India’s forex reserves soar by $ 4.125 billion to $421.915 billion

Continuing their uptrend for the  eight consecutive week, India’s foreign  exchange reserves soared by a whopping $ 4.125 billion to a new high of $ 421. 915 billion during the week ended February 2, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
The country’s forex reserves had risen by $ 3.004 billlion to $ 417.789 billion in the previous week.
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here today, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone up by $ 3.025 billion to $ 396.769 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 increased by $ 1.093 billion to $ 21.514 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) went up by $ 3.2 million to $ 1.547 billion.
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) rose by $ 4.3 million to $ 2.084 billion during the week, the bulletin added.
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Tata Trusts launches nationwide hunt for innovators and entrepreneurs

In a first-of-its-kind nationwide search, Tata Trusts’ Foundation for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (FISE) – which supports technology-based solutions for social impact through their lab-to-market journey – has announced the “Social Alpha Energy Challenge” to find high impact innovations that could catalyze system change in the field of energy.
With a focus on clean tech, sustainability and energy efficiency, the Challenge aims to discover next-gen technology innovations that promise to unlock new solutions to India’s energy challenges or make existing energy networks smarter, cleaner and more affordable, a press release from the Foundation said.
In this ambitious hunt, the Challenge is inviting entries from innovators across various stages of the energy lifecycle - generation, transmission and distribution, storage, and consumption, in multiple sectors such as households, farm, industry, infrastructure, building, utility and transport.
The release said the winners would be assessed on select parameters such as the breakthrough nature of the innovation, business viability, environmental sustainability, social impact, and scalability potential. 
The winners of the Energy Challenge will form the first cohort of enterprises for Tata Smart Energy Incubation Centre (TSEIC) - an incubator and start up accelerator being built in partnership between Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited and Tata Trusts.
A maximum of 10 winners will be selected to receive complete incubation support that will include: 6-18 months of access to the upcoming Tata Smart Energy Incubation Centre in New Delhi; access to state-of-the-art lab facilities and world class-infrastructure; access to test beds on the ground for trials and field testing; strategy and go-to-market (GTM) support; mentorship by experts, specialists, and sector leaders; and gateway to a diverse and large investor ecosystem.
Mr. Manoj Kumar,  Head of Innovation, Tata Trusts and CEO, Social Alpha, said,  “Two years back we created FISE as a key component of our Social Alpha architecture with a charter to catalyse innovation and entrepreneurship for impact. Tata Trusts’ continued commitment to sustainability and climate challenges has sharpened our focus further on creating a pipeline of high impact cleantech solutions that address the challenges of affordable energy access in complete convergence with our livelihoods and sustainability initiatives at the grassroots level. TSEIC is our dedicated incubation centre with a charter to solve various riddles of energy challenges using state of the art technology infrastructure and domain expertise.”
Mr. Praveer Sinha, CEO & Managing Director, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited, said, “Tata Smart Energy Incubation Centre aims to bring innovation, domain and business expertise across the entire energy value chain to support scalable and sustainable solutions that helps to create new opportunities and nurtures societal value. T-SEIC will facilitate the vision to support and provide ecosystem for the start-up enterprises working to provide cost effective solutions. I believe, the TSEIC will go a long way for the development of Innovative and Cost Effective Technologies in India”.
The last date to submit applications is 7 April, 2018. Entrants for the energy challenge can register here.
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JioTV to broadcast the Winter Olympic Games Pyeongchang 2018 Live across India

Telecom services provider Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) today said its TV app JioTV has been awarded India digital rights of the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
JioTV will work with IOC to provide comprehensive coverage of the Games in India, thus enabling millions to access live and catch-up content on their mobile devices, on the move, he said.
The Olympic Winter Games are scheduled from February 9 – 25, 2018 at PyeongChang County, South Korea. Featuring 102 events in 15 sports including Skiing, Skating, Luge, Ski Jumping, Ice Hockey, Snow Boarding, an so on, the Games will see participation from more than 90 countries, including India.
JioTV will be creating several exclusive channels on its platform to stream 24x7 live action and content of the Games and will also provide a seven-day catch up feature for consumers to watch the action again at their convenience.
"The events coverage will include live broadcast, highlight packages and repeat programming, thus enabling fans to enjoy the Games comprehensively," the release said.
In addition to working with JioTV, the IOC's multi-platform media destination, the Olympic Channel, will also stream live coverage of the Games in India.
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RBI keeps key policy repo rate unchanged at 6.0%

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Stating that the inflation outlook is clouded by several uncertainties on the upside, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today kept its key policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.0 percent.
Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF remains at 5.75%, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.25%,
"The decision ... is consistent with the neutral stance of monetary policy in consonance with the objective of achieving the medium-term target for consumer price index (CPI) inflation of 4 per cent within a band of +/- 2 per cent, while supporting growth," the central bank said in its Sixth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2017-18 on the basis of the resolution of its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), which held a two-day meeting here yesterday and today.
The RBI had on August 2, 2017 reduced the repo rate by 25 basis points (bps) from 6.25% to 6.0%, saying that some space had opened up for monetary policy accommodation, but kept in unchanged in October and December.
In its resolution, the MPC noted that the December bi-monthly resolution projected inflation in the range of 4.3-4.7% in the second half of 2017-18, including the impact of increase in HRA. 
"In terms of actual outcomes, headline inflation averaged 4.6 per cent in Q3, driven primarily by an unusual pick-up in food prices in November. Though prices eased in December, the winter seasonal food price moderation was less than usual. Domestic pump prices of petrol and diesel rose sharply in January, reflecting lagged pass-through of the past increases in international crude oil prices. Considering these factors, inflation is now estimated at 5.1 per cent in Q4, including the HRA impact," it said.
"The inflation outlook beyond the current year is likely to be shaped by several factors. First, international crude oil prices have firmed up sharply since August 2017, driven by both demand and supply side factors. Second, non-oil industrial raw material prices have also witnessed a global uptick. Firms polled in the Reserve Bank’s IOS expect input prices to harden in Q4. In a scenario of improving economic activity, rising input costs are likely to be passed on to consumers. Third, the inflation outlook will depend on the monsoon, which is assumed to be normal. 
"Taking these factors into consideration, CPI inflation for 2018-19 is estimated in the range of 5.1-5.6 per cent in H1, including diminishing statistical HRA impact of central government employees, and 4.5-4.6 per cent in H2, with risks tilted to the upside. The projected moderation in inflation in the second half is on account of strong favourable base effects, including unwinding of the 7th CPC’s HRA impact, and a softer food inflation forecast, given the assumption of normal monsoon and effective supply management by the Government," the resolution said.
Turning to the growth outlook, the MPC said GVA growth for 2017-18 is projected at 6.6%. 
"Beyond the current year, the growth outlook will be influenced by several factors. First, GST implementation is stabilising, which augurs well for economic activity. Second, there are early signs of revival in investment activity as reflected in improving credit offtake, large resource mobilisation from the primary capital market, and improving capital goods production and imports. Third, the process of recapitalisation of public sector banks has got underway. Large distressed borrowers are being referenced for resolution under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). This should improve credit flows further and create demand for fresh investment. Fourth, although export growth is expected to improve further on account of improving global demand, elevated commodity prices, especially of oil, may act as a drag on aggregate demand. Taking into consideration the above factors, GVA growth for 2018-19 is projected at 7.2 per cent overall – in the range of 7.3-7.4 per cent in H1 and 7.1-7.2 per cent in H2 – with risks evenly balanced," the statement said.
The MPC noted that the inflation outlook is clouded by several uncertainties on the upside. 
"First, the staggered impact of HRA increases by various state governments may push up headline inflation further over the baseline in 2018-19, and potentially induce second-round effects. Second, a pick-up in global growth may exert further pressure on crude oil and commodity prices with implications for domestic inflation. Third, the Union Budget 2018-19 has proposed revised guidelines for arriving at the minimum support prices (MSPs) for kharif crops, although the exact magnitude of its impact on inflation cannot be fully assessed at this stage. Fourth, the Union Budget has also proposed an increase in customs duty on a number of items. Fifth, fiscal slippage as indicated in the Union Budget could impinge on the inflation outlook. Apart from the direct impact on inflation, fiscal slippage has broader macro-financial implications, notably on economy-wide costs of borrowing which have already started to rise. This may feed into inflation. Sixth, the confluence of domestic fiscal developments and normalisation of monetary policy by major advanced economies could further adversely impact financing conditions and undermine the confidence of external investors. There is, therefore, need for vigilance around the evolving inflation scenario in the coming months," it said.
"There are also mitigating factors. First, capacity utilisation remains subdued. Second, oil prices have moved both ways in the recent period and can potentially soften from current levels based on production response. Third, rural real wage growth is moderate.
"Accordingly, the MPC decided to keep the policy repo rate on hold and continue with the neutral stance. The MPC reiterates its commitment to keep headline inflation close to 4 per cent on a durable basis," it said.
"The MPC notes that the economy is on a recovery path, including early signs of a revival of investment activity. Global demand is improving, which should help strengthen domestic investment activity. The focus of the Union Budget on the rural and infrastructure sectors is also a welcome development as it would support rural incomes and investment, and in turn provide a further push to aggregate demand and economic activity. On the downside, the deterioration in public finances risks crowding out of private financing and investment. The Committee is of the view that the nascent recovery needs to be carefully nurtured and growth put on a sustainably higher path through conducive and stable macro-financial management," it said.
Dr. Chetan Ghate, Dr. Pami Dua, Dr. Ravindra H. Dholakia, Dr. Viral V. Acharya and Dr. Urjit R. Patel voted in favour of the monetary policy decision. Dr. Michael Debabrata Patra voted for an increase in the policy rate of 25 basis points. 
The minutes of the MPC’s meeting will be published by February 21, 2018.
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Gold demand in India grows to 726.9 tonnes in 2017, world demand falls to 4,071 tonnes

Gold demand in India for the full year 2017 was estimated at 726.9 tonnes (t) as compared to 661.6t in 2016, even as overall world demand fell by 7 percent to 4,071t during the year, according to the latest Gold Demand Trends report from the World Gold Council.
The report said total jewellery demand in India for 2017 was up by 12% at 562.7t as compared to 504.5t in 2016. The value of jewellery demand in 2017 was Rs. 148,100 crore, up by 9% from 2016 (Rs. 136,290 crore).
Total investment demand in India for 2017 was up 2% at 164.2t in comparison to 161.6t in 2016. In value terms, gold investment demand was Rs. 43,220 crore, a fall of 1% from 2016 (Rs. 43,650 crore). Total gold recycled in India in 2017 was 88.4t as compared to 79.5t in 2016.
The report forecast that gold demand in India would be between 700-800t.
Mr. Somasundaram PR, Managing Director, India, World Gold Council said: In 2017, India’s gold demand grew by 9.1% to 727t from 666t in the previous year. In the fourth quarter demand was up 2% to 249t, and within that jewellery demand reached the highest fourth quarter level that we have seen in our 17-year series.
He said the increase in demand was driven by a number of events, including lower gold prices coinciding with Dhanteras, a positive economic backdrop and improved consumer sentiment, particularly in the rural areas, as the effect of demonetisation wore off. The exemption of gold from the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the second half of 2017 also revived consumer purchases, helped by the transition to GST progressing along the expected lines, he said.
"Looking ahead, the 2018 Budget confirmed various positive initiatives for gold including the development of a comprehensive policy and the creation of a gold exchange. As policy measures unfold, we are optimistic that demand for 2018 will stabilise at 700-800 tonnes," he said.
According to the report, during the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2017, demand  for gold in India for Q4 2017 was at 249.3t up by 2% as compared to overall Q4 demand for 2016 (244t). India’s Q4 2017 gold demand value was Rs 66,220 crore, a rise of 3% in comparison with Q4 2016 (Rs. 64,530 crore).
Total jewellery demand in India for Q4 2017 was up by 4% at 189.6t tonnes as compared to Q4 2016 (182.2 t). The value of jewellery demand was Rs. 50,370 crore, a rise of 5% from Q4 2016 (Rs. 48,190 crore). 
Total investment demand for Q4 2017 was down by 3% at 59.6t in comparison with Q4 2016 (61.8t), the report said. In value terms, gold investment demand was Rs. 15,850 crore, a drop of 3% from Q4 2016 (Rs. 16,340 crore).
Total gold recycled in India in Q4 2017 was 17.6t, as compared to 16t in Q4 2016, the report said.
The report said that overall world gold demand rallied in the closing months of 2017 to gain 6% year-on-year (y-o-y) in Q4 to reach 1095.8t. Overall demand for FY 2017 was 4,072t, a fall of 7% compared with 4,362t in 2016.
According to it, inflows into exchange-traded funds (ETFs) continued steadily throughout the year, totalling 202.8t, but lagged behind the exceptional levels seen in 2016. Similarly, although central banks continued to add to reserves, purchasing 371t in 2017, buying was down 5% y-o-y.
Full-year bar and coin demand fell 2% as US retail investment dropped sharply. However, the year saw a recovery in both jewellery and technology demand, each making modest gains compared with 2016, as improving economic conditions lifted consumer sentiment in India and China, and an increase in gold-containing technology, such as smartphones and tablets, boosted demand, the report said.
Positive annual ETF inflows add 202.8t to demand in 2017, however this was around one-third of 2016’s inflows. European-listed gold-backed ETFs accounted for 73% of net inflows, with investors keenly attuned to geopolitics and negative interest rates.
Bar investment was broadly stable, while coin investment slid 10%. Weakness in the sector, down 2% to 1,029t compared with 2016, was largely explained by a sharp drop in US demand to a 10-year low of 39t, which exceeded strong gains in both China and Turkey.
The report said 2017 saw the first annual increase in jewellery demand since 2013, but the sector remains weak in a historical context. 
"Relatively stable prices and improving economic conditions paved the way for growth, but demand remains soft compared with long-term average levels. India and China eclipsed other markets, together accounting for 75t of the 82t (4%) increase in global full-year demand," it said.
Official gold reserves swelled by 371t in 2017, 5% down on 2016 levels. Turkey joined Russia as the most prominent of the central bank buyers.
The technology sector recovered in 2017, up 3% to 333t compared with 2016, ending a 6-year downtrend. The volume of gold used in electronics and other industrial applications grew steadily throughout the year, thanks to the increasing prevalence of new-generation features in smartphones, vehicles and laptops.
Mr. Alistair Hewitt, Head of Market Intelligence at the World Gold Council, commented: “It’s not surprising to see overall gold demand down given the backdrop of monetary policy tightening and strong equity markets in 2017, but the market is not in bad shape. The US dollar gold price was up 13% and institutional investors, especially in Europe, continued to add gold to their portfolios as a hedge against frothy asset prices and geopolitical uncertainty. Jewellery demand picked up as economic conditions improved in China and a policy change in India removed a barrier to demand, while next-generation smartphones boosted gold demand from technology companies.”
Mine production inched to a record high of 3,269t in 2017, while recycling fell 10%, leading to total supply dipping 4% to 4,398t. The introduction of stringent environmental controls in China saw a 10% fall in mine production in the region, whilst the ongoing concentrate exports ban continued to impact output in Tanzania. Total net de-hedging in 2017 reached 30t, bringing to an end three consecutive years of modest net hedging.
Some of the trends highlighted in the report include:
--Total consumer demand in FY 2017 rose by 2% to 3,165t, from 3,102t in 2016
--Total investment demand fell 23% to 1,232t in FY 2017 from 1,595t in 2016
--Global jewellery demand grew 4% to 2,136t, from 2,054t in the same period last year
--Central bank demand was 371t, down 5% compared with 390t in 2016
--Demand in the technology sector increased by 3% to 333t from 323t in 2016
--Total supply was down 4% to 4,398t, from 4,591t during 2016
--Recycling fell 10% to 1,160t compared with 1,295t in 2016
In the fourth quarter, overall world demand was 1,096t, an increase of 6% compared with 1,036t in Q4 2016. Total consumer demand fell by 10% to 906t, from 1,006t in the same period last year. Total investment demand was up 41% to 286t compared with 202t in Q4 2016. Global jewellery demand grew 3% to 649t, from 630t in the same period in 2016. Central bank demand slowed 38% to 73t compared with 118t in Q4 2016. Demand in the technology sector increased 5% to 88t compared with 84t in Q4 2016.
Total supply was up 1% to 1,095t, from 1,080t in the same period last year. Recycling grew 8% to 277t compared with 257t in Q4 2016.
The Gold Demand Trends report can be seen  here.
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Vinod Tahiliani appointed as CEO of BP-RIL JV India Gas Solutions

Vinod Tahiliani
Vinod Tahiliani
Mr. Vinod Tahiliani has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of India Gas Solutions, the 50:50 joint venture company of BP and Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) that is focused on sourcing and marketing of natural gas in India.
Mr. Tahiliani has over 25 years of international experience in the oil and gas business and project financing and joins IGS from BP, where he was most recently the Vice President, Strategy & Commercial for BP India, a press release from the company said.
For BP, he has developed gas value chain businesses and worked on oil, gas and power developments in India, Angola and Vietnam.
Mr. Sashi Mukundan, Region President and Country Head, BP India said: “The need for assured gas supplies to fuel the exponential energy demand and growth of India is crucial and our IGS partnership is well positioned to contribute significantly in this respect.”
“Vinod Tahiliani brings with him the expertise to lead IGS as we look to further develop the business,” said P. M. S. Prasad, Executive Director, RIL. “Demand for gas has been growing at an exponential rate and we anticipate natural gas to emerge as the preferred choice of fuel given its properties as a cleaner and sustainable fuel source."
IGS administers the existing gas sales contracts to customers for production from the KGD6 block and is actively pursuing opportunities for marketing R-Series gas and LNG imports. The joint venture company also has focus on infrastructure to accelerate transportation and marketing of natural gas within the country.
RIL’s Bibhas Ganguly is the Chairman for IGS, and there is equal representation from RIL and BP on the IGS Board. India Gas Solutions has employees seconded from both companies, bringing deep experience in the gas business, both in India and internationally, the release said.
Before joining BP, Mr. Tahiliani specialized in project finance and infrastructure advisory for power, oil & gas and infrastructure projects with a leading bank in India. In addition to an engineering degree from Mumbai University, he has an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB).
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ONGC celebrates World Wetlands Day with photo exhibition on Chilika Lake

The public sector Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has organised a week-long photo exhibition titled "The Mangalajodi Inheritence" on birds and life around Chilika Lake in Odisha here from February 2-8.
The photo exhibition was inaugurated on World Wetlands Day on February 2 to spread awareness of the world’s shrinking wetlands.
The objective of the photo exhibition is to bring together opinions of experts from diverse fields to strategise a way forward towards Chilika -- the largest brackish water lake in the world -- to obtain heritage status from UNESCO.
ONGC has taken up a project for conservation and holistic development of Chilika Lake area in Odisha and for accordance of status of ‘World Heritage Site’ by UNESCO and is committed to fund the project under its CSR initiative, a press release from the company said.
ONGC had earlier organized this photo-exhibition in Delhi on January 6, 2018. It was inaugurated by Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who is trying to develop Chilika as an eco-tourism destination.
The photographs on display show migratory birds visiting the lake as well as glimpses of the life of people around it.
The exhibition was inaugurated by Mr A J Morbale, Executive Director, Neelam & Heera Asset, ONGC in the presence of Mr P K Dilip, Executive Director, Mumbai High, ONGC and Mr S Gopinath, Executive Director – Head Regional Office, Mumbai, and other ONGC personnel.
Eminent environment conservationists, Ministry officials and representatives of NGOs were also present on the occasion.
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India's forex reserves soar by $ 3.004 billion to new high of $ 417.789 billion

Continuing their uptrend for the seventh  consecutive week, India’s foreign exchange reserves soared by $ 3.004 billion to a new high of $ 417.789 billion during the week ended January 26, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
The country’s forex reserves had risen by $ 959.1 million to $ 414.784 billion during the previous week.
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here today, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone up by $ 2.975 billion to $ 393.743 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 $ 20.421 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) went up by $ 12.7 million to $ 1.544 billion.
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) rose by $ 17 million to $ 2.08 billion during the week, the bulletin added.
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L&T Construction wins orders valued at Rs. 2275 crore

Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said its construction arm had won orders valued at Rs. 2275 crore across various segments.
A press release from the company said these included orders worth Rs. 1255 crore bagged by its Water and Effluent Treatment Business.
The release said the business had secured an EPC order from the Bangalore Development Authority for executing Utility Development and Management for Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Layout on a Design, Build & Operate (DBO) basis for Package -1. The scope includes 360 km of Potable Water Supply, Sewage Collection & Recycle Water Supply network and 85 km of Precast Utility Ducts. 
HT/LT Power Cabling, Smart Street Lighting, Fibre Optic Cables, Online Analyzers & SCADA form major components of the Electrical & Instrumentation scope. In addition, five Sewage Treatment Plants of combined capacity 22.5 million litres per day (MLD) using the most advanced sewage treatment technology, MBR, have been proposed under the project, it said.
Another EPC order has been secured from the Madhya Pradesh Jal Nigam Maryadit (MPJNM), Government of Madhya Pradesh, for providing water to the Seoni and Chappara Blocks of Seoni district. The scope includes supply and laying of pipelines, design and construction of intake pump houses, water treatment plant & various water storage structures including house service connections.
The company's Power Transmission & Distribution Business has bagged solar EPC orders worth Rs. 590 crore. NLC India Limited (formerly Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited) has awarded an order for setting up of a 100 MW (AC) grid interactive solar photovoltaic power project in Tamil Nadu. This is one of the largest solar orders the business has secured from a Navratna enterprise of the Government of India.
The business has secured another order from SB Energy One Private Ltd., of SoftBank Group, for building a 100MW (AC) solar photovoltaic power plant at Bhadla Phase III Solar Park in Rajasthan.
Both these orders reflect the continued trust that L&T enjoys from leading government and private solar developers.
The release said the company's Buildings & Factories Business had won an order worth Rs. 430 crore from a client for the construction of a residential project in Oman. The scope includes structure, architectural finishes, MEP services and external development, it added.
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Reliance Jio denies it has launched any JioCoin app

Telecom services provider Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) today denied that it had launched any JioCoin app and advised people to stay away from them.
The clarification by Reliance Jio came following reports in the media and various websites about the existence of the purported JioCoin apps on the internet that are soliciting investments in crypto currencies from people.
"Reliance Jio would like to inform the public and media that there are no such apps offered by the company or its affiliates / associates. Any such apps using the JioCoin name are fake and people are advised to refrain from dealing with any of them," a statement from the company said here.
"Reliance Jio takes a serious note of such fraudulent attempts by unscrupulous persons to misguide the public in the name of Jio and reserves the right to take appropriate legal recourse," the statement added.
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Third Scorpene submarine ‘Karanj’ launched at Mazagon Docks

Navy's third Scorpene class submarine INS Karanj launched
The third Scorpene class submarine constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited for the Indian Navy, was launched here today  by by Mrs Reena Lanba, President Navy Wives Welfare Association after the recitation of Sanskrit shlokas from the Atharva Veda and traditional ceremonies associated with the launch of naval platforms. 
She also named the submarine as ‘Karanj’ and wished her good fortune, an official press release said.
Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff, was the chief guest on the occasion. 
VAdm Girish Luthra, FOC-in-C, Western Naval Command and VAdm D M Deshpande, Controller Warship Production & Acquisition (CWP&A), Rear Admiral Guillame de Garidel, Head of Asia Pacific, DGA France and other senior officers and dignitaries from MoD, MDL and state government were also present during the ceremony. 
"This historic event reaffirms the giant strides taken by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) in the ongoing ‘Make In India’ programme, which is being actively implemented by the Department of Defence Production (MoD)," the release said.
The submarine was then towed to Mumbai Port Trust, for separation from the pontoon. Karanj will now undergo rigorous trials and tests, both in harbour and at sea before it is commissioned into the Navy.
The contract for the construction and transfer-of-technology for six Scorpene submarines in series, has Naval Group (formerly DCNS) of France as ‘Collaborator’ and are being built by MDL.
Speaking on the occasion, Admiral Lanba said the launch of Karanj marked a significant departure from the manning and training philosophy that was adopted for the first two submarines and added that from third submarine onwards the Navy would be fully self-reliant in training and certification processes.
He also mentioned that the old Karanj had served the nation for 34 years from 1969 to 2003, including participation in the 1971 war.
The state-of- the-art technology utilised for construction of the Scorpene class submarines has ensured superior stealth features such as advanced acoustic silencing techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimized shape and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision guided weapons. The attack can be launched with both torpedoes and tube launched anti-ship missiles, whilst underwater or on surface. The stealth of this potent platform is enhanced by the special attention given to various signatures. These stealth features give it an invulnerability, unmatched by most submarines, the release said.
Scorpene submarines can undertake multifarious types of missions such as Anti-Surface warfare, Anti-Submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying and area surveillance. It is  designed to operate in all theatres, with means provided to ensure interoperability with other components of a Naval Task Force. It is a potent platform, marking a generational shift in submarine operations.
Last year, on 14 December 2017, INS Kalvari, the first Scorpene class submarine was commissioned into the Indian Navy by Prime Minister. Khanderi, while the second Scorpene class submarine was launched in January 2017. It is currently undergoing the rigorous phase of sea trials and is also scheduled to be delivered shortly, the release added.
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Applied DNA Sciences, GHCL and RIL launch CertainT recycled PET bedding products in NY Home Fashion Show

Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. today announced it is collaborating with GHCL Limited, a global manufacturer of home textiles, and energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) to launch CertainT verified recycled PET (rPET) bedding products at the New York Home Fashions week, to be held from March 19 to 22.
Fully source-verified, recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET post-consumer) is the clear plastic best known for packaging bottled water, and is the most widely recycled plastic in the world. GHCL will use Applied DNA’s CertainT platform in connection with PET- and/or recycled PET-blended bed sheets, pillowcases, and shams sold in-store or online in the United States, a press release from Applied DNA said.
RIL is collaborating with GHCL and Applied DNA as the preferred fiber-manufacturing partner to use the CertainT platform for authenticity of recycled PET in bed sheets, pillowcases, and shams.
"RIL, the largest integrated producer of polyester fibre and yarn in the world, manufacturers the most ecofriendly fibres in the world, Recron Green Gold fibres and Recron Green Gold Dope-Dyed (EcoD) Fibres & Tow, which are manufactured via ecofriendly processes of the highest standard. These fibers have been granted the Global Recycle Standard from the internationally recognized Control Union Certificates, Netherland," the release said.
Mr. Hemant Sharma, Sector Head - Polyester, RIL said, “RIL is the only company that has created a complete circle from creation of PET resin for making bottles, collection of discarded PET bottles, and converting them to Recron Green Gold Eco Friendly Polyester fibres for use by the downstream textile value chain that converts the fibres in to apparel and home textiles.”
“Recron Green Gold fibres and tow demonstrate the lowest carbon footprint number and meet the most stringent environmental criteria for being a green fiber. The collaboration with Applied DNA and GHCL for making forensic science based Recron Green Gold fibre further bolsters our thrust on quality and persuasion for highest standards," he added.
“Consistent with global sustainability and the circular economy, we provide the first fully source-verified recycled PET bedding product line using CertainT, Applied DNA’s proprietary traceability system that tags, tests, tracks the original r-PET pellets to finished products,” said Manu Kapur, President and CEO of GHCL Home Textiles. 
“We produce a wide range of synthetic yarns from polyester, viscose and other high-end yarns which now utilize the CertainT system for full traceability. The ability to source and buy CertainT yarns made from verified recycled PET fiber is a unique offering that GHCL can provide to customers globally.”
GHCL operates its home textiles facility in Vapi in the state of Gujarat, India. The facility oversees the production process from spinning to weaving to finished processed fabric, which is then made into duvet sets, sheet sets, comforters, to name a few. As one of the leading manufacturers in home textiles in India, the plant boasts an annual production capacity of 36 million meters of finished fabric per annum. GHCL’s home textile products are predominantly exported worldwide to USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany and other European Union countries as well. 
On October 25, 2017, GHCL was presented with the Golden Peacock Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance in London, UK.
“CertainT does what no other system can do – we can tag every single fiber and verify them through a defined and secure supply chain through systematic sampling, testing and tracking,” said Dr. James Hayward, president and CEO of Applied DNA. “Momentum with retailers and manufacturers across a variety of textiles is growing; we are pleased to see the CertainT platform and trademark now making its way onto retail shelves this year, giving consumers what they want.”
Applied DNA is a provider of molecular technologies that enable supply chain security, anti-counterfeiting and anti-theft technology, product genotyping and DNA mass production for diagnostics and therapeutics.
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Prakash Jha to host Saare Jahan Se Achha web show

Well-known filmmaker Prakash Jha is all set to host a web show titled Saare Jahan Se Achha, which will showcase the lives of ordinary individuals who try to create a change in the lives of many through their efforts.
“I am full of gratitude after interacting with the common people who went out of their way to make a change in the lives of other people around them without any expectations in return. Sometimes small contributions make a big impact and it is essential that the story of these people is told; so that the positivity spreads,” Jha said.
Debutant director Prakash Bhardwaj said; “In an atmosphere when there is so much negativity floating around us in social media and news, we were in dire need of something that will make us proud of our fellow citizens and their efforts that help us lead a better life. When the concept was narrated, Prakash sir readily agreed to host it.”
Mzee Singh, who was the CEO of the production house which last produced Sanjay Dutt’s comeback film Bhoomi, is producing the web show. “It’s a pleasure and honor to work with a veteran like Prakash Prakash Jha. Digital is the medium of the future. We are looking at creating a series of 52 such inspiring  films, once this is released.”
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Essar Oilfields awarded CBM well drilling contract by ONGC

Essar Oilfields Services India Limited (EOSIL), a part of the Essar Group, today said it had been awarded a one-year, Rs 32-crore contract by the public sector Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to drill 30 wells at the latter’s coal bed methane (CBM) block in Bokaro, Jharkhand. 
The company will be deploying the MR#11 land rig for the job, which is expected to commence in the next few weeks, a press release from EOSIL said.
EOSIL, which is close to posting a revenue of Rs 300 crore in the current fiscal, has three of its land rigs currently in operation. These rigs have been contracted with Oil India and Mercator Petroleum, it said.
The release said EOSIL's offshore semi-submersible rig, the Essar Wildcat, is also deployed on a three-year Rs 850-crore contract with ONGC since May 2017, making this the company’s second drilling contract with the state-owned oil and gas exploration and production major.
EOSIL is expecting to increase its revenues by a further 20% in FY 2018-19 because of better deployment of assets. Eight of its rigs are likely to be in operation for a range of clients in the upcoming financial year, it said.
Mr Rajeev Nayyer, CEO, EOSIL, said: “We are proud to have been awarded this drilling contract for the Bokaro block, which is being widely regarded as India’s biggest CBM project. It demonstrates the depth of our expertise in contract drilling and will help us secure more such prestigious projects. With increased activity in India’s oil & gas exploration sector, our state-of-the-art rigs are well equipped to help boost domestic crude production, thus ensuring the country’s energy security.”
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RIL reports 25.1% rise in net profit to Rs. 9,423 crore in Q3

Reliance logo
Energy, petrochemicals, telecom and retail major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today reported a 25.1 percent increase in its consolidated net profit to a record Rs. 9,423 crore in the third quarter (Q3) of 2017-18 as compared to Rs. 7,533 crore in the same quarter of the previous financial year.
On a quarter-on-quarter (Q-o-Q) basis, the company’s net profit rose by 16.2% as compared to Rs. 8,109 crore in Q2 of this year, the company said while reporting its financial performance for the quarter and the nine-month period ended December 31, 2017.
A press release from RIL said that, on a consolidated basis, its revenue increased by 30.5% to Rs. 109,905 crore as compared to Rs. 84,189 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year. Its PBDIT rose 39.4% to Rs. 19,845 crore during the quarter. Cash profit increased by 42.6% to Rs. 15,116 crore.
“The increase in revenue is primarily on account of volume increase with start-up of petrochemicals projects and increase in prices in refining and petrochemical businesses. The increase in consolidated revenues reflect robust growth of 116% in Retail business and continued enhancement in Jio’s wireless operations,” the release said.
On a standalone basis, RIL’s net profit increased by 5.4% to Rs. 8,454 crore during the quarter. Its revenue increased by 18.4% to Rs. 78,864 crore, exports by 21.3% to Rs, 46,151 crore, PBDIT by 12.8% to Rs. 15,368 crore and cash profit by 14.9% to Rs. 11,918 crore. 
The company reported a gross refining margin of $ 11.6/bbl for the quarter, as compared to $ 12 for the previous quarter and $ 10.8 in the same quarter of the previous year.
The company’s Digital Services business, Jio, reported a standalone net profit of Rs. 504 crore in what was the second quarter of its commercial operation, as against a loss of Rs. 271 crore in the previous quarter. It reported a standalone revenue from operations of Rs. 6,879 crore (11.9% over trailing quarter), standalone PBDIT of Rs. 2,628 crore (82.1% over trailing quarter) and PBDIT margin of 38.2% (trailing quarter at 23.5%).
Jio had a subscriber base of 160.1 million at the end of December 31, 2017, with a gross subscriber addition of 27.8 million and net subscriber addition of 21.5 million. Jio had an ArPU of Rs. 154 per subscriber per month.
“I am happy to share record-setting consolidated quarterly earnings to mark the 40th anniversary of Reliance’s listing in January 1978.  Fittingly, this quarter marks the culmination of our petrochemical expansion projects and the first positive net profit contribution from our newest business line – Digital Services,” RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh D. Ambani said.
“Our refining business has delivered 12 consecutive quarters of double-digit refining margins, demonstrating operating excellence and healthy industry fundamentals. Benefits of the large investments in petrochemical business are beginning to show with the segment reporting its highest ever earnings,” he said.
On Jio’s performance, Mr. Ambani said, “I would like to thank all our customers for partnering with us in this revolution which has made India a global digital powerhouse. I congratulate all our employees and partners for the strong performance. Our commitment is to keep pushing newer innovative products which would radically transform customer lives and generate huge societal value. 
“Jio’s strong financial result reflects the fundamental strength of the business, significant efficiencies and right strategic initiatives. Jio has demonstrated that it can sustain its strong financial performance,” he said.
“We are excited about the prospects of both our energy and consumer businesses due to strong growth in Indian markets and constructive macro environment,” Mr. Ambani added.
The company’s outstanding debt as on December 31, 2017 was Rs. 213,206 crore ($ 33.4 billion) compared to Rs. 196,601 crore as on March 31, 2017.
Cash and cash equivalents as on December 31, 2017 were Rs. 78,617 crore ($ 12.3 billion) compared to Rs. 77,226 crore as on 31st March 2017. These were in bank deposits, mutual funds, CDs, Government Bonds and other marketable securities, the release said.
The capital expenditure for the quarter ended December 31, 2017 was Rs. 17,336 crore ($ 2.7 billion) including exchange rate difference capitalization. Capital expenditure was principally on account of Digital Services business, balance of expenditure for projects in the petrochemicals and refining business at Jamnagar and in Organized Retail business.  
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India’s forex reserves soar by $ 2.7 billion to new high of $ 413.825 billion

Continuing their uptrend for the fifth consecutive week, India’s foreign exchange reserves soared by $ 2.7 billion to a new high of $ 413.825 billion during the week ended January 12, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
The country’s forex reserves had risen by $ 1.758 billion to $ 411.124 billion during the previous week.
In its weekly statistical supplement today, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone up by $ 2.685 billion to $ 389.834 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 $ 20.421 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) went up by $ 6.2 million to $ 1.521 billion.
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) rose by $ 9.3 million to $ 2.048 billion during the week, the bulletin added.
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Fire at erstwhile Navrang Studio in Mumbai, fireman injured

Fire breaks out in erstwhile Navrang Studio in Mumbai
A fireman suffered injuries in a fire that broke out in the erstwhile Navrang Studio in the Todi Mill Compound in Lower Parel in south Mumbai in the early hours of today.
Official sources said a part of the studio, which has been lying closed for many years now, and some old equipment and furniture were gutted in the fire.
The fire brigade received a call at around 1 am about the fire in the studio, located on the fourth floor of a dilapidated and abandoned building. Eight fire tenders and water tankers were sent to the spot and they brought the flames under control within a few hours.
One of the firemen suffered minor injuries while fighting the blaze, the sources added.
Navrang Studio was located not far from Cinevista Stido at Kanjurmarg, some portions of which were damaged in a fire in the facility on January 6. An audio assistant was killed in that incident.
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Netanyahu's evening out in Bollywood, selfie with top stars

Netanyahu takes selfie with Bollywood stars
In an acknowledgement of the exponential growth of Bollywood's popularity across the world, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu spent the penultimate evening of their six-day state visit to India in the company of some of the biggest names of the Hindi film industry here yesterday.
Mr. Netanyahu capped the "Shalom Bollywood" event with a "selfie" with the stars present on the occasion and hoped it would beat Ellen DeGeneres' 2014 selfie with Hollywood stars.
Those in attendance at the event included megastar Amitabh  Bachchan, his on Abhishek Bachchan and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Karan Johar, Sara Ali Khan, Vivek Oberoi, Madhur Bhandarkar, Randhir Kapoor, Imtiaz Ali, Nikkhil Advani, Subhash Ghai, Prasoon Joshi and Ronnie Screwvala. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was also present.
"The rise of Bollywood is part of the rise of India as a global power, and this coincides with the rise of Israel as a global technological power. And this innovation is not only in IT, or in agriculture, or in medicine, or in space, or in cyber. It's also in the arts. And in the digital age there are endless possibilities for creativity. And I think that if we join forces, magic happens. We can do things that are not even imagined. And these things are happening at a rapid rate. We know, you know. Let us do it together," Mr. Netanyahu said.
"And what I see in India is creativity, ingenuity, the resolve led by Prime Minister Modi, my dear friend, to seize the future. We want to seize it with you. We believe in you. We believe in Bollywood. We believe in India. We believe in the Israel-India relationship," he said.
"I want every Indian and every Israeli to know about the phenomenal friendship between our two countries. 
"So I have an idea. One of the most viral pictures of all time took place at the Oscars, and several celebrities, I think including Brad Pitt, some other unknowns like that, and a few other celebrities who took a selfie together. So I'd like the Hollywood stars who are here tonight and the directors and the producers, I want you to join me right now for a selfie. Please come on stage, let's all have this photo so a few hundred million people can see the great friendship between our two countries," he said.
"Will my Bollywood selfie beat  @TheEllenShow Hollywood selfie at the Oscars?" he wondered later on micro-blogging site Twitter.
In March 2014, DeGeneres broke Twitter records with her selfie with top stars at the Academy Awards ceremony. Those who featured in that picture included Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Kevin Spacey. 
Mr. Bachchan said Bollywood had emerged as a parallel culture. "When we as a community watch films in a darkened hall, we never ask the caste or creed, or colour or religion of the person sitting next to us. We enjoy the same film, laugh at the same joke, cry at the same emotion. In a world where we see humanity disintegrating in front of us, cinema is perhaps (among) the few yet prominent entities that bring people together."
Mr. Netanyahu was all admiration for the 75-year-old Mr. Bachchan. "I used to think I was a big deal, until I found out that Amitabh Bachchan had 30 million more followers than I do," he said.
"I looked at other stars as well and I realised that you guys are a big thing. And the reason for that is that the world loves Bollywood, Israel loves Bollywood and I love Bollywood. We are putting our money where our mouth is," he said.
Choreographer Terence Lewis along with his group performed a dance medley to wind up the evening.
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Piramal Finance Limited forays into hospitality sector

Piramal Finance Limited (PFL), a subsidiary of Piramal Enterprises Limited, has forayed into the hospitality sector with multiple transactions done in quick succession. 
The platform has committed Rs. 650 crore towards two marquee hotel assets in North India, followed by another Rs. 550 crore across another two assets in Bangalore and Pune, respectively, a press release from the company said.
The release said PFL deplloyed Rs. 650 crore in Vatika Hotels Pvt Ltd, thereby providing a comprehensive financing solution to the Vatika Group to consolidate their existing lenders and increase their stake in the company by providing an exit to existing equity investors. The investment was made against two established hotel assets being operated by Marriott. The Westin Gurgaon is a 313-room key hotel strategically located in Gurgaon’s central business district near IFFCO Chowk.
The hotel has been operational since 2010 and is a highly successful business-cum-leisure destination with consistently high occupancy rates and an established F&B and banqueting business. 
The Westin Resort Sohna is an established destination property developed as a weekend getaway located an hour away from IFFCO Chowk, it said.
Similarly, in one of the largest fund raising deals within the hospitality sector in Bangalore, PFL has sanctioned about Rs. 550 crore of structured debt towards the Advantage Raheja Group (promoted by Mr Deepak Raheja) to support their growth plans and enable a refinance of existing lenders across two hospitality projects – The JW Marriott in Bangalore and the Crowne Plaza in Pune. 
"Both the properties enjoy the advantage of being in prime locations and expect excellent growth in terms of Occupancy and Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR)," the release said.
"Hospitality is an evergreen sector and quality assets at good locations have thrived across business cycles. Hotels are long gestation projects and require long term financing partners who can provide tailor made solutions which can help the asset ride successfully across business cycles. PFL has always followed a partnership approach and will follow similar approach with respect to investments in hospitality with the ability to participate across the entire capital stack – be it senior debt opportunities, mezzanine funding, last mile funding towards completion and acquisition financing opportunities in the sector," the release said. 
Khushru Jijina, Managing Director, Piramal Finance Limited, said “Identifying a niche in the market and creating uniquely customized funding solutions has always been our forte and we have been fortunate in being able to apply the same across sectors in the past. The hospitality sector is uniquely positioned at the intersection of being both a real estate and a service oriented business in our opinion and through the combination of our Wholesale RE Funding platform, the Corporate Finance Group and our Capital Markets Group, we are able to service the needs of this industry across the entire capital stack, on behalf of both hotel owners as well as operators, on a holistic basis. I look forward to many more such transactions as we commit more resources towards the sector.”
Gaurav Bhalla, Director, Vatika Group, said “We are extremely pleased to have extended our partnership with the Piramal Group beyond residential and concluded a transaction against our hotel assets. We believe they bring a unique perspective along with an ability to  understand the business extremely well and have provided us with unique insights as well as creative and customized solutions time and again to meet our growth capital needs.“
Deepak Raheja, Promoter, Advantage Raheja Group, said “The team from Piramal was able to understand the industry dynamics and create a tailored solution that would not have otherwise been possible from a standard / typical lender. I am extremely pleased with our association which transcends beyond the provision of capital towards engagement on the growth and revenue optimization strategy for both the hotel assets and we look forward to scaling this relationship further.”
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RBI reiterates legal tender status of Rs. 10 coins of different designs

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today reiterated that all the Rs. 10 coins issued by it had legal tender status.
The clarification by the central bank came after reports that there was reluctance on the part of traders and members of the public in certain places to accept Rs. 10 coins due to doubts about their genuineness.
"It is clarified that the Reserve Bank puts into circulation, the coins minted by mints, which are under the Government of India. These coins have distinctive features to reflect various themes of economic, social and cultural values and are introduced from time to time.
"As coins have longer life, coins of different designs and shapes circulate in the market at the same time. So far the Reserve Bank has issued Rs. 10 coins in 14 designs and the public has been informed of their distinctive features through Press Releases. All these coins are legal tender and can be accepted for transactions," a press release from RBI said.
RBI had issued a similar press release on November 20, 2016 requesting members of the public to continue to accept coins of Rs. 10 denomination as legal tender in all their transactions without any hesitation.
The Reserve Bank has also advised banks to accept coins for transactions and exchange at all their branches, the release added.
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Land Rover introduces 2018 Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition in India

Model Year 2018 Range Rover Landmark
Model Year 2018 Range Rover Landmark
Land Rover has introduced the Model Year 2018 Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition in India to commemorate six successful years of the stylish sports utility vehicle (SUV). 
The most decorated Range Rover, with over 200 awards to its name, the Landmark Edition is priced at Rs. 50.20 Lakh. It is powered by the 132 kW 2.0 l Ingenium diesel powertrain, a press release from the company said.
The release said that new to the Landmark Edition are a host of features that distinguish it from the standard Model Year 2018 Range Rover Evoque. These include a Dynamic Body Style kit, body coloured lower door cladding, Graphite Atlas grille, bonnet, fender vent and tailgate lettering, Gloss Black (18) wheels, a Carpathian Grey contrast roof and a choice of three exterior colours, including a luminescent Moraine Blue, inspired by the turquoise lakes of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. 
The interior is outfitted with Dark Satin Brushed Aluminium centre console trim finishers surrounded by grained Ebony Leather seats with contrasting Light Lunar stitching and perforated mid-section. Keyless entry and Powered Gesture Tailgate are also standard on the Landmark Edition.
Rohit Suri, President & Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover India Ltd. (JLRIL), said: “The Range Rover Evoque has brought Range Rover luxury and refinement to new customers around the world and in India. Its critically acclaimed design, desirability and all-terrain capability has been further enhanced with the Model Year 2018 Range Rover Landmark Edition and we are happy to offer it to our discerning customers. With its striking looks and updated feature set, we are confident that the Range Rover Evoque fan base will grow even further.”
The Land Rover range in India includes the Discovery Sport (starting at Rs. 42.48 lakh), the Range Rover Evoque (starting at Rs. 50.20 lakh), All-New Discovery (starting at Rs. 71.38 lakh), the New Range Rover Velar (starting at Rs. 78.83 lakh), Range Rover Sport (starting at Rs. 93.82 lakh) and Range Rover (starting at Rs. 166.42 lakh). All prices mentioned are ex-showroom prices in India. 
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L&T Construction wins orders valued at Rs. 1310 crore

Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said its construction arm had won orders worth Rs. 1,310 crore across various business segments.
A press release said the company's Water and Eflluent Treatment Business had won orders worth Rs. 631 crore. 
These include an order secured from Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (BUIDCO), Government of Bihar to lay a new sewerage network and construct pumping stations at Saidpur. The scope includes survey, review of designs, redesign & build the new sewerage network of 172 Km length, design & construct four pumping stations and all appurtenant structures.
Another order has been bagged from Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Limited (KNNL), Government of Karnataka for the execution of a lift irrigation system in Harapanahalli Taluk, Davanagere district.
The release said the company's Buildings & Factories Business had won an order worth Rs. 340 crore, including a contract to construct an IT Park in Chennai from a leading developer. The proposed development will offer two towers of ten floors each and is required to be completed within stringent timelines. L&T’s scope includes construction of the entire civil structure, architecture works, façade and MEP works.
The Power Transmission & Distribution Business had bagged orders worth Rs. 339 crore, including one from DNH Power Distribution Corporation Ltd. for establishing a 66kV Gas Insulated Substation with associated 66kV, 11kV and LT underground cable network in Silvassa city, the capital of the Indian Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
The business has also won an order from Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited to convert the overhead conductor system to an underground cabling system to achieve reliable and uninterrupted power supply with improved voltage profile, in a subdivision of Bengaluru Metropolitan Area Zone, the release added.
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Judge Loya's death: Have no suspicions, stop harassing us, says son Anuj

Anuj Loya, the 21-year-old son of Judge Brijgopal Loya, who died in Nagpur on December 1, 2014 while he was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter death case in Mumbai, today said he and his family had no allegations or suspicion against anyone in the matter and urged the media, NGOs, political parties and others to stop "harassing" them.
"We are really pained. We are really trying to get out of this thing. Please don't, I request yu, to not try to harass or trouble us," he said at a press conference.
The controversy surrounding the death of the judge hit the headlines once again on Friday when four of the seniormost judges of the Supreme Court of India came out openly against the Chief Justice of India, Mr. Justice Dipak Misra, over the manner in which cases were allocated to judges in the apex court, among other things.
Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur, and Kurian Joseph—the four senior-most judges after the CJI -- also released a letter that they had sent to him on various issues.
To repeated questions at the press conference, the judges declined to go into the details of the issues they were raising, though Justice Gogoi did at one stage say that the issue on which they had met the CJI on Friday  morning was about the allocation of the case relating to the death of Mr. Loya, the CBI Special Judge who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter death case, in which current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Amit Shah had been named as an accused by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2010.
The Caravan magazine had reported some months ago that some members of Mr. Loya's family, including his father and sisters, had doubts about the circumstances in which the judge had died.
Asked if he had had any doubts in the matter of his father's death, as had been reported in the media earlier, he said, "I was 17 then, and going through an emotional turmoil." He said that the family was now convinced that Mr. Loya had died of a heart atttack.
Mr. K. B. Katake, a former district judge and a friend of the family of Judge Loya, was also present at the press conference. He said many people were "harassing" the  family by asking them questions about Mr. Loya's death.
"There is no suspicion in the minds of the family in respect of his death," he said.
He said the family was initially uspet after losing the only earning member of the household. Some suspicions were created in their minds at that time, he said. "However, now everything is clear," he said.
He said two senior judges were with Mr. Loya when he complained of a pain in the chest while on a visit to Nagpur and that doctors had made every possible effort to save him.
Mr. Katake said the "harassment" had affected Anuj, a second year student of law, quite a lot and urged people to leave the family alone. "Please let the  family live in peace, they have been suffering for the last three years," he said.
Mr. Ameet Naik, a lawyer for the family, also said the issue should not be politicised, because there is no controversys about what had happened. "The family has gone through great grief, we don't them to be victims of politicisation of the issue," he said.
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Kovind says political democracy cannot be strong in absence of economic, social democracy

President Ram Nath Kovind today said that political democracy could not be strong in the absence of economic and social democracy and stressed that improvement in the economic condition of deprived sections was imperative.
Inaugurating the ‘Economic Democracy Conclave’ organised by Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini at Thane near here, he said that it was very important for the country and society to strengthen economic democracy through entrepreneurship. 
He praised the Prabodhini team for its contribution to strengthening the political, economic and social dimensions of democracy in the country for the past 35 years.
Mr. Kovind noted that many initiatives have been taken in the country with the aim of ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas’ and ‘Sabka Samman, Sabka Utthan’. 
"These have a singular goal of strengthening economic and social democracy. The idea behind these programmes is that if anyone has to really help someone, then he/she should be made financially self-reliant," he said.
The President said that the promotion of an entrepreneurial culture in the country is not the sole responsibility of the Government. Family, educational institutions, private sector banks and entrepreneurs and NGOs have the responsibility to create an environment where private enterprise is encouraged. 
"Together, we should create a culture in which self-employment is not chosen just due to the compulsion of not getting a job. The idea of ??becoming ‘job-giver’ instead of ‘job-seeker’ should be embraced," he said.
Later in the day, the President visited the Global Vipassana Pagoda in Mumbai.  
Speaking on the occasion, he said that in today’s world,  it has become important to spread the Buddha's teachings. And Vipassana is one of those methods that can bring his message to the people. The President congratulated the Global Vipassana Foundation for its various social welfare initiatives.
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ONGC chopper crash: Six bodies, VDR recovered; search continues for one missing person

Ships and aircraft of the Indian Navy, the Coast Guard and ONGC have recovered six bodies so far and continued massive search operations on Sunday for the one remaining missing person after a Pawan Hans helicopter with five ONGC officers and two pilots on board crashed into the Arabian Sea on Saturday morning.

Indian Coast Guard personnel picking up debris of the crashed Pawan Hans helicopter from the Arabian Sea, off Mumbai, on January 13, 2018.
Indian Coast Guard personnel picking up debris of the crashed Pawan Hans helicopter from the Arabian Sea, off Mumbai, on January 13, 2018.
Ships and aircraft of the Indian Navy, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) have recovered six bodies so far and continued massive search operations today for the one remaining missing person after a Pawan Hans helicopter with five ONGC officers and two pilots on board crashed into the Arabian Sea yesterday morning.
An ICG ship had located the debris of the French-made Dauphin SA 365N3 helicopter in the sea by mid-afternoon yesterday and also retrieved five bodies yesterday. One body was recovered today, ONGC sources said.
The wreckage was located at a point about 37 nautical miles from Mumbai, the sources said.
A press release from ONGC said the six persons whose bodies were recovered so far included one of the two pilots -- Capt. R. Ohatkar -- and four ONGC officials -- Mr. P. N. Srinivasan, Mr. R. Saravanan, Mr. Jose Antony and Mr. Pankaj Garg. The identification process for the sixth  body was on, it said.
Search operations continued for the one person who is still missing, the release said.
During the search and rescue (SAR) operations today, the Voice Data Recorder (VDR) of the chopper has been recovered. Search is on for the remaining debris of the production chopper VT-PWA.
ONGC and Coast Guard vessels: CG-268, CG-241, CG-314, Suriya-3, and CG-769, Samudra Sevak, HAL Anant, TAG-20, TAG 17, TAG-15, OSVs LJ Johnson and BS Negi and Ocean Crewser-III have been relentlessly combing the area. 
The search operation is being steered by the ONGC top management led by its chairman and managing director Shashi Shanker, who is camping in Mumbai to oversee the efforts.
Mr. Shanker has also been ensuring all support for the bereaved families and has stated that a high level independent investigation will be immediately instituted to ascertain the reasons. 
The recovered bodies of ONGC executives, after necessary procedures, have been handed over to the family members and two families have taken the bodies to their native places for last rites as desired by the family members. ONGC is extending all possible help to the bereaved families in this hour of grief and crisis, the release said.
Official sources said the flight data recorder (FDR) of the ill-fated helicopter had been retrieved by an ONGC vessel, Samudra Sevak.
Meanwhile, an ONGC vessel, TAG 15, undertaking side scan sonar operations ahd found some debris about 600 yards from the wreckage position. A diving team from Samudra Sevak is preparing to undertake diving operations. A diving team from INS Teg is on standby.
The helicopter was on its way from the Juhu helibase here to an oil rig in Mumbai High North yesterday morning when it was reported missing. It  had taken off from Juhu at 1006 hours and was enroute to oil rig ‘NQO’ in Mumbai High North, 92 miles north-west of Mumbai. Communication with the helicopter was lost at 1036 hours when it was about 37 nautical miles from Mumbai.
ONGC pressed into service its helicopter and speedboats for search operations as soon as the information was received by the Helibase Control Room.
A press release from the Navy said the search operations for the helicopter continued throughout last night and were continuing.
INS Teg with its integral helo assumed the duties of Senior Officer Search Force commencing yesterday evening and coordinated the search and rescue efforts with IN, ICG and ONGC assets.
In addition, IN Dornier (medium range aircraft) and P8I (long range aircraft) continued to augment surface search efforts late last night and efforts with helicopters Seaking SK 520  and Chetak CH 429 (Ex INS Teg) have been continuing since this morning. Additional debris sighted by ships and aircraft are being recovered.
INS Makar, a special hydrographic ship with side scan sonar capability, will supplement search efforts. A total of 16 ships -- two of the Navy, five of the Coast Guard and nine of the ONGC -- and four aircraft -- a Seaking and Chetak from the navy and a Dornier and a Chetak from ICG -- are engaged in the search operations.
OSV TAG-15 (with side scan sonar) and OSV Samudra Sevak (OSV) are currently undertaking survey and diving in the area.
Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Petroleum Secretary K. D. Tripathi rushed to Mumbai yesterday to monitor the search operations.
"The reason behind the unfortunate incident is yet to be ascertained," a press release from ONGC had said yesterday.
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