India News

India News

Centre pursuing issues of northeast on mission mode: Sitharaman

Aizawl : Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said the central government would pursue all matters related to India's northeast region on a "mission mode".

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked all central ministers to speedily deal with all issues of northeastern states and sort them out without any delay," Sitharaman said.

Modi also asked the ministers to visit the region whenever needed, she said.

Sitharaman was speaking after inaugurating a land customs station (LCS) at Zokhawthar in Mizoram's Champhai district on Wednesday.

'Global experience has lessons on high spectrum cost'

By Arvind Padmanabhan and Aparajita Gupta,

New Delhi : India's latest auction of spectrum for telecom operators attracted among the highest bids by global standards at $18 billion. But for an industry in heavy debt and low in revenue per subscriber, the question: Are auctions in the interests of customers and industry?


State governments requested to reduce VAT on jet fuel: Minister

New Delhi : The central government on Thursday said that it has requested state governments to reduce value added tax (VAT) on jet fuel to provide relief to the aviation sector which is suffering due to the high cost of fuel.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma who spoke here at an industry summit said that jet fuel constitutes about 40-50 percent of the operational cost of an airline and that the finance ministry had been requested that jet fuel be included under declared goods.


India cautions against UN legitimising armed groups through direct dealing

By Arul Louis,

United Nations : India has cautioned the UN against directly dealing with armed groups and bypassing national governments as this would "give political legitimacy to non-state actors."

"It is this legitimacy that they seek the most and which may also, to some extent, be a motivating factor," India's Deputy Permanent Representative Bhagwant S. Bishnoi said Wednesday at a UN debate on "Children Victims of Non-State Armed Groups."

The impact of armed conflicts on children is steadily getting worse in parts of Africa and the Middle East.


Thousands of avian visitors bid adieu to Kashmir Valley

By Sheikh Qayoom,

Srinagar : After six months of winter sojourn in the Kashmir Valley, thousands of migratory birds are bidding adieu to return to their summer homes in far off lands.

The increasing cackle, the preparatory flapping of wings and vigorous feeding are some of the signs for bird watchers to know that the spectacle of sound and colour is soon going to end.


SC allows finalisation of telecom spectrum bids

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the government to finalise the auction of telecom spectrum and announce the winners, but with a caveat.

The finalisation of the results will be subject to the outcome of the cases being heard by the apex court.

The telecom auction concluded on Wednesday after 19 days, with a total bid commitment of nearly Rs.110,000 crores from the eight players in the fray.

Monument to victims of slave trade unveiled with Indian contribution

By Arul Louis,

United Nations : India paid tributes to the human rights defenders who fought to abolish slavery and indentured labour at the unveiling at the UN headquarters in New York Wednesday of a monument to the victims of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery. India, which contributed $260,000, was the main donor to the Permanent Memorial Trust Fund for monument.


Delhi HC slams civic bodies over poor condition of kids' parks

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday slammed the civic authorities in the national capital for not being able to improve the deplorable condition of children's parks in the city.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw said that despite directions from the court in the last one year, nothing has improved.


Donated eyes thrown in dustbin, Haryana orders probe

Chandigarh: Haryana's Health Minister Anil Vij on Wednesday said a probe has been ordered after reports said nearly 2,000 donated eyes were thrown into a dustbin at a government hospital in the state.

Vij said Pradeep Kasni, secretary in the medical education and research department, will conduct the investigation into the matter.

The probe was ordered following reports that nearly 2,000 eyes donated in leading hospitals were dumped into the dustbin recently at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS)-Rohtak.


Net bids in India's spectrum auction at Rs.109,874 crore

New Delhi: The e-auction of radio frequency spectrum, or airwaves, for telecom operators concluded Wednesday after 19 days and 115 rounds of rigorous bidding with officials placing the provisional estimate of commitments at Rs.109,874 crore -- the highest ever.

"At the end of 115th round, about 89 percent of the spectrum has been provisionally allocated to the bidders. The provisional amount committed by bidders at the end of 115th round is Rs.109,874 crore," an official statement said.