Use NEET as only basis for admission, SC tells Tamil Nadu medical colleges 

MDMK leader Vaiko, along with his party workers, holding a protest against the Central government on NEET issue, in Chennai (Photo: PTI)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the TamilNadu medical colleges to follow the common National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for admissions (NEET).The court observed that NEET will be the only basis for admissions and the counselling will begin on August 24.

The court stated that the counselling should be conducted immediately and the process should end by September 4.On August 16, the medical students from Tamil Nadu moved the Supreme Court seeking directive for the State Government to start medical counselling soon.

This came after the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET), which was made mandatory for admission in the MBBS and the BDS courses across India last year, got separate petitions filed at the Madras andGujarat High Courts, where medical aspirants demanded cancellation of the NEET 2017 as theGujarati and Tamil medium paper were allegedly tougher than the English and Hindi medium.

The medical aspirants in the case are being represented by Nalini Chidambaram before the Apex court.Earlier on May 24, the Madras High Court had stayed any proceedings on the NEET result.Keeping the urgency of the result in mind and the starting of counselling sessions for successful candidates in mind, the apex court has stayed the Madras High Court order.

Victory for women: AIMWPLB on triple talaq verdict 

Wikipedia

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.

Pentagon declares India as Afghanistan’s most reliable partner 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani raise each other's hands after inaugurating Afghan-India Friendship Dam in Herat, Afghanistan. PTI Photo by Kamal KishoreIndia is Afghanistan most reliable regional partner, the Pentagon has said in its latest Afghan report, the first under the Trump administration.”India is providing significant training opportunities for Afghan officers and enlisted personnel. Approximately 130 Afghans travel to India each year to attend the various military academy and commissioning programs,” it said in the six- monthly report to the US Congress.

“India is Afghanistan’s most reliable regional partner and the largest contributor of development assistance in the region, including civil development projects such as the Afghanistan-India Friendship Dam and the Afghan parliament building,” the Pentagon added. According to the report which covers the period from December 2016 to May 2017, India has donated limited security assistance, most notably four Mi-35 aircraft.

In May 2016, India, Iran and Afghanistan signed the Chabahar Port agreement opening a trade route into Central Asia and Europe and allowing for the bypass of Pakistan, the Pentagon said.India enjoys close relations with Afghanistan, and both accuse common neighbour Pakistan of not doing enough to stop Islamist militants operating on its territory.

India provided development aid of Rs 221 crore to Afghanistan between April 1, 2016, and March 27, 2017, according to official figures.

Market falls 4% in 7 sessions: Is it a good time to buy

markets-flat

Markets have been on a downward spiral since August 2 when the Nifty50 hit a high of 10,137 levels in intra-day deals. Since then, the index has tanked nearly 4%, or around 400 points to 9,737 levels in intra-day deals on Friday.

The recent fall has been triggered by rising geopolitical tension across the globe – one, between India and China on the Doklam standoff, and two the developments with North Korea and the United States. That apart, Sebi’s order to ban trade in 331 suspectedshell companies also dented sentiment, as did sub-par second quarter results of select companies.

Given the developments, analysts say there could be more pain in store for the markets that have recently taken cognizance of the developing geopolitical situation. Though they do not wish to predict how deep and long this correction could last, experts do caution that the fall is beyond anyone’s control as it is driven by geopolitical reasons.

“Global events that are beyond market control have triggered the recently fall. If there is more action over the weekend, the markets will continue to fall in the coming week as well. A lot depends on the geopolitical front and to that extent predicting the road ahead for specific index levels is risky,” says Jayant Manglik, president retail distribution at Religare Securities.

Since its recent high on August 2,investor wealth as measured by market-capitalisation (market-cap) of the Nifty 50 companies till August 10 has dipped by over Rs 1,47,600 crore, ACE Equity data show.

Why rupee is unlikely to hit 60 levels against the US dollar 

Rupee

Though the rupee saw its sharpest fall in a day since July 3 of 24 paise to hit 64.08 against the US dollar(USD) on Thursday, the Indian unit is in no hurry to breach 60 levels in the near term, suggests the latest report by Tanvee Gupta Jain, an economist with UBS.

Going ahead, Jain expects the rupee (USD/INR) to remain range-bound between 62-66 levels over the next few months and average 64.3 in FY18 and 65.4 in FY19. UBS had earlier estimated it to hover around 65.4 and 67.6 levels, respectively.

The USD/INR pair has been among the better-performing currencies in emerging markets, appreciating 5.9% thus far in calendar year 2017 (CY17). On Thursday, however, the Indian unit lost ground on reports of escalating India’s geopolitical tension with China amid developments relating to North Korea and the US.

Rupee came under pressure against the US dollar and fell to the lowest level in a week after geopolitical tensions weighed on domestic as well as global equities. Asian currencies also weakened against the US dollar on weak global sentiment,” says Gaurang Somaiya, research analyst (currency) at Motilal Oswal.

“Weakness in domestic equities could continue in Friday’s session and that could further weigh on the rupee. On the domestic front, market participants will be keeping an eye on industrial production (IIP) data and slower-than-expected growth could keep the rupee under pressure.the USD/INR pair is expected to quote in the range of 64.00 and 64.45,” Somaiya adds.

Bombay HC asks Maharashtra govt to explain Sanjay Dutt’s early release

Sanjay Dutt

The Bombay High Court on Monday asked theMaharashtra government to explain in detail its decision to release Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt early from jail on grounds of good conduct.

A division bench of Justice RM Sawant and Justice Sadhna Jadhav directed the government to file an affidavit justifying its decision, what parameters were considered for letting the actor out eight months early, and the procedures followed while showing leniency towards him.

Dutt was convicted and sentenced to five years in an arms possession case connected to the March 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case which he served in Yerawada Central Jail, Pune. He was released on February 25, 2016.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by Pune-based activist Pradeep Bhalekar challenging the series of furloughs and paroles granted to Dutt when he was serving his sentence.The court sought to know if the Deputy Inspector General, Prisons was consulted, or whether the Jail Superintendent sent the recommendation directly to the Maharashtra Governor.

“How did the authorities assess that Dutt’s conduct was good. When did they get time to make such an assessment when he was out on parole half the time?” asked Justice Sawant.

Tim Cook explains why India could be the next China for Apple

Apple, Tim, Cook

Apple flagship iPhone slow globally, the company’s bullishness that India will emerge as a major driver of volumes is causing an acceleration in its investments here.

In the last quarter alone, Apple’s iOS app accelerator, as well as its manufacturing unit run by contract manufacturer Wistron in Bengaluru, went online. These investments are in addition to the company’s overall investment in growing its sales channel and marketing more to consumers in India.

“We began to produce the iPhone SE there during the quarter, and we’re really happy with how that’s going. And so we’re bringing all of our energies to bear there. I see a lot of similarities to where China was several years ago,” said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, in a call with investors on Tuesday.

Apple’s game plan is to turn India into the next China, not only in terms of sales but also manufacturing and exports. The company has been engaged with the Indian government to receive sops for setting up full fledged manufacturing and not just iPhone assembly for over a year now.