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Best of BS Opinion: Breach and overreach, IPL's hidden sticky wicket, more


The latest winter session of Parliament will go down in history as an exceptional sitting, marked with a record number of suspensions of members. In the broader scheme of things, the current disruption is not an isolated incident; there have been occasions when entire sessions have been washed out. Nor is the current Opposition the only guilty party. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party resorted to similar tactics when it was in opposition before 2014.  The outcome is important legislation is not adequately debated and passed in haste, with longer-term consequences for the country. The essence of the issue is the existing Indian parliamentary system does not give enough space to the Opposition. The government of the day gets to drive the parliamentary agenda completely. This needs to change, the top edit argues, because today it's a security breach; tomorrow it could be something else, and disruptions will persist. Read it hereIn other views: Click here to follow our WhatsApp channelM S Sahoo & Sumit Agrawal discuss the contours of disciplinary proceeding processes that market infrastructure institutions such as stock, commodity and currency exchanges should adopt.  Read it hereThe second edit says the IPL auctions inadvertently reveal a structural weakness in this money-spinning tournament. Read it hereAmit Kapoor and Bibek Debroy point out that smart cities should also be equal cities. Read it hereAlex Cook, Associate Professor of the NUS School of Public Health, Singapore on new Covid infections

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Best of BS Opinion: Planning for megapolises, redefining patriotism & more

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Digital money heist: What's behind surge in online payment fraud?


“Beti, meri awaaz pehchani nahi?”“Dear, do you not recognise my voice,” said the voice at the other end of the phone. The woman of 30, a resident of Mumbai, who received the call last week, was first perplexed and then besieged with guilt as the caller went on to introduce himself as Waghmare, “a close friend” of  her father’s. Now she was eager to make up for  her lapse of not recognising her father’s close friend. Waghmare went on to say he wanted to transfer Rs15,000, which he owed her father, to the woman’s account because her father’s “bank server

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Financial frauds in India rose 65% between 2021 and 2022: Finance Ministry

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RBI hikes UPI limit for hospital, educational payments: What does it mean?

4.7 mn commuters used NCMC for travelling in Delhi Metro in last 6 months

Study shows AI image-generators being trained on explicit pics of children

Legal experts urge Centre to come up with specific norms for regulating AI

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20% stake worth Rs 6,171 crore in Embassy REIT sold through block deals


Shares of Embassy Office Parks REIT worth Rs 6,171 crore were sold through a series of block deals on Wednesday. Around 19.5 crore shares, constituting a 20.6 per cent stake in the company, were sold. Bre Mauritius Investments, Sg Indian Holding, Brep Asia Sg, and India Alternate Property Fund sold the stakes.The prominent buyers included HDFC Mutual Fund, Fidelity Funds South East Asia and ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund, among others. The share of Embassy Office Parks REIT declined 1.4 per cent and was trading at Rs 331.2 on Wednesday. Click here to follow our WhatsApp channelMeanwhile, IndusInd Bank sold its entire stake in Nippon Life India AMC worth Rs 795.8 crore through block trades. The buyers included SBI Mutual Fund, ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund, and Norges Bank. Nippon Life India's shares rose 2 per cent and ended Wednesday's session at Rs 459.

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Residential real estate sales to grow by 8-10% in FY22-23: CRISIL study

65% Indians looking to buy a home in 2024: NoBroker Annual Report 2023

India's real estate sector received $1.6 bn investment in Apr-June: Report

India needs 2 bn sq ft of additional healthcare real estate: Knight Frank

Tech continues to lead; diversification shapes demand in real estate sector

Russian court fines Google $50.8 mn over 'fake' Ukraine information

Toyota's Daihatsu to halt all vehicle shipments, in widening safety scandal

Think and Learn presents edtech Byju's 3.0 proposal to investors at AGM

Android smartphones face average 3 attacks per month, says DSCI report

Google plans restructuring 30,000-people ad sales unit as automation booms

TMS 589: Funding winter, IT defer hikes, markets, two-state solution


Engine troubles and financial crisis have pushed Go First airline to a point-of-no-return. Its sole potential buyer, Jindal Powers Ltd, has backed out of bidding for the grounded airline. The budget carrier looks all set to follow 12 other airlines which have flown into obscurity in the last ten years. Foreign shores too are no less ominous for airlines. But why do so many promising airlines go bust? Notwithstanding some airline busts, India has become the third-largest domestic aviation market in the world. Boeing recently announced that it will set up its largest facility outside the US in Bengaluru. Another US giant, Apple, too has emerged as the face for foreign manufacturing in India. Clearly, India is aggressively pitching itself as an Asian alternative to Chinese manufacturing. But while it has come a long way, India clearly has a long road to cover? 

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Let us now see what is happening in the world of digital currencies. Bitcoin has more-than-doubled investor money so far in 2023. However, it is expected to witness the famous ‘Halving Event’ in April 2024, where the value of the currency nearly halves but sees multi-fold rise in months ahead. So, will Bitcoin be able to hold on to its dream run in 2024? After plowing billions of dollars into the cryptocurrency market, venture capitalists are believed to be sitting on dry powder, waiting for the right time. They have turned circumspect on startups too. But exactly what is dry powder? Listen to this episode of the podcast for more. 

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TMS 588: Domestic airline crises, megafactories, crypto-run, dry powder

TMS Ep587: Infosys exits, IPL auctions, markets, Mahadev betting app

TMS Ep586: India at COP28, IT hiring, Fed pivot, phase-down of fossil fuels

TMS Ep585: Dixon Tech, new CMs, election impact on markets, dunki

TMSEp584: Coca Cola Lemon-Dou, Article370, thematic funds, Google antitrust

Insurance broking startup Finhaat raises $3 mn for business expansion


Finhaat, an insurance broking startup, said on Wednesday it has raised $3 million in a seed funding round led by Omnivore and attended by Kettleborough VC.Finhaat provides digital insurance services to rural communities and middle- and low-income people in Tier-II and Tier-III cities. Click here to follow our WhatsApp channel“With this round, we hope to expand further by building robust technological models, enriching product experience, introducing innovative products, enhancing our partner base, and hiring resources for new verticals. We are determined to transform the financial services space for the underserved,” said Vinod Singh, co-founder of Finhaat.The Mumbai-based company was founded in 2021 by Sandeep Katiyar, Navneet Shrivastava, and Singh. Katiyar is a former executive of ICICI Bank. Shrivastava has more than two decades of experience of working at Birla Sun Life, Future Generali and Aditya Birla Health. Singh previously handled various verticals at HSBC Bank.Finhaat began operations in June 2022 with insurance as its first product vertical. It is building a business-to-business insurance distribution and servicing platform for non-banking financial companies, cooperatives, non-governmental organisations and other institutions working with the underserved.The company said it has partnered with leading insurers in the country to distribute life, health and general insurance products. It is simplifying insurance processes through its technology-driven platform that will improve accessibility.

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Gamezop expands publisher offerings with Newszop, Astrozop, and Criczop

Hyderabad most travelled city in 2023, UP most visited state: Oyo

Swiggy unveils Pockethero, food delivery for budget-conscious customers

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Angel One, Motilal: What do charts suggest for brokerage shares in 2024?


Brokerages are brimming with confidence on hopes of a higher growth trajectory in the year 2024, given the upbeat mood in the market and rising retail participations.India has witnessed a phenomenal rise in investor participation, especially from the youth of the country. As of September 2023, the number of demat accounts in India surged to 12.97 crore, marking a 26 per cent year-on-year increase. People are getting more and more interested in investing because they see the potential to make money in the stock market, especially with all the new companies going public, and ensuing bumper listing coupled with

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IPL 2024 auction: Full list of released & retained players, remaining purse

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Nippon Life India AMC surges 8%, hits new high after huge block deal

India Shelter Finance makes robust debut; lists 26% higher over issue price

DOMS makes blockbuster debut; lists at 77% premium over issue price

Varun Beverages zooms 18%, hits record high on acquisition plan of BevCo

Nifty50 trend bullish; Nocil, GSFC top technical calls for December 20

Oil India surges 19%; ONGC hits nearly 6-year high on heavy volumes


Shares of state-owned upstream oil companies, Oil India, and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), surged up to 19 per cent on the BSE in Wednesday's intraday trade on the back of heavy volumes, extending their previous day's gain after the government on Monday cut the windfall profit tax on crude oil produced in the country and on exports of diesel.Individually, Oil India zoomed 19 per cent to hit a new high of Rs 406 on the BSE on the back of over five-fold jump in average trading volumes. As many as 22.85 million equity shares of the company have

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Angel One, Motilal: What do charts suggest for brokerage shares in 2024?

Nippon Life India AMC surges 8%, hits new high after huge block deal

India Shelter Finance makes robust debut; lists 26% higher over issue price

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JN.1 Covid variant: States issue advisories, Mandaviya holds review meet


The JN.1 Covid variant in India has caused alarm in the central as well as state governments. This comes after the first case of this new variant was reported in Kerala earlier this month. Since then, several states have held review meetings and issued advisories to their citizens regarding the JN.1 variant. The first case of JN.1 was, however, detected in the US in September.JN.1 Covid variant: What are the symptoms? Click here to follow our WhatsApp channelAccording to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the symptoms of the JN.1 variant of coronavirus include fever, sore throat, runny nose and headaches. However, the agency said that the symptoms are mild to moderate and the patients take four to five days to recover.Other symptoms include gastrointestinal problems like nausea and loss of appetite. Some patients may feel extreme fatigue too.  'Variant of interest'On December 19, WHO classified the JN.1 variant as a "variant of interest" but maintained that it does not pose much threat to the public. It also said that the current vaccines protect against this new Covid variant.Active Covid cases in Kerala surge to 2,041On Wednesday, Kerala reported 292 new cases of Covid-19. It also reported three deaths due to the disease in the last 24 hours. According to the Health Ministry, out of the 341 infections reported nationwide till 8 am on December 20, 292 were from Kerala. It takes the active cases in the state to 2,041.Centre's advisory of new Covid variantIn an advisory issued earlier this week, the Centre said that it is important to maintain a "state of constant vigil over the Covid situation". It asked the states to ensure monitoring and reporting of district-wise influenza-like illness and severe acute respiratory illness cases on a regular basis.Moreover, the states were also asked to ensure that adequate testing takes place in all the districts as per the official testing guidelines. The states must also maintain the suggested share of RT-PCR and Antigen tests.States hold review meetings, issue advisoriesSeveral states including West Bengal, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Karnataka and Telangana have held review meetings in light of the new JN.1 Covid variant. Many states have also issued advisories for their citizens. Most advisories suggest that people should maintain respiratory hygiene and districts should keep a tab on the situation.

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India committed to rule of law: PM Modi on Pannun assassination plot


Diplomatic ties between India and the US would not be derailed by "few incidents" and New Delhi will consider any information Washington provides on allegations of a plot to assassinate a Sikh separatist in New York, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an interview with a British business daily."Our commitment is to the rule of law," he told the Financial Times in his first comments about allegations that an unnamed Indian official ordered a hit on Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a dual US-Canadian citizen and member of a US-based Sikh separatist group. Click here to follow our WhatsApp channelModi said if any Indian citizen does "anything good or bad", New Delhi is ready to look into it.India’s external affairs ministry has formed a committee to investigate allegations made in charges filed against Nikhil Gupta, an Indian national, accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill Pannun..Modi said that there was bipartisan support in the US for strengthening ties with India. US President Joe Biden has called the relationship "among the most consequential in the world".Modi told FT that India was "deeply concerned" about foreign-based extremist groups that are allegedly working against India. "These elements, under the guise of freedom of expression, have engaged in intimidation and incited violence," he said.He, however, added that it would not be appropriate that "few incidents" hurt diplomatic relations.In September, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the country was investigating whether India was behind the killing of another Sikh separatist, Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Nijjar was killed on June 18 in a parking lot in British Columbia.New Delhi said the charges were "absurd" and asked 41 Canadian diplomats to leave India. 

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Government may implement 2-month asset freeze of airlines under insolvency


The government is considering implementing a two-month moratorium to ensure that aircraft of a bankrupt airline is not immediately taken away by lessors, the Economic Times (ET) reported on Wednesday.The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) in October exempted aircraft, helicopters, and aircraft engines from moratorium under  insolvency law, citing India's adoption of the Cape Town global convention that allows airlines to retain leased aircraft for a maximum of two months in case of rental defaults.  Click here to follow our WhatsApp channelHowever, as the civil aviation ministry's planned Cape Town Convention Bill is yet to be introduced in Parliament, the MCA might advocate for a two-month moratorium on aircraft of insolvent airlines until the convention is formally adopted.Under the current provisions of India's Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), the transfer or disposal of assets of a stressed firm is barred through a moratorium once resolution proceedings are initiated. The issue of moratorium gained attention after Wadia-owned Go First declared voluntary bankruptcy in May, and the case is currently pending with the Delhi High Court.According to ET, experts, including former chairman of the insolvency regulator MS Sahoo, have noted that there is effectively no moratorium in place following the October exemption, as the Cape Town provision is yet to be implemented.The intent behind the MCA's exemption was to facilitate the adoption of the Cape Town Convention and prevent lessors from repossessing aircraft immediately after an insolvency case is admitted. The civil aviation ministry had sought the exemption, arguing that the IBC moratorium rule would increase leasing costs for all airlines.

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