News

Need of the hour is bigger aircraft and more seats

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Etihad Airways and its equity partner Jet Airways will add three new cities and an extra 28 flights a week in India from next year.

The temple town of Tiruchirappalli in the southern state of Tamil Nadu is to be the first addition, from February 1. Next up in the second half of the year are Kannur in Kerala and Chandigarh, the twin capital of Punjab and Haryana states in the country’s north.

Etihad adds flights and cities to India sector

My comments: The need of the hour is bigger aircraft which will add more seats. Specially to destinations like Bengaluru and Cochin. These two sectors attracts maximum transit passengers via Abu Dhabi. This increase in demand cuts the seat availability option for passengers from the UAE. This is an area Etihad has to address at the earliest as the news reports about Emirates operating soon from Al Maktoum airport will be an easy choice for many to opt. 

Navdeep Singh Suri to be new Indian ambassador to UAE

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navdeep-singh-suri
Navdeep Singh Suri – an Arabic and French speaker, has a masters degree in economics and has written on India’s Africa policy, on public diplomacy and on the IT outsourcing industry. Suri is taking up India’s top diplomat’s post here when the two nations have elevated their relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership. On October 2, New Delhi said Shaikh Mohammad will be the chief guest at the Indian Republic Day on January 26, 2017.

The ambassador designate is eager to take up his new role at a time when India and UAE relations are witnessing an unprecedented upswing. “I look forward to the new assignment at such an important time in our bilateral relations,” Navdeep Singh Suri, who is currently serving as the Indian High Commissioner to Australia, tweeted on Monday.

As per available data 2.2 million Indians live in the UAE.

My sincere wishes to him for a successful tenure in the UAE.

Follow him on Twitter @navdeepsuri

News and image source: Gulf News

Also read in The National: New Indian ambassador to the UAE to start next month

You may also visit Embassy of India website for regular updates.

Research data and links: Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

News U Wish to Read – 15th October 2015

Posted on Updated on

News U wish to readNote: News U Wish to Read is a press review compilation and only covers articles published in the press, in the UAE and India. Its purpose is to keep us informed of important news items which we all wish to not miss. Enjoy reading the below news items and links. More sections will come as it takes shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Energy

Opec anticipates better oil prospects as North American production slows

The National

Opec expects a brighter outlook for the oil market as the low prices of the past year bite further into higher-cost production growth, and with demand forecast to pick up in coming months. Opec’s Vienna-based think tank said in its monthly oil market report yesterday that the factors that have been weighing on the market “are showing signs of alleviation”. The main cause for optimism is the sharp slowdown in growth from producers outside Opec, particularly in North America. The report points out that “the oil industry has experienced a rapid fall in global upstream spending, down by more than 20 per cent, with North America cutting as much as 35 per cent. This has led to lower activity – less drilling and the delay or cancellation of new projects – which has put pressure on production growth”.

Published: 12th October 2015

Follow: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/opec-anticipates-better-oil-prospects-as-north-american-production-slows

Energy minister calls for Dh3.5bn savings in water and energy

The National

Energy chiefs aim to trim Dh3.5 billion from the power and water subsidy bill by encouraging people to turn off their taps and switch off their lights. “Today, as never before, we see the urgent need to reduce consumption,” said the Minister of Energy, Suhail Al Mazrouei. “The squandering of resources is the enemy of development. “We are working on supporting a culture of reasonable consumption in various government and private establishments, as well as in homes, schools and mosques.” The low oil price makes generous discounts on already cheap commodities harder to afford. Mr Al Mazrouei hopes consumers will cut their consumption by 10 per cent – instead of increasing it at a rate of 6 per cent a year.

Published: 7th October 2015

Follow: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/energy-minister-calls-for-dh35bn-savings-in-water-and-energy

Adnoc makes research and development push via new Petroleum Institute centre

The National

Organisers Abu Dhabi is set to embark on a major oilfield research and development push that could help to add as much as US$500 billion of value to oil reservoirs. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company is making a strategic push into R&D through a large investment in a new centre at its Petroleum Institute in the capital. The expansion reflects a major departure in R&D for both Adnoc and the Petroleum Institute, which includes a specific mandate for the institute to come up with ways to add 5 per cent – or about $500bn of value – to Abu Dhabi’s oil reservoir recovery rates, according to the Petroleum Institute president Thomas Hochstettler.

Published: 10th October 2015

Follow: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/adnoc-makes-research-and-development-push-via-new-petroleum-institute-centre

Adipec forecasts record attendance despite oil industry slump

The National

Organisers of Adipec, Abu Dhabi’s big annual oil gathering, expect record attendance next month, despite the worldwide industry slump. “I know it bucks the trend of oil conferences, but we’re expecting record numbers across the board,” said Jean-Philippe Cossé, a director at DMG Events, part of the UK’s Daily Mail Group, which runs the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (Adipec).

Published: 6th October 2015

Follow:http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/adipec-forecasts-record-attendance-despite-oil-industry-slump   

Other Sectors

Dubai to ‘feel the rush’ at third Motor Festival

Khaleej Times

DMF 2015 will be held from November 10 to 21 under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. With just weeks away for the third edition of the Dubai Motor Festival (DMF), its showpiece event, the Dubai Grand Parade, one of the most popular motoring pageants in the world, is gearing up to showcase Dubai’s motoring passion in all its forms. DMF 2015 will be held from November 10 to 21 under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, with the Grand Parade taking place on November 21. As excitement mounts within the motoring community, DMF organisers, the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) have announced that registration is open for the Dubai Grand Parade, a spectacular annual showcase of the widest collection of vintage, luxury and supercars and motorcycles in the UAE and region.

Published: 9th October 2015

Follow: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/auto/dubai-to-feel-the-rush-at-third-motor-festival

New Air India boss bets on people power to fix ailing carrier

Khaleej Times

Air India is in a better state now than it was when Lohani’s predecessor took over in 2011, four years after a merger with state-run carrier Indian Airlines Air India’s new chief is betting an ‘open door’ policy will help defuse years of soured relations with the flag carrier’s more than 20,000 staff, paving the way for potentially painful change at the loss-making airline. Ashwani Lohani, a 56-year-old engineer and tourism bureaucrat with no experience running an airline, describes his job as “the ultimate challenge”. The 85-year-old state-owned airline is unprofitable, overstaffed and losing market share. India’s aviation market may be the world’s fastest growing, but it’s dominated by younger, nimbler, low-cost rivals such as IndiGo and SpiceJet.

Published: 14th October 2015

Follow: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/aviation/new-air-india-boss-bets-on-people-power-to-fix-ailing-carrier

Politics & Economy

Diversification driving Dubai growth by 4%

Khaleej Times

Director-General of Department of Economic Development, said a key reason for Dubai’s resilience has been the emphasis Dubai places on economic diversification. “Today, Dubai’s economy is much more diversified than 2008-2009, and the dramatic transformation of Dubai’s economy that started in the early ’70s is now entering a new level,” said Al Qamzi at the launch of the Dubai Investment Forum. The highlight of the structural transformation that Dubai underwent over the last few decades is the city’s evolution as a trade, investment, services and knowledge hub, said Al Qamzi.

Published: 13th October 2015

Follow: http://khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/diversification-driving-dubai-growth-by-4

UAE insurance sector premiums expected to grow 15 per cent this year

The National

The UAE’s insurance sector, one of the few bright spots in financial services amid a slowing economy, is expected to grow 15 per cent this year, says the Insurance Authority.  Insurance premiums were expected to rise to Dh38 billion this year from Dh33bn last year, Ebrahim Al Zaabi, the authority’s general director, said yesterday. Speaking at a forum to discuss progress in bringing more of the authority’s services online, he said that “premiums are growing across the board”, but did not elaborate on the drivers of growth. Mr Al Zaabi also said the authority would be increasing its oversight of the sector to ensure fair deals for consumers and reviewing all its rules.

Published: 13th October 2015

Follow: http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/uae-insurance-sector-premiums-expected-to-grow-15-per-cent-this-year

Fiscal balance turns surplus after 8 years

The Hindu

For the first time in 8 years, India’s fiscal balance turned from deficit to surplus in the month of August, the latest data from the Controller-General of Accounts (CGA) show. The fiscal deficit, the excess of the Centre’s expenditure over its revenues, was (-) Rs. 15,808 crore in August. The negative figure indicates surplus of revenues over expenditure. In contrast, the Centre ran up a fiscal deficit of Rs. 73,005 crore in August 2014. A sharp surge in the Centre’s revenue receipts as well as a steep decline in its total expenditures made the fiscal surplus possible. The total revenue was Rs. 1,47,022 crore in August against Rs. 71,578 crore in July. In contrast, the total expenditure in August was Rs. 1,31,214 crore against Rs. 1,69,986 crore in July.

Published: 14th October 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/fiscal-balance-turns-surplus-after-8-years/article7750684.ece

Community, Environment & Society

Women must play bigger part in environmental science: Abu Dhabi summit

The National

When most people think about famous scientists they tend to remember Albert Einstein, but forget important figures such as Jane Goodall or Marie Curie – and it was that fact that experts at the Eye on Earth Summit want to change, as they encouraged women to get involved in the environmental sciences. Several leading figures at the summit and within the global environmental movement are women, they said. Razan Al Mubarak, secretary general at the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, said that it was important to keep open the possibility for women to occupy all roles throughout the environmental movement.

Published: 7th October 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/women-must-play-bigger-part-in-environmental-science-abu-dhabi-summit

Data sharing pledges made by Abu Dhabi environment summit delegates

The National

Organisations and experts at last week’s Eye on Earth Summit in the capital committed to sharing data to guide countries towards the UN’s sustainable development goals. The delegates want to provide data to developing countries so their growth can be guided towards sustainability. “The summit outcomes are central to advancing Eye on Earth’s vision of achieving a world where environmental and associated social and economic information, combined with citizen engagement, improves decisions leading to sustainable development,” said Razan Al Mubarak, secretary-general of the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, a founding partner of Eye on Earth.

Published: 13th October 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/data-sharing-pledges-made-by-abu-dhabi-environment-summit-delegates

Zayed Future Energy Prize finalists selected

The National

The 29 finalists for the 2016 Zayed Future Energy Prize have been selected. The eighth cycle of the awards aims to honour the pioneering work done by international organisations in energy and sustainability. “This has been a record-breaking year for the Zayed Future Energy Prize, which is a testament to the leadership shown by the UAE in seeking long-term solutions that will meet our future climate and energy challenges,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and director general of the Zayed Future Energy Prize.

Published: 11th October 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/transport/daily-ferry-service-to-connect-abu-dhabi-landmarks

Daily ferry service to connect Abu Dhabi landmarks

The National

The best way to see Abu Dhabi’s skyline is from the sea – and passengers will soon be able to do so on a luxury ferry.  The service, which begins next Monday, will cover more than 100 kilometres of scenic waterways around Abu Dhabi island with stops at the Etihad Towers hotel, Abu Dhabi Mall, Yas Marina and the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr hotel. More stops are planned as the service develops. “It is an exciting alternative to getting around Abu Dhabi’s spectacular coastal area in a service unique in the emirate,” said Thomas Rebollini, head of finance at the ferry operator Jalboot Marine – which is named after the traditional pearl-diving dhows of the Arabian Gulf.

Published: 13th October 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/zayed-future-energy-prize-finalists-selected

Technology

Etisalat launches nine data centres across UAE

Gulf News

Etisalat, the Abu Dhabi-based telecommunications provider, announced the launch of nine data centres across the UAE in order to boost its services to consumers. The centres aim to provide back-up and additional infrastructure in case of natural disasters such as earthquakes and fires. During a Gulf News visit to a data centre in Khalifa City, Abdullah Al Ahmad, etisalat’s vice-president of Business Services, said that the company has seen a global need to boost data security. “There are about 15 billion devices globally connected to the internet, with data worth 13 trillion gigabytes in 2015 and around 500 million transactions done on a daily basis. The number of mobile phones has also doubled over the past four years, replacing desktops and other portable devices,” Al Ahmad said.

Published: 14th October 2015

Read more: http://gulfnews.com/business/sectors/telecoms/etisalat-launches-nine-data-centres-across-uae-1.1600542

Tech firms spearheading cloud solutions adaptation in UAE

Khaleej Times

Cloud negates the need for large up-front investments in on-premise solutions. Some of the leading technology companies – Microsoft, VMware, Inframon and Pacific Controls – are aggressively spearheading adaptation of cloud solutions in the UAE with a sole aim to transform the current technology scenario to more smarter and efficiency boosting productivity levels across all segments of the emirate’s economy. Dubai – smartest city in the region – has adopted smart measures at various government levels that eliminates processes that consume labour, time and management. The industry experts have already predicted that the emirate is all set to witness a massive shift in coming 12-18 months as cloud computing solutions get adopted by businesses across UAE. But some questions arise here i-e are we ready for this transformation? Do we really have the luxury to wait and watch or be left behind when your peers or competitors have already invested in technology upgrade with latest cloud solutions?

Published: 15th October 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/technology/tech-firms-spearheading-cloud-solutions-adaptation-in-uae

Education+

Choose the MBA that works for you

The Hindu

Weigh the pros and cons of the programme before deciding which one you want to pursue. An IT professional with four years of work experience approached me with an aspiration to join INSEAD/IMD/Richard Ivey/ISB. I could gather from his choices that he is primarily exploring a one-year MBA programme and wants to save time. However, what was unsettling was that he had no clarity. He wanted to make more money and hold significant leadership positions in the Industry, but when I asked him what Industry or functions he saw himself working in after MBA, he had no idea. According to him, the strategy was to figure that out when you are on the campus.

Published: 11th October 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/features/education/college-and-university/choose-the-mba-that-works-for-you/article7747040.ece

Secure and swift

The Hindu

Secure electronic transcription technology envisages secure transfer of mark sheets, certificates and any important academic or non-academic documents over Internet. Understanding the importance of quick online document verification and transaction in the changing times, several universities in the country have begun to adopt secure electronic transcription (SET) technology. Along with electronic verification of mark sheets and certificates, issuing of online transcripts using SET technology is possible today. Thanks to Global Document Authentication System (GDAS) technology developed by Myeasydocs, a firm incubated at Indian Institute of Technology Madras, several universities and autonomous colleges in the country, including Calicut University, the University of Kerala and the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), are all set to implement the new online transcript system.

Published: 12th October 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/features/secure-and-swift/article7747323.ece

Sports – Campaign PASS

Campaign PASS (Promote All Sports Simultaneously) is an initiative started through my blog to promote all sports(other than cricket – which gets lot of attention) and sports personnel associated to give them more exposure.

TOP scheme has been a big support: Saina

The Hindu

The 25-year-old, who won the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, hoped the TOP scheme will help other athletes as well. One of India’s top medal prospect at next year’s Olympics, World No. 1 shuttler Saina Nehwal on Thursday said the Sports Ministry’s TOP scheme has been of immense help in her preparation for the Rio Games. “My sincere appreciation @YASMinistry @Media_SAI @BAIMedia1 for the support over the years. Would not have been here without the support,” Saina wrote on her twitter page.

Published: 8th October 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/government/national-sports-day-to-bring-uae-together-in-friendly-competition

Professional boxing is like a new era in my life: Vijender

The Hindu

The former world no.1 said that he was enjoying the experience of learning new techniques from his trainers and sparring partners. All set for his foray into the professional arena, Indian boxing star Vijender Singh asserted that his transition from the amateur circuit is like a new era in his life. The London Olympics medalist has been training for more than a month under globally acclaimed trainer Lee Beard in Manchester. Vijender feels that his life has now totally changed with no fellow Indian boxers in the dressing room, no Indian food and no friends. “It’s all together a different beginning of my life. I am really excited for a debut day and I am in shape as I stayed for more than one month in this gym with trainers like Lee Beard and Haroon Headley,” Vijender said. “My trainers are new and it’s almost a month (sic) I am with them and I am the only one Indian boxer training here. In amateur boxing, there were like 2-3 boxers with me in the changing room all the time but right now I am all alone with my trainers so there is a difference. I just want to box hard that day,” he added.

Published: 6th October 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/sport/professional-boxing-is-like-a-new-era-in-my-life-vijender/article7731078.ece

Two Volvo Ocean Racers shortlisted for ISAF World Sailor of the Year Award

Volvo Ocean Race.com

It’s the most prestigious individual award a sailor can receive – a symbol of recognition for their outstanding achievements in this sport. That’s right: the ISAF World Sailor of the Year Award. And despite the Volvo Ocean Race being a massive team effort, it’s only right that some of our outstanding leaders have been shortlisted for the prize. In the male category, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing skipper Ian Walker. A two-time Olympic medallist, the Brit finally got his hands on the Volvo Ocean Race trophy this edition at the third attempt. “Winning the Volvo Ocean Race was not only a special moment for me but also a special moment in the sporting history of Abu Dhabi,” says Ian. In the female category, Sam Davies has been nominated for her campaign as skipper of Team SCA.

Published: 13th October 2015

Read more: http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/news/9154_Reaching-the-pinnacle.html

Hope you enjoyed reading the above news items and links. More sections will come as it take shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Regards,

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

15th October 2015

@rameshmenonauh

News U Wish to Read – 3rd October 2015

Posted on

News U Wish to read  - 3 October 2015Note: News U Wish to Read is a press review compilation and only covers articles published in the press, in the UAE and India. Its purpose is to keep us informed of important news items which we all wish to not miss. Enjoy reading the below news items and links. More sections will come as it takes shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Energy

Many reasons for cautious process on Abu Dhabi’s onshore oil concessions

The National

This time last year the air was thick with speculation about Abu Dhabi’s coveted onshore oil concessions, the award of which is worth billions to the international oil companies that secure them and is of prime importance to the people of the emirate. The 15 onshore oilfields – collectively know as the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations, or Adco – account for more than half of the country’s oil output, though that is projected to be overtaken by offshore production within a few years. Even a year ago, the question was why had it taken the Supreme Petroleum Council and its technical advisers so long to evaluate and decide upon the proposals it had received? The previous concession had run out at the end of the prior year and all of the interested parties – which included four of the previous concession-holders, excluding Exxon Mobil – had made multiple presentations, as had a number of prospective new partners. Anticipation was building that Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) would announce the decision at the big international oil gathering in the capital – Adipec – next month. But Adnoc did not announce the first major concession – granted to Total of France – until the following January, and then two others – to Japanese and South Korean interests – over the next five months. Now, a year later and with Adipec on the horizon again next month, and with still more than half of the 40 per cent of Adco’s foreign stake unallocated, oil industry executives again are starting to murmur – “What’s up with the Adco concessions?”. The delay should not be surprising given the two big challenges the Abu Dhabi oil decision-makers must face. One is that they must evaluate the partnerships for the next two generations in lieu of a changing global economy. Much of the talk since the concessions expired has been of the “shift to the east” – the growth of Asia’s developing economies, particularly China, which has meant more than 90 per cent of Abu Dhabi crude now is absorbed by Asia’s refiners. Adnoc’s loyal, long-term contractual buyers were recognised by the Adco parcels allocated to Japan’s Inpex (5 per cent) and South Korea’s GS Energy, backed by Korea National Oil Corp (3 per cent). Japan bought 30 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s crude oil output last year, with South Korea buying 12 per cent.

Published: 1st October 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/many-reasons-for-cautious-process-on-abu-dhabis-onshore-oil-concessions

Iran targets 2 million barrels-a-day lift

The National

Iran plans to increase crude output by 2 million barrels a day from about 50 energy projects slated for investors at a conference in Tehran next month. That is according to Roknoddin Javadi, the managing director of National Iranian Oil Company. The package would also aim to boost natural gas production by 7 billion standard cubic feet, Mr Javadi said at a conference in Berlin. Oil production is now about 2.8 million barrels a day, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Iran has the world’s largest gas reserves and the fourth largest oil reserves, according to BP figures. The country would need US$30 billion of investment over five years to boost oil production, starting with about 350,000 barrels of new output next year, Goldman Sachs said in a report. The supplies could keep pressure on oil prices and delay the market’s return to balance, Henry Tarr, a Goldman analyst, said in the report. Mr Javadi told the conference that “the global oil market will stay bearish in the short to medium term”. The agreement in July by the United States, France, China, Russia, Britain and Germany to remove sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme pointed to an early start next year if all conditions were met, said Mr Tarr.

Published: 1st October 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/iran-targets-2-million-barrels-a-day-lift

The rise and fall of UAE fuel prices – graphic

The National

The Fuel Price Committee has announced another drop in the price of petrol, while diesel is to rise slightly for October. Take a look at how the prices have changed since price-setting was liberalised in July.

Published: 28th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/the-rise-and-fall-of-uae-fuel-prices–graphic

Total plans deeper cuts in global project spending

The National

In a scheduled “strategy and outlook” presentation to investors in Paris, Total executives said the company plans to cut both capital and operating expenditures substantially through 2017, including reducing headcount and freezing recruitment. Total was the first of the large international oil companies to begin cost-cutting several years ago, before oil prices began their latest slide. Capital spending had already been cut from a peak two years ago of US$28 billion to about $23.5bn this year and the company said it would be cut a further 15 per cent next year and 12 per cent the year after “to a sustainable $17bn-19bn from 2017 onwards”. The Total chief executive Patrick Pouyanné and other top executives laid out a strategy that forecasts production to grow at an average of 5 per cent a year from 2014 through 2019. That is a slowing rate of growth from the 11 per cent the company registered in the first half of this year and the 7 per cent it expects through 2017. It effectively cut its forecast rate of production to 2.6 million barrels per day in 2017 from 2.8 million bpd. In January, Total was the first company to be granted a new concession in Abu Dhabi’s major onshore oilfields concession, known as Adco. The French company had been one of the legacy Adco concession operators and won a renewal for 40 years with a bid that analysts estimate was $2.2bn for a 10 per cent stake, giving it claim over about 2.2 billion barrels over the life of the contract. Regaining Adco this year has been a big factor behind the 11 per cent production increase posted in the first half. The 15 fields are on track to boost production from about 1.6 million bpd last year to 1.8 million bpd by the end of 2017. But neither the UAE nor the Middle East region in general featured in the plans laid out by Total for the next few years. Total has already said it plans to cut 2,000 headcount this year as part of efforts to trim $1.2bn from operating costs. The company said it is now aiming for even sharper cuts, with a target of between $2bn and $3bn of additional opex reductions by 2017. In the part of the strategy presented by Arnaud Breuillac, Total’s head of exploration and production, he said the company would be looking to cut the numbers and rates of contractors as well as freezing recruitment worldwide as part of efforts to reduce global headcount. The main focus of cuts would be older provinces, he said, highlighting the UK North Sea, which is targeted for a 20 per cent further reduction in personnel by 2017. “We are preparing the group to face low oil prices for a long time,” Patrick de la Chevardiere, Total’s head of finance, told a press conference after the presentation. The focus of future growth will be projects such as offshore Angola as well as liquefied natural gas in Papua New Guinea. As with other large international oil companies, Total executives said they are concerned to maintain their dividend payments for investors even with much lower oil ­prices.

Published: 23rd September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/total-plans-deeper-cuts-in-global-project-spending

Why Shell quit drilling in the Arctic

Gulf News

Royal Dutch Shell’s abrupt announcement earlier this week that it would cease all offshore drilling in the Arctic is surprising for several reasons. One is the unusual degree of confidence the company expressed as recently as mid-August that it had identified 15 billion barrels of oil beneath the well known as Burger J it’s now abandoning. What happened? Mistaken geology: After spending $7 billion over several years to explore a single well this summer, Shell said in a statement that it “found indications of oil and gas … but these are not sufficient to warrant further exploration.” This contrasts sharply with Shell officials’ statements as recently as July and August that based on 3- and 4-D seismic analysis of core samples its petroleum geologists were “very confident” drillers would find plentiful oil. The geologists’ expectations were the main reason Shell spent all of that money on a project that entailed much-higher- than-average operational risks and international environmental condemnation. Giving up has got to hurt at a company that prides itself on scientific and technical prowess. Shell said it would take an unspecified financial charge related to the folding of its Arctic operation, which carries a value of $3 billion (Dh11 billion) on the company’s balance sheet.

Published: 30th September 2015

Follow:http://gulfnews.com/business/sectors/energy/why-shell-quit-drilling-in-the-arctic-1.1592530

Other Sectors

Mubadala and General Electric agree to sell joint venture to US private equity firm

The National

Mubadala and GE Capital have agreed on a deal to sell their commercial finance joint venture to a unit of Apollo Global Management, a US private equity firm. Mubadala GE Capital (MGEC) in Abu Dhabi has signed a deal to sell “substantially all of the assets” of the company and its subsidiary firms to MidCap Financial. A price for the sale, which will be paid in cash, has yet to be agreed and “is subject to customary adjustment”, MGEC said.It also said the deal was subject to conditions and “may be terminated under certain circumstances”. It is expected to close in the last quarter of the year.

Published: 1st October 2015

Follow: http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/mubadala-and-general-electric-agree-to-sell-joint-venture-to-us-private-equity-firm

Air India shifts domestic operations to T2 Mumbai

Times of India

From T2, Air India will operate 63 flights out of Mumbai of which 52 are to domestic destinations. Starting October 1, 2015, Air India has relocated its domestic operations from the Santa Cruz airport to Terminal 2 (T2), of the Mumbai airport to integrate its international operation with domestic flights. The move will also help members of Star Alliance to easily transfer passengers. With this, Air India said it would make Mumbai its second hub after Delhi. Interestingly, Mumbai was Air India’s home base since its inception and most international flights were operated from here till the UPA government shifted Air India’s headquarters to Delhi and the Delhi airport was made its base and main hub.

Published: 2nd October 2015

Follow: http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/air-india-shifts-domestic-operations-to-t2-mumbai/article7716194.ece

Politics & Economy

 Economy minister: GDP to grow 3.5% to Dh1.6tr

Gulf News

The share of the industrial sector in the GDP is growing and now stands between 10-14%. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, said the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the UAE is predicted to grow more than 3.5 per cent to more than Dh1.6 trillion this year, compared with Dh1.5 trillion in 2014. In a statement to WAM, the minister said the UAE’s ability to maintain high grow rates in the past years despite global economic volatility shows its economic efficiency and proves that its diversification policy is successful as it relies more on non-oil sectors to weather global challenges. The share of the industrial sector in the GDP is growing and now stands between 10-14 per cent. He expects the size of industrial investments in the UAE to double in five years. Al Mansouri stressed that his ministry seeks to bolster the competitiveness of the national economy, the flow of foreign direct investments as well as the country’s economic relations with foreign countries. He pointed out that the Second UAE Economic Planning Forum, a two-day event scheduled on October 7 in Ras Al Khaimah, will enhance coordination between local and federal government departments to boost economic competitiveness, help the SME sector (small and medium size enterprises) and carry out national economic plans. The minister of economy added that innovation and supporting national industries top the agenda of the forthcoming forum.

Published: 3rd October 2015

Follow: http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/economy-minister-gdp-to-grow-3-5-to-dh1-6tr-1.1594278

UAE and Saudi Arabia non-oil bilateral trade set to exceed Dh80 billion

The National

Non-oil trade between the UAE and Saudi Arabia is forecast to surge as the Emirates consolidates its status as an international trade centre, boosts investments in the kingdom and enacts unified regulations for Arabian Gulf products. Saudi Arabia is the biggest exporter of goods (mainly petrochemical products) to the UAE in the Gulf. In the UAE, Gulf products overall enjoy exemption of customs duties, in accordance with the country’s economic agreements with Gulf states, which contribute to the big volume of trade with Saudi Arabia. In 2013, the latest year for which figures are available, the bilateral trade was valued at Dh80 billion. The expected rise in trade comes amid increased political cooperation between the two countries, most notably in the military campaign to restore the internationally recognised government of Yemen. Still, challenges remain to the flow of UAE-Saudi Arabian trade, with logistics at the border at the forefront. According to the UAE’s Ministry of Economy, the country’s main export to Saudi Arabia is gold and the main re-export products are jewellery and gold.

Published: 3rd October 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/uae-and-saudi-arabia-non-oil-bilateral-trade-set-to-exceed-dh80-billion

RBI surprises with more-than-expected rate cut

Khaleej Times

In a surprise move, Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan on Tuesday cut the key repo rate by 50 basis points to 6.75 per cent, the lowest in nearly five years, yielding to pressures from government and industry, clamouring for such a sharp rate cut. Unveiling the fourth bi-monthly monetary policy statement for fiscal year 2014-15, Rajan said since the previous review the bulk of the conditions for easing the policy had been met. Inflation has dropped to a nine-month low and despite the monsoon deficiency and its uneven spatial and temporal distribution, food inflation pressures have been contained by resolute actions by the government, he added. While reducing the policy repo rate – the rate at which the central bank lends money to commercial banks – under the liquidity adjustment facility, he kept the cash reserve ratio unchanged at four per cent. The reverse repo rate has been adjusted to 5.75 per cent.

Published: 30th September 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/rbi-surprises-with-more-than-expected-rate-cut

Community, Environment & Society

Abu Dhabi road safety campaigns start to prove their worth

The National

Traffic campaigns along with strict law enforcement by police were the key reasons why accidents on the emirate’s roads had fallen by a quarter over the first eight months of the year, Abu Dhabi Police said on Thursday. Latest figures released by Abu Dhabi Police reveal that since the start of the year there were 30 deaths compared with 40 over the same period last year. Brig Gen Khalifa Al Khaili, head of traffic and road safety at Abu Dhabi Police, attributed the decrease to the efforts of the authorities to make roads safer. He said that awareness programmes had been increased to ensure respect of traffic rules. Col Jamal Al Ameri, head of public relations at the directorate, said traffic awareness sessions had taken place at transport companies, schools and universities. And he added that the traffic safety improvements were down to these campaigns – in addition to the widespread use of radars and other traffic monitoring systems. “The drop in fatalities is mainly due to the strict enforcement of laws and the safety awareness programmes,” he said.

Published: 1st October 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/transport/abu-dhabi-road-safety-campaigns-start-to-prove-their-worth

UAE in talks over mobilisation of COP 21 climate agreement

The National

The UAE attended a meeting on Wednesday about how to enact agreements made in the COP 21 climate pact, which is due to be formalised in Paris in December. The UAE delegation to the two-day Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, held on the sidelines of the 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York, was led by Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and chairman of the National Media Council board. “In common with the MEF, we have identified an urgent need for the deployment of clean energy technologies at the lowest possible cost, to drive transformational progress,” he said. The minister added that moving to a clean energy economy provides an opportunity to promote continued economic growth and sustainable development as part of a response to the challenges posed by climate change. “The UAE’s participation, alongside 17 of the world’s leading economies, is a testament to the country’s commitment to sustainable development, and its leadership in the deployment of the clean energy technologies necessary to mitigate climate change.” Discussions at the forum focused on a number of important issues that, it is hoped, will be resolved ahead of the COP 21 meeting in December.

Published: 30th September 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/uae-in-talks-over-mobilisation-of-cop-21-climate-agreement

Technology

mGovernment social media accounts caters to Hindi speaking UAE residents

The National

The UAE has added Hindi as a language to communicate mGovernment initiatives on social media. One of India’s official languages, Hindi is now used by the official mGovernment Twitter account. The first Hindi tweet was posted on September 14, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said. “This initiative reflects the UAE government’s respect to its residents’ diverse cultures and civilisations,” said Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, the TRA’s director-general. “It also emphasises the government’s keenness on interacting with the people and hearing their voices through different social-media platforms.”

Published: 28th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/government/mgovernment-social-media-accounts-caters-to-hindi-speaking-uae-residents

Education+

Emirates Foundation invites budding scientists to participate in Think Science competition

The National

The Emirates Foundation is inviting budding young scientists to participate in next year’s Think Science competition. The contest is held under the patronage of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Foreign Minister and Chairman of the Emirates Foundation, and engages youth nationwide to develop scientific innovations that respond to social needs. It is also part of the foundation’s Think Science programme, which aims to encourage Emiratis aged 15 to 35 to follow their passions for science through interactive activities related to engineering, energy, aviation and other fields. The national competition will accept 220 projects in the categories of electrical engineering, environmental sciences, industrial and mechanical systems, energy, smart and safety systems, physics and chemistry, transportation, aerodynamics and aviation. To ensure wider participation, the Emirates Foundation this year opened the doors for those aged between 25 and 35 years who have completed their academic study to participate in the competition. “The competition will provide a unique opportunity for Emirati youth to showcase their talents in science and technology, develop knowledge and share expertise, and be part of the UAE’s growth today and in the future,” said Maytha Al Habsi, chief programmes officer at the Emirates Foundation.

Published: 30th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/science/emirates-foundation-invites-budding-scientists-to-participate-in-think-science-competition

Engineering yourself for a successful career

The Hindu

Tips to make your engineering degree count in the competitive world of campus placements. Engineering education requires a transformation to meet the needs of employers, the challenges facing the profession and the community as a consequence of the rapid development of technology, the demands of large and complex projects and the need for socially responsible multidisciplinary innovation. A bachelor’s degree in engineering opens the door to several professional careers and exciting higher study options. In today’s high-tech world, an engineering degree is a great foundation for careers in traditional engineering fields as well as careers in management, sales, government, medicine, research, law, teaching, and many more.

Published: 28th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/features/education/careers/engineering-yourself-for-a-successful-career/article7692762.ece

Sports – Campaign PASS

Campaign PASS (Promote All Sports Simultaneously) is an initiative started through my blog to promote all sports(other than cricket – which gets lot of attention) and sports personnel associated to give them more exposure.

National Sports Day to bring UAE together in friendly competition

The National

Plans have been announced for a nationwide sports day in which men, women and children of various nationalities are brought together in the spirit of friendly competition. Organisers of the UAE National Sports Day believe that as well as promoting healthy living, sporting competition also helps create a harmonious society.  Sports clubs, groups and schools will all be encouraged to take part in the event, which is due to take place on November 25. Its launch follows a directive of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai. HE Mohamed Ebraheem Al Mahmood, vice president of the General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare and Chairman and Managing Director of Abu Dhabi Media, said: “This holds a lot of meaning in the country to promote athletics and a culture of sportsmanship for not only us and the over 200 nationalities in the country but also for our youth.” He urged as many people and organisations as possible to sign up. “The first national sports day carries an open invitation among all the citizens of the UAE, in age, gender and ability, it is meant for everyone,” said Mr Al Mahmood. “And that is the point – to bring people together.” Saeed Hareb, secretary general of Dubai Sports Council, also hoped the event would prove popular. “We want everyone to participate. I anticipate hundreds of events, and that is what we need.”

Published: 29th October 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/government/national-sports-day-to-bring-uae-together-in-friendly-competition

Indian Super League ready for even bigger kick-off

The National

Team owners and sponsors of the Indian Super League (ISL) are hoping that the football tournament will be able to score huge success among fans over the coming weeks. The ISL kicked off its second season yesterday evening in Chennai after launching last year, bringing Bollywood glitz to football in an otherwise cricket-mad nation where other sports have more limited popular and commercial appeal. Actors, cricket stars and business tycoons are among those who have invested in the eight teams, which include a mix of international and Indian footballers on their rosters. The young league has ambitions to grow, but without doubt it is a high-risk venture. Another football tournament in India, the I-League, has failed to gain much traction. This has been blamed on lack of funding and limited television coverage. India is often referred to as football’s “sleeping giant” – it is 155th in the latest Fifa rankings – but with rising incomes and a vast young population, the potential to generate revenues from the sport could be enormous if its popularity continues to grow.

Published: 3rd October 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/indian-super-league-ready-for-even-bigger-kick-off

Hope you enjoyed reading the above news items and links. More sections will come as it take shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Regards,

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

3rd October 2015

@rameshmenonauh

News U Wish to Read – 20th September 2015

Posted on

News U Wish to read  - 20 September 2015

Sunday, 20th September 2015

Note: News U Wish to Read is a press review compilation and only covers articles published in the press, in the UAE and India. Its purpose is to keep us informed of important news items which we all wish to not miss. Enjoy reading the below news items and links. More sections will come as it takes shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Energy


UAE oil and gas jobs on the wane amid price rout and regional security concerns

The National

Recruitment is waning in the UAE’s oil and gas sector amid the oil price rout and regional security concerns, a new report says. According to the Monster Employment Index report for last month, the index reading for online listings of oil and gas jobs in the UAE fell about 30 per cent to 73 from 103 in August last year. In the Middle East, hydrocarbons industry job postings declined 21 per cent. Monster, a New York-listed recruitment company, said the employment slowdown was not surprising given the global ramifications and the sector’s current hiring freeze. “While the UAE is putting firm actions in place to manage the global crunch, I do expect that hiring recovery in this sector will require some time,” said Sanjay Modi, the regional managing director of Monster.com. Oil prices continue to trade below US$50 per barrel, down from peaks of more than $110 last year. This has led to several companies cutting their capital expenditure, including downsizing their workforces.

Published: 17th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/uae-oil-and-gas-jobs-on-the-wane-amid-price-rout-and-regional-security-concerns


Saudi Aramco names new chief executive

Bloomberg

Appointment made at initial meeting of supreme council. Amin Al Nasser was named president and chief executive of Saudi Arabian Oil Company, known as Saudi Aramco, at the first meeting of the newly created supreme council, the executive board managing the world’s biggest oil producer. The council also approved a five-year business plan at the meeting held overnight in Jeddah, the company said in a statement yesterday. Mr Al Nasser in May was named interim chief executive, replacing Khalid Al Falih who became chairman and health minister. The supreme council is restructuring the Dhahran-based company, which is no longer under the oil ministry. Mr Al Nasser is also on the board, below the supreme council. “More appointments are expected,” Mohamed Ramady, a London-based independent analyst and former professor of economics at King Fahd University for Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran, said. “Many senior vice presidents retired lately and no replacements have been announced so far.” Saudi Aramco has the ability to pump 12 million barrels of crude per day, and is steering Opec to record production to keep market share amid a global glut. Brent crude was little changed at $49.79 per barrel yesterday

Published: 17th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/saudi-aramco-names-new-chief-executive


Prepare for 15 years of weak oil prices, says Goldman Sachs

The National

A glut of crude may keep oil prices low for the next 15 years, according to Goldman Sachs.

There’s less than a 50 per cent chance that prices will drop to $20 a barrel, most likely when refineries shut in October or March for maintenance, Jeffrey Currie, head of commodities research at the bank, said in an interview in Lake Louise, Alberta. Goldman’s long-term forecast for crude is at $50 a barrel, he said. Goldman cut its crude forecasts earlier this month, saying the global surplus of oil is bigger than it previously thought and that failure to reduce production fast enough may require prices to fall near $20 a barrel to clear the glut. Prices may touch that level when stockpiles are filled to capacity, forcing producers in some areas to cut output, Mr Currie said on Wednesday. “When we think of the longer term oil price, yes we put it at $50 a barrel,” he said. “However the risks are to the downside given what’s happening in the other commodity markets and the macro markets more broadly.”

Published: 17th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/prepare-for-15-years-of-weak-oil-prices-says-goldman-sachs


Abu Dhabi a symbol of the future, says Solar Impulse co-founder

The National

The capital of the UAE is a symbol of the future, the co-founder of a project to circumnavigate the world in a solar-powered aircraft told an audience on Monday. “Abu Dhabi is an oil producer that is diversifying to clean energy technologies and I think it is the perfect symbol,” said Bertrand Piccard, who was in the capital after being named the first Middle East Solar Industry Association Ambassador. Solar Impulse 2, the plane onboard which Dr Piccard and his co-pilot and co-founder, Andre Borschberg, are attempting the world first, took off from Abu Dhabi last March. Next year, the plan is for the plane to finish its journey where it started. As the team waits to resume the flight, Dr Piccard commended Abu Dhabi for looking ahead. “The goal is not to attack what exists. The goal is to support new ways of doing in diversification, and I like this approach.”

Published: 14th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/abu-dhabi-a-symbol-of-the-future-says-solar-

impulse-co-founder


Deregulation of fuel prices a key moment for UAE energy policy

Gulf News

The introduction of the deregulation of fuel prices in the UAE is a key moment for energy policy in the UAE and has made the nation a pioneer in energy exporting nations in the area of energy subsidy reform, a top official from the Ministry of Energy said in Fujairah on Thursday. “While energy subsidies can generate short term benefits, they lead to greater adverse consequences, impeding market functions, creating artificial prices, decreasing sustainability and limiting the growth of clean energy,” said Matar Al Neyadi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Energy and Chairman of the Gasoline and Diesel Prices Committee. Speaking at the 5th Gulf Intelligence Energy Markets Forum in Fujairah, Al Neyadi said that the decision to deregulate fuel prices aligns the nation with its strategic vision to preserve natural resources and increase long term sustainability. “This step places the UAE on par with countries that follow sound economic methodologies, promote a responsible energy market and provide a sustainable future for generations ahead.”

Published: 17th September 2015

Read more: http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/deregulation-of-fuel-prices-a-key-moment-for-uae-energy-policy-1.1585904


Abu Dhabi bio jet fuel project nears test stage

Gulf News

Washington: An initiative to produce environmentally friendly aviation jet fuel in Abu Dhabi is progressing. Construction on a one-acre trial farm located in Abu Dhabi that will grow the fuel producing plant, will be finished in the next three to four months, a Boeing executive said on Tuesday. Boeing, together with Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s Takreer, the Masdar Insitute and Total, has been working since January 2014 to develop biofuel in the emirate. Julie Felgar, Managing Director, Environmental Strategy and Integration at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, told reporters on a video call “a small pilot project” will start when construction on the test farm is completed in three to four months. “We’ll take one year to 18 months to run through a couple of harvest rotations and see what the opportunities are in being able to scale that up,” she said. The Abu Dhabi project is one of 19 biofuel ventures Boeing is involved in around the world, developing jet aviation fuel based on biological processes like agriculture or waste as a means to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. In Abu Dhabi, a halophyte plant called salicornia bigelovii, that generates oil that can be used to make the biofuel, will be planted in the test farm.

Published: 16th September 2015

Read more: http://gulfnews.com/business/aviation/abu-dhabi-bio-jet-fuel-project-nears-test-stage-1.1585301


Other Sectors


UAE financial markets to observe Eid Al Adha holiday during Sept 23-26

Khaleej Times

The Eid Al Adha holiday for UAE financial markets will begin on Wednesday, September 23, 2015, and trading will resume on Sunday, September 27.  This was announced by the Securities and Commodities Authority based on circular No. 38 of 2015, issued by the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, FAHR, on the holidays of Eid Al Adha.

Published: 16th September 2015

Follow: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/markets/uae-financial-markets-to-observe-eid-al-adha-holiday-during-sept-23-26


Air travel may become affordable for aam aadmi as Modi government proposes cap on fares

Economic Times

The Narendra Modi government plans to cap airfares between small towns and cities in an ambitious proposal to throw open the chance of air travel to millions of Indians dependant on crowded ground transport. A proposal under consideration by civil aviation ministry will allow airlines to bid for the right to operate flights between hundreds of small towns and cities located within one hour of flying distance from each other.  Airfares between these cities will be capped at Rs 2,000 or Rs 2,500 per passenger. The balance will be paid back to these companies by the government through the levy of a cess on national and international flights. A senior civil aviation ministry official said that India can become the third-largest aviation market in the world, if it makes its 300 million middle class Indians fly at least once a year through these initiatives.  The plan is part of the new civil aviation policy that is likely to be out for public consultation by the end of this month and has the in-principle approval of

Prime Minister Narendra Modi..

Published: 19th September 2015

Follow: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/transportation/airlines-/-aviation/air-travel-may-become-affordable-for-aam-aadmi-as-modi-government-proposes-cap-on-fares/articleshow/49019234.cms


Politics & Economy


Intra-regional capital inflows help UAE

Khaleej Times

Increased capital inflows from Middle East and North Africa and GCC markets help the UAE offset a decline in funds coming from emerging markets, particularly Russia,  while the country remains the only net importer of private capital in the Gulf, a leading investment management company said on Monday. Despite a drop in Russian capital inflows, the UAE, with its safe-haven status and strategic position as a hub between Asia and Africa, continues to be the main beneficiary of inflows of private capital into the GCC region, Invesco said in its Middle East Asset Management Study. “An example of a rapid year-on-year reversal in sources of capital inflows is the decline in private capital coming into the UAE from emerging markets, including Russia. Last year’s study showed inflows from emerging markets at 58 per cent, dropping down to 41 per cent this year. Flows from Russia in particular are thought to have been affected by the decline in the rouble reducing the buying power of affluent Russians in the UAE real estate and tourism sectors,” said Nick Tolchard, head of Invesco Middle East. “This decline in Russian capital inflows may be cyclical given the strong and ongoing ties between Russia and the GCC,” Tolchard said at a media roundtable.

Published: 15th September 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/intra-regional-capital-inflows-help-uae


Global Economy: A recession is around the corner

Khaleej Times

The united States of America is often referred to as the Big Brother due to its economic impact on both developed and developing countries every time there is a recession or fear of recession hitting it. Being one of the world’s dominating economies, many factors contribute towards setting a trend for either bulls or bears to walk on Wall Street. Even though recession is not new to the Big Brother, it is bad news both for it and countries that depend on a bullish US economy. So, will history repeat itself soon? Is it time for bears to take over Wall Street? The crash of the world’s major stock markets (Black Monday) on August 24 pushed indices to the year’s lowest point. Experts are citing many reasons. Some blame China’s economic downturn and its falling stock market for kick starting global recession as it is one of the largest economies.

Published: 15th September 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/a-recession-is-around-the-corner


India escapes the worst of emerging markets misery

Khaleej Times

Three years ago India was the weakling of the emerging markets clan, politically stagnant and struggling to grow – but as gloom engulfs other developing economies, the subcontinent is enjoying a moment in the sun. Brazil and Russia lie deep in recession and South Africa is teetering on the brink after demand for raw materials collapsed, while alarm bells have sounded over fears the China juggernaut may be faltering. Enter India, once dubbed the Broken Bric, as the core group is known, now poised to become the fastest-growing G20 economy, expanding at a respectable seven percent, with its finances nourished by cheap oil. “If you look at the growth numbers, India is definitely doing better than these other economies,” Kunal Kundu, an economist at Societe Generale in Bangalore, told AFP. “China is in slowdown mode and Brazil and Russia are in trouble because they are commodities-dependent. We are seeing India as the standout.”

Published: 15th September 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/india-escapes-the-worst-of-emerging-markets-misery


India insulated from economic fallout, Arun Jaitley says

Economic Times

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said despite a global slowdown and its impact on countries, India remains insulated from the economic fallout and stands out as a “brighter spot”.  “India is not a part of the Chinese production chain, significantly. In fact, the two segments – commodities and oil – that been adversely affected certainly don’t adversely impact India (which is) a net importer,” Jaitley said last night at The Singapore Summit 2015 here.  “Therefore, the more we see a low price regime, the more India continues to benefit. Not withstanding the slowdown globally, we do stand out as one of the brighter spots,” he was quoted as saying by The Straits Times.

Published: 19th September 2015

Read more: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/India-insulated-from-economic-fallout-Arun-Jaitley-says/articleshow/49022331.cms


Community, Environment & Society

A look at marine animals in the UAE: sea turtles

The National

The Arabian Gulf is blessed with amazing marine life, including dugongs, dolphins, turtles and sharks, not to mention 500 species of fish. In a five-part poster series launching this week, Oasis takes a closer look at a different marine animal, starting with sea turtles. With the help of a local marine biologist, we will provide some surprising facts about these creatures, highlight identifying features and give tips on how UAE residents can help protect them. Next week we feature dolphins.

Published: 17 September 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/arts-lifestyle/a-look-at-marine-animals-in-the-uae-sea-turtles

Technology

Facebook launches newsgathering tool Signal

The Hindu

In a move to take on micro-blogging site Twitter, which is the biggest source of breaking news for journalists, Facebook has launched an innovative  newsgathering tool that will help reporters scan and file stories from the ocean of information on Facebook and its photo-sharing site Instagram. Called Signal, the free tool will help journalists track relevant trends, photos, videos, and posts from nearly 1.5 billion Facebook users and Instagram’s 300 million users for storytelling and reporting.

Published: 18th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/internet/facebook-launches-first-newsgathering-tool-for-journalists/article7664559.ece


Education+


GoodReader is just what a bookworm needs

The Hindu

GoodReader is a text and PDF file reader that saves you the bother of scrolling for text, but its not without problems. Every person who loves reading books has, at some point or the other, wanted to read books while on the go. Unfortunately, the screens on these smartphones have all been way too small to make reading comfortable for anything more than a screenful or two. Even reading long email messages can be a strain on the eyes. It doesn’t help that many e-books are formatted for a full screen, so they require vertical and horizontal scrolling to read. Thankfully, GoodReader exists, and only costs about a dollar.

Published: 15th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/goodreader-is-just-what-a-bookworm-needs/article7655396.ece


Sports – Campaign PASS


Campaign PASS (Promote All Sports Simultaneously) is an initiative started through my blog to promote all sports(other than cricket – which gets lot of attention) and sports personnel associated to give them more exposure.


PM’s knowledge on sports leaves Saina surprised

The Hindu

Saina briefed the Prime Minister about her silver medal winning feat at the World Championship and becoming world number one. Star shuttler Saina Nehwal was left mighty impressed with Narendra Modi’s knowledge on sports and said the Prime Minister made her feel like a family member when they met ahead of his 65th birthday. “The meeting lasted for about half an hour and I was surprised that he knew about my family and my game so comprehensively as if he was a family member,” Saina told PTI a day after gifting the Prime Minister one of her racquet’s on the eve of his birthday.

Published: 17th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/prime-minister-narendra-modis-knowledge-on-sports-leaves-saina-nehwal-surprised/article7662306.ece

Hope you enjoyed reading the above news items and links. More sections will come as it take shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Regards,

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

@rameshmenonauh

http://www.clicksandwrites.com

News udpate – UAE mourns the death of Shaikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Posted on Updated on

UAE Mourn the death Shaikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al MaktoumShaikh Rashid, son of Shaikh Mohammed, dies of heart attack

Khaleej Times

UAE President mourns the death of Shaikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and expresses his sincere condolences and sympathy to Shaikh Mohammed and Maktoum family.  Shaikh Rashid Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the eldest son of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, died of heart attack on Saturday. He was 34. Dubai Media Office has tweeted that funeral prayers will be held after Maghrib Prayers at Zabeel Mosque in Dubai. Burial will take place at the cemetery in Umm Hurair, Dubai. The government has declared three days of mourning and flags at half mast.

Published: 19th September 2015.

To know more about him: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashid_bin_Mohammed_Al_Maktoum

News U Wish to Read – 30th August 2015

Posted on Updated on

News U Wish to read  - 30th August 2015

Sunday, 30th August 2015

Note: News U Wish to Read is a daily press review compiled and only covers articles published in the press, in the UAE, India and world around. Its purpose is to keep us informed of important news items which we all wish to not miss. Enjoy reading the below news items and links. More sections will come as it takes shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Energy

Opportunities and challenges for the downstream oil sector in the Middle East

The National

Falling oil prices have deeply affected oil and gas upstream, with many projects shelved or put on hold around the world. For much of the downstream sector, though, the current environment also provided cheaper feedstock (crude oil) and a sudden stimulus to demand. Overall, sinking oil prices have served as a shot in the arm for the downstream sector in the short term. The fundamental challenges for the refining industry, however, remain.

Published: 29th August 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/opportunities-and-challenges-for-the-downstream-oil-sector-in-the-middle-east

Diesel down 18%, petrol cut by 8.5% in UAEprojects

Khaleej Times

In its monthly price adjustments, the Ministry of Energy on Thursday lowered domestic prices for petrol and diesel for September. While diesel price was slashed by 18 per cent, the price for a litre of petol was reduced by 8.5 per cent, in line with developments on the international oil market. All pumps will retail diesel at Dh1.86 per litre. Petrol will be sold to consumers at Dh1.89 per litre for E-plus (Octane 91), Dh1.96 for Special (Octane 95) and Dh2.07 for Super (Octane 98), the ministry said, after a meeting of the Fuel Price Committee chaired by Dr Matar Al Nyadi, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Energy, and attended by officials of Adnoc Distribution, Enoc and other oil companies. The new prices will come into effect on September 1, 2015. Last month, the committee lowered diesel price by 29 per cent to Dh2.05 a litre from Dh2.35, while petrol price was hiked 24 per cent to Dh2.14 a litre. E-Plus 91 was increased to Dh2.06 a litre from Dh1.61, and unleaded gasoline 98 was hiked to Dh2.25 a litre from Dh1.83.

BUS_150828-OIL-PRICES-SEPTEMBER-(Read-Only) KT3022827 petrol-prices-sep-2015

Published: 28th August 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/energy/diesel-down-18-petrol-cut-by-85-in-uae

Rise in solar cells production to bring Rs 30,000-crore investment

Economic Times

The increase in manufacturing facility for solar cells and modules will bring in an investment of about Rs 30,000 crore and create 25,000 jobs in the country.

“It is expected that the manufacturing capacity for cells and modules will increase roughly by 2,500 MW and 5,000 MW per annum, respectively.”

“This is expected to create 25,000 jobs in manufacturing sector and bring in investment of about Rs 30,000 crore,” said an official in the New and Renewable Energy Ministry. At present, manufacturing capacity of cells and modules in India is 1,386 MW and 2,756 MW, respectively.

Published: 30th August 2015

Read more: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/energy/power/rise-in-solar-cells-production-to-bring-rs-30000-crore-investment/articleshow/48729959.cms

Other Sectors

L&T Construction bags orders worth Rs 1,563 crore in July, August

Economic Times

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said power transmission and distribution business of L&T Construction has bagged orders worth Rs 1,563 crore in July and August. “The power transmission and distribution business of L&T Construction has won orders worth Rs 1,563 crore,” Larsen & Toubro said in a BSE filing. The company said it has received a breakthrough order from Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) for design, manufacture, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of a 500 kV double circuit transmission line in Malaysia.

Published: 25th August 2015

Follow: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/indl-goods/svs/engineering/lt-construction-bags-orders-worth-rs-1563-crore-in-july-august/articleshow/48664676.cms

Politics & Economy

 

Fed, ECB, BOE officials all say they see inflation rising

Gulf News

Stronger growth will pull inflation higher in the US and Europe, according to three top central bankers who voiced confidence that their regions will escape from headwinds that are keeping inflation too low. Federal Reserve vice-chairman Stanley Fischer joined European Central Bank Vice President Vitor Constancio and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney Saturday on an panel at the Kansas City Fed’s annual retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, dedicated to discussing inflation dynamics. Their optimism has not been shared up until now by investors, trading in inflation- protected bonds shows.

“Given the apparent stability of inflation expectations, there is good reason to believe that inflation will move higher as the forces holding down inflation dissipate further,” Fischer said in his prepared remarks. “With inflation low, we can probably remove accommodation at a gradual pace,” Fischer said. “Yet, because monetary policy influences real activity with a substantial lag, we should not wait until inflation is back to 2 per cent to begin tightening.”

Published: 30th August 2015

Read more: http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/fed-ecb-boe-officials-all-say-they-see-inflation-rising-1.1575107http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/fed-ecb-boe-officials-all-say-they-see-inflation-rising-1.1575107

Elephant vs Dragon: Why India’s economy is in a better shape than China

Economic Times

China’s economy is slowing sharply, creating a risk for the global economy. Its debt is pegged at 282% of GDP by some estimates. And that is just one of its problems. Years of state-driven investments have created excess capacity in several sectors. India is in far better health.

Published: 27th August 2015

Read more: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/elephant-vs-dragon-why-indias-economy-is-in-a-better-shape-than-china/articleshow/48689099.cms

Long way to go for India to become global growth engine: Rajan

The Hindu

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has said it will be “a long time” before India can replace China as a growth engine for the global economy, even if it grows at a faster rate. The comments assume significance in the wake of a China-led slowdown hurting the markets worldwide in the recent days, which has led to calls in India for taking this crisis situation as an “opportunity” as the global economy may need alternative growth engines. Asked whether India can replace China as a new growth engine, Rajan said in an interview to BBC, “India is one-fourth to one-fifth of China’s size. Even if we can overtake China in terms of growth rates, the magnitude of the effect will be far smaller for a long time to come.” As per the latest data available with the World Bank, GDP of the U.S. is over 17$ trillion. This compares with China at over 10$ trillion and India 2$ trillion. After Monday’s market crash, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stressed on the need to further strengthen the Indian economy and said that the present global crisis should be converted into an opportunity for India.

Published: 26th August 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/long-way-to-go-for-india-to-become-global-growth-engine-rajan/article7582391.ece

Community, Environment & Society

 

MoI Launches “Our Students are a Responsibility” Campaign

Wam

The Ministry of Interior, represented by Traffic Coordination Directorate General, is launching a traffic awareness campaign under the slogan “Our Students are a Responsibility” prior to the start of the new academic year.

This campaign comes as a part of the traffic sector’s initiative in line with the MoI’s strategy aimed at controlling roads, promoting traffic safety and reducing run-over accidents. It also aims to raise the awareness of students in all educational stages; especially children, about traffic accidents, the need to adhere to traffic laws, and to preserve the safety of students from potential road dangers.

Published: 28th August 2015.

Read more: http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395284763044.html

50.2°C (and it’s getting stickier)

Thenational.ae

It’s hot and sticky outside, and it’s going to stay that way for the rest of the weekend. The weather bureau forecast 90 per cent humidity at night, expected to soar to 100 per cent in the event of fog, and the temperature reached 50.2°C in Sweihan in Abu Dhabi on Friday. The spike in humidity was by a change in the wind direction, with the conditions catching many residents by surprise. Meteorologists asked motorists to drive with caution since high humidity could lead to fog. “The direction of the wind until three to four days ago was a southerly wind coming over the desert, so conditions were dry,” said Ahmed Habib, a meteorology specialist with the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology, on Friday. Humidity is likely to increase over some western areas, the report predicts. While the temperature could go up to 48°C in interior regions, it will rise to 43°C in coastal areas and 35°C in the mountains. Humidity levels will be between 55 to 90 per cent in coastal areas, 45 to 70 per cent in interior regions and 35 to 45 per cent in the mountains.

Published: 28th August 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/502c-and-its-getting-stickier

Ban on plastic packaging of food, drugs: NGT seeks Centre view

The Hindu

The National Green Tribunal has directed the Centre and various stakeholders to file their submissions on a proposal that there should be a complete prohibition on the use of plastic packaging in food and pharmaceutical formulations of any kind. “It appears that none of the concerned ministries are prepared to take a decision which according to them at one time was need of the hour in larger public interest. Be that as it may, we will proceed with hearing of the matter and take appropriate decision in accordance with law.” “We direct all the parties before us i.e. Ministry of Health and MoEF (Ministry of Environment and Forests), CPCB and the Board under the Drugs Act and all the other respondents, stakeholders, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and all the private stakeholders to place a note,” a bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar said. The tribunal was hearing a petition filed by NGO Him Jagriti Uttaranchal Welfare Society seeking restrictions on the use of plastic bottle and multi-layered, plastic packages or pet bottles by imposing a ban on packaging of carbonated soft drink.

Published: 30th August 2015.

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ban-on-plastic-packaging-of-food-drugs-ngt-seeks-centre-view/article7596373.ece

Technology

 

Can’t stay away from phone? Find out if you’re a nomophobe

The Hindu

Do you get worked up immediately when your phone runs out of battery? Or be completely fine with it atleast for a while? Are you a nomophobe? Researchers can tell! US researchers have developed a questionnaire that can determine if you suffer from nomophobia or a fear of being without your mobile phone. Caglar Yildirim, a PhD student in human computer interaction at the Iowa State University (ISU), and Ana-Paula Correia, an associate professor in ISU’s School of Education, have identified four dimensions of this modern-day phobia. In the study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, study participants were asked to respond to statements on a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). Total scores were calculated by adding the responses to each item. The higher scores corresponded to greater nomophobia severity. The questionnaire includes statements such as- I would feel uncomfortable without constant access to information through my smartphone; I would be annoyed if I could not look information up on my smartphone when I wanted to do so; Being unable to get the news (example: happenings, weather, etc) on my smartphone would make me nervous.

Published: 27th August 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/cant-stay-away-from-phone-find-out-if-youre-a-nomophobe/article7586703.ece

Education+

 

Empowering the biotech sector

The Hindu

With the Reserve Bank of India declaring biotech as a priority sector, the biotech market has acquired new hope and opportunities. Incidentally, furthering this trend, Bengaluru which is already a biotech hub, now has the support of two initiatives from the State Government: Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB) which intends to promote education, research and entrepreneurship in bioinformatics and biotechnology and Karnataka Biotech Finishing Schools (BTFS), which plans to enhance the placement opportunities for fresh graduates. IBAB offers a two-year M.Sc. degree in Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology which blends Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Programming with Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology. It also offers a Ph.D. programme. Students are selected for the course through an online exam followed by an interview. If IBAB takes care of the academic requirement, an initiative like BTFS aims to address the paucity of industry-ready graduates in the field of bio-technology. Initiated by the Department of IT BT and S&T, Government of Karnataka, via the implementing arm KBITS (Karnataka Biotechnology and Information Technology Services), BTFS aims to address this issue. The programme has been designed specially for life science students to give them hands-on training in various soft skills related to the field. The programme is currently in its fourth year and so far, 337 students have graduated from the schools. After six months of academic work, students are asked to intern with a company related to their domain of expertise. This programme is present in 12 institutions across Karnataka: Dayanand Sagar Institution, Bengaluru; Maharani Lakshmi Ammani College, Bengaluru; Siddaganga Institute of Technology, Tumkur; Padmashree Institute of Management of Sciences, Bengaluru; St. Aloysius College, Mangalore; Manipal Life Sciences, Manipal, etc. to name just a few. Students are selected for the BTFS programme through the Karnataka Biotechnology Aptitude Test (KBAT) which is followed by interviews and counselling sessions. Those who have completed a Masters in the subject can join BTFS.

Published: 27th August 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/features/education/empowering-the-biotech-sector/article7587152.ece

Indian traits of perseverance and adaptability excels in a global workplace

The National

From PepsiCo to Google, Indians are increasingly rising to the top roles in some of the world’s biggest companies. A number of factors are contributing to India becoming a breeding ground for global business leaders, including the country’s sharp focus on education and its citizens’ ability to integrate themselves into different cultures, experts say. The most recent high profile example of the trend came this month when Sundar Pichai, who was born and grew up in Chennai, took charge as the chief executive of Google. Also from Chennai, Indra Nooyi is the chief executive for PepsiCo. Meanwhile, Ajaypal Singh Banga from the city of Pune in Maharashtra leads Mastercard, while Ivan Manuel Menezes, also from Pune, heads the beverages giant Diageo. Satya Nadella from Hyderabad is in charge of Microsoft. In recent decades, a large number of Indians have moved to the United States and the United Kingdom to further their education after graduating from top institutions in India such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM). Those graduates have since risen to leading positions, explains Arun Bala, the chief operating officer at Invenio Business Solutions. “That is one of the factors that have brought Indians to the fore at this time,” he says. “You’re talking about some of the best that have been produced as graduates in India that have moved to the US over a period of about 30-odd years,” he says. “That’s a substantial number of academically bright and highly ambitious youth that have migrated to the UK and US.”

Published: 29th August 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/indian-traits-of-perseverance-and-adaptability-excels-in-a-global-workplace

Sports – Campaign PASS

 

Campaign PASS (Promote All Sports Simultaneously) is an initiative started through my blog to promote all sports(other than cricket – which gets lot of attention) and sports personnel associated to give them more exposure.

Trendsetters in their own way

The Hindu

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At 22 and 27 years of age, Dipa Karmakar and P.R. Sreejesh have been trendsetters in their own way for their respective sport. On Saturday, they were rewarded for their hard work with the Arjuna Award here. Dipa became the first Indian female gymnast to win medals at the Commonwealth Games last year and followed it up with another bronze at the Asian Championships in Hiroshima recently. One of only 3-4 gymnasts in the world to practice the difficult Produnova vault — a double frontal vault — Dipa’s achievements are significant given the constant administrative wranglings and lack of training camps. Sreejesh, meanwhile, has created history in his own way. Coming from Kerala, a state that boasts of multiple winners across sports, being the first male hockey player to be conferred the Arjuna is recognition of a brilliant run of form for the past couple of years. Considered among the best goalkeepers in the world today, Sreejesh’s journey from the backwaters of Kerala to the Ashoka Hall is one of perseverance and grit.

Published: 30th August 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/sport/trendsetters-in-their-own-way/article7594331.ece

Hope you enjoyed reading the above news items and links. More sections will come as it take shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Regards,

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi