1.Singapore firm wins bid to buy India’s longest road tunnel
Singapore-based infrastructure investment platform Cube Highways has won the bid to acquire India’s longest road tunnel – the 9.2-km Chenani-Nashri project in Jammu & Kashmir – for Rs 3,929 crore.The IL&FS board has declared Cube as the highest bidder (H1), and invited lenders to vote for the sale through the e-voting process.
The tunnel project has a debt of around Rs 5,454 crore and a sale of the asset will help bring down the overall debt position of the company.
Cube Highways, a platform floated by I Squared Capital and backed by International Finance Corp and ADIA, operates 1,700 km of highways in India.
In October 2019, The government has renamed Chenani-Nashri tunnel on national highway 44 in Jammu & Kashmir as Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Tunnel.
2.PM flags off Kashi Mahakal Express
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the latest religion-themed train, the Kashi Mahakal Express that connects, for the first time, places related to three jyotirlingas- Omkareshwar near Indore, Mahakaleshwar in Ujjain, and Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi.Railway PSU Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will be running this as the third “corporate” train after two Tejas Express trains.
The train will cover 1131 km between Varanasi and Indore via Lucknow and a distance of 1102 km between Varanasi and Indore via Prayagraj (Allahabad) in approximately 19 hours.
The overnight train is also IRCTC’s first overnight, long-distance train to run on a regular basis.
This Lord Shiva-themed train will be followed by a Ramayan-themed train to be launched next month from across India.
The Ramayana Express will touch places related to the mythology of Ram, including Ayodhya.
3.South Central Railways (SCR) zone becomes 1st in India to have energy-neutral stations
The Indian Railways South Central Railways (SCR) zone has become the first zonal railway in the country to have functional “energy neutral” railway stations on the network.The South Central Railways has converted a total of 13 railway stations into “energy neutral” stations, which is the highest amongst all the zones across the Indian Railways network.
Energy-neutral railway stations are capable of meeting 100 per cent energy requirements by tapping into solar power through solar photovoltaic panels which have been commissioned at the station buildings.
The SCR zone, the total capacity of all the solar panels installed at the 13 energy neutral stations is 99 kWp.
4.Hyderabad hosts 3-day ‘BioAsia 2020’
Hyderabad is hosting the three-day BioAsia 2020, Asia’s largest biotechnology and life sciences forum.The event themed ‘Today for Tomorrow’ will witness as many as 2,000 delegates from 37 countries.Switzerland will be the partner country at the event this year.
An eminent 40-member team consisting of industries, academia and start-ups from Switzerland will participate in the event.
As many as 800 companies are set to take part in BioAisa 2020.
5.‘Pyaar ka Paudha’ campaign launched by Bihar govt to encourage practice of planting trees
‘Pyaar ka Paudha’ (a plant of love) campaign has been launched by the Bihar government’s Department of Environment and Forest in Patna, to encourage the practice of planting trees in the state.Department of Environment, humbly request you to gift one plant of love to your closed ones and provide good care.
The aim of this campaign is to promote the practice of planting trees in the state.
6.HAL to provide IAF with 83 Tejas fighters in Rs 39,000 crore deal
With the overall cost of IAF acquiring 83 single-engine Tejas fighters and their support package from defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) being slashed from the earlier around Rs 56,500 crore to Rs 39,000 crore.The over Rs 17,000 crore reduction in overall cost has come after hard-nosed negotiations spread over a year.
The defence ministry and IAF were initially shocked at the “exorbitant price” being demanded by HAL to produce the 83 Tejas Mark-1A jets along with the maintenance and infrastructure package.
HAL promises to begin deliveries of the Mark-1A jets in three years.
It was in November 2016 that the Defence Acquisitions Council had first approved the procurement of 83 Tejas jets at a cost of Rs 49,797 crore.
But HAL had responded with a quote of around Rs 56,500 crore, which led to protracted cost negotiations.
7.Vinay Dube appointed as GoAir CEO
GoAir has appointed Vinay Dube as the airline’s Chief Executive Officer.Till now, Dube was serving as an advisor to the carrier, a role which he took up after quitting the defunct Jet Airways in May last year.
Dube would be responsible for the management of the airline and also for meeting the goals and long-term growth objectives of the company.
The budget airline did not have a CEO since the departure of Cornelis Vrieswijk in March last year.
8.SEBI constitutes municipal bonds development committee
SEBI has constituted a committee which will suggest on policy matters pertaining to development of municipal debt securities and facilitate municipalities for issuance of such bonds.The regulator has constituted a municipal bonds development committee headed by its Executive Director Sujit Prasad.
The panel will advise Sebi on issues related to regulation and development of primary and secondary market of municipal debt securities.
It will suggest the regulator on matters required to be taken up for changes in legal framework to introduce simplification and transparency in systems and procedures in the primary and secondary market.
9.Haryana govt announces Rs six crore to those winning gold medals at Olympics
The Haryana government has decided to give 6 crore rupees to players of the state that bag gold medals at the Olympic Games.State Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said, 3 crore rupees will be given to those winning gold medals at Asian Games and 1.5 crore rupees to the winners of yellow metal at Commonwealth Games.
An amount of 15 lakh rupees will be given to each player participating in the Olympic Games so that the players can make the state, as well as the country, proud.
10.Indian athletes clinch 3 medals in World SnowShoe Championship
Indian athletes finished with three medals in different categories in the World SnowShoe Championship at Myoko, Japan.Ayan Bin Shahnaz bagged silver, while Zain Ali and Muzamil Hussain Mir, all are from Kashmir, bagged bronze medals in their respective categories.
Athletes from 17 countries including the USA, Canada, Australia, Italy, Germany, Spain, Sweden and France participated in the championship.
The Indian contingent was fielded by the SnowShoe Federation of India.