INX Media case: Karti Chidambaram appears before CBI for questioning

Karti Chidambaram. Photo: PTI

Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, on Wednesday appeared before the CBIin connection with a corruption case.Karti was directed by the Supreme Court to appear for questioning before the CBI.

The agency wants to examine him in connection with a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to media group INX Media for receiving funds from Mauritius when his father P Chidambaram was the Union Finance Minister.

It is alleged that a firm “indirectly controlled” by him received money from INX Media, run by Indrani and Peter Mukerjea.The CBI had issued a notice to Karti to appear for questioning in June but he had sought more time. Later, a look out circular was also issued against him to prevent him from leaving the country, CBI sources said.

A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud allowed Karti to be accompanied by a lawyer at the CBI headquarters during the questioning.The CBI had registered the case on May 15 against Karti, his company Chess Management Services, INX Media

FC Barcelona sues Neymar for $10m over PSG transfer

Brazilian soccer star Neymar holds his team shirt as he shakes with the chairman of Paris Saint-Germain Nasser Al-Khelaifi during a press conference in Paris. Photo: PTI/AP

Catalan football giants FC Barcelona on Tuesday took legal action against their former star Neymar, demanding 8.5 million euros ($10 million) over what they called breach of contract.The club also demanded that Neymar pay back the sum he received when he extended his contract last year, given that the Brazil forward has now paid his 222 million euros ($261 million) buy-out clause to join Paris Saint-Germain, reports Efe.

“The club demands from Neymar Jr the amount already paid for the renewal premium due to the breach of contract, in addition to 8.5 million euros in damages and an additional 10 per cent in arrears,” FC Barcelona said in a statement. Barcelona said they had sent the Royal Spanish Football Federation the lawsuit against Neymar that they submitted on August 11 to a court in Barcelona so it could pass it on “to the appropriate authorities in the French Football Federation and FIFA”, Barcelona said in a statement.

“The club also requests Paris Saint-Germain take on responsibility for the payment of these fees if the player cannot do so himself,” it said.Barcelona continues to express their public disagreement after the player paid the buy-out clause to end the contract unilaterally.

Victory for women: AIMWPLB on triple talaq verdict 


The All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board and the All India Shia Personal Law Board on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court judgement on triple talaq, terming it as a victory of Islam and Muslim women in the country.The decision, they said, has given new hope to Muslim women.

“The Supreme Court decision is historic, it is the victory of women in the country. But more than that, it is the victory of Islam,” said President of the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board Shaista Amber, who has been fighting for the rights of Muslim women.”We hope that triple talaq will be banned once and for all in times to come,” she said, adding it causes immense hardships to Muslim women even though “there is no provision of triple talaq in Islam”.

This discriminatory arrangement is made by so-called religious leaders and it has harmed the lives of lakhs of women…The decision has given new hope to Muslim women,” she said.The Supreme Court by a majority verdict today ruled that the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims is “void”, “illegal” and “unconstitutional” and held that it is against the basic tenets of Quran. Asking the government to enact a new law without harming the Sharia, she hoped that a new legislation will be brought without any pressure to ensure welfare and prosperity of Muslim women.

The All India Shia Personal Law Board spokesperson Maulana Yasoob Abbas too welcomed the decision, saying it will help end harassment of Muslim women in the name of triple talaq.”There was no arrangement of triple talaq in the times of Holy Prophet…We want a strong legislation against triple talaq…A law similar to the one against the practice of Sati,” he said.

Decks cleared: Essar, Rosneft complete $12.9-billion deal


Decks have been cleared for the biggest foreign acquisition ever in India. The completion of the $12.9-billion Essar Oil buyout by Russian government-owned Rosneft and other partners is expected to be announced on Monday. The deal, signed in October 2016, went through a lot of hiccups, with the lenders to the Ruia-controlled Essar group insisting on certain conditions.

Among the last to approve the deal was Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India. The Mumbai-based Essargroup owed over Rs 2,300 crore to LIC, part of which has been repaid. Around Rs 1,200 crore is said to be pending.

The Essar group had in October 2016, signed a deal with Rosneft, United Capital Partners and Trafigura group to sell 98 per cent equity in Essar Oil. The proceeds from the sale were expected to help the group reduce its debt, which stood at around $13.5 billion at the time of signing the deal.

Essar Steel, another group company, is undergoing insolvency proceedings after the Ahmedabad bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) admitted an insolvency petition against the firm. The Reserve Bank of India identified the firm among top 12 stressed assets and asked the bankers to file for insolvency against the firm.  The steel firm has about Rs 45,000-crore debt on its books with non-performing assets of Rs 32,000 crore in 2016-17.

Vishal Sikka quits as Infosys CEO: Hits and misses of his 3-year journey

Vishal Sikka resigns

Vishal Sikka on Friday resigned as the chief executive (CEO) and managing director (MD) of Infosys Technologies, India’s second-largest software services company. While the board of Infosys accepted the resignation of Sikka with immediate effect and appointed U B Pravin Rao as the interim CEO & MD, Sikka has been appointed the executive vice-chairman of the company.

In a BSE filing, Infosys said Sikka reiterated his belief in the great potential of Infosys, but cited among his reasons to leave a continuous stream of “distractions and disruptions over the recent months and quarters, increasingly personal and negative as of late, as preventing management’s ability to accelerate the Company’s transformation”.

When Sikka had taken over as the CEO & MD of Infosys three years ago, Sikka was prescient in forecasting that automation would take away jobs and clients would shift their investment dollars to newer digital technologies.

The shift, in fact, has been faster and there is pressure on clients spending on traditional services,which Infosys and its peers such as TCS and Wipro earn four-fifths of their dollar revenue from. To address this,Sikka visualised a software plus services model — using platforms to deliver services to bring in more efficiency and reduce dependency on people.

He had set a goal of more than doubling Infosys’ revenues to $20 billion, with margins of 30 per cent and employee productivity of $80,000.

Modi eyeing 133 mn first-time voters for 2019 polls

Voters showing their inked finger marks after casting vote in a polling station during the second and final phase of Assam State Assembly election 2016 in Guwahati

This year, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered his shortest Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort, it might have been directed to a generation whose attention span is shorter and lifespan longer than its predecessor. His eye might have been set on those born from 1997 to 2001: They will be exercising their voting rights for the first time in the 2019 general elections.

“January 1, 2018, will not be an ordinary day – those born in this century will start turning 18. For these people, this is a decisive year of their lives. They are going to be the creators of the destiny of our nation in the 21st century. I heartily welcome all these youth, honour them and offer my respects to them. You have an opportunity to shape the destiny of our country,” Modi said.

In many ways, Modi was addressing an important electoral constituency that also has the power to shape his party’s destiny: In the 2019 polls, 133 million young adults will get to cast their vote – 70 million young men and 63 million young women. Of them, 73% live in India’s villages. The number of young women in rural India who will be eligible to exercise their franchise in 2019 alone equals the population of Spain. The number of young men who will cast their vote for the first time in 2019 is higher than the population of Britain.

India’s demographic dividend might have peaked, but for India’s political parties, an electoral dividend is there for the taking if they can play it right. And that might not be hard for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has barely taken a wrong step since storming to power in 2014. An estimated 150 million new voters had become eligible to vote in 2014 – the highest ever reported in the history of free India

Jobs, tourism, housing: Govt turns to start-ups for solution

Narendra Modi

NITI Aayog  — the country’s think-tank that finds solutions to problems ranging from economic issues to how Indian athletes can get more Olympic medals — is now looking towards the start-up community to find answers to India’s woes..

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NITI Aayog will meet 212 entrepreneurs on Thursday to get their views on almost everything under the sun — jobs, ease of doing business, climate change, tourism, health care, skilling.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NITI Aayog will meet 212 entrepreneurs on Thursday to get their views on almost everything under the sun — jobs, ease of doing business, climate change, tourism, health care, skilling.Ahead of this meeting, Modi met the entrepreneurs for a private chat over dinner on Wednesday.

This is the second such event — after Prime Minister’s magnum opus event Startup India in January 2016 — where start-up bosses are being called by the PM en-masse. This would lead to a similar programme on August 21-22, where 180 young CEOs would deliberate on six subjects — New India 2022, Digital India, Emerging a Sustainable Tomorrow, Health and Nutrition, Education and Skill Development, and Soft Power.