The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that there was no security breach of its database and sought dismissal of a petition seeking damages for Aadhaar data leaks. UIDAI was replying in response to a petition by Kerala-based lawyer Shamnad Basheer who alleged several breaches of the Aadhaar system leading to leakage of personal information since January 2018. UIDAI, the issuing authority for 12-digit Aadhaar, assured the high court that its existing security controls are "robust and capable of countering any such attempts or malicious designs of data breach or hacking".
South Korea resumed imports of Iranian oil in January after a four-month break, customs data showed on Friday. The world's fifth-largest crude importer won a six-month waiver in November from U.S. sanctions on Tehran's oil exports, but did not immediately start imports, mainly due to payment and insurance issues. South Korea, one of Iran's biggest Asian customers, imported 227,941 tonnes of Iranian crude in January, or 53,676 barrels per day (bpd), down 76% from the 950,013 tonnes of Iranian crude imports a year earlier. Saudi Arabia remained the country’s top oil supplier with 3.51 million tonnes shipment in January.
India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) has drawn appreciation from Minister of Water Resources, Federal Republic of Nigeria– Suleiman H Adamu who hopes to replicate the success of SBM in his own country. Nigeria is set to remodel its Open Defecation Free (ODF) campaign based on India’s SBM model. Officials from Nigeria will soon be studying their Indian colleagues to better understand how Swachh Bharat Mission can be adapted to the Nigerian context, the minister said. Sadly, India and Nigeria have been the world’s top countries facing the open-defecation menace. India is hoping to become an open-defecation free country in 2019.
Aggregate losses posted by 21 public sector banks (PSBs) in the quarter ended December 2018 stood at Rs 11,605 crore as against a combined loss of Rs 18,097 crore in the corresponding quarter last year. IDBI Bank reported the highest loss at Rs 4,815 crore, followed by Bank of India at Rs 4,737 crore. Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) rose 7.2% y-o-y to Rs 8.3 lakh crore. The aggregate losses of these 21 banks in the September 2018 quarter stood at Rs 14,716 crore. Of the 21 PSBs, 11 posted a profit in the quarter ended December.
The government on Thursday raised the floor price for refined sugar at the mill gate to Rs 31 per kg, up from Rs 29/kg, to help bolster retail prices in the world's biggest consumer of the sweetener. India, also the world's biggest sugar producer after Brazil, introduced the floor price for the sweetener in 2018 to help money-losing sugar mill owners clear the dues that they owe to sugar cane growers. The sugarcane farmers constitute a powerful voting bloc. India's next general election is due by May this year.
Arun Jaitley, who recently returned home from the US after treatment of an illness, is likely to resume charge as the Finance Minister by 18 February 2019, according to an official in the Ministry of Finance. Although there is no official confirmation, Arun Jaitley is expected to address the upcoming meeting of RBI Central Board of Directors on 18 February. The official note confirming his re-appointment is expected to be issued late tonight or tomorrow, the official said. Piyush Goyal was given the additional charge of Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Corporate Affairs in the absence of Arun Jaitley.
Vodafone has launched Milaap service at the ongoing Kumbh Mela to ensure the safety of children and senior citizens, as well as provide location alerts and other digital solutions. The Milaap service involves providing RFID (radio frequency identification) tags to children and senior citizens, along with the details of parents or guardians. "These RFID tags (based on simple identification process) will allow local authorities or police to escort any unaccompanied child or senior citizen to the nearest Vodafone Milaap or Khoya Paya booth. On flashing these RFID tags on the RFID reader, the concerned parent's contact details will be accessed."
Social media platform Reddit revealed that the Indian government made four user account information requests during 2018. Reddit is an American social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website. India along with Germany made the second highest number of such requests by a foreign government. Only the UK ranked higher with five requests. Reddit is the sixth most-visited website in the US ahead of others including Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Netflix, data from Alexa showed. In 2018, Reddit did not comply with any of the 28 requests for the production of user account information from foreign governmental authorities.
Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya on Wednesday urged PM Narendra Modi in a series of tweets to direct banks to accept his payback offer to settle all dues. His comments came after the PM said in Lok Sabha last week that those who had fled the country were crying foul on Twitter. "The Prime Minister's last speech in Parliament was brought to my attention. He certainly is a very eloquent speaker. I noticed that he referred to an unnamed person who “ran away” with 9000 crores. Given the media narrative, I can infer that reference is to me," Mallya tweeted.
Personal computer maker HP expects the premium laptop segment to drive sales in the Indian market. The company sees a surge in demand for devices with efficient features and better design. The company on Wednesday launched its premium Spectre range that comprises HP Spectre Folio and HP Spectre x360 in India. HP Spectre Folio costs around Rs 1.9 lakh. The company expects the growth in premium and gaming devices segment to outpace the traditional laptop segment. HP leads the Indian PC segment with a 30.7% market share. Dell, Lenovo, and Acer are ranked second, third and fourth respectively.
The RBI imposed penalties of Rs 5 crore on four public sector banks including SBI and Corporation Bank for violation of various banking norms. The monetary penalty on the banks has been imposed for non-compliance with various directions issued by RBI on monitoring of end use of funds, exchange of information with other banks, classification and reporting of frauds, and on restructuring of accounts, RBI said in a statement. A penalty of Rs 2 crore has been imposed on Corporation Bank and Rs 1 crore each State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of Baroda and Union Bank of India.
The RBI has registered a total of 921 cases of fraud involving ATM/debit cards, credit cards and Internet banking, wherein the amount involved was Rs 1 lakh and above, during the first six months of 2018-19 (up to September 30, 2018). During the year 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, the number of such cases of fraud registered by the RBI stood at 1,191, 1,372 and 2,059 respectively, Minister of State for Electronics and IT S S Ahluwalia said.
In a first of its kind, India’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki, is offering a 24X7 service centre facility for its customers. This facility will be available across six cities in India. Maruti Suzuki has opened its 24X7 service centres in the cities of Gurugram, Noida, Bengaluru, Bhubaneshwar, Mangaluru and Sahibabad. Maruti had launched a pilot service in Gurugram last year. Maruti Suzuki says that the facility will be offered at service centres located near IT hubs where many of the employed population have night shifts. As of now, Maruti Suzuki services 25 cars a night on an average.
Swedish luxury carmaker Volvo’s Indian unit Volvo Car India wants to lead the electric vehicles (EV) portfolio in the country. Volvo, which is on track to launch its first locally assembled plug-in hybrid vehicles later this year, is now considering local assembly of electric vehicles in the country. The government last month decided to reduce customs duty on import of components for electric vehicles from a range of 15-30% to 10-15%. Volvo had earlier set up a facility near Bengaluru to assemble its vehicles locally in 2018 to compete aggressively in the highly competitive 40,000-unit luxury car market.
The state labour department of the West Bengal government has convened a meeting between the jute trade unions and mill owners on February 18 to resolve the impasse. The workers’ trade unions have threatened to go on an indefinite strike from March 1 over their unfulfilled demands. All trade unions in the jute sector, barring Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress, have agreed to join the strike from March 1 to press for their demands, including wage revision and implementation of Minimum Wages Act. The jute sector employs over two lakh workers in more than 60 mills in the state.