Citizens' Issues
Konkan Railway to launch three holiday specials
The Konkan Railway, which connects Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka, will launch three special trains to cater to the holiday rush during Ganesh Chaturthi next week, officials said on Tuesday.
In a statement issued here, the Konkan Railway said that the three trains are 00118/00117 Ratnagiri - Vasai Road - Ratnagiri Special Train (Reserved Express), 00112 /00111 Madgaon - Vasai Road - Madgaon Special Train (Reserved Express) and 00115/00116 Vasai Road - Mangalore - Vasai Road Special Train (Reserved Express).
"All the trains have 18 coaches and will be operational during the period of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival," the statement said.
Hundreds of thousands of Konkan residents travel to and from towns and industrial centres to their ancestral homes in the area during the festival which begins on September 17.


Modi discusses global economic turmoil with industry, economists
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday met union ministers, corporate heads and economists to discuss global markets' turmoil sparked off by the Chinese economic slowdown and attendant opportunities for India.
"The general consensus (at the meeting) was that growth of emerging economies is all slowing down, except that we (India) are growing at 7 percent; so how can we take advantage of this opportunity (of the slowdown elsewhere)?" Confederation of Indian Industry president Sumit Mazumdar told reporters here after the meeting.
"Our economic foundations are strong; that is why we have not been affected by recent Chinese events. However, the prime minister told us that in this situation the industry also should show some risk-taking ability," he added.
Ministers present at the meeting were Arun Jaitley (finance), Suresh Prabhu (railways), Nitin Gadkari (road transport and shipping), Nirmala Sitharaman (commerce), Dharmendra Pradhan (petroleum) and Piyush Goyal (coal, power and renewable energy).
Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian and Aayog member Bibek Debroy also attended the meeting on 'Recent Global Events: Opportunities for India'.
At the meeting, industry chamber Assocham told the prime minister that policymakers needed to quickly "bullet proof" India from global economic volatility and called for interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank and duties to stop dumping of Chinese products such as steel.
"Economic uncertainty has risen against the backdrop of the slowdown in the global economy. Near-term risks have escalated due to China's growth transition, slump in commodities, capital flow reversals, disruptive asset price shifts and currency exposure risks related to volatility," Assocham said, making a set of 12 recommendations to Modi.
The chamber called on RBI governor Raghuram Rajan to cut interest rates by up to 1.25 percentage points by March to help revive investment and growth.
"Since industrial sector accounts for 45 percent of the outstanding bank credit while it has a lower share of 28 percent in GDP, there is an urgent need for investment revival through a strong dose of monetary easing," Assocham said.
Apart from heads of industry chambers, top industrialists such as Reliance Industries' Mukesh Ambani, Aditya Birla Group head Kumar Mangalam Birla, Adani group chairman Gautam Adani, Tata group chief Cyrus Mistry, Wipro chief Azim Premji, Sun Pharma CMD Dilip Sanghvi, ITC's Y.C. Deveshwar and Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited chairman Ravi Parthasarathy also attended.
Eight economists, 14 industry representatives and four from major financial institutions, including State Bank of India chief Arundhati Bhattacharya, ICICI Bank's Chanda Kochar, IDFC's Rajiv Lall and CEO of recently launched Bandhan Bank, Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, were also present.


Nowhere to Run
A Roundup of Reporting on the Refugee Crisis in Europe
Every day we’re struck by terrible headlines concerning the refugee crisis in Europe: Austria finds 71 migrants dead in a truck. Hungarian police officers fire teargas at migrants. Fifty refugees die in a ship’s hold off the coast of Libya. News like this has become almost commonplace. With the Syrian Civil War raging, ISIS displacing millions in Iraq, Ukraine and Russia at loggerheads, and multiple states in Africa mired in poverty, the number of migrants will surely increase in the months to come. To better understand what is at stake, we’ve compiled some of the best reports from the U.S. and Europe. 

The Global Refugee Crisis, Region by Region

The New York Times, August 2015
Why do people leave their country? Why has the United Nations called this migration crisis the worst since World War II? Take a look at the hot spots illuminated by clarifying graphics.

Life on Hold – The Struggle of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

Al Jazeera, March 2015
Europeans may feel that they are taking on the biggest influx of refugees, but most Syrians fleeing from war never make it to Europe. While the European Union currently hosts about 350,000 Syrian refugees, Lebanon – a country of 4.5 million – has received nearly 1.5 million. The refugees wait in camps and abandoned buildings. For them, as well as for the country that shelters them, life has changed unalterably. 

Why Is EU Struggling With Migrants and Asylum?

BBC, August 2015
Another year, another record: Germany is expecting more than 800,000 refugees to arrive by the end of this year, 4 times more than the last. Where do they come from, which routes do they take, and what has caused migrant numbers to rise?

Scenes From a Tragedy: Just Another Week in Europe’s Migrant Crisis – in Pictures

The Guardian, August 2015
Refugees arriving on a beach full of tourists in Greece. A fence set up to seal the border in Hungary. Migrants running after trains and trucks to get from France to England. Flight has many faces – some of them shown in these impressive photographs.

On Island of Lesbos, a Microcosm of Greece’s Other Crisis: Migrants

The New York Times, August 2015
The Greek isles are a new hotspot in Europe’s migrant crisis. More than 150,000 refugees have already arrived this year. The islands of Lesbos, Kos or Chios, which are close to the coast of Turkey, can hardly cope with the influx. 
Courtesy: ProPublica


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