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Deepak Parekh to step aside after HDFC-HDFC Bank merger is consummated
HDFC Ltd Chairman Deepak Parekh will step aside, after having led India’s mortgage-lending pioneer for more than four decades, once the proposed merger between the home-financier and HDFC Bank is consummated. His lieutenant, HDFC Chief Executive Keki Mistry, would also step down, although he may choose to become an independent director in the merged entity, helping the bank navigate the complexities of the mortgage lending business in its initial years.
Residents should delay return to Ukraine’s capital – mayor
Kyiv residents who evacuated to safer regions should wait several more days before returning to Ukraine’s capital, Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said on Monday. “Firstly, there is currently a round-the-clock curfew in Kyiv region. Secondly, in certain … towns near Kyiv, its likely that Russian occupiers left landmines, and there are (likely) a lot of unexploded munitions,” Klitschko said.
IAF’S UAV crashes in Jaisalmer
An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) of the Indian Air Force crashed today during a sortie in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. The cause of crash to be ascertained through an inquiry: Government officials
Kerala reports 256 new Covid19 cases today
Active caseload stands at 2,502
India antitrust body orders investigation of Zomato, Swiggy into alleged competition law violation: Order
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to leave office
Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam announced Monday that she will step down in June, ending a divisive term that saw democracy protests squashed and strict pandemic curbs plunge the business hub into international isolation. Ending months of speculation, Lam confirmed she would not seek a second term when a committee made up of the city’s political elite chooses a new leader next month.
Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India on COVID-19 booster dose
We’ve appealed to the govt as everyone who needs to travel needs to take the booster dose. They’re here having an internal discussion & should announce very soon in next few days on the booster policy: Adar Poonawalla
Japan foreign minister: 20 Ukrainians will fly to Japan on official govt plane
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said on Monday that 20 Ukrainians will accompany him back to Japan on the official government plane, one part of Japan’s efforts to provide humanitarian relief to Ukrainians fleeing their nation. Hayashi, in Poland, said the 20 Ukrainians were those who expressed a wish to go to Japan but could not manage it on their own, adding that further support once in Japan would be tailored to their individual needs.
Shanghai to extend lockdown of 26 million people as it reviews test results
Shanghai will remain under lockdown as it reviews results of an exercise to test all of its 26 million residents for COVID-19, authorities said on Monday. The city began its two-stage lockdown on March 28, initially in Shanghai’s eastern districts, and later expanded to cover the whole city.
The government of India appoints IFS Vinay Mohan Kwatra as the Foreign Secretary.
He is currently serving as India’s envoy to Nepal.
Biological E. Limited (BE) announces that it has been selected as a recipient of mRNA technology from the World Health Organisation (WHO) technology transfer hub.
Russia imposes visa restrictions on citizens of ‘unfriendly countries’
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday to introduce visa restrictions for citizens of countries that Moscow deems “unfriendly” in response to sanctions over Ukraine. The decree, which comes into force on Monday, suspends Russia’s simplified visa issuance regime with some European Union countries as well as Norway, Switzerland, Denmark and Iceland.
India’s MRPL buys 1 mln barrels of Russian Urals crude for May loading – traders
India’s state-run Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd has bought 1 million barrels of Russian Urals crude for May loading via a tender, three trade sources familiar with the deal said, a rare purchase driven by the discount offered. Refiners in India, the world’s third biggest oil importer and consumer, have been snapping up Russian oil through spot tenders since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, taking advantage of deep discounts as other buyers back away.
U.S. pushes to suspend Russia from Human Rights Council
The United States will ask the U.N. General Assembly to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Monday, after Ukraine accused Russian troops of killing dozens of civilians in the town of Bucha. Russia is in its second year of a three-year term on the Geneva-based council.
A message from Sri Lanka
Colombo | “Please try and help Sri Lanka to the maximum possible extent. This is our motherland, we need to save our motherland,” Sajith Premadasa, LoP in Sri Lanka gives a message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi
HDFC Bank merger to create entity twice the size of ICICI Bank: S&P
HDFC Bank’s planned merger with its parent HDFC will make the bank twice the size of ICICI Bank, while bolstering market share and diversifying revenues, S&P Global Ratings said on Monday. In the biggest merger in the corporate history, India’s largest housing finance company HDFC will merge with the country’s largest private lender HDFC Bank to create a banking behemoth.
Government sanctions Rs 3.65 crore for international exposure trips of athletics, yatching teams
The government has sanctioned assistance to the tune of Rs 3.65 crore for international exposure trips of Indian athletics and yatching teams this month. Indian track and field athletes are set for international exposure tours ahead of a packed schedule this year that constitutes the World Athletics Championship, the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games 2022. The Indian athletics’ middle and long-distance teams comprising 12 athletes, two coaches and one support staff will undergo training-cum-competition in Colorado Spring, USA from April 15 to June 6.
Elon Musk takes 9.2% stake in Twitter
Tesla CEO Elon Musk purchased approximately 73.5 million shares, according to a regulatory filing Monday. Musk has been raising questions about the ability to communicate freely on Twitter, tweeting last month about free speech and the social media platform. “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?“ he tweeted. In a separate tweet, Musk said that he was “giving serious thought“ to creating a new social media platform. Also last month, Musk asked a federal judge to nullify a subpoena from securities regulators and throw out a 2018 court agreement in which Musk had to have someone pre-approve his posts on Twitter.
No impact of WHO action on Covaxin, have not supplied to any UN agency, says Bharat Biotech
With WHO announcing the suspension of Covaxin supply through UN procurement agencies, Bharat Biotech sources said on Monday the pharma company has not supplied the COVID-19 vaccine to any UN agency and no impact of the suspension would be felt. So far, sources said, the firm has supplied vaccines to the Indian government and nine countries under the Centre’s Vaccine Maitri programme, and has made direct commercial supply under emergency use authorisation. Covaxin has received emergency use approvals from over 25 countries. “We have not received any orders from any UN agency so far,” a source said. Gavi Covax, the international vaccine alliance, has also not placed any orders for Covaxin.
Japan slams ‘exceptionally cruel’ civilian deaths near Kyiv
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi on Monday condemned the “exceptionally cruel” violence against civilians near Kyiv in an apparent reference to killings in the town of Bucha. “I am deeply shocked by news of the exceptionally cruel acts of violence against civilians near Kyiv. The murder of innocent civilians is a violation of international humanitarian law and is unacceptable and I strongly condemn these acts,” he told reporters during a visit to Warsaw.
J&K | A terrorist attack at Maisuma in Lal Chowk, Srinagar, led to the injury of 2 CRPF jawans.
Germany says will agree more sanctions on Russia in coming days
Germany and its international partners will agree further sanctions on Russia in the coming days, a government spokesperson said on Monday, adding that he was confident the European Union would remain united on fresh measures. “We will decide further measures in the coming days, consulting our allies beforehand,” the spokesperson told reporters. “(Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin and his supporters will feel the consequences of these further sanctions.”
Imran to continue as Pakistan PM until caretaker premier’s appointment, says Pak Prez Alvi
Imran Khan will continue to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan until the appointment of a caretaker premier, according to a notification issued by President Arif Alvi on Monday. The incumbent Prime Minister shall continue to hold office till appointment of the caretaker premier, the notification said. President Alvi has also written a letter to Prime Minister Khan and Leader of the Opposition in the outgoing National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, asking them to propose names of suitable persons for appointment as the caretaker premier, the Dawn newspaper reported. The letter said that the National Assembly (NA) and the federal Cabinet had been dissolved on Sunday as per the Constitution.
Pakistan political crisis | Five-member larger bench of apex court hears suo-motu notice and presidential reference. “Speaker has discretion to reject dissolution,” says SC judge
Reports Pakistan’s Geo English
Russian wheat down sharply with stronger rouble
Russian wheat prices fell sharply last week, both for export and domestic deals, reflecting strengthening of the rouble against the dollar on capital controls imposed by Moscow, analysts said on Monday. Russia, one of the world’s largest wheat exporters, has managed to continue exporting through its Black Sea ports despite the Western sanctions that have complicated trade logistics and payment. “There are some fresh deals,” said Dmitry Rylko, the head of the IKAR agriculture consultancy. Prices for wheat with 12.5% protein content from the Black Sea ports fell last week by $22 to $368 free on board (FOB), he added.
Home Minister Amit Shah addresses the Lok Sabha on the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022
This bill will replace the Identification of Prisoners Act of 1920, in terms of time and science… after we formed our govt, we discussed this with other states… it should be compared with the Model Prison Manual, says Amit Shah, in Lok Sabha.
PM Imran Khan has summoned a meeting of PTI Parliamentary Board on Tuesday (tomorrow). According to sources privy to the matter, he’ll chair the meeting of the parliamentary board which would consult over ticket distribution in the next election: Pakistan’s The Nation
Kremlin denies Ukrainian allegations its forces killed civilians near Kyiv
The Kremlin said on Monday it categorically denied any accusations related to the murder of civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha and said Ukrainian allegations on the matter should be treated with doubt. Ukrainian authorities said on Sunday they were investigating possible crimes by Russian forces after finding hundreds of bodies strewn around towns outside the capital Kyiv after the Russian withdrawal from the area. Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the facts and chronology of the events in Bucha did not support Ukraine’s version of events and urged international leaders not to rush to judgment.
Odisha Covid cases plunge to single-digit
The daily fresh COVID-19 cases in Odisha on Monday were the lowest in nearly two years as it dropped to single-digit for the first time since May 2020, the Health Department said. The state registered no new fatality in the last 24 hours. Two children were among the five more people who were afflicted with the disease, according to a bulletin. The active COVID-19 cases dropped to 298, while 37 more patients have recuperated. The daily positivity rate was 0.02 per cent and the infections were detected out of 20,640 sample tests, it added.
Czechs send 250 soldiers to Slovakia to set up NATO battlegroup, reports AFP
A total of 250 Czech army paratroopers on Monday left for Slovakia, which neighbours war-ravaged Ukraine, to build a NATO battlegroup there, the defence ministry said. The battlegroup will comprise up to 2,100 soldiers from Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States. The Czechs will be in command of the battlegroup.
Hong Kong suspends poultry from U.S., citing bird flu
The Hong Kong government has suspended imports of poultry meat and products from some parts of the United States because of an outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza, it said on Monday.
61 cases of Dengue in Delhi this year
Six fresh cases of dengue have been reported in the last one week in Delhi, taking the tally to 61, according to a civic report released on Monday. Till March 26 this year, 55 cases of dengue were recorded in the city. Six fresh cases have been reported in the last one week, it said. According to the civic report on vector-borne diseases, at least 61 dengue cases have been recorded this year.
PM Modi has spoken thrice to Russian President Putin and twice with Ukraine President Zelensky is a good thing because it shows that India wants to try and resolve these issues
– Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Barry O’Farrell
Eight dead in Russian shelling in south Ukraine: Kyiv administration, reports AFP
Sri Lanka opposition leader urges PM Modi to help nation
Undergoing a huge economic crisis and turmoil, Sri Lankan Opposition leader and Member of Parliament (MP) Sajith Premadasa on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help their nation to the maximum possible extent. Speaking to ANI, the Opposition leader said, “Please try and help Sri Lanka to the maximum possible extent. This is our motherland and we need to save it.”
Puducherry continues to remain coronavirus-free
With no fresh coronavirus cases being reported in the last 24 hours and nil active cases, the union territory of Puducherry remained Covid-19-free for a fifth straight day, a senior official of the Department of Health said on Monday. Twelve samples were tested during the last 24 hours ending 10 AM on Monday and no fresh infections were detected, Director of Health G Sriramulu said in a release here. The number of active cases remained nil for a fifth straight day meaning the union territory remained coronavirus-free, he said.
Post-merger, HDFC twins to be 2nd largest company in India
The combined market capitalisation of HDFC Bank and Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) soared to Rs 14.22 lakh crore on Monday after the two companies announced the merger proposal. The HDFC twins’ market capitalisation has surpassed the valuation of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which has a market cap of Rs 13.73 lakh crore. The Board of Directors of HDFC Ltd and HDFC Bank on Monday approved a proposal for the merger of the two leading financial institutions of the country. As per the terms of the deal, shareholders of HDFC Ltd will receive 42 shares of HDFC Bank for 25 shares held. Existing shareholders of HDFC Ltd will own 41 per cent of HDFC Bank.
‘The Queen’s Gambit’, ‘Soul’ win Grammy for Soundtrack
Scott Frank’s ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ and Pete Docter’s ‘Soul’ won in the same category — Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media — at the 2022 Grammy Awards. Carlos Rafael Rivera wrote the soundtrack for ‘The Queen’s Gambit’, which is an adaptation of Walter Tevis’ 1983 novel and starred Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon, an orphan with a prodigious talent for chess. On the other hand, ‘Soul’ is an animated comedy-drama, which debuted on Disney+ Hotstar. It focuses on Joe (voiced by Jamie Foxx), a middle school teacher who dreams of being a jazz pianist. On his way home, he falls into a manhole and finds himself in an unearthly dimension — someplace between life and death.
Uttar Pradesh gobernment hands over Gorakhnath Temple incident to ATS
Not ruling out the terror angle to the incident involving a person allegedly forcibly entering the Gorakhnath Temple and assaulting the police personnel, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to hand over the probe to the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). The accused allegedly attacked the police constables outside the gate of the Mutt and forcibly tried to enter the temple while raising religious slogans. While speaking to ANI, Prashant Kumar, Additional director general (ADG), Law and Order, on Monday said, “A man forcibly tried to enter the temple premises and attacked the on-duty police personnel with a sharp weapon.”
CAG slams Bihar government
Slamming the Bihar government for leaving unutilised a major portion of the funds sanctioned for strengthening the sewerage system in Patna, under the Centre’s ‘Namami Gange’ programme, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said the project was running behind schedule. As much as Rs 683 crore, meant to be used under the scheme in a span of four years, was left untouched by the Bihar State Ganga River Conservation and Programme Management Society (BGCMS), according to a CAG report that was recently tabled in the Bihar Assembly.
Russia refocusing on Donbas region
“Russian forces are continuing to consolidate and reorganize as they refocus their offensive into the Donbas region in the east of Ukraine,” the ministry said in an intelligence update posted on social media Monday. It says Russian troops are being moved into the area, along with mercenaries from the Wagner private military group.
Tyler, the Creator is now a two-time Grammy winner
Rapper Tyler, the Creator, on Sunday, scored his second Grammy for Best Rap Album. He won the coveted trophy for his album ‘Call Me If You Get Lost’. He earlier took home the same award for ‘IGOR’ in 2020.
“We are welcoming all HDFC employees into our fold, infact we need more human capital”
“This merger will be a seamless dovetailing into the larger umbrella of the bank,” said Sashidhar Jagdishan, CEO of HDFC Bank
Want to maintain status quo: Parekh
“We have approached the RBI to keep stake in HDFC life as it is; we currently hold 48% in the insurance venture. We can easily buy more stake from the market to bring it to 50%,” says Parekh.
RBI rules stipulate banks can hold either 30% or above 50% in insurance ventures
“Not a hostile merger, we are one,” says HDFC’s Parekh
“The son grows older and acquires the father’s business, that is all that is happening here,” HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh added
SC reserves order on plea for cancellation of bail to Ashish Mishra, son of Union minister Ajay Mishra, in Lakhimpur case.
Sweden to offer fourth COVID vaccine jab to people aged 65 and above
Sweden will give a fourth shot of COVID-19 vaccine to people aged 65 and above to boost their defences against the disease, the health agency said on Monday. “For people aged 65 and over, it is now four months since the previous vaccine dose, and the protective effect of the vaccine diminishes over time,” the Health Agency said in a statement.
Ross Taylor plays last innings for New Zealand
Ross Taylor made 14 for New Zealand against the Netherlands in the third one-day international on Monday, coming to the crease and leaving it to a standing ovation. The match was Taylor’s 450th and last for New Zealand before he retires at the end of a 16-year international career. The 38-year-old batsman played his last test against South Africa earlier this year but decided to make this match on his home ground at Seddon Park his final bow.
Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC on merger
“The merger work was going on since the last 3 weeks, regulatory changes for banks and NBFCs in the last few years made the merger easy,” he said. “RBI has brought in scale based regulations, harmonised NPA norms, stipulated LCR requirements. Merger makes the combined entity strong enough to take on competition and grow mortgage book,” he added.
Teenager Carlos Alcaraz claims first Masters 1000 title at Miami Open
The 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz on Sunday claimed the biggest ATP Tour title of his career at the Miami Open. The Spaniard teenager defeated sixth seed Casper Ruud, 7-5, 6-4, in the final at Hard Rock Stadium to win his first ATP Masters 1000 title and his third tour-level crown.
Sri Lanka: Opposition leader terms Cabinet resignations a ploy
Claiming that the Cabinet Ministers’ resignation is a melodrama, Sri Lankan Opposition leader and Member of Parliament (MP) Sajith Premadasa said the drama is being enacted to fool the people of the country. Speaking to ANI, the Opposition leader said, “The melodrama is being enacted to fool the people of the country. There’s no genuine effort to bring sanity to our society and relief to the people. It’s an exercise to fool the people.”
IOC, L&T, ReNew join hands for green hydrogen business
India’s top oil firm IOC, engineering and construction giant Larsen & Toubro and renewable energy company ReNew Power on Monday came together to form a joint venture to develop green hydrogen business. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and L&T have additionally signed a pact to form a joint venture with equity participation to manufacture and sell electrolyzers used in the production of green hydrogen.
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is pulling out all the stops
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa invites all political parties in the country to join the Ministry to find a solution to the national crisis. He has called on all political parties to work together to find a solution to the national crisis that has arisen. Current crisis is due to several economic and global factors. As one of the leading democracies in Asia, it needs to be addressed within framework of democracy itself. Together we must work together in national interest for benefit of citizens and future generations, Rajapasksa wrote
Rajya Sabha proceedings adjourned till 12 noon amid opposition protest on price rise issue
Sri Lankan central bank governor resigns
Sri Lankan central bank governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said on Monday he submitted his resignation in the context of all cabinet ministers resigning.
Pakistan’s top court to meet as PM Khan clings on to power
Pakistan’s top court will meet on Monday to decide on the fate of Prime Minister Imram Khan, after his party blocked a no-confidence vote and he dissolved parliament in a surprise move to prevent his ouster. Former cricket star Khan lost his majority in parliament last week as his opponents built their support, and he was facing a no-confidence motion tabled by the opposition on Sunday. But the deputy speaker of parliament, a member of Khan’s party, blocked the motion that Khan had widely been expected to lose, ruling it was part of a foreign conspiracy and unconstitutional.
Indian-American singer Falguni Shah bags a Grammy
Indian-American singer Falguni Shah, who uses the stage name “Falu”, has won the Best Children’s Music Album Grammy for ‘A Colourful World’ on Sunday. Sharing the update, Falguni took to Instagram and wrote, “I have no words to describe today’s magic. What an honor to perform for the opening number of the GRAMMY Premier Ceremony, and then take home a statue on behalf of all the incredible people who worked on A Colorful World. We are humbled and thank the Recording Academy for this tremendous recognition. THANK YOU.”
Bihar legislative council polls underway
Polling is underway on Monday for two dozen seats of Bihar legislative council where the biennial elections are taking place nearly a year behind schedule. The tenure of 24 seats in the 75-strong upper house had ended in July last year but elections had to be put off because of circumstances arising out of COVID 19 pandemic. Delay in panchayat polls, on account of the raging pandemic, in turn, caused delay in the legislature council elections.
Sensex surges over 1,150 points as HDFC announces merger
The Indian equities markets benchmark Sensex surged 1202.71 points on Monday led by the merger announcement between HDFC Limited and HDFC Bank. The 30 Stock S&P BSE Sensex surged 1202.71 points or 2.03 per cent to 60,479.40 points at 10 am. The broader Nifty 50 of the National Stock Exchange rose 354.65 points or 2.01 per cent to 18,025.10 points. Meanwhile, shares of HDFC and HDFC rallied 13.57 per cent to Rs 2783.60 at 10 am, while HDFC Bank traded 9.74 per cent higher at Rs 1654.20.
Sri Lanka: State of emergency still in place as curfew lifted
The 36-hour long curfew that was imposed on Sri Lanka on Saturday evening has been lifted on Monday morning at 6 am but the country is still under the effect of a state of emergency. The curfew was imposed on Saturday from 6 pm in accordance with the powers vested in the President under the provisions of the Public Security Ordinance following protests outside the residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the country faces its worst economic crisis since independence.