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Nifty, Sensex headed lower – Thursday closing report
Bulls need to reclaim 7,900 and bears need to push Nifty below 7,800
 
We had mentioned in Wednesday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex are in the hands of bulls and that Nifty has to remain above 7,943 for the market to remain bullish. The major indices of the Indian stock markets suffered a sharp correction and the losses over Wednesday’s close were over 1.65%. The trends of the major indices in Thursday’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
Profit booking, coupled with the logjam in parliament and negative global cues, subdued the Indian equity markets on Thursday. The sell-off was accelerated by the decision by the Bank of Japan (BoJ) to maintain the status quo in its monetary policy. This led to key indices of the Indian equity markets closing the day's trade in the red. The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bears -- with 1,672 declines and 854 advances. 
 
The US Federal Reserve said that it will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0.25%-0.5%, but gave little clue on the timing of its next rate hike. The US Labour market conditions "have improved further" even as growth in economic activity "appears to have slowed", the Fed said in a statement on Wednesday after wrapping up a two-day policy meeting, noting that it will continue to "closely monitor" inflation indicators and global economic and financial developments. The Fed currently expects that the US economy will expand "at a moderate pace" and the labour market indicators will "continue to strengthen," according to the statement. The Fed raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.25%-0.5% in December, the first rate hike in nearly a decade, marking the end of an era of extraordinary easing monetary policy. But the turmoil in financial markets and a slowdown in global economy since the start of the year have raised increasing concerns about the strength of the US economy, forcing Fed policymakers to hold off on any further rate hikes since then.
 
US stocks closed mixed as Wall Street assessed the Federal Reserve's decision to leave interest rates unchanged and weak earnings report from tech-giant Apple. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 51.23 points on Wednesday, or 0.28%, to 18,041.55. The S&P 500 added 3.45 points, or 0.16%, to 2,095.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 25.14 points, or 0.51, to 4,863.14. Oil prices jumped as the US Federal Reserve decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate unchanged. 
 
IT services company HCL Technologies on Thursday said it posted a rise of 7.07% in its standalone net profit for the quarter ending 31 March 2016, at Rs1,675.45 crore against Rs1,564.74 crore in the same period of 2015. According to the financial results posted on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the company's total income in the quarter under review at Rs4,612.21 crore compared to Rs4,385.95 crore clocked in the year ago quarter. Total expenses rose from Rs2,711.55 crore to Rs2,848.88 crore for the quarter. 
 
Bharti Airtel's net profit rose by 2.8% in the fourth quarter (January-March) of 2015-16, a company statement said on Wednesday. The consolidated net profit of the company increased to Rs.1,290 crore in the fourth quarter of 2015-16 compared to Rs1,255 crore posted during the corresponding period in 2014-15. The total revenue of the company for the quarter stood at Rs24,960 crore, which is a growth of 8.4%. Till 31 March 2016, the company had 251.2 million mobile customers in India as compared to 226 million the previous year, an increase of 11.2%. 
 
Global software major Infosys Ltd. on Wednesday announced investing an unspecified amount in US-based data software firm Trifacta which enables non-technical users to transform data for analysis. "The investment will enable Trifacta provide a data wrangling solution to our information platform and other offers," Infosys said in a statement. With the San Francisco-headquartered Trifacta, a broad range of users from business analysts to data scientists will be empowered to discover, cleanse and blend information. "We see huge potential in self-service data preparation solutions like Trifacta to help clients unlock business value of their big data assets," Infosys vice president for corporate development Ritika Suri said in the statement. Trifacta software will also enable Infosys' global clients to introduce a stack of data management solutions, complementing its data management and automation platforms. "Partnership with Infosys will play a key role in our global expansion, bringing the power and value of data wrangling to customers the world over," Trifacta chief executive Adam Wilson said in the statement. Infosys shares closed at Rs1,211.45, down 2.30% on the BSE.
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 

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Mizoram School Board demands Rs500 for answer sheet; CIC orders to give it for Re1
The Board of School Education Aizawl denied information under RTI for a student’s answer sheet and insisted on Rs500 as fees. But CIC of the Mizoram Information Commission set it aside helping the cause of millions of students
 
The issue of providing answer sheets to students under RTI Act, has been made loud and clear by a Supreme Court order and various High Court (some ongoing) and Central Information Commission (CIC) orders. Despite that, denial or demanding of exorbitant fees, by Public Information Officers (PIOs) and Appellate Authorities of various school boards and universities, compels applicants to file second appeals. It also results in harassment of students who are poised at the crucial crossroad of their academic life.
 
Here is one such recent case of the North-East, which needs to be hailed. The CIC decision of 8th February, 2016, overruled the school board’s insistence on providing answer sheets at Rs500 per subject and ordered it to provide it at Re1 per page, as per an amendment made by Mizoram’s state government under the RTI Act.
 
Miss R Lalhriatpuii, daughter of Malsawmkimi (RTI applicant) appeared for the High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) Examination, 20l4-20l5, which was conducted by the Mizoram Board of School Education (MBSE). When Lalhriatpuii got her mark sheet, she was disappointed with her marks. She believed she fared very well in most of her subjects. 
 
Her mother submitted an RTI Application dated 14th May, 2015 to the State Public Information Officer (SPIO), MBSE, Mizoram Aizawl. She requested copies of answer sheets of all the subjects - Mizo, English, Social Science, Science, Mathematics and, Information Technology.
 
The School Board insisted that it is ready to provide the required information only as per its MBSE bye-laws, by payment of the requisite fee of Rs500 per subject’s answer sheet. Thus, the PIO and the AA of the Mizoram School Board of Education denied her copies of answer sheets under RTI. However, the student’s mother insisted that she had sought this information under RTI Act at the rate of Rs2 per page as prescribed for documents under the RTI Act and RTI Rules (She was not aware of the amendment in which she would have to pay Re1 per page). The student’s mother was thus forced to file second appeal with the CIC, challenging the exorbitant fees charged by the school board and for not furnishing information under RTI rules. She appealed to the CIC to direct MBSE to provide her copies of the answer sheets as per the rates prescribed under the Mizoram RlI Rules, Rs2/- per page (A-4 size); to impose penalty against the erring officials of the MBSE as provided under the RTI Act, 2005. 
 
The CIC hearing was conducted by CIC Mr Lal Dineliana and the Information Commissioner (IC) Mr L Hranenawna. The School Board representative argued that: “MBSE was willing to furnish the evaluated answer-scripts, however, if the answer-scripts are disclosed liberally as desired by the appellant under the RTI Act, then it would adversely affect the functioning of MBSE. He further, mentioned that the disclosure should be under the bye-laws of MBSE, which was also in line with the practices of several other Boards of different States, therefore, in the larger public interest, it deserves to be exempted from disclosure under the RTI Act.”
 
During the second appeal hearing, the student’s mother stated that she had asked for copies of answer sheets of all subjects in which her daughter had appeared in the HSLC Examination 20l4-2015, under RTI Act and she had nothing more to say in this matter, over and above her written complaint to CIC. The CIC informed her that the revised rates for procuring copies of answer sheets is Re1 per page.
 
The Mizoram Information Commission, while considering the second appeal of Mrs Malsawmkimi Vs Mizoram Board of School Education (MBSE) carefully examined several RTI and writ petition cases concerning furnishing of certified copies of answer-sheets to students which were dealt, on-going and stayed in the Central Information Commission; in High Courts of different States and in the apex Supreme Court of India
 
The CIC order states, “this Commission agrees with the most recent decision of the Central Information Commission, dated 15th January 2016 that answer sheets of students can be furnished under the provisions of RTI Act 2005 and RTI rules and examining bodies can only charge the rate fixed as per RTI Rules.
 
“Accordingly MBSE is directed to furnish the answer-sheets of Miss R Lalhriatpuii to her mother, Mrs Malsawmkimi (the appellant) within 15 days of the receipt of this order under intimation to Mizoram Information Commission (MIC) at the rate of Rupee One (1) for each page (in A-4 or A-3 size paper) created or copied, as per Rule 4(a) of The Mizoram RTI Rules.”
 

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