Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Japan electronic company, Sony has set a target for the current business year of logging its highest operating profit in two decades.
President and CEO Kazuo Hirai reported on the firm’s 3-year plan for fiscal 2015 to 2017.Kazuo  said Sony aims to post an operating profit of at least 500 billion yen, or 4.5 billion dollars, in the plan’s final year. He expressed confidence that the target will be achieved.
Hirai said the firm will focus on high value-added products in the TV business. It plans to increase sales of 4K ultra high-definition sets to more than 70 percent of its overall sales, up from 60 percent in the last fiscal year.
Sony also plans to emphasize high-profit sectors such as gaming and music.
Hirai ffurther added turning around the company’s film business may take time. The sector logged a loss of one billion dollars in fiscal 2016.
Hirai said the company is now strong enough to hit the targets. He said fiscal 2017 is an important year for achieving results


Theresa May
British police suspect a 22-year-old man carried out the bomb attack in Manchester that killed 22 people and injured 59.Britain raised its terror threat level to critical, meaning a new attack is believed to be imminent and soldiers are being deployed to assist armed police.
Greater Manchester Police confirmed earlier today [Tuesday], the perpetrator was Salman Ramadan Abedi, a 22-year-old who was born and brought up in Britain.
And as the emergency services have confirmed throughout the day, his victims were innocent children, young people and their families.
Our thoughts and prayers are with them all.
British PM May said,I have just chaired another meeting of Cobra, where we again discussed the callous and cowardly terrorist attack in Manchester last night, and the operational response from the security service, the police and other emergency services.
It remains the case that, other than the terrorist himself, 22 people were killed in the attack. Fifty-nine people remain injured, and many of them have life-threatening conditions.
Trains between Manchester Piccadilly and #ManchesterAirport are now running normally. as per Mcr city council tweets.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said that it is a possibility we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack, after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, at a pop concert late Monday in Manchester.
Addressing the nation from her Downing Street residence, May said armed police who would usually protect strategic points would be replaced by members of the armed forces under Operation Temperer.
The terror threat level was previously set at severe, which means an attack is highly likely. A critical level means an attack is expected imminently.
The police said on Tuesday that Salman Abedi blew himself up at Manchester Arena on Monday night after a concert by US singer Ariana Grande.
Local media say Abedi lived in southern Manchester and that he was born in Britain to parents who had emigrated from Libya.
Investigators have raided his purported home and another location. They detained a 23-year-old man for a suspected role in the bombing.
Local media are also reporting that the dead include an 8-year-old girl and teenagers. They also say 12 of the injured are under the age of 16.
The Islamic State militant group has issued a statement claiming its involvement in the attack.
Many people gathered in a square in central Manchester for a vigil on Tuesday evening.
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May has raised her nation’s threat level to the highest level after the deadly suicide attack in the city of Manchester.
May was speaking to reporters after a meeting of her government’s crisis response committee on Tuesday.
She said that on the basis of investigations, the thereat level should be increased for the time being from “severe” to “critical.” The level means another attack may be imminent.
The prime minister said the government is mobilizing military forces to patrol the streets and protect key sites.
Our hearts go out to those killed and wounded in Manchester. Americans will always stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of the UK.
It is the first time the threat level in Britain has been raised to critical since June of 2007


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has placed the country’s southern island of Mindanao under martial law to put down local Muslim extremists fighting government security forces.
The group is linked to the Islamic State militants.
Duterte declared martial law on Tuesday evening for the entire island of Mindanao and some island groups in the region.
Fighting broke out earlier on Tuesday in Marawi City on Mindanao between security forces and an armed group called the Maute.
The Philippine military says at least 5 soldiers were wounded and that fighting is still under way.
It is the third time since the end of World War 2 that marital law has been imposed in the Philippines. The military will control designated areas for 60 days and will be allowed to detain suspects without warrants.
The Maute group, based in western Mindanao, has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State militants. Its dozens of members have coordinated with Abu Sayyaf, also allied with the Islamic State group, to carry out explosions and other anti-government attacks around the Philippines.
Duterte has repeatedly indicated that he would declare martial law to fight the militants. Opposition parties and others have objected, citing human rights concerns.


Prime Minister Modi said he will work with Japan to speed up investment in infrastructure and human resources development in Africa.
PM Mr Modi had inaugurated the 52nd Annual Meeting of African Development Bank (AfDB) at Gadhinagar in Gujarat yesterday. Prime Minister highlighted the strong ties between India and Africa and the infinite avenues of cooperation. He spoke on India-Africa links be it in energy, culture, education, IT and other areas which illustrate our dynamic and vibrant relationship.
Mr Modi also shared insights of how Government of India’s reform to transform approach is bringing desired results and positively impacting lives. Mr Modi said he had productive meetings with distinguished leaders who had joined the annual meetings.
Narendra Modi was speaking in the western state of Gujarat on Tuesday at the annual meeting of the African Development Bank.
Nearly about 3,000 financial representatives are attending from 54 African countries and other nations.
Modi said he has made Africa a top priority of India’s foreign and economic policy since taking office 3 years ago.
Many  businesses and immigrants have been successful in Africa. Some Japanese firms are trying to enter the market using Indian networks, while Indian firms hope to take in Japan’s technology.
The Japanese government last year unveiled a plan to invest about 3 trillion yen, or about 27 billion dollars, in Africa over the next 3 years.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that strengthening relations with Africa has been a priority of NDA Government and his Government have achieved remarkable progress in it.
In a series of tweets yesterday, Prime Minister said, India-Africa economic ties are getting better and this is not confined to governments only, but the role of the private sector is also noteworthy.


Park was seen emerging from a Justice Ministry bus in handcuffs before being escorted into the Seoul courtroom by police. It was her first public appearance since she was jailed on March 31.
Presiding judge Kim Se-Yun asked her: “What is your occupation, the accused Park Geun-hye?”  Responded: “I don’t have any occupation.”
Park, who was the country’s first female president, has been charged with extortion, bribery and abuse of power, all in collaboration with longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil.
Prosecutors have accused her of colluding with Choi to take about $26 million (roughly 23 million euros) from the country’s largest companies through bribery. She also allegedly allowed her friend to manipulate state affairs from the shadows, despite Choi having no title or security clearance.
The 18 charges relate to policy favors Park offered to tycoons who bribed her friend of 40 years.
Park Young-soo, who led the special prosecutors who investigated the case, has said the proceedings will be “the trial of the century.”
Park faces more than 10 years in jail if convicted. The trial is expected to last for several months.
Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye has made her first appearance at her trial for receiving bribes, abuse of power and other charges. She has denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty.
Park was indicted last month after being ousted from office in March.
She faces charges of conspiring with her longtime confidante, Choi Soon-sil, to receive bribes worth about 40 million dollars from Samsung Group, the country’s largest industrial conglomerate. This includes sums that were promised.
She is also accused of pressuring private companies to provide funds for two foundations closely associated with Choi.
Park’s trial began earlier this month.
At the start of Tuesday’s session, the presiding judge asked her occupation. Park replied that she was unemployed.
Park’s defense counsel denied all 18 charges brought against her. When the presiding judge sought Park’s response, she said her position is the same as that of her lawyer.
Asked if she had anything else to say, Park said she would speak later, suggesting she will claim her innocence in her own words.
Choi was also present at Tuesday’s trial. She too denied the charges brought against her, and asked the court to clarify the false accusations against Park. She said she does not believe the former president has committed a crime.
Also at the trial was the chairman of South Korea’s Lotte Group, Shin Dong-bin, who is charged with bribing Park. He denied the accusation.
Park is the third South Korean president to appear in court for a criminal trial on corruption, following Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo.


Diljit Dosanjh launches Super Singh’s song ‘Kalliyan Kulliyan’ at the Dream Tour concert in Canada!
Popular actor-singer Diljit Dosanjh who will be seen playing a Punjabi superhero in Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Motion Pictures and Pawan Gill’s Brat Films’ Super Singh has recently launched the foot-tapping song Kalliyan Kulliyan from the movie while performing at the Dream Tour concert in Canada!
Owning to the fabulous response of the audiences and fans at Dream Tour, superstar Diljit decided to launch the energetic song at the concert, as he is performing. This is one-of-its-kind launch for a Punjabi song where Diljit performed on the song exclusively for his fans even before it’s launched on the digital platform.
Says Diljit, “The turnout at the dream tour and the audience response is so overwhelming…I would like to thank my fans for all the love and launch this song for them at the concert.”
After launching the exclusive first look and movie poster of India’s first Punjabi language superhero film Super Singh, the makers recently unveiled the fascinating trailer of the movie which has caught the fancy of movie aficionados and several B-town stars who couldn’t stop praising it on their social networking sites.
Going by the fabulous response, the film is being embraced as a national superhero film, as they believe Punjabi cinema is definitely having its presence felt nationally and creating unheard demand from Diljit’s fans from across the world.
Produced by Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Motion Pictures and Anurag Singh & Pawan Gill’s Brat Films, Super Singh is gearing up for summer release on June 16, 2017 worldwide!


India beat Nepal 90-44; Complete historic five-peat of SABA Championships
  • India successfully defended their title and completed a historic five-peat as they beat Nepal 90-44. With this win, India ensured they were unbeaten (4-0) in the tournament.
  • Vishesh Bhriguvanshi was declared the ‘Player of the game’.
  • India have now qualified for the FIBA Asia Cup taking place in Lebanon from 8th-20th Augustthis year.
  • India has also ensured qualification for its top club team in the FIBA Asia Champions Cup – a tournament where the premier club teams of Asian countries go head to head.
Male/Bengaluru, 23nd May 2017: In the 5th South Asian Basketball Association (SABA) Championship underway in Maldives, India beat Nepal 90-44 to go unbeaten in the tournament and complete a historic five-peat of SABA championships.


Team India are all smiles after completing a five-peat of SABA Championships
Playing its fourth and final round robin encounter, defending champs India dominated Nepal 90-44 and earned yet another victory. India made the most of its size advantage against a smaller Nepal team and scored majority of its points in the paint while opening a 19-point lead in the very first quarter.
India’s veteran shooting guard Vishesh Bhriguvanshi continued his scoring spree as he tallied 22 points in the encounter. Shooting guard Anil Kumar BK also chipped in with 16 points off the bench. The second half of the game saw young players Jeevanatham Pandi, Muin Bek and Vishal Kumar Gupta get some valuable playing time. Pandi made the most of this opportunity by using his size to grab offensive rebounds and score 12 points for the team.
For Nepal, Ashim Shrestha was the leading scorer with 9 points as Nepal’s shooters struggled against India’s zone defence.
Vishesh Bhriguvanshi was declared player of the match.
India has now ensured qualification for itself and its top club team, in the upcoming FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon from 8-20 August, and the FIBA Asia Champions Cup respectively.
India (Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 22, Anil Kumar BK 16) bt Nepal (Ashim Shrestha 9) 90-44 [25-06, 20-07, 26-13, 19-18]

About the SABA Championship 2017
Championship Format
The Championship is played in a round robin format and the team with the best record at the end of this championship will progress from the South Asian region to the FIBA Asia Cup scheduled for 17th to 27th August in Beirut, Lebanon. A round robin format is when each team will face every other team in the tournament once, and the final standings will be based on win/loss statistics.

Family Name/
Last Name
Given Name/
First Name
Place of BirthDate of Birth (dd/mm/yy)HeightPosition
5PariAkilan (c)ChennaiTamil Nadu20/07/1989180 (5’10.8”)PG
4HafeezMuin BekDharmapuriTamil Nadu16/03/1996190
6SivakumarPrasanna VenkateshGobichettipalayamTamil Nadu25/09/1992186
7Bukankere Krishne GowdaAnil KumarMandyaKarnataka31/07/1989185
8SinghArjunVaranasiUttar Pradesh8/6/1992189
9BhriguvanshiVisheshVaranasiUttar Pradesh13/09/1991195
10 Amritpal SinghGanna PindPunjab05/01/1991207
11GuptaVishal KumarChapar VillageDelhi07/12/1999198

13PandiJeevanathamVirudhunagarTamil Nadu13/10/1994204
14 Yadwinder SinghRasulpur KhurdPunjab30/12/1986198
15PethaniRikinSajiavadar AmreliGujarat

*PG – Point Guard / Feeder, G – Guard, F – Forward, G/F – Wing, PF – Power Forward, C – Centre, PF/C – Post
Coaches: Sappaniambalam Baskar (Head Coach) and Sebastian Padipurakkal Joseph (Assistant Coach)
Manager: Sushil Kumar
Physiotherapist: Raj Kumar Dubey
FIBA Referee: Ceciline Michael Vino Vincent Francis Victor  
Previous Editions / Winners:
2016:  Bengaluru — 1st India, 2nd Bangladesh
2015:  Bengaluru — 1st India, 2nd Sri Lanka
2014:  Kathmandu — 1st India 2nd Bangladesh
2013 (June): Delhi — 1st India, 2nd Afghanistan. (From this edition onwards, the tournament changed from a standalone event to a qualifying Championship to the Asian level)
2013 (Jan):  Dhaka — 1st Bangladesh, 2nd Pakistan (India, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka did not participate)
2012:  Assam — 1st India, 2nd Bangladesh



Highest ever sales of 81531 tractor units
Registering growth more than industry, increased market share from 11.9% to 12.3%
Company has increased its manufacturing capacity to 3 lakhs per annum with the onset of its new plant

New Delhi, 23 May 2017: India’s youngest and the third largest tractor brand, Sonalika International Tractors Ltd, witnessed a remarkable performance in FY 16-17. The annual revenue of the company significantly grew up by 17% i.e. 4268 crores. The company recorded its highest ever sales of 81531 tractor units resulting in the upsurge of annual profit by 22%. Year 2016-17 has been exceptionally successful for Sonalika ITL, where it set multiple benchmarks in the industry and strengthened its position by registering growth more than the industry and increased market share from 11.9% to 12.3%. Sonalika has the world’s No 1 integrated tractor manufacturing plant in Hoshiarpur, Punjab which was inaugurated by Hon. Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh on 8th May 2017.

With a fresh investment of Rs. 800 crores, Sonalika’s World No. 1 integrated tractor manufacturing plant has now spread across a massive area of more than 85 acres. The plant is equipped to cater to ever growing demands of customers across the globe. Technically upgraded to roll out a tractor every two minutes, Sonalika ITL’s integrated manufacturing plant manufactures 3 lakh tractors annually. Producing international quality tractors catering to 80 countries across the globe, this plant endeavors to bring top-of-the-line exceptional products to Indian farmers as well.

Sharing the company’s annual performance, Raman Mittal, Executive Director Sonalika ITL says, “FY16-17 has been remarkably successful for us. Our passion for growth, focused strategy to offer world class products to our customers and trust of our partners in both domestic and International markets has helped boost our morale for the future. Sales growth by 22% in the first month itself of FY18 has further charged us to strive for higher growth as we have the strength of having the largest plant, world-class products  and a very passionate team. With positive industry trends, we believe Sonalika is all geared up to strengthen its position both in domestic and global markets.

Sonalika has presence in over 80 countries and is increasing its global footprints day by day. In FY16-17 Sonalika was the 2nd largest tractor exporter and through continued efforts it has increased its customer base from 6 lakhs to 7 lakhs. Yanmar, a Japanese 7 billion USD major corporation has shown confidence looking at the World’s No. 1 plant and is now planning to manufacture its next generation tractors in India which will be sold globally. Yanmar has product portfolio of paddy special and light weight tractors while Sonalika ITL has robust heavy duty tractor range. Together, both the companies now have the most diverse product portfolio and we are looking at growing exponentially and offering complete farming solutions globally.

About Sonalika International Tractors Ltd.
Sonalika International tractors Ltd. is the youngest and the 3rd largest tractor maker in India. Its world’s number one integrated tractor manufacturing plant at Hoshiarpur has a capacity to produce 3 lakh units per annum. The company produces technologically superior tractors in a range from 20HP to 120HP and is recognized in both domestic as well as international markets as a formidable player. The company has earned the trust of over 7 lakhs customers in more than 80 countries in just 2 decades which is a remarkable feat. Sonalika ITL has been recently felicitated by The Economic Times publication as ‘The Iconic Brand of India’. For more information visit-


Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh Addresses Press Conference on Achievements of His Ministry during 3 Years of NDA Government 
SAIL & Arcelor Mittal would soon formalize the Joint Venture for production of automotive-grade steel: Shri Birender Singh 
New Delhi, May 23, 2017
Jyaistha 02, Saka 1939

The Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh addressed a press conference on achievements of the Steel Ministry during 3 Years of NDA Government in New Delhi today. He said that the Indian steel industry is at the cusp of another significant milestone by becoming the second largest stainless steel producer in the world, leaving behind Japan.

Chaudhary Birender Singh said that the steel sector is only an example of all-round development in India under PM Modi ji’s leadership.On 3rd May this year the Cabinet under Prime Minister Modi approved two policies of the steel ministry and we are working on their implementation. We are very confident that steel sector will become more vibrant and dynamic after the ‘National Steel Policy 2017’and ‘Policy for preference to domestically manufactured iron & steel products in government procurement’ becomes effective. The roadmap to implement the new policies will be finalized in the next six months to one year.

He described the last three years journey of steel industry as:
नज़र को बदलो, तो नज़ारे बदल जाते हैं,
सोच को बदलो, तो सितारे बदल जाते हैं,
कश्तियाँ बदलने की ज़रुरत नहीं,
दिशा को बदलो, तो किनारे बदल जाते हैं |
Speaking of the SPU REVIVAL, he said that the three Steel Processing Units, Jagdishpur in UP, Bettiah in Bihar and Kangra in Himachal Pradesh are going to be operationalized within the next one year. This involves an investment of Rs. 500 crores. These units will produce value-added products like crash barriers, black pipes, TMT bars or GC sheets. Special Purpose Vehicle Route has been adopted by the Government of India for creation of Greenfield steel capacity in May 2015. The Process for the same was initiated in four states of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Karnataka.

Talking of Zero Waste Production, the Steel Minister said that a 120 MW power plant was inaugurated in April 2017 at RINL Vishakhapatnam using the waste gases of the steel plant. The Huge Fine dumps, waste slag, slime etc. from steel plants need to be utilized by using innovative techniques for Pelletisation of fines, slag-cement for slag towards a Clean & Green Steel Sector in India. The Ministry of Steel & UNDP have worked for energy conservation in 300 secondary steel units. Plans are to upscale to 1000 secondary steel units. This would reduce CO2 emissions, roughly equal to taking all passenger cars off Delhi’s roads, Chaudhary Singh added.

Shri Birender Singh said that Steel industry needs to go for a paradigm shift and move from semi-finished/crude steel to value-added steel. This will lead to better margins and improve competitiveness. “We are hopeful that SAIL & Arcelor Mittal would soon formalize the Joint Venture for production of automotive-grade steel. This will be a big step-forward under the Prime Minister’s Make in India Programme” Shri Singh added.

Enlisting new Schemes for Secondary Steel Producers in 2017-18, he said that the steel ministry will rate the ranking of Top-50 Secondary Steel/Smart Producers and awards will for best performing plants in secondary steel sector solely on the criterion of their products of BIS standards and cost effectiveness.

The Minister also announced the institution of Best Steel Structures Awards for best steel structures in PMAY (Rural and Urban),building projects, and roads made with steel reinforced cement concrete and other extraordinary structures using steel in abundance.

Chaudhary Birender Singh said that the GST regime is good for Steel Team as Goods & Services Tax Rates and Slabs for raw materials like iron ore, manganese, coal etc. is in the bracket of 5 %. Semi-finished and unfinished goods is in 18 % bracket. Steel industry will see a reduction in the input cost for steel making with the GST implementation.

The Minister of State in the Ministry of Steel Shri Vishnu Deo Sai, Dr. Aruna Sharma, Secretary Steel, and Senior Officials from the Ministry & the Steel PSUs were present on the occasion.

Pursuing a clear agenda of growth, the Ministry of Steel has had many firsts to its credit. In the year 2015, India became the third largest producer of steel in the world. Recent data shows that India is now looking at positioning itself as the second largest in the very near future.

In the last three years, there has been capacity addition at a steady CAGR of about 7%. There has also been an improvement in the overall capacity utilization.

India has emerged as a net exporter of steel in the year 2016-17, with 97% increase in overall exports and a 37% decline in imports of steel products over the same period in the previous year.
First time in the history of Steel making in India, the world witnessed a massive demand –supply gap post 2014. Overcapacity of 700 to 800 MTPA resulted in sudden fall in the global steel prices.
Aftermath of the increased imports was evident from the declining domestic steel prices, poor cash flows and the debt serviceability of the major steel producers in the country.
Indian Government protected the interests of domestic producers by notifying trade remedial measures like Minimum Import Price, Anti-Dumping Duty and Safeguard Duty.
The government also eased out financial re-structuring norms through RBI and Ministry of Finance.
In addition to these, many steps have also been taken to reduce input cost, replace imports & enhance domestic consumption. The government is also working to improve the domestic availability of iron ore, coking coal and natural gas.
The government’s focus on strengthening the steel sector inter-alia has been on ensuring
  • Ease of doing business
  • Developing New Products
  • Tackling over Capacity & Imports
  • Sustainable production of Steel
  • Ensuring affordable Raw Material Supply
  • Sustainable production of Steel
  • And demand generation
The Government has populated the three-year timeline with numerous initiatives that comprise steps like increase in Basic Custom Duty, notification of Quality Control Order for steel and steel products, policy on DMISP, National Steel Policy etc.



 1st India – Commonwealth SME Trade Summit
30th & 31st May 2017
(agenda/schedule given below)

Hotel The Lalit
Barakhamba Avenue | Connaught Place
New Delhi

Dear Mr Sagar,

Greetings from India-Commonwealth SME Association (ICSA) and Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME), one of the founder members of ICSA.

We are pleased to inform you that after the successful launch of ICSA  in June 2016 all is set for the  1st India – Commonwealth SME Trade Summit to be held on 30th& 31st May 2017 at hotel The Lalit, Barakhamba Avenue, Connaught Place, New Delhi. The Summit is being organized by ICSA in partnership with Commonwealth Secretariat, Centre for WTO Studies; Ministry of Commerce & Industry; FISME, FICCI, CII, GBS-Africa; TPSF; COMESA LLPI and India Business Group, London.

The two day Summit is expected to be attended by more than 500 delegates, 100 SME Owners from 40 Commonwealth countries who will have B2B meetings with over 300 Indian SME counterparts. In addition, government officials, key dignitaries, media etc. would also be actively participating. The objective of the Summit is to promote trade & investments among SMEs of the Commonwealth countries. The focus sectors are:

Textiles & Clothing
Leather & Leather products
Gems & Jewellery
Agro Processed products
Information & Communication Technology
Low Tech Machineries & Mechanical Appliances

30th May 2017 (Day 1)
0900 hrs: Registration & Tea
0930 hrs: Opening Session
1020 hrs: Tea-Break
1100 hrs: Plenary Session – High level Policymakers Round Table on Opportunities in Intra-Commonwealth Trade
1300 hrs: Lunch
1400hrs:  B2B meetings
1400 hrs: Parallell session (to be held in a separate hall) on Technology
1400 hrs: Parallell session (to be held in a separate hall) on Innovation
1600 hrs: Tea-Break
1630 hrs: B2B meetings
1630 hrs: Parallell session (to be held in a separate hall) on Technology
1630 hrs: Parallell session (to be held in a separate hall) on Innovation
1800 hrs: End of Day 1

31st May 2017 (Day 2)
0930 hrs to 1000 hrs: Registration & Tea
1000 hrs: B2B meetings
1000 hrs: Parallell session (to be held in a separate hall) on Technology
1000 hrs: Parallell session (to be held in a separate hall) on Innovation
1230 hrs: Lunch
1400 hrs: Plenary Session – Global challenges faced by Commonwealth countries
1600 hrs: Tea
1630 hrs: Concluding Session
1730 hrs: End of Day 2/Summit


The death toll in Manchester Arena terror attack has risen to 22. Greater Manchester Police said, 59 people were also injured in the suicide attack which took place around 3 a.m Indian time today. The attacker also died while detonating the device. Witnesses said they heard two loud bangs, in the foyer area of Manchester Arena, after a pop concert by Ariana Grande. Manchester Victoria station, has been closed and all trains cancelled.
British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said it was a barbaric attack, deliberately targeting some of the most vulnerable in our society. Relatives are using social media to hunt for missing loved ones, including children, caught up in the incident.
Earlier, British Prime Minister Theresa May said work is on to establish the full details. She added, all our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected. Downing Street said that the Prime Minister is to chair an emergency Cabinet Office briefing room meeting today following the blast.
Meanwhile, Britain’s political parties have agreed to suspend election campaigning until further notice following terror attack. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, said that he had spoken to Prime Minister Theresa May and had agreed that all national campaigning for the June 8 election would be suspended. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has strongly condemned the attack. In a tweet, Mr Modi said he is pained by the attack and India’s thoughts are with the families of the deceased and prayers with the injured.
US says, it is closely monitoring the situation at the Manchester Arena in the UK. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that it is working with foreign counterparts to obtain additional information on the blasts. The DHS said it stands ready to assist the UK in all ways necessary. The DHS also urged US citizens in the area to pay heed to the directions from the local authorities and maintain security awareness. Meanwhile, New York authorities have stepped up security at sensitive sites.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he has ordered additional patrols at high-profile locations including airports and the subway. Islamic State terror group supporters celebrated on social media after the blast although the group has not formally claimed responsibility. Some twitter messages described the attack as an act of revenge in response to air strikes in Iraq and Syria.


 The UN Migration Agency (IOM) transported 84 stranded migrants from Al Hudaydah Port in Yemen to Djibouti on 21 May. Following a hiatus due to rough seas and security challenges, this was the first voluntary humanitarian return organized out of Yemen in two months.
Most were Ethiopian nationals. The group consisted of 29 unaccompanied migrant boys, seven women and 48 other vulnerable cases. Seven migrants had severe injuries; some were receiving medical care and temporary shelter from IOM in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital. As soon as they were well enough to travel, IOM transported the migrants by bus to Al Hudaydah earlier in the week.
Most of these migrants had intended to transit Yemen to reach Saudi Arabia but found themselves trapped in Yemen’s conflict. Many had their basic human rights violated by migrant smugglers and other criminal gangs. IOM coordinated a trip by Yemeni immigration officials to Al Hudaydah, where they met the migrants and completed the Government’s exit formalities.
After a full day’s travel by boat, IOM Djibouti received the passengers, provided temporary shelter, and started arranging emergency travel documents through local embassies. The IOM Djibouti team also began coordinating the final part of the journey – starting with their flights to Ethiopia.
IOM staff in Addis Ababa are on standby to provide post-arrival assistance at the airport, particularly for the most vulnerable persons, who may need longer-term reintegration support.
“Yemen is a country that has been ravaged by conflict, has collapsed public services and is now battling a cholera outbreak,” said Laurent de Boeck, IOM Yemen Chief of Mission. “Many of the migrants being helped this weekend were stranded and suffering in Yemen for months. Some had been held in government detention due to their irregular immigration status. All of the migrants are anxious to return home safely,” de Boeck explained.
Stranded migrants frequently reach out to IOM for immediate assistance, hoping for eventual safe passage home. Migrants who have been previously returned with IOM assistance tell their compatriots still stranded in Yemen to contact IOM for protection and assistance.
This latest movement, brings to 515 the total number of migrants in 2017 IOM has helped leave Yemen by sea, sailing from Al Hudaydah to Djibouti, and then onwards to their countries of origin where applicable. These operations are made possible with funding from the Federal Republic of Germany Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United States Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). Cooperation from the Governments of Yemen, Djibouti and Ethiopia has helped to make the operations a success.


Media Invite

Citizens’ Review of 3rd year of NDA Government.

Promises & Reality

‘Citizens Report on 3rd Year of the NDA Government – 2017: Promises & Reality’ is a Civil Society initiative anchored by  Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA), a national platform of civil society organizations and individuals which focuses  on demanding governance accountability on its promise  to eliminate poverty, discrimination and social exclusion.

This report reviews the government’s promises and performance with special focus on the constitutional mandate, elimination of poverty and social exclusion. This report compiles the contributions civil society leaders, experts, activists, eminent citizens and people engaged with marginalized communities.

WNTA has been anchoring the civil society review of the performance of the government since 2005 of UPA I followed by annual reviews. WNTA also anchored the governance review of 9 years of UPA (I &II), 100 days of UPA II. The Civil Society also conducted the NDA Government’s Performance on the occasion of it completing 100 days on September 1, 2014. The Annual Review of the 1st Year was published on the 24th May 2015 and the second year review was published on May 23rd, 2016.

In the months leading up to the General Elections 2014, more than 16,00,000 citizens, from 250 parliamentary constituencies across 24 states, scripted the People’s Manifesto – a national agenda for development, rights, services, governance and accountability, through direct and indirect consultations. The demands, aspirations and needs of the people were shared with all political parties as inputs for their upcoming election manifestos. When the manifestos of various parties were published, WNTA undertook a comparative review of the commitments/promises of the political parties and the NDA government in particular on ‘Achhe Din’ (Good days) to the people and ‘Sab Ka Saath Sabka Vikas’ (Development for all and with all).

This Citizen’s Report on the NDA year 3 provides facts and reality bites on various issues of people’s concerns. It holds up  a mirror to the government on how peoples’  lives have been  impacted by the government’s policies and their implementation or non implementation over the past year. We hope this report contributes to strengthening governance accountability and towards deepening our democracy and development processes.

We will release the Citizens’ report in the presence of a large gathering of citizens and prominent civil society leaders and experts from across the country.

The event will be held at Dy Chairman Hall, Constitution Club of India, behind Reserve Bank of India, New Delhi-100011 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM on May 24th, 2017.

You are cordially invited to cover the event. A line of confirmation will be highly appreciated.

Thanking you for your kind cooperation


CPR and CSH are pleased to invite you to a workshop on
Democratisation through Participatory Action Planning in Yangon
Banashree Banerjee
Tuesday, 30 May 2017, 3:45 p.m.
Conference Hall, Centre for Policy Research
Image Source
The term ‘triple transition’ is often used to describe the rapid changes that are taking place in Myanmar in the last eight years. The switch to democratic governance, shift to a market economy and internal regional harmony followed in quick succession leading to rapid growth of the economy as well as cities, particularly Yangon. The Strategic Development Plan for Yangon Region estimates that the 2014 population of 5.7 million will double by 2040. Most of this growth is expected to be absorbed in the suburban townships, which are emerging as industrial, educational and service hubs and are home to the increasing population of migrant workers. The new government formed by the National League for Democracy recognises that planned development of these townships is important for the future of Yangon. It is also open to examining planning processes which are different from the top-down systems instituted by the previous military regime and which can lead to “democracy in practice”. It is in this context that IHS  (Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, Rotterdam) has been asked by the Yangon City Development Committee to provide technical support and build capacity to put in place a process of township planning, within the overall framework of the Strategic Plan. The presentation discusses the opportunities and challenges in this and a practical way forward that is being piloted in 3 very different and diverse townships.
Banashree Banerjee is an urban planner, working as an independent consultant and also as an associate staff member of the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, Rotterdam. In a career spanning more than three decades, the focus of her work has been on inclusive approaches to urban planning and management, particularly related to the poor. Her other interest is urban land management, in which she has considerable experience related to practice, research and teaching. Banashree has worked as a consultant on urban planning and poverty reduction projects supported by bilateral and international agencies in India, Egypt, Korea, Myanmar, Phillipines and Bangladesh. In the past Banashree has worked with Human Settlement Management Institute (HSMI) Delhi, in the Department of Town Planning of Kerala State and taught at Delhi School of Planning and Architecture. She has been providing technical support on urban issues to NGOs and has several publications to her credit. She has undertaken prestigious international assignments such as Panelist at the World Urban Forum 2010; Chairperson of the International Jury for the UN-HABITAT best Practices Awards; and working group member of the Global Commission for Legal Empowerment of the Poor. She is part of the International Expert Group on Land and Housing of UN-HABITAT and member of UN-ESCAP’s expert committee on SDG 6.

GAIL’S PAT UP 57 % IN FY 2016-17

GAIL’s PAT up 57 % in FY 2016-17 year-on-year, touches Rs 3,503 cr
PBT up by 77 % to Rs. 5,411 cr, Gross Margin up by 41 % to Rs 7,287 cr Dividend up by 120%, EPS up by 57%
New Delhi, May 22, 2017: GAIL (India) Limited registered a 57% rise in Profit after Tax for the Financial Year 2016-17 with the PAT increasing to Rs 3,503 crore from Rs 2,226 crore in the last fiscal. The rise in profit was boosted largely by a turnaround in the Company’s Petrochemical business, increase in profits from Gas Transmission business and partial sale of stake in Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL), despite lower price realisation in Polymer and Liquid hydrocarbons. These results are after considering impairment of Investment in Ratnagairi Gas and Power Pvt. Ltd. (RGPPL) in 4th quarter of FY 2016-17 for Rs.783 crore.
GAIL’s PAT excluding non-operating one offs (i.e. gain from stake sale in MGL and impairment of Investments in RGPPL) is Rs 3,797 crore, an increase of 71% year-on-year (yoy).
The Board has proposed a final total dividend of Rs. 2.70 per share (subject to approval of shareholders) making the total dividend for the year Rs. 1,535 crore, up by 120% as compared to FY 2015-16. The earning per share is also up by 57% to Rs. 20.71 per share on increased paid-up equity. During FY 16-17, GAIL also issued Bonus share in ratio of one bonus share for every three equity shares held.
The Company registered growth in physical performance in FY 2016-17 in all segments on year-on-year basis. Sale of Petrochemicals was up by 73%, Natural Gas Marketing & Transmission volumes rose by 10% & 9% respectively, LPG Transmission volume was up by 19% while Liquid Hydrocarbon Sales went up by 2%.
On quarterly basis, GAIL’s PAT in 4th quarter of FY 2016-17 decreased by 69% to Rs. 260 crore from Rs. 832 crore in the corresponding period of the last fiscal due to accounting of impairment of Investments in RGPPL for Rs. 783 crore. The quarterly profit without the impact of the above impairment is Rs. 1,043 crore, which is higher by 25% on yoy basis.
During the quarter, the Company registered growth in physical performance in all segments as compared to corresponding period of the previous year with Petrochemicals Sales up by 59%, Natural Gas Marketing & Transmission volumes up by 11% & 6% respectively, LPG Transmission volumes increasing by 22% and Liquid Hydrocarbon Sales rising by 6%.
GAIL’s PAT in the fourth quarter of FY 2016-17 rose by 6% vis-à-vis the third quarter (excluding impairment of Investments in RGPPL) of current financial year, from Rs. 983 crore to Rs. 1,043 crore.
During the year 2016-17, as per consolidated financial statements, the total group sales (Gross) stood at Rs. 49,237 crore and the Group PAT was Rs. 3,374 crore. CGD group companies (IGL, MGL, GAIL GAS) and PLL have continued to add to the group profit.
However, ONGC Petro Additions Ltd and Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Ltd., being in their first year of operation and under stabilisation did not positively contribute to the Group bottom line. Taking together the impact, EPS as per consolidated statement was Rs. 19.91 per share as against Rs. 11.05 per share in the previous year.
Think Digital, Be Digital


Alliance Française de Delhi & Studio IF


Thursday, 25th May 2017, 06:30pm
M. L. Bhartia Auditorium, Alliance Française de Delhi
– About Design X Design –
Design in its many manifestations forms an integral part of every culture. Civilizations evolve and attain their full potential because of it. Design based creative communities in India are witness to a fascinating churning, necessitating a search for a vision that may inform their evolution beyond – spanning education, profession and the industry. Thus, involving exposes, roundtables, exhibitions etc. Design X Design is a step in that direction.
The energy behind the design of a pin or a city being the same, this joint initiative of Alliance Francaise de Delhi and Studio IF is also geared towards raising levels of appreciation within and nurturing connections across various creative communities – architecture, urban/ landscape/ interior design, product/ industrial design, textile/ fashion design, graphic/ communication design etc. Local and global in outlook, it is directed at the initiated and the uninitiated alike.
– About the D X D Exposé –
A linking bimonthly two-hour long activity involves sharing of high quality professional work of designers from the Delhi and other cities of India, in a neutral, friendly and open environment. Each Expose’ generally consists of presentations made by two designers, each drawn from habitat design (architecture/urban/landscape/interior design) and non–habitat design (product / communication / apparel design) respectively, culminating in an open discussion and Q & A.
About the Presenters:
Paul Sandip, Product Designer
Paul is a designer of everyday objects. He lives and works out of PAUL STUDIO in Noida. His consulting business caters to Multinational Companies, Micro & Small Scale Entrepreneurs and Start Up’s. Winner of Red Dot Award (twice) and numerous international awards his work has been extensively published / exhibited internationally including the Triennale Museum in Milan, Ambiente Fair in Frankfurt, Red Dot Award Show in Singapore, Avenue of Stars in Hong Kong, Lite‐On Awards Show in Taiwan, Design Korea Exhibition and Design Olympiad in Seoul. His work was also selected by Art Besel, Hong Kong for their exhibition “Design with Character”. Paul has been honored by Shri Narendra Modi in 2005 & President of Taiwan Mr.Ma Ying‐jeou in 2010 for his simple yet innovative ideas concerning public welfare. His work is held in the permanent collection of Danish Design Museum, Copenhagen, as an example of Design to improve life.
Meena Mani, Architect
Meena Mani started her carrier in 1971 at the office of renowned architects Kanvinde & Rai, New Delhi. From 1981 she worked as a Senior Architect & later as a Senior Consultant with Stein Doshi & Bhalla, New Delhi where she was responsible for co-ordination in the studio as well as at site of prestigious buildings including the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
She was a partner in the architectural firm Mani Chowfla (started originally as  Stein Mani Chowfla) where she has designed, co-ordinated and supervised construction of many large and medium sized projects including Housing, Institutional, Educational and Corporate Office buildings in a variety of contexts.
Meena Mani has been on the Visiting Faculty as well as been thesis guide to students of various institutions including Roger Williams University, U.S.A, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, TVB School of Habitat Studies, New Delhi, Sushant School of Architecture, Gurgaon and the New Delhi Polytechnic for Women, Delhi.
She now practices under her own name – Meena Mani and is also visiting faculty at the School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi.

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