Jaitley says favours opening up state-run coal industry

NEW DELHI - Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday he personally believes the time is right to dilute nationalisation of the country's state-run coal industry, adding it is easier to carry out economic reforms in the first year of a government.

Idea Cellular Q2 profit up 69 percent 5:49pm IST

REUTERS - Idea Cellular Ltd, India's No.3 mobile operator, posted a 69 percent rise in quarterly profit after adding subscribers faster than its competitors and as its data plans attracted more users.

A worker fills plastic containers with diesel at a fuel station in Kolkata March 3, 2011. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

Diesel price cut to reduce WPI by 20bp: Oswal

Diesel deregulation would result in a sharp fall in diesel inflation to 4 percent from 13 percent by December 2014, says Motilal Oswal. This paves the way for a sharper decline in inflation indicators.  Full Article 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Larry Downing/Files
Controlling the Message

Narendra Modi chooses state media

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has anointed India's state-backed broadcaster as his media brand of choice, helping shield his government from tough questions and prompting private news outlets to complain that they are being kept out of the loop. Starchy and unpolished, Doordarshan News and All India Radio were not the obvious choice for a government that took power in May.  Full Article 

A medical personnel looks out from the window of the army hospital where the rescued victims of avalanches have been admitted to in Kathmandu October 16, 2014. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
Nepal Blizzard

Small avalanches hamper search for survivors

Small avalanches hampered the search for porters and guides missing for six days after a Himalayan storm, officials said, as rescue crews began to scale back the hunt for survivors.  Full Article 

A yellow umbrella, regarded as a symbol of the Occupy civil disobedience movement, is tied to a lamp post on Nathan Road blocked by pro-democracy protesters at Mongkok shopping district in Hong Kong October 20, 2014. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Hong Kong Protests

Students, govt stand their ground before talks

Hong Kong students and the government stood their ground ahead of talks aimed at defusing more than three weeks of pro-democracy protests that have blocked traffic around the Chinese-controlled city, but expectations of a breakthrough were low.  Full Article 

A general view of the Syrian town of Kobani is pictured from near the Mursitpinar border crossing, on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc, October 19, 2014. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Turkey to let Iraqi Kurds reinforce Kobani

Turkey said on Monday it would allow Iraqi Kurdish fighters to reinforce fellow Kurds in the Syrian border town of Kobani, while the United States air-dropped arms for the first time to help the defenders resist an Islamic State assault.  Full Article | Watch: Battle for Kobani 

Pupils of Olumawu School are guided through the use of hand sanitizers, as school resumes in Abuja September 22, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer/Files

Nigeria declared Ebola-free, contains virus

WHO declared Nigeria free of the deadly Ebola virus on Monday after six weeks with no new cases, an achievement with lessons for countries still struggling to contain the deadly virus.  Full Article 

Latest Headlines

Oil pumping machine.

Cheap oil is no tonic for Asian economies

Cheaper oil won’t be much of a tonic for Asian economies. While painful for exporters, sliding prices should benefit consumers of crude. For most in the region, though, less expensive oil is mainly a sign that growth is stalling. The big exceptions are India and Indonesia. For them, the price slide over the past 4 months translates into significant budgetary savings.  Full Article 

D H Pai Panandiker

Targeting inflation at 4 percent

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seems to have finally taken the responsibility of targeting inflation as it is a sensitive political issue and could not be left to the discretion of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). With CPI as the anchor, the target will be 4 percent measured annually (+/-2 percent). Inflation targeting is a good game and not a difficult one. The real problem is in achieving the target.  Full Article 

Screen capture of film "Panic in the Streets".

Lessons on handling epidemics from 1950’s ‘Panic in the Streets’

The Ebola news has made me think about Elia Kazan’s crackling and moody Panic in the Streets, a 1950 thriller about a deadly bacterium that has entered New Orleans and threatens to spread. On a recent re-viewing, it definitely left me quavering — and gave me a nightmare chill I hadn’t experienced on previous occasions. The parallels to the Ebola outbreak are creepy.  Read 

Islamic State militants

Under assault, Islamic State may shift tactics

As long as Islamic State militants fight like a traditional army, with infantry, heavy weapons, vehicles and fortified positions, the United States and its allies can attack them as they would any traditional army — and beat them. But that depends on the militants cooperating. It’s evident the group is already changing its methods — a prospect that should deeply worry the rest of the world.  Commentary