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#* PM Modi Meets India Inc Amid Global Turmoil: 10 Developments
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's crucial meeting with about 40 captains of industry and leading economists has begun at his Race Course Road residence. They will deliberate on recent developments in the global economy and the opportunities it presents for India.
Here's a 10-point cheat-sheet:
1) This is the PM's second meeting with India Inc in two months and is being held at a time that markets around the globe are turbulent due to a slowing Chinese economy. The Sensex slipped under 25,000 for the first time in 14 months on Monday.
2) The meeting also comes as the US prepares to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. A rate hike in the US could trigger capital outflows from emerging markets like India.
3) At the PM's residence to brainstorm on next steps to revive the economy are business leaders like Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries, Cyrus Mistry of Tata Group, Gautam Adani of Adani Group and Arundhati Bhattacharya of State Bank of India.
4) The agenda for the meeting is 'Recent Global Events - Opportunities for India', with the country better placed among emerging markets in the midst of the global meltdown.
5) But a worried India Inc is also expected to bring up its concerns about the slow pace of reforms and weak GDP numbers.
6) Industry leaders are expected to talk about investment bottlenecks, poor credit growth and the need for more ease of doing business.
7) Sources said the effect of political developments on reforms like the government having to drop the changes it planned to the law to ease land acquisition and its inability to get the Goods and Services Tax Bill through Parliament is also expected to come up.
8) The meeting today begins with an address by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian will make a presentation.
9) The heads of all three industry chambers - Ficci (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry), CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) and Assocham are among those invited for the meet. Representatives from Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) will also attend the meeting.
10) The PM had last met business leaders on June 30 to hear their grievances on issues ranging from high capital cost to ease of doing business and taxation matters.
#* India fires back after Sharif remark, says freeing PoK only issue
India reacted sharply on Monday to sabre-rattling by Pakistani army chief Raheel Sharif, as the NDA government said the only matter to be settled with the neighbouring country was to get back parts of Kashmir under its illegal occupation.
Jitendra Singh, minister of state in the prime minister’s office, made the remark while hitting back at Sharif who called Kashmir the “unfinished agenda” of Partition.
“If there is any subject related to Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan it is how the parts of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) can be again included in India. That means the area, which after 65-66 years, even after being part of Jammu and Kashmir, is under illegal possession of Pakistan,” the minister said.
Read: Pakistan Army chief says ready to respond to enemy's 'misadventure'
Raheel Sharif, earlier in the day, warned India of "unbearable damage" in case of a "long or short" misadventure.
"If the enemy ever resorts to any misadventure, regardless of its size and scale - short or long - it will have to pay an unbearable cost," he said in his address at a special event in Rawalpindi to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1965 war with India.
"Armed forces of Pakistan are fully capable of dealing with all types of internal and external threats, may it be conventional or sub-conventional; whether it is cold start or hot start. We are ready," Sharif said.
Though Sharif did not name India, his reference to “cold start” – a doctrine reportedly developed by the Indian Army for short swift attacks into enemy territory – made it clear who he was referring to.
“Let me reiterate that our armed forces stand fully capable to defeat all sorts of external aggression. If the enemy resorts to any misadventure, regardless of its size and scale, it will have to pay an unbearable cost,” he said.
Sharif reiterated his description of the Kashmir issue as the “unfinished agenda of the Partition in the subcontinent”. The Kashmiri people are allegedly being subjected to “injustice and atrocities” and the Kashmir issue can “no longer be put on the backburner”, he said.
Read: New methods being used to create unrest in J-K: Army chief
In New Delhi, both the ruling BJP and main opposition party, the Congress, panned Sharif for his remarks. BJP secretary Shrikant Sharma described his statement as an “empty boast” and added that it was driven by desperation over Pakistan’s internal crisis as well as “exposure” of its role in sponsoring terrorism in India.
“As far India is concerned, our army has strongly responded to Pakistan army’s provocations in the past, continues to do so during the ongoing ceasefire violations and will do so in case of any future misadventure,” he said.
Terming Sharif’s remarks “belligerent and irrational”, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the only unfinished agenda before the world was to ensure that Pakistan ceased to be a safe haven for global terrorists.
The statements follow days of bickering after the Pakistani government decided to cancel a meeting of its national security adviser with his Indian counterpart, citing New Delhi's refusal to allow an expanded agenda and a meeting with Kashmiri leaders.
India-Pakistan relations are at a low, with the two sides regularly trading fire over the Line of Control in Kashmir in recent months.
On Monday, a civilian was killed and four others were injured in Pakistani shelling along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district.
#* Bihar poll schedule to be announced today: Will aspirational voters think differently?
The Election Commission is all set to announce the poll schedule for Bihar assembly elections on Tuesday. The elections are expected to be held in multiple phases which may begin in mid-October and stretch till November. Last assembly elections in 2010 were held in six phases and continued for 30 days. Results were declared in the following four days. This time the poll schedule could follow the same pattern.
Deciding on the poll schedule is tricky for the Election Commission considering that some big festivals fall in the months of October and November — Dussehra, Lakshmi Puja, Kali Puja, Diwali, and Chatt.
The electoral bugle has already been sounded both by the BJP-led NDA and the grand alliance of the rival secularist parties - RJD-JD(U)-Congress. With the announcement of poll schedule, model code of conduct will be immediately in effect, which necessarily means no official announcements, which may have a bearing on influencing voters mind, can be made till the elections are over.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and PM Narendra Modi. PTIBihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and PM Narendra Modi. PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had four major 'parivartan' rallies in Bihar. He also had two official outings in Patna and Ara, where he announced a number of central schemes for development of Bihar, including a special package of Rs 1.65 lakh crore.
The announcement led to a war of words between the BJP and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Nitish countered PM's offer with a Rs 2.70 lakh crore development plan in the next five years that would include free electricity and drinking water connection in every household.
The expected poll schedule announcement was one of the reasons why Modi government announced the implementation of One Rank One Pension scheme on Saturday. Though the number of ex-servicemen in Bihar is not as huge as compared to states like Haryana, Punjab, Utrakhand, Himachal Pradesh, it gives a big talking point for the BJP in convincing voters that the Prime Minister delivers on his promises.
Recent developments at the Centre and the way campaigning for Bihar elections have shaped up in the state, clearly suggest that these elections will not merely decide who gets to rule the state for the next five years. The results will have a significant bearing on national politics. The Bihar election results will also shape the way in which the Winter Session of Parliament will proceed.
The stakes are high for both Narendra Modi and the rival secularist brigade, notwithstanding the fact that one of the foremost secularist icon and titular head of fractured Janata Parivar, Mulayam Singh Yadav decided to take a separate path and contest Bihar elections on his own. Even before the Samajwadi Party dumped Janata Parivar, it was Sharad Pawar-led NCP which decided to walk out of the alliance over seat-sharing issues.
All eyes are on AIMIM's Asaduddin Owaisi – whether or not he fields candidates. Owaisi had a rousing rally in Muslim dominated Kisanganj, where he had indicated that his party might contest on 25 seats. But there is no official confirmation on that yet. There is a great deal of concern on RJD-JD(U)-Congress camp on Owaisi’s prospective move. The BJP-led NDA is looking at Owaisi's moves with heightened curiosity.
While the nation will be hooked to heat and dust raised during polling in Bihar, Narendra Modi will have to stretch on his physical strength as he would be fasting for 10-days during Navaratri, the time when the campaigning would be at its peak. Will an aspirational Bihar think differently in these elections or will it opt for what Lalu Yadav claims is Mandal Part II?
#* Hundreds of migrants break past police near Hungary border
Hundreds of angry and frustrated asylum-seekers broke through police barricades on Monday near Hungary's southern border with Serbia and began marching north toward Budapest, while Britain and France pledged to take in tens of thousands more refugees to try to ease the crisis.
As European leaders debated how to share responsibility for the more than 340,000 people from West Asia, Africa and Asia who are already seeking refuge, Germany promised to spend billions of euros in extra aid for those already there and those yet to arrive. France weighed whether increased airstrikes against Islamic State militants would help to stem the flow of those fleeing Syria.
But the Hungarian prime minister scoffed at a proposed quota system for refugees in the 28-member European Union, saying it wouldn't work unless Europe first secured its borders.
Read: Migrant crisis: Germany, Austria welcome refugees with candy and toys
Hungary's inability to control the flow of people across its southern border with Serbia was on graphic display Monday. Crowds who had grown tired of waiting for buses at Hungary's first migrant holding center near the border village of Roszke tore down flimsy police tape, advanced down a country road and walked around rows of police trying to block them. Officers offered no resistance as about half of the 500-strong crowd reached the M5 highway that connects Serbia and Hungary. They headed north along the shoulder, raising their arms and chanting "Germany! Germany!"
Police merely walked beside them as a lone helicopter monitored the marchers' progress north as darkness fell. The highway was blocked for nearly 50 kilometers (30 miles) as a precaution.
The move mirrored Friday's surge of people from Budapest toward Austria in a traffic-snarling tactic that forced Hungary to concede defeat and bus thousands to the Austrian border. Germany's rail company said om Monday it had carried 22,000 asylum-seekers over the weekend on more than 100 trains, a number boosted by the fact that Hungary again has dropped visa checks on foreigners buying train tickets for the wealthier countries to the west, particularly Germany.
Following an overnight Cabinet meeting, Germany said it would set aside 6 billion euros ($6.6 billion) to boost aid for asylum-seekers and hire 3,000 more federal police. It also planned to make it easier to build refugee housing and for non-German speakers to hold jobs.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel reflected on what she called "a moving, in some parts breathtaking weekend behind us," when Austria and Germany threw open their borders for thousands of asylum-seekers trying to get out of Hungary. She said all EU countries could help accommodate the families fleeing war and poverty.
Britain and France, seen as less generous than Germany so far, overcame reluctance and stepped up their commitments Monday. British Prime Minister David Cameron said his country would resettle up to 20,000 Syrians from camps in Turkey, Jordan and Syria over the next five years.
"The whole country has been deeply moved by the heartbreaking images we have seen over the past few days," he told Parliament. "It is absolutely right that Britain should fulfill its moral responsibility to help those refugees."
French President Francois Hollande said his country would take in 24,000 refugees over the next two years. To relieve the burden on Germany, he told Merkel that France would take in 1,000 of the migrants who have just arrived from Hungary. Most say they are fleeing the 4-year-old civil war in Syria.Saying France has to target "the causes of these horrors," Hollande announced possible airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria, an idea he previously had resisted. France will send reconnaissance flights over Syria starting Tuesday, he said, and "we will be ready to strike."
Calm returned on Monday to the main Austrian-Hungarian border point, where thousands crossed over the weekend by foot, bus, train and car after complaining of neglect and human rights violations in Hungary and refusing to stay in refugee camps there.
Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann and other EU leaders said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban bungled Hungary's intake of migrants so badly that it left Austria and Germany no choice but to open their borders Saturday.
Orban compared Hungary to a "black sheep" representing a voice of reason in the European flock of countries. He argued that the EU first must focus on security measures to force those from troubled lands to seek asylum in neighboring countries, not in the heart of Europe. He said the current discussions on a new quota to handle 120,000 migrants soon would lead to discussions on hosting millions more.
In a related development, Hungarian defense minister Csaba Hende resigned on Monday. The statement from Orban's government didn't explicitly blame him for failing to complete the construction of a fence along Hungary's 175-kilometer (110-mile) border with Serbia, but it was supposed to be finished last month and remains largely incomplete.
The marchers heading for Budapest and, they hoped, eventually Germany blamed Hungary for their difficult and slow journey.
"They treated us very badly. They left us without tents, without blankets, on the ground ... without toilets for two days. We could not ever bear that," said one Syrian man walking along the highway who would give only his first name, Saadi.
Migrants trying to reach the heart of Europe via Turkey, Greece, the Balkans and Hungary have faced dangers, difficulties and delays on every link of the journey.
Scuffles broke out Monday near the village of Idomeni on Greece's northern border with Macedonia, where police angered a 2,000-strong crowd by permitting only small groups to cross every half hour. Tensions eased only when police permitted larger groups to proceed.
Greek migration minister Yiannis Mouzalas estimated that at least two-thirds of the more than 15,000 travelers stranded on the eastern Aegean island of Lesbos would be ferried to mainland Greece in the next five days. Lesbos bears the brunt of the refugee influx from nearby Turkey, with more than 1,000 arriving daily on small boats in often dangerous conditions.
Germany has an open-door policy for asylum seekers, particularly from Syria, but also wants to send back travelers who are only job-seekers, not war refugees.
In a late-night meeting that lasted until early Monday in Berlin, the German government decided to make it easier to deport people from stable nations such as Montenegro, Kosovo and Albania.
German media reported that five asylum-seekers were injured in a fire Monday in Rottenburg in southwest Germany - three when they jumped from a burning house and two who were treated for smoke inhalation. No cause for the blaze was given, although right-wing militants in Germany have set fire to other properties earmarked for asylum-seekers recently.
Merkel's deputy, Sigmar Gabriel, said integrating newcomers into society would require confronting the fears of native Germans.
"There will be conflicts," the economy minister said. "The more openly we talk about the fact that people are worried, that there's fear in the country and that there may be conflicts will, I think, help us deal with this realistically and confront reality."
#* Bengaluru man kills 3 kids so that he could marry their mother
A Bengaluru man has been arrested for kidnapping and murdering three children -- aged 4, 6 and 8 -- so that he could marry their mother.
Faheem Baig, an electrician who was held on Monday, confessed to dropping the children into a manhole that was overflowing with sewage after picking them up from school.
DCP east N Sateesh Kumar told Hindustan Times that Baig's family had opposed his plan to marry the woman because she already had children. Instead of trying to find a solution, he decided to kill the children.
The woman, identified as Nagina Begum, and Baig lived in the same area, the KG Halli neighbourhood of Bengaluru. The woman's husband had left her a year ago and moved to Hyderbad.
The children -- Sultan, 4, Afreen, 6, and Afnan, 8 -- went missing on August 27 and a massive manhunt was launched for them. But it wasn't until Sunday that the woman revealed her relationship with Baig to the police.
On being questioned, Baig confessed that he had picked up the children from school on August 27. They followed Baig, as he was a regular visitor to their house. That night, he killed them.
#* US Open: Anderson upsets Murray to make first Grand Slam QF
South African 15th seed Kevin Anderson beat British third seed Andy Murray 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (0) in the fourth round of the US Open in New York on Monday to hand the Scot his earliest Grand Slam exit since 2010 and reach the quarter-final of a major for the first time in his career.
The loss ended Murray's run of 18 consecutive major quarter-finals, with Anderson ending his run of seven prior fourth-round defeats in majors. "It was the match of my life," Anderson said. "This is a great accomplishment for me."
Not since a third-round exit in the 2010 US Open had Murray been eliminated so early at a Grand Slam tournament. "That's obviously something that is disappointing to lose because of that. That's many years' work that's gone into building that sort of consistency. To lose that is tough," said Murray, the 2012 champion. "Also to lose a match like that, that was over four hours, tough after a couple of tough matches earlier in the tournament as well, it's a hard one to lose, for sure."
Anderson, 1-5 in prior matches against Murray, fired 25 aces in ending an 0-15 career record against top-10 opponents and his fourth-round hex to book a last-eight date with Swiss fifth seed Stan Wawrinka, the reigning French Open champion. "I'm just so excited to be through," said Anderson. "Beating a guy like Andy, I really feel like I've taken a step forward. It's amazing. I feel like it's a great accomplishment."
Earlier in the day, Wawrinka defeated US left-hander Donald Young 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, at Arthur Ashe Stadium. He dropped his first set of the tournament but reached an eighth quarter-final in his past nine Grand Slams, denying 68th-ranked Young his first Slam quarter-final.
Anderson is the first South African in New York's last 16 since Wayne Ferreira in 2002. He came into the tournament off a third career title at Winston-Salem.
With New York City FC and former England midfielder Frank Lampard watching from the player's box, Murray fell behind two sets and a break, roared back, but ultimately could not win the tension-packed encounter at Louis Armstrong Stadium. "That court is a lot quicker than Ashe," Murray said. "I felt like I was on the back foot quite a lot. Wasn't able to play that offensively."
Murray had 49 winners and 20 unforced errors, but did not make a forehand winner until the last game of the second set. Anderson blasted 81 winners to 57 unforced errors.
Anderson ripped a forehand winner on the final point of the opening tie-break to take the set after 69 minutes, then broke Murray's first service game of the second set on the way to a 5-1 lead. Murray broke back and held and had a break chance in the ninth game, but Anderson saved it and finally took the set on his fifth chance, ripping his 12th ace of the match up the middle.
Murray unleashed a profanity-laced tirade to himself picked up by courtside microphones, unhappy at the time Anderson took for a toilet break. He promptly surrendered a break to open the fourth, sending Murray to his chair ranting.
"You get these grey areas all the time," Murray said between sips from his water bottle. "They just exploit them and you do nothing."
Murray dominated the third set tie-breaker and denied Anderson on two break points in the fourth game of the fourth set on the way to the last tie-breaker, in which Anderson never blinked, winning seven points to none for Murray, to claim the set and the match
Wawrinka answers Young challenge
Young became the first player since Gilles Muller in 2008 to rally twice from two sets down in a US Open, with his record in such situations 0-17 before this week, but he fell to 3-18 against top-10 opponents.
Wawrinka, 30, was upset by Young in a fifth-set tie-breaker at the 2011 US Open, but took the first set on a backhand return winner in the third game. Young, 26, won the second set as the Swiss struggled with the forehand, Wawrinka smashing his racquet to the cement at one stage in frustration.
"Sometimes you don't control yourself. You need to put the pressure out," Wawrinka said. "I played really well after."
"The set was so quick. I wasn't there mentally. Calmed down a little bit. I began to be more aggressive, started moving my feet better."
Wawrinka raced ahead 5-0 in the third set and hung on to finally take the set on a running backhand winner, then opened the fourth set with a break and held to the end.
Swiss second seed Roger Federer, winner of a record 17 Grand Slam titles, defeated US 13th seed John Isner 7-6 (0), 7-6 (6), 7-5 in the last night match at Arthur Ashe Stadium to set up a quarter-final clash against against French 12th seed Richard Gasquet, who beat Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1.
#* Flipkart HR head steps down, to move to an advisory role
Flipkart Ltd’s human resources (HR) head Mekin Maheshwari, one of the company’s earliest senior employees, will give up the position and move on to an advisory role—the latest senior executive level exit at India’s most valuable e-commerce firm.
Maheshwari said he’s planning to work in the non-profit education sector by launching a start-up or join an existing company.
Maheshwari has agreed to continue in his role as chief people officer until Flipkart recruits a new HR head, two people familiar with the matter said, speaking said on the condition of anonymity. The company has already begun hunting for a new HR head, they added.
Since joining Flipkart in 2009, Maheshwari has held several roles, including those of engineering chief and head of Flipkart’s now defunct payments service PayZippy. He was shifted to the position of HR head in January 2014, after the departure of the previous HR chief, Aparna Ballakur.
After taking over the HR role, Maheshwari decentralized the function by hiring HR leaders for key functions such as technology and supply chain.
He designed and installed an improved performance management system, introduced progressive policies for employees such as its adoption programme, and helped hire thousands of people, including some high-profile senior executives.
In the past 20 months, Flipkart has grown more than fourfold in terms of the number of employees to roughly 33,000 people.
“The HR function has evolved into an integral part of growing Flipkart into the company it’s become. We’ve built up the organization at all levels, and the Flipkart senior leadership team, especially, is in a very good shape. It’s a good time to pass the baton. Personally, I’m now excited about doing something in the field of learning for people in age group of 14-25. Another related thing I’m looking at is teaching as a profession. I haven’t decided what exactly yet. It’ll take three to four months of free time after Flipkart,” Maheshwari said.
He will continue to hold a non-operational, advisory role after leaving Flipkart on a full-time basis.
Over the past three months, at least five Flipkart leaders have left the company. These include Ravi Vora, chief executive officer (CEO) of Flipkart’s strategic brands group; chief technology officer Amod Malviya; and engineering head Sameer Nigam. Additionally, the CEOs of two start-ups acqui-hired by Flipkart have also quit. Acqui-hiring is the strategy of buying a company at a low price to hire its staff.
Analysts say the departures of these executives point to a familiar phase that fast-growing start-ups go through over time, especially ones such as Flipkart that are planning to go public. As young companies used to working in a see-as-you-go manner try and evolve into large organizations with established ways of doing things, they need professionals with experience of either having managed such change or with the experience of having worked in large organizations.
Flipkart has hired senior leaders accordingly. The company recruited Punit Soni as product head and Peeyush Ranjan as engineering head over the past two months; both came from Google. They were hired even though the senior tech roles were already occupied by Malviya, Nigam and Chatterjee. In the finance function, Flipkart hired Rajnish Baweja and Sanjay Baweja as finance controller and chief financial officer, respectively, in the second half of last year.
Fipkart isn’t the only start-up to hire a host of new leaders.
Rival Snapdeal run by Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd has also replaced the entire senior management team under its founders, Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal.
Still, the departures of so many senior executives in quick succession was unexpected and may hurt Flipkart’s image as an employer.
“It’s not healthy when so many senior people leave in such a quick time, especially those who’ve been around for several years. When so many senior executives leave, their reportees and their functions, in general, get affected. It will be tough for Flipkart to manage such churn and there is a perception that it has become a tough company to work at,” said a headhunter who has worked with Flipkart in the past. He spoke on condition of anonymity.
Maheshwari disagrees with this assessment and said that Flipkart’s attractiveness as an employer has improved. He pointed to a recent study by headhunting firm Glassdoor.com, which showed Flipkart’s employer ratings have increased. Additionally, Flipkart CEO Sachin Bansal got the highest approval ratings from the company’s employees, compared with the CEOs of other start-ups, according to the study.
“Anecdotally, it is possible that some employees may not be happy with us. But I prefer to go by data. Our latest Glassdoor rating is 3.9 versus 3.2 earlier. Even in our performance management survey, which measures transparency in the way employees are treated, our rating has improved by 15 points. It shows things are moving positively,” Maheshwari said.
#* Glitch In Google Hangouts 4.0 Stops Users From Chatting
Google Hangouts 4.0 is the latest iteration of Google’s messenger app but you might want to hold off updating to it if you haven’t already. Users have reported a glitch in Hangouts 4.0 is preventing them from using the app under certain conditions.
Hangouts 4.0 sports a new simplified design and improved speed. As the app can consolidate multiple accounts, many users go through Hangouts for instant messaging and SMSing for work and play.
The glitch, first reported by Android Police, won’t let you use Google Hangouts unless it can sign into all accounts linked to the app, even if it’s not technically possible. So if your work Gmail or Google Apps account doesn’t allow you to use Hangouts, the glitch will prevent the app from working. This is a problem that has been reported by a number of users since the app was launched last month.
The most obvious solution to this issue is to downgrde to Hangouts 3.3. You can also remove the blocked Google Apps account. If you have admin access to the Google Apps account in question, you can try activating Hangouts for it to remedy the problem.
#* Suresh Prabhu explores possibilities of 'zero accident rate' in Indian Railways with Japan PM
NEW DELHI: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who is on a week long two-nation trip, today met Japanese Prime Minister Sinzo Abe at Tokyo and discussed the possibilities and avenues of technology cooperation between both the countries to achieve zero accident goal in Indian Railways.
Prabhu will also visit South Korea to explore the possibilities of acquiring high speed technology for the Railways' ambitious bullet train project.
While railways is facing an increased number of technology cooperation between both the countries to achieve zero accident goal in Indian Railways.
Prabhu will also visit South Korea to explore the possibilities of acquiring high speed technology for the Railways' ambitious bullet train project.
While railways is facing an increased number of train accident in the recent past, Japan is known for zero accident rate in its rail operation.
Besides, Japan is involved in the construction of Western Dedicated Freight Corridor and railways is in the process of importing 40 high power electric locomotives from it.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has also conducted feasibility study of Mumbai-Ahemedabad high speed corridor for running first bullet train in the in the country.
#* Wait for final OROP order for clarity: Manohar Parrikar
With confusion surrounding who among the retirees will get the benefits of One Rank, One Pension, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday asked all those concerned to wait for the final order, which will "explain it properly". "You have to wait for the final order (on OROP) which will come. Why is there so much excitement till then? The PM has made it amply clear that those who are being allowed to retire through proper procedure will not be (adversely) impacted. You need to wait for the exact wording," he told reporters on the sidelines of an Engineers' Conclave. Manohar Parrikar also clarified that the concept of 'Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) does not exist in the Armed Forces. "In the Armed Forces even if you apply, you may not get voluntary retirement, unlike (in) civilian (service), where you can get it. In the Armed Forces, you can be refused. There are many people who because of health reasons apply and the Armed Forces also want them to retire and, if that happens before the minimum service requirement, then they don’t get pension. "We will explain this properly, no one should unnecessarily create confusion on it," Parrikar said. Parrikar said many things needed to be considered before Rs 8000 crore is sanctioned for implementing OROP. "A lot of things have to be considered before sanctioning Rs 8,000 crore...it is not a matter of Rs 8. There were a lot of issues involved with it, why blame someone? It is very easy to say that give it (money), but when one has to give the money, it is not easy," he said. He was asked whether differences between bureaucracy and the political leadership had delayed the announcement. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had yesterday said those who had had to quit the defence forces prematurely would also be entitled to OROP benefits.