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Didi’s offer to cook food for PM stirs row

The CPI(M) weighed in, hinting at a possible political alliance between the TMC and the BJP, while criticizing both Banerjee and Modi for intertwining politics with religion…reports Asian Lite News

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s unconventional offer to “cook food” for Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ignited a flurry of reactions across the political spectrum. Banerjee’s invitation, delivered with a hint of sarcasm, has been met with a blend of skepticism and support from various quarters.

Banerjee’s gesture came as a response to Prime Minister Modi’s recent remark accusing RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav of consuming fish during a Hindu fasting period. During an election rally, Banerjee took a dig at Modi’s alleged interference in dietary choices and expressed her willingness to prepare a meal for him.

While Banerjee’s supporters laud her culinary skills and defend her stance on individual dietary autonomy, critics, particularly from the BJP, have questioned the underlying motives. Former BJP state president Tathagata Roy mocked Banerjee’s offer, suggesting she first extend it to her lieutenant Firhad Hakim.

“Mamata Banerjee wants to feed Modi ji with fish and rice cooked by her. Good proposal. But before that, why doesn’t she first offer pork chop to her lieutenant Firhad Hakim? It will serve three purposes, secularism will be asserted, it will show charity begins at home and the fritters will also be praised,” Roy posted on X.

The CPI(M) weighed in, hinting at a possible political alliance between the TMC and the BJP, while criticizing both Banerjee and Modi for intertwining politics with religion. However, the TMC stood by Banerjee, emphasizing her defense of India’s religious and cultural diversity.

In the midst of these divergent perspectives, the debate over Banerjee’s offer underscores broader issues of political rhetoric, individual rights, and the delicate balance between religious freedom and political agendas in India.

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Attack on probe team heat up Bengal politics

Modi also said that the situation in the state is such that “the court has to intervene” in various matters…reports Asian Lite News

The political slugfest over alleged attacks on officials belonging to central probe agencies in West Bengal intensified on Sunday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Trinamool Congress (TMC) of “shielding extortionists and corrupt leaders”, and chief minister Mamata Banerjee alleged the federal agencies were working as “extended arms” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre.

While Modi alleged that the TMC wants a free licence for corruption and violence in Bengal, the state’s ruling party claimed the BJP is trying to “manage the referee” through use of central agencies to “keep out the players” during the electoral clash in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

The two-way tirade came a day after a team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was allegedly attacked by locals in East Midnapore district during raids in connection with its probe into the 2022 Bhupatinagar blast case.

While NIA said one of its officers was injured and a vehicle was damaged in the alleged attack in Bhupatinagar, Banerjee said the villagers acted in “self-defence” as the probe agency officials barged into several houses in the early hours of Saturday.

Saturday’s incident bore similarities of an attack on an Enforcement Directorate (ED) team in Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district on January 5, when they went to search the house of TMC strongman and zilla parishad leader Shahjahan Sheikh in connection with a ration distribution scam.

Addressing a mega rally at Dhupguri in Jalpaiguri, Modi said: “The TMC government seeks to have a free pass for looting and terror in Bengal. To shield its extortionist and corrupt leaders, the TMC orchestrates attacks on central investigative agencies when they come here.”

He added: “The TMC is a party that disrespects India’s Constitution and Rule of Law. TMC’s syndicate Raj prevails in Bengal.”

Modi also said that the situation in the state is such that “the court has to intervene” in various matters.

The Calcutta high court has transferred the probe into the attack on the ED team in Sandeshkhali to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Modi claimed that ED has attached properties worth ₹3,000 crore from “corrupt” TMC leaders in various graft cases in Bengal and that suggestions are being taken on ways to return the money to those who have given it.

He urged the gathering at Dhupguri to “teach the TMC a lesson in these elections” so that “deposits of its candidates get forfeited”. “I guarantee you that the money looted by corrupt leaders will be given back to the poor people who had to give money to get jobs,” he said.

His remarks came on a day Banerjee, who is also the president of TMC, alleged that central probe agencies were working as “extended arms” of the BJP.

“Agencies such as the NIA, ED and CBI are being used to harass TMC leaders. They are carrying out raids without prior information, and barging into homes. What would women do if someone entered their house when everyone was asleep in the dead of night?” she said, as she accused the central agency of mounting the attack on Saturday.

Addressing a rally in Purulia district, she also alleged that central agencies were “asking TMC leaders to either join the BJP or face action”. “NIA is keeping us under surveillance,” she alleged.

The Centre had sent 136 teams to the state to find alleged irregularities by TMC leaders, she said. “But, what came out in the investigation? Please issue a white paper,” she demanded.

TMC national spokesperson Kunal Ghosh hit out at the BJP, saying they want to oust the ruling party from the poll battle by managing the “referee” and playing on an “empty field”.

“You have seen what NIA is doing in Bhupatinagar. On one hand, top leaders are being disturbed and on the other hand, they are trying to empty the booths. They (BJP) want to manage the referee (NIA), get them to the field and keep out the players (TMC) so that they can play on an empty field,” he told a press conference in Kolkata.

He also claimed that people have come to know that NIA is being used as the cadre of the BJP. “Why is the public so furious? This is because people now know that NIA is being used as a BJP cadre. They are spreading violence in the area. Old cases are being dug up before polls. They are conducting raids, nabbing the accused and threatening people,” he said.

ALSO READ-Congress CEC meet finalises candidates for 12 Bengal LS seats  

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Congress CEC meet finalises candidates for 12 Bengal LS seats  

The Congress has already announced candidates for 82 Lok Sabha seats. In its first list, the party declared the names of 39 candidates, while in its second list, the names of 43 candidates were announced...reports Asian Lite News

Congress has finalised the names of candidates for 12 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, sources said on Tuesday. The finalisation of names was done after Congress held a meeting of its Central Election Committee on Tuesday.

“Discussions took place for Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and West Bengal by the screening committee,” said Congress leader Jaivardhan Singh.

The Congress has already announced candidates for 82 Lok Sabha seats. In its first list, the party declared the names of 39 candidates, while in its second list, the names of 43 candidates were announced.

Voting for Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal will be held in all seven phases. The Trinamool Congress has already announced its candidates for all 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal. In the previous Lok Sabha polls, the TMC won 22 seats, while the BJP sprung a major surprise, winning 18 seats.

Earlier today, the Congress Working Committee held a detailed discussion on the manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls, which has a heavy thrust on the party’s ‘nyay’ agenda and authorised party chief Mallikarjun Kharge to grant it final approval.

Addressing a press conference after the CWC meeting, Congress leaders KC Venugopal and Jairam Ramesh said that the party will build on the momentum of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, during which the party announced five guarantees and a plan has been prepared to take the message of guarantees at the grassroots level.

“The meeting we had today was not just for our manifesto but for our ‘nyay patra’. Congress is absolutely ready for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. In the meeting today, there were discussions on our agenda. For the last 63 days, Rahul Gandhi has been talking about our five Nyay and has announced 25 guarantees. This is not just a simple manifesto but an important ‘nyay patra’ so that the people of our country can see a better future,” he said.

The meeting of the CWC, the party’s highest decision-making body, was held days after the announcement of the schedule for the Lok Sabha elections. The Lok Sabha polls and assembly polls in four states will be held from April 19 to June 1 and the results will be declared on June 4. (ANI)

Kerala Congress urges EC to change polling date  

The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) acting president, MM Hassan, on Tuesday urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to reschedule the polling in the southern state, which is scheduled to take place on March 26, as it coincides with a Friday.

“Considering the inconvenience to a certain section of the people regarding the election day, which is Friday, we have urged the Election Commission to change the date. In Kerala, Friday and Sunday will be inconvenient to various sections of the community. So we urge to change this 26th day to another date,” MM Hassan said.

“I have sent an email to the Central Election Commission and the UDF chairman. The opposition leader has also sent mail to the election commissioner for the same,” he added.

Meanwhile, as the Lok Sabha is nearing, one of the most high-profile constituencies in this Lok Sabha election is Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. Three-time MP from the constituency Shashi Tharoor of the Congress is up against Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar of the BJP and a strong left candidate in Pannyan Raveendran a former MP.

Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency comprises six Assembly segments: Nemom, Kovalam, Neyyattinkara, Parassala, Vattiyoorkav, and Kazhakkoottam. Being the state with the highest literacy rate in the country, Kerala holds 20 Lok Sabha seats.

MM Hassany.

Congress’ Shashi Tharoor believes that his work over the last 15 years in the constituency will speak for itself.

In 2019 general elections, Tharoor emerged victorious, gathering 416131 votes (41.4 per cent) of total votes, followed by BJP’s Kummanam Rajasekharan–416131 votes (31.4) and Communist Party of India’s C. Divakaran–258556 votes (25.7).

Similarly, in 2014, Shashi Tharoor emerged victorious, defeating BJP candidate O. Rajagopal.

The BJP has fielded Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar against Congress MP Tharoor. This is the first time that Chandrasekhar has been fielded for Lok Sabha polls.

He also served as a national spokesperson for the BJP.

Kerala will hold elections in a single phase on April 26. There are 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in Kerala and the BJP has never won a parliamentary seat in the state.

Earlier in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the NDA won 353 seats, the UPA stood at 91, and others won 98. (ANI)

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Mamata Suffers Injury After Fall

Mamata Banerjee was hospitalised on Thursday evening after she reportedly slipped at her home in South Kolkata and injured her forehead….reports Asian Lite News

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was admitted to a hospital in Kolkatta on Thursday evening after she reportedly slipped at her home in South Kolkata and injured her forehead, has been released from the hospital after her condition turned stable.

The Chief Minister was taken back to her home in Kalighat by her nephew and Trinamool Congress General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee from the state-run S.S.K.M. Medical College & Hospital on Sunday night.

Before leaving the hospital, Abhishek Banerjee told mediapersons that the condition of the Chief Minister is stable now, adding that the doctors put four stitches on her forehead.

Party insiders claimed that despite her condition being stable, the doctors had advised her to stay at the hospital for the night. However, the Chief Minister was keen to get discharged and return to her home, the sources said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meanwhile, issued a message on X wishing the Chief Minister a speedy recovery.

“I pray for a quick recovery and the best health for Mamata Didi,” the message read.

As per the information shared by the Trinamool, the Chief Minister had tripped while taking a walk at her residence on Thursday evening. The social media cell of the Trinamool had also released a photograph in which the Chief Minister could be seen bleeding from her forehead.

‘Push’ from behind?

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee might have been pushed from behind at her residence on Thursday evening, following which she fell and sustained injuries on her forehead, the Director of S.S.K.M. Medical College and Hospital, Manimoy Bandopadhyay, said on Thursday night.

Almost an hour after the Chief Minister was released from the hospital and taken back to her residence in Kalighat, Manimoy Bandopadhyay made this explosive statement while speaking to mediapersons.

“The Chief Minister was brought to the hospital at around 7.30 p.m. She fell down probably because of a push from behind. She received a deep injury on her forehead. There was profuse bleeding from that wound,” the S.S.K.M. Director said.

He also said that the Chief Minister was treated by specialists from the neurosurgery, general medicine, and cardiology departments.

“A number of medical examinations like electrocardiogram and CT scan were conducted. The hospital authorities advised her to stay back. But she insisted on returning home,” Manimoy Bandopadhyay said

The Chief Minister will be brought to the hospital again on Friday for further medical checkup. She has been kept under medical observation at her residence.

Rahul, Kharge Wish Speedy Recovery

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and the party’s national president Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday wished a speedy recovery to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who sustained a ‘major injury’ after a fall at her residence in Kolkata’s Kalighat on Thursday.

Taking to his official X handle, Rahul Gandhi posted, “Wishing Mamata-ji strength and a very swift recovery.”

Kharge, too, posted from his X handle, “I wish the best of health and complete recovery to West Bengal Chief Minister and Founder Chairperson, AITMC, Mamata Banerjee.”

Another PMC MP Turns Rebel After Denied Ticket

After Arjun Singh, another sitting Trinamool Congress MP has turned rebel after being denied a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections by the party leadership.

Sunil Kumar Mondal, the sitting Trinamool MP from the Bardhaman-East constituency, on Thursday expressed his displeasure over the party not renominating him for the Lok Sabha polls.

Instead, the Trinamool has fielded Sharmila Sarkar, a practising doctor and a fresher in politics, as the party nominee from Bardhaman-East this time.

Mondal claimed that a section of the district leadership of the party misled the top Trinamool leadership against him, which cost him a chance to get renominated.

“The district president, and an influential member of the state Cabinet from the district wanted me to blindly follow their orders, which was not possible for me,” he said.

He also claimed that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee often praises leaders who mislead and at times even backstab her.

On Sharmila Sarka, Mondal said that he is not aware of what kind of experience she has in public service.

“She is a fresher (in politics). I don’t know how she will strike a chord with the district leadership of the party,” Mondal said.

Since the Trinamool announced its candidates for the Lok Sabha elections on Sunday, there has been a wave of infighting in the party.

First, Trinamool state General Secretary and actress-turned-politician Sayantika Banerjee resigned from her party post. After that, the sitting Lok Sabha member from Barrackpore, Arjun Singh, turned rebel after being denied renomination, stating that he would join the BJP in Delhi on Friday.

There are also talks that the sitting MP from Tamluk, Dibyendu Adhikari, might join the BJP on Friday. Adhikari, the younger brother of Suvendu Adhikari, BJP’s leader of opposition in the West Bengal Assembly, was denied a ticket by the Trinamool.

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Didi Says No To CAA, NRC In Bengal

The CM also targeted the BJP-led central government over the issue of Manipur violence, saying the Centre sent over 400 teams to Bengal….reports Asian Lite News

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that her government will not allow the implementation of CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) or NRC (National Register of Citizens) in the state.

The CM also targeted the BJP-led central government over the issue of Manipur violence, saying the Centre sent over 400 teams to Bengal. “How many teams did you send to Manipur, where our sisters were burned?” she asserted.

CM Banerjee, while addressing the TMC Mahila Wing Rally in Kolkata, said, “We will not allow CAA, nor NRC, nor the politics of dividing Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, nor the false politics of dividing the Matua community, nor the false politics of dividing Hindus and Muslims. We do not accept this. They sent over 400 teams to Bengal. How many teams did you send to Manipur, where our sisters were burned?”

Earlier in February, the West Bengal Chief Minister said that the government will not implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) initiative and will provide separate cards to those whose Aadhaar card is deactivated.

“Those who are playing with the Aadhaar cards and trying to deprive people of their rights, people will throw them out of power. We will issue a separate card that will help to protect the citizen’s rights. We have prepared a portal named ‘Aadhaar Grievance Portal of West Bengal Government’. Those whose Aadhaar card has been deactivated should inform us as soon as possible so that they continue to enjoy their democratic, social and economic rights,” CM said.

The CAA, introduced by the Narendra Modi government, aims to confer Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim migrants, including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians, who migrated from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and arrived in India before December 31, 2014.

Following the passage of the CAA by Parliament in December 2019 and its subsequent presidential assent, significant protests erupted in various parts of the country.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, while speaking at the Republic TV Summit 2024 on Thursday, reiterated that the Citizenship Amendment Act will be implemented before the Lok Sabha elections.

The Union Home Minister said, “This will be implemented before the elections…this is the law of the country, no one can stop it, this is set in stone, this is the reality.”

Shah also batted for the Uniform Civil Code, saying that this is not only the agenda of the BJP, but also the vision of the constitutional assembly and is included in Article 44 of the constitution.

“Unfortunately, UCC has been associated with religion. Today I want to tell the people of the country that UCC is not just the agenda of BJP, but since 1950 we have been saying that when we come to power, we will bring UCC to this country. Since 1950, ‘Uniform Civil Code’ has been a part of our manifesto. If you expect the State to be secular, then the laws of the State must also be secular. Personal laws based on religious domination can never give us a secular State,” Home Minister Amit Shah said. (ANI)

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Reliance’s $2.4Bn Bengal Plan

Mukesh Ambani said India is racing ahead to become $10 trillion economy by 2030, and Bengal alone has the potential to become a trillion-dollar economy in the near future…reports Asian Lite News

Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries, announced the group’s intention to inject an extra Rs 20,000 crore into West Bengal within the next three years.

Speaking at the seventh edition of Bengal Global Business Summit, Mukesh Ambani said the additional investment will be in the areas of digital life solutions, retail and bio-energy.

Mukesh Ambani said India is racing ahead to become $10 trillion economy by 2030, and Bengal alone has the potential to become a trillion-dollar economy in the near future.

“Today, from this podium, let me assure you that Reliance will leave no stone unturned to accelerate Bengal’s growth. Bengal has been one of the largest investment destinations for Reliance. After you invited me, Reliance has invested close to Rs. 45,000 crores in West Bengal. Today, I am happy to announce that we plan to invest an additional Rs. 20,000 crores in the next three years,” he said.

“These will be in three areas: First is to further enhance digital life solutions aimed at augmenting livelihoods in Bengal, and providing quality education, healthcare, and agricultural solutions at scale. JIO is about to complete the world’s fastest 5G rollout in India before the end of this year that is 2023. And we have covered most parts of Bengal,” he added.

He said Reliance Retail is also increasing its footprint in the state. “Our network of nearly 1000 Retail stores will expand to over 1200 within the next two years. Our retail business is supporting hundreds of MSMEs. We are bringing national fame to many regional brands of Bengal.

“Thanks to Jio Mart, 5.50 lakh kirana merchants in the State have been brought under the umbrella of modern organised retail, bringing them higher productivity, income and benefits of scale. We currently operate nearly 20 lakh square foot of warehouses in Bengal. And this will increase manifold,” Mukesh Ambani said.

He said Reliance has become India’s largest Bio-Energy producer, based on the company’s own indigenous developed technology.

“We target to establish 100 compressed biogas (CBG) plants in the next three years, consuming 5.5 million tonnes of agricultural residue and organic waste. We will also help farmers to grow energy plantations on a large scale. This would help mitigate nearly 2 million tonnes of carbon emissions and produce 2.5 million tonnes of organic manure annually,” he said.

“We are planning to set up CBG plants in Bengal that will enable Bengal farmers to increase their incomes. With our current and new investments in these three businesses, Reliance will march together with the great people of Bengal towards a future of shared prosperity, technological innovation, inclusivity, and harmony,” he added.

Mukesh Ambani lauded Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, saying the state is today standing taller — more vibrant and more confident of scaling greater summits of success in the future–and this “transformation has taken place because of your visionary, strong and determined leadership”.

“Which is why, the people of Bengal have chosen you to lead them again and again…,” he added.

The RIL Chairman and MD said a prosperous Bengal will again become India’s gateway to South-East and Far-East Asia.

He also said that the Reliance Foundation “is deeply committed to participate in the resurgence of a Glorious Bengal”.

“Reliance Foundation has taken up an ambitious project to renovate and restore the famous Kalighat Temple in Kolkata, which is the seat of the reigning deity of Bengal. We are in the process of repairing the entire Temple Complex including the centuries old heritage structures and restoring the same to their original glory.”

Mukesh Ambani said Reliance Foundation is working together with the state government to make Biswa Bangla’s “high-quality handicrafts and handloom products available throughout all our retail channels across India”.

He said Reliance Foundation plans to set up a training institute in Bengal with the cooperation of the state government for the benefit of the younger generation of craftsmen.

Mukesh Ambani said he has no hesitation in recommending Bengal “as an ideal investment destination to all fellow investors and global businessmen”.

The seventh edition of the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) kicked off with grandeur on Tuesday.

This summit serves as a cornerstone event for the West Bengal government, bringing together global corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, business delegations, academia, and think tanks to explore strategic alliances and gain insights into the state’s “burgeoning industrial ecosystem”. (ANI)

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Bengal Business Summit to Host ‘Largest Ever’ UK Delegation

Amongst the upcoming flagship projects in the state, Jangal Sundari Karmnagari Industrial Township is being setup over 4,000 acres in Purulia…reports Asian Lite News

The upcoming Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) is poised to host the United Kingdom’s largest-ever delegation, with a notable presence from diverse businesses and institutions. Scheduled for November 21-22 in Kolkata, the event will welcome a 55-member delegation representing the UK. The British Deputy High Commission expressed enthusiasm, noting the anticipation of fostering stronger economic ties.

Alex Ellis, the British High Commissioner to India, is eager to lead this substantial delegation, expressing hopes that the summit will provide opportunities for British businesses to expand in Bengal and vice versa. Among the companies participating are tech firms like Teknobuilt, AirNode, SmartViz, Xworks Tech, Hy-Met Limited, Cambridge Carbon Capture, and GreenEnco, along with established engineering companies such as Mott Macdonald.

Dr. Andrew Fleming, British Deputy High Commissioner to East and Northeast India, highlighted the commitment to fulfilling the promises outlined in the UK-India 2030 Roadmap, aiming to transform trade and investment between the two nations. In the previous edition of BGBS in 2022, 49 senior figures from the UK actively participated, underlining the growing importance of such events in fostering bilateral economic cooperation.

“West Bengal has been rapidly transforming itself into an economic powerhouse. With a combination of strategic geographical advantages, proactive government policies, skilled human resources, and a vibrant business environment, West Bengal has emerged as a key player in India’s economic growth story,” BGBS said in a statement.

“It is among the leading exporters with 12% of the country’s leather and 10% of iron & steel exports. MSMEs form the vital base of the industrial pyramid and West Bengal has the country’s second highest number of MSMEs (about 90 lakh units) which accounts for 14% of India’s MSMEs.”

Amongst the upcoming flagship projects in the state, Jangal Sundari Karmnagari Industrial Township is being setup over 4,000 acres in Purulia. Mining operations at Deocha-Pachami-Dewanganj- Harinsigha, the second largest coal block in the world is expected to start soon. We have ready-to-Invest Industrial Infrastructure with 200+ Industrial Parks/ Estates spread over an area of around 10,000 acres.

A 200-acre IT and Electronics Park (Silicon Valley) is being set up at Rajarhat. Three Industrial Growth Corridors are being developed at: Dankuni- Raghunathpur; Dankuni-Kalyani; Dankuni-Haldia to augment the pace of industrialization in Bengal. The state has two large container and bulk handling ports at Kolkata and Haldia and a new deep-sea port is coming up at Tajpur.

Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) is the flagship summit of the Government of West Bengal. The summit envisions to bring together corporate leaders, business delegations, entrepreneurs, academia, and think-tanks from around the globe with the purpose of making strategic and business alliances as well as to learn about the industrial ecosystem and business friendly initiatives of the state.

The 7th Bengal Global Business Summit will have Plenary Sessions, Parallel Global Conferences, Sectoral sessions for focus sectors, Country sessions with partner countries, B2Bs and B2Gs meetings to expand networks and meet potential partners.

ALSO READ-Bengaluru Leads with 1783 Women-Led Ventures

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Bengaluru Leads with 1783 Women-Led Ventures

The funding landscape for women-led companies showed a significant surge in the number of rounds, rising from 171 in 2014 to 460 in 2022….reports Asian Lite News

Funding in women-led startups in India decreased from 183 startups in 2014 to a mere 7 this year to date, according to a new report.

The funding landscape for women-led companies showed a significant surge in the number of rounds, rising from 171 in 2014 to 460 in 2022.

However, there was a sharp decline in 2023, with the number of rounds dropping to 185, according to a report from leading market intelligence platform Tracxn.

Zomato, Byju’s Lenskart and Zerodha are among India’s top 10 women-led startups.

Data suggests that Bengaluru hosts a significant 1783 women-led startups, in stark contrast to Ahmedabad, which has a total of 181 women-led startups.

Meanwhile, India saw a third consecutive drop in tech funding in a quarter this year, with the July-September period (Q3) becoming the least-funded quarter in the last five years.

Q3 2023 saw a significant drop in funding, with a total of $1.5 billion raised, marking a 29 per cent decrease from the previous quarter and a staggering 54 per cent decline compared to Q3 2022, according to Tracxn.

Late-stage rounds witnessed a 33 per cent reduction, while early-stage and seed-stage funding plummeted by 74 per cent and 75 per cent, respectively, compared to the same quarter last year.

ALSO READ: Kerala Seeks Investor Allies

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Weather Alert: Low Pressure Over Bay of Bengal Turns Depression

Earlier on Tuesday, the IMD also said, a low-pressure area formed over the Andaman Sea is likely to intensify into a deep depression and cause heavy rainfall in parts of Odisha on November 16…reports Asian Lite News

A well-marked low-pressure area over the Bay of Bengal Sea moved westwards and concentrated into a depression on Wednesday, an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official said on Wednesday.

Speaking to ANI, IMD Visakhapatnam’s MD Sunanda said, “Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea from Wednesday onwards.”

“A low-pressure area is formed over the Bay of Bengal…Later it intensified into a depression in the west-central Bay of Bengal. Due to this, from Wednesday onwards, along and off the Andhra Pradesh coast, wind speeds are increasing…Winds will be prevailing for the 2 days – November 15 and 16. So fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea from Wednesday onwards,” IMD Visakhapatnam, MD Sunanda said.

According to the Meteorological Department, the weather system is likely to move northwestwards initially and further north to northwestwards and intensify into a deep depression over the west-central Bay of Bengal off the Andhra Pradesh coast.

“Thereafter, it would recurve north northeastwards and reach over Northwest Bay of Bengal off Odisha coast on 17th morning & off North Odisha-West Bengal coasts on 18th November morning,” she added.

Earlier on Tuesday, the IMD also said, a low-pressure area formed over the Andaman Sea is likely to intensify into a deep depression and cause heavy rainfall in parts of Odisha on November 16.

“Thereafter, it would move north-westwards and may intensify into a deep depression over the West-Central Bay of Bengal off the Andhra Pradesh coast on November 16. Subsequently, it would recurve north-northeastward and reach the northwest bay of Bengal off the Odisha coast on November 17. Due to this system, we are expecting heavy to very heavy rainfall activity over some parts of Odisha, especially coastal Odisha,” added Sunanda. (ANI)

ALSO READ-US envoy lauds West Bengal for making state a ‘logistics hub’

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West Bengal to invest Rs 2,500 cr World Bank loan in infrastructure

Apart from overall infrastructure development, the official said the loan amount will be utilised for special training of the people engaged in the logistic sector….reports Asian Lite news

West Bengal government is taking a Rs 2,500 crore loan from the World Bank and the entire money will be utilised for the purpose of infrastructure development in the state.

Sources in the state finance department said the focus area of infrastructure development through utilisation of the loan amount will be improvement of road networks and water transport systems in the state.

“The government wants to emphasise on improving exports from the state in the next 10 years, for which it is necessary to develop a quick transit system. So, work on this count will stat before the forthcoming Bengal Global Business Summit scheduled in November this year,” said a senior official in the finance department.

Apart from overall infrastructure development, the official said the loan amount will be utilised for special training of the people engaged in the logistic sector.

The state government has already set a target for setting up four economic corridors covering an area of 930 km. Out of that, the longest corridor of 630 km will be in North Bengal and the remaining three will be in South Bengal.

“The development of these economic corridors will enable the state government to showcase Bengal in a better manner to the potential investors,” the official said.

Industry observers feel that while such initiatives are undoubtedly positive steps, no effort to attract big ticket investments will bear fruit unless the land and special economic zone policies of the state government are changed.

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