Rafale’s ‘letter of discomfort’. Flipkart scandal: binny too? Deepveer duo says “i do”. & more, in today’s de-misted shots of headline news..
RAFALE OR RA‘FAIL’? SC RAISES TOUGH QUESTIONS
RAFALE OR RA‘FAIL’? SC RAISES TOUGH QUESTIONS
While the political bickering continues unabated, Wednesday was a day for the Government of India to face some tough questions on the Rafale deal, this time from the Supreme Court. The SC was hearing petitions alleging that the NDA government had cancelled the previous agreement for 126 Rafale jets by the UPA government with French firm Dassault and entered into a new one for 36 jets with the objective of helping Anil Ambani’s debt-ridden firm bag an offset contract.The Government, represented by Attorney General KK Venugopal on its part made the assertion that the Rafale jets were extremely critical for India’s security, and IAF officers were also called who testified that there has been no new induction of aircraft since 1985. The court asked if there was a sovereign guarantee from France in case the delivery does not happen. The Government admitted that they did not have a guarantee, but had been given a ‘letter of comfort’ from the French PM. While the court declared that it would not discuss the pricing details for now, it asked pointed questions on the procedure followed and how the Modi Government announced the new deal before the previous one was withdrawn. It also questioned the Government on its role in the choice of offset partner, and finally reserved its verdict stating the deal is subject to judicial review.
BANSAL AFFAIR — FINER DETAILS
The exit of Flipkart Co-founder, Group CEO and Chairman of Flipkart has shocked the startup world, and many startup founders are now involved in discussions with co-founders and mentors about the need for stricter governance as well as full and timely disclosures. The cryptic announcement by Wal-Mart certainly did not help matters. Sources reveal that Binny got to know about the findings of the probe on allegations of personal misconduct when lawyers from Wal-Mart in US talked to him on Monday. While the investigations did not prove the claims, the probe concluded that Bansal was guilty of serious “personal misconduct” in the way he handled a “consensual relationship” that went south. Apparently Binny made some payments to the complainant, which did not go down well with Wal-Mart as it was not informed. The relationship hails back to 2016, and the woman in question worked as a call centre executive in the company for a few months in 2012. She lodged the complaint in July 2018.
TATA-JET AIM TO FLY TOGETHER
A sense of déjà vu is in the air for the Tata Group, whose airline was nationalised around 70 years ago to give birth to Air India; the company could be well on its way to the forefront of India’s airspace once again. The acquisition of the embattled Jet Airways by Tata Sons, rumoured to be in the planning stages for quite some time, finally seems to be gathering steam. According to reports, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran is expected to make a presentation to the Board on November 16, to discuss a business viability plan for the acquisition. If finalised, the deal will make Tata Sons the leader in the Indian aircraft industry in terms of size, with 124 aircraft owned by Jet being added to its fleet. According to sources, Tata will in all likelihood combine Jet with Vistara, which will help it achieve international expansion much earlier than it would organically. Further, it is expected that Naresh Goyal may agree to give away management control and Etihad may also divest its 24% stake in exchange for a consolidation deal. The concern that the Board has to address is obviously the financial situation of Jet Airways. The company has suffered losses in nine of the past 11 years. It recorded a net loss of Rs 1,292 crore for the July-September quarter and had a debt of Rs 8,100 crore.
BAAHUBALI POWERS GSAT-29 INTO ORBIT
ISRO has launched its sophisticated communications Satellite GSAT-29 in orbit on November 14. The satellite was placed into orbit by India’s heaviest launcher GSLV Mk-III or Baahubali. While the countdown had begun on Tuesday, at 2:50 pm, the rocket was launched as scheduled at 5:08 pm on Wednesday from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. Although there was a risk of Cyclone Gaja spoiling the party for the launch, it eventually did not pose a threat. According to ISRO Chairman K Sivan, the advanced communication satellite has a weight of 3,423 kg and will help provide internet connectivity in areas of Jammu & Kashmir and Northeast India. The satellite also has a high resolution camera called GEO-EYE, which will help detect enemy ships in the Indian Ocean region.Interestingly GSLV Mk-III will also be used to launch Chandrayaan 2 early next year and Gaganyaan by 2022.
DEEPVEER ARE NOW A COUPLE
The celebrity power couple league has got several times grander, as Bollywood superstars Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh have now officially walked the aisle the first time. As planned, the duo solemnised their wedding rituals in the Konkani tradition on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at Lake Como, Italy. Initial pictures from the wedding venue showed both Deepika and Ranveer dressed in hues of white. Some 30–40 guests were at the railings of Villa de Balbianello to shield the seated couple as the priest solemnised the ceremony. Today, the couple will walk the aisle again in Sindhi tradition. An Anand Karaj will also be held according to Punjabi customs. Fans are waiting with bated breath for the wedding pictures, which are expected to be shared on social media after 6:00 pm today.
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