Photo: PTI
Photo: PTI

Firecracker sale ban, Airtel-Tata deal and Ashish Nehra’s retirement

SC bans sale of firecrackers in NCR during Diwali season; Bharti Airtel to acquire consumer mobile business of Tata Teleservices; Ashish Nehra retires from all formats of cricket

1. Factory output recovers

The Index of Industrial Production expanded 4.3% in August year-on-year from the 0.9% growth witnessed a month ago. Within various industries, manufacturing of computer, electronic and optical products showed the highest growth of 24.9 % followed by 16.5 % in manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, medicinal chemical and botanical products. Retail inflation remained the same at 3.28% in September from the revised number for August.

2. TCS revenues disappoint

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd’s (TCS’) September quarter revenues were up 1.7% in constant currency terms from the previous quarter. This is the 12th quarter when TCS has underperformed or just met analysts’ expectations. The company reported dollar revenue of $4.74 billion, up 3.2% from the previous quarter. TCS added $594 million in incremental revenue in April-September.

3. Election dates announced for Himachal Pradesh

On Thursday, the Election Commission of India announced that polls to the 68-seat Himachal Pradesh assembly will be held on 9 November and counting will begin on 18 December. The Gujarat assembly elections will be organized prior to 18 December. For Himachal Pradesh, the election notification will be issued on 16 October and the last date for filing nominations would be 23 October.

4. India ranks low on Global Hunger Index

India was ranked 100 out of 119 in the International Food Policy Research Institute’s (IFPRI’s) latest Global Hunger Index. With a score of 31.4, India shared the rank of 100 with Djibouti and Rwanda. Both countries have recorded a better improvement over the last 20 years than India. India’s rank was behind that of countries like North Korea, Bangladesh, Iraq and Nepal.

5. Ola raises funds from Tencent and Softbank

On Wednesday, India’s rival to Uber, Ola (ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd), raised $1.1 billion from China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd and existing investor SoftBank Group Corp. of Japan. Ola also stated that it was in advanced talks to raise another $1 billion from existing and new investors. Ola is currently the third-most valuable start-up in India.

6. Supreme Court criminalizes sex with minor wife

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that a man will be held guilty of rape if his wife is below the age of 18 and he engages in sexual intercourse with her—a move that will go a long way in discouraging the practice of child marriage. Justice Madan B. Lokur announced that the exception under Section 375 (which defines rape) that excused marital rape for minors was contrary to Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution.

7. Diwali firecrackers

On Monday, the Supreme Court banned the sale of firecrackers in the National Capital Region (NCR) ahead of the Diwali festival. The ban will remain in place until 31 October. While traders have moved the court, seeking a modification in the order as they would suffer huge losses, the move has energized activists and residents in other cities, who have demanded similar rulings. The ban comes in the wake of Delhi’s worsening air pollution levels.

8. Ashish Nehra retires

On Thursday, 38-year old Indian pacer Ashish Nehra announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. Nehra made his international debut in 1999 and is best remembered for his six for 23 against England—the best by an Indian bowler in a World Cup. He was plagued by injuries.

9. Airtel to acquire Tata Teleservices

On Thursday, Bharti Airtel Ltd announced that it would acquire the consumer mobile businesses of Tata Teleservices Ltd and Tata Teleservices Maharastra Ltd. The move will increase Airtel’s spectrum by 178.5 MHz spectrum in the 850, 1,800 & 2,100 MHz bands. Airtel will also be able to use the existing fibre network of Tata.

10. Delhi metro fares hiked

The Delhi Metro put into effect its second hike in five months, requiring commuters travelling beyond 5km to pay an extra Rs10. Travel within the 2-5km distance will cost Rs5 more. Fares in the Airport Express Line were left unchanged. The hike was put into effect despite stiff opposition from the Delhi government.

Graphics by Prajakta Patil

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