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Maha, Gujarat top exporting states

Maharashtra and Gujarat accounted for more than 40% of the total exports from the country in 2014-15. According to the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS), Maharashtra remained the top exporting state in 2012-13 and 2014-15 ceded the top spot to Gujarat in 2013-14. Gujarat stood second in the 2012-13 and 2014-15.
Interestingly, standalone export growth from Gujarat slipped to by 18% in 2014-15 from 53% in 2010-11. Maharashtra’s exports growth too saw a decline from 42.72% in 2010-11 to 5.6% in 2014-15.
In 2014- 15, Maharashtra exported over Rs.4.45 lakh crore worth of goods followed by Gujarat at Rs. 3.64 lakh crore. India’s total exports stood at almost Rs.19 lakh crore during the fiscal. These two states were followed by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, UP and Haryana in the three financial years under consideration.
These ratings were presented to commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman for the first time in a state-wise segregated format to build a competitive export policy which would help boost exports from the country.
“It will soon become a mandatory requirement to trace the origin of exports and add to the performance,” senior officials said.

FM Jaitley's Team

NaMo pushes Nepal Trade corridors project

With the government focussed on strengthening relations with Nepal and to improve trade and communication, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the road transport ministry to expedite widening and completion of ongoing works. Sources said during his last review meeting on infrastructure, PM Modi had asked the ministry to see whether multi-modal hubs can be developed on the major stretches, such as Raxaul along NH-28A.
Officials said that a team is likely to visit the site soon for a detailed assessment to develop such a facility . Raxaul has a railway junction and is well connected by roads. This border town between India and Nepal witnesses heavy movement of cargo and people throughout the year. It is also the major trade corridor.
Ministry sources said, the 70 km stretch from Raxaul, on Indo-Nepal border, to Piprakothi on the East-West corridor in Bihar is being widened to two-lanes with paved shoulder by NHAI at a cost of Rs.375 crore. This will be a toll road and the project is likely to be completed by next March.
India has a 1,751km long border with Nepal which is shared by Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim. Since road link between the two countries is vital for promotion of trade and tourism, plans were prepared to develop all the highways.
While work on Sonbarsa to Muzaffarnagar has almost completed and tolling has started, the proposal to widen the Jogbani-Forbesganj (NH57A) has been delayed as the earlier contract was terminated in January 2014. Now the ministry proposes to de velop it with 100% government funding of Rs.258 crore.

Somewhere in Delhi....

GSAT-6's antenna deployed

India's military communication satellite GSAT-6 crossed a major milestone on Sunday with the deployment of the six metre unfurlable antenna, the largest one made by Isro.It is also the first time that an unfurlable antenna is being used in an Indian communication satellite.
The spacecraft was flown by the three-stage Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) to its initial orbit on Thursday .
The antenna will ensure that once the spacecraft is operational, data, video and voice communication with smaller hand held devices will be possible. These devices can be used in the remotest places by the armed forces. Essentially , such a unique antenna will help the military to communicate with each other on secure lines. An Isro official said the process of activating the massive antenna, which weighs around 43 kg, began around 11.30 am.
It was deployed in two stages, with the initial one lasting for about four minutes and the second one for 23 minutes.
On Sunday , the third and final orbit raising manoeuvre of the spacecraft was successfully executed at 7.46 am with the liquid apogee motor being fired for 580.32 seconds.

Mann Ki Baat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the government would not renew the controversial land acquisition ordinance that lapses on Monday and declared its readiness to incorporate any suggestions in the bill pending before Parliament. “We had issued an ordinance which lapses tomor row. I have decided, let it lapse.We will not renew it,“ Modi said in his `Mann ki Baat' radio broadcast. “It will mean the situation will once again be as it was before my government came,“ he added.
In the absence of support from the opposition and discomfort even with some allies, the government opted to drop the contentious ordinance and hopes states will enact their own legislations over-riding the tricky clauses. The PM said the government moved to amend he 2013 law enacted by the UPA after a request from states and it was aimed at getting rid of the maze of bureaucratic rules and regulations, and benefit farmers and villagers.
“The proposal came from the states. Everyone felt if the farmer has to benefit, if we have to build canals to take water to farms, erect poles to take electricity to villages, make roads or houses for rural poor, we will have to get the law out of the bureaucratic tangles and so the proposal of changing the law came,“ the PM said.
He, however, slammed opponents of BJP's land bill, saying false propaganda was unleashed against the government. “But so many rumours have been spread.Farmers have been scared. My farmer brothers and sisters, don't be scared. For me, every voice in the nation is important and the voice of farmers has a special place.There is no reason for doubt, do not be scared,“ Modi said.
Responding to allegations of a U-turn, the PM said he had always maintained that he was open to suggestions. Modi said the ordinance will lapse but benefits of higher compensation under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 will be extended to 13 other laws.


Somewhere in Delhi....

Nashik Kumbh of 2015

The Nashik Kumbh of 2015 is separated from the last event not just by 12 years. From a religious congregation in its last avatar, the Kumbh is now a mega event pegged to generate business worth Rs.15,000 crore, an estimate that covers hotels, airlines, and transport among other key services. On the Kumbh bandwagon are half a dozen websites hard selling the event. And they seem to be doing a good job.
In the sea of saffron, the tolling of bells at temples, crowds milling on the banks of Godavari and sadhus riding chariots are marketing ventures. A Noida-based company is offering helicopter rides in Nashik and a Faridabad-based tour operator is a key player in the luxury cottage segment. An executive of this operator, Sanjeev Rana, says this is his fourth Kumbh; from Swiss tents in the Allahabad Kumbh, the company has switched to deluxe and super-deluxe cottages this time.They are half-full currently, mainly with foreigners, but bookings are on in full swing. The Kumbh officially started on July 14 and will conclude on August 11, 2016, but religious activity and pilgrim numbers will surge during the two shahi snans next month.
Meanwhile, the postal department has also taken a holy business dip -it's offering to sell purified Godavari jal in post-offices across the country. The river water will be collected, purified and packed in one-litre and half-litre bottles. These will be kept at the Nashik post-office and distributed to different places once the orders are placed.
Locals, too, are selling stainless steel kamandals for Rs.15 each, with images of Nashik and Trimabakeshwar embossed on them. “It can carry 300ml of Godavari water and people can take it back home as a souvenir,“ says Suraj Ghadwaje, a local potter. Private companies are offering to sell purified Godavari water online, harvested during the auspicious days of the Kumbh. The souvenir idea also has Nashikite Darnish Singh Kalra come up with a merchandise plan -mugs and shirts with cheeky slogans -that he plans to sell online.
But beyond sadhus and snans, and big and small businesses, is the digital leap this Kumbh has taken. There is an app for everything this time -the key one is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-backed Kumbathon that offers information ranging from Nashik's history and tourism hotspots to bed availability in hotels, and in case of emergency, hospitals. It also has live traffic updates at the swipe of the smartphone screen. For the charitable at heart, there is the Annadan app, which collected donations worth Rs.1 lakh within a week of its launch. And then there is Milaap, the lost-and-found app, to ensure there are no stories of people lost in the Kumbh.
In the last Kumbh, officials recall how a “few hotlines and mobiles“ kept them connected. The Nashik district administration, determined to avoid a repeat of the 2003 stampede, has this time latched on to digital solutions for crowd management, including a massive CCTV network and digital screens doing the countdown to the next dip and offering live darshan of deities to prevent crowding at temples.
There's more on the digital front.On Saturday, when a sea of humanity surged towards the Godavari for the first shahi snan, the district collectorate kept a close watch on the data from mobile towers -a smart technique a bunch of professionals developed to map crowd density in each area.
And for sadhus who like to be frugal, BSNL has given them free SIM cards with a free roaming pack. It's also offering wi-fi at eight locations, ensuring connectivity for everyone at all places.
There is no offer for a hotline to God just yet. Maybe that's for Kumbh 2027.



Somewhere in West Bengal....

Choose Aadhaar

NaMo's Land Ordinance set to lapse

The Centre announced that it would allow the land acquisition ordinance to lapse and extend its norms of higher compensation and rehabilitation and resettlement as available under the old bill of 2013 to 13 central Acts. The current land ordinance will lapse on August 31 and the 2013 law would kick in for acquisitions again.
The rural development ministry issued a statement on Friday night that it was issuing a statutory order to this effect. These 13 Acts had been included in the land ordinance which will now lapse.
If the ordinance lapses without the said order, the acquisition under 13 sector-specific central Acts would bring lesser compensation than the land acquired under 2013 land acquisition Act known as right to fair compensation law.
The 13 Acts include Coal Bearing Areas Acquisition & Development Act, 1957, National Highways Act, 1956 and Land Acquisition (Mines) Act, 1885. The order follows a legal opinion after it became clear that the ordinance cannot be issued afresh.

NSSO's appeal

`Battle for Banaras' is not OK?!

National Award-winning filmmaker Kamal Swaroop's documentary film `Battle for Banaras' is the latest to face the ire of the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
In the two-hour film, inspired by Nobel laureate Elias Canetti's book `Crowds and Power', Swaroop has documented the electoral battle of various political parties in Varanasi during last year's parliamentary polls.
The film was denied a censor certificate from both the exam and the review committee on Thursday . “The film is harmless and is not anti-government. When the CBFC did not approve the film, I asked if any cuts were required. We were told that no cuts can justify such a film and the film was rejected, which is worrisome. When I asked for the reason, I was told the film is `not ok' and there is `some mischief ' in it,“ said Swaroop, who is based out of Mumbai and an alumnus of FTII. He is also a visiting faculty at the institute, which he passed out of in 1974.
He now plans to approach the revising committee and the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal.
Swaroop said his crew shot for 44 days in April 2014 in Varanasi and followed all the 40 candidates in the fray from Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency . “In the end, it was a face-off between Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal. The film is a celebration of the Indian democracy and did not deal with any single ideology ,“ he said. The film, which has been shot on 4K format, has already been selected to premiere at the Montreal Film Festival.
Swaroop had won the National Award for his documentary film Rangbhoomi, based on Dadasaheb Phalke's book on theatre. He had also assisted filmmaker Richard Attenborough for Gandhi in 1982.

Reliance Aerostructure

The Maharashtra government has allotted 289 acres in Mihan SEZ, Nagpur, to Anil Ambani led Reliance Group to set up India's first defence city . To be known as Dhirubhai Ambani Aerospace Park (DAAP), the project is being touted as the largest greenfield one in the aerospace industry with a capital investment of Rs.6,500 crore, or $1 billion.
The land was allotted to Reliance Aerostructure -the defence arm of Reliance Group -in the presence of its chairman Anil Ambani, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari.

Vodafone plans 4G push

Incumbent telecom operators are gearing up with competing plans to counter the launch of Mukesh Ambani's 4G venture Reliance Jio by year-end. Days after Bharti Airtel laid out a comprehensive national 4G plan, the country's second-biggest mobile operator Vodafone also said that it will offer the services by the end of this year. “Important data markets, including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Kochi, will be part of the first wave of the rollout,“ the company said.
“Testing of 4G services has commenced successfully . Vodafone India has partnered with leading global technology infrastructure service providers for the network rollout,“ the company said.
Vodafone India had acquired 4G spectrum in 5 circles -Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Kerala and Karnataka in the February 2014 auctions. “These circles together contribute close to 50% of the total data revenues for Vodafone India,“ it said, adding that panIndia 4G services will be launched at an “appropriate time“.


Somewhere in Nashik....

Another Pak terrorist nabbed

Nearly three weeks after Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist Mohammad Naved became the first Pakistani terrorist to be captured alive since 26/11 Mumbai attacker Ajmal Kasab, security forces captured Sajjad Ahmed, 22, after an overnight operation in Baramulla, Jammu and Kashmir.
Army officials said while Ahmed had been nabbed, four terrorists with him were killed and one army jawan was injured in the encounter in Rafiabad area, close to the Line of Control.
Based on intelligence about the presence of a group of terrorists in the area on Wednesday, security forces had launched a massive operation in north Kashmir, ranging from Uri sector near the LoC to Panzalla in Rafiabad area.
The state police's Special Operation Group and the army's 46RR along with the additional reinforcement of 17 JAK Rifles, 4 PARA and 35RR had intercepted the terrorists.
Meanwhile, in a joint effort by Delta Force troops based at Dul and Kishtwar police, a terrorist hideout was unearthed in Nai Gad Nala near Shalog village in Kishtwar, leading to the recovery of a huge cache of arms and ammunition.
On August 5, LeT terrorist Naved had been nabbed by some civilians after he and his associate attacked a BSF convoy in Chenani area of Udhampur district. His associate was killed in the encounter with BSF personnel.

GSAT-6 launched

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today launched its twenty-fifth home-made communications satellite in space using the Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) that uses an Indian made cryogenic engine being tested for the third time.
The heavyweight Indian rocket weighs 416 tonnes and is nearly 50 meters tall.
The GSLV rocket is being powered using an Indian made cryogenic engine. Dubbed the 'naughty boy' this rocket has had a patchy record with less than half the flights being successful.
Kiran Kumar, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had said "GSAT-6 carries one of the largest antennas we have built a 6 meter diameter antenna, the prime purpose is to make sure that communication can happen with smaller and smaller hand held devices whether it is for data, video or voice. The users for this will be the strategic sector as it gives a tremendous opportunity for using very small handheld devices in the remotest places."
In 2013, India had launched a dedicated communications satellite for the Indian Navy.
The 2,117 kg Indian-made satellite carries a very special giant antennae which will open up in space like an umbrella. The large antennae will help India's strategic forces to communicate with each other on secure lines using special small hand held devices. A capability most needed in today's modern network centric warfare.

Smart Cities nominated

The Centre announced the names of 98 urban centres and cities nominated by the state governments for the “Smart City“ scheme. Two dozen state capitals, 24 economic and business hubs and 18 urban areas of cultural and tourism importance are on the list.
Announcing the nominations, urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu said it was a good signal that 65 small and medium towns and cities have made it to the list of smart city aspirants. Several big cities including state capitals such as Kolkata, Bengaluru, Patna, Thiruvananthapuram and Shimla have failed to make the cut.
The identified 98 urban areas, which fall under municipal jurisdictions, will cover about 13 crore people accounting for over 35% of the country's total urban population.
The big metros that have made to the list include Ahmedabad, Greater Mumbai, Chennai and Greater Hyderabad. Number of urban local bodies such as New Delhi Municipal Council, Lucknow, Jaipur, Allahabad, Vishakhapatnam, Gandhinagar, Surat, Kochi, Bhopal and Navi Mumbai have also found place.“Making them (cities) smart will make them engines of economic growth besides giving decent life to the citizens,“ Naidu said adding that Smart City and AMRUT (scheme to rejuvenate 500 towns) schemes are the “safest“ for investors to put in their money.
Naidu said the Centre will release Rs.2 crore each for the 98 nominated urban areas in the next couple of days so that they can prepare plans.


Faith statz

Bharti to Acquire Augere Wireless

Bharti Airtel has agreed to acquire Augere Wireless Broadband India, as the nation's top telecom carrier looks to consolidate its 4G footprint ahead of the launch of similar high-speed broadband services by rivals such as Vodafone India, Idea Cellular and Reliance Jio Infocomm.
Airtel didn't disclose the financial terms in a news release issued on Wednesday. Sources with knowledge of the deal put the value of Augere's airwaves at close Rs.150 crore.
“Upon acquisition, Augere will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Airtel,“ the release said.
Augere had won a block of 20 MHz of 4G spectrum (the 2,300 MHz band) in the Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh circle for Rs.122.46 crore in the 2010 auctions.` The company -owned by France Telecom and a clutch of private equity funds such as Harbinger Capital and New Silk Route -initially announced plans of rolling out 4G services in late 2011.
But it then decided not to go ahead with the launch, citing uncertain regulatory conditions. It had been looking to sell its permit ever since.
The latest move will allow Airtel to expand its 4G high-speed broadband footprint ahead of the 4G launch by Reliance Jio and Vodafone, scheduled for December.Idea's launch is slated for early next year.
Sunil Mittal-controlled Airtel had bought airwaves in the 2300 MHz band in Kolkata, Maharashtra, Punjab and Karnataka in the 2010 spectrum auctions and later acquired chip-maker Qualcomm's airwaves in another four circles of Delhi, Mumbai, Kerala and Haryana. It later purchased spectrum in the 1800 MHz band through auctions. Through a mix of 1800 MHz and the 2300 MHz bands, Airtel now holds 4G airwaves in 15 circles.
Immediately after the spectrum auction in 2010, Reliance Jio had acquired Infotel Broadband Services, which was the sole winner of 4G spectrum across India. Vodafone has 4G spectrum in five circles while Idea has it in 10.

Violence in Gujarat

Tuesday's police action against Patidar agitators seeking quotas gave a fresh lease of life to the stir that appeared to be petering out after a public rift in the leadership and the melodramatic decision of the 22-year-old campaign leader Hardik Patel to sit on a fast till the chief minister intervened personally .
But the use of force by the cops to clear off the venue and the brief detention of Patel triggered violence, which is now construed as part of a larger design to escalate tension in a state which is already on the boil.
The chief minister has ordered an enquiry into the reasons leading to such an action by the police.
Patel's antecedents have also added to the speculation. While images of him carrying a gun were already doing the rounds, another picture of him with a gun tied to his waist and posing with Vishwa Hindu Parishad's international secretary Pravin Togadia has now come to light. His pictures with another Patidar leader Gordhan Zadaphiya too are being floated.
While Patel had earlier admitted that he was in touch with Patidar leaders as a member of Sardar Patel Group in Viramgam, his reference to the wider Patidar community and reaching out to Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar as “one of us“ had certainly raised eyebrows. BJP leader Gordhan Zadafiya has been meeting the Kurmi Kshatriya groups for quite some time and attending various programmes across UP , Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh in his capacity as president of Akhil Bharatiya Sardar Patel Mahasabha.

Of Ethanol Blending....

50 years ago....

MMRDA approves118km of Metro corridors

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority has sanctioned Rs.35,400 crore for 118 km of Metro corridors across Mumbai and Thane. The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The fund will be used for the 40 km Dahisar-Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro-II, 40 km Wadala-Ghatkopar-Thane-Kasarvadavali Metro-IV corridor via Wadala GPO and R A Kidwai Marg, 27 km Dahisar (E)-Andheri (E)-Bandra (E) Metro V and 11 km Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road Metro VI corridors.
“The authority has accepted detailed project reports for the 16.5m Andheri (E)-Dahisar (E), which is part of Metro V , and 18.6m Dahisar-DN Nagar, which is part of Metro II, that were prepared by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation,“ said an MMRDA spokersperson. The Andheri (E)-Dahisar (E) corridor is estimated to cost Rs.4,737 crore, while the Dahisar-DN Nagar corridor will cost around Rs.4,994 crore. “Work on these two stretches will begin before this financial year end,“ said additional metropolitan commissioner Sanjay Sethi.
Funds for the project would be raised from financial institutions, including international ones such as the World Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency .

Shivaji Memorial: Back to Square One

The Maharashtra state government has invited fresh bids to design and develop the mid-sea Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial off Marine Drive. The government plans to open the bids in the first week of September.
A consortium of a Canadian and Indian firm was to design and develop the Rs.1,900-crore Shivaji memorial. But as the Canadian company , which had also designed Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, backed out of the project last month due to miscommunication with the Indian firm, the state had to call for fresh bids. “There was a miscomunication between the two firms. The Indian company wanted the Canadian firm only to work at primary stage of designing the project, while the state government wanted the latter to be involved in the entire project. Now, as the Canadian firm has backed out, the state government has forfeited its deposit of Rs.5 lakh,“ said P S Meena, principal secretary of the general administration department.
While sources claimed that the state government will now bar the Indian company that was part of the consortium from the fresh bidding process, Meena said, “We will decide on this later. As of now, we don't know who are going to bid.“
The proposed project had earlier failed twice to attract more than a single bid for the job of the project management consultant. It is one of the pet projects of the BJP government and has got all the necessary clearances from the Centre.
The basic concept for the mid-sea memorial was conceived in the 1980s. Later, in 2004 and in 2009, the Democratic Front government had promised during the state assembly elections that the memorial would be constructed in the sea.
The proposed memorial includes an equestrian statue of the warrior king, an amphitheatre, a museum and an underwater aquarium in the Arabian Sea.


Somewhere in Darjeeling....

Somewhere in Delhi....

New BKC Flyovers planned

An elevated road and a two-pronged flyover are planned to ease the flow of traffic in and out of Bandra-Kurla Complex, decongest the Kalanagar and the BKC-CST Road junctions, and extend an east-west link road from Eastern Express Highway to the Western Express Highway and ensure faster connectivity between the two traffic arteries.
A 1.9-km elevated road starting from the Vakola junction on WEH up to Asian Heart Hospital in BKC is planned. The alignment of this road will pass through Kalina Mumbai University land. “We do not anticipate any hurdles as the land belongs to another government department,“ said an officer.
This connection will enable BKC-bound vehicles to skip the almost 5 km busy stretch between Vakola and Bandra via Kalanagar.
BKC will also be served by a 1.1-km arm of a planned Santacruz-Chembur Link Road extension flyover. Taking off from Kapadia Nagar in Kurla, it will swing into BKC and enable vehicles to escape the congested Imam Ahmed Raza Chowk on CST Road.
As of now, entry to BKC is via CST road and BKC road from the east, from WEH through Kalanagar and a less developed road through Vakola pipeline-government colony stretch. “With a rise in financial and other institutions in the complex, the number of vehicles visiting has also grown, causing traffic congestion and cumbersome connectivity ,“ said the MMRDA official. These new connections will ensure smoother flow into and out of the business hub.
The 3.5-km elevated SCLR extension will start at Kapadia Nagar in Kurla and end at Vakola on the WEH, helping smoother flow on CST road as airport-direction traffic can take the elevated road. Multiple ramps will be provided at various places to enter and exit this elevated road.

Maharashtra woos Retail

The Maharashtra government is going all out to boost the retail industry business and revive the flagging fortunes of malls. Its draft retail trade policy allows shops and malls to remain open for 24 hours a day , 365 days a year with one rider: retail operations are allowed only from 5 am to 11 pm; the 11 pm-5 am slot can only be used for logistics and supply operations.
The current policy also proposes that the retail food and grocery business be included under ESMA as an `essential service' to ensure that shops and other retail establishments can remain open even during bandhs. In a bid to address the parking issue at many prime-site malls, car park rules will be changed in such a way that parking space will not be counted as floor space index (FSI).Also, the height restriction of a retail building would be relaxed further from 30 metres at present.
Although the upper limit has not been mentioned, a 50% additional FSI would be admissible over the base FSI, subject to payment of the applicable premium as per ready reckoner rates.
The draft policy , which is online, proposes that shops remain open every day of the week, but employees be given a weekly off. The earlier version of the policy had permitted working hours from 8 am to 10 pm.
The policy also proposes that power tariffs would be rationalized. It emphasizes on human resource development and skill development for the industry . It expects state government-run agencies and well-known private institutions to start training-based certificate and placement programmes. These would collaborate with the Retailers' Association of India and other locals as well, to understand their resource requirements so that appropriate manpower would be created for retail enterprise.
The draft policy defines a retailer as any entity that sells goods or provides service to the ultimate consumer. “The sale of such goods can happen over various channels including brickand-mortar, direct selling, ecommerce, television, mobile phone or tablets and other channels. Multi-brand retail or supermarket or hypermarket is where many items are sold under a single roof,“ the draft policy says.

State snippets

Tamil Nadu was the second largest state economy in terms of gross state domestic product ( Rs.976,703 crore) in 2014-15, next only to Maharashtra ( Rs.1,686,695 crore). If we consider growth rate, Uttar Pradesh takes the second rank with 8.24% compared to 8.16% for Tamil Nadu. Maharashtra continues to be the first rank holder in growth rate as well. Gujarat closely follows Tamil Nadu in the fourth position in size as well as in growth rate of GSDP .
Some would argue for a comparison of per capita measure of economic output. Since we do not have per capita GSDP, we can take the per capita of Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) in the year 2013-14. Surprisingly enough, Haryana is at the first place followed by Maharashtra with 114,392. Tamil Nadu is the second runner up with 112,664 and the Uttar Pradesh is way down in the development ladder as a poor state with a per capita NSDP of 37,630. For Tamil Nadu, maintaining a large economy with high growth rates and per capita incomes -at low population growth rate -is no small feat.
Tamil Nadu's growth rate fluctuates more than that of the all-India figure.

BJP wins BBMP again

In a huge setback, the ruling Congress in Karnataka has lost the BBMP polls to the BJP, which has performed a hat-trick by retaining the 198-member corporation.
The victory was significant enough for the BJP's national leaders to congratulate the state unit on its victory. Ahead of the crucial Bihar assembly elections, this is a morale booster for the party, which recently won local polls in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
PM Narendra Modi tweeted: “Thank you Bengaluru! My gratitude to people & congratulations to Karnataka BJP leaders & workers for the great BBMP election results.“
The BJP, which won 100 of the 198 seats, handed a huge defeat to chief minister Siddaramaiah, who took ownership of the rout. The Congress secured 76 seats, JD(S) 14, and independents and others 8.The decisive vote in favour of the BJP has proved pollsters wrong -they had predicted the Congress would emerge as the single largest party.
Citizens seem to have voted against three main things: One, the CM's pet project of trifurcating the city into smaller units. Two, the double standards of the Congress campaign that painted a pathetic picture of Bengaluru's infrastructure when, in fact, it has been running the city for 18 months. It's well known that a government-appointed municipal commissioner and not the corporation -has run the city .
Third, the CM's lack of empathy with the city and citizens. Siddaramaiah, a man of the masses, seems to have little time for Bengaluru. Busy with his backward-caste and agrarian politics, the CM has shown little desire to address the woes of Bengaluru's one-crore-plus citizens, especially on transit, mobility and garbage management. As the BJP was rejoicing, Siddaramaiah was closeted with senior ministers at his residence to introspect. He, of course, owned up: “Since I've taken responsibility, the ministers cannot be blamed (for the defeat).“
The biggest winner is R Ashoka. For the former deputy chief minister, keen on being the party's face in the next assembly elections, the win is a career booster. He's proven he can tackle anti-incumbency and an aggressive ruling Congress machinery to emerge victorious. Addressing the media, Ashoka received a call from BJP president Amit Shah that he was landing in the city . Shah asked him to bring five prominent victorious candidates to talk to them.
The polls clearly show the JD(S) in decline. As in the assembly elections, its hopes of being the power behind the throne have been dashed again. Facing irrelevance in a city where it has little connect with the people, the party appears to be increasingly restricted to a few Old Mysore districts. 


GIFT IFSC snippets

Multi-Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX), a leading commodity exchange in the country, will set up an international exchange at GIFT SEZ in Gandhinagar. The exchange will come up at the International Financial Services Center (IFSC) being developed at GIFT City.
The proposed international exchange will provide an electronic platform for facilitating trading, clearing and settlement of securities, commodities, interest rates, currencies, other classes of assets and derivatives to international investors in GIFT IFSC.
Ajay Pandey, MD and group CEO, GIFT City, said MCX's International Exchange at GIFT City would go a long way in making India a key hub of commodity trading and help in establishing the required `eco system' for such trade.MCX's partnership with leading commodity player like CME would help establish an international exchange at GIFT City.
Another leading com modity exchange -National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Ltd. (NCDEX) -is also in the process of setting up international commodity and derivatives exchange in GIFT IFSC.
Not just that. Stock exchanges such as the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE) have announced their plans to establish international exchanges in the IFSC.

On Mumbai's Eastern Waterfront....

The central and Maharashtra state government agencies have finally decided to join hands to build jetties on their own to create passenger water transport (PWT) terminal facilities on the eastern waterfront of Mumbai The terminals will also facilitate roll-on & roll-off services for carrying motor vehicles from one end to another through ferries.
While the city and industrial development corporation (Cidco) will build a passenger water terminal in Nerul on the Navi Mumba side, the cost for Mandwa and MbPT terminals in Alibaug and Ferry Wharf will be shared by Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) and Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT respectively .
A tender process to appoint developers for construction of these jetty terminals for passenger and Ro-Ro services will start from September 15.
Recently , the MMB built a breakwater wall in Mandwa to reduce the intensity of waves in inshore areas and thus reduce coastal erosion and offer safe harbourage for catamarans, hovercrafts and other types of boats.
The cost of construction is pegged at Rs.200 crore for each agency , which takes the total budget to Rs.600 crore.