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Telecom War pending after Mukesh Ambani debuts Jio

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Reliance Industries chairman, Mukesh Ambani with wife Nita and son Akash at the company’s annual general meeting

Reliance Industries chairman, Mukesh Ambani with wife Nita and son Akash at the company’s annual general meeting

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Beginning Sept. 5, India’s competitive telecom market that has collected 1 billion users to date, will have a newcomer with deep pockets — India’s richest person, Mukesh Ambani, announced the imminent rollout Thursday of much-awaited 4G phone service Jio at the annual shareholders’ meeting of oil and gas giant Reliance Industries.

The announcement was made at Birla Matushri hall, one of the oldest auditoriums in Mumbai, and was attended by well over 1,000 people.

Jio represents the largest investment in Reliance’s history — more than $20 billion — and is set to disrupt the telecom market by offering free domestic voice calls and messaging, and data plans with monthly rates starting at just over $2 –“the lowest in the world “ as per Ambani. Adding further insult to injury to his opponents, Ambani said that Jio will offer only 4G services not “mostly 2G, sometimes 3G and once-in-a-while 4G.”

Jio’s handsets are currently priced at $45 onward.

Thanks to the aggressive price model, Jio is anticipated to pick up steam, analysts say. To further entice new customers, the Jio service bundle will be offered free until December. “This is an offer that’s hard to refuse. People are going to line up to get a free connection, ” says Dinesh Kanabar, CEO of Mumbai corporate advisory firm Dhruva.

Shares of rivals Bharti Airtel a company of billionaire Sunil Mittal, and Idea Cellular, part of billionaire Kumar Birla’s Aditya Birla Group, fell Thursday on fears of an inevitable price war hurting their profitability. Idea declined by more than 10%, while Bharti was down by 6.4%. Shares of Reliance Communications, controlled by Ambani’s younger sibling Anil Ambani, with whom Jio will also compete, too suffered close to a 9% fall.

Jio’s network covers 18,000 cities and towns and 200,000 villages. By March of next year, the company hopes to expand to 90% of the population. Ambani said he has set a target for the Jio team to reach 100 million connections as quickly as possible. Jio employs 60,000 people with the average age of 30. Among its youngest employees are Ambani’s 24 year-old, US-educated twins, Isha and Akash who were present at the meeting.

Reliance and its rivals have already been long engaged in a war or words, each side has accused the other of foul play.

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Harvard to host 17th annual India Conference this February

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Diya TV) — For the 17th year in a row, the graduate students at Harvard University will host an India Conference. It will take place during the weekend of February 15-16, 2020. Two days of exciting discussions through panels, mixers and networking will fill the halls of the Harvard Business School and Kennedy School of Government.

The theme for this year’s conference is Foresight 20/20 – a look at what to expect from India in 2020 and beyond. As one of the largest student led conferences in the USA, the Harvard India conference attracts the biggest headliners from every field – from politics, business, entertainment & the arts. And this year is no different.

India Conference
India Conference at Harvard

With more than 100 speakers and 1000 attendees, the conference promises to have something for everyone. This year’s biggest draw from the entertainment genre is veteran Bollywood actor and self proclaimed ambassador to India, Anupam Kher. Kher has a long standing list of accolades within the film industry. In addition to his acting roles, he has been a producer, director and teacher at his own acting school. Most recently he played the role of Dr. Vijay Kapur on NBC’s primetime drama ‘New Amsterdam‘.

Some other notable speakers this year include founder of the India Today Group, Aroon Purie, Indian Olympic athelete Dutee Chand, comedian and actor, Vir Das, partner at Softbanks’ Vision Fund Lydia Jett & politician and India’s ruling party (BJP)’s sherpa to the G20, Suresh Prabhu.

The harsh winter in Harvard doesn’t seem slow down or dull these brilliant minds in any way. The India Conference at Harvard continues to retain its standing as the conference of choice for deliberating issues ranging from technology, media, politics and eduction to creating solutions for India’s path towards global leadership. The event features brainstorming sessions and sincere discussions on the very real and large scale problems that are uniquely Indian.

Diya TV is a media sponsor to the event and will be on-site covering conference. To receive a 20% discount use code RDAY20 here and to know more about the conference or speakers, head to the IndiaConference.com

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Indian Ambassador, Shringla speaks to U.S. Congress about Kashmir

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AMB. Shringla speaks to congress about Kashmir | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla met with members of Congress at a private roundtable briefing, hosted by Southern California Congressman Brad Sherman. Sherman, who has been a supporter of India, took to Twitter recently to share his concerns about Kashmir and said serious questions about Kashmir were asked at the briefing.

President Trump is being urged to fix the H1-B visa process and do away with country-specific limits, with the latest effort for reform being spearheaded by 60 U.S. business school deans and CEO’s.

In an earthquake, seconds matter. So on the anniversary of the deadly 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that rocked Northern California, state officials announced the launch of America’s first statewide earthquake early warning system.

Tabla Maestro Zakir Hussain will be coming to Boston next month to perform at the Berklee India Exchange, where he will also be conferred with an honorary doctorate by the esteemed music school. A Zakir Hussain Scholarship at Berklee is also being established.

And we have incredible video of three kids from India rescuing their dog from a snake that’s equal parts courageous and nuts.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Federal Court rules Trump must turn over tax returns | Diya TV News

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Trump Tax Returns

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — A federal judge ruled President Trump must turn over eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors, striking down the President’s argument that a sitting president cannot be criminally investigated. The ruling was quickly appealed and this case could end up in the Supreme Court to answer the constitutional question of whether presidents can be charged with a crime.

Meanwhile, the President celebrated a victory by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, as a federal appellate court upheld most of the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. It also ruled the FCC cannot preempt state net neutrality laws, meaning the rules of the road in states like California remain in place.

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee announced their Asia-Pacific and Non-Proliferation Subcommittee will be holding a hearing asking State Department officials and human rights activists to chime in on Human Rights in Kashmir, the Tamils of Sri Lanka, Muslims in Assam and the human rights situation in Pakistan, which includes the Sindh Province.

Lockheed Martin announced they will build F-16 wings exclusively in India, helping in integrating Indian industry into the $165 billion fighter aircraft market.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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