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Flipkart partners with government to empower artisans, self-help groups

E-commerce giant, Flipkart has announced a tie-up with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana — National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) to train, support and provide market access to artisans, self-help groups (SHGs) and those who deal with raw, organic food production, with the aim to help small businesses explore wide markets.

The e-commerce firm will collaborate with state missions under the DAY-NULM to establish the Flipkart Samarth program in 22 states in the country. It will provide time-bound incubation support to the sellers including cataloguing support, account management support and more.

HDFC to hold a 51.2% stake in Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company

Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd (HDFC), India’s largest mortgage financier, has received approval from Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) to acquire 2% stake in Apollo Munich Health Insurance – a joint venture between Apollo Hospitals and German reinsurer Munich Re Group.

The Corporation and HDFC Ergo have received all requisite approvals for the acquisition including competition commission of India (CCI), Reserve Bank of India and the last being from Irdai on 1 January. Post the completion of the proposed acquisition, Apollo Munich will be merged with and into HDFC Ergo, subject to approval from the Mumbai bench of National Company Law Tribunal.

In June 2019, HDFC had agreed to acquire the entire 8% stake of Apollo Hospitals Group in a health insurance joint venture with German reinsurer Munich Re Group as part of its strategy to tap this potential growth market.

ISRO inks pact with NITK to set up Regional Academic Centre

isro nitk

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has set up a Regional Academic Centre for Space (RAC-S) at National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK) at Surathkal in Mangaluru, to carry out advanced joint research and development (R&D) activities in the area of space technology applications.

The centre will help pursue advanced research in the areas of relevance to the future technological and programmatic needs of the Indian space programme. The centre will act as a facilitator for the promotion of space technology activities in the southern region comprising Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala and Lakshadweep. It will become an ambassador for the capacity building, awareness creation, and R&D activities of ISRO in the region.

The activities of the centre will be guided by a Joint Policy and Management Committee (JPMC) consisting of top executives from the two organizations. JPMC will also facilitate collaborative activities between the partner institutions of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala and Lakshadweep. ISRO will provide necessary annual grant, as recommended by the JPMC, to the tune of ₹2 crore for conducting R&D projects, promotional activities and administrative expenses.

Chandigarh Group of Colleges Signs MOU with NASSCOM

NASSCOM

National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) and Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Landran have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will facilitate the development and introduction of Qualification Pack (QP) based training programs for the engineering students.

The objective is to introduce the skill assessment for students at the entry level, in conjunction with programs, to analyze the efficacy of the multiple skill development programs and employment at entry level. The MoU was signed during a Faculty Development Program, organised in association with NASSCOM on Business Analytics, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

India-Russia to sign MoUs on AK-203 assault rifles

The Indian Army and Russia is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the procurement of over 7.5 lakh AK-203 assault rifles. The rifles will be manufactured by the Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) at Korwa in Uttar Pradesh.

The facility is being set up between the Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) from the Indian side, and Rosoboron Exports and Kalashnikov on the Russian side. The OFB owns 50.5% equity and Russian side holds the remaining 49.5%. The Army has been looking to replace the indigenous INSAS (Indian National Small Arms System) rifles in use with a modern rifle.

Uber and Hyundai ties up to develop electric air taxis

Uber Technologies Inc and automaker Hyundai Motor have teamed up to develop electric air taxis. The partnership aims to make small self-flying cars to ease urban congestion. The team is heading towards a goal of launching Uber Air by 2023 and urban air mobility service in 2028.

Hyundai is the first carmaker to join Uber's air taxi project. Hyundai will produce and deploy the vehicles while Uber will provide aerial ride-share services. Uber has partnered with eight companies for its air taxi project.

World Bank and GoI Sign $88 million loan agreement for AIWTP

The Government of India, the Government of Assam and the World Bank signed a loan agreement of $88 million here today to help modernize Assam’s passenger ferry sector that runs on its rivers including the mighty Brahmaputra. The Assam Inland Water Transport Project (AIWTP) will help Assam improve the passenger ferry infrastructure and its services and strengthen the capacity of the institutions running the inland water transport.

The government ferries are operated by the Assam Shipping Company (ASC) while the terminals and terminal services are provided by the Assam Ports Company (APC) in the state of Assam. A majority of Assam’s more than 361 ferry routes cross the Brahmaputra or serve its islands, providing a crucial means of transport to thousands of commuters in both the urban and rural areas of the Brahmaputra Valley.

The loan agreement was signed by Shri Khare, on behalf of Government of India and Mr Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Country Director (India), World Bank on behalf of the World Bank. Whereas, the Project Agreement was signed by Shri Adil Rashid, Commissioner (Assam Transport) and State Project Director on behalf of Government of Assam and Mr Kamal Ahmad on behalf of the World Bank.

NITI Aayog and Ladakh UT sign MoU to develop infrastructure projects

NITI Aayog entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Union Territory of Ladakh administration on 17 January 2020. The MoU NITI Aayog will be supporting the UT’s administration through its crucial initiative Development Support Services to States for Infrastructure Projects (D3S-i).

The MoU executed in the presence of NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and Joint Secretary MC Jauhari. It will be signed by NITI Aayog Senior Adviser Dr. Yogesh Suri and Adviser to the Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh Umang Narula.

NITI Aayog committed to assist the UT’s administration in creating a strategic plan for identifying prioritized infrastructure projects and by providing end-to-end transaction-management support for the identified projects.

Indian Oil signs pact with National Petroleum Authority of Ghana

Indian Oil has signed an MoU with Ghana’s National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to offer assistance and technical expertise to the country in implementing its National LPG Promotion Policy.

The purpose of this MoU is to strengthen cooperation between the two parties in the field of petroleum, in particular LPG, in which IOC would support the NPA in the successful implementation of the Cylinder Recirculation Model (CRM) of LPG.

Indian Oil will provide support to the NPA in developing Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) Standards, a licensing, permit and legal framework, the economics for LPG bottling plants, a pricing structure, and a communication strategy.

Agreement to upgrade Ashuganj-Akhaura road signed by India and Bangladesh

India and Bangladesh signed an agreement to upgrade the 58-kilometre long road between Ashuganj river port and the Akhaura land port in Bangladesh into a 4-lane highway. The deal was signed between the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) of Bangladesh and an Indian Company Afcons Infrastructure Limited, to upgrade the 39 km long road between Ashuganj river port to Dharhar area.

The RHD and an India-Bangladesh joint venture firm will take up the work of upgrading the remaining part of the road from Dharhar to Akhaura. The project is part of the dollar 2 billion second line of credit extended by India to Bangladesh in 2016. Both governments have identified 46 projects in Bangladesh that would improve connectivity within the country and out of the country.

BSE signs licensing agreement with ICE Futures Europe

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has signed a licensing agreement with Intercontinental Exchange for the use of the ICE Brent Index as the final settlement price for BSE’s Rupee-denominated Brent futures contract.

This licensing agreement will help Indian market participants access Rupee-denominated Brent benchmark prices and deepen the Indian commodity markets by providing convenient and cost-effective onshore hedging products.

The agreement will also enable the price discovery of Brent crude prices in the Indian time zone based on domestic fundamentals. India is one of the largest consumers and importers of crude oil in the world, and Brent crude is highly co-related with the Indian crude oil basket.

India, Maldives sign five MoUs for initiating Addu Tourism zone.

Addu Tourism zone

India and Maldives signed five MoUs for initiating the Addu Tourism zone in five islands of Addu atoll at a cost of 2.49 million dollars.

APEDA-CFTRI signs MoU for Liason Office in Guwahati

APEDA

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by CSIR-CFTRI with APEDA in Guwahati, Assam to give technical support to the food industries in the North East region.

India signs USD 450 million loan agreement with World Bank

World Bank

The Goverment of India has signed USD 450 million loan agreement with the World Bank. The loan agreement of USD 450 million targets to aid the national programme “Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY): National Groundwater Management Improvement Programme”.

SBI signs MoU with Govt of Gujarat to facilitate MSME loans

MSME loans

The government of Gujarat has signed an MoU with State Bank of India (SBI) which targets to facilitate approval of loans to entrepreneurs in the MSME sector with ease and within a short time-frame.

Microsoft & SBI unites hands to train differently-abled

Microsoft & SBI

Microsoft declared a partnership with State Bank of India to train differently-abled people to search jobs in the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector.

India & US sign defence deals worth $3 billion

India & US

India and the United States signed defence deals worth 3 billion dollars. India has agreed to purchase USD 3 billion worth upgraded American military equipment including Apache and MH-60 Romeo helicopters, which are the finest in the world.

Xiaomi to bring ISRO’s NavIC technology to smartphones in 2020

Xiaomi to bring ISRO’s NavIC technology to smartphones in 2020

Chinese tech major Xiaomi will bring ISRO’s Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System, NavIC technology to its smartphones. The capability has been presently enabled by Qualcomm Technologies Inc on several of their Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platforms and will be made accessible across multiple Xiaomi smartphones in India.

NTPC signs MoU with CPCB to set up air quality monitoring stations

NTPC signs MoU with CPCB

The National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC Ltd) has signed an agreement with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). According to an agreement, NTPC Ltd will give financial aid of Rs 80 Crore for installation and commissioning of Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS).