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Kejriwal Government Announces Free Water and Power Tariff Cut by 50 Percent

Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi has started keeping poll promises by announcing 20,000 litres of water every month to each household and slashing of tariff rate by 50 percent on up to 400 units of power consumption. Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, made the announcement yesterday. During the press conference Sisodia said that the free water promise will start from March 1, 2015 and households getting free water don’t have to shell out sewer charges. Sources reveal that implementation of these key issues were taken during a cabinet meeting, chaired by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

India to Resume Talks with Pakistan on March 3

With Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar starting his “South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Yatra Initiative” on March 1 by visiting Bhutan followed by Bangladesh, his third stopover will be Pakistan. Jaishankar will visit Islamabad on March 3. Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson of ministry of external affairs, told media that Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar will discuss issues that were discussed during Kathmandu’s SAARC Summit. Foreign affairs analysts welcomed India’s move of resuming talks with Pakistan as the former scrapped foreign secretary-level discussions with the latter back in August 2014 after Abdul Basit, Pakistan High Commissioner, met separatist leaders of Kashmir just before the bilateral talks. Syed Akbaruddin told media that Jaishankar will talk to Pakistan on premises of Simla Agreement.

Last Minute Hurdle to PDP-BJP Alliance Ironed Out after Late Night Discussion; Government to Swear-in on March 1

Sources claim that alliance between BJP and PDP almost came to an end yesterday after saffron party insiders panicked on severe compromise of core ideological issues in the zeal of forging alliance with PDP. However, the last-minute differences were ironed out yesterday itself after long session of discussions between the senior leaders of both parties. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, PDP patron, will meet Indian PM Narendra Modi tomorrow and is expected to formally invite NaMo to be present at the swearing in ceremony, scheduled to be held on March 1 (Sunday).

15,000 MW Solar Power Projects Cleared by Union Government

The Union government has given go-ahead to setting up of 15,000 MW solar power projects, available reports say. It is learnt that grid-connected solar power projects will be done through NTPC and NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd., a subsidiary of NTPC. Available reports say that the project will be implemented in three phases - 3,000 MW in the 1st phase, 5,000 MW in the 2nd, and 7,000 MW in the final phase. In the last five trading days, NTPC stock has risen from 145.00 at 10.30am of February 20 to 148.05 at 2.18 pm IST today.  

Ajay Singh-Led SpiceJet Intends to Clear Statutory Dues to Avoid Rerun of Kingfisher Story

Ajay Singh told media, a day after he got all the Spicejet stocks held by Sun Group’s Kalanithi Maran by paying Rs. 400 crore, that he doesn’t want a rerun on  Kingfisher Airlines story and that’s why intend to clear the statutory dues first, thereby increasing credibility of Spicejet’s new management. He categorically mentioned that the new management has prioritized paying employees’ salaries and service taxes. In the last five trading days, stock of SpiceJet Limited has increased from a low of 22.60 (as on 10.30am of February 20) to 24.70 (at 1.30pm of February 26).

Suresh Prabhu Presents Railway Budget 2015

Suresh Prabhu, Union Railways Minister, placed Railway Budget 2015 today and started his speech by saying "everything can't be done in a year". Prabhu’s budget didn't increase passenger fare, ruled out privatisation of Railways, made change in freight rates (on carriage of petroleum products, steel/iron, coke and coal, and cement) to increase income of the national carrier, and didn’t introduce any new train by referring to the on-going review of capacity to add more trains. Union Railways Minister stressed upon improving passenger safety and amenities, heavy routes’ decongestion, increasing speed of trains, and mobilisation of resource to increase investment. Planned outlay has been increased to Rs. 1.1 trillion, a rise of 52 per cent.

India Focuses on Development of 26 Satellites Indigenously

Government of India has released statement that India is currently stressing on development of satellites indigenously. The release said that during twelfth five-year plan (from 2012 to 2017) the country wants to develop twenty six satellites indigenously. The release also mentioned that India currently has 27 operational satellites among which one is Mars Orbiter Mission, twelve are Earth Observation Satellites, eleven Communication Satellites, and three Navigational Satellites. Ministry of Personnel, PG & Pensions’ MoS Jitendra Singh informed that India has launched 24 satellites from January 2012 to February 2015 and a new one will be launched in March 2015.

Space Technology Cooperation Likely Between India and UAE

Officials of India and UAE are in talks on taking their already strong bilateral relations to the next level by cooperating in field of space. Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology has issued statement that Director General Yousuf Al Shaibani has led a team of top executives and met a team led by Consul General of India in Dubai, Anurag Bhushan. It is learnt that the main discussion revolved around possible cooperation in matters of space and related technologies between Indian Space Research Organisation and EIAST.

IDC Report Points Out Contraction of Mobile Market in India during Q3 2014-15

Report published by IDC shows that smartphone market contracted by 4 per cent during 3rd quarter 2014-15 in relation to corresponding period last year. In terms of mobile phone shipment from India, the growth rate has come down to 64.3 million units during Q3 that is equivalent to a fall of 11 per cent on a quarter-on-quarter basis. The growth rate has come down by 5 per cent annually. The worst sufferer during Q3 is the feature phone market, which fell by 14 per cent in relation to Q2 2014-15.     

Team India Prepares to take on Minnow UAE on Saturday; Pacer Shami Injured

As jubilant Indian cricket team, after two straight wins against the arch rival Pakistan and mighty Proteas, prepares to face minnow UAE in their Pool B match on February 28 at Perth’s W.A.C.A. Ground, captain cool Mahendra Singh Dhoni was seen spending relaxed time with his deputy Virat Kohli and one of his strike bowlers Mohammad Shami in order to strengthen bond with teammates. However, Shami has reportedly picked up injury during the training session yesterday. Sources reveal that the bowler visited radiology and X-ray centre, accompanied by Nitin Patel (team India’s physio) and an ICC official.

Albie Morkel praises India's Grand Win over South Africa

While talking to media, South African all rounder Albie Morkel said that India on their days have the capability of defeating any side, no matter how mighty it might be. He was referring to the grand win of India over South Africa just a couple of days back. However, he quickly added that he believes the Proteas will bounce back soon. Albie Morkel regarded “Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India” as his four favourite teams. He added that senior players of India always lead from the front in major games, a major strength of Team India.

Barry Richards Praises Virat But Stops Short Of Comparing Him with Sachin

Barry Richards, the iconic South African batsman, has called Virat Kohli as the best batsman of Indian cricket team. However, he stopped short of comparing Kohli’s batting skills with that of Sachin Tendulkar. Barry said that Virat still has to walk some more distance to even being considered for comparing with the maestro Sachin. However, Barry Richards counted Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers among the best batsmen in the world currently. When asked about rating Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane beside Kohli, Barry out rightly negated the possibility of any possible comparison.

Rahul to be Promoted as Congress President Coming April

After senior INC leader Kamal Nath, during an interview, urged Rahul Gandhi to take full control of the party, political corridors of Delhi are rife with speculation of the imminent promotion of the current vice-president of Congress. Sources reveal that 44-year old Rahul is all set to replace Sonia Gandhi, the current President of the party, coming April 2015, during a session of All India Congress Committee. Sonia Gandhi is believed to step down from President’s position during the upcoming session and hand over the mantle to her son, fourth generation of Nehru-Gandhi family.    

9 States Lose Central Revenue Share from 14th Finance Commission's Recommendation

As most Indian states celebrate Narendra Modi government’s approval to 14th Finance Commission’s recommendation of increasing states’ share of revenue earned from central taxes from 32 per cent to 42 per cent, 9 states (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, and Andhra Pradesh including Telangana) stand to lose. Commission said that inclusion of new forest cover criterion has depleted share of these states. While per-se share of UP has come down from 19.677 per cent to 17.959 per cent, Bihar's share has decreased from 10.917 per cent to 9.665 per cent.   



Mobile Number Portability Across India Now Possible from 3 May 2015

TRAI, telecommunication regulator, has widened scope of Mobile Number Portability after amending the regulation on it. It is learnt that mobile subscribers can change service providers anywhere in India without the need to change phone number from 3 May 2015. TRAI issued statement that 6th amendment of Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Regulation, 2009 has been done for country-wide Mobile Number Portability. Earlier, consumers were restricted to MNP within telecom circles, most commonly states, only.