Petrol pumps not to buy fuel from OMCs starting June 16, may go dry

Move comes in protest of daily change in petrol, diesel prices effective from June 16

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Current Affairs : Petrol pump owners in India have decided not to purchase fuel starting from June 16, protesting against the “unilateral” decision by the government to roll-out the daily revision of fuel prices nationally.

Though the associations are not terming it as a strike, they claim that “no-purchase” from June 16 onwards means petrol pumps are likely to go dry from the day their stock gets over. “It is not a strike, but there will be no purchase of petrol or diesel, starting from June 16,” Ajay Bansal, president of All India Petroleum Dealers’ Association, told Business Standard. According to industry figures, India has about 57,000 fuel retail outlets, out of which state-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) have a combined network of close to 53,000 outlets.

Currently, IOC, BPCL and HPCL review retail fuel prices every fortnight taking into account of the global crude oil prices. The announcement of daily price revision of petrol and diesel came after a successful trial run starting from May 1 in five locations — Pondicherry, Chandigarh, Jamshedpur, Udaipur and Vishakhapatnam. Even private fuel retailers like Essar Oil and Reliance Industries too followed the system in these cities.

ALSO READ: Diesel, petrol prices to change daily from June 16; dealers raise concerns

The dealers were worried because of the declining stock value and were demanding an increase in dealer commission, which is between two-three per cent now. According to sources, oil marketing companies are likely to take a call on dealer commission by June 30.

“Daily price revisions of petrol and diesel will make the retail prices more reflective of the current market conditions, minimising the volatility in the retail selling price. Further, it will lead to increased transparency in the system. This will also enable smoother flow of products from refinery and depots to retail outlets,” IOC had said in a statement last week.

 

Virat Kohli only Indian in Forbes highest paid athletes list, earns $22 mn

Cristiano Ronaldo topped the list with a total pay of $93 mn; Serena Williams sole woman listed

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Current Affairs : Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli is the sole sportsperson from the country to feature among the world’s 100 highest paid athletes in the latest Forbes list topped by soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Kohli, 28, has been ranked 89th on the 2017 Virat Kohli In Forbes List of ‘The World’s highest paid athletes’ with a total pay of $22 million, which includes $3 million from salary and winnings and another $19 million from endorsements.

Describing Kohli as the “Indian cricket phenom”, Forbes said the sports star has “for good reason” already drawn comparisons to all-time great Sachin Tendulkar.

It added that Kohli has continuously shattered batting records and in 2015 was named the captain of the Indian national team, making him one of the youngest players to ever hold the job.

It noted that last year, Kohli made nearly $1 million in salary and match fees from his national team play, and he’s also among the Indian Premier League’s highest-paid players thanks to a $2.3 million salary from Royal Challengers Bangalore.

“The vast majority of his income, however, comes from one of the sports world’s most impressive sponsorships portfolios,” Forbes said.

The list has been topped by Ronaldo with a total pay of $93 million. American basketball star LeBron James comes in at the second spot with $86.2 million, followed by Argentine footballer Lionel Messi (3) with $80 million, tennis star Roger Federer (4) with $64 million and American basketball player Kevin Durant. Read Full Story >>>

Flights to Doha longer as Indian carriers skip UAE; take Pak, Iran routes

Flights from Mumbai and Kerala will also have to transit through these routes due torestrictions

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Current Affairs : Fliers from India will now spend an additional half hour on their flights to Doha, with the worsening crisis in the Persian Gulf prompting carriers to skip airspace over the UAE.

Air India Express, IndiGo and Jet Airways operate flights between Indian cities and Doha. Flights out of Delhi fly over Pakistan and Iran to reach the Qatari capital. Those from Mumbai and Kerala used to fly over Oman and the UAE. These will now also fly over Pakistan and Iran.

On Monday, Saudi Qatar Rift , the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism. They also suspended air, sea and land transport.

The UAE also asked all foreign airlines to obtain prior clearance to use its airspace for Doha flights. The situation worsened on Tuesday, with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia revoking the licence of Qatar Airways to operate in their territory.

With tension high, India airlines are preparing to deal with the crisis.

“All scheduled flights to and from Doha will operate on the alternative northern routes via Iran, avoiding the UAE airspace,” said a Jet Airways spokesperson. “As a result, flights will be 10 to 40 minutes longer.”

He added the airline was planning to augment its crew to deal with the additional flying time.

Jet is also trying to get clearance from the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the UAE to fly over the country. “Our schedules have been provided to the GCAA. Once approved, we will be able to resume operating on the normal routes,” the airline said.

Last year, around 1.6 million passengers travelled between India and Doha, making it the fifth-busiest destination in the Gulf for travellers from here, after Dubai, Muscat, Kuwait and Jeddah. This figure does not include onward traffic.

Qatar Airways flies to 14 cities in India; 70-80 per cent of its passengers travel onward.

Aviation sources said Qatar Airways might drop fares to sustain its bookings. “Qatar relies on traffic from its neighbouring countries. Now, the airline will depend more on India and other such nations to fill up its flights to Europe and the US.”

Air traffic to the Gulf is thin during Ramzan, but domestic airways have experienced an increase in booking. This is because those who had booked one-stop flights, through Dubai or Sharjah, are now buying tickets on other flights, a sector executive said. Read More

You don’t have to be a cricket fan to love ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’

Tendulkar comes across in the film as guileless and driven

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There is something about Sachin Tendulkar, something so correct and so innocent you want him to win in life even when you know he is no more the ‘God’ of the cricket field.

The rousing farewell speech that Sachin gives at the end of this astutely emotional journey into the heart and mind of India’s most celebrated Bat Man, left me dewy-eyed. This, when I know zilch about cricket and practically nothing about Sachin’s exploits on the field. What I do know “and what this film is able to tell us in comprehensive strokes of revelation” is that greatness is not thrust on the great by chance.

One has to break bones and crack ribs to get there.

Sachin: A Billion Dreams” is the story of a national hero who sails through every crisis with his simple philosophy of good existence and hard work. Sachin’s life is blameless. He has never been in any controversy and he doesn’t incite scandalous thoughts. This film could’ve easily been the opposite of what the Sanjay Dutt biography would be, given the man’s colourful lifescape. Instead the director unfolds a treasury of memories and anecdotes in which the aroma of ambition is mingled with the flavour of yearnings.

Sachin Tendulkar’s wife talks about how he would clam up after every defeat on the field. Does that make him a difficult man to live with? She doesn’t say. Dissent is not an option that people close to Tendulkar would want to exercise. What I gathered after watching Tendulkar’s tale being tossed into a cauldron of exploratory channels all leading to a glorious exposition on heroism,is that every great life has a very strong support system behind it. ReadMore…

More job cuts in India? Cognizant to expand local hiring in US

Firm to prune domestic costs through initiatives such as voluntary separation

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Cognizant Technology Solutions plans to sharply increase local hiring in the US this year with increased demand for co-innovation and on-site presence from clients. The Nasdaq-listed technology services major said it would look at talent across local community colleges to big management universities to man different projects in the US.

Last month, when the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services opened the window for applications, Cognizant applied for “less than half” H1B visas compared with last year.

“We are evolving our workforce and delivery in the United States. Cognizant hired 4,000 US citizens in 2016, and in 2017 and beyond, we expect to significantly ramp up our US based workforce by hiring experienced professionals in the open market and by making more use of university programmes. We are shifting our workforce largely in response to clients’ increasing need for co-innovation. But we still seek visas for highly-specialised and skilled talent…We expect to further reduce our need for these visas going forward. As part of our shift, we continue to expand our US delivery centres,” Rajeev Mehta, President, Cognizant told analysts on Friday.

At the same time, the company has taken up initiatives such as the voluntary separation package, which was announced last week, for senior employees to optimise costs.

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“We are looking for opportunities to further optimise cost structures…We just launched earlier this week a voluntary separation package that programme will go till the end of Q2 and we will see the benefit of that in Q3,” said Karen McLoughlin, chief financial officer, Cognizant.

The company is the second software provider after Infosys to announce increase in local hiring in the US. Cognizant, however, has not disclosed any numbers. Beyond the business shift towards digital, Donald Trump-led US administration’s moves towards H1B visa restrictions have resulted in companies focusing on local hiring there.

Cognizant saw a 26 per cent growth in net profits to $557 million for the quarter ending March 31, 2017, while revenues grew by 10.7 per cent to $3.55 billion. ReadMore

Babri case: SC restores criminal conspiracy charges against Advani, Joshi

Senior BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and others will be tried

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BJP leaders L K Advani, M M Joshi and Uma Bharti will face trial in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case as the Supreme Court today allowed the CBI plea and restored criminal conspiracy charges against them.

The court also clubbed the trial in the matter pending against the leaders and ‘karsevaks’ and said the proceedings should be completed in two years.

“We have allowed the CBI appeal against the Allahabad High Court judgement with certain directions,” a bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman said.

The apex court, however, noted that Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh enjoys Constitutional immunity and can be tried only after he ceases to hold the office. Kalyan Singh was the chief minister of UP in 1992.

Also Read : Babri masjid: SC rules Advani, Joshi to be tried under criminal conspiracy

The court also gave significant directions including that separate trials being conducted in trial courts at Raebareli and Lucknow will be clubbed and conducted in the capital of Uttar Pradesh only.

It also said that the trial judge of Lucknow “shall not be transferred” till conclusion and delivery of judgement in the sensational case.

The court further said that no party shall be granted adjournment without the sessions judge being satisfied of the reasons for it and conduct day-to-day trial which should be concluded within two years.

It also directed probe agency CBI to ensure that prosecution witnesses appear on each and every date for recording of evidence in the case and the trial court should start the proceedings within four weeks from today.

It, however, clarified that there would be no de novo (fresh) trial in the matter.(readmore…)

IPL 2017: RCB beats Gujarat by 21 runs; Chris Gayle, Yuzvendra Chahal shine

Chris Gayle also completed his 10,000 runs in twenty20 cricket

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Swashbuckling West Indies opener Chris Gayle smashed a blistering half-century before Yuzvendra Chahal returned with a three-wicket haul as Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Gujarat Lions by 21 runs in their IPL 2017 encounter here today.

Gayle slammed a 38-ball 77-run innings, while skipper Virat Kohli produced a superb 50-ball 64 to guide RCB to a massive 213-2 after Gujarat skipper Suresh Raina won the toss and elected to field.

Opener Brendon McCullum then played a superb 72-run off 44-ball innings, studded with two fours and seven sixes but he didn’t get the support from the other end as RCB restricted the Lions to 192-7 to snap their three-game losing streak.

Yuzvendra Chahal (3/31) was the pick of the bowlers for RCB as he picked up three crucial wickets — Dwayne Smith (1), Suresh Raina (23) and McCullum — in his four overs to derail Gujarat’s runchase.

Chasing 214 to win, Gujarat lost their opening batsman Smith early when he was caught at the boundary line by Mandeep Singh off Chahal’s bowling at deep square-leg.

Skipper Raina then slammed a quick-fire 8-ball 23 which included two fours and two sixes before becoming the second wicket of Chahal.

Coming down the pitch, Raina tried to play a sweep shot which went straight to Shane Watson at short fine leg.

McCullum (72) and Aaron Finch (19) then stitched a 66-run innings off 34 balls for the third wicket to take Gujarat across the 100-mark in 10th over.

McCullum also added 31 off 22 balls with Ravindra Jadeja (23) before becoming the third victim of Chahal in the 15th over as Lions looked down the barrel.

Jadeja then was run-out after a mix-up with new batsman Ishan Kishan in the 18th over. Kishan then hit a 16-ball 39, laced with four sixes and two four but it was too late in the end.(readmore)