Instant divorce is criminal offence

India’s parliament on Tuesday passed a controversial law against the practice of “instant divorce” or “triple talaq” in Muslim families, making it a criminal offence punishable by up to three years in prison.

This uncivil practice is ban in many Muslim countries.

Triple Talaq or instant divorce has been banned in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Algeria, Jordan, Iraq, Brunei, UAE, Indonesia, Kuwait, Morocco, Egypt, Afghanistan, Turkey, Tunisia, Iran, Indonesia, Libya, Sudan, Lebanon etc. Finally India joined the chorus.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist government pushed through the bill despite stiff resistance from several opposition parties and a previous failed attempt to move the bill in the upper house.

“An archaic and medieval practice has finally been confined to the dustbin of history,” Modi tweeted after the bill finally cleared the upper house.

“Parliament abolishes Triple Talaq and corrects a historical wrong done to Muslim women. This is a victory of gender justice and will further equality in society. India rejoices today!”

Instant divorce, or “triple talaq,” is when a Muslim man ends his marriage by simply saying “talaq” – which means “you are divorced” in Arabic – three times in succession.

The Supreme Court declared the practice unconstitutional in 2017 and asked the government to legislate against it.

Modi held a sizable lower house majority in his first term when he first attempted to outlaw it, but did not have sufficient upper house support to pass the law.

Following his resounding victory in general elections in May, his government sought to pass the contentious legislation against a significantly weakened and dispirited opposition, even as several opposition parliamentarians argued against making divorce a criminal act.

The law, which was passed by the lower house last week, will come into effect after receiving a formal nod from the president in next few days.

Besides a jail term and a fine, the law will require Muslim men to financially support their wives, who will also get custody of their children.

The 2017 high court ruling came after several Muslim women petitioned the top court, arguing that the unilateral power of Muslim men to end marriages violated India’s constitution by infringing on their fundamental right to equality.

Muslim women say they have been divorced via letters or messaging apps like WhatsApp, leaving them without any legal remedy.

India has no uniform civil law for marriage, divorce, and property.

Its constitution allows followers of each faith to use their religious laws to govern such matters, including 180 million Muslims, the largest religious minority in the Hindu-dominated country.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has long pushed for a uniform civil code to be enforced in India.

India’s minorities have opposed such moves, arguing it will erode their constitutional freedom of religion


Abu Dhabi Named as One of the World’s Most Cultural Cities by Skyscanner

Emirate listed as one of the globe’s ‘capitals of culture’ by renowned travel fare website
All India, 30th July 2019:  Abu Dhabi has been singled out as one of the most cultural cities in the world in a recent online list compiled by Skyscanner, the popular travel fare website.The UAE capital made the exclusive list after the Chinese-owned website identified its top five destinations for expanding any travellers’ horizons with an arts and culture-filled holiday.Coming in at number two, only preceded by Florence in Italy, the UAE capital was singled out for being one of the Middle East’s most exciting cultural centres, featuring the National Theatre and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.The website also highlighted the addition to the emirate of Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2017, with the museum having been designed by Pritzker-winning French architect Jean Nouvel an additional draw for the UAE capital as a cultural destination.The website added to a description of the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s significance as the Arab world’s first universal museum with further information about the emirate’s outstanding dining scene, describing it as being “as diverse as its multicultural population”.The fascinating growth of interest in electronica music in Abu Dhabi was also highlighted, adding a modern element to the cultural appeal of the emirate.”For Abu Dhabi to have been named as one of the most cultural cities in the world reflects positively on the work the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi has done to position the emirate at the very forefront of people’s minds when they consider their next great cultural adventure,” said HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. “This recognition also reinforces our resolve to continue to strive for excellence in our efforts to promote our emirate as a destination like no other. Year-on-year we are seeing record numbers come to visit the UAE capital, coming to experience everything from Qasr Al Hosn, to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the heritage sites in Al Ain. Making it onto this shortlist from such a reputable website shows that our ceaseless efforts are having the desired effect.”The Skyscanner website list also included a recommendation for hotel accommodation in the emirate, as well as links to the best hotels and the best deals on flights to the UAE capital.The online list from the Edinburgh-based website also included the aforementioned Florence, which was singled out for being ‘the birthplace of the Renaissance’, as well as highlighting Mexico City, Austin in Texas, USA, and finally Kyoto in Japan.Skyscanner is available in over 30 languages. The news section of the website includes regular news from the travel and flight industry and travel tips for the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi
The Department of Culture and Tourism conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction, which enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike. The organization manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. Its policies, plans and programs relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including Zayed National Museum, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, and the Louvre Abu Dhabi. DCT – Abu Dhabi supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honor the emirate’s heritage. A key role is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base.

Promotion of film Khandaani Shafakhana

Sonakshi Sinha, Badshah, and Varun Sharma witnessed promoting their upcoming movieKhandaani Shafakhanain National Capital

Today, Sonakshi Sinha, Badshah, and Varun Sharma came to New Delhi for the promotion of their upcoming movie Khandaani Shafakhana. The event was held at Le Meridien, New Delhi. The upcoming movie is a comedy-drama film directed by Shilpi Dasgupta and produced by Bhushan Kumar, Mahaveer Jain, Mrighdeep Singh Lamba, Divya Khosla Kumar, and Krishan Kumar jointly. The film is produced by T-Series and is scheduled to be theatrically released in India on 2 August 2019.

Sonakshi Sinha spoke to media about the message that the movie spreads, “ Sex- Education is as important as any other academic subject for the students which should be taught both in school and home. I am proud to be a part of Khandaani Shafakhana as it conveys a very sensitive issue in a funny way.” She also mentions that Sex-education is banned in about seven states of our country.

Present at the event, Varun Sharma said that “Many times it happens people are not open about talking sexual disorders with their family and especially when it comes to marriage. This creates a problem for both families. The taboo of not talking about sex or sexual disorders need to break.”
Badshah spoke about his debut in acting with this movie, ” I was very comfortable in acting with Sonakshi and Varun. As I was never afraid of making mistakes on the sets as I knew I could easily ask for a retake in front of them.”


India export opportunities in China, US

India has immense opportunities of export in the markets of China and United States in the situation arising out of US- China trade stand off. 

Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Som Prakash said this while speaking at the interactive session of Federation of Export Organizations at New Delhi today. 

The Minister said, that joint efforts of the government and the Industry are required to take the benefits of the situation. He said the industry should ensure the quality of their products to meet out the global requirements.

Last year the economy shrunk. Argentina: 2018

Iran: 2018

Saudi Arabia: 2017

In year 2016

Brazil: 2016 Greece: 2016 Nigeria: 2016 Russia: 2016

Italy: 2013 Japan: 2011 US: 2009 Canada: 2009 France: 2009 Germany: 2009 UK: 2009 Turkey: 2009 South Korea: 1998 Indonesia: 1998 Australia: 1991


Sri Lankan exempts visa fee to Indian tourists

Indian tourists exempted from visa fees by Sri Lankan govt

India is among 48 countries whose citizens have been exempted from visa fees for tourism purposes by Sri Lankan government with effect from tomorrow. The decision was announced today during a media conference in Colombo. 

Speaking on the occasion, tourism minister John Amaratunga said visa fees, which ranged from 20 to 40 US dollars, will not be charged for grant of one month visa for tourism. The tourists can apply for electronic travel authorisations online or apply for visa on arrival. 

He said the measure will be implemented for six months initially and a decision will be taken later for extension depending upon its impact on revenue. Joining the media conference, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe said they expect revenues from enhanced tourism arrivals to offset the loss. 

He asserted that security situation in the country has retuned back to normal after Easter Sunday attacks and all the suspects have been taken into arrest. Sri Lankan tourism has been impacted after the attacks but the tourism authorities have claimed that there is a revival seen since last month.

Indian tourist constitute the maximum number with around one fourth of total tourist arrivals. Tourism is Sri Lanka’s third largest and fastest growing source of foreign currency last year, accounting for almost 5 percent of gross domestic product in 2018.


Nankana Sahib celebrations

Pakistan on Tuesday welcomed a special delegation of around 500 Indian Sikh pilgrims to the country to participate in the inaugural ceremony of celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak in Nankana Sahib.

A special jatha (caravan) of around 500 Indian Sikh pilgrims crossed over to Pakistan through the Wagah border to partake in the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak in Nankana Sahib on Thursday.

The Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi issued visas to the Indian Sikh Pilgrims.

A statement issued by Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi said Pakistan believes in the policy of promoting visits to religious shrines and people-to-people contacts between the two countries. “These visas have been granted over and above the issuance of thousands of visas every year under the framework of Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974,” the statement said.

The statement further said, Pakistan feels honoured that celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak by Indian Sikhs are being started from Nankana Sahib, Pakistan.

Kartarpur Corridor connects Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Narowal district with Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Gurdaspur.

Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province holds religious significance for the Sikh community. It is where Baba Guru Nanak settled down after his travels as a missionary. He lived there for 18 years until his death in 1539.

Pakistan will build the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak in Indian Punjab’s Gurdaspur district up to the border will be constructed by India.

In November last year, Prime Minister Imran Khan had laid the foundation stone for the corridor. Former Indian cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, Indian Minister for Food Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Indian Minister for Housing Hardeep S Puri had attended the groundbreaking ceremony.


Book Launch and Seminar



invite you to the launch of

The Great Mysore Bhagāvata 
Complete Study of a Manuscript from the Binney Collection 
in The San Diego Museum of Art

The Book Release will be followed by a talk on: 

A Canopy of Arrows; A Mountain on Fire 
Great Images from a Bhagāvata Purāna of the Mysore Court

By the Author 
Prof. B. N. Goswamy

6:30 PM | 31 July 2019 | Wednesday 
Seminar Hall I, II & III, Kamladevi Complex, 
India International Centre, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi .

Dear Austrian Cultural Forum-Circle, ACF is back from the summer break and delighted to invite you to the program Radha’s Story on August 6, 7pm at the Austrian Ambassador‘s Residence. The classical Indian dance performance by Austrian dancer Radha AnjaliNaresh Kumar Sagar@Nksagar

Penguin invites you to the launch of The Economics of Religion in India by Sriya Iyer Friday, 9th August 2019, 6:00 PM Seminar Hall 1, 2 & 3, India International Centre, New Delhi Please join us for refreshments at 6:0011Naresh Kumar Sagar@Nksagar·

Development Seminar | Digital Technologies in Emerging Economies: Benefits and Challenges Friday, August 2nd, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm Brookings India, No. 6, Second Floor, Dr. Jose P. Rizal Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi


US ‘working hard’ with India

US ‘working hard’ with India to help grow its economy: Pompeo

United State is working hard with the Indian government to provide India with opportunities to grow its economy as a part of the Trump Administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said yesterday in response to a question.

Pompeo’s remarks come weeks after a delegation of the US Trade Representatives travelled to India for talks on a wide range of bilateral trade issues, in particular tax and tariffs.

Meanwhile, India’s Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla said in Colorado that trade between the two countries has grown to USD 142 billion in 2018, and is expected to reach USD 238 billion by 2025. 

He said the next stage of growth will be driven by the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in both the countries


BCCI suspends Prithvi Shaw

BCCI suspends Prithvi Shaw for doping violation

@PrithviShawIndian Test opener Prithvi Shaw has been suspended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) till November 15, 2019, for a doping violation. According to a BCCI release, Shaw had inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance, which can be commonly found in cough syrups.

Mr Shaw had provided a urine sample as part of the BCCI’s anti-doping testing program during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match on 22nd February 2019 in Indore. 

His sample was subsequently tested and found to contain Terbutaline. Terbutaline, a specified substance, is prohibited both In & Out of Competition in the WADA Prohibited List of Substances.

On 16th July 2019, Mr Shaw was charged with the commission of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) under the BCCI Anti-Doping Rules (ADR) and provisionally suspended pending determination of the charge. 

Mr Shaw responded to the charge but asserting that it was inadvertent, being caused by his ingestion of the over the counter cough syrup he had taken for his cough.

The BCCI was satisfied with Mr Shaw’s explanation. However, according to rules, he was suspended for an eight-month period of Ineligibility started to run from 16th March 2019, so that it will end at midnight on 15th November 2019.


RBI Ease External Commercial fund

RBI relaxes External Commercial Borrowing norms for corporates, non-banking lenders

On more liquidity easing measures, the Reserve Bank has liberalised the end-use stipulations for the External Commercial Borrowings both for corporates as well as liquidity starved non-banking lenders.

The central bank in a statement yesterday said that liberalisation will be applicable to ECBs taken for working capital, general corporate purpose loans or repayment of rupee loans.

Corporate borrowers will be able to avail of ECBs to repay rupee loans taken for Capital expenditures if they are into manufacturing or infrastructure building and classified as Special Mention Account, SMA-2 or Non-Performing Asset, under any one-time settlement arrangement with lenders.

The RBI also issued a revised circular for bankers capturing the changes.