases Mehta's recurring motif: "For me, the trussed bull is a compulsive image". The 1999 canvas is estimated at Rs 8,50,00,000-12,00,00,000 ($1,385,500-1,956,00), the release said.
 
One of the last works by the internationally recognized artist Gaitonde (1924-2001), for sale just six weeks after the opening of a retrospective of his work at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, will be another highlight of the auction. Offered by a private collector in India, it was painted in 1998, the last year he is known to have worked and only a few years before his death. Painted in vibrant hues of green, this painting is expected to sell for Rs 5,50,00,000-7,00,00,000 ($896,500-1,141,000) and has never been offered for sale at auction before, it said.
 
A remarkable pocket book belonging to the artist, Nobel Laureate, poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) is a most unique addition to the sale. The journal, written in Bengali in Tagore's hand, is a rare mixture of poetry, art and introspection. Covering the years 1889 to 1904, the pages reveal the private concerns of Tagore, from mundane land transactions and taxation, to a poem written as a guide for children learning to read. The book was given by Tagore to a teacher at Santiniketan, Subodh Chandra Mazumder, and is being offered by his descendants. 
 
Tagore composed many of his major poems and songs in this book, including poems from the Sonar Tari( Golden Boat) series and 19 poems from the Swaran series. Nothing similar by the Nobel Laureate has been offered before for sale at auction in India, (estimate Rs 40,00,000-60,00,000 / $65,200-97,800).
 
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Early works by four of the masters of Indian modernism, Raza, Ram Kumar,  Souza and Mehta, all of whom studied or practised art in Europe, reflect their engagement with western modernism. A family portrait by Souza (1924-2002) from 1947 is being offered for the first time at auction, (estimate: Rs 4,60,00,000-6,20,00,000 / $750,000-1,010,600). It depicts a poor, half-clad family of four sitting in front of a house in which one or more of them are probably employed. Through the window a table is laden with fresh fruit, fish and wine, a striking contrast to their circumstances. In letters, Souza confirmed that he had considered an alternative title, 'The Proletariat and the Plutocrat's Dinner'. 
 
Mehta's Girl in Love, from 1957, which will be offered at an estimate of Rs 70,00,000 - 90,00,000 / $114,000-147,000 is a tender portrait and a magnificent example of the artist's early work, complementing his Untitled (Falling Bull). 
 
A view of Parisian rooftops from the 1950s by Raza (b. 1922) Les toits de la rue St. Jacques, is estimated at Rs 3,00,00,000-40,00,00,000 ($489,000-652,000 ).Finally Ram Kumar's Orphans, showing two destitute young men, painted in 1956 soon after his return from Paris, is estimated at Rs 2,25,00,000-2,75,00,000 ($366,800-448,300).
 
A small group of rare, unseen canvases and works on paper from the 1970s by Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990) are offered for sale from the collection of Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry, theatre artist, and close friend to the artist. 
 
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The release said works would be of special interest given their provenance and following the recent exhibitions of Mohamedi's work at the Tate Liverpool in the United Kingdom and the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in New Delhi. The artist, well known as India's great modern minimalist, studied in London at St. Martin's School of Art and then in a print atelier in Paris. She settled in Bombay and was mentored by V.S. Gaitonde before moving to Delhi and then to Baroda, where she taught at the M.S. University's Faculty of Fine Arts. Here the two canvases and three other works on paper reflect, in their great simplicity, Mohamedi's lifelong dedication to minimalism, in her art and other aspects of her life (estimates from Rs 18, 00,000 / $29,300).
 
Just as a major exhibition of the work of Atul Dodiya (b.1959) opens at the Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai, his Untitled portrait of Picasso from 1981 (estimate: Rs 4,00,000-6,00,000 / $6,500-9,800) and a later work from 2011 (sold to benefit Khoj) will be offered in the Mumbai auction.
 
Offered alongside the modern art is a group of 10 contemporary works by artists including Subodh Gupta, Rashid Rana, Mithu Sen, Thukral & Tagra, Nilima Sheikh and Bharti Kher, to benefit the Delhi based Khoj International Artists' Association. All the artists have donated works to Khoj exclusively for this sale, the release added.
 
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U Sports partners with Bundesliga’s TSG 1899 Hoffenheim for football training program

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U Sports, the sports division of Unilazer Ventures, founded by Mr. Ronnie Screwvala, today announced the launch of U-Dream, a football training and academic program designed to develop Indian football talent who can place India on the professional football circuit. 
 
In collaborative guidance of Bundesliga, U Sports has partnered with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim for the first edition of U-Dream football, aimed at creating a rich ecosystem of Indian talent with an objective of transforming them into global athletes, a press release from Unilazer said.
 
"In a country with a population of over 1.2 billion, U-Dream program will offer an opportunity to talented footballers and their parents to foresee and opt for a full-fledged career in professional football. U-Dream is among the very few programs which offers international football coaching and strong academic qualifications at the same time," it said.
 
The release said the initiative was aimed at building a deep seeded foundation for the development and transformation of Indian football. It will encourage participation from talented football players of 13 or 14 years of age, in the first year where the focus is to transform young talent into a pro-team of Under-17 footballers. However, the search will widen to Under-13, Under-15 and Under-17 categories from the year 2016, it said.
 
U-Dream program will start with talent selection tournaments conducted between January and April, 2015, across 50 cities which will witness participation from 1000 schools. 
 
In 2016, the program aims to deepen its reach by widening the search to 100 cities, registering participation from 2000 schools. 
 
An expert judging panel comprising of Subrata Paul – Project Adviser, Mahesh Gawli – Chief of Training and Lutz Pfannenstiel – International Advisor TSG Hoffenheim will oversee the selection process to identify the finest talent from across the country who will be sent to Germany for the six-year residential program. A team of five Indian coaches and three German coaches and scouts will closely monitor the tournaments in each city.
 
This year, only 30 finest footballers identified from the massive talent hunt will be sent to Zuzenhausen, in Germany where they will train at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s youth training academy with complete access to the club’s  facilities and infrastructure.
 
To ensure there is an equal focus on the young footballer’s academic development along with football training, U Sports has also collaborated with Motilal Nehru School of Sports, Rai. Founded by the government of Haryana, its primary objective is to provide excellent education facilities with equal emphasis on sports to deserving students. Motilal Nehru School of Sports will be conducting a 10-day schooling camp for the 30 athlete students and their parents at the school campus prior to their departure where they will be briefed on the curriculum, course structure and program tutors.
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The 30 student athletes will undergo CBSE education coupled with German language training in the first year of U-Dream program. In the second year, they will have an option to continue with CBSE schooling or apply for admission in the German Public Education system. The program will also offer expert counselling to the players to help them decide on the course of action if they wish to opt for German education.
 
Mr. Supratik Sen, CEO – U Sports said, “Over 20,000 football players across the globe earn more than $ 1 million a year which suggests that there are very few careers as exceptional as a professional footballers."
 
"It is time Indian talent makes its mark on the world football map. Our alliance with Germany starting with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim will set the ball rolling as it will build a strong talent pool who will compete in the developed and evolved football market.  With the prospect of igniting sports development in the country, U-Dream program will not only serve as a platform for potential players but will also equip them with education and infrastructure support hence taking them closer to their dream of becoming a pro player. We hope to reach out to a much larger pool of aspirants in the coming year by widening our search for the finest Under-17 football talent who will represent India in Under-17 World Cup in 2017," he said.
 
Mr. Thomas Richter, Head of Hoffenheim’s Match Operations and First-team Administration, who is also responsible for the club’s internationalization said, “Talent development at the grass-root level is paramount in the Bundesliga and is the key in placing India in the international football circuit as this can serve as an opportunity to produce the finest football talent from the country, who are groomed from a young age. We are glad to collaborate with U Sports for this unique program which offers an ideal platform to the youth to train and grow in the sport. As an ongoing plan, these players will build a strong back bone for the development of football in India.”
 
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Essar Oil appoints Manish Maheshwari as CEO - Exploration & Production

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Essar Oil Limited, a part of the Essar Group, today announced the appointment of Mr.Manish Maheshwari as Chief Executive Officer - Exploration & Production (E&P).
 
Mr Maheshwari has about 23 years of experience in the industry and ws until recently the Managing Director of Hindustan Oil Exploration Company Ltd (HOEC), a press release from the company said.
 
As CEO-E&P, Mr. Maheshwari would be responsible for Essar’s entire E&P business, which includes 15 blocks and fields in various stages of exploration and production in India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Nigeria and Vietnam. The total reserves and resources across these assets is estimated to be 2,034 mmboe. 
 
Essar’s development and production assets include the Raniganj coal bed methane (CBM) Block in West Bengal, Ratna& R Series in Mumbai Offshore, and the Mehsana Block in Gujarat. At Raniganj, the current gas production is about 300,000 standard cubic metres per day (scm/d), which shall ramp up to 3 million scm/d. The company has drilled 230 wells and laid requisite infrastructure including pipelines to supply CBM Gas to end consumers.  
 
Mr Maheshwari has previously served as Investment Manager in a Danish Investment Fund where he developed strategy for investments in East European Countries aligned to promoting Scandinavian companies interest. Before moving to Denmark, he spent about.12 years with companies like Tata Industries Ltd. and Hindustan Unilever Ltd. 
 
He has a Bachelor (Hons.) degree in Chemical Engineering and Masters in Business Administration from Strathclyde University, U.K.
 
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L&T Technology Services closes acquisition of Dell’s Engineering Services

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L&T Technology Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of the $14.3 billion Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Group, today announced that it has closed the acquisition of the assets of US-based Dell Product and Process Innovation Services, the engineering services division of Dell.
 
With the close of this acquisition, L&T Technology Services will provide one of the industry's most comprehensive ER&D service offerings for transportation customers, through its global delivery centers in the United States and India, a press release from the company said.
 
The release said the transaction enhances L&T Technology Services’ ability to offer differentiated technology solutions and full program management services by leveraging global-local talent base at any point in the product development cycle. 
 
Dell Engineering Services has delivery centres in Illinois, Iowa and Texas in the US and Bangalore and Hyderabad in India. The US entity of Dell Engineering Services will be part of L&T Technology Services’ North America Offsite Delivery centre.  
 
Headquartered in Peoria, Illinois, Dell Engineering Services has more than 15 years of extensive experience in Mechanical Design & Analysis, Embedded Engineering, Applied Engineering, and Manufacturing Consulting across multiple industries and has long-term relationships with marquee clients in North America, especially in the transportation industry, the release said.
 
"This acquisition enables L&T Technology Services to consolidate its position as preferred vendor in the USD $4 billion Transportation ER&D market. The acquired assets will enable L&T Technology Services to leverage the customer base and complementary capabilities of Dell Engineering Services along with L&T Technology Services’ broader portfolio of Embedded and PLM offerings, supported by a global sales force," it said.
 
Dr. Keshab Panda, Chief Executive of L&T Technology Services said: “Product engineering is undergoing structural shifts with evolving technologies, shorter development cycles, regulatory demands, and a shortage of skilled talent. This is a tremendous opportunity for us to have a strong local presence in North America where a majority of our clients are based. That along with Dell Engineering Services’ strong expertise in Embedded, and Mechanical Design & Analysis and a history of successful relationships in North America will help us ride the next level of growth.”
 
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Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Murli Deora passes away

Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Murli Deora passed away at his residence in Mumbai in the early hours of Monday morning after a prolonged illness.

Murli Deora
Murli Deora
Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Murli Deora passed away at his residence here in the early hours of this morning after a prolonged illness.
 
He was 77. He is survived by his wife Hema and two sons, Milind and Mukund. Milind Deora is a former Union Minister and Lok Sabha member.
 
According to sources, Mr Deora had been unwell for a long time and had been undergoing treatment at a hospital. He had come home two days ago and breathed his last around 3.30 am today, they said.
 
Mr Deora's body will be kept at the Mumbai Congress office from noon to 2 pm today to enable party workers to pay their last respects to him. His funeral wil be held at the Chandanwadi Crematorium later in the afternoon.
 
Born on January 10, 1937 in Mumbai, Mr Deora had graduated in Economics from Mumbai and was an industrialist by profession but was also actively involved with political and social activities.
 
He had a long innings as a Municipal Corporator in Mumbai, starting from 1968 and was elected as one of the youngest Mayors of the city in 1977. He also served as a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Council from 1982-84.
 
He was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1984 from Mumbai South and was re-elected thrice in 1989, 1991 and 1998. He lost to the Bharatiya Janata Party's Jayawantiben Mehta in 1996 and 1999. In 2004, his son Milind wrested the seat back for the Congress. 
 
In between, Mr Deora was elected to the Rajya Sabha for a six-year term from 2002-08.
 
Mr Deora served as president of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee for 22 long years from 1981 to 2003.
 
He was elected as Chairman of Parliamentarians for Global Action for 1995-96, the first Indian to hold he position. He also served as Vice-President of the Federation of International Red Cross and Crescent Society. 
 
Mr Deora was also involved with the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and was Vice-Chairman of the Gandhi Institute of Computer Education and Information Technology set up under its auspices. He was a keen bridge player.
 
He served as Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister for Corporate Affairs and earlier as Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology in the Manmohan Singh government.
 
Mr Deora had a way with people and had friends and admirers across the political spectrum and enjoyed tremendous clout in the corridors of power in Delhi and Mumbai.
 
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ISL: Chennaiyin FC drub Mumbai City 3-0 to extend lead at the top

Chennaiyin FC players celebrate Bruno Pelissari's opening goal in their match against Mumbai City FC in the Hero Indian Super League at Navi Mumbai on November 23, 2014.Photo courtesy:ISL
Chennaiyin FC players celebrate Bruno Pelissari's opening goal in their match against Mumbai City FC in the Hero Indian Super League at Navi Mumbai on November 23, 2014.Photo courtesy:ISL
Chennaiyin FC scored a late flurry of goals to get past hosts Mumbai City FC with a 3-0 win in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai tonight.
 
Bruno Pelissari, Dhanachandra Singh and substitute Cristian Hidalgo were the scorers for the visitors.
 
The defeat saw Mumbai City’s citadel being finally breached after a run of five clean sheets in a row and they have now slipped sixth place in the table.
 
Chennaiyin (19 points), on the other hand, extended their lead at the top of the table by three points over Atlético de Kolkata.  
 
The first half turned out to be a cagey affair as both teams failed to find that killer pass or moment of brilliance to make it count. Chennai did look like they missed the presence and creativity of Elano, and the pace and directness of John Mendoza. For the hosts, Nicolas Anelka’s absence seemed to take the bite out of their attack. 
 
Chennai keeper Gennaro Bracigliano was called into action though, when Bernard Mendy lost the ball near his box, and André Moritz forced a low diving save from the Italian. The rebound came out to Tiago Ribeiro but his shot deflected off Mikaël Silvestre for a corner. 
 
Mumbai’s marquee player Freddie Ljungberg, who was on the bench, came on for the injured Moritz and played till the end.
 
Not much happened in the match till after the 70th minute, when Mumbai’s defence finally succumbed to mounting pressure from Chennaiyin. Pavel ?movš’ error proved costly for the hosts as Jeje Lalpekhlua pounced on the opportunity and played the ball across for Balwant Singh. The ball instead fell kindly for Pelissari who obliged with a well taken finish.
 
Chennai went two up when Dhanachandra made the most of a scrappy clearance from a free kick and slotted the ball calmly into the bottom corner past the Mumbai defenders.
 
The final nail in the Mumbai coffin was hammered by substitute Hidalgo who scored with a brilliant free kick past a diving Subrata Paul, after being brought down outside the box by Johan Letzelter, an effort that the missing Elano would have been proud of.
 
Peter Reid will hope to rescue his faltering campaign when Mumbai City travel to the national capital to take on Delhi Dynamos FC on November 28 while Chennaiyin travel to Guwahati for a meeting with NorthEast United FC a day earlier.
 
Match awards:
 
Hero of the Match:  Bruno Pelissari (Chennaiyin FC) 
Swift Moment of the Match: Dhanachandra Singh (Chennaiyin FC) 
Amul Fittest Player of the Match: Jan Štohanzl (Mumbai City FC)
ISL Emerging Player of the Match: Balwant Singh (Chennaiyin FC)
 
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India’s forex reserves rise by $ 419.4 million to $ 315.551 billion

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India’s foreign  exchange reserves rose by $ 419.4 million to $ 315.551 billion in the week ended November 14, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The forex  reserves had fallen $ 778.4 million to $ 315.132 billion in the previous week after rising for four consecutive weeks before that.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here today, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, went up by $ 422.7 million to $ 290.062 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 19.738 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) fell by $ 2.4 million to $ 4.229 billion during the week.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 0.9 million to $ 1.521 billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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ING Vysya Bank to merge with Kotak Mahindra in all-stock deal

Mumbai office of ING Vysya Bank
Mumbai office of ING Vysya Bank
The Boards of Directors of Kotak Mahindra Bank and ING Vysya Bank met separately today and approved an all-stock amalgamation of ING Vysya with Kotak Mahindra, the two companies announced today.
 
A press release from the banks said the amalgamation was subject to the approval of the shareholders of Kotak and ING Vysya, respectively, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under the Banking Regulation Act, the Competition Commission of India and such other regulatory approvals as may be required.
 
"Upon obtaining all approvals, when the merger becomes effective, ING Vysya will merge with Kotak," it said.
 
Shareholders of ING Vysya will receive shares of Kotak in exchange of shares in ING Vysya at the approved share exchange ratio.
 
"All shareholders of Kotak and ING Vysya will participate thereafter in the (merged) Kotak business. All ING Vysya branches and employees will become Kotak branches and employees," the release said.
 
ING Vysya’s CEO designate, Mr Uday Sareen, will be inducted into the top 
management of Kotak reporting directly to Mr Uday Kotak, Executive Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Kotak. 
 
Under the swap ratio worked out, ING Vysya shareholders will receive 725 shares in Kotak for 1,000 shares of ING Vysya. 
 
"The share exchange ratio is considered fair and reasonable given the underlying value of ING Vysya, as also giving shareholders the ability to benefit from the potential that can be realised upon merging into Kotak," the release said.
 
"This exchange ratio indicates an implied price of Rs.790 for each ING Vysya share based on the average closing price of Kotak shares during one month to November 19, 2014, which is a 16% premium to a like measure of ING Vysya market price," it said.
 
The proposed merger would result in issuance of approximately 15.2% of the equity share capital of the merged Kotak. 
 
The release said the Boards of Kotak and ING Vysya, respectively, considered the results of a due diligence review covering areas such as advances, investments, deposits, properties & branches, liabilities, material 
contracts and so on.
 
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S.R.Batliboi & Co., LLP, Chartered Accountants, and Price Waterhouse & Co LLP, the independent valuers appointed by Kotak and ING Vysya, had recommended the share exchange ratio, which has been accepted by the respective Boards. 
 
Avendus Capital Private Ltd. provided a Fairness Opinion to Kotak on the share exchange ratio and Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd. provided a 
Fairness Opinion to ING Vysya, the release said.
 
One of ING Vysya’s directors will be joining the Board of Directors of Kotak, it said.
 
 
 
The release said Kotak, with 641 branches and relatively deeper presence in the West and North, has a differentiated proposition for various customer segments including high networth individuals (HNIs), deep corporate relationships including emerging corporates, a wide product portfolio, including agricultural finance and consumer loans, and a robust capital position. 
 
ING Vysya has a strong customer franchise for over eight decades, with a national branch network of 573 branches and deep presence in South India, particularly in Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Karnataka. ING Vysya has a large customer base across all segments. It is particularly noted for a best-in-class SME Business, as also for serving large international corporates in India by access to the international relationships of ING Group, it said.
 
The combined Kotak will have 1,214 branches, with a wide-spread pan-India network, getting both breadth and depth given the strong geographic complementarity between Kotak and ING Vysya. 
 
"Substantial efficiencies will arise out of the proposed merger, which is likely to result in significant benefits for all stakeholders, be it shareholders, employees or customers, and ultimately the banking industry," the release said.
 
"Customers and employees will benefit from the combined Kotak having a wider geographical spread, expertise across customer segments, such as SME, HNI, Corporates, and on products such as private banking, asset management, insurance, investment banking, NRI offerings etc.," it said.
 
"Kotak’s strong capital position potentially avoids capital raising and attendant dilution in the near to medium term for ING Vysya shareholders. Additionally, with ING Vysya nearing the cap for foreign shareholding, the merger would yield more liquidity with significant foreign headroom in Kotak even after merger, with foreign shareholding at ~47%," it said.
 
Mr Kotak said, “This is a momentous occasion that brings together two 
banking institutions with significant complementary strengths. The opportunities and synergies that this merger will create will place Kotak and its incoming stakeholders from ING Vysya on a new trajectory of excellence and leadership. I firmly believe this merger will pave the way for a bigger and better financial services player with deep Indian roots and global standards of service. Kotak values the diversity of ING Vysya, welcomes them as its family, and will work towards integrating them smoothly on this exciting journey that is ahead of us.”
 
Mr. Shailendra Bhandari, presently MD & CEO of ING Vysya Bank Ltd, said:  “Our two companies are a perfect match at a perfect time. Our customers will see tremendous value from the combined entity as we fill the gaps, in terms of a much larger footprint and a complete product suite, both national and international. Together, both companies will participate in the growth of one of India’s strongest and most successful banking franchises.”
 
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ING Vysya’s CEO designate, Mr. Uday Sareen, said, "This is a historic day in our 84 year heritage. I truly believe that the merger is a game-changer for us, laying the foundation to help us leapfrog by several years and be part of, and further scale a truly national franchise. The combination creates a company that will deliver maximum value for our shareholders, enormous opportunities for employees and deliver the entire suite of financial products and services to our customers.”
 
The release said ING Group, which owns ~43% in ING Vysya, has indicated that it supports the proposed transaction. It will become the largest non-promoter shareholder in combined Kotak. 
 
"ING Group and Kotak intend to explore areas of cooperation in cross border business, on the basis of a Framework for Future Cooperation that has been entered into, subject to mutual agreement on specific terms and all laws and regulations," the release added.
 
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Western Union enhances direct-to-bank service to India

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Global payment services major Western Union Company today said it had enhanced its international direct-to-bank transfers to select banks in India, paving the way for customers to send money in minutes to major Indian banks. 
 
"Western Union has successfully linked its retail agent network and digital transactional sites in select countries to move money in minutes to account holders of select banks via India’s revolutionary Immediate Payment Service (IMPS)," a press release from the company said.
 
It said the service is available using cash and debit cards at participating agent locations, and debit and credit cards at www.westernunion.com.com at this time.
 
Western Union President and CEO Hikmet Ersek said, “We are harnessing our system to link retail or digital transfers from major send countries to direct money into individual bank accounts of major receive countries.
 
“To date, we have connections to transfer money into bank accounts in more than 50 countries. India leads the way and we can now do it in minutes.* This is a major win for our customers. We are giving them the choice of placing cash on the counter or using cashless send options and yet sending directly into a bank account from major centres around the world.
 
“We move money that helps finance the futures of millions—largely global workers and their families. Linking our global retail Agent network with digital capability means convenience, reliability and speed for our customers,” Mr Ersek said.
 
Direct-to-bank international money transfers are preferred by customers looking for the convenience of funds received directly into a bank account and accessible on demand, 24/7, according to a Western Union user survey.
 
The in minutes delivery speed is an enhancement to the direct-to-bank money transfer services launched by Western Union last year, which delivers funds within one banking day to 140 banks in India. 
 
This service, provided in collaboration with IndusInd Bank, operates using the National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI) IMPS platform, which has recently been approved by the Reserve Bank of India to facilitate cross-border money transfer within minutes to select banks.
 
Western Union services are currently available at more than 112,000 agent locations in India. Western Union has transactional websites in 24 countries and a mobile app in the US and Australia to send money globally to 200 countries and territories.
 
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SEBI approves new regulations to deter insider trading in securities

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The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) today approved new regulations in place of the SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations, 1992 designed to deter the practice of insider trading in the securities of listed companies.
 
The new regulations, approved by the SEBI Board which met here today, will be in place of the existing regulations, a press release from the market regulator said.
 
The release pointed out that two decades had passed since the SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations, 1992 were notified and, since then, there had been several amendments to the regulations. Judicial paradigm through case laws had also evolved in India, it said.
 
To ensure that the regulatory framework dealing with insider trading in India is further strengthened, SEBI sought review of the extant Insider Trading regulatory regime and constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Justice N. K. Sodhi.
 
The SEBI Board deliberated on the recommendations of the committe today and public comments received on them.
 
"The new regulations strengthen the legal and enforcement framework, align Indian regime with international practices, provide clarity with respect to the definitions and concepts, and facilitate legitimate business transactions," the release said.
 
According to the release, the salient features of the regulations are:
 
(A) STRENGTHENING THE LEGAL AND ENFORCEMENT FRAMEWORK
 
            (i) The definition of Insider has been made wider by including persons connected on the basis of being in any contractual, fiduciary or employment relationship that allows such person access to unpublished price sensitive information (UPSI). However directors, employees and all other persons in the deeming category covered under 1992 regulations would continue to be covered. Insider will also include a person who is in possession or has access to UPSI. Now, immediate relatives will be presumed to be connected persons, with a right to rebut the presumption. In 1992 regulations, definition of connected person was largely position based.  
 
            (ii) In the case of connected persons the onus of establishing, that they were not in possession of UPSI, shall be on such connected persons.
 
            (iii)  Clear prohibition on communication of unpublished price sensitive information (UPSI) has been provided except legitimate purposes, performance of duties or discharge of legal obligations.
 
            (iv)  Considering every investor's interest in securities market, advance disclosure of UPSI at least 2 days prior to trading has been made mandatory in case of permitted communication of UPSI.
 
            (v)  UPSI has been defined as information not generally available and which may impact the price. The definition of UPSI has been strengthened by providing a test to identify price sensitive information, aligning it with listing agreement and providing platform of disclosure. Earlier, the definition of price sensitive information had reference to company only; now it has reference to both a company and securities.
 
            (vi)  Generally Available Information will be the information that is accessible to the public on a non-discriminatory platform which would ordinarily be stock exchange platform.
 
            (vii) Companies by law would be entitled to require third-party connected persons to disclose their trading and holdings in securities of the company.
 
            (viii) In line with Companies Act, 2013, prohibition on derivative trading by directors and KMPs on securities of the company has been provided.
 
 
 
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(B) ALIGNING INSIDER TRADING NORMS WITH INTERNATIONAL PRACTICES
 
            (i) The requirement of communication of UPSI in the case of legitimate business transaction has been recognized in law and a carve-out with safeguards has been provided. [Reference to A (iii) and (iv) above]
 
            (ii) Disclosure of UPSI in public domain has been made mandatory before trading, so as to rule out asymmetry of information in the market, as prevalent in other jurisdictions. [Reference to A (iv) above]
 
            (iii) A provision of Trading Plans on the lines of U.S. has been introduced for insiders with necessary safeguards. Such a plan has to be for bona fide transactions and has to be disclosed on stock exchange platform in advance.
 
(C) CLARITY IN THE DEFINITIONS AND CONCEPTS
 
            (i) With important provisions, clarificatory notes have been inserted in the regulations itself.
 
            (ii) Clarity has been brought to the definition of UPSI by aligning it with listing agreement and making the definition inclusive.
 
            (iii) To provide clarity, Generally Available Information has been defined as information that is accessible to public on a non-discriminatory platform such as stock exchange. [Reference to A (vi) above] 
 
            (iv) Clarity about timing of disclosure of UPSI has been provided and the trading window norms have been made uniform to other connected persons.
 
(D) FACILITATING LEGITIMATE BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS
 
            (i) To facilitate legitimate business transactions, unpublished price sensitive information (UPSI) can be communicated with safeguards. [reference to A (iii) & (iv) above]
 
            (ii) Insiders who are liable to possess UPSI all round the year would have the option to formulate pre-scheduled trading plans. Trading plans would, however, to be disclosed on the stock exchanges and have to be strictly adhered to. Trading plans shall be available for bona fide transactions. 
 
            (iii) Principle based Code of Fair Disclosure and Code of Conduct has been prescribed. 
 
            (iv) In given cases, certain circumstances which can be demonstrated by an insider to prove his innocence have been provided.
 
            (v) Repeated disclosures have been removed so as to ease compliance burden and to align with Takeover Code. Disclosure of any change of 2% for persons holding more than 5% shares or voting rights has been removed as they are prescribed under Takeover Code.
 
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Reliance Jio signs syndicated term loan facilities of $ 1.5 billion

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Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL), a subsidiary of the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), today said it had signed a syndicated term loan facility aggregating to $ 1.5 billion.
 
The facility is guaranteed by RIL and will be used to refinance the syndicated term loan facilities aggregating to $1.5 billion tied up by RJIL in 2010, a press release from the company said.
 
The release said the facility was fully underwritten by an initial group of 15 core relationship banks that comprise the Mandated Lead Arrangers (MLAs) and Bookrunners. 
 
"The deal witnessed significant oversubscription before it was launched into syndication and two banks joined in as MLAs. The overall bank group saw participation from banks all over the world, including North America, Europe, Australia, Asia and the Middle East. This term loan syndication saw a total of 26 banks participate in the facility," it said.
 
The loan syndication comprises a $ 1 billion Facility I, which has a total maturity of 5.5 years and a $ 0.5 billion Facility II, which has a maturity of 7 years and represents the longest average maturity for an unsecured syndicated loan of similar size in Asia this year.
 
The facility was tied up at significantly better terms than the facilities being refinanced which were signed in 2010, the release said. It saw tremendous response in syndication and raised over $ 400 million.
 
In compliance with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines, the facility saw participation from only International banks, it said.
 
"This was one of the rare occasions when the higher tenor 7 year facility saw a strong participation in syndication: the 7 year facility saw a higher participation (in percentage terms) than the 5.5 year facility," the release said.
 
The facility saw strong participation from Middle Eastern, regional Taiwanese and Japanese banks.
 
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Air India sets up helpline desks in four metros

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National carrier Air India has set up dedicated telephone numbers in the four metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, in addition to its all-India toll free call centre number 1800-180-1407.
 
These dedicated lines will provide information on the status of Air India flights round the clock, all seven days of the week, a press release from the airline said.
 
The helpline numbers are:
 
Delhi 011-49637522, 011-25653385 
Mumbai 022-66858097, 022-26168250 
Kolkata 033-25119982, 08336918921 
Chennai 044-22562011, 044-22566002 
 
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