Current Affairs Current Affairs - 25 December 2017 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 25 December 2017

General Affairs 

Jammu and Kashmir: Army Major, 3 soldiers killed in firing by Pakistan along LoC
  • A major and three Army jawans were martyred on Saturday when Pakistani troops opened fire on an Indian Army patrol along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Keri sector of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir.

    "Major Moharkar Prafulla Ambadas, Lance Naik Gurmail Singh and Sepoy Pargat Singh were grievously injured during the ceasefire violation and succumbed to injuries. Two other personnel also sustained injuries and are under medical treatment," an army spokesperson said.

    "The incident started when Pakistani troops targeted the Army patrol at Brat Galla in Keri sector at around 12:15pm in which the three soldiers were injured fatally," he said.

    Army sources said soon after the attack took place, the Indian side retaliated on the Pakistani posts along the LoC strongly.

    Two other personnel also sustained injuries and are undergoing treatment, the spokesman said.

    Major Ambadas, 32, belonged to Bhandara district in Maharashtra and is survived by wife Avoli Moharkar, while Lance Naik Gurmail Singh, 34, belonged to Amritsar district in Punjab and is survived by wife Kuljit Kaur and a daughter.

    Sepoy Pargat Singh, 30, belonged to Karnal district in Haryana and is survived by wife Ramanpreet Kaur and a son, the Army has informed.

    "Major Ambadas, Lance Naik Gurmail and Sepoy Pargat were brave and sincere soldiers."The nation will always remain indebted to them for their supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty," an Army statement said.

    In the last six months, the Army patrols along the LoC have been asked to take measures to avoid getting caught in ambushes or Border Action Team (BAT) actions by the Pakistani Special Forces.

    A number of BAT attempts have also been foiled by the forces even as the Army has issued clear instructions to the units on the border that they should strike Pakistani posts trying to push terrorists into India or preparing for any ambush against Indian soldiers.

Railways plans to equip all stations with LED lights, save energy
  • In order to minimise its massive expenses on electricity, the Indian Railways plans to equip all railway stations in the country with LED lights by March 2018.

    Till November this year, about 3,500 railway stations have been provided with 100 per cent LED lights and work on the rest will be completed by the March deadline, a senior rail ministry official said.

    According to officials, complete LED lighting will improve the energy saving on Indian Railways and will reduce consumption by about 10 per cent of total energy being utilised for its non-traction uses.

    This will lead to savings of about 240 million units of electricity which will result into saving into Rs 180 crore annually to Railways.

    "Rail ministry is actively working to provide 100 per cent LED lighting for its most of the non-traction energy needs like railway staff colonies, stations, platforms," officials said.

    So far, about 20 lakh LED lights at stations have been replaced across various Zonal Railways.

    A policy directive in this reference has also been formulated and issued by the ministry.

    In 2016-17, 5.5 per cent reduction was achieved in nontraction energy consumption, leading to a 4.1 per cent reduction in energy consumption despite a 1.4 per cent increase in load thus enabling savings of Rs 100 crore.

    An official said, in the current year, a 7 per cent reduction in non-traction energy consumption had already been achieved giving savings of Rs 62 crore.

Railways to get infra-red and laser tech, trains can speed over 100 km safely
  • Winter is here, but a train commuter won't have to fear the fog now. For the first time, the Railways is set to introduce a device that will allow the trains to run at more than 100 km per hour in dense fog without compromising on safety.

    Trials of the device, named 'Trinetra' (third eye), have been completed and authorities have got the nod for installing it in passenger trains.

    The device uses infra-red and laser rays to detect any object on tracks up to a distance of 2 km and display the information on screen fitted inside the locomotive.

    The device can also detect any minor damage or crack in the tracks and thus avert rail accidents. Trinetra has been devised by the mechanical wing of the Railways.

    Railway officials claimed during trial that the device successfully detected the presence of small objects on the track at least 500 metres in advance.

    Similarly, it indicated minor defects in the tracks to the loco pilot and eventually trains could be stopped at a safe distance.

    "The Trinetra device will be useful in averting train collisions, derailment and accidents on unmanned railway crossings. The radar-based system has been found to be accurate in sensing any physical obstruction on the tracks as it can also detect any damage in tracks ahead," said a railway ministry official.

    The ministry began trial of the device last year and sources said its working has already been demonstrated before the Prime Minister's Office.

    It may be noted that the railway ministry has been struggling to develop an effective train accident protection and warning system for over two decades.

    Multiple trials were conducted on these devices but they failed to yield desired results.

    The Trinetra device has been successfully tested in nearly 100 mail and express trains that included New Delhi-Chandigarh Shatabdi Express.

    The introduction of Trinetra also assumes significance in the wake of frequent derailments in recent years. Out of more than 250 accidents since 2015, a majority of them were caused due to damage in tracks or poor visibility.

    Officials said the new devise will prove to be more useful during nights and in foggy conditions when drivers have to constantly look outside the locomotive to assess the condition.

    Railways will be inviting tenders for installation of the device in January. As per the plan, nearly 4,000 trains will be equipped with the device in the first phase.

    The phase-I will be implemented in the northern railway zone that witnesses the maximum train disruption due to fog.

    The devices will be efficient in heavy rains as well, officials claimed. The Railways plans to equip these trains with the Trinetra device before the next winter.

    Procurement of this device is a part of the Railways' efforts to achieve zero-accident target.

    The railway ministry in this year's budget has also created a special safety fund of Rs 100,000 crore for eliminating unmanned level crossings, track renewal, signal upgradation and installation of train collision avoidance system for reducing train accidents.

    The ministry has so far failed to implement indigenously-developed Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS).

Modi diplomacy at work; African nations looking up to India for entrepreneurship tips
  • Call it a victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "skill diplomacy". Nearly eight countries from the African continent are seeking help and guidance from the Union skill ministry to impart entrepreneurship training and create jobs in their respective homelands.

    The move comes at a time when 'dragon' China is drastically expanding its political and economic influence over the continent.

    As recently as late last month, the Indian High Commission in South Africa wrote a letter to the skills ministry for setting up a training institute in its coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal.

    The letter from the deputy high commissioner says, "The proposed skills training institute will be similar to Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in India and will cover training in key skills. It will support infrastructure traits and also give training in hardware, software, machinery, tools and provide teachers and trainers."

    South Africa has offered to provide land at no cost to set up this training hub proposed to be run by Indian experts and entrepreneurs.

    It will be a first of its kind hub to be set up by any foreign country in South Africa.

    "I see this as a great opportunity to engage with African nations and share our knowledge and experience in skills and entrepreneurship," union minister for skill development and entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan told Mail Today.

    "This skill centre initiative in South Africa will be a big push for Indo-African relations," said Pradhan.

    "India and Africa have long historic relations and we're facing similar challenges, including finding suitable employment opportunities for our youth, keeping that in mind, the Indo-African Summit under Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a perfect beginning to strengthen our bilateral ties," the minister said, adding that Modi himself had said that the 'future belongs to India and Africa.'

    Before South Africa's offer, six African countries - Rwanda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Senegal, Tanzania, and Ghana had participated in a knowledge exchange workshop with the skills ministry and National Skill Development Corporation in New Delhi in October, where World Bank South Asia office played a major role in engagement between the two continents.

    The participating African countries had engaged with their Indian counterparts in long deliberations on skills development, training, placements and state of vocational education in India.

    Interestingly, the African delegates also expressed their willingness to visit Maharashtra and Rajasthan, two major players in the field of skill and training.

    Some of the proposed joint initiatives include: recruiting Indian trainers and entrepreneurs to provide skills to African youth and making skills an integral part of school curriculum in African schools, where by 2025, a large demographic of under 27-year-olds will be looking for employment opportunities.

    Rajesh Agarwal, joint secretary at skills ministry said, "With a young population, Africa faces similar challenges to that of India in finding employment opportunities for its youth. They want to learn from India's skill development experience."

    "African nations have shown deep interest in recruiting Indian trainers to train its youth, besides setting up industries to provide jobs," he said.

    According to Agarwal, African countries are also impressed by the private sector's participation in Indian government's skills and training initiative.

    "The PPP (public private partnership) model followed by us is something which the visiting delegation wanted to understand deeply and I see an opportunity in agriculture, manufacturing, IT training and infrastructure sectors, where our trainers can deliver the best to the needs of African countries," he said.

    Highlighting the significance of the cooperation between the two continents, Manish Kumar, managing director and chief executive of NSDC, felt that India's varied experience could be adapted to the benefit of African countries.

    "In our informal discussions with international financial institutions, I was told that Africa will be having a large young population in the age group of 25-29 years and they need to be trained for future jobs," said Kumar.

    "Africa looks up to India model, where lakhs have been trained and placed through private partnership in jobs," he said.

Congress changed position on Aadhaar, claims Arun Jaitley
  • Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has alleged that the previous UPA regime had divergent views on Aadhaar and the Congress-led government changed its position to oppose the legislation after assuming the role of Opposition in Parliament.

    Also, the initial legislation related to Aadhaar during the UPA regime was a "bald" one, Jaitley said.

    The finance minister recalled that Nandan Nilekani gave a "forceful and persuasive" presentation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who decided to go ahead with it, soon after the NDA government came to power.

    However, he said, when the Act was reworked by the present government, "one thing which was clear that the privacy provisions were required".

    "The UPA government had two clear schools of thought. One which was not enthused by Aadhaar at all and therefore raised issues relating to national security. And the other (school of thought) which was pushing it. As a result, (it) was a very bald legislation," said Jaitley.

    He further said that when the present government decided to go ahead with Aadhaar, the UPA, now in Opposition, almost made it clear that they were opposed to this idea.

    On Congress stance on the legislation, Jaitley remarked, "Where do you stand now literally depends upon where you sit in the House."

    Jaitley was speaking at the launch of a book Aadhaar: A Biometric History of Indias 12-Digit Revolution written by Shankkar Aiyar here.

Business Affairs

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries plans to be among world's top 20 companies; enter clean energy biz
  • Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries on Saturday celebrated 40 years of group's existence and 85th birth anniversary of its founder Dhirubhai Ambani. RIL Chairman hinted at making Reliance the leading provider of renewable energy and to take the company among top 20 companies globally. Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who spoke at the gala event, paid tributes to Reliance Industries founder Dhirubhai Ambani.

    "Dhirubhai was not a beneficiary of the wealth which was acquired by many during our independence of 1947. Dhirubhai had no such luxury... he was not the third or fourth or fifth generation businessman He was the first generation, the first generation that grew to be the first. That is the rarity of the man I call Dhirubhai Ambani," Amitabh Bachchan recalled.

    "I believe opportunities did not invite Dhirubhai to his dreams. His dreams invented those opportunities... A phenomenon called Dhirubhai Ambani could have happened only in India." Bachchan said.

    Remembering his father's legacy on company's 40th anniversary Mukesh Ambani said, "It is because of him that Reliance has grown - from 1 employee to over 2,50,000 employees; from initial investment of Rs 1000 to a company of over Rs 6 lakh crore, and from operations in only one city to 28,000 cities and towns, and over four lakh villages in India and across the world."

    "Can Reliance be among the top 20 companies in the world? Yes we can... and yes we will," he said. Ambani said in the coming decades, the world will see a transition from fossil fuels to clean, green and renewable energy sources.

    "Can Reliance become a leading provider of clean and affordable energy to India? Yes we can... and yes we will," he said. Ambani said the world will invent new materials that will revolutionize how we manufacture and produce things and improve the quality of life of every human being.

    The glittering function attended by more than 50,000 staff and families of Reliance Industries Limited and its group companies. The event, which took place at Reliance Corporate Park in Navi Mumbai, was beamed to around 2,00,000 employees and their families live via video conferencing in more than 1000 locations across the country including manufacturing sites, retail stores, Jio Points etc.

    Ambani said, "Today, Reliance is a global leader in energy and materials, where operating safely is an obsession. With Jio and retail where Reliance has established a leadership position in India, we are customer obsessed."
    "As we enter our golden decade, we at Reliance are in a unique position to accomplish what very few companies in the world can even dream of," he said.

    Ambani said the most important lessons he learnt from his father was courage. "Nobody has ever achieved anything big, in business or in any other walks of life, without courage. With courage, with self-belief and the can-do spirit you can overcome any adversity," he said.

    Bachchan recalled that Dhirubhai had sent Anil Ambani to help him financially emerge out of the crisis, which he had politely refused. "The money which Dhirubhai was offering me could have help me come out of the crisis in a jiffy. However, I politely refused his offer and slowly by God's grace started to get work again which helped clear my debts," Bachchan said.

    "Later, when I met him again at an event at his house, he called me and declared in front of his industrialist friends that 'this boy had fallen down but got up on his own. I respect him for that'. These words of his were much more valuable to me than any amount of wealth that he would have given," Bachchan added.

The challenges continue for banking sector in 2017
  • After a dream run in the 2000 decade , the banking industry has been facing one challenges after another. First came the new agile FinTechs with wallets and host of other transaction services that stormed the citadel of banks. And if that was not enough , the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), came out with differentiated  banking license for Payments and Small Finance Banks. The low credit offtake and asset quality deterioration has further added to their woes in the last few years.  

    The year 2017 was like a continuation of many of these development with only silver lining from the new bankruptcy code, that has promised a faster time bound resolution of bad assets. Here go the big trends in 2017 

    i)    Asset Quality Deterioration Continues: The asset quality deterioration continues  with the farm loan waiver in certain states is creating a moral hazard issue.  The RBI , too, is forcing banks to make provisions for stressed assets , which are not strictly NPAs today.

    ii)    Low Credit Offtake : The credit offtake is still low at around 70 per cent. The  public sector banks (PSBs ) are anyway staying away from lending , while private sector banks are selectively  offering refinancing to good corporate.   

    iii)    The new Bankruptcy Code : The biggest change came from the new bankruptcy code that provide for a faster resolution of  stressed assets in a time bound manner. Bankers are hopeful of clearing the stock of bad debts  with some  gains in the books  

    iv)    Fresh Capital via recap bonds :   The PSBs strated of capital  will soon be getting fresh capital through the recap bonds. The banks with surplus deposits post demonetization will subscribe to these bonds issued by govt or government backed institution  and later government will recapitalize the bank with same money.

    v)    Fintech working with banks : The FinTechs , which were considered as a threat to banks , are actually working very closely with banks. There are some which are providing  business leads  and the actually funding is taking place from the banks' balance sheets.

    vi)    New payments and small finance banks : More and more new payments  banks and small finance banks  are launching their  operations.  These banks are catering to a specific segments.  In the longer run , these banks will achieve scale and size.

    vii)    Retail story continues: The retail banking has been a savior for banking industry as the growth is in upwards of 18-20 per cent. In a way , retail banking is compensating for the lower growth on the corporate side. The retail story continues with housing being the largest segment for almost all.  

    viii)    New areas like consumer durable and micro finance ; Some two decades  ago , the retail banking  spread from home loans to  other  unsecured loans in a big way. The new growth segments are now micro loans  and consumer durable financing. Banks are developing these new businesses  for  future growth.    

    ix)    Use of bots  and artificial intelligence - the adoption of AI  and bots is gradually taking place in the banking industry.   Some banks have launched software robotics to  for repetitive call centre jobs.  The adoption of AI  is going to transform many of the segments of banks especially 'sales platform'  and 'customer service.

NCLTs get 4,300 insolvency petitions since inception in May 2016
  • Since the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) was set up 18 months ago, over 4,300 cases have been filed at its various benches for resolution process, according to the Reserve Bank data.

    The insolvency and bankruptcy code came into existence with the enactment of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) in May 2016, replacing the Company Law Board regime.

    "As of November 2017, over 4,300 applications under the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) were filed in the various benches of NCLT," the RBI said in its Financial Stability Report (FSR) released over the weekend.

    Of these, more than 500 applications seeking admission for insolvency proceedings were rejected, dismissed or withdrawn, it added.

    The report said around 470 cases admitted by the NCLT are at various stages of the insolvency process.

    In June this year, the Reserve Bank had asked banks to refer the 12 largest dud accounts totalling about 25 per cent of the gross NPAs of the banking system or worth about Rs 2.5 trillion to the NCLT for resolution. And 11 of them are in NCLT now.

    Later in August, the central bank gave the banks a list of another 28 more large accounts to be resolved by December 13, failing which those accounts would have to be referred to the NCLT by December 31. These accounts constitute another 15 per cent of the system-wide bad loans and of these banks have sent as many as 25 to the NCLT.

    The bad loans in the system have crossed the Rs 10-trillion-mark or 10.2 per cent as of the September quarter from 9.6 per cent a year earlier and the FSR warned that gross NPAs would spike further to 10.8 per cent by March 2018 and to over 11.1 per cent by September 2018.

    "The banking stability indicator shows that the risks remain at an elevated level weighed down by further asset quality deterioration," warned the report.

    Overall, the stressed assets, including restructured loans and dud loans increased to 12.2 per cent during the same period from 12.1 per cent. Gross dud loans at the state-run banks shot by 100 bps to 13.5 per cent while the same for their private sector peers jumped to 3.80 per cent.

    Incidentally, the report said private sector lenders, considered more prudent are the ones reporting the most stress, reported a whopping 40.8 per cent spike in their GNPAs in the September quarter alone, as against 17 per cent by the state-run banks whose lazy banking has been blamed primarily for the mess in the system.

    All the top private sector lenders, including ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and Yes Bank, and even HDFC Bank, have been found to have under-reported bad loans worth tens of thousands of crores in the recent RBI supervision, results of which were recognised over the first two quarters of the fiscal.

    The report said so far in 25 CIRP transactions, NCLTs have approved the resolution plans or liquidation orders, whereas the admission of cases have been set aside by the orders of appellate authorities i.e. NCLAT or the Supreme Court in 25 CIRPs admitted by the adjudicating authority.

Rising NPAs in education loan add to banks stress
  • Education loans too have started bleeding the banking sector with the default in repayment rising to 7.67 per cent of the outstanding amount at March- end, 2017 from 5.7 per cent two years ago.

    As per the data compiled by the Indian Banks Association (IBA), the total outstanding education loan at end of the fiscal 2016-17 was Rs 67,678.5 crore, of which Rs 5,191.72 crore was NPA.

    The government is already struggling to deal with the problem of mounting NPA in the public sector banks and has drawn a mega recapitalisation plan to strengthen them.

    The IBA data revealed that the non-performing asset (NPA) in the segment in percentage of the total loan has been constantly increasing.

    The NPA was 5.7 per cent in 2014-15, which rose to 7.3 per cent in the following fiscal and further to 7.67 per cent in the last financial year.

    The government had earlier modified the IBAs Model Education Loan Scheme with a view to reduce the incidence of NPAs in the segment.

    The changes made in the scheme include extension of repayment period to 15 years and the launch of credit guarantee fund scheme for education loan (CGFEL) for up to Rs 7.5 lakh.

    The CGFEL provides guarantee to the extent of 75 per cent of the defaulted loan.

    As per the IBA data, state-owned Indian Bank accounted for the maximum education sector bad loan, amounting to Rs 671.37 crore as on March 2017. It was followed by the SBI (Rs 538.17 crore) and Punjab National Bank (Rs 478.03 crore).

    Bitcoin mania: Amitabh Bachchan gets over $100 mn top-up; wiped out in days
    • The crazy swings of Bitcoin prices added more than $100 million to megastar Amitabh Bachchan's fortunes within days, but most of it got wiped out even faster - thanks to a small stake in a hitherto unknown firm associated with the web of cryptocurrencies.

      There may be further such fluctuations with the craze for Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies continuing to drive their prices and the regulatory risks remaining a big drag for the prices that saw Bitcoin skyrocketing to near $20,000 just a few days back before plunging back by almost half and then again recovering to $15,000 level.

      While lakhs of Indians are said to have taken a fancy to the Bitcoin and other such virtual currencies, Bachchan is probably the first big name from the country to get associated with this big buzzword -- albeit indirectly and because of a small investment that is at least 3-4 years old.

      The link is a Hyderabad-based company named Stampede Capital, which describes itself as a "research driven global trade house" and a "liquidity provider and market maker" at various exchanges driving "millions of dollars trading volume everyday across the globe in nano seconds".

      In its regulatory filings, the company lists Bachchan as an "individual non-promoter shareholder" with a small stake of 2.38 per cent at the end of last quarter. As per the BSE records, Bachchan figures on the list of shareholders (with 1 per cent or more stake) since at least June 2014, though the quantum he is holding has been changing somewhat.

      As on June 30, 2014, Bachchan held 3.39 per cent in the company which could have been worth around Rs 9 crore at that time (going by the share price around then), while the value of his latest holding is almost half at about Rs 4.7 crore.

      The Bitcoin-driven top-up to Bachchans fortunes comes in the backdrop of Stampede recently listing one of its subsidiaries, Longfin Corp, on the Nasdaq exchange in the US.

      Longfin got listed on Nasdaq last week with a market cap of $370 million, after it sold shares in a public offer at $2.5 apiece. Stampede now owns 37.14 per cent stake in Longfin, by virtue of which Bachchan (with his 2.38 per cent stake in Stampede) becomes an indirect beneficiary in the US- listed firm.

      The stock suddenly saw a huge two-day surge of 2,500 per cent post announcement of an acquisition of Ziddu.com, a website that claims to specialise in providing warehouse coins, powered by the blockchain technology, to importers and exporters of commodities against their warehouse receipts.

      This made Longfin one of the few listed stocks with direct or indirect association with the Bitcoin buzz.

      Longfin acquired the website from Singapore-based entity named Meridian Enterprises Pte Ltd, in which 95 per cent of the equity was owned by Venkat S Meenavalli, the CEO and chairman of Longfin Corp and also main promoter of Stampede.

      Longfin has entered into an asset purchase agreement with Meridian, and with related affiliates collectively represented by Hong Kong-based Galaxy Media Ltd in exchange for 2.5 million restricted Class A common shares of the company -- and here comes another Bachchan link.

      As per the regulatory filings made by Longdin with the US regulator SEC, the distribution of these 2.5 million shares for acquisition of Ziddu.com is like this -- 2.15 million to Meridian, 100,000 shares to Galaxy Media, 125,000 to Amitabh Bachchan and another 125,000 to his son Abhishek Bachchan.

      At the current stock price of $41, Longfin shares of the two Bachchans would be worth about $10.25 million.

      The indirect holding, owing to Stampede stake, would be worth further $30 million going by the current market cap of about $3.4 billion of Longfin. The current market cap is itself nearly 10-times of the listing level.

      An analysis of Longfin share price since its listing shows that it had hit a high of $142.82 each on December 18, when the market cap was over $10 billion.

      At that peak, the value of Longfin shares, which Bachchans got as part of Ziddu.com deal, was over $30 million. Besides, the indirect ownership through Stampede stake was worth about $100 million at the peak valuation.

      On the other hand, all these holdings were just worth about $1 million before the listing, taking into account the $2.5 apiece public offer price proposed by Longfin. Now, the direct and indirect holdings are worth an estimated $40 million -- still over $100 million below the peak.

      Stampede also has been seeing a sharp rally in its share price back home at the BSE with a surge of about 50 per cent in the past one month, but its stock still remains far below the yearly peak of over Rs 30. The stock is currently trading at Rs 8.71 each after hitting upper circuit on Friday and commands a market cap of Rs 200 crore. It was $100 million (over Rs 600 crore) when Longfin filed for US listing.

      Incidentally, the public offer documents in March this year did not mention anything about Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies and Longfin described itself at that time as "an independent financial technology company" specialising in trade commodity solutions. It said Longfin was a newly established company and Stampede was incorporated in 2010.

      It also said "LongFin has had minimal net income (approximately $5,000) with only one month operating history, and the revenues generated since its inception till end of February 2017 of approximately $300,000".

      As per the BSE records, Stampede had revenue of Rs 10.22 crore in last fiscal and profit of Rs 0.03 crore.

      Before the IPO, Stampede held 55 per cent stake in Longfin and the remaining 45 per cent was with the CEO Meenavalli.

    General Awareness

    National Highways Investment Promotion Cell (NHIPC)

    • Context:

      The National Highways Authority of India has created a National Highways Investment Promotion Cell (NHIPC) for attracting domestic and foreign investment for highways projects.

      About NHIPC:

      The cell will focus on engaging with global institution investors, construction companies, developers and fund managers for building investor participation in road infrastructure projects.

      The NHIPC will be working in close co-ordination with various connected Ministries and Departments of Government of India, State Governments, Apex Business Chambers like CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, and InvestIndia etc. NHIPC will also work in close co-ordination with Foreign Embassies and Missions in India and Indian Embassies and Missions situated in foreign countries.

      Background:

      The Government has set an ambitious target of construction of 35,000 km. of National Highways in the next five years involving an investment of Rs. 5,35,000/- crores under ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’. Given the scale of investment required, both foreign and domestic investment from public and private sector is pivotal.

      About NHAI:

      The National Highways Authority of India was constituted by an act of Parliament, the National Highways Authority of India Act,1988. It is responsible for the development, maintenance and management of National Highways entrusted to it and for matters connected or incidental thereto. The Authority was operationalised in Feb, 1995.

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