Indian mining behemoth Adani cleared in financial fraud investigation

Adani Group has denied allegations of overvaluing the power equipment used in its projects in IndiaGetty Images
Indian mining giant Adani Group has been cleared of illegally siphoning money to offshore tax havens by the country’s customs authority.

Indian customs investigators had raised allegations in 2014 that Adani was using a front company in Dubai and other intermediaries to overvalue machinery and equipment imported for electricity projects in India.

The inflated amounts paid for the equipment were alleged to have been routed to a holding company in Mauritius managed by Vinod Shantilal Adani, the older brother of Adani Group chief executive Gautam Adani.

However, an official at India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) appointed to adjudicate the case struck down the claims this week, the Indian Express newspaper reported.

KVS Singh said that while the Adani subsidiaries operating power projects in the states of Rajasthan and Maharashtra were connected to the Dubai front company EIF through Vinod Adani, he had come to the conclusion that the relationship had not affected the transaction value of the imported equipment.

“I find that the allegation that the impugned goods were overvalued does not hold water,” he said in his ruling on 22 August.

Sources told the Indian Express that the ruling was a big blow to a separate DRI investigation against the Adani Group and other Indian firms that are looking into claims they overvalued electricity equipment imports through a similar modus operandi.

The Adani Group has denied the allegations, with the company saying in a statement to the Guardian that it would continue to cooperate with the DRI’s investigation.

“It is a standard procedure for the group to follow international competitive bidding route for major capital expenditures to ensure transparency and competitiveness in the process,” it said.

“All our transactions are always conducted within the framework of extant regulatory guidelines and provisions.

“The fact that our projects have incurred the lowest cost across central, state and private utility players has gone to establish the robustness of the processes followed by our group.”

Meanwhile, a court in Brisbane has dismissed the Australian Conservation Foundation’s appeal against Adani’s controversial Carmichael coal mine in Queensland on 25 August.

DARPA trying to launch smallsat experiment on an Indian rocket

DARPA wants to launch its EXCITE spacecraft with experimental ‘satlets’ from NovaWurks on an Indian PSLV rocket.  (NovaWurks)

WASHINGTON — Citing delays with its original launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is trying to launch an experimental small satellite mission on a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle from India.

DARPA had originally planned to launch a mission called EXCITE, or eXperiment for Cellular Integration Technologies, on a secondary payload adapter called Sherpa that Seattle-based Spaceflight expected to launch on a Falcon 9 in 2015. But the continued delay of that mission forced Spaceflight this March to seek out alternatives for Sherpa customers .

Speaking at the Milsatcom USA conference here June 29, Jeremy Palmer, program manager for DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, said the agency is now pursuing a launch opportunity with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

“We have 14 of these satlets aggregated together in a 155-kilogram secondary payload satellite intended for low-Earth orbit at an inclination of 98 degrees with an elliptical orbit of 450-kilometer perigee,” he said. “We hope to launch EXCITE aboard an Indian PSLV rocket in the early half of FY18.”

DARPA’s desire to launch on an Indian rocket is ironic given the U.S. government’s ban on allowing companies to launch U.S. satellites on such vehicles unless given express permission through a waiver .

Palmer acknowledged that there are regulatory challenges facing DARPA as well in seeking to launch on PSLV, but the agency feels “that there is a path forward.”

“That is a continuing challenge but we feel that challenge is surmountable,” he said, without giving explanation as to how they would be overcome.

The DARPA satlets are modular small satellites each 10 centimeters high and 20 centimeters square with a mass of 7.5 kilograms, according to Palmer. Each satlet contains its own systems for propulsion, power, attitude control, and memory. Space technology startup Novawurks is building the spacecraft using its Hyper-Integrated Satlet, or HISat, product.

DARPA’s EXCITE mission is to demonstrate the ability to build a satellite bus like a biological cellular system, using the satlets to form a unique bus around a payload, such as a sensor. Because each satlet has all the necessary systems to function in space, they provide redundancy in the event that some fail. Palmer said the satlets could make a satellite bus anywhere from a few tens of kilograms to 2,000 to 3,000 kilograms. At one point, EXCITE was part of DARPA’s Phoenix program for servicing satellites, but it is now a separate program, he said.

Palmer said the mission will include several high-value payloads with user-defined adaptors including a multicore processor experiment, radios, a pathfinder telescope and other environmental monitoring sensors. Cubesat manufacturer Pumpkin is supplying “snap-on” solar wings. The EXCITE mission will also have a free-flyer telescope, Palmer said.

Indian woman granted divorce because husband failed to provide family with indoor toilet

An Indian man inspects a poster for the Hindi film ‘Toilet’ in Hyderabad Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty
There’s a newly released Bollywood film about a woman in Indiawho left her husband for failing to provide a toilet. It’s called, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha in Hindi, which translates to Toilet: A Love Story. It’s based on the true story of Anita Narre, whose protest against defecating outside not only ultimately got her husband to build a toilet with government aid but inspired what the Indian press called a “toilet revolution” in her village in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

The film is described as a “satirical love story.”

But there isn’t much humour in the premise it describes.

First-time visitors to India, having read of the country’s technological prowess, are often surprised to learn that some 60 percent of the country’s households lack access to toilets. In rural areas, but also in many urban enclaves, they will see men just doing it in the road or in fields visible from the roads in broad daylight. They are much less likely to see women going outside, not because they don’t, but because modesty dictates that they do it in the dark of night, exposing them not only to inconvenience, indignity and disease but rape.

The situation is so bad that some years ago, public health advocates launched a “No toilet, No bride” campaign. Women were urged to refuse marriage unless the perspective husband furnished their home with a bathroom.

Now women have another possible incentive to offer husbands who can, but won’t, provide proper toilets: divorce.

According to the Times of India, a family court judge in the state of Rajasthan has decided that failure to provide a bathroom is an act of cruelty sufficiently significant to be grounds for divorce.

The decision, described as probably a first by The Times, came in the case of a 24-year-old woman whose husband declined to provide facilities, saying they were unnecessary and unusual, noting that most women in their village were content to go in the open. This forced her to go to the bathroom and bathe at dusk, outside.

“We spend money on buying tobacco, liquor, and mobile phones, but are unwilling to construct toilets to protect the dignity of our family,” the court said, according to The Times.

“In villages, women have to wait until sunset to answer nature’s call. This is not only physical cruelty but also outraging the modesty of a woman,” said the judge, identified by AFP as Rajendra Kumar Sharma.

The decision is especially significant because Indian courts grant divorces only in limited circumstances, such as physical abuse.

The long-standing problem, as the judge suggested, is no longer so much that people can’t provide toilets. The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reportedly succeeded in adding millions to the nation’s inventory.

Getting some people to use them, especially in the villages, is also an issue. One of the reasons, as The Washington Post’s Rama Lakshmi reported, is a caste system in which cleaning toilets is the job of the lowest on the rung and having a toilet in the home is, by association, considered unclean.

The government has run ads on billboards seeking to shame men into action. One of the ads pictured a child, as The Post reported, saying “Uncle, you wear a tie around your neck, shoes on your feet, but you still defecate in the open. What kind of progress is this?” Another said: “You may have a smartphone in your hand, but you still squat on train tracks.”

Body Hair Removal & Grooming Tips for the Modern Indian Bride

Body Hair Removal & Grooming Tips for the Modern Indian Bride

Most of your wedding day details are already underway, so take a break from planning. Pay some extra attention to your Goddess routine. Follow these skin and shaving tips, as well as a few other helpful hints, and you’ll be on your way to being a beautiful, blushing bride in no time.

Have another big event coming up like a Bachelorette Party or Date Night? Read the Beauty at Its Best article for some great beauty tips and tricks.

Plan ahead: Hair and makeup

If you want to grow out your hair for your wedding or try a different style, now is the time to do it. No matter what you decide, pick a look that reflects who you are (so you still look like yourself in photos). Play around with different makeup color palettes and application techniques. Plus use new products in advance so you can see if they work for your skin.

Schedule a practice run one to two months in advance to give yourself time to adjust. If you don’t like the results, change stylists or do another trial run. Most importantly, make sure you feel confident and radiant in your hair and makeup, so you can truly be the Goddess of Wedding Day Bliss.

Pamper yourself: Skin treatments, shaving tips and relaxation tricks

It’s important to indulge yourself with things that make you feel relaxed and confident. Sit back and enjoy a long, luxurious bubble bath with scented candles (try lavender or vanilla scents) and soothing music. Your time in the tub can help you get rejuvenated and clear your mind.

Shaving tip 1: Hey bathing beauty, want to prevent razor burn and bumps? Here’s a simple two-step solution that can help:

Replace your razor blade at the first sign of dullness, and hydrate skin with warm water for 2-3 minutes.
Apply an enriching shave gel like Satin Care Sensitive Skin shave gel with Aloe Vera and advanced lubricants to help provide incredible razor glide and protection against nicks and cuts.
This is also one of the best times to invest in a professional spa treatment. Get a full body massage or try an enriching body wrap. But remember—avoid shaving the day of your treatment to help prevent irritation.

Still need to unwind? Try yoga or Pilates. They’re great ways to relieve tension and keep your energy levels high. Another perk: They help keep your body toned so you can feel more confident in styles that bare it all.

Shaving tip 2: Shave, trim and hydrate to prep for lingerie and bikinis. Whether you’re going totally bare or just neatly trimmed, remember that a trimmer like the Gillette Venus Bikini Trimmer is made just for the bikini area & can help make any look simpler to achieve. Since you’re shaving sensitive skin, it’s also important to use a hydrating lotion after.

The perfect finishing touch to toned, smooth skin is self-tanner. It will give your body instant definition, while a touch of shimmering lotion can take legs from blah to wow for your big day.

Shaving tip 3: Because shaving exfoliates skin, it’s a must for getting a gorgeous glow. Shaving before you apply self-tanner removes dead skin cells, so your color can be more even and natural-looking. Depending on the formula, dark-tinted self-tanner may settle more in pores, so consider shaving the night before to help achieve a beautiful, even bronze.

Shaving tip 4: If your skin is hypersensitive, it’s okay to shave the day before, but the right razor makes it simple to shave any day and get radiant, smooth skin. Always use a fresh razor blade and plenty of shave gel and finish with a non-irritating moisturizer.

Shaving tip 5: Shaving can actually help boost your tan by removing dull, flaky skin that diminishes a healthy glow. Always use an SPF moisturizer, but if you accidentally get sunburnt, give your skin a chance to heal before you shave again to avoid further irritation.

For facial hair removal, shaving is usually not opted as the hair that grows post shaving is blunt on the edge and gives your hair a thicker illusion. Waxing facial hair is a great idea as it can eventually reduce the frequency of facial hair removal procedures required per month.

The night before tying the knot

Pack an emergency kit! And be sure to include things like:

2-in-1 razor like the Spa Breeze Disposable razor (for any last minute touch-ups on underarms or ankles)
Breath mints
Sewing kit
Moisturizing lotion
Snack (make sure it’s quick and mess-free, like a granola bar)
The list can go on and on. Basically include anything that you might need for touch-ups or mishaps.

The day of “I do”

First things first: Start your day off right and eat breakfast! It’s going to be a long (and wonderful) day; you’ll want to be fully energized for dancing and socializing.

Also a few tricks of the trade—wear waterproof (aka tear-proof) eye makeup and long-lasting lipstick. Employ a “spot-checker”—maybe your maid of honor or a bridesmaid whose makeup style is similar to your own. Ask her to keep an eye on you and let you know if you need a touch-up (and she’ll probably stash your lipstick in her purse for easy access).

Most importantly, enjoy yourself! Your wedding’s a success as long as you end up married at the end of the day. Everything else is just gravy.

Wedding night: Mrs. Bliss

This is your night, so shine like the Goddess you are! Enjoy the time with your new hubby and have fun. Choose the right lingerie and be conscious of the fabrics that you wear; silk, chiffon and batiste feel best against soft, smooth skin. Wearing white or ivory is more traditional, but you could always go for red or pink too. Wear a style that you feel confident in, so you can fully enjoy your night. And as a finishing touch, reveal your natural glow with a little shimmer lotion or dusting of powder on your skin.

The perfect honeymoon

Whether you’re going on an overnight trip or one that lasts for weeks (or longer!), make sure you pack the essentials. Since it will be your first official trip together as Mr. and Mrs., you’ll want to make the most out of your time together and enjoy the calm after all of the chaos. So get the luggage out and be sure to toss in teeny bikinis or cute one-pieces, lingerie (your favorite piece or something new for every night) and sexy sundresses. Sun tan lotion and lip balm is a must—and steer clear of UV rays with a trendy wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Remember your razor, trimmer and hydrating lotion (or cooling aloe) so that your skin can keep its sun-kissed glow.