Citizens' Issues
When John and Alicia Nash visited Delhi
This was a personal initiative of Mr Pranab Mukhejee, the then Minister, who believed that a Nobel Laureates Lecture Series would provide a platform to the ministry to engage with the general public. John was the first Nobel Laureate to be invited
 
John Nash, described variously as mathematical genius, shadowy figure, phantom, elusive, furtive, mysterious, schizophrenic, and beautiful mind, died in a horrific cab crash on May 23, exactly a month ago, along with his wife, Alicia. He was 86 years old and was returning home from the airport after having been awarded the Abel Prize for mathematics. Several years earlier, in 1994, he received the Nobel Prize for Economics.
 
I met John, Alicia and their son in February of 2007, when they visited India on the invitation of the Public Diplomacy Division of the external affairs ministry. This was a personal initiative of Mr Pranab Mukhejee, the then Minister, who believed that a Nobel Laureates Lecture Series would provide a platform to the ministry to engage with the general public. John was the first Nobel Laureate to be invited. The following year, Nadine Gordimer visited India. The programme was discontinued thereafter on budgetary grounds.
 
Not having been a student of economics, much of my time with John and Alicia was spent in talking about other things. They openly spoke of the medication that John and his son needed to take, including the difficult period when John was diagnosed as being paranoid and delusional. With a wry smile, John remarked, "I had moments of extreme lucidity during that time but I realised that it was a clarity others could not relate to."
 
His son, a mathematical genius, perhaps not yet in the calibre of his celebrated father, was also on medication for the same illness. He spent his time playing chess with himself and solving Sudoku.
 
One day, John and I returned to the hotel after a meeting. John wanted to change into more comfortable clothes and as he went to his bedroom, he glanced sideways at the Sudoku puzzle his son was working on. It could not have been a glance for more than 15-20 seconds. He returned from the bedroom wearing casuals, picked up the book, solved the puzzle and returned the book to his son. He did all this in less than a minute. It was my first meeting with John Nash and I realised I was in the presence of a genius, not because the Nobel Prize committee said so but because of what I had just witnessed.
 
Knowing Dr Manmohan Singh's passion for economics, I requested the Prime Minister's Office for a meeting. A reply came back quickly and I was informed that the Prime Minister would be pleased to receive Professor John Nash and his wife and their son for 10 minutes, in view of the Prime Minister's busy schedule. The meeting lasted for around 90 minutes and it was fascinating to see the warmth with which Dr Singh and John interacted.
 
The meeting began formally. We were all seated and then the Prime Minister walked in. After a while, Dr Singh, clearly impatient at the stifling formal atmosphere, got up from his chair and sat beside John. He asked his note keeper for paper and a pen. Soon John was scribbling away with the Prime Minister looking on. This was such a fascinating sight.
 
When tea and snacks arrived and both John and Alicia were looking somewhat diffident, Dr Singh explained each item to them personally, as he offered a plate to Alicia. He was not being the gracious host - he had simply invited friends home and was enjoying their company. Ninety minutes later, the Prime Minister personally escorted us all out and waited till the car doors were shut and we drove away. John and Alicia remarked that India was lucky to have such a wonderful and erudite person as the Prime Minister.
 
In Delhi, John delivered the Nobel Laureate lecture to a packed audience. He treated the talk much as he would have if he were speaking to students at Princeton or Yale. He insisted that the talk be displayed on the screen "as the audience might have a problem with my accent". It turned out to be an advanced economics lecture.
 
After the talk, many crowded around him, shaking his hand. Most had not understood a word of what he had said. When we sat down quietly to have a drink, Alicia said with a smile, "The audience was expecting Russell Crowe." John responded, as wry as ever, "And he's not half as good looking as I am."
 
A few days later it was time for them to leave. I bought a copy of Sylvia Nasar's book on which the film 'A Beautiful Mind' was based and requested John and Alicia if they would agree to autograph it for me. Even as we were getting ready to leave for the airport, I had not received the book back with their autographs. Once their bags were loaded onto the car, they invited me for tea at the lounge and said they were happy to provide an autograph but that it was a book they did not like. I have their autographs but it is on one of the photographs in the book. It shows a young John and Alicia.
 
Farewell Alicia. Farewell John. May you both rest in peace.

User

Nifty, Sensex, Bank Nifty headed higher: Monday Closing Report
While Nifty may give up some gains, the trend is distinctly higher
 
We had mentioned on Friday that the trend in the Indian stock market is on the upside. With positive news in India and Greece, the trend in Sensex, Nifty and Bank Nifty zoomed in Monday’s trading.
 
 
India Vix closed at 15.49, up 2.67%. NSE turnover was at 83.71 crore. Public sector banks were among the big gainers in today trading.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said the credibility of Indian economy has been partly restored, but cautioned the momentum must be sustained over the next two years to win over and provide comfort to world investors. Jaitley said there is "huge amount of enthusiasm" among investors as they see India picking up again after four-five years of slack.
 
The Greek government submitted proposals to its creditors early Monday aimed at breaking the deadlock over a debt crisis that has imperilled Athens’s continuing membership in the euro currency zone. The proposals came just hours before European Union (EU) leaders were to hold emergency meetings aimed at forcing a breakthrough in the country’s international bailout negotiations. Buying Greece critical time on Monday, the European Central Bank (ECB) for a third time in less than a week increased its emergency funding to Greek lenders to stanch heavy deposit withdrawals, according to a Greek banking official with knowledge of the decision who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Financial markets were upbeat on Monday in the hope of a deal. 
 
According to Moody’s, higher import duty on flat and long steel products will help in reducing pressure on domestic prices, which have been going down due to cheap imports from countries like China. The ratings agency said, "The import duties will ease some of the downward pressure on domestic steel prices from cheaper Chinese steel imports. Indian steel prices have dropped 27% over the past 12 months owing to a 70% increase in cheaper imports, one third of which came from China".
 
Last week in a much needed relief for domestic producers, the Indian government increased basic customs duty (BCD) on certain long and flat steel products by 2.5%. Import duty on flat steel products has been increased to 10% from 7.5%, whereas that on long steel products has been raised to 7.5% from 5%.
 
Larsen & Toubro (L&T) said it has won orders worth Rs1,507 crore across various business verticals. "L&T's Metallurgical and Material Handling (L&T-MMH) business has secured new orders worth Rs1,507 crore across various verticals," the engineering and construction major said in a statement. The company said L&T-MMH has won an EPC order from Emirates Global Aluminium (EMA) for its greenfield alumina refinery development project in Al Taweelah, Abu Dhabi. L&T shares closed at Rs1,731.05 up 0.69%.
 
Pharmaceutical company Wockhardt said it received approval from the US health regulator to market its Oxycodone HCl liquid, used for treating chronic pain, in the American market. The company has received final approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) to market 5mg/5ml of Oxycodone HCl liquid, Wockhardt said in a regulatory filing. Wockhardt is launching the product soon and will be amongst the few generic versions of this product in the market, it added. Cheering the news, the share price of the company jumped over 2.5% in the noon trade on Monday. The shares closed at Rs1,436.35 up 2.77%.
 
The top gainer among BSE Sensex scrips was Axis Bank, which closed at Rs572, up 3.62%. The top loser among the 30-stock benchmark was Bharati Airtel, which closed Rs424.20, down 2.25%.
 
GMR Infra was the top gainer among BSE-100 shares that closed Monday at Rs14.51, up 9.43%. The top loser among BSE-100 shares was Bharati Airtel again.
 
The top gainer among Nifty stocks was Punjab National Bank (PNB), which closed at Rs138.40, up 6.05%. The top loser was Bharati Airtel, which closed at Rs423.85, down 2.34%.
 
Among US indices, the NASDAQ Composite closed at 5,117.00, down 0.31%. Dow Jones closed at 18,015.95, down 0.55%.
 
In Asia, Nikkei closed at 20,428.19, up 1.26%. Hang Seng closed at 27,080.85, up 1.20%. 
 
Among European indices, FTSE 100 was at 6,775, up 1% during trading hours.
 
Athex Composite Share Price Index was at 733, up 6.65% in the hope of the deal to help Greece. DAX was up 2.54%, one of the highest this year. US Index futures were deeply in the green.

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Infosys buys healthcare business subsidiary for $100 mn
Global software major Infosys Ltd on Monday secured shareholders’ approval for buying its healthcare business subsidiary for $100 million (Rs.625 crore), a company official said.
 
"The shareholders approved a special resolution at the company’s 34th annual general meeting here to acquire Infosys Public Services Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary, on July 1 or after for $100 million,” the official said on the margins of the AGM.
 
The AGM, chaired by the new non-executive chairman R. Seshasayee, also approved the appointment of Roopa Kudva as an independent director on the company’s executive board.
 
Kudva was chief executive of Crisil (Credit Rating Information Services of India Ltd), a global analytical company, from 2007 to April this year. She will join Omidyar Network, a global impact-investing firm, as a partner in July and be managing director of its India advisory firm.
 
Of the iconic IT firm’s seven co-founders, only N.R. Narayanay Murthy was present at the AGM along with his wife Sudha Murthy, chairperson of Infosys Foundation, and a promoter shareholder.
 
The other six - Nandan Nilekani, S. Gopalakrishnan, S.D. Shibulal, K. Dinesh, N.S. Raghavan and Ashok Arora were absent, though barring Arora, they continue to be promoter shareholders.
 
Murthy, who returned from retirement to head the troubled company as chairman on June 1, 2013, stepped down abruptly a year later (June 14 2014) after reviving its sagging fortunes and finding Vishal Sikka as successor.

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