ECONOMY - 2015 October

October 1

Government infuses Rs. 13,955 crore capital into 8 PSU banks.
Government infuses Rs. 13955 crore capital into 8 Public Sector Undertakings(PSU). Banks have allotted equity shares on preferential basis to the government against capital infusion of Rs. 13,955 crore.
The latest capital infusion is part of government’s programme to infuse a total Rs. 70,000 crore equity into public lenders over four years to 2018-19 to shore up their capital base for meeting Basel norms.
Of this, Rs. 25,000 crore each is marked for 2015-16 and 2016-17 and Rs. 10,000 crore each in 2017-18 and 2018-19.
Bank of India, Canara Bank, Dena Bank, Corporation Bank and Andhra Bank are among the lenders that received capital infusion from the government.
What are PSU?
The government-owned corporations are termed as Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in India. In a PSU majority (51% or more) of the paid up share capital is held by central government or by any state government or partly by the central governments and partly by one or more state governments.

October 2

Radar integration: IAF signs Rs. 8000 crore deal with BEL.
Indian Air Force (IAF) has signed a nearly Rs. 8,000 crore deal with state-run Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for the extension of its programmes integrating all civil and defence radars across the country.
The IAF has already established five nodes of the IACCS (Integrated Air Command and Control System) in the western sector, bordering Pakistan.
Under the proposed expansion phase, four new nodes and ten subnodes will come up. While three nodes will be in eastern, central and southern India, the fourth will be for the strategically important Andaman and Nicobar Island.
The cabinet committee on security has recently cleared the proposal for the Rs. 8,000 crore project. Once the system is in place, the air headquarters will get a composite air situation picture since it will be integrating Air Force, Army, Navy and civilian radars.
Bharat Electronics Limited
Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) was established at Bangalore.
BEL is an Indian state-owned aerospace and defence company with about nine factories, and few regional offices in India.
BEL is one of the eight PSUs under Ministry of Defence. It has even earned the government’s Navratna status.
BEL is the lead integrator of Akash, the Indian-made guided missile air defence weapon system.
Chairman and Managing Director: S.K. Sharma
About IAF
Air Marshal: Arup Raha
US Treasury Department adds India to its FATCA list.
The US Treasury Department has issued a list of 34 countries which includes India with whom it would share information under FATCA (foreign account tax compliance act) regulations.
The pact aims to cover automatic sharing of information on bank accounts and other instruments like mutual funds, insuranceand equities with each other. This is aimed at fighting the black money or unaccounted money.
The announcement comes days after the Narendra Modi in US signed an agreement with the US authorities recently. The anti-offshore tax evasion and black money detention pact was signed between India and the US. The act became operational from September 30th.
Other countries named by the US Treasury Department list include Luxembourg, New Zealand, South Africa and Brazil. The new list includes 16 new countries which were added to the original list of countries with which the US already has the arrangement.

October 3

Google Inc has morphed into Alphabet Inc.
After US markets closed on 2nd October 2015, Alphabet replaced Google as the publicly traded company that will house Google's search and Web advertising businesses, maps, YouTube and its "moonshot" ventures such as driverless cars.
Google's class A shares and class C shares will automatically convert into the same number of Alphabet class A shares and class C shares and start trading on the Nasdaq. The ticker symbols will not change.
Alphabet will be organized like Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA). Each business, including Google, will have its own CEO. They will all report to Alphabet CEO (former Google chief) Larry Page, who has been a longtime admirer of Buffett's managing style.
Page and fellow Google co-founder Sergey Brin are giving up their reins at Google to take over Alphabet. Page will be CEO and Brin will be president of Alphabet.
About Google
Founded: September 4, 1998,
Founders: Larry Page, Sergey Brin
CEO: Sundar Pichai
Headquarters: Mountain View, California, United States
Subsidiaries: YouTube, Songza, DoubleClick, FeedBurner
Titanic’s last lunch menu sells for $88,000 at auction.
An original menu from the last first-class lunch served aboard the ill-fated Titanic has sold for $88,000 to a private collector at an online auction.
The luncheon menu had been saved by a first-class passenger, Abraham Lincoln Salomon, one of only a handful of people who climbed aboard a lifeboat called the “Money Boat” or “Millionaires’ Boat” when the main ship started sinking into the icy waters of the Atlantic.
Facts About the Titanic
The Titanic’s fourth funnel was fake. It was added to make the ship look more powerful and symmetrical.
Not a single engineer, out of the 30, made it off the Titanic: they stayed and kept the power on so others could escape.
It took 73 years to find the wreck of the Titanic.
Kim II-Sung, founder of North Korea, was born on the day the Titanic sank.
A man who survived the sinking of a ship in 1871 was finally able to overcome his fears and decided to sail again in 1912: he died in the sinking of the Titanic.
The movie ''Titanic'' won 11 Oscars, but none for acting.

October 4

India's foreign reserves plunge by over $2 billion.
India's foreign exchange (FOREX) reserves declined by $2.04 billion to $349.97 billion in the week ended September 25, official data showed on 2nd October.
The reserves had risen by $631.5 million to $352.02 billion. The reserves had augmented by $2.35 billion to $351.38 billion.
The FCA constitutes the largest component of INDIA'S FOREX reserves. It consists of US dollars, major non-dollar currencies, securities and bonds bought abroad.
ASCI orders Airtel to stop airing misleading 4G challenge ad.
An view of the consumer complaints regarding Airtel’s 4G ad campaign where the operator challenges subscribers to find a faster network than it’s own and get their lifetime bills paid by Airtel.
The ad campaign was thoroughly scrutinised by the ‘Advertising standards council of India’ (ASCI).
After reviewing the supporting evidence provided by Airtel in its defence, the ASCI found that Airtel’s ads were grossly misleading and ordered the operator to stop airing the TV commercial as well as refrain from publishing the ad in print media from 7th October onwards or raise the issue for further review with ASCI with more supporting evidence.

October 5

Adani Ports inks MoU with L&T for Kattupalli Port Operations.
Adani Ports (Adani) has entered into a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with L&T Shipbuilding (L&T) for evaluating the operations of the port at Kattupalli, Tamil Nadu.
The development comes amid reports that Gautam Adani-led Adani group is likely to take over the operational and management control of L&T Kattupalli International Container Terminal near Chennai to strengthen its presence on the east cost.
The Ahmedabad-headquartered group, which already operates the country’s busiest port at Mundra in Gujarat, has bagged the order with an estimated cost of Rs 4,089 crore with 4-year timeframe for commissioning of the project.

October 6

High Level Anil Baijal Panel suggested Uniform Tax Treatment for CSR Works.
Union Government appointed committee chaired by Anil Baijal, former Union Home Secretary, submitted its report on how to improve monitoring of CSR spending to government.
The panel was set up by the Union Corporate Affairs Ministry to suggest steps to improve monitoring of CSR spending.
The panel in its report recommended uniform tax treatment for all CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities under Companies Act 2013 and leniency towards non-compliant companies in the first 2 to 3 years of the law.
Main Highlights of the Report
It suggests that under the Companies Act, 2013, certain class of profitable entities is required to spend at least 2 percent of their three-year annual average net profit towards CSR activities. The first year of implementation of Companies Act was financial year that lasted from April 2014 to March 2015 and compliance reports would be available by the end 2015.
It says that there should be uniformity in tax treatment for CSR expenditure across all eligible activities. At present, certain activities such as contribution to the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund qualify for exemption.
It also asked to provide further clarity on applicability of section 135, which deals with CSR provisions.
It also says that the leniency may be shown to non-compliant entities in initial two or three years to enable them to graduate to a culture of compliance, since these years would be a period of learning for all the stakeholders. The liberal view can be taken at least for smaller companies, it added.
It says that the government should have no role in monitoring of SCR expenditure by corporate and this should be the job of their respective boards.
It also suggests that government should have no role to play in engaging external experts for monitoring the quality and efficacy of CSR expenditure of companies.
Growth of eight core sectors increased by 2.6 per cent in August 2015.
The Index of Eight Core Industries with base year 2004-05 was released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
As per official figures released, growth of eight core sectors grew by 2.6 per cent in August 2015, as compared to the August 2014. The combined Index of Eight Core Industries stands at 169.6 in August 2015. Its cumulative growth during April to August, 2015-16 was 2.2 per cent.
Eight core sectors of Indian economy are:
Coal, Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Refinery Products (93% of Crude Throughput), Fertilizers, Steel (Alloy + Non-Alloy), Cement.
Union Government reduced domestic natural gas price by 18 percent to 3.81 US dollars per mmBtu.
The Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell of the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas announced that the price of domestic natural gas was slashed by 18 percent to 3.81 US dollars per mmBtu.
It was reduced from 4.66 US dollars per mmBtu on gross calorific value (GCV) basis that had been in force since 1 April 2015.
The new price that came into effect on 1 October 2015 will be operational for six months till 31 March 2016.
Volkswagen puts Polo sales on hold in India.
The Indian arm of German automaker Volkswagen has asked its dealers to keep sales of its popular hatchback Polo on hold.
Responding to a query, a spokesperson for VW in India said that the issue was `engine independent’, and pertained to both petrol and diesel cars. In the last few days, the automaker has been facing severe recrimination globally for tampering with engines to produce better emission results during lab tests. A total of 11 million cars had been fitted with the software, it had said.
Background:
This came after latest Volkswagen emission norms scam.
As a diesel engine of the same family of EA 189 engines is also made in India, VW has said that the engines are also being tested at its headquarters in Germany.
A dealer who did not wish to be named said that a manufacturing problem on a particular batch was the reason for the “stop sale” directive.

October 7

Indian economy expected to weather global volatility, grow at 7.5%: WB.
India is expected to weather global volatility with real GDP growth projected to increase to 7.5 per cent despite a weak export recovery, the World Bank has forecast.
Confirming India as the fastest growing among large economies in the world, the bank in its latest report projects the country to grow by 8 per cent by 2017/18.
With China gradually transitioning into an environment of lower growth, India could durably occupy the top growth spot among large emerging markets
IMF released World Economic Outlook October 2015 Update.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) released World Economic Outlook (WEO) October 2015 Update titled Adjusting to Lower Commodity Prices.
The report projects global growth for 2015 at 3.1 per cent, which is 0.3 percentage point lower than in 2014, and 0.2 percentage point below the forecasts in the July 2015 World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update.
India’s growth Rate: It is expected to strengthen from 7.3 per cent 2015 and last year to 7.5 per cent in 2016. Also, Domestic demand in India is projected to remain strong.
In advanced economies, contagion risks from Greece related events to other euro area economies, while lower than earlier in the year, remain a concern, as do risks from protracted weak demand and low inflation.
India’s GDP to grow at 7.5 percent in 2015: UNCTAD.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) projected that India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow at 7.5 per cent in 2015.
It was revealed by the UNCTAD in its Trade and Development Report 2015 entitled Making the international financial architecture work for development.
As per the report, the growth rate for world in 2015 is expected to remain more or less unchanged from last year, at 2.5 per cent.
Imp Note:
The growth projection for India is in line with recent projections of the World Bank (7.5 %), Fitch (7.5 %) and the RBI (7.4 %) IMF (7.3%)

October 8

Coca-Cola India partners with Paytm to woo consumers.
In a first of its kind, Coca-Cola India has tied up with Paytm and will offer limited period cash-back offers to consumers on purchase of some of its beverages.
This comes at a time when the festive season is round the corner and soft drinks companies pull out all stops to woo consumers to push sales during the lean season.
The company will run this promotion across modern trade outlets on 2 litres, 2.5 litres and 600 ml packs of its beverages -Coca-Cola and Sprite. The firm will be running this promotion across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Southern India.
The cash-back offers will be executed through neck ringer on the packs for these two beverages which will feature unique coupon code to enable consumer to get cash back in their Paytm wallet.
Coco cola headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia
Wipro partners with First Book for book distribution in US, Canada.
Wipro has partnered with First Book to provide new books to children across five cities in the United States and Canada.
Together, Wipro and First Book will distribute 35,000 books to educators and program leaders in 2015, serving kids from low-income families in Jefferson City (Missouri), Atlanta, Houston, East Brunswick (New Jersey) and Edmonton, Canada to tens of thousands of children, according to a company statement.
Germany offers India 2 billion euros for solar energy.
Germany will provide India more than 2 billion euros ($2.25 billion) for developing a clean energy corridor and solar projects, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel .
Modi has made ambitious renewable energy targets a key part of his development agenda and climate change mitigation commitments ahead of a landmark international summit in Paris at the end of this year.
Govt raises import duty on ghee, butter and butter oil.
The Central government has increased the import duty of ghee, butter and butter oil from 30 per cent to 40 per cent to protect domestic dairy industry from steep fall in international prices of milk and milk products.
The rise in duty is in response to the representations made by the domestic milk and dairy product producers. The revised duty will be in force till 31 March, 2016.
Announcing the decision, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that the dairy sector was just one of the several industrial sectors that are approaching the government for protection from slump in global prices.
Bombay HC rules in favour of Vodafone in tax case.
The Bombay High Court has ruled in favour of Vodafone in one of a series of tax cases involving the British telecoms company in India, a decision seen as positive for several other firms fighting similar disputes.
The court backed Vodafone's efforts to oppose a move by tax authorities to add Rs. 8,500 crore ($1.3 billion) to the taxable income of a unit, Vodafone India Services, which provided call centre services to some group companies.
It had initially received a tax claim of about $600 million.
Vodafone, one of country's largest corporate investors, has repeatedly clashed with the authorities over taxes since it bought Hutchison's mobile business in 2007. It was held liable for capital gains tax which authorities say is owed on the deal.
About tax case:
A dispute over a capital gains tax demand worth more than $2 billion related to that deal has yet to be resolved.
Vodafone's treatment, seen by many investors as heavy-handed, had fuelled debate over India's unpredictable rules and regulations.
The Bombay High Court had separately ruled in favour of the group last year in a transfer pricing tax dispute. In that case, income tax office had accused Vodafone India Services of under-pricing shares in a rights issue to its parent, and had demanded tax of about Rs 3,000 crore.
Google launches public transport app in Delhi.
Internet firm Google launched a new app-Delhi Public Transport App-which aims to make it easier for the residents of the national capital to get around on public transport.
The new experimental app will be built into Google Maps and will help users get transit directions easily even when the connection is slow and data is difficult to access, the internet firm said.
Delhi Public Transport app makes the direction and time-table information for Delhi Metro and buses available offline, to help users get information about directions between bus stops and metro routes even when they don't have any net connection.
The app will use the same transit data for DMRC metro, DTC buses, DIMTS (orange) buses and Gurgaon Rapid Metro as that found on Google Maps and available offline for the users.
According to Google, around 2.6 million people travel by Delhi Metro.
Telenor India Launches Free Life Insurance for Subscribers.
Telenor India announced free life insurance cover for its existing 47.55 million as well as potential new customers across its six operating circles.
In a first from a telco in India, Telenor will begin offering life insurance to its new and existing customers, with covers starting from Rs. 5,000 going up to Rs. 50,000, while consumers don't need to pay any premium
New customers can get enrolled with little documentation, and get a cover equivalent to 100 times the value of recharge done on their prepaid number.
New customers automatically get a cover of Rs. 10,000 for two months and subsequently they have to opt in to continue the service.

October 9

Future Group tied-up Patanjali Ayurved.
Retail major Future Group tied-up with Baba Ramdev-promoted Patanjali Ayurved to sell the Patanjali's FMCG products on its stores with plans for joint manufacturing in future.
With this partnership, Patanjali's FMCG products including staples, nutrition, hair care, skin care, dental care and toiletries will now onwards be also sold on Future Group's Big Bazaar, KB's and EasyDay outlets across India.
Moreover, Patanjali is also planning to launch products like pasta, oats, noodles, juices and muesli soon and is targeting to achieve 5000 crore rupees turnover this fiscal.
Note: Yoga guru Ramdev launched his Patanjali group's new brand of noodles made out of wheat named 'Atta Noodles'.
Amazon launches marketplace for handmade goods.
Amazon.com is launching a marketplace for handcrafted goods that will allow customers to buy products made by artisans from more than 60 countries.
The "Handmade at Amazon" website will compete directly with sites like Etsy, which made its name selling handmade goods.
A craft market will extend Amazon's role as a middleman for third-party vendors, which accounts for about 40 per cent of its sales. It recently launched a platform allowing customers to buy 700 home services such as car maintenance, TV wall-mounting and house cleaning.

October 10

June-Sept monsoon season records 14% less rainfall.
The rainfall was 14 per cent lower than normal in the June-September monsoon season, provisional data posted on the website of Indian Metrological Department (IMD).
The IMD office had forecast a 12 per cent rain deficit in the four-month long season.
That makes this the first back-to-back drought in three decades, and only the fourth in more than a century. The scant rains have hit the yields of summer-sown crops, especially in the south of the country.
Background:
Monsoon rains have been below average levels due to El Nino, a weather pattern caused by Pacific Ocean warming that can lead to droughts in South Asia.
Railways doubles reservation quota for senior citizens, pregnant women.
Indian Railways has doubled the reservation quota in sleeper class for senior citizens, female passengers above 45 years and pregnant women.
Accommodation earmarked in sleeper class has been enhanced to four lower berths per coach instead of two as per earlier provision.
There is no change in the number of lower berths earmarked in 3AC and 2AC classes.
The decision was taken in the wake of complaints that if two senior citizens (husband and wife) booked berth under this quota, they are denied this facility despite the fact that they both are senior citizens.

October 11

EPFO to raise maximum insurance cover to Rs. 5.5 lakh.
Retirement fund body EPFO is likely to increase the maximum amount assured under its Employees' Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI) to Rs. 5.5 lakh from the existing Rs. 3.6 lakh.
The proposal to raise the insurance benefit for over six crore subscribers of the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) will be put up for approval of Pension and EDLI Implementation Committee on September 9, as per the agenda of the meeting.
At present, in case of demise of a subscriber after one year continuous service in the same organisation, the nominee gets 20 times of average wage drawn during the past 12 months with 20 per cent bonus on it.
With the wage ceiling of Rs. 15,000 per month, the maximum amount assured works out to be Rs. 3.6 lakh.
Govt launches three mobile-based services for EPF members.
Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya launched three mobile-based services - a Mobile Application, SMS-based UAN (Universal Account Number) Activation and Missed Call service - for the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) members.
"The members would be able to activate their UAN accounts from the comfort of their mobile phones and can also access their accounts for viewing their monthly credits through the passbook as well as view their details available with EPFO.
The app can be downloaded from the EPFO (EPF Organisation) website.
EPFO has already in place a Short Code SMS service through which the members can find out contribution and PF balance, etc. As an extension, now a missed call would provide all these details. This facility is available only to the UAN activated members, so it is expected to promote the UAN activation process.

October 12

Aircel partners Tech Mahindra for Internet-of-Things services.
Aircel has selected Tech Mahindra, a specialist in digital transformation, consulting and business re-engineering, to rollout a comprehensive set of Internet-of-Things (IoT) service offerings, a company statement.
Tech Mahindra is providing the IoT services in association with Aeris Communications, a Silicon Valley-based IoT specialist.
Aircel's strong presence in enterprise market combined with the IoT solutions from Tech Mahindra will give an edge to position it as one of the leaders in machine-to-machine (M2M) and IoT services in India
Govt begins roadshows for NTPC, BEL disinvestment.
The government has embarked on global roadshows at four locations, including the US and the UK, to attract investments for its big-ticket stake sale in the country's largest power producer NTPC and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) that may fetch around Rs. 6,600 crore to the exchequer.
The government already has Cabinet approval for 5 per cent stake sale in NTPC.
Both NTPC and BEL form part of the Basket Two of PSUs, which the DoD had created earlier this year.
Going by the current stock price, 5 per cent stake sale in NTPC could fetch about Rs. 5,200 crore, while in case of BEL offloading 5 per cent may garner Rs. 1,400 crore.
August industrial production hits three-year high, grows 6.4%.
Industrial production grew at a nearly three-year high of 6.4 per cent in August on account of improvement in manufacturing as well as mining activity and better offtake of capital goods.
The factory output had grown by 0.5 per cent in August last year.
Industrial output , measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), was at 4.1 per cent in the April-August period against 3 per cent in the year-ago period, the data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed.
The index grew at 8.4 per cent in October, 2012. After that, it has touched the highest level of 6.4 per cent in August.

October 13

Apple Stores set to enter India; teams up with Croma Retail.
Apple Stores will now officially enter Indian shores in partnership with Tata-owned consumer electronics chain Croma which will host Apple at six locations – five in Croma stores, Mumbai and one in Bangalore – to begin with.
These stores will be opened by Diwali this year.
It should be pointed out that these stores will be different from Apple exclusive stores in India. Apple will not own these stores, but has franchisees who are premium re-sellers. Apple products are sold online via e-commerce portals as well.
About Croma Retail & Apple Stores
Croma has stated that it has 97 stores across the country with 3.8 million customers where as Apple owns more than 460 stores in 17 countries.
The company has significantly increased its retail presence in the country in the past year with five distributors in India.
OnePlus to make phones in India with Foxconn to boost ''Make in India''.
Chinese Smartphone maker OnePlus will partner with Foxconn to make handsets in India.
The phones will be produced at Foxconn's Rising Stars factory at Sri City in Andhra Pradesh. The first batch of smartphones produced in India will be commercially available by the end of this year.
The company said it would produce all models, including the latest OnePlus 2.
The local production is likely to bring down the prices and generate direct employment of over 1,000 full time workers.

October 14

Etihad Airways signed deal worth 700 million US dollars with IBM.
Etihad Airways and IBM announced an information technology deal worth 700 million US dollars for over 10 years. The deal aims at improving the airline’s operations and security.
As per the terms of agreement, about 100 Etihad staff will move to IBM, where they will help in developing and building a new data centre in Abu Dhabi.
The deal also includes IBM's mobile solutions, developed under the Apple-IBM alliance.
About Etihad Airways:
Etihad Airways was founded in 2003 by Royal (Amiri) Decree issued by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. At present, it is the second-largest airline of the United Arab Emirates.
The flag carrier has its head office in Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi.
James Hogan is currently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Etihad Airways.
India inks Rs. 130 crore deal for 194 microlight aircraft.
India signed a Rs. 130 crore deal for 194 microlight aircraft from Slovenian company Pipistrel Aircraft, for use by its National Cadet Corps (NCC), Air Force and Navy.
With the IAF as the lead agency to evaluate, select and buy these 194 planes, the microlight aircraft chosen for the purchase is the Pipistrel Aircraft’s Virus SW80,” and is tentatively christened the ‘Garuda’ in the Indian service.
Background:
At the Defence Acquisition Council meeting chaired by defence minister Manohar Parrikar in July, the nod was given for buying and staggering the microlight aircraft from Slovenian Aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel.

October 15

Tata Housing tied-up with Facebook to sell its affordable homes online.
Tata Housing tied-up with social networking firm Facebook to sell its affordable homes online. For this purpose, Tata Housing launched the new campaign titled Social sell on Facebook.
Through this new campaign Social sell, the company plans to sell around 250 units of its new five-acre residential project in Goa called Goa Paradise. The initiative is in line with the company’s target to generate over 30 percent of its overall sales online in the next five years.
Tata Housing started selling homes online in India in 2013 through its partnership with Google as part of The Great Shopping Festival. Currently, the company has sold around 2000 homes online in the last three years.

Dell Inc acquired EMC Corporation for 67 billion US dollars.
Dell Inc and EMC Corporation signed a definitive agreement under which Dell, together with its owners will acquire EMC Corporation, while maintaining VMware as a publicly-traded company.
This will the biggest tech deal in history with a 67 billion US dollars acquisition of EMC Corp by Dell. The owners of Dell include Michael S Dell, founder, chairman and CEO of Dell, MSD Partners and Silver Lake, the global leader in technology investing.
A valuation for each share of tracking stock of 81.78 US dollars, EMC shareholders would receive a total combined consideration of 33.15 US dollars per EMC share and the total transaction would be valued at approximately 67 billion US dollars.
About Dell Inc:
Headquarters: United States
CEO: Michael S. Dell

Aditya Birla Group makes e-commerce debut with abof.com.
Aditya Birla Group entered the e-commerce space by launching fashion portal abof.com.
Abof.com ('All about fashion') is a one-stop fashion portal for apparel, footwear and accessories for men and women who are discerning customers but not heavy-discount oriented ones.
The portal will offer 7,000 products initially and the company plans to take the total to 20,000 in next few months.
The company said half the products will be from the Group's companies, while others will be sourced externally which will be curated by abof.com.

October 16

Malaysia proposes to invest $30 billion in India.
Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) of Malaysia has proposed to invest $30 billion in urban development and housing projects in India.
Redevelopment of New Delhi Railway Station adjoining area as a mini-smart city is proposed to be taken up with an investment of about $24 billion, an official statement released said.
CIDB also proposed to take up a Green City Project at Garhmukhteshwar in Uttar Pradesh, involving housing and Ganga cleaning projects, with an investment of about $4 billion.

Govt to import additional 2,000 ton of pulses, says Nirmala Sitharaman.
Government will import another 2,000 ton of pulses as part of its efforts to bring down prices, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
This will be in addition to 5,000 ton lying at the ports and another 2,000 ton of pulses that are in transit, she said.
She further said that Price Stabilisation Fund should encourage states to lift pulses stocks from ports.

WPI inflation marginally up at (-)4.54% in Sept.
The wholesale price index (WPI) inflation edged up marginally to (-)4.54 per cent in September as compared to (-)4.95 per cent in August, the government data released showed, with pulses, vegetables and onion turning costlier even as the overall deflationary trend persisted for 11th month in a row.
The WPI inflation has been in the negative zone since November on the back of falling oil prices.
In September last year, inflation was 2.38 per cent.

October 17

Mumbai metro users can recharge their smartcards on Paytm.
Paytm, a leading mobile commerce platform, has tied up with the Mumbai metro to offer online ticketing and recharges on the ‘Paytm platform’.
With this initiative, Paytm has further widened its bouquet of offerings to consumers and added another use case for the Paytm wallet.
With this initiative, Paytm has further widened its bouquet of offerings to consumers and added another use case for the Paytm wallet.
This facility is available across the Paytm app, website and mobile site and is seeing significant traction among the Mumbai travellers. Paytm is also promoting this offer aggressively among their customer base in Maharashtra.

Telecom operators to compensate consumers by Rs. 1 for call drop: TRAI.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of Indian (TRAI) has made it mandatory for telecom operators to compensate consumers by Rs. 1 for call drops with effect from 1 January 2016.
As per new TRAI rules:
The compensation will be limited to three dropped calls in a particular day. It is mandatory for telecom operators to send a message to the calling customer within 4 hours of the occurrence of call drop along with details of amount credited in his account.
In case of post-paid customers, the compensation details of the credit should be provided in the next bill.

Infosys to acquire Noah Consulting for $70 million.
Infosys announced a definitive agreement to acquire Noah Consulting, LLC, a provider of advanced information management consulting services for the oil and gas industry in a $70 million all-cash deal.
This acquisition by Infosys combines Noah’s industry knowledge, information strategy planning, data governance and architecture capabilities with Infosys’ ability to provide technology and outsourcing services on a global scale to oil and gas clients.
The transaction is expected to close before the end of the third quarter of FY 2016, subject to customary closing conditions.
About Noah Consulting:
Noah Consulting helps upstream oil and gas companies, including super majors, independents and oil field service companies plan, architect and deploy information solutions to unlock the value of their oil and gas assets.
Noah’s domain expertise in upstream oil and gas, coupled with their tools, solution accelerators and proprietary methodologies, makes them a leader in driving strategic data management engagements.

Konkan Railway to set up a tunnel technology institute at Margao in Goa.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced that Konkan Railway will establish a tunnel technology institute at Goa's Margao town. The institute will enable training for the technology, which is still not available in India.
The institute, which is first of its kind in the nation, will be established in the honour of former Railway Minister George Fernandes, who is said to be the driving force behind the Konkan Railway. The institute will be called as George Fernandes Institute of Tunnel Technology.
The proposed institute aims at being a depository of knowledge on tunnels and underground structures. The institute will provide training of tunnel technology and consultancy services for tunnels and underground construction.
About KRCL:
Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) was formed in 1990 as company and was incorporated as a public limited company under the Companies Act, 1956, with its headquarters at CBD Belapur in Navi Mumbai.

Union Government increased import duty on wheat to 25% from 10%.
Union Government raised the basic customs duty on wheat to 25 per cent from 10 percent. This increase will be valid till 31 March 2016.
A statement from the Ministry of Finance said that the duty has been raised in view of the continued fall in international prices of wheat and the anticipated adverse impact of increased imports during the first half of financial year 2015-16.
The increase in custom duty will presumably help protect Indian farmers against cheaper imports. International wheat prices have fallen considerably over 2014. The price of wheat in the US was 216 dollars a tonne on 16 October 2015, which was -25.7 per cent of what it was in 2014.
Apart from this, the government also exempted specified biodiesel from central excise duty.
However, its inputs namely, RBD Palm Stearin, Methanol and Sodium Methoxide are chargeable to central excise duty leading to CENVAT credit accumulation.
Central excise duty has been exempted on RBD Palm Stearin, Methanol and Sodium Methoxide used in the manufacture of such biodiesel subject to actual user condition for a period up to 31 March 2016.

First time in eight years fiscal balance turned surplus in August 2015: CGA.
The Controller-General of Accounts (CGA) in the second week of October 2015 announced that India’s fiscal balance turned from deficit to surplus for the first time in 8 years.
Fiscal deficit: difference between revenue and expenditure excluding borrowings- for August 2015 was pegged at -15808 crore rupees that indicates surplus of revenues over expenditure.
The surplus amount in the exchequer is significant due to the fact that the fiscal deficit was 73005 crore rupees during the same period in the previous fiscal-August 2014.
In August 2015, the total expenditure was only 131214 crore rupees against the total revenue of 147022 crore rupees.
The government could achieve surplus due to sharp surge in revenue receipts and decline in its total expenditures.
However, the 15.8 thousand crore rupees surplus was not wide enough to offset the fiscal deficit in the 2015-16 financial year.
Between April and August 2015, the cumulative fiscal deficit was 3.69 lakh crore rupees against 3.97 lakh crore rupees during the same period in 2014.

Insurers oppose Bose panel suggestion to slash distributor commissions.
Insurers have opposed the recommendations of the Bose committee, which has proposed several changes to the current structure of incentives offered to insurance distributors and the product structure of insurance plans.
Some of the recommendations made by the committee include no upfront commission for the investment part of unit-linked insurance products, aligning commissions and capping investment costs in line with other financial products, and removal of lapsation profits accruing to insurance companies.
The high-powered Sumit Bose committee was set up by the Finance Ministry last year to recommend measures to curb mis-selling and rationalise distribution incentives of financial products
He also said that if surrender charges are removed, then life insurance contracts, which are long term in nature, may get converted into short-term contracts as policyholders will tend to surrender the policies, defeating the purpose of long-term life insurance coverage.
Other committees opposed:
Incidentally, the insurance regulator in 2009 had opposed the recommendations of the Swarup committee, which too sought to moderate agency commissions.

Economy to see slow recovery amid global woes, rate cut delays, says BofA-ML.
Indian economy is likely to witness a slow recovery largely due delay in two factors - global revival and lending rate cuts at the domestic front, says a Bank of America Merrill lynch report.
According to the global financial services major, notwithstanding a far more politically stronger government, recovery in the Indian economy would be driven by global turnaround.
The global brokerage firm said that the coming months could see a consumption recovery largely driven by four factors - softer lending rates, public sector salary hikes after the 7th Pay Commission, household savings on lower oil prices and a possible hike in wheat MSP before the early-2017 Punjab and UP polls.
The report noted that lending rate cuts rather than reforms will drive cyclical recovery as reforms typically take 5-10 years to push up growth structurally.
Meanwhile, BofA-ML has also trimmed its growth forecast for India to 5.5 per cent from 6 per cent for the current fiscal, as per the old GDP series.
According to the old series, the base year for calculation of national accounts was 2004-05. The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has now adopted the new series of National Accounts with 2011-12 as base year and subsequently revised the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate to 6.9 per cent in 2013-14 from 4.7 per cent and 5.1 per cent in 2012-13 from 4.5 per cent.
The April-June quarter GDP slipped to 7 per cent from 7.5 per cent in the preceding quarter.

October 18

CBDT looks to connect with taxpayers online in smaller cases.
The Income Tax Department has started a pilot project of using e-mails for sending notices, getting replies as well as carrying out tax assessments in an attempt to make sure taxpayers don't have to visit I-T offices physically in smaller cases.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has identified non-corporate charges at five locations and 100 initial cases for e-hearing.
Five non-corporate charges in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Chennai have been picked up for the pilot project.

BSE implements XBRL-based e-filing of financial results.
Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has moved to XBRL for reporting of financial results by listed companies, as part of its efforts to launch the electronic filing for all relevant disclosures required by the firms under the listing norms.
Background:
Earlier in June, BSE had launched XBRL, an electronic format for communication of business and financial data, for reporting of shareholding pattern by listed firms.
In another first, the stock exchange has launched the XBRL solution for the listing agreement pertaining to financial results

S&P retains India rating, maintains stable outlook.
Indians' low incomes, high government debt and supply constraints are the key barriers to an improvement in the country's sovereign rating, said Standard & Poor's in a release.
S&P retained its lowest investment grade BBB- rating with a 'stable' outlook on India and said it was unlikely to change the rating until at least next year.
The outlook indicates that we do not expect to change our rating on India this year or next based on our current set of forecasts.
S&P expects India to grow at 7.4 per cent in 2015, similar to the central bank's forecast for the fiscal year ending in March.
Note: Besides S&P, Fitch also has a 'stable' outlook on India while Moody's raised it to 'positive' in April.

October 19

Gujarat and Karnataka govt lifts ban on sale of Maggi.
Gujarat Food and Drug Control Authority (FDCA) lifted the ban on the sale of Nestle India's 'Maggi' noodles after the Bombay High Court lifted the nationwide ban on it in August.
The Karnataka government too allowed manufacture and sale of Maggi noodles in the state as it decided to withhold the Centre's directive banning it, saying it lacked clarity.
FDCA had lifted the ban on Maggi in Gujarat during August after the Bombay High Court passed an order to lift the ban across India. We took the decision based on the court order
Background:
The Bombay High Court had lifted the nationwide ban imposed by Indian food regulators on Maggi noodles, and asked its manufacturer Nestle India to go for a fresh test of samples in three independent laboratories across India.
FSSAI proposes keeping junk food out of schools, surroundings.
Food safety regulator FSSAI has proposed restrictions on the sale of junk food items including noodles, chips, carbonated drinks and confectionery items in and around schools.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has come up with its draft guidelines on availability of wholesome and nutritious food in schools to check junk food consumption pattern among children.
Restrict/limit the availability of most common HFSS foods in schools and areas within 50 meters.
Objective: The food safety watchdog said the objective is to restrict/ limit the consumption and availability of most common HFSS food (junk food) like chips, sugar sweetened carbonated & non-carbonated beverages, ready-to-eat noodles, pizzas, burgers and confectionery items.

October 20

Ratan Tata to inaugurate T-Hub, the biggest start-up incubator.
T-Hub, the country's biggest start-up incubator, will be inaugurated by Tata Sons chairman emiritus Ratan Tata on November 5.
The first phase has come up at the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT).
The facility is being set up in collaboration with IIIT Hyderabad, the Indian School of Business (ISB) and the NALSAR University of Law.
While NALSAR would help in intellectual property and related areas, ISB and IIIT would provide business mentoring and technology mentoring respectively.
Phase I coming up at IIIT at a cost of Rs. 35 crore will be spread over 60,000 square feet and can accommodate 400 start-ups by 2017.
The second phase will come up on three acres of land in Raidurgam near Hitec City, the IT hub.
Mahindra & Mahindra launches intra-city logistics portal SmartShift.
Mahindra & Mahindra entered the online space with SmartShift, a digital marketplace aimed at intra-city logistics that will act as an exchange platform for cargo owners and transporters.
It is a natural extrapolation from selling a vehicle to creating a digital marketplace for movement of goods in a manner which creates value.
SmartShift is the first among several startups that the group is incubating in its drive towards digital transformation.
SmartShift will act as an exchange platform for cargo owners and transporters and is presently available as a mobile application (on Android), and has a dedicated website and call centre.
Background:
Transportation presently accounts for 5.5 per cent of the GDP, and intra-city logistics is a significant part of it in value terms.
Indicating the potential market size, she said that Mumbai alone accounts for 6 -7 million transactions a month in intra-city logistics, and there are over 18 lakh vehicles available in the ecosystem across the country.
BSE-listed firms regain Rs. 100 lakh crore market cap mark.
the total market valuation of listed companies at the BSE regained the Rs. 100 lakh crore mark.
The total market capitalisation (m-cap) of BSE listed companies stood at Rs. 1,00,36,165 crore at the end of trade day.
The benchmark BSE Sensex soared 150.32 points to settle at 27,364.92, continuing its winning spree for the third straight session.
The index has now gained over 585 points in the last three sessions.

October 21

Ratan Tata invests in virtual cash start-up Abra.
Abra, a Silicon Valley bit-coin startup, revealed it had raised money from Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata and American Express, as part of its $12-million Series-A funding.
These are the first investments in the crypto-currency world for both American Express and Ratan Tata.
About Bit-coin:
Bit-coin is a system of electronic money, used for buying and selling online and without the need for a central bank.
Bit-coin is also a unit of the bit-coin electronic system of money.
About Ratan Tata’s investments in startups:
Tata has been investing in Indian, as well as international start-ups, for about a year. He has invested in companies such as Ola, Paytm, Snapdeal, Urban Ladder, Bluestone, and CarDekho.
Tata has invested in at least 12 start-ups in the past year. He is also an advisor to private equity firms IDG Ventures, Kalaari Capital, and Jungle Ventures.
About Abra app:
Using the Abra app, users can store digital cash and send money to any smart phone. It uses a network of individuals or businesses earning money by buying and selling digital cash to and from any consumer via the Abra app.

October 22

Japan offers soft loan to India for bullet train project.
Japan has offered soft loan of 15 billion dollars (Rs 90,000 crore) at an interest rate of less than 1 per cent to India’s ambitious first bullet train project viz. Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor along with technology.
In this regard, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has submitted its report to the Union Railway Ministry. In its report JICA has envisaged a reduction in the travel time on the 505 km long corridor between the two western cities to 2 hours from the existing period of over 7 hours.
The report also has mentioned that the bullet train is expected to run at speeds of around 300-350 km/hour.
Japan’s announcement comes in a bid to surpass competition from China and other countries. It also seeks to overcome Japan’s broader push back against China’s involvement in infrastructure development in South Asia over the past several years.
Now, you can mute tabs on Google Chrome.
Google Chrome browser to help the user mute the auto-play sounds or videos while surfing across different sites.
Many a times while we surf through multiple sites the sudden blaring of music or video leaves us perplexed. The user if at a public place or at office is bewildered while he or she tries to hastily search through multiple tabs to find the source of the sound playing on auto mode.
Google Chrome's new option to mute tabs is now easily available with a simple right click on the top left corner of the page, which puts all the auto-play videos or sounds to mute unless you un-mute it again.

October 23

Western Digital to buy SanDisk for 19 billion US dollar.
Western Digital Corporation announced that it entered into a definitive agreement with SanDisk Corporation to buy it for 19 billion US dollar.
Both the Multi National Corporations (MNCs) are based in the USA.
While Western Digital is an industry-leading developer and manufacturer of storage solutions that enable people to create, manage, experience and preserve digital content, SanDisk is a Fortune 500 and company and is a global leader in flash storage solutions.
SanDisk was co-founded by Indian-origin entrepreneur Sanjay Mehrotra in 1988 and has market capitalization worth 13.3 billion US dollars as of June 2015.
Jet Airways loses emissions appeal in UK.
A British judge has dismissed private carrier Jet Airways' appeal against a 15,000 euro fine for failure to comply with the European Union's emissions targets.
The British ruling notice, dated October 12, said that Jet Airways was required to submit carbon allowances to cover 150 tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2012.
Background:
Since 2012, the Europe's Emission Trading System (ETS) stipulates that all aircraft using its airports pay for carbon dioxide emissions.
Jet had argued that the Indian government had asked it not to comply with the scheme.

October 24

BSE suggests compulsory market making for SMEs, start-ups.
To boost liquidity in capital markets, top stock exchange BSE has suggested that market making be made compulsory for all stocks listed in SME segment as also scrips of start-ups to be listed on Hi-Tech platforms.
Apart from stocks listed on SME and Hi-Tech platforms, market making be a must for main board companies having market capitalisation of less than Rs. 200 crore.
BSE has also suggested market making be made compulsory for all corporate and government bonds.

October 25

Singapore's GIC forms JV to invest in India office project.
Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC has formed a 50-50 joint venture with Tishman Speyer to invest in the developer's office project in Hyderabad.
The total buildout for the development, whose final phase is expected to be completed over the next two years, will be 2.5 million square feet.
The deal is one of several by GIC in India this year, including its $300 million investment in a new joint venture with DLF.

SEBI mulls mandatory 'Dividend Policy' for listed companies.
SEBI is mulling making it must for all listed companies to have a stated 'Dividend Policy'.
The move is aimed at helping the investors identify stocks with greater return potential, but the proposed 'Distribution Policy' would not mean forcing the companies to pay the dividend.
Background:
InterGlobe Aviation, which runs the low-cost air carrier IndiGo, has faced criticism from some quarters in recent days upon disclosure in its IPO papers about a dividend payout to the promoters leading to a negative networth for the company.

October 26

NDRF ties up with 30 PSUs to jointly tackle emergencies.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has partnered with about 30 Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) to jointly tackle and mitigate man-made or natural disasters or emergencies.
In this regard, a coordination meeting was held between NDRF and prominent PSUs like ONGC, Air India, GAIL and others involved in the mining and shipping and heavy industries sector.
The maiden meeting was attended by over 40 senior officials from these PSUs for enhancing each other others capabilities for disasters or emergencies.
The first of its kind initiative aimed to ensure efforts for building a good synergy between the government organisations. It will also ensure that two sides can act as one strong unit in case of any king emergency or disasters in case of small or mid-level exigencies.

Sin Tax to be imposed on alcohol, tobacco during GST regime.
Sin Tax has been included under the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) law that will be effective from 1 April 2016. GST is being seen as one of the biggest tax reforms in the country.
Sin tax is an excise tax levied on products and services like alcohol, tobacco and gambling considered bad for health or society.
These additional taxes are also seen as efforts to discourage people from use of such products or services.
This kind of tax is often used by government to attract higher their tax revenues as people generally refrain from opposition to such levies as they are indirect in nature and affect only their end users.

RIL first corporate to sign revised listing pact with BSE.
Reliance Industries became the first corporate to sign the revised listing agreement with the BSE as mandated under the newly introduced Listing Regulation notified by SEBI.
Earlier, the listing agreement was a bilateral agreement between the stock exchange and the company and market regulatory SEBI didn't have regulations on this. Thus each company's agreement with stock exchange could be at variance and lacking the full force of SEBI's rigour.
About Listing Regulation:
On 2 September 2015, SEBI notified the new Listing Regulations, which are effective from 1 December 2015.
As a part of the Listing Regulations, the securities market regulator mandated all existing listed companies to execute a fresh and simplified Listing Agreement with the stock exchange where they are listed, within six months of the notification date.

October 27

India replaced China to emerge as Biggest Gold Consumer in World: Thomson Reuters.
GFMS team of Thomson Reuters released Gold Survey Q3 2015 Review and Outlook.
The survey says that India regained its top position replacing China as the biggest overall consumer of gold in the first nine months of year 2015.
India consumed a total of 642 tonnes of gold in this period, while China is trailing by just 63 tonnes with total consumption of 642 tonnes in first nine month of the year.
It says that jewellery consumption in India increased by 5 per cent year-on-year to an estimated 193 tonnes in Q3 2015, which was the highest quarterly consumption since Q1 2011. Q3 consumption was also the highest third quarter demand since 2008.

Saankhya Labs developed 'Pruthvi' chip to power White-Fi devices.
Bengaluru-based Saankhya Labs Pvt Ltd. announced that it developed a chip, named as Pruthvi, to augment capacities of White-Fi devices.
The Pruthvi-based White-Fi devices will be used by Microsoft to extend the reach of internet services in remote areas of the country.
What is White-Fi technology?
It uses the unused spectrum in frequencies utilised for broadcasting of television signals and use it for the internet. In technology parlance, these unused spectrum spaces are called White Space and thus it is also called TV White Space technology.
The 200-300 MHz spectrum in the white space can reach up to 10 km as compared to current Wi-Fi technology that allows you a range of about 100 metres. The 200-300 MHz spectrum currently belongs to Doordarshan TV channel and isn't used at all.
It can be run on solar power and thus overcome a key hindrance that currently impedes internet service providers, namely the high cost of installation equipment.

Union Govt constituted R.V. Easwar Committee to simplify The Income Tax Act, 1961.
The Union Government constituted R.V. Easwar Committee with a view to simplify the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
The committee will be headed by Justice R.V. Easwar (Retd.), former Judge of Delhi High Court and former President of ITAT.
The members of the committee are V.K. Bhasin, Vinod Jain, Rajiv Memani, Ravi Gupta, Mukesh Patel, Ajay Bahl, Pradip P. Shah, Arvind Modi and Dr. Vinay Kumar Singh.
Union Finance Ministry launched E-Sahyog Pilot Project to facilitate Taxpayers.
The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launched the e-Sahyog pilot project of the Income-Tax Department to facilitate taxpayers by reducing their need to physically appear before tax authorities.
The e-Sahyog project is aimed at reducing compliance cost, especially for small taxpayers.
Highlights of the e-Sahyog project
The objective of e-Sahyog is to provide an online mechanism to resolve mismatches in Income-tax returns of those assesses whose returns have been selected for scrutiny, without visiting the Income Tax Office.
The Income-Tax Department will provide an end to end e-service using SMS, e-mails to inform the tax assesses of the mismatch.
The taxpayers will simply need to visit the e-filing portal and log in with their user-ID and password to view mismatch related information and submit online response on the issue.
The responses submitted online by the taxpayers will be processed and if the response and other information are found satisfactory as per automated closure rules, the issue will be treated as closed.
The taxpayers can check the updated status by logging in to the e-filing portal.

October 28

Tata Trusts, Harvard University announce collaboration
Tata Trusts and Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI) announced collaboration on knowledge creation and capacity building for social and economic empowerment in India.
A key component of the project is the opportunity for budding social entrepreneurs and institutions in India to apply for social innovation grants totalling Rs. 50 lakh that will spur interventions and scale up existing initiatives resulting in greater impact in select geographies.
The 18-month research project titled ‘Livelihood Creation in India through Social Entrepreneurship and Skill Development’ is the first step in this direction, a statement from Tata Trusts said.
Coca Cola's bottling arm Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverage takes over Georgia business in India.
Coca-Cola Co's bottling arm in India, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverage will take over operations of Georgia tea and coffee business in the country.
Announcing a transition of Georgia tea and coffee business from Coca-Cola India, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverage (HCCB) said that it will handle the manufacturing and distribution of Georgia across India with effect from October.
Georgia is the tea and coffee offering from the Coca-Cola Company, while HCCB is the company-owned bottling operations.
With this move, HCCB will expand its existing product portfolio and now offer both hot and cold products to end consumers, the company said in a statement.
Flipkart forays into offline selling world.
Flipkart has forayed into the brick and mortar world to reach out to those segments of the population that are not comfortable with the internet.
The e-commerce major is working towards opening what it calls, an "Assisted E-Commerce Model." Under this model, the company will provide customers an experience zone, where they will be able to get a feel of the product of their choice.
Currently, the offline stores are only selling mobile phones. The customers can touch and feel the phones in designated stores, and the shopkeeper will help the not-so-tech-savvy customers to place their respective order on the Flipkart app.
InterGlobe Aviation's Rs 3,018 crore IPO fully-subscribed in 1.5 days.
IndiGo's parent InterGlobe Aviation 's Rs 3,018-crore initial public offer, the biggest in nearly three years, was over-subscribed by 1.08 times on the second day of the issue.
The IPO received bids for 3,20,48,760 shares against the total issue size of 3,01,22,088 shares, data available with the NSE.
The quota reserved for qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) was over-subscribed 3.69 times.
The portion reserved for retail investors saw 9 per cent subscription and non-institutional investors category was subscribed 2 per cent.
Barclays Bank PLC, Kotak Mahindra Capital Company Limited and UBS Securities India are managing the issue.
IndiGo has a fleet of 98 aircraft and about 75 of them are on operating lease - a business model which has helped it lower costs.

October 29

HCL Technologies acquired CRM services firm PowerObjects for 299 crore rupees.
HCL Technologies acquired PowerObjects, a leading North American provider of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, for approximately 299 crore rupees.
The acquisition will bolster HCL’s global applications business, which offers transformational programs and complex application management for a multitude of clients’ technology landscapes.
The total consideration for the transaction includes contingent payments which are subject to certain financial targets.
About PowerObjects
Founded in 1993, PowerObjects is a professional services firm which is 100 percent focused on providing service, support, education and add-ons for Microsoft Dynamics Customer Resource Management (CRM).
The company won 2015 Cloud Customer Relationship Management Partner of the Year, and has also been a winner of 2012 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner of the Year award.
Freedom on the Net 2015 Report released.
Freedom House, a non-government watchdog, on 28 October 2015 released the Freedom on the Net 2015 report. The report was released on the theme-Privatizing Censorship, Eroding Privacy.
As per the annual report, global online freedom declined for a fifth consecutive year as governments, including some advanced democracies, continue to clamp down on dissidents using social media platforms on the internet.
With respect to India, the report found that freedom on the internet is partly free with a total score of 40 on a 0 to 100 scale with 0 representing the best level of freedom on the net progress and 100 the worst.
Key findings of the report:
Top & Bottom 3 countries: While citizens of Iceland (score-6), Estonia (7) and Canada (16) enjoy the most freedom in the online space, in Syria (87), Iran (87) and China (88) the freedom is sparse.
About the report
The report was prepared by Freedom House with the donations from Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter.
The 2015 ratings reflect the period 1 January 31 December 2014.

October 30

Final norms for foreign reinsurers to open branch offices in India.
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has brought out final regulations for registration and operations of branch offices of foreign reinsurers (excluding Lloyd’s).
It has stipulated that the foreign re-insurer should be in the reinsurance business for at least 10 years and infuse a minimum capital of ₹1,000 crore in the branch office.
The insurance regulator has allowed a level-playing field for foreign reinsurers vis-à-vis GIC Re, the domestic re-insurer.
Insurance Bill
Foreign reinsurers are being permitted to set up branch office in the country following the passage of the Insurance Amendment Bill, 2015.
The regulator said the eligibility criteria for those who wish to open a branch office in India includes a prior approval or an in-principle clearance from the home country regulator at the time of filing the application, net-owned fund of the applicant should not be less than ₹5,000 crore and should have a minimum credit rating from a credit rating agency.
Capital repatriation
Further, the applicant should be registered or certified in a national regulatory environment and with whom the Indian government has signed Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement.
On repatriation of capital, the regulator said, “Any repatriation of the surplus generated by the operations of the branch offices of foreign reinsurers shall be only with prior approval of the Authority.
Get information
The Authority, before granting such an approval, shall obtain all relevant information and satisfy itself that the assets of the branch office are adequate to meet their liabilities.”
The branch office of the foreign reinsurer can retain the core activities such as underwriting, claims settlement and regulatory compliances; and may outsource functions such as back-office servicing, investment, IT, accounts, marketing, human resources, administration and publicity.
Order of priority
The regulator said that every Indian insurer, in order of priority, shall first offer an opportunity to the India reinsurer to participate in its re-insurance business or a foreign reinsurer which maintains 50 per cent minimum retention.
It shall next offer the reinsurance business to foreign reinsurers that maintain 30 per cent minimum retention of business on their books and next to foreign reinsurers operating in Special Economic Zones.
The balance shall then be offered to overseas reinsurers.

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