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India will see boom in urbanisation



New Delhi, April 8:India will see a huge upturn in urbanisation while it has ended in the US and Europe, told by Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog  (National Institution for Transforming India).

During his speech at The Taj Luxury Symposium 2017 on Friday, Kant said luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes are doing well in the country.

Talking about digital platforms transforming luxury, he said: “Digital technology is going to bring a lot of immersive virtual reality and that is going to create a vast amount of unique experiences.”

“This will happen because India will see a huge upsurge in terms of e-commerce. India will see 300 per cent growth in the next four to five years in terms of e-commerce transaction.”

According to Kant an e-commerce company needs to spread out into rural areas as well.

“It’s nearing its completion in China. In India, it has just begun. India will see a huge upsurge in urbanisation. The second thing is the middle class is moving to the upper end of the market. India is creating a huge middle class.”

And the middle class, he says, is essentially an aspirational class.

“If you look at UK, the latest cars, perfumes and jewellery… The consumption boom was driven by the aspirational middle class. That is what is going to happen to India in the coming years and that will be driven digitally,” said Kant.

In fact, physical banking in India will be dead in the next five years, he says.

But Umang Bedi, Managing Director – India and South Asia at Facebook, feels that luxury brands are yet to build digital commerce strategy.

“It will take them sometime,” he said.

“The consumer is looking for a real story and looks beyond packaging. They want to know how the product is made, where it is made,” Bedi said.
Wefornews Bureau


Impeachment motion against CJI : Congress says No rules flouted



Tulsi tankha

Congress on Sunday defended its move to impeach Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, saying, in 2009 as many as 75 members of the Rajya Sabha led by Leader of Opposition in the Upper House Arun Jaitley moved impeachment motion of then Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran.

While addressing press Conference Senior advocate and Rajya Sabha member K.T.S. Tulsi said “Leader of Opposition in the Upper House Arun Jaitley, his deputy S S Ahluwalia, Sitaram Yechury (CPM), Amar Singh and several other members had submitted the letter for impeachment motion of Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran to Rajya Sabha Chairman Mohammad Hamid Ansari.”

“No rules has been flouted,” Tulsi added. Senior leader and media incharge of the Congress Randeep Singh Surjewala was also present.

The Congress and other Opposition parties met Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday and handed over a notice for the impeachment of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

This is the first time in the country’s history that an impeachment motion would be moved against the CJI.

Earlier, the Supreme Court sought Attorney General (AG) KK Venugopal’s advice on restraining the media from publishing such “scandalous” stories against the judiciary.

In 2009, the Opposition move followed the return of file — recommending Justice Dinakaran’s elevation to the apex court — by the government to the SC collegium.

The notice of motion had stated “This House resolves that an address is presented to the President for the removal of Justice Daniel Dinakaran, also known as Mr. Justice Paul Daniel Dinakaran Premkumar, from the office of Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court for his following acts of misbehavior…” Thereafter, the notice listed 12 charges.

Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Friday said Chief Justice Dipak Misra has not asserted the independence of the judiciary in the face of pressure by the executive.

Interacting with media over impeachment Motion against CJI, Sibal said: “Democracy can thrive only when the Judiciary stands firm, independent of the executive, and discharges its duty honestly”.

Referring to questions raised by the four senior-most judges of the Apex Court, he stated they themselves believe that the Judiciary’s independence is at threat, alluding to the functioning of the office of the CJI, should the nation stand still and do nothing?

It is pertinent to mention that on January 13, 2018, four of the most senior judges of the Supreme Court held a press conference and assailed the functioning of the Chief Justice of India (CJI), Dipak Misra.

The main allegations related to the opaque workings of the collegium, which selects judges, and flouting of conventions regarding the assigning of cases.

Justice J Chelameswar, second in the Supreme Court hierarchy, flanked by three other judges — Kurian Joseph, Ranjan Gogoi, and Madan Lokur — released a letter sent by them to Chief Justice Misra two months ago.

The seven-page letter said rules regarding the composition of Benches and their strength had of late not been strictly adhered to.

“There have been instances where cases having far-reaching consequences for the nation and the institution had been assigned selectively to Benches without any rational basis for such assignment. This must be guarded against at all costs,” the judges added.

The letter did not disclose specific cases “only to avoid embarrassing the institution but such departures have already damaged the image of the institution to some extent”.

Before releasing the letter, Justice Chelameswar, in whose sunny lawns the media thronged, said, “This is an extraordinary event in judicial history; it is not a pleasure but we are compelled as senior judges to inform the nation so that remedial measures can be taken.”

Sibal further said the Chief Justice of India has misused his position and this amounts to misbehavior.

“The constitution has only one way to rectify it. There is no other way forward than to move for the impeachment of the CJI, and we do so with a very sad heart”, the former Union Minister stated.

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Record 1.75 lakh Indians to go for Haj this year: Centre



Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, File Photo

“… for the first time after Independence, a record 1,75,025 pilgrims from India will go for Haj this year and that too without any subsidy,” Naqvi said at a training camp organised for pilgrims at the Haj House in Mumbai.

Besides, the Minister said, for the first time, Muslim women from India will go for Haj without a “Mehram” (male companion).

“A total of 1,308 women applied for Haj pilgrimage without “Mehram”. All of them have been exempted from the lottery system and allowed to proceed for Haj.”

The total pilgrims this year include 19,000 pilgrims from Delhi, 14,500 from Lucknow, 14,200 from Mumbai, 11,700 from Cochin, 11,610 from Kolkata, 8,950 from Srinagar, 7,600 from Hyderabad, 6,700 from Ahmedabad, 5,550 from Bengaluru, 5,500 from Jaipur and 5,140 from Gaya.

A total of 4,000 pilgrims from Chennai, 3,250 from Varanasi, 2,950 from Guwahati, 2,800 from Nagpur, 2,100 from Ranchi, 450 from Goa, 430 from Mangalore, 350 from Aurangabad and 254 from Bhopal will also visit Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage.

As many as 1,28,002 pilgrims — including around 47 per cent females — will go on the Muslim pilgrimage through the Haj Committee of India while 47,023 will opt for the services of private tour operators.

The Minister said 355,604 applications were received for Haj this year, including 1,89,217 male and 1,66,387 female applicants.

He said at least Rs 57 crore less will be paid to airlines this year even after ending the Haj subsidy. A total of Rs 973 crore will be paid to airlines for 1,28,002 pilgrims.

In 2017, the air fare for 1,24,852 Haj pilgrims totalled Rs 1,030 crore.

The Minister said the Centre is reviving the option of sending Haj pilgrims through the sea route and Saudi Arabia had given a green signal to the move.

“Officials from India and Saudi Arabia are holding discussions on necessary formalities and technicalities so that Haj pilgrimage through the sea route can be started in the coming years.”

Naqvi said for the first time, the choice of embarkation points has also been given to Haj pilgrims, which has received an overwhelming response.


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Modi, Xi to meet in China on April 27-28



PM Modi and Chinese President XI, File Photo

Beijing, April 22 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will have an informal summit meeting in China’s central city Wuhan, which diplomats feel may mark a defining moment in the ties between the two Asian giants.

This was announced by India’s visiting External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi after their bilateral talks.

The top leaders of the two fastest-growing economies will meet on April 27-28.

“As agreed between the two sides, President Xi and Prime Minister Modi will have an informal summit (meeting) from April 27 to 28 in Wuhan, Hubei province,” Wang said.

“We see socialism with Chinese characteristics is entering a new era and India is at a crucial stage of development and revitalisation. It is against this backdrop that President Xi and Prime Minister Modi have decided to hold an informal summit,” Wang announced with Sushma Swaraj standing by his side.

Modi is also slated to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation event on June 8-9 in the Chinese city Qingdao and will hold a bilateral meeting with Xi on the sidelines.


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