Thursday Morning News Brief, December 14

Thursday morning brief Dec 14 2017
Good morning!
Here’s everything you need to know to start your day…
PM Modi today commissioned first Made-In-India Scorpene class submarine INS Kalvari. The new 1,565-tonne submarine, named INS Kalvari (tiger shark, a deadly deep-sea predator) after the first-ever submarine inducted by India from Russia in December 1967, is to be followed by five of her Scorpene sisters under the Rs 23,652 crore “Project-75” underway at Mazagon Docks in collaboration with France. The second one, INS Khanderi will be commissioned by mid-2018, with the third INS Karanj following by early-2019. Read.
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Polling for 93 seats in the second and final phase of assembly elections in Gujarat will be held today. Counting of votes for all 182 seats will be held on Monday. Phase two elections are being held for 61 seats in central Gujarat and 32 constituencies in north Gujarat. Polling percentage in these areas was 72.64% in 2012 elections. Around 2.22 crore people will vote in the second phase of Gujarat assembly elections.
The 11th WTO ministerial conference talks ended with the ministers refusing to agree to even a declaration. Although a decision to address India’s concerns over public stockholding of food grains was expected, the plan had to be abandoned after the US failed to back it. On Wednesday, the Americans blocked attempts to work out reforms in farm trade putting the entire ministerial meeting in jeopardy.
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PM Modi has accused the previous UPA regime of pressuring banks into giving loans to a few industrialists at the cost of economy. “Banks were pressured to give loans to only a select few industrialists. This was the biggest of UPA’s scams, bigger than coal and 2G. It was loot of people’s hard-earned money through industrialists,” the PM said, addressing the 90th annual general meeting of industry chamber Ficci.
Pakistan has rejected India’s plea for consular access to death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav at the ICJ. In its counter-memorial submitted to the International Court of Justice, Pakistan said the provision of such an access under the Vienna Convention is only for legitimate visitors and not for spies, the Express Tribune reported. Pakistan said that Jadhav is not an ordinary person as he had entered the country with the intent of spying and carrying out sabotage activities.
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