Economy
India's wholesale inflation rises fourth month in row
New Delhi : With food items, notably pulses and onions, continuing to remain dear, India's annual wholesale inflation rate moved up further to (-)0.73 percent for December, against (-)1.99 percent for the month before, official data showed on Thursday.
 
This was the fourth straight month of increase in the annual inflation.
 
As per the wholesale price index numbers released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the annual food inflation was steep at 8.17 percent, while index numbers for fuels and manufactured products were both in the negative -- at (-)9.15 percent and (-)1.36 percent, respectively.
 
In the past month, the index for food articles, that is unprocessed items, rose 0.6 percent while the build-up in the first three quarters of the fiscal was 9.39 percent. For food products, the rise was 0.3 percent in the past month under review, and 3.12 percent since April 2015.
 
India's overall retail prices too have been rising. According to the data released two days ago, the annual retail inflation moved up further to 5.61 percent in December from 5.41 percent during the month before. 
 
The consumer price index numbers also showed that food inflation rose higher -- to 6.4 percent as against 6.07 percent in the month before. In rural and urban areas, the annual inflation rates for food items were 6.41 percent and 6.31 percent, respectively.
 
As per Thursday's data on wholesale prices, the annual inflation for pulses in general was 55.56 percent, while for onions it was 25.98 percent. But with potatoes cheaper by 34.99 percent over the past year, the annual rise in the overall vegetable index stood moderated to 20.56 percent.
 
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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Reliance Communications, Sistema to move court for merger nod
New Delhi : Reliance Communications (RCOM) and Sistema Shyam Teleservices on Thursday said they will apply to the Bombay High Court and the Rajasthan High Court for approving a merger.
 
The statement came in the form of a filing with stock exchanges following a query on the subject.
 
The Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications in November last year announced a major accord to acquire the Indian business of Russia's Sistema -- which is operating under the 'MTS' brand -- in a unique stock-cum-spectrum-fee payment deal.
 
The deal first calls for the de-merger of the telecom business of the Russian group's Indian entity and then the acquisition of that by the Reliance Group firm.
 
Prior to that, the targeted company is to pay its existing debt. Post merger, the shareholders will be entitled to a 10-percent stake in Reliance Communications.
 
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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Videography, webcasting to help Bihar curb cheating in exams
Patna : In a major reform of the system, mass cheating in Bihar may be curbed - and even become a thing of the past - if a plan to use high-tech gadgets and deploy extra security forces at exam centres bears fruit.
 
Mass cheating has been reported in Bihar for years and had become an annual feature hitting the news in March every year when reports and visuals of guardians and friends helping their wards surface on a regular basis.
 
Ahead of the Class 10 (matric) and Class 12 (intermediate) exams in Bihar in February and March, the education department has directed officials to began preparations for cheating-free exams by installing CCTV cameras and ordering videography and live webcasting of examination centres. Additional security forces are also being deployed.
 
"We have decided not to tolerate and compromise on this any more. The Grand Alliance-led government is committed to ensure cheating-free exams," Education Minister Ashok Choudhary told IANS. 
 
Choudhary said stern measures would be taken against anyone attempting to cheat.
 
According to education department officials, nearly 14 lakh will appear for intermediate exams from the last week of February and around 15 lakh students will write the matriculation exams in March. 
 
Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh, chairman of Bihar School Examination Board, said that CCTV cameras would be installed outside the exam centres and videography would be conducted inside the examination centres.
 
Thousands of security personnel would be deployed in and outside of examination centres. Officials said not more than three students would be allowed to sit on a bench during any exam to minimise the chances of cheating.
 
All district magistrates and superintendents of police have been asked to invoke Section 144 of the CrPC and ban illegal gatherings and groups at all examination centre an hour before exams begin. In addition, parents, guardians, family members and friends would be kept away from the centres.
 
At a high-level meeting chaired by chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh here on Tuesday, it was decided that if cheating is reported from any centre, exams there would be cancelled and action taken against officials and teachers.
 
Gajender Sharma, a teacher at a government school in Arwal district, termed as a positive move the efforts to curb mass cheating at exams. 
 
"It was shameful to see last year photographs going viral, nationally and internationally, showing people climbing a school wall in the state to fling answer sheets to students inside the building," Sharma said.
 
Manish Sahu, a leader of the National Students Union of India, said the state government's committment to ensure cheating free exams should be supported by all.
 
"Students,their parents and family should come forward to help concerned government agencies to conduct cheating-free exams," Sahu told IANS.
 
However, Manish Kumar Singh of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad seemed skeptical.
 
"It is big task and not possible," Singh told IANS.
 
After reports of mass cheating last year, the Patna High Court too directed the state police chief to deploy adequate security forces to ensure a check on cheating.
 
Last month the education department suspended four headmasters of government-run schools where large-scale cheating was reported in the 2015. Exam centres from where widespread cheating was reported would be blacklisted, officials said.
 
A retired school teacher, Amir Hasan, recalled how in 1996 when the Patna High Court took cognizance of rampant cheating in the state, only 12 per cent students could pass the board exam.
 
"Whenever authorities act tough in exams, the pass percentage falls drastically," he said.
 
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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