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23 February 2017


India aims to bring broadband to every village by 2018

India aims to bring high-speed digital connectivity to every village by 2018 and is keen to share expertise in the area with other nations, the government said.

In his Union Budget presented on February 1, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government would allocate Rs 10,000 crore to expand the Bharat Net project in 2017-18 for high-speed broadband.



 National Biodiversity Congress held in Kerala

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the five-day-long National Biodiversity Congress and Expo at Tagore theatre in Thiruvananthapuram.

This is one of the biggest biodiversity congresses in the country and its focal theme is 'Mainstreaming biodiversity for sustainable development'.


  • Capital: Thiruvananthapuram
  • Governor: P Sathasivam
  • Formation: 1 November 1956



J-K govt limits guests, dishes at weddings

The Jammu and Kashmir government has announced restrictions on the number of guests to be invited and specified the number of dishes that can be served at both public and private gatherings, mostly weddings, in a bid to limit wastage of food and essential commodities in such ceremonies.

The order will come into effect from April this year.

While families will be allowed to invite only 500 people for their daughter’s wedding, the number has been restricted to 400 if one’s son is getting married. And only 100 people can be invited for smaller ceremonies like engagements.

The wedding menu is also likely to be restricted and non-vegetarian dishes cannot accede more than seven with only two servings of fruits and sweets.

Loudspeakers and firecrackers can not be used in any government or private program.

Also, giving sweets and dry fruits with invitation cards has been restricted.



 Minister for Railways Dedicates Coaches of Antyodaya Express to the nation

Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inspected the newly turned rake of Antyodaya Express consisting 22 Coaches.

Chairman, Railway Board, Shri A. K. Mital and senior officials were also present on the occasion.

The Minister appreciated the new Antyodaya Rake and dedicated it to the common people of the nation.



CCEA approves 40,000-mw solar park scheme

In a major push for solar power development in the country, a cabinet panel approved increasing the capacity of solar parks and projects from 20,000 MW to 40,000 MW.

"The enhanced capacity would ensure setting up of at least 50 solar parks -- each with a capacity of 500 MW and above in various parts of the country," Power and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal told.

"The capacity of the solar park scheme has been enhanced after considering the demand for additional solar parks from the states," he said.

"The solar Parks and ultra mega solar power projects will be set up by 2019-20 with central government financial support of Rs 8,100 crore," he added.



India, China hold strategic dialogue


China and India today held their upgraded strategic dialogue to shore up bilateral ties amid hectic parleys to resolve differences over Beijing's reluctance to support India's NSG bid as well as a UN ban on JeM chief Masood Azhar.

Just before the dialogue, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar held talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Later, Jaishankar along with China's Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui held the strategic dialogue.



Vijaya Bank, SIDBI ink pact to provide concessional loans to MSEs

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Vijaya Bank for providing concessional finance to micro and small enterprises (MSEs).

The MoU aims at promoting and strengthening units in the MSE segment through concessional funding.

The MoU also envisages joint financing/co-financing of MSMEs for meeting capital expenditure under the ‘SIDBI Make in India Soft Loan Fund for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises’ scheme at concessional rate of 9.60 per cent, along with working capital from Vijaya Bank.

Vijaya Bank

  • Headquarters: Bengaluru
  • Founded: 1931
  • MD and CEO: Kishore Kumar Sansi
  • Tagline: A friend you can bank on


  • Headquarters: Lucknow
  • Founded: 2 April 1990
  • Chairman: Dr. Kshatrapati Shivaji



Bharti Airtel to buy Telenor India

Bharti Airtel, India's largest telecoms network operator, said it would buy Telenor (India) Communications Pvt Ltd, in a deal that will bolster Airtel's footprint with additional spectrum of 43.4 MHzin the 1800 MHz band.

Airtel will buy Telenor's India operations in seven circles - Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh (East), Uttar Pradesh (West) and Assam, the company said in a statement.

Telenor India’s operations and services will continue as normal, until the transaction is completed, the company said.



Centre clears Rs 5,700-crore hydro project to be set up in Nepal

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved Rs 5723.72 crore by state-owned SJVN Limited in the 900-mw Arun-III hydropower project in Nepal, power, coal, renewable energy and mines minister Piyush Goyal said.

Financial closure for the project is expected to be achieved by September this year and it is scheduled to be completed after five years.

The project will offer 21.9% free power to Nepal for 25 years and generate employment of around 3000 persons in India and Nepal.

The project will be carried out by a subsidiary owned by public sector company SJVN.

Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) is a joint venture of centre and Himachal government. Centre holds 64.46 percent shares while Himachal Pradesh holds 25.51 percent shares. 


  • Capital: Kathmandu
  • Currency: Rupee
  • Prime Minister: Pushpa Kamal Dahal
  • President: Bidhya Devi Bhandari



Suman Saxena takes charge as the Whole Time Member of the IBBI

Ms. Suman Saxena took charge as the Whole Time Member, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI).

Ms Saxena will look after Research and Regulation Wing comprising Corporate Insolvency, Corporate Liquidation, Individual Insolvency, Individual Bankruptcy, Research and Publications, Data Management and Dissemination and Advocacy.

She will also look after National Insolvency Programme, Continuing Professional Programme, and Knowledge Management and Partnership.

Ms. Saxena served as a member of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service for over 35 years.

Her last assignment was Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General, where she oversaw three important sectors, namely, defence, communications and railways.

She has also been the Director of National Academy of Audit and Accounts.



Abhijit Sarkar appointed Vice President of Asian Hockey Federation


Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) has appointed Abhijit Sarkar as it’s new Vice Chairman and also the chief of AHF Commercial and TV Committee.

Sarkar, who has been associated with the Sahara India Pariwar since 2004, was appointed on the basis of an Executive Board Meeting held on February 7.



Justice Sapre to head Cauvery Tribunal

Supreme Court sitting judge Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre will head the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT).

According to Ministry of Water Resources, Supreme Court Chief Justice J S Khehar has nominated Justice Sapre as the tribunal chairman on 16 February.

The post was vacant after the resignation of Justice B S Chauhan following his appointment as Law Commission chairman, in March 2016.

Before his elevation to the Supreme Court, Sapre served as chief justice of Guwahati High Court and the High Court of Manipur.

He also served as judge at Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan High Courts.

He was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court and assumed charge on August 13, 2014. He is due to retire on August 27, 2019.

The appointment of Sapre assumes significance since the Supreme Court is set to hear the Cauvery case on a regular basis from March 21.

CWDT was established by centre to resolve Cauvery water dispute.



The president of Azerbaijan picked his wife to be vice president

The president of oil-rich Azerbaijan picked his wife to be the nation's first-ever vice-president.

President Ilham Aliyev, 55, named his wife Mehriban Aliyeva, 52, as vice president after he ordered a referendum last year to create the role and extend his own term from 5 to 7 years.

The resolutions passed in September with more than 90 percent of the votes.


  • Capital: Baku
  • Currency: Manat
  • Prime Minister: Artur Rasizade
  • President: Ilham Aliyev


 Haryana: 42 sportspersons conferred Bhim Awards

42 Haryana sportspersons as the players were given the Bhim Awards for their performances in the year 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-2016 in an award function presided over by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar at Haryana Raj Bhawan.

Khattar and Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki conferred the award to sportspersons.

The players were given a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh, an idol of Bhim, a scroll of honour, a blazer and tie/scarf.

2016 Rio Paralympics silver medallist Deepa Malik was also given the award for the year 2013-14.



India to host Combined World Cup for shooting in 2019

India will be hosting the Combined World Cup for shooting in 2019, a qualifying event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which will further boost the country's profile as a global shooting destination.

The National Rifle Association of India's (NRAI) bid was approved by the International Shooting Sport Federation's Executive Board in its meeting held in New Delhi.

Combined World Cup comprises all the three categories — shotgun, rifle and pistol, and at stake in the 2019 edition will be a number of quota places for the Tokyo Games.



Amarinder Singh's biography 'The People's Maharaja' released

Punjab congress chief Amarinder Singh's biography, 'The People's Maharaja', was released on 21st February.

The authorised biography, authored by Chandigarh-based writer Khushwant Singh, sheds a new light on the sequence of events that led to the 1984 army action at Golden temple in amritsar.

Speaking during a discussion after the launch of the book, Amarinder explained the circumstances under which he had resigned from the Congress over Operation Bluestar in 1984.

He had, however, rejoined the party in 1998.



PM releases the book “Judicial Reforms – Recent Global Trends”

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, released the book “Judicial Reforms – Recent Global Trends” and presented the first copy to President Pranab Mukherjee.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that India has to keep pace with changing technology, and the new, interdependent global order.

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