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Twenty projects worth Rs 1,900 Crore approved for swift implementation of Namami Gange Programme in Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand and Delhi
Mar 15,2017

Picking up pace, projects worth nearly Rs 1,900 crore have been approved by the Executive Committee (EC) of National Mission for Clean Ganga. Out of 20 projects which were given EC approval, 13 are in Uttarakhand that includes creating new sewage treatment plants, upgrading existing STPs and laying of sewage networks in Haridwar at an estimated cost of approximately Rs 415 crore. Haridwar, one of the holiest cities of India, is thronged by millions of people every year. This approved plan is aimed at treating sewage water generated by not only citys 1.5 lakh local dwellers, but also by people who visit the holy place for various purposes. All these projects will be fully funded by the Central Government, including even the expenditure on operation and maintenance of these projects.

Among other projects approved in Uttarakhand are four pertaining to pollution abatement works for river Alakananda to ensure cleaner flow of the river downstream. This includes interception and diversion of drains along with creation of new small STPs at four crucial locations - Joshimath, Rudraprayag, Karnprayag and Kirti Nagar at an estimated cost of nearly Rs 78 crore. Apart from these, a major pollution abatement project for Ganga at Rishikesh has also been approved at an estimated cost of more than Rs 158 crore. Beginning with Rishikesh, municipal effluent gets mixed in the Ganga and to rid Ganga of impurities just before it hits the plains, this all-encompassing project for this city has been given a go-ahead, which would not only make sure tapping of all city drains in Rishikesh merging into the river but will also treat the sewage water for reuse. The construction of a new 26 MLD STP at Lakkar Ghat with online monitoring system has also been envisaged in this Rishikesh-specific project.

In the National Capital, a project to construct new state-of-the-art 564 MLD Okhla sewage treatment plant with best effluent standards has also been approved at an estimated cost of Rs 665 crore, which will replace the existing STPs phase-I, II, III and IV. Besides, two projects for laying new sewage pipelines in Pitampura and Kondli to prevent leakages have also been approved at an estimated cost of more than Rs 100 crore.

Sewage related works in Karmalichak in Patna and Rajmahal in Jharkhand have also been given green signal for a cost of over Rs 335 crore. To address the issue of pollution of Ganga in Varanasi, a city thronged by millions of pilgrims throughout the year, a project under Hybrid-Annuity PPP model worth almost Rs 151 crore has also been given EC approval.

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Construction Resolution Board Likely For Armed Forces To Resolve Disputes With Their Builders: DG MAP
Mar 15,2017

Directorate General of Married Accommodation Project (DG MAP) on Friday announced that it has proposed setting up of Construction Resolution Board to address and resolve disputes relating to defence construction work between the army and their builders to avoid prolong litigations on account of which such works usually suffer.

An indication to this effect came from none other than Maj. Gen. Sanjeev Jain who is DG MAP.

Maj. Gen. Jain, however, added that the proposal is at preliminary stage which aims at faster resolving the disputes that sometimes stem between armed forces and their builders that are awarded construction related works for armed forces in creating general infrastructure such as roads and dwelling units and the like.

Lt. Gen. Sharma hinted that realization has picked up in the Defence Ministry for coming out with simpler construction procedures as per which the construction activities which could be outsourced with reasonable and simplified norms.

He, however, added that the government is considering to put in norms and procedures replacing the old ones to undertaking construction activities on conditions amiable for armed forces so that these are completed in time and scope for disputes is minimized without specifying a time limit for the proposed norms.

Secretary General, PHD Chamber, Mr. Saurabh Sanyal emphasized that in construction contracts awarded by the armed forces to the industry, there should be a provision of Exit Clause with stress on performance guarantee so that such contracts are accomplished in time without an edge for contract awarding entity.

He also suggested that the contracts agreed upon between armed forces and their builders, sufficient and adequate dwelling facilities be created for construction workers as it would amount to a great service to the nation, however, at the cost of the government.

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Mandatory for Hospitals to issue detailed bills to patients, separately disclosing cost of Coronary Stents
Mar 15,2017

Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Road Transport & Highways and Shipping, Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya, said that the National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA), under Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, has directed hospitals to issue detailed bills to the patients, specifically and separately mentioning the cost of the Coronary Stents, along with the brand name of the manufacturer and importer, batch number and other details.

Shri Mandaviya informed that non-compliance thereof will be treated as deliberate distortion of evidence along with charges of overpricing inviting prosecution under the Essential Commodities Act. The Minister said that the Government, through NPPA, is closely monitoring the situation and has alerted the State Governments and State Drugs Controllers to monitor the availability of stents. Industry has also been apprised that all manufactures and importers are under legal obligation to maintain smooth production and supply of coronary stents of all brands which were available in the country before price cap, he added.

All State Governments and State Drug Controllers have been advised to exercise the power of entry, search and seizure as per Para 30 of Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO), 2013 if manufacturers, importers or distributors try to create artificial shortage of stents. Government has had two rounds of discussions with the Stent companies, which in turn have promised required level of availability.

Further, Shri Mandaviya informed that aggrieved persons may send verifiable information and complaints regarding this on NPPA Help Line No. 1800111255 or through online complaint mechanism Pharma Jan Samadhan.

NPPA notified the ceiling price of Coronary Stents on 13th February 2017 at Rs. 7,260 for Bare Metal Stent (BMS) and Rs. 29,600 for Drug Eluting Stents (DES) including metallic DES and Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold (BVS)/ Biodegradable Stents. The average MRP before this notification was Rs. 45,100 for BMS and Rs. 1,21,400 for DES. Price regulation has brought down the prices of stents of BMS by 74% and of DES by 85%.

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CPI inflation rises to 3.7% in February 2017
Mar 14,2017

The all-India general CPI inflation increased to 3.65% in February 2017 (new base 2012=100), compared with 3.17% in January 2017. The corresponding provisional inflation rate for rural area was 3.67% and urban area 3.55% in February 2017 as against 3.36% and 2.90% in January 2017. The core CPI inflation rose to 5.00% in January 2017 from 4.83% in December 2016.

Among the CPI components, inflation of food and beverages increased to 2.46% in February 2017 from 1.37% in January 2017 contributing to the rise in CPI inflation. Within the food items, the inflation increased meat and fish 3.50%, vegetables (-) 8.29%, fruits 8.33%, oil and fats 3.83% and sugar and confectionery 18.83%. On the other hand, inflation moved down for pulses and products to (-) 9.02%, spices 3.82%. The inflation also eased for egg 0.54%, milk and products to 4.22% and non-alcoholic beverages 3.17% in February 2017.

The inflation for housing eased at 4.90%, and that for miscellaneous items also eased to 4.79% in February 2017. Within the miscellaneous items, the inflation for Transport and communication jumped to 5.39%, and Education eased 5.37%, and inflation declined for personal care and effects to 5.15%, household goods and services 4.09% and health 4% in February 2017. The inflation for clothing and footwear eased to 4.38% in February 2017, while the CPI inflation of fuel and light increased to 3.90% in February 2017.

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CPI Inflation rises to 3.65% in February 2017
Mar 14,2017

The all-India general CPI inflation rebounded to 3.65% in February 2017 (new base 2012=100), compared with 25-months low of 3.17% in January 2017. The corresponding provisional inflation rate for rural area was 3.67% and urban area 3.55% in February 2017 as against 3.36% and 2.90% in January 2017. The core CPI inflation eased to 4.75% in February 2017 from 4.95% in January 2017. The cumulative CPI inflation was lower at 4.58% in April-February FY2017 compared with 4.92% in April-February FY2016.

Among the CPI components, inflation of food and beverages increased to 2.46% in February 2017 from 1.37% in January 2017 mainly contributing to the rise in CPI inflation. Within the food items, the inflation increased for Vegetables to -8.29%, Fruits 8.33%, Oils and fats 3.83%, Meat and fish 3.50% and Sugar and Confectionery 18.83%. The inflation was flat for Cereals and products at 5.30%, Milk and products 4.22% and Non-alcoholic beverages 3.17% On the other hand, inflation declined for Pulses and products to -9.02% Spices 3.82% and Egg 0.54% in February 2017.

The inflation for housing eased to 4.90%, while that for miscellaneous items also fell to 4.79% in February 2017. Within the miscellaneous items, the inflation for Personal care and effects dipped to 5.15%, Health 4.00%, Education to 5.37%, and Household goods and services 4.09%, while inflation rose for Transport and communication to 5.39% in February 2017.

The inflation for clothing and footwear eased to 4.38% in February 2017, while the CPI inflation of fuel and light increased 3.90% in February 2017.

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Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) Bill, 2017 introduced
Mar 14,2017

Commerce & Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman introduced the Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) Bill, 2017 in the Lok Sabha on 14th March, 2017 to declare the FDDI as an Institution of National Importance (INI).

The objective of the proposed legislation is to facilitate and promote teaching, training and research in all disciplines relating to design and development of Footwear and leather products and to enable FDDI to emerge as Centre of Excellence meeting international standards.

The Footwear Design & Development Institute was established in 1986 with the objective of providing trained human resource and assistance to the sector. FDDI has pan-India presence with campuses at Noida, Kolkata, Chennai, Fursatganj (UP), Rohtak (Haryana), Chhindwara (M.P) and Jodhpur (Rajasthan) equipped with state of art academic facilities and infrastructure. New campuses at Hyderabad, Patna, Ankleshwar (Gujarat), Banur(Punjab) and Guna (M.P) would also start functioning shortly.

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14.66 lakh tonnes of pulses procured towards building the buffer stock
Mar 14,2017

As per the Working Group Report on Foodgrains-Balancing Demand & Supply During 12th FYP of Niti Aayog the projected demand for pulses during 2016-17 is estimated to be around 24.61 million tonnes while the estimated production of pulses is 22.14 million tonnes, thereby implying higher demand than domestic production.

The Government has approved creation of buffer upto 20 lakh tonnes of pulses. As on 08 March 2017, around 14.66 lakh tonnes of pulses have been procured or contracted for imports towards building the buffer. The Government has contracted imports of 4.06 lakh tonnes of pulses towards building the buffer stock. The prices of pulses fluctuates daily as well as over season. While approving the bid for imports, Price Stabilization Fund Management Committee (PSFMC), inter alia, compares offer rate with prevailing domestic rate and bids are generally approved for import when the rate offered are lower than prevailing domestic prices of that pulses.

Government has approved engaging a professional Buffer Stock Management Agency (BSMA) for efficient management of the buffer stock including procurement, storage, maintenance and liquidation of the stock as per Government directives from time to time. The agency for designing and managing the bid process has been selected. Contract for appointment is being finalized.

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Venture Capital Fund Scheme for SC Entrepreneurs
Mar 14,2017

Under the Venture Capital Fund Scheme for SC Entrepreneurs, proposal of 64 SC entrepreneurs from 17 States have been sanctioned so far. The State-wise details of the entrepreneurs of the last three years is given below.

Government has launched Credit Enhancement Guarantee Scheme for Scheduled Castes with a view to support Banks and Financial Institutions who will be providing financial assistance to SC entrepreneurs and facilitate economic and inclusive development of SC entrepreneurs. Stand-up India Scheme to promote entrepreneurship among SC/ST and women. The SC/ST Hub to provide professional support to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe entrepreneurs to effectively participate in public procurement policy. Besides, the National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC) implements various credit based schemes for business ventures of SC beneficiaries.

Venture Capital Fund Scheme For SC Entrepreneurs

STATES / UTsNumber of Beneficiaries2014-152015-162016-17Punjab 111Gujarat120Maharashtra01210Delhi NCR041Telangana075Andhra Pradesh020Uttar Pradesh020Uttarakhand001Tamil Nadu031Karnataka011Pondicherry010West Bengal010Assam-North East010Haryana011Chattisgarh001Himachal Pradesh001Rajasthan001TOTAL23824

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The headline inflation outcome in the near term will depend on how food price dynamics evolve-RBI
Mar 14,2017

The impact of demonetisation on inflation in the near-term stemmed mainly from moderation in food inflation, especially perishables, as inflation excluding food and fuel remained broadly unaffected. With demand expected to recover from the latter part of Q4 of 2016-17, inflation risks to CPI excluding food and fuel and headline inflation are, therefore, tilted to the upside, , said RBI in its recent report.

The RBI further stated, with a weight of 46 per cent, the sharp fall in food inflation by about 240 bps during November 2016 - January 2017 pulled down the headline CPI inflation by around 100 bps to 3.2 per cent in January 2017, the lowest inflation reading since the publication of the all India CPI inflation series. Inflation excluding vegetables, which was at 5.0 per cent in October 2016, moderated marginally to 4.8 per cent in November 2016 and remained unchanged at that level in December 2016 before moderating to 4.5 per cent in January 2017. The moderate softening in CPI excluding vegetables suggests the larger role of vegetables sub-group in the observed sharp decline in inflation in recent months. Moreover, inflation in CPI excluding food (which is about 54 per cent of CPI basket) edged up from 4.6 in November to 4.7 per cent in December 2016 and further to 4.9 per cent in January 2017.

Going forward, unfavourable base effects in February could push inflation up. The base effect remains neutral in March 2017. There is a considerable uncertainty as to how vegetables prices will pan out over the coming months. Given that recent vegetables price declines have also been influenced by demonetisation induced distress sales in addition to seasonal factors, it is possible that with significant remonetisation having taken place, there could be some reversal in vegetables prices in March and beyond. Thus, with inflation excluding food and fuel remaining sticky, the headline inflation outcome in the near term will depend on how food price dynamics evolve.

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India Innovation Growth Programme (IIGP) 2.0 launched to support Industrial and Social Innovations
Mar 14,2017

Strengthening its commitment to foster innovation and entrepreneurship, the Department of Science and Technology launched the India Innovation Growth Programme 2.0 on 11 March 2017. The programme has been running since 2007 with the support of Lockheed Martin Corporation and has supported close to 500 innovators, start-ups, creating an economic value of approx. US$ 900 million. The programme has been administered by the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum and implemented by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Through a wide outreach campaign undertaken by FICCI over the last 10 years, spreading over 100 cities across India, the Programme has received and evaluated over 7000 ideas so far. In addition to building entrepreneurs, more than 50 incubation managers from India have been trained in the US on global best practices on incubation and commercialization and this has been possible.

Under the IIGP 2.0, Tata Trusts have come on board to support and scale social innovations. IIGP 2.0, will have two separate challenges viz. University Challenge and the Open Innovation Challenge to support innovations across industrial and social sectors. The program shall provide funding, capacity building, mentoring, incubation and business development support to the innovators, helping them scale their ventures to the next level. Speaking on the IIGP 2.0 launch, Pankaj Patel, President, FICCI stated n++FICCI is proud to have been a partner of the India Innovation Growth Programme since its inception in 2007. With over 500 innovations supported, the exemplary work undertaken is noteworthy. Inclusion of new partners is a welcome addition as the programme grows from strength to strength. We remain committed to building on the tremendous success of the last decade in fostering and accelerating Indian technological innovations into the global marketplace.n++

Dr. Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI said n++Over the last 10 years, the India Innovation Growth Programme has grown to be one of Indias foremost technology acceleration platforms. FICCI strives to provide an entire ecosystem to the startups through diversified programs such as the IIGP, XLr8AP, Google digital unlocked certification program to meet the varied needs of startups in India. We work closely with innovators through various phases, from ideation to commercialization. Moving into the next decade, we remain confident of the continued growth & success of the IIGP in its new avatar.n++ Several of the IIGP innovators have been further scaled through the XLr8AP Program of Government of Andhra Pradesh, FICCI and University of Texas. An IIGP awardee, Sameer Panda has invented a tyre with burst-preventive puncture-curative technology and stated that the Xlr8 program with his commercialization strategy and is soon planning to set up a manufacturing unit in Renigunta.

A number of high impact social enterprises selected under the IIGP have also been supported under the Millennium Alliance Program being implemented by FICCI. One such enterprise is Aakar innovations who has developed a ~100% compostable menstrual hygiene solution providing affordable pads to adolescent girls and women. This is done using a unique low cost, low electricity consuming machine that produces 12002400pads/8-10 hrs through community participation from 12-16 women(no specific skills required) as production workforce. FICCI is now supporting Aakar to scale this technology to Kenya and Uganda.

With support from the Department of Science and Technology, FICCI recently announced an Indo - Rwanda Innovation Growth Program. The Program will deploy 20 demonstrated and validated Indian technologies and innovations over a period of two years. The joint programs/ventures created with Rwandan partners will deliver at least 20 sustainable social enterprises that will stimulate economic impact development in Rwanda.

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Fitch: Brexit: Now Comes the Hard Part
Mar 14,2017

The British government will soon provide formal notice of its intention to withdraw from the European Union, and, as contentious as the debate on Brexit has been to now, the period ahead promises to be even more combative, says Fitch Ratings in its latest Global Perspectives commentary.

The UK faces five primary challenges from the outset. Lack of full control over the negotiating agenda is the most important of these. While Prime Minister May has said a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU is one of the governments objectives, some European leaders have suggested that post-exit trade arrangements can only be considered after the terms of exit have been agreed.

A related challenge will be settling the financial terms of the UKs departure from the EU, which is likely to be among the issues EU leaders seek to resolve up front. The UK will have a strong incentive to settle its exit bill quickly to preserve as much of the two-year negotiating period as possible for more difficult and important issues. But in so doing, it risks criticism at home of an early and unnecessary concession

The three remaining challenges are domestic. Scotland may seek a bespoke solution to allow continued access to the single market, raising the risk of a second independence referendum if its objectives are unmet. Beyond Scotland, there is certain to be plenty of open opposition to the governments negotiating strategies and priorities, exposing possible political pressure points that can be exploited by EU negotiators.

Finally, it will prove challenging for the government to manage expectations over a two-year period, and negotiating setbacks may be reflected in heightened financial market volatility. The biggest associated risk is a decided swing in public opinion toward a more negative view of Brexit, lending support for either a greater Parliamentary role in approving the final negotiated agreement or another opportunity for the electorate to formally express its view.

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Science & Technology Ministry to virtually reproduce all monuments using 3D technology: Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, secretary
Mar 14,2017

The Union Science and Technology Ministry will reproduce all monuments, Buddhist Circuit using three dimensional (3D), cyber physical systems and other technologies with a view to virtually promote architectural heritage, a top official said at an ASSOCHAM event.

n++Without going for Bharat Darshan, you can sit in one place, in Delhi may be, and visit all the monuments, get all the information about them better than a guide can tell us because of the whole force of Wikipedia is behind you in that,n++ said Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, Department of Science and Technology.

He was talking about a project undertaken by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) - Delhi about recreating architectural heritage. n++They recreated the lost city of Hampi, 3D printed it and also embed all the information related to the monuments, sculptures, their whole history in this physical model.n++

He said that one could stop, pause and ask for more information about certain elements in-there and one would get that thereby terming it a weak example of cyber physical as it is not driven by AI and so it is not inventing new facts about the monument but everything which is already there.

n++We are going to reproduce using the same technology now all the monuments - starting from Ghats of Benares, if you take a boat-ride in the Ganges you see all the facades, all the history of the place, (will) reproduce Buddhist circuit,n++ said Prof. Sharma.

He also said that there is an urgent need to create 20 million new jobs i.e. about two crore new jobs in India every year so it would be a challenge to use global technologies like AI as per the local needs.

n++One has to think very deeply about how to use the same technology to do the opposite of what the technology is being created for, so it would not help us to copy Japan, Germany because of the objectives being little bit different,n++ said Prof. Sharma.

He said that all these countries are developing AI because they do not have people. n++If you want to grow and remain competitive the way to go would be technology which can replace people but our problem is totally opposite.n++

n++We certainly need best of our technologists, scientists, even social scientists, economists to think very deeply about this problem of using AI to generate jobs,n++ he added.

He also said that the biggest challenge for India is to remain competitive not because of AI but despite AI to be able to create new jobs in every domain whether it is services or manufacturing because both of these domains will get affected as both require decision making.

n++We need strong policy statements to deal with what is coming and in fact what is already there, we need to modify some of it, we need to introduce new elements and policies,n++ further said Prof. Sharma.

He said that newer technologies like AI would impact sectors like education and healthcare in a big way. n++Doctors today in India have about 2.5 seconds to look at each patient which may be enough for a machine to arrive at good diagnostics but not for a human doctor.n++

May be we would create a knowledge bank which is completely and meticulously sealed and say that these are reference points of knowledge which are not alterable by machines. So unless we have these reference points it can get to be pretty scary in the future.

On the education front, he said that there is a need have bring in tools like AI and work on the challenges that these tools will pose to our traditional models of education.

n++Our education system is very conservative with direct emphasis on memorisation and on cracking exams but not on deep skills and developing insights into what it means to arrive at a decision and how to do things independently,n++ said Prof. Sharma.

n++So we need to start focussing on education in a very strong way,n++ he added.

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Implement Universal Basic Income for women, says ASSOCHAM Women Foundation
Mar 14,2017

Saluting the un-measureable contribution of women to the society, apex industry body ASSOCHAM picked up the idea of Universal Basic Income (UBI), only for women, from a key government document, stating implementation of such a scheme can bring in significant transformation in Indias socio-economic landscape.

n++While India may not be ready for an all - encompassing UBI ,given the countrys scale of development where the difference between the rich and poor remains quite wide and it may not be an equitable thing to extend similar benefits across all strata of the economic paradigm, the women-only UBI can be considered favourably,n++ ASSOCHAM said extending its good wishes on the International Womens Day (IWD).

n++If women in the households have money in their accounts, their economic and social status would see a tremendous uplift. In the long run, this would also bring in corrections in the adverse sex ratio as the society would see women as an empowered lot,n++ the chamber said in a statement.

It added that a sub-idea for UBI for Women was enunciated in the Economic Survey of 2016-17 along with broader UBI. The key document, authored by the Chief Economic Adviser, rightly argued when it had said, n++Women face worse prospects in almost every aspect of their daily lives - employment opportunities, education, health or financial inclusion. Giving money to women also improves the bargaining power for women within households and reduces concerns of money being splurged on conspicuous goods.n++

Under the UBI, some fixed amount is transferred to the accounts of the beneficiaries irrespective of their economic or social status. It is premised on the principle that an equitable society should guarantee a minimum income to each individual for access to basic needs.

Chairperson of the ASSOCHAM Women Foundation, Ms Revati Jain said, n++As it is, the public spending on health and education in India are among the lower categories in the world. The worst sufferers are the women if enough resources are not spent on health and education. The issues of child mortality, infant mortality and even nutrition during pregnancy can be addressed if UBI is extended to women.n++

n++It could be argued that women from the rich and upper middle income groups do not deserve to be provided government support. But the problem of identifying the correct beneficiaries is far greater than the cost of an all - inclusive scheme,n++ said Ms Jain.

n++Maybe, the government can leave it up to the beneficiaries not to avail of the scheme, if they chose to. Say, for instance, if well placed women among the rich and upper middle class do not want UBI, they can voluntary give it up and they will give up,n++ added the AWF chairperson.

n++While most of the welfare schemes can be clubbed into the UBI, certain basic schemes focused on pregnancy benefits can continue along with UBI. The industry, can also be, on a voluntary basis, encouraged to extend its helping hand to the women welfare schemes,n++ she said further.

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Lok Sabha Passes the Admiralty Bill 2016
Mar 14,2017

The Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2016 was passed by the Lok Sabha on 10 March 2017. The Bill aims to establish a legal framework to consolidate the existing laws relating to admiralty jurisdiction of courts, admiralty proceedings on maritime claims, arrest of vessels and related issues. It also aims to replace archaic laws which are hindering efficient governance. The Bill confers admiralty jurisdiction on High Courts located in coastal states of India and this jurisdiction extends upto territorial waters.

Introduced during the winter session of Parliament, the Bill came up for discussion in the Lok Sabha. The Minister of State ( RT&H, S, C&F), Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, presented an overview of the Bill in the House, highlighting the need for repealing five obsolete British statutes on admiralty jurisdiction in civil matters, which are 126 to 177 years old. The Bill provides for prioritization of maritime claims and maritime liens while providing protection to owners, charterers, operators, crew members and seafarers at the same time. During the course of discussion, thirteen members presented their views and raised various questions which were replied to by Shri Mandaviya. The Bill was then passed by the House.

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To cater to the needs of the local farmers, the Central Government has established this Banana Research Centre: Shri Radha Mohan Singh
Mar 14,2017

Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that Bihar and particularly Vaishali district is very suitable for the cultivation of bananas and large scale production of banana can change the fate of farmers.

Shri Singh stated that Rajendra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Pusa has got the status of Central Agriculture University only in October, 2016. After that the Government has established this Banana Research Centre to fulfil the aspirations of the banana growers of Vaishali. Banana Research Centre, Vaishali falls under Garole area and because of the ecological conditions of Garole, it has been selected for the establishment of this centre. He further stated that this centre will work in the areas of finding reasons of less production in banana, enhancement in acreage for cultivation, suitable utilization of the various parts of the plants, different products, marketing and value addition.

Shri Singh said that Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University has already started the research work for doubling the income from banana cultivation. With starting this centre the research work will get more momentum. He was hopeful that with the cooperation of the researchers of this centre and with the participation of farmers, it would help to bring a new era of banana cultivation in Bihar and surrounding states like it happened in Maharashtra.

Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister further stated that the farmers of Maharashtra have developed a domestic and export market with the help of 26 cooperative societies operating in the state and thus has given a new direction in the field of banana cultivation. By adopting high density cultivation, tissue culture, drip irrigation etc. Maharashtra is transporting high quality bananas to the entire country through 12-15 thousand Railway Wagons.

Shri Singh further informed that the total production of banana in the country is around 14.2 million tons. India holds number one position in the world in the area of banana production and stands at number three in acreages which is 13 per cent of the entire acreage and 33 per cent of the total production. Among the states, Maharashtra is the largest producer followed by Tamil Nadu. Productivity of Maharashtra is 65.7 ton/ha, which is more than the average national production of 34.1 ton/ha. Banana is grown in Bihar in around 27.2 thousand hectare, production is around 550 thousand tons and average productivity is 20.0 ton/ha, which is very less than the national average.

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