‘Oxygen Parlour’ at Nashik Railway Station to combat air pollution
In a unique initiative to battle rising air pollution in cities, an ‘Oxygen Parlour’ has been opened at Nashik railwaystation to provide an experience of breathing clean air to the commuters.
The initiative comes with the efforts of Airo Guard in collaboration with the Indian Railways.
The co-founder of Airo Guard, Amit Amritkar said that the concept of Oxygen Parlour is based on the recommendation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The commuters at the railway station also commended the effort as a positive step towards combating air pollution in the cities across the country.
Integral Coach Factory produces 3000 Coaches in record 215 days
Integral Coach Factory (ICF) of Indian Railways has produced its 3000th coach of the year in less than nine months.
This would help in meeting the growing demand for coaches. The number of working days to achieve the above figure has been reduced from 289 days in the last year to 215 days in the current year.
Till the year 2014, the same amount of time was being taken for the production of only 1000 coaches.
Regional Conference on ‘Improving Public Services Delivery – Role of Governments’ inaugurated in Nagpur
The inauguration function of two-day Regional Conference on ‘Improving Public Service Delivery – Role of Governments’, in Nagpur, Maharashtra
The 2-day conference is being organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) in collaboration with the Government of Maharashtra and the Maharashtra State Commission for Right to Public Services.
The Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Minister for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari and Minister of State (Independent charge) of the Ministry of DONER, Minister of State for PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space Dr Jitendra Singh, will address the Valedictory Session of the Regional Conference on “Improving Public Services Delivery – Role of Governments.
S Jaishankar co-chairs 19th Joint Commission meeting with Iran Foreign Minister
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar co-chaired the 19th Joint Commission meeting with Foreign Minister of Iran in Tehran. Mr Jaishankar stated that the meeting was very productive and reviewed the entire gamut of the cooperation.
He futher stated that both the nation agreed on accelerating the Chabahar project and, India and Iran will work together closely on their shared interests.
Mr Jaishankar reached Iran on a two-day visit. During his visit, Dr Jaishankar is also expected to call on Iran President Hassan Rouhani.
Hyderabad – New Delhi Telangana Express adorned with “Singareni Colours” starts its run from Hyderabad to New Delhi
In first of its kind initiative by South Central Railway, Hyderabad-New Delhi- Hyderabad Telangana Express, the iconic train that connects the State and the Nation’s Capital, has been wrapped with the colors of Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), the Government owned Coal producing giant of India and also a premier freight customer of the Railways.
The Secunderabad Division of SCR has tied up with M/s. SCCL and one rake of Hyderabad- New Delhi Telangana Express has been vinyl wrapped by SCCL.
This is an innovative scheme of Indian Railways of offering exteriors of coaching trains for advertisement to Government Departments Public Sector Undertakings. This novel and potentially limitless advertising avenue of Vinyl Wrapping on trains lays stress on aesthetics of the trains. The Vinyl Wrapping is done from the window level to the bottom of the coach, so that the basic visibility is not compromised.
The revenue generation potential of the innovative advertising model does not also compromise on various concerns such as Environment, Safety, Security, Sanitation, Fire Safety etc., as prescribed under Railway Rules.
Indian Railways has formalized a policy on advertisement through mobile assets, based on the fact that the mass transport service provider enjoys the highest number of captive eyeballs.
Eight West African nations rename common currency to Eco
Eight West African countries have agreed to change the name of their common currency to Eco and severed their earlier currency CFA Franc’s links to former colonial ruler France.
The CFA Franc was initially pegged to the French franc and has been linked to the euro for about two decades. Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo currently use the currency. All the countries are former French colonies with the exception of Guinea-Bissau.
during a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer and France’s former main colony in West Africa. Macron hailed it as a “historic reform”, adding the Eco will see the light of day in 2020. The deal took six months in the making.
The CFA franc, created in 1945, was seen by many as a sign of French interference in its former African colonies even after the countries became independent.
Union ministers, CMs to join over 100 CEOs at World Economic Forum’s 50th Annual Meeting In davos
Union ministers Piyush Goyal and Mansukh Mandaviya, as well as three chief ministers — Amarinder Singh, Kamal Nath and B S Yeddyurappa –, will join over 100 Indian CEOs in the Swiss ski resort town of Davos next month for the World Economic Forum’s 50th annual meeting, which will be attended by thousands of rich and powerful from across the globe.
There are a number of other heads of state from various countries also who have confirmed their presence for this annual jamboree of the rich and powerful from across the world which is expected to be a much bigger affair this time because it would be World Economic Forum’s 50th anniversary.
The Geneva-based WEF has selected ‘Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World’ as the theme for its 2020 annual meeting, which will bring together 3,000 global leaders.
The WEF has stated the 2020 meeting aims to give a concrete meaning to “stakeholder capitalism“, assist governments and international institutions in tracking progress towards the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, and facilitate discussions on technology and trade governance.
Ecuador declares emergency after fuel spill in Galapagos Islands
Ecuador has declared emergency to contain the environmental impact of a fuel spill in the Galapagos Islands, after a barge carrying 600 gallons of diesel fuel sank. The Islands are located 1,000 kilometers east of mainland Ecuador. The accident occurred when a crane collapsed while loading a container onto the barge. The falling container destabilized the ship, causing it to sink.
Ecuadorian navy and national police were coordinating with the nature reserve authority, Galapagos National Park (GNP) to resolve the emergency and assess environmental damage.
Environment minister Raul Ledesma tweeted that the government had taken immediate actions to reduce the environmental risk.
Latin American Galapagos archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to one of the most fragile ecosystems on the planet.
Banking & Finance
FPIs flock to Indian capital market despite decline in GDP growth rate in 2019
In spite of a decline in the GDP growth rate, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) seem to have flocked to the Indian capital market in a big way in 2019 with a net inflow of over 1.3 lakh crore rupees, including 97,250 crore rupees in equities, the highest in last six years.
As the year draws to a close, the debt market has seen a net inflow of nearly 27,000 crore rupees by FPIs, while a further amount of 9,000 crore rupees found its way to the hybrid instruments, shows the capital market data compiled by depositories.
Experts believe the positive trend may continue in 2020 as well, but downside risks might arise in the form of the US-China trade war and any further deterioration in the domestic credit market conditions.
Reliance Infrastructure wins Rs 1,250 cr arbitration award against DVC
Reliance Infrastructure has won an arbitration award of Rs 1,250 crore against Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC).
The proceeds will be used to pay lenders and reduce the debt of the company, the infrastructure firm in a filing to BSE.
A three-member arbitration tribunal unanimously gave the award in favour of Reliance Infrastructure.
Reliance Infrastructure was the engineering and construction contractor for DVC’s 1200 mw Raghunathpur thermal power project in West Bengal commissioned in 2012.
Reliance Infrastructure has won a major arbitration award of Rs 1,250 crore against DVC, a government of India undertaking.
The arbitration tribunal awarded the case in favour of Reliance Infrastructure and directed DVC to pay Rs 896 crore and return the bank guarantees of Rs 354 crore within four weeks or pay additional interest, at the rate of 15 per cent per annum, for any delay in payment beyond four weeks.
Sierra Leone pro football league gets first female coach
One of Sierra Leone’s top football clubs has picked a woman to coach its main squad, in a first for the West African country’s professional league.
The East End Tigers named police officer Victoria Conteh, who formerly coached the country’s female football team, as its head coach.
Also known by the nickname “D’Cox,” Conteh , she started playing football in her childhood, as a defender, and went on to captain the police football team.
ICC T20I rankings: Radha retains 2nd position in bowlers’ list as Deepti, Poonam slip
Indian spinner Radha Yadav remained at the second spot but compatriots Deepti Sharma and Poonam Yadav slipped a place each to the fifth and sixth positions in the latest ICC Women’s T20I players rankings. Among the batters, Jemimah Rodrigues continued to occupy the fourth spot, while Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur too remained static at the seventh and ninth positions.
India continued to hold on to the fourth position in the ICC Women’s T20 Team Ranking. Among others, spinner Sophie Ecclestone and opener Amy Jones have attained career-high rankings.
Australia’s Megan Schutt continued to lead the bowlers ranking. The left-arm spinner is on 727 rating points.
Wicketkeeper-batter Jones has been rewarded with a jump of 30 places to a career-best 17th position.
Appointment & Resignation
Anish Shah to replace Pawan Goenka as Mahindra Group,’s MD and CEO
Mahindra and Mahindra has announced that Anish Shah will replace Pawan Goenka as Mahindra’s Managing Director and CEO.
Anish Shah, who is currently the president for strategy at Mahindra Group, will transition into the role of the group’s chief financial officer (CFO) and deputy managing director from 1 April 2020.
Pawan Goenka, 65, will retire after 1 April 2021 after completing four years and five months.
Razorpay appoints former American Express executive Arpit Chug as CFO
Razorpay, the payments provider has recently appointed Arpit Chug, the former American Express India CFO as Razorpay’s new CFO.
He will also assist in launching the new business ventures of the company.
Indian-American Dr Monisha Ghosh named 1st woman CTO at FCC in US
Indian-American Dr Monisha Ghosh has been appointed as the first woman Chief Technology Officer at the US government’s powerful Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
She will advise Indian-American Chairman of the FCC Ajit Pai and the agency on technology and engineering issues, and work closely with the Office of Engineering and Technology. Dr Ghosh will take charge on January 13. She replaces Dr Eric Burger.
The FCC regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and US territories. The FCC as an independent US government agency overseen by Congress is the federal agency responsible for implementing and enforcing America’s communications law and regulations.
Ghosh received her PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1991, and B.Tech from the IIT Kharagpur in 1986.
Award & Honors
Archaeologist R. Nagaswamy honoured in Bangladesh
Renowned archaeologist Nagaswamy was honoured at the Silver Jubilee International Conference of Art held in Dhaka by Bangladesh Culture Minister K.M. Khalid.
He was honoured for the contribution of Nagaswamy to art, archaeology, history, and culture.
The Silver Jubilee volume of the Journal of Bengal Art was dedicated to Mr. Nagaswamy. The art carries articles by international scholars.
Kozhikode boy Aditya bags top bravery award
Aditya K. of Ramanattukara, Kozhikode, has become the first child from the State to bag the Bharat Award for bravery.
The Prime Minister will give away the awards at the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi.
The most prestigious of the National Bravery Awards, given away by the Indian Council for Child Welfare, the Bharat Award has gone to Aditya for rescuing 20 people from a burning bus that was on the move.
Two more children from the State are also recipients of the awards.
Muhammed Mohsin has been given the award posthumously for saving the lives of three children.
Fatah gets the award for rescuing a woman and a girl from an approaching train. Both belong to
Science, Space & Technology
CBERS-4A: New China-Brazil earth resource satellite launched into space
The China-Brazil Earth Resource Satellite-4A (CBERS-4A), a new satellite jointly developed by China and Brazil as part of a bilateral programme, was recently sent into space, thus further pushes forward the aerospace cooperation between two countries.
It was launched on a Long March-4B carrier from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Shanxi Province of China.
The same rocket also put into orbits another 8 satellites, including a wide-range multispectral remote-sensing microsatellite donated to Ethiopia (which is also Ethiopia’s first satellite).