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Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and Netherlands on cooperation in space technology
Jul 20,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Netherlands on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes. The MoU was signed on May 11 & 22, 2017 at Bangalore and The Hague respectively.

Benefits:

This MoU shall enable the following areas of cooperation such as, space science, technology and applications including remote sensing of the earth; satellite communication and satellite based navigation; Space science and planetary exploration; use of spacecraft and space systems and ground system; and application of space technology.

Modalities:

The MoU would lead to set up a Joint Working Group, drawing members from Department of Space/ Indian Space Research Organisation (DOS/ISRO), and the Netherlands Space Office (NSO), which will further work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementing this MoU. It will provide impetus to explore newer research activities and application possibilities in the field of remote sensing of the earth; satellite communication; satellite navigation; space science and exploration of outer space.

The MoU would lead to develop a joint activity in the field of application of space technologies for the benefit of humanity. Thus all sections and regions of the country will get benefited.

  Background:

DOS/ISRO Centres have long association with ITC (International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation, University of Twente) Netherlands on capacity building; and with the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) for carrying out calibration/ validation experiments on earth observation. Antrix Corporation, the Commercial arm of Department of Space (DOS) launched a satellite belonging to the Netherlands (DELFI-C3) in April 2008. Officials of ISRO and the Netherlands Space Office (NSO) discussed on the modalities of building space cooperation between two countries. Accordingly, both sides arrived at mutually agreed version of MoU for cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes.

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A total of 25 50-bedded hospitals with an outlay of Rs. 145 cr. approved in the year 2016-17
Jul 19,2017

Under Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM), there is a provision for setting up of upto 50 bedded integrated AYUSH Hospital in the  States/UTs and they may avail eligible financial assistance by projecting the proposal through State Annual Action Plan (SAAP) as per NAM guidelines.

The details of last three years of Grant-in-aid provided to the State/UT Governments along with location for setting up of upto 50 bedded integrated AYUSH Hospital underNational AYUSH Mission (NAM) are furnished below:

Status of 50 bedded integrated AYUSH Hospital approved under National AYUSH Mission (NAM) during 2014-15, 2015-16 & 2016-17

  (Rs. In lakhs)

Units Approved during 2014-15

Amount Approved during 2014-15

Units Approved during 2015-16

Amount Approved during 2015-16

Units Approved during 2016-17

Amount Approved during 2016-17

Total

2

330.00

14

2014.57

25

14556.30

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NERAMAC has engaged with some Self-Help Groups and farmers groups to serve as an aggregator and provide marketing support to them
Jul 19,2017

North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC), inter alia, facilitates processing of horticulture produce; assists processing units to market their products; and helps in developing linkages of farmers with the market.

The data related to total number of farmers being provided support by the said corporation is not centrally maintained. NERAMAC in pursuance of the objectives mentioned above, has provided support to large number of farmers, particularly those growing pineapple, ginger and large cardamom.

NERAMAC has engaged with some Self-Help Groups and farmers groups to serve as an aggregator and provide marketing support to them. It has also undertaken marketing of processed items sourced from local entrepreneurs.

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Bamboo policy on the anvil: Nitin Gadkari
Jul 19,2017

The Government is soon likely to bring a policy to promote bamboo sector which could be used to harness bio-fuel, Union Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister, Mr Nitin Gadkari said at an ASSOCHAM event.

n++I have been very diligently working towards diversification of agriculture into energy and power sector, I am happy to inform that I aggressively followed up with the matter and held three meetings with the Prime Ministers Office (PMO) and soon we will have a bamboo policy,n++ said Mr Gadkari.

n++Our petroleum minister has also signed 15 contracts to harness bio ethanol out of bamboo,n++ said Mr Gadkari.

He also said that second generation ethanol can be made using bamboo, cotton straw, rice straw and residual cane-waste (bagasse).

n++I do not think future of farmers can be transformed by producing wheat and rice as such carrying out innovation, entrepreneurship, technology and research is very important,n++ he added.

Suggesting certain measures aimed at ensuring growth and development of agriculture sector, Mr Gadkari said, n++There is a need to bring down costs per acre and also to promote allied sectors like dairy, fisheries, poultry and others.n++

n++In the current scenario, we need to boost productivity to promote economic viability which would lead to job generation and boost the gross domestic product (GDP), besides promoting agro-processing industries and bringing down costs of power, seeds, fertilisers and insecticides is equally imperative,n++ he added.

He further said that all of these steps together will lead to overall development of agriculture sector.

Highlighting that diversification of agriculture is most critical, he said that it is imperative to find substitute of petrol, diesel using agro-waste which would be import-substitute, cost effective, pollution-free and indigenous.

Taking a dig at the previous government regime, Mr Gadkari said, n++Had the capital cost incurred on purchase of aircrafts worth Rs 70,000 crore been used to provide irrigation facilities to farmers, it would have made a huge difference to the agriculture sector.n++

He also said that states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Odisha are grappling with water shortage and facing grave issue of farmers suicides.

n++Unless and until, we have about 55 per cent of irrigated land and 60-65 per cent drip irrigation, no one can stop farmers suicides, this is the thumb rule,n++ said Mr Gadkari.

n++You can imagine, irrigation projects with investments worth about Rs three lakh crore have remained non-starter while all the water is flowing in the sea,n++ he added.

n++It is because our policies are wrong and the state governments do not have enough funds to strengthen irrigation systems,n++ he said further.

He said that, thus for the first time, the present government in the second years budget had allocated Rs 75,000 crore for a five year term and with a view to revive the irrigation offices of state governments that have remained shut to provide funds under the aegis of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana.

The union minister also said that there is a need to promote drip irrigation as it can help boost agriculture production by 2.5 times.

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The growth rate in Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) in rupee terms in June 2017 over June 2016 was 22.6%
Jul 19,2017

Ministry of Tourism estimates monthly Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through tourism in India, both in rupee and dollar terms. Based on the credit data of Travel Head from Balance of Payments of RBI.

The highlights of the estimates of FEEs from tourism in India for June 2017 and Jan-June 2017 are as below:

Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through tourism (in Rs. terms)

n++ FEEs during the month of June 2017 were Rs.13,088 crore as compared to Rs. 10,677 crore in June 2016 and Rs.9,564 crore in June 2015.

n++ The growth rate in FEEs in rupee terms in June 2017 over June 2016 was 22.6% compared to growth of 11.6% in June 2016 over June 2015.

n++ FEEs during the period January- June 2017 were Rs. 87,096 crore with a growth of 19.7%, as compared to the FEE of Rs.72,749 crore with a growth of 13.6% in January- June 2016 over January- June, 2015.

Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through tourism (in US $ terms)

n++ FEEs in US$ terms during the month of June 2017 were US$ 2.031 billion as compared to FEEs of US$ 1.587 billion during the month of June 2016 and US$ 1.498 billion in June 2015.

n++ The growth rate in FEEs in US$ terms in June 2017 over June 2016 was 28.0% compared to a positive growth of 5.9% in June 2016 over June 2015.

n++ FEEs during the period January-June 2017 were US$ 13.230 billion with a growth of 22.3% as compared to the FEE of US$ 10.818 billion with a growth of 6.0% in January- June 2016 over January- June 2015.

Note: Estimates of FEEs are based on following factors:-

(i) Per capita FEEs during April-June 2016= RBIs credit figure for travel (April-June 16)/FTAs (April-June 16)

(ii) FTAs for June 2017.

(iii) Inflation factor based on CPI (U) for June 2017.

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22.5% Growth in Foreign Tourist arrivals in June 2017 over June 2016
Jul 19,2017

Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs):

n++ The number of FTAs in June, 2017 were 6.70 lakh as compared to FTAs of 5.47 lakh in June, 2016 and 5.12 lakh in June, 2015.

n++ The growth rate in FTAs in June, 2017 over June, 2016 is 22.5% compared to 6.8% in June, 2016 over June, 2015.

n++ FTAs during the period January- June 2017 were 48.85 lakh with a growth of 17.2%, as compared to the FTAs of 41.69 lakh with a growth of 8.4% in January- June 2016 over January- June 2015.

n++ The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during June 2017 among the top 15 source countries was highest from Bangladesh (29.23%) followed by USA (19.70%), UK (6.14%), Malaysia (3.82%), Australia (2.56%), China (2.52%), Singapore (2.31%), Sri Lanka (2.24%), Japan (2.21%), Canada (2.19%), France (1.96%), Germany (1.92%), Nepal (1.84%), Republic of Korea (1.50%) and Afghanistan (0.98%).

n++ The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during June 2017 among the top 15 ports was highest at Delhi Airport (22.16%) followed by Haridaspur Land Check Post (17.06%), Mumbai Airport (14.98%), Chennai Airport (9.06%), Bengaluru Airport (6.72%), Kolkata Airport (4.82%), Hyderabad Airport (4.37%), Cochin Airport (3.57%), Gede Rail Land Check Post (3.09%),Ghojadanga Land Check Post (2.08%), Tiruchirapalli Airport (1.93%), Ahmadabad Airport (1.60%), Trivandrum Airport (1.35%), Hilli Land Check Post (0.94%) and Changrabandha Land Check Post (0.86%).

Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) on e-Tourist Visa :

n++ During the month of June, 2017 total of 0.67 lakh tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 0.37 lakh during the month of June 2016 registering a growth of 81.7%.

n++ During January-June 2017, a total of 7.17 lakh tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 4.72 lakh during January-June 2016, registering a growth of 52.0%.

n++ The percentage shares of top 15 source countries availing e- Tourist Visa facilities during June, 2017 were as follows:

USA (17.7%), UK (10.8%), China (6.8%), Australia (5.2%), Singapore (5.1%), Korea (Rep.of) (4.5%), France (4.3%), Germany (3.9%), Canada (3.4%), Malaysia (2.6%), Spain (2.2%), South Africa (1.7%), Thailand (1.6%), Netherlands (1.5%) and Italy (1.4%).

n++ The percentage shares of top 15 ports in tourist arrivals on e-Tourist Visa during June, 2017 were as follows:

New Delhi Airport (42.4%), Mumbai Airport (20.6%), Chennai Airport (10.0%), Bengaluru Airport (9.2%), Kochi Airport (3.7%), Hyderabad Airport (3.3%), Kolkata Airport (2.8%), Tirchy Airport (1.8%), Ahmadabad Airport (1.4%), Trivandrum Airport (1.3%), Amritsar Airport (0.9%), Cochin Seaport( 0.7%), Dabolim (Goa) Airport (0.5%), Pune Airport(0.3%) and Jaipur Airport (0.3%).

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EFD has been entrusted with the responsibility of enforcement action on commercial banks
Jul 19,2017

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has informed that they have set up an Enforcement Department (EFD). EFD would serve as a centralised department to speed up regulatory compliance. EFD has been set up to separate those who oversee the possible rule breaches and those who decide on punitive actions so that enforcement process operates fairly and is evidence based.

The EFD has become functional with effect from April 03, 2017. The EFD has been entrusted with the responsibility of enforcement action on commercial banks.

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Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted an Internal Advisory Committee (IAC)
Jul 19,2017

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted an Internal Advisory Committee (IAC), which arrived at an objective, non-discretionary criterion for referring accounts for resolution under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC). In particular, the IAC recommended for IBC reference all accounts with fund and non-fund based outstanding amount greater than Rs.5000 crore, with 60% or more classified as non-performing by banks as of March 31, 2016.

Accordingly, Reserve Bank of India has issued directions to certain banks for referring 12 accounts, qualifying under the aforesaid criteria, to initiate insolvency process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. As regards the other non-performing accounts which do not qualify under the above criteria, the IAC recommended that banks should finalize a resolution plan within six months. In cases where a viable resolution plan is not agreed upon within six months, banks should be required to file for insolvency proceedings under the IBC.

However, the names and details of borrowers are not disclosed as prescribed under section 45E of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act, 1934 and Banking Laws, which provide for the obligation of a bank or financial institution to maintain secrecy about the affairs of its constituents.

In respect of the above-mentioned 12 accounts, Reserve Bank of India has advised the banks to make provisions as under:

n++The minimum provisions required to be maintained against the said accounts would be the higher of the following:

(a) 50 per cent for secured portion of the outstanding balance plus 100 percent for the unsecured portion.

(b) Provisions required to be maintained as per the extant Asset classification norms.n++

The additional provisions, as required in each case, should be proportionately spread over the remaining quarters of the current financial year, starting Q2, so that the required provisions are fully in place by March, 2018.

The effect of the provisioning requirement prescribed in respect of the said 12 accounts would vary for each account and for the respective banks depending upon the current asset classification, current provisions held, security coverage, etc.

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Mou Signed between Department of Defence Production and HSL
Jul 19,2017

Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), a Schedule B Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the administrative control of Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the financial year 2017-18 with the Ministry. The annual MoU was signed between Secretary (Defence Production) Shri Ashok Kumar Gupta on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and Chairman and Managing Director HSL Rear Adm (Retd) LV Sarat Babu.

The MoU, outlines targets on various performance parameters for the company during the year. The revenue from operations has been targeted at Rs 600 Crore.

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MoU Signed Between Department Of Defence Production And GRSE
Jul 19,2017

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Secretary (Defence Production) Shri Ashok Kumar Gupta on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE) Rear Adm (Retd) VK Saxena. The MoU details the targets and achievements expected on various MoU performance indicators of the company during 2017-18.

The company has targeted to achieve a turnover of ₹ 1350 crore which is about 40 percent more than actual achievements of last financial year (2016-17).

During the current year, the company planned to spend ₹ 50 crore as CAPEX for further strengthening the infrastructure facilities including improving the design capabilities for construction of P-17A ships.

As part of Make in India initiative of the Government, GRSE has set a target to develop Indigenous Capability and Infrastructure for Assembly, Test & Trial of Marine Diesel Engines, at its Engine Plant at Ranchi, during the current financial year.

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Construction of VIP Terminal at Jaipur Airport
Jul 19,2017

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has received a request from the state Government of Rajasthan for construction of VVIP Terminal at Jaipur Airport. AAI has already offered 2.5 acres of land to the Govt. of Rajasthan for this purpose.

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National Bamboo Mission renamed as National Agro-Forestry & Bamboo Mission (NABM)
Jul 19,2017

National Bamboo Mission renamed as National Agro-Forestry & Bamboo Mission (NABM) is being implemented as per the set objectives and targets of the Mission. As per available reports 3,61,791 ha. area have been covered in forest & non-forest land, 91,715 ha. area taken up for improvement of existing stock for higher productivity (forest & non-forest areas) under the Mission against targets of 3,62,848 ha., 69,410 ha. respectively.

Under the Mission, 108 nos. of markets (Bamboo wholesale & retail markets near villages, etc.) have been established for providing marketing avenues to bamboo farmers for their raw bamboo as well as finished products. Besides, efforts are being made to popularize bamboo products through participation in domestic/national/international trade fairs.

Under the Mission, Steps have already been taken & are being taken to provide assistance to farmers/bamboo growers for nursery establishment, plantations in non-forest area, imparting training for preparation of nurseries & bamboo plantations, establishing of bamboo markets for farmer products, etc.

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45.93 lakh tons of foodgrains per month being allocated to States/UTs under NFSA
Jul 19,2017

Under the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA), the eligible households, which comprises of households covered under Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and priority households, are entitled to receive foodgrains (rice, wheat or coarsegrains or any combination thereof) at highly subsidized prices. There is no BPL category under NFSA.

Currently 45.93 lakh tons of foodgrains per month are being allocated to the States/UTs under NFSA. The highly subsidized prices of foodgrains under NFSA i.e. Rs.1/2/3 per kg for coarse grains/wheat/rice have been continued upto June, 2018. Distribution of subsidized foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System is now governed by the provisions of NFSA.

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So far 455 markets from 13 States have been integrated to e-NAM
Jul 18,2017

585 markets across the country are targeted for integration to e-NAM by March, 2018, out of which 455 markets from 13 States have been integrated so far. The details are given below. For this purpose, financial assistance of Rs. 30 lakh per market is given. This has been increased to Rs.75 lakhs per mandi in Union Budget for 2017-18. In addition the software and a mandi analyst for a year is also provided to each mandi.

1. Andhra Pradesh: 22 (Total number of markets integrated)

2. Chhattisgarh: 14

3. Gujarat: 40

4. Haryana: 54

5. Himachal Pradesh: 19

6. Jharkhand: 19

7. Madhya Pradesh: 58

8. Maharashtra: 45

9. Odisha: 10

10. Rajasthan: 25

11. Telangana: 44

12. Uttar Pradesh: 100

13. Uttarakhand: 05

Total: 455

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Ordinance has been promulgated authorising RBI to issue directions to any banking co. to initiate insolvency resolution process in respect of default
Jul 18,2017

An Ordinance {Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017} has been promulgated on 4th May 2017 authorising RBI to issue directions to any banking company to initiate insolvency resolution process in respect of a default, under the provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC). It also enables the Reserve Bank to issue directions with respect to stressed assets and specify one or more authorities or committees with such members as the Bank may appoint or approve for appointment to advise banking companies on resolution of stressed assets.

The Overseeing Committee (OC) has been brought under the aegis of the Reserve Bank and the membership of the same has been enlarged to five. The reconstituted OC has been mandated to review resolution of cases where the aggregate exposure of the banking sector to the borrowing entity is greater than Rs.500 crore.

An Internal Advisory Committee (IAC) was constituted by Reserve Bank of India, which arrived at an objective, non-discretionary criterion for referring accounts for resolution under IBC. In particular, the IAC recommended for IBC reference of all accounts with fund and non-fund based outstanding amount greater than Rs.5000 crore, with 60% or more classified as non-performing by banks as of March 31, 2016. Accordingly, Reserve Bank of India has issued directions to certain banks for referring 12 accounts, qualifying under the aforesaid criteria, to initiate insolvency process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. As regards the other non-performing accounts which do not qualify under the above criteria, the IAC recommended that banks should finalize a resolution plan within six months. In cases where a viable resolution plan is not agreed upon within six months, banks should be required to file for insolvency proceedings under the IBC.

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