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Cabinet approves MoU between India and Tanzania in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy
Jul 05,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Tanzania in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy.

The MoU will provide structured frame work for the cooperation between the two countries for the promotion and propagation of Indian Traditional Systems of Medicine & Homeopathy in Tanzania.

There is no additional financial implications involved. The financial resources necessary to conduct research, training courses, conferences / meetings will be met from the existing allocated budget and existing plan schemes of Ministry of AYUSH.

Background:

India is blessed with well-developed systems of traditional medicine including medicinal plants, which hold tremendous potential in the global health scenario. Traditional Medicine is an important element of life of Tanzanian people and Traditional medicines are used as first aid or stop-gap measure before the patient is referred to modern health facilities.

Tanzania is an important East African country with historical ties with India and with substantial population of around 70 thousand Indian diaspora. Tanzania and India have traditionally enjoyed close, friendly and co-operative relations. In recent years, the relationship of the two countries has been marked by close contacts at the highest political level including cooperation in the field of Health and medicine.

The Ministry of AYUSH as a part of its mandate to propagate Indian systems of Medicine globally had signed MoUs with several other countries which include China, Malaysia, Hungary, Bangladesh, Nepal, etc.

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Cabinet approves the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme
Jul 05,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme. The Scheme has an outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore with a target of 50 lakh apprentices to be trained by 2019-20.

The Scheme would be implemented by Director General of Training (DGT) under Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE). It provides for incentivizing employers to engage apprentices. 25% of the total stipend payable to an apprentice would be shared with employers directly by Government of India. It is for the first time a scheme has been designed to offer financial incentives to employers to engage apprentices. In addition, it also supports basic training, which is an essential component of apprenticeship training. 50% of the total expenditure incurred on providing basic training would be supported by Government of India.

The Scheme will catalyze the entire apprenticeship ecosystem in the country and it will offer a win-win situation for all stakeholders. It is expected to become one of the most powerful skill-delivery vehicle in the country.

Background:

Apprenticeship Training is considered to be one of the most efficient ways to develop skilled manpower for the country. It provides for an industry led, practice oriented, effective and efficient mode of formal training. The National Policy of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015 launched by the Prime Minister focuses on apprenticeship as one of the key components for creating skilled manpower in India. The present scheme also aims to achieve the objective as stated in the National Policy, 2015. The policy proposes to work pro-actively with the industry including MSME to facilitate tenfold increase opportunities in the country by 2020-20.

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Cabinet approves creation of one post of Chief Works Manager in the Mechanical Department on Eastern Railway
Jul 05,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the creation of one revenue charged Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) post of Chief Works Manager (CWM) in the Mechanical Department of Diesel Component Factory, Dankuni on Eastern Railway.

This post forms a vital part of Diesel Component Factory, Dankuni on Eastern Railway and will strengthen the administrative frame work to ensure proper functioning of factory and to achieve the target outturn. This would cost the Railways a sum of Rs. 1679400/- per annum.

Background

The Diesel Locomotive Component Factory at Dankuni on Eastern Railway has been set up for manufacturing of 100 high horse power Diesel Locomotive under-frames per year and machining of 72 crank case per year to bridge the gap between loco production requirement and Diesel Locomotive Works/Varanasis own manufacturing and machining capacity. The factory will run as a sister organization of Diesel Locomotive Works/ Varanasi.

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Cabinet approves import of pulses through long-term contract with Mozambique
Jul 05,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a long-term contract by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mozambique for import of pulses either through the private channels or Government-to-Government (G2G) sales through State Agencies nominated by the two countries.

The MoU aims at promoting the production of Pigeon Peas/Tur and other pulses in Mozambique by encouraging progressive increase in the trading of these pulses. The MOU includes targets for exports of Tur and other pulses from Mozambique to India for five financial years and aims at doubling the trade from 100,000 tonnes in 2016-17 to 200,000 tonnes is 2020-21.

The MoU will augment domestic availability of pulses in India and thereby stabilise its prices.

The total pulses production in the country during 2015-16 is estimated to be 17 million tonnes while 5.79 million tonnes of pulses were imported to meet the domestic requirements. However, the total availability of pulses including domestic production and imports were was less than domestic requirements putting pressure on the prices of pulses during the year 2015-16 and current year.

To mitigate the shortfall in availability of pulses and supplement the existing efforts at meeting the requirements, Government has decided to enter into long term G2G arrangement with Mozambique so as to ensure assured availability of pulses. The signing of this MoU with Mozambique may also lead to similar arrangements with other countries.

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Joint issue of postage stamp between Department of Posts and Portugal Post
Jul 05,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was apprised of a joint issue of postage stamps between Department of Posts and Portugal Post.

India and Portugal enjoy excellent bilateral relationship with each other with frequent and active interaction through different platforms that allow both countries to exchange views on many of common issues of concern. This collaboration has been fruitful and beneficial for both countries and the ties of both countries will continue to grow from strength to strength over the years. This joint issue will also help the Postal Departments of both countries in production of philately.

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Cabinet approves redevelopment of seven GPRA colonies in Delhi
Jul 05,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved redevelopment of seven General Pool Residential Accommodation (GPRA) colonies i.e. Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Nauroji Nagar through National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC) and Kasturba Nagar, Thyagraj Nagar, Srinivaspuri and Mohammadpur through Central Public Works Department (CPWD) to replace the existing housing stock of 12,970 dwelling units of Type I to IV with Build Up Area (BUA) of approx. 7.49 lakh sqm with approx. 25,667 dwelling units of Type II to VI with BUA of approx. 29.18 lakh sqm. with supporting social infrastructure facilities.

The project will also develop Government office accommodation for nearly 2.42 lakh sqm at Netaji Nagar.

The total estimated cost of the project is Rs.32,835 crores including maintenance and operation costs for 30 years. The project shall be implemented on self-financing basis by sale of commercial BUA in Nauroji Nagar and parts of Sarojini Nagar, adjoining the Ring Road.

The project will be completed in five years in a phased manner.

Background:

At present there is shortage of Government accommodation in National Capital Region. This leads to Government officials waiting for eligible housing. Thus, Ministry of Urban Development has moved a proposal for redevelopment of existing old dilapidated housing colonies to augment the housing stock by making optimum utilization of land resources as per Master Plan Delhi (MPD) - 2021 and using modern construction technology with green building norms and in-house solid / liquid waste management facilities.

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Cabinet approves the High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016 for enabling changing the names of High Courts of Bombay and Madras
Jul 05,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to introduce The High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016 in Parliament.

The High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016 will facilitate the changing of the names of Bombay High Court as Mumbai High Court and Madras High Court as Chennai High Court respectively.

Background:

The High Courts of Bombay and Madras were named after the cities in which they were located. Consequence to the change in the names of these cities, there has been demands for change in the names of these High Courts. At present, there is no Central Law under which the proposal for change of names of these High Courts can be addressed. This Legislation is to address this requirement.

The Bill would pave the way in changing the names of the High Court of Judicature at Bombay as High Court of Judicature at Mumbai and High Court of Judicature at Madras as High Court of Judicature at Chennai.

Since the names of these cities have been changed, it is appropriate and logical that the names of these High Courts also get changed. It will fulfill the wishes of the State Government and the people.

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Cabinet approves Revision of pension of BSNL Pensioners Removing Anomalies
Jul 05,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the revision of pension of BSNL pensioners and family pensioners, who retired prior to 10.06.2013 by allowing the benefit of merger of 50% DA/DR with Basic Pay/ Pension, effectively amounting to 78.2% DA/DR for the purpose of fitment, and (ii) Modifying the liability of BSNL towards the payment of pensionary benefits to the retired employees.

The pension of BSNL pensioners/family pensioners, who retired prior to 10 June 2013 has been revised w.e.f. 01 January 2007 notionally with actual benefit w.e.f. 10.06.2013, by allowing the benefit of merger of 50% DA/DR with Basic Pay/ Pension, effectively amounting to 78.2% DA/DR for the purpose of fitment at par with the serving employees of BSNL. However, increase in the amount of DCRG, leave encashment and commutation of pension in respect of these pensioners shall not be increased on this account.

The pension liability in respect of employees of Department of Telecommunications (DOT) / Department of Telecom Services (DTS) / Department of Telecom Operations (DTO) who retired prior to 01.10.2000 is solely borne by Government of India and the BSNL will have no liability in respect of these employees. In respect of employees who are absorbed in BSNL, the liability on account of pensionary benefits shall be fully borne by Government while BSNL will continue to discharge pension liability by way of pension contribution in accordance with FR-116 for the period they so work/worked.

The revision entails an estimated recurring annual expenditure of approximately Rs 129.63 crore for pensioners and Rs 24.93 crore for family pensioners and arrears from 2013-14 would be Rs 239.92 crore approximately for pensioners and Rs 44.62 Crore approximately for family pensioners. Approximately118500 pensioners all over India will be benefitted by this revision.

This revision will fulfill the long pending demand of revision of pension of BSNL absorbed employees who retired prior to 10.06.2013 and will bring the pensioners at par with the serving employees of BSNL by removing the anomalies. It will help in reducing the financial burden of BSNL and removing prospects of industrial unrest in BSNL while fulfilling the commitment of Government.

Background:

The decision of the Cabinet has come in the wake of an anomalous situation created in the difference of pension formula among the BSNL retirees who retired before and after 10.06.2013. Further, the decision regarding pensionary liability is on persistent demand from various quarters and a series of deliberations at different levels to fulfill the assurance given by the Government before corporatization i.e. before formation of BSNL.

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Cabinet approves MoU between India and Mauritius in the field of Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation
Jul 05,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Mauritius.

The MoU will help to establish a framework for cooperation between the National Development Unit, Prime Ministers Office of the Republic of Mauritius and the Ministry of Rural Development of the Republic of India in the sphere of rural development. The MoU will encourage cooperation in the field of rural development and capacity building on the basis of equality and mutual benefit between both countries.

Under the MoU, a Joint Committee on Cooperation on Rural Development will be established which will meet alternatively in both countries on mutually agreed dates. The MoU will come into effect from the date of its signature.

Both countries have agreed to coordinate and facilitate appropriate technical cooperation, including the access to Indian expertise institutions that can assist in fulfilling the objectives of this MoU, exchange of relevant information and documents in the sphere of rural development, including scientific and technical information together with policies and support measures adopted to foster rural development, cooperation by exchanging relevant information on issues of mutual interest, undertaking exchange visits on programmes to foster sharing of experience, collaboration to strengthen their human resource capacity through sector-specific in-country training in Mauritius and training at reputed institutions in India through customized schemes and facilitating the transfer of latest technology, state of the art equipment and materials, and share best practices.

Background: An institutional arrangement for bilateral cooperation between India and Mauritius in the field of rural development and poverty alleviation was under consideration for some time. Both countries have a large segment of their population living in rural areas and are pre-dominantly dependent on agriculture and its allied activities for their livelihoods. The Ministry of Rural Development plays a pivotal role in the overall development strategy of rural areas of the country.

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Cargo handling at Kandla port shows 6% increase during 1st quarter of 2016-17
Jul 05,2016

The Kandla Port has achieved the 6% growth in traffic during the first quarter of financial year 2016-17, as compared to the corresponding quarter of last year. A total quantity of 26.03 MMT of cargo has been handled from April 2016 to June2016, as compared to 24.62 MMT handled during the corresponding quarter of last year.

The dry cargo at Kandla has increased to 90.45 lakh MTs, as compared to 88.69 lakh MT during the same period last year. Liquid cargo during the same period has also increased to 31.55 lakh MT from 25.82 lakh MTs. The Crude and POL traffic at Vadinar has increased to 138.30 lakh MT from 131.65 lakh MT.

The Ministry of Shipping has initiated many measures to improve the performance of the ports which include mechanization of the terminals, improving the TAT (turn-around time), quick evacuation of cargo, expansion of infrastructure and skill development of employees. The slew of measures taken by the Ministry of Shipping to improve performance of Ports has started to yield positive results.

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CBEC issues a Circular on recovery of confirmed demands during the pendency of stay application of duty
Jul 05,2016

Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has issued a circular dated 04 July 2016 on the issue of Recovery of confirmed demand of tax during the pendency of stay application in relation to indirect taxes. Confirmed demand of tax arises, when after examining the submissions of a tax payer, an order is issued confirming demand of tax from a tax payer.

The Circular provides that in cases where stay application is pending before Commissioner (Appeals) or CESTAT for periods prior to 06 August 2014, no recovery shall be made during the pendency of the stay application. It may be noted that the law on the issue was amended on 06 August 2014, where after filing of appeal requires payment of 7.5 or 10 per cent of tax demand, depending on stage of appeal, obviating the need for appellate authority to hear any stay application.

The Circular further provides that in cases where demand is confirmed by Honble CESTAT or Honble High Court recovery proceeding may be initiated after a period of sixty days from the date of the order provided that no stay is in operation.

The said Circular has been issued to ensure that the assessee gets adequate opportunity to appeal before recovery proceedings are started in indirect taxes. The Circular would also bring uniformity in practice regarding recovery of confirmed demands of tax.

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India maintains its supremacy over China in Pharmaceuticals
Jul 05,2016

Indias pharmaceutical exports continued its lead over China in 2015. While Indias Pharma exports grew from US $11.66 Billion to US $12.54 Billion in 2015 recording a growth of 7.55%, China increased its exports of Pharma products from US $6.59 Billion to US $6.94 Billion showing a growth of 5.3% during the same period.

India moved ahead of China in all important markets such as US, European Union and Africa. Indias exports of Pharma products to US jumped from US $3.84 Billion to US $4.74 Billion, a growth of 23.4% as against Chinas Pharma exports to US which moved from US $1.16 Billion to US $1.34 Billion in the same period showing a growth of 15%. India maintained its lead with growth in EU and Africa recording exports of US $1.5 Billion and US $3.04 Billion respectively while Chinas exports to EU & Africa showed a declining trend in both the markets.

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ASSOCHAM approaches PMO, proposing National Data Bank
Jul 05,2016

Proposing to break wall between the government and private organisations, the ASSOCHAM has written to the Prime Ministers Office (PMO) and the National Security Advisor offering to set up a national data bank from billions and trillions of e-transactions and exchange of information, to be used for the common citizens as also for the countrys strategic needs.

In identical letters to the PMO and NSA, Mr Ajit Doval, the ASSOCHAM proposed creation of Cyber National e-Information Data Bank of Classified & Heritage Documents for National Archive. The proposal involved creation of a Central Co-ordination Committee, under guidance of National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS).

n++While a similar concept has now been proposed by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), we had submitted a blueprint way back in December, 2015,n++ ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat said.

The chambers letter stated that with the advent of Information Super Highway the real issue lies in deriving Intelligent Information out of Junk data that can help take cognitive decisions to its various stakeholders.

The assimilation, mining, analysis and dissemination of any information of National importance is a critical part of the activities of many governmental and private agencies and institutions. Attempts have to be made for nation-wide co-ordination and regulation of information resource management.

Today with the quantum growth in volumes, variety and velocity at which data is generated on every click in this electronic age the availability and practical use of such intelligent information is one of the most immediate needs in the data-rich landscape of tomorrow.

However, a clear legal framework is required to legitimize the need for creating n++National Data Bank of e-Informationn++ of n++Classified & Heritagen++ documents for National Archive which can be integrated with National Information Policy demarcating information into broad three categories - information in public domain, information to be used by Government agencies for generation of social security No/ID, passport, voter ID etc and classified information restricted by law

This program can also be integral part of Central Governments Digital India & e-Governance initiatives preserving the Classified Information, Written Heritage, Intellectual Property Right (IPR), the Right to Information along with the Rights of Citizens encompassing golden rules of open standard for data access, flexibility, quality and transparency of data, legal conformity along with maintaining best practices and professional standards, allowing interoperability.

n++Today the value potentials of Big Data Management are widely recognized at all levels by the Government. The data collected from public domain when analyzed and maintained over time, its potential can be fully ascertained. Data that may be non-sensitive in nature could be used by public for scientific, economic and developmental purposes n++n++n++

n++Various agencies trying to extrapolate the benefits of various e-governance programs feel the need to share large amount of data generated residing among the entities of the Government of India. This calls for a need to leverage these data assets which are disparate lying in isolation with various Government Agencies working in silos. This is also leading to duplication of data resulting in effective loss of efforts and loss of effective planning and co-ordination amongst various agenciesn++

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Jawaharlal Nehru Port Becomes First Port in Country to Implement Logistics Data Tagging of Containers
Jul 05,2016

On 1st July, 2016, Jawaharlal Nehru Port becomes the first port in the country to implement logistics data tagging of containers. Jawaharlal Nehru Port implemented the logistics data bank tagging of containers, first of its kind facility, which will help importers/exporters track their goods in transit through logistics data bank service. An RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Tag) tag would be attached to each container which would be tracked through RIFD readers installed at different locations.

This would provide the Visibility and Transparency of the EXIM Container Movement by covering the entire movement through rail or road till the ICDs (Inland Container Depot) and CFSs (Container Freight Station). This service will integrate the information available with various agencies across the supply chain to provide detailed real time information within a single window. This would help in reducing the overall lead time of the container movement across the western corridor and lower the transaction costs incurred by shippers and consignees.

This has been one of the important Ease of Doing Business initiatives implemented at Jawaharlal Nehru Port focused towards document, time and cost reduction for the benefit of trade.

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Liquidity Enters Neutral Zone
Jul 05,2016

After the post-Brexit storm, both currency and debt markets will shift focus back on domestic developments, says India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). The agency expects the 10-year G-sec yield to trade in the range of 7.40%-7.46% this week. The rupee is likely to trade in the range of 66.75-67.50/USD during the course of the week.

Liquidity and Domestic Data in Focus: Retail inflation for June 2016 and the Reserve Bank of Indias (RBI) liquidity intervention via open market operations (OMO) will be critical for the bond market. After a sharp rise in the past two months, lower retail inflation would be a positive development for the bond market.

Liquidity in Neutral Mode: The RBI has achieved neutral systemic liquidity position, as stated in the first monetary policy of FY17 in April 2016. The RBI has achieved its desired neutral liquidity in the first quarter itself mainly on account of INR0.8trn OMO purchases in the past three months and a reduction in cash in circulation in June 2016. The net infusion or core systemic liquidity has turned neutral in the last week, from an average 0.8% of net demand of time liabilities in April 2016. The agency believes that there is scope for incremental OMO (purchases) in the remainder of FY17, as the systemic liquidity is an evolving condition rather than a one-time adjustment.

Currency to Consolidate Gains: The agency believes that the rupee is likely to remain stable, supported by restored normalcy in global markets. The implications of an eventual Brexit are likely to be material over both the near and medium terms as the UK and EU iron out exit modalities. In the interim, financial markets, especially currencies are likely to realign and reflect shifts in the global risk appetite.

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