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Trump terms India’s high tariffs on U.S. products unacceptable

President says he will take up the issue with PM Modi at G-20 summit in Osaka

U.S. President Donald Trump has said he will speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on India’s “high tariffs” on American products, which are “unacceptable”.

“I look forward to speaking with Prime Minister Modi about the fact that India, for years having put very high Tariffs against the United States, just recently increased the Tariffs even further. This is unacceptable and the Tariffs must be withdrawn!” Mr. Trump tweeted on Wednesday night Washington DC time, en route to Osaka in Japan for the G-20 meetings.

He was referring to the tariffs India had levied on 28 goods, including walnuts, pulses and almonds, starting June 16. This was in retaliation for the March 2018 tariffs the Trump administration had levied — ostensibly on national security grounds — on steel and aluminium from a number of countries, including India.

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who was in New Delhi this week, discussed trade with his counterpart, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.

Mr. Modi is expected to meet Mr. Trump at 9.35 a.m. local time in Osaka on Friday, prior to which he will hold a trilateral with Mr. Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. On Thursday, the White House issued a statement on the G-20, which talked about Mr. Trump’s intent to achieve “fair and reciprocal trade”.

Bombay High Court upholds reservation for Marathas

Calls 16% quota unjustifiable, caps it at 13%

The Bombay High Court on Thursday upheld reservation for the Marathas but quashed the 16% quota by calling it “not justifiable”.

The court said it should not exceed 12% for education and 13% for jobs as recommended by the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission.

A Division Bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre said, “We...declare that the State possesses the legislative competence to enact the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018, and the State’s legislative competence is not in any way affected by the Constitution.”

Four bank accounts of Nirav Modi, sister frozen

Swiss action came on request by ED

Four bank accounts of Nirav Modi, main accused in the PNB fraud case, and his sister have been “frozen” in Switzerland as part of the money laundering probe against them in India.

Mr. Modi was further remanded in judicial custody in the United Kingdom until July 25 on Thursday.

Official sources said the accounts, at present, have deposits totalling ₹283.16 crore and were frozen on the request of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

PMLA provisions

The ED, the sources said, made the request to the Swiss authorities sometime back and had also sent an official request under the criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

National mission on natural language translation soon

₹450 crore-proposal is part of the 100-day action plan charted out by MeitY

The Ministry of Electronics and IT will soon place before the Union Cabinet a ₹450 crore proposal for Natural Language Translation — one of the key missions identified by the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC).

The proposal is part of the 100-day action plan charted out by MeitY, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s instructions.

The national mission on natural language translation aims to make science and technology accessible to all by facilitating access to teaching and researching material bilingually — in English and in one’s native Indian language.

To achieve this, the government plans to leverage a combination of machine translation and human translation.

“We will be looking at speech-to-speech machine translation as well as text-to-text machine translation for this. Additionally, human translation will be used,” a senior government official told The Hindu.

The official said the Ministry had proposed an outlay of ₹450 crore for the mission over the next three-year period.

The official said that to overcome the language barrier, the government planned to set up an ecosystem which involved the Central and State agencies and start-ups.

“Start-ups can help expedite the work to build implementable solutions to help make research,” he said.

Translation activities can also help generate employment for educated unemployed, he pointed out, adding that the mission would help not just students who find it difficult to access knowledge because of language barrier, but also teachers, authors, publishers, translation software developers and general readers.

The IT ministry is the lead agency for implentation of the mission along with Ministry of Human Resource Development and Department of Science and Technology.

The PM- STIAC is an overarching body that identifies challenges in certain areas of science and technology.

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