February ’19

Week 2 Week 3 Week 4

Klips for 1st Feb 💼

National 🇮🇳 | Interim budget to be presented today

Leaked NSSO report says unemployment rate at 45 yr high in 2017-18
– NITI Aayog clarified that the report was a draft report and actual jobs data ’could be released in March’
– The report was published by Business Standard on Thursday
– 2 members of the statistic commission resigned as the govt decided to withhold the report
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2sYM8ew
NSSO: National Sample Survey Office

Govt Revises growth rate upwards for 2016-17
– As per the 2nd revision to the data, GDP grew 8.2% up from 7.1% for 2016-17
– The revisions came largely due to higher GVA (Gross Value Added) in construction, up 6.1% as compared to 1.3% earlier
BQ: http://bit.ly/2GdsjaU

Economy and Business 💰 | Amazon, Flipkart to look different from today, fewer products to be available
– This is in line with the new e-comm directives from the government
– As an example the Amazon Echo is no longer available for purchase on Amazon’s India website
– The buy button is replaced by: ‘We don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock’
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2GbCqNy

3 PSUs removed from PCA framework
– Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra and Oriental Bank have been removed from the prompt corrective action (PCA) framework which means they can now lend
– 11 PSUs were put under PCA to deal with NPAs
BQ: http://bit.ly/2G1BKLt

Sensex jumps 665 points as US Fed says will be ‘patient’ with rate hikes
– The Fed said that it will slow down the pace of rate hikes
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2GdP7aC

Tech 🖥 📱 | Google and FB face backlash for paying teens to share usage data
– Both gave 13 yr olds financial incentives to share phone usage data by installing custom apps
– This came to light after Apple asked both to disable the apps which used functionalities meant for enterprise deployment of apps (and not for end users)
Techcrunch: https://tcrn.ch/2GiobGy

Op-Ed 📝 | In the NE, a David versus Goliath battle
The controversial Citizenship Bill has ensured that Assam and other states (David) are now united against the BJP (Goliath) for shifting the goalpost from NRC (National Register for Citizens), by excluding Muslims, changing the year for deportation and in general straddling upon a widely accepted Assam Accord, writes the author in this Hindu piece.
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2SgPIik


Klips for 2nd Feb

National 🇮🇳 | FM proposes tax relief, support for farmers in populist Interim budget
– The proposal is to give a full tax rebate on income upto ₹5L (those earning more don’t get any rebate) while current tax brackets will hold true for FY19 until full budget after elections
– Also proposed is a backdated direct transfer scheme for farmers that will transfer ₹6000/yr from Dec ‘18 to 12cr families
– The fiscal deficit target was breached for a 2nd consecutive year at 3.4% while that for the next year has been revised upwards to 3.4% from 3.1%
Highlights (Hindu): http://bit.ly/2D4aXKF

IAF’s Mirage fighter plane crashes in Bengaluru, both IAF pilots dead
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2GeCbRR

Economy and Business 💰 | RCom to file for insolvency with NCLT
– RCom owes creditors more than $7bn (as of Mar ‘17)
– The DoT blocked its sale to Jio last month
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2MP1CLe

Govt expects interim dividend of ₹28000 cr from RBI
– The RBI has already paid a dividend of ₹40000 cr and was expected to make an interim dividend payout ₹10000 cr
– The decision on the payout will be taken by an RBI panel
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2sXWPxK

Op-Ed 📝 | Shopping for votes: on the Interim Budget
The word interim is added to the last budget of an outgoing govt for a reason: the current govt has but 2 months to work on the proposals made. While many an announcements will benefit farmers and middle class, the important part about managing the incoming funds does not seem to be addressed, as that’s the next government’s worry, writes the Hindu.
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2sXUSkU

Interesting: More Google Employees Are Losing Faith in Their CEO’s Vision
An approval rating of 75% plus is not something that anyone would worry about, unless ofcourse the decline is 10% y-o-y. This is as per the survey Google conducts with its employees called Googlegeist. Reflects a shift within the company and an interesting read
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2t2D9Zw


Klips for 4th Feb

Global 🌍 | Trump says military intervention ‘an option’ in Venezuela
– Russia said that countries should stay away from ‘destructive meddling’
– US and several other countries have disavowed Maduro’s re-election
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2Glvf5l

National 🇮🇳 | Mamta Banerjee begins sit-in protest in Kolkata against Modi
– She is protesting alleged interference by CBI as they tried to question Kolkata’s police Chief
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2Sk6zRl

7 dead as passenger train derails near Patna
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2G3Y8ni

Economy and Business 💰 | 🗣Ericsson to move SC against RCom assets
– RCom has approached NCLT for debt resolution, in effect trying to avoid SC’s ruling to pay Ericsson ₹550 cr
ET: http://bit.ly/2GlZzgi

🗣Op-Ed 📝 | Interesting: Village school in Maharashtra welcomes ‘Alexa teacher’
An interesting story of how a school in a Mah village is welcoming Alexa into the classroom as the ‘3rd teacher’. A shift worth noting.
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2StPYdE


Klips for 5th Feb

Global 🌍 | London court approves Mallya’s extradition: UK Home Office
– Mallya will formally appeal against it in the High Court
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2GpwpwL

Economy and Business 💰 | RCom shares tank 54%
– On Friday RCom approached NCLT to help resolve its debt issues
– Ericsson, on the other hand wants its dues as per NCLAT’s ruling
– RCom has moved NCLAT to withdraw its appeal
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2GeBRUb
NCLAT: National Company Law Appellate Tribunal

UPI transactions hit another record, up 8.5% to 627mn in Jan
– 13 mn of these happened through BHIM app
– Over the last few months NCPI has introduced a few curbs to reduce fake transactions (limit of 10 p2p transaction in a day)
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2MMNh1N

Fiscal deficit narrows in Dec from 14.8% to 12.4%
– The govt in its interim budget has said the final fiscal deficit will be 3.4%
– The govt is likely to be compensated by a higher RBI interim dividend (₹28000cr) to meet its revised target
BQ: http://bit.ly/2MOAUSP

Tech 🖥 📱 | Messaging platform Slack to go public
– Will file for direct listing to avoid traditional style IPO
– It’s valued at ~$7bn
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2DT9Xuo

Op-Ed 📝 | How India’s Banks Ran Up a $7 Billion Phone Bill
The leniency shown by Indian banks in the RCom case is not surprising: the bigger the loan and fish, the lesser is the urge to get back one’s dues. But while not surprising, what’s odd is that RCom was given several opportunities to come good on its debts and each time it failed. So if tomorrow banks don’t get anything back, there is nobody else to blame but the banks themselves.
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2GnECl1

🗣Instead of grief & alarm, Indian politicians are foolishly celebrating failures of HAL
A former Navy Chief, the author laments the sad state of affairs both at and about HAL as politicians try to play petty politics around this 79yr old PSU. A nice article to understand how, over the years, bureaucracy and politics and most importantly incompetence have beaten down HAL.
The Print: http://bit.ly/2MNoHO9


Klips for 6th Feb

National 🇮🇳 | SC directs Kolkata Police Commissioner to appear before CBI
– The matter relates to the Saradha chit fund scam
– The SC has also directed CBI not to take any coercive action
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2DW16rM

India successfully launches communications satellite GSAT-31
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2DV9BmM

A year after Nirav Modi scam, PNB records surprise profit
– In what can be termed as a turnaround for the bank the bank reported a profit of ₹246 cr in Q3
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2MONbqc

Economy and Business 💰 | Airtel downgraded by Moody’s
– This is the first time that Airtel has been downgraded by an international ratings agency
– Airtel is also likely to lose its no 2 carrier status to Jio soon (by subscribers)
– Despite these Airtel’s revenues have fallen by only 0.6% and its Africa business is showing promise
BQ: http://bit.ly/2MPw7QY

Govt expects RBI to pay ₹69000 cr is FY 19
– The govt has asked RBI to transfer its surplus from last two years
– This comes even before a specific committee appointed under Bimal Jalan shares its views on the matter
BQ: http://bit.ly/2DXNfRN

🗣Banks yet to recognise ₹3.5L cr bad loans as NPAs: report
– This represents 3.9% of total stressed assets and are still on the banks’ books
ET: http://bit.ly/2MOtIpR

Op-Ed 📝 | Churning Ad Machine drowns our Google’s troubles
Google and FB have been mired by privacy and other controversies recently. Yet both have reported stellar performance driven by their ad businesses. What this indicates about the dominance of these two ad businesses is where people are consuming content, despite privacy issues. Do check for charts and Google’s significant increase is capital expenditure
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2DVcJ22

🗣Interesting: Five maps show why Bengaluru is becoming more congested, parched and polluted
Sometimes imagery, maps and graphs help us visualise things we already knew (or feared true): The beautiful city of Bangalore or Bengaluru is getting destroyed and with alarming pace. The maps are worth checking out.
Scroll: http://bit.ly/2DUEec5


Klips for 7th Feb

Global 🌍 | Trump appoints David Malpass as head of World Bank
– Malpass has been in the Treasury Department and is a known critic of World Bank in its current state
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2ScViD0

National 🇮🇳 | Sabarimala temple board reverses opposition to allowing women
– The sudden reversal comes after months of opposition to the SC ruling
– ‘After the Supreme Court judgement, we discussed a lot. We realise that we should respect the judgement of the court’, said the board’s lawyer
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2Ge4T6g

WhatsApp says Indian political parties abusing platform by spreading fake news
– Whatsapp’s head of communication, while not naming the parties, said warnings have been issued to them
– It is alleged that parties used automated tools to broadcast messages, which is illegal (except via WhatsApp business which has its APIs)
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2RIjvvY

Vadra appears before ED
– The matter relates to assets bought in London by arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari
– Vadra was questioned for 5 hours about his role and will be asked to appear again today
– Significantly this comes just before the elections and also Priyanka Gandhi’s formal entry into politics from UP East
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2MU0uFO

Economy and Business 💰 | RBI board meeting deferred to 18th Feb
– The meeting will address the issue of interim dividend
– The FM will preside over the meeting and is the likely the reason for the deferment
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2TytCVH

Tech 🖥 📱 | Meditation app Calm becomes a unicorn
– Calm now has a valuation of a $1bn after raising $88mn in its latest funding round
– The app, which helps with ‘Sleep Stories’ as well, has 40mn users, 1mn of which are paid subscribers
Techcrunch: https://tcrn.ch/2SfmW2p

Op-Ed 📝 | Interesting: Pension for informal workers
While the headline announcement in the interim budget was that of a new pension scheme for the unorganised sector, the details are what are important. The article highlights and raises an important difference from normal pension schemes: the fact that this is voluntary and that there is a high chance of those opting in not being regular with monthly deposits. Worth a scan
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2DdzrkB

Opinion: 4 Things India needs, to become $10 trillion economy – Narayan Murthy
Can India become a $10 trillion economy by 2030? Highly impossible feels Narayan Murthy but points to 4 steps – cultural transformation, impetus to exports, quality education and friction free business, that can help. Excerpts from his address at TiE Mumbai.
BQ: http://bit.ly/2DbsuR0


Klips for 8th Feb

National 🇮🇳 | Only 50% PANs linked to Aadhaar
– This information comes barely 2 months from the deadline to link the two
– The govt is even considering cancelling PANs that are not Aadhaar-linked by 31st Mar
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2SiN0K1

Modi attacks Congress on Rafale, alliances in Parliament
– Modi said: ‘I am levelling a serious allegation here. The Congress does not want our Air Force to be strong’
– He made the remarks during the vote of thanks ‘debate’ that follows the President’s address to both houses for Budget session
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2GsKcTo

Economy and Business 💰 | RBI cuts interest rates for first time in 18 months
– Also changes stance to ‘neutral’ indicating possibility of further cuts to boost lending
– Lower than expected inflation and slowing growth were seen as the factors leading to the rate cut, besides upcoming elections
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2RLqbtk

Tata Motors reports ₹27000cr loss in Q3
– This was largely due to a one time, non-cash write off for JLR
– JLR, which contributes 72% to Tata Motor’s revenues, has been struggling especially in China
BQ: http://bit.ly/2Gw7qrB

🗣Cloudtail returns to Amazon with ownership changes
– Narayan Murthy increases his stake in Cloudtail’s parent company to 76%
– This ensure Cloudtail is no longer an Amazon group company
ET: http://bit.ly/2Boi0NW

Tech 🖥 📱 | Bezos takes on National Inquirer, accuses it of politically motivated blackmail
– Bezos has revealed the details in a rare public post on Medium
Techcrunch: https://tcrn.ch/2ShQ5d3
Medium post by Bezos: http://bit.ly/2Guiaaa (9min read)

Op-Ed 📝 | Who wants to be a Billionaire?
The usage of the word billionaire or rather using it as a catchphrase for the ‘rich and corrupt’ is an association that has been driven into our minds and talking about it might not invite warm approvals, as prospective US President candidate Howard Schultz found out. The article tries to explain the nuances of the term and why using it the way we do today may not necessarily be right.
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2SiYb5l


Klips for 9th Feb

World 🌎 | Finland’s basic income trial: boosts incomes but not employment
– The trial, carried on 2000 people, is being keenly watched by other nations
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2GjYI0q

National 🇮🇳 | Rahul Gandhi says Hindu report puts SC verdict on Rafale in question, calls PM a thief
– In one of the strongest attacks on Modi, Gandhi said: ‘the Prime Minister has stolen ₹30,000 crore of your money, bypassed a process, and given it to his friend Mr. Anil Ambani’
– The Hindu on Friday published a report that highlights a Def Secretary’s notes stating that the PMO’s ‘parallel parleys’ were undermining the Rafale negotiations
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2WRvNWv

Economy 💰 | Jet Airways grounds 4 aircraft after failing to pay lessors
– The company did not clarify if the action was voluntary or forced by lessors
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2Gd8ykR

Reliance Group blames illegal actions for stock rout
– The Anil Ambani run group said L&T Finance and Edelweiss were to be blamed
– Reliance companies have recorded drops of 55% in stock prices in the last week
BQ: http://bit.ly/2E02jye

🗣Op-Ed 📝 | If political risk of using CBI, ED is so high, why would BJP do it?
A question that begs an answer. While the article tries to provide one, I found it more interesting for the polarising comments. Do check them out.
Indian Express: http://bit.ly/2MVmdNO


Klips for 11th Feb

Global 🌍 | Talks productive, meeting with Kim in Hanoi: Trump
– Trump said that diplomats of the two countries had a ‘very productive meeting’
– Trump is set to meet Kim Jon later this month on 27th and 28th Feb
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2Gyz3Ag

National 🇮🇳 | Govt to undertake 3rd round of Oil field auctions
– 23 blocks with an area 32000sq km will be auctioned
– The aim of the OALP is to reduce oil import bill 10% by 2022
– The auctions begin tomorrow and continue till 10th Apr
BQ: http://bit.ly/2WWsFbR
#OALP: Open Acreage Licensing Policy

Mumbai shivers at 11deg C, coldest in 10 years
– This was the coldest day since Feb 8, 2008
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2WVZYMu

Economy 💰| Govt claims 3.79L new jobs in Central Departments
– The details were shared as part of the debate on Motion of Thanks to the President’s address
– Most of the jobs will be augmented in Railways, police forces and direct and indirect tax departments by 1st Mar 2019
BQ: http://bit.ly/2RTfzZ9

Op-Ed 📝 | Opinion: Congress and Cow – On MP govt’s use of NSA
The more things change the more they remain the same? In an apparent move to counter BJP’s stand that Congress is ‘anti-Hindu’ the new govt under Kamal Nath is showing over zealousness in prosecuting 5 people under NSA for allegedly committing offences under cattle laws. This wasn’t probably why people voted for a change, writes the Hindu.
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2RPT9bj
#NSA: National Security Act

🗣Opinion: The middle class takes pole position ahead of 2019 poll
The ‘neo-middle class’, a term coined by Narendra Modi in 2012 has gained significance in the run up to the 2019 elections. The govt has been quick to realise this and has accordingly tapped into this segment with GST cuts, tax cuts and more.
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2WTZo1K


Klips for 12th Feb

Global 🌍 | Grammys: ‘This is America’ becomes first hip-hop song to win best song of the year award
– It also won the best video award
Winners list: https://www.grammy.com/grammys/awards/61st-annual-grammy-awards

National 🇮🇳 | Parliamentary Committee to summon Twitter CEO
– Jack Dorsey has been summoned by the parliament panel on IT on 25th Feb
– Twitter’s CEO was invited earlier by the panel to discuss matters related to citizens’ rights
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2UWOfvj

Interim budget passed by Lok Sabha
– Shashi Tharoor called it a retrospective budget (in reference to farm scheme that was announced now but is applicable from Dec ‘18)
– Piyush Goyal gave some weird logic to justify why fiscal deficit was 3.4% instead of 3.3%
– He said: ‘Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi wanted an honest budget. So 3.367% was rounded off as 3.4% (of GDP) for 2018-19’
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2tjYGND

Economy 💰| Govt to sell part of its stake in Axis to raise ₹5316cr
– The stake sale happens today for non retail investors
– The Govt owns about 10% in Axis Bank and will sell about 3% through OFS
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2UPLkEp
#OFS: Offer for Sale

🗣Airlines ‘jack up’ fares on popular domestic routes
– On Del-Mum corridor, one of the most popular amongst travellers , fares are up 70% compared to last year
– Also no airline has announced a flash sale in March this year (lean period)
– Experts say this points to ‘cartelisation’ amongst airlines
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2GDzw4m

Op-Ed 📝 | 🗣Interesting: It’s 100 years of Jallianwala Bagh, not that you would know if you were at the memorial
A visit to Amritsar is incomplete without a look at the bullet marks at Jallianwala Bagh. But in this the centenary year of the Massacre, that united the nation against the British, there is literally ‘no mention’ of it at the venue. A lack of funds and apathy, the standard script at many such important historically significant venues, greets visitors.
The Print: http://bit.ly/2GDUzUC

Opinion: Democrats, Debt and Double Standards
In his simple yet clear writing style Paul Krugman explains why it would ‘ok’ to ignore what are called ‘debt scolds’ if Democrats came to power. A nicely written article that also explains when one should focus on debt for an economy.
NYT: https://nyti.ms/2tqN8bz


Klips for 13th Feb

Global 🌍 | Trump says China trade deal deadline of March 1 could ‘slip’
– However he told reporters that he was ‘not inclined to’ let that happen
– Asian markets are at a 4 month high largely expectant of a positive trade deal outcome
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2tjVjGA

National 🇮🇳 | 17 killed in Delhi hotel fire
– The deaths were caused by suffocation and not the fire
– The incident occurred at Karol Bagh
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2tg7h3X

Indigo cancel 30 flights due to pilot shortage
– Reports suggest passengers were not compensated and were forced to buy last minute high price tickets
– The regulator, DGCA, seems silent on the matter
– The airline, however, maintained that cancellations were due to ‘weather conditions’
BQ: http://bit.ly/2RZlxIf

Economy 💰| Controversy hit Sun Pharma records 4 fold jump in profits
– Profits for Q3 came in at ₹1242cr compared compared to ₹322cr same time last year
– The Pharma major’s stock had slumped 35% in 5 months on the back of US anti-trust litigation settlement, concerns about Corporate governance
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2tjPFnO

CPI Inflation cools further by 2% due to falling food prices
– In the food segment, inflation was -13.32% for vegetables
– This is likely to prompt another rate cut from the RBI
BQ: http://bit.ly/2RYBaiX

Google backed Deliv and Walmart end logistics partnership
– Deliv offered same day delivery services
– The likely cause for termination is the lack of streamlining as drivers had to wait at stores for more than 40min to pick up orders
– Walmart, it seems, prioritised visiting customers over delivery partners
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2tjO55g

Tech 📱 | The $15000 Tesla (check picture)
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2S12sVS

Op-Ed 📝 | 🗣 Opinion: As BJP, Congress Race to Promise the Earth to the Poor, Who Will Foot the Bill?
Summary: Poll promises are not new, but one must always try to evaluate them based on where the funds come from. Neither the BJP nor Congress can justify where the money to fund their ‘social welfare’ schemes will come from. Fact is our govt is broke and the money comes from our (taxpayers’) pockets. The problem then is that this money is only being used to service previous debt. Kind of like a Ponzi scheme writers PS Jha. An excellent and must read article to clear any doubts on where the money comes from and why the way it is used today in plain wrong.
The Wire: http://bit.ly/2WRYWAS


Klips for 14th Feb

National 🇮🇳 | CAG: Rafale deal 2.86% ‘cheaper’ than original
– The report comes as respite for PM Modi who has been targeted for having not following procedure and favouring Anil Ambani
– However, CAG did not provide a price for the planes, saying it was confidential, although that is the basis of any audit
– Also points to lack of sovereign and performance guarantees, which are missing in the new deal
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2tjYKNe

Indigo to cancel 30 flights daily till end of March
– Says in a cryptic press release that this is due to ‘bad weather’ and normalization of roster
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2Dw7g0c

Economy & Business 💰 | SC reserves judgement in Ericsson’s contempt pleas against Anil Ambani
– Says Ambani’s firm is in contempt of the court’s orders to pay dues worth ₹550cr
– Argues that ‘He (Ambani) has money to invest in Rafale but does not want to honour the commitment given to the court’
– Also asks the court to detain Ambani in civil prison till dues are paid
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2SKCQBj

Parliamentary Panel: Probe LIC, Rating Agencies’ role in IL&FS crisis
– Says the governance failure at LIC and reasons for awarding high ratings need to be probed
– Suggests mandatory rotation of rating agencies to avoid conflict of interests
BQ: http://bit.ly/2N2cchZ

Tech 📱 | WeWork launches skill based profiles in its app
– The feature is meant to enable conversations and collaborations amongst collaborators
– WeWork has 400000+ members and is valued at $47bn
Techcrunch: https://tcrn.ch/2SNx69W

Instagram says it is aware of ‘bug’ that causes reduction in follower numbers
– Many noted personalities voiced their ‘concerns’ as their follower counts fell drastically overnight
– It is said that Instagram is removing ‘inactive followers’
– The follower count is crucial to get promotion deal as part of influencer marketing
Techcrunch: https://tcrn.ch/2SMHgrg

Op-Ed 📝 | The trap of early feedback
There is a saying in Marathi: ‘Aikawe janaache karaawe manaache’, which means listen to the world but do what your mind tells you is right. Seth emphasises in his blog post that what matters even more is listening to the right people (or by corollary not listening to the wrong ones) and not necessarily getting swayed by ‘early feedback’. A nice read.
Seth’s Blog: http://bit.ly/2SLRisO
Klips for 15th Feb

World 🌎 | Airbus to stop A380 production
– The aircraft which can carry upto 555 passengers was designed to be a challenger to Boeing’s 747
– However changing market dynamics (smaller aircraft, long range flights, higher fuel prices) and poor sales have hampered the superjumbo
– Airbus shares closed 5% up after the announcement
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2tntRrc

National 🇮🇳 | 44 CRPF personnel killed in suicide bomb blast in Kashmir
– The blast occurred as a Scorpio laden with explosives rammed into their bus
– Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack which is one of the deadliest in Kashmir
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2GFmyTM
*The count is reported differently across sources

Two SC employees sacked for tampering orders summoning Anil Ambani
– It is said that the two added a ‘not’ to the order: ‘personal appearance of the alleged contemnor(s) is dispensed with’
– The CJI himself signed the order to suspend the two
– Further investigation are ongoing in the matter
Wire: http://bit.ly/2E9uUl1

Economy & Business 💰 | After CPI, WPI inflation cools to 10 month low
– WPI inflation was 2.76% in Jan ‘19

Jet Airways proposes restructuring plan, lenders will own majority stake
– As per the plan, lenders, including SBI, will own 50.1% of the airline as the airline’s debt has been converted to equity
– Jet owed more than $1bn dollars and continues to record poor results
– There is no cash infusion from Naresh Goyal or Etihad
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2IeUOYy

After RBI ‘clean chit’, Yes Bank stock surges 31%
– The RBI in its annual inspection of the bank’s books did not find any divergence in reporting of bad loans
– The matter also relates to RBI denying an extension to Rana Kapoor (but that was when Urjit Patel was the Governor)
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2UXWEhR

Tech 📱 | Amazon drops plans for New York HQ
– This follows pushback from local authorities and the fact that most of the negotiations happened ‘behind closed doors’
– Another reason is Amazon’s policy of not supporting labour unions
Techcrunch: https://tcrn.ch/2Imx1Gi

Op-Ed 📝 | Amazon Gives FedEx and UPS More Reasons to Worry
From the Everything Store to now the Everything Company, Amazon does seem to believe that, with better data, it can do better than most incumbents in any industry. And its recent investments in an electric pick-up truck point to its ambitions. Remember how Amazon AWS emerged? From a small in-house need to a service almost every app or website now uses. Logistics is next, whether UPS and FedEx like it or not.
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2EdB8Ab


Klips for 16th Feb

World 🌎 | Trump says he deserves Noble Peace prize, but says he probably will never get it
– About Obama’s Peace prize he said: ‘He didn’t even know what he got it for. He was there for about 15 seconds and he got the Nobel Prize. He said, ‘Oh, what did I get it for?’’
– Trump also said that his actions in Syria and North Korea have helped save 3mn lives
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2toiIGA

Trump declares national emergency in wall quest
– This is being done to raise funds for the wall without Congress’ approval
– The move will most definitely be challenged, but Trump himself has conceded that he is open to a legal battle
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2GLDHeD

Economy & Business 💰 | RBI reprimands Yes Bank for ‘non divergence’ disclosure
– It seems that the bank misrepresented information and hid ‘lapses’
– Barely 24hrs ago the bank had said that it got a ‘clean chit’ from RBI, which surprised many, including markets

Panel: National minimum wage at ₹9750/month
– An additional rent allowance of ₹1430/m was also recommended
– If implemented, states can’t pay lower than this amount
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2X5KF3F

Bharat-22 ETF oversubscribed 14 times, applications worth ₹50000cr
– This will help the govt meet its divestment target of ₹80000cr
– The one day AOP was managed by ICICI Prudential AMC
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2X4F1yS
#AOP: Additional Offering Period

Op-Ed 📝 |
Interesting: This Article is Fake News. But It’s Also The Work of AI
In what can only be termed as spooky (and scary), OpenAI has an engine that can generate an entire fake news article based on only 2 sentences written by a human. The result and example shared will astonish you. Do check it out.
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2S7X0AK


Klips for 18th Feb

National 🇮🇳 | 4 soldiers, civilian killed in Pulwama encounter
– The encounter took place on a hideout that is suspected to house 3 militants linked with Thursday’s attack
– 23 suspects of the Jaish e Mohammed had also been detained previously
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2tpSQtU

SC revokes Vedanta NGT clearance for TN smelter
– NGT had granted a clearance which was challenged by the State govt in SC
– TN’s govt had ordered that the smelter be shut down after 13 people were killed in protests
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2tsJVYJ

Economy & Business 💰 | Cognizant bribed govt official via L&T
– In its filings to the SEC and DoJ in US it has emerged that Cognizant made illicit payments to seek approvals for office campuses
– These payments were made via L&T’s construction arm to govt officials in TN and Maharashtra
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2GPc9VK

Tech 📱 | China asks teachers to stop assigning Homework via WeChat
– Teachers used to post homework on WeChat groups having parents so as to pressurise them to help their kids with homework
– The move is interesting as a new class of Startups have emerged in China that ‘assist’ kids with learning and homework
– Yuanfudao, one such startup, recently gained a valuation of $3bn
Techcrunch: https://tcrn.ch/2tsN8rf

Op-Ed 📝 | Opinion: Pulwama Aftermath: What’s Best for Modi May Not Be What’s Best for India
In a frank op-Ed piece the author tries to understand the ground realities in Kashmir which led to the radicalisation of a 20 yr old who carried out the shocking Pulwama encounter. The author also tries to understand the possible outcomes of the anticipated reactions to the attack.
The Wire: http://bit.ly/2S9kLZ1

Interesting: How the 16th Lok Sabha fared
As elections draw closer, it makes sense to see how our previously elected (and nominated) members fared in the Parliament, in hard numbers. Some interesting facts: 60% of the Rajya Sabha’s and 1/3rd of Lok Sabha’s question hour time was lost due to disruptions. Only 18% of questions got an oral reply. Also contains a brief summary of key legislations passed
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2X9eEb1


Klips for 19th Feb

World 🌎 | Saudi Prince pledges $20bn investment in Pakistan
– Mohammed bin Salman is on an Asia visit and will visit India next
– Saudi Arabia has also helped Pakistan stay ‘afloat’ with a $6bn loan
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2trxqgk

National 🇮🇳 | Shiv Sena, BJP announce pre-poll alliance
– The two parties have been at loggerheads on several issues
– The Shiv Sena had broken the alliance a year back
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2tsBTiw

State owned Gas company leaks Aadhaar data
– On Indane gas’ website details such as customer name, address and Aadhar number can be found without authentication
– Such data is generally only accessible by providing a username and password
– In previous such leaks the UIDAI has been quick to say that there are no leaks in Aadhaar
Techcrunch: https://tcrn.ch/2V4pKw3

Economy & Business 💰 | RBI agrees to transfer ₹28000 cr interim dividend to govt
– This will help the govt meet its fiscal deficit target of 3.4%
– It is also the 2nd consecutive year that the RBI has announced an interim dividend
BQ: http://bit.ly/2tBcaot

Tech 📱 | Fortnite’s Live music festival: 10mn ‘virtual’ people attend
– The performance was given by Marshmellow, who wears a white marshmallow hat while performing
– Fornite is a popular shooter game available across platforms
Verge: http://bit.ly/2tqTqHZ

Op-Ed 📝 |🗣Opinion: The dangers of banks flying with airlines
What business do banks have owning airline? That seems to be the question people are asking as SBI and other banks have helped rescue Jet Airways. And while the move will help keep the airline afloat in the short term, it does very little to solve the very real problems the airline faces
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2UZVnqG

Opinion: Not without an explanation- when judges recuse themselves
A number of recent recusals by SC judges in important cases begs the question to be asked: what is the basis for recusal? Are there stated rules? Moreover the article also highlights an important point: none of these are written and hence the true reasons cannot be determined (or even recorded). An interesting read.
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2tuk1Uu


Klips for 20th Feb

World 🌎 | Iconic Designer Karl Lagerfeld passes away
– He was Chanel’s artistic director and known for his striking catwalks, sporting black sunglasses
– He was 85 years old
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2GOeUGy

National 🇮🇳 | Saudi Prince arrives in India
– Welcomed by the PM at the airport
– Saudi Arabia is expected to announce investments in infrastructure projects in India
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2GSTrfB

Govt hikes DA by 3%
– The move which will again be applied retrospectively from Jan 1, will benefit 1.1cr govt employees and pensioners
– While this is accordance with 7th Pay Commission’s ‘formula’, successive govts have timed such increases prior to elections
BQ: http://bit.ly/2Va2xJ3

Economy & Business 💰 | No to video conference: Delhi and Goa ask for physical meeting
– The 33rd GST council meeting is set to be held today albeit via video conference
– Given that key issues of real estate and lottery are to be discussed Sisodia and Isaac Thomas have asked for a physical meeting
BQ: http://bit.ly/2S9MBVe

Tech 📱 | Twitter blocks Barkha Dutt’s account temporarily
– Dutt condemned Twitter for the block
– She had posted details of men who allegedly stalked and threatened her
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2GR6X3G

Op-Ed 📝 | Opinion: Rahul Gandhi and real tests of leadership
It’s easy to point fingers at what’s wrong in the current state of affairs, far more challenging to find solutions and build consensus. As the author writes, quoting Martin Luther King Jr., leadership is about moulding consensus and showing the way. That’s clearly something Gandhi needs to do.
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2Xc20Ih

Interesting: No marginal relief for taxpayers whose taxable income exceeds Rs 5 lakh
A nice analysis on how the tax relief announced does not quite work as expected/announced. Normally these are handled, but it seems the govt (as well as the parliament) never bothered to. Or maybe they didn’t want to. Either way a nice analysis.
ET: http://bit.ly/2tvXPJE


Klips for 21st Feb

National 🇮🇳 | SC finds Anil Ambani guilty of contempt of court
– The matter relates to dues worth ₹550cr that RCom has to pay Ericsson
– The court has given him 4 weeks to make good the payments or face jail
– In a previous hearing, Ambani was able to stay away from the hearing personally due to the work of 2 SC employees who were later suspended
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2tvtI5i

Economy & Business 💰 | 🗣Saudi Prince visit: Aramco in talks with RIL for projects in India
– Aramco already has a stake in the $44bn Ratnagiri refinery, which has to be shifted due to protests from locals
– Interestingly the Prince said that Saudis are looking at ‘investing’ $100bn in coming years in India
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2V8eDlJ

Govt to infuse ₹48000cr in 12 state run banks
– The capital infusion will help 4 banks stay away from PCA and also help a couple come out of it
– The intent of PCA was to ensure that NPA come down before banks can begin lending
– This move however is not likely to help with that
BQ: http://bit.ly/2EmxaFu
PCA: Prompt Corrective Action

GST council differs decision on tax cut for real estate, lottery
– Jaitley said: ‘I have always had an approach of moving as per consensus’ and so the meeting has been delayed to Sunday
BQ: http://bit.ly/2VafO42

Martin Sorrel’s S4 Capital to open operations in India
– India is the 17th country in which S4 is opening offices
– S4, Sorrell’s advertising venture, was started after he was ousted from WPP
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2XcywtL

Tech 📱 | Samsung introduces $1980 foldable phone
– The phone, called the Galaxy Fold, launches for sale in April
– The screen size is 4.3in when folded but when opened it becomes a 7.3in tablet
Techcrunch: https://tcrn.ch/2VbQDyl

Op-Ed 📝 | 🗣Opinion: How Anil Ambani’s RCom Will Pay Ericsson in Four Weeks
The SC has asked junior Ambani to pay his dues to Ericsson in 4 weeks or face jail term. While delay and such tactics have enabled him to push the ball around for more than a year now, Ericsson seems hell bent on seeing him behind bars, as is obvious from their recommendations to the court. Looking at possible options that Ambani has, time is one thing he needs, something which now he does not have. There is more to this story, soon, surely.
Wire: http://bit.ly/2SgHD9g

🗣Report: Murders of Religious Minorities in India Go Unpunished, Report Finds
While we hear a lot about mob lynching and gau rakshaks and related violence very little credible data points exist in terms of such incidents. This is largely because many go unreported or are falsely reported. In a report by Human Rights Watch some rather ‘ugly’ details of what we suspect to be true have emerged. Worth taking a look.
NYT: https://nyti.ms/2Sh7oGm


Klips for 22nd Feb

National 🇮🇳 | 🗣Centre to stop sharing India’s water flowing into Pakistan after Pulwama attack: Nitin Gadkari
– The move is likely to see a sizeable impact only 6 years from now writes the Print, as dams need to be built accordingly
The Print: http://bit.ly/2E1fKwN

Aero India off to muted start
– At 403 exhibitors, the numbers are down 26% from the last event
– A possible reason is the confusion over venue, with Lucknow touted as a likely venue
– The event which kicked off at Yelahanka’s Air Force station in Bangalore, takes place once every 2 years
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2E0Aq8a

Economy & Business 💰 | EPF rate hiked to 8.65%
– This will reduce the surplus to ₹151cr, lowest in 3 years
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2SSn8VD

Bank chiefs say to RBI Governor will not be able to pass on benefit of repo cut, but can discuss
– With low inflation indicators and an eye on spurring growth the RBI cut the repo rate earlier this month to 6.26%
– The move is also seen as an election sop, so as to reduce borrowing costs for individuals
– However, banks seem saddled with ‘other issues’ and are making good on the rate cut that directly impacts their bottom line
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2E1r6B1

Tech 📱 | Apple, Goldman Sachs to jointly test credit card: WSJ
– The card will be linked to Apple’s Wallet app
– Goldman is looking to tap into consumer loans business ‘to offset dips in trading business’, as per WSJ
– The card will first be issued to employees
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2U1eYGI

Op-Ed 📝 | Opinion: Healing touch: providing safety to Kashmiri students
The SC has stepped in to address the issue of Kashmiri students having to flee education institutes fearing or after being attacked. While this is welcome, writes the Hindu, what needs to be questioned is why does the SC have to intervene? HRD minister, Javdekar, himself is in denial mode that such attacks have happened. This isn’t the first time this has happened (pushing the ball into the other’s court: State subject), and relying on SC for such ‘protection’ does not auger well for a democracy.
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2SQ1alS

Interesting: How Many Push-Ups Can You Do? It May Be a Good Predictor of Heart Health
A study says that if you can do 40 you are at a lesser risk than those who can do 10 (eyeroll). While such ‘tests’ are looking for a problem to solve, one must understand that they need to be taken with a pinch of salt. For example, this one, was conducted on firefighters so not sure how it’s relevant to the average Joe (you and me). Still worth a scan, as it probably will become a trend for its simplicity.
NYT: https://nyti.ms/2E2ctxd


Klips for 23rd Feb

National 🇮🇳 | Pakistan army warns India
– Major General Asif Ghafoor sounded the warning at a press conference
– Said will respond with ‘full force’ if attacked by India, but Pak has no intention of ‘initiating war’
– Jaitley responded by saying ‘India will use all instruments at its commands’
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2NmSGgb

Twitter’s Jack Dorsey to give Parliamentary Panel a miss
– Twitter will instead send SVP Privacy Policy to meet the members
– The panel had summoned Dorsey after Twitter sent ‘junior officials’ to a previous hearing
– The panel wants to ensure social media is not ‘misused’ prior to elections
BQ: http://bit.ly/2TdoLMI

Economy & Business 💰 | 🗣Wilful defaults on rise despite new Bankruptcy law
– IDBI has seen almost 100% increase in wilful defaults from ₹3660cr to ₹7381cr in one year
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2IuaEP2

Tech 📱 | Oyo launches operations in Japan
– The hotel/hospitality startup is in aggressive expansion mode, after recently closing a $1bn funding round
– The SoftBank backed startup now has a valuation $5bn
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2TdojOw

Cloud Kitchens: China’s ‘Panda Selected’ gets $50mn from Tiger Global
– The shared kitchen concept is fast catching up, with even former Uber Founder Travis Kalanick indicating his entry
– ‘Panda Selected’ already has 120 locations and works with 800 Chinese food brands
Techcrunch: https://tcrn.ch/2TXGrJs
Original article (SCMP): http://bit.ly/2BQ8P9w
#SCMP or South China Morning Post is an excellent source for news (especially HK and China focused stories)

Sport ⚽️ | IOC to isolate India over Pak visa denial
– India has denied visas to two Pak athletes for an event that has 2 Olympic positions up for grabs
– In a response, the IOC has suspended ‘all Indian applications to host future events’
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2Njqrip

Op-Ed 📝 | Opinion: Warren Buffett Owes Investors More Than a Memo This Year
Few memos are looked forward to and analysed as Warren Buffett’s annual letter to Berkshire shareholders. Buffet could do well to explain recent (creative?) investments in tech, the $104bn cash pile and succession. All matters that the world would love to hear Buffet write about as he nears 90.
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2TcRz8b

Opinion: Indus Treaty: Why India Cannot Afford to Fight Fire With Water
The tweet by Nitin Gadkari didn’t seem like news because it felt like it wanted to be news. The article tries to understand why the manner in which the Indus Treaty is being set aside is a bad precedent.
The Wire: http://bit.ly/2BRoAgh

🗣Interesting: 36 yrs on, Naseeruddin Shah to reprise his role in ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’ sequel
ET Panache: http://bit.ly/2IvM14H
#If you haven’t watched the original, now would be a good time.


Klips for 25th Feb

National 🇮🇳 | Modi launches PM-Kisan scheme in Gorakhpur, transfers money to farmers
– In the first round, money has been deposited into the accounts of 1.01 cr farmers
– Under the scheme, ₹6000 will be given to farmers a year in 3 instalments
BQ: http://bit.ly/2tBWeCg

Economy & Business 💰 | GST rates cut on real estate
– The GST rate for under construction property was cut to 5% from an earlier effective 12%
– Also for affordable housing (upto ₹45L) the rate was cut to 1% from 8%
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2GXMHNA

🗣GVK exercises first right of refusal, picks up additional stake in Mumbai Airport
– GVK increased its stake to 64% by buying out Bidvest’s 13% stake
– The purchase comes amid reports that Adani Group was interested in picking up stake in the airport
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2H3ar2X

🗣Draft e-comm policy: data localization, local registration and more
– As per the draft foreign e-comm players will have to set up local entities if they want to operate in India, which will likely impact Aliexpress, Shein
– The policy also says that anonymised data generated out of sales in India must reside in India and cannot be share with 3rd parties
BQ: http://bit.ly/2tz29bh

Tech 📱 | Microsoft launches HoloLens 2 at $3500
– The AR glasses, focused on enterprises for now, offer twice the field of view to previous generation glasses
Techcrunch: https://tcrn.ch/2H0IKrr

Op-Ed 📝 | Opinion: De-odourising sewage
The problem of urban sewage management is a very real one in India. Sample this: of all the new toilets built under Swacch Bharat Mission only 28% are connected to a sewage system. Where will the rest go? Go figure. As the author says, while elections can be fought over ‘roti, kapda, makaan’ everyone is ignoring the ‘naali’
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2H3czYv

Interesting: What’s in a name? Karachi Bakery finds it’s not Patriotic enough
The famous Karachi Bakery is having to deal with ‘patriots’ who question why the bakery should have such a name. And we all thought that ours was ‘secular’, ‘tolerant’, ‘democracy’.
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2tFt30V


Klips for 26th Feb

World 🌎 | ‘Green Book’ wins Best Picture award at Oscars, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ bags most wins
– ‘Roma’, the movie expected to win the best picture award, won in the best film in foreign language category as also the best director award for Cuarón
All the winners: https://oscar.go.com/winners
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2EuijbY

National 🇮🇳 | Adani wins bids for 5 airports
– He has won bids for Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru
– This makes Adani the biggest pvt player in airports in India but he has limited experience running one
– The winning criteria was revenue per passenger
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2tEHYIZ

Economy & Business 💰 | RBI extends KYC compliance deadline for e-wallets, again
– The deadline was originally on 1st of March but e-wallet companies have faced challenges ensuring compliance
– The biggest challenge is cost as a physical verification is expensive compared to the earlier accepted Aadhaar based e-KYC
– The deadline has been extended by another 6 months
BQ: http://bit.ly/2H39Aza

🗣Jio to soon become largest operator by revenue market share
– The operator’s RMS jumped 15% in December taking it to 29.2%
– Most of the gains have come at the expense of operators other than Airtel, which has been able to largely maintain its RMS
BQ: http://bit.ly/2H1rO4k

Op-Ed 📝 | Opinion: The Correct Prescription
For all likes and purposes selling medicines online is ‘banned’ by a rather random court order. Yet, several e-pharmacists exist and people continue to buy from these. This only represents a part of the murky pharmacy industry from the retail side. What’s murkier is the operation of trade associations that almost encourage cartelization and in effect higher prices for consumers. Worth a read to understand how things work and why the e-pharmacist is always able to give you a 20% discount (minimum)
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2H1v67G

🗣Interesting: India’s War Memorial at Delhi
A War Memorial was inaugurated yesterday by the PM near India Gate in Delhi. A look at the memorial in pictures.
CNN Traveller: http://bit.ly/2tGcwd6


Klips for 27th Feb

National 🇮🇳 | Pulwama aftermath: India launches air strike inside Pak; Islamabad, expectedly, denies terrorist camp hit
– The Foreign Secretary told the media that ‘a very large number’ of militants killed in the attacks, and this is the only official statement
– Pakistan, expectedly, while confirming IAF planes’ entry into Pak airspace, denied that damage had been done
– This is India’s deepest cross-border raid since the 1971 and comes 12 days after the Pulwama attacks
– 5 Indian metros are on high alert
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2ExEvC1
Given sensitivity of the matter, exact details of the exercise are not available officially.
However, here is Reuters’ version, which summaries the entire exercise:
https://reut.rs/2ExChme

Ayodhya case: SC suggests mediation as a possible solution
– The court said that even if there was a ‘1% chance of amicably’ resolving the matter, it should be explored
– The court will pass an order on March 5 to appoint a mediator
– Interestingly, March 5 is the expected date for announcement of Lok Sabha election (1st week of March)
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2SrOjBy

World 🌎 | Kim, Trump meet in Vietnam today
– The meeting is likely to be another step towards ‘denuclearisation’ of North Korea in return for an end to US sanctions
– The first meeting ended in Singapore last year but little progress has been made since then
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2NtJDKB

Australia’s Cardinal Pell convicted of sexual abuse
– The Cardinal who was the Pope’s adviser and considered Vatican’s no 3 was found guilty in Dec of sexually abusing 13 yr old boys
– However, his conviction was made public yesterday, following lifting of a court suppression order
– He’s guilty of 5 charges, each of which carry a 10yr jail term
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2EytTTD

Economy & Business 💰 | 3 more banks out of RBI’s PCA
– This follows another round of capital infusion (‘bank recapitalisation’) by the government
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2XjuC2i
#PCA: Prompt Corrective Action

Op-Ed 📝 | 🗣Opinion: India has called Pakistan’s nuclear bluff again, but Modi cannot become complacent
The air strikes by India have set a few things straight, chief among which is that India will respond if Pak continues to tug the same line of ‘non-state participants’ for its low-cost proxy attacks. However, what happens now is important and Shekhar Gupta does a nice job of listing the points out, as plainly as possible. A good, balanced article.
The Print: http://bit.ly/2Xql9GI

Opinion: An Intruder Undermines India’s Central Bank
The NCLAT’s recent ruling denying lenders the right to declare IL&FS exposure has once again undermined the RBI’s position. This isn’t the first time in recent history that RBI’s position as the true regulator been questioned, writes Andy Mukherjee
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2SuQrbw


Klips for 28th Feb

National 🇮🇳 | IAF pilot in Pak custody as both countries trade blows along border
– India shot down a Pak F-16 that was headed with payload towards India’s military bases
– In the exchange an Indian MIG-21 was lost and the pilot is now in Pak’s custody
– Countries across the world have urged restraint and a de-escalation, however the situation remains tense
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2NzAss6

World 🌎 | Speed not the key in North Korea denuclearisation, says Trump
– Trump met Kim at Hanoi in Vietnam
– Trump also said he ‘very much appreciated that no (nuclear) tests have been conducted’
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2EC7uoz

US, UK, France ask UN to ban JeM Chief Masood Azhar
– The fresh proposal was made to the Security Council on Wednesday
– China is likely to block the move
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2NBTJco

Economy & Business 💰 | 7 more Jet Airways planes grounded
– Jet has been unable to pay dues to lessers and the count of grounded planes is now 13

Tech 📱 | Spotify launches in India
– The music streaming service faces stiff competition in an already crowded music streaming market
Techcrunch: https://tcrn.ch/2NzvlYL

Op-Ed 📝 | 🗣 Opinion: A patchwork approach to GST problems
The appeal of GST was its simplicity and transparency that it was to bring in, maybe even gradually. However, constant tinkering for ‘a sector’s benefit’ and then some more are making it more complicated and opaque. Some very pertinent observation put down by the author. Worth a read.
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2GQx6jT

Interesting: In Beijing, You Have to Win a License Lottery to Buy a New Car
China has some rather interesting rules for limiting cars that come onto the road. Here’s one: you need to win a lottery for getting a number plate. An interesting read, especially given the Indian context.
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2GQTNEl