Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lt Gen Bikram Singh is next Army Chief

Eastern Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh, will be the next Chief of Army Staff. He will head the 1.3-million strong Indian Army succeeding General Vijay Kumar Singh, who retires from service on May 31, 2012.
The Defence Ministry announced the Army Chief-designate on Saturday almost three months ahead of schedule as against the normal practice of 60 days. The move could be seen to remove uncertainty following a rash of speculative reports that Gen. Singh could put in his papers early which could alter succession plan.
It came a day after the current Army Chief told an English news weekly that he was not going to resign. A section of media speculated that Gen. V.K. Singh would resign after the Supreme Court disposed of his petition last month on the year of birth controversy.
Gen. Bikram Singh was commissioned into the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment on March 31, 1972 and during the last four decades, served in a variety of Command and Staff appointments.Besides having commanded a Corps in the Northern Command, he has served as Deputy Force Commander of multi-nation UN Peace Keeping Mission in Congo. He had also served as UN Observer in Nicaragua and El Salvador during early 1990s.

LIC ploughs in more than Rs.12,000 crore

After a day of confusion, supposedly owing to technical glitches, and state-owned insurer Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) coming to rescue the 5 per cent stake sale of ONGC through the auction route, the government on Friday announced that it had received an average price of Rs.303.67 for a share of the oil major, which is 4.71 per cent higher than the reserve price, to mop up a total of Rs.12,766.75 crore.

Official sources confirm that LIC ploughed in more than Rs.12,000 crore to purchase 95 per cent of the ONGC's equity stake on offer. The state insurer purchased 40 crore shares, ostensibly owing to the fact that there was no participation from FIIs and also retail investors, who were looking for a discount on the market price of ONGC scrips

World Marketing Summit (WMS) 2012

World Marketing Summit (WMS) 2012, started on 1st march in Dhaka.

Japan finishes world’s tallest communication tower

Construction of the Tokyo Sky Tree, the world’s largest self supporting communication tower, finished. Construction of the 634 meter tower began in July 2008.

India- Sri Lanka economic relation

The growing economic engagement between the two countries is underpinned by strong trade and investment flows. The two-way trade has zoomed from $500 million in 1999 to over $4 billion in 2011. India’s investments into Sri Lanka too are on the rise. The cumulative investment, which was $24 million in 2000, exceeded $600 million in 2011.
India is also involved in big way in the post-war reconstruction in Sri Lanka. The projects that India is involved include: Renovation of Palaly Airport and Kankesanthurai Harbour, construction of a Cultural Centre in Jaffna, interconnection of electricity grids between the two countries, construction of a 150-bed hospital at Dickoya, and setting up a coal power plant in Sampur as a joint venture between National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and the Ceylon electricity Board.

Health outlay to be hiked to 2.5% of GDP

The health outlay will be raised to 2.5 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of 12th Five Year Plan (2017). This was decided at the meeting called by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). At present allocation for health is around 1.4 per cent.
Action plan:
  •          Induction of health managers, creation of Public Health Cadre in the 12th Plan.
  •          National Commission on Human Resources in Health (NCHRH) Bill to be passed early to produce adequate number of doctors, nurses, ANMs and other paramedics.
  •          Merger of the all National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) schemes in 2012-13 and to be completed by 2013-14.  
  •          Operationalisation of the Clinical Establishments Act, 2010, passed by Parliament.
  •          Work on establishment of the National Center for Disease Control may be completed in two years.

Iraq urges India to raise exports

Calling for a balanced bilateral trade, the visiting Iraqi Trade Minister, Mr. Khairullah Hasan Babakir urged India  to increase export to the country. The bilateral trade is worth $10 billion but 90 per cent is import of crude oil from Iraq and not from the products coming from India to Iraq. The trade between the two countries has increased from $5.7 billion in 2006-07 to $9.7 billion in 2010-11.

Vinod Rai to head Asian audit body

India, took over the chair of the governing board of Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI), which is the largest regional organization of Government auditors. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, Mr. Vinod Rai, is now the chairman of this 45 nation strong Asian organization of the Institution of the Accountants General.

India’s exports to EU rise 24 % in April-December, defying slowdown

Contrary to perceptions of a major slowdown, India’s merchandise export to the European Union (EU) are rising at a robust rate. Latest provisional data shows that shipments during April-December 2011 to that region rose 24 % to $38.5 billion from around $31 billion during the corresponding previous period.

At 6.1 %, economic growth hits 3-year low

The Indian economy grew at the slowest annual pace in almost three years in the October – December quarter at 6.1 per cent.

India, China for maritime cooperation

India and China have decided to open a new chapter in bilateral cooperation by agreeing to undertake joint operations against pirates and sharing technological knowhow on seabed research. The maritime cooperation proposals were made by visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and welcomed by his counterpart S.M Krishna during an extensive round of talk at New Delhi. 

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