Civil Services preliminary exam 2016 results announced

The Union Public Service Commission has announced the list of around 3,000 candidates who have been selected for the second and final stage of India’s annual civil services examination. A list of candidates’ roll numbers have been put up on its website. Less than a third of those who appear for the second round — which comprises of an interview and ‘personality assessment’ — will ultimately end up with a job. They will be placed as high-ranking officers in various central services such as the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign…

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DIESEL PRICE CUT: After Airtel & Idea, Reliance to target IOCL, HPCL, BPCL?

Reliance Industries, which started giving a discount of Re 1 on every liter of diesel sold through its pumps in January, has now started advertising the offer in Kerala. The discount was first noticed in January in North and West Indian towns. The move was, at the time, not taken very seriously by players such as Indian Oil Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, who felt that it was a response to the discounts offered by state-owned companies to promote electronic payment. In the aftermath of demonetization, state-owned players including Bharat Petroleum…

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Pune, Western Maharashtra emerge as air pollution hotspots in India

Air pollution, particularly levels of Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide, rose sharply in towns and cities in Western Maharashtra in 2016, according to data from the National Air Quality Monitoring Programme of India. Though 2016 saw a worsening of air quality across the country, the deterioration was marked and noticeable in Western Maharashtra. Arranged by the levels of Sulfur Dioxide in the air, the top four cities in India belongs to Western Maharashtra, as does six of the top seven. Similarly, for Nitrogen Dioxide, the top three were in Western…

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India Oil, BPCL, HPCL merger will reduce wastage of resources- Fitch

A proposed merger of Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp will reduce inefficiencies across the sector and result in enormous savings, ratings agency Fitch said. It would also create an entity that is better placed to compete globally for resources, and less vulnerable to shifts in oil prices and give it much stronger bargaining power with suppliers, and greater financial clout to secure oil resources it said. Between these three companies, they control nearly 98% of India’s diesel, petrol and LPG market. Most Asian countries have…

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SpiceJet introduces new uniforms for flight attendants, ground staff

SpiceJet said it is giving its staff an image makeover with a “Redder, Hotter and Spicier” new uniform starting today. “The uniforms retain the carrier’s signature red colour largely while incorporating some unique and flamboyant designs to infuse boldness and style,” it said. The new dress code has been created by SHIFT, a design house based in Mumbai. Promoted by the celebrated designer Nimish Shah, Shift has been associated with several industry awards including Vogue India Fashion Fund & Grazia International Next Glam Award. SHIFT’s clients include Sonam Kapoor, Deepika…

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Zero Income Tax up to Rs 4.5 lakh– BUDGET LIVE

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said he is slashing Income Tax paid by individuals by as much as 50% in some slabs. In the starting slab of 2.5-5.0 lakh per year, the income tax rate has been brought down from 10% of income above Rs 2.5 lakh to 5% of income above Rs 2.5 lakh. “If exemption under 80 c (for investments made in mutual funds and insurance up to 1.5 lakh) is utilized, tax will be zero for people with an income up to 4.5 lakhs,” Jaitley said as part…

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Kerala government doctor goes behind the veil to teach Muslim women

A government doctor in Kerala has come under criticism on social media for taking a Polio vaccination awareness class for women from behind a veil. According to local media reports, nearly 100 women participated in the thinly veiled awareness drive conducted by a medical superintendent of the government hospital at Nileswaram in Kasargode district in North Kerala. The area has a high proportion of Muslims, which may have prompted the organizers to hang a curtain between the stage and the audience. Given that curtains are lifted before most stage programs in Kerala, Sunday’s…

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Jet Airways announces Republic Day sale starting Rs 999

Jet Airways has announced a Republic Day sale of air tickets, starting at Rs 999 on certain sectors. The special fares are applicable on tickets booked between January 25 to 29 for select domestic routes and until January 27, 2017 for international travel from India on Jet Airways’ direct flights to London, Amsterdam, Paris and Toronto. The sale is valid only on economy travel on domestic flights, but it includes both economy and business classes on international flights out of India. While international tickets are valid for immediate travel, domestic…

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Wipro buys InfoSERVER, a Brazilian IT outsourcing company

Weeks after acquiring Appirio, Wipro is at it again. This time, it is buying InfoSERVER, an IT services provider focused on the Brazilian market, for $8.7 Mn (Rs 60 cr). Two-decade old InfoSERVER provides custom application development and software deployment services, the company said. It counts some of the largest Brazilian banks as its clients, will help Wipro in expanding its presence in the country’s highly traditional and competitive Banking, Financial Services & Insurance market besides adding invaluable domain and process knowledge on the sector, it added. “This acquisition closely…

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Wipro reports poor third-quarter, outlook for 1-2% growth

Wipro Ltd has reported poor third quarter results. The highlights are as follows. Gross Revenues were 136.9 billion ($2 billion), an increase of 6.4% YoY. Net Income was 21.1 billion, a decrease of 5.7% year on year. Both numbers are below market expectations. The outlook is for a growth of 1-2% in revenue, which is below what the market was expecting and is considered a disappointment. ““Our bold investments in Digital, BPaaS and cloud applications position Wipro as the partner of choice for the Digital businesses of our clients. Digital…

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Idea Cellular – Vodafone merger announcement soon?

Idea Cellular has put off the trimonthly meeting of its board of directors scheduled to take place tomorrow, raising speculation that it may soon announce a merger or deal with Vodafone India. The meeting was supposed to take on-board results  of the telecom operators’ working the three months from October to December. After the meeting, Idea was scheduled to release its quarterly financial results on Monday as well. Both have now been postponed indefinitely, and the new date is yet to be intimated. This has led to massive speculation that the…

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Indian Aviation 2016: INDIGO the big winner, JET Airways, AIR INDIA losers

InterGlobe-owned Indigo turned out to be the big winner in Indian aviation sector in 2016, increasing its domination of the Indian skies relentlessly through the year. It was a good year for Indian aviation as low fuel prices kept fares affordable, leading to a 23% jump in total passengers to 99.9 million; almost 10 cr passengers in the year. Indigo started the year as the biggest airline in India, with a market share of 37% in the first quarter of the year. Its market share rose to 38.4% in the…

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What Demonetization? Godrej Properties sells 300 flats in Pune in 2 months

Godrej Properties said it has sold over 300 out of the 400 apartments put up for sale at its Godrej Greens project in Pune. The sale comes in the backdrop of a slow real estate market complicated by a recent crackdown on ‘black money’ or tax evasion. The crack down was widely seen as throwing the real estate sector into a virtual freeze. The Greens project was launched two months ago, roughly at the same time as Modi announced his anti black money program. The number represents “more than 75%…

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Hindu fighting for Muslim rights alleges religious discrimination by orthodox Muslims

Sreeja Neyyattinkara, one of the state secretaries of Welfare Party in Kerala, has set off a storm among Dalit and Minority activist circles in Kerala by heavily criticizing some orthodox practices among the Muslims of the state. The criticism has come as a surprise as the Welfare Party is largely comprised of Muslim supporters and activists, and was floated five years ago to build a national coalition of minorities and Dalits. Sreeja’s outburst came after she was stopped from visiting her Muslim friend — who had lost her husband — by the…

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Tata Steel acquires Brahmani River Pellets at Rs 900 cr EV

Tata Steel Limited said that it has executed definitive agreements to acquire 100% equity shares of Brahmani River Pellets Limited (BRPL) from Aryan Mining and Trading Corpn Private Limited (AMTC) and other companies in the Moorgate Industries Group (MIG). The transaction is based on an enterprise value of Rs. 900 crores plus closing adjustments and is subject to completion of certain condition precedents including regulatory approvals. The funding for the acquisition will be done from internal cash flows of Tata Steel. The company did not specify how much it was…

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COLUMN: Why it’s hypocritical for Rahul Gandhi to accuse Narendra Modi of taking money from corporates

One of the interesting aspects of the current accusations and counter accusations around the alleged funding of BJP’s 2014 Lok Sabha campaign by corporate houses is the sheer hypocrisy of it. Let’s see why. According to third-party figures, an estimated Rs 23,000 cr was spent by candidates and political parties on the 2014 general election. Assuming that about 40% of this was spent by the BJP and its candidates, the saffron party’s tally comes to around Rs 9,200. The Indian National Congress and its candidates are likely to have spent about Rs…

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BSNL offers email IDs in Hindi and other Indian languages

BSNL has introduced a free e-mail service for its broadband users based on its डाटावन.भारत domain name. As a result, it is possible for a customer to now have an complete email address in Hindi. “It’s now possible in every part of India to have an email address in their own language and communicate in preferred language”, said Anupam Shrivastav, Managing Director, BSNL. “The linguistic email service offered by BSNL will have डाटावन.भारत (DataOne.Bharat) domain and email address will be offered in eight regional languages including Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu, Punjabi,…

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Rahul Gandhi’s gives ‘earthquake evidence’ on Modi

After keeping the nation waiting for 10 days, Rahul Gandhi today dropped his ‘bomb’ on Narendra Modi that he had promised would ’cause an earthquake’. Gandhi said a company based in Uttar Pradesh has written “that Modi has taken money from them multiple times over six months.” Quoting income tax investigation reports, Gandhi said: “They have written that 2.5 cr was given to Narendra Modi on October 31… nine times in six months.” However, the Congress Vice President’s allegations around big corporates paying Prime Minister Narendra Modi crores of rupees…

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NEET 2017 medical entrance exam to be conducted in 8 languages

The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test medical entrance test for academic year 2017-18 will be conducted in eight languages, the government of India said. The decision was taken by the government after consultations with State Governments. The eight languages are Hindi, English, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Assamese, Telugu and Tamil. The language will not impact the candidate’s all India rank. “In addition to this, the candidate qualifying NEET will be eligible for All India quota and other quotas under the State governments/Institutes irrespective of the medium in which exam is taken…

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We need more buses, not Nanos: Union Minister

What India needs are more buses and better public transport and not more cars, said Union Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways & Shipping, Mansukh L Mandaviya. Tata Motors introduced its Nano car within a price bracket of Rs 1.5 lakhs-2 lakhs for middle class buyers. But low-cost cars merely add to the traffic congestion, Mandaviya said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today. “We need to promote research and innovation for devising a sustainable urban road transport model that is suitable for India and should not…

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