HAS THE GOVT. FAILED TO CONTROL PETROL PRICES?

Petrol, Diesel Prices Hiked For Sixth Day In A Row, Soar To New Highs Petrol and diesel prices were hiked on Tuesday amid firming global crude prices, the sixth day of hike in a row. Oil marketing companies revise petrol and diesel prices every day at 6 am according to the daily price revision process. Petrol prices remained above 4-year high level in Delhi while diesel prices touched a new high. The price of non-branded petrol was increased by 11-13 paise per litre in metro cities on Tuesday while diesel by 13-14 paise, according to Indian Oil, the biggest oil retailer in the country. Petrol retailed at Rs. 73.95 in Delhi, the highest since September, 2013, when rates had hit Rs. 76, according to Indian Oil website. In other metro cities, petrol retailed at Rs. 76.66 in Kolkata, Rs. 81.8 in Mumbai and Rs. 76.72 in Chennai. On the other hand, diesel retailed at a record high of Rs. 64.82 a litre in Delhi. In Kolkata, diesel retailed at Rs. 67.51 in Kolkata, Rs. 69.02 in Mumbai and Rs. 68.38 in Chennai. Besides global crude prices and rupee-dollar exchange rate, domestic petrol and diesel prices depend on government taxes, both at the...

DID THE AUSSIE COACH NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE BALL BEING TAMPERED?

Steve Smith sent home in disgrace, Darren Lehmann survives Smith and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, the player caught on camera attempting to doctor the ball with a piece of tape, have been banished for their role in an incident which has dragged Australian cricket's reputation through the mud. Vice-captain David Warner was also sent packing, amid reports of a massive falling out between him and the team's fast bowlers who feel they have been unfairly linked to the row. Wicketkeeper Tim Paine will take over the captaincy for the fourth and final Test starting in Johannesburg Friday, with hosts South Africa leading a bad-tempered series 2-1. Matt Renshaw, Glenn Maxwell and Joe Burns are jetting to South Africa as replacements. TIMELINE: How ball-tampering saga led to suspension of Smith, Warner, Bancroft But coach Darren Lehmann escaped punishment and will remain in charge, team management said in Johannesburg, with further sanctions on the three players to be announced shortly. "I understand and share the anger and disappointment of Australian fans," Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland said of the controversy in the third Test in Cape Town last Saturday. "On behalf of Cricket Australia, I want to apologise to all Australians that these events have taken place, especially to...

SHOULD STEVEN SMITH BE HANDED A LIFE BAN?

Ball tampering row: Steve Smith & company deserve punishment, not vengeance Steven Smith, Australia’s Cricket captain who presided over the most demonstrably pre-meditated act of cheating on a Cricket field will not play in his team’s next Test match. He will likely be stood down from his leadership position longer than that. He would be ill-advised to try and see out a contract at the Rajasthan Royals and he should go stand in a corner, facing the wall, for the foreseeable short-term future. Suitable punishments for Smith have been discussed with life ban having been suggested too. The outrage, especially in social media circles, has reached such a fever pitch that those baying for blood will continue to bleat till they have been heard. The most absurd suggestion has compared the actions of Cameron Bancroft, Smith and David Warner, and anyone else in the leadership group, to match-fixing. If anything, this is the opposite of that, the worst thing a cricketer can possibly do. Match fixers undermine the credibility of a game, underperform for a fee, while this Australian team, was doing the opposite. Make no mistake, Bancroft and friends were trying to gain an unfair advantage over South Africa, to try and...

IS THE PUNISHMENT LEVIED ON STEVEN SMITH BY THE ICC TOO LIGHT?

Steve Smith, David Warner Could Be Banned For Life After Ball-Tampering Scandal Steve Smith escaped with just a one-match suspension and a 100 percent fine on his match fee even after admitting to hatching a plan along with a few other "senior players" to alter the condition of the ball to gain an unfair advantage during the third Test against South Africa in Newlands, Cape Town. However, if reports are to be believed this might just be the start of sanctions for the under-fire Australian cricketer. Captain Smith and his deputy David Warner are both facing life bans if the maximum penalty is applied under Cricket Australia's code of behaviour. Australian cricket board's Head of Integrity Iain Roy and team performance manager Pat Howard travelled to South Africa to begin interviews with Smith, Warner, Cameron Bancroft and coach Darren Lehmann as part of an investigation into the cheating scandal. According to a ESPNCricinfo report, after his investigation, Roy will then recommend the charges following which an independent commissioner will hold a hearing and decide the severity of the penalty. The maximum penalty available to the code of conduct commissioner is a life ban from the sport, added the report. Meanwhile, while Smith was banned...

IS THE BCCI RIGHT IN REINSTATING MOHD. SHAMI’S CONTRACT?

BCCI clears corruption charges; Mohammed Shami gets central contract The BCCI has handed Mohammed Shami a Grade B central contract after receiving clearance from the cricket board’s Anti-corruption Unit (ACU), which also paved the way for him to play for Delhi Daredevils in the IPL. The fast bowler’s contract had been held back pending investigation into the possibility that he had received money from a man through a woman based in Pakistan. While the Kolkata Police is probing the criminal charges against Shami, including Section 307 (attempt to murder), based on a complaint filed by his wife Hasin Jahan, the BCCI restricted its inquiry solely to breaching the anti-corruption code for the players. The Committee of Administrators (CoA) had asked the ACU chief Neeraj Kumar to look into whether Shami had taken any money from a certain England-based Mohammed bhai, sent to him through a Pakistani woman, Alishba, in Dubai. On Thursday, the BCCI release said: “The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India appointed Committee of Administrators had requested Mr Neeraj Kumar, former Police Commissioner of Delhi and Head of BCCI Anti-Corruption Unit, to investigate the allegations against Mohd. Shami insofar as they pertain to the provisions of the BCCI Anti-Corruption Code. SOURCE - THE...

IS IT FAIR TO COMPARE DINESH KARTHIK WITH DHONI AFTER JUST ONE MEMORABLE KNOCK?

MS Dhoni Is A Topper In University Where I Am Still Studying, Says Dinesh Karthik Dinesh Karthik became an overnight star when his match-winning knock of 8-ball-29 runs against Bangladesh helped India clinch the Nidahas Trophy on Sunday. However, Karthik still feels like a "student in a University where Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a topper", when comes to the tag of the best finisher. "When it comes to Dhoni -- I am studying in a university where he is the topper. He is one of the guys I have always looked up to. It is unfair to compare me with him," Karthik told media persons during an interaction, on Tuesday. Interestingly, Karthik made his international debut in September 2004 during Champions Trophy in England, three months before Dhoni's debut against Bangladesh in a bilateral series in December. In the next 14 years, Dhoni became India's most successful captain and one of its greatest limited overs exponent while Karthik struggled in the fringes, waiting for his chances. "His (Dhoni) journey has been totally different and my journey is a different one. He is a terrific guy. He is somebody who used to be reserved, shy. Today, he is a person, who is really...

IS THE GST A COMPLEX AND CRUDE TAX SYSTEM?

GST one of the most complex, and second highest tax rate in world: World Bank New Delhi: The goods and services tax (GST) implemented by the Narendra Modi government from 1 July last year is one of the most complex with the second highest tax rate in the world among a sample of 115 countries which have a similar indirect tax system, the World Bank said in a report. India’s GST structure has five tax slabs of 0, 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%. Further, there are several exempted sales and exports are zero rated, which allows exporters to claim refund for taxes paid on inputs. Separately, gold is taxed at 3% rate, precious stones at 0.25%, while alcohol, petroleum products, stamp duties on real estate and electricity duties are excluded from the GST and continue to be taxed by the state governments at state-specific rates. As many as 49 countries around the world have a single slab of GST, while 28 countries use two slabs, and only five countries, including India, use four non-zero slabs. The countries that use four or more slabs of GST include Italy, Luxembourg, Pakistan and Ghana. Thus, India has among the highest number of different GST slabs...

HAS PM MODI’S POPULARITY DECLINED IN THE LAST ONE YEAR?

Disenchantment rising but PM Modi still first choice of people NEW DELHI: Disenchantment with the Narendra Modi government is rising, but Modi is still the first choice for Prime Minister and the BJP-led coalition will comfortably form the government if the Lok Sabha elections were held now, a survey has revealed. According to the Mood of the Nation (MOTN) survey conducted by ABP News-Lokniti-CSDS, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will bounce back to power with 301 seats and a 34 per cent vote share, though the Congress-led UPA is projected to double its tally compared to the 2014 elections. Unemployment and lack of jobs is currently the biggest reason for dissatisfaction among the public, the survey found. The survey found that in the event of a snap Lok Sabha election in the country today, the BJP-led NDA may get a total of 293-309 seats. This is about 30 seats less than what the NDA won in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The UPA is expected to bag 122-132 seats. In 2014 the BJP alone won 282 seats leading the NDA which in total captured 336 seats. If the NDA loses 30 seats out of the 336 it won in the 2014 elections, it...

HAS ROHIT SHARMA EXHAUSTED HIS CHANCES IN TEST CRICKET?

Rohit Sharma's talent overseas is like Anil Kapoor in Mr India: Twitter roasts batter after another failure Indian middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma got roasted by Twitterati after another failure in the first innings of the second test match in Centurion Park on Sunday. Rohit missed out on a big innings getting trapped lbw off Rabada. He scored only 10 before getting out. In this series so far, Rohit has scored only 11, 10 and 10 in the three innings. Rohit was picked ahead of Ajinkya Rahane in this Test series, and clearly Kohli's bold selection hasn't gone down well with Indian cricket fans. Rohit came into the series with a rich vein of form including an ODI double century against Sri Lanka last month. On the other hand, test Vice Captain Rahane had a poor test series against the Lankans. That forced Rohit's selection but so far he hasn't lived up to his potential. In a reasonably batting-friendly Centurion pitch, Rohit missed out and Twitter was brutal in calling him out and Captain Kohli's alleged bias towards Mr. Talent. SOURCE - DNA Opportunity for Rohit Sharma to Stamp Authority After Slip Cordon Lets India Down Again Cape Town: Filling big boots is...

HAS THE ADHAAR CARD SECURITY ISSUE BLOWN OUT OF PROPORTION?

FIR against Tribune reporter over Aadhaar data breach story A deputy director of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has registered an FIR against The Tribune newspaper and its reporter Rachna Khaira following her report on how anonymous sellers over WhatsApp were allegedly providing access to Aadhaar numbers for a fee. The FIR also names Anil Kumar, Sunil Kumar and Raj, all of whom were mentioned in The Tribune report as people Khaira contacted in the course of her reporting. Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Alok Kumar confirmed that an FIR had been registered and an investigation launched. The FIR has been lodged with the Crime Branch’s cyber cell under IPC Sections 419 (punishment for cheating by impersonation), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document), as well Section 66 of the IT Act and Section 36/37 of the Aadhaar Act. When contacted, The Tribune’s editor-in-chief Harish Khare refused to comment on the FIR. In the FIR, the complainant, B M Patnaik, who works with UIDAI’s logistics and grievance redressal department, states: “An input has been received through The Tribune dated January 3, 2018, that the ‘The Tribune purchased’ a service being offered by anonymous sellers over...

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