DV Sadananda launched HURL’s brand “APNA UREA-Sona Ugle” & unveiled company logo in New Delhi
Union Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers (MoC&F) Shri Devaragunda Venkappa Sadananda Gowda launched “APNA UREA – SonaUgle” brand of Hindustan Urvarak & Rasayan Limited (HURL) and also the company’s logo at an event in New Delhi.
It is a Joint venture(JV) company 3 Maharatna companies as its lead promoters which are Coal India Limited (CIL), NTPC Limited (NTPC) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and Fertilizer Corporation of India Ltd (FCIL) & Hindustan Fertilizer Corporation Limited (HFCL) as other two partners.
Plant revival by HURL: In 2016, the govt approved for the revival of 3 urea plants located at Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), Sindri(Jharkhand) and Barauni (Bihar). It was undertaken by HURL.
Capacity of 3 plants undertaken by HURL: 3 plants which will be revived by HURL mostly by 2021 have total installed capacity of 38.1 LMT of Neem Coated Urea per annum.
Natural gas supply: Under pooled price mechanism natural gas supply will be done by GAIL (formerly Gas Authority of India Ltd) under the Pooled Price Mechanism.
1st Session of India-Norway Dialogue on Trade & Investment Held in New Delhi
The 1st ever session of the India-Norway dialogue on Trade & Investment (DTI) was held from January 15-16 in New Delhi. The session was conducted based on the Terms of Reference (ToR) which was signed by India and Norway on 8th January 2019 in New Delhi at time of Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s visit to India.
The 1st Session on January 15, 2020, was preceded by an industry interaction with representatives of various organizations/sectors like Information and Communications Technology(ICT), renewable energy, fisheries and the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSME).
The main session on 16th January 2020 was co-chaired by Joint Secretary of Department of Commerce(DoC), Nidhi Mani Tripathi, and Director General (DG) of Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Fisheries, Mr. Erling Rimestad from Norway.
FDI inflow: The Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) inflows to India from Norway were around $257million during April 2000-September 2019.
Govt allocates Rs 2379 crore for completing Z Morh tunnel in J&K
A concession agreement was signed in New Delhi for completing the Z-Morh tunnel in the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir(J&K).
Under the agreement Rs.2379 crore has been allocated to complete the construction of the tunnel within 3.5 years.
The agreement between National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) and APCO Amarnathji Tunnelway Pvt Ltd was signed in presence of Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Minister of State(MoS) for Road Transport and Highways Gen (Retd) Vijay Kumar Singh and Secretary of Road Transport & Highways Shri Sanjiv Ranjan.
The length of the two-lane bi-directional Z Morh tunnel with parallel escape tunnel is 6.5 kilometers. It will remain closed during winter due to heavy snowfall in Gagenger area of J&K.
NITI Aayog, UT of Ladakh signed MoU for development of Infrastructure Projects
National Institution for Transforming India(NITI) Aayog has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with newly developed Union Territory(UT) of Ladakh in order to promote the development of infrastructures in the recently developed UT.
Under the MoU, Niti Aayog will provide support to ladakh through ‘Development Support Services to States for Infrastructure Projects (D3S-i or DSSS for Infrastructure Projects)’.
MoU signing: The MoU was signed by senior adviser of Niti Aayog Yogesh Suri and Ladakh’s Lieutenant Governor Umang Narula in presence of Niti Aayog Chief Executive Officer(CEO) Shri Amitabh Kant and joint secretary MC Jauhari.
DSSS for infrastructure projects: Niti Aayog has implemented the DSSS projects to develop the infrastructure of the state of the art capacity. It involves providing support to the state/ UTs from the concept plan till financial closures.
The 1st phase of DSSS was completed in 2018 with a selection of 10 projects out of over 400 projects while phase 2 was completed in 2018-19 with the selected 10 projects progressing to the transaction stage.
Under the DSSS identification of high-impact priority projects, project implementation, addressing structural-level issues and creating models of development for Ladakh will be done.
10th World Future Energy Summit 2020 held in Abu dhabi, UAE; CLIX sustainability summit held
Recently the 10th edition of World Future Energy Summit (WFES)2020 hosted by Masdar renewable energy company, was held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates(UAE) from January 13-16, 2020.
The theme for the year 2020 was “Rethinking Global Consumption, Production, and Investment”.
Banking & Finance
RBI tightens norms for debit, credit card issuance & usage to improve security
In view of the increasing cases of cyber fraud, India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has framed new rules under “Enhancing Security of Card Transactions” to further protect debit, credit card transactions.
These directions are issued under Section 10(2) of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (Act 51 of 2007) & will come into effect from 16 March, 2020.
Facility to switch on, off cards: Under this, now transactions at ATMs(Automated Teller Machine) and PoS (Point of Sale) will be done through domestic cards. In addition, RBI directed banks and other card issuing companies to allow their customers to switch on and off their debit and credit cards.
The RBI also directed that all physical or virtual cards be enabled to be used only at contact based point of use (ATM and PoS) at the time of issue or re-issue.
Pakistan’s Mohammad Hafeez to retire after Twenty20 (T-20) World Cup
Pakistan’s All-rounder cricket player Mohammad Hafeez, 38 years old, announced that he will be retiring from international cricket after the upcoming T-20 World Cup to be held in Australia in October 2020.
Hafeez has been selected to play the T20I (Twenty20 International) series against Bangladesh starting in Lahore on Jan 24,2020.
Mohammad Hafeez nicknamed as ‘Professor’ for his knowledge of the game, has been one of Pakistan’s key players- as a top-order batsman and a handy off-spinner since 2003.
Hafeez retired from tests in December 2018 after playing 55 tests and scored 6,614 runs took 139 wickets in 218 one-day internationals.
His last ODI (One Day International) was during the World Cup (50 overs) in England 2019.
Hafeez match in 89 T-20 internationals stands at 54 wickets and 1,908 runs.
He played 17 years for Pakistan and also captained Pakistan in 29 Twenty 20 Internationals, winning 17 and losing 11 with one ending in a tie.
Award & Honors
Singer Suman & music director Kuldeep Singh to get MP’s Lata Mangeshkar Award for 2017 & 2018 respectively
Noted Indian singer Suman Kalyanpur was chosen for the 2017 National Lata Mangeshkar Award of the state govt. of Madhya Pradesh(MP) while Indian Music composer Kuldeep Singh has been chosen for the same Mangeshkar award for the year 2018.
They have been chosen for this award for their contribution in the field of music and will be awarded in February 2020 at an event in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
The award carries a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh, a shawl, a citation and a ‘shreephal’ (coconut).
Award committee: The selected committee of the award included singer Suresh Wadkar among others.
Science, Space & Technology
Russia to deliver five S-400 air defence systems to India by 2025
Russia has announced to deliver 5 units of S-400 air defence systems to India by 2025 while its production has already begun.
The announcement was made by Russian Deputy Chief of Mission Roman Babushkin. India and Russia signed a deal of $5.43 billion for the procurement of these S-400 systems during the 19th edition of India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit held in New Delhi in 2018.
It was also announced that the Union Minister of External Affairs(MEA) Shri Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, will visit Russia on March 22&23 to attend the Russia-Indian-China(RIC) trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting to be held in Vladivostok, Russia.
Former India all-rounder cricketer Bapu Nadkarni passed away at 86
Former Indian all-rounder Rameshchandra Gangaram Bapu Nadkarni, 86 years old, a left-handed batsman and slow-left arm orthodox bowler passed away in Mumbai, Maharashtra. He was best known for bowling a record of 21 consecutive maiden overs in a test match against England.
Nadkarni played 41 tests in which he scored 1414 runs and grabbed 88 wickets with 6/43 as his best bowling figures.
Bapu Nadkarni was born on 4 April 1933 in Nashik, Bombay Presidency, British India and played 191 first-class matches and taken 500 wickets and scored 8880 runs.
Nadkarni made his test-debut against New-Zealand in Delhi in 1955 and played his last test at Auckland against New-zealand in 1968 under Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi captaincy.
Senior journalist and former MP Ashwini Kumar Chopra passes away at 63
Senior Journalist and former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament (MP) Ashwini Kumar Chopra passed away at a private hospital in Gurgaon after battling with terminal cancer.
Born on 11th June 1956 in Jalandhar, he was a senior Journalist and Editor of Punjab Kesari (Hindi daily), later he was elected as a Member of Parliament from Karnal, Haryana, in 2014 and served for the period of 2014-2019.
Before entering into Journalism, he played in the Ranji Trophy under the name Ashwini Minna for Punjab and played 25 first-class matches between 1975-76 and 1979-80.