Total Pageviews

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Johanna Konta stuns Serena Williams in Opening Round at San Jose Tuesday July 31,2018

Former world number one Serena Williams, who was playing her first match since losing in the Wimbledon final, was sent crashing out of the WTA San Jose tournament in straight sets on Tuesday.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner struggled mightily against the British No. 1 and former winner Johanna Konta who needed just 51 minutes to crush Williams, 6-1, 6-0 in their opening round match.

Williams, who was seeded sixth, managed just nine winners against 25 unforced errors and had her serve broken six times.

She looked nothing like the player that dominated the Tour for decades, winning 72 singles titles and earning more than $86 million in prize money.

Both women were playing their first match since Wimbledon, where Williams finished runner-up to Angelique Kerber and Konta lost in the second round to eventual quarter-finalist Dominika Cibulkova.

Konta won her maiden WTA title at this event in 2016 when it was held in Stanford University, defeating Serena's older sister Venus in the final.

Konta next faces Sofia Kenin, who earned a dominating win over qualifier Veronica Cepede Royg on Monday.

Indian Cricket Teams to Tour New Zealand in Early 2019

The Indian Cricket Team is set to tour New Zealand for limited overs series from late January to mid-February in 2019. Both the men's and women's teams will feature in three T20I double-headers post their respective ODI series.

While the men’s teams clash in a five-match ODI series, the women's teams will contest in the ICC Women's Championship fixtures, which will ascertain seven direct qualifiers (excluding the hosts) for the 2021 Women's World Cup to be held in New Zealand.

To facilitate viewer-friendly timings in India, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) have pushed back the start of all games, except the second T20I, by one hour as per their agreement with India's host broadcaster.

The first and third T20Is will begin at 1:30pm IST, whereas the Auckland fixture will start an hour earlier. All five ODIs between the men's teams will start 8:30am IST.

India A will also be on tour along with the senior side, featuring in four-day matches against Mount Maunganui, Hamilton and Whangarei, and three one-day matches, at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui during the same period.

Apart from India, New Zealand will also be toured by Sri Lanka and Bangladesh either side of the India series respectively. The former will feature in two Tests, three ODIs and a lone T20I and the Tigers are set for a three-match Test series, followed by a three ODIs.

India’s tour of New Zealand FixturesODI Series:
1st ODI: January 23, Napier
2nd ODI: January 26, Mount Maunganui
3rd ODI: January 28, Mount Maunganui
4th ODI: January 31, Hamilton
5th ODI: February 3, Wellington

T20I Series:
1st T20: February 6, Wellington
2nd T20: February 8, Auckland
3rd T20: February 10, Hamilton

2018 India Tour of England First Test @ Birmingham Aug 01-05,2018

So, it’s nearly time. Five Test matches over six weeks and the first of those starts in Edgbaston on Wednesday.


India have been in these parts for over a month now, playing limited overs matches and a token warm-up game, but on the eve of the Test, there is a lot to ponder for the visiting team as far as their composition is concerned.

Historically, India have struggled at Birmingham. The two teams have clashed six times at this venue, with England winning five and one draw in 1986. The added incentive for the hosts of course is to put in a strong performance on a historic occasion as they become the first team to feature in 1000 Tests.

Looking at the last five encounters between the two sides, India find themselves having the upper hand, having won four match (all victories coming on Indian soil). However, in England, MS Dhoni-led Indian team were trounced 0-4 and 1-3 on their last two tours in 2011 and 2014 respectively.

For India to better that dismal record in this series, they will need to ensure they put their best foot forward. And for that to happen, there’s a few problem areas to overcome.

England’s story in Test cricket as they reach 1,000 games

England will become the first team to reach the landmark when they take on India from Wednesday Aug 01,2018

England’s first Test against India will be their 1,000th in all since facing Australia in the first ever Test in 1877

England have played Tests against nine different opponents – Australia, Bangladesh, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the West Indies and Zimbabwe.
Their best winning records, perhaps unsurprisingly, have come against Bangladesh (nine out of 10) and Zimbabwe (played six, won three and drawn three).
The next best is against New Zealand (46.6 per cent) while their 36.8 per cent win rate against upcoming opponents India is in the middle of the pack, just ahead of their 31.2 per cent against old foes Australia.
Pakistan have proved England’s toughest opponents, with just 25 wins in 81 meetings (30.1 per cent).
England’s win percentage dropped from 41.2 in 243 Tests before the second World War to 34 per cent in 756 post-war matches.
In an encouraging return to form, the 2000s was their best decade by winning percentage (42.6) since the 1950s (47 per cent), and they have surpassed that mark again since 2010 with a 43.4 per cent win rate up to the start of the India series.
England’s most successful decade ever was the 1910s, when they won two thirds of their 21 Tests.

England records

  • Most runs: AN Cook 12,145
  • Best batting average: H Sutcliffe 60.73
  • Best innings: L Hutton 364 v Australia, August 1938
  • Most hundreds: AN Cook 32
  • Most wickets: JM Anderson 540
  • Best bowling average: GA Lohmann 10.75
  • Best innings figures: JC Laker 10 for 53 v Australia, July 1956
  • Best match figures: JC Laker 19 for 80 v Australia, July 1956
  • Most five-wicket innings: IT Botham 27
  • Most 10-wicket matches: SF Barnes 7

James Anderson and Stuart Broad lead the way in terms of wickets for England with 540 and 417 respectively.
Ian Botham (383), Bob Willis (325) and Fred Trueman (307) are the other players to break the 300 barrier with England’s all-time leading spinner, Derek Underwood, just outside at 297. Fifteen players in all have taken 200 or more, with 46 reaching three figures.
With a cut-off of at least 2,000 balls bowled, 24 players have bowling averages under 25 and eight have broken under 20, led by George Lohmann with 112 wickets at 10.75 between 1886 and 1896. Anderson’s 27.23 is the best average in the current squad.


Alastair Cook’s record 12,145 Test runs for England is more than 3,000 clear of second-placed Graham Gooch (8,900), and he also has comfortably the most Test centuries – nine clear on 32.
Twenty-two players have scored over 5,000 Test runs for England while 48 have averaged 40 or above, with nine breaking the 50 barrier.
England batsmen have made 856 centuries, including 57 double-hundreds and five triples – Len Hutton against Australia in 1938, Wally Hammond against New Zealand in 1933, Gooch against India in 1990, Andy Sandham against the West Indies in 1930 and John Edrich against New Zealand in 1965.


Monday, July 30, 2018

Citizenship by Investment - All You Need To Know

What is Citizenship by Investment?

Citizenship by Investment or Economic Citizenship is a scheme by which a person becomes a naturalised citizen of another country by investing in that country.
While many countries, including India, offer permanent residency status after a significant contribution to the economy and proof of residency in that country for a number of years, some Caribbean nations, such as Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, and Grenada only require a certain sum of money.

Where did it begin?

The concept of gaining citizenships without residing in a country began in St. Kitts and Nevis. A year after the island nation gained its freedom from the United Kingdom, in 1984, St. Kitts and Nevis began its Citizenship By Investment programme. For $150,000 (₹1.02 crore approximately), a family of four can buy citizenship. The St. Kitts passport affords its citizens visa-free travel to over 130 countries.
In Antigua, it costs $100,000 for a passport, and Dominica and Grenada require $200,000.

Don't other countries have it too?

Yes, but there is a minimum residency period involved. The U.S. has a EB-5 Investor visa programme which requires $1 million, a legitimate business in the U.S., and a Green Card.
The Caribbean nations mentioned above, and certain European countries like Malta and Cyprus, have either very little or no residency requirements.

How do people who have been charged with crimes get citizenship in another country?

In most cases, people gain citizenship before they are charged with crimes. Mehul Choksi applied for Antiguan citizenship in November 2017, and took the oath of allegiance on January 15, 2018. The CBI filed a case against him only after this.
Winsome Group’s Jatin Mehta became a St. Kitts and Nevis citizen in 2013, while the CBI filed a charge sheet against him on June 28, 2018.

Has Mehul Choksi given up his Indian passport? Is this allowed?

India does not allow dual citizenship. It is as yet unclear if Mehul Choksi has given up his Indian passport. Generally, one has to relinquish Indian citizenship if one takes up another country’s citizenship.

India vs England: In Numbers – India’s Dismal Record at Birmingham

2018 Q 1 Results - Central Bank of India(CBI) net loss widens to ₹ 1,522 cr in Q1

Central Bank of India(CBI)’s net loss widened by 74 per cent to 1,522.54 crore in the quarter ended June 30, 2018 due to a more than two-fold spike in provisions for bad loans.

The bank had registered a net loss of 576.76 crore in the April-June quarter of 2017-18, according to a regulatory filing by the bank.

In preceding quarter ending March 2018, the bank had reported a net loss of 2,113.51 crore.
The bank’s income fell to 5,904.82 crore in the first quarter of 2018-19 from 6,870.78 crore in the same period of 2017-18 as core income dropped.

The bank earned an interest income of 5,691.87 crore during the quarter through June, a fall of 8.4 per cent from 6,210.91 crore in the year-ago quarter.

Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) jumped to 22.17 per cent of gross advances by the end of June from 18.23 per cent as on June 30, 2017. In value terms, gross NPAs or bad loans stood at 38,777.66 crore as against 31,398.47 crore.

Net NPAs, however, fell to 10.58 per cent ( 16,086.25 crore) by the end of June quarter, from 11.4 per cent ( 17,407.43 crore) year earlier same period.

The provisioning for bad loans were raised by over two-times to 2,538.14 crore at June-end this year from 1,028.93 crore set aside for the same period of 2017-18.

Overall provisions and contingencies too increased to 2,768.22 crore against 1,269.02 crore.
The return on assets further worsened at (-) 1.85 per cent from (-)0.71 per cent year ago. However, it improved from (-)2.75 per cent in March quarter.

Central Bank of India said for the accounts covered under the provisions of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, it is holding an additional provision of 690.20 crore as on June 30, 2018, in respect of 21 borrower accounts.

“During the quarter, the bank has appropriated the amount recovered in accordance with the resolution plan approved vide order National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). The Bank has appropriated an amount of 76.29 crore recovered in one of the cases, where appeal is pending before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT),” it said.

Provisioning coverage ratio stood at 66.42 per cent as on June 30, 2018 against 54.48 per cent year ago.

Shares of the bank closed 1.26 per cent higher at 72.20 on BSE today

Idukki dam water level nears full; Kerala authorities on alert Monday July 30,2018

With the water level in the Idukki dam nearing its maximum, the Kerala government has put the army, navy, airforce and coast guard on alert to meet any eventuality in case water is released. The water-level touched 2,394.72 feet at one pm today against the full level of 2,403 feet, according to Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA)

The reservoir comprises three dams -Idukki, Cheruthoni and Kulamavu, built for the the Idukki Hydroelectric Project.

The Idukki reservoir’s shutters were last opened in 1992.

This is the first time it would attain full-level during the South West Monsoon period. While Idukki dam is used to store water, the two other dams were meant to route water to the powerhouse.

India's Mango output in 2017-18 seen higher by 8 %

India’s mango production is estimated to be up by 8 % to 21.02 million tonnes in the 2017-18 crop year on higher output by major growing states, according to an official data. Production of mango stood at 19.50 million tonnes in the previous crop year (July-June)

Maximum mango production is projected to be from Uttar Pradesh, followed by Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka during the 2017-18. Mango output in Uttar Pradesh is pegged higher at 4.54 million tonnes in 2017-18 as against 4.34 million tonnes in the preceding year. The production in Andhra Pradesh is estimated at 4.48 million tonnes as against 4.04 million tonnes, while in Karnataka at 1.81 million tonnes as against 1.71 million tonnes in the period under the review.

2018 Q 1 Results - IndiGo Q1 net profit down 97% to Rs 27.8 crore

India’s biggest airline by market share Interglobe Aviation-run IndiGo has reported a 96.6% decline in net profit to Rs 27.8 crore for the period April-June 2018, mainly impacted by adverse foreign exchange, high fuel costs and a competitive fare environment. 

The revenue from operations came in at Rs 6,512 crore for the quarter ended June 2018, implying an increase of 13 .2% compared to the same period last year

Net Profit

IndiGo has reported a 96.6% decline in net profit to Rs 27.8 crore. “Profitability was majorly impacted by the adverse impact of foreign exchange, high fuel prices and the competitive fare environment. Basic Earnings per share was INR 0.72 for the quarter ended June 2018,” IndiGo said in the release. 


Revenue from Operations came in at Rs 6,512 crore for the April-June period, implying an increase of 13.2%. Profit Before Tax ofINR 313 million and Profit After Tax ofINR 278 million for the quarter ended June 2018.

Operating profit

IndiGo reported a EBITDAR of Rs 1,130.1 crore, with EBITDAR margin at 34.1% for the quarter ended June 2018. These figures compare with EBITDAR of INR 1,961.8 crore with EBITDAR margin of 34.1 % for the same period last year.

Total debt

4) IndiGo’s total debt for the quarter ended June-18 stood at Rs 2,521.9 crore. “The entire debt for IndiGo is aircraft related. lndiGo does not have any working capital debt,” the airline said.

Fleet size

IndiGo has a fleet of 169 aircraft including 124 A320ceos, 36 A320neos and 9 ATRs; a net increase of 10 aircraft during the quarter. Notably, the airline operated a peak of 1,157 daily flights including international operations during the quarter

2018 Q 1 Results - Tech Mahindra Q1 net profit up 12.4% to Rs898 crore

IT services firm Tech Mahindra on Monday reported 12.4% rise in consolidated net profit at Rs897.9 crore for the first quarter ended June 2018.

The firm had registered a net profit of Rs798.6 crore in the corresponding quarter of the last fiscal, Tech Mahindra said in a statement.

The consolidated revenue stood at Rs8,276.3 crore in the quarter under review, up 12.8% from Rs7,336.1 crore in the year-ago period, as per Indian Accounting Standards.

Earnings per share (EPS) was at Rs10.12 for the quarter ended 30 June, 2018. The company’s net profit declined 26.5%, while revenue was up 2.8% as compared to the March 2018 quarter.

“The overall business growth trajectory for the FY19 is on track. While business seasonality has affected the current quarter, our ‘run-change-grow’ strategy with strong focus on digital transformation is keeping the business buoyant,” Tech Mahindra managing director and CEO C. P. Gurnani said.

The changing demand landscape for next generation technologies is going to fuel the digital business further, he added.

Gurnani said Tech Mahindra vice chairman Vineet Nayyar has decided to retire. Also, the company has appointed Harshvendra Soin as the firm’s chief people officer.

In dollar terms, Tech Mahindra’s profit grew 6.5% to $131.8 million in the June 2018 quarter, while revenue was up 7.5% to $1.22 billion from the year-ago period.

The company added 13 active clients compared to the trailing March quarter, taking the active client count to 926 at the end of June 2018. Its total headcount was at 1,13,552 people, including 72,462 (software) and 34,700 (BPO).

“We will continue to focus on our journey of margin improvement in FY19; while the global macros, including currency, continue to be volatile, we are working with a multi-pronged approach of enhancing operational efficiencies, embracing new-age delivery, re-skilling and increasing value per employee,” Tech Mahindra CFO Manoj Bhat said

Maharashtra legislature to hold special session on Maratha quota

The Maharashtra government has decided to call a special session of the state legislature to complete the constitutional requirements to give quota in jobs and education to the Maratha community.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday July 29,2018  after holding talks with representatives of the Maratha community, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the state government has requested the state backward classes commission to submits its report as early as possible.

“Once we receive the report, we will call the special session of the state legislature within a month to complete the constitutional formalities necessary to give quota to the Maratha community,” Fadnavis told

Fadnavis also told the representatives of the Maratha community that the government would withdraw cases of minor offences registered against Maratha protesters during last week’s agitation. However, offences lodged for assaulting the police personnel would not be withdrawn, he added.

Electric Vehicles(EV's) - All You Need To Know

Of the many forces shaping the future of urban mobility today are electric vehicles (EVs).
As the name suggests, EVs are those that are powered by electric motors instead of fossil fuel-driven internal combustion engines (ICE). Energy for running the electric motor, in turn, is derived from long-life rechargeable batteries.

In India, Mahindra & Mahindra is the pioneer in the production of EVs.

 Its City Smart car ‘e20Plus’—launched about two years ago—has all the elements to make driving more economical and convenient. Take a look at what makes it the perfect new-age vehicle.

It’s easy to charge

Always thought charging an EV is difficult? Not at all! It’s as easy as running your microwave. All you need any 15 Amp power source, and you are good to go! The e2oPlus comes with an extra long wire to help you charge your vehicle anywhere. Your car is fully charged in six hours, and you can travel for up to 140 km! Don’t have a charging point nearby? Mahindra sales consultants can help you install one in no time.

It’s cost-effective

The e20Plus has a running cost of just 80 p/km compared to ICE vehicles which cost nearly Rs. 4-5/km*. This is excellent news, especially when fuel prices are sky-rocketing by the day. Sample this: for the same money you spend on battery and petrol, you can drive near 100 km in the e20Plus vis-à-vis only 15 km in an automatic petrol hatchback! Self-employed personnel and businesses can also avail 40% accelerated depreciation benefit on the purchase of the e20Plus or eVerito in the first year itself.

It has hi-tech features
Electric cars such as the Mahindra
 e20Plus and eVerito boast of cutting-edge technology. The e2oPlus comes with a state-of-the-art app that can be used to lock or unlock the car, and pre-cool it. Furthermore, the e20Plus and eVerito employ the system of regenerative braking, which means you can charge the car every time you hit the brakes. For instance, the car comes with an emergency feature called ‘REVive’, which activates a reserve charge in case the battery is low on energy. REVive can be activated either from the infotainment cluster or by using the e20Plus app.

It’s hassle-free

An electric car has only 20 moving parts compared to 2,000 moving parts of a petrol or diesel vehicle. This means you don’t need to send it to a service station as often as you do in case of a fuel-powered vehicle. What’s more, the brake pads and rotors of an electric car, such as the e20Plus, last longer owing to regenerative braking. Mahindra also provides remote Diagnostics to ensure the cars are always in best of their health.

It’s easy to drive

The Mahindra e20Plus and eVerito operate without a conventional gear box, which means there is no clutch! Since the vehicle doesn’t have a heavy engine, it provides instant torque, thereby enabling you to zoom with maximum momentum from the very minute you start it. Another feature called the ‘Hill Assist’ prevents the EV from slipping backwards or forwards on a slope. There is also a reverse camera, which allows you to gauge distances and fathom blind spots.

It’s great for the environment

Vehicular emissions—which are made up of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and particulate matter—have a devastating effect on the environment. The e20Plus and eVerito, however, is a zero-emission vehicle, meaning it doesn’t emit such greenhouse gases

Tata Power gets shareholders nod to raise Rs5,500 crore Monday July 30,2018

Tata Power on Monday July 30,2018 said it has got shareholders’ approval to raise up to Rs5,500 crore through issuance of non-convertible debentures on private placement basis.

The company had sought shareholders’ approval at the annual general meeting held last week through a special resolution which was passed by the requisite majority, as per a BSE filing.

The special resolution had stated in the AGM notice that the consent of the company is accorded to the board “to subscribe to cumulative/non-cumulative, listed or unlisted, redeemable non-convertible debentures (NCDs)...aggregating to an amount not exceeding Rs5,500 crore or its equivalent in one or more currencies on private placement basis, in one or more series/tranches”.

Tata Power also got shareholders’ nod for appointment of Praveer Sinha as its CEO and managing director.

According to the notice, the long term borrowings of the company as on 31 March, 2018, were about Rs12,300 crore.

Tata Power said it plans to borrow around Rs5,500 crore within 12 months from the date of passing of this resolution.

The bond/loans will be re-payable in the next 12 months including the loans taken for acquisition of Walwhan Renewable Energy Ltd.

The company also intends to raise Bonds up to Rs2,000 crore to part refinance Coastal Gujarat Power Limited foreign currency loan, if required.

Among the various options for raising such funds, the company may need to raise funds by way of NCDs of up to Rs5,500 crore to meet these requirements, it added.

In March, Tata Power had appointed Sinha as its new chief executive officer and managing director from 1 May. He was then serving as the CEO & Managing Director of Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL).

TPDDL is a public private partnership (Joint Venture) between Tata Power and the Delhi government, supplying power to over seven million people in North and North-West Delhi.

2018 Q 1 Results - Godrej Consumer Products Q1 net up 79.88% at Rs 405.04 crore

FMCG major Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) on Monday July 30,2018 reported 79.88% jump in consolidated net profit at Rs405.04 crore in the first quarter ended 30 June, 2018, driven by strong domestic market performance.
The company had posted a consolidated net profit of Rs225.17 crore in the corresponding period last fiscal, GCPL said in a BSE filing.
Consolidated total revenue from operations during the quarter under review stood at Rs2,476.02 crore. It was at Rs2,271.24 crore in the year-ago period.

The two figures are not comparable as sales for the June 2018 quarter is net of GST, whereas in the year-ago period it was is gross of excise duty.

The company said its board has declared an interim dividend for the year 2018-19 at the rate of Rs2per share.

It has also approved issue of bonus shares in the ratio of 1:2 i.e. one bonus equity share of Re1 each for every two fully paid-up equity share. GCPL executive chairperson Nisaba Godrej said, “We have had a good start to fiscal year 2019 with profitable, ahead of the market growth across most geographies and categories.”

During the quarter, GCPL said its India sales increased by 14% to Rs1,279 crore while the international business saw 9% growth in sales at Rs1,191 crore.

In India, GCPL said its household insecticides posted 17% increase in volume sales, the highest in the last seven quarters, while soaps saw 10% rise and hair colours 12% increase in sales volume.
“In our international business, we saw a recovery in Indonesia, while our performance in Africa was relatively soft,” she added.

On the outlook, Godrej said consumer demand is improving and the company expects this recovery to sustain going forward.

“In India, while we expect both urban and rural growth to improve, rural growth will outpace urban growth on the back of remonetisation, the settling down of the GST implementation and the government’s efforts to stimulate the rural economy,” she said.

Godrej said GCPL is accelerating the pace of innovation with differentiated and unique products and FY19 will be its most active in terms of new launches. “Alongside this, we continue to manage our costs prudently and make competitive brand investments for sustainable future growth,” she said

Supreme Court of India (SCI) tells Dayanidhi Maran to face trial in illegal telephone exchange case Monday July 30,2018

The Supreme Court of India (SCI)on Monday July 30,2018 dismissed former Union telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran’s plea and asked him to face trial in a case connected to the alleged setting up of illegal telephone exchanges to benefit his brother Kalanithi Maran’s Sun TV Network.

Maran had challenged the Madras High Court’s 25 July decision setting aside a CBI court order discharging him in the case.

A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R. Banumathi and Navin Sinha said it was not inclined to interfere in the matter and all the allegations could be dealt with during the trial.

The case relates to when Dayanidhi, a grandnephew of DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, was minister for communications and information technology in the UPA I government. The CBI has alleged he misused his official position and had private telephone exchanges installed at his residences in Chennai.

These were used for Sun Network’s business transactions.

According to the CBI, over 700 high-end telecommunication lines were installed at Maran’s residences in the Boat Club and Gopalapuram areas of the city for which bills were not raised, causing the exchequer a loss of Rs1.78 crore.

Personal loan interest rates, EMIs and charge - All You Need To Know

Personal loans are a way to use tomorrow’s income today, and unlike other loan products such as to buy a house or pay for an education, the process involved is simple.

In fact, if you already have an account with a bank, you would have come across many offers for a personal loan. While these are easy to get, and offer almost instant gratification, you must note that the interest rates are much higher than, say, for a car loan. This is because personal loans are unsecured loans. This means that the loan is not backed by any asset; you don’t have to put up any asset like property or gold to be able to get the loan.

However, the loan amount on offer and its interest rate depend on a few parameters such as your income, credit, repayment capacity, and others.

2018 Q 1 Results - Housing Development Finance Corp(HDFC)Ltd Q1 net profit jumps 54% to Rs 2,190 crore

Housing Development Finance Corp(HDFC)Ltd on Monday July 30,2018  reported a 54% jump in standalone net profit to Rs 2,190 crore for the first quarter ended 30 June, compared to a net profit of Rs 1,424.47 crore in the same period last year.

HDFC’s total standalone income for the quarter increased by 20% to Rs 9,952 crore from Rs 8,289.98 crore a year ago, it said in a regulatory filing. The respective consolidated figures were not provided by the company.

Q1 revenue from operations increased to Rs 9,883.64 crore, as against Rs 8,259.77 crore in the year-ago period.

Moreover, the company’s board approved issuing bonds up to Rs 35,000 crore on a private placement basis. Besides, it has also been allowed to raise up to $1.5 billion by tapping foreign sources through the external commercial borrowing route, HDFC said.

HDFC shares closed at Rs 2,028.05 per share on BSE, down 0.80%. During the day, the stock fell as much as 1.55% to Rs 2,012.70 per share

Sunday, July 29, 2018

2018 Zimbabwe General Election Monday July 30,2018 - Zimbabwe Goes To Polls Today Monday July 30,2018

Voters in Zimbabwe are going to the polls on Monday July 30,2018 in the country’s first election without long-time leader Robert Mugabe’s name on the ballot.

Both parliamentary and regional body polls are scheduled to take place simultaneously

The country’s founding President Mugabe was ousted in a coup in 2017 after almost four decades in power.

The main contenders in the presidential vote are incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa, of the ruling Zanu-PF party, and opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.

Mr. Mnangagwa, 75, has a narrow advantage over his 40-year-old rival, who leads the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

On Monday, Mugabe — who first came to power after independence in 1980 — said he would not vote for his successor.

The country is expecting a high turnout of first-time voters, where the youth vote is expected to be the key. Almost half of those registered are under the age of 35.

There are 5,635,706 voters who have re-registered for the poll as the opposition still harbours doubts about its accuracy.

Hundreds of international observers have been deployed to ensure the vote goes smoothly, but the opposition has repeatedly alleged irregularities in the voter roll

It has been 16 years since EU and US observers were allowed to monitor elections that will take at 10,985 polling stations across the nation.

The observers have expressed concern over the security of ballot papers and voter intimidation mainly in the rural areas.

The election follows decades of repressive rule that has brought severe economic challenges to Zimbabwe, including issues of investment, education, healthcare and jobs.

The unemployment rate is estimated to be as high as 90%

President Mnangagwa, who is known as “the crocodile” for his political shrewdness, has promised to deliver jobs. He has survived several assassination attempts blamed on supporters of Mugabe.

Mr. Chamisa, who became an MP at the age of 25, could become the country’s youngest president if elected.

Mr. Chamisa has promised to rebuild the country’s devastated economy, but been criticised for making extravagant promises — such as the introduction of a high-speed bullet train and bringing the Olympics to Zimbabwe

2018 Tour de France - Geraint Thomas Wins the Tour de France for Team Sky

Geraint Thomas became the third Briton to win the Tour de France when he crossed the finish line in Paris.

The Team Sky rider, 32, follows Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and four-time Tour champion Chris Froome as Britain celebrates a sixth win in seven years.

Alexander Kristoff won the final sprint finish on the Champs-Elysees as Thomas crossed the line arm-in-arm with Froome after three weeks of racing.

He beat Dutchman Tom Dumoulin by one minute 51 seconds, with Froome third.

2018 Atlanta Open Men's Singles Final - John Isner Beats Ryan Harrison To Win Fifth Atlanta Open Title Sunday July 29,2018

John Isner won his fifth Atlanta Open title on Sunday July 29,2018, with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 win over Ryan Harrison to beat the fellow American in the final for the second straight year.

Isner blasted 21 aces and won 75 percent of his first-serve points in the two-hour match.
The eighth-seeded Harrison, who was aiming for his second career ATP title, finished with 10 aces but made three double faults and had his serve broken twice.

Harrison won the first set against Isner after a week of come-from-behind victories. In order to make the final he had to rally from a set down in each of his previous matches.

The 33-year-old Isner earned his second win of 2018 and a record fifth in Atlanta to go with previous wins in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Chris Gayle(West Indies) Equals Shahid Afridi(Pakistan)'s Record For Most Sixes In International Cricket

Chris Gayle smashed five sixes against Bangladesh in the third and final ODI at the Warner Park in St Kitts to become the most number of six hitter in International cricket.

The swashbuckling West Indies batsman, who scored a blistering 73-run from 66 balls equalled Afridi's feat of identical number of sixes.

 Both the batsmen now hold 476 sixes to their name.

Chris Gayle achieved the feat in 443 Matches  while Afridi reached the mark in 524 matches. However, Gayle's power-packed knock on top of the order failed to help West Indies clinch a ODI series victory against minnows Bangladesh -- who won the series 2-1.
 Chris Gayle however can surpass Shahid Afridi to become the most number of sixes hitter when West Indies take on Bangladesh in the first of three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) on Aug 01,2018

The 38-year-old Chris Gayle has played 81 matches less than Shahid Afridi in international cricket. Although, he has played five more innings on his way to the milestone.

Shahid Afridi has hit 351 sixes in ODIs, 73 sixes in T20Is and 52 in Tests. Gayle on the other hand has scored 275 sixes in ODIs, 103 sixes in T20Is and 98 maximums in the longest format of the game.

Meanwhile,M S Dhoni is fifth on the chart with 342 sixes from 504 matches.

On July 29,2006,Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara - broke the record for the biggest partnership in Test cricket

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara - broke the record for the biggest partnership in Test cricket as they simply kept on batting, forcing South Africa into submission, in Colombo.

The pair batted nearly three days for a 624-run stand in Colombo. Jayawardene scored 374 and Sangakkara made 287. South Africa simply couldn't get the better of them. The previous record was also held by a Sri Lankan pair - Sanath Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama - who had a 576-run stand against India

Sri Lanka scored a humongous total of 756/5 after South Africa had been cheaply dismissed for 169.

Muralitharan took 4 wickets in the first innings, and 6 in the second. South Africa did show some fight in the second innings as Jacques Rudolph and Mark Boucher scored fine half-centuries but that was never going to be enough.

Sri Lanka easily won by an innings and 153 runs.

The game will always be remembered for the master-class batting display from the two legends and also two best friends off the field. They decided to bat and simply continued for eternity. It will indeed take a special effort to break this record. 

2018 Bangladesh Tour of West Indies - Bangadesg Squad For the 3-Match T20 Series Announced Sunday July 29,2018

Fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman will return to Bangladesh's squad for a three-match Twenty20 series against West Indies next month, the Bangladesh Cricket Board said on Sunday July 29,2018

Mustafizur missed the T20 series against Afghanistan in June due to a toe injury suffered while playing for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in May 2018

He also missed a Test series in the West Indies but played a vital role in Bangladesh's 2-1 win in their one-day series with five wickets in three matches.

"He looks fully fit now so we did not consider giving him a rest," said chief selector Minhajul Abedin.

Mustafizur replaces Abul Hasan in the squad.

The first match will be held in Saint Kitts on August 1, with Florida's Lauderhill hosting the next two matches on August 4 and 5.

Bangladesh Squad

Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehedi Hasan, Nazmul Islam Apu, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Haider, Abu Jayed, Ariful Haque.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange Faces Expulsion From Ecuador Embassy Hideout in UK

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is likely to be expelled from his hideout at the Ecuador Embassy in London, where he had sought asylum six years ago, after Ecuador President Lenin Moreno said that the Australian should go, according to a media report on Saturday.

Assange, 47, has been living in Ecuador Embassy in Knightsbridge in central London since 2012 when he was granted political asylum.

"I expect (Assange) to lose his asylum status imminently. This means, he will be expelled from the embassy. When this will happen is impossible to say," a source related to the case was quoted as saying by "The Times" newspaper.

The Ecuador President had recently made an statement in Spain that nobody should remain in asylum "for too long".

"I have never been in favour of Assange's activity," Moreno had said at an event in Madrid earlier this week.

"I have never agreed with the interventions in people's private emails in order to obtain information, however valuable it may be, to bring out certain undesirable acts of governments or people, not in that way. There are correct and legal ways to do it," he had said.

An assistant of Assange, a Australian national - who fears being extradited to the US where he is wanted for leaking secretive documents via Wikileaks, has criticised the Ecuador President for ending the asylum status.

The crisis had prompted contingency plans for him to leave in "hours, days or weeks", one of Assange's team member was quoted as saying in the report.

Assange took refuge at the Ecuador Embassy after losing an appeal against extradition to Sweden for questioning on allegations of rape and sexual assault that went to the Supreme Court.

While the Swedish case has since been dropped, Assange is still wanted by Scotland Yard for breach of bail and faces arrest the moment he steps out of the diplomatically immune territory.

Assange had been granted asylum six years ago on the grounds that he feared extradition to America, where he faced a possible death sentence or torture.

Moreno indicated that negotiations with Britain might have resulted in a guarantee that he would not face the death penalty if he were extradited. "What we want is for his life not to be in danger," he said.

This could clear the way for possible extradition of Assange to the US, once the threat of the death penalty is lifted.

Jeff Sessions, the US attorney-general, has made clear that the Donald Trump administration is seeking his arrest.

Meanwhile, Assange's medical condition has been aggravated in the ongoing heatwave in the UK amid growing reports of an increasingly uncomfortable relationship between embassy staff and the man they call "the guest".

Jennifer Robinson, Assange's lawyer in London, said that she met him earlier in the week and remained concerned for his health.

She said: "It's an untenable situation. He's under a huge amount of pressure. If they do remove his protection, we will go to the courts to protect him.

"We are preparing to defend him in the British courts and will fight extradition to the US. We don't have any indication of time frame. This is a very serious situation, one that we are very concerned about. It's a matter for Ecuador, the UK, the US and Australia."

2018 Pakistan General Election Wednesday July 25,2018 - Extremist, Banned Groups Draw Blank in Pak Polls

Extremist and banned groups, including Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-backed Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek, have been rejected outright by the Pakistani voters in the just-concluded general elections whose final results were announced on Saturday July 28,2018 by the election commission.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), not a single candidate of the Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek party, supported by the banned Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) chief, could win a seat.

The ECP results show the party candidates got just 171,441 votes, just a drop in the ocean when compared with more than 100 million registered voters and more than 50 per cent turnout in the polls.

Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf emerged as the single largest party in the general elections, winning 116 National Assembly seats out of the contested 270 parliamentary constituencies, the ECP said.

The little-known Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek party name was adopted after the ECP rejected Saeed's bid to register Mili Muslim League.

Tehreek-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), another party with clear sectarian mindset, had fielded more than 150 candidate at the National Assembly seats and hundreds more on provincial assemblies.

The party got 2,191,679 votes and just two of its candidates were elected for the Sindh provincial assembly, the ECP results showed.

The TLP is representative of Sunni Brailvi sect, the largest in Pakistan, and also believes in Sufi Islam.

The party lately exhibited signs of aggression when the its supporters laid siege to the capital Islamabad last year.

The party, however, has not been involved in any kind of terrorism in Pakistan or beyond its borders.

The parties propagating moderate Islam had contested the polls from the platform of Muttahida Majlis-e-Aml Paistan (MMAP).

They got 13 seats while getting 2,530,452 total votes. MMAP is the fifth biggest party in term of total votes, while TLP followed it at number six, according to the results.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Sami (JUI-S) got only 24,559 votes, it added.

Rejection of JUI-S' candidates is significant as its head is Maulana Samiul Haq, known as godfather of Taliban and his seminary is called as 'University of Jihad'.

There were other religious parties contesting the polls and they also fared poorly.

While Tehreek-i-Laibak Islam got just 68,022 votes, Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen Pakistan of Shiites received 9,606 votes. Sunni Ittehad Council got 5,939, the ECP said.

Pakistan faced a great deal of criticism both from the international and local media and human rights groups as well as political leaders for having hundreds of individuals with clear links to extremists openly campaigning in the election.

The voters of Pakistan have rejected the candidates with ties t extremist or banned groups and scuttled their move to join mainstream politics.

Iran Woos Local Investors as US Sanctions Loom, Currency Falls

Iran plans to offer price and tax incentives to private investors to take over idle state projects and help boost the economy, state media reported on Saturday July 28,2018 , as the country faces likely US sanctions and the exit of many foreign companies.

In May 2018  the United States pulled out of a multinational deal to lift sanctions against Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear programme, and Washington has told countries they must halt all imports of Iranian oil from November 4 or face US financial measures.

The new Iranian plan, along with action against alleged financial crime, appears to be aimed at easing concern over the US decision.

The probable return of sanctions has triggered a rapid fall of Iran’s currency, protests by bazaar traders usually loyal to the Islamist rulers, and a public outcry over alleged profiteering.

The plan will offer attractive prices and flexible terms as well as tax holidays for investors who agree to take over some of the 76,000 government projects which are unfinished or idle, Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri said on state television.


The sanctions start to come into effect in August but some European companies investing in Iran and with big US operations have already announced they will pull out of business deals with Tehran.

The Iranian rial plunged to a record low against the US dollar on the unofficial market on Saturday July 28,2018. The dollar was offered for as much as 97,500 rials, compared to about 85,500 a week ago

The currency has lost more than half of its value this year because of a weak economy, financial difficulties at local banks and heavy demand for dollars among Iranians who fear the effects of sanctions.

Palestinian Teen Ahed Tamimi (17) Who Struck Israeli Soldier Released from Jail Sunday July 29,2018

Israel released from prison on Sunday July 29,2018 Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi (17) who was jailed late last year after she was filmed kicking and slapping an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank.

Ahed Tamimi became a heroine to Palestinians after the December 15 incident outside her home in the village of Nabi Saleh was streamed live on Facebook by her mother and went viral. She was 16 at the time.

Ahed Tamimi faced 12 charges, including aggravated assault, and in March plead guilty to a reduced charge sheet that included assault.

Ahed Tamimi was sentenced to eight months in jail.

An Israel Prison Service spokesman said Ahed Tamimi had left the Sharon prison and was enroute to the West Bank, where her family are veterans of protests against an Israeli settlement near their home.

Palestinians want the West Bank for a future state, along with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Most countries consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be illegal, something Israel disputes.

Iraqi Prime Minister Suspends Electricity Minister After Country Faces Severe Power Cuts Sunday July 29,2018

Iraq's prime minister has ordered the suspension of the country's electricity minister over a power crisis and poor service.

Haider al-Abadi made the announcement on his Twitter account on Sunday July 29,2018
رئيس مجلس الوزراء الدكتور حيدر العبادي يأمر بسحب يد وزير الكهرباء على خلفية تردي خدمات الكهرباء ولحين اكمال التحقيقات
PM Al-Abadi orders the suspension of the Electricity Minister due to poor performance of the sector

He says the suspension of Qassim al-Fahdawi will last until an investigation is concluded. He didn't elaborate.

Vice President M Venkaia Naidu Visits Hospital to Enquire About Karunanidhi's Health Sunday July 29,2018

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday July 29,2018, visited a private hospital to inquire about the health condition of DMK chief M Karunanidhi.

Naidu said doctors informed that Karunanidhi's condition was stable

"Visited Kaveri Hospital and met former Chief Minister Thiru Kalaignar Karunanidhi. Met his family members and doctors and inquired about his health. Doctors said he is stable. Wish him a speedy recovery," Naidu tweeted.

Last night, the hospital had said, "Karunanidhi's health condition continues to remain stable with ongoing active medical support. He is continuously being monitored and treated by the panel of expert doctors in the ICU."

Amid US Sanctions Threat, Iran's Rial Hits Record-low of 100,000 to the Dollar

Iran's currency hit a record low on Sunday of 100,000 rials to the dollar amid a deepening economic crisis and the imminent return of full US sanctions.

The unofficial rate stood at 102,000 rials by midday, according to Bonbast, one of the most reliable sites for tracking the Iranian currency.

The rate was confirmed by a trader who spoke on condition of anonymity to AFP.

The rial has lost half its value against the dollar in just four months, having broken through the 50,000-mark for the first time in March.

he government attempted to fix the rate at 42,000 in April, and threatened to crackdown on black market traders.

But the trade continued with Iranians worried about a prolonged economic downturn turning to dollars as a safe way to store their savings, or as an investment in the hope the rial will continue to drop.

With banks often refusing to sell their dollars at the artificially low rate, the government was forced to soften its line in June, allowing more flexibility for certain groups of importers.

The handling of the crisis was one of the reasons behind last week's decision by President Hassan Rouhani to replace central bank chief, Valiollah Seif.

The currency collapse was encouraged by the US announcement in May that it was pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal, that lifted certain sanctions in exchange for curbs to Iran's atomic programme.

The US is set to reimpose its full range of sanctions in two stages on August 6 and November 4, forcing many foreign firms to cut off business with Iran.

India's Smriti Mandhana Equals Record for Fastest Women's T20 Half-century of All Time

India's Smriti Mandhana smashed 50 in just 18 balls playing for Western Storm against Loughborough Lightning in the KIA Super League to equal the record for the fastest women's T20 half century in women's cricket.

Mandhana, the first Indian to play in the KIA Super League (England's flagship T20 tournament for women), finished with a score of 52 off 19 balls in a rain-hit match. She hit 5 fours and 4 sixes in her innings, getting to her half century with a six.

India's Smriti Mandhana now holds the record along with Sophie Devine of New Zealand

India's Smriti Mandhana had even come close to scoring the fastest half century in KSL history in her debut match against Yorkshire Diamonds in a successful run chase, but was dismissed for 48 off 20 balls. Earlier in 2018, she had hit a 50 off 25 balls against England which bettered her own personal record (50 off 30 balls) set against Australia, just a few days before the match against England.

India's Smriti Mandhana  has amassed 857 runs in 40 T20Is (with a high score of 76) and 1464 runs in 41 ODIs (with a high score of 135) since making her debut in both formats five years ago

National Register of Citizens (NRC) of Assam - All You Need To Know

Six months after 3.29 crore people applied for inclusion of their names in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) of Assam and 1.90 crore were included in the first draft which was published on December 31, 2017 a few more crores of people in Assam will be eagerly looking forward to the publication of the second part of the draft NRC on July 30,2018

The final draft of NRC, which was supposed to be announced on June 30 was postponed. The release was put off due to heavy rains in parts of the state.

The new date for release of the data was finalised after a Supreme Court of India (SCI) hearing. Now, the draft will be published on Monday July 30,2018 at 9:45 am.

what is NRC and why is it much talked about?

The NRC is a record of all the legal citizens of a state. The first NRC was created in 1951 following the Census of the same year. It was basically a serialised list of houses and property holdings in every Indian village, with the number of people residing in them along with their names. The government then instructed the records to be stored and archived in the offices of the Deputy Commissioners and Sub-Divisional Officers. In the 1960s, the NRC data was handed over the police. However, by the 1980s, there had been demands in Assam to update the list.

Close on the heels of the anti-illegal foreigners' movement in Assam in 1980, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Assam Gana Parishad in 1980 submitted a memorandum to the Centre, seeking the ‘updation’ of the list. The move was aimed at protecting the indigenous culture of Assam from illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

The idea was to update all the names on the electoral rolls up till 1971, or their descendants, and also those names that had been included in the initial NRC of 1951 so that the updated NRC for Assam would reflect its true population.

What makes it relevant now?

After a series of litigations, the Supreme Court, in a judgment dated December 17, 2014, fixed a timeline to update and publish the NRC and stated that it will monitor the process. This process is coming to a culmination now. The Supreme Court had fixed June 30 as the date to publish the final draft of the NRC. However, the state wants an extension because of the floods.

What is the problem with this judgment?

The first draft of the NRC, which was released in January 2018, listed only 1.9 crore people as citizens out of the 3.9 crore people who had filed the NRC application. The updated NRC will count only those as Assam citizens who can prove their residency on or before March 21, 1971. This means that all those not included in the list run the risk of being rendered, illegal immigrants.

The government has not yet announced any concrete plans about what it wishes to do with those who are not identified as indigenous citizens. The NRC updation collides with the proposed Citizenship Amendment 2016 Bill by the BJP-AGP alliance in Assam, which seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus living in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

What makes the minority so apprehensive of the NRC?

The 1951, NRC had led to fears expressed by Assamese national leaders who suspected that the NRC was a post-partition conspiracy by Pakistan to effect a demographic change in Assam. Assam is not new to the influx of migrants.

From 1826 to 1947, there was a continuous inflow of migrant workers to Assam fuelled by the British who preferred cheap labour to work in tea plantations. They were from present day Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, parts of Bihar, Odisha, Telangana, and others.

Then after the 1971 the Bangladesh Liberation movement, Muslims from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in a bid to escape atrocities fled here along with Muslim families.

Will the people whose names do not figure in the final NRC be automatically regarded as illegal migrants or foreigners? What will be their fate?

All those whose names are not there in the draft NRC will get another chance at appealing to the NRC authorities. But those who do not have their names in the final NRC either, will be deemed as not a citizen of the country. They will have to fight the battle in the foreigners tribunals to prove themselves as Indians.

However, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has clarified that one need not be scared as it is only a draft NRC. Singh had stated that even after the NRC was finalised, there was no question of putting anyone in detention centers as they could appeal before the Foreigner’s Tribunal.

Adding heft to this, even Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said, “If someone's name does not appear in the complete draft, he or she is not to be considered a foreigner. Public should be clearly explained the process of claims and objections after publication of the NRC.”

How is citizenship in India ascertained?

Eligibility of Indian citizenship is being ascertained on the basis of the NRC compilation of 1951 and electoral rolls up to 1971. In the absence of electoral rolls, other documents up to March 24, 1971, can also be submitted. These usually include documents such as the land tenancy records, citizenship certificate, permanent residential certificate, and passports

In case of an applicant born after 1971, documents pertaining to their family members can be submitted with additional documents proving the relationship such as birth certificate.

What clarification has the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights sought from India?

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has sought clarification from New Delhi about the fate of the individuals whose names will be excluded from the updated NRC.

In an eight-page letter to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on June 11, the UN agency sought detailed information on the steps taken by the Centre to ensure that the substance and implementation of the NRC update complies with India’s obligations under international human rights laws and standards. “In particular, please provide details on steps taken to ensure that the NRC update does not result in statelessness or human rights violations,” the letter called out.

So, will this mean that Assam is now staring at a logistical nightmare with the need for more new jails, new courts, etc?

The issue with the NRC process is that each and every individual who do not appear in the final list will have a chance to appeal against the decision. Close to 33 million residents of Assam applied for inclusion in the registry, of which about 12.8 million applicants are not yet on the list.

But for that, there needs to be more courts. Looking at Assam’s population, they are indeed looking at a logistical nightmare.

Complexity of the problem doesn’t cease to complicate as Muslims and Hindus of Bengali origin make up nearly 45 per cent of Assam’s population, more than ethnic Assamese, which triggered tensions about losing their cultural and linguistic identity to a ‘migrant population’. The other issue is also that most of the tribal population here register themselves with tribal identity and not as Assamese.

When an appeal goes the other way, then the case can be taken up to the Supreme Court but even then Assam also stares at an increasing number of detention centers too to accommodate the people who would stand a chance to lose their cases.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake strikes the Indonesian island of Lombok Sunday July 29,2018

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake on Sunday July 29,2018 struck the Indonesian island of Lombok, a popular tourist destination next to Bali, killing ten people and injuring 40 others

The quake hit Lombok island early in the morning at 6.47 am when many people were still sleeping and damaged dozens of single-story houses. Even though tremors were felt in Bali, which is about 200 km away, there was no damage or casualties.

The epicentre was located 50 km north-east of the city of Mataram on the island of Lombok, which has a population of 3,19,000.

Around 43 quakes were recorded after the initial 6.4 magnitude tremor. The largest aftershock was recorded at 5.7 magnitude, said Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency

2018 Cambodian General Election - Voters headed to the polls in Cambodia Sunday July 29,2018

Voters headed to the polls in Cambodia on Sunday July 29,2018  in an election Prime Minister Hun Sen is expected to easily win, extending his 30-plus years in power, after the main opposition party was dissolved and the government cracked down on critics.

Hun Sen’s opponents have called for an election boycott, saying that without any real opposition to the government, the poll will be a sham.

19 political parties are running against Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) but none are strongly critical of the prime minister or the government.

Critics say the election marks the decimation of democracy in the Southeast Asian country following months of intimidation by the ruling party Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the dissolution last year of the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) by the Supreme Court. Many CNRP leaders have fled abroad and are living in self-imposed exile and its leader, Kem Sokha, was jailed in September 2017 on treason charges.

The opposition CNRP, appealing to younger voters and those seeking change, narrowly lost the last general election in 2013.

The government insists that the 2018 vote will be free and fair. “This election is about the Cambodian people’s will and power,” government spokesman Phay Siphan said

Post office Senior Citizen Saving Scheme (SCSS)

Rate of Interest
Senior Citizen Saving Scheme (SCSS) offers a return of 8.3 per cent per annum. In case of SCSS accounts, quarterly interest shall be payable on 1st working day of April, July, October and January. There shall be only one deposit in the account in multiple of Rs. 1,000 and the maximum amount not exceeding Rs. 15 lakh, according to
An individual of the age of 60 years or more is eligible to open this account.
An individual of the age of 55 years or more but less than 60 years who has retired on superannuation or under VRS can also open account subject to the condition that the account is opened within one month of receipt of retirement benefits and amount should not exceed the amount of retirement benefits.
A depositor may operate more than one account in individual capacity or jointly with spouse (husband/wife).
Maturity period
The maturity period of senior citizen saving scheme is five years. The account can be transferred from one post office to another. Any number of accounts can be opened in any post office subject to the maximum investment limit by adding balance in all accounts.
After maturity, the account can be extended for further three years within one year of the maturity by giving application in the prescribed format. In such cases, the account can be closed at any time after expiry of one year of extension without any deduction.
Premature closure
Premature closure of the SCSS account is allowed after one year on deduction of an amount equal to 1.5 per cent of the deposit and after two years on deduction of an amount equal to 1 per cent of the deposit.

Post Office Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme

Rate of Interest 
Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme offers an interest rate of 8.1 per cent per annum. The investment is calculated and compounded on an annual basis.
This scheme requires a minimum investment of Rs. 250 and a maximum of Rs. 1,50,000 in a financial year. The subsequent deposit should be made in multiple of Rs. 100. Deposits can be made in lump-sum amount. There is no limit on the number of deposits either in a month or in a financial year.
A legal guardian/natural guardian can open the account in the name of girl child.
A guardian can open only one account in the name of one girl child and maximum two accounts in the name of two different girl children.
The account can be opened up to age of 10 years only from the date of birth. For initial operations of scheme, one year grace has been given. With the grace, a girl child who is born between December 2, 2003 and December 1, 2004 can open account up to December 1, 2015.
If minimum amount of Rs. 250 is not deposited in a financial year, the account will be discontinued and can be revived with a penalty of Rs. 50 per year with the minimum amount required for deposit for that year.
Partial withdrawal
Partial withdrawal, maximum up to 50 per cent of balance standing at the end of the preceding financial year, can be taken after account holder's attaining age of 18 years.
The account can be closed after completion of 21 years.
Normal premature closure will be allowed after completion of 18 years, provided that girl is

Thousands of Russians Protest Against Pension Age Hike Saturday July 28,2018

Tens of thousands of Russians on Saturday July 28,2018  took part in rallies across the country organised by Communists to protest against highly controversial plans to hike the pension age.

In Moscow, organisers said up to 100,000 people gathered for a permitted rally against the government-backed reform, which is currently going through parliament.

Demonstrators in Moscow chanted "Pension-off Putin!" and carried banners with slogans including "We want to live on our pensions and not die at work."

In Russia's second largest city of Saint Petersburg, around 1,000 people took part in a Communist rally, with some waving red flags and holding portraits of Stalin.

The rare show of public opposition to a reform backed by President Vladimir Putin's ruling party has seen 2.9 million sign a protest petition and the often compliant Communist Party vote against it.

Putin, who did not mention the issue ahead of his re-election in March and had previously vowed not to raise the pension age, has seen public trust in his presidency fall to 64 % this month, down from 80 per cent in May 2018

The draft law calls for the pension age to be gradually raised to 63 for women and 65 for men, up from the current Soviet-era norms of 55 for women and 60 for men. 

2018 Bangladesh Tour of West Indies - Bangladesh beat West Indies by 18 Runs,Win the series 2-1 Saturday July 28,2018

Bangladesh held off a late charge from the West Indies to claim a series-clinching 18-run win in the decisive third and final match of their ODI duel at Warner Park in St Kitts on Saturday July 28,2018

After Tamim Iqbal's second hundred of the series and a quickfire unbeaten half-century by Mahmudullah paced the visitors to a formidable 301 for six, the hosts were restricted to 283 for six in reply despite a rampaging unbeaten 74 off just 41 balls by Rovman Powell.

It was Bangladesh's first series win outside of Asia for nine years, set up by their highest total in an ODI against the West Indies.

With the series all square following the hosts' thrilling three-run win in the second match under lights in Guyana on Wednesday, Bangladesh set the pace in this decider with their top-order batting justifying the decision by captain Mashrafe Mortaza to bat first after he won the toss for the third consecutive time.

Tamim's confident 103 off 124 balls with seven fours and two sixes again provided his team with a solid foundation, his innings lifting his tally in the three matches to 287 runs at an outstanding average of 143.5.

Tamim Iqbal was the obvious choice as both man of the match and man of the series.
Bangladesh    301/6 in 50 Overs
West Indies    283/6 in 50 Overs
Match Result Bangladesh won by 18 Runs
MOM - Tamim Iqbal(Bangladesh)
Series Result - Bangladesh won the 3-Match ODI Series 2-1
Player of the Series - Tamim Iqbal(Bangladesh)

International Tiger Day - July 29

International Tiger Day, also known as Global Tiger Day, is celebrated annually on July 29 every year to raise awareness for tiger conservation.

It was created in 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia with the goal to bring worldwide attention to the dwindling numbers of tigers and their plight.

 This is the eighth annual International Tiger Day.

The primary goal behind International Tiger Day is to promote a global environment to protect the natural habitats of tigers and support for issues pertaining to conservation of tigers

At the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia, the participating countries took initiatives to better the declining numbers of tigers and thereby, vowed to double its population by the year 2020.

India has a leading role to play in tiger conservation as the nation is home to about 70% of the tiger population in the world. Therefore, the matter is of collective responsibility of all stakeholders and not just the forest staff alone. India proudly hosts 2,226 out of 3,890 big cats in the world.

The All India Tiger Assessment, 2018, is expected to confirm the final estimate of tigers by the end of this year. The Ministry of Environment had claimed that 45% of the tiger deaths between the years 2012 and 2017 was caused due to unnatural reasons. However, out of the 45%, 37% of tigers died due to poaching and seizures of body parts. The remaining deaths could be caused by road and railway accidents.

Due to heightened global warming and depleting forest territories, incidents of tigers travelling hundreds of kilometres looking for suitable lands have come to the forefront over the past few years.

The Project Tiger, administered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority of India (NTCA), and various associations working towards the common goal of 'Save the Tiger' have contributed massively to not just conserve the big cat's population but also make India the country with the largest population of tigers in the world.

Wildlife experts are of the opinion that methods for tiger estimation vary with countries hence, it becomes difficult to rely on the figures. In India, there has been a subsequent increase in the numbers of tigers over the years, the success of which can be attributed to improved surveys and enhanced protection charged with better field patrolling

Longest lunar eclipse of 21st century turns moon blood red Friday July 27,2018

A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth lies in between the sun and the moon. This means the sun's light is blocked by the Earth, and the moon passes into its shadow.

A full moon rises behind the Temple of Poseidon before a lunar eclipse in Cape Sounion, near Athens, Greece

The reddish appearance of the lunar surface - the moon's image does not vanish entirely during an eclipse - is due to rays of sunlight passing through Earth's atmosphere as the moon falls into our planet's shadow.

No special filters are required to protect your eyes, which makes watching a lunar eclipse different from watching a solar eclipse, making this spectacle completely safe to view with the naked eye.

The fullest "blood moon" eclipse was visible from Europe, Russia, Africa, the Middle East, much of Asia and Australia though clouds blocked out the moon in some places

Lebanese woman Mona el-Mazbouh (24) sentenced to eight years for 'insulting' Egypt

A Lebanese tourist who was arrested last month for posting a video on Facebook complaining about sexual harassment and conditions in Egypt, was sentenced to eight years in prison by a Cairo court on Saturday, her lawyer said.

Mona el-Mazbouh was arrested at Cairo airport at the end of her stay in Egypt after she published a 10-minute video on her Facebook page, laced with vulgarity and profanity against Egypt and Egyptians.

During her tirade, Mazbouh called Egypt a lowly, dirty country and Egyptian men pimps and women prostitutes.

Mazbouh, 24, complained of being sexually harassed by taxi drivers and young men in the street, as well as poor restaurant service during Ramadan, in addition to an incident in which money and other belongings were stolen.

Mazbouh said in the video that she had visited Egypt several times in the past four years.

A Cairo court found her guilty of deliberately spreading false rumours that would harm society, attacking religion and public indecency, judicial sources said.

An appeals court will now hear the case on July 29,2018

Egyptian court sentenced 75 people to death for participating in a 2013 protest

An Egyptian court sentenced 75 people to death for participating in a 2013 protest against the overthrow of the country's democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi

Senior members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood organisation were among those ordered executed by the Cairo Criminal Court on Saturday for their involvement with the sit-in demonstration at Rabaa Square in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

The rulings will be referred to Egypt's chief Islamic legal authority, the Grand Mufti, for a non-binding opinion. Egyptian law requires any capital sentence to be referred to the Grand Mufti before any execution can take place. 

The Mufti's decision is rarely ignored by the courts. In 2014, the Mufti rejected a death sentence proposed for the leader of the Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, who is part of the same case. Badie has since been sentenced to life in prison.

A final verdict is expected by September 8,2018

India vs England: Top 5 Test performances by Indian batsmen in England

Sunil Gavaskar (The Oval - 1979)

With a mammoth target of 438, hardly anyone gave India any chance of making a comeback against a strong England bowling attack. The visitors had already faltered in the first innings and in order to save the match, it was important to get a good start. Sunil Gavaskar and Chetan Chauhan did not disappoint as the pair scored 213 runs for the opening wicket.

The dismissal of Chauhan didn’t disturb his partner Gavaskar, who stitched yet another big stand with Dilip Vengsrakar (153 runs) and the ‘Little Master’ also brought up his century in the process. However, wickets continued to tumble and Gavaskar too fell for a monumental 221 which consisted 21 fours. At the end of the day, India were just short of the target but it was a knock to remember for Sunil Gavaskar.

Dilip Vengsarkar (Headingley - 1986)

Vengsarkar holds a unique record of scoring a century at Lord’s in three consecutive Test appearances at the venue. With 960 runs in 23 innings, he has a tremendous record against England and there are a number of knocks that can make this list. But, the one in 1986 remains special because of its sheer impact on the game.

Vengsarkar scored 61 in the first innings to help India reach 272 and with England all out for 102, India had the chance to take a big lead. However, they were down to 35/4 and the onus was once again on Vengsarkar to steady the innings. He went on to score a brilliant 102 and with the bowlers dismissing England for 128 in the 2nd innings, India won the match comfortably.

Sachin Tendulkar (Old Trafford - 1990)

At the age of 17, Sachin Tendulkar scored his first century in international cricket and the world was introduced to a future superstar. Having scored 68 in the first innings, he was in tremendous form and with a target of 408 to win the Test, India needed the youngster to produce his magic once again in order to salvage a draw.

Sachin started the innings slow but the England bowlers were no match to his discipline as he remained unbeaten on 119 to save the game for India.David Lloyd, who was in commentary at that time, joked that Tendulkar deserved to win the first ‘Boy of the Match’ award for his performance.

Sourav Ganguly (Lord’s - 1996)

During the England tour of 1996, Navjot Singh Sidhu pulled out of the game citing ill-treatment by then captain Mohammad Azharuddin and the team decided to hand Sourav Ganguly his Test debut. It was a huge occasion for the youngster and he made the most of the opportunity by slamming a century at Lord’s against a strong England attack

Ganguly walked in at No.3 and within the first balls, made his intentions clear. Along with fellow debutant Rahul Dravid, he helped India reach 429 and in the process, announced his arrival at the international stage with a 131 that included 20 boundaries.

Rahul Dravid (Headingley - 2002)

It was a series to remember for Rahul Dravid as his three centuries in four encounters made him a star in the eyes of the Indian fans. In the third Test at Headingley, Dravid was forced to come out early after Virender Sehwag’s dismissal and the swinging conditions did not make life easy for the batsmen.
However, he showed his trademark resilience and after spending 429 minutes at the crease, he scored a brilliant 148 with 23 boundaries. Despite Sachin Tendulkar scoring 193 in the same game, Dravid was adjudged Man-of-the-Match after India won the match by an innings and 46 runs to level the series 1-1.