Miscellany

Miscellany

Fitch quotes Tagore to say ‘it’s all about implementation’

Finance ministry mandarins have been pitching for a rating upgrade citing various factors. But on Monday they got rather a rudimentary lesson from Fitch Ratings — You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.

Thomas Rookmaaker, Fitch Ratings director for Asia Pacific sovereign ratings, quoted Rabindranath Tagore to remind the government that substantial action on the ground is missing for a rating upgrade.

UAE no more the largest buyer of Indian gems and jewellery

After being the largest buyer of Indian gems and jewellery for the past eight years, United Arab Emirates (UAE) slipped to the second position last fiscal after it rolled out VAT for imported goods and the Indian government introduced checks on possible round-tripping in exports.

The share of gems and jewellery that were shipped to UAE slipped to 25 per cent in FY18 from 32 per cent in FY17. Meanwhile, Hong Kong inched up its share from 30 per cent in FY17 to 33 per cent in FY18. Among the three major export destinations, US’ share remained stable at 23 per cent.

Aamir Khan scripts real life water story

Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan is making waves again after taking on the challenge for water conservation to fight the drought in Maharashtra.

The 53-year-old actor is enrolling college students from Pune, Mumbai, Nashik, Nagpur and other cities to become jalmitras and join his initiative, ‘shramdaan’ (volunteer work offering) to carry out watershed management work being executed in the remote perennial drought-prone villages of Maharashtra.

British Indian entrepreneur Sanjay Gupta buys Diamond Bank’s UK arm

British Indian entrepreneur Sanjeev Gupta on Thursday strike a deal with Nigeria’s Diamond Bank to acquire its UK-regulated banking subsidiary, Diamond Bank (UK). The new bank, which, upon change of control, is intended to be renamed British Commonwealth Trade Bank (BCTB) to address gaps for trade in developing economies, particularly within the Commonwealth. 

Facebook releases long-secret rules on how it polices the service

Facebook Inc on Tuesday released a rule book for the types of posts it allows on its social network, giving far more detail than ever before on what is permitted on subjects ranging from drug use and sex work to bullying, hate speech and inciting violence.

Facebook for years has had “community standards” for what people can post. But only a relatively brief and general version was publicly available, while it had a far more detailed internal document to decide when individual posts or accounts should be removed.

US to soon end work permits for spouses of H-1B holders

In a double blow to Indian IT workforce in the US, a federal agency official has said that the Trump administration is working on proposals to streamline the H-1B visa procedure as well as ending giving work permits to the spouses of H1-B visa holders. A formal communication to end work visa permits is expected to be made later this summer.

Google CEO Pichai to cash in $380m award

Google CEO Sundar Pichai (in pic) is about to have a very big week. On Wednesday, an award of 353,939 restricted shares he received before a promotion in 2014 will vest. At the end of last week, the grant was worth about $380 million, making it one of the largest single payouts to a public company executive in recent years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Amazon has a top secret plan to build home robots

Ten years ago, Amazon introduced the Kindle and established the appeal of reading on a digital device. Four years ago, Jeff Bezos and company rolled out the Echo, prompting millions of people to start talking to a computer.

Now Amazon.com Inc. is working on another big bet: robots for the home.

Smart cities on fast track

A string of smart cities in the mega Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project is likely to drive urbanisation even as the planned smart cities in the first phase have sailed past the approval and planning stages and are now having the trunk infrastructure laid out.

Each of the smart city projects— Dholera in Gujarat, Aurangabad Industrial City (AURIC) in Maharashtra, Vikram Udyogpuri in MP and Integrated Industrial Township Greater Noida (IITGNL) in UP —is being implemented by a special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed between state and central governments.

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