NEWS IN BRIEF – JULY 13, 2012

1. Slump hits FDI, net dips by 37% in Apr-May: New Delhi: The slump in the global economy is taking a toll on foreign investment into the country as well as India Inc’s global expansion. According to the latest data released by the Reserve Bank of India, net foreign direct investment (FDI) — which is the difference between inflow and outflows — is estimated to have declined over 37% to $3.2 billion during April-May 2012, compared to over $5 billion a year ago. In fact, net FDI during the first two months of the current fiscal is almost the same as the level seen in May 2011. [TOI p1]

2. Indians get pessimistic amid global downturn : New Delhi : The rain

gods may have brought some cheer to everyone after a scorching

summer, but a sense of gloom about the Indian economy appears to be

building. A study by US-based Pew Research Centre has found that while

just a year ago, 51% people were satisfied with the way things were in the

country (and 47% dissatisfied), today, the proportions have reversed —

59% are dissatisfied and only 38% satisfied.[HT p1]

3. Fire dept raises red flag on Parliament : New Delhi : Unplanned

construction, large-scale encroachments, crowded and blocked stairways

— country’s parliament building is not emergency ready. A fire or an

earthquake could well turn out be a rescue team’s nightmare.[HT p1]

4. Tax haven tag riles Singapore’s PM, India Gets Demarche For Black

Money Report: New Delhi: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

said on Thursday that India has conceded that it should not have

described the city state as a “tax haven” in its “white paper on black

money”. [TOI p1]

5. Raghuram Rajan, Chibber in Race to Succeed Basu, PM to take final

call on next chief economic advisor: NEW DELHI : Raghuram Rajan, a

former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, and Ajay

Chibber, assistant secretary-general of the United Nations Development

Programme, have been short listed for the position of chief economic

advisor to the government. [ET p1]

6. Trinamool heading for showdown with Congress? : New Delhi :

Whether the Trinamool Congress is headed for another confrontation with

the Congress over the Vice-Presidential election is the question doing the

rounds in political circles here ahead of Saturday’s meeting between the

United Progressive Alliance (UPA) partners in New Delhi.[The Hindu p12]

7. AG justifies Presidential Reference : New Delhi : The far-reaching

nature of implementing the 2G judgment insofar as it was extended to

auctioning of all natural resources (other than spectrum) would have a

huge impact on Foreign Direct Investment and other investments in this

country, argued Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati in the Supreme Court on

Thursday.[The Hindu p12]

8. JD(U) has Not Decided on Veep Vote: Kumar, Congress upbeat over

prospects of a possible realignment in Bihar: PATNA : Bihar chief

minister Nitish Kumar has denied reports that his party has firmed up its

line in the vice-presidential election. “All that is being said about JD(U)

supporting Hamid Ansari is far from true. We will decide only after holding

talks with NDA partners,” Nitish Kumar told ET. [ET p2]

9. Sibal raises KV admission quota for MPs: New Delhi: HRD minister

Kapil Sibal has raised the Kendriya Vidyalaya admission quota for MPs to

six. This was decided on Thursday at the KV board of governors’ meet

chaired by Sibal. At present, MPs can recommend only two admissions

to Kendriya Vidyalayas in their constituencies. In July 2011, the law

ministry junked the HRD proposal to raise the quota from two to five —

three for KVs in their constitutency and two in Delhi. [TOI p1]

10. Zardari cases : SC threat to PM : Islamabad : Pakistan’s supreme court

on Thursday levelled a veiled threat to remove prime minister Raja Pervez

Ashraf from office — just like it did his predecessor, Yousuf Raza Gilani —

unless he re-opened graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.[HT p1]

11. 31% MPs, MLAs have criminal tag : New Delhi: Civil society groups on

Thursday launched a campaign against tainted MPs and MLAs,

demanding that they be barred from participating in the presidential

election. The electoral college for the presidential election comprises

4,120 members of legislative assemblies and 776 members of Parliament

(both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha). Of these 4,896 MPs and MLAs, at

least 1,450 or 31% have declared criminal cases pending against them in

sworn affidavits filed with the Election Commission in recent elections.

[TOI p9]

12. Like it or not, diesel price hike coming after prez poll : New Delhi:

The government is working on a window to raise diesel and cooking gas

prices shortly after the presidential elections get over on July 19. “Price

rise is inevitable. But date and time, nobody can say,” a top oil ministry

functionary said on Thursday. [TOI p9]

13. Govt woos Didi, no change in Forward Contracts Act now, Ahead Of

Prez Poll, Mamata Corrals Trinamool Lawmakers: New Delhi:

Unwilling to offend restive UPA partner, Trinamool boss Mamata

Banerjee, before elections for the President and Vice-President, the Union

Cabinet on Thursday deferred a decision on amending the Forward

Contracts Regulation Act. [TOI p9]

14. Did Guj govt force parties out of race for gas firm?: Ahmedabad: Did

the Gujarat government arm-twist two of the state’s biggest corporate

houses to desist from bidding for the Gujarat Gas Company Ltd? Days

before the bidding closed for a 65.12% stake of British Gas in Gujarat

Gas, a group of top bureaucrats summoned Gautam Adani of the Adani

group and Sudhir Mehta of Torrent group, both of whom were the race for

the deal.[TOI p14]

15. Congress Banking on SP to Kickstart Reforms, TMC forces Cabinet

to put off discussion on Forward Contract Regulation Act

(Amendment) Bill : NEW DELHI : Congress is betting on the support of

the Samajwadi Party to kick-start economic reforms, which have been

held up due to the strident opposition of the Mamata Banerjee-led

Trinamool Congress. [ET p2]

16. Karnataka gets new CM, third in a year, and 2 deputy CMS :

Bangalore : Racked by intraparty conflict, the ruling Bharatiya Janata

Party in Karnataka gave the state its third chief minister in less than a year

along with an unprecedented two deputy chief ministers on Thursday.

Jagadish Shivappa Shettar was sworn in as the CM and state BJP chief

KS Eshwarappa along with R Ashok became deputy chief ministers, as

the party executed its latest please-all exercise ahead of the assembly

polls due in April May 2013.[HT p13]

17. Cong leaders workers need to coordinate better : Aiyar : New Delhi :

Rajya Sabha MP Mani Shankar Aiyar has expressed concern over the

lack of coordination between leaders and the workers in the Congress

party. “Post-Indira Gandhi regime, the biggest weakness of the Congress

party has been a lack of coordination between senior leaders and

workers,” the senior Congress leader told a television news channel in an

interview.[HT p8]

18. NCTC may be kept out of IB : New Delhi : Giving in to protests by

various state governments, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has kept

the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) out of the ambit of the

Intelligence Bureau (IB) in its revised proposal which is likely to be taken

up by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) after the July 19

presidential election.[IE p1]

19. In six months, Naxals killed 82 security men : New Delhi : In the first

six months of this year, Naxalites have gunned down as many as 82

security personnel, while losing only 48 of their cadres in the bloody battle

between Maoist groups and security forces that continues unabated in the

central and eastern parts of India..[IE p2]

20. SC allows Bellary MP to vote in Presidential poll : New Delhi : The

Supreme Court on Thursday permitted BJP MP J Shantha from Bellary

(ST) Lok Sabha seat, whose election was set aside by the Karnataka High

Court, to cast vote in the Presidential poll.[IE 4]

21. YSR Cong is likely to vote for Pranab : Hyderabad : The YSR

Congress seems to have decidd to vote for UPA presidential candidate

Pranab Mukherjee. Stating that a formal announcement was expected

within a few days, YSR Congress sources said party president Y.S. Jagan

Mohan Reddy had decided to support Mr Mukherjee over the BJPsponsored

candidate P.A. Sangma.[AA 2]

22. Don’t vote for Sangma : NCP : New Delhi : Charging Mr P.A. Sangma

with violating decency, decorum and dignity in the presidential elections,

the NCP on Thursday appealed to the BJP, the BJD and the AIADMK to

with draw their support from him.[AA p2]

23. Will wait for UPA to name V-P candidate : JD(U) : New Delhi : The

Janata Dal (United) on Thursday said it would wait for the UPA to

announce its nominee for the Vice-Presidential election before taking a

call on the issue. “It is for the Congress to take initiative and name its

candidate for the Vice-Presidency,” JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav said. [IE 4]

24. Shettar to lead BJP in assembly polls : New Delhi : The BJP central

leadership on Thursday indicated the party will go to the Assembly

elections in the state early next year under the leadership of Jagadish

Shettar.[IE p3]

25. Centre tweaks NCTC to address states’ concerns : New Delhi : The

Union home ministry has moved the Cabinet Committee on Security

(CCS) for clearance to its new blueprint for the National Counter Terrorism

Centre as India’s standalone anti-terror body with powers to conduct

independent operations in exceptional circumstances.[HT p11]

26. Brace yourself for hike in diesel, cooking gas rates : New Delhi :

From your SUV to your kitchen, the going is likely to get harsher. While

your wallet may have to shell out an additional R5 for a litre of diesel, an

increase in cooking gas prices is also on the cards. These developments,

in turn, would hurt households by putting pressure on inflation — currently

at 7.6%.[HT p8]

27. NIA to identify all Samjhauta Bombers in chargesheet : New Delhi :

For the first time, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will identify all

four alleged Samjhauta Express bombers — Kamal Chauhan, Lokesh

Sharma, Amit alias Ashwini Chauhan and Rajendra Pehelwan alias

Samandar — in its supplementary chargesheet which will be filed

soon.[HT p9]

28. Home ministry spanner in I&B FDI plan : New Delhi : Citing security

issues, the Union home ministry has opposed the information and

broadcasting ministry’s proposal to hike foreign direct investment (FDI) to

a uniform 74% for all distribution flatforms like Direct-to-Home (DTH) cable

companies and operators.[HT p9]

29. Vaghela almost joined BJP in 09, NCP in 11 : Ahmedabad :

Shankersinh Vaghela, in-charge of the Congress’s campaign for the

Gujarat assembly polls, nearly quit the party to join the NCP last year. And

in 2009, the man who was UPA-I’s textiles minister, came very close to

accepting the BJP ticket for the Lok Sabha elections.[IE p1]

30. It’s official, Antony is No.2 in UPA-II : New Delhi : Signaling the new

pecking order in the UPA government after Pranab Mukherjee’s exit,

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has officially designated Defence

Minister A K Antony as the No. 2 in his cabinet.[IE p1]

31. Highway ministry’s gift for Sonia’s constituency: New Delhi: The

highways ministry will widen and refurbish three highway stretches

connecting Sonia Gandhi’s constituency Rae Bareli with 100%

government funding. [TOI p15]

32. MPs had been seeking hike in quota since 2010 : New Delhi: The HRD

ministry has raised the Kendriya Vidyalaya admission quota for MPs to

six. Sources in the ministry said under the new scheme the jurisdiction of

Lok Sabha MPs will be limited to their constituency.[TOI p8]

33. Kalmadi wants London ticket : New Delhi : Facing corruption charges

in connection with the Commonwealth Games, its former organising

committee chief Suresh Kalmadi on Thursday moved court seeking

permission to travel to London for the Olympics, in his capacity as a

member of the International Association of Athletics Federation.[HT p1]

34. CBI likely to close 2 CWG graft cases : New Delhi: CBI is likely to close

its probe in two cases — construction of the Barapullah flyover and the Rs

766-crore bailout package given to Emaar MGF for construction of the

Games Village in east Delhi — related to alleged corruption during the

Commonwealth Games, 2010. [TOI p8]

35. CBI may close probe into Barapullah, village bailout cases : New

Delhi : The CBI is likely to close its probe into two Commonwealth Games

related matters — the Barapullah elevated road case and bailout package

given to Emaar MGF for the construction of the games village.[TOI p8]

36. EC team visits Himachal : Shimla : A team of the Election Commission

led by Chief Election Commissioner V. S. Sampath visited Himachal

Pradesh on Thursday and reviewed the election preparedness in the hill

State.[The Hindu p5]

37. Mamgain, former BJP leaders launch party : New Delhi : Former

Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders who were denied tickets in the 2012

municipal elections on Friday announced the launch of a separate party

called the Progressive Party. The party was launched to take on the

Congress and the BJP, who they accused of failing to deliver on all

fronts.[HT p7]

38. Vijender gets exemption from court appearance : New Delhi : A court

here on Thursday exempted Delhi BJP president Vijender Gupta from

personal appearance before it in a defamation case filed by Chief Minister

Sheila Dikshit.[The Hindu p4]

LEGAL/CRIME NEWS

39. Cash-for-Bail Scam: Two AP Judges in ACB net, High court has so

far suspended three judges in connection with the scam

:HYDERABAD : Two serving Andhra Pradesh judges were arrested in the

cashfor-bail scam for their alleged role in a . 10-crore bribe offer to a third

judge for granting bail to former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhana

Reddy, an accused in the illegal mining case. [ET p2]

EDITORIAL / OPINION

40. Don’t play it safe : Rajdeep Sardesai : Salman Khurshid is easily among

the brightest politicians in the country: a former Oxford don, he became a

union minister at 38. When he speaks, it is with a certain elegance and

intellect that is all too rare in public life today. Which is why when Khurshid

suggests “Rahul Gandhi has only been seen in cameos of his thoughts

and ideas, but he has not woven it into a grand announcement.[HT p10]

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

41. Pakistan Supreme Court sets July 25 deadline for new PM in Zardari

case : Islamabad : The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday gave

Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf time till July 25 to comply with its order

to write to the Swiss authorities asking them to reopen graft cases against

President Asif Ali Zardari.[The Hindu p1]