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Current Affairs - 15 August 2017

General Affairs 

12 issues which may find mention in PM Modi's Independence Day speech from Red Fort
  • It would be the fourth time when Prime Minister Narendra Modiwould address the nation from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort on Independence Day this year. As it would be PM Modi's penultimate address before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he would be expected to dwell on three kinds of issues -his government's accomplishments so far (report card), the works which have remained unfinished and those his dispensation may launch in the near future.
    It is expected that Modi's Independence Day speech this year would be unique in the sense that it would be based largely on the suggestions that he has been getting from the people. During his monthly radio programme, Mann Ki Baat aired on July 30, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited constructive ideas from the common man. "When I speak on August 15 from the ramparts of Red Fort, I am merely a medium. It is the voice of 125 crore Indians that resonate," he had said.
    PM Narendra Modi has received more than 8,000 comments so far. Over 6,000 comments were received on the Narendra Modi App while more than 2,000 suggestions were made on MyGov portal. Most of the suggestions relate to the issues of education, 'Swachh Bharat', environment conservation, digitisation, 'Beti Padhao', education and cleanliness.

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    PM Modi's Independence Day speeches generally stretch to about one hour. In his Mann Ki Baat programme, PM Modi himself referred to this, saying his speeches are quite lengthy. He aims at finishing this year's speech within 45 minutes. But going by the number and variety of responses, PM Modi would have a tough time adhering to his target.
    Whether or not he finishes his address within 45 minutes, these are the issues which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to discuss on Independence Day:
    It is the first Independence Day after PM Modi launched demonetisation on November 8 last year. The initiative has yielded mixed results for the BJP-led NDA government. Politically, it has immensely helped the government. Barring Punjab, BJP won all the Assembly elections held after the noteban move. BJP emerged victorious not just in Assembly elections but also all the local polls held during the period. However, experts differ over the economic impact of demonetisation, some going to the extent of calling it a disaster. Modi is likely to clarify the situation over this.
    GST was launched on April 1 this year and its impact has not been felt as yet. While some sections of the trading community are protesting against it, some others are still apprehensive.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to allay the fears of the people over this issue.
    Several activities have been taking place on international borders for the last few months. While Pakistan has been violating ceasefire, China has provoked India on Doklam. PM Modi may issue warnings to both the countries and instil a sense of security among the people.
    It is a subject dear to PM Modi. Though he has spoken about it on the day in previous years, he is likely to reiterate it this year as well. Narendra Modi had launched Swachh Bharat Mission on Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary on October 2, 2014, the year BJP came to power. The PM has said it repeatedly that a clean India would be the best tribute India could pay to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150 birth anniversary in 2019.
    Though the government has been making concerted efforts to ensure that the mission is a success, it has to tread a long way before the impact has to be felt in the lengths and breadths of the country. Open defecation has not stopped because of non-availability of water. Arrangements are not in place for installation of overhead water tanks in villages on a large scale.
    People have been demanding PM Modi to take concrete steps on the issues of afforestation, rejuvenation of rivers, reduction of pollution, plastic ban, global warming, wastage of papers particularly in government offices. He may speak on these issues as well.
    With government hospitals failing to cater to the needs of the people and the private clinics and nursing homes overcharging the patients, the health system has not shown any encouraging results in these four years since Modi government came to power. The issue gains currency following the Gorakhpur tragedy in which 63 people, mostly children died last week in a government-run hospital. The PM has neither spoken nor written anything on the tragedy so far. Independence Day is the first occasion when he would get an opportunity to face the people after the tragedy struck. He may speak and even announce some scheme on the occasion.
    Several suggestions have been made by the people on the education front. Modi has been requested to make online examination more effective, to start one board and one syllabus throughout the country, to make skill development a compulsory course in graduation, to provide free education till class 10th and to cut down high interest rate on education loans. It is only hoped that the PM may reply to some of these suggestions.
    This is one sphere where the Modi government has not met with success. Unemployment has been BJP government's biggest failure. Secondly, job insecurity and firing in private employment has also become a cause of major cause of concern. Narendra Modi may announce some schemes to boost employment.
    The nation is facing several issues like that of law and order, violence against women and anti-national activities. Political killings have been taking place in states such as Kerala and West Bengal. The PM is likely to speak on the need for character building to deal with such problems. He may stress on the need for every citizen loving the country, feeling proud of it fulfilling their duty with highest commitment.
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been pushing for simultaneous holding of Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. He may reiterate it this Independence Day as the time for launching it approaching fast.
    In all probability, the PM would harp on emancipation of the poor. He is likely to announce measures to improve the condition of the urban and rural poor. Strengthening electricity network and 24-hour power supply even in towns and villages may also find a place of prominence in Narendra Modi's speech. In all likelihood, PM Modi's pet project 'Housing for All by 2022' when India grows 25 years old, will also be discussed.
    Farmers have been dear to any government. 'Jai jawan, jai kisan' has been a popular slogan since the days of the then PM Lal Bahadur Shastri. Modi added 'Jai vigyan' to it, according importance to the scientists. Encouraging words for farmers and scientists may well be expected.

Manipur: 68 members of 6 terror cadres, including 4 women cadres, surrender before CM Biren Singh
  • As many as 68 members of six terrorist cadres have surrendered before Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, the news agency ANI reported today.
    They include four women cadres.
    This comes two days after an IANS report said Biren Singh had welcomed talks between leaders of former militant groups with New Delhi's interlocutor.
    He also said feelers had been sent out to insurgents still fighting the state.

    Debendra Sharma, a former director of the Intelligence Bureau, has started talks to settle issues, including the demand for a homeland and rehabilitation, with those who have come overground in the state, Biren Singh said.

Floods ravage east, northeast states, snap rail link; 41 die in Bihar
  • Heavy rains in the last three days triggered flash floods in parts of Bihar, where 41 people have died so far and 65.37 lakh affected, and inundated large areas in Assam and north Bengal, paralysing normal life and snapping rail link to the northeast.
    In Arunachal Pradesh too, the flood situation continued to be grim in several districts with recurring landslides disrupting road traffic.
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the chief ministers of Bihar (Nitish Kumar) and Assam (Sarbananda Sonowal) and assured them of all support from the Centre to mitigate the situation.

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    Meanwhile, in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, two separate incidents of cloudbursts claimed lives of six persons while a jawan went missing after swirling waters of a rivulet hit an Army camp.
    An estimated 65.37 lakh people in 12 districts of Bihar have been affected by floods, with Nitish, who conducted an aerial survey of flood-hit areas, saying that Araria was the worst-hit district.
    Twenty people have died in Araria, six in Sitamarhi, five in Kisanganj, three each in East Champaran, West Champaran and Darbhanga districts and one person in Madhubani, an official said.
    Light to moderate rainfall occurred at many places in north Bihar while one or two places received heavy to very heavy rainfall with the local weather office predicting heavy to very heavy rainfall at one or two places in northern and southern parts of the state tomorrow.
    Flood waters have engulfed areas in Kisanganj, three blocks of Purnea and one block of Katihar damaging roads. The chief minister said heavy rains in Nepal and Bihar in last three days have led to the situation and the state government is carrying out relief operations in flooded areas on a war-footing.
    He said besides the Army column (around 50 personnel) which was sent to Purnea, four teams of NDRF had arrived in Bihar yesterday and six more NDRF teams landed today to assist the state.
    The Railway Board has decided to cancel all incoming trains from various parts of the country towards northeast region, which were to reach either Katihar or Malda town till 10 am tomorrow, North Eastern Frontier Railway Chief Public Relations Officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma said.
    West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, "We are concerned about the flood situation across the country.
    Earlier floods had affected south Bengal. Now north Bengal was also affected. We are monitoring the situation round-the-clock for relief and rescue operations."
    State government sources said Phulahar river had crossed its danger level, while 20 villages, mostly under Harischandrapur Block-II and Ratua block in Malda district were inundated.
    Situation was similar at Bhutni Island, while erosion was was taking place at Pardeonapur village near Farakka also in Malda district.
    Eastern Railway chief public relations officer R Mahapatra told PTI that a number of trains originating in the state were today cancelled as water is flowing above the railway tracks in North East Frontier Railway jurisdiction.
    The second wave of floods in Assam have submerged rhino habitats in Kaziranga National Park (KNP) and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary forcing the animals there to take shelter on highlands.
    According to a KNP official over 85 per cent of the 430 sq km Kaziranga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was inundated.
    According to officials, the flood situation in the state has deteriorated with at least 99 people dying this year in deluge-related incidents and 22.5 lakh being affected in 21 districts.
    In Arunachal Pradesh, the remote Anjaw district remained cut off from rest of the state for the past seven days as the main road to the district from Lohit are blocked in several places by landslides triggered by incessant rains, officials said.
    Food shortage was looming large in the district following disruption in surface communication. Intra-district road communications were also badly affected due to landslides.
    In Uttarakhand, the swirling waters of Mangti Nullah, which was in spate after heavy rains, hit some shops and an Army camp near Tawaghat in Dharchula sub division. Two bodies from the spot while one army jawan is missing. The other incident occurred at Malpa, where an overflowing rivulet swept away four persons. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat visited the rain-hit areas of Dharchula along with state Finance Minister Prakash Pant.
    Rawat said relief and rescue operations have been launched on a war footing by the Army, NDRF and SDRF personnel while people living in areas along the banks of rivers and rivulets and locations prone to landslides were being evacuated to safety.
    The road from Malpa to Gal and the Lamadi-Chudi road was badly affected by landslides, Pant said, adding a large number of people, including devotees, who were stranded in the Vyas Valley were being evacuated to safety by copters.
    In Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took an aerial survey of the flood-affected Gonda, Shrawasti, Balrampur and Bahraich districts and said district administrations have been directed to ensure proper arrangement of relief material.
    However, the national capital witnessed mainly clear skies with the maximum temperature settling at 35.8 degrees Celsius, two notches above the season's average, while the minimum was pegged at 27.4 degrees Celsius.
    In Punjab and Haryana, which witnessed rains last night, maximum temperatures stayed close to normal levels with Chandigarh, the joint capital of both the states, recording a high of 35.2 degrees Celsius and gauging 0.4 mm of precipitation.
    Many places in Odisha received heavy rains with Malkangiri and Mandira Dam in Sundargarh district gauging 11 cm each, followed by Rayagada 9 cm and Daspalla in Nayagarh district 8 cm of precipitation.
    Heavy rains occurred at isolated places in Chhattisgarh while parts of Vidarbha region and Madhya Pradesh witnessing moderate rainfall, but there was no significant change in maximum and minimum temperatures.
    Akola in Maharashtra's Vidarbha region recorded a maximum temperature of 34.3 degrees Celsius and Damoh in Madhya Pradesh registered the lowest minimum of 19 degrees Celsius.
    Rainfall also occurred at most places in Telangana and parts of many coastal Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, coastal Karnataka and Kerala.

Indian Navy goes hunting for heavyweight torpedoes for submarines, approaches global companies
  • The Indian Navy has approached a select few global manufacturers to buy heavyweight torpedoes for submarines. Heavyweight torpedoes are critical for submarines and the Indian Navy has an acute shortage of these torpedoes.
    India will be getting its Kalvari Class submarines - conventional diesel- electric boats made by DCNS of France - soon after a gap of three decades. These submarines, however, won't have any heavyweight torpedoes. Without the heavyweight torpedoes, the new submarines will be almost "toothless." The next of the Kalvari class - INS Khanderi - is expected to join the Indian Navy by end 2017.
    This May, India cancelled its previous contract to buy 98 Black Shark heavyweight torpedoes at an estimated cost of $200 million. The manufactures of the torpedo - Whitehead Alenia Systemi Subacquei (WASS) - is a subsidiary of Italian arms manufacturer Finmeccanica. The Italian arms manufacturing giant was blacklisted after it was alleged that another subsidiary of the company -  AgustaWestland - had paid bribes to secure a contract to sell 12 medium lift helicopters to India.
    Sources told India Today, that the select foreign manufacturers will have to choose their Indian partners and that torpedoes will be manufactured using the Strategic-Partnership (SP) route.
    The Modi-led NDA government is keen to reduce India's dependence on foreign equipment manufactures. It has opened up defence manufacturing to Indian private sector.
    The SP route envisages that the Indian private companies will tie-up foreign manufactures to get technology and in return the government will assure orders and allow exports as well.

President Ram Nath Kovind: New India should be tolerant and sensitive
  • President Ram Nath Kovind addressed the nation for the first time today. He gave his speech a day before August 15, which India celebrates as Independence Day. Here's what he said:
    Dear Fellow Citizens engaged in the task of nation building,
    My greetings to you as we complete 70 years of our Independence.
    Our country will be celebrating its 71st Independence Day tomorrow. On the eve of this anniversary I extend my good wishes to all of you.
    On August 15, 1947, we became a free nation. Sovereignty and the responsibility for our destiny moved from the British crown to the people of India. Some have called this process a "transfer of power".
    It was much more than that. It was the culmination of a dream for our country - a dream seen by our forefathers and freedom fighters. We were free to imagine and build our nation anew.
    It is crucial to understand that this dream for a free India was rooted in our ordinary villages, in the well-being of our poor and underprivileged, and in the all-round development of our country.
    For this we owe so much to the countless freedom fighters who made great sacrifices to bring us here.
    Chennamma, the Rani of Kittur. Lakshmibai of Jhansi. Matangini Hazra, the heroine and martyr of the Quit India Movement. There are so many examples.
    Matangini Hazra was an elderly woman, into her 70s. She was shot by the colonial police in Tamluk, in Bengal, while leading a peaceful protest march. She died with "Vande Mataram" on her lips and with the hope of a free India in her heart.
    Freedom fighters like Sardar Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah Khan, Birsa Munda and thousands of others gave their lives for us. We can never forget them.
    From the earliest days of our freedom struggle, we were blessed with a galaxy of revolutionary leaders who guided our country.
    They spoke of not just political freedom. Mahatma Gandhi emphasised the moral character of India and of Indian society. The principles that Gandhiji spoke about are relevant even today.
    Gandhiji was not alone in this nationwide struggle for freedom and reform. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose exhorted our people, saying: "Give me blood and I will give you freedom". At his word, millions of Indians joined the freedom movement under his leadership and gave their all.
    Nehruji emphasised that India's age-old heritage and traditions - so dear to us - could co-exist with technology and a quest to modernise our society.
    Sardar Patel instilled in us the importance of national unity and integrity. And of a disciplined national character.
    Babasaheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar urged upon us the virtues of constitutional governance, of the rule of law - and of the vital need for education.
    I have given only a few examples of illustrious leaders. I could give you many more. The generation that brought us to freedom was diverse. They were men and women who represented all parts of our country and a variety of political and social thought.
    We need to draw inspiration from such brave freedom fighters, many of whom sacrificed even their lives for the country. We need to invoke the same spirit today in the task of nation building.
    The stress on the moral basis of policy and action, belief in unity and discipline, faith in a synthesis of heritage and science, and promotion of the rule of law and of education - all of it was located in a partnership between citizen and government.
    That is how our nation has been built - by a partnership between citizen and government, between individual and society, between a family and the wider community.
    Fellow citizens,
    A tradition I remember from my childhood was that when there was a wedding in any one family, the entire village shared the responsibility and contributed. Regardless of the caste or community, the bride became the daughter of not just a single family but of the entire village.
    Neighbours and others living in the village looked after guests, and took charge of different arrangements. Contributions came from many families. One family would send food-grains for the wedding, another would send vegetables, a third would arrive with some other item.
    There was a sense of caring and of sharing, and of interdependence. If you helped your neighbours in their times of need, they instinctively helped you in turn.
    Today, in big cities we may not even know our neighbours. Whether in cities or villages, it is important to renew that sense of caring and sharing. This will make us a gentler and happier society and help us understand each other with greater empathy.
    Fellow citizens,
    This spirit of empathy and of social service and volunteerism is very much alive in India. There are so many people and organisations that work quietly and diligently for the poor and the disadvantaged.
    They could be running schools for street children, caring for stray animals and birds, and providing water to hard-to-reach tribal communities in remote areas. Or cleaning rivers and public places. They are nation builders in action, and we need to draw inspiration from them.
    We should also work with unity and purpose to ensure that the benefits of government policies reach all sections of society. For this, the partnership between citizens and government remains essential:
    • The government has started the Swachchh Bharat campaign - but it is for each of us to ensure a Swachchh Bharat
    • The government is building toilets or helping build toilets - but it is for each of us to use those toilets and make India open-defecation free
    • The government is enabling communication infrastructure - but it is for each of us to use the Internet for the right purposes: to bridge knowledge gaps, create opportunities, and enhance educational and information access
    • The government is promoting the idea of Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao - but it is for each of us to ensure that our daughters are not discriminated against and get the best education
    • The government can frame laws and strengthen law enforcement - but it is for each of us to be a law-abiding citizen. And to build a law-abiding society
    • The government is pushing transparency and eliminating corruption in public recruitment and procurement - but it is for each of us to answer to our inner conscience in everyday life
    • The government is implementing GST to eliminate multiple taxes and simplify transactions - but it is for each of us to make this an essential part of our everyday transactions and business culture
    I am happy that the transition to the GST system has been smooth. It should be a matter of pride for all of us that the taxes we pay are used for nation building - to help the poor and the marginalised, to build rural and urban infrastructure, and to strengthen our border defences.
    Fellow citizens,
    In the year 2022, our country will complete 75 years of Independence. It is our national resolve to attain certain desired milestones for a New India by then.
    When we speak of a New India, what do we mean? There are some obvious parameters - like a house for every family, power on demand, better roads and telecom, a modern railway network, rapid and sustained growth.
    And yet there is more. New India must include that integral humanist component that is in our DNA, and which has defined our country and our civilisation. New India must be a society rushing towards the future, but also a compassionate society.
    • A compassionate society where the traditionally disadvantaged, whether SCs, STs or OBCs, are part of our national developmental process
    • A compassionate society where populations in our frontier areas and states, who may sometimes feel a sense of alienation, are embraced as our brothers and sisters
    • A compassionate society where the deprived child, the aged and the ailing senior citizen, and the poor and the under-privileged are always in our thought - not an afterthought. And where we take special care to ensure that our divyang brothers and sisters get equal opportunities in all walks of life
    • A compassionate and egalitarian society that does not discriminate on gender or religious background
    • A compassionate society that enriches our human capital and equips our young people by promoting accessible, affordable and world-class educational institutions. And where quality health-care and nutrition are not a challenge
    It is only with all this that we will build the New India we can cherish - where every Indian is equipped to fulfill his or her potential and do so in a manner that leaves each one of us content and happy. And helps each of us contribute to society and our country.
    I am confident that a strong partnership between citizens and the government will allow us to meet the goals of New India.
    Your immense patience and understanding in the days following demonetisation - and your whole-hearted support in the battle against corruption and black money - reflected a responsible and enlightened society.
    Demonetisation has boosted our efforts to build an honest society. We must sustain this spirit and this momentum.
    Fellow citizens,
    There is also need to adopt technology. We must use technology to empower our people and achieve the goal of poverty elimination in a single generation. Poverty and New India are simply not compatible.
    Today, the world is looking at India with admiration. Our country is seen as a responsible global citizen, a growing economy, and a solution provider to various international challenges - such as climate change, disasters, conflicts, humanitarian crises, radicalism and terrorism.
    The Tokyo Olympics of 2020 offer another opportunity for us to raise our standing in the world's eyes. Over the coming three years, we should absorb ourselves in this national mission. Government agencies, sports bodies and business enterprises need to join hands to identify and support our talented sportspersons and provide them world-class training facilities - so that they can be even more successful in Tokyo.
    As citizens and children of India - whether we live at home or abroad - we must ask ourselves how we can add to our country's pride.Fellow citizens,
    It is natural for us to think of our families, but we must also think of society. We must heed the call for that extra degree of selflessness, that extra something beyond just duty. A mother who nurtures and brings up her child is not just doing a duty. She is displaying a unique selflessness.
    • Our soldiers who guard our borders, on a hot day in the desert or high up on a cold mountain, are not just doing their duty. They are displaying an extra degree of selflessness
    • Our police and paramilitary forces that brave death to combat terrorism or crime and keep us safe are not just doing their duty. They are displaying an extra degree of selflessness
    • Our farmers who labour under extremely tough conditions to grow food to feed fellow Indians whom they have never met, and who live in the other corner of the country, are not just doing a job. They are displaying an extra degree of selflessness
    •  After natural disasters, so many motivated people, civil society groups and public agencies work day-and-night in rescue and relief operations. They display an extra degree of selflessness
    Can each of us not imbibe this spirit of selflessness?
    We can and we have.
    On an appeal from the Prime Minister, more than one crore families voluntarily gave up their LPG fuel subsidy - so that a gas cylinder could reach the kitchen of a poorer family of fellow Indians. And so that members of that family, particularly women, were saved from smoke from chulhas that damaged their eyes and lungs.
    I salute those families that gave up their subsidy. No law or government order made them do what they did. Their response came from within.
    We should draw inspiration from these families. Each of us must find a way to give back to society. Each of us must choose one thing we can do to help another, less-fortunate Indian.
    The single most critical factor for building our nation is to equip our coming generation. We need to ensure that not one child is left behind. As such I would urge you, as fellow nation builders, to help educate less-privileged children in our society. Help teach a child other than your own. Enrol and pay the school fees or buy the books of at least one child other than your own. Just one!
    Our India is at the door of great achievements. In a few years, we will become a fully literate society. We must set the bar higher, and aim to become a fully educated society.
    We are all stake-holders in this mission. If we achieve it, our country will change before our eyes. And we will become agents of this defining change.
    Two thousand five hundred years ago Gautam Buddha said, "Appa dheepa bhava...Be a lamp unto yourself..." If we follow his teachings, acting together, with the passion of our freedom movement, we can collectively be the 125 crore lamps that light up the path to a New India.
    Once more, I wish all of you the very best on the eve of our 71st Independence Day.

Business Affairs

Reliance Communications stock closes 16.14% higher as NCLT admits its petition for Aircel merger
  • The Reliance Communications stock closed higher on Monday after after the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) accepted plea for the firm's wireless wing merger with Aircel.
    The Tribunal also accepted petition for 51 percent stake sale  in the company's tower arm to Brookfield Infrastructure Group.
    The RCom stock closed 16.14 percent or 3.35 poins higher on the BSE. 
    The merger along with sale in the tower business will allow RCom to cut 60 percent of its total debt of 44,345.30 crore as on March 31, 2017. 

    The broader Nifty ended 0.86 percent higher at 9,794.15, its biggest one-day percentage gain since July 10.

    The benchmark BSE Sensex closed up 0.75 percent at 31,449.03, its biggest gain since July 19.

81 lakh Aadhaar numbers deactivated: See if yours is in the list or not, here's how
  • Close to 81 lakh Aadhaar numbers have been deactivated by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), according to Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology PP Chaudhary.
    "Till date, approximately 81 lakh Aadhaar numbers have been deactivated," the minister informed the Parliament on Friday.
    The Aadhaar numbers were deactivated for a number of reasons stated in Section 27 and 28 of Aadhaar (Enrolment and Update) Regulations, 2016. "Prior to enactment of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, the deactivation (suspension) of Aadhaar numbers was done as per the Aadhaar Life Cycle Management (ALCM) guideline," Chaudhary said.
    He added that the regional offices of the UIDAI have authority to deactivate the Aadhaar numbers.
    An Aadhaar number is 2-digit biometrics based identity number issued by the UIDAI.
    On UIDAI's website, there is an option available to check the status of one's Aadhaar number, as in whether the number is still valid or not.
    Following is the stepwise guide to check the same:
    • Visit Unique Identification Authority of India's official website,
    • Go to the 'Verify Aadhaar Number ' link on the website. The link is visible on the right side of the homepage.
    • Enter the 12-digit Aadhaar number in the relevant box to verify if your Aadhaar number is valid or not.
    • In the second field, called 'Enter Security Code', fill in the code as displayed in the image and click 'Verify'.
    • If your number is valid, the a page will be shown, which will display a message confirming the status of the Aadhaar number entered. However, in case of invalid Aadhaar number, the page says that the number does not exist

Parsvnath Developers, Pincon Spirit, four others tank up to 20% after SAT upholds Sebi shell firm order
  • The stocks of Parsvnath Developers, Pincon Spirit, Signet Industries and three others fell up to 20 per cent after trading resumed at their counters on Monday.
     The Securities and Appellate Tribunal (SAT) stayed curbs imposed on these companies after they appealed against a Sebi order restring trading their secutities.
    The scrip of Parsvnath Developers tumbled 9.81 per cent to Rs 21.15 -- its lower circuit limit -- on BSE.
    Shares of Pincon Spirit slumped 19.96 per cent to hit its lowest trading permissible limit for the day at Rs 57.35. Signet Industries plummeted 19.96 per cent to Rs 8.94 --its lower circuit limit, SQS India BFSI plunged 15.86 per cent to Rs 422, its 52-week low.
    Besides, shares of two companies -- Kavit Industries and Kkalpana Industries (India) Ltd -- listed only on BSE also tanked 4.9 per cent to hit its lowest trading permissible limit for the day at Rs 36.80 and 19.92 per cent to Rs 30.35 (lower circuit), respectively.
    Leading bourses NSE and BSE on Friday said trading will resume in shares of Parsvnath Developers and three others from Monday after the SAT stayed curbs imposed on these companies. Besides, shares of Kavit Industries and Kkalpana Industries will also start trading, BSE had said.
    The shares of these companies will be moved out of GSM (graded surveillance measures) framework and will be available for trading with effect from August 14, the exchanges had said in similarly-worded circulars.
    The move came after the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) on Friday stayed trading restrictions imposed on these companies, which figured in a list of 331 "suspected shell companies" referred by the government to Sebi.
    In a surprise order which could have a long-term effect on Indian markets, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on August 7 asked bourses to act against 331 suspected shell companies that the ministry of corporate affairs has listed.
    The ministry had already cancelled the registration of more than 1.62 lakh companies that have not been carrying out business activities for long.
    The regulator ordered bourses to effectively freeze trading in 162 companies. Earlier, trading in the remaining 169 firms had already been suspended.
    Shell companies are used as passage for tax evasion or tax avoidance without having any significant assets and operations. They are not defined under the Companies Act or Sebi Act.

Time to say goodbye to PPFs, FDs? These funds clocked over 100% returns compared to the combined two instruments
  • The market is trading near its historic highs in a bull rally which has seen Sensex and Nifty rise 18.1 percent and 19.5 percent, respectively since the beginning of this year.
    But you will be surprised to know small and mid cap funds have delivered returns during the last five years that beat the benchmark indices on a consistent basis. 
    Also these funds were the top performers across all categories.
    We look at top five funds (according to Morningstar) which are likely to continue their robust performance in the near future. 
    Reliance Small Cap
    The fund had assets worth Rs 4,261 crore on July 31, 2017. Its expense ratio was 2.02 percent as on July  31, 2017. The fund was launched on September 16, 2010 and has returned 20.75 percent since then.
    The open-ended fund has 1 percent exit load for redemption within 365 days.
    The fund has given 25.60 percent returns on an year-to-date basis.  
    The fund's returns are benchmarked against BSE Small Cap index. For the last six months preceding June 15, 2017, the fund gave 28.27 percent, 42.06 percent, 29.18  percent and 33.39 percent returns in six months, one year, three years and five years, respectively.
    DSP BlackRock Micro Cap 

    The fund had assets worth Rs 5975 crore on July 31, 2017. Its expense ratio was 2.38 percent as on June 30, 2017. The fund was launched on June 14, 2007 and has returned 18.72 percent since then.
    The open-ended fund has 1 percent exit load for redemption within 364 days. The fund has given 14.98 percent returns on an year-to-date basis.  
    The fund's returns are benchmarked against BSE Small Cap index.
    For the last six months preceding June 15, 2017, the fund gave 24.58 percent, 35.47 percent, 34.67  percent and 33.25 percent returns in six months, one year, three years and five years, respectively.

    Franklin India Smaller Companies
    The fund had assets worth Rs 6063 crore on July 31, 2017. Its expense ratio was 2.38 percent as on June 30, 2017.
    The fund was launched on January 13, 2006 and has returned 15.42 percent since then.
    The open-ended fund has 1 percent exit load for redemption within 365 days. The fund has given 18.88 percent returns on an year-to-date basis.  
    The fund's returns are benchmarked against Nifty Free Float Midcap 100.
    For the last six months preceding June 15, 2017, the fund gave 22.42 percent, 28.13 percent, 26.66  percent and 32.98 percent returns in six months, one year, three years and five years, respectively.

    SBI Small and Midcap
    The fund had assets worth Rs 730 crore on July 31, 2017. Its expense ratio was 2.38 percent as on June 30, 2017.
    The fund was launched on September 9, 2009 and has returned 20.78 percent since then. The open-ended fund has 1 percent exit load for redemption within 365 days.
    The fund has given 27.24 percent returns on an year-to-date basis.  
    The fund's returns are benchmarked against BSE Small Cap index. For the last six months preceding June 15, 2017, the fund gave 23.52 percent, 32.67 percent, 33.24 percent and 32.98 percent returns in six months, one year, three years and five years, respectively.

    Mirae Asset Emerging Bluechip
    The fund had assets worth Rs 4,242 crore on July 31, 2017. Its expense ratio was 2.35 percent as on June 30, 2017. The fund was launched on July 9 , 2010 and has returned 23.66 percent since then.
    The open-ended fund has 1 percent exit load for redemption within 365 days.
    The fund has given 26.55 percent returns on an year-to-date basis. The fund's returns are benchmarked against Nifty Free Float Midcap 100.
    For the last six months preceding June 15, 2017, the fund gave 28.49 percent, 39.36 06 percent, 30.04  percent and 32.90 percent returns in six months, one year, three years and five years, respectively.

No alternative to Chinese products in Indian market: Chinese media warns of trade war amid Doklam standoff
  • India should not have imposed anti-dumping duties on Chinese products as it could trigger a trade war between the two countries, according to the Chinese media. An article in China's state-run publication the Global Times said that India was keen on bringing down the trade deficit between the two countries, but it warned New Delhi should not use "short cuts" to achieve this purpose. The ties between the two countries have strained owing to the standoff in the Doklam, and the Chinese media seem to acknowledge its repercussions on the trade between the Asian giants. Both have to lose, if the trade war begins, the article which has been published with the byline of Wang Jiamei, said. The article hinted it could result in a tit for tat situation as the Chinese companies could also curtail their investment in India, if New Delhi continued this approach. Chinese companies' investment in India would create millions of jobs, the article claimed.
    India's exports to China fell by 12.3 percent year-on-year to $11.75 billion while India's imports from China rose by 2 percent to $ 59.43 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $47.68 billion, the article said citing Embassy of India in China. The article called India's decision to impose anti-dumping duties on 93 products from China as "ill-considered action" and warned India should be ready to face the consequences. The article, however, acknowledged that China's retaliation to India would not make economic sense, and hinted the current situation could harm both countries.
    "It is understandable for the Indian government to be eager to narrow the trade deficit with China, but trade remedy measures should not be used as shortcuts, a strategy that will only backfire. If India really starts a trade war with China, of course China's economic interests will be hurt, but there will also be consequences for India," the article said. The Global Times article pointed out that the India's strategy would backfire and Indian consumers would end up as losers since there is no alternative to many Chinese products in the Indian market. "First, it is not just Chinese companies that will face a setback due to the anti-dumping measures - India's consumers will also lose. Although Indian manufacturers are reportedly catching up with their Chinese peers, there is currently no alternative to many Chinese products in the Indian market, so Indian consumers will be the chief victims of the anti-dumping policy targeting Chinese products," it said.
    The article also made a veiled reference to the Doklam standoff and said that considering the "tense" ties between the two nations, China could even suspend economic projects in India for security reasons. "Second, given the tense bilateral trade ties, China may consider temporarily suspending investment or economic cooperation projects in India to ensure the security of these investments," it said. The article further urged Chinese companies with investments in India to "be alert to...risk amid the growing policy uncertainties in India and should re-evaluate such projects".
    "Chinese companies accounted for about $32 billion of the proposed total. For instance, Sany Group planned to invest nearly $10 billion in wind power, while Dalian Wanda Group considered investing about $5 billion in real estate projects. These Chinese-sponsored projects were expected to ease the bilateral trade imbalance. But as trade relations deteriorate, Chinese investors, increasingly concerned about potential risk, must reconsider their options. Many will probably shelve their projects, especially the large ones," the article concluded.

General Awareness

World Organ donation day

  • Organ Donation Day is observed every year on 13th of August. The aim of this day is to motivate people to donate organs after death, and to spread awareness about the importance of organ donation.
    Organ Donation is donating a donor’s organs like heart, liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, and pancreas, after the donor dies, for the purpose of transplanting them into another person who is in need of an organ.
    Points to be noted
    i.Should spread awareness to the people about the need of organ donation.
    ii.To remove the hesitations of the people about donating organs.
    iii.Organ donor can be irrespective of their age, caste, religion, community etc.
    iv.There is no defined age for donating organs. The decision to donate organs is based on strict medical criteria, not age.
    v.Tissues such as cornea, heart valves, skin, and bone can be donated in case of natural death but vital organs such as heart, liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, and pancreas can be donated only in the case of ‘brain death’.
    vi.Organs such as the heart, pancreas, liver, kidneys and lungs can be transplanted to those recipients whose organs are failing because it allows many recipients to return to a normal lifestyle.
    vii.Anyone younger than age 18 needs to have the agreement of a parent or guardian to be a donor.

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