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RBI to issue new Rs. 50 and Rs. 20 banknotes, old ones will continue to be legal tender

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today said it would shortly issue new Rs. 50 and Rs. 20 banknotes but made it clear that all the notes issued in these denominations in the past would continue to be legal tender.
 
The new Rs. 50 banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi series-2005 would be without inset letter in both the number panels, with numerals in ascending size in number panels, and without intaglio printing, a press release from the central bank said.
 
The new Rs. 20 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005 woud have inset letter ‘L’ in both the number panels, it said.
 
The notes will bear the signature of RBI Governor Urijit Patel and have the year of printing '2016' printed on the reverse, the release added.
 
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Govt. acts against 33 bank officials for irregular transactions after demonetisation

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The Government today said action had been taken against 33 officials of various public sector banks so far for carrying out irregular transactions in violation of the instructions of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) following the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 bank notes with effect from the midnight of November 8.
 
An official press release said 27 bank officials had ben placed under suspension and six had been transferred to non-sensitite posts.
 
According to the release, pursuant to the demonetisation decision, banks had done commendable work by putting in long hours of untiring effort in managing banking transactions.
 
"Some cases have come to notice, however, of officials involved in carrying out transactions which were irregular and violative of RBI’s instructions," it said.
 
"While all efforts are being made to facilitate genuine transactions, illegalities will not be tolerated and appropriate action will be taken against individuals involved in irregular and unauthorised activities," the release added.
 
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India's forex reserves fall by $ 193.8 million to $ 365.306 billion

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Falling for the third consecutive week, India’s foreign exchange reserves dipped by $ 193.8 million to $ 365.306 billion in the week ended November 25, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had gone down by $ 1.542 billion to $ 365.5 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 down by $ 187.1 million to $ 341.089 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 $ 20.461 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) decreased by $ 2.7 million to $ 1.442 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 4 million to $ 2.314 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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Reliance Jio extends free data, voice, video, content for another three months

Telecom services provider Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) on Thursday extended freebies such as free data, voice, video, applications and content to its subscribers for another three months upto March 31, 2017.

 
Reliance Jio to provide free services till March 2017: Mukesh Ambani
Telecom services provider Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) today extended freebies such as free data, voice, video, applications and content to its subscribers for another three months upto March 31, 2017.
 
RJIL is a subsidiary of energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and had launched its services on September 5 this year with a three-month Jio Wecome Offer with the free services for subscribers. During this period, the company has enrolled 52 million subscribers.
 
"The benefits will be available to all subscribers signing up for Jio services up to 3 March 2017. The existing Jio Welcome Offer users will continue to enjoy the unlimited benefits under JWO up to 31 December 2016, following which they would be automatically signed-up for the JNO as well," RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said.
 
Mr. Ambani said that, considering 80% of Jio subscribers use upto 1 GB of data daily, while the remaining 20% use disproportionately more data, Jio has limited the high-speed-data quantity to 1 GB per day per user, following which the speed will be reduced to 128 Kbps. This step has been taken to ensure that all the Jio users get superior data experience, he said.
 
Attractive tariff options have been offered for subscribers wishing to consume additional data beyond 1 GB per day at regular speed as part of the JNO, he said.
 
Mr. Ambani said that, in the past three months, Reliance Jio had come the fastest growing technology company ever in the world.
 
"In the first three months since its birth, Jio has grown faster than Facebook, WhatsApp or Skype. In 83 days, Jio has crossed 50 million customers on its 4G LTE all-IP wireles broadband network," he said.
 
Mr. Ambani said that, on average, a Jio customer is using 25 times more data than the average Indian broadband user. "A Jio customer today is consuming data on par with, and in many cases more than, sophisticated users anywhere in the world," he said.
 
He said Jio had signed up more than six lakh customers every single day for the past three months. He said the company had fast-tracked Aadhaar-based e-KYC roll-out nationall, allowing SIM activation in under five minutes.
 
"Today, Jio has successfully rolled out eKYC across two lakh outlets in India. To put this in perspective, this is nearly equal to the total number of ATMs in India. We are in the process of doubling this network, to four lakh digitally enabled outlets, by March of 2017.
 
"Every Jio store and retailer in every neighborhood can not only activate Jio customers via eKYC, but is also equipped to provide unmatched customer service and new Aadhar-based services because of this digital infrastructure," he said.
 
On voice interconnection with existing telecom operators, Mr. Ambani said Jio had not received the required support from them.
 
"In the last 3 months, nearly 900 crore voice calls from Jio customers to the networks of our three largest competitors were blocked. The benefits of Jio's superior voice technology have been denied to Indian customers due to such anti-competitive behavior of incumbent operators.
 
"Given the gravity of the situation, the authorities have intervened and instructed all the operators to provide sufficient interconnection capacity. We thank the Government and the regulator for enforcing the licence conditions," he said.
 
"Over the past months, the call block rates has come down from over 90% to nearly 20% as of yesterday. We are working with all our fellow operators to ensure that in the coming weeks, this will come below the specified grade of service, which is 0.2%," he said.
 
Mr. Ambani said Jio now fully supported mobile number portability and customers can retain their existing number when they migrate to Jio.
 
He said the company had introduced home delivery of Jio SIMs, which can then be activated in five minutes through eKYC. "This feature is being progressively launched across India through the MyJio application and will be available in the top 100 cities by 31st December 2016," he said.
 
Mr. Ambani used the opportunity to congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his decision to demonetise Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes.
 
"By doing this, our Prime Minister has given the strongest possible push to the growth of a digitally-enabled, optimal-cash economy in India. This decision is an important step in his ongoing efforts to change the mindset of the people of India. Digitally-enabling transactions will help to create a fair, just, transparent and strong India and Indian economy. It will bring unprecedented accountability at every level.
 
"I believe that the common people will be the biggest beneficiaries of this change. Every Indian will have a Digital ATM in their hands, which they can operate whenever and wherever they want. No more will they have to travel and stand in queue for train tickets, bus tickets, movie tickets, to pay bills for utilities, or to deposit and withdraw money from banks. Time saved is money earned.
 
"Therefore, I am absolutely confident that a digitally-enabled economy will help India become stronger – and every Indian becomes even stronger," he said.
 
Mr. Ambani sid that, with this one single step, Mr. Modi had brought all the unproductive money into productive use. 
 
"This will enhance credit flow in the economy and legitimate credit is the fuel that powers the engine of economic growth. So far, credit in our country has mostly been high value and low volume. Digital enablement has laid the groundwork for broad availability of low value, high volume credit. This will provide credit to our farmers, small shopkeepers, traders and daily wage earners. Again, the biggest benefit of this goes to the ordinary Indian.
 
"All of us at Jio are enthusiastically committed to making this transition smooth for every Indian across the country," he said, announcing the JioMoney application which will give customers access to a digital money wallet that is linked to their bank account.
 
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"One of the key drivers for adoption of digital money and the cashless way of living is people's ability to convert physical cash into digital gash and vice-versa. In order to make this possible, JioMoney is rapidly expanding its reach to millions of touch points where Aadhar based micro-ATMs will be deployed," he said.
 
Mr. Ambani said that, to enable digital transactions, merchants, especially small merchants, are an important component of the economy.
 
"To fuel their transactions, Jio is working to empower Indian merchants by building a digital retail ecosystem, which we are calling Jio-Money Merchant Soltions.
 
"This will enable digital transactions of all types, whether they be at mandis, small shops, restaurants, railway ticket counters, for bus and mass transit and even for person-to-person money transfers.
 
"Starting 5th of December, every merchant can download the Jio-Money Merchant Application. Customers use their JioMoney Wallets to pay merchants from their bank accounts, and merchants can use the JioMoney Merchant App to accept these payments directly into their bank accounts.
 
"Using the JioMoney Merchant App, merchants can also make supplier payments, transfer money between his bank account and use digital petty cash. JioMoney is focused on signing up over 10 million small merchant retailers in the coming weeks across 17,000 towns and 4 lakh villages," he added.
 
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Cabinet approves Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP)-Phase III

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The Union Cabinet today approved the Mumbai Urban Transport Project Phase-III with an estimated cost of Rs. 8,679 crore and a completion cost of Rs. 10,947 crore.
 
The project is expected to be completed in the next five years during the 13th Plan period, an official press release said.
 
Western Railway is running suburban services on the existing busy double line between Virar and Dahanu Road, which is a part of the main line Mumbai-Ahmedabad/Delhi route. 
 
The release said the main line is already saturated and there is no scope for supplementing suburban services on it. Construction of an additional double line between Virar and Dahanu Road will address the demand of commuters in this region. It will provide extension of suburban services from Churchgate to Dahanu Road. 
 
The Panvel-Karjat double line suburban corridor will cater to the significant urbanization and population growth in recent years in the area. It will also provide an alternate route from Karjat to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CSTM) via  Panvel, which will be shorter by 23 km than the existing route via Kalyan and will reduce travel time between CSTM and Karjat by 35 to 40 minutes by slow trains. 
 
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Presently, passengers commuting from Kalyan to Vashi/ Panvel or in reverse direction, have to get down at Thane and take Trans Harbour link. This results in congestion at Thane which is already a busy station on Central Railway. The Airoli-Kalwa corridor will reduce congestion at Thane station and will also save time as these passengers can travel bypassing Thane. Procurement of new coaches will enhance the quality of service and reduce congestion. The works proposed under trespass control at 22 locations shall significantly reduce trespass and will provide safer environment for the public, the release said.
 
The Mumbai suburban railway network on Central and Western Railways has 376 route kms. There are five corridors, two on Western Railway, two on Central Railway and one on Harbour Line of Central Railway. Everyday approximately 8 million people travel in suburban section in more than 2900 train services. There is severe overcrowding in the suburban trains specially during peak hours. Due to geographical constraints, spread of the population and location of business areas, the rail network will continue to be the principal mode of mass transport in Mumbai. To meet the demands of the ever growing commuter traffic, new suburban corridor between Panvel-Karjat (28 route km), new elevated corridor between Airoli-Kalwa( 3 route km ), quadrupling of Virar-Dahanu Road (63 route km), procurement of 565 new coaches and trespass control measures in mid sections have been included in Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP)- Phase III.  
 
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RBI places cap of Rs. 10,000 a month on withdrawal from PMJDY accounts

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has placed a limit of Rs.10,000 on monthly withdrawals from the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) bank accounts in a move that it said was aimed at protecting "innocent farmers and rural account holders" of PMJDY from activities of money launders and legal consequences under the Benami Property Transaction & Money Laundering laws.
 
"...it has been decided to place certain limits, as a matter of precaution, on the operations in the PMJDY accounts funded through deposits of Specified Bank Notes (SBNs) after November 09, 2016," a circular from RBI to all banks said yesterday.
 
As a temporary measure, the banks have been advised that fully Know Your Customer (KYC)-compliant account holders may be allowed to withdraw Rs. 10,000 from their account in a month.
 
The circular said that branch managers may allow further withdrawals beyond Rs. 10,000 within the current applicable limits only after ascertaining the genuineness of such withdrawals and duly documenting the same on bank’s record.
 
Limited or non-KYC compliant account holders may be allowed to withdraw Rs. 5,000 per month from the amount deposited through SBNs after November 9, 2016 within the overall ceiling of Rs. 10,000, the circular added.
 
The Government had, in a sudden move, demonetised Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes from midnight of November 8-9 as part of its efforts to fight black money, corruption and terror financing.
 
People who held such notes are required to deposit them in their bank accounts before December 30. For some days, they were also allowed to exchange old notes worth Rs. 2000 and later Rs. 4000, across the counter at banks.
 
With new Rs. 2000 and Rs. 500 notes still being printed, people across the country have experienced  severe shortages of cash in hand and there have been long queues outside banks and ATMs everywhere. Most ATMs are not working because they are yet to be calibrated for the new notes, and the ones that are run out of cash quickly, given the huge demand. The Government has placed temporary restrictions on the total withdrawals of cash that can be made from ATMs and from bank accounts.
 
Meanwhile, there has been a sudden surge in deposits in thousands of PMJDY accounts, most of which were lying dormant with zero or low balances. The Government suspects that those with black money are making use of these accounts to launder unaccounted income.
 
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RBI announces measures to manage liquidity conditions

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today said a part of the suprplus liquidity in the banking system, due to the surge in deposits in banks after the demonetisation of Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 notes on November 8, wuld be absorbed by appying an incremental cash reserve ratio (CRR) as a purely temporary measure.
 
With the withdrawal of the legal tender status of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 denomination bank notes (hereafter referred to as Specified Bank Notes - SBNs) beginning November 9, 2016, there has been a surge in deposits relative to the expansion in bank credit, leading to large excess liquidity in the system," a press release from the central bank said.
 
"The magnitude of surplus liquidity available with the banking system is expected to increase further in the fortnights ahead. In view of this, it has been decided to absorb a part of this surplus liquidity by applying an incremental cash reserve ratio (CRR) as a purely temporary measure...," it said.
 
The release said the CRR remained unchanged at 4 per cent of outstanding net demand and time liabilities (NDTL).
 
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On the increase in NDTL between September 16, 2016 and November 11, 2016, scheduled banks shall maintain an incremental CRR of 100 per cent, effective the fortnight beginning November 26, 2016. 
 
"This is intended to absorb a part of the surplus liquidity arising from the return of SBNs to the banking system, while leaving adequate liquidity with banks to meet the credit needs of the productive sectors of the economy. As the incremental CRR is intended to be a temporary measure within the Reserve Bank’s liquidity management framework to drain excess liquidity in the system, it shall be reviewed on December 9, 2016 or even earlier.
 
"The Reserve Bank has separately revived the Guarantee Scheme to enable deposit of SBN balances at the Reserve Bank or at currency chests and get immediate value. This measure should also facilitate banks’ compliance with the incremental CRR," the release added.
 
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India's forex reserves dip by $ 1.542 billion to $ 365.5 billion

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Falling for the second consecutive week, India’s foreign exchange reserves dipped by $ 1.542 billion to $ 365.5 billion in the week ended November 18, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had gone down by $ 1.19 billion to $ 367.042 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 down by $ 1.496 billion to $ 341.276 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 $ 20.461 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) decreased by $ 17.9 million to $ 1.445 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 28.5 million to $ 2.318 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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Sun Pharma to acquire Biosintez in Russia

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Pharmaceuticals majorSun Pharma today said its wholly owned subsidiary had executed definitive agreements for the acquisition of 85.1% of JSC Biosintez, a Russian pharmaceutical company engaged in manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical products in Russia and CIS region. 
 
The equity consideration for the 85.1% stake is $ 24 million, a press release from the company said.
 
Sun Pharma would also assume a debt of approximately $ 36 million as part of this transaction, it said.
 
Biosintez is a Russian pharmaceutical company focusing on the hospital segment with annual revenues of approximately $ 52 million for 2015. It has a manufacturing facility in Penza region with capabilities to manufacture a wide variety of dosage forms including pharmaceuticals for injections, blood substitutes, blood preservatives, ampoules, tablets, ointment, creams, gels, suppositories, APIs, and so on.
 
Mr. Aalok Shanghvi, Head of Emerging Markets, Sun Pharma, said, “This acquisition is consistent with Sun Pharma’s philosophy to invest in strategic Emerging Markets. This transaction gives us access to local manufacturing capability across multiple dosage forms in Russia, enabling us to serve the Russia pharmaceutical market more effectively.”
 
“This is an important milestone for us” said Mr. Artur Valiev, Country Head – Sun Pharma, Russia. “The acquisition signifies Sun Pharma’s commitment to Russia and the Russian 2020 plan for localization.”
 
The transaction, expected to be completed by end of 2016, is subject to approval of the Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service and other closing conditions.
 
As per IMS (MAT September 2016), the Russian pharmaceutical market recorded sales of approximately $ 10 billion. The market recorded a growth of 7.4% in local currency terms as per IMS, the release added.
 
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L&T Construction wins orders valued at Rs. 1926 crore

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Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said its construction arm had won orders worth Rs. 1926 crore across its various business segments.
 
A press release from the company said these included orders worth Rs. 571 crore secured by its Power Transmission & Distribution Business.
 
Among these was electrification works orders under the Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) schemes of the Government of India.
 
It has also bagged a major order from Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Ltd. (OPTCL) for turnkey electrification works in five circles of WESCO utility area in Odisha, the release said.
 
Another order from Madhyanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Ltd. (MVVNL), Lucknow, is for electrification works in three tehsils of Unnao district in  Uttar Pradesh.
 
Furthermore, the business has won orders from reputed customers for turnkey construction of solar PV plants in the states of Uttarakhand and Rajasthan.
 
The release said the Building & Factories Business had bagged an order worth Rs. 514 crore for the construction of a medical college and a 500-bed hospital from Bihar Medical Services & Infrastructure Corporation Limited, Bihar. The scope of the work includes civil, MEP, para medical equipment, furniture and external development.
 
The company said its Water & Effluent Treatment business had bagged orders worth Rs. 397 crores, including an engineering, procurement and construction contract from the Rural Water Supply & Sanitation Board, Government of Odisha, to provide piped water to the rural areas of Balasore, Bhadrak, Puri, Bolangir and Keonjhar districts. 
 
The scope of work includes design and construction of intake wells, water treatment plants, water storage structures and supply and laying of various pipelines.
 
The business has also secured additional orders from various ongoing projects.
 
The company's Metallurgical and Material Handling Business secured orders worth Rs. 298 crore. An engineering procurement construction order has been secured from Steel Authority of India Limited for integrated water circulation system of a Steel Melt Shop (SMS III) in the Bhilai Steel Plant.
 
An additional order has been received from another ongoing job, the release said.
 
According to the release, the company's Heavy Civil Infrastructure Business won an an engineering, procurement and construction order worth Rs. 146 crore in the special bridges sector from a prestigious client. The scope of work includes the construction of a 4-lane extradosed road bridge across the Durgam Cheruvu Lake including an approach viaduct and road embankment in the city of Hyderabad.
 
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Guided missile destroyer INS Chennai joins Indian Navy

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INS Chennai, a P 15A Guided Missile Destroyer, was commissioned into the Indian Navy by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at an impressive ceremony held at the Naval Dockyard here today.
 
The event marked the formal induction into the Navy of the third and the last of the three ‘Kolkata’ class destroyers, indigenously designed by the Indian Navy’s in-house organisation, Directorate of Naval Design and constructed by Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai. 
 
On his arrival, Mr. Parrikar was received by Admiral Sunil Lanba, the Chief of the Naval Staff and was presented a guard of honour by the ship’s crew. The ceremony was witnessed by a large gathering which included several dignitaries and senior officials from the government and all three services. 
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Parrikar termed the commissioning of INS Chennai, last of the Project 15 A class Destroyers, as a historic day for the Indian Navy as it added another milestone in its relentless journey towards achieving self reliance in battle readiness. 
 
"The ship represents a significant ‘coming of age’ of our warship building capability and defence preparedness," he said.
 
He said that the Indian Navy, in addition to providing overall maritime security to our country, also plays a crucial role as the ‘net security provider’ in th adjoining seas. He also stressed that the Navy’s growth and development must keep pace with the nation’s growth and maritime security needs. 
 
Lauding the role played by the naval designers (DGND) and the ship builders, MDL Mumbai, the Minister said “with the induction of INS Chennai, a new benchmark has been achieved for our warship design and construction endeavours, with the sophistication of systems and equipment, and utilisation of advanced ship building techniques”. 
 
During his address, Admiral Lanba said that commissioning of INS Chennai marked another milestone in the Navy’s quest for self-reliance as it signified completion of the challenging Project P-15A and heralded a new era of advanced warships built indigenously by Indian shipyards. The Admiral also stated that indigenisation of platforms, weapons, sensors and equipment with participation of public as well as private sectors, will continue to remain a focus area of the Indian Navy, in line with the ‘Make in India’ policy enunciated by the Prime Minister. 
 
He emphasized that the roadmap for the Navy’s expansion and growth would continue to remain firmly anchored on self-reliance and indigenisation. 
 
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The Commanding Officer, Captain CR Praveen Nair, read out the Commissioning Warrant, which was followed by the hoisting of ‘Colours’ (ceremony of hoisting the National Flag and Naval Ensign) which marked the commencement of the ship’s service as a warship of the Navy. The commissioning event was characterised by a closely coordinated sequence of drills and events leading to formal unveiling of the ship’s name plaque by the chief guest. On completion of the ceremony, Mr. Parrikar also unveiled a special cover to commemorate the commissioning of INS Chennai and completion of the Project 15A class of stealth destroyers. 
 
Following her formal induction, INS Chennai will be placed under the operational and administrative control of the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command. In due course, the ship will be assigned to the Western Fleet and would be base-ported at Mumbai. 
 
The ship measures 163m in length, 17.4m in breadth with a displacement of 7500 tonnes and can rightfully be regarded as one of the most potent warships to have been constructed in India. The ship is propelled by four powerful Gas Turbines, in a Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) configuration, capable of achieving speeds in excess of 30 knots. The ship has enhanced stealth features resulting in a reduced Radar Cross Section (RCS) achieved through efficient shaping of hull, full beam superstructure design, plated masts and use of radar transparent materials on exposed decks. 
 
INS Chennai is packed with contemporary and sophisticated ‘state of the art’ weapons and sensors such as Surface to Surface Missile and Surface to Air Missiles. The ship is fitted with a modern Surveillance Radar which provides target data to the gunnery weapon systems of the ship. The ship’s Anti Submarine Warfare capabilities are provided by the indigenously developed Rocket Launchers and Torpedo Launchers. The ship is equipped to fight under Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) warfare conditions. 
 
A unique feature of the ship is the high level of indigenisation incorporated in the production. Some of the major indigenised equipment / systems onboard INS Chennai include Combat Management System, Rocket Launcher, Torpedo Tube Launcher, Automated Power Management System, Foldable Hangar Doors, Helo Traversing system, Auxiliary Control System and the Bow mounted SONAR. 
 
Named after the iconic port city of Chennai, the ship has a complement of about 45 officers and 395 personnel. Enhancement of crew comfort has been a significant feature of INS Chennai, which has been ensured through ergonomically designed accommodation based on ‘modular’ concepts. The ship will be under the command of Captain C R Praveen Nair, a Communication & Electronic Warfare specialist. 
 
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India becomes Associate Member of CERN, Geneva

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India and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) signed an agreement here today making India an Associate Member State of CERN. 
 
This follows CERN Council’s adoption of the resolution to this effect on September 15, 2016, an official press release said.
 
The agreement was signed by Dr. Sekhar Basu, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy and CERN Director General Dr. Fabiola Gianotti.
 
CERN is the world’s largest nuclear and particle physics laboratory, where scientists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the Universe by using the most sophisticated scientific instruments and advanced computing systems. CERN is based in Geneva on the French-Swiss border. Presently CERN has 22 member-states, four associate member-states, and the observer status is given to four states and three International Organizations.
 
An official press release said participation in CERN programmes is a success story of scientific collaborations and cooperation where researchers from large number of national Institutes and Universities from India work together in forming active collaborations in the pursuit of fundamental knowledge, achieving scientific and engineering breakthrough as well as training the next generation of scientists. 
 
In fact, the participation of Indian scientists dates back to early 1960s, which has become much stronger and closer for the last quarter of a century with the support of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Department of Science and Technology (DST). 
 
In 1991, DAE had signed a formal agreement with CERN, which continues till today. In recognition of most significant contributions, in 2003, India was awarded the Observer status of CERN, and subsequently invited to join CERN as an Associate Member. Last year, the Indian Cabinet gave its approval following which the CERN Council has accepted India as an Associate member.
 
In recent years, Indian scientists have been involved in all pioneering activities at CERN. India has made significant contributions to the construction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), in the areas of design, development and supply of hardware accelerator components/systems and its commissioning and software development and deployment in the machine. 
 
India is one of the leading partners in the ALICE experiment, which is on a quest to unearth the physics of quark-gluon plasma (QGP) and to get a glimpse of how matter behaved within a few microseconds after the birth of our Universe.
 
The discovery of the Higgs Boson at the LHC is the most talked about scientific discovery in recent memory. Indian scientists have played a significant role in the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiments, which is one of the two large experiments that have led to the discovery of the Higgs Boson. Indian scientists have been named as part of this historic discovery. This helps India in participating in the high end technology related to high energy accelerators. It is noteworthy to mention the involvement of Indian scientists in high-tech particle detectors and electronics research, ISOLDE and n-TOF experiments, and various application oriented programmes including medical imaging.
 
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In the field of large-scale computing, India has made major contributions in terms of designing, developing and deploying software for the Worldwide Large Hadron Collider Grid (WLCG). The grid Tier2 centers established at Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC), Kolkata and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai have provided the pledged resources and are operating with 96% uptime, thereby facilitating running of computational jobs by various CERN collaborations.
 
As an Associate Member of CERN, India will be a part of the huge scientific and technological endeavor. The India-CERN association as a whole is inter-disciplinary in nature and the involvement of physicists, electronics hardware and software engineers will pave the path for overall knowledge development in the best possible way. India has been putting efforts to design, develop and utilize various types of electron and proton accelerators for scientific, industrial and societal use. 
 
Becoming Associate Member of CERN will enhance participation of young scientists and engineers in various CERN projects and bring back knowledge for deployment in the domestic programmes. It will also open opportunities for Indian industries to participate directly in the CERN project. Through the Teachers programme, teachers teaching in the higher secondary schools would also be able to participate in the programme and pass on the knowledge and quest for high-end science to their students, thereby encouraging large number of students to pursue their career in science.
 
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India’s forex reserves dip by $ 1.19 billion to $ 367.042 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves dipped by $ 1.19 billion to $ 367.042 billion in the week ended November 11, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had risen by $ 1.075 billion to $ 368.232 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 down by $ 1.155 billion to $ 342.772 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 $ 20.461 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) decreased by $ 13.4 million to $ 1.463 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 21.5 million to $ 2.346 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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RIL, GE sign partnership to provide IIOT solutions in oil, gas, power, other sectors

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani with GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immlet at the signing of an agreement in the IIOT space between the two companies.
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani with GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immlet at the signing of an agreement in the IIOT space between the two companies.
Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and digital industrial company GE today said they had signed a global partnership agreement in the Industrial IOT (IIOT) space whereby they would work together to build out joint applications on GE’s Predix platform. 
 
The first-of-its-kind partnership marks the coming together of two of the world’s largest industrial conglomerates to provide Industrial IOT solutions to customers in oil & gas, fertilizer, power, healthcare, telecom and other industries, a press release from RIL said.
 
The agreement was signed in the presence of Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO, GE and Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, RIL, it said.
 
The release said GE would provide its Predix cloud offering, Industrial Internet applications and data science expertise. RIL will develop solutions on Predix as an Independent Software Vendor (ISV), bringing to bear its over 30 years of data, process and operational expertise. RIL will also offer nationwide connectivity infrastructure to customers through a 4G network powered by Jio. GE would offer the security, availability and monitoring aspects of the platform to RIL and its customers. The potential for other revenue streams includes telecom, healthcare and agriculture, it said.
 
According to the release, the benefits to customers include driving operational efficiencies, profitability and new revenue streams by making use of data and analytics. 
 
"A one per cent productivity gain for companies creates ~ USD 250 billion value over 15 years, across these key energy and infrastructure industries. The digital market is growing at a fast pace with IIOT contributing the highest degree of growth at over 10 per cent. According to Gartner, there exists a market opportunity of over USD 25 billion by 2022 for IIoT solutions across the four key industries of oil & gas, power, healthcare and transportation," it said.
 
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“India’s potential in driving the migration to digital is well appreciated. The partnership with Reliance Industries will shape the future of the Industrial Internet not just in India but globally. The possibilities that it opens to develop solutions on our Predix platform for the industrial sector are endless,” said Mr. Immelt.
 
“India needs to rapidly move to the next level of smart manufacturing which leverages big data, algorithms, and sensor technology. The presence of ubiquitous high bandwidth connectivity and cloud services enabled by Jio will be a key enabler for the rapid growth of IIOT within India. Indians have been in the forefront of creating smart and innovative solutions in a number of fields. It’s time we brought smart manufacturing capability into India by providing value added IIOT solutions for the industry that will enable India’s economic growth,” said Mr. Ambani.
 
The release said digital solutions have the potential to save billions of dollars each year. Use of data as the fuel and analytics as the growth engine promises to drive disruptive and positive changes across the industrial landscape, it added.
 
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RBI tells banks to waive ATM charges for all transactions till Dec 30

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided that banks shall waive levy of ATM charges for all transactions (inclusive of both financial and non-financial transactions) by savings bank customers done at their own banks’ ATMs as well as at other banks’ ATMs, irrespective of the number of transactions during the month.
 
The waiver of charges on ATM usage will be effective from November 10, 2016 till December 30, 2016, subject to review, a press release from RBI said here yesterday.
 
The decision has come in the wake of the difficulties being faced by people across the country in getting cash from banks and ATMs after the Government's sudden decision on November 8 to demonetise Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes.
 
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India’s forex reserves rise by $ 1.075 billion to $ 368.232 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 1.075 billion to $ 368.232 billion in the week ended November 4, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had increased by $ 16.6 million to $ 367.157 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 $ 1.982 billion to $ 343.927 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 reduced by $ 945.5 million to $ 20.461 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs)  increased by $ 14.4 million to $ 1.476 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 23.2 million to $ 2.368 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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HSBC, Reliance complete India's first digital export transaction

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Banking and financial services major HSBC and energy and petrochemicals giant Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) have announced that they have recently completed a landmark digital transaction, e-Presentation, involving the electronic presentation of export documents under a Letter of Credit. 
 
This paves the way for faster, cost-efficient settlement of cross-border trade, a press release from the bank said.
 
Instead of exchanging documents under a Letter of Credit through physical movement, as would be normal practice, the partners e-presented documents through a digital platform built by London-based Bolero, it said. 
 
In doing so, they were able to settle the trade in a single day thus improving the cash-to-cash cycle. A paper based documentary credit transaction typically takes upto 15 days to settle.
 
Aditya Gahlaut, Head of Global Trade and Receivables Finance for HSBC India, said: “This first step we’ve taken with e-Presentation has big implications for companies in India and elsewhere. It shows that the participants in a cross-border trade – from producers to banks and shippers – are willing to collaborate to achieve an end-to-end digital transaction. It also shows that collaboration is worthwhile, optimising companies’ working capital so they can move on to their next deal sooner.”
 
"The Indian government has been driving the ‘Make in India’ agenda and expects exports to fuel economic growth. Even though the export growth rate is expected to outrun the country’s GDP growth which is at approximately 7.5%, cross border trade is regulated by multiple government agencies and involves extensive procedural requirements, making it paper intensive. Technology is thus expected to play a critical role in transforming the paper based trade finance business into a digitally driven business; making the movement of documents faster, cutting costs and optimising working capital," he said.
 
Soumyo Dutta, Group Treasurer for Reliance Industries Limited said, “Reliance expects global trade to make a rapid shift to electronic platforms in the coming years. This transaction marks the first step in evolving the ecosystem where all the key players participate to drive efficiencies and lower costs.”
 
The release said digitisation of trade communication and documentation is imperative both as an enabler for the growth as well as a tool for all stakeholders to monitor and facilitate the same.
 
"HSBC and Reliance have taken a lead in this strategic initiative, which is an industry first for India. After the successful completion of the first e-Presentation transaction, HSBC India will make e-Presentation available to its other Global and Commercial Banking clients," it said.
 
Stuart P Milne, Group General Manager & CEO, HSBC India, said, “As the world’s leading international trade bank, we have the responsibility to play the lead in the digital transformation of the trade finance landscape.  This transaction is a significant move in that direction."
 
"We have built the required capability to support this industry-leading initiative and will continue to make investments in the digitisation of trade to support our customers and engage stakeholders in building a sustainable trade finance ecosystem," he added.
 
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Demonetisation: Banks to remain open for public on Saturday, Sunday

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All scheduled and non-scheduled banks, including public, private, foreign, cooperative, regional rural and local area banks, will remain open for public on Saturday, November 12 and Sunday, November 13.
 
This has been done in view of the huge rush of people expected to visit banks in the coming days to exchange Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes, which ceased to be legal tender at midnight on Tuesday night as part of the Government's fight against black money, corruption and terror-funding.
 
All banks were closed for a day yesterday and there were long queues outside most bank branches across the country as people lined up to exchange the old high denomination notes for new currency notes or those of lower denomination so that they could make essential purchases and meet various items of expenditure.
 
A press release from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said the banks were advised to keep all their branches open on the two days as regular working days for transacting all business. Banks may give due publicity about availability of banking services on these days, it said.
 
Consequently, Payment Systems (RTGS, NEFT, Cheque Clearing, Repo, CBLO and Call markets) shall remain open on Saturday and Sunday, the central bank said.
 
"All participants/member banks are advised to facilitate operations on the above payment systems for their customers on November 12 and 13, 2016 as on regular working days. Banks may give due publicity about availability of above payment system services on these days," the RBI added.
 
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L&T signs agreement with Chiyoda for flue gas desulphurisation technology

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Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said it had signed a long-term Technical Licence Agreement with Chiyoda Corporation of Japan for its Chiyoda Thoroughbred 121TM (CT-121TM) Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) Technology.
 
The agreement grants L&T exclusive rights to undertake EPC of CT-121TM FGD Systems, a press release from the company said.
 
According to the release, the new emission norms for coal-based thermal power plants in India, notified vide MoEFCC Gazette dated December 7, 2015, introduced new limits on sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions. The move which makes Indian emission norms among the most stringent in the world, has called for mandatory installation of FGD systems in upcoming power plants, including those currently under construction and many that are already operational.
 
Mr. Shailendra Roy, CEO & MD-L&T Power and Whole-Time Director (Power, Heavy Engineering & Defence) - L&T, said: “As a responsible corporate citizen, L&T is committed to containing emissions and has always complied with the relevant government norms. The agreement with Chiyoda Corporation is yet another major step in that direction.”
 
Mr. Ryosuke Shimizu, Director & Sr.Vice President (Technology Development, Investment & Project Operations) - Chiyoda Corporation said, “We are very happy to contribute to India’s development of energy and environment in harmony with our own technology.”
 
According to the release, the CT-121TM FGD process is a unique technology developed by Chiyoda in which sulphur dioxide is absorbed from flue gas generated by coal-fired, oil-fired and other types of boilers and removed as gypsum. Unlike conventional processes in which the reagent slurry is sprayed on flue gas, the CT-121TM process uses Chiyoda’s unique absorber, the Jet Bubbling Reactor (JBR), in which the flue gas is blown into the reagent slurry, forming a fine bubble bed where SO2 is absorbed, oxidised by injected air, and then neutralised by ground limestone slurry.
 
"This technology is highly efficient, enabling low-cost removal of flue gas SO2. Moreover, it ensures that the plant remains compact and easy to maintain," the release said.
 
L&T and Chiyoda’s relationship dates back over two decades with L&T-Chiyoda Limited, a joint venture that has come to be an internationally reputed design and engineering consultancy organisation catering to the hydrocarbon sector. Through the signing of this agreement, the two companies have extended their association into the power sector as well, the release added.
 
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L&T-MHPS Boilers signs agreement with MHPS for Selective Cataytic Reduction systems

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L&T-MHPS Boilers Private Limited (LMB), a joint venture of infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T) and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Limited (MHPS), Japan, today said it had signed a Technology Licence Agreement for Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems with MHPS.
 
The technology licensing agreement is for design, engineering, manufacture, installation, commissioning, and sale of new boilers under BTG, EPC or SG packages or standalone SCR systems, and for existing and under construction boilers on exclusive basis in India, a press release from the company said.
 
The new emission norms for coal based thermal power plants in India, notified vide MoEFCC Gazette dated December 7, 2015, introduced limits on oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions.
 
"This move, has made Indian emission norms one of the most stringent in the world. The new norms have called for mandatory installation of SCR systems in upcoming power plants, including those currently under construction and many existing power plants," the release said.
 
Mr. Shailendra Roy, CEO and Managing Director-L&T Power, and Whole-Time Director (Power, Heavy Engineering & Defence), L&T, said, “This strengthens L&T’s capability to cater to power plant requirements meeting new emission norms and contribute to the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.”
 
LMB is currently executing 12 units of supercritical/ultra-supercritical steam generator packages of 660 MW capacity in India totaling 7,920 MW. In addition, six supercritical units (660/700 MW) have already achieved commercial operation, the release said.
 
LMB is also executing nine export orders for the supply of pulverisers and pressure parts for various MHPS projects in Japan and Indonesia. It has already executed eight MHPS export orders with the supply of pressure parts, pulverisers and engineering services to Middle East, Africa and South East Asia, it added.
 
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RBI’s OC approves its first S4A scheme for HCC for structuring of stressed assets

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)-mandated Overseeing Committee (OC) has approved the Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A) for infrastructure major Hindustan Construction Company Ltd.
 
The ICICI-led Joint Lenders’ Forum had proposed the scheme for the company.
 
With this, HCC has become he first company to secure approval by OC under the RBI’s S4A scheme, which is expected to set precedent for future approvals, a press release from the company said.
 
HCC’s total funded debt estimated at Rs. 5,107 crore has been considered under the S4A scheme which will be divided into two parts: Part A (sustainable debt) - Rs 2,681 crore  ( 52.50%) and Part B (unsustainable debt) – Rs 2,426 crore ( 47.50%).
 
The release said the Lenders would subscribe to 24.44% fresh equity (Rs 1,008 crore assuming Rs 40 rate) which will bring down the promoter holding from 36.07% to 27.44%. The share price will be determined as per Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) guidelines and accordingly debt will go down to the extent of conversion amount, it said.
 
The balance portion of Part B, will be converted into Optionally Convertible Debentures (OCD) for 10 years with coupon @ 0.01%, 11.5% YTM.
 
“The S4A scheme will help the company bridge the gap of Cashflow Timing Mismatch between claims realization (including its interest) and debt servicing," Mr. Praveen Sood, Group CFO, HCC said.
 
"The move comes at an opportune time as HCC is already on recovery path with order book growth of over 30% in last one year. We feel that it’s a positive move for HCC and will bring sustained long term solution for the company. Also, Cabinet decision for release of around Rs. 2000 crore (75% of arbitration award) payment will further strengthen HCC’s position.”
 
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The release said that, within the next 4-8 weeks, various steps are expected to be completed, including individual bank board final approval for the Resolution Plan; HCC Board approval on S4A scheme; signing of Master Agreement; and EGM for equity shares & OCD.
 
According to it, parallel to this, the company is also following up with government agencies and public sector undertakings (PSUs) to get 75% of arbitration awarded in its favour as per the directive of the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA).
 
"HCC is immediately expecting release of around Rs. 2000 crore from these already awarded arbitrations. In last couple of years, HCC took up recovery of its dues amounting to Rs. 11,000 crore from the government agencies through arbitration proceedings or contractual procedure. HCC already got arbitration awards in its favor worth Rs 3,427 crore up to September 30, 2016. Further claims worth around Rs 4,173 crore are in arbitration process. About 70% of these cases were at the initial stage of arbitration process and the company has already given consent to transfer these cases under new arbitration act. As such, the company expects to get these additional awards within next 12 months duration further improving its cash position," the release added.
 
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Reliance Industries says to challenge $ 1.55 billion penalty imposed by govt.

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Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today said it would challenge the $ 1.55 billion penalty imposed on it and its two foreign partners, BP Plc and Niko Reosurces Limited, for allegedly extracting gas which had migrated from offshore fields allocated to the public sector Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) adjacent to their block in the Krishna-Godavari Basin.
 
The Mukesh Ambani-led RIL owns 60 percent stake in the block while BP and Niko Resources hold 30 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
 
"Earlier today, constituents of the Contractor (RIL, BP and Niko) for block KG-DWN-98/3 (KG D6) have received a communication from the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. Based on the recommendations of the Shah Committee, the Government has made a claim of about USD 1.55 billion against the Contractor parties in respect of gas said to have migrated from neighbouring blocks," a statement from RIL said.
 
"In carrying out petroleum operations, the Contractor has worked within the boundaries of the block awarded to it and has complied with all applicable regulations and provisions of the Production Sharing Contract (PSC).  The claim of the Government is based on misreading and misinterpretation of key elements of the PSC and is without precedent in the oil & gas industry, anywhere in the world," it said.
 
The statement said that, according to the Government, the Contractor is restricted to producing only that quantity of hydrocarbon as they existed at the point in time when the PSC was signed. 
 
"This approach overlooks the fundamental fact that at that stage the work of exploration of the block has not even commenced and a complete lack of data makes it impossible to estimate the quantity of hydrocarbons available in the block. 
 
"The liability of the Contractor has not been established by any process known to law and the quantification of the purported claim is without any basis and arbitrary.
 
"RIL proposes to invoke the dispute resolution mechanism in the PSC and issue a Notice of Arbitration to the Government. RIL remains convinced of being able to fully justify and vindicate its position that the Government’s claim is not sustainable," the statement added.
 
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GoAir announces special offers for passengers on 11th anniversary

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Low-cost carrier GoAir today announced various special offers for passengers to mark its 11th anniversary.
 
The airline has also introduced low fares, starting from Rs. 611 (Base+YQ) across 21 cities of the 23 cities operated by it, with Leh and Port Blair being the exceptions.
 
A press release from the airline said every 11th customer who books on its website will get a free ticket (Base + YQ waived). Every 111th customer who books on the website will get a hotel stay voucher of 40% discount from Hotel Lemon Tree, it said.
 
Every 1111th customer who books on the airline’s website will get return tickets for a couple and hotel stay of 2 nights/3 days free. 
 
Eleven customers who book during the offer period will get Guess wrist watch free, it said.
 
To avail the opportunity, passengers need to book through www.Goair.in. Booking period will be from 4th November to 8th November, 2016 for the travel period from 11th January to 11th April, 2017. Booking class will be on M & N for limited seats only. This offer is not valid on infant bookings. Group discount is not applicable on this offer and this offer cannot be clubbed with any other on-going promotional offer, the release said.
 
Fares are non-refundable in case of cancellation and re-booking will be INR 2225 per passenger per segment, the release added.
 
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India's forex reserves rise by $ 16.6 million to $ 367.157 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves increased by $ 16.6 million to $ 367.157 billion in the week ended October 28, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had gone up by $ 1 billion to $ 367.140 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 $ 21.6 million to $ 341.944 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 $ 21.406 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) went down by $ 1.9 million to $ 1.461 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 3.1 million to $ 2.344 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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Reliance Jio says Airtel has provided 7,007 additional points of interconnection to it

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Telecom services provider Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) today said it had been provided 7,007 additional points of interconnection by incumbent player Airtel.
 
This followed meetings held by the Minister of Communications and the Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) with the CEOs of Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and RJIL earlier this week on the subject of breach of Quality of Service (QOS) parameters.
 
"RJIL expects these E1s, for which intimation has been received today, to be operationalized by the teams of Airtel and RJIL in the coming days," a press release from RJIL said.
 
"This allocation was long overdue considering the severe hardships caused to the customers of both operators in being able to connect voice calls between the two networks. More than 280 crore calls have failed between RJIL and Airtel over the last three and a half months because of absolute shortage of POI capacity," it said.
 
According to RJIL, all operators have a mandatory and unconditional obligation under the license to provide adequate POIs to all the other operators. This is irrespective of the status of operations of the other operators or the traffic pattern and is not a favour to any operator.
 
"The contention that regulatory obligations permit to provide interconnect in a period of 90 days is misplaced considering the severe QOS and congestion issues that the non-provision of POIs has caused. There is no entitlement of timing when it comes to such severe breach of QOS as against the 90 days indicated by Airtel.
 
"RJIL would like to reiterate that there has been no delay in operationalising POIs at its end. On the contrary, RJIL has been consistently following up with Airtel and the other incumbent operators over the last several months for augmentation of interconnection capacity. These requests had been denied by Airtel and the other incumbent operators in complete breach of their license conditions.
 
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"There are no network related issues that RJIL has faced beyond the acute shortage of POIs provided by Airtel and other incumbent operators. It may be noted that there are no failures in on-net calls, while over 4.6 crore calls are still failing every day between Jio and Airtel. RJIL hopes that this situation will improve now that Airtel has consented to offering additional POIs.However, Airtel has continued to violate the Interconnection Agreement by offering one-way E1s as against both-way E1s as provided for in the Agreement, which would have resulted in much more efficient utilisation of interconnection resources.
 
"RJIL hopes that Airtel will continue to release adequate POIs going forward to ensure that it adheres to the QOS parameter of POI congestion mandated by TRAI regulation at less than 5 per 1,000 calls at all times.
 
"With regard to the traffic asymmetry issue, the current traffic pattern is completely in line with what is expected in a new network. It would tend to move towards balanced traffic as the network matures and has sufficient scale," the release added.
 
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