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Rahane to lead Indian team on Zimbabwe tour; Dhoni, Kohli rested

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane was today named as the captain of the 15-member Indian squad for the Zimbabwe tour starting July 10, with several senior players, including ODI captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli being rested.
 
The selection committee also rested Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin and Umesh Yadav, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced.
 
The Indian team has just returned from a tour of Bangladesh, where it lost the ODI series 1-2, at the end of seven months of continous cricket.
 
The selectors decided to rest several of the seniors and give the younger players a chance to prove themselves.
 
Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has staged a return to the ODI squad after four years.
 
Other notable inclusions include batsman Robin Uthappa, pace bowler Sandeep Sharma, leg-spinner Karn Sharma, opener Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu, pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Manoj Tiwary.
 
Sandeep Patil, chairman of the selection committee, said the disappointing performance in Bangladesh had to be put behind and the team had to move forward.
 
"We have picked this side, looking at the 2016 T20 World Cup,” he said.
 
“We had picked the best possible team that played at the World Cup and keeping the future series in mind, whether it is Sri Lanka, or South Africa home series, Twenty20 World Cup or the Australia series, we have decided to rest a few players, who need urgent rest,” he said.
 
“The selectors’ job is to pick the best possible combination. The rest is left to the team management. Once we select the team, it is left to the captain to make up the playing eleven,” he said.
 
Patil said the selectors were happy with the way Rahane's career had shaped up.
 
"He has been the most consistent batsman for India and we want to see his other aspects. So, we have given him this opportunity and we will keep backing him,”
 
"I feel the side is very good, it is young and holds the future for Team India," BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur said.
 
India and Zimbabwe will play three one-day internationals (ODIs) and two T20 matches during the tour.
 
The following is the India ODI squad for the Zimbabwe tour: Ajinkya Rahane (Captain), Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu, Manoj Tiwary, Kedar Jadhav, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Harbhajan Singh, Axar Patel, Karn Sharma, Dhawal Kulkarni, Stuart Binny, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma.
 
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Railways, Maharashtra govt. ink MoU for railway projects in state

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The Ministry of Railways and the Government of Maharashtra signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) here yesterday for a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for speedy implementation of railway projects in the state.

The MoU was signed in the presence of Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
 
Mr Sunil Kumar Sood, General Manager, Central Railway signed the MoU on behalf of the Ministry of Railways and Mr Gautam Chatterjee, Additional Chief Secretary (Transport and Ports) represented the Maharashtra government.
 
Mr Prabhu said about 75 lakh people travel daily in the Mumbai suburban railway system, which is the lifeline of the city. However, its services were proving to be inadequate due to the increase in population.
 
Mr Prabhu also launched the Rs 11,000 crore third phase of Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP), which is aimed at addressing such issues. He said he had held discussions with Mr Fadnavis on the possible inclusion of elevated roads and elevated rail corridors.
 
A concession agreement between Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) and JSW Infrastructure was also signed on the occasion for a 33.7 km rail line connecting Jaigarh port with Digni station on the Konkan Railway at an estimated cost of Rs 771 crore.
 
The line will be implemented by Jaigarh Digni Rail Limited (JDRL), a joint venture with JSWJPL, KRCL and Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) as the shareholders. 
 
The cost of the project will be funded through a combination of equity and debt and the concession agreement between JDRL with Ministry of Railways (MoR) through KRCL will be valid for a period of 30 years, a press release from JSW said.
 
The alignment for this new railway line passes through difficult terrain of Sahyadri mountains which would necessitate construction of several tunnels. On completion, the corridor is expected to handle around 12 mtpa of cargo.
 
JSW Jaigarh Port is a modern, mechanized, all weather deep water port having a capacity of 15 million tonnes per annum with two berths and is expanding to achieve capacity of 65 mtpa by 2020. After having successfully handled cape size vessel (1,80,000 DWT), it is aiming for direct berthing of next generation vessels, i.e. Vale Max- the dry bulk carrier, Q- Max (the LNG carrier), Triple-E (the largest container carrier) and Very Large Crude Carriers.
 
Mr Sajjan Jindal, CMD, JSW Group, said “The project will usher a new era of development for the region and provide impetus to the economic activities with the new link. The Jaigarh Port will get major boost with the signing of concession agreement for Jaigarh- Digni new rail line. We are sure this will bring a socio economic change in the region by creating more job avenues. We are committed towards the make in India story and will work closely with the government to propel the economic growth”.    
 
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L&T Construction wins orders valued at Rs 2035 crore

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Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said its construction arm had won orders worth Rs 2035 crore across various business segments in June 2015.
 
A press release from the company said these included new orders secured by its Buildings & Factories Business for the construction of office spaces including add-ons. 
 
A major order was secured from a global information technology solutions provider for the turnkey construction of its office building in Hyderabad, it said.
 
The scope involves engineering design, civil, structural, architectural finishes and mechanical, electrical and plumbing works. 
 
Another order was received from a private developer for the construction of an office complex in Mumbai.
 
The company said its Transportation Infrastructure Business won a major engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) order from a reputed infrastructure developer for the construction of 109.54 kms of four lane dual carriage way of the Solapur, Maharashtra - Bijapur, Karnataka road.
 
The scope also involves constructing 46.23 km of service road, six flyovers, 2 railway over bridges (ROBs), three major bridges, 49 minor bridges and 27 underpasses.
 
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India's forex reserves rise by $ 1.17 billion to new high of $ 355.459 billion

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Going up for the fourth consecutive week, India's foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 1.17 billion to a new high of $ 355.459 billion in the week ended June 19, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country's forex reserves had gone up by $ 1.575 billion to the previous high of $ 354.288 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 gone up by $ 1.135 billion to $ 330.717 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 remained unchanged at $ 19.340 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) went up by $ 26.6 million to $ 4.079 billion in the week.
 
 India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) increased by $ 8.5 million to $ 1.322 billion during the week, the bulletin added.
 
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L&T Hydrocarbon wins Rs 2715 crore contract from ONGC

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Infastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said that its subsidiary L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering Limited (LTHE) had bagged an offshore contract for the Bassein Development Project from the Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) valued at Rs 2715 crore.
 
The contract, won against international competitive bidding, encompasses total engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) for the project, a press release from the company said.
 
The scope includes one new process platform having gas processing and compression facilities, one nine-slot well head platform, topside modification on existing platforms, associated subsea pipelines and one living quarter platform in the Bassein Field in western offshore basin of India.
 
The project, part of ONGC’s strategy to enhance the field life and increase recovery of Bassein Field, is scheduled to be completed by December 2017. The cumulative production from the field till 2027-28 is pegged at 19.56 BCM of gas, 1.97 million cubic meter of condensate and 1.83 MMT of oil, the release added.
 
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SEBI eases capital raising for tech start-ups, streamlines process of public issues

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The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has taken a slew of decisions aimed at streamlining the process of public issues and easing capital raising by technological start-ups and other companies through the Institutional Trading Platform.
 
The steps, decided upon at a meeting of its Board here yesterday, are aimed at reducing the post-issue timeline for listing from the existing T+12 days to T+6 days, increasing the reach of retail investors and reducing the costs involved in public issue of equity shares and convertibles.
 
A press release from SEBI said that, presently, more than 99.5 % applications are received from centres where the Applications Supported by Blocked Amount (ASBA) facility is available.
 
Based on an analysis of a few public issues, in terms of amount, ASBA applications account for 99.90% of the total bid amount received from all investors, it said.
 
"Considering the reach and advantages of ASBA, it shall now be mandatory for all investors to make ASBA applications. Amongst many other significant advantages, ASBA enables investors to give the mandate for payment of application money in the application form itself without suffering loss of interest for the intervening period. It also obviates the hassle of refund of money by the issuer as per the difference in application amount and the amount for which shares are finally allotted," it said.
 
In order to substantially enhance the points for submission of applications, Registrar and Share Transfer Agents (RTAs) and Depository Participants (DPs) shall also be allowed to accept application forms (both physical as well as online) and make bids on the stock exchange platform. This will be over and above the stock brokers and banks where such facilities are presently available.
 
To help intermediaries and banks to modify their existing systems and train their staff and also enable the investors to adapt to the new system, there will be a phase-in period of six months. Accordingly, a public issue which opens on or after January 1, 2016 will have to follow the new system, it said.
 
The SEBI Board undertook a review of the extant regulatory framework in the primary market and noted the suggestions of market participants on making the existing avenues for capital raising amenable for accommodating a larger number of start-up companies. 
 
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Accordingly, the Board approved various proposals to amend the regulations concerning the ITP Platform.
 
The platform shall now be called as Institutional Trading Platform (ITP) and shall facilitate capital raising as well. The platform will be made accessible to companies which are intensive in their use of technology, information technology, intellectual property, data analytics, bio-technology, nano-technology to provide products, services or business platforms with substantial value addition and with at least 25% of the pre-issue capital being held by QIBs (as defined in SEBI (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2009), or any other company in which at least 50% of the pre-issue capital is held by QIBs.
 
No person (individually or collectively with persons acting in concert) in such a company shall hold 25% or more of the post-issue share capital. 
 
Considering the nature of business of companies which may list on the platform, disclosure may contain only broad objects of the issue and there shall be no cap on amount raised for General Corporate Purposes. Further, the lock-in of the entire pre-issue capital shall be for a period of 6 months from the date of allotment uniformly for all shareholders. 
 
As the standard valuation parameters such as P/E, EPS, etc. may not be relevant in case of many of such companies, the basis of issue price may include other disclosures, except projections, as deemed fit by the issuers. 
 
Companies intending to list on the proposed ITP, shall be required to file draft offer document with SEBI for observations, as provided in SEBI (ICDR) Regulations, 2009. 
 
Only two categories of investors, i.e. (i) Institutional Investors (QIB as defined in SEBI (ICDR) Regulations, 2009 along with family trusts, systematically important NBFCs registered with RBI and the intermediaries registered with SEBI, all with net-worth of more than Rs. 500 crore) and (ii) Non-Institutional Investors (NIIs) other than retail individual investors can access the proposed ITP. 
 
In case of public offer, allotment to institutional investors may be on a discretionary basis whereas to NIIs it shall be on proportionate basis. Allocation between the said two categories shall be in the ratio of 75% and 25%, respectively. 
 
In case of discretionary allotment to institutional investors, no institutional investor shall be allotted more than 10% of the issue size. All shares allotted on discretionary basis shall be locked-in in line with requirements for lock-in by Anchor Investors i.e. 30 days at present. 
 
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The minimum application size in case of such issues shall be Rs. 10 lakhs and the minimum trading lot shall be of Rs. 10 lakhs. 
 
The number of allottees in case of a public offer shall be 200 or more. 
 
The company will have the option to migrate to main board after 3 years subject to compliance with eligibility requirements of the stock exchanges. 
 
For Category I and II AIFs, which are required under the SEBI (Alternative Investment Funds) Regulations, 2012 to invest a certain minimum amount in unlisted securities, investment in shares of companies listed on this platform may be treated as investment in 'unlisted securities' for the purpose of calculation of the investment limits.
 
The existing companies listed on SME-ITP may continue to be guided by the existing regulatory framework for them including applicable relaxations from compliance with corporate governance requirements.
 
Further, in order to rationalize the disclosures requirements for all issuers whether intending to list on the main board or the proposed ITP, it has been decided that the disclosures in offer document with respect to group companies, litigations and creditors shall be in accordance with policy on materiality as defined by the issuer. However, all relevant disclosures shall be available on the website of the issuer. Also, the product advertisements of an issuer will not be required to give details of public/rights issue.
 
The release said that, in order to enable more number of listed companies to raise further capital using fast-track route, Board approved a proposal to reduce the minimum public holding requirement from Rs. 3000 crore to Rs. 1000 crore in case of FPO and to Rs. 250 crore in case of rights issue, subject to compliance with following additional conditions:
 
In case of rights issue, promoters shall not renounce their rights, except to the extent of renunciations within the promoter group, or for the purposes of complying with minimum public shareholding norms;
Annualized delivery based trading turnover requirement of 10% of the total paid up capital;
 
No conflict of interest between the lead manager and the issuer or its group or associate company in accordance with applicable SEBI Regulations;
 
Shares of the company should not have been suspended from trading as a disciplinary measure in past 3 years;
 
Issuer, promoter group and directors of the issuer should not have settled any alleged violation of securities laws through the consent mechanism with the Board in last 3 years. This is in addition to the existing condition that no show-cause notices should have been issued or prosecution proceedings initiated by SEBI or pending against the issuer or its promoters or whole time directors.
 
A discussion paper was floated on the review of Offer for Sale of Shares (OFS) through Stock Exchange mechanism. The Board considered the comments/suggestions received on the discussion paper and approved the following changes to the present OFS framework:
 
--To ensure increased retail participation in the OFS process, OFS notice shall be continued as per present practice i.e. latest by T-2 days, however, T-2 day shall be reckoned from banking day instead of trading day.
 
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--To simplify the bidding process for retail investors, it would be mandatory for the seller to provide the option to retail investors to place their bids at cut off price (default option) in addition to placing price bids.
 
In order to put in place a policy framework with respect to re-classification of promoters in listed companies as public shareholders under various circumstances, the Board has approved the proposal for putting in place a regulatory framework for the purpose.
 
Existing promoter of a listed entity may cease to be a promoter and/or re-classify itself as public in the following circumstances, on compliance with conditions stated thereunder:
 
Pursuant to change in promoter
 
When a new promoter replaces the previous promoter subsequent to an open offer or in any other manner, re-classification shall be permitted subject to approval of shareholders in the general meeting.
Shareholders need to specifically approve whether the outgoing promoter can hold any Key Management Personnel (KMP) position in the company. In any case, the outgoing promoter may not act as KMP for a period of more than 3 years from the date of shareholders’ approval.
 
The outgoing promoter can’t hold more than 10% shares of the company.
 
Inheritance
 
In case of transmission/succession/inheritance, the inheritor shall be classified as promoter.
 
Company not having any identifiable promoter
 
Existing promoters may be re-classified as public in case the company becomes professionally managed and does not have any identifiable promoter. A company will be considered as professionally managed for this purpose, if:
 
No person or group along with Persons Acting in Concert (PACs) taken together holds more than 1% shares of the company (including any convertibles/outstanding warrants/ADR/GDR Holding).
Mutual Funds/Banks/Insurance Companies/Financial Institutions/ FPIs can each hold up to 10% shares of the company (including any convertibles/outstanding warrants/ADR/GDR Holding).
 
Erstwhile promoters and their relatives may hold KMP position in the company only subject to shareholders’ approval and for a period not exceeding 3 years from the date of shareholders’ approval.
 
The following conditions shall also be applicable:
 
The outgoing promoter shall not have any special rights through any formal or informal arrangements.
The outgoing promoter shall not, directly or indirectly, exercise control over the affairs of the company.
Increase in public shareholding pursuant to re-classification of promoters may not be counted towards achieving compliance with minimum public shareholding (MPS) requirement under clause 40A of equity listing agreement read with rule 19A of the Securities Contracts (Regulations) Rules, 1957 (SCRR).
If any public shareholder seeks to re-classify itself as promoter, it shall be required to make an open offer to the shareholders and would not be eligible for exemption from the said obligation.
The event of re-classification may be disclosed as a material event in accordance with the listing agreement/regulations.
 
In order to remove difficulties in specific cases the Board authorized the Chairman, SEBI to take required measures on a case to case basis.
 
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Navy rescues 20 from listing vessel off Mumbai in daring mission

 
Navy rescues crew of sinking vessel off Mumbai coast
The Indian Navy carried out a daring mission in adverse weather conditions this morning to rescue 20 members of crew of a vessel in distress, Jindal Kamakshi, about 40 nautical miles north-west of the Mumbai harbour.
 
Official sources said 19 members of crew were rescued by a Navy Seaking 42C helicopter, while the master of the Indian-flagged container vessel, who had stayed back, was rescued by a Chetak helicopter of the Indian Coast Guard.
 
The drifting vessel had sent a distress signal around midnight last night, when it was about 100 km from the coast, and the Navy promptly launched a Seaking helicopter and a ship to provide assistance.
 
IIt had reported that it was tilting to one side by 20 degrees. Bad weather further aggravated the situation and the ship therefore closed the shore and anchored about 25 km West of Vasai creek. 
 
The distress call was received by Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC Mumbai). 
 
"Despite heavy winds,rain, pitch dark night and poor visibility, Indian Navy immediately launched a Seaking Helicopter at 12.45 A.M. on 22 June 15. The helicopter went overhead the vessel and carried out a visual assessment and when captain of the vessel intimated that immediate assistance was not required, the helicopter returned to Mumbai. In order to respond to any emergency the guided missile destroyer INS Mumbai was brought to immediate readiness and sailed out at 2.00 A.M. in the morning. The ship arrived at the scene at about 07:30 AM," a press release from the Ministry of Defence.
 
By 6.15 A.M. on 22 Jun 15, the condition had worsened due to strong winds, heavy rains and dangerously high waves. Since the situation onboard the merchant vessel had worsened, the Master requested for assistance in evacuating the crew.
 
"As the weather conditions were unsuitable for rescue by ships, the Seaking helicopter was once again launched at 7.10 A.M. in the morning in poor and adverse weather conditions and the skilled crew commenced rescue operations at 7.45 A.M. Indian Coast Guard being National Maritime Search and Rescue Coordinating Authority (NMSARCA), launched Chetak helicopters from Daman and Mumbai," the release said.
 
MV Jindal Kamakshi is currently at anchor and abandoned. Throughout the rescue by the helicopter, INS Mumbai was continuously present in close vicinity to MV Jindal Kamakshi to provide the necessary support. In addition to INS Mumbai, Indian Coast Guard also diverted one offshore patrol vessel ICGS Samrat, which is also in thevicinity of MV Jindal Kamakshi. 
 
MRCC (MBI) also coordinated with other merchant vessels in the vicinity -- MV SCI Samudra Prabha, MV Seamac 1 and MV Kamat -- to render assistance to the vessel. 
 
Captain and crew have expressed their gratitude for the prompt response of the Navy and Indian Coast Guard in carrying out a daring rescue in most difficult weather conditions. 
 
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L&T wins orders valued at Rs. 1507 crore in metallurgical, material handling business

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Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro today said that its Metallurgical and Material Handling (L&T-MMH) business had secured new orders worth Rs. 1507 crores across various verticals.
 
A press release from the company said these included an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) order from Emirates Global Aluminum (EGA) for its greenfield alumina refinery development project in Al Taweelah, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
 
The scope of the contract involves engineering, procurement, fabrication, erection and associated works for the tankages package, it said.
 
In the domestic arena, L&T-MMH won EPC orders from the public sector SAIL for the installation of a slab caster, and suppressed combustion system along with replacement of basic oxygen furnace converter for modernization of its Steel Melt Shop at Bokaro.
 
L&T–MMH has also secured orders from its existing customers both in Steel & Material Handling Segment. 
 
"These orders are clear signs of improved business prospects in the sector L&T-MMH operates as well as reinforcing the premium position it occupies in the domestic arena and increasing presence in the Gulf. The capabilities of L&T-MMH to provide technology, engineering, manufacturing and construction services coupled with the commissioning and demonstration of performance of all critical units of metallurgical as well as material handling plants give it the unique status of a complete solution provider in the industry," the release added.
 
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Two dead, five injured in Mumbai house collapse

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Two women died and five other persons suffered injuries when a building collapsed during heavy rains in the Bhramnagar area of the city collapsed last night, police said.
 
The injured persons have been admitted for treatment to various hospitals, Police Inspector Shankar Bhore of Khar East police station said.
 
The house collapsed after being weakened by the rains and the water flowing in a drain next to it.
 
Local residents rushed to the area and helped police, fire brigade personnel and others in rescuing the victims from the debris and rushing them to hospital.
 
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Death toll in Mumbai liquor tragedy rises to 94

 
Mumbai liquor tragedy toll rises to 94
The death toll in the liquor tragedy in the Lakshmi Nagar locality of suburban Malad here on Wednesday night has risen to 94, official sources said here today.
 
About 35 others who had consumed the spurious liquor are undergoing treatment in various hospitals, police said.
 
The case has been handed over to the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police, which initially arrested three people in this connection so far. They were identified as Raju Hanmanta Pascar (50), Donald Robert Patel (47) and Gautam Harte (30). Since then, two more persons have been picked up, the sources said.
 
The tragedy occurred at Malawani, near Aksa beach in the Lakshmi Nagar slum area of Malad. People who had consumed the liquor started complaining of symptoms like vomitting, and many of them collapsed before they could be taken to hospital.
 
Police officials said they were collecting details about where the liquor was brewed and sold. They said there were indications that the liquor was being brought in from areas such as Vasai and Kalyan.
 
They were also trying to identify those who had consumed it and take them to hospital as a precautionary measure.
 
Police are also trying to stock sellers who might have stocked up on the liquor and have detained about 25 people in this connection so far, the sources added.
 
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered an inquiry into the incident on Thursday night and had directed officials to submit a report to him within two days.
 
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Death toll in Mumbai liquor tragedy rises to 84, more than 36 hospitalised

 
Mumbai liquor tragedy toll rises to 84
The death toll in the liquor tragedy in the Lakshmi Nagar locality of suburban Malad here on Wednesday night has risen to 84, official sources said here today.
 
About 36 others who had consumed the spurious liquor are undergoing treatment in various hospitals, police said.
 
The case has been handed over to the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police, which initially arrested three people in this connection so far. They were identified as Raju Hanmanta Pascar (50), Donald Robert Patel (47) and Gautam Harte (30). Since then, two more persons have been picked up, the sources said.
 
The tragedy occurred at Malawani, near Aksa beach in the Lakshmi Nagar slum area of Malad. People who had consumed the liquor started complaining of symptoms like vomitting, and many of them collapsed before they could be taken to hospital.
 
Police were collecting details about where the liquor was brewed and the number of people who had drunk it.
 
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered an inquiry into the incident on Thursday night and directed officials to submit a report to him within two days.
 
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Seven Additional Judges appointed to Bombay High Court

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The President has appointed seven new Additional Judges to the Bombay High Court, an official press release said here today.
 
The judges are: Mr Zaka Azizul Haq, Mr Shriram Kalpathi Rajendran, Mr Gautam Shirish Patel, Mr Atul Sharachchandra Chandurkar, Ms Revati Prashant Mohite Dere, Mr Mahesh Sharadchandra Sonak, and Mr Ravindra Vithalrao Ghuge.
 
The appointments will be for a period of three months with effect from 21st June 2015, the release added.
 
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India's forex reserves rise by $ 1.575 billion to new high of $ 354.288 billion

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Going up for the third consecutive week, India's foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 1.575 billion to a new high of $ 354.288 bilion in the week ended June 12, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had gone up by $ 239.4 million to $ 352.714 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 gone up by $ 1.569 billion to $ 329.582 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 remained unchanged at $ 19.340 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) went up by $ 4.2 million to $ 4.053 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) increased by $ 1.4 million to $ 1.313 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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Mumbai liquor tragedy: Death toll rises to 37, more than 25 hospitalised

 
33 dead, 9 critical after consuming spurious liquor in Mumbai
At least 37 people have died after consuming spurious liquor in the Laxmi Nagar locality of suburban Malad here on Wednesday night, official sources said here today.
 
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Detection) Dhananjay Kulkarni said more than 25 people were undergoing treatment in various hospitals. Some of them were said to be in a serious condition.
 
As many as 13 people had died in the incident yesterday and another 24 have died in hospitals during treatment since then, official sources said.
 
The case has been handed over to the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police, which has arrested three people in this connection so far. They were identified as Raju Hanmanta Pascar (50), Donald Robert Patel (47) and Gautam Harte (30).
 
The tragedy occurred at Malawani, near Aksa beach in the Lakshmi Nagar slum area of Malad. People who had consumed the liquor started complaining of symptoms like vomitting, and many of them collapsed before they could be taken to hospital.
 
Police were collecting details about where the liquor was brewed and the number of people who had drunk it.
 
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered an inquiry into the incident last night and directed officials to submit a report to him within two days.
 
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33 dead, 9 critical in Mumbai spurious liquor tragedy

 
33 dead, 9 critical after consuming spurious liquor in Mumbai
At least 33 people have died after consuming spurious liquor in the Laxmi Nagar locality of suburban Malad here on Wednesday night.
 
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Detection) Dhananjay Kulkarni said nine people were in a critical state in hospital and on ventilator support. The death toll could rise further, he said.
 
As many as 13 people had died in the incident yesterday and another 20 died in hospital during treatment since then, official sources said.
 
The case has been handed over to the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police, which has arrested three people in this connection so far. They were identified asRaju Hanmanta Pascar (50), Donald Robert Patel (47) and Gautam Harte (30).
 
The tragedy occurred at Malawani, near Aksa beach in the Lakshmi Nagar slum area of Malad. People who had consumed the liquor started complaining of symptoms like vomitting, and many of them collapsed before they could be taken to hospital.
 
Police were collecting details about where the liquor was brewed and the number of people who had drunk it.
 
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered an inquiry into the incident last night and directed officials to submit a report to him within two days.
 
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L&T Construction wins orders valued at Rs 2278 crore

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Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said its construction arm had won orders worth Rs 2278 crores across various business segments in May-June this year.
 
These included contracts valued at Rs 1258 crore bagged by its  Power Transmission and Distribution Business in the international markets, a press release from the company said.
 
The release said Larsen & Toubro Saudi Arabia LLC, a fully owned subsidiary of L&T, had bagged a contract from National Grid Saudi Arabia (a subsidiary of Saudi Electricity Company) for engineering, procurement and construction of 132 kV cabling work in Hail city and a 132 kV double circuit transmission line in Turaif, Qaseem and Hail areas of Saudi Arabia against stiff competition.
 
A major order has been received from a Government agency to design and build 66 kV substations with associated cabling works in the GCC market, it said.
 
Larsen & Toubro Oman LLC, a subsidiary of L&T, has received an order from Oman Electricity Transmission Company for engineering, procurement and construction of a new 132/33 kV Salalah Free Zone-2 grid station.
 
The release said the company's Heavy Civil Infrastructure Business had won orders worth Rs 1020 crore including add ons.
 
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The consortium of L&T and IHI Infrastructure Systems Company Limited, Japan, has received an EPC order from the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) for the 
construction of special steel bridges over JNPT (Jawaharlal Nehru Port)-Vadodara and Rewari-Dadri sections of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor.
 
The project, divided into three packages consists of eight steel bridges, three minor bridges and two road under bridges (RUBs) as Package CTP 15 A in the JNPT-Vadodara section; a major long span steel bridge across river Narmada, a RUB as Package CTP 15 B in Maharashtra and Gujarat; and two major bridges across Yamuna and Hindon and a RFO (Rail Fly Over) as Package CTP 15 C in Haryana.
 
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Trains affected, schools closed as heavy rains lash Mumbai

Normal life in Mumbai was affected as heavy rains lashed the metropolis on Friday, leading to disruption of rail and road traffic even as many schools were closed on the directions of the municipal authorities.

 
Trains disrupted, schools shut as heavy rains lash Mumbai
Normal life in Mumbai was affected as heavy rains lashed the metropolis today, leading to disruption of rail and road traffic even as many schools were closed on the directions of the municipal authorities.
 
Official sources said all train services on Central Railway and Western Railway, including the suburban services, were badly hit by the trains. Many low-lying areas were water-logged.
 
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued an advisory to schools, asking them to remain shut down.
 
A spokesperson for Central Railway said that, due to continuous heavy rains and waterlogging on the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)-Kurla section, suburban services were suspended between CST and Kurla on the main line and CST and Mankhurd on the harbour line.
 
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The Central Railway has regulated the running of various trains as under:
 
12110 Manmad-Mumbai Panchvati Exp short terminated at Kasara and will run as 12109 Panchvati Exp from Kasara on 19.6.2015
 
 12118 Manmad-LTT Exp short terminated at Nasik Road and will run as 12117 Exp from Nasik Road on 19.6.2015
 
12126 Pune-Mumbai Pragati Exp short terminated at Panvel and will run as 12125 Pragati Exp from Panvel on 19.6.2015
 
 12124 Pune-Mumbai Deccan Queen short terminated at Lonavala and will run as 12123 Deccan Queen from Lonavala on 19.6.2015
 
12140 Nagpur-Mumbai Sewagram Exp short terminated at Igatpuri and will run as 12139 Sewagram Express from Igatpuri on 19.6.2015
 
11010 Pune-Mumbai Sinhagad Exp short terminated at Kalyan and will run as 11009 Sinhagad Exp from Kalyan via Panvel on 19.6.2015
 
11024 Kolhapur-Mumbai Sahyadri Exp short terminated at Chinchwad and will run as 11023 Sahyadri Exp from Pune on 19.6.2015
 
Trains cancelled on 19.6.2015:
 
·       11007 Mumbai-Pune Deccan Express
·       11008 Pune-Mumbai Deccan Express
·       12127 Mumbai-Pune Intercity Express
·       12128 Pune-Mumbai Intercity Express
·       22105 Mumbai-Pune Indrayani Express
·       12169 Pune-Solapur Intercity Express
·       12170 Solapur-Pune Intercity Express
·       22106 Pune-Mumbai Indrayani Express
·       12051 Dadar-Madgaon Janshatabdi Express
·       17617 Mumbai-Hazur Sahib Nanded Tapovan Express
·       51153 Mumbai-Bhusaval Passenger
 
Trains Cancelled on 20.6.2015
 
·       12052 Madgaon-Dadar Janshatabdi Express
·       17618 Hazur Sahib Nanded-Mumbai Tapovan Express
·       51154 Bhusaval-Mumbai Passenger
 
A press release from Central Railway urged passengers to check the departure/arrival of long distance trains on www.enquiry.indianrail.gov.in/ntes or by dialling 139 or downloading the App NTES for real time status.
 
It said long distance trains terminating/originating from CST/Dadar are regulated in the section while long distance trains from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) are delayed.
 
Trains on the Western Railway were running slow and delayed, official sources said.
 
The India Meteorological Department had forecast intermittent rains and showers in the city and suburbs, with heavy to very heavy rains in some areas.
 
A spokesman for the BMC said 120 suction pumpos were deployed across the city in low lying areas. BES&T bus services were also affected, with many bus diverted along alternate routes.
 
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the BMC Control Room this morning and discussed the situation with the Chief Secretary, the Municipal Commissioner and other top officials.
 
Mr Fadnavis appealed to the people to avoid going out of their homes and especially avoid going near the sea in view of the high tide expected in the afternoon.
 
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence said the Indian Navy was fully geared up to provide any assistance to the people of Mumbai.
 
Naval divers and rescue teams with inflatable boats had been pre-deployed across the city as per standard operating procedures, official sources said. Sea King helicopters were on stand by at Colaba, they said.
 
"The Indian Navy is in touch with the BMC, the Disaster Management Cell and other civic authorities," they added.
 
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Renowned architect Charles Correa passes away

Charles Correa
Charles Correa
Charles Correa, celebrated as one of India's greatest architects for his post-war work in the country in which he connected modernism with local traditions, passed away after a brief illness at a private hospital here late last night.
 
He was 84. He is survived by his wife Monica, son Nakul, and daughter Nondita and son-in-law Rahul Mehrotra, who are both well-known architects in their own right.
 
His funeral will be held at 11 am tomorrow at the Portuguese Church in Dadar, which he had designed.
 
Mr Mehrotra told NetIndian over the telephone that Correa breathed his last around 11.30 pm yesterday at the Breach Candy Hospital here, where he was undergoing treatment for some time.
 
Born on September 1, 1930 in Secunderabad, Correa studied architecture at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States. He began practising as an architect in Mumbai in 1958.
 
As an architect, urban planner, theoritician and activist, he was respected for his sensitivity to the needs of the urban poor and fo rhis use of traditional methods and materials.
 
He was honoured by the Government with the Padma Shri in 1972 and the Padma Vibhushan, the country's second highest civilian honour, in 2006.
 
Correa designed some of the most outstanding buildings in India, including the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial at the Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad; the Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur, and the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly in Bhopal.
 
He also worked on townships and public housing projects Delhi, Bombay, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and other cities in India. 
 
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From 1970-75, he was Chief Architect for Navi Mumbai, an urban growth centre of 2 million people. In 1985, then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi appointed him Chairman of the National Commission on Urbanism.
 
He received many of the world's most important architecture awards including the RIBA Royal Gold Medal (1984), Aga Khan Award for Architecture (1988) and Japan’s Praemium Imperiale (1994).
 
Correa taught at several universities in India and abroad, including MIT, where he was Farwell Bernis Professor in the School of Architecture and Planning. 
 
In 1984, he founded the Urban Design Research Institute in Bombay, dedicated to the protection of the built environment and improvement of urban communities. 
 
Between 2005 and 2008, he was Chairman of the Delhi Urban Arts Commission. 
 
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Bachchan, Graphic India join Disney Channel India for animated series "Astra Force"

Graphic India and Disney Channel India announced today that renowned Hindi movie star Amitabh Bachchan will start production on a 52-episode animated series, “Astra Force".
 
The series created by Bachchan and Graphic India CEO Sharad Devarajan is slated to air on Disney Channel India in 2017.
 
"I am truly excited to be collaborating with my friends Sharad Devarajan at Graphic India and Sid Roy Kapur at Disney to launch this exciting new superhero series, ‘Astra Force'," said Bachchan.
 
"In the same way animation from other markets has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide, it’s now India’s time to create new heroes and animated shows to spark the imaginations of children all across the world," he said.
 
Billed as a funny and fast-paced, action-adventure series, filled with laughs and thrills, “Astra Force” tells the story of a mythical hero from a distant world, who was stranded on Earth millions of years ago after an epic space battle, a press release from Graphic India said.
 
When 8-year old brother and sister twins accidentally awaken the mythical superhero from his long hibernation, they must teach him about our modern world and join Astra to save the universe from a new wave of giant monsters and intergalactic threats. If monsters were not enough, Astra’s new young friends also have to hide the superhero from their parents and deal with Astra’s insatiable hunger for modern desserts after an eternity spent in hibernation.
 
“At Disney, we believe in showcasing great stories with compelling characters that are loved by our audiences. It is imperative to get the local texture right for any story to resonate and emotionally connect with the viewers. With Mr. Bachchan associating with Graphics India and Disney Channel India on ‘Astra Force,’ we will be bringing an interesting facet to storytelling in the local animation space,” said Kapur, Managing Director, Disney India.
 
“Amitabh Bachchan is a real life superhero to millions, including myself, so it’s no surprise that he is the perfect person to become immortalized in this new animated avatar,” Devarajan said.
 
“The opportunity to collaborate with Mr. Bachchan on ‘Astra Force’ is made that much stronger by partnering with Disney, a company whose creativity and storytelling I have admired all my life," he said.
 
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"Disney Channel India has been entertaining kids and families through a range of locally relevant stories spread across high-quality animation and live-action series. 'Astra Force' will be the perfect complement to the line-up of existing shows," the release said.
 
Devarajan is the producer on “Astra Force” along with Jeevan J. Kang, SVP Creative at Graphic India, who is overseeing visual development, character design and art for the project. Graphic’s previous animated superhero, Chakra The Invincible, was created with Stan Lee (co-creator of Spider-Man, Iron Man and The Avengers) and received over 30 million views globally on Rovio’s ToonsTV platform available through the Angry Birds app.
 
In addition to the partnership with Disney Channel India, Graphic India will also be launching the character in a series of digital and print comic books available through a special Facebook comic app through Bachchan’s large social media following. 
 
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Southwest monsoon advances over Mumbai: IMD

 
Monsoon arrives in Mumbai: IMD
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) today said the south-west monsoon had arrived in Mumbai as rains lashed several parts of the city and its suburbs since last night, bringing the minimum temperature down significantly.
 
Many parts of the metropolis were waterlogged and traffic was disrupted at several places.
 
"The southwest monsoon has further advanced into some parts of north Arabian Sea, south Gujarat region, remaining parts of Konkan, most parts of Madhya Maharashtra, Marathawada, some parts of Vidarbha, south Chhattisgarh, south Odisha, remaining parts of north interior Karnataka, Rayalaseema, entire Telangana, most parts of coastal Andhra Pradesh, remaining parts of central and northeast Bay of Bengal, Sikkim, some parts of northwest Bay of Bengal and West Bengal," the IMD said.
 
The Northern Limit of Monsoon (NLM) passed through Lat. 20.5° N / Long. 60°E, Lat. 20.5° N / Long. 70° E, Valsad, Aurangabad, Chandrapur, Jagdalpur, Kalingapatnam, Lat. 20° N / Long. 89°E, Krishnanagar and Darjeeling, it said.
 
"Conditions are favourable for further advance of southwest monsoon into some more parts of north Arabian sea, south Gujarat, remaining parts of Maharashtra, coastal Andhra Pradesh, northwest Bay of Bengal, West Bengal, some more parts of Chhattisgarh & Odisha and some parts of south Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand & Bihar during next 3-4 days," the bulletin said.
 
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India’s forex reserves rise by $ 239.4 million to $ 352.714 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves went up by $ 239.4 million to $ 352.714 billion in the week ended June 5, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had risen by $ 917.5 million to $ 352.474 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 gone up by $ 192.9 million to  $ 328.012 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 thereserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves increased by $ 4.5 million to $ 19.340 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) went up by $ 31.7 million to $ 4.048 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) increased by $ 10.3 million to $ 1.312 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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Reliance nearing realisation of Rs 200,000 crore investment programme: Ambani

Reliance logo
Reliance logo
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman & Managing Director Mukesh Ambani today said the energy and petrochemicals major was nearing the realisation of its largest investment programme in its history of more than Rs 200,000 crore.
 
"This is our contribution to our most respected Prime Minister's clarion call of Make in India – over Rs. 100,000 crore committed to strengthening our refinery and petrochemical business and over Rs 100,000 crore invested in enabling the realisation of a 'Digital India'," he told the 41st annual general meeting of the company here today.
 
"We are committed to creating societal value at par with our financial value. We aim to be among the largest employers in India offering opportunities to hundreds of thousands people in our of
consumer businesses. And partner with lakhs of small businesses, kirana and budding entrepreneurs and make them more productive.
 
"We will create an ecosystem which will catalyse entrepreneurship through our Jio and Retail businesses. We will be in the top quartile in terms of return on capital employed and operating costs across all our refining and petrochemical plants," he said.
 
Mr Ambani said RIL's investments were entirely in building assets in India and showed its unwavering faith in the economic prospects of the country and the aspirations of millions of consumers.
 
"We have over 100,000 people at Jamnagar working round the clock to complete the projects in petrochemicals and refining. This makes Jamnagar one of the largest constructions sites in the world today. At the same time over 150,000 people across India are engaged in building out the network and distribution apabilities
to make Jio our telecom broadband business a reality," he said.
 
"The full benefits of this entire investment cycle will be realised from the year 2016-17 onwards. We will have a unique portfolio of globally competitive petrochemical and refining business with a new age India-centric consumer business with very high growth potential. This will place Reliance in a select group of most valuable companies in the world," he said.
 
Mr Ambani said RIL's earnings before taxes and net profit in 2014-15 were both the highest in the company's history. Its capital expenditure in the year of Rs 100,000 crore was not only the highest by the company in a year but the highest by an Indian companye ever in a year, he said.
 
"We raised the highest amount of debt capital at very competitive cost to finance our growth. We improved our credit ratings internationally which gave us continuing access to public debt markets. We are among the 10 most admired companies in India to work for," he said.
 
He said RIL exported products worth Rs. 228,651 crore to over 120 countries during the year and paid Rs.18,746 crore of customs and excise duty during the year, which is almost 5% of India's total revenues from customs and excise duty.
 
Reliance is also the highest Income tax payer in the private sector in India and paid Rs.6 124 crore as income tax during the year, he said.
 
Mr Ambani said RIL was the largest integrated polyester manufacturer globally, amongst the top 10 producers globally of PX, PTA, MEG and PP and the largest producer of synthetic elastomers in India.
 
"We will be ready for start-up of another 1.15 million tons per annum of PTAcapacity at Dahej by October this year. With this, our total PTAcapacity will be 4.5 million tons per annum, making us the fifth largest PTAproducer in the world. Our world scale PX plant that will double capacity to 4.2 million tonnes per annum will be ready for start-up by the end of this financial year. With this expansion, we will be the second largest PX producer globally.
 
"In our plastics business, we are building a world scale 1.5 million tons ethylene cracker at Jamnagar. This will be ready for start-up in the third quarter of the next financial year," he said.
 
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Mr Ambani said that, in order to enhance the competitiveness of RIL's existing ethylene crackers at Nagothane, Hazira and Dahej, the company was working aggressively in creating infrastructure for transporting feedstock ethane from the US to India.
 
"We will be the first to execute this globally at this magnitude and scale. This will be ready for start-up by December 2016," he said.
 
Mr Ambani said Reliance had posted a gross refining margin (GRM) of $8.6/bbl, outperforming Singapore benchmark yet again, with a premium of $2.3/bbl. He said its Jamnagar refineries processed 480 million barrels of crude, at an average operating rate of nearly 110%, which is significantly higher than its regional and global peers.
 
He said the deregulation of diesel prices in India during the year had opened up an opportunity for Reliance to re-enter the
domestic retail market. 
 
"We will now once again be able to offer Indian consumers, a unique, high quality retail experience through various value propositions. We plan to re-commission the entire network of petroleum retail outlets by the end of FY 2015-16. Currently, close to 400 outlets are operational," he said.
 
He said RIL was implementing a coke gasification facility at Jamnagar, which will convert low value petroleum coke to a clean energy source for its refinery complex. Upon completion, the project is expected to save nearly $ 1.5 billion annually by substituting imported LNG with the gas produced by it.
 
"The hydrocarbon rich refinery off-gases freed as a result of this project will be utilized as feedstock for petrochemical plants," he said.
 
On the oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) business, he said the KG-D6 block had already produced nearly 2.5 TCF of natural gas and about 27 MMBBL of crude oil, which have so far
substituted over $ 34 billion of energy imports.
 
"We, along with our partner BP, believe in the potential and promise of India's deep waters. BP brings unmatched global expertise in deep water exploration and production to this country.
We have constantly innovated to maximize recovery and sustain production from the KG-D6 block, despite these being located in one of the most challenging geological reservoirs," he said.
 
"We are aware that the domestic E&P business, while creating huge economic value to the country, has generated shareholder returns lower than the cost of capital. This is in sharp contrast to other domestic infrastructure sectors such as roads, fertilizers and power where 12 to 16% returns are assured under the policy.
 
"It is important to highlight that there is value yet to be unlocked from 5-6 TCF of resources discovered at various stages of development, appraisal and approval. These developments are very capital intensive and technically challenging which requires cutting edge technologies – a challenge that your company is known to take on and excel in execution. We are aware that future investments hinge upon the continuing confidence of our shareowners in this high risk business," he said.
 
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Mr Ambani also said RIL was constructively engaged with the Government to resolve legacy issues in a timely manner with regards to its rights to cost recovery, gas pricing and other issues to create value for the nation and its shareholders.
 
"In this context, it is important to follow the intent, purpose and commitment of the NELP Policy i.e maximising E&P activities, getting the risk reward balance right and providing marketing and pricing freedom. This will provide predictability and certainty to the investors. We are hopeful that the Government will address this policy issue in the larger interest of attracting investments in the
critical E&P business," he said.
 
Mr. Ambani said Reliance Retail, which operates across various product categories and formats, had attained revenues of over Rs
17,000 crore in the last year and record profits of Rs 784 crore at an EBITDA level.
 
He said 930 new stores had been added last year, which worked out to five every two days and the company now had a network of more than 2600 stores and presence in 200 cities in 20 states. 
 
"We are committed to scaling up our retail presence across formats from 200 cities to over 900 cities by next year," he said.
 
"This year will bring about disruptive shopping experience for consumers as they embrace technology and get access to anytime anywhere shopping. With the advanced internet infrastructure built by Jio and a robust physical retail business built by Reliance Retail, we will create a differentiated e-commerce model for India," he said.
 
"This model will entail seamless integration of online and offline while innovating across superior customer experience, delivery services and payment ecosystem," he said.
 
Mr Ambani said Reliance Jio was one of the largest transformational green-field digital initiatives anywhere in the world.
 
"Jio is now present in all of the 29 states of India, with a direct physical presence in nearly 18,000 cities and towns of our
nation. Jio's wireless footprint extends even further and covers over one lakh villages. We are expanding this footprint to cover nearly 80% of India's population by the end of this year. Our roadmap is to have 100% national coverage within the next three years," he said.
 
"Jio is the first 4G broadband wireless operator to achieve wireless coverage far in excess of the rollout obligation as per its license conditions. In rural areas, we are prioritizing connectivity to thousands of schools. This is to ensure that the benefit of our broadband initiative is first and foremost felt by students who stand to gain the most by accessing the Information highway.
 
"Jio has also deployed a network of nearly 250,000 route kilometres of fibre optics, thereby creating a future-proof digital backbone across India," he said.
 
Mr Ambani said that, over the next three years, Jio would more than double its fibre footprint by deploying fibre optics in the last mile.
 
"We are using this deep fibre network also to ramp-up our Fibre-to-the-Home deployment. By April of next year, we would have connected over 1 million homes via fibre with a capability of rapidly scaling up in the top 50 cities of India.
 
"Jio is the only operator in the world providing next generation digital services over an end-to-end all-IP network. We are also connecting Enterprises, SMB, and SME customers over this high speed IP network, enabling advanced services using cloud based solutions," he said.
 
Mr Ambani said that, in addition to this domestic fibre optic capacity, Jio had created a multi-terabit capacity international network. More than half of Internet traffic served by Jio will be carried end-to-end on Jio's own network, creating an unparalleled
customer experience, he said.
 
"Across the world, a full-blown social, mobile, digital and cloud revolution is underway. To support India's prominent participation in this revolution, Jio has operationalized nearly half a million square feet of its own next-generation cloud data centres. Work is underway to double this capacity over the next year," he said.
 
Jio's cumulative investment in spectrum assets has gone up to nearly Rs 34,000 crores and it now has the largest footprint of liberalized spectrum in the country, acquired in an extremely cost effective manner, he said.
 
"All the key components of the Jio broadband network are now operational. As we speak, we have an end-to-end initial capacity to serve in excess of 100 million wireless Broadband and 20
million Fibre-to-the-Home customers, with capability to easily expand further as the business scales up. 
 
"We are currently in the pre-launch testing and stabilization phase of this large and complex network. Over the next few months, we will initiate an extensive beta launch involving millions of friendly customers across all our markets. This beta program will be upgraded into commercial operations around December of this year.
 
"I am glad to announce that financial year 2016-17 will be the first full year of commercial operations for Jio," he said.
 
He said Jio had also applied for a pan-India cable television multi-system operator (MSO) license and has plans to enter into broadcast TV distribution.
 
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Mahindra Holidays to increase stake in Holiday Club Resorts Oy, Finland

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The Investment Committee of the Board of Directors of leisure hospitality provider Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited (MHRIL) today approved the exercise of its option to increase its stake in Holiday Club Resorts, Oy, Finland (HCR) up to ~88%.
 
Holiday Club Resorts Oy, Finland is Europe’s leading vacation ownership company, with 30 resorts in Finland, Sweden and Spain. 
 
A press release from MHRIL said the company presently owns 23.3% of HCR and with the exercise of the call option, the shareholding of MHRIL in HCR can go up to 88%.  The balance 12% are primarily held by the management.  The investment required for this 64.7% stake is euro 28 million.  
 
MHRIL said it would make this investment through its overseas subsidiaries. The deal is expected to be completed in a 2-3 month time-frame, subject to customary regulatory approvals in different countries, it said.
 
In addition, MHRIL may invest an additional upto 10 million euros in Holiday Club in the form of equity/loan, or in any other manner, to finance the growth of the company in the near future, the release said.
 
Mr. Arun Nanda, Chairman, MHRIL, said, “I am extremely pleased that Mahindra Holidays has decided to exercise its option to increase its stake in Holiday Club Resorts, Finland upto ~88%, well ahead of the exercise period deadline of 2016.  Our experience of working with the local management of Holiday Club over the last one year has given us the conviction that they are the right partner for our growth strategy in Europe and the Middle East.  With this, MHRIL together with Holiday Club will become the world’s largest vacation ownership company based outside the United States.”
 
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Mr Kavinder Singh, Managing Director and CEO, Mahindra Holidays, said, “With the increase of stake in Holiday Club, we see a huge potential for synergy between the two market leaders in the areas of technology, new products, and member services. This acquisition will further strengthen Club Mahindra’s proposition of providing leisure family holidays at unique destinations. Our 1.83 lakh members will now have an added choice to visit HCR’s resorts in Europe, alongside our existing 45 resorts in India and abroad."
 
Mr Vesa Tengman, Chief Executive Officer, Holiday Club Resorts Oy, Finland, said, “I am glad that Mahindra Holidays has decided to exercise the option to increase its ownership in Holiday Club Resorts. I believe that the coming together of the two local market leaders will provide significant synergies. Our management is excited about all the opportunities that will come along with the deeper cooperation with Mahindra Holidays."
 
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ICICI Bank appoints M K Sharma as new non-executive Chairman

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The Board of Directors of ICICI Bank Limited, at its meeting held here today, approved the appointment of Mr. M. K. Sharma as its new non-executive Chairman for a period of five years.
 
Mr Sharma will succeed Mr. K. V. Kamath, who will shortly step down from the Board consequent to his nomination as the first President of the New Development Bank being established by the BRICS nations, a press release from the bank said.
 
The appointment of the new non-executive Chairman is subject to the prior approval of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and would be effective July 1, 2015 or the date of receipt of RBI approval, whichever is later, it said.
 
Mr. Sharma was formerly the Vice Chairman of Hindustan Unilever Limited. He is an independent director of several leading companies and has been a member of Government committees relating to corporate law and corporate governance.
 
He was an independent Director on the Board of ICICI Bank for eight years from 2003 to 2011. He is currently an independent Director of two subsidiaries of the bank, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company and ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company. 
 
"The Board felt that Mr. Sharma’s long experience & expertise in legal & corporate governance matters as well as companies in diverse businesses would prove invaluable in providing guidance & leadership to the Board, and his long association with the ICICI Group would provide stability & continuity," the release said.
 
The Board congratulated Mr. Kamath on his new role and placed on record its deep appreciation of his outstanding contribution to the ICICI Group, as the Chairman of the Board of ICICI Bank since 2009 and as the CEO prior to the same, it added.
 
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ErosNow signs content acquisition deal with Pakistan’s Hum TV

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ErosNow, the online entertainment portal from film entertainment major Eros International, today said it had signed a content acquisition deal with Hum TV of Pakistan.
 
Under the deal, registered users of ErosNow across the world will get access to Hum TV's entire library, including the current shows, at no extra subscription cost.
 
The deal also gives ErosNow subscribers in India an exclusive opportunity to view the content 48 hours prior to its telecast on any other platform, a press release from the company said.
 
"Hum TV is a 24-hour entertainment TV channel in Pakistan. The channel provides consistent high quality programming across a wide spectrum of genres. The members of ErosNow will be privy to some of Hum TV’s most popular television shows like Zindagi Gulzar Hai, Humsafar and Dastaan," the release said.
 
Ms Rishika Lulla Singh, CEO, ErosNow said, “We are extremely happy to introduce Pakistan’s popular soaps to a new digital generation of South Asians globally and add to our roster of content. The partnership with a leading channel like Hum will give our subscribers an opportunity to view the much sought after and varied Pakistani content.”
 
Ms Sultana Siddiqui, President, Hum Network Limited, said, “We at Hum are delighted to partner with ErosNow, a leading global digital entertainment provider. This association enables us in reaching out and providing some of our best Pakistani content to millions of keen internet users across the globe.”
 
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