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India’s forex reserves fall by $ 778.4 million to $ 315.132 billion

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After rising for four consecutive weeks, India’s foreign exchange reserves fell by $ 778.4 million to $ 315.132 billion in the week ended November 7, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The forex reserves had gone up by a whopping $ 1.732 billion to $ 315.91 billion 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, declined by $ 726 million to $ 289.64 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 $ 38.5 million to $ 4.232 billion during the week.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 13.9 million to $ 1.522 billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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SBI reports 30.54% rise in net profit to Rs 3100 crore in Q2 of FY15

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State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender by assets, today reported a 30.54 per cent increase in net profit to Rs 3100 crore in the second quarter (Q2) of the the current financial year (FY15) from Rs 2,375 crore in the same quarter of the previous year.
 
The bank said operating profit increased by 33.43% from Rs.6,312 crores in Q2FY14 to Rs. 8,422 crores in Q2FY15, while net interest income had gone up by 8.36% from Rs. 12,251 crores in Q2FY14 to Rs.13,275 crores in Q2FY15.
 
Fee income increased by 18.98% from Rs.2,615 crores in Q2FY14 to Rs. 3,111 crores in Q2FY15, while operating Income increased by 14.91% from Rs. 15,529 crores in Q2FY14 to Rs. 17,845 crores in Q2FY15.
 
A press release from the bank said its gross non-performing assets (NPA) ratio was down by 75 basis points (bps) to 4.89% in Q2FY15 as against 5.64% in Q2FY14. The ratio of net NPAs to net advances stood at 2.73% as compared to 2.91% a year ago.
 
Gross NPAs declined from Rs.64,206 crores in September 2013 to Rs.60,712 crores in September 14.(5.44% YOY decline). The provisioning coverage ratio as on 30 September 2014 stood at 63.18%.
 
Deposits of the bank increased from Rs.12,92,456 crores in September 2013 to Rs.14,73,785 crores in Sepember 2014.( 14.03%.YOY growth), while savings bank deposits went up from Rs.4,45,443 crores to Rs. 5,00,861 crores in the period.
 
Among its associates and subsidiaries, SBI Capital Markets Ltd registered a net profit of Rs 165.82 crores in the first half of FY15 up from Rs.126.15 crores in H1FY14 (31.45%YOY growth).
 
SBI Funds Management Pvt Ltd registered a net profit of Rs.82.60 crores in H1FY15 against Rs.75.26 crores in H1FY14 (9.75% YOY growth), while SBI Cards & Payments Services Pvt Ltd registered a net profit of Rs.194.20 crores in H1FY15 against Rs.143.38 crs in H1 FY 14 (35.44% YOY growth).
 
SBI Life Insurance Company Ltd posted a net profit of Rs.458.58 crores, in H1FY15 from Rs.431.70 crores  in H1FY14(6.23% YOY growth). 
 
The SBI Group's net profit increased from Rs 7371 crores in H1FY14 to Rs 8472 crores in H1FY15 (14.93% YOY growth), the release added.
 
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Reliance Infra terminates agreement for Mumbai Metro Line 2

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Reliance Infrastructure today said the Mumbai Metro Transport Private Limited (MMTPL), in which it has 48% stake, and the government of Maharashtra had agreed to erminate the concession agreement for the Mumbai Metro Line 2 Project (Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd corridor).
 
A press release Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) said here today that, due to non-fulfillment of carious critical obligations by the Maharashtra government and the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), the project could not take off.
 
RInfra is part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group headed by industrialist Anil Ambani.
 
The state government had awarded the contract for the project, estimated to cost about Rs 12,000 crore to the consortium led by Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) on August 3, 2009 through an international competitive bidding process.
 
The release said the concession agreement was executed between the state government and MMTPL on January 21, 2010.
 
"Even after four years, despite of the best efforts by the Government of Maharashtra, various project impediments could not be resolved.
 
"The parties (MMTPL and Government of Maharashtra) agreed to terminate the Concession Agreement at no cost or claim to either party with Government of Maharashtra to return the Bank Guarantee (of Rs 160 crore) to MMTPL," it said.
 
The release said that, with the termination of the concession agreement, all commitments and liabilities of RInfra towards the project, including the commitments towards funding the project have been annulled with immediate effect. 
 
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Gold jewellery demand in India up 60% to 183 tonnes in Q3 of 2014: WGC

Gold jewellery demand in India saw a 60% year-on-year (Y-o-Y) increase to 183 tonnes (t) in the third quarter (Q3) (July-September) of 2014, according to the latest Gold Demand Trends report from the World Gold Council (WGC).
 
A press release from WGC said this was the second highest Q3 on record for India.
 
"While the increase is partly reflective of the weakness in Q3 in India last year - when the government introduced import curbs and raised import duties - it also demonstrates the resilience of the country’s appetite for gold jewellery. Improved consumer confidence in both the domestic economy and the new government added to the positive sentiment, with strong levels of purchasing being seen in the build up to Diwali," it said.
 
Overall, the global demand for gold was down just 2% year on year to 929 tonnes, it said.
 
Overall jewellery demand softened slightly down 4% to 534t, when compared with an exceptional quarter in 2013. Taking a slightly longer term view, Q3 2014 jewellery demand was marginally stronger than the quarterly average of 527.6t. Year to date volumes continue to extend the broad uptrend from the low seen in 2009, the release said.
 
In China jewellery demand for Q3 2014 was down 39% year on year to 147t, but was broadly in line with both Q3 2012 and the 5-year quarterly average (of 148.2t and 154.9t, respectively). In the US and UK, jewellery demand was strong, buoyed by ongoing economic recoveries. US jewellery demand grew 4% year on year to 34t, the highest Q3 since 2009. UK jewellery demand had its fifth consecutive quarter of year on year growth.
 
Investment demand, a combination of bars and coins and exchange-traded funds (ETF), was up 6% to 204t. However, investment in bars and coins was down 21% to 246t. 
 
"This reflects an adjustment towards more normal levels of demand after a surge of unprecedented consumer demand took place last year. ETF outflows stood at 84t for the year to date compared to 699t in the same period last year. Third quarter demand for bars and coins was very close to the 10-year quarterly average of 240.6t. It’s worth noting that before the financial crisis of 2008, the European bar and coin market was virtually non-existent," the release said.
 
Mr Marcus Grubb, Managing Director of Investment Strategy at the World Gold Council said: “This quarter the market continued to find its feet after an exceptional 2013, with China catching its breath and buying in the build up to Diwali driving Indian jewellery purchases. The figures for India and China this quarter reinforce the need to understand the factors which underpinned an exceptional Q3 last year. In 2013, India was impacted by import curbs and increased import duties imposed by the previous government, whereas exceptional buying in China during the same period shaped buying patterns in 2014."
 
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"The long-term sources of demand - jewellery, investment, central banks and technology remain robust and diverse. People around the world buy gold for different reasons at different times, reinforcing the unique self balancing nature of the gold market. With recycling at a seven year low and mine supply looking increasingly likely to be constrained in the future the outlook for physical gold demand remains strong," he said.
 
According to the report, central banks bought 93t of gold in Q3 2014, the 15th consecutive quarter that banks were net purchasers of gold. Year to date, central banks have bought 335t of gold compared to 324t in the same period last year. This was driven by a number of factors including a continued diversification away from the US dollar and the backdrop of ongoing geopolitical tensions.
 
Technology demand was 98t, 5% lower than a year ago as the industry continued its shift towards alternative materials in technological applications.
 
Total supply fell by 7% in Q3 2014, continuing the broad themes surrounding gold supply during the first half of the year. Mine production stabilised (up 1% to 812t) but recycling slowed considerably, reaching its lowest year to date levels since 2007 at 807t, the report said.
 
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Eros International acquires worldwide rights of Rajinikanth’s Lingaa

A poster of 'Lingaa'
A poster of Lingaa
Film entertainment major Eros International Media Limited has said that it has acquired the worldwide rights of the Tamil film Lingaa, starring superstar Rajinikanth and directed by K.S. Ravikumar.
 
Produced by Rockline Entertainments Pvt Ltd, producer Rockline Venkatesh and also presented by Muni Rathna, Lingaa has Rajinikanth reprising a dual role along with Anushka Shetty and Sonakshi Sinha who makes her debut in Tamil cinema. 
 
The sound track has been scored by Oscar winning composer, A R Rahman with cinematography by R. Rathnavelu and production design by Sabu Cyril.
 
The Tamil and Telugu audio launch of Lingaa is slated for November 16 in Chennai along with the trailer launch of all three languages -- Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. The Hindi audio is scheduled to release soon. The music rights of the film, across languages – Tamil, Telugu and Hindi -- have been acquired by Eros’ music label, Eros Music.
 
Mr. Sunil Lulla, Managing Director, Eros International Media Ltd said, “We are delighted to present and release worldwide superstar Rajnikanth's much anticipated film Lingaa.  Audiences across the globe keenly await his first live action film after the blockbuster Robot. There is a huge buzz within the consumers and trade for the film and we are very excited."
 
Venkatesh added, “We are very pleased to associate with a leading studio like Eros to present a prestigious project like Lingaa starring superstar Rajinikanth. With their global positioning, we hope to present the film on a worldwide platform with maximum reach”.
 
Eros will release Lingaa worldwide in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi amongst other languages this December, a press release from the company added.
 
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Dhoni rested for first Test against Australia, Virat Kohli to lead

Virat Kohli
File photo of Virat Kohli.
Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been rested for the first Test against Australia beginning on December 4 and Virat Kohli will lead the side in his place, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced today.
 
"M. S. Dhoni has been rested for the first Test as a prophylactic measure to ensure optimum recovery. He will join the team from the second Test onwards, and will lead the team for the rest of the Test series," BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel said after the All-India Senior Selection Committee met here earlier in the day.
 
The committe selected the Indian teams for the last matches of the Micromax Cup India vs Sri Lanka ODI series and the tour of Australia for a four-Test series.
 
The selectors have included Karnataka opener K L Rahul and Railways' leg-spinner Karn Sharma in the 19-member squad for the Australia tour.
 
They have also recalled Suresh Raina to the side after a gap of two years, while Madhya Pradesh wicketkeeper will be the back-up for Bengal 'keeper Wriddhiman Saha for the first Test.
 
The team includes five pace bowlers  - Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron. 
 
For the remaining ODIs against Sri Lanka, the selectors have rested opener Shikhar Dhawan and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.
 
Rohit Sharma, Robin Uthappa, Karn Sharma, Vinay Kumar and Kedhar Jadhav are among those who have been chosen for the two matches, scheduled for November 13 and November 16.
 
The following are the teams:
 
INDIAN TEAM FOR THE LAST TWO MATCHES OF THE MICROMAX CUP:
 
Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Robin Uthappa, Axar Patel, Karn Sharma, R. Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Stuart Binny, Vinay Kumar, Kedar Jadhav.
 
INDIAN TEAM FOR THE TEST SERIES IN AUSTRALIA
 
M.S.Dhoni ( Captain), Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, K.L. Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha, Naman Ojha, R. Ashwin, Karn Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Mohd. Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron.
 
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ISL: Goa, Mumbai play out goalless draw in midfield battle

Photo courtesy:ISL
Photo courtesy:ISL
The match between FC Goa and Mumbai City FC in the Hero India Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at Fatorda ended in a stalemate today, with neither team managing to get on the score-sheet.
 
It was Mumbai City’s first draw of the tournament, and takes them to the fourth spot and the top half of the league table with 10 points, whereas Goa stay rooted at the bottom of the table with five points.
 
The match began with Goa dominating proceedings, playing attacking football from the word go and going forward with some beautiful movement and build-up play. 
 
The heat and humidity seemed to have an impact on proceedings as well, as after the first 15 minutes, Goa went into their shell, with Mumbai taking control. The closest that the visitors got to scoring was when Subhash Singh put the ball in the back of the net, but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside. 
 
The momentum again switched towards the end of the half, with Goa looking the more threatening once more. Home defender Grégory Arnolin came close to scoring from a corner, but his header was not accurate enough. The first half also saw a water break taken to allow the players to replenish themselves in the unforgiving climate.
 
The story of the second half was similar, with the teams tiring out and the speed of play going down a notch. Arnolin once again came closest to scoring for the hosts from a corner, this time beating Mumbai City keeper Subrata Paul all ends up, but his shot hit the crossbar.
 
Goa had an incredible nine corners awarded in the game, but, as their story has been so far, did not manage to convert any of their chances. Jan Štohanzl was a stand-out performer for the visitors, and was justly named the player of the match.
 
Goa travel to the national capital to face the Delhi Dynamos FC in their eighth match on November 13. Mumbai City will play their second straight away game, going to Kochi to face the Kerala Blasters FC in their next encounter on November 12.
 
Match Awards
 
Hero of the Match: Jan Štohanzl (Mumbai City FC)
Swift Moment of the Match: Tolgay Özbey (FC Goa)
Amul Fittest Player of the Match: Narayan Das (FC Goa)
ISL Emerging Player of the Match: Bikramjit Singh (FC Goa)
 
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India to launch "blue revolution" to boost fish production

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Union Minister for Agriculture Radhamohan Singh has said that the government is all set to launch a "blue revolution" that envisages transformation of the fisheries sector with increased investment, better training and development of infrastructure.
 
Delivering the convocation address at the Central Institute of Fisheries Education here yesterday Friday evening, Mr. Singh said India was the second largest producer of fish, but it lagged China by a huge margin and also scored low on the  productivity scale.
 
He said fisheries output in the country is presently about 10 million tonnes, with inland fisheries accounting for 5.6 million tonnes and marine fisheries 3.4 million tonnes. 
 
“India has large natural resources, and water bodies such as reservoirs, lakes and ponds, in addition to an 8,118km-long coastline. So it is well positioned to have a blue revolution,” he said. 
 
Mr. Singh expressed concern over stagnation of production of marine fisheries. He said deep sea fishing would require large investments and the possibilities of public-private partnership would have to be explored.
 
He said the largest species of fish are found in India, and there is also tremendous scope for breeding of colourful ornamental fish. 
 
Mr Singh said that so far governments had focused mainly on agriculture and industry, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has envisaged a grand plan for development of fisheries as a major employment generating economic activity. 
 
The 'blue revolution' will focus on construction of new fishing harbours, modernization of fishing boats, imparting training to fishermen, and above all promotion of fishing as a self-employment activity. 
 
A total of 128 degrees and 18 Ph.Ds were awarded at the 12th convocation of the institute at Versova here. As many as 29 students were given gold medals for meritorious achievements.
 
The Central Institute of Fisheries Education is a deemed university and a centre of excellence in the field of fisheries and allied subjects. It has 20 Fisheries Colleges spread across India. 
 
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Tendulkar's autobiography breaks records for pre-sale orders

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Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar's autobiography "Playing It My Way", released yesterday, has broken all records for an adult hardback on pre-order subscriptions across both fiction and non-fiction categories, the publishers said today.
 
According to them, on the day of release before sales began (at 11.30 am yesterday), the book had topped 150,000 copies in orders, already pulling ahead of both pre-order and lifetime sales of the top hardbacks Dan Brown's Inferno, Walter Issacson's Steve Jobs and JK Rowling's Casual Vacancy 
 
Thomas Abraham, Managing Director of Hachette India, which has published the book in the country, said, "It is no surprise that the master blaster's pen talks up records at the same pace as his bat. We're delighted that he has now notched up a thousand hundreds on debut, and we're sure that this innings has only just begun."
 
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India’s forex reserves swell by $ 1.732 billion to $ 315.91 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves rose for the fourth consecutive week, swelling by a whopping $ 1.732 billion to $ 315.91 billion in the week ended October 31, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The forex reserves had gone up by $ 495.5 million to $ 314.175 billion 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 up by $ 2.034 billion to $ 290.366 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 declined by $ 375 million to $ 19.738 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) fell by $ 19.5 million to $ 4.27 billion during the week.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 7 million to $ 1.536 billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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HCC wins contracts worth Rs 634 crore in transportation, hydel sectors

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Infrastructure major Hindustan Construction Company Ltd (HCC) has said that it has won two contracts worth Rs 634.79 crore in the transportation and hydro-electric segments.
 
The contracts include one valued at Rs 454.89 crore from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway (MoRTH) for 4-laning of the 50.5 km long Numaligarh-Jorhat section of national highway (NH)-37 in Assam, a press release from the company said here yesterday.
 
The project is part of the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for North Eastern Region (SARDP-NE) and includes rehabilitation, upgradation and augmentation of the existing carriageway, major and minor bridges, culverts, road intersections, interchanges, drains, and so on.
 
The second contract worth Rs 179.90 crore is from Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (HPPCL) for the balance works of Head Race Tunnel of 111 MW Sawra Kuddu Hydel Power Project in Shimla district.
 
Mr. Arun Karambelkar, President & CEO, HCC Ltd. said “HCC has received three major orders totalling Rs 1028 crore in last fortnight that includes two EPC orders from MoRTH and an order from HPPCL. Earlier, the company was awarded Rs 393 crore MoRTH contract for widening of 65.87 km section of NH-233, on the Indo-Nepal Border. HCC with its expertise and dedicated team is poised to leverage on opportunities in the infrastructure space.”
 
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ISL: Anelka takes Mumbai City to 1-0 win against Delhi Dynamos

Frenchman Nicolas Anelka of Mumbai City FC during their match against Delhi Dynamos FC in the Hero Indian Super League in Mumbai on November 5, 2014.(Photo courtesy: ISL)
Frenchman Nicolas Anelka of Mumbai City FC during their match against Delhi Dynamos FC in the Hero Indian Super League in Mumbai on November 5, 2014.(Photo courtesy: ISL)
Frenchman Nicolas Anelka was in the spotlight again as he scored once more to lead Mumbai City FC to a 1-0 win over Delhi Dynamos FC in a keenly contested encounter in the Hero Indian Super League at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai tonight.
 
The win helped the hosts to move up to third spot on the league table with nine points from six games while the visitors, who have six points in the kitty, slipped to sixth spot.
 
It was a cagey start as Delhi Dynamos kept possession for major periods of the first half. Syed Rahim Nabi, for the second time in the tournament, picked up an injury early on and was forced off with Peter Costa coming on to replace him. 
 
This pegged back the Mumbai side as the visitors moved the ball around well with Delhi’s Steven Dias causing a few problems for the hosts from the right with his runs and crosses. Mads Junker was however unable to get on the end of any of them as Subrata Paul, the ISL emerging player of the match, came bravely off his line a few times to thwart any danger.
 
As the half progressed, Mumbai slowly began to get into the game. Jan Stohanzl, Amul’s fittest player of the match, collected the ball in midfield, ran towards goal and unleashed a thunderous effort that sailed over the bar. 
 
Lalrindika Ralte tested Kristof Van Hout a few minutes later with a shot from a distance, but the 6’10” Belgian goalkeeper made a comfortable save.
 
The closest either team came to scoring was when André Moritz picked up the ball and threaded it through to Anelka on the left who lobbed a beautiful pass across the goal to an unmarked Subash Singh who fluffed the chance. 
 
Mumbai came out firing on all cylinders in the second half while Delhi were content playing from behind and attempting to hit back on the counter. But when Delhi did finally venture forward, it was the home side that hit Delhi with a superb counter attacking move in the 59th minute. Stohanzl collected the ball in midfield and released Subhash down the right who dinked the ball over a defender (the Swift moment of the match) on to the onrushing Anelka who placed it past van Hout into the top left corner with a sublime left foot finish. 
 
Delhi responded by sending marquee man Alessandro Del Piero on for the ineffective Junker. Mumbai however were in an unrelenting mood as they continued to pile on the pressure. Anelka was at the forefront of everything for the home side but was unable to convert the chances that came his way. 
 
Subhash too was guilty of wasting a good chance to double the lead from a one on one with van Hout. Delhi tried to get back into the game and Del Piero wasted a golden opportunity to draw his side level when he met Dias’ cross with a header that went just wide.
 
With two wins on the trot Mumbai, will head out with confidence to face FC Goa away on November 9 while Delhi travel south to meet Kerala Blasters in Kochi on the same day. 
 
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Taj Group launches complimentary Wi-Fi access across its hotels globally

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The Taj Group today announced that it would, starting November 15,  introduce complimentary Wi-Fi connectivity for residential guests across its 125 hotels around the globe. 
 
A first-ever all brand-inclusive initiative in India, guests at any of the Taj Group of hotels – The Taj, Vivanta by Taj, Gateway Hotels and Ginger will now be able to enjoy free Wi-Fi connectivity for the duration of their stay on up to three devicesas soon as they check-in to the hotel.
 
A press release from the company said the complimentary Wi-Fi access which will be available for all in-house guests will be ideal for checking e-mails, social-networking and general web browsing at an efficient speed. 
 
"Guests who require higher bandwidth scan instantly upgrade to the premium tier and also connect additional devices at specially designed tariffs," it said.
 
Ms.Rakhee Lalvani, Director - Public Relations, Taj Group said, "Industry as well as our own research has shown the increasing importance of 'staying connected'; Travellers world over have ranked free Wi-Fi as one of the most essential and valuable hotel amenities. It is our constant endeavour to raise the standard of personalized service for business and leisure travellers and believe that with this value added service of free Wi-Fi, our guests will enjoy the enhanced experience during their stay at the Taj."
 
According to global research undertaken by SmartBrief, 85 percent travellers wanted free Wi-Fi in hotels and 38 percent stated that Wi-Fi was a key factor while selecting a hotel. Interestingly, 45 percent guests travel with two devices whereas 40 percent travel with three or more. 
 
Another study by global hotel consultancy HVS reveals that the new-age traveller needs to feel ‘at home’ and‘stay connected’. 
 
"Furthermore, the millennial generation is increasingly interested in instant storytelling of memorable experiences. Therefore, in order to keep pace with this rapidly changing lifestyle, free Internet access has become essential," the release added.
 
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Sachin Tendulkar's autobiography ‘Playing It My Way’ released

Well-known cricketer Sachin Tendulkar's autobiography 'Playing It My Way' was released at a glittering event at the ITC Maratha here this evening, in the presence of present and past stars of the game and nearly a year after he bid adieu to the game after playing his 200th Test match in the city on November 16 last year.
 
In an hour long event, master of ceremonies Harsha Bhogle took the packed hall through Tendulkar's life and the evolution of Indian cricket with scintillating on-stage conversations with Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Vasu Paranjpe, and the famed 'class of 98' (with Sourav Ganguli, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Tendulkar himself). 
 
The formal book release saw Tendulkar present the first copy to his first coach and guru Ramakant Achrekar. This was followed by the final session which was a solo conversation with the author himself.
 
Tendulkar said, “Playing It My Way is a different sort of innings for me, and was in the making for the last three years.  As with the game, I have been honest and sincere in putting together various aspects of my life, and the book is something I hope readers will enjoy."
 
Mr Thomas Abraham, Managing Director of Hachette India, which has published the book in the country, said, “This is an absolutely outstanding book--at once cricketing history and personal narrative; and will delight every cricketing fan. We are delighted to welcome Sachin Tendulkar to our list and are proud to be publishing this landmark autobiography which we're sure --like its author-- will go on to set new records.”
 
The book has in fact already set the Indian record for the largest adult hardback orders on day of release with 100,000 copies being released by the publishers.  While lucky guests got the chance to purchase early 'launch' copies the book is heavily embargoed and was transported across the country under security for simultaneous release tomorrow.
 
Sachin Tendulkar presenting the first copy of his autobiography,
Sachin Tendulkar presenting the first copy of his autobiography, "Playing It My Way" to his first coach and guru Ramakant Achrekar in Mumbai on November 5, 2014.
‘Playing It My Way’ releases as hardback and simultaneous eBook tomorrow. An audiobook version will follow early next year as will Indian language versions in Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati, Malayalam and Bengali.
 
The highest run-scorer in the history of international cricket, Tendulkar retired in 2013 after playing for an astonishing 24 years. The most celebrated Indian cricketer of all time, he was conferred the Bharat Ratna – India’s highest civilian award – on the day of his retirement. 
 
The book tells his remarkable story – from playing in the bylanes of suburban Mumbai, to his first Test cap at the age of 16 to his 100th international century and the emotional final farewell that brought the country to a standstill.
 
When a boisterous Mumbai youngster’s excess energies were channelled into cricket, the result was record-breaking schoolboy batting exploits that launched the career of a cricketing phenomenon. Before long, Tendulkar was the cornerstone of India’s batting line-up, his every move watched by a cricket-mad nation’s devoted followers.
 
Never has a cricketer been burdened with so many expectations; never has a cricketer performed at such a high level for so long and with such style – scoring more runs and making more centuries than any other player, in both Tests and one-day games.
 
And perhaps only one cricketer could have brought together a shocked nation by defiantly scoring a Test century shortly after terrorist attacks rocked his hometown of Mumbai.
 
His many achievements with the Indian team include winning the World Cup and topping the world Test rankings. Yet he has also known his fair share of frustration and failure – from injuries and early World Cup exits to stinging criticism from the press, especially during his tenure as captain.
 
Despite his celebrity status, Tendulkar has always remained a very private man, devoted to his family and his country. Now, for the first time, he provides a fascinating insight into his personal life and gives a frank and revealing account of a sporting life like no other.
 
The book will be simultaneously released all over the world and in India will be represented by Hachette India.
 
Book details: ISBN 9781473605206 / Hardback / Royal octavo- 157 x 240 mm / 514 pages including 84 photographs / Imprint: Hodder/Hachette India / UK £25 India Rs 899
 
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Reliance, Pioneer to divest shares of Eagle Ford Shale Midstream business

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Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and its partner Pioneer Natural Resources of the United States are planning to pursue the divestment of their shares of the Eagle Ford Shale (EFS) Midstream business.
 
Pioneer said in a press release issued in Dallas, Texas, United Staes that it was pursuing the divestment of its 50.1% share of the business.
 
"Reliance Holding USA, Inc. (RHUSA), a subsidiary of RIL, owns the remaining 49.9% of the EFS Midstream business and also plans to pursue the divestment of its share in a joint process with Pioneer. Pioneer is the operator of the business," it said.
 
RIL sources said RHUSA had acquired 49.9% stake in EFS Midstream LLC in June 2010.  Current investments in EFS Midstream LLC are $208 million, they said.
 
Mr Scott D. Sheffield, Chairman and CEO, stated, “The sale of EFS Midstream would allow us to strategically redeploy capital to our core, oil-rich Spraberry/Wolfcamp assets in the Permian Basin of West Texas, where we are successfully transforming the substantial resource potential we delineated in 2013 into strong production growth. We currently have no plans to divest our Eagle Ford Shale upstream assets. The sale of EFS Midstream is not expected to impact our ability to export processed Eagle Ford condensate.”
 
The EFS Midstream business was formed in 2010 to construct facilities to provide gathering and handling services for condensate and natural gas produced from wells on dedicated acreage in the Eagle Ford Shale. These services are provided for the Eagle Ford Shale upstream joint venture operated by Pioneer (Pioneer 46%, Reliance 45% and Newpek LLC 9%) and for various third parties. 
 
The EFS Midstream system consists of 10 central gathering plants (CGPs) and approximately 460 miles of pipelines. The system gathers and separates produced condensate from produced gas. It also stabilizes the condensate, where necessary, and treats the gas. 
 
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L&T Construction wins orders valued at Rs 1576 crore

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Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said its construction arm had won orders worth Rs 1576 crore across various segments in October 2014.
 
Of these, the Power Transmission & Distribution Business had secured new orders worth Rs 1164 crore, including one from the Madhyanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited under the R-APDRP scheme, a press release from the company said.
 
The order is for system strengthening and augmentation of power supply 
networks for Lucknow with SCADA compatibility to improve efficiency and power quality. 
 
The project is funded by the Power Finance Corporation Limited. The scope includes construction of 33/11kV substations, renovation and modernization of existing substations, 11kV distribution lines, distribution transformer centres, underground cabling, installation of ring main units and electronic energy meters.
 
The Business also bagged an order from the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited for the supply, erection, testing and commissioning of a 33/11kV power distribution network for augmenting rural electricity infrastructure and household electrification for prospective consumers covering the districts of Nadia, 24 Parganas (North) and Cooch Behar in the state of West Bengal under 12th Plan of RGGVY Scheme. The project is funded by the Rural Electricity Corporation Limited, the release said.
 
According to it, the Water & Renewable Energy Business has won orders including add-ons worth Rs 304 crore. An engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) order has been received from the Drinking Water & Sanitation Department of the Government of Jharkhand for the Ranchi Water Supply Scheme under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
 
The scope involves the design and construction of a 172 MLD intake well with a pump house, a 114 MLD water treatment plant and a 217 km of rising mains and distribution pipelines including associated electromechanical works.
 
The release also said additional orders worth Rs 108 crore had been received from various ongoing jobs of the Heavy Civil Infrastructure Business.
 
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Indians prefer printed books over e-books: Survey

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Despite all the strides taken by India in the digital world, nearly four out of five respondents in the Tata Literature Live! Survey 2014 conducted across the country say they favour printed books over electronic reading. 
 
In an attempt to understand the evolving landscape of literary reading, amidst technological, social and behavioural impacts, the survey brought forth key insights into Indians' reading habits, a press release from the Tata Group said.
 
According to it, the results of the survey revealed the preference of printed books across all generations. 
 
From among the respondents, hyper-connected post-millennials in the age group of less than 20, rank highest in this preference with 81%. This is followed by those in the age group of 21-30 with 79%, 31-40 age group and 41-50 age group with 75% each, the lowest being the age-group of 50 and above with 74%.
 
Regionally, Mumbai respondents lead with 80% opting for the printed word. This is followed by Delhi with 79%, Kolkata with 78%, Bengaluru with 77% and Chennai with 76%.
 
"The Tata Literature Live! Survey 2014 is an effort to look into contemporary India's literary leisure reading. The survey has not only explored reading tastes, but more importantly how India is reading today. It is heartening to see India's love for the written word, and the findings encourage us to celebrate it even further at the forthcoming editions of Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest!" says Mr. Anil Dharker, Founder and Festival Director of Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest.
 
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Dr. Mukund Rajan, Member – Group Executive Council and Brand Custodian, Tata Sons, says, "The Tata Literature Live! Survey has thrown up very interesting findings. In a world of primetime TV, breaking news, and intensive social networking, reading books remains a popular activity. Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest endeavours to promote the cause of literature, particularly amongst the younger generation, and the findings of the survey enthuse us to strengthen our efforts in this direction."
 
The survey looks deeper into other aspects of reading habits as well. Some of the highlights are:
  • 60% respondents read a literary piece once a week 
  • 42% respondents ranked reading as the best means to survive a bad day
  • 74% respondents prefer reading to internet, social media or gaming 
  • 69% respondents prefer reading over watching television shows or movies 
  • 61% respondents prefer reading over socialising 
  • 60% respondents prefer reading over outdoor/indoor games 
  • Mumbai respondents show highest preference for printed books (80%) and choose reading over digital entertainment (78%), socialising (66%) and indoor/outdoor games (64%)
  • The survey crowns Kolkata as the literary capital of India as - 67% people opt for leisure literary reading once a week, 17% respondents have more than 300 literary books and 49% people choose reading as an escape from a bad day, all highest among other metros
  • Across generations, it is the post-millennial readers (73.49%), who read literary pieces more often than any other age-group
  • Also, people of 50 years and above emerge as the generation of book hoarders, with 20.59% claiming to have more than 300 books on their shelves
  • Further, disclosing author preferences, respondents across regions and age-groups shared mythology as a genre where they enjoy Indian authors more than their non-Indian counterparts.
  • Interestingly, when quizzed about what they would bargain to read, about 37.61% of the respondents are willing to let go off their daily dose of favourite TV shows for reading, ranking the highest amongst other categories such as, giving up their lives, skipping a plan/party with friends, taking a day off at work, or not giving up anything at all
Tata Literature Live! Survey 2014 is an exclusive study by the Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest on Indian reading habits. Conducted in October 2014, the survey took a close look into the evolving landscape of literary reading amidst technological, social and behavioural impacts. It focuses on how India is reading today and dwells into the perceptions on literature, across demographics. The research was conducted online, accumulating responses from 1,426 individuals, across the country.
 
The fifth edition of Mumbai's international literary festival, Tata Literature Live, brought internationally renowned writers and performances from all over the world to Mumbai. The festival which took place at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Nariman Point, and, for the first time, at Prithvi Theatre and The Easel in Juhu, had an invigorating line-up of debates, talks, and creative performances which not only started a vibrant exchange of ideas, but also connected with literary conversations currently happening on a broad global stage.
 
Extremely happy with this year's edition, Dharker said, "The past four days have been an incredible experience. We have witnessed a huge turnout of audience which is overwhelming. Our sessions have seen full attendance and we have had live projections to other venues which have been full as well. Literature has taken hold of the city in a significant way and perhaps Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest! has contributed in a small way to that."
 
Over 120 writers, thinkers and performers from countries as diverse as England, the USA, Germany, Italy, Israel and Ireland took centre stage at the festival.
 
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L&T Technology Services, Tele2 in M2M/IoT partnership for transportation sector

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L&T Technology Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of engineering major  Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said it had entered into a partnership with Europe based telecom operator Tele2 to jointly develop solutions around Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT).
 
The alliance will help L&T Technology Services’ and Tele2’s customers implement solutions that will reduce their time-to-market, a press release from the company said.
 
"The concept of connected world is moving beyond cost and time advantage and today it’s about enhanced user experience coupled with the need for driving efficiency in operations as well as the cost of development and operations," it said.
 
"This partnership between L&T Technology Services an engineering services major with its deep domain expertise in the Transportation sector and Tele2, with its proven credentials as the foremost provider of convergent communication services, holds a great potential for the transportation market," it said.
 
Remote management of engine performance, data collection and analytics of vital parameters from off-hghway vehicles, engines and coaches will help OEMs, operators and consumers in significantly improving  operational efficiencies, improving warranty and service management and better the end- user experience, it said.
 
The release said the partnership would initially target the transportation and commercial, mass transit vertical (which includes Auto, Aero, Rail, Shipping and Off Highway and specialized vehicles) and all associated ancillary and similar industries .
 
Dr Keshab Panda, Chief Executive, L&T Technology Services said, “We are very excited to collaborate with Tele2 on providing IoT/M2M solution to the transportation and mass transit industry that benefit customers. Our engineering prowess and deep infrastructure understanding and expertise coupled with Tele2’s solutions will provide an excellent opportunity to improve customer services and create a safer and more connected customer experience."
 
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Nicolas Anelka helps Mumbai City beat Kerala Blasters 1-0 in ISL

Former French international Nicolas Anelka of Mumbai City FC in action against Kerala Blasters in the Hero Indian Super League at the D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on November 2, 2014.
Former French international Nicolas Anelka of Mumbai City FC in action against Kerala Blasters in the Hero Indian Super League at the D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on November 2, 2014.
Former French international Nicolas Anelka was in the limelight as he helped Mumbai City FC return to winning ways and defeat Kerala Blasters 1-0 in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai tonight.
 
Anelka curled in a superb free kick one minute before halftime that proved to be the matchwinner.
 
The win helped the Peter Reid- coached hosts move up from the cellar to fifth spot with six points while Kerala dropped to sixth place with four points after suffering their third defeat in five games.
 
Mumbai could have won by a comfortable margin after striking a purple patch in the second half but wayward shooting by their forwards denied them a big win. 
 
Jan Štohanzl blazed over the bar after a nice pass from the excellent André Moritz opened up the Kerala defence in the 58th minute. In the 75th minute a nice cutback from Anelka saw Subhash Singh with the Kerala goal at his mercy but the Manipuri skied his shot.
 
Hero of the match Anelka was then denied twice in one on one situations against Sandip Nandy who had started instead of player-manager David James under the Kerala bar. And in the dying seconds Nadong Bhutia struck the crossbar with a long range punt.
 
The match started slowly and was initially confined to the midfield with both defences holding firm. Mumbai forced a flurry of corners but as the first half progressed Kerala took control and put the Mumbai citadel under sustained pressure. However, the return of Pavel ?movš brought more stability to the Mumbai defence and Deepak Mandal who had replaced Peter Costa, also gave a good account of himself. The dangerous Iain Hume who toiled hard to get the Kerala attack rolling, was well contained.
 
But the night clearly belonged to the enigmatic Frenchman who curled in a superb free kick over the Kerala wall from about 25 metres out that beat a diving Nandy bar all ends up. This was his first goal in the Hero Indian Super League in only his second appearance. The free kick was awarded when holding midfielder Ishfaq Ahmed, a replacement for Mehtab Hossain, had fouled Štohanzl just outside the box.
 
With their campaign back on track, Mumbai now await the arrival of Delhi Dynamos FC on November 5 while Kerala return to Kochi for their first home game against FC Goa on November 6.
 
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India's forex reserves rise by $ 495.5 million to $ 314.178 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves rose for the third consecutive week, going up up by $ 495.5 million to $ 314.178 billion in the week ended October 24, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The forex reserves had gone up by $ 945.6 million to $ 313.682 billion in the previous week and by about $ 1.31 billion in the week before that, after dipping by about $ 7.2 billion in all in the five weeks before that, mainly due to the appreciation of the dollar against major currencies.
 
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 $ 532.2 million to $ 288.332 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 $ 20.013 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) decreased by $ 27 million to $ 4.289 billion during the week.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 9.7 million to $ 1.543 billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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Devendra Fadnavis sworn in as new Chief Minister of Maharashtra

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra here on Friday to head the first ever BJP government in the state.

Fadnavis becomes first BJP CM of Maharashtra
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra here today to head the first ever BJP government in the state.
 
Mr Fadnavis, 44, who is the president of the state BJP unit, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Maharashtra Governor Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao at a largely attended ceremony at the Wankhede Cricket Stadium here today.
 
Along with Mr Fadnavis, nine others took oath as Ministers, including Mr Eknath Khadse, Mr Sudhir Mungantiwar, Mr Vinod Tawde, Ms Pankaja Munde, Mr Prakash Mehta, Mr Vishnu Sawra, Mr Chandrakant Patil, Mr Dilip Kamble and Ms Vidya Thakur.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, veteran BJP leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani, several Union Ministers, Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states, leaders of various political parties and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
 
Others present at the ceremony included former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and former Union Minister and Nationalist Congress leader Praful Patel.
 
The BJP has previously been in government in Maharashtra as a junior partner in the alliance with Shiv Sena. The BJP had, however, called off their 25-year-old alliance days ahead of the October 15 elections to the state legislative assembly.
 
Mr Fadnavis is the 27th Chief Minister of Maharashtra and the 18th person to hold the position. He is the fourth leader from the Vidarbha region to become Chief Minister. At 44, he is the second youngest person to rise to the job.
 
Mr Fadnavis was unanimously elected as the leader of the BJP legislature party on October 28 and was later invited by the Governor to form the new government in the state.
 
The BJP had emerged as the single largest party in the October 15 elections to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, winning 122 seats in the 288-member house. The Shiv Sena finished second with 63 seats. 
 
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The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which ruled the state for the past 15 years and had also called off their alliance ahead of the elections, ended up in third and fourth places, with 42 and 41 seats, respectively.
 
After the election results were out, the Shiv Sena had made conciliatory noises and indicated that it was prepared to be part of the government if given an honourable offer, but the BJP did not respond to it openly, though the two sides were said to be in touch with each other informally.
 
Unhappy with the BJP's cold response, the Shiv Sena had indicated that it would stay away from today's swearing-n ceremony. But Mr Shah and Mr Fadnavis reached out to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray by calling him up and on the telephone and inviting him to the ceremony. Mr Thackeray relented and attended the function, in a sign of improving ties between the two parties.
 
BJP sources had indicated earlier that Mr Fadnavis would be sworn in along with a compact team and that the Council of Ministers would be expanded in due course.
 
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Nita Ambani to join Board of Visitors of MD Anderson Cancer Center in US

Nita M. Ambani
Nita M. Ambani
Reliance Foundation founder and Chairperson Nita M. Ambani has been invited to join the Board of Visitors of the prestigious University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in the United States.
 
“By giving your time, talents and treasure, you will help advance the institution’s mission to eliminate cancer – and ultimately make a significant difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families," Mr Melvyn N. Klein, Chairman of the Board of MD Anderson Cancer Center said in his invitation to her.
 
Ms Ambani, wife of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani, is the first Indian and the second Asian to join the Board of MD Anderson. 
 
The Center is widely acclaimed as the world’s premier cancer center, with a commitment to rapidly translate scientific knowledge into better cancer therapies and prevention strategies and improved quality of life for patients and survivors. Its 20,000 strong employees are working with dedication to saving lives. 
 
Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre, which was rededicated to the city of Mumbai last week by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has oncology as a thrust area. Latest equipment that can help early detection and cure of cancer, coupled with nuclear medicine, will help doctors treat cancer patients quickly and with reduced pain. 
 
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Both Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center will collaborate to work in the area on oncology and bring to India latest research findings and discoveries to give patients in India high quality treatment and care in India.
 
Accepting the invitation, Ms Ambani said, “I feel privileged to join the Board of Visitors of MD Anderson Cancer Center and look forward to both learning from and contributing to its exemplary mission of making cancer history. Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre will draw on the expertise and capabilities of this remarkable institution, and work towards providing better care for cancer patients in India and bringing about ground-breaking research to eventually defeat cancer.” 
 
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Engine, one coach of Amravati-Mumbai Express derail at Kalyan, no injuries

 
Engine, coach of train derails at Kalyan, no one hurt
Rail traffic on the Nashik-Igatpuri-Kalyan section was briefly disrupted when the engine and one general second class-cum-guard's van of the 1112 Amravati-Mumbai Express derailed at Kalyan station near here this morning, but no one was injured.
 
A Central Railway press release said that the mishap occurred while the train was entering platform number four at the station, 54 km from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai), at 4.50 am.
 
The derailment resulted in the blocking of the Up (Nashik-Igatpuri-Kalyan) line from the North-East side for some time, the release said. Rail traffic was restored on the line about three hours later at 0720 hours.
 
"There is no injury to any passengers," the release said.
 
Due to this derailment, the following trains have been cancelled/short terminated/diverted today, it said.
 
The details are:
 
TRAINS CANCELLED:
 
12110/12109 Manmad-Mumbai-Manmad Panchvati Express
 
TRAINS SHORT TERMINATED:
 
22102 Manmad-Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Rajyarani Express short terminated at Nasik Road and will work back as 22101 Rajyarani Express from Nasik Road.
 
TRAINS DIVERTED:
 
11025 Bhusaval-Pune Express via Manmad-Daund
 
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ISL: Elano, Mendonza lead Chennayin to 5-1 win over Mumbai City

Photo: Courtesy -- ISL
Photo: Courtesy -- ISL
Elano Blumer and John Stiven Mendoza came up with inspired performances and scored two goals each to lead Chennayin FC to a thumping 5-1 win over fancied Mumbai City  FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here tonight.
 
Jeje Lalpekhlua also got onto the score sheet for the hosts while Syed Rahim Nabi notched a consolation goal for the visitors late in the game by heading in a corner.
 
Chennai move to second on the table with nine points from their third win in four games while Mumbai remain in the sixth position with three points after succumbing to their third defeat.
 
Elano, who is now the top scorer of the tournament with five goals, was clearly the star of the match. He opened the account with a penalty in the 9th minute and followed it up with a wonderful free kick in the 70th minute. 
 
In between, Jeje hit the target in the 26th minute after the Brazilian had lobbed the ball over the Mumbai defence. Mendoza, who tormented the Mumbai defence with his tricky runs, then netted two goals just before half-time.
 
The Colombian striker made the most of the opportunity after Mumbai goalkeeper Subrata Paul had clumsily parried an Elano free-kick. He scored his second of the evening when he latched onto a pass from the midfield and deftly whizzed past Paul to make it 4-0 at the break. 
 
The India goalkeeper however made a couple of good saves to keep down the margin of defeat.
 
 
Team defended poorly: Mumbai FC coach
Even though the away side had more possession and forced several corners, it was the home team which created more chances. The only notable chance for the visitors was when Nicolas Anelka, who made his debut in the tournament, put Subhash Singh through on goal but Shilton Paul got down well to stop the shot. 
 
Manager Marco Materazzi, who also made his first appearance for Chennai as a defensive midfielder, had a good outing before he was replaced by Bojan Djordjic in the second half.
 
Peter Reid will have a lot of thinking to do on the way back home with his team due to play Kerala Blasters in Navi Mumbai on November 5. On the other hand, Materazzi’s men are flying high and will face league leaders Atletico de Kolkata with confidence when they meet in the southern city on November 4.
 
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Devendra Fadnavis to be new Chief Minister of Maharashtra

File photo of Devendra Fadnavis
File photo of Devendra Fadnavis
Mr Devendra Fadnavis was today unanimously elected as the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislature party in Maharashtra, paving the way for his appointment as the new Chief Minister of the state.
 
The name of Mr Fadnavis, 44, who is the president of the BJP's Maharashtra unit, was proposed by senior state BJP leader Eknath Khadse and supported by, among others, Ms Pankaja Munde, both considered claimants for the job, and was endorsed unanimously at a meeting of the party's newly-elected legislators here.
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and senior BJP leader J P Nadda attended the meeting as the party's central observers.
 
Senior BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters that Mr Singh later formally declared Mr Fadnavis elected as leader of the legislature party.
 
He said that Mr Fadnavis and members of the BJP state unit's core team would call on Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao this evening and apprise him of the party's decision and stake claim to form the new government in the state.
 
The BJP had emerged as the single largest party in the October 15 elections to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, winning 122 seats in the 288-member house.
 
Its erstwhile partner Shiv Sena, which broke off their 25-year alliance just before the elections, finished second with 63 seats.
 
Thank everyone for supporting me: Fadnavis
The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which ruled the state for the past 15 years and had also called off their alliance ahead of the elections, ended up in third and fourth places, with 42 and 41 seats, respectively.
 
Mr Fadnavis was re-elected as a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for a fourth consecutive term from the Nagpur South West constituency in the recent elections.
 
Born on July 22, 1970, he has a degree in law and a post-graduate diploma in business management. He became the youngest Mayor in India when he was elected to that position in Nagpur in 1997 at the age of 27. He was elected president of the Maharashtra unit of the BJP in 2013.
 
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