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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

2019 ICC Cricket World Cup - Sri Lanka Qualify and West Indies to play qualifiers after losing to England in the First ODI @ Manchester Tuesday Sep 19,2017

Sri Lanka have booked their place for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. This after West Indies were beaten by England in the first ODI @ Manchester in the five-match series on Tuesday Sep 19,2017. 
The cut-off date for direct qualification for the tournament is September 30, 2017. Sri Lanka, who have 86 points, are ahead of West Indies, who have 78 points on the ICC ODI rankings chart.
With the cut-off date only a few days away, West Indies cannot leapfrog Sri Lanka and eventually the team from the Emerald Isles has become the eighth team to get a direct entry for the World Cup.
India, New Zealand, Australia, Bangladesh, England, Pakistan and South Africa have already qualified for the tournament that will be played in England and Wales. West Indies meanwhile will have to play a qualifying tournament in 2018. It will involve 10 teams of which the two best teams will proceed to play in the World Cup.
The ICC released a statement from Sri Lanka’s ODI captain Upul Tharanga who said, “It’s no secret that we (Sri Lanka) have been going through a tough time, but I want to say a big, big thank you to our fans who’ve kept faith with us when things looked bleak.”
He further added, “ICC events have always brought out the magic in Sri Lanka cricket, and I look forward to proving that once again. We have a clear plan toward the World Cup, and we will work hard at achieving each step. As we say in the dressing room, - Little 'w's (wins) add up to make the big 'W' (win) - so that's what we'll be focusing on and I know you will see Sri Lanka’s special brand of cricket out there once again soon.”

SBI Life Insurance IPO opens; raises Rs. 2,226 cr from anchor investors Wednesday Sep 20,2017

SBI Life Insurance is a joint venture between India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) and BNP Paribas Cardif (BNPPC) — the insurance holding company of France.

SBI Life’s public issue involves its promoters offloading up to 12 crore shares of a face value of Rs. 10 each through the offer of sale route. SBI will dilute up to 8 crore shares, while BNP Paribas Cardif SA will offload up to 4 crore shares.
The insurer is looking to raise about Rs. 8,400 crore at the higher end of the price band which is fixed between Rs. 685-700 per share. The initial share sale offer, which opened for public subscription today Wednesday Sep 20,2017, will close on September 22,2017
SBI holds 70.10 per cent in SBI Life and BNPPC 26 per cent. Minority shareholders Value Life Pte, an affiliate of KKR Asian Fund and MacRitchie Investments Pte, a wholly—owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, hold 1.95 per cent each.
SBI Life Insurance Company has raised Rs. 2,226 crore from anchor investors as its initial share sale opened for public subscription today.
BlackRock, Canada Pension Fund, Government of Singapore, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, HSBC, HDFC MF, ICICI Prudential MF, Kotak MF, Reliance MF, Axis MF and UTI MF are among the 69 anchor investors.
The leading insurer would allot 3.18 crore shares to 69 anchor investors at an average price of Rs. 700, garnering Rs. 2,226 crore to the company, SBI Life informed to the exchanges.
According to SBI Life, the listing of equity shares will enhance its brand name and provide liquidity to the existing shareholders. The listing will also provide a public market for equity shares in India.
Besides, the IPO of ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company closed today. In 2016, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance became the country’s first listed insurer after its Rs. 6,000 crore public issue.

Russia Unveils Monument of AK-47 Rifle Designer Mikhail Kalashnikov Tuesday Sep 19,2017

Russia on Tuesday Sep 19,2017 unveiled a statue of Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle that became by some estimates the most lethal weapon ever made and the best known Russian brand abroad.

Perched atop a pedestal in a tiny square on Moscow's busy Garden Ring thoroughfare, the statue of Kalashnikov, who died in 2013, has him dressed in a bomber jacket and clutching an AK-47 in both hands.

"I created a weapon for the defence of my fatherland," runs a Kalashnikov quote hewn on the pedestal. At the unveiling ceremony, a Kremlin guard of honour stood to attention as Russia's national anthem played.

"This weapon is Russia's defence. It's one of Russia's symbols. Alas, for life to continue, for lovely children to grow up, for beautiful women in Russia, there must be a weapon," the monument's sculptor, Salavat Shcherbakov, told reporters.

The AK-47, the small-arms mainstay of Russia's armed forces for over 60 years, is also featured on the national emblems of several African nations and on that of East Timor.

Every fifth firearm in the world is a Kalashnikov and more than 70 million of the assault rifles have been produced over the past 60 years, the Kalashnikov concern said on its website. Kalashnikovs are in service in 50 foreign armies, it said.

Military experts say the AK-47 has killed more people than all other types of modern weapons taken together.

Kalashnikov, who died aged 94, had repeatedly said that pride in his invention was mixed with the pain of seeing it used by criminals and child soldiers.

As well as being embraced by armies, anti-Western revolutionary movements and leftist leaders worldwide, the relatively cheap and sturdy rifle has been used by gangsters, drug traffickers, militants and rebels of all stripes.

The offspring of a large peasant family, Mikhail Kalashnikov started working on a new automatic firearm for the Soviet Red Army after he was wounded during World War Two.

He won a state competition to select a new weapon, beating the Soviet Union's best designers of weapons, and it brought him the Stalin Prize. His first assault rifle was produced in 1947 and there have been numerous modifications since then.

The Kalashnikov rifle is "a true cultural brand of Russia", Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said at the ceremony.

The unveiling of the monument was timed to coincide with Armsmakers' Day marked in Russia on Tuesday. Underscoring the importance of the military-industrial complex for Russia's economy, President Vladimir Putin sent best wishes to the workers of the sector

Anti-dumping Duty Imposed on Import of Bus/Truck Tyres From China

India has imposed anti-dumping duty on import of certain type of radial tyres used in buses and trucks to protect domestic manufacturers from below cost shipments from China for five years.

The anti-dumping duty has been imposed in the range of $ 245.35 - 452.33 per tonne, said a notification issued by the Central Board Excise and Customs (CBEC).

The duty has been slapped on "new/unused pneumatic radial tyres with or without tubes and/or flap of rubber (including tubeless tyres) having nominal rim dia code above 16 (inch)" used in buses and lorries/trucks.

The levy follows recommendation for the same by Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD).

Earlier, Automotive Tyre Manufacturers' Association (ATMA) had filed an application on behalf of the domestic producers -- Apollo Tyres, J K Tyre Industries and Ceat, had approached DGAD for investigations in dumping of tyres.

In its recommendation, the DGAD had said the domestic industry has suffered material injury on account of the imports from China.

It found that the tyres have been exported to India from the subject country "below normal value".

Countries impose anti-dumping duties to guard domestic industry from surge in below-cost imports. India has also imposed similar duties on import of several other products including steel, fabrics and chemicals from different countries including China.

Anti-dumping steps are taken to ensure fair trade and provide a level-playing field to the domestic industry. They are not a measure to restrict import or cause an unjustified increase in cost of products.

Renault Duster Sandstorm Edition Launched In India For Rs 10.90 Lakh

Renault has launched New Duster Sandstorm edition. 

With 9 new exciting enhancements, Renault Duster Sandstorm Edition will be available in two trims – RXS Diesel 85 PS Sandstorm edition offered for Rs 10,90,400 (ex-Delhi) and RXS Diesel 110 PS Sandstorm edition offered at Rs 11,70,400 (ex-Delhi). 

The Renault Duster Sandstorm comes with 5-speed and 6-speed manual transmission and is available in a 2-wheel drive (2WD) option.

The exterior design of the new Duster Sandstorm Edition SUV is very powerful and imposing with the New Matt Black front armour with Duster Branding & Lamps. 

The bold graphics make it even more expressive with the smart and striking Sandstorm decals on the hood, doors, tailgate and ORVMs. 

Other exciting exterior changes include all new style ZODIAC 16 inch machined alloys, and the Body Colored Outside Door Handle finish.

The interiors of the Renault Duster Sandstorm Edition comes in black & grey, centre fascia with dark chrome finish, shiny black door trim decorative strip & grab handle and door handle finish in black. 

The exclusivity of the new vehicle extends to the new seat covers and floor mat set with ‘Sandstorm’ branding. 

It is also equipped with a 7-inch touch screen and dual air bags.

 The New Duster Sandstorm Edition is available in 3 colour options - Outback bronze, Moonlight Silver and Slate Grey.

The Duster Sandstorm Edition will be powered by K9K 1.5 dCi (Common Rail Direct Injection) engine. 

The diesel engines churn an output of 110 PS and 85 PS. 

The powerful 110 PS version has a 6-speed manual transmission. 

The 85 PS version features a 5-speed manual transmission that delivers the best-in-class fuel efficiency of 20 kmpl (ARAI). 

Bookings for the New Duster Sandstorm can be made either at the dealerships or through the Renault Duster App.

TRAI Lowers Call Connect Charge from 14 paise to 6 Paise, No Rate From 2020

Telecom regulator TRAI on Tuesday Sep 19,2017announced slashing of the mobile call connection charge by more than half to 6 paise a minute and said no rate will apply from January 1, 2020, a move that may benefit newcomer Reliance Jio.

Mobile companies currently charge 14 paise a minute for allowing a domestic call from a rival operator to terminate on their network. This charge, called Inter-connection Usage Charge or IUC, will be 6 paise per minute from October 1, 2017, TRAI said in a statement.

Mobile tariffs will fall if the operators pass on the benefit of reduced IUC charge to customers. Terming the move as "disastrous", COAI Director-General Rajan Mathews said there are preliminary indications that most of its members will go to court on the issue. Trai -- which held an intensive consultation with the industry before finalising the charge -- said there will be no interconnect rate from January 1, 2020.

The regulator further said that for other types of calls -- landline-to-mobile, landline-to-landline -- the termination charges will continue to remain zero.

Established telecom operators have argued that every call on the network has a cost, and expenses of an incoming call on their network should be borne by the operator from whose network, the call has originated.

Trai today asked "why telecom operators are not migrating to newer technologies" when clear demonstrable large differences exist in the cost of providing same services.

"The authority is of the view that in case the present regime of cost-based domestic termination charge is continued for long, it would hamper the movement of the sector towards deployment of more efficient technologies and more innovative and customer-friendly tariff offerings and, in turn, it would be detrimental to the growth," the watchdog stated. It felt that two years will be "appropriate" for telcos to migrate to new technologies.

Trai, in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court in 2011, had said telecom operators should be given time till 2014 to move to the 'Bill and Keep regime'. Under this, operators only keep record of incoming calls on their network, but do not raise any demand from other operators. Jio had alleged that continuation of IUC beyond 2014 had resulted in older operators benefiting to the tune of Rs 1 lakh crore.

The established operators such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone have contended that telecom infrastructure in rural areas largely depends on revenue from incoming calls, and lowering or removal of such charge will hamper services.

They have been demanding that mobile call connection charge should be set in the range of 32-36 paise per minute. Airtel has claimed that it has suffered loss of Rs 6,800 crore due to lower IUC of 14 paise set by the regulator in the last five years. Rival Jio dubbed those claims as "misleading".

The IUC debate has seen Members of Parliament participating in person during the open house discussion organised by the regulator and all the members called for abolition of the charge.

At present, Reliance Jio offers entire phone call service using VoLTE technology. Airtel has just started VoLTE-based calls and plans to expand it to across India by the end of the current fiscal.

VoLTE (Voice over Long-Term Evolution) is high-end and latest version of calls that are made on Internet-based networks. 

Idea Cellular has written to Trai to separately calculate call connection charges for traditional network and VoLTE (voice over 4G) network as their is a huge difference on calls carried among the two networks.

According to back-of-the-envelope calculation by the industry, the IUC coming down to 6 paise could translate into savings of over Rs 5,000 crore for Jio while Airtel, Vodafone and Idea could stand to lose between Rs 1,200-2,000 crore.

Former CEO of Bharti Airtel Sanjay Kapoor said the entire pricing mechanism in India is not sustainable, given the decline in profit of telecom operators, low tariffs and high spectrum cost.

"Reduction in IUC adds to the pain. By changing technology, one can lower the cost, but the raw material spectrum is still expensive. Industry, given its current financial position, is not left with enough money to invest," Kapoor added.

The telecom industry has approached the government for relief as it is reeling under debt of around Rs 4.6 lakh crore and the tariff war has eroded their earnings.

The Legalities Behind TN Speaker Disqualifying Dinakaran MLAs

The Madras High Court will on Wednesday Sep 20,2017 hear the plea of 18 disqualified AIADMK MLAs who owed allegiance to the former party leader, TTV Dinakaran. The Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal on Monday, disqualified them under ‘The Members of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly (Disqualification Grounds of Defection) Rules, 1986’ formed in accordance with the Tenth Schedule (Articles 102 (2) and 191 (2)) of the Constitution.

The 18 MLAs had refused to support Chief Minister K Palaniswami and revolted against him last month. The MLAs filed a plea with the Madras HC questioning the validity of the Speaker’s decision

The case has opened a Pandora’s Box of legal questions that the court will have to delve into. Some of these questions are pertinent as the court will now have to walk a fine line to determine whether a leader of a party can be treated as an individual or the entire party by himself.

Moreover, it will also have to be looked at that if the party members express dissatisfaction with their leader, will they still remain members of the organization.

In an attempt to decode all of these issues, News18 speaks to PDT Acharya, Former Secretary General of the 14th Lok Sabha and 15th Lok Sabha and also the former Lok Sabha Secretariat.

Was Speaker P Dhanapal justified in disqualifying the 18 MLAs just because they have asked for the dismissal of the chief minister? 

As far as the Constitutional position is concerned, the Speaker has the power to disqualify the members on grounds that they have voluntarily given up membership of the party.

Now, voluntarily giving up of membership is liable to be interpreted in different ways. It is not a question of resignation but a voluntary action and is related to their conduct. This is what has been decided by the Supreme Court in a number of cases. If the Speaker is convinced that their conduct is such that it counts as giving up the party membership, although they have not resigned formally, then there are grounds to disqualify them and this is the Constitutional precedent.

Now, in Tamil Nadu’s context, whether the conduct of these 18 MLAs asking the Governor to dismiss their leader K Palaniswami amounts to giving up membership or not. This is the crucial question which has to be answered by the court on Monday.

What the scope of judicial review? Is the Constitution silent on the grounds to disqualify members of the house?

Removal of these 18 MLAs may be justifiable only in certain specific cases as it solely depends on the circumstances. If the Constitution had specified that the MLAs will be disqualified only if they resign from the party, the question wouldn’t have come up at all.

However, the Constitution makers chose not to address this issue so that the Speaker and the court can interpret it. The matter is open for judicial review and the Speaker’s decision can be challenged. In such cases, the court can take the final call on the validity of the order.

The other issue that has to be looked at is, whether they have been given adequate time or personal hearing to discuss the problem.

Will the Madras HC follow the precedent set by the Supreme Court?

In a 2007 case between Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party leaders and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party had suggested that just the move of BSP members approaching the Governor against Mayawati, who was holding the government at the time, called for their removal from the party.

The case was fought between Rajendra Singh Rana and Swamy Prasad Maurya. A few BSP members went up to the Governor along with some of Mulayam’s party members (who were in the opposition) and asked for dissolving the government. The rebel party members even requested the Governor to swear-in Mulayam Singh Yadav as the Chief Minister.

The SC said that based on the fact that they had met the Governor and asked for the dismissal of the government amounts to voluntarily giving up the membership of the party and thus disqualification is justified.

This is a precedent that strengthens the position of the Speaker.

What will the lawyer of these 18 AIADMK MLAs argue in court? How will the fine line of the difference of not revolting against the party and only the leader be explained?

The lawyers for the 18 MLAs can always say that they have not voluntarily given up their memberships or spoken against the party or indulged in anti-party activities and that they have only expressed their no-confidence in the chief minister, who is an individual and is incidentally leading the government.

There can be another chief minister, in whom, they would show absolute faith. Now, whether the courts should chalk out a difference between the leader as an individual and as the one representing the party, is a call that the court will have to take.

Is a fresh floor test for Palaniswami on the cards now?

Acharya believes the anti-defection laws are often misused. In such cases, the MLAs usually visit the Governor and tell him that they have withdrawn support from the government and that this action will reduce the government to a minority.

So, the Governor should ideally ask the chief minister to prove his majority in the floor of the house.

Acharya cites a 2011 example, when in Karnataka, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa lost his majority when some of his MLAs revolted against him and the Governor asked him to take a floor test. Yeddyurappa had petitioned the Speaker and requested him to disqualify these members. The disqualification of the members was struck down by the Supreme Court. But the primarily the fact remains that the anti-defection law is often misused by the ruling parties and Speakers.

Ousted AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran on September 18 claimed that the legislators supporting him would not have been disqualified, had Governor Vidyasagar Rao acted quickly on their plea against Chief Minister K Palaniswami. “Since the Governor caused an unnecessary delay despite knowing that Palaniswami did not have the required number of 117. This is a murder of democracy,” Dinakaran claimed.