ADVERTISEMENT

Mumbai

Vice-Admiral Ajit Kumar P takes over as FOC-in-C, Western Naval Command

ADVERTISEMENT
Vice-Admiral Ajit Kumar P took over as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) of the Western Naval Command of the Indian Navy in Mumbai yesterday.
 
He has succeeded Vice-Admiral Girish Luthra, who has retired upon superannuation, after an illustrious career spanning nearly four decades in the Indian Navy. 
 
At an impressive ceremonial parade at the Naval Air Station Shikra, the outgoing and incoming Cs-in-C were accorded a guard of honour after which they proceeded to the Headquarters of the Western Naval Command for a formal handing-taking over. On completion, Vice- Admiral Luthra was “pulled out” in true Naval tradition.
 
An alumnus of Sainik School Kazhakootam and the National Defence Academy (NDA), Vice-Admiral Ajit Kumar was commissioned in the Indian Navy (IN) on July 1, 1981. As a specialist in Missiles and Gunnery, the Flag Officer has served onboard frontline warships of the IN and abroad. 
 
Adm Ajit Kumar has the rare distinction of commanding six warships, including two foreign warships.  These include guided missile corvette INS Kulish, guided missile frigate INS Talwar, guided missile destroyers INS Mumbai and INS Mysore. The officer has completed the Naval Higher Command Course and is also an alumnus of the prestigious Naval War College, Newport, USA. The Admiral has served extensively in the Western Naval Command in the initial specialist and Command appointments. He has also been the Chief Staff Officer (Operations) of the Western Naval Command.
 
Vice-Admiral Ajit Kumar P has also been the Flag Officer Commanding of the Eastern Fleet, Commanding Officer of  Gunnery and Missiles Training School - INS Dronacharya, served as Assistant Chief of Personnel (Human Resources Development) at IHQ MoD (Navy) and  Chief of Staff of Southern Naval Command. 
 
Promoted to the Rank of Vice-Admiral in December 2013, he has been Commandant of the prestigious Indian Naval Academy at Ezhimala. His tenures also include extensive experience in higher joint defence management where he has served as Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Operations) and Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Policy Planning & Force Development), at the HQ IDS.  He was the Vice Chief of Naval Staff at Naval Headquarters, New Delhi in his last appointment prior to assuming charge as the Flag Officer Commanding- in-Chief, Western Naval Command.
 
In recognition of his service, he was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in 2006, the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2014 and Param Vishist Seva Medal in 2019 by the President of India.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

India’s forex reserves rise by $1.498 billion to $ 398.178 billion

ADVERTISEMENT
India’s foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 1.498 billion to $ 398.178 billion during the week ended January 25, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had dipped by $ 671 million to $ 396.68 billion during the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here today, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone up by $ 1.423 billion to $ 372.149 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves increased by $ 77 million to $ 21.921 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) decreased by $ 0.7 million to $ 1.4645 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) went down by $ 1.2 million to $ 2.6434 billion, the bulletin added.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

India's gold demand falls 1.4% to 760.4 tonnes in 2018

 
Demand for gold in India fell by about 1.4 percent to 760.4 tonnes (t) in calendar year 2018 from 771.2t, according to the World Gold Council's (WGC) latest Gold Demand Trends report released here today.
 
However, the highest central bank buying in 50 years drove global gold demand up 4% to 4,345.1 tonnes in 2018, up 4% from 4,159.9t in 2017 and in line with five-year average demand of 4,347.5t, the report said.
 
A press release from WGC, citing the data, said total jewellery demand in India for 2018 was 598t as compared to 601.9t in the previous year. In terms of value, jewellery demand had gone up about 5% from Rs. 158,420 crore in 2017 to Rs. 166,610 crore in 2018.
 
Investment demand in India fell 4.07% from 169.3t in 2017 to 162.4t in 2018, the report said. In value terms, gold investment demand was Rs. 45,250 crore, up by 2% from 2017 (Rs. 44,560 crore)
 
Total gold recycled in India in 2018 was 87.1t as compared to 88.4t in 2017.
 
Somasundaram PR, Managing Director, India, World Gold Council said: "India’s full year gold demand in 2018 was 760.4 tonnes, marginally lower by 1% from 771.2 tonnes in 2017. Jewellery demand in Q4 was fractionally lower at 180.1t in comparison to 182.4t last year, as consumers were cautious in the face of high and volatile local gold prices. Investment demand received its usual seasonal boost during Diwali with 56.4t – the strongest quarter in the year, but still it was 5% down on Q4 2017. Demand was constrained due to relatively fewer auspicious wedding days and higher price volatility leading to a particularly pronounced effect on Q4 gold demand."
 
"The trends since 2015 indicate rather clearly that transparency measures have had an impact on gold demand. There is an urgent need for the industry to organise and collectively address issues of trust and innovation, in order to face the inevitable next wave of transparency measures and grow gold’s share of consumer spend. Considering the impending elections and a likely increase in spending, we expect full year demand to be in the range of 750- 850 tonnes," he added.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
According to the report, demand for gold in India for the last quarter (Q4) 2018 was at 236.5t down by 2% as compared to overall Q4 demand for 2017 (242t). India’s Q4 2018 gold demand value was Rs 67,330 crores, a rise of 5% in comparison with Q4 2017 (Rs. 64,310 crore).
 
Total jewellery demand in India for Q4 2018 was down by 1% at 180.1t as compared to Q4 2017 (182.4t). The value of jewellery demand was Rs. 51,270 crores, a rise of 6% from Q4 2017 (Rs. 48,460 crore).
 
Total investment demand for Q4 2018 was down by 5% at 56.4t in comparison with Q4 2017 (59.6t). In value terms, gold investment demand was Rs. 16,060 crores, a rise of 1% from Q4 2017 (Rs. 15,850 crore).
 
Total gold recycled in India in Q4 2018 was 18t, as compared to 17.6t in Q4 2017, the report said.
 
The report said the annual increase in global demand was driven by a multi-decade high in central bank buying and accelerated investment in bars and coins during the second half of the year. While annual inflows into exchange-traded funds (ETFs) were down 67% in 2018, demand was boosted in the final quarter by inflows of 112.4t.
 
Central banks added 651.5t to official gold reserves in 2018, up 74% on 2017 and the second highest yearly total on record. Net purchases jumped to their highest level since the end of US dollar convertibility into gold in 1971, as a greater pool of central banks turned to gold as a diversifier.
 
Annual jewellery demand was steady at 2,200t, down just 1t from the previous year. 
 
Gains in China (3%), the US (4%) and Russia (9%) broadly offset sharp losses in the Middle East, where demand dropped 15% on 2017. Indian demand was stable at 598t, a drop of only 4t from the previous year.
 
ETFs and similar products saw only moderate inflows of 68.9t during 2018, down 67% on 2017. Stock market volatility and signs of faltering economic growth in key markets fuelled a recovery in Q4 2018, with inflows growing to 112.4t from 32.5t in the same period last year.
 
However, Europe was the only region to see net growth over the year as a whole. 
 
Retail investment in gold bars and coins grew 4% in 2018, to 1,090.2t. Coin demand surged to reach a five-year high of 236.4t, the second-highest on record. Demand for gold bars held steady at 781.6t, the fifth year in succession of holding in a firm 780-800t range.
 
The year 2018 saw marginal gains in the volume of gold used in technology, up 1% year-on-year, although this was tempered by a Q4 slowdown. After healthy gains during the first three quarters of 2018, a combination of slowing smartphone sales, the US-China trade war and mounting uncertainty over global economic growth contributed to a 5% decline in Q4, to 84.1t.
 
Alistair Hewitt, Head of Market Intelligence at the World Gold Council, said: “Gold demand rose in 2018 and, although the US dollar gold price was down 1% over the year, it outperformed many other financial assets. Worries about a slowdown in global growth, heightened geopolitical tensions, and financial market volatility saw central bank demand hit its highest level since Nixon closed the gold window in 1971, the volume of gold in European-listed ETFs reach a record high, and annual coin demand leap 26%."
 
"But some of these factors may prove to be headwinds for some parts of the market. Jewellery and technology demand slowed in Q4 as consumer confidence waned in many markets. I don’t see any of the risks that investors and central banks are worried about fading anytime soon and I expect gold to remain an attractive hedge in 2019," he added.
 
The total supply of gold grew marginally by 1% in 2018, up from 4,447.2t to 4,490.2t. This growth was supported by similar year-on-year increases in mine production – to a new record high – and recycled gold.
 
The World Gold Council is the market development organisation for the gold industry. Its membership includes the world’s leading gold mining companies.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

ICICI Bank sacks Chanda Kochhar after adverse findings by Srikrishna panel

Chanda Kochhar (File Photo: IANS)
Chanda Kochhar (File Photo: IANS)
ICICI Bank, India's largest private sector lender, today sacked its former Managing Director & CEO Chanda Kochhar, who is facing charges of corruption and irregularities in a loan given by the bank to the Videocon Group, following the adverse findings against her by former Supreme Court judge, Justice B N Srikrishna, the Head of Enquiry (HOE) who conducted a comprehensive enquiry into the allegations.
 
The decision will have several attendant financial consequence for Ms. Kochhar, 57, who had resigned from the bank on October 24, 2018 in the wake of the allegations of conflict of interest.
 
The Enquiry Report of the HOE, which was submitted to the bank, was considered by its Board of Directors at its meeting here today.
 
"Following the receipt of the Enquiry Report, and due consideration of the Enquiry Report and the conclusions thereat, after due deliberations, the Board of Directors decided to treat the separation of Ms Chanda Kochhar from the Bank as a ‘Termination for Cause’ under the Bank’s internal policies, schemes and the Code of Conduct, with all attendant consequences (including revocation of all her existing and future entitlements such as any unpaid amounts, unpaid bonuses or increments, unvested and vested & unexercised stock options, and medical benefits), and require the clawback of all bonuses paid from April 2009 until March 2018, and to take such further actions as may be warranted in the matter," a press release from the bank said.
 
The HOE had been appointed by the bank pursuant to the decision by its Board on May 29, 2018. The HOE was assisted by a law firm, and a forensic and investigative services firm for the conduct of the enquiry.
 
"The Enquiry Report, with the scope period of April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2018 (unless specific information required enquiry into transactions or facts of an earlier period), concluded, primarily on account of ineffectively dealing with conflict of interest and due disclosure or recusal requirements, that Ms Chanda Kochhar was in violation of the ICICI Bank Code of Conduct, its framework for dealing with conflict of interest and fiduciary duties, and in terms of applicable Indian laws, rules and regulations.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
"The Enquiry Report also concluded that her lack of diligence with respect to annual disclosures as required by the Bank in terms of its internal policies, the ICICI Bank Code of Conduct and applicable Indian laws, rules and regulations on her interests (direct or indirect) towards avoidance of conflict of interest, when considered that the Bank’s processes were dependent solely on the directors discharging their fiduciary duty to recuse themselves and avoid conflict, implies that the Bank’s processes were rendered ineffective by her approach to such disclosures and avoidance of conflict.
 
"The Bank notes that there are no implications of the Enquiry Report on its published financial statements (Indian or US GAAP) for the relevant periods," the release added.
 
Today's decision by  the bank came days after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had, on January 24, booked Kochhar on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating and abuse of official position while “dishonestly sanctioning loans to the Videocon Group”.
 
The First Information Report (FIR) filed by the CBI accused Kochhar of receiving “illegal gratification" through her husband, Deepak Kochhar, from Videocon Managing Director V N Dhoot for sanctioning a term loan of Rs 300 crore to a Videocon group company.
 
The CBI has also registered a case against Deepak Kochhar and V N Dhoot, along with unknown public servants.
 
The FIR also said the role of several top bankers, who were part of the sanctioning committee, might be looked into.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

India’s forex reserves dip by $ 671 million to $ 396.68 billion

ADVERTISEMENT
India’s foreign exchange reserves dipped by $ 671 million to $ 396.68 billion during the week ended January 18, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had gone up by $ 1.267 billion to $ 397.351 billion during the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here today, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had fallen by $ 653 million to $ 370.726 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 21.844 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) decreased by $ 6.4 million to $ 1.465 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) went down by $ 11.6 million to $ 2.644 billion, the bulletin added.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Hardik Pandya to join team in NZ, KL Rahul part of India A squad

ADVERTISEMENT
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday asked Hardik Pandya to join the Indian team in New Zealand and said K L Rahul would be part of the India A squad for the last three one-day games against England Lions, hours after it lifted the suspension orders imposed on them.
 
The suspension orders were issued by the Board's Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) on January 11 on the two young cricketers for their sexist comments on a television show, Koffee with Karan, hosted by well-known filmmaker Karan Johar.
 
"Following the CoA’s decision to lift the bans on Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul, the Senior selection committee has decided to include Hardik Pandya in the squad for the series against New Zealand. KL Rahul will meanwhile join the India A squad that is playing 5 one-day games against England Lions in Thiruvananthapuram," a press release from BCCI said.
 
"Hardik Pandya will be sent to New Zealand to join the team at the earliest and KL Rahul will join the India A squad to play the last 3 one-day games against England Lions," the release added.
 
The CoA had, by emails dated 11.01.2019, and in exercise of Rule 41(6) of the Constitution of BCCI, suspended Pandya and Rahul in view of the allegations of misconduct against them, pending adjudication of the allegations under Rule 46 of the approved BCCI Constitution.
 
"Since the adjudication of all allegations of misconduct against any cricketer registered with, inter alia, the BCCI is required to be undertaken by the BCCI Ombudsman, whose appointment is pending directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, the CoA is the of the view that the interim suspension orders dated 11.01.2019 should be presently lifted with immediate effect," a statement from the CoA earlier on Thursday had said.
 
"The above matter and decision has been taken with the concurrence of the Learned Amicus Curiae, Mr. P.S. Narasimha. In view of the above, the suspension orders dated 11.01.2019 is immediately lifted pending appointment and adjudication of the allegations by the BCCI Ombudsman," the statement added.
 
The telecast of the episode featuring the two cricketers had taken place during the Indian team's tour of Australia and the players' remarks had attracted a lot of criticism. They were suspended by the BCCI from playing any form of cricket and asked to return to India to face an enquiry and proceedings.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

BCCI lifts suspension orders against Hardik Pandya, K L Rahul

ADVERTISEMENT
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today lifted the suspension orders imposed by it on January 11 on young cricketers Hardik Pandya and K L Rahul for their sexist comments on a television show, Koffee with Karan, hosted by well-known filmmaker Karan Johar.
 
The lifting of the suspension, pending appointment and adjudication of the allegations by the BCCI Ombudsman, was announced by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA).
 
The CoA had, by emails dated 11.01.2019, and in exercise of Rule 41(6) of the Constitution of BCCI, suspended Pandya and Rahul in view of the allegations of misconduct against them, pending adjudication of the allegations under Rule 46 of the approved BCCI Constitution.
 
"Since the adjudication of all allegations of misconduct against any cricketer registered with, inter alia, the BCCI is required to be undertaken by the BCCI Ombudsman, whose appointment is pending directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, the CoA is the of the view that the interim suspension orders dated 11.01.2019 should be presently lifted with immediate effect.
 
"The above matter and decision has been taken with the concurrence of the Learned Amicus Curiae, Mr. P.S. Narasimha. In view of the above, the suspension orders dated 11.01.2019 is immediately lifted pending appointment and adjudication of the allegations by the BCCI Ombudsman," the statement from the CoA added.
 
The telecast of the episode featuring the two cricketers had taken place during the Indian team's tour of Australia and the players' remarks had attracted a lot of criticism. They were suspended by the BCCI from playing any form of cricket and asked to return to India to face an enquiry and proceedings.
 
NNN

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

GoAir announces Republic Day sale with fares starting at Rs. 999

ADVERTISEMENT
Low-cost carrier GoAir today announced its Republic Day sale with fares starting at Rs. 999, all-inclusive of taxes, across 26 destinations on its domestic and international network.
 
Under the offer, bookings can be made between today and January 26 for travel between February  9 and September 30.
 
"Booking for travel can be made across all channels and the offer is available on first-come-first-served basis.  GoAir has initiated this lowest fare offer for their customers to kick-start their travel and holiday plans for the coming year," a press release from the airline said.
 
"GoAir has been consistent in providing flexibility of choice to their customers along with convenient and affordable flying experience," it said.
 
"This offer is not valid on infant bookings. Group discount is not applicable on this offer and this offer cannot be clubbed with any other on-going promotional offer. Fares are subjected to Standard Cancellation and Rebooking policy," the release added.
 
NNN

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

JNPT listed amongst world’s top 30 container ports

ADVERTISEMENT
The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) here, India’s premier container port, has been listed amongst the top 30 container ports globally in the latest Lloyds Report.
 
JNPT moved up five spots, to be 28th on the list, compared to its previous ranking, an official press release said.
 
"This is a validation of all the efforts and strategic initiatives being implemented at JNPT in order to enhance overall port efficiency. Various new processes activated under the ‘ease of doing business’ initiative have not only helped in overall growth of the port business, but also allowed the EXIM trade to save time and cost which in turn have accentuated the growth story. Gaining operational efficiency is an on-going process and looking for solutions to better services so that the EXIM trade community benefits from it," it said.
 
The JNPT also launched its App service to facilitate better tracking of consignment and ease the trade process for its EXIM partners. The App will allow traders to access all the relevant information about their consignment and port related updates regarding traffic and weather, on their fingertips. The App will keep updating the relevant information at regular intervals, so that traders are abreast with the latest updates. The App will be available on Android and iOS.The app was launched by the Chairman, JNPT in presence of the stakeholders. The Chairman requested all stakeholders to use the app and share their feedback and recommendations regularly, so that the app can be upgraded as per the demand of the EXIM community.
 
Looking ahead, JNPT is already on a major expansion drive, with some key projects like, on-going project work on the mega 4th Terminal, developing a centralized Parking Plaza, improving the port connecting roads and widening of Highways and development of Coastal Berth. The Port is also implementing, specific processes at the operational level to make it standardized and more efficient across terminals, among many other initiatives in the pipeline.
 
"India is gaining precedence as a favourable trade destination and initiatives at JNPT has been credited for helping India leverage its position in the World Bank Ranking in trading across the borders, from 146 to 80, a jump of 66 points. JNPT closed 2018 on a high note crossing the 5 Million TEUs traffic milestone and in December 2018 alone JNPT handled 4.45 Lakh TEUs which again is the highest volume of container handled recorded in a single month, at the port," the release added.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Measures like farm loan waivers to increase states' fiscal deficit: India Ratings

ADVERTISEMENT
India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra), a Fitch Group company, has said that it expected the aggregate fiscal deficit of states to come in higher at 3.2% in FY20 than its forecast of 2.8% in the FY19 Mid-Year Outlook, thanks to farm loan waivers and other such farm support measures.
 
Maintaining a stable outlook on the finances of Indian states for FY20, the agency said that, although the deficit was higher than the fiscally prudent level of 3% of the gross domestic product (GDP), it beleived that this would not pose a significant upside risk to states' aggregate burden in FY20.
 
"The agency expects states’ revenue account on aggregate to clock a deficit of 0.5% of GDP in FY20 due to a higher growth in revenue expenditures than revenue receipts. The competitive populism, in the nature of farm loan waivers and other financial support schemes, would take centre stage in the run-up to next general elections in May 2019. A larger impact is expected on fiscal and revenue deficit to gross state domestic product ratios for Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Rajasthan, among non-special category states, in FY20," a press release from Ind-Ra said.
 
On the expenditure side, Ind-Ra expected states’ aggregate revenue expenditure to grow 18.9% y-o-y to Rs. 33,280.90 billion in FY20 from 11.2% in FY19. 
 
"The announcement of farm loan waivers by the governments of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Assam and Rajasthan in December 2018 extends the list of states that have resorted to this mechanism to address farmers’ distress. Additionally, Odisha and Jharkhand announced schemes to provide financial assistance to small and marginal farmers along the lines of the Rythu Bandhu Scheme implemented in Telangana.
 
"During periods of fiscal adjustment, capex becomes a soft target for deficit control. Ind-Ra expects states’ aggregate capex/GDP to come in marginally lower at 3.0% in FY20 from the budget estimate of 3.07% for FY19. The agency believes capex/GDP could come in below 3% for Tamil Nadu, Haryana, West Bengal and Kerala in FY20.
 
"Ind-Ra expects the aggregate debt/GDP to rise to 25.1% in FY20 from the budgeted 24.3% for FY19. The agency does not view the increase to be detrimental to states’ debt sustainability position, although states would channelise some part of borrowings towards meeting revenue expenditure. In Ind-Ra’s opinion, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala are most susceptible to clock an increase in the debt burden in FY20.
 
"Ind-Ra estimates the gross market borrowings of states to be INR5.7 trillion in FY20. The aggregate gross market borrowings by states would be in the range of INR5.01 trillion-5.13 trillion in FY19, higher than the states’ budgeted gross market borrowings of INR4.4 trillion for FY19," the release added.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Powered Accelerator announces 2nd cohort of women entrepreneurs in energy domain

ADVERTISEMENT
As part of its efforts in supporting women entrepreneurs in the energy domain, Powered Accelerator has selected nine women to be a part of its second cohort and will offer them financial and business support to help them develop their businesses and deliver access to energy solutions across India.
 
The accelerator programme, spread over three months will include mentorship in various domains, one-on-one interactions with industry experts and investors, peer community building, showcase opportunity and access to a range of services and support, a press release from Zone Startups India, a technology accelerator and one of the programme partners, said here today.
 
The release said selected companies from the second cohort will be supported with an equity-free seed fund of up to $10,000.
 
In April last year, the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID), Shell Foundation (a UK-based charity), Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Zone Startups India announced the Powered Accelerator -- a first of its kind entrepreneurship programme focused on twin Sustainable Development Goals of Energy and Diversity. 
 
The programme has since hosted its first cohort comprising 10 startups, extended equity- free seed fund of $10,000 to 6 startups and hosted a bootcamp for 5 very early-stage startups.
 
The objective of the Powered Accelerator is to support women-led ventures by helping them expand their innovative and consumer-responsive products and services; the ultimate goal is to empower women-owned and managed businesses in the energy space, the release said.
 
The accelerator is focused on core themes of access to energy, sustainable mobility, waste to value, energy efficiency, and smart energy solutions.
 
The top nine women selected for the second cohort were selected from a cumulative application pool of 150+ applications. The entrepreneurs were evaluated based on the applicant’s background, innovativeness, the scale of impact, problem solution fit, clarity of thought, and programme fit. The selected entrepreneurs will now receive support for one year to scale their business, including a four-week residential mentoring programme and access to an equity-free seed fund upto $10,000 each.
 
"With the success of the first cohort, DFID is keen to continue its support for this transformative platform helping businesses scale up and increase their social impact. The second cohort has a range of businesses from diverse geographies working on energy access, waste to energy, energy efficiency, and clean energy livelihoods.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
"Opportunities for greater inclusion and sustainability are unlocked by working with these women led businesses moving us closer to the twin sustainable development goals of energy access and diversity,” says Adritha Subbiah, Energy and Green Growth Analyst, DFID India.
 
“At Shell Foundation, we are proud to support the continued progress of the Powered Accelerator, helping female entrepreneurs working on innovative off-grid energy access technologies. We believe this second cohort can be transformative in building long-term business solutions to meet India’s off-grid energy needs, delivering employment and new technologies that will positively improve the lives and livelihoods of people in low-income rural and urban areas,” said Sam Parker, Director, Shell Foundation.
 
The second cohort, comprising of startups in areas ranging across manufacturing solar products, smart energy solutions, waste to energy solutions, and livelihood creating models is as follows:
 
1. Dr. Vanita Prasad, Founder and Director – Product and Technology R&D - Revy Environmental Solutions
Dr. Vanita Prasad is an Environmental Biotechnologist with more than 20 years of experience. She holds patents for specific innovation in the field of waste management and renewable energy. She has started Revy Environmental Solutions which has developed a cost-effective and indigenous process of treating wastewater releasing biogas in the process.
 
2. Monika Jha, Founder and CEO - Cydee Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Monika is an Electrical and Electronics Graduate from Bangalore, passionate about developing relevant technologies to solve the energy and waste crisis. She is the Founder and CEO of Cydee Technologies, developing unique patented streetlights to help public and private sectors reduce cost by reducing the number of light poles by 60%, saving 60% material, manufacturing, deployment and maintenance cost along with 30% extra energy saving compared to conventional LED streetlights.
 
3. Debashree Padhi, CEO - DD Biosolution Technology Pvt. Ltd.
Debashree has a B.Tech in Mechanical engineering and M.Tech in Polymer Nanotechnology. She has completed three innovative projects for MSME, Government of India and is the CEO of DD Bio Solution Technology producing green energy from agro waste providing an end-to-end clean cooking solution for rural women and creating an optimized lifecycle for agro waste utilization into energy.
 
4. Bhavana Chittawar, Head of Business Development and Product Development – FinEffi Energy Solutions
Bhavana Chittawar has 20 years’ experience in Energy Efficiency. She is the Head of Business Development and Product Development at FinEffi Energy Solutions which aims to save energy in the residential and commercial sector, reduce cost of electricity by at least 25% for the end user and make the end user aware of his/her energy usage by using their IoT devices and data analytics.
 
5. Manvi Dhawan, CEO & CFO – GTarang Energy Solutions
Manvi has 2 years of experience in project management and systems engineering, she also holds a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from IIT Bombay. She is the CEO and CFO of GTarang Energy Solutions, developing devices to convert waste thermal energy from day to day activities at individual and industrial setups into useful energy.
 
6. Susmita Bhattacharjee, MD & Founder - Pushan Renewable Energy Pvt. Ltd.
Susmita is a solar enthusiast who aims to bring power to millions of people with limited or no access to electricity. She is the Managing Director and Founder of Pushan Renewable Energy Private Limited, a social enterprise that provides innovative solar powered systems and products for income generation of rural Indian women.
 
7. Vidya Amarnath, Director - Paterson Energy Pvt. Ltd.
Vidya is the Director of Paterson Energy Pvt. Ltd., a Plastic Waste to Fuel Company manufacturing plants for recycling plastic waste into quality Plastic Oil using a continuous type Thermochemical Depolymerization Technology.
 
8. Disha Ahuja, Founder - Prakriti Biosystems Engineering 
Disha has a Ph.D. in Chemical & Biological Engineering and has worked for 10+ years as a Senior Scientist at Amgen, USA. She is the Founder of Prakriti Biosystems Engineering, which converts organic waste into energy by using membrane-based modular solutions. She is developing a turn-key solution to purify Biogas to Bio-CNG (vehicular fuel and PNG) and industrial carbon dioxide.
 
9. Rukmani Katara, CEO - Durga Energy
Durga Energy is a cleantech enterprise based in Rajasthan. It has set up a solar panel manufacturing unit providing alternative livelihood opportunities to women working as labourers in farms by providing them training and employment in manufacturing, installation and maintenance of solar products. Their approach is holistic in terms of women empowerment and energy efficiency.
 
Set up as a joint initiative of Shell Foundation and Zone Startups, and supported by DFID India (UK Government) and DST, Government of India, the objective of the Powered Accelerator is to support selected ventures, by helping them expand their innovative and consumer-responsive services, products, and financing; with an ultimate goal to empower women-owned and managed businesses in the energy space.
 
DFID India is a UK government department responsible for fostering development partnership between the UK and India.
 
DST was established in May 1971, with the objective of promoting new areas of Science & Technology and to play the role of a nodal department for organizing, coordinating, and promoting S&T activities in the country.
 
Shell Foundation is an independent UK-registered charity established by the Shell Group in 2000 to create and scale new solutions to global development challenges. 
 
Zone Startups is a leading global technology accelerator, and early stage investment fund, with multiple accelerator programmes and entrepreneurship initiatives across Canada, India, and Vietnam. In India, the flagship programme is Zone Startups India, established in 2014 as a partnership between Ryerson Futures Inc. and BSE Institute; partly funded by DST.
 
Zone Startups India also operates empoWer, India’s only tech accelerator for women entrepreneurs.
 
NNN

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

ICICI Bank launches premium savings account, ‘The One’, for upwardly mobile men

ADVERTISEMENT
ICICI Bank, India's largest private sector lender, has announced the launch of a new range of premium savings account, christened, ‘The One’, for upwardly-mobile salaried and self-employed men.
 
The savings account also offers a bouquet of benefits for the account-holder's family’s long-term financial needs such as asset creation, wealth management, life-protection and investment, a press release from the bank said.
 
Available in two variants, Magnum and Titanium, 'The One' offers protection to the account holder with the debit card as it recognises the requirement of enhanced protection to the account holder for financial security of his family, it said.
 
Additionally, the customer can conveniently opt for health and term life insurance covers. It also provides a boost for asset creation of a home with attractive waiver on processing fees on home loans, it said.
 
‘The One’ also provides customers with a range of attractive offers. The key among those are, Amazon Gift Card on specified debit card spends; using which they can join ‘Amazon Prime’. Account holders of the Titanium variant also get complimentary one-year subscription of Zomato Gold.
 
Pranav Mishra, Head- Retail Liabilities Group, ICICI Bank said, "We are committed to offer unique and innovative product propositions to our customers with the highest level of convenience. Our research has identified different customer sub-segments who require different product propositions. In line with this earlier in this fiscal, we had introduced new savings account offerings for senior citizens, working women and families. Now we are launching, ‘The One’ a premium savings account exclusively for upwardly-mobile male customers. Our research shows, this customer segment aspires to provide the best lifestyle to his family as well as secure their future against uncertainties. This includes owning a house, car and providing quality education for children. Alongside these commitments, his investments and insurance requirements become critical components for his family’s financial security."
 
"We believe that it is our responsibility as an organisation to play the role of a catalyst in the life of these customers and make opportunities available for them to invest and secure their financial life. Thus, we have curated a special offering that bundles many benefits of enhanced insurance covers, access to convenient asset creations, investments and lifestyle benefits. This unique proposition is our contribution towards providing our customers with exclusive privileges, thereby making their banking experience a rewarding one," he said.
 
Among other things, the account offers benefits such as free unlimited transactions on ICICI Bank as well as non–ICICI Bank ATMs in India; free NEFT/ RTGS for online channels such as internet banking and iMobile; up to 40% discount on annual locker rentals; and insurance and protection benefits.
 
The account offers the option for term and group health insurance plans at the time of account opening. The group health insurance plan offers a comprehensive cover including OPD, day care and surgery. This plan offers flexibility of monthly EMI option, a feature designed and available exclusively with the bank.
 
It offers a free new exclusive debit card with insurance cover. The coverage is Rs. 40 lakh air accident insurance, Rs. 10 lakh and Rs. 5 lakh for personal accident insurance on Titanium and Magnum respectively; and Rs 1.5 lakh purchase protection on debit card.
 
It also offers the option of a term life insurance for 10 years with Rs. 50 lakh as sum assured; offers unique dual feature of  monthly pay-out for 10 years (in case of a claim) and payout increase by 10% each year.
 
It offers choice of Group Health Insurance with a comprehensive cover including OPD, day care, surgeries and more. This plan offers flexibility of monthly EMI option and cashless treatment at 3600+ partner hospitals.
 
On the asset creation and investment side, the account offers benefits such as free brokerage upto Rs 22,500 on equity stock trading; free opening of trading account; waiver of annual charge on demat account for the first year; 50% waiver on processing fee for new home loans; and no processing fee on balance transfer of existing home loan.
 
Other benefits include Amazon Gift Card of Rs 999 on specified debit card spends, using which one can join Amazon Prime for a year; complimentary one year subscription of Zomato Gold for Titanium variant on specified attachments; discount on Bigbasket, a leading online supermarket to purchase daily groceries; complimentary health check-up at SRL Diagnostics for any family member on specified attachments; and minimum 15% discount at 2500+ restaurants across the country on using ‘The ONE’ savings account debit card, as part of the bank’s ‘Culinary Treats’ programme.
 
NNN

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Smule Mirchi Cover Star begins hunt for India’s biggest cover artiste

ADVERTISEMENT
The best 100 entries from more than 15,000 received for the Smule Mirchi Cover Star are now open for public voting here as part of a hunt for India's biggest cover artiste.
 
"In the first phase of the competition, Smule Mirchi Cover Star received over 15000 entries. These 15000+ entries were screened and evaluated basis Tune, Expression and Pitch," a press release from the organisers said.
 
"Basis public votes, social engagement and screening by Mirchi programming, the Top 5 entries from these 100 entries will move into the finals of the competition," it said.
 
"Smule Mirchi Cover Star is India’s biggest cover artiste hunt that offers the winner a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform at the 11th Mirchi Music Awards in Mumbai in front of Bollywood’s biggest music celebrities, a truly incomparable experience for anyone who loves and follows music in India," the release said.
 
Created by Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM, Smule Mirchi Cover Star is designed for people who have a flair for singing Bollywood songs. To participate, people needed to download the Smule app and sing the cover entry of their favourite song. Alternatively, people also sent their entries through special on-ground activation in malls and campuses across 12 cities. Participants also had the option of visiting Radio Mirchi studios to record their entry for the competition.
 
In the finals, Mirchi Cover Star celebrity judges, Jonita Gandhi, Meet Bros, Kanika Kapoor and Tony Kakkar, will assess and evaluate these top five entries. The five finalists will battle it out at an on-ground event in front of fans and media. 
 
"One winner will be chosen from the event who will then be groomed for the coveted performance at Mirchi Music Awards 2019," the release said.
 
Smule is a leading social network for music, connecting the world through a global community of 50 million monthly active users. Smule’s flagship app lets people sing and make music with friends and major artistes around the globe. Smule is available on iOS and Android.
 
Entertainment Network India Limited (ENIL), popularly known as Mirchi, owns 73 frequencies and is advertising partner for another 3, across 63 cities, making it India’s largest private FM radio broadcaster. 
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Understanding link between extreme rainfall events and floods

ADVERTISEMENT
It has been reported that extreme rainfall events are increasing over India and widespread floods have increased threefold over the last several decades from an average of two events per year to six events per year. But the link between extreme rainfall events and rising incidence of floods remains tenuous.
 
There is scientific evidence that global warming is leading to more moisture loading in the atmosphere, which, in turn, is causing more extreme precipitation events. However, there is no clear evidence that this is leading to any increase in floods.
 
A new study by Australian and American researchers reported in journal Water Resources Research has confirmed that increased extreme rainfall events do not necessarily lead to increased floods. Many hydraulic factors such as physiography, drainage, catchment size and vegetation cover are critical for peak flood conditions. There are also several unexpected factors that affect flood response to extreme precipitation.
 
For example, in the US, on an average only 36% of the time extreme rain events led to extreme river discharge. Much depended on how wet or dry was the river catchment area before the extreme rainfall. If the catchment area was wet prior to the extreme rainfall event, extreme discharge occurred much more frequently than the average, at 62% of the time. The percentage dropped sharply to a mere 13% if the catchment was dry. Clearly, soil moisture heavily influences flood response to extreme rainfall.
 
The size of the thunderstorms is another factor. The storms are found to become smaller in size when temperatures are warmer since the convection intensity increases with temperature. In addition, warmer temperatures prolong droughts and dry up the soils and this affects the flood response following extreme rainfall events. Other non-obvious factors include the water storage capacity of tree canopy and leaf wettability of the trees. Leaf wettability was found to increase with temperature for many tree species.
 
There have been some increases in flooding relating to earlier snowmelt, which shifts the timing of the floods to spring. Likewise, late winter storms with warmer temperatures or rain on snow are found to cause late winter floods in parts of Europe. The timing and magnitude of floods are altered in these cases. Many of the coastal floods are also unrelated to extreme rainfall.
 
One of the most important factors for extreme rainfall is the rate at which atmospheric moisture is increasing with global warming. As per Clausius-Clapeyron equation, the capacity of air to hold moisture increases by seven per cent for each degree of warming. The increase in extreme rainfall is due to a combination of this increase in moisture as well as changes in atmospheric circulation.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Projecting extreme rainfall is a challenge for climate models. All evidence points to greater than seven per cent increase in extreme events, even though specific conclusions vary depending on how the term `extreme events’ is defined.
 
It is often assumed that the temperature-extreme rainfall relationship also applies to precipitation-streamflow link. However, it’s not just the rainfall intensity that matters for streamflows but also duration and spread of storms. This is in addition to prior wetness and other hydraulic factors.
 
Historic data shows decreasing trend in streamflow. The presence or absence of dams or forest covers does not appear to matter. But increasing trends in annual maximum streamflow are seen over smaller catchment areas. Data also shows that small increase in precipitation with warming is much higher than relative increase in streamflow.
 
Specifically for India, the impact of extreme rain on rivers and streamflow is complicated by dams, reservoirs, urbanization and other land use changes as well as increased evaporative losses due to global warming. Seven rivers that serve hydropower production are reported to have experienced a decrease in rainfall and streamflow, while climate projections indicate a wetter monsoon in a warmer world and a potential increase in hydropower production. The caveat is that climate models may not fully capture past monsoon trends and may be unreliable for future projections.
 
This should be placed in the context of the fact that Himalayan-born rivers in India carry some of the highest sediment loads in the world. Sediment loads have a nonlinear relation with streamflow which means these loads can increase more rapidly beyond a certain threshold of streamflow. In addition, extreme precipitation events have increased over parts of the Himalayas and more of the precipitation may arrive as rain instead of snow in a warming world.This would again change the seasonality of peak streamflows.
 
These multitude of natural-human system interactions over India point to the urgent need for a better understanding of the complexity of the relation between extreme precipitation, streamflows and floods especially where human action may escalate flood risks.
 
(The writer is a professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science and Earth System Science at the University of Maryland. He is currently a visiting professor at IIT Bombay.)
 
(India Science Wire)
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

India’s forex reserves rise by $ 1.267 billion to $ 397.351 billion

ADVERTISEMENT
India’s foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 1.267 billion to $ 397.351 billion during the week ended January 11, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had soared by $ 2.68 billion to $ 396.084 billion during the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here today, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had increased by $ 1.087 billion to $ 371.379 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 went up by $ 154.4 million to $ 21.844 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) increased by $ 9.0 million to $ 1.4716 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) went up by $ 16.3 million to $ 2.656 billion, the bulletin added.
 
NNN

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Meeting reviews progress in sanitation at 20 Swachh Iconic Places

ADVERTISEMENT
The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Government agencies, local administrations and the Trusts/ Boards of the Swachh Iconic Places (SIPs) came together for a two-day consultation here on Thursday, represented by over 100 delegates from across the country. 
 
The consultation included a field visit to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus where systematic sanitation and restoration work is underway.
 
The Swachh Iconic Places initiative aims to achieve a distinctly higher level of sanitation at these places, especially in the peripheries and approach areas. 
 
Following the clarion call by the Prime Minister to make Swachhata everybody’s business, the Centre and selected States have taken up joint efforts for making the country’s iconic places Swachh. The special Swachhata initiatives at these places have received CSR support from public and private companies.
 
During the consultation, a review was also done of the work already taken up at the 20 Phase-I and Phase-II SIPs. These SIPs demonstrated significant progress in the development of Sanitation facilities.
 
The Phase I SIPs include: Ajmer Sharif Dargah, CST Mumbai, Golden Temple, Kamakhya Temple, Manikarnika Ghat, Meenakshi Temple, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, Shree Jagannath Temple, Taj Mahal and Tirupati Temple.
 
The iconic sites in Phase II are: Gangotri, Yamunotri, Mahakaleshwar Temple, Charminar,  Church and Convent of St. Francis of Assisi, Kalady, Gomateshwar, Baijnath Dham, Gaya Tirth and Somnath temple.
 
SIP is a collaborative project of the Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation with the Ministries of Urban Development, Culture and Tourism at all levels in the concerned States with public sector and private companies as partners.
 
Presiding over the review, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Parameswaran Iyer, while lauding the efforts made by these various teams, emphasized the importance of inter-sectoral collaborations in the improvement of sanitation.
 
Director General, Special Projects, Swachh Bharat Mission Akshay Rout, made a presentation on the progress of work at various iconic sites over last two years. 
 
The extensive Swachhata related efforts at these iconic places were exhibited at the consultation. Additional Chief Secretary Maharashtra Sham Lal underlined the range of ODF sustainability measures taken up by the State.
 
Secretary, MDWS, also launched the Swachh Iconic Place (SIP) portal and logo created by the Ministry.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Modi to inaugurate National Museum of Indian Cinema on January 19

ADVERTISEMENT
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC) in Mumbai on January 19.
 
The state-of-the-art museum, built at a cost of Rs 140.61 crore, aims to take its visitors through an absorbing journey of over a century of Indian cinema in a storytelling mode with the help of visuals, graphics, artefacts, interactive exhibits and multimedia expositions.
 
The creation of the museum has been guided by the Museum Advisory Committee headed by Shyam Benegal. An innovation committee headed by Prasoon Joshi was also constituted to provide an upgrade to NMIC.
 
The museum is housed in two buildings – the new museum building and the 19th-century palace Gulshan Mahal – in the Films Division campus in Mumbai.
 
The New Museum Building has four exhibition halls which encapsulate:
--Gandhi & Cinema: it not only depicts the movies made on the life Mahatma Gandhi but also showcases the deep impact his life had on cinema.
--Children’s Film Studio:  it gives visitors, particularly children, an opportunity to explore the science, technology and art behind filmmaking. It offers hands-on experience on various facets associated with making cinema like camera, light, shooting, experience of acting, etc. – presented in an interactive format. 
The exhibits displayed include chroma studio, immersive experience zone, stop-motion animation studio, virtual makeover studio, etc.
--Technology, creativity & Indian cinema: it showcases the creative use of technology by Indian filmmakers over the years to produce a cinematographic impact on the silver screen.
--Cinema across India: it showcases the charismatic kaleidoscopic presence of the vibrant cinematographic culture across India.
 
The museum, founded on an amalgamation of technology and amenities in a Victorian structure, has been constructed and refurbished by state-owned NBCC (India) Limited.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Set in an elegant 19th-century heritage bungalow in South Mumbai, the project involved refurbishing the historic Gulshan Mahal and constructing the state-of-the-art NMIC building that has five floors and two mezzanine floors accounting for a total built up area of 12,000 sq metres. 
 
Gulshan Mahal is an ASI Grade-II Heritage Structure which has been restored as part of the project. The displays present here to showcase the journey of over a hundred years of Indian cinema.  
 
It is divided into nine sections -- The Origin of Cinema, Cinema comes to India, Indian Silent Film, Advent of Sound, The Studio Era, The impact of World War II, Creative Resonance, New Wave and Beyond and Regional Cinema.
 
"NBCC was able to complete the project despite facing challenges like the locality being a congested one, with barely any working space available. Apart from the space constraint, another major obstruction was restricted working hours along with regulated sound decibels. The movement and entry for the heavy vehicles was also restricted during day time," a press release from the company said.
 
In an endeavour to make the entire complex a potential ‘film hub’, the Victorian-Gothic era complex, which once drew luminaries to its musical soirées and cultural gatherings, is now well-equipped with modern amenities and facilities, including expansive auditoriums. In addition to this, the complex houses a multi-purpose hall that has been designed to be used as a movie preview theatre and for social functions, conferences and other seminars.
 
Another highlight of the project is its design features that involve a unique front elevation designed with inclined structural glazing supported by cable net with spiders and a glass façade which gives 3D view look to the structure. Besides adding aesthetics to the building, this unique feature, while giving an appearance of more space, allows more natural light to pass through the building making it highly energy efficient.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Reliance Jio reports 65% jump in net profit to Rs. 831 crore in Q3

ADVERTISEMENT
Telecom services provider Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), today reported a 65 percent rise in its net profit to Rs. 831 crore in the third quarter (Q3), ended December 31, 2018, from Rs. 504 crore in the same month of the previous financial year.
 
In the financial results for Q3 released today, the company said its standalone revenue from operations rose 50.9% increase to Rs. 10,383 crore as against Rs. 8,114 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.
 
The company said sustained market share gains over the past six quarters had helped it achieve quarterly operating revenue of over Rs. 10,000 crore within six quarters of commercial operations.
 
“Robust operational efficiency is reflected in industry leading EBITDA margin of 39% which has driven the reported EBITDA over Rs. 4,000 crore during the quarter,” it said.
 
A press release from Jio said its subscriber base stood at 280.1 million as on December 31, 2018, with the lowest churn in the industry at 0.61%.
 
Total wireless data traffic during the quarter was 864 crore GB and total voice traffic during Q3 of 63,406 crore minutes, it said.
 
“The journey of Jio has been truly remarkable and has surpassed all expectations. The Jio family is now 280 million strong and growing on one of the world’s largest mobile data networks, in line with our vision of connecting everyone and everything, everywhere – always at the highest quality and the most affordable price. We are similarly working on re-inventing the connectivity solutions market for Homes and Enterprise with our next generation FTTX services,” RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh D. Ambani said.
 
“Our relentless focus is on creating platforms to truly transform the digital life of every citizen of India across connectivity, commerce, media and entertainment, financial services, agriculture, education and healthcare, which will further enhance productivity and economic prospects of our nation,” he added.
 
The company said it had sustained its pace of underlying subscriber additions with net addition during the quarter of 27.9 million (as against previous four-quarter average of 28.4 million). 
 
“Customer engagement stayed healthy with average data consumption per user per month of 10.8 GB and average voice consumption of 794 minutes per user per month. Video consumption drove most of the usage, increasing to 460 crore hours per month,” it said.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The release said expansion of Jio’s all-IP 4G LTE network coverage to 99% of population is on track and will be completed over the next few months.
 
It said Jio was the only network to deploy tri-band (850MHz/ 1800MHz/ 2300MHz) 4G across all its network sites.
 
It said Jio was the world’s largest VOLTE network, supporting 2x traffic growth over the past year and maintaining experience (lowest call drop rate at 0.12%), It was ranked the fastest network over last 23 months by TRAI’s MySpeed Analytics app (average download speed of 18.7 Mbps during December 2018, as per TRAI), the release said.
 
The company said it proposed to transfer its fibre undertaking and its tower undertaking to separate companies, through a Scheme of Arrangement. RJIL will enter into arrangements for long-term uninterrupted use of these assets.
 
The release said RJIL’s JioGigaFiber services for Home broadband, Entertainment, Smart Home Solutions, Wireline and Enterprise has witnessed overwhelming customer interest across 1,400 cities.
 
“Jio is currently connecting homes on priority based on the requests received and optimising its service offerings,” it said.
 
The release said RIL, parent of RJIL, was awaiting regulatory approvals to complete the recently announced investment in Den Networks Limited and Hathway Cable and Datacom Limited. Post completion of the transaction, Reliance and Jio will be strengthening the business model of 27,000 LCOs that are aligned with DEN and Hathway across 750 cities, by creating multiple future opportunities with new services and platforms, it said.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

RIL reports 8.8% increase in net profit to Rs. 10,251 crore in Q3

 File photo of Reliance Industries Limited Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani
File photo of Reliance Industries Limited Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani
Oil & gas, petrochemicals, telecom and retail major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today reported an 8.8 percent increase in net profit to Rs. 10,251 crore in the third quarter (Q3) ended December 31, 2018 from Rs. 9,420 crore in the same quarter of the previous financial year.
 
In the process, the company has become the first Indian private sector corporate to cross Rs. 10,000 crore quarterly profits milestone.
 
In its financial results for the quarter released here today, the company said its revenue had gone up by 55.9% in Q3 to Rs. 171,336 crore from Rs. 109,905 crore in the corresponding quarter of FY18.
 
Profit before depreciation, interest and tax was up 20% at Rs. 23,801 crore from Rs. 19,837 crore in the same quarter of FY18, a press release from RIL said.
 
On a standalone basis, the company’s net profit increased by 5.6% to Rs. 8,928 crore.
The gross refining margin (GRM) during the quarter was $ 8.8 per barrel as compared to $ 11.6 in the same quarter of the previous fiscal, it said.
 
“In our endeavor to consistently create more value for our country and stakeholders, our company has become the first Indian private sector corporate to cross Rs. 10,000 crore quarterly profits milestone. I am proud to be part of the committed and talented team at Reliance that has helped achieve many milestones in our continuing growth journey,” RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh D. Ambani said.
 
“In an oil price environment that witnessed heightened volatility through the quarter, RIL has delivered strong quarterly results on a consolidated basis. Competitive cost positions and integration benefits is core to our Oil to Chemicals (Refining and Petrochemicals) business, driving sustained performance even in challenging global business environment. In our new-age consumer businesses, we maintained robust growth momentum across Retail and Jio platforms and the share of consumer businesses is steadily increasing its contribution to the overall profitability of the Company. In our wireless business, our customer-centric offerings and strong ubiquitous network are helping to digitalize India at an unprecedented rate. As we execute on our strategies to deliver superior products and services to Indian consumers, I am confident, Reliance is well-positioned for the future and for the next cycle of growth,” he said.
 
The company said the increase in its revenue was primarily on account of higher price realizations and volumes for its Petrochemical and Refining businesses along with continuing strong growth momentum in consumer businesses. 
 
“Product prices for the Refining and Petrochemicals business increased in line with 10.4% higher average Brent crude oil price. The higher volumes in Petrochemical business are on account of stabilization and ramp-up of new petrochemical facilities. Retail business and Digital Services business recorded an increase of 89% and 51% in revenue during the quarter compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year,” the release said.
 
Exports (including deemed exports) from RIL’s India operations were higher by 35.2% at Rs. 62,378 crore ($ 8.9 billion) as against Rs. 46,151 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year due to  higher volumes of polymer products and fibre intermediates on account of stabilization of new facilities at Jamnagar and higher product prices in petrochemical and refining business. 
 
Other expenditure increased by 44.3% to Rs. 20,456 crore ($ 2.9 billion) as against Rs. 14,177 crore in corresponding period of the previous year primarily due to higher fuel prices and higher production. Increase in other expenses also reflect the rapid scale-up of consumer businesses, mainly on account of higher network operating expenses, regulatory charges, programming and telecast related expenses, lease rent and selling expenses, the release said.
 
Outstanding debt as on December 31, 2018 was Rs. 274,381 crore ($39.3 billion) compared to Rs.  218,763 crore as on March31, 2018. 
 
Cash and cash equivalents as on December 31, 2018 were at Rs. 77,933 crore ($ 11.2 billion) compared to Rs. 78,063 crore as on March 31, 2018. These were in bank deposits, mutual funds, CDs, Government Bonds and other marketable securities.  
 
The capital expenditure for the quarter was Rs. 27,274 crore ($ 3.9 billion) including exchange rate difference.  
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The release said 3Q FY19 revenue from the Refining & Marketing (R&M) segment increased by 47.3% Y-o-Y to Rs. 111,738 crore ($ 16.0 billion) while Segment EBIT declined by 18.0% Y-o-Y to Rs. 5,055 crore ($ 724 million). R&M segment performance was impacted by sharp decline in light distillate product cracks on Y-o-Y basis. This was partly offset by strength in middle distillate cracks on Y-o-Y basis. RIL maintained significant premium over Singapore complex margins due to product yield optimization and robust risk management. GRM for 3Q FY19 stood at $ 8.8/bbl, outperforming Singapore complex margins by $ 4.5/bbl. 
 
According to it, 3Q FY19 revenue from the Petrochemicals segment increased by 37.1% Y-o-Y to Rs. 46,246 crore  ($ 6.6 billion) due to increase in price realizations and volumes primarily in polymer products and fibre intermediates. Petrochemicals segment EBIT was at Rs. 8,221 crore ($ 1.2 billion), up 42.9% Y-o-Y.  
 
Strong volume growth and robust polyester chain margins offset the impact of weaker polymer margins. Y-o-Y volume growth was led by successful stabilization of the world’s largest ROGC, its downstream units and new PX facility at Jamnagar. 
 
The company said its 3Q FY19, revenue for the Oil & Gas segment decreased by 27.5% Y-o-Y to Rs. 1,182 crore. Segment EBIT at Rs. (185) crore as against Rs. (291) crore in the corresponding period of the previous year. The segment performance continued to be impacted by declining volume. Domestic production was lower at 13.2 BCFe, down 33% Y-o-Y whereas production in US Shale operations declined by 37% to 21.2 BCFe. 
 
In the Organized Retail Business, revenue for 3Q FY19 grew by 89.3% Y-o-Y to Rs. 35,577 crore from Rs.  18,798 crore. 
 
“Healthy festive season sales and new store openings resulted in another robust quarter. Reliance Retail further consolidated its leadership position and is India’s largest, most profitable and fastest growing retailer. Segment EBIT rose by 210.5% Y-o-Y to Rs. 1,512 crore from Rs. 487 crore demonstrating strong operating profit during the quarter. EBIT margin for the segment improved by 160 bps to 4.2% reflecting scale benefits. Retail now has 9,907 stores with reach across 6,400+ towns and cities. 
 
In the Media Business, Network18 Media & Investments Limited reported 3Q FY19 consolidated revenue of Rs. 1,524 crores (up 20% YoY on a comparable basis) driven by advertising tailwinds, successful movies like “Andhadhun” and healthy growth in subscription income. Comparable operating EBITDA rose 18% Yo-Y to Rs. 88 crores in Q3FY19, despite continuing investments into recent launches Colors Tamil and Colors Kannada Cinema. EBIT rose to Rs. 58 crore as operating leverage drove broadcast profitability, led by continued strong performance of regional channels across both our news and entertainment portfolios. 
 
NNN

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

LTI acquires Ruletronics, a boutique Pega consulting company

ADVERTISEMENT
Technology consulting and digital solutions company Larsen & Toubro Infotech Ltd. (LTI) today said it had acquired Ruletronics, a pure play Pega consulting and implementation company with offices in the United Kingdom, United States and India.
 
Ruletronics enables businesses to transform and evolve digitally by providing innovative BPM and CRM solutions leveraging Pega Platform, a press release from LTI said.
 
"Their current industry strength lies across Insurance, Banking, Healthcare and Retail segments. The company offers unique product based offerings for Disability Claims management, KYC Bulk Remediation, and Insurance Sales & Service applications," it said.
 
The acquisition will strengthen LTI’s digital business with a suite of capabilities in Pega implementation space around establishing BPM Roadmap & Strategy, Customer Services, RPA and Decisioning, it said.
 
Nachiket Deshpande, COO, LTI said: “Pega is a leader in Intelligent Business Process Management segment with more than 3,000 customers globally. Ruletronics brings significant Pega and BPM expertise along with unique client relationships that will help us grow our digital business further. I welcome Ruletronics’ clients, employees, and partners to LTI family.” 
 
Naveen Anisetty, Managing Director and Founder, Ruletronics said: “At Ruletronics, our mission has been to understand and analyze our client’s business needs and deliver strategic BPM solutions to transform their business processes forever. We are excited about joining forces with LTI to continue this journey, further.”
 
This is LTI’s third acquisition since the company went public in 2016. It earlier acquired Pune-based AugmentIQ, an analytics start-up and Luxembourg-based Syncordis Consulting, a leading implementation partner of Temenos, in Europe.
 
NNN

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Odisha bag KIYG Under-21 men's hockey gold

ADVERTISEMENT
Odisha thwarted Haryana from completing a hockey double as they beat them 4-2 in the Boys Under-21 hockey final of the Khelo India Youth Games in a penalty-shootout at the Mahindra Hockey Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday. Punjab edged Uttar Pradesh also in penalties for bronze.
 
On Monday, Haryana had beaten Punjab for the Boys Under-17 gold medal.
 
In a pulsating Under-21 final, Odisha and Haryana were evenly matched and put two goals each past the other in open play, but could not decide the issue, for which penalties were needed.
 
Odisha led 2-0 with goals from Dipsan Tirkey (11th minute) and Ashis Topno (23rd) but Haryana hit back through a brace from skipper Mandeep Mor (29th, 57th), his second goal in fact setting up the tie-breaker.
 
In the shootout, Ashis Topno, Gregory Xess, Shilanand Lakra and Dipsan Tirkey converted for Odisha while only Kuldeep and Yashdeep Siwach could score for Haryana.
 
In the bronze medal match played earlier, Punjab also needed the shootout to complete a 2-0 win over Uttar Pradesh after the two teams were tied 1-1 in full time.
 
Uttar Pradesh's Samarth Prajapati gave his team the lead in the 12th minute but Punjab's Arvinder Singh scored in the 19th minute to restore parity. In the penalty shootout, it was Punjab's Mehkeet Singh and Karanbir Singh who converted for their team, while Uttar Pradesh missed all their five attempts.
 
Women’s Hockey
 
In the Under-17 women's competition, Jharkhand defeated Delhi by an emphatic 11-0 in Pool A. Goals for Jharkhand came from Beauty Dung Dung (9th, 26th, 28th minutes),  Poonam Mundu (34th, 42nd, 45th), Pramodni Lakra (12th), Rajni Kerketta (18th), Dipti Kullu (41st), Sanjana Horo (49th) and Prini Kandir (55th).
 
 In another Pool A match, Punjab got the better of Chandigarh by a 4-3 margin helped by a Sneha Sabharwal hat-trick who scored in the 19th, 35th and 42nd minutes besides Mitali, who opened the scoring in the third minute itself. For Chandigarh, Kavita (13th, 30th) and Dhapa Devi (51st) got on the scoresheet.
 
In Pool B, Mizoram routed hosts Maharashtra 5-1 with goals scored by Lalthantluangi (23th, 36th, 58thminutes), Vanlalhriatpuii (30th) and Lalruatfeli Jr. (55th) while skipper Rutuja Pisal (51th) scored Maharashtra's only goal. 
 
The other match saw Haryana register a 3-2 win over Odisha. Komal Rohilla (11th), Deepika (31th) and Neelam (47th) scored for Haryana while Neha Lakra (21st) and Nimabati Singh (49th) got on the scoresheet for Odisha.
 
In the Under-21 Pool A games, Maharashtra and Jharkhand played out a goalless draw, giving the hosts top spot in the pool with five points while Odisha were held to a 1-1 draw by Mizoram with goals coming from Dipti Lakra (14th) and V.L. Hmangaihsangi (28th).
 
Results: 
 
Men’s Under-21 final: Odisha bt Haryana 4-2 (2-2 full time); 3rd place: Punjab bt Uttar Pradesh 3-1 (1-1 full time).
 
Women’s Under-17 Pool A: Jharkhand bt Delhi 11-0, Punjab bt Chandigarh 4-3; Pool B: Mizoram bt Maharashtra 5-1, Haryana bt Odisha 3-2.
 
Women’s Under-21 Pool A: Odisha drew Mizoram 1-1, Maharashatra drew Jharkhand 0-0.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Classmate Spell Bee, India’s largest spelling competition back with 11th season

ADVERTISEMENT
Classmate Spell Bee, India's largest spelling competition for school students, is back with its 11th season.
 
The competition, backed by Classmate, a notebook brand by ITC, and Radio Mirchi, will provide a platform for the best spellers in schools across the country to identify their strengths and achieve recognition for their speilling skills.
 
"The spelling extravaganza, promises to deliver a bigger and better experience than it did in its last season. It will travel to more than 1000 schools across 30 cities and will reach out to more than 6,50,000 students from standards 5 to 9," the release said.
 
Students from around India can also participate online at www.classmatespellbee.in. 
 
The top 16 participants of the competition also get to showcase their skills on national television on The Discovery Channel, Discovery Kids and Discovery Tamil.
 
"Classmate believes that every child is unique, inspired by this belief, the theme for the competition ‘Every child is unique and so is every word’ centers around the brand’s philosophy of celebrating uniqueness," the release said.
 
Shailendra Tyagi, Chief Executive, ITC’s Education and Stationery Products Business, said, "Classmate has always endeavored to recognize, nurture & celebrate the uniqueness of every child. Classmate Spell Bee Season 11 takes Classmate’s brand thought of celebrating uniqueness further as it gives students yet another opportunity to identify and showcase their distinctive talents and skills on a nationwide platform. Classmate Spell Bee season 11 builds on the scale we achieved last year with the aim of reaching out to an even larger number of students across schools and cities in India, through a school contact program coupled with a dedicated website to engage students. The brand promises to support a child’s dreams with an equally unique and world class set of stationery products like notebooks, writing, drawing, art stationery and math instruments."
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Mahesh Shetty, C.O.O., Entertainment Network (India) Limited said, “Every year Spell Bee is connecting more integrally with students, parents and teachers. Having started off as a spelling competition, it is today a landmark event that propagates the education of the English language at the highest level. It brings together some of the brightest children from across the country on one of the most credible edutainment based platforms. This year the competition will garner participation from across 30 cities through our on-ground efforts to add to robust participation online. Like every year, the competition will be televised to encourage students to showcase their skills on a national platform and prepare for the upcoming season. What makes the competition special is the pride that participants take in participating in it and in making it what it has become today.”
 
The National Champion of Classmate Spell Bee Season 11 will win a grand prize of Rs. 2,00,000 apart from the opportunity to witness the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee in 2019 with a parent in Washington D.C., U.S.A. in an all-expenses paid trip. 
 
The four semi-finalists will win a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 each. The grand prize for the winner of Classmate Spell Bee Season 11 and those for the semi-finalists have been specifically designed by Classmate to help encourage and enable students to follow their heart’s true calling.
 
The initial phase of the competition will comprise an on-ground exercise where children will be given spelling tests in schools. Top scorers from the school level will battle it out in the gruelling city finale round and the best performing students will make it to the semi-finals from there. The top 10 students from each city will then appear for an online test which will choose the best 16 spellers from across India. These students will then battle it out in the grand finale to win the title of Classmate Spell Bee Champion.
 
This year, Times NIE is the education partner, Discovery Kids is the production and television partner and Victor Tango is the event partner for the property.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Favourites Haryana grab U-17 Boys' hockey gold at KIYG

Heavily favoured Haryana were made to work for their men’s Khelo India Youth Games Under-17 hockey gold medal before running out 1-0 winners over neighbours Punjab in a clash of juggernauts at the Mahindra Hockey Stadium in Mumbai on Monday.
 
In the classification match for the bronze medal, Odisha edged out Uttar Pradesh 3-2 on penalties after full time failed to provide a result.
 
The final witnessed a classic exhibition of the national game. Both Haryana and Punjab played cautious hockey in the first two quarters as much of the action remained confined to the mid-field, as neither side wanted to take chances, given the stakes.
 
It was an action-packed second session as the teams went for goal, unfurling a brilliant brand of hockey and mounting raids on the rival citadel time and again. It was, however, Haryana who made the most of their chances, Sahil Sharma leading by example to net the match-winner in the 40th minute.
 
In the day’s earlier game, a disciplined and better organized Odisha needed a penalty shootout to seal the bronze with a 3-2 verdict over UP.
 
Laban Lugun, Sunil Jojo and skipper Sunit Lakra converted their tries for Odisha while Sudeep Chirmako and Liban Ekka missed and for Uttar Pradesh, misses by Ajeet Kumar, Ajay Yadav and Arun Sahani proved costly even as Chandan Yadav and Deepak Patel converted their opportunities.
 
In women’s Under-17 league action of Pool B, Haryana swamped hosts Maharashtra 5-0 and Odisha beat Mizoram 4-2 while in the U-21 category, Haryana thrashed UP 4-2 and Punjab handed out a 7-1 masterclass to Chandigarh, in their Pool B group.
 
Results: 
 
Men’s Under-17 final: Haryana bt Punjab 1-0. 
3rd place classification match: Odisha bt Uttar Pradesh 3-2 (penalties).
Women’s Under-17 league matches, Pool B: Haryana bt Maharashtra 5-0, Odisha bt Mizoram 4-2. 
Under-21 league matches Pool B: Haryana bt Uttar Pradesh 4-2, Punjab bt Chandigarh 7-1.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Banker-turned-politician Meera Sanyal passes away at 57

Meera Sanyal
Meera Sanyal
Banker-turned-politician Meera Sanyal, who had joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, passed away here today after a brief illness. 
 
She was 57. She is survived by her husband Ashish Sanyal, a businessman, daughter Priyadarshini and son Jai.
 
Ms. Sanyal had served as the chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)-India before quitting her banking career to join politics. Earlier, she had served as the head of corporate finance and chief operating officer for ABN Amro for Asia.
 
She joined AAP, headed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai South constituency. She had also contested as an independent candidate in the 2009 Lok Sabhe elections from the same constituency.
 
Born on October 15, 1961 as the daughter of Vice-Admiral Gulab Hiranandani and his wife Banu, Ms. Sanyal graduated in commerce from Sydenham College here and took an MBA from INSEAD in France. She also completed an Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2006. 
 
NNN

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Hardik Pandya, K L Rahul suspended, to return home from Australia

ADVERTISEMENT
Young cricketers Hardik Pandya and K L Rahuul have been suspended from playing any form of cricket by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for their sexist comments on a television show, Koffee with Karan, hosted by well-known filmmaker Karan Johar.
 
A press release from BCCI said the Committee of Administrators had decided to suspend the duo.
 
"The duo will now return to India and an enquiry and proceedings will be made against them for misconduct and indiscipline that have been initiated under Rule 41 of the BCCI Constitution that states as under:-
 
"In terms of Rule 41(6) of the BCCI Constitution, the players are hereby suspended with immediate effect from participating in any manner whatsoever in any match or function or event or activity that is authorized, organized, sanctioned, recognized or supported in any way by the BCCI, the ICC or any State Association, until final adjudication of the matter.
 
"The CoA first sent out a notice to both players concerned to which the players responded with an apology. After considering their reply, it was decided that the BCCI would proceed against both for misconduct and indiscipline.
 
"The duo is now called upon to provide an explanation as to why they should not be proceeded against for misconduct and indiscipline under Rule 41 of the BCCI Constitution within a period of 7 (seven) days. This is without prejudice to the BCCI’s rights and contentions, all of which are hereby expressly reserved," the release said.
 
The All-India Senior Selection Committee will soon name their replacements for the ODI series against Australia and the tour to New Zealand, the release added.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
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.