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KTR Son Helps Revanth Reddy Enter Assembly March 27, 2017 18:47

Legislator of the Telugu Desam Party from Telangana, A Revanth Reddy, was suspended, last week, from the assembly for the entire budget session. The Legislator had not been allowed even into the lobbies and the assembly premises. Revanth could not gain entry into the premises, as he was held back at the gate by the marshals saying he had no permission. However, the legislator, much to the surprise of media persons and other legislators, managed to enter the lobbies of the assembly. Telangana Rashtra Samithi MP from Peddapalli, Balka Suman, was the first to have spotted Revanth Reddy, in the assembly lobbies. Suman was surprised and asked as to who had permitted him inside. Revanth replied that he could enter the assembly lobbies because of Kalwakuntla Himanshu, son of minister K T Rama Rao and a grandson of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. Revanth said, “Himanshu came to know about my suspension and my attempts to enter the lobbies and recommended to his grandfather about my entry.” Surprisingly, KCR compelled his grandson’s request and allowed me into the lobbies. “What the fellow legislators could not do was done by the chief minister’s grandson,” added Revanth Reddy. At the same time, evoking laughter from the TRS leaders, the Telangana TDP leader said if the TRS had Himanshu on their side to help others, the TDP had “Devansh” (grandson of AP chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu) on their side. Revanth Reddy is also the deputy floor leader of Telangana Telugu Desam Legislative Party, and working president of Telangana TDP. By Supraja

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Flydubai Signs Agreement With IIIT-Hyderabad March 27, 2017 18:39

Dubai-based government-owned low-cost airline, Flydubai today has signed an agreement with International Institute of Information and Technology (IIIT)-Hyderabad. The agreement was signed to set up its aviation co-innovation lab at the institute here, in Hyderabad. The deal was signed between flydubai's Chief Information Officer, Ramesh Venkat and IIIT-Hyderabad's Director, P J Narayanan. Under the terms of the contract, domain experts and engineers of flydubai would work together with faculty and researchers of IIIT-Hyderabad. According to a joint statement, the latter (IIIT) will provide deep technology inputs in the areas of data mining and extraction, natural language processing, machine learning and artificial intelligence.   India Grabs Third Position In Aviation Market By Supraja

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India Grabs Third Position In Aviation Market March 27, 2017 18:28

As per the reports of the Sydney-based Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), India, has secured the third position in the aviation market globally, in terms of domestic air passenger traffic. In 2016, domestic, passenger traffic, of India stood at 100 million, whereas Japan’s was 97 million. US, with 719 million and China, with 436 million, are the two only nations ahead of India in this aviation sector. Currently, India is in the fourth position, in terms of overall air passenger traffic (both domestic and international), according to CAPA. Moreover, India is expected to become the third largest one by March 2018. Head of CAPA, India, said, “the country will become the third largest market, in two-three years, of what was projected.” This is because the growth has been much higher. “We will remain in this position for a very long time because it will not be easy to surpass China and the US, till we reach, the third spot for both domestic and international air travel ahead of the projected period, said the Head of CAPA. By Supraja

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Kudgi Power Project To Ease Bengaluru Power Woes March 27, 2017 18:24

The first 800 MW unit of Kudgi super-critical thermal power project in Vijayapura district, in the state of Karnataka in India, is likely to go on stream. Kudgi Super Thermal Power Plant, is one of the coal based power plants of National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC). The Power supply position of Bengaluru, is expected to change in the first week of May. NTPC, Executive Director, Harbans Singh, said, “We will start commercial operations in the first week of May.” The NTPC commissioned the unit in December. Through this power project, Bengaluru will get about 400 MW of power in a season. Bengaluru witnesses peak power demand from agriculture, industrial and commercial consumers owing to increase in temperature. The State accounts for one third of Karnataka’s current requirement of about 10,000 MW of power. Also, the State, in terms of energy, requires about 220 million units (MUs) per day. At 400 MW, this will translate to about 8 MUs, per day, bringing some relief. Any advancements in power supply, in Bengaluru, will benefit ITITEs and BPO companies as well as the manufacturing sector. These companies, in turn, draw power from their diesel generating units at higher costs, in times of supply disruptions. If Bangalore Electricity supply company Limited (BESCOM), is able to ensure reliable power supply, its own revenues will improve. This is because, the IT and manufacturing firms will pay higher tariffs. Harbans Singh, further said, that, NTPC over the next seven months, will strengthen Karnataka's power position by launching two more units of 800 MW capacity. The PSU giant has already synchronized unit 2 to the grid, and the third is expected to be synchronized next month. Commercial operations of unit 2 will be started by August, and unit 3 by October, Singh added. The power project will not only support its home state of Karnataka, but also Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Pondi cherry and Kerala. The rest of the power is shared by other states, with Karnataka, generating half of the power. The cost of generation at the project could be Rs 5.50 per unit, according to NTPC officials. This is, however, expected to come down by a bit with progressive rise in the plant load factor (PLF). The increase in power availability cannot, however, guarantee few disruptions in Bengaluru. The reason behind this could be, because the 11 kV lines require better maintenance, say engineers associated with handling distribution. Additionally, there are  transmission constraints in eastern parts (Hoody, Kadugodi, ITI, and Kachamaranahalli), and southern parts (Mylasandra and Jigani) in the city.The Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) engineers have already taken various system augmentation plans which will improve conditions very soon. It will take at least a year to commission it, as these are large infrastructure projects involving huge investments, says sources. By Supraja

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Walmart To Open 50 New Stores In India March 27, 2017 17:32

US-based multinational retailing corporation Walmart, has announced its plans to open around 50 new stores in India. The 50 new stores will be opened, across the country, over the next three-to-four years. Majority of the stores will be located in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The retailer, which currently, has around 20 Walmart stores in India, is planning to ramp up operations in the cash-and-carry segment. Besides Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh , there would be 10 new stores each in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Apart from two new stores in Lucknow, Walmart will open new stores in Ghaziabad, Noida, Kanpur, Allahabad, Haridwar, Dehradun and Haldwani. The opening of new stores in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand will subsequently result into 40,000 jobs, in these two states. The stores provide direct and indirect employment to 2,000-2,500 persons each. Metro AG (Metro Group) and Reliance may give a little competition to Walmart, in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand operating in the cash-and-carry format. Cash-and-carry stores are wholesale outlets, which are only allowed to sell to retailers, canteens and hotels. A Walmart India spokesperson, quoted saying, “Our commitment to the country is very deep and we are growing our footprints in India further by opening 50 more cash-and-carry stores in the next few years across key focus states, including AP, Telangana, UP, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Maharashtra etc.” “Our development team is growing this store pipeline for the last couple of years and we are confident of continuing our contribution to the creation of thousands of skilled jobs, helpings Kiranas, farmers and Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) suppliers succeed through our cash and carry business”, added the spokesperson. Walmart has by far, developed hubs, which are its focus areas. For instance, Punjab, Haryana, UP and Uttarakhand comprise the northern cluster, the second one includes Andhra and Telangana with the third one in Maharashtra. The company, is, however, awaiting clarity on the food retail guidelines as it does not want to limit itself to domestically produced and manufactured food products. By Supraja

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Opposition Urges PM Modi To Remove Shivraj Singh Chouhan As MP CM March 27, 2017 17:20

The Opposition Leader in Madhya Pradesh Assembly Ajay Singh, has written to Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi, urging him to remove Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan from his post. The recently released Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report has made scathing observations over the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) scam. The scam was perpetrated during Mr Chouhan's tenure. The scam pertains to alleged irregularities in job recruitment and admissions by the state professional Examination Board, known by its Hindi name Vyapam. The CAG has passed constraints against the Madhya Pradesh government for systematic subversion of rules. Nearly, 53 persons died and 55 FIRs were registered in connection with the scam, alleged Ajay Singh. About 2,500 persons were facing investigation by various agencies, including the CBI. Now, CAG has highlighted irregularities in it, said Singh. Besides all this, 2,100 individuals were arrested in connection of this massive admission and recruitment racket. “When Vyapam scam occurred, Shivraj Singh was in charge of the state’s medical education department,” said Ajay Singh. Ajay Singh said, “The CM himself has admitted to the irregularities in 1,378 appointments made through Vyapam.” Furthermore, the Leader of the Opposition, said, “Surprisingly, no investigating agencies have asked the Chief Minister, about the details of the scam.” “When former Prime Minister, Mr. Manmohan Singh can be summoned on grounds of being in charge of coal ministry, why a chief minister cannot be examined.” stated Ajay Singh. Ajay Singh even stated, that earlier two chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh - Uma Bharti and Babulal Gaur were removed from their post, by the top BJP leadership, when charges were not even related to corruption. Then, “Why now BJP’s top leadership is having its soft corner on Chouhan?” he further questioned. By Supraja

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Aadhar Cannot Be Made Mandatory For Welfare Schemes, Says SC March 27, 2017 17:07

The Supreme Court, today, said that the Aadhar cards cannot be made mandatory by the Government and its agencies for availing benefits of Central Welfare Schemes. The bench comprised of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul. However, the government and its agencies cannot be stopped from linking the 12-digit identification number to the opening of bank accounts, or filing of tax returns, said the Apex Court. The Government, recently, made it compulsory for the citizens to produce their Aadhar number for benefits nearly three dozen central schemes including free midday meals for schoolchildren. Aadhar was also made mandatory for scholarships, and other schemes for backward castes and the disabled. Aadhar cards are also compulsory for subsidized cooking gas and food grains. Further, the Center has indicated that PAN cards, if not linked with Aadhar, could be invalidated by the end of the year. The Government, has even said, that it will enable to get their biometric identity documents by June 30. The Court also said that, a seven-judge bench needs to be set up to hear the pleas challenging Aadhaar, but that is not possible at this time. Last week, Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, had said the Aadhaar card may become the only identity card in future. It will be mandatory for filing of Income Tax returns to curb tax evasion and frauds. Aadhaar may become the only card required to identify a person, replacing all other types of identity cards such as Voter ID and Permanent Account Numbers (PAN cards), said Jaitley. The Government has also said that the Aadhaar card is a must for anyone seeking to obtain or renew a driver's license, a new telephone number as well as for existing connections. Senior advocate Shyam Divan, alleged that the Central government is not following the various orders passed by the apex court. The usage of Aadhaar would be voluntary and not mandatory, added Shyam. The apex court on August 11, 2015 had said that Aadhaar card, would not be mandatory for availing benefits of government welfare schemes and barred the authorities from sharing personal biometric data collected for enrollment under the scheme. The apex court on October 15, 2015, lifted its earlier restrictions and permitted the voluntary use of Aadhaar cards for welfare schemes like MGNREGA. It also includes all pension schemes, the provident fund and flagship programs like the 'Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna' of the NDA government. These were in addition to LPG and PDS schemes, for which the court had allowed the voluntary use of these cards. Furthermore, the critics have alleged that the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), is getting biometric details through private agencies, which violated citizen’s fundamental rights. UIDAI, primarily runs the Aadhaar scheme. By Supraja

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Hatsun Agro Products Plans To Expand In Maharashtra March 27, 2017 15:45

Chennai-based and Country’s fifth largest ice cream maker, Hatsun Agro Products, has unveiled its plans to expand in Maharashtra. The company is in the process of investing about Rs 240 crore, to set up two greenfield projects and an additional Rs 160 crore, for the expansion of its facilities. Hatsun, which started as an ice cream company, later expanded into milk and other dairy products. Hatsun Agro, currently retails a majority of its wares in four states, i.e. Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. According to the plan, the owners of popular brands such as Arun ice creams, Arokya milk, Ibaco ice cream and Hatsun curd, will be investing 110 crore in marketing, 25 crore for expanding its cattle feed plant and 25 crore for the manufacture of dairy ingredients. Hatsun, now plans to expand in the State by selling milk, under its Arokya brand more widely, starting with Southern Maharashtra.The firm is also looking at retailing its oldest brand – Arun ice creams–and Hatsun curd in the state. Hatsun Chairman and Managing Director, R.G. Chandramogan, said, “The company is looking for a greenfield project, a farm, in Maharashtra.” “If anyone is available for takeover there, we may look at it.” “When we buy a company, we prefer buying a company of a smaller size where restructuring can be done according to our requirements so we can modify the procurement system, the distribution model and advertising,” said Mr. Chandramogan. Hatsun, began selling its Arokya milk in Andhra-Telangana in a similar fashion, i.e. by acquiring a dairy farm. Arokya Milk, accounts for 60% of the company’s revenue. During the October-December quarter, it has earned Rs 946.81 in revenue, a 13.98% increase from the same period a year ago. According to research firm Euromonitor, Arokya, holds 1.8% market share in India’s organized milk industry, in 2016. India’s milk industry is dominated by co-operatives like Amul, Karnataka Cooperative Milk Producers Federation Limited and Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers Federation Limited. Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable Pvt Limited, the only private firm among the top five milk companies, also started as a subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board. Hatsun ranks fifth in terms of market share when it comes to ice creams. The firm holds a 4.6% share of the market, which is also led by Amul followed by Hindustan Unilever Limited’s Kwality Wall’s, Mother Dairy and Vadilal Industries Limited. Hatsun’s ice cream brand, Arun, and its ice cream parlor brand, Ibaco, together account for roughly 9% of the revenue. Arun is an open-market brand that is sold in 16,000 retail outlets. The firm, currently operates 117 Ibaco outlets in the four states mentioned earlier and also in Kerala. Over the next two years, Arun Ice cream plans to take Ibaco to Maharashtra and other western markets. The company also has its own Hatsun Daily retail outlets, which sells all its brands. It currently has 1,200 outlets and is adding another 1,800 outlets in a phased manner over the next 15 months. By Supraja

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Telangana Govt To Come Up With Helipads In State March 27, 2017 15:02

The Telangana government has unveiled its plans, to come up with “heliports” in various locations in the state. This will definitely boost tourism and exploit commercially potent areas. The project has been proposed at Dundigal, Hakimpet, Nadirgul in Hyderabad, Basanthnagar in Karimnagar, Nagarjunasagar, Nalgonda, Alair (Yadagirigutta), Warangal and Kagaznagar (Sirpur). The Telangana State is also planning to develop new greenfield airports at Zakranpally, Nizamabad, National Investment & Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ) at Zaheerabad. Director (aviation) of infrastructure and investment department, V N Bharath Reddy, said, “ Under Regional Connectivity Scheme for 10 unserved airports, the State government has submitted the proposals.” “In the near future, these can be converted into full-fledged airports,” said Bharath Reddy. Individuals can avail Heli services, since air traffic is on the rise. The state government has taken up development of Yadagirigutta temple, and a heliport is being proposed at Alair. Similarly, Nagarjunasagar in Nalgonda district has always been a tourist spot. Apart from the VIPs, individuals can avail the Helipad facility at industrial areas, such as Kagaznagar and National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZ). The government, after the formation of the State, decided to develop two airports at Kothagudem-Bhadadri district and Warangal. Furthermore, land acquisition for airports has already started. A Memorandum-of-Understanding (MoU) was signed with the Airport Authority of India (AAI), for development of Warangal Airport. Apart from the existing 748 acres land, AAI informed that it requires another 438 acres for the airport, which is in acquisition stage. Similarly, land for the Kothagudem-Bhadadri airport was identified and sent for approval to the Civil Aviation Ministry. Officials said, an engineering consultancy company, RITES Limited has submitted a pre-feasibility report for development of the airport in Kothagudem. Even, a topographic survey, was also completed at the Kothagudem airport. “Clearances from the forest department, are required as a portion of land for greenfield airport is nestled in reserve forests,” said the officals. A senior official of industries department, said, “the Government reserved Rs1.09 crore, for getting airport clearances.” According to sources, apart from electricity and water at concessional rates and viability gap funding up to 20%, the air force operators should be given concession, like VAT reduction to 1%, free land, security and fire services. By Supraja

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Union Road Ministry Rejects Tender Bids For 400 Crore Project March 27, 2017 14:54

The Union Road Transport Ministry has rejected tender bids for widening Nakrekal-Tanamcherla road, a Rs. 400 crore project. This is the biggest jolt, to the Roads and Buildings (R&B) officials in Telangana. The screening committee of the Union Ministry met in Delhi, on whose approval the widening of the road will be done. Furthermore, the Center has asked the Telangana Government to float fresh tenders. The committee members, rejected the bids, pointing out that, private firms have quoted 12% excess of the estimated value, fixed by the Telangana officials, according to sources. The Union road transport extends funding for development of state roads. The Telangana R&B, had invited tenders for multiple road development projects. The Nakrekal-Tanamcherla, is one of the project, stretching about 0-km. A senior official from Telangana State R&B is also a member of the committee. However, a good news, is that, the screening committee has given its green signal to tender bids to widen JadcherlaKalwakurthy-Mallepalli road. This project is estimated to cost around Rs. 500 crores. The Union Ministry and screening committee have even given green signal to tender bids, to widen RS 400 crore Suryapet Tirumalgiri-Jangoan road, said the officials in the R&B. R&B engineering Chief, I Ganapathi Reddy, said the screening committee has recommended that, tenders be invited again for the project to develop Tanamcherla-Nakrekal road. “As the bidding agencies have quoted in excess, it was decided to go for the tender process again. It is not a serious issue,” said Ganapathi Reddy. By Supraja

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