Major News and Events of 19 March 2016
What Happened on 19 March 2016
Government instructs PSU Banks to Accelerate Recovery Process
Government heavily slashes Post Office Small Savings Schemes
Nehwal and Prannoy reach Semis of $120,000 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton
Cisco commits Investment of $100 over 2 years in India
Defence Minister says Make in India a Priority for Indian Defence
Science and Technology
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu launched Fiber Grid project’s first phase, as a part of Digital India campaign that strives to provide internet connection to all households. During the event in Visakhapatnam, AP government signed Memorandum of Understanding with Cisco. By April 2016, internet connections at affordable rate will be provided in Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, and Visakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh. 15Mbps broadband connection will be available for offices at Rs. 999 per month and for households Rs. 149 per month.
Union government has asked PSU banks to accelerate debt recovery process. A recently circulated Finance Ministry note has asked chiefs of PSU banks to take immediate steps against the guarantors if there are no chances of default loan recovery. Government has advised the PSU banks to consult RBI, use Indian Contract Act, and move Debt Recovery Tribunal for attachment of pledged assets of the guarantor of a default loan holder so that some of the bad debt can be recovered.
Union government has heavily slashed interest rates of multiple small savings schemes, to be effective from April 1, 2016, to June 30, 2016. Interest rates will now be revised after every 3 months. Worst hit schemes are Kisan Vikas Patra (8.7 to 7.8 per cent), 5 years Senior citizens savings scheme (9.3 to 8.6 per cent), Sukanya Samriddhi Account (9.2 to 8.6 per cent), PPF (8.7 to 8.1 per cent), 5 years MIS (8.4 to 7.8 per cent), and others. Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said the rates have been brought down to make them more market aligned.
Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy entered semi-final matches of women’s and men’s singles events respectively of $120,000 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton yesterday. While Saina took 52 minutes to defeat Sayaka Sat of Japan (13-21, 21-15, 21-14), HS Prannoy took almost an hour to defeat Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand (21-18, 22-24, 21-9) match. Saina will now take on China’s Wang Yihan and Prannoy will play against Chinese Taipei’s Tzu Wei Wang in their respective semi final matches.
Cisco, networking behemoth of the US, has pledged investing US $100 million in India over a period of 18 months to 24 months. Reports say US $ 40 million will be invested for training around 250,000 students by the year 2020 and also to fund companies in their early/growth stages. The Cisco announcement, made during presence of Executive Chairman John Chambers, said that rest $60 million will be invested to open 3 centres of expertise and 6 new innovation laboratories.
While speaking at the opening day of Cognizance 2016 (a three-day technical festival at IIT Roorkee), Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that preparedness of Indian military is paramount to the government and for that adequate equipment is required. He emphasised that requirement for equipment will fall into place when Make in India becomes fully functional. He assured that during defence procurement, Make in India vision will be given due priority. Parrikar reminded about Pathankot Air base terror attack and the need to step up defence preparedness.