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Andhra Pradesh

Five dead as truck collides with Bangalore-Nanded Express in Anantapur district

Five people, including a member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, died when a truck laden with granite crashed through the gate of a manned level crossing and rammed into the Bangalore City-Nanded Express in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh in the early hours of Monday.

 
Five dead after truck rams into Bangalore-Nanded Express in Anantpur
 
Five people, including a member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, died when a truck laden with granite crashed through the gate of a manned level crossing and rammed into the Bangalore City-Nanded Express in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh in the early hours of today.
 
Those killed in the incident included three passengers of the train, a railway AC mechanic, who was travelling in the AC I coach which bore the brunt of the collision, and the driver of the truck, South Western Railway and Anantapur police officials told NetIndian.
 
The victims included senior Congress leader A Venkatesh Naik, 79, four-time member of the Lok Sabha from Raichur in Karnataka and the current member of the state legislative assembly from Devadurg constituency, they said.
 
At least three other people suffered injuries in the mishap, which occurred at around 2.23 am when the 16594 Bangalore City – Nanded Express was crossing the level crossing gate number 77 between Rangepalli and Penukonda stations on the Dharmavaram section of Bangalore Division of South Western Railway.
 
The officials said the driver of the truck appeared to have lost control over the vehicle and it crashed through the level crossing gate and hit the train.
 
Four coaches of the train -- an AC I coach (H1), an AC III coach (B1) and two sleeper coaches (S1 and S2) derailed due to the impact of the collision.
 
Top railway officials, police and district administration officials have rushed to the scene of the mishap and efforts were being made to restore normal traffic on the affected station.
 
As a consequence of the accident, the Railways have diverted the following trains to run on alternate routes:
 
1. Train No. 17308 Bagalkot – Mysore Basava Express which left Bagalkot on 23.08.2015 is diverted to run via Bellary, Raidurg.
2. Train No. 12735 Secunderabad – Yesvantpur Garibrath Express which left Secunderabad on 23.08.2015 is diverted to run via Bellary, Raidurg.
3. Train No. 18463 Bhubaneswar – Bangalore Prasanthi Express which left Bhubaneswar on 23.08.2015 is diverted to run via Bellary, Raidurg.
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4. Train No. 12252 Korba - Yesvantpur Express which left Korba on 23.08.2015 is diverted to run via Bellary, Raidurg.
5. Train No. 16339 Mumbai CSTM – Nagercoil Express which left Mumbai on 23.08.2015 is diverted to run via Gooty, Renigunta.
6. Train No. 17603 Kacheguda - Yesvantpur Express which left Kacheguda on 23.08.2015 is diverted to run via Gooty, Renigunta.
7. Train No. 12628 New Delhi – Bangalore Karnataka Express which left New Delhi on 22.08.2015 is diverted to run via Bellary, Raidurg.
8. Train No. 12785 Kacheguda - Bangalore Express which left Kacheguda on 23.08.2015 is diverted to run via Dharmavaram, Pakala, Katpadi.
9. Train No. 12591 Gorakhpur - Yesvantpur Express which left Gorakhpur on 22.08.2015 is diverted to run via Dharmavaram, Pakala, Katpadi.
10. Train No. 22692 H.Nizamuddin – Bangalore Rajadhani Express which left Hazarat Nizamuddin on 22.08.2015 is diverted to run via Dharmavaram, Pakala, Katpadi.
11. Train No. 11301 Mumbai CSTM - Bangalore Express which left Mumbai on 23.08.2015 is diverted to run via Dharmavaram, Pakala, Katpadi.
12. Train No. 22133 Solapur - Yesvantpur Express which left Solapur on 23.08.2015 is diverted to run via Dharmavaram, Pakala, Katpadi.
13. Train No. 16572 Bidar - Yesvantpur Express which left Bidar on 23.08.2015 is diverted to run via Dharmavaram, Pakala, Katpadi.
 
The Railways have set up the following helplines:
 
Bangalore City Railway Station: 080 22354108, 09731666751, 080 22156553
Bangalore Cantonment: 080 2333 9163, 
Hindupur Station: 08556220444
Penukonda Station: 0855220244
Dharmavaram Station: 08559224422
Accident spot: 09701374062, 09493548005, 09448090399, 00873-763945549
Anantapur :- 09100992941, 09676903449; 08554-236444
Dharmavaram: - 08559-222555
Guntakal:- 09676903466
Yadgir:- 078999300084; 08473250365
Tandur:- 08411-272010
Vikarabad:- 08416-252013 
Bidar:- 08482-226329
Parli:-02446-222008
Nanded:- 09730471077
 
 
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Kiran Reddy quits as Andhra Pradesh CM day after LS passes Telangana Bill

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy announced his resignation on Wednesday in protest against the decision of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre to go ahead with its decision to carve out Telangana from Andhra Pradesh as the 29th state of the Union.

Andhra Pradesh CM Kiran Reddy resigns, quits Congress
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy announced his resignation today in protest against the decision of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre to go ahead with its decision to carve out Telangana from Andhra Pradesh as the 29th state of the Union.
 
Mr Reddy handed in his papers to Governor E S L Narasimhan a day after, amid noisy schenes, the Lok Sabha passed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill, which seeks to bifurcate the state to create the new state of Telangana.
 
Before driving down to Raj Bhavan to submit his resignation, Mr Reddy addressed a press conference at which he hit out at his Congress party for allegedly flouting Parliamentary procedures in its haste to get the Bill passed.
 
"I am ashamed. They did it like thieves, blacking out the live telecast. What was the need to do all this?" he asked.
 
Thanking the party for giving him the chance to serve as Chief Minister, he, however, made it clear that he could not continue in the Congress because, according to hi, it had betrayed the Telugu people.
 
He said he would also resign as a member of the Legislative Assembly as well as from the membership of the Congress.
 
Mr Reddy said the Congress and the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had got together in the Lok Sabha yesterday to get the Bill passed.
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He was particularly upset that the Bill was passed in the absence of several MPs from Andhra Pradesh, who had been suspended from the House for disrupting proceedings on February 13.
 
There has been media speculation about Mr Reddy planning to launch a new party but he did not touch the topic today. "My future is not important," he said when asked about it.
 
Some of his Cabinet colleagues from the Seemandhra region, who were opposed to the bifurcation of the state, and several legislators were present at the press conference.
 
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Sitharaman commissions INS Kiltan, anti-submarine warfare stealth corvette

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INS Kiltan (P30), the third anti-submarine warfare (ASW) stealth corvette built under Project 28 (Kamorta Class), was commissioned into the Indian Navy by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at a ceremony at the Naval Dockyard here today.
 
Admiral Sunil Lanba, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral H C S Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral V K Saxena (Retd), CMD, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited, Kolkata (GRSE), Kolkata, Commodore M B Kunte (Retd), first Commanding Officer of erstwhile Kiltan and a host of other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.
 
The event marked the formal commissioning into the Navy of the third of the four ASW Corvettes, indigenously designed by the Indian Navy’s in-house organisation, Directorate of Naval Design and constructed by GRSE.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Sitharaman said the Navy's relentless pursuit of self-reliance through indigenisation was highly appreciable and this had helped it to seamlessly transform from a Buyer’s to a Builder’s Navy. She said the addition of INS Kiltan to the naval fleet is a reaffirmation of this transformation. 
 
She said India needed to benchmark its shipbuilding practices to international best practices and produce quality ships in a shorter time frame and at competitive costs. She stated that the Government fully appreciated the nation’s defence requirements and requisite finances for the Armed Forces and Defence industry would be made available for the modernisation and development plans of the Navy. 
 
She later unveiled the commissioning plaque and dedicated the ship to the nation.
 
Earlier, welcoming the gathering, Admiral Lanba stated that the commissioning of INS Kiltan marked yet another milestone in the country's journey of indigenous warship building.
 
"The Indian Navy is deeply committed to the principle of indigenisation and the Government’s thrust on ‘Make in India’. Commissioning of four ships in the last year, all built in Indian shipyards, is a testimony of our resolve. Our commitment to indigenisation also assumes special significance as we have steadily broadened our indigenisation efforts beyond ship building. We have achieved considerable success with indigenous sonars such as Abhay and HUMSA-NG as well as weapons such as Varunastra and BrahMos. These achievements are a result of the Indian Navy’s proactive and integrated approach to achieve self-reliance," he said.
 
This was followed by reading out the Commissioning Warrant of the Ship by the Commanding Officer, Commander Naushad Ali Khan. Subsequently, hoisting of the Naval Ensign onboard for the first time and ‘Breaking of the Commissioning Pennant’ with the national anthem being played marked the completion of the commissioning ceremony.
 
An official press release said INS Kiltan is one of the most potent warships constructed in India. The ship’s keel was laid on 10 August 2010 and launched on 26 March 2013. Her maiden sea trials commenced on 6 May 2017 and finally was handed over to the Indian Navy by GRSE on 14 October 2017. 
 
The sleek and magnificent ship is propelled by ‘Combination of Diesel and Diesel (CODAD)’ propulsion system of four diesel engines to achieve speeds in excess of 25 knots and has an endurance of around 3,500 nautical miles.
 
According to the release, the ship has enhanced stealth features resulting in a reduced Radar Cross Section (RCS) achieved by X-form of hull and superstructure along with optimally sloped surfaces. The very low under water acoustic signature makes it a ‘silent killer on the prowl’. This has been achieved by using advanced techniques for propeller design and mountings of main machinery. The ship’s advanced stealth features make her less susceptible to detection by the enemy and help in effective employment of soft kill measure like the Chaff, it said.
 
The release said more than 80 % of the ship is indigenous with state-of-the-art equipment and systems to fight in nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) warfare conditions. 
 
"Also, P-28 weapons and sensors suite is predominantly indigenous and showcases the nation’s growing capability in this niche area. INS Kiltan is the first major warship with superstructure entirely of composite material," it said.
 
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The release said weapons and sensors had been installed/ interfaced on this composite superstructure for the first time on a major warship. Composite superstructure fitted on INS Kiltan ushers the usage of advanced engineering materials on Indian Naval warships with significant improvement in weight and stability parameters, it said.
 
"Apart from her integral ASW capable helicopter, the formidable array of weapons include heavy weight torpedoes, ASW rockets, 76 mm caliber Medium Range gun and two multi-barrel 30 mm guns as Close-in-Weapon System (CIWS) with dedicated fire control systems. She is also fitted with indigenous missile decoy rockets (Chaff) and advanced ESM (Electronic Support Measure) system to detect and map enemy transmissions and direction finder equipment. The ship boasts of a highly advanced Combat Management System and a sophisticated Integrated Platform Management System," it said.
 
The ship gets her name from old INS Kiltan (P79), a Petya class ASW ship that served the nation for 18 years before being decommissioned in June 1987. Named after the coral island belonging to the Lakshadweep group of islands in India, the ship has a total complement of 15 officers and 180 sailors. The sleek and magnificent ship spans 109 meters in length and 14 meters in breadth with a displacement of 3,300 tonnes.
 
"With the changing power dynamics in the Indian Ocean Region, INS Kiltan will augment the Indian Navy’s mobility, reach and flexibility whilst proudly flying the Indian Flag. The ship is manned by a team comprising 13 officers and 178 sailors with Commander Naushad Ali Khan at the helm as her first Commanding Officer. The commissioning of Kiltan will add a new dimension to the ASW capability of the Indian Navy and the Eastern Fleet in particular. The multifarious missions that can be undertaken by the ship truly reflect the enhanced multi-dimensional capability of the Indian Navy," the release added.
 
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Naidu launches national highway, waterway projects in Andhra Pradesh

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Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated or laid the foundation stones  for several National Highway projects and a project for development of the Muktyala-Vijayawada stretch of Krishna River (National Waterway – 4) at a function here yesterday.
 
Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari, Andhra Pradesh Governor E. S. L. Narasimhan and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu were amongst those present on the occasion.
 
Seven national highway (NH) projects were dedicated to the nation and foundation stones were laid for six NH projects in Andhra Pradesh, the total cost of all the projects being Rs. 4,193 crore, an official press release said.
 
Foundation stone for the Phase-I for development of Krishna River (National Waterway -4) was also laid. In the first phase of the project, the stretch between Muktayala and Vijayawada will be developed for transportation. The total project cost is Rs. 7,015 crore and the length of the waterway 315 km.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Naidu said interlinkingof rivers and protection of rivers was the sacred duty of everyone in the country.
 
He said that, in Andhra Pradesh till 2014, the total length of national highways was 4193 km and 3720 km of new highways have been declared since then. Total investment of Rs. 1 lakh crore is planned for development of national highways under various schemes in Andhra Pradesh, he said.
 
He said the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme, which linked Krishna and Godavari rivers, saved Krishna delta from a drought-like situation arising from water scarcity in river Krishna. He said that more and more interlinking of rivers will be beneficial for farmers who feed the nation. Everyone should take active part in this noble cause, he said.
 
Mr. Naidu congratulated the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister for making Telugu language mandatory in schools. He advised the state government to make knowledge of Telugu compulsory to get jobs in Andhra Pradesh and also to make it a mandatory subject for all students, irrespective of the medium of instruction school adopts, in the state. He said he was not against learning other languages but only wanted people to be proficient in their own mother tongue before pursuing other languages.
 
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Mr. Gadkari said  that the Union Government would spend more than Rs. 1 lakh crore on improving national highways in Andhra Pradesh and it would give a tremendous boost to the development of the state. He said a six-lane access controlled greenfield Amaravathi Expressway will be built to connect the new capital city Amaravathi with Anantapur and also provide connectivity to Kurnool and Kadapa. The project has been approved  with a total length of 557 km and cost of about Rs. 25,000 crore. 
 
He added that the Andhra Pradesh Government is preparing the detailed project report (DPR) and it is in the process of acquiring land.
 
The Minister also said that under Sagaramala programme, several port-related projects would be taken up in the state. The capacity of the Visakhapatnam port would be expanded. Visakhapatnam-Chennai industrial corridor was another major project which would benefit the state enormously and it would be taken up expeditiously, he added.
 
Mr. Gadkari  gave assurance that the Polavaram irrigation project would  be completed before the next General Election in 2019 and the Union Government would render all necessary assistance to the State Government for the purpose.
 
The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister thanked the Union Minister and said he was confident that Polavaram project would be completed on time, with the Centre's assistance.
 
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Cabinet nod for swapping of AAI land at Rajahmundry airport with State Govt. for road project

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The Union Cabinet yesterday approved a proposal for the swapping of 10.25 acres of land belonging to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) at Rajahmundry Airport with equivalent extent of land belonging to the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
 
The proposal is intended to provide road connectivity to the villages around the Rajahmundry Airport, in order to facilitate ease of access to the general public of the area, an official press release said.
 
"The proposal will provide road connectivity and thus, ease of access to the general public of the area, especially facilitating access to farmers to their agricultural land," the release added.
 
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Gadkari to launch National Highway projects worth Rs 4468 crore in Andhra Pradesh

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Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari will inaugurate National Highway (NH) projects worth Rs 1928.46 crore and lay the foundation stone for projects worth Rs 2539.08 crore in Andhra Pradesh on October 3.
 
In addition to this, Mr Gadkari will also lay the foundation stone for the development of the Muktyala-Vijayawada stretch of Krishna River (National Waterway – 4).
 
An official press release said approximately 415 km of national highways would be inaugurated by the Minister and he would lay the foundation stone for another 250 km.
 
The projects include rehabilitation and upgradation of existing national highways, besides construction of a four-lane bypass to Vijayanagaram Town on NH 43 (new NH 26).
 
The release said that, as per a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with Andhra Pradesh on April 14, 2016, NW-4 is proposed to be developed in three phases. In the first phase, it will be from Muktyala to Vijayawada (Krishna River), a distance of 82 Km, Vijayawada to Kakinada (Eluru canal & Kakinada canal) and Rajahmundry to Polavaram stretch of Godavari (233 Km) in the second phase and Commamur Canal, Buckingham canal and balance stretches of Krishna & Godavari Rivers (573km) in the third phase.
 
Mr Gadkari will lay the foundation stone for Phase- I on October 3. Work on this phase, development of the 82 km from Muktiyala to Vijayawada stretch has already commenced. Dredging began in the shallow areas in May this year, and the work is expected to be complete by June 2019. 
 
Permission for work on Temporary Terminal Facilities was awarded in August this year and is expected to be completed by June 2018. For the Permanent Terminal Facilities, the work is expected to be awarded by March 2018 and completed by June 2019. Night Navigational aids will be taken up in 2018.
 
The project will provide an efficient logistics solution to boost the economic growth of the region and facilitate the development of the capital city Amravati during its early development stage as substantial construction material is expected to be transported on this stretch of NW-4.
 
A proposal for Phase-II has been recommended by IWAI board for PIB/Cabinet. Also, a proposal for the formation of Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for implementation of the project is under consideration for the approval of Cabinet. The SPV is expected to be formed by November 2017.
 
National Waterway 4 was declared in November 2008 for a total length of 1078 km. This length was extended to 2890 km by NW Act-2016.
 
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Infosys Foundation inks Rs. 5.92 crore MoU with Visakha Jilla Nava Nirman Samithi

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Infosys Foundation, the philanthropic arm of IT services major Infosys, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Visakha Jilla Nava Nirman Samithi (VJNNS) to construct 100 gravity fed water supply systems in tribal villages of Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. 
 
The endowment of Rs. 5.92 crore will be used to promote good sanitation practices and create efficient water management systems in all target villages.
               
VJNNS, an NGO in Andhra Pradesh, aims at making potable drinking water available to remote tribal villages in the districts of Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam. Through this partnership, Infosys Foundation intends to provide an impetus to VJNNS’s objective of constructing a gravity fed water supply system that will help 100 tribal villages and 40,000 beneficiaries using pipelines.
 
This will not only help enhance health but also aid in reducing water-borne diseases, a release from the foundation said.
 
Ms. Sudha Murty, Chairperson of Infosys Foundation, said, “Drinking water supply and sanitation in India continue to be a key concern. The Foundation endeavors to promote good sanitation practices and aims to train local communities to effectively manage water supply systems through workshops. Under this project, local communities will also be taught to manage a village development fund.”
 
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CCEA nod for six-laning of Narasannapeta-Ranastalam section of NH-6 in Andhra Pradesh

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) yesterday gave its approval for development of six laning of Narasannapeta-Ranastalam section of National Highway (NH) – 16 (old NH-5) in Andhra Pradesh. 
 
The cost is estimated to be Rs. 1423 crore including cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities. The total length of the six laned road to be developed is approximately 54 km, an official press release said.
 
The release said the work would be carried out under National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase V on Hybrid Annuity Mode. 
 
The major industrial development centres that will be benefitted with better connectivity from the project corridor are APIIC SEZ, Pydibhimavaram, Bhogapuram Airport, Vizag Steel Plant, Visakhapatnam Port, Gangavaram Port, Divi's Laboratories Limited & INS Varsha. The projected traffic in 2016-17 on this stretch is about 33000 PCUs per day. 
 
The provision for two by-passes will ensure decongestion of the urban areas of Etcherla and Ranastalam. Similarly, the 29 flyovers and under passes would facilitate fast movement of traffic, it said.
 
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Kovind visits temple town of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh

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President Ram Nath Kovind today said the proposed Ambedkar Skills and Training Academy in this pilgrim town would be a world-class job-oriented centre that will focus on youth from marginalised communities.
 
It will train them in skills that will help them get employment in government and private organisations, he said addressing a civic reception hosted for him at the SV Arts College Ground here.
 
Besides laying the foundation stone for BR Ambedkar Skill Training Academy, he also distributed sanction letters to beneficiaries of the Stand- up India initiative and the Land Purchase Scheme of the Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Castes Co-operative Finance Corporation.
 
About Stand-Up India, which he described as a very important initiative that provides poor people the chance to become job creators, he noted that entrepreneurship is in the DNA of the society in Andhra Pradesh. “This is the energy of youth that Stand-up India seeks to channelise,” he added.
 
The Land Purchase Scheme of the Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Castes Co-operative Finance Corporation provides agricultural land to women members of traditionally marginalised communities. It boosts the earning potential of women and gives them a solid economic asset in the form of a land holding. It also empowers them socially and within the family, Mr Kovind said.
 
The people and history of Andhra Pradesh are a pride for India, he said. “This is a land of great heroes and great achievements. From the Satavahana Empire of ancient times to the leadership of people like T. Prakasam, whom we remember with reverence as Andhra Kesari, this region has given the country so much,” he said.
 
“In recent times, Andhra Pradesh has been fortunate to have given birth to at least two far-sighted political leaders – the late Chief Minister NT Rama Rao and our former Prime Minister, PV Narasimha Rao. Andhra Pradesh’s social and economic achievements in the past few years mirror the transformation of India. Yet, as we march forward, we must ensure that this is a journey for all – and not just a journey for some,” he added.
 
Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
 
Earlier in the day, the President visited the Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, within which is the Sri Padmavathi Medical College for Women and inaugurated a new hospital building.
 
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Kovind to visit Andhra Pradesh on September 1-2

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President Ram Nath Kovind will visit Andhra Pradesh for two days on September 1-2, an official press release said.
 
Tomorrow, Mr. Kovind will inaugurate the new hospital building of the Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS) – Sri Padmavathi Medical College for Women. On the same day, he will also attend a civic reception and public meeting at Sri Venkateswara Arts College Ground, Tirupati.
 
On September 2, the President will have a "darshan" of Sri Varaha Swamy Varu, Tirumala, before returning to Delhi, the release said.
 
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Depression over Bay of Bengal likely to cross Odisha coast on Tuesday night, cause heavy rains

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The India Meteorological Department (IMD) today said the depresssion over northwest and adjoining westcentral Bay of Bengal and coastal areas of Odisha was very likely to move west-northwestwards and cross Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Puri by tonight.
 
A bulletin from IMD, issued at 1130 hours today, remained practically stationary in the past three hours and lay centred near latitude 19.0º N and longitude 86.0 ºE, about 120 km east-southeast of Gopalpur and 80 km south-southeast of Puri. 
 
The bulletin warned that rainfall was very likely over south Odisha during the next 48 hours and over north coastal Andhra Pradesh during the next 24 hours, with  heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and isolated extremely heavy rainfall.
 
It also said that rainfall was very likely at most places in Chhattisgarh, with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall, during the next 24 hours and heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and isolated extremely heavy rainfall during the subsequent 24 hours.
 
The bulletin said rainfall was very likely at most places over Telangana and north Odisha during the next 48 hours, with heavy to very heavy rainfall at  isolated places, and over east Madhya Pradesh on July 19-20 and west Madhya Pradesh on July 20-21.
 
The bulletin said squally winds, with speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph, would prevail along an off Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next 48 hours.
 
The sea condition would be rough to very rough along and off Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next 48 hours.
 
Fishermen along and off Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh coasts are advised not to venture into sea during the next 48 hours.
 
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Cabinet approves creation of posts of Directors for new AIIMS in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra

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The Union Cabinet today approved the creation of three posts of Directors in the pre-revised scale of Rs. 80,000 (fixed) {plus NPA Ceiling limit Rs. 85,000} for the three new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Mangalagiri near Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, Kalyani in West Bengal and Nagpur in Maharashtra. 
 
An official press release said that, as per the AIIMS Act 1956 amended vide AIIMS (Amendment) Act, 2012, there shall be a Chief Executive Officer of the Institute. He shall be designated as the Director of the Institute and shall be appointed by the Institute provided that the first Director of the Institute shall be appointed by the Central Government. 
 
The Director shall act as the Secretary to the Institute as well as the Governing Body and support proper functioning and governance of the three AIIMS. 
 
The post will be immediately filled up following due procedures. The annual financial implication for each of the post of the Director will be around Rs. 25 Lakhs, as per the 6th Central Pay Commission.
 
The Union Finance Minister in his Budget speech for the year 2014-15 had announced for setting up of four new AIIMS in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. The Cabinet had approved establishment of new AIIMS at Mangalagiri near Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, Kalyani in West Bengal and Nagpur in Maharashtra at a cost of Rs. 4949 crore on 07.10.2015. 
 
The three AIIMS are being set up as a part of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) launched in 2003 with objectives of correcting regional imbalances in the availability of affordable/ reliable tertiary healthcare services and also to augment facilities for quality medical education in the country.
 
PMSSY has two components: (i) Setting up of AIIMS like institutions (ii) Upgradation of Government Medical Colleges/Institutions. Under this scheme AIIMS have been established in Bhubaneshwar, Bhopal, Raipur, Jodhpur, Rishikesh and Patna while work of AIIMS Rae Bareli is in progress. Also, three AIIMS in Nagpur(Maharashtra), Kalyani (West Bengal) and Mangalagiri in Guntur (A.P) have been sanctioned in 2015 and two AIIMS have been sanctioned in Bathinda and Gorakhpur in 2016 and Assam in 2017. All necessary steps are being taken for creation of the physical infrastructure and creation of faculty and non-faculty position required for operationalization of these three new AIIMS in Nagpur(Maharashtra), Kalyani(West Bengal) and Mangalagiri in Guntur (A.P). 
 
Design consultants have been appointed for all the three AIIMS on the basis of global bid as per mandate of the Cabinet. The master plans for these AIIMS have also been finalized. Detailed designs are under preparation. Proposals for creation of faculty and non-faculty positions are under consideration/discussion with Department of Expenditure, the release added.
 
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20 dead after truck ploughs into group of protesters in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh

At least 20 people died and several others suffered injuries when the driver of a truck lost control over the wheel and it crashed into an electric pole and then ploughed into a group of protesters, cars and shops at Yerpedu in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh on Friday afternoon.

 
20 dead after truck ploughs into crowd in Andhra Pradesh
At least 20 people died and several others suffered injuries when the driver of a truck lost control over the wheel and it crashed into an electric pole and then ploughed into a group of protesters, cars and shops at Yerpedu in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh this afternoon.
 
The mishap occurred around 1.45 pm at Yerpedu, about 25 km from Tirupati, when a large number of people had gathered outside the local police station, located on the Putalapattu-Nayudupeta state highway, to demand action against illegal sand mining activities.
 
According to various accounts, the overladen truck appeared to be speeding when the driver lost control over the vehicle. Several people were run over by the truck while others were electrocuted when they came into high tension electric wires dangling from an electricity pole hit by the truck. Some others suffered burns that broke out in one of the shops hit by the vehicle.
 
The driver and the cleaner of the truck fled from the scene after the accident, sources said.
 
Traffic in the area was disrupted for some hours as a result of the accident, they said.
 
The victims were rushed immediately to nearby hospitals. The condition of some of the injured was stated to be serious.
 
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said he was deeply saddened by the incident. The State Cabinet has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next-of-kin of those killed in the accident.
 
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Cabinet nod for setting up Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy at Visakhapatnam

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The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for the setting up of Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh as "an Institute of National Importance" through an Act of Parliament.
 
The institute will have the governance structure as well as legal mandate to grant degrees in a manner similar to that enjoyed by Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), an official press release said. 
 
A separate Act will also impart the required status to the institute to become a "Centre of Excellence" in petroleum and energy studies, it said.
 
The Cabinet also approved Rs. 655.46 crore as capital expenditure to set up IIPE and contribution of Rs. 200 crore towards its Endowment Fund (in addition to a contribution of Rs 200 crore from oil companies towards the Endowment Fund). 
 
The decision to set up the institute has been taken up under Schedule 13 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014. The objective is to meet the quantitative and qualitative gap in the supply of skilled manpower for the petroleum sector and to promote research activities needed for the growth of the sector. The academic and research activities of IIPE will derive strength from the Institute's proximity to sector-related activities such as KG Basin, Visakhapatnam refinery and the planned petrochemical complex at Kakinada. 
 
The Andhra Pradesh Government has allocated 200 acres of land, free of cost, for setting up of IIPE at Sabbavaram in Visakhapatnam district.
 
IIPE has been registered as a society under the AP Society Registration Act, 2001 on April 18, 2016. A temporary campus of IIPE has been set up from academic session 2016-17 from the Andhra University campus with two undergraduate programmes namely, Petroleum Engineering and Chemical Engineering (with capacity of 50 students each). IIT, Kharagpur has taken up the responsibility of mentoring the institute.
 
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TU-142M receives formal welcome as it lands at INS Dega for last time

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu welcomed the TU-142M Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft of the Indian Navy which landed at INS Dega for the last time this morning.
 
A special ceremony organised at INS Dega to formally welcome the aircraft was attended by Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Vice- Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, MPs, MLAs and host of other civil dignitaries. The Chief Minister also interacted with the crew members and exchanged mementos.
 
Andhra Pradesh had earlier requested the Ministry of Defence for allotment of one de-inducted TU-142M for converting into a museum. The request is being processed at the Ministry. Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) would be coordinating all activities related to aircraft museum on the state government's behalf.
 
The TU is likely to be dismantled and transported by road on trailers and reassembled on the Beach Road near Kursura Submarine Museum, an official press release said.
 
With imposing looks and a lethal punch to match, the TU-142M aircraft which have been nothing short of a ‘Flying Destroyer’, was given an impressive welcome as it landed for the last time at Visakhapatnam by a flypast of three Chetak helicopters, two Kamov helicopters, two Dorniers, and one P-8I Aircraft.
 
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After having served the Indian Navy with pride and élan for 29 years, during which it accomplished 30,000 hours of accident free flying, the TU-142M aircraft were given a befitting farewell on March 29 at INS Rajali Naval Air Station in Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu.
 
Over the years, the TU-142M has rendered yeoman service to the nation and has taken part in all major exercises and operations including Operation Cactus in Maldives, Op Vijay in 1998, Op Parakram in 2002 and Anti-piracy Operations.
 
The squadron was awarded Unit Citation by the Chief of Naval Staff in the year 2002 for outstanding professionalism and momentous contribution to the Service and adjudged the Best Frontline Squadron on numerous occasions over the years.
 
Earlier, the Chief Minister interacted with the family members of B Sambha Murthy, Chargeman, P Nagendra Rao, RV Prasad Babu (both Highly Skilled (HSK) Grade II), N Chinna Rao and G Srinivas (both Tradesman Mate (TMM) of NAD) who went missing in Indian Air Force AN-32 aircraft last July and distributed cheques of Rs. 5 lakh as ex-gratia amounts.
 
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Prabhu flags off extension of Tirupati-Kalyandurg Passenger train service upto Kadiri Devarapalli

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Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu  inaugurated the extension of the 57477/57478 Tirupati - Kalyandurg passenger train up to Kadiri Devarapalli through video conferencing from Railway Board here yesterday.
 
Minister of Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati, Chairman, Railway Board, A. K. Mital, Member Traffic Railway Board Mohd Jamshed and other Railway Board Members and senior officials were present on the occasion.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Prabhu said the new line constructed from Rayadurg-Tumkuru and  Kalyandurg to Kadiri Devarapalli section was part of this line. The train will facilitate pilgrims travelling to Tirupati, he said.
 
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‘Inside Tirumala Tirupati’ to premiere on National Geographic Channel on March 27

Filmmaker Rajendra Kondapalli with his crew during the making of Inside Tirumala Tirupati, a documentary film that will premiere on National Geographic Channel on March 27, 2017
Filmmaker Rajendra Kondapalli with his crew during the making of Inside Tirumala Tirupati, a documentary film that will premiere on National Geographic Channel on March 27, 2017
A documentary titled ‘Inside Tirumala Tirupati’ directed by New Delhi- based award-winning documentary film maker Rajendra Srivathsa Kondapalli, will premiere on National Geographic India channel tomorrow.
 
While most pilgrims wait in line for hours for a fleeting glimpse of the deity, this film allows viewers to experience the temple and its surroundings like an insider would, including getting a front-row seat to witness the spectacular annual celebration of Brahmostavam – an event that attracts such massive crowds that it makes the Tirumala temple one of the most visited Hindu pilgrimages in the world.
 
The film presents the magnificent sanctum and its setting through time-lapse and hyper-lapse photography. The viewers would get a feeling of walking alongside devotees who scale the Seshachalam or Seven Hills on foot to reach the hilltop temple for a coveted Darshan of Lord Venkateshwara.
 
Besides Annaprasadam kitchens, the viewers are led to the exclusive temple kitchens, where the world-famous Tirupati laddoo is prepared as ‘prasadam’ or sacred offering. The film also provides information about crowd management systems that allow over 60,000 people to visit the temple every day.
 
The film shines a light on the spiritual caretakers of the temple - the priesthood and Jeers, who conduct the temple’s religious sevas and activities day in and day out. It takes viewers on an arcane trip to a very special school – Veda Paathshala - for priests that seems to have come out of the pages of ancient texts. The film lingers a while in the majestic Seshachalam forest-hills and visits the site, where an ecological project is reviving one of the most precious natural resources in the plant world.
 
In perhaps one of the most exclusive scenes, the film gives viewers an intimate look into the innermost sanctum of the temple through the made-for-television replica temple called ‘Namoona Aalayam’ that allows cameras to capture the special chamber of the main deity of Sri Venkateswara Swamy (mool virat) without breaking religious protocol.
 
This intimate lens then expands its view to invite viewers into one of the most spectacular events in the temple’s calendar: the Tirumala Brahmotsavam. The nine-day festival presents the temple town in all its festive glory – with grand processions, celebrations and jubilant expressions of devotion.
 
Kondapalli says that as director and executive producer of 'India’s Mega Kitchens' a top-rated documentary series for National Geographic, he had approached TTD to feature their Annaprasadam kitchens in one of the episodes.
 
“After extensive reconnaissance and research, I felt there was a much bigger story to the Tirumala Temple beyond just its kitchen. That’s how the idea germinated, to tell a larger story,” he added.
 
It took more than a year to develop and produce the film, including in-depth research with the cooperation of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam and Chief Priests. The production was carried out in two schedules, one to capture the exclusive location and various activities as well as catch behind-the-scenes action.
 
A dedicated shoot schedule was planned to coincide with the Tirumala Brahmotsavam event, where live-action was captured among crowds as huge as over 1 lakh people. Around six months of post production included editing, scripting, creating state-of-the-art graphics & visual effects and sound design.
 
He said Inside Tirumala Tirupati promo views on National Geographic Facebook page have touched more than 12 million and ticking.
 
An award winning filmmaker, Kondapalli has been creating non-fiction / factual programming for over two decades for channels like National Geographic Channel International, National Geographic Channel (India), Discovery Networks, BBC Worldwide, Doordarshan, and so on.
 
His work has spanned a spectrum of genres including factual documentaries, reality series, educational, science & technology and infotainment programs.
 
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His social awareness and science & technology films have won national and international awards including the Asian Television Award (Singapore), CMS Vatavaran, Golden Beaver Award at the National Science Festival and others.
 
Some of his most recent works as director & executive producer include: India’s Mega Kitchens – Seasons 1 & 2 for the National Geographic India, India Emerges – A Visual History for Discovery Networks, Revealed – The Golden Temple for Discovery Networks and Womb of the World – National Geographic International.
 
Shruti Takulia, Creative Director, India Productions, ?Fox Networks Group says that ‘Inside Tirumala Tirupati is National Geographic’s newest India production that delivers on its promise to bring relevant and impactful stories with a high level of editorial credibility and unprecedented access to its viewers.
 
"The one-hour special is a spectacular culmination of the hard work the entire team has put in, since it was no mean task to do justice to a concept so challenging and so immensely ingrained in to minds of the people, not only in India, but around the world. A heady mix of history, technology, scale, architecture and emotions it will definitely evoke a sense of wonder in the viewers,” she added.
 
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‘Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana’ to be launched on April 1 at Nellore

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“Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana”, a scheme for providing Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for senior citizens belonging to the below poverty line (BPL) category will be launched in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh on April 1, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot said today.
 
Mr. Gehlot told mediapersons that the aids and devices would be distributed in camp mode and the scheme would be implemented through the sole implementing agency, Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO), a public sector undertaking under the Ministry.
 
ALIMCO will provide one-year free maintenance of the aids & assisted living devices. The devices will help senior citizens to overcome their age related physical impairment and to lead a dignified and productive life with minimal dependence on care givers or other members of the family.
 
The ambitious scheme, first of its kind in the country, is expected to benefit 5,20,000 senior citizens over a period of three years, he added.
 
Ministers of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar and Vijay Sampla were also present.
 
As per the Census figures of 2011, the population of senior citizens in India is 10.38 crore. More than 70% of the population of senior citizens live in rural areas of the country. A sizeable percentage (5.2%) of the senior citizens suffers from some sort of disabilities related to old age. Projections indicate that the number of elderly population will increase to around 173 million by 2026.
 
The Central Government proposes to launch a new Central Sector Scheme to be put in place to provide Physical aids and Assisted Living Devices for such senior citizens suffering from age related disabilities/ infirmities, who belong to BPL category.
 
The proposal for formulation of the scheme was announced in the Budget 2015-16. Pursuant to this, the “Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana” has been formulated. The scheme aims at providing Senior Citizens, belonging to BPL category and suffering from any of the age related disability/infirmity viz. Low vision, Hearing impairment, Loss of teeth and Locomotor disability, with such assisted-living devices which can restore near normalcy in their bodily functions, overcoming the disability/infirmity manifested.
 
The assistive devices will be of high quality and conforming to the standards laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards, wherever applicable.
 
The scheme is fully funded by the Central Government. The expenditure for its implementation will be met from the "Senior Citizens' Welfare Fund".
 
Under the scheme, the following aids and assisted-living devices will be provided to eligible elderly beneficiary senior citizens, depending upon their physical impairment: Walking sticks, Elbow crutches, Walkers/Crutches, Tripods/ Quadpods, Hearing Aids, Wheelchair, Artificial Dentures and Spectacles.
 
The expected financial outlay over the next three years (i.e. upto 2019-20) is Rs. 483.6 crore. 
 
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Cabinet okays special assistance measure for Andhra Pradesh

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The Union Cabinet yesterday gave its approval for a special assistance measure for the successor state of Andhra Pradesh by way of special dispensation in funding of Externally Aided Projects (EAPs) and funding of the irrigation component of the Polavaram project. 
 
An official press release said that, under the decision, the Central Government will provide special assistance measure to Government of Andhra Pradesh, which would make up for the additional Central share the State might have received during 2015-16 to 2019-20, if the funding of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) would have been shared at the ratio of 90:10 between the Centre and the State. 
 
The special assistance will be provided by way of repayment of loan and interest for the Externally Aided Projects (EAPs) signed and disbursed during 2015-2016 to 2019-20 by the State. 
 
The release said funding will be provided for 100% of the remaining cost of the irrigation component only of the Polavaram project for the period starting from 1.4.2014, to the extent of the cost of the irrigation component on that date. 
 
Andhra Pradesh Government will execute the project on behalf of Government of India. However, the overall coordination, quality control, design issues, monitoring, clearances related issues, and so on are to be dealt by the Polavaram Project Authority of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation. 
 
The Polavaram Project Authority will also assess out the cost of the irrigation component as on 01.04.2014 in consultation with the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance. 
 
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The release said the support for capital expenditure by way of repayment of EAP loans would help and assist the newly formed state of Andhra Pradesh to put the State's finances on a firmer footing and promote economic growth. Further, the central funding of the irrigation component of the Polavaram Irrigation Project and its execution by the State Government shall expedite completion of the project and the increase irrigation prospects in the State benefitting the people at large. 
 
The Government of India, while fulfilling its commitments under Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014, has already provided "Special Assistance" of Rs.1,976.50 crore to the state during 2016-17. The amount includes Rs.1176.50 for Resource Gap, Rs.350 crore for the development of 7 backward districts covering Rayalaseema & North Coastal region and Rs.450 crore as assistance to the capital city. 
 
Apart from this, the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation has also provided Rs. 2081.54 crore for the Polavaram Irrigation Project during the current financial year. Thus, the Central Government, after the enactment of the Reorganisation Act, has provided Central assistance of Rs.10,461.04 crore to the state of Andhra Pradesh which includes Rs.4403 crore released during 2014-15, Rs.2000 crore released during 2015-16 and Rs. 4058.04 in released in 2016-17. 
 
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300 participants attend Fintech Valley Spring Conference in Visakhapatnam

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More than 300 participants from India and abroad attended the maiden edition of Fintech Valley Spring Conference 2017, the Andhra Pradesh's flagship initiative that brought together industry, academia and investors to innovate, create and build the fintech ecosystem in the state.
 
The two-day event, which ended here today, was a "spectacular success", with the presence of global corporations, government representatives, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and visionaries who gathered in this valley to to build capacity, infrastructure, market access, connectivity, funding channels, and incentive mechanisms, a press release from the organisers said.
 
The aim of the discussions was to nurture a "fintectonic" culture that disrupts traditional models of business and sets a platform for innovation and growth, it said.
 
Prize money of Rs.  5 lakh and one-year free office space was provided in the Fintech Tower in Vizag to Start-up challenge winners.
 
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu interacted with the delegates for an hour through video-conferencing and took inputs from the fintech community. He will chair The Fintech Valley Forum set up to focus on various aspects of the ecosystem creation. 
 
Mr. Naidu told the gathering that the conference was a step towards joining the "Fourth Industrial Revolution which is a spectacular combination of technology and Internet of Things (IoT)".
 
"In recent times, technology has started influencing our lives in a comprehensive manner. The demand for Fintech is growing each day. To meet this demand, we would need the support from Fintech and Cyber security companies. We also need the academic institutions to adapt curriculum that trains individuals to contribute to fintech sector," he said.
 
Special Chief Secretary and IT Adviser to the AP Chief Minister, Mr. J. A. Chowdary, thanked the gathering for reposing their faith in this initiative. “This two-day conference was a success in encouraging the spirit of the fintectonic culture. We intend to build on this momentum and leverage it to generate employment that meets new demands of the global economy," he said.
 
An informative workshop segment was led by Mr. Balasubramaniam, Chief Executive Officer - E-Pragati on e-governance and sandbox opportunities with the government. 
 
Addressing the gathering over video conference, Mr. J Satyanarayana, Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and former IT Secretary, “Though our current ecosystem is well established having our welfare programs linked to Aadhar, we are trying to expand our current portfolio consisting of 72 projects. The Andhra Pradesh – E-pragati portfolio is a strong foundation for fintech and I am convinced that Vizag will vibrate with the fintech mantra in the months to come.”
 
Andhra Pradesh Technology Services (APTS) Managing Director Premchand spoke about creating joint ventures and special purpose vehicles with innovative start-ups. “We are actively looking to collaborate with start-ups to open doors and conduct business with Government of Andhra Pradesh and also with other state governments," he said.
 
“In India, there isn’t a problem with talent but with having the right attitude. Culture tends to eat strategy for breakfast. There is a need to create a shift in the mindset and to look at things differently. For this, I would propose the 3D’s - Digitalization, Differentiation and Disruption,” said Ms. Latha Ayyar, Special Representative for IT and Innovation to Government of Andhra Pradesh and COO, Bharti AXA at a panel discussion titled ‘Disruption in Insurance Value Chain - Role of Insurtech.’ 
 
Also contributing to this panel discussion on making insurance relevant to millennials and widening the insurance consumer market were Mr. Thomson Thomas, Chief Distribution Officer, HDFC Life; Mr. Girish Nayak, Chief of Operations and Technology, ICICI Lombard; Mr. Shwetank Verma, Director Collab (Open Innovation), MetLife; Mr. Shashwal Sharma, Partner KPMG and Mr. Varun Dua, Co-founder, Coverfox. KPMG is the knowledge partner for Fintech Valley Vizag Spring Conference 2017.
 
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There were three insurance challenges by corporate partners HDFC Life, ICICI Lombard and Bharti AXA. The overall winner in insurance category was declared as iProov. In the Banking Category, for the ICICI Bank Start-up Challenge 2017, Kyriba and Nimbuzz won relating to payments and remittances. In the Capital Market Category, the Angel Broking Start-up Challenge 2017, involving real-time social profiling of customers, was won by Hello Soda and Blueocean.
 
Contemplating ways in which Blockchain is transforming the future of Financial Services infrastructure, an interactive panel comprising Mr Akshay Dhanak, Vice President, Business System & Technology, HDFC Life; Sudin Baraokar, Head of Innovation, SBI; Ms Rachna Nath, Partner, KPMG; Mr Vinay Agarwal, CEO, Angel Broking; Mr Paul Kitti, Co-founder, TenX and Mr Hitesh Sarda, Director, Value Labs, discussed the issue threadbare. The speakers pondered on actions that can be initiated by institutions for reinventing themselves and jointly agreed that industry start-ups that develop the sentiment of trust would instigate disruption. The panelists also took questions asked by the audience and shared their excitement for the fintech valley hackathon to be held later in the year. 
 
To encourage multi-disciplinary thinking that adds greater expressiveness and meaning to the fintech culture, the ‘finteract’ series - comprising of interlinking dialogues that connect to fintech and innovation - was launched. Mr. Nitin Saluja Founder, Chaayos; Dharmil Sheth, Founder, PharmEasy and Ms. Priyanka Agrawal, renowned design thinking UI-UX were the key presenters of ‘Finteract, March 2017.’ Finteract is curated and created by Adfactors XD.
 
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10 dead as bus falls into canal in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh

 
Bus falls off bridge, 10 dead, several injured
At least 10 people died and several others suffered injuries when a private bus they were travelling in crashed off a bridge into a canal near Moolapadu village in Penuganchiprolu mandal of Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh early this morning.
 
District Collector A. Babu told NetIndian over the telephone from Vijayawada that the mishap occurred around 5 am today when the bus was on its way from Bhubaneswar to Hyderabad.
 
He said the bus jumped the median on the four-lane highway, a part of the Golden Quadrilateral, and fell into the canal through a gap in the two bridges on either side of the road.
 
Mr. Babu said some others suffered injuries and were rushed to hospitals in Vijayawada, about 50 km from the scene of the accident, where the condition of one of them was stated to be serious. 
 
The bus, belonging to Diwakar Travels, was carrying 44 passengers in all. The deceased included nine passengers and the driver of the bus, he said.
 
Local people were the first to rush to the spot and help extricate the passengers from the bus. Senior district administration and police officials also reached the scene shortly thereafter.
 
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Gateway Distriparks Ltd. commences operations of Container Freight Station at Krishnapatnam Port

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Gateway Distriparks Ltd. (GDL) has commenced operations of its Logistics Park & Container Freight Station (CFS) next to the Krishnapuram Port Container Terminal following the completion of construction of the first phase of the facility and all statutory approvals from the Customs Department.
 
A press release from the company said it had invested Rs. 90 crore in the first phase to develop capacity of 60,000 TEUs in bonded container yard and 50,000 sq. ft. of bonded warehousing, as well as 100,000 TEUs in domestic container yard and 100,000 sq. ft. of domestic warehousing. 
 
The total land bank available is 48 acres which can be further utilised to expand capacity in the future, it said.
 
Targeting the trade and business growth in the Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Karnataka and northern Tamil Nadu region, the Logistics Park will offer comprehensive supply chain solutions through a Container Freight Station (CFS), Bonded & Domestic Warehousing, Temperature Controlled Storage along with first/last mile transportation facilities, the release said.
 
"The company sees this region as playing a key role for its growth plans, and we are happy to announce our fourth CFS in this region to support the local trade. We will continue to invest here further, through both GDL and Snowman Logistics, to maintain a high quality offering and increase capacities in the future," Ishaan Gupta, Joint Managing Director, GDL said.
 
The CFS at Krishnapatnam port, which is strategically located between Chennai and Visakhapatnam ports, is the company's 7th CFS in India. The GDL Logistics Park is the first of its kind in this region and drawing on its experience as a market leader in the industry, the company has developed the facility with world class infrastructure tailored to the trade's requirements and state-of-the-art technology to maximize efficiency, the release said.
 
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IIITDM Kurnool to be declared as Institute of National Importance

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The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for introduction of The Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in Parliament, which provides for inclusion of Indian Institute of Information Technology Design and Manufacturing (IIITDM), Kurnool along with the other IIITs in the Principal Act. 
 
Subsequently, IITDM Kurnool will be declared as an institute of National Importance with the power to award degrees to students, an official press release said.
 
The expenditure for the operationalization of IITDM Kurnool is incurred from the Plan funds of the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
 
"The emerging needs of the industry and the economy as a whole for skilled technical manpower is expected to be met from the talent pool of trained personnel of the Institute. The Institute shall be open to all persons irrespective of gender, caste, creed, disability, domicile, ethnicity, social or economic background," the release said.
 
The Indian Institutes of Information Technology Act, 2014 confers the status of Institutions of National Importance on the IIITs and also provides for matters connected with administering these IIITs. 
 
Subsequently, the Government has approved creation of a new IIIT at Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh as embodied in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014. Due to addition of a new IIIT, amendment has to be made in the IIIT Act, 2014. With this, IIITDM. Kurnool will be the fifth Member as a Centrally Funded IIIT.
 
Academic session has commenced in IITDM Kurnool in two branches of study in 2015-16, the release added.
 
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Snowman Logistics signs MoU with Government of Andhra Pradesh to set up temperature controlled warehouse

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Snowman Logistics Limited has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Government of Andhra Pradesh to set up a temperature controlled warehouse at Sri City, a special economic zone located in Chittoor district of the state.
 
Snowman will invest approximately Rs. 30 crore in this project which will mainly cater to existing and upcoming food processing units in Sri City, a press release from the company said.
 
The release said Snowman plans to build a 10,000 pallet position multi-temperature cold storage in a phased manner, starting with 5,000 pallet positions in phase-I. The project will be financed mostly from internal accruals.
 
Sri City – an integrated business city, as it is called, has become one of the most attractive manufacturing locations for food brands. With a well laid out industrial park, many multinational and national food brands have already occupied land portions to set up manufacturing plants. Sri City is well connected with road, rail and sea network. 
 
Located just 55 km from Chennai, it is also an attractive location for exports and imports.
"With the focus on food and import/export, Sri City emerges as an upcoming location for FMCG and agri based volume for Snowman. Availability of water and power is another attraction to this location. With GST, round the corner, Sri City can become a major point of consolidation," the release said.
 
“We are excited about this project. This aligns with our strategy to provide pan India network to our clients from source to stores," Mr.  Sunil Nair, Chief Executive Officer, Snowman Logistics Limited, said.
 
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39 dead, 50 injured as nine coaches of Hirakhand Express derail in Andhra Pradesh

At least 39 passengers died and 50 others suffered injuries when nine coaches and the engine of the 18438 Jungarh Road-Bhubaneswar link train portion of 18448 Jagdalpur-Jungarh Road-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express derailed in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh late Saturday night, official sources said.

 
36 dead, 50 injured in train mishap in Andhra Pradesh
At least 39 passengers died and 50 others suffered injuries when nine coaches and the engine of the 18438 Jungarh Road-Bhubaneswar link train portion of 18448 Jagdalpur-Jungarh Road-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express derailed in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh late last night, official sources said.
 
The mishap  occurred at about 2315 hours yesterday near Koneru station, about 24 kms from Rayagada in Odisha, in Vizianagaram district under the Waltair Division of East Coast Railway (ECR).
 
The injured have been admitted to nearby hospitals for treatment, East Coast Railway spokesman J. P. Mishra told NetIndian. He said seven of the injured had suffered grievous injuries while some with minor injuries had been discharged after first-aid.
 
According to him, the derailed coaches included the guard-cum-luggage van, two General second class, four Sleeper class,one 2nd-cum-3rd AC and one 3rd AC coaches, apart from the engine.
 
ECR officials said Railway doctors at the scene of the accident had confirmed 39 deaths.
 
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu and Railway Board Chairman A K Mital are rushing to the scene of the tragedy. Senior Railway officials, including ECR General Manager Umesh singh and Waltair Divisional Railway Manager Chandralekha Mukherjee have reached the spot and are overseeing the rescue and relief efforts.
 
Mr. Prabhu expressed profound grief over the loss of lives in the accident. He announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 2 lakh for the next-of-kin of the deceased passengers, Rs. 50,000 for those with grievous injuries and Rs. 25,000 for those who had suffered simple injuries.
 
The Railways have ordered a statutory inquiry by Mr. Ram Kripal, the Commissioner of Railway Safety (South Central Circle), under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, into the accident.
 
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A special train with 13 coaches left with the stranded passengers of the train from Kuneru to Bhubaneswar via Rayagada-Titilagarh-Sambalpur-Angul. Buses were provided for the relief of stranded passengers to carry them to various nearby places like Brahmapur, Bhawanipatna, and so on.
 
Senior district administration officials from Vizianagaram and Rayagada and police officials also reached the scene of the mishap to oversee the rescue and relief efforts.
 
Medical relief trains with doctors and paramedical staff had also reached the site. Ambulances and personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) also rushed to the spot.
 
Railway officials said Mr. Prabhu was personally monitoring the situation and had directed senior officials to reach the scene of the accident immediately and ensure prompt rescue and relief operations.
 
The Railways have set up the following helpline numbers at various places for the benefit of the passengers and their relatives:
 
Vizianagaram: 08922-221202,  08922-221206
Rayagada: 06856-223400,  06856-223500, 09439741181, 09439741071, 07681878777
Visakhapatnam: 0891-2746344, 0891-2746330
Khurda: 0674 2490670
Bhubaneswar: 0674 2543360
Behrampur: 0680 2229632
 
With traffic on the Rayagada-Vizianagaram section affected, the Railways have cancelled, short-terminated or diverted several trains.
 
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