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HDFC to acquire L&T General Insurance

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The Board of Directors of HDFC Ergo General Insurance Company Limited has approved the purchase of 100 percent stake in L&T General Insurance Company Limited, subject to IRDAI and other regulatory approvals.
 
A press release from the company said the Board, at its meeting held here yesterday, also approved the plan to merge the two companies, subject to all regulatory approvals.
 
Mr. Deepak Parekh, Chairman of HDFC Ltd and HDFC Ergo General Insurance said, "Considering the importance of scale in the insurance business, consolidation within the insurance  industry is inevitable. This transaction marks the beginning of this consolidation phase. The acquisition will help HDFC ERGO to further strengthen its presence in the market. The combined size and expertise will result in improved  cost efficiencies in the merged entity and benefit policy holders and other stakeholders."
 
For the all-cash deal structured by Arpwood Capital Pvt Ltd., exclusive financial advisers to HDFC Ergo, the transaction has been valued at Rs. 551 crore.
 
"The acquisition would help HDFC Ergo improve its market position. HDFC Ergo expects  significant  cost  synergies  arising out of business, technology optimization and rationalization of offices," the release said.
 
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HDFC Ergo, a 51:49  joint venture between housing finance major HDFC Limited and Ergo International, Germany (part of Munich Re Group), is the fourth largest private  sector general insurer in India and offers all lines of general insurance  products including motor, health, personal accident, home, fire, marine, aviation, liability and crop insurance. During the financial year ended March  31,  2016, the company wrote gross premiums of Rs. 3467 crore and made a profit after tax of Rs. 151 crore. The company operates through 108 offices and employee strength of 2007.
 
L&T General Insurance is a wholly owned subsidiary of engineering conglomerate,  Larsen and Toubro Ltd. The six-year-old insurer is a relatively new entrant in the insurance industry. During the financial year ended March 31, 2016, L&T General Insurance wrote gross premium of Rs. 483 crore registering a growth of 40% over previous financial year. The company operates through 28 offices and employee strength over 800 employees.
 
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India's forex reserves dip by $ 711.6 million to $ 360.194 billion

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Falling for the fourth consecutive week, India's foreign exchange reserves dipped by $ 711.6 million to $ 360.194 billion in the week ended May 27, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country's forex reserves had decreased by $ 121.3 million to $ 360.905 billionin the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had  declined by $  711.9 million to $ 336.227 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 $ 20.043 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) were also unchanged at $ 1.498 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) increased by $ 0.3 million to $ 2.425 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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Reliance temporarily shuts down PTA, PET plants at Dahej due to water shortage

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Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today said that it had decided to temporarily shut down its polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and purified terephthalic acid (PTA) units at Dahej in Bharuch district of Gujarat because of shortage of the right quality of industrial water at the complex.
 
In a filing to the National Stock Exchange and the Bombay Stock Exchange, the company said the problem had arisen due to lower release of dam water and the significant increased salinity of water supply to its Dahej manufacturing complex.
 
"As a response, RIL is running on reduced capacity in some of the plants and has temporarily shut down its PTA and PET plants," the company said. RIL has 2.3 MMTPA of PTA capacity and 60 KTPA of PET capacity at Dahej.
 
"RIL has initiated alternative arrangements for water and is closely monitoring the situation. It has also used the current situation to carry out planned maintenance and reliability activities. It is in a state of readiness to resume full supplies as soon as the water availability and water quality issues are resolved.
 
"RIL is ensuring a continued supply of PTA to the domestic market from its Hazira and Patalganga manufacturing complexes," the company added.
 
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Reliance to sell interest in Gulf Africa Petroleum to Total

Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today said its indirect wholly owned subsidiary Reliance Exploration & Production DMCC (REPDMCC) has agreed to sell its entire 78 percent interest in the Mauritius-incorporated Gulf Africa Petroleum Corporation (GAPCO).
 
The two companies executed ageements in this regard on May 30, a press release from Reliance said here.
 
The proposed transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions that are customary for similar transactions, it said.
 
GAPCO is a holding company with operating subsidiaries in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda which are primarily engaged in petroleum product import, and trading, storage, distribution, marketing, supply and transportation of oil products in East Africa. 
 
Since the acquisition of 76% equity interest in GAPCO by REPDMCC in 2007, GAPCO has significantly grown and is one of leading petroleum marketing companies in East Africa, which now operates 108 retail outlets and owns 260 TKL of storage capacity.
 
REPDMCC’s agreement to sell its interest in GAPCO is part of a joint transaction, wherein both REPDMCC and the Minority Shareholder have agreed to sell their entire respective holdings in GAPCO for cash.
 
The net proceeds for the sale will be finalized on completion of the transaction which is expected to be within the coming months,the release added.
 
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Vice-Admiral Girish Luthra takes over as FOC-in-C, Western Naval Command

Vice-Admiral Girish Luthra
Vice-Admiral Girish Luthra
Vice Admiral Girish Luthra took over the reins of Western Naval Command (WNC) as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) from Vice-Admiral Sunil Lanba at a ceremonial parade held at INS Shikra here today.
 
Later in the day, officers of the Western Naval Command (WNC) accorded Vice-Admiral Lanba a warm send off, with the traditional ‘Pulling Out’ ceremony. Vice-Admiral Lanba will take over as the Chief of Naval Staff tomorrow.
 
Addressing the personnel on parade, Vice Admiral Lanba complimented the personnel of the command who, not withstanding the constraints of the service, have worked with synergy and teamwork in ensuring that ships, submarines and aricrafts are maintained in a high state of combat readiness at all times. In keeping with the fragile maritime environment of the region, he said that there is a need to be ever vigilant in all quarters and all fronts.
 
He said that he had no doubt that fire power from units of fleet, flotillas and squadrons can be delivered appropriately should the need arise. 
 
Pointing towards the International Fleet Review held recently at Visakhapatnam, Vice-Admiral Lanba said that presence of 50 countries in the review clearly indicated the growing stature of the country in the region. He added that many countries had expressed the desire to cooperate and exercise with Indian Navy which is indicative of professionalism, training and sound culture displayed by the service. He also stressed the need to continue working together to bring change and work smartly. 
 
He also apprised the personnel on the steps taken by WNC in addressing the long standing issue of shortage of married accommodation. 
 
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India's forex reserves fall by $ 121.3 million to $ 360.905 bilion

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Falling for the third consecutive week, India's foreign exchange reserves decreased by $ 121.3 million to $ 360.905 billion in the week ended May 20 the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country's forex reserves had fallen by $ 968 million to $ 361.027 billion in the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had  decreased by $ 107.1 million to $ 336.939 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 $ 20.043 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) fell by $ 5.4 million to $ 1.498 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) decreased by $ 8.8 million to $ 2.425 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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Five dead, 85 injured in boiler blast at chemical factory in Dombivali near Mumbai

 
5 dead, 85 injured after blast in chemical factory near Mumbai
At least five workers died and more than 85 others suffered injuries in a powerful blast in a boiler at a private chemical factory in the MIDC industrial complex on the outskirts of Dombivali near here today.
 
The explosion, which occurred around 11.30 am, led to a major fire in the premises of the factory, located in Phase II of the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) industrial estate, official sources said.
 
Fire brigade and other emergency services personnel rushed to the scene and removed the injured to nearby hospitals.
 
The massive blast severely damaged two other adjacent factories as well as in several buildings nearby, including residential blocks. Window panes of many offices, commercial establishments and apartment were shattered and many fixtures damaged.
 
Residents of the area said that, for several minutes, they had no information about what had happened as people started running out of buildings in panic. Many people thought the area had been struck by an earthquake.
 
Fire brigade personnel brought the flames under control even as personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) reached the scene to join the rescue operations.
 
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the scene of the blast as well as the victims in hospitals. He said the state government would ensure proper medical treatment for those who had suffered injuries.
 
Mr. Fadnavis said an inquiry would be conducted to establish the cause of the mishap and fix responsibility.
 
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Euronet Worldwide bags license from RBI to operate under Bharat Bill Payment System

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Value-added and payment services provider Euronet today said it had received in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India to operate as an operating unit under Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS).
 
BBPS is an integrated bill payment system which offers interoperable bill payment services to customers, both online as well as through a network of physical agents. The system provides multiple payment modes and instant confirmation of payment.
 
All existing and proposed entities (both bank and non-bank entities) falling within the scope of BBPS, which include all bill aggregation and/or bill payment services, will have to participate in the system either as a Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU) or as an entity connected through a BBPOU.
 
‘In-principle’ approvals to operate as BBPOU are conveyed to the applicants that meet all the eligibility requirements, including existing net worth and requisite billing experience as covered under the present scope of BBPS.
 
A press release from Euronet said bill payments was a growing business category in India and BBPS is a key step towards the goal of achieving Digital India, an important campaign launched by the Government of India to ensure the country is more digitally empowered.
 
Mr. Himanshu Pujara, Regional Managing Director, Euronet, India and South Asia said, “The Reserve Bank of India received 62 applications for authorisation from non-bank entities and 80 requests for approval from banks to operate as a BBPOU. Under the in-principle approval from RBI, Euronet is named a BBPOU.” 
 
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“Bill payments across categories is a big business for Euronet both in India and globally. We are excited to be part of this unique eco-system, being created by NPCI and leverage our global payments processing and operations experience primarily around reconciliation and customer dispute management and work with billers across categories and contribute meaningfully to this program," he added.
 
According to the release, Euronet has the largest mobile pre-payment network in the world and works closely with over 200 mobile operators. Euronet has been providing digital bill payment services in India for more than a decade and is integrated with all mobile and DTH operators. Additionally, Euronet India has expanded its products and services portfolio from mobile and DTH to facilitation of digital gift vouchers and other differentiated content of key online domestic and overseas merchants.
 
"Being part of Bharat Bill Payment System eco-system, Euronet will have the best advantage of channel and services augmentation in order to emerge as leading contributor to Reserve Bank of India’s vision of having a national bill payment system which will offer bill payment services for recurring payments including utilities (electricity, water, gas), telephone and mobile (pre-paid and post-paid bill payments), DTH, insurance, education fee payment as well as many other payments," the release added.
 
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Dhoni to lead India on Zimbabwe tour, Kohli in West Indies Test series

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni will lead a young 16-member team for the one-day international (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) series against Zimbabe while Virat Kohli will lead the Indian team on the four-match Test tour of the West Indies.
 
The teams for the two tours were chosen by the All India Senior Selection Committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), headed by Sandeep Patil, which met today at the Cricket Centre here.
 
The Indian team will play three ODIs and three T20Is on the tour of Zimbabwe.
 
Team for ODI & T20I Series to Zimbabwe:
 
MS Dhoni (Captain), KL Rahul, Faiz Fazal, Manish Pandey, Karun Nair, Ambati Rayudu, Rishi Dhawan, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah, Barinder Sran, Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Jaydev Unadkat, Yuzvendra Chahal.
 
Team for the Test tour to West Indies: 
 
Virat Kohli (Captain), M Vijay, Shikhar Dhwan, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, R Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Stuart Binny.
 
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Anurag Thakur elected as BCCI President, Ajay Shirke is new Secretary

Anurag Thakur
Anurag Thakur
Mr. Anurag Thakur was unanimously elected as the new President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at its special general meeting held here today.
 
Mr. Thakur’s tenure as BCCI President will extend till 2017, a press release from the Board said.
 
Mr. Thakur, 41, was endorsed by all the six units of East zone - Cricket Association of Bengal, National Cricket Club, Odisha Cricket Association, Tripura Cricket Association, Assam Cricket Association and Jharkhand Cricket Association.
 
Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) President Ajay Shirke has replaced Mr. Thakur as the next Honyorary Secretary of BCCI, the release added.
 
Mr. Thakur is the second youngest person to be elected BCCI President, after the late Fatehsinhrao Gaekwad, who was elected to the position in 1963 at the age of 33.
 
He has succeeded Mr. Shashank Manohar, who had resigned from his position earlier this month to contest elections for the post of Chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Mr. Manohar has since been elected unopposed to that position.
 
Born on October 24, 1974, Mr. Thakur, a leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is the son of former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and represents Hamirpur constituency in the Lok Sabha.
 
He was elected to the Lok Sabha in May 2008 in a bye-election and re-elected in 2009 and 2015. 
 
He was elected as the youngest president of the Himachal Pradesh State Cricket Association at the age of 25. While serving as president of the association, he represented Himachal Pradesh in one first class match in the 2000-01 season, leading the team against Jammu & Kashmir. This helped his induction as a member of the BCCI national junior selection committee, in which only first class players can be members.
 
He was elected as Honorary Secretary of the BCCI in January 2015.
 
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PowerGrid to replace BHEL in S&P BSE Sensex from June 20

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State-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) will be replaced by another public sector company, Power Grid Corporation of India, in the S&P BSE Sensex with effect from June 20.
 
Announcing its semi-annual reconstitution results for the S&P BSE indices, Asia Index Private Limited said that Cairn India Limited would be replaced by Bajaj Finance Limited in the S&P BSE 100.
 
Cairn India will also be out of S&P BSE Carbonex, which will have three new companies -- Bajaj Finance, Cadila Healthcare and Marico.
 
Four banks -- Syndicate Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, UCO Bank and Allahabad Bank -- as well as Cairn India, Indiabulls Real Estate and Jaiprakash Associates are out of the S&P BSE 200. Their places will be taken by IDFC Bank, Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd, Jet Airways, Welspun India Ltd and Sanofi India Ltd, a press release from Asia Index said.
 
Cairn India, Bhushan Steel, United Bank of India, D B Realty Ltd, Ashiana Housing, IFB Industries, Aarti Drugs, Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra), Puravankara Projects, Claris Lifesciences and Tree House Education & Accessories Ltd are among the companies which have been dropped from S&P BSE 500.
 
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Companies added to S&P BSE 500 include Adiya Birla Fashion and Retail, Crompton Greaves, Dr Lal Pathlabs Ltd, Alkem Laboratories, Narayana Hrudayalaya, Coffee Day Enterprises, NIIT, Navin Fluorent, ITD Cementation, Navkar Corporation, Kesoram Industries, Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals, Majesco Ltd and Hindustan Media Ventures.
 
Hexaware Technologies, Eros International Media and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra have been dropped from S&P BSE Teck and their places taken by Persistent Systems Limited, TV Today Network and OnMobile Global.
 
In S&P BSE Oil & Gas, Cairn India has been dropped and Indraprastha Gas Ltd has been added.
 
All the changes wil be effective at the open of Monday, June 20, 2016. There are no changes in the S&P BSE Bankex Index, the release said.
 
Asia Index Private Ltd is a partnership between S&P Dow Jones Indics LLC and BSE Ltd.
 
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BSE nominates Sumit Bose, Vikramjit Sen as public interest directors on its Governing Board

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BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) has nominated former Finance  Secretary Sumit Bose and former Supreme Court judge Vikramjit Sen as Public Interest Directors on its Governing Board.
 
A press release from BSE said the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had approved the appointments with effect from May 19.
 
Mr. Bose is a former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1976 batch (Madhya Pradesh cadre). He had served as Secretary (Expenditure), Secretary (Revenue) and Secretary (Disinvestment) in the Ministry of Finance. He is currently a member of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Committee appointed by the government recently.
 
Mr. Justice (Retd.) Sen is a former judge of the Delhi High Court and former Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court. He served as a judge in the Supreme Court from December 24, 2012 to December 30, 2015.
 
He is associated with several Christian institutions and is on the Board of Governors of St. Stephen's College, Delhi, St. Stephen's Hospital, Delhi and Bishop Cotton School, Simla.
 
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Dilip Shanghvi withdraws plans to form payments bank with IDFC, Telenor

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Businessman Dilip Shanghvi, IDFC Bank and Telenor Financial Services have announced that they have jointly agreed to withdraw their plans to establish a payments bank venture in India.
 
"This decision, collectively made by the three partners, will be communicated to Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Consequently, the payment bank license will not be pursued," a press release issued by them here yesterday said.
 
Mr. Shanghvi, Managing Director of Sun Pharmaceuticals, in September 2015, as lead applicant along with Telenor Financial Services and IDFC Bank, was granted in-principle licence by RBI to form a payments bank in India. 
 
During the past eight months, representatives of the three partners worked together to establish relevant frameworks and a governance structure for the proposed joint venture (JV), the release said.
 
 “Telenor Financial Services and IDFC Bank have rich experience from offering financial services and the intention of the JV was to combine our expertise to launch a robust payment bank service in India. Following the mutual decision to withdraw these plans, the payment bank license will not be pursued,” Mr. Shanghvi said on behalf of Dilip Shanghvi Family & Associates (DSA).
 
“From the day we signed the Letter of Intent, we have worked hard together with our partners to form a company which can meet the demand for basic banking services across India. We are thankful to both IDFC Bank and Dilip Shanghvi for their efforts throughout this process," said Mrs. Tine Wollebekk, SVP and Head of Telenor Financial Services.  
 
“It was a good experience working with Telenor Financial Services and Dilip Shanghvi over the last year. We thank them for their support and look forward to future associations,” said Dr. Rajiv Lall, founder MD & CEO IDFC Bank.
 
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India's forex reserves dip by $ 968 million to $ 361.027 billion

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Falling for the second consecutive week, India's foreign exchange reserves dipped by $ 968 million to $ 361.027 billion in the week ended May 13, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country's forex reserves had fallen by $ 1.126 billion to $ 361.995 billion in the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had  decreased by $ 950 million to $ 337.046 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 $ 20.043 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) fell by $ 6.9 million to $ 1.504 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) decreased by $ 11.1 million to $ 2.434 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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SBI Board discusses possibility of acquiring associate banks, Bhartiya Mahila Bank

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State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender, said that  a meeting of its board of directors here today had discussed the possibility of acquiring its associate banks, including assets and liabilities, as well as the Bhartiya Mahila Bank (BMB).
 
As far as the associate banks are concerned, the discussion was "purely exploratory at this stage and not certain", a press release from the bank said.
 
"A proposal seeking an in-principle approval to start negotiations with associate banks will be submitted to the central government," it said.
 
SBI’s associate banks include State Bank Of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank Of Hyderabad, State Bank Of Mysore, State Bank Of Patiala and State Bank Of Travancore.
 
In addition to these five banks, the SBI board members also discussed the possibility of acquiring India’s first bank targeted to women – Bhartiya Mahila Bank (BMB). 
 
"SBI would explore this acquisition once the central government gives an in-principle approval to start negotiations with BMB," the release added.
 
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Mukesh Ambani awarded Othmer Gold Medal for Entrepreneurial Leadership

Reliance Industries Limited Chairman and Managng Director Mukesh Ambani receiving the Othmer Gold Medal for his entrepreneurial leadership, from Mr. Carsten Reinhardt, President & CEO, Chemical Heritage Foundation, in Philadelphia, United States, on May 16, 2016.
Reliance Industries Limited Chairman and Managng Director Mukesh Ambani receiving the Othmer Gold Medal for his entrepreneurial leadership, from Mr. Carsten Reinhardt, President & CEO, Chemical Heritage Foundation, in Philadelphia, United States, on May 16, 2016.
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani has been conferred the prestigious Othmer Gold Medal for his entrepreneurial leadership that has resulted in the expansion of India’s petroleum refining industry, creation of the Jamnagar Refinery in Gujarat – the largest grassroots petroleum refinery in the world, and path-breaking initiatives in oil and gas exploration.
 
The award was presented to Mr. Ambani on Monday, the Heritage Day of The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF), by Mr. Carsten Reinhardt, President & CEO of CHF, and Mr. Raj Gupta, Chairman of Delphi Automotive (formerly Chairman, President & CEO of Rohm and Hass), in Philadelphia, United States of America.
 
Following the award ceremony, Mr. Ambani was feted at a glittering dinner by Mr. Tom Ridge, Pennsylvania Governor and former Secretary of Homeland Security.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ambani dedicated the award to the indomitable spirit of his father, Dhirubhai Ambani, who went on to become a legend in his lifetime, and to each and every member of the great Reliance Family. It was Dhirubhai who encouraged Mr. Ambani to pursue chemical engineering at a time when Reliance only dealt in textiles.
 
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Talking about the interests of the people of India and the US, Mr. Ambani said he was confident that the two pluralist societies would be at the heart of a new world of shared prosperity and peace.
 
“As I see the world in the 21st century, there will be two very fiercely fought wars – one is a war for prosperity and a better life, and the other is a war for talent and security. We can win both these wars with a comprehensive India-US partnership," he added.
 
The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) established the Othmer Gold Medal in 1997 to honour outstanding individuals who have made multifaceted contributions to the world's chemical and scientific heritage through outstanding activity in such areas as innovation, entrepreneurship, research, education, public understanding, legislation, or philanthropy.
 
The medal commemorates Donald Othmer (1904–1995), noted researcher, consultant, editor, engineer, inventor, philanthropist, professor, and co-editor of the Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology.
 
The medal is presented annually and co-sponsored by the CHF and its four affiliated organisations: the American Chemical Society (ACS), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), The Chemists’ Club, and the Société de Chimie Industrielle (American Section).
 
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Committee on Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail project to meet in Tokyo on Monday

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The second meeting of the high level Joint Committee on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail project will be held tomorrow in Tokyo.
 
The Indian delegation which is visiting Japan for the meeting, is led by Dr. Arvind Panagariya, Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog. 
 
Other members include Mr. A.K. Mital, Chairman, Railway Board; Mr. Shaktikanta Das, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs; Dr. S. Jaishankar, Foreign Secretary and Mr. Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department of Industry Policy and Promotion. 
 
The Japanese side will be led by Mr. Hiroto Izumi, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Japan. 
 
Other members from the Japanese side will include senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism (MLIT) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). 
 
An official press release said the committee would finalize the schedule of the project, terms related to the appointment of General Consultant and procurement conditions. 
 
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Since the loan negotiation and finalization of loan agreement will take some time, Government of India, to achieve timely implementation of project, has requested for a proper schedule of project implementation and had also requested for appointment of General Consultant before the finalization of the loan agreement. 
 
The appointment of General Consultant will enable start of preparatory activities like designing and preparation of tender documents, it said.
 
Since Make in India and Transfer of Technology are key components of the project implementation, an industry interaction between Indian and Japanese companies will be held on May 17.
 
The event will be see participation by almost 100 Japanese companies and 21 Indian companies. The industry interaction will enable Indian companies to explore business opportunities in participation with Japanese companies. The Indian companies include: BHEL, BEML, IRCON, Reliance Metro, Tata Infrastructure, JBM, Patil Infrastructure, IL&FS, Hindustan Construction Company and Texmaco Rail.
 
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India's forex reserves dip by $ 1.126 billion to $ 361.995 billion

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

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

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Union Minister of State for Power , Coal, New & Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal today urged the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to conduct social sciences training programmes for ministers, bureaucrats and other public servants.
 
“TISS should consider training programme in behavioural sciences, ethics and leadership for ministers and other public servants,” Mr Goyal said while addressing the 76th Convocation at the Institute.
 
"Behavioural science impacts society deeply. Across the country, public servants should be sensitized on how to deal with the poor and the downtrodden who approach them seeking help. Stating that a continuous learning programme for the ministers and bureaucrats was a good idea," Mr. Goyal said a beginning could be made with Mumbai and Maharashtra, which could be extended to other parts of the country later. 
 
The Minister referred to the vision of the House of Tatas in setting up the social sciences institute way back in 1936. He asserted that over the next 20-25 years, India would emerge as a super power, but stressed that the country had a long way to go, in terms of providing health, education and power for all its citizens and ensuring an inclusive growth. “The task ahead is onerous, but certainly doable,” he added.
 
Human resource development was an important function in any organization that wants to succeed in the long run. TISS has empowered its students to take up leadership roles in the society. The Minister urged some of the students to consider politics as a career option as well. “The days of the famous saying 'politics is the last resort of the scoundrel' is no more applicable in India. How much ever you may criticize the politician, the reality is we will need honest and good people to ensure good governance.” Mr Goyal said. 
 
The Minister complimented the efforts of Mumbai Municipal Corporation sweeper Sunil Yadav, who secured the TISS M.Phil degree. “Sunil Yadav securing M.Phil is an inspirational story. It encourages us to contribute to the society,"he said.
 
Mr Goyal urged the graduating students to be part of the movement of development. 
 
The Minister honoured the meritorious students with medals and shields in different fields of social sciences. 
 
Mr S. Ramadorai, Chairman, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, in his welcome address spoke about how the institute collaborated with government in the field of climate change as a run up to the Paris Conference.
 
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India's forex reserves rise by $ 1.52 billion to new high of $ 363.121 billion

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

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

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

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The Indian cricket team will tour the West Indies in July-August this year after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the West Indies Cricket Board resolved outstanding issues arising out of the abandonment of the tour of the West Indies team to India in 2014.
 
"With this understanding, bilateral series as part of the Future Tours Programme will be resumed with the Indian cricket team touring the West Indies in July-August, 2016 for a four-match Test series," a press release from the BCCI said here today.
 
Dave Cameron, President of the West Indies Cricket Board said: “We are extremely delighted that concerns which arose due to the incomplete tour have been addressed and would like to thank BCCI for reviving our ties. West Indies cricket appreciates the support of BCCI and the cricket loving fans of the islands keenly look forward to witness some exciting contests between the two teams.”
 
Anurag Thakur, Honorary Secretary of BCCI, said: “ BCCI is happy to resume their bilateral ties with WICB. We recognise that West Indies has a huge role to play in the development of cricket and we are happy to support their endeavours. This tour will further strengthen the bond between the Indian and the West Indian fans, who have over the years patronized this glorious game of cricket."
 
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FIIs, RFPIs can now invest up to 60% under PIS in Yes Bank: RBI

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