PREZ , V PREZ AND PM GREET NATION ON OCCASION OF NEW YEAR
President, Vice President and Prime Minister have greeted the nation on the occasion of New Year. In a message, President Pranab Mukherjee expressed hope that the New Year will bring progress and prosperity to the nation. He appealed to the people to take pledge to make the beautiful country clean and pollution free.
In his message, Vice President Hamid Ansari appealed to the people to collectively resolve to dedicate themselves towards building a peaceful, prosperous and harmonious society. He expressed hope that the New Year will bring peace and happiness in people’s lives.
Greeting the people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet expressed hope that the new year will bring good health, happiness and prosperity in everyone’s lives.
NRIS CAN DEPOSIT SCRAPPED CURRENCY NOTES IN BANKS TILL JUNE 30
RBI has come out with conditions for exchange of defunct notes for Resident Indian citizens who were abroad, and Non-Resident Indians who failed to do so till Friday, the last day for depositing the invalid notes in banks.
In a statement, the apex bank said, Resident Indian citizens, who were abroad during 9th of November till 30th December, can exchange their old notes upto 31st March, while NRIs who were abroad during the same period can avail the facility upto 30th of June. However, Indian citizens in Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and Bangladesh cannot avail the facility.
The limit will be 25,000 rupees per person as per the relevant Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) Regulations. The facility will be available through Reserve Bank offices at Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Nagpur.
INDIAN ARMY IS DUTY BOUND TO MAINTAIN SECURITY, SANCTITY OF BORDERS: BIPIN RAWAT
Lieutenant General Bipin Rawat, who took charge as the new Army Chief yesterday, was given a ceremonial Guard of Honour at the lawns of South Block in Delhi today.
General Rawat also laid a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti to pay respect to martyrs. Talking to reporters, General Rawat said, the Indian Army is duty bound to maintain the security and sanctity of the borders. He said, the Army seeks peace and tranquility along the borders but that does not mean it is weak.
On a query on superseding officers while choosing the Army Chief, the Army Chief said, it was a government decision and the superseded officers have worked with him and will continue to do so in the interest of the Army.
Yesterday, General Dalbir Singh Suhag had handed over the command to General Rawat.
RECENT COKING COAL PRICE RISE PUTS PRESSURE ON SAIL’S OPERATIONS
India’s largest steel maker SAILBSE 2.54 % today said there is a need to develop indigenous sources of coking coal to meet its requirements as recent rise in the price of metallurgical coal was putting pressure on its operations.
While addressing his employees for the first time through company’s Facebook and Twitter account, SAIL Chairman P K Singh said that the steel maker currently meet the maximum requirement of coking coal through imports.
“The recent hike in coking coal prices, is putting pressure on our operations,” he said. “Given the unprecedented volatility in international markets, we need to develop indigenous sources of coal to meet our requirements. Also, there has to be wise use of this input material with attaining efficient pushing coefficient,” he added.
Coking coal, also known as metallurgical coal, is used to create coke, one of the key irreplaceable inputs for the production of steel.
“While we augment our volumes, we are likewise planning to raise our mining capacities to sustain the growth. At the same time, greater emphasis on beneficiation and alternate routes of steel production will have to be explored for being able to use these low grade raw materials which are available in abundance,” he said.
TATA AUTOCOMP COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF TITANX
Tata AutoComp Systems today said it has completed the acquisition of leading engine cooling supplier TitanX, in line with its strategy of expanding globally and fortifying presence in the cooling and emission control segments.
“With the successful acquisition of TitanX, we look forward to leverage TitanX’s global presence that fits well into our well-defined global growth strategy,” Tata AutoComp Systems Ltd Chairman Praveen Kadle said in a statement.
The acquisition further reiterates the company’s commitment in delivering solutions that will cater to the changing needs of global customers, he added.
“Offering improved products and services are our strength and we are confident that this acquisition will further help provide world-class products and services for the automotive industry,” Kadle said.
Tata AutoComp Systems MD & CEO Ajay Tandon said the acquisition of TitanX will help the company further strengthen and enhance its commercial vehicle customers outside India.
BHARTI AIRTEL IN TALKS WITH TELENOR TO BUY INDIA BUSINESS FOR $350 MILLION: ET NOW
Bharti AirtelBSE 1.85 %, the country’s leading telecom operator by users, is in talks with Norway-based Telenor for buying its India business for $350 million, ET Now reported on Monday.
Bharti Airtel is likely to take over half Telenor India’s liabilities, while the latter is expected to bear remaining half of its India liabilities, the report said, adding that the deal is likely to be closed by January-end.
Telenor has been reportedly looking to exit India, having been pushed into a corner thanks to its limited data spectrum holdings and its presence in only a few pockets. Larger rivals like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular and new entrant Reliance Jio Infocomm have been aggressively expanding 4G services.
It didn’t participate in spectrum auctions in October in India, a market where it has made losses and has struggled to expand operations. Though Telenor India holds 4G airwaves in seven circles, it offers 2G services in six – Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh East and West, Bihar, Gujarat and Maharashtra. It is yet to start services commercially in Assam.
ET had last month reported that Telenor held talks with Idea Cellular for a cash-less sale of its India unit, which would entail the country’s No. 3 mobile phone company taking over all the liabilities of the Norwegian telecom operator’s local business.
COAL INDIA APR-DEC OUTPUT AT 378 MT, MISSES TARGET
State-owned Coal India BSE 0.23 %’s output in April-December of this fiscal stood at 377.7 million tonnes, lower than the target of 417.5 MT.
CILBSE 0.23 % produced 54.2 million tonnes (MT) of fossil fuel in December, lower than the target of 56.6 MT for the month, the company said in a BSE filing.
The offtake of coal in the April-December was at 391.7 MT, against the target of 433.9 MT.
The coal offtake by CIL in December was at 51.4 MT, against the target of 52.4 MT for the month.
The government had earlier said there were no plans to cut down coal output because the demand has already picked up now.
In October, the demand started picking up for both coal and power sectors, the government had said.
MAHINDRA SALES DOWN 4% AT 36,363 UNITS IN DECEMBER
Auto major Mahindra & Mahindra today reported 4 per cent decline in total sales at 36,363 units in December.
The company had sold 37,915 units during the same month in 2015, M&M said in a statement. In the domestic market, sales were down 1.5 per cent to 34,310 units last month as compared to 34,839 in the year-ago period, it added.
Exports during the month declined by 33 per cent to 2,053 units as against 3,076 units in December 2015, the company said.
Sales of its passenger vehicles, including Scorpio, XUV500, Xylo, Bolero and Verito, were down 8 per cent to 16,698 units as compared to 18,197 units in the same month last year.
Commercial vehicle sales were up 14 per cent to 14,154 units in December as against 12,465 units in the year-ago period, M&M said.
L&T SET TO CONVERT PUNE INTO SMART CITY, GETS LOI
Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said it has been chosen as the implementation partner to convert Pune into a smart city.
The letter of intent (LoI) was handed over to representatives of L&T Construction’s Smart World and Communication business unit, which will be executing the project, by Municipal Commissioner of Pune Kunal Kumar, the company said in a statement.
The scope of work includes enabling Wi-Fi at around 200 strategic locations across the city, setting up emergency call boxes and public address systems, environmental sensors, variable messaging displays, network connectivity and video analytics integration, the statement said.
The project intends to set up a state-of-the-art Smart City Operation Centre (SCOC) to integrate all its services and applications on a single platform.
This single-point interface will be a holistic platform with the potential to accommodate all future needs through integration of various citizen-centric applications. The project includes a revenue monetisation model, a first in the country for smart cities.
“After having set up the country’s largest surveillance project in Mumbai involving 5,000 plus cameras across 1,500 locations and being in the process of developing Nagpur into India’s first large-scale integrated smart city, we consider this mandate to make Pune smart as a reaffirmation of our capabilities in the area of creating a smart world,” said S N Subrahmanyan, Deputy Managing Director and President, L&T.
“As a Master Systems Integrator, we will use cutting-edge technology to provide solutions capable of high-end analytics on a futuristic and eminently scalable platform,” he added.
LUPIN GETS USFDA NOD FOR CEVIMELINE HYDROCHLORIDE CAPSULES
Drug firm LupinBSE 1.39 % has received final approval from the US health regulator to market cevimeline hydrochloride capsules, used for treatment of symptoms of dry mouth in patients with Sjogren’s syndrome, in the US market.
The company has received final approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) to market its cevimeline hydrochloride capsules 30 mg, Lupin said in a filing to BSE today.
The company’s product is a generic version of Daiichi Sankyo Inc’s Evoxac capsules, it added.
INDIA, INDONESIA KEY AREAS OF FOCUS FOR DBS IN 2017
India and Indonesia will be the Development Bank of Singapore’s “big” areas of focus for this year, its chief executive officer Piyush Gupta has said.
“We also remain focused on building leading regional cash management, foreign exchange, debt markets and wealth management franchises,” Gupta said here.
“So India and Indonesia will be our big areas of focus in 2017,” Gupta was quoted as saying by The Strait Times.
DBS leads foreign banks with expansion plans in India. DBS’ wealth management business has quadrupled over the past six years, and now accounts for to 13 to 14 per cent of group revenue.
“Over the next five years, we think it could get up to 20 per cent,” he said in a report on Singapore banks’ prospects during this year.
TOYOTA PLANS TO CHALLENGE MARUTI, HYUNDAI DOMINANCE WITH ITS ‘SAFEST’ ‘MOST-FUEL EFFICIENT’ SMALL CAR
The Indian subsidiary of the world’s largest carmaker, Toyota Motor Corporation, is planning to build India’s safest small car, which the company claimed will be the most fuel-efficient and value-for-money for Indian car buyers, and challenge the might of Maruti SuzukiBSE 2.69 % and Hyundai Motor India in this space.
Toyota Kirloskar, which failed to make major inroads in the small car space, is banking on the integration work between Daihatsu and Toyota which will start in full swing, to target the Indian A and B segment car space.
Akito Tachibana, MD of Toyota Kirloskar, told ETthat he is excited about the involvement of Daihatsu Toyota in the collaborative activity. “The most favourable story for us is that cars developed by Daihatsu will be made for the local market and at an affordable price. We will begin research to assess customer expectations in each market to define the concept of a vehicle before any development.”
Toyota Kirloskar introduced Etios and Liva compact cars designed for India but these models did little for the company. This will be yet another attempt by Toyota to enter the small car space, thanks to Daihatsu’s low-cost technology.
‘LEAP SECOND’SYNCS INDIAN TIME WITH EARTH’S SPIN
A ‘leap second’ was added to the Indian clock at 5:29.59 hours on Sunday to synchronise with the Earth’s rotational clock.
As the atomic clock at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) here struck 23:59:59 last night, it was programmed to add an extra second to 2017 to compensate for a slowdown in the Earth’s rotation.
Adding a second barely has an impact on the daily life, but it does matter in the fields of satellite navigation,astronomy and communication.
“The Earth and rotation around its own axis is not regular, as sometimes it speeds up and sometimes it slows down due to various factors, including earthquakes and moon’s gravitational forces.
NASA SATELLITE SPOTS STUNNING VIEW OF NORTHERN LIGHTS
Just hours after the winter solstice, a mass of energetic particles from the Sun smashed into the magnetic field around Earth stirring up a stunning display of northern lights, which was captured by a NASA satellite.
With the “day—night band” (DNB) of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), the Suomi NPP satellite acquired a view of the aurora borealis on December 22.
The northern lights stretched across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nunavut and Northwest Territories, areas that often fall under the auroral oval.
The DNB detects dim light signals such as auroras, airglow, gas flares, and reflected moonlight.
AGNI-IV NUCLEAR-CAPABLE BALLISTIC MISSILE TEST-FIRED SUCCESSFULLY
The test comes within a week of the successful test firing of India’s most lethal Agni V missile.
Sending back-to-back strong messages, India today successfully test fired the Agni IV nuclear capable ballistic missile that has a range of up to 4,000 km.
The test comes within a week of the successful test firing of India’s most lethal Agni V missile, an intercontinental ballistic missile, which can hit northern parts of China.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has designed and developed the missile.
As per report, the tri-Services’ Strategic Forces Command (SFC), which is entrusted with India’s nuclear weapons, will fire the missile.
Agni-IV is the sixth test of the missile and second user associate launch.
BREAKING TRADITIONS: AJIT DOVAL LIKELY TO ATTEND DONALD TRUMP’S ‘INAUGURATION’ ON JANUARY 20
National Security Adviser Ajit Kumar Doval is expected to attend the ‘inauguration’ of President-elect Donald Trump as a special invitee on January 20, breaking the tradition of senior foreign officials not visiting Washington on such occasions, according to Shalabh Kumar, a member of Trump transition team and Chicago-based Indian-origin business tycoon.
Kumar, who is in Delhi to meet senior ministers of the Modi government to help prepare a road map for Indo-US ties, particularly in the area of economics under the Trump administration also held substantial discussions with Doval on common strategic goals, including situation in South Asia and India’s extended neighborhood.
BHARATIYA JANANPITH ANNOUNCES NAVLEKHAN AWARD 2016
Two new Hindi writers Shraddha and Ghyansham Kumar Devansh have been chosen for Bharatiya Jnanpith Navlekhan Award for the year 2016, the literary organisation announced today.
The decision to confer the award on Shraddha for her short story, ‘Hawa Mein Phadphadati Chitthi’ and on Devansh for his poem ‘Akash Mein Deh’ was taken unanimously by a selection panel chaired by eminent poet Vishnu Nagar.
The award, that is given to young authors in Hindi for their first creations, consists of a statue of Goddess Saraswati, a citation and a cash prize each, besides Jnanpith publishing their works, according to a statement signed by Leeladhar Mandloi, Director of Bharatiya Jnanpith.
J J ABRAMS NAMED FILMMAKER OF THE YEAR BY AMERICAN CINEMA EDITOR
Star Wars director J J Abrams has been selected by the American Cinema Editors as the Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year.
Abrams will receive the honour at the 67th Annual ACE Eddie Awards, set for January 27 in Los Angeles.
“JJ Abrams is a once-in-a-generation artist who has been making his mark in cinema and television for over 20 years.
Through his production company, Bad Robot, JJ has engaged and delighted audiences around the world with his innovative brand of storytelling,” the ACE Board of Directors said in a statement.
UPWARD TREND IN ISL VIEWERSHIP, 9 MILLION MORE THAN LAST YEAR
The third season of the Indian Super League football had a total viewership of 216 million, an overall increase of nine million from the last edition while the summit clash between Kerala Blasters and Atletico de Kolkata was watched by a record 41 million fans. The organisers said ISL received tremendous response in its third edition with a total viewership of 216 million as compared to around 207 million last year. One of the highlights of the season was the sharp increase in rural India viewership registering a cumulative figure of 101 million, indicating the widespread appeal of the sport, the organisers said in a release. Key metro markets like Mumbai and Chennai emerged as top performers this season recording a surge of more than 50 per cent over last year along with a cumulative 20 per cent spike in viewership in Tamil Nadu. This the ISL said demonstrated the growth of the sport beyond the traditional bastions of football. The season finale on December 18 between ATK and Kerala Blasters in Kochi turned out to be a grand sporting event with over 54,000 people thronging the stadium and 41 million fans tuning in on television to follow the match.
The total number of viewers was up 41 per cent as compared to the final of 2015, shattering all previous TV and digital records of the league.
ROGER FEDERER MAKES SMOOTH RETURN TO ACTION IN HOPMAN CUP
Roger Federer showed no signs of rust in his first competitive match for six months when he outclassed Dan Evans 6-3 6-4 at the Hopman Cup on Monday.The 17-times grand slam winner underwent knee surgery in February and, after missing the French Open with a back injury, announced in July that he needed extensive rehabilitation and would be sidelined for the rest of the season.Federer walked out to a standing ovation from more than 13,500 fans at the Perth Arena and breezed to an easy win over Evans, putting Switzerland 1-0 ahead in their match against Britain in the mixed team event.“The standing ovation coming in, it was very special. I’m here now enjoying and looking forward to the week of course,” the 35-year-old said in a courtside interview.Asked what keeps him going, Federer said; “I guess it depends also on how you get hurt. I got hurt filling up a bath for my children. It’s not really the way I wanted to leave this game.”The former world number one, who has slipped to 16th in the rankings, said he enjoyed the time out but had started to miss tennis.“You can’t be more happy to return back on a Centre Court, taping your ankles, tying your shoesand walking out and getting that kind of welcome,” he said.Federer has not won a grand slam title since Wimbledon in 2012.
HARMANPREET SINGH: OLYMPIAN, WORLD CUP WINNER AND A GOAL MACHINE
Harmanpreet Singh has been one of the brightest stars to have emerged for Indian hockey in the recent years. At 21 years of age, he counts being an Olympian and a World Cup winner among his career achievements. Harmanpreet’s rapid rise as a disciplined and relentless performer has seen him shuttle between the senior and junior sides in major tournaments across the globe. Harmanpreet first gained attention on the junior circuit in 2014 at the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia, when he scored nine goals and followed it with a rich haul of 15 at the 2015 Junior Asia Cup. For his impressive performances, he was included in India’s squad for the 2016 Rio Olympics and by the time the year came to a close, had played a key role in bringing home the Junior Hockey World Cup after 15 years caught up with Harmanpreet, who is gearing up for Hockey India League 2017 beginning January 21 where he will turn out for Dabang Mumbai. I am very proud. We have worked so hard all these years preparing for this moment and to have finally got the result has been an exhilarating experience. We played in the right spirit. Each guy was assigned a definitive role and we performed our duties brilliantly. The most memorable moment was lifting the Junior World Cup. We had a talk about how we have waited for this moment all these years and the time has finally come. We are told to enjoy our games and bring home the medal. You have been shuttling between the junior and the senior team … There were several things which I didn’t know (when in the company of seniors). The seniors were very helpful and they guided me. I got to play with and against some of the biggest names in world hockey. That helped in boosting my confidence level. So, being with the senior team was quite helpful. The biggest thing I took while my time with the senior players was the experience. It’s not like you don’t feel the pressure when playing for the junior team but it is at another level when it comes to the senior side.