J Jayalalithaa, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and one of India's most powerful and popular politicians, had a cardiac arrest on Sunday evening in the Chennai hospital where she has spent the last three months being treated for a prolonged lung infection.
"She is being treated and monitored by a team of experts, including cardiologists, pulmonologist and critical care specialists," said Dr Subbaiah Viswanathan of Apollo Hospital.
After a phone call from Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao has flown back to Chennai from Maharashtra which is also in his charge. He visited the hospital and left without making a statement.
Senior ministers have converged converging at the hospital. Supporters of the Chief Minister were gathering outside to pray for her. The Press Trust of India reported that nine units of anti-riot police, each with about 100 members, are being prepped to flown into Tamil Nadu, if needed. Police across the state have been asked to be on high alert and the entire force has been asked to report to duty at 7 am. Schools have not been closed and exams will go on as scheduled, officials said.
Crowds gathered outside Apollo hospital as news of Jayalalithaa's health poured in.
Earlier on Saturday, Jayalalithaa's party, the AIADMK, said the 68-year-old leader would soon decide when to return home with three specialist consultants from Delhi's premier AIIMS hospital declaring her fully recovered.
For weeks, doctors attending to Jayalalithaa have been saying that "Amma", as she is known to millions of supporters, was well enough to decide when to return home. Her party said she was directing important decisions, speaking occasionally to those who were allowed to meet her.
When she was first hospitalised in September, her party said it was for dehydration and fever. It soon became clear that her illness was far more serious. She spent weeks on respiratory support and specialists flew in from London and Delhi to monitor her.
India, Japan signs historic nuclear deal
Signing a landmark civil nuclear cooperation deal with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the agreement for cooperation will mark a historic step in the engagement to build a clean energy partnership between both nations.
"A landmark deal for a cleaner, greener world! PM @narendramodi and PM @AbeShinzo witness exchange of the landmark Civil Nuclear Agreement," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup tweeted.
Prime Minister Modi said India sees Japan as a natural partner in the aim to be major centre for manufacturing, investments and 21st century knowledge industries.
"It is clear that our cooperation has progressed on multiple fronts. The Agreement for cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy marks a historic step in our engagement to build a clean energy partnership," Prime Minister Modi said.
He said that strategic partnership is not only for the good and security of own societies, but it also brings peace, stability and balance to region.
Prime Minister Modi also said that both the nation have united to combat the menace of terrorism, especially cross-border terrorism.
Speaking about implementation of visa-on-arrival policy, he said since March 2016 India has extended 'Visa-On Arrival' facility to Japanese nationals and have also extended a 10-year visa to businesspersons.
The present agreement provides for bilateral cooperation in the field of Nuclear Energy. This would provide for the development of nuclear power projects in India and thus strengthening of energy security of the country. The present agreement would open up the door for collaboration between Indian and Japanese industries in our Civil Nuclear programme.
The deal would allow Japan to export nuclear technology to India, making it the first non-NPT signatory to have such a deal with Tokyo. It would also cement the bilateral economic and security ties as the two countries warm up to counter anassertive China.
Japan is a major player in the nuclear energy market and an atomic deal with it will make it easier for US-based nuclear plant makers Westinghouse Electric Corporation and GE Energy Inc to set up atomic plants in India as both these conglomerates have Japanese investments.
Security features of the new Rs. 2000 and Rs. 500 notes
A look at the security features of the newly-launched Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 500 notes from the RBI's stable.
Rs. 2,000 (colour: magenta)
* Is a part of the Mahatma Gandhi (New) series, with a motif of India's Mars orbiter, the Mangalyaan on the reverse
* Size: 66mm x 166mm
1. See through register where the numeral 2,000 can be seen when note is held against light
2. Latent image of 2,000 can be seen when the note is tilted
3. Devanagari denomination
4. Portrait of Mahatma Gandhi
5. Micro letters 'RBI' and '2,000'
6. Colour shift security thread with 'RBI' and '2,000'
7. Guarantee clause, Governor's signature and RBI emblem on the right
8. Watermarks of Mahatma Gandhi and electrotype 2,000 numeral
9. Number panel with numerals growing from small to big on top left and bottom right sides
10. Denominational numeral with Rupee symbol, 2,000 in colour changing ink
11. Ashoka pillar emblem
For visually impaired:
12. Rectangle with Rs.2,000 in raised print on right
13. Seven angular bleed lines in raised print
The size is 63mm x 150mm, colour is stone grey with Red Fort and Mahatma Gandhi's image on each sides
1. See through register in denomination numeral
2. Latent image of the denomination numeral
3. Denomination numeral in Devnagari
4. Orientation of Mahatma Gandhi's portrait changed
5. Windowed security thread changes from green to blue when note is tilted
6. Guarantee clause, Governor's signature, RBI emblem shifted towards right
7. Portrait and electrotype watermarks
8. Number panel with numerals growing from small to big on top left and bottom right sides
9. Denomination in nuemrals with Rupee symbol in colour changing ink (green to blue) on bottom right
10. Ashoka pillar emblem on right
For visually impaired:
11. Circle with Rs. 500 in raised print on the right
12. Bleed lines on left and right in raised print
Exchange of old Rs 500, Rs 1,000 notes worth Rs 4,000 allowed only once till RBI review
The limit to exchange old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 is Rs 4000 till further review by the RBI and NOT per day as has been misunderstood by some people. The Frequently asked Questions (FAQs) on the RBI website and the notification regarding de-monetisation mention that old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 can be exchanged at bank or post office branches till December 30, 2016 up to a value of Rs 4000 by filling up a form and providing ID proof. The notification regarding this does not state that this is 'Rs 4000 per day'.
The above is clear from the notification issued on November 8 regarding "Withdrawal of Legal Tender Character of existing Rs 500/- and Rs 1000/- Bank Notes". Regarding 'Provision of Exchange Facility', this notification states that the old de-monetised notes can be exchanged at any Issue Office of the Reserve Bank or any branch of public sector banks, private sector banks, foreign banks, Regional Rural Banks, Urban Cooperative Banks and State Cooperative Banks for a period up to and including the 30th December, 2016, subject to the following condition:
(i) the specified bank notes of aggregate value of Rs 4,000/- or below may be exchanged for any denomination of bank notes having legal tender character, with a requisition slip in the format specified by the Reserve Bank and proof of identity; the limit of Rs 4,000/- for exchanging specified bank notes shall be reviewed after fifteen days from the date of commencement of this notification and appropriate orders may be issued, where necessary.
This implies that the limit of Rs 4000 per person is at one time exchange allowed till this decision is reviewed 15 days from November 8 i.e. on November 22nd. Two bank branches that this correspondent visited were also following this principle. Further, RBI has not issued any clarification to the contrary so far.
However, quite obviously this rule is being currently circumvented by people visiting branches of different banks with the same ID proof or with different ID proofs. It appears unlikely that given the short time at their disposal and the current pressure of work bank officials would be able to cross check with branches of other banks.
The confusion has arisen because of the RBI instructions regarding cash withdrawals from ATMs, which state: Withdrawal from ATMs shall be restricted to Rs 2,000 per day per card up to 18th November, 2016 and the limit shall be raised to Rs 4,000 per day per card from 19th November, 2016. However, it is to be noted that when a person is withdrawing from the ATM he/she is drawing from his/her own bank account and NOT exchanging notes. Quite obviously, RBI has restricted the exchange of notes to Rs 4000 per person till further review.
Since all the instructions regarding withdrawal from ATM and savings account have been specified for per day, it has been inadvertently assumed that exchange of old notes worth Rs 4,000 limit is also per day.
In what is seen as a major upset and an unexpected result, real estate businessman and former reality television host Donald Trump of the Republican Party managed to defeat pollster favourite, former senator Hillary Clinton of the Democratic Party to become the 45th President of the United States.
The margins of defeat were close in the “swing States”. It looked like Hillary Clinton will win the popular vote, bolstered by high support in States like California. But this was futile as she lost the electoral college to Donald Trump. At the time of writing this piece, Mr. Trump had secured 279 electoral college votes in contrast to Ms. Clinton’s 218, with results still expected from Michigan, Arizona and New Hampshire (in all three States Mr. Trump is leading).
Mr. Trump’s electoral college triumph was aided by his surprising victories in previously Democratic strongholds in swing States such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan and his defeat of Ms. Clinton in other swing States such as Ohio, North Carolina and Florida.
Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania have a large number of rural and working class voters who were swayed by Mr. Trump’s protectionist and anti-immigrant message. The first two of these three States were also where Ms. Clinton had lost the primaries to Senator Bernie Sanders.
But most polls held in these three States showed her leading Mr. Trump consistently, bringing into question whether polls have managed to track the strong antipathy to whom many rural and working class voters considered as a leading member of the ruling establishment.
Ms. Clinton’s strong support among Hispanics, many of whom voted early in key swing States such as Florida and Nevada were negated by the high turnout of white voters in the former State and the absence of a substantial Hispanic population in other key States.
Beyond just the presidential election loss, it was a day of setbacks for the Democratic Party. The party managed to secure a majority membership of at least 51 senators, and retained its strong presence in the House of Representatives. This would enable the Republican President to nominate a conservative judge to the Supreme Court tilting its balance. Gubernatorial elections to various States also established a Republican majority.
This Republican dominance and the rise of the “populist” Right is a blow to liberalism in the U.S. but it remains to be seen whether the rise of Mr. Trump is a threat to the operation of free and open markets in the country. The entire campaign, including the primaries in the run-up to the presidential elections, featured significant discontent against the ruling establishment in Washington D.C. and Mr. Trump managed to channel this effectively despite severe flaws in his candidacy and his lack of experience in public office.
Mr. Trump’s campaign pitch was thin on policy – except for strong positions on immigration that bordered upon xenophobia and hatred against the Hispanic and Muslim communities in the country besides promises on protectionism. His support base also included the socially conservative evangelicals who saw beyond his own contradictory positions on religion and morality, but were opposed to Ms. Clinton’s social liberal positions on abortion for example.
All said, Ms. Clinton could not repeat the social coalition that favoured Mr. Obama in 2012 (let alone the stronger support base in 2008). With white working class voters in the rust belt, the evangelical communities in the mid-west and southern regions voting for Mr. Trump and the reportedly reduced turnout of African Americans, it made it both difficult for Ms. Clinton to supplant Mr. Trump in the swing States, and also resulted in Mr. Trump breaching her firewall of solid “blue” Democratic States.