Kaifiyat Express accident: Rescue operation over, 74 injured, no casualties

Kaifiyat Express accident: Rescue operation over, 74 injured, no casualties

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The rescue operation for the Kaifiyat Express derailment, which happened in the wee hours of Wednesday, is over.


The Kaifiyat Express, train No. 12225 – Azamgarh to New Delhi, which derailed in Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh at around 2:40 a.m, has left about 74 passengers with minor injuries.


Out of these 74, four are said to be critically injured. Two have been sent to Etawah and two to Saifai, Arvind Kumar, Principal Secretary, Home told ANI.


Speaking to the media, the Inspector General (I.G.) said that a dumper carrying mud lost its balance and fell in a manner that the track was destroyed.


“We got the information about the tracks at about 2:40 a.m., while the train had already arrived and the accident took place at around 2.35 a.m. Hence, there wasn’t much time to contact the control room and tell them that the way is damaged,” he said.


The passengers have been moved to the Achalda railway station and the rescue train that will take them to Delhi is on its way.


Furthermore, five trains that take the same route have been cancelled, while seven have been diverted, out of which one will be used a relief train.


Commissioner P.K. Mohanty said that all further information will come to light after the investigation.

“The dumper stumbled on the railway tracks and the accident happened,” he said adding, “the only relief factor here is that there were no deaths, while the injured have been sent to the hospital. The train drivers have also been injured.”


“Train No. 12225 – Azamgarh to New Delhi – derailed in the Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh at around 2:40 a.m. When Kaifiyat express was passing by Ochalda and Patra station, by gate number 14 then a dumper collided with the train, derailing it with the engine and six coaches. There is no report of deaths,” the Railways DG PRO, Anil Saxena, had earlier said.


The incident comes days after 14 coaches of the Utkal Express derailed in Uttar Pradesh Katauli in which 23 people were killed and more than 100 injured.



Supreme Court strikes down triple talaq; calls it unconstitutional

Triple Talaq verdict today


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The Supreme Court on Tuesday held the practice of Triple Talaq as unconstitutional with a five-judge bench ruling against the practice in a 3:2 verdict, according to media reports.


A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar had reserved its verdict on May 18 after a six-day marathon hearing during the summer vacation.


According to LiveLaw.in, Justices Kurian Joseph, UU Lalit, and RF Nariman delivered the majority Judgment, while Chief Justice Khehar and Justice Abdul Nazeer dissented.


According to ANI, CJI Khehar, who was in the minority view, upheld the practice of triple talaq and asked the Union government to bring in legislation on the matter in six months.


During the hearing, the apex court had clarified that it may not deliberate upon the issue of polygamy and said it would only examine whether triple talaq was part of an “enforceable” fundamental right to practice religion by the Muslims.


Besides CJI Khehar, the bench also included Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman, U U Lalit and S Abdul Nazeer.


The bench, made up of judges from different religious communities — Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Hindu and Muslim, had heard seven pleas, including five separate petitions filed by Muslim women challenging the prevalent practice of ‘triple talaq’ in the community.


The petitioners had claimed that the practice of ‘triple talaq in india‘ was unconstitutional.


The Muslim women, who had filed the petitions, have challenged the practice of ‘triple talaq’ in which the husband pronounces ‘talaq’ thrice in one go, sometimes even by phone or a text message, to get a divorce.


During the hearing, the apex court had observed that the practice of ‘triple talaq’ was the “worst” and “not a desirable” form of dissolution of marriage among Muslims, even though there were schools of thought which called it “legal”.


Several lawyers, including noted jurist Ram Jethmalani had attacked the practice on various constitutional grounds, including the right to equality and termed it “abhorrent”.



Bank strike today: Services to be hit across India as 1 mn bankers protest

SBI net down 20%, NPAs worsen

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Banking operations across the country will be affected on Tuesday with around one million Banks going on strike pressing various demands.


“All India State Bank Officers’ Federation and All India State Bank of India Staff Federation, being part of UFBU (United Forum of Bank Unions), will also participate in the strike. It is likely that our Bank would also be impacted by the said strike,” the State Bank of India (SBI) had said earlier in a regulatory filing in the BSE.


The strike call was given by the UFBU — an umbrella body of nine unions, including All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW). The UFBU is protesting against reforms in the banking sector and other issues.


According to union leaders, around one million bankers working in around 132,000 branches will be on strike on Tuesday.


Most banks have already informed their customers that functioning of branches and offices will be impacted.


Operations at private lenders like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank are expected to be normal except delays in cheque clearances.


Why are they going on strike


All unions under the aegis of UFBU are going on strike against the government’s proposed consolidation move besides raising a host of other demands.


“As the conciliation meeting before the Chief Labour Commissioner failed, unions are left with no other option but to go on strike. There was no assurance from the government and the management of banks,” AIBOC General Secretary D T Franco said.


All attempts to hammer out solutions to the demands raised by the unions bore no fruit and hence, UFBU decided to proceed with the proposed strike on August 22, he said.


Other demands include no write-off policy for non-performing assets (NPAs) of corporate loans, declaring wilful default of loans as criminal offence, and implementation of recommendations of Parliamentary Committee on recovery of NPAs, AIBEA General Secretary C H Venkatchalam said.


He also suggested that banks should not pass on the burden of corporate NPAs on bank customers by hiking charges.


Venkatchalam said the government should abolish the Banks Board Bureau and ensure stringent measures to recover bad loans and accountability of top executives.


UFBU also requested the government for cost reimbursement of demonetisation to banks.


As many as 21 public sector banks control 75 per cent of the total business.



Infosys saga explained: Vishal Sikka’s exit and erosion of shareholder value

Vishal Sikka and Narayana Murthy

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The price of Infosys stock price last week plummeted 10 per cent to Rs 923, thanks to the unsurprising exit of Vishal Sikka as the chief executive and managing director of the company.
Worse, since his exit has been shrouded in controversies, the confidence that Sikka had built up in the stock since his appointment three years ago has also thinned significantly.


The exit was indeed inevitable and that is clear from the fairly incisive questions raised by co-founder N R Narayana Murthy – now in the public domain.


The questions dwell upon Sikka, the board’s conduct, the Panaya acquisition, and the severance package given to former chief financial officer Rajiv Bansal.


The governance issues raised by Murthy give an impression that the board had not acted fairly on the whistleblower report highlighting malpractices during Sikka’s regime.


In questioning the processes followed by the company’s board, Murthy represents himself and “some well-meaning shareholders” who consider the findings of the independent investigation dubious.


Given that the rift had started emerging a few months ago, Sikka’s eventual exit was hardly a surprise. However, a market discomfiture compelled the company to announce a Rs 13,000-crore buyback plan, comprising the purchase of 4.92 per cent outstanding shares at Rs 1,150 apiece.

The offer encompasses the entire amount committed for shareholder returns after the March quarter of 2016-17. Infosys has also committed to making a payout of up to 70 per cent free cash flows by way of dividend starting 2017-18.


But these dole-outs might not be enough to reverse the crisis. The overhang on the stock will persist unless the fundamental issues are tackled well. There are several aspects to what could evolve going forward.


First, in the immediate term, there will be legal fallouts. US-based firms like Rosen Legal and Bronstein and Gewirtz & Grossman have initiated an investigation of potential securities claims on behalf of Infosys shareholders (ADR is 16.69 per cent of total outstanding shareholding).


These draw from the allegations that Infosys might have issued materially misleading business information to the investing public.



Board vs founder war: Is Infosys stock a good contrarian pick?



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Infosys stock fell 9.6% last Friday consequent to the announcement of resignation of its CEO, Vishal Sikka. Subsequently on Saturday, as proposed earlier, the company announced buyback of 11.3 crore number of shares from investors at a price of Rs 1,150 per share for total value up to Rs 13,000 crore through a tender offer on a proportionate basis. This is 4.92% of total paid up capital and at a premium of 24.5% on Friday’s closing price.


We maintain our view that the wealth creation opportunity in the large IT stocks is not there at least for the next 3 years. Slowdown in the global economy and the base effect of the IT exports would make it difficult for the IT exports to grow in strong double-digits in the near future. However, we believe that the reaction to the stock on Friday was largely because of fear factor and it does not deserve such punishment:


Infosys has emerged as an institution over the last 3 decades: With an annual turnover of around Rs.68,000 crore, a net profit of around Rs 14,000 crore and an employee base of around two lakh, it can easily attract a suitable talent.


In our view, a company, which spends over Rs 37,000 crore per annum towards “Employee Benefit Expenses” would not find it difficult to attract the suitable talent. As per the latest media reports, Infosys has already started look out for the CEO;


It is a cash-rich company: Even after this buyback program, Infosys still would have a cash of around Rs 26,000 crore as the cash reserves at the end of June 2017 was Rs.39,335 crore. At the end of the first quarter of FY2018, the cash generated from operating cash flow was Rs.3,598 crore. The operating cash flow as percentage of net profit remained over 100% for the 4th quarter in a row. The yield on cash for the quarter was 7.07%.


Doklam standoff: China censures Japan for backing India

Doklam: The word from Ground Zero


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China on Friday told Japan not to make “random” comments on the Sino-Indian border standoff even if it wants to support New Delhi.


Japan has rallied behind India over the dragging feud at Doklam, with its envoy Kenji Hiramatsu saying that the region is disputed and Tokyo understands why New Delhi got embroiled in it.


“I have seen the Japanese Ambassador in India really wants to support India. I want to remind him not to randomly make comments before clarifying relevant facts,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.


She rebutted Hiramatsu who said that Doklam, on the Sikkim section of the India-China border, was disputed and no country should change the status quo by using force.


“In the Donglang (Doklam) area, there is no territorial dispute. And the boundary has been delimited and recognized by the two sides,” Hua said.”And the attempt to change the status quo by trespass in the boundary is of India, not China.”


Japan is the first country to openly speak on the crisis and back India.Hua again asked India to immediately withdraw troops from Doklam, where both sides have been engaged in a stand-off since June.


She said India’s unconditional pullback will be the basis for any meaningful dialogue to resolve the crisis, which has plunged ties between two countries to a new low.


Doklam is disputed by Bhutan and China. India says the area belongs to Bhutan and Chinese soldiers entered the area, affecting New Delhi’s strategic interests.

Personal attacks continue: Full text of Vishal Sikka’s resignation letter

Infosys Vishal Sikka

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Vishal Sikka has resigned as managing director and chief executive of Infosys with immediate effect.


U B Pravin Rao has been appointed as interim-managing director and chief executive, India’s no. 2 software services exporter said in a statement.Sikka has now been appointed as executive vice-chairman.Here’s the full text of Vishal Sikka resignation letter.

Over the last few days, since our earlier call, I’ve met Sesh several times, talked to you individually at length, and spent time thinking things thru with Vandana. During this time, one of our employees, Sandeep Karamongikar, died in his sleep, likely of a massive heart attack. He was working on the chatbot frontend in Nia. Also over the weekend, in possibly the greatest demonstration of AI capability ever, a bot built by the researchers at OpenAI (yes, that OpenAI), defeated the world’s best players of DOTA2, a multiplayer online video game, a game where the bot learned to play entirely from scratch. Further demonstrating that the force to automate routine, even advanced, activities is an unstoppable and exponential one. And the Charlottesville incident here in the US demonstrated once again the power of words and silences to cause real damage, or to heal.

After much reflection, I have concluded that it is indeed time for me to leave my current positions as MD and CEO, and I have communicated my resignation to Sesh. I will be working closely with Sesh, Ravi, Pravin, with all of you, and the senior management team to plan out the details and the timelines to ensure a smooth transition and in the meantime, continue our work without disruption, and ensuring that we protect our company, the employees, the clients, and the interests of every shareholder. You can count on my commitment to this.