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RBI ASKS BANKS TO SUPPLY 40% CURRENCY TO RURAL AREAS
RBI has asked banks to supply at least 40 per cent of currency to rural areas, after observing that bank notes, being supplied to rural areas, at present, are not in proportion with the requirements of rural population.
In a notification today, the apex bank advised banks to increase supply of fresh notes and asked currency chests to issue lower denomination notes in villages and rural centers. The RBI also advised banks to adopt a need based approach.
GST COUNCIL MEETING UNDERWAY IN NEW DELHI
The GST Council meeting headed by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is underway in New Delhi. The key issues related to Integrated GST and dual control will be discussed during the day long meeting. Representatives of six crucial sectors, including IT, telecom, banking and insurance, to assess the implementation hurdles under the new GST regime are attending the meeting.
In the last meeting, the council had approved the primary drafts of Central GST and State GST laws. The council had also cleared the basic draft of compensation law. Under it, the states will be fully compensated for any loss of revenue for five years due to the implementation of new direct tax regime. The compensation to the states will be paid every two months. The Centre is keen to finalise the draft GST legislations to ensure they are tabled in Parliament and State assemblies in the ensuing Budget Sessions.
DAVID R SYIEMLIEH APPOINTED NEW UPSC CHAIRMAN
David R Syiemlieh has been appointed today as the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). An official statement said President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Prof David R Syiemlieh, Member, Union Public Service Commission, with effect from January 4, 2017 till further Order.
He will take over from Alka Sirohi, a former IAS officer of the Madhya Pradesh cadre.
PRAVASI BHARTIYA DIWAS CONVENTION TO OPEN ON 7TH OF JAN IN BENGALURU
The 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas Convention will open on 7th of this month in Bengaluru. Briefing media in New Delhi, Secretary Overseas Indian Affairs Dhyaneshwar Mulay said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the event on 8th of this month. He said four thousand delegates are expected to attend the event at Bengaluru International Exhibition Center. Mr Mulay said President Pranab Mukherjee will participate in the event on 9th of January where he will confer Pravasi Bharatiya Samman.
INDIA, LANKA EXCHANGE VIEWS TO FIND PERMANENT SOLUTION TO FISHERMEN ISSUES
India and Sri Lanka expressed confidence for finding a long-lasting solution to the issue of fishermen
The ministerial meeting held in Colombo
To ensure that there was no physical harm or loss of life while arresting fishermen for poaching into each other’s waters
Co-chaired by Union Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh and Sri Lankan fisheries minister Mahinda Amaraweera
Decided to operationalize a hotline between the two coast guards and to set up a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to release the fishermen in each other’s custody
Agreed to set up a Joint Working Group on Fisheries (JWG)
The terms of reference of the JWG:
- Expediting to end the practice of bottom trawling at the earliest
- Framing procedures for returning fishermen arrested by both sides
- The possibility of joint patrolling
INDIA, PAKISTAN EXCHANGE LIST OF NUCLEAR FACILITIES
India and Pakistan exchanged the list of their nuclear installations under Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations
This agreement bars them from attacking each other’s atomic facilities
This is the 24th consecutive exchange list between the two countries
Exchanged through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad
The agreement says that the two countries inform each other of nuclear installations and facilities to be covered under the Agreement on January 1 every year
Agreement signed on 31 December 1988 and came into force on 27 Jan 1991
They exchanged the lists of prisoners under the Consular Access Agreement
CHINA ANNOUNCES BAN ON IVORY TRADE BY END OF 2017
China has announced a ban on all ivory trade and processing activities by the end of 2017
The move follows a resolution at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) in South Africa in October
China, the biggest ivory market in the world – around 70% of the world’s trade
Ivory can reach $1,100 (£850) per kilogram in China
The commercial processing and sale of ivory will stop by 31 March
All registered traders will then be phased out, bringing a full halt to the market by the end of the year
It is a major boost to international efforts to tackle the elephant poaching crisis in Africa
International market in ivory has been closed since 1989, legal domestic markets have continued in many countries around the world
China had backed the Cites resolution to support for ivory ban
BRITAIN TO LAUNCH NEW POUND COIN TO DETER COUNTERFEITERS
The British government announced it would launch a new one pound coin at the end of March and scrap the current one pound coin by October
New 12-sided one pound coin would become a legal tender on March 28
New coin would be produced by the Royal Mint in Wales
A total of 1.5 billion of the coins will be issued in the first minting
The current coin has been in circulation for 30 years
The new one pound is made of two metals, the outer ring is gold-colored (nickel-brass) and the inner ring is silver-colored (nickel-plated alloy)
Fifth coinage portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, the world’s longest-serving monarch will be featured in the coin
LASER WALLS, SMART SENSORS AT INDIA-BANGLADESH BORDER SOON
The Border Security Force (BSF) is set to install laser walls and smart sensors along the Indo-Bangla international border in West Bengal
To plug the porous riverine and unmanned terrain in the area in order to keep to check infiltration and terrorism
The sensors will be monitored through satellite-based signal command system
They will have night and fog operability tools
The mechanism is — sensor blips and alerts border guards
West Bengal government approved land needed for erecting fences in a highly sensitive 81.7 km area
The paramilitary force is using the Farheen laser wall technology at the Indo-Pakistan border
JUSTICE MIAN SAQIB NISAR APPOINTED AS CHIEF JUSTICE OF PAKISTAN
Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took oath as the 25th Chief Justice of Pakistan
The oath was administered by the country’s President Mamnoon Hussain at the President House
Justice Nisar has replaced Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali who retired after serving as Chief Justice for 15 months
RESTORE WEIGHTED DEDUCTION OF 200% ON R&D EXPENSES: ACMA
Automotive component makers body ACMA today asked the government to restore weighted deduction of 200 per cent on R&D expenditure as part of its Budget wish-list for 2017-18.
The Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA) also emphasised to keep auto components at 18 per cent tax rate bracket in the upcoming GST.
“We anticipate the forthcoming Union Budget to uplift the market sentiments which will allow for growth and development of the domestic auto components sector,” ACMA President Rattan Kapur said in a statement.
Achieving world-class quality and new product development will only be possible in the auto component industry by enhancing spend on R&D and creating relevant infrastructure for innovation, he said.
“With significant changes in emission and safety regulations, it is imperative for the component industry to enhance their R&D expenditure. It is therefore critical that earlier weighted deduction of 200 per cent on R&D expenditure be immediately restored,” Kapur said.
Besides, it is critical that the GST rate on auto components is low and a reasonable transition period is extended to the industry to effectively adapt to the changes in the taxation environment, he added.
OVL QUALIFIES TO BID FOR IRAN OIL, GAS PROJECTS
ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), has won rights to bid for oil and gas development projects in Iran.
OVL is among the 29 international oil companies from more than a dozen countries that Iran has pre-qualified to bid in the upcoming tender for oil and gas projects, according to the list put out by National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC).
Others on the list include Royal Dutch Shell Plc, China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), Total SA of France, Russia’s Gazprom and Eni of Italy.
Iran, the holder of world’s fourth-largest oil reserves and OPEC’s third-largest oil producer, is hoping to attract as much as USD 150 billion in foreign investment in its oil, gas and petrochemicals sectors over the next few years.
The list of pre-qualified firms also included Malaysia’s Petronas, Russia’s Lukoil, China’s CNOOC and Sinopec, Inpex of Japan, KOGAS of Korea. Most of these companies have been involved in Iran’s oil industry projects before the US- tailored sanctions were imposed against the country in 2011.
Newcomers include Wintershall from Germany, Maersk from Finland, DNO from Norway and CEPSA from Spain, according to the NIOC list.
MUNICH RE TO OPEN REINSURANCE BRANCH OFFICE IN MUMBAI
Munich Re is opening a composite branch office in Mumbai to service the property-casualty, life, health reinsurance markets across the country.
Munich Re is one of the first foreign reinsurers to receive approval for a dedicated branch in India following the 2015 amendment of the Insurance Bill. The reinsurer is present in the Indian market since 1950s. It has worked with insurers and large corporate clients, providing technical expertise and management solutions.
This set-up will allow Munich Re to combine its solution-based global expertise with local underwriting experts’ understanding of the market.
“With our new branch office, we are well prepared to become one of the leading reinsurers on the Indian subcontinent, supporting the growth of our clients and partners,” Ludger Arnoldussen, member of the Board of Management responsible for Munich Re’s P&C business in Asia-Pacific.
Munich Re is present in life and property casualty reinsurance business. It has joint venture in the general insurance segment -HDFC Ergo and health insurance in the form of Apollo Munich Health.
IRON AND STEEL LEADS REVIVAL IN ENGINEERING EXPORTS
A renewal in demand from export markets like Nepal, Belgium, Spain and China has contributed to a revival in India’s engineering exports led by iron and steel sector, according to an analysis of November 2016 data by EEPC India.
“With this iron and steel sector, which has been facing faced tough times in the past several months, is now seeing a reversal of fortunes at least in some of the key markets in Europe and in our neighbouring countries,” EEPC India said in a statement. While Nepal showed an impressive four fold growth to $ 39 million in November 2016 from about $ 10 million in the same month a year ago. Likewise, shipments to Belgium went up more than three times to $ 52 million from $ 17 million i November 2015.
“The interesting part is that demand for iron and steel has started rising in China which shows the slowdown in the Chinese economy must be bottoming out. Iron and steel exports from India to China went up by 86 per cent to $ 41 million for November this fiscal from $ 22 million in the comparable month of 2015,” T S Bhasin, chairman, EEPC India said.
RBI ADVISES BANKS TO INCREASE CASH SUPPLY TO VILLAGES
The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday advised banks to increase supply of fresh notes and directed currency chests to ensure daily reporting of note supply in far flung areas. The central bank said that the decision was taken after observing that bank notes, being supplied to rural areas, at present, were not commensurate with the requirements.
“Banks should advise their currency chests to step up issuance of fresh notes to rural branches of RRBs, DCCBs and commercial banks, White Label ATMs in rural areas and post offices in rural areas on priority basis which are considered main rural channels of distribution,” RBI said in a circular. The banking regulator has also asked banks to ensure that at least 40% bank notes are supplied to rural areas.
The central bank also advised banks to adopt a need based approach as the requirements in rural areas could vary depending on the relative share of CASA deposits and number of deposit accounts in each district.
The Reserve Bank has also asked banks currency chests to issue lower denomination notes in villages and rural centers.
“Chests should issue bank notes in denominations of Rs 500 and below,” the regulator said.” Existing stock of other denominations notes below Rs 100 should be issued liberally.”
AIIMS TO BECOME CASHLESS WITH MOBIKWIK
AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) Delhi, India’s premier medical institution has partnered with mobile wallet company MobiKwik to convert all its payment facilities cashless. To commence with resident doctors, staff and visitors can pay with MobiKwik in the institution’s cafeteria. Payment of doctor’s consultation, tests and other services will be made cashless by the first week of January 2017.
“We are proud to support Indians during the current situation of cash crunch and lead India’s transformation into a less-cash economy. AIIMS is the foremost medical institution in India and we are glad to have partnered with them,” said Upasana Taku co founder Mobikwik.
SUPREME COURT ASKS CENTRE TO GIVE DETAILS OF RECOVERY CASES FILED BY BANKS
The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to give details of recovery cases filed by banks and financial institutions and those pending in debt recovery tribunals and their appellate bodies for the last ten years.
A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur also sought a response on the question as to whether the recovery tribunals are equipped to decide the loan recovery cases within a fixed time frame, stipulated under the law.
It had earlier said that non-performing assets amount to lakhs of crores of rupees as the recovery mechanism is not upto the mark and the facilities at DRTs and Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunals (DRATs), meant for recovering bad loans of financial institutions, are poor.
“There are lakhs of crores of rupees as NPAs and one of the reasons for their non-recovery is that the mechanism for recovery is not upto the mark,” it had said.
Earlier, the court had reserved its order on one of the issues, raised in the PIL, relating to lack of infrastructure, manpower and other facilities at DRTs and DRATs which deal with banks and FIIs’ loan recovery petitions.
It was hearing the PIL, filed in 2003 by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), which had originally raised the issue of loans advanced to some companies by state-owned Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO).
TATA MOTORS LAUNCHES XENON YODHA STARTING AT RS 6.05 LAKH
Homegrown auto major Tata MotorsBSE -1.23 % today launched its new pick-up vehicle Tata Xenon Yodha with price starting at Rs 6.05 lakh.
The pick-up, which is endorsed by Bollywood star Akshay Kumar — the company’s brand ambassador for its commercial vehicles division — is available in multiple variants of 4×2 and 4×4 and in single and double cab options, the company said in a statement.
Powered by a 3 litre diesel engine, the new Tata Xenon Yodha is available in both BS III and BS IV compliant versions.
The single cab BS III version starts at Rs.6.05 lakh while the single cab BSIV option price starts Rs 6.19 lakh, the company added.
Tata Motors Executive Director Commercial Vehicles Ravi Pisharody said: “Besides bolstering our presence in the growing pick-up space, the new Xenon Yodha will also enable us to partner existing mini-truck customers, aspiring the next phase of growth, to upgrade to a reliable stylish pick-up particularly in the post GST regime…”
This is expected “on the back of improved road infrastructure, which will see the hub and spoke model of distribution, become more and more prominent”, he added.
He further said: “With this new range, we are confident of extending our lead in the light commercial vehicle category, complementing the success and popularity of the Tata Ace range of small commercial vehicles.”
DEMONETISATION TO DERAIL CEMENT SECTOR GROWTH, SAYS INDIA RATINGS
Ratings agency India Ratings & Research expects demonetisation to derail the growth of Indian cement sector. Cement production is likely to grow by around 4% in 2016-17 (April-March) as against earlier estimate of 4%-6% growth for the financial year, India Ratings said.
It expects the credit profile of pan India cement players and strong regional players to remain stable. “However, the credit profile of small and medium cement companies, with high debt levels will come under stress in the next two quarters,” the ratings agency said in a statement.
India Ratings had highlighted in an earlier report that the impact of demonetisation will flow to the economy mainly through the real estate and construction sector, which has strong linkages with sectors such as cement and steel and they will turn credit negative in the short-run.
The lower cement output for 2016-17 is expected due to the fall in production of the sector in the month of November-December 2016. Cement production has grown by 4.3% during April-November 2016 and it recorded a growth of 0.5% in November 2016 as against 6.2% in October and 5.5% in September.
The agency notes that post demonetisation all India volumes declined in the range of 20%-25% in November-December 2016; while pan-India realisations have declined in the range of Rs 15 – Rs20 per bag in the same period.
MOBILE APP FOR INDIAN MERCHANT NAVY OFFICERS LAUNCHED
The Maritime Union of India (MUI), country’s oldest union representing Indian Merchant Navy Officers since 1939, has launched android based mobile app named MUI.
The app was launched in the presence of MPs Kirit Somaiya (Mumbai North-East constituency) and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (Jodhpur) recently, said a senior member of the Union.
The app is aimed at connecting the maritime fraternity across the country to facilitate and enable Indian merchant navy officers to share comments, knowledge and other things related to their profession.
GUJARAT CM DEDICATES INDIA’S FIRST LASER TECHNOLOGY-BASED CHECK-POST
Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani dedicated India’s first laser technology-based advanced AVMS RTO check-post at Shamlaji of Aravalli district on Friday.
The check-post is equipped with advanced ray technology with a cost of Rs 4.72 crore.
Along with this programme, Rupani also laid foundation stones of various developmental works worth Rs 30 crore in tribal area of Aravalli district.
INDIAN-ORIGIN APPOINTED TO TOP MILITARY POST IN KYRGYZSTAN
An Indian-origin Saudi-based entrepreneur has been appointed major general of Kyrgyzstan, a rare military position occupied by an Indian in the Central Asian country.
Shaikh Rafik Mohammed, who hails from Kerala, was appointed major general of Kyrgyzstan by Ali Mirza, defence minister of Kyrgyzstan at an official ceremony held in the country, Khaleej Times reported.
It is a rare military position occupied by an overseas Keralite, said Omar Abu Baker, media adviser of Rafik.
Rafik, whose family resides in Dubai, holds Kyrgyzstan nationality conferred by its former President Kurmanbek Saliyevich Bakiyev whom he casually met in his 20s while working in Iran, the report .
DRDO DEVELOPS DOOR BREACHING DEVICE FOR SECURITY PERSONNEL
Security personnel fighting terrorists holed up in a house would soon get a helpful device that helps them break into a house and neutralise the armed men.
Door Breaching Device, which can be used from a distance of 100 metres for rapid entry, has been developed by DRDO’s Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratory (TBRL).
TBRL’s Chandigarh-based scientist Yogeshwar Nath, part of the developers team, said that the device can successfully breach various kinds of doors like thick metal door and thick wooden doors by remote action.
“This device is ready for production and it is yet to be inducted into the security forces. We have conducted demonstration trials for Indian Army, DG Infantry, National Security Guards, CRPF, ITBP, SSB, CISF and Punjab police,” .
PSPCL CHOSEN AS BEST PERFORMING UTILITY IN POWER SECTOR BY CBIP
PSPCL has been chosen as “Best Performing Utility in Power Sector” by Central Board of Irrigation and Power.
The award was presented to Er. K.D. Chaudhri by Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat, Minister of State, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India in the presence of Uma Bharti, Union Minister in New Delhi.
A jury of eminent personalities such as A.B. Pandya, Chairman, Central Water Commission, A.S. Bakshi, Member, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, Major Singh, Member Planning, Central Electricity Authority, Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, K.S. Popli, CMD, Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited, Ashok Sethi, Executive Director, Tata Power Co. Ltd. and Avinash Tyagi, Secretary General, International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage was constituted to select the best power utility.
In the award ceremony apart from eminent jury other dignitaries present were V.K. Kanjalia, Secretary CBIP and Devender Chaudhry, IAS, Special Secretary, Ministry of Power, Govt of India.
PAKISTAN AWARDS ‘NISHAN-E-IMTIAZ’ TO TOP MILITARY LEADERS
Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain on Saturday conferred the country’s highest civilian honour ‘Nishan-e-Imtiaz’ on Army chief Qamar Bajwa and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Zubair Hayat in recognition of their services.
The award is given to civilians based on their achievements towards world recognition for Pakistan or outstanding service for the country.
TELANGANA GOVT ALLOTS PLOT TO OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALLIST PV SINDHU
The Telangana Government on Monday issued an order allotting 1,000 square yards of land near here to ace shuttler PV Sindhu as a token of appreciation for winning a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics.The land is located in Shaikpet village of Hyderabad district.”The Government (of Telangana), after careful examination, hereby accepts the proposal of the District Collector, Hyderabad that two adjacent plots in Shaikpet village can be combined to carve out a 1,000 square yards plot to allot the same to Miss PV Sindhu, badminton player, for having won a silver medal in Rio Olympics, as a part of Government incentive,” the order said.Sindhu became the first Indian woman athlete to grab Olympic silver in the Games when she lost a close final clash against World No.1 Carolina Marin of Spain.Soon after her feat, the State Government felicitated the 21-year-old shuttler with Rs 5 crore cash and announced she will be allotted a residential plot in the State capital.
OLYMPIAN KRISHNA POONIA CHASES DOWN EVE-TEASERS, HANDS THEM OVER TO POLICE
A two-time Olympian, Krishna Poonia has over the years made a name for herself as a discus thrower. The 39-year-old is one of the most prominent names in the sport.On January 1, the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist was driving through Rajasthan’s Churu district, when she saw two teenage girls being harassed by a group of three men on a motorbike.When Poonia tried to intervene, the bikers started to flee. Not willing to let the harassers get away, she chased them down and managed to haul one of the men off his saddle.According to a Hindustan Times report, the incident attracted a large crowd in the area, and Poonia called up the police to hand over the goons.
“When I saw those two girls being harassed, I thought that they could well have been my daughters. That made me go after the men,” she was quoted as saying in the report.However, Poonia wasn’t pleased by the time taken by the police to react to her call. “The police station was barely two minutes away from the spot but it took the cops some time to reach and I had to phone them twice. How will cops ensure women’s safety if they arrive late?” she asked.Poonia later accompanied the girls, who turned out to be sisters, to the police station to complete the formalities.
BOPANNA AXING RESULT OF DAVIS CUP PULLOUT VERSUS SPAIN
To send out a strong message to the players who pick and choose tournaments when it comes to representing India, Rohan Bopanna was axed from the Davis Cup side since he pulled out of the Spain tie feigning injury, AITA sources have claimed. Bopanna’s opting out of the World Group Play-off tie in September 2016 did not go down well with the All India Tennis Association (AITA). It is widely believed in the AITA circle that Bopanna just made an excuse that he was injured. Bopanna, known for his superior service skills on the Tour, on the final day of the tie, September 18, posted a video on Instagram, showing him enjoying a dance with his friends in a bar in Bangalore the previous night. “We have not closed our eyes. If a player does not have that special feeling to play for the country, he does not deserve to be in the team. It was a crucial tie and we expect players to put up their hands and get ready for the challenge,” an AITA insider, privy to the matter, said. The selection committee chairman SP Misra insisted that Bopanna’s pull out was not discussed at the meeting to pick team for New Zealand but said they had instructions to choose three singles players and a doubles specialist. Bopanna (28) is higher-ranked than Leander Paes (59) but the veteran player was preferred over the former. However, AITA secretary general Hironmoy Chatterjee did drop a hint that Bopanna’s giving a miss to the Spain tie was an issue. “All ex-Davis Cup players are selectors. They discussed all matters including the past results against New Zealand and Rohan opting out of the Spain tie. After detailed discussion they have selected the team. I feel all concerned should honour and accept their decision,” Chatterjee said without elaborating much. Bopanna defended himself, saying he indeed was injured and was not fit to play a five-setter if required. “I am surprised somebody will think like that. Right after my mixed doubles at the US Open when I went to the physios there, they said some fluids were there and my knee was swollen so I had to take 10-day off. I gave an advance notice that I need to take 10-day off,” he said.
Asked about the video of him dancing that he had posted, Bopanna said it did not mean he was fit to play a competitive match.
WARNER, RENSHAW TAKE AUSTRALIA TO 224-2 AT TEA IN SYDNEY
David Warner’s quick-fire hundred and an unbeaten half-century by Matt Renshaw lifted Australia to 224-2 at tea on the first day of the third Test against Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday. Australia added 98 runs in the session for the loss of two wickets as it set after a commanding first innings total and a series clean sweep after winning the toss and batting. At the interval Renshaw was on 83 not out, his highest test score, and Steve Smith was unbeaten on 12.Warner’s historic innings of 113 off 95 balls, which included scoring a century before lunch, was finally ended by Wahab Riaz, who had the left-hander caught behind by Sarfraz Ahmed. Riaz claimed both wickets to fall in the middle session, having Usman Khawaja (13) also caught behind by Sarfraz. Earlier, Warner became the first player to score a hundred in the opening session of a test in Australia. It was just the fifth time in Test history a century has been scored in the first session of a match, after Warner’s fellow Australians Victor Trumper (1902 in Manchester), Charlie Macartney (1926 in Leeds) and Don Bradman (1930 in Leeds) as well as Pakistan’s Majid Khan (1976 in Karachi). Warner plundered 17 boundaries to set the tone and forced Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq on to the defensive inside the first few overs to try to stem the flow of runs. The left-hander completed his remarkable century off 78 balls, with a cut shot for three on the second ball of the final over before lunch. The diminutive opener removed his helmet and did his trademark leap to celebrate his 18th test century, and third in Sydney, in front of an appreciative crowd at his home ground. Both teams made two changes from the second test last week at Melbourne, with allrounder Hilton Cartwright selected for his test debut at the expense of batsman Nic Maddinson at No.6, while left-arm orthodox spinner Steve O’Keefe replaced paceman Jackson Bird. Seamer Imran Khan came into the Pakistan team for Sohail Khan, with Sharjeel Khan replacing opener Sami Aslam.
INDIAN WOMEN IN FINAL
India produced a clinical display to defeat Nepal 3-1 and enter the final of the SAFF women’s football championship at the Kanchenjunga stadium here on Monday.India, which led 1-0 at the interval, scored through Kamala Devi (45th minute), Indumathi (58th) and Sasmita Malik (83rd). Sabitra Bhandari reduced the margin in the 75th minute through a penalty.