Sports News Updates

FIFA U-17 World Cup In India Becomes Most Attended In Event’s History

Saturday, October 28 2017

FIFA U-17 World Cup In India Becomes Most Attended In Event’s History

FIFA U-17 World Cup In India Becomes Most Attended In Event’s History The 17th edition of the FIFA U-17 World in India on Saturday turned out to be a milestone event as it became the most attended and the highest scoring tournament ever. Not only that, this U-17 World Cup even shattered the most attendance record of FIFA U-20 World Cup — 2011 Colombia edition’s 1,309,929 mark. It thus became the most attended men’s age-group World Cup ever. With 66684 spectators turning up to watch the summit clash between England and Spain at the Salt Lake Stadium here, the total attendance at the six host venues across the country logged 1347143, which is 116,167 more than the earlier record attendance of 1,230,976 set in the first edition of the tournament in China in 1985. The total number of spectators in this FIFA U-17 World Cup is also 37,214 more than the record of highest attendance in an U-20 World Cup — that of 1,309,929 in Colombia in 2011. In fact, the most attendance record was already reached during the third place play-off match between Brazil and Mali earlier in the day, which had attracted 56432 spectators. The attendance for matches of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 had breached the million mark in the last Round of 16 match on October 18. In terms of the number of spectators per match, this India edition is second — at 25,906 — behind the inaugural edition in China (which was 38,469) as the number of participating teams and number of matches were lesser at that time. Sixteen teams competed till the 2005 edition in Peru (when the tournament was known as FIFA U-17 World Championships) before the number of participating countries was increased to 24 from the 2007 edition in South Korea. The number of matches was also increased from 32 to 52 from 2007 onwards. Understandably, Kolkata’s Salt Lake Stadium has the highest attendance per match. The venue has so far logged a total of 608809 spectators from 11 games, at a staggering average of 55346 per match. The stadium has a total capacity of 66.600. This India edition also became the highest scoring tournament with 177 goals from 52 matches, bettering the earlier highest of 172 scored during the 2013 edition in the United Arab Emirates. This edition also has the highest goal average of 3.40 per match since the tournament format was changed in 2007 to a 24-team affair from the earlier 16-team participation. Overall, the number of goals scored per match is the third in tournament history behind the 1997 Egypt and 2003 Finland editions, when 117 goals were scored from 32 matches at an average of 3.66 goals per match.

England steamroll Spain to lift maiden U-17 World Cup title

Saturday, October 28 2017

England steamroll Spain to lift maiden U-17 World Cup title

England steamroll Spain to lift maiden U-17 World Cup title England steamroll Spain to lift maiden U-17 World Cup title Sat, Oct 28, 2017 23:50 hrs Kolkata: England rallied brilliantly to wipe out a double-goal deficit and steamroll Spain 5-2 in a thrilling final to annex their maiden FIFA U-17 World Cup title here on Saturday. Phillip Foden -- later adjudged the golden ball winner for his superb display -- struck a brace (69th and 88th minutes), and Rhian Brewster (44th), Morgan Gibbs-White (58th) and Marc Guehi (84th) scored one apiece for England who continued their dream run of 2017, having earlier clinched the U-20 World Cup and the U-19 Euro championships. For Spain, Sergio Gomez scored both goals (10th, 31st), before a capacity crowd of more than 66,000, who cheered on both teams, making it a cracker of an atmosphere at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan. Spain were clinical in the first half, playing a beautiful attacking game, while allowing England 58 per cent of the possession. But Steve Cooper's charges were all over their opponents after the breather, with Foden pulling the strings by operating from the right. He and Callum Hudson-Odoi struck up a fine combination from the right, that pulverized the Spanish defence in the second session. Spain took an early lead through a combined move. From left, skipper Abel Ruiz fed Juan Miran, who crossed for Cesar Gelabert. The Real Madrid forward headed down, and Gomez tapped in from close. La Rojita doubled the margin, with the Barcelona forward striking again. Ruiz sent a deep cross from the right, Gomez controlled the ball well, and then let go a rasping left footer on the bounce into the far corner of the net. Down 0-2, England boys made a determined bit to come back into the game, and came close to scoring twice. First, Foden headed wide, and then Odoi fired a right footer from 20 yards, that swerved and crashed into the base of the far post. England, however, kept up the momentum, and reduced the margin close to half. Steven Sessegnon crossed from the right into the six yard box, and Brewster headed home. The England surge continued, and they earned a free kick right outside the penalty area in the first half stoppage time, but Brewster's swerving shot was tipped over by Fernandez. At half time, Spain led Crossing over, England upped the ante further, and in the 53rd minute, Foden's low shot was deflected away for a corner by the Spain goalkeeper, but England did not have to wait for more than five minutes to draw level. The fabulous Foden essayed a lovely pass to Sessegnon, who sent in a ground pass and Gibbs-White finished. The Spanish seemed rudderless before the English onslaught, and midway into the session, Hudson-Odoi sprinted down the left, essaying a delicate cross into the middle, and Foden stabbed home. England now led 3-2, and there were wild cries of "Foden, Foden" in the stands with many waving the St Georges Cross. Six minutes from regulation time, England skipper Joel Latibeaudiere headed down a free kick, and Guehi put the ball in. The celebrations in the English camp became louder. Soon enough it turned into wild scenes of jubilation as Foden made it 5-2, and the entire English reserve bench including Cooper ran all the way near the corner flag to celebrate with Foden as other teammates joined in the party. It was a sweet revenge for England who had gone down to Spain 1-4 on penalties in the final of the UEFA under-17 European championships in May. Stay updated on the go with Sify Live Scores App. Click here to download it for your device SEARCH

`Interstellar object` passing through solar system spotted

Saturday, October 28 2017

`Interstellar object` passing through solar system spotted

'Interstellar object' passing through solar system spotted 'Interstellar object' passing through solar system spotted Source : Last Updated: Sat, Oct 28, 2017 20:24 hrs Washington: Astronomers are urgently working to point telescopes around the world and in space at an unusual object -- an asteroid, or perhaps a comet -- which came from somewhere else in our galaxy and now on its way out of the solar system, NASA has said. Once the data is obtained and analysed, astronomers may know more about the origin and possibly composition of the object. If it originated outside our solar system -- as the researchers believe -- it would be the first "interstellar object" to be observed and confirmed by astronomers. This unusual object, designated A/2017 U1, is less than 400 meteres in diameter and is moving remarkably fast, NASA said this week. "It is going extremely fast and on such a trajectory that we can say with confidence that this object is on its way out of the solar system and not coming back," said Davide Farnocchia, a scientist at NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The object was discovered on October 19 by the University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on Haleakala, during the course of its nightly search for near-Earth objects for NASA. "Its motion could not be explained using either a normal solar system asteroid or comet orbit," said Rob Weryk, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, adding that the object "came from outside our solar system." The CNEOS team plotted the object's current trajectory and even looked into its future. It came from the direction of the constellation Lyra, cruising through interstellar space at a brisk clip of 25.5 kilometres per second, according to the researchers. The object approached our solar system from almost directly "above" the ecliptic, the approximate plane in space where the planets and most asteroids orbit the Sun, so it did not have any close encounters with the eight major planets during its plunge toward the Sun. The object passed under Earth's orbit on October 14 at a distance of about 24 million kilometres -- about 60 times the distance to the Moon. It has now shot back up above the plane of the planets and, travelling at 44 kilometres per second with respect to the Sun, the object is speeding toward the constellation Pegasus, according to the researchers.

Congress, BJP spar over terror allegations against Ahmed Patel

Saturday, October 28 2017

Congress, BJP spar over terror allegations against Ahmed Patel

Congress, BJP spar over terror allegations against Ahmed Patel Congress, BJP spar over terror allegations against Ahmed Patel Source : Last Updated: Sat, Oct 28, 2017 21:37 hrs New Delhi: The Congress and BJP on Saturday sparred over terror allegations against Ahmed Patel, with the ruling party on Saturday seeking clarifications from Congress President Sonia Gandhi over the allegations against her political secretary. The Congress said the BJP was "rattled" at the prospect of defeat in Gujarat and was thus making "baseless" charges against the leader. The BJP said if the Congress doesn't come clean on the issue then it will be linked to terrorism by people. The Congress said the BJP was trying to take revenge against Ahmed Patel for the Rajya Sabha election defeat and they "should refrain from politicising the issue" and not link it with the Gujarat elections. "The investigative agencies have arrested an IS suspect from a hospital in Gujarat. Ahmed Patel is associated with the hospital. Congress will have to answer. It cannot run away," Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said at a press conference. He said that Congress President and Vice President Rahul Gandhi need to come forward and clarify on the matter. "Terror suspect's link to hospital is a serious issue. It's a matter of national security. We want Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to give clarification," he said. The Minority Affairs Minister said that the NDA government has adopted a zero tolerance policy against terrorism and hit out at the Congress leadership for defending Patel. "After a few days people will start saying 'Congress ka hath aatank ke sath' like they used to say earlier 'Congress ka hath corruption ke sath'. People are questioning Ahmed Patel's links to the IS operatives. Congress has a history of favouring anti-national elements," he said. Referring to Mohammed Qasim Stimberwala, one of the two alleged IS operatives arrested by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad from Surat on Wednesday, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had demanded resignation of Patel from the Rajya Sabha. Stimberwala had resigned recently as an echo-cardiogram technician in the Sardar Patel Hospital and Heart Institute in Ankleshwar, which Patel had helped grow into a modern facility. Patel was one of the trustees during the hospital's formative years. He had resigned as a trustee in 2014 facilitating a new board of trustees to take over the facility. Reacting to Gujarat Chief Minister Rupani's allegations against Patel, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the BJP was hatching a conspiracy against the Congress MP and asked the party to look inwards. The Congress leader said: "The BJP is staring at defeat in Gujarat and that is why they are rattled and making such baseless allegations against Congress leaders. Truth will win and the BJP will be defeated in Gujarat." "Sardar Patel Hospital is a charitable hospital in which 150-200 employees work. Neither Ahmed Patel nor any of his family members is a trustee of the hospital. They also don't hold any office of profit in the hospital," said Surjewala, adding that Stimberwala was one the employees. He said the ATS should initiate a probe against the suspected terrorists if it has evidence. "The Gujarat Chief Minister, in order to hide his incapability, is trying to hatch a conspiracy against Congress leader Ahmed Patel and making baseless allegations against him in a very despicable attempt," the spokesperson said. "The Congress has always fought against terrorism while the BJP has had an opposite record. Would Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah explain how terrorist Dawood Ibrahim's wife came to Mumbai under their nose in March 2016 and then left the country. How the Maharashtra government and intelligence agencies didn't even get a whiff of it and could not arrest her?" Surjewala also said that some Islamic State agents arrested in Madhya Pradesh were found to have links with the BJP. "One of them Dhruv Saxena, was also a member of BJP's IT cell," he said. "Is it not true that the BJP-PDP government in Jammu and Kashmir gave compensation to the family of terrorist Burhan Wani in December 2016," Surjewala asked. He also pointed out that the previous NDA government had released dreaded terrorists like Maulana Masood Azhar, Mushtaq Ahmed Jargar and Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh from the Indian custody in the Kandahar hijacking incident. "A Maharashtra BJP leader Eknath Khadse had to resign for his alleged links with Dawood. So, the BJP should look inwards before pointing fingers at others." SEARCH talking point on sify news Latest Features

DNA samples of families of missing Indians collected in Punjab

Saturday, October 28 2017

DNA samples of families of missing Indians collected in Punjab

DNA samples of families of missing Indians collected in Punjab DNA samples of families of missing Indians collected in Punjab Source : Chandigarh: Authorities in Punjab on Saturday collected the DNA samples of members of some families of the 39 Indians who went missing in Iraq's Mosul in June 2014 after the town fell in the hands of terror organization Islamic State. The DNA samples of at least three members of each of the eight families from Amritsar district were collected by a team of doctors of the Government Medical College in Amritsar. The Ministry of External Affairs had recently directed the state government to collect the DNA samples so that these could be sent to Iraq for the authorities there to verify the whereabouts of the 39 missing Indians. With no word from the Central government or Iraqi authorities on whether the missing men were still alive, the distraught families, who have been hoping to hear about the well-being of the missing relatives, on Saturday indicated that much of their hopes of seeing their loved ones again were dashed. "We have come here for the second time. No one is telling us anything about our loved ones," said Sardara Singh, 70, father of a missing youth from Amritsar district. Members of other families said that they had no idea why the samples were being collected. "No one from the administration is telling us why the DNA samples are being collected," said a woman relative of one of the missing men. After Mosul was freed from the IS in July this year, there was hope that the missing Indians will be found. However, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, during his India visit in July, said he was not sure if the missing Indians were alive or not. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had earlier assured the families, who have met her several times, that all efforts were being made to trace them. The affected families, who are all from poor backgrounds mostly from rural areas of Punjab, say they can do nothing else but pin hope on the government's and the minister's assurances. A man from Punjab, Harjit Masih, who escaped from the clutches of IS in June 2014 had claimed that all 39 Indians had been killed. However, Sushma Swaraj has maintained that there was no information confirming their deaths.

Pradyuman case: Candlelit assembly at India Gate to seek justice

Saturday, October 28 2017

Pradyuman case: Candlelit assembly at India Gate to seek justice

Pradyuman case: Candlelit assembly at India Gate to seek justice Pradyuman case: Candlelit assembly at India Gate to seek justice Source : Last Updated: Sat, Oct 28, 2017 20:45 hrs New Delhi: A candlelit assembly will be held at India Gate on Sunday to demand justice for Pradyuman Thakur, who was murdered at Ryan International School in Gurugram in September. The assembly, being organised by newly formed trust Pradyuman Foundation has been called by Barun Chandra Thakur, the father of the deceased child. Pradyuman's mother would also take part in the gathering. In a statement, Barun said that his son's murder was not an isolated incident but that such incidents had become a norm. He said that his trust would be working for the safety and security of the children across the country. "The aim of the trust would be to create a sense of accountability amongst educational institutes and ensure that such horrendous incidence are not allowed to happen," he said. He added that the civil society must take up the matter and ensure that enough traction and chorus is created around the issue and the culprits are booked and punished. "It will serve the dual purpose of justice and deterrence." Pradyuman, a class-II student of Ryan International School Gurugram, was murdered by slitting his throat by a sharp-edged weapon on the morning of September 8. The Haryana police said that he was killed by bus conductor Ashok Kumar inside the toilet as the boy resisted a bid to sodomise him.

Tourism Minister Alphons meets injured Swiss couple at Delhi hospital

Saturday, October 28 2017

Tourism Minister Alphons meets injured Swiss couple at Delhi hospital

Tourism Minister Alphons meets injured Swiss couple at Delhi hospital Tourism Minister Alphons meets injured Swiss couple at Delhi hospital [India], Oct 28 (ANI): Tourism Minister K. J. Alphons on Saturday visited the Swiss couple undergoing treatment at a Delhi hospital, following a brute attack by a group of youth in Agra's Fatehpur Sikri. The minister enquired about the condition of the couple and also interacted with the management and doctors. On Friday, commenting on the incident, Alphons had said that India was a safe destination for tourists where very few incidents of crime against visitors took place. He also questioned why USA and Europe were not deemed unsafe for travellers despite rampant shooting incidents and terror attacks. Earlier, Alphons had also written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressing his concern over the incident. The couple, hailing from Lausanne, was allegedly assaulted by a group of youths in Agra's Fatehpur Sikri on Sunday. The Swiss pair had alleged they were followed by a group of youth while ambling near the railway station. Later, the group started passing comments at them and forced the couple to stop and take selfies. The group's harassment soon turned violent and they suffered critical injuries.

Sales of U.S. pickups lift Ford profit; self-driving test set for '18

Thursday, October 26 2017

Sales of U.S. pickups lift Ford profit; self-driving test set for '18

Sales of U.S. pickups lift Ford profit; self-driving test set for '18 Sales of U.S. pickups lift Ford profit; self-driving test set for '18 By Nick Carey and Paul Lienert DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co reported a better-than-expected quarterly net profit on Thursday, driven largely by U.S. sales of its high-margin pickup trucks, and said it would begin to test self-driving cars in some cities next year. A large part of the company's profits came from its F-Series pickup trucks, which have been the best-selling vehicle in North America for decades. Ford said the average transaction price for its trucks rose $2,800 to $45,400. The company redesigned its larger F-series Super Duty pickups a year ago, and recently updated its standard F-150 trucks for model year 2018. Ford said its North American margin rose to 8.1 percent from 5.8 percent a year earlier. Earlier this week, GM reported a third-quarter margin for North America of 8.3 percent. Ford plans to begin testing self-driving vehicles in some cities in 2018, Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett disclosed on an earnings call with analysts on Thursday, but gave no details. Ford also is developing new business partnerships with unnamed companies to use its self-driving vehicles in commercial applications other than ride hailing, Hackett said. He declined to confirm whether Ford still planned to put those vehicles into service by 2021, executives have said. Rival General Motors Co said in recent weeks it plans to accelerate the commercial application of its self-driving Chevrolet Bolts, some of which could be in operation before 2020. GM also plans to introduce 20 electric vehicles by 2023. Year to date, GM's stock is up nearly 30 percent, while Ford is down almost 1 percent. In mid-morning trade, Ford was up 0.3 percent to $12.08. Wall Street has been underwhelmed by Ford, particularly by Hackett's caveat that most of the company's $14 billion in planned cost savings will not show up on Ford's bottom line until 2019 and 2020. When asked by reporters about the flagging stock, Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said Ford has a "really good plan" for electric vehicles and self-driving car technology. "I think the market will reward us," he said. On the earnings call on Thursday, Shanks said Ford will "aggressively restructure the business as required to achieve our objectives ... We are prepared to do what we have to do." He did not provide details. Apart from North America, the only other region that was profitable for Ford was Asia Pacific, where a record profit was driven by sales increases outside China. CFO Shanks said sales volumes, market share and margins were all down in China. He said Ford's European operations would return to profitability in the fourth quarter and for the full year. Ford said it had lower engineering, advertising and promotion expenses than in the third quarter. The second largest U.S. automaker posted a quarterly net profit of $1.56 billion, or 39 cents per share, up more than 60 percent from $960 million, or 24 cents, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, Ford reported earnings per share of 43 cents, above Wall Street expectations of 32 cents. Revenue rose to $36.45 billion from $35.94 billion a year earlier. Ford said it now expects full-year earnings in a range of $1.75 to $1.85 per share. Previously it had looked for $1.65 to $1.85.

Kobe Steel sent products with tampered data to second nuclear company

Friday, October 27 2017

Kobe Steel sent products with tampered data to second nuclear company

Kobe Steel sent products with tampered data to second nuclear company Kobe Steel sent products with tampered data to second nuclear company Fri, Oct 27, 2017 14:23 hrs TOKYO (Reuters) - Kobe Steel Ltd supplied parts with false specifications for nuclear equipment owned by Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd (JNFL), JNFL said on Friday, adding that the products were not used. The parts were destined for use in centrifuges to enrich uranium, a JNFL spokesman said by phone. Citing security reasons, he declined to provide further details. Kobe Steel has not told JNFL whether there are any safety issues with the parts, the spokesman said. A Kobe Steel spokesman confirmed the company had fabricated data about specialised coatings used on the parts, adding the company had not identified any safety issues. JNFL is the second company in the nuclear power industry to receive components affected by the steelmaker's data tampering. Tokyo Electric Power Co said earlier this month it had taken delivery of pipes from Kobe Steel that were not checked properly. Japan's atomic regulator has asked nuclear operators to check whether they are using Kobe Steel products at nuclear plants, it said on Wednesday, adding it has received no reports that Kobe Steel's data tampering scandal has affected safety. No deadline has been given for nuclear operators to report back to the Nuclear Regulation Authority, a spokesman said by phone on Friday. The unfolding data tampering scandal has spread from Kobe Steel's copper and aluminium business to most areas of the company and sent companies at the end of complex supply chains across the world scrambling to check whether the safety or performance of their products has been compromised. While no safety issues have been identified, Japan's third-largest steelmaker is likely to face claims for replacement parts and other costs. Kobe Steel said on Thursday 88 out of 525 affected customers had yet to confirm its products were safe in the light of widespread tampering of specifications, but that it had not received any requests for recalls. Japan's third-largest steelmaker supplies manufacturers of cars, planes, trains and other products across the world and the data tampering has spiralled into one of Japan's biggest industrial scandals. (Reporting by Sam Nussey and Osamu Tsukimori; Writing by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

UPDATE 1-India's Maruti Suzuki Q2 profit beats estimates, higher sales aid

Friday, October 27 2017

UPDATE 1-India's Maruti Suzuki Q2 profit beats estimates, higher sales aid

* Q2 profit 24.84 bln rupees vs 22.29 bln rupees estimate * Total Q2 vehicle sales up about 18 percent y/y (Adds details on sales, share movement) Oct 27 (Reuters) - Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the country's top-selling car maker, posted a more than 3 percent rise in quarterly profit, beating estimates, helped by higher sales in its compact and utility vehicles segments. The company, majority-owned by Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp , reported a profit of 24.84 billion rupees ($381.86 million) for the second quarter ended Sept. 30, versus 24.02 billion rupees a year ago. (http://bit.ly/2xtLHZZ) This came in above analysts' average estimate of 22.29 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters data. Maruti, which provides the bulk of Suzuki Motor's revenues, sold a total of 492,118 vehicles during the quarter, up about 18 percent from a year ago. Sales of compact vehicles, which includes Swift and Baleno, rose 43.5 percent, while sales of utility vehicles like Ertiga and Vitara Brezza climbed 27.6 percent. The company dominates the small car market in India and has been expanding its offerings by launching more premium vehicles as competition heats up with newer and planned entrants such as Kia Motors and SAIC Motor Corp. Maruti shares were trading up 1.6 percent by 0826 GMT. ($1 = 65.0500 Indian rupees) (Reporting By Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar) SEARCH

Maruti Suzuki second-quarter profit beats estimates, higher sales aid

Friday, October 27 2017

Maruti Suzuki second-quarter profit beats estimates, higher sales aid

Maruti Suzuki second-quarter profit beats estimates, higher sales aid Maruti Suzuki second-quarter profit beats estimates, higher sales aid Fri, Oct 27, 2017 15:16 hrs Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the country's top-selling car maker, posted a more than 3 percent rise in quarterly profit, beating estimates, helped by higher sales in its compact and utility vehicles segments. The company, majority-owned by Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp, reported a profit of 24.84 billion rupees ($381.86 million) for the second quarter ended Sept. 30, versus 24.02 billion rupees a year ago. This came in above analysts' average estimate of 22.29 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters data. Maruti, which provides the bulk of Suzuki Motor's revenues, sold a total of 492,118 vehicles during the quarter, up about 18 percent from a year ago. Sales of compact vehicles, which includes Swift and Baleno, rose 43.5 percent, while sales of utility vehicles like Ertiga and Vitara Brezza climbed 27.6 percent. The company dominates the small car market in India and has been expanding its offerings by launching more premium vehicles as competition heats up with newer and planned entrants such as Kia Motors and SAIC Motor Corp. Maruti shares were trading up 1.6 percent by 0826 GMT. ($1 = 65.0500 Indian rupees)

Maruti Suzuki says will have to move to electric cars

Friday, October 27 2017

Maruti Suzuki says will have to move to electric cars

Maruti Suzuki says will have to move to electric cars Maruti Suzuki says will have to move to electric cars Fri, Oct 27, 2017 18:24 hrs By Aditi Shah and Arnab Paul NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Maruti Suzuki India, the country's biggest carmaker, said on Friday it planned to build electric cars as the government strives to electrify all new vehicles by 2030, though it didn't give a timeline for the process. Maruti Suzuki's chairman said there was still no clear roadmap on how the government aimed to achieve its target and a lot would depend on that. "We will make electric cars but I can't give you the date just now because it is all very much a work in progress," R.C. Bhargava told reporters, after the company posted a 3 percent rise in quarterly profit, beating analysts' estimates. India is working on a new auto policy that promotes the use of electric cars, and a draft is likely to be made public before the end of the year. This is a shift from an earlier policy that promoted hybrid and electric vehicles. Sales of electric cars in India remain negligible, however, mainly due to the high cost of batteries which make the vehicles expensive and out of reach for many buyers in a country where cars are as cheap as 250,000 rupees ($3,800). A lack of charging stations also makes the whole proposition unviable for now. Maruti's parent, Suzuki Motor Corp, has electric car technology which it can provide, Bhargava said, adding the Japanese company was also in talks with Toyota Motor Corp to form an alliance which may include sharing technologies like hybrid and electric. Maruti dominates the small car market in India and has been launching more premium vehicles as competition heats up with newer and planned entrants such as Kia Motors and SAIC Motor Corp. Maruti also manufactures hybrid cars, demand for which has taken a beating after the government raised sales taxes on them to as much as 43 percent. Bhargava said the future of hybrid cars in India would depend on the level of taxes and the company was in talks with the government to lower them. GROWTH SLOWING Bhargava said that while the company continued to expect double digit sales growth over the remainder of fiscal 2018, it would slow from the 18 percent posted in the second quarter. Earlier on Friday, Maruti reported a profit of 24.84 billion rupees ($381.86 million) for the second quarter ended Sept. 30, versus 24.02 billion rupees a year ago, helped by higher sales of compact and utility vehicles. (http://bit.ly/2xtLHZZ) Analysts, on average, had expected a profit of 22.29 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters data. Maruti, which provides the bulk of Suzuki Motor's revenues, sold a total of 492,118 vehicles during the quarter, up about 18 percent from a year ago. Sales of compact vehicles, which include the Swift and Baleno, rose 43.5 percent, while sales of utility vehicles like the Ertiga and Vitara Brezza climbed 27.6 percent. Maruti shares closed slightly higher at 8,114.45 rupees. ($1 = 65.0350 Indian rupees) (Additional reporting Gaurav Dogra in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar, Euan Rocha and Mark Potter) SEARCH