ADVERTISEMENT

Mumbai

Eight killed, 11 injured as luxury bus rams into diesel tanker in Thane

At least eight passengers were killed and 11 others suffered injuries when a private luxury bus they were travelling in rammed into a diesel tanker from behind near Kude village in Palghar taluka of Thane district in Maharashtra in the early hours of Wednesday.

Bus collides with oil tanker in Thane, eight charred to death
At least eight passengers were killed and 11 others suffered injuries when a private luxury bus they were travelling in rammed into a diesel tanker from behind near Kude village in Palghar taluka of Thane district in Maharashtra in the early hours of today.
 
Official sources told NetIndian that the bodies of those killed in the mishap were charred beyond recognition after the two vehicles erupted into flames in the impact of the collision.
 
Police said all the deceased passengers of the bus, which was on its way from Pune to Ahmedabad. The driver of the bus was among those killed.
 
The accident occurred around 1.45 am at Kude, which is in the Manor police station area, on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway.
 
In all, the bus was carrying about 20 passengers. The bus belonged to a Pune firm, while the tanker was carrying diesel from Bharat Petroleum Corporation and was on its way to Vapi in Gujarat, they said.
 
The bodies of the victims had been sent for post-mortem examination. The district authorities have asked the bus operator to provide them with the list of passengers on the bus. DNA tests would be conducted to help establish the identity of those killed, the sources said.
 
District Collector P Velrasu said that nine of the passengers had got onto the bus from Pune, of whom six were safe. Other passengers got into the bus at points such as Panvel and Thane, they said.
 
The district administration was making efforts to establish the identity of the victims.
 
The injured people were admitted to the Manor Rural Hospital for treatment, where they were said to be out of danger.
 
Fire tenders from nearby areas rushed to the spot and helped to bring the fire under control. 
 
Several senior officials of the district administration and police also reached the scene. Traffic on the highway was affected briefly as a consequence of the accident, sources added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

RBI hikes repo rate by 25 bps to 8%, keeps CRR unchanged at 4%

The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday surprised the markets yet again by increasing the key policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility by 25 basis points from 7.75 per cent to 8.0 per cent, citing the elevated consumer inflation levels.

RBI hikes repo rate by 25 bps to 8%
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today surprised the markets yet again by increasing the key policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 7.75 per cent to 8.0 per cent, citing the elevated consumer inflation levels.
 
In  its Third Quarter Review of Monetary Policy 2013-14, the central bank kept the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks unchanged at 4.0 per cent of net demand and time liability (NDTL).
 
Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stood adjusted at 7.0 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 9.0 per cent.
 
The markets and economists had not expected any change in the rates.
 
Announcing the hike, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said that an increase in the policy rate by 25 basis points was needed to set the economy securely on the recommended disinflationary path.
 
Referring to the balance of risks in the evolving macroeconomic outlook, he said the slowdown in the economy was getting increasingly worrisome. 
 
"Our current assessment is that growth is likely to lose momentum in Q3 of 2013-14, with industrial activity in contractionary mode, mainly on account of manufacturing. Lead indicators of services also suggest a subdued outlook, barring some pick-up in transport and communication activity," he said.
 
On the other hand, agricultural performance had so far been robust, and the strong pick-up in rabi sowing indicated that this should be sustained, he said.
 
He said that another silver lining was the significant narrowing of the trade deficit on the back of resilient export growth. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
"The current account deficit for 2013-14 is now expected to be below 2.5 per cent of GDP as compared with 4.8 per cent in 2012-13. The recent resumption of capital inflows should help finance the current account deficit comfortably. Reserves have been rebuilt since September, and are expected to increase further as oil marketing companies, that have been buying foreign exchange in the market, repay the Reserve Bank when their swaps come due. 
 
"Nevertheless, given the uncertain external environment, the government and the RBI cannot pause in their efforts to ensure fiscal and monetary stability," he said.
 
According to Dr Rajan, the gravest risk to the value of the rupee is from CPI inflation which remains elevated at close to double digits, despite the anticipated disinflation in vegetable and fruit prices. 
 
"Moreover, inflation excluding food and fuel has also been high, especially in respect of services, indicative of wage pressures and other second round effects. Elevated levels of inflation erode household budgets and constrict the purchasing power of consumers. This, in turn, discourages investment and weakens growth. High inflation weakens the rupee. Inflation is also a tax that is grossly inequitable, falling hardest on the very poor. It is only by bringing down inflation to a low and stable level that monetary policy can contribute to reviving consumption and investment in a sustainable way. The so-called trade-off between inflation and growth is a false trade-off in the long run," he said.
 
Dr Rajan said it was possible to bring inflation under control without a substantial sacrifice of short term growth, provided the country did what was necessary and was patient.
 
He recalled that, in the Mid-Quarter Review on December 18, 2013, the policy decision was to wait for more data, and that the RBI had offered guidance on what it would do contingent on the data.
 
"Although headline inflation has fallen significantly with the substantial fall in vegetable prices, CPI inflation excluding food and fuel has remained flat and WPI inflation excluding food and fuel has risen. Given these data, the increase in the policy rate undertaken today is consistent with the guidance given in the Mid-Quarter Review," he said.
 
Dr Rajan also pointed out that the Dr. Urjit Patel Committee had indicated a “glide path” for disinflation that sets an objective of below 8 per cent CPI inflation by January 2015 and below 6 per cent CPI inflation by January 2016. 
 
"The Reserve Bank’s baseline projections set out in the accompanying Review of Macroeconomic and Monetary Developments for Q3 of 2013-14 indicate that over the ensuing 12-month horizon, and with an unchanged policy stance, there are upside risks to the central forecast of 8 per cent. Accordingly, an increase in the policy rate by 25 basis points is needed to set the economy securely on the recommended disinflationary path," he said.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
He said that, if the disinflationary process evolved according to this baseline projection, further policy tightening in the near term was not anticipated at this juncture. 
 
"In fact, if inflation eases at a pace that is faster than we currently anticipate, and that reduction is expected to be sustained, the Reserve Bank will have room to become more accommodative," he said.
 
"Of course, the Reserve Bank is fostering growth through steady reforms. For example, last week, cash settled interest rate futures started trading on various exchanges. The enhanced framework for resolution of distressed assets will be operational by April 1. The recommendations of the Dr. Nachiket Mor Committee on financial inclusion are being examined carefully as are the recommendations of the Dr. Urjit Patel Committee on the monetary policy framework," he added.
 
NNN
 

 

ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

Tata Motors Managing Director Karl Slim dies in Bangkok

Karl J. Slym
Karl J. Slym
Tata Motors' Managing Director Karl Slym died today in Bangkok, where he had gone to attend a meeting of the board of the company's Thailand unit.
 
"The company shares the grief of Karl Slym's wife and family at their irreparable loss," a statement from the company said here.
 
Media reports from Bangkok said Slym, 51, seemed to have fallen from a higher floor of the hotel he was staying in.
 
"I am deeply saddened to inform you about the untimely and tragic demise of our company's Managing Director, Karl Slym," a statement from Tata Motors Chairman Cyrus P Mistry said.
 
Slym joined Tata Motors as Managing Director in 2012 and was leading its operations in India and international markets, excluding the Jaguar and Land Rover business. 
 
Before joining Tata Motors, he was the Executive Vice President & Board Member, SGMW Motors, China (a General Motors Joint Venture), prior to which he was President, Managing Director and Board Member of General Motors in India. 
 
For over two decades, Mr. Slym had been with Toyota and General Motors in various positions across geographies. He was an alumnus of Stanford University and a Sloan Fellow.
 
NNN 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

CBI arrests EPFO official, private individual in Mumbai in bribery case

ADVERTISEMENT
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today said it had arrested an Area Enforcement Officer of the Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) at Kandivili, Mumbai and a private consultant for demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs. 13 lakh from the manager of a hospital.
 
A press release from the agency said a case was registered against the EPFO officer on the basis of a complaint that he had demanded a bribe of Rs 15 lakh from the complainant for showing a favour in the matter of the EPF liability of the hospital at Palghar in Thane district.
 
After verifying the demand of bribe, CBI laid a trap and the EPFO consultant,  private individual, was arrested for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs.13 lakh on behalf of the Area Enforcement Officer, who was also later arrested.
 
Searches were conducted at the residential and official premises of both the accused persons, the release said.
 
The arrested accused were produced before the Designated Court and were remanded six days police custody, it added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

India’s forex reserves fall by $1.205 billion to $ 292.081 billion

ADVERTISEMENT
India’s foreign exchange reserves fell sharply by $ 1.205 billion to $ 292.081 billion in the week ended January 17, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said today.
 
The forex reserves had risen by $ 179 million to $ 293.287 billion in the previous week. In the week ended January 3, the reserves had gone down by a whopping $ 2.599 billion to $ 293.109 billion
 
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, declined by $ 1.209 billion to $ 265.935 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 last week’s level of $ 19.724 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) declined by $ 2.6 million to $ 4.428 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) went up by $ 1.2 million to $ 1.994 billion during the week, the bulletin added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

Organized retail real estate supply grows 78% in 2013: CBRE

The total organized retail real estate supply in India grew by 78 per cent to approximately 4.7 million square feet in 2013 from the total mall supply of 2.5 million square feet in 2012, according to a new report from CBRE.
 
Pointing out that most of the supply in 2013 was concentrated across Tier II cities, the report, India Retail Market View H2 2013, aid that 2014 was likely to witness supply addition in the key hubs of the National Capital Region (NCR) and Mumbai.
 
The report said demand from international and domestic brands as well as retailers continued to strengthen throughout 2013; with the second half of the year witnessing an increase in demand for quality retail space in Delhi NCR, Pune and Chennai.
 
Demand from global retailers in the Delhi NCR and Mumbai markets remained buoyant, as more retail groups sought space in prime shopping centres, as opposed to standalone high street outlets, the report said.
 
“Despite ongoing uncertainty, retail real estate witnessed good activity during 2013 with a number of international brands entering and expanding across key cities," Mr. Anshuman Magazine, Chairman and Managing Director of CBRE, South Asia Pvt. Ltd., said.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
"The year 2014 is expected to remain positive for the retail sector, with existing brands expected to ramp up operations and new brands look to making their India entries. Although domestic retailers have been performing steadily, they face competition from global retail groups, especially in the apparel and F&B segments," he said.
 
The report said that prominent global players—such as Starbucks, Krispy Kreme, Dunkin Donuts, Forever 21, Zara and Superdry—expanded their presence across the country’s leading cities.
 
Retailers in the luxury and bridge-to-luxury segments were particularly active, with brands such as Brook Brothers, Missoni, Michael Kors and Emilo Pucci making inroads into the country’s market places, it said.
 
According to the report, rental values displayed mixed trends across the top cities during H2 2013. While traditional high street markets—such as Khan Market (Delhi) and Brigade Road, Commercial Street (Bangalore) witnessed an increase in rental values, the shopping hubs of Eastern Mumbai and South Bangalore observed a rental decline in H2 2013 compared to first half of the year.
 
Cities such as Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata largely witnessed stability in pricing across most micro-markets; while Pune saw an increase across its high streets, even as its mall rentals remained stable.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
"Going forward, the limited availability of quality retail space in core locations is likely to pose a greater barrier to new retailer entry in a number of key markets—including Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Bangalore—as opposed to prohibitive rentals. On account of such constraints in quality supply, select developments are likely to witness greater than average increment in rentals because of retailer preferences for such spaces," the report added.
 
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is one of the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firms.
 
NNN
 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

Actor Shah Rukh Khan suffers minor injuries while shooting in Mumbai

Hotel doors falls on SRK, injuring him!
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan suffered minor injuries while shooting for filmmaker Farah Khan's Happy New Year at a five-star hotel in the suburbs today.
 
"Mr Khan had a minor accident on the sets while shooting. He has a minor injury and has got the necessary medical aid. Mr Khan is absolutely fine now. Thank you for all your wishes!" an official statement from his office said.
 
According to various accounts of the incident, the actor suffered the injures when a door, with a problem in its hinges, fell on him when he was passing through. 
 
He was rushed to the Nanavati Hospital nearby, where doctors treated him for bruises and also conducted various tests to make sure there were no internal injuries.
 
The actor, who left the hospital for home after about two hours, was advised by the doctors to rest for the day, sources added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

RBI says banknotes issued prior to 2005 will be withdrawn after March 31, 2014

The Reserve Bank of India said on Wednesday that it would, after March 31, 2014, completely withdraw from circulation all banknotes issued prior to 2005.

ADVERTISEMENT
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today said that it would, after March 31, 2014, completely withdraw from circulation all banknotes issued prior to 2005.
 
From April 1, 2014, the public will be required to approach banks for exchanging these notes, a press release from the central bank said.
 
Banks will provide exchange facility for these notes until further communication, it said.
 
The RBI said the public could easily identify the notes to be withdrawn as the notes issued before 2005 do not have on them the year of printing on the reverse side. 
 
It also clarified that the notes issued before 2005 will continue to be legal tender. This would mean that banks are required to exchange the notes for their customers as well as for non-customers.
 
From July 1, 2014, however,  to exchange more than 10 pieces of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, non-customers will have to furnish proof of identity and residence to the bank branch in which she/he wants to exchange the notes.
 
The Reserve Bank has appealed to the public not to panic and requested them to actively co-operate in the withdrawal process.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

STAR India signs eight-year broadcast, rights deal with International Hockey Federation

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) and STAR India, which runs India’s leading sports network STAR Sports, today announced that they had signed an eight-year strategic partnership to improve the production of international hockey broadcast and extend hockey’s reach worldwide. 
 
The deal will run from January 2015 to December 2022. During the period of the deal, FIH will look to host a major event in India each year, a press release from FIH said.
 
It said STAR Sports would be the host broadcaster for key FIH events both in India and throughout the world and will be responsible for ensuring consistent and high level production.
 
"The partnership with STAR Sports is in line with FIH’s strategy to put events at the forefront and also its determination to inspire and entertain a global movement of hockey fans and players," the release said.
 
"FIH recently introduced a strong focus on digital engagement, branding and promotion of events to improve the spectator experience. Making the television coverage more entertaining and compelling is fundamental to achieving this goal," it said.
 
According to the release, STAR Sports has an impeccable track record. In their position as the International Cricket Council’s (ICC’s) global Broadcast & Production Partner, the company has continuously raised the bar in their television coverage of all ICC events, it said.
 
"Last year, STAR Sports partnered with Hockey India to launch the pioneering Hockey India League (HIL). STAR Sports showcased hockey in a completely new way, offering a TV experience relevant to the youth market. In its first season, HIL was broadcast in more than 80 territories across the globe," it said.
 
As part of the deal, STAR Sports has acquired global media rights for all territories, excluding Argentina. Through its network of international affiliates and other national broadcasters, content will be distributed to over 200 countries, reaching billions of sports fans taking hockey’s global viewing audience to unprecedented levels, it said.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
FIH President Leandro Negre said: "This partnership is an incredibly important and exciting development for international hockey. Our vision is to entertain and inspire a global movement of hockey fans and players and STAR Sports is an industry leader when it comes to significantly increasing the reach and popularity of sport. Not only will STAR Sports promote hockey worldwide between Olympic Games’ cycles, which is incredibly important to sustaining interest in hockey, but it will make our sport much more interactive and entertaining. STAR’s ability to deliver immersive, engaging and captivating coverage will draw new young audiences towards hockey. We look forward to working together to truly grow the popularity of hockey.”
 
Kelly Fairweather, Chief Executive Officer of FIH, said: “Our partnership with STAR Sports is a major stride forward for hockey, and one that I am personally very excited about. I consider it to be a game changer both for the sport of hockey and for the millions of fans who will watch FIH events on television and on the internet all around the world. STAR Sports share our determination to raise the bar in terms of the production values and the viewer experience in a rapidly changing multi-screen environment. Their know-how will be hugely beneficial, and we look forward to working with them to ensure that our incredible sport is presented to the world in the best possible way.”
 
Nitin Kukreja, Head of Sports Business, STAR India, said: “We are delighted to be FIH’s global production, host broadcast and distribution partner. The partnership ties-in well with our overall vision of promoting sports culture in India. Hockey is a priority sport for us and we are thrilled that India will host one key event every year during the eight year term. We believe that hosting an international event each year, which is produced innovatively, will significantly boost the popularity of hockey in India. The sport has a glorious heritage in India and we believe that it has a tremendous future. We will work closely with FIH and invest in production to ensure that hockey reaches its full potential. As we have done with HIL, we will aim to innovate and create an exciting visual spectacle for international viewers.”
 
FIH is the world governing body for the sport of hockey, recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Founded in 1924, FIH has 127 member National Associations.
 
STAR India is a fully owned subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

18 killed, 50 injured in stampede in Mumbai after death of Dawoodi Bohra leader

18 killed in a stampede in Mumbai
At least 18 people were killed and more than 50 others suffered injuries in a stampede that occurred in the early hours of today near the Malabar Hill residence of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, the spiritual leader of the Dawoodi Bohra community, who died here yesterday.
 
Police sources said the tragedy occurred around 0200 hours today when thousands of mourners thronged the Saifee Mahal, where Dr Burhanduddin's body had been placed for his followers to pay their last respects.
 
The injured were rushed to the Saifee Hospital, where 17 people, including two children, were declared dead. One person died in Cumbala Hill Hospital.
 
Most of the injured were discharged after first aid, the sourcs said.
 
According to the sources, the numbers of people who turned up at the place, located in a narrow lane, were much higher than anticipated by the community leaders and the police. According to one estimate, more than a lakh people were gathered in the area when the stampede occurred.
 
Thousands of mourners from all over India and abroad joined the funeral procession of Dr Burhanuddin from his residence today amid tight security arrangements.
 
Dr Burhanuddin will be laid to rest at Raudat Tahera mausoleum at Bhendi Bazar here this afternoon.
 
President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have condoled the death of Dr Burhanuddin.
 
“In the passing away of Dr. Syedna Burhanuddin, the Dawoodi Bohra Community has lost a spiritual leader of highest order whose guidance and insightful teachings will continue to inspire people to follow the path of kindness and compassion," Mr Mukherjee said.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Dr Singh said he had received the news of the passing away of Dr Burhanuddin's death with deep sadness.
 
He stated that Dr. Burhanuddin led the Dawoodi Bohra Community with wisdom and enlightenment. 
 
"His appeal went beyond the community as his compassion and humanism inspired people of all faiths," he said.
 
The Prime Minister extended his heartfelt condolences to the followers of Dr. Burhanuddin. 
 
Dawoodi Bohras are a sect of Shia Muslims and Dr Burhanuddin was the 52nd Dai al-Mutlaq of the community that is spead across the world.
 
He had succeeded his father Syedna Taher Saifuddin to the position after his death in 1965.
 
Dr Burhanuddin was born in Surat, Gujarat, in 1915. While he was 98 according to the Gregorian calendar, he had attained the age of 102 according to the Islamic calendar.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

Reliance Industries reports Q3 net profit of Rs 5511 crore

Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today reported a 0.2 per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) rise in its net profit for the third quarter for FY14 to Rs 5511 crore, helped by steady margins in its refining business.
 
The Mukesh Ambani-led company had reported a net profit of Rs 5502 crore in the third quarter of the previous fiscal.
 
Releasing its unaudited financial results for the quarter and the nine-month period ended December 31, 2013, the company said is turnover had gone up by 10.5 per cent to Rs 106,383 crore in Q3 from Rs 96,307 crore in the same quarter of FY13.
 
The company said its exports increased by 11.3 per cent to Rs 74,495 crore in the third quarter. Its gross refining margin was $7.6 per barrel (bbl) for the quarter.
 
The company’s revenue for the nine-month period increased by 6.7 per cent to Rs 303,495 crore, while exports grew by 16.4 per cent to Rs 208,950 crore. The net profit for the period went up by 6.1 per cet to Rs 16,353 crore.
 
“Reliance’s robust refining configuration enabled it to deliver stable refining profits in 3Q FY14, against the backdrop of declining regional benchmark margins,” RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
“ Even as we invest to further strengthen our energy businesses, this quarter demonstrates the outstanding quality of our refining and petrochemical business resources and their ability to deliver creditable performance in a period marked by cyclicality and uncertainties. We are happy to announce the commissioning of our new polyester facility in Silvassa, the first amongst a series of projects that underpin RIL’s industry-leading competitive position. Our retail business continues on its rapid growth trajectory with 38% revenue growth during the quarter,” he said.
 
The company said in a press release that higher prices accounted for 6.4% growth in revenue while increase in volume accounted for 0.3% growth in revenue. 
 
The release said the company’s KG-D6 field produced1.45 million barrels of crude oil, 0.2 million barrels of condensate and 135 BCF of natural gas in 9M FY14, a reduction of 38%, 44% and 51%respectively on a Y-o-Y basis. Fall in production is mainly attributed to geological complexity and natural decline in the fields, it said.
 
The release said Panna-Mukta fields produced 5.7 million barrels of crude oil and 50.9 BCF of natural gas in 9M FY14 – a reduction of 11% and 7% respectively on Y-o-Y basis. The decrease in production was due to a shut-down of Panna-Mukta field for three days for SBM maintenance and re-certification work, coupled with natural decline. The decline in production was partly compensated by incremental production from Panna “L” area and Infill wells. 
 
Tapti produced 0.2 million barrels of condensate and 21.4 BCF of natural gas in 9M FY14 – a decline of 52% and 41% respectively on Y-o-Y basis. The decrease was due to a natural decline and under performance of new ERD wells drilled last year. 
 
Reliance’s shale gas business witnessed strong sequential growth during the quarter. Reliance’s share of gross production stood at 43 Bcfe in 3Q FY14, which reflected a growth of 33% Y-o-Y. On a sequential quarter basis, volumes grew 18%.
 
The company said 9M FY14 revenue from the Refining and Marketing segment increased by 7.2% Y-o-Y to Rs 274,346 crore, while EBIT was flat at Rs 9,266 crore. 
 
RIL’s Gross Refining Margin (GRM) for the nine months period was at $ 7.8 /bbl as against $ 9.0 /bbl in the corresponding period of the previous year. For 9M FY14, RIL Jamnagar refineries processed 51.7 MMT of crude, achieving an average utilization of 111%. 
 
Total exports of refined products reached $ 30.2 billion for 9M FY14 period and accounted for 64% of aggregate refinery product volumes. Exports of refined products were 33.7 MMT in 9M FY14 as compared to 30.9 MMT during the same period last year. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
During 3Q FY14, RIL Jamnagar refineries processed 17.0 MMT of crude, an operating rate of 110%, sequentially lower due to maintenance turnaround. With turnarounds, post the driving season, the third quarter utilizations in North America, Europe and Asia were 83.5%, 74.3% and 85.8% respectively. 
 
During the quarter, revenue from Refining & Marketing segment increased by 10.1% to Rs 95,432 crore ($ 15.4 billion) from Rs 86,641 crore in 3Q FY13. Growth in revenue was accounted by 1% higher volume and 9.1% increase in prices. 
 
EBIT was at Rs 3,141 crore ($ 508 million) down 13.1% on Y-o-Y basis, and 1.0% on a sequential quarter basis. RIL’s refining business maintained stable earnings on Q-o-Q basis despite lower volumes and decline in regional benchmark complex margins. 
 
RIL’s margins were positively impacted by widening crude differentials, strength in middle-distillates and naphtha product cracks, which was offset by weak gasoline cracks. 
 
The company’s 9M FY14 revenue from the petrochemicals segment increased by 9.4% Y-o-Y to Rs 72,122 crore ($ 11.7 billion). Higher prices accounted for 9.5% growth in revenue which was partly offset by the decrease in volumes of 0.1%. EBIT margin improved to 9.0% in 9M FY14 as compared to 8.2% a year ago. 
 
RIL’s 3QFY14 Petrochemical EBIT declined 15.2% Q-o-Q to Rs  2,124 crore impacted by poor domestic demand for polymers and polyester, sequential decline in regional deltas for key products – PP, PVC and fibre intermediates. 
 
Reliance Retail registered a growth of 38% in turnover over the same quarter last year. Revenues grew to Rs 3,927 crore in the third quarter compared to Rs 2,839 crore during the same period in the previous year. For the nine months ended December 2013, the retail business achieved a turnover of Rs 10,857 crore as against Rs 7,749 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year, a growth of 40%. 
 
NNN
 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

Govt. unveils new land policy for major ports

ADVERTISEMENT
The Union Government today unveiled new policy guidelines for major ports, aimed at helping them leverage their land resources for commercial advantage. 
 
Participating in the annual "Ports in India" conference here, Shipping Secretary Vishwapati Trivedi said the new guidelines provided the necessary regulatory framework for land allotment by major ports.
 
 Mr.Trivedi said the guidelines had been drawn up to help the ports to carry out leasing and licensing of port land in a transparent manner. Discretionary powers had been reduced and tender-cum-auction had been prescribed as the most preferred method of allotment, he said.
 
Major ports in India have a total of 2.64 lakh acres of land, which is a major resource. So far, the land utilization has not been optimum and often yielded low returns. The thrust of the new policy is on linking the value of land with prevailing market rates. 
 
Under the new policy guidelines, land can be allotted only through licensing in custom bond areas by inviting competitive bidding, while land outside custom bond areas can be leased through tender-cum-auction. 
 
There is also a provision to license land outside custom bond areas, but it should be only for port related activities. The Boards of respective ports can approve leasing of land for a period up to 30 years. For leasing of land beyond 30 years and up to 99 years, approval of the Government has to be obtained through the mechanism of Empowered Committee. 
 
All the 12 major ports of the country are required to draw up land use plan covering all land owned or managed by them. The new guidelines are applicable to all major ports in India except for the land relating to township areas in Mumbai, Kolkata and Kandla. 
 
The new policy guidelines for land management are part of the ongoing process of port reforms and liberalization. While Major Ports, owned by the Centre, operate in a comparatively more regulated environment, the non-major ports, comprising state ports and private ports enjoy substantial degree of flexibility. The government has been working towards creating a level playing field for major and non-major ports. Earlier, in 2013, as a part of the reform process in the Ports sector, tariff setting in major ports was liberalized and indexed to inflation and minimum efficiency standards were prescribed for cargo terminals. 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
The 12 major ports in India – Kandla, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Marmugao, New Managlore, Cochin, Chennai, Ennore, V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia) handle approximately 61% of cargo traffic. The Government is committed to further augmenting the port capacity in the major ports sector. 
 
During 2013-14 it is planned to augment port capacity by 220 mtpa through 30 port projects. Out of these, 20 port projects, with a capacity of approximately 100 mtpa have already been approved. The remaining port projects, including the ambitious Rs 8,000 crore JNPT Terminal-4, are likely to be approved during the fourth quarter of the current fiscal, an official ress release added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

L&T Hydrocarbon wins orders worth Rs 1000 crore

ADVERTISEMENT
Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said its hydrocarbon division had recently secured new orders worth Rs 1000 crore from the domestic market in its offshore and onshore business sectors.
 
A press release from the company said these included an offshore contract from the BG Exploration and Production India Limited (BGEPIL) valued at around Rs 700 crores. 
 
The contract, won against international competitive bidding, encompasses total engineering, procurement, construction and installation of one wellhead platform and subsea pipe laying (30 kms), spread over the Panna-Mukta fields of the ONGC-RIL-BGEPIL joint venture.
 
The project, part of the joint venture’s strategy to boost production, is scheduled to be completed by March 2015.
 
In addition to conventional wellhead facilities, the scope also includes installation of piggy back pipeline on the in-field pipeline from an existing PPA Host Complex. 
 
In the onshore sector, L&T Hydrocarbon has also won an additional order of Rs 300 crores for construction, from a leading refinery in India. 
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

 

Painter K N Ramachandran to display works at Jehangir Gallery in Mumbai

A painting by K N Ramachandran
A painting by K N Ramachandran
Well-known artist K N Ramachandran will display a fresh series of his oil paintings, titled "Colour of Life", at a week-long exhibition at the Jehangir Art Gallery here from January 15.
 
The preview of his paintings will be held on January 15 and the exhibition will be open to the public from 11 am to 7 pm for a week after that.
 
The new series of paintings has lively visuals of colourful South Indian life, especially of markets, which are a major life source, along with temples and music.
 
Ramachandran’s main focus is upon amalgamated glorification of not only South Indian royals but also roadside market’s colorful common folks.
 
One of India's most prolific and distinguished artists, Ramachandran started his career as a film hoarding painter in Bangalore back in 1954. He has held 26 solo shows in the last 60 years. He has been a part of many artist camps, Kala Melas. 
 
He has won more than 25 state and national awards and his works are part of many collections in different parts of India and abroad.
 
He is the founder of Oviya Munetra Sangam in Chennai and Bangalore.
 
Ramachandran's works have also been commercially adapted in various marketing campaigns such as Luck By Chance and ABCD posters. 
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

Kapil Dev gets BCCI's Lifetime Achievement Award

File photo of Kapil Dev
File photo of Kapil Dev
Former Indian skipper Kapil Dev was honoured with the Col. C K Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at its seventh annual awards ceremony here yesterday.
 
The legendary all-rounder who led India to its historic 1983 World Cup triumph, is the 21st Indian cricketer to receive the prestigious award.
 
“I like to thank all captains whom I played with from Bishan Bedi to Mohammad Azharuddin, for believing in me. For those who played under me, I appreciate their support,” he said.
 
“For the Indian cricket team about to go on a tour (to New Zealand), I want to wish them all the best," he said.
 
Kapil Dev said: “When you are young and playing, awards don’t matter as you are filled with passion for the game. It is only now when an honour like this comes your way, by way of appreciation from your own Board that increases the sense of happiness.”
 
One of the greatest all-rounders of all time, Kapil Dev was the first player to complete the 'double' of 5,000 runs and 400 wickets in Tests.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Team India member Ravichandran Ashwin won the Polly Umrigar Award for being the best international cricketer last season. 
 
In the 2012-13 season, the off-spinner claimed 43 wickets, inclusive of four 5WI and one 10WM, and scored 263 runs, inclusive of two 50s from 8 Tests. He also grabbed 24 wickets from 18 ODIs, and three wickets from four T20 Internationals. 
 
“I am happy and proud to be on this stage where legends of Indian cricket have been honoured. It would not have been possible without my teammates,” Ashwin said.
 
The Polly Umrigar Award comprises a trophy and a cheque for Rs 5 lakh and the award has been won in previous years twice by Sachin Tendulkar (2006-07 and 2009-10) and once each by Virender Sehwag (2007-08), Gautam Gambhir (2008-09), Rahul Dravid (2010-11) and Virat Kohli (2011-12). 
 
India's best performers in senior and junior-level cricket, at the international and domestic level, in the year to September 30 were honoured for their achievements at the function.
 
Abhishek Nayar received the Lala Amarnath Award for being the best all-rounder in the 2012-13 edition of the Ranji Trophy. He scored 966 runs at an average 96.6, inclusive of three centuries and eight fifties, and 19 wickets at an average of 22.8, inclusive of one 5WI, from eleven matches, in the tournament. The award comprises a trophy and a cheque for Rs. 2.5 lakhs.
 
The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), which Nayar represents, collected the trophy for the Best Overall Performance in the 2012-13 season. 
 
Various teams representing the MCA won the Ranji Trophy, the Under-25 C.K. Nayudu Trophy, the Under-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy, the Women’s Under-19 Inter-State tournament, and finished runners-up in the Under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The achievers of 2012-13 apart, Rohit Sharma got the Dilip Sardesai Award, for being India’s best cricketer in the recent Test series against the West Indies. He scored hundreds in both Tests, and accumulated an aggregate of 288 runs. The award comprises a trophy and a cheque for Rs. 5 lakhs.
 
A highlight of the function was the felicitation of three former stalwarts - R.G. (Bapu) Nadkarni, Farokh Engineer and Late Eknath Solkar - for their contribution to Indian cricket. They will receive a memento and a cheque for Rs. 15 lakhs each.
 
The following are some of the other awards:
 
MADHAVRAO SCINDIA AWARD – HIGHEST SCORER IN THE RANJI TROPHY IN 2012-13: Jiwanjot Singh Chouhan (PCA)
 
MADHAVRAO SCINDIA AWARD – HIGHEST WICKET-TAKER IN THE RANJI TROPHY IN 2012-13: Ishwar Pandey (MPCA)
 
M.A. CHIDAMBARAM TROPHY – BEST UNDER-25 CRICKETER OF 2012-13: Karn Sharma (RSPB)
 
M.A. CHIDAMBARAM TROPHY – BEST UNDER-19 CRICKETER OF 2012-13: Axar Patel (Gujarat CA)
 
M.A. CHIDAMBARAM TROPHY – BEST UNDER-16 CRICKETER OF 2012-13: Arman Jaffer (Mumbai CA)
 
M.A. CHIDAMBARAM TROPHY – BEST WOMAN CRICKETER (SR) OF 2012-13: M.D. Thirushkamini (TNCA)
 
BEST UMPIRE IN DOMESTIC CRICKET IN 2012-13: C. Shamshuddin
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

India’s forex reserves dip by $ 2.599 billion to $ 293.109 billion

ADVERTISEMENT
India’s foreign exchange reserves dipped by $ 2.599 billion to $ 293.109 billion in the week ended Jnauary 3, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here yesterday, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, declined by $ 1.680 billion to $ 266.953 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, gold reserves fell by $ 878.6 million to $ 19.724 billion, while special drawing rights (SDRs) declined by $ 27.8 million to $ 4.434 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) went down by $ 12.5 million to $ 1.997 billion during the week, the bulletin added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

Dhoni announces first edition of the Bike Festival in Mumbai

Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni announcing the Bike Festival of India in Mumbai on January 10, 2014.
Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni announcing the Bike Festival of India in Mumbai on January 10, 2014.
Indian cricket captain and bike enthusiast Mahendra Singh Dhoni announced the fist edition of the Bike Festival of India (BFI), the largest such event in South East Asia, at a private evening with biking communities here yesterday evening.
 
BFI will be a platform for biking enthusiasts to come together, to be a part of this first-of-its-kind biking adventure in India. 
 
While adventure is an integral part of BFI, the most unique feature is that it accentuates the importance of safe biking, a press release from the organises said.
 
The festival will bring together over 120 biking communities from across the nation to participate in a series of events, whose finale will be held in October this year at the mecca of biking – The Buddh International Circuit.
 
The event marks the coming together of Event Capital, a division of the Laqshya Media Group, and Rhiti Sports, a sports management firm. The event has been conceptualised by Vikram Shankar- VP of Event Capital  and Ikjot Singh- the superbiker who also is the founder member.
 
Dhoni is a passionate biker who is known to hit the road with one of his many bikes when he is not playing cricket. 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
“Biking for me is a passion, which is why I am excited to be part of this initiative that not only is an adventure in its form but also promotes safe biking. BFI will be an annual platform for the biking community to meet, interact and share adventures together. Meeting with the presidents of various biking communities from all over India has been enlightening and I look forward to joining them sometime on the track," he said.
 
The Bike Festival of India will start off with a cross country bike ride in the first quarter of 2014, mapping each and every state in the country. This will be at least a month long and is expected to put India in the Guinness Book of World Records.
 
This will be followed by a racing championship at the Buddh International Circuit in March. Thereafter the Bike Festival of India will also host a Dirt Bike Championship and a Rally Championship.  
 
The festival will feature a series of competitions such as stunt riding, wheelies, burnouts, stoppies and group rides. In addition, there will also be several off track competitions such as weight lifting, arm wrestling, bench press, push ups and food festivals. Exhibitions of various bikes and bike accessories will also be a significant part of the festival.
 
Arun Pandey, Chairman and Managing Director of Rhiti Sports, said, “We are excited to be joining forces with Event Capital for the biggest bike festival to ever happen in South East Asia. There is a sizable community of biking enthusiasts in this country and it is important to create an event for them to meet, exchange ideas and have a great time. We have been associated with biking in various ventures. Our Superbike team - Mahi Racing Team India finished at Numero Uno in 2013 and we are looking at keeping this momentum going. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Deepak Choudhary, Director and CEO of Event Capital, said: "The Bike Festival of India is a property we are proud of because it is a unique festival that will bring together bikers from all over the country with a shared love of adventure and biking, while emphasizing the importance of safety. Moreover the festival will be held at the Buddh International F1 Circuit, the only F1 circuit in South East Asia. We are also thrilled to partner with Rhiti Sports, one of the country’s foremost sports management companies and with MS Dhoni, biking enthusiast and India’s most successful cricket team captain.”
 
The Bike Festival of India will have no professional restriction on participation.  It will be open to anyone with a love for biking and will showcase various kinds of bikes – street bikes, sports bikes, super bikes and off roaders. 
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

Documentary film "Satyagraha - Truth Force" to be shown at Mumbai festival

Australia-born filmmaker LisaSabina Harney's documentary film, Satyagraha - Truth Force, has been selected by the 13th Mumbai International Film Festival to be held in Mumbai from February 3-9.
 
The film, which revolves around the mining and stone crushing mafia operating in Uttarakhand and the mysterious dath of social activist Swami Nigamanand in June 2011, had won the award for the Best International Documentary Film at the recent Dehi International Film Festival here.
 
Harney, in association with the Harvard Club of India, organized a private screening of the film at the Alliance Francaise here last evening for the film's cast and crew.
 
There has been a controversy around the death of Swami Nigamanand, who was on a "satyagraha" for 68 days,  about whether he died as a result of starvation or was poisoned.
 
Ms Harney was praised at the Delhi festival for her efforts to bring out the facts of illegal mining in Uttarakhand and the battle undertaken by the "sadhus" to save the river Ganga.
 
“The film shows in detail why mining the river is so disastrous. It’s crazy that they are considering mining again; they still haven't even begun the environmental impact assessment which was promised to the saints in 2011. In fact, they've never done one, ever. It's criminal in fact.  It is clear that mining is destroying the river, and the powers that be are turning a blind eye to it, unfortunately it’s the next generation which will pay for their mistakes," Harney said.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
Swami Shivananda Saraswati, head of Matri Sadan in Haridwar, present at the screening said “There is a nexus of politicians, administration and sand mining contractors. Several islands have disappeared in front of our eyes in the last twelve years. Every time we sat on fast, mining stopped. But each time the mafia was influential in it starting up again. This will not stop us from raising our voice against mining in the state; we will not let the sacrifice of Swami Nigamanand Ji go in vain. We are extremely happy that this story has been filmed by Lisa who has spent two years with us extensively researching the facts of the story.”
 
At the screening, Devashish Bharuka, Secretary, Harvard Club of India said, “The documentary film was truly touching and an eye opener. There is much we need to do to save our waters and the environment. This is the least we can do for the generations to come.”
 
Ramkishore Parcha, President, Delhi International Film Festival said, “I  believe that Delhi International Film Festival is aimed at reaching out to the audiences with not just Indian cinema but take it to the next level by bringing in global filmmakers and their work to be showcased in India. The platform is to bring together the diaspora of films from across all genres and create awareness about the films made in India covering all subjects. Satyagraha is a documentary that touches many serious issues being faced in Uttarakhand and those fighting for a cause to protect the Ganges from being destroyed by the mining mafia. We believe the film deserves to be seen by large number of audiences to increase the awareness about such serious issues.”
 
NNN
 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

PM inaugurates new integrated terminal T2 at Mumbai airport

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said India's infrastructure needs were enormous, with the infrastructure deficit considered as a serious constraint limiting its rate of economic growth, and called for public-private partnerships to bridge this gap.
 
"We need to work doubly hard to bridge this deficit. The Government alone cannot make the very large investment required to build world-class infrastructure in the country, and, therefore, we have been encouraging partnerships with the private sector," he said after inaugurating the new integrated terminal (T2) at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) here.
 
He said the construction of the new terminal was yet another shining example of successful execution of large infrastructure projects under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model which the Government had encouraged in recent years. 
 
"I am very happy that the PPP model has worked particularly well in the civil aviation sector, with 5 PPP airports now handling about 57% of the passenger traffic and about 70% of the cargo in our country. The success of Terminal-2 should give a boost to other PPP projects in the country, which are under implementation or are at the planning stage," he said.
 
Dr Singh said the Government had introduced several policy and regulatory reform measures to encourage growth, private participation and investment in the civil aviation sector. 
 
"We are determined to ensure that the civil aviation sector grows rapidly despite challenges such as rising fuel costs and infrastructure bottlenecks," he said.
 
Dr Singh said the decision to allow up to 49% foreign direct investment (FDI) by foreign carriers in domestic airlines, in addition to the FDI permissible in airport infrastructure, would help Indian carriers through equity infusion.
 
"We have attempted to improve airport infrastructure through private participation in greenfield airports and public private partnership (PPP) in select airports currently being operated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI)," he said.
Mumbai bets on airport revamp to boost global standing
 
He said the Government planned to develop and operationalize 50 more airports across the country, in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities.
 
"I must say that the last ten years have seen outstanding development of civil aviation infrastructure in our country," he said.
 
Dr Singh said the terminal is expected to establish new global bench-marks of functional efficiency and operational safety for airports. "It also exemplifies our ability as a nation to build world-class infrastructure. I have no doubt that this terminal will fulfill the expectations we have from it and make us all feel very proud," he said.
 
Dr Singh complimented Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) for building the state-of-the art facility. 
 
He said the entrepreneurial skills of Mr G V K Reddy, chairman of the GVK Group, and his colleagues were truly first class. "I am aware that they have overcome serious challenges that arise in expansion and up-gradation of brownfield airports, especially in a land constrained city like Mumbai. It is even more creditable that they have ensured that the ongoing airport operations were not affected even while this project was being implemented," he said.
 
He said the Government had been working hard to make CSIA a world class facility. He noted that the airport's Passenger Convenience Ratings, given by Airports Council International, have improved considerably in recent years. Its Airport Service Quality (ASQ) rating has gone up from 3.53 in 2007 to 4.64 in 2012. It is now the 3rd Best Global Airport in the 25 to 40 million Passenger Capacity category.
 
"Compared internationally, the propensity for air travel is currently very low in India. Our figure for domestic air trips per person is only about 0.05 per year, compared to 1.8 in the USA, 0.25 in Brazil and 0.15 in China. There is, therefore, tremendous potential for growth of the civil aviation sector in our country," he said.
 
Dr Singh also said that the Government had finally resolved all pending issues with regard to the Navi Mumbai Airport.
 
"The Government of Maharashtra, in collaboration with the Central Government, is now moving ahead on the work for this new airport," he said.
 
Maharashtra Governor K Shankarnarayanan, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Science & Technology Minister S Jaipal Reddy and Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Praful Patel were amongst those present on the occasion.
 
The 4.4 million square feet terminal can handle 40 million passengers annually.
 
Built across four-levels, the terminal has a vertical and compact design, integrating all operations under one roof to enhance passenger servicing and operationa effiiency.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
The terminal has a dedicated six-ane, 3.2 km elevated expressway leading to it, shorterning the travel time from the Western Express Highway.
 
The terminal has 208 check-in counters as well as 23 domestic and 30 international security pedestals. There are 60 emigration counters on departure and 72 on arrival. It has 52 boarding bridges, compared to 20 now.
 
The complex has 10,900 seating capacity, 102 toilets, 161 elevators, escalators and travellators. It has a retail footprint of 200,000 sq. ft., lounges, a day hotel, a transit hotel, 10 baggage carousels, expandable to 14, automated baggage system handling 9600 bags per hour and 200,000 sq ft of landscaped garden.
 
The terminal has been built at a cost of Rs 5500 crore, which the GVK Group said was lower than similar airport projects in India and other parts of the world.
 
The new airport terminal will also be home to India’s largest public art programme, in the form of a 3 km multi-storey Art Wall, illuminated by skylights, that has over 7000 pieces of artwork andartefacts from Maharashtra and also all parts of India. Titled "Jaya He" (Glory to India), it captures the expanse, depth and beauty of Indian art, craft and cultural heritage.
 
The airport also has a 5200-car multi-level cark park, one of the largest in the country.
 
A 15-metre-tall cable-stayed glass wall—the longest in the world—opens to the soaring space of the check-in hall, with the transparent façade allowing accompanying well-wishers, to watch as their friends and family depart.
 
Once inside, travelers enter the large check-in hall underneath the 11-acre long-span roof, supported by an array of only 30 mushrooming multi-storey mega-columns. 
 
The common check-in hall leads to a retail hub for international travelers, while domestic passengers proceed down to Level Three along the palm and waterfall gardens to a dedicated domestic retail hub. 
 
These commercial plazas, spread over a combined area of 200,000 sq. ft., are centrally located at the junction of the concourses and the terminal core, to provide close proximity, to the 52 convenient departure gates for maximum passenger convenience.
 
Level 2 is dedicated for all Arrivals with 10 fully–automatic baggage-handling carousels & 72 arrival immigration counters, while Level 1 is designed for ground transportation.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The new terminal will commence international operations from February 12.
 
Post today’s inauguration, the terminal will undergo a comprehensive security sweep as well as ORAT (Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer). During the days preceding commissioning of the Terminal, GVK will be undertaking familiarization processes for airlines, ground handling staff, security, customs, immigration and MIAL employees to get them acquainted with the new systems and facilities.
 
Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd. (MIAL) is a joint venture between the GVK led consortium and Airports Authority of India. MIAL was awarded the mandate of modernizing, upgrading and expanding Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) in May 2006. 
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

PM lays stone for Hadron Beam Facility for cancer patients in Mumbai

ADVERTISEMENT
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the Government had made fighting and preventing cancer a top priority in the national health sector.
 
"I can hardly overemphasize the gravity of the problem of cancer emerging as one of the leading causes of death globally, its incidence in India or the particularly large share of fatalities taking place in developing countries," he said after laying the foundation stone for the National Hadron Beam Facility and Cancer Centre for Women and Children at the Tata Memorial Centre here.
 
Dr Singh noted that this was the third cancer treatment facility in the country for which he had laid the foundation stone in less than two weeks.
 
He recalled that, on December 30, he had laid the foundation stone for the Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Chandigarh, which is also being established by the Tata Memorial Centre and will bring the same standard of treatment that it offers in Mumbai to patients in North India.
 
On January 3, he had laid the foundation stone for the National Cancer Institute, which is being established in Jhajjar near Delhi under the aegis of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
 
"In addition, we will soon launch the construction of another regional hub of the Tata Memorial Centre in Vishakapatnam, which will serve patients from South India," he said.
 
He said the Government was also setting up a National Cancer Centre, supported by Regional Cancer Centres and Tertiary Cancer Centres. A National Cancer Grid is being set up to facilitate easy exchange of information about cancer. 
 
"We are constantly intensifying and expanding our efforts on cancer research and establishing population-based cancer registries. Our effort is to ensure that a patient is able to access the most advanced cancer treatment as close as possible to his or her home, and at an affordable cost," he said.
 
Dr Singh noted that the Hadron Beam Facility would be the first such facility in India and would place India among a select group of countries in the world to offer this advanced treatment method of cancer.
 
"Our Government attaches great importance to the establishment of this facility and we are pleased that the Department of Atomic Energy and Tata Memorial Centre have been able to quickly translate a vision into a concrete plan of action. We expect this project, costing around Rs. 425 crores and funded entirely by the Government of India through the Department of Atomic Energy, to be completed in less than four years," he said.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
"It is not surprising that Tata Memorial Centre should be the institution in India to have taken this very important step forward in cancer treatment. Since its inception more than six decades ago as the pioneer centre for cancer research and treatment in India, this outstanding institution has been associated with virtually every milestone in treatment of cancer in our country," he said.
 
Dr Singh said the Centre had been at the forefront of the national efforts to establish new frontiers of medical science and treatment in India. 
 
"More importantly, its commitment to bringing cancer treatment within the reach of the poorest makes this institution the pride of our nation and a beacon of hope for those afflicted by this disease of cancer. The Centre has truly lived up to its motto of 'Service, Research & Education' and I compliment all those associated with this unique centre of our country," he said.
 
He noted that traditional methods of radiation therapy had limitations and also cause damage to the surrounding tissues.
 
"I was therefore pleased to note that Hadron Beam Therapy can deliver treatment in a more precise manner, such that damage to healthy tissues is reduced. 
 
"While this technology is new to India, I have little doubt that the Tata Memorial Centre will quickly develop world class capacity in its application. I am gratified to learn that the Centre will also continue the practice of providing free treatment to poor patients. Overall, nearly 1500 patients will benefit from this facility every year," he said.
 
The project also includes a dedicated Cancer Centre for Women and Children. 
 
"Just as important, the facility will enable Tata Memorial Centre to further advance their research and understanding on the application of Hadron Beam Therapy to the treatment of different types of cancer in our country. It will also provide training and education to develop the human resources for the expansion of such facilities in our country," he said.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
The Prime Minister said today's event was yet another demonstration of the Government's prioritization of the health sector since 2004.
 
"This is a special occasion for the people of Maharashtra and the nation at large. I would like to thank the Government of Maharashtra, the Chief Minister, my friend Prithviraj Chavan for providing the requisite land and other facilities for setting up this unique facility, and for its unstinted support for this project of national importance. The State Government of Maharashtra has always been supportive of the activities of the Tata Memorial Centre, and of the Department of the Atomic Energy, which is headquartered in Mumbai, and the Government of India is grateful to the Government of Maharashtra for this support," he added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

Imperial College, London expands 2014 scholarships for Indian post-graduates

ADVERTISEMENT
Imperial College London and its Indian supporters association, the Imperial College India Foundation, have announced the expansion of their scholarship programme for academically outstanding Indian students to study at the post-graduate level at the Imperial College. 
 
Launched in 2013, the Imperial College India Foundation Scholarships, will be tenable from 2014 and will offer two fully-funded Master’s scholarships, as well as one full Ph.D. scholarship, for Indian nationals residing in India. 
 
The total value of each of the full scholarships per year is £40,000, a press release from the foundation said. The scholarships cover full cost of (overseas) tuition fees, a maintenance allowance, some additional costs and an airfare to India. 
 
According to the release, this includes:
 
·         Maintenance allowance equal to Imperial’s minimum stipend allowance in any given year.
·         An arrival allowance
·         One return flight to India
 
The scheme has also further been expanded so that all scholarships will be available to applicants for study in the Faculty of Natural Sciences, the Faculty of Engineering and Imperial College Business School.  
 
Funding is provided by the alumni and supporters of the Foundation, with the college matching the amount pledged, the release said.
 
The scholarships are aimed at attracting the most talented Indian students along with a focus on supporting those in financial need. Students will be given access to world class academic training and support throughout their studies which can help them contribute to society, industry and academia upon their return to India.
 
 
The first Indian student to hold the Imperial College India Foundation PhD Scholarship, Mr Raj Singh of Kanpur will begin his studies in Imperial’s Department of Mechanical Engineering in early 2014.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Sir Keith O’Nions, President & Rector of Imperial College London, said, “The expansion of these scholarships builds on the historic and flourishing relationship between Imperial and its Indian alumni and supporters. Their support is central to this scheme and we’re grateful that their generosity has enabled it to grow further still.”
 
Imperial alumnus Cyrus Mistry, Chairman, Tata Sons, who also sits on the board of the foundation, added, “It is a pleasure to see how these scholarships are allowing Indian students to benefit from the opportunities and educational experience afforded by studying at Imperial. We are delighted to be able to support an even wider field of gifted postgraduate students to join Imperial’s diverse academic community.”
 
Mr Singh, the first holder of an Imperial College India Foundation PhD scholarship said, “I am thrilled to have been awarded this scholarship. Studying in such an international environment, alongside world-leaders in their field is a precious opportunity. I'm very grateful to everyone whose generosity made it possible.”
 
The launch of the scholarships coincides with an 11-day visit by Sir Keith to India this month. During the trip to Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi he will host an alumni event in each city and meet with representatives from government, industry, and higher education institutions.
 
The release said that applicants for the scholarships would be assessed on both academic merit and financial need, and priority will be given to students who have not already completed a degree at a higher education institution outside India.
 
For entry in 2014, the College invites applications for study in the following departments: Aeronautics, Bioengineering, Centre for Environmental Policy, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computing, Earth Science and Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Life Sciences, Materials, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Physics and Imperial College Business School.
 
A committee comprising Foundation members and College academic staff will select candidates.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Application deadline for 2014 entry is 14 March 2014. Details on the scholarships and how to apply are given here.
 
Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College, London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts 14,000 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality.
 
Since its foundation in 1907, Imperial's contributions to society have included the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography and the foundations of fibre optics. 
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

Suvidhaa launches new online payment platform in India

ADVERTISEMENT
Service commerce company Suvidhaa Infoserve Pvt Ltd today said it had launched a new online payment platform that will provide consumers with services like pre-paid mobile and DTH recharge, utility bill payment and bill management services.
 
A press release from the company said the platform could transform India’s online payments ecosystem and migrate more consumers towards online payments.
 
"The platform adopts a simple, clutter free design and offers unique features that make online payments easy and very convenient for consumers," it said.
 
According to the release, the website has introduced features such as recharge of multiple mobile, data card or DTH connections in a single transaction. It offers users a fast online recharge experience without having to register. 
 
"An intuitive Plan Selector tool enables the user to find the right prepaid mobile plan by allowing search with filters like network operator, amount range, validity period, full talk-time, night plans, etc.," it said.
 
The Bill Management section is designed to be one place to receive, pay and track various utility bills. It allows users to personalize bill alerts, track bills paid, monitor monthly bill outflow, and so on.
 
Mr. Paresh Rajde, Founder & Chairman, Suvidhaa Infoserve Pvt. Ltd. said, “With the Indian online consumer base set to double by 2016, from 140 million to over 300 million, the market opportunity for paying bills and recharging online is immense. Suvidhaa aims to become the one stop destination for such consumers."
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

RBI hikes LTV ratio to 75% for loans granted by NBFCs against gold jewellery

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has raised the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio that non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) were required to maintain for loans granted against the collateral of gold jewellery from 60 per cent to 75 per cent.
 
The central bank had, on March 21, 2012, issued a circular requiring NBFCs to maintain an LTV ratio of 60 per cent.
 
The KUB Rao Working Group had, to facilitate monetising of idle gold as far as possible through the organised sector, recommended that the LTV ratio may be increased to 75 per cent once the business levels of the gold loan NBFCs come to a level considered appropriate. 
 
The Working Group had also recommended standardisation of the methodology of determining the value of gold. 
 
"In view of the moderation in the growth of gold loan portfolios of NBFCs in the recent past, and also taking into consideration the experience so far, it has been decided to raise the LTV ratio to upto 75 per cent for loans against the collateral of gold jewellery from the present limit of 60 per cent with immediate effect," a circular issued by RBI said.
 
The RBI said that it had also received certain representations from NBFCs in the matter.
 
The circular noted that some NBFCs were adding making charges and so on to the value of the gold jewellery determined.
 
"t is clarified that the value of the jewellery for the purpose of determining the maximum permissible loan amount will be only the intrinsic value of the gold content therein and no other cost elements should be added thereto. The intrinsic value will continue to be arrived at," it said.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The RBI made it clear that the need for the NBFCs to give a certificate on the purity of the gold could not be dispensed with.
 
As per the earlier circular, NBFCs were required to give in writing to the borrower the purity (in terms of carats) and weight of gold. NBFCs had raised apprehensions on certifying the purity of the gold jewellery accepted as collateral on grounds that under the current practices it was possible only to arrive at the proximate purity of the gold and that such a certification could lead to dispute with the borrowers.
 
"It is clarified that the need to give a certificate on the purity of gold cannot be dispensed with. The certified purity shall be applied for determining the maximum permissible loan and the reserve price for auction. The NBFCs can, however, include suitable caveats to protect themselves against disputes on redemption," the latest circular said.
 
Under the earlier circular, NBFCs were required to keep a record of verification of ownership of the jewellery where the gold jewellery pledged by a borrower at any one time or cumulatively on loan outstanding is more than 20 grams. Also the method of establishing ownership should be laid down in the overall loan policy of the NBFC approved by its Board.
 
"In view of the fact that it may not be possible for borrowers to produce receipts establishing ownership, especially when the jewellery has been inherited, it is clarified that the ownership verification need not necessarily be through original receipts for the jewellery pledged but a suitable document may be prepared to explain how the ownership was determined, particularly in each and every case where the gold jewellery pledged by a borrower at any one time or cumulatively on loan outstanding is more than 20 grams. NBFCs are directed to have an explicit policy in this regard in their overall loan policy," it said.
 
Under the earlier circular, NBFCs were directed to conduct the auction in the same town or taluk in which the branch that had extended the loan is located. Representations were received seeking permission to conduct auction in the district rather than the taluk.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
"It has not been found feasible to accept this request and as such the current instructions remain unchanged," it said.
 
NBFCs were earlier also directed to disburse high value loans of Rs 1 lakh and above only through cheques.
 
NBFCs had represented that payment by issue of cheques would lead to delay in the borrower getting access to the funds and the delays could be accentuated where disbursements happen during weekends. 
 
"It is observed that a majority of the loans in the portfolio of NBFCs is below Rs one lakh. It has therefore been decided to retain the current instructions in this regard," the new circular added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

Gujarat Tourism holds International Kite Festival in Mumbai

The Mumbai leg of the  26th edition of International Kite Festival -- one of Gujarat Tourism's flagship events -- was held here today for the third consecutive year.
 
The event was inaugurated by Mr Dinesh Dasa, member of the Board of Directors of Gujarat Tourism and BJP leader Shaina NC at the Priyadarshini Park & Sports Complex, Malabar Hill in the city.
 
More than 40 kite-fliers from India and different countries like France, Russia, Ukraine, Malaysia, Vietnam and Estonia took part in the festivitis and flew colourful kites throughout the day.
 
Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited (TCGL) chairman Kamlesh Patel said that, being the silver jubilee year of the event, this year's festival would be bigger than previous years.
 
He said it would cover nine different locations, including Ahmedabad and Delhi and sevral new destinations such as Dhordo (White Rann), Mandvi beach, Rajot, Bharuch, Vadodara and Saputara.
 
"The International Kite Festival is an opportunity to witness the rich and vibrant culture of Gujarat. I am extremely happy to see the response and love that the International Kite Festival has garnered in its glorious journey covering a span of more than two decades. I invite you all to come be a part of this festival and witness colour, vibrancy and grandeur of Gujarat as it is scheduled to travel across some of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the state in the following week," he said.
 
The festival was held in Delhi yesterday and will be held in Saputara and Rajkot tomorrow and in Bharuch, White Rann, Kutch and Mandvi on January 10. Vadodara will host the event on January 11 and it will culminate at the Sabarmati River Front in Ahmedabad on January 12-13.
 
NNN
 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

Lukup Media, Warner Bros to create India’s first on-demand TV channel

ADVERTISEMENT
Lukup Media today announced a new partnership with Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, through which the studio’s newly released movies such as Gravity and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and a selection of many new releases, catalogue titles and popular TV series, will be offered to viewers via an on-demand TV channel powered by a new product called the Lukup Player. 
 
The Lukup Player delivers a combination of live and on-demand content on televisions and other devices people use to consume content, a press release from the company said.
 
The deal will see titles made available through the on-demand service from February 2014, as well as future new releases. Users will have access to more than 200 films and TV series from the Warner Bros. library, it said.
 
“We are very happy to partner Warner Bros. and bring a wide selection of popular and new movies and TV shows which will be available through India’s first on-demand TV channel. The channel will allow people to choose titles from their TV program guide, pay for them and view them at a time of their choice," Mr Kallol Borah, Chief Executive Officer, Lukup Media said.
 
Mr Chris Dyde, Senior Vice President, International Licensee Markets, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group said: “Providing consumers with more choices and improving the movie experience at home is at the heart of Warner Bros.' Digital strategy and we’re delighted to be working with Lukup Media, which will see a fantastic selection of both new and library movies offered to viewers in India."
 
The release said Lukup Media plans to launch the Lukup Player in February 2014 and it will carry multiple on-demand channels that it will deliver on TV in addition to the live TV channels carried by satellite and cable platforms.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Lukup Media operates a multi-screen content platform for delivering a combination of live TV, video on demand, and interactive content on TV, home entertainment and mobile devices. The platform is based on the Lukup Player, a consumer product that people can use to search content from multiple sources, and select a screen to view it on or a device to stream content to.
 
Lukup Media partners content owners and aggregators and cable and satellite TV platforms to operate its hybrid TV and multi-screen content platform.
 
NNN 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

Syndicate content
© Copyright 2012 NetIndian. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of NetIndian content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of NetIndian Media Corporation. Write to info[AT]netindian[DOT]in for permission to use content. Read detailed Terms of Use.