PM Modi in US interacting with top CEOs to highlight opportunities in India

News Network
September 23, 2021

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Washington, Sept 23: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said he would highlight economic opportunities in India during his meetings with CEOs in Washington.

On Thursday, the prime minister is scheduled to hold one-on-one meetings with the top five American CEOs.

Two of them are Indian Americans -- Shantanu Narayen from Adobe and Vivek Lall from General Atomics. The three others being Cristiano E Amon from Qualcomm, Mark Widmar from First Solar, and Stephen A Schwarzman from Blackstone.

“Landed in Washington DC. Over the next two days, will be meeting President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Prime Ministers Scott Morrison from Australia and Yoshihide Suga from Japan," he tweeted.

“Will attend the Quad meeting and would also interact with leading CEOs to highlight economic opportunities in India,” he said.

The prime minister's meeting with American CEOs from five different key areas is reflective of the priorities of his government.

While Narayen reflects the IT and digital priority that the Indian government is pushing for, Modi’s meeting with Lall is significant as General Atomics is not only the pioneer in military drone technologies but also the world’s top manufacturer of state-of-the-art military drones, which the US shares only with its key allies and partners.

India is in the process of procuring a significant number of drones for the three branches of its armed forces. It has also leased a few drones from General Atomics.

Jakarta-born Vivek Lall, now based out of California, for over a decade has been instrumental in major bilateral defence deals worth around $18 billion, as India and the US take steps to forge a new relationship in which defence trade is a key pillar.

The meeting with chip giant Cristiano Amon assumes significance, given India’s push for the 5G technology to be safe and secure.

The San Diego-based company creates semiconductors, software, and services related to wireless technology.

A world leader in 3G, 4G, and next-generation wireless technology innovations for more than 30 years, Qualcomm is now pioneering its way to 5G with a new era of intelligent products that are revolutionising industries, including automotive, computing, and IoT.

India is looking for a major investment from Qualcomm.

As India is taking gigantic steps in the use of solar power to meet its energy needs, the meeting with Mark Widmar is important as First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (“PV”) solar solutions, which use its advanced module and system technology.

Early this summer, the Arizona-based company announced to add 3.3 GW of capacity in a new facility in India at an estimated cost of USD684 million.

Stephen A. Schwarzman is Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone, one of the world’s leading investment firms investing capital on behalf of pension funds, large institutions and individuals.

In March this year, Blackstone announced that funds managed by Blackstone Real Estate have acquired Embassy Industrial Parks from Warburg Pincus and Embassy Group, in one of India’s largest logistics transactions.  
 

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News Network
October 16,2021

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British Member of Parliament David Amess, 69, has died after being stabbed several times during a meeting with his constituents at a church in eastern England. A 25-year-old suspect has been arrested.

Reports said a man walked into Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, south Essex, where Amess was holding a surgery with locals on Friday and attacked the politician.

“He was treated by emergency services but, sadly, died at the scene,” police said. “A 25-year-old man was quickly arrested after officers arrived at the scene on suspicion of murder and a knife was recovered.”

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police has said that the murder Amess has been declared as a “terrorist incident”, with the investigation being led by its Terrorism Command, the agency said in a statement posted on social media.

 Detectives said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident. There was no detail about the motivation for the attack but the chief constable of Essex police later said counterterrorism officers are leading the investigation.

“The investigation is in its very early stages and is being led by officers from the specialist counterterrorism command,” Ben-Julian Harrington told reporters.

“It will be for investigators to determine whether or not this is a terrorist incident.”

Colleagues from across parliament expressed their shock and sorrow and paid tribute to Amess, who held regular meetings with voters on the first and third Fridays of the month, saying he was diligent in his duties to his local area. Amess leaves behind a wife and five children.

Flags in Downing Street were lowered in tribute.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he and his cabinet were “deeply shocked and heart-stricken”.

“David was a man who believed passionately in this country and in its future, and we’ve lost today a fine public servant and a much-loved friend and colleague,” Johnson said.

The prime minister would not say whether the attack meant politicians needed tighter security, saying, “We must really leave the police to get on with their investigation.”

Amess has been a member of parliament for Southend West, which includes Leigh-on-Sea, since 1997, but has been a lawmaker since 1983.

He was a well-liked member of parliament, best known for his ceaseless campaign to have Southend declared a city.

His website lists his main interests as “animal welfare and pro-life issues”.

Violence against British politicians is rare, but two other British lawmakers have been attacked this century during their “surgeries”, regular meetings where constituents can present concerns and complaints.

In June 2016, Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox was fatally stabbed and shot in her northern England constituency. A member of the far right was convicted of her murder.

In 2010, Labour lawmaker Stephen Timms survived a stabbing in his constituency office.

Jacqui Smith, chair of the Jo Cox Foundation, said in a statement on Twitter that Amess’s death is a “tragic loss for those who knew and loved Sir David”.

“I knew him as a generous and dedicated colleague in Parliament. Public life must be safe for those we ask to serve in our democracy – that is a responsibility for us all.”

Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer said on Twitter that David was a “dedicated public servant”.

“Informed by his faith, David had a profound sense of duty, that I witnessed first hand in parliament,” Starmer said.

“We will show once more that violence, intimidation and threats to our democracy will never prevail over the tireless commitment of public servants simply doing their jobs.”

Chris Doyle, the director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding – who knew both Amess and Cox – said that the killing of Amess would have a “chilling effect on British politics – the way in which you get that vital interchange between an elected member of parliament, part of the legislature, and the constituents that they represent.”

“There are 650 British MPs that will now be thinking ‘that could have been me’,” he said.

“They will be looking over their shoulders, they will be thinking ‘how can we improve our security. But above all of course the main sentiment is for David’s family and friends – to have lost him in such a way is just beyond belief.”

British lawmakers are protected by armed police when they are inside Parliament, but have no such protection in their constituencies. Amess published the times and locations of his open meetings with constituents on his website.

“Questions are rightly being asked about the safety of our country’s elected representatives and I will provide updates in due course,” Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Friday. 

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News Network
October 25,2021

New Delhi, Oct 25: Kolkata-based business tycoon Sanjiv Goenka's RPSG Group claimed the Lucknow franchise for a whopping Rs 7,090 crore while international equity investment firm CVC Capital won the bid for Ahmedabad with a Rs 5,600 crore offer as the eagerly-awaited two new IPL teams were unveiled in Dubai on Monday, PTI reported.

The BCCI was expecting a windfall in the range of Rs 10,000 crore but to their surprise, earned Rs 12,690 crore from the two new teams that will take part in the 2022 IPL.

"Yes, RPSG had the highest bid of INR 7090 crore while CVC had the second highest bid at Rs 5600 crore. The BCCI stand to earn around $1.7 billion from the deal," a senior BCCI source present in Dubai told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

IPL will be a 10-team league from 2022. The two cities were favourites in terms of stadium capacity as Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera has more than 100,000 capacity while the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow has 70,000 capacity. The other cities in the hunt are Indore, Guwahati, Cuttack, Dharamsala and Pune.

"For BCCI and the cricket world, the addition of two new IPL teams -- Lucknow and Ahmedabad -- is a great value addition. It is a great achievement for us. UP got its first team & Ahmedabad also got a team, they've the best stadiums," said BCCI Vice-President Rajeev Shukla.

"We're extremely happy that Indian cricket is growing forward. That is what is important for us. We look at Indian cricket and that's what our job is. The more Indian cricket prosperous, the better it is," said BCCI President Sourav Ganguly on the addition of two new IPL teams

The mega auction for the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League, IPL 2022, will be held later this year in December.

22 companies had picked up tender document worth Rs 10 lakh but with base price for new teams pegged at Rs 2,000 crore, there were expected to be only five to six serious bidders in fray.

The BCCI had also allowed a consortium of up to three companies/individuals to bid for a franchise.

However, in case of an individual or company, that particular entity's annual turnover should be minimum Rs 3,000 crore and in case of consortium, each of the three entities should have an annual turnover of Rs 2,500 crore.

Goenka owned the Pune Franchise Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) for two years and is also the owner of ISL franchise ATK Mohun Bagan.

There has been buzz that Lancer group, which is owned by Manchester United owner Avram Glazer, has also picked up the bid document. Gautam Adani and his Adani Group were also expected to bid for the Ahmedabad franchise.

The other notable companies which are in fray comprise Kotak group, pharmaceutical majors Aurobindo Pharma and Torrent group.

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News Network
October 18,2021

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Alappuzha, Oct 18: Amidst heavy rainfall, floods, and landslides in Kerala, there was a pleasant development of a couple -- both health workers -- braving flooded roads and reaching their wedding hall in a large aluminium cooking vessel to get married on Monday. 

They travelled nearly 500 metres on a traditional copper cooking vessel for their wedding held in a local temple at Thakazhi near Alappuzha. Both bride and groom are health workers working at a hospital in Chengannur.

Entering wedlock in a flooded hall at Thalavady adjacent to a nearby temple, where they were scheduled to get married initially and which too was filled with water, the couple was joined by a very limited number of relatives.

The couple -- Akash and Aishwarya -- were seen travelling in the cooking vessel. 

After their wedding, the couple told reporters -- who were covering the rising water levels in the district and had arrived at the hall after hearing about the nuptials -- that due to COVID they had kept invitees to a minimum.

They also said that since they had scheduled the wedding for Monday, they decided to go ahead with it as it was an auspicious event and did not want to delay it any further.

"We were not scared to travel in the vessel," said an excited Rahul while Aishwarya said, "We all are happy that the wedding took place at the planned auspicious time."

They said that when they arrived at the temple a few days ago, there was no water, but after the heavy rains in the past two days, the place got flooded. 

A relative who organised the 'vessel' trip said, "Some areas near the temple were almost submerged but we managed to bring both the bride and the groom on time."

Since torrential rains hit the state on Friday afternoon which continued partly till Sunday, the Kuttanad area of Alappuzha had submerged due to severe rains, the roads in the area were completely submerged on Monday.

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