Economy
Indian economic recovery likely to slow: Nomura
New Delhi :  India's economic growth momentum is likely to slow down in the face of weak external conditions and sluggish investment demand, according to the Japanese financial services firm Nomura.
 
Nomura's proprietary indices for India, together with the high frequency data, indicate some slowdown in the growth momentum towards end-2015 and a high likelihood of further monetary policy easing, it said in a research note.
 
There is a "downside risk" to its baseline forecast of 7.8 percent GDP growth in 2016, it said, adding that a reading still above 100 on the Nomura Composite Leading Index "suggests a mid-cycle consolidation, rather than the start of a downturn" in India.
 
"The economic recovery, which began in the fourth quarter of 2014, is headed into a consolidation zone into the second quarter of 2016," Nomura said.
 
While improving urban consumption demand and a robust transportation sector are supporting growth, weak external conditions and sluggish investment demand are weighing on the pace of the recovery, it said.
 
The report also said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is expected to deliver a final 25 basis points rate cut in April, utilising the room afforded by lower commodity prices.
 
"Beyond that, we expect the RBI to stay on hold until end-2016. We will monitor our growth and policy indicators on a monthly basis for early signs of any further deterioration in growth outlook or possible room for further easing," it said.
 
Earlier this week, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan left the central bank's short-term repo rate at which it lends to commerceial banks, unchanged at 6.75 percent, citing inflation risks and growth concerns, and saying further easing of monetary policy would depend on the government's forthcoming budget proposals.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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26/11 attacks: Headley deposes before Mumbai court
Mumbai : Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist David Coleman Headley, who is now an approver in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case, started his deposition before a Special TADA Court via videoconferencing from a US jail, here at daybreak on Monday.
 
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam is leading the prosecution case while well-known criminal lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani is representing Headley before Special TADA Court Judge G.A. Sanap at the five-hour proceedings.
 
Flanked by three persons -- his attorney John, a US attorney Sarah and an unidenfied person Bob -- Headley was administered the oath at 7.30 a.m. and Nikam started firing the questions at him.
 
Right at the start, he revealed that he was born on June 30, 1960 in the US and shifted to Pakistan later where his name was Daood Sayeed Gilani.
 
Headley, 54, provided details of his passport and his seven-eight trips to Mumbai and one to New Delhi between 2006-2008 before the 26/11 attacks, including seven via Pakistan, one via UAE, and another trip to Mumbai in July 2009, after the terror attacks were executed.
 
Within a couple of hours, Nikam had posed around five dozen questions where Headley also revealed that most of the information on his visa application was false so that he would not blow his cover.
 
Admitting he was a LeT operative, Headley name one Sajid Mir as his main contact in the terror group.
 
"This is the first time that a terrorist is deposing and tendering evidence live in a foreign country. He will divulge the largers aspects of the 26/11 terror conspiracy, the people behind it and related aspects," SPP Nikam said on the eve of the trial.
 
Headley's ongoing evidence could help the prosecution nail the alleged co-conspirators in the attacks Zakiur Rehman Lakshi, the terrorists' handlers, the role and involvement of other state and non-state actors, the role of another arrested LeT activist Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, currently in a Mumbai jail.
 
At the previous hearing on December 10 last year, a special judge had pardoned Headley and made him an approver in the case subject to certain conditions.
 
Headley, a man with American-Pakistani origins, was asked by Judge Sanap to disclose all information pertaining to the 26/11 case which he had earlier shared with the US courts.
 
This could shed light on the 26/11 conspiracy and the role of various terror groups, and other crucial details of the terror strike at multiple locations which left 166 dead on November 26-28, 2008.
 
Headley had already confessed to his role in the offences in the US for which he is seving a 35-year sentence.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Wearable Gadgets
Wearable tech devices are more like  fashionable toys than necessary tools
 
You say ‘wearable device’ and the very first name that comes to mind is Apple Watch. Although it is not the first smartwatch, perhaps, it is the most ambitious and well-designed (in terms of functionality) smartwatch. Then there are fitness bands that track user’s movement, steps, heart rate and offer other similar information. Both, the smartwatches and fitness bands or wristbands from reputed brands, are still beyond the reach of ordinary buyers.
 
The first wearable device, many of us would remember, was a digital watch with calculator. Today’s smartwatch can do more than that; but again, its usage is still limited, especially looking at the features these devices offer. In 2013, Pebble, a crowdfunding-backed start-up, reinvented the smartwatch and was a successful launch. By end-2014, Pebble claimed to have sold one million devices. The company is now selling its second-generation Pebble Time. Using Google’s Android operating system, in March 2014, Motorola launched its Moto 360 smartwatch. This was powered by Android Wear, the modified and customised version of Android. Later, in September that year, Apple joined the bandwagon with its Apple Watch. 
 
Jawbone and Fitbit Flex have been receiving a very good response to their fitness bands, since 2013. Besides these two, several other players, like Garmin, have entered the market. However, sales of wristbands are not very encouraging. 
 
This may be due to the limits on their ability to connect with other devices and battery power, constrained by the sizes available and higher price tag. The last factor is the main reason for lower sales in a country like India known for consumers who want value for money. 
 
All these smartwatches, or wristbands, perform as they are supposed to. But, when it comes to seamless interconnecting or communicating with other devices, they have limitations. For example, you can connect an Apple Watch with all other devices from Apple, but it takes some time to make it compatible with devices from other manufacturers. 
 
Another issue is ease of use. Take the example of interconnected smartwatch and mobile handset. For both devices, you need to use your hands. Now, if at all, I have to attend a call or reply to a message, wouldn’t it be better to use a mobile handset instead of the smartwatch? Nevertheless, things are changing and I hope these issues would get resolved in future.
 
One of the most important qualities any wearable device should have is to make technology pervasive by interweaving it with our daily life and usage. Except a few, most of today’s wearable gadgets are still learning this. These devices are useful but more as  fashionable toys rather than as necessities. For example, a few months ago, London-based fashion company, CuteCircuit, created special costumes for singer Katy Parry. These costumes had LED (light emitting diode) lighting that changed colour during stage shows and appearances on the red carpet for the singer. 
 
But, you do not wear such costumes daily; right? Or even if you wear a smart T-shirt, its usage would be limited, for a particular time. You may use it only for some specific activity, like jogging, or walking, or even partying. 
 
Remember Google Glass, the optical head-mounted display gadget? Google Glass was aimed at delivering rich text and notifications through a heads-up display worn as an eyeglass. It also had a 5MP camera to record videos at 720 pixels. It went into customer beta in March 2013; but its adoption by users remained limited. Finally, in early 2015, Google halted its sales after criticism of the design and a towering price tag of $1,500. Maybe, with changing technology and innovations, we may have more useful wearable devices in future.

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