Browsing: India

Selected and must-read news from India. Includes latest breaking news, trending headlines and hot topics on nation, politics, society, business, sports etc.

India
Indian airports stretched as passengers reach new heights

India’s airports are struggling to cope with a massive surge in passenger numbers and billions of dollars must be spent to boost their capacity, analysts have warned. The country is witnessing a huge boom in air travel as its growing middle class increasingly takes to the skies but experts say infrastructure is failing to keep up. “There’s an urgent need for capacity building in major Indian airports as they are bursting at the seams and close to saturation,” Binit Somaia, South Asia Director at the Centre for Aviation (CAPA), told AFP. India has witnessed a six-fold increase in passenger numbers over the past decade as citizens take advantage of better connectivity and cheaper fares thanks to a host of low-cost airlines. Indian airports handled 265 million domestic passengers in 2016 and will cross 300 million this year, according to CAPA. The country’s entire airport network is only capable of handling…

India
India has third highest no of billionaires at 121, Mukesh Ambani stays richest: Forbes

India has 121 billionaires — 19 more than last year — making them the third largest group of the ultra-rich after those from the US and China, according to Forbes, the business magazine that produces an annual list. Mukesh Ambani, the energy and petrochemicals magnate, who keeps his standing as the richest Indian, is richer by $16.9 billion in 2018 with assets of $40.1 billion, according to the magazine’s list released online on Tuesday. He moved up to the 19th global rank on the list of 2,208 billionaires worldwide compiled by Forbes. In 2017, he ranked 33rd with $23.2 billion. The US has 585 billionaires and China 373 this year on the Forbes tally, which it calls “The Three Comma Club” for the punctuation used in writing out fully the billion in numbers. In 2017, there were 102 Indians on the list. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest…

India
NRIs who had PPF account can continue to hold it

Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) who had invested in Public Provident Fund (PPF) can continue their accounts for now, a new official announcement says. According to the new office memorandum released by the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) on Feb. 23, the earlier notification about the closure of PPF accounts has been provisionally removed. “It has presently been decided to keep the related notification in abeyance till the additional order in this regard,” the office memorandum declared. The earlier notification was issued on Oct. 3, 2017, by the Department of Economic Affairs(DEA). The amendment to the Public Provident Fund Scheme, 1968, declared in the official gazette, “If a resident who opened an account under this scheme subsequently becomes a non-resident during the currency of the maturity period, the account shall be deemed to be closed with effect from the day he becomes a non-resident.” Interest will be compensated at the rate applicable…

India
India regains fastest-growing economy title

India regained its status as the world’s fastest-growing major economy in the October-December quarter, surpassing China for the first time in a year as government spending, manufacturing and services all picked up. Asia’s third-largest economy grew 7.2 per cent, its fastest in five quarters, Ministry of Statistics data showed on Wednesday. That beat China’s 6.8 per cent, and a forecast of 6.9 per cent by analysts polled by Reuters. In a data set that some economists said had put an early interest rate hike on the agenda, India also edged up its 2017/18 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast to 6.6 per cent, from 6.5 per cent. India’s manufacturers and service industries have been struggling to overcome disruptions from the bumpy launch of a national sales tax in July. In the quarter to December, however, annual growth in the manufacturing sector climbed to 8.1 per cent from 6.9 per cent…

India
No orange colour passports, Printing last page to continue: MEA

India’s Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday night announced that it has reversed its decision on the issuance of a orange-coloured passport to those who have ECR (Emigration Check Required) status as also on printing of the last page with personal details. The decision was taken at a meeting, chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and attended by one of her two deputies V K Singh among others, on Monday, the ministry said in a press release. Based on the recommendations of a three-member committee comprising officials of MEA and the women and child development ministry, it was decided not to print the last page of the passport booklet, the MEA said in a release. The ministry had earlier decided to issue a passport with orange colour jacket to passport holders with ECR status, with a view to help and assist them on priority basis, it said. However, “the…

India
Foreign airlines can own 49% stake in Air India

Foreign airlines can now own up to 49 per cent stake in national carrier Air India, with the Cabinet clearing a proposal in this regard today. The move comes at a time when the government is working on the modalities for strategic disinvestment of the loss- making Air India and is expected to attract more bidders for the airline. While allowing foreign airlines to have stake in Air India, the government has also made it clear that the national carriers substantial ownership would remain with Indian nationals. The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today gave its approval to a number of amendments in the FDI policy, including those pertaining to Air India. Now, foreign airlines have been allowed to have up to 49 per cent stake under the approval route in Air India subject to certain conditions, an official release said. Foreign airlines were allowed to invest under government…

India
Jet Airways crew arrested for smuggling currency worth Rs 3 crore

A female flight attendant of Jet Airways has been arrested by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) for allegedly trying to smuggle $4,80,200 out of the country, according to an official statement. The accused, identified by many websites including NDTV as Devshi Kulshreshtha was intercepted by DRI officials when she was on a flight to Hong Kong on Monday, it said. The DRI officials found $4,80,200 (approximately Rs 3.21 crore) wrapped in foil in her possession, the statement said. On investigation, it was found that she was working with an agent, named Amit Malhotra, a resident of Vivek Vihar area here, a senior DRI official said. He said that Amit Malhotra was following a modus operandi of using crew members for smuggling of forex. “Malhotra would collect money from some bullion dealers in Delhi and send it via some air hostess to select foreign destinations. The money was being used…

India
Aadhaar database on sale for Rs 500: UIDAI begins probe

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which runs Aadhaar biometric identity card scheme has begun investigating a report that access to its database of the identity details of more than 1 billion citizens was being sold for just Rs 500 on social media, in what could be one of the giant programme’s biggest security breaches. The Tribune newspaper said it had been able to buy login credentials to the Aadhaar database, allowing it to acquire information such as the names, telephone numbers and home addresses of millions of people. The paper said it bought access for as little as Rs 500 from someone on a WhatsApp social media group. The agency said it had initiated a police complaint against the people responsible for selling the access, but did not identify them. Crucial data, “including biometric information, is fully safe and secure,” the agency said in a statement. The database incorporates fingerprints…

India
India’s Manushi Chhillar crowned Miss World 2017

India’s Manushi Chhillar was today crowned as Miss World 2017 at a grand event held in Sanya in China. The 20-year-old medical student from Haryana had won Femina Miss India World 2017 in May this year. The announcment was made on the pageant’s official Twitter handle. “The winner of Miss World 2017 is Miss India Manushi Chhillar,” the tweet said. pic.twitter.com/lzYe3YKrXb— Miss World (@MissWorldLtd) November 18, 2017 Manushi had made it to the top 5 along with contestants from England, France, Kenya and Mexico. The first and the second runners-up were Miss England Stephanie Hill and Miss Mexico Andrea Meza. pic.twitter.com/qLhZC5EGwe— Miss World (@MissWorldLtd) November 18, 2017 The coveted title was last won by Priyanka Chopra for India in 2000, a year after Yukta Mookhey had made the country proud. In 1997, Diana Hayden had bagged the title, while Aishwarya Rai had the honours in 1994. Reita Faria was the…

India
30 Indians flying to Kuwait arrested at airport with fake tickets

Mumbai police have arrested 30 men trying to fly to Kuwait on fake tickets and visas and are looking for the unlicensed recruitment agents who charged them 100,000 rupees to arrange their travel to jobs in the Gulf state. The men from Uttar Pradesh were arrested on Tuesday when they tried checking in at the airport with fake tickets, police said. The men have been charged with cheating and forgery and are being held in custody. Lata Sirsat, senior inspector with the Mumbai police, said a police team was going to Uttar Pradesh to find the unauthorized recruitment agents who duped these men with fake documents. “All the men are in their 30s and poor,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Indian officials are trying to crack down on unauthorized agents who promise to organize well paid jobs as cleaners and laborers in the Gulf states but cheat people along…

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