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The Week That Was:

From: Vartaa Editorial Team on Oct 25, 2015

Andhra's new capital, Amaravati

Amaravati was inaugurated as the new capital of Andhra Pradesh this week since Telangana will retain Hyderabad. The Chandrababu government in Andhra used an innovative land pooling model to acquire land for the massive reconstruction of the ancient city. While Singapore and Japan have come forward to contribute in the development of the new capital city, environmentalists and farmers are concerned about potential foul play.

India Africa Summit

The 3rd India-Africa summit was kicked off in New Delhi as India touted Africa as the new frontier of opportunities and called for it's integration with the global economy. The summit is seen as India's effort to counter Beijing's influence in the region and protect India's trade interests. PM Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj have been espercially vocal about the need and importance of such an event.

Sahitya Akademi takes stance against intolerance

The ongoing conflict between the Indian government and community of writers over issues of intolerance is quietening down. This past week, the Sahitya Akademi, the government institution whose awards several writers had returned, finally issued a statement condemning the killing of rationalist M.M. Kalburgi and demanding that the Central and State governments take steps to prevent such incidents from happening in the future. The statement came after a group of writers protested outside the Akademi's office. Eminent Indian writer Vikram Seth called the resolution a sensible move and a victory for free speech.

Ministers and their irresponsible statements

The Indian politician's ability to make insensitive comments seems to be only growing by the day. This past week it was the turn of Gen.V.K.Singh, BJP MP from Ghaziabad and Union Minister of State for External Affairs. Gen. Singh, no stranger to controversy, while responding to the murder of two Dalit children in Haryana stated that the government could not be held responsible every time 'someone threw a stone at a dog'. Singh's remarks kicked up a political storm with the opposition demanding his head. More crucially, parties in poll bound Bihar are looking to leverage them against the BJP. The fact that the remarks were potentially damaging politically was confirmed when Singh received a public rebuke from Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the matter.

Gold Monetisation Scheme

In business news, the RBI this passed week issued directions to all commercial banks for implementation of the Gold Monetisation Scheme. The scheme allows customers to deposit raw gold with banks, earn interest for a defined time period at fixed rate and choose to either redeem deposits in form of cash or gold.

Apple Watch now in India

The Apple Watch finally makes it way to India, just in time for a Diwali purchase, on November 6. While no price point has been announced, the base version, the Apple Watch Sport is priced in the US at $349 which roughly translates to Rs. 22.600.

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