India's forex reserves dip by $ 1.126 billion to $ 361.995 billion

Reversing the uptrend of the past several weeks, India's foreign exchange reserves dippped by $ 1.126 billion to $ 361.995 billion in the week ended May 6, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
The country's forex reserves had gone up by $ 1.52 billion to an all-time high of $ 363.121 billion in the previous week.
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had increased by $ 1.028 billion to $ 337.996 billion during the week.
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves fell by $ 72 million to $ 20.043 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) went up by $ 0.1 million to $ 1.5107 billion.
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) decreased by $ 26 million to $ 2.445 billion, the bulletin added.

Shashank Manohar resigns as BCCI President

Shashank Manohar
Shashank Manohar
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today confirmed that Mr. Shashank Manohar had resigned from the post of BCCI President.
He has also resigned as the BCCI representative on the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Asian Cricket Council, BCCI Honorary Secretary Anurag Thakur said in a press release.
"The BCCI places on record its deep appreciation of the immense contribution to Indian cricket made by Mr. Manohar," he added.

TISS urged to conduct training for ministers, bureaucrats in social sciences

Union Minister of State for Power , Coal, New & Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal today urged the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to conduct social sciences training programmes for ministers, bureaucrats and other public servants.
“TISS should consider training programme in behavioural sciences, ethics and leadership for ministers and other public servants,” Mr Goyal said while addressing the 76th Convocation at the Institute.
"Behavioural science impacts society deeply. Across the country, public servants should be sensitized on how to deal with the poor and the downtrodden who approach them seeking help. Stating that a continuous learning programme for the ministers and bureaucrats was a good idea," Mr. Goyal said a beginning could be made with Mumbai and Maharashtra, which could be extended to other parts of the country later. 
The Minister referred to the vision of the House of Tatas in setting up the social sciences institute way back in 1936. He asserted that over the next 20-25 years, India would emerge as a super power, but stressed that the country had a long way to go, in terms of providing health, education and power for all its citizens and ensuring an inclusive growth. “The task ahead is onerous, but certainly doable,” he added.
Human resource development was an important function in any organization that wants to succeed in the long run. TISS has empowered its students to take up leadership roles in the society. The Minister urged some of the students to consider politics as a career option as well. “The days of the famous saying 'politics is the last resort of the scoundrel' is no more applicable in India. How much ever you may criticize the politician, the reality is we will need honest and good people to ensure good governance.” Mr Goyal said. 
The Minister complimented the efforts of Mumbai Municipal Corporation sweeper Sunil Yadav, who secured the TISS M.Phil degree. “Sunil Yadav securing M.Phil is an inspirational story. It encourages us to contribute to the society,"he said.
Mr Goyal urged the graduating students to be part of the movement of development. 
The Minister honoured the meritorious students with medals and shields in different fields of social sciences. 
Mr S. Ramadorai, Chairman, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, in his welcome address spoke about how the institute collaborated with government in the field of climate change as a run up to the Paris Conference.

India's forex reserves rise by $ 1.52 billion to new high of $ 363.121 billion

Continuing the uptrend of the past several weeks, India's foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 1.52 billion to a new all-time high of $ 363.121 billion in the week ended April 29, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
The country's forex reserves had gone up by $ 1.35 billion to $ 361.601 billion in the previous week.
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had increased by $ 1.487 billion to $ 339.024 billion in the week.
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 20.115 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) went up by $ 12.4 million to $ 1.51 billion.
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) increased by $ 20.5 million to $ 2.471 billion, the bulletin added.

Cabinet nod for leasing of defence land at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai to BEST

The Union Cabinet today approved a proposal for leasing of 73 square metres of defence land at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai to  Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) at a nominal rent of Rs.1 per annum. 
The lease of the land will be initially for a period of 30 years and renewable for another two terms of 30 years each, an official press release said.
This would facilitate installation of the fourth transformer and construction of underground water storage tank with pump house at Naval Dockyard to provide power supply for the new Dry Dock facility under construction, it said.
The installation of the transformer will be undertaken by BEST at its own cost and there will be no financial implications for the Indian Navy. 
The release said the existing power supply is insufficient to cater for the new Dry Dock under construction and there was need for installation of an additional transformer and underground water storage tank with pump house for fire safety within the premises of the dockyard. The lease of land to BEST will only entitle it to  install the transformer and construct underground water storage tank with pump house, whereas the ownership of land shall continue to rest with the Navy. 
The power supply to Naval Dockyard is provided by BEST. At present, there exist three transformers at Main Receiving Sub-Station at the dockyard which are maintained by BEST and cater to existing facilities of the yard only. 

India conducts maiden sea trial of Kalvari, its first Scorpene class submarine

 ‘Kalvari’, the first of the Scorpene class submarines being built at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) here, went to sea for the first time today. 
The submarine sailed out at about 1000 hours under her own propulsion for the first sea trial, off the Mumbai coast.
During the sortie, a number of number of preliminary tests on the propulsion system, auxiliary equipment and systems, navigation aids, communication equipment and steering gear were completed, an official press release said. Various standard operating procedures were also validated for this new class of submarines. 
The submarine then returned to the harbour in the evening, the release said.
"This important milestone was achieved by MDL after overcoming a number of challenges faced since launching of the submarine last year in October," it said.
During the next few months, the submarine will undergo a barrage of sea trials, including surface trials, diving trials, weapon trials, noise trials, and so on, which would test it to the extremes of its intended operating envelope. Thereafter she would be commissioned into the Indian Navy as INS Kalvari later this year. 
"Commissioning of Kalvari will be a re-affirmation of India’s capability to build submarines and a major boost for the ‘Make in India’ programme of the government," the release said.
The release said leveraging on the experience and the transfer-of-technology of the Scorpene project, and with the enhanced and upgraded infrastructure, MDL is ready for undertaking future submarine and shipbuilding projects, in order to meet the growing requirements of national security.
India joined the exclusive group of submarine constructing nations on February 7, 1992, with the commissioning of the first Indian built submarine, INS Shalki, built by MDL.
MDL then went on to commission another submarine, INS Shankul, on 28 May, 1994. These submarines are still in service today.
The ongoing project for the construction of six Scorpene class submarines, has DCNS of France, as collaborator and includes transfer of technology, with MDL as the ‘builder’.
The release said state-of-art features of the Scorpene include superior stealth and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision guided weapons. The attack can be launched with torpedoes, as well as tube launched anti-ship missiles, whilst underwater or on surface. The stealth features give it invulnerability, unmatched by many submarines, it said.
The Scorpene submarine is designed to operate in all theatres including the tropics. All means and communications are provided to ensure interoperability with other components of a Naval Task Force. It can undertake multifarious types of missions typically undertaken by any modern submarine such as anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying, area surveillance, and so on.
The Scorpene is equipped with Weapons Launching Tubes (WLT), and can carry weapons on board which can be easily reloaded at sea, through special handling and loading equipment. The array of weapons and complex sensors fitted on board the Scorpene are managed by a high technology Combat Management System, which integrates various diverse systems fitted onboard into one formidable whole.
Kalvari is the dreaded Tiger Shark, a deadly deep sea predator. As is the tradition, ships and submarines of the Navy, are brought alive after decommissioning. The first Kalvari, which was also the first Indian submarine, was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 8 December 1967. She was decommissioned on 31 May 1996. She will now be re-incarnated, by Mazagon Dock.
"The commissioning of Yard 11875 (Kalvari), will not only mark a generational shift in technology, insofar as submarine construction in India is concerned, but also for submarine operations by the Indian Navy," the release added.

Indian cricket team to tour West Indies in July-August to revive ties

The Indian cricket team will tour the West Indies in July-August this year after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the West Indies Cricket Board resolved outstanding issues arising out of the abandonment of the tour of the West Indies team to India in 2014.
"With this understanding, bilateral series as part of the Future Tours Programme will be resumed with the Indian cricket team touring the West Indies in July-August, 2016 for a four-match Test series," a press release from the BCCI said here today.
Dave Cameron, President of the West Indies Cricket Board said: “We are extremely delighted that concerns which arose due to the incomplete tour have been addressed and would like to thank BCCI for reviving our ties. West Indies cricket appreciates the support of BCCI and the cricket loving fans of the islands keenly look forward to witness some exciting contests between the two teams.”
Anurag Thakur, Honorary Secretary of BCCI, said: “ BCCI is happy to resume their bilateral ties with WICB. We recognise that West Indies has a huge role to play in the development of cricket and we are happy to support their endeavours. This tour will further strengthen the bond between the Indian and the West Indian fans, who have over the years patronized this glorious game of cricket."

FIIs, RFPIs can now invest up to 60% under PIS in Yes Bank: RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) yesterday notified that Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) and Registered Foreign Portfolios Investors (RFPIs) can now invest upto 60 percent the paid-up capita of Yes Bank Limited under the portfolio investment scheme (PIS), up from the existing 49 percent.
The central bank also notified that the total foreign investment from all sources -- Global Depository Receipts (GDR)/American Depository Receipts (ADR)/Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)/Foreign Institutional Investors (FII)/ Registered Foreign Portfolios Investors (RFPIs)/Non-Resident Indians (NRI)/Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) in the company shall not exceed 60 per cent.
The Reserve Bank has stated that the company has passed resolutions at its Board of Directors’ level and a special resolution by the shareholders, agreeing for enhancing the limit for the purchase of its equity shares and convertible debentures by FIIs/RFPIs. The purchases could be made through primary market and stock exchanges, a press release from RBI added.

India's forex reserves rise by $ 1.35 billion to new high of $ 361.601 billion

Continuing the uptrend of the past several weeks, India's foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 1.35 billion to a new all-time high of $ 361.601 billion in the week ended April 22, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
The country's forex reserves had gone up by $ 333.7 million to $ 360.251 billion in the previous week.
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had increased by $ 1.35 billion to $ 337.537 billion in the week.
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 20.115 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) went up by $ 0.1 million to $ 1.498 billion.
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) remained unchanged at $ 2.450 billion, the bulletin added.

Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link in Mumbai to be closed for two nights for renewal works

The Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link in Mumbai will be closed for traffic plying from Bandra to Worli from 10 pm on Monday, May 2 to 6 am on Tuesday, May 3 for carrying out renewal works and resurfacing by bituminous material.
Similarly, traffic in the opposite direction, from Worli to Bandra, will be closed from 10 pm on Tuesday, May 3 to 6 am on Wednesday, May 4, a press release from MEP RGSL Toll Bridge Pvt. Ltd., a subsidiary of MEP Infrastructure Developers Limited, said here today.
The company said that 80 percent of the work was already completed. But the sea link has only 2+2 lanes towards the Worli end and this narrow section made it difficult to carry out the renewal work, even at night, without closing the traffic.
"As such it is essential to close the traffic for execution of the work on any one side each day," it added.

L&T Construction wins orders valued at Rs. 1798 crore

Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said its construction arm had won orders worth Rs. 1798 crore across various business segments in April 2016.
These include an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) order worth Rs. 565 crore won by its Water and Effluent Treatment Business from a customer to provide complete sewer network systems and decentralized state-of-the-art sewage treatment plants with a total capacity 105 million litres per day, a press release from the company said.
The release said the company's Transportation Infrastructure Business had bagged a new order worth Rs. 497 crore from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for engineering, procurement and construction of four-laning of Mukkola junction to Kerala/Tamil Nadu border of NH-47 (new NH-66) under NHDP phase-III in the state of Kerala.
The company's Power Transmission & Distribution Business has won orders worth Rs. 407 crore in domestic and international markets.
Larsen & Toubro Saudi Arabia LLC, a fully owned subsidiary of L&T, has bagged a contract from Saudi Electricity Company for the engineering, procurement and construction of 132 kV overhead transmission lines and cabling works in Artawyah and Zulfi area in Central Operating Area (COA) in Saudi Arabia.
Further in the domestic market, the business has won an order from Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) for engineering, procurement and construction of a new 400/220 kV AIS Sub-Station in Tumkur, Karnataka.
The company's Building & Factories Business has secured a midrise residential project worth Rs. 329 crore from a leading developer in Mumbai. The contract involves civil, structural and finishes for 15 towers each ranging from 10 to 21 floors, the release added.

RIL reports net profit of Rs. 7,398 crore in Q4 -- highest in eight years

Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today reported a net profit of Rs. 7,398 crore in the fourth quarter (Q4) of financial year 2015-16, ended March 31 -- its best quarterly performance in over eight years.
The Q4 net profit was 15.9 percent higher than the figure of Rs. 6381 crore in the same quarter of the previous financial year and 1.5 percent more than the Rs. 7,290 crore achieved in the previous quarter.
The company said it had notched up a record annual consolidated net profit of Rs. 27,630 crore for 2015-16, up 17.2 percent over the previous year.
In a press release, the company said its revenue (turnover) decreased by 8.2% to Rs. 54,189 crore during Q4, while exports decreased by 17.5% to Rs. 30,935 crore. The company achieved a gross refining margin (GRM) of $ 10.8 per barrel for the quarter.
RIL had declared an interim dividend of 105% in March this year, representing a payout of Rs. 3,717 crore. At its meeting here today, the company's Board did not recommend any final dividend. "The interim dividend declared is the dividend on equity shares for the financial year 2015-16," the company said.
RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh D. Ambani said, “FY 2015-16 has been a year of outstanding achievement for our downstream hydrocarbon businesses, notwithstanding persisting global economic uncertainty. Refining and petrochemicals delivered record operating and financial performances. Our refineries sustained double-digit GRMs and record levels of utilization through the year. Our balanced petrochemical portfolio, across products and feedstocks, helped capture the benefit of vastly improved naphtha cracking economics and favourable polymer markets."
"Reliance Retail continued its path of profitable expansion while maintaining a robust revenue growth of 23% during the year.
"Looking ahead, we are focused on ensuring a flawless start- up and stabilization of the new growth platforms across our hydrocarbon and consumer businesses. The commercial roll-out of our Jio services this year will digitally enable a billion Indians and propel growth for India and Reliance," he said.
The release said RIL achieved a consolidated turnover of Rs. 296,091 crore ($ 44.7 billion) for the year ended 31st March 2016, a decrease of 23.8%, as compared to Rs. 388,494 crore in the previous year. The decline in turnover reflects sharp fall in feedstock and product prices during the year, partially offset by record crude throughput and higher petrochemicals volumes. Crude oil price averaged at $ 45.6/bbl in FY16, a fall of 45% on Y-o-Y basis. 
With decrease in oil and product prices, exports from India were lower by 35.8% at Rs. 146,855 crore ($ 22.2 billion) as against Rs. 28,651 crore in the previous year.
For the quarter ended 31st March 2016, RIL achieved a turnover of Rs. 64,569 crore, a decrease of 8.9%, as compared to Rs.  70,863 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.
The decline in revenue was led by the 41.4% Y-o-Y decline in benchmark oil price which averaged at $ 30.4/bbl in 4Q FY16 as compared to $ 51.9/bbl in the corresponding period of the previous year.
Cost of raw materials declined by 27.8% to Rs. 29,051 crore ($ 4.4 billion) from Rs. 40,220 crore on Y-o-Y basis primarily on account of sharp decline in feedstock prices, the release said.
For FY16, Reliance Retail reported a turnover of Rs. 21,612 crore against Rs. 17,640 crore during the same period last year, registering a growth of 22.5%. 
The release said Reliance Retail added 624 stores across various store concepts translating into a store opening rate of 12 stores per week. As on 31st March 2016, Reliance Retail operated 3,245 stores across 532 cities.
The company said its subsidiary Reliance Jio had successfully launched full scale service offerings for the RIL group employees, partners, vendors and associates on a trial basis on 28th December 2015.
"Over half a million users have been onboarded on the network. The initial feedback is very encouraging and has established smooth operations of all aspects of the network. All the digital applications have also been tested extensively as part of the employee launch program. The average monthly consumption per user is in excess of 18GB within the first month of service and is increasing rapidly. Average voice usage is over 250 minutes within the first month. The launch is now being expanded to others in the eco-system. This test program will be progressively upgraded into commercial operations in coming months," it said.

India's forex reserves rise to new high of $ 360.251 billion

India's foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 333.7 million to a new all-time high of $ 360.251 billion in the week ended April 15, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
The country's forex reserves had gone up by $ 157.4 million to $ 359.917 billion in the previous week.
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had inceased by $ 341.4 million to $ 336.187 billion in the week.
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 20.115 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) went down by $ 2.9 million to $ 1.498 billion.
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) decreased by $ 4.8 million to $ 2.450 billion, the bulletin added.

GenNext Hub, Invest Ottawa tie up for building a bridge between the Indian, Canadian startup ecosystems

GenNext Hub, a Reliance Industries Ltd. backed startup program headquartered in Mumbai, today entered into a partnership with Invest Ottawa for creating a bridge to engage innovative startups from India and Canada. 
The spirit of the partnership and collaboration is captured and signified through a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which includes co-branding, events invitation and information sharing, a press release from GenNext Hub said.
The two-year MoU was signed here by Mr. Rajan Luthra on behalf of GenNext Investment Advisors LLP and Mr. Bruce Lazenby, President & CEO, Invest Ottawa, in the presence of Mayor of City of Ottawa  Jim Watson, Canadian Consul General in Mumbai Jordan Reeves, other guests and dignitaries.
The release said Invest Ottawa would scout, evaluate and nominate selected startups from Canada for:
·         Proof of Concept (PoC) focused programs with the Reliance Business Units across selected themes (Logistics, Security, Network)
·         To participate in the GenNext Hub Startup Accelerator Program
·         Connect with ecosystem partners in Canada and USA. This could include:
·         Incubators/Accelerators, Academia, Corporates, Investor Community, Industry Bodies, Mentors, Thought Leaders and Subject Matter Experts, etc.
·         Facilitate a startup exchange program taking the GIH startups to Canada
·         Startups selected by the Invest Ottawa with products/services relevant for the North American markets
·         Provide networking and logistical support for the startups
·         Enable travel for GenNext Hub startups and team members to Canada for developing in-roads into the Canadian ecosystem.

BCCI appoints Rahul Johri as CEO

Rahul Johri
Rahul Johri
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today announced the appointment of Mr Rahul Johri as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). 
Mr. Johri, who was serving as Discovery Networks Asia Pacific’s Executive Vice-President and General Manager for South Asia, will take on his new role starting June 1 onwards, reporting to the Honorary Secretary, BCCI and will be based at Mumbai office, a press release from the Board said.
The release said Mr. Johri would be responsible for the smooth functioning of operations, stakeholder management and building robust strategies for further promoting the sport.
“We are pleased to have Rahul with us and are sure his vast experience and knowledge will benefit the board. His vision, guidance and support will contribute towards the successful working of the BCCI," BCCI President Shashank Manohar said.
BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur said, “We welcome Rahul aboard and wish him luck for his new role at BCCI. In the past one year, BCCI has undertaken various initiatives aimed towards transforming the working of BCCI in order to make the functioning more robust. This endeavor is another initiative of the board aimed in the same direction and will mark as one more milestone towards strengthening the professional working of the BCCI.”
“I am honored at the opportunity to serve millions of Indian cricket fans. It will be my utmost endeavor to contribute to the Indian cricket. I am thankful to the President and Honorary Secretary of the BCCI for bestowing such faith in me. I look forward to everyone's support to fulfill this tremendous responsibility,"Mr. Johri said.

NPCI extends insurance benefit to all RuPay cardholders

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organisation for all retail payments systems in the country, today  announced relaxation for claiming personal accident insurance for all RuPay cardholders in the country.
Earlier in November, this benefit was extended to RuPay Classic cardholders to avail accidental insurance benefit if the cardholder has performed minimum one transaction in 90 days. 
All RuPay cardholders (physical or virtual) have to perform one successful financial or non-financial transaction at ATM, MicroATM, ecommerce, Point of Sale terminal, Business Correspondent of the bank at locations by any payment instrument. 
Further, NPCI has now added the branch transactions performed by the customers as well.
“The main purpose is that account holders should keep their account active by initiating transactions - at ATM, POS, MicroATMs or at branch. Financial inclusion would be fruitful if the customer can stay engaged with the formal banking system,” said Mr. A P Hota, MD & CEO of NPCI.
NPCI has awarded New India Assurance for its RuPay Insurance Programme. Currently, there are over 260 Million RuPay debit cards in force.

Actor Dilip Kumar stable, recovering well after being admitted to hospital

Renowned actor Dilip Kumar, who was admitted to the Lilavati Hospital here for treatment of high fever and chest infection late last night, is recovering well and is stable, his actress-wife Saira Banu said today.
In a statement, she said the 93-year-old actor was advised intravenous (IV) administration of antibiotics for speedy recovery because oral drugs would not act as fast as the IV injectons.
"Hence it became necessary to shift him to a hospital. He is recovering well and is stable by the grace of God and the care of the doctors treating him," Ms. Saira Banu said.
She also clarified that the actor was in a room in the hospital and not in the intensive care unit (ICU) as reported in some quarters.

India's forex reserves rise to all-time high of $ 359.917 billion

India's foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 157.4 million to a new all-time high of $ 359.917 billion in the week ended April 8, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
The country's forex reserves had gone up by a whopping $.4.2 billion to $ 359.759 billion in the previous week.
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had inceased by $ 159.3 million to $ 335.846 billion in the week.
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 20.115 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) went down by $ 0.9 million to $ 1.501 billion.
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) decreased by $ 1 million to $ 2.455 billion, the bulletin added.

Maritime Summit sees agrements entailing investments of Rs. 31,000 crore on day one

As many as 22 agreements entailing investments of around Rs. 31,000 crore were signed on the first day of Maritime India Summit in the presence of Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari.
In all, nearly 140 MoUs/Business Agreements will be signed over two days by various players in maritime sector including Ports, Maritime States and PSUs like Shipping Corporation of India, Cochin Shipyard Limited and Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), an official press release said.
Collectively, these projects entail investments of more than $ 12 billion or Rs. 83,000 crore. The projects cover vast spectrum of activities including port development and modernisation, development of inland waterways, ship building, setting up of LNG terminals and power plants.
One significant MOU signed relates to establishment of a greenfield port at Vadhavan, Maharashtra. Phase I of the project will cost around Rs. 9,167 crore. Shareholders’ agreement for the project was signed between Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and Maharashtra Maritime Board. Once completed, the new port will allow large size ships to enter Indian waters and also help decongest JNPT and Mumbai Port. 
In another landmark development, Andhra Pradesh government entered into a MoU with IWAI for development of National Waterway 4 at an estimated cost of around Rs. 3,000 crore. The National Waterway 4 passes through Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Once developed, it will help take off the roads a significant portion of cargo traffic. 
Petronet LNG has signed a MoU with IWAI to facilitate greater use of LNG in inland water transport, thereby reducing carbon footprint. 
Cochin Shipyard Limited has entered into an agreement with Samsung Heavy Industries to formalise technical cooperation for building LNG ships in India. This will be a first of kind project in the country. 
Gujarat Maritime Board has collaborated with IL&FS to develop a Maritime Services Cluster at GIFT City, Gandhinagar. The proposed cluster will provide all services related to maritime sector and will be the first such initiative in the country. 
Adani group has announced plans to invest around Rs. 28,000 crore over the next five years in various projects. Representative of Adani Ports & SEZ said that the group would invest in new ports in Odisha and Gujarat.
JSW Group owned by the Jindals has also proposed to invest around Rs 10,000 crore over a span of five years, the release added.

Sagarmala National Perspective Plan on port-led development released

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today released the National Perspective Plan detailing the contours of Sagarmala, the government’s flagship programme to promote port-led development in the country at the inauguration of the Maritime India Summit here.
The plan has been crafted after detailed consultations with key stakeholders in the central and state governments, public sector companies as well as private players from shipping, ports, ship-building, power, cement and steel sectors, an official press release said.
It takes forward Sagarmala’s vision of substantially reducing export-import and domestic trade costs with a minimal investment, it said.
Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari told newspersons later that promoting water transportation was a priority of the Government as it would considerably reduce the logistics cost which is very high in India compared to China and European nations.
The report estimates that the programme could lead to annual logistics cost savings of close to Rs 35,000 crore and boost India’s merchandise exports to $110 billion by 2025. About one crore new jobs are estimated to be created, of which 40 lakhs will be direct employment.
The plan is based on four strategic levers – optimizing multi-modal transport to reduce the cost of domestic cargo, minimizing the time and cost of export-import cargo logistics, lowering costs for bulk industries by locating them closer to the coast, and improving export competitiveness by locating discrete manufacturing clusters near ports.
With a coastline of about 7,500 km covering 13 states and Union Territories, India enjoys a strategic location on key international trade routes. Nations like the United States, Japan, Korea and more recently, China, have leveraged their coastline and waterways to drive industrial development. The Sagarmala programme, led by the Ministry of Shipping, aims to replicate these successes in India, the release said.
"The potential for port-led development has for long been constrained in India by high logistics cost, long lead-times and poor linkages between industrial and logistics infrastructure. Growth was hindered by inadequate and poor port capacity. Transportation by waterways has historically remained under utilised although waterways are significantly cheaper compared to road and railways," it said.
The plan identifies specific opportunities for transportation of commodities such as thermal coal, fertilisers, foodgrains, cement and steel by coastal shipping and inland waterways.
It aims to deliver impact through over 150 projects and initiatives in four broad areas. To modernize India’s port infrastructure, 5 to 6 new ports have been proposed to be built. Additionally over 40 port-capacity enhancement projects will be taken up. Besides increasing capacity, these projects will result in a more modern port infrastructure through the mechanization of berths and deepening of drafts to accommodate larger vessels.
The second focus area is port connectivity, where over 80 projects are being planned. These include connectivity infrastructure projects like a heavy-haul rail corridor to evacuate large volumes of coal in Odisha, freight-friendly expressways to enable efficient movement of containers on key routes, and the development of strategic inland waterways.
The third set of projects aims to tap into the potential of port-led industrialization to boost industrial and export growth along the coastline. This will be realized through 14 Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) along the coastline, each of which will house a number of industrial clusters. The clusters will have industries from the energy, bulk materials as well as discrete manufacturing segments, all of which will be able to use high-quality infrastructure which is fully-integrated with the corresponding ports.
Finally, the potential of coastal communities will be harnessed by focused skill-development to support port-led industrialization. The set of initiatives under this head also includes developing opportunities for fishermen and other coastal communities as well as development of the numerous islands along India’s coastline. In terms of economic impact, the program envisages investments of close to Rs 4 lakh crore to flow into infrastructure.
"The Sagarmala program has taken shape using the government’s core philosophy of cooperative federalism. Keeping this in mind, the National Perspective Plan was drawn up with stakeholder consultations in parallel. Momentum on some key projects and initiatives has already picked up even as the plan is being released. Detailed project reports are being drafted for some of the new ports identified in the plan as well as for the connectivity projects like the heavy haul rail corridor. A separate perspective plan for the CEZs and a detailed master plan for major ports are also in the works," it added.

Rohit Sharma's unbeaten 84 takes Mumbai Indians to six-wicket win over KKR

Powered by an unbeaten 84 by skipper Rohit Sharma and 41 by Jos Buttler, defending champions Mumbai Indians carved out a six wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Eden Gardens here tonight.
Put in to bat first, KKR made 187 for five from their 20 overs, thanks to a superb 64 by skipper Gautam Gambir and 52 by Manish Pandey. Andre Russell chipped in 36.
In response, Mumbai Indians, who had lost their opening match to debutants Rising Pune Supergiants by nine wickets last Sunday, made 188 for four to sail past with five balls to spare.
KKR had outplayed Delhi Daredevils by nine wickets with 35 balls to spare in their first outing in this edition of the tournament here on Monday night.
KKR began their innings with a steady start, as openers Robin Uthappa (8) and Gambhir added 21 for the first wicket in 3.4 overs before the skipper and Pandey were involved in a 100-run partnership for the second wicket in 10 overs.
Pandey's 52 came off just 29 balls and included three fours and an equal number of sixes.
Gambhir and Russell kept the scoreboard moving as they added 43 for the third wicket. Once that partnership was broken at 14 in the 18th over, KKR lost a bit of momentum and could add only 23 runs in the last 3.4 overs. Russell made his 36 off 17 balls with the help of one four and four sixes.
Gambhir left at the beginning of the 19th over, with the total at 170. His 64 was compiled off 52 balls and included four hits to the fence and one into the stands.
Colin Munro was run out after making 4, while Yusuf Pathan remained unbeaten with 9 and S A Yadav on 4.
For the Mumbai Indians, Mitchell McClenaghan picked up two wickets for 25 while Hardik Pandya and Harbhajan Singh got one apiece.
Chasing 188 for a win, Mumbai Indians set about their task in right earnest as Sharma and his opening partner Parthiv Patel (23) put on 53 for the first wicket in 5.5 overs.
Gambhir added 34 for the second wicket in the company of Pandya (9) and then took the score to 109 with McClenaghan (20) before he and Buttler added 66 for the fourth wicket.
Sharma's unbeaten 84 was made off 54 balls and included 10 fours and two sixes, while Buttler made his 41 off 22 balls with the help of three fours and three sixes. 
When Buttler left in the 19th over, Mumbai Indians still needed 13 runs from nine balls, but Sharma and Kieron Pollard (1 not out) ensured they reached the target with five balls remaining. Sharma slammed three consecutive fours off the last three balls in the 19th over sent down by Russell and Pollard then took a single off the last over bowled by Piyush Chawla to take them past the line.
Kolkata Knight Riders
RV Uthappa c Pollard b McClenaghan 8
G Gambhir          c Patel b Pandya 64
MK Pandey c & b Harbhajan Singh 52
AD Russell          b McClenaghan 36
YK Pathan not out 9
C Munro run out (Southee/Patel) 4
SA Yadav not out 4
Extras (lb 3, w 7) 10
Total (5 wickets; 20 overs) 187 (9.35 runs per over)
Did not bat: PP Chawla, JW Hastings, Kuldeep Yadav, GB Hogg
Fall of wickets: 1-21 (Uthappa, 3.4 ov), 2-121 (Pandey, 13.4 ov), 3-164 (Russell, 17.2 ov), 4-170 (Gambhir, 18.1 ov), 5-183 (Munro, 19.5 ov)
TG Southee 4 0 43 0
JJ Bumrah 4 0 32 0
MJ McClenaghan 4 0 25 2
HH Pandya 2 0 22 1
Harbhajan Singh 4 0 31 1
J Suchith 2 0 31 0
Mumbai Indians 
RG Sharma not out 84
PA Patel run out (Hogg/Uthappa) 23
HH Pandya c Pandey b Chawla 9
MJ McClenaghan c Munro b Kuldeep Yadav 20
JC Buttler c Yadav b Russell 41
KA Pollard not out 1
Extras (b 1, lb 1, w 8) 10
Total (4 wickets; 19.1 overs) 188 (9.80 runs per over)
Did not bat: AT Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, J Suchith, TG Southee, JJ Bumrah
Fall of wickets: 1-53 (Patel, 5.5 ov), 2-87 (Pandya, 10.1 ov), 3-109 (McClenaghan, 11.5 ov), 4-175 (Buttler, 18.3 ov)
AD Russell          4 0 52 1
JW Hastings 4 0 31 0
GB Hogg          4 0 37 0
PP Chawla         3.1 0 29 1
Kuldeep Yadav 4 0 37 1
Player of the match: Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians)

NPCI launches Unified Payments Interface system

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organisation for all retail payments system in the country, today launched a next generation online payments solution - Unified Payments Interface (UPI) -- which will leverage trends such as increasing smartphone adoption and deeper penetration of mobile data. 
UPI will empower users to perform instant push and pull transactions seamlessly which will transform the way people make payments, a press release from NPCI said.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan launched the UPI along with Mr. Nandan Nilekani, Adviser to NPCI, Mr. Balachandran M., Chairman, Mr. A P Hota, MD & CEO and Mr. Dilip Asbe, COO, NPCI.
“Today a few banks have gone live with UPI out of 29 banks that had concurred to provide UPI service to their customers. We are confident that several banks will join UPI this year and the number will multiply further. Our focus is in line with RBI’s vision of migrating towards a ‘less-cash’ and more digital society. NPCI has always been at the forefront to innovate and introduce new products and services at par with global standards,” said Mr. Hota.
Mr. Nilekani explained a few UPI use cases and addressed the forum to show how could change the landscape of payments in the country. At the event, winners of UPI Hackathon were also felicitated. It was a platform provided for start-up/developer community to accelerate innovation in payments arena in association with Indian Software Product Industry Round Table (iSPIRT).
Vsoft Nerds, CPay, Fundu, Ultra Cash and Enablers emerged as top five winners of the UPI Hackathon.
The release said UPI empowers the recipient to initiate a payment request from a smartphone. It facilitates ‘virtual address’ as a payment identifier for sending and collecting money and works on single click two-factor authentication. It also provides an option for scheduling push and pull transactions for various purposes like sharing bills among peers. 
People can use UPI app instead of paying cash on delivery on receipt of product from online shopping websites and can perform miscellaneous expenses like paying utility bills, over the counter payments, barcode (scan and pay) based payments, donations, school fees and other such unique and innovative use cases.     
The interface is the advanced version of NPCI’s Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) which is a 24x7x365 funds transfer service. UPI will offer a facility to identify a bank customer with an email-like virtual address. It will allow a customer to have multiple virtual addresses for multiple accounts in various banks. In order to ensure privacy of customer’s data, there is no account number mapper anywhere other than the customer's own bank. This allows the customer to freely share the financial address with others. 
A customer can also decide to use the mobile number as the name instead of the short name for the virtual address like 1234567890@sbi, the release added.

L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering secures two more orders from PDO Oman

Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said its wholly owned subsidiary L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering (LTHE) had won two orders valued at approximately $ 370 million from Petroleum Development Oman LLC (PDO). 
The new order wins include engineering, procurement and construction of Saih Nihaydah Depletion Compression Phase 2 (SNDC2) and Kauther Depletion Compression Phase 2 (KDC2) Project, a press release from the company said.
PDO is the foremost exploration and production company in the Sultanate of Oman. It accounts for more than 70% of the country's crude-oil production and nearly all of its natural gas supply. The company is owned by the Government of Oman (which has a 60% interest), Royal Dutch Shell (34%), Total (4%) and Partex (2%).
Saih Nihaydah Field is located in the central Oman area. The field has been producing via the Saih Nihaydah Gas Plant (SNGP) which was commissioned in 2005. Kauther Gas Plant (KGP) is located approximately 120 Km from Saih Rawl-CPP, Oman.
The release said these projects were being implemented to overcome pressure depletion and maintain potential in order to sustain production. LTHE has already executed three projects for PDO -- the Lekhwair Gas Field Development Project ($ 150 million approximately); the Saih Rawl Depletion Compression Project (SRDC2) ($ 235 million approximately), and the Yibal 3rd Stage Depletion Compression (Y3DC) (USD 240 million approximately), the release added.

Pune Supergiants drub Mumbai Indians by 9 wickets in IPL opener

Debutants Rising Pune Supergiants drubbed defending champions Mumbai Indians by nine wickets, with 32 balls to spare, in the opening match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 at the Wankhede Stadium here tonight.
Opting to bat first, the hosts were restricted to 121 for eight in their 20 overs, after struggling at 68 for seven at one stage.
In response, the Supergiants, led by India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, reached 126 for one in 14.4 overs, powered by an unbeaten 66 by opener Ajinkya Rahane. His superb knocm came off 42 balls and was studded with seven fours and three sixes.
Opener Faf du Plessis made 34, while Kevin Pietersen remained unbeaten on 21. du Plessis faced 33 balls and struck one four and three sixes, while Pietersen's 21 not out was made off 14 balls and included two fours.
Mumbai Indians began their title defence on a dismal note, losing skipper Rohit Sharma (7) in the second over, with just 8 on the board. Lendl Simmons (8) and Hardik Pandya (9) added 21 for the second wicket before both batsmen made their exit at 29.
Jos Buttler (0) left a run later and Kieron Pollard (1) was back in the pavilion ten runs down the road to make it 40 four five. Shreyas Gopal (2) left with the total at 51. 
Harbhajan Singh, who topscored for the Mumbai Indians with an unbeaten 45, and Ambati Rayudu (22) added 17 for the seventh wicket before the former put on another 28 in the company of R. Vinay Kumar (12).
Harbhajan Singh's 45, made off 30 balls with seven fours and a six, made it possible for the Mumbai Indians to go past the hundred-mark as he let loose in the last three overs. But his efforts were not enough, given the poor show by the earlier batsmen, and their total was not something their bowlers could defend today.
For the Supergiants, Ishant Sharma and Mitchell Marsh picked up two wickets each, while R P Singh, Rajat Bhatia, M. Ashwin and R. Ashwin got one each.
Supergiants began the chase in style, with Rahane and du Plessis putting on 78 for the first wicket before the latter played Harbhajan Singh onto his wicket.
Rahane and Pietersen then saw their side through without any further loss of wickets to make it a perfect start for the Rising Pune Supergiants in the tournament.
Mumbai Indians 
LMP Simmons b Sharma 8
RG Sharma lbw b Sharma 7
HH Pandya c Dhoni b Marsh 9
JC Buttler c R Ashwin b Marsh 0
AT Rayudu c du Plessis b R Ashwin 22
KA Pollard lbw b Bhatia 1
S Gopal c Rahane b M Ashwin 2
Harbhajan Singh not out 45
R Vinay Kumar c Smith b Singh 12
MJ McClenaghan not out 2
Extras (lb 1, w 12) 13
  Total (8 wickets; 20 overs) 121 (6.05 runs per over)
Did not bat: J J Bumrah
Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Sharma, 1.1 ov), 2-29 (Simmons, 3.5 ov), 3-29 (Pandya, 4.1 ov), 4-30 (Buttler, 4.6 ov), 5-40 (Pollard, 7.1 ov), 6-51 (Gopal, 10.6 ov), 7-68 (Rayudu, 15.1 ov), 8-96 (Vinay Kumar, 18.4 ov)
RP Singh 3 0 30 1
I Sharma 4 0 36 2
MR Marsh 4 0 21 2
R Bhatia 4 1 10 1
M Ashwin 4 0 16 1
R Ashwin 1 0 7 1
  Rising Pune Supergiants 
AM Rahane not out 66
F du Plessis b Harbhajan Singh 34
KP Pietersen not out 21
Extras (lb 1, w 3, nb 1) 5
  Total (1 wicket; 14.4 overs) 126 (8.59 runs per over)
Did not bat: MS Dhoni, SPD Smith, R Bhatia, MR Marsh, R Ashwin, I Sharma, M Ashwin, RP Singh
Fall of wickets: 1-78 (du Plessis, 9.4 ov)
  MJ McClenaghan 3 0 27 0
  JJ Bumrah 3 0 30 0
  R Vinay Kumar 2 0 14 0
  S Gopal 3 0 18 0
Harbhajan Singh 3 0 24 1
HH Pandya 0.4 0 12 0

Thermoware, plastic moulded furniture major Cello launches designer air coolers

Cello, the four-decade-old group which is a household name for its thermoware, fine quality pens and plastic moulded furniture, has ventured into the manufacturing of air coolers by leveraging its long background in high quality plastics and polymers.
The Cello air coolers are manufactured by Wim Plast Ltd., a subsidiary of Cello group.
The coolers have engineering quality polymer bodies, Turbo Cool power cooling and international design aesthetics, a press release from the company said.
"Cello air coolers have improved the traditional science of evaporative cooling into a cutting edge technology. Engineering quality polymer build and lightweight, powerful blowers and fans with improved cooling pads give you Turbo Cooling that no fan can offer, at low costs which no air conditioner can match. This new range of air coolers is designed by Italian and leading Indian designers to bring world-class products to the Indian consumers,” said Madhusudan Jangid, Chief Financial Officer, Wim Plast Ltd.
Cello's range includes all types of consumer coolers such as desert coolers, tower coolers, window coolers and personal coolers. The company has also created a new segment, mini desert coolers, the release said.
In all, the company has launched 23 models of designer coolers in these segments, with water storage capacity ranging from 22 litres to 60 litres. The company has appointed distributors across India and after-sales service centers with service engineers and technicians on the company's payroll to ensure reliable and timely service delivery. It has also set up a toll-free number for Customer Care.
The company has got certification of CE & Saso for these products and other certifications are in the process, the release said.
"Our coolers come with Turbo cooling system which combines powerful air circulation system with compact cooling pads to cool larger area in lesser time and also has other feature like digital model and convenient mobility," said Mr. Jangid.
"The initial response has been very encouraging. Both trade and consumers have appreciated the product and, as summer nears, the secondary sales have started and the company has also started receiving repeat orders from the network," he said.
Cello is planning to build one more dedicated factory for coolers in the next financial year and is looking at possibilities of backward integration, the release added.
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